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2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006

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How ‘The Wiz Live!’ and ‘Grease Live!’ Revitalized the TV Musical (Emmy Watch)

17 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

“The Wiz Live!” and “Grease Live!” both continued the live musical revival that began with NBC’s “The Sound of Music Live!” in 2013, which drew a remarkable 18.4 million viewers.

NBC’s “The Wiz,” though, was designed more like a Broadway show with an eye on Broadway sometime in the future. “The Wiz” “lent itself more to theatrical environments because of its familiarity, because it’s fantasy, and because of its musical performances,” said production designer Derek McLane (“The Sound of Music Live!” and NBC’s “Peter Pan Live!”).

McLane collaborated with”Hamilton” Tony-winning costume designer Paul Tazewell on an organic world with different looks made for the culture of today.

“Kansas is not a happy place for Dorothy and that’s reflected in its neutral palette,” McLane continued. “Munchkinland is predominantly orange with cylindrical buildings that evoke the Munchkins. Emerald City is like a modern club with different shades of green and electrified. »

- Bill Desowitz

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John Travolta Signs With CAA

23 June 2016 5:25 PM, PDT | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

Exclusive: John Travolta has signed with CAA. The two-time Oscar nominee and two time Globe-winning actor is coming off his performance as attorney Robert Shapiro in the FX series American Crime Story: The People Vs O.J. Simpson. It was Travolta’s first TV stint in two decades. Travolta had been with Wme. The cumulative gross of the actor’s films exceeds $4 billion, including Hairspray, Saturday Night Fever, Grease Urban Cowboy, Pulp Fiction and Get Shorty.   Travolta… »

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John Travolta Signs With CAA

23 June 2016 5:25 PM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Exclusive: John Travolta has signed with CAA. The two-time Oscar nominee and two time Globe-winning actor is coming off his performance as attorney Robert Shapiro in the FX series American Crime Story: The People Vs O.J. Simpson. It was Travolta’s first TV stint in two decades. Travolta had been with Wme. The cumulative gross of the actor’s films exceeds $4 billion, including Hairspray, Saturday Night Fever, Grease Urban Cowboy, Pulp Fiction and Get Shorty.   Travolta… »

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Maya & Marty: Broadway for Orlando Performs — Plus: Best and Worst Sketches Featuring Ricky Gervais

21 June 2016 8:29 PM, PDT | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

Maya & Marty on Tuesday were joined by nearly four dozen of stage and screen’s biggest stars for a performance in support of the Lgbt community of Orlando, Fla.

RelatedNBC Fall Premiere Dates: Chicago Fire‘s October Start, Blindspot‘s Wednesday Relaunch and Others

Victor Garber (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), Megan Hilty (Smash), Sean Hayes (Will & Grace), Andrea Martin (Difficult People), Titus Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and B.D. Wong (Law & Order: Svu) were among the notable TV actors who took part in a performance of Burt Bacharach’s “What the World Needs Now Is Love.” The song was recently »

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Linkspray

21 June 2016 4:38 PM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

The Film Stage Kate Winslet will lead Woody Allen's next film which supposedly involves Coney Island

W Magazine gets Tom Hiddleston stripped down (not an unusual triumph of late: see High-Rise)

i09 even though Sterling Archer may or may not be dead (cliffhangers. argh) Archer has been renewed for 3 more seasons. Yay! 

