By Romeo San Vicente
And she’s playing The White Violin. Are you already confused? Thought it was about umbrellas? Here’s where you catch up: The Umbrella Academy is an offbeat comic book series from Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba, and Netflix is giving it the TV platform it deserves. Already cast is Ellen Page, one of the media’s most lovable young lesbians, in the role of Vanya, A.K.A 00.07 The White Violin. Now, Vanya – or 00.07, or The White Violin, pick your favorite name – is the adopted daughter of “The Moncacle” and she has extremely strong superpowers that have been repressed. But then she learns how to use them and we find out she can destroy anything and everything with one solitary note from her white violin. There are other characters too, not yet cast, and they have equally fascinating stories, and you’ll have to wait until 2018 for Netflix to put this one into your streaming queue. But for now you know that there’s at least one thing to look forward to in the coming year.
Nights on Broadway with the Bee Gees
Kids, once upon a time there was a British singing group, all brothers, last name Gibb, and they had the biggest selling album of the 1970s, a soundtrack album for a movie about a disco dancer. Ask your parents for more information because this isn’t a column about pop culture history. And then tell your parents – who almost certainly also loved the ABBA jukebox musical Mamma Mia! – that there’s a Broadway show coming that will be built entirely around the songs and story of the Bee Gees. No title yet, no stars yet, no release date yet, but there is a deal in motion with surviving brother Barry and the estates of Robin, Maurice, and presumably that of non-Bee Gee Gibb hitmaker Andy. All we can imagine is how arduous the audition process is going to be, since the vocal styling of this harmonious, high-pitched crew was unique in pop music. And really, most importantly, who’s going to play Lulu? Just go ask your parents again.
That Kimberly Peirce will direct This is Jane
Laura Kaplan’s nonfiction book, The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service, told the story of a Chicago woman who founded and administered a safe, yet illegal, abortion service. The service was known as “Jane,” and the extended group of women involved taught themselves how to perform abortions. Through a private feminist network, they provided the procedure – in addition to health education and counseling – for as many as 11,000 women from the years 1968 to 1973 when Roe v. Wade made abortion legal. Now Amazon will produce the film version of this story with director Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) at the helm. No cast or start date yet, but this one ought to attract some major acting names for its female ensemble, considering that the topic is always timely in politics run by terrible men.
Spice Girls finally get Victoria to say yes
Spice Girls reunion! 2018! Multiple projects! And it’s about time. They haven’t really reunited since the Olympics, and that all comes down to Posh, really. You might see Mel B on television more often, but the real post-Spice Girls boss around these parts is full-time mom, full-time fashion CEO Victoria Beckham. Her very high-end clothing line is respected in the fashion world and she’s got the least need to be back on the line singing “Spice Up Your Life” for middle-aged ladies and gay men. So last year’s ill-timed, three-out-of-five-ain’t-bad mini-reunion (which also failed to include Mel C) went belly-up when Geri became pregnant. The fans were sad. But since friendship never ends, they’re coming back for more with a 2018 TV special, a compilation album (with some new music, please, why not?), and some as-yet-undisclosed projects. They may have missed timing it to the 20th anniversary of “Wannabe,” but 2018 is the two-decade birthday of the cinematic classic Spice World. And yes, it matters. Every zig-a-zig-ahhh matters.
Romeo San Vicente thinks Victoria is an underrated singer.