2018 Golden Globe Nominees Announced

Hollywood, CA: December 11, 2017

It was a great morning for some in Hollywood today with the announcement of the 2018 Golden Globe Nominations.  The brilliant film, “The Shape of Water” scored the most number of nominations with eight, closely followed by the TV series, “Big Little Lies” which received six.

Some of the most prominent snubs were Michael Stuhlbarg for his moving turn in “Call Me By Your Name,” and directors, Jordan Peele and Greta Gerwig who were overlooked for  their films, “Get Out” and “Lady Bird” respectively. Also overlooked was songwriter, Sufjan Stevens, who was snubbed for two powerful songs,  “Mystery of Love” and “Visions of Gideon” from “Call Me By Your Name.”

This has been a banner year for first time nominee, Timothee Chalamet  who scored a Best Actor nod for his lead role in “Call My By Your Name. He can also be seen in the coming-of-age film, “Lady Bird” as well as the western, “Hostiles.”

Some other notable television nominations include the hit show, “Stranger Things” and the compelling British series, “The Crown.”

In most cases the 80 member Hollywood

Timothee Chalamet in “Call Me By Your Name”

Foreign Press Association got it right, but it’s hard to know what they were thinking by nominating Hong Chau for her role in “Downsizing.”  Politics might be a good guess.

 

The 75th annual Golden Globes will take place on January 7, and will be hosted by Seth Meyers.

Here is a fill list of the nominees:

Best Picture – Drama:
“Call Me by Your Name”
“Dunkirk”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Best Picture – Comedy or Musical:
“The Disaster Artist”
“Get Out”
“The Greatest Showman”
“I, Tonya”
“Lady Bird”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama:
Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Tom Hanks, “The Post”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama:
Jessica Chastain, “Molly’s Game”
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”
Michelle Williams, “All the Money in the World”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy:
Steve Carell, “Battle of the Sexes”
Ansel Elgort, “Baby Driver”
James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”
Hugh Jackman, “The Greatest Showman”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy:
Judi Dench, “Victoria & Abdul”
Helen Mirren, “The Leisure Seeker”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Emma Stone, “Battle of the Sexes”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture:
Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Armie Hammer, “Call Me by Your Name”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture:
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Hong Chau, “Downsizing”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”

Best Animated Film:
“The Boss Baby”
“The Breadwinner”
“Coco”
“Ferdinand”
“Loving Vincent”

Best Director – Motion Picture:
Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”
Martin McDonagh, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk”
Ridley Scott, “All The Money in the World”
Steven Spielberg, “The Post”

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture:
Guillermo Del Toro, Vanessa Taylor, “The Shape of Water”
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
Liz Hannah, Josh Singer, “The Post”
Martin McDonagh, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Aaron Sorkin, “Molly’s Game”

Best Original Score – Motion Picture:
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
“The Shape of Water”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Post”
“Dunkirk”

 Best Original Song – Motion Picture

“Home,” Ferdinand
“Mighty River,” Mudbound
“Remember Me,” Coco
“The Star,” The Star
“This Is Me,” The Greatest Showman

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
“A Fantastic Woman”
“First They Killed My Father”
“In the Fade”
“Loveless”
“The Square”

Best Television Series – Drama:
“The Crown”
“Game of Thrones”
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
“Stranger Things”
“This is Us”

Best Television Series – Comedy:
“Black-ish”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
“Master of None”
“SMILF”
“Will & Grace”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama:
Jason Bateman, “Ozark”
Sterling K. Brown, “This is Us”
Freddie Highmore, “The Good Doctor”
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama:
Caitriona Balfe, “Outlander”
Claire Foy, “The Crown”
Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Deuce”
Katherine Langford, “13 Reasons Why”
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy:
Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”
Kevin Bacon, “I Love Dick”
William H. Macy, “Shameless”
Eric McCormack, “Will and Grace”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy:
Pamela Adlon, “Better Things”
Alison Brie, “Glow”
Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Issa Rae, “Insecure”
Frankie Shaw, “SMILF”

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television:
“Big Little Lies”
“Fargo”
“Feud: Bette and Joan”
“The Sinner”
“Top of the Lake: China Girl”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television:
Robert De Niro, “The Wizard of Lies”
Jude Law, “The Young Pope”
Kyle MacLachlan, “Twin Peaks”
Ewan McGregor, “Fargo”
Geoffrey Rush, “Genius”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television:
Jessica Biel, “The Sinner”
Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies”
Jessica Lange, “Feud: Bette and Joan”
Susan Sarandon, “Feud: Bette and Joan”
Reese Witherspoon, “Big Little Lies”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television:
David Harbour, “Stranger Things”
Alfred Molina, “Feud”
Christian Slater, “Mr. Robot”
Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies”
David Thewlis, “Fargo”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television:
Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies”
Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Chrissy Metz, “This is Us”
Michelle Pfeiffer, “The Wizard of Lies”
Shailene Woodley, “Big Little Lies”

 

“bled for the household truth” – Actors Discuss Their Roles in the New and Compelling Play

“Many of you who read this are going to find it very offensive,” warned an ad on Craigslist. Continuing into those four paragraphs, playwright, Ruth Fowler not only wondered who would create such an ad but quickly became even more curious to know who would answer it?  She created the play bled for the household truth, as a result, and it is now having its timely world premiere at Rogue Machine Theatre in Los Angeles.

The characters in bled for the household truth are raw, honest, and desperate to connect in a way that helps them to forget their pain and makes them feel safe. Director Cameron Watson took on this project because he says, “I hadn’t read a play like this…ever. It fascinated me, gripped me…and just wouldn’t let go”

Benjamin Burdick plays “Keith,” the character who wrote the ad, and Alexandra Hellquist play “Pen,” who answers the ad. Equally fascinated, they were eager to participate in the production and were happy to talk with us about their passion for this piece.

