Music Observer

Glass Menagerie is Amy Adams’ Top Game, Says Critics

Photo:markmeets.com

Glass Menagerie, a new production featuring Amy Adams, has earned different reviews from critics. The Hollywood actress makes her debut in the West End of Tennessee Williams’s 1944 play.

The Telegraph stated that Adams was “clear, simple, believable, and quietly heartbreaking” in the play. 

Yet others indicate opposite feedback. For instance, the Evening Standard called her performance “muted and unconvincing.” 

Her recent films, including The Woman in the Window, Hillbilly Elegy, and Dear Evan Hansen, earned not-so-positive feedback commercially and critically.

Critics have been commenting on how Adams’ performance in Glass Menagerie has pushed the actress to new heights.

Dominic Cavendish of The Telegraph added, “What Adams catches in her determined radiance and subtle gestures is the female equivalent of Arthur Miller’s Willy Loman: someone going through the motion of coping but in dire need of some good news.” 

The show was not entirely perfect, but it still managed to get a three-star review from Cavendish. He noted that some of the sounds and set designs were less effective; other characters were underused.

“The casting of the Hollywood luminary Amy Adams… may be the main selling point. Whether the gambit works is another matter,” The Times’ Clive Davis said, awarding the Glass Menagerie three stars. 

“All praise to Adams, nevertheless, for taking on a role that has tested many an actress.” 

He added, “Since Williams steered clear of naturalistic stage directions, Herrin and Vicki Mortimer, the set designer, allowed themselves free rein,” pointing out the production. 

“Laura’s cherished collection of glass animals stands in a sleek case that looks as if it belongs in the foyer of a boutique hotel. Ash J Woodward’s video projections add punctuation.” 

“The details are stylishly assembled,” he concluded, “but they fail to carry the evening.” 

Adams “makes a muted and unconvincing West End debut,” said Nick Curtis of The Evening Standard in a two-star review, further stating that she is “often indistinct, somewhat phony and offstage for a large chunk of the action.” 

“She’s not bad, just unremarkable in a role that strikes a single, clanging note of hysterical gentility throughout.” 

He further said: “Herrin’s version takes place on an almost bare stage tinged – by designer Vicki Mortimer – with arc lights, reel-to-reel tapedecks and chairs, and crowned by a giant video screen on which flickering colors are cast.

“It’s intended to evoke Williams’ vision of a dream-like setting. Unfortunately, the monolithic and well-lit vitrine which contains Laura’s laboriously symbolic menagerie of glass animals and which dominates the stage resembles a boutique perfume counter.”

Aunjanue Ellis Outs Herself to the World as Bisexual

Photo: NY News Daily

American actress Aunjanue Ellis is now ready to reveal her reality. Ellis told Variety that she identified as bisexual, which was already common knowledge to family and friends. However, she hadn’t made it known to the public. 

The reason? Ellis elaborated, “Nobody asked.” 

Explaining that she wasn’t one to talk about her personal life while promoting an Oscar-nominated film and her work “because that’s artificial,” Ellis revealed her truth in a unique way: by sporting a Dolce & Gabbana suit jacket imprinted with the word “Queer” to the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards a few months past and by discussing the subject via Variety in their 2022 Pride issue. 

“I’m very clear about being bisexual. I have a sweatshirt that says ‘Girl Bi’ that I wear everywhere,” Ellis stated, further saying that although she gives her effort to bring pride to fellow Black women, they still don’t acknowledge her as a member of the LGBTQ+ family. 

“There is an assumption made of me – a presumption made of me. Is it because I’m a Black woman from Mississippi? Is it because I’m older? I don’t know what the mechanics are that goes into them not processing, or them not just being able to believe that in the same way I am Black, I am queer,” Ellis continued. “This is who I am.” 

Ellis confirmed that she was aware of her sexuality when she was eight. However, she felt undersized being raised with a firm belief in the Bible-belt and didn’t recognize her bisexuality until she was in her 30s. 

“There was a moment when the sun was hitting the water, and I was looking down in the water, and it was so clear, and I can only hear this woman’s voice behind me,” she stated of the walk with a friend at Sundance Lab that was an enlightening moment of her life. 

“I said, ‘This is how I’m supposed to feel. This is what I’ve been waiting to feel my entire life.’” 

In an interview with EW, who stressed her remarkable performance in King Richard as Venus and Serena Williams’ mother Oracene, Ellis said that the show holds a special place in her as the matriarch of a prominent Black family. 

“It’s because I’ve done something I feel good about, and that’s because it’s making people feel good,” she told EW regarding the role. “I had to convince them to put me in this movie, but thankfully I got them to believe.” 

