Lin-Manuel Miranda on ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ and Movie Musicals

The star shares his five favorite movie musicals, and, yes, he says, “Labyrinth” counts: “It is totally a David Bowie movie musical.”
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Miranda Lambert Gleefully Gets Her ‘Name Changed Back’ in Feisty and Fun Pistol Annies Video

Miranda Lambert is no longer a Shelton — and you don’t have to read between the lines of the Pistol Annies‘ latest song to see she’s happy about that!

Lambert, who announced her split from Blake Shelton after four years of marriage in 2015, stars with bandmates Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley in a no-holds-barred music video for the trio’s upbeat tune “I Got My Name Changed Back” that turns the bureaucratic hassle of changing a name into a confetti-filled party.

In the opening scene, Lambert, 34, and her bandmates treat the courthouse like a runway in shiny get-ups. Wearing a sparkly mini-dress and carrying a fluffy pink coat, Lambert strides to the witness stand, where she shares a laugh with the officer after taking the oath.

“It takes a judge to get married, takes a judge to get divorced / Well the last couple years, spent a lotta time in court / Got my name changed back,” she sings as a judge presides over the courtroom. “Well I wanted somethin’ new, then I wanted what I had / I got my name changed back.”

“Well I’ve got me an ex that I adored / But he got along good with a couple road whores / Got my name changed back,” Lambert continues as the courtroom looks on in surprise. After the hearing, the officer pops a bottle of champagne and the judge holds up a glass of bubbly as the courtroom celebrates.

RELATED: Miranda Lambert Bares Pain at Intimate Show: ‘I Feel Like I’ve Just Been Through 3 Years of Therapy’

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The next stop is the DMV. “I done let a man get the best of me / Spent an afternoon at the DMV / Got my name changed back,” Lambert belts as the Pistol Annies fill out paperwork and take headshots.

The third destination is a bank — not-so-subtly dubbed the New Freedom Bank. As Presley takes out a large deposit of cash, Lambert sings, “I played to win, lookin’ back is funny / I broke his heart and I took his money / Got my name changed back.”

The bank wheels out balloons and a cake — that is decorated with figurines of a bride and an army facing a cake topper of a groom.

RELATED: The Pistol Annies Are Back! Surprise Concert Reveals New Music and an Upcoming Album

In September, the Pistol Annies performed the song at their first full-length concert as a group in five years at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

“This next song has nothing to do with us and is about no one in this band,” Presley — who wrote the tune with Monroe — clarified before the group launched into “I Got My Name Changed Back.”

“That was fun!” Lambert enthused afterward. “Y’all get it?”


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Last night at @TheRyman… 1st show in 7 years…and what a night it was.

A post shared by Pistol Annies (@pistolannies) on Oct 26, 2018 at 1:05pm PDT

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In April, when news broke that Lambert was dating Evan Felker after he called it quits with his wife in February, Shelton tweeted, “Been taking the high road for a long time.. I almost gave up. But I can finally see something on the horizon up there!! Wait!! Could it be?! Yep!! It’s karma!!”

Shelton would not confirm whether he was referencing Lambert, who confirmed that she was single again in August. “It was a personal thing that’s in a small circle of my people and that’s why it was written the way it was, and then people took it and make it into what they want to make it into, which I don’t want any part of that,” Shelton told Extra.

RELATED VIDEO: Miranda Lambert and Evan Felker Split Because He ‘Broke Her Rules’: Source

The Pistol Annies’ new 14-track album, Interstate Gospel, hits shelves Friday.


PEOPLE.com

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Cynthia Nixon Confronts Miranda on the Campaign Trail

The creators of the fan account Every Outfit on “Sex and the City” are stumping for Cynthia Nixon and helping all of us come to terms with her most influential role (to date).
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Blake Shelton Shadily Tweets About Karma Amid Miranda Lambert Cheating Rumors

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Blake Shelton Alludes to Miranda Lambert’s Rumored Relationship Drama With ”Karma” Tweet

Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Grammy AwardsBlake Shelton wants the last word in his 2015 divorce from Miranda Lambert.
The Voice coach hopped on Twitter Wednesday with choice words that seemed to take aim at his ex-wife, who is…

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Samara Weaving, Miranda Otto and Jessica Gomes Attend Zimmermann Dinner in L.A.

