<p>Whether waxing poetic about the fallacy of religion or singing about the joys of being a nerd, comedian/writer/musician Tim Minchin loved to tweak the funny bone with a bit of truth. He began...
A 25-year-old rising actor from Heath Ledger's home state in Australia has been awarded a scholarship set up in the late actor's memory. Cody Fern was named the winner of the 2014 Heath Ledger Scholarship Award in a special dinner in Los Angeles hosted by performer Tim Minchin on Thursday night (12Jun14).
The actor will receive a $20,000 (£12,500) prize and two years of classes at the Stella Adler Academy of Acting and Theatre in L.A.
Fern hails from Southern Cross, Western Australia, the same state as Ledger's native Perth.
He beat out competition from Home and Away star Axle Whitehead and Charlotte Best.
Fern tells The Hollywood Reporter, "I've always had plans to come to Los Angeles; now it's a reality and will happen a lot sooner. There's some exciting projects going on, it's looking bright and the award makes it all possible."
The fund was set up by the Australians in Film organisation in Los Angeles in memory of the late Brokeback Mountain actor following his death from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs in 2008.
Leading authors Sir Terry Pratchett and Philip Pullman are among the notable figures who have signed an open letter to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron in protest after the politician branded Britain a "Christian country". Cameron hit the headlines earlier this month (Apr14) when he insisted Britain should "more confident" about its status as a country with a deep Christian history ahead of the Easter celebrations over the weekend (19-20Apr14).
Some critics dismissed the statement as a vote-winning ploy, and now a list of leading academics and writers have spoken out against his claims, insisting the comments have "negative consequences" for the country.
In the open letter, Pratchett, Pullman, performer Tim Minchin and many others have accused the British leader of fuelling "alienation and division in our society".
The missive adds: "Britain has been shaped for the better by many pre-Christian, non-Christian, and post-Christian forces. We are a plural society with citizens with a range of perspectives, and we are a largely non-religious society."
Funnyman Tim Minchin is developing a stage adaptation of 1993 film Groundhog Day. The Australian entertainer is currently composing music and penning lyrics for the production, based on Bill Murray's classic comedy about a weatherman who lives the same day over and over again.
The movie's screenwriter Danny Rubin is also working on the musical.
Announcing the project on his blog, Minchin writes, "Our version of Groundhog Day is going to be both instantly recognisable, and utterly different... I think many of its ideas could be enhanced by the stage. It has the potential to be complex, dark, visually fascinating, and thematically rich, whilst still being a joyous romantic comedy with cool tunes and lots of gags."
This isn't the first time Minchin has been part of a film-to-stage adaptation - he wrote the music and lyrics to the Tony Award-winning musical Matilda.
Winter has come and the New Year will be rung in soon. That means something else is on its way: another new season of Justified. Its season premiere is on Jan. 7. What better way to tide yourself over until spring than to watch one of the best shows on television?
If you are going to be new to the show, I would suggest binge-watching on Amazon. Trust me. It's worth doing. The show has some of the best dialogue and acting that I have seen.
Where Justified really excels, beside its main core of characters, is the casting of the peripheral ones. People like Margo Martindale and Neal McDonough. Though they were the main villains, they brought such a level to their work that they were far from being cardboard cut outs like someone from, say Walker, Texas Ranger. They bring in people that you might not even associate with dramas, like Mike O'Malley and Patton Oswalt. I was stunned at the work that O'Malley put in as the sadistic hit man from his season.
The show, while already great, did something that I really liked last season: It allowed its secondary characters like Tim Gutterson (Jacob Pitts) and Rachel Brooks (Erica Tazel) to spread their wings and tell their own stories and not just appear for two minutes and snark at Timothy Olyphant's Raylan Givens. Gutterson's dialogue with Colt Rhodes (Ron Eldard) in last season's finale was a thing of beauty.
I'm really interested in seeing where this season goes with Givens and his frenemy, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins). Givens has gone to a really dark place, walking away while the Detroit Mob rubbed out one of their own. Crowder is also in a very bad place, having seen his dream of buying a home and living a semi-respectable life with Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter) snatched away at the very last second. This season also marks the return of Dewey "You Mean I've Got Four Kidneys?!?!" Crowder (Damon Herriman), which should send all fans of the show into paroxysms of joy. The human cockroach, Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) -- he who has seen about five people shot around him without suffering a scratch -- will also be great to see. Burns can convey so much with just the mere arch of an eyebrow and he may be the only criminal who does not fear Givens (even after having his gun pointed right at his forehead).
