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HBO’s “Landscapers” Digs Deep & Rides Off Into The Sunset Brilliantly

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I can’t let Susan down. She’s very fragile.” It’s an idea presented numerous times by a totally devoted husband in the Sky-HBO co-production of “Landscapers.” Whether it is figmant of his imagination, a truth she later denies, or not is anyone’s guess, but inside his mind, the construct rings utterly true. The idea, and the word, ‘fragile‘ play an integral part the deeper we go into this thoughtfully and Immaculately crafted construction. The production deconstructs, most profoundly, the artifice of the complicit structure that lives between reality and fantasy, theatrically uncovering the somewhat convoluted murderous tale of the true-to-real couple, Susan and Christopher Edwards, played to perfection by two of the world’s finest actors, Olivia Colman (“The Lost Daughter“; “The Crown“) and David Thewlis (numerous “Harry Potter” films). It truly is one of those master class moments in theatrical storytelling by everyone involved. 

The couple we are invited into here, as written most impeccably by Colman’s husband, Ed Sinclair (“Screenshot“; “One Day“) are complicit victims; of familial trauma, but also of intense speculation by an overly cynical police force determined to prod them into submission. They say they are innocent of murder, even though both were charged and convicted of murdering Susan’s parents. It’s a fascinated meticulous dive into alternate realities, artfully displaying the impossibility of ever really knowing what happened that violent night in England between them all. The ultimate gift given, though, is seeing the formulation played out so exquisitely by Thewlis and especially Colman, who, by the way, gives yet another detailed and outstanding performance in a year when she just keeps delivering them one after the other. A truly remarkable accomplishment.

Olivia Colman and David Thewlis in HBO’s Landscapers. Photo courtesy of HBOMax.

As directed by the fascinatingly succinct Will Sharpe (“The Electrical Life of Louis Wain“), they make no effort to construct a ‘who done it‘, but really they all get more invested in a ‘how‘ and ‘why‘ did it happen kind of rollout. Which version we supposed to take in and run with is a complicated position to make. And from the lopsided news reports relaying the facts presented in court by the police who investigated the double murder, it truly becomes more impossible as the episodes dig deeper. As presented, the police seemed determined to wrap this around the ‘fragile‘ Susan before they even meet and interview her, but the couple’s alternate version is also complicated by some puzzling facts and details. Were her parents the cruel heartless people that Susan and Christopher portray in their telling? Or is that a fabrication to justify an deadly action? The vision presented by the superb writer Sinclair, through the utter brilliant craftmanship of the actors involved, is one of a truly devoted couple caught in an impossible trap. But it’s Susan, and Colman’s detailed portrayal, that captivates us most wholeheartedly. Her version of the events surrounding the death of her parents seems lost somehow, possibly in the trauma of being the child of two horrid and abusing people, or maybe it’s a crack in her connection to reality, one that is utterly heartbreaking and totally convincing.

The story starts off almost simply, with a straightforward almost idyllic cinematographic vision, courtesy of the illustrious cinematographer Erik Wilson (“The Double“), of Susan and Christopher Edwards, a librarian and an accountant from Dagenham, living out their entwined life with such love and tender devotion to one another in Paris. It seems blissful, but as the first of four episodes tick their way forward, the unraveling begins to be displayed with conviction. All of the complicated cracks and internal artifice become more and more exposed in their creation, literally and figuratively speaking, particularly as the story moves through the exposition and episodes. We know early on that the two will be convicted of murdering her parents, burying their bodies in the back garden, and concealing their deaths for the next 15 years, but we don’t know all the harrowing in-between stuff. The outcome is told time and time again during each episode. But the intense intersection and constructions of all of their realities is really what we are tuning in for. 

Olivia Colman and David Thewlis in HBO’s Landscapers. Photo courtesy of HBOMax.

I’ve “done something rather silly,” Christopher tells his stepmother midway through the first of four episodes, when he calls her from France, secretly, to ask for some financial help. His French is not strong enough to get a job there, but he can’t quite bring himself to tell his loving wife the awful honest truth. Slowly and methodically we learn that they are in this other country not out of a sense of adventure and romance, but one of necessity, although not named early on. They are basically out of money, even as Susan continues to buy Hollywood memorabilia, a reckless obsession, but also a symptom of a disconnect from a reality they are trying to live through. Christopher’s confession to his stepmother doesn’t bring about the results he was hoping for though. She relays the information quite quickly to the authorities, starting an avalanche of complications and the unearthing of the murderous crime that the couple thought or hoped they had left behind. And the police don’t waste a minute trying to bring the couple back home for questioning.

