Category: RMG Writers

Glowing Reviews for Gina Gionfriddo's 'Becky Shaw' in London

RMG client GINA GIONFRIDDO’s rich comedy “Becky Shaw” is garnering spectacular reviews in it’s London run.  Please check out this particular column from Michael Billington of The Guardian.

The Guardian, Friday 21 January 2011

The Almeida has a strong track-record in producing American plays. And it was of one of its favoured sons, Neil LaBute, that I was reminded watching this astute, acerbic and richly funny comedy by Gina Gionfriddo. Like LaBute, Gionfriddo deals with power and manipulation. But what she brings to a familiar dramatic theme is a surprising moral ambiguity.

The action, much of it set round Rhode Island, hinges on an ill-starred blind date initiated by the newlywed Andrew and Suzanna. He has taken pity on the luckless 35-year-old Becky who works as a temp in his office: she feels a similar concern for the partner-free Max, a financial whiz-kid reared by her own family. But matchmakers, as we know, often get their fingers burned and the dinner date between Becky and Max has disastrous repercussions for all concerned. It drives a wedge between the well-intentioned Andrew and his young wife and leads to recriminations between the over-intense Becky and the emotionally detached Max.

In the course of the play Jane Austen is invoked; and, although Gionfriddo works within a small compass, she has clearly studied the great novelist’s ability to shift the moral perspective. At first, we take Becky at her own evaluation as one of life’s walking wounded; but, as the action progresses, we begin to see that she exercises the tyranny of the weak. And almost the reverse process happens with Max. Initially, we mark him down as a heartless smart-ass: learning, for instance, that his prospective date is lost because she has no mobile phone, he inquires “Is she Amish?” But, under Max’s brutally wisecracking exterior, lurks a damaged soul. Ultimately, the question of who is manipulating whom remains tantalisingly unresolved.

While the writing is densely textured, much of the pleasure lies in the expert timing of the production by Peter DuBois. David Wilson Barnes, who played Max both in Louisville and Off-Broadway, brings to it something of the deadpan wit and dry insouciance we associate with Kevin Spacey; yet he also hints at the loneliness of a man terrified of emotional intimacy. Daisy Haggard also blissfully embodies the neurotic neediness of the eponymous heroine: nothing in the evening is better than the look of shy triumph that steals over her features when she says something that elicits universal approbation. And, in a play in which everyone is psychologically flawed, Anna Madeley beautifully hints at Suzanna’s quiet desperation while Vincent Montuel shows that her husband’s seeming goodness conceals a certain sappiness. But this is part of the charm of a play that explores, with cultivated panache, the fact that virtue and vice are, in the end, strictly relative values.

  • guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2011

ROCK OF AGES’ Kristin Hanggi Holds CREATIVE Gym Seminar

hanggi1Tony nominated director & writer Kristin Hanggi will hold a teleseminar and classes in Los Angeles entitled, Introduction to The Creative Gym: An Artist’s Process. Is there an idea that’s pulling at your heart? Something that’s calling you – but you’re stuck getting it out? After years of working with writers, Kristin developed a specific system for getting your story idea out of your head and onto the page. She’s identified The Common places that writers get stuck and can show you how to break through your own obstacles in order to finish your projects. Since 2007, this proven process has resulted in sold screenplays, published books, produced theater pieces and optioned TV shows.

“Writing an entire screenplay, play, or novel doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Actually, it wants to be fun. I love David Lynch’s analogy that ‘ideas aren’t ours, but we catch them like fish.’ I believe that as writers, as artists, we must learn to be open so that we can receive and birth the ideas that want to come through us.”  –Kristin Hanggi
Read more @ losangeles.broadwayworld.com

Mike Larsen's Latest Piece for Huff Po

MIKE LARSEN’s latest column in Huffington Post tackles the recent tragic shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her aide Gabe Zimmerman.  Check out a portion of the article below and link to Huffington Post:

“I Never Met Gabe Zimmerman (But I Knew Him)”, Jan 12, 2011

I never met Gabe Zimmerman, but I knew him.

The 30-year-old aide to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords who died in the service of his country Saturday morning is no stranger to me or anyone who has stood in his shoes.

Without having met Mr. Zimmerman, I can tell you that he rarely had a day off; that he worked all week helping constituents get their social security checks, file for veterans services and communicate with their Member of Congress; that weekends were spent accompanying the congresswoman around the district and nights more often found him at city council meetings than hanging out with friends.

I can tell you that his job came up before the voters every two years so it was hard to think too far into the future, that he lived by limits set by House ethics rules on things that are commonplace for everyone else — like getting tickets to a game from a friend or letting someone buy you a drink and, still, he considered this the best job he ever had.

To read the full article, please continue by clicking HERE.

Katleman Joins Memphis Beat as Co-EP and Director

RMG client MICHAEL KATLEMAN has just been hired as the new Co-Executive Producer and Director on the TNT series Memphis Beat starring Jason Lee.  Katleman will be running the physical production in New Orleans for new writing Executive Producer Jan Nash as the series enters its second season.

