Tony Awards Telecast Finds Home at Beacon Theatre

The next Tony Awards have found a home – a familiar one.

The Broadway League said Tuesday that the June 12 gala will be held at the 2,900-seat Beacon Theatre on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where the Tonys were handed out 2011-12.

The 6,000-seat Radio City Music Hall has long been the preferred home for the awards because of its size and proximity to Broadway. But Radio City will be booked with the new “Rockettes New York Spectacular.”

CBS will again televise the event.

The official eligibility cut-off date will be April 28, meaning all productions on Broadway that wish to be included must have opened by that date. Nominations will be announced May 3.


Online: (AP)

E! Network Canceling Parody Show ‘The Soup’

The E! Entertainment network is pulling the plug on “The Soup,” its weekly show with host Joel McHale that mocks other television series.

McHale has been host for 12 years, and the network said Wednesday that he will do the final show on Dec. 18.

The program premiered in 1991 as “Talk Soup,” specifically targeting talk shows for parody, with Greg Kinnear as host. John Henson, Hal Sparks and Aisha Tyler took turns as hosts before it was relaunched as “The Soup” with McHale as host in 2004.

There was no immediate word on why E! decided to end the show. (AP)

Trump-Hosted ‘Saturday Night Live’ Draws 9.3 Million Viewers

Donald Trump couldn’t beat the team of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake.

Last Saturday’s Trump-hosted “Saturday Night Live” averaged 9.3 million viewers, according to final Nielsen figures released Thursday.

NBC says it’s the most-watched edition of “SNL” since December 2013, when Fallon guest-hosted, joined by musical guest Timberlake. That broadcast drew 9.4 million viewers.

Trump’s appearance had been highly anticipated and sparked controversy in the aftermath of remarks made by the GOP presidential hopeful about Mexican immigrants. The show, which also featured musical guest Sia, was roundly panned by critics. (AP)

‘E.T.’ Screenwriter Melissa Mathison Dies at 65

Melissa Mathison, the screenwriter who crafted the enchanting worlds of iconic family films including “E.T. the Extra
Terrestrial,” has died. She passed away Wednesday at age 65 after a bout with neuroendocrine cancer, her sister, Melinda Mathison Johnson, confirmed.

The LA native had a humble but high-profile start – her first credited work was in assistant roles on “The Godfather: Part II” and “Apocalypse Now,” before she broke out with her script for “The Black Stallion.” She often collaborated with producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall and worked with directors like Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Frank Oz.

Her last credited work is on Spielberg’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “The BFG,” which comes out next year.

Mathison had been married to Harrison Ford for 21 years before they divorced in 2004. They have two children. (AP)

Chris Rock to Host ABC’s Oscar Broadcast Next Year

Chris Rock is coming back to host the Oscars for a second time.

The show’s producers say the prolific comedian-filmmaker will be at the helm for the 88th Academy Awards on Feb. 28 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California.

Producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin called Rock “the MVP of the entertainment industry.”

Rock, who hosted the 77th Oscars in 2005, has won four Emmy Awards for his comedy series and specials. He recently directed the comedy special “Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo” for HBO. In 2014, he wrote, directed and starred in the feature “Top Five,” and in 2009 produced, wrote and starred in the documentary “Good Hair.”

He was a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” from 1990 to 1993.

Online: (AP)

Queen Elizabeth II Surpasses Queen Victoria’s Long Reign


It was a day for the history books. But it was not in her majesty’s temperament to make much of a fuss.

On Wednesday, September 9, 2015, about 5:30 p.m., Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning monarch in Britain’s proud and often turbulent history, dating back more than a millennium to the days when kings and queens enjoyed absolute power.
Serving as sovereign for 23,226 days (about 63 years and 7 months), according to Buckingham Palace, Elizabeth surpassed Queen Victoria, her great-great-grandmother, a woman so powerful that she stamped an era with her name.

