Sunday Mar 29, 2015

Stand-up specials: the other Netflix Originals

Though its award-winning original series "House of Cards" and "Orange Is the New Black" have tended to steal the spotlight in recent years, Netflix is also home to several exclusive stand-up specials.The latest comic to sign a deal with the American platform is Chris Tucker, who rose to fame...
Read More

TV

Stand-up specials: the other Netflix Originals
Sunday Mar 29, 2015
Stand-up specials: the other Netflix Originals

Though its award-winning original series "House of Cards" and "Orange Is the New Black" have tended to steal the spotlight in recent years, Netflix is also home to several exclusive stand-up specials.The latest comic to sign a deal with the American platform is Chris Tucker, who rose to fame in the 1990s on HBO's Def Comedy Jam and in the movies "Friday" and "Rush Hour," among others. His first Netflix stand-up special, "Chris Tucker Live," will be available worldwide exclusively on Netflix from July 10. Netflix is also where comedy fans will find the fourth stand-up special from Aziz Ansari. In "Live at Madison Square Garden," the former "Parks & Recreation" star touches upon his signature topics, including the Indian-American experience as well as relationships and dating. Chelsea Peretti of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" is the star of "One of the Greats," a somewhat unconventional comedy special that plays with the format. Also worth mentioning are "Freezing Hot" featuring Iliza Shlesinger, the first woman to win NBC's "Last Comic Standing," and "Uganda Be Kidding Me" with former "Chelsea Lately" host Chelsea Handler. New releases over the coming months include "Incorrigible" with "Undateable" star Chris D'Elia (April 17) and "I'm Gonna Die Alone (and I Feel Fine)" with Jen Kirkman (May 22). Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Emma Stone, Liam Hemsworth among Kids' Choice Awards winners
Sunday Mar 29, 2015
Emma Stone, Liam Hemsworth among Kids' Choice Awards winners

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Emma Stone is a Kids' Choice Award winner who largely escaped the show's trademark green slime. But the same isn't true for the stars of "Modern Family." Stone was honored as favorite movie actress for her role in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" at Saturday's ceremony. Stone gamely put her hands in a spray of the show's trademark slime, but otherwise remained goo-free. When "Modern Family" collected its Nickelodeon trophy for favorite family TV shows, cast members including Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Rico Rodriguez got hit by a slime wave — as Ferguson thanked the show for letting them off the hook. Nick Jonas hosted the ceremony, which also honored the group Fifth Harmony as favorite new artist and Liam Hemsworth of "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1" as favorite male action star. 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.

Fancy Nancy moving from page to screen with Disney
Friday Mar 27, 2015
Fancy Nancy moving from page to screen with Disney

The successful children's book series about the eponymous character who puts self expression above all else is to get her own TV series.Disney Junior announced the deal with publishers HarperCollins Children's Books on Friday along with its initial plans for the character -- an animated TV movie and an adaptation of the existing series, which already runs to some 60 picture books. Aimed at two-to-seven-year-olds, Fancy Nancy likes to look ‘Fancy' whatever she gets up to and the character is celebrating her 10th anniversary in 2015. As for the first Disney adaptations, they're slated for 2017. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

'Super Troopers 2' joining cohort of fan-funded films
Friday Mar 27, 2015
'Super Troopers 2' joining cohort of fan-funded films

