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10 Best TV Shows to See in April: 'Westworld,' Elvis and Jesus

10 Best TV Shows to See in April: 'Westworld,' Elvis and Jesus
They say TV makes your brain ooze out of your ears, but this April, viewers can learn a little something about an eclectic array of topics. New nonfiction offerings this month will shed a little light on Elvis Presley's inner life, whisk you on an odyssey through sci-fi with James Cameron and feature Wyatt Cenac fixing all of the world's pressing issues. Plus Al Pacino takes on Joe Paterno, Tracy Morgan makes a profane-as-fuck comeback and John Legend fulfills his destiny by taking up the mantle of a singing Jesus Christ.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

How It All Began? The Story of Jesus Christ Superstar

Tonight, NBC will air its fifth live musical production. Following in the footsteps of The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz, and Hairspray, the peacock network will be presenting Tim Rice amp Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar, a rock opera that tells the story of the final week in the life of Jesus Christ. It begins with the preparation for the arrival of Jesus and his disciples in Jerusalem and ends with the crucifixion. It also highlights the political and interpersonal struggles between Jesus and one of his 12 apostles, Judas Iscariot that are not present in the Bible narratives.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

2018 Oscars production team: Emmy-winning veterans return for 90th annual Academy Awards

2018 Oscars production team: Emmy-winning veterans return for 90th annual Academy Awards
Oscar producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd are surrounding themselves with many of the veterans that helped them make their first stint last year such a success, barring that last-minute snafu with the Best Picture envelope. On Friday they confirmed the top-notch production team for the upcoming 90th annual Academy Awards on March 4. As the producers noted, “This team brings more than 90 years of combined Oscars telecast experience. Collaborating with them as we celebrate the 90th year of the Oscars is both fitting and thrilling.”

Director: Glenn Weiss

The Emmy-winning helmer of the Tony Awards is returning to oversee the telecast for a third year running. He has won 13 Emmy Awards, including one for the 89th Oscars, for which he also won a DGA Award. Weiss has directed numerous televised events, including 17 Tony Awards shows. Other directing credits include multiple “Primetime Emmy Awards,“ “The Kennedy Center Honors,” “Billboard Music Awards,
See full article at Gold Derby »

Phylicia Rashad to Receive League of Prof Theatre Women’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Rashad in “Creed”: Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros.

Tony winner Phylicia Rashad will soon have another award to add to her mantle. A press release has announced that the “Empire” actress will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Theatre Women Awards. Hosted by the League of Professional Theatre Women (Lptw), the awards are “dedicated to promoting the visibility of the theatrical work of female-identifying artists and their contributions to the field, across all disciplines.”

Rashad won a Tony in 2004 for her performance as Lena Younger in a revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun.” She received another Tony nod in 2005 for her role in “Gem of the Ocean.” Rashad’s other stage credits include “August: Osage County,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Into the Woods,” “Dreamgirls,” and “The Wiz.” She was honored by the Steppenwolf Theatre Company last year. Probably best
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

‘Mudbound’ Director Dee Rees on Mary J. Blige’s Work in the Film: ‘I’m So Proud of Her!’

‘Mudbound’ Director Dee Rees on Mary J. Blige’s Work in the Film: ‘I’m So Proud of Her!’
Mary J. Blige had acted professionally before her Golden Globe-nominated turn in Dee Rees’ “Mudbound,” appearing opposite Tom Cruise in the hair-metal musical “Rock of Ages” in 2012, channeling the Wicked Witch of the West as Evillene in a live production of “The Wiz.” She even played Dr. Betty Shabazz, Malcolm X’s wife, opposite Angela Bassett in the TV movie “Betty & Coretta.” Yet even though Rees had only seen her in “The Wiz,” she knew the unproven actress would be perfect to play the weathered Florence. Below, she explains why.

Had you seen Blige act before you cast her in the role of Florence?

