Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett performed tracks from their jazz collaboration Cheek To Cheek on Monday (28Jul14) ahead of its long-awaited release.
The unlikely pals first teamed up for Bennett's album Duets II in 2011 and have since been working on a collection of jazz cover songs.
The pair premiered the tracks for a TV special concert entitled Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek Live at New York's Lincoln Center on Monday to mark the release of the record's first single, Anything Goes.
However, one performance was not enough for the duo, so they headed to the St. Jerome's venue in the Big Apple later that evening for an impromptu show.
Gaga writes on Instagram.com, "Long night with my Tony then an impromptu set at St. Jerome's in NY. We can't stop celebrating. Tonight, ANTHING GOES (sic)."
On Tuesday (29Jul14), Gaga and Bennett announced on morning show Today that their album, which has previously been delayed on two occasions, will finally be released on 23 September (14).
The Lincoln Center gig will air in the U.S. in October (14).
Actor Bryan Cranston has confirmed reports he will star in a TV movie based on his award-winning Broadway play All The Way. Last week (15Jun14), reports suggesting Lincoln director Steven Spielberg was keen to turn the play about former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson into a mini-series surfaced, but the Breaking Bad star reveals the project will actually be a TV movie.
He tells Vulture.com, "They want to see and honour the story, and so if it needs to be maybe four hours then it might be a two-hour and two-hour kind of thing."
All the Way playwright Robert Schenkkan is currently penning the script for the TV movie.
Cranston picked up a Best Actor Tony Award for his portrayal of Johnson earlier this month (Jun14).
Filmmaker Steven Spielberg is reportedly developing a miniseries based on Bryan Cranston's award-winning Broadway play All The Way. The Lincoln director is preparing to buy the rights to the stage show and wants the Breaking Bad star to reprise his role as former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson in the series, which will focus on the first year of Johnson's administration, according to Deadline.com.
The news emerges a day after Cranston won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play on Sunday (08Jun14) for his portrayal of the late politician.
The stage show also took home the Best Play accolade at the New York prizegiving.
Filmmaker Steven Spielberg is going back in time again to develop a movie about Jewish priest Edgardo Mortara. The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara will reunite Spielberg, who may also direct the film, with his Lincoln and Munich screenwriter Tony Kushner, who is penning the script based on David Kertzer's book of the same name, according to Variety.com.
The film will centre on the Italian Jew, who was removed from his home by authorities of the Papal States and raised as a Catholic. He subsequently went on to become a priest.
Beloved Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical The King & I is returning to the New York stage in 2015. The show will open at the Lincoln Center Theater with veteran thespian Kelli O'Hara, who is currently starring in Broadway's The Bridges of Madison County, rumoured to be among the cast.
Based on the 1944 novel Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon, the musical premiered on the Great White Way in 1951, and went on to become the fourth longest-running Broadway musical in history.
The show was revived on Broadway in 1996, with Donna Murphy and Lou Diamond Phillips in the lead roles. The production won a Best Revival Tony Award.
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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20th Century Fox
It's only natural the Obama presidency would trigger a national re-evaluation of race in America: we now have a counterweight to our shame about slavery. And what better way to articulate it than with tales of The Great Emancipator?
One year after Obama took office, Seth Grahame-Smith's Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter hit the bookshelves. By 2012, the film version of that historical mash-up was released, beating out Steven Spielberg's Lincoln by a few months. The latter was penned by a more intellectual writer, Tony Kushner. It was showered with accolades, and more than doubled the take of its supernatural sibling.
Makes sense, when you think about it. A film depicting our higher selves should entail high-culture storytelling. But where the historical version walked us to the edge, the pop version said out loud what we know to be true: slavery is colonial vampirism.
There's no point in being binary, I suppose. Films for the most part are pop culture, even historical ones. So we got to have it both ways, plain spoken and erudite. And why not? We deserve to bask in the story of this significant pivot away from our past.
Personally, I dug the dude with the axe.
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"We had Tony Kushner officiate, he's this Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angels In America, the screenplay for Lincoln. He wrote the most beautiful (speech). It was just so simple and beautiful, I couldn't talk. Our vows were like, 'I really like you, let's get married!'... after he had just like (given) this oratory about love. We felt very fortunate to have him there. Amazing." Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson was rendered speechless at his wedding to longtime partner Justin Mikita in July (13) after writer Tony Kushner delivered a moving tribute.
Crooner Tony Bennett will perform in Washington, D.C. on Saturday (24Aug13) to mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s historical march on the U.S. capital. King, Jr. led thousands of civil rights supporters on a rally through the city in 1963 to call for equal rights for African-Americans and delivered his famed I Have a Dream speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Bennett will take to the stage at the tribute event to perform in honour of the civil rights icon's humanitarian message, and has called on his fans to do the same.
Taking to Twitter.com, he writes, "I'm proud to announce a performance at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC this Saturday to honor Dr King's legacy."
Bennett joined King and fellow campaigners including singer/actor Harry Belafonte on a march through Alabama in 1965.