Passing its $2m goal within a day of launching on Indiegogo, cop comedy "Super Troopers 2" is the latest in a cadre of fan-funded films to emerge from the distributed funding model. We summarize the fortunes of four from recent times -- "Wish I Was Here," "Veronica Mars," "Reach Me" and the upcoming "Ned Rifle."Wish I Was Here (2014) Zach Braff fronted a campaign to direct and star in this coming-of-middle-age film, raising $3.1m in the process, and though it was certainly typical of Braff's style, critics felt that its similarity made it limp in comparison.IMDB: 6.7/10 User RatingMetacritic: 43 Metascore, 6.7 User RatingRotten Tomatoes: 46% Tomatometer, 62% Audience Score Veronica Mars (2014) A chance to tie up all those loose ends and return to a well-loved but canceled TV series gave Rob Thomas the opportunity needed to reunite screen star Kristen Bell and the rest of the cast thanks to $5.7m total donations on Kickstarter. Wisely, given the distributed nature of its online fan commnuity, the film was given a same-day VOD download as its limited theatrical release.IMDB: 6.9/10 User RatingMetacritic: 62/100 Metascore, 7.9 User ScoreRotten Tomatoes: 78% Tomatometer, 80% Audience ScoreReach Me (2014) Not one but two crowdfunding campaigns were proposed -- first on Kickstarter, then replaced on Indiegogo -- to make up a shortfall when one of the film's more established backers pulled out during production, and eventually raising $181k. Its big name cast included Sylvester Stallone, Kelsey Grammer, Terry Crews, Kyra Sedgwick and Danny Trejo, but the finished article wasn't so much of a success.IMDB: 4.9/10 User RatingMetacritic: 21/100 Metascore, tbd User ScoreRotten Tomatoes: 0% Tomatometer, 59% Audience Score Ned Rifle (2015) With independent film director Hal Hartley looking to complete an intergenerational trilogy, Kickstarter visitors pitched in to the tune of $395k, ensuring that Aubrey Plaza would join returning cast members Parker Posey and Liam Aiken. Initial film festival screenings have led to a positive swell ahead of an April 2015 debut.IMDB: 6.1/10 User RatingMetacritic: 76/100 Metascore, tdb User ScoreRotten Tomatoes: 71% Tomatometer, tdb % Audience Score Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Put me in: Craig T. Nelson returning as Coach Fox in sequel
Friday Mar 27, 2015
Put me in: Craig T. Nelson returning as Coach Fox in sequel

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Craig T. Nelson is getting back in the coaching game for NBC. The network said that it has ordered 13 episodes of a sequel to the 1989-97 ABC sitcom "Coach" that starred Nelson as Hayden Fox, head coach of a college football team. In the new series, nearly 20 years have passed and Fox has retired from coaching, NBC said Thursday. That's until he's called in to serve as assistant coach to his grown son, the new head coach at an Ivy League school in Pennsylvania. Barry Kemp, who created the previous series, will write and serve as executive producer. Details on other casting for the sequel or an air date weren't announced. Nelson hasn't been away from TV. He co-starred in "Parenthood," which just wrapped a six-year run on NBC. 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

Lauren Bacall's life possessions on sale in New York
Sunday Mar 29, 2015
Lauren Bacall's life possessions on sale in New York

Everything but the kitchen sink would be one way to describe the staggering array of possessions owned by Lauren Bacall that go under the hammer in New York next week.From fine art to kitchenware, from avant garde to the kitsch: hundreds of items collected and loved by the Hollywood siren go on sale Tuesday and Wednesday at Bonhams auction house. The collection is nothing if not eclectic. It includes jewelry and clothes, Aboriginal and African art, English and French furniture and items bought in antique shops around the world. Items that date from her marriage to legendary on-screen co-star Humphrey Bogart and sculptures by English artist Henry Moore are among the most prized items. "One thing with Lauren Bacall, when she collected she didn't collect because of value or potential value," said Jon King, vice president and director of Bonhams in New York. "An item that cost $100, if it appealed to her she would buy it. If it was $100,000, if it appealed to her, she would buy it... her aesthetic sense that's all that mattered," King told AFP. Bacall greatly admired Moore, visiting him in England and treasuring his work. She kept most of the small maquettes next to her bed and the most expensive of which is valued at $40-60,000. At the lower end of the spectrum, die-hard fans with a several hundred dollars might be able to snap up some walking sticks. Bacall, one of Hollywood's great golden age actresses, died last August aged 89 in her nine-room home overlooking Central Park, which is also on the market for $26 million. The proceeds of next week's auctions will go to her three children. All 740 lots -- from Yves Saint Laurent evening wear to a cheese slicer, silver tea strainer, suitcases and papier mache ornaments -- filled Bacall's plush Manhattan apartment, and have toured the world attracting potential buyers from China to France. Above all they reflect Bacall's personal taste. - Clinton invitation - From the Bogart years, before he died from cancer in 1957, are his black granite games table and a pair of silver candelabras from their marital home in Los Angeles. Many of the lots have associations with some of her famous friends drawn from the literary, musical and political worlds. There is a landscape by English playwright Noel Coward, an invitation to Bill Clinton's inaugural ball complete with handwritten notes from him and wife Hillary, and a lithograph of daffodils painted by the late senator Edward Kennedy. Bacall was a staunch Democrat and is photographed in the catalogue at a birthday party of Hillary's in New York. "She was known to be a friend of Democrats. She admired Bill Clinton. She admired Obama too. She thought that he was very strong and decisive and just a very good man," said King. The piano, used by Bacall to rehearse for Broadway musicals, was also played at parties by composer Leonard Bernstein, with whom her youngest son, Sam Robards, remembers singing Christmas carols. There are Ashanti scales from Ghana used to weigh gold, a spoon from the Democratic Republic of Congo, combs from the Ivory Coast, and two headrests from South Africa. The auction house said Bacall became interested in African art while on location for "The African Queen" starring Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, which was filmed in Congo and Uganda. Other items from around the world include Indian miniatures, a Japanese portable brass tea set and a marble table inscribed with "in the name of Allah" in Arabic calligraphy. King, who forged a close relationship with the star, said Bacall would have mixed feelings about the auction. "She'd be very happy to see the response from her fan base. But she loved each and every one of these and probably, I don't know, she'd be sad that it's being disbanded I think." He says it's possible some of the items could end up in museums, but expects the majority to go to private collectors. Interest has been "tremendous" from Hong Kong and mainland China, as well as Tokyo, Los Angeles and Paris, Bacall's favorite city, he said. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Stand-up specials: the other Netflix Originals
Sunday Mar 29, 2015
Stand-up specials: the other Netflix Originals