HR: Was your first impression of this play similar to how you think of it now? If not, how has it changed?

Alexandra: I remember getting just a few pages in and feeling my heart race, and my breath catch, and thinking “yes, yes, yes, yes” and wanting to be part of this story so very badly. That feeling has only deepened with time. I was also scared, in the best way. Daunted by the scope of it, artistically and also technically. But thankfully, the whole team – with director Cameron Watson at the helm – has been the safest, most loving group of passionate artists to work with.

HR: What about you, Benjamin?

Benjamin: My first impression was that this play was hauntingly beautiful; a difficult examination of humans in all of their complicated glory. I still think that, but it’s deepened tremendously after living with the character, Keith. There’s fragility, and I didn’t immediately realize how deep it ran. I am still haunted by it, but now on a much more visceral level. We’ve talked about two currents running through the characters and this play – the surface river that seems to be flowing. And the undercurrent – the “river of shit”- that flows beneath us and that actually moves us in whatever direction it chooses.

HR: How did you guys get involved in this production?

Alexandra: When I moved here from New York, I went to see my friend, James Liebman, in Rogue Machine’s production of Greg Kalleres’ Honky. It was the first play I saw here, and I was totally blown away. The script was razor-sharp, uncomfortable and hilarious. The whole production was brave, and boundary-pushing. I knew two things that day; One, I could actually stay in Los Angeles, because there was friggin’ great indie theater here; and Two, I definitely wanted to work with Rogue Machine. The Casting Director, Victoria Hoffman, brought me in for the role and I worked my *arse* off for the callbacks, and the rest is something approximating history.

Benjamin: I’ve been a member of the Rogue Machine for a long time, though I’ve never done a show here. I got an email from Victoria, and I threw my hat in the ring for the role of Keith. There were too many good things going for it not to at least come in and audition: Cameron Watson was directing (he is incredible); John Flynn was producing (equally incredible); and it was being staged at The Rogue Machine (one of the best companies in town). So I read for it and got called back. Coincidentally, Alexandra and I did a scene together in the callback. I walked out thinking, “She’s Pen. For sure.” I didn’t know what they thought of me, but I knew she was Pen.

HR: Where are you from? Have you known any people like your character throughout your life?

Alexandra: I was born in the Philippines, and I’ve lived in Japan, England, Australia, France and Italy before coming to the US, alone, for college. I think there’s a lot of my past and my history that echoes Pen’s. I know what it’s like to be scared about one’s immigration process. And, like almost every woman I know, I know exploitation. I know assault. I know abuse. I know the particular and precarious power of youth and femininity and sexuality. I know survival and refusing to be a victim. I know the feeling of homelessness. I know putting up with seemingly insane things because of desperation, and because it seems like the least terrible option at the time. I feel like everything I’ve ever gone through is helping me to unearth Pen.

Benjamin: I’m originally from a small town in Idaho. As for people like Keith…it’s hard to say. Because I guarantee you that the people who work with Keith in his office don’t know about him, or his arrangement. That’s the beauty of Ruth’s play. It opens the curtain into lives that certainly exist (the Craigslist ad was real). So I haven’t been aware that I’ve known people like Keith, but I can guarantee you that I have.

HR: How did you each prepare for this role?

Alexandra: Research. Taking my dialect and nascent-Pen-ness out for a walk. Watching “Educating Rita” and the original “Shameless.” Forging some strange sideways mental connections. Trying things. Attempting to let go. Making a mess. Looking to my wonderful cast-mates, Benjamin, Nathaniel Meek, and Rachel Brunner. Trusting Cameron, implicitly. A lot of attempted self-care. Music.

Benjamin: Most importantly for me, I think, is that I promised myself never to judge Keith. Ever. By doing that, I am able to live truthfully with Keith in all of his complexity. I also went on Craigslist and looked for ads similar to the one Ruth saw in New York, and wrote to the posters. I created an extensive backstory for Keith. There is a section of the play that was cut, but it told a wonderfully vivid story about Keith in his teen years. And even though it was cut, I held on to all of those details to build Keith’s story. I imagined what brought him to his current place in life, and worked with it until it was a part of Keith’s fabric.

HR: Do you feel that this play ties in with the current climate of sexual harassment accusations?

Alexandra: It’s incredible that this play is being produced now. Given this surge of courageous truth-telling and brutal acknowledgment of the rife ubiquity of exploitation and assault and abuse of power, that has been part of our daily existence for so long. Ruth actually wrote the play seven years ago, and had it turned down again and again by producers. She was told that it was disgusting, or too graphic, or demeaning to the actors.

As for the conversations finally happening about abuse and assault, silence and power – I think the stark ordinariness of this all is something that the play illuminates beautifully. This stuff has become totally normal, taken utterly for granted as the cost of living, of merely existing as a woman. And that’s the tragedy of it – that the abusers and victims aren’t outliers. This stuff is intimately woven into the fabric of our daily lives. This national conversation we’re suddenly having – maybe this is a start for real changes to the fabric. The fact that the writing of ‘bled’ predates this sudden convulsion of awareness is very important. It was not written in response to what’s emerging now – and partly because of that, I think, there are no cleanly-cut villains or heroes in this piece. Everyone is complicit and ‘bled’ is able to look at what perhaps made us so. It doesn’t promise redemption, but it hints at another way, another possibility of being.

Benjamin: Because the play was written well before this came to light, it’s not a response to the disgusting stories coming out daily about men in power and their abhorrent behavior. There are similarities in the structure of the relationship, though, that are hard to ignore, but in order to play Keith objectively, it’s not something that I feel I can delve into without placing judgment.

HR: What is your favorite thing about this play?

Alexandra: Compassion without sentiment. Raw truth without melodrama. Humor that leans into discomfort, and a tension that I love.

