Sting's new Broadway musical The Last Ship has opened to mixed reviews, with critics branding the show "dull" and "flawed". The production, which chronicles the rocker's upbringing around the shipyards of north east England, officially hit the stage at the Neil Simon Theatre in New York City on Sunday night (26Oct) after a series of previews, but the early feedback is not all positive.
The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney writes, "This melancholy musical is without doubt a heartfelt, intensely personal project. It's performed with vigorous commitment by an accomplished cast," but he adds, "Sadly, it's also a bit of a yawn."
Calling the plot "plodding", the writer adds, "The artist's fans alone may be enough to constitute an initial audience. Even if his rhymes can be a touch insistent.
"The truth is that all the melodic tunes in the world can't save a show from the crucial failing of being dull."
Charles Isherwood of the New York Times claims the production has "its share of nagging flaws".
He adds, "Lively characterisations from the cast can only go so far to paper over the problem of overpopulation... There isn't sufficient room to explore any of the characters in real depth, with the result that our emotions are only intermittently engaged.
"For all the ruminative, haunting beauty of its score, this musical often feels dramatically landlocked - like a ship without a crew."
Variety's Marilyn Stasio adds, "Sting lives up to his nickname, the King of Pain, with The Last Ship", claiming his "mournful score" gives "poetic voice to the distressed shipbuilders", but "depicting their story as a heroic allegory is regrettably alienating".
The show stars Michael Esper, Rachel Tucker and Jimmy Nail, who joined Sting for a recent Inside the Actors Studio special, which aired in America on Thursday night (23Oct14).
Ben Affleck's thriller Gone Girl has topped the North American box office in its opening weekend (04-05Oct14).
The movie adaptation of Gillian Flynn's bestselling novel, which also features Rosamund Pike, has earned $38 million (GBP23.75 million), inching out horror movie Annabelle, which debuts at number two with a $37.2 million (GBP23.25 million) take. Last week's number one film, The Equalizer starring Denzel Washington, falls to three with $19 million (GBP11.8 million), while The Boxtrolls and The Maze Runner round out the new top five.
Willie Nelson's annual Farm Aid benefit concert will take place in Raleigh, North Carolina in September (14) and feature stars including Jack White, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews. The event takes place on 13 September (14).
Country music stars Lady Antebellum will be honoured at the 2014 Grammys on the Hill Awards for their excellence in both music and philanthropic efforts. The trio, made of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, will be given the Recording Artists' Coalition Award during the annual ceremony next month (02Apr14) in Washington, D.C.
The event mixes power players in both music and politics, and the award Lady Antebellum is set to receive is named for a program founded by singers Don Henley and Sheryl Crow.
Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow lauds the Grammy Award winners for their work in and out of the studio, including with their organisation called Ladyaid Fund, which supports children's hospitals in North America.
Portnow says in a statement that reads: "We are proud to honor Lady Antebellum for their artistry and inventiveness in the country arena as well as their philanthropic efforts to make a difference for disadvantaged children here and abroad."
Along with Lady Antebellum, House of Representatives Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will also be honoured for recognising the role music plays in American life.
Sting's new musical, The Last Ship, is heading to the Broadway stage this autumn (14). The rocker, who is currently touring North America with Paul Simon, has learned the show he has been working on for years will hit the Neil Simon Theatre in New York on 30 September (14).
Inspired by his own memories of growing up in Newcastle, England, the musical follows the fortunes of a man who returns to his home in a shipyard town after 14 years of travelling the world.
The Last Ship will have its world premiere this summer (14) in Chicago, Illinois.
British writer Neil Gaiman is adapting his popular fantasy novel American Gods for television. It has been nearly 13 years since The Sandman creator published the mythology-based book, and now executives at FremantleMedia North America have acquired the rights and are planning to bring the author's story to the small screen.
Gaiman, whose novels Coraline and Stardust were transformed into movies, will serve as executive producer for the American Gods series.
The book about a battle between old and new gods in the U.S. has been translated into over 30 languages and received the Hugo, Nebula and Bram Stoker awards for best novel.
Cher is set to re-team with 1980s pop sensation Cyndi Lauper for part of her upcoming North American tour. Lauper previously joined the Believe hitmaker on her Do You Believe? Tour in 1999 and for several shows during her Living Proof: The Farewell Tour between 2003 and 2005, and now the pair is set to share the stage once again.
