Take That’s ‘The Band Musical’ sees the boys reunite for gala show

Robbie Williams joins Gary, Howard and Mark for a song at a West End gala performance of the musical featuring their top hits. Rough cut (no reporter narration).


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Universal Pictures To Develop Musical Inspired By Prince’s Music

The motion picture film giant has acquired music from Prince's estate to make the film.


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Temptations Musical ‘Ain’t Too Proud’ Headed for Broadway

The latest show built around classic pop songs will run at the Imperial Theater starting next spring.
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Video: Lovense Provides Musical Orgasms in ‘The Theremin-X Project’

Matt Bierner, a self-described “maker,” has combined Lovense vibrators and a Theremin in his latest experiment in “modded reality,” which looks at using technology to rework and remix one’s sensory experience of the world.
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Persian Musical Instruments – Rhythmitica

Rhythmitica - Persian Musical Instruments  artwork

Persian Musical Instruments

Rhythmitica

Genre: Music

Publish Date: January 5, 2016

Publisher: Kherad Art House

Seller: Ali Samadpourmotalebi


"Persian Musical Instruments" iBook contains all sorts of information on the Persian instruments that you are interested in. In this book you will be able to get a hold of the history, the structure and the facts on all Persian instruments taught at Rhythmitica. (5815889)

iTunes Store: Top Free Books in Arts & Entertainment

Ariana Grande Makes a Triumphant Musical Return With “No Tears Left to Cry”

Ariana Grande, No Tears Left to CryThe wait is over.
After some cryptic digital promotion, Ariana Grande debuted new music late Thursday night. “No Tears Left to Cry” is Grande’s first single from her…


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High School Musical: The Concert – Jim Yukich

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High School Musical: The Concert

Jim Yukich

Genre: Concert Films

Price: $ 9.99

Rental Price: $ 2.99

Release Date: June 26, 2007


Be a part of an incredible concert as the worldwide phenomenon goes extreme! High School Musical: The Concert invites you behind the scenes and puts you in the middle of the action. Step out of the audience and jump on stage with Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, Drew Seeley and more of the cast of the award-winning hit movie High School Musical as they perform their chart-topping songs. High School Musical: The Concert is bursting. High School Musical: The Concert is an experience you'll never forget.

© © Disney

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High School Musical 3: Senior Year – Kenny Ortega

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High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Kenny Ortega

Genre: Comedy

Price: $ 17.99

Rental Price: $ 2.99

Release Date: October 24, 2008


It's time to celebrate as Disney's phenomenal High School Musical hits new heights in High School Musical 3: Senior Year! Fresh from the big screen, this motion picture extravaganza delivers non-stop entertainment from start to finish! It's almost graduation day for high school seniors Troy, Gabriella Sharpay, Chad, Ryan and Taylor and the thought of heading off in separate directions after leaving East High has them thinking they need to do something they'll remember forever. Together with the rest of the Wildcats, they stage a spring musical reflecting their hopes and fears about the future and their unforgettable experiences growing up together. Will their final show break them apart or bring them together for the greatest moment in Wildcat history?

© © 2008 Disney Enterprises, Inc.

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Musical Puns

Q: How did the tuba player kill himself?
A: He walked off a clef.

Q: How do musicians pay their debts?
A: With quarter notes.

Q: Why did the percussionist leave?
A: He was drummed out of the orchestra.

Q: Why did the opera house fire their male singer?
A: He was always singing tenor eleven notes off.

Q: Why aren’t fish allowed to play in an orchestra?
A: Because you can tune a piano but you can’t tuna fish.

Q: Why did the conductor tell the trumpeter to stop talking?
A: He was always trying to blow his own horn.

Q: What do you call a conductor who is always giving his orchestra grief?
A: A treble maker.

Q: What does a musician use to sign his checks?
A: A time signature.

Q: Why was the clarinetist always cutting himself?
A: His music was always too sharp.

Received from Bill.
The Good, Clean Funnies List

Tiffany Haddish Is Preaching The Gospel Of Cardi B To Other Musical Legends

Barbra Streisand is ready for “Bodak Yellow” now that Tiffany Haddish turned her on to Cardi B.
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New London production of musical “Hair” given a little re-style to fit the age of Trump

Popular musical “Hair” celebrates its fiftieth anniversary with a Trump-influenced relaunch in London. Jane Witherspoon reports


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15 Musical Siblings That Keep It All in the Family

Family matters, especially for these siblings who literally have music in their DNA. It's easy to get the band together when you share the same…
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You Could Have Serious Musical Potential and Not Even Realize It

You Could Have Serious Musical Potential and Not Even Realize ItIf you’ve got a particular personality type, you might be predisposed to be musically skilled.  If you’ve ever taken music lessons, you’ve had it drilled into your head that “practice makes perfect.” But is that really all there is to it? According to a new study in the Journal of Research in Personality, your musical ability could also be hinged on something a little more engrained: your personality. Researchers from the University of Cambridge and Goldsmiths, University of London, in the U.K., in conjunction with the BBC, put more than 7,000 people through a series of musical tests, including melodic memory and rhythmic perception tests. These were then linked to their scores on a Big Five personality trait test, which examined people’s scores on the traits of openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.  Among the findings: The trait of openness is a key predictor of musical ability.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Walter Becker Was A Master Of Musical Understatement

Walter Becker (left) and Donald Fagen of Steely Dan in 1977. Becker died on Sunday, Sept. 3 at 67 years old.

If pop music is a constant tug of war between the reassuringly familiar and the jolt of the modernist new, the Steely Dan guitarist’s gift was the ability to hit both extremes at once.

(Image credit: Chris Walter/WireImage)


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Jay-Z Will Be Musical Guest On Saturday Night Live Season Premiere

Brooklyn will be in the house when the new season of Saturday Night Live kicks off. Jay-Z will be the musical guest of SNL’s season premier on September 30. 

The episode’s host will be actor Ryan Gosling. Also, the Donald Trump slander will surely be nuclear.

Now the question is, what tracks will Hova perform off his critically acclaimed 4:44 album?

Also, will he appear in any sketches?

Photo: Getty

The post Jay-Z Will Be Musical Guest On Saturday Night Live Season Premiere appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.

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Les Misérables: The Musical Phenomenon – NBCUniversal

NBCUniversal - Les Misérables: The Musical Phenomenon  artwork

Les Misérables: The Musical Phenomenon

The Artistry Behind the Film

NBCUniversal

Genre: Performing Arts

Publish Date: April 11, 2013

Publisher: NBC Publishing

Seller: NBC Publishing


Universal Pictures is proud to release this free digital companion to the major motion picture, Les Misérables: The Musical Phenomenon. In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after he breaks parole, agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's daughter, Cosette. The fateful decision changes their lives forever. This behind-the-scenes look of the artistry of the film celebrates the music, actors, photography, and cinematography of Les Misérables and features: · Exclusive interviews · Musical performances · Interactive timelines · Extensive portraiture · Screenplay excerpts · And much more! This multi-touch book, made with iBooks Author, is a must for moviegoers and provides the ultimate experience for all fans of this beloved, classic story by Victor Hugo. Les Misérables, the major motion picture, starring Hugh Jackman, Russel Crowe, and Anne Hathaway is available now for download on iTunes.

iTunes Store: Top Free Books in Arts & Entertainment

Chester Bennington and Linkin Park: A Musical Legacy of Darkness and Hope

The loss of Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, found dead of an apparent suicide at his home in a Southern California coastal community, leaves a hole in the hearts of family, friends, and fans, but also a strong musical legacy — with Linkin Park, Stone Temple Pilots, and numerous projects — that can both comfort and offer clues to the demons that haunted the prolific and popular frontman. In both interviews and music, the 41-year-old …
News, reviews, interviews and more for top artists and albums – MSN Music
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You Could Have Serious Musical Potential and Not Even Realize It

You Could Have Serious Musical Potential and Not Even Realize ItIf you’ve got a particular personality type, you might be predisposed to be musically skilled.  If you’ve ever taken music lessons, you’ve had it drilled into your head that “practice makes perfect.” But is that really all there is to it? According to a new study in the Journal of Research in Personality, your musical ability could also be hinged on something a little more engrained: your personality. Researchers from the University of Cambridge and Goldsmiths, University of London, in the U.K., in conjunction with the BBC, put more than 7,000 people through a series of musical tests, including melodic memory and rhythmic perception tests. These were then linked to their scores on a Big Five personality trait test, which examined people’s scores on the traits of openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.  Among the findings: The trait of openness is a key predictor of musical ability.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Country Classics: A Tapestry of Our Musical Heritage – Joey+Rory

Joey+Rory - Country Classics: A Tapestry of Our Musical Heritage  artwork

Country Classics: A Tapestry of Our Musical Heritage

Joey+Rory

Genre: Country

Price: $ 11.99

Release Date: October 27, 2014

© ℗ 2014 Farmhouse Recordings

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WIRED Live – Questlove on Record Shopping & Musical Bonding with His Dad: Love Music Again

Check out WIRED’s music issue featuring Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson at: http://www.wired.com/listen

Music:
“Big Headed”
Performed by Kooley High
Written DJ Prince, Charlie Smarts, Tab-One

WIRED Videos – The Scene

Musical Gems XIII the Halloween for Ballet Class – Craig Wingrove

Craig Wingrove - Musical Gems XIII the Halloween for Ballet Class  artwork

Musical Gems XIII the Halloween for Ballet Class

Craig Wingrove

Genre: Instrumental

Price: $ 9.99

Release Date: January 12, 2015

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Les Misérables: The Musical Phenomenon – NBCUniversal

NBCUniversal - Les Misérables: The Musical Phenomenon  artwork

Les Misérables: The Musical Phenomenon

The Artistry Behind the Film

NBCUniversal

Genre: Performing Arts

Publish Date: April 11, 2013

Publisher: NBC Publishing

Seller: NBC Publishing


Universal Pictures is proud to release this free digital companion to the major motion picture, Les Misérables: The Musical Phenomenon. In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after he breaks parole, agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's daughter, Cosette. The fateful decision changes their lives forever. This behind-the-scenes look of the artistry of the film celebrates the music, actors, photography, and cinematography of Les Misérables and features: · Exclusive interviews · Musical performances · Interactive timelines · Extensive portraiture · Screenplay excerpts · And much more! This multi-touch book, made with iBooks Author, is a must for moviegoers and provides the ultimate experience for all fans of this beloved, classic story by Victor Hugo. Les Misérables, the major motion picture, starring Hugh Jackman, Russel Crowe, and Anne Hathaway is available now for download on iTunes.

iTunes Store: Top Free Books in Arts & Entertainment

Tori Amos’s Feminist Fairytale Musical

2015-10-01-1443662734-3490354-AltheaImage9050643_Brinkhoff_Mgenburg_MercuryClassics.jpg Just under 20 years ago, Tori Amos asserted her sovereignty as her own producer and created the haunting, transporting album Boys for Pele. Nothing else sounded like it then, and nothing sounds like it now: inspired piano-and-harpsichord-based southern gothic rock epics don’t come along often. Many critics were confused by it; many of her fans consider it one of her masterworks.

