A Princess of Mars Stage Production Heats Up
- Minneapolis-St. Paul ~ April 28, 2006
Who'd have thought a pulpy page-turner from 1912 could
generate so much heat? Hardcover Theatre, the Minneapolis troupe that adapts
literature for the stage, will bring Edgar Rice Burroughs' "A Princess
of Mars" to the Playwrights' Center, opening May 11. As with all Hardcover
adaptations, artistic director Steve Schroer chose the sci-fi novel because
it's in the public domain, hence free from copyright issues. Now, the multimillion-dollar
Burroughs estate is claiming trademark rights to the story's hero, John
Carter, and wants to shake down Hardcover for $1,000, Schroer said.
The Burroughs estate trademarked the Carter character
for a series of comic books in the 1950s. Steve Helland, co-chair of the
advertising and media group at Fredrikson & Byron in Minneapolis, said
the trademark was specifically for that comic and that it has no relevance
to Hardcover's adaptation. Meanwhile, Jon Favreau will direct the Paramount
film "John Carter of Mars" based on the same book and due out this year.
Interesting China Travelogue,
that for some reason uses the Tarzan name (unauthorized)
Probe Makes Encounter With Amtor
News ~ April 11, 2006
Europe's Venus Express probe has gone into orbit around
our nearest planetary neighbour after a five-month journey. Early on Tuesday,
mission controllers fired its main engine to reduce its speed and allow
it to be caught in the planet's gravitational pull. Venus Express will
orbit our nearest planetary neighbour for about 500 Earth days to study
its atmosphere, which has undergone runaway greenhouse warming. The mission
should shed light on the mechanisms of climate change on Earth. More>>>
Beyond the Farthest Star and Back to
the Beginning of Time
News ~ March 10, 2006
The Swift telescope is about to break the boundaries
of our cosmic vision, to see the most distant objects ever recorded, its
chief scientist believes. The Nasa space observatory has already looked
nearly 13 billion light-years across the Universe to record the light from
a cataclysmic star explosion. But Dr Neil Gehrels expects Swift to see
even more distant events. The investigator says the telescope has the ability
to observe perhaps the very first stars to shine in the cosmos. More>>>
Tarzan's chimp Cheeta reaches 74
News ~ April 11, 2006
the chimpanzee, who appeared in the Tarzan movies, has attended a party
to celebrate his 74th birthday. Cheeta is kept by US primate sanctuary
owner Dan Westfall, who was given him by an uncle who was a Hollywood animal
trainer in the 1930s. The chimp, who appeared opposite Johnny Weissmuller
in 12 films, is recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the
world's oldest chimp. Cheeta was given a sugar-free cake at the party as
he is now diabetic. Chimpanzees rarely live past 40 in the wild but can
reach 60 in captivity. Cheeta is very active and "still has every tooth
in his head". Representatives from a Spanish film festival attended
the party to present Cheeta with the first award of his career - an International
Comedy Film Festival of Peniscola prize. Westfall adopted Cheeta in 1992
from his uncle, who obtained the chimp from Africa in the 1930s. More>>>
Video ~ Happy
News ~ Herald
Net ~ UPI
News ~ Edmonton
Sun ~ Ottawa
Citizen ~ The
Twin Cities ~ Hamilton
Spectator ~ NBC
Desert Sun ~ ABC
Cheeta's In Vine Fettle ~ Metro.co.uk
See the clipping
for Creative Habitats and Enrichment for Endangered & Threatened Apes.
Dan Westfall started the sanctuary when he received custody of Cheeta of
Tarzan movies fame. He created a desert sanctuary to provide residence,
care, and rehabilitation for homeless or unwanted ex-show business primates.
There are chimpanzees, orangutans, and monkeys at our desert refuge." More>>>
Want a Painting by Cheetah?:
'Cheeta' The Showbiz Chimpanzee Turns
Palm Springs News ~ April 9, 2006
(CBS) PALM SPRINGS Cheeta, the chimpanzee will be celebrating
his 74th birthday, Hollywood-style, complete with the acceptance of an
award before an entourage and paparazzi. Cheeta starred in a dozen “Tarzan”
films in the 1930’s and 1940’s. He retired to the desert hamlet of Palm
Springs and stands as the world’s oldest chimp, according to the Guiness
Book of World Records. Chimpanzees rarely live past their 40’s, but can
live until their 60’s in captivity.
