Spandau Ballet are to return to the stage in Britain for the first time in four years when they perform at the U.K. premiere of their new movie next month (Sep14). Singer Tony Hadley and his group proved to be a big draw when they played after the film's premiere during this year's South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, and now they're planning a repeat performance at London's Royal Albert Hall.
Spandau Ballet will play a hits-packed set on 30 September (14) after the screening of their career documentary Playboys of the Western World.
The big event will be beamed to cinemas all over the U.K. and Ireland via satellite.
The group last performed at the Royal Albert Hall in 1983.
Samuel L. Jackson is in talks to replace his Django Unchained co-star Jamie Foxx in Kevin Hart's new movie The Black Phantom.
The Pulp Fiction star has become the frontrunner to become the Phantom's nemesis-turned-sidekick in the film, according to Deadline.com.
The film will team Hart with his Ride Along director Tim Story again, while producer Clint Culpepper previously worked with Jackson on 2008 thriller Lakeview Terrace.
Actor Neil Patrick Harris has landed a role in the new American Horror Story series after writing to creator Ryan Murphy and asking for a part.
The former How I Met Your Mother star, who is currently starring on Broadway in Hedwig & the Angry Inch, recently told Entertainment Weekly Radio that he had penned a request note to Murphy, suggesting himself for upcoming series, Freak Show.
He said, "I wrote a letter to Ryan asking if I can be in it, even though I wasn't even available to be in it. To do one that involves any kind of freak, circus nonsense is going to be so unsettling to watch."
Murphy caught wind of the radio chat and has since responded to Harris via Twitter, writing, "@ActuallyNPH of course you can be on Freak Show! I have a role I think you'd love."
Harris previously worked with Murphy in an episode of Glee, for which he won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 2010.
MGM via Everett Collection
Veteran stage and screen icon Elaine Stritch has died at the age of 89. The actress passed away at her home in Birmingham, Michigan on Thursday (17Jul14).
The star, known for her brash attitude and sharp tongue, began her career with her first stage role in 1944 and made her Broadway debut in Loco just two years later (46).
She went on to become a regular in New York's famous theatre district, featuring in a hit 1952 revival of the musical Pal Joey and landing her first leading Broadway role in Goldilocks in 1958. Her other theatre credits include parts in Noel Coward's Sail Away, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Stephen Sondheim's 1970 musical Company, a role she reprised in 1972 when it opened in London's West End.
She later won high praise for her one-woman show Elaine Stritch at Liberty, for which she won a Tony Award in 2001. During the production, in which she recounted her life story, Stritch revealed she had tried and failed to win the role of Dorothy Zbornak in hit TV series The Golden Girls, a job which went instead to Bea Arthur.
Her early TV appearances came on shows like The Growing Paynes, Studio One and the classic British comedy series Two's Company. In more recent years, she appeared in U.S. soap One Life to Live, 3rd Rock from the Sun and Law & Order, while she earned an Emmy Award playing Alec Baldwin's mother on 30 Rock.
Stritch's filmography included parts in the 1957 remake of A Farewell to Arms, The Perfect Furlough, Providence and Woody Allen films September (1987) and Small Time Crooks (2000). She also portrayed Winona Ryder's grandmother in Autumn in New York and Jane Fonda's acerbic mum in 2005's Monster in Law.
The actress, who was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1995, bid farewell to fans with her Movin' Over and Out concert series in the Big Apple in April, 2013, before moving to Michigan to spend more time with her family.
Hollywood actress Maggie Gyllenhaal is hiding a secret smoking habit.
The Dark Knight star, who is a mother to two young daughters, insists she doesn't puff on cigarettes regularly, but often falls "off the wagon" and buys a pack.
She tells Britain's Stylist magazine, "I don't smoke cigarettes officially but now and then I fall off the wagon. I can't keep it up at home. I can't smoke as a mother - it's too much sneaking around... I'm buying cigarettes and I'm like, 'What am I doing? Pull it together!'"
Justin Timberlake gave his blessing to a group of Broadway stars who covered his songs in a special cabaret show on Monday night (14Jul14).
The Mirrors hitmaker is currently in the middle of his own The 20/20 Experience World Tour, but took time to send a special delivery to the cast of Broadway Sings Justin Timberlake in New York City.
A post from the official Broadway Sings Twitter.com account featured a photo of a bouquet of four dozen white roses, along with a handwritten note which read, "Break legs! I am very honored (sic). Best, JT."
