newsmakers


newsmakers

Sheen kicks off tour tonight in Detroit

DETROIT

Charlie Sheen’s kept an awfully high profile over the past month, yakking to TV interviewers, ranting on YouTube and tweeting on an hourly basis.

Now, he’s coming to a city near you.

The 45-year-old unemployed actor’s 20-city road show kicks off tonight in Detroit. He will be in Cleveland on Tuesday.

Few details have emerged about the concert’s format.

What is known is that it’s called “My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not an Option,” and, in a video posted to his website, Sheen asks people to “buy your ticket” and “take the ride” and warns that “if you’re winning, I’ll see you there” and “trolls need not apply.”

Sheen’s live show stops in Chicago on Sunday and runs through May 3.

Snooki gets $32K to talk at Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, N.J.

The pouf is mightier than the pen when it comes to speaking fees at New Jersey’s largest university.

The Rutgers University Programming Association paid Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi of the reality TV show “Jersey Shore” $32,000 Thursday to dish on her hairstyle, fist pumps, as well as the GTL — gym, tanning, laundry — lifestyle.

That’s $2,000 more than the $30,000 the university is paying Nobel-winning novelist Toni Morrison to deliver Rutgers’ commencement address in May.

Money for Polizzi’s appearance came from the mandatory student-activity fee.

Freshman Adham Abdel-Raouf told The Star-Ledger of Newark he thought the price was a bargain given Snooki’s popularity. Another freshman, Dan Oliveto, said it was a waste of money.

Snooki’s advice to students: “Study hard, but party harder.”

Country songwriter Mel McDaniel dies

NASHVILLE, Tenn.

Mel McDaniel, a husky-voiced country music singer-songwriter with hits like “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On” and “Louisiana Saturday Night” has died. He was 68.

Darleen Bieber of Schmidt Relations, the publicists for the Grand Ole Opry, confirmed Friday morning that McDaniel had died but had no details.

McDaniel’s other hits, most in the early and mid-1980s, included “Stand Up,” “Big Ole Brew” and “Let It Roll (Let It Rock).”

The native of Checotah, Okla., sang for oil-field workers in Alaska in the 1970s before becoming successful in Nashville. He was a regular on the Grand Ole Opry beginning in 1986.

McDaniel said “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On” related to average Americans: “The main thing everybody says to me is, ‘I can picture that in my mind.’”

April Fools’ Day noted online

NEW YORK

The online world got an April Fools’ Day makeover as YouTube rolled out 1911 viral videos and the Huffington Post put up a mock pay wall.

Lighthearted pranks are an annual Web tradition on April Fools’ Day, with jokey redesigns and parody products. The Huffington Post presented one of the most pointed gags in erecting a fake New York Times-style pay wall, but only to employees of the Times.

YouTube remade viral videos such as the Annoying Orange and the Keyboard Cat in scratchy black-and-white silent clips, purportedly from 1911. Hulu took a similar approach, dating their video repository to the Web’s dial-up days of 1996.

Animal Planet sent out a joke press-release announcing a deal for the famous escaped Bronx Zoo cobra — news that some outlets reported earnestly.

Mamet to debut new play in London

NEW YORK

A new play by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Mamet will make its world debut in London this fall.

Producers said Friday that Mamet will team up with director Rupert Goold on “The Anarchist.” No theater, dates or casting were announced.

Mamet won the Pulitzer Prize for his 1984 play, “Glengarry Glen Ross.” He received Tony nominations for both “Glengarry” and “Speed-the-Plow.” A revival of his “A Life in the Theater” was seen on Broadway last year.

His other plays include “Race,” “Oleanna” and “American Buffalo,” and he is a two-time Academy Award nominee for “The Verdict” and “Wag the Dog.”

Goold is the artistic director of London’s Headlong Theatre and an associate director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

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