Originals like Amos challenge audiences and critics alike, who, with no comparable frame of reference, often are polarized. Such was the case when it was announced that Amos would be writing the music and lyrics to a musical, The Light Princess. Created by the National Theatre of London as a work of art and unbridled imagination, the play is based on an obscure fairy tale about a princess who is so “light with grief” after her mother dies that she has no gravity. Throughout a series of devastations designed to make her cry and literally come down to earth, Princess Althea can only laugh.

Amos and the cast of the play have been hard at work in the studio, and the fruits of their labors will be revealed on October 9, when the original cast recording of The Light Princess is released. In conversation, Amos’s ongoing dedication to the project is clear: she hopes the play will make a Broadway appearance, because she wants young people to hear its message.

Tori Amos: I think it’s important that the album get out to the world. There’s some girl in Ohio that’s going to play this album and say, “this is my story, too.” And then, of course, the next step would be to take it to Broadway — with the right people. Of course, the storyline and the issues that we’re shedding light on is one that will need a brave commercial production team.

What is it that the girl in Ohio is going to come away with when she listens to The Light Princess cast recording?

Things can happen to you in life — to her — that can be so painful that you’re not able to deal with the severity of what it brings up in you. It’s too painful for you to look at and confront. So, then, you will be forced to take a journey in some way so that even though you think you’re not up to it, and even though you think that the road gets so long and challenging sometimes, you think you want to jump off the cliff and possibly end your life, you find an inner strength. An inner light that lets you look at the things that are bringing you pain in your life, confront them, and make changes. That’s what I want the girl in Ohio to come away with: she might not have all the tools to make the changes she wants, but she can gather them.

The National Theatre took a real chance on the play because of its unconventional nature. Do you think it’s possible to pull off art on Broadway?

I think it is possible because I think that the demand from the public that want to have a magical evening, and yet walk out feeling really empowered, who are strong enough to look at some dark issues in their own lives. I do think that you can do both, but you need commercial producers that won’t betray the teenaged audience and won’t dilute the story because I’ve made a vow to teenagers worldwide — teenagers who have come and gone in their lives and to teenagers yet to be — that I’m not going to betray their story.

I’m in Washington, D.C., right between the White House and Georgetown, where you got your start playing piano in a gay bar as a teenager. You’ve said that early in your recording career, producers and record labels tried to force you to replace all the piano on your albums with guitars, but you refused to give up that part of yourself. It just occurred to me that the pressures for you to compromise the nature of your music suddenly strikes me as quite similar to the way young LGBT people have to make a choice about whether to try to assimilate, with potentially dire outcomes, or to be who they are.

I was embraced by the gay community at 13, 14, and felt safe. And the community has been part of my family since then. I still get letters from people around the world that feel as if who they are will not be accepted by their families…so the musical is a metaphor for that as well — that our teenagers have to find the strength within themselves to stand up to their fathers and who their fathers want them to be. And so the fathers set about putting changes in place so that the teenager will change and become the person they think they need to become. I get letters from people all over the world having to deal with that. In some ways, people have changed and are more open. People are able to communicate online. I think that’s good. But also, it amazes me how much judgment there is out there. That really amazes me in 2015.

Speaking of which, it is election season…since you live part time in the U.K., what’s your read of our current political system? Donald Trump, the Planned Parenthood conversations at the same time as LGBT rights, marijuana legalization — it seems like things are going forward and backward at the same time.

Yes. When I hear hateful rhetoric, words being said about a group of people, to try to get votes, it saddens me. You begin to think…it makes me question the whole process. Some of the people running have completely lost their conscience, their moral code. I just can’t understand when hate is accepted, when hate is OK.

Your last album, Unrepentant Geraldines, includes a song called ‘America’ that deals with the undercurrent of changes in this country due to immigration — a cultural shift and a shift of consciousness. That was just a year ago. There’s a major political polarization going on right now that I haven’t seen in my lifetime.

It is worrying. It is worrying, David. There are people all over the world that are concerned and watching, and wondering what we’re going to do as Americans.

Your album Boys for Pele came out when I was 17 years old and, for all intents and purposes, I was that girl from Ohio. The album helped me commune with some dark realities. Earlier this year, you released remastered versions of your first two albums, Little Earthquakes and Under the Pink. Do you plan anything like that for Pele’s 20th birthday?

Yes, there’s something happening with Boys for Pele in the next several months. We’re going to be doing the work for it soon. It should be out in 2016.

Boys for Pele and subsequent albums mention ayahuasca, a shamanic medicine that has suddenly exploded in the mainstream. There’s a so-called ‘psychedelic renaissance’ going on right now, and there seems to be a serious shift in consciousness among the people who are part of that culture…

Ayahuasca…yes, definitely changed my perspective. And I would say to you that the work I did with it at the time, in the late 80s, early 90s, it affects me to this day insomuch as that it has opened up my perspective to realize I needed to listen. I needed to not speak all the time. I needed to listen, and see, and hear what people are saying to me or showing me, what the universe was trying to show me in the moment. It taught me how to do that.

The Light Princess got so much attention for its visuals. How do you think it translates to a purely sonic incarnation as it exists as the cast album?

Well, I think sonic theatre is a challenge that I wanted to try to achieve with the team. Our team of people were working so that it would explode in your headphones, and so that we could tell the story in sonic detail. We had to make sure that we were clear at all times. And then the booklet that you get, there’s a picture with each song that you get — all the lyrics are there, and there’s a photograph from the stage show, so you see the photos of the stage production.

And the photos are beautiful. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to see the show in London.

We’re hopeful there will be an American production. Cross your fingers.

The Light Princess Original Cast Recording, with two bonus songs by Tori Amos, will be released on October 9.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




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All Songs +1: Why ‘Hamilton’ The Musical Works

On paper, the hip-hop musical about Alexander Hamilton should be a joke. On this week’s +1 podcast, NPR Music’s Timmhotep Aku tells us why it isn’t.

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Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp And Friends Write A Musical Toast To Decadence

Their collaborative project The Hollywood Vampires is a rock band, specializing in a macabre kind of historical fiction.

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Apple’s Special Musical Guests Perform At The 2015 Product Launch Event

Apple's Special Musical Guests Perform At The 2015 Product Launch Event

Apple's Special Musical Guests Perfor… 1:16
The folks over at Apple sure know how to party!
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Keywords: apple music iphone 6s iphone 6s plus apple tim cook product launch the wiggles
Views: 5,581

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Jake Gyllenhaal Reveals He Reallys Wants To Do…A Broadway Musical!

Move over, Hugh Jackman!

Jake Gyllenhaal has just revealed that he’d love to take a shot at a Broadway musical.

The Southpaw actor wowed audiences earlier this summer when…


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A New Video From an André Saraiva-Approved Musical Duo

Beau shares “C’Mon Please,” a single from their first album, debuting in March 2016.
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David Bowie, Steven Tyler writing for SpongeBob musical

It was hard to believe you could do a musical set under the ocean until The Little Mermaid hit the boards on Broadway in 2008.
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David Bowie, John Legend, Steven Tyler Writing for ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ Musical

SpongeBob SquarePants is headed to Broadway.
A new nautical-set musical based on the popular Nickelodeon animated series will debut on Broadway in…
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Kip Moore: His ‘Wild’ Musical Ride From Hawaii To Nashville

Singer-songwriter Kip Moore tells Access how he went to Hawaii, but ended up in Nashville. Plus, his reaction to reviews for his new ‘Wild Ones’ album.


Access Hollywood Latest Videos

‘The Unauthorized O.C. Musical’ Stars Tease Show’s Biggest Moments

‘The Unauthorized O.C. Musical’ stars, including Greer Grammer and Tilky Jones, tell Access what theater-goers can expect from the big production.


Access Hollywood Latest Videos

The Top Three Musical Trends Of 2015 Listed

A new list discusses the trends in music that have defined 2015, a year where developments are as unpredictable as ever.


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Janelle Monae transforms TODAY plaza into a musical Wondaland

Janelle Monae visited the TODAY plaza Friday to mystify and rock viewers’ worlds.


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New musical “Hamilton” called a game changer for Broadway

Celebrities come out to see the new hip hop musical “Hamilton” on its Broadway opening night. Rollo Ross reports.


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Modern Ballet Studio Melodies Musical Theatre Hits – Christopher N Hobson

Christopher N Hobson - Modern Ballet Studio Melodies Musical Theatre Hits  artwork

Modern Ballet Studio Melodies Musical Theatre Hits

Christopher N Hobson

Genre: Instrumental

Price: $ 13.99

Release Date: August 15, 2013

© ℗ 2013 Christopher N. Hobson

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Why It Would Actually Make Sense For Shailene Woodley To Be In The ‘O.C.’ Musical

“The O.C.” may have ended back in 2007, but its cultural significance will never die! 

