Thursday, May 2, 2024

Favorite Pic of the Day for May 3rd

Gregory Harrison
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~Check out today's BIRTHDAYS HERE:~

Picnic: Gregory Harrison

A made-for-Cablevision remake of the 1955 Joshua Logan movie. Shown as "A Broadway On Showtime Production." A southern bell falls for a handsome drifter with no prospects, going against her parents' wishes to marry a rich businessman.

80's hottie Gregory Harrison served as both executive producer and star in the cable TV version of Picnic which aired on Showtime in 1986.  Harrison is joined by an impressive supporting cast which included: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rue McClanahan, Michael Learned, Dick Van Patten, Conchata Ferrell and Timothy Shelton as Alan.

Not sure if this television version every had a DVD release, but there is a fuzzy, but watchable VHS version in full on Youtube (HERE:) if anyone wants to take a look.  Even blurry on Youtube, to me, Harrison is smoking hot, but the New York Times (below) didn't seem to agree...

'Mr. Harrison does not have the muscle-rippling physique required for Hal, whose sheer bulk keeps most of the women buzzing. Fortunately, Mr. Harrison still gives a sensitive performance as the stud who fears he is little more than a bum.'

Picnic: Josh Brolin

'No need to ogle girls, you'll make him self conscious'
Flo Owens

This version of Picnic, and this casting of Hal was new to me.  It wasn't until researching productions that I noticed that Josh Brolin played Hal in an April 2000 CBS Sunday night movie.  This version isn't a staging of the play, but a movie 'based' on the play.  The cast was promising with Brolin starring alongside Bonnie Bedelia, Mary Steenburgen, Gretchen Mol and Ben Caswell as Alan.

Brolin looks great as Hal, but this version certainly cut down on the shirtlessness.  Yes, Brolin is shirtless in his first couple of scenes, but then covers up for the remainder of the movie.  The film didn't seem to make much of an impact, which is possibly why I'd never heard of it.  The LA Times, as you can read below, also wasn't thrilled with the film's take on the original. 

'Seeing merely the onion skin, not the layers underneath, producer Blue Andre, screenwriter Shelly Evans and director Ivan Passer not only water down a terrific, Pulitzer Prize-winning story, but squander a cast that includes revered veterans Mary Steenburgen and Bonnie Bedelia as well as emerging talents Josh Brolin and Gretchen Mol.'

Picnic: Kyle Chandler

Broadway 1994
Criterion Center Stage Right
Hal Carter played by Kyle Chandler

It was actually Kyle Chandler, well an image of a shirtless Kyle Chandler, that helped inspire today's salute to Picnic and Hal Carter.  I wasn't aware that Chandler played the role, and when I saw the shirtless shot, had to do a little research.  Chandler usually shy's away from showing much skin, and at first, I wasn't sure it was actually him.  

Indeed it was a promotional shot from Chandler's Broadway debut in the play.  Joining Chandler on stage were; Ashley Judd, Polly Holiday, Larry Bryggman and Tate Donovan as Alan.  The run lasted just over a month, which I'm not sure was intentional, or because of lackluster reviews.  The little I've read wasn't overly positive. 

'Poster-perfect, the muscular Chandler nevertheless lacks any sense of danger or sexual recklessness. The same is true of Judd, ill-suited to the luxuriant strawberry blond mane she can’t keep her hands out of. Both actors always seem to be playing to an unseen camera; they spend more time preening than connecting with each other or the folks watching in supposed horror as the spell takes hold.'

Chandler certainly looks 'poster perfect' in the image above, the same image that me on the hunt for more.  Although the 1994 revival made not have heated up the box office, it did inspire today's theme, and I'm sure, also inspired a few hearts in the audience to beat just a little bit faster.

Picnic: Sebastian Stan

Broadway 2013
American Airlines Theatre
Hal Carter played by Sebastian Stan

Thanks to the Internet, one of the most visually seen depictions of Hal Carter was that of actor Sebastian Stan.  Joining Stan on-stage for the 2013 production were; Maggie Grace, Ellen Burstyn, Mare Winningham, and Ben Rappaport as Alan.  Also in the cast was a pre Abbot Elementary Chris Perfetti playing Bomer. 

Those rippled abs deserve the attention they, and certainly brought the heat to the small Kansas town. I still remember contemplating a return to New York after seeing the promotional shots of Stan that were released on-line.  Those abs also caught the attention New York Times critic Ben Brantley. 

'The Roundabout Theater Company’s revival of William Inge’s “Picnic” opened on Sunday night, starring an exceptionally well-developed torso. Of course the torso belongs to a person, the actor Sebastian Stan. But it has been given the kind of lavish individual attention that would seem to warrant above-the-title billing. Presented au naturel or in a tight shirt ripped at the chest by an admirer (leaving a strategic view of a nipple), it’s a sight that arouses dangerous longings in lonely bosoms. From the moment it makes its first entrance, this is a torso named Trouble.'