May 23, 2017

Dina Merrill died on Monday, May 22nd at the age of 93.

She was the quintessential upper crust American sophisticate. Soft spoken but determined, the heiress to two vast fortunes and devoted philanthropist supporting an array of causes from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to the Republican Pro-Choice Coalition (yep, there was one).

As a child she dreamed of costarring with Cary Grant. In 1959 in "Operation Petticoat," she did, and beautifully. Her father, the financier E.F. Hutton, always wanted her to be a lawyer and a Congresswoman. But from the age of five, she insisted on being an actress.

Check out this video interview with delicious film clips of her work, complete with her reaction to the news that Marlon Brando was reluctant to do a screen test with her. (One did not mess with M...

May 17, 2017

Love this article in The New York Times about all the amazing hats on Broadway this season. Yes, a whole article about HATS may seem trivial, anachronistic and indulgent.

But really, what a lovely respite from "the news." Think of it as a mini vacation.

Why not go all the way and sip a martini or some champagne while you're reading it?

Lah dee dah.

  Above: Bette Midler in Hello Dolly

  Below: Anastasia

May 10, 2017

It all started with "The Bridge" (AKA "Bron"). A friend turned me on to this amazing Scandinavian thriller of a series, such a worldwide mega-hit that it spawned several offspring, among them the excellent British/French production "The Tunnel." I was instantly addicted and wanted more. And boy, did I find it! If you love great television you have to check out these series. Not by many means exhaustive, the list below includes a few that come immediately to mind, in approximate order of bingeworthiness, but they're all fantastic. 

And they all have this in common: a gripping story, supported by top notch writing, direction, acting, cinematography, art direction and superb production values. Add the bonus of fascinating locales like Paris, London, Rome, Copenhagen and windswept countryside fr...

May 3, 2017

If you already adore "Better Call Saul," as I do, check out this great interview in The Hollywood Reporter with writer/director/producer Thomas Schnauz. It's full of inside tidbits about everything from DP Marshall Adams's cinematographic feats to why Chuck (Michael McKean) is such a dick to how long it took Giancarlo Esposito to sink his tin foil basket.

And if you don't know the show yet, you're in for a treat.

I'll admit it took me a while to embrace the cult of "Breaking Bad." Then I caved and immediately, obsessively, binged the entire show in all its seasons. And everything changed. Watching that show changed me, as an actor and as a viewer. It altered my zeitgeist (as it already had the culture's).

Now we have 'Better Call Saul' in its third great season. The same bu...

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