Meryl Streep attends TIFF13; ‘Into the Woods’ movie filming at Dover castle soon?

I literally bumped into Meryl Streep @ David Pecaut Square. We were both trying to avoid the crowds! Hahahaha #TIFF13

Tweet @JsnJWlsn

Showed Meryl Streep to her seat tonight at the theatre. It was pure unadulterated awesome…

Tweet – @DavieKB

A casting notice has gone out in anticipation of a reported on location UK shoot as part of director Rob Marshall’s big screen adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim & James Lapine fairy tale-themed musical INTO THE WOODS, starring Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp.

Scheduled for the end of this month, Disney is now casting people in the UK ages 16 through 90 with “easy access to Dover or Canterbury.”

Given the location and its proximity to landmark Dover Castle, it appears Cinderella’s castle as seen onscreen – and as portrayed by Anna Kendrick – may very well have a real-life historical background.

Additionally, as for the casting notice itself, producers are seeking “men who are between 5ft 6in and 6ft 2in tall and ladies of dress sizes ranging for six to 14”.

And, as for the payment? A minimum of £102 per day.

According to the announcement, “applicants must be available for filming in Dover on Wednesday, September 25, and Thursday, September 26.”

Also, casting will reportedly be completed “immediate[ly] to allow costume fittings”.

The confirmed complete cast for INTO THE WOODS is as follows: Meryl Streep as The Witch, James Corden as The Baker, Emily Blunt as The Baker’s Wife, Johnny Depp as The Wolf, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Chris Pine as Cinderella’s Prince, Billy Magnussen as Rapunzel’s Prince, Mackenzie Mauzy as Rapunzel, Lucy Punch as Lucinda, Tammy Blanchard as Florinda, Christine Baranski as Cinderella’s Stepmother and Tracey Ullman as Jack’s Mother, now with Sophia Grace Brownlee as Little Red Riding Hood and Daniel Huttlestone as Jack.



INTO THE WOODS film to hit theaters Christmas Day 2014!

The big-screen adaptation of INTO THE WOODS has officially received a release date.

Disney announced this evening that Rob Marshall‘s film, based upon Stephen Sondheim‘s classic musical, will hit theaters nationwide on December 25, 2014.

The film also recently gained director of photography Dion Beebe, who has previously worked with Marshall on the Oscar-winning Memoirs of a Geisha, Chicago and Nine.

Emily Blunt (as The Baker’s Wife), Meryl Streep (as The Witch) and Johnny Depp (as The Wolf) are set to star in the project. Jake Gyllenhaal and Chris Pine are reportedly still in talks for roles (as Cinderella’s Prince and Rapunzel’s Prince), as are 2012 Tony Award winner James Corden (as The Baker), SMASH star Megan Hilty (as a Stepsister), Tracey Ullman (as Jack’s mother) and Christine Baranski, who was part of the original reading last October, for the role of Cinderella’s evil stepmother.

INTO THE WOODS is heading to London to begin shooting this September. James Lapine, the original book writer of INTO THE WOODS, is reworking the script for the screenplay, while Sondheim has also written new material for the film, including “Rainbows”, a duet between the Baker and his Wife, as well as a new song for Streep as the Witch.


Eastwood Directs: The Untold Story (2013); The Public Theater Annual Gala – Postponed for June 11

This unprecedented new film focuses on Eastwood’s directorial method thanks to producing partners and fellow actors sharing never-before-told stories of working with Clint. It explores Eastwood’s signature style, dissecting the skills that have ensured his four decades of success. Bringing together the insights of Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman and many others, the film creates the complete picture of the man, the colleague, the creator.

Also The Public Theater announced last month that Public Theater alumna and Academy Award winner Meryl Streep and Sir Howard Stringer will honor their friend and colleague, the late Nora Ephron, at The Public’s Gala on Monday, June 10 at the Delacorte Theater, where the benefit evening will culminate in a concert performance of THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE.

However, The Public Theater tweeted yesterday that the event was postponed for tonight, June 11.

Due to weather, our gala perf of PIRATES OF PENZANCE has been rescheduled for tomorrow. THE COMEDY OF ERRORS will resume on Wednesday!


Jason Robert Brown’s THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY Musical to open at Schoenfeld Theatre in February 2014

 The Bridges of Madison County”, a new musical, based on the best selling novel by Robert James Waller, will begin performances on Monday, January 13, 2014, at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre (236 West 45th Street), with an opening night late February 2014. This story about a devoted Iowa housewife and her unlikely love affair with a National Geographic photographer has inspired seven of the theater’s most distinguished artists to create a new Broadway musical.

Bridges features music and lyrics by Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown (Parade, The Last Five Years) and a book by Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Marsha Norman (‘night Mother, The Color Purple, The Secret Garden). It will be directed by Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher (The Light in the Piazza, Awake and Sing, Golden Boy), who reunites with his celebrated Tony Award-winning South Pacific design team, including scenic design by Michael Yeargan, costume design by Catherine Zuber, and lighting design by Donald Holder. Sound Design is by Jon Weston (How to Succeed…, The Color Purple).


Nearly Naked with Meryl Streep

I can’t quite explain how it happened, but last night I found myself performing in my underwear for Meryl Streep.

Well, I can explain part of it—the part that wasn’t the direct result of the Gods of Off-Off-Broadway Theater.