The fabrications of telling the tale, with all the bells and whistles from wigs to staged recreations are unveiled, dramatically constructed through stark lighting and fantastically formulations inside a sound stage that fade and resurface as the couple return to the UK, get questioned, charged, and taken to trial. The story and the formality of the unfolding shifts in and out of a reality that we can only imagine exist most succinctly inside Susan’s head. Thanks to the dynamic work of production designer Cristina Casali (“The Pursuit of Love“), the visual and design aspects start to dissolve into a cinematic deconstruction that can only be a metaphorically paralleling of Susan’s grasp on reality. The color drains away, and we slip, almost hypnotically, into separated worlds, heavily influenced by French films and American westerns that generally star Gary Cooper, Susan’s traumatic touchstone if there ever was one. It’s quite the dramatic shifting of vantage points, digging its heels into a wild west shoot-out that retells a story that Susan seems to most desperately need to believe in. It’s breathtakingly abstract, yet the idea never dissolves into anything so bizarre that it takes us out of the melodrama of these two partners in some sort of crime. It surprisingly rides us into the earth more deeply, giving us a glimpse of their inner truth, and a taste of their relationship that only makes us want to believe more wholeheartedly in their pain. 

Olivia Colman in HBO’s Landscapers. Photo courtesy of HBOMax.

Some of the structurings around the police officers’ behavior seem to be from a different kind of film, something cruder or mean-hearted. Especially when it is side stacked by the exquisite and engaging work done by Colman and Thewlis. Even though it never fully rights itself completely, the retelling starts to balance out, particularly as we get a deeper insight into the lead officer’s own complicated familial history. Hard as she is, Emma, as played strongly by the uncompromising Kate O’Flynn (“Bridget Jones’s Baby“), finds fury in her musing on what being “fragile” really means. “I hate that: fragile people,” “It means you’re in charge … You’re the pain in the arse, basically,” and in that one well-polished and performed scene, the trajectory shifts its aim. 

Just have to stick to the plan,” they say to one another, frequently. Financial facts and rational pieces of an unknown puzzle give way to a truth that the police stick solidly to, one that leads these two into a prison sentence. But another truth, artfully told by Susan and Christopher inside the imaginative “Landscapers“, casts a more emotionally complex story, one filled with harrowing cruelty, abuse, and desperation. Blind devotion, self-preservation, and intricate emotional dynamics complicate the perception of who the victims truly are in this consequential tale. It tugs on our heart and soul while making us wonder, rightfully so, what really happened that night, and for what reason. Which partner is the garden, and which one is the gardener? We will never know, as this couple is solidly unified, form-fitted into one construct that is riding off together through the barren landscape of the wild west. With the real story, if we haven’t heard it already, galloping away beyond our reach. 

Olivia Colman and David Thewlis in HBO’s Landscapers. Photo courtesy of HBOMax.

Answers are not what is held within this telling, as the artfully filtered series is projected most deliciously through the fantastical lens of a very layered Old Hollywood mindset. Even within her fragile disposition and skewed black and white lens, “Landscapers” finds its way to its predetermined conviction, gloriously bathed in a sepia-toned glow that is impossibly clever and intimate. Find your way to this fiercely told and immaculately played unpacking, not just for the brilliant work of Colman and Thewlis, which is most definitely award-worthy, but for the ingenious script and abstract structuring that will stay solidly unfolding inside your cinematically trained minds, as so many of our favorite classic films do. Just like Susan.

