During a promotional event at the Houston Rockets' NBA playoff game Monday night, two men entered the arena to battle in the ancient ways of tic-tac-toe. For every lay-up they hit, the competitors would lay down their respective Xs or Os on the giant tic-tac-toe board at center court.
The onslaught was extreme, the thirst for blood unquenchable, and the carnage gut-wrenching to witness
NEW YORK (AP) âÂ€Â” Most theater professionals like to say that whatever they're working on is very relevant to what's going on in the real world. That was not possibly more true than in Baltimore this spring.
The city's flagship theater, Center Stage, debuted a musical about reggae icon and civil rights activist Bob Marley during the city's spasm of violence and peaceful protests following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody. Several preview performances for the musical "Marley" were lost amid protests marching near the theater and the actors had to rush to finish rehearsals early on several evenings to accommodate a city-wide curfew.
There were soldiers, horses and armored vehicles in the streets and helicopters in the air as the cast and crew tried to finish a work that highlighted the life of a singer who demanded social justice and freedom for black people.
A new framing scene was added to the play in which two black men watch footage of the Baltimore protests on a smartphone, making the connection between the two movements clear. On May 2, the cast went out into the streets to give a free concert, including singing "One Heart" to try to heal the city.
"When real life is happening around you and you're trying to produce art, you have to submit to real life and have faith," said Kwame Kwei-Armah, Center Stage's artistic director who also wrote and directed the Marley musical.
"I'm not sure in my life that I'll ever feel that connected or ever feel that blessed or ever feel that visceral call that theater is about the here and now."
The musical focuses on the years 1975 to 1978, when Marley survived an attempted assassination in Jamaica and went into exile in London. It's the first time a stage musical has used both Marley's songs and his life story.
The musical features mid-'70s Marley albums as "Exodus," ''Kaya," and "Rastaman Vibration," which include the songs "Jamming," ''Three Little Birds" and "Roots, Rock, Reggae." Mitchell Brunings portrays the title character.
Kwei-Armah played Marley's song "Burnin' and Lootin'" on his way into work on the night of the first curfew. The song's lyrics were prescient: This morning I woke up in a curfew/Oh God, I was a prisoner, too/Could not recognize the faces standing over me/They were all dressed in uniforms of brutality."
"Somebody wrote these lyrics 30 years ago, somebody tapped into something 30, 40 years ago and it's more applicable than some of the work I've done throughout all of my life," said Kwei-Armah. "It's humbling and beautiful. It validates for me why I'm doing theater."
Suzette Newman, an executive producer of "Marley," said she is working to get the musical on the road after it ends its run in Baltimore on June 14. "We absolutely hope that it will travel and go elsewhere. We're in the process of those discussions right now," she said.
Until then, she and Kwei-Armah watch nightly as the audience goes from punching the air with "Get Up, Stand Up" to joining the actors onstage in the show's emotional climax with "One Love."
"The power of Bob hits me afresh nearly every night. Suzette and I are standing at the back, seeing the audience as they respond and run onto the stage to sing with the cast 'One Love' in a city that needs to be one and healed," said Kwei-Armah.
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"You have to love dancing to stick to it," legendary dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham once said. "It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive."
While it's certainly true that dance is among the most ephemeral of art forms, turning the body into a momentary sculpture time and time again, we also feel compelled to highlight the ways the art form is able to be documented, archived and preserved. Mainly, we're talking about video.
Today we're proud to premiere an exclusive first look at the Bolshoi Ballet's upcoming cinema season presented by Pathe Live, a riveting two-minute short film capturing all the fire and passion of one of the world's most renowned classical ballet companies. The Moscow-based organization, known for its colorful and athletic performances, is home to many of the world's most beloved dancers, including Svetlana Zakharova, Maria Alexandrova, Evgenia Obraztsova, Ekaterina Krysanova, Olga Smirnova, Vladislav Lantratov and Semyon Chudin.
This year's cinema programming includes traditional ballet classics like George BalanchineâÂ€Â™s "Jewels," "The Nutcracker," and "Giselle," along with more unconventional performances, such as William Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew," "Spartacus" and "Don Quixote."
