Tuesday, April 23, 2024

UPDATE Michael Moore Heading to Prime Time This Winter with “Live from Apocalypse” (Plus Review of His Broadway Show Here)


Michael Moore announced on Twitter tonight he’s returning to prime time TV. “Live from the Apocalypse’ will air on TNT.


EARLIER I finally caught up with Michael Moore’s “The Terms of My Surrender” last night at the Belasco Theater. Everyone who’s interested in what’s going on now with Trump and America must see this hilarious and often moving one man show.

After reading Jesse Green’s review in the Times I worried about “Terms.” But it turns out Green was dead wrong. Moore’s performance is absolutely captivating. There are plenty of laughs, and some serious moments too. But don’t be fooled– this is no screed– it’s like Garrison Keillor taking on Donald Trump, and winning!

Moore tailors the evening’s performance to what’s happening in the news. Since he opened last Thursday, we’ve had Charlottesville and Barcelona. Those topics were worked into last night’s opening monologue. But there are also excellent set pieces about the Flint, Michigan water supply and even “Dancing with the Stars.”

Every couple of shows there is a surprise guest who comes on stage. Last night it was Ann Sparanese, the progressive Englewood, New Jersey librarian who saved Moore’s 2001 book, “Stupid White Men,” from being pulped by Rupert Murdoch’s Harper Collins publishers.

The book was set to be released on September 11, 2001. But after the World Trade Center tragedies, HarperCollins decided to not release the book and pulp it because it was too irreverent. By coincidence, a couple of months later, Moore read portions aloud to a group of librarians in New Jersey. He told them what was going on. Sparanese, who didn’t know Moore, immediately sent an email to 100 influential librarians. Word spread quickly and Harper Collins was forced to publish “Stupid White Men” in its original form.

Sparanese is quite remarkable. She took a seat with Moore on stage last night. “I never expected to be on Broadway,” she said. With twinkling eyes and long white hair, Sparanese is a throwback to Woodstock and lefty organizing. She fights the good fight, and was there that day in 2001 at Moore’s reading as a representative of her union.

Sparanese told us a lot about libraries. There’s a library that loans ties to people going on job interviews. It’s called the Tiebrary. Others loan out “hot spots” so people can get resumes done. We were surprised (not shocked) to learn that Trump’s budget proposes total cuts to funding of publicĀ  libraries.

I don’t know why the Times review called Moore “self-aggrandizing” and that he was “bragging.” About what? Talk about missing the point. Moore’s rambling (it’s actually very structured thanks to director Michael Mayer) presentation is completely sincere. He’s strung together memoirish anecdotes, combined some sketch like comedy (a bit about the TSA gets howls), and then delivers solid information about making a difference.

This past week, Moore took his audience by bus load to Trump Tower, to participate in protests. He’s got some more interactive stuff coming up. I found it exciting theater. Two hours, no intermission, and it was a breeze. Plus, I learned some things.

I can’t wait to go back.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News