We found out at the end of last month that a musical version of the show will run for one night in Los Angeles on Aug. 30. This leads us to the little wish we’d now like to voice: that “Divergent” actress and all around mega-star Shailene Woodley make a cameo appearance.

Why and how would this ever possibly come to be?

To start, Shailene Woodley appeared on the show in her youth. Woodley played Kaitlin, the younger sister of Mischa Barton’s character Marissa, in the early days of the series. Here’s footage of Woodley in the pilot episode:

 

You may not remember her because when the character was reintroduced in Season 3, Willa Holland took over the role. 

“The version of Kaitlin Cooper that we were going to bring back to the show was a little bit older than Shailene would’ve been able to achieve on her own,” show creator Josh Schwartz told The Huffington Post in 2013. “And was kind of a very different character, which Willa was great for. But obviously, Shailene is super talented and it’s awesome to see her take off.”

However, the upcoming musical is said to be focused mainly on the events of the pilot, an episode which — are you following us here — Woodley appeared in. So a cameo would actually, like, fit the timeline!

Obviously this is 99 percent (…100 percent?) a dream. Woodley is a very busy star and also we have no control over the creative direction of the show. (This is our fantasy! Not something the people putting on the musical have expressed any interest in having happen!) All we’re saying is, in our opinion, it would really put the celeb dazzle cherry on top of what’s already going to be a very fulfilling evening.

Even without Woodley, though, the show boasts star power in its core cast, with “Pretty Little Liars” actor Brendan Robinson playing Seth Cohen and “Awkward” star Greer Grammer playing Summer. Very, very exciting casting.

California, here we (all, metaphorically) come! 

 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



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‘High School Musical 3’ Actor Justin Martin Arrested After Shootout With Cops

High School Musical 3 star Justin Martin has been arrested after an alleged shootout with cops. 
After a chase, Boston police say Martin turned…
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Your Favorite Musical Discoveries Of 2015 (So Far)

We’ve tallied your votes and compiled a playlist of your favorite new artists and songs from this year.

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The O.C. Musical Is Happening And We Feel Very Strongly About It

“Californiaaaaaaaa, here we cooooooooome.” 

Those had better be some of the lyrics to one of the songs performed in the musical version of The O.C. that is definitely, for…


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Emerald: Musical Gems – Celtic Woman

Celtic Woman - Emerald: Musical Gems  artwork

Emerald: Musical Gems

Celtic Woman

Genre: Concert Films

Price: $ 12.99

Release Date: January 1, 2014


Global music sensation Celtic Woman present EMERALD: Musical Gems – Live in Concert, spotlighting newly reimagined performances of fan favorites from the group's treasure chest of Celtic songs. A celebration of the Emerald Isles' rich musical heritage, EMERALD: Musical Gems includes the uplifting "Mo Ghile Mear" and "Dulaman", the enchanting "She Moves Thru the Fair" and "Caledonia" and the ever-haunting "Danny Boy" and "The Voice". Also featured are new interpretations of Celtic Woman's inspiring performances of the beloved "Amazing Grace" and "You Raise Me Up". Filmed this past year on American soil in South Bend, IN on the doorstep of the University of Notre Dame, where it dazzled the family-friendly audience with a one-of-a-kind interactive concert experience that showcased the group's sparkling pure voices, bewitching choreography and fairytale charms along with the talents of a group of world-class musicians, an Aontas Choir, bagpipers and championship Irish dancers. Since its inception in 2004, Celtic Woman has emerged as both a spectacular commercial success and a genuine cultural phenomenon. The group's uplifting mix of timeless tradition and contemporary craft has transcended national and cultural borders to touch the hearts of a loyal international fan base, who have embraced Celtic Woman's hugely successful public television specials and made their eight album and live concert releases into multi-platinum best-sellers. The multi-talented ensemble has sold more than eight million copies across all their product, all of which have debuted at #1 on Billboard's World Music chart. As a live act, they continue to sell out concert halls around the world, having performed for nearly three million fans.

© © 2014 Celtic Woman Limited Under Exclusive License To Manhattan Records

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Michael C. Hall To Star In David Bowie Musical

Dexter star Michael C. Hall will star as Thomas Newton in Lazarus this winter, a role famously played by David Bowie. The off-Broadway production is co-written by Bowie and playwright Enda Walsh (Once) and is based on Walter Tevis‘ classic 1963 sci-fi novel The Man Who Fell to Earth.
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Get Excited, ‘The O.C.’ Is Becoming A Musical

Californiaaa, here we comeeee!

Forget the reboot — we’re now in the era of the musical adaptation. After news of a “Full House” musical and “Clueless” musical, “The O.C.” is the latest TV show to get the on-stage treatment, according to Variety. The teen drama, which originally ran from 2003 to 2007 on Fox, is being turned into a musical in Los Angeles. The sad news? The show will only run for one night on Aug. 30.

“The O.C. Musical” comes from the producers behind “Cruel Intentions: The Musical,” with Jordan Ross directing and Lindsey Rosin producing. They’ve even set up a Twitter account to share updates on the special production. So far, we know the show will feature characters Seth Cohen, Luke Ward, Sandy Cohen, Kirsten Cohen and show creator Josh Schwartz — played by BuzzFeed’s senior entertainment editor, Jarett Wieselman. Here’s what else we know:

Who’s playing Luke Ward:

…and Sandy Cohen:

Though they haven’t cast Seth Cohen yet:


The show will feature songs from the series, such as “Paint the Silence” when Marissa and Ryan kissed on a Ferris wheel:


There will be a Death Cab for Cutie cover:


The show takes place before Taylor Townsend joined in Season 3:


Sadly, the won’t be any Chrismukkah in the musical:


Keep your eye on The O.C. Musical’s Twitter account for more details.

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‘Bend It Like Beckham: The Musical’: Theater Review


Gurinder Chadha directs this stage adaptation of her own breakout 2002 hit film about a soccer-mad London girl defying Punjabi Sikh tradition.

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What’s Your Favorite Musical Discovery Of 2015 (So Far)?

It’s halftime, so let’s check in. Tell us about your favorite new songs or bands from the first six months of 2015.

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Favorite MerleFest and Rooster Walk musical discoveries

MerleFest and Rooster Walk Music and Art Festival have kicked off the 2015 summer music festival season to standing ovations. Fans have been posting all over social media they’re already looking forward to next year, biding their time for these iconic Americana and roots festivals — considered some of the best in the Southeast. There were amazing performances by MerleFest headliners, including The Avett Brothers, Lee Ann Womack, Dwight Yoakam — as well as Rooster Walk headliners Yonder Mountain String Band, Steep Canyon Rangers and Lake Street Dive. But other acts, too numerous to mention, did not disappoint. One of my favorite things about attending these festivals in particular are the new acts I “discover” by wandering among the stages. This year was no exception. Following are just a few personal discoveries I made over the two weekends. As a friend of mine says, “You come for the big names on the poster, but it’s the smaller names that keep you coming back.” Next up for me are Red Wing Roots Music Festival and FloydFest. How about you? What festivals are you headed to this summer?

MIPSO

This North Carolina-based band performed at both MerleFest and Rooster Walk and played one of my new favorite songs, “Calling Carolina,” which I can’t shake out of my head. It’s no surprise that one of the members of the Appalachian-influenced bluegrass string quartet, Joseph Terrell, was a winner in MerleFest’s Chris Austin Songwriting Contest (see below) in 2014.

The HoneyDew Drops and The Honeycutters

I have learned that I like acts that include the word honey in their names. Both performed at MerleFest. I am looking forward to hearing The HoneyDew Drops, who also have a new album out, “Tangled Country, and they are scheduled to perform at Red Wings.

Logan Brill

I had the opportunity to sit down for a few minutes to chat with this young woman and I was struck by her maturity, sincerity and passion for what she is doing. She has been compared to Bonnie Raitt, among others, but she is creating how own brand of music. She released her second album, “Shuteye,” earlier this month. Missed her at MerleFest? She’s playing Muddy Creek Music Hall in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on Aug. 12.

Scythian

You may be wondering why this now periennial MerleFest favorite made my “discovery” list. While it’s true the Raleigh-now-D.C.-based Celtic group isn’t new to the festival, they did release their newest album, “Tin Can” at MerleFest. I dare you to sit down the whole time during one of this group’s performances. Their energy is infectious. Check out their exhausting tour schedule here because they are most likely coming to a city near you and soon.

Jesse and Noah Bellamy

The sons and nephews of one of country’s most popular duos, The Bellamy Brothers, are making their own unique music these days, music that just has to be making the elder brothers proud.

Chatham County Line

If you haven’t had a chance to catch this group of guys, stop what you are doing right now and try to find them playing a gig near you and go see them. They’re so much fun. Better yet, buy tickets for Red Wing, where they are performing on Friday, July 10.

James Nash of The Waybacks

Again, you’re probably wondering why I would include Nash in a post about new discoveries at MerleFest, since The Waybacks have been playing the festival since 2007. I was fortunate enough to sit down with Nash after he came off the Walker Center Stage from the band’s Friday afternoon performance; his energy and enthusiasm were contagious. I had no idea the time and effort that goes into what has become the festival’s most popular non-Watson stage event, The Hillside Album Hour. Nash and the other San Franciso-based Waybacks with a little help from their friends — Joan Osborne (yes THAT Joan Osborne, Sam Bush, Jim Lauderdale and Jens Kruger — surprised the crowd this year with their version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” You say you missed it? Lucky for you it was recorded and you can purchase the Hillside Album Hour performance from this year at MerleFest 2016.

Chris Austin Songwriting Contest

Also not new, but new to me. While I know a number of MerleFest headliners got their start on this tiny stage in Alumni Hall — indeed Abigail Washburn mentioned on Friday that she was second runner up in the contest not so many years ago — I had never heard any of the emerging songwriters perform until this year. That’s because this year marked the first time I actually knew someone who was a finalist in the contest. Check out Carri Smithey and her band, Josh Coe (Saxapahaw, N.C.), Ryan Burgess (Burlington, N.C.) and Keith Ingalls (Burlington, N.C.) performing their third place song, “No More.”

