So I ask myself, “what can I say about this show that has had so much written about it from the theatre press and beyond?” I wrote that refrain back in 2016 when I finally had the opportunity to see this stellar genre-redefining musical that had taken Broadway by storm, and now takes over the streaming world of 2020 thanks to Disney +. The film is directed and produced by Thomas Kail and produced, written, and composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also stars in the titular role of the first Treasury Secretary and Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, along with the original principal Broadway cast of the musical. The film version of Hamilton was originally intended to be released theatrically on October 15, 2021, but thankfully, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was released digitally worldwide by Disney+ on July 3, 2020.
It sorta does suck, in a way, that we all had to sign up to Disney + just to see Hamilton- an American Musical, when so many other shows are being streamed for free, with the hopes of amassing donations for the theatre companies they are associated with or for charities like BCEFA (please donate some more by clicking here) who are helping all those people who are out of work, struggling because of COVID19, and the closing of all things theatrical. Just remember, as you watch the streaming on Disney +, all those that we are seeing on that Broadway stage when Hamilton was filmed, are, I’m guessing, out of work, and when those horrible GOP senators take away the additional COVID19 unemployment funds as they are planning on doing, pretty much all who work in theatre (or connected to the theatre) are going to be in a very tight difficult state as it doesn’t look like the lights will come up on Broadway and beyond for at least six more months. I hope Disney + is donating some of the money they are bringing in to help those folks, I know I did.
So with that upsetting thought in mind, I’m going to step back to the time when Broadway as alive and well, and Hamilton was taking over Broadway. We bought our tickets hours before the show opened on Broadway in August of 2015. Wanting to get good seats on a Thursday night, we searched and searched dates until we finally found four great seats in the second row center of the front mezzanine on February 4th, 2016. It was a long way off, but I knew we had spent our theatre cash wisely. I am a very patient person, generally speaking, but I was itching to see this show from the day I first heard about it at the Public Theater. Why I didn’t see it when it first premiered downtown, I can’t really say, but this was the year when this blog first made its appearance, and I wasn’t privy to all the press invites that would come my way later that year. I also must admit that I was one of the few that was not blown away by In The Heights. I remember sitting in the exuberant audience watching that show, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s take of Romeo and Juliet and thinking, well this is cute and sweet, but I’m definitely out of step with everyone else going crazy all around me. It’s funny when that happens. Maybe it was the day, or my mood, or both (which happens sometimes, even with the best of shows), but Hamilton intrigued me from the moment I heard about the historical subject matter and the stylistic musical ideas swirling around it.
The other thing I remember is that crazy in-person lottery that took over the street outside of the Richard Rodgers theater before every performance. I tried to win a $10 lottery ticket numerous times since purchasing our seats, and I have to tell you, it was both a bit disheartening and a whole lot of exciting to turn up at the theatre a little more than two hours before the show to find hundreds and hundreds of other hopeful people throwing their names in that lottery bucket. I was a bit ashamed to stand there amongst the swelling crowd with the internal knowledge that I actually did have a ticket but didn’t want to wait until February to get my first view of this show. I did not tell anyone at the theatre as we stood and prayed and crossed our fingers (slightly hard to do with winter gloves on…just saying) out of a bit of shame and guilt. I never did win, but I was glad for those squealing fans who did; those who got their chance to witness this phenomenon (and I am going to willingly believe that each and every one of them had a/not seen it yet, b/did not own a ticket for a future date like me, c/could only afford the $10 ticket price for the front row seat they just won, and d/were basically living saints, who were finally getting some payback for all the good they had done in their lives so far).
I proclaimed, back then quite gladly, that I was completely intoxicated by Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton – An American Musical. And I still am as I watch it once again on Disney +. It is exquisitely directed by Thomas Kail (MCC Theater‘s The Wrong Man) with an awe-inspiring drive and passion for its subject, and for history itself. It has an energy, a beat, a rhythm, and a rebelliousness that is most fitting to our time and place, sweeping us up and keeping us thoroughly engaged and enchanted from beginning to end, even in its filmed streaming structure (or maybe even more so because of it). It’s a powerhouse production telling the sorted tale of this pushy historical figure, Alexander Hamilton, played with upmost integrity by the uber-talented Miranda (Disney’s ‘Mary Poppins Returns‘) and the band of rebels that he ran around with and that ran around him.
