Friday, November 30, 2012

St Andrews Day Links

Happy St Andrews Day! About now, the processional is making its way to the East Sands for piping and fireworks. The weather here has decided to ease my Scotland sickness. It's been raining in LA, so it really does feel like a day in Auld Reekie. Not only is this the day that honors Scotland's patron saint, it's also Sophie's birthday! 

Sophie, in addition to being one of my lifetime best friends, a brilliant and heart-breaking musician, is  also someone who simply embodies Scotland for me. I think listening to her music, no matter where you might find yourself, gives you the feeling that you're listening to her by a hearth and crackling fire in Perthshire. 

Every year, Scotland tourism does a lot to promote the event and this year is no different. Here is a fun little whathaveyou from where you can Saltire your face. Who doesn't want to look like an extra from Braveheart, right?

And more links!

- In case you want to know more about St Andrew, here is my post from a few years back
- Because it's Scotland, we might as well get political about it. 
- Downton in New York? This is the best idea ever! (Though why do they call Downton a rom/com?)
- Interesting Theresa Rebeck interview on her exit from SMASH.
- My boo, Taylor, has started blogging again. The poet hedonist hard at work. 
- These two people together on one stage make me proud to be American.
- This jacket.
- I was ambivalent before, but, man, this Second Season of GIRLS looks prrrrretty good!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Oooh, Look at My Cute Pals on Vulture!

When VOTE! was off broadway in 2009, the lovely Nina Sturtz played Trish. (She's the character who sings "Villain's Girl.") Through that summer (what I lovingly call The Summer That Almost Killed Us or The Summer Where I Quit My Life and Decided to Move to Scotland or The Summer of Running and/or Wandering The Streets of New York in Tears OR The Summer of The Crowbar & Margaritas) I not only got to know Nina, but also her family. 

Actually, quite a few folks in this vid I'd consider part of my extended musical family in NYC (and/or have even been in some incarnation of VOTE! or other artistic project of ours.) and so it was a delight to learn that 1.) Nina had gotten engaged 2.) That Eric decided to go Battery's Down style on it and make this video and 3.) That the thing went kinda viral and even got picked up on my fave fave fave pop culture website, Vulture

My favorite part is actually Nina's dad breaking it down on the accordion. 

Bravo, Eric La Barre. For a non-musical theatre dude, you sold the shit out that. And best wishes to you both! xo from Los Angeles.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lincoln Center Inside Out

Described as a "children's book for nerdy adults," Diller Scofidio + Renfro's new book Lincoln Center Inside Out, documents the eight year redesign our nation's premiere performing arts complex. I obsessively love Lincoln Center. It's the pinnacle. For me, and probably many performing arts folks, it's at least as good a symbol of NYC as the Chrysler Building. 

This book (I'll admit, pricey at $53 discounted on amazon. $85 on art books) is a kind of inside out pop up book and was conceived as "a cross between an art book, a scholarly record, and an architectural diary." It's comprised entirely of gatefolds or inside out centerfolds and tucked beneath those are backstory photos. I think coffee table books should be interactive. Seems like this one is the mother of all interactive coffee table books. Would make a pretty great Christmas Present for the art or architecture lover in your life, no?

This past year, Steven and I were lucky enough to have our work featured at Lincoln Center as part of the Broadway's Future Series. It was beyond an honor. When you sit down to map out some career milestones, Lincoln Center is one hell of a weighty milestone. It's one hell of a beautiful building complex too. Nice to have a little piece of that in your own home. A tangible objection for appreciation. Oh, books....

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Become You. The NPR version of You.

Pretty much all of my adult life, I've been looking to make my life circumstances align with my deeply-held idea about myself as an avid NPR listener. Only one other-- brief, beautiful-- time was I able to make it a real fabric of my day. That was when I was working my worst job to date: as studio assistant to a world-famous lighting designer in New York. 