My good friend Hanah Fazio wrote a play called “The Miss Woman Pageant 2013,” which was accepted into the Manhattan Repertory Theatre’s Spring One-Act Competition. Hanah invited me and two of our actor friends to perform in her show (fun fact about me: I was a theater major in college before I decided journalism was a more stable career path—what was I thinking? But I digress. Back to stripping for Meryl).

The play is a satirical beauty pageant in which a cringingly sexist emcee puts three female contestants through three increasingly degrading rounds of pageantry. There’s a round of Q&A (“Contestant Number Two, what do you think it means to be a woman?”), a talent portion (wherein I perform a lip-synch to “Zou Bisou Bisou” á la Mad Men’s Megan Draper), and, finally, an “underpants round,” in which the contestants appear on stage in their underwear and beg the audience to tell them they’re pretty. The curtain comes down on a clothes-less heap of young women.

Tuesday was opening night. We pulled on our tacky pageant dresses and applied our gaudy make-up in a makeshift dressing room in the tiny, one-room theater. We were hardly nervous—the theater only seated 40 people, and from the sounds of applause we heard from backstage, it was clear that the audience was only a quarter full.

The musical stylings of the “POT LEDOM” song from America’s Next Top Model cued our grand entrance. We strutted onstage in our ill-fitting, flashy gowns. We cranked out our ridiculous poses. We pursed our lips in the most glorious of duck-faces. We stared out at the audience.

I saw Mamie Gummer first, in the center of the second row. My knees wobbled in my already unsteady heels. Through the haze of the stage lights I could see there was an older, blond woman next to her—a stealthy glance leftward confirmed my prediction. It was Meryl Streep—brilliant, beautiful, Oscar winning, incomparable Meryl Streep. She was ten feet away from me. She was smiling. But seriously, you guys—Meryl Streep!

A fantasy flashed before my eyes wherein Meryl—I consider us to be on first-name basis now—would approach me after the show and tell me I was just perfect for her next Hollywood blockbuster project. Then she would whisk me away to a red carpet somewhere and I’d become super famous and next thing I’d know, I’d be thanking her in my Academy Award acceptance speech. Jordyn, I told myself, this needs to be the greatest performance of your life.

Of course, it wasn’t. My nerves made me stumble over the lines in my opening monologue. Brittany threw a prop off-stage and knocked over a pile of stepping stools. Victoria tripped over Brittany’s gown and fell; her leg was bleeding for the rest of the play. But despite the setbacks, we were putting on a half-decent performance: My girl Meryl was relaxed in her chair and laughing out loud.

To top things off, the play ended with the underpants round. It’s hard enough being nearly naked in front of an audience of strangers; had to be nearly naked in front of a goddess. But If I died tomorrow, I’d be happy knowing that at least I’d sung a song to Meryl Streep wearing nothing but my bra and panties.

“I loved, loved, loved the girl play,” Meryl Streep told us after the playWe all drooled. “It’s true. It’s so fucking true.”

Then she gave us a thumbs-up, winked, and disappeared around the corner. Our mouths were agape. Our lives were made. I think Hanah almost cried. I vowed never to change my underwear again.

Official article

The Clintons, Gabrielle Giffords, Meryl Streep and more visit Ann on Broadway, starring Holland Taylor

Holland Taylor and Meryl Streep

Politics and theatre united March 12 at the Vivian Beamont Theater when former U.S. President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords visited the Broadway production of Ann, about larger-than-life Texas Governor Ann Richards.

Holland Taylor, who wrote and stars in the piece, portrays the loquacious, non-nonsense politician who was the second woman elected as the governor of the Lone-Star State. Ann opened on Broadway March 7 after playing engagements in Texas, Chicago and Washington, DC. Critics embraced the production.

Last evening, the production was also embraced by some folks who knew Richards well – in addition to Taylor’s  friends and colleagues. On hand at the performance were the Clintons; Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark E. Kelly; as well as Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep.

Taylor tweeted: “Proud night at ANN. President Clinton, Secy. of State Clinton Rep. Gabby Giffords -and, gasp, Meryl Streep- at show.”

The evening turned slightly meta when Taylor, as Richards, engaged in a phone call with Bill Clinton who was president during the time the play is set.

Clinton, who was close to Richards, offered the following statement about the performance: “Ann Richards was very special to me. This whole thing tonight was a gift.”

Also in attendance were a group of ushers from The Kennedy Center, where Ann played last winter. The group took a bus to New York City from Washington, DC to surprise Taylor at the March 12 evening performance.

Taylor also tweeted: “AND a BIG group of wonderful Kennedy Center Ushers who traveled up from DC to see their own personal ANN. Joy 2nite.”

Read the fall 2011 interview with Taylor, who spoke about Ann during the time of its Kennedy Center engagement. Or read the recent March 2013 Playbill magazine feature on Taylor and Ann.

Ann is currently scheduled to continue its Broadway run through June 9. Read’s coverage of the play here.

Here’s how Ann is characterized: “Holland Taylor steps into the shoes of Ann Richards, the impassioned Governor of Texas who dedicated her life to empowering, expanding and enriching the lives of her constituents, friends and family. Ann is an inspiring and hilarious new play that brings you face to face with a complex, colorful and captivating character bigger than the state from which she hailed. Taylor takes the audience on a journey, neither political nor a history lesson, swirling together the past and present to reunite Ann Richards with old friends and introduce her to a new generation.”

Holland Taylor chats with Meryl Streep and the Clintons


Also some new photos:

AnnOpeningNight-003-002 AnnOpeningNight-003-001 AnnOpeningNight-006