Benjamin: The collaborative nature of everyone involved. The ensemble is incredibly gifted and gracious; Cameron creates an atmosphere where one feels not only allowed, but obligated, to explore and experiment and challenge.

HR: What is next for each of you?

Alexandra: I can work local-hire in a bunch of places, like NYC, Atlanta, and London, and I LOVE traveling for work. But I’m newly based in LA and I can’t wait to branch out here (Casting directors – I am here! Hear me roar!!!). I’m also looking for an agent that gets my weirdness, and free spirit – someone who’ll appreciate that I rush headlong into exquisite torment. And of course, I want to take Pen, and ‘bled for the household truth’ as far as it’ll go – I think it’d make a great, incredibly uncomfortable, film. I’d love to make that happen.

Benjamin: Sleep. I kid. Mostly. Though a full night of sleep without waking up and thinking about the play or Keith or a movement within a scene…that would be nice. Then it’s back to the hustle. Working to find gigs, writing my own material, etc. But when I work on such dense and difficult material, it makes other auditions seem like a breeze. I have a confidence when I’m working on a play that I don’t have at other times. That’s especially true with “bled.” I walk into a TV audition and think ‘I just navigated a minefield last night in the theatre. This is nothing. So I’m confident and hopeful that more work will come.

When: bled for the household truth runs Saturdays and Mondays at 8:30pm, and Sundays at 3:00pm through December 18, 2017.

Where: Rogue Machine, located in The Met, 1089 N Oxford Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029.

Tickets are $40. Reservations: 855-585-5185 or at www.roguemachinetheatre.com

 

Actors Dylan Wittrock and J.B. Waterman Discuss “The Red Dress”

By Peter Foldy

Set in Berlin and inspired by a true story, Tania Wisbar’s romantic drama, THE RED DRESS, currently playing at the Odyssey Theatre in West L.A, explores the intersection of politics and art during the years between the Treaty of Versailles and the rise of Fascism. The play tells story of “Alexandra Schiele,” a famous film actress from a prominent Jewish family, who falls in love with a down-on-his-luck World War I vet, “Franz Weitrek.” Franz parlays his wife’s connections into work as a film director, but when his career takes off making Nazi propaganda films, his wife suddenly becomes a liability.

We caught up with DYLAN WITTROCK who portrays “Officer Dieter Keller” and J.B. WATERMAN who plays “Franz” and asked them to share their thoughts about the show.

HOLLYWOOD REVEALED: Hi, guys.

JB Waterman

DYLAN: Hello.

HR: Can you tell us how you got involved with this production?

J.B: A cast mate of mine in a different play was working with the casting director of The Red Dress and thought I’d be a good fit for the role of Franz. He encouraged me to audition. I had worked with (director) Kiff Scholl, before and I was lucky enough to land the role.

DYLAN: I auditioned.

HR: A play about radicalization seems timely and important. Did you have much knowledge about Germany prior to WW II?

J.B: I only knew about the contradictory images, the liberal and artistic Weimar Republic Germany, depicted in the film and the play, Cabaret, and on the opposite end, the radical plays of Bertolt Brecht.

DYLAN: I knew a little about the years leading up to the war from the American and British standpoint, but I knew very little about Germany itself between the two world wars.

HR: Were you able to sit down and chat with the playwright about the story?

DYLAN: Yes, Tania being around was definitely valuable.

J.B: She and I talked a lot during rehearsals. She shared some of the differences between Franz and her real father, Frank. Franz is softer and a bit more sympathetic, than her father was.

Dylan Wittrock

DYLAN: Tania was able to provide a lot of information about what the political and social climate was like in Germany during the period between the two world wars. Her insights helped me to grasp what it would be like to grow up during that very volatile time.

HR: What was your take away from all that?

J.B: I was particularly drawn to the complexity of the German political and social situation  after World War I that she brought to my attention. It was an open marketplace for depictions of the truth and political theories.  The “truth” was being shaped by competing powers.

HR: What’s the most challenging thing about the role you guys are playing? What process did you use to shape and define your character?

J.B: I felt that Franz was not a born soldier but an artist who was forced to go to war. That’s a big piece of what I build the character around. I guess the most challenging thing was having to empathize with the Nazi party and their propaganda about Jews. There isn’t a lot of justification in the script about why Franz feel that way, so I had to come up with it myself.  I think a lot of my motivation has to do with overcoming the character’s PTSD and reclaiming what WW I took from him.  Franz believes that the Jews were suppressing German national pride and as an actor I tried to dig into believing that.

HR: What about you, Dylan?

DYLAN: Tania really wanted the audience to see my character, Dieter Keller, as someone who is coming into his own. In the second act he has total control over the other two characters, but he’s still a little green, so he gets very uncomfortable when his authority is questioned. Showing that vulnerability while still maintaining the control that the scene demands is quite a challenge, but it also gives the character nuance and depth. When you’re dealing with a character that has become almost archetypal in popular culture, you need to find every little thing about him that is unique and personal.

HR: So where are you guys from and how long have you been in L.A?

DYLAN: I was born in Lenox, Massachusetts, grew up for a few years in Chicago, then moved to LA when I was 8. I went to college in San Francisco then moved to New York for three years. Been back in LA for a year now.

J.B: I’m from Bainbridge Island, Washington. I lived in Chicago after college Moved to Los Angeles 10 years ago.

HR: When did you first know that you wanted to be an actor?

DYLAN: I was practically born on stage. My father and brother are both actors, so I grew up loving acting. I was in my first Shakespeare play when I was 5, and I’ve never stopped performing. I questioned whether I wanted to pursue acting as a career during college when I became a Spanish major. I stopped performing for about a year and was miserable, so after graduating I went right back to it.

