Steven Soderbergh brings the Panama Papers to our Netflix screens October 18.
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Greta Gerwig's adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic hits theaters December 25.
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Ryan Murphy's Netflix musical adaptation will star Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman.
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May 06
2020

According to Deadline, a virtual concert event to benefit the Covenant House charity for homeless and trafficked youth has lined up a 50-plus roster of stars to perform or appear for the May 18 fundraiser, including Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, Jon Bon Jovi, Rachel Brosnahan, Stephen Colbert, Martin Short, Dolly Parton, Dionne Warwick, Stephanie J. Block, Tony Shalhoub, Charlie Day, Chris O’Dowd, Zachary Levi and Zachary Quinto. A Night of Covenant House Stars, to be held Monday, May 18 at 8 p.m ET on the Broadway on Demand streaming platform, will be co-hosted by six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald and 60 Minutes correspondent John Dickerson, both members of the Covenant House Board of Directors. The event is designed to support Covenant House, the international, mostly privately funded charity providing housing, food and healthcare to children and youth facing homelessness, and the front-line staff working during the COVID-19 crisis. “This virus does not get the last word,” said Covenant House President & CEO Kevin Ryan. “This amazing group of stars uniting in love to help us care for kids is proof positive of that.” Event proceeds will benefit Covenant House’s work across 31 cities, in six countries. The event is produced by Jeff Calhoun, the Broadway director and choreographer, and Covenant House Board member. The fundraiser will be held one day after the official launch of the Broadway on Demand platform, which kicks off with the 30 Days Of Opening Nights concert on Sunday, May 17 to benefit performers, playwrights, composers, musicians and stagehands affected by the COVID-19 health crisis. Access to view both events will be free of charge. In addition to Broadway on Demand, A Night of Covenant House Stars can be streamed on iHeartRadio Broadway, Facebook, Twitch, YouTube, and Stars in the House.

May 02
2020

In the mid-90s, Meryl Streep’s career was revitalized by a most unlikely leading man and director. Clint Eastwood – Western hero, movie star, director and America’s man’s man – turned Robert James Weller’s kitschy best-selling novel into a tender box office hit for grown ups. Fresh off his multiple Academy Awards wins for “Unforgiven”, Eastwood took over directing duties from Steven Spielberg after being cast in the male lead – and stood by his casting choice that was unheard of in Hollywood – casting a 45-year-old woman to play a 45-year-old woman.

Robert James Waller’s novel (called “arguably the world’s longest greeting card” by the New York Times) about the four-day love affair between a travelling professional photographer who had come to Madison County, Iowa, and a Italian-American housewife whose family was way, was optioned by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment before its publication in 1991 – by the time of the film’s release, the novel sold 9.5 million copies worldwide. Spielberg wanted to produce the film with Amblin and first asked Sydney Pollack to direct, who got Kurt Luedtke to draft the first version of the adaptation but then bowed out. After a second draft by Ronald Bass fell through, a third draft of the script by Richard LaGravenese was liked by Eastwood, who quite early had been cast for the male lead, and by Spielberg, who liked LaGravenese’s version enough to consider making Bridges his next film after “Schindler’s List”, which was in post-production at the time. Both men liked that LaGravenese’s script presented the story from Francesca’s point of view. Spielberg then had LaGravenese introduce the framing device of having Francesca’s adult children discover and read her diaries. Somewhere along the road, Spielberg decided not to direct it after all, and after his next best choice Bruce Beresford dropped out as well, Eastwood decided he could direct it as well. His last directorial effort, “Unforgiven”, won him two Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture, as well as a Best Actor nomination.

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May 01
2020

In a recent interview with Collider for his new Netflix limited series Hollywood, Murphy shared the latest status on this film, called The Prom. Thankfully, Murphy seems to have finished nearly all of his principal photography before the pandemic hit, especially with lead performers like Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, James Corden, Andrew Rannells, and others. Because of this, Murphy believes they can still hit their planned release window: “All of the leads had wrapped. The last scene that I shot was Nicole Kidman’s last scene. Meryl had finished and James Corden had finished, and Andrew Rannells and Nicole had all finished. The only thing that I had is I had two days of second unit pickup… I hope this summer I can go back and quickly pick them up… The movie was supposed to come out right around Christmas, was the plan. November, Thanksgiving, Christmas in that window. Hopefully, I’ll be able to still do that.” A Murphy-directed movie musical based on the hit Broadway musical about out-of-touch theater stars who flock to a small town to force their high school to allow a gay couple to attend prom, with this bonkers cast, sounds like the perfect holiday season pick-me-up, particularly after this dreadfully quarantined summer we’re all having. Murphy was immediately attracted to the progressive nature of the material, saying, “I love the message of it. I really related to the protagonist. Emma is from Indiana and is not allowed to go to her prom because she’s gay. And I’m from Indiana and I wasn’t allowed to take a man or a male compadre to my prom. I related to it, so I believed in the message.”

