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Entries in Anika Noni Rose (5)

Saturday
Aug032013

A Raisin in the (Hollywood) Sun

Dancin' Dan here with the news that made my week: Lorraine Hansberry's groundbreaking play A Raisin in the Sun is coming back to Broadway. This news alone might not necessarily be cheer-worthy since it was just revived in 2004 but other than one of the great American plays back on the boards it's the starry cast attached to it that brings the excitement. Denzel Washington will lead the ensemble in the role of Walter Lee Younger which was played by Sidney Poitier on both stage and screen. So Denzel's Training Day Oscar speech continues to be true.

I'll always be chasing you Sidney. I'll always be following in your footsteps. There's nothing I would rather do, sir."

Joining Denzel will be no less than three Oscar or Tony-nominated actresses: Sophie Okonedo (as Walter's wife Ruth, originally played by Ruby Dee), Anika Noni Rose, and Diahann Carroll (as Younger family matriarch Lena, most recently played on Broadway by Phylicia Rashad).

WOW.

Taking a page from Cicely Tyson's book and returning to the stage after 30 years, Carroll is certainly my main draw here, despite Denzel's wonderful Tony-winning turn in August Wilson's Fences which was his last Broadway performance. He said he wanted to do this because his wife was outpacing him on the theater front and he wanted to catch up. Love that healthy competition!

Despite the play's acclaim, the original production of A Raisin in the Sun won none of the four Tony Awards for which it was nominated (it was a crowded year, with The Miracle Worker, The Best Man, and Toys in the Attic all being major players), and while the 2004 revival missed the Best Revival of a Play Tony (which went to Henry IV), it did score nods for its three main actresses, including a win for Phylicia Rashad.

Fun fact: Diahann Carroll was the first African-American actress to win the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical (for No Strings in 1962). Can she pull the same trick as Rashad and add one for Drama to her mantle? Can Washington finally catch up to Poitier? Will the third time be the charm for this gem of American drama? We'll find out in April 2014.

Sunday
Sep042011

Linker, Donor, Oscar, Bye

By now you've heard the rumor, which some sources say is closer to actual fact, that Eddie Murphy will be hosting next February's Oscar ceremony. That's a major get if true since Murphy hasn't performed live in years and years and is the kind of Household Name that Oscar always prefers. I'm sure we'll talk more about this if it pans out. 

Lorell and Jimmy are through-oooooooooh 

No matter how great Eddie is -- should he host -- I know I won't be fully satisfied because what are the chances he'd invite Anika Noni Rose (who you know we love) onstage for something. TRUE STORY: Every single time I hear "Eddie Murphy" since 2008 I hear Anika Noni Rose's glorious voice in my ear. I included the sound clip that plays in my head every time in the post. You better listen!

MEANWHILE...
Have you seen Paul Smith's limited edition beautiful posters for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy? They're minimalism and its most gorgeous and they're charitable too. All proceeds go to cancer.

This is my favorite from the batch.

I keep staring at it. But then I love minimalistic art. I think I must need room for my own projections of what an image, movie, or thing might be.

Ashley Judd & Michael Shannon & the aphidslinks!
Sunset Gun revisits Bug, mincing no words: "a masterpiece". I like this movie too but if you ever have a chance to see it on stage, that's where it really wows. So claustrophic and crazy and weirdly expectant of your co-dependency.
In Contention on George Clooney's tribute at Telluride. What a star that man is.
Awards Daily Sasha thinks Glenn Close has a real shot at the Best Actress Oscar with Albert Nobbs as career capper. She also likes The Descendants.
Super Punch stop motion recreation of the Johnny Quest opening credits. "WOW" and also: "What on earth for?" 
Terry Richardson has been shooting Jared Leto again. Those two. 
Movie|Line Stephanie Zacharek with a beautiful ode to Michael Fassbender in Shame and a funny jab at Al Pacino in Wilde Salome.

Today's Must Read
The Sheila Variations on Mia Wasikowska in Jane Eyre. Can we just cut and paste this whole write-up into her Best Actress FYC ads? Hopefully Focus Features takes a look at it.


