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Oscar-Nominated Actor Biggest Professional Regret: Turning Down 'Doctor Who'

Ron Moody in Mel Brooks' 'The Twelve Chairs.' The 'Doctor Who' that never was. Ron Moody: 'Doctor Who' was biggest professional regret (See previous post: "Ron Moody: From Charles Dickens to Walt Disney – But No Harry Potter.") Ron Moody was featured in about 50 television productions, both in the U.K. and the U.S., from the late 1950s to 2012. These included guest roles in the series The Avengers, Gunsmoke, Starsky and Hutch, Hart to Hart, and Murder She Wrote, in addition to leads in the short-lived U.S. sitcom Nobody's Perfect (1980), starring Moody as a Scotland Yard detective transferred to the San Francisco Police Department, and in the British fantasy Into the Labyrinth (1981), with Moody as the noble sorcerer Rothgo. Throughout the decades, he could also be spotted in several TV movies, among them:[1] David Copperfield (1969). As Uriah Heep in this disappointing all-star showcase distributed theatrically in some countries.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Why Tim Burton’s ‘Sweeney Todd’ is Kind of Terrible

I spent my Halloween attending the tale of Sweeney Todd. Though I did go out later (I’m not a total shut-in), most of my day consisted of watching four versions of the Stephen Sondheim’s razor sharp musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street back to back to back to back. (There was a fifth version I’d planned to watch, but it was taken offline before I had the chance.) After watching three different stage adaptations (a 1982 recording of the 1979 original production with Angela Lansbury and George Hearn, a 2000 concert version with Patti LuPone and George Hearn, and a bootleg recording of the 2005 revival directed by John Doyle with Patti LuPone and Michael Cerveris), I arrived at my final stop: Tim Burton’s film adaptation from 2007. Having seen it, and thoroughly adored it, for several years, my revisiting of the film was, to say the least,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

The Always Outrageous Elaine Stritch Is Dead

  • Moviefone
Mark Kennedy, Associated Press

Jake Coyle, Associated Press

New York (AP) - Elaine Stritch, the brash theater performer whose gravelly, gin-laced voice and impeccable comic timing made her a Broadway legend, has died. She was 89.

Joseph Rosenthal, Stritch's longtime attorney, said the actress died Thursday of natural causes at her home in Birmingham, Michigan.

Although Stritch appeared in movies and on television, garnering three Emmys and finding new fans as Alec Baldwin's unforgiving mother on "30 Rock," she was best known for her stage work, particularly in her candid one-woman memoir, "Elaine Stritch: At Liberty," and in the Stephen Sondheim musical "Company."

A tart-tongued monument to New York show business endurance, Stritch worked well into her late 80s, most recently as Madame Armfeldt in a revival of Sondheim's musical "A Little Night Music." She replaced Angela Lansbury in 2010 to critical acclaim.

In 2013, Stritch - whose signature "no pants" style
See full article at Moviefone »

Theater Talk Features Scandalous This Weekend

Kathie Lee Gifford, the librettist, lyricist and driving force behind the new Broadway show, Scandalous The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson, visits Theater Talk with three of shows stars Carolee Carmello, George Hearn and Roz Ryan to discuss McPherson, the charismatic evangelist who captured Americas attention in the 1920s. They also talk about life, Hota Kotb and the different forces that brought the talented quartet together to create this new American musical.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Music Director Paul Gemignani Honored With Oscar Hammerstein Award

Brian Stokes Mitchell, Marin Mazzie, Mario Cantone, George Hearn, and more were on hand to honor beloved music director Paul Gemignani at the 21st annual Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala, benefitting the York Theatre Company, at the Edison Ballroom on Monday night. "He's part of you when you perform," said Lonny Price, who directed the evening's presentation. "He breathes with you." Gemignani is the first music director to receive the Hammerstein Award and has worked on 39 Broadway shows, including every one of Stephen Sondheim's musicals. Sondheim provided a special video message at the event. "I love how he can make an actor feel like a singer," Sondheim said. Gemignani's son Alexander hosted the evening, and a veritable smorgasbord of A-list Broadway talent performed for their friend and colleague. Jenn Colella sang "I Know Things Now" from "Into the Woods," and later joined Alex Gemignani for "Move On" from "Sunday in the Park With George.
See full article at Backstage »

Kathie Lee Gifford's 'Scandalous': Broadway's latest needs more than a wing and a prayer

  • Pop2it
The best thing about "Scandalous," Kathie Lee Gifford's Broadway play, is that it represents dreams realized.