The story of America’s founding fathers – Hamilton, George Washington, played most heroically by the astounding and very handsome Christopher Jackson (Broadway’s After Midnight), Thomas Jefferson, played by the incredible Daveed Diggs (sadly, I didn’t have the pleasure of seeing Diggs when I saw it on Broadway, but Seth Stewart in this role, and also the role of Marquis De Lafayette was absolutely wonderful), and James Madison, beautifully portrayed by Okieriete Onaodowan (Broadway’s Rocky The Musical), who also plays Hercules Mulligan, is really about a wildly driven bunch of rebels trying to change the world they live in, much like Miranda himself has done to Broadway musical theatre. Using the musical forms of rap, hip-hop, and R&B ballads, he finds his way most electrically through, pushing the history lesson forward with a power that is both enlightening and invigorating. It’s a musical theatre revolution in its own right by using non-traditional musical forms that feel, initially, at odds with the subject and historical time period, but expertly find their way to be perfectly in tune with the minds and hearts of these people of the revolution. The ethnically diverse cast is extremely well suited for the task of telling this high-energy slice of American history and never give up one precious moment. It’s like attending the most thrilling history lecture by a fast-talking caffeinated professor and a whole bunch of excited assistants, that for some sleepy minded students, the first few scenes are almost too fast and with too much information. Even on second viewing, I had to dig into the history books a bit to really get what was going on, but luckily because of the grand nature of the pause button and Google/Wikipedia, this Canadian was up to the challenge.
Watching this show on my laptop was like driving on a multi-lane highway in a powerful fast car, slowing down every once and a while to drive through a picturesque town and take in the beautiful surroundings. Miranda, at times, speeds through time doling out historical facts with precision but then slows down just enough to enrapture us with romantic entanglements and emotionally complicated ballads and R&B classically crafted songs, like the wonderful ‘The Schuyler Sisters’ sung by the breathtaking trio of Phillipa Soo, as Eliza, his wife, Renee Elise Goldsberry as Angelica, and Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy. It seems whenever we are given a delicious moment to explore the developing triangular love and sexual life of Alexander Hamilton, the musical gives itself a moment to take some much needed deep and emotional breathes. We are given gifts aplenty in these carefully crafted scenarios, like the gorgeous and entwined ‘Helpless’ and “Satisfied’. I also loved the sensual sound of Jasmine Cephas Jones’s (2015 film ‘Mistress America’) voice in her other role as Maria Reynolds, the married woman who seduces Hamilton and almost brings the famous man down.
Although Hamilton – An American Musical is crafted to center itself on the lead character’s rise from poor orphan to power and fame, the real emotional center of the piece seems to be the man who literally brings down Hamilton. Aaron Burr, beautifully played by magnificent Leslie Odom Jr. (Encores! Off-Center’s Tick, Tick… Boom!). He carries the show forward with his ever-changing introduction to Hamilton’s upbringing with his stellar voice and unmistakable stage presence, especially in his rousing number ‘The Room Where it Happens’. He is a force, and for me, the star of the show, or at least the dramatic core.
It would also be criminal to write about Hamilton and not mention Jonathan Groff’s hilarious performance as King George III. Groff (off-Broadway’s Little Shop of Horrors) is most definitely a Broadway genius, from the moment he makes his grand entrance, and performs his neo-British pop number, ‘You’ll Be Back’ to every other time he sets foot on the stage. His presence is pure stage royalty, finding the spotlight with every gesture and wink. It’s the greatest gig and gift a performer can get and give; four numbers on stage with perfectly written songs and moments, killing it each and every time. I couldn’t get enough.
