Broadway producers reached a deal with striking stagehands, paving the way for curtains to go up again Thursday in New York's theater district after a 19-day shutdown. Electricians, carpenters, sound and lighting technicians, scenery and prop handlers working backstage in Broadway musicals such as "The Lion King" had walked out on November 10, costing the city millions of dollars. James Claffey, the president of the 2,200-member union for stage hands, announced the return to work late Wednesday. "The people of Broadway are looking forward to returning to work, giving the theater-going public the joy of Broadway, the greatest entertainment in the world," Claffey said. Charlotte St. Martin, head of the League of American Theatres and Producers, said the two sides had reached common ground. "The contract is a good compromise that serves our industry. What is most important is that Broadway's lights will once again shine brightly," St. Martin said in a statement. The strike closed some 27 Broadway theaters and left disappointed ticket holders arriving at theaters to find doors closed and picket lines set up outside ... However, for shows not run by league members such as hit musical "Mary Poppins," the stoppage helped ensure sell-outs. Off-Broadway productions also experienced a mini-boom thanks to the strike, with many visitors from across the United States and around the world still anxious to see some theater during their New York visit. I had a feeling that this strike wouldn't last too much longer as Broadway producers realized that they would not be able to survive the holiday season if they didn't get the shows back up and running. While I'm very happy that the strike is over, I wish they would've come to an agreement just one day earlier since David and I had tickets to see The Little Mermaid on Tuesday night, the last night that Broadway was dark due to the strike. Ah well, folks are singing and dancing once again on Broadway ... all is right with the world again. [Source]
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were among the attendees of the Bambi Awards (the most important award that is handed out in Germany, one that honors every sector of communication and is also awarded to people in all other segments of entertainment and show business as well as economy, politics and sports) in Düsseldorf, Germany last night and Katie used the occasion to show off her brand new hairdo ... which will, undoubtedly, be splashed across newspapers and magazines the world over ... and which also looks very familiar:
Photo credit: Splash News
So ... okay, Katie's new bob isn't exactly in the same Tootie from Facts of Life/Dora the Explorer vein but it does look similar to little Suri Holmes Cruise's 'do du jour. It's amazing that Katie Holmes has risen to the level where all she has to do is change her hairstyle and it makes headline news. Honestly, I'd have thought that this TomKat craze would've died off more than it has by now ... I guess folks will still be interested in the exploits of the TomKat and their little robot baby until something goes wrong somewhere in the relationship. You know everyone is just waiting for those two to breakup so that Katie can be allowed to tell us what really went down in their courtship and subsequent whirlwind romance and marriage. As for the bob hairdo ... I'm not a big fan ... I like her with long hair ... I think this look ages her. Now she looks more Tom Cruise's age. I bet he talked her into this haircut. [Source]
Let's not forget, tho, that Christina Ricci debuted the new bob-look earlier this year ... and she was spotted out and about in LA this week makin' sure we don't forget it:
I think the look works better for Christina ... and I shudder to think who might also decide to jump on this bandwagon ... [Source]
... EEK! It's not exactly a bob haircut but Matt Dallas also unveiled a new hairdo this week. Here are pics of Mr. Dallas showing off his new set of bangs at the 2007 Family Television Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel last night:
A world of no. I'm not sure what look exactly Matt is going for but I don't think this new one is going to silence those pesky rumors about him. Maybe he should try getting a bob, too. [Source]
David Beckham continues to thrill folks in New Zealand ahead of his friendly soccer match with his LA Galaxy team mates against Wellington Phoenix tomorrow (which is today to us) ... here are new pics of Becks training with the Galaxy boys in front of 15,000 fans at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand today (which is yesterday to us):
