“The Flash” and “Supergirl” Musical Crossover Gets Its Villian!

For those of you waiting impatiently for details on the musical episode of The Flash (no one? Just me? Okay. Moving on…), wait no further.

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As previously reported, the March 18 episode will be a crossover episode featuring Supergirl. Also mentioned earlier is the storyline, which follows The Flash and Supergirl teaming up to defeat DC’s most sinister songbird, The Music Meister.

Until yesterday, there was no mention of casting as it pertained to this episode. Fans of the DC Universe, more specifically Batman: The Brave and the Bold, were hoping that Neil Patrick Harris would reprise his role. I, however, was hoping against it the whole time. Nothing against NPH (or Harvey Fierstein in “Hairspray Live” or 90% of the cast in the “Rent” movie), but I see no reason for someone to play a role they’ve already played. It’s old news. Bring me fresh talent.

And fresh talent we shall get. Joining his former Glee castmates Melissa Benoist (Kara Jor El/Supergirl) and Grant Gustin (Barry Allen/The Flash), Darren Criss will be co-starring in the musical episode, causing as much choral chaos as he can.

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Other Supergirl/The Flash cast members with a musical/theater background that are bound to sing in this episode include Jesse L. Martin, Victor Garber, Carlos Valdes, Jeremy Jordan, and John Barrowman. I know Laura Benanti‘s storyline is finished on Supergirl, but one can hope they’ll find a way to bring her back to sing at least one song. I’d be fine with a duet, even.

Details are still being kept underwraps as to whether the episode will feature new songs or follow the format of a jukebox musical, but in case The CW decides to go the jukebox route, I’ve decided to post a few songs they’d be foolish to not include:

Supergirl herself, Kara Jor El, will clearly take this song on alone, highlighting her strengths.

Meanwhile, Barry Allen will perform this Queen hit. Perhaps a montage of him training and/or running.

The Music Meister will show off his vocal abilities to this Gloria Estefan number. Perhaps taking some of it down an octave can really play up the darkness of this man’s powers.

Barry and Kara are faster and stronger when they team up to defeat the Music Meister, so Kanye’s song is the perfect choice for this ass-kicking occasion.

Did I leave any obvious songs out? Get loud in the comments below!

-D

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How to Host a Murder: The Hollywood Premiere of Power & Greede

As you know from my previous post, murder mysteries are kind of my thing. My most recent party was yet again from the How to Host a Murder collection. According to the Wikipedia page, the HTHAM official page is still being updated. I’ve been promised new themes and a fresh website for approximately a year now, but still nothing, so just like before, I purchased my kit on eBay.

This theme, The Hollywood Premiere of Power and Greede, takes place at a 1936 Hollywood premiere for Power Studios’ newest production based loosely on the lives of its stars. Adultery, backstabbing, multiple murders, fake accents, and extortion are only some of the topics touched on as this story plays out.

The cast of characters includes mostly actors and actresses from the studio (with names such as Ivonde B. Alohne and Stu. D. Muphin) but also includes personal assistants, the screenwriter (Phil M. Acher), the film’s director (Sel U. Lloyd) and an actress-turned-tabloid reporter (Tat Eltayle). Some of the characters are meant to speak in accents, so for the group of non-actors playing, it was a night of laughs.

“The Hollywood Premiere of Power and Greede” was my fourth time playing one of the HTHAM game, (the first three being “Saturday Night Cleaver,” “The Great Chicago Caper,” and “An Affair to Dismember”), and it was my favorite theme by far. While it was fun dressing in a white leisure suit for the disco theme, this story line was full of twists that kept me gasping and scratching my head trying to figure out the mystery.

Each kit comes with menu suggestions, and while I normally try to stay pretty close to what it suggests, this time I went my own route. For hor d’oeuvres, we served shrimp cocktail, a cheese platter, and cream cheese and olive sandwiches (all appropriate for the time period for this cast of characters). As our main course, we did a spread of various Chinese dishes since the premiere took place at Power Studios’ Chinese Theater. We went back to a period-appropriate dish for dessert, cheesecake, with assorted wines and champagne as our drink choices for the night.

To set the scene, we had movie trailers from the 1930s playing on silent in the background while music from the era, as well as pop hits from today performed in a 30’s style, played on our speakers. For decor, we stuck with a black and gold theme with a Great Gatsby feel as decorations, using a pop of red to tie my sofa in. My favorite decoration from the party (perhaps from any party ever) was the Sardi’s-esque headshot wall, including a mix of pictures of old Hollywood actors  paired with black and white photos of my party guests.

