Thursday Jan 29, 2015

Amy Poehler feted by Harvard's Hasty Pudding

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Comedian Amy Poehler is being feted by Harvard University's famed theater troupe with a parade and roast. The Golden Globe-winning "Parks and Recreation" star and "Saturday Night Live" alum has been named 2015 Woman of the Year by Hasty Pudding...
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TV

Amy Poehler feted by Harvard's Hasty Pudding
Thursday Jan 29, 2015
Amy Poehler feted by Harvard's Hasty Pudding

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Comedian Amy Poehler is being feted by Harvard University's famed theater troupe with a parade and roast. The Golden Globe-winning "Parks and Recreation" star and "Saturday Night Live" alum has been named 2015 Woman of the Year by Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the nation's oldest undergraduate drama troupe, dating to . Poehler was paraded from Harvard Square to the theater hall Thursday afternoon with a boisterous marching band, costumed marchers and a duck boat in tow. She'll be roasted later by Jason Hellerstein, president of the student group, and vice president Samuel Clark and receive her award — a ceremonial pudding pot. "Guardians of the Galaxy" star and fellow "Parks & Recreation" cast member Chris Pratt has been named 2015 Man of the Year. He will get his own parade and roast Feb.6 The annual awards go to performers who have made "lasting and impressive contributions to the world of entertainment." Last year's winners were Helen Mirren and Neil Patrick Harris. Poehler has a 2014 Golden Globe award and five Emmy nominations for her role as Leslie Knope on "Parks and Recreation," an NBC comedy series. Students and fans who lined Massachusetts Avenue for the parade held signs declaring "Leslie Knope for president" and shouting, "We love you Amy!" as she made her way down the back seat of a convertible Bentley. Poehler spent seven seasons on "Saturday Night Live" and was a founding member of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York City. Her first book, "Yes Please," was released in 2014 and debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Philip Marcelo from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Justin Bieber apologizes for bad behavior in online video
Thursday Jan 29, 2015
Justin Bieber apologizes for bad behavior in online video

NEW YORK (AP) — Justin Bieber has apologized for his bad behavior in a new video posted to Facebook. The singer says in a 2-minute video posted early Thursday that his "arrogant and conceited" attitude over the last two years was just to cover up his true feelings. He said growing up in the industry is tough. Bieber visited "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on Wednesday and said he was "nervous" about the appearance. He said he didn't know how people would react to him. The 20-year-old was heavily booed at the Fashion Rocks event last year, and his recent Calvin Klein ad was ridiculed. His tumultuous behavior has ranged from a DUI arrest to egg-tossing vandalism to clashing with a paparazzo. Bieber also said he wants people to know he has a caring side. ___ Online: Justin Bieber's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JustinBieber Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Jim Parsons to play God in Broadway's 'An Act of God'
Thursday Jan 29, 2015
Jim Parsons to play God in Broadway's 'An Act of God'

NEW YORK (AP) — Jim Parsons is going from a scientific nerd in "The Big Bang Theory" to a pretty big religious role — the Almighty. Producers on Thursday said Parsons will star in a stage adaptation of the humor book "The Last Testament: A Memoir by God" on Broadway. The play, called "An Act of God," is adapted by its author, David Javerbaum. Two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello, who also helmed "Wicked" and "Other Desert Cities," will direct the show, which begins performances May 5 at the Studio 54 theater. Parsons, who won four Emmys for "The Big Bang Theory," has Broadway credits that include the comic "Harvey" and the heartbreaking "The Normal Heart." Javerbaum is the Emmy Award-winning former head writer and executive producer of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." He also co-wrote the score to the 2008 musical "Cry-Baby" and songs for the Tony Awards hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, including the tune "Broadway Is Not Just for Gays Anymore." The show is produced by Jeffrey Finn, who has produced "The Elephant Man," ''Seminar," ''Scandalous," ''Dead Accounts" and "The Realistic Joneses." ___ Online: http://www.anactofgod.com ___ Follow Mark Kennedy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Mark Kennedy from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

William Shatner knows the ups, downs of traveling
Thursday Jan 29, 2015
William Shatner knows the ups, downs of traveling

