News Column

Karaoke party to benefit Haitian Families First [Derived headline] [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA)]

October 29, 2013

YellowBrix

Karaoke party to benefit Haitian Families First

You can celebrate the Day of the Dead on Nov. 1 with a charity music event that raises money for families and children in Haiti.

Ali and Jamie McMutrie, Pittsburgh-based co-founders of Haitian Families First, will host the 2nd Annual "Live Rock 'n' Roll Karaoke Costume Party: Day of the Dead Edition," beginning at 9 p.m. at the Rex Theater on the South Side. Local celebrities, including Sally Wiggin of WTAE-TV, will participate in a karaoke competition. Non- celebrity guests will have their own karaoke contest and can win prizes including a gift basket from the ScareHouse.

The McMutrie sisters helped to rescue dozens of Haitian children following the disastrous 2010 earthquake. After the earthquake, they founded Haitian Families First to help people recover. Admission is $20. Details: www.rextheater.com and www.haitianfamilies first.org

-- Kellie B. Gormly

'Late Show's Ferguson also to host game show

Craig Ferguson, the host of the "The Late Late Show" on CBS, is getting another TV gig.

Ferguson will host a game show called "Celebrity Name Game," in which celebrities team with contestants to identify famous figures.

The show will be launched for national syndication next fall; it was developed by Courteney Cox's and David Arquette's company, Coquette Productions. The series is based on the board game "Identity Crisis."

The Scottish-born Ferguson will remain the host of "The Late Late Show," which he has fronted since 2005.

-- Los Angeles Times

Belushi biopic is cast

Emile Hirsch will play John Belushi in a biopic on the comedian.

Production company Film 360 confirmed the casting of Hirsch in the currently untitled independent feature. Directing will be Steve Conrad, who wrote the screenplay of the upcoming Ben Stiller film, "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." Conrad also will pen the screenplay, adapting the biography "Belushi."

The 28-year-old Hirsch has starred in Sean Penn's "Into the Wild" and the 2008 action film "Speed Racer."

-- Associated Press

'Halliwells' use power of 3, say boo to reboot

CBS' proposed reboot of the not-too-distant-past witch series "Charmed" is getting the evil eye from the show's stars.

"Charmed" aired on the WB from 1998 to 2006 and starred Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, Rose McGowan and Shannen Doherty (for three seasons) as witchy sisters who work to protect humanity from nasty magical threats. The eight-season run was one of the WB's longest-lived TV shows and notable for being the rare network series with an all-female lead cast.

With the show's continued popularity even after its ending, it's no surprise that someone would aim to bring it back to the air. But a reboot means younger and cheaper talent, with no starring place for the show's original witches. Something that hasn't sat well with the first set of Halliwells.

Milano, who appears on the ABC series "Mistresses" and the Lifetime reality series "Project Runway: All Stars," tweeted her frustrations, writing, "The thing about them doing a #charmed reboot is... it just... it feels like yesterday. It feels too close."

Combs tweeted: "At least they had the decency to call it what it is. Instead of ripping it off and then pretending to not be ripping it off."

In Combs' posts, reported by digitalspy.com, she suggested fans "reserve judgement" on the reboot.

"Watch it. Or don't. Then if you don't have anything nice to say..... Come sit by me. ;)", Combs added.

McGowan also wasn't thrilled about the prospect of someone else filling her shoes, even if those shoes didn't show up until Season 4 (after Doherty's exit, she joined the show as a Halliwell half- sister). "They really are running out of ideas in Hollywood," McGowan wrote. She followed it up with "lame lame lame lamertons," which sounds like some kind of incantation.

-- Los Angeles Times

'Modern Family' cast attends event for fans

The cast and creators of the Emmy-winning sitcom hit "Modern Family" gave back Oct. 28, honoring some 600 of the show's devotees with a so-called "fan appreciation day."

The fans "have really gotten us where we are," noted actor Nolan Gould, who plays the youngest Dunphy child, Luke, on the series and was celebrating his 15th birthday. The entire "Family" acting ensemble made it to the event.

On the arrivals line, many of the cast members had stories about memorable "Family" fan encounters. But when it came to namedropping, there was no topping veteran actor Ed O'Neill, who portrays the series' patriarch, Jay Pritchett.

"I was having coffee one day in (the Westside Los Angeles neighborhood of) Brentwood, in my car, reading the paper," O'Neill recalled. "There was a knock on my window on the other side. And I looked up and the guy was waving, and I rolled the window down and it was Steven Spielberg. And this was this was the first season. And he was saying, 'Ed, I love the show.' He watches it with his daughter. It was very sweet."

Although "Modern Family" is in its fifth season and first-run episodes air stateside on ABC, the fan event was sponsored by USA, the cable network that picked up syndication rights to the series.

-- Associated Press

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