Though its award-winning original series "House of Cards" and "Orange Is the New Black" have tended to steal the spotlight in recent years, Netflix is also home to several exclusive stand-up specials.The latest comic to sign a deal with the American platform is Chris Tucker, who rose to fame in the 1990s on HBO's Def Comedy Jam and in the movies "Friday" and "Rush Hour," among others. His first Netflix stand-up special, "Chris Tucker Live," will be available worldwide exclusively on Netflix from July 10. Netflix is also where comedy fans will find the fourth stand-up special from Aziz Ansari. In "Live at Madison Square Garden," the former "Parks & Recreation" star touches upon his signature topics, including the Indian-American experience as well as relationships and dating. Chelsea Peretti of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" is the star of "One of the Greats," a somewhat unconventional comedy special that plays with the format. Also worth mentioning are "Freezing Hot" featuring Iliza Shlesinger, the first woman to win NBC's "Last Comic Standing," and "Uganda Be Kidding Me" with former "Chelsea Lately" host Chelsea Handler. New releases over the coming months include "Incorrigible" with "Undateable" star Chris D'Elia (April 17) and "I'm Gonna Die Alone (and I Feel Fine)" with Jen Kirkman (May 22). Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Emma Stone, Liam Hemsworth among Kids' Choice Awards winners
Sunday Mar 29, 2015
Emma Stone, Liam Hemsworth among Kids' Choice Awards winners

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Emma Stone is a Kids' Choice Award winner who largely escaped the show's trademark green slime. But the same isn't true for the stars of "Modern Family." Stone was honored as favorite movie actress for her role in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" at Saturday's ceremony. Stone gamely put her hands in a spray of the show's trademark slime, but otherwise remained goo-free. When "Modern Family" collected its Nickelodeon trophy for favorite family TV shows, cast members including Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Rico Rodriguez got hit by a slime wave — as Ferguson thanked the show for letting them off the hook. Nick Jonas hosted the ceremony, which also honored the group Fifth Harmony as favorite new artist and Liam Hemsworth of "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1" as favorite male action star. 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.

Oscar-winning Cotillard to take Joan of Arc to New York
Saturday Mar 28, 2015
Oscar-winning Cotillard to take Joan of Arc to New York

French actress Marion Cotillard will play Joan of Arc with the New York Philharmonic in a production of Arthur Honegger's oratorio, the orchestra announced Thursday.Cotillard, who won an Oscar for portraying singer Edith Piaf in the movie "La Vie en Rose," will perform in "Joan of Arc at the Stake" for the New York Philharmonic's season finales from June 10-13. The performances mark the US premiere of director Come de Bellescize's production of "Joan of Arc at the Stake," which opened in Japan in 2012 at Seiji Ozawa's Saito Kinen festival and recently toured France with Cotillard. Cotillard -- who was also nominated for an Oscar this year with "Two Days, One Night" -- will be making her New York Philharmonic debut. But she has repeatedly portrayed Joan of Arc in Honegger's oratorio, a role also played by her mother Niseema Theillaud. Cotillard in a statement described the role as "one of my greatest experiences as an actress." The oratorio covers the final moments of Joan of Arc as she was burned at the stake, with flashbacks to the peasant girl's short life rallying against English forces. De Bellescize said that the oratorio, which Honegger wrote on the eve of World War II, could have easily been turned into a nationalist anthem. "But it's really the opposite: it is about going out of the darkness and trying to find the light with the power of love," he said. "The whole world meets together in New York, and I think there is something universal to say with this production." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

