Saturday, November 14, 2009

Speaking of Thrones

Mr. and Mrs. Logue

Wow, when she goes back to work, she keeps on working, doesn't she? Making good use of her time in the United Kingdom, Jennifer Ehle is moving from one throne to another while Mom rules the Royals on the stage in New York. It has just been announced that she has been cast in the historical drama The King’s Speech, which started shooting today (November 13) for a projected 2010 release.

Baz Bamigboye in the Daily Mail reported on Ms Ehle's casting.
Jennifer Ehle, who captivated the nation when she starred as Elizabeth Bennet in costume drama Pride And Prejudice opposite Colin Firth, is to be reunited with her Mr Darcy.

The actress has just signed to join Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter in a new movie called The King's Speech about how Lionel Logue, an Australian speech therapist, was retained by the then Duke of York (later King George VI) to help him to overcome his stammer in the years before, during and after the Abdication crisis.

The two will be in scenes together - but they're married to other people

Firth will portray George VI, Helena his wife Elizabeth, who later became Queen and then the Queen Mother.

Jennifer has been cast to play Myrtle Logue, and Oscar-winning Rush will be her screen husband.

Director Tom Hooper held a read-through of the script on Wednesday [November 12] with the company, including Guy Pearce as Edward VIII, Michael Gambon as his father George V, Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill and Derek Jacobi as Dr Cosmo Lang, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

However, Jennifer was filming the lavish HBO drama Game Of Thrones and couldn't meet Hooper and his cast at the rehearsal.

Producer Iain Canning said although the former Jane Austen heart-throbs are not playing a couple in The King's Speech 'it's a wonderful thing to bring together two people that, in the British public's memory, are so part of a moment in time'.
Firth's role was reported at this blog earlier, on September 10th.

Sarah Cooper at Screen Daily also reported on the casting.
The Kings Speech will shoot for seven weeks, taking in UK locations such as Lancaster House, the Bradford Bulls Stadium, Ely Cathedral, Harley Street and Battersea Power Station.

The Weinstein Company is handling international sales and has picked up the US rights to the project as well as licensing rights in Germany, France, China, Hong Kong, Latin America, Benelux and Scandinavia. Momentum has picked up UK rights, whilst Transmission Films will distribute in Australia and New Zealand.
It remains to be seen if JE will be needed for all seven weeks, although the time line would still allow a return home for a Christmas break before rehearsals begin for Mr. and Mrs. Fitch which I'm guessing will be sometime in January.

Hollywood com discusses the film.
The film is based on the true story of King George VI and his friendship with maverick speech therapist Lionel Logue. As the second son of George V, Prince Albert was not expected to ascend to the throne, but when his brother Edward chose to abdicate to marry Wallis Simpson, Albert was his successor and in 1936 was crowned King George VI. The reluctant king, who was plagued with a nervous stammer, engaged Logue, an irreverent Australian**, who helped him find a voice with which to lead the nation.
**[We know of a couple of those, don't we?]

Read about Lionel and Myrtle Logue in this piece by Caroline Bowen

So much to look forward to in 2010! This is amazing.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

At the Scene

A Family Outing

Filming of A Game of Thrones has begun in earnest. Comments and summaries can be seen at the invaluable Winter-Is-Coming blog (Thank you, Phil!) Visit often, for it is updated during the day as additional information comes to light, plus the reader comments are always interesting.
Today's entry covers Day 4: Filming at Doune Castle with the promise:
"As usual, keep it here for updates throughout the day."

Yesterdays coverage of Day 3 contains news of interest to readers of this blog, including reports from eyewitnesses on set, predominantly quoted from the Westeros forum.
Post #145 by Crakehall "Jennifer Ehle was there and looking very Catelyn-like, which, in my mind, is beautiful and motherly. ... "
Post #150 from JacMac30 "Jennifer Ehle, couldn't see her outfit. She was wandering outside the castle with her baby. Her husband and son turned up later. Hair quite ginger (long wig unless her hair is very long these days). More ginger than I expected. Not what I'd call auburn but then it may look different under studio lights and on camera. It was tied back in multiple plaits.

I'm bitterly envious of these two and all others lucky enough to be present. The reports of filming and production indicate that no effort is being spared or detail overlooked. Scotland has been mentioned as a filming location along with Northern Ireland and Morocco. At the same link it is noted that Game of Thrones officially began production on October 24; and if it is picked up by HBO for a full series to expect a premiere in 2010 or 2011. (Nooo, not 2011, too long to wait!!).

G R R Martin reported his own sightings at his not-a-blog
Also ran into Ron Donachie, Jennfier [sic] Ehle, and Kit Harington, and all of them were great ...
In a blog last month he mentioned a Speak & Sign scheduled for next month.
On Tuesday, November 3, I will be speaking and signing at Eason's Bookstore in Belfast. The event begins at 1:00 pm. Or 1300 for you European types.
There's a chance that David and/or Dan will drop by for the Belfast signing, and possibly some of the cast as well, but that's not certain. May depend on how the shoot is going, what's scheduled for that day, what's happening down at the Paint Hall, etc.
[Fingers crossed for one cast member especially.]

Reader Maenad has provided a true link to the G R R M character depictions attributed to Michael Sparks. Here is the new link to the works by Russian artist Amok. Thanks for the new link, Maenad.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Just for Hits and Giggles

You would think a blog update that was weeks in the crafting, and for which a 12-hour composing session was lost to the ether by a random flailing of a finger on the keyboard, should be better than this. But here it goes anyway. (There's a whole lotta RH goin' on, so let's hope you're a fan. But a good deal of JE too).

Giggles and more, the JE-centric part.
As we know, Rosemary Harris has been very visible and active in New York recently, leading to some interviewage about "Jen" growing up and grown up.

Barbara Hoffman in the New York Post reported a conversation with Rosemary Harris about her scheduled Reading at 92Y.
The mother of actress Jennifer Ehle (now a mother herself) says she loved reading books to her daughter.

“I read her all the classics — ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ ‘Winnie the Pooh,’ the Narnia books,” Harris says.

“Then Jennifer started reading to me, and that was the most fun. I’d leave a little tape recorder on, just to catch her giggles as she read a funny book like ‘Harriet the Spy,’ I listened to it the other day, and she was giggling so much, she could hardly read!”
CELIA McGEE in the New York Times reports on The Royal Family & some chat with the cast in her jam-packed article (a must read, for more than just the quote included here) titled The Tangle of Branches in a Royal Tree.
Ms. Harris remembers a tiny Jennifer Ehle drawing of herself with her father on one piece of paper; her mother, alone, on another. She was surprised, she said, when her daughter announced, at 14, that she wanted to be an actress. “Of course, I had always taken her with me a lot. We just stuck her in our pockets and off we went.“
Not To Be Missed: My Royal Family Reunion By Rosemary Harris.
[...] "So many things in this play ring true today, particularly the way the women characters find themselves torn between work and their families. Fanny’s line, “Marriage isn’t a career. It’s an incident!” must have gotten shocked laughter in 1927 from all those society ladies, because marriage was a career to them. In 2009, the same line gets understanding laughter. I remember so distinctly when I was doing Hay Fever on Broadway and my daughter [actress Jennifer Ehle], who was about 13, wanted to take a taxi uptown alone to see a movie with friends. I said, “Jennifer, darling, please don’t! I won’t be able to go on the stage, I’ll be so worried.” [...]

Harry Haun's article at Playbill, The Royal Family — A Blast of Troupers! features conversations with the cast and has Ms. Harris talking (although possibly seriously mis-quoted!) about many interesting things!
Harris doesn't subscribe to Fanny's hard line of career-over-marriage, and she hasn't lived it. "It's a juggle," she allowed. "I know Jen finds it a juggle. She has an 11-year-old [????] son and a wonderful husband, and she has to keep everything on an even keel."

