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“Brady Bunch” Star Heads to Ocean City for Another Role

first_imgBy TIM KELLYBarry Williams looks back on his years playing Greg Brady, the wise, calming influence on his younger sibling characters on the iconic 70s TV show “The Brady Bunch,” and sums up the role: “I played someone who came to be seen as America’s most reliable older brother.”As an actor, it is an enviable legacy for Williams, now 65, who will step into two new roles in Ocean City on April 18: leading the Doo Dah Parade as its grand marshal and later that evening serving as emcee of the Mr. Mature America pageant at the Music Pier. Reached by phone Tuesday following a gym workout in his adopted hometown of Branson, Missouri, Williams said he was “excited, thrilled and honored” to be coming to Ocean City for the events, seen as warmups for the coming summer tourism season.“The parade is going to be fun, and for Mr. Mature, I thought I better hit the gym,” he said with a chuckle. “I was doing weights and some cardio.”The pageant, now in its seventh year, has gained national attention for its parody of traditional beauty pageants featuring male contestants aged 55 and up.Although best known for his memorable performance as Greg Brady, Williams is also an accomplished Broadway performer (“Pippin”), author, singer and musician, whose band, Barry Williams and the Traveliers, tours venues nationwide. In addition, he is a writer, producer and director.With all that going on, one might expect Williams to want to move past the role that made him a household name as a child star. On the contrary, he embraces and celebrates the show about a widowed architect (the late Robert Reed) with three sons who marries Carol, played by the late Florence Henderson, the mom of three girls.The series portrayed a non-traditional family unit facing traditional issues such as coming of age, peer pressure and the like.“The show is not realistic, but it is idealistic,” Williams explained. “It gave an idealized view of how a blended family could come together and be functional. People relate to it. When I meet people, everyone has their own story and personal connection to the show. I’m always hearing people talk about their favorite episodes and quoting lines from the show. I meet middle-aged women who revert back to being teenage girls when they talk about it.”Barry Williams, now 65, in a contemporary photo. (Photo courtesy of Distractify.com)“The Brady Bunch,” which ran from 1969 to 1974, took on a much longer second life in syndication and spawned what Williams termed “a cottage industry” of sequels, movie versions, even a HGTV reality show about renovating the Brady’s TV “home.”But make no mistake, it was The Brady Bunch’s five-year stint kicking off ABC’s Friday night lineup (followed by the Partridge Family for four of those years) that had a profound impact on his success and growth in show business.Executive Producer Sherwood Schwartz sold the show to ABC following the cancellation of his previous hit, “Gilligan’s Island.”“Sherwood didn’t much care about critical acclaim or awards,” Williams said. “He had a tremendous ability to come up with two shows that appealed to the masses. He might not have won over the critics, but he knew that he had the numbers (both Nielson ratings and huge audiences).”Greg Brady was the big brother his siblings confided in, but was still vulnerable to his own teenage foibles, making for perhaps the most complex character among the six kids on the show.Greg was also well-rounded, participating in both sports and music, a trait shared by the actor portraying him.“I look at sports these days as a way for me to stay healthy,” Williams said. “I look at music as a means of creative expression.” When asked which co-star or fellow celebrity “wowed him” most as a child star he rattled off four mentors: Vincent Price, Robert Wagner, Robert Young and Leonard Nimoy.“Vincent Price taught me about professionalism. He was the first on the set, the last to leave and always knew his lines,” Williams recalled. “And he was such an established star. He played roles that were always scary to me, especially as a seven-year-old.”Williams worked as a guest star on Wagner’s hit adventure-drama “It Takes a Thief” in a two-part episode and was touched by Wagner’s attitude toward him.“He didn’t treat me like some kid. He treated me as a young fellow actor,” Williams said.He recalled part of the script calling for Williams’ character to knock on a door. “(Wagner) asked me what I was feeling before I knocked on the door. I never considered that. The script just said ‘knocks on door.’ (Wagner) said, ‘You’re going to knock on the door differently if you are mad than you would if you were scared.’ That really opened up a whole new side of acting to me,” Williams recalled. “It was just so generous for someone that accomplished to take that kind of time to work with my development.” “The Brady Bunch” cast during the latter stage of its five-year run on ABC. (Photo courtesy Mamamia.au)There were also numerous memorable guest stars who wound up at the Brady household, including pro football Hall of Famer Joe Namath and Monkees lead singer Davy Jones among many others.“Joe Namath was a big crush of Florence Henderson,” Williams dished, “but he just fit in perfectly in the Brady world. He was playing catch with us in the backyard. Imagine as a kid playing catch with Joe Namath. I met up with him again about six or seven years ago and he was just (as warm) as ever.”“Davy Jones was what you might expect: a big pop star who reveled in all the attention he received,” Williams added.With all of that in the rear view mirror, Williams is still looking ahead. He said his website www.barrywilliamsofficial.com will keep fans up to date on what’s on tap for the show biz legend, and the Ocean City appearance is something he’s especially jazzed about.Williams said he came to O.C. once but very briefly, and years back. “It was a while ago and I remember being on the Boardwalk. I’m really looking forward to learning more about what Ocean City is all about,” he said.He was reminded that as grand marshal of the Doo Dah Parade he will join a fraternity of such luminaries as Barbara Eden (“I Dream of Jeannie”), Erik Estrada (“CHiPS”), Dawn Wells (Maryann from “Gilligan’s Island”), Soupy Sales and many others. It was then suggested that he fit right in with such a roster of Doo Dah and Mr. Mature emcee greats.“I’m not sure I know what that means,” he allowed. “But I think I will by the end of that day.” The Hobo Band of Pitman is one of the traditional attractions of the Doo Dah parade. Barry Williams, who played Greg, with TV “sister” Maureen “Marcia” McCormick in a scene from “The Brady Bunch.” (Photo courtesy of A Very Brady Blog on Pinterest).last_img read more

