<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/entertainment/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.com en-us Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:27:34 -0400 Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:27:34 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Celebrities React to Oscar de la Renta's Death]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:01:47 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/78148902.jpg

Oscar de la Renta was one of the most celebrated and famed fashion designers and couturiers in the world.

As news spread of his death Monday night, celebrities and fans alike mourned the loss of the acclaimed fashion designer.

Vogue's Anna Wintour honored the designer Tuesday in an essay posted on the fashion magazine’s website.

“There is much being said that his passing yesterday marks the end of an era,” Wintour began. “This strength must have been with him in the hospital last week when he made the decision to turn off treatment; it was not the quality of life he wanted.”

Wintour wrote that his final words to her were “I love you, and I said I love you back.”

She also reflected on the relationship between de la Renta and his wife, Annette, of 25 years.

"Theirs was the greatest, most life-enhancing love affair," Wintour said. "Last week in the hospital he said that she never wears the beautiful jewelry he gave her, and she said simply, 'I have you.'"

Other members of the fashion industry and celebrities took to social media to offer their condolences.


The Gentleman of Fashion you will always be !!! R I P @oscarprgirl @OscarPRGirl #Oscar de la Renta ��

A photo posted by Naomi Campbell (@iamnaomicampbell) on

De la Renta has dressed practically every woman in public life. His clothes were classic, elegant, feminine and flattering —which explains why so many first ladies have chosen him to dress them for those historic moments.

On Tuesday morning, “Today” contributing correspondent Jenna Bush Hager talked about the late designer and how she felt wearing a custom wedding gown from him.

Most recently, Amal Clooney chose a gown created by de la Renta for her wedding to George Clooney, evidence of his prominence.

Photo Credit: WireImage
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<![CDATA[Here's to Oscar de la Renta]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 08:50:06 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/oscar-AP22989790063.jpg

"Here's to the ladies who lunch," sang Elaine Stritch in the Stephen Sondheim musical "Company."

It's a fitting refrain for designer Oscar de la Renta, who dressed women atop the social hierarchy from New York to Paris in his singular vision of opulent and luxurious glamour for more than five decades.

A legend of American fashion, de la Renta died Monday of complications from cancer. He was 82.

Attending a showing by de la Renta during New York fashion week came with a sense of occasion. From the simple invitation printed on heavy stock to the unadorned venues, the clothing was always the focus: be it a decadently ruched or draped evening gown in fuchsia, or chic suit for day in wool bouclé. His front rows were occupied by those who did indeed lunch at Le Cirque, the Colony Club and La Côte Basque, but also by today's corporate titans, movie stars and pop icons.

Free of the histrionics that accompany much of what comprises modern fashion, de la Renta was a style constant in an industry obsessed with the next big thing. Not that he was ever stagnant, as a designer or as a business entrepreneur. But like those fabled ladies, his clothes carried a sense of old-world manners, of feminine allure, of a time when dressing meant more than throwing on any old, or new, thing. For de la Renta, being appropriately attired was key.

"I am not interested in shock tactics. I just want to make beautiful clothes," he once told reporters, though he was never foolish enough to believe that the garment was ne plus ultra. "A runway is spectacle," de la Renta said per the New York Times. "It’s only fashion when a woman puts it on."

It was the women, his customers, for whom he worked so hard: Whether a jet-set dowager slipping on his narrow-shouldered jackets and buttoning up his silk taffeta gowns, or a corporate-ladder-climbing New York denizen splurging on a wedding-perfect cocktail dress from his diffusion line for Saks or Bergdorfs.

With one gracefully shod foot planted in the past—born in the Dominican Republic, he worked for Paris couture houses including Balenciaga and Lanvin in the 1950s and '60s before launching his namesake collection in New York in 1965—de la Renta continually stepped forward to embrace modernity in all its forms, be it the latest in fabric innovation or the hot social media platform

He dressed four American first ladies: Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and, for the first time only a month before his passing, Michelle Obama. His most recent sartorial coup was to outfit human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin for her September wedding to Hollywood actor George Clooney in Venice.

De la Renta was a favorite of fashion icon and former Vogue and Harper's Bazaar editor Diana Vreeland, as he was with Anna Wintour, the current editor in chief of American Vogue. Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Executive Director Fern Mallis called him "the sultan of suave."

To most Americans he was, and will remain, a one name brand. Like Calvin (Klein), Ralph (Lauren), Halston, (Geoffrey) Beene, Isaac (Mizrahi) or (Bill) Blass, in fashion parlance there is only one Oscar.

To paraphrase Sondheim and those elegantly attired ladies: Here's to Mr. de la Renta. Everybody rise.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Oscar de la Renta: Dressing the Stars]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:28:53 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/4884165351.jpg Oscar de la Renta made a name for himself beyond the runway, dressing countless celebrities, first ladies, and fashion icons.

Photo Credit: FilmMagic]]>
<![CDATA[Late at Night on NBC]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 09:39:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP24762024125.jpg

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Oscar de la Renta: A Legendary Catwalk Career]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 08:37:19 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/172*120/AP972515234086.jpg Oscar de la Renta was the doyen of American fashion. Spanning five decades, his career on the catwalks was a showcase of restrained glamour and luxurious elegance.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Hamden Native Heads to Knockout Round on "The Voice"]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:51:04 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/blessing+offor+knockouts.jpg

Blessing Offor, the soulful Hamden High graduate crooning his way through NBC's "The Voice," got a second lease on life in Monday's episode when coach Adam Levine saved him from elimination.

