News Nuggets: ‘Smash’ brings together ‘Dreamgirls’ of past and present

David Chase‘s “Not Fade Away” is the Centerpiece Gala Selection for the New York Film Festival. From the press release: “The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today that David Chase’s ‘Not Fade Away’ will make its World Premiere on Saturday, October 6 as the Centerpiece Gala selection for the 50th New York Film Festival (September 28-October 14). Making his feature directing debut, David Chase’s (‘The Sopranos’) coming-of-age movie is set in New Jersey in 1964 where a group of friends are inspired to form their own rock band fronted by a gifted singer-songwriter (terrific newcomer John Magaro). The film masterfully captures the era’s conflicting attitudes and ideologies, all set to a dynamic soundtrack produced by the legendary Steven Van Zandt.”

The Grammy Museum unveils its Whitney Houston tribute: “The exhibit, titled ‘Whitney! Celebrating the Musical Legacy of Whitney Houston,’ features items such as the singer’s iconic gowns, some of her Grammy awards, film scripts, modeling shots and personal memorabilia. Highlights include a beaded gown that Houston wore at the 1994 Grammy Awards, private letters from legendary music producer Clive Davis and a tea cup that Houston drank out of before each performance. ‘We have picked the things that people will find the most interesting and, in many cases, bring back fun memories,’ her sister-in-law and former manager Pat Houston told reporters.” REUTERS

Smash” brings together “Dreamgirls” stars of stage and screen: “Tony nominee Sheryl Lee Ralph will play Jennifer Hudson’s mother Cynthia on the second season of ‘Smash,’ according to The Hollywood Reporter. Ralph was nominated for a 1982 Tony Award for creating the role of Deena Jones in the original Broadway production of ‘Dreamgirls,’ and Hudson won an Oscar for her portrayal of Effie White in the film adaptation of the musical. Filming for the second season of Smash is underway, but no premiere date has been announced.” BROADWAY.COM

Sasha Stone handicaps the Best Director Oscar race: “If the imaginary Oscars were held today, that is, if everything went as it’s expected to go, the Best Director category would look something like this: Steven Spielberg, ‘Lincoln‘; Kathryn Bigelow, ‘Zero Dark Thirty‘; Tom Hooper, ‘Les Miz‘; Paul Thomas Anderson, ‘The Master‘; Benh Zeitlin, ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild‘ … Many of you will want to savage the main lineup but, to my mind, that is the main lineup. We don’t know how any of those movies will play. Maybe they’ll all be good. Maybe a couple will be terrible. The only thing we know for sure is to have faith in the publicists pushing various films … they usually won’t roll with a turkey if they can help it. So if they’re standing firmly behind one movie they’re doing so because they think it’s worth selling.” AWARDS DAILY

Despite golden age of television, the Emmys are still obsessed with movie stars: “With more channels producing original scripted shows than ever before, there is a smorgasbord of quality programming out there. And, let’s be honest: TV is arguably bringing higher quality entertainment than what is showing at the nearest multiplex. But, for some strange reason, it seems like the academy is still obsessed with movie stars. Just take a look at the nominees in the movie and miniseries categories. They’re chock full of names you usually see on the big screen. What makes us think that they’re there for name recognition only is that several of the nominated performances aren’t really that great.” ZAP2IT

Considering possible hosts for the next Oscars: “For a while, it looked like we had the 2013 Oscar host locked down. After a disappointing few years (Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin felt constrained, Anne Hathaway and James Franco were a flat out disaster, and Billy Crystal was kind of creaky last year), it seemed like we’d be getting some fresh blood, and that did seem to have been the case: ‘Saturday Night Live‘ mastermind Lorne Michaels was said to have been approached, and was planning on bringing on one of his former stars, ‘Late Night’ host Jimmy Fallon. But ABC parent company Disney objected to the idea of giving a competitor a free plug and Fallon was ruled out, with Michaels exiting talks soon after, so they’re back to square one again. So with the position vacant, we thought we’d use this week’s Oscar column to make a few suggestions. Agree? Disagree?” INDIEWIRE

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