Friday, February 26, 2010

Cicely Tyson Honored

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Cicely Tyson Honored

Cicely Tyson is going to be honored at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon. Tyson will receive the Legend Award.

She will get the award at the March 4 event at the Beverly Hils Hotel in Los Angeles alongside previously announced honorees Queen Latifah, Zoe Saldana, Mary J. Blige, and Gabourey Sidibe.

The Legend Award honors "pioneers who have paved the way and broken barriers for African-American actresses in Hollywood."

The 76-year-old Tyson was nominated for a best leading actress Oscar in 1972 for her work in "Sounder."

She also won two Emmys for her work in 1974's "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman." She also appeared in such projects as "Roots" and "The Women of Brewster Place."


Gina Wilhelm Actress

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Trying to Pick Oscar's Good Actress

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Trying to Pick Oscar's Good Actress

Apparently the best actor race is all tied up already (I had no idea, did you?) and will go to Jeff Bridges.

That leaves the debate open for the best actress award. Bloggers Jack Matthews and Anne Thompson both think Meryl Streep should win, but suspect that Sandra Bullock may get the Oscar instead.

Both bloggers suspect that voters may think they'll never get another chance to vote for Bullock and therefore give it to her for her role in "The Blind Side."

Matthews, who writes for Moviefone, thinks that they might honor Streep for her portrayal of Julia Child in "Julie & Julia" since voters like to honor performances they don't think they could give themselves.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hilary Duff Engagement

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Hilary Duff Engagement

Hilary Duff, star of Lizzie McGuire, got engaged recently while on vacation in Hawaii.

Rumors have circulated several times that she was engaged to hockey player Mike Comrie, whom the 22-year-old actress has dated for two years.

However, this time her representative has confirmed that the pair actually got engaged over Valentine's weekend.

Comrie plays for the Edmonton Oilers. Duff was spotted at Katsuya in LA showing off her ring. The pair is looking to buy a mansion together in Beverley Hills.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Monday, February 22, 2010

Caroline McWilliams Remembered

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Caroline McWilliams Remembered

Broadway and television veteran and Seattle native Caroline McWilliams passed away earlier this month at the age of 64.

McWilliams was part of the Broadway revival cast of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" in 1975, as well as starring in "The Rothschilds" and "Boccaccio."

She also appeared in the New York Shakespeare Festival and worked off Broadway in the American Shakespeare Festival.

On television, she was best known for playing Marcy Hill on "Benson" and Sally on "Soap."

Her big break came when she was cast in "Guiding Light" in 1969. She also was on "Another World" and later appeared on "Beverley Hills, 90210."

She will be missed.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Celebrating Dorothy Dandridge

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Celebrating Dorothy Dandridge

African American actress Dorothy Dandridge got her start as part of a child act with her sister Vivian in an act known as The Wonder Children.

She came to Hollywood during the Depression. Unsatisfied with the sorts of roles she got, she continued to perform live with her sister in an act now known as The Dandridge Sisters.

Dandridge felt she wasn't the greatest singer, but knew her greatest talents lay in her beauty, poise, and elegance.

She was the first African American woman to receive a best actress Academy Award nomination for her performance in "Carmen Jones."

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Older Actress White Surprised by Facebook Campaign

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Older Actress White Surprised by Facebook Campaign

Betty White is at the center of a campaign on Facebook to have her host "Saturday Night Live." The campaign currently has some 331,000 fans.

This all comes after White's turn in a Snickers ad that aired during the Super Bowl.

"I don't even know where that came from," White admitted. However, she doubted "SNL" producer Lorne Michaels knew about the campaign, so wasn't too worried about it.

That said, she did admit that if her schedule allowed and she was invited, she would be willing to host the comedy show.

The 88-year-old humorously promises that this Betty White Renaissance will come to an end soon. "It will go away, I promise."

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Sunday, February 14, 2010

"Company" at Seattle Musical Theatre

Gina Wilhelm Actress - "Company" at Seattle Musical Theatre

Stephen Sondheim's "Company" opened this weekend at Seattle Musical Theatre and is playing through February 28. I had the opportunity to see the show today, and I highly recommend it.

The play was groundbreaking when it premiered, telling a story in associated vignettes, rather than as a linear narrative.

The play tells the story of Robert, played by Ryan Demerick, on his 35th birthday. Robert's married friends are throwing him a birthday party. Throughout the play, Robert and his friends reflect on marriage.

The whole cast, made up of SMT veterans and a few strong newcomers, is very strong, handling the intricate rhythms and harmonies masterfully.

Standouts include Demerick, who has much of the weight of the show on his shoulders, and must make frequent rapid mood shifts throughout. His "Being Alive" was poignant.

