William Jackson Harper plays Chidi on NBC’s “The Good Place”
It’s hard to believe that William Jackson Harper, who lends a delightful touch of insanity to Jim Jarmusch’s “Paterson” as the persistent, lovelorn Everett, almost gave up acting altogether.
Adam Driver and William Jackson Harper in “Paterson” (Photo by Mary Cybulsky)
But that’s what he told Electronic Urban Report in an interview.
Landing the role of Chidi in the NBC afterlife comedy “The Good Place,” alongside Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, was what kept him going in his craft.
Harper, who’s been seen on stages around New York City in a number of important roles in the last five years, says:
I was burned out. I was doing a lot of theater and I love theater but I was also just so broke all the time that I was just frustrated, and decided that this season was going to be my last pilot season,” Jackson explained. “I was going to start trying to transition out from acting. I hit a point where I was like, ‘Okay, maybe it’s time for me to be realistic and get a regular job and try to have some stability in my life.’ Then this job happened and not only was it a job that gave me a little bit more faith, but also, I couldn’t imagine a more perfect job and a more perfect show for me to be on this one,” he said. “Sitting here with you talking is like a miracle to me, because I’ve been at this for a while, not nearly as long as some, but longer than others.
Harper’s role in the NBC show was announced last February, nearly four months after filming wrapped on “Paterson.” So if not for the heavenly intervention of “The Good Place,” Everett might have been Harper’s swan song as an actor. Continue reading
Posted in News, Off-Broadway, television, Theater
Tagged Adam Driver, HBO, Heidi Rodewald, Jim Jarmusch, Massacre (Sing to Your Children), NBC, Paterson, Stew, The Good Place, The Leftovers, The Public Theater, The Total Bent, William Jackson Harper
Adam Driver behind the wheel in “Paterson” (Photo by Mary Cybulsky)
I finally saw Jim Jarmusch‘s latest movie, “Paterson” with , last Sunday afternoon at the Fabian 8 Cinema, only movie theater left in the City of Paterson, New Jersey.
Adam Driver and Golshifteh Farahani in “Paterson” (Photo by Mary Cybulsky)
I have known the city for a long time, but can’t say I’m intimately acquainted with it.
Even so, I was hit with a strange feeling early in my viewing of “Paterson” that something wasn’t quite right — aside from the fact that the family bulldog, a male named Marvin, was a gender-bending role for a female named Nellie.
It was more than the occasional script misstep, like the reference indicating that that Driver’s character, Paterson, worked for the city when his bus is clearly marked NJ Transit, a statewide transit agency.
Some of the settings, while authentically gritty, reminded me of somewhere else.
Look familiar? This scene from the movie “Paterson” wasn’t shot in the movie’s namesake city. (Photo by Mary Cybulsky)
Take, for instance, Paterson’s walk home from the Paterson bus depot, which took him through a brick archway past a “Paterson” sign painted on the wall. Something about the location reminded me of the Garnerville Arts & Industrial Center just a couple of miles from my home in Rockland County, New York.
Click through to the jump for the photographic evidence.
Posted in Movies, News, Theater
Tagged Adam Driver, Brian Mertes, Carrie Coon, Chasten Harmon, Garnerville Arts & Industrial Center, Girls, Golshifteh Farahani, Heidi Rodewald, Inside Llewyn Davis, Jim Beckerman, Jim Jarmusch, Jose Rivera, Kylo Ren, Mary Cybulsky, Massacre (Sing to Your Children), Nellie, New Jersey, Paterson, Placebo, Playwrights Horizons, Rattlestick Theater, Star Wars, Stew, The Good Place, The Leftovers, The Public Theater, The Record, The Total Bent, William Jackson Harper
UPDATE: Stew Sez Showtime’s now 9:30 p.m.
Photo from Stew’s Facebook announcement of the upcoming gig at Barbès.
There was a moment or two of confusion Thursday morning when Stew,the singer-songwriter and Tony winner for the book of Passing Strange posted on Facebook that he and his band, The Negro Problem, would be appearing two weeks from now at “our beloved Barbès” and included the date of Oct. 25.
