June 30, 2008

Mamma Mia! Review

No matter how many blockbusters there are, Universal Pictures' screen version of the global hit stage musical "Mamma Mia!" is the most fun to be had at the movies this or any other recent summer.

Teenage boys may be glued to the latest action adventure, but the rest of the family will be having a rollicking good time and dancing in the aisles to Swedish pop group ABBA's irresistible songs. It's a delightful piece of filmmaking with a marvelous cast topped by Meryl Streep in one of her smartest and most entertaining performances ever.

After its world premiere in London on Monday, the film opens in the U.K. on July 4 and in North America on July 18. It will surely follow the stage show around the world in pleasing audiences and coining what one of the infectious songs celebrates: "Money, Money, Money."

Credit goes to the original show's creators, producer Judy Craymer, director Phyllida Lloyd and writer Catherine Johnson, for seeing their vision through to such a polished and enjoyable picture. Hanging a tale of a woman whose daughter night have been fathered by one of three attractive men on a bunch of ABBA songs sounds simple, but its simplicity is as deceptive as the masterfully crafted songs themselves. Streep plays Donna, a former singer, who has raised daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) alone at a fading resort on a remote Greek island. Sophie finds her mother's diary from 20 years earlier and discovers that there are three men who might be her father. About to be married to boyfriend Sky (Dominic Cooper), she sends invitations to the celebration to all three on behalf of her mother but without telling her.

Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard, as the possible dads, show up on the island where Donna is readying the wedding, helped by her two best pals (Julie Walters and Christine Baranski). The scene is set for songs, dancing and romance, all staged brilliantly, with many energetic and colorful performers, and beautifully shot.

The Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus songs have memorably sturdy lyrics that the filmmakers weave with great skill into their story. All of the players perform with gusto including Skarsgard, ex-007 Brosnan and noted Mr. Darcy Firth who, far from embarrassing themselves, sing well and deserve high praise for being such good sports.

Seyfried (from TV's "Big Love") and Cooper ("The History Boys") make appealing juvenile leads while Walters and Baranski contribute greatly to the film's good-natured comedy. Each has a big solo number with Baranski belting out "Does Your Mother Know?" to a randy beach bum and Walters entreating a reluctant groom with "Take a Chance on Me."

Streep is sensationally good in rendering the whole yarn credible and in making dramatically moving songs such as "Slipping Through My Fingers," sung to her departing daughter, and "The Winner Takes It All" to a lost love. It's no stretch to think of her performance in Oscar terms, ranking with previous musical winners such as Liza Minnelli, Barbra Streisand and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

And when Streep teams with Walters and Baranski for dynamic and crowd-pleasing numbers such as "Mamma Mia!" "Dancing Queen" and "Super Trouper," there's not an audience anywhere that won't be smiling.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

A Classic

According to Entertainment Weekly, and almost everyone else in the world, the 'Harry Potter' novels are already classics.

PS: Fans are speculating that the theatrical release of The Dark Knight will include the first teaser trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince!!!

If I Never See Your Face Again

Last night, I watched Maroon 5 and Rihanna's "If I Never See Your Face Again" performance on FNMTV, and it was AMAZING! I had to rewind it and re-watch it a couple of times.

If you missed it, check it out:

And, here's the official music video:

June 29, 2008

Christina's Stars And Stripes

If you missed Christina Aguilera on Larry King Live this week (promoting her new Rock The Vote ads), you can watch it by clicking HERE. There is a Part 1 and Part 2. Enjoy!

PS: In the interview, Christina said that Barack Obama represents such a "ground-breaking, history-making moment." And, from what I've seen and heard, I think Barack's who she's voting for. I mean, it's Christina Aguilera for crying out loud, she's way liberal.

Nicole & Harlow

I just found a bundle of cute photos (at NicoleRichie.NU) of Nicole and baby Harlow out-and-about over the past week. They make such a cute mother and daughter duo. Enjoy!

