Audra McDonald is the new Ruby Dee

Over the course of the next month, as we build up to the Oscars, we’re going to try to uncover every conceivable thing to write about New Rocheller Ruby Dee, who’s up for Best Supporting Actress. Today, courtesy of Friend of Suburbarazzi Amy Vernon, we’ve got something for you to add to the DVR queue.

On the night after the Academy Awards, ABC is airing an update of the classic “A Raisin in the Sun,” produced by Sean “Puffy” Combs. The original 1961 film starred Dee (bottom left) opposite Sidney Poitier (a former Pleasantville resident), and while this one doesn’t actually feature either, it does have SUNY Purchase Performing Arts Center regular Audra McDonald (bottom right) reprising Dee’s role, this time opposite Combs.

Be sure to check it out: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25 (8:00-11:00 p.m., ET)


(Dee: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill; McDonald: photo by Michael Wilson)

Judge Judy sentenced: two more years on TV

After renewing her deal with CBS Television Stations, Judge Judy Sheindlin — judge-judy.jpgmom of newly elected Putnam DA Adam Levy, and whose hubby practices law in Putnam — is now set to be on the air with “Judge Judy” until 2012. Yes, by the time the contract runs out, she’ll be pushing 70.

In a quote on The Hollywood Reporter, CTD president and COO John Nogawski said, “Judge Judy is the unsung hero of syndication, consistently delivering fantastic ratings to our station partners, and were really proud its the only syndicated show growing year to year.”

Me, I always thought the biggest unsung hero was “The Lost World” with Jennifer O’Dell. To each his own.

Thanks to F.O.S. Amy Vernon for the tip.

(Judge Judy Photo: PRNewsFoto/CBS Television Distribution)

Suburbarazzi Week in Review on RNN: Ruby’s win, Trump’s Scottish links, and the B-52’s return

Flash Video:

This week’s Quiz:

On one recent episode of an NYC-based TV dramedy, the characters debate heading up to Westchester to dine at the famous “Blue Hill at Stone Barns,� only to conclude it’s “too far.� Which show featured this storyline?

A. Lipstick Jungle
B. Cashmere Mafia
C. Dirty, Sexy, Money
D. 30 Rock

The answer is at the end of the clip and after the break.

Continue reading

Bjork goes berserk on photog

Remind us never to mess with Bjork at LaGuardia. The Icelandic songstress, who now lives in Rockland, opened a major can of whoop ass on a New Zealand newspaper photographer when he attempted to snag her shot at a New Zealand airport. bjork-australia.jpgAs Glenn Jeffrey, the recipient of Bjork’s wrath, reported to the press,

<blockquote><div>”I turned and walked away she came up behind me, grabbed the back of my black skivvy and tore it. As she did this she fell over, she fell to the ground.”</div></blockquote>

Jeffrey hasn’t filed suit, but he did speak to the cops. “I don’t see being assaulted as I’m working as a press photographer as an acceptable thing,” he added. “If anybody assaults anybody you have the right to a legal recourse, whoever they are.”

More after the break.

Continue reading

Ruby Dee’s SAG Awards stunner

Nothing was more surprising — and gratifying — than New Rochelle resident Ruby Dee’s win for Best Support Actress at the SAG awards last night. I so wish I’d taped to transcribed her speech, but the win caught me as off guard as it did Cate Blanchett and just about everyone else in the audience.

rubydee.jpgIn retrospect, maybe it shouldn’t have. Despite Dee’s role in “American Gangster” consisting of only a handful of screen time, it seemed clear that last night’s ceremony was all about recognizing and rewarding the sentimental favorites — “The Sopranos” sweeping Actor, Actress, and Cast; Julie Christi winning for Best Actress; the half hour spent on celebrating Charles Durning.

That said, Dee’s speech was totally captivating. From the opening (Will she remember Russell Crowe’s name?) to the ending (during which she rambled happily about audiobooks and memoirs and other projects), it was a little less coherent than my aunt’s speech at her 100th birthday, but every bit as moving. Especially the nod to her husband Ossie Davis, who died in 2005. “I accept it also for my husband Ossie, because he’s working on things up there.â€?

If anyone has video of the speech, or knows where it’s posted online, please give us a holler.

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Trump tees up plans for new golf course in Scotland

Maybe it’s just the frigid temps and brittle lawns, but for some reason this weekend I started daydreaming of golf. And maybe that’s why, despite already feeling “Celebrity Apprentice” fatigue, I was still drawn to one story about The Donald lately. Specifically, his plan to build a new set of links — “the best course in Europe and maybe in the world,” in his words — over in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

trump-golf.jpgAs Trump put it to the Telegraph, “We have the land to do it, and I’m willing ot spend the money to make it the finest coure of its kind in the world.” That land consists of 2.5 miles of coastal sand dunes called Menie Estate. While the article makes an analogy to Burt Lancaster’s interloping oil-tycoon character in “Local Hero,” it also makes an interesting historical note: Trump’s own mother, Mary Macleod, was born in the country. She grew up “in the village of Tong outside Stornoway before leaving the island of Lewis in 1930 for a new life in New York, where she met property developer Fred Trump at a dance.” That, Trump explains, more than anything else, accounted for why he settled on the site.


“After looking at 211 rival sites around the world. I really wanted this to be built in Scotland. Mary Macleod was seriously Scots. When I first saw this piece of land I was overwhelmed by the imposing dunes and rugged Aberdeenshire coastline. I’d never seen such an unspoilt and dramatic seaside landscape. It’s the perfect location. </div></blockquote>

“Donald Trump to build golf resort in Scotland” [Telegraph]

(Trump photo: Linda Barat/The Journal News)

This just in on Small Bites …

OK, I know that “Cashmere Mafia” is a pale, pale immitation of “Sex & the City,” but it does succeed in one area that its HBO predecessor didn’t: Giving shout-outs to Westchester.

