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BRATS on Hulu (Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Andrew McCarthy, and Demi Moore / Photo Columbia Pictures, Hulu)

Brats

  • By Debbie Emery

Anyone who was a teen or tween in the 1980s is very familiar with the Brat Pack – and most likely had a schoolgirl (or schoolboy!) crush on one of its members. For those not of that era, the Brat Pack was a group of good looking, talented and damn lucky actors who gravitated to making movies together and changed the direction of Hollywood casting in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Founding members included Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise, Emilio Estevez, Demi Moore and Molly Ringwald. While films such as The OutsidersThe Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire were deemed essential viewing for all Brat Pack aficionados.

Brat Pack alum Andrew McCarthy is now lifting the lid on the Hollywood clique in a new Hulu documentary titled Brats. The film is shot in a laid back, conversational style that involved McCarthy, now 61, calling his old castmates and inviting them to come to chat about their experiences. 

“The Brat Pack is who people say it is,” McCarthy pondered in an interview with The Guardian, “because the Brat Pack never ‘existed’ in any real way. It’s more an idea of young actors who’d taken over Hollywood – we were the ones that were doing that at that moment, so we’re in the Brat Pack.”

Brats is now streaming on Hulu. 

For more, click here.

The Great Lillian Hall is streaming on Max (Jessica Lange / Photo HBO, Max)

The Great Lillian Hall

  • By Debbie Emery

Legendary actress Jessica Lange looks like she was born to be a Broadway star, which is why she is the perfect person to play Lillian Hall in HBO’s latest biographical drama. The film is loosely based on the life of Marian Seldes, a stage actress and Tony winner in the ‘60s and ‘70s.  

HBO’s official description of the titular character is a Broadway star who “pours her heart, soul, and time into preparing for her next role, she finds herself blindsided by confusion and forgetfulness. Battling against all odds to make it to opening night while holding on to her fading memories and identity, she must navigate a tumultuous emotional journey: balancing her desire for the spotlight and the stark demands of the real world.”

Throughout the course of The Great Lillian Hall, we see Lange’s character deftly spiral from a quintessential theatre actress putting on airs and graces, to a woman struggling to admit to herself or the world that she is suffering from dementia. As heartbreaking as the ultimate revelation is, it forces Lillian to finally take an honest look at her life.

The Great Lillian Hall also stars Kathy Bates, Lily Rabe, Jesse Williams, and Pierce Brosnan. It is written by Elisabeth Seldes Annacone, who is Seldes’ niece. The HBO film is now streaming on Max. 

For more, click here.

Diane Von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge now streaming on Hulu (Diane Von Furstenberg / Photo Hulu)

Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge

  • By AC REMLER

Diane von Furstenberg, a fashion icon and feminist trailblazer, is the focus of a new documentary on Hulu: Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge. The documentary, an official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival, offers an unprecedented look at the resilience, style, and gusto with which she lived her life and shaped her career.

Her classic wrap-around dress, which established DvF as a household name, became her signature fashion piece. This single garment offered women an elegant look transcending body types and socio-economic status. It symbolized female empowerment, allowing women the freedom to embody their aspirations.

Born in Belgium, von Furstenberg built an empire around this concept and lived her life on her own terms. She challenged the male patriarchy, expanded societal norms for women, enjoyed many lovers, and was unapologetically herself. If it seemed she was a contradiction—the daughter of a Holocaust survivor who married German royalty or a woman who took full advantage of the male gaze while touting gender equality—guess what? She was OK with that.

In addition to the documentary, the Skirball Cultural Center will showcase von Furstenberg’s life with an exhibition titled “Diane von Furstenberg: Woman Before Fashion.” The multimedia exhibit features over 50 garments from the DvF archives, as well as artwork, ephemera, fabric swatches, media pieces, and information about her philanthropic work and career from the 1970s to the present day.

Now streaming on Hulu. For more, click here.

The Blank Theatre’s ‘Young Playwrights Festival” July 11-August 4, 2024 at the Skylight Theatre

PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL

  • By KEN WERTHER

Now celebrating its 32nd anniversary, The Blank Theatre’s Young Playwrights Festival is a Los Angeles theatre tradition. Presented at the Skylight Theatre in Los Feliz, the festival runs from July 11 to August 4 with 12 plays (three per week) by young playwrights aged 15–19 from nine different states! YPF is a truly remarkable event that throughout its history has produced nearly 350 plays by young playwrights.

Daniel Henning, Founding Artistic Director at The Blank (who stepped down in 2022 after 32 years at the theatre’s helm) said, “These thought-provoking works, performed and directed by seasoned professionals, have entertained thousands of audience members over the years. While these authors are often as different as the states from which they come and the subjects with which they deal, they share something truly improbable. They’re teenagers.”

Many of the plays presented in past festivals have been nominated for multiple LA theatre awards and several alumni playwrights are populating the nation’s theatres and sound stages with their work. Winners have gone on to successful writing careers, including one who has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and one who won the coveted Tony Award for Best Play in 2016. I strongly urge you to check out the YPF. Performances are Thursday and Friday at 8pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. Admission is free (donations are always welcome). Trust me, you will be entertained and amazed!

For all the details, click here.