Will Overman Band

Will Overman is a junior majoring in sociology at the University of Virginia who sesongs seem to be drawn from the experiences of someone much older. I heard him and his self-titled band perform at Rooster Walk. Their music falls somewhere in between bluegrass, country, rock, blues and pop that creates what most of us consider Americana folk rock. You can catch them at the Devil’s Backbone Brewery on July 18 and in Charlottesville’s The Jefferson Theater on July 25, where they are performing with The Hackensaw Boys (one of my festival finds of 2014 you may recall.)

Annabelle’s Curse

I also heard this band for the first time perform at Rooster Walk 7. This five-piece alternative folk band from Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia doesn’t seem to be cursed as much as blessed with talent. Catch this refreshing act at FloydFest in July.

Josh Shilling and Mountain Heart

Bassett, Virginia-native Josh Shilling served as Rooster Walk 7’s musical ambassador, or artist-at-large, sitting in on various sets with just as varied groups including Yarn and Left Hip Pocket over the four-day event. But the highlight of Shilling’s performances was the lead singer, piano player and guitarist’s Sunday afternoon set with Mountain Heart.

Stop Light Observations

I only caught their last song when this group performed at Rooster Walk 7, but they were my husband’s favorite. His take: “The played music ranging from the ‘Game of Thrones’ theme song to ‘Gimme Three Steps’ to ‘Psycho Killer.’ It was more like being at a party than with a bunch of old people in lawn chairs.”

Seth Stainback and Roosterfoot and Major and the Monbacks

And speaking of rockin’, both of these Virginia groups rocked Rooster Walk 7.

Virginia Beach native Stainback and Roosterfoot delivered a powerful blend of blues, country, folk, old gospel and rock. What started out as a father/son duo with Keith Stainback has turned into a soulful powerhouse after adding former Wet Willie guitarist Larry Berwald , fellow shipyard worker Steven Yewcic on bass and music promoter Jason Bruner on drums.

In another family affair, twin brothers Neal and Cole Friedman founded what became Major and the Monbacks during high school in Norfolk, Virginia, in 2008, teaming up with classmates Michael Adkins, Harry Slater, and Tyler West to form the core group that has driven the continued evolution and success of the band over the past seven years.

If you missed them, both groups can be seen performing at FloydFest in July.

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‘Cosmic Consultants’ Starsky + Cox Hit New York With Musical Show For Summer Solstice

The world’s “psychics to the stars” will take to the New York stage just in time for the summer solstice.

Real-life married couple Stella Starsky and Quinn Cox, known internationally as Starsky + Cox, put a comic (and musical) twist on the age-old art of astrology in “Starring: A Midsummer’s Evening of Entertaining Enlightenment,” which hits Joe’s Pub at New York’s Public Theater on June 21. The pair, who you may recognize from their appearances on “Chelsea Lately,” VH1 and MTV, promise the new show will “seamlessly marry the high and low, the esoteric and the pop, the sexy and sublime, the cosmic and the comic.”

The Huffington Post spoke with Starsky + Cox, who are the authors of the beloved best-seller, Sextrology, via email about the new show, how gender and sexuality play into astrology and whether or not star signs can really impact romantic compatibility.

What surprises can we expect from your show, “Starring”?
Well we suppose it’s a surprise in itself that you can catch a couple of cosmic comics with a metaphysical music act performing live at Joe’s Pub, although we have done so for over five years. But people are probably most amazed by the audience interaction. Total strangers will have sent us their birth stats and we read their astrological charts live on the spot. They might expect us to poke fun, improvising with them, but what is most stupifying is how freakily accurate we can be. It’s not a Starsky + Cox show unless we see some shock beneath the laughter. And of course our sketches and patter strike chords of truthiness even if they seem to come from outer space. People find it surprising that they can belly laugh at jokes about high-minded subjects like mythology or the multiverse.


How do gender and sexuality play into astrology? How would, for example, a gay man’s astrological chart differ from that of a straight person who is born on the same day?

It’s all about archetype. The whole premise of our book Sextrology which is subtitled The Astrology of Sex and the Sexes is foremost about gender and sexuality. A person born on the same day in the same place at the same exact time will have the same chart as you do. And they will inherit the same archetypal ingredients. However, there is a spectrum, a paradoxical nature, to every placement of a planet in a sign in an astrological house in a person’s chart. (Think of twins. They can have an almost exact birth chart, but they tend to gravitate to different polarities within their astrological make-up, to express their individuality, in relief. Still, there are so many examples of twins who were separated at birth leading lives, down to the most minute detail, that are similar.)

In general terms of sun-sign astrology there are a number of archetypes assigned to each of the signs In our book Sextrology separate male signs from female signs into 24 instead of the traditional 12. But within, say, the male sign of Sagittarius, there are a number of archetypes on which that individual might draw, in sweeping terms. And we start with the classic archetypes, those of the gods and demigods, who are really just personifications of energy, characters that echo through fairytales and literature, film and drama, television and comic books, and whose energy we, as living-breathing people also take on. Of course, sitting with a client and looking at their individual chart we can go infinitely deeper in the exploration of their individual selves.

I hear so much talk of not signing contracts, etc. during mercury retrograde, for example. How much would you say that a person should (or shouldn’t) rely on astrology when making major life decisions?
In our private consultancy, we never tell a client they should or should not do a particular thing. We explore the landscape of potentiality available to them at any given time, to help them make informed decisions with eyes wide open.

That said, this last Mercury retrograde that ended last week was a total ass kicker and we were pretty verbal about letting things wait that could wait. Not because the outcome would be unfavorable—Mercury doesn’t have much control over that—but, named for the trickster god, that planet can mess with our heads in the process, throwing monkey wrenches in our path. But even so: the effects of Mercury are designed to keep our minds sharp, while making us more flexible and versatile in our approach to circumstance. Tough love from a tiny planet.

Astrological compatibility between partners — important, or no? Is this any more or less significant in same-sex relationships? Can a couple who are astrologically opposed somehow make it work?
Without zeroing in on the specific charts of two actual individuals who are in an intimate relationship, and just speaking, as we do in our books, in general terms of sun-sign astrology, there are still some pretty specific peaks and valleys endemic to a certain relationship between sex signs. This was the premise of our second book, Cosmic Coupling, to which, much to our chagrin, our publisher would only dedicate a single page to same sex relationships, whilst straight relationships were given full spreads. No pun intended. (The limiting and omitting of gay content in our books has seen us pull it from markets like Russia and has informed our choices, moving forward, in the traditional publishing world.)

But to answer your question: Every relationship can work. Different signs tend to access or spotlight different parts of our own personalities, in broad terms, and the emphasis of the relationship will vary, depending on the sign combination. We tend to play different roles in relationship with different signs. And just as we might find ourselves being attracted to a person of a particular sign, time and again, or they to us, we are often quite aware which relationships are sustainable or combustible as the case may be.

How would an astrological chart differ for a transgender person as opposed to gay or straight?
Again the chart doesn’t change and we think the question you’re asking is: can it be that a straight person and a gay person and a transgender person all born in exactly the same place at the exact instant have the same chart — which they do — and the answer would be yes. The zodiac is a pretty amazing, age-old, timeless mandala for existence. And it has always seemed to know things that we modern folk only then “discover” via math or the sciences, in time.

The astrological system sees sexuality and gender as being far more fluid than our overly categorial minds will often allow. What qualities of self that the straight, gay or transgender individual born at precisely the same time in the same place actually do share will be far more astounding than how they identify in regard to gender or sexuality. They can have all the same cosmic ingredients but embody a different recipe.

Also, in regard to transgender individuals: We find it more apt to discuss them in terms of gender, not in terms of sexuality. Just as we maintain that men and women (who identify as such) are different archetypes, one from another, so too are transgender people of a particular sign; but we’ve yet been able to express that in book form. [Put a pin] in that because doing so is part of our plan.

Musically, what can we expect from the new show?
Music has always been the icing for us. That said, we have gone further with it. Matt Ray has been our musical director now for the last five years an he’s the best in the business. We choose songs that tell a story and fit the theme of the show without hitting people over the head with them. We have individually found our own voices and have performed, more, separately in recent years—Stella Starsky’s solo show “Birth of the American Baroness” will be at Joe’s Pub on July 23 — and choosing songs to do together is always easy and fun. You might hear anything from X (the band) to Blossom Dearie in this show. And Patrick Johnson will be joining us along with special guest Phoebe Legere.

“Starring: A Midsummer’s Evening of Entertaining Enlightenment” hits Joe’s Pub at New York’s Public Theater on June 21. Head here for more details.

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Les Misérables: The Musical Phenomenon – NBCUniversal

NBCUniversal - Les Misérables: The Musical Phenomenon  artwork

Les Misérables: The Musical Phenomenon

The Artistry Behind the Film

NBCUniversal

Genre: Performing Arts

Publish Date: April 11, 2013

Publisher: NBC Publishing

Seller: NBC Publishing


Universal Pictures is proud to release this free digital companion to the major motion picture, Les Misérables: The Musical Phenomenon. In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after he breaks parole, agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's daughter, Cosette. The fateful decision changes their lives forever. This behind-the-scenes look of the artistry of the film celebrates the music, actors, photography, and cinematography of Les Misérables and features: · Exclusive interviews · Musical performances · Interactive timelines · Extensive portraiture · Screenplay excerpts · And much more! This multi-touch book, made with iBooks Author, is a must for moviegoers and provides the ultimate experience for all fans of this beloved, classic story by Victor Hugo. Les Misérables, the major motion picture, starring Hugh Jackman, Russel Crowe, and Anne Hathaway is available now for download on iTunes.

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Who was Charli XCX’s musical inspiration as a teen?

“Boom Clap” singer Charli XCX answers fans’ questions for TODAY’s Toyota Concert Series, revealing her favorite ’90s pop stars and more.




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Big commercial hit and small, creative musical lead Tony Awards

Experts predict Tony co-host and nominee Kristin Chenoweth will have a big night. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)


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Watch Kristin Chenoweth nail this showstopping musical number

In an exclusive to TODAY.com, the Tony- and Emmy-winning actress is all song and dance in a showstopper from “On the Twentieth Century.”




