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London — Chiwetel Ejiofor will be honored at the British Independent Film Awards on Dec. 6. He will receive the Richard Harris Award, which recognizes an outstanding contribution to British film by an actor.
Jared Harris, Harris’ son, commented: “Although the recipients of this award have all been embraced by the establishment, they all came from outside it, fought their way in on the strength of their talent, claimed their place and changed the status quo: a journey that describes Chiwetel’s career perfectly. His talent is immense, it has brought him deserved worldwide recognition, and he is in his prime.”
- Leo Barraclough
British star of 12 Years A Slave to receive Richard Harris Award.
The award, introduced in 2002 in honour of actor Richard Harris, recognises outstanding contribution to British film by an actor. Previous winners have included John Hurt, David Thewlis, Bob Hoskins, Jim Broadbent, Daniel Day-Lewis, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Julie Walters and Emma Thompson in 2014.
A statement from the festival said Ejiofor had been selected to receive the honour “in recognition of his exceptional service to the film industry, not just here in the UK but internationally as an ambassador for British film”.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
New York City theater won big across the pond at the Old Vic Theatre, which was home to the 61st annual London Evening Standard Theater Awards on Nov. 22. New York transfers “The Motherf**ker with the Hat” from Stephen Adly Guirgis, about a former drug-dealing jailbird trying to go straight, was awarded best play, and “Kinky Boots” won the Radio 2 Audience Award for best musical. Imelda Staunton, who performed “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” at the ceremony, won for her musical performance as Mama Rose in “Gypsy,” beating out Katie Brayben for Broadway’s transfer of “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” Killian Donnelly for “Kinky Boots,” and Rosalie Craig for “City of Angels.” Also recognized were Nicole Kidman and James McAvoy in the best actress and best actor categories for their work in “Photograph 51” and “The Ruling Class,” respectively. Vanessa Redgrave was presented with the Editor’s Award and Stephen Sondheim with the Lebedev Award. »
Veteran theater press agent Rick Miramontez is joining Dkc Public Relations to create Dkc/O&M, the first national Broadway and live-events PR agency, Dkc president Sean Cassidy announced Thursday. Top executives at Miramontez’s NYC-based O&M Co. will be joining him in the new venture, including VP Molly Barnett and creative director Andy Snyder. In recent years, O&M has become one of the most successful agencies promoting Broadway productions, representing everything from the mega-budget musical fiasco “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” to the last three Tony winners for Best Musical: “Kinky Boots,” “A Gentleman’s Guide to »
- Thom Geier
If, like me, you enjoyed Annaleigh Ashford as the daffy romantic factory worker in Kinky Boots (for which she won a Clarence Derwent award) and loved her as the talentless balletomane in You Can’t Take It With You (for which she won a Tony), wait until you catch the crotch-sniffing aria she’s performing now at the Cort. Rarely has an actor so fully committed to the business of exploring another’s genitalia, at least onstage; she really digs around in there, yelping with pleasure and causing the audience to do so, too. Perhaps I should mention that she’s playing a dog: the probable-labradoodle title character of A.R. Gurney’s 1995 comedy Sylvia, now having its Broadway premiere. Ashford gives a comic-genius performance, establishing herself as a full-fledged clown star, meaning she’s not only hilarious and eccentric but able to project both qualities, as well as an undertone of pathos, »
- Jesse Green
Sometimes game show contestants are the only truly funny people on television. Case in point: Becky Sullivan, a contestant on an episode of "Jeopardy!", couldn't think of the right answer to a Final Jeopardy! clue about flowers. Her response might be the funniest answer in the show's history. The clue: "The flower pictured here is called this, also a disparaging term for people on the political left." Sullivan's guess: "What is a pansy?" Nope. But worthy of some Hall Of Fame recognition, alongside that Turd Ferguson reference a couple months ago and a certain reference to "Kinky Boots" before that. Here are ten other excellent Final Jeopardy! responses that at least deserved some pity money. »
- Louis Virtel
Grants are up for grabs. The Broadway League has announced the 10 recipients for their 20th annual National Education and Engagement Grants, which help support programs geared toward experiencing and understanding Broadway as “a form of artistic expression and a powerful educational tool,” according to a statement from the League. The $5,000 grants will help its winners develop and sustain programs focused on theater education in part through touring Broadway productions such as “The Bridges of Madison County,” “Kinky Boots,” “Matilda the Musical,” “Motown the Musical,” “Newsies,” and “The Sound of Music.” Their workshops focus on theatrical facets such as writing and choreography, storyline development, musical and book developments, and in addition, students have an opportunity to design costumes after meeting the wardrobe crew for “The Sound of Music.” “We applaud the performing arts centers across the country and their commitment to provide arts-based learning experiences for future Broadway professionals and audiences, »
I once passingly thought I saw a ghost. It wasn’t, I was just startled by my hair. It’s with the greatest of credit to Liam Clarke, a storyteller and sort of ghost buster, to almost convince me that ghosts and ghouls exist. In partnership with Guillermo Del Toro’s psychosexual gothic horror Crimson Peak, I had the opportunity to discover the sinister secrets of London’s past- of which most included stabbings and streets filled with excrement-before visiting Greenwich’s most haunted manor.