For more from Ross click here

My love for theater started when I first got involved in high school plays and children's theatre in London, Ontario, which led me—much to my mother’s chagrin—to study set design, directing, and arts administration at York University in Toronto. But rather than pursuing theater as a career (I did produce and design a wee bit), I became a self-proclaimed theater junkie and life-long supporter. I am not a writer by trade, but I hope to share my views and feelings about this amazing experience we are so lucky to be able to see here in NYC, and in my many trips to London, Enlgand, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, and beyond. Living in London, England from 1985 to 1986, NYC since 1994, and on my numerous theatrical obsessive trips to England, I've seen as much theater as I can possibly afford. I love seeing plays. I love seeing musicals. If I had to choose between a song or a dance, I'd always pick the song. Dance—especially ballet—is pretty and all, but it doesn’t excite me as, say, Sondheim lyrics. But that being said, the dancing in West Side Story is incredible! As it seems you all love a good list, here's two. FAVORITE MUSICALS (in no particular order): Sweeney Todd with Patti Lupone and Michael Cerveris in 2005. By far, my most favorite theatrical experience to date. Sunday in the Park with George with Jenna Russell (who made me sob hysterically each and every one of the three times I saw that production in England and here in NYC) in 2008 Spring Awakening with Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele in 2007 Hedwig and the Angry Inch (both off-Boadway in 1998 and on Broadway in 2014, with Neal Patrick Harris, but also with Michael C. Hall and John Cameron Mitchell, my first Hedwig and my last...so far), Next To Normal with Alice Ripley (who I wish I had seen in Side Show) in 2009 FAVORITE PLAYS (that’s more difficult—there have been so many and they are all so different): Angels in American, both on Broadway and off Lettice and Lovage with Dame Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack in 1987 Who's Afraid of Virginai Woolf with Tracy Letts and Amy Morton in 2012 Almost everything by Alan Ayckbourn, but especially Woman in Mind with Julia McKenzie in 1986 And to round out the five, maybe Proof with Mary Louise Parker in 2000. But ask me on a different day, and I might give you a different list. These are only ten theatre moments that I will remember for years to come, until I don’t have a memory anymore. There are many more that I didn't or couldn't remember, and I hope a tremendous number more to come. Thanks for reading. And remember: read, like, share, retweet, enjoy. For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

Broadway

Patti LuPone Returns to Broadway and The Big Screen

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Three-time Tony Award winner Patti LuPone, who gave up her Equity card in 2022, will star opposite Mia Farrow in Jen Silverman’s new play, The Roommate. The production will be directed by Jack O’Brien and will begin previews at the Booth Theatre in August ahead of a September opening.

The Roommate tells the story of Sharon, in her mid-fifties, who is recently divorced and needs a roommate to share her Iowa home. Robyn, also in her mid-fifties, needs a place to hide and a chance to start over. But as Sharon begins to uncover Robyn’s secrets, they encourage her own deep-seated desire to transform her life completely. A dark comedy about what it takes to re-route your life – and what happens when the wheels come off.

The Roommate premiered at the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville in March 2015, and has had several regional productions including at Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2017.

Ms. LuPone will star in the upcoming Marvel series, WandaVision spinoff series Agatha: Coven of Chaos. She’s in a coven of witches, playing Lilia Calderu, who is hot, with a great body and hair. Calderu, first appeared in Marvel comics in 1973 as a 450-year-old Sicilian witch whose power is divination and whose trial is tarot. The other witches are Kathryn Hahn, Aubrey Plaza, and a familiar who is played by Joe Locke. Locke, is currently on Broadway in Sweeney Todd.

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David Kramer Presents Jimi Hendrix – The Documentary/ The Review

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by John Muller ( Blue Notes and Conversations)

 “There’s so much misinformation out there in movies, documentaries and the internet, it’s as if there’s a deliberate campaign of disinformation to mislead in an attempt to rewrite history” says David Kramer. “The Hendrix-story has taken on urban myth-like proportions – stories abound that many people believe to be true but largely are not.”

I had the good fortune of seeing Emmy-Award winner David Kramer’s truly remarkable “Jimi Hendrix – The Documentary” at the Nyack International Film Festival. Hard for me to believe that the sensational 2-hour film that we were able to view is part of a much larger, even more extensive 12-plus hour, multi-part series covering the life and times of Jimi Hendrix. This is unauthorized, and that point was made by David at the screening on Saturday night, the Hendrix Estate legally trying to suppress the entire series, so far, thankfully unsuccessfully. It is a truly incredible slice of history, an amazing look into the life of Jimi Hendrix, without the hype and the canonization, without the beatification, leaving the legend behind so we get a deeper and closer look at the man himself. No bullshit – just the truth from those who knew him, performed with him, and were close to him.

