Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway Reveals Cast and Creative

Broadway and Disney fans alike rejoice! The highly anticipated Broadway version of Disney’s Aladdin, directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw, will run in Toronto this fall before coming to Broadway for previews in February. The show will finally open at the New Amsterdam Theater March 20.

Yesterday The New York Times released a list of those incorporating their talents for the stage musical. Among 34 cast members are Adam Jacobs (Aladdin), James Monroe Iglehart (the Genie), Courtney Reed (Jasmine), and Tony Award nominee and voice actor for his character in the animated film, Jonathan Freeman (Jafar).

The score includes the legendary classic Disney hit and Academy Award Winner “Whole New World” as well as brand new songs written special for the production. Oscar and Tony Award winner Alan Menken (music), Howard Ashman and Tim Rice (lyrics), and Chad Beguelin (book and additional lyrics) also grace this musical with their skills.

Aladdin marks the most recent of the Disney film family brought to the Broadway stage after its predecessors The Beauty and the Beast (1994-2007), The Lion King (1997-present), Mary Poppins (2006-2013), Tarzan (2006-2007), The Little Mermaid (2008-2009), and Newsies (2012-present).

Maleficent

Directed by Robert Stromberg. The well-known fairy tale “Sleeping Beauty” is going to be released in theaters in 2014.

“Maleficent” told from the different perspective of the villainous Maleficent who are also be familiar with the evil witch from the Disney film “Sleeping Beauty” in 1959. “Maleficent” tells the story of the cold villain Maleficent and describes the events that led up to her cursing baby Princess Aurora.

Maleficent

Starring Angelina Jolie in the title role and Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora. Other cast members include Sharlto Copley, Juno Temple, Sam Riley, and Imelda Staunton.

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In the interview of Maleficent, Jolie said that this version is going to show a different side of Maleficent. She talked about her character: “Just because she protects herself and is aggressive, it doesn’t mean she can’t have other warmer qualities. Maleficent is actually a great person. But she’s not perfect. She’s FAR from perfect.”

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▼ 4-year-old Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, daughter of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, makes her on-screen debut as young Princess Aurora. So adorable isn’t it?

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▼ Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora

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▼ Susan Sarandon plays Maleficent in “Enchanted” in 2007.

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Dr. Dre To Create $70 million Academy for Aspiring Music Moguls

When I read that Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine were creating a music academy at USC, I immediately thought about how drastically different it would be in comparison to traditional music schools. Of course, Dre’s school is going to be geared towards the music business (or “innovation in business” as they put it), but it will also have an arts program, and the first thing that comes to mind is “hip hop is not going to die anytime soon.” But music is not all that will be taught there.

According to the announcement in the LATimes,

Instruction will involve engineering, computer science, fine arts, graphic design, business and leadership training.

and as Dean of Fine Arts at USC Erica Muhl said in an interview,

“Academy students will have the freedom to move easily from classroom to lab, from studio to workshop individually or in groups, and blow past any academic or structural barriers to spontaneous creativity.”

While the NYTimes hopes the school will produce the next Steve Jobs, the question right now remains who will be one of the lucky 25 who manage to get in to the school on its first opening, and what should we really expect of them? Pop music has been forever cursed with echoes of regurgitated, and sometimes even stolen art, and while the donation is a beautiful contribution to the world of music education, it also carries a certain standard that could possibly alter the course of the students’ professional careers, and not necessarily in a good way. After all, half the donation is coming from a man who got that money from gloating on his records about selling drugs, treating women poorly, employing prostitutes, and killing people with guns, and while rapper Eminem said in the past that what is said on a record is much different than what is usually said in real life, that doesn’t necessarily mean that none of what has been said on a Dre record is true.

It’s also possible that this move by Dr. Dre could help to shift the discourse on rap records from violence and drugs to a more peaceful and educational movement, something we’ve recently seen from Snoop Lion (the artist formerly known as Snoop Dogg), which is undoubtedly a natural progression in both the arts and in life. Violence, after all, has the power to ultimately hinder record and concert sales, especially if the listeners are in jail.

