DINA LOHAN IS “WRITING” HER MEMOIR: 6 THINGS WE LEARNED FROM THIS WEEK’S “LINDSAY”

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This week on Lindsay, Lindsay Lohan continued to deal with family drama, struggle with her sobriety, and shockingly, exhibited no ounce of work ethic whatsoever.

Here’s what you need to know about this week’s Lindsay:


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Dina Lohan is “writing” an autobiography

And Orange Oprah is so unabashedly open about having a ghostwriter that she’s basically the anti-Aviva Drescher. It’s almost a shame that all that the book will really have to offer is lame Parent Trap puns and a clearance-bin companion for Lynne Spears’ memoir.


Lindsay skips work to hibernate (again)

Thanks to her supreme generosity, Lindsay agrees to appear on the cover of Elle Indonesia‘s anniversary issue—“just for exposure.” But at 3pm on the day of the shoot—three hours after the noon call time—Lohan’s rep shows up alone, and suggests that the shoot be postponed to a later date because Lindsay needs to catch up on sleep.

“That bitch, Lindsay! I can’t do it tomorrow because I have other things on my schedule,” says fashion editor Anindita Saryuf, who flew two days to attend the shoot. “And she wants a comeback?”

Really great job of making people want to work with you again, LiLo!


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Lindsay is working on a “covert” project

When the Elle Indonesia team asks Matt Harrell why it was so important for Lindsay to sleep in all day instead of showing up, he responds by saying that she was up late working on a “covert” project he couldn’t disclose any further details on. Um, does this covert project involve Jaegerbombs and lines of blow off a restroom toilet seat?

Don’t call it a comeback, girl. No, but like, seriously. Don’t.


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Lindsay hates natural lighting

Photographer Eric Silverberg, tapped by Elle to shoot the ginger starlet, informs Lindsay that he only works with natural lighting. But after she insists on five wardrobe changes, there’s not enough natural light left—thus extending the shoot to three. whole. days. Thanks to the missed deadlines, designers begin asking for their clothes back and Lindsay has to pluck from her own wardrobe. (“If I could list all the shoots that I should get credit for as ‘co-stylist’ it would be a full novel,” she says).

Rather than apologizing, Lindsay blames Silverberg for making the shoot so difficult and advises him to work with artificial lighting in the future. Later, when privately asked about what it was like to work with the Mean Girls star, Silverberg straight up laughs into the camera.


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Lindsay still has a thing for knives

Back in 2007, photos of Lohan and Vanessa Minnillo posing provocatively with knives hit the Web. But the backlash clearly didn’t resonate with the star: In this week’s episode, Lindsay steps behind the camera to film four of her friends playing a game of “Dare” (who needs “Truth,” right?) As an open bottle of tequila is passed around, one Einstein pierces another’s ear with a big knife. Did we mention this all happens at 7:20am on the day of Lindsay’s rescheduled Elle Indonesia shoot?

Is this the type of covert project she was talking about?


Lindsay’s road to recovery includes a detour to the club

Lindsay is offered $100,000 for a two-hour appearance at Foxwoods Casino’s Halloween party. Drinks are flowing, Dina’s booty is bouncing, and Lindsay continues to insist she can stay sober around drunk people because of how much she loves to dance and socialize. Of course she’s already admitted to relapsing and missing AA meetings.

How encouraging is it that the only member of Lindsay’s “sober crew” who gets camera time admits he “had a drink here and there” and is not “a model AA member”?  Not very.


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BONUS THING WE LEARNED THIS WEEK: Lindsay has a giant print of her second album cover framed in her living room

Perhaps to serve as a subtle reminder to viewers that they’ll get far more insight into the troubled star’s life by listening to that record than by watching this entire docu-series? #JusticeForALittleMorePersonal(Raw)

Lindsay airs Sundays at 10pm on OWN

Originally published on NewNowNext

6 REASONS NOT TO MISS THE BROADWAY REVIVAL OF “CABARET” WITH MICHELLE WILLIAMS AND ALAN CUMMING

Cabaret02_605x329In 1998, director Sam Mendes didn’t have American Beauty and Skyfall under his belt, and choreographer Rob Marshall hadn’t taken Chicago and Into The Woods to the big screen yet. But the duo shepherded the Tony-winning revival of Cabaret onto the Great White Way and into musical theater history.

This year, Roundabout Theatre Company has enlisted Mendes and Marshall to remount the show at Studio 54, bringing back Alan Cumming as the emcee and scoring three-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams to step in for the late Natasha Richardson as Fraulein Sally Bowles.

And unlike the previous Broadway revival, which ran for 2,377 performances, this Cabaret is saying auf Wiedersehen on August 31.

Here are 6 reasons you shouldn’t miss Cabaret’s triumphant return to Broadway.


