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Beyonce joins star-studded ‘Lion King’ cast

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Beyonce, pictured at the 2017 Grammy Awards, is among the big stars in the upcoming “Lion King” remake. (Courtesy Beyonce.com)
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The cast of Disney’s upcoming live action reboot of “The Lion King” is a doozy: On Wednesday, the Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Beyonce signed on to portray Nala, the childhood friend and love interest of protagonist Simba, who will be played by Donald Glover.

Jon Favreau, whose remake of “The Jungle Book” was well received, is directing.

Other talent already lined up: James Earl Jones (reprising his original 1994 role as Simba’s father Mufasa); Chiwetel Ejiofor as villainous uncle Scar; Alfre Woodard as Simba’s mother’ J.D. McCrary as young Simba’ Shahadi Wright Joseph as young Nala; Billy Eichner as meerkat Timon; Seth Rogen as warthog Pumbaa; John Oliver as hornbill Zazu and John Kani as baboon Rafiki.

Florence Kasumba, Eric Andre and Keegan-Michael Key play the nasty hyenas.

FOOD AND DRINK NEWS

The James Beard Foundation and restaurant service Feastly announced “JBF Goes Local,” a new series offering diners “exclusive” up-close and personal experiences with leading chefs who will not only serve dishes, but tell stories behind them. Bay Area participants include Sara Hauman of Octavia, Jennifer Puccio of Marlowe and Park Tavern and Ryan Pollnow of Ne Timeas Restaurant Group. … Speed Rack, the all-female speed bartending competition and benefit for charities fighting breast cancer, comes to the Gray Area Grand Theater in The City at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5. Last year, Helen Diaz (of Bloodhound and Churchhill) won the Miss Speed Rack California title. Among this year’s 25 contenders — mostly from San Francisco — are Alison Kawn (from Lazy Bear and Black Cat), Laura Bruce (from The Shady Lady Saloon and B-Side) and Gillian Fitzgerald (from Cafe Du Nord and Nite Cap). Tickets, which are $30 and include drinks and snacks, are at eventbrite.

STAGE SCENE

“Ain’t Too Proud-The Life and Times of the Temptations,” the highest grossing show in Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s 50-year history (and based on the memoir of the soul group’s only surviving member Otis Williams) is presenting a free simulcast of the musical’s final performance, at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5 on the huge outdoor screen nearby at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. …. Organizers of the Chicken’s Ball, a Peninsula vaudeville show celebrating its 78th year in 2018, are seeking cast and crew. Interested parties of varied talent and experience levels may audition Nov. 16 and Nov. 18 at Heather School in San Carlos; visit Chickensball.com, or contact Sue Court, who’s been participating since 1960, for details.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

YouTube star Hannah Hart is 31. … Rapper Nelly is 43. .., Singer Timothy Christian Riley of Tony! Toni! Tone! is 43. … Actor David Schwimmer is 51. … Singer k.d. lang is 56. … Singer-actor J.D. Souther is 72.

— Staff, wire reports

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