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arts & theater

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Must-see: High school dance team's 'Wizard of Oz' homecoming routine goes viral

There's no place like homecoming at Walden Grove High School in Sahuarita, Arizona.

>> Click here to watch

According to the Arizona Republic, the school's Performing Arts Crew dance team, aka PAC, recently took the school gymnasium – and the internet – by storm with a "Wizard of Oz"-themed shimmy down the yellow brick road.

>> Read more trending news 

The eye-popping routine quickly went viral, raking in 1.45 million views since it was posted late last month.

Read more here.

Basquiat painting breaks record at Sotheby’s auction

A 1982 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat sold for a record $110.5 million at a Sotheby’s auction of contemporary art Thursday night.

>> Read more trending news 

Sotheby’s said the sale of “Untitled” was an auction record for the artist. It also set a record price for an American artist at auction, USA Today reported. Sotheby’s said it was the highest paid price at auction for any artwork created after 1980.

The painting, which has a graffiti-like look, shows a face in the shape of a skull.

Five of Basquiat’s works sold Thursday night, pulling in $129.3 million total, Sotheby’s said.

“Untitled” was bought by Japanese collector and e-commerce entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa after a 10-minute bidding war.

“When I saw this painting, I was struck with so much excitement and gratitude for my love of art,” said Maezawa, who said he plans to display the painting in his museum in Chiba, Japan. 

“Untitled” was an unknown work before Sotheby’s unveiled it weeks ago, USA Today reported.

The previous auction record for a Basquiat work was set last May when “Untitled, 1982” was bought by Maezawa for $57.3 million, The Associated Press reported.

Basquiat died of a drug overdose in 1988 at age 27.

Young ballet dancers meet idol Misty Copeland

A group of young ballerinas from a Chicago dance troupe received a thrill of a lifetime when they appeared on Steve Harvey’s talk show Friday, the Huffington Post reported.

>> Read more trending news

The ballerinas from the Mayfair Performance Company on Chicago’s south side were surprised and delighted when Harvey introduced the dancers to their role model — ballet star Misty Copeland.

Copeland has broken barriers in ballet, becoming the only black dancer with the American Ballet Theatre in New York. Copeland, 34, joined the group when she was 17.

In 2015, Copeland broke another barrier as she was declared a principal in the American Ballet Theatre, becoming the first becoming the first black female principal in its 75-year history, the Huffington Post reported. Copeland has written a children’s book and memoir and has spoken extensively about her mission to diversify the ballet landscape for future generations. 

“You know one day, if you study this long enough,” Harvey told the Mayfair dancers during his show, “one day you could meet her. One day you could be her. Wouldn’t that be exciting?”

He then asked the ballet dancers to turn around, and they screamed when Copeland entered the stage, the Huffington Post reported.

The Mayfair girls then showed Copeland their own skills on the show, performing a dance routine.

'Sesame Street' welcomes Julia, new character with autism

A character with autism is joining Elmo, Big Bird and the other familiar faces on "Sesame Street."

The iconic children's show, which airs on PBS and HBO, will introduce a new Muppet, Julia, to TV audiences April 10, according to The Associated Press.

>> Read more trending news

Sunday's episode of "60 Minutes" offered a closer look at Julia, who has appeared online and in print as part of Sesame Workshop's "Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children" initiative since 2015.

>> Click here to watch

"It's important for kids without autism to see what autism can look like," Julia's puppeteer, Stacey Gordon, who has a son with autism, told "60 Minutes."

Host Lesley Stahl met Julia and spoke to Elmo and Big Bird about their new friend.

"Hi, Julia," Stahl said to the red-headed Muppet, who remained quiet – the same reaction she'll have when meeting Big Bird in her upcoming debut episode.

"I thought that maybe she didn't like me," Big Bird told Stahl.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

"Yeah, but you know, we had to explain to Big Bird that Julia likes Big Bird – it's just that Julia has autism, so sometimes it takes her a little longer to do things," Elmo said.

Julia also will struggle with loud noises and make up a game with her new friends.

 "They decide to play tag together, but Julia's so excited that she's jumping up and down," writer Christine Ferraro told Stahl. "That's a thing that can be typical of some kids with autism. And then it turns into a game where they're all jumping like her. So it was a very easy way to show that with a very slight accommodation, they can meet her where she is." 

Read more here.

