The Sopranos actors Edie Falco and Steve Buscemi are among the mourners who have gathered at a New York church to bid farewell to their tragic co-star James Gandolfini at his funeral on Thursday (27Jun13). Other members of his TV family, including Michael Imperioli, Tony Sirico, Dominic Chianese and Aida Turturro, were also photographed arriving at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, while pal Alec Baldwin and Chris Christie, governor of Gandolfini's native New Jersey, were in attendance too.
Members of the public wanting to pay their respects to the late actor were allowed to take seats in the church after the invited guests had arrived.
The service, led by Reverend James A. Kowalski, is expected to last 90 minutes and will feature eulogies from David Chase, the creator of the hit mob drama, Gandolfini's widow Deborah Lin, and two family friends.
The funeral is being filmed by bosses at cable channel HBO, which aired The Sopranos, for a special family video, and network executives are believed to have also covered the costs of the ceremony.
Gandolfini died of a heart attack in Rome, Italy last Wednesday (19Jun13) at the age of 51.
Jailed The Sopranos star Lillo Brancato, Jr. is mourning the death of his former co-star James Gandolfini from behind bars. The actor was in shock when a fellow inmate in New York's Hudson Correctional Facility told him the sad news that Gandolfini had suffered a fatal heart attack in Italy on 19 June (13).
Brancato, Jr., who is serving time for his part in the murder of an off-duty cop in 2005, tells the New York Daily News, "I couldn't believe my ears. I thought it was a mistake."
The 37 year old, who was discovered by Robert De Niro, hails Gandolfini as an inspiring mentor, adding, "I admired him so much as an actor and so much as a person. I've been privileged to work with some of the most renowned people in Hollywood. He was right there with them."
A funeral for the acting legend is to be held in New York on Thursday morning (27Jun13) at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.
James Gandolfini's family and close friends gathered in New Jersey on Wednesday (26Jun13) to pay their respects to the late actor at a private wake. The Sopranos star died on 19 June (13) after suffering a fatal heart attack in Rome, Italy and his body was repatriated on Sunday night (23Jun13) ahead of an invitation-only viewing of his body at the Robert Spearing Funeral Home in Park Ridge.
Gandolfini's widow Deborah Lin and his sisters were spotted arriving for the memorial, while his eight-month-old daughter Liliana was carried in covered by a blanket, according to E! News.
Police patrolled the area to ensure the wake stayed private, but fans filled the street to pay their respects.
One of Gandolfini's relatives, Bob Price, told CBS, "Of course it's difficult. This man was like everybody's hero and it was just the worst thing in the world that could possibly have happened."
A funeral for the 51 year old is set to be held in New York on Thursday morning (27Jun13) at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, and the Gandolfini family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.
They said the group, which helps injured servicemen, was "an organisation which James was very passionate about and supported in countless ways".
Guests attending the funeral of actor James Gandolfini on Thursday morning (27Jun13) have been banned from bringing cameras and recording devices to the service at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City, at the request of his family. The Sopranos star, who treasured his privacy, died after suffering a heart attack in Rome, Italy last week (19Jun13).
The lights of Broadway's theatres will be dimmed on Wednesday night (26Jun13) as a mark of respect to James Gandolfini. The actor, who died in Rome, Italy last week (19Jun13), enjoyed success on the New York stage in the 1990s plays On the Waterfront and A Streetcar Named Desire, and he was nominated for a Tony Award in 2009 for his role in God of Carnage.
The theatre district tribute will fall on the eve of the actor's funeral at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City on Thursday morning (27Jun13).
James Gandolfini's close friends and family will pay their respects to the late actor at a private wake in his native New Jersey on Wednesday (26Jun13). The Sopranos star suffered a fatal heart attack in Rome, Italy last week (19Jun13) and his body was repatriated on Sunday night (23Jun13), ahead of an invitation-only viewing of his body at the Robert Spearing Funeral Home in Park Ridge.
A funeral for the 51 year old will follow in New York on Thursday morning (27Jun13) at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, with Dean James A. Kowalski presiding over the service.