Offor went head-to-head with 15-year-old teammate Katriz Trinidad to sing "Do I Do" by Stevie Wonder.

Both singers rose to the occasion, forcing coach Pharrell Williams to make a difficult decision.

"I sent them both back with notes and I feel like they both rose to the occasion," Pharrell said before making his selection.

In the end, he chose Trinidad as the winner of the challenge, putting Offor up on the auction block and available for a steal.

Levine hit his button immediately, urging Offor to join his team.

“My wife’s name – she’s from Namibia, and her name is Behati, which in Swahili means ‘blessing’ – so it makes me love you a lot more," Levine joked. "so I don’t know how I can’t have you on my team now.”

But Levine wasn't the only one interested in taking Offor under his wing. Fellow coach Gwen Stefani pressed her button too.

"I love your voice, and just being around someone as talented as you is going to be inspiring for me in my life," Stefani explained, "so I just want to get to know you and see what you've got."

Then it was Offor's turn to make the tough choice.

"Thank you for saving me, because I truly love being here," he told the coaches before announcing his decision.

Ultimately, Offor went with Levine, who stood up to hug the Connecticut native as he left the stage.

"Blessing just has this natural ability to sing the lights out. I love his voice," Adam said.

Offor, a 2007 graduate of Hamden High School who sings from his soul, said he's on a mission to succeed.

"I'm so excited to go to the knockouts," Offor beamed in his post-performance interview. "I'm just beyond thrilled. I want this so bad."

According to Offor's Web site, the singer has performed three times at the Kennedy Center in New York City and has produced a single, "Loving Each Other," which was released last week.

Tune in to NBC Connecticut Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. to see Offor and perform on "The Voice."

Photo Credit: NBC Universal, Inc./The Voice
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<![CDATA[New Haven to Host Wine Tasting, Shopping Event]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:20:17 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/wine-glass-generic.jpg

The city of New Haven will host “Flights of Fancy” on Thursday, a special wine tasting and shopping event at The Shops at Yale.

For $20, attendees will receive an exclusive event wine glass and will help support local businesses offering free in-store wine tastings courtesy of The Wine Thief, live music and special discounts and giveaways.

Free validated parking will be available at The York Street Garage at 150 York Street.

At the end of the event, guests will head to The Study at Yale Hotel for complimentary dessert provided by Insomnia Cookies and Willoughby’s coffee.

Multiple retailers, including Barnes & Noble – The Yale Bookstore, Shen, Campus Customs, Wave Gallery, Raggs and Oaxaca Kitchen will participate.

Those interested can register online until 11 p.m. Oct 22, or in person from 4-7 p.m. the day of the event at The Study at Yale Hotel on Chapel Street. The event is limited to the first 700 participants.

More information is available online.

<![CDATA[Pop Culture in the Remaking]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:05:45 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/DF-03522.jpg

When it comes to Hollywood, everything old can be remade anew.

That's certainly the case with recent news of "Rainbow Brite" and "Jem and the Holograms" being revamped for modern audiences, "Labyrinth" getting a sequel (sadly only a rumor) and the first glimpse of a reimagined "Thunderbirds" (no longer with strings attached).

For those quick to shout, "No! How dare they ruin what was already great!" It's hard to ignore the success already this year of rebooted versions of "Rosemary's Baby" (transported to Paris and transferred to the small screen), "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (Michelangelo and Donatello got the CGI treatment and became one of Halloween's most popular costumes) and yet another sequel to an already reworked Spider-Man franchise.

And who would lament a further installment of "Star Wars" starring the original leads, or a return visit to "Jurassic Park" featuring Chris Pratt and the latest in computer generated imagery?

Here are 10 upcoming reboots, refreshes, remakes or reimaginings (call them what you will) to get excited about:

"Rainbow Brite"

The iconic 1980s cartoon returns to Feeln for a limited series run on November 6, with Emily Osment voicing the titular character who is on a quest to save Rainbowland from dark powers. Molly Ringwald provides the voice of the evil Dark Princess. Starlite and the Color Kids are also along for the ride. The original version ran from 1984 to 1986.

"Jurassic World"

Steven Spielberg helmed the first "Jurassic Park" back in 1993 and it spawned two sequels. There's been rumors of a fourth installment since "Jurassic Park 3" roared into cinemas in 2001. Colin Trevorrow ("Safety Not Guaranteed") is directing the latest chapter which is set 22 years after the first movie and according to the official synopsis, "Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond," where staff conduct "behavioral research on the Velociraptors. After many years, Jurassic World’s attendance rates begin to decline and a new attraction, created to re-spark visitor interest, gravely backfires." Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are the leads and the film is set to bite into the box office on June 12, 2015.