'Gone with the Wind' dress up for auction
Saturday Mar 28, 2015
'Gone with the Wind' dress up for auction

A dress that Vivien Leigh wore in her Oscar-winning role as Scarlett O'Hara in the cinema classic "Gone with the Wind" is coming up for auction next month.Heritage Auction said Thursday the blue-gray ribbed cotton dress with black details could fetch more than $100,000 when it goes on the block April 18. It's among some 150 items from the collection of James Tumblin, who over the years has amassed more than 300,000 artifacts connected with the 1939 epic. "Very rarely does memorabilia of this caliber come to market," said Heritage Auction managing director Kathleen Guzman in a statement. Tumblin, former head of hair and makeup at Universal Studios, recognized the dress when he came across it at a Los Angeles theatrical costume supply outlet. Upon learning it was about to be thrown out, he paid $20 for it -- after a bit of haggling. Opening bid for the dress -- which Leigh wore in four key scenes -- is $60,000 plus buyer's premium, the auctioneers said. Other lots featured in the auction include a period gray suit that Clark Gable wore when his character Rhett Butler kicked down O'Hara's door. Also up for bidding: a period blouse that Leigh wore in the film's "I'll never be hungry again" scene. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Events

Michelle Obama declares 'Black Girls Rock!'
Sunday Mar 29, 2015
Michelle Obama declares 'Black Girls Rock!'

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Michelle Obama celebrated the beauty, power and tenacity of black woman while spreading her own message of education for girls at Black Girls Rock!, an annual event honoring trailblazing women of color from all walks of life. "No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, you are beautiful," Obama told the crowd, which included many young black girls. "I am so proud of you. My husband, your president, is so proud of you," she added. "We have so much hope and dreams for you." Obama was not among the honorees at Saturday night's festivities, held at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. That distinction went to actress Jada Pinkett Smith, singer Erykah Badu, actress Cicely Tyson, "Selma" director Ava DuVernay, educator Nadia Lopez and Dr. Helene D. Gayle, president and CEO of CARE USA, a humanitarian organization. However, Obama was the most celebrated participant. Wearing a form-fitting white dress, she jammed to performances from the likes of Badu, Fantasia, Sheila E!, Estelle and others and applauding the honorees. But Obama got among the night's loudest ovations as she came on stage and declared "Black girls rock!" — the slogan and name of the organization founded by Beverly Bond, which is designed to uplift young black girls, a group often disenfranchised and who often find it difficult to find positive and reaffirming images of themselves in the world. Obama acknowledged as much in her speech to celebrate three young honorees. "I know there are voices that you are not good enough," she said, acknowledging that she often lacked self-confidence growing up despite encouraging parents. "Each of those doubts was like a test," she said, "that I either shrink away from or rise to meet. And I decided to rise." Obama, who recently completed a trip to Japan and Cambodia as part of her worldwide push for better educational opportunities for girls, lauded the young honorees for excelling in their studies. "There is nothing more important than being serious about your education," the Ivy League-educated Obama said. "That's why I am able to stand here tonight. ... I want every one of our black girls do to the same, and our black boys." Obama's speech was just one of many highlights of the nearly four-hour event, which will be shown Saturday, April 5, on BET. Will Smith gave an emotional tribute to wife, Jada Pinkett, who received the Star Power award. Smith alluded to persistent rumors that the couple's marriage was in trouble. He said when one rumor got out of control he had a chance of reflection. "In that brief moment my heart jumped for a second and I started to imagine what my life would have been like without that woman," he said as the couple's daughter, Willow, beamed from the audience. When Pinkett Smith accepted the honor, she alluded to recent slights of black girls and women — including a college baseball player's slur against Little League pitcher Mo'ne Davis — as reasons why Black Girls Rock! is necessary. She also implored black women to celebrate and be aware of their own strength. "I need you to understand that we are the women who marched from cotton fields into fields of medicine ... politics ... entertainment," she said. "We have found a way to march into a White House." Tyson also spoke to the resiliency of black women as she accepted her legacy award from hosts actresses Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King. "The moment anyone tries to demean or degrade you in any way, you have to know how great you are," Tyson said. "Nobody would bother to beat you down if you were not a threat." DuVernay, whose civil rights drama "Selma" received an Academy Award nomination, making her the first black woman to notch such an achievement, name-checked a host of other black filmmakers in her speech as she accepted her Shot Caller aware, and implored women to "figure out what you need to do to be the heroine of your own story." The show peppered songs from entertainers like Jill Scott, Estelle and others with inspiring stories from the award winners. One of the members of the group Sister Sledge sang the song "We Are Family," with the refrain "I've got all my sisters with me," as the audience grooved along. And sisterhood was the spirit of the evening, evident when Obama came on stage to close the show with all the honorees. When an embarrassed King flubbed a line, Obama gave her a hug and then jokingly rubbed her back. The actress and director then shouted with glee, "I've got Mrs. Obama pumping me up!" ___ Online: http://www.blackgirlsrock.org Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Nekesa Mumbi Moody from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Stand-up specials: the other Netflix Originals
Sunday Mar 29, 2015
Stand-up specials: the other Netflix Originals

