Later today, I’ll be posting the latest scenes involving As the World Turns’ gay trio of Luke and Reid and Noah.
But first, I am going to tell you to STOP reading this post if you don’t want to know how the storyline is going to wrap up in the coming weeks. I’ve known for awhile but sat on it until now and it is out there on various blogs anyway.
Since ATWT is going off the air, I don’t feel terribly invested in the ultimate fate of the fabulous coupling of Luke and Reid because no matter what happens, we won’t be seeing them anymore anyway.
Still, I think it still would be nice to have had them start a happy life together.
That is not going to happen.
Executive Producer Chris Goutman tells TV Guide Magazine: “Without giving too much away, I do think Luke and Noah will always have a deep and abiding relationship,” Goutman says. “Reid came along and challenged that love and his presence made Luke and Noah grow up. Their relationship will endure.”
That said, Goutman admits that if ATWT had not been cancelled, Luke and Reid could well have been a couple for the ages. “Their connection was immediate and they are dynamic together,” says the boss. “Soon after Reid’s arrival, we had a lot of diehard Luke and Noah fans suddenly rooting for Luke and Reid. It was the best of what soap opera can be.”
Reid and Luke will not live happily ever after because Reid will not live.
AfterElton.com’s Gays of Our Lives column writes: As for how Reid will die remains to be seen, though the prevailing rumor still seems to be that he’ll be critically injured in a train wreck. Reid’s death will not just affect Luke and Noah, but Reid’s BFF Katie Snyder and her beau Chris Hughes, who is dying of a heart ailment. And if you haven’t guessed that Reid’s heart will be given to Chris (a decision made by Reid himself, we hear) then you haven’t ever watched a soap opera.
It looks like Reid and Luke will consummate their love before Reid’s demise. Actor Eric Sheffer Stevens, a shoo-in for next year’s supporting actor Daytime Emmy, tells TV Guide Canada: It would be great if Luke and Reid could throw caution to the wind. I’m not sure what the reasoning is … Having said that, it is nice that World Turns is building up to that big moment. I think because Reid and Luke know each other very well and they’ve embarked on this beautiful journey together, their first time will be very meaningful. And who knows when the last time was that Reid even had sex!
Never have I been more proud of Kathy Griffin than I was watching her last night on Larry King Live. In a very intelligent, articulate and informed manner, she discussed with Larry the recent developments in the Prop. 8 saga.
Kathy said she had been scheduled to perform a wedding after her appearance but the Ninth Circuit Court of appeals has granted Prop 8 proponents a stay on a judge’s ruling that makes same-sex marriage legal in California.
The NOH8 photo of Kathy holding her two Emmys was shown throughout the interview. She could win a third Emmy this weekend when the Outstanding Reality Show category is presented at the Creative Arts Emmys.
The episode of the Bravo series that earned the show a nomination is Kathy working on behalf of same-sex marriage going door-to-door and also chatting with LGBT youth who have been kicked out of their homes by their parents for being who they are.
Anyway, here is the full interview which also includes Kathy’s views on the departure of “Dr.” Laura Schlessinger who preceded her on King’s show to announce that she was leaving the radio airwaves at the end of the year.
Strangest thing: Watching an encore episode of The View yesterday with Alec Mapa as guest host, I noticed America’s Gaysian Sweetheart getting along swimmingly with my least-favorite co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
Alec actually made her seem more human than usual and it was nice. I still disagree with just about everything that comes out of her conservative mouth but I so noticed a softer side that I even commented about it on Facebook.
Now comes this: In an interview with Fancast.com, Elisabeth makes clear that she is in favor of gay marriage: “I am not ultra-ultra-conservative on every issue. I actually support gay marriage. I think the gay marriage thing would definitely surprise people. I mean, for some people, it will surprise them to the point that they won’t want to hear it. ‘No, that can’t be, I really want to have this sort of idea of her in my head,’ so I sort of rain on their parade there.”
Perhaps she has become more enlightened from last December when she wondered to guest Portia de Rossi if all this gay marriage stuff is just a matter of semantics: “Take men and women. Women want all the rights of men, but they’re not asking to be called men. Do you think…is the word [marriage] more important than the rights?”
