PopHampton: Great 2013 for Gwyneth Paltrow, Mark Feuerstein, Billy Joel, More

2013 was a fabulous year in the Hamptons (as usual), with celebrities and others making waves and providing tabloids and gossip rags with plenty to write about.

Hamptonite superstar Gwyneth Paltrow was named Most Beautiful Woman of 2013 by People magazine and kept busy, releasing her new cookbook It’s All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Feel Great in April. The book was met with a mixed reaction but that didn’t stop Paltrow from making the rounds at various book signings on the East End. Paltrow’s mother, Blythe Danner, was also an active Hamptonite, starring in Guild Hall’s summer production of Noel Coward’s Tonight at 8:30. And Paltrow’s husband, Chris Martin, had a big year as well, with his band Coldplay releasing a new single, “Atlas,” as part of the Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack. Moviegoers who went to see Marvel’s Iron Man 3 got to see Paltrow’s usually passive character Pepper Potts get in on the action, with her character actually saving Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) from certain death. Paltrow is set to star in the Johnny Depp-led action comedy Mortdecai in 2014.

Fans of Marvel Studios films also got to see fave Natalie Portman star as Jane Foster in Thor: The Dark World, which, at press time, had grossed over $600 million worldwide. While there’s no word on whether the character Jane will appear in the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron, we’d say The Dark World’s massive financial success basically locks in a sequel. Looking ahead to 2014, Portman will be making her feature directorial debut with an adaptation of Amos Oz’s novel A Tale of Love and Darkness. Portman will also star and she co-wrote the screenplay.

Smells like Revenge Meme

After a deathly boring second season, ABC’s Hamptons-set drama Revenge took a back-to-basics approach with its third season, abandoning the dank poor man’s action/espionage stories in favor of the more colorful and decadent social gatherings and high-class backstabbing that viewers enjoyed in the first season. While the show still isn’t perfect—the writers seem intent on pushing boring characters like the insufferable Charlotte (Christa B. Allen), and the stories still rely a bit too much on contrivance and serendipity—the series has definitely gone back to its roots and makes for great Sunday night viewing. Revenge recently aired its mid-season finale, where viewers learned the truth about who shot Emily (click here for the spoilers—it’s a doozy), and will return on January 5.

Medical dramedy Royal Pains, which is both set in and filmed in the Hamptons, concluded its fourth season back in September, with Hank (Mark Feuerstein) deciding to leave the Hamptons with Boris (Campbell Scott). He’ll no doubt return when the show returns this summer, but the series’ production company Prospect Park should provide enough real-life drama to hold us over. After a controversial and troubled attempt at reviving canceled ABC soap operas All My Children and One Life to Live, Prospect Park sued ABC for $125 million, accusing the Disney-owned network of sabotaging the launch of their shows by bringing several One Life to Live characters to its remaining soap General Hospital and killing them off. I’d have gone with the whole “back from the dead trope” that soaps are associated with, but nobody asked me. Prospect Park has since canceled production on the two soaps, leaving fans and its cast and crew disappointed.

On the music front, Hamptonites have a new reason to head into the city thanks to Long Island legend Billy Joel, who has entered into a major partnership with Madison Square Garden to perform monthly concerts for an open-ended run beginning in the new year. Billy Joel at the Garden is the massive arena’s latest franchise, and tickets are already going fast. At press time, tickets were still available for Joel’s August 7 and September 17 concerts. There are also presale deals for Citi cardholders, so head to billyjoelmsg.com now!

On Friday, December 27, PBS will premiere American Masters—Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love, a documentary about the beloved late composer featuring interviews with Barbra Streisand, Carly Simon, Woody Allen and more.

That’s all for this year, Hamptonites! PopHampton will return next month with all the latest in East End pop culture. Have a happy and safe new year!

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