Media Morsels 11.29.13

Bruce Springsteen: High Hopes

Last week, Bruce Springsteen teased a new single and this week, details about the full album, including its January 14, 2014, release date, were announced. The eclectic album (Springsteen's 18th) will feature a combination of new songs, recordings of Springsteen favorites and covers. Read more on Rolling Stone and The Boss's website (this post includes the track listing). The album is now available for pre-order.

All the Way to Broadway

Joining Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston for the limited Broadway engagement of All the Way, a new Robert Schennkan play about President Lyndon B. Johnson, will be Michael McKean (The Best Man) and Brandon J. Dirden (Clybourne Park), who will play J. Edgar Hoover and Martin Luther King, Jr., respectively. (Both appeared in the A.R.T. production. There's still no word regarding whether or not Reed Birney will reprise his role for the Broadway run.) Directed by Bill Rauch, All the Way will play the Neil Simon Theater (home to Big Fish until the end of December); previews begin February 10, 2014, with opening night set for March 6. has more.

Sutton Foster's Broadway Return Official

It's official: Sutton Foster is returning to Broadway in Violet. The two-time Tony Award winner, who last appeared on Broadway in Anything Goes, will return in the Roundabout production of Violet. Filling the slot that opened up when The Real Thing (which will star Ewan McGregor) was moved to fall 2014, Violet will play at the American Airlines Theatre. (This will mark the Broadway debut of the Jeanine Tesori-Brian Crawley musical.) Previews begin March 28, 2014, and opening night is set for April 20. Leigh Silverman directs the production. Playbill has more.

Award Season Updates

The Hollywood Reporter has convened another roundtable, this one with Best Actress (or Supporting Actress) Oscar hopefuls. Sitting in on this discussion are: Oprah Winfrey (The Butler), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County), Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave), Amy Adams (American Hustle), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks), and Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station). Watch the discussion here, and check out photos here.

Gold Derby offers its predictions on the Oscars Best Picture race, with 12 Years a Slave out in front.

Items covered in this week's Feinberg Forecast (in which The Hollywood Reporter's awards guru, Scott Feinberg, analyzes the week's happenings and what impact they have on the Oscar race) include:
  • The first press screenings of David O. Russell's American Hustle, which stars Russell alumni Christian Bale and Amy Adams, of The Fighter, and Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, of Silver Linings Playbook, as well as Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker)
  • Feinberg observes that all the presumptive frontrunners for the Oscars were nominated for Film Independent Spirit Awards (see below)
  • The Academy and the PGA announced nominees or potential nominees in the short-film and documentary short film categories
  • Several Oscar hopefuls continue to be feted by various film festivals and media outlets
  • Press screenings were held in New York for the film adaptation of Tracy Letts's Pulitzer Prize- and Tony-winning play, August: Osage County 
The nominations for the Film Independent Spirit Awards were announced this week. 12 Years a Slave was well represented, garnering nods for Best Feature, Best Director (Steve McQueen), Best Screenplay (John Ridley), Best Male Lead (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Best Supporting Female (Lupita Nyong'o), Best Supporting Male (Michael Fassbender and Keith Stanfield) and Best Cinematography (Sean Bobbit). Fruitvale Station also received several nominations, including a nod for star Michael B. Jordan, and Dallas Buyers Club and Short Term 12 also nabbed multiple nominations. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was nominated for Best First Screenplay for Don Jon, and the Coen brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis is in contention in several categories. Visit The Wrap for the full list of nominees.

Golden Globes—Scarlett Johansson (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) has been deemed ineligible for a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in Spike Jonze's Her. In the film, Johansson plays Samantha, an intelligent, interactive computer operating system, but she's only heard, not seen in the film. Because of that distinction, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has ruled that Johansson is ineligible for nomination. The Hollywood Reporter has more. And Variety breaks down how other films, like the Leonardo DiCaprio-starring Wolf of Wall Street, chose their categories, like comedy or drama. (By the way, Variety reports that The Wolf of Wall Street, is clocking in at three hours.)

Foo Fighters' New Record Underway

Rolling Stone caught up with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl at the recent American Music Awards. Grohl spoke about producing the Zac Brown Band album and rehearsing for the Foo's upcoming Mexico City gig. Of the Foo Fighters' new album, Grohl said, "It's badass. We're doing something that nobody knows about, it's fucking rad. We begin recording soon, but we're doing it in a way that no one's done before and we're writing the album in a way that I don't think has been done before." Get excited!!! (The band's last studio album was Wasting Light.)

Dates Set for James Franco and Chris O'Dowd's Broadway Debut

You may recall that James Franco (127 Hours) has been saying he plans to make his Broadway debut in a production of Of Mice and Men, and that Chris O'Dowd (Bridesmaids, Family Tree) would star opposite him. The production is now official, and has a home and dates. Of Mice and Men will play at the Longacre Theatre (home to First Date through January 2014), with previews beginning March 19, 2014. Opening night is set for April 16, and the limited engagement will conclude its run on July 27. Anna D. Shapiro (The Motherfucker with the Hat) will direct. Playbill has more.

Casting Updates

  • Complete casting (and the complete creative team) has been announced for the upcoming premiere of Rocky. Jennifer Mudge (The Big Meal), Wallace Smith (Godspell), Kevin Del Aguila (Peter and the Starcatcher) and others will join the previously announced Andy Karl (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) and Margo Seibert, who star as Rocky and Adrian, respectively. Directed by the incredible Alex Timbers (Here Lies Love), Rocky features a score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, and a book by Thomas Meehan. Rocky will run at the Winter Garden Theatre; previews begin February 11, 2014, with opening night set for March 13. Visit Playbill for the full cast and creative team. 
  • Debra Messing and Brian F. O'Byrne (If There is I Haven't Found it Yet) will be joined by John Aylward and Dearbhla Molloy in the world premiere of John Patrick Shanley's Outside Mullinger. Previews begin January 3, 2014, with opening night set for January 23. The Manhattan Theatre Club production plays at the Biltmore Theatre. Playbill has more.
Dig This

  • Though the show is closing too early, director/choreographer Susan Stroman announced that there will be a Big Fish cast recording. Playbill has details.
  • You stay classy, Sports Center. "Ron Burgundy" will host the flagship ESPN program on Thursday, December 5, at 6pm. Tune in! (The Wrap has details.)
  • Bradley Cooper and Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence are starring in another flick together, Serena, and it's now being shopped to distributors for release next year. The pair first appeared on screen together in Silver Linings Playbook and they'll next be seen in American Hustle, out next month. The Hollywood Reporter has details. [Editorial: While I like both actors and they pair well together, I can't overlook the significant age difference between the two. It's problematic for me because they continually play each other's love interest.]
  • Pointe magazine checks in with retiring New York City Ballet dancers Janie Taylor and Sebastien Marcovici about life after NYCB.