For the months I had this part time gig (before she flipped out and called me incompetent for not reading her mind) I came to associate the morning pleasant lull of WNYC with the lighting designer being in a good mood. When she was travelling, I'd flip it on just for my own pleasure while I watered her ficus plants and cacti. Before that, in my childhood, I associated it with night driving and my father and laughing to Prairie Home Companion. Now, I equate it with the mental state I'm after. 

But Los Angeles. Oh, Los Angeles and my sunny Hollywood spot. My home now was made for NPR. Just today, my best friend Emily said, "Don't you love the NPR in LA? KCRW?" And I do! It's one of the few realities that live up to my fantasies of it. In my mind, I'd flip on an old radio to KCRW on misty Los Angeles mornings while I make coffee. I sit at my little kitchen table in my robe, taking my sweet time, and I laugh and am enlightened on all foreign policy and art issues I care about, but feel sometimes overwhelmed by, and I learn about all kinds of new things to hold my interest. The only difference between my fantasy and the reality is that I listen on my NPR iphone app. Sometimes I pick and choose stories and sometimes I flip to WNYC when I miss New York. But I am utterly happy when I do this. 

One of my favorites is The Moth. True Stories told live by artists and interesting people ranging from relative obscurity to relative and/or fading fame. Storytelling. Mmm. "Storytelling for everyday raconteurs." You go, Peabody judges. 

It's like a dream come true. They're all very real and basic and often simple and always poignant while revealing some mono no aware thing about living. Recently, I laughed in every room of my house while writer Walter Mosley told a wonderful and very real story about identifying language and its meaning. It is a delight. I cannot recommend enough. 

Also check out my old friend Suzanne Vega on Stage Fright

Sometimes, I lament that we have no BBC. But then I remember NPR and I am soothed again. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Californians

When I was living in the UK, my friends experienced the strange pull to duplicate "an American" accent in my presence. The crazy thing was, when they'd do it, they almost always spoke like Valley Girls or Kardashians. "Do I talk like that? Is that how I sound to you?" 

They would always say no, and I have to believe in my heart that I do not speak like a Kardashian. When McC was in the UK and kept trying to explain to people that she had just a generic accent, like the one used on American TV. There isn't really a direct equivalent in the UK. RP has a class connotation. 

But there is a thing about the West Coast and speaking. And now it's really being studied by Stanford linguists! Here it is on the California Report. And here it is with some additional commentary (featuring the fabulous Californians from Saturday Night Live) from the incomparable Lindy West. Boom. (PS- McC, did you know Lindy West is from Seattle?!?) 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Truth.

This is on the side of a building in NYC and I've never read anything truer. Also, you're being watched, apparently. Nice video cam. 

 I'm driving to Vegas today for some belated holiday mingling and car maintenance. I can't wait to meet Baby June, the littlest Woffinden. Not to mention, Tiger Time. I feel like I should eat at Honey Salt. Not a day goes by when some Vegas person isn't raving about it. Hope you're having a fabulous Sunday!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cloud Chaos & Sky Smearing with Matt Molloy

It's such a beautiful day outside today, it seemed like the perfect time to post these romantic and soulful  time lapse photos from Matt Molloy

I learned about him via My Modern Met and have been scrolling through his flickr ever since. The Ontario based artist uses hundreds of stacked photos to achieve the affect. I'd say it's working. SO dreamy. I want to hang that cloud and birds one in my house, man. Hope you're having a beautiful Saturday! 

If you're craving more, here's an interview with the artist. And you can buy his work here

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Leftover Links

Wow, have I been lazy today! After the 5 hours I spent in traffic yesterday, I have wanted to just stay still. So other than our doggie jogs last night and this morning, the last 24 hours have mostly been about me and Ghost the puppy (part Corgi, part Doberman) cuddling and watching the entire oeuvre of the Brat Pack. Next, we're onto Misery

In the mean time, I've been pretending like I'm able to shop. If so, here are some things that'd be on my list. 