"He loves going for rides, watching TV and, of course,
monkeying around," said keeper and friend Dan Westfall. "He likes hanging
out in the house with me. He's just my buddy." His 17-year-old grandson,
Jeeter, also lives with him.
Cheeta retured in his 30’s after his last performance
opposite Rex Harrison in 1967’s “Dr. Doolitle.” Since then, he’s enjoyed
a quiet retirement. He’s taken some time to paint some “ape-stract” artwork,
kept in the National Museum in London and homes of celebrities.
Money generated from Cheeta’s artwork is used to pay for
his upkeep (he does not qualify for a Screen Actors Guild pension) and
help out the nonprofit sanctuary he resides in. In his younger days, Cheeta
was known for his penchant of beer and cigars, but his years in showbiz
has taken a toll. Now a diabetic on a special diet of fresh fruit, vegetables
and monkey chow, he takes insulin daily. His birthday cake will also be
diabetic friendly. More>>>
© 2006 CBS Broadcasting Inc
TARZAN ON MADISON AVENUE
Tarzan icon still going strong six years short of a century.
Tarzan and the Tarzan
Yell are registered trademarks licensed by
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
of Tarzana, California
The Jackson-Hewitt TV Commercial
Tarzan, in his loincloth, and Cheetah are meeting with a Jackson Hewitt
agent. After learning that Cheetah prepared last year's tax returns, the
agent says that many deductions were missed.
He can amend last year's returns and get money back, and advises Tarzan
his refund will be bigger this year. Tarzan expresses his appreciation
by letting loose one of his trademark yells.
Cialis Medical Ad
Disney animated feature films,
international Disneyland attractions,
CDs, DVDs, merchandise, Tarzan
ice show, etc.
Tarzan Broadway Musical
Coming Event: Wednesday, May 3, 2006
Journeys to Mars:
Exploring the Many Worlds of Ray Bradbury and Edgar Rice Burroughs
In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury explores
our society in the not-too-distant future where censorship is no longer
debated-it is law. Bradbury's inventive genius ranged from such chilling
views of our world to the clash of cultures depicted in The Martian
Chronicles. In his creation of fantasy worlds, he has said he was inspired
by the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan and
Carter of Mars. "Mr. Burroughs convinced me that I could talk with
the animals…. His greatest gift was teaching me to look at Mars and ask
to be taken home," said Bradbury.
Join The Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest
for this panel discussion exploring the literature and connections between
Ray Bradbury and Edgar Rice Burroughs, two Chicago area natives, and arguably
the 20th century's most influential American fantasy and science fiction
writers. They shared a love of creating worlds where flawed, very real
human beings intersect with imaginary worlds.
Panelists will include George T. McWhorter, curator
of the Edgar Rice Burroughs Collection at the University of Louisville;
Spannraft, a leader of the Burroughs Bibliophiles literary group; and
Lipo, executive director of The Historical Society of Oak Park and
River Forest. Following the panel discussion will be a tour of the Historical
Society's ongoing exhibit Tarzan, Mars, and the Fertile Mind of Edgar
Rice Burroughs. Call the Historical Society at 708-848-6755 for more
7:30 p.m. Historic Pleasant Home at 217 Home Avenue in
TARZAN ON BROADWAY: Actor Profile
As a Young Tarzan, Fairfield Boy Swings Into Stage Role
Citizen CT ~ March 30, 2006
When Alex Rutherford was a baby, his father, Ivan, gave
him the nickname "Tarzan" because he would loudly cry out for his dad's
attention. Now 12 years old, Alex is being called "Tarzan" again, but this
time it's due to him getting ready for the Great White Way. The Fairfield
resident is one of two young male actors sharing the role of the legendary
jungle character, in his childhood days, in the upcoming Broadway musical,
Tarzan. . . .
When asked how he feels about playing a young Tarzan,
Alex simply said, "It's really cool." . . .In rehearsals since last Christmas,
Alex is spending most of his days with fellow cast and crew members. Singer-songwriter
Phil Collins, who wrote the film score for Disney's film version of Tarzan,
has written music and lyrics for eight new songs for the Broadway production.
"He's very nice. He's funny," said Alex. "He's not what I pictured him
In between the time when he is needed on stage, Alex is
keeping busy with his schoolwork, going over lessons with a tutor. . .
. Aside from singing, his role will involve physical challenges with aerobatics
and ape-like movements. "We have warm-ups every morning, strength training,"
Alex said. His costume will include a loincloth and a wig. . . .