Portia’s reply was superb: “No, of course the word isn’t more important than the rights. Without the word, we don’t have equal rights. … Every citizen of this country should have that legal right to be married. “Marriage the word actually does mean something because people who see a gay coupling as a lesser thing in society can continue to [think] it’s lesser than marriage when really it’s the exact same thing. The exact same love, the exact same commitment, love of family.”
We’ve been so deprived of any new Cher movies and recordings for so long that I am now officially beside myself that the icon has Burlesque coming out in theaters in November and is recording a new album!
It has been eight long years since the release of Living Proof, the follow-up album to Cher’s worldwide smash Believe. I’ve been buying Cher albums since Take Me Home in 1979 and am more than ready for something other than her latest greatest hits compilation.
The woman who had at least one number one single in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s talked about what she’s working on with Entertainment Weekly: “I just got some of the songs and I’m just learning [them] so I’m kind of at that beginning stage where you’re taking baby steps.”
The diva is working with hitmaker Diane Warren who also wrote one of Cher’s two big Burlesque tunes, the big power ballad You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me.
Cher says fans shouldn’t expect the same dance music heard on her 1998 album, Believe: “It really won’t be Believe-ish,” she says. “It will be more…I don’t know how to say it. I can’t put a genre to it. It’s a little bit more real instruments, like guitars and stuff like that.”
Grace Adler (played by Emmy winner Debra Messing) was born with beauty and intelligence but she was not born with very large breasts.
But in this episode of Will & Grace, her boobs appear to be huge in a newspaper photo (the lighting?) and it results in a call from an old artist friend suddenly very interested in her.
So what does Grace do?
What any nutcase would: she shows up to the dude’s gallery opening in a water-filled bra that makes her look stacked! All is well until Karen’s broach catches onto Grace’s sweater and the poor girl springs a leak!
How is it that I had never even heard of rugby star Dan Carter?
Even if I don’t follow his sport, he should have been on my radar since he is also an underwear model for Jockey!
Oh well, I’ve discovered him now and damned glad I have so I can share this slab of beefcake from New Zealand with you!
Though not yet as famous as David Beckham or Cristiano Ronaldo, the New Zealand hottie was named the third sexiest male athlete in the world by E! Entertainment earlier this year and it is easy to see why. It all began at home: In 2004 and 2005,the 28-year-old Carter was voted sexiest New Zealand male in a survey, receiving 35.7 percent of the vote in 2005.
He has played for Canterbury since 1999, the Crusaders professional team since 2001 and on the New Zealand national team since 2003.
Noah Mayer is back in Oakdale before heading to LA where he is going to begin his new life as a filmmaker. He meets his old boyfriend, Luke, for coffee and laments how Luke will not be accompanying him out west.
Luke wonders is Noah is only feeling regret because Luke is now dating the dashing Dr. Reid Oliver.
Noah: “My asking you to come with me has nothing to do with Reid.”
Luke: “To be honest, my staying here does have something to do with Reid. … It’s serious.”
Noah points out that he and Reid “aren’t exactly the same type” and Luke sweetly tells him: “There will never be anyone else like you. Not for me.”
It’s great to see Jake Silbermann back as Noah. It can’t be easy having to play a role that is, often, so poorly written much of the time. He pushed Luke away in a way that was never really convincing or plausible then regretted it and, I fear, the confusion creeps into the actor’s performance. In these scenes, Noah is angry, nostalgic, jealous, sad for like three seconds. You don’t believe any of the emotions.
Things get more fun though when Noah sees Reid helping an ailing Daniel into the hotel elevator and thinks the good doctor is cheating on Luke!
So why have I chosen Mark Wahlberg to illustrate today’s “Briefs” column?
He was on my mind because my sister and I watched Date Night over the weekend and Mark was shirtless throughout!
The former Calvin Klein underwear model-turned-Oscar nominee has held up damned well over the years! Plus, the movie – which stars Tina Fey and Steve Carell, is an absolute riot. Rent it!