Broadway stars including Tony Award winner Lena Hall and former Smash actor Andy Mientus were part of the showcase, which included covers of Timberlake's hits such as Cry Me a River, Suit & Tie and a number of 'N Sync tracks.
The concert was sold out, but the cast will take to the stage again next Monday (21Jul14).
Movie stars Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette were shocked when they watched their new film Boyhood and saw in stark detail how they have aged over the course of 12 years.
Director Richard Linklater's ambitious project involved shooting scenes on an annual basis for 12 years to achieve a realistic ageing effect on its stars. The groundbreaking concept tested the actors' commitment to the role, but it also left them in a stunned silence when the finished work was unveiled at the Sundance Film Festival this year (14) and they saw themselves growing older over the course of the movie.
Hawke tells British magazine Radar, "It was pretty intense. When the movie started, I was like, 'Man, I still look good!'. But by the end... Everybody acts like it's surprising (when humans age), but it's happening all the time to everyone. We act freaked out about it but it's just the reality. The second you buy a car, it's a used car. That's the way we are: this machine is in action. I tried to be proud of it."
Arquette adds, "It was brutal."
It might not be as glamorous as Cannes or as cool as Sundance, but the Los Angeles Film Festival has just as much to offer as its larger counterparts. Between high-profile premieres of blockbuster films, international competition entries and some of the most exciting indies around all premiering at LAFF every year, there's plenty to pay attention to. But if you were unfortunate enough to let the this year's fest — which ran from June 11 to 19 — we've got you covered with a rundown of the most talked-about films to premiere at LAFF, and what the critics are saying about them. Now you can make all of your friends think you're cooler than you actually are.
They Came Together The Amy Poehler/Paul Rudd romantic comedy you’ve been waiting for is less about the relationship between the central couple, Joel (Rudd) and Molly (Poehler), and more about skewering every last trope of the genre. Written and directed by Wet Hot American Summer’s David Wain, the film lovingly parodies the traits, characters, conversations, and comically large apartments that appear in every rom com ever made, while allowing two funny, good looking people to fall in love in an entertaining way.
“The script’s on-the-nose descriptions of each character (as described by the characters themselves) actually works to frame them as self-aware people forced to play out roles we have seen before and allows the hilarious cast to play within those lines. Poehler and Rudd have a natural chemistry that makes them believable as the two leads in love, but their comedy also blends well making it clear they are having fun with each other and the characters they are playing.” – Allison Loring, Film School Rejects
"Wain leads his well-known cast through spoofs of such classics as When Harry Met Sally, Annie Hall, The Graduate and the sharp-elbowed comedies of Tracy and Hepburn. Each gag makes you wish you were watching the original, although a clench between Joel and his grandmother (Lynn Cohen) that almost leads to incestuous coupling deserves credit for sheer audacity. Most of the time, however, the actors on the screen seem to be having much more fun than the audience will." - David D'Arcy, Screen Daily
Cut Bank A small town crime drama set in Cut Bank, Montana that centers on a former high school football star (Liam Hemsworth) desperate to find a way out of his town. After he accidentally films the murder of the town mailman, he is offered a reward that would give him enough money to leave for good, but things aren't a simple as they seem, and he finds himself caught in a tangled web of deception and danger.
"...Shakman lets the scenes unfurl with a clunky pace and little verve, simply exaggerating the irony and naivety in the town as his main go-to points. It only makes sense that [John] Malkovich’s sheriff has never fired his gun and carries an aversion to violence; likewise with Palmer, who itches non-stop after a Miss Cut Bank pageant title even while she wants nothing more than to skip town. Thankfully humor seeps in through the edges of the film and its characters, sometimes on purpose and other times not." - Charlie Schmidlin, The Playlist
Dear White People A satire of college movies that tackles race relations and privilege in society, Dear White People follows four students as an Ivy League university — golden boy Troy (Brandon P. Bell), activist radio host Samantha (Tessa Thompson), Colendra "Coco" Conners (Teyona Parris), who has dreams of being a reality TV star, and shy misfit Lionel Higgins (Tyler James Williams) — after a planned "African American"-themed party thrown by a group of white students starts a riot on campus.
