Alan Bennett's lauded drama The History Boys has been voted Britain's most beloved play. The show, about a group of teenagers preparing for their university entry exams, topped a new poll by bosses at the English Touring Theatre.
The History Boys was first staged in London in 2004, launching the careers of British actors James Corden, Dominic Cooper and Russell Tovey, and was adapted into a film in 2006.
Noises Off, a farce by Michael Frayn, came second in the list, followed by William Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet.
Other plays to make the top 10 include Arcadia by Tom Stoppard, Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem, and An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestley.
The Bard took the eighth, ninth and 10th spots on the list with Twelfth Night, Macbeth and King Lear.
The Oscar-winning film and TV actor, real name Ermes Effron Borgnino, was surrounded by his wife and children as he passed away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center at the age of 95 after suffering kidney failure.
Nimoy, who starred alongside Borgnine in American Western series Wagon Train, was among the first to remember the star, writing in a post on his Twitter.com page, "Ernest Borgnine was helpful to me when we worked together on Wagon Train. Before Star Trek. A good man. RIP."
Jenny McCarthy, Borgnine's co-star in 1998 comedy BASEketball, adds, "RIP to my movie husband Ernest Borgnine", while Canadian actor Michael Shanks ?remembers, "My first ever professional job was an ep (episode) of 'the Commish' guest starring Ernest Borgnine. Warm, generous, funny, genuine. Rest well sir."
Mantegna ?revealed a personal connection to the star: "I cannot express my sorrow at the loss of Ernest Borgnine. He was a true Hollywood icon and a dear friend. My prayers go out to the family", as did Frank Sinatra's daughter Nancy: "Ernie Borgnine scared me when I was a kid because he beat up my dad in a movie but he was a teddybear, friend always there for us."
Actress Marlee Matlin ?reminisced about spending time with the actor during a photoshoot for Paramount Studios, telling her followers, "So sad to read about passing of Ernest Borgnine. We spoke recently at Paramount's 100th anniversary photo. A true legend & a gentleman. RIP", and Farrow simply stated, "Ernest Borgnine. May he rest in peace."
Jason Priestley, Tom Arnold, Gary Sinise and Jason Alexander also paid tribute to Borgnine on Twitter.
If there’s one positive thing about Delta Farce is that is actually follows a tried and true comedy formula-- namely the fish-out-of-water scenario—with moderate success. Down on his luck after losing his job and his girlfriend on the same day Larry (of the Cable Guy variety) decides to join his neighbor Bill (Bill Engvall) and his combat-happy buddy Everett (DJ Qualls) for a relaxing weekend of playing army. But when the three unlucky guys are mistaken for Army Reservists they’re loaded onto an army plane headed for Iraq--and mistakenly ejected in a Humvee somewhere over Mexico. Don’t ask. Convinced they’re actually in the Middle East the clueless wannabe soldiers turn into Magnificent Seven meets the Three Amigos and save a rural village from a siege of bandits proving to be real heroes after all. If you need to laugh at the war on terror you might as well do it with Larry the Cable Guy. He serves up his particular brand of comedy making light of a bad situation. In fact not only does he come off somewhat sympathetically as the hapless boob with a heart of gold he also gets the hot chick at the end of the movie. Go Larry! As his accomplice fellow stand-up Bill Engvall follows his own comic routine playing a hen-pecked trailer trash denizen who views this adventure as a great way to escape his overbearing wife and snotty kids. As the third doofus DJ Qualls (Hustle & Flow) plays a trigger-happy wannabe jarhead who sees this opportunity as a way to gain some street cred. And in a supporting role Danny Trejo a Robert Rodriguez regular pokes fun at his scary looks as the leader of the marauding bandits aptly named Carlos Santana. Yes the jokes are plenty. Director C.B.Harding is obviously a Larry the Cable Guy crony since his only other feature film credit is the Blue Collar Comedy Tour movie. Honestly all that’s really required of him is to point and shoot with maybe a few action sequences to coordinate here and there. But while the formula works as a cohesive movie having to sit through Delta Farce’s comic stylings is the tricky part. What it really boils down to is whether you’re a fan of Larry the Cable Guy. If so you’ll (I would hope) realize you’re watching a pretty stupid comedy but will laugh in the appropriate parts. If not I would really wonder what the heck you are doing sitting in the theater.
