Category Archives: Bryan Cranston

The 66th Emmy Award Show predictions

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Maya Angelou described her life’s dreams but could have been summarizing the

66th Emmy Awards Show tonight in this quotation:

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive:

And to do so with some passion, some compassion,

some humor and some style.”

The Emmy Award Show will be hosted tonight, 8/25/14, by comedian, Seth Myers.

We can hope his sense of humor and wacky ideas of comedy will be just the right

combination to deliver some silliness and ‘zingers’ at the prestigious audience, too.

If Myers somehow waylays those winning envelopes and chooses his “alma mater,”

the “Saturday Night Live” show will win best variety show.  There are many who

are already missing the “SNL” outstanding announcer, Don Pardo, (who recently

passed away and the show could get the ‘sympathy’ votes.) Otherwise, the Emmy

for comedy/variety show will probably go to Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel or

another traditional talk show.

I enjoy the drama, the flair, the gowns and tuxedos, along with the speeches for

the  ‘Best’ of television each year.  I have some predictions and hopefully, a little

something for everyone to consider.

While you may not watch the show~ you will hear about it tomorrow! Let’s say in

the break room, at the water cooler, or on the actual ‘news’ shows, where they feature

entertainment and popular culture as, “newsworthy.”

 

Nora Ephron is an author and screenwriter, one who has had several of her books

made into comedies. After they appeared on the movie screen, you may catch them

on television.  Some of my favorites are: “Sleepless in Seattle,” “You’ve Got Mail,”

“Julie and Julia,” and the serious and incredibly well written, “Silkwood.” This was

with dramatic performances by Cher and Meryl Streep.

 

Here is a quotation that suits the Emmy Awards night and our own lives, too.

Written by Nora Ephron:

“Above all, be the heroine of your life,

Not the victim.”

 

There is the Dramatic category for television shows, which I predict Matthew

McConaughey will win this, since his life is “on a roll” this year. He has already

collected the Academy Award and the Golden Globe Award for, “Dallas Buyer’s

Club.” Now, with his unique twist of acting he gave to the character in the t.v.

show called, “True Detective.” he may win the 2014 Emmy Award for Drama.

Woody Harrelson’s partner detective role, may win instead. We will see. . .

 

Who do I wish would win the dramatic male lead?  Jeremy Pivens, who has

played on PBS’s  show, “Mr. Selfridge” for three seasons. This period piece is

about a department  store owner, along with his family and his employees’ lives.

The setting begins in 1908 England and has advanced three years past this.

This is the upscale place to shop, with its lavish displays and Victorian gowns.

The store has much to view,  everything so ornately beautiful that you may let

your mind wander off the subject matter. A serious accusation of an affiliation

with Germany was the season ‘cliff hanger.’ With the store and all the employees

possibly facing financial ruin, setbacks, letting go employees  or closure of the

department store impending.

 

Who do I wish would win the dramatic female lead?

I would like to see the character, Sarah, played by Jorja Fox, win from “C.S.I.”

I like the whole cast of the “old” Las Vegas, “C.S.I.” with Ted Danson as one of

the “new” lead characters presently. They still have “Sarah’s” character, from the

original cast, understatedly played by Jorja Fox. I happen to like “Sarah’s” flaws

and her unique idiosyncracies. She was the one who ‘won,’ my favorite “past”

male lead’s heart, William Peterson, who played “Grissom.” Occasionally, we hear

about him,  via his “wife, Sarah’s” character. (“Grissom” has been investigating

entomology, the study of bugs, in foreign lands.) I miss William Peterson, but like

Ted Danson’s straight forward approach and will always like Marg Helgenberger.

She has won the Emmy before, not sure if Jorja has. . .

 

While there are many comedies who are ‘repeat winners,’ like “Modern Family,”

“Big Bang Theory,” “Mike and Molly,” and others come to mind, I like to think

that one of the “New Kids on the Block,” may win again. At the Golden Globes,

Brooklyn 9-9″ was nominated and won.  I like, “The Middle,” “The Mindy Kaling

Show,” and the silly alien show, “The Neighbors.”

 

Who will win the Best Comedic Role? I believe a ‘nod’ to Robin Williams will be

for his performance on the show, “The Crazy Ones,” to win. I agree, the cast and

guest stars were brilliant. The lines were delivered impeccably and timed with

enough space to laugh out loud at them. The shows with famous people included

Brad Garrett, from “Everybody Loves Raymond.” I liked the episode with Josh

Groban, who was hired to make up a song for Australia. While he was visiting, it

turns out he had dated “Sydney,” who is Robin William’s character’s daughter.