"Jen" is her daughter, Jennifer Ehle, herself a two-time Tony winner. She is currently filming an HBO television pilot in Northern Ireland, her mother reported.

The Royal Family would seem to be a perfect opportunity for mother-and-daughter at last to co-star. They have done two films together — a 1992 TV-film, "The Camomile Lawn," and a 1999 feature, "Sunshine" — but, playing the old and young versions of the same character, they never had the chance to do a scene together.

Ehle was indeed offered the play but opted to pass. "She said, 'Mom, you did it, and I would only do it the way you did it.' Comparisons are odious, and maybe, like Julie Cavendish, I didn't want her to be better than me — so I didn't encourage it."

RH is not the only one speaking of JE lately as evidenced by Broadway World's eavestwitting on John Lithgow's September 29th Tweet
"Saw Pride & Glory on HBO and there she was, playing cancer victim Abbey, my next NY leading lady the wonderful Jennifer Ehle."

It's a Hit, the RH-centric part
CHRISTINE DOLEN/McClatchy Newspapers says "The changing season promises to be extra hot this year both on Broadway and off", mentioning The Royal Family, Mr. and Mrs. Fitch, and Cate Blanchett.

The Royal Family's run was Extended by one week before it even opened!
Oh wait, make that Extended by Two Weeks!

Harry Haun at Playbill reported on the play and chat with some of the cast. Jan Maxwell said, "... it's a real honor to play this with Rosemary."

A Playbill article by Matthew Blank includes some nice Photos of the Friedman Theatre

Mondschein's in a review at Third Row, Mezzanine blog found the play disappointing in many respects but noted "It's certainly a worthy goal [to] get Rosemary Harris on a Broadway stage..."

Photo Gallery at Playbill, especially photos 3/5 and 5/5.

In an Interview by Zinta Lundborg Ms. Harris reminisced about the 1975 revival, when she played Julie.
“It’s lovely to be in the driving seat, which Julie is,” said Harris, dressed in a bright flowery shirt, silver hair smoothed back from her unlined face. “But you’ve got to keep your foot on the accelerator all the time.”

With Fanny, she said, it’s a lot easier. “I just pop in and out delivering bon mots.”
At Playbill Kenneth Jones posted the article
Broadway Curtain Goes Up on Royal Family

LINDA WINER at Newsday thinks On Broadway, 'The Royal Family' rules
" ... there are many pleasures in Doug Hughes' sumptuous joy of an old-fashioned revival, including a keepsake performance by the legendary Rosemary Harris as the aging matriarch of the Cavendish (think Barrymore) family. ...

... there is the thrill of seeing Harris, who had the role of Julie in 1975, portray the ailing, stage-enamored star of a mother with a ravishing sense of playfulness."
Terry Teachout in a Review at The Wall Street Journal was less than happy with the play, but more happy with a couple of the performers.
Fortunately, Rosemary Harris and Jan Maxwell manage to give neatly turned performances—Ms. Harris is stately and sardonic, Ms. Maxwell fey and winsome—that are just about worth the price of admission.
David Sheward presents a glowing Review at THR
The leading light of the 1975 staging was Rosemary Harris, who played Julie Cavendish, the glamorous leading lady not unlike Ethel Barrymore, who must choose between her career and marriage to a wealthy old flame. Now playing the matriarch Fanny, Harris is just as glowing and youthful as she was then. She radiates the joy of acting, which animates this feisty, lovable, indomitable figure.
A review By Elysa Gardner, USA TODAY observes,
" ...the central relationship between a grand old dame of the stage and the glamorous, much put-upon daughter following in her footsteps is a fine showcase for two marvelous actresses featured here.
[...] Harris similarly makes us laugh and breaks our hearts as Fanny, a life-long trouper determined not to let age or illness keep her out of the spotlight. Where Julie has clearly had some ambivalence about the personal sacrifices made for her craft, Fanny, though an adoring mother, considers art her greatest passion. Her struggle to carry that flame, with mortality nipping at her heels, is the sweetest, most moving aspect of this play, and the masterful Harris gives it a depth it might not have had in other hands.

Under Dough Hughes' sprightly direction, the other ensemble members all perform gamely, if less consistently. As Fanny's foolish, pompous brother, the excellent John Glover wins us over in spite of his role; as his cloying wife, Ana Gasteyer doesn't. Larry Pine is a tad pallid as Julie's wealthy, gallant love interest, while Reg Rogers is a bit overzealous as her brother, a movie idol with a talent for trouble.

None of this detracts, of course, from Harris' and Maxwell's star turns. Women wear the pants in this Family, and they're a joy to behold.
The Royal Family is discussed at tapeworthy blog where some vibrant stills are also included.
"The cast is superb with a bemused Rosemary Harris ... leading the pact [sic] as Fanny (and devastating in the final scene)."
David Rooney in Variety reviewed The Royal Family
"There's a sentimental satisfaction in watching Rosemary Harris -- who played equivocating diva Julie Cavendish in the 1976 Broadway revival of "The Royal Family" -- still navigating the stage with grace and good humor ... while the ensemble work could be tighter, its lead performers rise to the occasion in sparkling turns.
[...] Harris delicately balances graciousness and hauteur [...]"
Tom O'Neil in The Awards Insider (The Los Angeles Times) maintains 'The Royal Family' revival rules Broadway and mentions the T-word.

At blog is a Royal Family Broadway Review Matrix providing a commentary on several reviews with links.

The Hollywood Reporter's Showbiz 411 blog has coverage of the Great “Royal Family” Opening

Michael Kuchwara [The Canadian Press] write about An effervescent revival
[...] "The cast is headed by the ever-lovely Rosemary Harris, portraying Fanny Cavendish, the grande dame of this exotic troupe.

Harris has a serene stage presence, even when Fanny is zinging the other characters on stage ..."
BWW presents a special feature, Ken Fallin's Illustrations - THE ROYAL FAMILY

Opening night photo galleries Here and Here and Here.

Robert Feldberg says Rosemary Harris leads a triumphant revival.
"Harris, one of the great actresses of the American stage (she began her Broadway career 57 years ago, and played Julie in the 1975 revival of "The Royal Family") is deliciously droll as Fanny ..."
Brendan Lemon at the Financial Times reviews and reveals a discerning eye for the proper way to wear costumes.
"Rosemary Harris, who was Julie in a 1975 revival, resists the temptation to play Fanny with grande-dame hauteur; weakened by health problems, Fanny still possesses the driest wit in the house.

Harris also is an adept at a lost art: wearing a peignoir as if it were a second skin."
Robert Hofler writes about Rosemary Harris at the kick-off part. [The link includes a photo of Rosemary Harris chatting with Tovah Feldshuh at the opening night of 'The Royal Family]
"Legit legend Rosemary Harris returns to the Broadway boards [...] Return visits have their advantages, even after all these years.

"I know all the parts. I hear the whole play in my head," said Harris, who turned 82 last month.

At Thursday's preem party, at Planet Hollywood, Harris said that Eva Le Gallienne's Fanny from the 1975 production was "more acerbic" than her portrayal, while Harris' former role of Julie is "marvelous, very controlled" in the capable hands of Jan Maxwell.

"I was smoking when I played Julie, and after my second-act meltdown, I would be huffing and puffing all the way to the dressing room. Then I stopped smoking during the run, and I could whistle right through it," she said."
Andrew C. McGibbon reviewed the play.
"Rosemary Harris, at the age of 83 is a wonder to behold. She moves about the stage and strikes poses as fluidly as a woman half her age ..."
Chesley Plemmons at The News-TimesMerry and madcap

From a Wilton Villager review By DAVID. A ROSENBERG, who may have found a solution to the energy problem, at least in regard to lighting. (I suspect with JE and RH both being noticeably luminous that the electric bills in the Ryan and Ehle households are significantly lower than average.)
"Genuine stars have a tendency to take over, consciously or not. Take Rosemary Harris who lights the galaxy in the current revival of George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber's 1927 "The Royal Family. [...]

