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The Provocative “Poor Things” — Starring Emma Stone — has Racked up Multiple Award wins and Noms Due to a Great Script by Tony McNamara

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It may have taken a while but director Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Poor Things” ultimately rose to the Awards season challenge, winning several Golden Globes and garnering 11 Oscar nominations: Best Actress, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Cinematography. In this fractured tale inspired by the Frankenstein creation story, actress/producer Emma Stone plays a re-animated Bella Baxter as a fully grown body woman with the brain of a rapidly maturing child. Bella doesn’t hold back as she discovers the joys of masturbation and, further on, energetic sex — which she calls “furious jumping” — with Mark Ruffalo’s domineering, and equally unclothed, paramour. Then she explores the inner-workings of a Paris whorehouse engaging with many men in many ways — but on her terms. The movie’s sexual candor is only some of the trappings to this extraordinary story of a woman — though born of men — comes into her own.


In exposing herself aesthetically and physically, the seemingly fearless Stone is one of the rare A-list actresses willing to risk such exposure for her art.

“Poor Things” is a no-holds-barred re-imagining of female empowerment displayed in a thoroughly fantastical environment of striking colors, costumes and landscapes. As a result, the movie is rated R for strong and pervasive sexual content, graphic nudity, disturbing material, gore and language.

Tony McNamara

Though the cinematic vision is Lanthimos, the essential story comes from veteran scriptwriter Tony McNamara, an Australian playwright, screenwriter, and television producer. Born in 1967, he’s known for his work on the scripts for “The Favourite” in 2018, the historical comedy-drama film directed by Lanthimos, also starring Stone. Originally a screenplay by Deborah Davis, written 20 years prior to the film’s release, Lanthimos and McNamara worked together to refashion it into a final script resulting in it winning, or being nominated for, many various awards at the time.

McNamara also created “The Great,” a series revolving around the life of Catherine the Great, starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, which premiered on Hulu in May 2020. It’s based on his period play about Catherine, which premiered at the Sydney Theatre Company in 2008. McNamara also wrote a film adaptation of it as well.

This Q&A is based on an appearance by McNamara shortly before “Poor Things” began its run as an award nominee and cinematic phenomenon.

T2c: Talk about the process of adapting this from the book by Alasdair Gray. That “Poor Things” is very much written from the male perspective in terms of people discussing and describing their experiences with Bella. The film switched that into [a story] from a female view of the world. What did it take to adapt and shift the perspective?

Tony McNamara: The book is a big Scottish classic — it’s wild and has hundreds of pages about Scottish nationalism which, you might notice, is not in the movie. Bella’s story was told by the men like Duncan and Max; they all tell you what happened to her. You never get her experience of it. Yorgos read it and we both felt the same — she was the character he was interested in. That’s an interesting story and it seemed like a great thing to do. The point of the novel was that the men controlled her narrative. While keeping that idea, I wanted to flip it so that film-wise, it was her story.

T2c:This is the first time that you’ve done an adaptation from a book. What were the unique aspects of doing that?

TM: Yes, it was the first time and when I read it, I thought the first one should be the baby’s brain in the woman’s head [chuckles]. But Yorgos is amazing and we had such a good time on “The Favorite” that the biggest thing was to work out what to tell from the book. We could just depart from the book because I adapted material from history and stuff. I’m always a bit like, “Well, a book, that’s one thing and a movie is a whole other thing. How do we make a movie that has a relationship to the book but isn’t really about the book.”

That started with the Bella thing, which let me invent a lot because the men told her story [in the novel]. I could invent her story because we didn’t really know… There was nothing there when she went to Portugal, we knew she went, but we didn’t know what happened there. I was creating this sort of internal story when she went on her journey, Yorgos kept saying it was a fantasy. We’re both Fellini fans so we thought it should be a big European style, old school stage movie.

How do I create a language that’s going to be big enough for what he’s going to do? I had to create this sort of dialogue that felt baroque but was also contemporary enough that you could feel it emotionally. That was my main thing. You’ve got to feel her journey.

T2c: You adapted from history before. What you do with language is take elements of period language, but then you really look at it from the perspective of a modern audience’s lens into it. You created this unique amalgamation. So for this one, in particular, how did you find the way in to make the language work in that regard?