J.B: For me it was in our community theater production of Snow White. I was only 9 but being onstage was intoxicating. I loved the lights, I loved the make believe, I loved that it was a serious play.

HR: What was your first paid acting gig? Did it get you a SAG or an Equity card?

DYLAN: It was a commercial for JC Penny that I was in when I was 13. It never aired, but I used the money to buy a drum set. I got my SAG card from one-liner on the show Power.

J.B: My first paid acting gig was as a non-equity actor in a show at the Berkshire Theatre company in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.  It was $45.00 paid per week, room and board included. I remember staring at that check in disbelief. Someone was actually paying me to do this.

HR: What TV shows have you binge watched lately?

DYLAN: Mindhunter is amazing. I’m also loving Stranger Things.

J.B: Transparent and I love Dick. Jill Soloway does such creative, risky and fun storytelling. I love her obsession with her themes; gender, identity, feminism, sex. Even when I get mad and disagree with what she does or says (in the shows) I still love that she has the balls to say them.

HR: What’s next for you guys?

J.B: I’m directing a production of Chekhov’s The Seagull in the spring that I hope will make people laugh a lot and change the world.

DYLAN: I’m looking forward to the release of a couple short films I shot last year. Other than that just trying to audition as much as possible and work on creating something of my own.

HR: Thanks for chatting, guys, and enjoy the rest of the run.

J.B: Thank you.

The Red Dress is performed: Fridays & Saturdays @ 8 pm and Sundays @ 2 p.m. thru Nov. 19 at The Oddyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles, CA  90025

Running time: 1 hour and 50 minutes with one 15-minute intermission.

Tickets: $15

Call (323) 960-5521 or visit www.Plays411.com/reddress

Production Stills: Ed Kreiger

 

 

Road Rage Destroys a Family in “Redline”

Review by: Peter Foldy

Can a son forgive a father who has altered the lives of his entire family after brief meltdown? That is the question being asked in REDLINE, the new play by Christian Durso currently playing along side Sinner’s Laundry at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood.

Raymond, (James Eckhouse) is pretty much your every man. He loves rock and roll and muscle cars. He’s crazy about his kids, especially his teenage son. Though his wife frequently nags and humiliates him in front of his children, Raymond puts up with her–until one day he can’t.

On a road trip with his family along a frigid eastern Sierra highway, Raymond snaps, losing all self control. It only takes five quick seconds, but it’s enough to cause a major and potentially deadly traffic accident. By some miracle Raymond and his family are spared, but the relationship with his wife and kids suffers irreversible damage.

When we meet him some 20 years later and it is obvious that Raymond is haunted and broken by those event from long ago. He has left the city and lives alone in a isolated cabin overlooking the very highway where the accident took place. He regrets his his road rage, and there is little joy in his life–but on this night there may be hope. Raymond finds a message on his answering machine from his son. Jamie, (Graham Sibley) says he is coming to see him, and Raymond feels he will finally get a chance to make amends. Patch things up with his boy who is now in his early 30s and on probation after a stint in jail. What Raymond doesn’t know is that Jamie is contemplating revenge–and  may even have murder on his mind.

The unsettling story initially unfolds as two separate monologues. First Raymond’s and then Jamie’s. Both actors break the fourth wall as they share their points of view. One might think that a plot conveyed in this manner could grow tedious, but in Redline it is anything but.

Mr. Durso’s writing is spot on and with smart direction from Eli Gonda and deeply committed, passionate performances from James Eckhouse and Graham Sibley, Redline evolves into a compelling, edge of your seat thriller. This is a taunt, visceral theatrical experience and by the time father and son reunite for the final showdown, you can cut the tension on stage with a knife.

Kudos to Rachel Myers for her set design, Josh Epstein for his creative lighting and Peter Bayne for original music and sound. They help make Redline a winner.

Where: Lounge Theatre
6201 Santa Monica Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90038
(just east of Vine)

When: Saturdays and Sundays through November 19.

Tickets: $30

Go to www.IamaTheatre.com to find the repertory schedule.

 

 

 

 

40 Years with Gonads and Still Going Strong

by Peter Foldy

THE GONADS are a beer-loving, good time seeking street-punk rock band.

Formed in 1977, the band has been gigging regularly since they got back together in 1994. Since then they’ve played France, Germany, Sweden, the USA, all over the UK. They have achieved a smash indie-chart hit with their first E.P. Pure Punk For Row People.

Music success aside, Gonads lead singer, Gal Gonad, is perhaps best known in the UK by his alter ego, GARRY BUSHELL. A hard-hitting TV critic and an award-winning newspaper columnist, Garry was a staff writer for the UK rock weekly Sounds. He has written about bands as diverse as The Specials, The Ruts and Iron Maiden as well as the street-punk phenomenon known as Oi! He has penned a series of hard-boiled pulp fiction novels and has appeared on more than 2,000 TV shows. Garry’s own late night TV show ran for two years on ITV, attaining an audience share high of 68%. Howard Stern once dubbed him “my ambassador in England”.

We caught up with Gal/Garry via skype prior to his band’s triumphant return to Los Angeles.

Hollywood Revealed: How do you feel about doing your 40th year anniversary with the Gonads right here in Hollywood, California?

Garry: I love it! It’s fantastic. Where better than the  dream factory of the Western world to celebrate a living nightmare like the magnificent Gonads?

HR: How many songs are in the new Punk Rock Sob Stories that is coming out this Christmas?

Garry: The first collection had forty songs, and the new one will be at least that many. I’m just trying to whittle them down.

HR: We understand you will be casting for a film about the Gonads while you are in Los Angeles. What is that all about?

Garry: Yes, we are holding a casting session on November 12th at Beach Dancer Films. It’s an open call and the band and I will be looking for actors to play younger versions ourselves for a movie that will start production in 2018.

