HBO’s ‘Band’ plays on

Pic not another WWII story; preem fetes human spirit

HOLLYWOOD — HBO may bill “Band of Brothers” as a mini, but the preem (one of three held so far) Wednesday at the Hollywood Bowl was mega.

With an approximate headcount of 2,700, event included a pricey post-screening fireworks display, an orchestra as opening act and side-by-side appearances by exec producers Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.

Spielberg let Hanks do the talking; he gave all the credit to co-exec producer Tony To. “Nobody worked as hard as Tony, who may I add is now famous,” Hanks quipped.

To, who one HBO figure touted as “playing a hand in every facet of the project, from costuming and weaponry choices to talent selection,” told Daily Variety: “This is not just another World War II story; it examines how much the human spirit can endure: When, if ever, does it get to be too much? That is what ‘Band of Brothers’ asks.”

Among those on hand to celebrate the saga of Easy Company were HBO CEO-chairman Jeff Bewkes and honchos Chris Albrecht and Anne Thomopoulos; co-exec producers Gary Goetzman and Stephen Ambrose (latter wrote the book on which the series is based); “Band” thesps Jimmy Fallon, Scott Grimes, Colin Hanks, Ron Livingston, David Schwimmer and Donnie Wahlberg, among others; nine Easy Company vets; presidential granddaughters Susan Eisenhower and Anne Roosevelt; plus Mike Binder, Sam Ball, James Coburn, Tim Curry, Larry David, Dennis Franz and ‘N Sync’s Joey Fatone and Lance Bass.

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