Playbill Kristin Chenoweth is joining TV's next live musical, Hairspray in the Velma Von Tussle role (yup, the Debbie Harry / Michelle Pfeiffer part)  

Gothamist the Bryant Park outdoor movie series begins. If you watch this footage this is why I never go! I've been once and omg the claustrophia and noise and inability to enjoy the movie (full disclaimer: I also hate summer which might have contributed to my distaste for outdoor summer events)

Kickstarter Here's an oddity. Apparently Todd Haynes and Christine Vachon who have brought us so much eventful art cinema in the past 25 years »

- NATHANIEL R

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Kristin Chenoweth Joins Hairspray Live! - See Her Glittery Announcement

21 June 2016 1:20 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Here's some wickedly good news for fans looking forward to Hairspray Live! Kristin Chenoweth announced she is joining NBC's musical as Velma Von Tussle, who was played by Debbie Harry in the 1988 film and Michelle Pfeiffer in the 2007 remake. "I clinched Miss Baltimore Crabs! So excited to play Velma Von Tussle in @HairsprayLive this December," the actress tweeted Tuesday, alongside a glamerous photo truly worthy of the musical. I clinched Miss Baltimore Crabs! So excited to play Velma Von Tussle in @HairsprayLive this December! #HairsprayLive pic.twitter.com/boY5Z6SHuX— Kristin Chenoweth (@KChenoweth) June 21, 2016 Chenoweth, 47, joins a star-studded cast, »

- Aaron Couch

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Kristin Chenoweth Joins Hairspray Live! - See Her Glittery Announcement

21 June 2016 1:20 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Here's some wickedly good news for fans looking forward to Hairspray Live! Kristin Chenoweth announced she is joining NBC's musical as Velma Von Tussle, who was played by Debbie Harry in the 1988 film and Michelle Pfeiffer in the 2007 remake. "I clinched Miss Baltimore Crabs! So excited to play Velma Von Tussle in @HairsprayLive this December," the actress tweeted Tuesday, alongside a glamerous photo truly worthy of the musical. I clinched Miss Baltimore Crabs! So excited to play Velma Von Tussle in @HairsprayLive this December! #HairsprayLive pic.twitter.com/boY5Z6SHuX— Kristin Chenoweth (@KChenoweth) June 21, 2016 Chenoweth, 47, joins a star-studded cast, »

- Aaron Couch

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Kristin Chenoweth Joins Hairspray Live!

21 June 2016 11:00 AM, PDT | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

Hairspray Live! has found its Miss Baltimore Crabs: Kristin Chenoweth will play villainous Corny Collins Show producer Velma Von Tussle in the NBC musical.

RelatedThe Rocky Horror Picture Show Trailer: Laverne Cox Stars in Fox Remake

“Everything she does is incredible, going back to the iconic Glinda in Wicked” on Broadway, said NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt in a statement. “We are so excited and fortunate that [she] wants to come and play with us on Hairspray.”

Dreams do come true! @KChenoweth has joined the cast of #HairsprayLive as Velma Von Tussle!✨ https://t.co/JvOfTsvZn6 pic.twitter.com/EVMF2zVJSQ

Hairspray Live! »

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Kristin Chenoweth Joins Cast of NBC’s ‘Hairspray Live!’

21 June 2016 11:00 AM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

Kristin Chenoweth has joined NBC’s “Hairspray Live!” opposite Harvey Fierstein, Jennifer Hudson, Martin Short, Derek Hough and newcomer Maddie Baillio.

The Broadway vet will star as Velma Von Tussle, the self-promoting and manipulative producer of “The Corny Collins Show.” In the musical, Velma “will stop at nothing to make her daughter, Amber, the star that Velma never was. Her biggest foe is Tracy Turnblad (Baillio) and she’ll do everything in her power to prevent the integration of the “Corny Collins Show” which Tracy wants so much.

Read More: With NBC’s ‘Hairspray,’ The Craze for Live TV Musicals Continues

Hairspray Live,” the latest in NBC’s annual musical events, airs Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 8/7c.

“We are so excited and fortunate that Kristin — one of the best musical performers in the world — wants to come and play with us on ‘Hairspray,'” said NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt, Chairman, »

- Michael Schneider

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Kristin Chenoweth Joins NBC’s ‘Hairspray Live’

21 June 2016 11:00 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth has joined the cast of NBC’s “Hairspray Live!” show, Variety has learned.

