by G.H. Harding
GLOBE FEVER — It was a pretty good Golden Globes last night with Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh hosting. I was waiting for a Kevin Hart-joke and it came pretty quick. BTW: Hart will NOT host the Oscars, even after Ellen DeGeneres’ less-than-inspired push.
Side note: What was she thinking and when she said she called the Academy; it made it sound like there was just one person there. Ill advised? Definitely.
The Globes were good, even though I felt that Hugh Grant was robbed. Chuck Lorre’s The Kominsky Method won two big awards, including a best performance nod for star Michael Douglas. Interestingly, when Lorre took to the stage to accept his award, he was noticeably silent and obviously moved. Not one Charlie Sheen joke to be found. I liked the show and wonder if there’ll be a second season. Maybe with these wins there will be.
Rami Malek scored a Globe and Bohemian Rhapsody won as Best Picture; but, Lady Gaga, Julia Roberts and Spike Lee’s Blackkklansman were shut outs and Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born had tremendous depth and was essentially shut out as well. “Shallow” did win for Best Song, but deserved much, much more recognition. NPR’s Ann Powers noted that when Gaga accepted, along with producer Mark Ronson; he hardly let her get a word in edgewise and when she finally did, she mentioned how difficult it was for a woman to get taken seriously in the movie business. It was a telling and awkward moment.
Vice’s Christian Bale awarded for his acting prowess, gave a speech that reeked of telling moments. Bale’s razor-thin temper flared when he admitted that his wife always tells him less is more in a speech. And he admitted as much when he said that a speech from him can often stop a movie dead in its tracks.
Thanking Satan for inspiration in playing Dick Cheney and joking about “cornering the market on the charisma-free assholes,” the ex-Dark Knightthen floated the idea of playing Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell in the future. “That could be good, wouldn’t it?” Bale added with a smile as Vice director McKay cheered from the audience.
Truth be told, Bale must be a handful at home.
Mahershala Ali won for Best Supporting Actor for Green Book; simply a tremendous film.
Ben Whishaw did win for A Very English Scandal.
Carol Burnett was honored with award, named for her and gave a terrific speech essentially saying that a show like hers would never work today. She said the networks wouldn’t pay for it. Telling for sure.
Jeff Bridges, who won the Cecile B. DeMille award, gave a great speech, thanking his stand in – who first worked with him in The Last Picture Showand has ever since. Wide-ranging, a bit off the rails, I love Bridges and his sense of wonderment. He even referenced Buckminster Fuller and essentially asked for everyone to save the planet. Just great.
The one telling theme throughout, from the stars and pundits alike, was that streaming is here to stay. From Netflix to Amazon and HBO as well, the small screen has finally equaled the big screen.
GRAMM GONE — Ex-Foreigner front-man Lou Gramm surprised a crowd in upstate New York when he announced it was his final solo performance.
He originally left Foreigner to concentrate on his solo career in 1990 after several years of disagreement with bandleader Mick Jones. By that time, Gramm had already released two successful albums in his own right, 1987’s Ready or Not and 1989’s Long Hard Look.
He went on to launch Lou Gramm Band in 2009 then My Baby in 2015. Two years earlier, relations with Jones began to thaw: The pair appeared together at the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Gramm has since taken part in a number of reunion shows with Foreigner.
Speaking to his audience at Proctor’s in Schenectady, N.Y., Gramm, 68, said he’d enjoyed “quite a few years of a lot of fun” but that he’d been “talking a little bit with my wife and some people in the business.” He added, “You get real excited when you start out in this business, but you’ve got to be smart enough to know when to walk away from it too. I just feel it’s that time for me.”
His 14-track performance consisted mainly of Foreigner tracks including “Feels Like the First Time,” “Cold as Ice,” “I Want To Know What Love Is,” “Juke Box Hero” and “Hot Blooded.” It also included the solo Top 10 hit “Midnight Blue,” which appeared on Ready or Not.
The tour dates page on Gramm’s website was empty at time of writing. He previously announced plans for a series of “rock pack” shows with Asia-ex John Payne, performing songs by their respective former bands. Tickets for shows on Jan. 26 in Collingswood, N.J., and on April 5 in St. Charles, Ill., appeared to remain on sale on some websites.
Earlier in 2018, Gramm said he hoped to work with Jones again and complete some “rough ideas” they left unfinished toward the end of their time in Foreigner together.
HALSTON — Simply Halston, a limited television series starring and executive-produced by Ewan McGregor, is in the works. Written by Sharr White (The Affair) and directed by Emmy winner Dan Minahan (The Assassination of Gianni Versace), Simply Halston, produced by Killer Films,will explore the rise and fall of Halston, considered America’s first celebrity fashion designer.
Roy Halston Frowick, a milliner from Indiana, rose to fame after designing Jacqueline Kennedy’s pink pillbox hat for her husband’s 1961 presidential inauguration.
Halston’s celebrity clients including Lauren Bacall, Margaux Hemingway, Anjelica Huston, Liza Minnelli, Bianca Jagger, and Elizabeth Taylor. The Studio 54 regular also designed uniforms for the U.S Olympic team, Girl Scouts, NYPD, and Braniff Airways.
Halston faced severe backlash when he began designing for J.C. Penney in 1982. Following a hostile takeover, his company was eventually acquired by Revlon, and Halston ultimately lost control of his international fashion empire.
Halston’s longtime lover was Colombian window dresser Victor Hugo. Halston died in 1990 from AIDS-related complications at the age of 57.
Based on Steven Gaines’ 1991 biography of the same name, a long-gestating Simply Halston film previously had both Alec Baldwin and Brendan Fraser attached to the leading role.
A documentary, Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston, premiered in 2012.
McGregor, who recently starred in Christopher Robin, won a Golden Globe Award for his work on the FX limited series Fargo.
SHORT TAKES — Author Mark Bego was interviewed last Friday by WOR’s Joe Bartlett and the segment aired Friday … Micky Dolenz at The Avalon Ballroom Theatre at Niagara Fallsview on January 15, 16, and 17. He was interviewed by Jim Carrey’s sister Rita on her Pete and Reet radio-show … Excellent article on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Luke Kirby by Michael Starr in the New York Post. Check it out:https://nypost.com/2019/01/02/how-luke-kirby-channels-lenny-bruce-in-marvelous-mrs-maisel/ …BTW: I meant to include Jean Luc-Ponty’s show at SONY Hall and Chick Corea at The Blue Note as two more of my favorite shows of 2018. Ponty, who I hadn’t seen in decades, was just sensational. Perfectly blending his version of jazz-fusion with rock. Just stunning. And, Corea, was equally brilliant. Performing as just a trio this time, he hadn’t lost a step. Just a brilliant performance … Robert Miller’s Project Grand Slam, fresh from a brilliant show at The Loft at City Winery, is out with his Greetings From Serbia on January 18 … One of my newly, re-discovered classics is Mike Scott’s 1995 Bring ‘Em All In. The album was Scott’s first of two solo albums, the other being 1997’s Still Burning. Scott fronted The Waterboys, one of the great-Irish-styled bands. Just sensational music … Colin Blunstone (Zombies) at My Father’s Place on February 1 … You’ve got to hand it to Sting; his latest project with Shaggy was met with mixed results, so he’s released an updated, 2019 version of his “Brand New Day.” I love the new version. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENIpBp1YQhY&start_radio=1&list=RDENIpBp1YQhY .
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Wendy Stuart Kaplan; Anthony Pomes; Mark Bego; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Richard Johnson; Deb Caponetta; Peter Abraham; Jim Kerr; Maria Milito; Ken Dashow; Eppy; David Salidor; and, CHIP.