Since my all-time favorite TV series is "The Honeymooners", the legendary sitcom that was originally broadcast in 1950s, one might think I would have been overjoyed at the prospect of seeing the show's new incarnation as a big-budget musical production that just premiered at the prestigious Papermill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey, a venue so revered that it was honored with a special Tony award. In reality, I had considerable trepidation about seeing the show. The characters in the TV series- bus driver Ralph Kramden, his devoted but long-suffering wife Alice and their best friends, sewer worker Ed Norton and his wife Trixie- have been ingrained in the minds of every American baby boomer. In fact, the re-runs have rarely left the New York airwaves even sixty years after their original airings and the four main cast members- Jackie Gleason, Audrey Meadows, Art Carney and Joyce Randolph
The project is a multicamera comedy from executive producer Bob Kushell, who will write the pilot script for CBS Television Studios. Kushell was also behind ABC’s “Muppets” reboot. Carl Beverly, Sarah Timberman, Eric and Kim Tannenbaum, and Jeff Greenstein will also serve as executive producers.
The new “Honeymooners” will be a modern spin on the 1950s classic, which starred Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden, Audrey Meadows as his wife Alice, and Art Carney and Joyce Randolph as neighbors Ed and Trixie Norton. The move is not unlike that behind CBS’ revamping of “The Odd Couple,” now in its third season on the network.
The property itself, which had its roots as a sketch on the defunct DuMont Network’s “Cavalcade of Stars” variety series, has been resurrected several times: There was the initial run on CBS, followed
The network is currently in the midst of developing a new take on The Honeymooners, THR.com reports.
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The reboot, being helmed by The Muppets‘ Bob Kushell, would once again center on two couples who double as best friends and neighbors — only this time, one of the couples remarries after divorcing each other four years prior. (Perhaps Ralph and Alice separated after he threatened to send
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
Kean died Tuesday at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank where she was taken after a fall that led to a hemorrhagic stroke, her niece, Deirdre Wolpert, said Thursday.
Kean first started working with Gleason in the 1940s, when they were both on the vaudeville circuit.
Her big break, however, came in 1966 when Gleason moved to Miami and resurrected “Honeymooners,” expanding it to an hour and adding musical numbers.
Kean, a talented singer with a belting voice, starred on the show for five years as Ed Norton’s beleaguered wife Trixie. Joyce Randolph played the role in the classic 1955-56 “Honeymooners” segs opposite Art Carney, Audrey Meadows and Gleason.
Kean often spoke about her “Honeymooners” stint and
I Love Lucy
I Love Lucy centers on main couple Lucy and Ricky (Lucille Ball
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Prospects are bleak for a big theatrical happening around the debut film of director Matthew Miele, who co-wrote and co-produced the low-budget indie with Christopher Fetchko. It's up-front and always apparent mission to bring cheer to general audiences will earn the approval of some critics and audiences, but it's likely to find its biggest success on cable.
Jake (Hudson) lives on the streets of New York by choice. In the opening, he calls the entire city his home, and with the help of the first of several montages to popular music, the viewer is meant to be swept along in the grubby romanticism of the concept. "Everyone stares, but nobody cares" is the discouraging reality Jake has to deal with, but with a support network and comfortably residing at the "bottom of it all," he's arguably the Happiest Miserable.
He's even more psyched when a down-and-out former professor, Cameron (Graeme Malcolm), reluctantly becomes his friend and teaches Jake a better way to play the bongos. In between trips to the library, where he fends off the grouchy, fey assistant (Stephen Furst) and chats up the pushover-for-a-bookworm librarian (Debbie Allen), Jake plays for money on the subway and sidewalks.
With a stash of cash kept safe by one of his many intimates who have jobs and homes -- including security guards, priests, taxi drivers -- Jake makes the rounds, reads the classics, plays chess, dines on garbage and scams a little money from dog walkers by picking up fresh poop and then demanding a fee to dispose of it.
To summarize the further adventures of Jake, once he's shown "Tarzan" Cameron -- who sleeps in a tree in the park -- the ropes and they've dreamed about having a "homeless parade," even getting a ridiculously restrictive permit, things get complicated. A major plot twist sends the film off on an unconvincing tangent that seriously disrupts the lead's idyllic life and overtaxes the filmmakers' abilities to make us see why this is so horrible.
By treading boldly into a milieu that resists glamorizing -- peopling it with Hollywood actors working out simplistic conflicts, hoping that excessively literal and chatty voice-overs will numb the viewer into accepting the watered-down version of life on the streets, and using famous tunes by Bob Dylan and others -- Miele and Fetchko run roughshod over the material and leave credibility behind in the first few moments.
Singer Lou Rawls has a couple of scenes as a concerned Hot Dog vender. Lou Myers (NBC's "A Different world") plays one of Jake's best but expendable friends. Willis Burks II as the lead's chess partner fares better. Robin Givens shows up near the end as a conscienceless publisher. Doug E. Doug, Joyce Randolph and Phyllis Diller all make brief and forgettable appearances.
A Christopher Fetchko production in association
with Boz Prods., Mirador Pictures, mad.house inc.
Screenwriters-producers:Matthew Miele, Christopher Fetchko
Executive producer:Bo Zenga
Director of photography:Anthony Jannelli
Production designer:John Henry
Costume designer:Martha Gretsch
Colonel:Willis Burks II
Assistant librarian:Stephen Furst
Running time -- 91 minutes
No MPAA rating
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