Day: November 21, 2008

Want to see Cedric the Entertainer on Broadway? Act fast! Show may close Sunday

It seems like only a few days ago that Cedric the Entertainer was celebrating opening night of his Broadway deut in the revival of David Mamet's American Buffalo, which co-stars John Leguizamo and an all-growns-up Haley Joel Osment. But not enough people want to see the trio do Mamet's dialogue justice. Previews began only on Oct. 31, but by Wednesday, the producers had posted a conditional notice closing the show Sunday, Nov. 23…unless ticket sales improve. You can even get a second ticket for a nickel (get it? buffalo nickel?)?! So go on, pay it forward, so to...

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Myanmar/Burmese comedian jailed for 45 years

Be thankful that you live in a society that protects freedom of speech. In the Union of Myanmar(aka Burma), a military junta just sentenced a comedian there to 45 years in prison for his social activism (not for his onstage comedy). U Maung Thura, known onstage as Zarganar, had been held since June when he had organized private assistance efforts for victims of the cyclone that killed more than 130,000 there in May. Zarganar also had upset the government with his public statements and satire. The Mynamar government has cracked down on dissidents of all trades. (NYT,...

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Preview: Ellen’s Even Bigger Really Big Show on TBS

Ellen DeGeneres has competition next week in the TV variety showcase business — Rosie O'Donnell plans "Rosie Live" next Wednesday, Nov. 26, for NBC — so DeGeneres really had to deliver on her promise for Ellen's Even Bigger Really Big Show on TBS, which airs Saturday, Nov. 29. And in a very Vegas way last night, DeGeneres delivered. Ellen learned a lot from the lessons of last year's show, which was a really big mess, with live improvised bits that went nowhere, production issues and too many things thrown into the pot. Perhaps her reluctance to ruffle any more feathers during last year's Writers Strike had a hand in that. Or maybe it was just a rookie mistake. Regardless. For her "even bigger really big show," Ellen kept things simpler by just giving the people what they want. More Ellen, for one thing. It's not as if she doesn't know how to host a major TV broadcast, whether it's her own daytime syndicated talker or the Oscars. So. She opened the show with a strong monologue about Vegas (I've got a clip), joking how she wore her lucky thong ("Ironically, it's a straight!") and noting that Sin City has become more family-friendly, offering "amusement parks, arcade games and younger hookers." In a taped sketch, Ellen pranks the audience across the street at Imperial Palace by posing as "Chrissie Stewart"...

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