Singers Charlie Daniels, Vince Gill, Brad Paisley and Kid Rock honoured the memory of country legend George Jones on Thursday (02May13) by gathering to perform at the late star's funeral in Nashville, Tennessee. The doors of The Grand Ole Opry House were thrown open for family, friends and fans to mourn the loss of the icon together during an emotional three-hour service at the country music mecca, and the auditorium was filled with the sound of music. Jones' widow Nancy sat with former U.S. First Lady Laura Bush and singing couple Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood as pals stepped up to the podium, with Tanya Tucker and the Imperials kicking off the performances with a cover of gospel classic, The Old Rugged Cross. Randy Travis paid tribute to his old collaborator with a rendition of Amazing Grace, accompanied by just an acoustic guitar.
Explaining his choice of track, he said, "When I heard him do this song, it literally gave me chills." Paisley revealed he had bonded with Jones after the veteran allowed him to keep his first horse on his family's farm, while Daniels delivered a moving speech about his longtime pal's ability to make music for all kinds of audiences: "He sang for us all, the non-stop partiers, the guys who are alone and the girl done wrong, the puppy lovers, the extrovert, the introvert and the guy at the end of the bar who never seems to go home... George had a song for everybody." Gill shared his memories of Jones, the man who gave him the nickname Sweet Pea, and confessed that he wasn't initially a fan of the moniker - although he has since learned to love it. He said, "The great thing is, every time someone calls me Sweet Pea, I'll get to think about him." Kid Rock injected a little humour into the memorial as he took the microphone to belt out the original tune Best of Me, asking Nancy to imagine that her late husband was actually the one singing, before quipping, "I know that's a huge (leap of) imagination.
Unshaven, long-haired confused country hip-hop rock 'n' roller trying to sing George Jones." Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee also spoke at the funeral, as did Wynonna Judd, Laura Bush, and Alan Jackson - who postponed two concerts to attend the memorial. He closed the service with Jones' most famous song, He Stopped Loving Her Today. Jones, 81, passed away on 26 April (13).
No matter how talented a performer might be, he or she is bound to wind up with a consistent "type." For De Niro, it's gangsters. For Woody Allen, it's nebbishes. For Malin Akerman, it's occupants of past-era rock clubs. Last year, the comic actress shot for blockbuster in the disappointing Rock of Ages film adaptation, playing a music journalist entangled in a romantic affair with Tom Cruise's blistered pop star. In the developing film CBGB, Akerman is promoted to the position of spotlit artist, taking on the role of Blondie singer Debbie Harry.
Because Rock of Ages did little to impress, it doesn't bode too well for CBGB that the two films look so strikingly similar. But we're not here to shatter your hearts of glass — we're rooting for our flaxen-haired David Wain regular. So peruse these pictures from the CBGB set, and keep your spirits high with some pointers to separate the Adam Shankman flick with this new assembly of musical characters.
First off, the CBGB Akerman's hair is shorter, straighter, and a lot less toxic-looking than the 1980s 'do she sported in Rock of Ages. Perhaps a '70s Akerman will be one with more gravitas, more moxy, more oomph.
Secondly, there was no presence in Rock of Ages of the malnourished extraterrestrial (aka actor Taylor Hawkins as Iggy Pop) standing beside Akerman in the image above.
And finally, there doesn't seem to be any instance in CBGB of an adult male performing a love ballad to Akerman's rear end. But that doesn't mean there won't be any sexual tension...
CBGB also stars Alan Rickman, Rupert Grint, Justin Bartha, and Johnny Galecki.
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Actor Alan Cumming has moved on from his Tony Awards snub by urging fans to help him win a trophy at a different Broadway prizegiving. The Good Wife star is currently tackling an ambitious one-man production of William Shakespeare's Macbeth in New York City but missed out on a nomination when this year's (13) Tony theatre nods were announced on Tuesday (30Apr13).
However, the actor will still battle it out with fellow Broadway stars Tom Hanks (Lucky Guy), Nathan Lane (The Nance), Jim Parsons (Harvey) and Norbert Leo Butz (Dead Accounts) for the Favorite Actor in a Play trophy at the Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards.
