Friday, January 30, 2009

Liza at the Palace vids!

Video from closing night of Liza at the Palace on Broadway!

Here is an unbelievably sad cover of her mothers version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"

the cd of the show is out Feb. 3rd!

Coachella Promo Pic

Here is a promo pic running around for the headliners of Coachella!

Daily Amy 3: More Beach Fun

Here's some new pics of Amy still taking it easy on the beaches of St. Lucia. Featured in these pics is Andrew, the mysterious new guy that Amy is now apparently staying with. She's looking good, better and better every time!

Daily Amy 2: Robbed

After some great Amy news, her headlining gig in April in LA, there is some bad news that follows. The Sun is reporting that Amy's Camden flat, where she has not been for the past 2 months because of her extended vacation, has been robbed by burglars who smashed their way into her home yesterday. They stole over 15,000$ worth of gear. Police were called to her home at 4am by neighbors, but they had fled by theen. Some of the stolen items were recovered as they were abandoned by the burglars in a flee to escape. A source close to Amy says: “Amy is devastated. Some of the guitars are irreplaceable due to their sentimental value. The flat is in a real state. It had been cleaned up in preparation for her return. Now she will have to start from scratch to replace what has been stolen."

Reportedly one of the 5 grammys that Amy won was stolen. Sad.


This is the MOST FANTASTIC NEWS EVER! Released today are the artists which will be performing at the Coachella Music Festival in California in April. Here they are:

Friday April 17th
Headliner - Paul McCartney
Main Stage Acts - Morrissey / Franz Ferdinand
Others - Leonard Cohen, Conor Oberst, Girl Talk, The ting tings, Crystal Method, Crystal Castles, Felix Da Housecat, and many more

Saturday April 18th
Headliner - Amy Winehouse
Main Stage Acts - The Killers / Thievery Corporation
Others - TV On the Radio, MSTRKRFT, Band Of Horses, Hercules and Love Affair, Amanda Palmer, Calexico, and many more

Sunday April 19th
Headliner - The Cure
Main Stage Acts - The Yeah Yeah Yeahs / My Bloody Valentine
Others - Lupe Fiasco, Pete Bjorn and John, Antony and the Johnsons, Public Enemy, Jenny Lewis, Groove Armanda, Paulo Nutini, Lykke Li, and many more

YES! You read that right!! Amy is making a return to live performing!! IN THE STATES!!! Oh I wish I could go. (Note: If you want to fund my trip and ticket ... send me an email at: .. i will take lots of pictures and review it all for you) :) Hehehe.

I cannot wait to get my hands on the videos of Amy back to what she does best!!

Evan: Its a Lie

Evan Rachel Wood has gone on the record to deny a romantic leak with Mickey Rourke, in a big way, here's what she had to say:

"I’m upset because I feel disrespected by the press and by Mr. Rourke. Just because I’m single doesn’t mean that you can take advantage of me. It’s unfair that the performances might suffer because of all of these distractions. I'm not attracted to him, he's too old for me. Nothing ever happened and nothing ever will."

My responce: YOU DATED MARILYN MANSON. He was 40! Come on.

Tour Extended AGAIN

Madonna's STICKY AND SWEET Tour has been extended AGAIN. This will make it the longest and most profitable concert in Madonna's over 25 year career. Also this makes it .. are you ready for this ... THE MOST PROFITABLE CONCERT .. EVER.


The Queen always reigns supreme

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Jay Brannan is God

Jay Brannan does a pretty good job of singing about how I feel about religion

Courtney Covergirl: Heeb Magazine

Courtney Love is once again a covergirl this month, and here are some excerpts of what she has to say here. She is like a big fresh breathe of air. I love her:

On her Jewish grandmother:

She said in The New York Times Magazine that she didn’t like the way I used language. I’m a lyricist. Call it whatever the fuck you want, but don’t talk about how I use language because how I use language is my bread and butter.