Comedy Center, Ball-Arnaz Museum Open Friday With Safety Precautions

first_imgFile image by Storm Hartmann/WNYNewsNow.JAMESTOWN — The National Comedy Center will reopen its state-of-the-art museum, as well as the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum this Friday, following New York State officials’ authorization of Phase 4 of its New York Forward reopening plan for the Western New York region.Both museums have been temporarily closed since March 16, 2020, as a precaution due to COVID-19, just two weeks after being named the “Best New Museum” in the country by USA Today.The National Comedy Center has developed a multifaceted and comprehensive health and safety program entitled “LaughSafe,” which will be implemented upon reopening to ensure the health and safety of all guests and staff.The LaughSafe program has reimagined health and safety protocols in order to ensure a safe, worry-free and touch-free experience for all visitors to the National Comedy Center and Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum. With its expansive 37,000 square feet of space and non-linear, free-flow design, coupled with new reduced capacity to 25%, timed-entry ticketing and touch-free protocols, the National Comedy Center is suited to enable a safe, socially-distant visitor experience.“We’re thrilled at the opportunity to help people start laughing again – and it’s clear that the power of comedy is more important than ever in these challenging times,” said Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center Executive Director. “We’re so pleased that we can welcome visitors once more, and provide a safe and worry-free environment for our guests to take a much-needed break, relax and simply laugh –- loud and often — as they enjoy some of the greatest comedy of all time.”The National Comedy Center’s LaughSafe program was developed in consultation with health professionals at UPMC Chautauqua and UPMC in Pittsburgh, including health and safety protocol reviews with UPMC epidemiologists and an on-site inspection with local UPMC Chautauqua professionals.The LaughSafe health and safety program features include:“Touch-Free”: All exhibits and screens are now touch-free with the use of a disposable stylus, disposable earbuds and a new “LaughCard” featuring an RFID chip for personalized comedy.Temperature checks are required for all guests and staff members upon entry, as well as a daily health screening for staff members.Masks are required to be worn by staff and guests (including children age 2 and above) at all times.Museum capacity has been reduced to 25% and timed guest entry protocols have been implemented.Certain exhibit experiences in contained spaces are limited to small groups consisting of members of same household.Advanced online reservations are strongly recommended to ensure entry.Visitors now have a new opportunity to create their Sense of Humor profiles at home, before they visit, rather than at a kiosk within the museum.Social distancing markers and signage have been placed throughout the museum to ensure proper physical distance between guests.Hand-sanitizing stations are located throughout the museum.Touch-free, contactless payment options are now available.Museum staff have been trained extensively for new health and safety protocols.State-of-the-art, deep cleaning and disinfecting techniques have been implemented, including frequent disinfecting throughout the day.Real-time monitoring of the guest experience and guest feedback to optimize health and safety protocols.The National Comedy Center is now in the process of producing a new LaughSafe video featuring comedian Lewis Black, who will remind National Comedy Center visitors to wear face masks and maintain social distance within the museum.For more on LaughSafe, visit ComedyCenter.org/LaughSafe.In addition to consultation with local UPMC Chautauqua health professionals, the National Comedy Center sourced local Chautauqua County companies for many of its LaughSafe initiatives, including The Resource Center and Team Jock Shop for face masks, Jamestown Soap & Solvent for cleaning and disinfecting supplies and 360 Graphics for signage.The National Comedy Center and Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum will operate on a reduced schedule during its reopening phase, with opening hours as follows beginning Friday, July 3rd:National Comedy Center:Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday , 10 am to 5 pm.Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum:Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday, 10 am to 5 pm.Open Sunday, 11 am to 4 pm.Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

