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Imagine Dragons, Kendrick Lamar, Fall Out Boy make Music Midtown 2018 lineup

Five years ago, Imagine Dragons was on the cusp of arena stardom when the pop rock band played the secondary stage at Music Midtown.

“(Drummer) Daniel Platzman told me the reason he became a drummer was because his uncle took him to Music Midtown when he was in school years ago,” Peter Conlon, president of Live Nation Atlanta, which produces the annual city concert, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

>> Read more trending news 

This fall, Imagine Dragons graduates to headliner status for the 2018 edition of the two-day music festival, along with fellow marquee names Kendrick Lamar, Fall Out Boy and Post Malone.

Joining the frontline four acts on four stages are Khalid, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Gucci Mane, Janelle Monáe, Portugal, The Man, The Revivalists, Foster the People, Kacey Musgraves, Sylvan Esso, BØRNS, First Aid Kit, Billie Eilish, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Bazzi, AWOLNATION, Chromeo, Butch Walker, Maggie Rogers, K.Flay, ARIZONA, Twin Shadow, Robert DeLong, lovelytheband, SAINt JHN, Two Feet, Black Pistol Fire, SiR, The Aces, Mattiel, Arthur Buck, Yuno and Berklee College of Music.

“The lineup reflects the audience,” Conlon said. “There’s a central thrust toward a young crowd.”

Tickets for the festival, which takes place Sept. 15-16 in Piedmont Park, where it has resided since returning in 2011, will go on sale at 10 a.m. June 15 at MusicMidtown.com

Two-day general admission prices are $135 plus fees and taxes. Prices will increase as the event gets closer.

Two-day VIP tickets, which includes dedicated entrances, VIP lounge access, preferred stage viewing areas, complimentary food, beer and wine and air-conditioned restrooms, are $600 plus fees and taxes. Two-day Super VIP tickets, which includes all of the VIP amenities plus air-conditioned luxury lounge access and seating, premium open bar, gourmet catered food and golf cart transportation between the Meadow stages, are $1,250 plus fees and taxes. 

“You have to compare prices to any of today’s shows,” Conlon said. “A $150 ticket is the average price to see one act, and this is still the biggest music festival in Georgia.”

Last year’s Music Midtown, which spotlighted Bruno Mars, Future, Blink-182 and Mumford & Sons, attracted more than 70,000 fans each day. 

The layout of the event will remain the same. A few tweaks are expected to the food selection, including more vegan and gluten-free options.

“I think we’ve got a really good during-the-day up-and-coming lineup,” Conlon said. “It’s a good mix.”

Kenny Leon to give keynote at AJC Decatur Book Fest 2018

The AJC Decatur Book Festival announced Monday that Atlanta theater legend Kenny Leon will serve as the keynote speaker during the kickoff ceremonies for the festival this Labor Day weekend.

The Tony Award-winning Leon, former artistic director of the Alliance Theatre, will speak at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31. He is the author of a new memoir, “Take You Wherever You Go.”  

Leon will speak at Emory University’s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. 

Leon’s Broadway credits include the 2014 revival of “A Raisin in the Sun” starring Denzel Washington and the premiere of “Holler if You Hear Me,” a musical created using the music of Tupac Shakur.

He is currently serving as the Denzel Washington Chair at Fordham University and as the artistic director of Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre in Atlanta.

The keynote speech is free and open to the public, but requires a ticket. The distribution of free tickets will be announced later.

This is the festival’s 13th year. Held every Labor Day weekend, the festival this year will bring more than 300 well-known authors and illustrators and tens of thousands of readers together for three days of events.

Among the authors who will be featured are:

- Journalist Beth Macy, and her account “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America,” which charts the opioid crisis in America.

- Novelist Karin Slaughter, and her crime thriller “Pieces of Her.” 

- “Visible Empire,” from Hannah Pittard, a novel that uses the historical events of the Orly Air Crash of 1962 to explore the promise and hope that remains in the wake of crisis.

For more information: decaturbookfestival.com

 RELATED: Atlanta festivals calendar from AJC

Tony Awards 2018: Robert De Niro blasts Trump in bleeped comments

Actor Robert De Niro let viewers of the 2018 Tony Awards know exactly how he feels about President Donald Trump, lobbing profanity at the commander in chief after taking the stage during Sunday night's broadcast.

>> PHOTOS: 2018 Tony Awards red carpet

"I'm just going to say one thing: [Expletive] Trump!" said De Niro, who was introducing Bruce Springsteen's performance of "My Hometown."

"It's no longer, 'Down with Trump.' It's, '[Expletive] Trump!'" De Niro added.

>> See the moment here (WARNING: Censored profanity)

CBS censored the language in its broadcast of the awards ceremony, but the audience at New York's Radio City Music Hall heard every word, The Associated Press reported. Many responded with a standing ovation.