Alex said his performance will involve Tarzan trying to fit in with the
apes around him and figure out why he looks different from them. This production
marks the first time (sic) that Tarzan has been brought to Broadway
(see Tarzan On Broadway 1921 in ERBzine 1568: http://www.erbzine.com/mag15/1568.html
) . . . More>>>
For more information on Tarzan, the Broadway musical,
see our Tarzan Preview Notes:
or visit www.TarzanOnBroadway.com
John Carter Project News From Jon Favreau
From the Personal Blog of Jon Favreau
"Paramount is reading the new draft over Easter weekend."
"There is also a big meeting over at Paramount this week
(March 26, 2006) regarding John Carter of Mars. We've got a first draft
of the script in as well as a fat portfolio of artwork. Let's hope they're
serious about making this movie. I've been in active development on it
since the year began and I really want to know where the project stands.
I'll let you know as things start to fall into place."
Commenting on the dimensions of the Barsoomian Tharks:
"The artwork I've been supervising keeps them at the books dimensions of
15 ft male/8 ft female for the first time, as far as I can tell, in the
film's development. They've attempted to make them more human in scale
in the past."
"The script and artwork have both been well received.
We are awaiting a round of script notes and a budget. When these
are complete we will make our final submission to see if they have an interest
in moving forward with the movie."
Would a Ventriloquist's Dummy Crack
Wise on Mars?
How to translate a century-old sci-fi novel to a 20-foot stage
Pages - Minneapolis/St. Paul ~ March 29, 2006
The voice on the other side of the wall delivers a stark
warning: "The terrors of your death shall haunt the slumbers of the red
men for eons to come! Children will shudder in the night when their parents
tell them of the awful vengeance of the green men!" . . . Actors trickle
in quietly for an audition, reading for the first time the characters they
will have to portray on the fly: John Carter, a Civil War vet transported
by mysterious means to the martial wilds of Mars; an old man, who has tended
exotic alien machinery for 800 years; and Tal Hajus, a 15-foot-tall green
Martian with extra arms and an insectoid face. . . . "Tomorrow the torture
will commence," shouts a maniacal would-be cast member. "Tonight you are
mine!" . . . Their latest literary adaptation is Princess of Mars, the
1912 proto-sci-fi novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs. . . . Titus will provide
music for Princess of Mars, which will likely be the only outer-space saga
to appear on a Twin Cities stage this year. With its many fantastical elements--the
finale, for instance, involves crosscuts between an epic battle and palace
intrigues--the show provides prohibitive challenges in staging. (A planned
film version, titled John Carter of Mars, promises to throw a hundred million
dollars at the problem. Hardcover's budget is less than $15,000.) Schroer
initially intended to sidestep such complications by using hand puppets
to portray the gargantuan aliens, with hero John Carter narrating the piece
in the form of a ventriloquist's dummy. Problems arose pretty quickly.
. . . "I had trouble finding a ventriloquist, for one thing," Schroer says.
"Then I decided I had to make the show more human. Still, you've got all
these monsters, 40-foot spears, John Carter with extra strength and leaping
ability in the Martian gravity. There's just no realistic equivalent."
Unable to place a ventriloquist's dummy in Mars's toxic atmosphere, Schroer
seems to be piloting the production toward the outer limits of plausibility.
Pre-production notes suggest that the Martian monsters will take the form
of masks affixed to long poles, and the imagery will draw from African
shamans and Egyptian symbolism. The show will also lean on a Hardcover
trademark, direct narration to the audience, in order to bridge the gap
between book and play. . . . He surely hasn't made the actor's job
any easier with the erratic collection of roles in his latest audition.
Back in the church, a young and guileless man tackles a reading of Tal
Hajus. And though it's hard to say what a sadistic outsized Martian would
sound like, it probably isn't like this. If anything, this game attempt
comes off like a parody of the tentacled aliens that turn up annually in
Simpsons Halloween specials. "But I would rather watch your beautiful face
writhe in the agony of torture," the actor says. "It shall be long, drawn
out--that I promise you. Four, six, eight moons of pleasure would be too
short to show the love I harbor for your race!" It only takes an eight-minute
sight-read, however, to see that this space opera will be another of Hardcover's
labors of love. . . .Hardcover
Theatre ~ Dateline
Jasoom Podcast Inerview ~ More>>>
Brits Over Broadway
Hotly awaited Phil 'Tarzan' Collins and Elton 'Lestat' John musicals
kick off in New York
Independent UK ~ March 26, 2006
It is the battle of the musicals on Broadway this weekend
as the curtains go up on previews of the two most anticipated new shows
of the season, Tarzan and Lestat, each vying for box-office treasure. It
also marks an unusual duel between two of Britain's best song-writing talents,
Phil Collins and Sir Elton John. The early buzz belongs to Tarzan, the
latest Disney stage production to reach the Great White Way, with audiences
promised a dizzying spectacle of acrobatic feats set to the tunes of Collins.