On why women musicians aren’t as good as men:

This all-girl fantasy I’ve had my whole life, of you know. . .I’m going to show those Beatles, we’re going to be huge! Well, it’s not going to happen, right now, for my generation, for me. You know what I mean? Like, there are fucking riot grrrls sitting there banging on pots and pans and talking about their vaginas, and that’s all really lovely, and like the writing is great, but the music blows. I mean you have to fucking sit in your room and practice. You have to fucking learn how to play guitar, you have to learn how to play bass, you have to learn how to fucking play drums. You have to go get Zeppelin one through four, and you have to fucking sit in a fucking little room off Hollywood Blvd. for two hundred dollars a fucking month, and you have to play those goddamn drums. And for whatever reason, women just haven’t seemed to want to do that.

On motherhood:

I’m a really, really good mother, and the proof is in the pudding. She’s had some bad breaks when I was on drugs, but she never saw me on drugs. I would go to New York, or I would go to a hotel, so she never saw me in that condition.

On vanity:

I realized this the other day: I don’t have any pictures of myself. Other than a few snapshots, like with my band. I have a picture that’s on the fridge of us just getting off of the stage. I have a picture of me and Brett Ratner. I kind of don’t have pictures of Kurt around much or any images of myself. And a lot of celebrities do. I went to take my band to Paris [Hilton’s]’ house. There were images of her everywhere. I mean everywhere. And I like Paris. She’s funny. Is it the fall of civilization that Paris is famous for being famous? Not my job to speculate. I’m not a culture vulture, I’ll let Ariana Huffington fucking talk about that shit. But what’s weird is that Paris had so many pictures of herself everywhere. I mean, she has not only got a grand piano with—I swear to God—maybe a thousand pictures of herself, but I was in the bathroom, and there were, pictures of her everywhere! Everywhere! I’m just trying to pee and there’s just fucking. . .Paris.

On transaction:

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I can be bought. I mean, wait: Versace, offered me $180,000. Yeah, $180,000 to go to a fashion show once, back in the day, and I thought: “This is stupid now. I could give my friend her start-up money to start a bakery, you know, I can walk down the Spanish steps, and you know, have all the supermodels climb me, and tell my daughter, you know, that I was hot enough to wear a see-through mauve caftan, right?” So, I said yes, and I did it. . . . And, you know, it really makes you think, do you have a price? And if so, what is it?

On being Jewish:

What’s funny about the Jewish thing is that I did this Barbara Walters special, and I had to watch that thing on TV, and that’s the last time I ever did drugs when I was watching that thing. Cause it Freaked. Me. Out. And, you know, I never watched Barbara Walters before. But, I remember telling her that I was Jewish, and I was really into it. . .and, she looked at me funny, and I remember she looked at me funny in the moment, and . . . being in Britain about half the year, I tend to spend about half the year there, because I really like it there, um, you know, the way that the people who are Jewish, you know, in L.A.? …I don’t know what the fuck I am. I am definitely an underdog though, so that puts me in the Tribe.

On re-entering the spotlight:

This guy interviewed me for the Advocate before Kurt died, and I was reading it, and I was like, oh my God, I was like so fearlessly hysterical. You know, I wonder if I’m the same way. . .or I’ve been scarred, or if I’ve been damaged, or deformed, or you know. . .deformed I mean like a tree that grows up gnarly, you know what I mean? Like, I wonder if all this death and tragedy and shit has really fucked with me. I can’t say I know. You know? Why do you think I have two shrinks?. . .See, my heeb side is coming out.

Faye SLAMS Duff

After the news yesterday that Hillary Duff would be starring as Bonnie in the remake of Bonnie and Clyde, Faye Dunaway (pictured here as the original Bonnie) had this to say about the casting: "Couldn't they have at least cast a real actress?!"


Remebering the films of 2008

Here lay the best films of 2008 .. what a great year!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Yo Stink Bitch

The amazingly funny Jennifer Coolidge starring as Hot Coco in Nip/Tuck - here is her rap video YO STINK BITCH. Its the funniest thing EVER!

Somebodies BUSTIN out .. literally

Look at Jessica Simpson in her mom jeans ...... ew

Johnny Weir tribute

Here is a great tribute to Johnny Weir. Bad season or not, hes the most talented male figure skater Ive ever seen.