Beginning at Cleopatra’s Needle, our tour guide Liam Clarke (soon to be seen as a beardy Viking in the upcoming season of Vikings) weaved a tale of suicide and mistaken identity. It seems as if the landmark was, and sadly still is, a suicide »
- Luke Owen
TV procedural maven Zuiker, who wrote the two-hour series finale that wrapped up the 15-year run of the original “CSI” on Sunday, may not seem an obvious match for the “Soul Train” property. But Zuiker wears his love for soul music on his sleeve, and earlier this year demonstrated his enthusiasm in a closed industry presentation in New York, where he energetically pitched his take on the musical in a black velour track suit and gold high-tops.
“My parents would play soul music all night long,” Zuiker, who was raised in Las Vegas, said in a recent interview. “In the showroom at the Riviera Hotel where my mother worked, they had Bill Withers, the 5th Dimension. I grew up listening to this music.”
Zuiker was tapped for »
- Gordon Cox
Photo // Matthew Murphy
Cyndi, had you ever had ambitions to write for Broadway? How did this all come about?
Cyndi Lauper: Never. I got a phone call from my buddy over here [indicates to Harvey Fierstein]. I had wanted to do this story. You know how one thing leads to another – I did an album and I chose all these old songs from when I was growing up. Where I grew up was very influential for the rest of my life because of the people, and it was one of those places with the backyards with the gates where you could just look down there and see everybody else in the backyard. There was a lot of people who were characters. I had gone to see Harvey to help me write it, and have him actually write it and he was doing Hairspray. I remember because he said:
“I gotta eat pasta, I »
- Paul Heath
Pop icon Cyndi Lauper teamed up with author and actor Harvey Fierstein (who you may recognise from Mrs. Doubtfire) to bring the story of Kinky Boots to the West End stage. Lauper was on songwriting duty, and Fierstein wrote the book of musical, and we had the immense pleasure of sitting down with the charismatic
- Stefan Pape
With only a few first night kinks to tweak, the latest play to hit the West End is Kinky Boots, which serves a delicious portion of glitz and glamour from the school of Shirley Bassey. A true story, and adapted into a movie back in 2005 starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Joel Edgerton – it now
- Gloria Daniels-Moss
Kinky Boots is the latest in a long list of movies to be adapted for the stage. In the past couple of years alone we’ve seen stage versions of The Bodyguard, Ghost, Dirty Dancing, Billy Elliot, The Full Monty and many more appear in the West End. Now, courtesy of Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein, and the equally legendary Cyndi Lauper, who provides the music and lyrics, Kinky Boots, a production based on the break-out 2005 British movie of the same name, has hit the capital.
Rather than favouring a simplistic approach by using previously recorded material, Lauper goes the same route as Elton John with the aforementioned Billy Elliot, by creating an original soundtrack that goes along perfectly with Fierstein’s superbly written book.
Kinky Boots theatre review // Photo »
- Paul Heath
For those of you who haven't been scared off, behold the majesty of This Morning's beloved anchor strutting his stuff in front of a nation of breakfast-eaters.
Proving that he's honest-to-goodness game for anything, Schofield stood up from the couch to reveal that he was sporting a shimmering pair of the aforementioned footwear.
"A good pair of boots, you can't beat them," Schofield declared. Err... right, Phillip!