Beyond that, the rest of the cast is exceptional, singing with intensity all of those incredibly well-written songs, melting and blending historical references with modern language, altering style, and slang, and giving us a visual spectacular this is balletic and graceful, with power and edge. The set design by David Korins (Broadway’sWar Paint) is earthy and time-framed perfect, with the revolving space being utilized most amazingly well by the exciting and compelling choreography of Andy Blankenbuehler (Broadway’s Bandstand). It’s a marvel to take it all in visually, enhanced at every turn of the dial by the amazing projections and lighting design of Howell Binkley (Broadway’s Jersey Boys). The craftsmanship can not be ignored, nor was it on Tony Award night in the spring of 2016. Hamilton received a record-setting 16 nominations, eventually winning 11 awards, including Best Musical. It also, most rightly, received the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Act One is an adrenaline-fueled history lesson in politics, war, and revolution but it is in Hamilton’s heart where love, in Act Two, is the clincher. In that creation, the show finds its emotional core and depth, even causing the young 6-year-old Rhys to sob mainly because of Hamilton’s son, played dynamically by Anthony Ramos Martinez (Broadway’s In The Heights), and the deadly duel’s outcome. “His favorite character was the king…he liked the battles, and was saddened by the deaths….He also first cried when Angelica didn’t get Hamilton” but ultimately, and most inspiringly, his very proud mother stated that “The play is making him sad.” Isn’t that the best thing ever? And her daughter, 8-year-old Hazel, who has made many a frontmezzjunkies appearance, quite naturally had just so so many questions that the pause button was being fully utilized in that household (now who does this video remind me of, down below. It’s from ‘Frozen II‘ which I watched the night after). Now those are two five-star reviews if there ever were any (and there were, but these two tell a whole more optimistic tale than even my review).
It is truly amazing what Miranda has done here on stage and in this filmed version now available on Disney +. He has made these stiff dull men, many who were actually slave owners themselves, leap out of the history books and captivate us on a whole new level. He has made the creation of this country and its constitution exciting, lively, energetic, and utterly modern. DPAC Official Site states most rightly, that Hamilton – An American Musical is about “America then, as told by America now.” And it couldn’t come at a more needed moment when racial inequality and the Black Lives Matter movement is at the forefront of the cultural conversation. That mendacious monster in the White House can call the peaceful protest whatever he wants, but we know what needs to be done, and I hope we all have the drive and the audacity to oust him and his party in November and change the world we live in for the better, much like Lin-Manuel Miranda did to Broadway and the world with his Hamilton. “We stand on the side of justice. Black Lives Matter” (as stated on HamiltonMusical’s twitter account). Take action.
For more, go to frontmezzjunkies.com
Sunday’s Broadway Forever Concert Postponed Until October 15
Today, Broadway Forever announced that the Sunday, September 24th concert will be postponed to Sunday, October 15th at 11:00AM due to expected severe weather in New York City. The Sunday, October 15th concert will take place at Lou Gehrig Plaza in the Bronx (East 161st Street, Grandview Place).
A complete line up of appearances and performances will be announced soon.
For the second consecutive year, NY Forever, in partnership with City National Bank, the New York City Department of Transportation and 161st Street Business Improvement District presents Broadway Forever,empowering New Yorkers across the city to build a better city for all.
Fans will have the opportunity to sign up for future community service opportunities in all five boroughs, which will be coordinated by New York Cares and their partner organizations.
Broadway stars performing throughout New York City celebrate the creativity and resilience that is intrinsic to the city – and provide an opportunity to recognize the volunteers and community organizers who work hard to make New York a better place. The concerts will bring Broadway entertainment to DOT’s Public Space Programming, a city initiative that brings free activities to public spaces.
The events are produced and staged by 6W Entertainment, with additional support from New York Cares and the Times Square Alliance.
For more information about City National, visit the company’s website at cnb.com.
Theatre News: Wicked, The Wiz, Hypnotique, Female Troubles and Love In The Time Of Crazy
Broadway’s blockbuster Wicked, in partnership with National Day Calendar, has announced that October 30 will officially become National Wicked Day, in honor of the hit Broadway musical’s debut at the Gershwin Theatre (245 West 51st Street) on October 30, 2003.