Tilda on CD!

Patrick Wolf (who sings the irresistable "Magic Position") has recruited Academy Award winning actress (and my fav) Tilda Swinton for collaborations on his next cd! Tilda will be credited on the cd as: The Voice of Hope. She will appear on 4 songs. Providing narration, raps, and singing her own vocals. Yes, you read it right. Tilda rapping. Tilda is a huge fan of Patrick Wolf's and had this to say about him:

"[We are] kith and kin. My feeling is that we almost certainly come from the same planet. His music feels like the unexpressed soundtrack of a great film I want to see - and try to catch every night before I go to sleep."

Patrick Wolf was a huge Tilda fan, and met her at an AIDS charity event and slipped her a burnt cd of rough material for his new album and a handwritten note. Tilda called him back in 2 days and said yes.

The rumored title for the forthcoming album is: Bloody Chamber Music

Coming Soon: Tomb Raider III

After origionating the role of Lara Croft in the 2-movie Tomb Raider series, the 3rd film has been green-lit, however there will be NO ANGELINA in the film. She has turned down the role. I quite enjoyed the first two films (especially the second!) but I am kinda glad Angelina turned it down - more serious roles!! YAAAY! Rumored to take Jolie's spot is Megan Fox from transformers.

Daily Amy 3: Ready to Record

FINALLY news I am excited about. Amy will be ending her Carribean sabbatical at the end of the week and she will be going home to London to finally get into the studio and record her 3rd album. Amy's rep had this to say:

"Amy has been calling industry colleagues and telling them to start preparing because she's back. She's singing new material over the phone to them and telling them to get working on it. She desperately wants to re-establish herself as a serious musician. Amy is definitely getting back to work. Her manager was in St. Lucia over the weekend talking to her about organizing studio time and putting together her band. She's got a lot of songs written."

YAAAAY! a new album in 09 would be WONDERFUL!

Daily Amy 2: A(nother) Boyfriend?!

Minutes after reading Amy was attempting to save her marriage to Blake and wanted to visit him in jail - I read the report that Amy has a new boyfriend in St. Lucia - AND - she has moved all of her belongings into his home on the island, and is no longer staying in her hotel. The new guy - Andrew. He is the fitness trainer at the resort Amy has been staying at. A source close to the new "couple" said: "Amy has a habit for falling for guys very quickly. She's head-over-heels with Andrew and doesn't want anything coming in the way of their relationship. She initially left the hotel so that she could have some privacy but now she's moved again, into his home, to ensure that no long lenses will uncover what she's getting up to."


Daily Amy: A Planned Visit to Mr. Wrong

In what may not be a good idea, Amy Winehouse is making a last minute attempth to save her marriage to her husband Blake. Despite intial findings that she was wanting to begin divorce proceedings, Amy has had a change of heart after she herself was served divorce papers. Her rep had this to say: “Since he began divorce proceedings Amy has decided she wants to try and work things out. She has applied to visit him in jail in Britain and if he accepts she will fly back. We will see what his priority is. Amy or her money.”

So time will only tell if Blake will allow Amy to visit him.

Billy Bob and Angelina back together?

Billy Bob Thorton is in the new issue of Interview magazine, and he is saying that he's dying to work with Angelina again on another movie (their last was the comedy Pushing Tin). He had this to say:

Question: Who's an actress you're dying to work with?

Billy Bob Answer: Jessica Biel for one reason and Cate Blanchett for another. I've worked with Cate twice, and I'd say she's probably the best actress out there. I'd like to do another movie with Angie [ex-wife Angelina Jolie], too, one of these days. We talk all the time. She and I keep looking for something to do together; we just have to find the right thing. She is the most vulnerable and fantastic actress out there.

Gaga & Paris

Here is a fun video of Lady Gaga meeting Paris Hilton at some party thrown by Nokia. Okay everyone together now ... RANDOM

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

LIZA on the View

this is AMAZING!
liza's performance and interview on the view

Rod gets slammed

Here's our disgraced governor in IL getting stomped by Whoopie and especially Joy on the View. Loves it.