Kramer has spent the last 30 years, with a small team, pulling together, unearthing, discovering hours of unseen Jimi Hendrix footage, well over 400 on-camera interviews, music clips and celebrating Jimi Hendrix – his joy, his humor, the tragedy, the mystery and all that surrounded Jim’s life and music.

I was fascinated by the segments presented on the screen, details many of which were unknown to me, a Jimi fan for decades. From the days when the Isley brothers auditioned an up and coming guitar player in the early 1960’s he already had quite a reputation for his unorthodox style of guitar work – left handed and upside down – onto the times Jimi spent living with the Isley Family in Teaneck, New Jersey; his performance at the Paterson Armory that had fellow musicians thunderstruck and amazed and the fans crazed with delight; his early days performing, including  a date with the Isley’s in West Nyack, New York at a battle-of-the-bands held outside on a flatbed truck. Those acid-dripping and alcohol-fueled performances at the legendary nightclub: The Scene, located in the basement of 301 West 46th Street where bands like The Animals, the Who, Young Rascals, Fleetwood Mac, Jeff Beck, Traffic, Muddy Waters, The Lovin’ Spoonful, and Led Zeppelin, all performed nightly where jam sessions always followed. Jimi regularly jamming into the wee hours of the morning with folks like Janis Joplin, Stephen Stills, Jim Morrison. On one particularly wild night Morrison was deep into drugs and alcohol, his performance with Jimi incoherent as Morrison screamed into the mic, going so far as to try to sexually seduce Jimi on stage with bouncers dragging him out of the club, as Morrison continuing to howl like a banshee on the mic as he was dragged outside.

Hendrix jamming with anyone, Johhny Winter among so many others mentioned in the film, and everyone who was lucky enough to make it inside the cramped and packed basement club on any given night of the week. Seemed like everyone wanted to outperform Jimi up on that dimly lit stage – and both the interview with, and video of Larry Coryell and Hendrix really illuminates the rivalry that many felt. The interviews with musicians who were there, those who performed with Hendrix, managers, friends and musicians, give a real keen insight into the real-life Jimi Hendrix, tossing aside the myths and the halo. He was a quiet, unassuming guy, who loved to perform, thrilled to play his guitar and have fun on that small basement stage, drinking his red wine, blending into the crazy scene of hangers-ons, groupies, friends, musicians, managers, cultural icons and lovers.

Sitting there watching the documentary I was transfixed by the interviews, by the footage and details from the “Isle of Wight” concert, the mysterious gentlemen who surrounded Jimi just before he was found dead in London, the reminiscences that were carefully compiled, interviews that came straight from the heart from so many who knew Jimi, performed with him, hung out with him, slept with him, and deeply cared about him – and many who were very worried about so many strange events that were part of Jimi’s life towards the end of his life.  The details about “The Monkees Party ” where Jimi was rescued by John Sebastian, a good friend, the infamous opening night party held at Electric Lady Studios where Japanese food was served spiked with acid unbeknownst to many, an event few remember, but those who do, say it was quite a trip!

As I sat there watching the film I could hear yells and cheers, cries from the audience as folks like Ginger Baker, Todd Rundgren, Jorma Kaukonen and Stephen Stills, to name but a few and many regional musicians from the New York area who were interviewed known to the audience as some were in attendance on Saturday night.

David Kramer Presents: Jimi Hendrix-The Documentary is a fascinating film, a project filled with enormous amounts of love and respect, dedication and perseverance. We get to see another side of Hendrix, stripping away the facade, hacking apart the legend, breaking down the walls of historical inaccuracies and legendary misinformation.

Jimi was a performer, a musician with other-worldly talent, who enjoyed playing the guitar, hanging out with friends, loved his women and up to a certain point in his life, was really enjoying himself as a regular person. We are welcomed into a world of intrigue, mistrust, free love, psychedelic-drug fueled jam sessions, explosive stage performances, explosive tirades, mafia influences, complete meltdowns, unbelievable guitar pyrotechnics and electrifying stage theatrics from a guy named James Marshal “Jimi” Hendrix.

A must-see for music fans worldwide. Seek this movie out immediately! I was captivated, mesmerized, and thoroughly entranced by the 2-hours that passed by as magically as the notes from “Purple Haze.” Outstanding achievement!

