NEIL SIMON MADE COMEDY MISTAKES TOO
WASHINGTON (AP) — Playwright Neil Simon was considered a master of comedy, but even he had his missteps. Simon said in a 2006 AP interview he wrote another scene for “The Odd Couple” that he thought was great. Director Mike Nichols, who directed the original stage version, told Simon, “This is too funny. You’ll kill people -- actually kill them.” Simon said they did the scene and didn’t get one laugh. Simon died yesterday at the age of 91.
025436-w-331:68-(Margie Szaroleta (zar-oh-LEH’-tah), AP entertainment correspondent, with Neil Simon, playwright)-“I’m Margie Szaroleta”-Neil Simon, Broadway’s master of comedy, dies at 91 (26 Aug 2018)
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DETROIT SAYING FAREWELL IN ROYAL FASHION TO ARETHA FRANKLIN
DETROIT (AP) — Singer Aretha Franklin’s funeral Friday at Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple is billed as an event for friends and family only. The all-star lineup of performers includes Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia and Shirley Caesar. Also slated to perform are Ron Isley, Chaka Khan, Yolanda Adams, Jennifer Holliday and Franklin’s son, Edward Franklin. The service will reflect Franklin’s strong gospel roots. Among the gospel voices expected to fill Greater Grace include Marvin Sapp, the Clark Sisters and Vanessa Bell Armstrong. Greater Grace Temple is calling on people with pink Cadillacs to line up before the funeral in an effort to create a “Freeway of Love” in tribute to Franklin. That’s a nod to her funky ’80s tune of the same name that prominently featured the car in the lyrics and video. Those who line the route get a special perk: The driver of the Caddy and one extra person will be admitted to the funeral.
025584-w-310:32-(Margie Szaroleta (zar-oh-LEH’-tah), AP music correspondent, with music)-“I’m Margie Szaroleta”-Detroit saying farewell in royal fashion to Queen of Soul (27 Aug 2018)
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DAVID LETTERMAN AND JIMMY CARTER LAUNCH HABITAT PROJECT
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Former President Jimmy Carter and comedian David Letterman have helped launch a Habitat for Humanity building blitz in northern Indiana. The retired late-night TV host praised Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, for their dedication to the nonprofit during a Sunday event at the University of Notre Dame that kicked off a five-day Habitat for Humanity effort to build 23 homes in adjacent Mishawaka. Letterman noted the Carters’ long involvement with the group, telling the roughly 4,000 attendees that if it weren’t for the Democratic former president and his wife, he wouldn’t have become a Habitat for Humanity volunteer. The South Bend Tribune reports that the 93-year-old former president said he and his wife get “more out of it than we put into it” when they build Habitat homes.
“SISTER WIVES” FAMILY MOVES TO ARIZONA
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Polygamous family members from TV’s “Sister Wives” say they’ve moved to northern Arizona after seven years in Las Vegas because they still feel hostility toward plural families in their home state of Utah. Kody Brown and his four wives told The Associated Press in a recent interview that they love the open-mindedness and natural beauty of their new home in Flagstaff, Arizona. They say they pondered an eventual return to Utah after fleeing in 2011 under the threat of prosecution but don’t feel like enough has changed. Brown and his wives say they were treated well in Las Vegas and their 18 children thrived, but it never felt like more than a place to take “exile.” Season eight of “Sister Wives” is set to debut on TLC in January 2019.
ALMA AWARDS WILL RETURN
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The American Latino Media Arts Awards, or ALMAs, will be back this fall after a three-year hiatus in time for the 50th anniversary of UnidosUS, previously known as National Council of La Raza. Fuse Media has made a multi-year agreement to become the exclusive multiplatform media home of the ALMAs, which has had Jennifer Lopez and Eva Longoria among its hosts. Organizers say they will present a re-envisioned show celebrating Latino heritage and leading entertainment and media personalities through an engaging, inclusive format, with more details and a specific date to be announced. UnidosUS is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. In 1995 it created the ALMA Awards as a way to promote fair, accurate, and balanced portrayals of Latinos in the entertainment industry.