BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Will Packer named producer of 94th Academy Awards

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By Bill Vaughan

Entertainment Writer

Emmy-nominated producer Will Packer has been named as producer of the 94th Oscars, marking his first involvement with the storied awards ceremony recognizing the best of the movie industry.

“The power, the beauty, the romance of the imagery in movies has always attracted me,” Packer said. “I’m fully embracing the challenge of bringing an ode to one of the most iconic mediums in the world to life. What an honor.” 

Packer has produced or executive produced a wide range of movies, including such films as “The Photograph,” “Little,” “What Men Want,” “Night School,” “Breaking In,” “Girls Trip,” “Ride Along 2,” “Straight Outta Compton,” “No Good Deed,” “Think Like a Man Too,” “Ride Along,” “Think Like a Man,” “Takers,” “Obsessed” and “Stomp the Yard.” 

His television credits include “That Girl Lay Lay,” “Blackballed,” “Ambitions,” “Bigger,” “Being Mary Jane,” “Uncle Buck,” “Ready To Love” and the remake of “Roots,” for which he received an Emmy nomination. He is the founder and CEO of film production company Will Packer Productions and Will Packer Media, a television, digital and branded content company.

“Will is a powerhouse producer who has enjoyed success across all movie genres,” said Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson.

“He’s already bringing a boundless energy and a focus on innovation to this year’s Oscars to entertain the widest spectrum of fans. Many wonderful surprises ahead.” 

The 94th Oscars, which will be co-produced by Shayla Cowan, chief of staff of Will Packer Productions, and Will Packer Media, will be held March 27 at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 200 territories worldwide.

TICKET WATCH: Tickets go on sale Oct. 8 for the annual iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour with the Dec. 3 L.A. date at The Forum headlining Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Doja Cat and Lil Nas X.  For those who can’t get a ticket, they can watch on The CW Network, who will bring this music celebration to millions of fans’ living rooms with a two-hour TV broadcast special. 

CLIPPETTES: Afro-fusion singer and songwriter Burna Boy with Queen Naija & UMI take over the Hollywood Bowl on Oct. 8; a night that finds Los Lobos at the Lobero Theatre; Sandra Bernhard: Madness & Mayhem at The Wallis; and the Robert Glasper Electric Trio kicking off two nights of streaming with special guests.  Tickets are at onair.events/products/  

After another show-stopping performance at this year’s Tony Awards, Jennifer Holliday of Dreamgirls fame returns to The Wallis Oct. 9 for a joyous performance to celebrate the iconic Broadway show’s 40th anniversary, as well as Holliday’s birthday month  

Also that evening, TLC Celebrates Crazy Sexy Cool as a duo (Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas) at the YouTube Theater with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony; WAR is featured with Latin Legends at The Greek; the Doobie Brothers light up The Forum; and   Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil take the stage at Walt Disney Concert Hall for the first time in 579 days for a Homecoming Gala with special guests Cynthia Erivo and Seong-Jin Cho … 

In case you missed it: Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar will perform for the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show, Feb. 13 from SoFi Stadium

Stand-up comic and Emmy-nominated writer Sam Jay (HBO’s “Pause with Sam Jay) performs Oct. 10 at the Troubadour.  Meanwhile, Isaiah Rashad is featured at The Novo; and Zhu, the first anonymous artist to be nominated for a Grammy, begins a two-night stand at The Greek with Shiba San … 

“I’m not saying I can hold a candle to any soul musician from the ’50s and ’60s,” says 25-year-old singer/songwriter Leon Bridges, “but I want to carry the torch.” The Fort Worth, Texas native plays The Wiltern Oct. 11  

Based on the success of “The Real World Homecoming: New York,” Paramount Plus has ordered two more seasons next reuniting the original cast members from “The Real World: Los Angeles” which aired on MTV in 1993    

Jonny X Mali The Tour starring gospel sensations Jonathan McReynolds and Mali Music hits The Novo Oct. 13; while NYC’s Subatomic Sound System, who regularly toured with Lee Scratch Perry, is leading Echoplex’s memorial for the reggae/dub legend.  They will be joined by Screechy Dan …

Nineteen-year-old, London-based musician and poet Arlo Parks’ The Collapsed In Sunbeams Tour gives a surprise performance Oct. 14 at The Moroccan Lounge preceding two sold-out nights at Echoplex; while Billy Childs Jazz Chamber Ensemble with Dianne Reeves kicks off the Angel City Jazz Festival at The Ford  

LeVar Burton (“Roots,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Reading Rainbow”) has been named grand marshal for the 2022 Rose Parade to return after last year’s cancellation Jan. 1 with the theme of “Dream. Believe. Achieve.” 

