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Gary Beach, who won a Tony in 'The Producers,' dies at 70

Gary Beach, a Broadway and TV veteran whose portrayal of a truly terrible theater director in Mel Brooks' monster hit "The Producers" won him a Tony Award in 2001, has died, according to his agent, Steven Unger. He was 70.

Unger said Beach died Tuesday at his home in Palm Springs, California. No cause was given.

Beach's other Broadway roles included Lumiere in "Beauty and the Beast" and Albin in the 2004 revival of "La Cage aux Folles," both of which earned him Tony nominations.

"The Producers" opened in 2001 and starred Nathan Lane as Max and Matthew Broderick as Leo, and featured Cady Huffman as Ulla and Roger Bart as Carmen Ghia.

Beach played the self-absorbed and beyond-flamboyant director who gets to go on as Hitler and leads the cast in "Springtime For Hitler," the show's most famous number. He reprised the role in the 2005 film.

Born in Alexandria, Virginia, Beach at age 11 saw the original road tour of "The Music Man," starring Forrest Tucker, at Washington's National Theatre and was hooked on musical theater.

"I always wanted to be a performer, but it never occurred to me to be a television performer or a movie actor," Beach told The Associated Press in 2001. "To me, it was always Broadway."

Beach started college at Old Dominion in Norfolk, Virginia, as a political science major but read a magazine article about the North Carolina School of the Arts, where "show business goes to school" — and found his true calling.

He did over 1,000 performances in New York and on the road of three musicals: "Annie," ''Les Miserables" and "Beauty and Beast," and over 800 performances in "1776," the show that got him to Broadway.

He survived flops — "The Mooney Shapiro Songbook," a one-performance bomb in 1981 — and moments of intense gladness, like the comedy "Legends" by "Chorus Line" author James Kirkwood starring two real-life theater legends, Mary Martin and Carol Channing.

"The first day of rehearsal in Los Angeles, there I was, sitting between Peter Pan and Dolly Levi and trying to pretend there was absolutely nothing wrong with this picture," he recalled with a laugh.

After nearly 20 years in New York, Beach moved to Los Angeles. "I fell in love with the idea of having a car like an adult," he said. There, he acted in such shows as "The John Larroquette Show," ''Murder, She Wrote," ''Saved by the Bell" and "Will & Grace."

He stayed in California for 13 years, only coming back to do "Beauty and the Beast." He broke his ankle during the run after falling off a stack of dishes, went back to Los Angeles and got a call asking him to do a reading of "The Producers."

Beach's favorite moment in the show was a section of lyrics added to the "Springtime for Hitler" number during the pre-Broadway run in Chicago.

"It's when Hitler does the tap challenge with the Allies and ends up rolling the wheelchair-bound Franklin Roosevelt off the stage," Beach explained. "Brooks wrote, 'It ain't no mystery/If it's politics or history/The thing you've got to know is/Everything is show biz.'"

Beach then told Brooks, "You know what you've done? You've made 'The Producers' the toughest satire on Broadway."

In a statement, The Baruch Frankel Routh Viertel Group, the producers of "The Producers," honored Beach as "an actor of consummate skill and artistry, was a glorious human being; a gifted, generous and incredibly funny actor whose presence in a rehearsal room or on the stage lifted everyone's spirit and inspired them to be the best they could be."

___

Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

Charges against strippers arrested with Stormy Daniels dropped, report says

Update 5:30 EDT July 18: The charges against the two strippers arrested with adult film star Stormy Daniels last week in Columbus, Ohio, have been dropped, according to BuzzFeed News.

>> Read more trending news 

Brittany Walters and Miranda Panda were taken into custody along with Daniels early last Thursday at the Sirens Gentleman’s Club.

Daniels, who was charged with three counts of illegal sexual oriented activity in a sexually oriented business, was released hours later, but the other two remained jailed on charges related to a 2007 state law that prohibits anyone who isn’t a family member from touching a nude or semi-nude performer, according to The Associated Press.

In Daniels’ case, officials noted in a motion to dismiss the charges that the law applies only to regular performers.

Police said at the time that the arrests of Daniels, Walters and Panda were  "part of a long-term investigation into allegations of human trafficking, prostitution, along with other vice-related violations,” but a Columbus judge, in dismissing the charges against Daniels, said her arrest was a “mistake.”

>> Related: Who is Stormy Daniels, the woman who claims to have had an affair with President Trump?