The short film, directed by New York-based Pierce Jackson and Dianna Mesion, provides a tantalizing look at what's to come this season, from the glamorous costumes to the facial expressions that are pure intensity made flesh. The video is the first in a series of web-episodes of never-before-seen footage and exclusive interviews, which will be aired on the Huffington Post Arts & Culture page throughout the season. The dazzling footage, all shot in Moscow, provides an intimate look at the lives of Bolshoi ballerinas, from rehearsals to the performance.
The new Batmobile has arrived! Fans lucky enough to stumble across the "Suicide Squad" set on Monday night in Toronto captured Batman's new ride in action as it chased the Joker's purple Lamborghini.
Ben Affleck's Batman has been rumored to appear in David Ayer's upcoming "Suicide Squad," and he was even spotted on the Toronto set. While Affleck's appearance in the DC Comics film hasn't been confirmed, we at least know the Dark Knight will face off with the Joker on the streets in "Suicide Squad."
We got our first look at the Joker's car last week when photos and footage of "Suicide Squad" leaked from the set. In it, Jared Leto's buffed-up Joker gets out of his car and knocks out Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn.
The upcoming movie will also star Will Smith as Deadshot, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, Karen Fukuhara as Katana, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg, Adam Beach as Slipknot and Jay Hernandez as El Diablo.
"Suicide Squad" opens Aug. 5, 2016.
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The first day back after a long weekend can come at you like a hurricane. It can chew out the vacay, spit it out, and leave nothing but disaster in its path. That's why A-Sides is highlighting three heavyweight acts to come out swinging and prevent your work week from the suckage it can be. Fittingly, that hurricane reference works on multiple levels. For starters, the first band has a single called "Chasing Twisters." Ah, thank goodness for weather-related segues.
Delta Rae, the six-piece rock-and-folk band out of Durham, NC, burst onto the scene (not literally - they're all fine), with their awesome 2012 debut Carry the Fire. Led by the haunting "Bottom of the River" and the heartbreaking ballad "If I Loved You," the band which includes sibs Brittany, Eric, and Ian HĂ¶lljes, Liz Hopkins, Grant Emerson and Mike McKee, quickly drew comparisons to Fleetwood Mac but stood on their own with an original sound, impeccable harmonies, and heartfelt songs that wreaked of awesomeness. DR recently dropped their follow-up album After it All, and it's an equally (dare I say more) impressive effort. In an age of EPs, this band released a 13-track record produced by icon Rob Cavallo (Green Day, Fleetwood Mac) and Peter Katis (Interpol, The National). Folk. Rock. Blues. Whatever. Their music falls in any and all genres.
Delta Rae recently perform two songs for A-Sides and sat down/stood up for a chat. Take in the glory below, which was filmed by Yale Goodman.
Check out the exclusive A-Sides performance of Delta Rae's new single "Scared"here.
Anyway, A-Sides was fortunate to have Holden on the "show" last month, and boy are you in for an ear treat. Watch the aforementioned "Hold on Tight" below (filmed by Goodman as well) and follow the links under it to enjoy a big, giant tub full of cool.
Check out the A-Sides exclusive performance of "Boys in the Street" here, and the exclusive interview there.
Homeschooled first by their mother while dad attempted to making a living as a musician, the Holbrooks were just normal kids who happened to share common interests in famously fab foursomes like the Beatles and the Marx Brothers.
Considering they ranged in age from 4 to 10 in the late 1990s, long after John, Paul, George and Ringo had broken up and Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Zeppo had departed, that was an excellent but extremely unusual cast of role models for Sarah, Hannah, Eva and Liza to get behind.
Yet if it wasn't for that deep appreciation of such supergroup dynamics that combined artistry with timing and chemistry, the four classically trained sisters from Fort Collins, Colorado -- who also were raised on Chopin, Bach and Vivaldi -- might never have come together as a musical entity now known collectively as SHEL.
SHEL at a Lilith tour news conference in 2010 (from left): Liza, Hannah,
Eva and Sarah Holbrook.
Five years after emerging as a promising sister act on the national scene, when they were on the bill for Sarah McLachlan's Lilith tour stop in the Denver area, the women of SHEL (an acronym of the first initials of their first names) are hoping fervent followers are willing to take this next daring step with them.