“We like to be wherever our girl is,” said Nicky Zimmermann, cofounder and designer of the label that bears her and her sister Simone’s last name. The designer was in Los Angeles to shoot the brand’s spring ad campaign, so she took the opportunity to celebrate at a dinner hosted by her fellow Australians, editors Laura Brown, Christine Centenera and Jillian Davison. The night before, Zimmermann hosted a VIP shopping party at her store on Melrose Place.
The floral-laden dinner on the pool deck of Sunset Tower attracted actresses Samara Weaving, Miranda Otto, Anna Torv, Madeline Brewer and Carson Meyer; models Jessica Gomes and Nicole Trunfio; stylists Monica Rose, Sophie Lopez, Annabelle Harron, Tara Swennen Jeanann Williams, Penny Lovell, Emily Current and Meritt Elliott, and influencers Amanda Steele and Marianna Hewitt.
Zimmermann and husband Chris Olliver, the company’s chief executive officer, were off next to check out spaces for a store in San Francisco. The company has 26 stores in Australia, one in London, and six in the U.S. “We tend to open in places where our customers travels to,” she said. “It’s not so much about trying to hit a certain number, but it’s more about having fun. Most Australians know

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Miranda Lambert and Anderson East Call Out Garth Brooks for Lip Syncing at 2017 CMAs

Anderson East, Miranda Lambert, 2017 CMA Awards, CouplesThis country music couple is not impressed with Garth Brooks.
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Miranda Kerr Reveals Her ‘Guilty Pleasure’ Indulgence—and How She Gets Creative With It

Even Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr gets chocolate cravings from time to time.

PEOPLE caught up with the Australian model for our video series One Last Thing, during which she revealed she cooks her own meals to bring aboard flights, can’t get Shania Twain out of her head, and will go to great lengths for a cup of hot cocoa.

“I called the hotel and I was like, ‘Ooh can I have a hot chocolate?’” she says of the last time she indulged in a guilty pleasure.  “And they were like, ‘Sorry we don’t have hot chocolate.’ And I was like, ‘Who doesn’t have hot chocolate?’”

So Kerr had to get creative. “I had some chocolate in the fridge so I got the chocolate and then I put hot water with it, and then a little milk. So I made my own!”

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Kerr once told Vogue that she usually likes to make her own healthier version of chocolate made with raw cacao, coconut oil, almond butter, honey and himalayan sea salt—so really her whipping up beverages in her hotel room wasn’t really abnormal.

RELATED: Miranda Kerr Takes a Break from Modeling to Focus on Her Organic Skincare Line

Apart from her chocolate-making endeavors, she recently cooked up a storm before heading to the airport.

“The last time I cooked I made food from home. I made tumeric like a roasted tumeric chicken with a sweet potato mash and I packed it to eat on the airplane for myself and for my husband,” she says.

Watch all of Kerr’s One Last Thing answers in the video above.


PEOPLE.com

Fashion Deals Update:

American Artist Miranda July Opens Charity Shop in Selfridges

TAKING A STANCE: Selfridges is continuing its mission of enriching shoppers’ in-store experiences. This time, the U.K. department store has teamed with the artist, writer and filmmaker Miranda July and the London-based arts organization Art Angel to create the U.K.’s first interfaith charity shop.
The shop, located on the third floor of the department store, will be run by four religious charities chosen by Miranda July: Islamic Relief, Jewish charity Norwood, London Buddhist Centre and Spitalfields Crypt Trust. It will offer a mix of products, just like other charity shops across the country, including secondhand clothing, ornaments, toys and kitchenware.
“For many years I’ve wanted to make a store as artwork; utilizing the inherently participatory conventions of commerce,” said Miranda July, who is known to create a range of artworks that depend on public participation. “When I first came to London, in my 20s, I was giddily amazed by the sheer number of charity shops, but it’s only in creating this store with Artangel that I understand what a radically unique economic model they are. The nuances of this come from my faith-based charity shop partners and from the site, Selfridges.”
The proceeds will be shared equally between the four participating charities and

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Miranda July’s New Art Project Is An Interfaith Charity Store

Housed within a luxury department store, the shop will benefit Jewish, Buddhist and Islamic charities.
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Miranda Lambert Recalls Needing “Fuel” While Living in Oklahoma With Blake Shelton

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Miranda Kerr Seems Pretty Chill For Someone In A Couture Dior Wedding Gown

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Hamilton: Could Lin-Manuel Miranda join West End production?

