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Olympics opening ceremony's spoiler

Stop reading now if you want Friday’s opening ceremony to be a surprise!

London: The London Olympics opening ceremony will be a grand spectacle — but will it be a surprise? … Read More

London: The London Olympics opening ceremony will be a grand spectacle — but will it be a surprise? In a word, no. But, a spoiler alert: Stop reading now if you want Friday’s opening ceremony to be a surprise. Stop, stop, stop!The ThemeThe ceremony’s theme is “Isles of Wonder,” inspired by William Shakespeare’s play about shipwrecked castaways, “The Tempest.” An actor is due to recite Caliban’s speech, the one that runs “Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises.” Mark Rylance, who had been due to perform the lines, pulled out after the death of his stepdaughter. Kenneth Branagh is rumored to be his replacement. It sounds more like Isles of Wonder and Woe — with a big dash of British whimsy thrown in. AP

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The BellThe ceremony will open at 9 p.m. with the sound of a 27-ton bell — the largest harmonically tuned bell in the world — forged at London’s 442-year-old Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which made London’s Big Ben and Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell. AP

James BondA prerecorded segment has been filmed inside Buckingham Palace, reportedly involving Queen… Read More

James BondA prerecorded segment has been filmed inside Buckingham Palace, reportedly involving Queen Elizabeth II and Daniel Craig as secret agent James Bond. If rumor is to be believed, a stuntman dressed as 007 will parachute into the stadium to start the show. AP

Read LessAct IThe opening sequence will evoke a pastoral idyll, the "green and pleasant land" described in Wi… Read More

Act IThe opening sequence will evoke a pastoral idyll, the “green and pleasant land” described in William Blake’s poem “Jerusalem,” which has been set to music and is regarded as England’s unofficial national anthem. There’s a meadow, livestock, a farmer plowing his field, a cricket match — and, in a nod to Britain’s plethora of rural summer music festivals, a mosh pit.The ceremony will depict Britain’s past, present and future for a global television audience estimated at 1 billion. In addition to the athletes and performers, some 60,000 spectators will be in the stadium, including political leaders from around the world. U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and her daughters and a sprinkling of European and celebrity royalty will be among those attending.Aerial photographs of the set for the second section of the show depict dark buildings and smokestacks with the River Thames running through it. This is the other side of the country described in “Jerusalem” — a land of “dark satanic mills.” AP

Read LessMusic, music & more music!
A third act will tackle the regeneration of east London, where the Olymp… Read More

Music, music & more music!

A third act will tackle the regeneration of east London, where the Olympics are taking place, as parkland and a creative heartland, home to many artists, designers and Internet startups.Boyle has stressed that the ceremony is not a concert — “the real stars are the athletes” — but music will play a key role, with musical direction by electronic duo Underworld, who have worked with Boyle since his 1996 movie “Trainspotting.” Music heard coming from the stadium in recent days ranges from “Jerusalem” — of course — to songs by The Beatles, The Who, the Sex Pistols, and Vangelis’ theme from “Chariots of Fire.” There are also songs by newer acts, including Dizzee Rascal and Tinie Tempah, two homegrown stars forged in the gritty London environment that Boyle is celebrating.The final act will be former Beatle Paul McCartney — due to lead the audience in a sing-along of “Hey Jude,” with thousands of voices urging “take a sad song and make it better.” AP

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