Email love

In a wonderful bit of news, Kate Winslet told reporters that on Oscar nomination day she emailed Penelope Cruz to congradualte her on the nomination and tell her that her performance was her favorite of the year. Cruz responded, telling reporters:

"I was floored. I think Kate is a legend, and the fact that she sent me well wishes and said such nice things was so wonderful. I hope she wins."

SO sweet!

EW makes a BOLD prediction

In a year when it seems every award is either locked or down to 2 contenders, Entertainment Weekly just made a BOLD prediction in the best actress category. They threw caution to the wind and said best actress will be between Meryl Streep and Angelina Jolie! Woah. Leaving off Winslet - and even Hathaway, to praise Jolie is a bold and wonderful choice. I have to say, not seeing Winslet yet of course, that Jolie is my favorite contender in the race thus far. She did beat all of the ladies nominated in the Sattelite award, that is it however. Although Oscar loves an upset, and perhaps Jolie may be the one! ITS HEATING UP!

Bad casting in Bonnie and Clyde redo

This is a huge WHAT THE FUCK. The stellar gangster film Bonnie And Clyde is being re-made. In the role made famous by Warren Beatty is Kevin Zegers (from Transamerica) and in Faye Dunaways role ..... Hillary Duff?! WHAT THE HELL?! I smell disaster.

GLAAD Nominations

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation have listed its nominations in pretty much every category including TV, Film, Music, Theatre, Journalism, and more. Here are the nominations:

"Brideshead Revisited"
"Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist"
"Vicky Cristina Barcelona"

"The Edge of Heaven"
"Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom"
"Save Me"

"Brothers & Sisters"
"The L Word"
"South of Nowhere"
"True Blood"

"Desperate Housewives
"Ugly Betty"

(in a series without a regular LGBT character)

"Ghostfacers" - "Supernatural"
"My Maharishi is Bigger than Your Maharishi" - "Life on Mars"
"Slam" - "Ghost Whisperer"
"Tandem Repeats" ER
"Unidentified Funk" - "The New Adventures of Old Christine"

"East Side Story"
"Ice Blues: A Donald Strachey Mystery"
"Oh Happy Day"
"On the Other Hand, Death: A Donald Strachey Mystery"

"Chris & Don: A Love Story"
"A Jihad for Love"
"Saving Marriage"
"Sex Change Hospital"

"America's Next Top Model"
"I Want to Work for Diddy"
"Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List"
"Shirts & Skins"
"Transamerican Love Story"

"All My Children"
"As the World Turns"

"Don't Ruin My Gay Wedding" - "The Tyra Banks Show"
"Ellen & Portia's Wedding Day" - "The Ellen DeGeneres Show"
"Gays in the Ghetto" - "The Tyra Banks Show"
"The Pregnant Man" - "The Oprah Winfrey Show"
"Transgender Triumphs" - "The Tyra Banks Show"

"Becoming" (multi-part series) Channel 3 News
"Born in the Wrong Body: All in the Family"
"Funding the Marriage War" - "In the Life"
"George Takei and Brad Altman" (multi-part series) The Early Show
"The Whispers" Outside the Lines

"Bishop in the Eye of the Storm" - "Today"
"Gay in Cuba" - "The Situation Room"
"Special Comment: Prop 8" - "Countdown with Keith Olbermann"
"Rick Warren: Change to Believe In?" - "The Rachel Maddow Show"
"Taking to the Streets" - "Good Morning America Weekend"

"Gay Marriage Ruling Ended Long Journey Of Soul" by Alaine Griffin
"Morehouse College Faces its Own Bias – Against Gays" by Richard Fausset
"A New Wave of Gay Seminarians Prepares to Take the Pulpit" by Bradley Campbell
"Owning His Gay Identity – at 15 Years Old" by Theresa Vargas
"Special Report: In Transition" by Karen Lovett and Ashley Smith

