Sounds Familiar

“It is not honest food. Everything’s covered in sauces – who knows what’s underneath. Give me a wholesome plate of boiled mutton and turnips.” – Duchess of Buccleuch (Diana Rigg), referring to French Cuisine, Victoria

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Tony! Tony! Tony!

The Tony Awards are Sunday night and although PBS is not airing the ceremony (I believe we carried the first hour for a few years around the turn of the century) a drama geek like me will always find a connection. As I peruse the nominees for this year’s Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, I am taken by the names I recognize from series I’ve seen on public broadcasting. No surprise, really, as Broadway attracts some of the best actors. The same can be said for the shows on UNC-TV.

So I thought I’d look over a few of the nominees (acting categories only). Consider this a sort of Where Do I Know That Actor (Tony Edition).

Let’s start with Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical. Two names stand out: Renée Fleming (nominated for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel) and Diana Rigg (nominated for My Fair Lady). Fleming is a world-renowned soprano who has appeared in many operas and other musical performances we’ve shown. She’s been seen on Great Performances and The Metropolitan Opera Presents in numerous roles. Rigg, who’s had a longer career, has been a presence on our airwaves for decades. Currently, she’s the Duchess of Buccleuch on Victoria. She’s also played Adela Bradley in The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries, Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca, Mrs. Golightly in Moll Flanders and Lady Honoria Dedlock in Bleak House. For years, she was the host of Mystery! and, of course, she was Emma Peel on the 1960s spy series The Avengers. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

The thirteenth season of Midsomer Murders kicked off earlier this month and this week’s episode (“The Sword of Guillame” part one) saw a seaside outing turn deadly. It also featured a bevy of guest stars that may just be familiar from other fare UNC-TV has offered. Let’s see if you noticed them all.

Tim McInnerny played property developer Hugh Dalgliesh. True Anglophiles may know him from his work in Rowan Atkinson’s Blackadder series but, sadly, UNC-TV has never aired that wonderful program. McInnerny has, however, appeared as Terry Shields in the 1980s thriller Edge of Darkness and he was Fiennes on A Very British Coup on Masterpiece Theatre in 1989. Other roles of note include Oliver Mace on MI-5 and Sir Eustace Carmichael on Sherlock.

Janet Suzman was Lady Matilda William. She played Margaret, Duchess of Chester, on The Secret Agent and Lady Edwina Mountbatten on Lord Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy, both on Masterpiece Theatre. Continue reading

Monday Montage

What’s happening, what’s on and what’s interesting this week …

Peter, Paul and Mary. Artlo Guthrie. The Weavers. Pete Seeger. Giants of folk music, one and all. Join them and relive a 2003 Carnegie Hall concert featuring performances from these artists and more on Folk Legends: Isn’t This A Time – Tuesday night at 8 on UNC-TV.

Tom Hiddleston (Wallander, The Hollow Crown) is set to take on Shakespeare’s most iconic role on the London stage. Kenneth Branagh (Wallander, Fortunes Of War) will direct Hiddleston in a RADA fundraiser of Hamlet.

Discover the story of Chef Jacques Pepin, a man who elevated essential kitchen techniques to an art form to become one of America’s most beloved food icons. Don’t miss Jacques Pepin on American Masters – Wednesday night at 9 on the Explorer Channel.

Sesame Street is adding a new Muppet designed to tell stories about blended families. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

There’s a new-ish face Saturday nights in UNC-TV. The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries are now airing Saturdays at 11 and while the show itself is neither new nor a stranger to our airwaves (the program originally aired as part of the Mystery! series) it does present a fun opportunity to showcase a few stars and guest stars that will be known to regular viewers.

The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries stars Diana Rigg – excuse me, Dame Diana Rigg – as the titular sleuth. Rigg will be best known to longtime viewers as the host of the aforementioned Mystery! (taking over the reins from Vincent Price in 1989) and/or as John Steed’s partner Emma Peel on the classic 1960s spy-fi The Avengers. She’s also been in several Masterpiece Theatre productions and was Lady Honoria Dedlock in Bleak House, Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca and Mrs. Golightly in Moll Flanders.

Among the notable guest stars in last Saturday’s episode (“Death At The Opera”) were two actors well known to Doctor Who fans. Peter Davison (The Fifth Doctor) played Inspector Christmas and David Tennant (The Tenth Doctor) played Max Valentine. Of course, both actors have other credits on shows UNC-TV has aired. Davison was in All Creatures Great And Small, Campion and Distant Shores. Tennant, in addition to hosting Masterpiece Contemporary, has been seen in Casanova, He Knew He Was Right and The Escape Artist.

Also of note were guest actors Annabelle Apsion and Roy Barraclough. Apsion, who played Mona Bunting in the episode, was Violet on Call The Midwife and Jennifer Cardew on series six of Doc Martin. Barraclough, who was Dr. Simms, played Maurice on Last Tango In Halifax.

The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries continue Saturday night at 11 on UNC-TV.

Got a face you can’t place from one of the plethora of programs UNC-TV airs from the UK? Email me at sparkymac@unctv.org and I’ll try to help out.