Showing posts with label JOYCE DEWITT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label JOYCE DEWITT. Show all posts

Sunday, September 28, 2014

MICKY DOLENZ & JOYCE DEWITT IN 'COMEDY IS HARD'

****
THE GLORIOUS CORNER

Story By: G. H. HARDING
****
Joyce DeWitt And Micky Dolenz Opening



HARD COMEDY WITH DOLENZ --- There’s a time honored tradition in theater-speak of trying the show out on the road; mostly trying it outside of New York, where one dreadful review, from one dreadful critic, could close it on opening night. Theaters like the Goodspeed in Connecticut and the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey, are two such examples, where new plays get a proper jump start and some even make the leap to Broadway.



Friday, I journeyed to Ivoryton, Connecticut, to see the premiere of a new play, Comedy Is Hard, starring Monkee-Micky Dolenz with Joyce DeWitt (Three’s Company) and we just adored it. Penned by Simpsons-writer Mike Reiss, the two-act play is chock full of current facts and references and, spot-on funny, poignant and bittersweet.



Dolenz (Lou) and Dewitt (Kay) play two inhabitants of an assisted living facility for show business people. The director of play, Jacqueline Hubbard (who does a standout job) says it’s about "about life, love, show business, and the importance of growing old disgracefully."



Dolenz, who’s been in show business for almost his entire life (his bio in the playbill references some pre-natal work coming out soon!) is scintillating good; and, to me, instantly drawing a parallel to Billy Crystal’s character in 1992’s Mr. Saturday Night.



His comic timing is infectious and perfect, and to me, he totally pulled it off. It’s funny, as I watched him intently; some of his affectations reminding me his antics of when he was on the Monkees-TV show.



Dolenz’s forays into theater have been uniformly excellent and chosen with great care (I’m thinking about his run in Disney’s Aida on Broadway back in 2004) and his fans, who were out there in force Friday, loved it. It’s a totally different role for him, but he acquits himself handsomely.



Dolenz said to Connecticut's The Day daily: "I receive a lot of scripts ... You can usually tell by about 10 pages in whether you want to do it at all," he says, "10 pages in, I was crying with laughter. The humor just struck a chord. I've always loved that kind of Catskills (humor). I wasn't around for the 30's and 40's, obviously" - he laughs - "But, even by the 50's and my early exposure to comedy, I was a big Red Skelton fan and then Art Carney ... that kind of old-school comedy."



In fact, he and Dewitt, who more than adequately pulls off her role of Kay, make for a formidable pair.



One dream sequence (or, at least that’s how I took it), with Dolenz looking sharp in a tux and DeWitt in a fabulous gown is rendered with an emotional punch that for me, was the real highlight of the show. It's how they remember it to be. Very moving.



Reiss, who I was honored to meet that night, is a four-time Emmy winner and Peabody Award winner for his 25-years writing for The Simpsons is the real deal. His other credits include It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, Alf, and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. His perceptive and hilarious script is a total home run.



In a curtain call speech, Reiss said he was “sitting in the audience wishing I had written that.” Reiss is one of these guys that everything he says is funny. I've become a total fan.



There’s no question that this play deserves to be imported to Broadway; Broadway would well benefit from its appearance there. Spot on brilliant. Bravo!



HENLEY NICKS SPAWN --- Stevie Nicks has confirmed that she was once pregnant with Don Henley’s love-child.



In an interview with Billboard, Rob Tannenbaum asked Nicks if it were true that Henley once got her pregnant and that they played on naming the baby Sara, later the subject of one of Nicks’ biggest hits.



“Had I married Don and had that baby, and had she been a girl, I would have named her Sara,” Nicks said. “But there was another woman in my life named Sara, who shortly after that became Mick’s wife, Sara Fleetwood”.



When questioned further to confirm the accuracy of the statement, Nicks replied “Right. It’s accurate, but not the entirety of it”.



Tannenbaum also asked Nicks why she has not written her memoir. “Because I wouldn't be able to tell the whole truth. The world is not ready for my memoir, I guarantee you. All of the men I hung out with are on their third wives by now, and the wives are all under 30. If I were to write what really happened between 1972 and now, a lot of people would be very angry with me,” she answered.



