Monday, June 17, 2024

New York Round Up: Trudie Styler’s Stealth Off Broadway Hit, “Stan & Ollie” Early Oscar Buzz, Michael’s A-List Lunch


With the sun shining, and warm breezes blowing, it was one of those classic fall Wednesdays in New York.

Sting— the rock star– took a break from his tour with Shaggy and arrived at the Public Theater for the dress rehearsal of (actress-producer-director-activist) wife Trudie Styler‘s workshop of a play called “Savage Love.” Shaggy came, too. “Savage Love” is directed by Sean Mathias and co-stars Tony winner Owen Teale.

Legendary British playwright Pam Gems (who died in 2011 at age 85) handed Trudie her play “Guinevere” forty years ago and said, “You’re too young for this now. Just wait.” There will be private invite only tickets for the weekend so the company can work the kinks out. “Savage Love” will probably be on the Public’s schedule next year, and let’s hope so. It’s a spectacular play, updated and very resonant, very timely…

…But before we got into the Public, I did see an early screening of Jon S. Baird‘s “Stan and Ollie,” which Sony Pictures Classics may take into an Oscar qualifying run. How weird is this? Baird directed “Filth,” which the aforementioned Trudie Styler produced a couple of years ago! I didn’t even realize it. Baird has made a lovely film. Steve Coogan plays Stan Laurel and John C. Reilly is Oliver Hardy. Their respective wives are Nina Ariana¬† and Shirley Henderson. The performances are impeccable. I was blown away. If SPC gets screeners out and makes Academy members watch this. there will be nominations. For now, I’ll just say that Nina Arianda really is a treasure…

Michael’s is ever the Wednesday hot spot for lunch. The great journalist Jeff Greenfield was there having lunch with four guys including Jerry Della Femina, PR whiz Steven Rubenstein had the corner table, “St. Elsewhere” actress and producer Cynthia Sikes Yorkin was in the house, Henry Schleiff of the Discovery Channel stopped by. Funniest moment was when the infamous Trump emergency alert went off on everyone’s phones simultaneously. All conversation halted. I said, jokingly, “It’s Trump, he’s been arrested.” A nice man sitting along the far wall, said, “Really?” with such glee in his voice. I had to say, “No, just kidding.” People clapped. He wanted it so much. Journalist Jill Brooke was my lunch date. I asked Steve Millington, who runs the joint, jokingly, where Sam Cohn (the legendary agent, now sadly deceased was). “In heaven, eating paper,” he cracked wise. Only at Michael’s kids.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
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.

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