Headlines: Rita Ora Joins Disney+ Prequel, Smash Coming to Broadway

‘Beauty And The Beast’: Rita Ora Joins Disney+ Prequel Series – British pop star Rita Ora is joining Disney+’s Beauty and the Beast prequel series. Ora, who is best known for pop hits such as Your Song and Anywhere, will play a fugitive with surprising abilities who carries with her a secret that could potentially affect an entire kingdom in the eight-episode limited musical series. A regular fixture on British musical reality series, Ora has previously starred in Fifty Shades of Grey as well as starring as the Artful Dodger in 2021 feature film Twist. She joins Luke Evans and Josh Gad, who are reprising their roles as Gaston and LeFou. Briana Middleton, Fra Fee and Jelani Alladin also star. – Read more at blank” rel=”noopener”>Deadline

Broadway Adaptation of ‘Smash’ Eyes Summer Workshop (EXCLUSIVE) – “Broadway, Here I Come!” said the musical adaptation of the late NBC show “Smash,” which Variety can exclusively reveal is planning a workshop for the summer, according to producer Robert Greenblatt.The musical was first confirmed to be in the works in May of 2020, with Tony winner Bob Martin (“The Prom”) and Tony-nominated Rick Elice (“Peter and the Starcatcher”) writing the book. Greenblatt is aiming for a Broadway opening in 2024, with the show being titled either “Smash, A New Musical” or “Smash: The Musical.” – Read more at Variety.com

Former Dancing with the Stars Pro Maks Chmerkovskiy Sits on World of Dance Ukraine Judges Panel

Ukrainian native and former Dancing with the Stars pro dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy announced that he’s joined the new show World of Dance Ukraine as a judge. “I’m really happy to be back in Ukraine and be given an honor of a judge in this incredible project! I’m also really excited to get to see the top professional dancers of Ukraine, in all forms of dance!” Maks wrote on social media. “I truly believe that this project will give dancers an incredible opportunity to showcase their hard earned skills and will serve as a platform to seriously boost their careers!”


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Luke Bryan teases upcoming Las Vegas residency – The singer’s nine-show run kicks off this Friday at The Theatre at Resorts World Las Vegas. The other eight shows are scheduled for Feb. 12, 16, 18, 19, 20, 23, 25 and 26. Ahead of the highly anticipated Vegas concerts, Bryan appeared on “Good Morning America” to share what he’s looking forward to most about performing in such an iconic location. Bryan said that his fellow “American Idol” judge Katy Perry, who currently has her own Las Vegas residency, hasn’t given him much advice. “Katy doesn’t help me at all — anything Katy does, she spins stuff to create more anxiety,” he said. “She’s like, ‘Wow, big stage — be ready. Wow, get ready for the dry air of Las Vegas.'” “Me and her, even as the years have gone, we just have an even more fun friendship and a great working relationship,” Bryan continued. “You know, she’s really a little jealous because she believes that Orlando might have a little man crush on me. Orlando came into Nashville and I had all these outdoor activities planned for him, so me and Orlando, our love is strong.” – Read more at GMA

‘Sitting Pretty’: Lauren Alaina Prepares to Join the Grand Ole Opry – When Lauren Alaina performed Dec. 18 at the Grand Ole Opry, she unexpectedly found herself kneeling on the stage’s vaunted circle at the feet of Trisha Yearwood, practically speechless at the invitation she was about to receive. She hadn’t known that Yearwood was even attending, and Alaina likewise was unaware that her father was accompanying her mom to the performance. Yearwood pointed him out from the stage, in effect clueing Alaina into the significance of the moment: She was about to be invited to join the Opry. “When I saw my dad, that’s when I knew,” says Alaina. “I knew of the Opry because of my dad, because he grew up playing banjo and always wanted to play there. And so I grew up with an appreciation of the Grand Ole Opry. It was like this magical place as a little kid. The Grand Ole Opry was Disney World to me, and maybe someday I’d get to go there. I knew that I would never be asked without both of my parents being there.” – Read more at Billboard

Jennifer Hudson Full Circle Attends Elton John Concert

Jennifer Hudson danced around at an Elton John concert on Sunday. She wrote on social media, ““I’m still standing ” feels good to say after almost 20 years in the game ! What a blessing and who better to hear it from than one of the first and greatest Legends to ever embrace me from my start @eltonofficial
yea yea yea ! To God be the glory ! This is My Sunday testimony.”

She first met Sir Elton when he mentored the Top 9 on American Idol season 3. She wowed him with big-voiced rendition of “Circle of Life” from the Lion King. But alas, JHud was eliminated two weeks later during Barry Manilow week. It all worked out in the end though, right?


About mj santilli 34255 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!