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Theatre News: $49 Tickets For The Music Man, Macbeth, New Christine In Phantom, Take Me Out and Sugar Ray Robinson

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Sutton Foster and Hugh Jackman in rehearsal for The Music Man Photo by Julieta Cervantes

The Producers announced today that in-person rush tickets will be available daily for performances of The Music Man beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, December 20th, marking the highly anticipated new musical’s first performance. Rush tickets are subject to availability and will be $49 each. They will be available on a first come first serve basis when the box office opens each day. Tickets will be limited to a maximum of 2 tickets per person and may only be purchased for that day’s performance. Rush ticket policy and availability are subject to change.

Starring two-time Tony Award®, Grammy Award®, and Emmy Award®-winning star Hugh Jackman as Professor Harold Hill, and also starring two-time Tony Award winner Sutton Foster as Marian Paroo, The Music Man’s official Opening Night is scheduled for Thursday, February 10, 2022, at the Winter Garden Theatre (1634 Broadway). 

To purchase tickets, please visit Telecharge.com

The production, directed by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks, with choreography by Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle, will also star Tony Award winner Jayne Houdyshell as Mrs. Shinn, Tony Award winner Jefferson Mays as Mayor Shinn, Tony Award winner Marie Mullenas Mrs. Paroo, and Tony Award winner Shuler Hensley as Marcellus Washburn. The principal cast will also include Remy Auberjonois as Charlie Cowell, Gino Cosculluela as Tommy Djilas, and Emma Crow as Zaneeta Shinn.

Daniel Craig, Ruth Negga Photo: Greg Williams

A bigger theatre opened up so the star studded Macbeth, starring Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga, has moved from Lyceum Theatre to the Longacre Theatre. Ticket holders for “Macbeth” will be informed about an exchange of tickets. However, the production notes that patrons will have “comparable, if not identical” seats at the Longacre Theatre. 

Macbeth will be directed by Sam Gold and produced by Barbara Broccoli, The Shubert Organization, Michael G. Wilson and Frederick Zollo. The production will play a 15-week engagement at the theater, with an opening night set for April 28. 

Emilie Kouatchou

Emilie Kouatchou made history in October as the first Black actor to play the role of Christine on Broadway when she was cast as the understudy. The role was Ms. Kouatchou’s celebrated Broadway debut. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh announced today that Ms. Koutachou will take over the principal role of ‘Christine Daaé’ in the New York production of The Phantom of the Opera on the night that the musical celebrates its unprecedented 34th Anniversary on Wednesday evening, January 26 at 7PM. Current leading lady Meghan Picerno will play her final performance on Sunday evening, January 23 at 5PM.

Taking over as the ‘Christine’ Alternate will be Julia Udine. She joined the Broadway production in December 2014, playing the role there over 400 times. 

Continuing in their roles are Ben Crawford as ‘The Phantom,’ John Riddle as ‘Raoul,’ Bradley Dean as ‘Monsieur André,’ Craig Bennett as ‘Monsieur Firmin,’ Raquel Suarez Groen as ‘Carlotta Giudicelli,’ Maree Johnson as ‘Madame Giry,’ Carlton Moe as ‘Ubaldo Piangi’ and Sara Esty as ‘Meg Giry.’ 

Due to a change in the production schedule, the first preview of the Second Stage Theater production of Richard Greenberg’s Tony Award-winning play, Take Me Out , has been rescheduled for March 10, 2022. The Broadway production will officially open on April 4, 2022 at Second Stage’s Hayes Theater (240 West 44th Street).  

Directed by Scott Ellis, Take Me Out will feature Patrick J. Adams, Julian Cihi, Hiram Delgado, Brandon J. Dirden, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Carl Lundstedt, Ken Marks, Michael Oberholtzer, Eduardo Ramos, Tyler Lansing Weaks, and Jesse Williams.

In the Tony Award®-winning Take Me Out, playwright Richard Greenberg celebrates the personal and professional intricacies of America’s favorite pastime. When Darren Lemming (Jesse Williams), the star center fielder for the Empires, comes out of the closet, the reception off the field reveals a barrage of long-held unspoken prejudices. Facing some hostile teammates and fraught friendships, Darren is forced to contend with the challenges of being a gay person of color within the confines of a classic American institution. As the Empires struggle to rally toward a championship season, the players and their fans begin to question tradition, their loyalties, and the price of victory.

Sugar Ray Robinson was, pound for pound, the greatest boxer of all time.  In his 25-year professional career, from 1940 to 1965, he was boxing history’s first winner of five divisional championships (in the middle weight and welterweight divisions).  This “King of Harlem” was renowned for his litheness, his power and his flamboyant lifestyle outside the ring. His career peaked between 1947 and 1950, before the era of TV boxing, so his style and legacy are less preserved today than those of other boxers, including his admirer, Muhammed Ali.  That’s why Sugar Ray by playwright Laurence Holder is so significant.  It recaptures Robinson’s life and boxing legacy in a biographical solo show that is exciting to those who idolized him and illuminating to those who grew up after his era.  The play will have its theatrical premiere January 6 to 23, 2022 at Gene Frankel Theatre, 24 Bond Street, presented by 24 Bond Arts Center in association with Faith Steps Productions and performed by AUDELCO-winnner Reginald L. Wilson.  The theater’s playing area will be transformed into a boxing ring for the production.

