Welsh actor Michael Sheen is to direct and star in a special stage performance of Dylan Thomas' play Under Milk Wood. The Masters of Sex star will perform alongside Scandal actress Kate Burton, the daughter of late actor Richard Burton, during the one-off production at the 92nd Street Y community centre in New York, where the play first premiered in 1953.
Sheen will read the part of First Voice, the role Thomas played during the original read-through of the drama about the residents of a Welsh fishing village.
The free performance will be broadcast live on BBC Radio Wales on 26 October (14), the eve of the centenary of Thomas's birth.
Sheen says, "To perform it again and give it new life in the same place where it was first born really, then that's incredibly thrilling and very moving... And for it to go out at the same time on the radio in Wales, knowing that everyone in Wales will be able to listen to it at the same moment as people in New York are able to sit and listen to it as well, it's terrific."
Sheen took on the First Voice role for a BBC Wales TV adaptation in May (14). Richard Burton also played the part in the 1972 film version opposite his on/off wife Dame Elizabeth Taylor.
Bravo Media via Getty Images
Odds have it that you’ve been put off by Joan Rivers at one point or another. Just a few weeks back, before health problems took way for the 81-year-old comedian, a good chunk of society took umbrage with a her expression of antipathy for the Palestinian civilians killed in a military attack. Throughout her years in film, television, the stage, and every red carpet we can remember, Rivers has taken heat for a wide variety of jokes that the world deemed too crass, insensitive, or otherwise politically incorrect. But Joan, who believed in comedy above all else — whose principal devotion was not to any one individual, group, or political leaning, but to the very idea of the laugh — never let up.
Rivers must have understood that this was the kind of attitude — no, ideology —necessary to weather the challenges of starting a career in the boys’ club that was the comedy world of the 1960s… hell, that remains the comedy world to this day. But the vigor with which Rivers established herself was wholly important for not only the future of women in comedy, but for the very idea of comedy altogether.
This bravado demanded that her targets be indiscriminate: she’d mock individuals as beloved as Elizabeth Taylor and Adele, mine comedy from events as sensitive as the Holocaust and the Ariel Castro kidnappings. With each new “crossing of the line,” as it were, Rivers would face more and more backlash. Rivers carried through in the face of professional setbacks — like the cold shoulder of Johnny Carson (after she accepted a television series opposite The Tonight Show) and 18-year-long banishment from the late night institution where she got her start — as well as personal tragedy, notably the suicide of her husband Edgar Rosenberg. Throughout all, Rivers entrenched herself in comedy and vice versa, proving often that she was her favorite thing to make fun of.
It is unlikely that Rivers, an active force in comedy for more than half a century and riddled with tenacity up to the end of her life, didn’t offend each of us at one time. While her legions of watchers and listeners might hold true to the ideals of sensitivity, compassion, and courtesy — all perfectly legitimate values, in fact — Rivers’ allegiance was to one thing only, and she held true to this maxim without a hiccup. Whether it was a conscious decision to remain strong and convicted in the face of adversity, attack, and the relentless erosions of life, or simply the nature of the acerbic and cunning Brooklynite, Rivers wore the philosophy like a glove: making people laugh is what she was here for. And she sure as hell made sure to do it.
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Queen drummer Roger Taylor has spoken out about his dealings with the executors of Michael Jackson's estate over his plans to release a forgotten King of Pop/Freddie Mercury duet, revealing they have been "difficult" to deal with. Taylor and his bandmate Brian May were hoping to add the song the two late music icons recorded together on the upcoming album Queen Forever, but the estate bosses are refusing to grant permission.
The rocker tells the London Evening Standard, "William Orbit did a really nice mix of one of our tracks with Michael and I'm pretty certain that will be on Queen Forever. But it's been like wading through glue."
Taylor is still hopeful that he and May will be given the OK to include the track, admitting he's still not sure what will make the new album.
He adds, "We've got some great new tracks that haven't been heard and there's an interesting selection of older stuff."
May and Taylor are currently on tour with former American Idol star Adam Lambert.
WENN/Rui M Leal
You probably had your share of reactions to the 2014 Video Music Awards, ranging from entertained and ecstatic to snide and sarcastic. But logical dictates that Twitter has you beat in the snark department. Of course, not all of the social media world's reactions were riddled with irony. Check out everything Twitter had to say about the VMAs' list of winners.
