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Johnny Depp, Amber Heard TikTok trial inspires new ‘Carousel’



Repertory Philippines’ (Rep PH) “Carousel,” the company’s first live production in over two years, took inspiration from the viral TikTok coverage of the defamation trial between exes Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.

“Carousel” is a musical by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II which follows the tragic romance of carousel barker Billy Bigelow and millworker Julie Jordan, with a subplot of the relationship between Julie’s friend Carrie Pipperidge and her partner Enoch Snow, an ambitious fisherman.

Rep PH tapped Toff de Venecia to direct a new version of “Carousel,” which he envisioned as “post-modern and contemporary.” It was initially going to be staged in May 2020 if not for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starring in the new production — Rep PH’s 460th live production across 55 years — are Karylle Tatlonghari and Gian Magdangal, also their first projects for Rep PH, as Julie and Billy, while Mikkie Bradshaw-Volante and Lorenz Martinez play Carrie and Enoch.

In a recent talkback session following the gala premiere of “Carousel” at the new Tanhalang Ignacio Gimenez, the show’s assistant director Kyla Rivera explained the show’s contemporary changes, particularly the influence of Depp vs Heard.

“In the original script, you see everybody really come and notice what’s happening… all in the public eye,” shared Kyla. “It’s also commenting on, when you put something out there — your relationship issues — everybody is going to comment on it.”

This particular instance can be seen in “Geraniums in the Winder” scene led by Lorenz’s Enoch, where he asks an audience member to use a phone to document his emotions as the ensemble also pull out their phones to do the same.

Lorenz admitted to having trouble incoporating the phone and relayed such difficulty to Toff when the idea was pitched, “I was like ‘I can’t do this, Toff!’… so  I just committed, sana nagustuhan [ng audience],” he said with a smile.

Collaboration, gratitude

To understand Toff’s vision for “Carousel,” Karylle said that the director gave them all handouts to study, which amused her husband and Spongecola frontman Yael Yuzon, who graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with an English Literature degree.

“I personally don’t understand ‘post-modern’… when Yael saw me reading the handouts, he was so proud!” shared Karylle at the same talkback session.

The singer compared the experience to being a student again: “You want to be open to new things, to learn and not be insecure about it because I didn’t know half the time what I was reading,” then praising Toff for his collaborative creativity.

Gian added that the cast and crew, having not performed live theater onstage in two years, approached “Carousel” coming from a place of overwhelming gratitude.

“This is the one thing, and I think I speak for everybody on this, we love this… and if you love something, you will really take care of it,” continued Gian. “To share the air together with these people that created [this]… I’m speechless about it, just grateful.”

Noel Rayos, who plays Jigger, mirrored Gian’s view on gratefulness and shared that “Carousel” was the very first play he worked on, and now with Rep PH, he marks his 95th production.

Considered by TIME Magazine as the “best musical of the 20th century,” “Carousel” is famous for the songs “If I Loved You,” “When the Children Are Asleep,” “June Is Bustin’ Out All Over,” “Soliloquy,” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Repertory Philippines’ “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel” runs until December 18 in the Tanghalang Ignacio Gimenez Black Box Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.


Tina Turner’s Cause of Death Revealed




More details on Tina Turner’s passing have come to light.

One day after the legendary performer died at the age of 83, her cause of death has been attributed to natural causes, her representatives confirmed to Her publicist also told NBC News her death came after a long illness.

E! News has reached out to her manager for comment but hasn’t heard back.

On May 24, her team shared that she passed away at her home in Switzerland.

“With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow,” a statement posted to her social media pages read. “Today we say goodbye to a dear friend who leaves us all her greatest work: her music. All our heartfelt compassion goes out to her family. Tina, we will miss you dearly.”

During the latter years of her life, the “Proud Mary” artist opened up about battling several health issues, including high blood pressure, vertigo, a stroke, intestinal cancer and kidney failure.

In her 2021 documentary, Tina, the singer also shared she experienced post-traumatic stress disorder as a result from her tumultuous marriage to her ex Ike Turner.

“I’ve been on such a wild roller-coaster in the four years since my wedding,” Turner—who wed music executive Erwin Bach in 2013—wrote in her memoir, My Love Story, per Today, “that even I have difficulty keeping my medical catastrophes straight.”