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1. Alan Cumming’s still got it

As the sexually fluid master of ceremonies, Cumming steals the show in a role that won him a Tony more than 15 years ago. He’s laugh-out-loud hilarious, whether adlibbing scenes or performing campy numbers like “Two Ladies” (in which one of the ladies is played by a man). But he also knows how to reel in his shtick to pack a powerful punch during songs like “If You Could See Her” and the somber standout, “I Don’t Care Much.”

While Joel Grey was phenomenal in the original stage version and film adaptation, Cumming has really come to define the character for a new generation. 


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2. Anne Hathaway wasn’t cast as Sally Bowles

When the revival was announced, rumors swirled that Anne Hathaway would be the main attraction at the Kit Kat Club.

Academy Award aside, Hathaway is—to put it gently—not the most musically gifted actress. Her Fantine was overdone and, despite her best efforts, Miss Hathaway’s never been able to shed her Princess Diaries wholesome image. We’re much happier that Williams is the Brokeback Mountain star whose name is on the marquee. (Though we’d love to see Jake Gyllenhaal in the role, just saying.)


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3. Michelle Williams dazzles in her Broadway debut

Williams has a penchant for playing dark characters (even Jen on Dawson’s Creek died, for Pete’s sake) and her Bowles is one giant exposed nerve.

By bringing the character’s fragility to the forefront, Williams lets us see that Sally is using the cabaret as a coping mechanism for the chaos of Weimar-era Germany. (Hence her blind dismissal of politics even as the Nazis start to gain terrifying momentum).

From her desperate and raw “Maybe This Time” to her stripped down, heartbreaking rendition of the title number, Williams brilliantly emphasizes Sally’s knack for self-destruction. She’s taking a fresh and deeply psychological approach that adds layers of complexity to a character that’s been around for half a century. It’s a tact that stands a good chance at earning her a Tony.

Plus, her English accent won’t make you cringe.


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4. The ambiance

Studio 54 has resurrected the Kit Kat Klub, offering theatergoers intimate seating, bordello-style furnishings and a full cocktail menu serviced by scantily clad waiters. In fact, they’re so committed to the cabaret vibe that ushers don’t give out Playbills until after the show is over.


Cabaret04_605x3295. The orchestra really is beautiful

This revival really delivers on sex appeal: Not only are the musicians gorgeous—they blow their horns and gyrate on stage in nothing but leather vests and lacy halter tops. (It’s the girls wearing the halters, if you were confused.)


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6. It has Liza Minnelli’s stamp of approval 

“I’m excited to see what they will do with the show and am sure it will be great,” Minnelli told E! Online. “Michelle is a wonderful actress and I love Alan Cumming.”  Minnelli, who won the Oscar for her interpretation of Sally Bowles, swore, “I will be there opening night.”

There you have it. The queen has spoken.


Currently in previews, Cabaret at Studio 54 officially opens April 24 and runs through August 31.

Originally published on NewNowNext

LINDSAY LOHAN ADMITS TO RELAPSING: 6 THINGS WE LEARNED ON “LINDSAY”

Lindsay4Last night on Lindsay, we saw Lindsay Lohan lose friends, struggle to secure a job and, sadly, fall off the wagon.

Here’s what you need to know:


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Lindsay breaks her promise to Oprah

Despite assuring O she would start taking the filming of this docu-series seriously, Lindsay once again stalled production by sleeping in. When she finally wakes up and finds the cameras already set up in her apartment, she retreats to her room and texts her assistant to tell the whole crew to leave.

Classy move, girl.

If Oprah cursing in Lindsay’s face won’t help her prioritize, we don’t know what will.


Lindsay will be starring in a new film called Inconceivable

Based on that title, we’re guessing it’s the story of her chances at a real comeback.


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Lindsay has no regard for others

A truck full of Lindsay’s belongings (a mere 19,000 pounds in total) arrives at her new apartment. But when Lindsay starts going through them, she notices a lot of her crap is still missing and makes the movers put everything back into the truck to make room in her crib for all of the big furniture still to arrive. After that’s done, she wants them to unload the truck again to find her bedding. Ugh.

With all the stuff that Lindsay is hoarding, her show is beginning to look more and more like a tribute to Grey Gardens than anything else.


Lindsay goes back to L.A. for seven days

After being confronted by her wellness coach, AJ Johnson, about whether or not she’s drinking again, Lindsay travels to Los Angeles for a week. While there, she refuses to allow any OWN cameras to follow her, doesn’t contact AJ, fails to show up to a meeting with a casting agent, and is photographed by tabloids reaching for a bottle of wine.

But we’re sure that all she did there was explore acting opportunities and focus on her recovery. Eye roll.