On the law enforcement side,besides Gutterson and Brooks, I'm always giddy to hear what Art Mullen (Nick Searcy) has to say. I'm hoping there's also a good arc involving Mullen and his pending retirement.
I could write about 10,000 words about this show, but figure that this season might be over by the time I finish. Instead, I leave you with this: Get ready to return to Harlan, everyone.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Sutton Foster took the stage together. No, they haven't teamed up for a Broadway show, a new television series, or a Modern Family/Bunheads crossover (which would be awesome). But the theater-loving stars came together Tuesday to announce the nominations for the 2013 Tony Awards. (They are the hosts for this year's show, after all, so it only made sense that these two would have the honors of making the big announcement.)
Check out which plays and actors are nominated for Tony Awards for their work on the stage this year.
2013 Tony Awards Nominations:
Best Play:The Assembled PartyLucky GuyThe Testament of MaryVanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Best Musical:Bring It On: The MusicalKinky BootsMatilda The MusicalA Christmas Story, The Musical
Best Book of a Musical:A Christmas Story, The MusicalKinky BootsMatilda The MusicalRodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella
Best Revival of a Play:Golden BoyOrphans The Trip to BountifulWho's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Best Revival of a Musical: AnnieThe Mystery of Edwin DroodPippinRodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play: Laurie Metcalf, The Other PlaceAmy Morton, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?Kristine Nielsen, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and SpikeHolland Taylor, AnnCicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play: Tom Hanks, Lucky GuyNathan Lane, The NanceTracy Letts, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?David Hyde Pierce, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and SpikeTom Sturridge, Orphans
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre: A Christmas Story, The Musical Music and Lyrics: Benj Pasek and Justin Paul Hands on a Hardbody Music: Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green Lyrics: Amanda Green Kinky Boots Music & Lyrics: Cyndi Lauper Matilda The Musical Music & Lyrics: Tim Minchin
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical: Stephanie J. Block, The Mystery of Edwin Drood Carolee Carmello, Scandalous Valisia LeKae, Motown The Musical Patina Miller, Pippin Laura Osnes, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical: Bertie Carvel, Matilda The Musical Santino Fontana, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella Rob McClure, Chaplin Billy Porter, Kinky Boots Stark Sands, Kinky Boots
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play: Carrie Coon, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Shalita Grant, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Judith Ivey, The Heiress Judith Light, The Assembled Parties Condola Rashad, The Trip to Bountiful
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play:Danny Burstein, Golden Boy Richard Kind, The Big Knife Billy Magnussen, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Tony Shalhoub, Golden Boy Courtney B. Vance, Lucky Guy
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical:Annaleigh Ashford, Kinky Boots Victoria Clark, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella Andrea Martin, Pippin Keala Settle, Hands on a Hardbody
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical:Charl Brown, Motown The Musical Keith Carradine, Hands on a Hardbody Will Chase, The Mystery of Edwin Drood Gabriel Ebert, Matilda The Musical Terrence Mann, Pippin
Best Costume Design of a Play: Soutra Gilmour, Cyrano de Bergerac Ann Roth, The Nance Albert Wolsky, The Heiress Catherine Zuber, Golden Boy
Best Costume Design of a Musical: Gregg Barnes, Kinky Boots Rob Howell, Matilda The Musical Dominique Lemieux, Pippin William Ivey Long, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Best Direction of a Play:Pam MacKinnon, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Nicholas Martin, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Bartlett Sher, Golden Boy George C. Wolfe, Lucky Guy
Best Direction of a Musical:Scott Ellis, The Mystery of Edwin Drood Jerry Mitchell, Kinky Boots Diane Paulus, Pippin Matthew Warchus, Matilda The Musical
Best Choreography:Andy Blankenbuehler, Bring It On: The Musical Peter Darling, Matilda The Musical Jerry Mitchell, Kinky Boots Chet Walker, Pippin
Best Orchestrations:Chris Nightingale, Matilda The Musical Stephen Oremus, Kinky Boots Ethan Popp & Bryan Crook, Motown The Musical Danny Troob, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Best Scenic Design of a Play:John Lee Beatty, The Nance Santo Loquasto, The Assembled Parties David Rockwell, Lucky Guy Michael Yeargan, Golden Boy