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I don’t know if it was the theme or that I’m getting better with experience, or a mix of both, but this was my favorite murder mystery to date. I’m excited to go even bigger for our next. (Themes we haven’t played yet include a 1950’s high school reunion, a culturally insensitive Chinese dynasty theme, and also a train from Paris escaping Nazis, so really, the sky’s the limit. Except I wouldn’t do two of those, so 1950’s high school reunion it is.)

Veronica Mars Reboot?!

Alright, you half dozen Veronica Mars fans, gather round because a potential reboot is being discussed!

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Michael Ausiello reported at the Television Critics Association winter press tour last week that Veronica Mars showrunner Rob Thomas is eyeing a mini season consisting of 6 hour-long episodes.  “Kristen and I both want to figure out some way we could do a six-episode Veronica Mars mystery. If I were a betting man, I bet that it will happen. I just don’t know when it will be.”

This is not the first time we’ve heard this, as Veronica herself, Kristen Bell, has reported in the past, “We are definitely striving to do it again… And this time around we’re not going to ask the audience to pony up for anything.”

However, don’t try to update your Netflix queue just yet. Because of work Thomas and Bell are currently involved in, it can’t be sure when this reboot would occur. “When actors are on network shows, most standard contracts will give them outs for, like, one episode a year of guest-starring,” Thomas said. “But then there are also sometimes outs if you’re doing something that is non-competitive. Would NBC consider a Veronica Mars thing on, like, Netflix non-competitive? We have not figured that out yet.”

“Also, I’m developing Lost Boys (on the CW),” he adds. “If those things weren’t happening, we might be closer to a Veronica Mars [reboot]. The Good Place, I think, is going to be on NBC for a while. And if Lost Boys goes, finding that window will be tricky. But we both want to do it.”

Listen. I’m a patient man. I could get a season 2 of The Good Place, Lost Boys television show, and more Veronica Mars that I don’t have to pay for!? I’ll wait forever. Okay, I’ll wait a year at most, but I’ll wait.

The Sweet Escape

I attended  my first “Escape Room” approximately two years ago. Back then, it was on the more popular side of “unknown,” but unknown, regardless. The one I went to was theater themed, and my theater minor self loved everything about it. We dissected the writing in crumpled up playbills, we checked under seats, we flung through a hamper full of costumes; in short, we tore that theater APART. We escaped the room with 7 minutes to spare, and I spent every minute free telling everyone I ever met how cool this experience was.

As time passed, I made sure to participate in more escape rooms (with themes that included an office, kidnapper’s lair, James Bond, 80’s Rec room), and Escape Rooms became the hot, new thing to do. Because people were listening to me? Perhaps, but the research is still being done to be sure. Yesterday, it became clear how popular this sensation has become. My morning started with an ad on one of my social media accounts telling me about a contest where you and 3 friends can win a trip to Boston to participate in an Escape Room with Chris Evans. This doesn’t need to be said, but an Escape Room with Captain America (and more importantly, Jake Wyler from “Not Another Teen Movie”) is not one I’d like to successfully escape from. (Sorry, husband!)

Later that night, I caught up on some of my TV shows. “American Housewife” dealt with the lead character and her husband building an Escape Room in their basement for their son’s birthday. Um, first of all – this is the coolest idea for a birthday ever. Mom and Dad, why weren’t you rigging our backyard with mouse traps and word puzzles instead of watching me binge on pizza at Sahara Sam’s?! After that episode ended, I checked in on my “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” and sure enough, they, too, were participating in an Escape Room. These rooms are all the rage with housewives these days! With Chris Evans and gay men, too, apparently. Escape Rooms have become impossible to… escape. Too easy? I apologize.

Seeing these rooms popping up all over everywhere my pop culture eyes turned got me to thinking. Pop culture-themed Escape Rooms would be SO marketable. Sure, you’d probably have to change the name because you couldn’t get the rights, so a “Friends” themed room would be a “Coffee Shop Buddies” theme, but people would get the idea. So, without further ado, I give you something that nobody has asked me for, but I’m giving to you anyway: my top 5 non-existent pop culture influenced Escape Room themes.

