Monthly Archives: February 2012

Heaven sent.

There is a new musical on the horizon that I am quite excited about. The songwriters responsible for Grey Gardens – Scott Frankel and Michael Korie are returning to the Playwrights Horizons with their new musical Far From Heaven as part of the Off-Broadway company’s 2012-2013 season.

It is based on the film of the same name, Far From Heaven and the book has been written by Tony Award winner Richard Greenberg (Take Me Out). Michael Grief (Grey GardensRent, Next to Normal) is set to direct the production that will premiere at the Williamstown Theatre Festival this American summer.

Playwrights Horizons, have  commissioned the work, but they have not announced dates for the off-Broadway  production. Grey Gardens also premiered at Playwrights prior to the Broadway transfer. I am a big fan of Grey Gardens and absolutely adore the film  Far From Heaven so I have high hopes for this one.

The 2002 movie was directed by Todd Haynes and  starred Julianne Moore, Dennis Haysbert and Dennis Quaid and had a supporting cast that included the wonderful Patricia Clarkson who was always harping on about the catering – I smell a song for her character, and Oscar nominee Viola Davis once again playing the maid.

This is how the musical is being billed – “Cathy Whitaker seems to be the picture-perfect wife and mother in 1957 suburban Connecticut. But roiling beneath the surface, secret longings and forbidden desires cause her world to unravel––with incendiary consequences. With a lush score that is both jazz-inflected and hauntingly lyrical, Far From Heaven is a powerful story of romance, betrayal, intolerance and a woman grappling with her identity in a society on the verge of great upheaval.”

No casting has been announced but it will surely have a great role for a singer/actress to play the part of Cathy. And like the great performances created in the musical Grey Gardens perhaps it will lead to a Tony award if the piece is successful and transfers to the Great White Way. I am looking forward to the sets and costumes that will be created as the film had such a lush look that surely needs to be replicated in some creative way.

Here are some beautiful stills from the movie…

Viola Davis

Julianne Moore & Dennis Haysbert

Patricia Clarkson – “oh I must check with the caterers” & Julianne Moore


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An Oscar feast for 2012

It’s exactly one week away to the Academy Award ceremony. Babs usually plans an Oscar night party  with friends, this year he is going to an industry live event, very excited as nothing beats watching the awards live, and no media block out required.

I had been planning my annual Oscar menu so I will still share it with you even though I won’t actually be doing food this year. As usual I like to tie in theme related treats that correspond to the best picture nominees.

THE ARTIST

The Artist is set in the golden days of Hollywood silent movies full of glamourous film premieres and such, as the movie has been made by the French I thought French champagne should flow.

THE DESCENDANTS

The unique setting of Hawaii has influenced my menu choices – Prawn Cocktail to eat  and a Blue Hawaiian cocktail to drink. (a cocktail soon to appear in the new Australian film “The Sapphires”).

EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE.

I have yet to see the film (it opens in a few days) so I don’t know if there is any significant food items appropriate. As the film is a post 9/11 story  I thought I would make something from the “Windows Of The World” menu – the famed restaurant was atop the twin towers.

THE HELP

Its a no brainer – southern fried chicken – yum yum.

HUGO

A French railway station setting and a cafe  run by Frances de la Tour helped with this choice – macaroons!

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS

Another French set movie, this time the sophisticated drawing rooms of the artistic and literati – Duck Liver Pate to go with the champagne I think

MONEYBALL

Set in the world of baseball it’s an easy choice – gourmet mini hot dogs!

THE TREE OF LIFE

I disliked this movie so much that I can’t even bother to include an inspired dish to tie in, but if I was to include some food related to it I would say corn as in corny duh!

WAR HORSE

Well as the story goes old nags end up as mince meat – so yummy meatballs are in order with a tomato sugo to represent the blood of war (I know it’s a stretch)

So if you are thinking of having your own Oscar night do then include some of these delicious treats and party away.

 

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Betty visits Carrie.

Betty Buckley the Tony winning Broadway diva who played Carrie’s mom in the original Broadway flop-turned-cult-musical (she was also the gym teacher , Miss Collins in the movie version) went to see the new revisited off-Broadway revival. She liked it but called it a PG. version of the original. I love Betty and I love Carrie too.

A couple of my New Yorker friends have seen it and have given it the thumbs up with a few reservations, it’s not the dog one expected but also not the misunderstood masterpiece, overall it seems it’s a good night at the musical theatre.

pic by Jenny Anderson/Broadway.com

Betty Buckley, center, with Molly Ranson, left, who plays Carrie, and Marin Mazzie, who plays Carrie’s mother.

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Goodbye Whitney, hello Sparkle.