Best Scenic Design of a Musical:Rob Howell, Matilda The Musical Anna Louizos, The Mystery of Edwin Drood Scott Pask, Pippin David Rockwell, Kinky Boots
Best Lighting Design of a Play: Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhauer, Lucky Guy Donald Holder, Golden Boy Jennifer Tipton, The Testament of Mary Japhy Weideman, The Nance
Best Lighting Design of a Musical:Kenneth Posner, Kinky Boots Kenneth Posner, Pippin Kenneth Posner, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella Hugh Vanstone, Matilda The Musical
Best Sound Design of a Play:John Gromada, The Trip to Bountiful Mel Mercier, The Testament of Mary Leon Rothenberg, The Nance Peter John Still and Marc Salzberg, Golden Boy
Best Sound Design of a Musical:Jonathan Deans & Garth Helm, Pippin Peter Hylenski, Motown The Musical John Shivers, Kinky Boots Nevin Steinberg, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre:Bernard GerstenPaul LibinMing Cho Lee
Regional Theatre Award:Huntington Theatre Company, Boston, MA
Isabelle Stevenson Award:Larry Kramer
Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre:Career Trainsition For DancersWilliam CraverPeter LawrenceThe Lost ColonyThe four actresses who created the title role of Matilda The Musical on Broadway: Sophia Gennusa, Oona Laurence, Bailey Ryon, and Milly Shapiro
Follow Lindsey on Twitter @LDiMat.
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Typically, throughout the life of a long-running TV drama (or dramedy, or high-brow comedy), we see main characters go through massive internal changes. The most obvious example would be Breaking Bad's Walter White, who morphed from goofy science teacher to terrifying meth kingpin in about a year. Then there's someone like Nurse Jackie, who — albeit initially unwillingly — recently made the decision to face her decade-spanning addiction and be a better mother. The list goes on and on, but one guy who will likely never make it is Californication's Hank Moody — the emotional terrorist and lifelong black hole idolized by college males who want to make it big and sleep around in Los Angeles, worldwide. He returned last night for his sixth go-round, and though everything should be different — last season ended with his broken-hearted ex (Natalie Zea) poisoning him in an attempted double-suicide — it's just not. Hank is depressed, destructive, self-indulgent, and incapable of surviving without the help of the people who still somehow manage to love him.
”I think it’s a temptation over a long-running series to try to reinvent the character, when in fact the character is the essence of the show,” David Duchovny said in a recent interview with Hollywood.com. “If you change the character and reinvent it, you’re actually making a different show. As fun as it may be for the actor, it’s kind of a dissolution of the bond you’ve made with your audience." Duchovny has a point — completely eliminating his character's self-destructive tendencies would be a fatal mistake, but when you get as far as Season 6, there can only be so many failed interventions and sordid affairs before at least a solid attempt at change becomes necessary.
Last night's premiere, for the unseasoned viewer, did show a drastic change — it flashed back and forth between Hank and Karen's charming early courtship, and Hank's current state, where he was too disgusted with himself to be in the same room with her. Which was actually pretty strange, because in five seasons Hank has conducted many affairs, ruined his familial relations via drinking and drug use, etc etc, but the fact that his ex-girlfriend ended up being a crazy pants who tried to poison him was like, the one thing that was not his fault. The guilt he feels over her death (as he was the last one to break her heart) is completely natural, but dealing with it via another Hank Moody meltdown that will inevitably lead to him losing everything but Runkle is tiresome.
This is why the end of the episode, which found Hank waking up for a meeting in a ridiculously expensive rehab, was a relief. An entire season of Hank's drunken escapades is the very last thing this show needs. Watching him try to confront his issues head on — while trying to launch an absurd Broadway musical — has the potential to be very interesting, as well as revitalizing for this aging show. Besides, there is just as much comedy to be found in the rehabilitation process as there is in the downward spiral.
Which brings us to the vomiting in cocaine incident: Runkle managed to trick Hank into a meeting on rockstar Atticus Fetch (Tim Minchin)'s private plane. Fetch, so far, has the potential to bring great comedy — if they manage to not turn him into an Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) parody. Anyway, Fetch wanted to turn Hank's book "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" into a Broadway rock opera, an idea that the shitfaced Hank absolutely hated. He hated it so much, in fact, that he projectile vomited onto Fetch's giant mount of cocaine, which probably means he owes him a favor.