TM: I knew the scale of this story and also I love language. Half the time, I’m not serving the audience, I’m serving myself [chuckles]. I think it’s fun to create a particular language for a movie, which is why I was really drawn to doing this. Bella had a particular language and it was a character where you had to evolve her language, which you never get to do. Usually the person just talks the way they talk. But with her, part of telling the story was changing the language throughout the narrative. So it’s how to do that and make it fun.

T2c: It’s interesting how her language changed, even [if it’s] just with the grammar. It’s the same way when you learn another language, you learn the present tense first. She’s speaking specifically in the present tense in the beginning of the movie but that evolves. How did you find those different layers and textures of grammar and language for her?

TM: It was like knowing where to start. We had this geographic journey, so I used the geography to change her language through each geographic point. She would change a little bit through it and I knew where I wanted to start. She talked like my four-year-old. He was a real inspiration. He’s very proud now. When Yorgos and I were developing it, we were having lunch one day and I was telling Yorgos about my son and I said, “He’s kind of a sociopath and he’s only four years old. We were in a restaurant and it was really loud. This baby was crying and my son looked at me and went ‘punch that baby.’” I went to Yorgos, and he said that we should put that in! So when she’s in the restaurant, she goes, “I’m just gonna punch that baby.” My son feels like he should get a credit now.

T2c: We should see if — in the DVD version — he’s given a credit. Bella changes so much throughout the script. You talked about thinking from different specifications. At the beginning, she started out pretty much a toddler and then we reached a point where this is when she’s 16. When she’s leaving home for the first time, she’s like in her early ‘20s at first, then her mid ’20s. How did you set about creating those different stages?

TM: In my head it was just to create. Basically at its core. In a way, this is a coming-of-age story. It was as simple as that. It’s like watching someone grow up and discover their sexuality and then their intellectual life and they come to terms with being mature and emotional. There’s a point — on the boat — where she’s so self-regarding and then realizes there’s a world out there and she has to be part of it.

I felt like there were certain points where — I think the contemporary thing for me was things like, “Oh, you go to college and discover books and you’re like “Oh books and ideas!” There were all these steps where you get a boyfriend and you think he’s great and then you realize at some point, “0h my God, he’s the worst.” There were simple things I was always thinking of but not to take it away from the bigness of it. I had to ask, what are the basics of it in terms of us, in terms of just a human experience?

T2c: That idea for Bella was to be like, “Oh, I’ve got a boyfriend but he’s the worst.” That’s the arc of Duncan [Mark Ruffalo], where it’s so great because he’s such an audacious character. We understand that he’s full of shit from the get-go. But she takes everything quite literally. So when he says, “I bedded over 100 women,” she believes that to be true. What was it like writing the dynamic between those two characters with that in mind?

TM: It was really fun to write because he is such a classic trope and yet I felt sorry for him because she doesn’t have any of society’s ideas which he owns. He has them all in his head and it’s like a paradigm he lives through. She doesn’t have any of that. So he can’t even get the traction that he would normally get from a person. He sort of dissolves. I enjoyed writing it but I didn’t have as much fun as I did watching those two do it. They were so freakin’ right.

T2c: How did you shape the tension that starts to fester in Duncan because the less that he succeeds with her, the more frustrated he becomes. He’s also watching her with the idea of who he wants to be in a world with no care.

TM: I think that was what the irony was. He sees himself as a free spirit and he’s outside society like all the men who have their view of themselves. Everyone in the movie had a view of society that she doesn’t ascribe to. Even when they try hard, she either resists it or is oblivious to it. It was constructing that, and some people understood that … like Max [Ramy Youssef] who went on a sort of positive journey in that respect. Duncan just dissolved more and more because he didn’t know what to do. I liked the idea of that.

T2c: It’s great the way that you have other characters start to use elements of her language. Suddenly another character uses the phrase “serious jumping.” How did you find those moments when you wanted other characters to step into her world like that?

