Why Sony Took a Pricey Bet on Tarantino and ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’

Despite glowing reviews, A-list movie stars and a singular filmmaker who inspired an across-the-board studio bidding war, Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” still represented a massive creative risk for financier and distributor Sony Pictures. Now it seems a risk well taken, as the studio marks a career-best opening weekend for Tarantino, […]



Robbie Robertson Documentary ‘Once Were Brothers’ to Open Toronto Film Festival

“Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band” will rock the opening night of the Toronto International Film Festival. The documentary recounts the story of one of Canada’s musical legends — a man who served as both lead guitarist and primary songwriter on a group that introduced the likes of “The Weight” and “The Night […]



‘Cold Pursuit’ Director Defends Liam Neeson Once Again at Berlin Festival Press Conference

In Berlin to promote his latest film, Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland insisted that Liam Neeson is “not a racist” in response to the recent row around comments made by the star of his Lionsgate thriller “Cold Pursuit.” “He is a very honest, he is a very decent, grounded man,” Moland said at a press […]



Sean Bean Will Die Once More in Hitman 2

Actor Sean Bean will voice the character Mark Faba in Hitman 2’s first Elusive Target mission, Kill the Undying. That means Bean is portraying yet another character who is doomed to die, as has been the actor’s professional lot in life.

“It’s a talent of sorts, I suppose,” says Bean as Mark Faba in a tongue-in-cheek live-action video poking fun at Bean characters’ penchant for dying. “I never expected to be like this, but they keep trying to kill me, you know?

“I’ve cheated death countless times. I’m like a stage magician. I know all the tricks. They think they’re clever, but they’ve got nothing on me. I even managed to make them think I’d been blown up.”

Hitman’s Elusive Target mode was introduced in the last game, and gives players only one chance to assassinate an individual in the the limited-time mode – so it may be that Bean escapes at least a few times after all.

Continue reading…



GameStop, Inc.

Justin Bieber’s Manager Says He Once Feared Singer Would Die from ‘So Much Crap in His System’

Scooter Braun says that he once thought Justin Bieber would die in his sleep.

The music manager, 37, opened up about the “What Do You Mean?” singer’s dark past in a wide-ranging interview on Van Lathan’s The Red Pill podcast.

“I thought he was going to die,” Braun said candidly about Bieber, 24, in the discussion released Wednesday. “I thought he was going to go to sleep one night and have so much crap in his system that he would not wake up the next morning.”

Braun explained, “There was a time where I would go to sleep almost every night, when he had the money to fly away from me, and I was worried every night that I was going to lose him.”

RELATED: Ariana Grande Defends Her Quick Engagement — and Justin Bieber’s — as Fans Criticize Their Shared Manager

Braun said he tried to save Bieber by keeping him from his music. “That was the time where I was telling him he’s not allowed to work,” Braun recalled. “And he used to yell and scream at me. He wanted to put music out, he wanted to tour, but I thought if he did that, he would die. So I just refused. We weren’t making any money … I didn’t want him to work because I wanted him to get healthy.”

Braun says that Bieber, who is engaged to Hailey Baldwin, is now in a much healthier place, all thanks to Bieber’s own determination. “I think that he made a conscious choice for himself to change,” Braun shared. “It wasn’t until one day he woke up and said, ‘Hey, I need to talk to you. I don’t want to be this person anymore.’ He made the decision to change and actually put that into action. The result is who he’s become today.”

RELATED VIDEO: Hailey Baldwin Cuddles Up to ‘Absolute Best Friend’ Justin Bieber & Shows Off Ring in New Photo

In March 2013, after a week in which Bieber was treated for shortness of breath mid-show and lunged at a photographer, a source told PEOPLE, “He’s wildin’ out. On a scale of hot sauce, he’s a mild, but his money is so hot, it can get him anything.”

The next month, police raided Bieber’s tour bus in Sweden and confiscated drugs.

Then, in January 2014, Bieber’s home was raided by police after he allegedly threw eggs at a neighbor’s house.

Weeks later, he was arrested in Miami for DUI. “Mr. Bieber made a statement that he had consumed some alcohol, and that he had been smoking marijuana and had consumed some prescription medication,” a Miami Beach Police spokesperson said at the time.

“The people close to him try, but he’s a mess,” an industry source told PEOPLE in 2014. “He acts as though he’s never heard the word ‘no’ and he thinks he’s God.”

