EW Marisa Tomei joins the cast of Empire as a lesbian billionaire - whoa. Please let her throw down with Taraji
Nicks Flick Picks is also on the halfway mark, year in review beat with a lot of movies I haven't seen (sigh)
Jane Fonda on her summer screenings and returning to work on Grace and Frankie - she got an acting coach!
EW Pride & Prejudice & Zombies photos. Yikes. What's with the lingerie ad costumes?
Awards Daily thinks Scorsese's Silence might be ready just in time for Oscar. I personally hope he takes his time and we get it next year. I like having breaks from the Oscar regulars or Oscar just becomes too much like the Emmys!
Slate thinks Rolan Emmerich's Stonewall looks too much like a cheap musical
Playbill reminds us that Magic Mike (2012) is being made into a stage musical. What isn't... but still I'd totally forgotten
Business Insider here's an area you never see covered: the weapons department on a studio picture. Terminator Genisys in this case
Comics Alliance new pics from Batman vs. Superman. One of them seems to have Superman surrounded by a bunch of zombies so....
Twitter cracked me up when looking at that picture
Yes No Maybe So
Queen of the Desert trailer has arrived, asking the question "Who the hell is Gertrud Bell" - I can't give it its own post because there are too many trailers these past couple of days. But you should YNMS in the comments if you're in the mood. So jealous of Robert Pattinson when he's holding those lion cubs. Awww.
Show Tune To Go
Showtunes to Cherish For All Time
These couple of weeks have all been about City Center productions for me. Every summer they do these amazing staged readings. Last week I saw Jonathan Groff and Ana Gasteyer do William Finn's "A New Brain" which is a terrific underperformed musical. (Gasteyer as it turns out was born for the musical stage, SNL aside). Next up is Sutton Foster doing "The Wild Party" so naturally I'm quite excited.
In between those two shows, as you may have heard, Ellen Greene reprised her "Audrey" role in Little Shop of Horrors this week at a staged reading at City Center. Jason went. I went. Joe Reid was wayyyyy up front (I was green with envy and confused since I bought my tickets the second they went on sale!). The New York Times Ben Brantley raved. Everyone was there. Or everyone will pretend to have been there years from now when people are still talking about this.
Ellen, who is now in her sixties, was in fine form and wearing her original costumes no less. She was a shameless ham, milking her every line, pose, and big notes for maximum audience pleasure. Whenever a singer with a gargantuan voice has a signature tune that they've sung for decades the tunes always get a little more affected every time, possibly to keep them entertained. (Have you heard Jennifer Holliday do "And I'm Telling You" lately? It's just a series of abstract vowels and growls now, it's so weird.) Ellen nearly took "Suddenly Seymour" there but still brought the house down. "Somewhere That's Green" on the other hand was just so tender and yearning and funny... my god the goosebumps. That voice can still send shivers all over you of aural pleasure, innate empathy, belly laughs. She's a treasure.
FWIW Jake Gyllenhaal played Seymour and he was very funny when ad-libbing (it's a staged reading with limited rehearsal time so some flubbed lines allow actors to embellish or get the audience on their side) and his voice ain't half bad either.
Ellen Greene's standing ovation was so epic and rumbling I feared the balcony would collapse and kill us all. Which would, come to think of it, be a fitting end for this grim comedy. The movie (be very grateful that her performance was preserved for all time) granted Audrey and Seymour a happy ending but they die in the musical. And then they sing their warning tale.
Whatever they offer you, don't feed the plant!
Picking a favorite song from this musical is impossible, I've listend to it so often over the years, but "Skid Row" is the one that doesn't get any attention that I cherish so here that is.