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AJ Johnson quits

When Lindsay comes back from LA, she’s still really pissed at AJ for bringing up her sobriety on camera. She blows her off during their first meeting after her return, and then refuses to see her altogether during a later scheduled appointment. As a result, AJ quits, citing that she “can’t help someone when they are not open to receiving.”

If being asked about your sobriety on a show about your sobriety is off-limits, then why even agree to film the show in the first place?


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Lindsay drinks again

As it turns out, there’s a reason that Lindsay was so defensive when her sobriety was questioned: While Lohan denies she drank during her trip to L.A., she admits she had a glass of wine with some friends a month ago. Claiming that relapse is a common part of recovery, Lindsay attempts to rationalize her actions by saying that she was plagued with guilt and needed to get the truth off her chest. But after Lohan’s six stays in rehab and her constant alienation of people devoted to her recovery, it’s hard to believe she actively wants to improve.

Lindsay needs to realize that just admitting her mistakes doesn’t give her a free pass to continue screwing up. And if she ever wants to be taken seriously again, she needs to take a page out of Cady Heron’s book and take full responsibility for her actions.

Lindsay airs Sundays at 10pm on OWN

Originally published on NewNowNext

ADRIAN ANCHONDO, HONEY MAHOGANY SPOOF “PARTITION” WITH “IN-N-OUT MISSION”

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In February, we showed you “Dunkin Love,”  Adrian Anchondo’s hilarious homage to Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love”(and Dunkin Donuts). In the spirit of April Fool’s Day, we’re excited to premiere ”In-N-Out Mission” Anchondo’s follow-up paying homage to Bey’s “Partition” and the glory of In-N-Out Burger.

This time around,  Anchondo and collaborator Reggie White have brought along some new faces like Mike Delaney, Sarah Coykendall, San Francisco queen Dulce de Leche, and RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Honey Mahogany for the ride!

Screen shot 2014-03-31 at 7.31.47 PM“They’re both sexy, talented, and funny. Who wouldn’t want to play with these boys?” says Mahogany. “I thought their last video was brilliantly executed. I’d never been motivated to produce a parody video of my own, so when Adrian approached me about filming a sequel to ‘Dunkin Love,’ I told him I had to think about it—And by that I mean I cleared my schedule! I was stoked!”

Sexy and fun, “In-N-Out Mission” has got everything from milkshake slurping and underwear shots to some animal style choreography. But what made Anchondo switch out donuts for burgers?

“Anyone that knows me knows of my love affair with In-N-Out Burger,” he says. “I was born in Cali but raised on the East Coast, where I was deprived for years of the best fast-food burger in the world.  One year, one of my best friends flew from California for Christmas and she kept an In-N-Out Burger and fries in a cooler for me as a gift. It was one of the sweetest things anyone has ever done for me. When we did ‘Dunkin Love,’ I focused on the fact that it was an East Coast food that was needed on the West Coast, so it was only fitting that we would do the opposite for the sequel.”

Meanwhile, Honey is excited to show off a side of herself that wasn’t seen on Drag Race. Specifically, her backside. “For one thing: THERE ARE NO CAFTANS! I definitely show my ass in this video,” she said.  “Some people might say that I ‘showed my ass’ on Season 5, but this time I’m talking literally… Cakes.”

Check out the “In-N-Out Mission” video below.

Originally published on NewNowNext

CHATTING VERONICA MARS’ NEW BOOK SERIES WITH CO-AUTHOR JENNIFER GRAHAM

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It’s no secret that Veronica Mars has an insanely dedicated following.

After the beloved mystery TV series ended in 2007, it found new life this year in the form of a Kickstarter-funded feature film. Released earlier this month, the Veronica Mars movie was written and directed by show creator Rob Thomas (who also co-created another cult favorite series, Party Down). In the film, Veronica (played again by Kristen Bell) returns to her hometown of Neptune, California, years after the show’s conclusion to investigate a murder that her former flame, Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring), is accused of.

But while fans (or “Marshmallows”) eagerly wait to see if Veronica Mars will be getting the sequel treatment, they can already find out what happens next to the beloved private investigator. Picking up almost three months after the events of the movie, Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Amazon) is the first installment in an all-new original mystery book series. Co-written by Thomas and author Jennifer Graham, the novel (published on March 25 by Vintage) finds Veronica back in Neptune, this time trying to solve a missing person’s case. And when a second girl with unexpected ties to Veronica’s past goes missing too, it’s up to Veronica to uncover the truth surrounding one of her most personal cases yet.

Taking a break from writing the second novel in the series, Graham chatted with me about transferring Veronica Mars to a new medium, how she and Thomas worked together, what Marshmallows can look forward to in the book, and more.

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ALEX NAGORSKI: From a storytelling perspective, what are the advantages of telling Veronica Mars stories on the page versus TV or film?

