Tag Archives: Downton Abbey

‘Downton Abbey’ on the road to being a musical?

Image of "Downton Abbey" cast, which will end its successful run on TV at the end of its next season.
“Downton Abbey” ends its successful run on TV at the end of its 2016 season.

I love musicals. I love “Downton Abbey.” But a musical of this hit British TV series about a snooty English Earl and his family … It seems, though, we’re not talking traditional stage musical and the show’s creator Julian Fellowes is involved so maybe this isn’t a train  wreck waiting to happen.

That’s what various news outlets are reporting. Playbill.com, referring to an article in  The Independent of London, says the show that focuses on the Crawley before, during and following World War I is being adapted as a stage musical that would go on a global theatrical tour.

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Olivier Award Winners, 2015

Image of Mark Strong with his Best Actor Award for "A View From The Bridge." (Photo: Pamela Raith)
Mark Strong, winner of the Best Actor Award for “A View From The Bridge.” (Photo: Pamela Raith)

So happy I saw National Theatre Live’s screening of “A View From the Bridge” at a local theater in the U.S. since the production won an Olivier Award for Best Revival, Best Director and Best Actor.  And to think, I only had to drive 9 miles earlier this month  to see it at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ. I LOVE the NTL!

For “Downton Abbey” fans, Penelope Wilton (who plays Isobel Crawley) won Best Actress for “Taken at Midnight,” a new play by Mark Hayhurst about the life of Hans Litten, his cross-examination of Adolf Hitler in court in 1931 and his mother’s attempts to secure his release after his arrest by the Nazis in 1933.

For the other winners, including Angela Lansbury taking home the  Best Supporting Actress as Madame Arcati in “Blithe Spirit,” click here.

Whoops! Maggie Smith was having us on

Maggie Smith was just kidding, publicists for "Downton Abbey" said.
Maggie Smith was just kidding, publicists for “Downton Abbey” said.

Whew, that was close.

According to The Associated Press,  a spokesperson for Milk Publicity (the publicists for “Downton Abbey”), said Maggie Smith always planned to stay with the show “for as long as the show runs.”

The Dowager Countess of Grantham was just having a good laugh, publicists added, when said told The (London) Times she was leaving the show after the sixth season.

Of course, if “Downton Abbey” only last one more year, then she will be right. But let’s not think about that now.

 

Maggie Smith is done with the Dowager Countess

Maggie Smith (shown here as the Dowager Countess) says the sixth season of "Downton Abbey" will be her last, whether to not the series continues beyond 2016. (Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television for Masterpiece)
Maggie Smith (shown here as the Dowager Countess) says the sixth season of “Downton Abbey” will be her last, whether or not the series continues beyond 2016. (Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television for Masterpiece)

Maggie Smith, 80, began as a stage actress so I feel perfectly justified in sharing here she is done playing the Dowager Countess after the next season of “Downton Abbey,” whether it’s the final season or not.

Sure going to miss those barbed swipes  she delivers, oh, so well. Of course, if she continues making movies, such as the “Marigold Hotel” series, we’ll still hear plenty of her quips. And there’s always the “Harry Potter” moves to watch again (except for maybe the last two).

In an interview with The (London) Sunday Times, “They say this is the last one, and I can’t see how it could go on,” Smith, 80, said referring to the upcoming season six. (She thinks the Countess “must be 110 by now,” she told the Times.)

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Shakespeare TV alert for tonight, includes ‘Downton Abbey’ hook

Image of the The modern, reconstructed Globe Theatre. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
The modern, reconstructed Globe Theatre. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Why wasn’t this in my many Channel 13 emails that always include reminders to donate money but not a word that Lord Grantham was going to talk about being Ralph Fiennes understudy.

Continue reading Shakespeare TV alert for tonight, includes ‘Downton Abbey’ hook

Clooney joins ‘Downton Abbey’ cast, briefly

I know. George Clooney has nothing to do with Broadway, NJ regionals, or London stages — except maybe as an audience member — but he is a class act and is supporting “Downton Abbey,” which is filled with veteran stage actors.

He filmed a scene for the popular TV series, which airs in the U.S. later than in England as part of Masterpiece Theatre. The scene will used for charity efforts during Christmas.

Here’s the skinny on Clooney.