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Harris channels 'Hedwig' when audience acts unruly

Written By pemburu PR on Rabu, 23 April 2014 | 20.51

NEW YORK (AP) — Neil Patrick Harris knows that his character Hedwig speaks directly to the audience throughout his Broadway show, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." So he understands how things can sometimes get unruly.

"Hedwig's energy transfers itself into a dialogue with the audience. So if someone calls something out, it's sort of my responsibility, in character, to make sure that that person knows that this isn't the kind of show like 'Rocky Horror,' where I'm going to be bantering with them," Harris said after the show's opening on Tuesday.

Several times during previews, Harris responded to fans calling out to him as "Neil," and his replies were just what you'd expect from Hedwig, sometimes laced with sassy expletives.

"That's part of the job that I have to say, 'All right,' in character, 'Settle it down girl, we're in the middle of a show right now," Harris said. "So that happened and people thought it was funny. I've done worse. She's a tough girl that Hedwig."

But the actor says his responses are never planned.

"I don't come up with zingers and think, 'I can't wait to say something rude to this person,' but sometimes things happen. That's why it's theater," Harris said with a smile.

Theater is what the 40-year-old has always thrived on doing. He has three Broadway shows already under his belt, but he couldn't do much during the past decade while he was starring in the highly successful sitcom, "How I Met Your Mother."

He successfully hosted the Tony Awards four of the previous five years, but claimed that experience was too brief for him.

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This image released by Boneau/Bryan-Brown shows Neil …

This image released by Boneau/Bryan-Brown shows Neil Patrick Harris in a scene from "Hedwig and …

Harris got to do big numbers during the Tonys, and though he enjoyed the hard work, regardless of how well it went, he said "you'd never do it again."

The actor last appeared on a Broadway stage in the 2004 revival of Stephen Sondheim's "Assassins." He's always wanted to return, but the time wasn't right because of his day job.

"I didn't want to finish (a season of) 'How I Met Your Mother,' and jump right into previews and rehearsals, and as soon as it was done go back to the show. I would have just been exhausted. I was anxious for them to not cast somebody else," Harris acknowledged.

But all good things come to an end, and his sitcom recently had its finale, freeing him up to get back on stage.

Harris is savoring the experience of being in a Broadway show again.

"The repetition of it is what has drawn me to it," he said.

The story of the Hedwig — the transgender East German performer and her tortured path from Berlin to a mobile home in Kansas to New York — was written by John Cameron Mitchell with music by Stephen Trask. It draws heavily from Mitchell's personal life growing up as the son a U.S. Army General. Mitchell originally performed the title role in the cult musical in 1998 and starred in the film version in 2001.

Mitchell called Harris the perfect Hedwig.

"He's got every skill necessary. The dancing and the singing and the comedy and the emotional weight, and also the extra dimension of Hedwig, who has to be a Queen, where she's the top," Mitchell said.

____

Online:

http://www.hedwigbroadway.com

Twitter:

Follow AP Entertainment's John Carucci at http://www.twitter.com/jacarucci

  • Humanities
  • Performing Arts
  • Neil Patrick Harris
  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch

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Letterman gets visit from his successor, Colbert

NEW YORK (AP) — Stephen Colbert, who will take over for a retiring David Letterman on CBS' "Late Show" next year, revealed Tuesday that he almost worked for Letterman — twice.

Colbert, the Comedy Central host, visited the "Late Show" for the first time since it was announced earlier this month that he will replace Letterman sometime next year. He was greeted warmly, with Letterman introducing him as "very talented" and "always entertaining," and the two men posed for the obligatory selfie.

It was a different visit in 1986, the year that Colbert, now 49, graduated from Northwestern. Letterman was working at NBC then, and Colbert said he accompanied his girlfriend to New York, where she was interviewing for an internship at Letterman's show.

In an odd turn of events, Colbert said he was hired instead of his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend. But he turned the job down.

"I did not take the internship because you do not pay people," he said. "The next job I'm taking, that pays, right? Because I've already signed."

Eleven years later, Colbert said he and his writing partner submitted a packet of material to the "Late Show," hoping to join the writing staff. He said no one from the show got back to them for four months, and by then Comedy Central had already hired Colbert to do the show "Strangers With Candy."

