Sara Bareilles opens up about her Broadway musical ‘Waitress’ coming to movie theaters

Bleeker Street

Sugar, butter, popcorn! The Broadway hit Waitress: The Musical is now available to watch in movie theaters nationwide for a limited engagement December 7 through December 11.

The show’s composer, lyricist and star Sara Bareilles told ABC Audio it’s great that the musical, which is based on the eponymous 2007 film starring Keri Russell, is now accessible to so many more people.

“The pandemic became another catalyst for realizing that, you know, the world is shifting, and people’s means don’t always make room for trips to New York City and seeing theater shows,” Bareilles said.

Bareilles said the show, which follows the journey of small-town diner employee Jenna, is about so much more than pie – though there is plenty of that, too.

“Ultimately this show is about resiliency and the journey to love yourself,” Bareilles said. “To choose to love yourself in spite of hardship, in spite of [a] broken relationship, in spite of bad choices.”

Along the way, Jenna makes mistakes on her road to happiness. Bareilles said this only makes her more human.

“I just don’t know people in real life who fall into these categories of, like, hero and villain. I think we all exist somewhere in between,” Bareilles said. “Waitress does a really good job of holding the balance between darkness and light and letting it kind of swim in the gray matter.”

In fact, Bareilles said the show draws you in with its humor. For example, there’s a recurring gag where Jenna gives her original pie recipes funny names. Bareilles said that she, like Jenna, is definitely a pie person.

“There’s sort of, like, pie and then cake people, you know. And we don’t mix,” Bareilles said. “I have always been a pie person. I continue to be a pie person.” 

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

“Proud” Charlie Sheen talks changes, sobriety and the tiger-blooded “alien” version of himself

Sheen- and Maniscalco in ‘Bookie’ — John Johnson/Max

In an interview with People, Charlie Sheen — whose name was once synonymous with partying — says he’s been clean and sober for a long time.

“Next month I’ll be six years sober,” says Sheen, who explains he stopped using drugs before he stopped drinking.

His “consistent” life is “all about single dad stuff, and raising my 14-year-old twin boys [with ex-wife Brooke Mueller] Max and Bob.”

Sheen continues, “Now I wake up early, around 4:30 or 5 a.m., get an early jump on the news, work out, answer emails. Then I get the kids up and help them with their morning routine.”

The actor describes the day in 2017 that prompted him to quit drinking. “One morning I’d forgotten my daughter had an appointment I’d promised to drive her to, and I’d already had a couple of pops that day.” Sheen shares daughters Sami, 19, and Lola, 18, with his ex-wife Denise Richards.

He says a friend gave them a lift “and I could just tell she was thinking, ‘Why isn’t dad driving?’ … And the next morning I just stopped.”

Sheen recalls, “I was like, I’m going to have [to] give it a month, just see if I feel any better, and if my interactions with those that are closest to me improve. And they did.” He noted, “I couldn’t be in denial about it anymore.”

After a 12-year feud during the chaotic “Tiger Blood” days, Sheen now has a recurring role on his former Two and a Half Men boss Chuck Lorre‘s new dark dramedy Bookie, opposite comedian and actor Sebastian Maniscalco.

Calling the headline-grabbing bad old days “some alien version of myself,” Charlie says he’s proud of the changes he’s made, adding that his life today “will never look like that mess.”

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‘Barbie’, ‘Oppenheimer’, ‘Abbott Elementary’ and ‘The Bear’ among 2023 titles saluted by American Film Institute

Warner Bros. Pictures

The American Film Institute has named its 10 outstanding motion pictures and its 10 best TV shows of the year.

As always, the titles selected by AFI were “deemed culturally and artistically representative of this year’s most significant achievements in the art of the moving image.”

On the big screen, this year’s selections include Barbie and its release date twinsie Oppenheimer; Bradley Cooper‘s Maestro also made the cut, as did the animated Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Martin Scorsese‘s Killers of the Flower Moon, the dramedy American Fiction and the dramas The Holdovers, Past Lives, Poor Things and May December.

