The Drama Desk is an organization of theater critics, writers and editors which honors excellence in all areas of New York theater, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway and not-for-profit theater.
Harvey Fierstein will host the Drama Desk ceremony at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Monday, May 23, at 8pm. The ceremony will be filmed in HD for a television special that will be given two primetime airings plus four additional national broadcasts on Ovation between June 2 and June 15, 2011.
The musical The Book of Mormon received 12 nominations, the most out of any single production.
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
-- Albert Einstein
It's such a well worn question that it's become a bit of a cliché. You know, the old "If you could spend a day with anyone, who would you choose?" The Sundance Channel has made this question walk the talk with their one hour program Iconclasts which explores just exactly that. I'm new to the show and not sure how the two parties are selected or how much say they each have in who they share the playbill with each week. While I learn more (and don't know the regulations) I thought it would be fun to pull together a list of those who would make good counterparts for Liev.
Oh yeah, and time is on my side. Unlike the real Iconclasts, I have the luxury of choosing from a posthumous pool of genius as well. My site, my rules. ;-)
So, here are my Top Ten Choices for Iconclastic Liev:
On the surface these two men could not be more different. But since when have we only looked at the surface around here? Thruth is they share humble beginnings, successfull & beautiful wives and an appreciation for poetry. Sometimes that's all you need to get a good thing going. I can just see the Man in Black, humble as he was, taking in what Liev has to say and sharing his own thoughts through his stories and experiences.
I originally thought this would be too close (and assumed the point was to use people who were very different in order to highlight unique qualities) but in reviewing the site I noticed that one episode featured Paul Newman and Robert Redford. If Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid can be on a show then these two people of very similar backgrounds then Liev and Fran would be PERFECT. I'm assuming that topics of discussion would include the lamenting of old New York as well as a rant on the days of smoking. Both would be fascinating to me.
This one's a given, right? We cannot forget that there's a vast difference between how we see Shakespeare now and what he was in his day. I would love for Liev to be the one to tell him just who and what he has become. And in terms of dedication, there are few alive who deserve the right more.
I cannot think of a single modern male who could handle a day with this bodacious broad more than Liev. So many of our current leading men would falter quickly under her power and her prowess. She would devour many current box office stars whole. Not Liev. I think he could handle it and I would love love love the reparteé that would not doubt ensue.
I think an afternoon with John would be great for Liev and us on so many levels. Mostly I think Liev would be a sweet, adoring fan (as I would), so had I the power this would feel a little like giving Liev a great gift. Pretty sure John would end up feeling enriched by the experience too. How could he not?
Considering how well Liev put himself into this man's shoes, how fascinating would it be for these two men to speak as contemporaries from across time and space. PLUS, with both those incredible voices, this day would be a red letter day for audiophile fans of both these great talents. Let the frissons begin!
If only to watch Liev in learning mode. Liev's a man with a deep respect for knowledge, which means he must see himself as a bit of a sponge. And Einstein with his unique views on the world, life and order not only in his day but for all time - it's a recipe for contempletive growth. The aftertaste would be spectacular.
I know she's not a real person, but seriously, is she not a hubrid of so many of us? Could Liev not lend some sparkle to the life of this woman who's husband's conversation consists of farm reports and weather patterns? Is she not a self-perceived slave to her life, her family, and the boundaries of her own mind? How many Anna Karinena's do we all know out there? This one would definitely be Liev on the giving end.
This could go either way but I'm thinking funny. Would love to hear Liev explain the concept of an IPad to the man who was so sure he knew everything. And perhaps his lingering wife who was born to please would be there to serve them straight bourbon - in broken jam jars of course.
Well, this is of course the most important and significant choice and the one that goes without saying. Of all the meet 'n greets I would arrange for Liev, if I had the power, this would be the biggie. Liev has generously shared with us the impact his Grandfather had on his life time and time again.
As the Seder begins all over the world, the children will be asking the big Passover questions, such as Why Is Tonight Different From Any Other Night? For Liev and family it's different because they're enjoying a few days in the beautiful Bahamas. LUCKY DUCKS!
