Movie Review: “The Least of These: The Graham Staines Story”

The true story about an Australian missionary and his young sons’ untimely murders in 1999 was retold through “The Least of These”. In the 2019 film, Bollywood actor Sharman Joshi stars as a poor journalist who is desperate to earn money for his young family. While his wife is hospitalized, the journalist is given the assignment to take down Christian missionaries in an article. He meets Graham Staines (Stephen Baldwin) during his research, and he’s determined to catch him in the midst of illegal acts. Instead of deception in Staines life, he finds honesty, love and a heart to serve sick people. The journalist also witnesses the greatest example of forgiveness.

Prior to watching “The Least of These”, I had never heard of Graham Staines. I was in awe of his family’s selfless service to leprosy patients in India. This film is a tear-jerker, but it places a spotlight on the reality of missionary work. The concept of forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do, however, Mrs. Staines (portrayed by actress Shari Rigby in the film) took the high road by forgiving those who killed her family. I highly recommend everyone watch the “The Least of These: The Graham Staines Story” to see the ideal model of Christianity. If only we could all be as self-sacrificing as the Staines family, and follow God’s calling no matter where it leads. Remarkable!

Following it’s nationwide theatrical release, “The Least of These: The Graham Staines Story” was released on DVD and VOD  on May 14th.

A Special Thanks to Collide Media Group for the screener.

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Review: “War Room” Creators, Kendrick Bros, Collaborate with Author Chris Fabry for “Overcomer”

“Overcomer” is a perfect blend of “War Room” and “I Can Only Imagine”.

Author Chris Fabry continues to breathe life into Alex and Stephen Kendrick’s film vision with the emotional novel “Overcomer”. The story follows the lives of a frustrated basketball coach, John Harrison, and an unmotivated young runner, Hannah Scott. Due to unfortunate circumstances, John loses his basketball team and must coach the school’s team for cross country running. The only problem is the team is one person (Hannah Scott), and she has asthma. As the story progresses, John and Hannah’s problems at home and on the field seem insurmountable… until they discover their true identity. The two individuals’ lives are changed forever when God uses a stranger named Thomas Hill to speak to their hearts. Thomas Hill may be nearing the end of his life, but he’s more alive than John and Hannah. Priceless encounters they have with him are crucial to the story.

The three hundred and ninety-four pages of “Overcomer” are filled with heart, faith and wonderful prayers. Like “War Room”, the characters are very open about their conversations with God and fill readers with so much encouragement along the way. It is quite the tearjerker, but it’s filled with triumph as well. “Overcomer” the novel is easy to read and very family friendly. If you are anxious for spoilers before the film hits movie theaters in August, check out this book on July 23rd.

*BTSCelebs sends a special thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for the photo and review copy.*

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Former Disney Child Star to Perform in Play By a “This Is Us” Writer

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Fantasy Casting: Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”

I have been excited about the upcoming live action version of “Aladdin” ever since they announced it. Of course, I’m counting down the months until “Mulan” hits theaters next year. While I patiently wait for both films to premiere, fantasy casting is the best diversion. After releasing my cast choices for “Mulan” and “Pocahontas”, it’s time to have fun with another one of my favorites… “The Little Mermaid”.

Ariel  (actress Storm Reid)

The 15 year-old rising star is young enough to take on the role of teenage Ariel, and unique to completely transform the character for a modern audience.

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Otw @sayeedshahidi…🌸

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Prince Eric (singer Shawn Mendes)

Personally, I believe Eric is such a special character that no one was good enough to play him. However, I saw that young Canadian singer Shawn Mendes is a hot trending topic when it comes to filling the cartoon prince’s shoes. If they give Eric new solo songs in a live action version, Shawn should give it a try. It would be nice to see his acting skills as well.

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Cheek scar vibe

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Ursula  (actress Lana Condor)

Lana was amazing as the good girl in “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before”. It’s time she had fun playing a villain (in addition to her role in “Deadly Class). Unlike the animated version, I want Ursula to be glamorous all the time. Lana could portray Ursula’s human alter ego Vanessa throughout the film. She could compete against Ariel for a longer period of time.

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Short one day, long the next 🎭

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Sebastian (actor Sean Giambrone)

After his appearances in “Ralph Breaks The Internet” and the live action version of “Kim Possible”, I’m convinced Sean’s signature voice will recreate the lovable crustacean character. The Ron Stoppable role seemed to be tailor-made for him… why not make an all new Sebastian!

King Triton  (actor Michael B. Jordan)

Since my choice for Ariel is so youthful, I think her father should be much younger as well. “Black Panther” fans would probably love to see their heartless villain transform into a doting dad.

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#MetGala2019 #CoachNY

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Disney’s live action version of “The Little Mermaid” has been announced, but dettails about casting, filming and a specific release date will be announced at a later date.

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Megan Lee Returns To The Music Industry

On Friday, the former Make It Pop star made her grand musical comeback in the form of the catchy single “Me, Myself and I”. She celebrated the release with a live stream on Twitch and uploading an official lyric video on Youtube. “Me, Myself and I” illustrates completely relaxing at home by yourself. In the short clip, Megan Lee seems to be enjoying her slumber party for one as she promotes peace of mind.

