Gay Talese is renouncing the story told in his latest book, The Voyeur's Motel, after evidence surfaced that strongly undermines its primary source. In the book, Talese explores the account of Gerald Foos, a motel owner who allegedly spied on his guests, using an annex he built in the motel, from the late '60s to the early '90s. The book garnered a lot of early buzz, with Steven Spielberg snapping up the film rights and tapping Sam Mendes to direct the adaptation. The only problem: Foos did not own said motel from 1980 to 1988, when some events referenced in The Voyeur's Motel are said to have taken place. When The Washington Post presented Talese with this information, gleamed from property records, Talese promptly begged off some of the book's claims. He told the paper: "I should not have believed a word he said." The Voyeur's Motel is due out July 12, but, in light of the Post's findings, Talese said: "I’m not going to promote this book ... How dare I promote it when its credibility is down the toilet?"
Sure, in today’s media landscape the existence of the humble newspaper reporter might soon seem as mythical as the Easter Bunny, but no one dares ruin the gung-ho belief in print journalism of 9-year-old Hilde Kate Lysiak. Lysiak, who, with the help of her journalist dad Matthew Lysiak, runs her Pennsylvania town’s only local newspaper, the Orange Street News, has now been tapped by Scholastic to pen a four-book series.
In the past, the pint-sized sleuth has covered everything from fluff pieces catering to her readers (important ice cream news!) to hard-hitting investigations into nearby tornado damage and murder scenes (really) in her monthly newsletter and blog. While Lysiak's father is in charge of editing and typing the newsletter, Hilde takes to her bike to chase down leads — she even has DIY press credentials. The book series, Hilde Cracks the Case, will follow a kid detective and will likely take place in Hilde's real hometown of Selinsgrove, because there's no way a book publisher could come up with a small-townier small-town name than that.
If You Got Money, and You Know It, Head on Over to Your Local Book Retailer to Buy Lil Wayne’s Prison Memoir When It’s Released in OctoberBy Devon Ivie
The four-year wait to read Lil Wayne's prison memoir, Gone 'Til November, has finally come to an end. Back in 2012, it was announced that the memoir was going to be released (aptly) in November of that year, but it lingered in literary purgatory until this week, when yesterday the title began appearing on the websites of numerous book retailers. In a switch from Grand Central Publishing, Penguin is scheduled to release Wayne's tell-all on October 11; they're describing it as a "deeply personal and revealing account" of his eight-month stint on Rikers Island back in 2010. Cover art has yet to be revealed.
On WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show this week, Democratic Congressional hopeful Oliver Rosenberg threw out a timely historical reference during a debate with his opponent, incumbent Jerrold Nadler. "As Alexander Hamilton says, 'This is not a moment, this is the movement,'" Rosenberg quoted. "'Foes oppose us. We take an honest stand. We roll like Moses claiming our promised land.' Rise up, rise up and vote." As millions of fans undoubtedly know, though, that's not a quote from the real Alexander Hamilton; it's a passage from Hamilton's "My Shot." Was Rosenberg mistaken — or, even more fascinatingly, is the musical so popular that the name "Alexander Hamilton" now means the fictional rapping guy based on the founding father? Either way, Rosenberg lost, which will prevent from him using that famous George Washington quote, "I'll save children, but not the British children" at his inauguration.
The first half of 2016 has seen the release of many, many good new books, especially fiction, and especially fiction by young authors. The fall will offer new novels by many familiar authors — Colson Whitehead, Zadie Smith, Jonathan Lethem — but my hunch is that the year will be remembered for the emergence of a new generation and the last words of one great voice.
A look at Skin Wars, the Rebecca Romijn–hosted show where body-paint artists transform models into human optical illusions.
Produced by Kenny Wassus; written by Cait Munro
Like the brook trout standing in the amber current of the mountains, or the cold grey light that announces morning in the West, Cormac McCarthy is still alive. Thanks to a hoax tweet that was picked up by author Joyce Carol Oates and many media outlets, news of the acclaimed author's death spread like a brushfire through the eternal graveyard of the desert on social media Tuesday morning. However, McCarthy's publisher confirms the novelist is alive and well — or, as Cormac McCarthy might put it, not yet dead.
Salutations and Greetings to Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, Who Are Going to Star in Oh, Hello on BroadwayBy Devon Ivie
Please give a rousing hello to Oh, Hello. Comedians Nick Kroll and John Mulaney will be bringing their schmuck alter egos, Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland, to Broadway this fall with their part-scripted, part-spontaneous comedy production. Portraying "two old jerks from the Upper West Side" in what's defined as a “memoir for the stage," the duo had a brief off-Broadway run at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York last winter before embarking on a short U.S. tour, where they would memorably hold an eclectic press conference at the end of each performance in complete character. (Seriously, these guys really don't break character.)
Star Wars auteur George Lucas's dream of building an art museum in Chicago, like Alderaan, has been destroyed. Following months of debates and lawsuits brought on by Friends of the Parks, a small local preservation group, Lucas has been forced to move the museum's proposed lakefront location to California instead. The group argued that the land — which is currently a parking lot adjacent to Soldier Field — should only be used for parkland alongside Lake Michigan, and that the addition of the museum would permanently tarnish the lakefront. "No one benefits from continuing their seemingly unending litigation to protect a parking lot," Lucas said in a statement. "The actions initiated by Friends of Parks and their recent attempts to extract concessions from the city have effectively overridden approvals received from numerous democratically elected bodies of government."
On July 12, for one afternoon only, the cast of Hamilton will be performing exclusively for Hillary Clinton and her supporters. The Hillary Victory Fund has bought out the house for the Tuesday matinee, and if you thought a ticket to your average Hamilton performance was expensive, check out the price tags on these fundraiser seats. Tickets start at $2,700. A premium ticket, going for $10,000, includes a photo op with Clinton. The top-tier package, set at $100,000, includes two premium tickets, wrap party passes, and an invitation to the Democratic National Convention.
