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Broadway Says “Wilkommen” to Michelle Williams, Tony Race; Definitive Tennessee Williams; Introducing The Riedel Watch

By | Thursday April 24, 2014 @ 8:30pm PDT

DeadlineColumnsThe last new production of the 2013-14 Broadway season opened Thursday night with the familiar visage of Alan Cumming in whiteface, peering through the slotted entrance to the Kit Kat Klub in the revived revival of Cabaret. With his eyes blacked, his lips pursed and his nipples peeking from behind braces, the Scottish actor looks little changed from the Emcee role he began essaying under the tutelage of director Sam Mendes in 1993 at London’s Donmar Warehouse (and nothing at all like Cummings’ cunning Eli Gold of The Good Wife).

Cabaret02_605x329The other current draw is the Sally Bowles of Michelle Williams, game, gamine but miscast in her Broadway debut. Playing an almost-good siren can be tougher than playing the real thing. Williams just might be too fearless and fresh-faced to get under Sally’s brittle skin. Nevertheless, the Roundabout Theatre Company is hawking tickets to the solid production through next year.
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TonyAwardsThe Tony nominations will be announced Tuesday morning (yes, we’ll be there), with some 44 new productions in the running. More important than that number is the amount of money — I’ll put it at least $60 million — riding on the choices of the 30-odd nominators (some odder than others, to be sure) and the 800-plus voters. This is, after all, the season in which $85 … Read More »

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Alan Cumming, Michelle Williams In ‘Cabaret’ Revival From Sam Mendes And Rob Marshall

By | Wednesday September 4, 2013 @ 2:30pm PDT
Mike Fleming

The Roundabout Theatre Company has set Alan Cumming to play Emcee and Michelle Williams to make her Broadway debut as Sally Bowles in a limited run revival of Cabaret. Sam Mendes is directing and Rob Marshall is co-directing and choreographing, returning to the roles they played in the 1998 production that won the Tony Award. The book is by Joe Masteroff, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, based on the John Van Druten play and stories by Christopher Isherwood. Since Cumming starred in that version, the new wrinkle here is Williams, the three-time Oscar nominee who’s coming off Oz The Great And Powerful. Read More »

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Alan Cumming To Host Britannia Awards

By | Thursday October 25, 2012 @ 11:43am PDT

Los Angeles, October 25, 2012 – The British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles® (BAFTA Los Angeles), which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, has announced Alan Cumming will return as host of the 2012 Britannia Awards presented by BBC AMERICA on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. This marks the fourth time Alan Cumming will host the prestigious award show. In addition, The Britannia Awards are pleased to announce that Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford, and Josh Gad will be among those presenting awards at this year’s show. For the first time ever, the Britannia Awards will be broadcast on BBC AMERICA, airing in primetime November 11, 2012 at 8pm ET as a two-hour special, preceded by the Britannia Awards Pre-show Special at 7:30pm ET.

Related: Daniel Day-Lewis To Receive Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award

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EMMYS: When Is A Guest Star Really A Guest Star?

Nellie Andreeva

Cloris Leachman today landed her 22nd career Emmy nomination for her role on Fox’s freshman comedy Raising Hope and may add to her haul of eight Emmy Awards, which is already a record for a female performer. But, despite being featured in the main credits of the show before the title card, listed as a cast member on Fox’s website and included on panels for the series, Leachman, who appeared in 20 of Raising Hope‘s 22 episodes, was nominated not as a supporting actress in a comedy series but as a guest star. The move probably helped the Oscar winner to snag a nomination in the less-crowded guest star field, but it also raises the issue of what really constitutes a guest star on a TV series as the line between a guest and supporting actor has blurred in recent Emmy races.

According to Emmy’s rulebook, “Comedy/Drama series guest performers with ‘guest star’ billing, or who are contracted as such, are eligible in the guest performer categories without regard to the number of episodes he/she appeared in.” The definition was originally limited to a single episode but was later expanded to three episodes and eventually the limit on the number of episodes was lifted altogether. Per 20th Century Fox TV, which produces Raising Hope, Leachman was technically a guest star on the first season of the show despite appearing in virtually every episode, so she was eligible for the guest starring category, something she won’t be next year as she is being promoted to a regular for Season 2.

