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‘Frozen’ theater goer unfurls Trump campaign flag during curtain call, actor takes it

The Broadway musical “Frozen” has apparently gotten political after an audience member in the front row decided to unfurl a Trump 2020 campaign flag and turn to face the rest of the theater during the cast’s final bows Wednesday night.

But Timothy Hughes, who plays the leader of the trolls, wasn’t going to have any of it, and took the flag, tossing it aside to finish the curtain call, Entertainment Weekly reported.

The incident was caught on video.

>> Read more trending news 

Hughes said on Instagram

“What does it say about our country and politics when a man at the show tonight felt the need to protest Disney’s Frozen on Broadway with a pro Trump flag?? How frightening is it that our show’s messages of love, acceptance, and diversity have become the opposition to supporting Trump? The curtain call is a thank you between actors and audience, a final connection to end a shared experience. I will not apologize for how I responded to the disrespectful man trying to interrupt this moment with a pathetic political platform. Not at our show! Not in front of my beautiful, diverse, talented cast at @frozenbroadway. I appreciate everyone’s support. #resist #lovewins#lovetrumpshate”

Fans of the show supported Hughes, People magazine reported.

Huffington Post reported that the unidentified theatergoer waited outside of the venue waiting to get his flag back, some claiming he was threatening to sue if it wasn’t returned. 

Neil Simon: Through the years

‘Odd Couple’ playwright Neil Simon dead at 91

Neil Simon, the author of iconic plays such as “The Odd Couple,” “Barefoot in the Park” and “Lost in Yonkers,” died Sunday, The Washington Post reported. He was 91.

>> Read more trending news 

According to TMZ, Simon died at 1 a.m. Sunday morning. His death was announced by his publicist, Bill Evans, The New York Times reported.

According to a statement,“Neil Simon the Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright, died last night at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. The cause was complications from pneumonia.

“His wife, Elaine Joyce Simon, was at his bedside along with Mr. Simon’s daughters, Ellen Simon and Nancy Simon.”

Simon, who was born in The Bronx, won a Pulitzer Prize, three Tony Awards, a Kennedy Center Honor and a Golden Globe Award, The New York Post reported. IKn 1983 a Broadway theater was named after him, making him the only living playwright to have such an honor, the newspaper reported.

>> Photos: Notable deaths of 2018

Time magazine once called Simon the “patron saint of laughter.”

Simon wrote dozens of plays, the scripts for five musicals and more than 20 screenplays, the Washington Post reported.

In the late 1960s and in the mid-1980s, there were four Simon shows playing simultaneously on Broadway, according to the Washington Post. In 1966, those plays were “Sweet Charity,” “The Star-Spangled Girl,” “The Odd Couple” and “Barefoot in the Park,” according to Variety.

“The Odd Couple” also had success as a film and as a television series, while “Barefoot in the Park” also had a memorable run as a film.

Tony Awards 2018: Robert De Niro blasts Trump in bleeped comments

Actor Robert De Niro let viewers of the 2018 Tony Awards know exactly how he feels about President Donald Trump, lobbing profanity at the commander in chief after taking the stage during Sunday night's broadcast.

>> PHOTOS: 2018 Tony Awards red carpet

"I'm just going to say one thing: [Expletive] Trump!" said De Niro, who was introducing Bruce Springsteen's performance of "My Hometown."

"It's no longer, 'Down with Trump.' It's, '[Expletive] Trump!'" De Niro added.

>> See the moment here (WARNING: Censored profanity)

CBS censored the language in its broadcast of the awards ceremony, but the audience at New York's Radio City Music Hall heard every word, The Associated Press reported. Many responded with a standing ovation.

>> PHOTOS: 2018 Tony Awards show

According to Deadline, a spokeswoman for CBS addressed the controversy in a statement, calling De Niro's insult "unscripted and unexpected." 

>> 2018 Tony Awards: ‘The Band’s Visit,’ complete winner list

"The offensive language was deleted from the broadcast," the spokeswoman said.

