Host Hayes showed off his piano skills as Chenoweth sang. The opening also featured song and dance segments from hit Broadway musicals Memphis, Come Fly With Me, Everyday Rapture, Million Dollar Quartet, La Cage Aux Folles, Fela! and Green Day's American Idiot.
The punk trio themselves then took the stage to rock the Tonys with Holiday and Know Your Enemy. The cast of the band's hit musical joined Billie Joe Armstrong and his group for the rousing anthem.
And Hayes won applause when the openly gay star and Chenoweth shared an open-mouthed kiss. He quipped, "I know what you're thinking; she's too short for me."
Daniel Radcliffe and Katie Holmes handed out the night's first award, Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play, to Scarlett Johansson for A View From The Bridge. She kissed her two leading men - stage co-star Liev Schreiber and husband Ryan Reynolds - as she took to the stage.
She said, "Being welcomed into this community has been an absolute dream come true for me."
She thanked her mother Melanie and "my Canadian, who I live with," singling out Reynolds and stating, "Thank you for becoming a theatre widower for me. I never could have done it without your support."
She dedicated the award to playwright Arthur Miller, who penned A View From The Bridge.
While the first two Shrek films scored high praise from both critics and audiences the third installment of the animated saga 2007’s Shrek the Third was widely considered a letdown a signal that Dreamworks’ wildly successful franchise had finally jumped the shark. But that didn’t deter the studio from greenlighting a fourth Shrek film Shrek Forever After with the somewhat dubious assurance that it would be the last to feature the titular green ogre.
The plot of Shrek Forever After in many ways reflects the creative fatigue the filmmakers clearly feel: After fathering triplets with his wife Fiona (Cameron Diaz) Shrek (Mike Myers) has settled into a wearisome domestic routine of morning feedings clogged bathrooms and neighborhood pot lucks. But a domesticated Shrek is a boring Shrek and he soon longs to escape the tedium of family life and return to the carefree days when all the creatures of the forest feared his roar. But how? He's stuck.
Or so it seems until a lispy local charlatan Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn doing a solid Paul Reubens impression) offers Shrek a magical “deal” enabling him to turn back the clock for a day and spend 24 hours without the oppressive dictates of family life which the beleaguered ogre eagerly accepts. But fairytale contracts rarely come without hidden caveats and Shrek soon awakens in a nightmarish bizarro world where his family and friends have vanished and ogres are hunted by vicious gangs of witches. Worst of all Rumpelstiltskin has managed to install himself as Far Far Away’s decadent dictator turning the castle into some sort of crazy lesbian nightclub where his witchy subordinates gyrate to pounding techno music.
Call it It’s a Wonderful Shrek — or even Shrek to the Future if you will. It’s not the most original storytelling scheme but it allows the filmmakers to essentially hit the reset button on the Shrek canon and re-introduce familiar faces like Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) in slightly tweaked form. Fiona is no longer a dainty princess awaiting her savior but the butched-out (this emerges as a trend in the film) leader of an underground ogre resistance plotting to free Far Far Away from its effete Napoleon and his haggish minions. In order to avoid vanishing from history entirely Shrek has to woo her all over again — a task made harder by her newfound independent streak.
Fans of Shrek will be happy to know that Shrek Forever After — its weird butch/femme dynamic notwithstanding — marks a definite improvement over its predecessor. That said it won’t likely inspire any grassroots campaign to convince Dreamworks to reconsider its supposed decision to retire the character for good. The film works partly because it carries more modest aspirations largely shunning the laugh-a-minute pace and copious pop-culture humor that characterized the first three installments. The franchise is clearly running on fumes but this film has just enough laughter in the tank to make it to the finish line intact.
One final note: The 3D aspect of Shrek Forever After is surprisingly mundane adding little to the overall viewing experience. It’s disappointing considering that Dreamworks just recently did such terrific work on the 3D sequences in How to Train Your Dragon. Save your cash and hit a 2D showing instead.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
The uber-anticipated sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen picks up shortly after the events of the blockbuster first film. With evil Megatron’s carcass buried at the bottom of the ocean Optimus Prime and his Autobot comrades working together with an elite group of human soldiers are now focused on hunting the remaining Decepticons scattered across the globe. Sam Witwicky hero of the 2007 movie is busy preparing for his first year at college while his unlikely girlfriend Mikaela Barnes stays behind to tend to her father’s auto-repair shop. Little do they know however that back on Cybertron a Decepticon elder known as “The Fallen” is hatching a scheme to invade Earth where hidden somewhere on the planet is the last known source of energon the life-blood of all Transformers. If he succeeds the devastation left in his wake will no doubt spell the end of the human race. With the fate of Earth hanging in the balance Sam and Mikaela must once again have to team up with Optimus and the Autobots to defeat this powerful new foe.
WHO’S IN IT?
All the major human players from the first Transformers film are back for the sequel including Shia LaBeouf Megan Fox Tyrese Gibson Josh Duhamel and John Turturro. Newcomers include Ramon Rodriguez who plays Sam’s conspiracy-obsessed college roommate Leo and The Office’s Rainn Wilson who enjoys a notable cameo as a pompous physics professor.
Of course the actors merely serve as background filler for the real stars of the show: those titular talking-alien robots. And director Michael Bay fills up the screen with enough mechanical eye candy to dazzle even the most skeptical gearhead. Returning characters include Optimus Prime Bumblebee Ratchet Ironhide Barricade Jazz (don’t act surprised) Starscream Frenzy and Megatron (again don’t act surprised).