“Blackmailed Teen Girls” Room

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Setting: E’s Lair

Plot: A masked figure known as “E” has been terrorizing you and your friends for the past seven years. Now that you’ve found his/her lair, it’s your job to find out what dirt “E” has on you and discover their identity once and for all!

“Zombie Run” Room

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Setting: An old shed in the middle of the woods during the zombie apocolypse

Plot: You and your gang of misfit strangers have found yourselves in a shed surrounded by zombies. You have one hour to find weapons and a way to escape before you’re someone’s lunch.

Ying Yang Sex Dungeon” Room

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Setting: Mr. Yang’s Sex Dungeon

Plot: You’ve been locked in the secret sex dungeon of the highly successful businessman, Mr. Yang. Sort through a variety of sex toys as you race to escape before he returns.

“Drama in the White House” Room

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Setting: The Oval Office of the White House

Plot: The President’s biggest secret is on the verge of being exposed to the press. You and your fellow “Roman fighters” have 60 minutes to discover his secret, dispose of any evidence, and make sure this matter is handled.

“Preteen Wizard School” Room

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Setting: The main room of the most popular Wizarding School

Plot: Uh oh. The unmentionable villain is back! You have one hour to find all 7 pieces of his personality to defeat him once and for all! Be sure to check in with Whiney Wilhelmina in the toilet for some advice on how to win!

Which of these Escape Rooms would you do? Are there any themes not on the list that you’d love to escape from? Are you an investor that would like to make my dreams come true? Get loud in the comments below!

-D

 

New Year, New Me, New *President

I was all about this blog the day I started it. I was ready to dive right in; ready to make people laugh, make people think, have people discuss my thoughts and ramblings during their obligatory water cooler talk at work. (Is that still an actual thing or is it just an expression now? Do water coolers in the work place still exist? Or have all pop culture discussions moved to social media? Answer in the comments below… I really don’t know.) I was ready to finally make my mark on the world. Move over, Kim K… or at least Kim Zolciak, Donny is here.

And then election night happened. To say I was thrown off course is an understatement. Anything you’ve read or any skit you’ve seen about how these results shook liberal white people to their core while people of color already knew how nasty this nation could be was written about me. I was useless for a few days. Catatonic, even.

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Me on November 9, 2016

A few days later, my sadness and despair turned to anger and confusion. I didn’t know how this could have happened. We had the numbers! Was this country really set up to only help rich, white, straight cis-gendered men? (Spoiler Alert: Yes.) I took my anger during those few days to spew the same venom as the people who “won*,” including, but not limited to, posting old nudes of soon-to-be First Lady**. I quickly deleted them, but I was still disgusted with myself that I had stooped to this man (and his followers)’s level.

*Spoiler Alert Part II: Nobody “won” with these results. If you’re on your high horse now and saying otherwise now, get back to me in 4 years when you’re competing in the Hunger Games.

**DISCLAIMER: I have no problem with First Lady Melania Trump. Is she my FLOTUS? No-tus. That spot will always be reserved for Mama Michelle, but Melania has done nothing wrong. She was a model, she found a sugar daddy, and somehow along the way, got roped into this whole campaign. I don’t blame the woman for her husband’s views. Sure, she could have left him, but she was rolling in dollar bills based on nothing except her looks. If you got it, flaunt it, honey.

As I was going through the stages of grief, my anger finally turned to acceptance. Did I decide to accept this man as our president? I’ll let Michelle take it from here:

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Short answer: no, I did not. There’s tons of white conservatives going on about how NOW we need to unite. To that, I respond, unite amongst yourselves. It’s clear your president has no vision of uniting. He’s made his views clear. So, no, there won’t be any uniting coming from me. There will, however, be hope.

I listened to Obama, I listened to Hillary. I listened to anyone offering messages of hope. I had no choice. I marched, and in one of the most powerful and meaningful days of my life, felt connected to so many people that I didn’t know. I had taken this awful day in American history and was ready to move forward. I had finally bit down on the pillow and accepted this presidency.

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Such a powerful, hopeful day. More to come in the next 4 years.

And then Inauguration Day happened. And sure enough, I was back to being useless.

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Actual footage of me on January 20, 2017.

I texted some friends about how I was feeling, hoping that they’d have something to get me out of my funk: an invitation to a Fight Club, heroine, information on the president I could use to blackmail him. I wasn’t picky.