Alfred Doblin (The Record [Bergen, N.J.])
Michael Mayo (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
Leonard Pitts, Jr. (The Miami Herald)
Deb Price (The Detroit News)
Rebecca Walsh (Salt Lake Tribune)

The Denver Post
The Des Moines Register
Los Angeles Times
The New York Times
The Washington Post

"Becoming a Black Man" by Daisy Hernández (ColorLines)
"Death on Terminal Island" by Ben Ehrenreich (Los Angeles)
"Let God Love Gene Robinson" by Andrew Corsello (GQ)
"Our Mutual Joy" by Lisa Miller (Newsweek)
"Second Nature" by Maximillian Potter (5280)

The Advocate
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Entertainment Weekly

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Do Kill" by Lennox Samuels (
"Gay Athletes are Making Their Mark" by LZ Granderson (
"Gay in Wasilla" by Julie Bolcer (
"Gays in Primetime" by James Hillis (
"Invisible and Overlooked" by Jessica Bennett (

"Excluded Gay Bishop Reacts" by Mary Jordan (
"Gay Seniors" (multi-part series) by Jessica Bennet, Jennifer Molina and Carl Sullivan (
"Is Gay the New Black?" by Jessica Bennet and Jennifer Molina (

Jay Brannan, "goddamed"
Hercules & Love Affair, "Hercules & Love Affair"
k.d. lang, "Watershed"
The Magnetic Fields, "Distortion"
Sam Sparro, "Sam Sparro"

"The Alcoholic" by Jonathan Ames
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" by Drew Goddard, Jeph Loeb and Joss Whedon
"Final Crisis: Revelations" by Greg Rucka
"Secret Six" by Gail Simone
"Young Avengers" Presents by Ed Brubaker, Brian Reed, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Paul Cornell, Kevin
"Grevioux and Matt Fraction"

"I Don't Judge" IKEA
"Logo Unbuttoned" Levi's
"We All Walk In Different Shoes – Nina Poon" Kenneth Cole
"Rugby Drinking Party" Jawbone

"First Comes Love. Then Comes Marriage." Macy's
"Home for the Holidays" Swanson
"Rings" Paris Las Vegas
"We All Walk In Different Shoes – Nina Poon & Robert Jason" Kenneth Cole
"Will You Marry Me?" Absolut Vodka

"As Much As You Can" by Paul Oakley Stovall
"Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead" by Bert V. Royal
"He Asked for It" by Erik Patterson
"The Little Dog Laughed" by Douglas Carter Beane
"Secrets of the Trade" by Jonathan Tolins

"Billy Elliot: The Musical" book and lyrics by Lee Hall, music by Elton John
"Body Awareness" by Annie Baker
"Prayer for My Enemy" by Craig Lucas
"Road Show" book by John Weidman, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
"Wig Out!" by Tarell Alvin McCraney

"Arias with a Twist" by Joey Arias and Basil Twist
"The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac" by Taylor Mac
"Dina Martina: Off the Charts!" by Grady West
"Lustre, a Midwinter Trans-Fest" by Justin Bond
"Play it Cool" book by Martin Casella and Larry Dean Harris, music by Phillip Swann, lyrics by Mark Winkler

"The Laramie Project, 10 Years Later - The Lasting Legacy of Matthew Shepard" (Sirius XM Radio)

Tyra Banks

Suze Orman

Singing Again

Scarlet Johannsson's album was a commercial disaster, but I looooved it. I am happy to hear that she is still singing. This time she will sing a Jeff Buckly cover on the soundtrack for her new film: "Hes Just Not That Into You". The song is: Last Goodbye. I hope she stays from covers soon (her album was a set of Tom Waits covers) and does some original stuff, but I cant wait to hear the song.

New couple?!

Although Mickey Rourke romanced Marisa Tomei in the wrestler, it seems that a real life love connection is forming between Rourke and his on-screen daughter (in the Wrestler) Evan Rachel Wood is forming. Wow! The 2 were spotted "kissing romantically" at the SAG awards. Evan has an odd standing track record with her boyfriends, she dated Marilyn Manson for almost 2 years. But before you judge, I can understand the attraction. Rourke is amazingly talented, as seen in the movie, and in all of his interviews he seems very down to earth and likeable. It still is a bit weird.