Several new Autobots are introduced to the mix: Mudflap and Skids a pair of jive-talking ceaselessly annoying hatchbacks; Jolt a Chevy Volt; Sideswipe a silver Corvette; and Jetfire an elderly Decepticon turncoat who walks with a cane speaks with an English accent and transforms into an SR-71 Blackbird. Additions to Decepticon side include: The Fallen who we learn is the Decepticons’ real head honcho (consider him the Emperor Palpatine to Megatron’s Darth Vader); Soundwave a communications specialist who sinks his tentacles into a satellite and spies on us from above; Ravage a panther-like creature; Wheelie a radio-controlled truck who talks like Joe Pesci; “the Doctor ” a sort of mad scientist who speaks with a German accent (naturally); and the Constructicons a group of construction vehicles that fuse together to form a massive four-legged beast.
No director does over-the-top explosion-laded action better than Michael Bay and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen features several staggering set pieces. The CGI work on this film makes the last one look like it was designed on a Commodore 64.
Any scene in which people talk — and several of the ones in which robots talk too. Just as the action and visual effects are beefed up for the sequel the bad jokes and cringe-worthy dialogue are as well. Highlights include two dogs humping John Turturro in a thong a robot humping Megan Fox’s leg a sequence involving Sam’s stoned mom and a glimpse of a very large pair of testicles on one very large Decepticon. The latter will likely go down as the “nipples-on-the-Batsuit” moment for the Transformers franchise.
The show-stopping climax set in the Egyptian desert is one extended riotous battle royale packed with so much robot-on-robot action you’ll feel overwhelmed at times.
NETFLIX OR MULTIPLEX?
This big-budget spectacle begs to be seen at the multiplex — IMAX if possible. Just bring a pair of earplugs for the dialogue sequences. You might want to bring some Dramamine as well as Mr. Bay went a little overboard with his trademark circling-camera sequences this time around.
January 09, 2003 8:28am EST
Hollywood fashion designer Mr. Blackwell announced his 43rd annual list of worst dressed celebs Tuesday, and former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith got top honors. "Anna's fashion follies are the worst of the year...don't bother with a new designer Anna, just hire a structural engineer!" Blackwell said. The Texas native, however, was not Blackwell's only target. Kelly Osbourne, Shakira, Cameron Diaz, Britain's Princess Anne, Anne Rice, Donatella Versace, Meg Ryan, Christina Aguilera and Pink followed Smith on the list. Blackwell, of course, added his biting commentary to each fashion felon, sparing no one. He said Diaz "looks like she was dressed by a colorblind circus clown," and described Ryan as "a total fashion wreck" who "looks like a Swap-Meet Fashion Queen in Beverly Hills."
Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving early Sunday morning in Berkeley, Calif., The Associated Press reports. Armstrong, 30, was stopped for speeding in a black BMW convertible and failed a field sobriety test when he was booked into Berkeley county jail. He was later released on $1,053 bail.
Christa Miller, who starred as Kate O'Brien on The Drew Carey Show, gave birth Friday to a 7-pound, 6-ounce boy named William Stoddard Lawrence, the AP reports. Miller and her husband, Bill Lawrence, already have a 2 1/2-year-old daughter. Her pregnancy was written into the NBC comedy Scrubs, in which she has a recurring role. Her husband is the show's executive producer.
Director Dwight Little (Murder at 1600) is in negotiations to helm Anaconda II, a sequel to the 1997 thriller starring Jennifer Lopez and Ice Cube. According to Variety, the project will be developed by Columbia's mid-budget label Screen Gems. The original film, about documentary makers terrorized in the rainforest by a giant snake, grossed more than $136 million worldwide.
Gary Oldman, meanwhile, is in negotiations to join the cast of Warner Bros.' Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as wizard Sirius Black, the escaped prisoner of Azkaban who is later revealed to be Harry's godfather, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film, directed by Alfonso Cuaron and produced by Chris Columbus, is set to begin production Feb. 17.
Bernie Mac is set to play a retired baseball player for the Detroit Tigers who returns to the game in Disney's feature comedy Mr. 3000. The project is out to directors, Variety reports. In addition to his hit Fox sitcom, The Bernie Mac Show, Mac will also be seen as Bosley in Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle and in DreamWorks' Head of State with Chris Rock.
Singer/actress Jennifer Lopez is in final negotiations to star in Revolution Studios' drama An Unfinished Life for director Lasse Hallstrom (The Cider House Rules), Variety reports. The film revolves around a young, down-on-her-luck woman, who, along with her daughter, is forced to move in with her estranged father-in-law. The film would become Lopez's third project for the studio. She next stars in Revolution's drama Gigli, set to debut in theaters this summer.
Fox hit pay dirt Monday with its limited-run reality series Joe Millionaire, the network's twisted take on the ABC hit The Bachelor. According to Variety, Millionaire was the highest rated premiere of the season on any network in the coveted adults 18-49 and 18-34 demographics. With 18.61 million viewers overall, it is Fox's best series showing in the Monday-at-9 hour slot since Melrose Place in 1995.
Two men were arrested for credit card fraud during raids last week at Murder Inc. records, a successful hip-hop label home to recording artists Ashanti and Ja Rule. According to court papers, the men, Joe Ragin and Derek Hayes, are accused of using a phony tuxedo rental business as a front for laundering proceeds from stolen credit cards. Investigators are also looking into whether the label's founder, Irv Gotti, had financial ties to a convicted drug gang leader. The raids were part of an ongoing investigation into alleged ties between Murder Inc. and New York's violent drug trade.