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Tony- and Grammy-winning actress Jennifer Holliday will return to Broadway for the first time in 15 years in the hit revival of the musical “The Color Purple,” the show’s producers announced on Wednesday. Holliday, who earned a Tony in 1982 for originating the brassy Effie White in “Dreamgirls,” will take over the role of Shug Avery in John Doyle’s Tony-winning production. The casting offers an interesting synergy: Jennifer Hudson, who won an Oscar playing Effie in the 2006 film version of “Dreamgirls,” first played Shug in the revival of “The Color Purple” when it opened last fall. Heather Headley stepped into the. »
- Thom Geier
This fall, the multi-faceted YouTube star Todrick Hall is sashaying back to Broadway. Hall, whose flagship channel counts more than two million subscribers, and who has starred in his own MTV series, will debut in the Tony-winning musical Kinky Boots on Nov. 1.
The three-year-old show, written by Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein, tells the story of a young man who inherits a failing shoe factory from his deceased father, and who teams up with a cabaret performer and drag queen to produce a line of high-heeled boots. Hall will play Lola, the drag performer. “When I was 20 years old, I had the honor of making my Broadway debut in The Color Purple," he wrote. “Since then I have had the opportunity to travel the world, work for my idol Beyoncé, compete on American Idol, star in my own show on MTV, and perform in my own international concert tours...but »
- Geoff Weiss
Bancroft & Maclaine reminisce in The Turning PointBest Shot 1977 Party. Chapter 2
The Turning Point (1977)
Directed by: Herbert Ross
Cinematography by: Robert Surtees
When The Turning Point is remembered today, on the rare occasion that you hear it name-checked, it is nearly always in connection to its status as Oscar's all time loser (11 nominations without a win). That "achievement" was later shared when Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple (1985) met the same Oscar fate, entering the competition as a very big ticket and coming away empty-handed. It's surely no coincidence that both films are women's pictures. Oscar has grown increasingly wary of films about and for women over their 88 year history; that's not a mark on the films themselves but a stain on film culture and the Oscars. 1977 was in some significant ways, the very last Oscar year to be dominated by women. The sole "boys" movie up for the top prize was Star Wars, »
- NATHANIEL R
The Oscar-winner will star as a talented singer named Courtney Clarke, opposite Sandler, a talent manager working in Los Angeles who represents a group of eccentric clients on the fringes of show business. His devotion is put to the test when he falls in love with his newest client, Courtney, who he discovers at an amusement park.
The film will be directed by “The Do-Over’s” Steven Brill. The script is written by Paul Sado, Dan Bulla and Sandler. Sandler will produce via his Happy Madison Productions banner along with Allen Covert. Executive producers include Barry Bernardi and Tim Herlihy.
Filming is expected to begin in Los Angeles »
- Liz Calvario
One lucky young lady just got the experience of a lifetime! During the My Carnegie Moment event on Tuesday, sponsored by Paramount and the upcoming film Florence Foster Jenkins, aspiring singers got the chance to perform at New York City's iconic Carnegie Hall. Jasmine Holloway took the stage and belted out the climactic song from the Tony-winning Broadway show The Color Purple when she received surprise back-up help from the actual cast, including her mentor, Rema Webb. The emotional moment brought her to tears. "I've just seen your show, I've dreamt of every single one of you," Holloway gushed. During »
- Mariah Haas, @mariahhaas
One lucky young lady got the experience of a lifetime during My Carnegie Moment - an event that gives aspiring singers the chance to perform at New York City's iconic Carnegie Hall. Jasmine Holloway belted out the climactic song from the Tony-winning Broadway show The Color Purple when she received surprise back-up help from the actual cast, including her mentor, Rema Webb. The emotional moment brought her to tears. "I've just seen your show, I've dreamt of every single one of you," Holloway gushed. During a conversation with People after the performance, she revealed the reason behind her song choice. »
- Mariah Haas
This week, The Bfg joined this year’s list of ‘illustrious’ flops, at least in the Us where it tanked hard as it released off the back of Indepedence Day: Resurgence and the much more successful Finding Dory. That puts it in the same house as The Huntsman’s Winter War, Gods of Egypt & Zoolander 2. A Steven Spielberg movie. Based on a legendary children’s book by Roald Dahl. This can’t be right, surely? Well for whatever reason, nobody wanted to smell what The Bfg was cooking, and almost immediately commentators and sites decried this box office failure as the metaphorical ‘death of Spielberg’, suggesting the master of modern cinema has lost his magic touch with the takings and, moreover, has lost that special ingredient which made him arguably the »
- Tony Black
History has its eyes on Brandon Victor Dixon and Lexi Lawson, who will take over the lead roles of Aaron Burr and Eliza Schuyler in Broadway's production of Hamilton. Dixon, a two-time Tony nominee for this year's Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed and the original staging of The Color Purple, will hit the Richard Rodgers Theatre stage in mid-August. Lawson, featured in national tours of Rent and Lin-Manuel Miranda's breakout musical In the Heights, will make her Broadway debut on July 11, the same performance in which Miranda's longtime alternate, Javier Munoz, takes
- Ashley Lee
Besides directing Whoopi Goldberg in The Color Purple, Steven Spielberg’s films usually feature leading men but that’s not to say his films exclude women. Who can forget Karen Allen as the feisty Marion in Raiders Of The Lost Ark and Laura Dern in Jurassic Park. Spielberg says he was attracted to The Bfg because the story centered on a female role. He looked to Walt Disney for inspiration in adapting Roald Dahl’s fantasy novel. Listen to what Spielberg had to say about Walt Disney’s influence on his work for his first Disney film.