And for fans of The Prom wondering what tunes from the show made it? Murphy gave us this big update: We used all the songs and then we’ve written one new song for it, one new original piece for The Prom. That was really fun to work on and it’s a great ballad, and it’s really a moving song about acceptance and prejudice. I think a lot of people will love it. Yeah, we kept every song and we added one, which is a lot, but it’s fun, worth it. Like many other movie musicals, the team has added a new song to the roster of existing material — often a play at an Oscar for Best Original Song. It’s also surprising to hear they’re keeping every single song from the original show in — usually a few tunes get cut when stage musicals are turned into films (i.e. “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd” somehow not making it into Sweeney Todd). This sounds like it’ll be quite the tune-filled affair — and here’s hoping the new song blends in with the rest well enough. As for how Murphy got this star-studded cast to sing these well-known (and one original) song? Well, all he had to do was ask: “I’ve never done this in my career, but I called up three people I’ve always wanted to work with, which was Meryl Streep and James Corden and Nicole Kidman. And I said, ‘I want to do this. I believe in it. I want to work with you. Do you want to do it?’ And all three of them went to see [the play] within that week, I think, and they all called and instantly said, ‘Yes, I will do it.’ The fact that I could get Meryl Streep to love it and be into it and believe in it as much as I did, I just couldn’t believe that I got Meryl Streep to say yes in a one week window.” Many thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.

Apr 27
2020

Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski and Audra McDonald wowed on Sunday night during an online concert celebrating the 90th birthday of legendary Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim. Appearing from their respective homes in their bathrobes, the actresses performed a spot-on and hilarious rendition of “The Ladies Who Lunch” from Sondheim’s 1970 musical “Company” – complete with swigs from wine goblets and cocktail glasses (and in Streep’s case, directly from the bottle). The actresses seemed to relish the “I’ll drink to that” refrain from the classic tune, which was first performed by Elaine Stritch on Broadway (and more recently by Patti LuPone in a revival that was due to open this month before the coronavirus pandemic shut down Broadway theaters). The trio joined a host of Tony-winning luminaries for the online event, including Neil Patrick Harris, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters, Josh Groban, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Alexander and even Steven Spielberg (who didn’t sing but gave an online shout-out to Sondheim). Tony winner Raúl Esparza helped organize the event to raise money for Artists Striving to End Poverty), which generated donations through the Broadway.com YouTube channel. Drama Desk Award winner Mary-Mitchell Campbell served as music director for the concert, with Paul Wontorek directing. Watch the full “The Ladies Who Lunch” performance above. You can also check out the full two-hour-plus concert, “Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration,” here.

Apr 25
2020

I don’t feel like an icon, unless you mean stiff and wooden sometimes. I’m so tired generally – that’s my main defining feature. (Meryl Streep, Entertainment Weekly, 1994)

After five years in Tinsletown, Meryl Streep quit Hollywood and relocated the family to Connectitut. While a good number of her films during that time earned solid reviews and box office – her stay in the City of Angels also gave Streep a reputation. Not only was she in an undesireable age group in Hollywood, her outspoken criticism on the payment inequality and lack of interesting roles for women was greeted with the industry’s kiss of death – Meryl Streep was difficult to work with. Her farewell to Hollywood was her first and only hooray into the action genre, a surprising move rivaling the lone-rider action movies of her male counterparts. “The River Wild” offered a unique role for a woman in a, in retrospect, very family friendly action adventure, which might have been a rapid too slow for Stallone, but just right for a lion mother.

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Apr 22
2020

According to Deadline, Meryl Streep, Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone and Audra McDonald are set to join an all-star line-up in a special virtual concert to celebrate Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday. Take Me To The World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration, hosted by Raúl Esparza, will take place this Sunday, April 26, the 50th anniversary of the opening night of Sondheim’s groundbreaking musical Company. The concert kicks off at 8 pm ET, and will be available for free at Broadway.com and the Broadway.com YouTube channel. In addition to Streep, Peters, LuPone and McDonald, artists performing songs from the Sondheim catalog will include Mandy Patinkin, Christine Baranski, Donna Murphy, Kristin Chenoweth, Sutton Foster, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Kelli O’Hara, Aaron Tveit, Maria Friedman, Iain Armitage, Katrina Lenk, Michael Cerveris, Brandon Uranowitz, Stephen Schwartz, Elizabeth Stanley, Chip Zien, Alexander Gemignani and, from the cast of Pacific Overtures at Classic Stage Company, Ann Harada, Austin Ku, Kelvin Moon Loh and Thom Sesma. Host Esparza starred as Bobby in the 2006 Tony Award-winning revival of Company and in the Kennedy Center Sondheim Celebration productions of Sunday in the Park With George and Merrily We Roll Along in 2002, as well as the City Center Encores! production of Anyone Can Whistle and in last year’s Road Show. “The world is in a hard place,” Esparza said in a statement, “and we are all searching for something great. Well, Stephen Sondheim is greatness personified.” Mary-Mitchell Campbell will be the music director, with Paul Wontorek serving as director. This online event will act as a fundraiser for ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty), the organization conceived by Campbell and Juilliard students to transform the lives of youth through art. Many thanks to Glenn for the heads-up!

