There are few 20th century music figures as compelling as Brian Wilson. The former Beach Boys producer-singer had a profound effect on a generation of artists and a rich and complicated personal life even by pop-icon standards. Now it looks as though his tale will be dramatized on the big screen.
"The Tree of Life" producer Bill Pohlad and veteran television writer and producer John Wells ("ER," "The West Wing") have teamed to develop a drama based on Wilson's personal and professional story. They've acquired life rights from Wilson and his wife, Melinda, and hired Oren Moverman, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter behind the offbeat Bob Dylan film "I'm Not There," to write a script.
Though the filmmakers have yet to decide which periods of Wilson's life their as-yet-untitled movie will depict, they say they will focus on specific eras instead of retracing the musician's entire life. "I have no interest in making a biopic," Pohlad said. "What's fascinating to me is to look at the different elements in his life, like that super-creative period when he was doing 'Pet Sounds' and the later part when he was redeemed."
It's the final set for Jazz Masters
Bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Jack DeJohn-
ette — two of the most stylistically wide-ranging musicians in modern jazz — are among the last recipients of the nation's highest jazz honor.
The National Endowment for the Arts announced Friday that five musicians have been chosen to receive its 2012 NEA Jazz Masters Award. The program is celebrating its 30th anniversary, but has been terminated for future years due to budget constraints.
The other 2012 Jazz Masters are Chicago tenor saxophonist Von Freeman, vocalist Sheila Jordan and trumpeter Jimmy Owens, who is being recognized as an advocate for jazz artists' rights.
Earlier this year, the NEA announced that jazz musicians will be included in a new program, the American Artists of the Year awards, which will be open to dancers, theater artists, film makers, visual artists and musicians of other genres.
The final Jazz Masters awards ceremony will be held on Jan. 10 in New York.
'Room' musical views Old Globe
The romantic travails of Lucy Honeychurch are coming to the stage in the form of a new musical. "A Room With a View," adapted from the popular E.M. Forster novel, is set to premiere at the Old Globe in San Diego in 2012.
The Old Globe said that "A Room With a View" will have its official opening on March 10 and run through April 8, 2012.
The musical features songs by Jeffrey Stock and Marc Acito, and will be directed by Scott Schwartz, who is the son of composer Stephen Schwartz.
Stock previously worked on the musical "The Triumph of Love," which opened on Broadway in 1997.
This isn't the first time that "A Room with a View" has been adapted for the stage. Various play versions of the novel have been produced in London in the past few decades.
The Merchant Ivory film adaptation of the book was a critical and financial success when it opened in 1986, winning three Oscars.
Mark Twain is now 'forever'
Mark Twain will be honored by the U.S. Postal Service, which will debut a new Mark Twain "forever" postage stamp on Saturday. A ceremony marking the first day of the stamp's issue will be held in Hannibal, Mo. That's the town where Twain grew up, and the place he used as a setting for his classics "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."
Twain had a surprise hit in 2010 when his massive "Autobiography of Mark Twain" was published. As instructed, the author's memoirs had been held for 100 years after his death, but no one expected them to be a bestseller — except, maybe, Twain. "Autobiography of Mark Twain," a whopping 736 pages, was only volume one — two more volumes of his memoirs are on the way from the University of California Press, tentatively scheduled for 2012 and 2014.
The Mark Twain stamp is the 27th in the Postal Service's Literary Arts series, which has included James Baldwin, T.S. Eliot, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Ogden Nash, Edith Wharton and Tennessee Williams.
Al Roker admits to kookiness
KNBC-TV Channel 4 morning weathercaster Elita Loresca apologized to viewers after making an off-the-cuff remark Friday morning about NBC "Today" weather anchor Al Roker when she thought her mike was off.
The comment came after Roker, who was in Rockefeller Center in New York City, called out from a high platform to a massive crowd awaiting a live performance from Bruno Mars, proclaiming, "My people."
The camera switched to a shot of KNBC's chart of the seven-day forecast. Loresca, who was off-camera, could be heard saying, "Oh, my God, Al Roker is a kook." Loresca later appeared and told viewers that there had been an "audio mishap" earlier in which she made a "playful comment about my good friend Al Roker." She said if anyone was offended, "I truly apologize."
Roker apparently regarded the remark with good humor. He tweeted: "So Elita Loresca of KNBC called me a kook during a cut-in. I know Elita. She was joking. And some mornings I am kooky. No big whoop."