[...] As Fanny, the irreplaceable Harris sweeps her words from orchestra to second balcony while eyeing all the folks along the way. In her hands and voice, "get out" is a symphony, "quaint" is a three-part novel. She ought to be bronzed.
The Village Voice review By Michael Feingold

Blogger James Camner remembers seeing the 1975 version at Broadway Bridge and Tunnel Test
"We saw the 1975 revival of The Royal Family, an unforgettable experience featuring magical performances by Eva Le Gallienne as Fanny Cavendish and Rosemary Harris as her daughter Julie. So it is an indescribable and rare pleasure to see the radiant Ms. Harris ascend to the role of Fanny."
Stephanie Zacharek's article at New York Magazine Ladies’ Nights expresses some disappointment with the acting, with at leas one major exception.
" {...} Rosemary Harris, as the dowager matriarch Fanny, may wear the heaviest costumes—she’s draped in exotic, old-fashioned (by twenties standards) velvets—but her performance is the spriangiest, the most fleet, in the show. Her lines have the texture and glow of South Sea pearls; if any voice could reflect light, it would be this one."
Here's a struggling artist anecdote from RH's past By CINDY ADAMS at the NY Post

Other news

[RH at Broadway Flea Market photo by Aubrey Reuben]

[John Ehle photo by Jan Hensley Special to the Citizen-Times]

Miss Harris participated in the Broadway Flea Market. (photo gallery available Here)
The 23rd Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction held Sunday, September 27 raised a grand total of $403,929 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA).
interviews and reactions at the market include this with a starstruck Thomas Sadoski.
Q: Enjoying your experience at the Flea so far?
Sadoski: Oh yeah — anything to help out this organization. It's such an essential organization. You spend a long time working in this business to get to a point where you are invited to donate your time to something like this. It is really cool. I was in the other room signing posters and trying to squeeze my name in as neatly as I could underneath Rosemary Harris. That's a really cool thing.

Rob Neufeld in the Citizen-Times (Asheville) reported that Press 53, a Winston-Salem publisher, launched the release of its 25th anniversary edition of John Ehle's “Last One Home”, the sixth book in his six-novel epic about Western North Carolina.

Sharmistha Gooptu has reviewed Before the Rains

Lizzy rules
The voting may still be open for choosing your Favorite Elizabeth Bennet. At my last peek, the results stood as shown below; had this been a national election it would be a mandate for dictatorship.

Paul Whitington at the Irish Independent has written an article about Austen adaptations and rightly notes,
"... The beautiful Jennifer Ehle was easily the most sultry and glamorous Elizabeth Bennet thus far ..."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ticket to Read

A Full Weekend
Rosemary Harris has a very beesy weekend scheduled September 26-27.
Linked here some time ago, now Brian Scott Lipton at theatermania has helpfully published a reminder about the 2009-2010 season lineup at The 92nd Street Y's Unterberg Poetry Center.
"Highlights of interest to theater lovers include Tony Award winner Rosemary Harris reading children's literature(September 26 at 11:30am)"

Then on Sunday, as Andrew Gans reports at playbill, Ms Harris will attend The 23rd Annual Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction.
"The outdoor fundraiser in Shubert Alley raises money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and features a host of theatrical memorabilia donated by the theatrical community. The day-long event also boasts a Celebrity Autograph Table and Photo Booth, where theatre fans can purchase autographs by or photos with their favorite stars [...]

Some of the items that will be featured in the Grand Auction include ... opening-night tickets to ... The Royal Family [...]

Celebrities scheduled to appear at the Celebrity Autograph Table and Photo Booth in exchange for donations to BC/EFA include: ... Rosemary Harris [...] "

Dan Bacalzo at theatermania also reported on the event and noted "All auction items will also be available for online bidding in September for those unable to make it to New York. For more information, including how to place a bid, visit broadwaycares." [Better than EBay!!]

All this in addition to two performances of The Royal Family on each of those two days ... one weekend after her birthday (September 19th, mark your calendars) If I had as much energy as this marvelous lady, you'd be reading blog updates here more often.

She's not the only Reader in the Family

Valerie MacEwan's Blog: and Kathryn Stripling Byer's Netwest Mountain Writers and Poets Blog alert us to an event on October 10th in Asheville NC.
"Internationally acclaimed author and Asheville native, John Ehle, will read and sign books on October 10 at 2 pm. The event, sponsored by The Writers’ Workshop, will be held at the West Asheville Public Library at 942 Haywood Road. It is free and open to the public. A reception follows, hosted by Friends of West Asheville Library. Books will be available for purchase at the book-signing.[...] A luncheon for Mr. Ehle will be held at noon, prior to the reading. For more information about the reading or luncheon, please email , or call 828-254-8111."

Getting Close to The Royal Family
Previews are less than a week away.

playbill reports on the Photo Call

Single tickets available for purchase at the box office.

In addition, Tickets are on sale now via Telecharge (where the schedule shown below can be seen) or by calling (212) 239-6200.

Since last posting here about the play, casting changes and additional casting and other news were announced at backstage blog and theatermania. And I can't resist including Michael Kuchwara (AP) from the Washington Examiner simply because he writes "The always incandescent Rosemary Harris plays its matriarch"

Alexis Soloski in The Village Voice writes about an Interview with director Dough Hughes in which is revealed "Hughes hand-picked this varied cast, having first persuaded Harris to be Fanny."

A "little royal family"
Robert Simonson shared PLAYBILL.COM'S BRIEF ENCOUNTER with the Queen herself. It's a charming interview, be sure to read the entire article. (Now we have circus ponies and sled dogs along with chicks and bees to add to this blog's signature references!)
"[...] With your daughter, Jennifer Ehle, do you sometimes feel like you have a little royal family yourself?
RH: Who knows? (Laughs) She's just given birth to a little girl, so who knows? Who knows if she'll tread the boards or not? Who knows? "

The latest biggest news is the casting of Lena Headey (aka Blanche Glover, Christabel LaMotte's BFF) as Cersei. The announcement was widely covered as you can see by the links below. It's amazing and confounding though that everyone seems to have missed the opportunity to recognize that JE and LH had worked together before in Possession. I saw only one connection made & that was in a reader comment, not the body of the article.

Read all about it at these links:
iftn Lena Headey Joins ‘Game of Thrones’
TV Overmind
Zap 2 It News & Buzz
Chicago Tribune Features Blog (This one has several comments. You have to love the commenter who wrote "She's won two Tonys for roles in play by Tom Stoppard -- 'The Real Thing' and 'The Coast of Utopia'. You don't get to phone it in with Stoppard: He demands actors who are intellectually and emotionally bringing their A-game all the time. "

It remains to be seen if any tables will be overthrone in this new project --

Look who's getting into the act
Not to be outdone in the Royals & Thrones arena, just look who is going to play the role of Queen Elizabeth II's father King George VI in "The King's Speech".

Let's not forget the Fitches

New York Theater Guide

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cats and Dogs

Cat’s kits cast [say that 10 times fast]

As reported at GRRM’s Not a Blog, Catelyn's daughters Arya and Sansa Stark will be played by Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner.

Jay Tomio at BCS discusses the casting in his articles the Stark Girls of HBO’s A Game of Thrones and more A Game of Thrones casting

James Hibberd in his writings at The Hollywood Reporter HBO appoints subjects to 'Thrones' and HBO's 'Game of Thrones' casting news announces the daughters and other casting including Richard Madden as Stark's eldest son, Robb, mentioning ”HBO still has a few more roles to fill in the large ensemble cast of Thrones, one of the more buzzed-about titles on the network's development slate.”

