A life ‘Lesson’ in friendship with LaTanya Richardson Jackson
B’way’s Sro Ethel Barrymore Theatre houses August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson” with Samuel L. Jackson. Why only a limited run through January? Its director LaTanya Richardson Jackson: “Movie stars have to go where the bills get paid.”
LaTanya, Jackson’s wife of 42 years: “I was raised in Georgia by grandparents. She was a cook, he sold hardware. Mom a nurse. My uncle ran the post office. Aunt, board of Ed. Stationed in Germany, my Marine father wrote poorly, so my name, Sonya, ended up LaTanya.
“At 14 I was in pageants in Spelman College — where I met Sam. That’s when I could remember everything. Years later, acting in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ I forgot my lines.”
She run lines with Sam at home? “No. He’s not that type guy. We’re not in bed and me rehearsing him. We watch movies. Maybe in my foolishness of being a black woman in America, I wasn’t even scared to be directing something this major — and I never thought of anyone but Sam for this.
“Y’know, audiences rattle paper, phones go off but really disruptive are latecomers. The cast sees people who have to stand to let them in. Not like a movie where the screen won’t see you.
“We love New York. I’m eating and drinking too much in your great restaurants. It’s like a big cocktail time. Back again is the martini — and I’m loving it.”
Saying goodbye we shared a laugh because we also shared our very close friend — Judge Judy. And Judge Judy, LaTanya Richardson and my Yorkshire terrier Jellybean all have the same birthday.
Never too early to talk politics
The hills are alive with the sound of candidates. Gillibrand’s reached her temporary U-turn. Either run again, run elsewhere, run somewhere but definitely run something. It’s hissed she wanted into the Biden administration. Didn’t happen. Listen, so far the whole Biden administration hasn’t even happened.
Itching for Sen. Gillibrand’s office are two able-bodied bodies. Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and Lee Zeldin of whom you may have heard. Just letting you know.
History. 1932. Von Hindenburg beat Hitler for president of Germany. Hitler came back because of populism, plus a Reichstag fire-setting for which he blamed Communists and Jews. Caving to Socialists, entertaining radical ideas like not defending police, and destroying free enterprise along with constitutional separation of powers, the door can open to tyrannical domination.
Our New York Post marches on. The East Side’s longtime weekly newspaper Our Town just got a new editor-in-chief. It’s our former Postie Keith Kelly.
Parishoner to the reverend: “Damn good sermon.” Reverend: “Best not to use that word in church.” Parishioner: “OK, but it was so good that I put $500 in the collection basket.” Reverend: “The hell you did.” . . .
Hollywood’s big problem is not what to buy for a Christmas gift. It’s which father/husband/ex-wife/stepmother/sibling to give it to.
Not only in New York, kids, not only in New York.
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