It went into previews on Friday . . . Tarzan is the fourth Disney musical
to hit Broadway. Ironically, two of its predecessors, The Lion King and
Aida, were set to music by Sir Elton. Both have been monumental financial
successes. . . . The show follows the well-worn tale of an infant orphaned
in a shipwreck and raised among gorillas in the African jungle before having
his first encounter with humans. Tarzan, played by Josh Strickland, and
apes alike wear visible harnesses on the stage, and are frequently hoisted
It's a Vine Start for "Tarzan"
The Ape man is a Ladies Man.
York Daily News ~ March 26, 2006
Disney's hotly anticipated "Tarzan" swung into Broadway's
Richard Rodgers Theatre, where audiences on Friday saw an onstage shipwreck
sequence and other dazzling effects. But beyond a soaring score by Phil
Collins and all the spectacle that the reported $15 million budget can
buy, the Mouse House musical offered a particular human element that captured
people's attention leading man Josh Strickland. Strickland, 22, is making
his Broadway debut in the title role. And he's doing so wearing a rather
skimpy loincloth, not a whole lot more than the Naked Cowboy in Times Square.
. . After Friday's show, attended by Disney execs and composer Collins,
Strickland - an "American Idol" also-ran - and his co-star Jenn Gambatese,
who plays Jane, signed autographs and posed with fans. More>>>
If it's a jungle in a skating rink,
it must be a Disney spectacular
Rapids Press ~ March 26, 2006
GRAND RAPIDS -- Picture this: Tarzan is dangling 35 feet
in the air, inviting his paramour, Jane, to climb the swinging vine with
him and explore his world high above the African jungle. But in this retelling,
Tarzan and Jane are wearing ice skates and performing an intricate Spanish
web routine -- without a safety net. It's Disney On Ice's 3 Jungle Adventures,
a foliage-covered, leafy green spectacle featuring characters from three
Disney tales For Tarzan, played by Frenchman Stephane Morel, and his Jane,
Canadian Robin Johnstone (from Winnipeg), the death-defying web act has
become a craze both skaters share. "Nobody else does this act (on skates),"
Johnstone said in a phone interview. "Nowhere else in the world. This is
something very special. . . . Performing the web act is anything but simple.
In 2000, Morel and Johnstone traveled to Vermont for two months of grueling
training with aerialist Alla Youdina. She taught the pair to become a circus
act on skates and instilled in them a deeper level of faith and reliance
upon one another. She also pushed them to the brink of their physical capacity
every day. " More>>>
This Week's Dateline Jasoom Podcast
Has Been Launched
March 26, 2006
The fourth episode feautures Mike Conran, editor of the
print fanzine "ERB News Dateline." (He agreed not to sue Dateline Jasoom
for title infringement in exchange for the interview.) Also news of a Land
That Time Time Forgot movie. See more in ERBzine
News Archive 9 & 10
STANISLAW LEM, RIP
KRAKOW, POLAND--Science fiction author Stanislaw Lem,
whose works included the novel "Solaris," which was twice adapted into
a feature film, died in a hospital here March 27 of heart failure. He was
84. He helped convert his 1951 novel "Astronauci" ("The Astronauts") into
the 1960 East German film DER SCHWEIGENDE STERN, which, when redubbed in
English, became the movie featured in episode 211- FIRST SPACESHIP ON VENUS.
. . .In addition to 1961's "Solaris," his most notable works include "The
Invincible," "The Cyberiad," "His Master's Voice," "The Star Diaries,"
"The Futurological Congress" and "Tales of Prix the Pilot." . . . Lem's
novels were translated from Polish into more than 40 other languages, and
sold 27 million copies. . . .
Jetan Tournament News from Gregg Eshelman
The Jetan tournament is ON! But no players signed up
yet, so I'm doing my best to get the word out.
That's a webified version of the info and rules flyer,
which is downloadable in a PDF for printing on both sides of a US Legal
size sheet of paper. Also there, is a how-to for modifying chess pieces
for the extras needed to play Jetan. I've also found a person to paint
the James Spratt Jetan set for the grand prize.
