leisure 01.5.07

Quiz - Movie Edition



MUG's monthly quiz, this one movie-themed. Answers will be posted after 3pm on our website.





Q: It was inspired by the robbery of a Brooklyn bank and in it Pacino says "Attica! Attica!" Movie?


A: Dog Day Afternoon





Q: In The Devil Wears Prada, who plays the role of Christian Thompson, the writer, and what TV show did the actor star in for three seasons?

A: Simon Baker, star of "The Guardian"





Q: In what part of town is the apartment located in Billy Wilder's The Apartment?

A: UWS (W. 67th)





Q: Sleepless in Seattle, in which the Empire State Building figures so prominently, is modeled on an older movie. Which one? a) I'll Cry Tomorrow b) An Affair to Remember c) The Dirty Dozen d) Phar Lap

A: An Affair to Remember, which itself is a remake of Love Affair





Q: What was unusual about the office where John Cusack worked in Being John Malkovich, located in the fictional Mertin-Flemmer building in Manhattan?

A: It's located on floor 7½






Q: Three sailors on 24-hour leave in NYC, starring Frank Sinatra. Movie?

A: On the Town






Q: In Fort Apache the Bronx, the film starring Paul Newman from 1981, what does Fort Apache refer to?

A: Police precinct






Q: Who wrote All About Eve? a) Joseph L. Mankiewicz b) Carson McCullers c) Buddy Hackett d) Ruth Prawer Jhabvala e) George Cukor

A: Joseph L. Mankiewicz






Q: Who plays Dorothy Michaels in Tootsie?

A: Dustin Hoffman





Q: Where was much of last year's Inside Man filmed?
a) 666 5th b) 1 Peck Slip c) 623 E. 68th d) 20 Exchange Place

A: 20 Exchange Place





Q: Who wrote the novella on which Breakfast at Tiffany's is based?

A: Truman Capote





Q: She played Jimmy Stewart's nurse in Rear Window. The actress' name?
a) Selma Diamond b) Spring Byington c) Thelma Ritter d) Patsy Kelly e) Gale Gordon

A: Thelma Ritter







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By George Spelvin






THE BITCH OF… OPENING IN DECEMBER: Spring Awakening is still struggling at the box office, despite receiving rapturous reviews from the critics a month ago. The show's producers have reportedly spent $2 million (or 25% of the show's total capitalization) on post-opening quote ads touting these raves, but opening a show in the middle of the December holidays – especially a show with taboo subject matter, a score full of introspective ballads and an unknown cast – makes for a really hard sell. Personally, I wish the best for the show and its producers (all 26 of 'em!), although maybe they should ditch the standard quote ads, which don't seem to be working, and try something as unconventional as the musical itself. I'd start by getting more eyeballs on their kickass video for the song "The Bitch Of Living," which could be as powerful a marketing tool for today's audiences as the groundbreaking first TV ad was for Pippin 35 years ago. As one industry observer said in a recent Bloomberg news article: "It's a test to see if there's a market for a musical that has nothing going for it, except that it's wonderful."




GRINCH AND BEAR IT: Personally, I couldn't sit through the overly saccharine, overlong-at-70-minutes How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but clearly mine was a minority view. The musical turned out to be the surprise box office hit of the season. When it closes this Sunday, it will have recouped its entire $7 million investment in less than three months, which may be a record for a Broadway musical. So congrats to the producers, who I'm told are already planning to bring the show back next winter – at a cost of about $5 million – and then starting in year 3, they will roll out satellite Grinches in various other cities. They should even be able to save a few bucks if they can come back to the Hilton Theatre, which looks likely, considering the abysmal buzz for the venue's next tenant, The Pirate Queen. Although Broadway veterans Richard Maltby and Graciela Daniele have been brought aboard to improve the script and staging, my scouts who saw the Chicago tryout tell me Queen is an unfixable, royal mess.






LETTERS, WE GET LETTERS: As Max Bialystock declares, "There are two cardinal rules of producing. One: Never put your own money in the show." And two? "NEVER PUT YOUR OWN MONEY IN THE SHOW!" That said, you may be interested in a letter we recently received out of the blue from Steven Baruch, who is one of the producers of The Producers. He and his partners raise money like modern-day Bialystocks – in relatively small amounts from a large pool of investors. He wrote to ask "whether or not you might like to consider – in principle – making an investment in one of our future productions." I don't know why he thinks someone who writes a monthly online column has ten grand to invest in his next Broadway project, but he did also enclose a copy of a 10-year-old New York Times feature story in which he calculated that "if someone had invested $10,000 in every one of our shows, hits and flops, the annual internal rate of return would have been 32.04 percent a year," which is impressive. He doesn't mention in his letter what the rate of return has been in the decade since that article appeared, but Baruch and his partners have continued to have hits like The Producers, Hairspray and last season's Sweeney Todd to offset their recent flops, including Triumph of Love, Swing! and Little Shop of Horrors. Still, I think I'll pass if the next investment opportunity is the Broadway transfer of Trevor Nunn's abridged version of Porgy and Bess, which has proved a disappointment in London's West End.




