‘Jane The Novela’: Hunter Parrish To Star In the CW’s ‘Jane The Virgin’ Spinoff Pilot

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Weeds alum Hunter Parrish is set as the male co-lead opposite Jacqueline Grace Lopez in Jane the Novela, the CW’s Jane the Virgin spinoff pilot. The telenovela anthology series project hails from Jane the Virgin creator/executive producer Je…

‘Good Grief’ Theater Review: Ngozi Anyanwu Looks Back With Love and Hip-Hop

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The promising playwright Ngozi Anyanwu, who made a striking New York debut earlier this year with “The Homecoming Queen,” returns to Off Broadway’s Vineyard Theatre with a memory play called “Good Grief” whose specificity is both its strength and one of its weaknesses.

Anyanwu also stars in the production as Nkechi, the daughter of Nigerian immigrants raised in suburban Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in the late ’90s, as she comes to terms with the sudden death of her childhood friend and young adulthood almost-lover in a car accident.

As played with easy-going charisma by Ian Quinlan, MJ is a light-skinned James Dean type who’s smart but unambitious, a smooth cat compared to the more academically driven Nkechi with her more rough-around-the-edges feline energy.

In a series of nonlinear scenes that span more than a decade, Nkechi tries to overcome her crippling period of mourning for MJ in conversations with various people in her life: her football-loving father (Oberon K.A. Adjepong), her psychiatric-nurse mother (Patrice Johnson Chevannes), her blunt-smoking, malt-liquor-drinking brother (Nnamdi Asomugha) and her high school crush (Hunter Parrish).

Also Read: ‘The Waverly Gallery’ Broadway Review: Kenneth Lonergan Remembers a Lost, Eccentric Life

Each is uncomprehending of just how stuck Nkechi seems to be over MJ’s death — or why she’s dropped out of medical school and holed up at her parents’ home, seemingly incapable of moving on with her life.

The play doesn’t shed much light on this question — nor does it gather much in the way of narrative momentum over the course of its 100-minute running time. And occasional efforts to elevate the material to the mythic seem like too big a stretch for what amounts to a slight, if well-observed story of loss.

Also Read: ‘The Ferryman’ Broadway Review: Jez Butterworth and Sam Mendes Unload on the IRA

But there is much to admire here, particularly in Anyanwu’s gift for dialogue and for depicting the experience of a second-generation African American growing up in lily-white suburbia when Tupac and Biggie were just as popular as The Incredible Hulk and “The Goonies.” (The snippets of hip-hop classics played on boomboxes, of course, add just the right touch.)

And both as actress and playwright, Anyanwu also has a gift for breaking the fourth wall to reshape her memories — sometimes following reimagined scenes with shorter takes of what “really” happened. Indeed, some lines are repeated verbatim by different characters in subsequent scenes, to further challenge our grip on what might be true.

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‘The Waverly Gallery’ Broadway Review: Kenneth Lonergan Remembers a Lost, Eccentric Life

‘The Ferryman’ Broadway Review: Jez Butterworth and Sam Mendes Unload on the IRA

Hold Up, ‘This Is Us’ Fans – Mandy Moore Says You Might Actually Like That Guy With the Flowers

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

(Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Season 3 premiere of “This Is Us.”)

Um, who the hell are you, dude?

That may or may not (but probably was) your initial reaction to the man who is not Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) who appeared on Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) doorstep with a large bouquet of flowers in the closing moments of the Season 3 premiere of “This Is Us.”

The shocker came while Ventimiglia’s character was on his way back to see his future wife after what was arguably one of the most awful first dates in TV history. But it all ended well when Jack confessed to Rebecca the reason things got so awkward was because he only had $9 to spend on their outing and didn’t want to admit that to her, so they got drenched by a torrential downpour.

Also Read: ‘This Is Us’ Season 3 Premiere: Showrunners Break Down Jack and Rebecca’s Awful First Date

Becc was clearly smitten by Jack’s honesty and gave him a kiss before leaving her coat behind in his car, hoping he’d return to give it back to her. And return he did, but when he was rolling up to her house — also with some flowers — he saw this blonde mustached guy (played by “Weeds” actor Hunter Parrish) at the door, kissing his woman! WTF?

Though this guy is obviously about to throw a wrench into one of the greatest love stories ever to grace the small screen, TheWrap has to wonder if we might actually sort of end up liking this unnamed jerk. And Moore told us herself after “This Is Us”s third season premiere in Los Angeles Tuesday that could be the case.

“I could see that happening, yeah,” Moore told us, laughing and smiling. Uh oh.

Also Read: ‘This Is Us:’ Sterling K Brown Tells Us Why Randall ‘Had to Seek Out Tess’ to Visit ‘Her’

While Moore says we aren’t going to find out about this man next episode, we will learn what’s going on here come Episode 3.

Until then, TheWrap asked for Moore to give us her take on what Rebecca is feeling about Jack right now, especially after learning he returned from the Vietnam War not too long ago, where he lost his little brother.

“I think she recognizes like there is more than meets the eye with this guy,” Moore said. “That is complicated. But I would imagine during that time period it wasn’t too odd to meet a vet and someone that had lost somebody that they knew or friend or comrade that they served with.”

Also Read: ‘This Is Us’: Sterling K Brown Tells Us All About the Beth-Centric Episode You’ve Been Waiting for

“I think him sort of giving her that speech before they got out of the car is really what kind of turned the tide for her,” Moore said. “I think she thought like, ‘This is OK. I’m going to just chalk this up to this isn’t my guy. Like I thought he was and he’s lovely.’ But I think until he really like explained himself and where he’s coming from did she realize, ‘OK, this is worth investigating and exploring.”

TheWrap got a little more “This Is Us” intel last night. Check out everything we know about Randall’s mysterious “her” here, get the break down of Jack and Rebecca’s first date here, and hear what Sterling K. Brown had to say about an upcoming Beth-centric episode here.

“This Is Us” airs Tuesday at 9/8c on NBC.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘This Is Us’ Season 3 Premiere: Showrunners Break Down Jack and Rebecca’s Awful First Date

‘This Is Us:’ Sterling K Brown Tells Us Why Randall ‘Had to Seek Out Tess’ to Visit ‘Her’

‘This Is Us’: Sterling K Brown Tells Us All About the Beth-Centric Episode You’ve Been Waiting for

‘This Is Us’ Season 3 Refresher: The Pearsons’ Biggest Tearjerker Moments – So Far (Photos)