After this year's #OscarsSoWhite controversy, in which no actors of color were Oscar-nominated for their performances, it was thrilling to see a significantly more inclusive Tony Awards, in which 14 nominees were people of color. Broadway's favorite son, Lin-Manuel Miranda (whose notably diverse Hamilton picked up 16 nominations, and took home 11 awards), was wowed by this year's results, but isn't so sure we're due for a repeat anytime soon.
“I think our incredibly, amazingly diverse Tonys season that just ended was a fluke,” Miranda said, sitting down this week with the president of Rockefeller Foundation, Judith Rodin. “We lucked into one of the most extraordinarily diverse seasons we’ve ever seen in the history of Broadway, from Allegiance to Shuffle Along to the revival of The Color Purple to Hamilton. That was a very nice contrast that happened this year. That being said, next year could be a very different year, depending on what comes in.”
After making a bunch of people very rich and winning a whopping 11 Tony Awards, what comes next for Hamilton? This summer marks the end of act one for the smash Broadway hit: Unlike Alexander Hamilton himself, many of the people involved are going to take a break from the production now that their yearlong contracts are up. With the change in administration looming, we thought this would be a good time to check in on the future of Hamilton, from cast departures to filmed versions to non-Broadway productions. Take a look below to see what you missed.
With Lin-Manuel Miranda — along with Phillipa Soo and Leslie Odom Jr. — sadly leaving Hamilton following their July 9 performances, it was only a matter of time before Miranda announced who would be taking over his cheery emcee duties for the cult-favorite Ham4Ham preshows outside of the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Symbolically passing over the imaginary jeweled crown during today's Ham4Ham — captured for the first time in a 360-degree video — it was revealed that King George III himself, Rory O'Malley, would be assuming the throne, busting out a few lines of "Turn It Off" from The Book of Mormon as a pseudo-coronation. Aaron Tveit also joined in on the festivities, staging a quick rendition of "I'm Alive" from Next to Normal. (Miranda, meanwhile, contributed important tambourine duties.) You'll be back ... soon you'll see ... more enjoyable and free mid-afternoon entertainment.
Benjamin Shine morphs single pieces of tulle and ribbon into heads, hands, and shapes.
Produced by Kenny Wassus, written by Cait Munro.
Lin-Manuel Miranda Will Film Hamilton Before Leaving in July, With Jonathan Groff Set to Bring Back the King for Filmed ShowsBy Nate Jones and Karen Brill
The rumors were true: Lin-Manuel Miranda really is leaving Hamilton next month. The recent Tony winner's last performance in the role will be July 9; after that, he'll hand the part of the titular Founding Father to current understudy Javier Muñoz. Miranda's not the only original cast member to depart this summer — Tony nominee Phillippa Soo, who plays Hamilton's wife Elizabeth, is also leaving in July, as is Tony winner and Aaron Burr, sir, Leslie Odom Jr. With much of the original cast moving on, Hamilton will be filmed before the gang splits up for good. Miranda told Twitter that the footage will probably be kept hidden for a while, but will be released eventually. He has also said that he'll be back, periodically. As he told reporters at the Tonys, "I intend to drop in on this thing." In 20 years, he joked, "You’re going to be like, 'When will you stop playing it?'"
Update: You can't keep a good king down. Jonathan Groff, otherwise known as King George III the Second, will step back into the show for the two filmed performances. Miranda announced the news during a Periscope chat, saying: "I’m happy to report that Jonathan Groff — Groffsauce, you love him, I love him — moved around his TV production schedule, and we’re going to get him." The Tony nominee had permanently left the show in April to film David Fincher's Netflix drama Mindhunter, after taking a hiatus last October to film the Looking movie. The arrangement has the current King George, Rory O'Malley, sitting the filmed shows out, because it wouldn't be real royalty without a succession switcheroo.
Only now am I beginning to catch up with a number of late-season Off Broadway openings that got sucked into Broadway’s Tony-awards vortex. Even shows as self-consciously attention-seeking as Halley Feiffer’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City, produced by MCC Theater, failed to make much of an impression. Perhaps that’s not just the Tonys’ fault; the whole undertaking, like its ungainly title, seemed to work very hard at making something potentially tasty into something all but unswallowable. The sitcom setup is a good example. Don, a sad-sack tech billionaire, pays a visit to his dying mother in a semi-private room on the title ward. Behind the curtain in the other half of the room, Karla, an aspiring comedian, is visiting her mother, too, and passing the time as she sleeps by working on new material. “I’m in bed, dripping wet, waiting for my vibrator to come fuck me,” Karla ad libs. Don’s sad eyes pop wide. Uh-oh!
Following the announcements of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Phillipa Soo departing Hamilton, it's confirmed that Leslie Odom Jr. will be leaving the production on July 9 as well. Odom — who won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his stirring portrayal of Aaron Burr — announced the news during a Facebook Live broadcast earlier today. "I am indeed leaving on July 9," he said. "It has just been the most completely wonderful, totally healing and inspiring experience from beginning to end. I will never forget the people that I've met here. I will never forget all of you ... I can't wait to see all the guys that come after me and show me [more] about Burr." He has yet to announce his upcoming career plans.
In a new (very interesting) profile in the New York Times about Jeff Jampol, who runs a private company that specializes in managing the estates of deceased famous musicians, an enticing tidbit of information was revealed regarding the estate of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain. Jampol — whose other wide-ranging clients include Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Otis Redding, and the Doors — revealed that he has been working with Courtney Love and Frances Bean Cobain on a touring art exhibition that would exclusively feature the late singer's work.
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