- Richard Saja Frankentoile. I die. 
- Even though it's still warm, this fluffy Manhattan throw.
- Pretty.  
- My Ideal Bookshelf. For Obvious Reasons. 
- I'd totally shop this

Plus, bonus links:
- Pretty, small spaces
- I think I need to paint my living room. Farrow & Ball's Borrowed Light is the prime suspect.
- LACMA's Kubrick exhibitio

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving! A Readable Feast

My second favorite holiday! Sending love your way on this great day of thanks from Los Angeles, Oceanside, Las Vegas. 

If you had asked me this time last year, when I was cooking a big Thanksgiving feast for all my Scottish friends (I think I'll forever associate them with giving thanks & also my ability to cook a meal of that scale), where I thought I'd be today, a year later, I don't think I would have imagined all the places I would have gone in one year. 

But I'm thankful for this past year--- it was sort of like an out of body experience. 

Meanwhile, I'm off to drive down the coast to see my mom's family. Wish me luck.

For this lovely holiday, I can't think of any better pairing than food and poetry. Check out The Hungry Ear, a collection of food poems. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sweet Tooth

Somehow-- perhaps with all the moving-- I had missed that Ian McEwan had a new novel. Luckily, Cronin mentioned it when I saw him at Vroman's and I did not delay in picking up the 70's spy 'thriller,' Sweet Tooth

Now, I'm about half way through and I love it. Spies obsessed with writers, writers obsessed with spies, a dirty London and the seventies... this book has everything! The NYTimes called it "clever, but annoying,"(I've heard that before) so I'm wondering if maybe the annoying part kicks in somewhere after the first half. For me, it feels like a strange but satisfying window back into a version of living in the UK. 

When Serena rides on a bus through Central London, from North to South,  I recall reading Barbara Trapido's Brother of the More Famous Jack (a feel-better gift from Iona) perhaps because the two books oddly remind me of each other. Or at least their heroines. 

And curling up to read Sweet Tooth in my poetry bedding-- the fluffy luxury I bought for Scotland, I recall being curled up in my castle room at Dean's Court watching The Cambridge Spies and reading le Carre novels. I can't bring myself to do too much else this holiday week besides replicate that level of comfort. (I mean, I have things to do. I'm dog sitting. I'm going to my aunt & grandmother's for Thanksgiving.)

I don't know that I'll feel by the end the way I feel about this book now, (I hear the feminist in me really won't!) but for now, I recommend it. And for now, its textured world is just what I need.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Hour, Again

One of my favorites is BACK! Not only is The Hour Season 2 back in Britain, it's also only two weeks behind here on BBC America. I hate waiting for anything, so I'm still watching on the British schedule, but you can get the first episode free on itunes

I think the second series is going to be even better than the first. Everything you loved about Season 1, but with higher stakes, more moral dilemmas, more of Dominic West doing what he does best: philandering and drinking on camera (if you loved McNulty, you'll love Hector Madden-- same tricks, new occupation. Despite his drunken whoring, he still manages to expose crime syndicates, etc) and the tables turned a bit for Bel and Freddie. I don't want to give too much away. 

I loved it! Can't wait for more on Wednesday. I want to be Abi Morgan when I grow up. I'll just keep saying it. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Getting Away Scot-Free

Over the weekend, a cash machine for (my Scottish bank) Bank of Scotland in the Burnside/Rutherglen area of Glasgow started "mis-dispensing" twice the cash requested by customers, but only subtracting the amount requested from their balance. Free money!

News quickly spread via twitter and soon, lines (queues) were wrapped around the block. Even though the amazing glitch quickly got shut down, Bank of Scotland has said it most likely won't seek to regain any of the lost cash. In fact, the bank issued an apology for "any inconvenience this may have caused customers." Classic Scotland right there. Man, I miss that place.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Milo Greene at El Rey

When I look back, I can think of a handful of moments where I was 100% satisfied, present, and full of peaceful joy. Lounging on the grass in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower with Taylor, snacking on a raspberry pistachio tarte, barbecuing on the terrace with my ladies in Madrid, roughing it on Christmas with my dad in Yosemite, dancing with my friends on the Isle of Skye.