All in all, it was a solid — if well-tread — return to the series. The addition of the rock opera plot line, Fetch's antics, and Hank's journey through rehab should lead to good things down the line. After all, a little change, as they say, can do you good.
Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna
[PHOTO CREDIT: David M. Russell/Showtime]
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The musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's beloved book received the maximum possible nods, including best actor in a musical for Bertie Carvel and best supporting actor in a musical for Paul Kaye.
Young actresses Kerry Ingram, Sophia Kiely, Cleo Demetriou and Eleanor Worthington Cox share the title role in the production and received a joint best actress in a musical nomination. They will be up against Kat Fleetwood, Sarah Lancashire and Scarlett Strallen.
Featuring songs by funnyman Tim Minchin, Matilda the Musical, which focuses on a schoolgirl who has magic powers, has been a huge hit after opening in London's West End last year (12), and will head to Broadway in 2013.
The nominations for the Olivier theatre awards, which celebrate the best of the year's British stage shows, were announced on Thursday (15Mar12).
One Man, Two Guvnors and The LadyKillers received five nominations each including best play, while the musical adaption of hit 1990 movie Ghost scored four nods
Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch and Trainspotting actor Jonny Lee Miller received a joint best actor nomination for Frankenstein, and will compete against Jude Law, James Corden, David Haif and Douglas Hodge for the award.
Kristen Scott Thomas, Celia Imrie, Lesley Manville, Marcia Warren and Ruth Wilson are vying for the best actress honour.
The award ceremony takes place on 15 April at London's Royal Opera House, and will be hosted by Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton.
Invited to work on musical adaptation of Roahl Dahl's "Matilda" for theatre
Awarded Olivier for Best New Musical for "Matilda the Musical"
Wrote and acted in animated short "Storm"
<p>Whether waxing poetic about the fallacy of religion or singing about the joys of being a nerd, comedian/writer/musician Tim Minchin loved to tweak the funny bone with a bit of truth. He began his career as a stand-up comedian in Australia, where his trademark appearance -- barefoot, with wild hair and excessive eye makeup, pounding a piano while delivering songs with choruses liberally strewn with rude words -- did not mask the subtle, incisive brilliance of his comedy. This combination of glam rock and Woody Allen proved a potent combination that brought him devoted fans around the world. His move into the entertainment mainstream with a Broadway musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's <i>Matilda</i> then introduced Minchin to an entirely new audience.</p><p>Although born in Northampton in the U.K., Minchin grew up in Australia just outside of Perth. He studied piano as a child but gave it up at eight when he realized he didn't have the discipline to stick with it. It was only when his older brother started up a rock band several years later that he was persuaded to give it another go. The piano was destined to become the anchor for his stand-up comedy act. He studied music at university, graduating in 1998 with an Advanced Degree in Contemporary Music from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts after achieving a B.A. at the University of Western Australia. He struggled to find work as a composer for theatre after college, but it was his comedic music that landed him enough attention to put together a one-man show in 2005 called "Darkside." This led to a series of performances at various comedy festivals, garnering awards and recognition such as the Perrier Award for Best Newcomer and Best Alternative Comedian at the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in 2007. He spent the next few years touring his show "Are You Ready For This?"</p><p>Minchin began seeing more acting opportunities as his stand-up career heated up. He had a small part in the Australian film "Two Fists, One Heart" (2008), followed by a stage stint as Judas in a reimagined version of the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber 's rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar." Not long after, he picked up the recurring role of rock star Atticus Fitch in the cable hit "Californication" (Showtime 2007- ) and began appearing regularly as a stand-up and musical guest on "Conan" (TBS 2010- ). Minchin's love of composition came full circle when he was invited to develop music and lyrics for a 2010 theatrical adaptation of Roald Dahl's <i>Matilda</i> for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Winning a record seven Olivier Awards, it ran for several years in London before moving to Broadway in 2013, where it won five Tony Awards.</p>
University of Western Australia
"Every single decision you make sends you down a path from which you can't return… Discomfort is a wonderful part of comedy." - from an interview with Kate Kellaway in The Observer newspaper.