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Chita Rivera, Andrew Lloyd Webber set for lifetime Tonys
Actor Chita Rivera and composer/producer Andrew Lloyd Webber have been named the 2018 recipients of Special Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theater.

The honors are to be bestowed at the 72nd annual Tony Awards ceremony June 10 at New York City's Radio City Music Hall.

The Tonys gala celebrates excellence on Broadway. Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles are hosting this year's event, which will air live on CBS. Nominations in competitive categories are to be announced May 1.

"The cultural impact that Chita and Andrew have had on the international theater community and on theater education, has been immeasurable," Heather Hitchens, president and chief executive officer of the American Theatre Wing, and Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, said in a joint statement. "They are ground-breakers, they are inspirations and we are truly honored to recognize these two incredible legends with the Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement."

Rivera, 85, said her interest in performing began at a young age when she trained in ballet in Washington, D.C.

"When I came to New York and auditioned for George Balanchine, who gave me a scholarship to the School of American Ballet, I could never have imagined the amazing journey I have had in the theater. I would not trade my life in the theater for anything as the theater IS life," she said. "I am deeply honored to be recognized with the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theater this year."

"I am completely overwhelmed as a Brit to be honored by the Broadway community at the Tonys, particularly at the time when musicals are flying higher in their spiritual home New York than they have for two generations," Webber, 70, said.

Congratulations are in order for seven-time Tony Award® winning composer @OfficialALW, a recipient of this year's Lifetime Achievement Award. #TonyAwards2018 #ThisIsBroadway pic.twitter.com/rhOz9d1B0R- The Tony Awards (@TheTonyAwards) April 23, 2018


'Lethal Weapon' actor Clayne Crawford apologizes for on-set behavior
Clayne Crawford said in an Instagram post Tuesday he is grateful for his job on the FOX series Lethal Weapon and hopes fans "will stick with me and stick with the show."

The actor's message came in the wake of a Deadline.com report that said the show was in danger of cancellation or Crawford might be replaced on it, due to alleged unprofessional behavior he demonstrated on the show's set. The network has not publicly commented on the matter.

Crawford, 40, described the media report as "incredibly distressing," but confirmed he has been reprimanded twice during the past two seasons of the cop dramedy.

"The first reprimand was because I reacted with anger over working conditions that did not feel safe or conducive to good work under the leadership of a guest director and assistant director, who, in turn, were angry at my response. I met with human resources, I apologized for my part of the conflict, and I completed studio appointed therapy in October. I even shared a sizeable portion of my paycheck with one of the parties involved, per the instruction of the studio," he wrote. "The second reprimand happened just a few weeks ago during the episode I was directing. An actor on set felt unsafe because a piece of shrapnel from an effect hit him. It was an unfortunate event that happened in spite of all precautions and procedures being followed. I take responsibility for the incident, because I was in charge of the set."

Crawford praised all of his collaborators and insisted he "would never intentionally jeopardize so many jobs."

"I am incredibly sorry if my passion for doing good work has ever made anyone feel less than comfortable on set or feel less than celebrated for their efforts. Furthermore, I apologize to all the crew and cast for any negative attention Lethal Weapon is receiving because of these incidents," he said.


LOOSE LIPS:
"I felt like some kid worked really, really hard and I inherited all of his money. It allows me to treat everything like a hobby."
--Macaulay Culkin, on receiving all the money he'd made as a child actor when he turned 18, on The Ellen DeGeneres Show



??? Guess Who ???

Which new Amazon series was renewed before its Season 1 premiere?


Prince's heirs sue Illinois hospital, Walgreens
The heirs of Prince's estate have filed a lawsuit against an Illinois hospital that treated him for an overdose one week before his death in 2016.

Filed by the trustee of the recording artist's estate Friday, the lawsuit accuses Trinity Medical Center in Moline, Ill., of not properly investigating or treating Prince's overdose. The suit also names Walgreens pharmacy for issuing Prince a prescription under the wrong name.

The lawsuit was filed one day shy of the two-year anniversary of the singer's death, which is when the statute of limitations on wrongful death lawsuits expires in Illinois. It came two days after investigators in Carver County, Minn., said there would be no criminal charges associated with Prince's overdose death.

Prince died April 21, 2016, at his Paisley Park estate of an overdose of fentanyl, an opioid.

Prince was hospitalized six days before his death in Molina, Ill., as he was en route back home to Minnesota from a performance in Atlanta. His plane made an emergency landing in Illinois and though his publicist said Prince had flu-like symptoms, he was given Narcan, an opioid antidote, indicating he had overdosed on the plane.

Health officials at the hospital in Illinois "failed to timely and appropriately diagnose and treat opiate overdose; failed to provide timely and appropriate counseling for opiate overdose; failed to timely and appropriately investigate the cause of opiate overdose," the lawsuit said.

Court documents also accuse one Walgreens in Illinois and another in Minnesota of dispensing narcotic prescriptions to Prince -- both in April 2016 -- under a different name. The suit accused the pharmacies and its employees of "dispensing medications not valid for a legitimate medical purpose and failing to conduct appropriate drug utilization review."


Hank Azaria on 'Simpsons' Apu controversy: 'My eyes have been opened'
Simpsons voice actor Hank Azaria, appeared on The Late Show to discuss the controversy surrounding his Indian-American character Apu and offered his views on how to take Apu in a new direction.

"The idea that anyone young or old, past or present, being bullied based on Apu really makes me sad," Azaria said Tuesday to host Stephen Colbert about how Apu has been seen as a harmful stereotype of South Asian people. "It certainly was not my intention. I wanted to bring joy and laughter to people."

Azaria, also known for voicing bar owner Mo, police chief Wiggin and many others on The Simpsons, also said he disagreed with how the long-running animated comedy recently dealt with criticism of Apu in an episode where Lisa said, "Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?"

"I think if anyone came away from that segment thinking they need to lighten up...that's definitely not the message that I want to send," Azaria said after stating that he had nothing to do with the writing of the episode.

Azaria, when asked by Colbert what the future holds for Apu, said that he was willing to step aside from the role and pushed for more inclusion in the writers room.

"I've given this a lot of thought, and as I say my eyes have been opened," he said. "I think the most important thing is we have to listen to South Asian people, Indian people in this country, when they talk about what they feel and how they think about this character, and what their American experience of it has been... Listening to voices means inclusion in the writers' room. I really want to see Indian, South Asian writers in the writers' room, not in a token way, but genuinely informing whatever new direction this character may take, including how it is voiced or not voiced," he said.

"I'm perfectly willing and happy to step aside -- or help transition it into something new," he continued. "I really hope that's what The Simpsons does. It not only makes sense, but it just feels like the right thing to do, to me."


??? Guess Who ???

Which new Amazon series was renewed before its Season 1 premiere?

Amazon said Tuesday it has ordered a second season of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, starring and produced by John Krasinski.

The global thriller will get its Season 1 premiere on Amazon Prime Video Aug. 31 and filming on Season 2 is to take place this summer in Europe, South America and the United States, the streaming service said in a news release.

"With so much early anticipation for Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan from our customers and personally having the pleasure to preview the exhilarating, action-packed first season, we are excited to green-light a second season of the series months ahead of its debut," Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said in a statement.

Krasinski, 38, is best known for starring in the television comedy The Office and for acting, directing and co-writing the horror film A Quiet Place. CIA agent Jack Ryan has previously been played by Chris Pine, Ben Affleck, Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford in screen adaptations of Clancy's popular spy novels.

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