John Gallagher, Jr., who portrayed the son of the woman in a coma in CONSCIENCE--he was the paramedic in training--received a Tony Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for his work in SPRING AWAKENING on Sunday night.
An interview from PLAYBILL ONLINE with Shuler Hensley, who was in SEE ME:
PLAYBILL.COM'S BRIEF ENCOUNTER With Shuler Hensley By Robert Simonson 31 Jul 2007
If you're a Broadway director looking to cast a non-human role, Tony-winner Shuler Hensley is your go-to guy.
Hensley, who won his Tony playing the beastly Jud Fry in Trevor Nunn's revival of Oklahoma!, recently finished a gig portraying Kerchak, the tough but soft-hearted gorilla leader in Disney's Tarzan. Now he's Broadway-bound again, playing the lumbering, grunting Frankenstein's Monster is Mel Brooks' stage version of Young Frankenstein. And this isn't even the first time he's played fiction's most famous ogre. He was the Monster in the 2004 film "Van Helsing." But Hensley's not complaining. The Mel Brooks-Thomas Meehan-Susan Stroman musical is one of the most anticipated events of the 2007-08 season. And besides, his kids like it better when he's cast as a non-human. The actor spoke to Playbill.com just as rehearsals began in Seattle, where Young Frankenstein will begin its pre-Broadway tryout Aug. 7.
Playbill.com: At what point are you in the rehearsal process? Shuler Hensley: We spent the past six weeks in New York pretty much getting through the entire story, with limited sets. Now, it's about getting the make-up, the costumes, and the huge sets, which I hear rival anything. The Paramount Theatre here, I think it's about 2,800 seats, so it's quite a large theatre. Apparently, the sets are very comfortable in that size house.
Playbill.com: Six weeks of rehearsal in New York, and then more time in Seattle. That's a lavish amount of time for a show to rehearse. SH: You know what? You gotta do what you gotta do. It's been quite a treat. The thing about it is, from day one, we've all had grins on our faces because we all have our own history with this movie. I grew up with Mel Brooks, as did most of these kids in the cast. It's like waking up and having some sort of great birthday present that you get to do every day. Susan [Stroman] has created wonderful storytelling and dances, and Mel [Brooks] has written songs and he's there every day.
Playbill.com: The film is so iconic. I imagine it's hard to get the original out of your head. SH: Well, people have different approaches. I know some people in the cast watch it fairly religiously, just to see what they can glean from it. I personally haven't watched the film in five years or so. Once I knew that I was going to do this I really didn't want to watch it, or my character especially. We're talking about Peter Boyle and something that you can't really recreate, and you really shouldn't try to. I know enough about the film that when we're reading through it, you can have these images in your head of the scenes in the movie. But they're not so crystal clear. It goes back to the script, the humor of the script. Having Mel there, it's almost like discovering it for the first time. You have the creator, who's sitting in the room. The magic of the piece is from the page.
Playbill.com: When does your character arrive? At the end of the first act? SH: I do. I am talked about and then we discover him at the end of the first act. It's pretty true to the movie. It's more about the creation of the monster. It's building him and bringing him to life. The second act is about what that entails.
Playbill.com: Of course, you sing the famous rendition of "Putting on the Ritz" seen in the film. Do you have other songs? SH: Mel wrote about seven new songs that were not in the movie. Toward the end of Act Two, I have a bit of a song. He doesn't just groan and moan.
Playbill.com: Well, at the end of the film, the Monster becomes a sophisticated man. SH: Exactly.
Playbill.com: "Putting on the Ritz" is the moment from the film people remember most. It must be nice to be able to star in that spotlight number. SH: It's spectacular! I first worked with Susan in London on the revival of Oklahoma!. This is almost ten years ago. She has a gift for telling stories through the dance. What's she's done with "Putting on the Ritz," she's just created this whole story within that song. She makes everyone look spectacular, including myself. My mom died three years ago, but I know she is looking down saying, "Thank God, he's finally getting to dance." (Laughs) Playbill.com: Have they retained the famous scene between the Monster and the blind hermit? SH: Yes they have. There is music involved. It's pretty much the scene in the movie, but then they've added music around that scene. It's very well done.
Playbill.com: Have you experienced the make-up process yet? I imagine it's arduous. SH: I did. That's still a work in progress. But we took a cast of my face. There's a lot of aspects of the Frankenstein monster where the rights are owned by Universal. It's gets fairly specific in terms of the look of the Monster. They've had to be creative in terms of what they can and can't use. But I did "Van Helsing," the movie, as Frankenstein's Monster. That process took about six and one half hours of make-up. So this is a breeze! (Laughs)
Playbill.com: You last played an ape on Broadway, in Tarzan. Are you getting a little lonely to play a human being sometime down the road? SH: (Laughs) Yes and no. I mean, I would eventually love to play a human. But I also have two kids under the age of 7, and if you have children, half of your time is spent playing animals and creatures. So, they're ecstatic about this. My kids go to school and say, "My daddy plays a monster!"