The prizes are voted for by theatre-goers, so Cummings took to his Twitter.com page to encourage fans to choose him, writing, "Thanks for the love today re noms (sic) (or lack of)! But don't worry! Instead you can vote for me in these (Broadway.com) awards...!"
The Broadway.com awards will be handed out at the Lincoln Center in Manhattan on Sunday (05May13).
Kid Rock, Brad Paisley and Alan Jackson are among the stars who will perform at George Jones' funeral in Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday (02May13). The 81-year-old country music icon passed away in hospital on Friday (26Apr13), and the cream of country music will head to The Grand Ole Opry House to pay their respects to the veteran.
A post on Jones' website reveals Kenny Chesney, Charlie Daniels, Vince Gill, Wynonna Judd and Randy Travis are also among the stars who will perform or speak at the ceremony, while former U.S. First Lady Laura Bush will also step up to remember the legend.
Jones' publicist Kirt Webster states, "The calibre of speakers and performers is a testament to what George Jones meant to everyone in the world. (Wife) Nancy is overwhelmed by the love and support of not only George's fans, but also the music community, public figures and friends."
A private memorial for Jones' loved ones and fellow performers is scheduled to take place on Wednesday evening (01May13).
New TV series are coming out of every nook and cranny in the observable world nowadays. Amazon got it on the trend, while Netflix has been working fast on its own line of original content, becoming more popular than most cable networks (including HBO) in the process. Now, Yahoo is getting into the programming game with six new shows. Not to mention the back seats of taxi cabs. Where does it end? And do we even want it to? Taking a look at Yahoo's forthcoming slate, we're not quite sure where we stand.
Among the likes of Yahoo's six new prospects, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter, are two cooking programs, a style piece, and a sex talk show with a Full House alum... so you know, all the basics. Check out the list below:
Losing Your Virginity with John StamosA talk series that has Full House and Glee star John Stamos interviewing celebrities about their "first times."
Tiny CommandoA high-concept comedy featuring The Office and The Hangover star Ed Helms as a four-inch-tall private investigator, working alongside Gillian Jacobs (Community) and Zachary Levi (Chuck) to solve big crimes. Sounds kind of familiar...
Cinema & SpiceA combination cooking show and film discussion, delivered by Spill.com contributor Julianna Strickland and Natasha Feldman.
Grill GirlsAnother cooking show, featuring Chef Megan Mitchell.
We Need HelpA comedic series centered on actresses and friends Cheryl Hines and Rachael Harris and their beleaguered joint assistant.
Fashion RecipeStylist Brett Alan Nelson monopolizes on the opportunities in various articles of clothing.
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Update: Ha ha. April Fools! This isn't happening at all. Liza Minnelli is so releived.
Listen here, Anne Hathaway, just because you have the same haircut as Liza Minnelli doesn't mean you can go around taking the role that made her a star and won her an Oscar. I'm talking about Sally Bowles in Cabaret, of course. Apparently, Hathaway — debatably the most hated women in Hollywood — is following up her Oscar win for Les Miserables by taking on the lead role of this Broadway favorite. Liza is probably spitting sequins somewhere on the Upper East Side right now just thinking about it.
Hathaway will reportedly be joined by Alan Cumming, who will reprise the role of the Emcee, which won him a Tony when the show was revived on Broadway in 1998. But where is Cumming going to find the time to do eight shows a week? He's on The Good Wife, starring on Broadway in a one-man version of "The Scottish Play," and is just wrapping up a concert engagement with Liza herself on Broadway. How does the man sleep? Not well, since Liza is probably going to start making his phone ring off the hook chastising him for singing "Money Makes the World Go Around" with anyone else. Oh please — who am I fooling? Liza doesn't care about Anne Hathaway. Well... not until she EGOTs, anyway.