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In this photo provided by CBS, Comedy Central's Stephen …

In this photo provided by CBS, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert, left, shakes hands with host David  …

Colbert pulled out a card and read the Top Ten list that he and his partner had submitted 14 years ago to try to get the job. The list, written around the holidays, was "Top Ten Cocktails for Santa."

"Late Show" producers inserted the traditional prepared intro that runs before Letterman's Top Ten list every night, for which the current host feigned outrage.

"He doesn't have the job yet," he said. "Don't let the door hit you in the ass."

Colbert said that "obviously, I'm thrilled" to have the job. The "Colbert Report" on Comedy Central will continue through the end of this year. The date of Letterman's exit and Colbert's debut on the "Late Show" hasn't been set.

He told Letterman that "I'm going to do whatever you have done," and Letterman protested: "You don't want to do that."

"It seems to have gone pretty well, Dave," Colbert said.

"It's gone on," Letterman replied.

  • Television
  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Stephen Colbert
  • David Letterman

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Justin Bieber apologizes for Japan war shrine trip

TOKYO (AP) — Justin Bieber apologized Wednesday to those he offended by visiting Japan's Yasukuni war shrine this week, saying he was misled to see it as only a place of prayer.

The Shinto shrine in Tokyo honors 2.5 million war dead, including 14 convicted war criminals. China and South Korea in particular see Yasukuni as a symbol of Japan's past militarism and see visits to it as a lack of understanding or remorse over wartime history.

Two photos posted late Tuesday and subsequently removed from Instagram showed Bieber praying outdoors at the shrine and standing beside a Shinto priest. The images outraged China as well as many commenters on Instagram and Twitter.

In a new Instagram post Wednesday evening, Bieber said he asked his driver to stop when he saw the shrine.

"I was mislead to think the Shrines were only a place of prayer. To anyone I have offended I am extremely sorry," the post said.

  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Justin Bieber
  • Shinto shrine
  • Yasukuni war shrine
  • Japan

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Lupita Nyong'o named People's 'Most Beautiful'

NEW YORK (AP) — People magazine has named Lupita Nyong'o as the "World's Most Beautiful" for 2014.

The 31-year-old actress, who won a best supporting actress Oscar for her role in "12 Years a Slave," tops the magazine's list, announced Wednesday.

Commenting on being selected for this year's cover, Nyong'o says: "It was exciting and just a major, major compliment. I was happy for all the girls who would see me on it and feel a little more seen."

___

Online:

http://www.people.com/people/

  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Celebrities
  • People magazine

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VMAs returning to LA; trying out renovated Forum

Live from Inglewood!

After visiting New York last year, the MTV Video Music Awards announced Wednesday that the show is returning to the West Coast this summer to become the first major awards ceremony broadcast from the storied Forum in Inglewood, Calif.

For decades, the "Fabulous Forum," as it was known, hosted some of the world's biggest musical talents, from Bob Dylan to the Rolling Stones. But in recent years, the arena and its working-class neighborhood near the LA airport fell on hard times as newer, hipper venues gained favor.

Then, after a $100 million makeover, the Forum reopened in January as the largest indoor entertainment venue in the country. It has already hosted such acts as the Eagles and Justin Timberlake.

The 2014 VMAs will air Sunday, Aug. 24.

  • Arts & Entertainment Events
  • Arts & Entertainment
  • MTV Video Music Awards

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Lohan says on reality show she had miscarriage

Written By pemburu PR on Senin, 21 April 2014 | 20.51

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lindsay Lohan says she suffered a miscarriage during the taping of her reality TV series.

The 27-year-old actress made the disclosure during Sunday's final episode of "Lindsay," the OWN cable channel series.

Lohan said the miscarriage was the reason that she was unable to appear on the program at one point. She said she was sick and unable to move.

She didn't offer any further details on the program about her ill-fated pregnancy.

Lohan began taping the OWN reality show shortly after leaving her sixth stint in rehab last summer.

  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Television
  • Lindsay Lohan

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'Capt. America' tops box office for third week

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Captain America continues to vanquish box office foes, triumphing in ticket sales for the third consecutive week and dominating over megastar Johnny Depp's new movie.