Check out the upbeat lyric video below:

Her EP “I AM” is scheduled to drop on May 24th, 2019.

Screencap and video credits: Megan Lee, Blackhole Recordings/Ride Recordings and Kreative Swing.

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[Interview] 8 Questions with Sleeping Beauty’s Grace Curry

On Saturday, gifted dancer Grace Curry will lead A&A Ballet’s magical presentation of “Sleeping Beauty”. The award-winning young performer is already a success in her mid-teens, and she plans to wow the evening audience in the Studebaker Theater with an enchanting performance.

BTSCelebs recently interviewed the rising talent and learned more about her. Take a look at that in-depth interview below.

BTSCelebs: Who is Grace Curry?

Grace: Grace Curry is a member of the Youth Company  at A&A Ballet in Chicago as well as a National Training Scholar for American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in New York City.  She won the Grand Prix at Youth America Grand Prix in 2017 and placed in the Top 12 at the New York Finals.  She has received numerous scholarships to train all over the world.

What sparked your interest in the performing arts?

I was very shy as a little girl, but I always loved dance.  It was the one way that I could express my feelings and emotions. I love expressing myself on the stage and sharing my love for this beautiful art form with others.  I completely forget about everything else when I dance.  It makes me so happy to see the audience enjoy my dancing.  I hope to inspire little girls in the audience to try a ballet class.

When did you officially start dancing?

My mom enrolled me in a mommy and me class when I was about 3, and I hated it.  When I was in kindergarten, I tried again and took creative dance, jazz,  and pre-ballet classes at a local studio.  I liked all my classes but absolutely fell in love with ballet.

Tell us about your journey to A&A Ballet.

When I was 10, I asked my mom to take me to a “better” ballet class.  She took me to the Joffrey. After my first Saturday class, I was asked to join the pre-professional division.  We couldn’t make the trip downtown everyday, but I kept dancing there on Saturdays.  I attended their summer intensive for the next 2 summers so I knew Anna and Alexei.  When I was 12, I attended ABT in NY for the summer and that’s when Anna and Alexei started A&A Ballet.  As soon as I heard that they were opening their own studio, I knew that I wanted to train with them.  I remember going in for a private lesson and at the end Anna gave me a hug and the rest is history.  I’ve been with them ever since.  I’ve grown so much as a dancer and artist with them.  They are the best teachers in Chicago.

How do you juggle school and dance?

It’s very hard to find the balance.  In order to train full time at A&A I had to give up the traditional schooling approach, and I take online classes.  It’s hard because I leave for ballet every morning at 7:30am and don’t get home until anywhere between 5:30-7:30pm.  I come home shower, eat dinner and then study until 10:30 or 11:00pm.  People think it was a sacrifice to give up high school but to me it was necessary to pursue my dream.  I don’t miss it because I am doing what I love.

How did you feel when you were chosen to be Aurora?

It was like a dream come true.  It truly is an honor to be given this role.  It’s such a challenging role from a technical stand point.  Most professionals say that Aurora is one of the hardest roles to dance and I agree with them.  You need so much stamina get through this ballet.  It’s a huge honor that they have entrusted me with this role.

What similarities and differences do you share with Aurora?

Well the biggest similarity is that Act I is Aurora’s 16th Birthday party, and I’m turning 16 this summer so I can relate to be on the verge on my sweet 16.  It’s a very exciting time, and I am able to bring my youthfulness to the ballet in this act.  It’s fun and light.  The main difference is that Aurora goes to sleep for 100 years and when she wakes up she’s being suited by many and has to make a choice for marriage.  I have to switch into a very mature dancing so that is challenging.  One minute I have to be young and playful and the next I have to be mature and regal.  I can’t even imagine having to get married so I have to use my dancing and acting to portray this part of the ballet.

What should we anticipate from you next season?

I am very fortunate that I am able to train at both A&A and ABT and am grateful to all my teachers for making it work.  I plan to keep working hard and improving every day.  I also am looking forward to many new performance opportunities next year.  I hope to grow in my technique and artistry as I continue to pursue my dream of becoming a professional ballerina. I hope to spread my love of this beautiful art form with others and inspire them to follow their dreams.

On May 4th, 2019, enjoy Grace Curry and Michael Sayre’s performances in “Sleeping Beauty” during the 7pm show at Chicago’s Studebaker Theatre (410 S. Michigan Ave). Dancer Trinity Santoro will take on the role of Princess Aurora during the 2pm performance.  

* BTSCelebs sends a special thanks to A&A Ballet  and Grace Curry for the exclusive interview and photos.*

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Megan Nicole Debuts New Online Series

Credit: WeAdulted Instagram

On Wednesday, Megan Nicole premiered her first episode of the DIY inspired series “We Adulted”. In the first episode, she joined friends to redecorate a rental property (while on a budget).  The results were adorable!

The online celebrity promised that in future “Adulted” episodes she’ll teach viewers simple adult tasks like doing taxes, working out, hosting dinner parties, maintaining healthy relationships, etc. The show is free to watch on YouTube and seems like so much fun.

I’m all in and excited for the next episode!

Photo and Video Credit: Megan Nicole


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