Stargazing

Monday Mixer: KC native in ‘Manchester’; ‘SNL’ trolls Trump; hope for ‘Walking Dead’

Rick (Andrew Lincoln, foreground) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) return from their scavenging trip to find the Saviors have returned early to Alexandria in the mid-season finale of “The Walking Dead.”
Rick (Andrew Lincoln, foreground) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) return from their scavenging trip to find the Saviors have returned early to Alexandria in the mid-season finale of “The Walking Dead.” AMC

Without Chiefs or local college football, we about didn’t know what to do with ourselves this weekend. Here’s a look at what happened this weekend and what’s coming up this week.

KC’s stars

▪ If you saw “Manchester by the Sea” over the weekend, you may be pleased to know the actor Stephen McKinley Henderson, who played Mr. Emery, is a Kansas City native. Henderson has appeared in Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” the best picture nominee “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” and will next be seen in movie theaters in August Wilson’s “Fences,” starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. Henderson told Variety in November that it was a great honor to work with Washington.

“When we got with Denzel, it was clear we were in the hands of a master,” Henderson said. “The trust factor was there immediately. He has a huge generosity of heart. Denzel has had a legendary career, which let him be the person to bring August to a larger audience. With this film, he’ll be exposing more people to August’s work.”

The full interview can be found here.

▪ Watch Conan O’Brien yell at Christmas carolers Charles Barkley, Rashida Jones and KC’s Rob Riggle here.

▪ Eric Stonestreet told Collider he’ll start recording his voice work for Duke in the sequel to “The Secret Lives of Pets” in the next few weeks. The Piper grad gave the site some insight on the process: “The way the recording goes is that they give you the pieces as they come. Sometimes you might do four pages, sometimes you might do seven pages, sometimes you might just come in and do some sounds and grunts and howls. That’s why it’s really fun to be a part of. I get to watch the movie basically just like you get to watch the movie.” The full interview is here. The first film is new on video this month.

TV recaps

Spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned.

▪ “Saturday Night Live” spent nearly the entire 90 minutes trolling the president-elect, but he has yet to take the bait on Twitter. Host John Cena is a Dwayne Johnson in the making (as previously evidenced by his appearances in “Sisters” and “Trainwreck”); the second appearance by musical guest Maren Morris was imminently fast-forwardable; and the cameo by Bryan Cranston as Walter White/Heisenberg was brilliant. But, as usual, the player who landed the most punches was Cecily Strong, who, as Cathy Anne on “Weekend Update” asked, “Whatever happened to ‘journalistic dedigrity’?”

▪ “The Walking Dead” midseason finale ended with about as much hope as one could expect from the zombie apocalypse. We’re left with two only two questions.

1. Now that the gang is all back together (mostly), how long before they separate and do something stupid again?

2. We have to wait until February for new episodes, really?

OK, there were more questions.

Richard from the Kingdom tried to persuade Morgan to give up his pacifism and Carol to end her armageddon sabbatical and help fight back against the Saviors, and they declined, but for how long?

Rick and Aaron paddled semi-safely across the zombie lagoon to the survivalist houseboat, where they found guns and no ammo, and an ominous note with a crudely drawn middle finger and text that read, “Congrats for winning, but you still lose.” What’s that mean, and who’s the guy in the boots watching them leave?

Michonne learned Alexandria is severely outnumbered, so how will the gang fight back?

Daryl escaped the Santuary, with some help from Jesus, but who helped from the inside?

Negan fed Carl and Lil’ Ass Kicker Judith spaghetti, until, that is, Lil’ Ass Kisser Spencer tried his hand at a coup, and failed miserably. But what will Negan do with his new captive, Eugene?

The ep ended with Rick and the gang meeting up with Maggie, Sasha and Enid at Hilltop. What are they going to do about Gregory, and when will they meet King Ezekiel?

And who is scoping out Alexandria while they’re gone?

The whole season, so far, has been set-up for an all-out war pitting Alexandria, Hilltop and the Kingdom against the Saviors. Readers of the comic know how it ends, presumably. So why aren’t you reading the comic?

And, final question: How in the world did this show, which has been dreadfully glum, narratively scattered and occasionally just plain dull, manage to redeem itself in its final 90 minutes of 2016?

Weekend report

▪ The Star’s music writer, Timothy Finn, took in the Vibe’s “Elfmas 2016” show at the Uptown on Friday, which featured the poppy dance tunes of Zara Larsson, the fresh and appealing local singer Mackenzie Nicole (on Tech N9ne’s Strange Music label) and Swedish electro-pop star Tove Lo. “They would deliver to an audience of about 1,400 fans a show that lasted nearly three hours, including a couple of DJ sets between performers,” Tim wrote. The full review is here.

▪ Ensemble Iberica’s annual presentation of “The Kilmore Carols” on Saturday did not disappoint. The Star’s classical correspondent Libby Hanssen wrote, “Balancing the serene with the rustic, the musicians connected these 18th century works with the folkloric tunes of the Ozarks. The full review is here.

▪ Music correspondent Bill Brownlee says the production of “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by the Owen/Cox Dance Group and the People’s Liberation Big Band of Greater Kansas City is less a heartwarming tale of Christmas than a lusty toy story. Read more here.

On the way

▪ The Supersuckers perform Thursday at Knuckleheads. Tickets are $15 in advance through knuckleheadskc.com.

▪ Ginuwine plays the VooDoo on Friday. Tickets are $38-$57 through The VooDoo.

▪ Band of Horses performs Saturday at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. Tickets are $30 through midlandkc.com.

New this week

▪ Movies: “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”; “Collateral Beauty.”

▪ Video: “Suicide Squad”; “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”; “Florence Foster Jenkins”; Bridget Jones’s Baby”; “Duck Dynasty: Season 10”; “Fear the Walking Dead: Season 2.”

▪ Books: James Rollins, “Seventh Plague”; Alexander Freed, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”; Heather Graham, “Double Entendre”; Kendel Lynn, “Pot Luck.”

▪ Music: Kid Cudi, “Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ ”; Schiller, “Future.”

David Frese: 816-234-4463, @DavidFrese

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