Legendary rockers Queen have reunited with Adam Lambert for a North American tour this summer (14). The American Idol star has been playing with the band on and off since 2012, and he will now fill in for late frontman Freddie Mercury for a series of shows which kick off in Chicago, Illinois in June (14).
Lambert tells U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America, "To get to be on stage with these two amazing rock royalty members... Honestly, Queen is one of the quintessential rock bands of all time...They have influenced bands for years to come."
Roger Taylor adds, "We feel that Adam is one of the few singers that actually can deliver our songs," while Brian May interjects, "Probably the only singer that can deliver those songs."
Lambert performed a series of shows with the band in the U.K. in 2012, while they have also performed together in Ukraine, Russia, Poland and at a music festival in Las Vegas in September (13).
Nick Lachey made his debut as the host of U.S. breakfast TV show Big Morning Buzz Live on Monday (03Mar14), returning to the same stage which helped launch his career over 15 years ago. The 98 Degrees star became the official presenter for the pop culture news show on America's VH1 network, which films in the heart of Times Square in New York City in the same studio that used to house popular MTV music video countdown show Total Request Live in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
And it was not lost on the singer that the home of his new daytime talk show career is where his band got their big break.
He admitted, "It's kind of a surreal, out-of-body moment for me. I mean, I look around this studio and I have so many memories of being in this space, you know back in the day, on TRL. Actually 1999, New Year's Eve, I was standing right over there with my buddies from 98 Degrees, we performed and brought in the new year."
The studio is also where he first met his now wife, Vanessa Lachey, who used to serve as a presenter on TRL.
Lachey adds, "Seeing my career launch from this point, it's crazy to be back in the studio all these years later. My now wife interviewed me in this space. It is a full circle moment."
The singer/host kicked off his first show in an unusual way - guest Sophia Bush showed off the skills she has learned from her new show Chicago PD (Police Department) by handcuffing Lachey, and he stayed locked up for half of the show.
Alongside Hollywood veterans Kate Winslet, Ashley Judd, and Tony Goldwyn and two young leads (Shailene Woodley, Theo James) who have already built up quite the impressive C.V., Divergent's ensemble cast also includes several virtual unknowns. Here's a brief guide to their careers so far.Ansel Elgort (Caleb)
The son of fashion photographer Arthur Elgort, 19-year-old Elgort's career began on stage in Matt Charman's off-Broadway drama Regrets. After making his big screen debut as Chloe Moretz's prom date in last year's Carrie remake, the New Yorker landed the role of Tris' inquisitive brother Caleb Prior. Elgort will then make the switch from playing Woodley's sibling to her love interest when they both star in the adaptation of John Green's best-selling novel, The Fault In Our Stars, while he's also set to appear in Jason Reitman's star-studded comedy Men, Women and Children.
Amy C. Newbold (Molly)
Amy C. Newbold is no stranger to the Hollywood blockbuster, having worked as a casting assistant on Superman reboot Man Of Steel as well as on the likes of Contagion and Raising Hope. But as Tris' factionless enemy Molly Atwood, Divergent will see her move from behind to in front of the camera for her first major acting role, with bit parts in Boss and Chicago Fire the only other credits to her name.
Ben Lamb (Edward)
Cast as skilled fighter Edward, Ben Lamb made the move to post-apocalyptic Chicago from medieval England after playing The White Queen's brother Anthony in the BBC's hit historical drama. The 25-year-old, who'd previously studied at both RADA and Oxford University, cut his teeth appearing in various Shakespeare productions and made his onscreen debut as a posh toff in BBC legal drama Silks in 2012.
Christian Madsen (Al)
One of the more experienced "unknowns" in the cast, Christian Madsen has appeared alongside his father Michael in deliverance tale Refuge from the Storm and off-kilter thriller The Brazen Bull and his auntie Virginia in comedy Jake Squared, while he also had a minor role in Justin Timberlake vehicle In Time. Cast as kind-hearted Al, he'll next be seen as Bryan, a young man who reunites with his estranged father after 15 years in the indie drama Prism.