LOS ANGELES (AP) — William Shatner is back as a shrewd, unflappable travel expert in his latest TV commercial for an online company. But in real life, even Shatner can't avoid the perils of getting through airport security lines. "I got patted down one time, wearing loose-fitting clothing, and my pants fell down. It was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life," Shatner said, recalling the incident at Los Angeles International Airport. Shatner returns as the priceline.com Negotiator in a new ad campaign that launches Sunday, with Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting ("The Big Bang Theory") again playing the travel pro's daughter. He's unfazed that fans recognize him for the long-running commercial gig as well as the "Star Trek" TV series and movies and his Golden Globe-winning role on "Boston Legal." "This is a form of creativity," he said of collaborating on the TV spots. "It is like an acting job." Working with priceline.com is only part of what keeps Shatner busy as he nears his 84th birthday in March. The original Capt. James T. Kirk just wrapped a national tour of his one-man stage show and is planning for another. He's got what he calls an "unusual" summer series for NBC in the works; is in the upcoming fact-based movie "The Sunday Horse"; and is collaborating with a custom motorcycle manufacturer on designing a new three-wheeled vehicle. Shatner, an avid motorcyclist, plans a Chicago-to-Los Angeles charity ride to launch the bike this summer. Another longtime passion is horses, which he rides competitively and which help him keep fit. "I get out and ride five, six horses in a session, and might spend three hours riding very hard," he said. "I feel great. I don't even think of age." Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lynn Elber from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

'Ghostbusters' cast set with McCarthy, Wiig, McKinnon, Jones
Wednesday Jan 28, 2015
'Ghostbusters' cast set with McCarthy, Wiig, McKinnon, Jones

NEW YORK (AP) — The "Ghostbusters" reboot has set its all-female leads with Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and a pair of "Saturday Night Live" performers. Director Paul Feig announced his stars by posting their pictures on Twitter on Tuesday. Joining McCarthy and Wiig are Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. Feig tweeted that Sony Pictures will release the film in July 2016. Production is expected to begin later this year. The new "Ghostbusters" updates the original 1984 film and the 1989 sequel. Wiig and McCarthy both starred in "Bridesmaids," which Feig directed. He has since worked with McCarthy on all of his films, including their upcoming action comedy "Spy." McKinnon joined "SNL" in 2012. Jones first came to the show as a writer and transitioned into a featured player last fall. Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Movies

Amanda Seyfried replaces Tatiana Maslany off-Broadway
Thursday Jan 29, 2015
Amanda Seyfried replaces Tatiana Maslany off-Broadway

NEW YORK (AP) — Orphan Black is out. But a Cosette is taking her place. Second Stage Theatre said Thursday that Amanda Seyfried will replace BBC America star Tatiana Maslany in the world premiere of Neil LaBute's "The Way We Get By." Maslany, star of "Orphan Black," withdrew due to schedule conflicts. Previews begin April 28 under the direction of Leigh Silverman. Seyfried will star opposite Thomas Sadoski as lovers who hook up during a drunken wedding reception. Seyfried , who appeared as Cosette in the recent film adaptation of "Les Miserables," will be making her off-Broadway debut. She's starred in the film "Mamma Mia!" with Meryl Streep and "Mean Girls." She'll be in the upcoming "Ted 2" and "Pan." ___ Online: http://www.2ST.com ___ Follow Mark Kennedy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Mark Kennedy from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Colin Firth joins James Marsh's next feature
Thursday Jan 29, 2015
Colin Firth joins James Marsh's next feature

The British actor has signed on in the title role of a sailing movie from the director of "The Theory of Everything," Deadline reveals.James Marsh is perhaps one of the most talked-about filmmakers of the moment, as his Stephen Hawking biopic "The Theory of Everything" has already earned a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award (for lead actor Eddie Redmayne), as well as several Oscar nominations. In light of this, it's no surprise that Colin Firth, who is set to return to theaters this February in "Kingsman: The Secret Service," has agreed to star in his next feature, which is based on a true story. Firth will play Donald Crowhurst, a British businessman who competed to win a round-the-world yacht race in 1968 and became lost at sea, never to be found. To be produced by StudioCanal and BBC Films, the movie will be an adaptation of the 2006 documentary "Deep Water." Principal photography is set to begin this spring. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Liam Hemsworth approached for a major role in 'Independence Day 2'
Wednesday Jan 28, 2015
Liam Hemsworth approached for a major role in 'Independence Day 2'

