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Davy Jones Left Stage Musical -- Will It Ever Get Produced?/Reno Wilson Convinced Wedding Won't Hurt 'Mike & Molly'
Will the World War II-era stage musical that the late Davy Jones wrote ever be produced? Last year, the former Monkee told us he'd written a show in the tradition of "Hello Dolly," "West Side Story" — and the vehicle that started it all for him, "Oliver!"
"This has got 12, 13, 14 amazingly great songs," he enthused. "Each character in the show will have a great song to sing."
He didn't have a title, but the energetic performer, who had a way of interrupting himself — a lot — did start to perform the show for us, even singing part of a song: "I'm going to move away from this town. I'm going to go where no one's going to find me. And when I do, they'll understand, they'll know who — who I really am ..."
Davy said, "The music is finished; the book's finished." He expected to direct the show, because, he said, "I know every character, I know how it should sound, and I know how the actors should be speaking. And that's all there is to it." He said that he and a partner, Chris Andrews, were looking for "OPM" — other people's money — to get it mounted, and that they would probably launch it regionally. "Florida, Ohio — every time I've talked to a theater administrator about it, they've said, 'Oh, please bring it here.'"
Whether his dream will go on now that Jones has passed away after a heart attack at age 66 remains to be seen. It certainly shows that even though last year's Monkees reunion tour was cut short, Davy was not slowing down. He was full of talk about his daughters, his horses, his homes in Pennsylvania and Florida. In words that seem especially meaningful now, he also gave his own take on the old saying that today is the first day of the rest of your life: "Today is the only day in the rest of your life," he said, and added, "Life is very interesting if you want it to be interesting."
Rest in peace, Davy.
THE VIDEOLAND VIEW: With just four more episodes to shoot for this season, "Mike & Molly" is heading towards its highly anticipated wedding episode. In fact, there might be two weddings in the offing, if Joyce and Vince (Swoosie Kurtz and Louis Mustillo) also tie the knot. Considering that the TV landscape is littered with the bones of series that jumped the shark after the main characters wed, is there concern about "M&M's" handling of wedded life?
Not according to Reno Wilson. "I just think it opens up so many more stories," he says. "They've got to get a place to live — or are they going to be married and stay in the house with her mom? What about children? You know, there are so many storylines with people on the show that honestly, in my opinion, it's just going to add to it."
Besides, adds the man known as Carl McMillan to "M&M" watchers, "As Billy (Gardell) and I always say, 'Just say them words.' We have the best writers in television, and we trust them fully."
Wilson and Gardell, in case you didn't know, have a friendship that dates back six years, to their former "Heist" series, before they were cast as best friends on "M&M." In fact, Wilson tipped Gardell to the sitcom when it was in the works.
Meanwhile, there's Carl's own romance with Holly Robinson Peete's character. "I'm really happy that Carl has love in his life. It's the first time he's encountered an actual woman he doesn't have to blow up, who doesn't have a nozzle," Wilson jokes. "I really like that through this relationship, they're showing other pieces of Carl, some sensitive sides, and where that bravado and machismo came from, that kind of insecurity." He's also loving working with Peete. "She's a force of nature, all the things she does."
AND: Wilson doesn't know when "Bolden!" — in which he plays the young Louis Armstrong — will be making its way to screen. The film is about jazz legend Buddy Bolden (Anthony Mackie) and boasts a cast including Wilson, Omar Gooding and Jackie Earle Haley. Wilson, who grew up in a household full of musicians and reveres Satchmo, feels that "I did some of the best work of my career" in the film that was made three years ago, and has yet to see the light of distribution.
"I was doing a one-man show about him when I got this movie, this opportunity to play this icon," says the actor, who performed seven songs for the film directed by Dan Pritzker. "I try not to think about it too much."
WORDS TO LIVE BY: "CSI's" Robert David Hall tells us "I want to believe all the beautiful things I've been told about my work" — but he doesn't. He says he learned a long time ago, "If you believe all the praise, then you're going to believe all the criticism." So, he says, "I try to take a neutral path. As the great acting coach Gordon Hunt said, the best thing we can do is be prepared and live in the moment. You don't have any control over a lot of things — what kind of music they put on a scene, what kind of timeslot you're in. The only thing you have control over is your performance in the moment."
To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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