“Sydney” was the one who had broken up with this ex-boyfriend.  Josh Groban,

a singer/songwriter, is still “love sick.” His silly song for “Sydney” works out, after

all,  with the Australian campaign. The baby ducklings’ episode and the coffee

roasting company horror episode were among my favorite shows. The first one,

even has an assistant wiping the little baby duck’s behinds, as per Robin William’s

character’s wishes. The huge coffee pot display, set out in the middle of a busy city

square tipped over, on a windy day. The hot coffee, which had seemed like a ‘good

idea at the time,’ for advertising, was made into a scary black and white horror

commercial. This was hilarious; just perfect for their coffee advertising campaign.

Mistakes made into genius decisions. . . Reminds me of the “Dick Van Dyke Show!”

 

It is too soon to have the character who plays a doctor in “Rush,” to win an Emmy

Award, but I highly recommend watching this quirky, self-absorbed character.

I was watching a triple episode DVD of  “Sugartown,” a British comedy show (2011),

and had to pause to study the man who is in this mini-series, as the brother who

wants to close down “Burrs” candy factory.  Yes, Tom Ellis, is the leading male

character in “Rush.” He was a womanizer in “Sugartown” in England. Now, he is

playing a similar kind of man, as a doctor with high end clientele, in Los Angeles,

California.

Since the series, “Rush,” just kicked off on July 17, 2014, you may not even know

about this show on ABC.

 

I hope the Emmy’s will be full of fun and excitement.  I hope it will entertain the

people who enjoy awards ceremonies. I like to see the way people accept their

awards. I enjoy the way the show features the best moments in television from

mid-year, 2013 until mid-year, 2014. The Emmy may still go to “Breaking Bad,”

due to the inclusion of this other part of the year. In this case, you will see

Bryan Cranston taking the best dramatic role, instead of Matthew McConaughey.

 

Who can forget Sally Fields exclaiming, ” You really like me!”?  This was when the

known television series actress of “The Flying Nun” and “Gidget,” won an Academy

Award for her supremely well done acting in the movie, “Norma Rae.” Of course,

she has also won an Emmy for her “Sybil” television role and been nominated as

President Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd, in the movie, “Lincoln.”

 

I live for those award ceremony moments of surprise and humility.

 

Will you be watching this or Monday Night Football?

If neither of these, what are your plans tonight?

Many at work were talking about the Bengals playing. . .

 

 

 

 

 

Tony Came and Left Me Breathless

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The 68th Tony Award Ceremony held plenty of outstanding, shining exhibits

that were thoroughly satisfying entertainment. Some name-dropping and

my overall impressions will ensue, if this is not your ‘cup of tea,’ don’t worry,

skipping this is totally understandable!

Hugh Jackman utilized comedy and hopped, literally, from one famous person

to another, on his path into the auditorium. He passed, “Sting” along the way.

He was one of a few that got singled out, in performances, since he ended up

sitting in the front row.

The scene shown from the musical, “The Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,”

was exhilarating and you would have enjoyed this trio. The man caught between

a blonde haired woman, who he would like to marry, and a brunette he enjoys her

company, standing in a hallway, leaning into one room to sing and then the other,

was quite amusing. Juggling two women, reminded me of the way Shakespeare’s

“Comedy of Errors, ” can bring the audience to roaring laughter.

From the audience, Tyne Daly, never looked more radiant. She has chin length

blonde toned white hair with her smile lighting up the room along with her golden

dress.

Set designs and costumes were all presented beautifully.

The man who played, “Genie” character in the musical, “Aladdin,” won and his

show-stopping performance on stage showed he truly earned “Best Supporting

Actor” in a musical production. He had the audience clapping to the song, giving

the rhythm and capturing the man’s enthusiastic energy.

The scene from “Cabaret,” was bawdy and well-choreographed. The image of Joel

Grey’s portrayal of the “Host” that ‘welcomes you’ to “Cabaret,” floats into my mind.

The actual line is done in German, so it is “Wilcommen…” In the reprisal of this

musical, Allan Cummings performed in the position of “Host,” on Broadway.

“Best Supporting Actress” was earned by an actress portraying a character in “The

Raisin in the Sun.” Sophie Okonedo made a joke about her cultural heritage and ‘the

chance’ the director took on her being able to play an American woman in that

period. I have seen the movie and also, the play on stage. It was remade recently,

for a television version. Always a thought-provoking period piece that depicts a part

of American history.

