Media Morsels 8.23.13

Foo Fighters Head to the Studio!

Over the weekend, Chris Shiflett, who has been the Foo Fighters' lead guitarist for years, told Rolling Stone that the band is heading back to the studio to start work on the band's next album, a follow up to the incredible Wasting Light. You may recall that in October, Foo frontman Dave Grohl announced the band would be on hiatus for an indeterminate amount of time. Apparently, they couldn't stay away from each other for too long. At a concert for his other band, Chris Shiflett and the Dead Peasants (good tunes; check them out!), Shiflett said, "We actually just started making a new Foo Fighters record within the last few weeks...We've started rehearsing." No further details are available at the time, but read the full write up on Rolling Stone to learn more about Shiftlett's other creative outlet.

The Newsroom: Season Two

So much happened this week in "One Step Too Many"! The Don-Mackenzie chemistry was surprise and fun. Seeing Jim being a regular guy, getting ready to spend time with his lady - too adorable. We're seeing Maggie continue to struggle with reality, but you might have also noticed the quick but pivotal moment when she was in the room while the general said "we did it." Jerry Dantana was back and doctored the tape. This clearly sets up not only News Night's Genoa gaffe but it also precipitates Dantana's firing, which is why everyone is being deposed. (Dantana clearly brings a wrongful termination suit.)  There are only three more episode in the season and I can't wait to see what happens.

Scroll down to go inside the episode with Aaron Sorkin, and below that is the preview for the next episode.

Items from the week:

Artios Casting Awards 

Nominees for the Artios Awards, which recognize outstanding achievement in casting, were announced this week. The 22 categories yield 100 nominees, and the awards honor film, television and theatre. Among those nominated are the casting directors for:

Visit The Wrap for the full list of nominees.

Casting Updates: John Gallagher, Jr., and Bobby Cannavale

Unfortunately, there is no news about Gallagher and Cannavale appearing on screen or stage together, but each actor recently joined a project:
  • John Gallagher, Jr., (The Newsroom, American Idiot) will star alongside House of Cards actress Kate Lyn Sheil in film critic Zachary Wigon's debut film, The Heart Machine. Filming began in New York this week. The Heart Machine, according to Deadline, centers on Cody (Gallagher) and Virginia (Sheil), "a couple in a long-distance online relationship who have never met in person. Cody begins to suspect Virginia's been living in New York the whole time and sets out to investigate." Wigon wrote and is directing the film. Stay tuned for additional details.

  • Bobby Cannavale (The Big Knife, Nurse Jackie) has joined the cast of film update of Annie. You'll remember that Will Gluck (Easy A) is directing the update, based on both the comic strip and the Broadway musical. Cannavale joins the previously announced Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained), Cameron Diaz (Bad Teacher), Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids (and also Cannavale's real life leading lady)) and Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild), who stars as Annie. Normally, I'd be giddy about Cannavale being cast in something, but, as Deadline reports, he is portraying a newly made up character. This makes me a little uneasy. In this version of little orphan Annie's story (written by Emma Thompson, with rewrites by Aline Brosh McKenna and now Gluck), Foxx's Warbucks character (now named Benjamin Stacks) is running for mayor of NYC and Cannavale is his political adviser. I'll try to refrain from judging before I see it, but with the release schedule for Christmas Day 2014, I might not be able to refrain for that long... 
Kiss and Tell: Backstage at First Date with Krysta Rodriguez

Here's the latest installment of Krysta Rodriguez's backstage vlog, giving viewers a peek behind the scenes at the new musical, First Date. In this episode, Rodriguez brings viewers into the recording booth as the cast records the cast album, and she interviews featured player Sarah Chase. (Bonus: Bryce Ryness, a featured player in First Date and a Hair alumnus, tells about his random pop culture obsessions, including The West Wing.)

Coming to Broadway

  • We now have an opening date for the Broadway bow of The Bridges of Madison County, a musical stage adaptation featuring a score by Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five Years). The musical, set to play the Schoenfeld Theatre, begins previews on January 13, 2014, and will officially open on February 27. Kelli O'Hara and Steven Pasquale, who were recently seen off-Broadway in Far from Heaven, will star in the musical, directed by Bartlett Sherr (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown). has more.

  • The new Terrence McNally play, Mothers and Sons, will arrive on Broadway this upcoming spring, and Tyne Daly is set to star. has details.

  • The first ever Broadway production of Dames at Sea will arrive in 2014. The musical has book and lyrics by George Haimsohn and Robin Miller, music by Jim Wise and will be directed and choreographed by Randy Skinner. No specific dates, theatre or casting have been announced, but has more.
Big Fish

The new musical based on the eponymous novel and film begins previews on Broadway in just a few weeks. It features a book by screenwriter John August and a score by Andrew Lippa. Watch below as the two talk about collaborating on the new musical that stars Norbert Leo Butz (Catch Me if You Can, Dead Accounts), Kate Baldwin (Finian's Rainbow) and Bobby Steggart (Assistance), and is directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman (The Scottsboro Boys, Double Feature).

American Idiot Documentary to be Released

The documentary Broadway Idiot, which focuses on American Idiot's path from rock album to Broadway musical (centering mostly on Billie Joe Armstrong's journey throughout, including his stint as St. Jimmy), will be released in theaters and video on demand on October 18. Prior to that, there will be an exclusive theatrical engagement in New York beginning October 11. The doc premiered at this year's SXSW festival, and features appearances by the show's director, Michael Mayer, and its star, John Gallagher, Jr. Visit for more.

Dig This

  • The second season of The Mindy Project, created by and starring the terrific Mindy Kaling, premieres on Fox on September 17th at 9:30pm EST, as per Kaling's recent tweet.

  • It's been a busy week for John Gallagher, Jr., who, in addition to being cast in a new flick (see above), has been promoting his latest project, Short Term 12. Check out his interviews with My Space (yep) and Movie Web.

  • The Mean Girls musical is moving along, with Nell Benjamin (The Explorer's Club) coming on board as lyricist. Playbill has more.

  • Pointe magazine checks in with NYCB soloist and choreographer Justin Peck (In Creases, Paz de La Jolla). Peck is getting ready for to debut a new work at the Fall for Dance festival this September.

  • Laura Benanti (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) and Cheyenne Jackson (The Performers) will star alongside Shuler Hensley in the Encores! City Center presentation of The Most Happy Fella. The production will run for one long weekend, April 2, 2014, through April 6. has details.

  • The latest installment of Show People features Tony nominee Annaleigh Ashford (Kinky Boots). She talks about her dream role, getting married and giving advice to Tom Hanks. Plus, she gives dating advice to fans!

  • HBO invites you on set of its news series, Hello Ladies, starring Stephen Merchant, whom you might know from The Office or The Ricky Gervais Show