It’s easy to get really close to Rita Wilson when she steps on stage. Last night I watched Rita perform at The Troubadour in Los Angeles (part of her spring tour) to a packed audience. She truly connected to each person in the room. Even though she’s a star who’s married to Tom Hanks it was all about the music when she belts out a song. She sang to the crowd as if each of us were the only one there.
Her songs and her stories about her husband and her family are very personal. Rita’s personality, on and off stage, is open and direct. She has a big singing voice and the emotional and vocal range to touch the crowd, one at a time. There was loud applause, there were giggles and there were sighs. John Stamos in the front row of the balcony was clapping his hands and tapping his toes. I was frankly enchanted.
Many of her numbers were from her latest album, “Rita Wilson.” She co-wrote the songs about love, and friends, and life’s ups and downs with many well known artists. She shared private thoughts and she danced and let her stylish sequin top swing to the music with confidence and fun. Big laughs when she belted out “Not Gonna Take No Shit.” Rita said she wanted to reveal all sides of herself and she proved it.
At the after party Tom was bragging to me, “See how good she is. That’s how they used to do rock and roll!” He was in a grand mood. “Uh oh,” he called out, greeting Fox CEO Jim Gianopulos and wife, Ann, “The Greeks are here!”
No one was having more fun than Rita. “You know I could sing all night,” she grinned. “And I’m not kidding about that.” We would have all stayed to listen.
Rocky Carroll and his daughter at the Caucus for Producers, Writers, and Directors Luncheon – June 2016
Rocky Carroll is Director Leon Vance on NCIS and plays the same character in NCIS offshoots, Los Angeles and New Orleans. He also plays a different kind of “director” for those shows too, going behind the camera on several episodes. Yesterday, much gentler that the gruff boss he plays on TV, Rocky brought his daughter, Elissa, to the Caucus for Producers, Writers, and Directors luncheon where he was awarded an American Spirit Award.
Rocky loves his work on NCIS, the most successful show on broadcast TV, and he told the audience that he wanted to share the experience of this honor with his teenager.
He revealed that he started on his path as an actor at age 11 when the city of Cincinnati created a school for the arts that was walking distance from his home and he stood out there for more than just his talent. A fellow student admitted to him that he was her first black friend and that everything she knew about people of color she had learned from television and film. At that young age Carroll found his purpose, “I realized I was representing something much greater than just me.” When asked about the sensational popularity of the series he exclaims, “Everybody cares about every detail and no one realizes how much fun we have!”
I wasn’t the only one scared to death by “The Conjuring 2.” Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson once again bust some nasty ghosts in this frightening sequel and the stars confess even they got spooked when they saw it!
In Maggie’s Plan, Greta Gerwig plays a woman in a relationship that’s unusual to say the least. She’s trying to reunite the married man with whom she had an affair and the family he tried to leave behind.