Now, I can add to that list, swaying in a crowd of people (including Kade & Kennedy) at El Rey with a beer in my hand to Milo Greene "1957." That was bliss.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

In The Wind - Lord Huron

This. On repeat.

What does this sound like? This is the sound of everywhere I've been so far. With the promise of everywhere I'm still going to go. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

No Time To Rest. I'm Gonna Find Me a Life, Baby, Way Out West

Somehow, today feels a bit like a sad day, the day all my stuff arrives to my house from London. Like it wasn't officially over until now. Like I might go back, or like maybe all my stuff was still back in the UK waiting for me. But it's here in Los Angeles. In my perfect little apartment. 

And even though I feel better sitting at this big, sturdy desk, looking out my windows while I write than just about anywhere, today, my time as a gypsy and world traveler feels over. 

I don't feel like this all the time. But some songs, some shows, when the weather is chilly and damp and grey like it is today. And my house is cold because I can't figure out where the heat is in this LA apartment-- hadn't really seemed like a big priority to ask my landlord. 

But there's no time to be sad. No time to rest. I'm gonna find me a life, baby, way out west. 

In any case, here are your links:

- Downton just sort of makes me sad
- This is one of the most amazing ideas ever. 
- Boom
- Love the Matildas. One of my favorite shows ever. 
- I want this jacket
- This insignia jewelry is purrrrty.
- Gray Malin in Hollywood.
- One of the prettiest single malt bottles I've ever seen. Wonder if Balblair is tasty. Anyone? 
- Just in case. This still feels relevant

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Please Don't Ruin Anna Karenina, Keira Knightley

Keira Knightley, though only in her mid-twenties, has already gotten to play a substantial chunk of literatures greatest heroines: Lizzy Bennet, Lara from Dr. Zhivago, Ruth from Never Let Me Go (though she's more the villain of that story) and now Anna Karenina. Personally, I've never been a fan. I think she holds all her emotion in her nose. And I don't think anyone ever plays a Vivien Leigh role better than Vivien Leigh.  And I think she's too young to play Anna Karenina.

But I'm intrigued. For the texture of the time period (which I write about constantly in Nicholas & Alexandra) And largely by the drug that is ANY new adaptation of classic literature, Anna Karenina being a favorite. But also by the uber uber young Aaron Johnson (sorry I refuse to call him Aaron Taylor-Johnson) as Vronsky (he's 22! He was born in the 90's!), Matthew Macfadyn as Oblonsky (he is never ever not good) and Jude Law as Karenin. Jude Law has turned himself into a bit of joke in recent years, but I like to remember back to a time when he wasn't a leading man, but a magnificent character actor and villain. Or even more recently than that, when he was able to bring leading man focus and character actor complexity to Hamlet on Broadway and the West End. My gut says his performance as Karenin (where he lets his natural hair line free!) is the performance of this film. 

But of course, it won't be all art-- not all the time. There will have to be some Hollywood cross promotions like the Anna Karenina line at Banana Republic and whathaveyou. 

McC stagged us free advance screening tickets, and if my shit were here from London yet (sigh) I'd bust out my fake fur and rock it out down to the theatre. Opens everywhere November 16th.

Small Girl Builds Large Furniture

I'm exhausted. Things are coming together, but I've been hauling furniture upstairs, lifting large slabs of glass and dealing with way more wooden dowels than I'm really interested in. But the good news is, all I'm missing is all the the things to sit and lie down on: my chaise, my bed, my mattress, and my chair! 

Oh, and all my stuff from London (remember when I lived there?!?) the delivery of which keeps getting pushed back. 

