Entertainment briefs: Woo-hoo, The Simpsons marathon and more …

Wisconsin Gazette

FXX celebrates Simpsons syndication with 12-day binge-watch marathon

A 12-day marathon of The Simpsons begins on FXX at 9 a.m. on Thurs., Aug. 21, with the episode “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire.” The marathon goes on to include all 25 seasons, 552 episodes and one feature-length movie at 10:59 p.m. on Sept. 1, making it the longest Simpsons marathon ever. 

The Simpsons marathon celebrates FXX’s acquisition of the syndication rights to the cartoon series, which the network bought last year in what was called the “biggest off-network deal ever,” according to Rolling Stone. RS also reported that FXX will launch SimpsonsWorld, which will give authenticated users access to every episode on their computers, smartphones, tablets and similar devices.

Robin Williams’ daughter bullied off social media after father’s death

Robin Williams’ daughter abandoned her social media accounts following what she called “cruel and unnecessary” messages after her father’s death. 

Zelda Williams, 25, wrote that she was stepping away from Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram “for a good long time, maybe forever” after at least two users posted disturbing images and verbal attacks.

Well-wishers and fans online rallied to Zelda Williams’ defense, and the accounts of both alleged bullies were suspended. Facebook, which owns Instagram, said the photos violated its policies and were “being actively flagged and removed across both platforms as they pop up,” while Twitter went further, suspending a number of accounts and announcing an expansion of policies to support family members of deceased users.

Bon Iver becomes Ephasis

Wisconsin native Justin Vernon is best known by the moniker of Bon Iver, the name of the indie folk band that propelled him to popularity. But his new gig finds him swapping names once again.

For the new indie hip-hop supergroup Jason Feathers, Vernon will be taking on the alter ego of Ephasis, a “heavily-seasoned guitar-crooning lost-cowboy,” according to a news release issued by the group to promote its new album De Oro. Ephasis will be performing in the group alongside the band’s namesake “Jason Feathers aka Creflo” (actually Minneapolis rapper Astronautalis) and drummer/piano man “Toothpick” (fellow Bon Iver musician S. Carey).

Sobelman’s unveils biggest Bloody Mary yet, complete with fried chicken

Sobelman’s Pub & Grill has created some pretty impressive bloody marys — starting with the “Bloody Masterpiece,” a Bloody crowned with a mini cheeseburger. But the latest Frankenstein creation takes the cake. The “Chicken Fried Bloody Beast” consists of a jug-sized bloody mary, with garnishes including celery, sausages, bacon-wrapped jalapeño cheeseballs and an entire fried chicken. Patrons willing to effectively risk their lives consuming the creation can purchase one for $50, with $5 going to Hunger Task Force.

Allison Williams headed skyward as NBC’s Peter Pan

NBC has picked its Peter Pan: high-flying Girls star Allison Williams. The network announced Williams will play the boy who refused to grow up in Peter Pan Live!, airing Dec. 4. The 26-year-old actor-comedian plays Marnie Michaels on HBO’s Girls, as well as guest roles on The Mindy Project and The League, and is the daughter of NBC News anchor Brian Williams. “I have wanted to play Peter Pan since I was about 3 years old, so this is a dream come true,” said Williams, adding, “What could go wrong in a live televised production with simultaneous flying, sword fighting and singing?”

NBC recently announced that Oscar winner Christopher Walken will play the villainous pirate Captain Hook.

The musical version of Peter Pan has a long tradition on NBC. It opened on Broadway in 1954, starring Mary Martin as Pan and Cyril Ritchard as Captain Hook in a pair of Tony Award-winning performances. They reprised those roles in two live telecasts on NBC in 1955 and 1956, followed by a videotaped production in 1960. Peter Pan Live! will serve as a follow-up to NBC’s live version of The Sound of Music last year, featuring Carrie Underwood.

Gaga on Bennett duet CD: Jazz comes easier than Pop

Lady Gaga is a bona fide pop star, but the singer says recording jazz music is the easier experience. Gaga has spent two years recording an album of jazz standards with Tony Bennett called Cheek to Cheek, to be released Sept. 23. “I’ve sung jazz since I was 13 years old, which is kind of like my little secret that Tony found out,” Gaga said in an interview. “So this is almost easier for me than anything else.”

Gaga made the comments with Bennett by her side ahead of the duo’s taped performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City for PBS, which will air in the fall. 

The album’s first single is a cover of Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes.” Other selections on Cheek to Cheek include “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” “Sophisticated Lady,” “Lush Life” and the title track. This will be Gaga’s first LP release since last year’s Artpop, and Bennett’s first since Viva Duets, a collaborative Latin album he released in 2012.

‘Life Performance’ benefits AIDS group

AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin presents “Life Performance: Acts Against AIDS” at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 22 at the Sharon Lynn Wilson Center for the Arts in Milwaukee.

The event features performing artists recognizing ARCW’s 30-year fight against AIDS in Wisconsin. Performers include Valerie Harmon and David Hovhannisyan of the Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s Norman Moses, First Stage Children’s Theater, mezzo-soprano Leslie Fitzwater and baritone Kurt Ollmann, Jeffrey Peterson and Paula Foley Tillen on piano and the One Voice Community Choir.

For more, go to ticketing.wilson-center.com.

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