2013 The Walking Dead Bikini Zombies Calender

At the beginning of 2013, have you found your perfect calendar yet?

No matter you found it or not, if you are a fan of zombies, you must not miss this bikini zombies calendar of “The Walking Dead”.

The calendar is part of a South African promotion for AMC’s “The Walking Dead” by Ireland Davenport Development. Fans of zombies can download this calendar for free!

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Check out the bikini zombie babes shooting behind the scene:

Justin Bieber Gropes Fan’s Breast In Photo

After someone posted a photo of Justin Bieber grabbing a fan’s left breast (while kissing her on the cheek) to his official fan site, the photo was quickly removed after causing a stir. Both Bieber and the fan, Jocelyn, deny that he is actually grabbing her boob, while the photo shows quite a different story. The fan tweeted: “People can think what they want but I know what really happened & Justin does too so everyone else’s opinions don’t matter to me.” reports Fox News.

Is it a coincidence that Bieber’s newest album Believe Acoustic hits stores today?

Zombie Short Film: “Project: S.E.R.A.”

Are you one of the fans of zombie movies? If your answer is YES, then you can’t miss this zombie short film: “Project: S.E.R.A.”. The story is about a girl, Gillean Eames, wakes up in a abandoned warehouse and witnesses her father got injected a biological virus and eventually turns into a zombie.

The director and writer of the movie, Benjamin Howdeshell whose also well known as assistant editor of “Resident Evil” series, “Death Race (2008)”, “Season of the Witch (2011)” and “Step Up Revolution (2012)”.

“Project: S.E.R.A.” just has 10 minutes length story; however, it not only has the special effects and sounds as Hollywood movies, but also has an extraordinary exciting story. Benjamin Howdeshell used different time lines and contradicted colors interlaced an entertaining and vivid piece for audience. The story has all kinds of elements that zombie movie fans will like, such as conspiracy, zombie turning process, hot girl with guns, and 360 degrees zombie shooting scenario!

Not bad, huh?!
Some people might have the question about the tile “S.E.R.A.”. What does S.E.R.A. mean? According to Benjamin Howdeshell explanation, S.E.R.A. represents “Simpson Eames Regeneration Agenda”. I can’t wait for the next one~!

(Note: Simpson Eames is the father of Gillean.)

Casts:
Julia Voth as Gillean Eames

As a Canadian actress, Julia’s likeness is used for the basis of the character Jill Valentine from Capcom’s survival-horror video game series “Resident Evil,” starting with the 2002 remake of the original game.

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Charlie Sheen Pays Lindsay Lohan’s Taxes for 2009, 2010

Earlier today, TMZ reported that Charlie Sheen sent Lindsay Lohan a $100,000 check out of which $93k was used on Lohan’s 2009 tax debt and $6k on her 2010 tax debt.

The news comes just one day after MTV’s interview with actor James Franco and his testament to Lohan’s struggle with publicity after having spent time with her during the filming of R.E.M.’s video for “Blue”.

“I think one of the reasons it’s so hard is when she gets in trouble, she gets all this attention and I’m sure she gets book offers,” Franco said, alluding to the temptation of greed and success at the expense of a celebrity’s freedom and privacy. “She goes to jail, and instead of feeling like ‘I really hit a low place,’ she’ll get a crazy offer for her jail memoir.”

Dave Brubeck, Jazz Legend, Dies at 91

At age 91, jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck was still playing jazz clubs like Blue Note in New York City. He pioneered a style which caught everyone’s eyes and ears in such popular jazz songs as “Take Five”, “Blue Rondo A la Turk”, and others with challenging time signatures and rhythms that stand out among the finest of jazz music from the last century.

Brubeck formed The Dave Brubeck Quartet circa 1951 and was the first modern jazz musician to be pictured on the cover of Time magazine in November of ’54. As his career spanned American jazz as far back as the end of World War II, Brubeck helped define cool jazz with saxophonist Paul Desmond through the 1950s and 1960s.

Brubeck died of heart failure early Wednesday morning on his way to a cardiology appointment with his son Darius and would have had his 92nd Birthday the following Thursday.