Here's the latest about Fay Ann Lee (from http://www.theunion.com) who eagle-eyed CI fans might remember for her role as Nurse Tsiu in the CI Season 1 episode "Jones":
'Grace' graces Grass Valley[/b] Writer, lead actress, director promoting film By Greg Moberly
What’s a woman with an advanced business degree doing in Grass Valley handing out fortune cookies, promoting an independent romantic comedy film?
She’s the writer, lead actress and director of “Falling for Grace,” that’s all. As such, Fay Ann Lee, 39, wants to build an audience for her film outside the entertainment bubble of Los Angeles and New York City.
Lee’s first film, about an Ivy league-educated investment banker mistaken for a Hong Kong heiress who meets her “Prince Charming,” completed a three-night run Sunday at the Nevada Theatre. Friday night’s show benefited the Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra.
“Falling for Grace” is slated to open this Friday at Sierra Cinemas.
“I always wanted to be an actress growing up in Hong Kong,” Lee said. “But I wanted to please my parents and get the right degree.”
Lee got a bachelor’s degree in finance and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Then came three job offers from Wall Street.
Lee landed a key role in Miss Saigon on Broadway and decided to pursue her passion.
“My father almost had a heart attack,” Lee said describing her decision rejecting the Wall Street offers.
“I was too embarrassed to tell him why (initially),” Lee said.
But Lee got around to telling her parents. During a question and answer session at the Nevada Theatre Saturday night she said her father seemed proud after watching a Tribeca Film Festival screening last year.
A few key events inspired Lee’s “Falling for Grace” storyline.
“I thought it would be very interesting to do a movie from (New York’s) Chinatown,” Lee said. A friend from college grew up there, she said. “They really are true immigrants there.”
“The other part of the story is I kept running into John F. Kennedy Jr. at restaurants, on the street, at the bank and at a tennis club where I was a guest and he was a member,” Lee said. There wasn’t so much as a greeting between the two but the sightings gave Lee an idea.
“Would someone like a JFK Jr. go out with someone from Chinatown?” Lee said. “I was much more interested in looking at the class difference than race,” Lee said describing the film.
Lee’s work could end up blazing a trail and setting a standard for more films with Asian Americans in leading roles. At least that’s her hope.
“As an Asian-American actress, there are very few options out there,” Lee said. “There’s not that many writers writing for Asian Americans.”
Sandra Oh’s work in the film “Sideways” and “Grey’s Anatomy” and film director Ang Lee’s work standout but few others have achieved mainstream success, Lee said.
Lee wants mainstream success for “Falling for Grace” which has universal appeal, according to Lee and the film’s producer and editor, Michelle Botticelli.
“Even if you aren’t an immigrant, (the film) speaks to you on a profound level,” Botticelli said.
In addition to the love story, the film focuses heavily on Lee’s character’s close relationship with her family.
“It’s a relatable story that you don’t have to be Asian to appreciate,” Botticelli said.
Lee’s credits also include episodes of Law and Order Criminal Intent, Law and Order, Third Watch and recurring roles soaps One Life to Live and All My Children.
The independent movie has shown nationally in limited locations including San Francisco, Sausalito and Washington D.C. [/color]
Patrick Roy, 2006 inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame
Here's the latest about John Driscoll from www.buddytv.com -- he played Dean Howard in the Season 6 episode "Siren Call":
'Guiding Light' Actor Makes New York Stage Debut September 17, 2007
John Driscoll, popularly known as Henry Cooper Bradshaw on the soap Guiding Light, will be taking on the stage of New York's flourishing theater scene. The 26-year-old actor has been cast in Matt Morillo's Angry Young Women in Low-Rise Jeans with High-Class Issues, which runs from September 13 until October 7.
Angry Young Women is a comedy about the battle of the sexes that features a series of witty anxious women and the men they alternately torture. NY Theater describes the play as “An evening of straight-up, sitcom-style comedy that boasts an outstanding cast, some fine direction, and many funny moments.” The show has been a known to audience acclaim for some time now and promises an hour and half of sexy comedy.
Aside from the Guiding Light actor, the cast also includes Rachel Nau, Thomas J. Pilutik, Jennifer Missoni, Angelique Letizia, Nicholas J. Coleman, and Jessica Durdock. The show features set design by Jana Mattioli and lighting design by Amith A. Chandrashaker.
