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Cruise ship with Broadway stars to steam off in spring 2023

NEW YORK — The maiden voyage of a cruise ship starring a boatload of musical theater stars — like Tony Award-winners Laura Benanti, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming and Lena Hall — will set sail next spring.

The Broadway Cruise — heading roundtrip from New York City to Bermuda, from March 31-April 5, 2023 — will feature Tony-nominees Joshua Henry, Taylor Louderman and Jeremy Jordan, as well as Broadway favorites Randy Rainbow and Sierra Boggess.

Producers promise “intimate and grand scale shows and cabarets from Broadway’s coolest talent” as well as “tips and techniques from some of the best and brightest creative talent working today.”

Tony-nominated scenic designer David Korins will discuss his creative process when designing settings for the stage and Tony-nominated choreographer Kelly Devine will discuss the art of the dance. Chris Jahnke will serve as music director.

The cruise will borrow the Norwegian Gem, which accommodates 2,000 people. Cabin prices begin at $1,165 per person. The trip was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Cruise ships were an early source of outbreaks at the start of the pandemic. The CDC issued a no-sail order in March 2020, prompting a standstill that ended in June 2021 as cruise ships began to leave U.S. ports with new health and safety requirements.

All guests 12 and over — and all artists and crew — aboard The Broadway Cruise are required to be fully vaccinated and present proof of vaccination to board.

Four-hour docuseries on The Rolling Stones to air on EPIX

The Rolling Stones will help celebrate their 60th anniversary with an upcoming four-part docuseries on EPIX that takes turns focusing on the band’s most iconic members, with in-depth portraits of singer Mick Jagger, guitarists Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood, and the late drummer Charlie Watts.

“My Life as a Rolling Stone” will premiere on Aug. 7. It is directed by Oliver Murray and Clare Tavernor.

Producers said in a statement that the series aims to “reveal The Rolling Stones’ creativity, their inspirations, and how they individually and collectively have overcome adversity, notoriety and personal demons to write the soundtrack of our times.”

The Rolling Stones are on the road with their 2022 European “Sixty” tour, but hit a wobble when Jagger tested positive for COVID-19, cancelling a few dates.

Two deputies disciplined after Bob Saget death investigation

ORLANDO, Fla. — Two Florida deputies have each been suspended for about two weeks for leaking news about actor and comedian Bob Saget’s death before his family was alerted, officials said.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Monday that the two deputies were each suspended for 81 hours without pay.

“This case highlights how important it is to allow detectives in death investigations the time to ensure next of kin notifications are made before that information is disseminated to the public,” Orange County Sheriff John Mina said in a statement. “The deputies acknowledged their wrongdoing and were disciplined for their actions.”

One of the deputies told his brother about Saget’s death shortly after responding to the scene, and then the brother posted the information on social media, according to an investigation report. The other deputy, who was off-duty and not involved in the death investigation, told his neighbor about Saget’s passing, officials said.

Saget, 65, was found by a hotel security officer at the Ritz Carlton in Orlando on Jan. 9 after he had failed to check out of the hotel and his family had asked for a well-being check. A medical examiner later determined that the “Full House” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos” star had died from an accidental blow to the head, likely from a backward fall.

Oscars organization adds

Marlee Matlin, Jason Reitman

Actor Marlee Matlin, director Jason Reitman and producer Jason Blum are joining the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The organization that puts on the Oscars said Wednesday that they are among the 12 Hollywood professionals who have been elected to the board for the first time. Others joining include cinematographer Dion Beebe, casting director Richard Hicks and marketing and public relations executive Megan Colligan.

Each of the academy’s 17 branches are represented by three governors who help set and guide the strategy for the academy and manage its financial health. Other governors currently serving include Whoopi Goldberg, Ava DuVernay and Rita Wilson. With this election, a majority of the board is female and 28 percent of members belong to an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.

The academy, and the board, have been under more scrutiny than usual following the incident in which Will Smith slapped Chris Rock during the Oscars ceremony earlier this year. Several days later, the board banned Smith from attending the Oscars or any other academy event for 10 years.

Chelsea Manning memoir to be published in October

NEW YORK — A memoir by Chelsea Manning will come out this fall. The book is titled “README.txt,” and it’s scheduled for release on Oct. 18.

Manning’s book was first announced in 2019 but did not have a title or release date. The former intelligence analyst served seven years in a military prison for leaking a trove of documents to WikiLeaks before President Barack Obama commuted the remainder of her 35-year sentence in 2017.

The day after her conviction, Manning declared her gender identity was a woman and began to transition.

“In README.txt, Manning recounts how her pleas for increased institutional transparency and government accountability took place alongside a fight to defend her rights as a trans woman,” according to an announcement Thursday by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

“Manning details the challenges of her childhood and adolescence as a naive, computer-savvy kid, what drew her to the military, and the fierce pride she has about the work she does.”

The book’s title refers to a file she used for sending a message about the documents.

Prosecutors seek 15 years

for former ‘Cheer’ star Harris

CHICAGO — A prosecutor has asked a federal judge to sentence Jerry Harris, a former star of the Netflix documentary series “Cheer,” to 15 years in prison for coercing teenage boys to send him obscene photos and videos of themselves and soliciting sex from minors at cheerleading competitions.

Attorneys for Harris are seeking a sentence of six years.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Guzman wrote in a sentencing memo late Wednesday that Harris used “his status as a competitive cheerleader, his social media persona, and eventually his celebrity and money, to persuade and entice his young victims to engage in sexually explicit conduct for him or with him.”

Guzman also requested the sentence include 10 years of supervised release after the prison term.

Harris, 22, of suburban Naperville, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count each of receiving child pornography and traveling with the intention to engage in illegal sexual conduct. He is due to be sentenced July 6 by U.S. District Judge Manish Shah.

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