All posts by Zhloar

Springsteen, Top Ticket on Broadway, Extends Run

Bruce Springsteen on Tuesday announced four more months of intimate concerts on Broadway after his initial run triggered massive interest — and wide disappointment among fans who couldn’t get tickets.

The rock legend, who for decades has sold out arenas with his adrenaline-fueled marathon performances, said he would extend his residency at the 960-seat Walter Kerr Theatre from February 28 to June 30.

Springsteen opened the shows on October 3 and already extended once, until February 3, with tickets selling out nearly instantly.

The 68-year-old balladeer of working-class America set prices at $75 to $800 — but tickets immediately reappeared on resale sites at much higher prices.

As of Tuesday, the cheapest ticket on resale site StubHub was $1,449, significantly higher than Broadway’s other coveted theater seats, including those for Hamilton and Bette Midler’s revival of Hello, Dolly!

Springsteen has tried to reduce scalping through a new verification system by Ticketmaster, which asks fans to sign up and uses algorithms to determine the likelihood that they will attend before providing a code to allow purchases.

In light of the number of fans who were unable to buy tickets initially, the ticketing company said it would not start a new verification round, instead sending codes to fans who already signed up.

Springsteen has said he was inspired to create a more intimate concert experience after he played a somber private show at the White House as a gift from departing President Barack Obama to staff.

Instead of Springsteen’s high-octane arena shows with his E Street Band — whose surprise song choices once marveled fans — the Broadway concerts feature the rocker alone on piano and guitar and a standard set list.

The shows, which follow the release of Springsteen’s autobiography, start with his early song Growin’ Up, about his teenage years, and culminate in Born to Run, his classic hit of escape and ambition.

Spielberg’s ‘The Post’ Aimed at People ‘Starving for the Truth’

Steven Spielberg’s new movie The Post may be set in 1971, but its theme about press freedom is all about today.

Spielberg rushed to get the movie filmed and released within a year. It is about the battle by newspapers to publish the leaked Pentagon Papers detailing the U.S. government’s misleading portrayal of the Vietnam War.

“I just felt that there was an urgency to reflect 1971 and 2017 because they were very terrifyingly similar,” the Oscar-winning director told a Hollywood audience after a screening of the film on Monday.

“Our intended audience are the people who have spent the last 13, 14 months thirsting and starving for the truth,” Spielberg said. “They are out there, and they need some good news.”

Spielberg, a prominent Hollywood Democrat, did not mention U.S. President Donald Trump. But The Post arrives in movie theaters in December at a time when media outlets have been under repeated attacks by Trump since his election in November 2016.

Trump has called journalists “the enemy of the American people.” He uses the term “fake news” to cast doubt on news reports critical of his administration, often without providing evidence to support his case.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in August the Trump administration was considering requiring journalists to reveal their sources amid Trump’s push to stop leaks to the press.

Streep, Hanks

Starring Meryl Streep as the late Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham and Tom Hanks as late editor Ben Bradlee, The Post is seen by awards watchers as a front-runner for next year’s Oscars.

The film dramatizes the decisions by The New York Times and The Washington Post to publish the top-secret Pentagon Papers about the Vietnam War in the face of injunctions by the Nixon administration in a battle that went to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Spielberg said that before making the film he was “really depressed about what was happening in the world and the country.”

After getting the script in February, “suddenly my entire outlook on the future brightened overnight,” he said.

The Post was shot in June and opens in U.S. movie theaters on December 22.

Meghan Markle Has Advocated for Women Since the Age of 11

Meghan Markle became an advocate for women when she was an 11-year-old elementary school student, and achieving gender equality remains a driving force for the fiancée of Britain’s Prince Harry and self-described “feminist.”

Since 2014, the American actress has helped put a global spotlight on the need for equality between women and men as an “Advocate for Political Participation and Leadership” for the women’s agency of the United Nations.

In her role for UN Women, Markle spent time at the World Bank and with the team of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton learning more about the issue. She also visited Rwanda, which has the highest percentage of women in parliament and where she also met with female refugees.

UN Women said in a statement after Monday’s announcement of Markle’s engagement to Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson that it “trusts and hopes that in her new and important public role she will continue to use her visibility and voice to support the advancement of gender equality.”

Markle spoke about her accidental road to becoming an advocate at a star-studded celebration in March 2015 for the 20th anniversary of the Beijing women’s conference that adopted a roadmap to achieve equality for women, which is the framework for UN Women’s activities.

Her opening words drew loud applause and cheers: “I am proud to be a woman and a feminist.”

