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'Game Of Thrones' Fans Thought They Spotted A Blooper, But No (Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:12:48 -0400)

Did Jaime Lannister expect the Royal Wedding to be a dull affair? Is that why he brought a little pick-me-up in the form of a cup of coffee?



Not exactly.

An image set that has been circulating online has caused many people to incorrectly assume that producers made a mistake in the final cut of the show -- but they didn't.

Keen-eyed fans of “Game of Thrones” noticed this shot of the Lannister family at the Purple Wedding. In the image, the Kingslayer (far left) is reverently holding a paper coffee cup in his hand. Yeah, that hand.



According to Uproxx, the image comes from a behind-the-scenes video on HBO GO. The footage did not air. Jaime isn’t even wearing those clothes in the final cut of last week’s episode, “The Lion and the Rose.”

The cup is difficult to spot if you aren’t looking for it, and the fact that it’s in the hand that [SPOILER ALERT] got cut off in the last season, is just the icing on the cake.

Lawyer: Bryan Singer Not In Hawaii During Sexual Assault Claim (Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:08:48 -0400)

HONOLULU (AP) — Credit card receipts, telephone records and production schedules show that "X-Men" franchise director Bryan Singer was not in Hawaii when a lawsuit claims he sexually abused a 17-year-old on the islands, a defense attorney said Friday.

Singer was mainly in Toronto working on the first "X-Men" movie from August through October 1999, defense attorney Marty Singer told The Associated Press. A lawsuit filed by a former child model, Michael Egan III, says Bryan Singer abused him several times over those three months as well as earlier in California as part of a Hollywood sex ring led by another man convicted of luring minors across state lines for sex.

"This was Bryan's first studio film," Marty Singer said. "Clearly, he's not going to take a break in the middle of this movie while you're shooting and prepping it to go to Hawaii."

Egan's lawyer, Jeff Herman, did not immediately respond to phone calls seeking comment.

Egan said Thursday that he was abused by Bryan Singer and others starting when he was 15. He said he was given drugs and promises of a Hollywood career while being threatened and sexually abused in Los Angeles and Hawaii.

The AP does not typically name victims of sex abuse but is naming Egan because he is speaking publicly about his allegations.

Marty Singer, who said previously that he and the director are not related, declined to provide any of the personal records, saying they were private.

He said the filming records were available publicly but 20th Century Fox did not immediately return a phone call and email seeking comment.

"X-Men" was released in July 2000. Singer has directed three films in the blockbuster franchise, including the fifth installment, "X-Men: Days of Future Past," to be released next month, as well as other films including "The Usual Suspects."

His lawyer said the director was never interviewed by any authorities about the claims by Egan, who said Thursday he reported the Los Angeles acts and doesn't know why charges were not pursued.

The lawsuit was filed under a Hawaii law that temporarily suspends the statute of limitations in sex abuse cases. The law has led to several lawsuits against clergy members and others.

A judge in Hawaii set a July 21 scheduling hearing in Honolulu for the lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday.

___

AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report from Los Angeles. Oskar Garcia can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/oskargarcia

This Small Town Guy Landed His Dream Job In The Coolest Way (Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:49:54 -0400)

Bryan Donaldson's career took an unexpected turn last fall, all thanks to Twitter.

Since October 2011, Donaldson, who had been working in IT for the past 20 years, had been tweeting a few jokes a day under the handle @TheNardvark, according to Vulture. His Twitter following quickly grew after he sent out some pretty hilarious tweets:

Why sure, I’d love to hear about all of your problems! Hang on, let me start eating my Cap’n Crunch before you start talking.

— Bryan Donaldson (@TheNardvark) May 22, 2013



His tweets got the attention of Alex Baze, head writer and producer of "Late Night With Seth Meyers." When Baze started his search for a talented team of writers last fall, he thought what better outlet to turn to than Twitter?

"If I go to somebody’s Twitter, I can see what he’s been doing the last two years -- you get a much more complete sense of how he writes," Baze told Vulture.

Read the full story at Vulture.

Seth Meyers agreed. At last month's South by Southwest festival, Meyers admitted that when it comes to hiring his staff, he reads their packets and then looks at the last six months of their tweets. If they've only tweeted two jokes a month, he's not as interested.

Meyers and Baze decided to bring the 40-year-old in for an interview, according to Vulture.

Donaldson, who had no connection to the comedy world, flew from Peoria, Ill., to New York City to meet with the them.

"We never stopped to wonder where he was from or what he was doing," Meyers told Vulture. "He just made us laugh."

Sure enough, he landed a job writing for the show.

After a few months of spending my days in a room full of comedy writers I now realize how annoying I must be. Sorry, everyone I've ever met!

— Bryan Donaldson (@TheNardvark) February 13, 2014



Here’s how @ambermruffin and @thenardvark are counting down to tomorrow night’s #LNSM premiere! https://t.co/y4dpPkF7zP

— Late Night (@LateNightSeth) February 23, 2014




The "Late Night With Seth Meyers" producers aren't the only ones who turned to Twitter to scout talent. The producers on "Parks and Recreation" used the same method, according to TV Guide. And the biggest Twitter success story is Justin Halpern, who created "S#*! My Dad Says" based on his Twitter feed, and is now working on "Surviving Jack" with executive producer, Bill Lawrence.

"The allure of Twitter for writers is there," Lawrence told the outlet. "It's funny to try and be a joke writer there. I love it."


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'Saturday Night Live' Will Celebrate Its 40th Anniversary With A Three-Hour Live Broadcast (Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:43:27 -0400)

Get ready for a lot more cowbell.

NBC will celebrate "Saturday Night Live's" 40th anniversary by airing a three-hour live broadcast special on Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015, from 8-11 p.m. ET.

According to Variety, the show's lineup will include current "SNL" cast members, alumni and special guests. The details of exactly who will appear are still being determined.

The Emmy Award winning program began in 1975 and has helped launch the careers of Will Ferrell, Eddie Murphy, Tina Fey, John Belushi, Mike Myers, Amy Poehler and many more.

"Saturday Night Live" returns Saturday, May 3, at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

Inside The World's Ongoing Obsession With Vinyl Records (Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:42:39 -0400)

April 19 marks the eighth annual Record Store Day, which celebrates independently-owned music sellers.

