Following a trend of Christmas themed ventures arriving on Broadway for the end of the year festivities, a new version of the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, opened on Broadway at the Lyceum Theater on November 20 and will run through January 5, 2020.
The constant reproductions of this timeless tale might appear stale at this point, but with such a treasured story, it can’t hurt to take another shot at the bah humbug star we all love to hate. Traditions like this one hold the holiday season dear and promise stability and ritual in such a confusing and stressful time of year.
Image via Broadway Direct
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child playwright, Jack Thorne leads the production after a run in London at the Old Vic Theatre. A star studded cast promises a magical experience. Campbell Scott will play Ebenezer Scrooge, two-time Tony Winner Andrea Martin is the ghost of Christmas past and Tony-winner LaChanze is the ghost of Christmas Present.
The new re-imagining also includes twelve Christmas carols to satisfy the musical aspect of the adaptation and spread more Christmas cheer throughout the two-hour show.
Image via Time Out
The Daily Beast calls A Christmas Carol, “the gift we need right now.” With our current political climate, it may be a good idea to escape inside the magical world of Dickens for at least one night, but it won’t be cheap. Festive Broadway shows are a great way to celebrate the season in a theatrical way, but it’ll definitely cost you. For best availability and prices, buy tickets in advance and soak in the holiday spirit as best as you can to distract from the annoyances of daily life.
Featured Image via Playbill
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A new trailer for the much anticipated final segment of Disney’s Star Wars trilogy has arrived. The footage was first screened as Disney Expo over the weekend before being released to the general public. And holy moly, this new trailer is packed with goodies. But before we precede, there is a POTENTIAL SPOILER WARNING. Many fans like to avoid trailers as they risk being spoiled and this new Ep 9 trailer is no different. So if you don’t want to risk being spoiled before the film’s release, turn back now.
Okay here we go.
Image via Den of geek
The trailer begins with a clip show of all the previous films in the saga and their iconic moments. Luke staring at the Binary Sunset on Tatooine, the Battle of Hoth, Darth Vader revealing to Luke he’s his father, Han and Leia’s kiss, Darth Maul igniting his double lightsaber, Emperor Palpatine assuming control over the Old Republic, Rey and Kylo Ren’s first duel, and the Battle of Crait. Its a nice mashup of the entire series and showcases that this film is meant to be the final cap on the saga.
Afterwards, the new footage truly begins with glimpses of our favorites: Rey, Poe, Finn, and Chewie, standing over a town in the desert that appears to be celebrating a festival of sorts. We also get a glimpse of Leia, which brought tears to our eyes as the memory of Carrie Fisher’s passing still stands strong.
Image via the Ringer
Intriguing glimpses of footage truly begin in earnest after. A fleet of Rebel ships, with models of starship from the original trilogy, emerge from hyperspace. This footage is backed up with a HUGE fleet of Star Destroyers, also from the original trilogy, flying through what appears to be a dark cloud. Lightning flashes through the scene, revealing there’s positively hundreds of Imperial ships coming to attack. Although he isn’t shown, its clearly implied this is the work of the Emperor, who is set to return with a vengeance after his supposed death in Return of the Jedi.
Image via the Wrap
The footage continues with a glimpse of C3PO and he looks absolutely menacing. Our favorite gold robot lurches toward the camera, his eyes glowing red. Has he gone bad? This is shortly followed by a huge red energy beam carving through a planet, making it clear we might be getting another planet killing weapon, perhaps even bigger than the Death Star or Starkiller Base.
Next, we see how Rey has evolved with the Force. Like Thor, she tosses her lightsaber through a forest, the lightsaber spinning and slicing trees to ribbons before she recalls it to her hand. This will serve her well, as the trailer also showcases her throwing down with Kylo Ren. The two are dueling atop an enormous chunk of metal in a raging sea, viciously fighting sword to sword as the waves crash around them. We are HYPED for this fight and with Rey’s increased Force powers, its surely to be a longer duel than the one in The Force Awakens.
image via GeekTyrant
But the biggest reveal of all is where the spoilers come in. At the end of the footage, Rey is revealed and much like C3PO, she’s not herself. She’s wearing a black robe, echoing the sinister Emperor, and is holding a folded up lightsaber with two crackling blades. With a flick of her wrist, the lightsaber unfolds into a double-bladed variant just like Darth Maul. Rey looks like she’s going full Sith and lends credence that she could go bad in the final chapter. But we’ll have to see.