And today, she’s calling on her co-workers and the public to believe in her as she pours her heart out. 

“It is imperative that we see more of that because it is the truth of who we are,” Ellis said in the interview with Variety. “It is not a blemish on who we are. It is the wonderful scope of our humanity as Black folks in this country. It is something that I am insisting on, in what I bring into the world creatively.”

Johnny Depp Makes a Surprise Appearance at a London Concert, Awaiting Final Verdict of Defamation Case

Photo: Billboard

Johnny Depp attended a rock concert in London without scheduling prior, as he awaits the verdict of his defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard.

The actor performed at the Royal Albert Hall with British guitarist Jeff Beck, famous for his work in rock and roll music – the second time the two appeared together after Sunday’s Sheffield performance. 

The jury’s deliberation on Depp’s million-dollar lawsuit against Heard is scheduled to resume on Tuesday. The 58-year-old sues his ex-wife for an article she published in which she declares herself a domestic abuse survivor. Heard counter-sued for $100 million. 

Before the weekend, attorneys for both sides delivered final arguments to closing statements. The deliberation started soon after, and it was adjourned until Monday so that everyone could enjoy Memorial Day Weekend in America.

Johnny Depp and Jeff Beck performed John Lennon’s “Isolation,” which they collaborated on in 2020. The performance prompted different reactions from the audience. 

In an interview with the PA news agency, 38-year-old Angela Flannery from Southend said that Depp had “smashed it,” further stating that she did not know he would perform. “I’ll die happy, I’ve been in the same room as him now.” 

However, Peter Schmidt, who came a long way from Frankfurt to London, particularly for the concert, claimed he felt “duped” and called Depp an “embarrassment.” 

“I had been waiting 50 years to see Jeff Beck live… this was the biggest let-down of my life,” he stated, according to Reuters. 

Depp is set to perform again at the London venue on Tuesday – the same day the verdict could come.

Ricky Gervais Receives Blowback Following Show Release on Netflix

Photo: Hard Drive

In a matter of hours, Ricky Gervais’s new stand-up special SuperNature gathered negative feedback from the LGBTQ+ community and their supporters.

Social media users have expressed their anger at the jokes spilled by a British comedian in this show’s early scenes, which many believe are discriminatory against trans women.

“Ugh, women. Not all women; I mean the old-fashioned ones, the old-fashioned women, you know, the ones with wombs. Those f—ing dinosaurs,” Gervais states in the show’s first five minutes. 

“I love the new women. I knew the new women, I know there are new women, they’re great, aren’t they? The new ones, the ones with beards and c—ks. They’re as good as gold, I love them.” 

He referenced several sensitive topics, including the right to use public bathrooms that match one’s gender identity, taking their pronouns to mockery in the process: “They are ladies, look at their pronounce,” he elaborates, stressing that “his penis” is just the thing about “this person” that “isn’t a lady.” 

“‘ What if he rapes me?'” Gervais asks. “What if she rapes you, you f—king TERF whore.” 

“5 minutes in, and he’s making jokes about trans women attacking & raping people in public bathrooms,” a Twitter user posted after the special’s release. “To him, we exist only as a punchline, a threat, something less than human.” 

The Independent says Gervais’ jokes are only for humiliating trans people. 

“If you support Ricky Gervais in ANY WAY, you are not an ally of trans people,” another Twitter user wrote. “You are not an ally of mine.” 

While others backed Gervais’ remarks as a parody of what they called “nonsense” in liberal ideologies, LGBTQ+ community allies were firm in calling the comedian’s jokes archaic. 

“Every single day, I log into twitter and see more nuanced and original comedy from trans girls s— posting than I’ve ever seen from Comedians like Ricky Gervais throughout their entire career,” another user tweeted. “I’m starting to suspect they’re the ones that don’t understand comedy.” 

Some media outlets have asked Gervais and Netflix for comments about the matter.

Ricky Gervais Stands with his Comments About Trans People, Justifying that Comedy is for ‘Getting Us Over Taboo Subjects’

Photo: ABC News

Ricky Gervais has been criticized for his jokes about “taboo subjects” with the new Netflix special. Now, he has defended these comments. In SuperNature, the comedian makes several of what he calls ironic and satirical jokes about trans people, female comedians, and Aids.

The LGBT rights group Glaad has branded the show “dangerous,” “anti-gay,” and “anti-trans” following its release on Tuesday. 

On the other hand, in an episode of BBC One’s The One Show on Tuesday, Gervais said that comedy is for “getting us over taboo subjects.” 