Markle recalled that around the time of the 1995 Beijing conference she was in school in Los Angeles watching television and saw a commercial for a dishwashing liquid with the tagline: “Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans.”

“Two boys from my class said, ‘Yeah. That’s where women belong – in the kitchen,'” she said.

“I remember feeling shocked and angry and also just feeling so hurt. It just wasn’t right, and something needed to be done,” Markle said.

When she went home, she told her dad, who encouraged her to write letters.

“My 11-year-old self worked out that if I really wanted someone to hear, well then I should write a letter to the first lady. So off I went scribbling away to our first lady at the time, Hillary Clinton,” Markle said.

She also wrote to her main news source, Linda Ellerbee, who hosted a kids news program, as well as to “powerhouse attorney” Gloria Allred and to the manufacturer of the dishwashing soap.

To her surprise, she said, after a few weeks she received letters of encouragement from Clinton, Allred and Ellerbee, who even sent a camera crew to her house to cover the story.

“It was roughly a month later when the soap manufacturer, Proctor and Gamble, changed the commercial for their Ivory Clear Dishwashing Liquid … from ‘Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans’ to “People all over America …’,” Markle said.

“It was at that moment that I realized the magnitude of my actions,” she said. “At the age of 11, I had created my small level of impact by standing up for equality.”

Markle said that for her, equality means that Rwandan President Paul Kagame is equal to the little girl in the refugee camp who dreams of being president and the U.N. secretary-general is equal to the U.N. intern who dreams of shaking his hand.

And “it means that a wife is equal to her husband, a sister to her brother – not better, not worse. They are equal,” she said.

UN Women has set 2030 “as the expiration date for gender inequality,” Markle said, but even though women comprise more than half the world’s population, their voices still go unheard “at the highest levels of decision-making.”

Markle called for programs to mobilize girls and women “to see their value as leaders” and for support to ensure they have seats at the top table. And when those seats aren’t available, “then they need to create their own table,” she said to loud applause.

Markle also said Rwanda’s Kagame, who has championed women in parliament, should be a role model, “just as we need more men like my father, who championed my 11-year-old self to stand up for what is right.”

13 Grammy Facts: Sheeran Snubbed, Cornell Nominated

Thirteen things worth noting about Tuesday’s nominations for the 2018 Grammy Awards:



The Recording Academy is ensuring black or Latino artists will win big at the show next year: only three white acts are nominated in the top four categories.


Black and Latino artists often lose in the top categories, including album of the year and song of the year. This year, those categories are dominated by Jay-Z, Bruno Mars, Childish Gambino, Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Kendrick Lamar.


Lorde is the only white nominee for album of the year, while Bieber is the only white nominee for record of the year (for his appearance on “Despacito”). Bieber is nominated again for song of the year, where singer-songwriter Julia Michaels is nominated. Michaels is also the only white nominee in best new artist.




Rock and country acts were shut out of the top four categories of the Grammys, though they have won those top honors in the past.


Two country artists were nominated for best new artist at the 2017 Grammys, and the 2016 show featured a country and rock act nominated for album of the year with Chris Stapleton and Alabama Shakes.




Actress Carrie Fisher and singers Leonard Cohen, Chris Cornell, Glen Campbell and Gregg Allman are among the deceased nominees.


Cohen, who died last year, is up for best rock performance, where Cornell is a nominee, and best American Roots performance, where Campbell is nominated. Allman also scored two nods, including best Americana album and best American Roots song.


Fisher is nominated for best spoken word album, pitting her against Bruce Springsteen.


Linkin Park, which lost its lead singer Chester Bennington, surprisingly didn’t earn a nomination.




Katy Perry has scored Grammy nominations consecutively from 2009 to 2015, but this year marks the first album from Perry’s catalog not to receive a nomination. “Witness” was released in June and underperformed compared to her previous releases. Though she has yet to win a Grammy, she’s earned 13 career nominations.


Harry Styles, Miley Cyrus and John Mayer also released albums eligible for nominations but didn’t score any.


DJ Khaled, who had a No. 1 album and hit songs this year, didn’t earn a single nomination. J. Cole and Future were also shut out of the rap categories.


Ed Sheeran was snubbed in the top three categories, though he earned nominations for best pop vocal album and best pop solo performance.


Sam Hunt, who set a record for the longest-running No. 1 song on Billboard’s Hot country songs chart with “Body Like a Back Road,” wasn’t nominated for song or record of the year. He earned nominations for best country song and best country solo performance, though.