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One of my closest friends/one of the most inspired and motivated women I know, Emily, sent me a message written by comedian Patton Oswalt. I won’t post the whole thing now, but what I needed to hear most was:

IF you can afford it — go find a struggling theater company and pay to see whatever play they’re putting on. Or a struggling art gallery or music club or museum. Leave ’em money and see what they’re about. Go see an indie film that’s got stellar reviews and no audience. Or a new restaurant or other small business that needs friends and customers. Download a new band. Go to an independent bookstore and buy something from a small press. Go to an open mike. Or see any comedian. Tip your barista or barkeep a little extra.
In other words, do all of the cultural and aesthetic things that Trump thinks are worthless. Make a whole big chunk of existence suddenly spike in importance. And then keep doing that, if you can.
This is going to be loooooooooooong, tense four years. We elect leaders to take worry and tension OFF of our plates. We have enough of that as it is. But for some reason, we decided to put someone in charge where the everyday weight of keeping the world from cracking apart is COMPLETELY on our shoulders, along with everything else we already have to deal with.
So if we’re really going to fight back, and resist, the first thing we have to do — and it’s only a little thing, really, but it’s gotta be everyday — is an ongoing, gentle blowing on the tiny spark of sanity that’s still left, to keep it glowing.
We’ve got a President who bellows cold ignorance from dawn to dusk, and he could give a shit if he kills that spark.
So keep it lit. And keep things light. And huddle up.
This is gonna be bad. So be good.
So, here I am; continuing to write: sometimes about politics, sometimes about my life, sometimes about leaked peen pics from the cast of Teen Wolf, but mostly, just throwing my voice into this little pop culture blog; keeping things light, and keeping things lit.

“Bye Bye Birdie Live!” Dream Cast

Something I love to do, and should get paid for but don’t, is casting shows. If you put a script in my hand, I love to rake my brain to find you the current list of working actors that should play these parts. And while I think Telsey & Co. are certainly missing out by not using my talents, I will not be silenced. For anyone that cares, this will be the number one spot to hear who I would cast in upcoming movies, musicals, and movie musicals.

Today’s show of choice is Bye Bye Birdie Live, which, let’s just say it now and get it out of the way: I’m ecstatic for. While BBB is by no means one of the best musicals ever made, it somehow always finds its way in my Top 10 Broadway shows (which is a post for another day), so I was thrilled when I heard it was NBC’s next choice. Honestly, I didn’t care what they did; I just needed SOME KIND of palette cleanser after the travesty that was Rocky Horror: Let’s Do The Time Warp Again. Yikes. My PTSD is flaring up just typing it.

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So, I was already excited by the announcement, but became even more flambouyant (read: high pitched squeals included) when I discovered that Jennifer Lopez would be playing everybody’s favorite 1950’s Latina, the soon-to-be Rosie Peterson, the English teacher’s wife. The Shiner’s Ballet dance sequence is enough to make this casting worth it alone, but I’m tingling to see what she does with “Spanish Rose.” It won’t top Vanessa Williams’ performance, but I’ll settle for a close second.

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No one else has been cast yet, so I will take it upon myself (You’re welcome, Mr. Telsey) to flesh out the rest of the cast:

Albert Peterson

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Audiences love James Corden, and I could totally see him as Rose’s fiance of eight years/Conrad’s agent.

Kim MacAfee

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To be honest, this show’s young female lead will probably be an unknown. NBC has prided itself on finding fresh talent to headline their most recent live shows, and I can’t see that changing anytime soon.

Conrad Birdie

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Although diversity wasn’t this country’s strong point in the 1950’s (or now, but again – another day, another post), musical theater is the one place we can ignore that and cast how the world should be, not how it is. (Questions? See Tony award sweeping “Hamilton.”) Bruno Mars would work wonders as the sleazy, gyrating teen idol, Conrad Birdie.

Mae Peterson

Image: "Show For Days" Opening Night

Patti Lupone would slay in the role of Albert’s racist, pushy, guilt-trip slinging mother.

Hugo Peabody

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While I don’t think Nick Jonas fits this role perfectly, I’m kind of just shoving him in here because I think he should have been Link in Hairspray Live! and this is second best, I guess. I think Jonas is too cool to play Kim’s nerdy (and clingy! Like, for real, boy bye!) boyfriend, but the youngest famous JoBro considers himself an actor, so… start acting.

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Steve Carell. Photo: Magnus Sundholm for the HFPA.

