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SPOTLIGHT: Sweeping Culture Daily

In Five: Elizabeth Olsen in “Romeo and Juliet,” “Oz” Big at the Box Office, and More Culture News

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1. Elizabeth Olsen, sister of the famous “Full House” twins, will star in the Classic Stage Company’s production of “Romeo and Juliet,” it was announced last week. The show will open the company’s 2013-14 season and will mark Olsen’s stage debut in a leading role – the actress previously was an understudy on two shows, one on Broadway and the other off-Broadway, in 2008-09. Olsen will next be seen in Spike Lee’s remake of “Oldboy,” set for release in October. [Hollywood Reporter]

2. Despite tepid reviews, “Oz the Great and Powerful,” starring James FrancoMila Kunis, and Michelle Williams, took in $80.3 million domestically this weekend, making it the number one movie at the box office. Even with the surprising financial success – “Oz” had one of the strongest March openings ever – the film will have to continue to draw viewers over the next few weeks due to its staggering $325 million budget. It’s also worth noting that, according to Disney, 53 percent of the North American box office for the film came from 3-D screenings. [EW]

3. Stage director John Doyle will launch a revival of the musical version of “The Color Purple” in London this summer. The performance will be held at the Menier Chocolate Factory, “a 150-seat performance space in a former factory,” from July 5 to September 14. According to Doyle, who directed the 2005 Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd,” the new production will be sparse. “There is no backstage. You really have to engage the audience’s imagination in how you take the story from place to place.” [Artsbeat]

4. The success of “Harlem Shake,” first as an Internet meme and now as a chart-topping phenomenon, is now marred in legal controversy over two uncleared samples in the song. Baauer, the musician behind “Harlem Shake,” never sought permission to use the samples – the first, by former reggaetón artist and current preacher Javier Gomez, and the other by artist Hennessey Youngman (a snippet of a song from his rap group, Plastic Little) – and is now being sued, along with Mad Decent Records, the label behind the track. [New York Times]

5. Justin Timberlake returned to “Saturday Night Live” this past weekend, giving the show its highest ratings in over a year. As part of the actor/singer’s opening monologue he was inducted into the Five Times Club. He was accompanied onstage by other notable five-timers, including Steve MartinChevy ChaseTom HanksAlec Baldwin, Martin Short, and Paul Simon. Watch the video below.

Previously: Kendrick Lamar, Mark Twain, “The Ordained,” “Party Down,” Much Ado About Nothing

Image: Elizabeth Olsen/Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

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