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'Hair' Picked as NBC's Next Live Musical

Don't hold your breath for the show's famous nudity to make its way to broadcast television, but NBC has chosen Hair as its next live musical.

The network on Thursday announced that the 50-year-old Broadway hit of the hippie generation will be its latest live staging, with plans for a spring 2019 telecast. That fills the void left by the twice-delayed staging of Bye, Bye Birdie , which star and executive producer Jennifer Lopez recently revealed to The Hollywood Reporter is still on the back burner.

Like the network's stagings of The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz, Hairspray and ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - TV News »

Theatre Under The Stars Releases Hilarious Casting Breakdowns for The Wiz!

In case you missed it, Theatre Under The Stars is holding auditions in North Hollywood, CA for their Houston, TX production of The Wiz today, May 17. Two weeks ago, BroadwayWorld posted the casting call to keep you updated and informed about auditions. The casting call looks pretty normal at first glance. Rehearsal dates, contract, audition location, etc. However, it's the breakdown that caught our eye. Take a look at the breakdowns we pulled from the casting call below
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Earn $1,100 in a Stage Revival of ‘The Wiz,’ Currently Casting All Roles

Ease on into Theatre Under the Stars’ revival of “The Wiz,” the Tony Award–winning Broadway musical that’s a reimagining of “The Wizard of Oz” through the lens of the urban African-American experience. Auditions are taking place in Los Angeles for a production in Houston, Texas this fall. The production is seeking equity singers and dancers for multiple roles, including leads. For this version, all roles are open to performers of any ethnicity. The lead role of Dorothy should be a female actor, aged 15–25, with a look closer to age 16 than 30. As the youngest soul in the play, Dorothy should be “bright eyed and bushy tailed” with a powerful singing voice. Other female roles include Aunt Em, for female talent, aged 18 and older, who will double as Glinda the good witch and Eveline the bad witch. Performers with a strong voice and the ability to play both good and
See full article at Backstage »

Producer Neil Meron (‘Jesus Christ Superstar’) on the ‘raw’ rock opera & the ‘mystical list’ of shows he’d still like to make [Exclusive Video Interview]

Producer Neil Meron (‘Jesus Christ Superstar’) on the ‘raw’ rock opera & the ‘mystical list’ of shows he’d still like to make [Exclusive Video Interview]
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice “always conceived [‘Jesus Christ Superstar’] as more raw, stripped-down,” says producer Neil Meron about his approach to the rock opera that he and the rest of his cast and crew staged as an NBC live concert event on Easter Sunday, April 1. So they created “more of an audience-friendly” show where the live spectators at the Marcy Avenue Armory where “Superstar” was performed became part of the production, “and we thought it worked spectacularly well.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Meron above.

“Jesus Christ Superstar” is the latest live musical production Meron has worked on for NBC, following “The Sound of Music” (2014), “Peter Pan” (2015), “The Wiz” (2016) and “Hairspray” (2017). He has “always felt a connection” to “Superstar” for its “inventive and bold” take on the story of Jesus’s last week before his crucifixion. This staging presented its own unique challenges compared to Meron’s other musical efforts,
See full article at Gold Derby »

‘American Idol’ Top 10 power rankings: Gabby Barrett and Cade Foehner are favorites to win

‘American Idol’ Top 10 power rankings: Gabby Barrett and Cade Foehner are favorites to win
The Top 10 finalists still in contention to win Season 16 of “American Idol” were revealed on Monday, April 23 and that means it’s time to kick off our weekly power rankings! Six artists advanced by earning enough votes from viewers at home while four more were saved by judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan. On Sunday, April 29 the Top 10 will perform Disney songs hoping to survive the three-person cut.

So who emerged as the season’s first bona fide front-runner? And which artists seem to be at risk of having their season cut short? Below is our Top 10 power rankings based on the first week of live performances. Do you agree with our assessment so far? Sound off in the comments and let us know who your favorites are by voting in our poll and making predictions.

See ‘American Idol’ Top 10: How to vote for your favorite artist
See full article at Gold Derby »

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 »
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