The Emmy and Tony Award winner will play Velma Von Tussle, the self-promoting and manipulative producer of “The Corny Collins Show,” who will stop at nothing to make her daughter, Amber, the star that Velma never was. Her biggest foe is Tracy Turnblad, and she’ll do everything in her power to prevent the integration of the “Corny Collins Show” which Tracy wants so much.

Chenoweth joins previously announced cast members Harvey Fierstein, Jennifer Hudson, Martin Short, Derek Hough and newcomer Maddie Baillio.

“We are so excited and fortunate that Kristin — one of the best musical performers in the world — wants to come and play with us on ‘Hairspray,’” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “Everything she does is incredible, going back to the iconic Glinda in ‘Wicked,’ and there’s no one better to play Velma Von Tussle. Each »

- Laura Prudom

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Provincetown Fest Holds Fast to Indie Spirit

16 June 2016 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Like the Massachusetts seaside town that serves as its host, the Provincetown Intl. Film Festival has been a beacon for independent-minded artists who seek to showcase and discuss their work with a diverse and appreciative audience. The 18th iteration of the festival, which takes place June 15-19, is no exception, as evidenced by its lineup of feature films and special programs.

This year’s schedule includes the Viggo Mortensen starrer “Captain Fantastic,” fresh off winning Un Certain Regard’s director prize at Cannes, as its opening night presentation. It closes with the New England premiere of the documentary “Strike a Pose,” about the dancers who backed Madonna on her “Blonde Ambition” tour. The festival will also honor Ang Lee and Cynthia Nixon and offers a restored presentation of long-time festival supporter John Waters’ rarely seen sophomore feature, the 1970 cult film “Multiple Maniacs,” in addition to many other films, panels and presentations.

Cod Community

According to the festival’s organizers, Piff’s popularity is informed by the Cape Cod town itself, which over the course of three centuries has counted a Portuguese-run fishing industry, an array of artists, writers and actors, and a significant Lgbtq community among its residents.

“There’s something very unique about Provincetown,” says filmmaker Christine Walker, who is also the festival’s executive director. “There’s a camaraderie among the filmmakers and the audiences because we all feel like we’re in this inspirational place together. It doesn’t feel like you’re running around trying to secure a deal — it feels like you’re meeting colleagues and people who love film.”

Waters, whom festival artistic director Connie White describes as Piff’s guru, says the town and the festival draw eclectic crowds because “it’s still a beatnik place — a place for Bohemians, a gay fishing village that’s also hetero friendly. [And festival] audiences are passionate and crazy and accepting of almost anything. Who wouldn’t want to go to Provincetown?”

Honorees And Keynotes

In addition to Lee, who will receive this year’s Filmmaker on the Edge award from Waters on June 18, and Nixon, who will be honored with the festival’s Excellence in Acting Award that same day, the lineup will feature a keynote speech by producer Effie Brown [“Dear White People”] at the Evan Lawson Filmmakers Brunch on June 19. Actress-director Illeana Douglas will speak about her memoir “I Blame Dennis Hopper” at a PIFFtalks panel discussion June 16, while authors David Ebershoff and Lisa Genova will speak at a June 18 panel about the transition of their books — “The Danish Girl” and “Still Alice,” respectively — into feature films.

In addition to interviewing Lee as part of the Filmmaker on the Edge Award — a duty he’s handled since the first Piff in 1999 — Waters will also be present to offer up a newly restored print of “Multiple Maniacs,” which he describes as “training wheels for ‘Pink Flamingos.’” Directed in 1970 and featuring the late Divine as the owner of a homicidal carnival act called “The Cavalcade of Perversion,” the film originally played Province-town when Waters summered there, as he has for the last 50 years. “It played there before it had a distributor,” says Waters. “I worked at the [Provincetown] Bookshop, and the owner let me turn the display windows into advertisements for the film.”

Waters decided to revisit the film after appearing with the Baltimore Symphony for a production of “Hairspray,” the family-friendly musical based on his 1988 film.

