Intermission Report for Austin City Limits

by Alx Bear on October 8, 2015

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It’s a given that at a large music festival people will rave about the headliners. But for the not-so-commercial music lovers and rock ballad enthusiasts, here is your guide to the second weekend of C3 Presents’ Austin City Limits.

Ben Howard

Time: Sunday, October 11th from 4:30-5:30pm

Stage: Samsung

About: English folkstar, Ben Howard, takes festival-goers on a journey each time he plays. Howard often begins a set seated, as he plays a meditative song like “All is Now Harmed” and then segues into a sorrowful, rock narrative. As calm as Howard’s music sounds, his performances are deep and intense. Gear up for Of Monsters and Men with Ben Howard at the Samsung Stage at 4:30pm.

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Time: Sunday, October 11th from 1:30- 2:30pm

Stage: Miller Lite

About: Ease into Sunday’s lineup with Daughter. The group’s use of soft melodies and whimsical chimes evokes dream-like states reminiscent of Florence Welch. Lead singer, Elena Tonra’s lullaby voice that will calm you soul and ease your hangover.

There’s more!


HBO Now Arrives on the Roku

by Arthur Vandelay on October 8, 2015


HBO Now, the stand-alone streaming service, just announced a Roku app for its customers. Roku remains one of the most versatile over-the-top boxes, featuring virtually every streaming product with the exception of Apple exclusives. HBO Go had previously been available on Roku, but not HBO Now.

HBO continues to move closer to Netflix’s business model, just as Netflix continues to become more like HBO.

Here’s the full press release:



HBO’s Internet Only Service Available Today on Roku Players and Roku TV Models with

30-Day Free Trial Offer

 SARATOGA, Calif. – October 8, 2015Roku, Inc. today announced that HBO’s internet only premium streaming service, HBO NOW, is available on the Roku® platform. Roku customers in the U.S. can now visit the Roku Channel Store to add the HBO NOW streaming channel to their Roku players (including the newly announced Roku 4) and Roku TV™ models. Roku customers can purchase a subscription directly within the HBO NOW channel on their Roku device, which will also enable them to access the service and on other HBO NOW enabled devices. HBO NOW is available for $14.99 per month with an available 30-day free trial offer.


With HBO NOW, Roku customers can instantly watch all of HBO on Roku players and Roku TV models —addictive series, unforgettable movies, thought-provoking documentaries, thrilling sports programs and entertaining comedy and music specials –all you need is the internet.

“HBO NOW is a hit with consumers and we’re thrilled to make it available to millions of Roku customers,” said Jeff Dallesandro, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Digital Distribution and Business Development, HBO. “Bringing our programming to consumers through HBO NOW is a natural evolution for HBO, and partnering with a streaming leader such as Roku greatly extends the reach of our service as we usher in this next phase of innovation for our network.”

“We applaud HBO for breaking the mold to deliver a fantastic standalone streaming service for consumers,” said Steve Shannon, general manager of Content and Services at Roku. “The combination of the Roku platform and HBO NOW signifies a new era of streaming for our customers because they now have instant access to HBO and its incredible selection of entertainment, even without a traditional pay TV subscription.”

HBO NOW is HBO’s new stand-alone premium streaming service that provides instant access to all of HBO—including envelope-pushing series like Game of Thrones®, Silicon Valley®, True Detective®,  BallersSM, Veep,®  and Last Week Tonight With John OliverSMas well as other current uncensored programming like Girls®, VICE, The Leftovers®, The Jinx and Going Clear.  HBO NOW also features every episode of every season of HBO classics worth seeing again like The Sopranos®, Sex and the City®, True Blood®, The Wire® and Deadwood®In addition, HBO NOW subscribers will have instant access to the most top box office, must-see films like American Sniper, Birdman, Wild, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Unbroken, Theory of Everything and Dumb and Dumber To. To subscribe to the streaming service, HBO NOW, consumers only need the internet.  Customers can learn more at

About Roku, Inc.

Roku is the creator of a popular streaming platform for delivering entertainment to the TV. Roku streaming players and the Roku Streaming Stick® are made by Roku and sold through major retailers in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and the Republic of Ireland. Roku licenses a reference design and operating system to TV manufacturers to create co-branded Roku TV models. Under the Roku Powered program, Roku licenses its streaming platform to Pay TV providers around the world who want to use the Internet to deliver entertainment services through streaming players. Roku was founded by Anthony Wood, inventor of the DVR. Roku is privately held and headquartered in Saratoga, Calif., U.S.

