Turns out, the "updated" production of Broadway's Hedwig and the Angry Inch was not just updated by casting Neil Patrick Harris as Hedwig, but the entire show had to be given a slight time shift. In fact, the very premise of the musical takes place on the set of another play — for this production, it's a modern-day-inspired Hurt Locker: The Musical, which closed after just one performance. To further drive that point home, the Belasco Theatre is covered in fake Playbills for the failed musical. For theater buffs, inside the Playbills are a ton of hilarious Easter eggs.
For years and years, we Parks and Recs fans lived in fear that our beloved show would be unjustly canceled. It's always been delightful and hilarious, but the little comedy that could has never been a particular ratings success. Many season finales were written to also serve as series finales if need be — even Ben and Leslie's wedding was, at one point, a contender for the final episode. (That season, NBC asked for extra episodes. Go figure.) But now that the show's sixth season is drawing to a close, I'm struck by a feeling I didn't expect to have: I want next season of Parks and Recreation to be its last.
Here is your Jem, world! Nashville's Aubrey Peeples will play the truly outrageous rock star in the upcoming live-action movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter, with Disney star Stefanie Scott as Kimber, relative newcomer Aurora Perrineau as Shana, and The Fosters' Jayley Kiyoko as Aja. The movie is apparently already filming, though there's no new information on who's playing Jem/Jerrica's boyfriend Rio, or, even more important, who's playing the villainous Pizzazz. On Nashville, Peeples plays a media-savvy reality-TV runner-up who doesn't know that her fiancé is gay, and she certainly sings country music just fine. But can she rock Jem's signature synth-pop style? Help her, Synergy.
Daniel Radcliffe has a test he applies to post-Potter career decisions these days: As he told Vulture this week, after the opening of his new Broadway play The Cripple of Inishmaan, he often asks himself, "What would Fassbender do?" Laughed Radcliffe, "I should just get a little bracelet made with that on it. Michael Fassbender is one of a group of actors that I really, really admire, and I think everything he does in his career is brilliant."
A Barbie film franchise this way comes: Sony Pictures and Mattel announced yesterday that they will develop a live-action Barbie movie franchise.
There are elements that the Impending Barbie Movie will inevitably include: the color pink, dream houses, a hot convertible, and a vertiginous number of outfit changes.
Then there are things the Impending Barbie Movie could include, such as a bent toward campiness and a fantastic cast. Here are our Barbie Dream Cast choices for the main girl, her family, friends, and one true Ken.
Which one will you fall in love with tonight?
This is the question with which Ryan Seacrest opens Tuesday's American Idol, and not even he can hide the desperation within it. Four months and countless hours in, onto which of these six blank slates will you project some meaning? Will it be Caleb, “The Hard Rocker”? CJ, “The Roots Rocker”? Jessica “The Rebel”? Sam “The Heartthrob”? Alex “The Troubadour”? Or Jena “The Wildcard”? (Also, how much work did they put into these descriptors? Is Jessica a rebel because she has pink in her hair, or because she stubbornly refuses to look like she’s enjoying herself? Is Jena a wildcard because she got in as a wildcard, like CJ did, or is she a wildcard because they couldn’t think of a tidy noun for her, and “The Singer” or “The Person” seemed too vague?)
Earlier in the week, Katy Perry released a teaser for the “Birthday” music video, in which she unveiled five of her new characters. Now we have the payoff: a full video of Katy going all Bad Grandpa, attending real parties as these fake people. The results were cut together for the official video and, frankly, don’t seem so terrible. Sure, some babies cry about bad face paint and pooping animals, but babies cry all the time. The old people seem totally down with her aging stripper character. And the Jewish family appears to embrace her Bar Mitzvah DJ character with open arms. Apparently, it's not anti-Semitic if you spin on the floor like Homer Simpson doing Curly from the Three Stooges. L'Chaim!
Twenty years ago this week, as the dust of the late-night talk show wars between Letterman and Leno had finally begun to settle, a familiar face came on the scene: Space Ghost. In 15-minute episodes that would have gone viral had anyone known what viral was back then, the Cartoon Network series (which eventually became the linchpin of the channel’s late-night programming block, Adult Swim) cast the stiff-as-a-board 1966 Hanna-Barbera action hero as a talk-show host, interviewing a roster of celebrities — some in on the joke, some very clearly not — in awkward, unforgettable segments that anticipated everything from Jimmy Fallon’s flop-sweat interview with Robert De Niro to President Obama’s appearance with Zach Galifianakis on "Between Two Ferns." And the show’s name rhymed, which was important.
Westeros is a crazy place for many reasons. One of those reasons is the names of its residents. Where some have silly names like Sandor Clegane, others have names like Robb Stark (or at least they did once). So, we want to see how much of a Game of Thrones fan you are, by giving you the hardest test we could think of: having to spell their names. Below, we'll give you ten names that you'll have to try to spell, hangman-style. But be careful one strike and you are out, like [redacted, for spoiler reasons].
While the video for Avril Lavigne's "Hello Kitty" was perhaps meant to embrace Japanese culture (dubstep, though?), it also managed to offend more than a few people. The video also mysteriously disappeared yesterday after the unexpected outcry, but is now back alongside some words from the punk rock prom queen herself:
Just as a house divided against itself cannot stand, a Wu-Tang Clan apparently cannot stand each other. Last week, RZA revealed that he and Raekwon hadn't been speaking and that Raekwon wouldn't be on their upcoming album, A Better Tomorrow. Rae — offended, because he thought the two had been in communication — announced that he was "on strike." On Monday, RZA tried to make the piece, saying, "When you form Voltron, you need every piece. We need [Raekwon] there. I want him there. I ask him over and over to be there. Let’s just come together." And now, in an interview with SI Now, he says the following: "The album is slated to come out in July. If we don't come to terms within the next 30 days, it will either be an album without Raekown, or an album that never sees the light of day ... I would not want to put out a Wu-Tang album without every live member available." And on and on it will likely go. But these are just the latest crumbles in the Temple of Shaolin. There have been cracks in the foundation since, well, the foundation.
Neil Patrick Harris's stage chops have been well known to the Broadway community for years — mostly for his Über-charming Tony-hosting duties (and a memorable supporting turn in the 2004 revival of Assassins) — but as of Tuesday night, he's officially proven his ability to carry an entire show on his shoulders. Starring as the East German transgendered would-be punk rock star Hedwig in John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask's Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Harris prances around stage in platform heels, goes through a formidable collection of wigs, and shreds like Iggy for 90 minutes straight. (Read Jesse Green's review here.) He spoke to Vulture about his backstage transformation, from dressing room décor to dance tracks.
That not-really-an-apology Aaron Sorkin gave for The Newsroom at the Tribeca Film Festival? You can now see how it went down. You see, he's apologizing for the misconception other people had about why the show was set in the present day. Not to insult the way journalists handled those stories, just so that we could all better relate: "I set the show in the recent past because I didn’t want to make up fake news." Good.
The title The Hobbit: There and Back Again has been around for three years, back when the plan was for there to be just two Hobbit movies. However, Peter Jackson announced this morning that it is gone and in its stead the final film will be called The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Jackson rightfully points out that the original title didn't make sense after the series was broken into three movies, "after all, Bilbo has already arrived 'there' in the Desolation of Smaug." There and Back Again, which is the subtitle of the book, "encompasses Bilbo’s entire adventure," according to Jackson, "so don’t be surprised if you see it used on a future box-set of all three movies." Thanks for warning us, Jax, didn't want to disrupt our Hobbit-like life devoid of anything unexpected or surprising.
Lifetime has green-lit a reality show about young nuns, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Sisterhood (oy), from the same production company behind the offensively phony Breaking Amish, follows five young women who are considering becoming Catholic nuns; they're each in the "discernment" phase, which is generally the first step in entering a religious order. On the show, the women are living in a convent, even though that's generally not part of the discernment process for most Catholic orders and is instead part of the later phase of candidacy. It's almost like this reality show is going to take some liberties with how things work ...
Art critic Roberta Smith (my wife) wrote a damning review of James Franco's 65 silly self-obsessed demi-drag re-creations of Cindy Sherman's 1977-80 "Film Stills," now being shown at Pace as “New Film Stills.” The review's last line sums up the situation: "Someone or something, make him stop." Amen.
Someone was bound to do it. Last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel put together a short supercut of local-news reporters butchering actress Lupita Nyong'o's name after she was named People magazine's Most Beautiful Woman. Maybe it's because Kimmel's had his own experience mispronouncing the actress name: Back in January, after introducing her, he asked, "Did I say your name correctly?" She laughed: "That's good enough."
If there’s one thing that George R.R. Martin wants you to know, it’s that the world is full of moral ambiguity. Any Game of Thrones fan can attest to this: There are no real heroes or villains, just people who do good things and bad things, and usually in combination. In a long interview with Rolling Stone published yesterday, the cap-wearing fantasy novelist talks about killing your darlings, his days writing for network TV, and the limitations of J.R.R. Tolkien. It’s worth reading in its entirety to hear him expound on the following topics:
Considering his endorsement the morning of the day it was announced that Stephen Colbert will be taking over The Late Show, we're sure Stephen Colbert told Jon Stewart that he was leaving The Colbert Report. But "Stephen Colbert," the character, hadn't yet. Last night, he interrupted The Daily Show to break the news to Stewart (who produces Colbert), play a tribute clip to himself, and call himself fat. It was all very moving. Everyone cried. (No one cried.)
The Americans’ Holly Taylor on Paige’s Church Problem, High-Waisted Cords, and Her One Tree Hill ObsessionBy Denise Martin
Paige just wants to go to church. Why can’t she go to church?! Well, because her parents are undercover KGB spies, and Mother Russia isn’t down with the big JC. In last night’s episode of The Americans, poor Paige got read the riot act for donating $600 worth of babysitting savings to charity. Color her confused. (And has there been anything more terrifying than Philip screaming at his teenage daughter? I think not.) Vulture got ahold of Holly Taylor, the 16-year-old actress who plays Paige, to commiserate after a long day of exams (“I had four tests, and it was awesome,” she jokes). Fortunately, our discussion got worked its way around to One Tree Hill, and that perked her right up.