Other news coverage of the casting:
Bryant Griffin at airlockalpha

Bloggers weigh in too.
Seven actors for the Seven Kingdoms at the Wertzone
SciFi Stream
A Game of Thrones cast expands
Captain Elias at Superpowers That Be
Diana at Fire of Spring
Jace at Televisionary
Nix at SciFi Cool

In an Audio Interview linked from The Montreal Gazette piece by Matthew Surridge GRR Martin pronounces (sort of) on the HBO pilot & casting &writing the books.
The Cimmerian’s August 15th article addressing the interview, In Conversation with George R. R. Martin, points out
“Martin also discusses the much-speculated HBO pilot, and possibility of a series based on the septology, each 12-episode season based on a book. Already cast for the pilot is the inimitable Sean Bean as Eddard Stark, Peter Dinklage (who would make an excellent Count Volmana) as Tyrion Lannister, and Broadway thespian Jennifer Ehle as Katelyn Stark. Even with a several-year head start on the first four seasons, Martin definitely needs to get cracking on The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, and have them in bookstores on time for a series adaptation.”

Catching up with some discussion links from the past few days:

A Song of Ice and Fire thread at Chamber of Secret Forum includes commentary along the lines that Ms Ehle is not “snotty” enough or strong enough to play Catelyn … all based of course solely on Elizabeth Bennet (who could be pretty snotty herself, actually). I am Soooo looking forward to the day when the series airs and the doubters are proved wrong! I have no doubts.

Comments in the HBO to make A Song of Ice and Fire series Thread at NeoGAF are mixed but mostly very positive.

Tracey Steele blogged about the pilot & series in Casting Begins for HBO’s Game of Thrones Pilot

In an August 19th post at Planet Sillicon titled A Game of Thrones - The Cast that author, unlike some others, had no reservations about any Elizabeth Bennet carry-over, saying:
"Jennifer Ehle as Catelyn Stark will work very well, even as Elizabeth Bennett in the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice she had an austere coldness that I think will work wonders - now that she is older - as cold and hateful Catelyn."

Feeble Segue

To flagrantly and shamelessly extend the cat-dog metaphor, I offer: Definition of Fitch = poleCAT. And thank you Douglas Carter Beane for also writing a prize-winning play with Dog in the title so that I could have two reasons to stretch this oh-so-tenuous connection. I'm not sure whether it is irony or serendipity or something else, but how awesome for this blog is it that another of his plays has BEES in its title? It's as if we were designed for each other.

For up-to-date Mr. & Mrs. Fitch news, you’ll need these important links.

Second Stage Theater Home Page

Mr. & Mrs. Fitch Home Page at 2ST

(FYI, a valuable calendar to guide your planning.)

2ST has an interview with the author, TALKING WITH DOUGLAS CARTER BEANE in which he, among other things, verifies a Cole Porter connection.

More about Douglas Carter Beane.

DCB at Wikipedia

DCB in a December 2006 Video episode of American Theatre Wing’s Working in the Theatre.

A W Magazine article also leads to this W magazine interview from July 2009 in which Mr. Beane (I think that’s the last time I’ll write that; it makes me think too much of spray-painting a room by way of paint bomb) talks about M&MFitch & other things.

Meet his work.
Music from a sparkling planet at Google Books

As Bees in Honey Drown at Google Books

The Little Dog Laughed at Google Books

The Little Dog Laughed, the best known of his plays, will certainly be known to the dedicated followers of this blog who have vivid memories of the 2007 Tony Awards. It was nominated in the Best Play category (won by The Coast of Utopia). Julie White starred in it and won the award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play the same glorious night that JE achieved BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY.

Last but not least, Robert Simonson at Playbill says of M&MFitch
“John Lithgow and Jennifer Ehle will sink their teeth into the no-doubt juicy title roles of the upcoming Second Stage Theater world premiere of Douglas Carter Beane's Mr. & Mrs. Fitch Off-Broadway. They will play married gossip columnists. Scott Ellis directs the work, which is scheduled to begin previews Jan. 26, 2010. This may become the first Off-Broadway play in some time to regularly appear in the city's gossip sheets.”

The past two weeks have been astounding and wonderful and unexpected. Some of us anticipated a longer hivernation. Instead we have cold-hateful-throatslit-Catelyn of a blood-thirsty warring world AND a comedic Mrs. Fitch of the modern celeb gossip world to look forward to. I love the contrast and the opportunity for her to display her awesome acting range.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Ride is Bigger than we Thought

Wonderful news!
Jennifer Ehle has been cast in the Douglas Carter Beane comedy Mr. & Mrs. Fitch
Exciting doesn't seem a strong enough word to describe hearing that she is returning to live theater.
"After making us wait a few extra months for the premiere of the new Douglas Carter Beane comedy “Mr. & Mrs. Fitch,” Second Stage Theater has announced the cast for the play. John Lithgow (lately of “All My Sons”) and Jennifer Ehle (“The Coast of Utopia”) will star as a husband-and-wife team of gossip columnists who discover, according to a news release, that “great celebrity can appear out of thin air” when “the social circuit no longer provides any scandalous news.” The play is Mr. Beane’s first for Second Stage since the 2005 debut of his comedy “The Little Dog Laughed,” and the production will reunite him with its director, Scott Ellis, whose recent stint on the Showtime series “Weeds” prompted Second Stage to delay “Mr. & Mrs. Fitch” until its 2009-10 season. The new play is to begin previews on Jan. 26 and open on Feb. 22."

Also announced at
"Scott Ellis directs the work, which is scheduled to begin previews Jan. 26, 2010, for a run at the company's midtown home through March 21. Opening night is slated for Feb. 22."

Broadway World
"Jennifer Ehle received Tony Awards for her performances in The Coast of Utopia and The Real Thing. She also appeared on Broadway in Design for Living and off-Broadway in Macbeth. In London's West End she has appeared in The Philadelphia Story, The Real Thing (Olivier nomination), Tartuffe (Ian Charleston Award) and at London's National Theatre she appeared in Summerfolk. RSC productions include Richard III, Painter of Dishonor, The Relapse. Film includes: Pride and Glory (2007), Kerala/Road to the Sky (2007), Possession, Sunshine, This Year's Love, Bedrooms and Hallways, Wilde (BAFTA nomination), Paradise Road, Backbeat. TV includes: "Pride and Prejudice" (BAFTA Award), "The Camomile Lawn." Jennifer will next be filming the HBO pilot, "Games of Thrones," based on the book series by George R. R. Martin and adapted by David Benioff, co-starring Sean Bean."


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Music to our Ears

After the little battle html and I had last time I hope to be able to orchestrate some links now without invoking any wayward musical instruments.

It is evident that the following sites will be ones to check frequently for updates and discussion so they have been added to the permanent link list here (available under Links at the right)
George R.R. Martin's Not A Blog
Winter-is-Coming blog (rich with comments and has a promised-to-be-frequently- updated FAQ)
A Song of Ice and Fire Forum

[Morocco!] From the FAQ mentioned above and noted in our own ShoutBox:
"The pilot is filming in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Specifically, a large film studio there called the Paint Hall. They will also be doing some remote shoots in Morocco. Filming for the pilot is currently scheduled to start October 12, 2009 and last until November 6, 2009. Although these dates are not set in stone."

Check Your Bloggage Here

Captain Elias In his Super Powers that Be blog, commented on Jennifer Ehle's casting as Catelyn fearing that, based on her performance as Jane Bennet in "Keira Knightley's Pride and Prejudice" [!!], she was too sweet for the role. After some gentle nudging via comments at his blog, he corrected one misapprehension and switched to Christabel LaMotte to support the "too sweet and romantic" worry.
In the Captain's next Blog anxieties had been laid to rest as he reported "I'm very eager to see Jennifer Ehle as Lady Catelyn".