Turner’s passing came just five months after the death of her and Ike’s son Ronnie and nearly five years after her son Craig passed away.

Tina Turner's Cause of Death Revealed

Her death sent shockwaves through Hollywood, with many celebrities speak out about the influence her achievements had on the industry.

“Through her courage in telling her story, her commitment to stay the course in her life, no matter the sacrifice, and her determination to carve out a space in rock and roll for herself and for others who look like her,” Angela Bassett, who played the legend in the 1993 biopic What’s Love Got to Do With It, said in a statement. “Tina Turner showed others who lived in fear what a beautiful future filled with love, compassion, and freedom should look like.”

As the actress—who won a Golden Globe for her role—noted, it was an honor knowing the icon on a personal level.

“Her final words to me, for me, were ‘You never mimicked me. Instead, you reached deep into your soul, found your inner Tina, and showed her to the world,’” she added. “I shall hold these words close to my heart for the rest of my days.”


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Tina Turner survived an abusive relationship with Ike and death of two sons




Tina Turner escaped an abusive relationship to find true love with her second husband, Erwin Bach.

The singer, who passed away aged 83 on Wednesday following an unspecified illness, was in a relationship with the record executive for 38 years. The pair married in 2013.

Tina had publicly praised Erwin for helping her find happiness after fleeing from her first marriage to husband, Ike Turner, which was plagued with physical and emotional abuse.

Ike first met Tina when she was a vulnerable teenager named Annie Mae Bullock. He renamed her Tina, and went on to form the musical duo, Ike & Tina Turner. According to Tina, he micromanaged her career, withheld her finances and beat her while she was pregnant.

After filing for divorce in 1978, Tina was left in debt and had her children to support. She went on to establish a successful solo career.

The songstress met Erwin in 1985 when he was working as an executive with EMI. The pair had an instant connection the moment they met, when he arrived to collect her from Düsseldorf airport.

She said Erwin had taught her how “to love without giving up who I am”, and that he had never been intimidated by her fame or success. He even donated a kidney to her in April 2017, which saved her life.

Writing in her book, Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good, Tina said: “Falling in love with my husband, Erwin, was another exercise in leaving my comfort zone, of being open to the unexpected gifts that life has to offer.

“The day I first met Erwin, at an airport in Germany, I should have been too tired from my flight, too preoccupied with thoughts of my concert tour. But I did notice him, and I instantly felt an emotional connection.

“Even then, I could have ignored what I felt — I could have listened to the ghost voices in my head telling me that I didn’t look good that day, or that I shouldn’t be thinking about romance because it never ends well. Instead, I listened to my heart.”

Tina’s spokesman confirmed she died “peacefully” at home and added: “With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model. With her music and her inexhaustible vitality, Tina Turner thrilled millions of fans and inspired many artists of subsequent generations.”

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Tina Turner: legendary rock’n’roll singer dies aged 83




Tina Turner, the pioneering rock’n’roll star who became a pop behemoth in the 1980s, has died aged age of 83 after a long illness, her publicist has told the PA news agency.
Turner affirmed and amplified Black women’s formative stake in rock’n’roll, defining that era of music to the extent that Mick Jagger admitted to taking inspiration from her high-kicking, energetic live performances for his stage persona. After two decades of working with her abusive husband, Ike Turner, she struck out alone and – after a few false starts – became one of the defining pop icons of the 1980s with the album Private Dancer. Her life was chronicled in three memoirs, a biopic, a jukebox musical, and in 2021, the acclaimed documentary film, Tina.

“Turner’s musical character has always been a charged combination of mystery as well as light, melancholy mixed with a ferocious vitality that often flirted with danger,” scholar Daphne A Brooks wrote for the Guardian in 2018.
Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on 26 November 1939 and raised in Nutbush, Tennessee, where she recalled picking cotton with her family as a child. She sang in the tiny town’s church choir, and as a teenager talked – or rather, sang – her way into Ike’s band in St Louis: he had declined her request to join until he heard her seize the microphone during a Kings of Rhythm performance for a rendition of BB King’s You Know I Love You.
She had suffered ill health in recent years, being diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2016 and having a kidney transplant in 2017.

‘I was just tired of singing and making everybody happy’ … Tina Turner performs at the O2 Arena, London, in 2009. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

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