It’s May! It’s May! And on May 1, we had our first guest host for Stars In The House…Sierra Boggess who sang “The Lust Month Of May” as her opening song!
We’ve decided to be like Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show and have different guest hosts every week for a show or two. Today was Andréa Burns, who brought on her In The Heights pal Mandy Gonzalez.
Yesterday was a reunion of the 1989 hit Broadway show, City of Angels. I first spoke to lyricist David Zippel who told us that had never written lyrics for a Broadway show, but saw something in The New York Times “News of The Rialto” mentioning Cy Coleman and Larry Gelbart were writing a film noir musical. David really wanted to do it and kept trying to get a meeting with Cy. Years went by and Cy asked to meet with him for a different project! At the meeting, David mentioned the film noir project (especially because he knew Larry Gelbart would write a brilliant script) but Cy told him he was meeting with “big shots” to write the lyrics. Finally, however, Cy asked him to write a few songs for City Of Angels….and then they will decide if they should keep working together. David said that was a nice way of saying that he and Larry would decide whether or not to fire him! Cy and David wrote “Lost and Found” and “With Every Breath I Take” and after that they never stopped writing the show! Here’s Rachel York who was only 20 years old when she did the show and, boy, was she fantastic!
I insisted that Rachel show everyone she #StillGotIt and she ended our show singing a stunning rendition of “A Piece Of Sky.” So fantastic!!! Watch:
Last night on Stars In The House, James and I had the cast of Hollywood, Ryan Murphy’s new Netflix series. Whenever we do shows with young stars (like our SpongeBob SquarePants, Beetljuice, or Glee reunions—which are all still available at StarsInTheHouse.com) there’s always a contingent of fans in hysteria in the comment section. As soon as the show begins with our initial introductions about the Actors Fund, there’s slew of comments asking “Where’s [whatever young star they’re obsessed with]?”!!! This time I was ready.
When the show began I immediately told everyone, “Yes! Darren Criss will be coming on. If I see a slew of ‘Where’s Darren?’ comments, I will have a breakdown. Darren is coming! You don’t need to ask ‘Where’s Darren?’” James and I finished our little spiel and I started bringing on the cast…Holland Taylor, Joe Mantello, Mira Sorvino... and when we brought on Dylan McDermott he hilariously asked us in a panic, “Where’s Darren!?!?!” Brava!
Speaking of Darren, the series has a bunch of young, super-good looking people. And there is a lot of skin-to-skin action! However, the stars told me there was even more action initially! As a matter of fact, before they started filming, David Corenswet called Jeremy Pope to ask when he was being fitted for a prosthetic. Jeremy knew there is a fight scene in the film and he assumed he’d have to get a prosthetic nose or lip to show injuries. Turns out, NO. It was a prosthetic for a lower part of the body. It wouldn’t be used for a fight scene…it was for a you-know-what-WERK scene. Anyhoo, they wound up making the film a little more tame so those prosthetics are sitting on the shelf for use in the future. Perhaps an R-rated remake of (fill-in-the-blank-of-a-film-that-is-totally-inappropriate-with-prosthetic-penises).
Jeremy Pope told us that he got cast in Hollywood the week before the 2019 Tony Awards. It also happened to be the same year he was nominated twice: for Choir Boy and Ain’t Too Proud. After Ryan Murphy told him he had the role, he then told Jeremy he couldn’t tell anyone. Cut to: On the night of the Tony Awards, Jeremy was seated right in front of Darren Criss, who Jeremy knew was cast in Hollywood. All night long, Darren wouldn’t stop telling him how much he wanted to work with him and how they should think of a project to do together. Poor Jeremy had to keep nodding/agreeing but not acknowledging they were definitely going to be working together in the very near future. I asked Jeremy why he thought he couldn’t tell Darren…it’s not like Darren is press…but Jeremy wanted to make sure he followed Ryan’s directive. He thought maybe it was a test. I said he thought it was like this.
Joe Mantello, who is fantastic in Hollywood as a closeted studio exec, opted to take a break from me and James asking questions, and instead asked me a question!
He asked if I remembered my reaction to being cast in The Ritz. Back in 2007, Joe directed the Terrence McNally play when it was revived with Rosie Perez and Kevin Chamberlin and called to tell me he wanted me to be in the cast on Broadway. After Joe offered me the show, I recalled that I asked for what role I was being cast. He claims my exact words were “What’s my track?”
(P.S. If you don’t know, a “track” is a modern-day way of saying role that began when shows began running for years and years. When people got replaced, there began to be a very regimented way of training them for the role. All of their stage business—on and offstage—was so spelled out it was a train following a track. Hence, people’s roles became tracks.)
First of all, I can’t believe I called it a track, but regardless, that’s what Joe claimed I said. To be specific, he said I didn’t pronounce the “my.” His imitation of me was: “What’s m’track?” Joe then hilariously busted me because it was my Broadway debut and, instead of being overjoyed, I wanted to know exactly what was being asked of me. He then called me “Miss Streep.” Excellent bust on me!!!
The wonderful part of doing that show (P.S., my “track” was Sheldon Farenthold) was that Joe expanded my part and gave me a wonderful feature in Act 2, performing “Magic To Do” in a unitard. WATCH!
OK! This week on “Stars In The House” we have Pasek and Paul and a slew of Broadway stars tonight, plus a birthday celebration for my mom Wednesday night featuring some of her favorite Broadway stars, a reunion of White Collar on Thursday with star Matt Bomer, the cast, and a lot more! Watch at StarsInTheHouse.com and peace out!