I saw her do “The Wiz” live — I grew up on [the original film] and I have the [1978] album with Diana Ross and Nipsey Russell. For her to take on [the role of Evillene, the wicked witch] was huge and risky, and there was a fearlessness in her performance: She wasn’t self-conscious or caring about the audience or any known interpretation of the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Mary J. Blige Talks ‘Mudbound,’ Divorce and ‘Messing Up in Front of the World’

Mary J. Blige Talks ‘Mudbound,’ Divorce and ‘Messing Up in Front of the World’
The transition from music to acting has been a bridge too far for many musicians, but Mary J. Blige isn’t just any singer. She brought multiple talents and skills to the daunting role of Florence Jackson in Dee Rees’ “Mudbound,” the story of a sharecropper’s wife trying to raise her family in the Jim Crow-era South.

Blige had acted professionally before, appearing opposite Tom Cruise in the hair-metal musical “Rock of Ages” in 2012, channeling the Wicked Witch of the West as Evillene in a live production of “The Wiz,” and even played Dr. Betty Shabazz, Malcolm X’s wife, opposite Angela Bassett in the TV movie “Betty & Coretta.”

Of course, channeling emotion is an essential element of singing, and as a vocalist, Blige, who is receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Jan. 11, is practically without peer: For more than a quarter-century, over a dozen-odd studio albums, nine Grammy Awards,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Showtime's The Chi Premiere: Grade It!

Welcome to the South Side of Chicago, where Showtime’s new drama series The Chi paints a vividly colorful portrait of life on the streets.

PHOTOSWinter TV Preview: The Chi Made Our List of New Shows to Get Excited About

Sunday’s series premiere — written by Emmy winner Lena Waithe (Master of None) and directed by Dope helmer Rick Famuyima — lays out a wide range of narrative strands for us to follow, all intersecting with each other, so let’s take a closer look at the five main characters we’re introduced to:

* Coogie (Jahking Guillory), a street-smart teen who
See full article at TVLine.com »

The Iconic Diana Ross Turned Her AMAs Performance Into a Giant Family Affair

  • BuzzSugar
Diana Ross was the belle of the ball at Sunday night's American Music Awards. After walking the red carpet with her massive, proud family, the iconic 74-year-old singer was honored with a lifetime achievement award for her six decades in the music industry and brought the audience to its feet with an epic performance of her greatest hits. Celebrities couldn't handle the greatness of her medley, either. From "I'm Coming Out" to "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "The Best Years of My Life" and even the incomparable "Ease on Down the Road" from The Wiz, Ross proved that she still has the same pipes and stage presence that put her on the map in the early '60s. And if that wasn't amazing enough, she brought her entire extended family, as well as longtime friends and collaborators Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy, on stage to dance and celebrate with her.
See full article at BuzzSugar »

Diana Ross Performs Greatest Hits at 2017 American Music Awards — Watch

Diana Ross Performs Greatest Hits at 2017 American Music Awards — Watch
Here’s a sentence you probably didn’t expect to read in 2017: Diana Ross won big at the American Music Awards.

Not only did the Motown legend receive the AMAs’ coveted Lifetime Achievement award — previously bestowed upon the likes of Frank Sinatra, Whitney Houston and Prince — during Sunday’s ceremony (hosted by her daughter, black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross!), but she also put on a performance of some of her biggest hits.

More than four decades after winning her first Ama, Ross returned to the stage to bless us with new renditions of “I’m Coming Out,” “Ease on
See full article at TVLine.com »

Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Diana Ross Belts Medley of Hits (and Dances with Grandkids!): 'I'm So Humbled'

  • PEOPLE.com
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Diana Ross Belts Medley of Hits (and Dances with Grandkids!): 'I'm So Humbled'
Ain't No Mountain too high for @DianaRoss & her family! Huge Congratulations on receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award! #MsROSSxAMAs #AMAs pic.twitter.com/I5hve4TmCT

— AMAs (@AMAs) November 20, 2017

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Music icon Diana Ross did double duty at the American Music Awards on Sunday night.

The legendary singer was one of the night’s performers and she was the recipient of one of the night’s biggest honors: the Lifetime Achievement award.

After a stirring introduction from her youngest son Evan—and a suitably epic video detailing her amazing personal, musical and cinematic history and influence
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Canon Of Film: ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ (1974)

In this week’s edition of Canon Of Film, we take a look Sidney Lumet‘s hypnotic ‘Murder on the Orient Express‘ just in time for the release of Kenneth Branagh‘s remake of the same name. For the story behind the genesis of the Canon, you can click here.

