Plus: Kinky Boots snaps up Tonys; two longtime producers leave American Idol; Taylor Swift talks new album; Hobbits help draw tourists to New Zealand.
Win a chance to see Rihanna in the UK
As Rihanna brings her Diamonds World Tour to Abu Dhabi on October 19, Flash Entertainment and Live Nation Global Touring have announced the launch of a “Superfan” competition on Facebook, where one fan will win an all-expenses-paid trip to watch Rihanna live in concert on July 16 in Manchester. Fans should visit Facebook.com/FlashEntertainment and enter their email address to participate in a draw that will take place on June 20. Tickets for Rihanna’s October 19 show at du Arena, Yas Island, cost from Dh395 and are available from www.ticketmaster.ae and Virgin Megastores. – The National staff
Kinky Boots snaps up Tony awards
The feel-good musical Kinky Boots, with songs by the pop star Cyndi Lauper, won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Musical. Kinky Boots is based on an obscure 2005 British film about a shoe factory on the brink of ruin that retrofits itself into a maker of footwear for drag queens. Lauper teamed up with the playwright Harvey Fierstein to craft a story about sons and fathers, bonding at work over red patent leather. “I can’t say I wasn’t practising in front of the shower curtain for a couple days for this speech,” Lauper said, picking up one of four gongs for the show. “All right, I gotta thank my mom for sharing all that wonderful music. I wrecked all her Broadway musicals when I was a kid, the cast albums. That’s how I learnt how to sing, and I want to thank her for sharing the music with me.” Neil Patrick Harris, hosting in New York, welcomed presenters and performers like, including Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Anna Kendrick, Martha Plimpton, Sigourney Weaver, Zachary Quinto and Sally Field. – AP
Two longtime producers leave American Idol
Add two more departures to American Idol’s end-of-season tally. Fox said on Sunday that the longtime executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick are leaving the singing contest. Its 12th season ended in May with a record low-rated finale. The producers follow the judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson out the door. The fate of Keith Urban, the other newcomer, is uncertain. Fox has not announced replacements for the producers. – AP
Taylor Swift begins work on a new album
Taylor Swift has begun work on her new album. “The album is starting. All the anxiety is starting. When the anxiety starts, the writing happens right after, usually,” she told USA Today. Swift said she has begun writing some songs, but warned: “Whatever I write in the first year is going to get thrown away. I’m going to like it, but it’s going to sound like the last record. The second year usually sounds like the next project.” The 23-year-old country star added: “I think you need to change your influences. I think you need to be inspired by different things than you were inspired by before.” – IANS
Hobbits help draw tourists to New Zealand
Hobbits, elves and dragons appear to be luring hundreds of tourists to New Zealand as fans await their first glimpse of the second movie in the The Hobbit trilogy. Figures released this month by the government agency Tourism New Zealand show that international holidays to New Zealand rose by 10 per cent from January through April when compared to the same period last year. According to the agency, a survey indicates that 8.5 per cent of visitors cited The Hobbit as one reason for coming and that 13 per cent took part in some kind of Hobbit-themed tourism, such as visiting a film set. Warner Bros will release the first teaser-trailer of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug online tomorrow at 9pm. – AP
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