Media Morsels 10.25.13
- Prisoner 24601 has been cast. Ramin Karimloo, a West End star, has landed the coveted role of Jean Valjean in the upcoming Broadway revival of Les Miserables. (He's currently playing the role in the Toronto production; check out this Show People episode to learn about Karimloo, whose first name is pronounced Ra-meen.) He'll be pursued by Will Swenson (Hair, Murder Ballad), who will star as Javert. Joining Karimloo and Swenson are Caissie Levy (Hair, Ghost, Murder Ballad) as Fantine and Tony winner Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon) as Eponine. Les Miserables will begin previews at the Imperial Theatre on March 1, 2014, with opening night set for March 23. Broadway.com has more. (Bonuses: Will Swenson reacts to the news, and all four talk to Broadway World about taking on the iconic musical.)
- Laura Benanti (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) will guest star on the upcoming sixth season of Showtime's Nurse Jackie. She joins fellow Tony winner Julie White as a guest star on the series that stars Edie Falco (The House of Blue Leaves) and recent Emmy winner Merritt Wever (Uncle Vanya). Playbill has more.
- The Book of Mormon will welcome two new Elders: Nic Rouleau and Ben Platt, who can currently be seen as Elders Price and Cunningham on the first national tour, will step into those roles on Broadway early next year. Broadway.com has more.
- Annie, which is set to close on January 5, 2014, will welcome Tony nominee Ron Raines (Follies) as Daddy Warbucks beginning December 10. Raines takes over for Australian Anthony Warlow, who will play his final performance on December 8. Broadway.com has more.
- Michael Fassbender (Shame, Prometheus) is keeping busy. 12 Years a Slave and The Counselor are both in theaters, and he's scheduled to film Macbeth (with co-star Marion Cotillard) this winter. But before Macbeth, he'll appear in (and produce) the Western Slow West. Thompson on Hollywood has more. (Bonus: The Weinstein Company has just picked up US and Canadian rights for Macbeth.)
It looks like you and I might have a little more time to finish reading Jordan Belfort's memoir, The Wolf of Wall Street, upon which the eponymous movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is based. Word is that director Martin Scorsese is taking longer than expected to finish the film (finish cutting it, that is; filming has been complete for several months), which has the studio thinking it might move the release to some time in 2014, but this would have a drastic impact on the film's Oscar chances. Instead, the Los Angeles Times reports, the flick will just be pushed from its initial release date, November 15, to Christmas Day, giving it the big "mo" just as Oscar season kicks into high gear. Stay tuned for details.
Rapid Fire, with Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck
The New York City Ballet principal dancers and recently engaged couple answer some rapid fire questions. Could they be any cuter? (The Company is in Japan now but will be back next month for The Nutcracker. Find the schedule and purchase tickets on nycballet.com.)
New Shows, Extensions and Delays on the Boards
- New Show: The Tony-winning goddess Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur) is returning to the stage! Arianda will lead the cast of Tales from Red Vienna, a new David Grimm play that will have its world premiere off-Broadway at MTC this winter. The play, directed by Kate Whoriskey (How I Learned to Drive), "explores the effects of [World War I] on women," according to the announcement in Playbill. Arianda will play a widow who resorts to salacious measures to maintain her lifestyle. Tales from Red Vienna will begin previews February 26, 2014, with opening night set for March 18. The limited run is scheduled to conclude on April 27. Just like Mark Rylance, when Nina Arianda is on stage, you go watch. Get your tickets now!
- Extension: After a successful Underground run last year, Bad Jews is back at Roundabout, and it's a hit. The new comedy from Joshua Harmon has been extended a second time. The play will now run through December 29. (Playbill has details.) It cannot be extended again because there's another show waiting in the wings (see below) so head to roundabouttheatre.org and get your tickets now. (If you're between ages 18-35, sign up for HipTix and order ticket for only $25.)
- Delay: Because Bad Jews is extended, the next play booked for Roundabout's Laura Pels Theatre, a revival of Donald Margulies's Dinner with Friends, is delaying its production dates. The play, which boasts a top notch cast in Jeremy Shamos, Maria Dizzia, Darren Pettie and Marin Hinkle, will now begin previews on January 17, 2014. Opening night is set for February 13 and the play will run through April 13. Playbill has details.
- New Show: Sort of. After last week's rumors about a James Franco-Chris O'Dowd-led revival of Of Mice and Men, Franco confirmed the news during a Q+A at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. A theatre and dates have yet to be announced, though throughout the rumors, Tony winner Anna D. Shapiro (August: Osage County, The Motherfucker with the Hat) has been set to direct. Broadway.com has more.