Play Chess? Ask me about JETAN at Fandemonium! www.fandemonium.org
August (Fri) 4th, (Sat) 5th & (Sun) 6th, 2006
Make your own Jetan set. http://members.ispwest.com/gregg1/jetan/jetanmod.html
Press - Canada.com ~ March 26, 2006
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- Scientists in northeastern Ethiopia
said Saturday they have discovered the skull of a small human ancestor
that could be a missing link between the extinct Homo erectus and modern
man. . . . The face and cranium of the fossil are recognizably different
from that of modern humans but it bears unmistakable anatomical evidence
that it belongs to the modern human's ancestry, Sileshi said. "The form
of the face and the brain are among the best means for exploring the evolutionary
path of humans and the Gawis cranium preserves both areas," the statement
Bradbury speaks on his novel's
Park Oak Leaves ~ by Ken Manson ~ March 22, 2006
"Fahrenheit 451," arguably author Ray Bradbury's best-known
work, and is being honored by the Oak Park and River Forest public libraries
and community partners in the "One Book, Two Villages" program for 2006.
. . . "Fahrenheit 451" is described in his Web site, www.raybradbury.com,
as a "scathing indictment of censorship set in a future world where the
written word is forbidden. To salvage their history and culture, a group
of rebels memorize entire works of literature and philosophy as their books
are burned by the totalitarian state." The title refers to the temperature
a firefighter told Bradbury at which book paper burns.
In 1954, the novel was printed in three installments
in Playboy magazine's early issues. "I helped get the magazine started,"
he said of Hugh Hefner's creation. Bradbury noted he wrote the original
short story prior to the start of Sen. Joseph McCarthy's anti-Communist
hearings and blacklists. The story came from the burning of books at the
Royal Library of Alexandria in Egypt close to 2,000 years ago and German
students burning un-German books in Berlin in May 1933, according to the
author. About any comparisons between the McCarthy era and concerns today
about government intrusions on privacy, Bradbury said he saw "none, whatsoever."
The Democrats are watching the Republicans and vice versa, the straights
are watching the gays, and so forth, according to the author. "We have
complete control. There is no danger whatsoever," he said.
Bradbury was inspired by the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs,
who lived in Oak Park from April 1910 to January 1919. As part of "One
Book, Two Villages," Pleasant Home in Oak Park will host a program May
3 titled "Journey to Mars: Exploring the Many Worlds of Ray Bradbury and
Edgar Rice Burroughs." "Burroughs was a writer of fantasy. I'm a writer
of fantasy," Bradbury said. "He wrote about impossible worlds. I wrote
about impossible worlds. I don't know of any (other) comparison."
New Bison Books Edition of Tarzan
A Definitive Biography of Lord Greystoke
By Philip Jose Farmer ~ New Foreword by Win Scott Eckert
Introduction by Mike Resnick
See more at:
Earth rocks could have taken
life to Titan
~ March 17, 2006
Boulders blasted away from the Earth's surface after
a major impact could have travelled all the way to the outer solar system,
new calculations reveal. The work suggests that terrestrial microbes on
the rocks could in theory have landed on Saturn's giant moon, Titan. But
whether they could have survived once there remains unclear.
The fact that meteorites from the Moon and Mars have
landed on Earth confirms that impacts on solar system bodies can launch
rocky debris to other planets. And previous studies have suggested that
any life on the rocks could have survived the launch blast and the radiation
and chill of the journey through space, assuming it lasted less than a
few million years. Such hardiness raises the possibility that life on Earth
itself was seeded from space. More
Eclectic Bookshelf: Moonlit Metaphors
Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams: The Story of Black Hollywood Donald
~ March 23, 2006
Years ago, I received a box of books: a virtually complete
paperback set of the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, along with a few other
nuggets of early 20th-century science fiction (Buck Rogers in the 25th
Century and the books of Otis Albert Kline, for example). The box also
included a slew of military books, with subjects such as the battle of
Stalingrad and the Flying Tigers.
I loved those books. To be sure, Burroughs had a tendency
to become repetitive, somewhat like the westerns of Louis L'Amour (and
speaking as someone who will actually cop to having read every one of L'Amour's
books except Bendigo Shafter, I believe I am a worthy witness to this truth).