TM: She’s such a powerful character as she goes through life and gathers agency, I think she’s so charismatic because she doesn’t [back down]. Beat to beat [it’s] just a pure response that isn’t shaded by anything. How she feels in that moment without judgment of herself, I think that’s attractive. I felt like [with the] other characters, [it] starts to rub off on them a little bit.

T2c: What’s the difference in writing a character who is so innately reactionary but in such a positive way?

TM: I was talking to Emma about it. It’s great for you as a person. I think she felt the same, playing Bella. I think for her and me, and I’m sure for Yorgos, writing that character and her playing that character, you’re aware of how much you’re shaped by everything. For her, playing a character who is just shaped by a really pure response and we don’t get that. I think that’s why she’s a character people can respond to because it’s a bit of a wish fulfillment of like, “that would be good if you could just live life like that”

T2c: We get an opportunity to watch her learning in real time and developing her back story as a character. How did you set about making sure that you are always cognizant of what she has already learned in the space of a scene to make sure that it comes into play here?

TM: I have a really strong process. I guess I’ve always thought about what she learns. Yorgos and I were very meticulous as it goes. We didn’t do that many drafts. But what we did at the end is, we just went line by line over three or four days separately. There’s always time between it and as there’s a three-week rehearsal. Then we tweak that a little bit if we hear things that aren’t quite right or Emma would say, “Oh, that word seems too sophisticated for her at that point.” We’re very meticulous about her verbal journey as well as Emma and Yorgos creating the physicality of that.

T2c: It sounds like with that process as well in the way that you talk about the film previously that you really aren’t doing rewrites during production and that even during rehearsal, it’s right mental.

TM: It’s joyful. I’d just hang out and drink coffee and watch them do their thing. No one sees the script for a long time. First person to see the script was Emma. I think the producers don’t see it for years and then when they see it, he’s ready to make it. I think his view of it is that we spent four years on this by making it because I think it’s right. He is a very strong individual about how he feels artistically. He’s like, “That’s what we decided; it is what it is!”  He never really made changes on “The Favorite.” He rang me once [to make a change] because they literally couldn’t do something physically. Through the couple of films we worked together, he’s never changed anything.

T2c: This was a project that Yorgos was trying to make since before “The Favourite.” What was the chronology of when you two started working on the script?

TM: He’d moved to London and started on “The Favourite” and knew he wasn’t… He’d only made “Dogtooth” and “Alps” so he was like, no one’s going to give me the money to make “The Favourite.” It’s going to cost a little bit because of the period. So he went off with his Greek co-writer, Efthimis Filippouand they wrote “The Lobster” so they could try and make something cheap.

While he was doing it, he rang me and said he’d read this book [“Poor Things”]. Even when he was making “The Lobster” no one would give him any money to develop “Poor Things.” Everyone was saying, “We like you” but we’re not doing the baby brain!  But once he made “The Lobster” — and there was some buzz — Film4 came in with some money and he was like, “Do you want to do it?” So we started it. We were in pre-production for “The Favourite” and I started writing “Poor Things.”

T2c: Going back to Bella as well, one of the things that’s so refreshing about her as a character is she’s not necessarily carrying this internal dialogue. Everything that she thinks and feels throughout the movie is said out loud. How is that a totally different approach to writing a character for you?

TM: When I write, I’m just asking myself, “Where is she coming from? What does she want and what’s in her way?” I knew she didn’t question herself much and that was the joy of her as a character because she wasn’t super conflicted about anything. Except towards the end, when she has to confront her feelings for Godwin [Willem DaFoe], but even then she has clarity in the two different feelings she has.  I think that was why she was a really refreshing character to write. She manages to be very simple and very complex at the same time.

T2c: How did you find what you wanted to be the essence of the relationship between her and Godwin? It’s such a fascinating dynamic. He’s had the experience of her being an experiment and now he’s kind of carrying it out with a lot of love and heart.

TM: Yeah, I think for us it was one of the most interesting relationships we explored in a way because he was an experiment as well. In the book, he’s not an experiment. I made that up so that we could understand him a bit better. His father made him an experiment so it makes sense. He thinks everything is science and everything’s an experiment. But deep down, he’s a guy who wants someone to see him and not think he’s ugly — someone to “get” him. He’s someone that’s never had that and he doesn’t quite know how to deal with feelings.