This marks the first time that a Broadway show will have its own official day in the National Day Calendar. With this inclusion, Wicked joins some of the most recognizable National Day celebrations, including National Barbie Day, National Star Trek Day, National Scrabble Day, National Winnie the Pooh Day, and National Teacher Appreciate Day, among others.
Read the official announcement HERE.
Currently Wicked 4th longest-running show in Broadway history, and will celebrate its 20th Anniversary on Broadway this October 30th.
The Broadway production of Wicked currently features Alyssa Fox as Elphaba, McKenzie Kurtz as Glinda, John Dossett as The Wizard, Michele Pawk as Madame Morrible, Jordan Litz as Fiyero, Jake Pedersen as Boq, Kimber Elayne Sprawl as Nessarose, and William Youmans as Doctor Dillamond.
Emmy Award®-winning music director and Grammy Award®-winning writer, Adam Blackstone, joins the creative team as Dance Music Arranger for the revival of The Wiz. The Wiz will launch a national tour on September 23, 2023 in Baltimore, MD before returning to Broadway for a limited engagement in the 2023/24 season.
“Joining The Wiz’s creative team has been a very surreal moment. I remember watching the film on VHS daily for years, wondering how it sounded so incredible, how MJ transformed into the Scarecrow, and the score and orchestrations truly told a story all of its own. Fast forward to today, I get to musically partner with Terence Vaughn and reunite with my brother, super choreographer and creative director JaQuel Knight, and explore our own interpretation for a revival of this masterpiece. I am excited and look forward to this body of work changing lives, just like it did for me in the 80’s!” stated Adam Blackstone.
The cast will include previously announced Wayne Brady to lead the production as the Wiz on Broadway in Spring of 2024, San Francisco (January 16 – February 11, 2024) at the Golden Gate Theatre, and Los Angeles (February 13 – March 3, 2024) at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. Alan Mingo Jr. will star in the role of the Wiz in the following cities of The Wiz National Tour this fall, kicking off with the tour launch in Baltimore, including Cleveland, OH, Washington, DC, Pittsburgh, PA, Charlotte, NC, Atlanta, GA, Greenville, SC, Chicago, IL, Des Moines, IA, Tempe, AZ and San Diego, CA.
The cast will also feature Nichelle Lewis as Dorothy, Deborah Cox as Glinda and Melody A. Betts as Aunt Em and Evillene, Kyle Ramar Freeman as the Lion, Phillip Johnson Richardson as the Tinman, and Avery Wilson as the Scarecrow. The Wiz ensemble includes Maya Bowles, Shayla Alayre Caldwell, Jay Copeland, Allyson Kaye Daniel, Judith Franklin, George, Collin Heyward, Amber Jackson, Jackson, Jones, Jones, Kindle, Mariah Lyttle, Kareem Marsh, Anthony Murphy, Rae, Matthew Sims Jr, Avilon Trust Tate, Keenan D. Washington, and Timothy Wilson.
The production will include ‘Everybody Rejoice’ music and lyrics by Luther Vandross, as well as the ‘Emerald City Ballet’ with music by Timothy Graphenreed.
The McKittrick Hotel (530 West 27th Street, NYC), home of Sleep No More, announced the opening of Hypnotique – A Late Night Sultry Spectacle. Performances have been extended on Friday and Saturday nights through October 14, 2023. The all-new Hypnotique revue offers a unique after-dark experience that envelops you. Audiences are captivated by spontaneous performances and mesmerizing dancers, accompanied by daring sonic soundscapes in a surreal ambiance in The Club Car.
The cast features Chloé Lexia Worthington, Courtney Sauls, Fabricio Seraphin, Haley Bjorn, Jacob Nahor, Jesseca Scott, Maurice Ivy, Maya Kitayama, Samantha Greenlund, Victoria Edwards, and swings Alex Sturtevant, Cameron Arnold, Kennedy Adams, and Stacey Badgett Jr..
Cocktails inspired by the experience, including the signature Hypnotonique (an electrifying punch made with cucumber-infused vodka, elderflower liqueur, and grapefruit juice), are available from The Club Car’s bar.
