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Performing Arts

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Marilyn Monroe’s on-screen costumes are almost as iconic as her. Suffice it to say, “Blonde” costume designer Jennifer Johnson felt an enormous amount of pressure to get those dresses right for the Netflix film, streaming Wednesday. “Blonde” may be a fictionalized version of her story, but the costumes are ripped from reality. The vast majority of the frocks Ana de Armas wears in the film, from the white pleated “Seven Year Itch” number to the pink “Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend” gown, are recreations that Johnson and her team had to make without the actual reference garment on hand.

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Annette O’Toole is reveling in her role on Netflix's “Virgin River.” Her character is older but not always wiser, including in love. O’Toole counts herself fortunate to play Hope McCrea, given Hollywood's aversion to featuring older characters. With season four of “Virgin River” now streaming, O'Toole was in Vancouver working on season five. She says there's more “emotionally at stake” than ever for the fictional residents of Virgin River. O'Toole was largely off the romantic drama last season, choosing to stay with her mom during the worst of the pandemic. O'Toole said she was delighted that the show's creator welcomed her and her character back.

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The Metropolitan Opera opens its new season Tuesday with its first production of “Medea,” a version of the classic Greek tale of a sorceress who murders her children after her lover chooses another woman. Sondra Radvanovsky, who has more than 200 Met performances to her credit, is in the lead role, one well-suited to her powerful voice. Radvanovsky says she loves “dark and brooding and dying” in her roles, so taking on a complex character like Medea appealed to her. The Met’s “Medea” is an Italian-language version of the 1797 French opera by Luigi Cherubini. The Oct. 22 performance will be shown in theaters live worldwide.

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“The Phantom of the Opera” — Broadway’s longest-running show — is scheduled to close in February 2023, a victim of post-pandemic softening in theater attendance in New York. The musical — a fixture on Broadway since 1988, weathering recessions, war and cultural shifts — will play its final performance on Broadway in February. The first production opened in London in 1986 and since then the show has been seen by more than 145 million people in 183 cities. The closure was first reported by the New York Post. A spokesperson says the closing will come less than a month after its 35th anniversary.

New York City’s latest celebrity visitor is stopping traffic even in this jaded, larger-than-life town. Little Amal, a 12-foot puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee, is on a 17-day blitz through every corner of the Big Apple as part of a theater project hoping to raise awareness about immigration. She will visit tourists meccas — Times Square and Grand Central Station, among them — and also communities far from the glitz of Manhattan, like Bedford–Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. At each of the 55 stops planned stops, organizers have reached out to community artists and leaders to create a special event anchored by the place visited.

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The Emmy Awards have spread honors around repeat winners – Zendaya, Jason Sudeikis and Jean Smart – and some first timers, like Sheryl Lee Ralph and Quinta Brunson of “Abbott Elementary.” Zendaya and Sudeikis won their second acting Emmys Monday, while Smart won back-to-back trophies for “Hacks.” So did Sudeikis' comedy “Ted Lasso,” which claimed the top comedy prize and “Succession,” which took home the top drama honor. Ralph gave a rousing speech after winning supporting comedy actress on her first nomination. Brunson, who created “Abbott Elementary”  also took home a trophy, with the best comedy series still to come. Lee Jung-jae of “Squid Game” won best drama actor.

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Newly minted Emmy winners made their first party stop at the Governors Gala. For the first time, the official Emmy Awards after party was held outdoors in a plaza near the Microsoft Theater where the ceremony was held earlier Monday night. Geena Davis, who was honored during the ceremony with the Governors Award, wandered barefoot carrying a plate of salmon. Partygoers danced under the stars to a live band that kicked into Emmy winner Lizzo’s “About Damn Time." “Saturday Night Live” producer Lorne Michaels, whose show won best sketch series for the sixth year in a row, held court with an Emmy statuette on the table.

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She was everywhere and yet not really known. Over the past 70 years, authors, filmmakers, playwrights, songwriters and painters have responded to the queen as both symbol and human being, whether commenting on the heights of her position or attempting to tease out the inner life of a woman who spoke infrequently in public and avoided personal revelation. The dual qualities of majesty and mystery would find her imagined in settings ranging from the sobriety of royal art to the rage of punk music to the varied characterizations in film and television.

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Fans of Lea Michele will have to wait a little more to see her singing in “Funny Girl” on Broadway. The actor has tested positive for COVID-19 — missing Saturday’s matinee and evening performance — and must now quarantine, slated to return to the show on Tuesday, Sept. 20. She only started on Tuesday. Julie Benko, who had been slated to play Fanny on Thursdays in the revival, will be performing the role now until Michele is back. Michele took over from Beanie Feldstein. Starting in July, vaccine requirements for Broadway audience members were lifted and theatergoers had the option to wear a mask.

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When composer John Adams decided to base his new work on Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra,” he was aware that the project might evoke an unhappy chapter in opera history. A 1966 Met Opera staging of a different composer's version turned out to be one of the company's more notorious flops. But Adams and the San Francisco Opera’ were undeterred. Adams' opera will kick off the company’s 100th anniversary season on Sept. 10. “Antony and Cleopatra” held special appeal for Adams because of the way Shakespeare combines the political story of the struggle for power in ancient Rome and Egypt with the passionate and often stormy relationship of two mature lovers.

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Former members of a sect-like Argentine group say women in the group were called “geishas” and “slaves.” Leaders of the group are accused of sexually exploiting women to lure wealthy and powerful men who could provide money and other benefits. One of the men was allegedly opera star Placido Domingo. The sprawling investigation has led to more than 20 members of the group being arrested and more sought, including six in the United States. While investigators in Argentina say Domingo was a “consumer of prostitution,” he isn't accused of a crime. Prostitution is legal in Argentina.

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Former “Glee” star Lea Michele finds herself stepping into the role Barbra Streisand made famous by taking over the role of Fanny from Beanie Feldstein in “Funny Girl” on Broadway. It’s a dream come true, but it has also created waves. The high-profile casting change rocked the Broadway community this summer, with Feldstein leaving early after Michele was announced, giving the impression that things backstage were strained at best. Michele noted that one actor replacing another on Broadway is nothing new. She says the media is “drawn to drama and especially pitting women against each other.” Michele starts Tuesday.

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Taylor Swift took home the top prize at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards before she closed out the show with a surprisingly big announcement: Her new album. The pop star said Sunday night that her new album will be released Oct. 21. She revealed on social media that her 10th studio album will be called “Midnights.” Her announcement came came at the end of her acceptance speech where she praised the other women in the category - which included Doja Cat and Olivia Rodrigo. Jack Harlow and Nicki Minaj both pulled triple duty at the award: both musicians performed, won awards and served as the show's hosts alongside LL Cool J.

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Dan Harary’s life has been filled with celebrity encounters. Long before he became a publicist in Hollywood, Harary was a celebrity magnet. At 15, he started working at the Sunshine In, a concert hall in Asbury Park, New Jersey. It was 1972 and on his first night on the job he had his first run-in with a famous person. Musician Richie Havens performed that evening and Harary asked him to sign ...

The 2022 BET Awards ceremony on Sunday saw plenty of young artists pay their respects to veteran performers, as well as nationwide hot topics like Roe vs. Wade and gun safety. Returning to the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, the star-powered show was hosted by “Empire” star Taraji P. Henson, who said the evening was meant to celebrate “Black excellence.” The ceremony kicked off with Lizzo’s ...

Randolph-Macon College (R-MC) recently held a weekend of celebration to recognize the opening of the school’s new Center for the Performing Ar…

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