The Stratovarius Community Forum has a discussion of AGoT casting and favorable comments about JE.

At Chronicles Network , "The UK's largest Science Fiction & Fantasy Forums" there is additional casting commentary including one that notes "What a score the actress who will be Catelyn is!

The treacle mine road blog draupadi writes about the book and the casting.

Ain't it Cool News has a forum thread for HBO's "A Song of Fire and Ice"

The site also has A Song of Ice and Fire forum thread, from which this comment caught my eye. "She doesn't look cold enough. I guess it's up to acting." (Oh, you bet it is. I can hardly wait for her to make the doubting jaws drop).

Recent Arrival

Look what just arrived at my house from Amazon! My weekend is now fully scheduled.

Book 1 Book 2 Book 3

Lines on Lizzy

Isabellecs livejournal lists her Twenty Favorite Bad Ass Female Characters. Guess which someone with the initials EB came in at #17.

Alyssa Rosenberg in her blog entry titled How We See Things In Our Heads commented on Jonathan Yardley's article, Pride. Prejudice. Perfection in The Washington Post, which contended that film adaptations of Miss Austen's classic had failed to firmly fix [yep, that's a split infinitive. yep, I'm going to leave it there] actors in the public's (or his at least) mind as the personification of the characters ala Clark Gable/Rhett Butler. Alyssa responded:
"If Yardley somehow managed to miss A&E's 1995 adaptation of the novel, he is deprived. It's perhaps the only cinematic or television adaptation of a work of literature where the faces of the actors deserve to float back into our minds as we read the novels where they originate"

Sunday, August 09, 2009

A Jog around the Blog

It's so fun to see reaction and chatter about Ms Ehle around the groups and blogs. On one hand there are the uninitiated who say "Who? Never heard of her." and on the other hand those who reassure them with, "Don't worry, she's a gifted award-winning actress who is going to be outstanding in this."

So that you can experience the fun too here are some of the links. (A couple have been included before and repeated here. ) Take a look if you have time. Many varying comments (read at your own risk but most are good).

[Edit. I managed to mess up links. I've fixed them (they work for me anyway) and the sad trombones should now be playing upbeat jazz. My sincere apologies.]

George R.R. Martin's Not A Blog

Winter-is-Coming blog
(At last look 482 comments ranging from Who is she to Love
her, great casting.)

Jane Austen Today:Mr. & Mrs. Darcy in the News

A Song of Ice and Fire The George R R Martin Forum,, specifically The Jennifer Ehle cast as Catelyn Stark thread
(Comments now at 6 pages)

HBO to Tackle A Song of Ice and Fire!
thread in Quarter To Three Forums

At The Get a move on, George R R Martin thread included at ‘The Premier TV-Bashing Community Since 2001” (I don’t make these things up), there are a few comments at A JE casting section which I include only because I found the following comment hilarious. "I bet Jennifer Ehle only accepted this role so she could use the "zombie, post-dead Catelyn" as inspiration for when Hollywood eventually adapts "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies".

Xenagia Forums: Fantasy, Science Fiction & Horror

The Wert zone blog

Fronk livejournal

Tower of the Hand

Heroine TV

Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist

Finish the Book, George
A blog that angrily waits for George R.R. Martin to finish A Dance With Dragons

I Was Never Young blog

Writer's News

Fantasy Fan blog

This is Lee blog

A link to
Depictions of some characters from A Game of Thrones by Michael Shanks

Including Eddard and Catelyn

For you readers, a link to the text of the book A Game of Thrones coughed up at the Forum (was that you Kitty Bennet?) A Game of Thrones, the book

Here’ s A Very Happy Mrs. Darcy. I also felt like swinging from the chandelier when I heard about the new project, but I would not have looked anywhere near this good, believe me.

Not forgetting all that has come before, a recent review of Pride and Glory posted by okapi

[…]To watch the interaction between Francis and his dying wife, Abby (Jennifer Ehle, in no doubt an underappreciated role), is to watch love at its purest…and hardest. It’s an interaction that gets lost within all the shooting and bleeding, but I think, in the end, it’s ultimately the symbol of what this movie is all about, and what is most important above all else.[…]

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Let the Game Begin

Stark Raving

The bees and chicks are now very alert and awake. Along with the rest of us, they are stark raving mad with surprise and happiness at the latest news!

Jennifer Ehle has been cast as Catelyn Stark in HBO’s A Game of Thrones

Reported at
The Hollywood Reporter
and by Jay Tomio at BSC
"Following up recent announcements of Sean Bean (Ned Stark) and Kit Harrington (Jon Snow) Harry Lloyd (Viserys) Jack Gleeson (Joffrey) and Mark Addy (Robert), THR tells us we get another member of House Stark in the form of Jennifer Ehle. [...] this may be the best fit thus far [...] "
Read about it in French too

S'more added

The author George R.R. Martin laments being "scooped" (I can sympathize) at his blog
" [...] she's won a BAFTA Award and two Tonys, and she will be a wonderful Catelyn.

Fortunately, even HOLLYWOOD REPORTER doesn't know all the cool stuff I know, so I will still be able to smile engimatically and drop sly hints in Montreal. "
I can't wait for the "cool stuff"!
If you visit his blog, be sure to enjoy the many lovely comments left by readers.

At The George R R Martin Forum, "A Song of Ice and Fire" you can enjoy a discussion of the news by what seems to me to be a membership of unusual insight and perspicacity.

JE is certain to gain a horde of new fans with this.
Hi, new fans, if you're reading this. You've just met an actress of the highest talent and ability, and a lady of character. While you wait for AGoT, check out her available work so far. You're going to be impressed.

Information about the Catelyn Stark character can be read at the following links.
A Wkiki of Ice & Fire
Wikipedia :House Tully
"Catelyn Tully Stark (a POV character) is Hoster's eldest child and once his heir until the birth of her brother. She is the wife of Eddard Stark of Winterfell and mother of their five children, Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon. Catelyn is seen as honorable and upright by acquaintances, holding duty over desire as a governing principle of behavior. She has a deep love for family and a strong faith in the Seven. However, she regards the bastard Jon Snow as an outsider to her family, and has never forgiven Eddard for bringing him into her household. She has a strong and stately beauty, with auburn hair, blue eyes, and long fingers.i

Sounds like an ideal match of actor and role, a coup de casting. I wonder if JE will sport the auburn hair. She's been gorgeous in that hue in the past. Perhaps we need a poll here: Brunette (ala Lizzy Bennet), Auburn (ala Christabel LaMotte), Blond (ala Lorainne Morrissey), or Other (ala Abby Tierney).

According to Wikipedia, The shooting for the pilot will begin in October 2009 and take place in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in the Paint Hall Studio.

And, finally, here's a chance to read a Game of Thrones Script

Thanks to HoBO for the hint in ShoutMix that sent me stalking HBO on Google (only to be scooped by a jezillion other bloggers while I slept); and to Ann who posted the THR news in the Chat Extension; and to t/Tez who shared the great links at the Forum.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Better late than never. Apparently.

Greetings all, former Blogger #2 here. Just popping back to give a somewhat later than planned final wave.

How on earth it is 2.5 years since I entered the world of Jerryatricism, I'll never know. However, I don't wish to cause any boredom-induced comas, so I'll skip the month-by-month analysis and simply ponder the first four words that come to my mind when I think of the whole experience.


Utopia, noun 1 Shortened name of the monumental trilogy by Sir Tom, featuring a bunch of characters ending in -ev and -sky. Performed to (mostly) critical acclaim in New York from 2006-7. 2 Shortened name of the first straight play I ever saw. The cause of a temporary case of impecuniousness and a permanent case of the theatre bug. Can, when uttered now, bring about lengthy bouts of New York-related daydreaming featuring a Place de la Concorde replica and a revolving chair.

Utopia is, undoubtedly, my salient memory of the blogging experience, a fact perhaps unsurprising given its glorious domination of the news arena, and the fact that my bedroom wall sits around a Utopia poster. I saw it six times, adored it, and always will adore it, as I'm sure all of us who had the privilege of seeing it will. Two years on, entirely random quotes such as 'Worms the philosopher?' 'No, just worms', still punctuate my days and I wonder how long my mind will continue to conjure up the image of a Utopian peasant on hearing the word 'surf'.

For introducing me to the phenomenal world of live theatre, and for providing me with some once in a lifetime memories (March 14 2007, cough cough), I would like to say a marathon-sized thank you to the Utopian collective. Their performances, and the theatre-related experiences they inspired, raised my little year abroad from the category of a B to that of an A+++, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Impact, noun 1 A strong effect or impression. 2 Pleasant and far-reaching shock waves that can pervade every facet of life after becoming a Jerryatric.

From taking a part-time job solely to fund Utopia trips, to giving me the passion and umph to have a shot at amateur theatre (whilst consenting to wear an - and I quote - 'unusual' costume), the personal ramifications of being involved in this little machine, both direct and indirect, have been surprising, delightful and seemingly endless.

It has improved my writing. It has taught me that you can't have too much news, but can have too many exclamation marks when reporting it. It has put phrases as simple as 'curtain call' and as woah-sounding as 'intelligentsia' into my previously pitiful vocabulary. It has put Isaiah Berlin on my bookshelf and Herzen on my to-read list. It has led to me spending six hours watching and rewatching The Real Thing in a New York library, and six months doing a study of a 1960s theatrical avant-gardist. It has acquainted me with the fabulous resources that are Charlie Rose interviews, Woman's Hour discussions and ATW seminars - all now cherished staples of my cultural diet. It has also dramatically expanded my knowledge of chickens and has brought the number of flowers I am safely able to identify in the garden up to a grand total of two (I already knew rose).

It has also given me a group of friends from all over the world. One of them, who stayed with me last year, was without a doubt one of the most impressive, inspirational and clued-up people I've ever met. Chelsea, I will never forget how terribly we navigated the Tower of London and how happily we discussed life over a curiously delicious walnut liqueur.

Another made me cry with laughter more than I ever thought possible and graciously put a roof over my head for Utopia trips among many other generosities. Kerry, I will never forget how you carried my luggage around most of Manhattan and how I sat on the floor of Grand Central for an hour longer than was necessary, simply because your stories were so side-splitting I didn't want to move.

Squee, noun 1 A noise and/or action, often manifested between two or more Jerryatrics as an expression of extreme Jerry-related excitement. verb 2 To perform this noise or action.

As the better half of Spheir has already mentioned, we were very fortunate to have so many sufficiently exciting moments to deal with in our time on the blog as to make squeeing a regular feature of these quarters. I want to thank the lady herself, and her brilliance, for being the cause of so many of these (Tony Tony, cough cough) as well as for the truckload of infinitely rewatchable gems that her awe-inspiring career has given relatively intelligent (albeit slightly insane) people like us.

Ahh, noise 1 A vocalised expression of either sadness and disappointment, or anger and frustration - in the latter case often followed by a profanity. Often aired as an instantaneous reaction to an unwelcome discovery.

Like when Blogger decides to undo all your sp aci ng correct ions. Or when you discover that the 'unusual' costume is a green, tassled monstrosity that claims to be a dress, but looks like it once adorned the windows of a dodgy bedsit.

It is also what the mother of this site must have articulated when she first saw the cringeworthy word-vomit I had inflicted on her beautiful creation during my first weeks as a blogger. Tina, a mahoosive thank you for taking me on, but more importantly, for keeping me on in spite of said word-vomit. You have been amazing and have redefined the concept of intelligence for me, taking it to a realm far above my head, although I hope one day to get a bit nearer to it. At least to be able to reach it with the aid of a large stick.

Referring to the first little bit of the definition, an ahh is also what I gave on realising it was my time at last to jump (safely) from the blogly ship. However, after three months of watching it from a passing canoe, I can say that retirement has been far more enjoyable than expected. This is not least due to the competency of the new captain. She has done a marvellous job when at the equivalent stage, I was still trying to turn on the computer. Janet, thank you for accepting the challenge all by yourself. Your posts - both Blogly and Forumly - are a joy to read and I can't deny it's a relief to know that we passed Tez's mind-boggling creation to someone who is able to tend it with the skill and devotion of a prize-winning apiarist.

Last but most definitely not least, for considerably reducing the number of stress-induced ahhs inherent in this little job, I want to thank my magnificent former partner. The staggering amount of donkey work she took on, combined with her unfailing support inside the job and out of it, made the good times the most wonderful hoots, while reducing the less good times to insignificant blips. Kate, thank you to infinity for two incredible years and for your life-enhancing friendship. Meeting you in person for the first time this week has been, to quote Richard Curtis, surreal but nice. Mind-bogglingly amazing in fact.

So long, farewell, auf svidaniya!
Exit, pursued by a bee

Coming Attractions

Just a quick entry to send along a trio of things.

Rosemary Harris is scheduled to participate in the reading series at the 92Y Poetry Center
"Tony Award-winning actress Rosemary Harris (Spider-Man’s Aunt May) returns to the Poetry Center to read from some of the classics of children’s literature."

Date & Time: Sat, Sep 26, 2009, 11:30am
Location: Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street

"The Poetry Center presents the third year of its children’s reading series. These Saturday programs, targeted toward 8-12-year-olds, feature classic and contemporary literature read by actors and authors."

Jane Austen presents Jennifer Ehle

Damon Young at The Sydney Morning Herald in a nice article About writing and about Jane Austen revealed that Miss Austen was able to look into the future, anticipate the existence of the mini-series, and provide casting.

"[...]Her sales are astronomical, her influence on authors and readers incalculable. She gave us Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, for which many fans are profoundly grateful. [...]"

We are profoundly grateful, Miss Austen (with thanks also to Sue Birtwistle, Simon Langton, and Andrew Davies for an excellent job of channeling JA).


A treat is due to be served here at the Blog on or about Saturday July 11th.
Mark your calendars; set your timepieces; calibrate your sundials.

[It is still the afternoon of July 10th at my location so I can truthfully present this as a future event no matter what the "date/time posted by" might indicate below]

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hot Summer in the Country

A treasure trove of rare interview footage has been uploaded to YouTube by one of Jennifer Ehle's most stalwart fans. I posted two of them last time but there have been many more added since, so do not miss terrykip's videos.

Although the most brief, I think this is my favorite (despite perhaps the need for a more clued-in interviewer).

Also, many thanks to sharonalee who let us know about the excellent P&P photo gallery she has created and for volunteering to share it.

Bright Sunshine
After watching Sunshine for the first time recently, Antti Alanen in his Film Diary blog reported his very favorable impressions.
"There are gorgeous female roles in the film, and especially the scenes with the bright Jennifer Ehle radiate with intelligence, courage, sensuality and frank sexuality. - Rachel Weisz would have deserved more screen time, but of course the film is long as it is. Rosemary Harris is excellent as the grown-up Valerie. - Although Ralph Fiennes in his triple role portrays the three main characters, finally, Valerie is the soul and heart of the film, the only one who never loses her inner compass. - A film I decided I want to see again even while still watching it."

Hot Wings
The temperature when I left work yesterday was 100F (37.8C) and will be about the same when I depart today. If the weather has been as unbearably hot where you are as it has been here, keeping animals under your care comfortably cool can be a concern. Let's say, for example, you have chickens. A number of them; maybe seven chickens. If so, has some valuable tips for you about
Keeping Your Chickens Healthy and Cool in Hot Summer Heat

[...] "Water is essential" [...]"