MIGHTY MADDOW: God, it’s so wonderful to have such a sane and intelligent voice on television each night. Rachel Maddow is not interested in sensationalism, just the truth. So it seems fitting that Maddow will be presented with the 2010 Walter Cronkite Faith & Freedom Award at a gala dinner in New York in October.
The award “recognizes individuals who courageously promote democratic values, defend religious freedom and reinvigorate informed civic participation,” according to The Huffington Post.
The description seems to fit the MSNBC journalist to a tee!
Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy said of Miss Maddow: “Rachel’s passionate coverage of the intersection of religion and politics exhibits a strong personal intellect coupled with constitutional sensitivity to the proper boundaries between religion and government.”
Previous media recipients of the award include Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, Larry King, and Bill and Judith Moyers.
DADT DISCHARGE ON HOLD: Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach (pictured with activist Dan Choi) is an American hero and fighter pilot who during an 18-year career in the military, completed 88 combat missions, 2,189 total flying hours, 1,487 fighter hours and 488 combat hours. He has received eight air medals, one for Heroism, and was hand-picked to protect the Washington, D.C. airspace after 9/11. He flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, targeting the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
His reward? Being discharged – just two years short of retirement – because he is gay.
The man is a high-profile example of why the military’s discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy against gays must be abolished now. Toward that end, there seems to be a bit of a breakthrough in Fehrenbach’s case.
The Advocate reports that the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. district court for Idaho have reached an agreement on the case of Fehrenbach that temporarily prevents the Air Force from discharging him under “don’t ask, don’t tell” until the court schedules a hearing in his case.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis praised the fairness of the arrangement and said: “The agreement recognizes the immediate harm to Lt. Col. Fehrenbach and insures that he will eventually get to make his case at a full-blown hearing without losing his job.”
ROSIE THE DIVA: We have gotten so used to Rosie O’Donnell as herself that it’s easy to forget that she is a darn good actress! In such movies as A League of Their Own, Sleepless in Seattle and Beautiful Girls, Rosie was terrific. She was also a hoot in her recurring role as Dawn Budge on FX’s Nip/Tuck and has headlined on Broadway in Grease and Suessical the Musical.
Her latest role has Rosie guesting on the Lifetime hit Drop Dead Diva on Sunday, according to TVGuide.com.
Rosie will reprise her role as Judge Madeline Summers “in a very, very unusual way,” executive producer Josh Berman tells the site.
In the episode, Judge Summers will lend a hand to a desperate Jane (Brooke Elliot) in an effort to save her client.
Rosie, of course, will also be returning to daytime television via Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network with a new talk show set to debut next year.
Neil Patrick Harris, seen at Disneyland over the weekend with love David Burtka, has become pretty adept at shooting down false reports about himself.
The actor, who has confirmed that he and Burtka are expecting twins, took to Twitter this morning and posted this message to his followers: Rumor Watch 2010: I’m absolutely not leaving LA or the business. Errant reporting, Popeater. Total bunk. Oh, and good morning everyone!
Popeater had quoted a “friend” of NPH as saying: “Neil has been working his butt off since he was a little kid. Everything was about his career until he met his soul-mate, David. Now, with twins due in October, Neil is thinking about taking a break. Moving from Hollywood to New York City to be a full-time daddy.”
Probably the highest-selling issue of Rolling Stoneof 2010 is my guess!
This sexy True Blood trio is providing something for everyone: For the gay guys and straight girls, there’s a naked Alexander Skarsgard and Stephen Moyer and for the straight boys and gay girls, there’s Anna Paquin!
The cover isn’t any more shocking than a scene on the HBO hit but we do learn that for those nude scenes, Moyer and Paquin (engaged in real life) wear small pieces of cloth to cover their privates. Not so the blond and beautiful Skarsgard who tells Rolling Stone: “I don’t want a sock around it, it feels ridiculous. If we’re naked in the scene, then I’m naked. I’ve always been that way.”
It’s been nearly 30 years since Sean Penn burst onto the scene as surfer-stoner Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High spouting lines like “All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buds, and I’m fine.”
Loved him then and really love him now.
