Filmmaker Garry Marshall is set to make his return to the New York stage after two decades to direct a play about Hollywood screenwriter Billy Wilder and author Raymond Chandler. The Pretty Woman director is bringing Billy and Ray to New York's Vineyard Theater this autumn (14), after taking charge of the play's world premiere in Burbank, California last year (13).
Billy and Ray is a comedy about the clash of the two duelling writers as they collaborated on the 1944 movie version of Chandler's novel Double Indemnity, inventing the film noir genre in the process.
Marshall's last New York directing credit was in 1993 for his production of Wrong Turn at Lungfish, starring George C. Scott and Tony Danza.
Billy and Ray is set to begin previews on 2 October (14).
Actor Neil Patrick Harris has landed a role in the new American Horror Story series after writing to creator Ryan Murphy and asking for a part.
The former How I Met Your Mother star, who is currently starring on Broadway in Hedwig & the Angry Inch, recently told Entertainment Weekly Radio that he had penned a request note to Murphy, suggesting himself for upcoming series, Freak Show.
He said, "I wrote a letter to Ryan asking if I can be in it, even though I wasn't even available to be in it. To do one that involves any kind of freak, circus nonsense is going to be so unsettling to watch."
Murphy caught wind of the radio chat and has since responded to Harris via Twitter, writing, "@ActuallyNPH of course you can be on Freak Show! I have a role I think you'd love."
Harris previously worked with Murphy in an episode of Glee, for which he won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 2010.
Courtesy Everett Collection
Alec Baldwin is leading the tributes to his TV mum, stage and screen legend Elaine Stritch, following her death on Thursday (17Jul14). The actor worked with the Two's Company star on his hit sitcom 30 Rock, in which Stritch played his sharp-tongued mother Colleen Donaghy - a role which won her an Emmy Award in 2007.
And he was among the first celebrities to honour her memory on Twitter.com on Thursday as the news of her passing broke. Sharing an article about the loss of the 89 year old, Baldwin writes, "A woman that I loved and admired, and a true one in a million, has gone to her rest."
Girls creator and star Lena Dunham celebrated Stritch's lengthy career by making reference to her Tony-nominated Broadway performance of The Ladies Who Lunch from Stephen Sondheim's 1970 musical Company, tweeting, "Here's to the lady who lunched: Elaine Stritch, we love you. May your heaven be a booze-soaked, no-pants solo show at the Carlyle (New York hotel she once called home). Thank you".
Meanwhile, singer Josh Groban remembered the veteran actress as "one of a kind and just the wittiest", and Anna Kendrick added, "Elaine Stritch man. Hell of a performer, spirit and woman. This one really hurts. Today's work is for you ma'am. Crazy love."
Early tributes have also poured in from the likes of Christina Applegate, James Van Der Beek and writer/director Joss Whedon.
MGM via Everett Collection
Veteran stage and screen icon Elaine Stritch has died at the age of 89. The actress passed away at her home in Birmingham, Michigan on Thursday (17Jul14).
The star, known for her brash attitude and sharp tongue, began her career with her first stage role in 1944 and made her Broadway debut in Loco just two years later (46).
She went on to become a regular in New York's famous theatre district, featuring in a hit 1952 revival of the musical Pal Joey and landing her first leading Broadway role in Goldilocks in 1958. Her other theatre credits include parts in Noel Coward's Sail Away, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Stephen Sondheim's 1970 musical Company, a role she reprised in 1972 when it opened in London's West End.
She later won high praise for her one-woman show Elaine Stritch at Liberty, for which she won a Tony Award in 2001. During the production, in which she recounted her life story, Stritch revealed she had tried and failed to win the role of Dorothy Zbornak in hit TV series The Golden Girls, a job which went instead to Bea Arthur.
Her early TV appearances came on shows like The Growing Paynes, Studio One and the classic British comedy series Two's Company. In more recent years, she appeared in U.S. soap One Life to Live, 3rd Rock from the Sun and Law & Order, while she earned an Emmy Award playing Alec Baldwin's mother on 30 Rock.