Hamilton’s West End production casts its leads – but we don’t yet know who’ll play the title role.
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Miranda Lambert Bundles Up in One of 2 Fur Coats She Got for Christmas, Stirs Controversy

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The Best (Justin Timberlake) and Worst (Blake vs. Miranda) Moments from the CMAs

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Theater: “Hamilton’s” Miranda Is The New Biggie Smalls? No, He’s The New Sondheim!

HAMILTON *** 1/2 out of ****
RICHARD RODGERS THEATRE

Hamilton. You’ve heard of it, I think? Yep.

So I can skip the preliminaries, like the plot description or explaining what’s exactly going on here and cut to the chase. [Here’s my review of the Off Broadway run if you’re one of the four people who hasn’t heard about Hamilton already.]

Is every Broadway show going to include freestyling from now on? Of course not. And Lin-Manuel Miranda isn’t the next Biggie Smalls. He’s the next Sondheim (or to avoid such dizzying expectations, he has the talent to follow in Sondheim’s footsteps). Hamilton isn’t The Blueprint slapped onto Broadway. It’s a full blown Broadway musical, with elements of Brit-pop and girl group sounds and good old-fashioned show tunes and yes of course rapping in various styles.

Listen closely and what you’ll hear above all is a fresh new voice that is building on Sondheim’s legacy: the whip-smart lyrics, the marvelous word play, the intelligence, the building of melodies that are catchy but never banal, the deployment of lines and hooks like depth charges that repeat again and again throughout a song and throughout the show until they have a remarkable power and emotional intensity. In short, Hamilton has a lot more in common with Sunday In The Park With George than It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back.

This isn’t to downplay the central accomplishment of creating the first great musical that employs hip-hop. But he’s not just doing a hip-hop show that’s playing on the Great White Way. They did Tango Argentino on Broadway and people loved it, but it’s not like every show now includes a tango salon. One-off shows in a particular style don’t change Broadway. But a full-on Broadway musical that incorporates a style that’s fresh to its audience (albeit one long-established) can change it. Miranda has grafted a strand of hip-hop onto Broadway’s DNA and it’s going to stick. The same happened with Hair and Grease and others embracing rock and roll. That genre of music and style of singing became part of Broadway’s vocabulary, just as jazz and r&b and country and other genres have intertwined with old style belting over the years.

Some great Broadway talents simply can’t sing in a rock and roll style. They’d be useless on a show like Newsies. Others can’t do country or jazz or soul. Not everyone belongs on The Wiz revival. It has nothing to do with age or talent; some people just don’t have the voice or affinity for certain genres. (You hear it time and again when opera stars make the awful mistake of tackling pop tunes.) And operetta is beyond many — that’s clearly why the delightful musical On The Twentieth Century hasn’t been done in dog years. One needs a particular refined skill to assay it. And yes one needs a very refined skill set of swagger and excellent enunciation to tackle the complex lines and internal rhymes of Hamilton and hip-hop in general. Not every Broadway wanna-be has this in their quiver. But from now on, they’re going to have to try.

We all know why some say hip-hop makes sense for this particular show. The Founding Fathers were bad mother f***ers! They laid it on the line! They were scrappy and bold and risking it all with their backs against the wall and looked down upon as Johnny Come Latelys by their betters! In short, maybe it’s sort of a fluke that the style works so well for an era once enshrined by the very old-school musical 1776.

Wrong. Hip hop works for this show because Miranda wrote it and he’s good and because he used hip-hop as a vehicle for revealing character and pushing the story forward. Imagine a musical set in France, a show about the court of the Sun King where withering put-downs and dexterous word play were prized above all. Hip-hop? Freestyling? It would work like a charm. Imagine a show about scientists, maybe the Manhattan Project or a show about Isaac Newton or Galileo or maybe string theory. In science, scholars debate and claw at one another. Creating a vivid, convincing picture of your theory is important. And tearing down someone else’s idea is just as important a skill as building up your own. A rap battle? Makes perfect sense. A show about newspaper reporters today or during the tabloid era of the 1970s or back in the Roaring 20s when (I hear) reporting was glamorous and fun and actually paid well? Yes, I can imagine hip-hop working well there too because who savors language and slang and cutting retorts more than reporters? A hip-hop Taming Of The Shrew? It’s probably already being written. A hip-hop musical for the American Revolution is no more incongruous than rock n roll as a source for the music in Spring Awakening, a show based on a German play from 1891. So let’s put to rest the idea that hip-hop will only work once in a blue moon or when whomever took an option on the movie Straight Outta Compton brings it to Broadway.