HR: Besides being the lead singer of the Gonads, you are also a columnist, covering, among other things, music and television.

Garry: Correct.

HR: What is a day in the life of a TV critic like?

Garry: Long and lonely, interrupted only by the comings and goings of take-away curry deliveries. I get up, I watch TV, I make notes…then repeat, with the occasional break to walk the dog to the pub, or to relieve the frustration by playing Rancid or The Interrupters as loud as hell.

HR: How many hours a week do you have to watch TV?

Garry: At least forty, but usually more. I don’t like to miss the shows with the biggest audiences so I even keep an eye on EastEnders, the BBC’s never-ending libel against Londoners.

HR: What are your current favorite shows and what is your favorite show of all time ?

Garry: Line of Duty was excellent again this year. I’m enjoying The Deuce and I’m Dying Up Here. My all time favorite would be The Sopranos, the TV series that reinvented TV and ushered in a new golden age. For US TV, The Sopranos, Seinfeld and the early years of The Simpsons. For Brit TV, Minder, The Sweeney and Porridge. I genuinely love great TV which is why bad or patronizing shows irritate me so much.

HR: What happened with you and Piers Morgan and him printing in the papers your salary from The Gonads? Is that a true story?

Garry: Ha, almost. I had a royalty statement for our most ‘critically misunderstood’ e.p. It was a couple of bucks. Piers managed to steal it from my desk and take a picture of it which he then printed in the Bizarre showbiz column of The Sun. I’d like to apologize right now for the career of Piers Morgan because, to my eternal shame, I gave him his first job, working for me, when I ran Bizarre. He was a pompous git even then.

HR: Have you made people happy with your reviews and vice versa?

Garry: You’d have to ask them. I seem to make readers happy.

HR: Tell us about the BARFTAs?

Garry: They’re the awards I give out every year on my website for things I don’t get paid to write about – generally films, books and music.

HR: Is there a huge difference between a film critic and a TV critic ?

Garry: Absolutely. A film critic can see everything he needs to write about in under a day. Three movies and they’re done. They watch them at screenings in the West End of London in decent surroundings with a free bar…it’s a wonder they’re not transported from cinema to cinema on studio-funded palanquins.

HR: When did you first discover that you have a particular style with words which has shaped your career as a journalist ?

Garry: I used to write comedy sketches for my own amusement when I was 14 or 15 and carried some of that on when I wrote a punk fanzine in 1977. But I guess it was the Sounds years that helped developed my style, especially in the 1980s.

HR: How many books in total have you written?

Garry: Five novels – three of them pulp fiction under my own name – and thirteen other books, most of them music or comedy related.

HR: What was it like doing the autobiography on Ozzy Ozbourne, A Diary of a Mad Man?

Garry: A bit hazy. We spent 13 hours drinking on the first day, which ended with Ozzy shaving my eyebrows off. When I noticed, two days later, I was shocked…but you couldn’t tell. For various reasons I only wrote part of that book. Mick Wall wrote the rest of it.

HR: Do you spend a lot of time with your subjects?

Garry: I spent a lot of time with Iron Maiden when I wrote their authorized biography, including spells on the road with them. Bruce Dickinson nearly killed me in Florida by driving the wrong way up an exit road into four lanes of on-coming traffic. Similarly Jeff Turner’s autobiography, Cockney Reject – we spent months on that.

HR: What are you writing now?

Garry: I’m writing the fourth installment of the Harry Tyler/The Face pulp fiction series, but I’ve just been asked to write the Origins novel to tie in with the We Still Kill The Old Way film franchise, so I’m already thinking about that.

HR: How many people have written songs about you?

Garry: Quite a few – Adam Ant, Crass, The Exploited, The Notsensibles, The Warriors, the Angelic Upstarts… they’re the most well known I’d imagine. Adam Ant’s ‘Press Darlings’ was the B-side of one of his hits so for a while it seemed to be on every jukebox in every pub and every bar I went in.

HR: Where are The Gonads playing after America?

Garry: New Cross in south London for our Christmas show with the Ska legend King Hammond, and then some German dates next year.

HR: In another life who would you choose to be?

Garry: Dick Gregory’s love child.

HR: Thanks for chatting with us, Garry.

Garry: The pleasure was all mine.

 

 

 

 

Erotic and Visual, “Freddy” Examines the Life of an Avant-Garde Renaissance Man

Review by: Peter Foldy

A brilliant and charismatic dancer, Fred Herko was a central figure in New York’s downtown avant-garde in the early 1960s. He was a member of Andy Warhol’s eclectic group of creatives who hung out at Warhol’s studio, known as the Factory. He went on to star in seven of Warhol’s earliest cinematic experiments in 1963, including Jill and Freddy Dancing, Rollerskate/Dance Movie and Salome and Delilah.

A musical prodigy, Freddy studied piano at the Julliard School of Music before switching to ballet at the age of twenty. In 1956 he won a scholarship to study at American Ballet Theatre School and within a few years he was dancing with New York’s most prestigious and established choreographers. He was a founding member of the Judson Dance Theater, presenting six of his own works in the group’s concerts between 1962 and 1964. He was also a co-founder of the New York Poets Theatre, which staged one-act plays by poets and provided a podium for dancers, musicians and filmmakers such as Brian De Palma and Andy Warhol.

As his career and reputation flourished, his personal life was falling apart. Freddy started using drugs, speed in particular, to fuel his creativity.

By 1964 he was strung out and homeless. On October 27th he went to an ex boyfriend’s apartment and proceeded to take a bath. Some accounts say he invited a group of people to watch a performance. According to those who were there, Mozart’s Coronation Mass was playing as Freddy emerged from the bathroom stark naked and began dancing around the loft. As the music climaxed, Freddy leapt through an open window, falling five flights to the street below. His untimely death at the age of 28 robbed New York’s underground scene of one of its most exuberant, colorful and versatile performers and rising stars.

