Let's take a look at three female celebrities in the news this week, all of whom have been in danger of letting their private lives overshadow their creative work. How are their career choices going?
Less than a month after the premiere of Katie Holmes' return to Broadway in the comedy Dead Accounts, the producers have announced that the show is closing two months earlier than planned, on January 6. Of course, no reason was given for the early closure, but reviews for the play by Theresa Rebeck (Seminar) ranged from lukewarm to scathing. Holmes, playing the mousy adult daughter of a dysfunctional small-town family, probably won't be blamed for the play's failure. But if she wants to thrive in live theater -- which is probably a good fit for her, since her former Dawson's Creek castmate Michelle Williams is already filling the Serious Indie Hollywood Actress slot -- she's going to have to pick better material. In the meantime, a guest spot on Don't Trust the B---- In Apartment 23 or Cougar Town, critically-acclaimed comedies co-starring other former Creek stars, might be a way to remind folks of her comedy chops.
Actually, Kate Winslet's career is doing fine, thank you: her next project, director Jason Reitman's hostage drama Labor Day is not the fluffy rom-com sequel to Garry Marshall's Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve one might guess from the title. But her new (third) marriage raises an eyebrow. At least she's fallen out of the habit of on-set romances (she met previous husbands Jim Threapleton and Sam Mendes on films they were directing), but it must be reported that Winslet has married someone who legally changed his name to Ned Rocknroll. He is seemingly unaware that changing your name to Rocknroll is in fact about the most NOT rock'n'roll thing one can do. It's so ridiculously lame, in fact, that it diminishes Winslet's own brand. I'm just going to have trouble taking her seriously as an actress in a dark, powerful drama if at any point I'm reminded that she's married to a dude with a clown name. Oh well, if previous experience is any indication, this won't last long enough to worry about.
Now that Britney Spears has completed her stint on The X Factor, the question has been raised whether it would be good for either Spears or the show if she re-ups for next season. I'm afraid the answer appears to be a strong "no." Spears was neither a particularly good judge -- as one contestant said and many more probably felt, she was not thought of as a strong singer even in her heyday -- nor an effective publicity prop. Fellow ex-teen pop star Demi Lovato and co-host Khloe Kardashian both got considerably more buzz out of the gig than Spears did. And let's face it, it may not even be good for Spears' music career: The Voice judge Christina Aguilera, who has long since eclipsed her fellow ex-Mouseketeer as a recording artist, has seen both of her last two albums bomb on the charts despite the regular TV exposure. The show has done little to expunge Spears' latter-day reputation as someone irreparably damaged by sudden fame at a young age, and perhaps it would be better for all concerned if she simply walked quietly offstage.