Even if you haven't seen Jane Eyre (2011) it's an expansive essay taking on various schools (and limitations) of acting and it even has two beautiful shout outs to two of Nathaniel's all time favorite characterizations: Meryl Streep in Silkwood and Kathleen Turner in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? So I'm sensing that Sheila is a kindred spirit.

Oh and... uh... Happy Labor Day Weekend! 
I tried to take a vacation from blogging this week -- as i hinted in the "best of august" post -- and have now realized that I am unable. Constitutionally unable. Which is why you should all sign on as "subscribers" (in sidebar -- i've added a cheaper option for the brokest among you) so that I can keep blogging from here to eternity. I'm not suited for other types of work because I spend too much time dreaming about the movies.

 

 

I'm not sure what I'll do next weekend when I will actually not have an internet connection and must stare at actual friends all day...and not through a computer screen? GROSS.

Diesel Sweeties designed the perfect t-shirt for people like me -- and maybe you -- who can't stop working.

HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY IF YOU'RE CELEBRATING!

ANIKA DREAMGIRL

Tuesday
May032011

Tony Nominees 2011

Matthew Broderick and Anika Noni Rose announce the nominees

Bright and early, that's how all awards nominations are announced. Tony winners Matthew Broderick and Anika Noni Rose, read the names at 8:30 AM. Broderick, who had a very famous run as a movie star in the 80s, actually won his Tony in 1996 for the musical revival of How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Sixteen years later, another revival of that same musical opens with another famous young movie actor, the boy wizard himself Daniel Radcliffe. But he wasn't nominated so no history repeating itself this time.

New musicals The Book of Mormon (from the South Park guys), The Scottsboro Boys and the raved revival of Anything Goes with Sutton Foster and Joel Grey (still doing 8 shows a week at 79 years of age) lead the nomination tally with 14, 12 and 9 nominations respectively.

Notable Celebrity Snubs: The Tony nominating committee has gotten a lot of flak over the years for valuing performers with off-stage celebrity over those with impressive Broadway credits. But this year maybe they're slightly working against the FAME trend. Celebrities Robin Williams (Benghal Tiger) and Kathleen Turner (High) were both left off their category's lineups and obviously Harry Potter fans won't be happy to see Radcliffe snubbed. James Earl Jones was also snubbed for his Driving Miss Daisy performance. 

Swenson, Butler and Radcliffe. All snubbed for roles you've seen at the movies!

Stage-Star Snubs: Will Swenson (Priscilla) and Aaron Tveit (Catch Me If You Can) were undone by competing against their co-leads (who were nominated). Future movie star Benjamin Walker, who ruled the nation onstage with huge charisma inBloody Bloody Andrew Jackson should have been recognized. Former Xanadu headliner Kerry Butler, who is always a joy to watch, did not win a nomination for Catch Me If You Can (she was in the Amy Adams role) continuing her rough relationship with Tony. Xanadu aside, she's been snubbed the other three times she's been eligible despite well received work or hit shows. What's that about?

Triple Crown Alerts? None that I see on first run through. Vanessa Redgrave, nominated for Jessica Tandy's Oscar winning Driving Miss Daisy role, already has the Oscar-Emmy-Tony triple. So does Al Pacino who is nominated again for The Merchant of Venice. Frances McDormand, nominated for Good People, only has the Oscar so she'd still need an Emmy if she wins this year's Lead Drama Actress prize.

Sutton Foster Break! I'm sorry but I just l-o-v-e her. Seeing her onstage is always a thrill. Here she is rehearsing with Oscar and Tony winner Joel Grey.

 

A complete list of nominations is after the jump divvied up into Plays and Musicals.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Mar262011

"Maggie the Cat is Alive!"

Tennessee Williams Centennial Week Wraps

Maggie the Cat, the sex-starved slip-covered wife at the heart of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (discussed earlier this week) is not just alive, she keeps coming back to life. True to her feline symbolism she's had several of them, eight bigs ones actually. Who will risk playing Maggie the Cat's ninth major life and how soon will that be?

