Dexter star Michael C. Hall is set for a Broadway return as a transgender German rock star. The actor will take over the lead in Hedwig & the Angry Itch when Andrew Rannells completes his run in the show.
Rannells replaced Tony Award winner Neil Patrick Harris in the show earlier this year (14), and will play Hedwig at the Belasco Theatre next month (Oct14).
Hall will take over the lead from 16 October (14) and stay with the quirky musical until 4 January (15).
The actor made his Broadway debut as the emcee in Cabaret in 1999 and played Billy Flynn in Chicago in 2002, while he wrapped up his latest New York stage stint in The Realistic Joneses in July (14).
Legendary Beatles manager Brian Epstein has been honoured with a special blue plaque tribute in London. Eighties pop star Adam Ant and British actor Andrew Lancel, who portrayed the music mogul in biographical stage play Epstein - The Man Who Made the Beatles in 2012, were among the guests who attended Sunday's (29Jun14) unveiling at Sutherland House, where he ran his NEMS Enterprise management company.
Epstein, who is frequently referred to as the "Fifth Beatle", died from a drug overdose in 1967. The new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee would have turned 80 this September (14).
The blue plaques are placed by officials from The Heritage Foundation to mark significant historical sites across the U.K.
Bachelorette star Andrew Rannells is to replace 2014 Tony Award winner Neil Patrick Harris on Broadway in Hedwig & The Angry Inch. Former Tony nominee Rannells will take on the role he played in a 2001 production in Austin, Texas in the hit revival for eight weeks when Harris departs the show in August (14).
The production picked up four awards at the Tonys on Sunday (08Jun14) - Best Revival, Best Actor in a Musical (Harris), Best Lighting and Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical (Lena Hall).
Rannells previously picked up a Tony Awards nomination for his role in The Book of Mormon.
A fireman coat once owned by John Lennon has sold at auction for $31,250 (£18,506). The blue, asymmetrical, cropped jacket, designed by Great Goat Fireman, was purchased during an online Nate D. Sanders auction for more than $6,000 (£3,553) over its reserve price.
The garment featured on the back cover of the Beatles star's 1969 album Life With The Lions, and it was was originally acquired by Lennon's friend Jon Hendricks in 1978. He passed it on to Andrew B. Harvey, who provided the letter of authenticity to the auction house bosses.
In the note, Harvey writes, "In 1978 we went to stay with Jon for a few weeks. He told me the fireman's coat hanging in the hall had been left there by John Lennon when he'd called in a few months earlier. I think that was the last time he saw John Lennon."
The coat eventually landed in the possession of a Connecticut-based Beatles collector in 1996, who ultimately put the jacket up for auction.
A fireman-style jacket once owned by John Lennon is to go on sale at auction. The blue coat is believed to be the same garment the iconic musician sported on the back cover of his and Yoko Ono's 1969 album Unfinished Music No. 2: Life with the Lions.
Lennon left it on a coat hook at pal Jon Hendricks' home in New York City in 1978, and Hendricks then gave it to a friend, Andrew B. Harvey.
No estimated sale price has been given for the item but previous jackets belonging to the Beatles legend have fetched up to $200,000 (£125,000).
Harvey's certificate of authenticity states, "This British fireman's coat once belonged to John Lennon. It was given to me in 1978 by Jon Hendricks, my (then) common-law wife's uncle. Brothers Jon and Jeff Hendricks... were involved in the art movement known as 'fluxism' as was Yoko Ono. Through this they got to know the Lennons in the early seventies...
"In 1978 we went to stay with Jon for a few weeks. He told me the fireman's coat hanging in the hall had been left there by John Lennon when he'd called in a few months earlier. I think that was the last time he saw John Lennon... Jon asked me if I wanted the coat, as I was off on a cross-country hitch-hiking trip and I didn't have one. I wore it through a couple of hard years. It may well be the coat that John Lennon is wearing on the back of the British album release (I think) as 'Life With The Lions' - unless he had several of them. The picture shows John and Yoko surrounded by British policemen, after John's drug bust."
The coat, which features epaulettes and silver-coloured metal buttons, goes up for auction online via Nate D. Sanders on 29 April (14).
Joan Jett, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Lorde channelled the spirit of the late Kurt Cobain on Thursday (10Apr14) as they performed with the surviving members of Nirvana at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Michael Stipe from R.E.M. paid tribute to the grunge stars as drummer Dave Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic were joined on the podium at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York by Cobain's mother and sister and his widow, Courtney Love.