There is divine beauty in learning, just as there is human beauty in tolerance.
To learn means to accept the postulate that life did not begin at my birth.
Others have been here before me, and I walk in their footsteps. The books
I have read were composed by generations of fathers and sons, mothers
and daughters, teachers and disciples. I am the sum total of their
experiences, their quests. And so are you. -- Elie Wiesel
Yesterday's Liev post was all about the outside. Today's about the inside.
Is there anything more appealing than someone whose intelligence becomes them so? In reading and listening to countless interviews it would appear that what Liev really seeks is knowledge and sharing of salient ideas. Liev likes to talk if the topic's worth talking about.
His comment about how jazzed he becomes when he gets to be part of a continuum rings so true in the projects he chooses and the causes he supports.
Love this image of Liev just thinking, pondering, listening ... Happy Friday. ♥
I got all excited this morning when a very loyal Liev Lover sent over the much anticipated trailer to Goon with talk of it being previewed (?) at Comicon!! So, that was a blow in terms of a long awaited release date but at least good to know this thing's in the can and ready for whatever lucky studio's claiming it as their own.
I pasted the clip here and then viewed it before posting. Much to our chagrin, it's in fact the clip to an animated film called The Goon.
Okay, so now the Comicon thing makes more sense...
Anyway, while we sit on the edge of our seats waiting to hear if M4M in the Park this summer is real and daily checking of Project 43, Jack and the Wepner story on IMDB Pro, I wanted you all to know there are many people with ears to the ground on our behalf, Dear Liev Lovers.
Last night I had the opportunity to watch The Chicago Ten, which has been sitting on my shelf for some time. I do find I have to be in the mood to appreciate these thought provoking pieces, and I guess after pondering A Walk on the Moon yesterday, I was ready to let in a little of that revolutionary spirit and time.
This was an absolutely brilliant film. It captured the feeling of the times, but with the animation unfolding the courtroom transcripts for us we were getting the best of all worlds. I remember being shocked when visiting Anne Frank's house at some of the items in the giftshop, including a comic book of her last days in the secret annex. I wondered why someone would want to make that entertaining or colourful or at least kitsch. This film showed me that it's not about any of those things - it's about highlighting the story and not a group of actors.
Okay, so without further adieu, here are the Top Ten Things I learned from watching The Chicago Ten:
- After the assassination of Martin Luther King and the subsequent rioting that occurred, Mayor Daley gave the police very specific shooting orders, instructing them to target arsenists and maim looters.
- "One person cannot incite a riot." Hoffman and Tom Hayden repeatedly asked for peaceful march. Most say it was the (over?) reaction by Mayor Daley's Office and this the Chicago Police that brought the city its knees. They locked the place down, rendering it nothing more than a "Police State" as Walter Cronkite put it. Meanwhile, to the public they were calling it a Visible, Peaceful, Military Presence.
- The Yippies were advanced Hippies; it was a name thought up by Hoffman which propegated throughout those days and the entire National Democratic Conference, in fact.
- When trying to obtain a permit to protest in the Lincoln Park, they were repeatedly rebuffed by the Mayor's Office. At one point Abby Hoffman gets cute, telling the senior exec from the permit office that $100,000 would be a fitting amount for such a permit. Later on when reporters are questioning him about whether or not he was inciting bribery, he is asked "What's your price? How much would you pay?" Hoffman's answer is that he would give his life.
- The soundtrack has a kind of random selectiveness that you rarely see. With everything from Mozart to Eminem it's clear that we're supposed to be lulled and shooken at different intervals, but somehow it happens in a less jarring way than you would think. Near the end, clips of the police clubbing people, screams and the thud of wood against flesh, is left scoreless so that we get the full impact. It works.
- The courtroom scenes are where the animation tales place. Liev does an incredible job as William Kunstler, the defence lawyer with a voice of steel to match his convictions. He goes up against the Judge Hoffman (yes, that part was amusingly confusing to some) with the most level headed, controlled attitude that he always comes out on top. Liev gives and excellent portrayal. It also shows us just how much of acting is the dialogue - if you've ever doubted or wondered that alone is a great reason to watch this. You can hear a snippet of Liev's voice in the clip above at 1:45 - it begins "Free speech..."