On the TV side of things, ABC’s comedy Abbott Elementary got the nod from the AFI, as did FX’s acclaimed The Bear and Reservation Dogs, Netflix’s Beef, Amazon Freevee’s Jury Duty, Apple TV+’s The Morning Show, Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building, Peacock’s Poker Face, and HBO’s Succession and its video game adaptation The Last of Us.

In the announcement, AFI President and CEO Bob Gazzale expressed, “As our nation and our world continue to navigate difficult times, AFI is honored to shine a proper light upon these works of art that lift us up and, ultimately, lead us to empathy.”

All of the honorees will gather on Friday, January 12, for recognition at the annual AFI Awards private luncheon.

Gazzale said honoring all of the selected projects without competition “is AFI’s hallmark, and we are proud to gather this community of artists together — as one — to celebrate their extraordinary contributions to our time.”

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Donald Glover and Maya Erskine navigate espionage, marriage in teaser trailer to ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’ series

Prime Video/David Lee

On Thursday, Prime Video released the globe-trotting teaser trailer to its forthcoming Mr. & Mrs. Smith series, based on the hit 2005 film starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

As reported, Donald Glover and Maya Erskine are the titular couple this time around, and in a departure from the movie’s plot, the two aren’t a bored married couple hiding their day jobs as assassins.

Instead, the streaming service teases, the leads play a pair of “lonely strangers who land jobs working for a mysterious spy agency that offers them a glorious life of espionage, wealth, world travel, and a dream brownstone in Manhattan.”

The only catch: Their new identities as Mr. John Smith and Mrs. Jane Smith.

“Now hitched, John and Jane navigate a high-risk mission every week while also facing a new relationship milestone,” Prime Video continues.

“I have to be clear: I’m not in this for the romance,” Erskine’s character warns Glover’s. Still, their chemistry is undeniable — and as they put distance between themselves, bullets and bombs, they get closer to each other.

Blame it on the adrenaline, or the exotic locales, but awkward silences between them lead to a kiss midway through the teaser — and a dinner party question that gets a giggle from the pair: “How’s the intimacy between you two?”

Later, Jane asks John in a private moment, “What do you think happens if we fail?” He asks, “Our marriage?” She corrects, “Our mission.”

The exchange dovetails into Prime Video’s query: “What’s riskier: espionage or marriage?”

Atlanta Emmy winner Glover co-wrote series, which also stars The Batman‘s Paul Dano and Emmy winner John Turturro, as well as Eiza González, Ron Perlman, Billy Campbell, Úrsula Corberó, Michaela Coel and Parker Posey.

The eight-episode Mr. & Mrs. Smith debuts February 2.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Bradley Cooper spotted in NYC serving hot Philly cheesesteaks from a food truck pop-up, Danny & Coop’s

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Crab cakes and football may be what Maryland does, as famously touted in Wedding Crashers, but Bradley Cooper gave New York City a taste of his real-life hometown’s signature sandwich, Philly cheesesteaks.

In a black food truck parked on the corner of West 3rd Street and 6th Avenue, the Maestro star and director served up the iconic sandwiches Wednesday, alongside Danny DiGiampietro and Seth Braunstein from Angelo’s Pizzeria of South Philly.

“Afternoon bread heads, come on down, get a cheesesteak,” Cooper said with a smile while manning the flat top inside Danny & Coop’s Cheesesteaks pop-up truck. “He’s a natural,” DiGiampietro boasted in an Instagram video.

Pennsylvania native Peter Hand, director of entertainment brand solutions for Disney, told Good Morning America he was in town for work when his phone “started blowing up” with text messages from friends telling him he has to go downtown for a bite of the famed cheesesteaks.