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Watch Kristin Chenoweth nail this showstopping musical number

In an exclusive to TODAY.com, the Tony- and Emmy-winning actress is all song and dance in a showstopper from “On the Twentieth Century.”




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Watch Kristin Chenoweth nail this showstopping musical number

In an exclusive to TODAY.com, the Tony- and Emmy-winning actress is all song and dance in a showstopper from “On the Twentieth Century.”




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Watch Kristin Chenoweth nail this showstopping musical number

In an exclusive to TODAY.com, the Tony- and Emmy-winning actress is all song and dance in a showstopper from “On the Twentieth Century.”




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Music Review: Mike + Ruthy Band serve up musical melting pot

This photo provided by courtesy of The Mike + Ruthy Band shows the cover of the album, "Bright As You Can," by The Mike + Ruthy Band. (Christopher Gilner/The Mike + Ruthy Band via AP)The Mike + Ruthy Band, "Bright As You Can" (Thirty Tigers)



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Mississippi bids musical farewell to blues legend B.B. King

Mourners gather for blues legend B.B. King’s funeral at Bell Grove Baptist Church in Indianola, Mississippi. Vanessa Johnston reports.


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See The Pretty Adorable Letter A Teenage Dave Grohl Wrote To His Musical ‘Hero’

Dave Grohl shared a picture of his letter to Ian MacKaye, written when he was 14.
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Newcomer Dustin Hensley Discusses the Musical Influences That Made Him an ‘Old Soul’

Though the tiny hamlet of Holladay, Tennessee might seem a little bit isolated, it’s location in the western portion of the Volunteer State gives it…
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New Mix: Six Musical Discoveries You Can’t Miss

On this week’s show, we focus on discovery, with new songs by six acts that have never been played on All Songs Considered before.

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Kip Moore Cites Bruce Springsteen And Motown Artists As Musical Influences

Kip Moore says that his musical influences are many and varied. Speaking with Ram Country he listed Bruce Springsteen and Motown legends like Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Smokey Robinson, and Stevie Wonder among his faves. “The main thing for Springsteen, and what I’m always trying to do myself, is to be genuine and bring that realness into what I’m doing.”
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13 Times Taylor Swift And Kendrick Lamar Proved They’re A Musical Match Made In Heaven

Kendrick Lamar and Taylor Swift have been building towards ‘Bad Blood’ greatness. Here’s how.
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Deborah Cox Describes ‘The Bodyguard’ Musical Role As A ‘Dream Of A Lifetime’

The musical theatre adaptation of Lawrence Kasdan’s 1992 Oscar-nominated film, “The Bodyguard” will make its North American debut with its Fall 2016 national tour.

The award-winning musical, which premiered at London’s Adelphi Theatre in Dec. 2012, will star Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Deborah Cox as Rachel Marron (previously played by X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke) and directed by British theatre director Thea Sharrock.

Cox is keeping busy this summer. In addition to the announcement of her new musical gig, she is prepping the Summer release of her forthcoming album “Work Of Art,” and currently stars in a musical based on of the life of Josephine Baker. Cox will also co-host the Clear Channel Spectacolor’s simulcast of the 2015 Tony Awards on June 7.

In an exclusive statement to The Huffington Post, the multi-talented Canadian native says she is excited about her involvement in all three projects.

“I am honored to be chosen to co-host and perform with Justin Guarini for The Tony Awards in Times Square simulcast event,” she wrote.

“I am also honored to represent two of the most iconic and historic women of the 20th century with the Broadway bound ‘Josephine’ project and now the ‘Bodyguard.’ As a performing artist, it’s a dream of a lifetime to now have an opportunity to not only sing, but to also feature my acting and dancing talents. What a blessing!”

Additional casting and tour cities for “The Bodyguard” will be announced at a later date.

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‘Motown: The Musical’: Theater Review


Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and the R&B classics from the Motor City can’t be beat as Broadway’s rousing jukebox musical about the birth of Motown hits the road.

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Why We Like Falsetto, Why Melodies Matter And Other Musical Wonders

These are just a few of the questions that popped up during our recent All Songs Considered listening party in Boston.

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Tribeca: Monty Python Members Play Musical Chairs With John Oliver


“John, I’m sorry about your career. It was going so well. You were doing so f—ing great until you fell for this offer,” Eric Idle told the ‘Last Week Tonight’ host as he gamely moderated a Q&A full of silly gags.

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Louis C.K. Will Host The ‘SNL’ Season Finale With Musical Guest Rihanna

Louie from New York, it’s Saturday night!

With just three episodes left in the 40th season, NBC announced that the season finale of “Saturday Night Live” will be hosted by Louis C.K. on May 16, with musical guest Rihanna. On May 2, Scarlett Johansson will host with Wiz Khalifa performing on “SNL” for the first time, and on May 9, Reese Witherspoon takes the helm with musical guest Florence + the Machine.

This will be C.K.’s third time hosting “SNL,” having first done so back in November 2012 the weekend after Hurricane Sandy and again in March 2014. The comedian has received two Emmy nominations for his performances on “SNL,” with highlights like “Lincoln,” “Black Jeopardy!,” nearly 10 minutes of new stand-up material in each monologue and, of course, his epic make-out session with Kate McKinnon

“Saturday Night Live” resumes Saturday, May 2 at 11:30 p.m./10:30 p.m. central on NBC.

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‘Duck Commander Musical’: Theater Review


‘Duck Dynasty’ takes a musical bow in Las Vegas, giving fans of the A&E show all they can ask for, which evidently isn’t much.

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Charli XCX And Bleachers’ Joint Tour Is A Musical Match Made In Heaven

Charli XCX and Jack Antonoff’s Bleachers are taking their colorful, infectious pop on the road for a co-headlining summer tour.
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Theater: City Of Lights Musical Smackdown: “Gigi” Vs “An American In Paris.” And The Winner Is….

GIGI * ½ out of ****
NEIL SIMON THEARE

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS ** ½ out of ****
PALACE THEATRE

Two musicals set in Paris opened on Broadway within four days of each other. Both are shows that began as musicals created for the movies, something almost unheard of today unless you’re an animated princess. Both won the Best Picture Oscar. An American In Paris won in 1951, when the far superior drama A Place In The Sun should have triumphed. Gigi beat a very weak field in 1958. Vertigo or Touch Of Evil or A Night To Remember should have won, but they weren’t even nominated. I suppose I’d pick the problematic adaptation of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof that was nominated as a worthier winner.

Curiously, both films – huge triumphs in their day – have fallen hard in critical standing over the years. An American In Paris is politely remembered for its dance, while the paper-thin storyline is passed over in silence. Both director Vincente Minnelli and star Gene Kelly did much better work.

Gigi has fared even worse. The follow-up to the smash Lerner & Lowe hit My Fair Lady (often dubbed the “perfect” musical, fairly enough), Gigi was a blockbuster. But time hasn’t been kind to it. My Fair Lady led to a steep decline artistically, with Gigi and Camelot (which has a great score but a terrible book) and On A Clear Day You Can See Forever and the movie Paint Your Wagon all proving increasingly problematic, especially in their books. (Alan Jay Lerner also wrote the book for An American In Paris, whose music is by the Gershwins, of course.)

An American In Paris didn’t have enough substance while Gigi in a way had too much. It’s a romanticized tale about selling off the favors of a young virginal woman and its highlight is the now creepy sight of the aging Maurice Chevalier crooning “Thank Heaven For Little Girls.”

American In Paris gets a dramatically beefed up story courtesy of Craig Lucas, changing its setting to just after World War II, adding in details of collaboration and post-war tension, not to mention turning the lone suitor of Gene Kelly into three different men vying for the affections of our heroine. More importantly, it has embraced the strength of the film: the dancing. Director Christopher Wheeldon – a huge talent in the ballet world – is making his Broadway debut and he’s cast major ballet stars in the lead roles.

Gigi has gone in the opposite direction, downplaying as much as possible what the story is actually about, casting her lover as a man essentially the same age as our little girl and taking away “Thank Heaven For Little Girls” from the old rogue Honoré and giving it to Gigi’s grandmother and aunt.

From afar, An American In Paris has succeeded better. Neither show got raves; neither show is a smash hit. But An American In Paris has done substantially better at the box office, while Gigi has struggled. Yet in a way, An American In Paris is more disappointing because it actually had the chance to be very good.

First, Gigi. Gaston (Corey Cott) is a handsome, charming heir to a fortune in sugar. A Kardashian sort of celebrity, Gaston feels obliged to feed the gossip pages for some reason; he is always wooing some new beauty and showering her with jewels until he or she or both of them become bored and move on, preferably with some spectacular blowup that can be the talk of the town.

But what Gaston truly enjoys are the quiet, simple moments he spends with Mamita, the one-time love of his uncle Honoré and the grandmother to the spunky little Gigi (Vanessa Hudgens). Gigi doesn’t like him for his money or wealth, not her. She teases him mercilessly, much prefers chocolates to furs and when they’re together they laugh and laugh.

But what’s this? Gaston goes away for a few days and returns to realize Gigi has become…a young woman. A very pretty young woman. He loves her; she loves him, but first they must do a tiresome little dance where Gaston offers all sorts of inducements to her protectors in order to ensure that Gigi will be financially set once Gaston has moved on. True love never comes into it, except for the two young folk and not until the last moment.

Among the many missed opportunities in what should have been a rethought Gigi, our heroine might have been surprised by the negotiations taking place. She should be angry with her grandmother and aunt for putting a price on her love; she should be angry with Gaston for thinking she could be bought and need to be wooed all over again. Instead, they spend a miserable couple of scenes together going through the motions of man and mistress. When you think they’d both rather just quit, suddenly they’re getting married.

