Martin Sheen, Anjelica Huston, Stacy Keach and Diana Rigg have been forced to scrap plans to grace the Broadway stage in the current revival of A.r. Gurney's romantic play Love Letters after producers decided to close the show on Sunday (14Dec14). The two-person production, about letters exchanged over the years between a pair of childhood friends, has featured a rotating line-up since its launch in September (14), when Mia Farrow and Brian Dennehy were cast in the lead roles.
Carol Burnett took over from Farrow in October (14), while M*A*S*H star Alan Alda and Murphy Brown's Candice Bergen are currently starring in the drama on the Great White Way.
However, poor box office sales have prompted bosses to cut their losses and bring the Pulitzer Prize-nominated play's run to an end this weekend.
The closure means fans will not get to see Keach and Rigg interact onstage, nor Sheen and Huston, who were due to tread the boards in the New Year (15).
A U.S. tour of the Gregory Mosher production is still scheduled to launch at a later date.
Pharrell Williams and One Direction have teamed up with a host of other top music names to rework the Beach Boys' God Only Knows for a new BBC Music initiative. The track, which was broadcast simultaneously across the BBC network's radio and TV networks on Tuesday (07Oct14), will be released in aid of kids' charity Children in Need.
Sir Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Chris Martin, Sam Smith, Queen guitarist Brian May and Beach Boys star Brian Wilson also appear on the track.
Robert Downey, Jr. regrets giving away so many of the costumes he wore as Charlie Chaplin in the late Lord Attenborough's 1992 biopic.
The Iron Man star reveals the studio bosses gifted him with his wardrobe from the movie, and he wishes he'd kept more items. In a chat with fans on website Reddit.com on Tuesday (07Oct14), he wrote, "I remember after doing Chaplin, 12 boxes arriving from the studio; I think there were 56 outfits. I'm sure I have 3 or 4 left. "I donated some, wore some for theme weddings... I wish I'd kept 'em all. It would be fun to do a retrospective."
Monday night (yes, Monday) was the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on NBC and millions tuned in. Late Night host Seth Meyers gracefully took on the task of hosting. While the show might have been way too long, we found quite a few enjoyable moments that made us laugh, smile, and cry.
Seth Meyer’s Opening Monologue
Hosting any awards show is tough, but Seth held his own. He didn’t need a musical number, or heavy gag-jokes, to win over the audience. Seth was his usual charming self, with great delivery when it came to a friendly jab, or two.
Beyonce Showed Up
Oh you didn’t know, Queen Bey graced our screens last night? Amy Poehler AKA Beyonce, is half the reason we even tune into these awards shows. She’s either hosting, presenting, or just being fabulous, and that’s alright by us.
Jimmy Kimmel’s Matthew McConaughey Jokes
“Matthew McConaughey doesn't even own a television. I happen to know for a fact that he traded his television for a conch shell full of weed.”
The "Billy On The Street" Skit Was Surprisingly Good
"He's the host of the #Emmys this year!" "Um, Seth Macfarlane?" Haha.
— Yes/No Films (@yesnofilms) August 26, 2014
Usually, we're not too crazy about Billy On The Street, but his pre-taped skit with the Emmys' host, asking people on the street questions about the Emmys, was pretty hysterical.
Bryan Cranston’s Mustache
The guest of honor.
This Epic Makeout Sesh
Louis C.K.’s Simple, But Sweet Acceptance Speech
Nothing long-winded, just straight to the point, yet sweet. He also made sure to point out that Sarah Baker was the star and reason he won.
Retta Live-Tweeting The Whole Night
What is happening right now?? #Emmys pic.twitter.com/s9MsTYMOrj
— Retta (@unfoRETTAble) August 26, 2014
Poehlsy!!!! #JustLikeBey #Emmys
— Retta (@unfoRETTAble) August 26, 2014
I love how Jessica Lange is killing this “Ima let these fools know I’m still helluh sexy” saunter to stage. #Emmys
— Retta (@unfoRETTAble) August 26, 2014
Retta, AKA Donna on Parks and Recreation and lover of live-tweeting, captured some of the most interesting moments from the night on Twitter.
When Joffery Confronted His Mother
When They Gave George R.R. Martin A Typewriter
And asked him to please write faster.
He was immediately on the case.