Stew, Heidi and an incarnation of The Negro Problem at Barbés in 2011. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)
Well, fans of Stew’s work won’t have to wait that long. Maybe Stew is just jonesing for Fall. But according to the Barbès calendar, it’s Thursday, July 25, at 10 p.m., which is in two weeks.
Whew. Glad I could clear that up.
Stew posted a Facebook update on Friday, July 19, saying showtime was changed to 9:30. So I’m getting there by 9 just to be on the safe side:
showtime for stew & the negro problem’s BARBES show this THURSDAY JULY 25th is now 9:30. We will play some songs inspired by recent events.
Posted in Broadway, Concerts, Music, Pop and Rock, Theater
Tagged Barbès, Broadway, Brooklyn, Heidi Rodewald, Joanna Settle, Martha's Vineyard, Park Slope, Passing Strange, Stew & The Negro Problem, The Public Theater, The Total Bent, Tony Award, Vineyard Arts Project
Daniel Breaker and his crew at Joe's Pub. (Photos 2012, Steven P. Marsh)
Broadway star spices up his elegant cabaret set with help from fab up-and-comer Jo Lampert and Broadway vet Morgan James
The inimitable Daniel Breaker at Joe's Pub.
We’re hoping Daniel Breaker is going to be a regular on the Joe’s Pub stage. His performance there Sunday night, April 22 — his second cabaret show there — showcase the winning singer/actor even better than the first. He seemed more comfortable in his role as a front man, and less like an actor putting on a show.
Jo Lampert kills it at Joe's Pub, with drummer Christian Cassan in the background.
With the help of a dozen or so musical compatriots — including drummer Christian Cassan and music director/guitarist Jon Spurney from his time in the hit musical “Passing Strange” — Breaker put on a great show.
He sang original and classic cabaret numbers, and even dipped into rock with Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” charming the crowd all evening.
Breaker’s special guest vocalists once again gave him a run for his money. In Breaker’s last show at Joe’s, guest Condola Rashad threatened to steal the spotlight altogether with her amazing power and charming stage persona.
Breaker clearly didn’t feel threatened. He chose equally intense guests for this show. Jo Lampert, who not long ago was a production assistant at Joe’s Pub and who was involved in the Public Theater’s incarnation of “Passing Strange,” blew the doors off with her rendition of Beyonce‘s “Halo,” and also filled in superbly on backing vocals.
Morgan James, currently in the cast of "Godspell" on Broadway, at Joe's Pub.
Morgan James, who’s in the ensemble with “Godspell” on Broadway, also did a great job.
Kelvin Dinkins Jr. and William Jackson Harper (a must-see in our book after his amazing work “The Total Bent” at the Public Theater) helped out on backing vocals.
Posted in Blues, Concerts, Jazz, Music, Pop and Rock, Review, Theater
Tagged Broadway, Christian Cassan, Daniel Breaker, Godspell, Jo Lampert, Joe's Pub, Jon Spurney, Kelvin Dinkins Jr., Morgan James, Nirvana, Passing Strange, The Total Bent, William Jackson Harper
Stew, Heidi and members of The Loser's Lounge at Barbés in Park Slope, Brooklyn. (Photos © Steven P. Marsh)
Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? was supposed to see The Total Bent, the new show by Stew and Heidi Rodewald of Passing Strange fame, in one of its very first Public Lab performances at The Public Theater in downtown Manhattan last month. But then construction delays at the theater — the Public is undergoing a massive, and much-needed, facelift — got in the way.
That created some pretty massive chaos, forcing The Total Bent‘s schedule to push back. Some shows, including ours, were canceled and rebooked.
So we haven’t seen the show yet. We’ll be there for the penultimate performance on Sunday afternoon, March 18.
All the changes also forced the scuttling of interviews and press access to the creative team.
Posted in Music, News, Theater
Tagged Anspacher Theater, Broadway & Me, Heidi Rodewald, Joanna Settle, Passing Strange, Stew, The Public Theater, The Total Bent, tickets