Showbiz update: Jenny Priestley brings us the latest on Beverley Knight’s new musical, plus who we’ll be seeing at the Oscars and the return of Heroes.
Beverley Knight joins Memphis
Beverley Knight is joining the cast of a new West End musical, Memphis, inspired by the true story of a radio DJ who wants to change the world and a club singer who’s ready for her big break. The show opens at London’s Shaftesbury Theatre in October.
Knight currently stars in hit musical, The Bodyguard, but will be leaving the production in May.
Vanessa William’s return to Broadway
Former Ugly Betty star Vanessa Williams is headed back to Broadway and joining the cast of After Midnight.
The Cotton Club era musical opened last year and has already starred Fantasia Barriso and k.d. lang.
Toni Braxton and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds appear in the show next month with Williams joining for a limited run in April.
Pharrell’s selling his hat
One of the most written about hats of the year is going on sale for charity.
Pharrell Williams is auctioning off the hat he wore to this year’s Grammy Awards on eBay and is being sold in aid of Pharrell’s educational non-profit organisation, From One Hand to Another.
The hat, designed by Vivienne Westwood, is on sale until March 2nd.
Who will we see at the Academy Awards?
There’s not long to go until Oscars night and I can’t wait. The latest performers announced for the show include Bette Midler (who’ll be making her Academy Awards debut) and P!nk.
Meanwhile, it’s been revealed the Academy have invited Nelson Mandela’s daughters, Zindzi and Zenani, to attend the ceremony on March 2nd. U2 will be performing their Oscar-nominated song No Ordinary Love from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
Save the cheerleader, save the world
Remember Heroes? Well the sci-fi drama series is coming back. NBC have announced plans to turn the show into a mini-series which should air 13 episodes next summer. There’s been no word whether any of the former cast will return.
The Black Women in Hollywood luncheon
Kerry Washington and Oprah Winfrey are among the presenters at this year’s Black Women in Hollywood luncheon on February 27.
The annual event is organised by Essence magazine and celebrates three women who have made the most impact, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Unsurprisingly one of the honourees is 12 Years a Slave’s Lupita Nyong’o.
He ain’t afraid of no ghosts
Ray Parker Jr, of Ghostbusters fame, is the latest recipient of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He’ll be honoured with the 2518th star on the Hollywood attraction on March 6th.
JR Ewing Bourbon, on the rocks
Maybe my favourite story of the week is that the producers of Dallas are planning to launch their own brand of whiskey.
JR Ewing Bourbon is helping to promote the third season of the recently returned show. It’ll be on sale in the US at the end of March and is apparently a four-year-old, 80-proof light amber-colour bourbon (whatever that means!)
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