Actor John Hawkes is set to make his official New York stage debut in new play Lost Lake. The Lincoln star will play the owner of a run-down lakeside property opposite The Devil Wears Prada's Tracie Thoms.
Daniel Sullivan will direct the Off-Broadway production, penned by Pulitzer Prize winner David Auburn.
The show is slated to begin its run at the New York City Center this autumn (14).
Hawkes has previously only graced the stage in a special charity show as part of Broadway's 24 Hour Plays in 2006.
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea has matched a U.S. pop chart record set by the Beatles after taking her hit Fancy to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. The hip-hop star also lands a spot at number two as a guest on Ariana Grande's Problem, making her the first artist since the Fab Four in 1964 to land the top two places on the chart with her first two Hot 100 hits.
The Beatles managed the feat with I Want to Hold Your Hand and She Loves You over 50 years ago, following their breakthrough appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Azalea also becomes only the 15th act to score a one-two punch at the top of the countdown in the same week, and just the third woman behind Mariah Carey in 2005 and Ashanti in 2002. She also becomes only the fourth solo female rapper ever to top the Hot 100 - Lauryn Hill, Lil' Kim and Ludacris' sidekick Shawnna previously landed at number one.
It's a great early birthday gift for Azalea, who turns 24 on 7 June (14). Her Fancy ends John Legend's reign at the top of the Hot 100 with All of Me. The ballad slips two spots to three on the new chart, while Pharrell Williams' Happy and DJ Snake and Lil Jon's Turn Down for What round out the top five.
Meanwhile, Coldplay have stormed to the top of the U.S. album charts with the biggest first-week sales of 2014. Their new release, Ghost Stories, sold 383,000 copies to become the band's fourth Billboard 200 number one. It's also the first release to top 300,000 sales in a week this year. Country star Brantley Gilbert's Just As I Am debuts at two with impressive first-week sales of 211,000, and Michael Jackson's posthumous release Xscape slides a spot to three. Former number ones the Frozen soundtrack and the Black Keys' Turn Blue round out the new top five.
British actor Roger Lloyd-Pack had to be cut from the Only Fools And Horses reunion at the last minute because of his failing health. The funnyman lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in February (14) shortly before the cast reunited for the first time in 10 years to film a one-off skit for U.K. charity telethon Sport Relief.
Jim Sullivan, son of the show's late creator John Sullivan, has now revealed Lloyd-Pack was due to reprise his role as hapless roadsweeper Trigger in the reunion, but the script had to be re-written when it became clear he would not be well enough to perform.
Sullivan tells British magazine Radio Times, "We were all shocked and saddened at the news of Roger Lloyd-Pack's death. We had originally written Trigger into the sketch and Roger was supportive of the whole thing. We had heard that he had been unwell, but had no idea how serious it was. It wasn't until shortly before filming that we heard he was too poorly to perform, such was his eagerness to be involved - a true testament to his character."
Sullivan goes on to insist the reunion really is a one-off as the cast has no plans to film a full series, adding, "It's... good to be able to set the record straight about some of the rumours... that we're writing a new series etc. None of it is true. It really is just a one-off sketch... There was only ever one writer of Only Fools and Horses, and without him, there can be no more."
The reunion sketch will air as part of the Sport Relief telethon in the U.K. on Friday (21Mar14).
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
Follow @Michael Arbeiter
| Follow @Hollywood_com
An autographed copy of The Beatles' second U.S. album gifted to George Harrison's throat doctor 50 years ago is set to go under the hammer at a memorabilia auction next month (Mar14). The Meet The Beatles! vinyl was signed by Harrison and his bandmates and given to Dr. Jules Gordon as a thank you after he successfully treated the singer/guitarist for tonsillitis in February, 1964.
The treatment allowed him to perform as part of the Fab Four's U.S. TV debut on The Ed Sullivan Show days later after missing out on rehearsals.
The lot is expected to fetch at least $10,000 (£6,250) when it goes up for grabs as part of RR Auction's March Marvels of Modern Music sale.
Other Beatles keepsakes also featured in the auction include a sketch of a naked woman and a sheep by John Lennon and a signed first pressing of their debut EP, Twist and Shout, both of which have starting bids of $1,000 (£625).
