The venue 54 Below, New York’s beautiful new cabaret room in the renovated basement of the once-notorious Studio 54 disco, is playing host this week (through Feb. 2) to golden girl Christine Andreas. The ambience still retains the decadence of the space’s former tenant, but Ms. Andreas spreads nothing but sunshine. “Bemused,” the delightful, musically eclectic new act she has written for herself, is carefully designed to illustrate the varied definitions of that all-encompassing word. This gives the charming, multi-talented song stylist myriad moods to explore and a challenging repertoire of songs to explore them in. There’s something for everybody.
Webster’s uses for the word “bemused” include “immersed,” “surprised” and “thunderstruck”—but Ms. Andreas’s favorite definition of “bemused,” she says, is the kind of spark that only occurs when the right singer meets the right song (or songwriter).
Last Thursday, more than 1,100 people packed the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Midtown for the 32nd Annual Muse Awards of the New York Women in Film and Television. This wasn’t your typical ladies-who-lunch affair, as a dazzling gaggle of silver screen honorees were acknowledged for their “outstanding vision and achievement.”
The Observer has attended many a high-powered New York City event, but at this one the atmosphere seemed a bit more genuine with enthusiasm and pride. And no wonder, given how deserving those honored were. Awardees filmmaker Lisa F. Jackson, Kim Martin of WE TV, Lucy Liu and Mariska Hargitay were all celebrated for being women who have persevered, not only having achieved professional success, but having demonstrated commitment towards improving the lives of others. For an industry famed for its self-indulgence, celebrating these women for the opposite was a welcome change.
Debra Zimmerman, executive director of nonprofit Women Make Movies, received the Loreen Arbus award.
Big Apple Idolatry
– Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo, has resigned from his role on Sesame Street after a second young man stepped forward to accuse the Academy Award-nominated documentary subject of being a sexual predator. 24-year-old Cecil Singleton is asking for $5 million from Mr. Clash, after claiming he met the voice actor on a phone sex line when he was 15. Then he made a pretty large leap in logic, claiming that Clash spent his days at Sesame “preying on teenage boys to satisfy his depraved sexual interests.”
– So in addition to bringing new chapters of Trapped in the Closet to IFC, R. Kelly is now bringing his hip-hopera to the Great White Way. Hey, it can’t be any worse than Ghost: The Musical.
Onetime Fox News host and current The Blaze proprietor has a flair for the theatrical–and he’s urging his followers to go see a Broadway show. Following in the footsteps of Rosie O’Donnell, the TV host is mobilizing his fans to support the Great White Way–in this case, the new show A Christmas Story, Read More
Sorry, Wicked-bound tourists–the lights of Broadway are turning off.
Bloomberg reports that Al Pacino is set to receive among the biggest paychecks ever for a Broadway star, with a minimum of $125,000 a week for the upcoming Glengarry Glen Ross revival.
“I’ve been in this business 45 years, and I’ve done everything but porn,” Kathie Lee Gifford, the co-host of Today’s fourth hour, recently told The Observer over lunch, poking a fork into her onion soup and twisting the cheese around it purposefully.
“I doubt there’ll be an offer anytime soon,” she added with a laugh, Read More
Gwyneth Paltrow, she of singing at the Oscars and singing on Glee and singing with Cee-Lo, may put those surprisingly adequate music chops to work yet more: The Hollywood Reporter has it that she’s in talks to produce a stage musical about and with the music of the Go-Go’s (our suggested title for the musical? Heaven is a Place on Earth).
The Eight-Day Week
Tonight brings the New York Film Festival tribute to Nicole Kidman, but since we already got our fill of the fest with screenings last weekend, we’re honoring another famous redhead tonight. It’s the first night of previews for Annie, the much-revived musical about an optimistic orphan making her way through Depression-era New York on the Read More
The Eight-Day Week
Tonight, we’re dropping in on a preview of the latest big-star-on-Broadway show, to see the acting-for-screen tics that’ll get ironed out by opening. The ubiquitous Paul Rudd (last season of Parks and Recreation, this winter’s new Judd Apatow flick, This Is 40, along with every other Apatow comedy, and Julia Roberts’ Broadway play, back when Read More