Miranda Lambert’s double album, “The Weight of These Wings,” was snubbed in best country album and album of the year. And though Taylor Swift received two nods, including one for writing a country song, she didn’t receive nominations in song of the year, record of the year and best pop solo performance for her No. 1 hit, “Look What You Made Me Do.”


Grammy favorites Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys and John Legend all were shut out of the R&B categories.




Stripper-turned-reality-star-turned-rapper Cardi B is now a Grammy nominee.


The former “Love & Hip Hop” cast member, who had a No. 1 pop hit this year with “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves),” is nominated for best rap song and best rap performance.


Female rappers are well-represented this year: Rapsody, who appeared on Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly,” is nominated for best rap album and best rap song.




Despite a plethora of pop hits, Kesha had never earned a Grammy nomination — until now.


The singer, who this year released her first album in five years, has been at war with former mentor and producer Dr. Luke, claiming he drugged, sexually abused and psychologically tormented her. Dr. Luke denies the allegations.


“Rainbow,” nominated for best pop vocal album, marks the first time Kesha has created music commercially without Dr. Luke.


Kesha is also nominated for best pop solo performance for the piano tune “Praying,” which includes the lyrics “no more monsters, I can breathe again.”




Dave Chappelle, Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman and Jim Gaffigan are nominated for best comedy album.




Two-time Grammy winner Lin-Manuel Miranda is nominated twice this year for his work on the “Moana” soundtrack.


Seth MacFarlane is up for best traditional pop vocal album, where he will compete against Bob Dylan. Bernie Sanders and Mark Ruffalo share a nomination for best spoken word album.


Even Russian President Vladimir Putin’s name is attached to the Grammys: Though he’s not nominated, Randy Newman’s satirical ode to him, titled “Putin,” earned a nomination.



Despite being one of the most celebrated acts in music history, The Rolling Stones have only won two Grammy Awards.


The veteran act is nominated this year for best traditional blues album for “Blue & Lonesome.”




Pharrell didn’t release a new album, but he’s nominated for three awards.


He’s up for best R&B song for co-writing SZA’s “Supermodel” and earned two nods for his work on the “Hidden Figures” soundtrack.




Though she earned an album of the year nomination for her sophomore effort, “Melodrama,” Lorde didn’t earn any other nominations at the Grammys. Most album of the year nominees also earn nods in their genre categories, which would be best pop vocal album for Lorde. She also was shut out of best pop solo performance.




Rock band Imagine Dragons, favorites on pop radio, earned nominations for best pop duo/group performance and best pop vocal album.


In the latter category, Coldplay is also a nominee, surprising for a five-song EP.


Alternative rock group Portugal. The Man, who had a huge pop hit this year with “Feel It Still,” is nominated for best pop duo/group performance.




Composer Justin Hurwitz, who won two Oscars this year, is nominated for four Grammys thanks to his work on “La La Land.”


Songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul — who both won the best original song Oscar for “City of Stars” with Hurwitz — are nominated for two Grammys: one for “La La Land” and another for best musical theater album for the Tony Award-winning musical, “Dear Evan Hansen.” Due to low submissions, the best musical theater album category only includes three nominees (“Hello, Dolly!” and “Come From Away”).

Musicians React to Their Grammy Nominations

Musicians react to the Grammy Awards nominations, announced Tuesday by The Recording Academy. The 60th annual Grammys will air live from New York on CBS on Jan. 28, 2018.

Luis Fonsi on Instagram, regarding his thrice-nominated song Despacito:

“In these tumultuous times we are living in, where dividedness abounds, I am beyond happy and proud that a song in ESPANOL is nominated in three major categories at the 60th GRAMMY awards. Let’s continue sharing all our beautiful cultures and roots with the world. There is no better time than now. QUE VIVAN LOS LATINOS Y NUESTRA MÚSICA. @daddyyankee @justinbieber @recordingacademy #Despacito”

New artist and song of the year nominee Khalid on Twitter:

“Woke up to find out that I’m nominated for 5 Grammys. I’m in shock. I’m so thankful man this is unbelievable”

Logic on Twitter, about his song, 1-800-273-8255:

“Today I was woken up by my wife calling to tell me I was nominated for Song Of The Year at the Grammys and Best Music Video. I can’t even believe this tweet!”

