Saturday, March 26, 2011







The Australian Green Room Awards at The Famous Spiegeltent in Melbourne recently, with global favorite MARY POPPINS leading the night with a total of nine awards out of its twelve nominations. 

The Green Room Awards nominations are decided by a series of panels composed of 8-12 industry professionals, divided into relevant disciplines.

The awards for MUSIC THEATRE are:

Richard Eyre & Matthew Bourne - Mary Poppins

- Bob Crowley (Set & Costumes) - Mary Poppins

- Trudy Dalgleish – Hairspray

- Peter Grubb - Mary Poppins

- Matthew Bourne & Stephen Mear - Mary Poppins


- Michael Tyack - Mary Poppins

- Verity Hunt-Ballard - Mary Poppins

- Geoffrey Rush - The Drowsy Chaperone

- Philip Quast - Mary Poppins

- Esther Hannaford – Hairspray

- Mary Poppins

- Mary Poppins





Theatre, the magazine for American Stage appeared in 1900. It was edited by Arthur Hornblow for most of its existence. Changed to Theatre Magazine in 1917, it became a monthly magazine dedicated to stage and its actors with illustrations. Eventually news of the movie world took over and Theatre Magazine ceased publication in 1931.




On March 25 the revival of John Kander, Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse's Tony Award-winning musical Chicago becomes the fifth-longest running production in Broadway history, surpassing Oh! Calcutta with a total of 5,960 performances.

Broadway's top-five longest-running productions of all time follow:

1.    The Phantom of the Opera (9,633)
2.    Cats (7,485)
3.    Les Miserables (6,680)
4.    A Chorus Line (6,137)
5.    Chicago (5,960)

The Broadway production now stars Bianca Marroquin as Roxie Hart, original revival cast member Leigh Zimmerman as Velma Kelly, Jeff McCarthy as Billy Flynn, Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart and Roz Ryan as Matron "Mama" Morton.

The revival of Chicago began life as one of the three annual Encores! presentations offered by City Center. The musical opened on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in November 1996 where it remained through February 1997. The musical transferred to the Shubert Theatre on Feb. 11, 1997, and played that house through Jan. 26, 2003. The revival reopened at the Ambassador Theatre, its current home, on Jan. 29, 2003.



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Louis Braille (1809-1852) who was blind form the age of three became a professor at the school for the blind in Paris. He developed the system of raised point writing named after him.




"The Amazing Spider-Man" has not finished shooting yet, but Columbia Pictures has begun working on the sequel. The Hollywood Reporter reports the studio has hired James Vanderbilt to write the script for the upcoming instalment of the web-slinger after the studio execs gave a thumbs up for his take.

Vanderbilt has written for "The Amazing Spider-Man" which is currently in production under the direction of Marc Webb. He was previously tapped to work on "Spider-Man 4" when Sam Raimi was still expected to continue the series for Columbia with Tobey Maguire as the superhero depicter, before the project collapsed.






In the middle of a news service you hear something and you just know that it is not right. What was meant and what was said were two different things. Here are some good examples.

"We have good reason to believe he was stabbed. There was a sharp object sticking out of his chest". - Lt. R. Travis, Newburgh, NY, Police Dept, cited in National Lampoon calendar

"The City of Rochester (Michigan) is considering a ban on smoking at the park because people are leaving their butts on the beach." - Announcer, WJR Radio, Detroit, MI

"Men between the ages of 18 and 25 must register for the draft on their 18th birthday." - Sign in a US Post Office

"This door must not be opened under any circumstances." - Sign outside a fire exit in a hotel

"We have to expect it, otherwise we would be surprised."- Unidentified general officer, re: Gulf war.




One of the Broadway’s most appealing musical characters is back in New York, with Daniel Radcliffe stepping into J. Pierrepont Finch’s spiffy suits and bow ties in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. resident artist Justin ‘Squigs’ Robertson dropped by the World Wide Wicket Company (make that the Al Hirschfeld Theatre) to pen character portraits of Radcliffe and co-stars John Larroquette (J.B. Biggley), Tammy Blanchard (Hedy La Rue), Christopher J. Hanke (Bud Frump) and Rose Hemingway (Rosemary Pilkington).

