Friday, February 27, 2015

LEONARD NIMOY "STAR TREK" LEGEND DEAD AT AGE 83

Leonard Nimoy



Leonard Nimoy, who played Mr. Spock in the hit series Star trek, has died at age 83. Nimoy played the very logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television series and the movie versions. Nimoy died this morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles.




His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death to media outlets, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.




Mr. Nimoy announced to the world last year that he had the disease, attributing it to years of smoking, a habit he had given up three decades earlier. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week.




His artistic pursuits included poetry, photography and music in addition to acting. 


 “Live long and prosper” 


LIZA MINNELLI AND CHER WEIGH IN ON MADONNA'S FALL

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THE GLORIOUS CORNER

Story By:  G. H. HARDING
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Madonna




MADONNA --- By now, you've not doubt seen the horrific spill that Madonna took on stage at the Brit awards earlier this week in L. A. The Internet blew up with both positive and negative remarks – some seemed to take glee in the fact that it happened at all, while others, including Cher and Liza Minnelli even weighed in, countering that it’s something every performer dreads, but the fact that she got right up and continued attested to her professionalism.



I think it's a sad state of affairs when something like this happens and people actually take joy in it. Call it the TMZ-factor or whatever, but it’s definitely not right.



Truth be told, obviously something went askew, but she got right back up and continued the performance. Face it; she’s a pro … always has, always will.



KEATON’S MOMENT --- Not to continue on a rant with the web, but this week featured a moment that was dubbed the saddest moment of the recent Oscars-event. The Best Actor Award was about to be announced and a camera cut to Keaton sitting in the front row, allegedly pulling out a slip of paper obviously with his speech on it.



They called out another name, yet the camera held on Keaton … now, putting the paper back in his jacket pocket.



I thought Keaton should have won; he won mostly everything else (in fact, the movie Birdman won some 154 awards!). The movie was just amazing; an amazing treatise on fame. Maybe it scared the Hollywood-elite … who knows.



Keaton gave the performance of a lifetime.



WILSON’S LOVE & MERCY --- I’m a huge Brian Wilson fan, are you? The forthcoming movie Love & Mercy is an biographical film directed by Bill Pohlad about musician and songwriter Wilson of the Beach Boys.



The film, deriving its title from the 1988 song by Wilson, is presented in a parallel narrative covering two specific time periods of Wilson's life: the 1960’s and the 1980’s.



Actors Paul Dano and John Cusack depict the young and old Wilson, with Elizabeth Banks as Wilson's second wife, Melinda, and Paul Giamatti as psychotherapist Dr. Eugene Landy.



It will be released on June 5, 2015.






DANNY PACINO --- In Danny Collins, starring Al Pacino, an undelivered letter from John Lennon inspires a heartfelt journey to rediscover family, find true love and begin a second act.



Danny Collins opens in select theaters this March, starring Al Pacino, Jennifer Garner, Annette Bening & Christopher Plummer, directed by Dan Fogelman and features songs by John Lennon.



SMITH SHINES IN FOCUS --- It’s not the big-brash Big Willie Style, but Will Smith’s new movie Focus (with the hotter-than-hot) Margot Robbie, is a slow-burn, gem of a movie.



Smith essays veteran-con-man Nicky, who manages to train newcomer Jess (Robie), as well as falling for her. Smith’s nuanced performance almost harks back to Cary Grant’s 1955 gem, To Catch A Thief. It’s a great star turn for sure.



Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, wrote and directed this movie, and while it’s not up to their last masterpiece, Crazy, Stupid, Love, I just adored it.



With a terrific soundtrack including music from Van Morrison, The Rolling Stones, and It’s A Beautiful Day (“White Bird”), it’s just perfect. Highly recommended for sure.



CLOSING NOTES --- One last Oscars note: I think the writers let Neil Patrick Harris down. The jokes were tired and not even funny. Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have done a great jobs these last few years - next year, new blood for sure ...



It took a long time to get off the ground, but the big screen adaptation of David Ebershoff's novel The Danish Girl is finally in production. The fictionalized account Lili Elbe's life feature Oscar-winner Eddie Redmanye in the title role and reunites him with his Les Miserables director Tom Hooper.



Elbe is known as being one of the first people to have sexual reassignment surgery (or at least have it publicly revealed). The movie centers on her relationship with her wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander) and how her transition affected their lives.



The project has been in the works for years with Tomas Alfredson and Lasse Hallström both attached to direct at one time and Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard and Charlize Theron all potentially on board to play Elbe.



The film also features Amber Heard and Matthias Schoenaerts and is expected to be released later this year.




A LITTLE BIT OF BROADWAY & MONKEE MICKY DOLENZ

Micky Dolenz


Micky Dolenz is best known as the lead singer of the hugely successful
rock 'n' roll band, The Monkees, which originated from the classic sixties
TV show of the same name. The Monkees sold over 65 million records and
has toured the U.S. (and much of the world) many times over.