"If it ultimately feels modestly edgy rather than shocking or dangerous, 'Dear White People' nonetheless provokes admiration for having bothered to ask some of the hard questions without pretending to know any of the answers. It also works as a fine showcase for its actors: Fleshing out characters that could have been little more than one-note mouthpieces, Williams, Thompson, Parris and Bell all make strong, distinctive impressions, with Thompson perhaps the standout as the film’s sharpest and most enigmatic figure." - Justin Chang, Variety
The Last Time You Had Fun With a cast full of comedians and sitcom alums, The Last Time You Had Fun puts a grown-up twist on the standard "wild night out" comedy. After Ida (Eliza Coupe) forces her sister Alison (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) to blow off some steam with her, they find themselves bickering and partying with Clark (Kyle Bornheimer) and the sweatpants-clad Will (Demetri Martin), as the four of them attempt to have the most fun that four older, dysfunctional adults could possibly have.
"Granted, the excesses of Bridesmaids or The Hangover are not essential to sparkling relationship comedy, but Fun lacks an edge, or even much of an attitude. Blandly risqué situations, featherweight banter and a hint of implied sexual impropriety have all the heft of an extended cable sitcom episode. Or maybe it’s the casting, which draws extensively on the TV comedy background of the four leads, who all acquit themselves adequately but can’t achieve sufficient character differentiation within the ensemble. Undistinguished locations, flat lighting and primarily static setups perpetuate the small-screen aesthetic, which at least bodes well for the film’s transition to home entertainment formats." - Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter
Echo Park The debut film from photographer Amanda Marsalis, Echo Park is a story about two people who come together "across cultural, economic and racial boundaries." Sophie (Mamie Gummer) is an unhappy housewife who moves from her Beverly Hills home to the up-and-coming neighborhood of Echo Park in order to shake up her predictable boring life, who finds herself drawn to Alex (Tony Okungbowa) after she buys his couch. But their burgeoning relationship might have to be put on hold, since he's about to leave for London...
"It’s Marsalis’ direction, and the fine performances from Gummer and Okungbowa that elevate the film above what it might have been, given the issues with the script and story that hover around the edges of cliché and stereotype (the worst offender: Sophie’s mother). While the dialogue, especially the scenes between Sophie and Alex, works well, the story beats are oddly laid out, rushing through some important character and relationship establishing moments, and dwelling too long in moments where the characters are making frustrating, selfish choices. Still, the end of the film avoids falling into the traditional romantic film trap, leading to a message that’s a bit more complicated and nuanced than expected." - Katie Walsh, IndieWire
Scandal star Tony Goldwyn has sparked rumours he is heading back to the stage after taking part in a reading for a musical version of Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil. Goldwyn recently joined Tony Award-winning director Rob Ashford and a cast including Roots actress Leslie Uggams, As the World Turns' Michael Park and The Carrie Diaries' Jake Robinson to read through the play, an adaptation of John Berendt's bestselling 1994 non-fiction.
A workshop is reportedly set to take place in September (14), with plans to test the show in London before taking it to Broadway.
However, casting details for the proposed theatre runs have yet to be released, reports Deadline.com.
The Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil book, based on the real-life death of a call boy and his accused murderer in Savannah, Georgia in 1981, was previously turned into 1997 Clint Eastwood film starring John Cusack and Kevin Spacey.
Goldwyn previously graced the stage in a 2010 Broadway revival of Promises, Promises, while he also tested his vocal skills as Captain von Trapp in a concert performance of The Sound of Music at New York's Carnegie Hall in 2012.
Lea Michele honoured her Glee co-star Kristin Chenoweth as she was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame on Saturday (21Jun14), and credited the Broadway star for helping her heal following the death of her boyfriend Cory Monteith. The Tony and Emmy Award winner became the 43rd artist to receive the honour at the fabled Los Angeles venue, taking the stage for the opening night concert of the 2014 summer season.
Veteran comedienne Carol Burnett inducted Chenoweth into the Hall of Fame, but it was the honouree's performance with Michele that proved to be the highlight of the evening.
Chenoweth brought Michele on stage to sing her For Good duet from the hit musical Wicked, and the young actress had some special words of tribute, revealing Chenoweth was there for her after Monteith died from a drug overdose last July (13).
Michele told the crowd, "Last summer I got an email from Kristin saying music will heal everything. At the time, I really didn't get how that would be possible, but it really did."
In addition to Chenoweth, orchestral collective Pink Martini and female rockers the Go-Go's were also inducted to the Bowl's 15th Hall of Fame ceremony, with stars such as Kathy Griffin, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Dita Von Teese, Natasha Bedingfield and Barbara Eden among the stars in the audience to celebrate the event.