[picture by T. McCracken via]

Hot Things
The Forsyth County ((Winston-Salem is the county seat) Library site has a fine Biography of John Ehle compiled by Sheryl Monks. Included is a nice photo of him with Joe Pye. It has information not in his Wiki article (so far) and worth a read. Just a sample:
[...] Originally released in 1964 by Harper & Row, The Land Breakers is the first book of seven in a sweeping saga detailing the opening up of the North Carolina Appalachian frontier. Rob Neuland of the Asheville Citizen Times has called Ehle’s series, "the greatest epic of our region." [...]

At livejournal two of our favorite ladies made list of Ashmh'sTop Ten Favorite Miniseries. Mom beat daughter in this one.
2. "The Chisholms" (1979) - This excellent three-part miniseries followed the adventures of a Virginian family during their overland trek to California in the mid-1840s. Based upon Evan Hunter's novel, it starred Robert Preston, Rosemary Harris and Ben Murphy.
7. "Pride and Prejudice" (1995) - Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle co-starred in what I consider to be the best version of Jane Austen's classic 1813 novel.

Suzanna Bowling in the Examiner writes about some upcoming productions, including The Royal Family and its award-laden cast.
MTC is also bringing The Royal Family. This is the classic comedy of theatrical manners, written by two of the theatre's greatest writers, George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber, whose other storied collaborations include Dinner at Eight and Stage Door. This devilishly funny play follows the Cavendishes, the famous family of stage stars, as they go about the drama of the day: choosing scripts, dashing off to a performance, and stealing kisses with handsome beaus. Directed by Tony Award winner Doug Hughes (Doubt) with a fantastic cast that includes Emmy nominee Stephen Collins as Gilbert Marshall,Tony winner John Glover as Herbert Dean,Tony Award winner and Oscar nominee Rosemary Harris as Fanny Cavendish, Tony Award nominee and Drama Desk Award winner Jan Maxwell as Julie Cavendish,Tony nominee Tony Roberts as Oscar Wolfe,and Drama Desk Award nominee Reg Rogers as Tony Cavendish. Previews start September 15th.

The Rosemary Harris film Is Anybody There? earned a favorable review
by John Petrakis at recently. He wrote, "We are introduced to some of the other Lark Hall residents, who are portrayed by a who's-who of outstanding British and American character actors, including the still-lovely Rosemary Harris as a former dancer."

A short (19 minutes) film, The Monday Before Thanksgiving featuring Rosemary Harris was shown at Worldwide Short Film Festival 2009 . Shannon the Movie Moxie described it as "Adeptly light handling of complex life events and choices"

Party with Liz and Darce
Romance inspired die-cuts are ideal for weddings, St Valentines day, birthdays or just to say 'I love you'.
Meslyncrafts can offer the ULTIMATE in romantic couples 'Miss Elizabeth Bennett and the gorgeous Mr Darcy'.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Tube Tops & Shorts

YouTube offerings Top today's blog

1) This is "the making of" from the movie "This years love" (1999) with Douglas Henshall, Ian Hart, Kathy Burke, Jennifer Ehle, Catherine McCormack and Dougray Scott

2) Jennifer Ehle - Tony Awards 2000 - The Real Thing

3) Jennifer Ehle - Tony Award Memory. On the eve of her second Tony Award in 2007, Jennifer Ehle reflects on her first win

2) & 3) are credited via and were uploaded to YouTube this week by terrykip, definitely a tuber to root for and watch for whose interest appears grounded in the talented object of this blog. Thank you terrykip!

October Quotage Catch-up

This snippet from OK! Magazine's October 23, 2008 article on the Pride And Glory premiere seems to have been overlooked here. We have no problem with playing catch-up though. The article quotes several of the stars, including this from Jennifer Ehle being endearingly modest about being visited by co-stars while commenting on why Colin Farrell might make someone a decent boyfriend.

“He’s incredibly warm, incredibly kind, he’s funny, he’s charming in a very honest way. He came to the trailer and welcomed me on my first day, which is something I wouldn’t expect someone in his position to do. He’s very kind. I think kindness is underrated when looking for a partner.”


Short films being presented at the 15th annual Palm Springs International ShortFest June 23-29 include The Monday Before Thanksgiving with Rosemary Harris.
Recent articles can be found at The Desert Sun and Hollywood Reporter and indieWiIRE

[...] Four actors will have their directorial debuts featured at the Festival including Demi Moore directing “Streak,” starring Brittany Snow, Rumer Willis and Madeline Zima; Courteney Cox-Arquette directing and starring in “The Monday Before Thanksgiving” along with Laura Dern and Rosemary Harris; Marianne Jean-Baptiste directing “Ink,” and Joseph Gordon-Levitt directing “Sparks” starring Carla Gugino and Eric Stoltz.[...]

Is Anybody [down] There"

The Rosemary Harris film Is Anybody There was released in Australia 4 June 2009, giving rise to some more harvestable reviews.

Sandra Hall in The Sydney Morning Herald

Philippa Hawker in The Age - Melbourne,Victoria,Australia "The home's elderly residents are defined by standard sitcom dottiness; actors such as Leslie Phillips, Sylvia Syms, Peter Vaughan and Rosemary Harris deserve better than these sketchily written roles."

Alice Tynan in Trespass Magazine "Rosemary Harris as Elsie does get one wistfully poignant scene, though the rest of the residents are relegated to typical, if compassionately portrayed, stereotypes."

Universal Truths in 140 characters

I once read someone postulating that if Jane Austen had been alive today, she'd be writing scripts for hit sit-coms. That was before Twitter, though. Bind your ribs to prevent cracking before reading this hilarious version of Pride and Prejudice. I'd quote some if it, but it is all so brilliantly funny that I'd have to paste the entire piece.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Leaping Water

(Squee if you want, we finally have a name)

Reported at University of North Carolina School of the Arts Alumni Notes
"Jennifer Ehle '88 and her husband Michael Ryan recently welcomed a new daughter, Talulah Ryan, into their family."

(It's June 4th where I am, so ...) Happy three-month birthday anniversary, Miss Talulah Ryan!

A jezillion thanks to t for bringing this link to our attention. She owns extra-special JE radar, I think. She also noticed that a 3-syllable pattern seems to mark the matriarchal line. [Edited to correct: It was Kate who noticed the tri-syllablism]

From internet research:

The meaning of the name Talulah is Leaping Water
The origin of the name Talulah is Native American (Choctaw)

Another, less mentioned derivation is "possibly derived from a Gaelic name meaning "fruitful woman". (Come to think of it though, Ryan is an Irish Gaelic surname, so this could be the more likely inspiration).

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Ray-views and more

Rayning P&P

The amazing popularity of the miniseries continues fifteen years on from its filming. Just consider that around this time fifteen years ago 24-year-old Jennifer Ehle was possibly being fitted for a dark-hued wig of curls, or learning the steps to Mr Beveridge's Maggot, or rehearsing "TLMINTWICEBPOTM".