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" added another $26 million to its coffers, according to studio estimates Sunday, while Depp's sci-fi thriller, "Transcendence," opened in fourth place with $11 million.

Directed by longtime Christopher Nolan cinematographer Wally Pfister, the Warner Bros. film is Depp's third consecutive box office disappointment. He played Tonto in last summer's "The Lone Ranger" — one of the biggest flops of 2013 — and starred in 2012's comedy-horror dud, "Dark Shadows."

"As we approach the summer movie season, box-office drawing power becomes more about the concept of the movie rather than its star," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. "It may not have been so much (about) Johnny Depp, but audiences right now like brands that they know."

That doesn't bode well for original ideas, such as "Transcendence," penned by first-time screenwriter Jack Paglen. Dergarabedian notes that 12 sequels are expected this summer alone.

Another new movie, the religious-themed "Heaven Is for Real," debuted in third place over Easter weekend, while another sequel, "Rio 2," held on to the second spot.

Faith-based films are performing well, Dergarabedian said, with four releases in the domestic top 20.

"The Winter Soldier" set a box-office record as the biggest April release ever when it opened with more than $96 million domestically. Starring Chris Evans as comic book hero Capt. America and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, the Disney release has earned more than $200 million to date in North America — the 12th Marvel film to do so.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released on Monday:

1. "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," $26.6 million ($35.3 million international).

2. "Rio 2," $22.5 million ($48 million international).

3. "Heaven is for Real," $21.5 million.

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This photo released by Warner Bros. shows Johnny Depp …

This photo released by Warner Bros. shows Johnny Depp as Will Caster in Alcon Entertainment's sc …

4. "Transcendence," $11.2 million ($17.4 million international).

5. "A Haunted House 2," $9.1 million.

6. "Draft Day," $5.9 million.

7. "Divergent," $5.75 million ($18.1 million international).

8. "Oculus," $5.2 million.

9. "Noah," $5 million ($21.6 million international).

10. "God's Not Dead," $4.8 million.

___

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada) for films distributed overseas by Hollywood studios, according to Rentrak:

1. "Rio 2," $48 million.

2. "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," $47 million.

3. "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," $35.3 million.

4. "Noah," $21.6 million.

5. "Divergent," $18.1 million.

6. "Transcendence," $17.4 million.

7. (tie) "Frozen," $7.6 million.

1. (tie) "The Lego Movie," $7.6 million.

1. "The Grand Budapest Hotel," $6 million.

2. "The Other Woman," $5.3 million.

3. "Mr. Peabody and Sherman," $2.2 million.

___

Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

  • Consumer Discretionary
  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Johnny Depp
  • Captain America
  • Warner Bros.

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Discovery network cancels Everest jump

NEW YORK (AP) — The Discovery Network is canceling a daredevil's planned jump off the summit of Mount Everest in a wing suit next month following the avalanche that killed at least 13 people on Friday.

Network spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg said Sunday that the network's thoughts and prayers go out to the Sherpa community of guides who were the victims of the avalanche.

Jumper Joby Ogwyn already was at Everest in advance of the jump, which was scheduled to be televised live on May 11 worldwide. He was not injured in the avalanche.

Discovery had hoped for big ratings with the stunt, and had scheduled several hours of coverage in anticipation.


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Joss Whedon releasing film for digital download

NEW YORK (AP) — Joss Whedon is releasing a film he wrote as a $5 digital download, bypassing the normal channels of independent film distribution.

In a video announcement Sunday following the premiere of the supernatural romance "In Your Eyes" at the Tribeca Film Festival, Whedon says the film will immediately be released online via Vimeo On Demand and InYourEyesMovie.com.

The film stars Zoe Kazan and Michael Stahl-David. Whedon penned and produced it.

The release will be the second film release for Whedon's "micro studio" Bellwether Productions, following last year's adaptation of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing."

Whedon has experimented previously with digital releases. His 2008 miniseries "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" was among the first high-profile Web series.

Whedon currently is working on the "Avengers" sequel "Age of Ultron," to be released next year.

  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Media
  • Joss Whedon

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High court to hear dispute about TV over Internet

WASHINGTON (AP) — Thirty years after failing to convince the Supreme Court of the threat posed by home video recordings, big media companies are back and now trying to rein in another technological innovation they say threatens their financial well-being.