Performances are offered on Fridays and Saturdays at 10:30PM. General Admission tickets with standing room are currently priced from $65 per person.
Two industry readings for Female Troubles, an original musical comedy, will happen next week at Open Jar Studios. Female Troubles is a completely original musical comedy featuring lyrics by two-time Tony Award nominated and Grammy Award nominated songwriter Amanda Green (Mr. Saturday Night, Hands On A Hardbody, Bring It On), music by three-time Emmy Award nominee Curtis Moore (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), book by Emmy Award-winning writers Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittenden (“Veep,” “Arrested Development,” “Seinfeld,” “The Simpsons,” “HouseBroken”) and directed by Tony Award winner Christopher Gattelli (Disney’s Newsies, My Fair Lady, “Schmigadoon,” “Schmicago”).
The cast for the readings will includeKrystina Alabado, Kevin Del Aguila, Amanda Green, Lilli Cooper, Lillias White, Lesli Margherita, Ryann Redmond, Kate Rockwell, Matt Saldivar, Alanna Saunders, Trent Saunders, Jake Swain, Sav Souza, Rachel Stern and Frank Viveros.In Female Troubles, Elinor Benton finds herself surprisingly and undeniably “knocked up” — and, since she’s unmarried and this is 19th century England, she has a very big dilemma. Facing ruin, she and her girlfriends embark on a raucous journey to find the one notorious woman who can help them with their “female troubles.” Their misadventures change the course of each of their lives. This uproarious musical comedy asks the trenchant question “Can you believe this sh*t is still happening in 1810?”
I attended the reading of Love In The Time Of Crazy withbook and lyrics by Peter Kellogg (Outer Critics Winner for Desperate Measures), music by Stephen Weiner (two-time Richard Rodgers Award winner) and David Hancock Turner (orchestrator for Desperate Measures and Penelope), directed by Lauren Molina (Desperate Measures ). The cast stared Philippe Arroyo, Stephen DeRosa, Robin Dunavant, David Merino, Josh Lamon, Roe Hartrampf and Alexis Cofield .
Love in the Time of Crazy is a riot, but, you know, in a good way.
The Glorious Corner
WENNER TAKES A DOWN —Jann Wenner always speaks his mind and this week he may have overstepped just a bit. In an interview that ran in the New York Times about his new book called Masters, he quite openly said that there were no black or R&B artists in it, because they were not able to articulate properly. I know, I felt the same way reading that. Minutes later, he was let go by the board of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which he helped start with Ahmet Ertegun way back in 1983.
His Like A Rolling Stone autobiography book was quite an indulgent read last year, but Wenner has in the last several years suffered several health set backs and it was pointed out that he may not be in his right mind. Still, he should have spoken way more carefully. I’ve known Wenner for decades and trust me, he feels he’s way entitled, and that said, you can rest assured that there were dozens and dozens of people (and former employees) waiting to take him down.
The sad fact is that most of the accusations are true. That said, let’s face it Rolling Stone magazine in it’s heyday was a miraculous outlet for so much music and terrific journalism – from Ben Fong-Torres to Hunter Thompson and Jann himself .. it was distinguished. Now, he may have killed it all.
Rolling Stine magazine Monday posted this – essentially disowning his from the magazine: “Jann Wenner’s recent statements to the New York Times do not represent the values and practices of today’s Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner has not been directly involved in our operations since 2019. Our purpose, especially since his departure, has been to tell stories that reflect the diversity of voices and experiences that shape our world. At Rolling Stone’s core is the understanding that music above all can bring us together, not divide us.”
Here’s the report from Deadline: https://deadline.com/2023/09/jann-wenner-removed-rock-and-roll-hall-fame-foundation-board-1235548690/comment-page-1/#comment-3858649
DREW’S BLUES — Boy, what did Drew Barrymore ever do to deserve the treatment she’s been through with the media. Sure, her ideas to bring back her daily-chat fest was a good one, for the right reasons, but everyone from Rosie O;’Donnell to the trade papers have bounced on her like madmen. I never met her, don’t hate her, but really … let’s get back to something real, like these Russell Brand-accusations!