- I was always confused when watcing clips of these events because some peopel were shouting "Peace Now" and otheres were shouting something else that sounded similar but not the same. In fact it was "Sieg Heil" and this was due to the fact that some felt Hoffman, Weinglass and Kunstler were Jews who were holding the city hostage. Also, some of the protesters made comments about the police bing like Nazis and comparing Chicago to the camps.
- Scenes of Logan with hundreds shouting "Take the hill!" as one young man clings to the top are raw and chilling. Another one with police roughly shoving an elderly woman into the Paddy Wagon as she sings "We shall overcome" left me almost taking pity on the police - they must have been wondering what the heck they were doing at times. There's almways the danger of Stockholm Syndrome but for the most part the marchers seemed peaceful.
- A news story showing kids' newest playground game which was called "Cops and Protestors" showed kids beating each other relentlessly in mobs with nerf bowling balls and bats until someone cries was explicative and to the point.
- Footage if the real Abbie Hoffman in black and white left me feeling that this is a role Michael Imperioli must play one day in his carreer. He looks *exactly* like him.
All in all the is one of those ensemble endeavours where you go in already knowing that Liev's role will not be huge, but come out of it feeling grateful that he participated. It's a very unique film. I would absolutely love to see other periods in American history depicted in this way, interspersing real footage with other medias.
all our lives, as much as if we had never married at all.
-- Lord Byron
I was thinking about marriage this weekend and what that word means to different people. My cousin was visiting from out of town. It was interesting because she and her husband haven't spent much time apart and I could see that she was really missing him. Unfortunately, I've spent a lot of time away from mine, who had to take a job up north years ago when times were tough. He's been back for longer than he was gone but does that make it easier when we part today? Nope. Harder in fact. Instead of relishing a bit of alone time like I used to, I now find myself (as Liev mused a few Christmases ago) sulking in the bathtub. (Although I do not own a gun.☺)
Is it a fairy tale? A contract? A sitcom? A sentence? Marriage means different things to different people. How did it all start for you? What was your home-life like growing up? How long have you been married? That's a biggie. There's a massive difference between being a newlywed and, well, a non-newlywed. There are perils to letting the bloom off the rose. At the same time there's a profound level of intimacy that comes with living in such close proximity to someone. You can miss his smell even though it's just that - a smell. This is the stuff of marriage.
Surely one of the benefits of being an actor must be the opportunity to try all these phases and stages and metamorphoses on for size? Liev really has had the chance to plunk himself in the middle of many different kinds of marriages. He always hits the ground running.
I would say that while they are geographically very close, you could not get two more different husbands than Eddie Carbone (A View from the Bridge) and Marty Kantrowitz (A Walk on the Moon). While Liev's Eddie has given up on seeing any magic in his own union, Marty's clinging to his with all his might. While Eddie is set in his ways and is not aware of self and situation, Liev's Marty is fully cognizant of where he's at and how he feels about it. Liev's range with these two characters is remarkable when you think about how, in the scope of the whole wide world, these two men are in totally different brainspaces.
In fact the only criticism I could find online about either of these characters were people who thought Liev portrayed Marty as too likeable. They felt Liev's exceedingly appealing Marty rendered the story a little unrealistic: who would cheat on such a wonderful husband? Of course anyone who's been close to infidelity knows it often has less to do with the cheated. It's usually the cheater who has a problem festering from within.
I, on the other hand, think this made the story that much more believable. Liev's affable Marty made Pearl's internal conflict more weighted and real. If Marty had been a total crud we would have all become The Blouse Man Cheering Section ~ a very different kind of happy ending than what we got. I would like to have seen a little more reflection from Pearl - she jumped pretty damn quickly. But when I pointed this out to my Dad he reminded me that I was only a zygote at the time. He said I cannot imagine what the 60's really felt like, especially for those who were teetering on the rim of it all trying to decide whether or not to plunge.