Ricky Gervais Just Being Ricky Gervais
"Now that is a television face. Not even really a television face. It's a Netflix face.” – Jimmy Kimmel
When Jimmy Fallon Seized The Day
Gwen Stefani messed up Stephen Colbert’s name, so Jimmy assumed that meant the Emmy was up for grabs. We’d all have done the same if we were there.
Billy Crystal’s Touching Robin William’s Memoriam
Which of these did you love the most? Tweet us your favorite moments from the night!
Veteran actresses Mia Farrow, Carol Burnett and Anjelica Huston are set to hit the Broadway stage in a revival of A.r. Gurney's romantic play Love Letters. Farrow will make her first appearance on the Great White Way in nine years in September (14), when she will feature opposite Brian Dennehy in the two-person show, about letters exchanged over the years between two childhood friends.
She will depart on 10 October (14) to make way for Burnett, who will co-star with Dennehy until 7 November (14).
The changing monthly line-up will continue with M*A*S*H star Alan Alda and Murphy Brown's Candice Bergen, before Stacy Keach and Diana Rigg take over in early December (14).
The production will close on 1 February (14) with Martin Sheen and Huston playing respective characters Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and Melissa Gardner.
Gregory Mosher will direct the Pulitzer Prize-nominated play at the Nederlander Theatre.
Love Letters originally debuted on Broadway in 1989 with Colleen Dewhurst and Jason Robards.
We recently learned that Oprah Winfrey will be taking on the role of God in an adaptation of the novel The Shack. While this is truly an exciting and important role for Winfrey (and for a culture that has no popular images of black women deities), her next role may be even bigger than her 'God' character.
Ava DuVernay's Selma will bring us the story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s landmark 1965 voting rights campaign, and Winfrey (who is also a producer of the film, along with Brad Pitt and Lee Daniels) will play Annie Lee Cooper. What makes this role bigger than 'God'? Well, DuVernay and Winfrey are introducing to the big screen a new, previously untold story. Cooper became a civil rights legend when she fought back against a vicious police officer trying to block her from exercising her right to vote. While names like Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr., and—yes, even God— have been given plenty of screen time over the years, names like Annie Lee Cooper's have not. Winfrey taking on this role means that she is giving more visibility to lesser-known American heroes, and the importance of this cannot be measured.
Winfrey told Entertainment Tonight that the late Maya Angelou had given her blessing on this role before she passed: "She was so proud that I was doing this movie. And she said, 'Take it baby. Take it all the way. Take it all the way,'" Oprah said about talking with Maya about the movie. "She was a part of the movement, worked with Martin Luther King, understood what we were trying to do with this film."
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Warner Bros Everett Collection
Just how different are modern cinema and that of the '70s and '80s? Are there great movie scenes that wouldn't get made today because the audience wouldn't tolerate them? Conversely, are there scenes that were shocking back in the day that wouldn't cause anyone to think twice now?
It's a given that audiences' tastes change over time… the same as social norms do in America. Oddly, though, where audiences sometimes become more relaxed about what they will accept — for instance, with profanity, since George Carlin's "7 Dirty Words" has been reduced to two — they sometimes become more conservative about other things. Below is our look at a group of scenes from movies that probably wouldn't make it on screen for a studio release now, and some others that were shocking when they were released that wouldn't cause anyone to lift an eyebrow today.
Oh No, They Didn't!
The Last Temptation of Christ / Life of Brian
Martin Scorsese's adaption of Nikos Kazantzakis' 1953 novel, with the scene of Jesus dreaming of a sexual encounter with Mary Magdalene, was controversial in 1988 and caused an outcry from various Christian groups. In today's media environment, and with the advent of social media, that controversy would be 1,000-fold and wouldn't go away easily. Even Scorsese wouldn't be able to get that into a film now… we'll accept the debauchery and debasement of his The Wolf of Wall Street but depicting Christ as having sexual urges wouldn't fly. In the same vein, imagine trying to convince a studio to okay Monty Python's famous "Always Look on the Bright Side" finale to Brian with the singing crucifixion victims. It met with criticism when it was released in 1979, but it would cause Bill O'Reilly's head to explode now.
Quentin Tarantino gets heat from all sides for his use of the N-word in his stylized action-violence fantasies like Django Unchained and Pulp Fiction… which represent a far different aura than a studio comedy would. Many white audiences would shift uncomfortably in their seats now at Mel Brooks' comedic use of the word during the scene where Cleavon Little's Sheriff Bart first arrives at Rock Ridge. (As well as the various other ethnic jokes throughout the film; Brooks' was an equal opportunity offender.)