Jane Lynch Glee-fully Joins Amway Boycott

Actress Jane Lynch, best known for her parts in the Christopher Guest ensemble pieces and as the tough Glee Club leader Sue Sylvester of TV’s hit series “Glee,” was only too happy to join Rights Equal Rights, the group formerly known as Californians Against Hate, in their boycotting campaign against the direct marketing cosmetics company Amway. “Jane couldn’t grab up the pen fast enough to sign,” said Fred Karger, presidential candidate and founder of Rights Equal Rights, who was interviewed by PopCultureFan last week. In October, it was revealed that Doug DeVos, Amway’s president and CEO made a substantial $500,000 donation to the National Organization for Marriage towards funding political candidates who fight against marriage equality. As of now, only two donors of NOM remain known, the other being Chick-Fil-A. NOM, a non-profit political organization headed by Maggie Gallagher, is currently under investigation for questionable campaign contribution practices in Maine, Minnesota, and Maryland, dating back to 2009. Hopefully, the movement will grow more public awareness. Meanwhile, native Californian Bryan Cranston, of AMC’s “Breaking Bad”, between shooting the series’ final season, made a public service announcement video with wife Robin Dearden and their daughter Taylor, expressing support of gay marriage, a video for the Human Rights Campaign.

The War With NOM: A Conversation with Activist and Presidential Candidate Fred Karger

Fred Who? A reasonable question as well as his own campaign slogan when he ran in this year’s presidential primary. In fact, he was among the first candidates to file for the 2012 election, putting in his papers just a few days before President Obama. A campaign consultant and political watchdog as well as a lifelong champion for gay rights, he ran on a socially and fiscally moderate platform that supports gay marriage and a woman’s right to choose. There’s one more thing about him that might surprise you. He’s a Republican.

He’s also the first openly gay presidential candidate affiliated with a major political party. The election might be over but Karger’s as politically active as ever – this time locked in a fierce battle against the National Organization for Marriage of California. NOM, an organization condoning the slippery slope rhetoric: “if gay marriage is legal, legalizing sexual intercourse with dogs may be on the way,” refuses to publicly disclose the identities of its largest contributors, a practice defended by its director John Eastman. As of May, NOM has been under investigation by California’s Fair Political Practices Organization for allegedly failing to report over $345,000 in campaign contributions and funding attack ads on political candidates who support marriage equality. In not disclosing his contributors or their businesses, Eastman acts not without good reason – Karger’s called for boycotts of Chick-Fil-A and Amway when their stances on gay marriage were made public, sometimes staging protests outside their windows.

I had the chance to speak with Mr. Karger while he was on the East Coast for the wedding of two good friends in Washington. Just hours before the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, he stayed at New York’s Warwick Hotel on 54th Street. With the impending storm, he remained undaunted, proudly staying in a building that stood over Manhattan since 1926. Amid the growing gusts of wind and the surprising quiet of an emptying city, Karger discussed his presidential bid which ended on June 29 as well as his take on the GOP and politics in general.

He was born January 31, 1950 in Glencoe, Illinois, to Jean and Robert Karger. “My childhood was like Leave it to Beaver and I was the Beaver. I had an older brother. My father was a businessman. My mom stayed home. It was a normal, happy childhood. Around high school I began to sense I was different. When I was 21, I saw a psychiatrist, who thankfully, said there was nothing wrong with me and didn’t try to “fix me.” He helped me to realize that I was gay.” Initially, his reaction was to hide it from his family, and he moved to California with friends. “My parents always asked if I was seeing someone, but I never came out to my family until I was in my forties. I always felt like I would ruin the holidays. I didn’t want to do that.”