Liev's Eddie Carbone is also a very different animal from Every Day's Ned. I could oversimplify by stating that Miller made Eddie a true man of the times. While Catherine has become Eddie's only joy in life, we need to remember that these were the days when joy was completely hedonistic pursuit and not something a 38 year old dockworker would have been encouraged to grab for openly, bloodlines aside.
We get the sense that Robin, on the other hand, was an interchangeable catalyst for Liev's Ned. What did Ned learn from her? She was skilled enough to distract him, capitalize on his need for attention and ride that bus. Only when she oversteps her bounds and makes assumptions about his life does Ned manage a very realistic knee jerk and set her straight: "I never said it was a bad marriage."
We could argue that Eddie's facing a mid-life crisis and Catherine was also an interchangeable engenue, but I think that dilutes Eddie's level of obsession and who wants that? Eddie's a go big or go home kind of guy.
Watching Liev's Marty open himself up to new possibilities (even something as simple as switching the radio dial from Como to Hendrix) was a gorgeous bourgeoning that I think happens all the time, if we could just allow ourselves to see our partners as they are before us today.
Watching my cousin speak of and react to her absent husband reminded me of how significant all this is. I'm not usually one to take things for granted but is "not too bad" enough of a qualifier? I think I may have to kick things up a notch around here.♥
"He had that curious love of green, which in individuals is always the
sign of a subtle artistic temperament, and in nations is said to denote a
laxity, if not a decadence of morals." -- Oscar Wilde
Liev in NYC at "Street Fight" Premiere, Feb/06
Look at this cute, warm and most genuine smile. There's nothing like seeing Liev happy and contented.
As for the wardrobe choice, I always say my favourite colour is red but somehow I keep gravitating towards this oliv-y/drab shade of green, so who knows? Maybe I think I'm a fiery red person but really, as Oscar Wilde says, I just have a decadence of morals?
Anyways, love love love this colour on Liev and the corduroy jacket. In fact, I've been looking for a jacket just like that. If Liev wants to sell me that jacket I will pay a pretty penny for it. It's perfect for those days when you want to be in a roomy, cozy, boy-jacket with jeans and boots.
Liev is being honoured this year by at the 25th Annual Isreal Film Festival. Liev will receive the IFF Achievement in Film Award at the Opening Night Gala on May 5th in NYC. You can read more about it in Variety.
If I'm honest, I've only seen The Hurricane once. It was kind of weird because I went in anticipating and therefore dissapointed that Liev didn't have a bigger role, but got so distracted by the whole issue of The Canadians that I was Googling and IMDB'ing the trivia/locations while the show was on. Kind of lost the gyst of the thing for me.
The backstory on The Canadians was very ambiguous. They tried a little exposition when Rubin was asking Lesra who they were, but his only answer to the question "are they a religious group or something?" was that they were just a bunch of house flippers. They live and work together, all day and all night, and no one seems to be having any relations (with outsiders or themselves). AND their lives are so free they can all just pick up and move down to Jersey at the drop of a hat. Hmmmm I know we Canadians are nice but...
Anyway, all this to say that I hadn't realized how much this had detracted from the picture or taken my eye off the ball which was (and usually is) Liev's performance. Until Monday when I received my copy of this week's New Yorker and saw that Rubin Carter was in NYC a couple of weeks ago promoting his new book. (Forward by Nelson Mandela!).
I decided to give this film another go 'round with less A.D.D. eyes and try to pick up the nuances and subtleties of the thing. What I found was a really sweet and even performance from Liev which has you living the highs and lows of the thing with him.
Above all, what you feel is this swelling of selfless cameraderie at what these people are willing to do to help their friend Lesra and therefore Rubin in turn. A couple of moments will leave you feeling teary, even on a good day. LOVED them all flashing the lights enthusiastically in the hotel across from the prison. And of course Liev's heartfelt little leap when the final verdict is read did leave my heart fluttering. If you can swallow that side of you which keeps asking "What's in it for them?" and just take it for what it is, you will enjoy this movie.