SHORT TAKES — We finally caught David Bryne and Fatboy Slim’s Here Lies Love and absolutely loved it. I remember it well when it premiered at the Public Theater way back when and knew they were trying to get it to Broadway. Honestly, I never thought twice about the Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos story, but the play was riveting then and it remains now. They’ve outfitted NYC’s magnificent Broadway Theater with disco-balls galore and club-lighting and the immersive experience is terrific. Here’s a great re-cap of the play’s evolution from Theatre Guide: https://www.newyorktheatreguide.com/theatre-news/news/how-the-music-of-here-lies-love-evolved-on-the-way-to-broadway …
Micky Dolenz appeared on Sunday’s Breakfast With The Beatles with Chris Carter (on KLOS) and talked about his new Dolenz Sings R.E.M. on Glenn Gretlund’s 7a Records. He also talked about his time with The Beatles and John Lennon. Carter also played a mash-up of Monkees and Beatle-songs which was done in England and it was superb. Here’s a shot from the event at LA’s Hard Rock Cafe on Highland and Hollywood Blvd. … SIGHTING: PR-pasha David Salidor and Benny Harrison at Monday’s Cutting Room tribute to Burt Bacharach … RIP Sammy Ash …
I’ve been thinking the best way to describe Jimmy Buffet and I saw this headline in LA Magazine: leisure evangelist– and it fits perfectly …
Happy Bday Donnie Kehr and Richard Branciforte.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Dan Mapp; Brad Auerbach; James Clash: Robbie Robertson; Carol Ruth Weber; Randy Alexander; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Andrew Gans; Kathy Brown; Roger Clark; Chris Boneau; Tricia Daniels; Dan Zelinski; Benny Harrison; Steve Walter; Gil Friesen; Donna Dolenz; Dan Mapp; Brad Auerbach; James Clash; and ZIGGY!
Inside the 2023 American Theatre Wing Gala
The American Theatre Wing 2023 Gala Celebration was held last night, September 11, 2023 at Cipriani 42nd Street. Performers incldued Oscar nominee & Tony Award winner Leslie Odom Jr., Grammy Award-winning rock icon Melissa Etheridge, Emmy nominee Tituss Burgess, “American Idol” star and Broadway favorite Justin Guarini, Tony Award winner LaChanze, Tony Award winner Chuck Cooper, and Tony Award nominees Shoshana Bean, Brandon Victor Dixon, Judy Kuhn, Lilli Cooper, and Eddie Cooper.
The Gala honored “Unsung Heroes of the Theatre Industry.” From dressers who execute seamless quick changes between scenes, to understudies and swings who go into a show with little to no notice and don’t miss a beat, to makeup artists responsible for the flawless faces seen on stage, and so many more vital contributors to the theatrical art form, the 2023 Gala celebrates members of the theatrical community who don’t often get the recognition they deserve.
The Glorious Corner
STRIKE UPDATE— (Via TV Line) “9-1-1, what’s your TV emergency?” The dual WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes need to be resolved by the end of this month if scripted primetime fare such as 9-1-1: Lone Star and The Cleaning Lady are to return with new episodes in the 2023-24 TV season, says Fox entertainment president Michael Thorn.
When last we tuned in, 29 days ago, the WGA had countered the AMPTP’s latest offer; no next meeting has been scheduled. Things are proceeding even slower on the SAG-AFTRA front. Sources tell TVLine that it will take scripted shows roughly eight weeks to get back into production once the strikes are resolved.
“You’re going get to a point in the fall, in the late fall, where it’s going to be very hard to launch [scripted shows] within the traditional TV viewing season,” Thorn told our sister site Deadline.
If the strikes are resolved later than October 1, that’s where difficult scheduling decisions will have to be made.
“If that means the [delayed scripted] show could work and succeed in the summer [of 2024], great,” Thorn said. Or, “If it’s better to wait for the fall and use football and sports” to promote/launch scripted seasons, “we’ll do that.
