It’s not every day that Sarah Jessica Parker pops in for a cameo performance at a talent show with elementary- and middle-school children.
It’s also not every day that a student talent show takes place in the East Room of the White House.
But on Tuesday afternoon, that’s what happened. First lady Michelle Obama hosted the elaborate — yet down-to-earth — talent show to highlight the importance of arts education in public schools.
The event showcased the work of the Turnaround Arts program, which helps low-performing schools increase student achievement through access to arts education. Major artists — including SJP herself — have adopted schools across the country as part of this effort.
During the show, actress Alfre Woodard led a raucous student brass band, while Sarah Jessica Parker joined an all-girl group performing “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” from the musical “Annie.”
At the show’s opening, Mrs. Obama said the arts help students get excited about taking their seats in class because they are thinking about the next musical they’re performing in or the instrument they can’t wait to play.
“But if they’re not in their seats then we can’t teach them anything at all,” she said. “The bottom line here is very clear: Arts education isn’t something we add on after we’ve achieved other priorities, like raising test scores and getting kids into college. It’s actually critical for achieving those priorities in the first place.”
In a surprise appearance, President Barack Obama made his own pitch for arts education.
“It is necessary for these young people to succeed that we promote the arts,” he said. “It’s a priority.”
A third “Sex and the City” movie has never been seriously discussed, Sarah Jessica Parker, star of the television series and movies, said Thursday night in New York.
“It’s not that I’m inhospitable (to the idea). We just haven’t felt it’s the right time to talk about it,” said the actress, who played the role of newspaper columnist Carrie Bradshaw on the HBO series for six years. The series, which won seven Emmy Awards, continues to air in syndication.
When a “Sex and the City” movie was proposed, Parker said she and Michael Patrick King, who directed both films, had talked about the story as acts in a play. “There is a third story, but whether or not we tell it has never been discussed.”
“In my head, it’s a small movie,” she added.
The first “Sex and the City” film became the highest-grossing romantic comedy of 2008, and the second, though it earned less than the first, held the same title for 2010.
Parker, 49, was interviewed by Jonathan Tisch, chairman of Loews Hotels, at the 92nd Street Y. The discussion was distributed on the Internet through Livestream. In addition to her work on Broadway, TV and movies, they discussed her fashion business and her philanthropic work.
Parker, the fourth of her mother’s eight children from two marriages, started performing when she was a child. Her first TV work was in 1974 on an NBC “Young People’s Special” called “The Little Match Girl,” which was shot in Cincinnati, where her family had moved when she was about 5.
While making that show, she missed five days of school and earned $500—and also managed to take home $20 in spending money, the result of spending only $1 of the amount she was allotted for lunch. That money “was a really, really big deal,” she said, adding that she also enjoyed acting. “I loved the experience of being someone else.”
Two years later, she and her brother Timothy were cast in a Broadway revival of a play, “The Innocents,” directed by Harold Pinter.
The family moved to New York in 1977, and Parker appeared in the Broadway musical “Annie,” eventually taking on the title role.
She was appearing on Broadway in “Once Upon a Mattress”–and planning her wedding to actor Matthew Broderick—when she agreed to make the pilot for “Sex and the City” despite her concerns about nudity and language in the script.
Both Broderick and her older brother Pippin thought the pilot script was “wonderful, different from anything they had read,” she said.
After she made the pilot, she forgot about it until she ran into a friend who complimented her on the show. She resisted HBO’s offer to do the show, raising many objections, but eventually agreed to shoot two episodes.
From that first day, “I didn’t regret one moment spent” on it, she said.
Asked what she learned from the “Sex and the City” experience, Parker said she learned about friendship. The show’s plotlines often dealt with her character’s close ties with three other women living in New York.
“It changed the way I looked at my friendships. That’s the emotional reward that I reaped from it,” in addition to the professional rewards and the chance to become a producer.
Parker started in the fashion business by creating fragrances, noting that since she was a girl, she had kept a list of possible names for perfumes. She also was involved in the creation of a lower-priced sportswear line called Bitten in a partnership with the Steve & Barry’s clothing chain.
“Unfortunately, they expanded too quickly” after initial success, she said.
Her latest business is a line of shoes for Nordstrom created with George Malkemus, president of Manolo Blahnik USA. Their first products were launched in February, and they have added bags and overcoats and expanded the number of stores where the line is sold.
“I would like it to grow in a smart and prudent way,” she said. “I’ve seen lots of emerging designers grow too quickly and it kills them.”