That’s why he rebels but it’s not in the book. There’s the Margaret Qualley character where they just make another one [like Bella] but not quite. That was our idea of how we can show him go through a journey. I was like, “Oh, he makes another one.” He’d go with his feelings; by the end of the movie, he realizes his feelings matter.

T2c: What was the difference that you wanted to show with Godwin and Margaret Qualley’s character when that comes up? It’s such a different experience for him.

TM: I think because rather than replace [Bella], it was supposed to show the idiocy of what he did by trying to do that to himself. Then he understood it wasn’t the experiment he loved, but it was her.

T2c: With the narrative up to where Bella goes back to her ex-husband to learn to visit her old life and learn about that. Initially the idea was that it was sort of a kidnapping and it was against her will. But then you realize that it was important for it to be her choice to go there. How did that change for you?

TM: Yeah, I think we’ve done it. We’ve done a couple of years and we were having lunch and everyone really liked the script at that point. We had long periods of silence. That’s our process. We just sit there not talking for long periods. We all thought there was something wrong with the third act so I said I’ll go think of something and then I’ll text Yorgos.

What if she chooses it because she’s choosing everything else? So why wouldn’t she? She’s fearless and that broke it open for us because the other way ­– when she was kidnapped, and then there was a shooting and that’s how it ended – he was kind of like, I think they shot him or something and he died. It didn’t feel totally right because it wasn’t weird enough for the rest of it. So we brought in Christopher Abbott’s character. I was always nervous about that because it’s hard to bring in a character in two hours and have them hold their own in a big crazy movie like this. But Chris was terrific [as a bad guy].

T2c: How did you deal with the sexuality of the whole film? Decisions you made and didn’t make, where it would and wouldn’t be?

TM: It was always part of that coming of age thing. She’s at a certain age and starts to discover it. A man comes into her life and she’s like, “What adventure do I want to go on?” For me, it was all like, every beat wasn’t so much a sex scene. It was kind of the evolution of the character and of the general story. How it’s shot and how it’s managed was really Yorgos and Emma working together. For us, it was always going to be a movie that was like those ’70s European films where it’s very… Emma Stone was very unapologetic. It made no sense for it not to be very unapologetic. Yorgos was really devoted to that ’70s European aesthetic.

T2c: The way you write with layers of comedy which stem from a place of truthfulness. There’s so much comedy and attention that’s created from Bella’s perspective in the world. The way that she refuses to be tied down to other people’s ideas of her — how did you write that in a way that feels so grounded — and then find the layers of comedy that can stem from that?

TM: I always go for whatever’s real, I think I read that someone famous once said, “To make it real, make it funny.” I always try to go from the emotional place of what they want, so I never just go for the joke.

Yorgos and I love comedy but I think it’s all built from the ground up and it’s built into the structure — it’s a satire. She’s a fish out of water. Here’s the basics. They’re all trying to control her and can’t, the poor things. They’re idiots. There’s a certain element of comedy that I built into the whole structure. I love funny dialogue.

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos 
Script: Tony McNamara 
Cast: Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo, Willem Dafoe, Ramy Youssef, Jerrod Carmichael, Christopher Abbott

Broadway

Ken Fallin’s Broadway: On The Town For Fleet Week

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Fleet Week is upon us, so, attached is a drawing I did of Channing Tatum a few years ago for The Los Angeles Times. This was done for Hail Caesar! choreographed by Christopher Gattelli.

Hail Caesar!  is by Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men, Fargo), starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and Channing Tatum, Hail, Caesar! follows a single day in the life of a studio fixer who is presented with plenty of problems to fix.

Here is a video with Channing and the rest of the cast. Talk about a great Happy Memorial Day!