But Burroughs could also be quite entertaining; to this day I still remember
Tarzan Triumphant, undoubtedly my favorite Tarzan novel, and The Mad King,
which is one of those ubiquitous "I'm a king with a royal double I never
knew about" stories that were probably less of a cliché a century
ago than they are today. As for Kline - well, his take on the whole "let's
have a guy go to another planet and become king of the aliens and beat
up the evil overlords" genre was actually a load of fun, albeit somewhat
derivative of Burroughs' more successful John Carter books (or Carson Napier
of Venus, for that matter). More
Splitsville for Pair at Alphaville
~ March 20, 2006
Alphaville partners Sean Daniel and James Jacks have
ended their 12-year producing marriage and are forming separate companies.
After the Alphaville deal expired Wednesday, Daniel immediately struck
a two-year, first-look deal with Paramount and christened his new banner
the Sean Daniel Co. . . .
Meanwhile, Jacks has formed his own company, Frelaine,
which is housed on the Paramount lot . . .
Both Daniel and Jacks described the split as amicable.
. . . For more than a decade, the Daniel-Jacks partnership has spawned
a string of hits, including "The Mummy," "The Mummy Returns," "The Scorpion
King," "Tombstone," "Michael," and "Dazed and Confused."
With his new company, which will have a smaller staff
than Alphaville, Daniel said he will pursue an eclectic slate of films
and "continue my longtime affection for comedy." He added that he is particularly
happy to stay put on the Melrose lot. "Paramount is fully engaged in embracing
the most creative version of the movie business as it moves forward, and
I'm very happy to be a part of what is going on here," he said.
Jacks, who has written three action scripts, including
an adaptation of Sir Walter Scott's "Ivanhoe," wants to devote more of
his time to writing and pursuing independent productions with filmmakers
like Kerry Conran, who had been attached to "John Carter" under the previous
Paramount administration. Meanwhile, Jacks has formed his own company,
Frelaine, which is housed on the Paramount lot, where he will produce "Believe
it or Not!" with Daniel and Richard Zanuck (who works with director Tim
Burton), as well as "John Carter of Mars," which they will produce with
the film's helmer, Jon Favreau. More
. . .
Tarzan to Offer $20 Lottery Tickets
The upcoming Disney musical Tarzan, which is set to begin
performances March 24 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, will offer a limited
number of $20 lottery tickets to each performance. Those interested in
trying to obtain these tickets will be asked to fill out a lottery form
two-and-a-half hours prior to that particular Tarzan performance. Winners
for the seats, which are located in the first row of the orchestra, will
be chosen two hours before curtain time.
March 19 in History
1950: Death of Edgar Rice Burroughs, American novelist, famed for
the Tarzan stories.
1813: Birth of David Livingstone, Scottish
explorer and missionary in Africa who named Victoria Falls in 1855.
1821: Birth of Richard Burton, English
explorer who penetrated the holy cities of Mecca and Medina disguised as
a pilgrim. He also translated the Arabian Nights.
1920: The United States refuses to ratify the
Versailles Treaty, and so join the League of Nations, for fear of
being drawn into a war if another member country was invaded.
2003: The US launches an attack against Iraq
after Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's deadline for exile expires
Big Apple Bits: Tarzan On Broadway
Record Online ~ March 19, 2006
On Broadway, Part 1: Previews for "Tarzan" start Friday
at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, 226 W. 46th Street. Based on the Disney
animated feature, the show features the songs of pop star Phil Collins
as it tells the tale of a shipwrecked baby who is raised in the African
jungle by apes. Years later, when he has his first contact with humans,
Tarzan must choose where he belongs: in the "civilized" world or the "wild"
one that nurtured him.
Tarzan originally appeared in a story written in 1912
by Edgar Rice Burroughs. In this lavish Broadway production, Josh Strickland
plays the "Ape Man" and Jenn Gambatese is the beautiful Jane. The show
officially opens on May 10. Tickets are $38.75-$76.25 during previews and
$51.25-$101.25 after the musical opens. For more "Tarzan" tips, call 212-307-4100.
TV: Q & A
Herald ~ March 19, 2006
Q: There’s a new actor playing the Gorton’s fisherman
on TV commercials. What happened to the other Gorton’s fisherman? I think
his last name was Miller.
A: Denny Miller, a big, beefy guy who also played Tarzan
in the 1959 remake of “Tarzan the Ape Man,” was the Gorton’s fisherman
until last year, when he was replaced by Craig Littler. Miller is 71.
