Posts

music

Martin Kanja, AKA Lord Spikeheart, Is Leading A New Wave Of African Rock In Kenya

Martin Kanja, AKA Lord Spikeheart, is a metalhead from Kenya who is leading a new wave of African rock, with music that combines traditional African culture with metal.

broadway

Romeo + Juliet Is Coming To Broadway With Kit Connor And Rachel Zegler To Star 

Romeo + Juliet is officially coming back to Broadway. Acclaimed director Sam Gold is set to adapt the famous Shakespeare play with the help of Grammy winner Jack Antonoff, who will be doing the music for the production. 

The Broadway production is set to have Rachel Zegler, known from West Side Story, as Juliet and Kit Connor, known from Heartstopper, as Romeo. 

Embed from Getty Images

Tony award-winning director Sam Gold has previously taken on adapting other Shakespeare plays such as Macbeth and Othello. In a statement reported by The Guardian, he expressed his excitement about bringing this play to Broadway during a time where the world needs a little joy. 

“With the presidential election coming up in November, I felt like making a show this fall that celebrates youth and hope, and unleashes the anger young people feel about the world they are inheriting.”

The official synopsis states:

 “The youth are f*cked. Left to their own devices in their parents’ world of violent ends, an impulsive pair of star-crossed lovers hurtle towards their inescapable fate. The intoxicating high of passion quickly descends into a brutal chaos that can only end one way.”

Embed from Getty Images

Gold recently directed the Insen adaptation An Enemy of the People, which received critical acclaim for Gold’s directing and for lead actor Jeremy Strong’s performance. Gold has previously worked with other stars such as Daniel Craig and David Oyelowo. 

Zegler celebrated the official announcement by posting on social media: “never beating the broadway debut allegations.” Zegler was recently hailed for her performance in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, and is also going to be starting in new comedy horror Y2K from Kyle Mooney. 

Connor is popularly known for his role in Netflix teen drama Heartstopper. Beside’s playing Romeo, Connor will soon be heard alongside actress Lupita Nyong’o in animated adventure The Wild Robot. He has also previously appeared on stage in London in the play Fanny & Alexander. 

Romeo and Juliet isn’t the only Shakespeare play making its way to Broadway. Denzel Washington and Jake Gyllenhaal are set to star in a new take on Othello this year, which will be the first Broadway staging of the play since 1982.

Billie Eilish And Stevie Wonder Among 200+ Artists Demanding Protection Against Predatory Use Of AI 

A group of more than 200 high-profile musicians and estates have signed an official open letter demanding protections against the predatory use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) which mimics human artists’ voices, songs, and overall likeness, according to new reports. 

pill

Olivia Rodrigo’s Team Stops Distributing Morning After Pill At Her Concerts 

Olivia Rodrigo was previously being praised for allowing Plan B emergency contraceptives to be distributed at her shows on her GUTS World Tour. Now, however, her team is stepping back on giving out the emergency contraceptive, citing that there are children present at many of the shows.

rally

Sinéad O’Connor’s Estate Demands Donald Trump Stop Using Her Music At Political Rallies

Sinéad O’Connor’s estate has demanded that former president Donald Trump stop using the late singer’s music at his political rallies.

Artist Sir Frank Bowling To Sell Signed Prints To Buy Art Supplies For 100 Schools

One of Britain’s most celebrated abstract painters, Sir Frank Bowling, is selling signed prints of his work to help buy art supplies for 100 schools in England. His goal is to inspire young people to embrace their creativity in a time where art programs are having their budgets constantly cut.

film

Will Ferrell Talks Educating Himself On The Transgender Community At Sundance Film Festival 

Will Ferrell recently made an appearance at the Sundance Film Festival for the world premiere of his new documentary “Will & Harper.” 

The documentary centers around Ferrell’s long standing friendship with Harper Steele, who he initially met while he was on “Saturday Night Live” and she was working as a writer (from 1995 to 2008). The documentary follows the pair of best friends on a road trip and discusses their past, as well as Harper’s experience coming out as transgender in 2022. 

“It was three summers ago in which Harper emailed a lot of her close friends with the headline: ‘Here’s a Weird One.’ She went on to explain she was going to transition and we were all of course excited to hear the news and surprised to hear the news. All of us were extremely supportive and expressed love…but that sort of opened the questions like, how can we help you? What do you need us to do?” Ferrell stated to Variety at the festival. 

Ferrell also stated that before Harper came out to him, he had “zero knowledge” regarding the intricacies of the trans community. 