Sorry if my decorating story is on the more quotidien side of things for a blog, but I'm just too tired to think of anything interesting that doesn't pertain to this apartment. On the upside, today, Dena taught me how to switch out lamp harps to make sure the bulb holder doesn't show. Also on the upside, I have a large bottle of wine and I'm seeing Anna Karenin tomorrow with McC. Woo! See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Groom's Cake/ Birthday Cake/ I'm a Film Editor Now

Sometimes the skills you pick up on accident while you're peddling your own wares pay off! I've been honing my film editing skills for for years now-- largely in my quest to promote our musicals and through osmosis from having so many film maker friends. Eventually, I realized it was becoming a skill I could probably and should probably get paid for. And now I am! 

I'm excited for my first big project, Birthday Cake, which is the feature length follow up the hit indie short 'mockumentary' Groom's Cake. It was written by my pal Chad Darnell (one of Haviland's first life friends: they met when she was 10!) and has won pretty much every film festival it entered. 

Now, the team is getting back together to make Birthday Cake and I could not be more thrilled to join the gang. We had a read through last night while celebrating Chad's birthday at Hamburger Mary's and I was in love with this script. I wholly support the message and spirit of everything they're trying to do up in here. It's a really lovely, heartfelt story and the main character's name is Ferguson! 

See, there are places in the arts where being anal retentive, detail oriented and obsessed with precision are calling cards and I'm just glad I'm finding my place in those places. We're also raising a few additional funds for the feature via indiegogo. Check it out!

Monday, November 12, 2012

GIANT at The Public

Since I was a college student, Michael John La Chiusa has been my musical theatre hero. Not because I saw similarities in our styles, nor did I ever aspire to the kind of style he has so perfected. I only sat back in awe of what has always been its own animal-- something that was always just so very him. And he indulged me as being my pen pal for a while. And I've always been emboldened and encouraged by his taste level in material. The stories he chooses to musicalize are rich and varied and often hidden treasures. 

His latest (featuring libretto by Sybille Pearson) is more of a classic, but no less ambitious. I've mentioned before that I've never been so sad to be away from  a New York theatre season before. I want to see all of it. GIANT is no exception. Based on the Edna Ferber novel (more so than the subsequent famous film starring James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor & Rock Hudson) this new epic (truly. it's clocking 3:45 with three acts) musical is playing now at the Public. 

Oh, please, world! Let me have a chance to see this show! I want to bask in the La Chiusa. Not to mention, this lady

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cronin At Vroman's

Yesterday, my favorite Rice professor and writing mentor, Justin Cronin, was at Vroman's in Pasadena, reading from his new book, The Twelve. The second in The Passage Trilogy, the book has already garnered great praise and sales. 

I'm excited to delve back into that world. And it felt like a great touching base of the soul to see Cronin, get a quick bit of life advice, and remember that time in my life when I was just starting out. So much hadn't happened to me yet. So much hadn't yet happened to Cronin. 

But he believed in me then, and he still does now. Thanks to him, I've tried never to put my skills in a box... "you write how you write, no matter what you're writing." And thanks to him,  I still think success finds the right people. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Nomad Finds a Home in Historic Hollywood

You guys. After nearly six months of this year spent living out of a suitcase, schlepping via over night bus, etc etc, on Tuesday, I will move into my very own adorable vintage Hollywood one bedroom. Complete with original 1920's fixtures and all the charm of Old Hollywood, I could not be more excited than I am to get in some space of my own and feel truly settled. 

The view from my front door is the Hollywood sign. And I'm six blocks from Paramount, where my little townhouse was built in 1923 for Paramount workers. In addition to some original period features, it's been suped up with a bit of history, such as doors from the famed Ambassador Hotel: former home of the Cocoanut Grove Nightclub, the 2nd & 12th Annual Academy Awards (Where Gone with the Wind won 10 awards including Best Picture !!!), and tragically, the 1968 Assassination of RFK. It was demolished in 2005, and one of the room doors is now my front door. On top of all that, it's light and airy and even has a dishwasher. I didn't think I could afford to live alone, but sometimes, you just get lucky. 

