The People’s Choice is Dark Knight and House

Hugh Laurie
The Dark Knight went five for five and was named Favorite Movie at the 35th Annual People’s Choice Awards, which returned to its usual star-studdedness Wednesday after an ’08 broadcast held at the height of the actor-supported Hollywood writers’ strike.

The film was also rewarded Favorite Cast, Action Movie and Onscreen Matchup, which spotlighted Christian Bale and Heath Ledger. Bale was also named the year’s Favorite Superhero.

“Thank you very, very much,” said Bale, who accepts the award alongside Aaron Eckhart and director Christopher Nolan. “And on behalf of all of the cast from the movie, thank you very much to the fans. Here’s to Heath, thank you.”

Favorite TV Drama award went to House.

“I have no idea who these people are,” said House star Hugh Laurie. “This is just a small representative sample of the many, what, 200 or so, people who work so hard to make the show House. They couldn’t be here, because this is all the tuxedos we’ve got.”

Host Queen Latifah, apparently not burned out by last year’s celebrityless awards show, returned as host of the event at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium and later helped accept the award for Favorite Movie, Drama, with some of her Secret Life of Bees costars.

The honoring kicked off with an only-in-L.A. moment, as Ellen DeGeneres stepped in to present the award for Favorite Funny Male Star (to Adam Sandler) in place of a tardy Kate Hudson.

“She’s in traffic, she’s 40 minutes away, so…let’s wait,” DeGeneres deadpanned. “That’s no way to sell a movie, Kate.”

Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flats provided the musical entertainment for the evening.

And the winners were:

FILM

• Movie: The Dark Knight
• Family Movie: WALL-E
• Action Movie: The Dark Knight
• Movie, Comedy: 27 Dresses
• Movie, Drama: The Secret Life of Bees
• Independent Movie: The Secret Life of Bees
• Cast: The Dark Knight (Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Maggie Gyllenhaal)
• Male Movie Star: Will Smith
• Leading Man: Brad Pitt
• Male Action Star: Will Smith
• Female Movie Star: Reese Witherspoon
• Leading Lady: Kate Hudson
• Female Action Star: Angelina Jolie
• Onscreen Matchup: Christian Bale & Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
• Superhero: Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman

TELEVISION

• Drama: House
• Comedy: Two and a Half Men
• Animated Comedy: The Simpsons
• Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show: Heroes
• Competition/Reality Show: Dancing With the Stars
• Game Show: Deal or No Deal
• Male TV Star: Hugh Laurie
• Female TV Star: Christina Applegate
• Talk Show Host: Ellen DeGeneres
• Scene-Stealing Guest Star: Robin Williams on Law & Order: SVU
• Female Drama Diva: Kyra Sedgwick as Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson on The Closer
• New TV Drama: The Mentalist
• New TV Comedy: Gary Unmarried

MUSIC

• Male Singer: Chris Brown
• Female Singer: Carrie Underwood
• Group: Rascal Flatts
• R&B Song: “No One” by Alicia Keys
• Pop Song: “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry
• Rock Song: “All Summer Long” by Kid Rock
• Country Song: “Last Name” by Carrie Underwood
• Hip-Hop Song: “Low” by Flo Rida, featuring T-Pain
• Combined Forces: “No Air” by Jordin Sparks, featuring Chris Brown
• Song From a Soundtrack: “Mamma Mia” by Meryl Streep, from Mamma Mia!

MISCELLANEOUS

• Funny Male Star: Adam Sandler
• Funny Female Star: Tina Fey
• Star 35 & Under: Carrie Underwood

SOURCE:People’s Choice

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NAACP IMAGE AWARD NOMINEES

Bryton McClure
Debbie Morgan

The 40th NAACP Image Awards nominees were announced today during a press conference at The Beverly Hilton Hotel. Corbin Bleu, Audra McDonald, Keke Palmer, Nate Parker and Regina Taylor joined NAACP Image Awards Committee Chair, Clayola Brown, and Vicangelo Bulluck, Executive Producer of the telecast, to announce the categories and nominees. The 40th NAACP Image Awards will air live on Thursday, February 12 (8:00 – 10:00 PM ET/PT Tape-delayed) on FOX. [SOURCE]

Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series

Bryton McClure – “The Young And The Restless” (CBS)
Cornelius Smith, Jr. – “All My Children” (ABC)
Dan Martin – “The Bold and the Beautiful” (CBS)
Montell Williams – “The Guiding Light” (CBS)
Texas Battle – “The Bold and the Beautiful” (CBS)
Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series

Christel Khalil – “The Young And The Restless” (CBS)
Debbi Morgan – “All My Children” (ABC)
Eva Marcille – “The Young and the Restless” (CBS)
Nia Peeples – “The Young and the Restless” (CBS)
Tonya Lee Williams – “The Young and the Restless” (CBS)

MARY POPPINS Lands in Los Angeles in 2009

Broadway’s supercalifragilistic, award-winning hit MARY POPPINS will be presented in Los Angeles by the Center Theatre Group at the Ahmanson Theatre of the Los Angeles Music Center in the 2009 – 2010 season. It was announced by CTG Artistic Director Michael Ritchie and producers Cameron Mackintosh and Thomas Schumacher.