Asked about her use of social media, Parker said she had resisted using Twitter and other online forums until six or seven months ago, when she sent her first tweet about a documentary series she is producing about the New York City Ballet. She also is a member of that organization’s board of directors.
She said she has an easier relationship with Instagram, which allows users to share photos or videos with their followers, than with Twitter because of the former’s lower potential for vitriol.
Parker, who lives in Manhattan with her husband, son and twin daughters, said she sometimes is nostalgic for the New York of the 1970s despite the financial crisis and crime that the city was experiencing then. “The city used to offer more possibilities. People could come here with a dream and live in Manhattan.”
Today, high rents are making even some of the outer boroughs prohibitive for young artists, she said. “I don’t know how that can be corrected.”
Hey everybody! I just wanted to give everybody a reminder that Sarah Jessica Parker is taking part in a livestream interview with Jonathan Tisch at 92Y On Demand. You can read an overview of the event below and can view the livestream tonight 7:30 PM EST — 9:00 PM EST on 92Y On Demand’s website.
She transformed the way we talk about sex, think about friendship and feel about shoes. Jonathan Tisch joins the award-winning actress, producer and style icon for an in-depth discussion about her life and work—from her simple beginnings growing up in Ohio, to her Broadway childhood, her career as an award-winning actress, her business savvy and her newly launched line of shoes, handbags and trench coats.
Jessica Lange and Sarah Jessica Parker will star opposite Shirley Maclaine and Alan Arkin in the road-trip comedy “Wild Oats,” sources said.
The Exchange will be selling “Wild Oats” at Cannes.
Producers are Blythe Frank of Wild Pictures and Kip Konwiser of the Konwiser Brothers. Stealth Media Group is exec producing.
The project has been in development for several years with The Weinstein Co. acquiring U.S. distribution rights in 2012. At that point, Jacki Weaver was attached along with MacLaine.
Andy Tennant, whose credits include “Hitch” and “Sweet Home Alabama,” is directing from a script by Claudia Myers and Gary Kanew.
Maclaine portrays a widow and retired history teacher who receives a life insurance check accidentally made out for $5 million instead of the expected $50,000. Her best friend, portrayed by Lange, urges her to deposit the money and escape their small town life to the Canary Islands.
Sarah Jessica Parker was the first to make a grand entrance on the red carpet at the 2014 Met Gala held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday (May 5) in New York City. She is serving as one of the annual event’s co-chairs this year and showed up early to greet all the guests as they arrive. This year’s Costume Institute Gala Benefit celebrates the opening of the “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” exhibition. You can catch a sneak peek at Sarah Jessica’s look below. She is wearing a gorgeous a Oscar de la Renta dress. She looks amazing, doesn’t she?! Leave a comment to share your thoughts on her look. Photos and other fashion details will be uploaded as they arrive.
Hey everybody! I just wanted to give all of y’all a heads up that Sarah Jessica is set to appear on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” this Wednesday (May 7). So mark your calendars and set your DVR everybody! HD screen captures and video clips of her appearance will be uploaded to the website just in case you all miss her appearance.
Late Night with Seth Meyers, NBC
We 5/7: Sarah Jessica Parker, Anna Wintour, Rich Eisen, the 1975
Sarah Jessica Parker walked the red carpet at the 2014 AOL NewFronts event held at Duggal Greenhouse on Tuesday (April 29) in New York City. Sarah Jessica will be working on a new series called “City.Ballet” in which she takes a close look at the compelling lives of the company members of the New York City Ballet, both on stage and off. You can check out 66 MQ photos of Sarah Jessica at the event in our photo gallery. Enjoy!
FYI: SJP is wearing an Alexander McQueen dress, SJP Collection shoes, a Chanel jacket, a Veronika Borchers for Pearl Collective necklace, and jewelry by Fred Leighton, Pamela Love, Vale, and House of Lavande.
Sarah Jessica Parker hit the red carpet while attending the New York Pops 31st Birthday Gala held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Monday evening (April 28) in New York City. You can check out 23 MQ photos of Sarah Jessica in our photo gallery. Enjoy!
FYI: Sarah Jessica Parker is wearing a Sonia Rykiel dress, Armani vest, Balenciaga coat, Fendi bag, Manolo Blahnik shoes, and Fred Leighton jewels.
Public Appearances > 2014 > Apr 28: The New York Pops 31st Birthday Gala