“I think that’s what comedy is for, really – to get us through stuff, and I deal in taboo subjects because I want to take the audience to a place it hasn’t been before, even for a split second,” he said. “Most offense comes from when people mistake the subject of a joke with the actual target.” 

He said that people experience a range of emotional responses when hearing slightly offensive jokes.

“It starts, and they go; what’s he going to say? I tell the joke. Phew, they laugh,” he continued. “It’s like a parachute jump – it’s scary, then you land, and it’s all OK.

“I think that’s what comedy is for – getting us over taboo subjects, so they’re not scary anymore. So, I deal with everything. And I think we second guess the audience too much.” 

But Glaad took offense with his most recent stunt. Officials uploaded on the group’s Twitter handle, writing: “It’s full of graphic, dangerous, anti-trans rants masquerading as jokes. He also spouts anti-gay rhetoric and spreads inaccurate information about HIV.” 

They also added that Netflix “refuses” to implement its own policy that content “designed to incite hate or violence” is prohibited on its platform. 

Gervais said that he takes any standpoint that would make it even funnier and doesn’t convey his actual views with these jokes.

“In real life, of course, I support trans rights,” he stated. “I support all human rights, and trans rights are human rights.” 

“Live your best life, use your preferred pronouns, be the gender that you feel that you are,” he further said, then added a punchline about trans women. He also cited Eddie Izzard, who has outed himself as gender fluid and has requested she/her pronouns. 

Gervais stated, “it’s mad to think that joking about something means you’re anti-it.”

Natasha Bure Clears Misconceptions of Having Famous Parents

Photo: INQUISITR

Natasha Bure opens up about the famous household she grew up in and how that affected her.

The Hallmark actress revealed the most significant misconception about her life as a daughter of two very prominent and well-known names.

Natasha’s parents were both famous in their own right. Her mom Candace Cameron Bure, who played D.J Tanner on Full House and its follow-up Fuller House has been widely recognized. While her dad, Valeri, is best known as one of the most famed NHL players. She also has two brothers named Lev, 22, and Maksim, 20. 

Revealing some details about her childhood, the 23-year-old actress tells PEOPLE, “the misconception is that everything is handed to you, or that you don’t have to work for what you get.”

“I personally feel like I have been experiencing that from when I was super little,” she further states. “Whether it would be if I would get casted in a school play or something, I had people and friends that would say, ‘Oh, it’s just because her mom got her the role,’ or things like that.” 

Natasha, who recently played a part in Hallmark’s Aurora Teagarden: Haunted by Murder, discloses that the reality of her life is quite “the opposite.” 

“My parents are so far removed from my life,” she elaborates. “They wish that they were more involved, which is actually something we joke about all the time.” 

She continues, “I would say that I work for everything that I get, and I’m hustling on my own, and I have a completely separate life from my parents, or from anyone, really.” 

Natasha also unveiled how people frequently jump to conclusions or speculate when a person hustles in the same industry a family member or parent is in. 

“Obviously, for me, that’s my mom,” she says. “We are in the same industry, although eventually, I would love to do a lot of different stuff than what she does.” 

“I think people easily compare you and then just think that you’re fed into this lane, in this avenue, and it’s honestly quite the opposite,” she confirms. “So, it can be frustrating at times, but at the end of the day, I know what I work for, I know what I’m doing, and that’s really all that matters.” 

Natasha is on the path to making a career in Hollywood, boasting over half a million followers. But she stresses that using her influence for the good will always be more important.

“I just honestly try to use my platform to speak positively about different things and share my life authentically,” she states. “If I can help anybody, whether that be a younger girl I could be a bigger sister to, just in any way, shape, or form, that’s to me what’s most important.” 

“If social media goes away tomorrow, I would be okay,” she finally says. “But, as long as people just feel positively impacted by mine, then that’s really all that matters to me.”

Queen Latifah Wants a Change in Obesity Conversations, Ready to Talk About Weight Journey

Photo: CW Atlanta

Queen Latifah, who has been open about her journey with weight and wellness for years now, is up for discussions.

The rapper, who became popular in the 1980s, said her encounters in working as an entertainer and the public eye that comes with it had been a range of sizes.

In an interview with CNN, she said that she knows she has been a good role model, and this has helped her succeed in a world where women are scrutinized and criticized for their appearance.

“I have felt the pressure of representation throughout my career,” she revealed to CNN. “I’m glad that I decided to be me. I’m glad I had parents who raised me with enough self-love and constantly filled me with self-esteem.” 

