Ott for 'Cold Mountain' The most hotly awaited event of the opera season just got a new leading man. Cold Mountain, the years-in-the-works Jennifer Higdon opera based on Charles Frazier's 1997 Civil War-era novel, was written with star baritone Nathan Gunn in mind - but he has been replaced by up-and-coming Jarrett Ott. Gunn withdrew from the Feb. 5-14 run at the Academy of Music. His stated reason was family illness.
El Chapo vs. Sean Penn Are cartel assassins after Sean Penn's head? The blogosphere is alight with rumors that druglord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera, who was recaptured Friday after nearly six months on the lam, may blame Penn and Mexican TV star Kate del Castillo for leading cops to him.
The National Enquirer on Wednesday issued a somewhat alarmist report: Beloved American vocalist Barry Manilow, 72, has been hospitalized after he "suffered a heart attack scare," as the publication put it. Manilow reportedly sought medical care Oct. 17 after having heart palpitations. Manilow's people have yet to comment.
Henson entertainer of year Empire star Taraji P. Henson has won the coveted title of USA Today's entertainer of the year. Henson, 45, whose films include Hustle & Flow and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which garnered her an Oscar nomination, plays eminently quotable matriarch Cookie Lyon on Fox's hip-hop soaper. She marvels at how quickly she's gained name recognition.
Tirdad Derakhshani was born in Tehran, Iran, and raised in London and rural North Jersey, where he closely studied a theoretical, radical post-Hegelian approach to cow-tipping. He moved to Philadelphia in the mid-'80s to seek enlightenment, and instead received a B.A. in literature at Penn. While pursuing doctoral studies in modern religious thought and philosophy, he worked at the Inquirer as a news clerk, researcher, editor, and entertainment writer.
He hopes SideShow will help citizens better understand the vicissitudes of the Consumerist-Military-Industrial-Infotainment Complex, or, in other words, why Britney Spears has a tendency to shave her head, Brangelina to adopt children, and Lindsay Lohan to crave imprisonment.
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