Why does Lorde sound like the girl with the nose spray from Neds Declassified school survival guide
— Danielle Russo (@Daniellerussoxo) August 25, 2014
its so crazy how katy still out here winning awards when i dont know a single katy perry fanatic
— gr*ce (@teenbloggr) August 25, 2014
Like it or not, Taylor Swift's dancing is what we all look like when we're home alone haha
— Mac Faoro (@macfaoro) August 25, 2014
Drake isn't at the VMAs because he's still sitting in that chair pic.twitter.com/O6ypjlKhyX
— Chuck Bass⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ (@lostsvxl) August 25, 2014
Last year she twerked on Robin Thicke and this year she accepted a Moonman on behalf of a homeless youth foundation. Miley Cyrus y'all.
— ayah (@cyruscake) August 25, 2014
Ummmmm of course Beyoncé killed it she is Beyoncé she had to there is no other way for Beyoncé to do things she doesn't know how to not
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) August 25, 2014
@edsheeran you are such a genuine legend, So good to see ya, and congratulations x
— Ashton Irwin (@Ashton5SOS) August 25, 2014
I WAS ABOUT TO SAY I COULDN'T BE MORE PROUD BUT THIS HAS SERIOUSLY TOPPED IT OFF @ArianaGrande pic.twitter.com/j1CjMDI0xZ
— Emi (@MistyAriana) August 25, 2014
Actor Orlando Jones is using the popularity of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness about gun violence in America. Some of the world's biggest names, including Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Ben Affleck, Taylor Swift and Britney Spears have doused themselves with icy water and posted the footage on social media as part of the new charity phenomenon, aimed at raising money and awareness for the ALS Association, which is attempting to find a cure for Lou Gehrig's disease.
The Sleepy Hollow star commends his fellow celebrities for their efforts and has pledged to donate to the cause, but he also wants to bring attention to another issue in America - gun violence and militarised police forces.
Jones explains the controversial police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Missouri and the escalating violence prompted by the killing in Ferguson, Missouri inspired him to speak out.
In a hard-hitting new video, in which Jones dumps bullets over his head instead of ice water, he says, "This past week I've watched an American city become something akin to a war zone... It all seems to stem from some sort of militarised police force threatening the rights of people to assemble (in protest).
"I'm asking something very hard of myself, I'm challenging myself to listen without prejudice, to love without limits and to reverse the hate..."
Director Brian G. Hutton has died, aged 79. The filmmaker passed away on Tuesday (19Aug14) after suffering a heart attack last week (begs11Aug14).
The New York City native began his career as an actor, but stepped behind the camera after taking part in a directing programme with Universal Studios.
In 1968, Hutton directed Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton in the war classic Where Eagles Dare, and he teamed with the duo again in 1970 for Kelly's Heroes, which also starred Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, Carroll O’Connor and Donald Sutherland.
Hutton also made two movies with Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor - drama X, Y and Zee opposite Michael Caine and Night Watch with Laurence Harvey.
In 1980, Hutton was recruited to replace Roman Polanski as the director of The First Deadly Sin, after his predecessor fled America to escape statutory rape charges. The movie featured Faye Dunaway and Frank Sinatra in his final major film role.
Hutton also directed the films High Road to China, The Pad and How to Use It, and Sol Madrid.
As an actor, Hutton starred in movies like Fear Strikes Out, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, King Creole, The Case Against Brooklyn, and TV shows such as Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, Have Gun - Will Travel, Rawhide and The Rifleman.
Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj and Jessie J will debut their new single Bang Bang at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday (24Aug14). The trio will open the show and immediately after the performance fans will be able to check out the video for the song online.
Reports suggest the new video features an easy-to-learn dance that was created by Jessie J.
Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Rita Ora, Iggy Azalea, Maroon 5, Usher, Sam Smith and 5 Seconds of Summer are also billed to perform at the 2014 VMAs.
Beyonce, who will also pick up the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the prizegiving, leads all nominees with eight, including Video of the Year and Best Female Video.
YouTube/The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Just three weeks in production, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raked in more than $15 million — this puts it ahead of the latest YA release The Giver as the eighth highest grossing property this month. But trouncing that Jeff Bridges/Brenton Thwaites travesty by nearly $3 million is only the second most noble of the Ice Bucket Challenge’s efforts. The movement is allotting nigh unparalleled funds toward the study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an illness known best as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
The condition observes the weakening of the muscles in accordance with a degeneration of a specific portion of the spinal cord. As a result of ALS, those afflicted find difficulty speaking, swallowing, breathing, and moving altogether.
Though discovered in the 19th century and brought to infamy in the late 1930s in accordance with the suffering of beloved New York Yankee Lou Gehrig, ALS remains the most common motor neuron disease actively plaguing men and women today. While perhaps only a small measure in the fight against the illness, the Ice Bucket Challenge is allowing for tremendous progress in the collection of funds devoted to the defeat of such a longstanding travesty.
