September 23, 2011

"Monkeeing Around" With Micky Dolenz At Planet Hollywood


A Mac Wire Exclusive!
Micky Dolenz with NY radio personality Jim Kerr (who actually introduced Micky to his lovely wife Donna Quinter Dolenz).
Photos And Text By Contributing Editor Anne M. Raso

We were lucky enough to meet up with Micky Dolenz  at his presentation of a rare personal Monkees script from 1967 for the really cool episode guest-starring Frank Zappa! New York deejay Jim Kerr--who happened to introduce Micky to his present wife, the lovely Donna Quinter Dolenz--presented Micky on the stage at Planet Hollywood, Times Square while numerous shutterbugs from the major photo agencies and just plain ol' fans shot away. Micky told us he wanted to give away a script that was appropriate for New York, and the director of that particular episode had also done some great Broadway plays, so he felt that it was the appropriate choice. Of course, Micky put his John Hancock ont he script before turning it over to Planet Hollywood pre rep, Ayana Brown. We got to chance to talk to Donna (who was standing behind us) before the Mick came out and we detected a New York accent there. She told us she is a Philly native but that she lived in New York City for 25 years—hus the slight accent. (She and the former Monkee now live in Malibu, CA, together but visit New York City often--on Tuesday night, they took in the play Priscilla Of The Desert, which both of them loved and Micky later told us he was in town because he is being courted for a couple of Broadway plays, which is really his thing these days!) 

     Micky sat down with us after the script presentation and we caught up with him on several things going on in his life. We had to tell him that we not only loved the recent Monkees Reunion Tour show at Coney Island in August (including not only the performance but all the lovely memorabilia images projected onto the scene behind the band), his Royal Caribbean press trip appearance a few years ago where he wowed the crowd with his sister Coco on keyboards next to him, and the script presentation, but we had been hearing about the critical acclaim he had recently received in Hairspray on London's West End. When we asked if he would ever go back and take on the Edna Turnblatt role, he responded with a chuckle, "They approached me but I am still a 'skinny kid' and I am not quite ready to put on the fat suit just yet!" Micky says that his Broadway dream role would be as the lead in The Music Man (how perfect would he be for that?) and we hope to see him take that role on someday. Micky as always considered the Monkee with the best voice and the one who got the song that the producers couldn't figure out who to give to for lead vocals, so we know he could pull off a strenuous role like that with flying colors.

     We asked The Mick what his take was on You Tube and all the Monkees' clips ending up there with people getting to watch them for free. He told us, "I have never watched YouTube and I think that it's not a situation that can be controlled at this point." He is quick to point out that back in the day there was a shoe schooling process artists went through that is now not present in the Wild West of artists breaking through on the internet. Still, he tells us he is a fan of today's talent shows and reminds us that his daughter Aimee one the acting competition on Star Search back in the day. "Everyone loves a talent show--back in the old days you just had the Ted Mack Amateur Hour but I think people love America's Got Talent and American Idol just because it's just great to see real people compete...and it's not necessarily the winners who go on to the greatest success." 
      We look forward to seeing Micky in his newest Broadway role (whatever that may be) and still regret that we did not get to see him on Broadway in Aida (where he got massive critical acclaim). There is a DVD reissue of all the Monkees episodes that features Monkees interviews as bonus features we highly recommend (Micky told us new footage was not added for new version). It is actually TWO DVDS simply called The Monkees Season 1 and Season 2, and is available from Eagle Rock Entertainment. We posted the official press release about it about a week ago here on themacwire.com, so be sure to check that out or go to eaglerockentertainment.com for more info. Each set retails for $39.98 each--a steep price but worth it for the bonus features alone. Next up we'd like to see all the Monkees product commercials (including ones for Kellogg's Cereal and yardley of London, two Monkees sponsors) put together into a DVD release, but Micky says that is not in the works at the present time. Til then, we'll keep dreaming about that--and regretting that we didn't save those old Kellogg's cereal boxes with the "cut out" Monkees 45 RPM records on the back!
    (Editor's note: A special shout out to our new friend Brad Waddell, webmaster of monkees.net for joining us at the festivities at Planet Hollywood yesterday!)

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