Bea Arthur in 1983
Beatrice “Bea” Arthur, the star of hit TV shows “Maude” and “The Golden Girls” died Saturday. She was 86.
The Associated Press reports that Arthur died peacefully at her Los Angeles home with her family at her side. According to family spokesman Dan Watt, she had cancer.
Arthur first appeared in the comedy series “All in the Family” as Edith Bunker’s loudly outspoken, liberal cousin, Maude Finley. Her entertaining face-offs with blue-collar bigot Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor) led producer Norman Lear to create Arthur’s own series, “Maude.”
She starred in another groundbreaking series, “Golden Girls,” from 1985-92.
The series focused on three retirees – played by Arthur, Betty White and Oklahoma native Rue McClanahan – and the mother of Arthur’s character, Estelle Getty, who lived together in a Miami apartment. The series won 10 Emmys.
Born Bernice Frankel in New York City in 1922, the tall, deep-voiced Arthur got her acting start in the theater. She made headway in the 1955 production of “The Threepenny Opera” and 1964 original company of “Fiddler on the Roof” before winning a Tony Award in 1966 for her supporting role in the musical “Mame.”
She acted in many films and theater productions in between her TV series.
Twice divored, Arthur is survived by her two sons and two granddaughters. Are thoughts are with them.
Click here to read the AP obit.
The Oklahoman/NewsOK entertainment staff – Gene Triplett, Matt Price, George Lang and myself – talk about summer movies and the Oklahoma House vs. The Flaming Lips state rock song spat in this week’s Entertainment Insider.
All-American Rejects (Photo by Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman Archives)
“The Late Show with David Letterman” will have three guests of interest to BAM’s Blog readers this week:
- Stillwater’s own pop-rockers the All-American Rejects will be the musical guests tonight on the CBS show, performing a song or two off their latest album, “When the World Comes Down.”
- Dolly Parton, who wrote all the songs for the new Broadway musical version of “9 to 5,” will be a guest on the show Tuesday. The official premiere of “9 to 5″ is Thursday. I’ll have an interview with Dolly in Wednesday’s The Oklahoman.
- Jennifer Garner will be on Letterman Wednesday to talk about her new rom-com co-starring Matthew McConaughey. I attended the junket for the film earlier this month in Los Angeles and will have a feature on the onscreen pair and a review of the film in Friday’s Weekend Look section.
In this week’s BAM’s Country Music Minute, I have news on Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, CMA Music Fest and the 18th annual Tumbleweed Calf Fry.
Check it out.
Ed Kelley, editor of The Oklahoman, whom I’m happy to proclaim my boss, eloquently derides the state House’s decision to vote down the measure to make The Flaming Lips song “Do You Realize??” the state’s official rock song in this NewsOK video.
He calls the Lips “the latest Oklahomans to be demonized” by the state House and criticizes the legislators who tried to override the public vote picking the song.
Don’t forget, Gov. Brad Henry will sign the executive order making “Do You Realize??” the state’s official rock song at 2 p.m. Tuesday during a public ceremony at the Oklahoma History Center,2401 N Laird.
Something tells me there will be large and potentially raucous crowd at the signing.
Not surprisingly, many moviegoers – I’m betting mostly guys – will shell out money to see sexy women in a cat fight.
“Obsessed,” starring Beyonce Knowles and Ali Larter battling over Idris Elba, debuted as the top movie over the weekend with $28.5 million, according to the Associated Press. The “Fatal Attraction” remake (or ripoff, not quite sure) stars Knowles and Elba as a happy couple whose marriage is threated by a psychotic temp played by Larter.
As the AP reported: “‘Obsessed’ had the lure of singer Knowles stepping out from her pop star image and duking it out with the crazy lady threatening her home and marriage.”
“There’s something about wanting to see Beyonce kick butt. She’s taking on one wacked chick, played very well by Ali Larter,” Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony, told the AP. “Let’s face it, everyone loves Beyonce, and to see her in this role is a treat.”
Last weeks’ top movie, “17 Again” and the new release “Fighting” were in a tight race for the No. 2 spot. With Sunday estimates of $11.7 million, the Warner Bros. comedy “17 Again,” starring Zac Efron and Matthew Perry, had the edge and raised its 10-day total to $40 million.