By and large, the older folk have it better in this Gigi. Howard McGillin has the right glib air for Honoré and is easily matched by Victoria Clark as Mamita. They have fun with “I Remember It Well” and the show’s purest musical highlight is Clark’s lovely delivery of “Say A Prayer” as the eleven o’clock number. Dee Hoty is also fun as Aunt Alicia.

Hudgens makes a respectable debut as Gigi. She has a lovely clear voice and sings with pleasurable attention to the lyrics, as opposed to vocal flourishes. At first, her plucky nature (typified by Gigi stretching her arms out behind her in exuberant delight) works fine. Unfortunately, it’s the only note director Eric Schaeffer elicits from her and the longer the show goes on, the more repetitive it becomes. Nonetheless, she is comfortable onstage and handles the choreography of Joshua Bergasse with skill. With work, Hudgens might have a bright future on the stage.

Steffanie Leigh is good as a rival of sorts (she plays Gaston’s lover at the start of the show) and scores with her comic number “A Toujours.” The show might have had fun with the disparity between this tall blonde beauty and the pint-sized Hudgens but no such luck, just one more example of a lost opportunity.

The songs are far from top drawer, for I’ve already mentioned the two best. Would be show-stoppers like “The Night They Invented Champagne” fall flat. The comic relief of battling lawyers in “The Contract” is painful to watch. And every tune seems to drag itself out, playing out at a slower and slower pace till you’re left waiting for them to end.

The scenic design by Derek McLane begins handsomely, with a sweeping metal staircase and arches filling up the set at the start. But it never seems to go away and is just a smidge too busy. Like everything else, it wears out its welcome. The costumes by Catherine Zuber seem to get less attractive as well, especially the poorly thought out black and white number for Gigi’s coming out scene. She’s not a willowy creature and this might have been entirely rethought rather than echoing Leslie Caron and Audrey Hepburn (earlier Gigis in both the musical and play versions).

With forced humor and scenes of gloomy unhappiness rather than blooming romance, the second act proves a struggle. Happily, the show has one saving grace: Corey Cott as the young Gaston. He replaced Jeremy Jordan in Newsies and it’s immediately clear why when you see him. Mind you, casting Cott throws off yet one more element of the story. (In age, Gaston should be like a much, much older brother or uncle, not a fellow playmate.) The fact that he’s not an older gentleman but rather a contemporary makes it all the more confusing that their romance can’t just blossom.

But Cott has a winning charm and a lovely voice and stage presence to spare. The story becomes nonsense and the song isn’t good enough, but the title tune where Gaston begins in anger only to realize he’s deeply in love almost works here thanks to him. It’s hardly enough to rescue a show that has a weak score and a weaker book and was a poor choice for reviving in the first place. But like any sophisticated Parisian, one seeks out pleasure wherever one can.

Looking for the good moments in Gigi is like panning for gold: they appear far too infrequently. It’s quite a different story in the musical An American In Paris. This show starts off strongly and moves briskly through its confident first act. Then just as you’re getting excited, it falls completely apart on every level in the second act.

Not even a big dance number – which should be the show’s crowning achievement – can rescue it. Still, it’s good enough to hope choreographer and director Christopher Wheeldon will return to Broadway soon. Flawed as it is, An American In Paris easily has the best dancers, the best use of choreography to move the story along and even the most fluid and graceful set changers on Broadway.

The story is now set in 1945, right at the end of the war. Our hero Jerry (Robert Fairchild) is a brash young American soldier who wants to be an artist. He is painting and sketching everything in sight. Jerry spots a beautiful young woman (Leanne Cope) but loses her in a crowd. The city is a little grey and cloudy (even though it’s Paris) because the war still haunts everyone, naturally. A collaborator is denounced and pounced upon by an angry crowd.

Nonetheless, our hero loves the place and when he finally gets a ticket to head home, he tears it up and stays. Before you can blink, he’s in a small café answering the rat-a-tat questions of a fellow American and fellow artist, a would-be composer and war veteran named Adam (Brandon Uranowitz). Adam’s working on a classical piece and also decided to try his luck in Paris. He’s creating a night club act for the wealthy but dissatisfied Henri (Max von Essen) whose very respectable parents demand propriety at all times. Henri perhaps is not so terribly interested in the fairer sex, though the idea occurs to his mother (a very amusing Veanne Cox) and friends more than it occurs to him. Nonetheless, he should get married and soon…preferably to the adorable young Jewess Henri’s family sheltered during the war.

That Jewess is Lise (Leanne Cope), the very same beauty Jerry fell hard for his first day in town. And what do you know? Adam plays the piano at ballet auditions and falls for Lise as well. All three friends keep their romance a secret from one another: Adam is composing a ballet for her, Jerry sketches her during the afternoon and Henri tries to gin up some enthusiasm for marrying her, all while preparing his scandalously common nightclub act of song and dance.

So there you have it. The drama-free plot of the movie has become a love quadrangle with three men vying for the heart of Lise. Book writer Craig Lucas also throws in some murky issues about the Resistance that are poorly explained, not to mention a wealthy American patroness of the arts named Milo (Jill Paice). She eyes appreciably the backside of Jerry during their first encounter, keeps him around as arm candy for her many evenings out and then — darn it — falls hard for the guy herself.

All this works well in the first act, where the dance is more integrated into the story. Jerry’s first day in Paris, meeting Lise, the angry mob tearing into a collaborator, his burgeoning friendship with Adam and Henri all are told essentially through fluid, lovely dance pieces. The scenes flow together nicely, aided by a smart visual conception for the show. The set and costume design is by Bob Crowley with projection design by 59 Productions. In combination with the lighting of Natasha Katz, they’ve created a visual sketch of Paris. Sets are often suggested by drawings that fill in on the back wall or a series of movable antique mirrors that are arranged here and there on the stage. It all works very well, creating a large open space where the excellent dance ensemble Wheeldon has created can move unimpeded by bulky sets.

The peak of this conception is the meeting place where Jerry and Lise meet in the afternoons. It’s sketched in with just a low wall and a bench as props, including two small boats that hang down from the ceiling but seem to be floating in the canal behind them. It’s simple, lovely and quite graceful. When they return to the scene again a little later, it’s now developed a little further through the eye of Jerry who paints what he saw in a more modern, suggestive style.

Fairchild has a direct, vaguely arrogant American manner about his character, much like Gene Kelly in the movie. It works well at first, though it becomes a little boorish as the show goes on (which isn’t always Fairchild’s fault). However, all is forgiven when he dances.

Jerry makes his friends to the tune of “I’ve Got Rhythm.” He sings “I’ve Got Beginner’s Luck” and then dances with humor while wooing Lise in a department store (one of the show’s best numbers, all of which take place in this first act). Cope solos capably on “The Man I Love,” her one big number. And “‘S Wonderful” and “Shall We Dance?” and more all move with grace and charm.

So what happens? The story they’ve begun in Act One is bungled and then just gets in the way during Act Two. The three way competition for Lise’s heart proves a bust. Henri is never that interested to begin with, it seems. Worse, the intellectual Adam who might plausibly compete by creating great music for Lise turns into a schlub whenever he’s around her. With Jerry arrogant and apparently shacking up with a wealthy woman, Adam could have had a shot. But Lise sees him as nothing more than a friend, instead of the musical genius who might celebrate Lise as his muse and make them both world famous. In fact, they barely speak so one can’t even enjoy their artistic collaboration.

And a subplot about Henri’s family is unnecessarily confusing. All Lucas wants to suggest is that while they bravely served in the Resistance, it’s too soon for the family to reveal what they did or claim credit for saving Lise’s life. Quite simply, too many people still in power were collaborators and might enact revenge. Also, it’s unclear what might happen post-war and whether the right sort will regain power, which is why the Resistance continued even after the war ended. But the show is unnecessarily tight-lipped about this, making one wonder exactly what Henri’s parents did that might seem shameful. (When Milo toasts their bravery, it makes matters even more confusing.)

All of this pales in comparison to the real problem: the musical numbers collapse in sense. Act Two begins with Jerry getting bored during a hokey ballet piece that gives him “Fidgety Feet.” This makes him look a little obnoxious and feels unmotivated by anything to do with the actual story at hand. Thus, this Act Two opener plays more like filler than an exciting resumption of the romance we’re supposed to care about.

That’s followed by two duets that clash horribly. In the first, Milo and Henri sing “Who Cares?” upon discovering Jerry and Lise are deeply in love. Unfortunately, because of the arrangement or the orchestration or the staging or the incompatibility of their voices or whatever, they don’t even begin to get in sync. It sounds like two people singing two different songs in two different scenes accidentally overlapping. The exact same problem bedevils “But Not For Me,” a duet that features Adam and Milo.

Then Henri has his big nightclub debut and in another misjudgment, most of it takes place inside Henri’s mind. In real life, he starts off stumbling around and barely getting the lyrics out to “I’ll Build A Stairway To Paradise.” Yet in his head it becomes a lavish, Vegas sort of number, the sort Peter Allen would perfect in decades to come. Then the fantasy ends and Henri recovers despite the shock of seeing his parents in the audience and he reaches the end of the song acquitting himself decently.

However, we want to know if Henri really has talent, so letting his big moment take place in his mind confuses our burning question: is he any good? Also, “I’ll Build A Stairway To Paradise” just isn’t a very good song so it’s not terribly interesting as a song or as a minimal dance piece. So it ends and we’re still not sure if he’s actually any good. Then his dad embraces Henri as if the man were the next Maurice Chevalier and no one could ever doubt it.

The last big number is the big ballet, the piece we’ve been waiting for. It too is a disappointment. The film’s big number for Leslie Caron is the one unqualified success of the film. Here we have a period-influenced piece (my guest hated the Mondrian-inspired costumes and the retro air). It takes flight briefly when Jerry and Lise don black and dance together during her fantasy scene interjected in the midst of Lise’s big moment. It can’t compete with the film’s highlight, which is a pity since the film could be outpaced easily in so many other ways.

Fairchild is an appealing lead, even if this first stab at holding center stage in a Broadway musical isn’t a complete triumph as actor and singer. Both he and Cope of course dance beautifully; Fairchild in particular looks like he could explore more such roles and grow into a complete actor. The supporting actors are good, with Veanne Cox especially funny in the droll turn of Henri’s mother (she looks a dead ringer for a sister of Tilda Swinton throughout).