Sir Paul McCartney compared his return to New York's Ed Sullivan Theater to a school reunion when he headed back to the venue which hosted the Beatles' first ever U.S. TV gig with bandmate Ringo Starr. The veteran musicians recently paid a visit to the historic venue to celebrate 50 years since the band's appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on 9 February 1964, and they were given a personal tour of the building by TV host David Letterman, who now presents his own talk show from the theatre.
The musicians admitted the stage set felt much smaller than when they first performed there 50 years ago, with drummer Starr telling Letterman, "I'm so excited coming back... I've been back hundreds doing the shows with you... But now I'm here, I'm looking out the window... We're back on this stage again. The memory I have was it was four times bigger (back then) - we thought there was (sic) thousands of them (audience members)."
Meanwhile, McCartney compared the visit to a school reunion, adding, "It's like going back to your old school isn't it...? It looks little now but we thought it was huge."
The interviews with Letterman will air in the U.S. on Sunday night (09Feb14) during a TV special as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations. Letterman has marked the occasion on his show during the week by inviting artists to perform Beatles tributes. The artists involved were Lauryn Hill, Broken Bells, Sting, Lenny Kravitz and the Flaming Lips, who performed with John Lennon's son Sean.
John Lennon's singer son Sean teamed up with rockers The Flaming Lips to pay tribute to The Beatles with a cover of Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds during Thursday's (06Feb14) U.S. broadcast of the Late Show With David Letterman. The TV gig was part of a week-long series of performances to mark the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four's first American TV gig, which took place on 9 February, 1964 at New York's Ed Sullivan Theater, where the Letterman show tapes.
The Beatles will be honoured at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York to mark 50 years since the band's first U.S. press conference there. The New York Port Authority, the organisation which manages the airport, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the band's first trip to America by hosting an event at the central terminal on Friday (07Feb14).
Officials will unveil a plaque marking the band's landing at 'JFK' exactly five decades after the musicians first touched down there on 7 February, 1964.
The two surviving Beatles - Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr - will be guests on The Late Show With David Letterman two days later on Sunday (09Feb14) to mark the 50th anniversary of the group's American TV debut on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Tribeca Film via Everett Collection
For a film that involves a love triangle, mental illness, a Bohemian colony of free-spirits, an impending war and several important historical figures, the most exciting elements of Summer in February are the stunning shots of the English country and Cornish seaside. The rest of the film never quite lives up to the crashing waves and sun-dappled meadows that are used to bookend the scenes, as the entertaining opening never manages to coalesce into a story that lives up the the cinematography, let alone the lives of the people that inspired it.
Set in an Edwardian artist’s colony in Cornwall, Summer in February tells the story of A.J. Munnings (Dominic Cooper), who went on to become one of the most famous painters of his day and head of the Royal Academy of Art, his best friend, estate agent and part-time soldier Gilbert Evans (Dan Stevens), and the woman whom they both loved, aspiring artist Florence Carter-Wood (Emily Browning). Her marriage to Munnings was an extremely unhappy one, and she attempted suicide on their honeymoon, before killing herself in 1914. According to his journals, Gilbert and Florence were madly in love, although her marriage and his service in the army kept them apart.
When the film begins, Munnings is the center of attention in the Lamorna Artist's Colony, dramatically reciting poetry at parties and charming his way out of his bar tab while everyone around him proclaims him to be a genius. When he’s not drinking or painting, he’s riding horses with Gilbert, who has the relatively thankless task of keeping this group of Bohemians in line. Their idyllic existence is disrupted by the arrival of Florence, who has run away from her overbearing father and the fiancé he had picked out for her in order to become a painter.
Stevens and Browning both start the film solidly, with enough chemistry between them to make their infatuation interesting. He manages to give Gilbert enough dependable charm to win over both Florence and the audience, and she presents Florence as someone with enough spunk and self-possession to go after what she wants. Browning’s scenes with Munnings are equally entertaining in the first third of the film, as she can clearly see straight through all of his bravado and he is intrigued by her and how difficult she is to impress. Unfortunately, while the basis of the love triangle is well-established and entertaining, it takes a sudden turn into nothing with a surprise proposal from Munnings.