The play, FREDDY, presented by the Fountain Theatre and the Los Angeles City College, was written by Deborah Lawlor, based on her true story as a confidant and one time lover of the volatile dancer. In the play, Ms. Lawlor, here called “Shelley,” and portrayed by two actresses, Kate McConaughy as the “Past Shelley” and Susan Wilder as the present day version, recollects how back in the 60s, she was  a naïve young woman who, like many others, fell under Freddy’s spell.

Freddy grabs you with a burst of energy and color that is reminiscent of the rock musical, “Hair.” Beautiful young dancers fill the stage, recreating the sensual, drug-fueled energy of Andy Warhol’s Factory. We soon meet Freddy (Marty Dew) and he is instantly the center of attention. Everybody wants to know him. Everybody wants to sleep with him.

Directed by Frances Loy, with movement/dance direction by Cate Caplin, the play moves through the various chapters of Freddy’s life, cleverly blending theater, dance, music and multimedia to tell this story. We follow Freddy through his triumphs, his personal failures, and finally his sad demise.

Marty Dew’s “Freddy” evokes charm and sympathy as he gives us a glimpse into this iconic character. A strong dancer and a powerful presence on stage, Dew pulls you in and make you care–but it is Susan Wilder as the “Present Day Shelley” who brings the most depth to her role. A seasoned pro, her past dance experience allows her to keep up with a young ensemble.

Katie McConaughy as “Past Shelly,” Mel England as “Jimmy Waring,” Lamont Oakley as “Pete” and Jamal Hopes as “Johnny” are also to be commended. Other cast members; Alexandra Fiallos, Jamal Hopes, Tristen Kim, Jackie Mohr, Connor Clark Pascale, Justice Quinn, Savannah Rutledge, Brianna Saranchock, Trenton Tabak and Jesse Trout are all outstanding and they give it their all.

Scenic Design by Tesshi Nakagawa is effective, as is Derek Jones’ lighting and Jillian Ross’ lighting design. Particularly impressive is a silhouette projection that shows Freddie’s pre-teen years  as he interacts with his controlling parents.

Freddy is a first-rate, joyous celebration of an accomplished, though short-lived life. It’s no accident that on the drive home I found myself singing the Elton John song, “Candle In The Wind,” particularly it’s final line;  “your candle burned out long ago, but your legend never did.”

Something makes me think that Freddy and Elton probably would’ve gotten along.

When: Performances of Freddy take place through Oct. 14.

Where: The Caminito Theatre, located on the campus of Los Angeles City College at 855 N Vermont Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90029. Parking is FREE in Structure 4 on Heliotrope at Monroe (between Santa Monica and Melrose).

For more information, call (323) 663-1525 or go to www.FountainTheatre.com.

Photos by: Ed Krieger

Br’er Cotton is a Timely And Moving Production

Review by: Peter Foldy

Written over two years ago, it is uncanny when one of the characters in BR’ER COTTON, the new play making it’s Los Angeles premiere at the Zephyr Theatre in Hollywood, talks about police brutality in Charlottesville, Virginia. It’s as if playwright, Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm and the Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble had a crystal ball and were able to see what was to come. But then Charlottesville is just one of many hot spots where racial tensions come to a boiling point.

Directed by Gregg T. Daniel, Br’er Cotton examines one African American family’s frustration as they try to cope with the rising tide of hatred that has enveloped the country. Set in a run down neighborhood in Lynchburg, Virginia, an area that was once the site of a thriving cotton mill, the story focuses on 14-year-old Ruffrino (Omete Anassi) who lives with his mother and grandfather in an old deteriorated house that seems to be sinking, much like their situation.

Mom, Nadine (Yvonne Huff Lee), cleans houses to support her family, and has done so for most of her life. Her other full time occupation is worrying about her young son. Ruffrino’s granddad, Matthew, (Christopher Carrington), tells the boy that they are a “stay out of it family.” They don’t get involved in conflict. It’s pretty clear that Matthew has given up the fight.

Ruffrino, meanwhile, is well aware of the ever increasing number of police killings of young black men and he is in constant conflict with his mother and grandfather because of their complacency. Though only 14, he views himself as a revolutionary. He incites riots at school and his on-line presence, as part of a violent video game group, brings out the haters who frequently call him the “N” word. It is only another gamer, a young girl who’s handle is Caged_Bird99 (Emmaline Jacott) who supports and encourages him.  Imagining Caged_Bird99 to be African American, Ruffrino is in for a surprise when he discovers her true profile.

His mom, Nadine, also gets a surprise when she discovers that the house she cleans is owned by a white cop. In an unexpected twist, the Officer, (Shawn Law) relates to the hardships Nadine has to endure and she welcomes his concern. Nadine clearly has no other shoulder to lean on.

Br’er Cotton is wrapped in a cloud of tension that never lets up. Mr. Chisholm is an accomplished writer and Omete Anassi, as Ruffrino, manages to infuse the play with a youthful energy that fuels the explosive debates, and the not-so-unexpected conclusion. The rest of the top-notch cast, particularly Yvonne Huff Lee, Christopher Carrington and Shawn Law, all deliver strong and committed performances.

Kudos to Gregg T. Daniel’s fine directing, David Mauer’s superb scenic design, Westley Charles Chew’s lighting, and David B. Marling’s sound design.

Br’er Cotton, at it’s core, is a human story filled with humility and love. It delivers a heart-wrenching, intimate glance into one black family’s struggle to navigate racial tragedy in these troubled times. Don’t miss it!

When: Br’er Cotton runs Saturdays and Mondays at 8pm, Sundays at 3pm through October 29, 2017 (no performance on Monday Oct 9th).

Where: Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046.

