TIME Theater

John Cameron Mitchell to Reprise Hedwig Role on Broadway

John Cameron Mitchell
John Cameron Mitchell Charles Sykes—Invision/AP

The actor and writer created Hedwig in 1998 and went on to direct and star in a 2001 film aversion

Neil Patrick Harris, Andrew Rannells and Michael C. Hall have all taken a crack at the Broadway musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, but now the man who first brought its titular character to life is taking over.

Next year, John Cameron Mitchell will reprise the role he co-created in 1998, when Hedwig made its debut at the Jane Street Theater. The musical follows a transgender frontwoman of an East Germany rock band.

Mitchell begins an eight-week run at Broadway’s Belasco Theatre on Jan. 21. The 51-year-old told the New York Times that he would be working with a trainer and adjusting the choreography to accommodate his age.

“15 years ago she kicked my butt so hard that I quit acting,” Mitchell said in a statement. “But like an expertly face-lifted ex-wife, she’s lured me back.”

Mitchell also starred in the 2001 film adaptation of the play, which he directed himself.

TIME Music

Iggy Azalea and Ellie Goulding Pay Haters No Mind on ‘Heavy Crown’

Iggy Azalea
Iggy Azalea Todd Williamson—Invision/AP

The Aussie rapper and the "Burn" singer join forces

Iggy Azalea knows exactly what you think about her, so as she kicks off her 2014 victory lap — marked by next week’s The New Classic reissue, Reclassified — she’s making sure to gloat. The Australian rapper dedicates new song “Heavy Crown” to “everyone who said I’d never make it.” She lets a hook from “Burn” siren Ellie Goulding warn listeners that the emcee is sticking to her guns, no matter how polarizing: “You can’t always please the crowd / but I’m still not bowing down… bitch, I got it now.”

“Heavy Crown” won’t change the minds of anyone who’s already written off the rapper, but Iggy’s double-time rap over the militaristic march seems more at ease than the occasionally clunky verses on early singles. (See her hate-it-or-love-it verse on “Work.”) Iggy critics have docked points for the way her rapping style can sound forced and over-studied, but “Heavy Crown” suggests she’s discovering how to not to be so stiff. In the year that saw “Fancy” stay No. 1 for seven weeks, she’s certainly earned the right to kick back and relax.

TIME celebrities

Anna Wintour Implies Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Are Not ‘Deeply Tasteful’

Vogue Kanye West & Kim Kardashian
Vogue

"I hope another Kim Kardashian comes this year!" said the Vogue editor

When Vogue magazine put (a fully clothed) Kim Kardashian and Kanye West on its cover earlier this year with the unwieldy hashtag #worldsmosttalkedaboutcouple, some accused the magazine of being desperate for buzz. (Never mind that the issue’s sales reportedly failed to meet expectations.)

But during a talk at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday, Vogue editor Anna Wintour said being the #worldsmosttalkedaboutmagazine has always been the goal — while also suggesting that the two stars are not “deeply tasteful” people.

“I think if we just remain deeply tasteful and just put deeply tasteful people on the cover it would be a rather boring magazine,” Wintour said. (Is she unaware that, as far as Kim covers go, the Vogue appearance was about as tasteful as you can get? Did the Paper cover break the Internet at Condé Nast?) “Nobody would talk about us. It’s very important that people do talk about us.”

Wintour sounds like she’s throwing a lot of shade at the couple, but the rest of the editor’s comments appear to be complimentary. She said Estée Lauder’s decision to make Kardashian’s half-sister Kendall Jenner their new face was “fantastic,” and Wintour also said she has a long history of putting controversial celebrities (such as Madonna) on the cover of the magazine and helping make them “part of the establishment.”

“I hope another Kim Kardashian comes this year!” Wintour concluded. The Internet has been warned.

TIME Music

Hear Part of Beyoncé’s New Song ’7/11′

Beyonce
Beyoncé Jordan Strauss—Invision/AP

Put your hands up — the Shazam app says it's real

New Beyoncé music is imminent, but it’s closer than fans might think. Following reports that Bey’s new single “7/11″ would hit radio waves next week, when her Beyoncé Platinum Edition Box Set drops, an apparent snippet of that song hit the Internet on Wednesday.

Her fans have been burned before when it comes to rumors of new releases, but the clip certainly sounds like Beyoncé, albeit more auto-tuned than usual. It also sounds like the beat could come from “Drunk in Love” producer Detail, whose name (Noel Fisher) has appeared in purported credits. BuzzFeed ran it through the song-identification app Shazam — and so did we — which strongly suggests it’s authentic.

TIME Music

Asia’s Dancing Queen May Have Given Us the Year’s Best Pop Music Video

...Or at least the most ridiculous

Take a moment to remember the year’s most memorable pop videos, like when Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX recreated Clueless in their colorful “Fancy” clip. Or the time Nicki Minaj showed off her, uh, assets in “Anaconda.” Or the time Ariana Grande fired missiles from her chest in her sci-fi parody “Break Free.” And don’t forget all the dance moves and outfits T-Swift tried out in “Shake It Off.”

