Sharing Steve :: New Stuff
Thursday, June 30, 2005

Roger is seriously ill

Hope he gets well soon

National Post (f/k/a The Financial Post) (Canada)
June 30, 2005 Thursday
Toronto Edition
ARTS & LIFE; Scene; Pg. PM8
Funny man's best friend: Steve Martin's beloved dog, Roger, takes ill in Toronto
Shinan Govani

Imagine the scene at a Yonge/ Davenport-area animal clinic last week: your typical Doolittle gathering of queasy cats, delicate dogs, nail-bitten pet owners ... and cosmopolitan comic Steve Martin?

A sick puppy sent The Father of the Pooch rushing to Toronto's Veterinary Emergency Clinic last Wednesday night. Imagine the surprise of those sitting in the reception area, who lifted their lashes to see Martin looking so glum he might have been beamed in from an Edward Hopper painting.

Martin's dog, a golden Labrador retriever, was in the examining room when one of my pet peeps noticed the actor. Dressed in a yellow cotton sweater and khakis, he was with a woman in her twenties or possibly early thirties. "I didn't see the dog, but staff at the clinic said it was very ill," my spy reports, adding that the top-notch clinic offers 24-hour care, is relatively expensive ($100 minimum exam charge) and, unlike most vet offices in the city, "doesn't smell like cat spray."

While we don't know the exact nature of the illness, an inside source on the set of Cheaper by the Dozen 2 -- the movie Martin's in town shooting -- said that, whatever it is, it's serious. According to the source: "Some things on the movie had to be rescheduled because of the dog."

The 10-year-old Labrador, who goes by the name Roger and has a deadpan expression not unlike his celebrity owner, is by all accounts the man's best friend. Various people have spotted Martin walking him -- or maybe he was walking Martin -- around the city, including, according to one eyewitness, down the laneway behind Remys restaurant in Yorkville. Indeed, in an Esquire cover story some years back, the animal was described as his "constant companion."

And while the novel-writing, art-collecting, New Yorker-contributing Hollywood A-lister has had his share of women -- Victoria Tennant, Bernadette Peters, Anne Heche -- the mag categorically declared that Martin's life, really, can be divided into "Before Roger" and "After Roger."

The Esquire writer also further babbled about the love between man and dog: "Roger is running the show. Roger just exists. Steve thinks a lot about existence and relationships, including his relationship with Roger. Roger is warm, friendly, outgoing. He likes everybody he meets and wags his tail and shimmies his back end. Martin, while he's thinking so much these days, might be thinking he should be like Roger."

Hey, Steve: Really hope Roger feels better soon!
Saturday, June 25, 2005

Steve finally gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

KMT is on the ball as always
The Washington Times
2006 Hollywood 'Walk' stars named
Jun. 24, 2005 at 1:28PM

Steve Martin and Charlize Theron head the list of Hollywood Walk of Fame star recipients for 2006, announced Friday by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

The list of 2006 honorees also includes Annette Bening, Matthew Broderick, Holly Hunter, William Hurt and Nathan Lane.

In the TV category, Ray Romano and Vanna White will get stars -- along with "Deadwood" creator-producer David Milch and "Judge Judy" star Judith Sheindlin.

Record producer Lou Adler will get a star, along with recording artists Alejandro Fernandez, Motley Crue and Isaac Hayes.

Stars will be unveiled posthumously for actor Jack Cassidy and producer Leonard Goldenson.
Friday, June 24, 2005

From the gossips...
New York Post Online Edition
Cindy Adams
June 24, 2005

More interview stuff: Figures Steve Martin knew the plug would be pulled on releasing "The Pink Panther" this summer because, while ostensibly promoting the movie with Reader's Digest, he spoke zippo about it. Instead he burbled about Johnny Carson, which is hardly essential when plugging your film.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Step away from the barrier now!

Courtesy of the ever-vigilant KMT
The London Free Press Today (Canada)
Entertainment Buzz
2005-06-22 02:46:46

Security tight at Ontario park

Big-name stars were at the Rockwood Conservation area recently, but security was so tight, few, if any, caught a glimpse of Hilary Duff and Steve Martin. They were in Ontario filming Cheaper by the Dozen 2, scheduled for release in August 2006. Security was stepped up to ensure Duff (who plays Lorraine Baker), her movie parents Martin and Bonnie Hunt (Tom and Kate Baker) and the Bakers' neighbours -- Eugene Levy and Carmen Electra -- weren't bothered by intruding swimmers or sailors.
Monday, June 20, 2005

Steve -- Pretty in seersucker

Steve at the Nantucket Film Festival

thanks to KMT
Steve Martin delivers laughs at Nantucket film fest
By Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa
Sunday, June 19, 2005 - Updated: 12:04 PM EST

NANTUCKET - A boatload of bold-facers landed at the Sconset Casino last night to fete and fawn over funnyman Steve Martin at the annual NBC Universal Screenwriter's Tribute at the Nantucket Film Festival.

The Peacock People packed the place with newsies like Brian Williams, "Today" weekend gal Campbell Brown, anchorgal Natalie Morales, CNBC's Maria Bartiromo and "Hardball" heavy Chris Matthews. "SNL" creator Lorne Michaels made the scene with Steve, and the lovely Lake Bell, who will appear in "Fathom," a new under-the-sea "Lost"-esque series on the network's schedule this fall, also vogued on the red carpet.

Macauley Culkin, fearful that he may encounter a question about his good friend Michael Jackson, cowardly skulked in a side door. Indie fave Steve Buscemi, here at the festival with his movie "Lonesome Jim," also skipped the cameras-and-questions part of the program. But wannabe White House daughter Alexandra Kerry paraded before the press (although she couldn't remember her favorite Steve Martinism), as did comic Jim Gaffigan and "Blind Justice" top cop-now-on-hiatus Michael Gaston.

Inside the casino, Williams kicked off the yearly gush-a-thon with his usual round of jabs at Nantucket's weather, cobblestone streets, red tide alert and, of course, rich residents.

"I could tell my children were uncomfortable when they saw a family getting off a Gulf Stream II," the newsie deadpanned. "It's only a 10-seater with those old swivel reading lights and aftermarket DVD player. But the kids were very good at not staring."

Steve Martin left the sight gags to NBC's Bob Wright who came out to fawn over the funnyman with his trademark arrow-through-the-head. Which is probably the reason the only photog shooting the event inside was the network's official shutterbug!

"I got it from Lorne Michaels' extensive collection," he said.

Williams nearly brought the crowd down with a story about being imbedded with an Army battalion under fire in Iraq earlier this year but drove his point home when he said the lieutenant, who was around his age, told the unit to "Let's get small."
"Even in that you-know-what hole, we exchanged a knowing glance that we were part of something," said the groupie, who told the Track he wore out three stylists on his stereo playing "Let's Get Small," Martin's debut comedy album in 1977.

Michaels, who had Martin host "SNL" more than a dozen times, introduced his wild 'n' crazy friend after a video tribute that included 11 films that Martin wrote and starred in, as well as many memorable "SNL" skits.

"This is especially meaningful for me," Mr. Happy Feet deadpanned. "After school, my friends and I used to play Nantucket Film Festival screenwriters. I remember taking that first piece of paper and putting it in the typewriter and thinking maybe this will get me (bleeped)."