TASTY QUIP: “I am one Black woman — if it were another Black woman cast in the role, it would have been the same conversation, she would have got the same attacks, the same abuse. I just have to remind myself that the conversation is happening and that I’m a part of something that will be very, very revolutionary.” – LASHANA LYNCH to Harper’s Bazaar UK on becoming 007 in the new James Bond film “No Time To Die” 

TC ON TV: Oct. 8 – “Madame X” (Para+): A concert film chronicling Madonna’s latest tour.  “The View” (ABC): will.i.am  “34th Hispanic Heritage Awards” (PBS): John Leguizamo hosts this ceremony honoring Carlos Santana, Salma Hayek, Ivy Queen, Ron Rivera, Kali Uchis and Latina NASA Engineers, with performances by Juanes, Kali Uchis, Leslie Grace, Black Pumas and more. “The Graham Norton Show” (BBCA): Nile Rodgers, Dave Grohl, British parasport athlete Kadeena Cox

Oct. 9 – “Speakeasy” (Ova): Carlos Santana and Harry Belafonte followed by “Front and Center” capturing on stage together for the first time since 1973, the Original Santana Band with Gregg Rolie, Neal Schon, Michael Carabello and Michael Shrieve live at Las Vegas’ House of Blues. “The Waiting Room” (BET Her): Two breast cancer-centric short films written and directed by Black women starring Victoria Rowell and Debbi Morgan.  “Saturday Night Live” (NBC): Kim Kardashian West and musical guest Halsey

Oct. 10 – “Grace Notes” (BYUtv): Michelle Williams and Ben Rector “The Equalizer” (CBS): The Queen Latifah reboot returns with a twist. “The Simpsons” (Fox): Former NBA player Tree Rollins guests as himself in the all-new “Treehouse of Horror XXXII” episode. “The Clark Sisters Special” (Fox Soul): Features exclusive insights from the ladies along with special commentary from Grammy Award-winning producers/singers Jermaine Dupri, Faith Evans, Ledisi, SWV, Mary Mary, Donald Lawrence and actress Aunjanue Ellis.  “Uncensored” (TV1): Lynn Whitfield  

Oct. 11 – “9-1-1” (Fox): Vanessa E. Williams guest stars.  

Oct. 12 – “House of Payne” (BET): The eighth season fall premiere of Tyler Perry’s first hit show. “A Night In The Academy Museum” (ABC): Oscar-winning actors Laura Dern and Tom Hanks invite a few of their friends and colleagues including Cher, Jon M. Chu, Danny Glover, Eiza González, Aldis Hodge, Marsai Martin, Melissa McCarthy, Kumail Nanjiani, Michelle Rodriguez and Jurnee Smollett to spend a night in the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.   

Oct. 13 – “Ellen” (Syn): Ludacris, Alessia Cara  “Represent Our Voice: Black Women and Breast Cancer” (TV1): In the U.S., Black women with breast cancer are 40% more likely to die from the disease than white women. Host Karen Finney and a panel break down the factors contributing to this staggering mortality rate. “Twenties” (BET): Creator, writer, and executive producer Lena Waithe’s series following singles in the professional world of L.A. is back with a new companion “Twenties After-Show with B. Scott.” 

Oct. 14 – “Phoebe Robinson: Sorry, Harriet Tubman” (HBO Max): The actress, producer, and New York Times bestselling author (HBO’s “2 Dope Queens”) has her first-ever solo stand-up special where she gets real about therapy, interracial dating, reparations, hanging out with Michelle Obama, aging out of watching civil rights movies, and more.

TASTY QUIP: “For the best, I think it’s a tie between the first ‘Men in Black’ and ‘Pursuit of Happyness.’ For different reasons, those are the two almost-perfect movies. Worst? I don’t know, ‘Wild Wild West’ just is a thorn in my side. To see myself with chaps … I don’t like it.” – WILL SMITH for GQ  

As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly one million weekly readers. Bill Vaughan may be reached at tastyclips@yahoo.com, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.

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