At the end of its fourth season, The Good Place came to a sad/happy conclusion last Thursday night. The best American comedy series since those first three seasons of Arrested Development has passed through the archway into who knows what.
After the final fade-out, the (perfect) cast of The Good Place talked with Seth Meyers about the show.
Olympian Adam Rippon turned 30 on Monday, and flipped the usual tradition on its head by giving a present to everyone else. You don’t get to be “America’s Sweetheart”, as he once described himself, without occasionally doing something really wonderful.
“Today is my 30th birthday. I couldn’t be more grateful for everything and everyone in my life. Thank you for always sending love and positive energy my way. I hope I’m always able to do the same for you.”
He skated to a cover version of “River”, by Joni Mitchell, one of the indisputably greatest singer-songwriters of the 20th century. The song’s lyrics made it a perfect choice.
This version of “River” was sung by Ben Platt, Evan Hansen himself, who won the Tony and pretty much every other Best Actor in a Musical award, for his 2017 performance in Dear Evan Hansen.
So there it is. No theatrics, no dazzle, just a simple little performance bringing together the works of three masters of their arts to create something beautiful.
Remember the North Bergen (New Jersey) High School production of Alien that went viral last month? After audience members posted a few key scenes from the play to YouTube, it was praised by everyone from Phil Murphy, the Governor of New Jersey, to Ridley Scott, director of the original film, and Sigourney Weaver, who starred as Ripley in the Aliens movies. Scott was so impressed that he donated $5,000 so that the North Bergen kids could stage it again for a limited run. The encore production opened Friday night.
Guess who showed up to surprise the cast and crew, and to introduce the performance.
Redditor Gato1980 posted this video of Friday’s full performance:
Gato1980 also posted the timestamps for key scenes: The Face-hugger scene is at 29:00, the Chest-burster scene is at 48:30, the alien reveal is at 54:08, the alien attack scene is at 1:10:45, and Sigourney outro is at 1:24:50.
Here’s Florence + the Machine’s full-length version of “Jenny of Oldstones”, the song that played during the end credits of “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”, Sunday night’s somber episode of Game of Thrones. The opening lyrics are by George R. R. Martin.
Spoilers, if you haven’t yet seen S08 E02. But of course you have, by now.
I didn’t see the televised not-really-live performance of Rent last night, but I read some of the reviews this morning. While I was searching for them on the web, I found this wonderful old recording of David Rakoff’s thoughts on the musical.
He was not a fan.
I’ve been a fervent devotee of this passionate and humane writer since I first saw him when he was a guest of Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.
Among other honours, Rakoff won the Thurber Prize for American Humor. You can see why in his two-minute Advice to Graduates.
David Rakoff died after a horrific battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma on 17 August 2012. This is his funny, sad, and beautiful Final Performance.