"Thunderbirds Are Go"

The iconic British series from the 1960s featured marionettes and complex miniature sets and rescue crafts. The show follows the adventures of International Rescue, a group set up by ex- astronaut Jeff Tracy, his five sons, who pilot the Thunderbird craft, and London Agent Lady Penelope (to be voiced by "Gone Girl's" Rosamund Pike in the revamp). 26 half-hour episodes of "Thunderbirds Are Go!" have been made, this time featuring a mix of computer generated imagery and miniatures in an effort to retain the style of the original. One episode was screened in October at the MIP Junior Television Industry Conference in Cannes to tease the return, which is set for a spring 2015 premiere on British television. No U.S. release date has been announced.

"Jem and the Holograms"

Universal Studio's live action adaptation of the beloved 1980s cartoon will hit theaters on October 23, 2015, and like the source material will focus on Jerrica Benton and her musical alter ego Jem who transitions from small-town girl to international superstar. "Nashville" actor Aubrey Peeples is Benton/Jem, with a supporting cast featuring Stefanie Scott, Aurora Perrineau, and Hayley Kiyoko as the Holograms, along with Ryan Guzman. Molly Ringwald and Juliette Lewis also appear.


Quvenzhané Wallis ("Beasts of the Southern Wild") tackles the role of the singing orphan who melts the heart of a hard-nosed billionaire in this big screen update of the classic stage musical and 1982 movie adaptation. Left by her parents as a baby at a New York City orphanage with the promise that they’d be back for her someday, Annie must outwit horrible foster mom Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz stepping in for the earlier movie's Carol Burnett), and charm New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) who makes a thinly-veiled campaign move by taking Annie in. Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale also star in this modern-day retelling of a hard knock life turned sunny that hits theaters just in time for Christmas on December 19.


Along with "Terminator" (see below), "Ghostbusters" celebrated its 30th anniversary this year and as a gift to fans Sony Pictures is bring the franchise out of retirement for a reboot. If that's not enough to get loyalists shouting "Who You Gonna Call?", director Paul Feig took to Twitter on October 8 to announce his involvement with the project and this time around, the movie will star "hilarious women." Cue the rumors and let the lobbying begin with Hollywood stars including Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig already on audience's wishlists of who should step into the paranormal-hunting shoes of Venkman, Stantz and Spengler. Shooting is tentatively scheduled to begin in early 2015.

"Star Wars: Episode VII"

By the time the latest outing of the "Star Wars" franchise hits cinemas on December 18, 2015, more than a decade will have passed since episode four ("Revenge of the Sith") came out of hyperspace starring Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Hayden Chistensen as young Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. In between, fans have had two animated TV series ("The Clone Wars" and 2014's "Star Wars: Rebels"), but nothing to match the excitement generated by the latest big screen addition helmed by J.J. Abrams ("Lost," the 2009 "Star Trek" reboot) that picks up 30 years after the end of the first trilogy (episode six: "Return of the Jedi") and features Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill reprising their iconic roles alongside new castmembers Gwendoline Christie, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong'o and Domhnall Gleeson. Little is known regarding plot or storyline, but fans have been treated to sneak peeks of the Millennium Falcon (with a Batman twist) and new creatures via social media-savvy Abrams. "Episode VII" lands December 18, 2015.

"Independence Day 2"

The 1996 original starred Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Randy Quaid, Mary McDonnell, Brent Spiner, James Duval and Vivica A. Fox. Due to hit screens in 2016, director Roland Emmerich is returning to helm the sequel and confirmed some of the original film's characters will be back, but not lead Smith. In an odd move Fox moved the release date for the film from the obviously perfect July 4 Holiday weekend to June 24, 2016. No reason was given.

"Terminator: Genisys"

Though James Cameron has no direct involvement in the latest reboot of the franchise he created 30 years ago with "Terminator," the director told Deadline he wanted to put in a good word for returning star Arnold Scwarzenegger and offered up some advice to the producer of the new film on how to deal with the actor's now advanced age (67). "I pointed out that the outer covering (of the Terminator) was actually not synthetic, that it was organic and therefore could age," Cameron said. "You could theoretically have a Terminator that was sent back in time, missed his target, and ended up just kind of living on in society. Because he is a learning computer and has a brain as a central processor he could actually become more human as he went along without getting discovered." "Terminator" and Schwarzenegger will be back July 1, 2015.


Warner Bros is bringing the famed swinger back to the big screen in a big-budget, live-action remake which stars "True Blood's" Alexander Skarsgård as Tarzan/the Earl of Greystoke who, having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment according to IMDB. Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz, Djimon Honsou and John Hurt also star in the film, which is set to be released on July 1, 2016.

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<![CDATA[Johnny Damon Coming to Hartford]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:04:27 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Phillies-Should-Consider-Johnny-Damon.jpg

Johnny Damon is part of a small group to win World Series with both the Red Sox and Yankees, and he is coming to Hartford this week for a YMCA fundraising event.

Damon, who established a charitable foundation and serves as a spokesman for the Wounded Warrior Project, will be the honored guest and speaker at the YMCA celebrates champions event on Thursday night at the Connecticut Convention Center.

This is the signature fundraising event for the YMCA of Greater Hartford, which supports the annual campaign and “Read to Success.”

Tickets are $200 a piece or $2,000 for a table of 10.

The VIP reception is at 6:30 p.m., while the general reception gets underway at 6:45 p.m. and the program starts at 7 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA["Egg Russian Roulette" With Bradley Cooper]]> Sat, 18 Oct 2014 16:16:09 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Bradley_Cooper_Tonight.jpg Jimmy Fallon and Bradley Cooper took turns smashing eggs on their heads without knowing which are cooked and which are raw on "The Tonight Show."

