Madoff and OJ — Two Notorious Stories with East End Ties

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Richard Dreyfuss and Blythe Danner hit the beach in “Madoff.”

Those of you who like (possibly) good TV about bad stuff going down are in for double the guilty pleasure this week. “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” series premiers tomorrow night, Tuesday, February 2, on FX and “Madoff” will air on two consecutive nights, Wednesday and Thursday, February 3 and 4, on ABC.

Though “Madoff” is clearly strongly connected to the Hamptons, both of these notorious stories actually have considerable East End ties.

The four-hour “Madoff” series has been reported to be based on the 2009 book “The Madoff Chronicles: Inside the Secret World of Bernie and Ruth,” by Brian Ross. The series stars Richard Dreyfuss as Montauk-based Bernie Madoff and Blythe Danner (who lives right here and whom we’ve seen on at Guild Hall in East Hampton a bunch of times in various shows and such) as his wife, Ruth. Look also for Lewis Black and Peter Scolari–I’ve interviewed both of them. Cool.

“The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” is a limited series that takes you inside the O.J. Simpson trial with a riveting look at the legal teams battling to convict or acquit the football legend of double homicide. Based on the book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin, it explores the chaotic behind-the-scenes dealings and maneuvering on both sides of the court, and how a combination of prosecution overconfidence, defense shrewdness, and the LAPD’s history with the city’s African-American community gave a jury what it needed: reasonable doubt.

It’s from Executive Producers Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski and Brad Falchuk (Gwyneth’s new guy), and stars John Travolta, Cuba Gooding Jr., Sarah Paulson (who plays Marcia Clark and was last seen on the Bay Street stage), David Schwimmer, Courtney B. Vance, Sterling Brown, Nathan Lane  who owns a house in East Hampton Village and who looks awesome as F. Lee Bailey), Kenneth Choi, Christian Clemenson and Bruce Greenwood.

 

 

Nathan Lane Gets ‘Naughty’

 

naughtymabel

Double congrats are in order for East Hamptoners Nathan Lane and Devlin Elliott, who recently published the children’s book “Naughty Mabel” AND who finally tied the knot in November after 18 years together.

The talented pair–Lane is a Tony-, Obie- and Emmy Award-winning actor and Elliott is a producer and playwright–based the cutesy kids’ book (illustrated by Dan Krall) on their 9-year-old pet French bulldog, who Lane likens to a slightly less well mannered canine version of Eloise. The East End is featured quite a bit in the story, which tells that amusing tale of a pampered pup who takes center stage at her parents’ party. According to the book’s brief intro, “Mabel is the fanciest French bulldog the Hamptons have ever seen. She’s  sassy, classy (and sometimes a bit gassy!), but especially … naughty!”

Fun fact, the real Mabel was a gift from another famous East End resident–the playwright Terrence McNally–and his partner, Tom Kirdahy.

 

Jason Alexander Spills Some “Seinfeld” Beans to Howard Stern

Jason Alexander on the Howard Stern Show.

Jason Alexander on the Howard Stern Show.

Much ado has been made of Jason Alexander’s guest appearance on “The Howard Stern Show” on Sirius XM on Wednesday, particularly as it relates to the killing off of his character’s fiancee, Susan, on “Seinfeld.”

First off, I’m a huge fan of the show and I find reason to bring some scenario up from it several times a week. Seriously. And forget about it when I was actually in the presence of Jerry Seinfeld at the Hampton Classic a few years ago. That was super cool. But, I’ve always been bothered about the way they ended the George and Susan engagement. Of course it didn’t leave as bad a taste in my mouth as it did the former NBC executive’s …

I know, that was bad but I just had to.

Now that I know why, and not just because every member of the gang is a bad apple who deserves what they finally got coming to them in the last episode, I find Susan’s demise just a little bit more palatable. Not sure if Heidi Swedberg would feel the same way, however.

The Stern interview also shed some additional light on Alexander’s casting as the world’s most memorable sidekick. Did you know that Nathan Lane (who lives in East Hampton), Steve Buscemi, Danny DeVito, Chris Rock, Paul Shaffer, Brad Hall, David Alan Grier and Larry Miller were all considered for the role? It’s true.

Listen here for the full interview:

https://www.howardstern.com/show/2015/6/3/wednesdays-show/

Holy Hamptons Theater Trifecta!

Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in a scene from "The Producers."

Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in a scene from “The Producers.”