Here's another pic of the two outside of a hotel ... hmmm

PETA = Vandalists

Those crazy PETA people have now vandalized 3 stars on the Hollywood walk of fame. On Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen's star they crossed out their names and wrote: FUR HAGS. On Sharon Stone's star they crossed her out and put: OLD FUR HAG. And on Aretha Franklins star they crossed her out and wrote: FAT FUR HAG.

Come on - this is against the law, no?

Gugino in Sin City

Here are some pictures of Carla Gugino, who now stars in Goodman theatre's "Desire Under the Elms", in Sin City. One of her and Mickey Rourke!

Theatre Review: Desire Under The Elms

by: Eugene O'Neill
@ Goodman Theatre
directed by: Robert Falls

Goodman theatre, proud employer of yours truly (and I will not slant my views on this production in any way), has truly outdone itself with its production of the Eugene O'Niell classic "Desire Under the Elms". With a rocky start to the season, the new musical "Turn of the Century" (which was either loved or detested), Goodman is back on track with what very well may be the theatre event of the year. "Desire" was chosen as the centerpiece of the Eugene O'Neil festival that is being held currently at the Goodman, and with director Robert Falls at the helm - no stone is left unturned (no pun intended). The big guns have been brought out: An announced Broadway engagement following its Chicago run, the highest caliber designers and crew, and of course Brian Dennehy - which along with Falls has always spelled success. (Shall we go back a few years and remember it was Falls/Dennehy/Goodman who brought the revival of "Death of a Salesman" which opened in Chicago and went on to Broadway to win best revival of a play, best director, and best actor). With such a talented cast, I smell a repeat.

The story is one that many theatre folk are familiar with. I remember reading "Desire" my first year in college as a theatre major in my theatre history and literature class. In every way possible it is a classic tragedy. Those seeking a good time, or a happy ending, should wander elsewhere. The first great achievement of this production of the play, is the wise cutting of the script. As an epic piece, it has an epically long script. Robert Falls' cutting of the piece is quick, to the point, and meticulously planned. He eliminates wisely early on in the story, allowing the focal point (that of the fatal love triangle which destroys the core family) to breathe and grow on its own. Desire is like a 3 act play, which Falls has wisely turned into 2 acts with a prologue. In what could have been a three hour long event, this "Desire" clocks in at barely over an hour and a half. Smart move. This production is quick, to the point, yet never seems rushed or hurried in any way. (I tend to credit Falls with this, his 3 act, 3.5 hour long 'King Lear' is still my favorite piece of theatre I have seen in Chicago. Despite its length it seemed as if nothing could or should have been cut - it was all wonderful and needed).

The story follows the Cabot family. I do not want to go into the plot points. I am sure most theatre-people know the jist of it, and those who are not theatre people or haven't read the show, it would be a true crime to ruin the show's dark secrets. However a basis is needed. The show opens with 3 heirs to a family farm (sons Eben, Peter, and Simeon) doing their daily routine of strenuous chores and slaying of food. It is a boring life that the characters of the play are stuck in. However the soon return of the helm of the family (Ephraim Cabot) jolts the sons into action. Eben convinces his slightly aloof brothers to sign over their share of the farm so that they can make their trek to the Golden Hills of California (Cal .. I .. FORN .. I - A, here) to escape their begrudged lifestyle and become rich and free. As they leave the farm, a new inhabitant enters, determined to make the farm hers. Ephraim has married, a very young and very determined Abbie Putnam. O'Niell uses the rest of the show to plot out a 3 way struggle for ownership of the land. Ephraim plans to live to a hundred and out-live them all, Eben plans to get the farm in revenge of his now-replaced mother, and Abbie is determined to have something to call her own. The rest of the show details how these 3 very troubled, often unlikeable, characters twist and turn things to gain control of the farm, and each other.

