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Posts Tagged ‘James Earl Jones’

Friday September 28th, 2012

Opening Night Coverage: ‘An Enemy of the People’

By Sam Negin
Theater Editor & Columnist

***

Last night, a Broadway revival of Henrik Ibsen‘s play An Enemy of the People opened on Broadway. I had the great pleasure of being in attendance at the performance, which I will review here along with a summary of the reviews found in several leading trade papers.

Among the enthusiastic crowd were several theater and film regulars, including Manhattan Theatre Club Artistic Director Lynne Meadow, costume designer William Ivey Long, Emmy winner and two-time Tony nominee Bobby Cannavale, four-time Tony nominee Jan Maxwell, film and theater star Tate Donovan, TV and stage star Sam Waterston, Tony nominee and stage vet Jessica Hecht, acting duo Dylan Baker and Becky Ann Baker and the great stage and screen vet James Earl Jones.

The play stars four-time Tony winner Boyd Gaynes and Emmy winner Richard Thomas (TV’s The Waltons), who play brothers living in a small resort town in Norway of which Mr. Thomas’ character, Peter, is the mayor and Mr. Gaynes’ character, Thomas, is the chief doctor. When Thomas discovers that his father-in-law’s tannery is polluting the water supply, causing everyone who comes to the spa looking for health to, instead, become infected with a variety of diseases, he vows to change the town’s ways even though shutting down the spa to re-route the pipes would decimate any economic activity in the village.

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Thursday September 27th, 2012

Broadway Casting Notes: Hollywood Storms The Scene

By Sam Negin
Theater Editor & Columnist

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A number of casting and production notices have come up lately and unexpectedly caught my attention. It seems to me, for starters, that a number of these celebrities are coming to Broadway for no other reason than to get themselves a Tony.

First up came the announcement that Renee Zellweger will star in a Broadway-bound adaptation of the 1961 film The Hustler. Though it has not been announced what role Ms. Zellweger will play, the choice to cast her is hard for me to wrap my brain around. To me, what that made the film so memorable were the performances of Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason. They were so strong that I don’t even remember there being a woman in the film other than in the background.

Would Zellweger take on Newman or Gleason’s role? I vaguely remember Piper Laurie playing a bit part in the film, but with Equity salaries being what they are, is Renee a big enough draw in such a small part to justify her expense in that role? Probably.

As a number of articles by various writers over the past few years have discussed, Hollywood actors storming Broadway not only take jobs away from tried-and-true theater folk but can also take away their chances at Tony Awards — did Denzel Washington really need to be in the Best Actor in a Play category in 2010, let alone win the category over theater vets Alfred Molina, who many had predicted would win that year, and Liev Schreiber?

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Thursday September 6th, 2012

A Year After Oprah, Governors Awards Will Be Devoid of A-Listers, But Full of Great Stories (Analysis)

By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

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A year after the Academy honored the world famous Oprah Winfrey and James Earl Jones at its third annual Governors Awards ceremony, it has decided to honor at its fourth four individuals who are decidedly not household names, but whose immense contributions to the industry should not be understated, and who will have no shortage of great Hollywood stories to share. At the Dec. 1 ceremony, 81-year-old stuntman Hal Needham, 87-year-old documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker, and 80-year-old producer George Stevens, Jr. will receive honorary Oscars, and 61-year-old studio executive Jeffrey Katzenberg will be presented with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, which has only been given out 34 times in the past.

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Wednesday September 5th, 2012

The Honorary Oscars: Who Could Be On The List?

By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

***

This evening, the 43-member Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — the best-known members of which include actors Annette Bening and Tom Hanks; directors Kathryn Bigelow and Michael Mann; screenwriter Bill Condon; animator John Lasseter; and documentary filmmaker Michael Moore — will hold its monthly meeting, during which it will vote to determine the recipients of this year’s Governors Awards.

The Governors Awards encompass the honorary Oscar (presented each year as sort of a lifetime achievement award), the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award (given periodically — only 39 times, thus far — to a producer with an impressive body of work) and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award (the least frequently presented award — it has been awarded only 34 times — which goes to someone who has done important work for others). As many as four honorees may be chosen. (Last year, three were: James Earl Jones and Dick Smith received honorary Oscars and Oprah Winfrey was presented with the Hersholt award.)

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Wednesday May 30th, 2012

James Earl Jones: A Leading Legend

By Samuel Negin

The New York Times has written a great profile of James Earl Jones, a Best Actor Tony nominee (for the fourth time in his career) this year for his leading performance in Gore Vidal‘s The Best Man

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Tuesday April 3rd, 2012

‘The Best Man’ Arrives On Broadway

By Samuel Negin

The most recent Broadway revival of Gore Vidal‘s The Best Man has arrived on Broadway with an all-star cast, including Will and Grace star and Emmy winner Eric McCormack, five-time Tony winner and star of TV’s Murder, She Wrote Angela Lansbury, Candice Bergen, five-time Emmy winner for Murphy Brown, two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones, Michael McKean, Tony winner John Larroquette, and musical-comedy veteran and Broadway star Kerry Butler.

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Wednesday February 29th, 2012

FEINBERG: Recapping My Night at the Oscars

Last night, thanks to a very kind gesture on the part of my editor, I was able to realize a lifelong dream and sit in the audience at the Academy Awards. I covered the Oscars from the backstage press room three years ago, which was a thrill in and of itself, but, as someone who has spent a huge chunk of my life researching, writing, and talking about the Oscars, you can imagine how much more excited I was to have the chance to watch the ceremony unfold with my own two eyes. And, I’m pleased to report, the experience did not disappoint.

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Thursday December 29th, 2011

The Best Man Casting Updates

By Samuel Negin

The revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man has some new cast members in their midst. Among the newly announced cast members are Donna Hanover, ex-wife of former New York City mayor Rudi Giuliani. She will play a journalist covering a presidential election. Also announced are Tony-winner Jefferson Mays and Dakin Matthews.

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Monday November 14th, 2011

The Academy Celebrates Vanessa Redgrave at Unprecedented Tribute in London

Just one night after presenting James Earl Jones with an honorary Oscar at the  London theater where he and Vanessa Redgrave are currently starring in a West  End production of Driving Miss Daisy, the Academy tonight honored Redgrave with a  special tribute — the first of its kind to ever be held in Europe, entitled “An Academy  Salute to Vanessa Redgrave” — in celebration of her more than half-century of work  in film.

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Sunday November 13th, 2011

FEINBERG’S 5: Billy Crystal, AFI Fest, ‘The Iron Lady,’ ‘Margin Call,’ Morgan Freeman

These, in my judgment, are the five awards-related stories from the past week that every self-respecting movie buff should know about…

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