Homegrown stage fixture Billy Porter, who was in Pittsburgh recently as the choreographer of City Theatre's "POP!" musical, is bringing "Kinky Boots" to Chicago for its pre-Broadway run. Porter, of Homewood and Carnegie Mellon, stars with "American Idiot's" Stark Sands in the Cyndi Lauper-Harvey Fierstein musical that is directed by Jerry Mitchell. In "Kinky Boots," based on a true story and 2005 movie, Charlie (Sands) steps in to save his family's failing shoe factory with help from drag queen Lola (Porter). The musical will play the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago Oct. 2 through Nov. 4.
A lead producer of Nora Ephron's new play, "Lucky Guy," says he is "committed" to getting her biography of a newspaper columnist on a Broadway stage despite the death this week of the playwright, the Associated Press reports.
Colin Callender said Thursday that his team "can think of no more fitting tribute to her extraordinary writing and remarkable body of work" than to proceed with plans to produce Ephron's play.
"We are honored to be part of her legacy and remain committed to seeing her magnificent work 'Lucky Guy' shine on Broadway," Callender said in a statement.
"Lucky Guy" follows the story of tabloid reporter Mike McAlary, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for his coverage on the New York City police brutalization of Abner Louima. McAlary died that same year of colon cancer at age 41.
When word of the potential production first surfaced this spring, Tom Hanks was reported to be in negotiations to play McAlary next year on stage.
No new timetable has been revealed or whether Hanks or potential director George C. Wolfe were still attached to the project.
After Ann Curry announced her exit as a regular cohost on NBC's "Today" after 15 years with the morning show, a number of celebrities took to Twitter to wish the veteran journo well in her new role as an anchor-at-large and roving correspondent for NBC News and its many platforms, E! News reports.
In a few cases, however, some complained about what they felt was her ouster on the heels of rival "Good Morning America's" recent ratings victory over "Today."
Here's a roundup of the most notable tweets:
Lisa Rinna: Wishing @AnnCurry all the Joy and success she deserves! Such a class act and one of my favorites! Thanks Ann for always being so lovely!"
Piers Morgan: "Just watched the @AnnCurry farewell on @todayshow -- great lady, really feel for her. But don't blame @MLauer -- he's one of the good guys."
Holly Robinson Peete: "Dear @AnnCurry: Thank U for your integrity and candor and honesty. Every wall is a door. You got this ..."
Star Jones: "Such class, dignity and professionalism."
"E! News" host Giuliana Rancic: "Sending lots of love to an incredible woman:)"
Carson Daly: "Just played Ann Curry's goodbye speech ... So sad!!"
Meghan McCain: "Who is having a worse day Republicans, Ann Curry or CNN?"
Former CNN anchor T.J. Holmes: "No way Ann Curry's 'Today Show' career should have ended this way. She's a class act. Deserved better. Rooting for her in all she does next!"
Lisa Lampanelli: "NBC to pay Ann Curry $10 million to leave 'Today.' I'll pay $20 mil if someone will dismantle 'The View' completely!"
Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn: "Heart breaking watching Ann Curry announce she is leaving the 'Today' show. Can't stop crying. We love you Ann!!!"
Blogger and author Ana Marie Cox: "Ann Curry leaving NBC to spend less time with your family."
Ann's colleagues who cohost the fourth hour of "Today" also weighed in:
Hoda Kotb: "@AnnCurry i'll miss your daily hugs in the hallway ... but i know where you sit ;) ... looking forward to what's next xo."
Kathie Lee Gifford: "Wishing @AnnCurry all the joy she deserves. What a classy lady."
(E! and Today are part of the NBCUniversal family)
The fact that Sean "Diddy" Combs is a skilled businessman and entrepreneur can't be denied.
But the rapper's musical abilities? Famed producer Quincy Jones questioned them at Spotify's launch Wednesday of a new app showcasing artist-made playlists, saying Diddy "couldn't recognize a B-flat if it hit him," E! News reports.
"P. Diddy has a doctorate in marketing," he added, as excerpted by XXL Mag. "He's got clothes companies and Ciroc Vodka."
But Jones is no hater ...
He cleared up the matter on his Facebook page, writing: "No controversy, no diss. I have nothing but love and respect for Diddy and all that he has achieved as an artist and an executive. Always have and always will."
Diddy didn't directly respond to Quincy, but he didn't seem to have let the initial jab get him down.
"Great day ahead!" he tweeted Thursday morning. "To the Top people!"
The Castlemartyr Resort in east Cork was one popular spot last weekend.
Former President Bill Clinton was staying in the picturesque spot for the annual Irish Funds conference, while Minneapolis couple Kelly Seamans and Patrick Howard were celebrating their wedding.
Naturally, a chance meeting made for a great photo opp!
"The 'happy couple' was posing for their wedding photos" in front of the entrance to where Clinton was staying," a source tells People. "The bride said 'Hi.' He congratulated them and they asked for a photo."
The groom gleefully told the Irish Independent: "That is one photo that is definitely going into the album."
While Clinton was in Ireland he also attended a gala dinner in east Cork, as well as played golf at Old Head of Kinsale on the Southwest coast, the source confirms.
London Fire Brigade says Rihanna was among 300 people evacuated from a hotel after an early-morning fire in an elevator shaft, the Associated Press reports.
The 24-year-old Barbadian singer tweeted news of the fire early Wednesday to her 21 million Twitter followers, posting a picture of a fire engine and the words: "Roamin da streets since 6am! Fyah in da telly."
The fire brigade said the alarm was raised at 6:22 a.m. and 10 firefighters dealt with the blaze on the 7th floor of the luxury Corinthia Hotel. There were no reports of injuries.
Rihanna performed Sunday at the outdoor Hackney Weekend concert in London.
Correction/Clarification: (Published July 3, 2012) Friday's People column should have referred to "Kinky Boots" as the new Cyndi Lauper-Harvey Fierstein musical. Mr. Fierstein's name was incorrect.
First Published June 29, 2012 4:00 AM