Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, who made history and chemistry together in "Titanic," are coming back to the silver screen.
The pair, sources say, have signed on for Winslet's husband Sam Mendes’ film version of Richard Yates’ classic novel of unhappy domesticity in the suburbs.
No, it’s not called "American Beauty." Mendes already made that movie, and it won the Oscar. It’s “Revolutionary Road,” the 1961 novel many people thought “American Beauty” was based on or borrowed from in the first place.
I do recall asking “American Beauty” screenwriter Alan Ball back when his movie was coming out if he’d been influenced by the Yates novel. He professed to not having read it.
So the idea that Mendes is now going to officially make “RR” is a little weird. He’s a terrific director and all that, but hasn’t he actually made this movie? And how will he feel directing his wife as Leo’s unhappy spouse? And how will “Titanic” fans take seeing Leo and Kate as the morose, bitter Frank and April Wheeler, the main characters?
Trust me, if you haven’t read Yates’ work: these people are not “the kings of the world.”
If you don’t know who Richard Yates was — and my guess is you don’t — here’s just a little recap. On par with John Cheever and John O’Hara, Yates meticulously dissected suburban life, married life and the effects of alcoholism and madness on both.
Those two things were either caused by marriage and settling down, or came to underscore life after World War II.
Yates’ great novels include “The Easter Parade” (not the Judy Garland movie), “Liars in Love” and “Disturbing the Peace.”
And here’s a little factoid: he became very friendly with Kurt Vonnegut when he was his student at the Iowa Writers Workshop.
Among Yates’ own students was David Milch, the highly respected TV writer. Yates pretty much drank himself to death in the early '90s. But he is a superior artist and much missed. Hopefully, this time around Mendes et al will do him justice.
People are willing to spend a lot of money to celebrate the end of "The Sopranos" or have lunch with former Fed czar Alan Greenspan and wife Andrea Mitchell of NBC.
But they’re not so hot to visit sets of shows like "All My Children" or "The Young and the Restless." The one show they’d like to be at is Fox’s “House.”
These are the unscientific results of an online auction sponsored by the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation. The auction is in progress now, with some interesting results regarding what people are willing to pay for, even when some of it is tax deductible.
For example: currently, someone has bid $13,500 to attend "The Sopranos" premiere at Radio City this Tuesday. Breakfast or tea with the Greenspans is already up to $26,000. A visit to the “House” set: $13,500.
But for a lot less — like less than $1,000 — you can have Quincy Jones program your iPod, meet Susan Lucci on the “AMC” set or go hang out with Larry King. As of last night, a visit to the set of “Good Morning America” was going for $125.
You can check it all out at www.rfk.charitybuzz.com
We must give David Hasselhoff credit. He’s a sport. He’s appearing in “The Producers” in Las Vegas as gay musical director Roger DeBris. He makes an entrance in drag, wearing a full-length silver lame gown imprinted with an Art Deco design. As his character says, he looks like the Chrysler Building.
Hasselhoff isn’t the actual star of the musical, which has been shortened to 90 minutes for Vegas viewing.
The stars are Brad Oscar as Max, Larry Raben as Leo and Leigh Zimmerman as Ulle.
Hasselhoff is a loss leader, a name that will bring in middle America and international fans of his pop singing. After all, this is Las Vegas, where "Hairspray" didn’t last long.
The foreshortened “Producers,” which I saw last night, still works. Several key numbers are missing, and even then the show runs a little longer than the advertised 90 minutes without intermission.
That Hasselhoff has no voice whatsoever doesn’t matter. His mere appearance is the draw. That he pulls off his comic material with aplomb is an added treat. That he can’t sing is no surprise. All those stories about him being a German pop star … well, let’s hope there are a lot of Germans visiting Vegas.
The trio of actors who actually drive “The Producers” are terrific, though. And the production has most of the original Broadway sets and costumes, impressively.
But the show is saddled with a much too big theater at the loony Paris hotel (the one with an Eiffel Tower and an Arc d’ Triomphe). And because it is Vegas, I wasn’t sure how many in the audience actually understood English, let alone Yiddish and New York Jewish jokes about Hitler.
Still, “The Producers” remains full of Mel Brooks’ and Tom Meehan’s genius. The show has a solid enough foundation that it can withstand Vegas’ slings and arrows and still come out a winner.
As for David Hasselhoff, don’t worry: there’s no chance he’ll be leading a cast of “Hello, Dolly!” anytime soon on Broadway — or anywhere else.