The charges against Walters and Panda were dropped Wednesday because the facts of the case "do not meet the elements required to prosecute under this law," Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein said in a statement.

(Original story)

Prosecutors dropped charges against adult film star Stormy Daniels, also known as Stephanie Clifford, after she was arrested early Thursday on accusations of inappropriate touching while performing at a strip club in Columbus.

Here are the latest updates:

Update 7:30 p.m. EDT July 12: Stormy Daniels has changed her plans and won’t return for an encore performance at a strip club in Columbus where she was arrested early Thursday.

Her lawyer Michael Avenatti says the adult performer is looking for another club in the area where she can perform.

Daniels was arrested early Thursday on charges she let customers at the Sirens Gentleman’s Club touch her inappropriately, which is against the law in Ohio at an adult club. 

Update 7:00 p.m. EDT July 12: The show must go on. Stormy Daniels is returning to the Sirens Gentleman’s Club in Columbus, Ohio, Thursday night for a follow-up show.

The adult film star was arrested after a performance at the club early Thursday on three misdemeanor counts of illegal sexual oriented activity. The charges were later dropped.

“I'll be going onstage tonight at Sirens in Columbus to perform for my fans and register voters as planned. Can't stop the storm,” Daniels tweeted Thursday afternoon. 

She also said she’ll donate her tips from Thursday night’s performance to two other dancers who were also arrested, but are still facing charges in the case.

Update 3:10 p.m. EDT July 12: Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, told The Associated Press that his client was “traumatized and rattled” after her arrest. He earlier told MSNBC that female undercover police officers asked if they could put their faces between Daniels’ breasts while she was performing on-stage at Sirens Gentleman’s Club in Columbus.

Avenatti told the AP that Daniels was in her tour bus after Wednesday night’s performance when officers knocked on her door. She was arrested on three counts of illegal sexual oriented activity in a sexually oriented business, but the charges were later dropped after prosecutors determined she was working as a guest at the club and not a regular performer. State law prohibits anyone who isn't a family member from touching a nude or semi-nude regular dancer at adult establishments, according to The Associated Press.

Update 1:30 p.m. EDT July 12: Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein confirmed in a statement Thursday that charges have been dismissed against Daniels following her arrest at Sirens Gentleman’s Club.

Daniels was arrested on three misdemeanor counts of illegal sexual oriented activity in a sexually oriented business. Two other performers, identified by police as Miranda Panda and Brittany Walters, were also arrested.

“I’ve determined that these crimes were not committed, based on the fact that Ms. Clifford has not made regular appearances at this establishment as required under the law,” Klein said. “We’ll do the same inquiry for the other defendants involved, as well.”

Update 12:55 p.m. EDT July 12: Daniels’ attorney confirmed Thursday afternoon that charges were dropped against his client.

Police arrested Daniels early Thursday while she was appearing at Sirens Gentleman's Club in Columbus. She was arrested after she inappropriately touched undercover officers who were at the strip club as part of a long-term sting operation unrelated to Daniels, according to police. She was charged with three counts of illegal sexual oriented activity in a sexually oriented business.

The charges were based on a 2007 Ohio law that prohibits anyone who isn't a family member from touching a nude or semi-nude dancer, according to The Associated Press. However, officials noted in a motion to dismiss the case that the law applies only to regular performers

"In this case, there has been no evidence provided to the State that Defendant appears or has appeared regularly at Sirens," Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein wrote in the state's motion to dismiss.

Daniels was scheduled to appear twice at Sirens, on Wednesday and Thursday night. However, Avenatti announced her second scheduled appearance had been canceled in light of her arrest.

Update 11:10 a.m. EDT July 12: The state law used early Thursday to justify the arrest of Daniels and two other performers at Sirens, a strip club in Columbus, has been used 88 times in Franklin County since 2008, WCMH reported.

The 2007 law was introduced by a conservative religious group and bars dancers from touching customers and vice versa, save for immediate family members, The Associated Press reported. Police said Daniels was charged with three counts of illegal sexually oriented activity in a sexually oriented business as part of a long-term investigation of alleged human trafficking and prostitution in Columbus.

A spokeswoman for Columbus’ city attorney told the AP that the charges carry a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine per count, should Daniels be convicted.

Update 10:45 a.m. EDT July 12: Police said they arrested Daniels and two other performers early Thursday at Sirens in Columbus "as part of a long-term investigation into allegations of human trafficking, prostitution, along with other vice related violations."