Photo Credit: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank]]>
<![CDATA[Halloween Goes Hollywood]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 07:23:23 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/halloween-costumes.jpg

Streets and sidewalks across the country will soon be filled with Elsas, Daeneryses and Leonardos.

That's if this year's early trends in Hollywood-inspired Halloween costumes hold strong through the arrival of the Oct. 31 holiday, and can stave off the growing interest in Ebola-inspired attire.

The popularity of Disney hit "Frozen," HBO series "Game of Thrones" and a big screen revival of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" are driving costume sales for Trick-or-Treaters across age spectra, retailers say.

The National Retail Federation estimated that 2.6 million children will dress up as a "Frozen" character, such as Snow Queen Elsa or Olaf the snowman, while about 1.8 million will choose crime-fighting reptiles Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello or Raphael. Seventy-five million adults are expected to pick a traditional get-up, such as a Batman, a pirate or a witch, retailers say they're seeing more requests for costumes inspired by some of the season's hottest TV shows and films.

"Without question, outfits inspired by movies and TV are the ones that have been flying out the door versus any pop culture sensation like Miley Cyrus," said Holly Botsford, public relations manager for BuyCostumes.com.

Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, Jennifer Lawrence as "Hunger Games" heroine Katniss Everdeen or "X-Men's" Mystique, Black Widow from "Captain America" (Scarlett Johansson) and Zoe Saldana as Gamora from "Guardians of the Galaxy" lead Fandango's list of top-rated movie-inspired female Halloween costumes.

The movie ticket site surveyed more than a 1,000 film fans in the first week of October to discover Groot (Vin Diesel's character in "Guardians of the Galaxy"), Captain America (Chris Evans), the Ninja Turtles, Star-Lord ("Galaxy's" Chris Pratt) and Dracula were the most nominated male characters.

Spirit Halloween has named "Game of Thrones" and "The Walking Dead" characters as their top trends of 2014. The chain, which bills itself as North America's largest seasonal Halloween retailer, partnered with HBO to license outfits inspired by both shows.

“Those two series are very popular and are also very good for costumes,” said Lisa Barr, Spirit’s senior director of marketing & creative.

“People are posting online about entertainment, making a higher level of engagement in movies and television,” said Courtland Hickey, manager of Chicago Costume. “Everyone wants to wear a costume that everyone knows and now that social media has made these series well-known, people can wear outfits that everyone will recognize as one of those characters discussed online.”

The Hollywood trend has been seen in popular couples costumes like Khaleesi and Khal Drogo from “Game of Thrones," and the fictional character Rick Grimes and a zombie outfit from “The Walking Dead."

Want to dress your baby? Retailers say the character Olaf from "Frozen" and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle looks are popular costumes for infants. Pets? Cats and dogs can also join in on the fun with a "Despicable Me" minion costume or outfits inspired by "Ghostbusters." Fandango's top-rated kid's costumes for 2014 in descending order are Olaf, a minion, the Ninja Turtles, "Frozen's" Elsa and Spider-Man.

A trending, though arguably insensitive, costume idea has even received its own Hollywood spin. Ricky's, a beauty shop chain in New York City that offers a wide range of costumes, has received Ebola costume requests on a daily basis, President Richard Parrot said. Although they have decided not to offer one, customers have been using hazmat "Breaking Bad" suits as a substitute. 

Too soon? Not at web retailer BrandsOnSale. They offer an Ebola Containment Suit costume for $79.99. "You are sure to be prepared if any outbreak happens at your Halloween party. This will literally be the most 'viral' costume of the year," reads the outfit's description.

"We don't stray away from anything that's current or controversial or anything like that," BrandsOnSale chief executive Johnathon Weeks told The Associated Press. Though Weeks admits the costume has been received with outrage by some members of the public, he says it is now the item on his site most shared on social media.

Overall, consumers are expected to shell out a lot of cash on Halloween, with The National Retail Federation projecting that people will spend $7.4 billion in 2014. The organization's president and CEO Matthew Shay said in a news release that "there will be a record number of consumers taking to the streets, visiting haunted houses and throwing unforgettable celebrations."