- Extension: Though it first begins previews tomorrow (October 26), the Ian McKellen-Patrick Stewart-led repertory productions of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot and Harold Pinter's No Man's Land has been extended. The (not-so-limited) run will now play through March 2, 2014. The shows costar Billy Crudup (The Metal Children, Arcadia) and Shuler Hensley (Oklahoma!). Sean Mathias directs both productions, and opening night is set for November 24. Playbill had more.
- New Show: The Yankees' season might be over, but their story is coming to Broadway. Bronx Bombers, a new play by Eric Simonson (Lombardi, Magic/Bird) that sees Yankees great Yogi Berra looking back on a century of Yankees greatness. As such, it features "appearances" by many Yankees greats, including Mickey Mantle and Derek Jeter. Bronx Bombers will play Broadway's Circle in the Square Theatre (where Simonson's Lombardi played), with previews beginning January 10, 2014, and opening night set for February 6. Broadway.com had details.
- New Show: A new Sharr White (The Other Place) play, Annapurna is hitting the off-Broadway stage, and comedy favorites and real-life couple Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) and Megan Mullally (Will and Grace) will star. Broadway.com has more.
The news team is back this December. Until then, stay classy (and eat Ben and Jerry's " Ron Burgundy's Scotchy Scotch Scotch" ice cream)!
Award Show Season
Release dates for various films are being shuffled as movie award season descends upon us. As mentioned above, The Wolf of Wall Street is delaying its release, though not to 2014; that would keep it out of contention for the upcoming Oscar race. Elsewhere, George Clooney's The Monuments Men is being pushed to 2014. According to the report on Thompson on Hollywood, Clooney, who stars in and directs the film, has said that Oscar glory was not the endgame, so the studio is pushing the release so he has time to make the film he wants to make, and not the one he can finish before the Oscar deadline. The Monuments Men will now open February 7, 2014. That leaves room for David O. Russell's (Silver Linings Playbook, The Fighter) latest, American Hustle, to move up, with a limited release now set for December 13 and a wide release on December 18. American Hustle stars Russell alumni Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence (the first two starred in The Fighter while the second two wowed in Silver Linings Playbook).
Speaking of the Oscars, in this week's Feinberg Forecast (in which The Hollywood Reporter's Scott Feinberg analyzes the week's happenings and what impact they have on the Oscar race), Feinberg tallies box office receipts, updates his Oscar predictions and notes the several honorees of the Hollywood Film Awards.
In other award season news, the 2013 Gotham Independent Film Award nominations were announced. Contenders include 12 Years a Slave, and its actors, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong'o; the Coen brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis and its star Oscar Isaac; Ryan Coogler (director) and Michael B. Jordan (actor) for Fruitvale Station; Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine; Brie Larson in Short Term 12; and Dane DeHaan in Kill Your Darlings, among other nominees. Visit Thompson on Hollywood for the full list of nominees.
Tony Award News
Though the Tony Awards won't be presented until June, the Tony Awards Administration Committee meets periodically throughout the season to rule on the eligibility of shows, actors and creative team members. The committee met for the first time this season to discuss the eligibility of First Date, the recently closed Soul Doctor and Romeo and Juliet. The committee determined the Eric Anderson is eligible in the Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical category for his work in Soul Doctor. All other eligibility determinations remain consistent with opening night credits; that is, actors' names above the title are eligible in leading actor categories, and other actors are eligible in the featured actor categories. Playbill has details.
- As we knew she would, over the weekend the legendary Carol Burnett received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. The ceremony will air on PBS on November 24. (Check your local listings.) Entertainment Weekly has more.
- Sadly, NBC has (quietly) put Parks and Recreation on hiatus until 2014, save for a few new episodes that will air in November. Rolling Stone has more. (But then PRec star Adam Scott told us all not to worry.)
- Beau Willimon (House of Cards), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper) and Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project) are just a few of those honored by Variety as Hollywood's new leaders. Check out the full list.
- The Arrested Development team recently taped an episode of Inside the Actors Studio. It will air on Bravo on November 7. The Hollywood Reporter has more.
- Back to Black Friday, a celebration of vinyl records, will include exclusive releases from artists like Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Nirvana and more. Rolling Stone has details.
- Buzz Feed gathered some of Hollywood's most sought-after writers and asked them how to write an awesome movie. Herein, their answers.
- Jake Gyllenhaal (If There is I Haven't Found it Yet) received the Hollywood Film Award for his work in Prisoners. In this red carpet interview, he talks about what the award means to him.