After receiving his traditional boat quarterboard with "Martin" engraved on it, the man of the hour joked that he would have preferred "a full board."

"Several of us were up very late last night trying to find a boat named "Martin'," reported the NBC News cheese.

Bet that left Steve feeling like a Jerk!

Martin and "Inside the Actor's Studio" sultan James Lipton took turns playing each other's straight man yesterday when the Bravo! interviewer staged a sit-down with Hollywood's favorite Jerk here at the Nantucket Film Festival.

Martin, 54, on the island to be feted by the festival last night at the annual NBC-sponsored Screenwriter's Tribute, flashed his famous humor as well as his blend of humility and haughtiness during the 90-minute Q&A in front of a SRO crowd at the Nantucket High School.

"On `Inside the Actors Studio,' I . . ." Lipton began.

"Is that you?," the astonished actor asked. "Oh. My. God."

"It's me when it's not Will Ferrell," the Studio softball tosser said, referring to the former "SNL" alum's dead-on impersonation of him. "And full disclosure - he's better than me."

Talk about Bringing Down the House!

"You really don't seem prepared," Martin jibed Lipton, holding up his trademark stacks of blue note cards.

During the course of the questioning, the actor and screenwriter described his early fascination with show biz and how working at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., got him hooked on performing magic tricks, making balloon animals and telling jokes.

"To me it was show business," he said.

Fast forward to his college years studying philosophy at Long Beach State and then onto UCLA, where he had the good fortune of having an ex-galpal sleeping with the head writer of the Smothers Brothers TV show. Years later, he got back into performing, he said, because he was "envious."

"For generations, comedy was East Coast-based, mostly Jewish," Lipton droned. "And then suddenly there came on the scene a West Coast WASP with an arrow through his head and happy feet, spear-heading a revolution."

"Well. I don't know if I spear-headed a revolution," shrugged Steve in the striped seersucker jacket.

"You did.


In 1972, Martin said he had a comic epiphany. So he cut his hair, put on a suit and decided, "It's time to be stupid."

The banjo-strumming funnyman took stupid to new heights and contributed an indignant little phrase to the '70s lexicon that groupies in the audience - including NBC News cheese Brian Williams and "Hard Ball" blowhard Chris Matthews - yelled out when asked: "Excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse Meeeeeeeeeeeeeee."

As for his 11 screenplays, Martin - who was quite concerned about the length of the Lipton interview - said he rarely looks back at his old work like "The Jerk" and "Roxanne." And should they pop up on TV, he's more apt to change the channel than to watch, he said.

But he still can't understand why Eddie Murphy didn't get an Academy Award nod for his roles in "Bowfinger."

Martin said he's currently filming "Cheaper by the Dozen II" and in post-production of the "Pink Panther" prequel, which he co-wrote with Len Blum.
Sunday, June 19, 2005

Nantucket pic

Brian Williams, Lorne Michaels, Suzanne Wright, Steve Martin, and Bob Wright on June 18, 2005 at the NBC Universal Screenwriter's Tribute at the 10th Annual Nantucket Film Festival.

Steve will be playing banjo at New Yorker Festival

Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)
June 16, 2005 Thursday, Home Final Edition
Curtis Schieber

Tony Ellis was born in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in Sylva, N.C., and was raised in Lynchburg, Va.

The masterly banjo and fiddle player moved to Circleville in 1990.

Yet he credits New York for the three high points of his musical career: He played Carnegie Hall in 1962 with Mac Weisman's band; he performed at the reopening ceremonies for the Statue of Liberty with the Ross County Farmers, a trio from Chillicothe; and in September, he will contribute to the annual New Yorker magazine festival in a banjo showcase put together by comedian and banjo player Steve Martin.

"Earl Scruggs will be there; Peter Wernick will be there with a group called Hot Rize, (and) a fellow named Charles Wood," Ellis said from Braeburn Farm, his home near Circleville.

"There'll be five banjo players, including Steve Martin, but he said he didn't want it to be a hootenanny. He wanted it to be a discussion about the banjo and why we do what we do."

Ellis will celebrate the release of his new album, Quest , at two performances this weekend.

Ellis got his start in music the old-fashioned way: His grandmother taught him banjo; his grandfather, the fiddle; and his mother, a pump organist and classical violinist, an appreciation for church and parlor music.

"I picked up the fiddle shortly after I picked up the banjo," he said. "Because it seemed the banjo and fiddle went together so well, I decided to learn to play both of them. My sister played violin in the school orchestra. I would sneak her fiddle out to the garage or chicken coop or barn and play it."

Ellis has played in Central America, Cuba, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Under the auspices of the Ohio Arts Council, he also traveled to Japan.

"A group of people in Japan love the banjo," Ellis said. "They like the sound of the banjo; they have an instrument that sounds similar in tone (the shamisen ) but is played very differently. We've had wonderful reception there and made a lot of friends, and I've written some tunes as a result of visiting Japan."

One, Suzuka Lullaby , is part of the new album. The songs are performed with his son, guitarist William Lee Ellis, who also composes; his wife, Louise Adkins-Ellis, on keyboard; and friend Larry Nager, who plays bass, mandolin and washboard.

Promotion of Shopgirl as book and movie

Publishers Weekly
June 13, 2005
FOREWORD; The Movie Connection; Pg. 10
Film Stars and Books Fit Like a Glove
Lynn Andriani and Michael Scharf

Movie tie-in editions have long been a pillar of paperback sales as book adaptations hit the big screen. But for Steve Martin's Shopgirl (releasing October 21), Hyperion is taking the tie-in strategy a giant step further. In addition to publishing a movie edition of the book, Hyperion plans to send Martin, who stars in the film along with Claire Danes (as a Saks Fifth Avenue glove salesperson) and Jason Schwartzman, to bookstores to promote the novel and the Touchstone film.

While the fact that Martin is an author as well as a movie star makes him a natural for bookstores, Hyperion is looking to use the tactic with other, non-writing actors. At a recent Shopgirl screening in New York for booksellers and media, Hyperion president Bob Miller and Walt Disney Studios senior v-p of publicity Dennis Rice spoke repeatedly of creating "new opportunities" for booksellers. Rice showed a trailer for The Greatest Game Ever Played , an adaptation of a Hyperion title by Mark Frost, set for release on September 29, and indicated that some of the film's stars would be available for store appearances.

Hyperion published Shopgirl in 2000; the paperback appeared in 2001. Miller mentioned that the book "sold better than [Martin's] comedy" titles and that Martin was still committed to the book and enthusiastic about visiting bookstores to promote it.

Nantucket? No, Steve tucket.

The Boston Globe
June 16, 2005, Thursday THIRD EDITION

For years, conventional wisdom has dictated that Bostonians seeking vacations with class and culture head to the Berkshires, while those in search of clams and tartar sauce journey to Cape Cod. While the Berkshires hold a certain New York-inspired, high-minded edge over the Cape when it comes to classical music and dance, Cape Cod's summertime culture is just as abundant as the seafood - perhaps even more so this year, given the invading blooms of crimson algae.