In the same way, the diverse casting of almost everyone but white guys to play these iconic roles works not because of any particular political context it creates. It works because color blind casting (or here, color-centric casting, casting with purpose and in celebration of color, not mindlessly pretending it doesn’t exist) works for everything from Shakespeare to Arthur Miller because when the material is classic and the performers are good, new layers will always be revealed. Indeed, it only works when the performers are good because no show works unless the performers are good. And this cast is great.

NOTE: Here’s casual video of Lin-Manuel Miranda and the delightful Jonathan Groff entertaining the hundreds waiting in hope of winning a $ 10 front row seat to the show. Something like this happens every day outside the theater. Try as you might to hate a show with all this hype and with endless stories in media outlets that never talk about Broadway, but when you see something cool like this, darnit, you just can’t.

Okay, so on with the show. Hamilton is an orphaned immigrant, penniless but intellectually vibrant and desperate to contribute, desperate to take part in the American Experiment. His first friend when arriving in New York is the cautious Aaron Burr. Their lives are intertwined as each succeeds and plays a major role in the Revolution, with Hamilton somehow always one step ahead of Burr and so on and then in comes Lafayette and Washington and Jefferson and King George gets huffy and you know the rest.

Hamilton is sprawling and messy and deliriously ambitious and flawed — of course, it’s flawed! You can’t push boundaries without stumbling briefly here and there — and very exciting. I saw it at the Public and held back on raving. Sometimes the bolder a film or TV show or novel, the more you want to catch your breath and hold off. A second viewing of a movie, waiting five or ten episodes into a season, living with an album for a while, all of that can make a huge difference. Sometimes, flaws become more pronounced and the shock of the new becomes less shocking. Other times, a second viewing of a movie or repeated spins of an album deepen your appreciation and bolster your confidence that this is indeed the shit. Hamilton is indeed the shit.

When I saw it at the Public, I knew it would be among my favorite shows of the year. But I felt it could be better in varied ways. If nothing else, the cramped space of the original venue was not ideal for the heavy wooden set design of David Korins. It felt a little dark and oppressive. In this transfer, almost everything on Broadway is better. Miranda — who wrote the book, music, lyrics and stars as Alexander Hamilton — refined and tightened every element of the show. (I would dearly love to see a breakdown of all the changes lyrically and musically and book-wise.) The performances are sharper and more powerful. The set can breathe. The audience is ecstatic, electric. The Producers and The Book Of Mormon were super-charged smash hits that broke through to the popular culture that is now usually indifferent to musicals. Rent was an obvious precursor in the game-changing game of stamping rock and roll as music that belongs once and for all on Broadway. But I have to go back to Angels In America for a show that felt this charged and this important both culturally and politically and especially theatrically.

And what a cast! Anthony Rapp was in the audience the night I saw it. And just like Rent, I’m certain this show has launched the careers or boosted the fortunes of any number of performers on stage. Christopher Jackson as George Washington has gained in stature since the Public. Before, his Washington seemed to fade into the background. Now he looms like a fatherly presence, wise and a little intimidating.

In the dual roles of the brash Hercules Mulligan and the reserved James Madison, Okieriete Onaodowan remains a droll pleasure. Is it possible Leslie Odom Jr. is even better as the wily, put-upon Aaron Burr? His story feels more balanced and empathetic, more of a mirror to Hamilton instead of just a foil. Burr reflects the cynical modern politician and Hamilton the ideals of passion. Yet he’s not just a bitter Salieri. If Burr hadn’t fired that fateful, fatal shot, he’d be remembered more highly. And no one seeing his show-stopper “The Room Where It Happens” — it stops a lot, this show — will forget how Odom captured Burr’s ambition and insight and frustration over being bested yet again.