Apr 19
2020

If your looking for something to read on your quarantine Sunday, have a look at the 50+ new magazine scans that have been added to the archives! There are some great old finds from the 1980s as well as many more recent interviews on articles from Austria and Switzerland, Brazil and Peru, Poland and the United Kingdom. So, there’s something for everybody. Huge thanks to my friend Alvaro for compiling all these new finds and sending them my way. Much appreciated. Enjoy your Sunday!



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Apr 18
2020

Among the many changes in Meryl Streep’s career in the 1990s – her move to Los Angeles and the switch from dramatic roles to lighter fare – perhaps the most volcanic change took place in 1991, when she switched agents. An actor switching agents is not exactly big news, but Sam Cohn, the prominent New York-based agent at International Creative Management is not just any agent. According to a 1994 article in The New York Times, what happened remains murky. Streep speaks hesitantly about it. According to several agents, the rift centered on casting Streep in “Remains of the Day.” Mike Nichols, whom she regarded as a trusted friend, planned to direct. But after Streep and Jeremy Irons read for him, Nichols apparently decided otherwise. He declined to tell Streep. So did Cohn, who was also Nichols’s agent. By all accounts, Streep wasn’t just outraged, she was deeply hurt. And she severed her relationship with Cohn, signing with the powerful Creative Artists Agency. Eventually, James Ivory took over the film, casting Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson in the lead roles. ”I left because of something Mike did that I felt Sam should have protected me from,” Streep says. She speaks cryptically and emotionally about the episode. “Mike knows what he did, but unfortunately Sam wore the scar.” As their article continues, Streep says she’s now friendly with both men. “My relationship with them is in the ‘life’s too short to be mad category,'” she says. “Mike is someone I share an enormous amount of history with. He has a big part of my heart. I was very upset to be upset. I have too much of a need for forgiveness in my life.”

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Apr 11
2020

As if it wasn’t difficult enough to find a good leading role on film in the early 1990s, Meryl Streep teamed up with Goldie Hawn to find a project with two female leads. The actresses turned friends wanted to share their star power on the screen togehter, and although they were turned down by Hollywood at first, they found their match in Robert Zemeckis’ turn on the night of the living dead in Los Angeles – women who want to stay young forever. What a stretch for Hollywood.

Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn are probably friendship-goals in life and on film, but they couldn’t have approached their careers more differently. Hawn rose to fame in the late-60s playing dumb blonde characters in a string of more and less successful tv shows features – even winning an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress in “The Cactus Flower”. But the actress wanted more – better roles, and more power. She founded her own production company, The Hawn/Sylbert Movie Company, with Anthea Sylbert in the late 1970’s and started producing starring roles for herself. They struck gold with their first producing effort – a starring role in “Private Benjamin”, which became a box office hit and a critical darling. Hawn/Sylbert continued to produce more starring roles in “Protocol”, “The Late Shift”, “Criss Cross” and “Overboard”, among others. Although Hawn actress semi-retired in the early 2000s and only shows up on film every once in a while (decade), she has paved the way for many actresses to come. On the other hand, Meryl Streep has never shown interest in any other part of the business than acting. When aksed by Simply Living in 1991 about building her own production company, she said, “I don’t want to start a company. I have lot of other concerns. All I am is an actress. That’s all I wanted to be, ever. I don’t want to be on the phone, talking to unions about set-ups, lunches, how to move trucks off the freeway, overtime. I have no interest in that.”

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Apr 07
2020

After an on-demand release earlier this March, “Little Women” has been released on DVD and Blu-Ray in the United States, today. Screencaptures from the film, as well as the making of and interview, have been added to the photo gallery. Enjoy, and make sure to grab your copy!


Related Media:

Photo Gallery – Career Photography – Little Women – Blu-Ray Screencaptures
Photo Gallery – Career Photography – Little Women – Making Of Screencaptures
Photo Gallery – Career Photography – Little Women – Interview Screencaptures