Media Morsels 2.4.11

  • At this performance of American Idiot... well, we had a few substitutions and changes this week. Most notably, on Tuesday night rocker Melissa Etheridge made her Broadway debut in the role of St Jimmy. You'll recall that original St Jimmy Tony Vincent played his last performance on December 30. At the next performance, Billie Joe came back into the show in the role he had performed back in September. Billie Joe is with the show as St Jimmy for 50 non-contiguous performances. For this week, during which Billie Joe was not scheduled to appear, the producers wrangled Etheridge to play the role. I was there on Tuesday night.

    Etheridge has a great voice for the music - she's got the soul - but she doesn't have the charisma for the role. She seemed a little sluggish and, at moments, like a deer caught in headlights. (She actually missed the cue for her first lyric and had to play catch up.) The latter point could have everything to do with a short rehearsal period and perhaps she'll ease in as the week goes on. But as for the former, the role demands a more commanding, aggressive energy, which Etheridge seemed to lack. Still, it was interesting to see a woman in that role. (Visit to view photos of the curtain call.)

    Other changes: Theo Stockman is no longer with the show so on Tuesday night the Idiots welcomed Jason Kappus, making his Broadway debut. (The Idiots, in recent weeks, have also welcomed two new swings and Jeanna de Waal, who took over the role of Heather after Mary Faber left to
    Succeed in Business.) But perhaps the most bittersweetly exciting difference about Tuesday night was that my dear John Gallagher, Jr., was on vacation so standby Van Hughes was playing the role of Johnny (and will continue to do so until Gallagher returns from vacation on February 10). Van is definitely different from John, which is good; he should be - he should make the role his. And he did so in a way that worked well for the role without seeming overreaching. Van's Johnny is angry and aggressive, whereas John's Johnny is more twitchy and searching. Both good, both their own characters. As always, visit to learn more about the show, meet the cast and creative team and to purchase tickets to this still powerful show. Seriously, each and every time I'm blown away by what happens on that stage and what it makes happen in me. I love the Idiots!!!

  • Catch Me on Broadway
    Three things about Catch Me if You Can: (1) The first preview is being postponed by four days, from March 7 to March 11, because the inclement weather in New York has delayed load in. (2) There's another song preview available on This one is of "Jet Set" and features the company. (3) Us lucky New Yorkers received discount mailers this week but the real treat was that it came complete with a four-song cd sampler! The cd includes "Live in Living Color," which we heard last week, "Jet Set," "Butter Outta Cream" and "Fly Fly Away," a beautiful song sung by Kerry Butler. (I heard her sing this song at a benefit about two years ago and was moved to tears. Same thing is happening upon each listen now.) Get your best 60s mod frock ready and get excited!

  • Brush Up Your Shakespeare
    This week, the Public Theatre announced that their annual Shakespeare in the Park summer fun would once again bring audiences Shakespeare in repertoire. This summer, we'll see productions of All's Well That Ends Well and Measure for Measure. While no casting has been announced, the Public did announce that Daniel Sullivan will stage All's Well That Ends Well and David Esbjornson will mount Measure for Measure. The summer season will run in Central Park June 6-July 31. Keep checking back here for casting announcements.

  • Glee Scoop
    The New York Times reports that Glee's own Jane Lynch will write a memoir. In Happy Accidents (which is also the name of a very sweet Marisa Tomei-Vincent d'Onofrio movie), Lynch will recount her journey to becoming comfortable with her sexuality as well as her struggles with addition and her current role at the tracksuit-clad Sue Sylvester.

    Ready for Super Bowl XLV? The Gleeks are. Watch as Matthew Morrison, Naya Rivera and other Glee cast members share their favorite Super Bowl recipes.

  • Awards Update
    After the guild awards last weekend, many Oscar prognosticators are saying that The King's Speech will win the Best Picture Oscar. (The film picked up the DGA award; the SAG ensemble award; and a SAG award for Colin Firth; a couple of weeks ago, it also won the Producers Guild Award.) According to a report in the Times (and recent evidence) the winners of the guild awards are usually the eventual Oscar winners. What do you think? Are the guilds right? And will The King's Speech upset The Social Network? The King's Speech is good, but The Social Network is perfect - and has so many flawless elements: the script; the direction; the acting; the score; the cinematography... Plus, it says something about our time - about this year. If only the Academy would let me vote! (Here's a The Social Network bonus: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross talk to the New York Times about creating their Oscar nominated score.)

    In other Oscar fun, check out this photo essay of all ten Best Picture nominees, as represented by Legos!

  • New Rules
    Every week on his show Real Time with Bill Maher, political satirist Bill Maher hands down his New Rules, guidelines by which to live your life. Sometimes they're silly, like New Rule: Don't wear fanny packs; but his final New Rule always introduces his closing monologue in which he directly addresses some hypocrisy or inequity or absurdity in society. Last week, his new rule compared the NFL and MLB to socialism and capitalism, and noted that those who rail against our "socialist" president are the same people who fully embrace the NFL, a socialist regime if there ever was one. Read this New Rule online and then tune in to new episodes every Friday night at 10pm on HBO.

  • Community: Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
    This week's episode may have been the funniest yet of this very funny show. The laugh out loud, hilarious kind of funny. Watch it! (And by the way, D&D sounds kind of cool - you sit around with your friends and tell stories - hazzah!)

  • Casting News
    Good news: Joseph Gordon-Levitt will re-team with his Inception director, Christopher Nolan, for Nolan's latest Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises. There's no official word on who Gordon-Levitt will be playing, though and other rumor mills think he may play the Riddler. Gordon-Levitt is a great, versatile actor, plus he has a keen and sincere interest in clowning around (literally - grease paint and all, not just cracking jokes) so I'll bet he'll do wonders, relishing the opportunity to delve deep into a mask and an over the top character. The movie begins shooting this spring. Check back for updates.

  • Beavis and Butt-head Re-Do America
    That's right - the modern day Statler and Waldorf are coming back! MTV announced this week that Beavis and Butt-head will be back on its airwaves, with brand new episodes from creator Mike Judge, who will continue to voice the dynamic duo. Beavis and Butt-head began in the early nineties and found two slacker teen boys sitting on their couch (usually) making fun of awful music videos. (You may remember that it was on Beavis and Butt-head that we first met the patron saint of sarcastic girls everywhere, Daria!) Visit the show's online home to watch full, legendary episodes and watch your local listings for all new Beavis and Butt-head.

  • Dig It
    • Listen to Anything Goes! In this just released radio commercial, you get your first listen of Sutton Foster as Reno Sweeney. Delovely!

    • More Foo for You: Tune in to 101.5 on Foo Fighters FM for a sick and dirty groove.

    • Watch as the adorable Jason Segel and Paul Rudd reprise their roles from the hilarious I Love You, Man, and Sydney and Peter meet Rush.