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Monday, June 18, 2012


Mike Tyson on Broadway?



From Broadway Direct (click here)

Hugh Jackman. Billy Crystal. Kathy Griffin. Elaine Stritch. All of these entertainers have found a home on Broadway, where they can hold the stage with some memories, some music and a profound sense of how they got there. Now the Great White Way is making room for the self-proclaimed Baddest Man on the Planet.

Starting July 31st, Mike Tyson – the youngest boxer to hold the three major heavyweight boxing titles simultaneously – will bring his own solo show to the Longacre Theatre for six nights only.
Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth will offer a rare, personal look inside the life and mind of the one of the most feared men ever to wear the heavyweight crown. Directed by Academy Award nominee Spike Lee, this riveting one man show goes beyond the headlines, behind the scenes and between the lines to deliver a must-see theatrical knockout.

Undisputed Truth premiered in Las Vegas this April, and when James L. Nederlander saw a recording of the show at the suggestion of Spike Lee, he agreed to bring it to Broadway – on one condition.
“Spike called me and said, ‘This is a real opportunity. Let’s see if we can do this,’” to which Nederlander responded, “Only if you lend your expertise to this project and direct it.”

Nederlander and Lee had been discussing various Broadway projects for the last three years. And while the two men are listed as presenters of Undisputed Truth, Nederlander makes it clear that Lee will be more than simply a figurehead.

“The point is for Spike to really lend his creativity to bring the Vegas show into sharper focus,” Nederlander says. The show will be streamlined to 90 minutes for Broadway, and the show will feature a four-piece band playing music to accompany Tyson’s recollections.

Nederlander says Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth will appeal to “anyone who is interested in a success story.”

By John Allendale

From Broadway Direct (click here)

NOTE: REVIEWS OF THE PREVIEW SHOWS IN LAS VEGAS WERE MIXED. 




Here is a sample from Mike Weatherford of the Las Vegas Review Journal. (click for full review).

Mike Tyson's life has been messy and complicated, so it's hard to ask him to be slick and concise in the telling of it.

And doing that on a stage, in a live show called "Undisputed Truth," has to be one of the biggest challenges of the tarnished legend's career. Fortunately, he was up to the greatest task: getting us in his corner.

Tyson answered the basic question of whether he was capable of doing this, and whether an audience would turn on him.

Think of the challenge. The long-form narrative is usually the province of skilled actors such as Hal Holbrook ("Mark Twain Tonight") or Chazz Palminteri, whose "A Bronx Tale" inspired the boxer. Tyson's acting school was "The Hangover."

And then there's the elephant in the room. Tyson's voice. A cheap laugh for any comedy impression, it sometimes gets in the way of a strong moment here, when the champ bites into poetic phrases such as "my dark dreams and shadows," or calling his beloved trainer Cus D'Amato "a master of psychological warfare, a grand manipulator."

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Can Men And Women Be Friends?

Audio for this story from Weekend Edition Sunday
 
Couple looking out of a window.
  iStockphoto.com
 
It's a question that kicks around endlessly without resolution: Can men and women really be just friends? On Weekend Edition Sunday, NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Faith Salie and Mario Correa, hosts of WNYC's RelationShow, about this very topic.

As it happens, Faith and Mario are friends, but they put that down in part to the fact that Faith is straight and Mario is gay – they describe some research that makes them think perhaps platonic friendship between straight men women is not, in fact, really possible. Some of the research indicates that men, in particular, are somewhat likely to both report some level of attraction to their female friends and to believe their female friends feel some level of attraction to them.

Now, I will make a confession: I have very little patience for this debate under normal circumstances, because my male friends include straight guys, gay guys, married guys, single guys, flirty guys, not-at-all-flirty guys, and yes, even the odd guy I've dated here and there. (Exes are a much more controversial question in my experience, and, I admit, a trickier proposition, but it absolutely happens.) But I am always willing to listen to research. If it turns out that I am not actually friends with any of them, that would be sad, because I would have to return a lot of dudes to the Friends 'R' Us store at once, and that would be very disruptive socially. On the other hand, they're worth quite a lot, so I'm sure I'd get good trade-in value.

For the full audio and transcript click here, Weekend Edition Sunday from NPR.

Map of the "real" America