This musical day falls on the heels of a highly-anticipated book that documents the worldwide obsession with vinyl records. Nearly two years ago, photographer and record collector Eilon Paz decided to embark on a journey to photograph people around the world whose record collections trumped his own. Almost two years since his Kickstarter campaign, Paz's book "Dust And Grooves" will finally be released on Saturday.

Paz told HuffPost Live's Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani that his perspective shifted as he became more and more involved in the act of photographing vinyl collectors and owners.

"As I started, I was looking for these kind of images -- like rooms full of records, shelves floor to ceiling," Paz said. "But that eventually evolved into more in-depth things and more content, like looking for the right stories and just going into [the] adventures [of] record collectors."

Sheila Burgle, a DJ and record collector, also joined the HuffPost Live conversation to discuss her love of vinyl and why her collection is worth the time and money she spends building it.

"The time is what is so enjoyable. It’s like going on a treasure hunt, really, when you know what you’re looking for and when you find it," Burgle said.

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation about the worldwide obsession on vinyl below:

'Scandal' Heartthrob Scott Foley Explains Why Sex Scenes With His Pregnant Co-Star Are A 'Riddle' (Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:42:01 -0400)

Raise your hand if you think pregnancy sex can be a bit awkward.

If you've been watching the latest season of "Scandal", you've probably noticed a change in the woman wearing the white hat. After Kerry Washington finally confirmed her pregnancy, many fans were left wondering how the show was going to hide that bun in the oven, especially with the amount of love scenes we've come to expect from Shonda Rhimes and Co. The show has done well this season to cover Washington's baby bump -- cashmere coats and strategically placed cast members were staples in every episode this season -- but when it comes to those steamy sex scenes between Olivia Pope and her leading men, things got a little tricky.

Scott Foley who plays swoon worthy Jake Ballard on the show -- and Olivia's man on the side -- said filming love scenes with his very pregnant co-star were all kinds of awkward.

"It's a riddle," Foley told HuffPost Live, "We've had some pretty lengthy conversations about how to shoot it. It's a challenge." Hiding that Washington's growing bump was only one part of the problem though.

"It's hard to enjoy those scenes," Foley said. "There's the guy fixing her bra, or my hair so it's awkward to begin with, but when you throw in a belly on top of that, or underneath it depending on the position we're in, it makes it even more so."



Celebrities Call The Paparazzi On Themselves Sometimes, Obviously (Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:04:16 -0400)

There is an ongoing war in Hollywood between celebrities and the paparazzi hot on their trail.

Rolling Stone's latest feature on the billion dollar celebrity-hunting industry doesn't expose anything particularly shocking, except to hammer home the point that some of these photographers seem deeply unhinged, and the war is often just for show.

For every A-lister who carefully dodges the camera, there are B- and C-listers trolling celebrity haunts, looking for that extra publicity in the hopes they can retain the public's interest just a little longer.

"The ugly secret is, some stars want to be hunted. During the Great Britney Spears Hunt of 2007, the Normandy of pap history, she would reportedly call select paps right before moving. Kim Kardashian routinely tipped off the paps in her early days. Someone falling off the fame radar, like Denise Richards or Tori Spelling, will make arrangements for paps to come over and shoot them with their kids," Rolling Stone contributor Stephen Rodrick wrote for the magazine's April 24 issue.

According to Rolling Stone, it's likely that 90 percent of the paparazzi photos in Los Angeles are taken in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills -- specifically at celebrity hot spots, including "the London, Urth Caffé, Sunset Boulevard Equinox, the playground near Coldwater Canyon." They call it Pappyland, "where the stars' makeup is always perfect and their kids are freshly scrubbed and immaculate in brightly colored clothes," wrote Roderick.

And while there are many A-listers whose publicists will tip off the paps without telling their clients, there's also stars who are in it for the cash. According to Rolling Stone, Lindsay Lohan has alerted photographers to her whereabouts in return for a "gratuity," while Ryan Reynolds routinely finds himself 'captured' eating Chobani yogurt, carrying a Burger King bag, smiling at a Nespresso cafe and caressing a Can-Am motorcycle, all in apparently preplanned shots."

None of this should really surprise anyone, since when it boils down to it, those paparazzi photos are the ultimate currency in Hollywood, namely relevance. Talent aside, if the public doesn't have at least some interest in stars' personal lives, in today's landscape, it's near impossible to sustain a career.

Still, regardless of how symbiotic a relationship Hollywood actually has with the paps, the situation would no doubt be better if stars like 16-year-old Kylie Jenner weren't being followed by men who mutter, "B--ch, stop covering up. Let motherf--kers shoot you and get it over with," on a day she doesn't particularly feel like posing for the cameras.

Head over to Rolling Stone for much more on Hollywood's most-loathed players.

Bombshell Salli Richardson-Whitfield (Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:57:42 -0400)

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Sophia Loren believes, "Sex appeal is 50 percent what you've got and 50 percent what people think you've got." Salli Richardson Whitfield, one of the most beautiful women in show business and an accomplished actress, director and producer has got a lot going on. The Chicago native came Hollywood or bust with $700 and a used car and never looked back. Her successful acting career boasts many feature film (Posse, Antwoine Fisher, I Am Legend ) and television (Family Law, CSI Miami, Being Mary Jane, House M.D, The Newsroom ) performances.

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This lady doesn't rest on her laurels. Salli made her directing and screenwriting debut with the short film, Grace. She has since directed episodes of the SyFy hit show Eureka where she stars as Dr. Allison Blake. Salli declares:

I love acting. Playing with words and just being in the moment of someone else's life is a gift that God has given me. Directing is this wonderful puzzle that you have to piece together. It's a place I can have full control. It's exciting and scary at the same time. My husband says I have found a place to put all my micromanaging skills to good use.


Add to that her producing credits for the soon to premiere Lifetime movie Pastor Brown. The voluptuous thespian stars as stripper turned pastor, Jessica Brown in the uplifting film for television.

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After two decades in this business she knows what she wants.

At this point in my life I am looking for great roles for myself and also projects that I can be proud of that are artful and entertaining. Not necessarily tied to huge commercial success but that feed my creative soul.


She balances her career with her priority of marriage to actor Dondre Whitfield and mother of two. She declares:

My family is the most important thing in my life. But of course there are times when I have to be gone. What I try to do is when I'm at home or I have time away from work, I commit myself to being completely present with my family. I'm making lunches, baking for their classroom activities and doing homework. I have also learned that if I keep God and prayer in our marriage we can get through anything.




Her passion project is the role of the legendary Lena Horne in a Broadway-bound theater workshop, A Lady Must Live. Salli will co-produce with Craig Dorfman and star in the four-character play. She has launched a Kickstarter campaign to crowd-raise funds for the venture. Salli shares:

As a black woman of lighter skin in this industry, I definitely understand what she went through trying to work. While things are obviously better now there are still many injustices that I live with that could make a person bitter and resentful. There is something about her pain that I just inherently understand. When I watch tapes of her I see myself in her. Our personalities are quite similar. We have the public face of elegance but underneath there is a fire burning in a down to Earth home girl.


Salli's resemblance to Lena Horne is stunning and her own experiences could bring us closer to the racial discrimination Lena faced beneath the dignity and grace of her performances. Salli Richardson Whitfield as always leaves us bewitched, bothered and bewildered.

Dog Ears Music: Volume 328 (Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:54:44 -0400)





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One String Sam
Legendary diddley bow-player One String Sam (a.k.a. Sam Wilson) was discovered busking on the streets of Motor City by Joe Von Battle, who bestowed Wilson his nom de plume in honor of his self-made instrument. The enigmatic wanderluster recorded just a few sides (including his signature "I Need a Hundred Dollars") in the mid-'50s at Joe's Records on Hastings Street in Detroit, then vanished. He re-emerged in the early '70s, igniting the stage at the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival as part of The Motor City Blues Revue. His dolorous sound echoes a forsaken path of obscurity, riddle, and unrealized potential. Rediscover the troubadour with the rarity "My Baby Ooo," from Document Shortcuts, Vol. 3: My Babe various-artists treasury.
Buy: iTunes.com
Genre: Blues
Artist: One String Sam
Song: My Baby Ooo
Album: Document Shortcuts, Vol. 3, My Babe






Earlimart
Los Angeles indie outfit Earlimart is the brainchild of producer Aaron Espinoza (guitar) and vocalist Ariana Murray (bass, keys). Their melodic magic was born in the mid-'90s, and has grown to a near klatch of 10 releases. Collective collaborations/shared stages include Elliot Smith, Grandaddy ex-pats Jason Lytle and Aaron Burtch, The Breeders, Pedro the Lion, and Admiral Radley. Among their highlights: tracks on TV shows Vampire Diaries, Ugly Betty, Six Feet Under, The O.C., and Veronica Mars, as well as films Humboldt County, Paper Man, and The Art of Getting By. Discover "Happy Alone," from Earlimart's 2007 project Mentor Tormentor. Turn it up.
Buy: iTunes.com
Genre: Alternative
Artist: Earlimart
Song: Happy Alone
Album: Mentor Tormentor






Paolo Conte
Crooner, pianist, poet, painter, songwriter, vibraphonist (and lawyer!) Paolo Conte was born in 1937 in Asti, Piedmont, Italy. As a lad, he took up piano alongside his brother Giorgio, then the vibraphone, before diving into jazz. While practicing law, he played in various bands, juggling his two worlds, and in 1962 cut an EP for RCA. Conte found his first music success during the late '60s/early '70s writing Euro-pop hits for Adriano Celentano, Caterina Caselli, Patty Pravo, Enzo Jannacci, Johnny Hallyday, Shirley Bassey, and Bruno Lauzi. By the mid-'70s he forged his solo footprint and has issued over two dozen projects to date. In 1998, an extended run at New York City's Blue Note brought Conte continuing success Stateside. Collaborations comprise brother Giorgio Conte, Vito Pallavicini, Giorgio Calabrese, and Lilly Greco. Credits include film tracks in I Am David, Mickey Blue Eyes, French Kiss, Mostly Martha, Welcome to Collinwood, The Lake House, No Reservations, and a bevy of commercial placements. Among his accolades: the David di Donatello for Best Score, the Librex-Guggenheim Eugenio Montale Award for poetry, the Italian Republic honorific title Cavaliere di Gran Croce, and France's Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts and Letters. He continues to tour Europe's champagne circuit. Revisit the 1981 "Via Con Me," from The Best of Paolo Conte.
Buy: iTunes.com
Genre: Vocal
Artist: Paolo Conte
Song: Via Con Me
Album: The Best of Paolo Conte






Wilmer & The Dukes
Soul/R&B outfit Wilmer & The Dukes were founded in the late '50s in Geneva, New York. Members comprised Wilmer Alexander Jr. (saxophone, vocals), Doug Brown (guitar), Ronnie Alberts (drums), Ralph Gillotte (keys), and Monte Alberts (bass), with Bert Collins (trumpet), Ralph Hamstent (organ), Arnie Lawrence (baritone sax), Tommy Mitchell (trombone), Richard Radice (sax), and Jerome Richardson (sax) gracing the fortified lineup. After making their name as a cover band, they issued just one full-length, along with various compilation features, during their tenure. Shared stages include Screamin' Jay Hawkins, the Bellmontes, Johnny Cash, Dionne Warwick, and Blood, Sweat & Tears. Although the ensemble disbanded in 1974, they recharged in '88 as The Legendary Dukes. Discover Wilmer & The Dukes' "I'm Free," from their 1969 Wilmer & The Dukes.
Buy: Amazon.com
Genre: R&B/Soul
Artist: Wilmer & The Dukes
Song: I'm Free
Album: Wilmer & The Dukes






Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
Soprano Dame Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (named Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1992) was born Olga Maria Elisabeth Friederike Schwarzkopf in Posen, Prussia (now central Poland), during WWI. She made her debut performance at 13, setting her illustrious trajectory. Her alliance with Berlin's Deutsche Oper in 1940 required Nazi Party membership. After the war, she married classical impresario Walter Legge. Credits include Parsifal, Der Rosenkavalier, Die Fledermaus, La Bohème, La Traviata, Don Giovanni, Nozze di Figaro, and The Rake's Progress, with notable productions at Theater an der Wien, Vienna State Opera, and La Scala. Collaborations comprise Otto Klemperer, Karl Böhm, Igor Stravinsky, Peter Gellhorn, Carlo Maria Giulini, Herbert von Karajan, and Walter Susskind. Among her accolades: a UNESCO Mozart Medal, the City of Vienna medal, and posthumous induction into the Gramophone Hall of Fame. The diva passed away in 2006. Get started with her mid-century recording of "Der Rosenkavalier, Act One: Da Geht Er Hin, der Aufgeblasene Schlechte Kerl (Marschallin)," with Herbert von Karajan & the Philharmonia Orchestra, from the The Very Best of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.
Buy: Amazon.com
Genre: Classical
Artist: Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
Song: Der Rosenkavalier, Act One: Da Geht er Hin, der Aufgeblasene Schlechte Kerl (Marschallin)
Album: The Very Best of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf






Zap Mama
Belgian Afro-pop outfit Zap Mama was founded at the hit of the '90s by Congolese front woman Maria Daulne as an a cappella group, later adding instrumentation. The ensemble marries the world of pygmy onomatopoeic vocal practice with an amalgam of genres--R&B, pop, hip-hop, and choral styles complimented by heavenly yodeling. By 1992, Zap Mama inked with Luaka Bop, championed by the label's co-founder and Talking Heads captain David Byrne. The choir followed up with eight releases. Highlights include tracks for TV's Brothers & Sisters, MTV's Road Rules, and So You Think You Can Dance; films Blue in the Face (1995), MI:2 (2000), and The Man (2005); video game FIFA 10; various ad campaigns; and the 2014 International Womens Day Google doodle. Among Zap Mama's shared stages/collaborations: Alanis Morissette, Sergio Mendes, Common, Michael Franti, Erykah Badu, King Britt, 10,000 Maniacs, Mark Hollander, G. Love, Vincent Cassel, and Bilal. Make way for "Gissié," from Zap Mama's 1999 A Ma Zone.
Buy: iTunes.com
Genre: World
Artist: Zap Mama
Song: Gissié
Album: A Ma Zone






Once Again, Moss Hart's Name Shines on Broadway (Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:48:21 -0400)

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Moss Hart -- more than fifty years after his death, his name is back up in lights on Broadway with the smash new stage adaptation of his 1959 memoir, Act One, at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre. A Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner, a celebrated playwright and admired director, Hart dazzled the world of show business with his brilliance and innovation.

With George S. Kaufman, Hart was half of one of the most successful comedy-writing teams of the century; there never has been another pair to match the success or enduring popularity of Kaufman and Hart. Moss Hart's brand of wise-cracking, fast-paced humor had its roots in the grimy streets of his immigrant childhood, and it was enriched with the brittle humor of the Roaring Twenties. This talent came to full glory in the grimmest days of the 1930s as Depression gripped America and Fascism swept across Europe.

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An evening of Kaufman and Hart was the brightest the Broadway theater had to offer and their impact has been felt ever since -- in television, the movies and on stage. But based on the reviews, James Lapine's adaptation of Act One is in the best Moss Hart tradition.

For three decades, Moss Hart was one of the most familiar names in show business. From his impoverished childhood in the slums of Manhattan and the Bronx, which he described in Act One, he rose to phenomenal fame at the age of 26, with the production of Once in a Lifetime, written with George S. Kaufman. In the next decade, he and Kaufman wrote eight plays, two of which -- You Can't Take It With You and The Man Who Came to Dinner -- are among the most frequently performed works in the American Theater. The Man Who Came to Dinner was a smash hit when it was revived on Broadway in 1999 starring Nathan Lane. You Can't Take It With You, a zany tribute to eccentrics and a devastating broadside against big business, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937. Its film adaptation directed by Frank Capra received the Academy Award for best picture of 1938. If Moss Hart had written only those two plays, he would be worthy of our attention today.

But it didn't end there. Before and after he and Kaufman parted professionally in 1941, Hart worked with some of the most creative spirits in show business. He and Irving Berlin collaborated on three shows, including As Thousands Cheer and Face the Music. In 1935, Hart took a cruise around the world with Cole Porter. When they returned, Porter and Hart had written a musical, Jubilee, which introduced the hit songs "Begin the Beguine" and "Just One of Those Things." (In 1998, both Jubilee and As Thousands Cheer were revived in New York.)

On his own, Hart conceived Lady in the Dark (1941), a ground-breaking musical about psychoanalysis, drawing heavily upon his own treatment by two of America's leading therapists. He wrote screenplays for several of Hollywood's most popular films of the post-World War II era, including Gentleman's Agreement (1947), the Academy Award-winning expose of American anti-semitism. Then, in 1956, Hart drew upon all of his skills as a showman to become the principal creative force in the production of the greatest of all musicals, My Fair Lady.

Wealth and fame enabled Moss Hart to enter a world unimaginable to the boy from the Bronx. With Kaufman's introductions, he became a key figure in the legendary Algonquin Round Table set, and his close friends included Alexander Woollcott, Dorothy Parker, Harpo Marx, Edna Ferber, Helen Hayes and the Gershwins.

"Moss Hart!" recalled his agent, Irving "Swifty" Lazar. "[H]e was close to being the god of the theater world. George Kaufman and Maxwell Anderson were right up there, but Hart embodied the glamour, wit, and charm of Broadway at its popular best. In my mind I see him at the center of the circle of Broadway's elite: tall, lean, handsome in an angular way, with a carved wooden pipe in one hand and a cocktail in another, holding forth with an effortless series of witty remarks."

Lazar's vision was precisely the image Moss Hart spent a lifetime creating, consciously seeking to compensate for the poverty of his youth. Along the way he changed his own life story, eliding episodes that delayed the plot, adding a bit of luster to the moments that seemed dull, editing entirely the painful or the embarrassing. Still, Moss Hart carried the dark, brown taste of being poor with him every day of his life, even after he left the hardships of his youth far behind. Understanding the youth is essential to appreciate the man. "Look how it was then," he once advised, "and see how it is now."

The son of immigrant English Jews, Hart's early memories were of an extended family: his parents, his deformed younger brother, Bernard, his mother's father, and his mother's sister, Kate. His father and grandfather scraped out a living rolling cigars in their dark tenement apartments. Until he was ten, Hart's beloved Aunt Kate was the center of his life, and it was she who would introduce this shy, gentle boy to the world of the theater.

"I have a pet theory of my own," Hart wrote in Act One, "that the theater is an inevitable refuge of the unhappy child," enabling him to create a world of his own, a "revolution and a resolution of his unconscious difficulties."

It was Aunt Kate who raised the curtain on that world for young Moss. In later life, upon seeing Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, Hart realized that Blanche Du Bois reminded him of his aunt -- "a touching combination of the sane and the ludicrous, along with some secret splendor within herself." There were more similarities to Blanche than Hart was willing to admit; she also had a far darker side, one that would come to dominate her and ultimately separate her from the boy she loved. But for them both, for a few precious years, the theater was a realm of fantasy, one that Kate shared with a sad and lonely little boy.