Photo Credit: Walt Disney/Marvel/HBO
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<![CDATA[Fallon: Jason Schwartzman Impersonated Anthony Kiedis]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 11:36:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/212*120/JasonSchwartzman.jpg Jimmy talks with Jason Schwartzman about his movie "Listen Up Philip" and the time he pretended to be Red Hot Chili Peppers' frontman for a confused fan.]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Fred Armisen Conducted a Seance]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 07:06:46 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/457274852.jpg Fred Armisen bought a Oujia board and contacted the comedian W.C. Fields. Watch the video and find out what they “talked” about. ]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Rachel Maddow on the Problem With Democrats]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:57:26 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/211*120/RachelmaddowDems.jpg Rachel Maddow explains what the Democratic party is doing wrong and what she does to get through election night coverage. ]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Rachel Maddow on Midterm Antics]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:52:17 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/209*120/Rachelmaddowelec.jpg Rachel Maddow talks to Seth Meyers talks about this year’s craziest midterm election antics, including “fan gate.” ]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Matt Ryan Talks On-Stage Pranks]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:48:36 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/212*120/MattRyan2.jpg Matt Ryan talks to Seth Meyers about working with The Royal Shakespeare Company, and the real reason why he had to change his name.]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Ryan Talks "Constantine"]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 07:38:11 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/211*120/MattRyan1.jpg Matt Ryan chats with Seth Meyers about playing John Constantine in "Constantine" and the $500 lesson he learned in an Atlanta Hotel during production.]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Fred Talks "Big Game Hunting"]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 07:43:11 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/212*120/457274824.jpg Fred Armisen reveals his favorite weekend pass time "Big Game Hunting." If anyone finds any board games tied together with corn husks, please return to Fred. ]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Seth's Rant Against Math]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 08:06:06 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/sethmeyers+2.png Seth Meyers hates math so much that he kind of lost it on "Late Night."]]> <![CDATA[Fallon: Pumpkin Time Bomb with Shailene Woodley]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 07:02:31 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/212*120/Shailene+Woodley.jpg On "The Tonight Show" Wednesday, Jimmy Fallon and Shailene Woodley chat about Halloween while placing rubber bands around a pumpkin until it explodes without warning.

Photo Credit: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank]]>
<![CDATA[Fallon's "Breakdance Conversation" with Brad Pitt]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 09:05:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2014-10-16+at+5.23.56+AM.png Jimmy Fallon and Brad Pitt don’t need to talk in order to communicate. Check out their "breakdance conversation" from the basement of 30 Rock in New York City. ]]> <![CDATA[Halloween Events Across Connecticut ]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 15:19:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/halloween_generic.jpg

There are several Halloween events across the state. 

Fairfield County

Bridgeport: Beardsley Zoo is holding its “Howl-O-Ween” event on Oct. 17, 18, 24 and 25, from 6:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. Activities will include hayrides, a haunted farmyard, magic show, face painting, and more. Harvest hay rides will be held at the Zoo every weekend in October and November as well. Tickets to Howl-O-Ween are $10 in advance and for members, and $12 for the public.

The Harvest Howl-O-Ween Spooktacular is being held at Black Cat Antiques in Bridgeport on October 25. This event will include psychic readings, authors, gaming and food trucks and an evening wine trail for adults. Admission for the wine trail is $40.

Fairfield: The Fairfield Museum and History Center is holding several lectures and exhibitions this month on topics including the Fairfield Witchcraft Trials of the 17th-century, the Hartford Witch hunt of the 1660s and an evening walking tour that explores haunting legends and folklore. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for the public. Pre-registration is required. For more information, visit them online.

Norwalk: Lantern lit ghost tours will be held at Mill Hill Historic Park in Norwalk on Friday, Oct. 24 and Saturday, Oct. 25 at 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 9 p.m. Order tickets online. 

Stepping Stones Museum
is hosting Monster Mash, a costume party and parade for families on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Register online

Shelton: Fairview Tree Farm in Shelton opened a one-mile haunted trail, brand new for 2014, for Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights in October. Their annual haunted hay rides have begun as well, for Friday and Saturday nights in October. Admission is $16 or $26 for a haunted hayride and haunted trail combo ticket. No reservations are necessary.

Stamford: Haunted Illusions by David Caserta is coming to The Palace in downtown Stamford. The show is full of magic and comedy and is fun for the whole family. Order tickets online at

Kids can trick-or-treat at Heckscher Farm
in Stamford on Oct. 26, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Clues will be given out to lead families around to the different trick-or-treat stations. Live reptiles and bugs, a slime table and Halloween crafts will be at the Farm as well. Tickets are $10, $8 for seniors, $6 for students, and $5 for children.

Stratford: A zombie Halloween party is being held at the Stratford Public Library on Oct. 23, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. for children ages 7 through 12. Activities will include zombie games and trick-or-treating around the library.

Trumbull: Trumbull’s second annual Halloween Blaze
is taking place on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event will have a town-wide Jack O’ Lantern contest, haunted history storytellers, face painting, and refreshments. Costumes are encouraged. Admission is $5 or free to anyone who donates a carved pumpkin for display.

Ridgefield: Families can trick-or-treat and pose in their costumes for pictures at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield on Oct. 31, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event is free to the public.

Hartford County

Bristol: Lake Compounce is holding its annual Haunted Graveyard on Fridays and Saturdays in October from dusk to midnight, and on Sundays from dusk to 10 p.m. Attractions include haunted houses, trails, a haunted graveyard and 17 operating adult rides. Admission is $30.99 for the park and graveyard, or $23.99 for the graveyard or park only.

East Windsor: The Connecticut Trolley Museum is running its Rails to the Darkside, where families can board a trolley cartand take a ride into the night. The event will run Fridays and Saturdays in October from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $16.


Old Wethersfield: Lantern light tours will be held October 17 and 18 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., starting at the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center on Main Street. Each tour will last about an hour and will take guests through the Main Street neighborhood, stopping at houses and gravesites to encounter spirits from the past. Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for children.

West Simsbury: Visit Flamig Farm for their Halloween Hayrides on the weekend of October 17-18 and 24-25. To order tickets, visit them online.