MARY POPPINS will be presented in an exclusive limited engagement beginning November 2009. Tickets for MARY POPPINS will be made available to subscribers of CTG’s 2009 – 2010 season before going on sale to the general public in mid-2009.

“I am gigantically proud of MARY POPPINS continuing success and the opportunity to bring this show to West Coast audiences,” said Thomas Schumacher, President of the Disney Theatrical Group. “On a personal note, it will be enormously gratifying to see our nanny take flight in a space that holds wonderful memories for me, having started my theatrical career at the Center Theatre Group.”

“I am delighted to bring MARY POPPINS to the Ahmanson in conjunction with Disney,” said Cameron Mackintosh. “Over the years I have enjoyed many collaborations with the Center Theatre Group and this April my new production of ‘My Fair Lady’, which has been extremely well received all over America and been a huge hit in London, will open at the Ahmanson. Both productions are staged by two of Britain’s greatest directors: ‘My Fair Lady’ by Trevor Nunn and MARY POPPINS by Richard Eyre, with fabulous choreography by the ever inventive Matthew Bourne.

“MARY POPPINS has been a labor of love for me, ever since I first tried to get the rights 30 years ago,” continued Mackintosh. “In 1993, Pamela Travers finally gave me her approval and the outcome, developed in conjunction with my friend Thomas Schumacher, has been an enormous success in both London and on Broadway. It is particularly thrilling now to bring Mary back home to the city where she first triumphed on film in 1964, as fresh and irresistible as ever.”

“CTG is honored to have been selected by two of the world’s leading theatrical producers — Cameron Mackintosh and Tom Schumacher — to present this superb work in Los Angeles,” said Michael Ritchie. “It is unusual for us to announce a production this early, a full year before tickets will go on sale, but there has been so much excitement around this production that we just couldn’t keep the news to ourselves. We at CTG are very proud to present this truly magical and highly theatrical musical. This is happy news for everyone in Los Angeles.”

source: Mary Poppins

Disney on Broadway Update: Mary Poppins


Aussie Adam Fiorentino Is Walking on Air as the New Bert
Adam Interview

Aussie Adam Fiorentino is making his Broadway debut as the new Bert, the multi-talented chimney sweep in MARY POPPINS.

He was offered his first professional gig in the ensemble of the touring production of the Peter Allen musical The Boy From Oz.

The actor toured around Australia in productions of Cats, Grease, Mamma Mia!, Footloose and Leader of the Pack, and the stage adaptation of Saturday Night Fever in which he played the John Travolta role of Tony Manero. He was invited to take his Boogie Shoes to London where he reprised the role in the West End production.

But he has reached the high point of his career – literally and figuratively – playing Bert, the “Chim-Chim-Cheree”-singing sweep who helps Mary Poppins save the troubled Banks family of 17 Cherry Tree Lane in the Disney/Cameron Macintosh show.

Bert literally flips for Mary. Among his many daring special effects is dancing upside-down on the three-story proscenium of Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre at the climax of the song “Step in Time.”

The New Amsterdam’s resident choreographer Tom Kosis said he trained Fiorentino on a special ten-foot-high practice rig. “He had to learn how to tap without using his weight,” Kosis said. “Tapping upside down is not like tapping on the stage. You have to flip your ankles. It’s much more like drumming.”

“I was never really terrified,” Fiorentino said, “because I’ve done bungee jumping in the past.” He also said he has complete trust in the show’s designers and the stagehands of the New Amsterdam. But there’s something more that helps keep him aloft. “It’s the excitement and the buzz you get from the audience.”

How about magic? Clearly Mary Poppins is magical. But what about Bert?

“Bert is a human being who is able to perform magic when Mary is around,” Fiorentino said. “He helps facilitate some of Mary’s lessons. In order to do that he is able to use magic. He loses those powers when she goes away. He’s got a very deep connection with Mary. When Mary goes, it’s a really sad time for him.”

Fiorentino does have one love story with a decidedly happy ending: his love affair with New York City. The first time he heard the word “Broadway” was when he was 6 or 7. He and his mother used to watch movies on TV together every Sunday, and when the classic film musical On the Town was shown, Fiorentino was hooked. The story of sailors on a 24-hour leave in Manhattan showed them, “running around New York. And I thought: I want to be there! For me, that’s where everything happened.”

Fiorentino also plays the recurring role of Simon on the ABC daytime drama, All My Children.

source:
Mary Poppins