Robinson was the most charismatic athlete of his age and one of the most graceful and handsome men of any time.  He was larger than life, idolized by millions of African American youths.  He originated the modern sports entourage, traveling with a golf pro, a barber, an Arabian midget who spoke five languages, and his signature pink Cadillac convertible.  Crowds gathered wherever he was parked.  During his first retirement, from 1952 to 1955, he pursued a career as a dancer, opening at the French Casino in NYC for $15,000 a week.  After that, showbiz was downhill for him.  Sportswriter W.C. Heinz quoted a Broadway booking agent as saying, “Robinson was a good dancer, for a fighter.  Maybe no other fighter danced as well, but the feature of his act was his change of clothes. He looked good in everything he put on.”  Nevertheless, “Sugar” was probably the first black athlete to establish himself as a celebrity outside sports.  He was a fixture of the NYC social scene in the 40’s and 50’s and his glamorous restaurant, Sugar Ray’s, was a destination for Broadway and Hollywood stars.

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

Broadway

Sunday’s Broadway Forever Concert Postponed Until October 15

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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.

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Theatre News: Wicked, The Wiz, Hypnotique, Female Troubles and Love In The Time Of Crazy

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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.

Adam Blackstone

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.

Adam Blackstone

“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.

Kevin Del Aguila and the cast Photos by Marc J. Franklin

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”).

Lesli Margherita

Lesli Margherita

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 .

Look for more from this tuneful musical that actually has you leaving humming the songs. The cast was terrific, the direction sublime and the show ready to move.

Love in the Time of Crazy is a riot, but, you know, in a good way.

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The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

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.

Ahmet Ertegun

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

FILE – Drew Barrymore attends the Time100 Gala, celebrating the 100 most influential people in the world, at Frederick P. Rose Hall, April 26, 2023, in New York. The National Book Awards dropped Barrymore as the host for this year’s ceremony, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023, a day after her talk show taped its first episode since the Hollywood writers strike began. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

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

Chris Carter and Micky Dolenz – Breakfast With The Beatles

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 …

Jimmy Buffet

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!

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Inside the 2023 American Theatre Wing Gala

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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.

LaChanze and Norm Lewis

LaChanze and Norm Lewis

La Chanze and Dr. Michael J. Pitman

La Chanze

Felix Cisneros and Heather A. Hitchens

LaChanze, Heather A. Hitchens

Chuck Cooper, Lilli Cooper, Sara Jayne Darneille 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.

Stewart F, Lane and Bonnie Comley

Bonnie Comley

Heather A. Hitchens and Bill Berlin

J, Harrion Ghee and Kenny Nunez

L. Morgan Lee

Julie White

Norm Lewis

Adriane Lenox and Zane Mark

Adriane Lenox

Jason Michael Webb

Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Norm Lewis and Zane Mark

Norm Lewis, Adriane Lenox and Zane Mark

CeCe Black

Julie Halston and Richard Hester

Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita

Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Kate Wilson, Jane Krakowski

Julie Halston and David Rockwell

Jane Krakowski

David Rockwell

Ruben Santiago-Hudson and James Latus

Kenny Leon

Jack Waddell and Brandon Victor Dixon

Justin Guarini

Justin David Sullivan

LaTanya Richardson Jackson

LaTanya Richardson Jackson

LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Beverly Jenkins

Frank DiLella

Robyn Coles, Beverly Jenkins, LaTanya Richardson Jackson and John Kristiansen

Binta Niambi and David Henry Hwang

Danielle Brooks

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Kate Wilson and Danielle Brooks

Kate Wilson and Danielle Brooks

Ariana DeBose

Melissa Etheridge and Rebecca McBee

Melissa Etheridge

Melissa Etheridge and Linda Wallem

Ariana DeBose, Kenny Nunez

Shoshana Bean and Jey Moore

Adrienne Warren

Patti LuPone

Leigh Silverman

Justin Guarini and Salisha Thomas

Kelli O’Hara and Erica Tuchman

Tituss Burgess

LaTanya Richardson Jackson and J. Harrison Ghee

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Luz Towns-Miranda and Luis A. Miranda, Jr.

Danielle Brooks,Thomas Kail, LaTanya Richardson

 

 

 

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The Glorious Corner

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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,

Michael Keaton

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

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

Debbie Gibson at Z100 on The Morning Zoo

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 …

Carrie Underwood

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.

RL Stine

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:


Seeing Here Lies Love Saturday night, can’t wait …

Mary Wilson and Bernie Taupin

Great Bernie Taupin interview on NY Live with Sara Gore. They’re friends, so the interview as sensational. Check it out:


Love Bernie and Sara! …Happy Bday Randy Jones and Amy Billings!

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!

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