The Rise of Skywalker explodes into cinemas on December 20th, 2019. Are you hyped? Does this footage have you excited? And what do you think of Dark Rey? Let us know in the comments!
One of the stars and judges of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Ross Mathews has interviewed dozens of Hollywood personnel from the red carpet to “their natural habitats”. Because of this, he has many stories to tell.
Image Via Zimbio
It’s been long awaiting, but finally he’s ready to spill a whole bunch of juicy Hollywood stories in his new book: Name Drop. This is Mathews ready to share dishy details of the Hollywood scene. On the book, he was quote as saying from Entertainment Weekly:
“The stories where I actually get invited into celebrities’ secret lives — their natural habitats, if you will — are the real gold…Their private tables in restaurants, their magnificent movie trailers, their hilariously humongous houses — that’s where the really good stuff happens.”
The book explores him being an outsider in the world of show business. Many varied stories permeate the text of the work, from spending Christmas with the Kardashians to making national news while on Big Brother to his interview with Omarosa when she had just exited the White House.
Matthews has further shared an exclusive cover reveal with Entertainment Weekly:
Image via Entertainment weekly
You can also read the official prologue to the book below, which Mathews has posted as a preview of the content within:
Name-dropping runs rampant in Hollywood, like high-speed car chases, gluten intolerance, and syphilis. And much like syphilis, name-dropping is super-grody and spreads quickly. You can’t walk five feet down Sunset Boulevard without overhearing some Real Housewife of Whatever telling a former Disney tween about how her new trainer is the guy who got Chris Pratt’s body into batshit crazy shape for that comic book movie. No, not that comic book movie. The other one. No, not that one. The other one.
Side note, Chris, if you’re reading this—and I just assume you are—I love your body . . . of work. Honey, I’d Guard your Galaxy any day! (Side note: I’d like to point out that I made a conscious choice to not make a cheap, tasteless Uranus joke here. Why? Because I’m trying to be bigger than that. We’ll see how long that lasts.)
As someone who has interviewed just about every celebrity you can imagine on every red carpet you can imagine for nearly the past two decades, I have some pretty amazing stories. And, trust me—the red carpet stories are the boring ones! The stories where I actually get invited into celebrities’ secret lives—their natural habitats, if you will—are the real gold. Their private tables in restaurants, their magnificent movie trailers, their hilariously humongous houses—that’s where the really good stuff happens.
From time to time, I’ve managed to sneak beyond the velvet rope that separates them from us mere mortals and see what few ever get to see.
The following Hollywood stories are wholesome and hilarious. No celebrity was harmed in the making of this book. But don’t worry, honey—we’re still gonna go there. I mean, don’t you wanna know what Kanye piled onto his plate at the buffet when I was in line behind him at the Kardashian Christmas party? And who would it hurt if I told you? Ham. It was ham. See—now you know and nobody died. Well, the pig did, but you can’t blame me for that.
No one ever specifically told me not to tell these stories, but I never do . . . Unless you take me to happy hour and ply me with cheap two-for-one cocktails and appetizers. What can I say? I’m a total whore for a hors d’oeuvre!
The idea for this book hit me as I was hanging out with a fun group of friends—some old friends, some new friends, some old friends who, thanks to Botox, look new. After about four Skinny Margaritas (I was going to have only three, but hello, they’re two-for-one!), I told one of these exceptionally juicy stories and noticed my friends, their mouths agape, hanging on my every word. When I finished narrating, one of them said “You have to put that in a book!” to which I indignantly replied, “I could never!”
And then I asked myself the same question I did when I was offered Skinny Margaritas number five and six: “Why not?”
You should also know that, in true Ross Mathews spirit, I’ve taken the liberty of creating a corresponding cocktail and a related recipe—or “Rossipe,” as I call them—for each chapter (why should Martha Stewart have all the fun?). What other book has done that for you, huh? Go open up Moby Dick! There’s not a single recipe in there—not even for fish sticks! I know—I was shocked, too! No wonder nobody ever read it!
So here we go. Let’s get this soon-to-be-classic piece of literature started! Pretend it’s happy hour and you and I are sitting at the bar. I look amazing and, I agree with you, much thinner in person. You look good, too. Maybe it’s the candlelight, maybe it’s the booze—either way, let’s just go with it. Just lean in, keep this all between you and me, and do me a favor? Don’t judge me if I name-drop just a little. Thanks. I promise this book will be out of this world. Just like Uranus. Dammit!
Image via RuPaul Drag’s Race wiki
The book is now available for pre-order on Amazon, with an official release due on February 4th 2020. Are you excited to see the juicy details that Ross Mathews will offer? Tell us in the comments!