Certainly Renée Elise Goldsberry couldn’t have improved as Angelica Schuyler, the woman who sacrificed her attraction to Alexander Hamilton so her sister could be happy and her family’s fortune secure. She is incandescent, both enchanting at good ole Broadway belting and sensational at rapping. Goldsberry has verve and punch and diction so crystal clear (thank you, classical training in the fundamentals!) that her flow puts most everyone else to shame. Of course, Daveed Diggs steals the show as both the outrageously fun Marquis de Lafayette in Act One and the aristocratic, combative Thomas Jefferson in Act Two. He’s hilarious in the first act and then tops himself with the second-act opener “What’d I Miss.” Miranda naturally is the heart and soul throughout, singing with the shy awkward voice of a teenager and gaining in confidence throughout without ever calling attention to the slowly evolving growth of our protagonist.

And I’d like to make a personal apology to Jonathan Groff for the modest doubt that was in my heart. Brian D’arcy James was so…so delicious as King George at the Public that I was crushed when he left for Something Rotten and bummed that friends wouldn’t be able to see his indelible turn. How would they get someone with enough star power to put over such a fun, if secondary role? Well Groff has the star power and I’ve been a fan of his on every conceivable level since Spring Awakening. But still I thought, “Damn, I wish James were still in it. He was perfect.”

Then out comes Groff and he’s a sheer delight as well. He’s of course younger but this works perfectly, emphasizing the spoiled child aspect of King George. Groff delivers completely in the part, which emphasizes what a gem Miranda created and how good Groff is when given material this sterling. Plus the Brit-pop nature of his tunes are a savvy respite from the delightfully dense, but sit-up-and-pay-attention rap lyrics that dominate the show. Along with Goldsberry’s singing at key moments and some other islands of pure singing, Groff’s scenes allow the audience to catch its breath. I guess someone else down the road will make the most of it too, but now I want everyone to catch Groff in this role. Who’d want to miss a sexy, slightly mad King George? Not me.

If King George and his signature tune “You’ll Be Back” and the monarch’s other reprises were merely the comic pleasures they are, that would be enough. But typically for this show, they’re so much more. Along with tunefulness and full-on comic relief, like everything else in this rock solid creation, George’s tunes advance the plot, provide context and underline the high-wire nature of what the rebellious colonists are attempting.

Think about what they accomplish. The King’s petulance and expectation of unquestioning allegiance makes clear why they would rebel. His unnerving threats to crush them militarily make clear how fraught with danger the situation would prove. George’s malicious glee over the utter mess that faces them after “winning” — having to create a new nation and government from scratch, deal with foreign powers, appease the various factions that only found common ground when they had the common enemy of England and so on — illuminate how in fact the easy part was winning freedom and it could all so easily fall apart, especially with England ready to undermine it at every tunr. And his utter bemusement over Washington voluntarily stepping down from the reins of power (King George had no idea such a thing was even possible!) nudges us again to remember how unusual self-rule and elected leaders and a peaceful exchange of power was for both the US and the world. All of this is conveyed subtly and with élan in tunes that you would kill for and lyrics that are sparkling and which combine in the hands of an artist like Groff to create musical theater heaven.

Most every complaint or concern I had melts away in the flush of excitement in seeing the show a second time. I appreciated anew how a lesser talent might have used hip-hop so each Founding Father could boast endlessly about himself. In fact, most of the time, everyone is rapping about someone else. Burr is the narrator so he’s usually commenting on Hamilton. And Hamilton raps about Burr and Jefferson, Jefferson raps about Hamilton, the Schuyler sisters rap about the men in their life and so on.

And how smart the show is. Like Sondheim, Miranda revels in arcana that might seem an unlikely source for musicalizing (a song about the federal banking system? ) and yet consistently brings it to life with the same passion and attention to detail that Hamilton and the rest savored at the time. Miranda and director Thomas Kail have done an excellent job of modulating the flow. Whereas the first time I saw the show, the finale felt dragged out and simply wrong, this time it moved much more quickly and felt earned. (Maybe it was just a second viewing when I knew what to expect but I imagine a change in pacing and trims here and there are responsible.) Ditto the fate of Hamilton’s son in a duel that cruelly echoes his own fate and various other plot points. The first time, I found it unnecessary and drawn out. This time, thanks to improved work by actor Andrew Chappelle and perhaps some tightening and trimming of his big scene(s), it works better.

Mind you, I remain utterly indifferent to the choreography of Andy Blankenbuehler. It leaves me just as cold on Broadway as it did at the Public. It doesn’t hurt the show, simply because it feels like mere background, something one can simply ignore. I can’t think of a single scene where the endless popping and modern moves of the chorus added emotionally to the events taking place (though director Kail uses them well for crowd scenes and transitions).

