Grapevine: Christine Baranski wants to play Betsy DeVos

Katherine Jackson alleges elder abuse by nephew, Detroiter launches comedy tour of Trump’s first 100 days and more celeb news

Stephanie Steinberg
The Detroit News

Christine Baranski offers to play Betsy DeVos

“Saturday Night Live’s” Kate McKinnon may have some competition. Emmy-award winner Christine Baranski, 64, offered to play recently confirmed Secretary of EducationBetsy DeVos, 59, of Grand Rapids. “It would seem somewhat logical — we have that strong jawline, don’t we?” Baranski told Vanity Fair during the premiere of the new CBS legal series “The Good Fight” on Wednesday. “I can play people with whom I drastically disagree,” she said. “The (SNL) sketches have been unbelievable all through the election, and the post-election. So yeah, we could have a revolving door of people playing the cabinet members and all.” Last Saturday, McKinnon played DeVos during an SNL skit where Melissa McCarthy took on the role of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, firing a water gun and taunting reporters during a press briefing. (Spicer afterward said he thought McCarthy “could dial back” a bit.) Other stars are also offering to join in on the fun. Earlier this week, Rosie O’Donnell —who President Donald Trump has repeatedly bashed — said she’d be senior adviser Steve Bannon, currently played by SNL cast member Mikey Day. O’Donnell tweeted, “available — if called i will serve!!!”

Katherine Jackson alleges elder abuse by nephew

Katherine Jackson, the 86-year-old matriarch of the famous Jackson family clan, was granted a restraining order against her nephew, Trent Lamar Jackson, according to documents obtained by CNN on Thursday. Mrs. Jackson alleges her nephew has committed ongoing elder abuse. Trent was her driver, and the restraining order states he “infiltrated Mrs. Jackson’s business and personal affairs, even referring to himself as her ‘House Manager.’ ” The document also states that Trent screened her phone calls, controlled interactions with her children, and “conned employees at Mrs. Jackson’s bank” to access her accounts. Mrs. Jackson fired her nephew, and a hearing is scheduled for March 1. People reports that Mrs. Jackson is in London visiting her daughter, Janet Jackson, but is “afraid to go home with Trent there” and “fears he could physically harm her for terminating him.”

Detroiter launches First 100 Days Comedy Tour

Koretta Gray, a New York-based comedian from Detroit, has launched a national comedy tour mimicking President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office. The 38-year-old Cass Tech and University of Michigan graduate is a conservative who describes her jokes as “Trump friendly.” “There are tens of millions of Americans who want to go to a comedy show and not be bashed over the head about their beliefs, political choices and vote,” she says. Her tour kicks off in Michigan this week, and then she’ll tour the battleground states of Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Florida, as well as southern states and Canada. She has a GoFundMe page with a goal of $10,000 to fund her travels. The first shows kick off in Grand Rapids at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at 131 Hotel Plaza and 9 p.m. Tuesday at Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill. Another show will be 8:30 p.m. Friday at Breaktime Billiards in Novi with host James Eliot.

‘Rocktopia’ comes to rock out in Detroit

The live concert performance “Rocktopia” will make its Detroit debut at The Fisher Theatre for one night only at 8 p.m. April 12. Broadway veteran and co-creator Rob Evan will join the cast of classical, opera and rock singers and musicians, including “Rent” star Tony Vincent; NBC’s “The Voice” season 8 finalist Kimberly Nichole;Tony Bruno, a guitarist for Enrique Iglesias and Rihanna, and percussionist Alex Alexander, who’s recorded with Eminem and Bruce Springsteen. The show’s musical arrangements include unique mash-ups such as Beethoven with Journey and Strauss with The Who. Tickets went on sale Friday and can be purchased at broadwayindetroit.com or by calling (800) 982-2787.

Also ...

■Country’s Sturgill Simpson will stop at the Fox Theatre at 8 p.m. Sept. 19 for his 2017 tour. The Grammy nominee for album of the year also will perform during the award show at 8 p.m. Sunday. Tickets ($29.50-$59.50) for the Detroit show go on sale at 10 a.m. Thursday at Ticketmaster.

■Dispatch will bring its America, Location 12 Tour to Meadow Brook Amphitheatre at 7 p.m. July 2. This is the band’s first tour in five years. Special guests include the alternative rock band Guster. Tickets ($26-$61) go on sale 10 a.m. Feb. 24 through Ticketmaster.

Compiled by Stephanie Steinberg




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