The advantage that Cape Cod enjoys over the Berkshires is a stronger connection to pop culture, especially for folks who would rather listen to Ani DiFranco than the Boston Symphony Orchestra, or who prefer watching the over-the-top dancing in "Bat Boy" to the understated dancers at Jacob's Pillow. This weekend, for instance, Cape culture is in prime, if not surreal, form. The Wellfleet Harbor Actor's Theatre wraps up its run of Robert Reich's hit play, "Public Exposure," a political sex farce. Reich was secretary of labor in Bill Clinton's fi rst administration, and his play, about an obnoxious right-wing talk show host, has set attendance records for the theater. (At press time, the only tickets remaining are for the Friday 10 p.m. show. Call 508-349-9428 for tickets, or visit Also scheduled for this weekend are film festivals in Provincetown and on Nantucket. Tonight at 8 at the Provincetown Film Festival, catch "Deep Blue" and "Jaws" at the Wellfleet Drive-In, and tomorrow night there's a tribute to Mary Harron, director of "I Shot Andy Warhol" and "American Psycho," at Town Hall. The festival's weekend events also include a clambake, a "Rocky Horror" sing-along, and John Waters-inspired goofiness. The slightly more buttoned-down Nantucket Film Festival includes a Saturday night program of James Lipton interviewing Steve Martin. Several of Martin's films are also being screened for free on Children's Beach. Tonight at 9 is "Roxanne," and "The Jerk" will be shown Friday night at 10:30.

And if that's all too fancy-pants for your Schlitz-and-Fritos taste buds, Southern mullet rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd are at the Cape Cod Melody Tent tomorrow night. "Freebird," anyone And that's just the start of a long, hot summer of pop culture offerings. Here's a look at a few of our favorite guilty pleasures coming up on the Cape.


The Boston Herald
June 18, 2005 Saturday
NEWS; Pg. 012
INSIDE TRACK; Stars shine at Nantucket film festival



After the screenwriting awards presentation - which was won by Will Luers for his 19th century period script about a painter of American Indians - many of the festival-ites repaired to the Nantucket Community School for a stage reading of "Spectacle" with Ben Stiller and Macaulay Culkin.

NBC is pulling out all the stops to fete that wild 'n' crazy guy Steve Martin at tonight's Nantucket Film Festival Screenwriters' Tribute at the Sconset Casino.

Martin, who many know as a comic actor, is being honored for penning a plethora of scripts from "The Jerk" and "Roxanne" to his latest, "Shopgirl," and the updated "Pink Panther."

NBC's Brian Williams, despite his new position as the Peacocks primo anchorman, has pulled emcee duty once again. Which is always good news. No one tires of this buttoned-down newsies stand-up schtick!

As per usual, Brian will pack the house with friendly faces like "Hardball" guy Chris Matthews, "Meet the Press" poohbah Tim Russert, anchorman Joe Scarborough, "Today" gal Campbell Brown and CNBC's Maria "The Money Honey" Bartiromo.

"Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" star Mariska Hartigay will also make the Steve scene, as well as the cavalcade of celebs who are on island for the filmfest: Ben Stiller, Macaulay Culkin, Steve Buscemi, et al.

James Lipton, he of "Inside the Actors Studio" on Bravo, will also be on hand for the Jerkfest since he's scheduled to stage a sit-down with Martin called "In Their Shoes" today at the Nantucket Community School.

After Martin is appropriately toasted and roasted with a video and speeches, he'll repair with NBC cheese Bob Wright and wife Suzanne to the swish Nantucket Golf Club for an intimate dinner for network guests.

More from fillming CBTD2

Guelph Mercury (Ontario, Canada)
June 17, 2005 Friday Final Edition
NEWS; Pg. A1
They're seeing stars; Guelph family takes part in movie being filmed in nearby Rockwood

The Daniel brothers are used to playing together, but not with more than a dozen cameras following their every move.

Alex, 10, and Austin, 9, are bit players in the upcoming film Cheaper by the Dozen 2, a sequel to the popular 2003 movie comedy Cheaper by the Dozen, and have spent the past week hanging around such big names as Steve Martin, Eugene Levy, Carmen Electra, Bonnie Hunt and Hilary Duff.

"It's fun seeing all the stars," said Austin, who for now is an aspiring actor. "I want to be famous someday."

A portion of the movie is being filmed on the beach at the Rockwood Conservation Area, just 15 minutes from the Daniel family's Guelph home.

The quiet park has been bustling with actors, camera crews, make-up artists and movie stars' trailers for the past week.

While Alex and Austin, both students at Holy Rosary Catholic school in Guelph, don't have their own trailer, the two boys just enjoy being in the middle of it all.

"I like seeing all the cameras and watching how it all works," Alex said yesterday. "It's neat to be behind the scenes."

Rockwood's lake is a substitute for Wisconsin's serene Lake Winnetka where Steve Martin's 12-sibling family, the Bakers, and Eugene Levy and Carmen Electra's picture-perfect family are spending their summer vacation.

During the film, Martin and Levy's families end up battling it out in a variety of beach competitions.

Alex, Austin and their mother Krista Daniel, who also has a small non-speaking role in the film, are one of several families also participating in the competition with the stars.

Krista was offered the role of the boys' mother when she signed them up for their parts, and she has had the chance to make small talk with the big stars during her time on the set.

"They are all really nice and polite," she said. "Steve Martin is always making jokes between scenes. He is a funny guy."

Husband and father Aldo Daniel is the only family member not getting a taste of the Hollywood scene.

"I feel left out," he jokes. "They come home and talk about all the stars and gossip."

So far, the Daniels have spent three days filming at Rockwood park, and the last shoot is expected to wrap up Monday.

While on set, they get the star treatment, complete with make-up touch ups, wardrobe fittings and catering.

"The best part is the days off school," said Alex.

There is a tutor on set to help the boys and the rest of the younger children in the film with homework assigned to them by their teachers while they are away from class.

Alex and Austin began auditioning for films last fall, and Cheaper by the Dozen 2 is Austin's second role on the big screen.

The budding actor was also an extra in the upcoming film Truth, Justice and the American Way, a drama starring Ben Affleck as George Reeves, star of the popular 1950s TV series Superman.

While the nine-hour days on a movie set can be tiring, Krista said she plans to continue to let her sons test out their acting skills. "Right now they are finding it really fun. Who wouldn't want to play at the beach all day?"

More on the San Remo Apartment

There's a mention of this in an earlier post but this adds a bit more info.

Book delves into world of Manhattan real estate
By Scott Eyman
Palm Beach Post Books Editor
Sunday, June 19, 2005

THE SKY'S THE LIMIT, by Steven Gaines. Little, Brown; 288 pages; $26.95.

In the guilty excitement it occasions, real estate is the new porn. Forget Flamingo Park, College Park, Old Northwood, Port St. Lucie and every other place in Florida experiencing apparently unsustainable property inflation.

For true insanity, you have to go to Manhattan.

Steven Gaines' The Sky's the Limit is a once-over-lightly overview, a snapshot really, of what's happening in Manhattan real estate. Gaines takes us into the world of the brokers, the buyers and the developers in order to get some sense of why an 800-square-foot efficiency is worth $750,000, and why anybody would pay $30 million for an apartment.

All this is a long way from 30 years ago, when you could have bought any apartment in Manhattan for $250,000. Nowadays, top real estate brokers in Manhattan, who specialize in status addresses on Fifth Avenue and Central Park South, are paid between $250,000 and $1 million a year as an advance against commissions; a few make as much as $2 million in advances.

Because listings tend to go to brokers regarded as "hot," and the competition for major listings is fierce — there are 40,000 brokers in the New York city area — many brokers cultivate star personalities to accompany their star paychecks.

