And more from our Gossip Girl: Daniel Craig to return as 007 … Joyce DeWitt is “Miss Abigail” off-Broadway
“I MUST be dreaming!”
That’s what Sean Connery as James Bond uttered as he regained consciousness to find Honor Blackman leaning over him, and announcing with no irony or innuendo, “My name is Pussy Galore.”
Well, I felt I was dreaming while semi-watching the MTV Movie Awards. I couldn’t find HBO’s fabulous “Game of Thrones” and just happened to come across the awards show while flipping channels.
And what was the first thing I saw? Justin Timberlake with his hands on Mila Kunis‘ breasts and her hand grabbing his crotch. No, this was not a scene from a movie. They were up there on stage in front of thousands —millions, actually. Was I really seeing this? (And I’m a fan of both Mr. Timberlake and Miss Kunis — the latter should have been Oscar-nominated for her great work in “Black Swan” opposite Natalie Portman.)
I know the MTV Movie Awards are not to be taken seriously and it is definitively for the younger crowd, and it’s cable. But it is at times like this I feel like Bette Davis in “Where Love Has Gone,” putting down her teacup and declaring, “Somewhere along the line the world has lost all its standards and all its taste.” That Miss Davis delivered this line in one of the more tasteless movies of its time is beside the point.
I popped in and out of the show, each time finding somebody saying or doing something gross that naturally the audience screamed over. I did see Reese Witherspoon receive an MTV-style life achievement award. She was vulgarly “honored” from the stage by Patrick Dempsey, Robert Pattinson (the “Twilight” vampire heartthrob) and comedienne Chelsea Handler. Reese, who is one of the genuine role models for women in Hollywood, did feel compelled to accept her award in much the same spirit, though I don’t think her heart was in it.
However, she did say something significant as she wound up her remarks. She addressed herself to young women: “You don’t have to do a reality show to make it in Hollywood. You don’t have to make a sex tape. And, if you take naked pictures of yourself, hide your face!”
The audience seemed less enthusiastic about this message — though she delivered it cheerfully — than they had moments previously, when Reese had tossed off the F-word in response to a raunchy aspect of Mr. Pattinson’s introduction.
The powers at MTV probably weren’t thrilled either. Having invented the genre with “The Real World” the network is awash in reality programming and its “stars” —“Jersey Shore” and “16 and Pregnant” being the most currently notorious.
Even though she had to make her point in a kind of jokey way, I admire Miss Witherspoon for doing it at all. I’d like to see more of her on magazine covers and less of the dreadful, various “Housewives” “Bachelorettes” or the omnipresent Kardashians.
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SPEAKING OF James Bond — well, we were, all the way at the top of the column — I’m happy to hear that Daniel Craig will play 007 for the third time, now that Sony and MGM have ironed out their difficulties. The 23rd Bond film is titled, for now, “Bond 23.” (Why not keep it? It’s better than “The Quantum of Solace.”) Casting continues, with a girl named Naomie Harris in talks as one of Bond’s conquests and maybe Javier Bardem or Ralph Fiennes as the villain.
Although I must say, Javier pretty much wrapped up villainy and tied it in a bloody bow as the remorseless killer of “No Country for Old Men.” He needs a nice comedy. Or maybe he’ll be a funny villain, like Mike Myers‘ Dr. Evil.
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SCARLETT Johansson and Sean Penn looked friendly at something called “The Guys’ Choice Awards” over the weekend, less than 48 hours after People magazine reported they were no longer dating. She looked sexy, he looked saturnine (I think it was the deep tan.) Both were smiling broadly. So maybe they made up, were never split or — let’s think outside the box — maybe they were never dating in the first place?
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TV FANS! Remember Joyce DeWitt? Sure you do. She was the perky brunette member of the “Three’s Company” cast. She rarely got as much attention as Suzanne Somers (while Suzanne lasted) — which was a pity, because she was considerably more talented than Somers. Though nobody was as talented as the late John Ritter, who simply was the show.
Since “Three’s Company” went off the air, DeWitt traveled under the radar, but she traveled extensively, mostly on stage, and her credits are amazing — everything from “Macbeth” to “Anything Goes.” Recently she starred in the Canadian premiere of the Donald Margulies‘ Pultizer Prize drama “Dinner with Friends” and in Alfred Uhry’s Tony winning “The Last Night of Ballyhoo.”
Now DeWitt has come back to her theater roots, taking the starring role in the hit off-Broadway comedy “Miss Abigail’s Guide to Dating, Mating and Marriage.” She replaced Eve Plumb, another TV icon. Written by Ken Davenport (“Altar Boyz”) and Sarah Saltzberg (“The 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee,”) the show promises “classic advice for contemporary dilemmas” delivered by the all-knowing Miss Abigail.
You can see Miss DeWitt, who still looks remarkably like her 1970’s TV self, at The Downstairs Cabaret Theater at Sofia’s (221 West 46th Street. It’s next to the Lunt-Fontanne in Times Square.) Call 1-877-9-MISS-ABIGAIL.