Supported by her father and then her brother-in-law, Kate never worked while under the Hart roof. Yet every night, she slipped away to the theater, her tickets and finery underwritten in part by wealthy relations in England, to whom Kate appealed after her father died. When she returned from the theater, she would join her sister and little Moss by the stove in the kitchen and vividly recount every detail. Later, Moss would suggest that in such moments his life was transformed: "Here is how it happened -- here is where the door opened -- this was the turning point."

When Moss was seven, Kate arranged for him to leave school every Thursday afternoon for a matinee at the Alhambra Theater in the Bronx, where he studiously observed many of the great vaudevillians of the day. Then he graduated to Saturday matinees at the Bronx Opera House, where he saw real, albeit second-run plays. And at night, Aunt Kate would grandly depart alone for Broadway, returning to share her accounts with the boy who could never hear enough about the stage.

Two events shook this early pattern in Moss Hart's life. The first was the automation of cigar manufacturing in the early 1900s -- an event that destroyed the cottage industry supporting thousands of people like the Harts in tenements across New York and other major cities. Hart's grandfather died soon after, and Hart's father never really recovered. He tried factory work but wasn't suited for it and later ran newsstands and stationery shops. The family's principal source of income came from boarders.

The second event, even more pivotal, was the fight between Moss's father and Aunt Kate. Her indifference to the Harts' financial plight provoked a disastrous confrontation and her banishment from the household when Moss was ten. Family lore has it that there was more than indifference on Kate's part; she appears to have formed an attachment -- in Blanche Du Bois style -- for her brother-in-law, creating a tension that simply would not do in the Harts' world. For years after, Moss did not see his aunt. In later years, however, she would reappear -- in fact and in fiction.

Nevertheless, Aunt Kate's spirit infuses much of Hart's work, notably his 1938 play, The Fabulous Invalid, written with Kaufman, a cavalcade of the American theater in the early part of the century. One can hear the magical accounts of Aunt Kate through the actors' voices as they describe all the grand theatricals of the century's early years, perhaps in the very words she had used in the Harts' kitchen decades before.

Generally those nights were illuminated by candlelight -- not for romance, but because the Harts could not spare a quarter for the gas meter. Moss and Bernard Hart stumbled to bed in the dark and shivered in the cold. Small wonder a child in such a bleak world would be transported by the tales of a loving aunt with her eye on the footlights.

The sting of poverty didn't end at his parents' front stoop. Moss Hart was 26 before he achieved his first true success on Broadway. He was forced to quit school at thirteen to help support his family. The years in been were remarkable, not because of the Harts' poverty, but because Moss had the vision and the strength to carry on, year after year.

He began this quest even before he left school, with a part-time job in a Bronx music store, which afforded him his first visit to Times Square. He spent two years in a clothing factory and also sold classified ads for the New York Times. Then he landed a job that marked the turning point -- he became the office boy for Augustus Pitou Jr. "King of the One-Night Stands," whose theatrical company traveled from town to town across America in the days before radio, television, or the "talkies." It was for Pitou that Hart wrote his first two plays, produced when the writer was still in his teens. Their failures gave Hart an early taste of defeat, but they also offered him a sense of what might be his if he wrote a play that succeeded.

Hart struggled through the 1920s, spending his summers as a social director at camps and hotels in upstate New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont and his winters as director of small theatrical groups around New York City. Then, sudden, dazzling success came with the production in 1930 of Once in a Lifetime, which Hart wrote with George S. Kaufman.

Their partnership was uneasy from the beginning. Kaufman was 15 years older, the seasoned veteran of a dozen hits. As theater editor for the New York Times. Kaufman was a formidable force on Broadway. But, as their friends were quick to attest, Kaufman had never met anyone quite like Moss Hart. Young Hart was ambitious and brash, admiring of Kaufman yet envious of his fame and wealth.

Edna Ferber (Kaufman's collaborator on several of hit plays including The Royal Family and Dinner at Eight) recalled the youthful Hart this way:

When I first met Moss Hart, he had just been discovered hidden in the bulrushes. A year later, a tall gangling youth, stunned by his own spectacular success, possessed of an extraordinary zest for life, he had been turned loose on the slippery race track that was Broadway and New York and the world of creative writing. To his amazement, he found himself one of a hardworking, realistic, laughing, talented group made up of people such as George Kaufman, Lillian Hellman, Marc Connelly, Aleck Woollcott, Dorothy Parker, Herbert Swope, Helen Hayes, George Gershwin, and many others. Moss was like a young spindling colt turned out on the track to compete with Seabiscuit and Man O' War. He promptly surged ahead and outdistanced many of them. He was younger than most; much younger than some. For me he was, I suppose, the son I'd never had -- you know, mine son de doctor.


If Ferber became Hart's theatrical mother, surely Kaufman was his father. For all their differences, the two men came to love each other and to depend upon one another's advice and presence, a bond that continued long after their formal collaboration ended.

Both men were haunted by emotional problems. Kaufman's phobias were legendary. He disliked physical contact with others, yet he was known as a great lover (When actress Mary Astor's diary, containing graphic accounts of her amorous relationship with Kaufman, was published in 1935, he had to flee to Hart's home to escape the press and the police.) "George was scary," observed Hart's widow, Kitty Carlisle, many years later. He was intimidating -- to strangers, to waiters, to cab drivers, and to small children. But he was utterly loyal to his close friends, even to his ex-wife. Hart, as we'll see, wrestled with his own internal demons.

Yet, together they banished all gloom to produce some of the stage's funniest plays. Certain scenes from You Can't Take It With You and The Man Who Came to Dinner inevitably bring the house down. From souls in pain, Kaufman and Hart evoked smiles across the faces of Depression-ravaged America -- smiles that have not faded.

In her 1988 autobiography, Kitty Carlisle Hart observed how much success in the theater meant to her husband: "Going to California in our luxurious drawing room on the Twentieth Century Limited, he would look out of the window when we went through the Bronx and scan the tenements looking for his old house. 'There,' he'd say, 'that's where we lived.'"

