April 21, 2015 |
WHATEVER rivalry exists between Penn and Princeton, it doesn't seem to apply to Ellie Kemper. The star of Tina Fey's Netflix sitcom, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," who got her degree from that other local-ish Ivy, is speaking at Penn's Harrison Auditorium tomorrow to a sold-out crowd. Which just shows how far an English degree - and a year at Oxford - can take someone. In Kemper's case, it's taken her from doing improv and writing satire for the Onion to roles in "Bridesmaids" and "The Office," and now to "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," in which she stars as a woman starting over in New York City after essentially having been imprisoned underground since middle school.
July 21, 2013 |
It's that time of year again when everyone reacts with dismay to the inequities of the Emmy nominations. Your TV favorite didn't get any recognition? Welcome to the world's least exclusive club. Out of the medium's 25 most popular shows this year, exactly two, The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family , got any meaningful nominations. But I think the reason people get so exercised about the arbitrariness of the selections is that they don't understand how the process works. The common misconception is that an informed panel of industry experts makes the evaluations after careful consideration.
July 11, 2013 |
SANFORD, Fla. - The trajectory of the bullet and gunpowder on Trayvon Martin's body support George Zimmerman's account that the teen was on top of him when the defendant shot and killed Martin, an expert on gunshot wounds testified Tuesday. Forensic pathologist Vincent DiMaio also used photographs of Zimmerman to point out where he appeared to have been struck during testimony that took up a significant portion of the day's hearing. Defense attorneys, who said they may wrap up their case Wednesday, were hoping DiMaio's testimony would help convince jurors of the truth of Zimmerman's claims that he shot Martin in self-defense.
July 11, 2013 |
SANFORD, Fla. - The trajectory of the bullet and gunpowder on Trayvon Martin's body support George Zimmerman's account that the teen was on top of him when the defendant shot and killed Martin, an expert on gunshot wounds testified yesterday. During testimony that took up a significant portion of the day's hearing, forensic pathologist Dr. Vincent DiMaio also used photographs of Zimmerman to point out where he appeared to have been struck. Defense attorneys, who said they may wrap up their case today, were hoping that DiMaio's testimony would help convince jurors of Zimmerman's claims that he shot Martin in self-defense.
June 28, 2013 |
BORN CHRISTMAS Day 1948, backup singer Merry Clayton has been lending her skills to pop musicians for most of her 64 years. Usually she's the "last person, along with the string players," to add their flavor to a studio recording session. "That's why they call it 'sweetening,' " she explained in a recent chat. More often than not, she's the least recognized, least thanked contributor, though Clayton's blow- torched, highly emotive vocals made a major difference on massive hits such as Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama," Carole King's "Way Over Yonder," Ray Charles' "Let's Go Get Stoned" and Joe Cocker's "Feelin' Alright.
March 24, 2013 |
Was Phil Spector actually guilty of the Feb. 3, 2003, murder of Lana Clarkson? That question was posed repeatedly by the media in increasing tones of hysteria over the six years it took for Spector to be tried, retried, found guilty, and sentenced to serve 19 years to life in prison. It's raised yet again in Phil Spector , a fascinating, maddening, and ultimately unsatisfying 90-minute biopic starring Al Pacino as the music producer and Helen Mirren as one of his attorneys, Linda Kenney Baden.
March 22, 2013
* PHIL SPECTOR. 9 p.m. Sunday, HBO. * P.O.V.: GIRL MODEL. 10 p.m. Sunday, WHYY 12. AL PACINO doesn't do much television work, but when he does, he seems to gravitate toward HBO - and controversial characters. In 2003, he played a dying Roy Cohn in "Angels in America. " In 2010, he was Jack "Dr. Death" Kevorkian in the perhaps too aptly named "You Don't Know Jack. " And on Sunday, Pacino will be seen in a procession of wigs in the title role of "Phil Spector," an HBO film written and directed by playwright David Mamet that focuses on the eccentric music producer's first trial in the 2003 shooting death of Lana Clarkson.
January 25, 2013 |
Darlene Love is a trouper: a veteran of song, stage, and screen, a veteran of Phil Spector's rule, a veteran of soul-testing background vocal gigs for Elvis Presley and Bono. Not even Laurence Olivier could have attested to appearing with the Royal Shakespeare Company (as Love has done in a coproduction of Carrie ), on Broadway ( Hairspray ), and in soap operas ( Another World ). She has just returned from the funeral of her grandson's 2-month-old baby. But she won't let that get in the way. She'll be on the Kimmel stage Saturday night, joining Freda Payne, Baby Washington, Candi Staton, and other luminaries for an event titled "Jerry Blavat: The Divas of All Time.
December 6, 2011
SOME HEAVY hitters in the world of stage and screen are serving up bountiful boxes of entertainment for your gifting and getting pleasure this holiday season. Several have been timed to auspicious anniversaries, others to technological advances (Blu-ray, higher-resolution surround sound) that argue for a remastering and revisit. Brother Ray, Sister Aretha To read official histories of Atlantic Records, you'd think two of its biggest stars were "nothing" before and after their stays at the label.
June 8, 2010 |
Super concerts, vital femmes, fresh-faced rockers and a tribute vie for position in this week's new-music parade. GOING, GOING, HERE: Been mourning the postponement of U2 's local stadium show until 2011, the aftermath to Bono's recent emergency back surgery? A video version of the same show, "360 Degrees at the Rose Bowl," is just out on Blu-ray and DVD (Interscope, A-) . With a good home theater setup, it's as exciting as being there - and a lot cheaper! The show is U2's first in the round, landing with an amazing, space-ship-style set with motorized video screens, moving bridges and more.