Rock guitarist, singer, composer, bandleader Jimi was gone by September 18, 1970 at the young age of 27.  He certainly lived a remarkable life.  Thanks so much David Kramer for giving us a chance to know Jimi a little bit better as a person, as a gifted and somewhat troubled human being, seeing him warts and all for the first time, a journey that was certainly worth the wait. What a trip!

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Broadway

Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents Pascale Roger-McKeever and Tony Award nominee Austin Pendleton

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“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents”, is  filmed live every Wednesday from 5 – 6 in the lobby of the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. This particular episode was filmed in two parts at different times due to the weather and extenuating circumstances.

 

In this episode T2C’s publisher and owner Suzanna Bowling talks with Pascale Roger-McKeever and Tony Award nominee Austin Pendleton.
We are so proud because the show and our guests are now featured on the TV screens in the lobby and the hotel rooms.

Austin Pendleton, Suzanna Bowling

Suzanna Bowling, Pascale Roger-McKeever

I am so grateful to my guests Pascale Roger-McKeever and Austin Pendleton. for joining me.

Austin Pendleton, Rommel Gopez, Suzanna Bowling

Rommel Gopez, Suzanna Bowling, Pascale Roger-McKeever

Thank-you Magda Katz for videoing and creating the content to go live, the audience who showed up to support us, Rommel Gopez and The Hotel Edison for their kindness and hospitality.

Austin Pendleton

Suzanna Bowling, Pascale Roger-McKeever, Craig J Horsley

Suzanna Bowling

Pascale Roger-McKeever will be starring in Fingers and Spoons directed by Tony Award nominee Austin Pendleton. Soho Playhouse 15 Vandam Street. starting on April 25th.

Roger Sichel, Austin Pendleton, Rommel Gopez, Suzanna Bowling

You can catch us on the following platforms:

Pandora:

https://www.pandora.com/podcast/live-from-the-edison-hotel-times-square-chronicles-presents/PC:1001084740

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/show/1084740

Spotify:

Amazon:

https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/e3ac5922-ada8-4868-b531-12d06e0576d3

Apple Podcasts:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/live-from-the-edison-hotel-times-square-chronicles-presents/id1731059092

We hope to see you there on April 17th. We will be announcing our guests tonight.

All photo’s except for the picture with Roger are by Roger Sichel.

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Celebrity

The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

OJ DOA — Perhaps the Drudge Report (yes, the Drudge Report) had the most fitting headline: Cancer Murders OJ.

Yesterday’s news came as a huge surprise at 11:00 AM. For me, firstly, I couldn’t quite believe it was almost 30 years since that trial. When the verdict came in, I was at The Conservatory restaurant in the long-gone, much missed Mayflower Hotel. It was packed and when the verdict was announced there was a minute or two of dead-silence, then gasps. One of the most surreal moments I’ve ever experienced.

I wasn’t a huge sports fan -never have been- but I knew a lot about OJ. Face it, he was an icon And when the murders happened; the Bronco-chase; and trial … it was just extraordinary. His rise and fall was an amazing tale. It was also a major story for all the entertainment outlets. Journalists essentially moved to LA for the 9-month trial. It was, to my mind, the first trial of its kind.

CNN showed some of the reactions from then: then audience reaction at the Oprah Winfrey show was a mixed bag. Some cheered as Winfrey stood stone-faced. The reaction of OJ’s lawyers were interesting too; Robert Khardashian looked shell-shocked, while Cochran and Robert Shapiro  hugged OJ.

As Wolf Bltizer just said: these are moments one will never forget.

We think we know what happened … but now, we’ll never know for sure. An american tragedy for sure.

YES Photo by Gottlieb Bros

YES’ PURPLE — (via Ultimate Classic Rock) Deep Purple and Yes will team up for a North American summer tour.

The trek begins on Aug. 14 in Hollywood, Florida, and concludes on Sept. 8 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday.

Deep Purple is in the midst of their 1 More Time tour and simultaneously celebrating 50 years of “Smoke on the Water” (52 years now, to be exact). The band recently released a super deluxe edition of its landmark album Machine Head, which includes classics such as “Smoke on the Water,” “Highway Star” and “Space Truckin’.”

Yes, meanwhile, will deliver a career-spanning set comprising material through their latest album, 2023’s Mirror to the Sky. The prog legends are also releasing an expanded anniversary box set of their 1994 album Talk next month.