“Fighting,” starring Channing Tatum and Terrence Howard, debuted with $11.4 million. The two movies’ numbers were close enough that rankings could change when final numbers come out later today.
The Robert Downey Jr.-Jamie Foxx drama “The Soloist” opened at No. 4 with $9.7 million. Disney’s nature documentary “Earth,” was in fifth place with $8.6 million, bringing its total to $14.2 million since opening Wednesday. It was a great take for a documentary, reflecting Disney’s canny strategy for the film. It was aimed at families, opened on Earth Day and the company promised to plant a tree for every person bought a ticket in the first week.
The solid debut for “Obsessed” helped Hollywood keep its receipts high, with overall revenues at about $112 million, up 23.5 percent from the same weekend last year, the AP reported, citing box-office tracker Media By Numbers.
The blockbuster summer movie season begins Friday with the release of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” starring Hugh Jackman in the title role he played in three “X-Men” hits. Check out the Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman on Friday to see the full rundown on the blockbuster-packed summer.
Here are the top 10 movies, from the AP:
1. “Obsessed,” $28.5 million.
2. “17 Again,” $11.7 million.
3. “Fighting,” $11.4 million.
4. “The Soloist,” $9.7 million.
5. “Earth,” $8.6 million.
6. “Monsters vs. Aliens,” $8.5 million.
7. “State of Play,” $6.9 million.
8. “Hannah Montana: The Movie,” $6.4 million.
9. “Fast & Furious,” $6.1 million.
10. “Crank: High Voltage,” $2.4 million.
A catchy quote from a movie, TV show or other source to brighten the beginning of your week:
Patrick: The inner machinations of my mind are an enigma.
- Click here to learn the source.
Camille Harp performs Saturday at the 2009 Norman Music Festival. (Photo by Steve Sisney/The Oklahoman)
The second installment of the Norman Music Festival on Saturday exceeded expectations for attendance, my colleague George Lang reports in this NewsOK story.
Organizers estimated that by 6 p.m. Saturday, the free festival in downtown Norman had reached the previous year’s total attendance of 15,000. The crowds were expected to reach the estimated 25,000 expected by the end of the evening.
“Our simple expectations were that it would be bigger and better, and we’re seeing that,” Festival publicist Quentin Bomgardner said. “I was very, very thrilled with the crowds that were out for our earliest performers. …”
The event included local bands and artists such as Student Film, Other Lives and Starlight Mints and performers from other states. The headliner was Georgia-based Of Montreal.
I didn’t get to attend the NMF because I was already committed to attending the Festival of the Arts and “The Lion King” Saturday with my family.
It was a perfect example of a weekend that actually offered too many appealing activities around the state, including Guthrie’s 89er Days, the Pollard Theatre’s continuing production of ”Beauty and the Beast,” the recently reunited Toadies in Tulsa and many more.
Prepare for another activity overload this weekend, with the Tumbleweed Calf Fry in Stillwater, Blake Shelton at Firelake Grand Casino in Shawnee, the opening of the rock ‘n’ roll exhibit “Another Hot Oklahoma Night” at the Oklahoma History Center, Jeff Dunham at the Cox Convention Center, Free Comic Book Day around the state and world, and many more.
Plus, the summer movie season opens Friday with “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and the rom-com counterprogramming of “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.”
Today’s featured event:
NORMAN – Hear Damien Jurado with Laura Gibson at 9 p.m. today at Opolis, 113 N Crawford.
For more information, go to www.ticketstorm.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
Singer-songwriter Jewel performs Jan. 30 at Riverwind Casino in Norman.
From Sunday’s Outlook special section of The Oklahoman.
In their efforts to become top-shelf entertainment destinations, casinos aren’t betting on just slot machines and blackjack tournaments.
In Las Vegas, casinos play host to movie premieres, the Academy of Country Music Awards and even the Miss America pageant.
In the same vein, Oklahoma casinos are continuing to build on their entertainment offerings, bringing in famous musical acts, art festivals and professional sporting events.