With the sad passing of singer/actress Whitney Houston today comes news of her last screen appearance. Already filmed and due for release in American cinemas in August is the remake of the 1976 musical drama “Sparkle”. Whitney plays the mother of Jordan Sparks (a former American Idol alumni).

Jordan Sparks & Whitney Houston in upcoming “Sparkle”

“Sparkle” is a gulity pleasure of mine, it tells the story of the Williams sisters, a trio of 1950s Harlem singers whose story was loosely inspired by the Supremes. Headed by Sister (Lonette McKee), the group also features Sister’s younger sister –  Sparkle (Irene Cara) and Dolores (Dawn Smith). As they begin to climb the road to success, Sister’s life spirals out of control, with drug addiction eventually leading to her death. SPOOKY! ! !

The original film featured original songs by the great Curtis Mayfield (I believe the new film will use these same songs), there was an album released by Aretha Franklin in which she sang all the songs, an album I cherish.

I was not a great fan of Whitney Houston, I appreciated her singing talents but thought she lacked any real acting chops (The Bodyguard is one of my least favorite film experiences) but I am truly saddened for all her fans, friends and family. I hope she is in peace now.

Liza the last lady standing! Whitney with a couple of mega stars

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And the GLOSCAR goes to……

The winners of the Babs Blabs annual film awards – The Gloscars are –

Picture

DRIVE

Direction

Nicolas Winding Refn – Drive

Screenplay

Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash – The Descendants

Actor in a leading role

Ryan Gosling – Drive (Blue  Valentine, Crazy Stupid Love, The Ides Of March)

Actress in a leading role

Judy Davis – The Eye Of The Storm

Actor in a supporting role

Christian Bale – The Fighter

Actress in a supporting role

Octavia Spencer – The Help

Music

Cliff Martinez – Drive & Contagion

Cinematography

Roger Deakins – True Grit & In Time

Production Design

Jess Gonchon – True Grit & Moneyball

Costume Design

Michael O’Connor – Jane Eyre


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GLOSCARS 2011 – The Nominees….

Here are the nominations for my Gloscars for films released in 2011.

Leading the pack is DRIVE and TRUE GRIT tied with 9 each, followed by THE HELP with 6 and THE DESCENDANTS and MONEYBALL with 5 each.

Winners will be announced next week…..

Are there any surprises or snubs?  Would like to know your thoughts.

Picture

THE DESCENDANTS

DRIVE

THE HELP

THE SKIN I LIVE IN

TRUE GRIT

 Direction

Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan

Nicolas Winding Refn for Drive

Alexander Payne for The Descendants

Pedro Almodovar – The Skin I Live In

Joel & Ethan Coen for True Grit

 Screenplay

Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash for The Descendants

Hossein Amini for Drive

Judy Morris for The Eye Of The Storm

Steve Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin – Moneyball

Joel & Ethan Coen for True Grit

 Actor in a leading role

George Clooney – The Descendants

Ryan Gosling – Drive (Blue  Valentine, Crazy Stupid Love, The Ides Of March)

Brad Pitt – Moneyball

Jeff Bridges – True Grit

 Actress in a leading role

Michelle Williams – Blue Valentine (Meek’s Cutoff)

Judy Davis – The Eye Of The Storm

Viola Davis – The Help

Halle Steinfeld – True Grit

Tilda Swinton – We Need To Talk About Kevin

 Actor in a supporting role

Christopher Plummer – Beginners (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)

Albert Brooks – Drive

Christian Bale – The Fighter

David Wenham – Oranges And Sunshine

Barry Pepper – True Grit

 Actress in a supporting role

Shailene Woodley – The Descendants

Charlotte Rampling – The Eye Of The Storm (Melancholia)

Jessica Chastain – The Help (The Debt)

Octavia Spencer – The Help

Judi Dench – Jane Eyre

 Music

Cliff Martinez – Drive & Contagion

Trent Reznor, Attica Ross – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Mychael Danner – Moneyball

Alberto Iglesias – The Skin I Live In & Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Carter Burwell – True Grit & Howl

 Cinematography

Matthew Labitique – Black Swan

Newton Thomas Sigel – Drive

Jeff Cronenweth – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Wally Pfister – Moneyball

Roger Deakins – True Grit & In Time

 Production Design

Beth Mickle – Drive

Mark Ricker – The Help

Dante Ferretti – Hugo

Anne Seibel – Midnight In Paris

Jess Gonchor – True Grit & Moneyball

 Costume Design

Sharen Davis – The Help

Sandy Powell – Hugo

Michael O’Connor – Jane Eyre

Paco Delgardo – The Skin I Live In

Mary Zophres – True Grit

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first look CARRIE the musical revival clip

Click on the link below if you wanna see a sneak peek of the first ever revival of CARRIE the musical…..

you know I do.

I hope you enjoy 🙂

http://broadwayworld.com/videoembed.php?colid=336754

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