She did say however that she will write it when everyone is too old to care. “I won't write a book until everybody is so old that they no longer care. Like, “I’m 90, I don’t care what you write about me.”



Stevie Nicks releases her new album 24 Karat Gold on October 7.



CLOSING NOTES --- At Ivoryton Friday, we ran into none other than Jerry Adler (Hesh from HBO’s beloved The Sopranos) at the performance and caught up with him. He loved the show and he and Mr. Dolenz spent some quality moments together. Nice show biz moment …



Tomorrow night is the final curtain call for The Palm in Hollywood on Santa Monica Blvd. It’s been there since 1974 and served almost every notable in the town. I've had more than my share of awesome night there, but it can't be topped by the one in 1988 when I walked in and seated at the front table (always a power one for sure) was Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon and their wives. Chilling. According to my sources, they are not relocating with their famed walls of caricatures. In the coming weeks, however, the caricatures will be available for retrieval by their real-life counterparts. I can't for the life of me figure out why they wouldn't take them, as that’s the real history of the spot (in addition to the wondrous food). Believe me, they served everyone!



Some notables from the wall include: Bob Newhart (“I always thought it was Tim Conway … so this is news to me”); James Caan (“I have been eating this prime meat since I was a baby. My dad was a butcher in New York, and one of his first customers was the original Palm, so this is great news”); Barbara Eden (“I still have the pink long-sleeved nightshirt they sold with the Palm logo. I'm not sure where I'll out my picture”) ...



Great times, so sad to see it go, but plans are to relocate soon to Beverly Hills ...



Fleetwood Mac, re-united with Christine McVie, begins a world tour this week. Now, this is a show to see.



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

WILLIAM SHATNER & LEONARD NIMOY IN STAR TREK

****
THE GLORIOUS CORNER

Story By: G. H. HARDING
****
William Shatner



STAR TREK BOYS RE-UNITED --- Leonard Nimoy has made cameos in 2009's Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, and now there is a better-than-average chance that he and William Shatner will be reunited in Roberto Orci's Star Trek 3.



When Star Trek was rebooted by J.J. Abrams in 2009 they brought back Nimoy to have a pivotal cameo. Nimoy wasn't the only original cast member to be offered a cameo, as William Shatner was originally included but they nixed that idea before filming. According to Badass Digest, it sounds like the original James T. Kirk will finally be included in the rebooted universe.



We’ve learned that the script for Star Trek 3 includes a scene that re teams Shatner and Nimoy onscreen as Kirk and Spock for the first time in canon since 1991's Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. It would be a pretty huge moment for fans of the franchise, and likely the last time we'll ever see Shatner as James T. Kirk in official continuity.



But, we wondered whether this just to appease the fans who haven't quite embraced the new Trek-universe? Probably, but Digest says the role is plot-driven. Thus, it has a good shot of retaining the script after it has gone through a polish or two. Here’s the rumored preliminary script outline:



When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.



Sounds intriguing … stay tuned!


Robert Funaro




ALL ABOUT ALFO --- Sopranos-actor Robert Funaro has joined forces with playwright Vincent Amelio for a new project called, How Alfo Learned to Love Women, which has played several performances at The National Opera-America Center and will resume on Thursday, October 9.



Here’s a synopsis of the plot: Alfo Idello has an addiction to women. But he must get married to inherit the family's Italian bakery and continue the tradition of his grandfather, the founder of the Idello Bakery.



In the afterlife, Grandpa is stuck in traffic on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. What happens when a Traffic-Cop-Angel tells Grandpa he can get into heaven if he goes back to earth and teaches his grandson how to love a woman? Can Grandpa's ideas about romance and commitment help Alfo give up the sugar?



Funaro, who was simply astonishing in his role as Eugene Pontecvorvo in HBO’s Sopranos showed immediately what a stylish and tasteful actor he was in that role and here has found a real gem of a play.



In his subsequent roles in Ridley Scott’s American Gangster (with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe) and David Chase’s Not Fade Away, he just added to his impressive resume with more standout work.



Here, he has fashioned a terrific cast for this cleverly-written play (Armen Garo, Christian Thom, Danielle Guldin, Kelli K. Barnett, Gordon Silva) and has lovingly and beautifully-directed this presentation, where some of the actors even speak from the floor before arriving on stage.



