I haven’t seen the show in question — but I doubt Andrew Lloyd Webber has either. Page Six reports: ‘the claws came out in a battle between the iconic composer and an off-Broadway show he says stole his tunes — “Katdashians! Break the Musical!” A New York Times review of “Katdashians” on Sunday described it as “a noisy concoction that grafts the wacky Kardashian family . . . into an extravaganza resembling [Webber’s] ‘Cats,’ ” with “music . . . sounding suspiciously like ‘Cats.’” But by Monday, the show agreed to cut any “Cats” tunes due to legal pressure from Webber. “We were pretty shocked,” said the off-Broadway show’s co-creator Tobly McSmith of hearing from Webber’s attorneys. “We are fans of Webber and his work . . . We thought he’d enjoy the parodies we did of his songs, but apparently he did not.”
On Tuesday in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, Zurab Tsereteli’s huge sculpture of Christopher Columbus was inaugurated. Says The Guardian: ‘At 350 feet tall, Birth of a New World is not the tallest sculpture in existence. For example, Anish Kapoor’s ArcelorMittal Orbit, in the London Olympic Park, is 25 feet taller. But Tsereteli’s work is enormous, 45 ft taller than the Statue of Liberty from pedestal to torch. The voyage to Puerto Rico of the work, entitled The Birth of the New World, has been long, arduous and controversial, not least because of its expense on an island gripped by a $72 billion debt crisis.’ Called ugly by many, the statue has a long history: In 1993, Columbus, Ohio, turned it down. Other cities followed suit, including New York, Boston, Cleveland, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Finally the statue was offered a home in Puerto Rico, where Columbus arrived in 1493.
A fan petition has been set up to ask “Star Wars” producers Lucasfilm to create the franchise’s first LGBT character in honor of one of the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting. Drew Leinonen (pictured) was among the 49 people shot dead – along with his boyfriend, Juan Ramon Guerrero – at the Pulse nightclub in June. Leinonen’s friend and fellow “Star Wars” devotee Joshua Yehl is behind the post on change.org.
And it will probably be good for sales. (Controversy is part of Gaga’s brand.) China’s Communist Party has added Gaga to its list of foreigners banned from the country after she posted her meeting with the Dalai Lama to her Facebook account. The party’s propaganda department has reportedly banned her from entering mainland China. Websites and other organizations have been told to stop distributing her songs after she met the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader and recorded a 19-minute video of it. The two talked about meditation and mental health, but the recording garnered an angry reaction. Officials have called the Dalai Lama a “wolf in monk’s robes,” despite the fact that he claims he’s seeking autonomy for Tibetans. In other Gaga news, it looks almost certain that she will star in “A Star is Born” remake.
The things a President has to do to stay current! He might be the ultimate “Game of Thrones” fan. After all, the commander-in-chief has enough pull that he gets episodes in advance, and he probably has a greater appreciation than anyone of Westeros’ ever-shifting alliances and tangled power struggles. That said, even the superfan in the Oval Office has trouble recalling all the characters who have met met their maker over six seasons of the hit HBO show. In a recent voting PSA produced by Buzzfeed, Obama racks his brain to recite every death on GOT, and he doesn’t even make it to double digits.
Jason Farago writes: ‘The International Center of Photography in New York…now reopens in a new home on the Bowery – once a tumbledown street, now home to ever more galleries and shops – and with, it seems, a new orientation. The new ICP wants to look beyond art photography…to drone visions, Snapchat effluvia, and all kinds of images made with a lens and light. If it does so thoughtfully, ICP could become a new sort of museum. But wow, does it have a way to go to get there.’
Lorrie Moore begins her essay on Helen Gurley Brown (pictured) thusly: ‘Somewhere back in the day [she] said that after a certain age the only thing a woman could rely on to improve her appearance was good posture and expensive jewelry.’ And the piece gets better from there.