NYU Alumni 
Magazine Spring 2011


The Spotlight’s on Alumni—From Film and TV to the Great White Way

There’s no shortage of singing in this fall’s TV lineup, with Matthew Morrison (TSOA ’01) reprising his role as choir teacher Will Schuester on Fox’s Glee, and the debut of NBC’s Broadway musical drama Smash, directed by Michael Mayer (TSOA ’83) and starring Debra Messing (TSOA ’93) and Anjelica Huston…

LEFT: Nikki M. James in The Book of Mormon; Right: Breaking Bad

Garret Dillahunt (TSOA ’91) returns as the clueless patriarch for Season 2 of the Fox comedy Raising Hope, while HBO’s How to Make It in America is back in the Big Apple with stars Bryan Greenberg (TSOA ’00), Margarita Levieva (CAS ’01), and rapper Kid Cudi… Tom Schnauz (TSOA ’88) is a writer on the critically acclaimed AMC drama Breaking Bad, which was created by executive producer Vince Gilligan (TSOA ’89) and just wrapped its fourth season… Tuffus Zimbabwe (STEINHARDT ’09) plays keyboard alongside fellow alumni Rob Blake (STEINHARDT ’10) on saxophone and Jared Scharff (STEINHARDT ’01) on guitar as part of the Saturday Night Live Band, led by musical director Lenny Pickett (STEINHARDT faculty member)… Maryann Brandon (TSOA ’84) edited the summer hit Super 8, written and directed by J.J. Abrams, who also produced the upcoming Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol—co-written by André Nemec (TSOA ’94)… Bennett Miller (TSOA ’89) directed the sports drama Moneyball, based on the true story of the Oakland Athletics’ general manager Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt and co-starring Philip Seymour Hoffman (TSOA ’89)… Rooney Mara (GAL ’10) stars in the highly anticipated Hollywood remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, based on the best-selling novel by Stieg Larsson… The Judd Apatow-produced comedy Wanderlust was written by Ken Marino (TSOA ’91) and David Wain (TSOA ’91), who also directed the fish-out-of-water tale starring Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston as an urban couple visiting a hippie commune… Paranormal Activity 3, directed by Ariel Schulman (TSOA ’04) and produced by Steven Schneider (TSOA ’02), brings the fear for Halloween... At the 2011 Tony Awards, Nikki M. James (TSOA ’03) scored Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for The Book of Mormon, which stole the show with nine wins in all. James beat out fellow alumna Laura Benanti (TSOA ’02), who was nominated for the musical adaptation of Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar’s darkly comedic classic Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

—RenÉe Alfuso

Photos: left © 2011 Joan Marcus; right © Ursula Coyote/AMC