The actor seen in "The Hunger Games" is eyed for a leading role in the sequel to Roland Emmerich's 1996 film, which starred Will Smith, Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum, TheWrap reports.Confirmed in late November by Roland Emmerich, who will return to the director's chair, the sequel to "Independence Day" has begun assembling its cast. If TheWrap's report proves accurate and Liam Hemsworth accepts the offer, he will be the third actor to join the project. Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman, who played the programmer David Levinson and the US President in the original blockbuster, respectively, have already agreed to reprise their roles. Will Smith, on the other hand, will not return for the sequel. A few weeks ago, rumors suggested that Michael B. Jordan, who plays Torch in the new "Fantastic Four" reboot, was also being courted for a role. Roland Emmerich will helm "Independence Day 2" from a script by James Vanderbilt, which is currently being re-written by screenwriter Carter Blanchards. The sequel is due for release in 2016. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

'Ghostbusters' cast set with McCarthy, Wiig, McKinnon, Jones
Wednesday Jan 28, 2015
'Ghostbusters' cast set with McCarthy, Wiig, McKinnon, Jones

NEW YORK (AP) — The "Ghostbusters" reboot has set its all-female leads with Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and a pair of "Saturday Night Live" performers. Director Paul Feig announced his stars by posting their pictures on Twitter on Tuesday. Joining McCarthy and Wiig are Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. Feig tweeted that Sony Pictures will release the film in July 2016. Production is expected to begin later this year. The new "Ghostbusters" updates the original 1984 film and the 1989 sequel. Wiig and McCarthy both starred in "Bridesmaids," which Feig directed. He has since worked with McCarthy on all of his films, including their upcoming action comedy "Spy." McKinnon joined "SNL" in 2012. Jones first came to the show as a writer and transitioned into a featured player last fall. Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

For Sundance hits, theatrical still rules over VOD
Wednesday Jan 28, 2015
For Sundance hits, theatrical still rules over VOD

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — After the $40 million digital release of "The Interview," video-on-demand may seem like all the rage. Particularly for independent films, VOD is seen by some as a better pathway to moviegoers than trying to lure them to theaters. But many of the breakout hits at this year's Sundance Film Festival are still opting for a traditional theatrical rollout, even if filmmakers, stars and distributors see the tides changing down the line. For many distributors, the classic theatrical window simply still works. Magnolia Pictures President Eamonn Bowles is looking at a possible summertime theatrical release for Sean Baker's "Tangerine," the iPhone-shot film starring newcomers Mya Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez that follows a transgender prostitute and her friend over one Christmas Eve in Los Angeles. Day-and-date, in which a film is released simultaneously in theaters and on video-on-demand, doesn't make sense for "Tangerine," Bowles said. "If there's a film with a big star or a large amount of awareness or a genre that's familiar to people, those can be better day-and-date or VOD candidates. But for a film like this, where there are really no stars in it? You have to establish its credentials prior to going on VOD," he said. Bowles hopes a theatrical rollout will help "get the reviews and the features and people gushing about it to establish its credibility first." Michael Barker, co-president of Sony Pictures Classics, is also planning a traditional rollout for Sundance acquisitions "The Diary of a Teenage Girl," the '70s coming-of-age story with Kristin Wiig, Alexander Skarsgard and newcomer Bel Powley, and "Grandma," starring Lily Tomlin, but for different reasons. "For the movies we're pursuing, the VOD model doesn't really work," said Barker. "Can you imagine if we'd done day-and-date with 'Whiplash' as opposed to staying on the screen for five months? Staying on the screen for five months is what gives it that word-of-mouth that gets it the best picture nomination." The raised profile that comes with an Oscar nomination can also mean increased ticket sales and revenue streams down the line. "When the Academy Award nominations were announced, our box office gross was $6.7 million," said Barker of "Whiplash," which premiered at Sundance in 2014. "Since they were announced, the box office has boomed. This week alone, we're going to do $1.2 million or more in the box office and that is going to happen every week until and through the Oscars ... that would not be achievable if we did the VOD model," he said. Although Barker said Sony Pictures Classics has yet to have a film that is day-and-date, "we will eventually have one. It just doesn't seem to fit with the movies we've either acquired or made." Jeff Deutchman, vice president of acquisitions for Alchemy, believes there isn't a one-size-fits-all distribution model. "We think that you have to see a movie and figure out what the best release strategy is," he said. Alchemy acquired "Strangerland," starring Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes and Hugo Weaving for a day-and-date release later this year. "It's a beautiful film that is going to be polarizing in a good way," Deutchman said. In other words, some people will want the theatrical experience for "Strangerland," and some will want to watch it in their living room. He thinks that although most filmmakers likely want a theatrical release, they're also amenable to hearing all options, thanks in part to "blockbuster success stories" like "The Interview," ''Snowpiercer" and "Veronica Mars." "Equally encouraging are some of the smaller success stories that have come out this year, with movies like 'The Babadook' and 'Elsa & Fred,' smaller films that both overperformed theatrically and on VOD," Deutchman said. The actors in Sundance films tended to think more about the consumer experience. "I am all about VOD. I'm a new mom. I don't leave my apartment," said Cobie Smulders, who has roles in both "Results," a rom-com about personal trainers (also a Magnolia acquisition), and "Unexpected." She did acknowledge, though, that nothing compares to collectively experiencing a film in a theater. "I think eventually everything will be released simultaneously on VOD and in theaters at the same time. I think we're headed in that direction. We're already there with a lot of films," added Brooklyn Decker, who has a bit part in "Results." Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler says filmmakers should be looking for alternative ways to release their movies. "The Internet is becoming more and more legitimized. A premiere with Vimeo or going straight to Netflix can have real meaning. I think those are very positive things," Strickler said. ___ Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lindsey Bahr from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Events

