Sport Relief 2018: From sporting heroics to perfectly unpredictable live TV blunders

Comic Relief’s tracksuit-clad offshoot returned for another night of fundraising challenges, sports-themed comedy and iffy music.  More than £38 million had been raised as the biennial TV extravaganza drew to a close. Presenter Davina McCall said: "Sport Relief is always a really special night and this evening, once again, we've seen the public show just how generous they are. "Thank you, thank you, to everyone who has got active and supported Sport Relief this year." Here are the top 10 highlights from Friday night’s stamina-testing six-hour telethon… Murray vs McIntyre was perfect match Tennis titan Andy Murray got a rude awakening when comedian Michael McIntyre, a camera crew and an array of celebrities sneak into his hotel room in the dead of night.  The former Wimbledon champion’s slumber was abruptly disturbed to take part in Midnight Gameshow, a regular segment on McIntyre’s Big Show. Murray groggily greeted the gatecrashers with a string of bleeped-out expletives, before bursting into laughter and throwing himself into proceedings like a good sport. He high-fived Peppa’s Daddy Pig, hit tennis balls at The Stig’s helmet, sang along to Spice Girls hits with Geri Halliwell and slurped down Ainsley Harriott’s gruesome smoothies. Perhaps most impressively, he recognised Tim Henman by scent alone.  Murray was game, as well as set and match. Any cynic who ever accuses him of being dour just needs to be shown this clip - one of the highlights of the evening.  Scott salsa-ed to Strictly victory Glitterball control was in evidence as Wembley Arena hosted a special footballing mini-edition of Strictly Come Dancing. Gallic smoothie David “Daffeeed” Ginola, England women’s stalwart Alex Scott and pundit-cum-online betting plugger Chris “Kammy” Kamara transferred their fancy footwork to the dancefloor. After limited training time, their salsas to New Continue Reading

Essential Arts & Culture: Our spring arts preview, more silence from MOCA, a feminist ‘Shrew’

Mark Swed has been putting in some serious time in the chair for Taylor Mac's epic, six-hour performances at the Theatre at Ace Hotel. "If you haven't already heard, 'A 24-Decade History of Popular Music' is ruthlessly punishing, infuriating, alarming, charming, impressive and obsessive like no other music theater," he writes. "It is also extraordinarily illuminating, if you are willing, without succumbing to silliness, to put up with it. Did I say it is infuriating? Wagner, to whom Mac has some resemblance in the grandiosity department, can be infuriating too. More important, like Wagner, Mac is a sorcerer." Los Angeles Times Continue Reading

Dan Auerbach says The Black Keys will reunite soon enough

It's not uncommon for recording artists to take a break from their bands and release solo albums that sound quite like their primary gig. Don't place Dan Auerbach in that camp. The cerebral singer-songwriter best known as the guitarist and vocalist of The Black Keys was compelled to expand his musical palette with "Waiting on a Song," an album comprised of breezy, melodic tunes that wouldn’t sound out of place following a Seals & Crofts hit.“It does sound like that and I think it sounds like that because of the musicians I worked with on this album,” Auerbach said while calling from his Nashville studio. “Their personalities shine through. You hear the guys who played on these great records. They played on some of my favorite songs of all time. They played on these weird, soulful but catchy songs. Those are the guys I was hanging out with last year.” Guitar legend Duane Eddy, Memphis session players Gene Christman and Bobby Wood joined Auerbach in the studio for the new album. The Akron native wrote with country singer-songwriter John Prine and Johnny Cash associate David “Fergie” Ferguson. The result is an album that doesn’t sound like a contemporary release. “This album evokes a certain feeling thanks to these guys,” Auerbach said. “These guys are a huge part of that sound.” Auerbach is generally concerned about what’s up ahead sonically since the musicians he learned so much from are part of a dying breed. “I worry about the future of music since there aren’t a lot of these guys left,” Auerbach said. “Younger musicians learn from these kind of guys in the studio. I know I learned a lot from them.” Auerbach, who will appear tomorrow night at Union Transfer with his backing band, the Easy Eye Sound Revue, wrote tunes with one of his most favorite songwriters, Prine. “It was incredible,” Auerbach said. “We were together Continue Reading

