a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Archive for June, 2013


My Kickstarter Video! We need to your help to get to Toronto!

This is the video I made for Kickstarter. Kickstarter is a wonderful thing. It can really make a difference in artists’ lives. And we are trying to raise the $ to get to the Toronto Film Festival this year! And we’re nowhere near our goal If you love quality TV, this is a vote for it. No donation is too small. Some one kicked started it with just $1.

The clock is ticking! If you don’t contribute by midnite July 17 all the money raised goes back to the people who so kindly donated and not to us, and we don’t get to do the fabulous interviews like the ones you’ll see excerpted here.

Jake Gyllenhaal, Laura Linney, Keira Knightley and Jude Law are all on this video. They like my show and they like YOU my viewers! So help us get to TIFF! The abbreviated name for the Toronto International Film Festival! That’s where I interviewed all these brilliant people last year! And you have to keep going their to get them!

Watch the video, where I explain it all, then go to Kickstarter to contribute, but do it fast! Time is running out!

Toronto’13 Kickstarter project just Launched!

Dear Readers, dear cineastes, dear followers and friends of this blog! We need your help! I have just been able to launch my first ever Kickstarter program re: attending the Toronto Film Festival or TIFF this year.

The hotel prices have gone sky-high, out of my range totally, and we can’t attend and shoot those fabulous TIFF shows which run throughout the fall on my TV show and also on You Tube and here, too, on my blog.

I’ve been trying to upload a link to it on Kickstarter all morning, but for some reason WordPress won’t take the link. However you can go to Kickstarter.com and search under Stephen Holt Show and you’ll find it!

We only have until midnight July17 to raise $2500. We shot a great video and you can see it at Kickstarter but not here. And even if I was able to get it here, you still have to go to Kickstartet itself to contribute.

Kickstarter is a wonderful thing. I only just found out about it and have been away at the Provincetown Film Festival, and now I’m back and it’s LAUNCHED after many trials and revisions.

It explains more about “The Stephen Holt Show” than anything else I’ve ever posted, and if you’ve enjoyed my writing and my TV show and my web-series, all of which I MAKE NO MONEY FROM, now is your chance to show your support and help us get to Toronto ’13!





Packing, unpacking, re-packing, still packing, procrastinating packing. It’s still packing. And no, I’m STILL not finished. I hate packing. Why am I writing this!?! I should still be packing!

Is it going to be cold? Is it going to be hot? Is it going to be raining? Is it another hurricane? I should be PACKING!

Hurry hurry hurry and trying to be a complete and thorough as possible. AND YOU STILL FORGET THINGS!

Tickets, keys, passport, and on and on and on. No end in sight. But there IS an end! Tomorrow morning there’s just enough time to get up, get some breakfast, get cleaned up, and pack everything that you HAVE to leave til the last-minute, because you  have to use it in the morning!

And get to that train ON TIME! OR ELSE!

See you in Provincetown!

Cape Cod here I come!

Meanwhile, I’m still packing!


Cicely Tyson First Standing Ovation of the TONY night!

Jake Gyllenhaal gives Cicely Tyson the Tony for Best Actress in a Play for “A Trip to Bountiful” . A well-deserved award for a beautiful, moving performance. And the only standing ovation of the evening ensued. And she gave an appropriately beautiful and moving speech. “The thumbprint of all who have touched me…”

And then Jake the Great gave Best Actress in a Musical to Patina Miller for “Pippin” who unfortunately I didn’t see because she was out that night.

She SHOULD have won it for “Sister Act” two years ago, as I told her at the Drama Desk Nominee Cocktail Party which you can see at http://www.youtube.com/StephenHoltShow

I saw “Pippin” and enjoyed it immensely, especially Andrea Martin and the circus elements.
But Patina’s understudy, Stephanie Pope, was just AWFUL, so that part of the musical was M.I.A. Ben Vereen won a Tony and built a career on doing THAT part?!?

I wish I had seen Patina, whom I like personally immensely.

I admire Tracey Letts’ performance in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” but I didn’t expect him to be awarded for a role in a play that closed. “Virginia Woolf” won THREE big awards tonight. Best Director of a Play, Best Revival of a Play and now Best Actor.

This is probably a harbinger of more awards to come Oscartime when “August: Osage County” comes around starring Meryl Steep & Julia Roberts and produced by Harvey Weinstein.

Less than happy about Billy Porter of “KB” winning over Bertie Carvel for “Matilda.” I didn’t like his performance. Period.

And I’m REALLLLY upset about “Matilda” not winning Best Musical.That sort of ruined my night.

Andrea Martin Wins Best Featured Actress in a Musical! Pippin!

Andrea Martin wins Best Featured Actress in a Musical for “Pippin” where she hangs upside down and SINGS! “Spring Will Turn to Fall In Just No Time At All” and in tights! She thanked the gymnast/dancer who “holds me, a woman of my age, up and never drops me!” Lolol…

Cyndi Lauper broke down crying when she won for Best Score for “Kinky Boots”. First time I ever liked her, I have to say. But she was really touching. And now for some reason there’s a pointless rock number that was intro’ed by Steve Van Zandt from “The Sopranos”. “Good Loving”? What is THAT doing here? Lots of unnecessary musical numbers this year. Like “Annie”?!? “It’s a Hard Knock Life”??? And Jayne Lynch singing about how much she hates “Little Girls”. Now THAT I believed. Thank god, they didn’t have Annie herself sing “Tomorrow”! Ugh.  Be thankful for small favors on Tony night.

Very dull section of the show. When the directors won. Both distinguised women, Diane Paulus for “Pippin” and Pam McKinnon for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” I liked them, but it starting getting dull. Jerry Mitchell, in a flashback moment won earlier in the evening. for Choreography for “Kinky Boots.”

Shock and Awe! Gabriel Ebert Wins Best Featured Actor in a Musical!

Wow! Gabriel Ebert just won in a total surprise to everyone but ME, for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for “Matilda”! And I told him he would win, too! When I saw him getting his kale at The Green Symphony! He played Matilda’s horrible/goofy/funny/awful green-haired father!

Live Blogging the Tonys!

Well, it’s off to a very good, bang-up start with Neil Patrick Harris knocking it out of the ballpark with a terrific number. TONYs are back in the Radio City Music Hall, which is where it belongs. 
Courtney P. Vance, who’s been on my show back in the ’80s, won the first award of the night. Best Featured Actor in a Play which also bodes well for Tom Hanks, also nominated for the same play, “Lucky Guy.”

OMG! Judith Light just won her second Tony two times in a row! And I told her she would! And she didn’t believe me! She gave a great speech! Congrats, Judith! Best Featured Actress in a Play! The Oscar Messenger, who is also now the TONY Messenger scores again! Judith told me, “You’re precious, but oh, not again.” But she did it! You can see me tell her this at http://www.youtube.com/StephenHoltShow

“Matilda” was beautifully presented. “Revolting Children” and “When I Grow Up” very well done, and they chose the cutest Matilda of the four young girls who are playing her to sing the solo, of course. I saw her performance and it was very”Miss Thing”, if you know what I mean. Sophie Gennusa. She’s pretty, but…

I worry that “Matilda” is the first musical shown tonight. It’s an Awards Throw Down between “Matilda” and “Kinky Boots”. And Neil Patrick Harris mentioned Billy Porter and his ass(yes, he did) in his Opening. Uh….

Helen Hanft (1934-2013) A Great Actress Passes. She was my Muse.

It is with great grief and shock that I am saddened to report the passing of one of America’s great actresses, Helen Hanft. She was 79 and it was very sudden.

I had the great good fortune to have had known and worked with Helen for nearly 40 years. She was the greatest of inspirations to me as a playwright and actor and director, too.