Brian Dennehy has had some success in television and film (he was Juliet's father in the overrated Baz Luhrman version of "Romeo and Juliet", he was Chris Farley's father in "Tommy Boy" and was most recently in the new Pacino/DeNiro film Righteous Kill), but his true talent has always been the theatre. He is widely known as one of the best interpreters of the O'Neill language as well. He is used to great effect in this production as the stern, hard-working, and all around crotchety Ephriam Cabot. Dennehy's Ephriam is the type of old man who forgets which son is which after being gone for a year, not because he is senile, but because he honestly has spent no time looking at his children. He is all about hard work. He is dedicated to his farm, more than his family. He is on his third wife - and treats them as child bearers and food makers, his sons are his slaves. He connects better with the cows in the pasture than with his own flesh and blood. Out of the three central characters, it is Dennehy who has the least stage time, and he makes use of every scene to his advantage. He is a force onstage, one of those performances where as soon as he enters the arena - all eyes are on him. The best part of his performance is that he never allows himself to become over-dramatic or even worse melodramatic. In many ways, as Ephriam's world falls apart and he is victim of ultimate betrayal, he reacts in the opposite way that many actor would play the part. He quietens down. He bites the bullet. It would be an odd affair if Denney's wasn't awarded by both the Chicago Jeff's and the Tony's for his work here.

Carla Gugino stars as Abbie, and this is a career defining performance. Watching her in the role is like watching a star being made. Gugino is best know for her film and television work, (she is on Entourage, she was in Sin City, she also starred with Dennehy, Pacino, and DeNiro in this years Righteous Kill) but after this performance I smell many more theatre credits coming her way. Abbie is a tough role, and Gugino steps up to the plate in a big way. It's easy to paint Abbie as the villain of the piece, and Gugino is willing to play that role. Her Abbie is a violent, venom-spitting monster. But at the same time Gugino allows her Abbie to be sexual, playful, and turns the "monster" into a victim as well. At times you don't know what to do with Abbie - take her into your arms for a hug or spit potatoes in her face. As the woman who literally is the nail in the coffin for all of the farms inhabitants, Gigino stands on the fine line of realism and melodrama - and I think that is the way O'Neill intended it to be. She allows herself to go relentlessly over the top, in the best most effective and desirable way. She is the snake in the garden, literally as many of her movements in the play are dance like and slithery. In many ways, hers is the performance people will be talking about, as she damn near steals the show.

As the third member of the triangle, Pablo Schreiber stars as Eben Cabot. Eben is constantly fighting to get out of the shadow of his father - often times to no avail. He is wounded by the death of his mother, and blames his father for working her to death without showing her any love. The show is ultimately about the fateful love between Eben and Abbie (I hope I am not giving away too much here), as they make the couple in "The War of the Roses" look like Al and Peggy Bundy. Pablo is easy on the eyes, and often shirtless or even nude, but his performance is much more than eye candy. He takes the role of Eben to new extremes that couldn't be found on the page. His character makes some of the most surprising and stupid decisions. However his performance is a sight to behold as you see Eben grow from boy to man in under 2 hours.

Boris McGiver and Daniel Stewart Sherman round out the cast as Peter and Simeon Cabot (respectively). They add a greatly needed comedy to the beginning of a show which certainly isn't about laughs. Boris McGiver is certainly the standout as the dim-witted Peter.

Everything about this production is monumental. The set design is among the best I have ever seen. Gone are the elms as we are thrust onto the farm built of stones and dirt. Hanging above the set, is what hangs above each of the characters heads (driving their actions throughout), the farmhouse. Hoisted up by heavy grinding ropes, the farmhouse is literally crashing down upon its inhabitants. Stones are tied from the sky, threatening to fall down onto the greedy threesome as they fight for their home and their love. Its no surprise that the set designer is Walt Spangler, often Fall's collaborator (they last worked together on King Lear - the most sprawling theatre piece I've ever seen). The light design is haunting. Oftentimes there is a feeling of the characters being trapped underwater at times, like fish trying to escape to the ocean - yet instead they are flapping around like fish out of water, desperately hoping to flop themselves a few feet so they can land back into the stream. The music used is perfect. There are some pieces created just for the show, some live violin music, and most exciting a full Bob Dylan song, which plays early on and posts a warning to the audience: "It ain't dark yet, but it's getting there."