Now pretend you took all those videos and threw them into a blender — “Play” is what you’d get after a few seconds on high power, and still so much more. The song is from Taiwanese pop star Jolin Tsai, who’s been recording music since she was a teenager in the 1990s, and it’s the title track off her 13th studio album, due later this month. Nudity, aerobics-inspired choreography and fantastical colors all play major roles in the Sims-inspired clip. Also, someone gets hit in the face with a ukelele, so there’s that, too.

Just see for yourself above — you’ll be asking “Oh my God, who is she?” in no time.

TIME Music

Meghan Trainor Kisses Cheating Boyfriend Goodbye in ‘Lips Are Movin’

The song sounds a little too familiar

Meghan Trainor wants to be known for more than just “All About That Bass,” so she’s following up her smash single with a song that sounds… exactly like “All About That Bass.”

From its retro sound to its handclaps and post-chorus chant, “Lips Are Movin” seems designed to milk the success of her breakout hit — the 20-year-old singer even shouts-out “Bass” multiple times on her new track. Is it too early for a young artist to be so self-referential? Probably. But the woman who’s second only to Taylor Swift on the Billboard Hot 100 may see an opening to become the next hit factory of songs about scorned exes. Quick, somebody warn Trainor’s mom.

TIME Television

Hulu Orders New Shows from Amy Poehler and Director Jason Reitman

Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler Casey Curry—Invision/AP

Poehler will executive producer Difficult People, starring Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner

Hulu stepped up its original content game on Tuesday when the streaming television site announced it had picked up new shows from Amy Poehler and director Jason Reitman.

Poehler will executive produce Difficult People, a half-hour comedy about the misadventures of two best friends in New York starring Julie Klausner (who will also executive produce) and Billy Eichner. (Zooey Deschanel recently told TIME about attending Northwestern University with Eichner long before he became the host of the Emmy-nominated Billy on the Street.) The show will start production next year.

Hulu has also ordered 10 episodes of CASUAL, another half-hour comedy, this time executive produced by Juno and Up in the Air director Jason Reitman. The show is about a dysfunctional sibling duo who coach each other through their (online and offline) dating lives, which means it will probably touch on some of the themes Reitman addressed in his recent film about technology and relationships, Men, Women & Children. CASUAL will debut on Hulu in 2015.

TIME Music

Listen to Liz Phair’s ‘Dystopian’ Christmas Song ‘Ho Ho Ho’

Liz Phair
Liz Phair in 2005. Robert E Klein—AP

The song was partially inspired by David Sedaris and "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"

The holidays aren’t always so happy. Instead of putting listeners in a merry mood, Christmas music can sometimes trigger not-so-jolly memories of family gatherings gone awry. “To sing happy music in peoples’ faces is sometimes not always the way to go,” Broadway star Idina Menzel told TIME about her own Christmas album earlier this fall.

But before you cry salty tears into your seasonal red Starbucks cups, Liz Phair is here to cheer you up with her first new song in years, “Ho Ho Ho.” Phair says the track, which appears on the forthcoming Amazon holiday music collection All Is Bright, was partially inspired by “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” and David Sedaris’ “SantaLand Diaries,” which are equal parts cheerful and depressing.

“I’ve always wanted to write a dystopian Christmas song,” the celebrated singer-songwriter told Stereogum, where the song premiered. “Holidays are a time of emotional turbulence, of unpredictable highs and lows. The retail and advertising sectors bill it as the greatest time of the year, but some seasons you are saddled with a real clunker!”

Listen to “Ho Ho Ho” here.

TIME online dating

A New Dating App Grades Profiles and Expels Failing Users

Users who score an "F" on The Grade get banned

To meet your prince in online dating, you have to kiss a lot of frogs — unless one app gets its way.

As its name suggests, The Grade algorithmically assigns a letter grades to users based on their popularity (how often their profiles are liked), the quality of their messages (considering at grammar and tastefulness) and how responsive they are. Those who get an F grade are expelled, and any user who falls below a C grade receives tips on how to stop being such a terrible suitor.

The Grade purports to be the first app of its kind to ban users who don’t cut it in the classroom of singledom. The appmakers say the concept was shaped by “substantial market research” that revealed women who used dating apps were “unhappy with the quality of low-quality daters and the frequency of inappropriate, hostile and sexually suggestive messages.”

Instead of “substantial market research,” the appmakers could also have just asked any woman who tried online dating, ever.

TIME movies

Frequent Tim Burton Collaborator to Pen Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Movie

The writer of Frankenweenie will adapt the books that terrified you as a kid

The movie version of those books that haunted your dreams as a child may not be so scary after all.

Screenwriter John August, who has written multiple screenplays for director Tim Burton, will write CBS Films’ upcoming Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Deadline reports.

The previous screenwriters attached to the project had written the past four Saw films. August, on the other hand, most recently wrote the Oscar-nominated animated Frankenweenie. But it’s hard to imagine there’s a non-terrifying adaptation of the Alvin Schwartz books that featured these twisted illustrations from Stephen Gammell.

The three-book series has sold more than 7 million copies around the globe since its first volume hit shelves in 1981.

[Deadline]

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