Gifford long wanted to make this musical about evangelist preacher Aimee Semple McPherson.  Gifford wrote the book, the lyrics and some of the music, and has used her host spot on "Today" to promote it.

I suppose we should be happy when someone works so hard and for so long, then achieves that goal. 

Though seeing her dream come to fruition may be grand for her, that's not the case for anyone who enters the Neil Simon Theatre. This is so cliched and amateurish, you half expect the curtain to fall and the school principal to come out on stage, thank the teachers who stayed after school to make this play happen and ask for a round of applause for the woodworking class for crafting the sets.

"Scandalous" is painfully dull and a
See full article at Pop2it »

George Hearn Joins York's 21st Annual Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala, 11/19

Tony Award-winner George Hearn La Cage Aux Folles, Scandoulous joins the The York Theatre Company James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director, to honor legendary Broadway Music Director and Conductor Paul Gemignani with the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre at the 21st Annual Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala to be held next Monday, November 19, 2012 at The Edison Ballroom 240 West 47th Street.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Bww Blog: Scandalous' Elizabeth Ward Land - The New Normal Part 2

Another week of Scandalous rehearsals and previews. A lot of changes planned for this week. So far, I'm really proud of our creative team. They have managed to cut over 15 minutes off the show, tightened its focus and its storytelling, and been very brave with the cuts. Last week we even cut a song, Demon In A Dress, which was sung by two-time Tony winner George Hearn he was so gracious about it - a fine example of professionalism. We all worship and adore him. But by the end of last week, we were all pretty worn out. The combination of an already nearly impossible schedule during previews, and then the stress of hurricane Sandy and its transportation challenges was a lot for even the hardiest of theatre folk
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Bww TV Exclusive: Carolee Carmello & George Hearn Talk Returning to Broadway in Scandalous, Career-Changing Roles, and More!

Featuring book and lyrics by Kathie Lee Gifford and music by David Pomeranz and David Friedman, Scandalous begins performances at Broadway's Neil Simon Theatre 250 W. 52nd St. on Saturday, October 13, 2012. Scandalous is led by two-time Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello Sister Act, Mamma Mia, Parade as Aimee Semple McPherson, two-time Tony Award winner George Hearn Sunset Blvd., La Cage aux Folles, Sweeney Todd as James Kennedy and Brother Bob. In this edition, Richard chats with the Broadway-bound duo about bringing the story to Broadway, some of their favorite past roles, and so much more Click below to watch the full interview.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Stage Tube: Kathie Lee Gifford Talks to Facebook Fans About Scandalous!

This fall, Carolee Carmello and George Hearn will star in the new Broadway musical Scandalous The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson. With book and lyrics by Kathie Lee Gifford and music by David Pomeranz and David Friedman, Scandalous begins performances at Broadway's Neil Simon Theatre 250 W. 52nd St. on Saturday, October 13, 2012. Opening Night is set for Thursday, November 15.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Stage Tube: Kathie Lee Gifford Talks Scandalous With Jimmy Fallon

This fall, Carolee Carmello and George Hearn will star in the new Broadway musical Scandalous The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson. With book and lyrics by Kathie Lee Gifford and music by David Pomeranz and David Friedman, Scandalous begins performances at Broadway's Neil Simon Theatre 250 W. 52nd St. on Saturday, October 13, 2012. Opening Night is set for Thursday, November 15.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Dracula Designers Accuse Producers Of Dodging Outstanding Invoice

  • WENN
Dracula Designers Accuse Producers Of Dodging Outstanding Invoice
The producers behind off-Broadway play Dracula have been accused of sucking the blood out of show designers by failing to settle a $100,000 (£66,700) bill.