“You could use October 1 as the date” by which the writer and actor strikes need to be settled,” Thorn added. “Every show is different but sometimes when you’re staring at a May launch date, you always wonder, ‘Is that the best time?’” to premiere a season/series
Fox’s fall TV slate features one full night of scripted animated fare (on Sundays), while the rest of the week is rife with multiple Gordon Ramsay cooking competitions, new seasons of Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test, Name That Tune and The Masked Singer, 9-1-1: Lone Star reruns, the new, David Spade-hosted Snake Oil game show, and, of course, Friday Night SmackDown.
But whenever the magical day comes for live-action scripted fare to return to our screens, “we’re going to return those shows with vigor,” Thorn avowed. “We really pride ourselves on ‘less is more’ and we were fortunate to be able to really put our money where our mouth is in that regard. When we return, Animal Control is going to get the full backing of this far-reaching platform [as will] John Wells’ new show, Rescue: Hi-Surf, when we launch it.”
Several columns back we posited that the strike might just be settled by Labor Day .. and we were lambasted with emails from a scattering of actors, writers and below-the-line talent that it would not be. They were right. As Gordon Gekko said, greed is good. Is it? Let’s all make nice and good back to work.
SHORT TAKES — As you may know the Toronto Film Festival has been going on and the two films that have received the most buzz are the Paul-Simon/Alex Gibey doc,
In Restless Dreams and Knox Goes Away starring Michael Keaton, who also directs, with Al Pacino, can’t wait to see both. Bravo! …The latest episode of Hulu’s Only Murders In The Building was just OK. So far, this third season has totally underwhelmed us. We said a few columns back it was most likely due to the fact that Martin hasn’t written any of the episodes so far. Why? I have no idea. Matthew Broderick played himself, but with a little more anxiety than usual, but the real highlight of this episode was a video-phone call between Martin Short and Mel Brooks. Irresistibly funny … Hard to believe that it’s the 25th anniversary of MTV’s ground-breaking TRL Live (Total Request Live).
Carson Daly did a nice remembrance on Thursday’s Today Show, even citing John Norris and Kurt Loder, who were key correspondents. They taped many of the shows at NYC’s long-gone Palladium (now an NYU dorm), but many, many memories come to mind; Hall & Oates rehearsing in their dressing room
and running into Debbie Gibson is one. Daly pointed out -and rightly so- TRL was a fan-driven show, where viewers had to request what to hear. These days I guess it’s just a download. Much missed for sure …
Funny watching Carrie Underwood this morning; as she she reminded me so much of Shania Twain. from the music, to her visuals. As always, her “Before He Cheats” is tremendous and a big crowd pleaser … It’s a funny world for sure.
When RL Stine’s Goosebumpsfirst debuted in 1992, it was heralded as refreshingly new, both for the kid-demo and its brilliance. There were a few attempts at a series (even with Stine introducing them) and even a movie in 2015 that did just so-so. Now, with Netflix’s Stranger Things having hit a home run, Disney+ is starting a series, with Justin Long, that appears to veer dangerously close to Stranger Things. Also, oddly enough, Stine does not appear to be involved with it. He says: “I wish I knew something about it. I’m not in the loop. It looked to me like they weren’t going to do an anthology show. They were going to do something different that was some kind of continuing story. That’s what it appeared. But I have no information about it.” It begins on October 31. Have a look at the trailer:
Great Bernie Taupin interview on NY Live with Sara Gore. They’re friends, so the interview as sensational. Check it out:
NAMES IN THE NEWS —Andrew Sandoval; Jacqueline Boyd; Alison Martino; Robert Funaro; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Roy Trakin; Daryl Estrea; Glenn Gretlund; Jane Blunkell; Roger Friedman; Felix Cavaliere; Dan Mapp; Jim Kerr; Sam Rubin; Liz White; Grace Mendoza; Roy Trakin; and ZIGGY!
‘The Art of Code Switching’ Brilliantly Showcases Don Hershman World of Art
The Glorious Corner
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