How to Succeed will celebrate its gala opening on March 27, so make plans now to join this benevolent—and very funny—brotherhood of man.







TV Land has given series orders to two sitcoms, "Happily Divorced" starring Fran Drescher and "The Exes," starring "Scrubs" veteran Donald Faison.

"TV Land is committed to building a new home for situation comedies and we are ecstatic to build and expand on the success of our original scripted programing," said Larry W. Jones, president of TV Land. "We're looking forward to an amazing year working with all of this wonderful talent," Jones said.

"Happily Divorced" marks "The Nanny" star Drescher's return to TV. The actress will be joined by John Michael Higgins, Tichina Arnold and Rita Moreno.

The series is based on Drescher's real life and centers on Los Angeles florist Fran (Drescher) as she deals with dating after finding out her realtor husband of 18 years (Higgins) is gay.




Actor Sylvester Stallone has become the latest star to enter the world of fashion, he's creating a clothing line. Sly Inc., which was inspired by the star's legendary on-screen characters "Rambo" and "Rocky Balboa", will consist of jeans, shirts, outerwear, underwear, and watches.

Stallone tells Men's Week magazine, "I thought the time is now. I've lived a life where I know what has worked and what hasn't worked. Clothing is the first step to building a character."

The actor, who will launch the lifestyle brand in 2012, eventually hopes to expand the line to include eye wear, grooming products, athletic wear and even a fragrance.




Gwen Stefani has taken Sandra Bullock's lead and matched the actress' generous $1 million donation to aid the Japanese relief effort. An estimated 18,000 people lost their lives in the the earthquake and tsunami double disaster on March 11, and celebrities around have been stepping up to help the survivors.

Bullock handed over the big cheque to the American Red Cross last week and now singer and fashion designer Stefani has made a similar donation to Save the Children's Japan Earthquake-Tsunami Children in Emergency Fund.

The No Doubt star has also designed a limited edition T-shirt for her L.A.M.B. fashion label, with all proceeds benefiting the recovery efforts in Japan. The item will be unveiled on next week (begs March 28).

Demi Lovato is also reported to have dug deep and donated $1 million to the relief fund, while a host of other celebrities, including Lady GaGa, Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg, are raising cash from various accessories, clothing and merchandise for the cause.






At the Mexico Olympics in 1968, Bob Beamon astonished spectators with a jump of 29 feet 2.5 inches (8.90 m) adding 21.75 inches (55cm) to the previous world long jump record. His achievement remained unbeaten for the next twenty three years.

Friday, March 25, 2011




The lights of Broadway’s theatres will dim for exactly one minute at 8PM on March 25 in honour of iconic actress Elizabeth Taylor, who died on March 23 at the age of 79.

In her 70-year career, Taylor starred in more than 50 films, including Giant and Cleopatra, as well as the film versions of Tennessee Williams’ plays Suddenly Last Summer and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She won Oscars for her roles in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Butterfield 8.

Taylor made her Broadway debut as Regina Giddens in a 1981 revival of Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes, for which she earned a Best Actress Tony Award nomination. Taylor's other Broadway credits include Private Lives (opposite ex-husband Richard Burton) and The Corn Is Green.



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A representative for Zsa Zsa Gabor has blamed the actress' latest health scare on the shock of losing her close friend Elizabeth Taylor, revealing the ailing star deteriorated after hearing news of her death. The 94 year old remains under observation at the UCLA Medical Center in California following her hospitalization on Wednesday, March 23.

A spokesperson for Gabor has now confirmed the Hollywood veteran became distraught when she was told her close friend had passed away and the scare prompted her husband Frederic Prinz von Anhalt to call for medical assistance.




Just two weeks before her death, a hospitalized Elizabeth Taylor spoke to her one-time rival Debbie Reynolds.

"I said, 'Getting old is really shit,' " Reynolds tells Access Hollywood of her final conversation with Taylor. "And she said, 'It certainly is. It certainly is, Debbie. This is really tough.' "

"I said, 'Well, you just hang in there now, Elizabeth,' " Reynolds recalls. "And she said, 'I'm really trying."

"God bless her, she's on to a better place," Reynolds says. "I'm happy that she's out of her pain because she was in a lot of pain."