Since Ridgemont, there have been Oscar wins for Mystic River and Milk and memorable performances in Dead Man Walking, 21 Grams, I Am Sam, Sweet and Lowdown, Casualties of War, Colors, She’s So Lovely, Carlito’s Way and The Falcon and the Snowman, among many others.
During a three-year marriage to Madonna, Sean was at loggerheads with the spotlight but over the years, he has learned to use the spotlight for causes he finds important including Hurricane Katrina and the war in Iraq. He has long been a concerned citizen who is not afraid to step-up no matter what detractors say.
Never has this been more apparent than after the earthquake in Haiti earlier this year. He has basically moved to the devastated island nation and founded J/P Haitian Relief Organization which has been running a 55,000 person tent camp.
Sean’s desire to speak his truth has never meant more to me than on Oscar night 2009 when he won the Academy Award for best actor for his performance in Milk.
While accepting that award, he used the occasion to speak out as Harvey Milk surely would have: “I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue that way of support. We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone.”
Hate to dump on Lindsay Lohan while the poor girl is in rehab but the Mean Girls star really is a cautionary tale on the travails of teenage stardom.
I couldn’t help but think of poor Lindsay when I chatted with Melissa Joan Hart recently, a teen star whose parents are not hungrier for the spotlight than their child (yeah you two, Dina and Michael Lohan) and who has managed to transition to adulthood happy and healthy and balanced.
Melissa, best known for her hit television shows Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Clarissa Explains it All, returns to television tonight in the ABC Family sitcom Melissa & Joey opposite fellow former child star Joey Lawrence.
Melissa, now 34 and a mother of two, took issue with the notion that childhood stardom is a bad thing despite the widely publicized troubles of Lohan, Britney Spears and the entire cast of Different Strokes.
” I think a lot of people forget about the good ones,” she said. “They go off to have families or maybe they dabble in directing, producing so you forget about them. But you look at Ron Howard, someone who came out of it and survived and thrived.”
It also helps to not have people like Dina and Michael Lohan as parents it would seem.
“For me, it all starts with my family,” said Melissa. “Also, I look at it as a job, as work. My family is most important and my job comes second. I want longevity, I want to be here a long time. I want to be on a set for the rest of my life. What do I have to do to make that happen? I’ve got to be nice to people, I’ve got to show up on time and I’ve got to be good.”
Such a balanced, business-like attitude doesn’t get you much publicity though I point out.
“I got married, I had kids. What? That’s not enough? I gotta do some blow and end up with a DUI and curse someone out? It’s like you have to be arrested and end up in jail in order to be interesting.”
I suggest she write some kind of guide book on transitioning to adulthood in the entertainment business and she said: “I think I might.’
Melissa continued to work in TV movies (including the hugely-rated Holiday in Handcuffs) after Sabrina went off the air in 2003 but she also got married to musician Mark Wilkerson and gave birth to sons in 2006 and 2008.
But the schedule of a TV series works well with her family life and that’s a big reason why she is happy to be doing Melissa & Joey which has a similar premise to the classic ABC sitcom Who’s the Boss?
Here is the premise: Melissa plays a local politician from a political family. When a family scandal leaves her niece, Lennox, and nephew, Ryder, without their parents, Mel takes them in. Meanwhile, Joe (Lawrence) is a former commodities trader–left bankrupt after a Ponzi scheme–who is searching for a job. So when Mel finds it hard to handle an instant family and her own life, she hires Joe to become the family’s new male nanny, or “manny”.
“It’s a little racier and edgier than people expect so as long as they aren’t shocked going into the first episode then it’ll be all good,” Melissa said of Sabrina fans who watch the new show. “Sabrina was the quissessential teen, not sure of her surroundings, not sure of her future, not sure what she wanted. Does she fit in? Does she want to fit in? She was always trying to figure out who she was for seven years and that’s hard to play. So now to be able to be self-centered, loosey goosey, kind of like Lucy. I get to do physical comedy and be silly and very female.”
Of working with Lawrence, she said: “We’ve known each other since we were four, great friends, our families are friends. We both have worked in the same industry in the same format for so long. There’s a great shorthand, we click really well and we both have the same objective which is let’s work hard, let’s make it fun and let’s go home to our families. It helps that we’re all on the same path.”