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- firstname.lastname@example.org (Super User)
Three of our current June mini-series are not quite over and spilling into July a teensy bit (Olivia de Havilland & Screen Tarzans & Halfway Mark) but it's that time again to look back on the month that was since the calendar stops for no one! One series that is over is our Fyc's for Emmy hopefuls including full tough to narrow down ballots for drama and comedy prizes. But all this off-current cinema distraction was fine because this summer movie season hasn't exactly been fire, if you know what I mean.
5 Personal Favs
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? - four-part tag team celebration
"This kind of stuff" - a key scene in Weekend (2011)
The Furniture: Hail Caesar! - Hobie Doyle keeps it simple in "Merrily We Dance"
Tarzan gets his James Bond on -...The Valley of Gold
Jessica Lange's Long Journey - Our new Triple Crowner
7 That Sparked Most »
- NATHANIEL R
History was made at this year's Tony Awards when all four awards for performances in a musical went to actors of color, crowning a Broadway season notable for its unprecedented diversity representation across musicals and plays. That charge was led, of course, by Hamilton, the hip-hop phenomenon that employs a predominantly nonwhite cast to explore America's revolutionary roots, re-examining our national history through a vibrantly contemporary, multicultural lens. But the story last season wasn't just about Hamilton. Black lives mattered in the soaring revival of The Color Purple, the slave-history musical Amazing Grace, and the audacious cultural
- David Rooney
You know that moment Danielle Brooks broke your heart in Orange Is the New Black season four? Yeah, we're talking about that moment. Spoiler alert! Brooks, Taystee Jefferson on the Netflix series, was pulling double duty while shooting the new season, she was living her on-screen prison life while working on the Broadway stage production of The Color Purple. She followed the moment when Taystee crumbled to the floor after seeing her dear friend Poussey (Samira Wiley) dead on the ground by going right to work on stage. But it wasn't just an easy moment to roll off her back. Brooks and Wiley go back to 2007 when Wiley helped Brooks move into her dorm room at Juilliard. The two stayed close since then. "I »
Two months after Prince's tragic passing, some of the biggest names in R&B came together at the Bet Awards to pay tribute to the musical trailblazer. Jennifer Hudson, Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monáe, the Roots, and Sheila E. all brought their best to multiple musical medleys, which ran throughout the night, highlighting hits from the Purple One's legendary career. Erykah Badu delivered the first tribute of the evening, belting out a sultry version of "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker" while the Roots served funky back up duty. She looked every inch the neo-soul goddess in a floor-length white faux-fur coat and leather pants, »
- Jordan Runtagh, @jordanruntagh
Two months after Prince's tragic passing, some of the biggest names in R&B came together at the Bet Awards to pay tribute to the musical trailblazer. Jennifer Hudson, Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monae, the Roots, and Sheila E. all brought their best to multiple musical medleys, which ran throughout the night, highlighting hits from the Purple One's legendary career. Erykah Badu delivered the first tribute of the evening, belting out a sultry version of "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker" while the Roots served funky back up duty. She looked every inch the neo-soul goddess in a floor-length white faux-fur coat, »
- Jordan Runtagh, @jordanruntagh
[Spoiler alert: The following interview discusses major plot points from the final three episodes of “Orange Is the New Black” season 4. Do not read until you’ve finished the season.]
