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Live Performance

The Long Lineage of Garry Marshall and The Medill School

When Garry Marshall recently guested on Late Night with Seth Meyers, he joked with the fellow Northwestern alum that his comedy writing days began when he was sports editor for the school’s newspaper. The football team was so bad, Marshall recalled, that it became a matter of article ledes like, ‘By the time “The Star Spangled Banner” was over, the team was 14 points behind.’

BillyRayPoster

Marshall has been busy talking up Billy & Ray, a play about the collaboration of Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler for the filmmaker’s 1946 classic Double Indemnity. Directed by Marshall and written by WABC-TV editor-producer Mike Bencivenga, it’s in previews through October 20 at the Vineyard Theatre in Union Square.

The Medill School also came up during Marshall’s conversation with American Theatre magazine editor Suzy Evans. This time, a little more formally:

“I went to the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern, which is a great school — I learned a lot, but mostly I learned how to meet a deadline. So I’m never late. My three kids went to Northwestern, and it was the highlight of my life just a month ago when my first grandchild, Charlotte, started at Northwestern. She’s in media studies. She’s a whiz on the Internet. I don’t even have a computer.”

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Mediabistro Course

Freelance Magazine Writing

Freelance Magazine WritingInstructor and journalist Jeryl Brunner has written for numerous publications including O, the Oprah Magazine, Travel + Leisure, VanityFair.com and more! Starting November 3, she'll teach you how to query specific publications, find resources for reporting, and create captivating stories that editors will want and readers will enjoy. Register now!

Larry David Navigates Birthday, Relationship Wishes

AceHotelLALogoHa ha. Among those in attendance last night at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles for a special Citi cardholders event featuring David Steinberg interviewing Larry David was LA Weekly EIC Sarah Fenske. She notes that although David overall seemed to greatly enjoy the fan adulation, there was no shortage of embarrassing audience-member behavior:

David, a lovable curmudgeon playing a grudging good sport for the evening, gives three hugs. He accepts a letter from someone’s dad. He even says happy birthday to someone called Henry at the request of a young woman wielding the video function on her phone.

“What am I saying?” he asks. “Who’s Henry?” Told it’s the woman’s father, he yells, “Happy birthday Henry! Your daughter’s obnoxious!” The audience roars.

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Rob Ford Musical Features a ‘Weaselly Journalist’

This Sunday, Rob Ford: The Musical - one of two tuneful Toronto September odes to the outgoing mayor – will wrap up a brief run at the Factory Theatre. Taking with it such ditties as the Rob-and-brother-Doug duet “F*ck You.”

Despite mixed reviews, the off-off-Broadway-eh show has been SRO. And given what the Fords have put Toronto through, the biggest shocker here may well be that the production is sympathetic to North America’s most inept recent civic leader. From Now magazine critic Susan G. Cole‘s write-up:

This is a love letter to the mayor and an attack on just about everyone else. Using a Wizard Of Oz/Christmas Carol-type premise, the musical sends Ford (Sheldon Bergstrom) on an extended dream after getting knocked out when he runs into a television camera. He’s visited by the black transvestite ghost Transgression (Andrew Broderick), who’s supposed to help him change his ways.

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An Artist Bangs the Drum for Paperless Concert Tickets

PeaceTrainLateAgainTourOn the /YusufCatStevens Facebook page, New England fan Valerie Emer-Scott shares today a paperless vision that the artist wishes could be the case everywhere:

It was a little difficult to initially get through on the Ticketmaster site, but kept trying, and got orchestra seating. Tickets cannot be printed – will have to slide credit card at the concert venue. We (my sister and I) were fortunate to see him inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame ceremony in person – last saw him at the Capital Centre in Landover, MD in 1975 or ’76.

In New York, a 2010 state law delineates that concert tickets cannot be paperless, fueling the reselling and scalping of seats. For that reason, Yusuf, formerly known as Yusuf Islam and Cat Stevens, has canceled a planned December 7 performance at New York’s Beacon Theater. From his Facebook post:

I’m sorry about not being able to now play in NYC but hope to find an opportunity that aligns with my support of this issue in the near future, God willing. Looks like the Peace Train is going to arrive at New York a little bit later than expected.