According to our sister blog, Small Bites, there was a scene in this week’s episode in which some characters debate driving up to Pocantico Hill’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns for a romantic evening, later reconsider because it’s “too far,” and finally end up ordering takeout from the restaurant. What’s more, Barns GM Philippe Gouze is mentioned by name.

Sure, it’s not quite the same as Law & Order coming up to actually film here, but it’s a start.

“Blue Hill at Stone Barns on ‘Cashmere Mafia'” [Small Bites]

(AP Photo/Andrew Eccles,ABC)

Stephen Baldwin inducted into ‘Stupid Bitches Club’

In case it wasn’t already clear from last night’s episode of “Celebrity Apprentice” — baldwin-apprentice.jpgduring which Upper Grandview’s Stephen Baldwin taunted Piers Morgan with bizarre retorts (“boomerang … boom … remember that … boom”) — now the youngest Baldwin has officially been named to the “Stupid Bitches Club.”

The honor comes from (I get these things from Google News alerts, I swear), which also cited his anti-gay marriage position, support for Mike Huckabee, and the film “Threesome” as further evidence of Baldwin’s bitchiness. I would have listed his role as Barney Rubble, from “The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas.” But that’s just me.

(NBC Photo: Justin Stephens)

Ang Lee: ‘A Caligula among directors’?

In the aftermath of the Heath Ledger tragedy, director Ang Lee — who worked with Ledger on “Brokeback Mountain” and lives in Larchmont — had one of the nicest quotes about the actor in any of the stories I read.


“Working with Heath was one of the purest joys of my life. He brought to the role of Ennis more than any of us could have imagined – a thirst for life, for love and for truth, and a vulnerability that made everyone who knew him love him. His death is heartbreaking.” </div></blockquote>


Eager to find any other comments Lee has made about Ledger in the past, I stumbled upon something even better: an article in The Age about how Lee is a cruel, cruel tyrant on film sets. As the story put it, Hugh Grant once nicknamed the normally softspoken man “Fang Lee” after shooting Sense and Sensibility. The only other evidence that the story puts forward to back up its claim is the Heath Ledger once said (with Lee standing at his side) that the director “drove him and Jake Gyllenhaal to the outer limit of physical endurance in freezing temperatures.”

I’m not sure how exactly that qualifies him as an evil taskmaster, but the article goes on, “Under that mild-mannered exterior — consisting of a gentle-to-inaudible speaking voice, self-deprecating manner and an overall Zen calm — lurks a driven obsessive, a Caligula among directors.”

As for another claim in the article — that Lee spent 100 hours filming a ten minute sex scene for “Lust Caution” — well, that’s just plain common sense. And, I think, even something that a frostbitten Heath Ledger would have approved of.

“Fang Lee: Cruel but True” [The Age]

(AP Photo/Focus Features) 

Break out the beehives! B-52’s planning a concert in Westchester

Little known fact: The B-52’s used to live in Mahopac back in the 1980s. Yes, that’s right, back in the days of “Cosmic Thing,” “Roam,” and “Love Shack,” the group was actually recording tunes right in Putnam County.b-52s.jpg

Which is my awkward way to segueing into news that they’ll be returning to the greater Lower Hudson Valley region again soon. On April 11 they’re set to host a concert at the Performing Arts Center at SUNY Purchase. The event will be a fundraiser for Open Door Family Medical Centers, and Scarsdale’s Jimmy Fink, a DJ for 107.1 The Peak, will play host. Now the catch: tickets to the concert cost from $75 to $125, and if you want to attend the benefit dinner, be prepared to shell out $500.

VIP Tickets are available online at or by calling Cristina Sanjuás-Dopazo at 914-502-1414. Concert Only Tickets are available only through The Performing Arts Center’s Ticket Office at or by calling 914-251-6200.

Law & Order: Mercy College Unit

Say what you will about Dick Wolf, the man is clearly a force of nature that even the Writer’s Guild of America can’t contend with. Somehow, in the midst of an industry-wide blackout, he’s managing to continue filming “Law & Order.”

This much we learned from an email press release about the NBC mainstay heading up to Mercy College in Dobbs Ferryon January 11 to shoot four scenes for an upcoming episode. According to the email,  “The scenes will appear in an episode entitled ‘Executioner,’ which is scheduled to air on March 12 and will feature actors Alana DelaGarza, Jesse L. Martin, Linus Roache, and Jeremy Sisto. In addition to the cast, a crew of roughly 70 worked in Verrazzano Hall, where President Feroe’s office and an adjoining office were transformed into the offices of a Westchester medical doctor and a South Carolina state prison warden.”


In case you’re wondering who the heck that is in the photo above, it’s Mercy College President Louise H. Feroe in the middle, flanked by Law & Order actors Alana DelaGarza (left) and Linus Roache (right).

Harvey Fierstein, bargain hunter extraordinarie

I’m not sure exactly what kinds of treasures one can expect to find at a Masonic Temple fire sale (George Washington’s freemason apron? Ben Franklin’s X-Ray glasses? The unexpurgated script for “National Treasure”?), but if you’re curious, there’s one going on right now in Yonkers. The building is right across the street from St. Joseph’s Medical Center at 130 S. Broadway. And, as an added bonus, you might just run into Broadway vet Harvey Fierstein, who was spotted rummaging there earlier today by Journal News photographer Seth Harrison. Though he declined to be photographed, he did mention that he lives up in Southeast.

Ding, ding, ding! We finally have a Putnam celebrity to write about. Happy day.


(AP Photo/RK&A, Paul Kolnik)