2 Weeks Ago Today

In The Heights won the Tony award for Best Musical! It was a happy day for Lin-Manuel Miranda.

For Lipstick Fans...

Now I'm really excited for the return of Lipstick Jungle this fall! I mean, just look at these on-set pics (from Just Jared) of Robert Buckley with co-star Kim Raver.

Maui To LA

How cute is High School Musical star Ashley Tisdale and her little puppy Maui!?

Apparently, Ash has just returned from shooting High School Musical 3 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

An Idol Got Married!

American Idol's season 2 winner Ruben Studdard married Surata Zuri McCants at Canterbury United Methodist Church in his hometown of Birmingham, Ala., Saturday with 20 groomsmen at his side.

Studdard, 29, and McCants, 30, obtained a marriage license at the County Probate Office in Columbiana, Ala., last Monday. "They looked really happy," an eyewitness said.

On Idol, Studdard was dubbed the "Velvet Teddy Bear" and was known for dressing down in jerseys emblazoned with 205, Birmingham's area code.

But came time for his wedding, the vocalist got decked out. He and his groomsmen wore black Joseph Abboud tuxedos from local outfitter Mr. Burch Formal Wear, says a source.

The groomsmen's shirts and vests were black, while Studdard had a white vest and a white bow tie.

Studdard met McCants in October 2006, when he was signing CDs at a Wal-Mart in Atlanta. Struck by her beauty, he followed her to the store's toy department, and requested her phone number.

Later this year he's due to release another CD.

Source: PEOPLE

June 26, 2008

Best Actress

Jennifer Love Hewitt won the Saturn Award for Best Actress at Tuesday's ceremony in LA.

Congrats Love! I can't wait for the 4th season of Ghost Whisperer.

If Only I Were Jessica...

She's the luckiest girl in the world. And, her dog, Tina, is pretty lucky too.

Mary-Kate's Wackness

Mary-Kate Olsen is making the publicity rounds for her new film, The Wackness, and is looking better than ever! On Wednesday, she wore a belted white caftan to an AMC Loews screening of the film in NYC, and, at the after-party, wore flowers and pastels. So, she's still bohemian chic, but with a touch of girly sophistication.

The Cutest Boy In The World

Sean Hayes is busy getting ready for New York City Center's "Damn Yankees," and Broadway Beat's cameras caught up with him, and the rest of the cast (including hottie Cheyenne Jackson), at rehearsal. Watch it HERE. And, pray that I get to see this show and meet my Sean at the Stage Door!

June 25, 2008

Congrats To My Favorite Mute

I must say congratulations to the very talented, and very cute, Nick Spangler of The Fantasticks! Nick has been awarded the Theater Hall of Fame's 2008 Elaine and Jerry Orbach Musical Theater Fellowship, created by the Theater Hall of Fame in 2004 to provide an avenue to recognize and provide financial assistance to emerging theater artists and to encourage possible future Hall of Famers. He was selected by Cancilla-Orbach, Jerry's wife, who said, "I hope that this role and this award help Nick to parallel Jerry's career. The Fantasticks bounced Jerry to fame. Hopefully the same will happen for Nick."

Nick is currently playing Matt (a.k.a. "the Boy") in The Fantasticks, but when I saw it he played "the Mute." And, it was a brilliant show!

For you people who have not yet seen it, you're in luck. It has returned to the Snapple Theater after a short hiatus, and you can buy tickets by visiting www.fantasticksonbroadway.com.

Take It Back, Shaq

I'm sure you've already heard about, or have seen, the TMZ video of Shaquille O’Neal's freestyle Kobe-bashing rap. Well, now it's time for him to face the consequences. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said that Shaq's use of a racially derogatory word and other foul language will cause him to lose his special deputy’s badge. "I don’t condone this type of racial conduct,” said Arpaio. "If any one of my deputies did something like this, they’re fired."

