Category: Kate O’Hare

Ellie Kemper and Stephen Colbert Talk Her Baby’s Catholic Baptism

On Wednesday night, Aug. 17, Ellie Kemper, star of Netflix’s “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” stopped by to visit a fellow Catholic on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” and revealed a big milestone in the life of her one-year-old son, James.

Kemper and writer husband Michael Koman, who’s Jewish, were married in a Catholic ceremony — last summer, a very pregnant Kemper told Colbert that story — and like many interfaith couples, had to make a major decision when the first child came along.

“We were sort of figuring out how to raise James, with what religion,” she told Colbert. “We’re going the Catholic route. He did get baptized.”

Kemper revealed James was baptized in May, when he was 10 months old — and she was a little concerned that he might be too big for the priest to manage. Apparently, young James did scream, but all turned out well — even when he grabbed a shard of glass at his grandparents’ house.

“An hour after the baptism,” Kemper said, “I found James with a shard of glass in his hand! It was in my parents’ house …He was miraculously unhurt. I don’t know if he was testing God. I don’t know what the point was, but I mean, he turned out OK. I don’t know if it was a sign.”

Kemper then finished off with a bravura, more grown-up (but still clean!) rendition of the song played by her son’s favorite toy.

Here’s the whole thing. Enjoy!

Congrats to Ellie, Michael and James, who seems to have gotten a good start on life.

Image: Courtesy CBS

Learn more about Family Theater Productions’ upcoming, new and vintage productions as well as our Hollywood Outreach Programs; and, of course, you’ll find us on Facebook. Visit our YouTube and Ustream Channels for our contemporary and classic productions.



Dads, Tell Your Kids a Joke — It Could Be a Memory Forever

It’s National Tell a Joke Day, so why should that matter to dads?

My dad, who passed away last November at the age of 91, was know for puns and limericks (as any waitress who served him found out). Just thinking of them makes me smile. Today’s kids are no different.

Today, the Ad Council released a video showing kids relating the silly jokes their dads told them, and then snuggling with their fathers. You’ll laugh … and maybe tear up a bit.

Below is the full press release from the Ad Council, plus links …

A Message to Dads across America: Take time to be a dad today

According to an Ad Council survey, 86% of dads spend more time with their children today than their own fathers did with them. However, a majority of dads (7 out of 10) also reported that they could use tips on how to be a better parent. To inspire and support fathers everywhere, the Ad Council, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse have launched a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) to encourage dads to recognize the critical role fathers play in their children’s lives through something as simple as a dad joke. The TV spots feature kids re-telling jokes their dads shared with them, highlighting that even the smallest moments fathers spend with their children can have the biggest difference in their children’s lives.

More On Fatherhood Involvement:

These PSAs are reaching out to all fathers to inspire and support men in their commitment to responsible fatherhood. The PSAs communicate to fathers that their presence is essential to their children’s well-being. The tagline “Take time to be a dad today” is part of an ongoing effort to encourage dads to play an active role in their children’s lives. The campaign also serves as a resource for fathers by providing the information they need to become more involved with their kids.
Click here to learn more:
Subscribe for Ad Council’s latest PSAs:

Of course, dads can always turn in prayer to St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, for support and consolation. He’s there to listen!

Images: Courtesy the Ad Council

Learn more about Family Theater Productions’ upcoming, new and vintage productions as well as our Hollywood Outreach Programs; and, of course, you’ll find us on Facebook. Visit our YouTube and Ustream Channels for our contemporary and classic productions.

‘Born This Way’ Star Rachel Osterbach Talks Independence for Those With Down Syndrome

Having just completed its third season on A&E, the docuseries “Born This Way,” which focuses on young adults with Down Syndrome, took home an 2016 Emmy for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Series, and is nominated again in that category for 2017, along with five other nominations.

The show has done much to raise the profile of people with Down Syndrome and acknowledge, along with the challenges, their capabilities, accomplishments, aspirations (which are much like anyone else’s) and essential humanity.

Among the young people profiled is Rachel Osterbach, 34, of Fountain Valley, California, who works for a local insurance company. She graduated with her class from Edison High School, and attended a Regional Occupational Program at Orange Coast College.