Stritch's filmography included parts in the 1957 remake of A Farewell to Arms, The Perfect Furlough, Providence and Woody Allen films September (1987) and Small Time Crooks (2000). She also portrayed Winona Ryder's grandmother in Autumn in New York and Jane Fonda's acerbic mum in 2005's Monster in Law.
The actress, who was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1995, bid farewell to fans with her Movin' Over and Out concert series in the Big Apple in April, 2013, before moving to Michigan to spend more time with her family.
Hollywood actress Maggie Gyllenhaal is hiding a secret smoking habit.
The Dark Knight star, who is a mother to two young daughters, insists she doesn't puff on cigarettes regularly, but often falls "off the wagon" and buys a pack.
She tells Britain's Stylist magazine, "I don't smoke cigarettes officially but now and then I fall off the wagon. I can't keep it up at home. I can't smoke as a mother - it's too much sneaking around... I'm buying cigarettes and I'm like, 'What am I doing? Pull it together!'"
WENN/Adriana M. Barraza
If you never got to New York City to see Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston as President Lyndon B. Johnson, HBO is on your side. HBO Films recently acquired the rights to the Tony Award-winning play All The Way, with playwrite Robert Schenkkan signing on to adapt his script.
According to Variety the play follows Johnson's "tumultuous first year in office," beginning with his entry into the presidency (after the JFK assassination), and of course dealing with his efforts during the Vietnam War and the historic Civil Rights Act.
For his performance, Cranston took home the Tony Award for Best Actor earlier this year. We can all expect powerful good things when the movie comes to HBO.
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Justin Timberlake gave his blessing to a group of Broadway stars who covered his songs in a special cabaret show on Monday night (14Jul14).
The Mirrors hitmaker is currently in the middle of his own The 20/20 Experience World Tour, but took time to send a special delivery to the cast of Broadway Sings Justin Timberlake in New York City.
A post from the official Broadway Sings Twitter.com account featured a photo of a bouquet of four dozen white roses, along with a handwritten note which read, "Break legs! I am very honored (sic). Best, JT."
Broadway stars including Tony Award winner Lena Hall and former Smash actor Andy Mientus were part of the showcase, which included covers of Timberlake's hits such as Cry Me a River, Suit & Tie and a number of 'N Sync tracks.
The concert was sold out, but the cast will take to the stage again next Monday (21Jul14).
Sylvester Stallone's musical adaptation of his hit film Rocky is set to close on Broadway due to declining ticket sales. The Hollywood action man spent almost 15 years revamping his 1976 boxing movie for the stage, but producers of the show announced on Tuesday (15Jul14) that the production is down for the count.
Rocky is set to close on 17 August (14), after five months and just over 200 performances at New York City's Winter Garden Theatre.
The show opened with glowing reviews and earned a Tony Award for Best Scenic Design last month (Jun14), but ticket sales have dwindled over the past few months.
However, a production of Rocky in Hamburg, Germany, where the show had its world premiere in 2012, continues to be a box office hit.
British actress Joely Richardson is set to portray revered American poet Emily Dickinson in a new one-woman show. The Nip/Tuck star will tackle the role in an Off Broadway production of William Luce's play The Belle of Amherst, which is based on Dickinson's life story.
Richardson admits she never imagined herself taking on such a big job, saying, "Never say never. I always swore to myself that I would never do a one-woman show. I thought, 'That's for crazy people'. And then I read it (the script for The Belle of Amherst)."
Steve Cosson will direct the stage show, which is scheduled to open on 19 October (14) at New York's Westside Theatre.
Richardson will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of actress Julie Harris, who won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Dickinson in a Broadway production of the play in 1977.
The Brit last appeared on the New York stage in 2012 in productions of Ivanov, opposite Ethan Hawke, and Side Effects.
Getty Images/Kevin Winter
The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony will air on Monday (oddly enough), August 25, and will be hosted by Saturday Night Live vet and Late Night host Seth Meyers. Here are the nominees recognized for their achievements over the course of this past year in television.