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Dance

Events For June

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On going is still  Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature, is at The Morgan Library & Museum through 6/9.Florals in Fashion highlights the work of designers Hilary Taymour (Collina Strada), Olivia Cheng (Dauphinette) and Kristen Alpaugh, aka FLWR PSTL Also Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz’s “Giants,”is at the Brooklyn Museum until 7/7. The exhibition features artists who have made and continue to make a significant impact on the art world and contemporary culture. The show features 98 artworks by Black American, African, and African artists including Gordon Parks, Kehinde Wiley, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mickalene Thomas, Hassan Hajjaj, Barkley L. Hendricks, Lorna Simpson, and Amy Sherald. Until 8/11 the Whitney Biennial, this happens every two years.  This year, the theme is “Even Better Than The Real Thing” and features the work of 71 artists and collectives. Also on display is Apollo: When We Went to the Moon at The Intrepid Museum. The exhibit is included with museum admission and goes until 10/2. The Rubin Museum, is permanently closing its physical space later this year and is open until October. If you’ve never been time to go. Until 10/27: The New York Botanical Garden is getting in on the Mad Hatter fun with a new, garden-wide exhibition for 2024 titled “Wonderland: Curious Nature.”

6/1 -23: How Long Blues at Little Island. Twyla Tharp featuring live music by T Bone Burnett and David Mansfield.

6/6 – 16: Tribeca Film Festival

6/7 – 9: Governors Ball

6/7 – 24: River to River Festival 50th anniversary has celebrations of dance, music, video, installation, and exhibitions. Featuring 13 projects of live art, performances, and participatory events in public spaces throughout Downtown New York, the 2024 River To River Festival explores themes of resonance, reconsideration, and resistance.  All events are free and open to all. Reservations are requested for some performances and events with limited capacity reserve here.

6/9: National Puerto Rican Day Parade

6/10: Movie nights in Bryant Park Forrest Gump (1994)

6/12: The Tony Awards

6/12: NY Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks

6/12 – 30: Summer for the City The Dream Machine Experience and The Bridge Lincoln Center Presents Time travel through an immersive AR experience across our outdoor spaces led by Cyboracle, the larger-than-life virtual avatar portrayed by Nona Hendryx.

6/12: The third annual Summer for the City festival. Over 200 free or choose-what-you-pay events that span a variety of topics, genres and  locations.

6/13 – 16: Juneteenth New York Festival

6/13: Summer for the City The Outdoor Film Series Black Swan Natalie Portman gives an Oscar-winning turn as a sheltered but driven young dancer with a ballet company in NYC who begins to buckle under pressure

6/17: Movie nights in Bryant Park The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

6/18 and 20: SummerStage The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital featuring Leah Hawkins, Mario Chang, Michael Sumuel

6/19 – 30: Black Restaurant Week up to 80 participating venues, including Red Rooster Harlem, Cascade Jerk, Twins BBQ Co., Collective Fare, Tamarind Island, Voila Afrique, Misfits Nutrition, Brooklyn Blend, Negril Village, Lee Lee’s Baked Goods, The Real Mothershuckers and many more.

6/20: Summer for the City The Outdoor Film Series Before Sunrise Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy) meet on a cross-Europe train. In Vienna, they walk, talk, look around—and fall unexpectedly in love. Damrosch Park

6/21: Summer for the City Social Dance Abaddón Tango. Get swept up in the majesty and beauty of Argentinian tango at this social dance night featuring the Abaddón Tango sextet.

6/21: 125th birthday of the Bronx Zoo 

6/21: Summer for the City The Outdoor Film Series Before Sunset. Nine years after Before Sunrise’s open-ended finale, Before Sunset’s immediate question—did Jesse and Céline reunite in Vienna—soon gets eclipsed.

6/21: Summer for the City Silent Disco. Strut your stuff under the stars as our popular Silent Disco series returns to NYC’s largest outdoor dance floor with a ten-foot disco ball.

6/22: The Coney Island The Mermaid Parade kicks off at 1pm.

6/22: Summer for the City Mykal Kilgore a concert for all ages featuring GRAMMY-nominated performing artist Mykal Kilgore!

6/22: Summer for the City The Wedding: New York’s Biggest Day Ever dreamed of getting married at Lincoln Center? For the third year in a row, we’re inviting hundreds of couples to celebrate love. Come join us!

6/22 -23: SailGP (Sail Grand Prix) will bring 10 international teams to the waters to race turbocharged F50 catamarans at more than 60 miles per hour. Fans can watch the action in stadium-style seats close to shore along Governors Island.