GLENN MCDONALD in the NC Triangle area News & Observer shows excellent observation skills himself when he notes:
[...] The BBC series manages what so many previous (and subsequent) adaptations have not: To effectively balance the period melodrama with Austen's exceedingly subtle wit and feminine (if not quite feminist) point of view. The casting of Ehle and Firth proves critical in this regard. Both are really quite brilliant in their ability to deliver Austen's multivalent dialogue -- communicating volumes with the airiest of bon mots. The highly mannered wordplay is an epic poem of passive-aggressive euphemism, and it takes serious acting chops to convey the depth of emotion underneath. [... ]

(my own underlining added in the above)

Svet Atanasov has an in-depth review at the blu-ray page which is worth reading if only for his almost apologetic disclaimer of writing from an man's point of view. This piece is accompanied by some really lovely and HQ photos which can be seen enlarged by clicking on those provided within the article. He concludes that he can "comfortably state that Pride and Prejudice will become a “poster-child” for the Blu-ray format" and also saying;
[...] I think that one of the key reasons why Pride and Prejudice won the hearts of many Jane Austin fans is the terrific emphasis on detail, which Simon Langdon and his team achieved; and I don’t necessarily mean the excellent decors and costumes. Rather, I believe that it was the ability of the actors to express accurately the complex emotions and feelings Jane Austen’s characters struggle with.[...]

Michael Giltz at huffingtonpost agrees with me when he says "this is one of the greatest miniseries of all times [...] Absolutely essential."

Doug Nye of McClatchy-Tribune News Service calls it "The best film adaptation ever of Jane Austen’s 'Pride and Prejudice'" and adds "Particularly impressive are Colin Firth as Darcy and Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet."

Lex Walker writes a wide-ranging review also worth reading, another self-admitted strictly man's point of view, in which he humorously but gently muses on the Firth-Feenom. He begins by calling it "... the stereotypical woman's holy grail of films". But he ultimately admits to the right way of thinking :"Most of the women out there openly profess their love for this series - and that's fair. It is a well-crafted story (Jane Austen, I mean come on) and the lead performers excel in every way."

It isn't a ray-view nor is it P&P, but this interesting P&G review trickled in recently. It has more to say about Ms Ehle than most coverage of this film. I don't really understand the "metaphorical bird" allusion though, so any illumination from readers who do would be appreciated.

The Doan Scale

Blogger Brian Doan responded to a challenge to "Name 10 film characters that are your favorite and explain why. " He's now my top favorite blogger, I think. But not surprising, right?, with a name like that !
[...]Everyone talks about Colin Firth (who is excellent) and Andrew Davies' adaptation (ditto), but for me it's Ehle who holds the whole thing together. She is expert at delivering Austen's witticisms, but so much of the film rests on her face and her movements. I don't mean that in prurient way (although she is quite beautiful), but rather want to suggest how hard it is to look right, in period garb, while sometimes doing nothing.
How many actors can't escape modernity and create a feeling of anachronism, or clutter the space with too many tics or gestures? It takes a lot of courage to remain still, and still seem in character. Ehle does this expertly, and it's her responses to things-- the look of warmth or humor or sadness that can flash in her eyes, as her face quickly rearranges itself into a mask of propriety-- that I remember. They give her Lizzie a weight and texture that other performances in the role simply can't match.

This recaps some of the discussion we've had at the forum about stillness-in-acting and distilled-emotion and I heartily concur with his insights. Is he just brilliant on his own ... or is it everyone with that name?

What a Waste and Missing Limbs

A ton (that's 2000 lbs) of reviews are available for Is Anybody There? which co-stars Rosemary Harris. Most are of the cookie-cutter variety, but a few are original enough and relevant enough to be worth linking here. The overall theme, regarding the subject who is of interest here, seems to be on the lines of, "Too bad her talents are wasted, under-used", A sampler:

Rex Reed in The New York Observer writes, "In fairness, Is Anybody There?, like all British films, boasts a splendid cast of character actors, including Anne-Marie Duff, Leslie Phillips and the sadly wasted, still-radiant Rosemary Harris."

Philip at atomipopcorn said "The supporting cast does some fine work, but I feel for actors like Rosemary Harris; she feels underused."

At Spectator Deborah Ross has a humorous review (and, for whatever reason, semi-vicious digs at Peter O'Toole), maintaining a criminal wasting of top-notch talent.

Kelly Jane Torrance at The Washington Times offers a nice review with very good things to say about the incredible talent of the supporting actors.

Several reviews have hinted at some features of the character Ms Harris plays in the film.
At hollywoodand fine "Rosemary Harris, as a woman with one leg who wants to convince a male resident to dance with her"

James Christopher in The Times mentions pawing and plucking "in a fruitless search for romance"

John Walsh
at The Independent notes "Rosemary Harris, despite her prosthetic leg, tries to appear alluring to the tippling lothario, without success. "

JONATHAN L. FISCHER in Philadelphia's The Bulletin says "[...] the comedy — mostly typical geriatric sight gags — stays in the hands of a retinue of veteran British character actors, like Rosemary Harris [...] "

Listen up!
A Streetcar Named Desire available on audio. "[...]Rosemary Harris embodies Blanche with all the flare, attitude and Southern drawl commonly associated with the cultural icon. [...] This recording captures the cast of the 1973 Broadway revival (which won Harris a Drama Desk award and Farentino a Theatre World award)."

Wanna take me to Lunch on May 15th?

We could chow down at The 75th Annual Drama League Awards Ceremony and Luncheon where, among other things, "[...] nine past recipients of the Distinguished Performance Award -- Norbert Leo Butz, Stockard Channing, Christine Ebersole, Rosemary Harris, Frank Langella, John Lithgow, Mary-Louise Parker, Stephen Rea, and Sam Waterston -- will be honored on this dais for their work this season. "

It would seem we'd have every right to be there since Everyone On Earth Nominated For A Drama League Award

Okay then, How about Carnegie Hall on June 15?

We could go to see Theodore Bikel: The First 85 Years "The 7:30 PM concert in the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage will boast the talents of Alan Alda, Arlo Guthrie, Rosemary Harris, David Amram, Beyond the Pale, Artie Butler, Patricia Conolly, Judy Kaye, David Krakauer, Tom Paxton, Serendipity 4 (Shura Lipovsky, Merima Kljuco, Tamara Brooks and Bikel), Noel Paul Stookey and Peter Yarrow, Susan Werner and Michael Wex. "

Event also announced at broadwayworld
and Sing Out! News Service

Or a Play from Sep 15th on?
The Royal Family Tickets and Information

Canada's Greatest, and it's not Gretzky

Variety reports that "Canuck film distributor E1 Entertainment has inked a deal with Senator Distribution to pick-up Canuck rights to rights to five pics [...] "The Greatest," written and directed by Shana Feste, stars Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon as a couple who learn their son's girlfriend is pregnant after he dies in a car crash. Pic will be released next spring."

Also reported at hollywoodreporter

Down to Earth with Colin Firth
Blogger Nikki shared a firthhand experience worthy of Bridget Jones herself. Enjoy! (evidently he is very very tall).

Terminating Time and Producing Purses

Mark Bostridge reviews Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World By Claire Harman.
" [...] a major factor in Jane Austen's longevity as a novelist must be the apparent timelessness of her work. To a large extent, her books are unattached to specific times and places. 'She stopped the clock', writes Harman, and now is always her time."

Need to open up some bookshelf space, make good use of those extra copies of Pride & Prejudice, and at the same time feed your handbag hankering? Meet Caitlin Phillips who "[...] goes through 500 to 750 books every year. But not because she's a speed reader. Instead, she cuts out all the pages and replaces them with beautiful fabric, to transform old books into stylish purses. [...] The most requested book is Pride and Prejudice — overwhelmingly so, Phillips says. "It's a great book, but I did not realize truly just how popular it was." [...]"

In the category: too late to do you any good at all, but I'll post it anyway

BBC 'Pride and Prejudice' writer to speak at UT

Through my own procrastination, I just missed letting you know of this chance to hear Andrew Davies being grateful to Jane Austen. Though if anyone out there did attend, we'd love to hear about it if you want to share.

Today's footnote. Never again will I allow myself to wait this long between blogs under the misapprehension that there is not enough information available. I severely underestimated the sheer human ability to fill a blank panel with words.

(Still mourning the lovely Kate's exit but confident the bear took second place.)