UNFILTERED CELEBRITIES: PATTI LuPONE
NEW YORK (AP) – Over the years, untold numbers of people have seen Broadway star Patti LuPone in various roles. But until the coronavirus lockdown, fans have never seen her like this. Like many other celebrities, LuPone has been giving people a peek at her life at home. The theater icon was doing an online benefit recently when fans got a peek at her basement – and some of the cool stuff in it. For example, she has a colorful light-up vintage jukebox and a wall shelf rack full of cassette tapes. Fans wanted to see more – and LuPone obliged. She has since done mini tours on Twitter. In them, she has let viewers see her basement slot machine, a pinball machine, her desk – and a massage table.
“SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE” MUSIC PRODUCER DIES
LOS ANGELES (AP) – A man that helped bring music to life on “Saturday Night Live” has died. His name was Hal Willner – and he served as musical supervisor for the show. A rep for Willner says the produced died yesterday at age 64. The rep says Willner had symptoms consistent with those caused by the coronavirus – but he hadn’t been diagnosed with the virus. During his career as a music producer, Willner worked with many artists. Ironically, he produced an album for Marianne Faithfull – who herself is being treated for COVID-19 in a London hospital.
NEW YORK (AP) – A pair of TV shows that aired season finales picked up a big slice of the ratings pie – a pie made bigger by the growing number of people homebound because of the coronavirus. The series finale of “Hawaii Five-0” aired on CBS last week – and was seen by 40% more viewers than the week before, according to the Nielsen ratings. ABC’s “The Good Doctor” saw a similar season-end boost. It returns to the ABC lineup next season. Overall, Nielsen reports that most primetime shows did better last week than before the quarantine period.
ANOTHER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY DEPARTS
WASHINGTON (AP) – Often when a White House press secretary leaves his or her job, the reporters he or she briefed during their tenure would have a little something to send them off. That wasn’t so when Stephanie Grisham departed as President Donald Trump’s press secretary. The reason was practicality, not politics. In her eight-month stint as the public face of the White House, Grisham didn’t hold a single news briefing, while her predecessors in previous administrations would usually have daily briefings. Replacing her is Kayleigh McEnany, a top Trump campaign spokeswoman. She will be Trump’s fourth press secretary in his three years-plus in office.
CORONAVIRUS AND SPORTS CITIES
UNDATED (AP) – Augusta, Georgia. Omaha, Nebraska. Louisville, Kentucky. Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The cities aren’t even the biggest ones in their states. But each year, they get national attention because of the sporting events they host. Augusta is home to the Masters golf tournament, Omaha hosts the College World Series, Louisville is home to the Kentucky Derby – and Williamsport is where the Little League World Series dominates late summer. But that’s all changed with the coronavirus pandemic. The Masters would be this week – but it’s pushed back until November while the Kentucky Derby, which is usually in May, will be Labor Day weekend. The College World Series has been canceled – and if the lockdown continues much longer, the Little League title series will likely suffer the same fate.
EARL GRAVES. SR. – OBIT
NEW YORK (AP) – Earl Graves Sr. has died. He was the founder of the first black-owned magazine focusing on African American firms. His son says Graves died Monday after a long fight with Alzheimer’s Disease. He was 85. Graves launched Black Enterprise in 1970. He would later say the aim of the publication was to educate, inspire and uplift its readers.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2