Driscoll, whose credits include Young Americans, Dawson's Creek, One Tree Hill, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and The Book of Daniel where he had a starring role, marks his stage debut in New York with the production of Angry Young Women. In the play, he portrays two roles, Ronnie, a happy-go-lucky lover of career women, and Barry, a B-movie idol.
Fans of the Guiding Light star can catch him from Thursdays to Saturdays at 8pm with a 3pm matinee on Sundays at the Players Theater in New York.
-Kris De Leon, BuddyTV Staff Columnist Source: theatermania.com
Patrick Roy, 2006 inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame
Faces & Places: Get ready for Carrion, star of 'Law & Order: Political Intent'
BY BOB KAPPSTATTER DAILY NEWS BRONX BUREAU CHIEF[/b] Tuesday, October 30th 2007, 4:00 AM
DING! DING! Bronx BP Adolfo Carrion gets to play himself in an upcoming episode of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." The show was filming at the Bronx County Building last week. You can catch AC's visage standing at a front steps press conference with actor Andrew McCarthy, who plays a hotshot assistant district attorney.[/color]
Patrick Roy, 2006 inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame
Some more on Shuler Hensley, from PLAYBILL ONLINE:
PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Shuler Hensley By Ernio Hernandez 31 Oct 2007
Shuler Hensley — currently starring in Broadway's Young Frankenstein — fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire with random facts, backstage trivia and pop culture tidbits.
Full given name: Shuler Paul Hensley Hometown: Marietta, GA Zodiac sign: Pisces Audition song: Anything Rodgers & Hammerstein Special skills: All sports, piano, "raindrop" sound effect First Broadway show ever saw: Big River If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be? Opening night of Oklahoma! Current show you have been recommending to friends: Curtains - love that Mr. Kander!! Favorite show tune: "Skin of Our Teeth" - from All About Us MAC or PC? MAC Most played song on your iPod: Norah Jones - "Sunrise" Last book you read: "Frog in the Kitchen Sink" (last night to my three-year old, Grayson) Must-see TV show: "24" & "SpongeBob" Last good movie you saw: "Once" Performer you would drop everything to go see: Tony Bennett & Aerosmith Pop culture guilty pleasure: Page Six First stage kiss: Playing The Prince in Sleeping Beauty in kindergarten. Right on the lips. She opened her eyes and started to cry!! Favorite pre-show meal: Bagels and lox on Sunday before a matinee! How you got your Equity card: North Shore Music Theatre doing On The Town Worst onstage mishap: Having food poisoning while singing Don Giovanni. I could not leave the stage for 25 minutes!!! A true night in Hell!! Who have you played on "Law & Order"? Which edition? "Criminal Intent"- schizophrenic homeless man, "SVU"- a grief-stricken truck driver Worst costume ever: My Don Giovanni costume after the food poisoning!! Favorite cereal: Golden Grains Who would play you in the movie? A heavier Vince Vaughn Favorite Mel Brooks movie (other than "Young Frankenstein"): "Blazing Saddles" and "Twelve Chairs" - what a range this man has!!! He has a real future in this business!!
Acting up outside of class Young actor juggles schoolwork, auditions
By RAY DUCKLER Monitor staff
November 05. 2007 12:10AM
Duvene Purcell answered the phone at her kitchen table and soon booked two train tickets from Boston to New York City.
The TV drama Law & Order Criminal Intent wanted her son, Concord High senior Nicholas Purcell, back for another audition, at 5:10 p.m. the next day. And this time it was a supporting role, not a bit part.
Nicholas never flinched.
"It used to be like, 'Sweet, I got called for an audition,' " Nicholas said. "But that was when my agent was lower on the agent chain, not as high up, so I wouldn't get auditions that often."
Now he does. For commercials. For TV dramas. For movies. Hang out at his house for any length of time and there's a good chance his agent or co-manager will call by 6:30 p.m. with another opportunity. There were three calls on this day.
No, he's not a huge deal, not yet. Fans don't camp out near his house, waiting for a glimpse, although girls are text-messaging him more often. And you probably wouldn't recognize him downtown.
But Nicholas appears to be on his way. He hopes to make it big, like Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis and Johnny Depp, his favorite actors.
He's slender, with long sideburns and an easy smile that matches his demeanor in a crowd or in front of a camera.
Perhaps you saw him on Law & Order, talking to Detective Logan, played by Chris Noth, during a murder investigation in a downtown New York pool hall. The scene lasted two or three minutes.
Or maybe you saw him sitting with his TV family, enjoying one of those Campbell Soup recipes on the side of the can, a chicken-noodle casserole.
"It tasted good," Nicholas said.
