Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Keri Russell starred in the film, "The Waitress," in 2007. Maybe you recognize her, or know the name. She had a big break in the nineties, starring in the television series, "Felicity." I enjoyed the show -- she has an exceptionally powerful presence, believable tenderness and strength, as well as a great face and body.

Today, 37-year-old  Keri Russell rides her bike in New York City with her toddler son tucked in behind her, going to auditions, shopping for her household, doing what a wife, mom, and actress does.

There she was in the "Waitress" video that was delivered to my husband, John Cullum a few days ago, sent by a producer who loves John's work, and is transforming the film into a stsge musical.

Because of Keri's talent and an unusual plot that got us rooting for infidelity, John and I were riveted on the film -- then -- wow, we focused on legendary actor, Andy Griffith, who played a fatherly customer, a granddaddy who loved the way the waitress treated him as if he were family.

Yesterday, at a backer's audition, John "read" the Griffith role. (Yes, I know all about it -- I'm tucked into everything on his schedule as he auditions, shops, does benefits, works on his own projects -- does what husband, dad, legendary Broadway star John Cullum does between jobs.).

Hey -- is this musical going to happen? The producers have had music written for it that John liked; the role is a perfect role for him; the other actor-singers at the audition were "Very talented, very interesting," John thought; yes, this is the way musicals go from "this is a fun idea" into a multi-million dollar show on Broadway.

Successful producers (like legendary actors and actresses. who need another big break), need to fall in love with an idea, and venture back in the world of raising major money with a passionate belief and fearless defiance of failure probabilities. (Every year, umpteen new shows try to raise money and fade away along the way.)  So, will there be more backers' readings? Will the producers phone and talk contract with John's agent?

I'm tucked in on the back of the vehicle -- bike, scooter or stretch limo -- I want to see John -- hear him and that wonderful voice -- in a new hit show. I'm hoping (not praying -- praying doesn't help as much as a smart-producer with an almost childlike belief in the project) -- but with crossed fingers, I'-got big hopes for this project.

Keri and a girl from the movie, discuss working with Andy Griffith.


Carola said...

I hope the musical is a go!

Unknown said...

What an excellent fit with John playing the role of Andy Griffith! We know John has the pipes(clearly evidenced all the way back to "On A Clear Day" and "Shenandoah").But, I am thinking it was his "Northern Exposure" days that I first really "caught on" to this Cullum fellow's pure acting ability. As I sit here and write this, I STILL remember the episode in which he (as Holly) sang "Ave Maria" to Shelly. NE was a wonderfully quirky show in which John's multi-talented star shone brilliantly. It is also from that show that many of the acting nuances Griffith and John do actually share further proves to make it an outstanding choice to offer such a role to John. Thanks much for staying "tucked" and offering the insight of the process Em.