1005 posts categorized "Arts-Entertainment"

March 04, 2015

House of Bricks

From Sesame Street, the three little pigs take on Frank Underwolf. Frankly, I liked this better than what I binge-watched on Netflix last weekend.

Pat Robertson tells how to cast out your own demons

A demon tricked me into blogging this.

Demonic raisins, I rebuke thee!

For another approach, see Georgina and Esther below.

March 01, 2015

She'll Be Back: deleted Sondheim song for Streep in Into the Woods

Above, a song that Stephen Sondheim wrote for Meryl Streep's witch for the film version of Into the Woods, and which was filmed before the creative team ultimately decided the movie worked better without it.

Nowadays, these bits from the cutting room floor can be preserved as Extras on DVDs of movies. In the past, such deleted material was usually lost. Thus we will never see the gay kiss between James Dean and Sal Mineo in the 1955 Rebel Without a Cause, nor the portion of To Kill a Mockingbird involving Jem and Mrs. DuBose.

Thanks to Craig Howell for sharing this. As he notes, "It sounds very Sondheim."

February 27, 2015

Leonard Nimoy, 1931-2015

Actor Leonard Nimoy has died at age 83. Above is a collection of clips from his banter with the late actor DeForest Kelley on the original Star Trek series. May he rest in peace.

February 24, 2015

'Glory' sales surge after Oscar win

Billboard reports:

Common and John Legend's "Glory" is basking in the glow of its Academy Award win for best original song on Feb. 22, and is on course for big sales gains in the wake of the Oscars.

A small comfort for a film unjustly snubbed.

February 23, 2015

Michael Sam signs with Dancing with the Stars

Recently Sam said he would continue to pursue his dreams of playing with the NFL. Someone asked if this latest news means a change to that. Don't know. We'll have to see.

Lady Gaga shows her musical chops

Lady Gaga's performance of a medley from The Sound of Music in tribute to Julie Andrews at the Oscars on Sunday night was the introduction for a lot of people to her musical talent. Behind the meat dress, the bubble dress, and assorted other theatrics, she is an accomplished musician. Then the surprise entrance by Julie Andrews herself put icing on the cake. (BTW, Gaga transposed into a lower key during "Climb Every Mountain. The pipes Andrews had cannot be replicated in most mortals.)

D.C. drag community mourns Mame Dennis

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(Mame Dennis and Donn Culver at Pier 9. Photo by Rob Moore/Discomusic.com)

One of the longtime mainstays of Washington's drag community has died. Rest in peace.

February 19, 2015

Pussy Riot: I can't breathe

Pussy Riot expresses solidarity with Eric Garner and other victims of police brutality.

February 14, 2015

Meet Solomon Georgio

On Himalayan sea salt, Pocahontas, and how an Ethiopian came to have an Italian last name. Hey Sampson, you have competition.

February 13, 2015

Evergreen

For all who are far from their loved ones on Valentine's Day. As nationwide marriage equality nears, there are so many for whom it will have come too late. Live in the moment, for that is the only thing of which any of us can be truly certain. Here is to lovers.

February 12, 2015

Jon Stewart on 'Wedding Crushers'

Jon Stewart takes on Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.

February 10, 2015

From Cuba to Stephen, some chocolate love

I have been a fan of Cuba Gooding, Jr. since his soulful performance in Boyz N the Hood. I like him even better after this bit of play with BAFTA Film Awards host Stephen Fry, a hugely popular British writer, actor, and comedian. BAFTA is the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and this year's film awards happened on the same day as the Grammys. Fry last month married his partner Elliot Spencer.

This was just a bit of foolery at a glitzy awards ceremony, but it says so much about how far we have come. Gooding has aged quite well, and is getting meaty parts these days on television, in addition to playing civil rights attorney Fred Gray in the movie Selma. His last-minute turn to kiss Fry on the lips was quite charming. Made me a little jealous of Stephen.

February 09, 2015

Sam Smith tops Grammys

Singer and songwriter Sam Smith won four top Grammys last night. Below, in his acceptance speech for one of them, Record of the Year, Smith thanks the man who broke his heart last year for inspiring his breakthrough as an artist.

February 04, 2015

How many pheasants died for Aaron Schock's new congressional office?

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Ben Terris of WaPo caused quite a stir when he reported Monday on the lavishly redecorated congressional offices of Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL), which have been done up in the style of the red room on "Downton Abbey." Here is a lovely display of pheasant feathers.

I am concerned that now everyone will want one, and pheasants will be driven to extinction.

The mean people at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, however, asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate whether Schock broke House ethics rules by accepting the redecorating services.

