Friday, August 19, 2005

The King and I - Tallahassee, FL

OCT. 18-19: SUMPTUOUS SIAM: Radiant star of stage, TV and film Stefanie Powers stars in a lavish touring revival of the beloved musical "The King and I," which kicks off the Civic Center's 2005-06 Broadway Series in mid-October. You may remember Powers best as half of the wealthy, globe-trotting mystery-solving spouses of TV's "Hart to Hart." She's also a fervent supporter of wildlife preservation and heads a foundation named for her late lover, the actor William Holden.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

'Thin Man' movies released on DVD

I can't imagine a better life than the one lived on "Hart to Hart," a television series from 1979.

I mean, who wouldn't want to be Jonathan Hart (played by Robert Wagner)? You've got a dish of a wife played by Stefanie Powers, and you’ve got a gruff, stogie-chomping manservant played by Lionel Stander. In your free time, between fabulous parties and ski trips to the French Alps, you solve murders.

The only couple that ever had it better than Mr. and Mrs. Hart was Nick and Nora Charles in the "Thin Man" movies.

Nick and Nora, played by William Powell and Myrna Loy, were the prototypes for the Harts -- and they also would have drunk them under the table.

Powell and Loy made six "Thin Man" movies from 1934-1947, and now they're all together in a DVD box set full of gin-and-vermouth benders and rakish, screwball one-liners.

In the 1934 original, "The Thin Man," we learn that Powell’s character used to be a private detective. He gave it up to live the good life with his rich and sassy wife.

But when he bumps into a woman at the bar, she convinces him to look for her missing father -- an eccentric scientist/inventor.

Detective work follows, but it takes a back seat to Nick and Nora’s lightning-quick repartee. Even with their characters’ dueling hangovers, Powell and Loy still outpace the screwball banter of duos like Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. They might be the best on-screen couple in Hollywood history.

While the 1934 original is the clear standout of the collection, the others have their charms. "After the Thin Man" (1936) stars a young Jimmy Stewart as a nice guy who isn't is as nice as he seems.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Kung Fu: The Complete Third Season on DVD

Kung Fu: The Complete Third Season will be available on DVD August 23, 2005.

Stefanie guest starred in the episode titled "Cry of the Night Beast."

Monday, August 15, 2005

Hart to Hart - When This Show Came to DVD, It Was Murder! (Season 1 Announcement)

When people think of Sidney Sheldon, they think mainly of his thrilling novels (his 18th novel is due to hit the market next month). What surprises people is the number of film scripts and television epsiodes he's written...more than 200 of the latter. He also was the creator of two of the most popular sitcoms of all time: The Patty Duke Show and I Dream of Jeannie. Those were from the '60s. In 1979, Sheldon turned his talents toward creating a TV show that was as full of thrills as his novels were. The result was a show originally called "Double Twist", but which came to broadcast as Hart to Hart.

Starring Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers as Jonathan and Jennifer Hart, it was a show in the murder mystery genre that had the very wealthy husband-and-wife team looking for clues and killers among the well-to-do. But that summary, while on-target, doesn't begin to describe the charm brought to the show by the wonderful relationship that Wagner and Powers had with each other. He was a self-made millionaire, with the strength and determination to see anything through. She was a former journalist, with a nose for finding clues. Always on hand to help was Lionel Stander as Max, their friend and servant with the gruff voice but could be trusted to be there in a pinch. First season guest stars include Dee Wallace, Markie Post, Rene Auberjonois, Tommy Lasorda, Noble Willingham, Juliet Mills, and John Hillerman.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will bring out Hart to Hart - The Complete 1st Season on October 25th, on a 6-DVD set that runs 1139 minutes. List price is $49.95 SRP. Extras have not been announced by the studio yet, but Video Business reports that the set "contains all 23 episodes of the debut season, plus commentary and a featurette with cast and crew interviews." Here's the box art for you:

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

McCloud Seasons 1 and 2

"There ya' go..." Rustle up some action and adventure as police drama McCloud rides on to DVD for the first time every! Emmy winner Dennis Weaver stars as the brace Deputy Marshal Sam McCloud, the toughest cowboy to ever take on the mean streets of New York - as well as the by-the-book detectives of the NYPD. Despite the demands of his strict supervisor, Chief Peter B. Clifford (J.D. Cannon), McCloud finds himself in an endless showdown with some of the meanest criminals east of the Mississippi. This amazing DVD set from the popular NBC Mystery Movie series features all 11 thrilling episodes of McCloud Seasons 1 and 2 - including the series' pilot! - as well as a gripping bonus episode of the popular McMillan & Wife. Saddle up with entertaining guest stars including Milton Berle, Pat Morita, Stefanie Powers and more in the series that proved that sometimes all you need to solve a crime is a little good ol' country know-how.

NJPAC Season to Include King, Evita, Cats, Chicago, Millie and More

Several award-winning musicals will be presented this season at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.

The Center's 'Broadway' season begins Nov. 8 with the Tony-winning musical The King and I. Stefanie Powers stars as Anna Leonowens in the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, which will play NJPAC through Nov. 13.

Another Tony-winning musical, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Evita will follow, playing Dec. 19-24. Evita, which follows the life and untimely death of Eva Peron, features such tunes as 'Buenos Aires,' 'I'd Be Surprisingly Good for You,' 'Don't Cry for Me Argentina,' 'Rainbow High' and 'High Flying Adored.'

The 25th anniversary tour of Cats will make its way to the Newark venue, playing Jan. 31, 2006-Feb. 5. The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, based on the poems of T.S. Eliot, remains the longest-running show in Broadway history, although another Lloyd Webber musical, The Phantom of the Opera, will soon break that record.

John Kander and Fred Ebb's Chicago will follow Cats, playing March 28-April 2 at the Center's Prudential Hall. The revival of Chicago won six 1997 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and features such show-stoppers as 'All That Jazz,' 'Cell Block Tango,' 'Nowadays' and 'Hot Honey Rag.'

The Broadway musical season at NJPAC concludes with the 2002 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie. Millie Dillamount will tap her way onto the Prudential stage June 6-11.

The New Jersey Performing Arts Center is located at One Center Street in Newark, NJ. Tickets are available by calling (888) 466 5722. Visit for more information.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Hart DVD Announcement Imminent

I just read that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is expected to release details of the DVD set "Hart to Hart: The Complete First Season" on Monday, August 15, 2005, with a likely release date of October 25, 2005.

Details at present: It's a 6 disc box set, with a suggested price of $49.95.

Obviously, this is subject to change until the official announcement comes, but this sounds about right. Most on-line retailers sell below the suggested price, so don't be scared by that price tag if you don't want to spend that much on DVDs. I'm sure a lot of you would pay more than that, as Hart on DVD has been long awaited. No mention of extras - wait for the official announcement.