As for her legacy, Reynolds reflected on Taylor's "long productive career," in a statement earlier Wednesday. "She was the most glamorous and sexual star of our generation," Reynolds, 78, said in the statement. "No one else could equal Elizabeth's beauty and sexuality. Women liked her and men adored her, and her love for her children is enduring."

Added Reynolds: "She was a symbol of stardom. Her legacy will last."
Though they were friends at the time of Taylor's death, during the late '50s, Reynolds and Taylor were caught in the biggest sex scandal of the decade.

Reynolds, the star of Singin' in the Rain and other MGM musicals, was America's Sweetheart and the mother of two children with her husband, boy-next-door crooner Eddie Fisher – who in 1957 was stolen away from his wife and children by the recently widowed Taylor.




"I am so sorry to hear that this great legend has passed. I admired and respected her not only as an actress but for her amazing and inspiring work as an AIDS activist. She was one of a kind." — Madonna.


"Elizabeth's legacy will live on in many people around the world whose lives will be longer and better because of her work and the ongoing efforts of those she inspired." — Statement from former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.


"I don't know what was more impressive her magnitude as a star or her magnitude as a friend. Her talent for friendship was unmatched. I will miss her for the rest of my life and beyond." — Shirley MacLaine.


"Our loss in the motion picture business with Elizabeth Taylor's passing is momentous. She was a lady who gave of herself to everyone. I know I consider it a great personal loss." — Mickey Rooney, who starred opposite Taylor in "National Velvet."


"She was and will always be an icon within the film and entertainment industry and she nurtured me and kept me tenacious with my continuing commitment and work regarding AIDS. I will miss her as I am certain so many that she befriended passionately." — Dionne Warwick.


"(Taylor) forever marked the history of the Seventh Art ... (her) Cleopatra remains unequaled ... (she was) devoted from the youngest age to a limitless passion for film." — Francois Fillon, prime minister of France.


"I shall remember her as a woman whose heart and soul were as beautiful as her classic face and majestic eyes." — Former Sen. John W. Warner.


"She was a true star, because she not only had beauty and notoriety; Elizabeth Taylor had talent. As a friend she was always, always there for me. I'll miss her for the rest of my life, but I was so lucky to have known her." — Liza Minnelli.


"She was passionate — and compassionate — about everything in her life, including her family, her friends, and especially the victims of the AIDS. She was truly a legend and we will miss her." — Nancy Reagan.


"She was the last of the true Hollywood icons, a great beauty, a great actress and continually fascinating to the world throughout her tumultuous life and career." — Joan Collins.


"She was an incredible talent, and yes, she had those unforgettable eyes. I greatly admire her humanitarian efforts which have touched so many lives. Elizabeth was a very dear, generous and loving lady." — Eva Marie Saint.


"She's in heaven and she's in a heavenly place and she's happy." — Debbie Reynolds to "Access Hollywood."


"The whole world has been in love with Elizabeth Taylor and I was fortunate enough to be one of them." — George Hamilton.


"She really, I think, is like the last of the movie stars. She said that there had never been a time in her life when she wasn't famous." — Barbara Walters on "The View."


"Elizabeth Taylor was the last of the great glamour stars. She was the longest-running soap opera in history, and represented all the allure and tragedy that attracts people to Hollywood." — British director Michael Winner.


"She earned our adoration for her stunning beauty and for being the very essence of glamorous movie stardom. And she earned our enduring love and respect for her compassion and her courage in standing up and speaking out about AIDS when others preferred to bury their heads in the sand." — Elton John.


"It's the end of an era. It wasn't just her beauty or her stardom. It was her humanitarianism. She put a face on HIV/AIDS. She was funny. She was generous. She made her life count." — Barbra Streisand.


"Elizabeth was the last great movie star. And a great human being. What I'll always remember about Elizabeth was her laugh. She would walk into a room looking like a princess and suddenly there would be this cackle that filled the room that would crack us all up. I'm so glad to have known her. It's a very sad day for me." — Barry Manilow.


"Elizabeth Taylor was the last of the Hollywood greats, and a fantastically charming woman." — Tweet from singer George Michael.


"Elizabeth is known throughout the world as an Academy Award-winning actress, but what is less known is her devotion to philanthropic causes and in 1980, she received the centre's highest honour, its Humanitarian Award. She will be sorely missed." — Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.