Reba McEntire on Instagram, about her nomination for best roots gospel album:

“I woke up seeing this text this morning. Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to put this album together. Thanks so much!! Timing is everything and everything happens for a reason. Thank you Lord. #sohumbled #backtogod #grammys2018”

Thomas Rhett on Twitter about his nomination for country album:

“Wow wow wow wow wow! This is incredible. #GRAMMYs”

Lady Antebellum on Twitter, about their country album nomination:

“Beyond proud of this album and couldn’t be more honored to be nominated in this category by the @RecordingAcad! #HeartBreak”

Despacito co-writer Erika Ender on Instagram:

“OMG!!! What a blessing!!! Congrats to all!!! #Despacito #Nominated #SongOfTheYear #Grammys2018”

Brothers Osborne on Twitter, about their nomination for best country duo/group performance:

“Well dang y’all! Woke up to a Grammy nomination this morning for It Aint My Fault. So rad! Thanks so much for love. #GRAMMYs”

2018 Grammy Awards Nominees in Top Categories

A list of nominees in the top categories at the 60th annual Grammy Awards, announced Tuesday by The Recording Academy.


Album of the year: “Awaken, My Love!,” Childish Gambino; “4:44,” Jay-Z; “DAMN.,” Kendrick Lamar; “Melodrama,” Lorde; “24K Magic,” Bruno Mars.


Record of the year: “Redbone,” Childish Gambino; “Despacito,” Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber; “The Story of O.J.,” Jay-Z; “HUMBLE.,” Kendrick Lamar; “24K Magic,” Bruno Mars.


Song of the year (songwriter’s award): “Despacito,” Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Bieber, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, Erika Ender and Marty James Garton; “4:44,” Jay-Z and No I.D.; “Issues,” Julia Michaels, Benny Blanco, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen and Justin Drew Tranter; “1-800-273-8255,” Logic, Alessia Cara, Khalid and Arjun Ivatury; “That’s What I Like,” Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus and Jonathan Yip.

Best new artist: Alessia Cara; Khalid; Lil Uzi Vert; Julia Michaels; SZA.


Best pop solo performance: “Love So Soft,” Kelly Clarkson; “Praying,” Kesha; “Million Reasons,” Lady Gaga; “What About Us,” Pink; “Shape of You,” Ed Sheeran.


Best pop duo/group performance: “Something Just Like This,” The Chainsmokers and Coldplay; “Despacito,” Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber; “Thunder,” Imagine Dragons; “Feel It Still,” Portugal. The Man; “Stay,” Zedd and Alessia Cara.


Best traditional pop vocal album: “Nobody But Me (Deluxe Version),” Michael Buble; “Triplicate,” Bob Dylan; “In Full Swing,” Seth MacFarlane; “Wonderland,” Sarah McLachlan; “Tony Bennett Celebrates 90,” various artists.


Best pop vocal album: “Kaleidoscope EP,” Coldplay; “Lust for Life,” Lana Del Rey; “Evolve,” Imagine Dragons; “Rainbow,” Kesha; “Joanne,” Lady Gaga; “Divide,”  Ed Sheeran.


Best dance/electronic album: “Migration,” Bonobo; “3-D The Catalogue,” Kraftwerk; “Mura Masa,” Mura Masa; “A Moment Apart,” Odesza; “What Now,” Sylvan Esso.


Best rock album: “Emperor of Sand,” Mastodon; “Hardwired…To Self-Destruct,” Metallica; “The Stories We Tell Ourselves,” Nothing More; “Villains,” Queens of the Stone Age; “A Deeper Understanding,” The War On Drugs.


Best alternative music album: Everything Now,” Arcade Fire; “Humanz,” Gorillaz; “American Dream,” LCD Soundsystem; “Pure Comedy,” Father John Misty; “Sleep Well Beast,” The National.


Best urban contemporary album: “Free 6LACK,”‘ 6LACK; “Awaken, My Love!,” Childish Gambino; “American Teen,” Khalid; “Ctrl,” SZA; “Starboy,” The Weeknd.


Best R&B album: “Freudian,” Daniel Caesar; “Let Love Rule,” Ledisi; “24K Magic,” Bruno Mars; “Gumbo,” PJ Morton; “Feel the Real,” Musiq Soulchild.


Best rap album: “4:44,” Jay-Z; “DAMN.,” Kendrick Lamar; “Culture” Migos; “Laila’s Wisdom,” Rapsody; “Flower Boy,” Tyler, the Creator.


Best country album: “Cosmic Hallelujah,” Kenny Chesney; “Heart Break,” Lady Antebellum; “The Breaker,” Little Big Town; “Life Changes,” Thomas Rhett; “From A Room: Volume 1,” Chris Stapleton.