“I was the onstage narrator, and I thought that the audience loved it for all the right reasons,” he says. “But what if they saw ‘Multiple Maniacs?’ They would be horrified!”

After working out some music rights and sound issues, Waters says that the film will enjoy a brief theatrical run following its debut at Piff on June 17.

Screenings

“We’re always looking for films that are edgy and [of] quality,” says White. “We want something crowd-pleasing to kick off the festival, that will engage the town, and ‘Captain Fantastic’ [June 15 and 19] sets the right tone. Closing night is something that people can build up towards, and ‘Strike a Pose’ [June 16 and 19] had the right flavor to end the festival — it’s touching and very interesting.”

Other films screening include Jonah Markowitz and Tracey Ware’s documentary “Political Animals,” the drama “Indignation,” which director James Schamus adapted from the Philip Roth novel, and Susanna White’s film version of John Le Carre’s “Our Kind of Traitor” with Ewan McGregor and Naomi Harris. Todd Solondz’s new comedy “Wiener-Dog” will also screen.

»

- Paul Gaita

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Scott Ellis Set as Director for NBC’s ‘A Few Good Men’ Live Play, Aaron Sorkin Discusses Casting & More

14 June 2016 11:34 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Scott Ellis has been tapped to direct NBC’s upcoming live adaptation of “A Few Good Men.”

Aaron Sorkin broke the news Tuesday morning at Variety’s annual TV Summit, held at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, Calif.

“I couldn’t be more excited about that,” Sorkin said of Ellis directing.

Ellis is a multi-time Tony-nominated director, having worked on the stage productions “She Loves Me,” “Steel Pier,” “1776,” “Twelve Angry Men,” “Curtains,” “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” and “You Can’t Take It with You.” On the television side, Ellis was exec producer on Showtime’s “Weeds.” He has directed episodes of “Modern Family,” “Nurse Jackie,” “The Good Wife,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Frasier” and “30 Rock,” for which he was nominated for an Emmy.

Sorkin spoke about “A Few Good Men” at the Variety event on a panel with NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt, exec producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron and Kenny Leon, who directed NBC’s “The Wiz Live” and is on board to direct “Hairspray Live.”

“If something happens to Scott, let me know. I’m waiting in the wings!” Leon joked on the panel, pitching himself to direct the live play. Greenblatt chimed in: “You’re busy doing ‘Hairspray.'”

For the NBC live adaptation, Sorkin is re-writing “A Few Good Men,” which originally started as a Broadway play, before the 1992 film, starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore.

“I am very exited to write it up again. It was my first play, it was my starter play. I’m very proud of it, but it still feels a little bit like my high school yearbook picture to me. I think, or I at least hope, I’m a better writer now,” Sorkin said. “I’m looking forward to attacking it just for the sake of a re-write, as well as it should be written for this particular production.”

As for casting, the panel said that they’re getting into the process.

“We are reaching out to people. We’re beyond having just a list,” Sorkin revealed, adding that the creative team is getting many phone calls, now that the new wave of live TV productions has blown up. “Actors don’t get the opportunity to do that a lot,” he said of performing live on television.

The panelists praised Carrie Underwood for being the first actor to step into the new world of live TV with NBC’s “The Sound of Music” in 2013. Three years later, actors are jumping at the opportunity to flex their creative muscles on live TV.

“I’m going to give you the long list of scaredy-cats from ‘Sound of Music’ because there are some big people who said, ‘I can’t do that,'” Greenblatt said for “A Few Good Men” casting.

In addition to talent getting excited, the entire Hollywood community has welcomed the live programming wave.

“We got a call out of the blue from Tyler Perry,” Zadan said. “He called and he said, ‘I’m calling to help you because I’m going to mobilize a social media campaign for ‘The Wiz’ because this has to succeed.’ He called Oprah and he called everyone else that he knows and they started tweeting…the support that we got from the community was so overwhelming…because they know that failure means there won’t be anymore. We needed those ratings for this to continue because they’re so expensive.”