Allison Standley, as Marta, has a strong voice on "Another Hundred People," extolling the virtues of Manhattan, before having a fun dialogue with Robert.

Kat Schroeder, last seen at SMT as Ulla in "The Producers," brilliantly portrayed frantic neurosis in her patter song "Getting Married Today."

Dawn Brazell gives a powerful performance as Joanne, a "difficult woman," who is brashy and strident. Her "The Ladies Who Lunch" was a revealing insight into the character.

Finally, Danielle Barnum, was played the title character in "Jane Eyre," was adorable as April. Her performance was all the more impressive for the contrast between the two characters.

April and Robert have the duet "Barcelona," which can be dull and pedantic, but here was charming.

The high point of the show for me was their scene together before that duet. The characters connected well with each other and the audience.

"Company" runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. They also have a 7:30 performance on Thursday, February 25.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 206-363-2809. You can also visit the SMT website. Tickets range from $30-35 for adults and $25-30 for students and seniors.

The address for Magnuson Park is 7400 Sand Point Way NE. The theater is in building 47. Directions and maps are also on the SMT website.

The website also has a "study guide" for the play. Come find out why Sondheim called "Company" his favorite show he's written!

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Gypsy Rose Lee

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Gypsy Rose Lee

Timed to coincide with the 99th birthday of Gypsy Rose Lee, rumors are circulating that the most recent Broadway revival starring Patty LuPone may be coming to London's West End.

Born in Seattle, Gypsy's burlesque routines would emphasize the "tease" in striptease. It's said she removed less clothing than other burlesque dancers.

Gypsy's routines, instead, featured wit, intelligence, and sophistication. She said “You don’t have to be naked to look naked. You just have to think naked.”

Lee wrote a memoir about her life in vaudeville, burlesque, and her domineering mother, which became the basis for "Gypsy."

On stage, "Gypsy" starred Ethel Merman. It was made into a film starring Rosalind Russell. There was also a TV movie in 1993 starring Bette Midler.

The LuPone revival, directed by Arthur Laurents, closed in January 2009 and won three Tony awards.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Good Actress Danes Shines in Latest Role

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Good Actress Danes Shines in Latest Role

Claire Danes made a big splash in 1995 in the beloved brilliant-but-cancelled "My So-Called Life."

Since then, she's played a number of lead roles in less brilliant movies, or small supporting roles in high-quality projects, but nothing on-screen that really demonstrated the talent of "Life."

That is, until now. Danes stars in "Temple Grandin," where she plays the title role, an autistic pioneer of the animal-welfare movement. "Temple Grandin" premiered on HBO on February 6.

Director Mick Jackson said it took him "about three nanoseconds" to realize that Danes was the perfect actress for the role.

"Claire is an actress who, in many ways, has some of Temple's own characteristics -- a directness, a see something through in the right possible way and get it right," explained Jackson.

"Temple Grandin" starring Claire Danes will continue to air on HBO throughout the month of February.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Remembering Frances Reid

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Remembering Frances Reid

Frances Reid passed away on February 3 at the grand age of 97. Reid was an original cast member of the soap opera "Days of Our Lives."

Reid was born in Texas and grew up in California. She had been with the television show since its premiere in 1965.

She had also appeared on such classic shows as "Wagon Train" and "Dr. Kildare."

Reid was nominated for two Daytime Emmys and won two Soapys and three Soap Opera Digest awards. She also received a lifetime achievement award from the Daytime Emmys.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

The Best Years of Our Lives

Gina Wilhelm Actress - The Best Years of Our Lives

Turner Classic Movies ran "The Best Years of Our Lives" on February 2nd. The 1946 William Wyler movie starred Fredric March, Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Teresa Wright, Virginia Mayo, and Hoagy Carmichael.

The movie shows the effects of war on ordinary citizens, particularly three servicemen after World War II.

The film won seven Academy Awards. It received Best Writing (Screenplay), Best Film Editing, and Best Music (Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture).

More notably, it also won Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, Best Motion Picture, and an Honorary Award.

A great way to start Oscar season: By watching one of the classics that won big at the Oscars 60 years ago.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Monday, February 1, 2010

German Actress Named Best Actress International

Gina Wilhelm Actress - German Actress Named Best Actress International

Diane Kruger, star of Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds," received the Goldene Kamera Best Actress International award on January 30.

The award originally began as a prize for German television stars. Over the years, it has evolved into an honor for international actors.

Ironically enough, while the award is given in Germany for international actors, Kruger is, herself, German.

Danny DeVito and Richard Gere also were honored on Saturday.

Congratulations to all the honorees!

Gina Wilhelm Actress