Long Before Oprah There Was Della

Mayukh Sen reports: ‘Depending on whom you ask, the name Della Reese conjures a different cultural memory. For most, it evokes Tess, the wry, sarcastic, kind-hearted angel she played in mid-’90s staple Touched by an Angel. For others, it’d be the landlady Della Rogers in the ’70s television show Chico and the Man or her lead role as Victoria Royal in the short-lived The Royal Family in the early ‘90s opposite Redd Foxx. Or, perhaps, they’d recognize her voice, popularized by such singles as 1959’s “Don’t You Know?” and her 1960 rendition of “Someday (You’ll Want Me to Want You)”. But Della Reese isn’t just a successful singer or actress. Her legacy is far more profound: Reese was the first black woman to host her own syndicated talk show in the United States. This historic fact, though, has been reduced to a footnote in her biography for a simple, maddening reason. Read more »

Judge: Peter Doig Didn’t Paint It

peter-doig-painting-0823-jpg-20160823Stamping an emphatic end to a legal case that drew the attention of the international art world, a federal judge on Tuesday ruled that a painting owned by a Canadian man is not the work of famous artist Peter Doig. Doig, whose paintings sell for millions of dollars, “absolutely did not paint the disputed work,” U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman said, adding that the testimony and documents presented at a seven-day trial “conclusively” show the artist did not paint the desert scene in 1976.

New Sondheim Musical: “Gorgeous”

sondheimdownloadStephen Sondheim’s first new musical since “Road Show” in 2008 had a ”top secret” reading in New York last week, and The New York Post quotes a source saying, “The music was gorgeous.” Inspired by two surrealist films by Spanish director Luis Buñuel, the musical is being developed at The Public Theater—incubator of “Hair,” “A Chorus Line” and “Hamilton”—under the working title “Buñuel.” The reading was performed by a cast that included Norm Lewis, Shuler Hensley, Sierra Boggess, Nancy Opel and Marc Kudisch. The Post’s unnamed source was quoted saying, “It reminded me of [Sondheim’s 1994 show] ‘Passion,’ where Steve’s music flows in and out of the storyline. It’s not an old-fashioned Sondheim show — you know, song, dialogue, then a song. It’s much more seamless.” Read more »

They Knew How To Make Posters Then

beatposterIn 1953, when “Beat the Devil” was released. The movie has suffered since. Jeff Wells says: “There are supposedly two edits of the film. One is described as a ‘butchered’ short version; the other as longer but with better continuity. The longer version is also listed as either elusive or practically impossible to get.” Maybe Gina has a copy — she’s still alive!

Amy Schumer Slams Met Gala

amy378911BF00000578-3755816-image-m-99_1472017291100She won’t be appearing on the cover of Vogue again any time soon: Amy Schumer has slammed the Met Gala. The 35-year-old comedian attended the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala in May this year but insisted it was her first and last time because she hated every minute of it. Speaking to Howard Stern on his Sirius XM show, she said that the event was more ‘like a punishment’ than a fun evening. Why is Amy opening her flap now? She’s got a book to promote.

Iron Man Female Won’t Be Iron Woman

iron814They could have gone for Iron Woman – or perhaps Iron Maiden – but the creators of Riri Williams, the black woman who is set to don the suit of Iron Man later this year, have revealed that the character will be known as Ironheart. Williams is a science genius who enrolled in MIT at the age of 15, and who has been shown reverse-engineering for one of the current Iron Man Tony Stark’s suits in her dorm room. She will begin her story in November, in the Marvel comic Invincible Read more »

With Sarah You Can See The Sweat

Sarah Vaughan was a spectacular singer, but you could see the sweat. Check out this 1964 live performance of “Misty.” The song was written by Erroll Garner, and was a signature of Johnny Mathis.