52 years of “Smoke On The Water.” A classic if there ever was one. Every time I hear it on the radio, I start singing along. Talk about staying power! I saw Yes years ago and it was quite the show; with Chris Squire too.

There are a slew of legacy artists out for the summer and deservedly so. They may not generate the ink of a Beyonce or Jennifer Lopez, but their impact is still there.

Hubert Laws

SHORT TAKES — CTI Records. Remember them? It was producer Creed Taylor’s boutique label which released some of the most dynamic and interesting jazz-records in the 70’s and 80’s (SONY owns them now). From Airto to Milt Jackson; Deodato; Bob James; Jim Hall and Hubert Laws, the music was just terrific. Originally distributed by Herb Alpert’s A&M Records, they went independent and continued with some of the best jazz recordings ever. Even before you listened to the music, all the albums had a deluxe-cover; with some startling images. Check this piece out about their album covers from Medium: https://medium.com/@slishpogodi/cti-records-the-best-album-covers-cdac2e16c534 … 50 years of People Magazine. Rumors spread last year that the weekly was on its last legs.

Mia Farrow

Their first issue was in 1974 with Mia Farrow on the cover …

David Kramer

Director David Kramer won for ‘Best Documentary’ at last week’s NYFF event for his Jimi Hendrix: The Documentary. Congratulations

Coopstock

Coopstock is this weekend in Mesa, Arizona. Guests include Micky Dolenz; REO’s Kevin Cronin; Orianthi; Patrick Warburton; and of course, Alice Cooper himself … Hard to believe that director Todd Phillips, who directed The Hangover, did the first Joker movie with Joaquin Phoenix. It was just startling in every way and now the follow-up is about to come out with Phoenix and Lady Gaga; introduced as Harley Quinn. One trade already termed it a jukebox musical. Stylish for sure it looks just sensational and is one of the best trailers I’ve seen in quite some time. Here’s it is: https://variety.com/2024/film/news/joker-2-trailer-joaquin-phoenix-lady-gaga-1235957692/
… Here’s the trailer of Disney+’s Beach Boys doc.  Directed by Frank Marshall and Thom Zimny – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_Rspu3Xoi4 …  And, this week’s New York Magazine cover heralds the history of NYC through its restaurants. I was ready to see Tortilla Flats; La Cote Basque; Schraffts; Mortimers; Trader Vic’s; and Fontana Di Trevi. Turns out, it’s memories from people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who worked at The Coffee Shop and Keith McNally, who shucked oysters at One Fifth. Honestly, I expected a bit more depth. Great idea; lousy execution.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Toni Basil; Mark Bego; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Mitch Dolan; Barry Nolan; Robert Lamm; Jacqueline Boyd; Wayne Avers; Tyorne Biljan; Michelle Toscas; Fred Zarr; Abbe Rosenfeld; Shep Pettibone; Tony Darrow; Robert Funaro; Angel Mastrogiorgio; Ellen Smith; Howard Bloom; Jane Berk; Jack Cunningham; and CHIP.

Images on this page have been licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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Celebrity

The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

RINGO’S COUNTRY — (Via Forbes) Ringo Starr had a very busy 2023. He released a new EP, toured, and even reunited with Paul McCartney to produce one last Beatles single, “Now and Then.” One might assume that after so much activity, the 83-year-old might take some time off, but according to the musician himself, he’s still hard at work–and trying something new.

In a video he posted to X (formerly Twitter), Starr shared some very exciting news for his fans. It seems that he’s back in the studio working on new music. That would be enough to tantalize his still-massive following, but the kind of music he’s making is what caught the attention of many.

Starr shared in his video that he was “gonna do a country EP, but as things are unfolding, it’s probably going to be like a real CD—ten tracks.” He then laughed a bit to himself, adding, “Can you believe it? I haven’t done one of them in a long time.”

The beloved drummer last released a full-length album of original material in 2019 when What’s My Name arrived. That set was a minor commercial success, peaking at No. 99 in his home country of the U.K. and No. 127 in the U.S., where he remains very popular to this day.

Since his last album, Starr has been on a streak, releasing a number of EPs, or shorter collections. In the five years since What’s My Name, the drummer has dropped four EPs, as well as a number of singles, live collections, and more. He most recently returned with Rewind Forward, which even saw him collaborating with McCartney again.