Uranowitz is the narrator and would-be competitor, though the show doesn’t let him out of the starting gate in terms of romance. Essen has a harder part, since the show’s biggest bungle is the suggestion that Henri is gay. We don’t expect him to form a local chapter of the Mattachine Society (which of course didn’t exist until 1950). But Henri’s mother bluntly asks him if he doesn’t really care for gays. And when Henri mentions a secret, his two best friends immediately say “Which one?” So why the timidity over what he really wants?

The show can’t even give Henri the dignity of realizing he’s gay or god forbid singling out one of the many handsome dancers on hand for a future dalliance. Instead, he remains opaque and not in an interesting way. The closest the show gets to suggesting the truth is the rather embarrassing moment when Henri compliments the woman Milo on her shoes and she asks him to join her on a shopping expedition. If you’re not going to deal with it in an emotionally satisfying or even sexy way, why bring it up in the first place?

So with Gigi, we have a bad movie that isn’t improved by fleeing from the story it’s telling. In An American In Paris, we have a new talent on Broadway in the form of Wheeldon who delivers a solid first act and shows a real flair (naturally) for telling story through dance. It’s somewhat an improvement on the film, if far from a musical worth reviving in years to come without a lot more work on the book and that second act.

It’s always charming to visit the city of lights in real life. That charm is mostly lacking in Gigi (despite a game cast) and only somewhat present in An American In Paris. A truly great musical creates its own magic but these two at best can only borrow a little.

THEATER OF 2015

Honeymoon In Vegas **
The Woodsman ***
Constellations ** 1/2
Taylor Mac’s A 24 Decade History Of Popular Music 1930s-1950s ** 1/2
Let The Right One In **
Da no rating
A Month In The Country ** 1/2
Parade in Concert at Lincoln Center ** 1/2
Hamilton at the Public ***
The World Of Extreme Happiness ** 1/2
Broadway By The Year 1915-1940 **
Verite * 1/2
Fabulous! *
The Mystery Of Love & Sex **
An Octoroon at Polonsky Shakespeare Center *** 1/2
Fish In The Dark *
The Audience ***
Josephine And I ***
Posterity * 1/2
The Hunchback Of Notre Dame **
Lonesome Traveler **
On The Twentieth Century ***
Radio City Music Hall’s New York Spring Spectacular ** 1/2
The Heidi Chronicles *
The Tallest Tree In The Forest * 1/2
Broadway By The Year: 1941-1965 ***
Twelfth Night by Bedlam ***
What You Will by Bedlam *** 1/2
Wolf Hall Parts I and II ** 1/2
Skylight ***
Nellie McKay at 54 Below ***
Ludic Proxy ** 1/2
It Shoulda Been You **
Finding Neverland ** 1/2
Hamlet w Peter Sarsgaard at CSC no stars
The King And I ***
Marilyn Maye — Her Way: A Tribute To Frank Sinatra at 54 Below ***
Gigi * 1/2
An American In Paris ** 1/2

_____________

Thanks for reading. Michael Giltz is the founder and CEO of the forthcoming website BookFilter, a book lover’s best friend. Trying to decide what to read next? Head to BookFilter! Need a smart and easy gift? Head to BookFilter? Wondering what new titles came out this week in your favorite categories, like cookbooks and mystery and more? Head to BookFilter! It’s a website that lets you browse for books online the way you do in a physical bookstore, provides comprehensive info on new releases every week in every category and offers passionate personal recommendations every step of the way. It’s like a fall book preview or holiday gift guide — but every week in every category. He’s also the cohost of Showbiz Sandbox, a weekly pop culture podcast that reveals the industry take on entertainment news of the day and features top journalists and opinion makers as guests. It’s available for free on iTunes. Visit Michael Giltz at his website and his daily blog. Download his podcast of celebrity interviews and his radio show, also called Popsurfing and also available for free on iTunes.

Note: Michael Giltz is provided with free tickets to shows with the understanding that he will be writing a review. All productions are in New York City unless otherwise indicated.

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Sheryl Crow’s Winding Musical Road

Last week I stumbled upon Variety‘s positive review of Diner, a musical running for a limited time at Arlington’s Signature Theater. The production, based on Barry Levinson’s 1982 film, Diner, teamed Levinson up with Sheryl Crow. For the first time, Crow has scored a musical, and the result is a sold-out show for seven weeks. As I read the review, I battled conflicting emotions: happy for the play’s positive reception and angry that I wasn’t on the East Coast to see it — disappointed that I’d miss this latest turn in Sheryl Crow’s refreshingly unpredictable and musically liberated career.

Sometime during the fall of 1993, I was driving home from middle school with my mom listening to WNEW, New York City’s now-defunct legendary rock ‘n’ roll radio station. At the time, it played mostly classic rock standards, but on rare occasions a contemporary artist would slip through into rotation. These were still the days when DJs could handpick songs for their shifts and, if a new artist filtered into sets of Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones or Eric Clapton, listeners noticed. I was sitting in the front seat of the car and had already begun flipping through my math homework when I heard Scott Muni’s gravely voice interrupt his daily 3 p.m. block of afternoon music. “This is the first time we’re playing this here on WNEW,” he began. I could hear him fumbling with the plastic CD case and flipping through the liner notes to read from the track listing. “She’s Sheryl Crow, a singer from California, and this is her single, ‘Leaving Las Vegas.'”

The drums started, a simple beat amid handclaps. But when Sheryl Crow started to sing, the crackling rawness of her voice broke the song open and out poured a barely optimistic tale of a woman whose desperation to leave one life behind allowed for splinters of hope to start anew. It was a mesmerizing sound, a captivating tale — and something that filled a critical void in contemporary music. By the early-1990s, I was conveniently flopping between two musical landscapes: grunge had exploded and permeated my school hallways, but having Baby Boomer parents, I also grew up on the musical greats of the 1960s and 1970s. When I heard “Leaving Las Vegas” for the first time, it was as if these two musical eras had collapsed into one.

A month later, when I bought Tuesday Night Music Club at the local record store, I felt as though I had finally found my music. The album was a whirlwind to listen to — a fluid trip through sounds and emotions that had the lyrical angst of the mid-1990s Gen X culture, but the music of a modern-day Big Pink. “The Na Na Song” spit out a force of cosmic-manic energy that somehow balanced “I Shall Believe” with enough poignancy to close the record with a pleading hymnal beyond just a gentle ballad. I’d listen for hours, painting pictures in my imagination of the characters in those songs. I promised myself that when I got older, I would travel through life to find my own set of characters — to grasp the excitement and adventure that Tuesday Night Music Club awakened in me.

For the next 20 years, Sheryl Crow’s music played against the background of my life, becoming a steady companion through adolescence and into adulthood. There was the summer after high school graduation when my friends and I sang along to “Everyday Is a Winding Road” as we whipped our cars around deserted country roads into the early morning hours. Or the night of September 11, 2001 when I left a candlelight vigil and cried in my car listening to “Riverwide” in the parking lot, too upset to drive. Or those endless months of 14-hour workdays when I walked home from the subway on cold, snowy Brooklyn nights listening to “There Goes the Neighborhood.” Or the day that I moved to Los Angeles and played “Long Road Home” while I carried boxes into a new apartment in a new city. Every album was like a new book with each song telling a unique story of a specific time and place — sometimes through the linear reality of everyday life and others through an existential journey of amorphous self-realization.

I thought about these memories as I learned more about Diner and read about the “delicious harmonies… enhanced by insightful lyrics” that Crow had written for the 1950’s rock musical. I wondered how, in this post-MTV age where it is rare for musicians to maintain careers beyond a flash of massive popularity, Sheryl Crow has navigated decades-long relevance within a swiftly changing musical and cultural landscape.

Sure, there’s the versatility of her songwriting — and years of touring and promotions. But, there is also a willingness to stray from any singular musical path that audiences have come to expect from Sheryl Crow. This freedom to take risks — to release a contemporary country album on the heels of a Memphis R&B soul album, to duet with Pavarotti, Loretta Lynn and Kid Rock — has led to one of the more winding musical paths of any singer-songwriter in the past 20 years. And somewhere along the way, audiences began to invest in the mystery of what twist may come next, because what is playing in a diner in Arlington today could become a new masterpiece tomorrow.

Diner will be playing at the Signature Theater in Arlington, VA until January 25, 2015.
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‘Into the Woods’ and the Dumbing Down of the Movie Musical

2014-12-31-merylstreepthewitchintothewoods666.jpg

When I was about seven years old I starred in a community theater production of A Christmas Carol. Or, rather, played a supporting character–Schoolboy, to be exact–because I was too overweight to get the coveted role of Tiny Tim. As the company that produced the show, the Dramateurs, made it a yearly event, I did it for a few seasons until I hit the big leagues and got accepted into the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. So long, suckers!

Being in that theater every year was a highlight of my unpopular youth. I loved every minute: the lights, the audiences, the fake snow; it was magic. Looking back, I realize the show was probably dreadful. Each year they dug out the same sets, used the same director, a woman named Charlotte whom everyone feared, who happened to be the wife of the same man who always got the role of Scrooge, a sweet guy named George who had a tiny role in American Graffiti and was the closest thing I’d ever met to a movie star, and then filled in the blanks with the local “talent.”

I remember one year a Jacob Marley that couldn’t remember a single line, and poor Scrooge on the stage telling his own ghost what his horrifying night was about to entail. Regardless, that show was a sellout, because even more exciting than putting on a musical is the sheer excitement of attending a musical.

I was reminded of that production of A Christmas Carol when I saw Rob Marshall’s movie adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods, also released at Christmas, that time of year when people love to get lost in the voices and lyrics of another world. The movie’s a hit with audiences, who are taking their kids and grandkids and posting social media applause notices about the wonderful magic and life lessons of Sondheim’s dark fairy tale world.