Leachman’s guest starring nomination is part of a growing trend of the TV Academy moving away from the traditional guest starring stints involving a splashy performance in a single episode and awarding nominations for playing characters built over the course of one or more seasons that often feel like supporting roles. Not a single actor from a primetime series nominated in the guest starring categories this year has done only one episode of the show they got nominated for. Read More »

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Alan Cumming To Continue On CBS’ ‘The Good Wife’ As Regular With 3-Year Deal

By | Monday April 18, 2011 @ 3:13pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: At the end of last week’s episode of CBS’ The Good Wife, which culminated with Peter Florrick’s victory in the District Attorney election, DCC chairman Frank Landau revealed that he’s already plotting Peter’s campaign for Senate, and that Florrick’s trusted strategist Eli Gold will be running that, too. Well, that could now become a reality because, after several weeks of negotiations, Alan Cumming, who plays Gold on the show, has signed a deal to continue as a regular for three more seasons. The Good Wife is yet to be renewed for Season 3 but, given the acclaim for the show, that is considered a done deal.

Cumming joined The Good Wife as a recurring in the first season and was upped to a regular for the current second season. Cumming’s character of cutthroat political operative Eli Gold, which some have suggested resembles former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, was an immediate standout when he was first introduced in Episode 15 last season. CAA-repped Cumming earned a guest-starring Emmy nomination last year and is a strong contender for a supporting drama actor nom this year. Going back to the most recent pivotal episode of The Good Wife, in which Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) wowed Gold with her TV interview that essentially won the election for her husband, yes, Gold will be back next season, but which Florrick he would be running a campaign for is TBD.

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Voltage Pictures Brings James Franco Pic ‘Maladies’ To Berlin

Mike Fleming

Voltage Pictures has nabbed the international rights to the introspective actors’ piece Maladies starring Academy Award nominee James Franco (127 Hours, Rise of the Apes, Spiderman). Academy Award nominee Catherine Keener (The 40 Year Old Virgin, Into the Wild, Being John Malkovich), Academy Award nominee David Strathairn (The Whistleblower, The Bourne Ultimatum, L.A. Confidential), Emmy nominee Alan Cummings (X2, Spy Kids) and Fallon Goodson (BFF & Baby) co-star. The picture recently finished shooting in New York and is currently in post-production.
Maladies follows three people struggling to coexist together in a little house in a beach town, separated and bonded by their mental illnesses from the rest of the world. Franco plays a former actor whose schizophrenia forces him to leave his craft and remain only a shell of his former self. Keener supports his cross-dressing best friend whose struggle with her own gender identity precludes her from keeping the group together, and Goodson rounds out the trio as Franco’s sister whose mental detachment exacerbates the tensions already prevalent in the house.
Written and directed by Carter, Maladies is being produced under Franco’s production shingle RabbitBandini Productions by Miles Levy (Howl), Vince Jolivette (The Ape), Jeff Most (The Crow) and Marni Zelnick. The pic was acquired by Nadine de Barros for Voltage Pictures, and Elsa Ramo brokered the deal on behalf of the production.
Worldwide rights are available, and Nicolas Chartier (The Hurt Locker) of Voltage Pictures will be kicking off sales for the international rights at the European Film Market. Voltage

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Disney’s Stealth Screening For ‘Tempest’

Don’t you hate when this happens? A DGA member emailed me that last night he went to what was advertised as a “special screening of The Tempest paid for by Touchstone Pictures” at the Writers Guild Theatre featuring a Q&A after the screening with director Julie Taymor and stars Helen Mirren, Russell Brand, Alan Cumming and Djimon Hounsou. ”Only problem was, when I got to the location, there was a line of cars and a young woman telling anyone who would roll down their window that “there was a mistake — the screening is at 135 S. Doheny”. Except the screening wasn’t there either! It’s a residential address.” Touchstone’s Disney tells me today that “the address for the screening had the address for the WGA office instead of the WGA theatre. Fortunately, most attendees realized this and went to the screening. But we had two security guards and one staff member redirecting people to the correct address. We ended up with a full successful screening.”

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