Though its award-winning original series "House of Cards" and "Orange Is the New Black" have tended to steal the spotlight in recent years, Netflix is also home to several exclusive stand-up specials.The latest comic to sign a deal with the American platform is Chris Tucker, who rose to fame in the 1990s on HBO's Def Comedy Jam and in the movies "Friday" and "Rush Hour," among others. His first Netflix stand-up special, "Chris Tucker Live," will be available worldwide exclusively on Netflix from July 10. Netflix is also where comedy fans will find the fourth stand-up special from Aziz Ansari. In "Live at Madison Square Garden," the former "Parks & Recreation" star touches upon his signature topics, including the Indian-American experience as well as relationships and dating. Chelsea Peretti of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" is the star of "One of the Greats," a somewhat unconventional comedy special that plays with the format. Also worth mentioning are "Freezing Hot" featuring Iliza Shlesinger, the first woman to win NBC's "Last Comic Standing," and "Uganda Be Kidding Me" with former "Chelsea Lately" host Chelsea Handler. New releases over the coming months include "Incorrigible" with "Undateable" star Chris D'Elia (April 17) and "I'm Gonna Die Alone (and I Feel Fine)" with Jen Kirkman (May 22). Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Emma Stone, Liam Hemsworth among Kids' Choice Awards winners
Sunday Mar 29, 2015
Emma Stone, Liam Hemsworth among Kids' Choice Awards winners

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Emma Stone is a Kids' Choice Award winner who largely escaped the show's trademark green slime. But the same isn't true for the stars of "Modern Family." Stone was honored as favorite movie actress for her role in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" at Saturday's ceremony. Stone gamely put her hands in a spray of the show's trademark slime, but otherwise remained goo-free. When "Modern Family" collected its Nickelodeon trophy for favorite family TV shows, cast members including Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Rico Rodriguez got hit by a slime wave — as Ferguson thanked the show for letting them off the hook. Nick Jonas hosted the ceremony, which also honored the group Fifth Harmony as favorite new artist and Liam Hemsworth of "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1" as favorite male action star. 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.

Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer dies at 83
Friday Mar 27, 2015
Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer dies at 83