The late, great Bea Arthur had gone on the record saying that this is one of her all-time favorite Golden Girls episodes.
Her character of Dorothy and mother Sophia (Estelle Getty) team up as Sonny and Cher to perform a duet of I Got You Babe for a local talent show. With Rose (Betty White) at the piano, it makes for quite a performance.
Zachary Knighton was at the ABC party during TV Critics Assn. Press Tour a few weeks ago but I didn’t get the chance to chat with him.
But there’s no reason why we can’t enjoy this attractive actor as our Morning Man is there?
Zachary is part of the ensemble cast of the new ABC sitcom Happy Endings about a group of friends whose little group will be rocked when the couple that brought them together, Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) and Dave (Knighton), break up. This leaves the group in an awkward position of either trying to stay together or choosing sides. Alex and Dave decide to stay friends but there are many more complications down the road.
The series looks promising but no doubt the 31-year-old actor is keeping his expectations in check: last fall he was one of the stars of ABC’s highly-touted FlashForward and also starred on the short-lived series Related and Life on a Stick.
If the TV thing doesn’t work out, Zachary can always find work in films it seems. His movie roles include Surfer Dude with Matthew McConaughay, The Hitcher, The Prince and Me and the terrific gay indie The Mudge Boy which stars Emile Hirsch.
We already had it narrowed down to one of three characters on Beverly Hills 90210: Liam Court (Matt Lanter), Teddy Montgomery (Trevor Donovan) or Navid Shirazi (Michael Steger).
Entertainment Weekly’s Michael Ausiello has just confirmed that the gay character coming out this fall is (and for God’s sake quit reading if you want to remain in the dark!) is the tennis playing hunk Teddy!
Michael was prepared to sit on the confirmation until Montgomery’s messages via Twitter were just too revealing. The actor never comes out and says it’s his character but he does write: “I read all your tweets and know you are all curious about the ‘gay’ character this season. Let me say, gay or straight, relationships are relationships. Everyone goes through the same kind of troubles and joys. A gay storyline will have an added issue of dealing with judgment from others. Acceptance, by family, friends, society, and self is just one of the concerns the character will be going through. It is a part of life, and it should be portrayed. I was told, and am confident, [that] the storyline will be written very well and the change in the character will be organic, NOT overnight. It’s going to be a great season 3. I look forward to chatting with you all as we progress.”
I think it is fabulous to have an actor who is not only extremely easy on the eyes in this role, but to have an actor who is embracing it so thoughtfully.
“It’s exciting because the way they’re explaining it, it’s going to be written in a way where it’s really going to focus on the struggle of coming to fruition of who he is – whoever he is,” Trevor said at the CBC/Showtime party during TV Critics Assn. Summer Press Tour. “To tell you the truth, I would be honored and flattered and excited if it was me. Because not only would it be a great opportunity to sort of display and showcase your acting chops, but it’s also a great opportunity to struggle of coming to that fruition, the realization.”
“From what I understand, it’s going to be a process, it’s going to be an arc just like it is in real life, coming to terms with it and coming out,” Trevor added. “It’s a struggle and they really want to show that struggle. It’s not just, ‘Oh, I’m gay’ and show like the shock value of two guys kissing on network TV. They are going to write it intelligently and it’s going to be interesting.”
We also know who is going to play his boyfriend: Kyle Riabko!
Just as we were ready to start throwing rice at our newly wed gay friends, the Ninth Circuit Court of appeals has granted Prop 8 proponents a stay on a judge’s ruling that makes same-sex marriage legal in California.
It is bitterly disappointing for those who are planning nuptials and for those of us who hope to someday be.
But the bright side is the appellate court has set a highly expedited schedule for briefing and argument of proponents’ appeal so hopefully the matter will be settled sooner than later and we will know whether or not the case will go before the US Supreme Court.
“We are very gratified that the Ninth Circuit has recognized the importance and pressing nature of this case and the need to resolve it as quickly as possible by issuing this extremely expedited briefing schedule,” said Attorney Theodore B. Olson, who argued on behalf of two same-sex couples who filed suit. “As Chief Judge Walker found, Proposition 8 harms gay and lesbian citizens each day it remains on the books. We look forward to moving to the next stage of this case.”