Murder On The Orient Express (1974)

Director: Sidney Lumet

Screenplay: Paul Dehn based on the novel by Agatha Christie (uncredited)

Strangely, the detective story is actually a fairly newer genre when compared to others, in terms of literary history, it is, and the inventor of the genre is not who you’d think it’d be either, it was Edgar Allen Poe, with his trilogy of C. Auguste Dupin stories, ‘The Murder of the Rue Morgue‘, ‘The Mystery of Marie Roget,’ and my favorite, ‘The Purloined Letter‘ back in the 1840s. I’m not sure why this genre didn’t pick up until then,
See full article at Age of the Nerd »

Singer and Actress Lena Horne Arrived Too Soon for Hollywood

Singer and Actress Lena Horne Arrived Too Soon for Hollywood
June 30 would be the 100th birthday of Lena Horne, who had it all: looks, charm, and a singing voice that was noted for its “expressiveness and dramatic intensity,” as Variety once wrote. Hollywood needed her, but she didn’t need Hollywood. The racial barriers were too strong. When MGM signed her in 1942, she was already a successful singer; the studio starred her in two all-black musicals, “Cabin in the Sky” and “Stormy Weather” (which became one of her signature songs). After that, MGM gave her solos in musicals like “Ziegfeld Follies” and “Till the Clouds Roll By.” Her songs were extraneous to the plot; that way, her sequences could be cut for movie theaters that refused to screen films with blacks in prominent roles. Horne continued to have a successful career in nightclubs, records, Broadway and TV well into the 1990s, and she fought for civil rights and equality until her death in 2010, at age 92.

Horne was
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Why Sidney Poitier’s ‘Stir Crazy’ Is Still the Most Successful Movie Ever Made By a Black Director

Why Sidney Poitier’s ‘Stir Crazy’ Is Still the Most Successful Movie Ever Made By a Black Director
In the history of black filmmaking, “Stir Crazy” is rarely cited as a groundbreaker or an enduring high point. However, Sidney Poitier’s 1980 comedy sold more tickets in North America than “The Fate of the Furious,” or any other film by a black director.

Poitier’s career has included multiple breakout moments. He was the first black lead acting Oscar winner with “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner;” he starred in two blockbuster films in 1967 with “To Sir With Love” (over $300 million, adjusted gross) and “In the Heat of the Night” ($177 million, adjusted gross). He was, more than even Denzel Washington or any other black actor-turned-director, an icon of cinema when he made “Stir Crazy.” And it was this film, more than any other, that found access to all domestic audiences.

That said, it’s a film that doesn’t have the resonance of other historical blockbusters like “Gone With the Wind,
See full article at Indiewire »

John Badham interview: Saturday Night Fever at 40

Don Kaye May 15, 2017

Director John Badman looks back at his disco classic four decades later...

Saturday Night Fever is the film that made John Travolta into a legitimate star, launched the Bee Gees to the pinnacle of pop success and introduced the world to the subculture, music and fashion of disco dancing - specifically the scene in the clubs of the insular blue collar Brooklyn neighbourhood of Bay Ridge. The movie made the scene and music into a national phenomenon that lasted several years, until the disco craze petered out in the early '80s.

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The whole thing was based on a New York magazine article called 'Tribal Rites Of The New Saturday Night', written by a British journalist named
See full article at Den of Geek »

Theater Review: Ease on Down to Kokandy’s Sensational ‘The Wiz’

Chicago – When stage theater can cause outbreaks of elation, celebration and joy, then it must be due to Kokandy Productions’ revival of “The Wiz.” The urban reinterpretation of “The Wizard of Oz” story – told through tuneful euphoria and jubilant dance – is ecstatically produced, in every morsel of its stagecraft.