About HBO

Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. and the world’s most successful pay TV service, providing the two television services – HBO® and Cinemax® – to approximately 122 million subscribers worldwide.  The services offer the popular subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand® and Cinemax On Demand®, as well as HBO GO® and MAX GO®, HD feeds and multiplex channels. HBO NOWSM, the network’s internet only premium streaming service, provides audiences with instant access to HBO’s acclaimed programming in the U.S. Internationally, HBO branded television networks, along with the subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand and HBO GO, bring HBO services to over 60 countries.  HBO and Cinemax programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide.


TRAILER: Bryan Cranston is ‘Trumbo’

by Arthur Vandelay on October 6, 2015

Here’s a longer look at Trumbo, the new film from director Jay Roach that stars Bryan Cranston as the titular screenwriter who famously fought being blacklisted by doing what he knew best: writing.

Cranston is joined by Elle Fanning, Diane Lane, Helen Mirren, Alan Tudyk, John Goodman and Michael Stuhlbarg. The film opens on November 6.


‘Stage Kiss’ Q&A with Aimee Hayes & Trey Burvant

by Micah Haley on October 6, 2015

Stage-Kiss-webAimee Hayes and Trey Burvant are currently appearing in Southern Rep’s production of Stage Kiss, a comedy by Sarah Ruhl. Directed by Jason Kirkpatrick, the play also stars Richard Hutton, Madison Kerth, John Niesler, Matthew Thompson and Kirstin Wittershein. The play is running now through October 10. Tickets and more info are available here.

In Stage Kiss, Aimee and Trey portray two actors who, long after a disastrous but passionate love affair, are reunited on stage in a 1930s melodrama. Featuring a charming play-within-a-play, Stage Kiss reveals a frisky insider’s view of how love can unexpectedly happen both on and off the stage.

I saw the play last Friday and it was loads of fun. In addition to Aimee and Trey, Richard Hutton plays a memorably indifferent director, and John Neisler is pitch-perfect as the straight-man husband of Aimee’s character. Kirstin Witterschein was standout. I mention Matthew Thompson’s performance below as well.

1) On your first read through of Sarah Ruhl’s Stage Kiss, what impressed you the most?
Aimee: How fluidly she writes comedy. Her set-ups are so smart and sharp. Followed by how accurately she gets the mixed/ torn-up feelings many people have about their first loves.
Trey: The fact that we could hardly get through the reading due to the belly aching laughter in the room.

2) What stood out about it that made you say, “This needs to be produced in New Orleans”?
Aimee: Southern Rep Theatre has produced two other Sarah Ruhl plays. Our audiences totally adore her focus on women characters and how they negotiate their relationships, children and their careers.

3) Backstage romances are so commonplace in the world of theatre, as well as film, and they often mirror on stage/on screen relationships. What’s one you recall that ultimately helped a play you were a part of in the past?
Aimee: Most relationships I have seen (that lasted!) were between stage managers and actors…maybe these guys like having an organized woman in their lives?!?! However I did have the great honor of presiding over a wedding this summer for two actors who fell in love at first sight while working on a Southern Rep play. I was directing and saw these two people actually ignite – fall instantly for each other – upon meeting. It was intense. I am not sure I believed in that phenomena until I saw it happen there. Wow. It was an interesting rehearsal process to say the least.

4) What’s one that hurt a play and how?
Aimee: I haven’t seen that happen. Most folks try to be professional and get on with it. And yeah, I would never tell even if I have seen it!

5) If kissing is your thing, this is the play to see! What was the kissing policy during your rehearsal for Stage Kiss?
Aimee: Funny. Our post-performance discussions have focused on how you “stage kiss” when making a play. I guess I will get technical here: in short, no tongues, no overly open mouths, no biting, no teeth. As a courtesy, brush teeth, take vitamins, and warn ahead if you had the garlic soup at Lola’s – or bring some for everyone so no one can smell it. Respect and being totally professional about it. It is like doing fight choreography on stage: it is directed, it is the same every time, and it is focused on telling the story correctly, except it is with your mouth (see #8 below).
Trey: The only policy was issued from my daughter: wash your mouth before coming home.