Amy Poehler feted by Harvard's Hasty Pudding
Thursday Jan 29, 2015
Amy Poehler feted by Harvard's Hasty Pudding

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Comedian Amy Poehler is being feted by Harvard University's famed theater troupe with a parade and roast. The Golden Globe-winning "Parks and Recreation" star and "Saturday Night Live" alum has been named 2015 Woman of the Year by Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the nation's oldest undergraduate drama troupe, dating to . Poehler was paraded from Harvard Square to the theater hall Thursday afternoon with a boisterous marching band, costumed marchers and a duck boat in tow. She'll be roasted later by Jason Hellerstein, president of the student group, and vice president Samuel Clark and receive her award — a ceremonial pudding pot. "Guardians of the Galaxy" star and fellow "Parks & Recreation" cast member Chris Pratt has been named 2015 Man of the Year. He will get his own parade and roast Feb.6 The annual awards go to performers who have made "lasting and impressive contributions to the world of entertainment." Last year's winners were Helen Mirren and Neil Patrick Harris. Poehler has a 2014 Golden Globe award and five Emmy nominations for her role as Leslie Knope on "Parks and Recreation," an NBC comedy series. Students and fans who lined Massachusetts Avenue for the parade held signs declaring "Leslie Knope for president" and shouting, "We love you Amy!" as she made her way down the back seat of a convertible Bentley. Poehler spent seven seasons on "Saturday Night Live" and was a founding member of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York City. Her first book, "Yes Please," was released in 2014 and debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Philip Marcelo from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Lil Wayne sues mentor's record label for $51M, seeking split
Thursday Jan 29, 2015
Lil Wayne sues mentor's record label for $51M, seeking split