>> PHOTOS: 2018 Tony Awards show

According to Deadline, a spokeswoman for CBS addressed the controversy in a statement, calling De Niro's insult "unscripted and unexpected." 

>> 2018 Tony Awards: ‘The Band’s Visit,’ complete winner list

"The offensive language was deleted from the broadcast," the spokeswoman said.

>> Read more trending news 

Read more here or here.

Tony Awards 2018: Parkland drama students give emotional performance of 'Seasons of Love'

Drama students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida, delivered a heartfelt performance of "Seasons of Love" from "Rent" at the Tony Awards on Sunday, nearly four months after a mass shooting at their school left 17 dead.

>> Click here to watch the full performance

>> PHOTOS: 2018 Tony Awards red carpet

The performance, which drew tears and a standing ovation, came after the school's drama director, Melody Herzfeld, received the 2018 Excellence in Theatre Education Award. According to The Associated Press, Herzfeld "saved 65 lives by barricading students into a small classroom closet" during the Feb. 14 massacre.

>> Read more trending news 

"All the goodness and tragedy that has brought me to this point will always be embraced," she said.

>> Click here to watch her speech

Celebrities and other viewers took to social media to praise the students and Herzfeld.

>> Tony Awards 2018: Robert De Niro blasts Trump in bleeped comments

>> PHOTOS: 2018 Tony Awards show

Read more here or here.

Tony Awards 2018: What time, what channel, who is nominated, who will perform?

The 2018 Tony Awards are set for Sunday, June 10, live from Radio City Music Hall, bringing together Broadway’s finest acts with celebrity honors and performances.

>> Read more trending news 

“Mean Girls” and “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical” are tied for the most nominations with 12 each.

“Angels in America,” “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel” and “The Band’s visit” are not far behind, with 11 nominations each.

The play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” based on the hit books by J.K. Rowling, has been nominated for 10 Tony Awards.

Here is how to watch the 2018 Tony Awards, a list of nominees and some of the artists scheduled to perform on Sunday.

When: Sunday, June 10, 2018

What time: The 2018 Tony Awards will air live at 8 p.m. EST

Where is the ceremony: Radio City Music Hall in New York City

What channel: CBS will air the awards show at 8 p.m. EST on Sunday. 

Livestream: The awards show will be available to stream in select markets on CBS All Access. Viewers can also watch red carpet arrivals starting at 5:30 p.m. EST on TonyAwards.com.

Who is hosting: Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles are set to co-host. Both are nominated for a Tony Award.

Who is presenting: Kerry Washington, Claire Danes, Jeff Daniels, Billy Joel, Robert De Niro, Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Patti LuPone and Bernadette Peters are among the presenters of this year’s awards. 

Honoring Bruce Springsteen: “The Boss” will be honored with a special award for “Springsteen,” his one-man Broadway show. Springsteen is also set to perform.

Who is nominated: Here is a list of nominees for the 2018 Tony Awards:

Best Book of a Musical

“The Band's Visit”

“Frozen”

“Mean Girls”

“SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

“Angels in America”

“The Band's Visit”

“Frozen”

“Mean Girls”

“SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

Andrew Garfield, “Angels in America”

Tom Hollander, “Travesties”

Jamie Parker, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

Mark Rylance, “Farinelli and The King”

Denzel Washington, “Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

Glenda Jackson, “Edward Albee's Three Tall Women”

Condola Rashad, “Saint Joan”

Lauren Ridloff, “’Children of a Lesser God”

Amy Schumer, “Meteor Shower”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Harry Hadden-Paton, “My Fair Lady”

Joshua Henry, “Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel”

Tony Shalhoub, “The Band's Visit”

Ethan Slater, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Lauren Ambrose, “My Fair Lady”

Hailey Kilgore, “Once On This Island”

LaChanze, Summer: “The Donna Summer Musical”

Katrina Lenk, “The Band's Visit”

Taylor Louderman, “Mean Girls”

Jessie Mueller, “Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

Anthony Boyle, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

Michael Cera, “Lobby Hero”

Brian Tyree Henry, “Lobby Hero”

Nathan Lane, “Angels in America”

David Morse, Eugene O'Neill's “The Iceman Cometh”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

Susan Brown, “Angels in America”

Noma Dumezweni, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

Deborah Findlay, “The Children”

Denise Gough, “Angels in America”

Laurie Metcalf, Edward Albee's “Three Tall Women”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Norbert Leo Butz, “My Fair Lady”

Alexander Gemignani, “Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel”

Grey Henson, “Mean Girls”

Gavin Lee, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Ari'el Stachel, “The Band's Visit”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

Ariana DeBose, “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical”

Renée Fleming, “Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel”

Lindsay Mendez, “Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel”

Ashley Park, “Mean Girls”

Diana Rigg, “My Fair Lady”

Best Revival of a Musical

“My Fair Lady”

“Once On This Island”

“Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel” 

Best Musical

“The Band's Visit”

“Frozen”

“Mean Girls”

“SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Best Play

“The Children”

“Farinelli and the King”

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” Parts One and Two

“Junk”

“Latin History for Morons”

For a complete list of the nominations click here.