West Hartford: The tenth annual West Hartford Hauntings will be held at North Cemetery on North Main Street in West Hartford. These lantern-lit tours will include encounters with deceased tour guides. The tours will be held from 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. on the weekends of October 17 & 18 and 24 & 25. Admission is $13 for adults and $9 for those under 17.

Westmoor Park’s Country Pumpkin Festival will be on Saturday, October 18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will have tractor and horse-drawn hayrides, face painting, farm animals, hot apple cider, and more. The Festival is free to the public.

Canton: The annual Hobgoblin Fair will be held at the Roaring Brook Nature Center on Saturday, October 25 from 10 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The event is suitable for children, ages 3 to 8, and will include their “track-or-treat” walk, crafts, cupcake decorating, face painting, food, and more. Pre-registration with payment is required. Registration forms can be found online at

Collinsville: The 21st annual Collinsville Halloween Parade will be held on Saturday, October 25 on Main Street. All those who wish to join should gather at the Canton Historical Museum at 6:30 p.m. for pre-parade events. The parade will follow at 7 p.m., with judges searching for the scariest, most original and funniest costumes of the night. The parade is free to the public.

Windsor: Nightmare on Broad Street will take place on Friday, October 31, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. near the Town Green. Visitors can go on a hayride, trick-or-treat at local businesses, and watch performances including “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown”. The event is free to the public.

New Britain: The New Britain Museum of American Art is holding its 8th annual Museum After Dark costume party on October 31 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. This 21+ event will be a night of art, music, dancing, and drinks. Tickets are $20 for Museum members and $25 for non-members. Admission includes beer, wine, and entrance into the galleries.

Litchfield County

Danbury: The 22nd annual Halloween on the Green will be held on Saturday, November 1. Visit them online for more details

Kent: The 38th annual Kent Pumpkin Run will be held on October 26. The 5-mile run/walk starts at noon, starting and finishing at Kent Green in front of the Town Hall. A post-race party will include music, refreshments, face painting and more. Register online.

Litchfield: A retelling of Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” will take place at the Tapping Reeve House on Sunday, October 5 at 1 p.m. Admission is $5 for members, $10 for individual non-members, and $15 for families.

Thomaston: Families can take a ride on the Naugatuck Railroad from the Thomaston station out to the Pumpkin Patch where children can pick a pumpkin to bring back. Rides will take place on October 11 and 12, 18 & 19 and 25 & 26. Train rides last 80 minutes and depart the station at noon and 2 p.m. Tickets are $17 and $15 for seniors and children.

Torrington: Torrington Library is hosting several Halloween events during the month of October. These events include Spooky BINGO, Ghost Story Night, a Halloween party and more. Visit their website for more details.

Woodbury: The Woodbury Lions Club is hosting its 24th annual haunted hayride and haunted barn. The event is taking place on the weekends of October 17 & 18 and 24 & 25 at 7 p.m. at Mitchell School in Woodbury. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children under 10. A children’s hayride will take place on October 18 at 1 p.m. Tickets for the children’s hayride are $3 for kids and $4 for adults and all children will receive a free pumpkin.

Washington: The 7th annual Washington Green Cemetery Tour will take place on Friday, October 24, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tours will take visitors on a quarter mile trip through the cemetery to visit its deceased members and hear their stories. Tours leave from the Museum in groups of 15 people every 10 minutes and each tour lasts about 45 minutes. Guests are asked to dress warmly and bring a flashlight. The event is free to the public.

Middlesex County

East Haddam: The Trick or ‘Tini event will be held at Goodspeed Opera House on Oct. 31 at 7:30 p.m. For $47, guests can enjoy a ticket to the evening show and a specialty martini.

Middletown: Halloween-Themed Zip Line Tours will take place on Oct. 17 and Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m., with Friday and Saturday tours also at 7:30 p.m. at the Empower Leadership Sports & Adventure Center. Soar through the trees under the stars on zip rides, then roast marshmallows over a campfire and drink complimentary hot chocolate with your guides. For $72, participants will enjoy gliding on five zip lines ranging from 200 to over 650 feet. Space is limited so make sure to reserve your spot!

The Wadsworth Mansion will be holding a Halloween Costume Bash on Oct. 31 from 7 p.m. to midnight. Attendees will enjoy signature drinks, dancing, a photo booth, fortune telling and more. Tickets are available only in advance for $40 and open to ages 21 and up.

Old Saybrook: Bring the whole family to the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa’s first annual “Pumpkins on the Point” event. This pumpkin festival features more than 350 locally grown, hand-carved pumpkins lighting up the terrace and marina along the shores of the Connecticut River. Enjoy trick or treat trails, hayrides, haunted cemetery tours, farmer’s market, music, food, and more. Festivities start Oct. 31 at 4 p.m. and admission is free.

New Haven County:

Ansonia: Molto Bene will be hosting an adult costumer party to benefit The Boys & Girls Club of Lower Naugatuck Valley on Nov. 1. A $40 cash bar will be open from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Beacon Falls: Matthies Park will be hosting a Haunted Hayride on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, October 26, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Refreshments will be provided and a costume contest will take place on Saturday at 5 p.m. before the Hayride. Adults $5, Kids $3.

