Actress Vanessa Hudgens is set to take the lead in a reading for the revival of musical Gigi, before the production returns to Broadway next year (15). The High School Musical star is set to take on the titular role of a free-spirited teenage girl living in Paris at the turn of the 20th century in a New York City reading before a full production premieres at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in January (15), ahead of the show's eventual Broadway debut later in the year.
Tony Award winners Kate Burton and Victoria Clark will also take part in the reading.
Hudgens' only other professional theatre credit came in 2010, when she played Mimi Marquez in the Hollywood Bowl production of hit musical Rent in Los Angeles.
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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The actor and his former co-star Vanessa Marquez have learned of the plight of Los Angeles teacher Jaime Escalante, who is battling bladder cancer, and they're trying to raise $30,000 (£18,750) to pay his medical bills.
The beloved mathematics teacher, 79, has been given just months to live but Olmos is convinced that with the right care, he'll live longer.
He says, "The treatment he needs has depleted all the funds his family can raise. The family did not want to ask for help, but we took it upon ourselves to get the word out to all the country (America) and around the world to make his final days as comfortable as possible - and maybe even give him the chance to beat the cancer."
Escalante hit the headlines in the late 1960s when he encouraged inner-city kids to master calculus and turned California's Garfield High into one of America's top maths schools.