Queen Latifah is on a mission to empower people, and she’s using her TV show as an opportunity for that. Queen recently partnered with Novo Nordisk to organize a campaign to realign the conversation about obesity: weight and health. 

“There has been a lot of stigma attached to that world [obesity], a lot of history to that word, a lot of ignorance attached to that word … and a lot of negativity throughout people’s lives,” she added. 

The “It’s Bigger Than Me” campaign will allow Queen Latifah to travel for conversations in cities such as Houston, New York City, and Los Angeles. 

Queen Latifah wants to put more thought into the effect of obesity on health and spend less time blaming themselves for their body size. She found out that 41% of Americans are obese, including four out of five Black women. 

She stated that she has fought to have a change in perspective over the past years. 

The Equalizer star added that she had witnessed artists who have been one size before launching music only to rapidly transform their bodies when it’s time to promote their new releases that have become massive hits. 

“When you’re someone that’s looking at that, it’s like ‘Ok, is this what I need to do next time I drop this album,'” she stated. “So, I contemplated that, and it really made me have a conversation with myself.” 

Queen Latifah, who has lost a loved one due to obesity complications, stated that she has always considered the term to refer to someone who weighs hundreds of pounds and is immobilized. 

So, she was surprised to learn from her trainer that she would be obese at one point. However, Queen Latifah stated that she’s okay with answering questions regarding her own weight journey on tour to divulge it all. 

“One of the scariest things is watching people secretly do surgeries,” she stated of those who have been hesitant to disclose their weight journey to the public. “Because a lot of people feel alone when it comes to this topic. They deal with their emotions alone, they feel alone.” 

The star wants to urge people to speak to their doctors and take the wheels to their health. 

“Information is power,” she stated.

SNL is a Memorable Show for Pete Davidson

Photo: EW

Saturday Night Live season 47 finale saw Pete Davidson assume the role of himself in a final confessional segment.

The comic, who jumped into the SNL line-up during season 40 as one of the youngest cast members at age 20, was primarily known for breaking his sketches in his early years. However, during his stint, he has caught fans’ love with his often unguarded self-deprecating visits to the show’s news desks, unfolding topics from his mental health issues to laughing about headline-reaching relationships and splits.

Davidson, 28, is among the cast’s most widely known stars, attributed to his relationship with ex-fiancee Ariana Grande and now girlfriend, Kim Kardashian. He met these two during guest appearances on the NBC show. 

“I never imagined this would be my life,” revealed Davidson during his last episode as a cast member, sitting beside a photo of himself during his Weekend Update cameo on his first-ever episode in September 2014. 

“Back then, I was just a skinny kid, and no one knew what race I was. Now everyone knows I’m white because I became hugely successful while barely showing up to work,” he said, joking about his absences one the last few seasons. 

He claims many things have changed throughout Davidson’s time on the show. 

“In three years, Fox News went from calling me a monster for making fun of Congressman Dan Crenshaw’s eye patch to also making fun of Dan Crenshaw’s eye patch,” he jested, referring to Tucker Carlson’s mockery of the controversial Republican lawmaker who Davidson was once coerced to seek apology to in-person after saying a dumb jab on an Update episode. 

When asked if there were anything he would miss following his departure from SNL, Davidson mentioned show boss Lorne Michaels.

“He’s amazing. He’s led us through the COVID era even though the only time he wears a mask is at his Eyes Wide Shut parties,” he said laughing, proceeding to divulge a few of Michaels’ advice throughout the years that he so valued. 

“Really, this is all true advice that Lorne’s given me. I’ll never forget this, I called him when I got engaged, ‘Lorne, I just got engaged to Arian Grande after dating for two weeks,’ and he said, ‘Oh, hold on for dear life.'” 

“When I auditioned for SNL, he said, ‘I don’t think you’re right for the show, so let’s screw this up together,’ and that’s exactly what we did,” Davidson revealed.

“That’s why people who don’t think I deserve this job shouldn’t hate me since we have so much in common. If anything, I should inspire hope that literally anyone could be on Saturday Night Live. Seriously, you see a guy bumming cigarettes outside a 7-Eleven at 2 am; that’s not some meth-head; that’s the next Pete Davidson.”

Davidson became visibly sentimental as he stated his genuine appreciation for his moments on the show. 

“I appreciate SNL always having my back and allowing me to work on myself and grow. Thank you to Lorne for never giving up on me or judging me even when everyone else was, and believing in me and allowing me to have a place that I can call home with memories that will last a lifetime. So thank you, guys.”

BBC Breakfast Presenter Dan Walker is Ready to Move On and Leave the Show

Photo: BBC

Dan Walker is leaving his gig as a presenter on BBC Breakfast, and he will be moving on to other shows on Channel 5. It’s been an incredible six years working alongside the team at BBC. 