He started with roles at his local church and small theaters in Concord and Pittsfield. He played a grungy orphan in Oliver. He played Peter Pan.
"When I did theater I was in front of 300 or 500 people," Nicholas said. "When you find yourself in tights in front of 400 people, you can't really be self conscious about yourself. It just comes down to that."
He worked his way up, paying dues, learning the ropes, getting noticed. He moved up what he calls the "agent chain," eventually landing with Cunningham, Escott, Slevin and Doherty, an agency that represents top teen actors, as well as Burt Reynolds and Malcolm McDowell.
"We're starting to get a little excited," said Nicholas's father, Matthew. "We used to get so excited when we got a call back for a commercial. Now it's all melding together."
Nicholas now juggles his time between Concord High, where he'll graduate early in January, and auditions in New York and Los Angeles. He sometimes hits New York two or three times per week, studying his script on the train. He goes to L.A. once a year for two months or so, auditioning for television pilots and other projects. Tutors help him through school, and Concord High teachers have been patient, allowing him to make up work.
He doesn't tell schoolmates when he lands a part or has a TV appearance on the horizon, saying he doesn't want to appear snooty. Still, he's taken some verbal abuse from kids who know what he does.
He tells his closest buddies and says his friends are happy for him. Others, those he doesn't know, see him on TV and get the bug, the star-struck bug.
"My three or four best friends appreciate it and think it's really cool," Nicholas said. "They get excited for me. There have been some kids who've come up to me in school and said, 'Hey, you were on Law & Order last night, did you know that?' "
It was a big break. The episode has aired five times and will be repeated Nov. 28 at 10 p.m. on USA. He liked Noth and says he no longer is intimidated by famous people.
"(Noth) was fun to work with," Nicholas said. "He came across as a really nice guy, really social. He's the breaker of the ice."
He also liked Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon in Fever Pitch. He played a fan inside and outside Fenway Park in that one.
He a background street punk in Ben Affleck's Gone Baby Gone, released last month, about a kidnapping case in Boston.
His Campbell's Soup commercial could earn him $50,000 for one day's work, depending on residual payments. His father showed the commercial on the family's 46-inch screen.
Mom cooks dinner, smiling at her daughter to her right while the younger son does homework to mom's left. Nicholas is in the background, dropping his backpack on the counter.
Next, the family, sitting at the kitchen table, enjoys an mm mm good casserole, made with cream of mushroom soup, noodles, beans and chicken.
What we don't see is the water sprayed on the casserole to keep it looking moist under the hot lights. Or the buckets provided for the actors to spit out the food once they've gotten sick of it or too full after 20 takes. Or the clean plates and silverware brought onto the set after each take.
"It's a whole day for a 30-second commercial," Nicholas said.
He hopes to land a part, his biggest to date, as a Deadhead in the upcoming film, Losing Jerry, about the late Jerry Garcia, his band the Grateful Dead and their loyal fans. It looks as if he'll get it.
On this day he received a call to audition for Law & Order and As the World Turns, a soap opera.
A phone call also came from The Onion, a satirical newspaper, which wanted Nicholas for some sort of story.
Once Fired From "Law & Order," Andrew McCarthy Returns
By Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith Nov 29, 2007
Andrew McCarthy turns up on "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" tonight (Nov. 29) as an ambitious Bronx district attorney in a story that has a certain familiarity about it for those who followed the Duke lacrosse team rape-accusation case. And that brings full circle McCarthy's relationship with the show he departed angrily four and a half years ago in the wake of a falling out with Vincent D'Onofrio.
"I was fired because I refused to allow a fellow actor to threaten me with physical violence, bully me and try to direct me," McCarthy was quoted saying at the time. Now, not surprisingly, the one-time Brat Pack heartthrob is in a Chris Noth-led episode of the USA series rather than a D'Onofrio-led installment.
"The show runner, Warren Leight, is a good friend of mine. We did 'Side Man' together," McCarthy tells us, referring to Leight's Tony-winning play, in which he starred on Broadway. "Warren said, 'Want to try my show again?' At first I said, 'I don't know … ' But it worked out well. Chris is great, and my character is interesting; he may have done something not quite ethical."
Now, "CI" production is down as Leight and the rest of the writers are on strike. McCarthy, meanwhile, has the independent horror thriller "Camp Hope" in the can and Paramount's feature adaptation of the best-selling "The Spiderwick Chronicles" children's book, produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, on the way. Plus, he plays "the billionaire about town" in Candace Bushnell's "Lipstick Jungle" series coming up on NBC midseason. No wonder he and Chris "Mr. Big" Noth got along -- they have a lot in common.
"It's been a good year so far," says McCarthy
Patrick Roy, 2006 inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame