ALL THE PRESIDENT’S AMEN
In trying to figure out how to do the prayer scene between Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger in ABC’s The Final Days, due to air Oct. 29, actor Theodore Bikel, far right (with Lane Smith as Nixon), took his cues on playing Kissinger from the former Secretary of State’s book Years of Upheaval. “It’s astounding to me that he writes that he cannot recall if he knelt,” says Bikel. “Here’s a man with an amazing memory, a historian, incredibly alert to every nuance, who cannot remember such a dramatic detail? I think that shows he was acutely, horribly embarrassed, and that’s what I wanted to convey.”
Patti LuPone, who won a 1980 Tony for Evita, will be singing after all on her new, highly praised ABC series, Life Goes On. In an episode which airs next month, viewers will learn that LuPone’s character, Libby Thacher, gave up a promising singing career after the birth of son Corky (Christopher Burke), who has Down syndrome. Corky urges his mom to try out for the local theater’s musical revue and LuPone sings five songs. “When the producers asked me to sing, I just laughed my head off,” says LuPone, who claims she had not been at all saddened by taking a nonsinging role. “After 18 years I didn’t regret not singing. But now that it’s been established that the character sings, there will probably be more.”
It has never been all that clear what Caroline Kennedy’s husband, Edwin Schlossberg, does for a living, since he is described alternately as an artist, inventor, poet, philosopher and museum exhibit designer. But it’s Ed’s techno-populist side that is on display in Malcolm Abrams and Harriet Bernstein’s new book, Future Stutf, due from Penguin next month. In this catalog of futuristic products and technology, Schlossberg proposes an “Interactive Game Pavilion,” saying, “Technical advances created situations that isolated people. Now it’s time we create situations where people can learn to interact with one another.” To that end, his pavilion is a place where people can play together through technology. In these arcades, there will be more than 22 games, including Beat the System, a stock market game, and Robot Cocktail Party, a game set in a bar where people in separate booths operate three-foot mobile robots equipped with microphones. Players have part of a phrase such as “birds of a feather…” and move their robots around to converse with other robots, seeking one with the rest of the phrase. Talk about safe sex.