Schock now says that he expects an invoice from decorator Annie Brahler, and dismisses his critics:

"I’ve never been an old crusty white guy -- I’m different, I came to Congress at 27, I’m not going to -- when I take a personal vacation, I don’t go sit on the beach, I go do active things. I’m also not going to live in a cave," he said, adding later: "As Taylor Swift said, haters are gonna hate."

Followed into his office by Zeleny and his crew, Schock said the walls were "Republican red."

Below, the Dowager Countess, dropping by for a visit, gave the congressman a look when he said he was heterosexual.

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February 01, 2015

Banner performance

On this Super Bowl Sunday, a look back twenty-four years to the memorable rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner by Whitney Houston before the 1991 Super Bowl. As Tom Sherwood said in sharing it, "This is how you do it." Amen.

PS: Best wishes for her daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown's healing.

Langston Hughes gets a Google Doodle

Happy birthday, Langston Hughes.

(Hat tip: Tom Sherwood)

January 23, 2015

Enter the dragon

Above, a bit of motion capture from Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug in The Hobbit. Below, how the animation was constructed.

January 22, 2015

If guys acted in real life the way they do on gay apps

Our friend @OfficialSampson (Sampson McCormick) appears in this funny video.

January 20, 2015

Billy Crystal's gay discomfort

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(Photo courtesy RAYE34 fansshare.com #5406WW10813299)

Pink News reports:

Billy Crystal has claimed that modern gay storylines on TV shows are “pushing too far”.

Crystal played one of the first regularly openly gay characters, Jodie Dallas, on 1970s comedy ‘Soap’.

Speaking to the Television Critics Association, the star claimed that he doesn’t want TV to “shove it in our face” with regards to gay issues.

He said: “Sometimes I think, ‘Ah that’s too much for me.’

Dear Billy, I assume this means you are locked in a dungeon, tied down with your eyes forced open like in "A Clockwork Orange," with a giant tv showing gay programs in a loop. I admit it does sound like torture. Maybe if it's a good boy, its tormenters will untie it and give it a remote control.

Now Billy says his comments were taken out of context. Well that's dreadful, of course.

Noah Michelson at HuffPost Gay Voices comments.

Jon Stewart takes on Mike Huckabee over culture-clash hypocrisy

Score one for Jon Stewart. Notice that Huckabee manages to put his anti-elitism in the nicest possible light, though Stewart isn't having it. Huckabee is a lot more likeable than the other whackjobs.

A gay-friendlier Vatican, or window dressing?

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(Photo Illustration by Emil Lendof/The Daily Beast)

This article by Justin Jones at The Daily Beast, on unofficial gay-themed art tours at the Vatican, overstates the degree of the Vatican's and the Pope's pro-gayness, as became clear the other day when Francis spoke in the Philippines and called same-sex marriage a threat to the family. That should not be a surprise to anyone, nor does it mean we should not continue to engage the Church on a range of issues. But the welcome contrast with Benedict (whom I regard as a classic vicious closet case) is not everything.

Still, I will be interested in the Vatican's reaction to gay-themed art tours, as I am curious about their reaction to Michael Sam's twitpic of his proposal to Vito atop the dome of St. Peter's. While doctrine and policy are my main focus, symbolic gestures have their value, as do simple courtesy and respect. The latter, however, are not advanced by calling us a threat to the family. We must remember that the Curia remains powerful.

January 19, 2015

BeBe Winans - I have a dream

A lovely song inspired by Dr. King's most famous speech.

(Hat tip: Mark Thompson)

January 12, 2015

More helpful comments from Bill Donohue

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League offers another display of his Christlike forgiveness of those who give him offense.

(Hat tip: Right Wing Watch)

Fey, Poehler, a roomful of stars, and alcohol

Yes, the Golden Globes were on TV last night. Above is the opening by hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Their targets included George Clooney (who was there) and Bill Cosby (who was not). Below, Transparent wins for best TV series - comedy or musical. Actor Jeffrey Tambor also won for his role, and dedicated his performance and award to the transgender community.

December 31, 2014

Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga - The Lady is a Tramp

To help you get into a festive mood, here's a great duet between Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. I have always loved this song, and they have fun with it.

December 27, 2014

Joe Califano whitesplains it all for you

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(Photo by Yoichi R. Okamoto/LBJ Library)

Joseph Califano, who served as President Johnson's top domestic affairs assistant, slams the new Selma movie in WaPo. He actually claims that "Selma was LBJ’s idea."

Lauren Victoria Burke responds at Crew of 42:

What? In an interesting column in the Washington Post, former LBJ aid Joe Califano claims that it was LBJ who came up with the Selma march. What in the world Califano is talking about is anyone’s guess. Below is the Selma episode of Eyes on the Prize.