Embed from Getty Images

“I had met trans people, but I didn’t have anyone personally in my life. So this was all new territory for me, which is why I think this film is so exciting for us to kind of put out there in the world. It’s a chance for all of us in the cis community to be able to ask questions and also just to listen and be there as a friend to discuss this journey,” Ferrell said. 

“It tells the story of a cis friend of a trans person who has to transition himself,” Harper stated. Variety reported that the official synopsis for “Will & Harper” states the following: 

“When Will Ferrell finds out his close friend of 30 years is coming out as a trans woman, the two decide to embark on a cross-country road trip to process this new stage of their relationship in an intimate portrait of friendship, transition, and America.”

Ferrell himself also produced the documentary with Jessica Elbaum, Rafael Marmor, and Christopher Leggett, with Josh Greenbaum producing and directing. 

“Will & Harper” will make its official debut at Sundance and is seeking distribution out of the festival.

Original Mickey Mouse Cartoon Enters Public Domain, Here’s What We Already Have To Look Forward To 

Steamboat Willie, the original Mickey Mouse cartoon, officially lost its US copyright protection on January 1st 2024, making its likeness available to the public, who have already taken advantage of having legal access to the iconic character.

ticketmaster

‘Fans First’ Live-Event Ticketing Reform Bill Introduced By US Senators 

Six US Senators have introduced a new “Fans First Act” to address the multiple discrepancies in ticketing sales across the country. The live event ticketing system in the US is saturated with fake or overpriced tickets from resellers, making it nearly impossible for fans to be able to afford to go see their favorite live events. 

The bipartisan bill was brought to Congress by three Republicans and three Democrats; John Cornyn of Texas, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Peter Welch of Vermont, and Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico. 

This is the newest move from Congress to battle “high and exploitative” ticket pricing for things like concerts and other live events, according to reports

Embed from Getty Images

The issues with online ticketing sales have always been present, but issues reached a head in 2022 with tickets for Taylor Swift and Bruce Springsteen’s tour’s crashed Ticketmaster and subsequently crashed the website and made prices increase exponentially. 

At the time, several Taylor Swift fans sued Ticketmaster for “fraud, price-fixing, and antitrust violations” and alleged that “intentional deception” from the site allowing scalpers and resellers to buy a majority of the tickets to upsell them exponentially. 

For example, within the first few hours of Swift’s tour tickets going on sale secondary sellers were able to purchase a majority of them and price them at up to $22,000.

The suit alleged that “because no other venue can hold half as many people as the stadiums and venues working through Ticketmaster, Taylor Swift and other popular musicians have no choice but to work through Ticketmaster.” 

The US justice department started an antitrust investigation into Live Nation, the parent company of Ticketmaster, after this incident to look into whether or not they abused their power in its multibillion-dollar entertainment industry. 

Embed from Getty Images

The Fans First Act is seeking to improve transparency with ticket pricing by requiring all live event ticket sellers to advertise the total price of a given ticket, including all fees and additional charges, so that when a fan goes to purchase a ticket, they understand the total price immediately and aren’t caught off guard by large fees and additional charges when they checkout. 

Fans will also have a clear understanding as to whether the ticket they’re purchasing is from a reseller or the original retailer. 

The Fans First Act will also work to strengthen the requirements of the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act which was signed into law in 2016. The BOTS Act worked to prohibit the use of bots to purchase large quantities of tickets for resellers to later upcharge. It also imposes civil penalties on resellers practicing illegal sales.

“The current ticketing system is riddled with problems and doesn’t serve the needs of fans, teams, artists or venues. This legislation would rebuild trust in the ticketing system by cracking down on bots and others who take advantage of consumers through price gouging and other predatory practices and increase price transparency for ticket purchasers,” said Congressman Cornyn.

Live Nation, the owner of Ticketmaster, also released a statement supporting the new bill: “We support the Fans First Act and welcome legislation that brings positive reform to live event ticketing. We believe it’s critical Congress acts to protect fans and artists from predatory resale practices, and have long supported a federal all-in pricing mandate, banning speculative ticketing and deceptive websites, as well as other measures. We look forward to our continued work with policymakers to advocate for even stronger reforms and enforcement.”

eyes

Nathan Stewart-Jarrett Discusses New Movie ‘Femme’ And Society’s Expectations On Masculinity 

Actor Nathan Stewart-Jarrett recently described, in an interview with the Guardian, his new show ‘Femme,’ where he plays a drag queen named Jules. While talking about this role and pushing himself as an actor, Stewart-Jarrett also took the opportunity to describe society’s obsession with masculinity and the importance of breaking those standards.