Media Morsels 8.30.13

(Scroll down for a fall movie preview, starring Leonardo DiCaprio!)

The Newsroom: Season Two

"Red Team III" was such a magnificent episode. It was almost like a play: there were no location shoots, it was all the series regulars (and a couple of special seasonal guest stars) and it let the great stage actors in the talented ensemble square off against one another (especially when John Gallagher, Jr., (Jim) and Hamish Linklater (Jerry) went after each other) and that's what's so thrilling about a show like this. Top notch actors interpreting our day's Bard's's such a treat. And didn't you love the ending, with Jane Fonda's Leona Lansing barking, "Get it back!"? Items from the week are below, followed by Aaron Sorkin taking us inside the episode and a preview of next week's episode.

Items from the week:

A Time to Kill on Broadway

If you're loving the depositions and lawyerly pursuits on The Newsroom, get ready for A Time to Kill on Broadway. Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) has adapted John Grisham's debut novel that focuses on race relations and justice. Of course, my favorite courtroom drama to take the stage is Aaron Sorkin's A Few Good Men, but A Time to Kill is a compelling and relevant story, and boasts a few good men (and women!) among its cast. Sebastian Arcelus (The Blue Flower, House of Cards) leads the cast that includes Patrick Page (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark), Tom Skerritt and Tonya Pinkins (Milk Like Sugar), among others. A Time to Kill, directed by Eric McSweeny, begins previews at the Golden Theatre on September 28 in advance of an October 20 opening. Check out photos from the company's first rehearsal, and watch below as the actors and creative team talk about bringing Grisham's modern classic to the stage.

Casting News

  • Sutton Foster (Anything Goes) will briefly return to TV in an upcoming episode of Psych. has more.

  • Danny Burstein (Golden Boy, Follies) and Victoria Clark (Cinderella) will join Mary-Louise Parker for the premiere production of The Snow Geese. The new play from Sharr White (The Other Place), which is directed by Daniel Sullivan (Glengarry Glen Ross), begins previews at the Biltmore on October 1 and officially opens on October 24. The limited engagement will conclude on December 15. has more.

  • The Daily Show correspondant Aasif Mandvi has joined the cast of the upcoming FOX series, Us and Them, in which he'll play a Dave Matthews Band roadie. Playbill has details.

  • Casting is complete for the original musical If/Then, which comes from team Next to Normal, Tom Kitt, Brian Yorkey and Michael Greif, and stars Idina Menzel, Anthony Rapp and LaChanze. Those stars will be joined by Ryann Redmond (Bring it On), Joe Cassidy (Working), Miguel Cervantes (American Idiot) and more. Visit for full details.

  • Reeve Carney, who has been swinging around the Foxwoods in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark for three years, has joined the cast of the upcoming Showtime horror series, Penny Dreadful. The Hollywood Reporter has details.

  • The lovely Anna Camp (All New People, Pitch Perfect) has signed on for an upcoming episode of How I Met Your Mother, which returns for its final season September 23. TV Fanatic has more.

  • The Commons of Pensacola, which marks the playwrighting debut of Amanda Peet (Studio 60), will welcome Michael Stahl-David (Picked) to the cast. He joins the previously announced Sarah Jessica Parker and Blythe Danner for the premiere, off-Broadway production. Previews begin October 22 and opening night is set for November 21. has more.

  • Though no filming dates have been announced, it is confirmed that Geoffrey Rush (The King's Speech) will portray the Man in Chair in the film adaptation of The Drowsy Chaperone. CBC News has details. 

  • Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul is getting biblical: he'll appear as Joshua in Ridley Scott's (Prometheus) Moses film, Exodus. (This is not a remake of the Paul Newman film of the same name.) The cast also includes Christian Bale (The Fighter, The Dark Knight Rises) as Moses; Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby) as Ramses; and Sigourney Weaver (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) and John Turturro (The Big Lebowski, The Cherry Orchard) as Ramses's parents. Variety has details.

  • David Cromer, the actor who has developed a reputation as a great director (The House of Blue Leaves), has joined the cast of the Denzel Washington-starring revival of A Raisin in the Sun. has details.

  • Sad casting item: Tony winner Andrea Martin is departing Pippin on September 22. She is exiting the production to film a Canadian sitcom. No word yet on who will replace her, but those are some mighty impressive trapeze to fill. has more. In other Pippin casting news, Christopher Sieber will fill in for Terrence Mann (Charlemagne) when Mann is on vacation in September. has the dates.
Jake Gyllenhaal Visits the Actors Studio

Jake Gyllenhaal (If There is I Haven't Found it Yet) recently taped an episode of Inside the Actors Studio, and the episode will air on Bravo on Thursday, September 19 at 8pm EDT. (The Wrap has more; Gyllenhaal will also appear on the new Queen Latifah Show during its premiere week, September 16, on CBS. Check your local listings for air time.) The following day, Gyllenhaal's new movie, Prisoners, hits theaters. This film, which co-stars Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), centers on two families whose daughters go missing and the detective (Gyllenhaal) who tries to find them. The fathers (Jackman and Terrence Howard) soon take matters into their own hands. Watch the trailer below:

Lick it Up, Heather!

