Actor Ethan Hawke attempted to serenade a New York audience with an apology song after play, Macbeth, had to be cancelled on Thanksgiving eve (27Nov13) due to production issues. The show at Lincoln Center, New York was halted after just 20 minutes when technicians were unable to make mechanical trees, which are part of the play, move.
In a bid to keep theatre fans happy, Hawke took to the stage with a guitar and offered to perform, but was left red-faced when he couldn't think of an appropriate song.
After an audience member suggested he attempted Taylor Swift's You Belong To Me, the Training Day star began to strum the tune, but stopped after realising he really did not know the song.
Hawke said, "That's enough! Have a happy Thanksgiving and good night," and walked off stage.
Macbeth, which also stars James McAvoy's actress wife Anne-Marie Duff, opened last week (begs18Nov13) to dire reviews. The production will run until 12 January (14).
Actor Ethan Hawke has felt the wrath of America's theatre critics - they have savaged his turn as William Shakespeare's tragic king Macbeth on the New York stage. The Training Day star tackles the gruelling role in a new production at the Lincoln Center Theater, alongside James McAvoy's actress wife Anne-Marie Duff as his murderous queen, Lady Macbeth.
However, the show has opened to dire reviews following its press night on Thursday (21Nov13), with Hawke taking the brunt for his performance.
In the New York Times, critic Ben Brantley brands the play's three witches as the stars of the show, adding, "The production also features a lost soul named Ethan Hawke in the title role, but let's not distract ourselves from the main event."
Brantley also claims the audience struggled to hear a word Hawke said, writing, "He delivers Shakespeare's poetry like a moody, glue-sniffing teenager reciting Leonard Cohen lyrics to himself."
Elisabeth Vincentelli for the New York Post agrees, adding, "There's no getting around Hawke's underwhelming performance... It's almost enough to make you believe that the Scottish play really is cursed."
The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney writes that Hawke gives a "sauntering, strangely noncommittal performance" and only "intermittently gets his teeth into the tyrant".
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Singer/actress Hilary Duff has dismissed reports she is eager to have a second child, insisting she is focused on her music career instead of expanding her family. The So Yesterday hitmaker and her former hockey pro husband Mike Comrie welcomed their son Luca last year (12), and in a recent interview with People magazine, Duff mentions they are open to having more children in the future, saying, "If I had another boy, I would be happy, but I would like to try for a girl and I'm not sure that I want to have three kids."
However, after the article was released, many took her confession as a sign the couple is already prepping for another child - a speculation Duff was quick to slam on Twitter.com.
She wrote, "I love that I do an interview & people ask if I want more kids.. I say yes. Not now (though) and all (of) a sudden I'm "trying" for a girl. WHAT? It's ridiculous....The only baby I'm working on is my album."
The 26 year old is currently recording her fifth studio album, the first since her 2007 release, Dignity.
Former Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver stars SLASH, Duff Mckagan and Matt Sorum's new supergroup is planning a star-studded benefit in Hollywood next month (Nov13). The group, Kings of Chaos, will perform with guitar great Steve Stevens, Corey Taylor, Glenn Hughes and actors Juliette Lewis and Gary Dourdan onstage at the Avalon Hollywood on 18 November (13) to raise money and awareness for conservationist Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project, an international organisation dedicated to saving dolphins from slaughter and exploitation.
The concert, billed as Tokyo Celebrates The Dolphin, will be the group's only North American performance in 2013.
Organiser O'Barry tells WENN, "We'll add a few Japanese friends to our line-up and rock the socks off Tokyo. There isn't a better way to bring Westerners and Japanese people together than rock and roll and the world should also know about the wonderful relationship between Japanese people and dolphins in the Tokyo Islands."
Longtime O'Barry supporter Sorum adds, "I'm thrilled to bring a bunch of superstars together for a fun night with fans. The main thing is to keep creating awareness for the Dolphin Project and everyone involved."
Kings of Chaos made their Australian live debut in April (13) at the Stone Music Festival in Sydney and the group toured South and Central America last year (12) under the name Rock 'n' Roll Allstars.
The supergroup will embark on a new South American tour at the end of November.
Not all specters can have the same epic romance as Patrick Swayze’s character from Ghost. That’s where GhostSingles.com steps in and offers the completely fictional (or is it?) dating service for the deceased who are looking for love. Between a chat feature, dating tips, and search component, the site has everything a phantom on the prowl could need to get a date.
With this new service we’d like to see a few of our favorite famous ghosts find love. Casper, for instance, could take a little more initiative in his love-afterlife. His relationship with Christina Ricci may not have worked out since they didn’t have much in common — she was corporeal, he wasn’t, his uncles killed her dad, etc. Then there was Hilary Duff, which most people might forget. (She was a witch, he was a ghost, it wasn’t meant to be.) Hopefully Casper can use Ghost Singles to break his cycle of doomed relationships.
Another ghost we’d like to see find love is poor Moaning Myrtle, the ghost that hangs around the first floor girls’ bathroom at Hogwarts. It might be best if she keeps the negativity to a minimum on her profile and she might want to drop the ‘Moaning’ (although maybe not depending on the type of ghost she’s looking for.) Myrtle does have one thing going for her: it’s doubtful anyone else on the site was killed by a basilisk. That will lead to some interesting first date conversations.
One fault of Ghost Singles, though, is that the site doesn’t give any helpful tips on how to plan a first date after the users meet their dream-ghost. Uh oh. Let’s hope those crazy love-spirits will figure it out.