As is inevitable with any cause célèbre or public movement, we have witnesses no small share of backlash against the Challenge; critics decry the endeavor as a bandwagon trend and a waste of time that offers no real benefit to the cause in question. As far as the latter goes, the $15 million and counting — a sum made possible thanks in large part to the spirited, sportsmanly brand with which the Ice Bucket Challenge was designed — would beg to differ. Nevertheless, we find those with a sour taste for the charitable phenomenon. Not to mention those who simply don’t want to pour a bunch of cold water over their heads. But if you find yourself a culprit of this mindset, maybe take a look at the pedigree of the company you’d be joining were you to hop aboard for this particularly frigid mitzvah.
So what pop culture accomplishments can be attributed to the community of water-logged philanthropists?
5 ACADEMY AWARDS Between Steven Spielberg (3), Russell Crowe (1), and Oprah (a Humanitarian Oscar).
60 EMMYSBetween Oprah (13 Daytime Emmys and 2 Primetime Emmys), Steven Spielberg (11), Meredith Vieira (4 News/Documentary Emmys and 3 Daytime Emmys), Jimmy Fallon (4), Justin Timberlake (4), J.J. Abrams (3), Conan O'Brien (3), Jim Parsons (3), Ricky Gervais (2), William Shatner (2), Harry Connick Jr. (2), Rachel Maddow (1), Ryan Seacrest (1), Nathan Fillion (1 Daytime Emmy), and Topher Grace (1 Daytime Emmy).
62 GRAMMYSJustin Timberlake (9), Taylor Swift (7), Carrie Underwood (6), Lady Gaga (5), Mackelmore (4), Lil Wayne (4), Keith Urban (4), Weird Al Yankovic (3), Gwen Stefani (3), Ludacris (3), Brad Paisley (3), Adam Levine (3), Harry Connick Jr (3), Jason Mraz (2), Drake (1), Jimmy Fallon (1), and Calvin Harris (1).
10 GOLDEN GLOBESSteven Spielberg (7), Russell Crowe (1), William Shatner (1), and Don Johnson (1).
Weinstein Company via Everett Collection
At the heart of any dystopian story — be it about warring farm animals, omnipresent elder siblings, or colorless societies wherein pain and inequality have been all but eradicated — there is meant to be something human. Something that shines through to show us just how close we are to the world onscreen and just how far away from it we need to get. But at the heart of The Giver — Phillip Noyce’s film adaptation, not Lois Lowry’s ‘93 intro-to-Orwell novel — we find no humanity. There is nothing remotely vital about the film, its themes, its world, or its characters. Thus, who really gives a damn what kind of hell they’re all dealing with?
Brenton Thwaites is our hero — the exception among the heap of mindless drones (not to be confused with the movie’s surplus of literal drones) that occupy the nameless society, or so we’re meant to believe. In truth, Thwaites and his character Jonas are just as flat, vacant, and devoid of nuance as every other member of this pallid world. So when he is selected as the only villager capable of bearing the world’s memories of joy, pain, life, suffering, and — most prominently — ethnic dancing, we’re bored to tears by what might otherwise be an emotionally riveting journey into emotional maturity.
Weinstein Company via Everett Collection
But Thwaites isn’t the only issue. Jeff Bridges manages some combination of tired Sam Elliott, tired Bane, and tired Scooby Doo in his performance as the titular Giver, the man whose relationships with the society, Chief Elder Meryl Streep, and Receivers past and present are never illustrated with enough clarity to understand him as a man or a metaphorical function. Just like Thwaites’ big moments suffer from a lack of substantial precedent, any message that Bridges’ character is meant to unfurl falls as flat as the inflection of a dystopian resident.
Broad strokes are one thing; The Giver seems to miss the canvas entirely in its portrait of the importance of pain and experience. Without a single human moment to convince us of the importance of humanity, we’re really left just staring at a confusing oscillation of the color wheel for 90 minutes.
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Three suspects have been cleared after they were accused of breaching the peace for allegedly throwing beer bottles and confronting a security guard outside Taylor Swift's Rhode Island home. Connecticut residents Michael Horrigan, 29, Tristan Kading, 29, and Emily Kading, 26, were arrested outside the singer's beachfront property in June (14) over allegations they had caused a disturbance.
The trio was booked on suspicion of misdemeanour disorderly conduct, but the charges have now been dropped after all three agreed to pay $100 (£58.82) to a local crime victims' fund and complete 10 hours of community service, according to Thewesterlysun.com.