The show is at the Theater Wit in Chicago on Thursdays through Sundays until April 16th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

Play Rating: 5.0/5.0

The cast delivers the familiar story by ramping up the comic elements, and giving the characters more high-level personalities. The four main travelers – Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion – have great chemistry, and singing voices to match that chemistry. The chorus/dancers also take on other roles throughout the high energy musical, and entertains at various times with tight and impressive choreography stylings. From the costuming to the orchestration to the use-of-stage, “The Wiz” is
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

New Line Cinema developing Wizard of Oz themed horror

THR is reporting that New Line Cinema has acquired an untitled horror pitch from writer Mike Van Waes, which is set in the universe created by L. Frank Baum in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and his subsequent novels.

This marks the latest success for Van Waes, who has sold several pitches and scripts over the past year and a half, including the Black List script Hammerspace to Warner Bros., and the book proposal Peeves to Harper Collins, which has also been optioned by Fox Animation.

Baum’s Oz novels have been adapted on numerous occasions, most famously with the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland. Other adaptations include the 1975 musical The Wiz, 2013’s Oz the Great and Powerful and the NBC TV series Emerald City. A movie adaptation of the hit musical Wicked is also in development for release in 2019.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

New Line Is Developing a Horror Film Takes Place in the Land of Oz

It was recently announced that New Line Cinema has picked up the rights to a horror script that was written by up and coming writer Mike Van Waes. The setting for the film will take place in Oz from The Wizard of Oz.

THR got the exclusive scoop on this project and this is what they had to say:

The project, which is in the early development stages, will have ties to the universe created in the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum that was adapted into the classic 1939 film starring Judy Garland.Baum's story — about a young girl and her dog who are swept away to a magical world where she teams up with the Lion, the Tinman and the Scarecrow to face off against the Wicked Witch of the West — has been adapted numerous times over the years and also used as inspiration for various film,
See full article at GeekTyrant »

Oz Is Headed For Horror With New Line Cinema

There seems to have been quite the resurgence in interest in L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz in recent years – ever since Oz The Great And Powerful arrived in theatres in 2013. We saw the 2014 release of the animated movie Legends Of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, NBC’s 2015 broadcast of The Wiz Live!, the recent premiere of the TV series Emerald City, and the development of an animated series at Warner Bros titled Dorothy Of Oz. New Line Cinema even has an L. Frank Baum biopic in the works, titled Road To Oz. But, it’s the studio’s additional acquisition of an original film pitch that’s making the news today, bringing horror to the world of Oz.

The pitch was made by emerging screenwriter Mike Van Waes, who already has projects in development with other studios. His script Hammerspace made the 2015 Black List, with its
See full article at We Got This Covered »

By Sidney Lumet

A lengthy talk-fest interview of the underrated filmmaker, who takes us through his life story as a personal journey, not a string of movie assignments. Sidney Lumet seems to attract a lot of criticism, and so did this docu for not challenging his opinions or rubbing his nose in his less admirable movie efforts. The docu is just Lumet’s thoughts, and the words of a man of integrity are always inspiring.

By Sidney Lumet

Blu-ray

FilmRise

2015 / Color /1:78 widescreen / 103 min. / Street Date January 9, 2017 / 24.95

Starring Sidney Lumet

Cinematography Tom Hurwitz

Film Editor Anthony Ripoli

Produced by Scott Berrie, Nancy Buirski, Chris Donnelly, Joshua A. Green, Thane Rosenbaum, Robin Yigit Smith

Directed by Nancy Buirski

This ought to be a good year for documentary filmmaker Nancy Buirski. I first caught up with her excellent feature docu Afternoon of a Faun, about the ill-fated ballerina Tanaquil Le Clerc, and she’s had other successes as well.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

10 Best Movies and TV Shows to Stream in December

10 Best Movies and TV Shows to Stream in December
As we prepare to bid 2016 a fond, middle-fingered farewell, colder days will compel viewers to hunker down for a catch-up session on all the streaming series and movies they've missed. And for those of us who don't need to be snowed in to watch TV for eight uninterrupted hours, there will still be plenty to binge on in the next month. Two Amazon favorites debut new seasons, Barack Obama comes to Netflix, and Hulu hosts one of the Seventies' finest horror flicks. Good streaming for all, and to all a
See full article at Rolling Stone »
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