Other times, standing on a hot summer day in the Harts' swimming pool in Bucks County, built with the money he earned writing Lady in the Dark, his mind would return to his youth:

It's five o'clock. I'm getting into the Subway on Eighteenth Street. So is the rest of New York, and we're all taking the local. The first stop is Twenty-third Street; the second is Twenty-eighth Street." He would name each stop on his way to this destination in the Bronx. Then he would continue his story. "I am trudging home from the subway and my mother is hanging out of an upper window, watching for me. 'What's for dinner, Ma?' I call up. 'Lamb stew.' 'Lamb stew, on a boiling hot night! Well, I think I'll take a shower.' 'No,' my mother answers, 'Mrs. Steinberg had to give her cat a bath and the shower's all stopped up.'


Life in Bucks County was an extension of what Moss and Kitty Hart enjoyed in New York; down the road, George and Beatrice Kaufman had their own estate. "They and Moss shared their guests every weekend," Kitty Hart remembered. "If it was Saturday dinner at the Kaufmanns, it was Sunday lunch at Moss', and the next weekend it would be reversed."

There was nothing rustic about the Hart farmhouse; in 1947, an appraisal of the home listed each room's contents and their value (some $73,000 worth, more than $1 million in today's value, including motion picture equipment in a screening room and four guest rooms named according to the color of their décor -- rose, yellow, green and blue.) Hart believed his guests should be kept busy. Word games, bridge, swimming, croquet and tennis were special favorites. Singers were encouraged to sing, pianists to play. In good times, Moss Hart was at the center of all this, a charming, energetic host.

But Hart's life was not all glittering weekends and boisterous good times. A dark, as-yet-unexplored shadow of duality, shrouded by depression, enveloped this charming and funny man of the theater. As Malcolm Goldstein observed in his 1979 biography of Kaufman:

...[T]he rapidity and depth of the change in [Hart's] way of life proved punishing to his emotions. His adjustment was difficult. To accomplish it he turned to psychoanalysis in 1933 and continued with it for many years...Perhaps of all the uses to which he put his new wealth, this expenditure was the wisest of all, since not only did it make possible the continuation of his career, but eventually the sharing of his life in marriage.


Moss Hart believed in psychoanalysis and had reason to be grateful for it. One of its principle benefits came in 1940 when, with composer Kurt Weill and lyricist Ira Gershwin, Hart wrote and then directed the first (and still the best) musical about the mysteries of the mind, Lady in the Dark, starring Gertrude Lawrence and Danny Kaye.

In the early years of his success, Moss Hart appeared to be a confirmed bachelor. In him, one found a bit of Henry Higgins, the misanthropic hero of My Fair Lady, and even more of Liza Elliott, the troubled heroine of Lady in the Dark, who never could make up her mind, and thus avoided a decision to marry.

But in 1945, that seemed to change. Hart began courting the singer and actress Kitty Carlisle. It was his first serious relationship with a woman.

They had met a decade earlier, in 1935, when she was 26 and he was 31. It was on the set of M-G-M's A Night at the Opera, in which Carlisle was featured with the Marx Brothers. Although Kitty had appeared in several musicals on film and in a hit production of Rio Rita on Broadway, this would be her most famous role, one that secures a special place for her with movie buffs of every age.

Hart had come to Hollywood -- where Kaufman was working on the screenplay of A Night at the Opera -- to look for a leading lady for Jubilee, he musical he and Cole Porter wrote on their round-the-world cruise. Hart and Porter visited the M-G-M set, and Harpo Marx offered to introduce them to Kitty Carlisle.

65 years later, Kitty would recall that she was so excited at the prospect of meeting "two of my heroes," that she ran across the sound stage: "A movie set is one big booby trap, with electrical boxes, plugs and coils of wire all over the floor. I tripped over one of them and fell flat at Moss's feet."

When they married in 1946, Kitty wrote that Hart "finally set me firmly on my feet."

To friends, however, it seemed as though the warm, generous Kitty Carlisle had planted the frenetic, troubled Moss Hart firmly on his feet.

Many wondered about the marriage, and for years questions have been raised about Hart's sexuality. Interviews by this author of both Robert Goulet, the actor, and Dr. Glen Bowles, a New York psychologist who claimed to have been Hart's lover in the late 1930s, revealed a deeply troubled playwright. Steven Bach's biography, Dazzler, attempted to explore this topic, but kept running into Kitty Carlislie's roadblocks. Hart himself wrote that in the years before his marriage, he was utterly consumed with work and the desire to escape poverty. Inevitably, his years of psychoanalysis and bachelorhood would fuel questions about his life and loves.

Until Kitty Carlisle, Hart seemed satisfied with solo housekeeping in a Manhattan pied-a-terre and in an 18th Century farmhouse in Bucks County. No woman had been able to enter his private life. Perhaps he was unable to find a woman with whom he could share his sense of style and his passion for work in the theater. Kitty Carlisle did.

Indeed, no one was quite like Kitty Carlisle. In many ways, her story is as fascinating as Moss Hart's. Shrewd, beautiful and talented, she attracted suitors as diverse as the financier Bernard Baruch, Nobel Prize-winning novelist Sinclair Lewis, George Gershwin and former New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey.

Kitty's mother, Hortense Conn, was an ambitious doctor's widow from Louisiana who took her only child abroad as a teenager in search of a royal alliance. That failed, but young Kitty's vocal training positioned her for a career in theater and the movies. Still unmarried in 1945, Kitty viewed the 41-year-old Hart as almost precisely the kind of man her mother had groomed her for. They wed in August 1946, and spent their honeymoon acting together in The Man Who Came to Dinner at the Bucks County Playhouse. "I had married my prince -- not of the blood, but of the theater," Carlisle concluded.

They lived together as theatrical royalty, sharing a fabulous 15-room apartment on Park Avenue, a summer house in Beach Haven, New Jersey, the farm in Bucks County, and in rented homes in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Palm Springs. The sensible Kitty Carlisle, who had memories of living from suitcases in hotel rooms, understood the demons that fought within her husband. Instinctively, she seemed to know how to bring out his best, and the rest she learned to accept.

She called him "Mossie." He called her "La Divina." Theirs was a charmed world of literary, theatrical, and political titans: publisher Bennett Cerf, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Dorothy Parker, Gertrude Lawrence, Katharine Cornell, the Lunts, Irene Mayer Selznick, Adlai E. Stevenson, producer Arthur Hornblow and his wife, Leonora. The Harts' world was culturally the most sophisticated America could offer at mid-century, with the theater its centerpiece.