I’m so excited that Nathan Lane and Mathew Broderick are teaming up for another go-round on Broadway. Woohoo!
Even better, the classic (multiple Tony Award-winning) comedy duo will be uttering words written by none other than the brilliant four-time Tony Award-winner Terrence McNally–another East Ender. The two will lead an all-star cast of during a limited run of “It’s Only a Play,” which also features F. Murray Abraham, Stockard Channing, Megan Mullally and Micah Stock. The play, directed by three-time Tony winner Jack O’Brien, opens at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on October 9 and will run through January 4. I’m predicting that tickets will sell out in a hot second.
Here’s the synopsis: It’s opening night of Peter Austin’s (Matthew Broderick) new play as he anxiously awaits to see if his show is a hit. With his career on the line, he shares his big First Night with his best friend, a television star (Nathan Lane), his fledgling producer (Megan Mullally), his erratic leading lady (Stockard Channing), his wunderkind director, an infamous drama critic (F. Murray Abraham) and a fresh-off-the-bus coat check attendant (Micah Stock in his Broadway debut).
This terrific theatrical sendup should be a delicious romp. After all, there’s no business like show business. Learn more at http://www.itsonlyaplay.com.

Hamptons Actors Shine on ‘The Good Wife’

Hamptons Actors Shine on 'The Good Wife'

It seems as if “The Good Wife” is taking a cue from the “Law & Order” playbook and stacking the deck with more and more familiar faces from the Hamptons.
Of course there’s series star Josh Charles, who plays the former lover and current nemesis (though things are slowly warming up again it seems) of lead Juliana Marguilies and who has also taken the field during the annual Artists & Writers game. I can’t remember how he played the year I saw him but I do recall that he was taller than I had previously thought and also had notably slender calves Yes, that sounds weird that I would notice that but I was mainly camped out at shin level, sitting on the ground between home and first base to get the best shots of everyone at bat.
But back to “The Good Wife, which also boasts prominent cast members, East Hampton’s Nathan Lane and Alan Cumming, who is a regular at the raucous Watermill Center fundraiser. And last night, Polly Draper (Fun fact–she’s also a Hoosier, like me, by birth.) appeared as lawyer Lorainne Joy. I’m guessing by the storyline that it’s not the last we will see of her.
Bay Street audiences will remember Polly’s powerful performance in the one-woman show “My Brilliant Divorce” in 2012. It was one of my East End stage faves. Here’s the review: http://www.27east.com/%2Fnews%2Farticle.cfm%2FSag-Harbor%2F426735%2FDivorce-Is-Brilliant
*Photo by me at an Artists & Writers game of yore.
Happy Monday!

One More Shot at ‘Sex and the City’

One More Shot at 'Sex and the City'

It’s fitting that on the 10th anniversary of the HBO show ending, the buzz seems to be building that there really might be a third and final “Sex and the City” movie.
Bridgehampton’s Sarah Jessica Parker told InStyle magazine back in January that she was hopeful. And Executive Producer Michael Patrick King has been overheard intimating as much over the past month or so. He recently told Entertainment Weekly, “I think there’s one chapter left.”
We’ll see. At least as long as it’s more like the television show and the first movie and less like the second.
I didn’t really watch the show when I lived in the city but during the last couple of seasons (after I had moved a train ride away), I’ll admit that I found myself tuning in, if only to catch glimpses of some of my old haunts. And then there were Chris Noth, Mikhail Baryshnikov and East Hampton’s Kyle MacLachlan, who I caught up with at the Hampton Classic this summer.
Sure, as Trey MacDougal he ended up being kind of a dud but c’mon, we can’t forget about”Twin Peaks”–one of my all-time favorite TV shows–“Blue Velvet” and even “Dune.”
I say that IF there is another “Sex and the City” movie, it should be set at least partly in the Hamptons and that Kyle, East Hampton’s Nathan Lane (cabaret singer and pianist Bobby Fine) and David Eigenberg (who starred in the original staged production of Joe Pintauro’s “Men’s Lives” way before he became Steve Brady) all get significant screen time this time around.
*My photo, 2013 Hampton Classic.

Golden Globes: Hamptons Party West

Golden Globes: Hamptons Party West

I was keeping track of all our Hamptonites and Hamptons-related celebrities last night at the Golden Globes and boy oh boy did we ever represent!
Here’s the list of nominees and winners, with a few East End tidbits where I know them to be. More info is available from my Twitter account at @hamptonsprtygal.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Winner: Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine–Filmed on the East End, specifically Quogue and East Quogue and based on the life and crimes of Montauk’s Bernie Madoff.
Lupita N’yongo, 12 Years a Slave–Was screened at the Hamptons International Film Festival, hereafter referred to as “HIFF,” this year.
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County–Screened at HIFF.
June Squibb, Nebraska–Screened at HIFF.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Winner: Jacqueline Bisset, Dancing on the Edge
Janet McTeer, White Queen
Hayden Panettiere, Nashville
Monica Potter, Parenthood
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family–Had lunch at Grand Prix Day at the Hampton Classic. I was right there and she really enjoyed that fried chicken! Frequent Hamptons visitor.