The “Best Actress” Tony was given for the sixth time to the same woman, making

Audra McDonald a ‘record breaker.’ She was playing Billie Holliday, in “Lady Day

at Emerson’s Bar and Grille.” Her singing is effervescent and gives me chills. After

I listened to her singing, I feel she certainly deserved to take home “Tony.” I loved

the credits she gave to her family and the memorable female singers, actresses, and

poetess who came before her. This is the essence of Audra McDonald’s speech:

“Thank you to my parents who did not medicate me for being hyperactive, but

instead persuaded me to explore acting in the theatre. I give honor to the women

who I am standing on their shoulders: Lena Horne, Maya Angelou, Dionne

Carrole, Ruby Dee and of course, the legend I was fortunate to portray, Billie

Holliday.”

The competition was thick for both the best actor and actress roles. The “Best

Actor in a Dramatic Play” went to Bryan Cranston. I predicted this one! So far,

this is the only one that I felt I knew ahead of time, I just ‘knew’ he would win,

if you have not seen a clip of his portrayal of LBJ in the play, “All the Way,” please

check him out! Awesome job and it is a fascinating piece of history, where he

had to take the Presidency, immediately after JFK was shot. He was the one

who should get a lot of credit, for getting the Civil Rights Bill passed, among

other great accomplishments. That Texan drawl that Bryan Cranston does

is very similar to the original.

Ru Paul, as a man, introduced “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” scene. He looks

great these days, he is one of the most famous trans-gender, cross-dressing

men in theater. Ru Paul says the play encompasses ‘love and acceptance’

for all choices in lifestyles. He has probably won a few awards in his lifetime.

This scene incorporated a pulsing, fast-paced rock ‘n roll beat, “Sugar Daddy,”

sung by Neil Patrick Harris, looking unrecognizable in his long blonde wig, his

short skirt, hose and tall pump shoes. N.P. Harris engaged actively with the

front row audience, taking Samuel L. Jackson’s glasses off and leaning into

Sting and then, bouncing on his lap!

Kenneth Brannaugh, the fine British Shakespearean actor, announced the

nominees for “Best Playwrights.” I liked Kenneth Brannaugh in the movie

leading role in “A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream.”

The dramatic play, “All the Way,” won for “Best Playwright.” The actual

play writer was not there to accept the award, so the two producers, including

Robert Shanken accepted it. He reminded the audience of the tense political

atmosphere in 1964. He called passing Civil Rights bill,” seemingly impossible”

and  gave his own personal summary of the way he felt about class structure:

“Those people who have more money take, at the expense of those who have

nothing and feel good about it.”

There was humor shown in the two plays that showed scenes from, “Casa

Valentina,” and “Mothers and Sons.”

Wayne Brady, comedian and also, improvisational artist, introduced, “Violet,”

with a riveting and rhythmic song, “As I Travel On.” It had the pulse and

emotions of the “Gone, gone, gone” song and the “Cups” song sung by Anna

Kendricks. This had a really ‘current’ sound to it, which would carry over

well on the radio. This led into a revival and rousing gospel song. The story

line is intriguing about a young woman, Violet, who has a disfigured face,

due to an accident, seeking a ‘miracle’ to help her with her face and life.

The scene from “Wicked,” which has the two sisters, Glinda the Good Witch

and the Wicked Witch singing a duet was quite touching. I had seen some

clips of the musical but truly had never heard the entire song before. It

is the ending song, “Because I Knew You,” which includes the line,

“I have been changed for the better”…. then after it has been sung several

verses later…”I have been changed for good.”

I read that huge volume called, “Wicked,” which I passed on to my oldest

daughter and she still takes it out and reads a chapter or two. It is longer

than almost any book that I have read, including, Tolstoy’s, “War and Peace.”

Well, I may be exaggerating a bit. But there is a LOT of story about the two

sisters, years in the making, until the happily ever after conclusion that has

this lovely song, with two excellent women singing it. The musical, “Wicked,”

celebrated its tenth anniversary.

Carole King came out and joined the singer, Jessie Mueller, who portrays her

younger self. I am very pleased to tell you that Carole King impressed me with

her “natural woman” look; her curly, blondish-white hair, her medium build

in a white silk blouse with black trim and black slacks. No plastic surgery, not

even sure her hair has dye in it. She looked amazing for her age! The musical

play, “Beautiful” incorporates Carole King’s life and her music.

