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Hairsprayers May Kick Up Their Heels on DWTS

Who knew schlockmeister John Waters would ever become this mainstream? According to E! Online, the folks behind Dancing with the Stars are in talks to bring some of the stars of the upcoming movie musical Hairspray onto the reality juggernaut as guests. Based on the Broadway smash that was inspired by Waters' delightful 1988 flick of the same name, Hairspray boasts quite a cast of cinematic hoofers, including John Travolta (Saturday Night Fever), Queen Latifah (Chicago) and Michelle Pfeiffer (Grease 2... not quite the word but she did shake her groove thang). While nothing is set in stone or even Aquanet, if the deal does happen, look for the crossover later rather than sooner, since Hairspray doesn't hit theaters until July. In the meantime, check out the fabulous trailer. —Raven Snook read more

NBC's Grease Contest Raises the Reality-TV Stakes

Grease: You're the One That I Want

If you think Broadway and reality TV go together like "rama-lama-lama, ke-ding-a-de-ding-a-dong," NBC's Grease: You're the One That I Want, which debuts Sunday, Jan. 7, at 8 pm/ET, will have you singing and dancing in the bleachers. Produced by the folks behind Dancing with the Stars, the series stages an intense search for two unknowns to front an in-the-works Broadway production of Grease, playing bad boy Danny Zuko and virginal Sandy Dumbrowski (played in the film by Olivia Newton-John, who will be a guest on the first two episodes). A trio of judges — theater producer David Ian, Grease coauthor Jim Jacobs and two-time Tony winner Kathleen M read more

Tony Bennett's Instant Classic

Consider this an unqualified rave. NBC is offering a deluxe sweeps and holiday treat in Tuesday’s prime-time special Tony Bennett: An American Classic (8/7c), which is as lustrously filmed as it is impeccably sung. For those of us who’ve been waiting for Oscar-nominated director Rob Marshall (Chicago) to tackle a new musical project, here it is. Marshall has lovingly conceived and masterfully executed a shimmering, swinging hour of razzle-dazzle showmanship that redefines what a variety special can be.I’m tempted to say they don’t make ’em like this anymore, but the truth is, even back when they did, they didn’t make ’em this good very often. (What this special reminded me of most, especially in the elaborate and evocative production numbers, was Bob Fosse’s landmark Liza With a Z special that Showtime so magnificently resurrected and restored earlier this year.)This is the rare music special that looks as good as it sounds. And it sounds spec... read more

AT THE MOVIES

Mel Gibson's Apocalypto has had its release date moved from late summer to Dec. 8, the heart of the holiday and Oscar seasons, says Variety.... William H. Macy has joined the cast of Wild Hogs, starring John Travolta, Tim Allen and Martin Lawrence as middle-aged biker wannabes. read more

WHO'LL SHOOT J.R.?

Bend It Like Beckham's Gurinder Chadha — who is already attached to helm an I Dream of Jeannie movie — is close to inking a deal to direct Jennifer Lopez, Luke Wilson, John Travolta and Shirley MacLaine in the big-screen Dallas. She would replace Robert Luketic, who dropped out due to "creative differences" (read: "J.Lo as Sue Ellen?! I'm Audi.").

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"I... DID?"

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise

Did TomKat dupe all of us by tying the knot months ago, back when their romance was new, fresh and not-so-overpublicized? The National Enquirer is reporting that a Scientology chaplain married Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes last July in a ceremony held during a Caribbean cruise on one of the church's ships. The insta-couple supposedly traded rings bedazzled with Scientology symbols as the likes of John Travolta and Kirstie Alley looked on. A rep for the duo insists to the New York Daily News that "they have not yet wed." read more

J.LO DOES DALLAS?

Jennifer Lopez

That big-screen version of Dallas is inching closer to reality. Variety reports that the cast is starting to fill out — particularly in the backside, one might say, with Jennifer Lopez being offered the role of Sue Ellen Ewing (played by Linda Gray on the long-running CBS serial). Luke Wilson is in talks to play Bobby, and Shirley MacLaine is being eyed for Miss Ellie, while the most plum part, J.R. himself, is still earmarked for John Travolta (production on Dallas would begin in October, after he's done filming Hairspray). You can practically hear Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson catfighting over the role of Lucy. read more

WHO'S THE HAIR APPARENT?

New Line Cinema is launching a nationwide casting call to fill the lead role of Tracy Turnblad in its film version of the Broadway adaptation of the 1988 film Hairspray, Variety reports. (Ricki Lake played the tempestuous teen on the big screen, while Stacked's Marissa Jaret Winokur originated the stage portrayal.) As for some of the other major characters, the studio is in talks with John Travolta, Billy Crystal and Queen Latifah to play Edna Turnblad, Wilbur Turnblad and Motormouth Maybelle, respectively. I'd love to see Travolta keep his Battlefield Earth dreadlocks. read more

Scrubs Star Is a Wizard of Ha-Has

Donald Faison, Scrubs

Tonight at 9 pm/ET, NBC's Scrubs presents its 100th episode, featuring — no, not the death of someone close to Clark Kent — a humorous homage to The Wizard of Oz. This week's second helping guest-stars Jason Bateman and a whole lotta angry ostriches. Is this show officially off the hook? TVGuide.com spoke with Donald Faison, aka Turk, about crafting Scrubs' weekly remedy for the prime-time blahs. TVGuide.com: Donald Faison, pardon my French, but you are on one damn funny show.Donald Faison: Thanks, but where did you speak French in that? TVGuide.com: Um, when I said "Faison"? So do you get that a lot, people telling you that Scrubs read more

There's a scene in A Love ...

Question: There's a scene in A Love Song for Bobby Long in which Bobby (John Travolta) sings a song to his friends about Barbara Allen. Do you know what song it is, and whether it was written for the movie or it really is an old folk song?


Answer: It's a traditional Scottish folk ballad called "Barbara Allen," and it's so old that references to it have been found as far back as the 17th century, when the diarist Samuel Pepys alluded to it in his journals. In America it's associated with the Ozark Mountain region and exists — like all folk songs — in many variations. It's also been recorded repeatedly, notably by Joan Baez.

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