6/23: Summer for the City Rosanne Cash.  one of America’s leading songwriters and creative voices, performs a live set on the 30th anniversary of her classic album, The Wheel.

6/24 and 26: SummerStage The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital featuring Brittany Olivia Logan, Hannah Jones, Matthhew Cairns

6/26: Summer for the City ABT Silent Disco With DJ Remeice and Connor Holloway. Celebrate Pride Week with American Ballet Theatre in a silent disco spun by DJ Remeice and co-

6/24: Movie nights in Bryant Park Boomerang (1992)

6/26-29: Robeson at Little Island.

6/29: SummerStage Pride Disco: DJ Trixie Mattel + Amanda Lepore + Jess King

6/30: Pride Fest, The March

6/30: SummerStage Dreamland: Pride In Central Park With John Summit

 

 

 

 

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Broadway

League of Professional Theatre Women Invite the Public to Oral History Interview Of Broadway Playwright Theresa Rebeck

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Stage, film, television and novel writer Theresa Rebeck will be interviewed about her long and brilliant career at 6p.m., Monday, June 3, at the Bruno Walter Auditorium, at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center (111 Amsterdam Avenue at 65th Street), New York.
This event, which is FREE and open to the public, is part of the League of Professional Theatre Women’s (LPTW) Oral History Project in partnership with the Library and is a highlight of LPTW’s 41st season.
Theresa Rebeck is a widely produced writer for stage, film, television and novels, whose work can be seen and read throughout the United States and internationally. With five plays produced on Broadway, Rebeck is the most Broadway-produced female playwright of our time.
Rebeck’s Broadway credits include I Need That (starring Danny DeVito), Bernhardt/Hamlet (starring Janet McTeer), Dead Accounts (starring Norbert Leo Butz); Seminar (starring Alan Rickman); Mauritius (starring F. Murray Abraham). Other New York productions of her work include Dig (Outer Critic’s Circle nomination), Seared (starring Raul Esparza, DramaLeague Award) at MCC Theater, Downstairs (starring Tim Daly and Tyne Daly); The Scene (starring Tony Shalhoub), The Water’s Edge, Loose Knit, The Family of Mann and Spike Heels at Second Stage; Bad Dates, The Butterfly Collection and Our House at Playwrights Horizons; The Understudy at Roundabout Theatre Company; and View of the Dome at New York Theatre Workshop. Other notable plays include Poor Behavior, What We’re Up Against, and Omnium Gatherum (co-written), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2013.
As an author, Rebeck has written three novels: Three Girls and Their Brother (Random House/Shaye Areheart Books, 2008), Twelve Rooms with A View (Random House/Shaye Areheart Books, 2010) and I’m Glad About You (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2016), along with Free Fire Zone, a book of comedic essays about writing and show business.
Rebeck made her NYC Directorial debut with Rob Ackerman’s play Dropping Gumballs on Luke Wilson at The Working Theatre and directed the World Premiere of her new play Dig at Primary Stages in NY and Dorset Theatre Festival in Vermont. Her new podcast play, “Nightwatch” (starring Norbert Leo Butz), was released in 2023.
In television, Rebeck created the NBC showbiz drama “Smash,” and has written for “Canterbury’s Law,” “LA Law,” NYPD Blue,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Dream On,” Brooklyn Bridge,” and many more.
Her produced feature films include the big-budget all-female spy thriller 355 (co-written with Simon Kinberg for Jessica Chastain’s production company); Trouble (writer/director), starring Angelica Huston and Bill Pullman; Harriet the Spy; Gossip and the independent features Sunday on the Rocks and Seducing Charlie Barker, an adaptation of her play, The Scene.
Theresa lives in Brooklyn with her husband Jess Lynn.
To attend this event, please RSVP HERE.
To view past oral history interviews, visit the Library’s Theatre on Film and Tape Archive, or visit the LPTW’s archive.
Women working in the theatre industry are eligible to join LPTW.  For more information on upcoming events and to join LPTW, visit: www.theatrewomen.org.
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Broadway

Chita Rivera Awards Part 2 The Interviews

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T2C was at the 2024 Chita Rivera Awards at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. We got to interview some of the best in dance and look forward to sharing this with you.

