Tag Archives: Actor

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Another week, another shattered record left in Bette Midler’s wake. Yawn.

Forbes ‘The Band’s Visit‘ Starts Strong On Broadway As Bette Midler Breaks Yet Another Record By Lee Seymour , CONTRIBUTOR OCT 17, 2017 2017-10-18_0-46-02 Another week, another shattered record left in Bette Midler’s wake. Yawn. The Tony winner propelled Hello, Dolly! to a new high for the Shubert Theater, grossing $2.37 million. Don’t get me wrong: I’m grateful for the traffic, but coming up with new ways to say how great Ms. Midler is each week becoming an exercise in seriously creative syntax malleability. She’s back where she belongs – who else is arriving? Well, there’s Bruce Springsteen, for one. Though numbers dipped this week due to a heavily comped opening night, The Boss still grossed almost $2 million off just five performances. Expect him to give Bette a literal run for her money in the coming months. The Band’s Visit is also making a great impression. It’s a new musical which transferred to Broadway after a rapturously-reviewed run last year at the Atlantic Theatre. Based on the eponymous 2014 Israeli film, it pulled a solid 84% of its potential gross this week off seven performances. It’s also noteworthy as the rare Broadway show with an Arab-centric story, about an Egyptian band stranded in a remote Israeli town (the show’s male lead, Tony Shalhoub, is Lebanese himself). Also new is Julie Taymor‘s updated revival of David Henry Hwang‘s M. Butterfly, starring Clive Owen. The original took the theater world by storm in ’88, winning the Tony for Best Play and breaking ground for onstage racial parity. Sales aren’t as strong for this version yet – just 63% of its potential – but it’s got room to grow. It enters the market as the second prominent revival of an Asian-centric story – but it’s the only one actually written by someone of Asian heritage (the dated Miss Saigon is sinking by the week and its planned closure in early 2018 is coming none too soon). Junk, the new play from Pulitzer winner Ayad Akhtar, took just over 50% of its potential in its first week of previews. Not great, but plays have a lower breakeven than musicals, and Lincoln Center is footing the bill regardless, so it’s all good in the nonprofit hood. MTC and Roundabout’s offerings were even more lackluster, with Time And The Conways being one of the least-desired tickets as measured by average price and overall gross. Otherwise, business after the Columbus Day high was as expected. Most big musicals took a hit as family audiences went back to school, while the few non-musicals stayed relatively stable. Sales overall dipped 1% to $29.9m, up 18% from the same frame last year. Bruce Springsteen Dedicates Broadway Debut to Tom Petty (wxrt.cbslocal.com) The 20 best-selling music artists of all time (businessinsider.com) ‘GRAMMYS Greatest Stories’ Set for Black Friday (997now.cbslocal.com) Bruce Springsteen on Broadway tickets are already going for thousands, despite Ticketmaster’s anti-scalping tech (fastcompany.com)

Mary J. Blige Is Not Happy With Donald Trump, Wants Hillary Clinton To Run Again In 2020 ...  Read More

