The Democratic National Convention is now under our belts, and what a rousing convention it was. And enthusiasm for our most prized civic duty (voting) has spread to the boards, where Keenan-Bolger siblings Celia (Peter and the Starcatcher) and Andrew (Newsies) have founded Broadway for Obama, which is exactly what it sounds like. Learn more on the Facebook page. And now, find several highlights from the week (in chronological order):
- Newark mayor Cory Booker delivers the party platform speech.
- Governor Deval Patrick (Massachusetts) criticizes Mitt Romney and touts President Obama's record.
- Julian Castro, mayor of San Antonio, delivers the keynote address, marking the first time a Latino has done so. (Hmmm. A charismatic Latino mayor from Texas shoots to fame in the Democratic party. Life imitating art - Matt Santos anyone?)
- First Lady Michelle Obama nails it as she gives one of the most incredible speeches in recent memory.
- Foo Fighters rocked for over three hours at a Rock the Vote concert. Billboard has video, and reports that the set included new favorites like "Dear Rosemary" and "These Days," plus old favorites like their breakout hit "Big Me," "My Hero" and "Everlong" (which is amazing in concert), plus covers like "Breakdown," the Tom Petty tune. The Foos also played an acoustic set on Thursday night for the convention crowd, and Rolling Stone has video of the performance.
- Massachusetts senate candidate and consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren makes an impassioned plea against the rigged financial system.
- President Bill Clinton reminds us what a leader is. He expertly laid the case for President Obama's reelection while debunking the many myths that emerged from last week's Republican National Convention. There are few great orators around, and Clinton is one of them. His ability to explain the issues and connect with people is uncanny. Watch the speech here and read it here.
- Vice President Joe Biden spoke about what it's like to work side by side President Obama.
- President Barack Obama closed the convention with a thoughtful, fact-based speech in which he laid out his plans for the next four years, took a few swipes at the Republicans and spoke of how we - American citizens - inspire him.
"Decisions are made by people who show up." So show up and make sure your voice is heard. Visit Rock the Vote to register or find more information about Election Day, November 6.
It seems the Academy has come to its sense and revamped the way nominees for the Best Original Song category are selected. You may recall that because of some convoluted nominating process, some years only two songs are nominated, though there are five slots, which often leaves entirely deserving songs out of contention. (Like in 2009 when Bruce Springsteen's "The Wrestler" was not even nominated. And in 2011 when John Legend's "Shine" wasn't nominated. And this year, when only two songs were nominated.) At the 85th Academy Awards, there will be a minimum of five nominees. Rolling Stone explains: "The final candidates will be determined by the highest number of votes from music branch members, a change from the previous rules that only allowed songs with an average score to be nominated." Oscar nominations will be announced on January 15.
- Michael Fassbender (Shame) has his next project lined up: he'll star in Frank, written by Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan, who co-wrote The Men Who Stare at Goats. According to the announcement on Empire Online, "Frank follows an aspiring musician who gets in over head head when he joins an eccentric rock band led by Frank (Fassbender)."
- Sort of a casting update: on the new season of Smash, you'll be able to hear new, original Joe Iconis tunes! That's right, the brilliant musical theatre writer (Things to Ruin, Re-Write) is taking his talents to TV (Check out mention of Joe on Art Info's list of the Top 25 Under 35 Emerging Broadway Players. Keeping him company are Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur), Annie Baker (The Aliens, Uncle Vanya), Sam Gold (Seminar), Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon), Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Newsies), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Bring It On), Dogfight composers Benk Pasek and Justin Paul, Benjamin Walker (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) and Alex Timbers (BBAJ, Peter and the Starcatcher).)
- The talented and funny Judy Greer (recently seen in The Descendants opposite George Clooney) joins the cast of Theresa Rebeck's new play Dead Accounts. She and Josh Hamilton and Jayne Houdysehll (Follies) will join Norbert Leo Butz and Katie Holmes on stage at the Music Box Theatre. Greer has been stepping up her game in dramas recently, but the versatile player is perhaps most beloved for her many quirky character roles, including Kitty Sanchez on Arrested Development. Theater Mania has details about Dead Accounts.
- Speaking of Norbert Leo Butz, the two-time Tony-winner will star in the world premiere of Big Fish, a musical theatre adaptation of the eponymous movie (which starred Billy Crudup, Ewan McGregor and
Daddy WarbucksAlbert Finney) and the novel Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions. The musical will have its premiere in Chicago in April 2013. Playbill had details.
- War Horse, which shows off incredible stagecraft in bringing horses to life on stage, will conclude its Broadway run on January 6, 2013. When it closes, it will have played 33 previews and 718 performances. Much in the same way Hugo helped you fall in love with the art of film making, War Horse helps you fall in love with the art of creating a theatrical event. Check out this impressive Lincoln Center Theater production before it gallops away. Visit Playbill for details about the London run and the touring company.
- Tickets are now on sale for the revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. The musical will play the Broadway Theatre beginning January 21, 2013, in advance of a February 21 opening. (The box office at the Broadway is not open yet; when searching on Telecharge for tickets, looks for "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, not Cinderella.)
- Talley's Folly, Lanford Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, completes the Roundabout's season. It will run off-Broadway at Roundabout's Laura Pels Theatre. Previews begin February 8, 2013, and opening night is set for March 5. Playbill has details.
Broadway.com offers a guide to all the theatre veterans we'll see on TV this fall. Highlights include:
- Laura Benanti (Women on the Verge) and Julie White (The Understudy) in Go On, opposite Studio 60 and Friends alumnus Matthew Perry. (And here, Julie White talks about the new series.)
- Colin Donnell (Anything Goes, Merrily We Roll Along) in Arrow, an adaptation of the comic book.
- Mamie Gummer (The School for Lies) plays the title character on Emily Owens M.D.
- Ellen Barkin (The Normal Heart), Andrew Rannells (The Book of Mormon) and Justin Bartha (All New People, Asuncion) star in The New Normal.
Fall Movie Preview
Rolling Stone's Peter Travers guides us through the
Oscar bait fall movie season. Travers and I are both looking forward to:
- The Master, from Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood), starring Philip Seymour Hoffman (Death of a Salesman), Joaquin Phoenix (Walk the Line) and Amy Adams (The Fighter), in theaters September 14
- Looper, from Rian Johnson (The Brothers Bloom), starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (50/50) and Bruce Willis, in theaters September 28
- Argo, directed by and starring Ben Affleck, in theaters October 12
- Seven Psychopaths, from Martin McDonaagh (A Behanding in Spokane), starring Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell, who both appeared on stage in Spokane, in theaters October 12 (Remember the trailer from a few weeks ago?)
- Lincoln, directed by Steven Spielberg, adapted for the screen from Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals by Tony Kushner (The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures), starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, in theaters November 9
- This is 40, from Judd Apatow, starring Paul Rudd, in theaters December 21
- Django Unchained, from Quentin Tarantino, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx, in theaters December 21
- Barry Zuckerkorn - he's very good - is reuniting with the Bluth family. The Hollywood Reporter confirms that Henry Winkler will reprise his role as the abysmal attorney in the fourth season of Arrested Development.
- As I mentioned last week, the Public Theater has revitalized its downtown home. Part of the new digs is a site-specific art installation called the Shakespeare Machine, which splices Shakespearean phrases and reassembles them in interesting and unexpected ways. Art Info has details.
- Badass Digest writer Devin Faraci proposes a reboot for the MPAA - and I have something to say about it.
- Your Friday treat: Green Day's video for their new tune, "Kill the DJ."