Costume designer Willa Kim, set creator Dana Kenn and fight expert Rick Sordelet, allege they have yet to be paid for their work on the $1 million (£666,700) production.

Director and co-producer Paul Alexander has assured the group Dracula bosses are dealing with the discrepancy, telling the New York Post, "All of the designers did a wonderful job on the show, and it was a pleasure to work with them. I realise they have some concerns, but we are doing all we can to resolve the situation. Everyone will be paid."

But the designers fear they will lose out altogether as the show faces closure following a disastrous opening night on Wednesday, when it was panned by critics.

One reviewer described the performance as "horribly anaemic", while a New York Daily News writer dismissed the production as "elaborately tacky, unintentionally hilarious and totally bloodless".

Kenn tells the Post, "We're unwitting investors in a flop."

Dracula bosses are expected to cut their losses and close the show as early as this weekend (08-09Jan11).

The stage adaptation of Bram Stoker's horror classic has been troubled for some weeks - actress Thora Birch was fired from the cast in December, days before the first preview performance, after the director fell out with the star's father, Jack.

Emily Bridges replaced Birch as the love interest of Dracula, played by Italian actor Michel Altieri, while Tony Award winner George Hearn starred as his nemesis, Dr. Van Helsing.

Interview: After “World” Stops Turning, Jake Silbermann Jumps to the New York Stage

Jake Silbermann

Although it’s only been three months since CBS pulled the plug on As the World Turns after an astonishing 54-year run, for many gay fans, it feels like an eternity. As any AfterElton.com reader knows, the teen supercouple formerly known as Nuke, played with uncommon depth and finesse by Jake Silbermann (Noah) and Van Hansis (Luke), made history with the first-ever dude-on-dude kiss on daytime TV, setting off a media frenzy and a veritable blizzard in the blogosphere.

Their unfolding relationship polarized fans — the gays cheered, but later, some complained the story line was sporadic and sluggish. Remember our Liplock Clock that counted how long it took between kisses? (It was 211 agonizing days between the first and second smooch.) Meanwhile, right-wingers wanted the duo to disappear altogether.

When the producers finally portrayed the guys having sex, they skipped the actual sex scene and merely showed the before and after.
See full article at The Backlot »

[DVD Review] Sondheim! The Birthday Concert

I feel that before I start my review, I need to give a brief overview of Stephen Sondheim and his influence on musical theater. Sadly, I know that just by saying “musical theater,” many people have already tuned out and moved on with their lives. They should be paying attention, though. His work broke down barriers in American entertainment and made audiences rethink love, relationships, and the traditional idea of heroes and villains. If you care about film, television, comics, or any other art form, you should care about Stephen Sondheim, and Sondheim! The Birthday Concert shows just how much he has changed songwriting and storytelling.

For those who do not know Stephen Sondheim by name, it is likely that you recognize some of his work. He wrote the lyrics for West Side Story. He wrote the oft sung and parodied “Send in the Clowns” as well as “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,
See full article at JustPressPlay »

Birch Fired From Dracula

  • WENN
Birch Fired From Dracula
Actress Thora Birch is in a "state of shock" after producers fired her from the Off-Broadway revival of Dracula - four days before the show's first performance.

The American Beauty star was preparing to make her New York stage debut as central female character, Lucy Seward, the love interest of Count Dracula, in a preview performance at the Little Shubert Theater on Tuesday.

But producers have decided to unveil the show without her, reports the New York Times.

Director Paul Alexander said Birch was fired because her manager/father, Jack, had threatened another actor during a rehearsal last Thursday night, prompting her dismissal on Friday.

He has denied making any threat.

