You’ve enjoyed Justin Paul’s music in Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land and The Greatest Showman.
Soon, you may see and hear it on Showtime.
The cable network just signed the 2002 Staples High School graduate and his songwriting partner, Benj Pasek, to contribute music to an as-yet-untitled musical drama.
This is no fingers-crossed concept. Executive producers include Alicia Keys, Marc Platt, Kyle Jarrow (The SpongeBob Musical), R.J. Cutler (Nashville) and Adam Siegel (Grease: Live).
Justin Paul, enjoying life. (Photo/Dan Woog)
The drama tell an emotionally complex family story, weaving between modern-day and 1959 Detroit. The plot involves a mystery uncovered by a young musician who moves back to her childhood home.
“We have always been intrigued by the prospect of doing a Showtime musical series, but only if the songs could add to the depth and complexity of a great character drama. Nobody does that better than Pasek and Paul and Marc Platt, ” says Showtime Entertainment president Gary Levine.
Pasek and Paul have already won Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards. Is an Emmy next?
(Click here for the full Hollywood Reporter story.)
Roger Ailes has been called the man most responsible for making Donald Trump president of the United States.
On June 30 — when Showtime begins a 7-part series about the Fox TV CEO/ media consultant who died in May 2017, a year after resigning following allegations of sexual harassment — the man who may be most responsible for that show is native Westporter Gabe Sherman.
“The Loudest Voice” — Showtime’s they-said-it-couldn’t-be-made series — is based on Sherman’s 2014 book, “The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News – and Divided a Country.” That too was a book “they” said could never be written.
In both cases, Ailes’ purported wide-ranging, all-encompassing clout was said to forestall any attempt to tell his story.
Sherman knew what he was doing. He was educated through grade 10 in Westport schools. After graduating from Holderness School in New Hampshire and Middlebury College (2001), he spent 10 years writing for New York magazine (including a stint as national affairs editor).
He’s now a special correspondent for Vanity Fair, and a regular contributor to NBC News and MSNBC.
Sherman first began covering Ailes for New York Magazine. The media mogul was not pleased.
“Anything I touched, they waged war at me,” Sherman told The Hollywood Reporter.
When Sherman got a Random House contract to write his book, Ailes hired private detectives to trail him. Ailes also had a 400-page dossier drawn up on the writer.
Sherman’s revenge: In 2016, he got the scoop that Fox owner Rupert Murdoch was orchestrating Ailes’ departure.
Gabriel Sherman covered Roger Ailes — the man perhaps most responsible for making Donald Trump president — extensively.
Three years later, the adaptation of Sherman’s book is set to debut on TV — the medium that Ailes once ruled, and used so powerfully during Trump’s presidential campaign.
Sherman is ready — for both the series, and its ending.
He says, “In addition to the world getting to see our show” — his wife Jennifer Stahl shares a writing and producing credit — “we’re really ready for this chapter of our lives to be over. This is the end of the Roger Ailes story.”
(For the full Hollywood Reporter story on Gabriel Sherman and the Showtime series, click here.)
Hedge fund guys — well, every one but Steve Cohen — are known for keeping low profiles.
But how many Westporters have heard of Bobby “Axe” Axelrod? Or AXE Capital, the Westport-based firm he runs?
Okay, there’s a reason he and his company are so hush-hush.
They exist only on Showtime.
But starting Sunday (January 17, 10 p.m.), the whole country will know about Axelrod and AXE. That’s when the cable channel debuts “Billions,” a “hedge fund drama” set in our town.
Business Insider predicts big things — across America, not just in hedge fund hot spots like here. The show “hits a sweet spot between the laymen and the industry folk,” BI says. The reason: “Billions” focuses more on men and their egos than on the intricacies of Wall Street.
Damian Lewis plays Axelrod. His nemesis is US Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti), who tries to nail him for insider trading.
Here are some other reasons Business Insider loves “Billions”:
“The show nailed what all the hedge fund traders wear — fleeces and loafers. That’s the classic uniform.”
“There’s a punchline about Axelrod going to Hofstra while his smart (but not quite worthy) analyst went to Stanford. It’s the age old street-smarts vs. book-smarts Wall Street feud.”
“Rhoades’ wife is Axelrod’s in-house shrink. An in-house psychologist is not unheard of on Wall Street. Most famously, billionaire Steve Cohen had one at SAC Capital before he was forced to turn it into a family office.”
Westport is used to TV star turns. Rod Serling’s classic “Twilight Zone” episode “Last Stop: Willoughby” was set here. The Ricardos and Mertzes moved from New York, in “I Love Lucy”‘s last season. Elizabeth Montgomery and her “Bewitched” family lived at “1164 Morning Glory Circle” in Westport.
But those were so 20th century. It’s now 2016. Today, Westport is all about hedge funds.
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