The new trend of TV musicals come with a learning curve — and being the first live play on television in decades, “A Few Good Men” even more so.

“I have been for years wanting to see live theater come back to television,” Sorkin said. “I was thinking, ‘Boy I hope [NBC] expands into non-musicals next’ — not thinking for a second that my play would be the canary in the coal mine.’

Surely Sorkin’s revitalized play will launch a new wave of more live plays on television, just like “The Sound of Music” inspired more NBC musicals, including “Peter Pan” and “The Wiz,” and Fox’s “Grease Live.” And up next at the broadcast networks is Fox’s “Rocky Horror Picture Show” and ABC’s “Dirty Dancing.”

“There are no barriers between Broadway, movies and television anymore,” Greenblatt said. “Tt’s completely interwoven now.”

Up next for NBC is “Hairspray Live” in December. But, Greenblatt teased that it won’t be long for “A Few Good Men” to come.

“We’re probably going to do it in February,” the NBC exec revealed. “We haven’t locked in the date.”

While February will bring a new cast and a new script to Sorkin’s hit, he assures that the live production will stay true to form.

Quoting the film’s most famous line, Sorkin quipped: “It’s going to be ‘A Few Good Man.’ You can’t handle the truth! It’s going to be ‘A Few Good Men.'”

»

- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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How Lin-Manuel Miranda Rode His ‘Hamilton’ Star from Broadway to Hollywood

12 June 2016 9:25 AM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

The last time Lin-Manuel Miranda attended the Tony Awards, he was nervous because “In the Heights” needed to win in order to lure audiences. It won best new musical.

That’s not a problem for his ticket-scalpers’ delight, “Hamilton,” his second Broadway musical. He stars in the production, wrote the book, music, and lyrics, and it scored a record-breaking 16 nominations. It swept the Tonys Sunday night with 11 awards including best new musical, and could eventually earn over $1 billion worldwide, according to The New York Times.

“Hamilton” also won the Pulitzer Prize for drama and a Grammy Award for best musical theater album. Because Miranda won an Emmy for writing Neil Patrick Harris’s closing rap at the 2014 Tonys, all he needs is an Oscar to become a member of the Egot club.

That’s not an impossibility, as Miranda’s moving his star to Hollywood—more specifically, Disney. J.J. Abrams »

- Anne Thompson

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You're Not Alone: Brittany Snow Can't Get a Ticket to Hamilton Either

11 June 2016 10:35 AM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Turns out, starring in a number of movie musicals yourself still isn't enough to score a ticket to Broadway smash Hamilton. Just like the rest of the musical-going population, Brittany Snow, the star of films like Pitch Perfect and Hairspray, who is partnering with Coppertone, tried to get a ticket to Hamilton on a recent trip to N.Y.C. But her musical pedigree didn't give her a leg up when it came to scoring tickets to the hottest show in town (or perhaps, the world!) "I tried to get tickets, and I couldn't, obviously," Snow told People. "No one can! »

- Diana Pearl, @dianapearl_

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You're Not Alone: Brittany Snow Can't Get a Ticket to Hamilton Either

11 June 2016 10:35 AM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Turns out, starring in a number of movie musicals yourself still isn't enough to score a ticket to Broadway smash Hamilton. Just like the rest of the musical-going population, Brittany Snow, the star of films like Pitch Perfect and Hairspray, who is partnering with Coppertone, tried to get a ticket to Hamilton on a recent trip to N.Y.C. But her musical pedigree didn't give her a leg up when it came to scoring tickets to the hottest show in town (or perhaps, the world!) "I tried to get tickets, and I couldn't, obviously," Snow told People. "No one can! »

- Diana Pearl, @dianapearl_

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Meet Hairspray Live!'s New Tracy Turnblad Maddie Baillio