Cheshire: A Spirits Alive Cemetery Lantern Tour will be held at Hillside Cemetery October 17 and 18. For $10, guests will be guided through the grounds illuminated by 500 tea lights to hear firsthand accounts of the lives of the departed buried in the cemetery, conveyed by actors. At the midpoint of the tour, Cheshire’s legendary Witch Kye is given a voice to tell her tale. This event is made possible by the Cheshire Historical Society.

Milford: Pumpkins on the Pier is a family festival held at Walnut Beach on October 4. Starting at 11 a.m., families can enjoy kid’s activities, contests, antique and classic car show, crafts, and hayrides. The festival features thousands of pumpkins and a decorated and lighted pier too! The festival is sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Milford.

The Milford Center for the Arts is putting on “The Wicked Witch of the West: Kansas or Bust!,” a musical that follows the story of Dorothy and all of the beloved characters from “The Wizard of Oz” from the Yellow Brick Road back to Kansas, with a funny twist. The show will play weekends from Oct. 24 to Nov. 7. On Fridays, shows are at 7 p.m., on Saturday at 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20.

New Haven: A one-hour walking tour to view historical persons will be held at Grove Street Cemetery. Tours take place on Oct.  18 and 25 and Nov. 1 at 11 a.m. They are sponsored by the Friends of Grove Street Cemetery.

Woolsey Hall will be putting on a Halloween Concert at midnight on Oct. 31. The YSO orchestra will play a soundtrack consisting of pop music, movie soundtracks, and classical pieces to a silent film written, produced, directed, and starring YSO members. Tickets are $10 and only sold in advance in the Woolsey rotunda the week of the show.

North Haven: The Only Scream in Town is an event filled with five incredible Halloween-themed attractions, full concessions, and Gore Karts and Thriller Mini Golf during the day. The event is held October 17-19, Oct. 23-26, and Oct. 30 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Valley Service Rd. Admission is $10 per person.

Oxford: Make some mischief at Colonial Tavern on Oct. 24 from 7 p.m. to midnight. Enjoy food, snacks and dessert while indulging in a cash bar stocked with an Autumn beer selection and Halloween drink specials. A show featuring Cabaret, Burlesque, and magic will start at 8pm. Come for the DJ and dancing, stay for the tarot card reader, costume contest, and horror movie trivia. Admission is $25, or $200 for a table of ten.

Seymour:  Children are welcome to trick or treat at local business in downtown Seymour on October 25 from 1 p.m. 3 p.m.


New London County

Baltic: The Dark Manor features two haunted attractions: The Manor, featuring two floors of special effects and terror around every corner; and the Graveyard and Haunted Village, an outdoor attraction. Attractions will run Oct. 16 to 19 and Oct. 23 to Nov. 1. Admission is $22.

Bozrah: The Odetah Camping Resort is hosting Halloween Weekend, Oct. 24 through 26, where kids can enjoy the movie “The Haunted Mansion” and make crafts, paint pumpkins, play games, and participate in other activities including site-to-site Trick or Treating, a mummy wrap, and piñata. Admission is determined by length of stay.

Griswold: Spooktopia takes place on October 25, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. in downtown Jewett City. It is the 2nd Annual Edgar Fontaine Memorial Trick or Trunk event that includes Halloween themed food, rides, entertainment, and more. Trick or treating is provided for children under 10, and admission is free.

New London: The Hempsted Houses historian Sally Ryan and conservator Lance Meyers will guide the “Ye Antientist Burial Ground Walking Tour,” where people will be taken to one of the oldest burial grounds in New England. Tour will be held October 19, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5, but free for CT Landmarks members. http://www.ctvisit.com/historic-site/hempsted-houses/summary/1525

A Hempsted Halloween begins October 25 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hempsted Houses. The public is invited meet the ghosts of six New Londoners, see New London’s oldest house, and make s’mores over an open fire. Tickets are $5, and free for CT Landmarks members.

Old Lyme: “A Wee Faerie Village” is an event in which visitors will travel the Florence Griswold Museum’s 11 acres to experience a faerie version of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” in a steampunk setting. It is open through Nov. 2. Admission is $15; $14 for seniors; $13 for students; $5 for members; and free for children under 12

Niantic: The Halloween Parade in downtown Niantic will take place Oct. 26 at 1 p.m. The public is invited to participate in a family-friendly event that begins with Trick or Treating at the downtown shops, followed by a parade at 2pm at the Hole-in-the-Wall beach. Candy and costume prizes to be awarded for the kids. Free admission.

Norwich: Christ Church School of the Arts is putting on a Halloween Silent Movie Night Spooktacular! on Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. The silent movie classic “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” will be played on a large screen while accompanied by an organist. Guests are encouraged to wear their costumes and enjoy concessions made available by the church. Admission is $5 as a suggested donation.

Tolland County:

Coventry: A candlelight room-by-room tour will take place at the Nathan Hale Homestead on Oct. 24 and Oct. 25 at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. The tour will feature ghost stories and the unpublished and unexplained stories of the Homestead guide staff. Refreshments include beer, wine, cider, and donuts made on the hearth. Admission is $25 or $20 for CT Landmarks members. 