Meanwhile the actress admits she has been "blindsighted" by her dismissal.

She tells the newspaper, "For three weeks I was just doing my thing, and everything I hear was positive, that the work I was doing was wonderful. Maybe it's some kind of misunderstanding. I mean, there had been no tensions, everything was going wonderfully. Then Friday they just asked me to leave the building.

"I'm totally in a state of shock over this, I still can't believe it."

Birch has been replaced by her understudy, Emily Bridges, the daughter of actor Beau Bridges.

Dracula is scheduled for a 13-week run, starring George Hearn as vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing.

Review: 'Sondheim! A Birthday Celebration'

  • Comicmix
You are no doubt wondering why ComicMix is reviewing Sondheim! The Birthday Celebration, the DVD edition of the 80th birthday celebration that aired this past week on PBS. Believe it or not, we believe in covering significant events in popular culture, not just the fads and the celebrities, but people who have made contributions that have proved influential to today’s creators. Stephen Sondheim, for over fifty years, has been elevating the musical theater art form, and his music and lyrics have found their way into books, film, and yes, comic books.

Musical theater in America came into its own in 1927 with Showboat, co-written by Jerome Kern with book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Its next evolutionary step came with Oklahoma in 1943, from Hammerstein and Richard Rogers. Living down the hall from the lyricist was a young boy named Stephen Sondheim. Their relationship helped Sondheim develop his ear for music and lyrics,
See full article at Comicmix »

'Dracula' Revived on Off-Broadway With Thora Birch and Italian Actor

A stage version of the "Dracula" story is coming back from the dead - the bloodsucking vampire is swooping into a New York theater for the first time in 33 years. Italian actor Michel Altieri will play the title role in the show, opposite "Sweeney Todd" star George Hearn as vampire-hunter Van Helsing and "American Beauty"'s Thora Birch, who plays Dracula's victim, Lucy.

The show is set to launch at the Off-Broadway Little Shubert Theatre next month, according to Variety.

The Dracula stage play last ran on Broadway in 1977. The Count was portrayed by Frank Langella, who, like Bela Lugosi before him, would go on to perform the role on the big screen. That production was a hit, running for a total of 930 performances and winning a Tony Award for costume designer Edward Gorey and another one for "most innovative production of a revival".
See full article at Aceshowbiz »

'Dracula' Goes Off-Broadway

'Dracula' Goes Off-Broadway
Here is something we don't get to report on every day: horror on Broadway.  Or rather, horror off-Broadway.  For the first time in over 30 years, Dracula takes to the stage in a major production.  Hit the jump for more. Italian actor Michel Altieri will play Dracula, while Thora Birch (Ghost World) will play Lucy.  George Hearn, who appeared on Broadway in Sweeny Todd will play Van Helsing. Preview runs will begin in New York December 14th, with the official run starting at the beginning of the year. Source: Variety
See full article at FEARnet »

Dracula To Swoop On New York

  • WENN
Dracula To Swoop On New York
A stage version of the Dracula story is coming back from the dead - the bloodsucking vampire is swooping into a New York theatre for the first time in 33 years.

Italian actor Michel Altieri will play the title role in the show, opposite Sweeney Todd star George Hearn as vampire-hunter Van Helsing and American Beauty's Thora Birch, who plays Dracula's victim, Lucy.

The show is set to launch at the Off-Broadway Little Shubert Theatre next month, according to Variety.

The Dracula stage play last ran on Broadway in 1977.

Photo Flash: Patti LuPone Opens Annie Get Your Gun at Ravinia

On August 13, Ravinia opened its three-day run of Irving Berlin's hit-filled Broadway classic Annie Get Your Gun. Taking on her third Merman role, Patti LuPone stars as the sharp-shooter opposite Patrick Cassidy as Frank Butler and George Hearn as Buffalo Bill Cody. The production is directed by Lonny Price with Paul Gemignani leading the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The shows, Aug. 13 through 15, begin at 7:30 p.m.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »
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