>> Read more trending news 

Read more here or here.

Tony Awards 2018: Parkland drama students give emotional performance of 'Seasons of Love'

Drama students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida, delivered a heartfelt performance of "Seasons of Love" from "Rent" at the Tony Awards on Sunday, nearly four months after a mass shooting at their school left 17 dead.

>> Click here to watch the full performance

>> PHOTOS: 2018 Tony Awards red carpet

The performance, which drew tears and a standing ovation, came after the school's drama director, Melody Herzfeld, received the 2018 Excellence in Theatre Education Award. According to The Associated Press, Herzfeld "saved 65 lives by barricading students into a small classroom closet" during the Feb. 14 massacre.

>> Read more trending news 

"All the goodness and tragedy that has brought me to this point will always be embraced," she said.

>> Click here to watch her speech

Celebrities and other viewers took to social media to praise the students and Herzfeld.

>> Tony Awards 2018: Robert De Niro blasts Trump in bleeped comments

>> PHOTOS: 2018 Tony Awards show

Read more here or here.

‘Hair’ slated to be NBC’s next live musical

Broadway theater lovers, we now know what musical NBC will be tackling next -- the iconic ‘60s show “Hair.”

The peacock network made the announcement this week that it will produce the show for spring 2019. It will be helmed by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, Entertainment Weekly reported.

“Its recent Broadway revival showed how timeless the show is and that it’s relevant to any era. ‘Hair’ is filled with heartfelt emotion, joy and thrilling music and it really will be the new dawning of the Age of Aquarius,” Zadan and Meron said in a joint statement.

>> Read more trending news 

Zadan and Meron have executive produced each of NBC’s musicals since its first, “The Sound of Music,” NBC said in a press release.

“Hair” originally hit Broadway in 1968 after an off Broadway run in 1967. It was revived in 2008 and 2009. There was a feature film released in 1979.

There is no word yet as to who will star and how they will adapt the show, which was cutting edge at its time, for a network TV audience, Entertainment Weekly reported.

The most recent musical television adaptation was April’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,” which starred John Legend, Sara Bareilles and Alice Cooper.

Original 'Kiss Me, Kate' star Patricia Morison dead at 103

Patricia Morison, who played the shrewish lead role in the 1948 Cole Porter Broadway musical “Kiss Me, Kate,” died Sunday, Variety reported. She was 103. 

>> Read more trending news

Morison also appeared on stage with Yul Brynner in “The King and I” and starred in films such as “The Song of Bernadette.” She also appeared as Basil Rathbone’s foil in the 1946 Sherlock Holmes film, “Dressed to Kill.”

“Kiss Me, Kate” was an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play “The Taming of the Shrew.” It had a run of 1,077 performances over 2½ years on Broadway and won six Tony Awards, including best musical, Variety reported.

In “Kiss Me, Kate,” Morison’s renditions of “So In Love” and “I Hate Men” became classics. She played the character of Lilli Vanessi.

“When I first heard ‘So In Love,’ when Cole Porter played it for me, it just knocked me out. It was a beautiful gift,” Morison told Los Angeles magazine in March 2015. 

Kathryn Grayson starred as Lilli/Kate in the 1953 film version for MGM, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Morison was born March 15, 1915, in New York City. She was the daughter of actor-playwright William Morison and Selena Fraser, a British Intelligence agent during World War I, Variety reported.

Morison made her film debut in the 1939 movie “Persons in Hiding.”

In addition to appearing as Empress Eugenie opposite Jennifer Jones in “The Song of Bernadette,” Morison starred with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn in the romantic comedy “Without Love” in 1945.

On television, she played a psychiatrist in the 1952 show “The Cases of Eddie Drake” and made an appearance on a 1989 episode of “Cheers,” the Reporter wrote.

Who was Omar Sharif? Google honors 'Lawrence of Arabia' actor

In honor of what would have been famed Egyptian actor Omar Sharif’s 86th birthdayGoogle featured a dashing illustration of “The Noble” on its home page.

>> Read more trending news

On this day in 1932, Sharif was born Michel Demitri Shalhoub in Alexandria, Egypt, to a Lebanese family of Melkite Catholic descent.

It wasn’t until 1955, when he converted to Islam, that he changed his name to Omar Sharif, a surname that translates to “noble” or “nobleman” in Arabic. 

Before becoming an Egyptian and Hollywood actor and playing the iconic role of Arab warrior Sherif Ali in the 1962 epic “Lawrence of Arabia,” Sharif worked for his father’s lumber company. 

According to Al Jazeera, Sharif also attended Cairo University and graduated with a degree in mathematics and physics. He left the family lumber business to study acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

He married Egyptian actress Faten Hamama in 1955, soon after converting to Islam, but the pair divorced in 1974.

After being nominated for an Oscar for his role in the Hollywood hit “Lawrence of Arabia,” Sharif went on to gain international fame, scoring roles as a king of Armenia in “The Fall of the Roman Empire” (1964), a Mongol leader in “Genghis Khan” (1965) and a Russian doctor in “Doctor Zhivago” (1965) among others.

He also earned two Golden Globes and a UNESCO Einstein medal, an acknowledgement of his contributions to cultural diversity, Google wrote in its doodle blog.

At one point, Sharif even ranked among the world's top contract bridge players and co-wrote a syndicated column on the game for the Chicago Tribune.

But according to Al Jazeera, “international recognition came at a hefty personal price.” In an interview with The Associated Press in 2003, he said the global fame “separated me from my wife, from my family ... We didn't see each other any more and that was it, the end of our wedding. I might have been happier having stayed an Egyptian film star."

Sharif, 83, died of a heart attack in Cairo, Egypt, on July 10, 2015. His ex-wife, Hamama, had died six months earlier.

More at google.com/doodles.

Cirque du Soleil performer dies after fall during Tampa show

A Cirque du Soleil acrobat who fell during a Saturday performance in Tampa, Florida, died from his injuries, a hospital spokeswoman told WTSP on Sunday.

>> Read more trending news

According to a video viewed by WTSP and The Tampa Bay Times, the aerial acrobat lost his grip on a ribbon strap during the company’s “Volta” show and fell 10 feet to the stage below.

A spokesman for Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group identified the performer as Yann Arnaud, a longtime aerialist, WFLA reported.

The show was stopped, and Arnaud was taken to Tampa General Hospital. He died from his injuries, spokeswoman Ellen Fiss told WTSP. 

The two performances scheduled for Sunday were canceled, the company in charge of publicizing the show said in a statement.

"The entire Cirque du Soleil family is in shock and devastated by this tragedy. Yann had been with us for over 15 years and was loved by all who had the chance to know him," company CEO Daniel Lamarre said. "Over the coming days and weeks, our focus will be on supporting Yann’s family and our employees, especially the ‘Volta’ team, as we go through these difficult times together."

Arnuad’s death is the second performer fatality in Cirque du Soleil's history, WTSP reported. According to the BBC, Sarah Guillot-Guyard, 31, died during a 2013 show in Las Vegas when she fell 94 feet to the floor when a safety wire detached.

Olivier Rochette, a 43-year-old technician, died in 2016 while setting up for a performance.

NY school cancels play after protest over white student cast in lead role

A high school production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” in upstate New York was canceled after students complained over the casting of a white student in a lead role, WNYW reported.

>> Read more trending news

Students at Ithaca High School sent a letter of protest to Tomkins Weekly, arguing that the role of Esmerelda was written for a woman of color. 

“We want to stress that the talented young woman who was cast in this role is a stellar actor, singer, and dancer,” the students wrote. “Our concern is not with her, but with the fact that in terms of demographics, she is the wrong choice for this role.”

The students added that the actor playing Esmerelda was blonde with hazel eyes and “is the epitome of whiteness.”

The school district canceled the production, and said a "collaborative project" would replace the show, WNYW reported.

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