(NME.tv animation of craziness following Beyonce and Jay-Z's pregnancy announcement)
It's been almost a week since Beyonce announced her pregnancy and nearly crushed Twitter in the process. As the world awaits the arrival of possibly the most hotly anticipated offspring in recent pop-culture history, and speculation about what the baby will look like and how long we have to wait for the his or her first chart-topping album ramps up, some enterprising celeb-watchers have launched Twitter accounts in the famous embryo's name.FULL ENTRY
The 2011 MTV Video Music Awards went down yesterday, and while the storied trophy handout didn't skimp on the outrageous moments, this year's OMG-inducing events were less about reckless stage-crashing and more about super-sweet PDA.
Arguably the biggest star of the evening hasn't even sung a note yet - let alone release a VMA-nominated visual - but that didn't stop Beyonce's unborn baby from stealing the spotlight. The pop megastar drove Twitter bonkers when she hit the black carpet and revealed she is expecting, showing off her burgeoning bump before the show's kickoff. But she scored an even sweeter moment when she wrapped up her retro performance of the 4 album cut "Love on Top" by rubbing her belly and giggling contentedly. Hubby Jay-Z looked on proudly as Kanye West excitedly egged on his Throne collaborator.FULL ENTRY
As forecasted by the rumor mills, Katie Couric, 54, has confirmed that she will be leaving the desk as anchor for "CBS Evening News," telling People Magazine that she is "looking at a format that will allow me to engage in more multi-dimensional storytelling." Couric's five-year contract was set to expire in early June.
No exit date has been set, and no future plans for Couric have been announced. "60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley is expected to be appointed as her replacement.
More on Couric from People.
Four-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald will play Bess in the American Repertory Theater's musical-theater reworking of the opera "Porgy and Bess," which begins previews Aug. 17 at the Loeb Drama Center.
Norm Lewis has been cast as Porgy, and David Alan Grier will be Sportin' Life in "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess," as the show will be called in its revamping by ART artistic director Diane Paulus, playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, and composer Diedre Murray.
McDonald, who has won two Grammy Awards and is the biggest name among the three cast members announced today by the ART, recently let slip to Playbill.com that she had been cast in the show, an assertion that the theater would not confirm at the time.
Lewis's latest Broadway turn was in "Sondheim on Sondheim" last year. His other credits include the role of Javert in "Les Miserables" on Broadway and in London's West End.
Two-time Tony nominee Grier, most recently on Broadway in David Mamet's "Race," may be best known for his work on the 1990s television comedy "In Living Color."
Presented in association with Broadway producers Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel, "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess" will have choreography by Ronald K. Brown, sets by Riccardo Hernandez, costumes by Emilio Sosa, and lighting by Christopher Akerlind. Casting beyond the three principals is to be announced later, the theater said.
Is four-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald going to be Diane Paulus's Bess?
The 40-year-old Broadway actress told Playbill.com that the answer is yes, giving a sneak peek at casting for the American Repertory Theater's streamlined, musical-theaterized reworking of George and Ira Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess" this fall.
The ART said it could not confirm McDonald's statement but hoped "to have a thorough casting announcement soon."
Paulus, the ART's artistic director, is teaming up with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and Obie Award-winning composer Diedre Murray to give the 1935 opera a 21st-century update. Their reinterpretation, directed by Paulus, is slated to open the ART's 2011-12 season in September.
Speaking about the show last November, Paulus was coy about ambitions for it -- though the ART's partners on the project, Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel, are veteran Broadway producers whose credits include Paulus's Tony-winning production of "Hair." (The touring production of "Hair" opens tonight at the Colonial Theatre, where "Porgy" had its world premiere.)
"That the project might have a future life in New York is very clear to us," she said, adding, "One can never predict that."
What, you say you haven't had enough of Charlie Sheen? Well, you're in luck: He's coming to Boston.
The former star of the CBS sitcom "Two and a Half Men," who now streams his rants on an Internet talk show called "Sheen's Korner," is taking his act on the road. The tour bus (or maybe it's a flying saucer) will stop at Boston University's Agganis Arena on April 12. Tickets -- priced at $59.10 and $99.95, including fees -- go on sale tomorrow at 10 a.m.