JENNIFER GRAHAM: One of the things that fiction can do that TV or film can’t is to give the reader access to a character’s internal life. Obviously, Veronica in both the movie and the show has that hardboiled voice-over, so to some degree we get to hear what she’s thinking, and Kristen Bell conveys a lot of nuance in her performances. But in a book we get a little more of Veronica’s mindset, which was both exciting and terrifying for me. On the one hand, we have this amazing opportunity to bear witness to more of her thoughts and memories and get closer to her personal experience. On the other hand, the act of imagining the interior world of such an iconic character is a little intimidating, especially when that character is as complex as Veronica. Veronica’s a bad-ass, but she’s not a cartoon bad-ass; there are ways she’s vulnerable or even insecure. I didn’t want to show her mooning around or being self-pitying, but I also didn’t want her to come across as a robot. I tried really hard to capture that balance.

Does this book work as a jumping on point for the Veronica Mars universe? Or do readers need to have seen the show and movie to understand what’s going on?

We tried to make it accessible to both veteran Marshmallows and people who aren’t fans yet. I think anyone with an interest in PI fiction could pick it up and be quite entertained, whether or not they’ve seen the show/movie. I did drop in a few in-jokes and call-backs–as a fan myself, they were a lot of fun to write–but I don’t think they’re distracting or confusing. And Rob’s characters are so damn good, I think new readers will be more than willing to jump in.

Were you a fan of the series before working with Rob on this novel? If so, what’s your favorite episode?

I totally was! I’m not sure what my favorite episode is, but I have a half-dozen favorite moments–Lilly’s tribute video, which always makes me tear up; the plot twist at the end of “You Think You Know Somebody;” the “locked room” mysteries of “An Echolls Family Christmas” and “Ain’t No Magic Mountain High Enough.” I’m a big structure junkie, and so my favorite moments of Veronica tend to show the tightness and control of the narrative while also giving space for the emotional through-lines of the series.

Can you walk me through you and Rob’s creative process as co-writers? Did you alternate writing chapters/scenes, or did you have to figure out a system of how to write together at the same time?

We “broke” the plot of the book writers’ room style–Rob had the seed of an idea, and we sat down to hash out the main twists and turns of the plot together. When we had the basic structure nailed down, I went home and wrote like the wind. I had an outline to work from, but Rob really encouraged me to take some ownership of the project as well, which was so generous of him and so fun for me. I had plenty of space to flex my creative muscles and contribute to Veronica’s world. Then when I’d finished my draft, Rob got involved again in the revisions, to make sure the whole thing was in line with his vision.

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line is described as “the first book in a thrilling new mystery series.” How many books are planned? And have you already started working on the sequel?

I am feverishly working on book two as we speak! So far that’s all that’s set in stone. Everything after this next one depends on how the books are received.

The book picks up right after the events of the historic Veronica Mars feature film, which was released earlier this month. Will the characters in the book be familiar to fans of the show and movie, or are you introducing a whole new roster of characters?

Most of the characters are from the show and movie. I think Veronica Mars fans are really invested in the supporting cast, more so than in a lot of comparable franchises. Part of the draw of the series is Veronica’s relationship with the various members of her support network, and I wanted to make sure that relationship played a role in the book. As a fan myself, I would have been disappointed not to get to write anything about Keith or Weevil or Wallace. There are definitely a few new faces too, though–it’s a brand new case, and Veronica’s been away from Neptune for a long time.

What are some of your personal favorite mystery novels? And are there any particular authors who inspired you while writing this book?

My favorite crime writer is probably Ed Brubaker. He and Sean Philips put out a comic called Criminal that I re-read half a dozen times while working on Veronica. It’s not a mystery per se, but it is pure pulpy noir in the very best sense–full of antiheroes, bad decisions, lost causes, tortured pasts, haunting secrets, and grit, grit, grit. Anyone who’s into Veronica‘s darker genre nods should absolutely check it out.

I also re-read a lot of classic hardboiled and noir material while I was working on the book–Raymond Chandler, Patricia Highsmith, Dashiell Hammett, Chester Himes, Micky Spillane. I wanted to make sure the cynical, hard-edged element of those writers took up some residence in my prose. And I’m a Gillian Flynn fan, too. Her first two books especially engage with trauma in a way I think is relevant to working with Veronica, whose trauma has historically been a part of her drive.

If you were a private investigator, what’s the first mystery you’d try to solve?

This question runs the risk of exposing me as a total ghoul, because I am a little bit obsessed with famous unsolved murders. Zodiac, the Boy in the Box, the Black Dahlia, the Axeman of New Orleans, the Cleveland Torso murders. The obvious Whitechapel legacy. But morbid curiosity aside, I’d like to believe I’d also put my skills towards exposing corruption and inequality. Neptune is a convenient microcosm, but there are a lot of Sheriff Lambs in the world.

Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line is on sale now.

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Originally published on PopBytes