Heathers is back - kind of. Heathers the Musical, based on the cult-favorite flick starring Winona Rider and Christian Slater, will have a world premiere production in Los Angeles this fall. The quirky musical, written by Laurence O'Keefe and Kevin Murphy, has had readings and concerts in the past (I saw a concert at Joe's Pub a few years ago) but this will mark the first full theatrical production. The limited engagement at the Hudson Backstage Theatre will play weekends from September 21 through October 6. has details, including casting.

Fall Movie Preview

Both Rolling Stone and The Wrap dove into fall films this week. The Wrap presented a photo gallery of the 60 most anticipated movies of fall, including The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Martin Scorsese. They also presented a shorter list, with fewer pictures and more words, of the ones they're actually interested in seeing. Over at Rolling Stone, chief movie critic Peter Travers brought readers his fall movie preview. His list includes many of the same flicks as The Wrap's list, including The Wolf of Wall Street (which is what Travers is most looking forward to), as well as 12 Years a Slave, Inside Llewyn Davis, American Hustle, August: Osage County, Her and Anchorman. Keep on eye on these films as we move toward movie award season.

Aladdin on Broadway

A stage musical version of the beloved Disney animated film Aladdin is coming to Broadway, and this week, dates for the show's Broadway bow were announced. Previews at the New Amsterdam Theatre will begin February 26, 2014, and opening night is set for March 20. Though no casting has been announced, we do know some members of the creative team: direction and choreography is by Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon); the book is by Chad Beguelin; the score, much of which will be taken from the film, is by Alan Menken (music) and Tim Rice and the late Howard Ahsman (lyrics). has more.

Kiss and Tell: Backstage at First Date with Krysta Rodriguez

It's time for episode four! In this week's episode, Krysta Rodriguez interviews "gypped-sie robe" winner Blake Hammond and shows us an incredible piece of fan art, plus, the cast celebrates Kate Loprest's 30th birthday.

In other First Date news, caught up with First Date star Zachary Levi to talk about his love of theatre and how it feels to make his Broadway debut. Plus, the First Date original Broadway cast recording is now available for pre-order. The album, released by Yellow Sound Label, will be released on October 22, and you can pre-order your copy today from Amazon.

Audience Rewards

Did you know that Broadway has a loyalty program? With Audience Rewards, you can earn points when you purchase tickets to shows through Audience Rewards' website. Plus, you can earn points by playing trivia, and you can use those points to purchase show tickets. And the good folks at Audience Rewards are always running different sweepstakes, like the current one in which you can win two tickets to see Orlando Bloom and two-time Tony nominee Condola Rashad in Romeo and Juliet! Visit to sign up and then enter the Romeo and Juliet contest here. (Check back here often for updates on the latest Audience Rewards offers.)
Dig This

  • Tracy Letts, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his modern American family drama August: Osage County and who won a Tony for his performance in the classic American family drama Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is rumored to be writing an adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath for a Steven Spielberg-produced film remake. The Wrap has details.

  • Can't wait until 2014 for more House of Cards? Check out the video of this New York Times Magazine interview, which was livestreamed on Wednesday night, featuring show runner and head writer Beau Willimon and stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. And then listen to Julie Klausner's podcast in which she interviews Willimon.

  • I never thought I'd see the day: there will be a Les Miserables television show. The series will see Jean Valjean as a modern lawyer who is fighting to "evade the consequences of his own unjust conviction." Vulture has more.

  • Comedy Central, via Buzz Feed, presents a list of the "31 Ways Jon Stewart Spent Summer Vacation." Stewart and The Daily Show return on September 3.

  • There are rumors that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have been asked to host the 2014 Golden Globe awards. The pair scored big when they hosted this year. Nothing is official yet, but I'll keep you posted.

  • Rocky now has official preview and opening night dates: previews at the Winter Garden Theatre begin February 11, 2014, and opening night is March 13. The musical, based on the Oscar-winning Sylvester Stallone film, is directed by Alex Timbers (Here Lies Love, Peter and the Starcatcher). Visit for details.

  • Patti LuPone is going on tour! The acclaimed artist will bring one of four concerts, including An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin, to cities throughout North America, including New York, California and Florida. Playbill has details.

  • Is there a Stefon movie in the works? Maybe, says Bill Hader: