If you fished Whorl Inside a Loop out of a slush pile and read only its précis, you’d probably cringe: A Broadway actress, described as the whitest person at her own Whitey McWhite party, teaches a class called “Theatricalizing the Personal Narrative” to a group of black men incarcerated for homicide at a maximum-security prison. You’d easily guess what’s next: Whitey McWhite will impart important lessons about taking responsibility through art, shed a tear for her own emotional imprisonment, and make the audience feel good about itself by proxy. But this is totally not how the drama develops in Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott’s new play, based to some extent on their experiences leading a similar group at Woodburn Correctional Facility in upstate New York. Or rather, these things happen, but they are part of a story so much larger and more complicated that its liberal-orgasm outline can’t come close to doing it justice. And justice is the point.
Dr. Lecter will live to eat again! Sort of. Variety reports that Mads Mikkelsen, who played the serial gourmand on NBC's recently departed Hannibal, is in early talks to play the villain in Marvel's Doctor Strange. He'll be joining a decidedly British cast that includes Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo, and of course, Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular Doctor Strange. Clearly, his character is just mad that he doesn't get to be the one with a Ph.D. in this franchise.
Before Miley Cyrus hosts the VMAs on Sunday, she has a bone to pick with Nicki Minaj. Speaking to the New York Times, Cyrus weighed in on Nicki Minaj's complaint that, in snubbing her "Anaconda" video for Video of the Year, MTV gives preferential treatment to her slim-figured white female peers in its highest category. "If you do things with an open heart and you come at things with love, you would be heard and I would respect your statement," Cyrus says. "You made it about you. Not to sound like a bitch, but that’s like, 'Eh, I didn’t get my VMA.'"
On how she thinks Minaj should've expressed her point, Cyrus had this to say:
If you want to make it about race, there’s a way you could do that. But don’t make it just about yourself. Say: 'This is the reason why I think it’s important to be nominated. There’s girls everywhere with this body type.' What I read sounded very Nicki Minaj, which, if you know Nicki Minaj is not too kind. It’s not very polite. I think there’s a way you speak to people with openness and love. You don’t have to start this pop star against pop star war. It became Nicki Minaj and Taylor in a fight, so now the story isn’t even on what you wanted it to be about. Now you’ve just given E! News 'Catfight! Taylor and Nicki Go at It.'"
Warning: If you haven't watched the end of Breaking Bad, don't read this. The entire post is concerned exclusively with its final moments.
After USA delayed the finale of Mr. Robot by a week because of similarities between the episode and yesterday's shooting in Virginia, where two journalists were killed on-air, IFC is also delaying the next episode of Documentary Now, the mockumentary show starring Fred Armisen and Bill Hader, because of similarities in their episode "Dronez: The Hunt for El Chingon" and the tragedy. The episode is a parody of Vice and "participant journalists" who are killed when they're trying to track down a drug lord in Mexico. "In light of yesterday's tragic events, IFC decided to air 'Kunuk' as tonight's episode of Documentary Now! in place of 'Dronez,'" IFC said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with the victims." That being said, the actual episode has been available for weeks on Vice.
There is no album more anticipated than Adele's follow-up to 2011's diamond-certified 21. And, according to Billboard, the wait is nearly over: The magazine reports that she plans to release her third album this November. Their information comes straight from her label, XL Records, which had previously denied rumors that Adele would put out an album last year. The singer, however, was thought to have teased a new project, tentatively titled 25, on Twitter last May. As expected, details are scarce, but Billboard confirms that Danger Mouse, Max Martin, Ryan Tedder, and Tobias Jesso Jr. have each contributed to the album — though it remains to be seen what'll make the finished product. We're personally holding out for an Adele–Stevie Nicks duet.
In Barry Levinson's Rock the Kasbah, Bill Murray plays a cantankerous, on-the-outs record producer who insists he's still got it. (He doesn't.) It's sort of a play on his 1970s SNL character Jerry Aldini. Murray accidentally becomes a talent scout for Afghanistan's version of American Idol and goes on one of those wacky trips during which he experiences zany antics and eventually an epiphany. The movie also features Zooey Deschanel, Kate Hudson, Danny McBride, and Bruce Willis. No word yet if the shareef don't like it.
Buffy’s Nicholas Brendon Walked Off the Set of Dr. Phil, But the Episode Was Still ‘Completed’ [Updated]By E. Alex Jung
Nicholas Brendon has been having a rough go of it. The actor best known as Xander on Buffy the Vampire Slayer has had multiple run-ins with the law in the past year, and got arrested various times for trashing hotel property and causing a public ruckus. The police reports often stated that Brendon was under the influence of alcohol and pills when the incidents happened.
In Nasty Baby, which premiered at Sundance, director Sebastián Silva (Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus) casts himself as Freddy, who wants to have a baby with his partner Mo (played by TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe) and his best friend Polly, played by Kristen Wiig. Basically, this crew thinks your homonormative gay marriage is sooo 2014.
Macklemore cemented his return to radio ubiquity this morning with his latest single, "Downtown," featuring hip-hop veterans Grandmaster Caz, Kool Moe Dee, and Melle Mel, along with Foxy Shazam front man (and Freddie Mercury doppelgänger) Eric Nally. It's as much a sequel to the duo's breakthrough "Thrift Shop" (except Macklemore's traded in his fur coat for a moped) as it is to Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' throwback "Uptown Funk." For the "Downtown" video, Mack pulled out all the stops, re-creating West Side Story in his unofficial Broadway debut. There's choreography! And a Ken Griffey Jr. cameo? The whole elaborate production's overflowing with future memes that deserve a double take. Relive all the video's zaniest moments on loop in our GIF recap below.
John Oliver Loves Pointing Out Americans’ Geography Obliviousness Like He’s Some Genius Michael Jordan of GeographyBy Jesse David Fox
Oh, it must be so nice to hide behind an over-the-shoulder graphic, cue card, and British accent and act like you know where Uruguay is. Oi, of course I know, it's right where me fingah points. Sure, sure, sure, sure, sure. Fun fact: Michael Jordan actually majored in geography in college, so he already is the Michael Jordan of geography. We'd like to see John Oliver dunk a basketball. It probably would be hard to do in a suit and dress shoes (slipping). The point is: USA! USA! USA!
You can take the girl out of the CIA, but you can't take the paranoia out of the girl. Willkommen to Germany, Carrie!
When Jessica Lange announced that she wouldn't be appearing in American Horror Story: Hotel, fans were distraught. She's been an integral part of the show since its inception, first appearing in a pivotal supporting role in Murder House and then taking the lead with bravado in Asylum. In Freak Show, she basically performed showstoppers exclusively, including her super-uncomfortable versions of David Bowie's "Life on Mars?" and Lana Del Rey's "Gods and Monsters." She's starring in the road-trip comedy Wild Oats this fall, opposite Shirley MacLaine and Demi Moore, and will return to Broadway next year for a revival of Long Day's Journey Into Night. But Lange isn't gone from American Horror Story for good. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, series creator Ryan Murphy said:
Mary Gaitskill’s first collection of short stories, 1988’s Bad Behavior, cemented a reputation for sexy depravity. November’s The Mare, though, has a premise that’s practically, and deceptively, book-club-ready: A childless, rural couple hosts a Fresh Air Fund girl from Brooklyn, and horseback riding brings them all together. But in classic Gaitskill fashion, alienation, mutual misunderstanding, and pain ensue.
Here’s Your First Glimpse of John Boyega With a Lightsaber in New Star Wars: The Force Awakens VideoBy Greg Cwik
In a new video posted on the official Star Wars Instagram account, we finally see whom Kylo Ren (who isn't a Sith) is facing off against in that first Force Awakens trailer: John Boyega, wielding a blue lightsaber. Boyega looks angry, as the camera pushes towards him and raises the lightsaber. We also get a new glimpse of the adorable BB-8 with Daisy Ridley's Rey, as well as Andy Serkis's brooding, "There has been an awakening," which has a new, slightly more reverb-laden mix. Basically, The Force Awakens looks awesome.
Whereas So You Think You Can Dance has been a little sleepy and stale, America's Best Dance Crew has been giving us the elixir of reality-television life. This all-stars reboot is nothing short of fantastic, so it's fitting that the final three crews are the most talented, inventive, and unique crews left — Quest, Super Cr3w, and Kinjaz. The crews performed two dances on Wednesday night, and we're picking our favorite from each. They're all so great that it's more a matter of taste than ability, which is a great place for a competition show to be.
Macklemore's first single from his upcoming album had him feeling the baby-daddy blues, but his latest, "Downtown," is all about keeping his cool. And by cool, we mean collaborating with rap forefathers Grandmaster Caz, Kool Moe Dee, and Melle Mel, along with Foxy Shazam's Eric Nally on the song's killer hook, in which he has the three East Coast legends paying homage to West Coast G-funk, because why not? There are cowbells, name-spelling, and references to Blackstreet. Think of it as a sequel to "Uptown Funk," in the opposite direction. Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and the song's featured artists are expected to perform "Downtown" for the first time at the VMAs this Sunday.
What It’s Like to Be One of Taylor Swift’s 1989 Tour Celebrity Guests: Orange Is the New Black’s Uzo Aduba ExplainsBy Kat Ward
Belting out karaoke to a room full of strangers can be a daunting challenge — unless you're Uzo Aduba and have just had a more high-pressure performance to carry off, like dueting with Taylor Swift at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Orange Is the New Black star is one of the many women who have joined Swift during her 1989 tour, as she went onstage to sing "White Horse" last week. Vulture ran into Aduba last night at the second annual Delta Open Mic with Serena Williams and asked her about her Taylor experience. "I woke up one morning and I just had a message from her," Aduba said. "She's like, 'Do you want to come sing? Want to sing together? Let's do something.' And I was like, 'All right, cool. Let's do it!' She's good people, and just generous to share her stage and her space. She's awesome."
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