These are all brassy, Type A personalities, such as Linda Stein, who was showing Sylvester Stallone around some apartments when he idly wondered out loud if perhaps he would be happier living in Connecticut.

"Rambo in Connecticut just isn't happening," Stein replied, a crack that probably removed hundreds of thousands of dollars from her pocket.

Gaines also spends time with Dolly Lenz, whose accumulated gross sales have topped $3 billion. "Will the bubble burst?" echoes Lenz. "No, I don't think the bubble is going to burst in Manhattan. There were many years when I said, 'It can't go up anymore,' but everything is based on supply and demand, and there's a limited supply of land in New York."

Gaines collects some funny stories about co-op nightmares, the Manhattan equivalent of condo boards, except with bigger names and more money.

Stringent financial disclosure demands are made of prospective buyers at prestigious buildings; Gaines writes that "today's toughest boards want the previous three years of an applicant's tax returns; statements from all savings and retirement accounts; an accounting of all financial liabilities, including personal debts, loans, mortgages, credit card balances and alimony payments; and the last three months' canceled checks. Canceled checks in particular are scrutinized for incriminating evidence, such as regular amounts written out to Lehman's liquor store on Lexington Avenue."

"You must remember," says one high-end real estate broker, "these aren't just apartment buildings. They're not just brick and mortar. They are not investments, like stocks and bonds. They are vertical neighborhoods. I'm not selling brick, I'm selling lifestyle."

But some lifestyles are more appreciated than others. Donna Karan became known as a serial renovator when she undertook a major overhaul of an apartment she was subletting for only two years. This lost her an apartment at 55 Central Park West, when the other tenants didn't want to have their lives disrupted by a tenant who would strip the apartment down to the wall studs.

Then there are the tricky divorce situations, as with Steve Martin, who joined two San Remo apartments together when he was married to Victoria Tennant. After the ugly divorce, the two apartments were again separated, and the two still live side by side, even though Tennant has remarried. When they run into each other at the elevator, they do not speak.

Some people who inconvenience other people pretend not to notice, others try to soften the hammer blows — literally. When Steven Spielberg spent $7.3 million for an apartment at the San Remo, there ensued two years of nonstop jackhammering to remove marble floors installed by the previous tenant. The noise was so intolerable that Spielberg offered to rent offices for the people who lived below him, one of whom was screenwriter Marshall Brickman.

The fact that gossipy, anecdotal books are being written about real estate is because money, as every Palm Beach blonde knows, is sexy, and real estate has proven to be more than the place where you raise your kids and grow your orchids. It's an investment, with a better recent track record than the stock market. Not only that, but with equity loans and refinancings, it can also be tapped with far greater ease than previously.

Mostly, the book is about Success and its permutations, but Gaines is a witty, knowing writer, and he stops the book dead for a long, fascinating section on real estate in need of a pick-me-up, as with the Ansonia Hotel, a Gilded Age relic that's still hanging on. Also in need of a make-over is One Sutton Place South, at one time one of the most desired addresses in the city, now a place where as many as five apartments are for sale at a time, and where the late Bill Blass' apartment had to have the price dropped three times by his executors.

The only problem with The Sky's the Limit is that it's really a series of magazine articles stitched together — something that's probably inevitable with non-fiction dealing with an intrinsically liquid subject.

Still, living as we do in a world where land equals money, there's rarely a dull page.
Friday, June 17, 2005

Earl Scruggs mentions Steve

Posted 6/15/2005 1:07 PM Updated 6/16/2005 10:54 AM
Earl Scruggs talks Telluride
By Jeff Zillgitt,

Earl and Louise Scruggs have been partners for nearly 50 years — in marriage and business.

At a time when most women were housewives, Louise became the business manager and booking agent for her husband, a banjo virtuoso and one of the most influential bluegrass musicians of all time.

So, when a reporter called the Scruggs household to talk about Earl's performance this weekend at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Telluride, Colo., Louise picked up one phone and Earl picked up another. The result was a unique give-and-take conversation with the duo:

Bluegrass music is synonymous with festivals. Where was the first festival you performed?

Louise: It was back in 1960, but I don't remember what the first one was. Wait, it wasn't even a bluegrass festival. It was the Newport Folk Festival in 1959.

What is it about festivals you enjoy?

Earl: Hearing the other groups. A lot of times, I don't get to see these other groups except at a festival. It's hard to explain.

Why are multi-day music festivals, bluegrass festivals in particular, so popular?

Louise: Most of the ones Earl does, like Telluride and Merlefest, there are all different kinds of music. It's not specifically bluegrass music. We like to hear all kinds of music.

Earl: That's right. You get a little pumped up, if I can use that word, by seeing old friends again and hearing them.

You played Bonnaroo, you're playing Telluride. Those audiences are generally younger. You've never minded playing your music to a younger audience. Why is that?

Earl: It's exciting to get to work with a younger generation and get a group of people not overly exposed to my music. It's an excitement you don't normally experience.

Louise: When the Earl Scruggs Revue was on the road, they played to younger audiences at colleges and with several popular music acts of the time — Loggins and Messina, The Byrds and Buffalo Springfield.

What drew you to the banjo?

Earl: My father played banjo. I don't remember him playing. He had cancer and died when I was young. But the banjo was always around the house. So was the guitar and autoharp; I played those, too. But the banjo gave me a little more excitement. I enjoyed it more. It was my favorite instrument to satisfy my soul, and I can't say why.

The Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville opened a special exhibit dedicated to your career: Banjo Man: The Musical Journey of Earl Scruggs. It runs through June 16, 2006. How did this exhibit come about and what is in it?

Louise: They decided to put the exhibit up, and the both of us are in it. It starts with Earl's beginnings with his first banjo. The first one was …

Earl: An open-back banjo. I remember playing it. After dinner, you'd play it by yourself, you'd play it by the fire.

Louise: It revolves around his whole career — the '40s, '50s, '60s and '70s, right up until today. It just showcases the things he's done. It contains artifacts, pictures, music, some tapes and TV shows he was on. You can watch and listen. It's very interactive.

Earl: It's lined out really well. First, there's quite a lot about Louise in the exhibit. Her typewriter and desk she used as a kid is there.

What's it like seeing your life right there in front of you?

Earl: Your mind will run away from you when (you) see it laid out like that.

Louise: It's very interesting if you are an Earl fan.

In 2001, you released a CD titled Earl Scruggs and Friends. On the CD, there are guest appearances from Elton John, Steve Martin, Billy Bob Thornton, Sting, Melissa Etheridge, John Fogerty, Don Henley, Johnny Cash, Roseanne Cash, Dwight Yoakam, Travis Tritt and Vince Gill, among others. What prompted you to make a CD with those folks?

Earl: I just enjoy getting together with other musicians. It gives me room to spread out and touch base with other musicians. I just love different types of groups to play with. I've known Steve Martin for years. We used to work shows together in the early '70s. We go back a long way.

Louise: We had a lot of fun with that album. We went to Elton John's studio in Atlanta. He comes in with Earl's box set under his arm. He said he left his box set in England, so he stopped at the record store on the way to the studio. He said, "Do you think Earl would autograph this for me?"

Earl: I signed it with joy.

What do you think about the state of bluegrass music today?

Earl: I think it's better than it ever was. It will continue to grow as long as good music is played.