Airplane! / Heathers
On a similar token, as funny as Airplane! remains in our memories, in the wake of 9-11 many audiences would be squeamish about laughing at a plane crashing through a terminal, just as the reveal of Christian Slater's plot to blow up the school in Heathers would play much differently now.
What's the Big Deal?
The Exorcist / Rosemary's Baby /The Blair Witch Project
Horror movies have to really work hard now if they want to be controversial. William Friedkin's The Exorcist is still plenty scary 40 years later and the scene where Linda Blair's Regan finds an inappropriate use for a crucifix would still get attention… but it would be minor and chalked up to the now standard shock tactics employed by the genre. Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby is so non-threatening at this point that it's being done as a network TV series. Similarly, Blair Witch's up-the-nose shots would be seen as cute after the rise of films like Paranormal Activity that, in fairness, it helped spawn.
Lolita / The Last Tango in Paris
When Reese Witherspoon had sex with her teacher in Election, it barely registered as being inappropriate. Vladimir Nabokov's book and the subsequent 1962 Kubrick film were hugely controversial (pick any scene of James Mason and Peter Sellers leering at Sue Lyon). When the film was remade in 1997 with Jeremy Irons playing the tortured Humbert Humbert, obsessed with a young girl, audiences could've cared less. When Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango was released in 1972 with Marlon Brando as a widower in an illicit affair with a young French woman it earned an X-rating for its sexual content, particularly for a scene involving butter being used for something far removed from toast. When Bertolucci's Stealing Beauty came out in 1996 with Liv Tyler as an American teenager experiencing a sexual awakening amongst a group of artists in Italy, most people's reaction was, "Hey, is that Steven Tyler's daughter?"
When Fox announced that they were dropping the standard pilot-season model of developing new TV shows; it earned them a great deal of attention from fans and critics. So when they unveiled their Fall 2014-2015 schedule, everyone's focus went straight to the slate of new shows premiering in the next few months — after all, they have to be good if Fox is willing to gamble on a brand new way of doing things. In certain cases, it seems like the gamble might just have paid off — you can't go wrong with Batman or British remakes, right? - but others seem like they'll only rub salt in the wound of recent cancellations.
We've run down all of Fox's upcoming series in order to predict which ones will live up to the hype and be worth your time come fall. Although sadly, none of them seem likely to fill the Enlisted-shaped hole in our hearts.
Gotham What It Is: DramaWhat It's About: Following Det. Jim Gordon and the Gotham City Police Department as they deal with the crime and corruption that plagues the city, and Gordon attempts to find Who's In It: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, Sean Pertwee and Jada Pinkett-SmithWhat It Sounds Like: It's basically Batman, minus Batman himself. How Good Will It Be: Based on the first trailer for the show, it looks like it could be exciting and gritty, although tiny Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle do make us a bit wary. Still, it's got a talented cast on board, so if the show can keep the visuals and story interesting, it could be surprisingly good. How Long It Will Last: At least two seasons. Fox has thrown a lot of support behind Gotham, so they won't let it go easily.
UtopiaWhat It Is: Reality showWhat It's About: 15 people move to an isolated, undeveloped location for a year and attempt to build their own society from scratch. Who's In It: No word yet, but they have to be crazy if they're willing to sign up for this. What It Sounds Like: Big Brother meets Survivor, with a dash of Kid Nation. How Good Will It Be: It depends entirely on the cast, but our best bet is that it will either be outright terrible, or horrifically entertaining. How Long It Will Last: Unfortunately, it will probably run for ten years.
Red Band SocietyWhat It Is: Drama What It's About: A coming-of-age story set in the pediatric ward of a hospital that follows a group of patients as they grow, bond, and battle illnesses. Who's In It: Octavia Spencer, Griffin Gluck, Charlie Rowe, Dave Annable, Brian Bradley aka Astro, Ciara Bravo and Zoe LevinWhat It Sounds Like: One Tree Hill meets Grey's Anatomy, except only one person is in a coma. How Good Will It Be: Spencer is generally the best part of everything she does, but even she might not be enough to make the many elements of this show — comedy, drama, tear-jerking moments of triumph, general teenage drama, hospital administration — blend well together. How Long It Will Last: About a season. Even if it is good, it will probably struggle to find an audience.