6) Matthew Thompson plays a variety of different roles in Stage Kiss, and manages to stand out in each. He’s very gifted at physical comedy. What did he bring to the table in rehearsal that made the final play?
Aimee: Matt is amazing, isn’t he!? What I loved about him in rehearsal is how game he is for everything. He just goes with it and then brings in that extra something. He also has the best wigs…

7) What’s an example of a physical comedy bit that didn’t make the final play, but was funny in rehearsal?
Aimee: Actually Matt had a bit where he had a fall after my character leaves the stage. It was cut because the moment had to be about what was happening to my character as it was a reversal. But we enjoyed the hell out of it while it was still in.
Trey: I really wanted my Jerry Lewis prat fall to have a longer trajectory, like Nordberg in Police Squad, but alas we had to get on with it.

8) You’re theater veterans, so I’m sure there’s a good bit of the process that’s very familiar to you now. Do you ever say something that feels poignant, and then in retrospect think, “Wow, I sound like Tobias Fünke from Arrested Development?
Aimee: I say a lot of things that are not quite what I intended to say. My staff keeps a running list that we review once a year…which we would never offer up for publication. Tobias and I may have been cousins in another life.
Trey: Is poignant a food group?

9) Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck OR a hundred duck-sized horses?
Aimee: The former. I am assuming it is a rubber duck. Would just stick a pin in it. See #8.
Trey: Not sure waddle I’d rather.

Tickets are available now at Southern Rep’s website here.


Southern Love at Landmark Music Festival

by Alx Bear on October 5, 2015

Suffers-1-3During the first weekend of fall Washington, D.C.’s West Potomac Park played host to the inaugural Landmark Music Festival. The festival drew musical acts from around the country, including D.C. local Ex Hex, Los Angeles based The Mowgli’s, New York City’s The Strokes and New Orleans’ locals, Dr. John. & The Nite Trippers.

The two-day event, produced by C3 Presents, was conceived in an effort to raise funds to help restore the National Mall or “America’s Front Lawn.” In exchange for a nominal- by comparison to other music festivals- $150 fee, visitors were able to experience an eclectic weekend of music. Fans of headliners Drake, The Strokes, Miguel, CHVRCHES and Alt-J arrived at the main stages as early as 12:30pm.


Many of the best acts played during the day. The Suffers from Houston, TX brought a healthy dose of soul, funk and southern blues. The raw emotion and energy of The Suffers’ , Kam Franklin was evident from their first song and one could not help feeling her sass when they covered “Hard Out Here for a Pimp.” Daughter took listeners on a journey through the psyche of vocalist Elena Tonra.

Rebirth Brass Band, who will be playing at the Maple Leaf in New Orleans on October 13th and 20th, kicked off Saturday night with that Frenchman-funk many have grown to love. New Orleans’ legend and six-time Grammy winner Dr. John brought his jazz-bluegrass vibe and voodoo mysticism to the Miller Lite Stage. Houndmouth carried Sunday afternoon with its melodic “Sedona” and finished strong with a cover of Dion’s “Runaround Sue.”

Notwithstanding the long concession and restroom queues, Landmark definitely “made its mark” and may prove to be the east coast answer to California’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in years to come.



IN THEATERS: The Martian, Sicario

by Arthur Vandelay

Two great films hit theaters this weekend. Ridley Scott is back in space with The Martian and the excellent director Denis Villeneuve is back with Sicario. The weather outside is beautiful, but don’t forget to check out both of these movies in theaters now. The Martian During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead […]

IN THEATERS: Pawn Sacrifice, Captive, The Green Inferno, The Intern, Hotel Transylvania 2, Stonewall

by Arthur Vandelay

Awards season begins this weekend. Pawn Sacrifice promises a great performance from former Spiderman Tobey McGuire. Here’s the movies you can see in theaters this weekend: Pawn Sacrifice Set during the Cold War, American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer finds himself caught between two superpowers and his own struggles as he challenges the Soviet Empire. 114 min. Rated […]

TRAILER: ‘The Big Short’

by Arthur Vandelay

Director Adam McKay’s dramatic turn The Big Short got its first trailer today. Based on the book of the same name by Michael Lewis, the film stars Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo, Marisa Tomei, Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling. The Big Short was shot in New Orleans. It will debut in theaters on December 11.

WINNERS: 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards

by Arthur Vandelay

Here are the nominees and winners of the 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards, which aired last tnight. The full list is below with Louisiana and Georgia connections noted in blue. American Horror Story remains an Emmy favorite, this time earning nominations for its latest installment Freak Show, including New Orleans-based casting direction Meagan Lewis, who won for the first time […]