THE YOUNG PICASSO IS JEWISH AND OTHER STREAMING STUFF
The National Geographic series Genius told the life story of Albert Einstein in its premiere 10-episode season last year. The new season, which started on April 24, tells the life history of Pablo Picasso (1883-1973). The role of Picasso is shared between Alex Rich, 29, as the young Picasso (age 17-40), and Antonio Banderas as the older Picasso (40 years, plus). As in the Einstein episodes, the series is not a completely linear biography, and scenes in the same episode might feature the younger and older Picasso.
This is a great breakthrough role for Rich, whose credits include a recurring role as Florian in the hit TV series Glow. Rich was raised mostly in Florida. He grew up in a religious family, and his father is a former Navy Seal. He had a bar mitzvah and went on a Birthright trip to Israel. He graduated from Stanford, where he majored in Mandarin (he speaks Mandarin, French, Spanish and a little Hebrew).
Another Jewish thespian, Seth Gabel, 36, has a recurring role as Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918). Apollinaire was a French poet, playwright, novelist and art critic, and a strong defender of Cubism and Surrealism. He’s credited with coining the term Cubism and, Picasso, of course, is considered to be the greatest Cubist painter. Gabel also appeared in the Einstein series. His father-in-law, Ron Howard, co-produces Genius.
Premiering on Friday, April 27, on Hulu is the documentary Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie. This film about the iconic Barbie doll features interviews with leading cultural critics, including Gloria Steinem, 84, and Peggy Orenstein, 57. No doubt, Barbie’s creator, the late Ruth Handler, will be a big figure in the film. Premiering the same day is The Week Of, an original Netflix comedy film. Adam Sandler, 51, plays a devoted middle-class father who is determined to pay for his daughter’s wedding alone. He continually spurns offers from the father of the groom (Chris Rock), a wealthy doctor. It’s an interesting twist — contrary to the usual assumption — the black father is richer than the white and Jewish father (the trailer shows the bride being lifted in a chair at the wedding, so I assume the bride’s father is Jewish). Rachel Dratch, 52, co-stars as the mother of the bride.
AT THE MOVIES
Avengers: Infinity War opens April 27. There are so many characters and name actors in Infinity War, that I wonder how much screen time they got. Every Marvel superhero you can think of has been rounded up to take on the powerful Thanos (Josh Brolin) before his blitz of destruction and ruin puts an end to the universe. Scarlett Johansson, 33, reprises her role as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow. Also returning is Gwyneth Paltrow, 45, as Pepper Potts, the CEO of Stark Industries and the fiancée of Tony Stark (AKA Iron Man). In real life, Paltrow is the fiancée of producer/writer Brad Falchuk, 46, and rumors are hot and heavy that their nuptials will happen soon.