Cher took to Twitter.com on Thursday (30Jan14) to announce the Time After Time singer will be the special guest for 36 dates of her Dressed To Kill tour.
She writes in a series of posts, "I've got some exciting news! Cyndi Lauper will be joining me as my special guest on my #DTK (Dressed To Kill) tour...I'm SO THRILLED 2 (to) Be Working With CYNDI Again....She's an INCREDIBLE ARTIST.....SHE'S ADORABLE."
Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo will support the singer for the first 13 dates of the trek, which begins in Phoenix, Arizona on 22 March (14). Lauper will take over in Buffalo, New York on 23 April (14).
British actor Neil Morrissey has finally opened up about the headline-grabbing scandal which engulfed him nearly 15 years ago when his affair with married co-star Amanda Holden was exposed. The Men Behaving Badly star was at the height of his fame in 2000 when it emerged he had a relationship with Holden while she was married to TV funnyman Les Dennis.
The story became a tabloid sensation, and eventually led to the breakdown of Holden and Dennis' marriage.
Morrissey has long refused to talk about the scandal, but he has now opened up about what happened in a candid new interview with TV newsman Piers Morgan.
In an episode of Piers Morgan's Life Stories, Morrissey says, "I feel sorry for how the situation was dealt with and I feel sorry for how emotional Les seemed to become. It was very difficult for him and for that I'm very sorry... I've since ran into Les a few times and shook his hand. He lives near us in north London."
However, when asked whether he ever apologised to Dennis in person, Morrissey adds, "No, I didn't. I'm not positive over what there is to apologise about. I don't know what the whole situation was, to be perfectly fair to everybody."
The actor goes on to explain why he has never spoken about the affair before: "I think enough was said about it. This was a very short fling. I didn't have representation at the time, in terms of PR and this was the first time I'd really come under the cosh (under fire)."
When asked what advice he would give to young actors today, Morrissey jokes, "Yeah, don't f**k a game show host's wife."
Twentieth Century Fox TelevisionAccording to most blind items sites, nearly every person working in the entertainment industry is hiding a secret about their sexuality. But despite the likes of Neil Patrick Harris, Zachary Quinto and Matt Bomer proving that coming out certainly doesn't neccessarily lead to career suicide, the number of openly gay celebrities still remains relatively small. Following last week’s 25th annual National Coming Out Day, here's a look at five stars who have made that bold step to publicly come out of the closet this year.Wentworth MillerThe former Prison Break lead and Stoker screenwriter came out on GLAAD's official website in an open letter to the Saint Petersburg International Film Festival. Politely declining their invitation to attend because of the Russian government's treatment of gay citizens, he also later revealed he had attempted suicide as a teenager because of his sexuality.Raven-SymoneFamous for her role as Olivia Kendall in The Cosby Show and her Disney Channel vehicle, That's So Raven, 27-year-old Raven Symone took to Twitter in August to express her delight at the fact that she could finally get legally married following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act.Robbie RogersRobbie Rogers became the first openly gay professional footballer in 23 years when he prematurely announced his retirement back in February. Following a wave of support from players and fans alike, he returned to the game in May when he signed with the Los Angeles Galaxy.Jason CollinsJust a week before Rogers' comeback, NBA star Jason Collins also made a ground-breaking move when he became the first active male athlete from North America's four major professional sports leagues to confirm he was gay in an interview with Sports Illustrated.Ben WhishawBest-known for his role of Q in Skyfall, acclaimed British actor Ben Whishaw had previously refused to talk about his private life. But his representative released a statement in August confirming that he had entered into a civil partnership with Australian composer Mark Bradshaw twelve months previously.
Neil Young & Crazy Horse have scrapped their upcoming North American tour to allow guitarist Frank 'poncho' Sampedro more time to recover from a hand injury. The reformed group cancelled the remainder of its European tour earlier this month (Aug13) after Sampedro suffered a "mild fracture".
He was expected to make a complete recovery in time for the North American tour, which was scheduled to begin in Ontario, Canada on 31 August (13), but it now appears he'll still be unfit to play.
A statement from the band's management reads: "The doctor has indicated that Sampredo's hand requires additional time to heal properly."
The band has also put out a release, stating, "We are sorry for any inconvenience this causes to our fans or the Festivals where we were scheduled to appear. As you must be, we too are disappointed at this unfortunate turn of events."