Scientists make 'bionic' muscles
News ~ March 18, 2006
Scientists have developed artificial, super-strength
muscles which are powered by alcohol and hydrogen. And they could eventually
be used to make more advanced prosthetic limbs, say researchers at University
of Texas. Writing in Science, they say these artificial muscles are 100
times more powerful than the body's own. They said they could even be used
in "exoskeletons" to give superhuman strength to certain professions such
as firefighters, soldiers and astronauts. ?The approach could transform
the way complex mechanical systems were built." Dr John Madden, University
of British Columbia. More
. . .
Armchair Traveler: Explore imaginary
places from your home
"The Dictionary of Imaginary Places: The Newly Updated
and Expanded Classic" by Alberto Manguel and Gianni Guadalupi. Harcourt,
$40 hardcover; $25 paperback.
Courier-Journal - Louisville, Kentucky ~ March 19, 2006
. . . You won't find any of these or 1,200 other destinations
in a conventional atlas. They are all the product of fiction writers' fancies
(Edgar Rice Burroughs, Edith Nesbit and L. Frank Baum, respectively). But
they can all be found in a volume that has been one of my most treasured
reference books for a quarter of a century.
"The Dictionary of Imaginary Places" was written by two
literary scholars -- Argentinean Alberto Manguel and Italian Gianni Guadalupi,
who encountered so much imaginary geography in their fiction reading and
opera listening that they decided to collect them all between two covers.
. . .
Greetings, Earthlings! -- from
Mapping tool gives users an interactive view of the red planet
~ March 15, 2006
ANGELES, California (AP) -- First there was Google Earth, then Google Moon.
On Monday, Google Inc. expanded its galactic reach by
launching Google Mars, a Web browser-based mapping tool that gives users
an up-close, interactive view of the red planet with the click of a mouse.
The Martian maps were made from images taken by NASA's orbiting Mars Odyssey
and Mars Global Surveyor.
. . . users can see the planet in three different formats:
The Martian elevation map is color-coded by altitude; the visible-imagery
map shows the surface in black-and-white pictures; the infrared map indicates
temperature, with cooler areas dark and warmer areas bright.
Users can also zoom in on any of the three maps to view
geographical features such as mountains, canyons, dunes and craters. .
. . Google launched its Martian mapping service on what would have been
the 151st birthday of astronomer Percival Lowell, who studied the red planet
for more than two decades. More.
King Kong conquers Empire Awards
News ~ March 13, 2006
King Kong has been voted the best movie of 2005 by film
fans, earning it the top prize at the Empire Awards. The gorilla remake
won best movie, beating Oscar winner Crash as well as fellow nominees Sin
City, Star Wars Episode III and War of the Worlds. The award for best British
film went to Pride and Prejudice. The final Star Wars movie was voted best
science-fiction/fantasy and the birth of Vader was named scene of the year.
. . .
Gorilla My Dreams: Tarzan of
~ by Philip Schweier ~ March 13, 2006
Tarzan of the Apes, written by novice author Edgar
Rice Burroughs, was published for $700 in the October 1912 issue of All
Story magazine. Fortunately he had the foresight to retain the rights to
character, leading to a multi-million dollar empire built on his literary
properties. Burroughs, unlike most authors, saw himself as an entrepreneur,
whose product happened to be fantasy fiction. . . . More
. . .
Just Released from Google: Google
Google Goes to Mars
Magazine ~ 03.13.06
Google's Google Maps site has blasted off to Mars, providing
the same "map" data for the Red Planet.
The Google Mars default view uses a color-coded elevation
map to give some sense of scale, although the view can be configured to
show a photographic view (simply in black and white) . . . As one might
expect, the map merely displays the swath of the planet that has been mapped
by the Mars Odyssey Mission THEMIS (Thermal Emission Imaging System), which
the Google Mars site jumps to to display highlighted images of note. .
. . Users can ask the site to highlight mountains, canyons, dunes, and
other geographical features, or explore the landers that have mapped the
planet. For now, the site simply displays the Red Planet in 2D mode . .
. . .
Jon Favreau Interview: The Latest
On John Carter of Mars
The A.V. Club
~ March 7, 2006
indie actor-writer who has successfully shifted to directing big studio
films, Jon Favreau is simultaneously all Hollywood, and not Hollywood at
all––a pretty amazing feat, all things considered. . . . which led to bigger
directing opportunities like Elf, Zathura, and (possibly) the upcoming
John Carter Of Mars.
AVC: Your next movie is John Carter Of Mars.
