Ron Livingston plays John Carver in a new miniseries about the Pilgrims.
National Geographic Channcel

You might not immediately recognize Ron Livingston in the new miniseries Saints & Strangers, the two-night story of the Pilgrims’ arrival at Plymouth that debuts Sunday at 9 on the National Geographic Channel.

The actor known to a generation of fans from movies like Swingers and Office Space and series like Sex and the City and Band of Brothers appears under a matted mane as John Carver, the first governor of Plymouth Colony whose struggles began on the Mayflower and only got worse in the new world.

Joan Marcus

  The Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year and we are highlighting its work this week.

Roundabout produces work both on and Off-Broadway and at its Off-Broadway theater, The Laura Pels, Roundabout is currently presenting The Humans, a new play by Stephen Karam. Directed by Joe Mantello the show has announced a move from off to on Broadway next Spring -- with its current ensemble cast intact.

In the play, we join The Blakes - a solid Scranton family - as they celebrate Thanksgiving in their youngest daughter’s apartment in New York City. The family dynamic is strained and real. Karam’s writing is crisp, emotional, flip, and funny. The matriarch and patriarch of the family are played by Jane Houdyshell and Reed Birney, respectively.

The Cooking Channel

For many people around my age, Tia Mowry was familiar and welcome figure growing up; her sitcom with her twin Tamera, Sister Sister, was a sensation when it debuted in 1994. Mowry’s quick wit and winning performance endeared her to more than one generation of fans.

Proctors in Schenectady will take on a downstate feel on Sunday, March 22 when Academy Award-nominated actor Chazz Palminteri performs his one-man show A Bronx Tale, which became a beloved movie of the same name directed by Robert de Niro.

  Does acting matter?

David Thomson, one of our most respected and insightful writers on movies and theater, answers this question in his essay, Why Acting Matters.

Thomson tackles this most elusive of subjects, examining the allure of the performing arts for both the artist and the audience member while addressing the paradoxes inherent in acting itself. He reflects on the casting process, on stage versus film acting, and on the cult of celebrity.

The Capital Repertory Theatre of Albany’s production of ELLA, in which Tina Fabrique offers a spot-on performance as Ella Fitzgerald and Ron Haynes adds a letter-perfect impersonation of Louis Armstrong, brings to mind the challenges of playing celebrated personalities on stage and screen. Simply put, sometimes it works, as it does in ELLA. And sometimes not. When it does work, the effectiveness of the performance has nothing whatsoever to do with the actor’s physical resemblance to the personality he or she is playing.