Obama dines With CNN’s Anthony Bourdain for Series

President Obama is dining in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Monday with CNN personality Anthony Bourdain, whose “Parts Unknown” food travelogue is one of the network’s most popular nonfiction series.

CNN said Monday that Bourdain will discuss the purpose of Obama’s trip to Asia and his interest in the people, food and culture of Vietnam.

Bourdain’s show has been on CNN since 2013. For each episode the chef travels to a different part of the world to explore that area’s culture, primarily by sharing in the area’s distinct native cuisine.

The interview with Obama will be featured in the eighth season of “Parts Unknown,” which begins in September. (AP)

List of Winners From the 2016 MTV Movie Awards

Winners of the 25th annual MTV Movie Awards, presented Saturday at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California:

Movie of the year: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Female performance: Charlize Theron, “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Male performance: Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”

Virtual performance: Amy Poehler, “Inside Out”

Action performance: Chris Pratt, “Jurassic World”

True story: “Straight Outta Compton”

Documentary: “Amy”

Comedic performance: Ryan Reynolds, “Deadpool”

Breakthrough performance: Daisy Ridley, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Best kiss: Rebel Wilson and Adam Devine, “Pitch Perfect 2”

Best fight: Ryan Reynolds and Ed Skrein, “Deadpool”

Best hero: Jennifer Lawrence, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2”

Best villain: Adam Driver, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Ensemble cast: “Pitch Perfect 2”

MTV Generation Award: Will Smith

Comedic Genius Award: Melissa McCarthy (AP)

Stratford Festival Launches New Shakespeare Online Toolkit

The Stratford Festival in Canada is commemorating the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death by making his plays accessible to a generation raised on the internet.

The festival just unveiled an online teaching platform that will include each of Shakespeare’s scripts, a film clip of every scene and notes to understand each piece of dialogue.

“King Lear” is the first play to be offered using these tools and more titles will be added as part of the festivals to capture on film the complete works of Shakespeare over the next 10 years.

Created by the Festival’s Education Department in collaboration with D2L Corporation, the toolkit – called PerformancePlus – is targeted for students and teachers in grades 9 to 12 but is available to all.

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Online: http://www.stratfordfestival.ca/PerformancePlusLear (AP)

‘Now That’s What I Call Music!’ to Release Broadway Album

The best-selling multi-artist album series “Now That’s What I Call Music!” will release its first all-Broadway CD, including hits from “Cats,” ”Chicago,” ”A Chorus Line,” ”The Lion King,” ”Wicked” and “The Phantom of the Opera.”

The album, set for release April 29 and featuring 18 songs usually including the original Broadway casts, will include “Seasons of Love” from “Rent,” “Defying Gravity” from “Wicked,” ”Sherry” from “Jersey Boys,” ”When I Grow Up” from “Matilda the Musical” and “Tomorrow” from “Annie.”

“In curating this album, we set out to find 18 songs that represent and celebrate the rich history of Broadway from the last 40 years,” Jeff Moskow, Head of A&R for “Now That’s What I Call Music!” said in a statement.

The series has sold more than 250 million albums worldwide. (AP)

Rolling Stones to Play March 25 Show in Havana

The Rolling Stones say they will play a free concert in Havana on March 25, becoming the biggest act to play Cuba since its 1959 revolution.

The Stones will play in Havana’s Ciudad Deportiva three days after President Barack Obama visits Havana. The concert is expected to draw a massive audience in a country where the government once persecuted young people for listening to rock music, then seen as a tool of Western capitalism. Along with dropping that policy, the Cuban government has increasingly allowed large non-official gatherings.

The band says in a statement that “we have performed in many special places during our long career but this show in Havana is going to be a landmark event for us, and, we hope, for all our friends in Cuba too.” (AP)

Oscars Get 34.3 Million Viewers, Lowest Rating Since 2008

The 34.3 million viewers who tuned in to the Academy Awards represented that annual ceremony’s smallest audience since 2008.

The Nielsen company said Monday that Oscar viewership was down from the 37.3 million who watched the ABC show in 2015. In 2014 and 2013, the show reached more than 40 million viewers each year.

The ceremony, hosted by Chris Rock, came amid controversy about a lack of diversity among the nominees and calls for a boycott among some minority fans. There was no immediate way to judge whether the controversy affected ratings, or whether other factors held the audience down.

Many years, the Oscars are television’s biggest event after the Super Bowl.

Meanwhile, Oscar night belonged to host Chris Rock, who launched immediately into the uproar over the lack of diversity in this year’s nominees, and he didn’t let up.

Rock called the Oscars, “The White People’s Choice Awards.”

In his much anticipated opening monologue, he asked “Is Hollywood racist? He said “Hollywood is sorority racist. It’s like: We like you Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa.”

Rock had stayed quiet before the ceremony as the controversy raged over the second straight year of all-white acting nominees, leaving Hollywood and viewers eagerly awaiting his one-liners. He confessed that he deliberated over joining the Oscars boycott and bowing out as host, but concluded: “The last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart.”

Outside the Oscars were protests, including one outside the Dolby Theatre by the Rev. Al Sharpton.

List of winners at Sunday’s 88th annual Academy Awards presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Best Picture: “Spotlight.”

Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant.”

Actress: Brie Larson, “Room.”

Supporting Actor: Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies.”

Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl.”

Directing: Alejandro G. Inarritu, “The Revenant.”

Foreign Language Film: “Son of Saul.”

Adapted Screenplay: “The Big Short.”

Original Screenplay: “Spotlight.”

Animated Feature Film: “Inside Out.”

Production Design: “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

Cinematography: “The Revenant.”

Sound Mixing: “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

Sound Editing: “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

Original Score: “The Hateful Eight.”

Original Song: “Writing’s on the Wall” from “Spectre.”

Costume Design: “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

Documentary Feature: “Amy.”

Documentary (short subject): “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness.”

Film Editing: “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

Makeup and Hairstyling: “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

Animated Short Film: “Bear Story.”

Live Action Short Film: “Stutterer.”

Visual Effects: “Ex Machina.”

(AP)

Bourbon, Tennessee Whiskey Producers Toast More Strong Sales

Producers of Kentucky bourbon and Tennessee whiskey are toasting another year of strong sales and revenue growth. Leading the way is growing demand for high-priced, super-premium brands.

The Distilled Spirits Council said Tuesday that combined U.S. revenues for bourbon, Tennessee whiskey and rye whiskey shot up 7.8% to $2.9 billion in 2015. Domestic volume rose 5.2%.

The council’s annual report says bourbon and Tennessee whiskey revenues and volumes outpaced the overall distilled spirits sector.

Meanwhile, it says bourbon and Tennessee whiskey exports topped $1 billion for the third straight year, despite challenges caused by a strong dollar. A strong dollar makes U.S. goods less competitive. (AP)

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