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Deep Inside Hollywood – October 31, 2014

Romeo San Vicente | Q Syndicate

Monica Potter sticking around at NBC for Ellen

We love Monica Potter for a variety of possibly conflicting reasons. First, “Saw.” Always “Saw.” And then, on the other end of the spectrum, the way she made us cry so much on “Parenthood.”

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Monica Potter (Courtesy Shuttershock)

And, perhaps dumbly, we think it’s cool how if you close your eyes, she sounds exactly like Julia Roberts. (Consider all the prank phone calls she’s probably never made because she’s a better person than we would be in her situation.) But now “Parenthood” is winding down, and NBC would like to keep her in the family.

Enter Ellen DeGeneres, who’ll be producing a sitcom pilot to star Potter. Written by “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” creators Sherry Bilsing-Graham and Ellen Kreamer, the show is reported to be loosely based on Potter’s real life. We have no idea what that real life entails, of course, but we’re imagining a “30 Rock”-meets-“The Mary Tyler Moore Show” workplace comedy about being an actress that everyone confuses with another, more famous, actress. Go to series, please.

Sondheim characters to sing for their supper

Stephen Sondheim, musical theater god of everyone, has decided it’s time to gift the world with another of his witty, complex musicals. And in the trending tradition of turning movies into Broadway shows, he’s following suit – by adapting two biting satires from legendary Spanish arthouse filmmaker Luis Buñuel. Working alongside playwright David Ives (“Venus in Fur”), Sondheim will musically adapt “The Exterminating Angel” and “The Discreet Charm of The Bourgeoisie”: one of them about a group of people who cannot find a place to eat, and the other about people who find themselves trapped in an endlessly hellish dinner party. (So, basically, it’s the world’s greatest double feature turned into a caustically funny agony-musical.) Sondheim says it’ll be at least a year or so away, but we just want to know where to pre-buy tickets. Like right now.

Molly Ringwald goes back to the ’80s

Sometimes things that aren’t gay, when combined, turn gay. For example: Molly Ringwald? Not gay. “Jem and the Holograms”? Also, not (technically) gay. Molly Ringwald co-starring in the upcoming live-action “Jem and the Holograms” movie? Sudden extreme gayness everywhere. The written word cannot adequately express the excitement we feel over this announcement. Jon M. Chu, king of the “Step Up” series (perfect prep for this sort of thing) will direct and Ringwald will play the mom figure — Aunt Bailey, to be specific — to Jem and her Holograms. Reports are that the “Sixteen Candles” star, an accomplished jazz singer herself, will not be called on to carry any tunes, but that’s fine. We really just want to see her be her Royal Ringwaldness on the big screen once again. And the outfits. We also want to see the outfits.

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Michael Arden (right) gets a kiss from his fiancé, Andy Mientus
(Courtesy Michael Arden)

“The Flash,” CW’s entry in the superheroes-on-TV sweepstakes, is getting a gay villain. Cast as Hartley Rathaway, aka The Pied Piper, will be “Smash” alum Andy Mientus, whose new job will involve making life difficult-er for Barry Allen, aka, The Flash (Grant Gustin). [Editor’s Note: Andy Mientus is the fiancé of Broadway star Michael Arden, currently performing in San Diego in the lead role of La Jolla Playhouse’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” See our interview with Arden in Vol. 5, Issue 21, Oct. 17.]

See, Rathaway is hearing-impaired thanks to the same S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator that makes Barry so very good at running at the speed of light. And because he can’t hear so well, what better revenge weapons to devise than painful sonic assault machines? So this ought to be fun. And grumble all you like about gay villains; the bad old days when that was the only role gay people played in fiction are gone. Now we get to be heroes, villains, and now, best of all, “super”-villains. That’s progress. Cue the lunkheaded, hetero-fanboy Twitter freakouts in three … two …

—Romeo San Vicente always dresses as a superhero for Halloween. Because Spandex. He can be reached care of this publication or at DeepInsideHollywood@qsyndicate.com.

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