I'm really disappointed with this situation. I've always loved Shaq, but the fact that he would show such bitterness towards Kobe, years after they supposedly repaired their friendship, is just sad. I couldn't even watch the entire TMZ video, because it made me so mad. Kobe doesn't need that, and he most certainly doesn't need Shaq to be the best player in the NBA year-after-year. But, Shaq is going through a tough divorce right now and must be looking for someone to blame other than himself. So, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and hope he has learned his lesson.

Transformers 2

I'll admit, I hadn't seen Transformers until recently, but it has quickly become one of my favorite movies. I'm totally obsessed with it! I've watched it 3 times in the past few weeks, and, I absolutely can't wait for the sequel. So, after some research, I've posted a few pictures from the set of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Here's Bumblebee filming a scene with Shia LaBeouf and Isabel Lucas:

This robot looks a lot like Frenzy:

Here are some of the new Transformers, possibly Autobots:

And, here are some pictures of Shia:

JT Is The New Face Of Givenchy

Justin Timberlake attended last night's Givenchy presentation of the brand’s new fragrance at Mini Palais on the Champs Elysees, Paris. Justin will assume the role of the company's campaign model later this summer. Here are some of the new ads:

Don't you just love him!?

June 24, 2008

Great Britney News!

As of Tuesday, Britney's getting increased visitation with her boys, because the court is "pleased" with the progress she's made! The commissioner agreed that "she's ready to have sons Jayden James and Sean Preston with her overnight." And that's not all. Apparently, the court has ordered both Britney & Kevin to meet tomorrow at a neutral, non-court location to make an attempt at coming to terms on a permanent settlement. Good luck Brit! You're doing such a good job!

Mamma Mia!

I just signed up to attend a free advance screening of Mamma Mia! the week of July 7th. I hope I can go! Thanks Broadwayworld.com.

Justin Does France

Justin Timberlake did some shopping (at Louis Vuitton and Givenchy) and signed some autographs in Paris this week, with his cousin Rachel and manager Johnny Wright. Perhaps he's picking out an outfit for the ESPY Awards he's hosting on July 20th.

June 23, 2008


The two-hour season 3 premiere of Heroes, “The Butterfly Effect,” will air Monday, September 22! I can't wait! Here are some pictures from the set:

PS: (Spoiler) It looks like we know who's shooting who.

Reese Jetsets

Look how cute Reese Witherspoon looks while trying to stay incognito at LAX Airport on Saturday. But, no matter what, she's always going to attract a lot of attention.

Source: Just Jared

Yellow Vera

I spotted this Vera Wang dress about a year ago, and couldn't buy it because it was more than $500. But, isn't it beautiful and timeless? The wrinkled draping gives it a kind of Roman look, which is something I love!

June 22, 2008

Support Obama, Go Green!

Check out the extremely awesome new organic t-shirt you can buy at the Obama store:

Just donate $30 or more, and you'll be supporting the environment and the campaign. Click HERE to do so.

Hottest Bachelors

PEOPLE announced their hottest bachelors of 2008 on Wednesday, and the list was not without its surprises. First off, Mario Lopez is the hottest available guy in America. 'What?' I think that's what a lot of people will be saying when they see him on the magazines cover in grocery stores this coming week. I mean, Mario's great and all, but this obviously means that George Clooney didn't split with Sarah Larson early enough to qualify for the No. 1 spot. And, what about giving Justin Timberlake the top honors (again)? There's no ring on his finger.

My favorite single & sexy guys on the list include: The hilarious Andy Samberg, Britney's older brother, Bryan Spears, and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine.

PS: Maddox Jolie-Pitt, easily the coolest celebritot on earth, didn't even make the "hottest bachelors of the future" list. Are you kidding me!? PEOPLE, you have made a BIG mistake.

June 19, 2008

It's A Girl!

I've been busy all day, but there was no way I wasn't going to give Jamie Lynn Spears a congratulatory post. Jamie gave birth to a baby girl today. Her name is Maddie Bryann (after Jamie's brother Bryan). That's adorable!

I hear Maddie is happy, healthy, and beautiful. Yay! The entire Spears family was at the hospital, yet Casey & Lynne were the only ones in the delivery room, and, apparently, the Spears' are "closer than ever."

