• Movie review: "Ida," playing TONIGHT at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art

    Brandy McDonnell | Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    An evocative story of a woman coming to grips with her shadowy past, “Ida” is made all the more haunting by its presentation in stark black and white. Nominated for best foreign language film and best cinematography at this year’s Academy Awards, “Ida” is screening at 7:30 tonight at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, […]

  • Hard Rock Hotel & Casino opens at Lake Tahoe

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    STATELINE, Nev. (AP) — Owners of the new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino at Lake Tahoe say thousands of people crowded onto the property for their much-anticipated grand opening in Stateline. Wednesday night's celebration included the smashing of an ice guitar at the hotel-casino with a rock n' roll theme. The developers spent about $60 million to renovate the former Horizon hotel-casino that sits next to Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. The 25,000-square foot property includes more than 500 remodeled rooms and will employ about 500 people. Hundreds of pieces of memorabilia line the walls of the hotel lobby, restaurants, bars and casino floor. They include a beat up guitar from Green Day and clothes from the Rolling Stones'

  • What to do in Oklahoma on Jan. 29, 2015: Hear Christopher Titus at UCO's Mitchell Hall or Shovels & Rope at ACM@UCO Performance Lab

    Brandy McDonnell | Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    We’ve got two featured events today, courtesy the fine folks at the University of Central Oklahoma: EDMOND – Laugh at the darkly funny comedy of Christopher Titus at 8 tonight at UCO’s Mitchell Hall Theater, 100 N University Drive. Doors open at 7 p.m. Titus is bringing his “Angry Pursuit of Happiness Tour” in support […]

  • Show review: Cirque du Soleil's 'Varekai' brings stunning artistry and athleticism to Chesapeake Energy Arena

    Brandy McDonnell | Updated: 5 hr ago

    To check out behind-the-scenes interviews, photos and video of Cirque du Soleil’s “Varekai,” click here. The exotic gypsy music, eerily lovely set and fantastical costumes help cast a spell of mystery and magic. But the performers’ astounding feats make Cirque du Soleil’s “Varekai” seem supernatural. The latest arena touring production from the French-Canadian theatrical company […]

  • Kerry Butler to join 'Clinton: The Musical' off-Broadway

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Kerry Butler's next role will take her to the White House — the Clinton White House, that is. The Tony Award-nominated star of "Xanadu" said Thursday she will play Hillary Rodham Clinton when the irreverent show "Clinton: The Musical" lands at New World Stages. Performances begin March 25. The show explores and lampoons the Clinton presidency with appearances from actors playing Monica Lewinsky, Newt Gingrich, Dick Morris and Kenneth Starr. Bill Clinton is portrayed by two actors at the same time, one serious and the other randy.

  • Behind-the-scenes interviews, photos and video: Cirque du Soleil minds the details in creating magical world of 'Varekai'

    Brandy McDonnell | Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    A version of this story appears in Thursday’s The Oklahoman. To read my review of Cirque du Soleil’s “Varekai,” click here. Cirque du Soleil minds the details in creating enchanted world of ‘Varekai’ “Varekai,” Cirque du Soleil’s latest arena touring production, opened Wednesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena, with performances continuing through Sunday. Standing on […]

  • 'Thorn Birds' author Colleen McCullough dies

    Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    Australian author Colleen McCullough has died at age 77 after a long illness, USA Today reports. McCullough died Thursday in a hospital on remote Norfolk Island, Shona Martyn, publishing director for HarperCollins Australia, said in a statement to AP. The writer penned 25 novels throughout her career, but it was the 1977 blockbuster novel The Thorn Birds that changed her life as it became an international best seller. The paperback rights alone sold for $1.9 million. Her first novel, Tim, was published in 1974. Her final book, Bittersweet, was released in 2013.

  • Celeb birthdays for the week of Feb. 1-7

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    Feb. 1: Actor Stuart Whitman is 87. Singer Bob Shane (The Kingston Trio) is 81. Actor-comedian Garrett Morris is 78. Singer Don Everly of The Everly Brothers is 78. Singer Ray Sawyer of Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show is 78. Bluegrass singer Del McCoury is 76. Actor-writer-director Terry Jones (Monty Python) is 73. Guitarist Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is 65. Actor-writer-producer Billy Mumy ("Lost in Space") is 61. Keyboardist Dwayne Dupuy of Ricochet is 50. Actress Sherilyn Fenn is 50. Singer Lisa Marie Presley is 47. Comedian Pauly Shore is 47. Drummer Patrick Wilson of Weezer is 46. Actor Michael C. Hall is 44. Rapper Big Boi of Outkast is 40. Singer Andrew VanWyngarden of MGMT is 32. TV personality Lauren Conrad

  • Music Review: Bob Dylan's late-night disc

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    Bob Dylan, "Shadows in the Night" (Columbia) Bob Dylan has never called "Shadows in the Night" a Frank Sinatra tribute album. The idea seems nuts: one of the last century's greatest songwriters challenging perhaps its greatest voice, on Sinatra's turf. No wonder it was the butt of jokes before anyone heard a note. The fact remains that each of the 10 standards here, written between 1923 and 1963, was recorded by Sinatra. Some, like "Some Enchanted Evening" or "That Lucky Old Sun," are fairly well known, others more obscure. Dylan closed his last few concerts with one of them, "Stay With Me." The precise, and even more intimidating, comparison is Sinatra's superb 1955 concept disc, "In the Wee Small Hours.

  • Celeb birthdays for the week of Jan. 25-31

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    Jan. 25: Actor Dean Jones is 84. Actress Leigh Taylor-Young is 70. Actress Jenifer Lewis ("The Preacher's Wife", "The PJ's") is 58. Actress Dinah Manoff ("Empty Nest") is 57. Country drummer Mike Burch of River Road is 49. Singer Kina (Brownstone) is 46. Actress Ana Ortiz ("Ugly Betty") is 44. Singer Alicia Keys is 34. Actor Michael Trevino ("The Vampire Diaries") is 30. Calum Hood (5 Seconds to Summer) is 19. Jan. 26: Sports announcer-actor Bob Uecker is 80. Actor Scott Glenn is 76. Singer Jean Knight is 72. Drummer Corky Laing of Mountain is 67. Actor David Strathairn is 66. Singer Lucinda Williams is 62. Guitarist Eddie Van Halen is 60. Percussionist Norman Hassan of UB40 is 57. Comedian Ellen DeGeneres is 57. Guitarist Andrew R

  • Celeb birthdays for the week of Feb. 1-7

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    Feb. 1: Actor Stuart Whitman is 87. Singer Bob Shane (The Kingston Trio) is 81. Actor-comedian Garrett Morris is 78. Singer Don Everly of The Everly Brothers is 78. Singer Ray Sawyer of Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show is 78. Bluegrass singer Del McCoury is 76. Actor-writer-director Terry Jones (Monty Python) is 73. Guitarist Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is 65. Actor-writer-producer Billy Mumy ("Lost in Space") is 61. Keyboardist Dwayne Dupuy of Ricochet is 50. Actress Sherilyn Fenn is 50. Singer Lisa Marie Presley is 47. Comedian Pauly Shore is 47. Drummer Patrick Wilson of Weezer is 46. Actor Michael C. Hall is 44. Rapper Big Boi of Outkast is 40. Singer Andrew VanWyngarden of MGMT is 32. TV personality Lauren Conrad

  • Pianist Jason Moran garners Grammy nod with Waller tribute

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Pianist Jason Moran made it his mission on his latest album to bring a Harlem jazz legend "back into the conversation" in the 21st century. He's exceeded expectations by garnering his first Grammy nomination for his unorthodox tribute to singer-pianist-songwriter Fats Waller. Moran says he was "shocked and so elated" when his ninth Blue Note album, "All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller," was nominated for best jazz instrumental album, putting him in the same company with pianists Chick Corea and Fred Hersch, among others. "I wanted to look at his music with the spirit that I thought he played from," Moran said in a phone interview from his Harlem apartment.

  • Here's What Moviegoers in Baghdad Think of 'American Sniper'

    Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    BAGHDAD — When Gaith Mohammed, a young man in his twenties with a degree in accounting, went to see "American Sniper" during its opening week at Baghdad's Mansour Mall, he says the theater was full and rowdy, NBC News reports. In Baghdad, where much of the film is set, the movie drew full crowds at one of the city's new upscale cinemas. Dressed in a fur-collared coat and loafers, Mohammed says many of the showings were sold out, and he knows of people who had to book their tickets a day in advance during opening week. But after just a week on screens, the Mansour Mall theater pulled the controversial war movie.

  • NYC mayor's vibrant deaf interpreter creates his own storm

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — They were hanging on his every word — and gesture, body movement, and definitely the facial expressions. Jonathan Lamberton, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's sign language interpreter, is getting a blizzard of attention for his highly animated ways that were on full display during recent weather briefings. Standing a short distance away as de Blasio delivered serious warnings about impending snow, Lamberton, a certified deaf interpreter, was a whirlwind of movement — big gestures, incorporating his whole body, along with a variety of facial movements.

  • Bruce Jenner Has New Plump Lips: Pictures

    Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    New Year, new Bruce! The Kardashian-Jenner family patriarch Bruce Jenner is embracing his true self these days. The former Olympian, 65, was spotted with fuller-looking lips on Tuesday, Jan. 27 while driving in Los Angeles, says US Weekly. This new pout is all a part of Jenner’s decision to finally explain his talked-about transformation to TV cameras. The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star is set to have an unscripted E! series of his own, which sources say will follow his decision to transition from a male to a female.

  • Naomi Campbell steals show at couture as Bruni is mobbed

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    PARIS (AP) — Singer Carla Bruni, actress Catherine Deneuve and burlesque performer Dita Von Teese were among regulars attending the spectacular displays at Paris' haute couture week Wednesday. Sophie Hunter, the fiancée of Oscar-nominee Benedict Cumberbatch, meanwhile, caused much fracas when she attended Valentino hiding her baby bump. But it was surely Naomi Campbell who stole the show, strutting out panther-like at Jean Paul Gaultier despite being dressed as a bouquet of flowers. It's good to know that high fashion still retains its humor. Here are the tidbits and highlights of the 2015 spring-summer collections. CARLA BRUNI MOBBED, THEN CELEBRATED Unaccompanied Bruni was mobbed by intrusive cameramen

  • Stone-faced Holyfield has starring role in road rage PSA

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    ATLANTA (AP) — Flashing the same stone-faced glare that once was so familiar in the boxing ring, Evander Holyfield appeared headed toward another fight. This time the challenge came from a hot-tempered motorist who felt he had been cut off as Holyfield pulled out of a driveway. The driver, unaware he was about to encounter the former four-time heavyweight champion, forced Holyfield off the road and slammed his hand onto the hood of Holyfield's SUV. The enraged driver continued to yell curses and threats, demanding Holyfield get out of the vehicle. Holyfield obliged, opening the door. No longer hidden by the SUV's tinted windows, Holyfield was immediately recognized and the motorist backed away, mumbling "I didn't know it wa

  • Norman festival to feature chocolate galore

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    The 33rd annual Chocolate Festival sponsored by the the Firehouse Art Center in Norman will be Saturday.

  • Cirque du Soleil minds the details in creating enchanted world of 'Varekai'

    BY BRANDY MCDONNELL, Features Writer | Published: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    “Varekai,” Cirque du Soleil’s latest arena touring production, opened Wednesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena, with performances continuing through Sunday.

  • Group's ad featuring 911 call grabs attention at Super Bowl

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    No celebrities or NFL players facing the camera, saying "No more." This ad simply depicts a 911 call of a woman pretending to order a pizza while calling police with her attacker still in the house. The Super Bowl commercial by No More, the group trying to end domestic violence and sexual assault, is a stark contrast to ads in recent months bringing attention to the issue that has become central for the NFL since Ray Rice was suspended for punching his then-fiancee in a casino elevator. The new ad has become a topic for discussion around the Super Bowl. American Idol winner Jordan Sparks, daughter of former NFL player Phillippi Sparks, said what the NFL has gone through with domestic violence has helped publicize where




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