Tickets: $15 – $45. Reservation and information at www.lower-depth.com/on-stage and 323-960-7787.

Wheelchair access and ample street parking.

Photos: Ed Krieger

 

“Arrow” Star Paul Blackthorne and Composer Orpheo McCord To Swim With Sharks For “Ocean Conservancy”

Los Angeles: September 25, 2017

Paul Blackthorne, who stars as Captain Quentin Lance in the hit television series “Arrow” (CW Television Network), and Orpheo McCord, composer/musician for the Grammy award winning group Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (“Home”), will take the plunge into shark infested waters for Golden Gate Sharkfest® Swim on September 30 to raise money and awareness for “Ocean Conservancy” www.oceanconservancy.org.

L-R Paul Blackthorne and Orpheo McCord

Blackthorne and McCord, along with Australian photographer Mister Basquali (co-star and co-producer of Blackthorne’s travel documentary “This American Journey”) and other brave souls, will be swimming 1.6 miles from the south side of the Golden Gate Bridge to the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge, known for sharks and deep, cold waters.

A 45-year-old nonprofit environmental advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., Ocean Conservancy is one of the few organizations that helps protect wildlife in the ocean with science-based solutions.

In the last few years Blackthorne has raised money and awareness for a variety of worthy causes including “Air Shepherd” (anti-poaching drones) and “Save the Rhino International” with his “Poach eggs Not Elephants” and “Keep Rhinos Horny” T-shirt campaigns.  Last year Blackthorne travelled to Vietnam with “Save the Rhino” and made a film about the experience, raising money and awareness for the anti-poaching cause (90% of Rhino horn ends up there).

It all began with a call from Basquali who invited Blackthorne to participate in the Golden Gate Sharkfest® Swim. “I’m terrified of sharks and deep ocean waters.  Always have been, always will be, so naturally I initially refused, “Blackthorne comments.  “But after confronting with my initial fears, I agreed to participate as I felt I could be helpful in raising awareness for shark preservation and ocean wildlife protection, which is an important cause.”

The launch of Blackthorne and McCord’s #NoFinToFear T-shirt campaign is key to encouraging others to also become a voice for the ocean by buying at T-shirt in support of their friends at “Ocean Conservancy”.  100% of the proceeds from the sale of this collection go to support Ocean Conservancy.

To purchase go to: https://represent.com/paulblackthorne

About Ocean Conservancy

For 45 years Ocean Conservancy has been working to protect the oceans from some of the greatest global challenges.  They have made incredible progress to safeguard America’s fisheries, combat ocean acidification and restore the Gulf of Mexico with the best available science. The have spearheaded efforts to designate and strengthen marine sanctuaries, protected sea turtle habitats and grown the largest marine volunteer effort in the world through their International Coastal Cleanup.

Their vision for the ocean is a clean, healthy and thriving ecosystem for wildlife and communities that depend on it.

Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with their partners, they create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit www.oceanconservancy.org.

Big Little Lies and A Handsmaid’s Tale Sweep at 2017 Emmy Awards

Los Angeles: September 17, 2017

The 2017 Emmy Awards were held at the Microsoft Theater tonight. Host, Steven Colbert tried hard to breath life into the ceremony and occasionally delivered. Some of the highlights included John Lithgow’s win for “The Crown,” Alex Baldwin being rewarded as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and Elizabeth Moss’ expletive laced acceptance speech after winning Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Also memorable was 92 year old Cicely Tyson’s emotional recollection of “Roots,” the groundbreaking series in which she starred some 40 years ago.

One of the biggest downers was the show’s announcer, Jermaine Fowler of CBS’ “Superior Donuts” whose grating voice was hard to listen to.

Here are a full list of tonight’s winners:

Outstanding drama series

“Better Call Saul”
“The Crown”
“The Handmaid’s Tale” *WINNER
“House of Cards”
“Stranger Things”
“This Is Us”
“Westworld”

Outstanding comedy series

“Atlanta”
“Black-ish”
“Master of None”
“Modern Family”
“Silicon Valley”
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
“Veep” *WINNER

Outstanding lead actor in a drama series

Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us” *WINNER
Anthony Hopkins, “Westworld”
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”
Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan”
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”
Milo Ventimiglia, “This Is Us”

Outstanding lead actress in a drama series

Viola Davis, “How to Get Away With Murder”
Claire Foy, “The Crown”
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale” *WINNER
Keri Russell, “The Americans”
Evan Rachel Wood, “Westworld”
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

Outstanding supporting actor in a drama series

Jonathan Banks, “Better Call Saul”
Ron Cephas Jonas, “This Is Us”
David Harbour, “Stranger Things”
Michael Kelly, “House of Cards”
John Lithgow , “The Crown” * WINNER
Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland”
Jeffrey Wright , “Westworld”

Outstanding supporting actress in a drama series

Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale” *WINNER
Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Uzo Aduba, “Orange Is the New Black”
Millie Bobby Brown, “Stranger Things”
Chrissy Metz , “This Is Us”
Thandie Newton, “Westworld”

Outstanding lead actor in a comedy series

Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”
Zach Galifianakis, “Baskets”
Donald Glover, “Atlanta” *WINNER
William H. Macy, “Shameless”
Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”

Outstanding lead actress in a comedy series

Pamela Adlon, “Better Things”
Jane Fonda, “Grace and Frankie”
Allison Janney, “Mom”
Ellie Kemper, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” *WINNER
Tracee Ellis Ross, “Black-ish”
Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”

Outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series

Louie Anderson, “Baskets”
Alec Baldwin, “Saturday Night Live” *WINNER
Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
Tony Hale, “Veep”
Matt Walsh, “Veep”

Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series

Vanessa Bayer, “Saturday Night Live”
Leslie Jones, “Saturday Night Live”
Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live” *WINNER
Kathryn Hahn, “Transparent”
Judith Light, “Transparent”
Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”