Ditto the set, which is far less oppressive in the big space of the Richard Rodgers. Less oppressive but not less interesting. It’s a wooden walkway that encircles the back and sides of the stage and i mostly underutilized. People are often positioned up there to stand and observe the proceedings below but essentially they just fade into the background. Similarly, rolling wooden platforms very rarely come into play and the one visual flourish that made good use of them has been cut. I’d sooner see it all removed and no audience would be the wiser. The costumes of Paul Tazewell are excellent throughout, with the notable exception of the female dancers in the chorus. I still don’t understand the artistic choice that has some of them wearing pants and vest akin to the men while others are unnecessarily in what are essentially undergarments.

Certainly the musical direction and orchestrations of Alex Lacamoire work in ways large and small to get across the gorgeous score while supporting the actors and allowing the lyrics (surely among the wordiest in Broadway history) to breathe. Not to mention embodying a range of styles with nimble conviction! It’s extraordinary work I am ill equipped to parse but appreciate nonetheless as boundary pushing in its own right.

Less positively, Phillipa Soo as Eliza Schuyler and the future Mrs. Hamilton remains a weak link both dramatically and voice-wise. It’s clear why her big number “Burn” is one of the few in the show to receive tepid applause. To be fair, it is in part a combination of playing the less interesting role of dutiful wife and playing it opposite Goldsberry who becomes an undeniable star in front of our eyes. And only more careful listening will prove this, but I think the melodic lines of Eliza may also be the only awkward and weak ones in the otherwise excellent score. On the bright side, Soo holds the spotlight at the finale much more convincingly, thanks to the improvements made by Miranda and Kail.

And you know what? All those cavils are exciting! The choreography and the set and even one of the leads aren’t ideal? And the show is still terrific? As I said before, it’s a treat to see Miranda in this role and his innate likability shouldn’t be underestimated in putting the show forward. But I still think the prickly role he has created will draw even better performances from other actors down the road; he is great casting and I wouldn’t miss him in it for the world. But unlike say John Cameron Mitchell and Hedwig where it was hard to imagine others tackling that part (an idea that now seems silly, but still), it’s not only not silly to imagine other actors playing Hamilton, it’s fun. He’s created a great role in a great show and people will be playing that part for all its worth for many, many years to come. And that’s only counting the actors who will appear in this production.

THEATER OF 2015

Honeymoon In Vegas **
The Woodsman ***
Constellations ** 1/2
Taylor Mac’s A 24 Decade History Of Popular Music 1930s-1950s ** 1/2
Let The Right One In **
Da no rating
A Month In The Country ** 1/2
Parade in Concert at Lincoln Center ** 1/2
Hamilton at the Public ***
The World Of Extreme Happiness ** 1/2
Broadway By The Year 1915-1940 **
Verite * 1/2
Fabulous! *
The Mystery Of Love & Sex **
An Octoroon at Polonsky Shakespeare Center *** 1/2
Fish In The Dark *
The Audience ***
Josephine And I ***
Posterity * 1/2
The Hunchback Of Notre Dame **
Lonesome Traveler **
On The Twentieth Century ***
Radio City Music Hall’s New York Spring Spectacular ** 1/2
The Heidi Chronicles *
The Tallest Tree In The Forest * 1/2
Broadway By The Year: 1941-1965 ***
Twelfth Night by Bedlam ***
What You Will by Bedlam *** 1/2
Wolf Hall Parts I and II ** 1/2
Skylight ***
Nellie McKay at 54 Below ***
Ludic Proxy ** 1/2
It Shoulda Been You **
Finding Neverland ** 1/2
Hamlet w Peter Sarsgaard at CSC no stars
The King And I ***
Marilyn Maye — Her Way: A Tribute To Frank Sinatra at 54 Below ***
Gigi * 1/2
An American In Paris ** 1/2
Doctor Zhivago no stars
Fun Home **
Living On Love * 1/2
Early Shaker Spirituals: A Record Album Interpretation ***
Airline Highway * 1/2
The Two Gentlemen Of Verona (Fiasco Theatre) ***
The Visit (w Chita Rivera) ** 1/2
The Sound And The Fury (ERS) **
Broadway By The Year: 1966-1990 ***
The Spoils * 1/2
Ever After (at Papermill) **
Heisenberg *** 1/2
An Act Of God **
The National High School Musical Theatre Awards ***
Amazing Grace *
The Absolute Brightness Of Leonard Pelkey ** 1/2
Cymbeline (Shakespeare in the Park w Rabe and Linklater) ***