But Hathaway isn't the worst choice for the role, and will probably sell tickets. She does have a great voice that people love. But have you seen her dance? How will she do in the love scenes? How many gay bars in Hell's Kitchen will she terrorize after the show? We'll have to wait to see.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
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Actors Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks and Jake Gyllenhaal have been nominated for the New York Drama League's prestigious Distinguished Performance award. Other hopefuls aiming to take home the coveted theatre prize include Bette Midler, Vanessa Williams and Edie Falco, as well as Alan Cumming, who has been recognised for his one-man Shakespeare show, Macbeth.
The Lucky Guy, The Whale, The Nance, The Assembled Parties, Old Hats, The Testament of Mary, I'll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike will compete for the title of Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play, while Cyndi Lauper's Kinky Boots, Matilda: The Musical, Motown: The Musical, Dogfight, Here Lies Love, Murder Ballad and Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 will fight it out for the title of Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical.
The nominated revivals include Annie, Pippin, As You Like It, and Golden Boy.
In addition, Bernadette Peters will be feted with the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre trophy and Jerry Mitchell will receive the Founders Award for Excellence in Directing.
The winners will be announced at the 79th annual ceremony on 17 May (13).
With little more than a week before Iron Man 3, Marvel has wisely whets audiences appetites for their next endeavor: Thor: The Dark World.
The first glimpse of the Thor sequel is a swift 1:46, but it's chock full of details. We knew Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Jane (Natalie Portman) would eventually reunite, but the when/where/how has been up in the air. Now, we have a clearer picture. Here's the info we were able to trudge from the brief trailer:
The trailer opens on a group of kids entering a loading depot – no Thor or Asgardian magic to be found. Yet one of the kids seems to be either imbued with powers or being assisted by an off-screen presence. When he touches the front end of a mac truck, it begins to hover in the air. Are the other realms of Thor mythology bleeding into our own?
We get our first glimpse of Thor's new adversary Malekith the Accursed (Christopher Eccleston) from behind. He's dangling from a hookup that's more reminiscent of science fiction than the first Thor's fantasy aesthetic. Like the ship from Predator 2 or a Borg cube from Star Trek, Malekith's "ship" is pure alien technology, tying this the sequel to the grand finale of The Avengers.
It's unclear if this enormous rock pillar is connected to the levitating car trick, but clearly something from an alternate universe arrives on Earth's doorstep. Part Superman Returns' kryptonian rock, part Star Trek space drill, this otherworldly object smashes through the edge of the coast (at the National Maritime Museum? Brits, this one is on you), chasing Kat Dennings' Darcy Lewis.
When Thor and Jane make it to Asgard, they're greeted by Sif (Jaimie Alexander). If those aren't the eyes of jealous childhood friend ready to start a love triangle, I don't know what are.
Tanning bed or Asgardian medical bay? In this shot, Jane is wearing a dress different from when she zipped up the rainbow bridge to Asgard for the first time and when she's later seen grappling in the magical clenches of Malekith. What happens in-between? Her voiceover says "We're from separate worlds. Maybe they separate for a reason." Someone has a case of inter-dimensional jet lag.
Malekith's warships once again pull from a science fiction palette rather than one of run-of-the-mill, Tolkien-inspired fantasy. Thor stressed that what humans saw as magic was really an evolved understanding of science. Thor: The Dark World pushes that explanation further.
This is director Alan Taylor in full Game of Thrones mode (of which he is one of the main directors). One of the weaker parts of Thor were the hero's hammer-clobbering action sequences. The big Frost Giants scene from the first film was played in dim light. Finally, we see Thor bust some baddies up in broad daylight. The battle is likely taking place in Svartalfheim, the home realm of Malekith and his Dark Elf bandits.
And then there's the Malekith money shot. In paparazzi snapshots leaked from set, Eccleston was pasty white across his whole face. In this shot, we see that half of his makeup job is covered in a crusty metallic shell. The comics explain that Malekith has a weakness to Iron — are we witnessing him having an allergic reaction.
Very possible, thanks to what appears to be an iron piece of armor that Jane is wearing under her coat. Unless of course she thought a breastplate would be enough to ward off Malekith and she is painfully mistaken. In which case, Thor: The Dark World may make the bold (and, perhaps, contractually obligated) move of killing of Jane. Thor's Darth Vader-esque "NOOOOOOOOO!" plays to the theory.