Open Road Films
After all the hype leading up to the release of Jobs, the biopic of turtlenecked Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher, the movie just couldn’t boot up. Despite opening wide in an impressive 2,381 theaters, the movie debuted at #7, banking only $6.7 million. Its underperformance has gotten us thinking. You know what would’ve been a much more interesting biopic? One on Steve Wozniak, the pudgy, bearded tech-wiz who built the original Apple I and Apple II computers before leaving Apple in the mid-80s following a plane crash to teach elementary school and eventually date Kathy Griffin and compete on Dancing With the Stars. He was played by Josh Gad in Jobs, but we feel he needs the spotlight himself. In fact, we so believe in the bankability of Wozniak’s life story that we’ve written our very own pitch for the movie. Here’s how it goes:
“You’ve never seen so much underwear thrown on stage until you’ve been to a Clay Aiken concert.”
Kathy Griffin pauses after finishing her Clay Aiken routine and points to a rotund, balding man who looks like a cousin to Gimli, Son of Gloin, sitting in the front row.
“And now I’d like to introduce my lover and partner in crime, a man who could buy and sell all of you a hundred times: Mr. Steve Wozniak.”
A close-up of Steve Wozniak shows him beaming like the mother of the bride. Smash cut to black, over which only the sound of someone taking a bite out of an apple can be heard. Fade in to a kitchen table in which a doughy hand places an apple with a sizable bite taken out of it. Over the Apple appears the title:
The Woz: Based on the Memoir iWoz by Steve Wozniak
35 years earlier, a young Wozniak writes line after line of indecipherable code on a blackboard, while his friend and Hewlett Packard colleague Steve Jobs, a moptopped burnout in shredded jeans, holds a beer on Woz’s couch and tells him about a contest he’s entered. He has to design a simplified circuit board that cuts down on the number of chips for the new videogame Breakout. Jobs doesn’t know squat about building a circuit board, so if Wozniak helps him he’ll split the prize money with him. Woz agrees, though he’s concerned that it’ll distract from his responsibilities to the Homebrew Computer Club. He swaps some Star Trek action figures to get the parts he needs and builds the circuit-board for Jobs. They win and Jobs collects $5,000 as a reward but tells Woz he only got $700, cheating him out of most of his share. (Yes, this really happened.)
That sets up Woz as our lovable schlub hero who has all of the genius but gets little of the credit. History may be written by assholes, but nice guys like Woz are the ones you root for. The whole Breakout circuit board experience makes Wozniak want to try his hand at building a personal microcomputer. We see him slaving away in his garage assembling circuits and chips in a montage set to Styx, as if he were Tony Stark in a cave somewhere assembling the Iron Man suit. He takes it to his friends at the Homebrew Computer Club who have made their own personal computers, and Woz’s is wildly superior. Jobs butts in again and says he wants to market it, but Wozniak isn’t really into that. He’s too much of an artist to prostitute his genius. But, as before, Jobs persuades him.
This time Wozniak sells his beloved HP scientific calculator to raise the money they need to market his computer, named the Apple I after his favorite snack. But he holds on to his beloved Gorn doll. Nothing will part him from that. He suggests selling the Apple I for $666.66 but is confused why buyers seem averse to that figure until his old friend Jobs tells him that number is the “mark of the beast.” Woz realizes this incident shows he may not have the marketing savvy necessary to make the Apple I successful, so he recruits Jobs to help him out once again. This time, they found Apple Computers. A Saving Lincoln-style knocking-on-doors montage shows them trying to sell it, and eventually they find a buyer who wants a large order for his story. That sets the stage for the Apple II.
Skip ahead five years and Wozniak and Jobs are now the toast of the computer industry. But a comical sequence in which Woz crashes his light aircraft begins his departure from the company. It makes him realize he has money but he’s not satisfied. So he leaves Apple, re-enrolls at UC Berkeley under the fake name Rocky Clark (named after his dog Rocky Raccoon and wife Candice Clark) and, after a sequence showing him totally owning his fellow computer science classmates, becomes a thirtysomething graduate. Time to go back to Apple.
Jobs doesn’t really want Wozniak around Apple, though. They have a shouting match that ends with Wozniak screaming “I am Apple!” and Jobs screaming “No, I am Apple!” Woz walks away and becomes a schoolteacher, teaching kids how to use computers. Years later, he's channel-surfing and stumbles upon a high-collared Jobs about to introduce the iPod. He flips to the next channel and sees Kathy Griffin performing her bit about Oprah's appearance on PBS' Colonial House. This time he doesn’t change the channel. Next, we see Steve and Kathy attending the Emmy Awards together as Woz, in voiceover, says “Orson Welles once said that Italy under the Borgias had decades of war and bloodshed but produced Michelangelo and Leonardo DaVinci. Switzerland had hundreds of years of peace and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock. Well, I’m here to ask, what’s so wrong with cuckoo clocks?”
Woz competing on Dancing With the Stars. He’s just gotten a 10 out of thirty for his Argentine Tango and Bruno Tonioli says, “You may have founded Apple Computer. But you look like you’ve eaten too many apple pies.” Woz laughs and shimmies off with his dance partner as his voiceover concludes, “Nice guys may not often finish first…but at least we can enjoy our lives.”
Now isn’t that a movie you want to see?
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
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