"I was delighted to read about your interest in sharing the big screen with me. I am a little occupied at the moment, but perhaps someday... My only condition is that there be Muppets involved, and that is non-negotiable."—Hillary Clinton responds to Jason Segel's public pleas to play his mom on How I Met Your Mother. This is probably good news to Suzie Plakson, who has played the role since the show began in 2005.
I've been getting a kick out of these Blythe Danner commercials for Prolia. Please understand that I loves me some Blythe Danner, and if she can cash in on post-menopausal osteoporosis, more power to her. What makes me giggle is that she's backstage, getting ready to go on stage while an orchestra is tuning up. When Blythe saunters out, she throws her arms in the air and dozens of people applaud. Because she's a star. But it begs the question, how many one-woman shows does Blythe do? Any? Ever?
Blythe would have fit in well at the 28th Annual Southland Theatre Artists Goodwill Event (aka STAGE). The theme for this year's concert was Original Cast 3—luminaries recreating numbers they performed on the Great White Way. Without a doubt, the show was easily stolen by Lillias White. Back in 1997 when she performed "The Oldest Profession" every night in The Life, she routinely stopped the show and got a standing ovation. This evening was no different. When she returned to open the second half as part of a Dreamgirls sequence, same thing. And what a treat to have the original Lorelle, Loretta Devine, tear into "Ain't No Party" (if you're a fan of these ladies or the show, you might wanna check out our website).
There were too many other exceptional performances to mention, but I'd be remiss if I didn't say it was magical to have the 96-year-old Patricia Morison sing "Getting To Know You" (with nary a Siamese child in sight), Constance Towers returning to Showboat, Adrienne Barbeau's heartfelt Rizzo, and David Burnham's glistening "Light in the Piazza". Special kudos to John McDaniel for providing far more than just accompaniment—his sense of balance and guidance carried the entire show to stupendous heights. And congrats to my buddy Leslie Jordan, who was honored at the event, which raised over $200,000 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Congrats!
Obviously STAGE was hard to beat in terms of theatre history. But the next night I found myself watching Russell Brand, Billy Connolly, Tim Curry, Eric Idle, Eddie Izzard, Jim Piddock, Sophie Winkleman, Jane Leeves and Tracey Ullman. That's pretty damn historic, too. They all appeared in Eric Idle's What About Dick? which was performed as a radio play at Los Angeles' historic Orpheum Theatre. I wish I could explain the story, but it's far too outrageous and surreal —in fact, it was very reminiscent of The Goon Shows, of which I am a huge fan. The performance was filmed for DVD, and devotees of British comedy should grab it the moment it's released.
Oh, let me go back briefly to STAGE. The show opened with the ageless Bonnie Franklin performing the title number from Applause. She brought another of my dear friends to the event —Glenn Scarpelli, who was her co-star for three seasons on One Day at a Time. The previous week, the cast of that sitcom received the Innovation Award at the TV Land Awards in NYC. It was presented to them by the fabulous Fran Drescher, who just received some great news of her own—TV Land picked up her sitcom Happily Divorced for a third season.
The cast of Murphy Brown was honored at the TV Land Awards with the Impact Award. Creator Diane English chose this evening to share a bit of exciting news—Murphy might be headed back to the airwaves! Back in 2008, English tried to revive the character for a series of political commentaries to air during the presidential election. The network passed. This time around, she has a different idea—a handful of actual episodes that could take place over the election season (kinda like AbFab returning for a few specials—can't wait till the Olympics). While English admits she hasn't gotten all of the kinks worked out, she said, "I'd love to have the show back on during this election year. We're having a little conversation with CBS about a few episodes and I think it's possible."
While one show might come back, another show is leaving...and just in the nick of time. Rumor has it that the atmosphere on the set of Desperate Housewives has been less than genial. TV Guide recently did an article about the emotional series finale and disclosed some interesting details. First, when the cast assembled for the table reading of the last episode, there was one notable person absent—Teri Hatcher, who was in Las Vegas hosting an ABC event. When the magazine got the cast to discuss their feelings and reactions, the word "us" was used quite a lot. What follows is a direct quote from the article: "If you've picked up that 'us' seems to consistently exclude Hatcher a lot lately, there's a reason—just not one anyone wishes to discuss on the record. Suffice it to say, something went down two seasons ago that created a deep rift with Hatcher, who physically separates herself from the others during breaks in filming." They reached out to Hatcher, and she issued this cryptic comment: "I will never disclose the true and complicated journey of us all, but I wish everyone on this show well." If I may decipher, I believe that means Nicollette was the nice one!
Speaking of complicated journeys, more than a few of you have asked about the connection between a few famous gay couples. You all know about Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka's twins, and I told you that David also had a set of twins with his previous partner. You also know about Matt Bomer and his significant other Simon Halls and their three kids. In fact, Simon and Matt posed together at the recent American Fertility Association's Illuminations 2012. Some of you wondered if the two couples are connected, so I did some research—which I live to do. The results surprised even moi, and I'll post what I've been able to piece together on my website.
Lance Bass brought 10 of his favorite people to St. Martin for his birthday—including a very handsome Michael Turchin, who he is reportedly dating. The twosome cut a sexy figure in the surf...as you'll see when you check out the photos on BillyMasters.com.
Remember those rumors about designer Marc Jacobs dating Brazilian porn star Harry Louis? Apparently there's something to them. The couple was spotted on an Ipanema beach and cavorting inside a Rio nightclub. While Marc hasn't made any public declarations, Harry is constantly Tweeting things like "Watching the sunset with my gorgeous bf" and has taken down his Rentboy ad - which, as you know, is always a sign of true love. I'll run some photos on my website. And, how fortuitous that Harry has a new porn scene with sexy Shane Frost on UKNakedMen.com. I'll run that, too.
Lastly, Mark Wahlberg is returning to his roots by flaunting his fantastic physique. First there were those photos of him in hip briefs with some little projectile poking straight out. Now we've got him prancing around wearing only an apron that says "Kiss the Cook". Apparently, this is for a scene in his new movie "Pain and Gain" which is filming in Miami. Photos to follow on BillyMasters.com.
When Marky Mark is starting to show skin again, it's definitely time to end yet another column. For more delightful dish, head on over to www.BillyMasters.com - the site that always delivers. And if I can assist any of you, just drop a li'l ole note to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Marc Jacobs finds his next boyfriend via RentBoy. So, until next time, remember, one man's filth is another man's bible.