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B.J. Novak’s “One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories” is a multi-platform smash. Besides being a funny collection of stories, it’s an audiobook that has an amazing collection of talent. Lena Dunham, Jenna Fischer, Mindy Kaling, Julianne Moore, Carey Mulligan, Katy Perry, Jason Schwartzman, Emma Thompson, and Rainn Wilson are among those lending their voices to Novak’s stories.
And the book trailer Novak wrote and produced is a wry send-up of literary loneliness and pretension, with black-and-white photography, subtitles, and Kaling and Novak unable to stay in character.
I interviewed Novak about his writing and his career on “The Office.” He’s at Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing on Feb. 19.
Thomas Sadoski (current Emmy nominee for HBO’s The Newsroom) reprises his Tony-nominated role as Greg, joined by Emmy nominated Jenna Fischer (The Office), who takes on the role of Steph – a role she recently played on Broadway in Reasons to Be Happy, the sequel to this play that revisits the characters 10 years later.
Also in the cast are Gia Crovatin (Neil LaBute’s most recent Good Luck [In Farsi]) as Carly, and Josh Stamberg (Drop Dead Diva) as Kent. In this hard-edged comedy, the stars are crossed as two couples in flux struggle to find fulfillment – begging an answer to the question, what is “pretty”?
All performances will be recorded live in front of an audience (without sets or costumes) by L.A. Theatre Works to air on LATW’s syndicated radio theater series, which broadcasts weekly on public radio stations nationwide (locally, in Southern California, on KPFK 90.7 FM) and can be streamed on demand at www.latw.org.
REASONS TO BE PRETTY, written and directed by Neil LaBute and starring Gia Crovatin, Jenna Fischer, Thomas Sadoski, Josh Stamberg, is produced by Susan A. Loewenberg and will run Thursday, Sept. 19 @ 8 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 20 @ 8 p.m.;Saturday, Sept. 21 @ 3 p.m. & 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Sept. 22 @ 1 p.m. at the James Bridges Theater, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, 235 Charles E. Young Drive, Los Angeles, Calif. (enter UCLA from Hilgard just south of Sunset Blvd.; park in Lot 3 on the lower level)
TICKETS: $15-$50. Call 310-827-0889 or visit www.latw.org for more information, or find L.A. Theatre Works on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LATheatreWorks and Twitter @latheatreworks.
L.A. Theatre Works’ radio theater series can be streamed on demand at www.latw.org. L.A. Theatre Works can be heard on the following stations (check local listings for broadcast times): KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles (98.7 FM in Santa Barbara, 99.5 FM in Ridgecrest/China Lake and 93.7 FM in Rancho Bernardo/North San Diego); 891.5 WBEZ, Chicago; 94.9 KUOW, Seattle; 91.1 KRCB, North Bay (San Francisco); and in over 75 markets nationwide.
In just a matter of months, we are going to be looking at the TV landscape as we haven’t in nearly a decade: without “The Office” as one of the shows to look forward to. There’s no denying that it has at times been a bumpy ride, with there being some highlights and low points over the nine seasons the show has been on the air. However, we have seen some particularly strong scenes this year, as the show has started to re-discover what made it once so great with the end near, and with original showrunner Greg Daniels bac at the helm.
So how does this man describe the last episode that the show is putting out into the world? In a new interview with TVLine, Daniels does the right thing and tries to compare the hour to another episode that is particularly memorable for fans around the world
“I think there’s a lot of closure, a lot of moments between everyone. It’s like Steve Carell’s goodbye episode, but for everyone.”
Daniels says that he is still hoping for NBC to extend the finale beyond its simple one-hour run time, and while there is no official decision released on this just yet, we imagine that he will probably get his wish considering how popular this show has been over the years.
Meanwhile, series star Jenna Fischer also explained a little bit about what the process for creating this episode has been, and that there are plenty of important things that take place even away from the finale:
“We really pay attention to what our fans like, and what we think they’re looking for … There’s a lot of stories that are going to be resolved in the episodes leading up to the finale.”
It was love at first audition for Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski.
Fischer, who plays Pam to Krasinski’s Jim on The Office, isn’t sure their characters would have become the fan-favorites they are if he hadn’t been chosen to play her husband.
“I was paired up with John often and I thought this was good because he was my favorite Jim,” Fischer explains of the final round of eight actors – four Pams and four Jims – on Thursday’s episode of The Jeff Probst Show.
“On the second day, John whispered to me, ‘You’re my favorite Pam. I hope you get it.’ ”
Needless to say, when the actress heard the news about her newly-casted costar, she was overjoyed.
“When they called me and said I got the role, I said, ‘Who’s Jim – did you cast John Krasinski?’ ” Fischer, 38, says. “They said, ‘Yes’ and I started crying because I knew it would be good. And I mean this honestly – I can’t do Pam without him. In the way you need the right partner to have a great marriage, I needed the right costar to have this relationship.”
Getting the role that skyrocketed Fischer’s career may indirectly be thanks to Alyson Hannigan, who – for once – didn’t try out for the same part.
“I had been knocking around Los Angeles for years going to various auditions. I would do eight auditions for a new television show and then at the very end they would offer the role to Alyson Hannigan,” the actress admits.
“She was my biggest competition … I would get to the final audition and I’d go, ‘I know I’ve got this one.’ And then she’d walk in the door and I’d go, ‘Nope.’ ”
Now that it’s the beginning of the end for The Office – Thursday’s episode will reveal the secrets behind the documentary crew filming at Dunder Mifflin all these years – can Fischer share any behind-the-scenes scoop?
“Around the holidays we do our online Christmas shopping. Phyllis [Smith] is hilarious – she pays her bills online, in the background,” the actress reveals. “She brings in these stacks of papers and you see her over there, clicking on her bank. She’s just paying bills.”