For the moment, there doesn’t seem to be a timetable for when fans may get to hear Starr’s take on country. While he may be working on the material, there’s no telling what exactly it will sound like or when he’ll decide to release something.

In addition to a country collection, Starr also detailed yet another project he’s working on. The former Beatle and songwriter and producer Linda Perry have collaborated on another EP, titled Crooked Boy. That set seems to be his focus at the moment, and it will likely be released before any country tunes. About his friend and producer, Starr commented, “She wrote the songs for me. She produced them. She’s a beauty, so musical,” and said that she “has a great vibe.”

Jackie Chan

CHAN ALERT — (Via Deadline) Jackie Chan has reassured fans that he is in good health after a picture of him with gray hair and a beard sparked concerns for his well-being.

The Rush Hour, Shanghai Noon, and Tuxedo star turned 70 over the weekend and marked the occasion with a post on Instagram in which he addressed health fears.

“Not so long ago, a lot of friends saw some recent photos of me on the internet, and they were all concerned about my health,” Chan said.

“I want to take this opportunity to let everyone know, don’t worry! It’s just a character appearance for my latest movie. The character requires me to have white hair, white beard and look old.”

The viral photos were from an event where Chan was on stage with a microphone. He was wearing glasses and clutching papers.

Last November, Chan was cast in a new Karate Kid movie. He will play Mr. Han, the kung fu master who helped Jaden Smith fend off bullies in Sony’s 2010 Karate Kid remake.

In his Instagram message, the Hong Kong actor said he has cherished every moment of his 62 years in the entertainment industry. “All I can say is: I love making movies and I love you all,” Chan said.

SHORT TAKES — Last week were several top-secret screenings for the new Francis Ford Coppola movie Megalopolis. Per an article in yesterday’s Hollywood Reporter, many attendees found it impossible to position. I haven’t seen it, but how can you deny the director’s importance? That said, I knew one person who went to one of the screenings and he has yet to render an opinion on it. Check out the Reporter piece: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-news/megalopolis-francis-ford-coppola-challenges-distribution-1235867556/

Benson Boone

Just caught Benson Boone on Tuesday’s Today Show, performing his song “Beautiful Things.” The 21-year-old reminded me of Tony Manero (Saturday Night Fever) during the short interview with Savannah, Hoda and Carson, but the song was pretty good. He gained prominence through his work on Tik Tok and Dan Reynolds’s acknowledgement – from Imagine Dragons. Check him out here: https://www.bensonboone.com/

Micky Dolenz at the Troubadour

Here’s one more great shot of Micky Dolenz’s from his triumphant show at LA’s Troubadour

People of a certain age will well recall John Hughes’ 1985 masterpiece The Breakfast Club. Certain things age well … others don’t. Check out Molly Ringwald’s take on that movie now from Deadline: https://deadline.com/2024/04/molly-ringwald-the-breakfast-club-elements-havent-aged-well-judd-nelson-character-1235877597/comment-page-2/#comments  … Anybody out there remember Lou O’Neill at the NewYork Post back in the day? …

Savannah Sellers

Can’t see to find Chloe Melas on Today anymore. Sad, but she clearly not the right move.; their Savannah Sellers is a much, much better fit …

Watched the Gershwin Awards honoring Elton John and Bernie Taupin on PBS. Brandi Carlisle performing “Madman Across The Water” is just amazing. Great show. Congratulations … More Sly Stallone news. All I can say is, I am NOT surprised: https://deadline.com/2024/04/tulsa-king-casting-director-quits-sylvester-stallone-accused-criticizing-background-actors-1235878860/ … Here’s the trailer for the biopic on Amy Winehouse from Focus Features. Looks pretty good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYzIOBwyhIU  … Happy Bday Robin Platzer!

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Terry Jastrow; Dina Pitenis; Mark Bego; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Roy Trakin; Len Berman; Felix Cavaliere; Jane Blunkell; Pete Bennett; May Pang; Ken Dashow; Craig Newman; Jeffrey Sherman; Stu Fine; Mitch Kanner; Eppy; Al Steckler; Dan Richter; Tony King; Derek Taylor; Tyrone Bijan; Michelle Toscas; and ZIGGY!

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