The American Foundation for Equal Rights and plaintiffs Kris Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo (the two couples are pictured at top of page) challenged Proposition 8 in federal court for violating the U.S. Constitution. After a three-week trial (including the testimony of 17 plaintiffs’ witnesses, among them the foremost experts on the relevant issues, and thousands of pages of documents and a wealth of other evidence) the Court ruled last Wednesday, August 4, that Proposition 8 violated the rights to equal protection under the law and due process that the U.S. Constitution guarantees to every American.
“Today’s order from the Ninth Circuit for an expedited hearing schedule ensures that we will triumph over Prop. 8 as quickly as possible,” said Chad Griffin, Board President, American Foundation for Equal Rights. “This case is about fundamental constitutional rights and we at the American Foundation for Equal Rights, our Plaintiffs and our attorneys are ready to take this case all the way through the appeals court and to the United States Supreme Court.”
Howard Bragman’s PR firm is called Fifteen Minutes and boy, is Steven Slater certainly enjoying his.
Howard could be just the person to help the Jet Blue flight attendant who lost his cool extend his time in the spotlight.
“I can officially confirm that I am now representing Steven Slater,” Bragman said in a statement. “While my work will include media relations, my team at Fifteen Minutes and I will be helping him sort out the scores of offers that have come through in the past week from media producers, brands and other interested parties.
“I very much believe that Steven touched a nerve with the American people and am proud to be helping him tell his story at the appropriate time in the appropriate way.”
Slater has been offered a job as host of a reality show featuring various disgruntled workers quitting their jobs in extravagant ways, according to TMZ.
The offer is said to have come from Stone and Company Entertainment, the reality show heavyweights behind such reality hits as Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style and Top Design, the website reported citing industry insiders.
Slater became an overnight internet folk hero after he got on the intercom of a packed JetBlue plane and cursed out an unruly passenger before quitting and allegedly grabbing two beers, deploying the emergency slide and sliding off the plane.
I do believe that our love affair with Tom Cruise began at this very moment back in 1983 when he slid across the floor, in his briefs, lip-sinking Old Time Rock and Roll in his breakthrough movie Risky Business.
Tom had 25 years or so of non-stop hits but Knight and Day proved that he is not the box office draw he once was. I think he’s a terrific actor and would love to see him do some more parts like Magnolia.
Anyway, here are some briefs for you. Sorry for the late start and early finish on the blogging front today but I’ve got my hands full on the family front. Thanks to all for your loyalty and patience!
FLIGHT ATTENDANT FANILOW: The Jet Blue flight attendant who lost his marbles, exited a flight via emergency shoot with a beer in hand, and is now a folk hero, is now rubbing elbows with celebrities instead of unruly passengers.
Steven Slater attended Barry Manilow‘s “Symphony” concert with the New York Pops at Caesars Boardwalk Hall and met the ageless singing star backstage for a photo op.
FIGHTING BACK: I love that people are targeting the state senators in New York who so cowardly voted against approving same-sex marriage in their state. They are so afraid of offending certain segments of voters that they do not vote their conscience and end up offending another group – a group that is made as hell and isn’t going to take it anymore.
Emmy nominated Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson has taped the following Public Service Announcement for Fight Back New York, the political action committee targeting anti-gay state senators in New York. Jesse has some strong words for the politicians and also jokingly makes public his plans to marry Alec Baldwin – not sure he ran that proposal by the 30 Rock star!
MADONNA’S BIRTHDAY: The Material Girl turns 52 years young today!
She has reinvented herself so many times over the years with new looks, new music, movies good and bad and a colorful love life. That has meant she has never been boring and I doubt she ever will be!
It will be interesting to see what she has in store for us next.
AND FINALLY: I have to confess to being more of a fan of actor Shawn Pyfrom than I am of Madonna. Strange for a gay man not to be enthralled by her but she does not strike me as authentic and leaves me cold. That said, I have much respect for her talent.
