Media Morsels 7.13.12

I loved "The 112th Congress." This is classic Aaron Sorkin storytelling - jumping around in time to help move the story forward. (Think "The Midterms" or "The Stackhouse Filibuster," both from season two of The West Wing.) We got some lovely moments between the characters, met Jane Fonda's Leona Lansing and were reminded that Aaron Sorkin is a musical theatre scholar. (References included Gypsy, Little Shop of Horrors and Brigadoon) As is the new normal, has a rundown of favorite quotes from the episode, like this line uttered by John Gallagher, Jr.'s Jim: "I'm not going to 'get in there.' I'm not going to swoop in like she's a rent-controlled apartment." Another great thing about this episode: it was co-written by Gideon Yago, the cutie journalist you may remember from MTV's Idiot Savant and his IFC news program, The IFC Media Project. And now, here's a look at the next episode: (it's full of even more theatre vets, including Jeff Daniels's God of Carnage co-star, Hope Davis)

Bonus Newsroom coverage:

Dave Grohl and His Huge Drumsticks

The Foo Fighters frontman was recently honored in his hometown of Warren, Ohio. The town "unveiled gigantic 900-pound drumsticks to honor their native son [and] the massive pair have broken the Guinness World Record," reports Rolling Stone. The drumsticks are currently on display at the Warren Amphitheater and in September they'll be moved to Dave Grohl Alley. Watch the making of the record breaking sticks below:

Casting Update

Two big casting announcements this week:
  • Nina Arianda (who is a recent Tony winner for her worship-worthy performance in Venus in Fur) will play the legendary Janis Joplin in an upcoming biopic to be directed by Sean Durkin, who was at the helm of the eerie and interesting Martha Marcy May Marlene. According to the announcement on Deadline, the film "looks back at the final six months of the singer's life with flashbacks to her early career." In recent interviews Arianda gave while promoting Venus in Fur, she said she is interested in doing a musical and has the vocal chops to pull it off. I think this is brilliant casting. If there's one actress I trust to tackle the enigmatic Joplin, it's Arianda. Stay tuned for updates.

  • While Chris Cooper isn't above being silly on screen (to wit: his rapping scene in The Muppets), he will return to form when he appears in the film adaptation of Tracy Letts's August: Osage County. He joins previously announced Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. Indie Wire has details.

2012-2013 Theatre Season Update

A couple of starry plays, one a New York premiere and one a revival, are heading to Broadway this fall, and this week brought updates regarding both plays:
  • Grace, the premiere, is written by Craig Lucas and stars Paul Rudd (How do You Know), Michael Shannon (Uncle Vanya, HBO's Boardwalk Empire) and Ed Asner. The limited engagement will run through December 16 at the Cort Theatre, with previews beginning September 13 in anticipation of an October 4 opening. Tickets are now available exclusively through an American Express pre-sale running through July 19. Visit for more information.

  • The revival of The Heiress will begin previews at the Walter Kerr Theatre on the best day of the year, October 7. (That's my birthday, for those of you keeping score!) The play officially opens on November 1 and runs through February 10, 2013. The Heiress stars Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey), Jessica Chastain (The Help, Take Shelter) and David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck), and is directed by Moises Kaufman (The Laramie Project). To learn more about the Ruth and Augustus Goetz play, visit

Show People: Cheyenne Jackson

Hunky stage favorite Cheyenne Jackson talks to's Paul Wontorek about the secret to a long-lasting marriage, his new tattoos and which Broadway babe he'd like to have on his arm:

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