She has served longer than Henry VIII (37 years), longer than any of the King Richards, far longer than her own father, King George VI (15 years). She certainly reigned longer than King Edward VIII, her uncle, who abdicated after less than a year so he could marry Wallis Simpson, a divorced American.

Elizabeth was there before the Beatles, there as the nation coped with postwar rationing, there during what she called the “annus horribilis,” when the monarchy appeared threatened as three of her four children became separated or divorced in 1992. She was there in 1997, when a shocked nation mourned the untimely death of the late Princess Diana.

Now a great-grandmother, Elizabeth has overseen a blossoming of the British monarchy, symbolized by her grandson, Prince William, whose royal wedding in 2011 was watched around the world and who since then has produced two popular children, including a future king.

Wednesday was a day of astonishing achievement, but the 89-year-old queen marked it as she has done so many times before: Quietly going about her business, opening a railway line, unveiling a plaque, meeting her subjects.

She did acknowledge the event, however, telling an adoring crowd at a Scottish railway station on Wednesday it was not a
milestone she had sought out.

“I thank you all, and all of the many others at home and overseas, for your touching messages of great kindness,” said Elizabeth, wearing a two-tone blue coat and matching hat. “(It was) not one to which I have ever aspired.”

Elizabeth didn’t say much – her “speech” lasted perhaps a minute or two. She certainly didn’t boast about her longevity, reflect on her reign, or comment on the parade of British statesmen she has known, from wartime leader Winston Churchill to the current Conservative prime minister, David Cameron.

That just wouldn’t be Elizabeth, whose modest quietude has, paradoxically, developed a grandeur all its own over the decades.
In her silence lies mystery. What does she really think? Few really know and those who do aren’t saying.

If the queen found it unseemly to boast of her accomplishment – her reign did, after all, begin with the abrupt death of her father – others in the British establishment showed no hesitation in praising the only monarch most Britons have ever known.
Oversize photographs of Elizabeth dominated most newspapers, with the tone set by The Daily Telegraph, which called the queen “our rock of stability for 63 years” in its headline.

“Opening a railway captures the same sense of understatement, but we should not doubt that today is a great moment in our national story,” it said.

Elizabeth came to the throne in 1952 at age 25 upon the death of her father, King George VI. Her official coronation the following year marked one of the first major public events that was televised.

She has cut back on her official travels in recent years and rarely goes overseas now, but still adheres to a busy schedule of royal duties. Her son, Prince Charles, has represented his mother at a number of occasions, and grandsons William and Prince Harry have also moved into much more prominent royal roles, as has William’s wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

But it is the queen who seems to command the most affection as Britons celebrate her unique role in national life. In Parliament on Wednesday, the prime minister led a series of affectionate tributes.

“The reign of Queen Elizabeth has been a golden thread running through three post-war generations, and she’s presided over more than two-thirds of our history as a full democracy,” Cameron said. “Her selfless sense of service and duty have earned her unparalleled respect and admiration, not only in Britain but around the world.”

That thought was echoed as well on the other side of the globe.

“Hers has been a long, rich life of service to her country, to the Commonwealth,” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told his fellow lawmakers. “We wish her and her loving, remarkable husband health and happiness in the years ahead.” (AP)

Canine Actor Uggie, Known for Role in ‘The Artist,’ Dies

Uggie, the Jack Russell terrier who became a canine star for his scene-stealing role in the Oscar-winning movie “The Artist,” has died.

His owner, animal trainer Omar Von Muller, said Wednesday that Uggie was euthanized Friday after a bout with prostate cancer. The dog was 13.

In “The Artist,” Uggie played the canine companion to Jean Dujardin’s fading silent-film star. The movie won Academy Awards for Best Picture, lead actor and director in 2011.

Uggie’s other credits included the films “Water for Elephants” and “Mr. Fix It.”

He retired in 2012 in a ceremony at the famous Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, where he became the first dog to leave his paw prints in concrete alongside the prints of human stars. (AP)


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