People: Billy Porter, George W. Bush, Jon Cryer, Josh Elliott and more

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Tony and Emmy winner Billy Porter of the Broadway hit “Kinky Boots” is part of a massive project by fellow Carnegie Mellon University alumnus Ed Iskander, who conceived and directs “The Mysteries” for Flea Theater of New York.

The world premiere, billed as a radical retelling of the Bible, is in previews and opens April 20. Playwrights commissioned for the project include Porter and Tony and Oscar winners David Henry Hwang, Craig Lucas, Jose Rivera and Jeff Whitty. According to, the team of dozens “will join together to tell the history of man’s salvation in 50 episodes from the fall of Lucifer through and including Judgment Day.” Running time for “The Mysteries” is approximately six hours, with two intermissions including dinner and dessert in the respective breaks. More at

Former President George W. Bush will talk with daughter Jenna Bush Hager about his first art exhibit on NBC’s “Today” show this morning, The Associated Press reports.

His portraits of 24 world leaders include Tony Blair, Vladimir Putin and the Dalai Lama. The paintings will be shared with the “Today” audience.

Former first lady Laura Bush will join her husband for a portion of the interview inside the art studio in their Dallas home.

The exhibit, titled “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy,” goes on display Saturday at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas.

Bush, who left office in 2009, has taken up oil painting in recent years.

He says the subjects of his portraits have earned his admiration as leaders.

Jon Cryer, an actor who knows a thing or two about Charlie Sheen and Demi Moore, among others, is working on a “candid” memoir, the AP reports.

The Emmy-winning star of “Two and a Half Men” has a deal with New American Library, an imprint of Penguin Random House. The publisher announced Wednesday that the book, currently untitled, is scheduled to be released next spring.

According to the New American Library, Cryer will share “candid” and “fascinating” stories about his 30-year career. He debuted on film opposite Moore in “No Small Affair” and became known to millions as “Duckie,” Molly Ringwald’s pal in “Pretty in Pink.”

In a statement released Wednesday, Cryer joked that he would write about stamp collecting, monetary policy and maybe Sheen, his former “Two and a Half Men” co-star.

ABC’s “Good Morning America” is saying goodbye to Josh Elliott — minus Josh Elliott, the AP reports.

The top-rated morning show paid a brief tribute to its departed news anchor on Thursday’s show. Elliott left last weekend for a job at NBC Sports, turning down an offer to stay at ABC.

With Elliott now in the employ of another network, he didn’t appear on ABC’s set Thursday. The show ran a series of clips from his time on the show, including when he met Pope Francis and had an animal poop on his shoulder. Said Robin Roberts: “We love you!”

The show maintained the appearance of a happy broadcast “family” after a personnel move that caused some off-screen bitterness.

The Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf now has two students who will serve as ambassadors for deaf students across the country.

Alec Lindsey, 17, of Cabot, and Megan Majocha,17, of Plum, were crowned Mr. and Miss Teen Deaf America at a pageant held Sunday in Riverside, Calif.

Both students have attended WPSD in Edgewood since preschool, although they attend school in their home districts for a half day each weekday. They excel in other areas as well: Megan leaves today for the Academic Bowl Competition in Washington, D.C., and Alec is a member of the BOTS IQ team, said Vicki Cherney, WPSD spokeswoman.

The annual pageant was established in 1999 at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington, D.C., with the goal to promote young deaf emerging leaders, leading to a stronger deaf community. The pageant gives students an opportunity to develop leadership qualities, learn teamwork and social skills, enhance their self-esteem and appreciate diversity. It its open to students who are deaf or have hearing problems in grades 8 through 11.

The duo competed against students in seven other schools across the nation, according to Becky Gage, who coordinates the pageant.

Singer Chris Brown has been taken by U.S. marshals from the Los Angeles County jail system so he can appear at his assault trial in Washington, D.C., later this month, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Brown’s attorney, Mark Geragos, confirmed Thursday that the R&B singer had been taken by federal marshals to the San Bernardino County jail while he awaits transportation to Washington. Inmate records show he was taken from “LA cell block” on Tuesday evening.

Law enforcement sources said he was set to be flown to the East Coast on Thursday, the same day a hearing had been scheduled for a motion by Geragos seeking to block Brown’s transfer to federal authorities, arguing it would hurt his ability to confer with his client before the trial.

Geragos had also sought permission to transport the singer himself, but as soon as the motion was filed, the attorney said federal authorities took his client.

Last week, a Washington judge authorized federal marshals to bring Brown to court for an April 17 trial, in which he faces a misdemeanor assault charge for allegedly striking a man trying to take a picture of him outside the W Hotel.

But Brown was ordered jailed in March by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Brandlin after the Grammy winner was ejected from a court-ordered treatment for his 2009 conviction in the beating of his then-girlfriend, singer Rihanna.

In 2009, Brown was sentenced to five years’ probation, community labor and domestic violence counseling for assaulting Rihanna after they left a pre-Grammy party. Brandlin could sentence Brown to up to four years in prison if he determines that the singer violated his probation.

Brandlin said Brown was kicked out of rehab because he allegedly touched a woman, failed to take a drug test and made threatening statements during a group session.

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