Here is a history of the key Maggies for those who love the play... or just if you like to see major actresses in their lingerie. Have you ever seen a production of this play anywhere or just the 1958 film? Do tell in the comments. Would love to hear Tin Roof stories.

1955 ~ Original Maggie

Barbara Bel Geddes, originated the role on Broadway in the 1956 and won a Tony nomination. (She lost to Julie Harris in "The Lark"). Other Key Roles: I Remember Mama (1947, Oscar nomination. Lost to Claire Trevor in Key Largo), "Midge" in Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958), "Mary, Mary" on Broadway (1961, Tony nomination), and "Miss Ellie Ewing" on Dallas (1978-1990, 3 nominations/1 win at the Emmys)

1958 ~ Legendary Maggie

 


Elizabeth Taylor slinked, steamed, pawed and nagged her way to consecutive Oscar nomination #2 in the 1958 film version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Suddenly Last Summer was Oscar nom #3 in 1959. Then a win for her fourth consecutive nomination for BUtterfield 8 (1960). Many more Liz photos in the gallery section of the site. If you've been away, catch up on the Liz commemorative posts.

Elizabeth is not the only two time Oscar winner who played Maggie. Lots of stars have slinked around in that white slip: Jessica Rabbit, a Dreamgirl, and even one of Elizabeth's few rivals in 60s Movie Superstardom. 

1974 ~Cognoscenti's Maggie


Elizabeth Ashley's early 60s film breakout gave way to a highly acclaimed theatrical career with lots of guest starring TV roles on the side. She won raves and a Tony nomination for the sexually charged 70s revival of Broadway. People Magazine featured her in their Stage section at the time.

'I was one of those people who became a 'star' very young, and I turned into a monstrous human beging - Bessie von Bitch, they called me. I was in analysis forever.'

She now sees herself as made for the stage - 'a leading woman who can handle anything they've got, but God knows I'm not a movie star.'

Other Key Roles: The original Corie from Broadway's Barefoot in the Park (Jane Fonda got the movie role); "Mollie" in Take Her She's Mine" (1962 Tony Award); Monica in The Carpetbaggers (1964, Golden Globe nomination); Jenny in the Best Picture nominee Ship of Fools (1965); Recently played Mattie Fae in August: Osage County (replacement).

Jessica Rabbit, a Dreamgirl and some crazy oroborus-style Jessica Lange trivia after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb212011

Lypsinka Linka

Fandor a preview of a conversation between Nick and I. This is Nick's brilliant observation that 2009 and 2010's best picture lineups have more than a little in common.
Cinematical
Did you hear about this shooting at a Black Swan screening. I'm still confused about what actually happened given the way these posts are written and updated.
Scott Feinberg "Deep Vote" reveals his final Oscar ballot
Black Voices 20 Questions for Anika Noni Rose. Turns out she's really fond of the movie Mother & Child. And really glad to have been Disney's first black princess and loves the fan response.

I actually got a video from a little boy. He was three and he was bouncing on his bed singing 'All The Stars Up There' and telling his mommy, "She is my favorite princess. I'm going to marry her."

Let's wrap up.

I am a huge fan of Lypsinka and I kept meaning to mention her in connection with Black Swan. So it was really fun to read The Daily Beast's interview with John Epperson (aka Lypsinka's "hideous maid") who plays "Jaded Piano Player" in Darren Aronofsky's Best Picture nominee. Seeing Lypsinka live is SO incredible. If you ever see an advertisement for a Lypsinka show in your city you'd be wise to buy tickets. The amount of sheer mnemonic and physical skill required for her act is unreal. Imagine memorizing hours worth of dialogue that's totally unconnected to context and schizophrenically shoved together. Here's a sampling of her inimitable way with Old Hollywood sound clips.

One of my many dreams in life is to host fabulous A list Oscar parties in which I could enlist true Divas to perform. Imagine Lypsinka doing a delicious glamour-fit mix of all the diva lines (and there are lots of them this year) from Black Swan, Animal Kingdom and The Fighter! "You've done some bad things Sweetie!"