I wrote nearly a dozen plays for Helen including “Reety in Hell”(1973) at the WPA , “The Kitty Glitter Story” (1974) at La Mama E.T. C., “Stoop” and “London Loo” two one-woman one-acts which she performed together as a one woman show (1977) at the Van Dam Theater, “The Blonde Leading the Blonde” at the Theater for the New City(1982) and “Bambi Levine, Please Shut Up!” in 1996 also at La Mama. Among others.

Renowned for her great comedic sense, I was always trying challenge her as a dramatic actress as well. She had the chops.

She was always acting from an early age, having attended the Performing Arts High School where classmates included Dom DeLuise, Rita Gam, and the artist Shelley Estrin, whom she remained friends with through the years.

Helen always remembered Sidney Lumet spending more time on Dom De Luise. Although both clearly future comedians, Lumet called Helen “too happy-go-lucky.”

She and I met in early 1973 when we appeared together as actors at the WPA Theater in a production of Sardou’s original play of “Tosca” on which the Opera was based. The play differs from the Opera in that there is an entire Second Act that Pucinni deleted when he musicalized it. And Helen and I played characters that do not appear in the opera. She was Marie, Queen of Naples. And I was the Marquis D’attavanti.

A little nervous upon meeting her I said, “Are you the legend Helen Hanft?” and she rolled her eyes delightedly and said “Yes….” drawing out the word for dramatic emphasis as only Helen could.

Many people are surprised to find that Helen and I were married by the Rev. Al Carmines at the Judson Church, where he also lived. It was circa 1975 and Sweet William Edgar, with whom she was appearing Off Broadway at the time in “Women Behind Bars” was one of the two witnesses.

Al Carmines, a legend himself, said to us, at the time, ” This is a religious service. I am a clergyman but you have to go down to City Hall and get the license and the blood tests.” Helen and I never did.

And Al said, “But this a spiritual marriage. In the eyes of God, you are forever united.” And it was true.

She was my Muse.

“Before Midnight” Put Me to Sleep…zzzz

Never having seen the previous two movies in this Ethan Hawke/Julie Delpy written and co-starring trilogy vehicle directed by the great Richard Linklater, I was not prepared really, I guess to see “Before Midnight.”

IOW I had no back story with these two characters. I think you really have to have that to appreciate this one.

Not having that reference point, although I read all the reviews, goodness knows, and they all were positive, I wasn’t ready to be put into the deep, deep sleep that “Before Midnight” put me into. It was scary how bored I eventually got with these two talky, upper middle class, privileged white characters.

Oh, and of course, it’s mainly about heterosexuals and how great they are.

I was soooo bored.

“Before Midnight” is endlessly self-referential and if you haven’t seen the two previous movies which they cite endlessly, you are shit out of luck, following all the *ahem* subtle twists and turns*cough*cough* that these bland WASPs go through.

The film starts with an ENDLESSSSSS two-shot of Delpy and Hawke in the front seat of a car driving to some vacation spot in Europe. I think it was Greece.

It went on for sooooo long, I wanted to scream “Cut”. The camera never moved once. What was Richard Linklater thinking? Well, I guess he wanted to convey the claustrophobia and confining suffocation that marriage can bring. Stultifying, it sure was. Was that shot twenty minutes long? Forty? It seemed like an hour. This prolonnnnnged car shot was preceded by the only dramatic moments this film possessed. Ethan Hawke’s wrangling his divorced son, who excliams, “MOM, HATES YOU!” Well, that outburst I believed.It was all down hill from there.

But if you want an audience who hasn’t seen these two oh-so-in-love-with-themselves rich people before, to identify with them, it was a very dicey way to introduce these two.

The filmmakers just ASSUME you’ll like them, if not love them already. 

And well, I didn’t.

I think I lost them and consciousness completely towards the latter part of the film, when they eventually ended up bickering in a hotel room in France somewhere, or it could have been Greece. 

“Before Midnight” is currently a critics’ darling, but I just don’t get the love. I guess I have to go back and watch their first two movies. But I’m afraid they’ll send me off to Dreamland again, if I do.

My rating: zzzzzzzz…..

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