Best jazz vocal album: “The Journey,” The Baylor Project; “A Social Call,” Jazzmeia Horn; “Bad Ass And Blind,” Raul Midon; “Porter Plays Porter,” Randy Porter Trio With Nancy King; “Dreams And Daggers,” Cecile McLorin Salvant.


Best jazz instrumental album: “Uptown, Downtown,” Bill Charlap Trio; “Rebirth,” Billy Childs; “Project Freedom,” Joey DeFrancesco & The People; “Open Book,” Fred Hersch; “The Dreamer Is The Dream,” Chris Potter.


Best compilation soundtrack for visual media:  “Baby Driver”; “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Awesome Mix Vol. 2′”; “Hidden Figures: The Album'”; “La La Land”; “Moana: The Songs.”


Producer of the year, non-classical: Calvin Harris; Greg Kurstin; Blake Mills; No I.D.; The Stereotypes.

 Best music video: “Up All Night,” Beck; “Makeba,” Jain; “The Story of O.J.,” Jay-Z; “Humble,” Kendrick Lamar; “1-800-273-8255,” Logic featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid.


Jeremy Piven Suggests It’s Curtains for His CBS Crime Drama

CBS isn’t saying that Jeremy Piven’s freshman series “Wisdom of the Crowd” is canceled, but the actor apparently sees it that way.


“After the network said Monday it won’t expand its initial episode order for the crime drama but declined to address its future, Piven responded with a bittersweet tweet.


“Proud of the work we did and we will Finish out our 13 episodes with full hearts!” Piven wrote on his Twitter account, adding, “Thanks for all the love, going to miss it as well.”


The tweets were confirmed by a spokeswoman, who declined further comment.


The network’s decision follows sexual misconduct allegations leveled by several women against Piven, who has denied them. CBS said previously it is looking into the claims but has issued no further statement.


Piven stars in the series as a tech guru who creates a crowd-sourcing app to help solve crimes, including his daughter’s killing. CBS plans to air the rest of the 13 episodes.


“Wisdom of the Crowd” has earned lackluster ratings but CBS didn’t comment on why it wasn’t ordering a full season, typically about 20 episodes.


Meanwhile, the network announced Monday it was ordering additional episodes of two sitcoms, Matt LeBlanc’s “Man With a Plan” and “Superior Donuts.”

Alec Baldwin Mixes Trump Spoof with Activism in Iowa Speech

Alec Baldwin mixed his Emmy-winning impression of President Donald Trump and the advocacy of a serious Democratic activist Monday, headlining a state party banquet in Des Moines.

The actor known lately for his recurring role on Saturday Night Live wowed more than 2,000 party faithful, at times slipping into the Trump spoof but urging them to work harder than they did in 2016, when Trump carried the state.

It was much-needed humor for a party, still licking its wounds from the presidential election, and locked out of the governor’s mansion and in the legislative minority after controlling both just 10 years ago.

Baldwin donned his contorted faux-Trump scowl and joked about Democrats’ annual Jefferson-Jackson banquets, named for past Democratic presidents, but which his character confused. “Jefferson Jackson was a great man,” Baldwin blurted.

In a nod to Iowa’s renewable energy scene, Baldwin’s Trump gave a shout out to corn-based fuel additive producers by noting “all the ethanol miners out there.”

That was after he took the stage, posing first as a professor at the defunct Trump University, touting course listings such as “political science fiction,” and featuring members of Trump’s cabinet as the faculty.

“Jeff Sessions will be teaching a class. He just can’t remember which one,” Baldwin quipped, in a reference to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who testified this month he had forgotten about a Trump campaign meeting where an aide suggested a Trump meeting in Russia.

But Baldwin, a Democratic activist for years behind the scenes, talked about his experience traveling through Massachusetts with Sen. Ted Kennedy during his 1994 campaign against Republican Mitt Romney.

More recently, Baldwin campaigned this fall for winning Virginia governor candidate Ralph Northam ahead of the Nov. 7 election.

Baldwin impersonated former President Bill Clinton, less for laughs than to remind the audience of the former president’s advice that the investigation into Russian connections with the Trump campaign is less advisable for the party than persuading voters to support Democrats.

Baldwin called on Iowa Democrats, also still smarting over the bitter 2016 presidential caucus fight between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, to unite after the 2018 gubernatorial primary, now featuring seven candidates.

“I want you to take the pledge right now and come together,” Baldwin said.

With one last joke, he implored Americans to “send Trump to a retirement home in Moscow where he belongs.”

And he brought the crowd to its feet with his final request: “Let’s make America America again.”