The Hole frontwoman proved that any bad blood between her and the existing Nirvana duo was in the past by calling Grohl and Novoselic her "family" and hugging them both, before saying, "I just wish that Kurt was here to hear this and feel this and be this.
"Twenty years ago, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame maybe wasn't (something he'd appreciate), but today he would have appreciated it. He would have appreciated Krist and Dave... his mother and his sister being here..." She went on to dedicate Cobain's posthumous honour to their daughter, Francis Bean Cobain, who missed the ceremony due to illness.
Grohl and Novoselic then welcomed their female collaborators to rock out with them, with Jett taking charge of vocals on Smells Like Teen Spirit, Gordon joining the pair for Aneurysm, and St. Vincent singing Lithium. Royals hitmaker Lorde helped the band close out the Nirvana reunion with All Apologies, which served as the explosive finale of the near six-hour induction ceremony.
Earlier in the night, Bruce Springsteen saluted his longtime backing musicians the E Street Band, and took the time to remember each and every person who had ever been a part of the group, including late saxophonist Clarence Clemons and his sidekick and "consigliere", guitarist Steven Van Zandt. Soul icons Hall & Oates were inducted by The Roots drummer Questlove, but the singers' performance had to be briefly halted midway through a rendition of their 1976 classic She's Gone after experiencing technical problems.
There was no drama from KISS, who were introduced by Tom Morello, as the original line-up of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss reunited to join the Class of 2014, although they stuck to their vow not to perform after learning that Hall of Fame bosses would not be honouring current bandmates Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer.
Meanwhile, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow, Carrie Underwood and Stevie Nicks joined forces to honour Linda Ronstadt, who was unable to attend the ceremony due to illness, and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin was on hand to praise former Genesis singer Peter Gabriel as a solo artist. Art Garfunkel celebrated the career of Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens, and British producer Peter Asher helped to induct the Rolling Stones' former manager Andrew Loog Oldham and Beatles svengali Brian Epstein.
The Rolling Stones' former manager Andrew Loog Oldham has announced he'll be a no-show at Thursday's (10Apr14) Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony after learning museum bosses have only allocated five minutes of the show to honour him and fellow svengali Brian Epstein. The two music moguls will join KISS, Peter Gabriel, Nirvana, Hall & Oates and Linda Ronstadt among the Class of 2014, but Oldham plans to sit out the New York gala.
He recently told the audience during a talk at the Berlin School of Creative Leadership in Germany, "I think those people (Hall of Fame bosses) basically hijacked the name rock 'n' roll. I won't be there... It's a television show.
"Twenty years ago it was an incredible party in the Waldorf-Astoria... and then it became a business. I think it's healthier to stay home."
Asked to confirm he would not be a part of the ceremony by a fan last week (04Apr14), the 70 year old tweeted, "Like (the late) Brian Epstein I was not consulted as regards this matter & like dear Brian I will not be going (sic)."
He and Epstein are being inducted as non-performers as part of a Hall of Fame celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the original British Invasion as the Beatles and Stones conquered the U.S.
He adds, "The Hall has adjusted for the times and... I think it may have become an event for performers only and their fans. Rush last year, Nirvana and KISS this year. Now, for the Hall Of Fame to survive, it's gone 'Simon Cowell' and that, unless you are a Rush or KISS fan, is a shame."
Linda Ronstadt will also be a no-show at the induction ceremony after revealing she's too ill to travel to the event, and KISS founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons have refused to perform after learning their current bandmates will not be honoured alongside them.
Oldham isn't the first inductee to boycott the event - Neil Young refused to turn up in 1997 when he was being honoured as a member of Buffalo Springfield and the Sex Pistols and Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose also stayed away when they were inducted.
Writer-director John Hughes was the master of the teen movie in the '80s, scoring hits with The Breakfast Club, Ferris Beuller's Day Off, and Weird Science, and working with a veritable "who's who" of young '80s actors (Matthew Broderick, Kevin Bacon, Robert Downey Jr., John Cusack, Bill Paxton, Charlie Sheen, etc.).
His teen muse, however, was Molly Ringwald. The young redhead was the star of his directorial debut, Sixteen Candles, and was the inspiration behind Pretty in Pink, which Hughes' wrote and produced. It's been 30 years since the release of Sixteen Candles and 28 since Pretty in Pink, yet each movie has maintained an audience across the decades. Which one, though, is more relevant if you were seeing it for the first time right now?
Ringwald's Samantha Baker is having a terrible 16th birthday. Her parents forgot it entirely. Her grandparents, who are in town for her sister's wedding, are commenting about her "boobies" and bring along a horndog foreign exchange student (Gedde Watanabe). She's got a freshman geek (Anthony Michael Hall) chasing after her, and in exchange for leaving her alone takes a pair of her panties to show off to the other nerds... for a dollar apiece. Worse than all of the other indignities, though, is the fact that she's totally in love with a senior (Michael Schoeffling) who's dating the most popular girl in school (Haviland Morris).
In other words, it's just about every teen girl's worst nightmare, something that really hasn't changed much in the ensuing years. The film is fanciful and fun, with jokes that are both clever and corny. It's the sort of movie that provides mothers and daughters talking points for everything from love to sex to body image issues. Feeling like you're completely on your own as a teenager and that nobody really cares about or appreciates you is a rite of passage for everyone, as are those first heart-stopping crushes. Youthful insecurity is fairly timeless.
Pretty in Pink
Hughes took a (slightly) more grounded view of a young girl's high school experience in Pink. Ringwald plays Andie, a girl from the poor side of town who makes her own clothes and has to take care of her down-on-his-luck father (Harry Dean Stanton). She works in a music store and hangs out with an eccentric friend named Duckie (Jon Cryer), as she tries to just make it through until she can go to college for fashion design. But then she falls for one of the rich kids (Andrew McCarthy), and has to deal with the very obvious class distinctions that are continually pointed out by his obnoxious friend (James Spader). Unlike the lead in Sixteen Candles, Andie doesn't need recognition from anyone, definitely doesn't want to be pitied ,and is perfectly capable of standing up for herself. She's conscious of Duckie's feelings, but she neither patronizes him nor leads him on. When McCarthy's Blane backs out of their prom date, she goes it alone (and, okay, with a little help from the Duck).
Essentially, Andie is that quiet girl in high school who blossoms in college and doesn’t go to reunions because she's too busy with a great career. It's a little hard to get past the very '80s wardrobe, although it has a killer soundtrack (OMD's "If You Leave" still makes anyone over 40 nostalgic for their own prom). In the end, though, Andie is a realistic teen heroine who, unlike say Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games, navigates through a world that is not terribly different from the present and does it by empowering herself. That's not a bad lesson for any young woman to learn.
Both of the teen classics have relevance to a modern audience in their own way, although the jokiness of Sixteen Candles probably helps it translate a little bit easier. That’s what we think, but now it's your chance. Vote below to tell us which of Hughes' teen comedies has remained more relevant.
Who would have thought, back when Elton John was writing the music for Disney's The Lion King, that 20 years later he'd be giving the House of Mouse a run for its money?
John's Rocket Films recently announced plans to make an animated version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The musician's company already scored an international hit in 2011 with Gnomeo & Juliet, and has a sequel to it in the works called Sherlock Gnomes. In addition, the company has another project by the Gnomeo director Kelly Asbury called Will Gallows and the Snake Bellied Troll in the pipeline and is developing an animated version of the Michael Buckley N.E.R.D.S. books.
Back in the '70s and '80s, it would've seemed unfathomable that the singer would become one of the leading animation producers in the world… despite his occasional on-stage antics in a Donald Duck suit. That was before The Lion King.
John, who worked with Rice on the film, provided a different sound for the Disney effort, mixing in world beats with pop sensibility and cheeky humor to arrive at something fresh and exciting. The film won John an Academy Award for "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" and grossed nearly a billion dollars in international box office (and added another billion as a Broadway show).
The funny part of John's subsequent success is that he originally tried to continue working with Disney. Gnomeo & Juliet started out as a Disney production, with John even appearing at industry functions in support of it. When the company's animation division merged with Pixar, however, the project was abandoned. Disney did eventually have a hand in the distribution of the film after it was completed, releasing it on the company's nearly defunct Touchstone Pictures imprint… a decision that John made no bones about being upset with.
Now John gets to bring Joseph, one of the most enduring stage shows in history, to the big screen with the full blessing and cooperation of Webber and Rice. Another success along the lines of Gnomeo and Disney might soon regret not working harder to continue its relationship with a man who helped launch one of the company's biggest hits… if it doesn't already.
Betting against the Rocket Man to deliver animated fare that audiences want to see would seem to be a billion dollar mistake.
Legendary lyricist Sir Tim Rice is set to be feted with a career retrospective in London this summer (14). Andrew Lloyd Webber's longtime collaborator, who helped pen songs for hit musicals Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, will be the guest of honour at the A Night in Song event, which will feature performances by the BBC Concert Orchestra and an in-depth conversation with Rice about his almost 50 years in the industry.
The celebration will take place on 8 July (14) at the Royal Festival Hall.
Additional performers will be announced at a later date.