He’s even chosen the music which fits perfectly for each scene (we loved hearing B. B. King's "The Thrill Is Gone.")



We caught their last performance before their-hiatus and absolutely loved it; definitely coming from Woody Allen-land with scintillating dialogue and a universal theme almost everyone can relate to, we felt it clicked immediately.Gordon Silva as the father was terrific; channeling the best of Jackie Gleason; and, Armen Garo just off the charts.



Amelio has constructed a tight, funny, slice of life essay that is terrifically appealing … and, fun. His first play, Rookie Lifeguard, garnered terrific praise and this one's even more.



Funaro, who is appearing in the forthcoming Martin Scorsese/Mick Jagger HBO series for next year (along with Garo) has done a superb here; totally accessible, creative and fun.



One of the best plays I've seen this year. Well done! Visit HERE for more info.





SIRIUS FACES THE MUSIC --- A California federal judge has delivered a legal earthquake in the music industry by declaring Flo & Eddie of The Turtles the victors in a lawsuit against Sirius/XM over the public performance of pre-1972 sound recordings. The plaintiffs are seeking $100 million in damages, but the money is hardly the only consequence of a ruling on Monday that could eventually disrupt the operations of the satellite radio giant as well as other services like Pandora.



The lawsuit was filed in August 2013 and dealt with music created before sound recordings began falling under federal copyright protection. Flo & Eddie aimed to punish Sirius/XM for not seeking authorization nor paying royalties on hit songs like "Happy Together," "It Ain't Me Babe" and "She'd Rather Be With Me," while the sat caster warned that interpreting state laws to cover public performance "would radically overturn decades of settled practice."



U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez, who previously acknowledged that the case could have far-reaching effects, has elected to grant summary judgment to the plaintiffs on the issue of whether Sirius/XM violates public performance rights.



In reaching the conclusion, the judge examines a California law that was enacted in 1982 and meant to address pre-1972 recordings. The statute was silent on whether exclusive ownership of pre-1972 sound recordings carries within it the exclusive right to publicly perform the recording. As such, the judge had to determine whether California's law was inclusive or exclusive — and the judge's reading of the law is that other than the exception for cover songs, there's nothing exclusive about it.



Gutierrez writes that he infers that the legislature did not intend to further limit ownership rights, otherwise it would have indicated that intent explicitly.



Sirius/XM failed to persuade the judge that California's law was ambiguous in the wake of the passage of new federal copyright law and also struck out in its contention that decades of television and radio broadcasters, restaurant and bar owners, web site operators and others exploiting pre-72 music supported its interpretation of the law.



The plaintiffs, represented by Harvey Geller and Henry Gradstein at Gradstein & Marzano, pointed to two prior cases including one ruling that dealt with a website that sold 25 cent songs from The Beatles, for the proposition that precedent supported their cause.



"Although the breadth and specificity of cases acknowledging that exclusive ownership of a sound recording includes the right to publicly perform the recording are slight, Defendant has not directed the Court to a single case cutting against the right to public performance, even implicitly or in dicta," writes the judge.



Gutierrez won't go so far to grant the plaintiffs a summary judgment win on the issue of whether Sirius/XM violated reproduction rights by copying recordings on servers and through on-demand offerings. He writes that the plaintiffs still need to show more evidence on this.



But overall, this is a whopping ruling with consequences almost impossible to overstate. In the short term, the ruling will likely be appealed as the plaintiffs eye a trial that will determine the awarding of damages. In the long term, it could compel Sirius/XM, Pandora and many in the tech industry to strongly lobby Congress for new copyright laws that cover pre-1972 recordings. The ruling also will — or should — be read closely by other businesses including terrestrial radio operators and bars that publicly perform older music.



Sirius/XM is facing another lawsuit from the RIAA in California as well as more lawsuits from Flo & Eddie in other states. Pandora is also facing a lawsuit by record labels in New York. And the ruling potentially opens the floodgates to more litigation on the issue of pre-1972 music.



Many of these so-called sat casters and new music platforms have for years, played pretty fast and loose. Older groups don't usually record new music and even if they do, it rarely gets aired … as the few remaining stations that do play classic rock, just play the hits, so can you really blame them for their legal maneuvers?