Equally as important, Liev's character of Sam (well, all three of them, really) seem to be inspired by reading and learning and consider it crucial. They are encourageing and promotive of books and furthering your mind and fostering human potential. These are important themes.
At a much more base level, if you're into seeing bookish Liev in glasses, plaid bathrobes and corduroy, this movie's like he stepped right off the set of The Paper Chase. Hotness!
"Even as a very young man, I knew that my family is like a plant.
Uproot it, and it will wilt. Pluck away at it, and it will die.
But leave it to thrive in the soil, untouched, and it will
weather both gods and winds. It is born with the soil, and
it will live so long as the soil shall live."
— Etgar Keret
Liev with Jonathan Safran Froer in 2008.
Symphony Space looks like a very cool venue. However, when it comes to Liev at Symphony Space, I've got nothing! Nada. Zip. Zero. Can't find even a smidgen of info on tonight's readings. No one's talking. No photos anywhere.
If you were fortunate enough to attend and are feeling the love, please share. We'd be thrilled to hear about it. (Or if as in my situation you could not attend, maybe "Like" the venue on Facebook and ask them to post photos if you're so inclined?!)
Here's a cute little interview with Liev and Naomi from New York Magazine last night. I actually went bike shopping on the weekend so this feels very à propos right now. I won't post the photo since it was taken by the paps and you know here I sit on that score.
Moments from Domestic Life... with Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts
Last night we caught up with one of our favorite New York couples, Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts, at the New York Academy of Art 2011 Tribeca Ball. We quizzed the young parents of two about their lives here in the city, and they obliged with some cute stories that remind you that it is possible to live a semi-normal family life if you are a celebrity in the city.
Don't you guys sometimes ride bikes around town?
Naomi Watts: Yeah.
So what do you think about bike lanes? Pro or anti?
Liev Schreiber: Pro when I'm on my bike. Very frustrating when I'm driving through midtown. Do you use the bike lanes?
Liev Schreiber: Yes, we absolutely use them. We do.
And you don't have arguments with pedestrians?
Liev Schreiber: Of course we do. That's the whole point of riding a bicycle in New York, fighting with pedestrians and taxi drivers.
So you have any funny altercations you can tell me about?
Liev Schreiber: How much time do you have?
I'm here all evening.
Liev Schreiber: I noticed that at one particular bicycle store downtown that shall go unnamed they sell gloves that have heavy duty plastic knuckles on them, and when I asked the proprietors of the store what those knuckles were for, he said, 'For smashing on the taxis when they get too close.' And I thought, oh, that makes sense.
And you bought some?
Liev Schreiber: No, I didn't. They didn't have my size.
Are your kids beginning to show any kind of artistic abilities?
Naomi Watts: Yeah. Both of them. Kai's very into drawing right now…
Liev Schreiber: On the kitchen table ...
Watts: Yeah. And they're definitely into performance. [Laughs]
Do they put on plays in the living room?
Liev Schreiber: In the swimming pool a lot.
Naomi Watts: And we had some outfits the other day, a king and a knight.
Liev Schreiber: Oh, yeah. They had a terrible fight over it. They were dressed up, someone brought over a knight costume and a king costume, and apparently the older one got very upset when he figured out what the king costume was, because he was only wearing the knight costume, and he chased the other one around threatening to kill him, saying, 'I want to be king! I'm king! I want to be king!' Totally Shakespearean.
You have a swimming pool?
Naomia Watts: Not in the city!
T'is the season, apparantly. We kicked things off last night with photos of Liev at the wonderful Tribeca Ball. Since then I've noticed many auspicious possible dates on the horizon for us Liev enthusiasts.
Here's a list of TOP TEN upcoming Lievents, some confirmed and some which we're guessing Lievmay attend (based on previous years). Or you can view them in our Calendar also.
April 6 - Jewish World Press with Liev and Jonathan Safran Froer. TRAGEDY to be missing this event which re-unites these two collaborators in celebration of Jewish Literature. SOB
April 16 - Village Voice Obie Awards I don't know anything about this event but I LOVE the Village Voice and I'm still mourning the loss of webstreaming from Village Voice Radio which was hilarious and eclectic and thought provoking and fun. Liev has attended this event before. Here are photos of Liev in 2007.