In the early 1980s, with the onset of the AIDS epidemic, things began to change. “It was an absolutely despicable time. I was always going to funerals of people my age. I always had at least one friend who was dying. And so many of them were being hit with this double-whammy. It was having to, for the first time in their lives, not only come out to their families as gay, but also that they were HIV-positive. Thankfully, I never had to deal with the second half myself.” The passing of his friend Bill from AIDS in 1991 ultimately made him decide to come out. “Bill had a wonderful family who came from Boston to see him. Really wonderful parents who looked out for all of his friends. When I saw that, I wished I could have the same relationship with my family. I told them, and by that point, they were okay with it. Ultimately I’m glad mom and dad got to meet my friends and accept me for who I am.”

with actress Jane Lynch who has supported Californians Against Hate

During his time in California, he dabbled in acting and gave himself two to three years to make it big, landing a role in a commercial for Edge shaving cream directed by the late John Hughes and a brief part in Airport 1975. He continued to pursue his passion for politics, an interest he had since the age of 14, when he traveled by train to help then-presidential candidate Nelson A. Rockefeller with his campaign against the eventual Republican nominee Barry Goldwater in 1964. When asked why he became a Republican, “It always made more sense to me. I guess I inherited it from my parents. My father was a businessman, a moderate Republican who believed in limited government that at the same time is there for those who need help. I believe that.”

When asked about his political role models, Karger points to Teddy Roosevelt who brought the party in a new direction at the turn of the twentieth century with the first laws aimed at protecting civil rights and womens’ rights and anti-monopoly laws. Like many other candidates in the Republican primary, he also cites Ronald Reagan as an inspiration, whose presidential campaign he worked for. He first came to admire Reagan in 1978 while campaigning actively against the Briggs Initiative, a law that if passed, would ban homosexuals from working in California’s public schools. “To get Reagan (who was the former governor of California at the time) to stay neutral would have been considered a victory for us. Instead, he did a very brave thing. He wrote a letter to the Herald-Tribune openly and publicly opposing the Briggs Initiative while preparing for a presidential campaign, a measure that could have risked support for his own campaign.”

While he was displeased with the way the Reagan Administration dealt with the AIDS crisis he admits, “It was quite a different era. One of the biggest battles we had back then was with The New York Times, one of the country’s most progressive newspapers and getting them to print the word ‘AIDS,’ which was an indication of how much of the country felt. I think that his friend Rock Hudson’s death also caused him to break his silence on the issue.” Nonetheless, Karger felt Reagan was a good president who accomplished a great deal. “He was a bit more conservative than I am, but he had an openness about him and was willing to cross the aisle. He did raise taxes, and sometimes I wonder if he’d be able to run for president in 2012, or if he’d be considered too centrist. But he had such charm and a sense of humor that won people over, so yes, I think he would win.”

Although Karger came out to his family in 1991, he kept his sexuality a secret publicly until 2006 when he crusaded to save the oldest gay bar in Laguna Beach. Two years later, he started Californians Against Hate in protest of California’s Proposition 8. He was surprised by how warmly he was received by the GOP when he first filed for election, greeted enthusiastically by Co-Chair Sharon Day and Chief of Staff Jeff Letterson at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. “Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus shook my hand. They were all glad to have me on board. I think a lot of it was because I do campaigning at colleges. Sharon Day liked how I was able to bring young people into the party, and generally I have what you could call a progressive social stance. The RNC’s been very generous and welcoming to me. Where I’ve run into trouble, where I’ve met with homophobia has been with the third-party groups that I feel are harming the party and the country: CPAC, Faith & Freedom, and the like. I’ve been excluded from debates. They said it was because I’m for gay marriage, but they’ve had heterosexual candidates debate who support gay marriage. I had to file a discrimination complaint with the Human Rights Office in Washington, D.C. back in June.”

Although he is said to have described himself as the Anti-Romney, he never used the words, although he is critical of the LDS Church and Romney’s obligation to follow its word over the bounds of family and country. Although he believes Obama’s record on LGBT rights has improved, he feels the president has not done enough. “We need to find younger people, build a stronger moderate base and keep the Republican party from just turning into a party of rich old white men – that won’t bode well. The two parties need each other in order to function. Such a big part of politics is about making compromises, and I believe it is possible to bring change from within the system. In California, the party’s showing is already down five percentage points which has never happened. That suggests people aren’t joining. If we start moving too far to the right, holding a purist attitude, doing the bidding of Atwater, the party’s going to be losing a generation.”