David Beckham can sure pull a crowd, even at training. Beckham and his Los Angeles Galaxy teammates practised in front of more than 15,000 fans at Westpac Stadium on Friday. The 35,000-seat oval is the venue for Saturday's exhibition match between the Galaxy and Wellington Phoenix. It is also the Wellington home of the All Blacks rugby team and stands a stone's throw from the New Zealand Rugby Union national headquarters. Rugby officials could only watch in envy as Beckham demonstrated the drawing power which has made him one of international sport's most marketable commodities. The All Blacks might draw a few thousand fans to a training session before a major match. To draw 15,000 to a soccer practice, in a country in which soccer is a minor sport, was unprecedented ... The full house signs were expected to go up around the stadium later Friday as the last of the tickets available for Saturday night's match are sold. Since the venue was constructed in 1999, only the All Blacks and an annual rugby tournament have managed to sell out. Beckham is aware his first visit to New Zealand - a country whose population of 4 million is less than half that of Los Angeles county - is encroaching on rugby's territory and giving soccer a profile it hasn't previously enjoyed. "Notoriously, (New Zealand) is big on rugby but I hope that we can change that, just for one day and hopefully going forward because I've seen the potential football or soccer has in America," Beckham said at a news conference after he arrived Thursday ... A contract between the Phoenix and Galaxy stipulates he will play at least 55 minutes on Saturday but Beckham said he hoped to remain on the field for the full 90 minutes again, injuries permitting. The expected capacity crowd for the match will be the biggest for a soccer match in New Zealand's history, eclipsing the 32,000 which attended a World Cup qualifier against Kuwait in Auckland in 1982. "I know it's going to be a big part of history, which I'm looking forward to and I'm hoping that I can play for the whole game because I enjoyed playing the whole game in Sydney," Beckham said. "We'll have to wait and see but I feel good. It's never hard for me to motivate myself to play football, whether I'm kicking around in the backyard with the children or if I'm playing in a World Cup qualifier." Interesting ... there is a contract that Becks must play at least 55 of the 90 minutes of the game ... I'm sure that this sort of stipulation exists in many of the soccer contracts that the LA Galaxy has been signing in recent weeks. It's funny how we never really hear about this side of the sport. In any regard, I can totally understand why 15,000 folks came out just to watch the Galaxy, er, I mean David Beckham train. I've come to realize that it's no longer about the game of soccer anymore ... it's really about his celebrity. It says a lot that folks are sooo interested in a soccer player mostly when he's not playing soccer. With all those high kicks, those bent over positions and all that sweaty shirtlessness at the end ... I soooo get it ;) [Source]
Laguna Beach: The Real OC alum (and sometimes The Hills supporting character) Lo Bosworth was on hand here in LA last night for the launch of Korean Designer Han Ahn Soon at Kristol all by herself ... no LC, no Kristin ... just Lo:
Photo credit: Wireimage
I have been a HUGE Lo fan from wayyyyy back in the day (ie. the first season of Laguna Beach). I have advocated many times on this very blog that she is worthy of her own TV show so I'm still waiting for the day when MTV announces a new show called The LO-C or something along those lines. I was very happy to see Lo show up on this contentious season of The Hills ... especially since she was the one who dubbed Justin Bobby Justin Bobby :) Lo rules ... I hope she gets asked to do more promo appearances like this! [Source]
Well now ... it looks like reports of Hayden Panettiere canoodling with the likes of singer Ne-Yo and speculation that they might be together might've been a bit premature. Hayden is back in SoCal and is back in the company of her hottie Heroes co-star Milo Ventimiglia. Here are pics of Halo as they made their way out of seeing a musical which starred their other co-star Adrian Pasdar here in LA last night:
Hayden Panettiere and her Heroes costar Milo Ventimiglia, spending a night out together to support their castmate Adrian Pasdar. The two took in his Civil War-era musical Atlanta at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. After the show, the Heroes castmembers celebrated at a bash attended by Pasdar, his wife Natalie Maines and Leonard Roberts, an actor on the NBC show and a costar in Pasdar's play. Just friends? Secret lovers? The world is dying to know. [Source]
In other couples news ... and EWishness ... here are pics of Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt wearing matching Santa hats as they shopped for an Xmas tree and kissed at every chance they got (well, in this instance I think the term "sucked face" applies):
Carefully orchestrated and cleverly packaged as any normal family outing, Speidi have really gotten themselves into the holiday spirit this year. I mean, they are really trying to gross us out with all this kissing and smiling and kissing and canoodling and kissing, right? I wonder how they knew this is exactly what I was wanting for Xmas. [Source]
Um ... do you suppose that Mel B, singer and dancer extraoridnaire, is really embarrassed that she lost this year's title of Dancing with the Stars champion to race car driver Helio Castroneves?