Micky has also starred in many musicals on Broadway, the West End and in national
tours including Disney's AIDA (Broadway), Pippin, Hairspray (West End),
Grease, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Tom Sawyer and more.


Micky has recorded two solo albums (Remember and King For A Day)
and recently appeared in the World Premiere of the new play Comedy Is Hard (Ivoryton Playhouse) by four time Emmy winner Mike Reiss (The Simpsons).


"A Little Bit Broadway, A Little Bit Rock 'n' Roll" is a brand new show
Micky has created to combine his love of Broadway with his love for rock
'n' roll in one thrilling new intimate concert. The show will include some
of the Monkees greatest hits, a few rarities and songs from musical roles
he has performed and from shows he loves.


A live album will be recorded during the three shows in July.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

SINGING QUEEN ADAM LAMBERT'S UNFORESEEN SHOW

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THE GLORIOUS CORNER

Story By: G. H. HARDING
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Queen With Adam Lambert




QUEEN LAMBERT --- Last week fans in Brussels were gearing up to see Queen + Adam Lambert, but as the show was approaching, the organizers suddenly came out with an announcement that they had to cancel the event due to unforeseen circumstances. 



According to our insider in Brussels, the problem specifically was that Lambert was suffering from a severe case of bronchitis, preventing him from giving any performance.



The singer’s condition was apparently caused by the last concert he performed with Queen in Frankfurt, Germany, where the singer reportedly really did give a lot of himself to the public – but it was apparently a bit too much, as his throat suffered severely from the whole ordeal and he had to cancel his plans for concerts in the near future.



Reports reveal that his condition was actually so bad; he had to receive medical attention shortly after the concert was over, and he was on a slow but steady road to recovery. The singer was quick to apologize for letting down his fans on Twitter, where he said that doctors had ordered him to stay in bed, and he couldn’t really argue with that until he actually got better.



It’s clear that people really do want to see a lot more of Queen + Adam Lambert, as the concert in Brussels was already sold out and it was widely discussed in online communities of music fans.



So far, it seems that the group’s tour will only be affected in Brussels, and the rest of their European-tour will proceed as planned. 



Lambert has been playing with Queen for several years now, starting in 2009 when they performed “We Are the Champions” together on the stage of American Idol, and then performed together in Belfast for the MTV European Music Awards.



The performance that Lambert has been delivering alongside Queen has been the subject of much praise, and not just from fans and critics – Brian May himself has stated that Queen are very fortunate to have come across the singer, as they are a perfect match and he adds a lot to their performance. 



On a related note, whatever happened to that planned big-screen bio-pic on Freddie Mercury and Queen? Brian May said that actor Ben Whishaw (Paddington) had the part of Freddie Mercury in the bag for the much talked about film of his life.



Said Whishaw, “Actually, I don’t know what’s happening, it seems to be on the back-burner, it was going, then there were problems getting the script working.”



May said as late as last November: “We’ve been talking to Ben and we’re very keen and last time we spoke he was very keen. Casting Freddie is hard. It’s a lot of things we need, but we need to get his essence.”



Sacha Baron Cohen had earlier been touted for the role.



SNOW WHITE & ALIEN BACK --- Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year) has joined the cast of The Huntsman opposite Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron, who reprise their roles from the first installment of the Snow White redux.



Chastain is currently filming The Martian for Ridley Scott opposite Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig and Kate Mara. She also has Guillermo del Toro’s horror pic Crimson Peak in the pipelines.



Emily Blunt, rumored for weeks to join the cast, has closed her deal to star in the film as well. Also returning from the first film will be Nick Frost (Cuban Fury), who has now agreed to terms to reprise his role as a dwarf Nion. 



On a related note re Ridley Scott, director Neil Blomkamp (District 9, Chappie) has signed onto to helm the much heralded Alien-reboot. 



Hard to believe that first Alien movie came out in 1979. I just watched it again recently and, though dated, you cannot beat the suspense … and, great acting. 



Sigourney Weaver is in the director’s Chappie movie and he says that her presence was a very definitive motivation is re-booting the franchise: 



“It did have to do with having Sigourney on Chappie. It’s just something that I've always wanted to one day be a part of. Those first two [Alien] films are probably my favorite films ever made. I didn't know if it would ever happen. I just always wanted to participate in it if I was able to.



Over the years, I came up with a story for a film in that universe that I wanted to make. And then when I talked to her about her experience making those films and what she thought about Ripley and everything else, it informed and changed the film I wanted to make into something different.



It just sort of stuck with me. A year later, when post-production was winding down on Chappie, I started fleshing out the idea for a film that would contain Sigourney. I just worked on it when I could. Before I knew it, I had this really awesome film with a lot of artwork and a lot of backstory. And then I didn’t know whether I was going to make it or not. So I just kind of sat on it for a while … and, then it happened.” Can't wait for this one.



CLOSING NOTES --- Going to see Focus tonight with Will Smith and Margot Robbie. Written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, curious to see this one. Details Friday ... 