Theater review: ‘Hamilton’ a magnificent tale of triumph and tragedy

Born out of wedlock on a tiny Caribbean island in the middle of the 18th century, Alexander Hamilton arrived on American shores with killer timing: It was 1772. The American Revolution was at hand.

By dint of his soaring intellect and vaulting ambition, he went on to help George Washington defeat the British and participate in the design of a miraculous new experiment in democracy. All the while, as we see in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s astonishing Broadway musical, “Hamilton,” the Founding Father led a personal life that was as dangerous and self-sabotaging as any present-day politician or hip-hop thug.

“Why do you write like you’re running out of time?” asks his wife, Eliza, in the electric, Pulitzer Prize-winning spectacle that arrived at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre this week and runs through June 10. Because he was, maybe?

Before Hamilton (Austin Scott) is shot by arch-nemesis Aaron Burr (Nicholas Christopher), he will lust after his sister-in-law Angelica (Sabrina Sloan); engage in a lurid sex-and-blackmail scandal that humiliates his wife and wrecks his political career; and — in a scene that presages his own death — lose his son, Philip (Ruben J. Carbajal).

And yet, after all the hubris and vanity, the comparisons to Icarus, the allusions to Macbeth (I would add Julius Caesar), he remains a profoundly honorable and courageous man.

Before “Hamilton,” which I recently caught on Broadway and saw again Wednesday night, I didn’t know it was possible to sit for three hours in a state of catharsis, choking back tears. Michelle Obama once remarked that the rhyming rap musical was the finest work of art she had ever witnessed “in any form.”

Now I know why.

As directed by Thomas Kail and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler, this national tour lacks some of the immediacy of the New York production. (After all, Hamilton died in Greenwich Village and is buried at Trinity Church, not far from the Manhattan show.) The balletic numbers aren’t as intricately configured nor as rigorously danced as they currently are at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. The exhilarating boom-boom urgency of “Right Hand Man” (“rise up!”) and “My Shot,” Hamilton’s double-entendre about sacrificing oneself for a political cause, is not as thunderous.

And though it took me a few minutes to recover from a seating snafu that caused me to watch the opening number from the back of the Fox in a near-panic state, recover I did, thanks to this mostly top-notch cast.

Scott’s Hamilton is charismatic and regal, while Christopher’s Burr becomes a tormented figure who arouses our sympathy. (It doesn’t hurt that the actor has a gorgeous singing voice.) As dressed by costume designer Paul Tazewell, Eliza Hamilton (the lovely Julia K. Harriman) and her sister Angelica strike the painterly silhouettes of Goya and Ingres.

Carvens Lissaint’s George Washington is a towering figure of national patrimony: He’s the father symbol to almost-sibling rivals Burr and Hamilton, who recall Cain and Abel, Judas and Christ. Peter Matthew Smith plays King George as spoiled and infantilized: a diminutive, red-cloaked crowned head who regards America like a spurned lover and trills about it in songs that echo the Beatles and “Hedwig” (“You’ll Be Back”).

Chris De’Sean Lee, who plays the Marquis de Lafayette and Francophile Thomas Jefferson, seems a little quirky for both roles, though his take on the characters becomes more focused as the story progresses.

Whatever their differences, which were irreconcilably outsize in scope, Hamilton and Burr loved their children inviolably, and Scott and Christopher sing about their parallel hopes for their young ones, and their newly birthed nation, in the hauntingly beautiful “Dear Theodosia.”

The rupture of Hamilton’s relationship with Eliza is poignantly described in “Burn,” in which she sifts through and destroys his letters. “I am erasing myself from the narrative; let future historians wonder how Eliza reacted when you broke her heart.”

There are many such moments in this tragic meditation on triumph and loss, sorrow and despair, perseverance and redemption. If not for Miranda, this fascinating figure might remain little more than a face on a $10 bill. Now, plucked from the vaults of history, he is a hero for the ages, every bit as fraught and complicated as the nation he toiled for.

In that regard, this deeply resonant, magisterial tale makes it clear how much work we still have to do.

THEATER REVIEW

“Hamilton”

Though June 10. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays; 2 p.m. Saturdays; 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sundays. $245-$645 (for premium tickets). There is a four-ticket limit per order. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 1-855-285-8499, foxtheatre.org. During digital daily lotteries, 40 tickets will be sold for every show for $10 each. Visit hamiltonmusical.com/lottery for details.

Bottom line: Don’t lose your shot!

Judge forces David Copperfield to reveal 'Lucky #13' magic trick

David Copperfield was forced to shatter his most famous illusion.

>> Read more trending news

The famed magician was ordered in court Tuesday to break the Magicians Oath in court Tuesday, the BBC reported. A judge ordered Copperfield to explain one of his most famous tricks -- the Lucky #13 -- during a trial involving a man who claimed he was injured during the stunt.

British tourist Gavin Cox, 58, filed a negligence lawsuit against the illusionist, Time reported. Cox claimed he fell while participating in the Lucky #13 trick at the MGM Grand Resort and Casino in Las Vegas in 2013, the BBC reported. In the trick, Copperfield makes 13 audience members, chosen at random, disappear on stage and then reappear at the back of the room, the BBC reported. 

Cox told NBC News that he has suffered chronic pain and brain injury and has spent more than $400,000 on medical bills.

Copperfield’s attorney argued that revealing the secret would be financially detrimental, but a Las Vegas district court ruled against the magician

A Las Vegas district court rejected Copperfield’s defense, which argued that disclosing the secret behind the trick would be financially detrimental to him. He was ordered to explain how the trick was done.

Spoiler alert: Copperfield’s executive producer testified that when the curtain falls, the 13 volunteers are taken through passageways that circle the MGM building. They exit the building and then re-enter at the back of the theater, Time reported.

“There was a duty by the defendants to provide a safe environment to the audience participants,” Cox’s lawyer, Benedict Morelli, said in the opening statements.

WATCH: 'Frozen' Broadway musical debuts new song for Elsa

Just when you got “Let It Go” out of your head, there’s a new “Frozen” song to check out.

>> Watch the video here

Mashable reported that “Monster,” the first original song from the “Frozen” Broadway musical, was released on Friday, along with a music video featuring Caissie Levy, who’ll play Elsa on stage, belting out the tune.

The Broadway production of the beloved Disney movie will feature 12 new songs along with all the favorite tunes from the film. Just as they did for the movie, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez have brought their magic to the play, writing all the songs.

“Monster” comes into play during the second act when Elsa begins to wonder if she is a monster due to her magical abilities. Audience members also will get to hear several other new songs from Elsa, including “Dangerous to Dream.” Anna fans will be excited to hear that her character is getting her own new solo as well, “True Love,” and she’ll join Kristoff in a new duet called “What Do You Know About Love.”

“It’s a moment of anxiety where the freedom she found in ‘Let It Go’ is shaken, and she hears in the distance the voices of the men coming for her, and she realizes now is the time she has to decide what her next move is,” Lopez said of “Monster," according to the New York Times.

>> Read more trending news 

“It’s full of conflicting emotions,” Anderson-Lopez added. “It’s got fear. It’s got rage. It’s got her self-flagellation. It’s someone who has been living a double life of secrets and shame that no one knows about, and this is the moment of reckoning with all the destruction that she left behind her.”

In addition to Levy, the “Frozen” cast includes Patti Murin as Anna, Jelani Alladin (Kristoff), Greg Hildreth (Olaf), John Riddle (Hans), Robert Creighton (Weselton), Kevin Del Aguila (Oaken), Timothy Hughes (Pabbie), Andrew Pirozzi (Sven), Audrey Bennett (Young Anna), Mattea Conforti (Young Anna), Brooklyn Nelson (Young Elsa), Ayla Schwartz (Young Elsa), Alyssa Fox (Elsa Standby), Aisha Jackson (Anna Standby), and Adam Jepsen (Sven Alternate).

“Frozen” will make its debut at New York’s St. James Theatre on March 22.

Donny Osmond celebrates 60th birthday with help from sister Marie

Can you believe Donny Osmond is 60 years old? Neither can the baker who made his cake, apparently.

The singer rang in his 60th birthday Saturday with a little help from sister Marie and a cake that appears to indicate he’s actually turning 90 years old due to a hilarious mishap.

>> Read more trending news 

“Right side up and upside down no matter how I look at his cake…looks like my bro @donnyosmond turns 90 today!” Marie wrote on Instagram with a nostalgic slideshow of photos. “Glad he’s spending this landmark birthday month with his sweet❤️vacationing!”

>> See the post here

The slideshow features recent photos of the superstar siblings as well as many pictures from over the course of their lives.

The iconic brother-sister duo opened their show on the Las Vegas Strip back in September 2008, and what was supposed to only be a 6-month run is about to turn into a 10-year streak as their popular show has been extended through the end of next year, the Los Angeles Times reported. The pair, who started as a variety show back in the 1970s, continues to entertain the audiences with both their new and old songs, including hits such as “I’m Leavin’ It (All) Up to You,” “Paper Roses” and “Puppy Love.”

“We’re headed into our 10th year,” Donny Osmond said in a news release. “Marie and I are constantly changing our show. That’s probably why we’re fortunate enough to enjoy such longevity.”

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