Grapevine: Tracy Morgan to headline children’s benefit

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Tracy Morgan will headline New York City benefit

More than two years after narrowly escaping death in a car crash on the New Jersey Turnpike, comedian Tracy Morgan is ready to give back, and he’s doing it on a huge stage.

Former “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live” star Tracy Morgan will be among an all-star group of comedians for a one-day benefit in New York for children facing challenges such as homelessness, extreme poverty, illness and foster care, reports the Associated Press. Morgan will be one of six comedians set to take the stage for the Garden of Dreams Foundation event March 28 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. He’ll be joined by Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, John Oliver, Leslie Jones and Sebastian Maniscalco. “I was once one of those kids,” Morgan said this week. “So I’ve been blessed and very fortunate to have the opportunities that I’ve had in my life. I just want to give back and this is the perfect way to do that.” The Garden of Dreams Foundation works to brighten the lives of children facing obstacles. Ticket prices range from $65-$350. Tickets will go on sale Wednesday.

Pontiac Silverdome featured in ‘Transformers’ trailer

An official trailer for the next “Transformers” film features a grim-looking Pontiac Silverdome. A voiceover explains that “through the ages, without sacrifice, there can be no victory ... two species at war ...” At the word “war,” the camera pans into a decrepit-looking Silverdome, which looks like its been through just that. The Michael Bay-directed film spent the summer filming in and around Metro Detroit. “Transformers: The Last Knight” stars Mark Wahlberg (who also made local headlines this summer for opening a Wahlburgers restaurant in Greektown), Stanley Tucci and Josh Duhamel. The fifth film in this sci-fi action series is set to hit theaters June 23.

‘Pit Bulls & Parolees’ features Detroit

Animal Planet show “Pit Bulls & Parolees” will visit a Detroit-area dog rescue on Friday’s episode. The reality television show is now in its seventh season. The show and its star, dog-rescuer Tia Torres, will visit Detroit’s Pit Stop for Change Rescue & Rehabilitation, a nonprofit, no-killer shelter in River Rouge that is in danger of being shut down. The episode airs at 9 p.m. Friday on Animal Planet.

Also ...

■British actor Peter Vaughan died this week at age 93. He was a veteran actor and most recently played Maester Aemon in “Game of Thrones.”

■Actress Margaret Whitton, best known for her role in “Major League,” died Sunday at her home in Palm Beach, Florida, at age 67. She played the role of Rachel Phelps, the Cleveland Indians owner in the two “Major League” movies. She was also in “9 1/2 Weeks,” “The Secret of My Success” and other films.

Compiled by Melody Baetens

Adam Graham contributed

Wednesday’s birthdays

Tom Waits, 67

Larry Bird, 60

C. Thomas Howell, 50

Jennifer Carpenter, 37

Chris Crocker, 29

Aaron Carter, 29