The Advocate-Messenger from Danville, Kentucky on November 1, 1987 · Page 37
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The Advocate-Messenger from Danville, Kentucky · Page 37

Danville, Kentucky
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 1, 1987
Page 37
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It IE ITUCKY?J3V0CATE Movembsr 1-Navember 7, 1987 f r ' A ' ZD -1 0 'Way Off Broadway': a search for itself By ANDREW J. EDELSTEIN "Way off Broadway" represents Lifetime's biggest gamble: an expensive in house show airing six nights a week that tries to position itself in between a talk and a variety show. It's hosted by Joy Behar, a veteran of New York's comedy-club scene. A Brooklyn native with a nimbus of carrot-colored hair, she seems to have studied at the Rhoda Morgenstern school of elocution. She's abrasive in an endearing way, Quickwitted and even occasionally nervous. And she is the most interesting part of the show. Before the show debuted in September, Lifetime was touting "Way Off Broadway" as a kind of New Age show; a hip verson of "Dolly." But it really looks more like a talk show. There's a rock 'n' roll house band for one. Whatever happened to talk-show bands composed of middle-aged men in bad hairpieces? In this era of Paul Shaffer, a band must know how to play "Gloira" and "Town Without Pity" and look like central casting's version of a rock band, circa 1977. Here, the bandmaster is Rick Derringer, onetime Fillmore East fixture. There are also couches. Behar sits on the edge of one and throws puffballs at an assortment of odd guests a hairdresser to the stars, a hip ventriloquist ad an animator. The guests might best be described as the Not Ready for 'Late Night with David Letterman' Players. The variety element has to do with the performers. One show festured Derringer's old buddy, Edgar Winter ("He took time out from touring with Leon Russell," Behar said in all seriousness.) The stage filled with machine-made smoke and fog as Edgar and the boys played "Frankenstein." flip? We're talking about a song that was new when John Dean was testifying a out a cancer growing on the presidency. Behar seemed overwhelmed by the pyrotechnics. "I wish I could say Oh, ny God' in 10 languages!" she gushed. Clearly, "Way Off Broadway" is still a work in progress. It has to sort out both its own identy and its point of view. And it must solve the dilemma it has set up for itself, namely, how to attract guests who haven't been over-exposed without going to the other extreme of trotting out such obscure talent that it ends up looking like a fancy public-access show. Behar is likable and eagar to please, but she may be saddled with an impossible task. m this issue... Movie Listings PAGE 2 Movie Review PAGE 2 Review of this week's TV movies Coyote, Channlng star in "Echoes in the Dark." TVQt A PAGE i Questions and answers about the stars Soap Scoop PAGE The latest about the stars of the soaps Crotsoword Punlt PAGE 11 Daytimt Listings PAGE 12 fl Light lets the By Lyia Hoogeiboom "All my life I've been saying, 'Where am I going to go next?' 'What am I going to do next?' " says Judith Light, who plays Angela Bower on ABC's Tuesday-night hit "Who's the Boss?" "But I've noticed that when I leave it alone and focus on what I have now, the future generally takes care of itself." This week. Light takes on a different role in the NBC movie "Dangerous Affection," which will air Sunday, Nov. 1. "It's a drama, comedy, mystery thriller," says Light. "It has a lot of different things going on. I think that's what makes it so interesting." Light plays a woman whose young son is the only person who can identify a murderer, and Jimmy Smits ("LA. Law") plays the detective assigned to protect them. A tentative romance develops between the two, but the situation is complicated by the fact that the character played by Light ia eight-and-a-half months pregnant and has been deserted by her husband. "Her husband falls In love with Franz is back, Bj JoiBarlingtme HOLLYWOOD - Dennis Franz doesn't straighten his tie a lot, nor does he chew gum as much as his alter ego Norman Buntz. He does clear his throat frequently, though, which "Hill Street Blues" veterans Dennis Franz (I.) and Peter Jurasik are back in a series of their own. "Beverly Hills Buntz," which premieres Thursday, Nov. 5, will air monthly on NBC. future take care of itself ,Sfar View someone else," explains Light. "This is not fun time." Light's big career break came 10 years ago when she did something she had promised herself she would never do. She accepted a part on the daytime soap.'.'One Life to Live." "I swore I would never do a soap," she says. "But I loved do- Jadita (Jilt i'-.V- ' " V-. ' but on a different 'street' suggests that there's a little bit of Franz in the character who gets his own show this week. "Beverly Hills Buntz," a spinoff from the much-honored "Hill Street Blues" featuring Franz as the often- , . ing it. I really did. And I learned a lot." As Karen Wolek, she won two Daytime Emmys and developed a devoted following. A year after she left the soap, she achieved her second big break, landing a lead on "Who's the Boss?" And, double the irony, that show was a sitcom, something else she had once promised herself she would never do. "So' much of what I did in the past that made me unhappy was that I kept focusing on 'How come it's not happening the Way I pictured?' " says Light. "But there's so much that I could have missed out on because it was not part of the picture that I wanted. Much of the work tha I really learned from and enjoyed doing didn't fit into the picture I had in my head." She has made a point of enjoying her success on "Who's the Boss?" and not worrying about where it might lead. But like the rest of us, she can't help being a little curious about what the future holds for Tony (Tony Danza) and Angela. "If I knew, truly, I would tell you," laughs Light. "I'd like to know myself " 1 . V 1 abrasive detective and Peter Jurasik as Buntz's one-time informant Sid "The Snitch" Thurston, debuts Thursday, Nov. 5, on NBC. Since Buntz punched Chief Daniels in the "Hill Street" finale, he and Sid have moved to Hollywood. Buntz opens a detective agency; Sid, ever the scam artist, does, well, what he does best. "They're pretty interesting, quirky characters," says Franz, sitting in his trailer on the MTM lot between scenes. "They get themselves in a little more comical situations than on 'Hill Street." " "Buntz" executive producers Jeffrey Lewis and David Milch conceived the show as "a half-hour dramatic comedy, not your standard sitcom fare," says Franz. "Obviously, this year other people have had the same idea," adds the 43-year-old actor, referring to "The 'Slap' Maxwell Story," "Frank's Place" and "Hooperman," all half-hour comedy-dramas, "so it's not as novel as we would have hoped. Still, it's an oddity. It's going to be different than the type of shows people are used to." The well-known strength of the "Hill Street" scenarists and the offbeat characters they created will be key elements in whatever success the series enjoys. Franz owes his current TV stardom to a strong working relationship with the "Hill Street" group, beginning with a series of guest shots as bad cop Sal Benedetto in 1983. Franz is grateful that his series will be showcased among NBC's top: rated Thursday-night crop, even though it will only be on once a month at first. NBC calls it a "designated hitter." Comments Franz, dryly: "Grown men got paid a lot of money to come up with that idea." In a dream sequence on "Our House, " Patrick Daffy gueststars as Johnny Wtthers-poon. the deceased head of the household. He appears to and comforts his son David (Chad Allen) when the youngster gets into an accident and goes Into a coma. It airs Sunday, Nov. I on NBC.

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