“We want to be the destination location. We want to be the Las Vegas of Oklahoma,” said Angel Green, marketing manager of Riverwind Casino in Norman. “We want to be like Vegas, so when you think about Las Vegas, what do you think about? You think about gaming and you think about the entertainment aspect. So we want the people in Oklahoma and the surrounding areas … to spend their dollars here.”
Tony Bennett, Kid Rock, Bonnie Raitt, Randy Travis, B.B. King and Ron White are among the diverse musical and comedic talents who have played the 3-year-old Chickasaw Nation casino. Upcoming shows include the Oak Ridge Boys, the B-52s and Lee Ann Womack; many concerts sell out well in advance.
“When people think about Riverwind, we want them to think about top-notch entertainment … that hasn’t ever played Oklahoma, that could only play here ever so often or hasn’t played here in a long time,” Green said.
Even when a performer has already played the Ford Center or Zoo Amphitheatre, Riverwind’s Showplace Theater seats only 1,500, making it a more intimate concert experience, Green said.
Sporting events also are a big part of Riverwind’s entertainment slate. For the third year, Riverwind this summer is hosting the Women’s Professional Billiard Association’s U.S. Open, the largest tournament on the association’s tour. It brings in all the top-ranked female professional pool players, attracts fans from across the country and airs on ESPN.
“That is huge for us, and it growing by leaps and bounds. We’re already getting phone calls now and the event’s not until July,” Green said.
The casino also is looking into other sports ventures, including a combination bass fishing/poker tournament, cagefighting and boxing. The focus is on bringing high-level, professional sports that can possibly get TV exposure.
The casino even hosted in 2006 a benefit premiere of the movie “Apocalypto,” featuring director Mel Gibson and the stars of the film. Charity events hosted by celebrities Toby Keith, Tommie Harris and Adrian Peterson also have come into the Showplace Theater.
People can also eat dinner, hear a local lounge act perform and see or participate in a poker tournament. With the opening of the new Riverwind Hotel, they can turn their night out into a “staycation,” a short, close-to-home vacation, she said.
Brian Zanazanian, senior marketing manager for the Chickasaw Nation’s WinStar World Casino, echoes that point: “Our goal is to be a destination point. With the economic times that we’re in, not too many people can afford to fly to Las Vegas or Atlantic City. And our commitment and attitude is ‘Why should you?’”
At 519,000 square feet, the Thackerville casino is the fifth largest in the world. The 4-year-old casino will partially open a 115-slot RV park in summer and 400-room three-star hotel in fall, he said.
WinStar takes advantage of its prime position on Interstate 35 when it comes to booking popular musical and comedy acts, including Brooks & Dunn, Jeff Foxworthy, ZZ Top and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. Upcoming shows include Hank Williams Jr., Leann Rimes, Rodney Carrington and the Beach Boys.
“People come for the entertainment value of what a casino offers,” he said. “An added value is our music … and we work very hard to make sure that we appeal to all different varieties (of music lovers), all different demographics, that we offer something for everybody.”
The casino offers an 18-hole golf course, and WinStar also is looking to offer sporting events such as sanctioned – and hopefully televised – boxing and cagefighting.
Mixed-martial arts events, concerts, Vegas-style theatrical reviews, art festivals, car shows and comedy acts have been offered at the seven Cherokee Casinos, located in Tulsa, Roland, Tahlequah, West Siloam Springs, Fort Gibson, Sallisaw and the Will Rogers Downs racino in Claremore.
Creedence Clearwater Revisited, Three Dog Night, Eddie Money and comic Bill Engvall are among the famous talents that have performed in the casino chain. David Stewart, CEO of Cherokee Nation Enterprises, said the casinos strive to provide entertainment that guests want and expect, especially acts that aren’t available elsewhere in the market.
“Cherokee Casinos offers a variety of entertainment options for its guests, not just gaming. That can include concerts, live music and dancing at our nightclubs, to movie and art festivals, and even a wide variety of dining options,” Stewart said in an e-mail. “Our goal is to offer our guests a total package of a night or weekend’s entertainment.”