Actress Haylie Duff has turned her passion for cooking into a new moneymaking venture with the release of a new recipe book. The Napoleon Dynamite star, older sister of singer/actress Hilary, reveals she got the urge to gather her own favourite dishes for The Real Girl's Kitchen after reading through her great-grandmother's notes and recipes.
The 28 year old, who also has her online cooking blog, tells America's Star magazine, "My dad gave me my great-grandmother's cookbook... I found so much inspiration in it. It had personal letters from people she had met in her travels and handwritten recipes that were passed down through my family. I found a letter she wrote to a man who was a cafe owner in New Orleans asking how to best prepare the perfect cup of coffee in a French press. And he took the time to write her a very detailed response. I thought it was so wonderful - and that's what I wanted my book to feel like, that letter."
Duff is the latest star to become a celebrity chef - Gwyneth Paltrow, Stanley Tucci, Trisha Yearwood and Mayim Bialik have all shared their best recipes in print.
The Real Girl's Kitchen hit shelves on Tuesday (15Oct13).
Getty ImagesWhile the pick-and-choose nature of the digital market has almost rendered the Greatest Hits album obsolete, there are some career retrospectives which would have struggled to sell even if their respective record labels paid audiences to buy them. Here's a look at five compilations which would have been more suitably titled Greatest Hit.
Lou Bega – Beautiful World (A Little Collection Of Lou Bega’s Best)Borsalino hat-wearing Lou Bega joined the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias in the Latin pop explosion of 1999 with his irresistibly catchy cover of Perez Prado's "Mambo No. 5," reaching number one in nearly every country in continental Europe. But unlike his fellow hip-shakers, he miserably failed to sustain its success. Follow-up "Tricky, Tricky" peaked at a lowly No. 73 in the US while his last three albums even sank without trace in his native Germany, making 19 out of the 20 tracks on this 2013 compilation entirely surplus to requirements.
Crazy Frog – Best Of Crazy HitsIncredibly, the computer-animated amphibian who terrorized pop in the mid-'00s with his impossibly irritating moped engine impersonation scored five UK Top 20 hits and two US Top 40 albums before he was thankfully retired. But released four years after making the leap from ringtone adverts to the charts, surely no-one would have been in the mood to hear 40, that's 40, examples of his ring-ding-ding brand of pop.
Tag Team – The Best OfAtlanta hip-hop duo Tag Team didn't really make much effort to distance themselves from their one-hit wonder tag, re-recording 1993 US No. 2 hit "Whoomp! (There It Is)" twice a year later for Addams Family Values and the Houston Rockets, and then again in 1995 for an all-star Disney version. It also appears on this 2000 compilation three times, although how many people would sit through the other seventeen tracks to get to the House and Spanish mixes remains to be seen.
Hilary Duff – Most WantedPredating Miley, Selena and Demi's transition from the Disney Channel to the US Hot 100, tween favourite Hilary Duff has probably now earned the right to release a retrospective. Less so in 2005 when she was only two albums and two US Top 40 hits into her career. Amazingly, despite the fact that most of her fans would have only bought the majority of its material during the previous two years, Most Wanted reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
Chesney Hawkes - The Very Best Of Chesney HawkesRecently and unexpectedly heard in both of Duncan Jones' critically-acclaimed big-screen efforts, Moon and Source Code, Chesney Hawkes' "The One & Only" is one of the more cherished one-hit wonders of the early '90s. But having failed to bother the charts ever since, it still doesn't justify this 2005 20-track collection.
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James Mcavoy is keen to spend more time in his hometown of Glasgow, Scotland to ensure his son grows up with an accent like his own. The 34-year-old actor married his former Shameless co-star Anne-Marie Duff in 2006 and the couple live in a north London apartment with their three-year-old son, Brendan.
McAvoy returned to Glasgow for six weeks while filming his new movie Filth and realised how much he missed the city.
He tells Britain's Daily Record newspaper, "I'd been away from Glasgow for a long time. To be honest, while I was away whenever I'd return for a visit, I felt that the Glasgow I knew had moved on and didn't really feel like the city I grew up in.
"What was brilliant was that I got to spend six weeks living in Glasgow while making the film and I then realised that wasn't true."
The Atonement star admits he would love to move back to Glasgow, but has to stay in London due to work commitments, but he wants to spend more time in the Scottish city for the sake of his young son.
He adds, "For the first time in 10 years I thought that I really want to live here again. I can't do that because my work's all down south and I'd spend all my time travelling, so I have found myself coming up the road a lot more - and trying to get my son a Scottish accent."
Matthew Mcconaughey, Justin Bieber, Scarlett Johansson and Hugh Jackman have joined forces with former U.S. President Bill Clinton to raise awareness about the need for clean drinking water in impoverished countries. Celebrities including Jeff Bridges, Morgan Freeman, Pitbull, Celine Dion, Whoopi Goldberg, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, Robin Thicke, Ke$ha, Hilary Duff and Cyndi Lauper have also been recruited for the Clinton Global Initiative's Flash Flood For Good campaign, which aims to use social networking sites to spread the word and encourage members of the public to give generously to the organisation's clean water efforts.
Publicising the launch of the 72-hour Internet campaign on Tuesday (24Sep13), McConaughey took to his Twitter.com page to write, "I'm proud to lend my voice to children who need clean water to live. The FlashFloodForGood is on. Please donate now".
Duff has also issued a rallying call to her fans, tweeting, "Join me at FlashFloodForGood to get millions of liters of water to kids in need. Let's make a huge difference".