Best Comedy SeriesThe Big Bang TheoryLouieModern FamilyOrange Is the New BlackSilicon ValleyVeep
Best Drama SeriesBreaking BadDownton AbbeyGame of ThronesHouse of CardsMad MenTrue Detective
Best Actor - ComedyLouis C.K. - LouieDon Cheadle - House of LiesRicky Gervais - DerekMatt LeBlanc - EpisodesWilliam H. Macy - ShamelessJim Parsons - The Big Bang Theory
Best Actress - ComedyLena Dunham - GirlsEdie Falco - Nurse JackieJulia Louis-Dreyfus - VeepMelissa McCarthy - Mike and MollyAmy Poehler - Parks and RecreationTaylor Schilling - Orange Is the New Black
Lead Actor - DramaBryan Cranston - Breaking BadJeff Daniels - The NewsroomJon Hamm - Mad MenWoody Harrelson - True DetectiveMatthew McConaughey - True DetectiveKevin Spacey - House of Cards
Lead Actress - DramaLizzy Caplan - Masters of SexClaire Danes - HomelandMichelle Dockery - Downton AbbeyJulianne Margolies - The Good WifeKerry Washinton - ScandalRobin Wright - House of Cards
Best Mini-SeriesAmerican Horror Story: CovenBonnie and ClydeFargoLutherTremeThe White Queen
Best TV MovieKilling KennedyMohammad Ali's Greatest FightThe Normal HeartSherlock: His Last VowThe Trip to Babylon
Best Actor - Mini-Series/TV MovieBenedict Cumberbatch - SherlockChiwetel Ejiofor - Dancing on the EdgeIdris Elba - LutherMartin Freeman - FargoMark Ruffalo - The Normal HeartBill Bob Thornton - Fargo
Best Actress - Mini-Series/TV MovieHelena Bonham Carter - Burton and TaylorMinnie Driver - Return to ZeroJessica Lang - American Horror Story: CovenSarah Paulson - American Horror Story: CovenCicely Tyson - The Trip to BountifulKristen Wiig - Spoils of Babylon
Best Variety ShowThe Colbert ReportThe Daily ShowJimmy Kimmel Live!Real Time with Bill MaherSaturday Night LiveThe Tonight Show
Best Reality Competition ShowThe Amazing RaceDancing with the StarsProject RunwaySo You Think You Can DanceTop ChefThe Voice
Best Supporting Actor - Comedy SeriesFred Armisen - PortlandiaAndre Braugher - Brooklin Nine-NineTy Burrell - Modern FamilyAdam Driver - GirlsJesse Tyler Ferguson - Modern FamilyTony Hale - Veep
Best Supporting Actress - Comedy SeriesMayim Bialik - The Big Bang TheoryJulie Bowen - Modern FamilyAnna Chlumsky - VeepAllison Janney - MomKate McKinnon - Saturday Night LiveKate Mulgrew - Orange Is the New Black
Best Supporting Actor - DramaJim Carter - Downton AbbeyJosh Charles - The Good WifePeter Dinklage - Game of ThronesMandy Patinkin - HomelandAaron Paul - Breaking BadJon Voight - Ray Donovan
Best Supporting Actress - DramaChristine Baranski - The Good WifeJoan Froggatt - Downton AbbeyAnna Gunn - Breaking BadLena Headey - Game of ThronesChristina Hendricks - Mad MenMaggie Smith - Downton Abbey
Best Guest Actor - ComedySteve Buscemi - PortlandiaLouis C.K. - Saturday Night LiveGary Cole - VeepJimmy Fallon - Saturday Night LiveNathan Lane - Modern FamilyBob Newhart - The Big Bang Theory
Best Guest Actress - ComedyUzo Aduba - Orange Is the New BlackLaverne Cox - Orange Is the New BlackJoan Cusack - ShamelessTina Fey - Saturday Night LiveNatasha Lyonne - Orange Is the New BlackMelissa McCarthy - Saturday Night Live
Best Guest Actor - DramaDylan Baker - The Good WifeBeau Bridges - Masters of SexReg E Cathey - House of CardsPaul Giamatti - Downton AbbeyRobert Morse - Mad MenJoe Morton - Scandal
Best Guest Actress - DramaKate Burton - ScandalJane Fonda - The NewsroomAllison Janney - Masters of SexKate Mara - House of CardsMargo Martindale - The AmericansDiana Rigg - Game of Thrones