In a news release Thursday, officials said Daniels, also known as Stephanie Clifford, was arrested along with Miranda Panda, of Marion, Ohio, and Brittany Walters, of Pickering, Ohio.

Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, said she will plead not guilty to three misdemeanor counts of illegal sexually oriented activity in a sexually oriented business. In an appearance Thursday morning on MSNBC, Avenatti characterized his client’s arrest as being part of a “sting operation.”

Update 10 a.m. EDT July 12: Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, told MSNBC on Thursday that female undercover officers asked his client to allow them to put their faces between her breasts before her arrest in Columbus early on Thursday.

“Unbeknownst to her, the police had set up a sting operation in the strip club with multiple officers,” Avenatti said. “I think it’s an absurd use of law enforcement resources.”

Update 7:38 a.m. EDT July 12: Daniels issued a statement saying her Thursday performance in Columbus has been canceled.

>> On MyAJC.com: Stormy Daniels headed to Atlanta in July

Meanwhile, WSYX’s Mike McCarthy tweeted that police also arrested two other performers on illegal touching charges at the Sirens strip club overnight.

>> On DaytonDailyNews.com: Status of Stormy Daniels’ Dayton, Ohio-area appearance unclear after Columbus arrest

Update 6:52 a.m. EDT July 12: Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, tweeted that his client will plead “not guilty” to the charges.

Update 6:41 a.m. EDT July 12: WSYX’s Mike McCarthy reports that Daniels was released from jail on $6,000 bond. 

WCMH reporter Matt Edwards tweeted that “Daniels was picked up minutes ago by a sedan with WV plates.”

Update 6:03 a.m. EDT July 12: WCMH reporter Hattie Hawks tweeted that Daniels’ “bond has been posted by Denver Nicks.”

Update 5:49 a.m. EDT July 12: The charging documents reveal more information about the allegations against Daniels. 

>> See an image of the complaint here (WARNING: Discretion advised.)

Update 5:16 a.m. EDT July 12: WSYX’s Mike McCarthy tweeted that Daniels “is accused of touching three @ColumbusPolice officers during her appearance at #Sirens.”

According to WBNS, Daniels fondled patrons and undercover officers, police said. 

Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, told WBNS that his client’s arrest “was politically motivated.”

He added: “There's no question these officers were undercover at that strip club. They knew my client would be performing there, and I find this to be a complete waste of resources.”

WBNS reporter Tino Ramos also shared a video of Daniels walking into the Jackson Pike Correctional Facility.

Update 4:33 a.m. EDT July 12: WCMH’s Matt Edwards just tweeted a photo that appears to show officers leading Daniels into the jail.

Update 4:22 a.m. EDT July 12: WCMH is reporting that Daniels’ arraignment is scheduled for Friday morning at Franklin County Municipal Court.

Daniels is being charged with “illegally sexually oriented activity in a sexually oriented business,” a first-degree misdemeanor, according to WCMH’s Olivia Fecteau.

Meanwhile, comedian Kathy Griffin took to Twitter to call out Columbus area law enforcement.

Update 3:28 a.m. EDT July 12: According to WCMH reporter Olivia Fecteau, Daniels “has not yet been booked into jail.” Jail workers said Daniels will be booked at the Franklin County Correctional Facility II on Jackson Pike, Fecteau tweeted.

Update 2:52 a.m. EDT July 12: Daniels was performing at a club called Sirens when she was arrested, WCMH reporter Olivia Fecteau tweeted early Thursday. When Fecteau called the club, the person on the line declined to comment, she said.

According to Fecteau, “Ohio Revised Code 2907.40 outlines charges against either a patron who touches an employee (or vice versa) who is nude or semi-nude. Depending on what happened, the charge can be a first- or fourth-degree misdemeanor.”

Original report: Porn star Stormy Daniels has been arrested in Columbus, Ohio, her attorney tweeted early Thursday.

“Just rcvd word that my client @StormyDaniels was arrested in Columbus Ohio [while] performing the same act she has performed across the nation at nearly a hundred strip clubs,” wrote Michael Avenatti, Daniels’ lawyer. “This was a setup & politically motivated. It reeks of desperation. We will fight all bogus charges. #Basta.”

>> Trump acknowledges he reimbursed Cohen, lawyer who paid Stormy Daniels

In a second tweet, he added: “She was arrested for allegedly allowing a customer to touch her while on stage in a non sexual manner! Are you kidding me? They are devoting law enforcement resources to sting operations for this? There has to be higher priorities!!! #SetUp #Basta.”