Modifying their look, creating an edgier sound and needing a change in scenery are signs that Lilith is so five years ago as Hannah, the big sister at 27, Eva (26), Sarah (24) and Liza (21) take a decidedly maturer approach.
During a May 20 phone interview from their Franklin, Tennessee, residence, two members of SHEL were asked how much has changed since that 2010 experience when they were onstage with McLachlan, Emmylou Harris and other talented women for the grand finale cover of Patti Smith's "Because the Night."
Sarah and Eva Holbrook laughed and said simultaneously, "A lot."
Calling herself an introvert, Eva didn't shy away from adding, "I feel like coming here was really the beginning of looking at songwriting like an art form. Instead of just an introspective outlet, but looking at it the way a painter looks at a subject. I always think of Van Gogh's Sunflowers. You know, he picked that subject and chose to express it in his own way, with his own emotion and his own ideas. And I think songwriting is really no different than that. And when you hang out with great songwriters, and just kind of ask them about what inspires them and what their work ethic is, at least I found it very similar.
"You can pick any subject and you can bring your emotion and your experience to that and turn it into something unique and really express it. So that's been one of my favorite things about being here, for sure, is the growth that we've kind of gone through."
Moving to the Nashville area at the beginning of 2015, they have joined forces with co-manager Dave Stewart, the creative genius behind Eurythmics, to work on a yet-untitled new album (they're "floating around" several names), that could be released as early as September or as late as 2016.
The four Holbrook sisters are SHEL (from left): Eva, Hannah, Sarah, Liza.
"You Could Be My Baby," which first appeared on 2014's Native: Americana Spotlight compilation, is "definitely the single" for the album, they said.
Almost everything else regarding the record, which is about halfway done, remains shrouded in mystery, though they both expressed excitement in the direction it's heading.
On their third full-length album, SHEL will share co-producing chores with Stewart and six-time Grammy winner Brent Maher, a Nashville fixture who once worked with Elvis Presley. Their friend Kevin Dailey of Civil Twilight once again will play the bass.
Eva, the lead vocalist who plays guitar, banjo, cello and mandolin, called Maher and Paul Kennerley her "two mentors" who were the inspiration behind "You Could Be My Baby," which she wrote.
"They both happen to be just the most extraordinary gentlemen in their 60s and I go and pick their brains about songwriting and sit in their living rooms and listen to vinyl," Eva said. "And Paul would have me over for tea and we would just talk about songwriting. And he would say things like, 'Half the writer's work is done in the study.'
Singing a line from "Twenty Flight Rock," she added, "He turned me on to things like (Eddie Cochran) and would be like, 'Go home, study and listen to it.' Because I was just in love with that music. So he'd make me all these compilations to listen to and things like that and I'd go home and just jam on it a bit. And then study it and study what it felt like made the song great. And just sort of as a result of listening to that music, I think the song kind of came out."
The video of the song, a live performance that was shot one recent afternoon in the Blue Room in Nashville, where the song was originally recorded, was overseen by videographer and editor Sarah Holbrook -- with a little sisterly advice.
"I got in there and I kind of had this idea for it," said Sarah, whose most remarkable contribution to the group might be her beautiful violin playing. "And Eva was like, 'Well, what if Liza (a drummer and beatboxer) was standing on the piano and I was sitting on the piano?' And I was kind of like, 'You've got to be crazy. There's no room in here for that.' And then we tried it out and just thought it looked so cool."
Harsh lighting is featured, along with vintage instruments from the studio like a 1920 Grinnell Brothers upright piano that Hannah plays and the Gretsch 1930s resonator used by Eva, who has kept her trademark top hat after the others abandoned the ones they wore for the cover of their 2012 self-titled debut(at left) released by Moraine Music Group.
"The top hats were my first attempt at kind of styling the band because I've done quite a bit of that," said Eva, who has less time to design them but still makes them available for sale. "But we found everybody (in the group) wasn't as excited about them. Everybody needs to be their own individual.
Being the only one in your home is a completely freeing experience. Perhaps too freeing. And sometimes we forget just how liberating it is until we have friends over and have to act all "respectable" and "dignified."
Captain Jack Sparrow could spend real time behind bars.