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

All-Star Cast Spearheaded by Midler Brings Out the ‘Freak’ in All of Us

HuffPost All-Star Cast Spearheaded by Midler Brings Out the ‘Freak’ in All of Us By Sarah Toce, Contributor 10/12/2017 Feak Show is based on the award-winning cult novel of the same name by James St James. The coming of age heart warmer relays the timely tale of Billy Bloom, “a boldly confident and eccentric teenager who faces intolerance and persecution at his ultra-conservative high school, and decides to fight back on behalf of all the misunderstood freaks of the world.” The kicker in the equation? His overbearing mother Muv is played by real-life gay rights icon, the incomparable Divine Miss M herself (Bette Midler). In addition to Midler, actors Alex J. Lawther, Abigail Breslin, Laverne Cox, AnnaSophia Robb, Ian Nelson, Celia Watson, Willa Fitzgerald, and Larry Pine star. The film was produced by actress/director Trudi Styler’s production company, Maven Pictures, and Drew Barrymore’s company A Flower Films Production, in association with Bruno Wang Productions. Styler, 63, studied Drama at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in the UK and was a leading player with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her credits include spots on Empire, Love Soup, The Night Of…, Falling Water, and a new Netflix original she can’t yet divulge. Styler has been married to British music legend Sting, 66, since 1992. The power couple share four adult children. “In keeping with the message of the movie, most of the music I chose to support the narrative was composed by LGBTQ artists, for example our own Eliot Sumner, Boy George and Perfume Genius,” Styler said. “The cast features the great gender rights activist Bette Midler and Laverne Cox, herself a notable transgender activist.” When Connecticut-raised Billy (Lawther) is shipped off unexpectedly to live with his father (Pine) in his southern mansion, a whole bunch of crazy transpires. Not one to trade in his face glitter for a letter jacket at his new high school, Billy takes an alternate road to finding new friends and, more importantly, himself. Part Mean Girls, part Napoleon Dynamite, part Clueless, Styler’s take on Freak Show is an intersectional/multi-generational story that aches to be told.
ANDREW COOPER
Freak Show
“Before we started casting the film, I met James for dinner and just found him delightful – so full of spirit, and enthusiasm,” she said. “It was a real treat to meet him and see how committed he was to remaining true to himself – like Billy. We talked about how we had both felt like outcasts when we were growing up. We talked about our childhoods and why it was so important to make a movie that touched upon sex and gender tolerance.” Lawther garnered fame starring as the young Alan Turing in the Academy Award-winning 2014 film The Imitation Game. “I found Alex just through the normal casting process you go through…we considered over a hundred boys for the part, and I actually saw some great young actors who could have done a good job of Billy, but when Alex came in and auditioned he brought a vulnerability to the character that made Billy sensitive and appealing underneath all the apparent confidence and self-possession,” Styler said. “I’d been looking for those extra layers to come through, and Alex brought depth to Billy from day one.” Breslin was cast as Alex’s very unlikely rival Lynette. “I love Abigail’s performance as Lynette! She managed to bring such a brashness and superficiality to the screen, she’s fearless,” Styler shared. “We’ve all known those kinds of kids at school who seem to have zero empathy with anyone and are determined to be top dog at whatever cost. Lynette is the epitome of extreme conservatism, and I think what’s shocking to the audience about her attitude is that there is a general expectation in society today that young people will tend to be liberal-minded and tolerant – but we can’t assume that.” Styler and the crew had four weeks to prepare for production and an ambitious total of 22 days to shoot the feature. Ultimately, funding was secured because of Midler’s involvement. “Muv became the linchpin to our finances and the very great Bette Midler accepted the role of Muv,” Styler shared. “From that we were able to really start the Freak Showmachine turning and to get the movie in the can by the night before Thanksgiving.”
BETTE MIDLER/FREAK SHOW
Bette Midler/Freak Show
Midler wasn’t sure she wanted the part; she hadn’t worked on film in over four years. Ultimately, Styler called her and asked her to read the script. She did – and immediately signed on. For Styler, this project had a profoundly personal connection to her own childhood. “When I first began to work on the movie, as a story about bullying it resonated with me on a deeply personal level,” Styler shared. “I was bullied myself as a child and teenager, as my face bore the scars of being run down by a truck when I was only two years old. My own children also suffered from being bullied, especially my daughter Eliot who has only recently talked about what a hard time she had at school.” There’s a direct message throughout Freak Show that is perhaps relevant now more than in recent years. “The message of Freak Show is that we are all one in our shared humanity, a humanity which encompasses and connects all colors, sexes, races, and religions,” Styler said. “That is one of the most important lessons we must communicate to young audiences today.” Celebrated costume designer Colleen Atwood is a nine-time Oscar nominee as well as three-time Oscar winner for Into the Woods, Memoirs of a Geisha, and Chicago. She boasts an additional 60 nominations and 30 awards in recognition of her talent, including Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. She brings her unique blend of talent and vigor to Freak Show. Styler’s theatrical inspirations include Perks of Being a Wallflower, Mean Girls, Clueless, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Party Monster, and Hedwig. “From the classic teen comedies to the more avant-garde, experimental films. We wanted our film to combine the best of both,” Styler shared.
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Monday, October 9, 2017

$998 to Say Hello to Dolly? That’s the Price for Some Front Row Seats

The New York Times $998 to Say Hello to Dolly? That’s the Price for Some Front Row Seats By MICHAEL PAULSON OCT. 8, 2017
Getting close to Bette Midler may get even more costly thanks to new pricing for front row seats at the musical “Hello, Dolly!” at the Shubert Theater. CreditSara Krulwich/The New York Times

Broadway is breaking another price barrier.

Producers of “Hello, Dolly!” are now charging $998 for front row seats at many performances between late November and mid-January, when Bette Midler leaves the cast, according to a review of ticket prices on the Telecharge website. With fees, each of those seats will cost $1,009.