Hebron: All Hallows weekend will take place Oct. 25 and Oct. 26 at the CT Renaissance Faire, Lions Fairgrounds. A children’s costume contest will take place on Saturday. When the faire closes at 6 p.m., Halloween Knights begins. Sunday’s events include an adult costume contest and more. Admission is $17.

Windham County

Killingly: Fright Night on Broad Street will take place in the Killingly Community Center on October 31 and November 1, from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. For $5, the public can take a guided tour to see what could be haunting the Community Center building. Proceeds benefit KHS Music Boosters and KPRD.

Putnam: Great Pumpkin Festival on October 25 starting at 10 a.m., downtown Putnam will feature live entertainment, food, arts and crafts and games. http://www.putnambusiness.org/

Trick or Treat Street takes place on October 31 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  in downtown Putnam, from Jade Garden and River Front Commons all the way to Union Square. Children can dress up and get treats from participating merchants.

Willimantic: Head to Jillson Square in downtown Willimantic on Oct. 31 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for Trunk or Treat, a Halloween egg flashlight hunt, Halloween music and more with free admission.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Michael Keaton's "Birdman" Flight]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 08:40:12 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Micahel+Keaton+Birdman.jpg

Michael Keaton hasn't won an Oscar – he’s never even been nominated – and his days as a big box office draw are two decades in the Gotham City wind. But he stands undefeated as a pivotal figure in modern movie history.  

His classic turn as Batman a quarter-century ago kicked off the cinematic superhero craze that's taken over movie theaters and is threatening to subsume TV, whose latest offerings include Fox’s Caped Crusader backstory drama “Gotham.” Even more gripping than Keaton’s gravelly voiced, butt-kicking Batman was his take on Bruce Wayne, the soft-spoken, but tormented rich guy behind the mask. The film, under Tim Burton’s direction, helped create a thirst for character-driven antihero-superhero fare rendered in lines far grayer than splashy comic book colors.

Keaton makes a semi-return to the genre this week – not as the Dark Knight, but as the living dark side of actors who get typecast as superheroes. "Birdman," which opens Friday, features Keaton as a Hollywood has-been who embarks on a challenging Broadway show as he's haunted by his seemingly inescapable past success as a big screen avian hero.

The film – whose full title is "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" – is generating buzz, sending hopes soaring that Keaton might capture overdue recognition for an acting career that deserves to be defined by more than a bat suit.

Embracing the meta premise of "Birdman" marks a bold move for the 63-year-old performer, who has long shown a gutsy streak akin to Batman’s. From the start, Keaton tackled a range of roles, scoring early success in disparate flicks like the amiable domestic comedy “Mr. Mom,” the emotional drama “Clean and Sober” and the horror-comedy “Beetlejuice.” The first Batman movie marked his biggest departure, and his casting initially infuriated fan boys who bemoaned Keaton’s perceived inability to infuse the character with the necessary brooding macho. His performance proved naysayers wrong.

His only braver move than taking the part was giving it up after 1992’s “Batman Returns,” turning down a reported $15 million to star in a third installment.

Keaton never disappeared, but his box office pull waned as he tackled a new range of roles, running from the compelling small film “Game 6” to the Disney family comedy “Herbie: Fully Loaded.” He’s morphed into a strong character actor unafraid to look less than his best, as he proved most recently by playing a moronic, disheveled yokel in Larry David's 2013 HBO comedy movie “Clear History.”

Judging from the stunning (and NSFW) "Birdman" trailer, any remnants of movie star ego disappear with Keaton's less-than-buff Riggan Thomson character running through Times Square in his underwear to the cheers of Birdman fans.

Part of us – and part of him – want to see him back in the costume, whether we’re talking about Keaton or his new alter ego, Thomson. Keaton, who may be forever associated with Batman’s cowl, clearly isn’t afraid to expose himself. “Birdman” won't be his next “Batman,” but hopefully rather a Phoenix that carries him up to where he belongs. 

Jere Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multimedia NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Atsushi Nishijima/Fox
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<![CDATA[Michelle Obama’s "Turn Down For What" Viral Vine]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 08:45:07 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/obama-turnip.jpg

First lady Michelle Obama didn't turn down the chance to promote a healthy diet and exercise Tuesday when she recorded a Vine video set to DJ Snake and Lil Jon’s popular tune “Turn Down for What” that quickly went viral.

The White House posted Obama's 6-second video in response to a question from Iman Crosson, an actor known for impersonating President Barack Obama. Crosson asked, “How many calories do you burn every time you ‘turn up’?!”

The FLOTUS playfully replied, “Turnip for what?” while holding a turnip and jamming to the popular song.

Obama was taking part in a White House Q&A on Vine using the hashtag #AskTheFirstLady, answering questions about her favorite vegetables and offering advice on ways to encourage kids to exercise.

This isn’t the first time Obama has used pop culture references to promote a healthier diet. In February, she starred alongside Jimmy Fallon and Will Ferrell in the skit called “Ew!” on “The Tonight Show.”

And last year, the Let’s Move! founder showed some of her moves in a skit called “The Evolution of Mom Dancing” on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon."

Photo Credit: The White House/Vine
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<![CDATA[Nasim Pedrad Has an Embarrassing Family]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 10:10:11 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NasimFamily.jpg Nasim Pedrad talks to Seth about her new show "Mulaney," and the many ways her parents have embarrassed her over the years.]]>