"I am profoundly saddened by the death of Hollywood's last great star of the '50s and '60s, a woman of extraordinary talent and hypnotic eyes. I will always hold her in my heart, proud of having earned the privilege of her applause at my concerts in America." — Andrea Bocelli.


"Elizabeth, thank you for all your help in the battle for HIV and AIDS. You will be missed by the world." — Tweet from former basketball star Magic Johnson.


"She leaves a monumental legacy that has improved and extended millions of lives and will enrich countless more for generations to come." — Statement from amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.


"She was the most amazing woman. When she walked into a room, she just had the most amazing presence about her. She was just incredible." — Designer Elizabeth Emanuel.


"Elizabeth and I began our careers about the same time at MGM. Throughout her tumultuous life, she will be remembered for some unique and memorable work. And she will be ever remembered and appreciated for her forthright support of amfAR." — Actress Angela Lansbury.


"In a career spanning more than 70 years and 50 films, her talent endured the test of time and transcended generations of moviegoers. She truly was an American icon, whose legacy went far beyond her acting skills, most notably in her efforts to lead the battle against HIV/AIDS." — Chris Dodd, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America.


"She was just a magnificent woman. She was a great broad and a good friend." — Whoopi Goldberg on "The View."


"It's a terrible loss. A unique talent and a singularly spectacular individual." — Actor Martin Landau, who appeared with Taylor in "Cleopatra."


"California has lost a great star today. Elizabeth Taylor in 'National Velvet' inspired my childhood love of horses. Her passion for life and devotion to those less fortunate will continue to inspire me and others. I send my condolences to her family, and to her fans all over the world. Elizabeth was one of the greats and will be remembered as such." — Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) .


"Liz Taylor was an amazing woman and screen legend, she was an incredible friend to my brother at his side through some of his most difficult times and of course loved by his children and our family. She will live on in our hearts forever, my prayers go out to her family." — La Toya Jackson.


"We were honoured to work with Elizabeth Taylor on 'General Hospital.' Her portrayal of Helena was a defining moment for the show and an extraordinary experience for everyone involved." — Statement from the soap opera "General Hospital."


"I loved her. She hosted a huge party when 'Hello Dolly' first opened in Los Angeles. I remember the lavender roses and the aura of the personality. She said when you find the particular love of your life it is never forgotten. We loved you too Elizabeth." — Carol Channing.


"I was on Broadway with 'Sugar Babies' simultaneously while Elizabeth was appearing in 'Little Foxes.' We would meet occasionally after shows. I will never forget those eyes or that laugh." — Rip Taylor.


"She was a marker of our time, my time. It seems like yesterday that I taught a beautiful 14-year-old Elizabeth how to swim at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, more beautiful, more voluptuous than Miss America. I will miss her." — Esther Williams.






On Saturday 19 March 2011, the moon 220,625 miles away, making it seem brighter and yellower and creating the eye-catching 'super moon' effect.

It was the first time since January 19, 1992, that the moon has been so close to the Earth. At its furthest, it can be 250,000 miles away.


An aircraft flies past the moon over Somerset on Saturday night as it is at its closest point to the earth for almost two decades. It appears the moon is being sliced in half.

close_encounter_supermoon_02Revellers stand beside St Michael's Tower on Glastonbury Tor, Somerset, watching the moon as it is at its closest point to Earth for two decades

close_encounter_supermoon_03The full moon is seen as it rises near the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington DC

close_encounter_supermoon_04   Moonhattan: The oversized moon adds to the lights of New York City as it rises over the city skyline

close_encounter_supermoon_05 Something for everyone: Tourists, star-gazers and simple star-crossed lovers gathered to watch the moon rise over New York's East River

close_encounter_supermoon_06 The moon is seen behind the top of the radio and television tower 'Funkturm' in Berlin

close_encounter_supermoon_07The moon as seen from the end of Worthing Pier in Sussex, looking east towards Beachy Head

close_encounter_supermoon_08  In the backdrop of a minaret of a mosque, over Karachi city, Pakistan.

close_encounter_supermoon_09A seagull flies in front of a full perigee moon in Yangon, Myanmar

close_encounter_supermoon_10  A rugby match in Headingley, Leeds is bathed in an orange glow



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