Despite the lengthy line of hungry fans, Hand snagged a sandwich on the famed sesame seed roll, telling GMA, “It was so cheesy, the meat was delicious, and of course the bread is the standout portion of it. It’s obviously freshly baked that day and it’s arguably the best cheesesteak I’ve certainly had in New York, but it’s my favorite from Philadelphia too.”

Cooper, who worked in pizzerias as a kid and went on to star in the 2015 chef drama Burnt, had his ServSafe food handler card with him to help on the line for cheesesteak service Wednesday.

The team has already established an Instagram account dedicated to Danny & Coop’s; it has amassed more than 4K followers as of Thursday morning.

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Ricky Gervais donates more than $2 million from concert tour to 11 animal charities

Netflix/Matt Crockett

Ricky Gervais has announced that $2.4 million raised from premium tickets sold during his blockbuster Armageddon world comedy tour will be helping out some furry friends.

A lot of them, actually.

The proceeds from the 85 sell-out arena dates had been earmarked for a good cause: That pot will go to 11 animal charities all over the world.

The ticket sales will benefit All Dogs Matter, Animal SOS Sri Lanka, Catastrophes Cat Rescue, Chaldon Animal Sanctuary, Dogs On The Streets, Helping Rhinos, Millions of Friends, Mira USA, Paws2Rescue, PDSA (The UK’s People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals) and Wild Futures.

In a statement, The Office creator joked, “I hope the dogs, cats, rhinos and monkeys invest this money wisely, because when my career goes t*** up I’ll need it back.”

Armageddon premieres on Netflix on Christmas Day.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh, Emmy winner Sandra Oh & more in teaser to Paramount+’s ‘Tiger’s Apprentice’ toon


A who’s who of top Asian talent can be heard in the new teaser trailer to Paramount+’s forthcoming animated adventure The Tiger’s Apprentice.

Based on the bestselling novel of the same name, the film from Paramount Animation features the voices of Everything Everywhere All at Once‘s Michelle Yeoh, Killing Eve‘s Sandra Oh, Emmy nominee Lucy Liu and Crazy Rich Asians heartthrob Henry Golding.

Like Laurence Yep‘s book, the life of typical American teenager Tom Lee (Brandon Soo Hoo) takes a turn “when he discovers he is part of a long lineage of magical protectors known as the Guardians.”

Golding voices a mythical tiger named Hu, who trains the lad to take on Loo (Yeoh), described as “a force that is as powerful as a Guardian but with evil intentions to use magic to destroy humanity.”

The teaser shows the teen undergoing a training session and pulling off not only a slow-motion Matrix-style dodge of a ninja star trap, but a superhero landing.

Saturday Night Live‘s Bowen Yang also fills out the voice cast, as does Joy Ride scene stealer Sherry Cola, Ahsoka‘s Diana Lee Inosanto and comedian/actor Jo Koy.

The film will debut on the streaming platform February 2.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

In Brief: ‘ Squid Game: The Challenge’ gets green light for second season, and more

Squid Game: The Challenge was renewed for a second season ahead of its final episode, Wednesday, December 6, which concluded will Mai taking home $4.56 million — the largest prize in reality TV history. Squid Game: The Challenge pits 456 players against “a series of games inspired by the original show,” as well as “surprising new additions.” Netflix is currently casting for contestants for season two…

Entertainment company A24 has cut a deal with Warner Bros. Discovery to bring its films exclusively to HBO, Max and Cinemax following their theatrical runs. The films available under the new deal include the Elvis Presley film Priscilla; Zac Efron and Jeremy Allen White‘s upcoming wrestling film The Iron Claw, as well as the critically acclaimed Uncut Gems and Oscar winners Everything Everywhere All at Once and The Whale

Prime Video is bringing Harlem back for a third season. Season 3 of the Tracy Oliver comedy series will return with best girlfriends Camille, Quinn, Angie and Ian — played respectively by Meagan Good, Grace Byers, Shoniqua Shandai and Jerrie Johnson — “continuing to navigate life while leveling up in New York’s vibrant city of Harlem,” per the streaming service. Tyler Lepley also stars…

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National Board of Review gives Scorsese, Gladstone flowers for ‘Flower Moon’

ABC/Randy Holmes

Killers of the Flower Moon was named best picture by The National Board of Review, and also earned top prizes for its director Martin Scorsese and co-star Lily Gladstone.

