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Ballerina, 13, makes history in local ‘Nutcracker’ performance

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 7:00 AM

            13-year-old ballerina Salome Tregre will dance the lead role of Clara in the Cincinnati Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker.” She will be the first black dancer to play Clara in all 50 years of the show’s holiday history with the Cincinnati Ballet. (WCPO)
13-year-old ballerina Salome Tregre will dance the lead role of Clara in the Cincinnati Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker.” She will be the first black dancer to play Clara in all 50 years of the show’s holiday history with the Cincinnati Ballet. (WCPO)

When 13-year-old ballerina Salome Tregre learned she would dance the lead role of Clara in “The Nutcracker,” she burst into ecstatic laughter and then into tears.

“It was a really good moment of joy for me,” she said.

Tregre, an eighth-grader at Walnut Hills Middle School in Cincinnati, will be the first black dancer to play Clara in all 50 years of the show’s holiday history with the Cincinnati Ballet.

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This milestone has been a long time coming for both the company as a whole and Tregre personally, who began dancing as a toddler.

The first time she auditioned for the Cincinnati Ballet’s annual production of “The Nutcracker,” she said, she didn’t make the list. The second time, she joined the ensemble and practiced as an understudy to that year’s Clara.

“I thought, this is such a great role,” she said. “I said, ‘Maybe I should shoot for it next year.’ ”

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Now that she’s landed the coveted spot, Tregre said she hopes she can inspire other young dancers like herself.

“I think it’s a very big honor, and I’m really excited that it’s happening,” she said.

The Cincinnati Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” opens Dec. 14 at Music Hall.

This story contains reporting by Journal-News media partner WCPO.

Oakwood-raised actress nominated for first Oscar

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 8:41 AM

If Allison Janney wins the Oscar for her role in “I, Tonya” she will be the first Daytonian to win this one of the top acting prizes. Video by Amelia Robinson

It is official. 

Allison Janney is an Oscar nominee. 

On the heels of seizing a Screen Actors Guild best supporting actress win for her role as LaVona Harding, figure skater Tonya Harding’s mother, in the dramatic dark comedy “I, Tonya,” the Oakwood-raised star has nabbed her first  Academy Award nomination. 

>> 2018 Oscar nominations announced this morning

>> Allison Janney: “Dayton spawns great people” 

With wins at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Golden Globes for this same role, Janney is considered the front-runner. 

The other nominees for best supporting actress are: Mary J. Blige in “Mudbound,”

Leslie Manville in “Phantom Thread,” Laurie Metcalf in “Lady Bird” and Octavia Spencer in “The Shape of Water.”

If she wins, she will be the first Daytonian awarded an Academy Award in an acting category. 

>> RELATED: 16 Daytonians who made us proud at OSCARS, Grammys and SAG Awards

Janney has been on a roll, when it comes to big awards.

Not only did Janney, the star of CBS’s “Mom,”  win the SAG award for the portrayal of Harding’s mom, but also nabbed the Golden Globe and other major supporting actress awards. 

“She is certainty the front-runner,” Jonathan McNeal, a film expert and manager of the Neon movies, told this news organization Monday.  “The only other person in contention is Laurie Metcalf for ‘Lady Bird,’ but I think it is really Allison’s. She is the best thing about ‘I, Tonya’.”

“Mom” airs weekly on WHIO-TV. 

>> RELATED: Daytonian wins SAG award, is front-runner for an acting Oscar

In September, the former Miami Valley School student and Ashley’s Pastry Shop fanatic was inducted into the Dayton Region’s Walk of Fame. She told this news organization then she’d place that hometown award next to her major acting statues and recognitions.

In addition to her recent wins for her role in “I, Tonya,” Janney has won Emmy awards for her television roles on “Mom” as well as “The West Wing.”

>> RELATED: These cookies from a local bakery are SO good that Allison Janney gets them specially delivered to set

McNeal said Janney’s mom, Macy, who she praised as a role model in last Sunday’s edition of “Parade”magazine (an insert in the Dayton Daily News), is a Neon regular. 