From a 2014 piece about her in the Orange County Register:

Her father, Gary Osterbach, says his daughter has always been a positive person who has never let any setback bring her down.

“She has inspired me and my wife with her positive attitude,” he said. “We’re very proud of her.”

He said he heard about the voluntary board position through the Down Syndrome Association of Orange County, of which Rachel is a member.

Rachel Osterbach also is a charter member of the Toastmasters Gavel Club and one of 15 global messengers in Orange County for the Special Olympics. She was an avid participant in her younger days and has collected more than 100 medals in basketball, bocce ball, soccer, track and field and rhythmic gymnastics. As a global messenger, she acts as an ambassador speaking about the Special Olympics.

Osterbach also has her own IMDB page, listing her as an actress.

I recently conducted an email interview with Osterbach about her life and aspirations:

What is the biggest misconception you think people have of those with Down syndrome?

People think that if you have Down Syndrome that you cannot do very much – that is not true.

Much of the conversation about Down Syndrome focuses on children — but of course they grow up. What is the show teaching about what it’s like to live as an adult with Down syndrome?

The show is teaching people that individuals with Down Syndrome can lead an independent life – they can hold a job, they can have a relationship with a partner, they can overcome fears, and they can have goals and dreams and achieve them – like everybody else.

Many parents are very afraid of having a child with Down syndrome. What would you like to say to them?

Don’t be afraid because your son or daughter can achieve anything and can find great happiness in life.You will laugh with them, you will cry with them, you will enjoy their successes with them and be there for them when they are struggling, just like you would with any child.

What do you like about your current job?

I love being with my co-workers and being part of a team. I also enjoy my work in the mailroom – opening and sorting mail, receiving and sending emails, and being sure that everything gets done on time.

What makes you interested in acting?

Acting is my dream – what I like most is that it gives me a chance to express all different emotions.

What did it mean to you for the show to win at the Emmys?

It meant a lot to me – it meant that people loved the show and it made me proud to be part of it. I also got to go on stage with the cast to accept the Emmy which was presented to us by Julianne Hough and Vanessa Hudgens – a moment I will never forget.

Which challenge that you’ve overcome makes you the most proud?

I am most proud of the fact that I have overcome my fear of loud noises and crowds, which has enabled me now to attend concerts and plays that I never would have been able to attend before.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I see myself being married, living with my husband independently,and being a famous actress.

Here’s a clip of Osterbach’s favorite singer, Adam Lambert, helping her overcome her fears:

And another that shows her with fellow “Born This Way” cast members:

No airdate has yet been set for a fourth season.

Full episodes are available online (if you have a cooperating cable provider) or through Amazon Prime Video.

Image: Courtesy Rachel Osterbach

Visit the Family Theater Productions homepage and Facebook page to learn more about how FTP is reaching out to Hollywood and producing its own projects.

‘Garage Sale Mystery’ Takes Over August Sundays on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries

Solving crimes has never gone out of fashion on television, but these days it’s often laden with sex, violence and deep dives into depraved lifestyles. And then, there’s “Garage Sale Mystery” on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

Based on novels by Suzi Weinert and presented in two-hour movie installments since 2013, it’s a TV version of what’s known in mystery fiction as a “cozy mystery,” which feature a (frequently, but not always) female amateur sleuth. She’s got brains and keen observational skills, along with great instincts and knowledge of human nature. Sometimes she’s married; sometimes she’s not.

But when the local police need a bit of extra help in solving the unusually high rate of murders that happen in her (often small) hometown, the cozy-mystery sleuth is there.

Cozy mysteries offer viewers a chance to puzzle through clues and the vagaries of human behavior without having to wallow in the darker side.

From “Murder, She Wrote” to “Father Brown,” the cozy remains a TV constant, but has been largely supplanted by mystery dramas centered on police or military investigators. Those have their place, but there’s nothing like watching a bright but dedicated amateur show the pros how it’s done — especially one, like Jennifer, who doesn’t flinch at the prospect of a morgue visit.

Last week, I attended a screening of “Murder by Text,” a “Garage Sale Mystery,” at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, California, attended by Hallmark executives, fans, friends and stars, including “Garage” star Lori Loughlin.