Do you have a favorite band?

Earl: I enjoy all of them, really. I don't work enough with bluegrass groups today and would hate to single out any because I would leave out some of my favorite ones.

Your contribution to the bluegrass sound is legendary with the "Scruggs style" of picking with three fingers on the banjo. How do you feel about that legacy?

Earl: How that actually happened, I was sitting in a room. I lived in the country, just outside of Shelby, N.C. I picked up the banjo. I was picking away on Reuben and playing with two fingers — thumb and index finger. All of a sudden, I realized I was playing with the middle finger and there was the three-finger style. That's the way I've played ever since.

That's the icing on the cake. It doesn't matter how well you like something. If other people don't like it, it won't fly well. If other people like (it) enough to play it themselves, I can't explain how that makes me feel.

A little over 30 years ago, you, and other bluegrass country musicians got together and helped the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band put out the now classic Will the Circle Be Unbroken. Since then, you've appeared on the second and third volumes of Circle. How did you get together with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band?

Louise: Gary and Randy (Earl and Louise's sons) were going to school at Vanderbilt and told us we should see them.

Earl: The first time I remember seeing them, they played here in Nashville. We went to the show, and were really surprised at how much they knew about me.

Louise: We became really good friends with John McEuen (of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band). When Will the Circle was first discussed, Earl said to John, "Why don't record legends of Nashville like Maybelle Carter and Ray Acuff?" Earl told them about these great artists whose songs were no longer recorded. Earl said, "You guys are a young group. It would be great." They followed through.

Is there any one banjo song you're particularly pleased you wrote?

Earl: It's impossible to pick one. Foggy Mountain Breakdown is so well accepted and played so many different ways. I'll always remember that one.
Thursday, June 16, 2005

More details on filming for CBTD2

KMT supplies this:
Actor Steve Martin leads film crew to Stoney Lake
Jun 15, 2005
Lance Anderson

Film actor Steve Martin will walk the shores of Stoney Lake in a few weeks.

The building of sets is under way near Burleigh Island Lodge for Mr. Martin's new movie, Cheaper By The Dozen II, a sequel to the 2003 original.

The storyline follows the life of a family with 12 children. The sequel, to hit theatres next year, follows the family as they vacation at a cottage and end up in competition with another large family.

An impressive cast will appear in the movie, including Eugene Levy, Carmen Electra, Hilary Duff and Bonnie Hunt.

Phil Basciano, manager of Peterborough and the Kawartha Lakes Tourism, has been working with location scouts since before April.

He provided information on the region, including possible locations suitable for the movie.

"The scouts came up and a month ago they said they were going to shoot up here for four to five weeks," says Mr. Basciano.

He says they've chosen an area within walking distance to Burleigh Island Lodge on Highway 28.

Mr. Basciano says crews are now building the cottage that will be used in the film.

Other filming will be done, says Mr. Basciano, at a studio in Toronto.

An estimated 100 local hotel rooms will be needed to accommodate film crew members. Mr. Martin will stay at a private cottage in the area while he is here, says Mr. Basciano.

Filming will take four to five weeks but Mr. Basciano doesn't expect a huge disruption for tourists who flock to the Burleigh Falls area in the summer.

"It probably won't hamper the attractions. It will probably create an interest," says Mr. Basciano.

"But the best part is that we are being looked at for movie locations."

This is the first movie to be filmed in Peterborough County this year.

Last year, the History of Violence with Viggo Mortensen was filmed locally along with Spirit Bear and The Ice Princess.
Monday, June 13, 2005

Internet blamed for rescheduling Pink Panther
Movie/TV News
Studio Briefing
9 June 2005

Sony Pulls 'Panther'

Sony, which began showing a trailer for its upcoming The Pink Panther movie preceding the release of Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith, has yanked the film from its scheduled August 5 release date following disparaging reviews on a number of websites, Reuters reported. One review on remarked, "How could anything with Kevin Kline and Steve Martin be so unfunny?" The film, also starring Beyonce Knowles and Jean Reno and directed by Shawn Levy (Cheaper by the Dozen), is now scheduled to be released on Feb. 10.

Steve's Gornik paintings are exhibited

The Halifax Daily News (Nova Scotia)
June 9, 2005 Thursday
Gornik's brush with beauty
Smulders, Marilyn

April Gornik didn't always paint scenes of breathtaking beauty - mystical landscapes so lovely they invite you to step inside. Now, though, you can walk between avenues of tall leafy trees, feel the gentle spray of a waterfall tumbling over rocks, or touch soft, billowing tips of wheat beneath your hands. Monumental in scope, these artworks will sweep you up and smooth out your ruffled edges.

On the eve of her show opening at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the 52-year-old artist reflects on her artistic beginnings - a kid from Cleveland, Ohio, attracted to NSCAD in its conceptual-art heyday during the mid-1970s.

"I feel so much older here than I did at Neuberger (Museum of Art in New York where the exhibition originated) ... I keep saying, 'In 1976 ..." she laughs. "I do love Halifax. The light is exquisite."

It's a massive show which, like Rodin: A Magnificent Obsession, spills over two floors at the Halifax gallery. Even so, the gallery has given the paintings, some the size of bus shelters, plenty of breathing room. Included among the works are three stunning paintings from the collection of comedian Steve Martin and one smaller painting, Rain, Sun, Cloud, donated to the gallery by Fred and Elizabeth Fountain.

Back when the Manhattan-based artist was getting started, as a student in the conceptual art department at NSCAD, "beauty" was a dirty word.

Clinging to the notion that painting was dead, and disdainful of "lowly painters" like future husband Eric Fischl, Gornik resisted the temptation to paint.

"I was all over the place," she said when asked about the kind of artworks she made during her conceptual art phase. "There were these photographs with captions - semiotic blah blah blah - collages, and kind of arrangements of sticks on the floor."

Then came an image of a landscape that appeared in her head - "It was very upsetting! Of all the things to land upon. I can't think of a historically less appreciated subject matter."

Then, after a pause, she adds: "It was so thrilling and amazing."

Her first landscapes were made up, created with great abandon in the small corner studio she had overlooking Barrington Street. "I loved depicting space and light, and that came very fast. I felt like I was reinventing how to paint, as if I hadn't done it before ... I was drawing it out of a deep place in myself."

That changed after Gornik made a trip to the desert in 1980: "There were things out there that were wilder than my imagination could perceive. That moment, looking over a horizon that went on forever, almost literally blew my mind."

Her paintings are no longer wholly fictitious - Gornik borrows liberally from photographs and images found online. She blows them up, skews them, takes an element from one and something from another to create an invented reality. And she no longer has a problem with beauty.

"For me, it's nice to make a painting and have people say, 'this is beautiful.' Not 'this makes me feel this way' or 'this reminds me of.' Beauty is the essential element."

if you go

WHAT: April Gornik: Paintings and Drawings
WHEN: To Aug. 7
WHERE: Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

Miss Davis Denies -- It must have been Anne

Daily News (New York)
June 8, 2005 Wednesday
NOW; Pg. 44

HOLLYWOOD - Kristin Davis is on a mission to make movie moms sexier.


Although Davis has been linked with actors Alec Baldwin, Jeff Goldblum, Liev Schreiber and Steve Martin, she says, "I'm not attached to anybody."