NEW YORK (AP) — Rapper Lil Wayne has had it with his record label. He's suing Cash Money Records for $51 million after claiming that it stiffed him for $8 million on a record he delivered last month. In the federal lawsuit filed Wednesday, the Grammy Award-winning performer asked a Manhattan judge to nullify contracts he has held with the company since November 1998. Born in New Orleans as Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., the 32-year-old rapper said in the lawsuit that his relationship with the label has been deteriorating over the last four years, with Cash Money failing to live up to contractual promises regarding monthly accounting statements and the timely payment of profits owed to Lil Wayne. The lawsuit said the problems worsened since 2012 as Cash Money failed to pay Lil Wayne a 49 percent share of net income derived from the sale of solo recordings by rapper Drake for Lil Wayne's partial ownership of the Young Money label, despite Drake's rise as one of the best-selling recording artists in recent years. Nicki Minaj is also signed to the label. It said Cash Money also is claiming millions of dollars in marketing expenses for the Young Money label even though it is required to obtain approval from Lil Wayne for expenses greater than $300,000. And it said the company is preventing artists recommended by Lil Wayne from being added to the Young Money label and is failing to pay third parties involved with the Young Money label, leading to lawsuits and additional costs. A New York lawyer for Cash Money did not immediately return a message seeking comment. The label was co-founded by Lil Wayne's mentor, Bryan "Birdman" Williams. A spokeswoman for Birdman and Cash Money did not return a message seeking comment. A rapper since childhood, Lil Wayne released his first solo album, "Tha Block Is Hot," in 1999. He lives in Florida now. The Young Money label is based in Miami. The Cash Money website is promoting the upcoming release of the record Lil Wayne finished last month, "Tha Carter V," one of the most anticipated records of the past year. Lil Wayne said last year it was likely to be his last solo album. "Tha Carter IV," released in 2011, sold nearly 1 million albums the first week of its release. Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande to pay tribute to Stevie Wonder
Thursday Jan 29, 2015
Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande to pay tribute to Stevie Wonder

NEW YORK (AP) — Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande and John Legend have been added to the group of artists set to pay tribute to Stevie Wonder next month. The Recording Academy announced Thursday that the Band Perry will also perform alongside Usher and Chris Martin at "Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life — An All-Star Grammy Salute" on Feb. 10 in Los Angeles. Willie Nelson was originally part of lineup, but is no longer performing, the Recording Academy said. The concert, to be held at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE, will also include Ed Sheeran and Janelle Monae. It will take place two days after the 57th annual Grammy Awards. The concert will air as a two-hour special on CBS on Feb. 16. ___ Online: http://www.grammys.com Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Petty: No hard feelings for Sam Smith
Thursday Jan 29, 2015
Petty: No hard feelings for Sam Smith

NEW YORK (AP) — Tom Petty says he has no hard feelings toward singer Sam Smith and called the similarities between Smith's Grammy-nominated hit "Stay With Me" and Petty's 1989 song "I Won't Back Down" a musical accident. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer said in a statement posted to his website Tuesday that "all my years of songwriting have shown me these things can happen. Most times you catch it before it gets out the studio door but in this case it got by." He said he never intended to sue Smith and didn't know how their settlement agreement became public. After Petty's song publishers pointed out the similarities, Smith quickly agreed to give Petty and his co-writer, Jeff Lynne, songwriting credits on "Stay With Me." The British artist's breakthrough hit sold more than 3.5 million tracks and is up for song of the year at next month's Grammy Awards. Petty called the development "hardly news." "I wish Sam all the best for his ongoing career," Petty said. "Peace and love to all." Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Jim Parsons to play God in Broadway's 'An Act of God'
Thursday Jan 29, 2015
Jim Parsons to play God in Broadway's 'An Act of God'

NEW YORK (AP) — Jim Parsons is going from a scientific nerd in "The Big Bang Theory" to a pretty big religious role — the Almighty. Producers on Thursday said Parsons will star in a stage adaptation of the humor book "The Last Testament: A Memoir by God" on Broadway. The play, called "An Act of God," is adapted by its author, David Javerbaum. Two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello, who also helmed "Wicked" and "Other Desert Cities," will direct the show, which begins performances May 5 at the Studio 54 theater. Parsons, who won four Emmys for "The Big Bang Theory," has Broadway credits that include the comic "Harvey" and the heartbreaking "The Normal Heart." Javerbaum is the Emmy Award-winning former head writer and executive producer of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." He also co-wrote the score to the 2008 musical "Cry-Baby" and songs for the Tony Awards hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, including the tune "Broadway Is Not Just for Gays Anymore." The show is produced by Jeffrey Finn, who has produced "The Elephant Man," ''Seminar," ''Scandalous," ''Dead Accounts" and "The Realistic Joneses." ___ Online: http://www.anactofgod.com ___ Follow Mark Kennedy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Mark Kennedy from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.