And! And! I'm feeling even more lucky because the fabulous Dena is so very generously helping me decorate, so I can pimp the place out in the Hollywood splendor it deserves. Lots of whites and beiges and metallics and mirrors. A big cream Chaise and a mirrored desk. A regal upholstered bed-- the only thing that will end up fitting in my cubby bedroom. Even all my belongings from London will be delivered right to my doorstep next week! Happy girl right up over here.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Restoring the Costumes of Gone with the Wind

The amazing people at the Harry Ransom Center of UT Austin are the world's art heroes. They keep, protect and preserve our artistic legacy in the form of archives and restoration projects. I think the place is made of saints and I dream of going there to bask in its wonder. 

Not only do they have the David Foster Wallace archives, but also Lucia Joyce's original manuscripts. Just to name a few. To say I have research to do there is an understatement. 

They also are the keepers and protectors of some of the most precious Hollywood history there is: the costumes from Gone with the Wind. It took them two years to restore and preserve some of Scarlett O'Hara's most iconic ensembles-- the Academy Award winning original work by Walter Plunkett.  Brits, you can see the work they've done on these at the Victoria & Albert Museum until January.

I've always been a zealous girl. I've been zealous about a great many things in my life so far, but my first love, the flame that burned the brightest was Gone with the Wind. Going through all my things at my dad's house this past week, I was reminded of how strong that love is. I have so. much. stuff. One of the last things my grandfather did before he died (though he never told me, because he wasn't the kind of guy who need to get credit for his good deeds) was buy me the entire 24 plate collector series from the film. I have no idea what I'll do with those (or the many other items of priceless memorabilia I have) but perhaps one day I'll open up my own center like the Harry Ransom Center. I think I'd feel pretty good about that. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Happy 600th Birthday, St. Andrews

We may not have parted on the best of terms, but I still love St Andrews and am wishing them a Happy 600th Birthday! My friend Caroline sent me this gorgeous photo of the celebrations taking place there. I just want to celebrate EVERYTHING today! I'm so happy. So many good things on the horizon. Man, I love getting what I want :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The World Only Spins....

I'm off to vote. When I was in college, I sort of thought I was unelectable, so gave up any ambitions I had about working in politics myself. (That and the fact that I get so worked up about it, I figured it was probably the fastest road to my own early demise.) 

So I put all my care and effort on political issues into writing. And you don't have to look hard to see that almost all of my major projects-- certainly the musicals-- have complex political issues (and some satirical ones) at their core. I've said before, but it's worth reiterating that nothing makes me feel more like I'm doing my civic duty than when I see young people who have internalized the message of VOTE!

Today, I feel like I live in a country where I'm a much more electable candidate. So while I have no plans to stop writing musicals any time soon, I'm glad to know we're moving towards a more inclusive nation. One where, if I wanted to, I could. Being a blonde Buddhist girl who'd like to see all my gay friends married wouldn't exclude me. I believe we'll re-up our commitment to that today. Participating in your own destiny is your right and also your great challenge. 

See you at the polls. 

BONUS. This is one of the coolest things. Leave it to The Guardian to make this amazing graphic novel about the American Presidential Election. You get in there, Brits.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Have Jetta, Will Travel

Will you forgive me, dear readers, if today I'm kind of boring and just post a picture of my new car? At least it's not some pretentious car.... like some people have been known to do... RIGHT?? 

