The New A-List Of 2015

The Daily Beast claims that these are the stars-in-the-making for the new year. I’m skeptical. A lot of them — James Corden, Jamie Dornan — were tipped as stars-in-the-making last year. Pictured is Cara Delevingne, the supermodel who’s about to pop up in five movies. I’m not expecting an Oscar noms for her, but she is pretty, in a too-tall, too-skinny kind of way.

Daniels: Arab Culture Promotes Peace

At the Dubai International Film Festival, where he was head of the jury, director Lee (“The Butler”) Daniels made a discovery: ‘What I’ve learned is that I’ve been brainwashed. I have been brainwashed since a child about the Arabic culture,” he said. Daniels claimed that the view of Arabic culture presented to him in the U.S. was not one of peace. “But I’ve learned there are peaceful people. And the injustices and the atrocities that have happened are insurmountable. That America does not lend the support that they should. And it’s not right.” Just remember, Lee: you’re gay, and homosexuality is illegal, with harsh punishments, in Dubai and virtually all other countries in the Middle East. How peaceful is that? Lee is getting ready to shoot a Richard Pryor biopic, in which his good buddy Oprah will play Pryor’s prostitute grandmother.

“The Interview” Is Getting Dangerous

I had planned to give “The Interview,” the new comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco about North Korea, a pass. All the good jokes seemed to be in the trailer. But in light of the Sony hacking scandal the movie has gotten radioactive: there are threats against cinemas planning to show the movie. The New York premiere, scheduled for tomorrow night, has been cancelled. Suddenly, I’m thinking: I have to buy a ticket and go! The conspiracy theorist in me is starting to wonder: are the email leaks part of a giant plot to promote “The Interview”? (Nothing can be done to promote Sony’s other holiday release, “Annie,” which is stinkier than one of dog Sandy’s turds.)

“Not The Messiah”: Thank God!

This was my kind of holiday outing. Last night, I went to see Carnegie Hall for the joyously blasphemous “Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy),” a comic oratorio based on Monty Python’s 1979 film, “Life of Brian.” A concert that flies off the Handel, the work features a libretto by the Python Eric Idle and music by Mr. Idle’s “Monty Python’s Spamalot” collaborator John Du Prez. It enlisted the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Collegiate Chorale and soloists drawn from, as Mr. Idle said, “the finest talents apparently unemployed on Broadway.” All the soloists, including Victoria Clark, Lauren Worsham, and Marc Kudisch (pictured), were wonderful, and I was Read more »

Nicki’s New Album: The Verdict

Several critics get to grips with Nicki Minaj’s latest album, “The Pinkprint,” one that won’t please hip-hop purists, but shows she can craft power pop and still deliver killer rap verses.

This Show Needs A New Title

A new musical called “Something Rotten!is headed for Broadway. It’s about two brothers, in Shakespeare’s shadow, trying to write the first-ever musical comedy. Anything with “rotten” is likely to founder, so Hal Rubenstein and I came up with these alternate titles: “Rag-Thames,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To Elsinore,” “Ham-mitt,” “A One and a Tu and a Three,” and, my favorite, “Avon Calling.”

“Frozen” Director Is Sorry For “Let It Go”

Too little too late! “Frozen” has completely dominated 2014, earning $1.27 billion worldwide and becoming the fifth-highest grossing film of all time, as well as the highest in its genre. And we all know the Oscar-winning song “Let It Go” has been parodied and covered beyond exhaustion. “Frozen” director Jennifer Lee now says that she apologies to parents for the song. Read more »