December 25, 2014

Addams Family Christmas

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Thanks to Denise Van de Weigel for sharing this classic cartoon by Charles Addams for The New Yorker. Now it's time to head to the roof to greet the Christmas carolers.

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Eminem kills in The Interview

Rapper Eminem has a cameo in the action comedy The Interview in which he is interviewed by James Franco's character and comes out as gay. This is very funny, enhanced by his deadpan delivery as mayhem erupts in the studio. Seth Rogen and his assistant dancing in gleeful celebration of their scoop is a nice touch.

December 23, 2014

The Marquis of Hollywood visits Downton Abbey

It's Christmas at Downton Abbey, and Lord Grantham loses the family fortune again. He decides it would be better had he never been born. An angel appears and shows him an alternate reality in which the Marquis of Hollywood has taken his place. It's a spoof for a charity called Text Santa, and George Clooney makes the Dowager Countess swoon. Part 1 above, Part 2 below.

December 21, 2014

Hobbitses on top

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies earned more than $90 million from Wednesday through Sunday.

TLC to Air ‘My Husband’s Not Gay’ Special in January

December 19, 2014

Selfie with Fearless Leader

December 13, 2014

Johnny Gill takes lie detector test

Those rumors about a gay affair with Eddie Murphy were affecting Johnny Gill's love life, so he took a lie detector test to put his girlfriend's mind to rest.

December 07, 2014

Night Watch

Night_Watch

A group of teenagers checking their cell phones beside Rembrandt's "Night Watch."

(Hat tip: William B. Kelley, who isn't sure it's not photoshopped, but likes it anyway.)

December 06, 2014

Dancing under Bedford Avenue

Last month, a group called Coyote & Crow performed a cover of "Me & My Uncle" by the Grateful Dead on the Bedford Avenue subway platform in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A little girl danced. This video has gone viral. Maybe you could use some cheering up.

November 29, 2014

New York, November twilight

November 20, 2014

Director Mike Nichols dies at 83

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Director Mike Nichols died on Wednesday at age 83. He was born in Germany and moved to the United States at age 7. He was a member of the comedy duo Nichols and May with Elaine May. In his long directing career, which encompassed stage, film, and television, he won about every award that could be won in his profession: Oscar, Emmy, Tony, Drama Desk, Golden Globe, Grammy, and Britain's BAFTA. He received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2003, and an American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.

Nichols seemed eternally young, always with another project. He was working on a production of "Master Class" with Meryl Streep for HBO when he died. Fortunately, much of his work remains available for viewing. I remember seeing "The Real Thing" in 1984 in Broadway, featuring Jeremy Irons and Glenn Close. That he was adept in so many media put him in rare company. The partial lists of his work below convey his incredible range and output. At the bottom is a famous scene from "The Graduate" featuring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft. He is survived by his wife Diane Sawyer and his children Max, Jenny, and Daisy. May he rest in peace.

On Broadway: Barefoot in the Park (1963), The Odd Couple (1965), Plaza Suite (1968), The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1971), Uncle Vanya (1973), Streamers (1976), Annie (1977), The Real Thing (1984), Hurlyburly (1984), The Seagull (2001), Spamalot (2005), Death of a Salesman (2012), and Betrayal (2013).

On film: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), The Graduate (1967), Catch-22 (1970), Carnal Knowledge (1971), The Day of the Dolphin (1973), Silkwood (1983), Heartburn (1986), Biloxi Blues (1988), Working Girl (1988), Postcards from the Edge (1990), Regarding Henry (1991), The Birdcage (1996), Primary Colors (1998), Angels in America (2003), Closer (2004), and Charlie Wilson's War (2007).

November 18, 2014

On Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby
(Photo by Evan Vucci, The Associated Press)

Bill Cosby has entertained generations of Americans with his comedy. He is an educator and has created memorable children's programming. His creation "Little Bill" always says "Hello friend" because that's what Ennis, his murdered son, always said. Cosby is a great philanthropist. One does not want to believe that such a beloved and respected figure is a serial rapist. But 14 alleged victims, one of whom he settled with out of court, coupled with his silence, make it hard to credit his lawyer's dismissals. Sadness is all over this; but the seriousness of the accusations raises troubling questions about wealth and fame putting someone above the law. I sure could have done without this news.

Here are several relevant items:

Update: A thoughtful essay from Katie McDonough at Salon.

November 07, 2014

Into the Woods - new trailer

The enchanting 1987 Sondheim musical based on Grimm's fairy tales appears from these glimpses to have received a beautiful film adaptation. In cinemas December 25.