Photo credit: INFdaily
Just asking. [Source]
Yesterday I voiced my displeasure and extreme disappointment at comments made by Morrissey in an interview with NME magazine where it seemed like he was making disparaging and racist comments about immigrants in England ... it turns out that Morrissey has now launched a lawsuit against the music magazine on the charge of "character assassination". He claims his statements were misquoted, misused and were taken out of context in order to make him look bad:
Morrissey is to sue the NME after it failed to apologise for an article focusing on his views on immigration. The magazine criticised the former Smiths star for allegedly telling a reporter Britain had lost its identity due to high levels of immigration. A deadline to print the retraction passed at 1300GMT. His lawyers said they were now issuing legal proceedings for defamation on behalf of Morrissey against the NME and its editor Conor McNicholas. In a statement, the singer's lawyers said: "The NME had until 1pm today to print a suitable apology to Morrissey. Their only response to this deadline was to say that they 'do not have time to respond to the allegations.'" Earlier, the NME released a statement which read: "We can confirm that Morrissey's legal representatives have been in contact with NME and, pending the outcome of these discussions, we won't be commenting any further." The magazine quoted Morrissey allegedly saying: "Although I don't have anything against people from other countries, the higher the influx into England the more the British identity disappears. So the price is enormous. "If you travel to Germany, it's still absolutely Germany. If you travel to Sweden, it still has a Swedish identity. But travel to England and you have no idea where you are," the singer is reported to have said. The 48-year-old, who has spent the last decade in Rome and Los Angeles, was apparently responding to a question about whether he would return to live in the UK. In a follow-up interview concerning his comments, the NME reported that Morrissey had said: "It could be construed that the reason I wouldn't wish to live in England is the immigration explosion. And that's not true at all. There are other reasons why I would find England very difficult, such as the expense and the pressure," he said. He is alleged to have added that he did not think his comments were inflammatory, but were "a statement of fact". The singer's manager accused the NME of "character assassination" on the singer's fan website, True To You. Tim Jonze, the freelance journalist who interviewed Morrissey, told the BBC that he didn't approve of the singer's comments and had found them "offensive". He said he had asked for his name to be removed from the article because it had been rewritten. "I didn't want my name on something I hadn't written, even if some of it might have been similar to what I wrote originally," he said. What a mess. On the plus side, I'm very happy to know that Moz may have been misquoted and that I was mislead in believing that he was voicing, in my opinion, racist comments in the media. As I said, I really love his music (ever since The Smiths days) and it was very upsetting to read these inflammatory comments. On the downside, if Morrissey's allegations are true, I'm surprised that NME would do something like this. I was under the impression that they are a well-respected British music magazine and I'm shocked they would crook an interview like this in order to sell more mags. In the end, as always, I'm sure the truth lies somewhere in the middle of all of this controversy. I'm sure Moz said some eyebrow-raising things (as he usually does in interviews) and I'm sure NME did their best to publish the story that they wanted. I'm still a huge fan of Morrissey and NME magazine ... it's just a shame that, in the end, one of them did a very shitty thing just for a measly interview. [Source]
MTV is preparing for the season finale of The Hills, which will air on Monday night December 10th at 10pm, and is planning on pulling out all the stops for the occasion. Apparently there will be a huge announcement made during the live broadcast party for the season finale ... which will deffo ensure that anyone with any remote interest in the show will want to tune in to hear it live for themselves:
The half-hour, third-season finale of The Hills on Dec. 10 will be only a small part of a big two-day season-ending telecast that MTV is planning for its popular reality TV series. On the big night, MTV and the cast will present The Hills Finale: Live in Hollywood, broadcast live from L.A. hot spot Area, beginning at 8 p.m. ET. The finale itself airs at 10 p.m. ET, followed by a live after-show, during which the ladies will answer questions from viewers and then make "an announcement that will leave fans wanting more," according to MTV. The audience at the live show will include up to 40 winners of "The Hills Biggest Fan Contest," which is accepting video submissions through Dec. 3 from fans explaining why they love the series. I am so embarrassed by how excited I am about this. I've been a fan of The Hills since the beginning but this season has been just too much fun to watch. I wonder what the announcement could possibly be. I doubt it'll have anything to do with Speidi ... or will it? Is LC gettin' hitched ... to Stephen Colletti?!? The possibilities are endless!!!! Woot! I can't wait!! [Source]
Here is the new second Tesco commercial which features the Spice Girls:
Don't you love how Vicki B. always has to steal the spotlight? She may be a robotic beyotch ... but she is one helluva fierce robotic beyotch ... who, apparently, loves lobster. [Source]
Dolce & Gabbana have been airing a very intriguing, somewhat surprising commercial for their line of watches and jewelry, D&G Jewels. If you've been watching MTV, VH1 or The CW at all over the past couple of weeks then you might’ve already seen it ... if not ... check it out:
Not only is the commercial hot but it boldly features same-sex couples kissing and embracing. I figured the ad would only be shown on networks like MTV and VH1 late at night but it's been playing all over The CW in daytime and primetime, too. I'm very surprised to see this kind of bold advertising on American TV. I love it! I can't wait for the day when commercials like this will be commonplace and not just a surprising novelty :) [Source]
BTW, I've also been really loving THIS KIA commercial. Whoever dreamed this up is a genius :)
And finally, Wizard magazine has a new picture of Heath Ledger as The Joker which they have featured in their latest issue:
Hmm ... The Joker looks more like a harmless wrinkled prune than a scary arch villain in this pic. In the mag, Heath talks about how he came up with his version of the Joker laugh and explains how he prepared to take on the role, saying: "I sat around in a hotel room in London for about a month, locked myself away, formed a little diary and experimented with voices — it was important to try to find a somewhat iconic voice and laugh. I ended up landing more in the realm of a psychopath — someone with very little to no conscience towards his acts. He's just an absolute sociopath, a cold-blooded, mass-murdering clown, and Chris [Nolan] has given me free rein. Which is fun because there are no real boundaries to what The Joker would say or do. Nothing intimidates him, and everything is a big joke." The movie opens on July 18, 2008 ... but I'm sure this isn't the last that we'll be hearing from The Joker before then. [Source]
- UPDATE: Peace the Spork Out goes to Evel Knievel who died today at the age of 69.
- Is RiLo dunzo?
- Hulk Hogan says his soon-to-be ex-wife can support herself, doesn't need any of his money.
- US Weekly is auctioning off Britney Spears's pink and black Pirate Halloween costume to raise money for charity ... natch.
- Is the Writer's Strike almost at an end?
- Washed-up and nearly forgotten, ALF will talk to anyone these days.
- When people stop being polite and start getting real ... lame.
- Uruguay is legalizing same-sex unions.
- Aussies don't like to shave ... I greatly approve.
- Kristen Bell does Complex mag.
- Rihanna lets the girls out for some air at the Bambi Awards in Germany.
- Suri Holmes Cruise <3s Christian Louboutin.
- Elisha Cuthbert is 25, Sandra Oh is 37 and Billy Idol is 52 years old today. Click HERE to see who else is celebrating a birthday today.
- Akon to be charged for throwing a concert-goer off stage.
- Reese Witherspoon and Angelina Jolie are Hollywood's Highest Paid Actresses.
- Click HERE to hear Ashlee Simpson's new song Outta My Head.
It's raining here in LA today ... like, actual water falling from the sky. Methinks it might be another quiet day. Have a great weekend, y'all. I'm out.