If you plan on buying tickets -- and who doesn't? -- you probably shouldn't wait very long. Sheen's April 2 and 3 shows in Detroit and Chicago sold out fast. Tickets for Sheen's "My Violent Torpedo of Truth" tour also go on sale tomorrow for shows April 5 in Cleveland, April 6 in Columbus, Ohio, April 8 at Radio City Music Hall in New York, and April 9 in Wallingford, Conn.
What his show consists of is anyone's guess. No doubt he'll be railing against his bosses at CBS, who fired him once they'd had enough of his verbal abuse and unsettling off-screen behavior, which included -- by Sheen's own admission -- plenty of drug abuse.
Fun for the whole family!
(Getty Images photo)
This kind of makes you have to wonder whether Charlie Sheen is playing us all. As if he hasn't had enough attention over the past couple of weeks, the now-former star of "Two and a Half Men" appears in a cooking-show spoof on FunnyOrDie.com. What distinguishes the three-and-a-half-minute "Charlie Sheen's Winning Recipes" from his recent rants, webcasts, and interviews is that it's actually funny. In fact, it's downright hilarious.
Mike Huckabee may have triggered memories of Dan Quayle's attack on Candice Bergen's "Murphy Brown" character back in 1992, but the former Arkansas governor insists he wasn't criticizing Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman when he suggested her pregnancy glamorizes having children outside of marriage. Huckabee, who is considering another run for the Republican presidential nomination, yesterday accused "the Hollywood media" of distorting comments he made about Portman in a radio interview Monday. Huckabee said in that interview that it was "troubling" to see Portman or other celebrities having children while unmarried. The Harvard grad, who won the best-actress Oscar Sunday night for her role in "Black Swan," is expecting her first child with her fiancÚ, choreographer Benjamin Billepied. Yesterday Huckabee praised Portman as an actress and says he's glad she plans to get married. In the interest of not distorting Huckabee's original comments, here's what he told radio host Michael Medve: "People see a Natalie Portman who boasts, 'We're not married, but we're having these children and they're doing just fine.' It's unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out-of-wedlock children."
Boston Symphony Orchestra assistant conductor Sean Newhouse made an unexpected debut on the podium tonight when music director James Levine was unable to conduct as scheduled. BSO managing director Mark Volpe attributed Levine's absence from Symphony Hall to the conductor's ongoing back problems, combined with a viral infection.
An e-mail to The Boston Globe contained the text of Volpe's statement to the audience:
"Although James Levine has been rehearsing with the Orchestra the past two days, he recently had a procedure to address his ongoing back issues. Unfortunately, he is experiencing some ill effects which have been further complicated by a viral infection. Consequently, he is unable to conduct tonight. In Maestro Levine's absence, the BSO's new Assistant Conductor Sean Newhouse will make his debut tonight with the Boston Symphony. Thank you for your understanding."
Levine, who is also the music director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, missed a matinee performance there on Saturday, his third missed performance since Jan. 24, according to The New York Times.
Plagued by health problems in recent years, Levine missed 22 concerts, or 60 percent of his scheduled engagements, in the 2009-10 BSO season, as well as all eight of his scheduled Tanglewood performances last summer.
The BSO could not immediately be reached for further comment.
After a two year court battle, the case against Shepard Fairey for copyright infringement in his use of an AP photographer's image of Barack Obama for his "Obama Hope poster" has ended with the two parties agreeing to settle. Neither side has had concede wrongdoing, but Fairey, who stenciled the AP photograph of Obama to make his poster, has agreed not to use any more AP images without first receiving a license from them to do so.
His argument - that he was simply using the appropriated image under fair use in the tradition of countless other artists throughout art history - has not been rejected by the law, but nor has it been upheld.
Fairey, a street artist, political activist, and entrepreneur, was the subject of his first museum retrospective at Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art in 2009.
His "Obama Hope poster" became famous around the world after it was used during Obama's campaign for the presidency, converted into stickers and T-shirts and used to raise large sums of money. A version of the poster was subsequently acquired by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., and displayed in the National Portrait Gallery.
The AP, wanting to protect their own revenue stream, claimed that Fairey had copied their photograph.
The case against Fairey, who had initially sued the AP seeking a declaration of legitimacy and was then countersued, was complicated when it was revealed that Fairey was under criminal investigation for lying about which image he used, and suppressing evidence.
The two sides will henceforth share the right to make and sell Obama Hope posters.