Teen born without a jaw finds his voice, achieves dream of creating music

A teen born without a jaw is beating the odds again, launching a music career and helping other along the way.

When Isaiah Acosta was born, the odds were stacked against him. He’s now 17 years old and thriving in Phoenix, Arizona.

>> Read more trending news

Though he’s considered mute and will never have the ability to speak, Isaiah is now launching his music career.

“We knew we had a great story but we didn’t know it was going to explode like it did,” Tarah Acosta, Isaiah’s mother, told KNXV.

Last week, Isaiah’s hip-hop song “Oxygen to Fly” debuted. He partnered with Arizona rapper Trap House and a short documentary featuring his story was shared online. In just a few days, his story racked up more than 4 million views.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

“I don’t even think Isaiah thought this was possible. You know he is mute and we and a lot of people have told us they haven’t seen anything like this,” said Tarah.

You can listen to Isaiah’s song by clicking here. All proceeds from the song will go to the Children’s Miracle Network.

>> Watch a video about Isaiah here

#BoycottHamilton trends on Twitter as Trump supporters, critics sound off

national online debate has unfolded following a Friday night performance of “Hamilton” attended by Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

>> 'Hamilton' cast member issues challenge to VP-elect Mike Pence

After Pence was booed by some of the crowd, a cast member spoke from the stage to Pence as he left the theater during the curtain call.

>> Mike Pence enjoyed 'Hamilton,' was not offended when cast addressed him

“Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you, and we truly thank you for joining us here at ‘Hamilton: An American Musical.’ We really do,” Brandon Dixon said after telling the crowd to stop booing Pence.

>> 'Hamilton' actor who spoke to Mike Pence responds to Donald Trump

He continued, “We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us. All of us. Thank you.”

>> Read more trending stories

On Saturday and Sunday, President-elect Donald Trump fired back in multiple tweets, saying Pence deserved an apology.

>> Trump continues Twitter rant against 'Hamilton' cast

Those who believed Pence had been disrespected started tweeting using the hashtag #BoycottHamilton.

>> Click here or scroll down to see what people were saying

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/boycotthamilton-trends-amid/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe> <script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/boycotthamilton-trends-amid.js?header=none&amp;border=false"></script> [View the story "#BoycottHamilton trends on Twitter as Trump, Pence supporters sound off" on Storify]

Trump continues Twitter rant against 'Hamilton' cast

The "Hamilton" drama continues ...

The day after President-elect Donald Trump slammed the cast of the Broadway musical "Hamilton" for addressing Vice President-elect Mike Pence after Friday's show, Trump returned to Twitter to insult the show and call for an apology.

"The cast and producers of Hamilton, which I hear is highly overrated, should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behavior," he wrote early Sunday. 

>> See the tweet here

The tweet came less than 12 hours after he took another shot at the actors.

>> 'Hamilton' cast member issues challenge to VP-elect Mike Pence

"Very rude and insulting of Hamilton cast member to treat our great future V.P. Mike Pence to a theater lecture," Trump tweeted Saturday evening. "Couldn't even memorize lines!"

The post was quickly deleted, but not before someone captured a screenshot of the tweet.

>> See the tweet here

The controversy erupted Friday evening when Pence attended the show and was booed by some audience members. After the performance, actor Brandon Dixon addressed Pence from the stage.

"You know, we have a guest in the audience this evening. Vice President-elect Pence, I see you walking out, but I hope you hear just a few more moments. There's nothing to boo, ladies and gentlemen. There's nothing to boo. We're all here sharing a story of love. We have a message for you, sir; we hope that you will hear us out. And I encourage everybody to pull out your phones and tweet and post because this message needs to be spread far and wide," Dixon began.

>> 'Hamilton' actor who spoke to Mike Pence responds to Donald Trump

"Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you and we truly thank you for joining us here at 'Hamilton: An American Musical.' We really do. We, sir, are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us. All of us," he continued.

"Thank you truly for seeing this show, this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men, women of different colors, creeds and orientations."

>> Watch the statement here

Trump responded Saturday morning.

"Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing.This should not happen!" he wrote.

The Theater must always be a safe and special place.The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!"

>> Read more trending stories

Dixon replied, "Conversation is not harassment sir. And I appreciate @mike_pence for stopping to listen."

Ferg's Live 97X NBT Band Search 10-21

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