Media Morsels 9.13.13

(Scroll down for new about Jake Gyllenhaal's latest movie, out next week.)

The Newsroom: Season Two

How's that for a penultimate episode?!? Not to take away from the gravity of parts of the episode, or rather, what those moments set up for the season finale, but I giggled throughout the episode. Will (Jeff Daniels) explaining why he's in charge of morale? Reese (Chris Messina) telling Charlie, "My mom says I can't"? And Rebecca (Marcia Gay Harden) trying to seduce everyone? This was a great episode. Below are some items from the week, and beneath that Aaron Sorkin takes us inside the episode and we get a preview of the season finale.

City Ballet: The Series

Do you remember when, several months ago, it was announced that AOL was getting into the original programming game and one of the company's first shows would be a behind the scenes documentary series about New York City Ballet? Well, it happened, and the show is now in production. The series will follow several dancers, including (according to the trailer) principal dancers  Sara Mearns and Robert Fairchild. Head to to learn more and subscribe to the series, which is executive produced and narrated by Sarah Jessica Parker (a longtime NYCB supporter), and watch the trailer below. (Click here if the video does not appear below.) And don't forget that the 2013-2014 season starts next week. Learn more and purchase tickets on the Company's website. (Scroll down to Dig This for a beautiful video capturing After the Rain, and visit The New York Times for a look at the costumes being made for next week's fall gala.)

Kennedy Center Honorees Announced

The honorees for the 36th annual Kennedy Center Honors have been announced. Accomplished artists Billy Joel (whose River of Dreams tour stop in Miami was the first big concert I ever went to); opera singer Martina Arroyo; Herbie Hancock (whom I saw open for Dave Matthews Band several years ago); Shirley MacLaine (recently seen on Downton Abbey); and Carlos Santana. The honorees will be presented with their medallions by Secretary of State John Kerry on December 7. The following night, a tribute performance will take place (it's always terrific). An edited version of the performance will air on CBS on December 29 at 9pm. (Check your local listings to be sure.) The Kennedy Center Honors recognize recipients "for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts..." Visit Playbill for more.

Theatre Happenings

  • The spring revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask rock musical that will star Neil Patrick Harris, will play the Belasco Theatre. Previews will begin March 29, 2014, with opening night set for April 22. The production is directed by Michael Mayer (American Idiot) and choreographed by chorus boy-turned-choreographer, Spencer Liff (who has the best abs on Broadway, and wears Converse, like me). Visit for more. (Scroll down to the Emmy section for more NPH!)

  • Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots) has a new play, Casa Valentina, and it will premiere on Broadway this spring, courtesy of the Manhattan Theatre Club. Previews will begin at the Biltmore Theatre on April 1, 2014, with opening night set for April 23. As notes, this marks Fierstein's first play in nearly 30 years. Joe Mantello (The Normal Heart, Dogfight) will direct the production.

  • The musical adaptation of Rocky has its stars: Andy Karl (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) and Margo Seibert (Broadway debut) will star as Rocky and Adrian. The musical, directed by Alex Timbers (Here Lies Love), begins previews at the Winter Garden Theatre February 11, 2014, and will celebrate opening night on March 13. Additionally, it's worth noting that the fight choreography will be handled by the talented Steven Hoggett (American Idiot, Once). Tickets are now on sale. Visit for more on the casting news, and head to to learn more about the show.

  • Second Stage Theatre is offering discounted tickets and other perks for its 35th anniversary season. A limited number of tickets for the first week of previews of all mainstage shows will be available for only $19.79, 1979 being the year 2ST was founded. Patrons can also enjoy birthday cake, photo booths and complimentary wine at certain performances. has more, and you can visit to learn more about Second Stage's season, which kicks off with Little Miss Sunshine.

  • It's official: Tovah Feldshuh will take on the role of Berthe when Tony Award winner Andrea Martin departs the Tony-winning revival of Pippin. Martin's final performance will be September 22. She is leaving the show to film a Canadian sitcom. Feldshuh, whose first performance will be September 24, covered the role earlier this summer when Martin was on vacation. has more.

  • Yay! Get your first glimpse of If/Then, the original musical from team Next to Normal, Tom Kitt, Brian Yorkey and Michael Greif, and starring Idina Menzel, LaCanze and Anthony Rapp.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman: Prisoners

The two stars of the upcoming film (opening September 20) spoke to The Hollywood Reporter as the film screened at the Toronto International Film Festival (scroll down to Dig This for more news from the TIFF): (Jake Gyllenhaal bonus: check out this in-depth feature (and amazing black and white photos) with V Magazine.)

Emmy Awards Updates

Elton John will perform a tribute to Liberace on the upcoming 65th Primetime Emmy Awards (see the nominees here). Entertainment Weekly has more about John's performance. The ceremony will take place and be broadcast on Sunday, September 22. Tune in to CBS to watch three-time Emmy winner Neil Patrick Harris host the annual event, and watch below as he talks about the hosting gig. (Bonus: Allison Janney tweeted that she will be presenting at the Emmys.)

Backstage at First Date

It's time for episode six of "Kiss and Tell: Backstage at First Date with Krysta Rodriguez," the vlog in which Rodriguez takes you behind the scenes at the original musical. In this week's episode, we meet Rodriguez's dresser, who shows us some tricks to getting things done backstage. Also this week, Rodriguez interviews featured player Bryce Ryness (Hair), who gives sage dating advice and recounts a touching story from his time in Hair. Rodriguez isn't the only one giving backstage tours, though: Zachary Levi gave People a look at what happens backstage at the show. First Date continues its run at the Longacre Theatre. Visit to learn more, pre-order the cast recording and to purchase tickets. (Also: First Date is making a slight change to its schedule. Beginning the week of October 8, Wednesday evening performances will begin at 7pm, instead of at 8. has details.)

Dig This

  • Tina Fey will host the season premiere of Saturday Night Live when the late-night sketch comedy show returns for its 39th season on September 28. This will be Fey's fourth time hosting. Vulture has details.

  • The fall TV season is almost here, and The Hollywood Reporter offers exclusive portraits of some of the season's stars, including Michael J. Fox (in The Michael J. Fox show); J.B. Smoove and Will Arnett (in The MIllers); Rebel Wilson (in Super Fun Night); and Allison Janney (in Mom).

  • Rolling Stone has an exclusive clip of the PBS American Masters documentary, Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin'.

  • Get ready for more Aaron Tveit: Graceland has been renewed for a second season. Look for 13 more episodes in summer 2014. Variety has more.

  • checks in with Bobby Steggert (Assistance), who can be seen in Big Fish, now in previews.

  • After a successful showing at the TIFF, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His/Hers might have a distributor. This is good news because of the cast of the marital drama: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, The Heiress) and James McAvoy (X-Men: First Class) star alongside Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur), Viola Davis (Fences) and others. The Wrap has details.

  • Side by Side by Susan Blackwell is back, and this week, the hilarious and talented Blackwell chats with departing Spider-Man star, Reeve Carney. Tune in to learn about Carney's prankster days and to watch him play the blues.

  • Better Call Saul is officially happening! The spin-off from Breaking Bad will be a prequel to its predecessor (ending on September 29), and focus on the quick-witted lawyer Saul Goodman, played by comedian Bob Odenkirk. Rolling Stone has details.

  • NYC Ballet presents New Beginnings. In this exquisite video, filmed at sunrise on September 12, a bit of hope is captured in Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain. Principal dancers Maria Kowroski and Ask la Cour bring to life a small portion of one of the most moving ballets. NYCB says of the video and its timing and location, "It is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, and a tribute to the future of the city that New York City Ballet calls home." Amazing.