May 2 - The Annual Drama Desk Awards are being announced. Liev previously won for A View from the Bridge and also Talk Radio so as alumni Liev is a scheduled announcer on this day.
May 11 - Cannes Film Festival I have no idea whether Liev will be attending (and I'm hoping not since he SHOULD be in rehearseals at this time - see #10 below) but Naomi was there last year with Woody Allen so you never know...
June 12 - The 64th annual Tony Awards . No plays this year for Liev means no nominations, but this show has a history of inviting previous nominees and winners to present the following year so let's hope Liev is among that most extraordinary group of people. You can also view photo of Liev from last year's event here.
JuneISH - Shakespeare in the Park Opening Night Gala. Liev sits on the Board and has attended before and supported The Public in every possible way for years. Let's hope this event is no exception. Here he is at last year's soirée.
June 6th - Measure for Measure opens at the Delacorte in Central Park on this day. We bandied about whether or not Liev will be involved in the production here - still no confirmation. I'm adding it to the calendar to be optimistic and possibly create some sort of self fulfilling prophecy that if I put this in my schedule, it WILL be happening. Plain and Simple.
You've already seen me express dismay and sometimes even frustration at what's considered worthy anymore. I'm not trying to be facetious. I know there are factors like market share and demographics and box office and even (dubious) tastes and trends. While I try not to be critical or negative of anyone's best efforts, the truth is I do question people's judgement. I see Tweets every day from Liev fans lamenting stereotypes ("The Bad Guy") and mostly wanting more variety and screentime for our favourite thespian. Liev has earned his chops and then some. This should be his era.
If you spend any time on Defamer you come to know that (according to those living in that climate and its environs) Studio Executives are typically not creative minds. While I've never dealt with one in its natural habitat, it would seem that their talents lie solely in the art of saying no. Thank you almighty buck.
Last night I had the pleasure of watching Ethan Hawke's The Hottest State. Having read the book awhile ago and being a fan of most of his work I came to it with high hopes - and I was not dissapointed. It was sweet and intense and passionate.
What's left me feeling empty tonight is the notion of being downwind of something foul. I have the diSTINKed impression that films like the Hottest State are going the way of the elusive Dodo Bird. And they're taking Good Will Hunting and the Everything is Illuminated with them.
My Mom always said if you want something done right, do it yourself. Damon and Affleck penned GWH out of frustration: this was the kind of party they were seeking but they never quite made the guestlist. Ethan Hawke, in one of the most understated and beautifully subtle Deadbeat Dad scenes ever, casts himself in a few brief moments of genius that echo throughout the rest of this small but important story. And Everything is Illuminated was a chance for Liev to stretch his legs creatively and reach for that next highest bar (although I would say he jumped more than a few wrungs, there.)
Anyone who's seen all the Elvis movies (as I have, thanks Pop!) knows that the old studio contract system was not always a Godsend. But there's something to be said for a steady gig. I'd be thrilled to know for sure that Liev or whoever else the subject of your efforts and travails may be is actually getting where he wants to be without a hundred schmucks standing in his way.
It's been a cycle. Studios change gears and no longer make dramas. So, dramas are made by Indies. Then Studios see Indies making millions (because that's what the more discerning public wants) and form smaller, Pseudo-Indie studios to pick up this market. But in the end these are still run by the big studios, so... Squeeze. Squeeze. Squeeze.
Is this why, for me, Indie has come to mean quality? Is this why screenwriting students are taught to study Indies now, knowing the dialogue just has to be that much better since the fancy locations and sets and other distractions are not there to buffer and pick up the slack anymore?
Where is Liev's On The Waterfront? When does Liev utter a line so succinct it becomes household jargon? I feel like an Otis Redding song over here with this waitin' and anticipatin' of more good things for Liev.
Ah well, it could be worse. At least we have a huge body of Liev work to fall back on, and hopes for the future to keep us enthralled.