BEST MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Winner: Behind the Candelabra
American Horror Story: Coven
Dancing on the Edge
Top of the Lake
White Queen

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Winner: Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
The Good Wife
House Of Cards–Not a Hamptons sighting but Kevin Spacey did use to date one of my coworkers at the Institute for International Research and would pop in every once in a while.
Masters Of Sex

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Winner: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan–Hamptons resident. Seriously considered buying the house of a friend of mine.
Michael Sheen, Masters of Sex
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards–see above
James Spader, The Blacklist

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE
Winner: Alex Ebert, All Is Lost–not quite a Hamptons reference but Diddy, who lives in East Hampton, gave him an on-stage shoutout.
Alex Heffes, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom
Steven Price, Gravity
John Williams, The Book Thief
Hans Zimmer, 12 Years A Slave–HIFF

BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE
Winner: Ordinary Love, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Atlas, Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Let It Go, Frozen
Please Mr Kennedy, Inside Llewyn Davis–screened at HIFF
Sweeter Than Fiction, One Chance

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Winner: Jon Voight, Ray Donovan
Josh Charles, The Good Wife–has played in the annual Artists & Writers softball game. Skinny legs.
Rob Lowe, Behind the Candelabra
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Corey Stoll, House of Cards

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Winner: Amy Adams, American Hustle
Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
Julia Dreyfus, Enough Said
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County–screened at HIFF

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Winner: Robin Wright, House Of Cards
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife–haven’t met her but have interviewed/photographed frequent Good Wife costars Nathan Lane and Alan Cumming. Met Chris Noth a long time ago back in the city. Hubba hubba!
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Taylor Schilling, Orange Is The New Black
Kerry Washington, Scandal–Went to fancy Spence with Gwyneth Paltrow and a journalism friend of mine.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Winner: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Daniel Bruhl, Rush
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle–frequent Hamptons visitor
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave–HIFF screener

BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE
Winner: Her–HIFF screener
Nebraska–HIFF screener, Bruce Dern and Will Forte came out and gave an awesome talk at Bay Street Theatre.
Philomena
12 Years A Slave–HIFF
American Hustle

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Winner: The Great Beaty
Blue is the Warmest Color–HIFF
The Hunt
The Past
The Wind Rises

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Winner: Frozen
The Croods
Despicable Me 2

BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Winner: 12 Years A Slave–Again, HIFF.
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Philomena
Rush

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Winner: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine–see above. Also, how could we not mention her co-star Alec Baldwin!
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks
Kate Winslet, Labor Day

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Winner: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Idris Elba, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips–I was supposed to interview his wife, Rita Wilson, to preview her engagement at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center but the timing never worked out. Sigh. But I DID interview his old Bosom Buddies co-star, Peter Scolari, for “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” and he was one of the nicest people I’ve ever interviewed.
Robert Redford, All Is Lost

BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Winner: American Hustle
Her–HIFF
Inside Lleywn Davis–HIFF
Nebraska–HIFF
The Wolf Of Wall Street–set here in the Hamptons, though not really something to brag about.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Winner: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska–HIFF
Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis–HIFF
Joaquin Phoenix, Her–HIFF

BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE
Winner: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave–HIFF
Alexander Payne, Nebraska–HIFF
David O. Russell, American Hustle

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Winner: Brooklyn Nine-Nine
The Big Bang Theory
Girls–Adam Driver was one of HIFF’s Breakthrough Stars in 2013. Good guy. Not a weirdo as one might believe. See also my note on Peter Scolari.
Modern Family–note on Sofia Vergara above. Her boyfriend is good friends with a big-time luxury builder out here. I remember him telling me about how she stayed in his house the first time and how he almost had a heart attack when she emerged from the pool in her swimsuit. She IS pretty va-va-va-voom, though MUCH smaller than you’d expect.
Parks & Recreation

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Winner: Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie–Hamptons resident. I frequently see her shopping in Bridgehampton.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Winner: Andy Samberg, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Jason Bateman, Arrested Development
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Michael J. Fox, The Michael J. Fox Show–lives in Quogue
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Winner: Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake
Helena Bonham Carter, Burton and Taylor–I interviewed her at HIFF this summer for Burton and Taylor. Absolutely LOVELY and super funny!
Rebecca Ferguson, White Queen
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven
Helen Mirren, Phil Spector

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Winner: Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra
Matt Damon, Behind the Candelabra
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dancing on the Edge
Idris Elba, Luther
Al Pacino, Phil Spector

Let us not forget that this year’s Miss Golden Globes, Sosie Bacon, whose parents Kevin and Kyra are East Enders.
Water Mill’s Matt Lauer, who hosted the pre-show.
Presenter Jessica Chastain was a HIFF breakthrough performer.
Ben Affleck’s “Argo” was a big HIFF hit last year.
Diane Keaton’s “Something’s Gotta Give” house is right out here on Dune Road in Southampton.
Chris Martin, who got a shoutout from Bono, was supporting his wife, Gwyneth Paltrow, at this year’s Authors Night for the East Hampton Library.
Presenter Naomi Watts lives here with her husband, Liev Schrieber.
I’m sure I’m missing stuff but I’m tired and sleep deprived.
Looking forward to awards show season!
* Helena Bonham Carter–who was MIA at the Globes–photo taken by me before our interview at this year’s HIFF.