The price is a record for a non-holiday performance on Broadway. “Hamilton” is the only show that has reached that level before, charging $998 for some seats during the Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks last year. ...  Read More

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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Meet Broadway’s Beat Cops Dedicated to Keeping the Main Stem Secure

Variety Meet Broadway’s Beat Cops Dedicated to Keeping the Main Stem Secure By Cynthia Littleton October 5, 2017 times-square-nypd-broadway-beat-cops Some of the most impressive choreography on Broadway can be seen six nights a week on 45th Street, but it doesn’t happen on a stage. NYPD Officer John O’Gorman is the thin blue line between safety and chaos on a heavily trafficked block that is packed with six theaters, including the Minskoff, home of the ever-popular “The Lion King,” and Music Box, host of the hit tuner “Dear Evan Hansen.” O’Gorman is one of eight Broadway beat cops in the NYPD’s Midtown North Precinct who are assigned to patrol specific streets in the heart of the Theater District. The busiest part of his 4 p.m.-12:30 a.m. shift is usually around 10:30 p.m. when the shows begin to let out. The moment when theater-goers come streaming out of the venues — especially after patrons have had a few drinks — can be a dangerous mix with automobile traffic on the narrow street. The officer, who looks and sounds every bit the native of Cork, Ireland that he is, knows the running times down to the minute of all the shows on his turf. On a recent night, he kept one eye on the Minskoff doors at the corner of 45th and Broadway, and one eye on the Music Box, about halfway down the block. When the crowds began to bulge on the sidewalk outside both venues, O’Gorman strode into the middle of 45th and stopped the cars heading west toward 8th Avenue, using only his voice and his right arm. After a few minutes, he shifted to the south side of the street and began ushering cars through again, spinning his forearm in a circlular motion with a speed that indicates how long he’s been working this beat: 16 years. Another few minutes go by and he stops traffic again briefly to allow the black-car carrying “Dear Evan Hansen” star Ben Platt to pull out as it’s trailed by a few autograph seekers. O’Gorman coordinates all of this activity and more with a nod and wink or two to the drivers, the security guards and other behind the scenes players at the theaters and at the Marriott Marquis hotel (a favorite of stars and high-level politicos) that is also on his block. And he communicates regularly with the undercover cops who are out in force in the Times Square area.
“You don’t really know how hard they work until you’re out here with them at 1 a.m. Everybody knows them, and everybody needs them.” NYPD LT. SEAN BURKE
“You just have to feel it,” O’Gorman says of his one-man crowd control labors. “If you’re good with people, this job will be a fit for you.” For sure, Broadway’s beat cops have to be carefully cast for the job, and it’s a coveted posting, according to NYPD Lt. Sean Burke, who oversees the Theater District patrol. First and foremost, the officers have to build strong relationships with all the key players on their turf — from theater managers to the parking garage operators to street vendors. And they must have a generally good disposition to field dozens of questions from tourists in the Times Square area every night. “They 100% own their blocks,” Burke says. “You don’t really know how hard they work until you’re out here with them at 1 a.m. Everybody knows them, and everybody needs them.” One of the biggest challenges is the fact that the Theater District draws a high concentration of notable stars to a small area that is wide open to the public. Bette Midler’s recent run in “Hello Dolly” at the Schubert Theatre on 44th Street created an extra bit of traffic control pressure for O’Gorman as her car headed out down his block at the end of the night. Officer Delvis Perez, who works 49th Street, where the big show is “The Book of Mormon” at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre, is bracing for the arrival of Bruce Springsteen at the Walter Kerr Theatre on 48th Street this month. Springsteen belongs to that breed of star that draws super-fans who don’t have tickets to the show but just want to catch a glimpse of him entering or exiting the theater. The beat cops are often called on to work with other law enforcement officials to protect celebrities from stalkers. They coordinate with counter-terrorism units when Homeland Security threat levels are elevated. And they’re occasionally called inside a theater by security to help remove an unruly patron. But that’s the exception. The Broadway police typically make very few arrests—to do so would take too much time away from the street to deal with paperwork and booking and such. In reality, there’s rarely much need for pulling out the bracelets, officers say. “For the most part, people are pretty good—they’re here to have a good time,” Perez says. O’Gorman keeps a hawkish eye out for scalpers and pickpockets — two blights on the theater community, in his eyes. He doesn’t care much for panhandlers, either, so most of them know to keep clear of his street. “We have a good understanding of how we conduct business around here,” O’Gorman says. The mere presence of the badge and the uniform does most of the heavy lifting, so long as the beat cops remain highly visible, officers say. “I’m like a shark,” says Officer Michael McGlynn, who works 52nd Street. “I’ve got to keep moving.” McGlynn, who sports a large cross tattoo on his left forearm, has the confident swagger of an NYPD cop straight out of a Martin Scorsese movie. Projecting that image—and keeping himself in top physical shape—is important in dealing with the public, he says. “Ninety-five percent of our interactions (with the public) are very positive,” McGlynn assures. MyGlynn’s wife gets a kick out of his semi-regular encounters with A-list talent. But he’s not too starry-eyed after several years of patrolling the Main Stem. “I have my job and I do it well,” he says. They have a job on stage and they do it well. I don’t go out for drinks with them afterward.”
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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Is Dixie Leonard of “For The Boys” A Diva?”: “There’s no temperament involved with her. When you say diva, I think of outrageousness, and Dixie is not outrageous.