FIRST THING WE DO, LET'S MERGE ALL THE LAWYERS. Speaking of Steve Baruch, his son, Jason Baruch, is a rising entertainment lawyer who's been working at the leading theatrical firm of Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo. As of January 1st, however, he has left that company and joined forces with powerhouse Broadway attorney Mark Sendroff on a new venture, Sendroff & Baruch. Let the mad scramble for A-list clients begin.




IT HELPS TO TALK ABOUT IT: If you're the type of person who likes to watch those "Working in the Theater" seminars on cable TV, then you definitely will want to visit one or all of these audio & video archives of conversations about the theater:




Theater Talk, "a news/discussion TV series devoted to the world of the stage. It began on New York television in 1993 and is co-hosted by Michael Riedel (Broadway columnist for the New York Post) and series producer Susan Haskins." An archive of its past shows can be found here.

Downstage Center, "a collaboration of the American Theatre Wing and XM Satellite Radio, is a weekly theatrical interview program that spotlights the creative talents on Broadway, Off-Broadway, across the country and around the world, with in-depth conversations that simply can't be found anywhere else." An archive of its past shows can be found here.

TheatreVoice, "the leading site for audio content about British theatre and features journalists from across the UK press and practitioners from across the theatre industry." An archive of its past shows can be found here.





FLY UNDER THE RADAR: For those with a taste for international and experimental works, have I got a festival for you. From January 19 to 23, "Under The Radar 2006" will showcase 14 performances by groups from Australia, Austria, Brazil, Columbia, France, South Asia, The Netherlands, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Primarily housed at the Public Theater, the series will also include shows at The Asia Society, 651 Arts, The Kitchen, New York Theatre Workshop, Theater Mitu, and The Foundry/Arts At St. Ann's. To hear series producer Mark Russell talk about what you can expect to see, click here. To see a brief video montage of the shows, click here.






JUST ASKING: Mary Poppins is produced by two Broadway behemoths: Disney Theatricals (which controls the rights to the songs taken from the movie version) and Cameron Mackintosh (who bought the stage rights from creator P.L. Travers). Up until now, they have been scrupulous about doing things on an equal basis. However, the recent letter inviting Tony voters to come see the show came in an envelope with a return address for Disney President Thomas Schumacher and no mention of Mackintosh – and the letter is signed by Schumacher alone. In addition, Cameron Mackintosh traditionally invites Tony voters to come see his shows at their convenience (even on Saturday evenings), whereas Schumacher's letter for Poppins only offers 15 possible dates with no weekend performances among them. Did Schumacher overrule/ignore Mackintosh on this important industry communication? And why be so stingy with Tony tickets? Is he still smarting over last season's Tony snub of Tarzan? Or is he just preparing himself for another defeat in a season already full of award-worthy musicals?







By George Spelvin

THE BITCH OF… OPENING IN DECEMBER: Spring Awakening is still struggling at the box office, despite receiving rapturous reviews from the critics a month ago. The show's producers have reportedly spent $2 million (or 25% of the show's total capitalization) on post-opening quote ads touting these raves, but opening a show in the middle of the December holidays—especially a show with taboo subject matter, a score full of introspective ballads and an unknown cast—makes for a really hard sell. Personally, I wish the best for the show and its producers (all 26 of 'em!), although maybe they should ditch the standard quote ads, which don't seem to be working, and try something as unconventional as the musical itself. I'd start by getting more eyeballs on their kickass video for the song "The Bitch Of Living," which could be as powerful a marketing tool for today's audiences as the groundbreaking first TV ad was for Pippin 35 years ago. As one industry observer said in a recent Bloomberg news article: "It's a test to see if there's a market for a musical that has nothing going for it, except that it's wonderful."

