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Of Mice and Men and Expanding an Acting School with James Franco

Gotham magazine online editor April Walloga has a zippy Q&A with Jim Parrack, a Texas-born actor who can currently be seen alongside James Franco in the Broadway revival Of Mice and Men (in previews).

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Parrack was previously based in LA, but he recently relocated to Fort Greene, Brooklyn not just for Broadway purposes but also to watch over a separate new “Brooklyn Lab” endeavor with his Broadway co-star Franco:

“James [Franco] and I both studied at a place called Playhouse West, and the founder of the school asked me to start teaching about four years ago. One of the reasons I wanted to move out here was to extend the school out here [from Los Angeles] and start the Playhouse West Brooklyn Lab.”

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David Butler, 63, Will Now Oversee 75 Daily Newspapers

DavidButlerPicDigital First Media, headquartered in New York City, has found its man. David J. Butler, editor and senior vice president of the San Jose Mercury News – as well as West editor for the company – has been promoted to chain editor-in-chief.

As such, Butler, age 63, will oversee 75 daily newspapers and other weekly publications that publish across the country. From today’s announcement:

“Dave Butler is a focused editorial leader who will continue to challenge Digital First Media newsrooms to innovate and to continue to transform,” said John Paton, DFM chief executive officer.

Added Butler: “I hope to bring a special appreciation and knowledge to the job having been a long-time editor at both companies (MediaNews Group, Journal Register Company). Our commitment at Digital First Media is unchanged — aggressively pursuing a new and exciting digital future while continue to produce superb, exclusive, local enterprise reporting that makes a difference in the lives of our readers, including those who cherish print.”

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Sally Field on the Joys of Her New York Apartment

In support of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sally Field is on the cover of the May 2014 issue of Ladies’ Home Journal. With her three sons now fully grown, she’s relishing the freer rhythms of her personal life.

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Field recently traded a large Malibu estate for a smaller home in LA and second apartment in New York. In the Q&A with former Parade EIC Janice Kaplan, she extols the virtues of that east coast abode:

“It’s an old prewar apartment with a view of the Empire State Building and the new World Trade Center tower, so it feels very New York to me. It just invites reinvention. I get to see all the opera and theater that I want and still it’s not enough. There’s so much to do that sometimes I just say, ‘Okay, Field, you have to stop for two nights and just read your book!’”

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Salon Revisits the Time an NYT Reporter Was ‘Swung on the Flippity-Flop’

RickyMarinPicIn hindsight, one of the few consolations is the fact that social media had not yet reared its Hydra-heads when the New York Times was fooled by a Seattle woman’s faux grunge glossary. Can you imagine the hashtags that would have sprung from the 1992 article being exposed the following year as having been victimized by a hoax?

If you’re too young to remember “grunge speak” or if the details have become a little hazy, click on over to author and musician Tom Maxwell‘s fun piece on Salon, hitched to the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain‘s death. (Shockingly, the Web archived version of the November 21, 1992 NYT piece still features the erroneous sidebar and some wrong-employer attribution for the hoaxer.) From Maxwell’s article:

Thomas Frank (now a Salon contributor) revealed the hoax in The Baffler’s winter-spring 1993 issue and explained that: “[Gag lexicon author Megan] Jasper was surprised by the various journalists’ ’weird idea that Seattle was this incredibly isolated thing,’ with a noticeably distinct rock culture. The result of this credulity was that, as Ms. Jasper puts it, ‘I could tell [the interviewer] anything. I could tell him people walked on their hands to shows.’”

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A Prescription for Vigorous Debate: Katherine Heigl vs. Duane Reade

ShutterstockKatherineHeiglOver at Yahoo Celebrity, there’s an exclamation point in the headline. On Twitter, folks like Piers Morgan are leading the incredulous charge.

Never mind that most of the coverage seems to not understand that in these sorts of legal matters, the plaintiff starts with a figure that is intentionally outrageous and eventually, usually settles from there. This particular Google News trail stems from Grey’s Anatomy star Katherine Heigl‘s Wednesday NYC court filing against pharmacy chain Duane Reade:

The actress is said to be livid that photographs of her leaving the New York store last month carrying several shopping bags were used by the company, which tweeted the snap along with the caption: ‘Love a quick #DuaneReade run? Even @KatieHeigl can’t resist shopping #NYC’s favorite drugstore.’

The complaint said she was photographed in March near a Duane Reade store in New York while filming a new television series.

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Rolling Stone Cover is Weird, Wrong

On the right is the cover of the latest Rolling Stone.