Steve Carell is still in good graces with NBC because of his little hit, The Office, so I could see this casting happening. Kim’s cranky, opinionated father steals the show with his Act II number, “Kids!” I’m not sure if Carell has any musical talents, but Norm from Cheers has little-to-none and I had to sit through that in the 1995 TV remake, so we’ll be fine with whatever Carell is able to “sing.”

Doris MacAfee

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There is nothing remarkable about Kim’s mother, Doris. Literally any actress of a certain age could play her. I just enjoy Sutton Foster on my screen, so she gets the part.

Ursula Merkle

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While Ursula is practically the same role Elle McLemore played in Grease Live!, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. She’d be great as Kim’s best friend and co-president of the Conrad Birdie fan club, Sweet Apple branch.

I’m sure NONE of these will happen, but a boy can dream. I’ll settle for even one of these actors being picked, not that I’d be bitter about alternative casting… just don’t ask me about my VonTussle casting choices in Hairspray Live! (Emma Roberts and Jane Krakowski, if you were wondering. I mean, what the hell is a Dove Cameron?)

How To Host A Murder: An Affair to Dismember

For the past few years, murder mystery dinner parties have kind of became my thing, so much so that my bachelor party was a murder mystery. Also for the past few years, Halloween parties have kind of been my thing.

This Halloween, I decided to combine the two and do a Halloween themed murder mystery, and it did not disappoint.

There’s plenty of murder mystery kits out there, and I’ve tried a few different companies in the past, but my favorite is How To Host A Murder. This company sets up the party for 8 guests – 4 males and 4 females, and gives each guest a book made up of their character descriptions and secrets to conceal and reveal during each of the four rounds.

I find that these mysteries are a lot more thought out than some other mystery companies out there with more fleshed out background for each of the characters. Some of the other brands don’t put much focus on the actual mystery, filling in the empty time with dance contests and trivia games. I like to cut all of that shit out and get right to the reason we’re all gathered at the table: cold blooded murder. 

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Because this year’s event was also a Halloween party, I went with HTHAM: An Affair to DismemberIt’s a story of monsters and mayhem, set in a Transylvanian castle. The group of misfits (including, but not limited to: Satan’s younger, nerdier brother; a fortune teller; the head of the Frankenstein monster on a Broadway dancer’s body, and the Wicked Witch of Depressed) are celebrating the engagement of two of their own: Neville Astor Night, the owner of the castle, and his new fiancee, Lizzie Bordeaux.

NOTE: How To Host A Murder is no longer making games, but I’ve found any copy I ever needed on EBay for relatively cheap.

After choosing my mystery, and sending out the invitations (including each guest’s character description and costume suggestion), it was time to plan the menu. The game is split into four rounds, so I decided to make this a three course meal: appetizer in between rounds 1-2, dinner between 2-3, and dessert between 3-4.

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As the first course, I found the Olive Garden salad copycat recipe. I used this recipe for the ingredients, but instead of making my own dressing, I found the Olive Garden brand in my supermarket and just bought that. There are websites that have copycat recipes for the dressing, as well, but as my friend Sweet Brown is so fond of saying, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Because this was a spooky Halloween event, I purchased 8 bell peppers and carved small Jack-O-Lantern faces in them to use as serving dishes for the salad. Some of the peppers were top heavy and unbalanced, so I sliced some of the bottom off so it would be level. I also sliced the stem from the pepper, leaving a hole big enough to insert the pepperoncini.  14642309_10100197905223314_1947811748839336527_n

As the main course, I found a recipe for cheese-filled meatballs that look like eyeballs. I dyed some spaghetti black and served it with my grandmother’s homemade spaghetti sauce recipe, and it was a success.

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Lastly, dessert consisted of red velvet cheesecake that oozed “blood.” This was my first attempt at this recipe, so it did not look as picture perfect as the one shown, so you aren’t seeing my completed project. Maybe next year. However, my newly found 10 pounds can assure you it tasted great.

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Most of our decorations were purchased at Party City, with a few homemade exceptions. If you’re feeling lazy or out of time to decorate, I highly suggest the “Mood Setters” from Party City. I love to decorate, so this isn’t the ONLY thing I use, but it does certainly enhance the room.

The easiest decoration I “made” were my Ghostface candles. I purchased tall glass candles from the dollar store and drew ghost faces on them. Literally, that was all I did. So easy and so cute.

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Overall, the party was a complete success, and I’m already looking forward to the next one. Below are some photos of everyone in their costumes: