Voice of America Arts & Entertainment

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  1. Everyone involved in the making of "Mary Poppins Returns" felt the pressure to do justice to the original 1964 film.   Rob Marshall worked on it for three straight years. Animators came out of retirement to do hand-drawn animation in the style of the first. Sets were built. Cast members moved their family to London for a year. But perhaps no one short of Emily Blunt and Marshall were as heavy...
  2. When Salt Lake City pursued the Winter Olympics more than two decades ago, competition was so fierce that lavishing International Olympic Committee members with gifts and favors seemed commonplace. Salt Lake City got caught in a bribery scandal that nearly derailed the plans for the 2002 Winter Olympics.  Two decades later, the script has flipped.  The IOC is struggling to find cities...
  3. John Cena doesn't believe in ego. How could he when he's used to tens of thousands of WWE fans chanting "John Cena sucks" every time he walks out to the ring?   It's a philosophy that's helped him survive both the demands of professional wrestling, where he was never supposed to be a success, and now Hollywood, where he's made a miraculous comeback from some terrible films in the earlier...
  4. Students at two schools in Agoura Hills, California, that narrowly avoided being destroyed by a fierce wildfire received surprise visits this week from Olympic athletes who brought new sports equipment and delivered much-needed cheer. At the Yerba Buena Elementary School, which is surrounded by hillsides blackened by the Woolsey Fire, softball player Hannah August donned new catcher's gear and...
  5. Filmmaker George Lucas' Star Wars empire — the movie franchise, not Darth Vader's fictional galactic government — planted him firmly atop Forbes magazine's third annual ranking of the wealthiest U.S. celebrities which was released Tuesday. The net worth of the 74-year-old writer, director, producer and creator of the enduring space saga was estimated at $5.4 billion, leading a list that also...
  6. When a private museum in Benin displayed artifacts from the ancient Dahomey kingdom a decade ago, roughly a quarter-of-a-million Beninese flocked to see the exhibit — a stunning turnout for the tiny West African country.  There was only one hitch: although the pieces were part of its heritage, they didn't belong to Benin, but rather were on loan from former colonial power France.  The next...
  7. Penny Marshall, the trailblazing director of smash-hit big-screen comedies who first indelibly starred in the top-rated sitcom "Laverne & Shirley," has died. She was 75.   Marshall's publicist, Michelle Bega, said Tuesday that Marshall died in her Los Angeles home on Monday due to complications from diabetes."Our family is heartbroken," the Marshall family said in a statement.   In "Laverne...
  8. The murder of Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi in a year when more than half of all journalists killed were targeted deliberately reflects a hatred of the media in many areas of society, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Tuesday. At least 63 professional journalists around the world were killed doing their jobs in 2018, RSF said, a 15 percent increase on last year. The number of...
  9. She takes on a beloved movie character and dances with penguins, but what really terrified British actress Emily Blunt was descending slowly from the clouds as the new Mary Poppins. More than 50 years after it first charmed audiences worldwide, Blunt stars in the sequel "Mary Poppins Returns" as the magical English nanny with a no-nonsense demeanor but a twinkle in the eye. The Walt Disney...
  10. Why don't chickens fly? When did the moon learn to be kind?  Those and other mysteries were unravelled by dozens of African storytellers in Nairobi on Saturday, helping keep alive oral traditions increasingly under threat in the internet and smartphone age. "To have that storyteller in front of you with an audience being able to interact is something very precious that we are in danger of...