By the Water Opens Off-Broadway

first_img By the Water In addition to Ruginis and O’Connell, the cast includes Cassie Beck as Emily Mancini, Quincy Dunn-Baker as Sal Murphy, Charlotte Maier as Andrew Carter, Tom Pelphrey as Brian Murphy and Ethan Phillips as Philip Carter. Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 7, 2013 View Comments By the Water takes place after Hurricane Sandy has ravaged the lifelong home of Marty (Ruginis) and Mary (O’Connell) Murphy. The storm has ripped apart more than just the walls: with their neighbors too devastated to stay, the couple’s beloved Staten Island community is in danger of disappearing forever. Determined to rebuild, Marty wages a campaign to save his neighborhood and his home, but when the Murphys’ sons arrive to help their parents dig out, past betrayals come rushing to the surface. Related Shows The world premiere of Sharyn Rothstein’s By the Water opens officially on November 18, starring Vyto Ruginis and Deirdre O’Connell. The off-Broadway production, directed by Hal Brooks, is part of the Manahattan Theatre Club and Ars Nova’s commissioning partnership, The Writer’s Room. The play will run through December 7 at New York City Center—Stage II.last_img read more

Beat writers predict outcome of Syracuse-Wisconsin matchup

first_img Comments Syracuse (4-1) faces Wisconsin (5-2) in its sixth game of the season. The Orange dropped an overtime matchup with the Badgers at the Carrier Dome last year. This year, the teams face off in Madison, Wisconsin at 7:30 p.m.Check out how our beat writers think the game will unfold.Connor Grossman (4-1)Proving groundSyracuse 68, Wisconsin 65Make no mistake about it, the Badgers are good. They’re probably even better than Syracuse given that Wisconsin returned nearly its entire roster from last season. But SU can shoot it, and unlike its dismal offensive output against South Carolina, it’s going to show it on Tuesday night. The low post has been a miniature disaster for the Orange thus far, so it won’t be a surprise if Tyler Lydon plays several minutes at center. Less Dajuan Coleman and Paschal Chukwu would also allow more time for Taurean Thompson to play, and he’s shooting nearly 57 percent from the field through five games. Syracuse’s offense will steal the road victory while the defense holds off the Badgers just long enough.Matt Schneidman (4-1)BadgeredWisconsin 63, Syracuse 59AdvertisementThis is placeholder textGreg Gard’s squad is one of the best in the country at forcing the game to go at its own methodical tempo. Don’t expect this one to be an up-and-down affair like last year’s matchup between Syracuse and Wisconsin, when the Badgers won, 66-58, even with an overtime period. SU’s biggest flaw right now is that is doesn’t have a legitimate low-post threat, either on offense or defense. Jim Boeheim retains that Thompson is the team’s best low-post player, and he’s still getting his feet wet. The problem for Syracuse is that Wisconsin has one of the best power forwards in the country in Nigel Hayes.Paul Schwedelson (4-1)Moldy cheeseWisconsin 65, Syracuse 58Syracuse’s trip to Wisconsin will yield ugly results. The Orange was exposed against South Carolina as the Gamecocks extended its defense on the wings and dared SU to either have its bigs score or have its point guards drive. But Frank Howard and John Gillon struggled to take advantage and Syracuse hasn’t developed a reliable go-to scorer. Now that a way to stop the Orange is on tape, Wisconsin has an opportunity to turn SU’s loss into a streak. It’s hard to win on the road in college basketball. Don’t expect Syracuse to do it on Tuesday.MORE COVERAGE:Wisconsin’s use of Sterling basketballs reflects NCAA’s inconsistencyWhat to know about Wisconsin Published on November 28, 2016 at 11:00 pmcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more