It's been a big day. And I'm happy to report that I have regained my driver's license after the worst administrative nightmare of my life and am the prouder owner of an adorable candy white Jetta with tan interior. I'm really exhausted from the anticipation, really. And very very thankful for family and friends who support me, who've housed me, and chauffeured me around. Hollywood is really happening now. But first, I'd like to pick some friends up and just drive. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

When I Look Back On Those Neon Nights - Miss Atomic Bomb

Almost every song ever written by The Killers carries a kind of inescapable Vegas about it. They aren't just from here-- they radiate the ambience of here. A perpetual nostalgia. They also seem to understand the significance of their origin. They lean into it. Sam's Town. And this latest effort, our state motto: Battle Born. I wonder if that Vegas palate they paint with is detectable to anyone not from here. Once, in the radio station here, I told Kade that "When You  Were Young" was what growing up in Vegas sounded like. He thought about for a minute, and then agreed. 

"Miss Atomic Bomb" sees that feeling and then raises it with so much local specificity and ambience, it puts a squeeze on my heart a bit. My hometown band still has the same sound they've always had (there's a guitar homage to "Mr. Brightside" on "Miss Atomic Bomb," as if Mister & Miss were a couple) but I do think they've grown. Brandon Flowers has never sounded better. And this is one of the most beautifully shot performance videos I've ever seen. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Shout Outs From The Swing States Friday Links

Greetings from Las Vegas in the latest adventure in returning to functioning adulthood. I'm not sure whether I'm more excited to finally have wheels again or to vote. Since it's the last links day before the election, there might be a few more of that variety on here than usual. Bear with me. It's important. 

Here are your links:

- Oh, wait, you mean the economy DOESN'T grow when you tax the rich less??
- Way to show 'em how it's done, George Lucas. Bravo!
- Another rich guy with a heap of sense. Bloomberg endorses Obama.
- More good reads on wealth in America. 
- More on values. Interesting. 
- Go balls out, I guess Jonathan Chait. No arguments over here. 
- Probabilities are not the same as predictions. AKA, get off Nate Silver's back.
- More Cronin!
- Better Book Titles. 
- If VOTE! were on the Daily Show, might look a little something like this. And this
- It's the perfect time to buy the VOTE! Cast Album if you don't have it already!
- It's a little old, but I'm obsessed with this LA neighborhood demographics guide

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Martyred Queens For the Modern Audience

You didn't think I'd forgotten about Scotland, did you? I definitely haven't. I'm still looking for Scotland everywhere I go. Including here in Hollywood. So today, let's talk about two Mary Queen of Scots projects that are in the pipeline. 

The first, I'm quite excited about, if only because it marks a drastic upgrade in casting-- IMO. Working Title is putting together a biopic of Mary in younger days with Saoirse Ronan. I'm a big fan of the gal and am just so so so thankful we won't have to watch Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson her way through it. I find her clunky and I just can't deal with her in period pieces. I find her insufferable. And every time I think about her being Natalie Portman's sister in The Other Boleyn Girl, I throw up a little in my mouth. So kudos, Working Title, for moving away from her and onto Saoirse. 

The second is either going to be brilliant or an utter disaster: a teen show for CW, also about Mary's younger days in France called Reign. The network describes the show as Game of Thrones meets Marie Antoinette. But that's not all! The description goes on... "...if Marie Antoinette had a girl posse and was coming of age as a Warrior Queen..." So, take that as you will. No word on casting yet. 

While she's been played by many great actresses-- Katharine Hepburn, Vanessa Redgraves, Samantha Morton (though that Scottish brogue was a bit misleading)-- probably the best recent film portrayal is by French actress Clemence Poesy. Best overall portrayal: The AMAZING Janet McTeer in the superbly crafted Schiller play, Mary Stuart

My obsession with MQoS virtually guarantees that I will watch/own/write about both of these projects. I never get sick of takes on her story. But I hope they're handled well. Or I'll be mad I didn't get a crack at the story myself. One day, Steven and I are gonna get to that martyred queen song cycle we always talked about doing. But what do you think? Over the top fabulous? Ghetto Camp Fabulous? Horrific?

Why Stop Now?

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