Will “Princess Bride” Ever Become A Musical?

Director Rob Reiner has revealed he is still planning to turn his classic film “The Princess Bride” into a Broadway musical. But the project has been problem-plagued from the start: most infamously, when Adam Guettel and William Goldman’s attempt fell apart over contract issues — many insiders couldn’t figure out why those issues hadn’t been settled at the start. Reiner approached Randy Newman and John Mayer to get onboard; both declined. In November 2013, Disney announced plans to team up with Goldman for a musical adaptation, launching a website in February 2014 that offered fans future updates. It has never been updated. I have my severe doubts about “Bride” ever making it to the Broadway altar.

Javier, Penelope Decry Israeli “Genocide”

Will this hurt their chance for roles in Hollywood movies? Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Pedro Almodovar, and other members of the Spanish film industry sent a public letter to the European Union on Tuesday denouncing Israel for “genocide.” Dozens of Spanish actors, writers, musicians, directors, and other entertainment representatives asked the EU to “condemn the bombing by land, sea, and air against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip.” The letter blamed the latest outbreak of violence squarely on Israel because it “continues to advance into and invade the Palestinian territories instead of returning to the 1967 borders.”

Nicki, Ariana, Or Jessie J.: Who’s Best?

If you notice your computer or smartphone running hot recently, it may be because the internet is currently on fire after the release of “Bang Bang,” an en fuego team-up between Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, and Jessie J. Written and produced by much of the creative team behind Grande’s “Problem,” including Swedish pop warlock Max Martin, “Bang Bang” is a floor-shaking pileup of soulful horn stabs and detuned kick drums. It sounds like the hyperactive love child of Amy Winehouse and DJ Mustard with a three-way battle between the vocalists to see who can go the hardest.

“Flower Drum” Waves Farewell At 81

James Shigeta (right), one of the first prominent Asian-American actors, who co-starred in “Die Hard” and starred in “Flower Drum Song,” in which he costarred with Miyoski Umeki (left), died Monday at 81. Though largely a TV actor who guest-starred on dozens of shows, he appeared memorably in hit 1988 action film “Die Hard,” in which he played executive Joseph Takagi, who refuses to give up the security code to the skyscraper’s bank vault when a group of German terrorists seizes the building. Shigeta was born in Honolulu and Read more »

Edmund White On Same-Sex Marriage

In the New York Review of Books, Edmund White reviews three books about same-sex marriage, including “Redeeming the Dream,” by David Boies and Ted Olson. White writes: ‘On the last page of “Redeeming the Dream,” we are told that Americans are accepting “gays and lesbians…as normal, loving, decent members of our lives and our communities.” I shouldn’t quibble, but as a gay man Read more »

From The 1970s: A Moving Lost Record

The Emerson brothers were teenagers living in the middle of nowhere when their father bet the farm on their singing talents. Four decades on, they proved him right. Details here.

Dang Nab It: Why Can’t Museums Be Free?

Steve Johnson notices a trend and asks why it can’t spread to Chicago, where Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” is housed: ‘Around the country, a number of high-profile museums have, in fact, gone from fee to free in (relatively) recent years: The Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Dallas Museum of Art and, just in February, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, announcing the move with this tagline: “For you. For LA. For good.” Wal-Mart heir Alice Walton‘s Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., opened as a free museum, with admission sponsored by a Wal-Mart grant. The forthcoming Broad Museum, also in LA, will be free. These institutions join freebies-from-birth such as Lincoln Park Zoo, the Smithsonian Institution museums in Washington and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Going free is not a trend, entirely: The National Building Museum in the nation’s capital recently went back to charging a fee, for example.’