Local city officials are reportedly bracing for a mass outpouring of respect from the actor's fans - up to 10,000 people are expected to line the streets of Manhattan to bid farewell to the star.
According to the New York Daily News, Gandolfini's remains are set to be cremated after the ceremony.
Members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot have jetted to London to attend a music festival curated by singer/artist Yoko Ono. Three members of the feminist collective were sentenced to prison stints last summer (12) after being found guilty of hooliganism following a performance of a protest song against President Vladimir Putin at a Moscow church.
Yekaterina Samutsevich has since been freed, while fellow bandmembers Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova are still behind bars.
John Lennon's widow Ono invited another pair of musicians from Pussy Riot to attend her Activism Weekend at this year's (13) Meltdown festival and admits she was impressed by their bravery as they spoke out on behalf of their jailed bandmates.
She says, "It was so important. It shows that rebellion and revolution is (sic) worldwide actually. It's actually much harder for them (to speak out) in Russia. What they're doing to stand up is extremely daring and courageous. I just met the two of them here - incredible power, I thought the incredible power of innocence, in a way, is beautiful."
Speaking to reporters about their imprisoned bandmates' plight, the duo wore balaclavas and asked for their voices to be disguised to retain their anonymity.
One star told the BBC, "(They) are still in detention camps. According to the verdict, they are supposed to be there until March 2014, but we'll do our best to get them released earlier. Where they are now in detention camps there are about 100-120 people in one big room so the conditions are very bad and it's just a work camp, a forced labour camp."
Beloved British author C.s. Lewis will be celebrated with a literary festival in England later this year (13) to mark the 50th anniversary of his death. The writer, who penned the hugely successful children's series The Chronicles of Narnia, will be honoured with the four-day C.S. Lewis Jubilee Festival in September (13).
The event has been organised by the Holy Trinity church in Oxford where the devout Christian worshipped before his death in 1963, the same day U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
Reverend Tim Stead, vicar of Holy Trinity, says, "We're proud to be able to honour his memory in this way. We've already had expressions of interest in the festival from across the world and we look forward to welcoming many people and sharing with them in the many facets of Lewis' life and work."
The Narnia books have sold more than 100 million copies around the globe and have spawned a number of film adaptations, including Prince Caspian and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Despite a string of earth-shattering performances and the ability to connect on every possible, minute level, Candice Glover can't go into Thursday night's American Idol eliminations with one percent certainty that she'll stay. She and Kree Harrison have been taken turns having panic attacks in the bottom two for the last two weeks, and with Kree's sudden surge of emotion and vitality, Candice might actually have a real threat to her spot in the Top 2.
Of course, I hope with every last fiber, cell, proton, neutron, and electron of my heart that Candice not only stays, but that she wins the whole competition. But I don't trust the voters.
Angie Miller, and all her Miley Cyrus charm (Nicki Minaj, Met Gala attendee, said it – not me), is a firm hook for one spot in the Top 2. Audiences love to love her and her style, which more broadly appeals to Idol’s pop-minded audience. They want sweeping, sweet singing. They want someone who looks prime to have their face slapped on a Thermos or a novelty blanket. They proved it last year when they crowned the boy with a sweet song called "Home" over a tiny little lady with a ridiculously powerful voice (Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez, for those of you just joining us). The good thing is, Angie has that powerful voice too, and she proved it with her three admittedly fantastic (and far less theatrical than ever before) performances of Elton John’s “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word,” Pink’s “Try,” and Emeli Sande’s “Maybe,” which Angie played at the piano for her grand finale. She’s primed for a top two slot, and there’s no way she’s not going to get one.
But it’s not Angie who’s competing for Candice’s votes. It’s Kree. After falling from grace during the last two performance rounds (especially last week when her swift stroke of rebellion against guest mentor Harry Connick, Jr. backfired spectacularly), Kree slipped from top-of-the-heap country crooner to inches from packing her bags and leaving a week early. This week, between her phenomenal rendition of Rascal Flatts’ “Here Comes Goodbye” and her incredibly moving and emotional reprisal of Carrie Underwood’s “See You Again,” which she sang for her deceased parents on her hometown visit, Kree is back. She’s not ready to go home, and while her performances of “Perfect” by Pink and “Better Dig Two” by the Band Perry weren’t wowing the judges, they may have won over audiences with the easy-going, country style of Kree’s unique voice. That, plus her genuine emotions as she remembers the deaths of her parents with her similarly sweet sister when she pays a visit to Texas, may be the ticket she needs to overtake Candice.
As sweet and talented as Kree is, and as touched as we all were by her video package, the thought that she might take Candice “A-plus-mazing” Glover’s spot in that finale is crazier than the involuntary spasms of joy Keith Urban has when she sings. Candice came right out of the gate with Jimmy Iovine’s pick for her: “One” by U2 (also covered by Mary J. Blige). And as soon as she started singing it I worried she’d fall into the Mary J. trap: she had the boots, she has the “I’m so full of emotion I have to hop onstage while I sing” thing going, and she’s got the voice of a soulful angel. But by the end, it’s a rendition that Candice truly owns. It’s not Mary’s, it’s not Bono’s, it’s one hundred percent Miss Glover’s.
Then came the storm cloud: the judges picked another Emeli Sande song, “Next To Me.” It allowed Candice to play with a contemporary pop song, but not in the right way. The song was too wispy for Candice’s impressive vocals, leaving her to struggle to make the song a bigger moment than the lyrics and melody wanted to allow. It was still wonderfully enjoyable because Candice can sing anything, but it was certainly her dark spot for the night.
Luckily, Nicki gave her a wee bit of a boost with her bonding moment in which she declared Candice as the most confident person on the stage and cried tears of proud joy over how far the church singer has come. It’s that moment, and Candice’s final number, that will keep her from going home if she stays. After that incredibly palpable, heart-wrenching conversation, Candice later closes the show with a song that could have ruined her. The Idol production staff picks West Side Story’s “Somewhere,” also known as the song every high school girl trying out for the school play loves to sing, but Candice brought it back to where it belongs. She took it from an overplayed, once great ballad, to the earth-shattering emotional outpouring that it was written to be.
Literally, the only notes I could muster while she sang were “OH MY F**KING GOD.” (Only, my notes didn't have those handy little asterisks.) Listening to Candice sing this song of love torn asunder by circumstances completely out of the lovers’ control was beyond the seeming perfection of a moving Angie ballad or even Kree at her best. But Candice isn’t on a different tier. It’s not as if she’s doing something better, per se. Candice just is the music. She is that song. It’s inseparable from her, despite the years and years of history and the multitudes of versions that song has seen.
And while all of this is serving to boost her up to the top, there’s also a distinct possibility her fans (who, according to Keith, should be all people with a pulse) will be trading in the tears she evoked on Wednesday night for tears of injustice. Candice deserves to win this thing, hands down. But I only get 50 votes. There’s a whole voting pool out there, and they may not see things the way I and everyone else on the Candice side of life see it.
One thing is for sure: If we have to endure a week of Idol without the promise of a Candice performance next week, anyone who didn’t vote for this incredible, talented, amazing singer will feel the full weight of their faulty decisions and they’ll see just how right the rest of us were all along.
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler
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Star Wars is weird. It's probably been a part of your life for so long that you no longer recognize exactly how weird it is. I mean, composer John Williams uses a Charleston swing with steel drums to convey "alien music" at the Mos Eisley cantina — the same cantina where The Star Wars Holiday Special showed us Bea Arthur sometimes liked to tend bar. Han Solo randomly tells a helpful Rebel soldier "I'll see you in hell!" despite the fact that "hell" is otherwise not a part of the belief system of any known group in that Galaxy Far, Far Away.
GALLERY: 20 Really Weird Things in Star Wars
George Lucas spent millions of dollars just to create a CGI floorshow for the Return of the Jedi special edition. Not to mention the endless treasure trove of weirdness that is the Star Wars Expanded Universe, a vast series of novels and comics that have given us a Hutt Jedi, an interdimensional creature with a taste for human flesh (join the Church of Waru!), a giant green bunny rabbit who's a space smuggler, and zombie Gungans. As a celebration for May the Fourth (be with you), click through our gallery of 20 Really Weird Things in Star Wars.
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
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