_____________

Thanks for reading. Michael Giltz is the founder and CEO of the forthcoming website BookFilter, a book lover’s best friend. Trying to decide what to read next? Head to BookFilter! Need a smart and easy gift? Head to BookFilter? Wondering what new titles came out this week in your favorite categories, like cookbooks and mystery and more? Head to BookFilter! It’s a website that lets you browse for books online the way you do in a physical bookstore, provides comprehensive info on new releases every week in every category and offers passionate personal recommendations every step of the way. It’s like a fall book preview or holiday gift guide — but every week in every category. He’s also the cohost of Showbiz Sandbox, a weekly pop culture podcast that reveals the industry take on entertainment news of the day and features top journalists and opinion makers as guests. It’s available for free on iTunes. Visit Michael Giltz at his website and his daily blog. Download his podcast of celebrity interviews and his radio show, also called Popsurfing and also available for free on iTunes.

Note: Michael Giltz is provided with free tickets to shows with the understanding that he will be writing a review. All productions are in New York City unless otherwise indicated.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




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WearAll Women’s Plus Size Miranda Sparkle Bodycon Midi Dress

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Propet Women’s Miranda Walking Shoes (Black/Grey) – 5.5 M

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From Musical Theater to Miranda Lambert’s Opening Act: Courtney Cole’s Country Music Journey with #NoFilter

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Courtney Cole’s first time singing in front of an audience was almost her last. The wide-eyed eleven-year-old spent weeks preparing to sing in front of her Louisiana church for the first time. She was so confident in her preparation and eager to make her debut that right before she went onstage, she asked her piano accompanist to forego the song’s introduction.

“It was a disaster,” Cole recalls. “I started singing in the wrong key. I knew it right away, but I couldn’t figure out how to switch when the piano came in. I barely finished, and then I immediately went to the bathroom and cried my eyes out. I told my mom I would never, ever sing again.”

Despite the traumatic experience, Cole’s fifth-grade resilience kicked in and she was singing in church again a couple of weeks later. Church performances soon turned into musical theater, which led Cole to attend the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts near her hometown of Mandeville, Louisiana, as a high schooler.

“I’ve always loved to perform and feel so at home on stage,” Cole says. “I know this sounds so generic, but I love Wicked. My family names all of our animals after Wicked; my mom had a fish named Glinda, and her dog’s name is Elphaba. There’s a spell that Elphaba says in the play, ‘Eleka nahmen nahmen ah tum ah tum eleka nahmen,’ and that’s my dog’s name. I call her Ellie for short. Now I just need a boy dog to name Fiyero!”

Musical theater came so naturally for Cole that she almost pursued the passion after high school until a conversation with her church’s worship pastor helped change her course. “I had a scholarship to go to school in Alabama for musical theater,” she says. “My worship pastor said, ‘You don’t need to go do that that. You need to do your ultimate dream, which is touring and being onstage and singing music that you’ve written.'”

Inspired by the conversation, Cole applied to Belmont University in Nashville. “I got in at the last audition they had for the year and moved to Nashville, and I’ve been here ever since.”

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“I majored in commercial voice,” Cole says. “Thank God that’s a major! What else would I have majored in? Accounting? I couldn’t!” she adds with a laugh. “Music is the only thing I’m good at. There’s nothing else I would want to do. I respect and appreciate the people who do the business side of [music] so much because it’s just so hard. I did it for a while, and I couldn’t even think. It just wasn’t me.”

Cole calls her journey “your typical Nashville story.” She explains, “I worked my way up. After I graduated, I got an internship at a publishing company…from a guy I met on MySpace, actually,” the singer adds. “I worked there doing a bunch of odd jobs. I would work from 9 – 5, then sing and write from 6 – 10, because that’s what I ultimately wanted to do. The company executives saw what I was doing and decided to give me a publishing deal! That’s where my journey as a professional songwriter and artist really began. I’ve been refining my writing and crafting my sound over the last couple of years, and here I am now. “

Here is a place Cole describes as “exactly where I’ve always dreamed I would be.” She has a new music video, “Drunk,” which is making waves on CMT and GAC. Her Spotify-exclusive acoustic EP, #NoFilter, has been received well by fans and critics alike, and she’ll join one of her country idols, Miranda Lambert, on an all-female country tour this fall.