Yesterday’s trash is today’s treasure thanks to Jean Shin’s vision

Such deeply felt focus makes the artist’s PMA installations radically different than anything she has executed in Philadelphia in the past. That includes the discarded computer keyboard keys of her previous Philadelphia exhibition at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Chinatown.  "That was a great experience – working with the Fabric Workshop – and a nice introduction to Philadelphia," Shin told PhillyVoice from her Manhattan studio. "I look at the organizations with whom I am working rather than the cities they are in, and both the Fabric Workshop and the PMA are outstanding in their respective fields when it comes to aesthetic vision and professionalism. It says a lot that you have a city that can hold so many cultural institutions that speak to so many diverse voices without overlap." PMA curator Hyunsoo Woo laughs a little when she recalls the earliest stages of putting together the six installations that make up “Jean Shin: Collections.” Woo was a Manhattan curator when she first discovered Shin’s work. “It was the 'Unraveling' assemblage made up of sweaters from New York City’s Asian-American artist community," said Woo. "I heard, too, that she was looking for donations, and if I wanted to be part of the installation. I thought it would be an interesting and wonderful opportunity. So, I'm part of that work and have been for 10 years." That is how Shin reaches into her immediate audience – by making them a literal and physical part of the work. "Once you contribute to art, you naturally want to see where the artist is going, not only with the piece you contributed to but anything else they accomplish," said Woo. "I fell in love with her work and her levels of engagement." Courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art /for PhillyVoiceArmed, 2005-9, by Jean Shin (Artist’s collection). When Woo unveils "Unravelling" as one-sixth of the PMA's overall Shin exhibit, it will Continue Reading

Why Damien Hirst is seeing dots in his new work on view in Beverly Hills

Damien Hirst is dialing it back a bit. The British artist known for shocking, grandiose gestures that tend to provoke a love-it-or-hate-it response — think of those animals in formaldehyde, or his 2017 exhibition in Venice, Italy, a shipwreck fantasy featuring the sculptural remains of fictional, ancient civilizations — has returned to the humble canvas. His first Los Angeles exhibition since 2102 has opened at Gagosian in Beverly Hills. The “Veil Paintings” exhibition features his poppy, pointillistic, candy-colored abstract works. Unlike the Venice exhibition, which took about a decade to produce, the 24 oils-on-canvas in the new show were all created during the last year, and none has been shown publicly before. The work marks Hirst’s return to simpler-in-scope painting, but these are not quiet works. “For me, they’re all just a massive celebration,” Hirst said in this edited conversation. “I had a lot of fun with the colors, they’re exciting, they make me feel really good when I look at them.” The new show is a departure from last spring’s “Treasures From the Wreck of the Unbelievable.” What triggered the shift back to painting? Whenever I do something, if I go deeply into something, I always try to sort of swing back the other way. Like whenever I’ve made butterfly paintings, I immediately go and make fly paintings. And I think maybe with “Treasures,” I kind of went and made all these sculptures and this big illusion and immediately thought: “the equal and opposite is also true,” and went back to something basic. Probably because it involved so many other people, and I think I just felt a need to get rid of everybody and be on my own [in the studio]. Was going back to basics also a response to critics of “Treasures,” some of whom said the show was too extravagant in scale and expense? Venice was like 10 years work, but I’ve Continue Reading

Photographers Harry Gamboa Jr. and Luis Garza on pushing back against ‘bad hombre’ Chicano stereotypes

March has been a bit of an unofficial Chicano history month in Los Angeles. It began with the 50th anniversary of the East Los Angeles “blowouts,” the school walkouts led by Mexican American students that helped ignite the Chicano movement. It continues with the Friday debut on PBS of “The Rise and Fall of the Brown Buffalo,” the first film on the life of Oscar “Zeta” Acosta, the often outrageous activist lawyer who defended some of the protest’s principal organizers. Meanwhile, a pair of exhibitions at the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles explore Chicano history and identity: “La Raza,” organized by Luis C. Garza as part of the Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA series of exhibitions, gathers photography and other ephemera from the pages of the 1960s-era activist newspaper. And Harry Gamboa Jr.’s installation, “Chicano Male Unbonded” — 84 photographic portraits of Chicano men who have affected his life — explores representation issues and webs of connection. The shows tell a wildly different story about Mexican Americans than the political punch lines you might hear about bad hombres in the news. They document activism, faith, community and culture. Gamboa’s installation in fact, reads like a map to the region’s Chicanerati — the Chicano literati. Garza, a curator and photojournalist, and Gamboa, a conceptual artist who is a founding member of the influential collective Asco, recently came together at the Autry to discuss issues related to Chicano identity. In this lightly edited conversation, they chat about the ways in which photography was used to create a counter-narrative, about identity and representation, and how their respective exhibitions kick back at all the stereotypes. Luis, you covered the blowouts, and Harry, you took part in them. What has it been like to watch the current wave of school walkouts? Gamboa: The walkouts of ’68 were a Continue Reading