Especially Martin. "We have never been on a date or had a private conversation," she says. "I met him at an audition for 'Shopgirl,' and I'd met him socially with Sarah Jessica in New York before that.

"I think the rumor started at last year's Oscars. Some guy who has a blog went to a party, saw Steve with a girl with dark hair and thought it was me."

"City" seems to be a closed chapter. "There are no plans for a reunion," Davis says. "That's what ­Sarah Jessica told me to tell everybody. She doesn't want people to have hope."

Meanwhile, back in Canada...

The Toronto Star
June 12, 2005 Sunday
When good photo-ops go bad

Steve Martin dined with his Cheaper By the Dozen 2 co-star Eugene Levy at Sotto Sotto on Tuesday and Martin lunched at Sassafraz on Wednesday.

Martin, Levy and their director Adam Shankman dropped by Lobby restaurant for drinks on Tuesday. Cast from Corner Gas partied at Lobby the night before.


Guelph Mercury (Ontario, Canada)
June 8, 2005 Wednesday Final Edition
Stars Hilary Duff, Steve Martin may be coming to Rockwood; Filming for Cheaper by the Dozen sequel on for a week at conservation area's lake


Steve Martin and Eugene Levy could be butting heads on the shores of Rockwood Lake next week.

A film crew has descended on the Rockwood Conservation Area to prepare for roughly a week's worth of filming for Cheaper by the Dozen 2, an all-star comedy that pits Martin's 12-sibling family against an all-blond brood led by Levy and Carmen Electra during a summer vacation.

Rockwood Lake will substitute for Wisconsin's serene Lake Winnetka in the film, a sequel to the 2003 hit that starred Martin, Bonnie Hunt and Hilary Duff.

The beach will be closed from Monday to Wednesday and again after June 20, said Grand River Conservation Authority spokesman Dave Schultz.

"The beach will be closed but the park will remain open," he said. "So if someone wants to see how a movie is filmed, this would be a good opportunity."

At this point, it's not clear who in the cast will be present for the film shoot, Schultz said.

Officials from Dozen Canada Productions Ltd., the Toronto company overseeing the Canadian side of the production, would not offer details about the movie yesterday. But the all-knowing Internet Movie Database has it listed for a 2006 release.

Martin, Hunt and Duff will be returning for the movie, while Levy and Electra will play corporate A-types who oversee a clan of perfectly coifed children.

The film is a sequel to the 2003 hit, which was itself a remake of a popular 1950 comedy starring Clifton Webb and Myrna Loy.

How much of a presence Rockwood will have in the film is unclear, said Schultz. But the GRCA has played host to a number of film crews in the past few years, both in Rockwood and Elora.

"We've had quite a few," Schultz said. "You can get the northern Ontario feel an hour away from Toronto."

Rockwood Lake was a backdrop for a scene in the 2002 Canadian curling comedy Men With Brooms.

The entrance to the conservation area subbed as a border crossing for the folks from Possum Lodge in 2002's Duct Tape Forever, the film version of The Red Green Show.

And the forestry wilds of the conservation area has been used for beer, chocolate bar and Purolator commercials in recent years.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Lopez was apparently spotted in Elora a few years back while filming her megabomb thriller Angel Eyes, which had a few scenes that took place in a quarry.

And a fictional prime minister drowned somewhere near the Elora Gorge as part of the Canadian TV political mini-series H20.

"We charge reasonable rates for film companies," Schultz said. "I don't know the exact details about the deals. But it's been a nice way of building revenue for our organization."

And the Township of Centre Wellington could soon be taking a more active role in attracting film crews to the area, said deputy clerk Cheryl McCarroll.

The township is set to hire a manager of economic development, whose duties may include convincing production companies to film in the area.

"We get the (location) scouts in here all the time," she said. "They are attracted to the historic buildings."

The Cheaper by the Dozen 2 film crew is currently on location at Rockwood preparing for the shooting. Dates may change depending on weather conditions, but for now filming is expected to end June 24.

Any changes in the film schedule will be posted on the the GRCA website at

Rockwood Conservation Authority customers can also call 856-9543.

June 06, 2005
Film shoot at Rockwood Conservation will affect beach area

Rockwood Conservation Area will be playing the role of Lake Winnetka, Wisconsin in the new film “Cheaper by the Dozen 2.”

As a result, film crews will be working in the beach area of the park during the next three weeks, and the beach itself will be closed for several days of filming. Crews arrived Monday June 6 to set up equipment, a process that should last the rest of the week.

Here is the current schedule:

* Friday June 10 to Sunday June 12: Beach open, though space is restricted
* Monday June 13 to Wednesday June 15: Beach closed
* Thursday June 16: Status will be posted later
* Friday June 17: Status will be posted later
* Saturday June 18 to Sunday June 19: Beach open, though space is restricted
* Monday June 20 to Friday June 24: Status will be posted later.

Any changes in the film schedule will be posted here. Park customers can also call (519) 856-9543 for updates.

The park itself will remain open throughout the filming. Camping, hiking and other activities will not be affected.

“Cheaper by the Dozen 2” is a sequel to the 2003 film which starred Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt and Hilary Duff.

The new film is set four years after the original and takes place at Lake Winnetka where the family has gathered for a final family summer vacation. The family competes in a competition with another big family in the annual Lake Winnetka Labour Day Cup.

Rockwood Conservation Area will be Lake Winnetka and many of the competition events will be filmed at the GRCA park.

Steve will speak in Nantucket

The website for the Nantucket Film Festival is very difficult to use. The url below gets you to a page where you can click on various events. Along with Steve's interview and receiving a screenwriting award, they will also show Roxanne and The Jerk. Steve may or may not be at the storytelling session.

If you're in the area, apparently you can buy individual tickets.

In Their Shoes... Steve Martin
60 min

Guest: Steve Martin
Host: James Lipton

A conversation on screenwriting with Steve Martin
Interviewed by James Lipton
Each year the Nantucket Film Festival hosts special events providing an engaging arena where screenwriters meet the audience. During lively forums and interesting roundtable discussions, the NFF presents straight talk on the nuts and bolts of the film industry. Join our guests at this year’s main event:

Steve Martin’s screenwriting credits include The Jerk, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, The Man With Two Brains, L.A. Story, A Simple Twist of Fate, Roxanne, Bowfinger, and the upcoming films The Pink Panther, Shop Girl (based on his novel), and Picasso at the Lapin Agile (based on his play).

James Lipton has served for ten years as Dean of the Actors Studio Drama School and is Executive Producer, writer and host of Bravo’s award-winning Inside the Actors Studio. He has written the book and lyrics for two Broadway musicals, is the author of the novel Mirrors, (which he also adapted for the screen), and the non-fiction work An Exaltation of Larks.

Screening Schedule
Date Time Venue Tickets
Sat, Jun 18 11:00 am Nantucket Comm $25.00

Steve will speak at the Nantucket Film Festival

In Their Shoes... Steve Martin
60 min
Guest: Steve Martin
Host: James Lipton

A conversation on screenwriting with Steve Martin
Interviewed by James Lipton
Each year the Nantucket Film Festival hosts special events providing an engaging arena where screenwriters meet the audience. During lively forums and interesting roundtable discussions, the NFF presents straight talk on the nuts and bolts of the film industry. Join our guests at this year’s main event:

Steve Martin’s screenwriting credits include The Jerk, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, The Man With Two Brains, L.A. Story, A Simple Twist of Fate, Roxanne, Bowfinger, and the upcoming films The Pink Panther, Shop Girl (based on his novel), and Picasso at the Lapin Agile (based on his play).