Dreamer is another one of those family films--based on a true story no less--that makes you feel guilty for not liking it because it means so well. The film revolves around the Cranes who have worked on their Kentucky horse farm for generations. But gifted horseman Ben Crane (Kurt Russell) loses his love for the job when the farm hits hard times. His estranged father Pop (Kris Kristofferson) feels like his son has given up unnecessarily. Even Ben’s young daughter Cale (Dakota Fanning) can’t get through to her dad. The only way this family can heal is by helping an injured horse named Sonya get ready for a seemingly impossible goal: to win the Breeders' Cup Classic. Say it together: “Awww!” At least the film gets it half right in its casting. Russell is perfect as the beleaguered Ben a man who needs a little inspiration to get back on track and he thankfully never takes it over the top. Same goes for Kristofferson who is aptly crusty and unwilling to give his son an inch--that is until his granddaughter and that darned horse melt his heart. And the family resemblance is uncanny; apparently the two actors have been told quite often how much they look like each other. The one misstep here is Fanning. Yes she is an extraordinarily gifted actress for her age but Cale should have been played by a happy sunny child. The oh-so-serious Fanning doesn’t really qualify. Also Elisabeth Shue as the mom is all wrong. A horse farmer’s wife? Please. Writer-director John Gatins takes a big gamble making his directorial debut with a movie about an underdog horse. First there’s the underdog part. This year seems a bit saturated with the plot device what with films like Cinderella Man and most recently Greatest Game Ever Played. Second there’s the whole horse thing. It’s just going to be hard to top the Oscar-nominated Seabiscuit--the quintessential true horse-racing movie to beat them all. True Dreamer is based on a true story and is nicely--albeit conventionally--framed. But the film isn’t unique in any way. It’s the same feel-good family stuff we’ve been swallowing all year. See? I told you I’d feel guilty for knocking it.
Top Story: Jolie Gets New Tattoo
Angelina Jolie is sporting a new tattoo these days, but this one isn't the name of her latest love. According to The Associated Press, the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider star's newest body art is a black tattoo that consists of five vertical rows of ancient Cambodian script intended to ward off bad luck. The 27-year-old actress is reported to have many tattoos; the most noticeable one is the dragon on her upper left arm with the name "Billy Bob" etched across it--the name of her ex- husband, actor Billy Bob Thornton. Said Jolie of her newest in the Nation newspaper Thursday, "I like it a lot. It looks very sacred. I think I'll have a new tattoo the next time I come to Thailand."
Ebert's Overlooked Film Fest Kicks Off
Roger Ebert's fifth annual Overlooked Film Festival, which features films he believes have been forgotten or ignored, got underway Wednesday in Champaign, Ill. Fourteen films will be featured, including Shall We Dance, Charlotte Sometimes and Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, the AP reports. The festival will close Sunday, April 27 with a screening of the 1952 musical Singin' in the Rain.
Queen Latifah Named Entertainer of the Year
Queen Latifah will be named Entertainer of the Year at the 16th annual Essence Awards on June 6, City News Service reports. The ceremony will take place at Kodak Theatre in Hollywood with the two-hour telecast scheduled to air June 27 on Fox. Latifah, who is currently starring in the box-office hits Chicago and Bringing Down the House, was awarded the honor through an Essence magazine reader's poll.
Tom Green To Entertain Troops
Comedian Tom Green will entertain service members in Kosovo and the United Kingdom, the USO and Armed Forces Entertainment announced today. According to City News Service, Green will spend a week mingling with the troops, touring military installations and signing autographs. The Road Trip star begins the tour Monday.
Jon Stewart Stays at Comedy Central
Comedy Central has a lock on Jon Stewart as host of the comic newscast The Daily Show through next year's presidential election, the AP reports. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. According to Bill Hilary, the network's general manager, The Daily Show audience has increased by 10 percent over the past year, mostly among viewers aged 18-to-34 who hadn't shown much interest in topical humor before.
90210 Reunion Set
Fox is bringing back the hit '90s teen drama Beverly Hills, 90210. Jason Priestley, Luke Perry, Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth and Gabrielle Carteris will all revisit their old zip code
For Beverly Hills, 90210: 10-Year High School Reunion, set to air at 9 p.m. EDT May 11. Tori Spelling, Brian Austin Green and Ian Ziering will not be able to make the special because they are busy working on other projects, the AP reports.
No Cameras in the Simpson House
O.J. Simpson denied reports Thursday that he was working on a TV reality show that would chronicle his day-to-day life, the AP reports. Simpson said the footage in question-- which shows him arriving at airports, signing autographs and talking at a hip-hop concert--is pretty boring stuff. "I had a lot of fun," he told the AP. "We were welcomed everywhere. But this was not meant to be shown anywhere except as rebuttal to those who say I'm a pariah."
Victoria Beckham Never Had Eating Disorder
Victoria Beckham, formerly known as Posh Spice, says that despite her sometimes shockingly thin frame, she's never had an eating disorder--but came awfully close. "You pick up magazines and you see how you are meant to look when you're a famous person. ... I mean, I was never anorexic, I was never bulimic, but I was probably very close to it, " she said in an interview set to air Friday night on the ABC news magazine show 20/20. "I was very obsessed. I mean I could tell you the fat content and calorie content in absolutely anything."
Sinead O'Conner Quits Music Biz
Irish singer Sinead O'Connor announced Thursday she is quitting the music business and is through with fame. O'Connor, 36, recently canceled several European performances because she is suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome. O'Connor plans to complete some projects before retiring including the release of a concert and documentary DVD entitled, Goodnight, Thank You. You've Been a Lovely Audience in July, Reuters reports.
Role Call: Chi McBride Joins "I, Robot"
Boston Public star Chi McBride has joined the cast of 20th Century Fox's sci-fi actioner I, Robot opposite Will Smith. The film is based on the classic story collection by Isaac Asimov, Robot. The project will be directed by Alex Proyas and is scheduled to start shooting May 5 in Vancouver.