Two thoughts:

1) It is weird, sexist and sort of pathetic. Why is Julia Louis-Dreyfus naked? What does that have to do with her being “The First Lady of Comedy?” It’s so over-the-top for no reason that it comes across as desperate. Even Rolling Stone’s tweet about the issue — ”Julia Louis-Dreyfus is naked on our new cover” — was sad. Pay attention to us! Please??? We have a naked lady on our cover!

2) It is wrong. John Hancock did not sign the Constitution, he signed the Declaration of Independence.

Tony Gervino Named Editor of Billboard

TonyGervinoPicTony Gervino has been named the new editor-in-chief of Billboard. Janice Min, chief creative officer and co-president of Guggenheim Media’s Entertainment Group, tweeted the news.

Gervino is a contributor to the New York Times and has served as Hearst Magazines International’s executive editor since 2011. He tweeted that he was “so excited” to join the magazine.

Here’s the internal memo from Min:

Dear Staff:

I am pleased to announce that Tony Gervino has been named editor-in-chief of the Billboard brand. Tony comes to us from Hearst Magazines International, where he was the executive editor overseeing the direction of titles in the company’s Home Design, Men’s Enthusiast, Teen and Women’s Network Groups. Among the brands in that stable are the international editions of Esquire, Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics, Seventeen, Robb Report, Veranda and Cosmopolitan.

Additionally, Tony has contributed widely to the New York Times, and between 2010 and 2011, he also served as a contributing editor to the New York Times Magazine, where he worked closely with the editor-in-chief. Before that, he was the editor of two cult-favorite publications in New York publishing: Slam (basketball) and Antenna, a men’s fashion and lifestyle magazine. He was the founding executive editor of XXL.

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David Letterman: Late Night’s Version of a Super-Charged Volvo Station Wagon

DavidLettermanComediansinCarsIf you never saw the Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee episode featuring David Letterman, now is the time to cue it up. There will be many tributes, even more articles and a few showcase interviews before Dave finally hangs it up in 2015. But for our money, all of these artifacts will have a hard time matching the entertainment value of the Crackle series.

Part of the reason the Letterman episode is so memorable is that host Jerry Seinfeld, for one of the very few series times, drives not one of his own car-collection vehicles but rather two sets of wheels belonging to the guest. And what a car the marquee vehicle is – a Volvo 960 station wagon, stealth-souped with a race car engine for Dave by late, great pal Paul Newman.

The other principal reason this Coffee klatch is worth watching now is that it is a career retrospective, but without any of the forthcoming pomp and circumstance that will no doubt drive Letterman crazy. During the conversation with Jerry, Dave slips in a sly little Jay Leno dig (“Get a little something for yourself…”), breaks down one of his all-time great ad lib moments (“Have you ever had the hump of a camel?…”) and remembers the challenges of opening in Denver for Leslie Uggams.

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Faced with Unthinkable Tragedy, Entertainment Journalist Creates ‘Stolen Moment’ Campaign

SavannahFundly_04_07Larry Carroll, who as a west coast MTV.com journalist buttressed the earliest days of the Twilight franchise with #TwilightTuesdays, shared on Friday via Facebook some absolutely devastating personal news: the sudden death of his two-year-old daughter. And yet, somehow, some way, Carroll quickly erected that same day a powerful and astonishing tribute to her spunky life spirit.

Carroll, who has also covered Hollywood for E! Online, MSN and Xbox, set up a Fundly campaign in his daughter’s honor. The “Stolen Moment” call for donations quickly exceeded its target goal through the support of journalist colleagues, friends, neighbors and strangers. From Carroll’s campaign introduction:

I’m feeling very powerless right now… The only way I can handle this powerlessness, I figure, is with the power to give someone else joy.

So, here’s my idea: If you’d like to make a donation in Savannah’s name – any size – please do it here. And my dream is to take every penny of those donations, locate a special little girl somewhere in the world – and give her and her family the “Stolen Moment” that we’ll never be able to make with our baby Savannah.

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CBS Puts the Skids on Times Square Weedmaps.com Ad

Southern California start-up Weedmaps is gunning for the New York market. Although marijuana is not yet legalized in The Empire State, company founder Justin Hartfield explains to Fox Business Web reporter Gabrielle Karol that he is aiming to establish his brand locally now, so as to most effectively reap the dividends later.

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But this Weedmaps preemptive campaign has not come without bumps. From the Fox Business piece:

Hartfield says earlier this week, CBS “pulled for review” a Weedmaps commercial scheduled to run on the network’s 520-square-foot Super Screen in Times Square. The eight-second ad, previously scheduled to run from April 1 to July 1, came with a price tag of $50,000.

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