Entertainment News Chum

Today’s news chum brings some news of an entertaining variety:

  • From the “Support Your Local Theatre — Attend a Show” Department: The LA Times is reporting that the economic downturn is resulting in a new Economic Stimulus Package: specifically, the Center Theatre Group will be making available 100,000 tickets at $20, available for all performances at all three of its theaters –the Ahmanson, Mark Taper Forum and Kirk Douglas — for the entire 2008-09 season. This is an expansion above and beyond the 30,000 ticket HotTix program that offered limited view (typically far side of the house) tickets for $20, limited to 2 per purchase, phone only. In the new program, there are no restrictions on the number of tickets an individual can buy — and, because the higher numbers make available more seats, the likelihood of finding better seats is increased. They will also be available on the web. I find this interesting — it certainly makes it more likely I’ll get tickets to Minsky’s or Frost/Nixon. I should also note that there are other programs to get reduced priced tickets. Goldstar Events can provide half-price tickets to events in a number of cities, including LA, SF Bay Area, Chicago, DC, New York, Boston, and Las Vegas. LA Stage Tix can provide half-price tickets for LA Stage Alliance shows.
  • From the “They Put That On Stage?” Department: Playbill is reporting that Jon and Al Kaplan, the authors of “Silence! Silence of the Lambs: The Musical” have penned a new musical: an adaptation of the 1960’s film “They Saved Hitler’s Brain”. The cult film centers around the frozen head of Adolf Hitler, which is smuggled into the fictitious South American country of Mandoras in the hopes of one day creating a Fourth Reich. Shades of “The Brain from Planet X”.
  • From the “Albums I Must Get” Department: Playbill is also noting that a new downloadable cast album is now available of Rogers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella”, with Lea Salonga in the lead role. This is about the only R&H show I don’t have (yes, I do have “Me and Juliet”, “Allegro”, and “Pipe Dream”), so it will be interesting to explore whether to get this or the original TV cast. In related news, the cast album for “13” should be available in CD form in November; it is currently downloadable.
  • From the “Mom Always Liked You Best” Department: The SF Chronicle has a very interesting profile of Tommy Smothers, the brains behind one of the best comedy duos around: The Smothers Brothers. They also note how the documentary “Smothered: The Censorship Battle of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” will be on KQED on 10/30. Alas, it doesn’t appear as if KCET or another SoCal PBS outlet is showing it, so hopefully I’ll at least encourage some of you NoCal folks to watch it in my stead.