Danielle Brooks’ Taystee has long been a ray of sunshine in the depressing world of “Orange Is the New Black,” and at first, season four seems to continue that trend for her. Taystee gets a plush job working as Warden Caputo’s (Nick Sandow) assistant, and she warms to the administrative role, reveling in the responsibility and structure of answering phones and doing paperwork. She manages to get the whole prison to watch “The Wiz” on movie night and even convinces Caputo to buy her baby-blue watch. In a season marked by a lot of frustration and fear, Taystee’s in a little bubble where she’s riding high.
Until the final two episodes, when her best friend Poussey (Samira Wiley) dies at the hands of Litchfield corrections officer Baxter Bayley (Alan Aisenberg). Taystee transforms from a ray of sunshine to a bolt of lightning, and in the final minutes of the season, incites »
- Sonia Saraiya
IndieWire calls The Shallows the best shark movie since Jaws. Wow... but then, on the other hand, are there any good shark movies since Jaws so maybe that's not such high praise?
Tfe... which we reviewed in April, icymi
YouTube the new Ghostbusters theme song "Ghostbusters (I'm Not Afraid)" by Fall Out Boy is basically a cover with some new flourishes including Missy Elliott so it won't be Oscar nominated (or even eligible) like the original tune from 1984
Us Magazine there's a Golden Girls Cafe opening in NYC but "cheesecake" isn't the menu headliner so fire everyone. (If you read the fine print it's actually a restaurant in honor of Rue McClanahan. »
- NATHANIEL R
Broadway's brightest stars united earlier this week to record a benefit single for the victims of the massacre at Orlando gay nightclub Pulse. Wednesday evening, the A-list chorus - dubbed Broadway for Orlando - assembled in New York City to record a cover of the 1965 "What the World Needs Now Is Love." Crammed in a wooden room at Avatar Studios, there were Broadway veterans (Whoopi Goldberg, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, Kelli O'Hara, Jessie Mueller); legends (Joel Grey, Audra McDonald, Carole King, Lin-Manuel Miranda); breakouts (Sara Bareilles) - and even Lgbt rights royalty: Doma challenger and equality pioneer Edith Windsor. »
- Jeff Nelson, @nelson_jeff
I'm finally seeing Hamilton tonight so allow me this theater diversion before we get back to the Emmys and summer movies!
Though the Tony Awards were celebrated for their diversity Sunday night, I knew this sort of thing would crop up afterwards. A site called The Conversation wonders if the diversity of Broadway is overstated. It's an interesting piece with valuable stats even if it seems odd to pursue that impulse in such a strong year for theatrical diversity. Leading up to the Tony Awards I saw a few other articles suggesting that Hamilton was distorting the public perspective about this as well. It's true that Shuffle Along, Hamilton, The Color Purple, and Eclipsed, all nominated popular shows featuring all black casts (and in Hamilton's case latina, black, and asian actors), happened to fall in the same season which is not entirely usual. And, as with cinema, we still have the issue of people thinking of diversity in a binary way (black & white) which is a problem.
But before we give in to negative thoughts (wayyyy too easy), let's give Broadway its due. It is far more diverse than other showbiz mediums and not just this season. Let's take Best Actress in a Play/Musical as an example. One leading actress winner in the 89 year history of the Oscars has been a woman of color - Halle Berry in Monster's Ball (2001) and three leading actress winners in the 67 year history of the Emmys (regular series awards): Viola Davis in How To Get Away with Murder (drama), Isabel Sanford for The Jeffersons (comedy) and America Ferrera in Ugly Betty (comedy).
more after the jump...
- NATHANIEL R
“Hamilton” helped make history at the 2016 Tony Awards, as for the first time ever, actors of color won across all four acting categories in musical categories. Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s Best Musical winner also took home trophies for three of its actors, Leslie Odom, Jr., Daveed Diggs and Renée Elise Goldsberry, with “The Color Purple” actress Cynthia Erivo rounding out the quartet of black actors taking home the night’s top awards. The historic night hatched the hashtag #TonysSoBlack, in direct contrast to the Oscars, which had nominated zero actors of color two years in a row, immortalized in the shaming hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. »
- Linda Ge
The 70th annual Tony Awards should be used as a blueprint for all award shows moving forward.
PhotosTony Awards 2016: Donald Trump’s New Musical, a Hamilton Conspiracy and 14 Other Memorable Moments
This year’s ceremony — which held additional significance in the wake of Sunday’s shooting massacre in Orlando — was a powerful celebration of love, creativity and talent, peppered with incredible performances from some of the most gifted individuals ever to grace the Broadway stage.
And thanks to CBS, those performances are now available in their entirety to enjoy ad nauseam — if that’s even possible — beginning with host »
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