Some who had only vague knowledge of his origins were puzzled, even irritated, at Hart's taste for luxury. Cartier's was his second home. His wardrobe was filled with hundreds of pairs of shoes, elegantly tailored suits, and fur-lined topcoats. He so thoroughly draped his body with jewelry that Kaufman, a man of far simpler tastes, once dryly greeted him: "Hi-yo, Platinum."

Edna Ferber wrote of Hart's love of luxury: "He is monogrammed in the most improbable places. Just as he stands he is worth his weight in monogrammed gold bouillon; gold gallus-buckles, gold belt buckle, gold garters, gold and seal billfold, gold pencil, gold pen, gold and platinum cigarette case, gold bottle stoppers."

Hart found comfort in his possessions. These were tangible signs that he had made it, like the wad of cash he had picked up at the box office of the Music Box Theater the morning after Once in a Lifetime opened. And as long as he was single, and as long as the money from his big hits with Kaufman kept rolling n, his obsessive shopping posed no real problems.

But by the early 1950s, when he was married and supporting two young children (Christopher, born in 1948, and Catherine, born in 1950), the strain of several expensive homes, servants, travel, and entertaining began to threaten his security. At one point he was so distressed about money that he sold his personal papers to the Wisconsin State Historical Society for $60,000. Near the end of her long life, Kitty Hart still seethed over the sale -- about which he didn't consult her, even though he included some of her papers as well. With his family he traveled to Hollywood to write for films. Hart suffered three heart attacks between 1954 and his death in 1961. Were these crises brought on by economic stress? Could modern procedures -- notably the cardio bypass operation -- have added decades to the playwright's life?

All of his life, however, Hart delighted in a theatricality that was never limited to the stage. "When he went into a restaurant," his wife remembered, "He didn't just walk in; he made an entrance, his overcoat on his shoulders like a cloak; he looked like a great actor, and every head turned."

Kitty Hart carried on her husband's theatrical sense long after he died. On the television game show To Tell the Truth, she would make a grand entrance on every episode, beaming her best New Orleans-belle smile, draped in diamonds, feathers and furs. As chairman of the New York State Council on the Arts, she infused the organization with style because she had it. She learned much of it from Moss Hart.

After World War II, Hart entered a new and fertile period of creativity. Increasingly he devoted his energy to directing. (The last play he wrote, The Climate of Eden, which opened in 1952, was a failure.) Two of the musicals he staged were by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe -- My Fair Lady in 1956, for which Hart won the Tony Award, and Camelot in 1960. These stand as landmarks of the Broadway musical at its peak.

In the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, Hart made periodic sojourns to the West Coast, where he wrote the screenplays for such classic movies as Gentleman's Agreement, Hollywood's most powerful statement against anti-semitism; Hans Christian Andersen, which starred Danny Kaye as the beloved Danish storyteller, and A Star Is Born, Judy Garland's last great musical film.

Moss Hart's interests included work in politics and on behalf of his profession. He bravely spoke out against McCarthyism at a time when few of his peers dared. Of course, everyone knew he was patriotic: His contributions to the war effort included a hit show, Winged Victory (1943), which made more than a million dollars for the Army Air Forces relief fund. For ten years he served as president of the Dramatists' Guild, emerging as a visible and effective spokesman for the playwright's profession. Near the end of his life, he published a memoir that graced the New York Times best-seller list for 41 weeks, and became a film starring Jason Robards and George Hamilton, produced by his old friend, Dore Schary.

Moss Hart's unexpected death at 57 on December 21, 1961, was front-page news around the world. And though he was gone from the scene, the plays and films he created have remained to entertain, consistently, ever since. Now, with Act One on stage, he's back on Broadway in a big way.

The Woody Persona: Bullets Over Broadway and Fading Gigolo (Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:43:31 -0400)

In the hilarious old-school tradition, Bullets Over Broadway at the St. James Theater, based on Woody Allen's 1994 film of the same name, features a writer who makes a Faustian bargain with a mob boss, Nick Valenti (Vincent Pastore) who makes him an offer he can't refuse. Of course, Woody wrote the book for this musical, so it may not be so surprising: That David Shayne in the person of Zach Braff, frenetic, neurotic, a shpilke-ridden nerd, evokes the Woody Allen persona we have come to know and love in his films.

Who can blame his angst over having to cast Valent's talentless main squeeze Olive (Helene York), and greater insecurity when a henchman Cheech (Nick Cordero) turns out to have real theatrical flair, becoming the ghost script doctor. Under Susan Stroman's direction, the dancing girls and high-kicking mobsters, the familiar 1920's American song book, and solid cast including Marin Mazzie as Helen Sinclair, Brooks Ashmanskas as Warner Purcell, and Betsy Wolfe as Shayne's girlfriend Ellen combine for a fun entertainment: Bullets Over Broadway should join the reigning contenders for Best Musical Tony: Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, AfterMidnight, and Beautiful.

In the movie Fading Gigolo. co-starring with director John Turturro, Woody Allen is Murray, a bookstore owner turned pimp (of sorts) in the ethnic enclave of New York City, making illicit income producing matches. Murray's dermatologist (Sharon Stone) and her friend (Sofia Vergara) want to have a threesome: could he suggest someone to go in with them? This thought sets off the definitive eh, career change, involving Turturro's Fioravante, a brooding stud. Many unlikely couplings take place, needless to say, but when it comes to that Woody, his presence is reassuring.

Judy Greer Had A 'Planet Of The Apes'-Themed Wedding (Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:34:00 -0400)

We've seen plenty of themed weddings inspired by fan favorites like "Harry Potter" and "Alice In Wonderland." But when actress Judy Greer stopped by "Conan" on Thursday, she told the late night host about her less-than-traditional wedding theme -- and it's one we can safely say we haven't seen before.

When the "Arrested Development" actress married TV producer Dean Johnsen in December 2011, the pair planned a "Planet of the Apes"-themed affair. But Greer says the theme wasn't over the top.

"During the cocktail hour, we had the TV screens in the bar [with] the movies playing," she told O'Brien. "We had 'Rise [of the Planet of the Apes]' playing on one screen and then the original, obviously, 'Planet of the Apes' playing on the bigger screen."

Fittingly, Greer stars in this summer's "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes".

Watch the video above for more from the interview, including other "Planet of the Apes" wedding details and the hilarious movie quote Greer had inscribed in her husband's wedding gift.

Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost Weddings on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Sign up for our newsletter here.

14 Netflix Movies That Will Make Or Break Your 4/20 High (Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:26:26 -0400)

Celebrating 4/20 is fundamentally easier than prepping for any other holiday. All you really need is your homegirl Mary Jane and your cousin's uncle's sister's roommate's Netflix password. Sounds pretty simple, right?

While a little bit of weed can make even an infomercial seem pretty cool, there are certain movies you need to steer clear of if you want to keep your buzz in tact. Similarly, surfing through all those options on Netflix can leave you, oh, I don't know ... dazed and confused?

So, we've put together a list of the seven best and seven worst movies to watch on Netflix this 4/20.

Disclaimer: We've skipped over some cliche stoner films you've probably seen a million times (e.g. "Friday," "Pineapple Express," "Half Baked," "Dazed And Confused") to make for a less predictable list. But if you don't know who "The Dude" is, look into that.

Best movies to watch on Netflix on 4/20:

"Clerks" (1994)



If you don't already get your weed from a guy like Jay, you'll wish you did. Cult classic.


"Samsara" (2011)



For the worldly -- or perhaps otherworldly -- stoner, this documentary with no narration will make you think, man.


"Dumbo" (1941)



It's not the happiest or the most politically correct Disney movie ever made, but this hallucination scene is absolutely bonkers.



"Super Troopers" (2001)



We said we'd stay away from the obvious cliches, but watching "Super Troopers" is like a rite of passage for the modern-day stoner.



"Beavis and Butt-head Do America" (1996)



Every scene in this movie is 4/20 appropriate, but nothing beats their INSANE psychedelic desert hallucination.



"Donnie Darko" (2001)



Though this creepy flick definitely has potential to bug you out, it practically doesn't make sense unless you're high.


"Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (1988)



If the trippy interaction between humans and cartoons isn't enough for you, the quotable dialogue and goofy humor will--ahem-- draw you in.



Worst movies to watch on Netflix for 4/20

"Jiro Dreams Of Sushi" (2001)



This film about an 85-year-old sushi master is inspirational when you're sober; if you're stoned, it'll just leave you with a bad case of the munchies and an overwhelming sense of underachievement.


"Jesus Camp" (2006)



Somewhere between depressing and terrifying, this documentary about an evangelical Christian camp is a recipe for a bad trip.



"The Human Centipede" (2009)



If you've somehow managed to escape hearing about this disgusting movie, you're better off that way.


"Blue Valentine" (2010)



This realistic romance proves there's no such thing as a happy ending. Not very 4/20 friendly.



"Jumanji" (1995)



Because this terrifying film, which exists under the guise of a children's movie, will ravage your soul.



"Hotel Rwanda" (2004)



It's about genocide. (That said, everyone should see this heart-wrenching true story -- just not on 4/20.)



"LOL" (2012)



This coming-of-age movie starring Miley Cyrus will make you do everything but LOL (lol, right?), mainly because it's awful.



Happy 4/20!

cluelessweed

Keith Urban Compares 'American Idol' To 'The Hunger Games' (Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:23:08 -0400)

Keith Urban's latest comments would probably make the girl on fire burning mad.

During a recent interview with Ryan Seacrest for "E! News," Urban compared "American Idol" to another "friendly" competition. In regard to the competitive nature of the show, Urban said, "There's friendliness, but you got that rivalry too ... Let's not deny it. It is 'The Hunger Games.'"

Whether you agree with Urban or not, you have to admit that "American Idol" and "The Hunger Games" do have a lot of similarities. For instance, on "Idol" there is weeping, and at "Hunger Games" there is a reaping. (They're similar because they rhyme.)

But seriously, one is a competition to see who's the best singer, and the other is an annual event in a dystopian society where a tyrannical government literally forces children to fight to the death. It's basically the same thing.

May the odds be ever in your favor, "Idol" contestants. It sounds like you'll need them.

You can watch the full Keith Urban interview at E! Online.

"American Idol" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET and Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.

92 Artists Drew Our Favorite Female Disney and Pixar Characters (Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:22:09 -0400)

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Snow White by Jessie Slipchinsky (@jslipchi)


Disney's female heroines and villainesses stand proudly amongst the most longstanding and beloved fictional characters -- both online and off. Unusually universal in their appeal to children and nostalgic adults alike, these ladies are dreadfully fun to chat about, write about, associate with and of course, draw!

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Elsa by Lorhs (@lorshdraws)


To celebrate Disney's fun female characters, Canadian animation student Miranda (aka @snarkies) created a collaborative ode to them, inviting nearly 100 artist friends on Twitter and Tumblr to choose one of their favorite ladies, illustrate her, and send their drawing to Miranda for compilation on one, large, beautiful poster.

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Disney Ladies Collab organized by Miranda (@snarkies)


I interviewed Miranda about her experience with this collaboration (aka collab- one of many delightfully-themed artistic endeavors taking place over social media these days) and thoughts on Disney's female heroines. To go back and see how this project unfurled (and admire each artist's individual submission), check out its hashtag on Twitter.

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Rapunzel by Geraldine Rodríguez (@GeryRdzArts)


Simone Collins (SC): What inspired you to kick off this collab?

Miranda (M): Collabs have become a big thing on Twitter lately! Seeing so many of them flitting around, I decided to start one of my own! Disney Ladies seemed like a great place to start. I've always been a huge Disney fan and I know a lot of my followers are as well so I thought it would be something fun for everyone to do!

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The Bimbettes by Melissa Lyn (@MelissaLyn21)


SC: What makes Disney ladies different from characters from other genres? Have you noticed any common threads amongst them that makes them particularly magical?

M: I was surprised by how many people were interested in contributing! I really didn't expect the signups to fill up within an hour or so! I was also surprised with how quickly everyone finished their pieces and how amazing they turned out! I think the fun really shines through in every drawing.

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Perdita by Cheryl Kook (@rollround)


SC: In your opinion, what is the most under-appreciated Disney lady?

M: In my opinion, Giselle is the most under-appreciated Disney lady. She thinks she's got it all figured out -- her animal friends, her new fiancé, her big happy ending... but then her world gets turned upside down and she ends up finding a truer love and becoming the fearless hero of her own story! She wields a sword and saves her man from a dragon! What's not to love? All these reasons are why I chose to draw Giselle for the collab. Plus she has a pretty fantastic wedding dress.

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Giselle by Miranda (@snarkies)


SC: Could you tell me a bit more about your background as an artist?

M: I'm currently a fourth year student at Sheridan in Oakville, Canada. I'm taking Animation but I'm hoping to get into visual development!