February 28, 2014

SCANDAL and FELICITY Star Scott Foley Is Kinda Cute

Scott Foley is getting a TV second coming lately, with his role on SCANDAL. But I will always think of him at Noel from FELICITY, one side of the pained love triangle that was at the center of that show's existence. I was sorta hooked on this show for the first season or so. I know--it was a little cheesy, a little ridiculous, but it was J.J. Abrams pre-LOST and had its charms to say the least. At the end of the show's 4 year run, FELICITY chose Ben (sorta) but now it looks like she chose wrong. 

In a new spread for some towel company called Charisma (!) that was featured on Logo's blog, Foley shows he is quite an equal match to the hunky Ben (played by Scott Speedman). So I would say that qualifies Noel not just for the Hi-Fi Bri Kinda Cute hall of fame, but sorta elevates him to "Kinda Hot" as well. Just make sure you watch the somewhat cheesy video too of a behind the scenes look at his shoot. It's a borderline SNL-skit about how much Scott likes fancy towels and how he never feels sexy, except when his wife tells him. Oh yeah, he has a wife. Well as Billy Wilder once wrote, "Nobody's perfect." :)

February 25, 2014

The YANK! Cast Recording Is Now Available And It's A Classic

Last night, I went to the York Theater to celebrate the official release of the cast album for YANK!, a musical about gay soldiers in WWII written by my colleagues David and Joe Zellnik. (You can download it today via iTunes for just 10 clams!) From when I first heard about the idea for this show, I've been a big fan and I've seen it more than a few times, in it's many incarnations, from a reading in a rehearsal studio on 42nd Street to a beautiful production at the Gallery Players in Brooklyn.
But these did not prepare me for how amazing this recording is.

With rich orchestrations by Bway vet Jonathan Tunick and a jazzy Big Band sound, listening to these songs is now somewhat like discovering the old '40s era journal that kicks off the show's opening scene; these songs sound like a time capsule from a long lost past that is familiar yet strikingly different too. If you like your musical theatre old school, this show is like something from the 1940s except for the fact that it's memorable songs, especially the aching "Reme'bring You", are about two men who fall in love during WWII.

I was a supporter of the Kickstarter campaign that made this beautiful CD possible. Now that its available to the public, David and Joe are hoping that as this music gets out into the world, more productions of the show will happen and eventually the show will end up where it deserves to be--on Broadway. Hey...if the gays can play for the NBA, anything is possible!  :)

February 11, 2014

Today's The 50th Anniversary Of The Beatles First U.S. Concert At Washington Coliseum

While The Beatles' NYC appearance on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW gets most of the attention for their American debut, the Fab Four's first live concert for a paying audience took place in Washington DC. Two days after being seen by nearly 75 million Americans, the group played for 8,000 screaming fans at the Washington Coliseum a few blocks from Union Station, where they arrived by train in a snowstorm.

Today's Washington Post has a fantastic oral history of that first Beatles show, with attendees like Al Gore (who grew up in DC) and Albert Maysles (who shot the concert) and Sir Paul reminiscing about it all. There are some great details, like the chat Ringo had with a child on the train and the teen screaming which had police officers putting bullets in their ears. You can also watch footage from that show on iTunes new Beatles channel, along with two of The Beatles SULLIVAN segments.  I watched these uncut broadcast segments after the CBS tribute on Sunday kept showing tantalizingly short clips. They are really remarkable...the screaming is annoying but also electric, especially during "I Wanna Hold Your Hand". At one point, Ed himself cannot quiet the audience down to speak in intro'ing the second segment.

Finally, a live celebration of the anniversary is happening tonight at the old Coliseum itself (which now goes by its original name U Line Arena). It's been brought back to life for a one night only restaging of that first show with a Beatles tribute band. They will play the exact same set list and the show will start, as it did then, at exactly 8:31pm.  And just like the original, it is also sold out.

February 7, 2014

B.J. Novak Is A Funny Guy And A Great Writer

Actor B.J. Novak, known for his funny roles in THE OFFICE and, more recently, as Richard Sherman in SAVING MR. BANKS, is now taking on a somewhat different role; that of a newly published author. He has a collection of short stories that just came out this month called ONE MORE THING: STORIES AND MORE STORIES.

I haven't read the whole book but I did read one of his stories recently and thought it was really great. It's called "Kellogg" and is about a boy who thinks he has won a cereal sweepstakes contest. It's classic short story writing with a modern twist to the proceedings which made it an engrossing and wickedly funny read. You can check out "Kellog" on the literary website Nautilus and the book is now available on Amazon.

February 5, 2014

The Epic Super Bowl Commercial Seen Only In Georgia

There has been lots of talk about how this year's lineup of Super Bowl spots were cute and cuddly and non-offensive. Budweiser's puppy ad seemed to be the gold standard for a kinder and gentler advertising onslaught, with not the usual raunch of the past.  However, there is one Super Bowl commercial you probably have not seen that it sorta out there. Not raunchy really but raw and kinda kickass, like a music video from the '80s. 

This ad was for a personal injury attorney in named Jamie Casino, which already makes it sounds like he's in an '80s crime movie. I mean, you know you are in for something unique when a TV commercial starts off quoting the Bible. What follows is an epic (for ads anyway) 2-minute long heavy metal music video story of redemption and vengeance, not to mention flame throwing and slow-mo sledge hammering. It is awesome and, despite being shown as a local spot at a Fox affiliate in Savannah, it is racking up the hits on YouTube (almost 5M today). My only question--is that really his actual son in the video too? The Daily News has more details on how this all happened, if you're interested