GracepointWhat It Is: Drama What It's About: Based on the British series Broadchurch, it centers on a small town and the murder that upends the lives of all of its residents. Who's In It: David Tennant, Anna Gunn, Michael Peña, Jacki Weaver, Kevin Zegers and Jessica LucasWhat It Sounds Like: It's literally just Broadchurch with Tennant doing an American accent. How Good Will It Be: A lot depends on how much they take from the original, but since that was such a good series and they've got a fantastic cast on board, things look good for Gracepoint. How Long It Will Last: At least three seasons, regardless of how closely it hews to the original.
Backstrom What It Is: Drama What It's About: A crime procedural about an obnoxious and offensive, but brilliant detective who is brought back from exile to run the special crimes unit. Who's In It: Rainn Wilson, Dennis Haysbert, Thomas Dekker, Beatrice Rosen and Kristoffer PolahaWhat It Sounds Like: Every other "rogue cop" procedural that's hit the air in the last few year, but with Dwight from The OfficeHow Good Will It Be: It has a pretty decent cast, but the premise is something we've seen before many times, with varying levels of success, so there's a lot against it. A lot is riding on Wilson, although it's his first real foray into drama, which also doesn't bode well. How Long It Will Last: Like almost every other crime procedural premiering this fall, it will probably be canceled within the year.
Mulaney What It Is: SitcomWhat It's About: An aspiring stand-up comic gets a job writing jokes for a narcissistic comedian and game show host, which causes conflict between him and his two best friends and roommates. Who's In It: John Mulaney, Martin Short, Nasim Pedrad, Seaton Smith and Elliott GouldWhat It Sounds Like: Seinfeld meets New Girl, with a touch of 30 Rock How Good Will It Be: The cast is fantastic, but multi-cam sitcoms can be pretty hit or miss, and this one was dropped by NBC and then reworked before FOX picks it up. However, the combination of SNL alums and comic legends means this one will probably be one of your new favorite shows. How Long It Will Last: Sunday night at 9:30 is a tough slot, but we think this one will scrape its way to a second season.
EmpireWhat It Is: Drama What It's About: It follows Lucious Lyon, the head of a major hip hop record label and the ex-wife and family who are competing to take over the family business. Who's In It: Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Gabourey Sidibe, Bryshere Gray, Jussie Smollett, Trai Byers and Kaitlin DoubledayWhat It Sounds Like: Hustle and Flow meets Nashville How Good Will It Be: Empire has a lot of big-name talent behind it - in addition to the Oscar-nominated cast, it was created by Lee Daniels and written by Danny Strong — but it seems like the kind of show that would fare better on cable, so it might end up being a little lackluster. How Long It Will Last: Well, Nashville got three seasons, so we're predicting Empire will get the same.
Hieroglyph What It Is: Drama What It's About: After he gets caught stealing a magic scroll, a thief is brought to work for the Pharaoh, only to discover that court might be more dangerous than prison. Who's In It: Max Brown, Reece Ritchie, Condola Rashad, Caroline Ford and John Rhys-DaviesWhat It Sounds Like: Game of Thrones meets Sleepy Hollow, set in Ancient Egypt. How Good Will It Be: It's written by Travis Beacham, who wrote Pacific Rim, so it could turn out to be entertaining and campy. However, it's completely ridiculous-sounding, so the odds are against it. How Long It Will Last: Unless it manages to pull in a devoted audience like Sleepy Hollow, probably only one season.
Wayward Pines What It Is: Drama What It's About: An idyllic American town... that you can never leave. Who's In It: Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Melissa Leo, Tobey Jones, Juliette Lewis and Terrence HowardWhat It Sounds Like: The Stepford Wives meets The Twilight Zone How Good Will It Be: On the one hand, it's got an impressive A-List cast. On the other, it's executive-produced by M. Night Shamylan, so we're hoping it will be good, but expecting it to be terrible. How Long It Will Last: The Shamylan outrage will bring attention to it, resulting in it just barely earning a second season.