On this video watch Michael-Demby Cain, Joe Lanteri, Bernadette Peters, Debbie Allen, Justin Peck, Norm Lewis, Rick and Jeff Kuperman, Chita’s daughter Lisa Mordente, Kenny Ortega, Serge Trujillo,  winners for Water For Elephants Jesse Robb and Shana Carroll, winner Camille A Brown Hell’s Kitchen, Marina Tamayo, Lorin Latarro, David Petersen, Bruce Robert Harris, Ali Louis Bourzgui, Huey Lewis, Phil LaDuca, Riki Kane Larimer, Grant Plotkin and highlights from the show with Ali Louis Bourgzgui, Kristin ZChenoweth, Norm Lewis, Wayne Brady and more.

This was one spectacular night.

Video by Magda Katz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Celebrity

The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

TRUMPED AT CANNES — What with Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis and Kevin Costner’s Horizon garnering most of the pre-Cannes ink, it turns out that The Apprentice; the so-called rise of Donald Trump, has become to must-see attraction there.

Starring Sebastian Stan

Sebastian Stan

and Jeremy Strong -as Roy Cohn-  its received the most attention after its screening this week. Check out this up-to-date spot from The Hollywood Reporter:


The Trump camp has threatened a lawsuit over a somewhat graphic scene between Trump and Ivana in the movie. The filmmaker Ali Abbasi has said that while the lawsuits may fly fast and furious from the Trump-camp, their success rate should be re-examined. A pretty savvy response if you ask me.

MORE TREK — (Via Deadline) Oscar winner  Holly Hunter has been tapped to star in Paramount+’s upcoming series Star Trek: Starfleet Academy. Hunter will play the captain and chancellor of Starfleet Academy in the series which will begin production later this summer.

Produced by CBS Studios, the series will follow the adventures of a new class of Starfleet cadets as they come of age in one of the most legendary places in the galaxy.

Per the logline: Star Trek: Starfleet Academy introduces viewers to a young group of cadets who come together to pursue a common dream of hope and optimism. Under the watchful and demanding eyes of their instructors, they discover what it takes to become Starfleet officers as they navigate blossoming friendships, explosive rivalries, first loves and a new enemy that threatens both the Academy and the Federation itself.

As a Treker-from the 60’s, where the hell is the next proper Star Trek-movie with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto? They both were fantastic in my mind. Into Darkness was sensational? Weird for sure.

Michael Jackson and Ron Alexenburg

SHORT TAKES — Record-industry icon Ron Alexenburg is penning his autobiography to be called From The Warehouse To The Penthouse. Alexenburg, when he ran Epic Records, worked with everyone from Michael Jackson to Meat Loaf, Boston, The Beach Boys, and Charlie Daniels. Here’s a great interview with him:

Oddly, he doesn’t mention his Infinity Records opus, where I worked with him. The opening night party for the label was at the NY Public Library in NYC. It was an awesome event …

Speaking of books, Dave Mason’s Only You Know and I Know is finally out after a massive delay. I saw a video of him opening the first box. Apparently it is only available through his website. Good luck Dave …

We haven’t seen Kevin Costner’s Horizon yet, but a report from Roger Friedman (Showbiz 411), claims Costner doesn’t even appear in the movie for the first hour. Really? …

Christopher Reeve

Great Hamptons Film Festival exclusive by Roger Friedman. Check it out: https://www.showbiz411.com/2024/05/21/hot-ticket-christopher-reeve-super-man-film-to-get-early-look-hamptons-screening-before-release-at-summerdocs … And, great spot on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show on the new book from Michael McDonald with Paul Reiser (What A Fool Believes/DEY Street):

RIP Fred Roos.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Riley Keough; Edwyn Collins; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Tony Seidel; Jason Cooper; Bob Krasnow; Les Schwartz; Pete Sanders; Jeremy Long; Peter Shendell; Randy Alexander; Carson Daly; Pete Best; Cory Robbins; Bill Adler; Roy Trakin; Mark Bego; Nancy Ruth; Teresa Knox; Kent and Laura Denmark; and BELLA!

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