'Cats' gets a rap twist in London revival
"Cats" is back -- and now one of the felines raps.
Andrew Lloyd Webber said his hit musical will return to London's West End in December in a revamped production with a hip-hop flavor.
Based on T.S. Eliot's whimsical "Old Possum's Book Of Practical Cats," the musical opened in London in 1981, running for 21 years there and 18 years on Broadway.
Lloyd Webber said Monday he had tweaked parts of the show, which has been performed in more than 30 countries.
Lloyd Webber said he was making the character of Rum Tum Tugger a rapping street cat because "I've come to the conclusion that ... maybe Eliot was the inventor of rap."
"The thing about the Eliot verse is that you can tell he's American.
The new production reunites the original creative team of director Trevor Nunn, choreographer Gillian Lynne and designer John Napier.
It runs at London's Palladium for 12 weeks beginning Dec. 6.
Billy Ray Cyrus honors slain teacher
Country singer Billy Ray Cyrus honored a Nevada teacher killed by a 12-year-old student in a schoolyard shooting last year, calling him a "true American hero."
Cyrus praised Michael Landsberry and presented a memorial plaque to his widow, Sharon, during a concert Saturday night in Incline Village, a Nevada community on north shore of Lake Tahoe.
Police say Landsberry, a 45-year-old ex-Marine, tried to talk the shooter into turning over the handgun before he was shot in the chest Oct. 21 at a middle school in the Reno suburb of Sparks. The student wounded two classmates before taking his life.
Cyrus said Landsberry, who served three tours in Afghanistan, also represented the courage of the Vietnam veteran honored in his patriotic song, "Some Gave All." With a large photograph of Landsberry in the background and the math teacher's widow on stage, Cyrus led the crowd in singing the song.
Cyrus said he was moved by the story of Landsberry's actions in the school shooting and decided to recognize him when offered a chance to perform at Lake Tahoe.
He and his father, Ronald Ray Cyrus, made similar presentations honoring American heroes for more than a decade, and this marked the first time the country star has done so since his father's 2006 death.
Dolly Parton offers to adopt Dolly the dog
Dolly Parton wants to take an unlikely fan home.
"Dolly" the dog was abandoned after the country music legend's performance at the Glastonbury festival last month. The fluffy white lurcher was found after 150,000 revelers decamped the site in the southwest of England, and was being fostered Monday by the Happy Landings animal shelter.
Parton has pledged to adopt the dog, which staff at the shelter named in her honor.
"I will take the dog home to America if nobody claims her," the singer said in a statement.
"Dolly" is being treated for an ear infection at Happy Landings, which is near the festival site and is appealing for donations.
Compiled from reports by the Associated Press.