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Post Date Aug 27

It’s a thrill(er) a minute for actor (and now screenwriter) Max Minghella

max minghella

Announcements came today from Variety and The Hollywood Reporter about upcoming projects involving Max Minghella.

The actor will join the cast of the thriller Into the Forest, currently shooting in Vancouver B.C. Forest stars Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood. Fortunately for easily confused film consumers, Into the Forest will be released in 2015, while the film version of Stephen Sondheim‘s Into the Woods will get a late 2014 debut. (No word yet on release dates for Into the Grove and Into the Copse.)

Meanwhile, Minghella has written the screenplay for another thriller: The Ninth Life of Louis Drax, based on the best-selling Liz Jensen novel. Originally the Hitchcockian Miramax project was slated to be written and directed by the actor’s father, the late Anthony Minghella.

Today’s announcement re Louis Drax was that scruffster heartthrob (or something-throb) Jamie Dornan will star in the film, as his follow-up to the headline-making Fifty Shades of Grey.

Post Date Aug 27

Tinseltown Time Travel: Liz and Dick have a Coward-ly confab


The Tennessee Williams play The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore (1963) was not one of the dramatist’s biggest hits–not critically and not commercially either. Nor was the 1968 film version, Boom!, a success, despite having as its stars THE Hollywood couple of the decade: Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.

Here we are on the set of the Sardinian-based film, with Dick, Liz, and their costar, Noël Coward. Coward took on the role of the Witch of Capri, a part originally played onstage by a woman, Ruth Ford.

Though the film (directed by Joseph Losey) was a dud, it seems to have influenced the 2011 Off-Broadway revival of Milk Train, starring Olympia Dukakis in the role played by Taylor. In the Dukakis version, the Witch of Capri was, again, male: played by Edward Hibbert (most famous outside of New York, perhaps,  for his role as the haughty and flamboyant food critic, Gil Chesterton, on TV’s Frasier).

Boom! was not the first time that Taylor and Burton had starred in a film based on a Williams drama. She had appeared in both Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Suddenly Last Summer, while he had headlined in Night of the Iguana.

Back in the time-traavel machine, folks…. We’re running late!

Post Date Aug 25

Kristoffer Lowe is 2014 MetroStar Talent Challenge winner


While the 2014  Emmy Awards were generating glamour in Los Angeles Monday night, the five finalists in the MetroStar Talent Challenge cabaret-singing competition were battling it out for top spot at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Room.

The contest began on July 7. Now, eight weeks later, the final winner has been announced: Kristoffer Lowe.

I caught Lowe’s show at Don’t Tell Mama earlier this year, and found him to be an invigorating and nuanced talent. (Read my review for Lowe will return to DTM for shows in October and November. Catch him if you can!

David LaMarr was first runner up in the competition. Second runner up was Joanna Morton Gary.



Post Date Aug 25

Déjà viewing? Old winners are new winners at Monday’s Emmy ceremony


Perhaps it seemed like a syndicated rerun of a well-loved life episode for some of Monday night’s Emmy winners.

Modern Family won its fifth best-comedy-series award, while Breaking Bad took home the award for best dramatic program for the second consecutive year. Among the performers who walked away with yet another statuette for the ol’ trophy wall were Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Ty Burrell (Modern Family), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) and Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife).

Unsurprisingly, Larry Kramer‘s HBO AIDS drama The Normal Heart won the best-movie-made-for-TV honor, although Kramer lost out on an award for his teleplay.

Billy Crystal remembered the late Robin Williams in a special segment of the show: “It’s so difficult to talk about him in the past because he is so much a part of our lives.”

For a full list of the winners, click HERE.