Zookeeper

(PG) ★☆☆☆☆

Kevin James, America’s go-to schlub now that Jack Black has been reduced to peeing on Lilliputians, stars in this unfunny comedy about anthropomorphized zoo animals that coach their caretaker into winning back the affections of his vapid ex-girlfriend. Rosario Dawson costars as the platonic friend that he will obviously end up with. Nick Nolte voices a depressed, T.G.I. Friday’s-loving gorilla. Yes, really.

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It’s a long way from Nebraska to the Las Vegas Strip, but Samantha Ware made the trek in near record time. It took the 19-year-old less than a year to go from being a sophomore at Doane College—a private liberal arts university near Lincoln—to starring as Nala in The Lion King at Mandalay Bay beginning last month. “It’s been a very surreal experience, I think I kind of blacked out on opening night because there was so much going on,” says Ware, who became the youngest adult member of the cast when she debuted on June 13.

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