This Morning's bold fashion stunt does pose a question - how do you walk across the stage of a nationally-televised news programme in kinky boots?
And yes... I did practice before @itvthismorning #ThingsYouCantUnsee pic.twitter.com/JqpVeRraOF
He’s ready: SpongeBob SquarePants, the massive Nickelodeon property with a fanbase that reaches well beyond its target kiddie demographic, will go from Bikini Bottom to Broadway in “The SpongeBob Musical,” premiering in Chicago in the summer of 2016 prior to a New York opening during the 2016-17 Broadway season.
Produced by Nickelodeon, the project has attracted a who’s who of contemporary music names to contribute original songs to the show, including Steven Tyler and Joe Perry (of Aerosmith), the Flaming Lips, John Legend, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper (already a Tony winner for “Kinky Boots”) and David Bowie.
The musical is co-conceived and directed by Tina Landau, the writer-director (and member of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater) whose Broadway work has included “Superior Donuts” and “Bells Are Ringing.” The book is by Kyle Jarrow, who co-created “A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant” and has worked with Duncan Sheik on »
- Gordon Cox
Wayne Brady has spent almost two decades proving his improvisational mettle and vaudevillian flair as a comic on "Whose Line Is It Anyway?", the host of "The Wayne Brady Show" (where he picked up two Daytime Emmys), and now as a voice actor on the Disney Channel series "Sofia the First." His family-safe version of comedy made him a fitting emcee for Charmin's "Keep It Clean Comedy Show," where New York high school students performed their cleanest versions of bathroom humor earlier this week. We caught up with Brady to discuss what makes for good clean humor, the worst cliches in comedy, and the challenges of taking over for Billy Porter in Broadway's "Kinky Boots" beginning November 21. You just hosted a Charmin-sponsored event where kids aged 14-18 told their best clean versions of scatological jokes. That seems like a challenge. Were you optimistic about what the contestants could produce? Well, »
- Louis Virtel
Chiwetel Ejiofor has left us speechless with his performances in 12 Years a Slave, Children of Men, Dirty Pretty Things and Kinky Boots, and now he’s done it yet again in Craig Zobel’s Z for Zachariah.
Based on the novel by Robert C. O’Brien, Ejiofor plays a John Loomis, a distraught scientist who struggles to survive in a dystopian future where a radioactive disaster has wiped out most of civilization. One day, he comes across a farmer named Ann Burden (Margot Robbie), who may be the last woman on earth.
She takes him in and they eventually build a strong level of trust between one another. But that bond is tested when they come across another man, Caleb (Chris Pine), who arrives in town and starts gaining Ann’s favor. Soon, the bond between them starts to unravel to the point where things between the trio become increasingly precarious. »
- Ben Kenber
“Transparent” and “Empire” lead the first-round nominees for the Casting Society of America’s 31st annual Artios Awards.
The Amazon comedy and Fox drama each scored two nominations. The noms announced Friday morning covered TV, theater, Web series and short film.
“Transparent’s” casting director Edye Belasco received noms in both the TV pilot comedy and TV comedy series categories. “Empire’s” trio of Leah Daniels Butler, Claire Simon and Shelby Cherniet were nominated for TV pilot drama, while Butler and Simon were also recognized in the TV drama series field.
The TV comedy series category also includes “Orange Is the New Black,” “Veep,” “Silicon Valley” and “Episodes,” while the TV drama series contenders are “Game of Thrones,” “House of Cards,” “The Good Wife” and “Bloodline.”
- Maane Khatchatourian
Kinky Boots London
Starting its preview run at the Adelphi Theatre in London from this Friday, 21st August is the new musical Kinky Boots, and to tie in with that, we have an exclusive look behind-the-scenes at rehearsals for the show in a brand new featurette.
Watch the Kinky Boots London rehearsal footage below.
Kinky Boots: The Musical which music and lyrics by Tony, Emmy and Grammy-winner Cyndi Lauper and a book by legendary Tony-winner Harvey Fierstein, has already had a hugely successful run on Broadway, where it opened in 2013. Transferring to the West End this year, the UK production stars Killian Donnelly and Matt Henry in the two leads as Charlie and Lola respectively, with other cast members including Amy Lennox as Lauren, Amy Ross as Nicola, Jamie Baughan as Don, and Michael Hobbs as George.
- Paul Heath
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