Nuggets: Sting’s birthday bash; Melissa McCarthy on ‘SNL’

Music stars line up to help Sting celebrate his 60th birthday: “Sting’s 60th was full of surprises. The charity event (all proceeds went to the Robin Hood Foundation to fight poverty) featured a stacked lineup including Lady Gaga, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Rufus Wainwright, Mary J. Blige and – all covering Sting’s songs joined by the man himself. ‘Sixty feels comfortable – I’ve always felt sort of old,’ he said early in the night. But most of the time, he looked boyishly ecstatic, whether grooving next to a moon-walking or sitting down on a riser to watch Herbie Hancock play a piano solo on ‘Sister Moon.'” ROLLING STONE

Will Melissa McCarthy win another Emmy next year for her “Saturday Night Live” hosting gig? “While the last skit sort of ended things on a sort of low note, when McCarthy came back out with Lady Antebellum and the entire ‘SNL’ cast for her send-off, all that could be felt was her infectious joy. Sure, it would have been nice for her to have had more screen time with [Kristen Wiig] (the two have such great comedic chemistry together), but McCarthy, who earned a standing ovation from the audience, was the fresh of breath air that she’s been all year. All in all, a brilliant and daring debut for an ‘SNL’ newbie.” EW.COM

Tony-winner Idina Menzel‘s Toronto concert to be filmed by PBS and aired in 2012: “Menzel told the [Toronto Star], ‘I can’t tell you how excited I am about doing this! I’ve been honing this program for over a year and it’s full of things I love singing.’ Menzel won a Tony Award for Leading Actress in a Musical for her work as Elphaba in ‘Wicked’; she also opened the London production of that hit musical. Menzel created the role of Maureen in the original Broadway company of ‘Rent,’ and her other theatrical credits include the City Center Encores! production of ‘Hair,’ Manhattan Theatre Club’s ‘The Wild Party,’ the Public Theater’s ‘See What I Wanna See’ and the benefit ‘Funny Girl’ concert.” PLAYBILL

Kurt Russell joins the cast of Quentin Tarantino‘s “Django Unchained”: “The actor, who played the serial killer in Tarantino’s 2007 flick ‘Death Proof,’ is currently in talks to join ‘Django’s’ all-star cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio (the sadistic French-inflected plantation owner, with a special taste for slave-on-slave death matches), Samuel L. Jackson (the detestable head slave in cahoots with DiCaprio and Russell’s characters), as well as Jamie Foxx (a freed slave at the center of the tale) and Christoph Waltz (the German bounty hunter who helps Foxx find his wife, a slave on DiCaprio’s plantation).” VULTURE

Jeffrey Wells raves about Mexico’s Foreign-Language Oscar entry, “Miss Bala”: “It’s easily on my personal ten-best list of 2011, and is certainly the best Mexican-beauty-queen-coerced-into-becoming-a-criminal-accessory-by-drug-gangsters movie ever made. It’s a flat-out triumph, and 23 or 24-year-old Stephanie Sigman, whose resume wasn’t very long or storied before she nabbed the lead role, is a natural soul actress and beautiful to boot.” HOLLYWOOD ELSEWHERE

Anderson Cooper‘s daytime talk show struck by tragedy: “After three weeks on television, Gawker reports that a teenager is in a coma after a producer from ‘Anderson’ allegedly encouraged him to record his behavior for an episode centered on the “teenage mind” … Prior to the scheduled appearance, a producer told the teenager to ‘film the crazy stuff you do.’ The teenager subsequently filmed himself skateboarding and fell, where he suffered a serious injury to the head, and is in a coma, the report states. The episode was never broadcast.” HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

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