The show centers on Dwight Hendricks (Lee), a quirky Memphis police detective with an intimate connection to the city, a passion for blues music and a close relationship with his mother. He is “the keeper of Memphis,” a Southern gentleman who is protective of his fellow citizens, reverential of the city’s history and deeply rooted in its blues music scene.

Katleman has previously served as Co-EP and Director on such series as Eastwick, Life on Mars, and Gilmore Girls to name a few.

Steve Leff's 'Doc and Howie' to be Directorial Debut for 'Zombieland' Duo

RMG client STEVE LEFF’s original screenplay Doc and Howie, which is set up at Montecito Picture Co., has attached Rhett Reese and and Paul Wernick to direct the feature.  Reese and Wernick previously penned the smash hit Zombieland, and this will mark their directorial debut.

montecitoLeff’s script landed in the top dozen “most liked” reads on last year’s screenwriter Black List under its original title, Doc and Howie Whack a Granny.  In the tone of Harold and Kumar, the title characters accidentally kill an elderly woman when they neglect to help her carry her groceries up the stairs. In a fortuitous twist, the incident brings them into contact with the woman’s hot granddaughters, and they struggle with the dilemma of whether to tell the women the truth.

As for Reese and Wernick, the pair is writing a Zombieland sequel for Columbia, a G.I. Joe sequel for Paramount and the Deadpool spinoff for Fox. Their project Earth vs. Moon is in development at Universal with producer Scott Stuber, and they just set up the comic book adaptation Cowboy Ninja Viking at Disney.

Erick McCormack Attaches to Sussman's Perception

Eric-McCormack-RMG client MIKE SUSSMAN’s TNT pilot Perception has officially attached Erick McCormack to the lead role.  The former Will & Grace star will play  Dr. Geoffrey Pierce, an eccentric, frequently erratic and absolutely brilliant neuroscientist who helps the FBI solve complex cases.  Sussman co-wrote the pilot with Ken Biller, which is being produced by ABC Studios.  Under the new deal, McCormack will serve as producer as well.

Sussman most recently served as Co-Executive Producer on Legend of the Seeker, also produced by ABC Studios.  To check out more of Mike’s work, visit his website by clicking HERE.

HBO Picks Up Comedy from Tim Long and Molly Shannon

HBO_LogoHBO just picked up a comedy from RMG client and veteran Simpsons writer-producer Tim Long with Molly Shannon attached to star. The untitled comedy would star the Saturday Night Live alumna as a nun who makes the difficult decision to leave the convent and confront life in the outside world. Shannon’s character became a nun after getting her heart broken at 18. Now she is an utterly innocent woman in her early 40s who has never had sex and has to discover the modern world in all of its tawdriness.

Prior to his tenured run with Simpsons, Long wrote for The Late Show with David Letterman and Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher.  Recently, Long has also been a stand-out contributor to the New York Times and The New Yorker.  To read the full article that appeared on Deadline.com – click HERE.

ABC Buys Kiersten Van Horne's MATCH

ABC-logoRMG client Kiersten Van Horne and Cara Haycak are partnering with Taye Diggs and his O’Taye Productions shingle on adoption drama Match for ABC.

The show will examine how families are made and broken as the protagonists — a Los Angeles-based team of lawyers, doctors and caseworkers — struggle to make dreams come true.

Van Horne penned last season’s Pretty Little Mistakes for NBC/UMS and Haycak wrote the young-adult novels Red Palms and Living on Impulse. You can read the full article from today’s Hollywood Reporter HERE.

Gina Gionfriddo's 'Becky Shaw' Comes to SCR

RMG client and Pulitzer nominee GINA GIONFRIDDO (Boardwalk Empire, Law & Order, Cold Case) is bringing ‘Becky Shaw’ to SCR.  Check out the fantastic article from yesterday’s Los Angeles Times:

Gina GThe Pulitzer nominee’s ‘Becky Shaw’ comes to SCR

By James C. Taylor, Special to the Los Angeles Times – October 24 2010

Gina Gionfriddo, an avowed true-crime hobbyist and former writer on “Law & Order” and “Cold Case,” currently writing for HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” knows all about criminal activity, but her latest play, “Becky Shaw” –  shortlisted for the Pulitzer in 2009 and receiving its Southern California premiere Oct. 29 – involves perhaps the harshest crime of all: wearing the wrong dress to a first date.

The complete article can be viewed at:

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-ca-becky-shaw-playwright-20101024,0,3032044.story

Smallville Celebrates 200

smallville

SMALLVILLE celebrates its 200th episode tonight at 8 p.m. on the CW.  RMG congratulates our client  JORDAN HAWLEY on a tremendous run with the show, along with fellow writers, producers, cast and crew.

Jordan previously worked as Supervising Producer on TV series “Wildfire” and “Moonlight”, along with writing and directing the indie feature 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.

In it’s 10th and final season, the show is a modern retelling of Superman’s legendary origins.  SMALLVILLE was developed for television by Alfred Gough & Miles Millar (“Shanghai Noon,” “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”), based on the DC Comics characters. Kelly Souders & Brian Peterson serve as executive producers, along with James Marshall, Mike Tollin, Brian Robbins, Joe Davola and Tom Welling. The series is produced by Tollin/Robbins Productions, Millar/Gough Ink and Warner Bros. Television.