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Anna Wintour Musical Returning to Joe’s Pub

BeeShafferRyanRafteryOne-man show Ryan Raftery is the Most Powerful Woman in Fashion is way over the top. Raftery’s drag-version of Anna Wintour gets “chronic constipation” as a result of running that Kimye cover and fearing that she will be fired from Condé Nast by S.I. Newhouse.

After debuting earlier this month at Joe’s Pub, the show is scheduled for a pair of encore Friday late-night shows in early September. As Raftery recently told The Cut‘s Maggie Lange, it all started with a chance encounter:

Raftery has done a solo show a year since 2009 — and the five before this one were all about his personal life. He says that he ran out of material, and instead of “waiting to be kidnapped,” he decided to find some other subject matter.

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Gloria, Emilio Estefan Cast Wide Net for Broadway Musical

Gloria and Emilio Estefan generated some fun recent headlines on the west coast with a charity dinner and performance at the Hollywood Bowl:

When her husband and producer, Emilio Estefan, appeared onstage after the singer mentioned that he’d inspired her recent recording of “I’ve Grown Accustomed to His Face,” she told the audience proudly that they’d been married for 36 years. “That’s 150 years in Hollywood,” she added.

GloriaEmilioEstefanOpenCall

This morning, they’re making NYC news with their unusual open call. From the website for forthcoming Broadway musical On Your Feet!:

Gloria and Emilio Estefan are looking for talented hopefuls for the new musical based on their lives to debut on Broadway in 2015. Show us your talent, show us your passion, and show us your rhythm!

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Close Encounters of the Jimmy Carter Kind

Here’s some Off-Broadway genealogy that’s hard not to love.

JimmyPosterInspired by the Wikipedia article “Jimmy Carter UFO Incident,” Isaac Hopkins in the summer of 2013 staged Jimmy! A Musical with Almost No Historical Basis at his theater company in Gainesville, Georgia. Tomorrow, the musical opens in New York for a one-week run.

From Hannah Pap Rocki‘s item in Atlanta magazine:

Hopkins then submitted the play in a contest sponsored by the National Theatre for Student Artists. He submits plays so often that he forgot about the application — until he missed five calls from a New York number a month later. He finally called back and learned that he had won. Jimmy! was going to New York.

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New York Native Set to Bring NC17 Theater to LA

GregCayeaPicFollowing Tuesday’s west coast skywriting display, LA-based producer Greg Cayea (pictured) has further teased his forthcoming “NC17″ theatrical event. The ambitious extravaganza is set for weekends in October, with shows starting at 8 p.m. and running through until 5 a.m. the following morning. Here’s what Cayea is promising:

Theatrical Mischiefs, Body Painters, Escapists & Magicians, Hula Hoopers & Acrobats, Comediennes & Actors, Belly Dancers, Silk Dancers, Burlesque Dancers, Arial Performers, Bohemiéns, Illusionists, Contortionists, Trapeze Artists, Artistes de Cirque & Artistes de Rue, Pantomimes, Ventriloquists, Flame Wielders, Fire Breathers, Showgirls, Danger, Seduction, Escape.

It sounds like a theatrical extension of the speakeasy and lounge-bar vibe currently reshaping Los Angeles nightlife. A wave sparked by the Houston brothers, owners of No Vacancy, Dirty Laundry, Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, La Descarga and more.

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Closer to Home, American Psycho Musical Will Be Closer to the Film

PatrickBatemanStillIn one sense, New York’s Second Stage Theatre is the perfect place for the American-side debut of a musical based on the movie American Psycho. The company was founded in 1979, just ahead of the 1980s era during which Patrick Bateman commits a series of finely tailored “murders and executions.”

In separate emails to the New York Times, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who will write the modified American book for the musical, and Second Stage artistic director Carole Rothman promised this version will be gorier than the production staged last winter in London:

Aguirre-Sacasa: “We’re going to put a bit more ‘psycho’ in the text and production, a little more horror and suspense.”

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Johnny Carson Musical Moving Forward

Cover_JohnnyCarsonIt was during an interview with Mediabistro last fall that Johnny Carson‘s former attorney Henry Bushkin first publicly revealed his plans for a musical based on his book Johnny Carson:

“We are in the midst of some very interesting and confidential discussions about a Broadway play with music centered around a particular year, like 1980, in Carson’s life and my life. Like a snippet. All I can say is that there’s compelling interest in that. The Broadway audience is Carson’s sweet spot. The entertainment value of it is going to be significant.”

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