Is Dixie Leonard of “For The Boys” A Diva?”: “There’s no temperament involved with her. When you say diva, I think of outrageousness, and Dixie is not outrageous. She’s a real person. When I think diva, I think of people who are allowed to have fits, like Maria Callas. Now, she was a diva. Have you ever heard her sing? Oh, she was INSANE. She was just MAD!”” (1991, Los Angeles Times) – Bette Midler Image may contain: 1 person

  • BetteBack November 27, 1973: Bette Midler Gets A Standing Ovation (bootlegbetty.com)
  • BetteBack July 28, 1973: Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Hits The Top 10 Charts (bootlegbetty.com)
  • BetteBack September 15, 1997: Bette Midler Wins Another Emmy (bootlegbetty.com)
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame- Induct These Women: Bette Midler (bootlegbetty.com)
  • Video: Bette Midler approves of young boy’s magical ‘Hocus Pocus’ cover (bootlegbetty.com)
  •  ...  Read More

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    Monday, October 2, 2017

    On playing Dixie Leonard In “For The Boys: “This character is the most exciting I’ve ever played.

    On playing Dixie Leonard In “For The Boys: “This character is the most exciting I’ve ever played. She sings, she dances, she chews the scenery, she makes people cry, makes them laugh. Finally, I’ve found a film that truly takes advantage of all my abilities.” (1991, Los Angeles Times) – Bette Midler Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, outdoor
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    Friday, September 29, 2017

    If The Original Hocus Pocus Stars Want a Sequel, Why Are We Getting a Remake?!

    E News If The Original Hocus Pocus Stars Want a Sequel, Why Are We Getting a Remake?! by TIERNEY BRICKER | Thu, Sep 28, 2017 4:13 PM Disney Channel is running amok, amok, amok!The Internet was in for an early Halloween surprise on Thursday morning, when Disney Channel announced it is working a remake of Hocus Pocus, the cult-favorite 1993 movie that starred Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as three witch sisters with a penchant for sucking the lives out of little children and slapstick comedy. What a treat, right?Except, with every Halloween treat comes a trick, as the TV movie would feature a new cast, with the original film’s director Kenny Ortega not attached in anyway. (David Kirschner, one of the original producers, is serving as an executive producer.) Hocus Pocus, Thora Birch, Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy

    SNAP/REX Shutterstock

    Remakes, of course, are one of the hottest trends in TV these days. We get that. Disney Channel gets that, having recently revamped Adventures in Babysitting. What is confusing us about this particular remake is that many of the original film’s stars have gone on-record about how much they would love to do a sequel.So then why not do it? Especially when the head witch in charge herself, Bette Midler (Winifred), has expressed interest in reprising her iconic character. “You don’t get to see women doing slapstick too much, and in the movie you can see that we’re having a blast,” Midler told Billboard in October 2016 about the film. “For the life of me, I can’t understand why there’s not a sequel.”Same, sister-witch. Same.And in 2014, SJP and Kathy Najimy said they were down to join a sequel after Midler addressed the topic in a Reddit AMA. “Hocus people, Bette says it best. Listen to your elders.!,” wrote Najimy, linking to an article reporting Midler’s call for a sequel. And when Buzzfeed asked Parker if she would be down to participate and she responded on Twitter with a simple, “Yep I’m in.” '90s Week, Fashion, Hocus Pocus So again, we must ask: why aren’t we getting a sequel?Listen, we’re not even as upset as some people are over the remake news, with our childhoods firmly intact, because it’s not like we don’t have access to the original. It’s still regarded as one of the best Halloween movies ever made. It hasn’t been forgotten. Freeform is literally running an all-day marathon of the beloved movie on Halloween.”Generation after generation, it’s kind of remarkable and fantastic to have something brought to the screen like that and to have it embraced generation after generation,” Mick Garris, one of the original screenwriters, told Forbes on Hocus Pocus‘ lasting impact. “Everybody I meet, it’s either their daughters or their own favorite movie and it’s incredibly exciting.” And when Garris addressed sequel rumors, he said it would be a mistake not to do it with the original’s three bewitching leads.”If they don’t do that I think it would be a big mistake because all three of them are still so incredibly potent and powerful and great performers and who else can recreate those characters?”This is going to be the remake’s biggest problem: recreating the on-screen magic of Midler, Najimy and Parker, who were clearly having wicked fun in the campy roles. Another huge issue? The writer, The Royals‘ Scarlett Lacey, is likely going to have to tone down some elements of the original to work on Disney Channel. Sometime tells us we won’t be seeing a yabbos-loving virgin lighting a candle on Disney Channel. Still, as Max one said, we guess it was time for someone to (green)light this sucker and meet the old broads once again.How do you feel about the Hocus Pocus remake news? Tweet your thoughts @tbrick2 and @eonlineTV.
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    Hocus Pocus Is Officially Getting Remade—without the Original Cast

    Vanity Fair Hocus Pocus Is Officially Getting Remade—without the Original Cast by LAURA BRADLEY SEPTEMBER 28, 2017 9:05 AM 2017-07-06_1-49-54

    Well, it’s finally official: Disney is working on a Hocus Pocus TV movie. The bad news for Sanderson purists? The new project will include a new cast and new director.

    The original Disney film—in which three fabulous witches played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy get resurrected in Salem—is a cult classic and an autumnal standby on Disney and Freeform. According to Deadline, the TV movie, currently in the early stages of development, will be a “reimagining” of the original; David Kirschner, a producer from the original, will executive produce, but Scarlett Lacey (The Royals) will replace original screenwriters Neil Cuthbert and Mick Garris, and original director Kenny Ortega will be absent as well. ...  Read More

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    Thursday, September 28, 2017

    Hocus Pocus Writer Says Sequel May Be a TV Movie

    Screen Write Hocus Pocus Writer Says Sequel May Be a TV Movie By Rose Moore 14 hours ago ...  Read More

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    Wednesday, September 27, 2017

    This brand sells “Hocus Pocus”-themed bath products, and all our Halloween dreams just came true

    Hello Giggles This brand sells “Hocus Pocus”-themed bath products, and all our Halloween dreams just came true Brittany Malooly September 20, 2017 2017-09-21_7-00-04 Pumpkin spice lattes are back, which means that Halloween is just around the corner. And if you, like us, think the best part about fall and Halloween is watching and re-watching the Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker classic, Hocus Pocus, we’ve got some news you’re going to love. You can now bring the magic of Hocus Pocus to your daily bath routine with some Sanderson sisters themed bath products. OMG. The geniuses over at Wonderland Magic Bath Company have introduced six fall-tastic beauty products that you’ll love as much as Max loves Allison. They’re offering shower frosting, body cream, and body scrub in two different fragrances. The first is, “It’s just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus,” which, per the website, “smells like fresh from the oven apple cider donuts. Crisp, juicy apples blended with warm cake and hints of cinnamon and caramel.” Ooooh, amazing. The second is “Sanderson Sistas,” which is “a mixture of spices and three scents: (strongest) cranberry, apple and pumpkin.” Delish. We cannot wait to get ourselves a few of these. If you’re looking for even more autumn and Halloween-themed bath goodies, Wonderland Magic Bath Company has got you covered there as well. They’re currently offering products in the scents “Boo to You” (marshmallow candy), “Poison Apple” (caramel apple), “Pumpkin Stack” (blueberry pumpkin), “Autumn on Main St” (pumpkin spice latte), “Pumpkin Cupcake” (self-explanatory), and “Sleepy Hollow” (Pumpkin pecan waffles).

    Wow.

    via giphyHonestly, what we really want this fall is Hocus Pocus sequel. Sarah Jessica Parker already said she was in! And Bette Midler dressed up as her Hocus Pocus character for Halloween last year, so it’s safe to say she’s still as obsessed with the film as we are! HOLLYWOOD, why hasn’t this happened yet? What spell do we have to utter to get the ball rolling here?!
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