RELATED: Justin Bieber’s Manager Scooter Braun Shows Off the Home Ellen DeGeneres Convinced Him to Buy

Speaking on Lathan’s The Red Pill podcast, Braun reflected on the scrutiny Bieber’s behavior received. “I think Justin is an extraordinary young man who has been given an extraordinary life, and because of that he cannot complain that he’s held to extraordinary standards,” Braun said. “He used to complain, he used to fight it, and that’s kind of what got him into a dark place.”

Braun continued, “But when he accepted his responsibility and took a hard look at himself and not what everyone else was doing, that’s when he owned it, and he got healthy, and he got better, and he made the choice to change.”


Fashion Deals Update:

Ray-Ban Once Again Taps Steven Klein for Ad Campaign

Luxottica’s Ray-Ban has tapped Steven Klein to lense their spring ad campaign.
The 2018 campaign, shot on location in Marfa, Tex., is made up of four images, each embodying a different Ray-Ban style and is a continuation of the 2017 campaign, also shot by Klein.
While the 2017 campaign’s inspiration was about people leaving their life behind, “the new campaign is about freedom and letting go,” Klein explained. “Living in turbulent times, one of the things that evokes that for many people is a road trip. This campaign represents that no matter what hardships come your way, you can be an individual, go on your own path and experience fun, optimism, creativity, love…everybody’s looking for their own personal freedom.”
The new assortment consists of three sun options — the marshal, wayfarer blaze and aviator evolve — as well as one optical option — the hexagonal. Each gets their own narrative under Klein’s direction, “a musician and an artist; a young female film director; a social activist, and a young Jack Kerouac.”
The updated range is available on ray-ban.com and retails from $ 163 to $ 188. The campaign launches today first on ray-ban.com and then on the brand’s social channels.

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Read More…
Milanoo.com Ltd

Once Upon a Time Is Teaming Up Cinderella & Princess Tiana in This Totally Epic Sneak Peek

Once Upon a Time Season 7, Dania Ramirez, Mekia CoxWhen Cinderella met Tiana…
They may have crossed paths momentarily in the Once Upon a Time season seven premiere, but in the next new episode (airing Friday, Oct. 20) of the ABC fantasy…

E! Online (US) – Top Stories

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Vanessa Williams Says Jean Claude Van Damme Once Said Her Eyes ‘Look Like Lasers’ (But She Took It as a Compliment!)

It goes without saying that at 54 years old, Vanessa Williams is a true American beauty. But when looking at the former Miss America, it’s hard to miss one feature: her striking bold blue eyes. And we’re not alone on that one. Apparently, Williams says she’s gotten some pretty interesting compliments about her big blues over the years.

“When I was performing at the casino in Monte Carlo and Jean Claude Van Damme came up to me after the show and said ‘Your eyes look like lasers!’ the Clear Eyes spokeswoman tells PeopleStyle. “That was a big compliment because it was unexpected and very comedic.” So it’s a fitting match to see Williams continuing her relationship with Clear Eyes by starring in the brand’s television spot called My Shining Moment, which celebrates the positive moments in people’s lives.

“I love the new catchphrase ‘Your shining moment,’ because those are the things as a parent you try to instill in your kids — to know that life is precious and there are rough times, but there are some shining moments you need to celebrate,” Williams said.

RELATED PHOTOS: 3 Fresh Ways to Wear a Denim Mini Skirt

It goes without saying the star’s had her fair share of shining moments throughout her life in the spotlight, whether it be tying the knot to her husband John Skrip or judging the Miss America competition 32 years after she originally took the crown. But Williams’ standout shining moment happened at the start of her career.

“I grew up outside N.Y.C. and always went to Broadway shows. To see my name in lights at my opening night on Broadway and to see my parents and family and all the people I had gone to school with see me star in a Broadway show back in 1994, I would probably have to say that was a collective win for us all,” the actress told us.

Because of her combined singing and acting careers, Williams has been a red-carpet regular for years. But she says walking the carpet today is a completely different experience than when she started. “It has gotten more massive as years have gone on. The initial red carpet was entering an event and saying hi and moving on,” Williams said. “Now it is a complete photoshoot — the red carpet is work! It’s another event unto itself before even getting to the main event.”

FROM COINAGE: The Crazy Cost of a Lifetime of Beauty

But when Williams admits the greatest joy — besides all the glitz and glam of fame — is connecting with fans.

“I feel most like myself when I’m making a connection with someone and I see the light in their eyes,” she told us. “My favorite part about singing in front of an audience is seeing them sing along — they know every word and you can see tears in their eyes.”

What is your shining moment? Tell us yours in the comments below. 


Fashion Deals Update:

I Caught My Fiancé Cheating With an Escort. Now We Have Threesomes Once a Month.

“It makes me excited to see him with someone else.”

Lifestyle – Esquire


These #DadQuotes Once Again Prove Dad Is The Funniest

You no longer ever need a stud finder. Check out these dad quotes and you’ll find all the studs you want.

With Father’s Day coming up, Jimmy Fallon made this week’s hashtag #DadQuotes, and the dad jokes came pouring in. From practicing “safe sax” to the real reason grandpa doesn’t stop at stop signs, the dads explained it all.

Here are just a few of Fallon’s favorites:

”The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC.

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Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Cary Grant Was Once One of LSD’s Biggest Fans

He reportedly dropped acid 100 times.

Lifestyle – Esquire


Chris Pine Tries To Settle ‘Hollywood Chris’ Debate Once And For All

Unless you’re a really dedicated fan of the Chrises in Hollywood, you have to admit it’s hard to keep them all straight. 

There’s Captain America, Chris Evans; Thor, Chris Hemsworth; Star-Lord, Chris Pratt; and Captain Kirk/Steve Trevor, Chris Pine

Got that? No? OK. Well, let Chris Pine help you out. 

During his opening monologue on “Saturday Night Live” this weekend, Pine performed a musical number set to Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” in hopes of helping viewers finally figure out which superhero Chris he is.

Pine sang, “I’m not that Chris / I look just like him, but I’m not that Chris / Not Pratt or Hemsworth / I’m a different guy / Not Evans either / I’m my own cool vibe.” (Nope, he’s not Ryan Reynolds, either.) 

Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon made cameos in the bit to keep the joke going before Pine finally belted out, “I’mmmmmmm Chris Pine!” 

Watch the full segment above.

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Emma Thompson Says Donald Trump Once Asked Her Out (Watch)

“You could be the first lady,” host Fredrik Skavlan joked with Emma Thompson after she recounted the time that now-President Donald Trump hit on her. “He asked me out once,” Thompson said abruptly while appearing on a talk show. “You want to hear?” she asked the stunned host. “This wasn’t in the pre-interview plan,” she… Read more »



Once Called ‘Blubber,’ Kate Winslet Shares Anti-Bullying Advice With Kids

Recalling a lifetime of bullying, Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet shared some words of empowerment to an audience of children at a charity event this week. Speaking in London Wednesday, the seven-time Academy Award nominee talked about overcoming comments about her body ― in school and in Hollywood. 

“They called me ‘Blubber.’ Teased me for wanting to act. Locked me in the cupboard. Laughed at me,” she said about her school days, per the Evening Standard.

At the event organized by WE, a youth empowerment organization, Winslet recalled career advice suggesting she “might be lucky” in acting if she “was happy to settle for the fat girl parts.”

“I didn’t look right, and all because I didn’t fit into someone else’s idea of ‘perfect.’ I didn’t have the ‘perfect’ body. And I would rarely hear anything positive,” she continued. Winslet explained how she sustained herself through her determination to act professionally and encouraged young people to pursue their own dreams, even in the face of discouragement.

This isn’t the first time the British actress has discussed comments she’s gotten about her weight. She revealed back in 1998 the nickname used by school bullies, along with “Titanic” director James Cameron’s own, horrible nickname ― “Kate Weighs-a-lot” ― while discussing her body image with Rolling Stone

“My uncle is a chef. My mother is a fantastic cook. Kind of unavoidable. I sensibly lost the weight doing Weight Watchers. End of story,” she told the outlet.

At the London event, Winslet recalled how she chose to ignore negative feedback and, instead, become a hard worker, auditioning for school plays and accepting roles as a scarecrow or “a dancing frog,” because they gave her a chance to learn and grow, E! News reports.

“And then one day,” she continued, “I was cast as Rose in ‘Titanic.’ The most unlikely candidate, Kate from the sandwich shop in Reading, suddenly acting in one of the biggest movies ever made!”

Since that 1997 blockbuster raised her to superstardom, Winslet has used her platform to promote more honest images of beauty. Upon signing an endorsement deal with L’Oreal, she made sure the company wouldn’t retouch her photos to conform with “someone else’s idea of ‘perfect,’” as she said this week.

“You have to be indestructible to do what you love, and believe that you are worth it,” she told the crowd. “And sometimes that’s the hardest part.”

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Ashley Madison - Have an affair. Married Dating, Affairs, Married Women, Extramarital Affair

Listen Up, Regina! This Once Upon a Time Sneak Peek Proves That Robin of Locksley Is Not to Be Trusted

Once Upon a Time, Sean MaguireRobin of Locksley, you’ve got some explaining to do.
In what’s becoming one of the greatest “be careful what you wish for” parables in Once Upon a Time’s history,…

E! Online (US) – Top Stories

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Matthew Perry Once Beat Up Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

He certainly wasn’t there for Justin Trudeau.

Actor Matthew Perry awkwardly revealed Wednesday how he once beat Trudeau up years before he became Canada’s prime minister.

The “Friends” star told Jimmy Kimmel he was around 12 years old when he and a friend rounded on Trudeau, who was a couple of years younger than them and attended the same school in Canada.

“I think he was excelling at a sport that we weren’t as good at,” Perry said. “It was pure jealousy.”

Although Trudeau’s father, Pierre Trudeau, was Canada’s prime minister at the time, Perry said he didn’t think that was the reason why they beat him up. 

I’m not bragging about this. This was terrible,” Perry said. “I was a stupid kid.”

Check out the full segment above.

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Comedy – The Huffington Post
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James Corden Reveals He Once Spanked Donald Trump’s Ass

James Corden says he once gave President Donald Trump a bit of a spanking. Literally.

On Tuesday, the “Late Late Show” host recounted to his guests Kerry Washington and Alec Baldwin how he smacked the current president’s derrière during a play he was performing in New York City in 2012.

“There used to be a part of the play and I’d bring someone up on stage, and I brought him up to move some set,” Corden told the actors. “I was spanking his ass, he bent over, I was spanking him.”

Corden also revealed that following Trump’s impromptu performance, the-then reality TV personality walked off into the wings and greeted everyone with handshakes.

The display was enough for Corden’s stage manager to suggest that Trump “thought he was the president of the United States.”

Corden’s revelation prompted Baldwin, who’s portrayed Trump on “Saturday Night Live” to great effect in recent months, to reveal he thought the president would loosen up a little following his election win.

“He used to be very playful and funny. I don’t know what’s with him now,” Baldwin said.

“When he won, I thought he’d relax and be more generous and it seems like he won but he acts like he lost. He’s very bitter now.” 

While Corden did not name the play he was starring in when he spanked Trump, it was likely to be the Broadway hit “One Man, Two Guvnors” in which he starred in 2012 and for which he won a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play.

Check out the full clip above.

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Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Is Slaying the Savior on Once Upon a Time Going to Become a Family Affair for Gideon & Gold? This Sneak Peek Has Us Worried

Giles Matthey, Once Upon a Time“If you can’t hit me, how do you expect to kill the Savior?”
If Emma can find a way to get Regina and herself back from the Wish Land when Once Upon a Time finally returns…

E! Online (US) – Top Stories

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How Much Better Would LeBron James Be If He Slept Once in Awhile?

The NBA’s grueling schedule probably won’t let us find out.

Lifestyle – Esquire


Venice Film Festival Once Again Proves to Be an Oscar Launch Pad

ROME – The Venice Film Festival, after launching multiple-Oscar-winning movies three years in a row, now has a strong chance to make it four. Newly announced Best Picture nominees “La La Land,” “Arrival,” and “Hacksaw Ridge” all launched from the Lido last year. With a total of 33 Oscar nods for six movies that world-premiered… Read more »



J.K. Simmons Once Sang Telegrams In A Tutu

It was his “main source of both income and embarrassment.”

J.K. Simmons revealed Friday how he once worked as a tutu-gram to make ends meet.

On “The Tonight Show,” the actor told host Jimmy Fallon how he’d turn up to parties in Seattle holding balloons and wearing an opera mask before belting out the relevant message in falsetto. 

It was dudes with beards and otherwise sort of mountainly-looking dudes with, you know, tutus,” he told Fallon, who to the “Whiplash” star’s surprise then produced an old photograph of him wearing the costume to prove it.

Check out the full segment above.

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Once Upon a Touch.

Once Upon a Touch.

A fun and creative way to increase general well-being, improve concentration and self-awareness, and encourage relaxation in children aged 3-11, this book offers a hands-on guide to story massage. Central to the book are step-by-step, illustrated instructions for ten easy-to-learn basic strokes which are given through clothes on the back, head, shoulders and arms. These basic strokes have then been used to create over 25 story massages which vary in length and complexity. The stories range from traditional tales such as ‘Humpty Dumpty’ to hands-on learning stories such as ‘Deep in the Rainforest.’ The massages can be carried out by adults in one-to-one or group sessions, or taught to children to practice on each other. An enjoyable and interactive way of sharing the benefits and safe and appropriate use of positive touch with all children, this book will be of interest to parents and carers, bodyworkers, teachers and other school staff, care workers and arts therapists.

Price: $
Sold by Kobo UK

Burn-Master Michael Jordan Once Told a Teammate He Didn’t Deserve to Wear Jordans

“My sneaker’s for All-Stars.”

Style – Esquire


If Dating One Person Isn’t Working Out, Try Dating Six People at Once

That’s what romantically dissatisfied people are doing nowadays, according to a new study.

Lifestyle – Esquire


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Married Once (or Twice) And For All

I was up in the air when the decision came down.

As soon as my plane landed, my seatmate pulled out her phone (I couldn’t bear to look) and her screen lit up with the news: The Supreme Court of the United States had ruled in favor of marriage equality. Love had conquered all!

I grinned. I wept. I pulled out my phone and texted my beloved. “Will you marry me (again)?”

“Sure!” she replied.

As I scurried through the airport to catch my next flight, I couldn’t stop crying. Twenty-six years ago, when my beloved and I married each other for the first time, we never dreamed this day would come. It was September 10, 1989. Two lesbians in love couldn’t legally marry anywhere. But that didn’t stop us from vowing to have and to hold ’till death do us part. Dressed in our finest, we stood under the chuppah, exchanged gold wedding bands, said “I do,” and kissed the brides.


Our ceremony certainly looked like a wedding. It sounded like a wedding. It felt like a wedding. And it was… and wasn’t. We called it a “commitzvah.” Our union was not recognized by our home state of Massachusetts or the Federal Government. In the eyes of the law, we were still unmarried women.

But despite having to check “single” on our tax returns and lie when one of us was in the hospital (“she’s my sister”), we knew who we were: a married couple deserving legal rights.

Then came May 17, 2004, the day Massachusetts recognized our right to marry. My beloved and I stood outside Northampton’s City Hall and watched hundreds of couples enter and emerge proudly waving their marriage licenses. Bakers handed out slices of wedding cake. Supporters waved signs that read, “Equally ever after.” Newscasters wiped tears from their eyes. My beloved, a diehard romantic, convinced me to wait until September 10 — our 16th anniversary, to re-tie the knot. Wearing the same outfits, we stood in our backyard, recited our vows, re-exchanged our rings and wept as our officiate said the words we never thought we’d hear: “By the power vested in me by the state of Massachusetts, I now pronounce you legally married.”

Once more we were married… and we weren’t. We were legally married at home in Massachusetts, but not when we visited my parents in New York. Or vacationed in Maine. I was, in effect, my beloved’s “unlawfully wedded wife.”

Which brings us to June 26, 2015. Time to take our wedding outfits out of the closet again. My beloved and I know we don’t have to get married again. We want to get married again. Why not seize this moment of joy?

The problem was, I was heading for the west coast and my beloved was keeping the home fires burning. Ah, well. If I couldn’t be home with her, San Francisco was the next best place to be.

And talk about perfect timing: It was Pride weekend and I was in town to promote the new twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Heather Has Two Mommies at the American Library Association Convention.

After signing countless copies of my book, I headed over to Market Street to watch the Pride Parade. And as I stood there, my eyes misted over as I thought about all the ways the world has changed.

In 1983, I attended my first Gay Pride March, which is what we called it back then. We strode up Northampton’s Main Street singing, “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Homophobia’s got to go!” We yelled, “What do we want? Gay rights! When do we want them? NOW!” We chanted, “Two, four, six, eight. How do you know your wife is straight?”

I remember marching beside a teacher who wore a paper bag over her head for fear of losing her job. We passed a minister standing next to a wooden coffin he had dragged onto the sidewalk, yelling that we were all going to hell. We turned in unison, pointed our fingers, and shouted, “Shame! Shame! Shame!” The minister was not deterred. He shouted louder. And no one came to our defense. No businesses, schools or religious groups marched with us. We were out there by ourselves. Volunteer peacekeepers warned us not to walk home alone.

What a difference three decades make! As I watched the San Francisco Pride Parade stream up Market Street and cheered for the Gay Straight Alliances, the Apple employees, the poodles in purple tutus, the PFLAG contingent, the churches, synagogues and politicians, I broke down completely. Even though I couldn’t imagine the outcome of Obergefell v. Hodges turning out any differently, I hadn’t realized that for weeks, I’d been holding my breath. And I couldn’t predict how exhilarating it would feel to no longer be seen as a second class citizen. To see thousands of people taking to the streets with joy. To know that today’s LGBT youth live in a new world. To have fought so hard. To have won.


I used up many boxes of tissues during my week’s stay in San Francisco. I cried every time a librarian thanked me for writing Heather Has Two Mommies and every time an LGBT children’s book author acknowledged me for paving the way. I cried when I visited the James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center at the San Francisco Public Library and gazed at the photo display of LGBT teens all dressed up for their high school proms. I cried when I visited the Human Rights Campaign Activity Center, which occupies the same storefront on Castro Street that had once housed Harvey Milk’s camera shop. I cried as I followed the Rainbow Honor Walk through the Castro, especially when I came upon the sidewalk square honoring Allen Ginsberg, my dearly departed mentor, who would have been so delighted to see this day.


And of course I wept tears of joy when I spotted my beloved at the airport striding towards me with open arms to welcome me home.

Also on HuffPost:

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Afloat Once More on San Francisco Opera’s Show Boat…and in Its Wake, ‘Sweeney Todd’

I just had one of the best opera experiences of my life, attending San Francisco Opera’s terrific production of The Trojans, with its gorgeous music by Hector Berlioz, monumental sets and some of the best singers performing today. (While the run for both The Trojans and Two Women has ended, this summer’s third production, The Marriage of Figaro, has one last performance on Sunday afternoon.) It made my summer, but more on all that soon.

Last summer, the opera-going highlight for me was something entirely different: Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein‘s Show Boat. That production was filmed and is now available on Blu-ray and DVD, so you have a chance to see and enjoy what I did.

Some regular opera goers, of course, were disappointed to find this musical on the short summer lineup. I certainly understand the lack of appeal of many typical Broadway musicals, with their often generic, bombastic, less than nuanced, over-miked voices. But as SFO’s delightful Porgy and Bess, which I saw in 2009, and Show Boat prove, a well-done production, with vibrant sets and costumes, good dancing, engaging acting, a top-tier orchestra (guest conductor John DeMain led the San Francisco Opera Orchestra for both Porgy and Bess and Show Boat), and singers with fine operatic voices, can be absolutely exhilarating. Think of Ezio Pinza on the cast album of South Pacific. Some enchanted evening, indeed!

Thus: Show Boat. Soprano Heidi Stober, who played Magnolia, daughter of the riverboat’s Cap’n Andy, had performed here not long before in The Magic Flute and Falstaff. Star soprano Patricia Racette sang Julie, the showboat’s leading lady, who passes for white until her mixed parentage is revealed, in the same SFO summer season in which she was Madama Butterfly. Bass Morris Robinson offered a show-stopping “Ol’ Man River,” and personally, I can’t wait to see baritone Michael Todd Simpson, who made his local debut as Gaylord Ravenal, the charming gambler who marries Magnolia, again.

A cool thing about this production, though, is that Broadway actors were cast as well. Who wouldn’t want to see the great physical actor Bill Irwin as Cap’n Andy? His hilarious one-man depiction of a fistfight is a showstopper in itself. (Speaking of versatility, Irwin won a Tony in 2005 for playing George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf!). The Broadway vets include Kirsten Wyatt (the lead in Sweet Charity, Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls), John Bolton (Spamalot, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, TV’s Gossip Girls), and Harriet Harris (On the Town, Tony winner for Thoroughly Modern Millie, the indelible Bebe Glazer on TV’s Frasier). James Asher, in a small role as the manager of the seedy Chicago cabaret in which Magnolia finds work after the dead-broke Ravenal leaves her, has acted in plays such as Love’s Labour’s Lost and The Laramie Project.

That’s a lot of names and credits. My point is that the variety of actors and voices and styles adds another level of interest and enjoyment to this show. Which must lead to a shout-out for Tod Nixon, Show Boat‘s sound designer. Unlike musical theater performers, opera singers don’t use mikes; Nixon came up with a way of placing area microphones so that the sound was consistent and clear, without that somewhat tinny, vibrating quality that microphones bring.

Premiering in 1927, Show Boat is considered the first great American musical. In 1982, Houston Grand Opera, then led by San Francisco Opera general director David Gockley, with John DeMain as its music director and principal conductor, created an “historic” production that restored much of Kern and Hammerstein’s original score and dialogue. We saw this production of Show Boat thanks to Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Washington National Opera, as well as SFO.

In his program notes, Gockley reminded us that Show Boat is “steeped in the musical language and plot issues of our native culture” and said that it could open the door at SFO to “operatic musicals” such as Carousel and Sweeney Todd. It did! Gockley’s final season with San Francisco’s great opera company opens in September with Verdi’s Luisa Miller, followed immediately by Stephen Sondheim’s delicious Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Yay!

July 5, The Marriage of Figaro; September 11, Luisa Miller opening night; September 12, Sweeney Todd opening night, War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave., S.F., 415.861.4008, sfopera.com.

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Once Bitten, Twice Shy

Once Bitten, Twice Shy

I used to think that my life was boring. I resigned myself to the rut I was stuck in. Then my entire existence was turned upside down. In the last six months, I’ve learned things that would get me committed to an asylum if I repeated them. First, I was kidnapped by vampires. Yes, vampires. Sounds crazy, right? My best friend, Donna, became one of the fanged after that little adventure and hooked up with a hot, Scottish vampire named Conner. They’re even planning a wedding. Secondly, I learned not all vampires are evil. In fact, some of them are downright sexy. Alexander Dimitriades has it all. He’s tall, dark, and handsome and manages to give me tingles in all the right place and also make me laugh. Unfortunately, to be with him, I would have to give up my humanity and I like being human. Then, there’s the fact that the whole drinking blood thing gives me the heebie jeebies. To make matters worse, there are plans in motion to change the place vampires hold in the human world. And I’m caught in the middle, between the vampire I’m falling in love with and a group that wants to create a vampire dictatorship, with humans as slaves. Now, all I want is my calm, normal life back. As my friend, Ricki, likes to say, “Be careful what you wish for because it might come and bite you on the ass.” I hate it when she’s right. *This work contains BDSM elements/themes, spanking, bondage, anal play, and a bossy, persistent Greek vampire.

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Once Upon a Time – In Africa

Once Upon a Time – In Africa

I opened Donna’s journal that had lain on a shelf, unopened, for over 43 years. I was immediately transported back to 1967 the year I met the young nursing student who would within six months become my wife and with whom I would spend the next two years in Tanzania, East Africa as CUSO (Canadian University Services Overseas) volunteers; our two-year honeymoon. With little experience in love and marriage and even less experience in our chosen professions, we ventured out with a guitar, an accordion, our newly minted college certificates (architecture technology and nursing) and a whole lot of energy ready to see and experience the world. Living first in a mud hut, then for a couple of weeks in a down-at-the heels brothel, and finally in a flat owned and furnished by Public Works, I recall the travails of learning to prepare meals with one pot, keeping dry goods free from weevils, creating a Christmas tree out of a cactus with disastrous results for the cactus creating a home that soon became known as a stop-off point for volunteers, missionaries and travellers of all backgrounds, facing the reality that I had to change some of my personal habits if I wanted to keep the love I had just found, and of interacting with the local police and learning very quickly what it means to be a minority. Much of the story focuses on the daily challenges and small victories that each of us enjoyed working with situations totally outside anything we had experienced to date. With the purchase of an undependable piki-piki (motorcycle), overcrowded slow and decrepit local buses, and thumbs made for hitchhiking, the reefs, beaches, national parks, mountains and plains all offered adventure and undreamt of beauty. The story describes in detail our participation in a hunting safari that would be impossible to do today, and, of course, no stay in Tanzania would be complete without a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro. The final chapters of the book highlight reflections that we now see t.

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This Is What It Looks Like To Get Dumped By Two Girlfriends At Once

Steve Frazer, we’ve got some bad news for you:

Man dumped by 'both his girlfriends'.

If you’ve ever needed proof that having two lovers is way more trouble than it’s worth, there you have it.

h/t Reddit

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Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Cabaret: Everybody Loves A Winner Once

I read Michael Riedel’s column in last Friday’s New York Post with the kind of dumbfounded look I have on my face when I see really bad theater that somehow made it to Broadway. I thought: “Could anyone possibly think Cabaret should be eligible for a Tony Award for Best Revival? Could anyone think Michelle Williams would be ineligible?”

As I have written many times, the Tony Awards Administration Committee does what it wants. The rules it is tasked with interpreting are often unclear. In fact, I looked and could not find in the rules language that would explicitly deny Cabaret eligibility. However it seems ridiculous to me that it would be considered. This is a carbon copy production. Roundabout even announced it as such. As per the Roundabout website: “One of Broadway’s greatest productions returns! Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife,” Roundabout’s The Threepenny Opera) reprises his Tony®-winning performance in Sam Mendes (Skyfall, American Beauty) and Rob Marshall’s (Nine and Chicago, the films) Tony-winning production of Cabaret.” That’s right, this production already has its Tony. It should not be able to receive another one.

There is sadly precedent for it being eligible. Some of which is from long ago, some of which from not so long ago. The 1976 and 1981 revivals of My Fair Lady come to mind–both nominated for Best Revival (or whatever it was called during those times). The last Les Miserables revival was essentially a remount of the original production, yet it scored a Best Revival nomination anyway. And this issue has actually come up with regards to Cabaret before–the nominated 1987 revival was mostly faithful to the original production (including having the same Master of Ceremonies, which probably sounds familiar by now), but at least it had slight design team differences. Here, according to Roundabout itself, the company is simply bringing back its Tony winner.

What are the Tonys here for if not to honor theatrical creativity? What creativity is there in remounting a production at its original home? A play or musical is not eligible for the Best Play or Musical award if it substantially duplicates a previously presented play or musical. Why is a revival that exactly duplicates a revival capable of being nominated? (The “substantial duplication” language was created to keep producers from claiming barely revised work was “new.” It says that a play or musical can be eligible if it contains “substantially duplicate elements of productions” but only if “the duplicated and the original elements, in their totality, create a new play or musical.” While it was not created for this purpose, I believe its logic holds here. This is not a new revival.)

However, whatever the Administration Committee decides to do with Cabaret as a production, Williams and other new cast members will likely be eligible. “Regardless of whether a production of a play or musical is eligible for a Best Revival category, the elements of the production shall be eligible in those categories in which said elements do not, in the judgment of the Tony Awards Administration Committee, substantially duplicate any prior presentation of the play or musical…” So says the Tony rules. This wording has allowed many actors to be eligible in the past, including Christina Ricci for Time Stands Still and the actors from the return engagement of White Christmas. There has been no change in the language of the rule in recent years. Excluding Williams and her costars (with the exception of Cumming) from the nominations would be an unnecessary slight.

And so it goes every year – there is a fuzzy grey area and the Tony Administration Committee steps in. Last year they broke with tradition and went out on their own a little bit, defying some producers. I hope that continues with regards to Cabaret. A facsimile should not be treated as an award-worthy new entry in the theatrical landscape.
Arts – The Huffington Post
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Once Upon a Time in Golden Glen

Once Upon a Time in Golden Glen

Imagine a village in a beautiful, densely forested valley with hills and meadows as well as rivers and streams. The village fronts on an ocean to the west. Here, no one ages, illnesses and injuries heal in seconds. Work is rewarded with free housing, free meals, and beautiful clothing one can pick off a shelf and take home. Useful articles and deliciously prepared restaurant meals are . No money exists. Creative solutions are encouraged and sought after and shared. Love and glory are the parts of life that cause competition. Here, people can be true to themselves without suffering condemnation. People work to serve others. Government is committed to serving the needs of the people. There are no cars, no heavy machinery. Glenners travel long distances on the backs of horses or Maximum Monarchs, twenty-five foot tall monarch butterflies rigged with seating for human beings. King SkyGolden, a half elf, can transform himself into the flying horse named Trumpet. His wife, Rubikan, can do likewise. Golden Glen, a little piece of paradise! Or is it? This is a land where elves once ruled, where their descendants still possess magic. Eagles grow ten foot wingspans. They have teeth reminiscent of fossilized birds. Living in the Pariah Forest are strange creatures created by Kelpie eugenics. Terror Trees and Octopoda Grasses, bees as large as basketballs, a Royal Lamia, the owl that can change to many things, one a half snake, half woman. In addition, the Kelpie queen keeps an obedient pet, a beautiful Lepainea, created by genes from a leopard mixed with those of a hyena. The Kelpie are astonishingly beautiful women and they use magic to destroy men. They behave in vicious and murderous ways, transforming into flying horses. By using their beauty, the magic, and indulging in shocking sexual practices, the women are able to control men and destroy them. Ultimately, it is the intention of the Kelpie to conquer Golden Glen and turn it into Glendura, a place where th

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