Outstanding limited series

“Big Little Lies” *WINNER
“Fargo”
“Feud: Bette and Joan”
“The Night Of”
“Genius”

Outstanding lead actor in a limited series

Riz Ahmed, “The Night Of” *WINNER
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock: The Lying Detective”
Robert De Niro, “The Wizard of Lies”
Ewan McGregor, “Fargo”
Geoffrey Rush, “Genius”
John Turturro, “The Night Of”

Outstanding lead actress in a limited series

Carrie Coon, “Fargo”
Felicity Huffman, “American Crime”
Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies” *WINNER
Jessica Lange, “Feud: Bette and Joan”
Susan Sarandon, “Feud: Bette and Joan”
Reese Witherspoon, “Big Little Lies”

Outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or movie

Judy Davis, “Feud: Bette and Joan
Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies” *WINNER
Jackie Hoffman ,”Feud: Bette and Joan”
Michelle Pfeiffer, “The Wizard of Lies”
Shailene Woodley, “Big Little Lies”

Outstanding supporting actor in a limited series or movie

Bill Camp, “The Night Of”
Alfred Molina, “Feud: Bette and Joan”
Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies” *WINNER
David Thewlis, “Fargo”
Stanley Tucci, “Feud: Bette and Joan”
Michael Kenneth Williams, “The Night Of”

Outstanding variety talk series

“Full Frontal With Samantha Bee”
“Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” *WINNER
“The Late Late Show With James Corden”
“The Late Show With Stephen Colbert”
“Real Time With Bill Maher”

Outstanding reality-competition program

“The Amazing Race”
“American Ninja Warrior”
“Project Runway”
“RuPaul’s Drag Race”
“Top Chef”
“The Voice” *WINNER

Outstanding directing for a comedy series

Jamie Babbit, “Silicon Valley”
Donald Glover, “Atlanta”*WINNER
Mike Judge, “Silicon Valley”
David Mandel, “Veep”
Morgan Sackett, “Veep”
Dale Stern, “Veep”

Outstanding writing for a drama series

The Duffer Brothers, “Stranger Things”
Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, “Westworld”
Peter Morgan, “The Crown”
Bruce Miller, “The Handmaid’s Tale” *WINNER
Gordon Smith, “Better Call Saul”
Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields, “The Americans”

Outstanding writing for a comedy series

Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe, “Master of None”*WINNER
Alec Berg, “Silicon Valley”
Donald Glover, “Atlanta”
Stephen Glover, “Atlanta”
Billy Kimball, “Veep”
David Mandel, “Veep”

Outstanding directing for a drama series

Stephen Daldry, “The Crown”
Kate Dennis, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
The Duffer Brothers, “Stranger Things”
Vince Gilligan, “Better Call Saul”
Lesli Linka Glatter, “Homeland”
Reed Morano, “The Handmaid’s Tale” *WINNER
Jonathan Nolan, “Westworld”

“Daytona” is a Touching Drama With Heart

Review by Peter Foldy

The devil is in the details of Daytona, a play making its American premiere at the Rogue Machine Theatre in Hollywood. Written by Oliver Cotton, produced by John Perrin Flynn and beautifully directed by Elina de Santos, the story is set in 1986 where we meet a couple of aging holocaust survivors, Elli (Sharron Shayne) and her husband, Joe (George Wyner). Married right after the war and still trying to leave the past behind, Joe and Elli are trying to enjoy their twilight years. Joe is at the tail end of a career as an accountant. Elli loves ballroom dancing, and the two of them are currently excited about a competition the following evening.

When Ellie leaves to visit her sister, Joe is stunned to find a man ringing the doorbell of his Brooklyn apartment. It is his brother, Billy (Richard Fancy), someone Joe hasn’t seen in over thirty years. Billy had disappeared without a word, taking some of Joe’s money with him. It’s an awkward reunion and after the shock wears off, Joe demands answers.

Without giving too much away, we learn that Billy and Joe were in a concentration camp together. Since leaving New York, Billy changed his name, married a Christian woman and has been living an ordinary, unfulfilled life in the mid-west. It is when Joe learns that his brother committed a violent act of revenge in Florida, and is now on the run from the law, that the story really begins to pick up steam.

When Elli returns she is equally shocked to see her missing brother-in-law and soon it becomes clear that there is a complex family drama in play. A twisted dynamic that goes back as far as 1945. As the tension and the urgency amp up we realize that there may be no happy ending here, which is sad as these survivors certainly deserve peace of mind.

Despite some fluctuation with her German accent, Sharron Shayne is powerful as the heart-broken Elli. She wears her pain on her sleeve as she confronts what could have been. George Wyner is believable as a man resigned to play the cards that life has dealt him, his inner rage swept under the carpet long ago.

Richard Fancy’s slow delivery seems odd at first but as his story plays out, he manages to make you care. All three performers are seasoned pros and have put their hearts into this play.

Production values, like most shows by Rogue Machine, are high. Hillary Bauman’s set design, Leigh Roston’s lighting and Kate Bergh’s costume all complement the play.

Despite it’s running time of two and half hours, (including a ten minute intermission), Daytona manages to get under your skin. It deals with the loss of love, the will to survive and the difficulty of letting go, it’s tragic, fragile characters are not ones you are likely to forget.

When: Saturdays and Mondays at 8:30pm, and Sundays at 3:00pm through October 30, 2017 (no performances on Monday Sept. 25th & Oct. 2nd).

Where: Rogue Machine in The Met, 1089 N Oxford Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029.

Tickets: $40.00 Purchase at the box office starting at 7:30pm the night of the show. (Availability is limited).

Reservations: 855-585-5185 or at www.roguemachinetheatre.com  

Photos by: John Perrin Flynn