JF: Yeah, hopefully. I'm working on the script.
We've been doing some artwork for it. It's been cursed over the years.
They've been trying to make it since it was proposed to be an animated
feature back even before Snow White. It's been around a long time, with
at least a dozen directors attached at one time or another. It's quite
an undertaking technically, and it takes a large commitment from a studio
to make it. It could be a very successful franchise. But it's also a big
risk. Hopefully in the next month or two, we'll know what's going on with
AVC: That has to be a nerve-wracking proposition,
if only because the books have so many diehard fans.
JF: I think the nerve-wracking part is not knowing
if the movie's going to happen. Thankfully, I have a background as an actor,
and you learn how to live in that world of not knowing what's going to
happen next. I have a family now, which makes it a lot easier. I have kids.
I certainly have enough elements grounding my life. But to not know whether
you are going to be directing this huge science-fiction movie, or doing
a different type of job… I have no idea what's coming around the bend.
. . .
Spacecraft Captured Into Mars
~ March 10, 2006
After a seven-month journey, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance
Orbiter is going through maneuvers to place itself into orbit around Mars
today. Coverage of the complex orbit insertion maneuver starts at 3:30
p.m. on NASA TV and the Web . Spacecraft milestones for the event can be
followed below. The spacecraft is the most technologically advanced ever
sent to Mars. . . . More
. . .
Marlon Brando anecdote from
"Brando Unzipped" by Darwin Porter, 2006, Blood Moon Publishing.
"Marlon admitted to me (director Joseph Mankiewicz) that
one weekend (Greer) Garson managed to slip away from her house and
go with him to the Riverside Inn in Riverside." Mankiewicz said.
"That's where Ronald Reagan between marriages -- and sometimes during marriages
-- used to take his bitches. Marlon told me that he and Garson registered
as Lord and Lady Greystoke. You know, Tarzan's ancestral relatives."
I'm still searching for that
perfect sci-fi question
Times ~ March 10, 2006
I used to be a bookworm. When time allows, I hope to
become one again. The libraries of my youth were exciting mazes,
and I prowled them often. I pulled books from many stacks - biographies,
mysteries, classics, adventures. I read major masters, like Poe and Dumas
and Steinbeck, and minor ones, like Jim Kjelgaard with his buckskin-clad
heroes and Edgar Rice Burroughs with his never-ending series about the
not-so-clad Tarzan. . . .
. . . And somewhere along the line I learned to appreciate
the classic formula for creating a solid science fiction story:
1. Think about reality.
2. Change one key principle, law or fact.
3. Ask what repercussions and consequences that change
It is this formula that spells the difference between
fantasy and science fiction.
Revolt of the Movie Footnotes
The callous machine of Hollywood forgetfulness
On Line ~ March 9, 2006
With Oscar night still fresh in mind, it's a good time
to make an obvious, but rarely mentioned, point: Hollywood is built over
a vast graveyard of anonymity, and not just that associated with the second-tier
actors, B-film directors, technicians, extras, spongers, or ubiquitous
nonentities who have made film their life. . . .
. . . In London, my grandmother once found herself
in a taxi with Johnny Weissmuller, who suddenly let off his trademark Tarzan
bellow. "Johnny was never very bright," was her bemused comment decades
later, as she summoned up memories of tennis matches with Weissmuller's
wife, Lupe Velez, in Mexico.
Tarzan II Nominated for 11 DVDX
Business ~ March 7, 2006
The winners in 26 categories voted on by the DVD Exclusive
Academy will be feted at an invitation-only cocktail hosted by Video Business
and the Digital Entertainment Group on April 5 at the Academy of Television
Arts & Sciences in North Hollywood, Calif.
Buena Vista was the powerhouse this year, winning nine
of its 44 nominations. DVD premieres Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a
Glitch and Tarzan II, both developed under Morrill at DisneyToon Studios,
were nominated for 12 and 11 awards respectively. Tarzan swung away with
three wins, while Lilo grabbed one. More
. . .
Tangor's Ghostly Hand
Author's invention reaches fans by remote control
~ March 6, 2006
LONDON, England (AP) -- Margaret Atwood has had enough
of long journeys, late nights and writer's cramp. Tired of grueling book
tours, the Booker Prize-winning Canadian author on Sunday unveiled her
new invention: a remote-controlled pen that allows writers to sign books
for fans from thousands of miles away. Atwood said the gadget had applications
-- from education to law -- beyond the traditional book tour. More
. . .