She mentioned before her performance, that she did not go to the opening

nor was she ‘too crazy’ about seeing someone portray her.  She says the story

has heartbreak in it, which she was uncertain she wanted to ‘relive this.’She

finally did go to the theater and expressed gratitude for the way the play was

written, her character was portrayed and the presentation of the songs, too.

She highly recommends the musical, of course!

The best performance of the night, for me, was Carole King with Jessica

Mueller singing, “I Feel the Earth Move…(under my feet)” The audience all

stood up, clapped to the rhythm and several famous people were singing

along, their lips moving and showing smiling faces, too. Loved this so much!

(I still have my “Tapestry” music engraved in my head, too!)

A clever and playful rap from the revival of “The Music Man,” was first

introduced by Hugh Jackman. He could do it all from memory, he said and

it is to a fast beat, too. Then, out came LL Cool J and “T. I.” to join him,

turning it easily into a very groovy rap song. This was another timeless

musical, many high schools, across the country, Hugh Jackman reminded

us, put this play on their stages. It is the song about “River City.”

The song that Sting sang, “The Last Ship,” was eerie and haunting, with an

Irish melody. It is telling a mournful tale that includes these snippets of

words, “dark, unholy sight,’ ‘halo of light,’ ‘Calgary Hill,’ and ‘May angels

protect me when the last ship sails.’ Also, describing the ship, ‘mountains

of steel makes its way to the sea.’

This was one of my top three favorite performances. Sting’s ship song was my

second favorite and my third would have to be the rap between LL Cool J,

Hugh Jackman and “T. I.” playing “The Music Man.”

The Carnegie Mellon School of Drama awarded it first Tony for an Arts educator.

This seemed appropriate since many of the acceptance speeches recalled the

teachers in drama, arts and music that had led them to seek their calling in

musical or dramatic theatre. One who had done this, Neil Patrick Harris said,

“When most people in my high school thought that sports were the way to

become popular, I had a special theater teacher, in New Mexico. For her, I

will always owe an extreme debt for her love of teaching and her love of drama.”

(He listed her name, if you look up speeches, I am sure you will find it out.)

Rosie O’ Donnell was recognized for her philanthropic donations to the Arts.

Best choreography went to “After Midnight.”

Best Orchestration went to “Bridges of Madison County.”

I enjoyed the scene with fighting from “Rocky” and the way, the actor yelled

out for “Adriane!” It was a very pleasant evening with the best times being when

I knew the songs and recognized the famous people in the audience.

Did anyone see the Tony’s Award Show?

What were some of your favorite moments?

 

 

 

The Tony’s Are Coming! The Tony’s Are Coming!

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Oh yeah, the place to be tomorrow night is in front of your television set, with

the 68th Tony Awards’ Ceremony about to begin. Or better yet, if fashion,

style and grace are part of your repertoire, before the Tony’s, watch the

outrageous, beautiful and sometimes the most stunning dresses of the year!

After all, the ones who are able to wing it on stage, in front of a Live audience

on a large stage, whether it is Broadway or Off-Broadway, are the ones

to watch!

Here are some television names to watch for:

Tyne Daly, who is known from being part of the police drama, ‘Cagney and

Lacey.’ She has been performing since February in “Mothers and Sons,”

written by Terrence McNally.

Bryan Cranston, who went from playing a bad guy, let’s face it, that we could

not tear our eyes off of in, “Breaking Bad,” to playing a famous man in “All the

Way!” (Hint: He is playing Lyndon Baines Johnson, and doing an outstanding

job!)

Neil Patrick Harris, who has been the Host for the Tony’s has played in the

performance of a lifetime in a dark play called, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”

Who knew that N.P. Harris could make a strange and dark character come

to life? I always have loved the ‘boy’ who was Doogie Howser and made me

laugh as Barney, in “How I Met Your Mother.”

Tony Shalhoub, has my interest in his role as part of Moss Hart’s play, “Act One.”

Since I have watched him, with my Mom mainly, as “Monk,” the quirky and

rather interesting man with OCD. Apparently, “Psychology Today,” did not

find his real enough nor true to the obsessive compulsive disorder, though.

His role as a police support staff who had to have a companion to settle him.

I liked to watch him while being amused by his techniques. There are OCD

moments caught and featured on Youtube, too. His partner would help him

stay in touch with work, changed and I liked each of his assigned female

‘babysitters’ on that show. The Hart play has been ‘panned,’ also. Too bad.

Idina Menzel has been featured in my posts, since my grandkids love her

voice, raised in song. (In the animated children’s film, “Frozen,” she belts

out “Let it Go!”) Her performances in the show and movie, “Chorus Line,”

along with “Rent” have made her quite a Broadway performer. The 2014

Tony nominated play is called, “If/Then.” I am not familiar with this one,

I have to admit, but knowing the versatility and talent of Idina Menzel,

I will hope it gets an award!

Harvey Fierstein’s gravelly voice can give me chills. He is a fine director

and writer, his 2014 nominated play is called, “Casa Valentina.” This has an

unusual ‘premise,’ men gathering in a cabin in the Catskill Mountains and

tapping into their ‘feminine side.’ Could be fascinating…

His brief presence on the CBS Today Show, this morning, Saturday, June

7, 2014 included asking him what drives him in his writing. Here is his

quote being paraphrased (I am not great at writing each word, but I am

sure that you can look up this and this is the ‘essence’ of its meaning:

If you want to capture my attention and hold it, don’t show me a meteor

going to hit our planet.  Show me people interacting, human connections

and THAT is the show I will watch!”

In other words, Harvey is saying that the human condition is what he has

drawn from,  while writing his plays and screenplays.

One of the most beloved and most performed plays, “The Glass Menagerie,”

is again up for a 2014 Tony Nomination.

I have a personal reason why I follow the different award shows. Some of you

who have followed me for quite some time, may recall that I have always been

a person who followed plays, movies and theater productions. I was very lucky

to have parents  who thought that taking the three kids to these, would be fun,

educational and meaningful. I liked, Musicarnival, The Lakewood Summer

Shakespeare Festivals, and Cleveland productions of Broadway plays. I have

only once been to a Broadway play, to see Joel Grey play as George M. Cohen,

in “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” But, my interest went beyond watching, I became

part of children’s plays, worked back stage in makeup freshman year of high

school, set design sophomore year and worked side by side with actors as

understudies. I never was on stage until I went to National Acting Camp

held at Notre Dame University. It was fun trying out and being part of

this, I came back and was senior director of the play, “Take Her, She’s

Mine.” I worked side by side with Miss Marilyn J. Frazier. She was a

beautiful and classy woman, who I believe could have become a famous

actress, had she pursued it.

I would like to give a ‘Shout Out’ to the people who went on stage, under

my direction. All wrote such lovely things on cards and notes, along with

a few special words in my 1974 (senior yearbook), Bluebook.

Hope some of you will be at our 40th reunion this September, 2014!

Billy Bush, (no, not the one on Entertainment Tonight!), Megan Peters,

(she is a Hallmark designer, artist and lovely person), Torry Cavanaugh

(doesn’t that just sound like she should be famous?), Ralph Cutcher

(you stole my heart, but just friends), Lynn Kuhlow (a ‘class act’),

Cheryl Anderson (you played a teenager who was a ‘handful’ just

right!), and good Science Club ‘geek’ and friend, David Frackelton.

When the musical “Hello Dolly” was not available to high schoolers

due to high Equity dues’ cost, we had our other play, “The Matchmaker,”

that year. Alice Cepulo, another Science Club ‘geek’ (I was secretary one

year, my brother president, so we were very active in this club…) was

the student director for this great play. She went on in film making,

after college, joining NASA’s ‘team’ in Texas. She has made a lot of

non-fiction space films. I was so sorry to hear the 1975 graduate and

one of my brother’s and my dear friends, Andy Cepulo killed himself.

in 2013.

That is a summary of my ‘real life’ experiences and I am sure they

are enough ‘credentials’ to let you know that I do know a ‘thing or

two’ about theatre!!

 

Other Tony nominated plays to ‘watch’ and ‘see’ if they get an award are:

“After Midnight,” “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” (this one has

the most award nominations so far) “Beautiful- The Carole King Musical,”

(which includes two of my favorite songs, “One Fine Day” and “Will You

Love Me Tomorrow?” By the way, I loved her “Tapestry” album!), “Aladdin,’

and Shakespeare’s “Twelth Night.”

Oh, and all the ladies and gentlemen out there who have enjoyed Hugh

Jackman’s singing in the movie, “Les Mis,” and his extremely entertaining

performances in roles like, “Wolverine,” will wish to see his performance

tomorrow night as the Host of the 2014 Tony Awards!

Just to let you know, watching Hugh Jackman is more than enough reason

to be watching the Tony’s!!