Bordertown What It Is: Animated sitcomWhat It's About: Set on a town that borders the US and Mexico, it follows two families as they navigate life, relationships and politics. Who's In It: Alex Borstein, Nicholas Gonzalez, Judah Friedlander, Missi Pyle and Efren RamirezWhat It Sounds Like: American Dad meets The Cleveland ShowHow Good Will It Be: The last time Seth MacFarlane made a show about racial and family dynamics, we got Dads, so we're not optimistic. How Long It Will Last: 5 years at a minimum
Last Man on Earth What It Is: SitcomWhat It's About: After an apocalypse wipes out all of humanity except one man, he wanders the earth looking for other survivors. Who's In It: Will ForteWhat It Sounds Like: Zombieland, minus the other peopleHow Good Will It Be: Forte is hilarious, and his recent dramatic turn in Nebraska will probably serve him well, but it's hard to see how this concept will last longer than one episode. How Long It Will Last: It's a quirky comedy from an SNL alum that isn't Amy Poehler, Tina Fey or Jimmy Fallon. It'll get a year if we're lucky.
Weird LonersWhat It Is: SitcomWhat It's About: Four relationship-phobic weirdoes find each other living next door to one another in a New York apartment. Who's In It: Becky Newton, Zachary Knighton, Nate Torrence and Meera KhumbhaniWhat It Sounds Like: New Girl meets Happy Endings, minus Damon Wayans Jr. How Good Will It Be: The cast is made up of actors who have primarily played the "best friend" role in comedies, so it could be the showcase they need to establish themselves as leading actors. However, the premise seems like a re-tread of most post-Friends comedies, with some forced "quirk," so we don't see things going well. How Long It Will Last: Three out of four actors were on shows that were cancelled relatively soon, so we'd be surprised if this one made it to a second season.
Coldplay frontman Chris Martin was once kicked out of the band because the scrutiny of his relationship with actress Gwyneth Paltrow made the group lose its way. The singer was given the boot for a short period after the release of the British band's third album X&Y in 2005 because he was becoming more famous for his high-profile relationship than he was for making music.
Martin admits producer Brian Eno gave him the push to help his bandmates, telling Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe, "There was a time (when Eno) kicked me out of the band for a few weeks to get everybody else's confidence up. At that time I could be quite strong minded, so he taught us a bit more flexibility and to let everybody get to the end of their idea before judgement is passed... I was famous for tabloid stuff... we had lost our way a bit."
Martin and Paltrow announced their separation in March (14) after ten years of marriage.
Joan Jett, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Lorde channelled the spirit of the late Kurt Cobain on Thursday (10Apr14) as they performed with the surviving members of Nirvana at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Michael Stipe from R.E.M. paid tribute to the grunge stars as drummer Dave Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic were joined on the podium at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York by Cobain's mother and sister and his widow, Courtney Love.
The Hole frontwoman proved that any bad blood between her and the existing Nirvana duo was in the past by calling Grohl and Novoselic her "family" and hugging them both, before saying, "I just wish that Kurt was here to hear this and feel this and be this.
"Twenty years ago, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame maybe wasn't (something he'd appreciate), but today he would have appreciated it. He would have appreciated Krist and Dave... his mother and his sister being here..." She went on to dedicate Cobain's posthumous honour to their daughter, Francis Bean Cobain, who missed the ceremony due to illness.
Grohl and Novoselic then welcomed their female collaborators to rock out with them, with Jett taking charge of vocals on Smells Like Teen Spirit, Gordon joining the pair for Aneurysm, and St. Vincent singing Lithium. Royals hitmaker Lorde helped the band close out the Nirvana reunion with All Apologies, which served as the explosive finale of the near six-hour induction ceremony.
Earlier in the night, Bruce Springsteen saluted his longtime backing musicians the E Street Band, and took the time to remember each and every person who had ever been a part of the group, including late saxophonist Clarence Clemons and his sidekick and "consigliere", guitarist Steven Van Zandt. Soul icons Hall & Oates were inducted by The Roots drummer Questlove, but the singers' performance had to be briefly halted midway through a rendition of their 1976 classic She's Gone after experiencing technical problems.
There was no drama from KISS, who were introduced by Tom Morello, as the original line-up of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss reunited to join the Class of 2014, although they stuck to their vow not to perform after learning that Hall of Fame bosses would not be honouring current bandmates Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer.
Meanwhile, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow, Carrie Underwood and Stevie Nicks joined forces to honour Linda Ronstadt, who was unable to attend the ceremony due to illness, and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin was on hand to praise former Genesis singer Peter Gabriel as a solo artist. Art Garfunkel celebrated the career of Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens, and British producer Peter Asher helped to induct the Rolling Stones' former manager Andrew Loog Oldham and Beatles svengali Brian Epstein.