Neither the film nor Browning ever make it clear why Florence accepts his proposal, especially when they have both taken great pains to establish that she doesn’t care much for him. But once she does, the films stalls, and both Stevens and Browning spend the rest of the film doing little more than staring moodily and longingly at the people around them. The real-life Florence was plagued by depression and mental instability, but neither the film nor Browning’s performance ever manage to do more than give the subtlest hint at that darkness. On a few occasions, Browning does manage to portray a genuine anguish, but rather than producing any sympathy from the audience, it simply conjures up images of a different film, one that focused more on Florence, and the difficulties of being a woman with a mental illness at a time when both were ignored or misunderstood.
Stevens is fine, and Gilbert starts out with the same kind of good-guy appeal the won the heart of Mary Crawley and Downton Abbey fans the world over. However, once the film stalls, so does his performance, and he quickly drops everything that made the character attractive or interesting in favor of longing looks and long stretches of inactivity. He does portray a convincing amount of adoration for Florence, although that's about the only real emotion that Gilbert expresses for the vast majority of the film, and even during his love scene, he never manages to give him any amount of passion.
Cooper does his best with what he’s given, and tries his hardest to imbue the film with some substance and drama. His Munnings is by turns charming, brash, and brooding, the kind of person who has been told all of their life that they are special, and believes it. He even manages to give the character some depth, and even though he and Browning have very little chemistry, he manages to convey a genuine affection for her. It’s a shame that Munnings becomes such a deeply unlikable character, because Cooper is the only thing giving Summer in February a jolt of life – even if it comes via bursts of thinly-explained hostility. It's hard to watch just how hard he's working to connect with his co-stars and add some excitement to a lifeless script and not wish that he had a better film to show off his talents in.
Unfortunately, by the time Florence and Gilbert are finally spurred into activity, the film has dragged on for so long that you’re no longer invested in the characters, their pain, or their love story, even if you want to be. Which is the real disappointment of Summer in February; underneath the stalled plot and the relatively one-note acting, there are glimmers of a fascinating and compelling story that’s never allowed to come to the forefront.
1984 was a great year for movies, but it was also the year that one of the great sitcoms came on the scene. I'm talking about Night Court. Yes, you already hear the theme music in your head, don't you? No? OK, for those of you who haven't heard it, here it is.
While the first season, like many shows, took tiny steps towards achieving the greatness that lay ahead (Markie Post, who played Christine Sullivan, didn't join the show until the second season), there were glimpses. Harry Anderson's Judge Harry Stone was a jurist who was still caught between stunted adolescence and adulthood. John Larroquette, the man who should have had the best supporting actor Emmy just named after him during his run as Dan Fielding, was a lothario who had the stirrings of a soul underneath. Who can forget Fielding running for a city council slot and losing to a dead man? Selma Diamond, may she rest in peace, was really the glue that held that show together with her deadpan deliveries. She was the perfect one to ground Richard Moll's Bull Shannon. It was a shame she died right after the first season ended.
Of course, the main attraction was the absolutely insane people that appeared before Judge Stone in his courtroom. There was a man in a lobster suit, to begin with. The thing was, the show, while acknowledging the sheer absurdity of these defendants and plaintiffs, it also stopped just short of labeling them as cartoon characters. The vast majority of them were imbued with a humanity that made us laugh more at the situations they were in rather than completely at them. There was the hooker with the real heart of gold, to begin with.
As the seasons went on, the people in the courtroom got zanier, weirder and the cast just jelled perfectly, with Charles Robinson's Mack and Marsha Warfield finally beating the curse of the Female Bailiff, after Diamond and Florence Halop died in quick succession. It was an ensemble comedy with all the cast members hitting on all cylinders. I'd even put it up there with The Golden Girls as best comedy of the '80s. Of course, fans of Cheers might disagree with me.
Right now, Larroquette, Moll, Post and Robinson are all still appearing as guest stars on various shows. Anderson has done sporadic work after playing Dave Barry in Dave's World in the '90s. All the seasons are on DVD - I highly recommend picking them up or renting them through Netflix. Heck, it might get you into Mel Torme too.