Paul Giamatti took home the best actor award for his role in The Holdovers, with the film’s Da’Vine Joy Randolph grabbing supporting actress honors. Mark Ruffalo took home the best supporting actor prize for his turn in Poor Things.

Sean Durkin‘s The Iron Claw was hailed as the best ensemble of 2023.

The NBR Awards Gala, hosted by NBC News Sunday Today host and MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host Willie Geist, will take place January 11 at Cipriani 42nd Street, in New York City.

Here’s the full list of winners:

Best Film
Killers of the Flower Moon

Best Director
Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon

Best Actor
Paul Giamatti, The Holdovers

Best Actress
Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon

Best Supporting Actor
Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things

Best Supporting Actress
Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers

NBR Icon Award
Bradley Cooper

Best Original Screenplay
The Holdovers

Best Adapted Screenplay
Poor Things

Breakthrough Performance
Teyana Taylor, A Thousand and One

Best Directorial Debut
Celine Song, Past Lives

Best Animated Feature
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Best International Film
Anatomy of a Fall

Best Documentary
Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie

Best Ensemble
The Iron Claw

Outstanding Achievement in Stunt Artistry
John Wick: Chapter 4

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography
Barbie and Killers of the Flower Moon

Top Films (in alphabetical order)
The Boy and the Heron
The Holdovers
The Iron Claw
Past Lives
Poor Things

Top 5 International Films (in alphabetical order)
La Chimera
Fallen Leaves
The Teachers’ Lounge
The Zone of Interest

Top 5 Documentaries (in alphabetical order)
20 Days in Mariupol
32 Sounds
The Eternal Memory
The Pigeon Tunnel
A Still Small Voice

Top 10 Independent Films (in alphabetical order):
All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt
All of Us Strangers
Earth Mama
Flora and Son
The Persian Version
Showing Up
Theater Camp
A Thousand and One

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Anne Hathaway and Thomasin McKenzie “go deep” in their new thriller ‘Eileen’

Jeong Park

In the new movie Eileen, Oscar winner Anne Hathaway plays Rebecca, an alluring psychologist at a juvenile detention facility, who draws Thomasin McKenzie‘s withdrawn title character out of her shell. 

Hathaway tells ABC Audio there were “so many reasons” she wanted to take part in the thriller, which opens this weekend.

“[O]ne of them is I’m really interested in the idea of facades,” Hathaway explains.

“And I think that Eileen and Rebecca each have one,” she continues. “You know, I think that Rebecca’s facade is glamor. Eileen‘s facade is … she just looks like … sort of a nice girl in a nice neighborhood. They each have so much more going on than their surfaces would imply.”

The Devil Wears Prada star adds, “In each in their own way, they want to feel love. You know, I think that Rebecca really enjoys feeling kind of worshiped and adored, and I think Eileen‘s ready to offer that. And I think Eileen really wants to feel loved.”

For McKenzie, it was all about the challenge of playing Eileen, who is, until she meets Hathaway’s character, boxed in at work, and by a domineering father at home.

The character “presented such a wonderful opportunity for me to go as deep as I possibly could into a character’s psychology and explore that kind of level of darkness and loneliness and isolation,” she maintains. 

Fueling that performance? Apparently, treats from the Oscar winner, McKenzie recalls with a laugh. “You always had, like really amazing snacks in your bag,” she recalls, smiling to Hathaway. “And I remember you had these, like, little cookie dough bites. That was so good. And like feeding them to me,” she says with a laugh.

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