On December 19th, 1843, a Novella, A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas or more commonly known as A Christmas Carol was published. Written by Charles Dickens and illustrated by John Leech, the famous yuletide tale this year marks its 175th anniversary.
This classic Christmas tale recounts the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a rich and successful but miserly old man. On the Christmas Eve, his clerk, Bob Cratchit, shivers because Scrooge refuses to spend money on coals for a fire. Scrooge’s nephew pays him a visit and invites him to an annual Christmas party he and his family are hosting, and Scrooge bitterly declines. Two gentleman drop in later that day to ask Scrooge for a contribution to their charity. Scrooge angrily refuses their request and denounces any and all Christmas cheer. Later that night as he is sitting by a warm and cozy fire in his house, he is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and three other spirits: The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. All through the night, these spirits haunt Ebenezer Scrooge, and show him the error of his ways. After that night, Scooge is transformed into a kinder, gentler man.
Image via Independent.uk.co
In the middle of the 19th century, Dickens was witnessed the abject poverty of working class children in England, and was outraged by the amount of children working in appalling conditions in factories, workhouses and as chimney sweeps. The suffering he witnessed was then reinforced when he visited the Field Lane Ragged School, one of several of London’s industrial schools/orphanages where the children were half-starved and uneducated.
In a fundraising speech on October 5th, 1843, Dickens urged workers and employers to join him in fighting against the child labor. He then realized in the days after that an effective way to reach a wide audience and spread his message about poverty and injustice was to write a deep and meaningful Christmas narrative rather than writing pamphlets and essays.
The Novel was a best-seller in both England and the United States, but because there were no international copyright laws in those times yet, Dickens didn’t make any money when he sold the American editions. In 1867, Dickens arrived at New York and on December 9, 1867 he was able to read A Christmas Carol at a public reading – which in fact was sold out.
Image via movieposters2.com
Ever since, this classic Christmas tale has been adapted into different versions of entertainment from films to plays to a children’s movie. The first film adaptation was in 1901. Jim Carey voiced the scrooge in the 2009 animated version of A Christmas Carol and is played on kids channels every year around Christmas time. There were rumors that parents used the ghosts of Christmas past as a way to scare their kids into behaving all year.
Image via whitelight.ltd.uk
The novella was adapted to the stage almost immediately after publication and had been adapted to other forms of media, including opera, ballet, a Broadway musical, and a BBC mime production. Almost every year, Broadway casts the play in December and it usually sells out pretty quickly along with the Trans Siberian Orchestra.
Between 1920 and 1943, J. R. R. Tolkien wrote and illustrated letters in the voice of Father Christmas to be delivered to his children every Christmas Eve. The amount of sheer joy, magic, and warmth this brings to my cold, warped heart is voluminous. As far as loving gestures go, this one’s epic in scale. Now fans can see these letters firsthand at Oxford’s Bodleian library between June 1 and October 28, 2018.
Image Via The Guardian
After his three-year-old son John asked Tolkien where Father Christmas lived, Tolkien embarked on the twenty-three year tradition of writing letters in Daddy Xmas’ voice. The letters tell stories of life in the North Pole, and sagas involving Santa’s sidekick: Polar Bear. That’s the sidekick’s full name: Polar Bear. Allegedly, according to Father Christmas, Polar Bear accidentally flipped on the Northern Lights in 1926. Oopsie!
As the kids grew older, Tolkien’s Christmas tales became more adult too. In 1932, for example, Father Christmas told the Tolkien children about thieving goblins who attempted to steal all of the presents. It’s not the only time Tolkien wrote about conniving goblins.
Image Via The Guardian
The letters are very interesting to Tolkien fans because the later ones were written while he was working on The Hobbit and the early Lord of the Rings books. The letters not only give fans a glimpse into how Tolkien’s mind worked, but also the warm family dynamic he maintained with his children.
The curator of the upcoming exhibit, and Bodleian Tolkien archivist, Catherine McIlwaine, said of the letters:
The other reason I find the letters so touching is there couldn’t be a clearer demonstration of how important his family was to him. He was orphaned from the age of 12, when his mother died, and then he spent years boarded out in lodging houses in Birmingham. He actually met his wife, Edith, as a fellow boarder: the family home they made together, and their children, meant everything.
For fans of Tolkien and the holiday spirit, a 2018 trip to Oxford is in order. Oh, and if you can’t make it to Oxford, you can check out the letters in Letters From Father Christmas…it just won’t be the same.