James Lipton has served for ten years as Dean of the Actors Studio Drama School and is Executive Producer, writer and host of Bravo’s award-winning Inside the Actors Studio. He has written the book and lyrics for two Broadway musicals, is the author of the novel Mirrors, (which he also adapted for the screen), and the non-fiction work An Exaltation of Larks.

Screening Schedule
Date Time Venue Tickets
Sat, Jun 18 11:00 am Nantucket Comm $25.00
Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Steve in NYC at the theater
New York Post Online
Cindy Adams
June 8, 2005

Steve Martin to "Glengarry Glen Ross" a second time. He obviously wants to improve his "F word" pronunciation . . .
Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Pink Postponed,1259,---25936,00.html
'Pink Panther' Slinks Into Spring
Tue, Jun 07, 2005, 09:06 AM PT

LOS ANGELES ( There won't be an August release for Sony Pictures and MGM's remake of "The Pink Panther." Instead, the film is being shuttled off (no doubt accompanied by some Henry Mancini walking music) to a Feb. 10 date.

Sony acquired the Steve Martin comedy, in which the white-haired thespian steps into Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau uniform, as part of the April absorption of MGM. A Sony bigwigs assure The Hollywood Reporter that the move to the late winter has nothing to do with lack of faith in the movie or dodging a spate of high profile early-August comedies and everything to do with giving the film a sensitive promptional campaign.

"With the recent acquisition of MGM, we wanted to give our marketing department the time and opportunity to launch this very important franchise," Sony Pictures Releasing President Rory Bruer tells the trades. "We've seen the movie, and we really love this film. It's a franchise we believe in and are really excited about, and Steve Martin is great as Clouseau."

If he says so.

The original Aug. 5 date for "Panther" is also occupied by Warner Bros. Pictures' adaptation of "The Dukes of Hazzard" and 20th Century Fox's Mike Judge comedy which might never get a name.

While January and February are generally considered dumping grounds for the studios, recent Februarys have seen "50 First Dates" and "Hitch" become blockbuster hits, though both films capitalized on a Valentine's Day desire for romantic comedies, a niche that "Panther" won't be able to fill.

Other films slated for that Feb. 10 release include "Just Friends" with Amy Smart and Ryan Reynolds and Universal's animated take on "Curious George."
Monday, June 06, 2005

Goldie Hawn on Steve

Steve always loved Goldie, but she doesn't put him at the top in this interview. All questions are left out except the one about Steve

Belfast Telegraph
June 2, 2005
Goldie Hawn: From go-go dancer to ditzy blonde:
Born in 1945, Goldie Hawn worked as a showgirl and go-go dancer before her break in 1965 with a starring role as a ditzy blonde in the TV show Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. She transferred her airhead stereotype to film and won a supporting actress Oscar for her role in Cactus Flower. She has also played serious roles, beginning when Steven Spielberg cast her as a runaway mother in The Sugarland Express. She has two children from her first marriage and lives in Canada with Kurt Russell and their son.

You've worked with so many comedy greats, Steve Martin and Woody Allen among them. Who's the greatest?

Steve Martin is so easy to work with, and Woody is a genius - just watching him work, dream, think and act was a real treat, something I would love to do again. But my favourite partner in comedy was Chevy Chase. Working with him, I just laughed and laughed. And, of course, Kurt. He is fun and funny, real and so true. What a guy.


More Scholar (without any mention of Steve)

The New York Post
June 6, 2005 Monday
All Editions; Pg. 74

MY secret ambition has always been to write one of those horrible soundbites that are guaranteed to get picked in ads. You know: "The Sopranos is a Gangland Hit!" Or worse, "CSI is A-OK!"

And the ad would have my name after it to show what a big deal I am.

But noooo. Instead I write things like, "This dog needs a walk," which, let’s face it, will never ever make it into anybody’s ad. Until today.

Today is the big day when I get to write - are you ready? - " ‘The Scholar’ deserves an A+!"

Now if that doesn’t get me in an ad, I give up.

And if this show doesn’t make it, then we all should give up.

Finally, a competition/reality show where we don’t have to endure halfwitted girls in cocktail dresses competing for a jerk you wouldn’t want to have lunch with, let alone marry.

Instead, "The Scholar" combines the best elements of shows like "The Amazing Race," "The Real World," "Jeopardy!" and even the old "College Bowl" by having really, really smart high school seniors - all without financial

means, but with a lot of ambition - compete against one another for a $250,000 scholarship.

Produced by comedian Steve Martin, this show will have you screaming your answers out loud while, at the same time, nailing you to your seat with the drama of these kids competing for the one thing they all want - a college education.

No matter what, you’ll fall for the kids competing here:

* Milana is from our own Fresh Meadows, Queens.

* Jeremy is the son of Vietnamese refugees who survived for seven days on a boat, sharing a single glass of water.

* Elizabeth from Idaho looks like a beauty queen and thinks like Einstein.

* Davis is the full-of-himself, handsome guy everyone loves to hate.

* Gerald is a kid from Texas who’s never let racism stand in the way of maintaining a 3.91 GPA.

* Scot is the wild card here because he’s been homeschooled his whole life, yet maintains a 4.0 GPA and works outside the home 80 hours a week. (He’s never had classmates, let alone roommates!)

Each week there will be several contests - from literature to math to brain teasers - with captains chosen by skill.

The kids are judged by three college admissions experts (think "American Idol" for brainiacs). But they compete not just on smarts, but on leadership qualities and outside interests, as well as how they handle themselves under pressure.

"The Scholar" is my favorite new show of the season so far. ABC gets an A+ too. (That’s gotta get me in an ad, no?)

A diller, a dollar, a $240,000 Scholar

The New York Times
June 6, 2005 Monday
Late Edition - Final
Section E; Column 5; The Arts/Cultural Desk; Pg. 1
Smart Kids' Reality TV: Vying for Scholarships

The high-stakes process of winnowing the nation's brightest teenagers for admission to the most prestigious colleges has long been a reality show waiting for the right producer to figure out how to put it on the air.

And now, someone has.

Tonight at 8, ABC will show the first of six installments of "The Scholar," in which 10 high school seniors pursue a scholarship worth as much as $240,000 by outsmarting, out-talking and out-preening one another before a panel of actual college admissions officers. That sum is intended to cover tuition, room and board at an Ivy League or comparable institution for four years, as well as incidentals like books and travel.

There is plenty of tension -- in tonight's episode one boy, on the brink of tears, says he cannot bear to inform his immigrant parents that he has just lost an early round of the competition. Still, nobody on "The Scholar" loses: at the least, each contestant will walk away with a $20,000 scholarship. (The grand prize is being supplied by an education foundation created by Eli Broad, a California billionaire; the rest of the money has been given by Wal-Mart.)

The producers decided not to put the contestants in demeaning situations, relying instead on team-based puzzle-solving or one-on-one quizzes that would hardly be at home in the insect-crawling (and eating) scrimmages of shows like "Fear Factor" (on NBC) and "Survivor" (on CBS). And therein lies a question: will teenagers, the program's target audience, watch 10 of their peers, chosen largely for their high grades and College Board scores, as they compete in a genteel arena combining elements of the vintage programs "Queen for a Day" and "College Bowl" while sharing a home like those on MTV's "Real World"?

"The question is, will the audience be riveted by something that isn't humiliating?" said Tom Werner, the producer of "The Cosby Show" and "Roseanne" and one of the executive producers of "The Scholar." "Certainly there are high stakes in this. You're playing for some kids' futures."

Moreover, in a nod to the cottage industry that has risen up around the admissions process -- including test-prep guides and rankings -- Mr. Werner added that, at the least: "I think people that are interested in getting their kid into college will watch this."

Mr. Werner, who is also chairman of the Boston Red Sox, is not the only high-profile producer involved in "The Scholar." In addition to his partner, Marcy Carsey, he is joined by Jon Murray -- a creator and producer of "Real World" and the Paris Hilton vehicle "Simple Life" -- as well as a seemingly unlikely collaborator, the actor Steve Martin (and his producing partner, Joan Stein.)

Mr. Martin, who worked his way through the California State University in Long Beach and U.C.L.A. (he left before graduating to take a job as a writer on the "Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour"), said he was drawn to the program because he found the admission process it depicted to be eye-opening.

"I didn't know it was so complicated, so sophisticated," he said.

The program struck a far more resonant chord with Andrea Wong, who, as executive vice president for alternative programming at ABC, is responsible for its lineup of reality fare. In listening to the pitch by the producers of "The Scholar" last year, Ms. Wong reflected on her own college admissions odyssey in the mid 1980's, in which she was placed on the waiting list at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before being admitted two months later.

"It was one of the most stressful times in my life," Ms. Wong said.

"The Scholar" seeks to replicate, in front of the camera, a highly secretive ritual that usually takes place behind closed doors: the agonizing effort, by schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton and many others, to assess the academic potential, leadership qualities, activities and character of thousands more applicants than they can possibly admit.

Part of the show's authenticity lies in its origins. It was conceived by two former admissions officers, Jaye Pace (formerly of Columbia University) and Shannon Meairs (late of Pepperdine). In assembling an on-camera admissions committee for "The Scholar," they recruited two current Columbia admissions officers (Peter V. Johnson and Shawn Abbott) and one at the University of California at Berkeley (Marquesa Lawrence).

While the three admissions officers are supporting characters, the stars are the students. In a parallel to the actual college admissions process -- the program was taped in January, before most knew where they had been accepted -- each had to write an essay, supply grades and test scores and submit to extensive interviews. To assess how camera-ready they were, each was also required to provide a tape.

The 10 finalists were selected from among about 5,000 applicants recruited through Web sites or their guidance counselors. That rate of acceptance -- about 0.2 percent -- is far lower than that of Harvard, which was 9 percent this year.

The competing students have diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, as well as life experience. Most were able to demonstrate at least some financial need, and each was able to point to an obstacle that he or she had overcome, whether it was scoliolosis (Melissa, from Tarzana, Calif.), the dangerous streets of Oakland, Calif., (Max) or racism (Gerald, of Commerce, Tex.)

One of the contestants, Milana Zaurova, 17, who lives in Fresh Meadows, Queens, and is a senior at Bronx High School of Science, said that the chance to compete for even the $20,000 scholarship (she was careful not to give away how far she progressed) was a huge relief to her family. Though admitted to Columbia, Princeton, Duke and Cornell, among other institutions, Ms. Zaurova said that her parents -- her mother, who is divorced from her father, is a Russian immigrant who works as a speech therapist -- earned too much money to qualify for much financial aid, though too little to pay full tuition.

"I felt so proud to be part of the first unscripted series to prioritize higher education," Ms. Zaurova said. "These days, all you find are shows like 'Who's Your Daddy?"'

Jeremy Tran, 18, the son of Vietnamese immigrants (his father is an auto mechanic) who now live in California, said that he, too, would not have otherwise qualified for much financial aid at the schools to which he was admitted, including Berkeley, Stanford, Yale and Harvard.

In addition to whatever money he had won, Jeremy said that it was fun to be treated "like celebrities." Mr. Tran also said that he had come away with a more sophisticated eye, in terms of how he watches reality programs, including his own.

"I'm more critical of myself," he said. "Like, 'Why do I look so sleepy in that shot?"'
Sunday, June 05, 2005

Sex symbols for geezers :)

thanks umm...
The Charlotte Observer
Posted on Fri, Jun. 03, 2005
Hot 50 stars for folks of a certain age

OK. You're getting middle-aged. You go to a movie starring someone like Halle Berry or Ashton Kutcher and you feel a littl e, well, uncomfortable admitting how gorgeous you think they are. Even Johnny Depp is too young for your fantasy crushes.

No worries.

AARP has issued a list of celebrities who, like you, are old. How old? Old enough to remember when Deep Throat was simultaneously a political mystery figure and a movie -- neither of which you ever dreamed you'd get to see.

How considerate, then, for the over-50 organization to compile a Hot Fifty List, revealed in the July/August issue of AARP Magazine.

For your age-appropriate dreaming pleasure, here are a few who made the list: Denzel Washington, Dennis Quaid, Julio Iglesias, Kim Basinger, Tina Turner, Liam Neeson, Jessica Lange, Ed Harris, Sting, Harry Belafonte, Lesley Stahl, Sam Shepard, Steve Martin, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Paul Newman, Queen Noor, Condoleezza Rice, Jacqueline Bisset, Lauren Hutton and Robert Redford.
Friday, June 03, 2005

WARNING: a scam in my name

If any of you on the mailing list have received an email that purports to be from, DO NOT OPEN IT OR OPEN THE ATTACHMENT.

THIS IS NOT from compleatsteve or the blog. This is a scam.

I will never send you anything of this sort. If there are notices about the blog or the site, I will always post them here.

I don't know how this one is being perpetrated, but it ain't me, babe.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005

June in Nantucket

There once was a Steve in Nantucket...

Daily Variety
May 31, 2005, Tuesday
NEWS; Pg. 4

NEW YORK --- The Nantucket Film Festival, celebrating its 10th anni, will kick off with Jim Jarmusch's Cannes Grand Prix winner "Broken Flowers" and close with Andrew and Luke Wilson's "The Wendell Baker Story." Event runs June 15-19.

Other highlights include a staged reading of "Spectacle: Part One of the Mark Rosen Chronicles," by Stacy Weiss and Dan Chariton, which will be produced by Ben Stiller's Red Hour Films. Stiller, Macaulay Culkin and Robert Sean Leonard will participate in the reading.

There will be a second staged reading of "9/11 Kevin," the previously unannounced winner of's screenplay competition.

Steve Martin will be presented with the NBC Universal Screenwriter Tribute by Lorne Michaels at an event hosted by Brian Williams.

Helmer Pete Farrelly will host Late Night Storytelling, in which six storytellers and aud members dish on the topic of "Love Stories: What Were You Thinking?'

Helmers Brad Anderson and Patty Jenkins and scribe Scott Rosenberg will chair the writer/director jury. Thesps Anna Paquin, Ben Shenkman, and Showtime prexy Robert Greenblatt chair the screenplay jury.

Feature films screening at Nantucket include "The Aristocrats," "The Dying Gaul," "The Great New Wonderful," "Hustle & Flow," "Murderball" and "The Jerk."

Powered by Blogger