Appeals, lawyer and court costs will factor into whatever happens and the process will be years in the making. Believe me .. it'll get even messier.


Micky Dolenz And Joyce DeWitt



HOT TICKETS: Monkee-Micky Dolenz opens tonight in Mike Reiss’ play Comedy Is Hard with Joyce DeWitt. We're going to see it Friday and can't wait. Visit Here for tickets: The Ivoryton Playhouse.




CLOSING NOTES --- We watched Monday’s night premiere of Fox’s Gotham and really loved it; although the transition of comic books characters to the small-screen is somehow becoming somewhat too formulaic (Supergirl will be here soon; and,The Flash starts in October). Benjamin McKenzie is standout as a young Commissioner Jim Gordon. Donal Logue, as mobbed-up cop Harvey Bullock is terrific as well …



CBS’ NCIS, with stalwart Mark Harmon returned last night (for their 12th season) and started with a bang that didn't stop throughout the episode. You've got to give Harmon credit, for a show that’s been on this long, it’s stronger than ever (with upwards of 20 million viewers each week) and last night’s show ranks among their best-ever episodes ...




Dolenz-DeWitt Photo Courtesy Of: Ivoryton Playhouse



Saturday, June 28, 2014

INDEPENDENT FILM SNAPSHOT GIVES SOCIAL MESSAGE

****
INDIES
****

Joyce DeWitt



Zach McGowan
Snapshot is an independent film with a timely social message and an unexpected ending worth the wait. An edgy opening introduces us to Thomas Grady (Zach McGowan - "Shameless" “Black Sails”) the story’s central character; a paparazzo. Grady was pushed out of the business with a death threat after he crossed the line, yet finds himself in a position to catch a revealing photo of the First Lady (Joyce DeWitt - "Three's Company"). Of course The President (Michael Pare -"Eddie and the Cruisers", “Lincoln Lawyer”) wants to get the photo back before it enters the public domain. The drama unfolds as Thomas Grady struggles to make a decision which will end his already strained relationship with his father (Robert Loggia - Academy Award nominee; "Scarface", “Big”, “Independence Day”) and destroy a great relationship with his brother (David Chokachi – “Baywatch” “Witchblade”) while his girlfriend Angela Gots (“Sex and a Girl”, “Dark House”) thinks “maybe” he should take the highest offer. Jack Adams (Martin Kove – “The Karate Kid” “Rambo” “Cagney & Lacey”) is The Presidents henchman and it’s his job to ensure the photo never sees the light of day.



According to Director Eric Etebari (“2 Fast 2 Furious”, “Lincoln Lawyer”, Cellular”) Snapshot “focuses on and explores the current issues of our privacy rights when dealing with social media, paparazzi, tabloids and the news”. The writer, Robert Borneman says Snapshot was inspired by the tragic deaths of Lady Diana and more recently Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers student who took his own life after his sexuality was exposed by a fellow student online. Borneman adds “I tried to draw a parallel between the damage that can be done by shooting someone with a camera and shooting them with a gun”. Snapshot is produced by Kenneth Del Vecchio, a well-respected veteran in the independent film world who has worked with Executive Producers Robert and Joyce Borneman on multiple projects including “Rock Story”, “The Great Fight’ “The Life Zone” and others.



Tuesday, June 19, 2007

LES PAUL CELEBRATES 92ND BIRTHDAY

Les Paul with rocker Adam Bomb

The legend himself Les Paul celebrated his 92nd birthday with a huge bash at New York City's 'Cutting Room' hosted by Steve Walter and Gibson Guitar. The electric guitar inventor wasted no time heading to the stage and throwing jokes at the audience and grabbing a guitar and playing a tune to a standing ovation crowd. Gibson guitar CEO Henry Juszkiewicz took the mike to sing the praises of Les Paul, while Les wasted no time on commenting that he always turns his hearing aids off when Henry speaks. 'Beatles' John Lennon's girlfriend, the beautiful May Pang stopped by to party as did 'Threes Company' star Joyce Dewitt who was the hit of the evening. Rocker Adam Bomb played a set on stage while Public Relations powerhouse Claire O'Connor made sure I had a huge hangover the next day. Mission accomplished ! Gibson Guitar CEO Henry Juszkiewiez and Steve Walter