Johnny Depp may face prison time for bringing his two Yorkshire terriers, Pistol and Boo, into Australia illegally earlier this month. The actor brought his dogs into the country on his private jet while filming the upcoming "Pirates of the Caribbean" sequel. The Australian Agriculture Minister then responded by threatening to kill Depp's dogs, since the country requires all animals to have permits and go through a quarantine process to prevent incoming disease.
According to The Guardian, an Australian senate committee was told on Monday that if the case goes to court, Depp could face up to 10 years in prison, or the maximum fine of AU$340,000, which is over $263,000 in U.S. dollars. The pilot of the plane that brought the dogs into the country could also face up to two years in prison.
Depp's wife Amber Heard has reportedly taken the dogs, Pistol and Boo, back to California. Depp is said to have also returned from Australia. The actor's reps were not immediately available for comment.
I have always wanted a Porsche. A sleek, sexy, sports car in cherry red with a custom dark champagne leather interior. That's what I want. I cannot afford to buy one, but I have a plan. There is a local dealer that I have been watching and I know where he keeps the keys. Tonight, around two or three a.m., when no one is watching, I am going to sledgehammer my way through the dealership door, grab a key and
Two-day "Jeopardy!" champ Choyon Manjrekar bested his opponents for a third time on Monday night, upping his winnings to more than $56,000, but also proving that he's no expert on Broadway musicals.
Entering Final Jeopardy with a commanding lead, Manjrekar faced this question: "A Christian hymn and a Jewish holiday hymn are both titled this, also the name of a 2009 Tony-nominated musical."
"What is Kinky Boots?" Wrong!
The correct answer was "Rock of Ages."
It was clear from Manjrekar's expression that he had just made a wild guess. âÂ€ÂśKinky Boots, yes indeed!âÂ€Âť Trebek quipped as the audience laughed. âÂ€ÂśWhenever people go to temple or go to church, they sing 'Kinky Boots'!âÂ€Âť
Fortunately, the contestant did not wager any money on the clue, and still came out on top.
Manjrekar, a planner from Providence, Rhode Island, had fun with the host earlier in the show as well. Trebek expressed some surprise at the contestant's hobby of making and collecting clothes for his cats, but Manjrekar took it in stride.
âÂ€ÂśThereâÂ€Â™s a great world of feline fashion out there," he told Trebek.
Manjrekar tweeted this photo of his dapper-looking cat, Henry, after the episode aired.
"You got your seat belt on?" Ethan Hunt asks Benji Dunn as a BMW flies backwards off a set of stairs. That's just one part of the madness that comprises the first trailer for "Mission: Impossible 5," which now has the official title "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation."
Before Sunday, little to nothing was known about the sequel to "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" besides the fact that Tom Cruise would reprise his IMF agent. In the trailer we learn that "Rogue Nation" will follow Hunt, Benji (Simon Pegg) and Brandt (Jeremy Renner) as they try to bring down a syndicate of agents who are their recently discovered enemies.
The trailer also features newcomers to the franchise, Alec Baldwin and Rebecca Ferguson. Oh, and did we mention Cruise rides on the side of a plane taking off with his bare hands (sans high-tech gloves)? Yeah, prepare to have your mind blown. "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" opens July 31.
We know the dot-coms and the dot-nets of the World Wide Web, but starting on June 1, anyone will be able to purchase domains ending in .sucks, .adult and even .porn, to name just some of the 547 options.
But not everyone, like Taylor Swift, for instance, wants his or her name or brand attached to a domain with a porn-related suffix.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the nonprofit group behind this expansion of generic top-level domains, or gTLDs, is allowing public figures and companies to get ahead of the game and buy out any domains before the rest of us can.
CNN spoke with Stuart Lawley, CEO of ICM Registry, which manages the .porn and .adult domains. Lawley said Swift's team has already purchased TaylorSwift.porn and TaylorSwift.adult (smart move). The Huffington Post has reached out to Swift's reps for confirmation of the domain purchases.
Microsoft has also bought Office.porn and Office.adult, according to Lawley.
But another company, Vox Populi Registry, operates the .sucks domains, AdWeek reported. Some of those domains will cost up to $2,500 to buy out. Get ready for the Internet to explode when trolls try to tarnish the names of your favorite celebrities and sports teams with a .sucks website.
Let's just hope Swift gets on that suffix too, because we know the haters gonna hate, hate, hate. But as she would say: