Media Morsels 11.9.12

President Barack Obama Re-Elected

Ladies and gentlemen, the election is behind us and we have a winner: the American people. Not only did Americans vote President Obama into a second term, they also voted several women into office (including Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), the first openly gay women elected to the Senate.) Three states voted for marriage equality (MD, ME and WA), with one, Minnesota, voting against a ban on marriage equality, and two states voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use while one, Massachusetts, voted for medical marijuana. It's all a terrific outcome, in my opinion, and in these last few days since the election I've been thankful for the right to have my voice heard in this Republic.Visit my Tumblr  and Playbill for other Election Day reactions. (On a related note: Vice President Joe Biden will make a cameo on the November 15th episode of Parks and Recreation. Rolling Stone has details. Rolling Stone also has Matt Taibbi's response to the Republicans' response to the election.)

I'm not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the road blocks that stand in our path. I'm not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight. I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.
Here, President Obama thanks the people, saying, "I'm really proud of all of you."

One Singular New Year's Eve Sensation

On December 31, 2012, the New York Philharmonic will present "One Singular Sensation: Celebrating Marvin Hamlisch." The concert will be broadcast live (on PBS) from Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center and be hosted by the peerless Audra McDonald (Porgy and Bess). In addition to McDonald, Raul Esparza (Leap of Faith), Megan Hilty (Smash), Josh Groban, Kelli O'Hara (South Pacific) and others will perform songs by the late legendary composer. Visit for details.

Mel Brooks Strikes Back!

HBO, which, last year, aired the special Mel Brooks and Dick Cavett Together Again (one of my favorite things of the year), will once again bring Mel Brooks to your TV. On December 10 at 9pm, viewers will get to watch Mel Brooks Strikes Back! The special was filmed in front of a live audience in California and, according to the notice on Indie Wire, "features Brooks in conversation with [the BBC's] Alan Yentob, discussing his career...and will include clips from Your Show of Shows, a Brooks and Carl Reiner '2000 Year Old Man' routine" and more. Hilarity is certain to ensue, so tune in!

Oscar Update

Rob Ashford (How to Succeed...) will choreograph the 85th Academy Awards. As noted in the press release on Playbill, "Ashford won an Emmy for his work on the 81st Academy Awards." Ashford will soon direct the straight play classic Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, set to bow on Broadway this winter and starring Ben Walker (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) and Scarlett Johansson (who won a Tony for her performance in A View from the Bridge). The Oscars will be handed out on Sunday, February 24, 2013, and the ceremony will be hosted by Seth MacFarlane.

Thanksgiving Day Parade

Performers for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade have been announced. Viewers will get to see performances from five current or upcoming Broadway shows: Annie, Bring It OnCinderella, Elf and Nice Work if You Can Get It. (Cinderella is the one show that will not be either open or in previews; preview begin January 24, 2013. Though not in time for the Turkey Day performance, Nice Work will welcome Blythe Danner to its cast for 12 weeks, beginning December 18.) Also performing or appearing are the Muppets, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots, the US Olympic Gold Medalists and the Rockettes. Tune into NBC at 9am on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 22.

Book of Mormon Casting Updates

  • The Broadway company will welcome a new Elder Price: Matt Doyle (Spring Awakening, War Horse).

  • Chicago is the starting point for the show's second national tour; it begins with a six-month stint in the Windy City. The full cast was announced this week and includes current Broadway Elder Price Nic Rouleau, Stephanie Umoh (Ragtime revival) and my high school classmate, Mike Evariste (South Pacific, Hair national tour).

  • Gavin Creel is heading back to London: Creel and Jared Gertner, who currently lead the first national tour of Book of Mormon (now in Los Angeles) as Elders Price and Cunningham, respectively, will open the London production of the show. Previews will begin on February 25, 2013, at the Prince of Wales Theatre. (Creel was last seen on the London stages in Hair.)

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