Great interview in Boca Magazine with David Letterman-bassist Will Lee. With about 50 shows left, Lee reflects on his time there and his future. Check it out here:



That live Hall & Oates album we trumped a few columns back "Daryl Hall & John Oates: Recorded Live In Dublin) is out next week and is sensational. 



SIGHTINGS: PR-Pasha David Salidor at French-bistro Les Halles; WOR's Tom Cuddy on West Broadway; and, theater-impresario William Schill at Stan's in Florida.




Tuesday, February 24, 2015

'THE WORLD OF EXTREME HAPPINESS' ON BROADWAY

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World Premiere Play By Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig

Directed by Eric Ting

A Co-Production with Goodman Theatre
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The World of Extreme Happiness





Manhattan Theatre Club’s world premiere of The World of Extreme Happiness, the new play by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, directed by Eric Ting, opens tonight, Tuesday, February 24 at MTC’s New York City Center – Stage I (131 West 55th Street) in a co-production with Chicago’s Goodman Theatre.



The MTC cast of The World of Extreme Happiness features Francis Jue (M. Butterfly, “The Good Wife”), Telly Leung (“Glee,” Godspell), Jennifer Lim (Chinglish, This Isn’t Romance at London’s Soho Theatre), Jo Mei (New York stage debut and star of the acclaimed independent film A Picture of You), James Saito (Golden Child, “Life of Pi”), and Sue Jin Song (Paula Vogel’s Hot 'n Throbbing).


Unwanted from the moment she’s born, Sunny (Jennifer Lim) is determined to escape her life in rural China and forge a new identity in the city. As naïve as she is ambitious, Sunny views her new job in a grueling factory as a stepping stone to untold opportunities. When fate casts her as a company spokeswoman at a sham PR event, Sunny’s bright outlook starts to unravel in a series of harrowing and darkly comic events, as she begins to question a system enriching itself by destroying its own people.



Critically acclaimed in a workshop production at London’s National Theatre, The World of Extreme Happiness makes its world premiere in a co-production with Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. “Hard-hitting and bruisingly funny” (Time Out London), this epic new drama by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig is as fierce and unflinching as the world it examines. Eric Ting directs.



The creative team for The World of Extreme Happiness includes Mimi Lien (scenic design), Jenny Mannis (costume design), Tyler Micoleau (lighting design), Mikhail Fiksel (sound design), and Thomas Schall (fight director).


STARS 'LOVE GOLD' AT 2015 ACADEMY AWARDS FETE

Margot Robbie



Golden jewelry ruled this year's Academy Awards and after parties. For more inspirational golden looks, visit LOVE GOLD.


Presenter Margot Robbie stunned in vintage gold Van Cleef & Arpels “Zip Antique Colombine” necklace featuring diamonds and sapphires set in 18K yellow gold.



Best Supporting Actress winner Patricia Arquette chose Fred Leighton Old European Cut Diamond Drop Earrings, 2.50 carats each, in gold and Old European Cut Diamond Filigree Ring, 2.0 carats, in gold



Nominee Emma Stone wore a pair of yellow and white gold Tiffany & Co. cuffs with Rose-cut diamonds.



Presenter Viola Davis chose statement pieces from Van Cleef & Arpels “Valadon” necklace (1973) from the Van Cleef & Arpels Collection, featuring cultured pearls and diamonds set in 18K yellow gold, earrings featuring internally flawless diamonds set in 18K white gold, “Perlée” bracelet featuring 768 diamonds set in 18K yellow gold



Actress America Ferrera wore yellow gold, opal and turquoise Irene Neuwirth drop earrings.



Nominee Felicity Jones shined in The Minaudière™ precious case (1947) from the Van Cleef & Arpels Collection, crafted in styptor, yellow gold, and diamonds, “Dans les Étoiles” earrings featuring white and yellow diamonds and briolette-cut champagne diamond drops set in 18K white gold.



Joanna Newsom chose Irene Neuwirth turquoise and yellow gold ring.



Actress Kelly Preston wore Kimberly McDonald Double Geode Earrings with Signature Irregular Diamonds set in 18k Yellow Gold.



Performer Rita Ora in Lorraine Schwartz yellow gold and diamond earrings and rings.



Presenter Scarlet Johansson wore Piaget yellow gold, diamond and emerald ear cuff.



Celebrities that wore GOLD jewelry to the Vanity Fair party:



Actress Hailee Steinfeld wore Azva yellow gold bangles and ring.



Actress Leslie Mann shined in Neil Lane diamond and gold necklace, pearl and gold chain with emerald pendant, diamond and gold chain, a diamond and gold leaf cuff and a diamond and gold ring​.


Photos Courtesy Of: Domain MSA



BILLY IDOL CONCERT @ THE LAS VEGAS COSMOPOLITAN

Billy Idol



Billy Idol performed at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas the other night to a huge crowd.