Monday, February 28, 2011

Jane Russell 1921 - 2011

About a decade or so, I was simply obsessed with this glamorous leading lady of the 1940s and 1950s. She was funny, sexy, a great singer, granted not the best actress in the world but had tons of charisma. I always felt like she was overshadowed in GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES because of Marilyn Monroe. However, if you watch any of her films with Robert Mitchum on Turner Classic Movies, you are in for a treat. Usually, she's at a piano poured into a slinky dress...and a murder or two would happen before the movie would be over. Good fun classic stuff. RIP Jane Russell, I love you.

Here is the report of her death via Associated Press:

LOS ANGELES – Jane Russell, the brunette who was discovered by Howard Hughes and went on to become one of the biggest stars of the 1940s and '50s, has died at age 89.

Russell's daughter-in-law Etta Waterfield says the actress died Monday at her home in Santa Maria of a respiratory-related illness.

Hughes, the eccentric billionaire, cast Russell in his sexy, and controversial, 1941 Western "The Outlaw," turning her into an overnight star.

She would go on to appear opposite such leading men as Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope, as well as fellow actress Marilyn Monroe.

Although her film career slowed in the 1960s, Russell remained active throughout her life.

Until her health began to decline a few weeks ago, Waterfield said she remained active singing and working for various causes.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

OSCARS NIGHT with Gregori and Kristos of THE BAY

Gregori J. Martin (Director and writer of THE BAY), Laurie Baker (OUTTAKES host) and Kristos Andrews ("Pete" of THE BAY) at NYC Oscars party!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Colleen Zenk Statement about Season 12 of DWTS

This is Colleen Zenk's statement on Facebook regarding Season 12 of Dancing With the Stars:

Hello everyone....

Well here we are at the countdown for DWTS....

I have been blown away and overwhelmed by all of the loyal support and love you have shown me in this extremely crazy quest!
People from every area of my life have shown up on the pages of FaceBook to join with Team Colleen! I am grateful to all of you...

Given their schedule for an announcement, it has become apparent that the Producers of DWTS have made casting decisions for Season 12 that don't include me....What I have been told is that I "got on their radar" too late in the game. Some of the contestants in previous seasons took several years to book....and many others who have been wanting to dance have waited years to get on the show...and of course, there will be always be some contestants that leave you scratching your head!

But, I have danced and performed my whole life and nothing can stop me now. As some of you might know, I have my one-woman show opening on April 8 at Bob Egan's New Hope. I am so excited about this! I have been working on songs and material since last summer and and this is my "out-of-town" tryout! More tour dates to follow!

So, though I am sad that Season 12 appears not have worked out, I am happy to be free to work on my own show. More important, I am home for my youngest daughter's last semester of High School.....which was my biggest fear about Season 12...

SO....that is where we are now....

What you should know, is that every comment or "Like" on-line be it on FB or elsewhere, every Tweet on Twitter, every blog being Blogged is being followed by the producer peeps on DWTS...(Those Team Colleen girls know their stuff)...they are watching all of your tremendous input and support....Have you seen all the DWTS articles that say I am a front-runner??...AWESOME....

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this amazing ride you have taken me on. I love you all for it....

On to the EMMY's!!!!!!!!......I am SO EXCITED with my Emmy Pre-Nomination!!!......I was so proud of my work this past year of ATWT!!.....and hopefully this is just the beginning of the EMMY Season for me!! ......all of us at ATWT worked so hard under such difficult times in our "World", I am thrilled for everyone of us who is on that ballot!!!!!!!!!!!............Go Oakdale!!!!!

In the meantime, before the Nominations are revealed, I hope you will come see me perform "LIVE" in person!!!!.....and when you do, make sure to tell me that you were a part of this FaceBook wild adventure!!!


Colleen xoxo

Congrats to the Pre-Noms!

CONGRATULATIONS to the following OutTakes guests who are pre-nominated for the Daytime Emmy Awards this year:


Colleen Zenk (Barbara, ATWT)


Jon Lindstrom (Craig, ATWT)


Trent Dawson (Henry, ATWT)

Eric Sheffer Stevens (Reid, ATWT)

Friday, February 25, 2011


My biggest complaint about the book is that the title is misleading. A grand total of 55 out of the 253 pages actually have anything to do with the history of DAYS OF OUR LIVES. There was already an excellent book written that covered this history (DAYS OF OUR LIVES: THE COMPLETE FAMILY ALBUM by Lorraine Zenka); so I don't necessarily begrudge this. Most of the pictures in the "Weddings" section are pictures that any longterm DAYS fan has probably seen tons of times. But why not callthe book what it is for the most part? A big coffee table book of candid shots of actors around the set.

Some of the pictures really stand out as beautiful images that reek of classic Hollywood. James Reynolds, Nadia Bjorlin, Galen Gering, Bill Hayes and James Scott in particular have some great poses. There are a few sections that give us a tour behind the set in the wardrobe and makeup departments and such that are fun to look at. With other pictures, I'm scratching my head and asking "Why are these even here?"

The imbalance of the pictures in the book puzzles me. Okay. I get that DAYS' big motto is out with the old and in with the having more pictures of the current cast at the expense of the rich history of past characters doesn't surprise me at all. But even the historical section is imbalanced. Three pictures of Austin and Carrie...and not one of Tony and Anna who were on the show more recently? Kyle Lowder rates a picture as the previous "Brady Black" but Wayne Northrop as the previous "Roman Brady" doe not? No picture of the 1988 Steve and Kayla wedding that was one of DAYS OF OUR LIVES highest rated episodes ever? Fired or no, Drake Hogestyn was one of the biggest stars of DAYS OF OUR LIVES for several decades...and he gets 4 pictures? That I don't get.

As for the book signing tours, I should think that Kristian Alfonso (25 pictures), Alison Sweeney (22 pictures), Peter Reckell (17 pictures) and Molly Burnett (14 pictures) should be at all fan appearances since they dominate with the most pictures. I find it bizarre that Mark Hapka rated 11 pictures worth; and yet DAYS didn't see fit to keep him around. The authors of the book, Greg Meng and Eddie Campbell, are great guys at the book signings, but I really don't understand their thinking as they put this book together.

That being said, I can understand why DAYS OF OUR LIVES is going all over the country with star-studded autograph signings of this book. On its own merit without the glitz and glamour, I wonder if it would do so well.

DAYS NYC Book Signing Pictures

Galen Gering (Rafe, DAYS) pictured above.

For more grainy cell phone pictures from the 2/25/11 DAYS book signing in NYC, go to the album set up for it in "OutTakes Interviews" on Facebook.

Editorial - The NBC "Bad" Experience Store

Pictured above -- Kristian Alfonso (Hope) at the NBC DAYS Experience Store

I love living in New York City. Despite the terrorist attacks, blackouts and transit strikes, I know I get to meet people and do things that I would never have done if I had stayed in Mesquite, Texas. Meeting soap actors (lots of them!) is one of the benefits of living in New York City. However, any time I hear that DAYS OF OUR LIVES actors are going to show up at the NBC Experience Store, I always groan. This store at 30 Rockefeller Plaza is a shrine to NBC’s television shows, mostly living off their glory days of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE and SEINFELD, selling key rings, tee shirts and all other kind of trivial stuff that will get stowed away in the closet and never seen again. But despite the tackiness, the worst thing about the NBC Experience Store is…well, the bad experience…particularly if you’re going to a signing.

Don’t get me wrong. If only one actor is involved, the store can handle it okay. I had a great time meeting Peter Reckell (Bo) and chatting about the Hope/Bo/Carly triangle and congratulating him on his Emmy nomination. It was a pleasure meeting Deidre Hall (Marlena) and finding out what she is up to these days when she is not acting…which is mostly gardening, going to charity events and spending time with her family. These were signings where you got some good conversation with the actor, a decent picture and felt like it was worth the time.

Unfortunately, today’s 2/25/11 event at the NBC Experience Store was a joke. On paper, it sounded great. Who wouldn’t want to go to a signing of DAYS OF OUR LIVES: 45 YEARS – A CELEBRATION IN PHOTOS with Kristian Alfonso (Hope), Galen Gering (Rafe), Crystal Chappell (Carly), James Scott (EJ)…along with Sheri Anderson, Greg Meng and Eddie Campbell? The lesson to be learned though is that less is more. Sure, having more actors brings in more fans and sells more books…but the signing itself was rushed and chaotic. If I had not already met a lot of these actors before, I would have been really upset. As it is, I’m just annoyed.

For some mysterious reason, the autograph tables are set up in a small space in front of garish glaring TV sets all advertising DAYS OF OUR LIVES. No matter what camera you bring to these events, you will not get a decent picture. If you have a press pass and can take a picture upstairs, maybe you’ll be okay. But if you are a lowly fan who has just shelled out $30 for a book to be signed, you are forced to either blind the actors with flashes or have the pictures half in shadow. Either option sucks.

The NBC security guards (who I like to think of as the NBC Gestapo) were in fine form. “Take your pictures while they sign your books!” Yes, right, because pictures of the tops of the heads of James Scott and Galen Gering as they’re bent over, furiously autographing, is really going to impress my friends. “Keep the talking short! If you want to talk to them, email them!” Oh, silly me, I forgot that I have Kristian Alfonso’s email address on file and I can just send her a note any old time! The actors, used to taking direction, were dutifully passing the books from one to another as if they were factory workers. I think the NBC Gestapo intimidated them too. No time for fan interaction or posing. The books must be sold, sold, sold! Sorry, Galen Gering, I saw you in person but I felt as if I were just seeing Rafe on TV. I never got a sense of the actor off the TV screen; and if that’s the case, why not just stay at home and order the book on-line?

So the moral of this story is…if you’re a DAYS fan and want to meet a lot of actors, spend the money and meet your favorite at a fan event. If you go to the NBC Experience Store to meet a lot of actors, be prepared for disappointment. There’s something wrong when I exchanged more words with the NBC Gestapo security guard than with Crystal Chappell!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

MISS BEHAVE Season Two Finale

After the reveal that Riley is dead, much of Season Two of MISS BEHAVE has been dealing with the aftermath of that event. There has been plenty of teenage angst to go around at the psychiatrist's office and at Tori's birthday party. A big bang-up of an ending is due to happen even as the credits roll during the final episode. Wonder what it will be?

Watch the series at

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Betty Garrett 1919-2011

Betty Garrett was one of my favorite character actresses from the Golden Age of Hollywood Musicals. In her performances in On The Town and Take Me Out to the Ballgame, she stole the scenes as the Plain Jane who relentlessly pursued Frank Sinatra and always got her man. Many will also remember her from the classic television shows, All in the Family and Laverne and Shirley.

I had the pleasure of seeing her at a book signing about a decade or so in New York City. She was singing and joking -- full of life and spunk. I only wish I can be more like her when I grow up.

Check out the AP News Report below about Betty Garrett:

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Betty Garrett, the vivacious Broadway star who played Frank Sinatra's sweetheart in two MGM musicals before her career was hampered by the Hollywood blacklist, has died in Los Angeles, her son said Sunday. She was 91.

Garrett died Saturday at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, most likely from an aortic aneurysm, said her son, Garrett Parks. Garrett had been in good health and taught her usual musical comedy class at Theater West, the non-profit organization she helped found, on Wednesday night, but Friday checked into the hospital with heart trouble, and died with her family at her side the following morning.

Garrett was best known as the flirtatious girl in love with the shy Sinatra in "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and "On the Town," both in 1949, and later in life she became well-known to TV audiences with recurring roles in the 1970s sitcoms "All in the Family" and "Laverne and Shirley."

Her movie career was brief, largely because of the Red Hunt led by congressmen who forced her husband, actor Larry Parks, to testify about his earlier membership in the Communist Party.

Parks had won stardom and an Academy Award nomination as best actor for his dynamic portrayal of singer Al Jolson in the 1946 "The Jolson Story." But in 1951, he was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee, and he admitted that he had joined the Communist Party in 1941 and left in 1944 or 1945.

Pressed to name his fellow members of the party, Parks pleaded not to be forced "to crawl through the mud as an informer." He agreed to testify fully in executive session.

He made one more film, "Love Is Better Than Ever" with Elizabeth Taylor, then his film career was over.

"It was a dark period, a foolish, foolish period," Garrett said in 1998. "It destroyed a lot of lives and ruined my husband's career."

Garrett had also had a brief dalliance with the party but wasn't called to testify, perhaps, she said, "because I was nine months pregnant with my second son, and they didn't think I would be a good witness."

Garrett's stage career began to click when she sang the show-stopping "South America, Take It Away" in "Call Me Mister" on Broadway in 1946. That brought Hollywood offers, and at 27 she signed a contract with MGM, then the king of musical movies. Her son said aside from her family she considered the work she would do for MGM her life's highest point.

"She was very proud of the MGM musicals," Parks said.

Particularly memorable was "On the Town," the Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Leonard Bernstein musical about three sailors on leave in New York City. She played the comically aggressive cab driver who pursues Sinatra (singing the racy "Come Up to My Place") while his pals, Gene Kelly and Jules Munshin, team up with Vera-Ellen and Ann Miller.

Besides the two pictures with Sinatra, she appeared in "Words and Music" and "Neptune's Daughter," in which she and Red Skelton sang the Oscar-winning song "Baby, It's Cold Outside."

MGM dropped her after Parks' testimony, and she received no film offers until she co-starred with Jack Lemmon and Janet Leigh in the 1955 musical version of "My Sister Eileen," playing Eileen's (Leigh's) sister, Ruth.

Unable to find much work in Hollywood, she and Parks hit the road with a musical act. It proved a hit in Las Vegas, London and other cities. When the bookings thinned out, Parks became a home builder. He died in 1975.

Betty maintained a busy career in theater and television. She played recurring roles in "All in the Family," as the chatty friend of Edith Bunker who duels with Archie, and "Laverne and Shirley," as a landlady who married Laverne's father.

She garnered an Emmy nomination in 2003 for guest actress in a comedy series for an appearance on the Ted Danson sitcom "Becker."

Over the years, she also had sporadic roles on Broadway, including parts in "Spoon River Anthology" in 1963 and "Meet Me in St. Louis" in 1989. She was back on Broadway in 2001 in a revival of Stephen Sondheim's "Follies."

In 1998, she published her autobiography, "Betty Garrett and Other Songs," which was the title of her one-woman show.

She also taught and appeared in plays at Workshop West, which she helped found in the late 1950s.

Asked in 1998 if she retained bitterness that she and Parks were blacklisted, she replied: "It's not my nature to be bitter. What I feel is deep sorrow. We both, I think, were just on the verge of becoming really big stars, particularly Larry. And it just went crashing down."

Betty Garrett was born in 1919 in St. Joseph, Mo. Her father, a traveling salesman, moved his wife and daughter to Seattle. He died of alcoholism when Betty was 2. She attended Roman Catholic schools though she wasn't a Catholic.

She had demonstrated a talent for dancing and acting, and her ambitious mother took her to New York where she had won a scholarship at the prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse. Betty was 17.

Garrett's stage debut came with "Danton's Death" at Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre in 1938. Later shows included "All in Fun," "Something for the Boys," "Laffin' Room Only" and "Bells Are Ringing." She also danced with the Martha Graham troupe, worked summers on the Borscht Belt, and even wore a fake jewel in her navel as a $25-a-week chorus girl in the Latin Quarter in Boston.

In addition to Garrett Parks, a composer, his wife Karen Culliver Parks and her granddaughter Madison Claire Parks, she was survived by her son Andrew Parks, an actor, and his wife Katy Melody.

The family did not plan to have a funeral, but was planning a memorial service for later in the month.

Congrats for the Pre-pre-noms!

A big toast of congratulations to all of the OutTakes guests who have been submitted for nominations in the Daytime Emmys this year!

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Julia Barr
Cady McClain

Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Colleen Zenk

Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Jon Lindstrom

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Trent Dawson
Eric Sheffer Stevens

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Louise Sorel

Friday, February 4, 2011

No Actor Bashing comments allowed

Not meaning to sound like a finger-wagging schoolteacher...but comments personally bashing actors will not be published on the OutTakes blog. I love lively discussion about acting and actors. Even criticism of someone's performance is cool as long as it is said in a respectful way. Thanks.

Technology and Teaching

Check out this blog article written by Karen Guenther, a history professor who was inspired to use an excerpt from the OutTakes interview with Charles Shaughnessy as a teaching tool for her immigration class.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Info about MY FAIR LADY at North Shore Theatre

Here is information about MY FAIR LADY, as posted on Charles Shaughnessy's official Facebook pages:

Music: Frederick Lowe.
Book and Lyrics: Allen Jay Lerner.
Director: Charlie Repole.
Runs Tuesday, June 7 at 7:30pm - June 19 at 4:30pm

JUNE 7 - 19
Wouldn’t it be loverly?
Lerner & Loewe's MY FAIR LADY became an instant Broadway classic in 1956 and will become a favorite one again when North Shore Music Theatre opens its 2011 musical season with what many call the “perfect musical.” This story of a poor cockney girl, Eliza Doolittle, who is transformed into an elegant lady by Professor Henry Higgins, never fails to entrance an audience. With some of the musical theater's most beloved songs like "Wouldn't It be Lovely?" and "I Could Have Danced All Night," this is a musical treat for the ages.


North Shore Music Theatre is Located at:
62 Dunham Road
Beverly, MA 01915-1844
Located about 27 miles outside of The Greater Boston Area

Information on North Shore Music Theatre
Founded in 1955 . .

Since 1955, NSMT has become one of the most attended theatres in New England, with approximately 250,000 patrons annually. With a national and regional reputation for artistic achievement, NSMT has received numerous industry awards including Elliot Norton Awards, IRNE Awards, the Rosetta Le Noire Award from Actors’ Equity, and the Moss Hart Award. Under new ownership in 2010, NSMT continues to annually produce a musical subscription series and an annual production of A Christmas Carol along with celebrity concerts and children’s programming.

North Shore Music Theatre is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to celebrate, perpetuate and invigorate the art of musical theater. They create innovative interpretations of classic and contemporary works, develop new musicals in collaboration with established and emerging writers and composers, and provide dynamic and intensive theater training programs for learners of all ages.

Facebook Page:





IN PERSON: Tuesday & Thursday 11am - 1pm

BY PHONE: 978.232.7200
Monday - Friday: Hours Vary

ONLINE: 24/7