7 June 2016 3:00 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Maddie Baillio has been hanging on to a major secret for nearly two weeks. "It felt like forever," she tells People of the wait to share with the world that she's been plucked from relative obscurity to play Tracy Turnblad in NBC's Hairspray Live! - but it's little surprise 12 days felt like an eternity considering she decided to audition only three hours in advance. "I decided at, like, 3 a.m. the night before that I was going to get up and go to this audition," says the 20-year-old college sophomore from Texas, "and I'm so glad I did."Though she »

- Lanford Beard, @lanfordbeard

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Hairspray Live: Meet the Newcomer Cast as Tracy Turnblad in NBC Musical

7 June 2016 6:13 AM, PDT | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

Newcomer Maddie Baillio will soon be singing “Good Morning Baltimore.”

The Today show on Tuesday announced that the up-and-coming singer/actress has been cast as Tracy Turnblad in NBC’s Hairspray Live!, following an open casting call in April.

Watch Baillio’s reaction to the good news:

Baillio joins an all-star ensemble including Harvey Fierstein (reprising his Tony-winning role as Edna Turnblad), Jennifer Hudson (as Motormouth Maybelle), Martin Short (as Wilbur Turnblad) and Derek Hough (as Corny Collins). Grease: Live‘s Alex Rudzinski is set to direct, while Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (The Wiz Live!) are on board as executive producers. »

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"Mary Poppins Returns" and "In the Heights"

1 June 2016 7:00 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Broadway's Hamilton fever has caught up with mainstream Hollywood. The Tony winning writer/director/actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose Hamilton is the easy frontrunner going into the Tony Awards a week from Sunday (I'm finally seeing it, too, wheeee, albeit a few days after the Tony Awards - thanks Rory!) has two big movies brewing now.... and that's before anyone gets around to trying to get Hamilton on the big screen. He exits Hamilton on July 9th so he'll have plenty of time to chase these Hollywood opportunities.  

Mary Poppins Returns

We've heard rumors of a Mary Poppins remake for ages but it looks like we're getting a sequel instead with the delightfully versatile Emily Blunt as the magical nanny (the iconic Julie Andrews part) and Lin-Manuel Miranda as a new character but I'd still expect a jolly-holiday sort of partner in magical highjinks for Mary. He's described as a "lamplighter »

- NATHANIEL R

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The 'Mary Poppins' sequel has a shot at being special

31 May 2016 3:30 PM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Now that he has utterly and completely conquered Broadway, it’ll be interesting to see how Hollywood handles Lin-Manuel Miranda. It’s clear that he’s already been embraced by the creative community. He and Jj Abrams had a lot of fun creating that cantina song for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and had apparently even more fun performing the song live for crowds waiting for the daily Hamilton ticket lottery. He’s working on songs for Moana, the Polynesian-themed Disney musical that will feature Dwayne Johnson singing. His long-rumored connection to the Mary Poppins sequel has finally been verified by an official press release from Disney. While I consider Mary Poppins one of the crown jewels of Disney’s entire filmography, I am not instantly opposed to a sequel. It’s clear now that they are not remaking the original, and considering how much other material P.L. Travers wrote »

- Drew McWeeny

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Zac Efron: Joking His Way to Movie Stardom

28 May 2016 11:33 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

A lot of young women — or former young women — may disagree with me, but for a while there Zac Efron came off as a poster boy for the following notion: that it’s possible to be too good-looking to be a movie star. In the “High School Musical” films, of course, he was all mussy-coiffed, aqua-blue-eyed charm — a wholesome hunk who knew how to dance, and when he wasn’t dancing knew how to micromanage his charisma so that it fell right on the cusp between dewy and sexy. He was a classic teen idol — he looked like Sean Cassidy with hair gel — and when you’re sitting on top of that world, surrounded by screaming fans, it always seems, at least within the entertainment industry, like you can conquer anything.

It was all but forgone that Efron would get a crack at movie stardom, and he did, but when »

- Owen Gleiberman

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