We finally know when ‘Hamilton’ is coming to Philly

It has been more than a year since we found out “Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda's hip-hop musical about the stud on the $10 bill, was officially slated for Philadelphia during the Broadway show’s national tour. Now the official dates of its run at the Forrest Theatre have been unveiled, and they’re going to call for even more waiting … this time, until August 2019.“Hamilton” is scheduled for a 12-week run, beginning Aug. 27 until Nov. 17 of next year. If its hard-to-get tickets for the New York production are any indication, nabbing a seat in Philly is likely to be a tricky (and often expensive) affair. Individual tickets for the production itself aren’t being sold on their own yet; instead, if you want to secure a seat right now, you need to purchase an entire season subscription, which will give you tickets to both “Hamilton” and a handful of other productions headed for Philly. If you’re interested in more modern productions not unlike “Hamilton,” there’s one option featuring tickets to “The Book of Mormon” and “Rent,” among others. Specific pricing information and dates will be available 9 a.m. Friday when the tickets go on sale here. Tickets for just “Hamilton” will be available later, but no date has been specified yet. Whether you plan to save your dollars until passes to the show go on sale separately, or you score season tickets and begin the countdown to August 2019, you have some time to kill before you finally see the production in Philly. No better way to wait than with this apropos tune: Continue Reading

Frozen review, St James Theatre, Broadway

4 Anna and Elsa’s sisterly love and loyalty helped make Frozen a global phenomenon. And the creators of this giddily anticipated new Broadway musical demonstrate the same devotion to the original 2013 movie (currently the top-grossing animated film of all time).  They play it safe. While the film was Disney’s non-traditional take on the time-honoured princess tale – with spirited sisters finding their way back to each other instead of marrying handsome princes – this is not a daring reinvention of the material, but a repackaging of the film for the stage. It’s the surest way to please the movie’s faithful fans. Although darker than its predecessor in tone and design (sets and costumes are by Olivier winner Christopher Oram), this new Frozen is brisk and entertaining for most of its two hours and 20 minutes, with the same characters that won the hearts of filmgoers brought to three-dimensional life. But, where the movie gave us action sequences and a frosted animated landscape, this solidly staged production from British director Michael Grandage and choreographer Rob Ashford offers additional songs – 12 of them – from husband-wife songwriting team Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. The musical’s book, by Jennifer Lee, who wrote and co-directed the film, has much of the same dialogue, but occasionally demonstrates a more openly feminist outlook. “Nothing good can come from magic, especially in the hands of a woman,” proclaims one character. Don’t worry: he’ll soon be kneeling before the Queen. And toward the end, Elsa even dons a more practical (but decidedly fashionable) pair of trousers, a first for a Disney stage princess. For the uninitiated (assuming such a thing exists in this case), Frozen was inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen fairy-tale The Snow Queen. It’s the story of two sister princesses, one with ice-making powers. They’re close Continue Reading

Miles Jupp interview: ‘I was deported for being drunk on a plane’

Miles Jupp, the actor, comedian and host of BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz, can’t help but betray how very well brought up he is. Describing his latest role as Cousin Basil in the latest series of ITV’s much-loved period drama The Durrells, he says: “I’m the family’s cousin and a solicitor and very kindly they ask me to do some legal work.” That “very kindly” is telling. It smacks of precisely the sort of background you’d expect from the son of a United Reformed minister, although Jupp, despite studying divinity at Edinburgh University, is a non-believer. Initial impressions also bring to mind a Boris-Johnsonish young fogey. It’s something to do with the 38-year-old’s ruffled, if fast-vanishing,... To continue reading this article Start your free trial of Premium Access all Premium articles  Subscriber-only events  Cancel any time Free for 30 days then only £2 per week Try Premium Access one Premium article per week Register for free Register or log in to continue reading this article Register  Log in Registered customers can access one Premium article per week Subscribe for unlimited access to Premium articles. Free for 30 days, then just £1 per week. See subscription options Continue Reading

NYC firefighter dies battling blaze on Harlem movie set

Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page By Michael Schwirtz and Austin Ramzy New York Times  March 23, 2018 NEW YORK — A New York firefighter was killed and two others were seriously injured by a fire at a building in Harlem that was being used for a film directed by Edward Norton, officials said Friday morning.The five-alarm fire broke out in the basement of 773 St. Nicholas Ave. shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday, Daniel A. Nigro, the New York City fire commissioner, said during a news conference early Friday. The building is the former site of St. Nick’s Pub, which closed in 2011.“Conditions worsened after the hose lines were brought down to the cellar,” Nigro said. The flames climbed up through the building and were seen coming through the roof. The commissioner said that it had not been determined how the fire had started. Advertisement Michael R. Davidson, 37, was responsible for operating the fire hose nozzle for Engine Company 69, the first to arrive, the commissioner said. He was somehow separated from other firefighters when the blaze intensified and forced them to pull back from the building, officials said. Get Ground Game in your inbox: Daily updates and analysis on national politics from James Pindell. Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here When he was found by other firefighters, he was unconscious, and critically injured. He was taken to Harlem Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.“New York City is in mourning tonight,” Councilman Mark D. Levine said of Davidson in a tweet. “He made the ultimate sacrifice to save the lives of our neighbors. Horrific tragedy. We pray for his family and loved ones.”Davidson was a 15-year veteran of the Fire Department and had been cited for bravery four times, the department said. The names of the two injured firefighters, who were being treated for burns, Continue Reading