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‘A Night With Janis Joplin’ heads to Broadway

by The Associated Press on June 27, 2013 10:40 AM

NEW YORK — The boozy, bluesy, hot-mama howl of Janis Joplin is heading to Broadway.

Producers said Wednesday that the musical “A Night With Janis Joplin” starring Mary Bridget Davies as the late iconic singer will start previews at the Lyceum Theatre on Sept. 20.

The show, written and directed by Randy Johnson, has a live onstage band and features Joplin hits such as “Piece of My Heart,” “Mercedes Benz,” “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Ball and Chain” and “Summertime.” Joplin died of a heroin overdose in Hollywood in 1970.

Davies, who was raised in Cleveland, first won the role in 2005 after beating 150 actresses. She has appeared in the musical revue “It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues” and another Joplin musical, “Love, Janis.”

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Elvis Presley’s Cadillac, Steve McQueen’s old truck and prescription sunglasses worn by John Lennon are among hundreds of items once owned by celebrities that are scheduled to be auctioned in California next month.

The Mecum Auction Company said Wednesday it will be displaying and auctioning about 2,000 pieces of celebrity-related memorabilia 26-27 in Santa Monica, Calif.

Mecum, which specializes in the sale of collector cars, says one of the auction’s highlights will be Elvis’ 1972 Cadillac Custom Estate Wagon. “The King of Rock n’ Roll” owned the car from 1972 until his death in 1977, according to Mecum’s Web site.

Mecum says items with ties to John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, Jack Nicholson, Roy Rogers, Hunter S. Thompson, Jimmy Stewart, Burt Reynolds and Gene Kelly also will be auctioned.

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KETCHIKAN, Alaska — Leonard Nimoy, famous for his iconic and stoic Mr. Spock character in the “Star Trek” franchise, showed a little emotion this week.

Nimoy told the Ketchikan Daily News that Alaska is “absolutely beautiful” and people are lucky to live here.

He was in the state on a cruise, making stops in Anchorage, Seward, Sitka, Juneau, Skagway and Anchorage.

Nimoy tweeted about his vacation to Alaska, saying “one beautiful trip.”

He ended the tweet with LLAP, which stands for live long and prosper, a departing salutation for his half-Vulcan, half-human character that he played on the original TV series in the 1960s and subsequent movies.

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FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Storms have dampened plans by the makers of the next installment of the “Transformers” movie franchise to shoot an action sequence along a wheat field-lined stretch of Michigan state highway near Adrian.

Michigan 52 in Lenawee County’s Fairfield Township was to host shooting for “Transformers 4” starting earlier this week. The Daily Telegram of Adrian reports crews now might start filming Friday before wrapping up on Saturday as previously expected.

Moviemakers are using a 2-mile stretch of M-52, about 65 miles southwest of Detroit.

In March, the Michigan Film Office said the state approved a $20 million incentive for “Transformers 4” and said shooting would take place in the state. The movie, directed by Michael Bay and produced by Steven Spielberg, is set for release on June 27, 2014.

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BUCHAREST, Romania — Actor Ethan Hawke says it’s crucial that all children get an education from an early age, pointing to his own daughter’s struggles with dyslexia.

Hawke spoke Wednesday in Romania, where he is promoting his recent film “Before Midnight.”

His mother, Leslie Hawke, has worked with some of Romania’s most impoverished young children. She has been raising awareness and educational funds for Romanian children since arriving here as a Peace Corps volunteer in 2000.

The Hollywood star told reporters that he is “affected by children whether it is in New York or Romania.” He says his “eldest daughter is dyslexic ... if she were from a poor family everyone would assume she was stupid.”

“Before Midnight” premiered in May and is the third in the series, following 1995’s “Before Sunrise” and 2004’s “Before Sunset.” Hawke plays Jesse, who is married to Frenchwoman Celine.

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NEW YORK — “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” are returning to TV.

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network says it’s acquired the first 40 episodes of the daytime dramas’ revival on The Online Network. They’ll air Monday through Thursday for a 10-week period beginning July 15.

In a statement Wednesday, OWN President Erik Logan said: “These shows have proven to be very popular with a significant, loyal fan base.”

When the two soaps were canceled by ABC in 2011, fans begged Winfrey to give them a second life on OWN.

She responded by releasing a video message on her website saying she couldn’t save the shows because “there just are not enough people who are home in the daytime to watch them.”

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TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida has tossed a 2011 gun conviction against Jamaican reggae singer Buju Banton after concluding a juror did independent research into the case during the trial.

Banton is serving a 10-year sentence for convictions on cocaine conspiracy and trafficking charges stemming from a 2009 arrest. He faced an additional five years for the gun charge.

U.S. District Judge James Moody on Wednesday said jury foreman Terri Wright should face a criminal contempt charge for researching the federal Pinkerton rule, which involves liability among conspirators for the actions of other conspirators.

The verdict on the gun charge depended on the Pinkerton rule. Moody threw out that verdict and said it was up to the U.S. government to decide whether to retry Banton on that charge.

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