+ Reply to Thread
Page 86 of 375 FirstFirst ... 36767778798081828384858687888990919293949596136186 ... LastLast
Results 851 to 860 of 3742
Like Tree999Likes

Thread: Rest In Peace.

  1. #851
    Fool... but no pity. Krom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    21,403

    Re: Rest In Peace.

    Yesterday, it hadn't even OCCURRED to me that Gary has still been represented by one current piece of successful pop culture: Avenue Q. I knew it. It just slipped my mind.

    I never knew what Gary thought of the take done on him by Avenue Q. He might have been delighted. He might have thought "oh, here's more people taking advantage of me". He may have asked for money (doubt he'd get it though). Overall, if you've seen the show (at the very least huge parts of it are online--at the very least at least one version of every song), I think its actually fair to say that despite his LIFE circumstances being used as fodder (he's sunk from child star to building superintendent in the play--a parallel to his real life sink to being a security guard) the play actually treats him pretty well. He's a sympathetic and reasonably intelligent character in the play.

    So... what do Avenue Q DO when the REAL Gary dies? Here's what:

    ‘Avenue Q’ Deals With Death of Gary Coleman - ArtsBeat Blog - NYTimes.com
    Sitting alone at the rear of the house at New World Stages on Friday night, Jeff Whitty wept after that evening’s performance of “Avenue Q.”

    Mr. Whitty, the book writer for that Tony-winning puppet musical, was not crying at his own handiwork. He shed his tears in mourning for Gary Coleman, the “Diff’rent Strokes” actor who died that day, and in relief that the musical, which includes a satirical character based on Mr. Coleman, had been well received by Friday’s audience after some surgical changes to the show.

    Despite some very serious consideration that “Avenue Q” would require significant revision or have to drop the role altogether, Mr. Whitty said that Gary Coleman, the character, would live on in the musical.

    “After watching it tonight, I would miss him too much,” Mr. Whitty said. “Personally, I would miss him terribly.”

    From its debut, “Avenue Q,” which won the Tony Award for best musical in 2004, as well as Tonys for Mr. Whitty and for its composers, Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, has included a character called Gary Coleman. Introduced in the show’s opening number, “It Sucks to Be Me,” the character (who is played by a woman) clearly identifies himself as the former child star who “made a lot of money that got stolen by my folks.”

    Now he works as the superintendent in the tenement where the show’s puppet and human characters live, and often reminds them that, as bad as their lives may seem, his is much worse. (“Try having people stopping you to ask you, ‘What’choo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?’” he sings. “It gets old.”)

    The real-life health problems of Mr. Coleman, who had a history of seizures and congenital kidney disease, had been an ongoing concern to the cast and crew of “Avenue Q,” though never fully dealt with.

    “I would joke and say, ‘Oh my God, I’ll be unemployed, I won’t have a job,’” said Danielle K. Thomas, who has played the Coleman character for nearly three years on Broadway, Off-Broadway and on tour.

    “But then when it really happened,” Ms. Thomas continued, “it was like, wow, this is something really serious. And you really had to think about how to approach this.”

    On Wednesday, Mr. Coleman was hospitalized for a head injury caused by a fall. He suffered a brain hemorrhage and died on Friday after he was taken off life support.

    During this time, Mr. Whitty said, the creative team of “Avenue Q” was in increased contact with one another. Acknowledging that he, Mr. Marx and Mr. Lopez do not speak as much as they did in the show’s earlier days, Mr. Whitty described their first conference call after Mr. Coleman’s death as “a ‘Big Chill’ moment.”

    Mr. Whitty said he was fearful that the jokes in “Avenue Q” about the career and financial troubles that Mr. Coleman faced in adulthood would now seem off-putting or offensive. “The question came up for me,” he said, “so do we bring in a new character?”

    Instead the decision was made for the show to go forward with small changes throughout, some of them made backstage in mid-performance. (A line in which the Coleman character refers to himself as a “former child star” became simply “child star.”)

    “We probably cut 20 words out of 1 million from the show tonight,” Mr. Whitty said.

    Ms. Thomas said she was still frightened to make her first entrance on Friday, when Coleman is introduced with a musical cue meant to evoke the “Diff’rent Strokes” theme song.

    “I was terrified,” she said. “It was the worst. I had a knot in my throat, I was so nervous.”

    But Friday’s audience clapped and cheered enthusiastically for her, and laughed through numbers like “Schadenfreude” (in which Coleman sings that the world needs people like himself “Who’ve been knocked around by fate / ‘Cause when people see us, they don’t want to be us”) and “Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist” (in which he admits he enjoys jokes about Polish people).

    “That is the style of ‘Avenue Q,’” Ms. Thomas said, “to slap you in the face, to the point where nothing offends you and everything becomes O.K.”

    At the show’s curtain call on Friday, Ms. Thomas took center stage and gave a tearful speech in honor of the real-life Mr. Coleman. Referencing the show’s opening number, she said, “I just want to say that for me, it has never sucked to be Gary Coleman.”

    She added, “We will continue to light up the stage and audiences, doing what we love to do every single night.” With a reference to another “Avenue Q” song, “For Now,” Ms. Thomas concluded, “So thank you, Gary Coleman, and goodbye, but only for now.”

    After the show, Mr. Whitty said that it had always been an odd choice to have a character based on Gary Coleman in the musical, but that oddness gave its creators license to retain the character after Mr. Coleman’s death.

    “From the very beginning,” Mr. Whitty said, “when we wrote the show, he represented a certain spunkiness and attempting to overcome life’s disappointments.”

    He added: “It’s a show of very heightened circumstances. In that world, I think Gary Coleman can actually live on in some degree of comfort.”
    So was this just self-serving of them, or did they do the right thing? If you haven't seen footage of the play (its not that hard on YouTube), go look so you don't have to take my word that he's actually played very sympathetically.