Ben Lloyd-Hughes (Will)
Following his older brother Henry's role in Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire, the Lloyd-Hughes name will appear in the credits of another major franchise when 25-year-old Ben plays Tris' brainy ally Will. He first appeared on screen as a teenager in BBC drama Love Soup back in 2005 and has since cropped up in a string of hit British TV shows including Skins, The Hour and Young James Herriot. While his filmography includes teen horror Tormented and the 2012 remake of Great Expectations.
Divergent hits theaters March 21. You can check showtimes and purchase advanced tickets at Movietickets.com.
Sting's new musical, The Last Ship, is heading to the Broadway stage this autumn (14). The rocker, who is currently touring North America with Paul Simon, has learned the show he has been working on for years will hit the Neil Simon Theatre in New York on 30 September (14).
Inspired by his own memories of growing up in Newcastle, England, the musical follows the fortunes of a man who returns to his home in a shipyard town after 14 years of travelling the world.
The Last Ship will have its world premiere this summer (14) in Chicago, Illinois.
NBC Universal Media
Whether you liked NBC’s Sound of Music Live! or hated it (and we won’t blame you if you did), it has to be said that the network has tapped into a whole new market on television. Live musicals on TV? You can bet anyone who loves musical theater and television are excited — or slightly wary given the number of poor reviews of Sound of Music Live!
But we’re wondering where NBC came up with the idea to broadcast a live musical to the world. Could they have been inspired by Team Starkid, the Chicago-based musical theater company? We think so.
Team Starkid became a viral hit in 2008 (a year before the company was founded) with A Very Potter Musical, a stage production based on the Harry Potter series that was uploaded to YouTube. Team Starkid went on to create two sequels to AVPM — A Very Potter Sequel and A Very Potter Senior Year — which were performed on stage, videotaped, and uploaded to the company’s YouTube Channel. The group also wrote and produced other musicals such as Starship, Holy Musical B@man!, and Twisted.
With each production, Team Starkid became more skilled at performing their work for both live and digital audiences. As a result, they’ve seen unrivaled success — Twisted currently has more than 300,000 views on YouTube, while AVPM has over ten million.
It seems safe to wonder if NBC noticed Team Starkid’s success and is looking to find similar results on television. Although they’re taking a different route by using classic musicals rather than originals works, there’s a definite similarity in the idea: both NBC and Team Starkid aim to make musical theater available to everyone.
Little House On The Prairie actor Richard Bull has died at the age of 89. He passed away on Monday morning (03Feb14) at the Motion Picture Television Fund community centre in California.
His TV daughter Alison Arngrim broke the news to fans online on Monday night (03Feb14) by sharing a black-and-white photo of Bull on her Twitter.com page alongside the simple message, "Goodnight Pa".
She added, "Today we lost my TV 'Pa', the wonderful Richard Bull. In real life, he was just as kind, intelligent, thoughtful and reasonable as you'd expect (his character) Nels Oleson to be."
Fellow co-star Melissa Gilbert also took to her Twitter blog to pay tribute, writing, "This man will be missed. Goodbye Richard working with you was such a joy but not nearly as joyful as being your friend."
Born in 1924, Bull began his acting career on stage in Chicago, Illinois, before establishing himself as a character actor on 1960s TV series such as The Eleventh Hour, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Mannix.
He will be best remembered for his role as shopkeeper Nels Oleson on Little House on the Prairie, based on the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, who was portrayed by child star Gilbert.
Bull later reunited with his Little House on the Prairie co-star Michael Landon in 1988's Highway to Heaven.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, actress Barbara Collentine.
Former Beatles bandmates Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have been added to the star-packed line-up for the Grammy Awards at the end of January (14). Grammy bosses have confirmed the two legends will perform at the ceremony, but have stopped short of commenting on rumours suggesting the two old pals will reunite onstage for a song on music's big night.
Officials are merely stating, "Each will perform".
But McCartney and Starr, who will make his performance debut at the Grammys, will hit the stage together to collect the 2014 Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award for their work with the Fab Four.
Meanwhile, 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year honouree Carole King and Sara Bareilles will team up for a performance, and nominees Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, John Legend, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Kacey Musgraves have confirmed spots.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who will also be making their debut at the Grammys, have seven nominations, including Album Of The Year and Best Rap Album for The Heist, and Song Of The Year for Same Love.
Kacey Musgraves and seven-time Grammy winner Taylor Swift are up for four awards each.
Previously announced performers include Daft Punk with Nile Rodgers, Pharrell Williams and Stevie Wonder; Kendrick Lamar; Lorde; Metallica and Lang Lang, Katy Perry and Robin Thicke and Chicago.
There will also be a "special performance" featuring country legends Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and nominee Blake Shelton.
The 56th annual Grammy Awards will take place on 26 January (14).
Jay Z has offered a 19-year-old fan a shot at stardom following the teenager's performance at a gig in Chicago, Illinois on Thursday night (09Jan14). Earlier this month (05Jan14), the 99 Problems hitmaker invited another 12 year old from the audience to join him onstage, but his latest raw recruit could find herself on her hero's label.
Aspiring rapper Monique Burrell held up a sign during Jay's Magna Carta Holy Grail concert that read, "I was 16 when I rapped on stage with you for BP3. I'm 19 and READY!"
Jay Z had previously invited the young MC to join him during his Blueprint 3 tour, and he decided to give her a second chance at stardom.
Instead of trying to imitate her idol, Burrell opted to impress him with an a capella freestyle, noting she was trying to score a record deal with Jay's Roc-a-Fella Records.
Jay praised Burrell's courage and said, "I would've done the same s**t," before giving her a hug and sending her off stage.
According to TMZ.com, the rapper's head of security asked for her information.
Metallica have signed up for a genre-busting collaboration at the 56th Grammy Awards later this month (Jan14) - the heavy rockers will hit the stage with Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang. The set will mark Metallica's first performance at the event since 1991, while Lang Lang, The Grammy Cultural Ambassador to China, last hit the stage at music's big night in 2008.
Also teaming up at the ceremony in Los Angeles on 26 January (14) will be Robin Thicke and classic rockers Chicago, Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers and Daft Punk, and Pink and Nate Ruess, while Katy Perry and Lorde have been added to the line-up of solo performers.
There will also be a "special performance" featuring country legends Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and 2014 Grammy nominee Blake Shelton.
LL Cool J will host the show from the Staples Center.
Hit musical The Lion King is continuing its reign over the Broadway box office after banking almost $97 million (£64.7 million) in ticket sales in 2013. The stage show, featuring the songs of Sir Elton John and Sir Tim Rice, has been a popular choice among theatregoers ever since it opened in New York in 1997, and 16 years later, it has been crowned the year's highest-grossing production on the Great White Way.
The Lion King, which recently became the first Broadway show to earn $1 billion, pulled in $2.8 million (£1.87 million) over nine performances in the week leading up to Sunday (29Dec13), setting a new record for the Minskoff Theatre, which has staged the show since 2006.
The Book of Mormon, created by South Park cartoonists Trey Parker and Matt Stone, finished the year in second place on the Broadway League group's new poll with $90.4 million (£60.3 million).
Other big hits on Broadway in the past 12 months include Kinky Boots, Chicago and Wicked, which became the first Broadway show ever to break the $3 million (£2 million) barrier in a single week by scoring $3.2 million (£2.13 million) at the box office last week (ends29Dec13).
Documentary on the history of Chicago theater. Combines archival footage of early stage productions with reminiscences from some of the city's most recognizable stars, local and national theater critics, playwrights, artistic directors and emerging young artists.