>> Stormy Daniels Day: West Hollywood honors adult film star with key to city

He continued: “We expect her to be released on bail shortly. We also expect that she will be charged with a misdemeanor for allowing ‘touching.’ We will vehemently contest all charges. #Basta.”

>> Read more trending news 

Daniels, born Stephanie Clifford, claims that she had sex with Donald Trump in 2006, more than a decade before he became president. Daniels is now suing Trump and his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, and seeking to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement that she signed days before the 2016 presidential election. Cohen reportedly paid her $130,000 after she signed the agreement.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Cory Monteith’s mom says he was on pain medication for dental work before overdose death

Corey Monteith’s mother revealed the “Glee” actor was taking pain medications for “massive” dental work before he died of a heroin overdose in 2013.

Ann McGregor told People she believes the pain medication derailed Monteith’s struggle with sobriety.

McGregor told People that Monteith checked into a rehab center in April 2013. Between the months of May and July, he had “massive’ dental work done, for which he was prescribed painkillers.

“He had little teeth and they were all capped. He had a lot of medication in his system, which was not good for his body coming out of rehab,” McGregor said in the interview published Wednesday. “He didn’t have enough drugs in his system to kill him, but for some reason it did because of his intolerance [built up by periods of intermittent sobriety].”

>> Read more trending news 

Monteith, 31, was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room in July 2013.

Authorities said he died of a lethal mix of heroin and alcohol. Traces of morphine and codeine were also found in his system.

He was known for his starring role as Finn Huck on Fox’s hit TV show, “Glee.”

McGregor told ABC News in 2014 that Monteith first began using drugs at age 15.

New trailer for Queen biopic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ released

Fans of Queen are getting another look at the upcoming biopic of the band that created the iconic songs “We are the Champions” and “We Will Rock You.”

The second trailer released features not only those two hits, but also gives a peek into the movie version of how the band came up with the operatic sections of the film’s namesake “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

It also shows why Brian May came up with the clap and stomp motif from “We Will Rock You.”

>> Read more trending news 

The film’s storyline spans the band’s early years from when frontman Freddie Mercury joined through their performance at Live Aid, the BBC reported.

The film will also deal with Mercury’s private life, and his diagnosis with AIDS, which he announced to the public the day before he died in 1991 at the age of 45, CBS News reported.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” hits theaters in November.

Lay’s releases 8 new potato chip flavors inspired by ‘local cuisine’ of America

Lay’s is releasing 8 brand new potato chip flavors this month inspired by food favorites from across the United States.

Each flavor of the “Taste of America” collection is inspired by a regional favorite, based on customer feedback from different regions, a representative of Frito Lay told USA Today.

Starting July 30, the eight flavors will be available in the regional markets that are represented, through September 23.

Customers can also order all eight flavors online

>> Read more trending news 

Here is the Lay’s Taste of America summer collection and featured region as described on the Lay’s website:

1. Cajun Spice, Central Gulf

Inspired by the flavors of the Gulf Coast with a taste of garlic, paprika, onion and oregano.

2. Chesapeake Bay Crab Spice

Inspired by crab shacks along the Atlantic, here’s a taste of the Bay with custom-blended spices ready to savor.

3. Chili Con Queso

Inspired by legendary Tex-Mex of the Southwest, here’s a taste of velvety cheddar queso with a dash of spice.

4. Deep Dish Pizza

Inspired by the Giordano’s pizza recipe made famous in the Midwest, here’s a taste of their iconic stuffed deep-dish pizza.

5. Fried Pickles with Ranch

Inspired by a deep-fried favorite at Midwest state fairs, get a taste of fried pickles with ranch.

6. New England Lobster Roll

Inspired by lobster shacks of the Northeast, here’s a taste of fresh lobster served on a buttery grilled roll.

7. Pimento Cheese

Inspired by Sunday socials and Southern charm, here’s a taste of creamy sharp cheddar with a hint of cayenne pepper.

8. Thai Sweet Chili

Inspired by the food truck scene of the Pacific Northwest, get a taste of Thai sweet chili sauce with a hint of heat. 

Jay-Z unhappy 'Made in America' leaving Philadelphia parkway

Jay-Z said Wednesday he's disappointed that Philadelphia is booting his annual music festival from the city's grandest boulevard, accusing the mayor of having "zero appreciation for what Made In America has built alongside the phenomenal citizens of this city."

Writing in The Philadelphia Inquirer, the music mogul rapped the city for making a decision before consulting organizers, calling it a failure on the part of Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney.

