Sarah Gore With Jane Hanson, Micky Dolenz And Jacque Reid

MICKY MADNESS – When Micky Dolenz's able-minded mouthpiece David Salidor (the Pasha)invited us to tag along on several of his press ops this week; little did we realize the imminent whirlwind of non-stop activity that awaited us. We first met up with Dolenz, his wife Donna, radio mega-man Tom Cuddy and his wife Lisa, at the always affable midtown salon Langan's. Now, we well remember this spot as the unofficial hangout of the New York Post back in the paper's legendary hey-days when the likes of Steve Dunleavy and Richard Johnson held court almost daily. Manager Dez O'Brien stills reigns as one of the best ever and was superb ... as always. (Amazingly, the now-retired Dunleavy's photo still adorns all their computers screens!) We had a small bite and then descended down to the street to the Palace Theatre to see Priscilla: Queen of the Desert (Ironic too, as that's exactly where Dolenz essayed his terrific role in Aida). Second-row orchestra seats are always a nice touch and we absolutely adored the play. As a tried-and-true fan of the original movie in 1994 (with Terence Stamp, Guy Pearce and Hugo Weaving) I was always surprised and somewhat miffed that several of the team producers had seemed to give the source-movie somewhat short shrift in the many media interviews leading up to the play's opening. Well, I'm happy to report that the play does successfully save the message from the movie about tolerance and how that one thing is always somewhat easier to talk about rather than doing. The cast is just sensational, with Tony Sheldon (as Bernadette) giving one of the best performances I've ever seen on the Great White Way. I'd put it right up there with Frank Langella's performance in Frost/Nixon of several years back. A quick visit backstage with Dolenz and company was also comic gold. Priceless! Tuesday morning began early with an interview with legendary radio-man Jim Kerr at Q104.3 (with Shelli Sonstein and producer Joe Cristiano). I've known Kerr for years and he's the first, or second, most knowledgeable guy for rock 'n roll in the business. Turns out he and Dolenz are old mates and had just a wonderful interview. Kerr was to introduce Dolenz later that day at a memorabilia presentation at Planet Hollywood. Dolenz was donating to the emporium an original Monkees script from 1967 called The Monkees Blow Their Minds; it was originally broadcast on March 11, 1968. For two seasons, The Monkees series appeared on NBC – preceding The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, and Gunsmoke on CBS. The show also featured Frank Zappa and Burgess Meredith in cameos and was directed by David Winters of West Side Story-fame. The show also featured the group's song “Valleri.” From Kerr, we were whisked up to the studios of WPLJ where Scott Shannon did a terrific interview with him as well. Scott also heads up the syndicated True Oldies (http://trueoldieschannel.com/Article.asp?id=1474423) network. Shannon, who has been a force of nature in radio for decades, is just a stone-cold pro and one of the nicest people out there. I've known him for years and he continually delights me with his encyclopedic knowledge of the business and his brilliant observations. If I had to be stranded on a desert island for a week with one other person; he would be my first choice - with Dolenz a close-second. His morning show, with partner Todd Pettengill is priceless; their live in-studio performance by Gavin DeGraw last week ranks among their best. One more radio interview followed (Mike McCann at Premiere Radio), then we found ourselves at Robert Earl's Planet Hollywood, under the watchful direction of the PR-gal Ayana Brown, who was terrifically helpful. Kerr showed up, introduced Dolenz who signed the script on stage. Kerr delivered a spot-on perfect intro and clearly showed his love and respect for the Monkee-man. Three-more print interviews followed with Salidor and aide-Angelina Beilech hovering nearby; every important personality in this business needs capable PR-infrastructure around him; Dolenz has one of the best I've ever seen. Wednesday afternoon found Dolenz up at NBC's NY Live, with the terrific Jane Hanson; Sarah Gore and Jacque Reid, and delivered what may have been the week's best interview. Opening with an amazingly good video-package (thanks to Tara Sherman) he launched into a interview that was so funny and animated, it could have been from one of the original Monkee-shows. We are tremendous fans of Jane Hanson and when she and everyone, broke into "I'm A Believer" ... it was tremendous fun. Jane is, without a doubt, one of the best broadcasters out there. She's been with NBC for 25+ years ... and, they should be glad to have her! Her professionalism and know-how is not to be minimized. Pure-gold. Pop Eater's Rob Shuter, who is so good and so funny, he should be getting his own platform very soon, was also a guest and joined in the fun. From there, we went to Jack Silver, a tuxedo-emporium that can literally fit you for a tux in under 40-minutes. Salidor's used them for years and sure enough, Dolenz exited 40 minutes later with his tux in hand. Their Darrin L. Gordon is amazing! At 7PM, he, Donna and Salidor, showed at Lincoln Center for the world debut of Paul McCartney's new ballet Ocean's Kingdom (in collaboration with Peter Martens). I walked right behind our party as the seas literally parted for the Monkee-man. Inside, we founds ourselves immediately in conversation with Neil Sedaka, Mark Hudson, Chris Meloni, Sarah Jessica Parker; daughter Stella (who did the costumes); Lorne Michaels, Alec Baldwin; Steve Buscemi, Ralph Lauren; Liv Tyler; Abe Laboriel, Jr. (Paul's drummer), and Anjelica Houston. Dolenz was in town not only for the press ops, but for meetings regarding a new Broadway show. It was a view from the inside and loads of fun. Thanks all!


Jimmy Fallon

EMMY FEVER . OR, NOT? - I watched last week's Emmy presentation that featured Glee's Jane Lynch as host; and, it think she did an OK job. It certainly wasn't a home run out of the park, but, her intelligence showed through over and over. I didn't particularly love the opening number which had her invading the sets of various shows, like Mad Men and The Big Bang Theory. These opening numbers are always dicey as you can't seem to please everyone ... but, for the most part it worked; it certainly wasn't as frenetic as Jimmy Fallon's of last year, but it worked. Oddly enough, her best moments seemed to be when she was making, what appeared to be an off-the-cuff comment about a win or performance. She's a brilliant actress, and as she showed with her work in Best in Show ... intelligent too!


Ted Danson

NEW BITES -- I've only caught a few on the new shows this season; planning to catch up this weekend as it looks like there just may be a few, good, new nuggets there (although things like Pam Am and The Playboy Club seem a tad silly)I did catch the new re-booted Two And A Half Men ... with Ashton Kutcher in for the departed Charlie Sheen . This has never been what one might call a high brow show, but I think AK nailed it. Everyone said that Sheen is over-and-out, but you know if the rating don't hold ... he'll be back. This opener drew 28 million viewers ... so, a good start indeed. I also caught the re-booted (again!) CSI, now with Ted Danson . I've always liked the actor, thought he was very strong in Saving Private Ryan ... but, I thought his character, DB Russell, was somewhat flat and the interaction, at least for this debut show, didn't fully work with the rest of the cast. It'll get better ... for sure. Interesting how every said Lawrence Fishburne was too dark ... but, this ain't a comedy show ... is it? I kind of missed him. Tonight is my favorite Fringe! Can't wait.

Photos By: RD/Kabik/Kim/Kirkland/Retna