    EDIT - Here's one of Fictional Gary's parts in Q--a song called "It Sucks To Be Me" (he's only at the end, but he gets a big intro).

    Here's the London cast on a talk show. Note that the actor playing Fictional Gary isn't the woman mentioned in the NY Times piece. Everything I've read says she's better than this guy (he's HUGE--Coleman's height is just kind of ignored with his casting):
    YouTube - Avenue Q - It Sucks To Be Me - London cast

    Wait. Just found it. Here's a performance of the Broadway cast (at least as of 4 years ago) on the Tony Awards:
    YouTube - Sucks to be me - Tony Awards

    Also, back to the London cast, here's Fictional Gary as a part of "Everybody's A Little Bit Racist":
    YouTube - Avenue Q - Everyone's A Little Bit Racist West End Live - London cast
    Last edited by Krom; 05-29-2010 at 12:17 PM.

    "You don't rehearse Mr. T, you just turn him loose."
    -----Sylvester Stallone, on Mr. T-----

  2. #852
    FORT Fogey Brandy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    2,825

    Re: Rest In Peace.

    Dennis Hopper has passed away at 74.

    So many great films. Blue Velvet, Apocalypse Now, Easy Rider...

    Hopper was also a fine photographer and published his work.

  3. #853
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Fangtasia - The Bar With Bite
    Age
    46
    Posts
    18,296

    Re: Rest In Peace.

    Here's Dennis Hopper's obit from Yahoo! News.

    Dennis Hopper, creator of hit 'Easy Rider,' dies - Yahoo! News

    I'm saddened, but not surprised. He looked so frail when he got his star on the Walk of Fame. I only hope he's at peace now and that horrid wife of his didn't get a penny of his money. Only recently, she told a reporter that Dennis really wasn't as sick as he claimed.

    Any time someone dies of Prostate cancer, I feel especially sad about it because it's such a preventable death. My father had Prostate cancer over 10 years ago and, because they caught it early, he made a full recovery. Men - go get your PSA tests every year! It could save your life.

    ETA: So we've had Gary Coleman and now Dennis Hopper. Who will be number 3? I only hope it's not Bret Michaels, who's already hitting the road against doctor's orders
    Last edited by Critical; 05-29-2010 at 03:12 PM.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  4. #854
    Fool... but no pity. Krom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    21,403

    Re: Rest In Peace.

    Hmm. The only good aspect of Hopper dying is that it will probably end the coverage of Coleman's death. Normally that might be a bad thing--giving one star's death precedence over another--but since Coleman was predictably being presented as pathetic perhaps its all for the best.

    "You don't rehearse Mr. T, you just turn him loose."
    -----Sylvester Stallone, on Mr. T-----

  5. #855
    FORT Fogey Bonbonlover's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    3,249

    Re: Rest In Peace.

    Dennis Hopper was born in Dodge City, and man, did he ever get out of Dodge.

    RIP and continue to be an Easy Rider!!!
    Okay I love FORT's casino, but I really am not very good. If anyone wants to donate their FORT $$ I would gladly accept http://www.fansofrealitytv.com/forum....php?do=donate

  6. #856
    FORT Fogey TripleGemini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Lynn, MA
    Posts
    2,261

    Re: Rest In Peace.

    ETA: So we've had Gary Coleman and now Dennis Hopper. Who will be number 3? I only hope it's not Bret Michaels, who's already hitting the road against doctor's orders
    #3 could have been Art Linkletter...

  7. #857
    FORT Fogey Brandy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    2,825

    Re: Rest In Peace.

    Quote Originally Posted by TripleGemini;3918176;
    #3 could have been Art Linkletter...
    I hope it stops for a while. Seems like it's been non stop rather than the usual cluster of three then nothing for a while.

    Sometimes prostate cancer is virulent. Sometimes it can last decades and "you don't die of it, you die with it." Maybe Hopper had the former kind. We lost a close relative to it, and doesn't it seem like it's about time for cancer to go? It's stolen yet another bright light from the world in Dennis Hopper. So sad.

    Hollywood will surely turn out in force for his funeral, though. His career really was impressive. So many classics. He's worked with almost all the top directors, and actors in his lifetime. Still it's just so awful that he had to go this way. He didn't have an easy time of it in life either, with his addictions and what-not, but he stuck in there and with determination went on to be better than before. I really admire that.

  8. #858
    FORT Fogey anders332's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    12,506

    Re: Rest In Peace.

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical;3917621;
    Any time I turn on ET lately, I just end up turning it off really quickly. Funny, but that show used to be considered the classy entertainment news show. Now it's the TV equivalent of the National Enquirer....only sleazier. Every commercial I see hypes some story about stars without makeup of shots of celebs with cellulite. Really classy.

    I won't be watching any of the stories about Gary's death. It's like vultures picking over a carcass.
    I don't know when ET turned that corner, since I stopped watching it many years ago - but their obsession with Anna Nicole was totally unnatural.

    R.I.P Gary, Art & Dennis.
    “No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible.” George Chakiris

    Believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see. :nono

  9. #859
    bb addicted tapper01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4,361

    Re: Rest In Peace.

    Oh my goodness. I am SO sad. Ali-Ollie Woodson from the Temptations passed away. He was only in his 50's. I think my most favorite group is the Temptations. I have seen them 2 times. I wish I had been fortunate enough to have seen all the originals.

  10. #860
    bb addicted tapper01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4,361

    Re: Rest In Peace.

    Temptations singer Ali-Ollie Woodson dies at 58 - Yahoo! News


    What a reunion in Heaven! Ali, Blue, David, Eddie, Paul

    WOW

+ Reply to Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.