The mayor said he thought the city's position had been communicated to Jay-Z.

"I love Jay-Z," Kenney said at a news conference. "We love the concert and we want to keep it." He said the city is looking at alternative sites.

Held each year since 2012, Made in America has drawn as many as 50,000 people to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, a heavily visited expanse of museums, monuments, fountains and the famed "Rocky" steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

But the city said the festival is no longer welcome on the parkway after this year.

"We had some operational difficulties on the parkway because of how long it takes to set up and take down," Kenney said.

Made in America was originally intended to attract people to Philadelphia on Labor Day weekend, traditionally a slow time for tourism, said city spokeswoman Sarah Reyes. But the growth in tourism since then means an event of that scale "may no longer be necessary," she said in an earlier statement to philly.com.

The two-day festival has also drawn noise complaints from some neighbors, philly.com reported.

Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill and Post Malone are set to perform at this year's festival.

Jay-Z wrote that Made in America has generated an economic impact of nearly $103 million since 2012.

"Do they regularly reject minority-owned businesses that want to continue to thrive and grow alongside his city's people?" Jay-Z wrote.

The news website Billy Penn was first to report the city's decision.

Tour buses banned from 'Full House' residence in San Francisco

“Full House” fans will need to find alternative methods to see the exterior of the iconic San Francisco home.

KGO reported that neighbors asked the board of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to do something about the influx of tourists who have blocked driveways and caused traffic hazards along Broderkick Street, where the house is located.

>> Read more trending news 

“Since the promotion of the house, we have counted between 1,000 to 1,500 visitors or more on a busy day,” Carla Hashagen, a neighbor, told the board, according to KGP. “They come in cars, Uber and Lyft, tour buses, Go-Cars, bikes and motorcycles.”

The Associated Press reported that the SFMTA voted Tuesday to ban commercial vehicles that seat nine or more people from the street.

Despite the association of the house’s exterior with the sitcom, only the outside of the house was used in the show. It’s also not one of the famous “Painted Ladies” -- colorful Victorian homes -- seen in the show intro.

“Full House” aired from 1987 to 1995. “Fuller House,” a reboot of the show, first aired on Netflix in 2016. 

In 2016, Jeff Franklin, the creator of the show, bought the house for $4.15 million. It was built in 1883.

Bruce Springsteen's Broadway show to be seen on Netflix

Put away your wallet — you won't have to pay hundreds of dollars to see Bruce Springsteen's Broadway show.

Netflix announced Wednesday that it will broadcast The Boss' one-man show on Dec. 15, his last performance.

"Springsteen on Broadway" has been extended three times. He had previously planned to end in February, then pushed it to June 30, then pushed that to Dec. 15.

In the show, Springsteen performs more than a dozen songs and tells stories about growing up in New Jersey. Tickets for the show at the Walter Kerr Theatre have been reselling for more than $1,000.

___

Online: http://brucespringsteen.net/broadway

___

Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

Bare-chested Jeff Goldblum statue appears in London park on ‘Jurassic Park’ anniversary

A 25-foot statue of actor Jeff Goldblum, posing open-shirted in a famous pose from “Jurassic Park” has appeared at Potters Field Park in London.

It honors the 25th anniversary of the release of the first installment of “Jurassic Park” in the United Kingdom, USA Today reports.

The statue depicts Goldblum’s character, Dr. Ian Malcolm, in a famous scene after a run-in with a T-Rex that left him with a broken leg. 

European telecommunications company Now TV had the statue erected in Potters Field, in front of London’s Tower Bridge, on Wednesday. 

>> Read more trending news 

Jason Aldean Checks Of Huge Bucket List Item

THis is going to be a huge weekend for Jason Aldean! Hootie and the Blowfish are reuniting at Jason’s show and it will be a moment that goes down in history! The show is Saturday 7/21 at Atlanta’s SunTrust Park. And this will be a moment that many people, including Jason Aldean, get to check off their bucket list. Jason said, “You know, to now have [University of Georgia’s] Sanford Stadium, but now be able to mark off the Braves stadium too to me…I mean, like, let’s retire, I don’t have anything…you know, I’m good.”

Jason Aldean knows Hootie & the Blowfish reunions are rare, so catching their set at his Atlanta show this weekend will be a treat. “I’m excited for my own self ’cause I never got to see him play live, so now I actually get to see a Hootie and the Blowfish show. So, I’m looking forward to it,” Jason said.

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