I, Tonya star and winner for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role Allison Janney hit the red carpet in a mock turtleneck gown covered in silver pailettes by Yanina Couture—which “resembles a suit of armor,” says her stylist Tara Swennen. Janney originally planned to wear this to the Globes, but switched to a mostly black look to support the Time’s Up movement, her stylist says. Janney is just thrilled she got to wear it at all: “It’s a power dress,” the star told PEOPLE. “It feels pretty great. I love it.”(People Magazine)

Oscar nominations announced Tuesday morning

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 8:27 AM

The Academy Awards - By the Numbers

Who will be among the Hollywood elite to vie for this year’s Academy Awards? The nominations will be announced Tuesday morning starting at 8:22 a.m. EST.  Tiffany Haddish and Andy Serkis will serve as hosts from the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre.

The Oscar ceremony will be held on March 4 and will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

>> Read more trending news 


Neil Diamond diagnosed with Parkinson’s, retiring from touring

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 10:44 PM

What You Need To Know About Neil Diamond

Neil Diamond will retire from touring due to a recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

>> Read more trending news 

The renowned singer-songwriter announced the news in a statement Monday that said his doctors advised that he cancel the upcoming leg of his 50th anniversary tour set for Australia and New Zealand.

“It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring,” Diamond said. “I have been so honored to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years. My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows. I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come. My thanks go out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world. You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement. This ride has been ‘so good, so good, so good’ thanks to you.”

Diamond turns 77 on Wednesday and, in a bittersweet turn, this weekend will be honored at the Grammy Awards with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The storied songwriter behind such chestnuts as “Love on the Rocks,” “I Am, I Said,” “Sweet Caroline,” “Forever in Blue Jeans,” “Heartlight” and dozens more, launched his anniversary tour in April 2017.

>> Related: Grammy Awards 2018: What time, what channel, who is nominated, who will perform 

His most recent non-holiday album, “Melody Road,” was released in 2014.

Megyn Kelly still angry at Jane Fonda, calls her ‘Hanoi Jane’ months after plastic surgery tiff

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 5:41 PM

What You Need To Know About Jane Fonda

It seems that neither Megyn Kelly or Jane Fonda has forgotten about that awkward September interview in which Fonda shut Kelly down after the latter asked about possible plastic surgery.

>> Read more trending news   

In the interview, Kelly asked Fonda about aging and plastic surgery when she and Robert Redford were on “Megyn Kelly Today” to promote their film “Our Souls at Night.” Fonda didn’t want to talk about the topic and snapped, “We really want to talk about that now?”

Things never really got back on track after that, and the incident came up again just last week, when Fonda appeared on “TODAY” with her “Grace & Frankie” co-star Lily Tomlin. When Hoda Kotb asked how long the veteran actresses have been friends, Tomlin replied, “Oh, my gosh … I think before your first facelift!”

While Kotb and Savannah Guthrie exploded in a fit of giggles, Fonda was clearly unamused. “Never mind! Never mind!” she said. “Who are you, Megyn Kelly?”

On Monday, Kelly took time out of her show to address the actress’s remarks.

“And, now, a word on Jane Fonda, who appears to be fixated on an exchange I had with her months ago on this show,” Kelly said introducing the clip from September on her show on Monday. “When she first complained, publicly after the program and repeatedly after the program, I chose to say nothing because my general philosophy is what other people think of me is none of my business.”

>> Related: After Matt Lauer’s firing, new NBC employee accuses ‘Megyn Kelly Today’ staff

“It’s time to address the ‘poor me’ routine,” Kelly said. She told the audience and TV viewers that Fonda appeared on her show last September to promote a film “about aging.”

“To her credit, she has discussed her cosmetic surgery pretty much everywhere before coming on our show,” Kelly said.

Kelly then played a clip of a previous Fonda “Today Show” appearance discussing her history with plastic surgery, then referenced Fonda’s other interviews on the topic.

“Apparently, when she came here, however, again, to promote her film about aging, I was supposed to discern that this subject was suddenly off limits,” Kelly said. “Look, I gave her the chance to empower other women, young and old, on a subject which she purports to know well, and she rejected it. That’s OK. But I have no regrets about that question, nor am I in the market for a lesson from Jane Fonda on what is or is not appropriate.”

The hits kept on coming when Kelly brought up the “outrage” Fonda has caused in the past.

“After all, this is a woman whose name is synonymous with outrage. Look at her treatment of our military during the Vietnam War,” Kelly said as the audience cheered. “Many of our veterans still call her ‘Hanoi Jane.'”

Kelly then listed Fonda’s multiple offenses and added, “By the way, she still says she is not proud of America.”

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It’s unclear if Fonda plans on responding to Kelly’s insults, but Fonda fans responded on Twitter.