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Thursday, December 13, 2007


Adventures in Casting: Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, Together Again (and Again)


- The movie adaptation of the Pulitzer-winning play Doubt was already in great shape, what with Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Savages), and Amy Adams (Enchanted) already set. Can it get any better? Sure it can...Viola Davis (Solaris), one of the most underrated actresses working today, has scored the part of Mrs. Miller, whose son may (or may not) have had inappropriate relations with Hoffman's character. It's a powerful supporting part, one that won Adriane Lenox the Tony. If this movie isn't on your must-see list of 2008, move it to the top of the heap now.

- After stints with Roger Moore and Val Kilmer in previous decades, is The Saint due for a return...this time with James Purefoy? Sounds good (and hot) to me.

- A second mention of Streep and Adams this week, but this one's for all our homosexual readers out there. (Where my gay girls at? Holla!) Get this, sisters: Streep. Playing Julia Child. With her Devil Wears Prada co-star Stanley Tucci playing her husband. And Amy Adams as a temp. Throw in a line of chorus boys and some spangles, and you've got the Gay Must-See of '08! (That is, besides the Sex and the City movie, of course.)


- Just two days ago, we openly wished in this column that Anika Noni Rose (best known as the unfamous one in Dreamgirls) would get a shot at the Color Purple movie. But now we guess she'll be busy with another iconic role -- that of Maggie The Cat in the long-delayed, all-black revival of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof coming to Broadway in February. She'll be in some serious company, too: Oscar nominee Terence Howard (Hustle and Flow) as Brick, Phylicia Rashad (Gem of the Ocean) as Big Momma, and the legendary James Earl Jones (The Great White Hope) as Big Daddy. And as their director? None other than the sister of Rashad and former faculty member of Fame, Debbie Allen...who knows a thing or two about Broadway, having two Tony noms to her name already. The whole dysfunctional family should begin rehearsals at the Broadhurst Theatre in just a few weeks, after Les Miserables closes January 6th.

- Fantasia, darling, we love you. But really, you've got to start showing up for performances. Otherwise, people will start calling you ugly names, like "Donna Murphy" or "Betty Buckley". And no one likes to be called that, trust me.

- Let's catch up with the former stars of the musical The Light in the Piazza, shall we? Kelli O'Hara, who played the young, mentally-challenged ingenue in Piazza, has grown up into a full-fledged leading lady since then, scoring in The Pajama Game and in the upcoming South Pacific revival. Her romantic Piazza boy, Matthew Morrison (Hairspray), will join her in South Pacific...but not as her beau. Instead, he'll play Lt. Joseph Cable, the hotheaded young soldier with a thing for native girls. It certainly sounds like old home week for Piazza fans...in addition to O'Hara and Morrison, Pacific boasts much of the former show's team, including director Bartlett Sher, set designer Michael Yeargan, and costume designer Catherine Zuber. But don't expect Piazza's Tony-winning leading lady, Victoria Clark, to show...after losing the role of Nellie Forbush to O'Hara, she''ll instead lead the cast of Marc Blitzstein and Joseph Stein's Juno at City Center Encores! Directed by Tony winner Garry Hynes (The Beauty Queen of Leenane), it'll play March 27–30...just about the same time South Pacific opens.

- There's a new drowsy chaperone in The Drowsy Chaperone: Laugh-In funny lady Jo Ann Worley has departed to make room for Laverne and Shirley's Cindy Williams. Way to support aging female comediennes, Broadway!

- After August: Osage County and The Seafarer, what do serious theatregoers have to look forward to, in the way of serious dramas? We think you'd do well to head downtown to the Public Theater and grab tickets to Conversations in Tusculum, the new period drama by Richard Nelson (James Joyce's The Dead). Not only does it sound fun -- the Roman Empire of Caesar's age stands in metaphorically for the foibles of the Bush Administration -- but it stars powerhouses David Straithairn (Good Night and Good Luck), Brian Dennehy (Inherit The Wind) and Gloria Reuben (Stuff Happens, E.R.). Grab it now, before everyone catches on.


- Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies) is finishing up contract negotiations to play Cunegonde in a West End production of Bernstein's Candide. Many feel this is the role she was born to play...and sadly, it means yet another transcontinental trip for all of the American gay men who are, like me, totally obsessed with her.

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Anonymous will g said...

Is Meryl going for Michael Caine's record or what? I mean how many movies can she make? (Not that I'm complaining.) Ia rhia Julia Child pic real or one of your cold-medication hallucinations?

12/13/07, 8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also agree with you that James Purefoy could be an interesting and hot Saint. I suspect that he will be much hotter than the recently corpulent Kilmer (who is not so pleasant in person) – poor thing seems to be living in his 1980s glory days (though he was wonderful in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)

12/13/07, 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, Cindy Williams is taking over the role of Mrs. Tottendale and not the Drowsy One!

12/13/07, 3:33 PM  
Blogger ModFab said...

Oh sorry...I didn't mean to imply that she was playing the title character, but looking at it now that's totally how it reads. But Anonymous is right...she is playing Mrs. Tottendale!

12/13/07, 3:37 PM  
Blogger TP said...

Wait ... Meryl Streep as Julia Child? I mean, she's a good actress, but this seems like a casting stretch. And though I love Julia Child, I wonder if a movie about her might inspire (a) a nap or (b) anger about a lack of good snacks at the concession stand?

12/13/07, 3:42 PM  
Blogger T$ said...

I agree with you about Viola Davis...she rocks - period.

12/13/07, 3:55 PM  
Blogger Yaseen Ali said...

Such goods news about Doubt - Viola Davis makes any movie she's in about 200% better. And this film already looks plenty good on paper.

12/14/07, 2:27 PM  

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