"Desire Under the Elms" is not only recommended theater viewing, I think it will be a true crime not to see the show. I give it my highest praise and adoration. I truly suggest that you get to Goodman theatre as soon as you can and see the show that I am sure everyone will be talking about.

**** out of ****

taken from Hedy Weiss Sun Time's Review:

"It takes actors of immense presence to stand up to such an overwhelming environment, and this cast of five unquestionably meets the challenge."

"Veteran Carla Gugino is absolutely sensational!"

"Dennehy easily taps into the unmovable, self-made tyrant whose struggle for survival has robbed him of compassion. He brings a creepy sense of foreboding."

"Schrieber turns in a beatifully calibrated performance."

"You will not soon forget this thunderous production."

"Highly recommended"

Taken from Chris Jones Chicago Tribune review:

"Robert Falls’ colossal, eye-popping, unabashedly sexual and overtly expressionistic revival of Eugene O’Neill’s embryonic American tragedy from 1924 is a success."

"Carla Gugino stars, in what could be a career-making performance."

"This latest, massive production, which also includes a defiantly anachronistic burst of Bob Dylan, feels like an intellectual companion to his similarly expressionistic and controversial take on “King Lear.”

“Desire” is a very difficult play for a modern audience to grasp. It is a relentlessly depressing play that a good portion of that audience won’t particularly want to grasp. I am not in that group, but I see their argument and wouldn’t be surprised if more than a few make it with their feet. But such are the enemies a great artistic leader must make."

"Carla Gigino's performance is an arresting and courageous one that oozes sex but also suggests the kind of steely alienation that can make sense of a mercurial character driven to madness."

"Highly Recommended"

Monday, January 26, 2009

Oscar Showdown (Post-Sag)

So the SAG's have thrown a wrench into the awards season. Here is how I see the races at this point ... not to make it a "Dog Fight" as Sean Penn alluded to in his speech. (ugh)


Its still SEAN Vs. MICKEY at this point. And with Sean winning the SAG, the advantage may be pointing towards him. All that is left now is the BAFTA = whoever wins that is the front runner (and I am expecting Rourke to walk away with that one). The only threat is the darkhorse FRANK LANGELLA. If Penn and Rourke split the vote, it leaves a spot open for Mr. President to step in and steal the award.


This is now a 2 woman race for sure. Anne is out of the running now, and its down to MERYL STREEP Vs. KATE WINSLET. I do not think Kate is a lock at this point, as she is only nominated once, and perhaps for the wrong film, I think Meryl is more respected (and shockingly only has one leading actress Oscar) - and the timing is right. She's won the SAG, the critics award, and tons of respect for her awesome speech. But counting out Winslet is just plain stupid, in many ways this was her year. It will be one of these two ladies.


the same.


I almost think this is the award of the night. With Kate Winslet out of the category - it has left the door wide open. PENELOPE CRUZ has been the constant front-runner, however MARISA TOMEI has won the most pre-show accolades. Then there's VIOLA DAVIS, who is the most likely to be a shocker. (For example if Meryl doesnt win lead, they may want to reward Doubt with an acting award - giving it to the fantastic Viola Davis). Counting out TARAJI P. HENSON may also be silly - because out of all of the big Benjamin Button awards - she is the only one with a shot of winning (it wont win best picture, best director, or best actor). If they want to reward it big, they may do it here. She is the longshot, however I think in the end the award will go to CRUZ, TOMEI, or DAVIS.

Its heating up!

Damages RENEWED!!!

The award winning show DAMAGES (also one of my favorite shows on television) has been renewed for 2 MORE SEASONS due to the success of season 2 so far, it viewership is up 23%$ from season one. I cannot wait to catch up on the show, it is FANTASTIC! And Glen Close is truly amazing. Watch it on FX!