So why am I bringing up Shawn Pyfrom?
Because it’s his birthday too! The Desperate Housewives cast member turns 24 today. I’m damn glad that after a long stretch of being criminally underutilized, Shawn’s character of Andrew Van De Kamp, the gay son of Bree, had a nice comeback last season and is poised to continue to be prominent this year – the show’s seventh season.
“It’s not a drag show,” creator-producer-performer Roy Cruz said recently at the Fairfax District’s Bang Comedy Theatre, where the 65-minute sensation is closing in on a yearlong run.
“It’s not an offensive show, it’s not a showcase, and it’s not in any way disrespectful or a parody,” added director Ezra Weisz.
“What it is,” said David Dean Bottrell, one of the show’s eight cast members, “is a comic valentine to a great artist.”
Dispelling any misconceptions has been key to properly promoting the production. Case in point: When Bottrell, who embodies Streep’s Karen Blixen — Danish accent and all — for a show-stopping six-minute summation of “Out of Africa,” told a fellow churchgoer about his part in the show, she immediately asked, “Do you wear her clothes?”
Cruz, a Filipino-born comedian and actor, hatched the idea for “Streep Tease” after re-creating Streep’s icy “Devil Wears Prada” fashion magazine editor Miranda Priestly as part of his stand-up routine. “When I ran out of material, the ‘Prada’ monologue was always reliable,” he said. “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to turn those into an entire show?’ ”
Last summer, Cruz did just that, enlisting actors and other performers to pick a favorite Streep movie monologue to reenact for one night only. “I approached it like an open mike night,” said Cruz, “no director at that time, just come in and do your thing.”
“There was so little rehearsal, it was a little like being shot out of a cannon,” recalled Bottrell, an accomplished screenwriter (“Kingdom Come”) and actor (“Boston Legal”), of September’s opening night. “I thought, ‘This can either be fantastic or horribly embarrassing.’”
One of the more intriguing new series on the broadcast networks this fall looks to be ABC’s My Generation, a documentary-style ensenble dramedy about a group of high school students and their lives 10 years after graduation.
One of the stars is Michael Stahl David who plays the class “overachiever” Steven Foster who turns out to be anything but. He has turns out to be a surf bum living in Hawaii. When I chatted up the 27-year-old actor at the TV Critics Assn. Press Tour a few weeks ago, my first question was whether or not he ever surfs.
“I do surf a bit,” he said but made clear he wasn’t cast in the role for his surfing skills.
His acting skills have already been on display on the big screen in Cloverfield and on the short-lived NBC drama The Black Donnellys.
I asked him the compare the two series: “[Donnellys] was a great show and I learned so much doing it. I think [Generation] is really different, it’s a really different tone. It’s not nearly as dark, it’s funny and I think it’s got much broader appeal and is shot in avery different style.”
Generation is filmed in location in Austin, Texas, and has a large ensemble cast of young people.
“It is like a lot of fun even on long days,” Michael says. “I get inspired watching other people. Everybody is fantastic and you feed off of that.”
I find Michael to be especially impressive because he has paid his dues as an actor over the past decade in a variety of stage roles. He was still a teen when he became very active in the Chicago theater scene. He appeared in plays at the Steppenwolf Theater (One Arm, Theater District), Victory Gardens Theater (Cider House Rules, Lost in Yonkers) and the Goodman (The Goat, Or Who is Sylvia?) Shortly after arriving in New York in 2005, he appeared as Peter in The Diary of Anne Frank at the Papermill Playhouse. In the winter of 2007 he enjoyed critical success in his role in The Overwhelming off Broadway.
In September 2008, Michael starred in and directed the web series Michael Stahl-David: Behind the Star.
“I was the creator and director and star of that show,” he told me. “I had to like make sandwiches for my friends for lunch and do a lot of other jobs besides acting which was fun. What it gave me was a sense of looking at the big picture. I really want to get to know the writers and be on set when I’m not called because I want to watch the scenes. I have ambitions to write and direct more.”
“The web show did make people see that I can do comedy and I realized that I could make my own material.”
I think the sky is the limit for this young talent who isn’t afraid to make things happen for himself.