She plays antique-store owner Jennifer Shannon, a wife and mother of two teen children, whose eye for detail and knack for deductive reasoning entertains her family and helps local Detective Lynwood (Kevin O’Grady) burnish his cases-closed stats.

With side plots involving the family and Dani (Sarah Strange), who works in Jennifer’s store (an actual antique shop in British Columbia, Canada, where the show is shot), “Garage” tells an entertaining story that keeps it light, humorous and interesting.

“Murder by Text” also features Jennifer’s husband (Rick Ravenello) and daughter in a dispute over his company’s plan to turn a local historic building into condos, without raised voices or slammed doors. While I thought daughter Hannah (Eva Bourne) still acted like a bit of a brat — you don’t slap bumper stickers on people’s cars without their permission — the issue resolved with good sense and good humor.

How refreshing.

While the murder element of the show may disturb young children, “Garage Sale Mysteries” is perfectly suitable for preteens and up.

Here’s what’s coming up in August:

Garage Sale Mystery: The Beach Murder (August 6, 9 p.m. ET/PT): Jennifer wades into a murder when a young internet entrepreneur drowns in the ocean, the apparent victim of a surfing accident.

Garage Sale Mystery: Murder by Text (August 13, 9 p.m. ET/PT): After a bass player sends a cryptic suicide text, Jennifer suspects the apparent suicide was actually murder. Meanwhile, Dani deals with a visit from her sister, who may have hidden talents (and a secret).

Garage Sale Mystery: Murder Most Medieval (August 20, 9 p.m ET/PT): Jennifer finds a dead body in a suit of armor purchased for her client.

Garage Sale Mystery: A Case of Murder (August 27, 9 p.m. ET/PT): A tape inside an old recorder Jennifer purchases may hold the sound of an actual murder.

And courtesy of Parade magazine, a clip from “Murder Most Medieval”…

Image: Courtesy Hallmark Movies & Mysteries

Visit the Family Theater Productions homepage and Facebook page to learn more about how FTP is reaching out to Hollywood and producing its own projects

Petula Clark: Blast From the FTP Past (And She’s on Tour Now!)

In 1981, British singer Petula Clark — known for such British Invasion 1960s hits as “Downtown” and “Don’t Sleep in the Subway” — participated in an Easter special called “The Greatest Mystery,” for Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C, and Family Theater Productions.

We’ve reached into the vaults for two beautiful songs from that show, performed with a boys’ choir.

But you don’t have to see the 84-year-old singer just on video — she’s on tour right now, playing dates at the Fairport’s Copredy Convention in Banbury, U.K. from Thursday, Aug. 10 through Saturday, Aug. 12; at Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, California, on Sunday, Nov. 19; and at Bear’s Den, Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel, Niagara Falls, New York, on Saturday, Dec. 16.. Click here for details.

In the meantime, enjoy:

Image: Wikimedia Commons; Family Theater Productions

Visit the Family Theater Productions homepage and Facebook page to learn more about how FTP is reaching out to Hollywood and producing its own projects.

Patricia Heaton: The Once and Current Catholic, in Her Own Words

On Sunday, July 30, Patricia Heaton, star of ABC’s hit sitcom “The Middle,” had a confession to make on Twitter:

Then, the next day, she read the account of Christian Joni Earekson Tada, speaking 50 years after injuries from a diving accident put her in a wheelchair.

Struck by the woman’s comments, Heaton tweeted the below:

The conversation continued at her Twitter page.

Heaton’s spiritual journey has a few twists and turns, from being a cradle Catholic to drifting away after divorce, to Protestant communities, and eventually back to the Church, annulment and reconciliation.

In June, I had the pleasure of attending a wonderful Catholic conference in the Diocese of Orange, sponsored by the Orange Catholic Foundation, and Heaton gave the hilarious and moving keynote address.

Her story resonates with a Catholic revert like me, and will touch cradles, reverts and converts alike. Enjoy:

BTW, ABC has just announced that the upcoming ninth season of “The Middle” will be its last. Learn more here.

Image: Courtesy ABC

Visit the Family Theater Productions homepage and Facebook page to learn more about how FTP is reaching out to Hollywood and producing its own projects.