“Making the video for ‘Drunk’ was one of the best experiences of my life,” Cole gushes. “When we were finished, I looked at my manager and said, ‘Can we do that again?’ It was just a really fun day. It brought in the music side and my theater side.”

The video was shot in Nashville, but Cole infused elements of New Orleans as a tribute to a town that she says has been a constant inspiration. “Personality-wise, music-wise, color-wise, it’s just so inspiring,” she says. “That’s all the stuff I want to bring out in my music. We couldn’t film in New Orleans because Mardi Gras was going on, so we decided to bring Mardi Gras to Nashville! If you look closely, you can see fleurs-de-lis in a few places in the video.”

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The song “Drunk” was the product of a writer’s retreat between Cole and co-writers Catt Gravitt, Gerald O’Brien, and Shirazi.”We wrote five songs that trip, but we knew right away there was something really special about ‘Drunk,'” Cole says. “What you hear on Spotify is actually the acoustic work tape that we did in the cabin that day. I knew it would make the perfect first single and be a great stepping stone for the album.” (Fans can find the fully-produced version of “Drunk” on iTunes.)

Cole’s Spotify-exclusive debut also includes the beautiful ballad “Fall Like Rain,” which provides a great balance to the fun, upbeat “Drunk” and “Can’t Buy Love.” The inspirational “Cool Girl” finishes out the four-song collection, making it a very strong showing for the Louisiana native, who is road-tested, to say the least.

She has played hundreds of shows supporting acts including Chris Young, Thompson Square, and Kip Moore. But she shows she’s most excited about are yet to come. This fall, she will join one of her country-music heroes, Miranda Lambert, on a resurrection of Lambert’s Roadside Bars and Pink Guitars Tour at venues across the country. The all-female lineup includes Lambert, Cole, “God Made Girls” singer RaeLynn, Lambert’s Pistol Annies partner-in-crime Ashley Monroe, and up-and-coming country artist Clare Dunn.

“I’m so excited for the tour. It feels so surreal,” Cole says. “Miranda’s music changed songwriting for me. She changed the way that I view music in general, and writing from a personal standpoint. Her writing helped me get down to the truth of who I am as a writer and find what I want to say to the world, and it just made me want to be better.”

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Although landing the tour with Miranda is a dream come true for the young artist, she’s quick to note that there are many dreams left to achieve. And the best way to make those dreams come true? Believe in them, she says.

“If I could sum up my story in one sentence, it would be that dreams really do come true, and with a little hard work and staying positive, you can make anything happen,” she says with conviction. “Your thoughts really do become your life. When I was a little girl, I would sit in my room and pretend like I was on tour. I would see the arena in my head. And the fact that I’m here now, and get to go out and play my music live on the road, it’s amazing! But I knew that was going to happen from the time I was a little girl, because I believed it.”

Country fans had better believe they’ll be hearing a LOT from Courtney Cole in the future. Between now and the kickoff of the Roadside Bars and Pink Guitars Tour in September, country fans can enjoy her acoustic EP, #NoFilter, exclusively on Spotify. For more information, visit CourtneyColeMusic.com.

Live photo courtesy of Courtney Cole. Professional photos by Ivan Clow.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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A Mouse Tale Official DVD Trailer (2015) – Drake Bell, Miranda Cosgrove Animated Movie HD

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This Is Miranda Lambert And Blake Shelton’s Definition Of ‘Us’ Time

It’s not easy for country superstars Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton to find alone time between their nonstop careers and hectic touring schedules.

“We gotta schedule it in,” Lambert told HuffPost Live’s Ricky Camilleri when she sat down with him on Thursday.

So how does the country-singing couple unwind in their downtime? In pretty much the most country way possible:

“We backroad — we take our cooler, we take our dogs, we ride four-wheelers and we just sit on the porch. We started fishing because it’s spring now,” Lambert said.

“That’s why we live where we live [in Oklahoma],” she added. “Because it’s absolutely opposite of our crazy life on the road.”

You can watch the full conversation with Lambert here.

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