“It’s always been my dream to do a job like this. It feels a bit surreal I won’t be sitting on the sofa anymore,” Walker revealed on Tuesday’s episode. 

Former co-host Louis Minchin made a shocking comeback to wave him off.

“It’s very emotional to be here. You have touched the hearts of the nation. I loved working with you, and we had such fun times,” said Minchin to Walker. “He’s never going to let you down … when things were going wrong, he’d look you in the eye and say: ‘You got this.’ You give people confidence, and that’s a beautiful thing.” 

The Salford Breakfast studio displayed a wide variety of pictures from Walker’s childhood to the present day, with an ample amount being shown in honor of his send-off. 

A “best bits” montage showing messages from fans, funny moments – such as the time strongman Eddie Hall raised him into the air, and poignant ones – including the fly-past for Tony Foulds, a man who has catered a memorial to 10 US airmen for decades. 

The fly-past started following Walker’s encounter with Foulds by chance and revealed his story. There were recorded farewells from prominent personalities such as Olympic champions Jessica Ennis-Hill and Adam Peaty, as well as a former rugby league star Rob Burrows – whose illness on motor neuron disease was followed by BBC Breakfast. 

“I’ve had so many incredible memories. Thank you for tuning in,” said Walker. “Things change. Change can be tough sometimes, but it’s also good. Keep watching, and thank you for having me.

“I love doing this job, and I always find it amazing that other people enjoy watching you do something that you love.” 

It was an emotional time for Walker as he received video messages from all of his Strictly Come Dancing colleagues, including Nadia Bychkova, who said that she had such a great time coaching him. Video messages from Strictly judges and dancers such as Shirley Ballas and Anton du Beke were also shown. 

“Thank you for making me laugh my legs off, for being funny and kind, thank you for being my friend,” said co-presenter Sally Nugent. 

Walker tweeted his sentiments about his final show – that he had two hours and 46 minutes of sleep before this last episode, joking it was “not the best prep for the final day.” 

He has been the main anchor for BBC’s Football Focus event from 2009 until 2021, when it was handed over to Alex Scott. 

He will now replace Sian Williams as the Channel 5 news anchor. Williams announced her departure from the channel earlier this year. Like Walker, she was also from the BBC Breakfast sofa and went to Channel 5 in 2016. 

Walker announced his departure in a video posted on Twitter last month, captioning that it was a “massive decision” to bow out of the BBC, but “I don’t think opportunities like this come around very often.”

Miley Cyrus Divulged Details of her Encounter with Fax Machines Through Dolly Parton

Photo: EW

Miley Cyrus revealed some more delightful details about her godmother Dolly Parton in a recent interview. 

In Late Night With Seth Meyers, Cyrus revealed a cute detail of her collaboration with Parton for their 2022 T-Mobile commercial for the Super Bowl. She said it’s ironic that the music icon is part of a promo for modern technology when she still depends on fax machines to communicate. 

“It was amazing because she was doing it for the phones, yet every time I coordinate and communicate with Dolly, it’s still through fax,” said Cyrus. “So, I don’t know what she’s talking about. She’s rarely on the phone.” 

When Meyers attempted to joke about how the commercial now feels like false advertising, Cyrus explained that the 76-year-old singer has tried using cell phones with assistance from others but remains to blend fax machines for her communications.

“We do use the phone, but she does the fax, and then someone scans the fax, and then they put it into a text message, and then that gets sent to me,” Cyrus further stated. 

“And it’s always signed, so now I’ve kind of started my own version where I go into the notes, and I’ve started to try to make my own letters, because there’s something so amazing … just about a connection, it’s not casual, you know? You know that she took the time to get out, I guess, her typewriter.” 

But the most notable effort at communicating with Parton includes a cassette tape and flip phone. A process the icon proudly calls “high-tech.” 

“She made me a demo one time where she talks about being super high-tech, but it was all through a cassette, which she then voice memoed onto a flip phone, which someone then put onto the iPhone, which then got sent to me,” Cyrus added. 

Yet, Parton was open to exploring something new when it came to Cyrus’ cover of her smash hit song “Light of a Clear Blue Morning” for Saturday Night Live’s cold open last May, a last-minute decision by Lorne Michaels. 

“I got a fax. She loved it,” stated Cyrus. “She loves when I introduce my fans to her music in a way that’s still me.” 

Dolly Parton has been an icon for over six decades. She’s best known today for her contribution to country music, but she started with humble beginnings–and won many awards along this journey.