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Swedish poet and Nobel Literature Prize winner Tomas Transtromer has died at age 83, Swedish publisher Bonniers said Friday. The reclusive, mild-mannered wordsmith — considered a master of metaphor and one of the most important Scandinavian poets of the post-World War II era — died Thursday after a short illness said Bonniers spokeswoman Anna Tillgren. In famous collections such as the 1966 "Windows and Stones," Transtromer used imaginative metaphors to describe the mysteries of the human mind. His work has been translated into more than 60 languages and influenced poets across Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. In 2011 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Transtromer's works were characterized by powerful imagery that explored the mysterious sides of everyday life with little embellishment, and the focus on simplicity was also mirrored in the way he led his life. Working as a psychologist in Swedish state institutions, Transtromer (TRAWN-stroh-mur) wrote his poetry during evenings and weekends and stood out for his unpretentious demeanor. He preferred to stay away from the public eye and largely avoided the political debates that engaged many of his contemporaries. The poet stopped writing after suffering a stroke in 1990 that left him half-paralyzed and largely unable to speak. When he received the Nobel, aged 80, he had been a favorite for the prize for so many years that even his countrymen had started to doubt whether he would ever win. His most famous works include the 1966 "Windows and Stones," in which he depicts themes from his many travels, and "Baltics" from 1974 about the democracies and dictatorships surrounding the Baltic Sea during the Cold War. He published "The Sorrow Gondola" in 1996 with work that had been written before the stroke and the "The Great Enigma." Born April 15, 1931, Transtromer grew up alone with his teacher mother in Stockholm's working-class district after she divorced his father, a journalist. He started writing poetry while studying at the Sodra Latin school in Stockholm and his work appeared in several journals before he published his first book of poetry, "17 poems," in 1954 to much acclaim in Sweden. He studied literature, history, poetics, the history of religion and psychology at Stockholm University and worked briefly as an assistant at the university's psychometric institution. But he would spend the majority of his professional life in the much less glamorous settings of state institutions in the small Swedish towns of Linkoping and Vasteras, where he lived in a terraced house with his wife Monika, a nurse, and their two daughters. He first worked at an institution for juvenile offenders and later at a state-funded labor organization, where he helped disabled people choose careers and counseled parole offenders and those in drug rehabilitation. Meanwhile, he developed his succinct writing style together with his longtime friend, author Lars Gustafsson, as a response to the intense language of Swedish modernist poets. "We compared our manuscripts and warned each other not to become too like the big names, (Gunnar) Ekelof and (Erik) Lindgren," Gustafsson recalled in a 2011 interview with the AP. "We were striving, nearly instinctively you could say, in another direction. Not quite toward more simplicity, but maybe toward simpler diction." For decades, Transtromer also had a close friendship with American poet Robert Bly, who translated many of his works into English. In 2001, Bonniers published the correspondence between the two writers in the book "Air Mail." Transtromer's poems became infused with his love of nature and were often built around his own experiences: commuting to work, watching the sun rise or waiting for nightfall. But underneath the ordinary there was also something secretive, where he explored existential questions, death and disease. He wove in imagery of Sweden's barren landscape, or returned to a childhood home on an island in the archipelago off the east coast where his grandfather worked as a ship pilot. Transtromer traveled to faraway places such as Sierra Leone and the Central African Republic, and his interest in classical music to shone through in his poetry through references to composers and the use of musical rhythms. He was an avid amateur pianist and continued to play with his left hand after the stroke. In the 1960s and 70s he was often criticized for the religious dimensions of his work and the lack of social commentary that were favored among the leftist Swedish intellectuals dominating the public debate at the time. But he didn't waver. "So much has happened. Reality has eaten away so much of us. But summer, at last," Transtromer wrote in the poem "Summer Grass." "A great airport — the control tower leads down load after load with chilled people from space. Grass and flowers — we are landing. The grass has a green foreman. I go and check in." Transtromer is survived by his wife Monika and their daughters, Emma and Paula. Funeral arrangements weren't immediately announced. ___ Rising, based in London, contributed to this report. Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Karl Ritter and Malin Rising from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Billie Joe Armstrong musical comes to Atlantic Theater Co.
Friday Mar 27, 2015
Billie Joe Armstrong musical comes to Atlantic Theater Co.

NEW YORK (AP) — Green Day front man and "American Idiot" co-creator Billie Joe Armstrong's new musical, the final installment of Dominique Morisseau's Detroit trilogy and the world premiere of a David Yazbek musical will be the highlights as the Atlantic Theater Company celebrates its 30th anniversary season. Armstrong's "These Paper Bullets!" — "a modish rip-off" of "Much Ado About Nothing" about a Liverpool rock band finding its way in the '60s London music scene — arrives in November, adapted by Pulitzer Prize- and Emmy Award-nominated writer Rolin Jones. It was first done by the Yale Repertory Theatre. Morisseau's "Skeleton Crew" starts performances in January, exploring how auto plant workers navigate the possibility of foreclosure. James Macdonald will direct a revival of Caryl Churchill's "Cloud Nine," and Adam Rapp writes and directs "The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois" next spring. Yazbek's "The Band's Visit" also will arrive next spring directed by Harold Prince with a story by Itamar Moses. It's based on a 2007 film about an Egyptian orchestra that accidentally finds itself in the wrong town. ___ Online: http://atlantictheater.org 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.