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Composer-actor Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Composer-actor Lin-Manuel Miranda. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Laura Benanti has tapped Lin-Manuel Miranda, Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel and several other Broadway stars for a bilingual kids’ album benefiting migrant children and those who have been separated from their families at the border.

“Singing You Home — Children’s Songs for Family Reunification” will feature tracks and duets sung by them, as well as Josh Groban, Kristin Chenoweth and Ingrid Michaelson. Broadway Baby Mamas, an ensemble of working mothers in theater, provides backup vocals, Ghostlight Records announced Thursday.

The English- and Spanish-language album, which goes on sale Oct. 26, enlisted artists, musicians, technicians and recording studios to donate their time and talents.

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India Eisley and Chris Pine star in Patty Jenkins' "I Am the Night."
India Eisley and Chris Pine star in Patty Jenkins' "I Am the Night." (TNT)

In another sign of the increasing importance of TV content to film festivals, the AFI Fest announced Thursday that it will host the world premiere of the first episode of TNT’s “I Am the Night,” an upcoming limited series directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Chris Pine.

The “Wonder Woman” collaborators are switching gears for a noirish tale inspired by true events of unsolved crime, twisted secrets and Hollywood debauchery. The six-episode event will air on the cable network starting in January.

AFI Fest will also preview Jed Rothstein’s four-part Showtime documentary series “Enemies: The President, Justice & the FBI,” executive produced by Alex Gibney, which “examines the complex history of conflict between the FBI and U.S. presidents.”

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"Halloween" producer Jason Blum at the film's Hollywood premiere on Wednesday.
"Halloween" producer Jason Blum at the film's Hollywood premiere on Wednesday. (Chris Pizzello / Associated Press)

“Halloween” producer Jason Blum is apologizing for off-target comments he made about his company’s failure to hire female directors for its signature horror genre — and his perception of their unavailability — in a recent magazine interview. 

Blum seemed “jolted” when asked about Blumhouse Productions’ failure to hire any female directors since its creation in 2006, Polygon writer Matt Patches wrote in an article published Wednesday. 

“We’re always trying to [do] that,” Blum said. “We’re not trying to do it because of recent events. We’ve always been trying.”

  • Arts
  • Awards
Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles host the 2018 Tony Awards.
Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles host the 2018 Tony Awards. (Theo Wargo / Getty Images)

The Tony Awards are getting ready for their 2019 ceremony.

Announced Thursday, the 73rd annual awards show, celebrating the best of the Broadway season, will take place on June 9, 2019. It will again be broadcast live on CBS from Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

The 2019 edition of the telecast should be a star-studded one, as the current season includes plays starring Bryan Cranston, Kerry Washington, Armie Hammer, Daniel Radcliffe, Bobby Cannavale, John Lithgow, Laurie Metcalf, Ethan Hawke, Mike Birbiglia and Janet McTeer, to name just a few. The host(s) will be announced at a later date.

  • Arts

The surprise self-destruction of a Banksy painting didn’t go 100% as planned; according to the artist, the work was supposed to be fully shredded when the stunt was over. 

The street artist posted video on his website Wednesday apparently revealing the plan behind the performance-art stunt. 

The spray-painted work sold at a Sotheby’s auction in London earlier this month for about $1.4 million. The buyer, a woman who bid via telephone, helped set a sales record for the artist. Then things unraveled as the work self-destructed live at the auction. 

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  • Birthdays
(Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)

I say things guys don't know how or have the guts to say. They don't have to sweat it; they can just put the song on.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Go ahead, talk; see if he cares

  • TV
A scene from season five of "Orange Is the New Black."
A scene from season five of "Orange Is the New Black." (Myles Aronowitz)

Steady yourselves, “Orange Is the New Black” fans: Netflix has revealed that the upcoming seventh season of the prison drama will be its last. 

"After seven seasons, it’s time to be released from prison,” said series creator Jenji Kohan in a statement. “I will miss all the badass ladies of Litchfield and the incredible crew we’ve worked with. My heart is orange but fade to black."

The final look at the goings-on at Litchfield Penitentiary will air in summer 2019, according to an announcement by Netflix posted Wednesday afternoon on Twitter, which looks about as grim as to be expected with the cast aboard a prison bus. But for a warmer, slightly wistful response, various members of the cast appeared in a second tweet for the show that expressed gratitude to fans.

Kobe Bryant walks the red carpet at the Academy Awards ceremony in March.
Kobe Bryant walks the red carpet at the Academy Awards ceremony in March. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant has been removed from this weekend’s Animation Is Film Festival days after an online petition protesting his appointment over his 2003 rape allegation surfaced online.

“After discussions with the various stakeholders of Animation Is Film, the decision has been made to remove Kobe Bryant from the 2018 jury,” Eric Beckman, founder of the Animation Is Film Festival and CEO of GKIDS, said in a statement to The Times on Wednesday.

“We are a young organization and it is important to keep our collective energies focused on the films, the participating filmmakers, and our festival attendees.”

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  • Celebrity
Lena Dunham, shown at a Golden Globes after party in January, revealed in a selfie posted from the hospital that she her left ovary removed.
Lena Dunham, shown at a Golden Globes after party in January, revealed in a selfie posted from the hospital that she her left ovary removed. (Richard Shotwell / Invision/Associated Press)

Even when hospitalized — especially when hospitalized — Lena Dunham continues to practice radical transparency with her life.

On Wednesday, the “Girls” creator shared a selfie on Instagram displaying incisions and mesh underwear, evidence of her latest surgery in her ongoing battle with endometriosis. The disorder causes the tissue that typically serves as the uterine lining to grow outside of the uterus and is often accompanied by intense pain.

“Yesterday I had a two hour surgery to remove my left ovary, which was encased in scar tissue & fibrosis, attached to my bowel and pressing on nerves that made it kinda hard to walk/pee/vamp,” Dunham wrote in the photo’s caption.

  • Politics
  • Celebrity
(Jordan Strauss / Associated Press)

Taylor Swift speaking up about the upcoming midterm election wasn’t just a blip in last week’s news cycle — the music superstar continued her social-media-fueled voter outreach on Wednesday with another politically charged Instagram post. 

The “Reputation” singer-songwriter urged fans and followers —  many of whom hail from a younger demographic —  to take advantage of early voting options in their respective states. And that’s likely because early voting in her home state of Tennessee, where she endorsed Democratic candidates and slammed Republicans, began Wednesday.

“Something I wish I knew about when I was 18 and voting for the first time: ✨EARLY VOTING✨,” the 28-year-old wrote. “It makes it so quick and easy to go and cast your vote before November 6.”