And the big finish. Wondering where Loki has been since The Avengers? Apparently he's been locked in an Asgardian holding cell a la Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Trek Into Darkness and Javier Bardem in Skyfall, growing out his hair like an '80s rock icon and waiting patiently for Thor to return. He'll be back along Thor's side once again in Dark World (we actually see him scaling a mountain earlier in the trailer), but don't expect him to play too nice….
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
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Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr have divided loyalties in their household after they signed up to promote different airlines. The actor has become the latest face of the U.K.'s British Airways (B.A.), while his Australian wife is an ambassador for Down Under's Qantas.
Bloom says of his new deal, "As someone that flies regularly, I love nothing more than to kick back and relax and enjoy the great amenities and service British Airways first class has to offer."
Last week (ends21Apr13), Kerr showed her support for Qantas by modelling the company's new flight crew uniform at an event in Sydney.
British Airways and Qantas ended a long-running partnership in 2012, putting the companies back into direct competition, but Qantas boss Alan Joyce has laughed off B.A.'s decision to hire Kerr's husband.
He says, "We're not going to marry British Airways and Qantas together - we tried that before and it didn't work. I think Miranda is a great ambassador for Qantas. We're very happy with the relationship that we have and we see that going from strength to strength."
Kentucky native and star of Comedy Central's The Ben Show, Ben Hoffman is a puzzling comedic presence. His half-hour sketch show is part Jay-Walking (only he's the one playing the clueless goofball) and part how-many-weird-people-can-Ben-find-in-L.A. (spoiler: a lot). On one hand, his purposely ditzy antics are clear schtick, but at the same time, he's so ingrained in his comedy persona that during an interview, it's hard to tell when he's being serious and when he's doing his thing. Naturally, we thought we'd further the confusion and seek his advice on a few things: namely AMC's juggernaut series Mad Men.
Six Ways to Spice Up Mad Men, According to Ben Hoffman:1. More advertising talk! People love advertising!2. How about a wacky neighbor? Imagine if Louie Anderson moved next door!3. Speaking of Louie Andeson, what if the whole cast entered a diving competition? Splash is going well, right?4. Sex scene between Christina Hendricks and Ben Hoffman.5.The whole cast leaves work early one day to attend a Velvet Underground concert.6. Sharon and Ozzy split up? I'm too depressed to talk about this anymore.
Hoffman is coming up on the season finale of The Ben Show, so he knows a thing or two about television (are you listening, Matthew Weiner?). But in all seriousness, Hoffman is a beneficiary of the new age of comedy, one that offers up a spread of outlets for every possible brand of funny. "I think it’s the best time to be doing it because a show like mine couldn’t get made a few years ago when they were only a few outlets," says Hoffman, who calls his brand of comedy "specific."
"There’s an audience for everything now, unlike the old days where you needed 10 million viewers or you’re canceled," he says. And it's true. Hoffman's show features almost painfully awkward encounters with Hoffman's own father (who he says is so popular he's getting his own interview requests as a result of the show), his buddy Norm MacDonald, and people from walks of life we didn't even know existed. In Thursday night's season finale, we meet a piñata maker, a Whoopi Goldberg impersonator, and a ballusionist (a balloon-illusionist is a real, lucrative job, it would seem). "We try to think of the weirdest professions possible and then we have a producer go see if that profession even exists. And the answer is always 'yes' ... L.A. is where the crazies come out," says Hoffman.
And while Hoffman's crazies are certainly entertaining, the strangest and perhaps most rewarding moments of his hodgepodge comedy half-hour are the vignettes with longtime comedy vet MacDonald (Thursday's finale involves a bathroom and a dangerous piece of machinery, so get ready). "Basically I’m trying to make him not funny and he’s still the funniest thing on the show ... He’s amazing and it’s just him being himself. I can’t think of an example of wasting anyone’s talent more than me doing Norm movie parodies," says Hoffman with a laugh. It may be a "waste," but it's certainly a memorable running bit.
The Ben Show concludes its eight episode first season on Comedy Central Thursday night at 10 P.M.
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler
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