When the public first found out that little Jamie Lynn was pregnant, they pre-judged, assuming it would be her downfall. But, it looks like Maddie has brought the family together, and, perhaps, helped them remember what's truly important in life. I hope Maddie brings them continued peace and happiness. What a gift.

June 18, 2008

Trace Is Getting Married!

Trace Ayala, Justin Timberlake's lifelong BFF, asked his girlfriend of 2-years, actress JoAnna Garcia, to marry him. Congrats to the duo!

JoAnna played Reba McEntire's daughter on Reba, and can soon be seen on the CW's How to Survive the Filthy Rich.

Next Stop: The Olympics

It's been a disappointing night for me and my fellow Lakers fans. Our boys lost by 39 points, while our rivals, the Boston Celtics, went on to win their 17th NBA title.

Honestly, Boston did deserve to win. They were incredible throughout the 6-game series. But, I just wish they wouldn't have obliterated us like they did on Tuesday. The Lakers have had a great season, and it's a shame that we had to end it in such a devastating way.

All I can say is, that this loss will only make next years win all that much more triumphant. Plus, Kobe already won one MVP trophy this season, he doesn't need another one just yet. And, there's a good chance he'll go on to win an Olympic gold medal this summer.

So, congratulations Los Angeles, for becoming the No. 1 team in the West, taking out the defending champs, and for making it to the NBA finals after one hell of a season! And, congratulations Boston, on one amazing victory!

PS: I love you Kobe.

June 17, 2008


Last week Mary-Kate Olsen attended a performance of the Tony nominated musical Cry-Baby at the Marquis Theatre. Maybe it was an early Birthday present? Here's a picture of her backstage with the two stars, Elizabeth Stanley and James Snyder:

June 16, 2008

My Dream Come True

Tonight, at 8:30 p.m. EDT, Al Gore will join Barack Obama on a stage at a rally in Detroit and announce that he will do whatever he can to make sure Barack is elected President of the United States!

My 5 Favorite Tony Moments

5. Kristin Chenoweth presenting an award to those who had "defied gravity."

4. Megan Mullally performing "Deep Love" from Young Frankenstein.

3. Daniel Radcliffe and Richard Griffiths giving a presentation that was "almost like magic."

2. The OBC of RENT honoring the musical's run, Jonathan Larson, and singing "Season's of Love" with the current cast.

1. The cast of In The Heights performing my favorite song from the show, "$96,000," and winning 4 awards!

The Winners Are In!!!

And the 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical goes to: In The Heights, which also won for choreography, orchestrations, and score! Cheers!

I'm so happy for Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator/lyricist/star of the show. He is a really sweet person (I met him back in March), and living proof of what an ambitious dreamer can achieve. Lin started working on In The Heights when he was 19-years-old, a sophomore in college, and only just finished, nearly 10 years later. And it's truly a fantastic show!

That's not all.

My Los Angeles Lakers forced the NBA Finals into Game 6 by beating the Celtics 103-98.

KB24 had 25 points, and will now lead the Lakers to Boston to attempt a historic comeback.

June 15, 2008

UnLazy Sunday

First, I'd like to say Happy Father's Day to all of the dad's out there!

Then I'd like to remind everyone of what a busy day it's going to be today. Both the 62nd Annual Tony Awards and the NBA Finals Game 5 are on tonight! As for me, I'm watching the Tony's from 8-9, pausing it, running downstairs to watch the Lakers until halftime, pausing it, running upstairs to resume watching the Tony's, and so on... You get the idea.

Hopefully In The Heights will sweep the Tony's and LA will beat Boston!

June 14, 2008

JT Is A Swinger

A golf-obsessed Justin Timberlake hits a driving range in Studio City, CA Thursday afternoon. Lookin' good J!

Be sure to check out his swing when the Golf Digest U.S. Open Challenge airs Sunday on NBC at 2 PM/ET.