The battle has moved out of viewers' living rooms, where Americans once marveled at their ability to pop a cassette into a recorder and capture their favorite programs or the sporting event they wouldn't be home to see.

Now the entertainment conglomerates that own U.S. television networks are waging a legal fight, culminating in Tuesday's Supreme Court argument against a startup business that uses Internet-based technology to give subscribers the ability to watch programs anywhere they can take portable devices.

The source of the companies' worry is Aereo Inc., which takes free television signals from the airwaves and sends them over the Internet to paying subscribers in 11 cities. Aereo, backed by billionaire Barry Diller, has plans to more than double that total.

Broadcasters including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and PBS have sued Aereo for copyright infringement, saying Aereo should pay for redistributing the programming the same way cable and satellite systems do.

The U.S. networks increasingly are reliant on these retransmission fees, estimated at $3.3 billion last year and going up to more than $7 billion by 2018, according to research by SNL Kagan, which analyzes media and communications trends. They fear that they will lose some of that money if the Supreme Court rules for Aereo.

Aereo's service starts at $8 a month and is available in New York, Boston, Houston and Atlanta, among others. Subscribers get about two dozen local over-the-air stations, plus the Bloomberg TV financial channel.

In the New York market, Aereo has a data center in Brooklyn with thousands of dime-size antennas. When a subscriber wants to watch a show live or record it, the company temporarily assigns him an antenna and transmits the program over the Internet to the subscriber's laptop, tablet, smartphone or other device.

The antenna is only used by one subscriber at a time, and Aereo says that's much like the situation at home, where a viewer uses a personal antenna to watch over-the-air broadcasts for free.

"Aereo is in some ways novel, but it is also among a host of technologies that uses the Internet to offer consumers the ability to do what they always have more cheaply and conveniently," the Dish Network and Echostar Technologies said in a supporting legal brief filed in the Supreme Court.

But the broadcasters and their backers argue that Aereo's competitive advantage lies not in its product, but in avoiding paying for it.

"Aereo is simply a blatant free rider trying to make a quick buck without paying anything toward the true costs of what it misappropriates," Time Warner Inc. said in a court filing.

The broadcasters told the court that Aereo's "competitors pay for the rights to retransmit 'live TV' to the public — as they must to avoid liability for copyright infringement — while Aereo does not."

The federal appeals court in New York ruled that Aereo did not violate the copyrights of broadcasters with its service, but a similar service has been blocked by judges in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said its ruling stemmed from a 2008 decision in which it held that Cablevision Systems Corp. could offer a remote digital video recording service without paying additional licensing fees to broadcasters because each playback transmission was made to a single subscriber using a single unique copy produced by that subscriber. The Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal from movie studios, TV networks and cable TV channels.

In the Aereo case, a dissenting judge said his court's decision would eviscerate copyright law.

Judge Denny Chin called Aereo's setup a sham and said the individual antennas are a "Rube Goldberg-like contrivance" — an overly complicated device that accomplishes a simple task in a confusing way — that exists for the sole purpose of evading copyright law.

The Obama administration, artists, actors, Major League Baseball and the National Football League all support the broadcasters. But the administration and computer software and telecommunications groups are urging the court to avoid a broad ruling in favor of copyright protection that could call into question the rapidly evolving world of cloud computing, which gives users access to a vast online computer network that stores and processes information.

Smaller cable companies, independent broadcasters and consumer groups are backing Aereo.

FM radio and cable TV were initially derided as unnecessary, inefficient or just bizarre, said the digital civil liberties watchdog Electronic Frontier Foundation. In a legal filing joined by other public interest groups and the consumer electronics trade association, the group said the justices should not become regulators of technology and "the court should not attempt to predict the future of television."

The entertainment industry has changed dramatically since the high court ruled in favor of home video recording in 1984 in a 5-4 decision. Then, Sony was the maker of the Betamax recorder and Universal City Studios and Walt Disney Productions were arguing for protection under copyright law.

Now, Disney owns ABC and cable giant Comcast owns NBC and Universal.

The case is ABC v. Aereo, 13-461.

  • Company Legal & Law Matters
  • Arts & Entertainment

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