GRINCH AND BEAR IT: Personally, I couldn't sit through the overly saccharine, overlong-at-70-minutes How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but clearly mine was a minority view. The musical turned out to be the surprise box office hit of the season. When it closes this Sunday, it will have recouped its entire $7 million investment in less than three months, which may be a record for a Broadway musical. So congrats to the producers, who I'm told are already planning to bring the show back next winter—at a cost of about $5 million—and then starting in year 3, they will roll out satellite Grinches in various other cities. They should even be able to save a few bucks if they can come back to the Hilton Theatre, which looks likely, considering the abysmal buzz for the venue's next tenant, The Pirate Queen. Although Broadway veterans Richard Maltby and Graciela Daniele have been brought aboard to improve the script and staging, my scouts who saw the Chicago tryout tell me Queen is an unfixable, royal mess.

LETTERS, WE GET LETTERS: As Max Bialystock declares, "There are two cardinal rules of producing. One: Never put your own money in the show." And two? "NEVER PUT YOUR OWN MONEY IN THE SHOW!" That said, you may be interested in a letter we recently received out of the blue from Steven Baruch, who is one of the producers of The Producers. He and his partners raise money like modern-day Bialystocks—in relatively small amounts from a large pool of investors. He wrote to ask "whether or not you might like to consider—in principle—making an investment in one of our future productions." I don't know why he thinks someone who writes a monthly online column has ten grand to invest in his next Broadway project, but he did also enclose a copy of a 10-year-old New York Times feature story in which he calculated that "if someone had invested $10,000 in every one of our shows, hits and flops, the annual internal rate of return would have been 32.04 percent a year," which is impressive. He doesn't mention in his letter what the rate of return has been in the decade since that article appeared, but Baruch and his partners have continued to have hits like The Producers, Hairspray and last season's Sweeney Todd to offset their recent flops, including Triumph of Love, Swing! and Little Shop of Horrors. Still, I think I'll pass if the next investment opportunity is the Broadway transfer of Trevor Nunn's abridged version of Porgy and Bess, which has proved a disappointment in London's West End.

FIRST THING WE DO, LET'S MERGE ALL THE LAWYERS. Speaking of Steve Baruch, his son, Jason Baruch, is a rising entertainment lawyer who's been working at the leading theatrical firm of Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo. As of January 1st, however, he has left that company and joined forces with powerhouse Broadway attorney Mark Sendroff on a new venture, Sendroff & Baruch. Let the mad scramble for A-list clients begin.

IT HELPS TO TALK ABOUT IT: If you're the type of person who likes to watch those "Working in the Theater" seminars on cable TV, then you definitely will want to visit one or all of these audio & video archives of conversations about the theater:

· Theater Talk, "a news/discussion TV series devoted to the world of the stage. It began on New York television in 1993 and is co-hosted by Michael Riedel (Broadway columnist for the New York Post) and series producer Susan Haskins." An archive of its past shows can be found here.
· Downstage Center, "a collaboration of the American Theatre Wing and XM Satellite Radio, is a weekly theatrical interview program that spotlights the creative talents on Broadway, Off-Broadway, across the country and around the world, with in-depth conversations that simply can't be found anywhere else." An archive of its past shows can be found here.
· TheatreVoice, "the leading site for audio content about British theatre and features journalists from across the UK press and practitioners from across the theatre industry." An archive of its past shows can be found here.

FLY UNDER THE RADAR: For those with a taste for international and experimental works, have I got a festival for you. From January 19 to 23, "Under The Radar 2006" will showcase 14 performances by groups from Australia, Austria, Brazil, Columbia, France, South Asia, The Netherlands, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Primarily housed at the Public Theater, the series will also include shows at The Asia Society, 651 Arts, The Kitchen, New York Theatre Workshop, Theater Mitu, and The Foundry/Arts At St. Ann's. To hear series producer Mark Russell talk about what you can expect to see, click here. To see a brief video montage of the shows, click here.

JUST ASKING: Mary Poppins is produced by two Broadway behemoths: Disney Theatricals (which controls the rights to the songs taken from the movie version) and Cameron Mackintosh (who bought the stage rights from creator P.L. Travers). Up until now, they have been scrupulous about doing things on an equal basis. However, the recent letter inviting Tony voters to come see the show came in an envelope with a return address for Disney President Thomas Schumacher and no mention of Mackintosh—and the letter is signed by Schumacher alone. In addition, Cameron Mackintosh traditionally invites Tony voters to come see his shows at their convenience (even on Saturday evenings), whereas Schumacher's letter for Poppins only offers 15 possible dates with no weekend performances among them. Did Schumacher overrule/ignore Mackintosh on this important industry communication? And why be so stingy with Tony tickets? Is he still smarting over last season's Tony snub of Tarzan? Or is he just preparing himself for another defeat in a season already full of award-worthy musicals?


cbgb, september 2006

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