Here at ET, we’re obsessed with all things pop culture -- and this is what we’re most excited about this week:
Why We’re Obsessed With Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy
Did anyone have a more headline-making weekend than Cardi B? The breakout star of 2017 -- thanks to the undeniably catchy “Bodak Yellow” -- let everyone know she has (officially) arrived with the Friday release of her first full-length album, Invasion of Privacy; followed by a standout musical performance, including a pregnancy reveal a la Beyonce, on Saturday Night Live; all of which will be capped off by co-hosting duties on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday evening. Meanwhile, there’s no turning off Invasion of Privacy, which proves the former Love and Hip Hop: New York reality star is more than a one-hit wonder and is, in fact, the real deal. The album delivers a full range of emotions and musical styles, with the rapper singing the hook from Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor” in the love, pain-filled “Be Careful” to showcasing her bossy persona on “Money Bags” and “Bickenhead.”
Invasion of Privacy (Atlantic) is out now.
Why We’re Obsessed With Mean Girls on Broadway
While there’s no shortage of movie musical adaptations currently on Broadway -- see Frozen, Waitress or The Band’s Visit -- Mean Girls is probably the most fetch of the bunch. Adapted by Tina Fey from the 2004 hit teen comedy, which she also wrote and starred in, the new musical revisits the angst-filled and competitive world of high school teenage girls as Cady Heron (Erika Henningsen) navigates her first year at North Shore High after years of homeschooling in Africa, where she's befriended by a pair of outcasts -- Janis and Damian (Barrett Wilbert Weed and Grey Henson) -- who convince her to infiltrate the Plastics clique led by Regina George (Taylor Louderman). “It’s about human beings and how awful we can be to each other,” Fey quips, with her husband and the show’s composer, Jeff Richmond, adding that the story deals with “fitting in,” which is something “kids are still dealing with today.” The show, which features 19 original songs, captures all the fun (and fan-favorite lines) of the movie, while injecting new life into familiar characters, notably Plastics sidekicks Gretchen Wieners (Ashley Park) and Karen Smith (Kate Rockwell), with standout solo numbers offering insight to their frail psyches.
Mean Girls is now playing at the August Wilson Theatre.
Why We’re Obsessed With Chef’s Table: Pastry
Dessert is the theme of Chef’s Table's latest spinoff, Pastry, which goes inside the kitchens and lives of chefs Christina Tosi, Corrado Assenza, Jordi Roca and Will Goldfarb in a four-episode debut season. Much like filmmaker David Gelb’s ongoing docuseries, which includes three seasons and the offshoot Chef’s Table: France, the focus is on the food romance behind each of the chef’s culinary confections, from the origin story of Tosi’s addictive Crack Pie to the reason why Goldfarb left it all behind to eventually open a dessert-only restaurant in Bali. The latter’s episode is particularly poignant, documenting the chef’s struggle for success to his surge in popularity in New York to a sudden urge to escape the drama that followed. The release of the Netflix docuseries also coincides with Goldfrab’s debut cookbook and gastronomic memoir, Room for Dessert, which allows fans to dig in deeper with each of his famously eccentric offerings, like Bitter Grandpa and Who Can Resist My Top Gun? The new season of Chef’s Table will satisfy foodie fans, especially those who cannot get enough dessert.
Chef’s Table: Pastry debuts Friday, April 13 on Netflix; Room for Dessert (Phaidon) is out now.
Why We’re Obsessed With Elvis Presley: The Searcher
The life and career of Elvis Presley is revisited in a comprehensive and insightful three-hour, two-film presentation on HBO. Through more than 20 original interviews with those who were there -- everyone from session players to sound engineers and, of course, ex-wife Priscilla Presley -- and reflections from current icons like Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty (who recorded his interview before his sudden death), the documentary offers fresh perspective on an artist, whose journey -- from his exploration of music in Memphis, Tennessee, to the final 1976 Jungle Room recording sessions -- has become marginalized over time. “This is the definitive truth,” Priscilla Presley, an executive producer on the project, recently told a room full of reporters, adding that she wants “Elvis’ life to be respected” by “exposing what went on behind scenes.” And the documentary will undoubtedly renew appreciation for the artist known to many as “the King,” while exposing him to a whole new generation of fans that might only know him as Paterno star and actress Riley Keough’s grandfather.
Elvis Presley: The Searcher premieres Saturday, April 14 at 8 p.m. ET on HBO.
--Additional reporting by Rande Iaboni
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