It’s also a terrible film, the movie-musical equivalent of the cardboard-cutout unimaginative Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, also a big hit with tourists. With the exception of a couple early-on scenes and performances (Johnny Depp scores nicely as the Wolf, even if his number is de-sexed, and his Red Riding Hood is a terrific Lilla Crawford), the movie feels as inspired as something dragged out each year, propped up in front of an audience, filled in by “star” performers undeserving of their roles, and presented in such an antiseptic way that no one could possibly leave the theater offended or provoked or enthralled. It was my community theater production of A Christmas Carol on a much larger scale!

Marshall’s goal as director for the flick would appear to be simply getting the film done, making sure he gets from point A to point B without any glaring mistakes, and making sure it’s family friendly enough so people see it. Sondheim’s music and A-list actors fill in the rest of the blanks. Kudos to the new musical movie success lever. The film cost about 50 million, it enlisted the likes of Meryl Streep, for starters, and North Korea is unlikely to object. How to Succeed in the Business of Movie Musicals Without Really Trying to Make Them Good should be an instruction manual for anyone who wants to embark on that path.

Most of the major league players involved in Into the Woods aren’t particularly interesting singers, and some simply aren’t. Emily Blunt fares the best, but she’s hampered by a script that becomes a Cliffs Notes morality tale by the second half, with major plot twists and developments and character deaths tossed around in a matter of a few lines and short songs. Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your… wait, why are you even in this film?

It’s a Disney film, after all, with a roaming giant that seems hastily borrowed from visual gimmickry films like Jack the Giant Slayer or Oz the Great and Powerful, and about as terrifying as any monster in either, so how dare we expect true horror in the wonderful world of Walt. Bambi was a Disney film too, a cartoon that crushed our childhood dreams with real lessons about life and death. When ITW wraps up, you’ll more than likely have to do a mental recap to remember who died and how.

When Blunt shares scenes with Anna Kendrick, whose Cinderella is a feminist (another plot-point that’s dealt with and done in a matter of minutes), the latter is so uncomfortably conventional in manner and speech I wanted them to place a Pinkberry yogurt store next to her.

The thrill of Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen as dueling Princes singing “Agony” should have stopped the movie show. It was fantastic onstage. But rather than watching two standout performers kick it to the balcony, we get two pretty faces with unmemorable voices going through the motions, and (the big finish!) revealing their chests with about as much spontaneity as an auto-tuned Glee number. Jessica Lange performing “Life of Mars” in Ryan Murphy’s other TV show with music, American Horror Story: Freakshow, was more proficiently executed than any number in ITW.

As for Streep, who’s my favorite female actor on the planet, she starts out well enough, but ends up almost schizophrenic in characterization, as if she were pulled in at the last minute without a script or rehearsal time or even a clever makeup artist. And why did they not show a tight shot immediately after her transformation? Were they afraid the 65-year-old actress is not pretty enough for her close-up, or, truth be told, too old for the part? If it sounds like I’m being tough on older women in Hollywood, think how demeaning it was of Marshall to keep her face at a safe distance from fans. Streep’s exit is so inexplicable in the movie version it’s as if they couldn’t afford to keep her around any longer, or she got smart and dropped out.

As much as I love Meryl, I’m never going to buy her records, and I haven’t been this uncomfortable watching her in a film since, what do you know, Mama Mia! If we’re living in any sort of movie musical cinema revival, it’s time to start asking ourselves what we sacrificed to get there.

Marshall led the return with his Academy Award winning Chicago, whose only great achievement is the fact that it got made after decades of unsuccessful attempts, starting with creator Bob Fosse himself. On stage, Fosse’s work was a genius product of 21st century cynicism, the triumph of style over substance and fame at any price, displayed with so much razzle-dazzle you almost sided with the thesis. The film reduced the conceit to an amateur-hour sitcom; stripped of great voices, great numbers, and anything remotely considered great dancing. When Renee Zellweger and crew failed to thank the late Fosse at the Oscars, it was oddly appropriate–the crux of the show was buried along with him.

Starting with a wink-cute Catherine Zeta-Jones gliding through “All That Jazz,” (cue the quick cuts to overcome the hum-drum dance moves), one of the most intoxicatingly delicious theater-foreplay numbers ever created onstage, meandering through an uneventful Queen Latifah and an unbearable-to-listen-to Richard Gere, and ending with a sap-happy Charleston machine-gun finale, Chicago the movie is everything Chicago the show resents–safety. In an opposite-case scenario of Streep, Zellweger was too young for the part of Roxie, forcing the elimination of the character’s penultimate confession, “I’m older than I ever intended to be.” Whereas the stage version dared you not to look at the performers, the film only dares you to believe people actually sing in public.

In Fosse’s Chicago, you can practically see the blood on the hands of those stage-bound merry murderesses. In the film, even “Cell Block Tango” got chopped up and dismantled and then Frakensteined to resemble a New Vegas theme show. In the original Broadway production (which I saw with Liza Minnelli and Chita Rivera when I was ten), people were known to walk out of the theater in disgust or shock or disbelief. I can’t imagine anyone walking out of the movie version unless it’s to get a soda or check messages or watch it more comfortably on Netflix.

Since the goal of movies is to get people to see them, isn’t the sacrifice of dumbing down musicals for film worth the reward? If that were the only answer I’d probably say yes. Rather, I think, like Broadway itself, we’re forgetting how to make great musicals, and patronizing the audiences in the process. Worse, we’re ignoring the wonderfully talented performers growing up in a world where their triple threat talents (singer, dancer, actor) will only get them background work as a backup dancer for Neil Patrick Harris on any given awards show.

Film adaptations of movie musicals have almost always favored stars who might not be best for the roles; Janet Leigh in Bye Bye Birdie is a great example. But even that film gave us Dick Van Dyke and the irresistible Ann-Margret as the trade-off. You could argue the merits of a lip-synched Natalie Wood in West Side Story, but good luck arguing Jerome Robbins’ brilliant choreography.

In the 12 years since Chicago won the Big Award, there’s been only one performer in a movie musical that has literally gotten me off my feet; Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls. Hudson’s “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” is goose-bumps perfection, and, before we forget, Beyonce, not Hudson, was the intended star of the flick. Nikki Blonsky was great in Hairspray, but unfortunately overshadowed by the absurd casting of John Travolta as an overweight woman. In the original show, and in the original film, the role goes to a drag queen, enticing audiences to accept those who do not fit the norm. Not acceptable for mainstream audiences? Then the part should have at least gone to an actual overweight woman, not a star placed there for simple stunt casting.

For every terrific Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables (another actress who’s not going to be selling records anytime soon), there’s been a polar opposite Russell Crowe, living out his “I’ve always wanted to sing in the shower for millions” unwarranted fantasy. Ditto almost the entire cast of Marshall’s last musical adaptation, Nine.

It’s not just the Golden Age of movie musicals that provided us with terrific talent. In the late 60s and 70s and even 80s we witnessed magnificence in musical movies. Barbra Streisand blew-up the screen in Funny Girl, and to a lesser extent in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever and her own miscast Hello, Dolly! Heck, even Yentl gave us some spectacular moments. Julie Andrews gave wonderful voice in The Sound of Music, and even returned to form in 1982 for Victor/Victoria. There was a wonderful Shirley MacLaine in the under-estimated Sweet Charity, and Bob Fosse’s choreography at one point sweeps up the set. No one will ever forget Minnelli in Fosse’s Cabaret, a sort of flipside to Chicago, in which director Fosse captures Liza’s presence so well you’d almost swear you were wearing 3-D glasses. Later, Fosse would scare us to death with All That Jazz. It’s the film he opted to make after Chicago fell through, and if the film’s devastating themes don’t destroy your senses, Ann Reinking’s flawless movements will. I dare you not to look at her.

Nowadays, it would seem that animated musical movies are the only times real performers are utilized. Why take the time to build a star when, like Frozen, you can simply draw one?

If filmmakers don’t step up to bat, if audiences start to accept, even applaud, mediocrity in movie musicals, and most important, if directors and casting directors and writers and producers don’t support the gene pool of brilliant performers waiting for their big break, we might as well sit back and wait for Rob Marshall’s thrilling Disney remake of Cabaret, starring Taylor Swift as Sally Bowles, the adorable kooky singer who escapes those mean Germans and ends up living happily ever after with a very straight novelist Zac Efron and their loveable unthreatening gay emcee, Neil Patrick Harris. Or we could just go back to revisiting A Christmas Carol back in my childhood suburbia. They probably still have the sets.
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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High School Musical 3: Senior Year – Kenny Ortega

Kenny Ortega - High School Musical 3: Senior Year  artwork

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Kenny Ortega

Genre: Kids & Family

Price: $ 17.99

Rental Price: $ 2.99

Release Date: October 24, 2008


It's time to celebrate as Disney's phenomenal High School Musical hits new heights in High School Musical 3: Senior Year! Fresh from the big screen, this motion picture extravaganza delivers non-stop entertainment from start to finish! It's almost graduation day for high school seniors Troy, Gabriella Sharpay, Chad, Ryan and Taylor and the thought of heading off in separate directions after leaving East High has them thinking they need to do something they'll remember forever. Together with the rest of the Wildcats, they stage a spring musical reflecting their hopes and fears about the future and their unforgettable experiences growing up together. Will their final show break them apart or bring them together for the greatest moment in Wildcat history?

© © 2008 Disney Enterprises, Inc.

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High School Musical: The Concert – Jim Yukich

Jim Yukich - High School Musical: The Concert  artwork

High School Musical: The Concert

Jim Yukich

Genre: Concert Films

Price: $ 9.99

Rental Price: $ 2.99

Release Date: June 26, 2007


Be a part of an incredible concert as the worldwide phenomenon goes extreme! High School Musical: The Concert invites you behind the scenes and puts you in the middle of the action. Step out of the audience and jump on stage with Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, Drew Seeley and more of the cast of the award-winning hit movie High School Musical as they perform their chart-topping songs. High School Musical: The Concert is bursting. High School Musical: The Concert is an experience you'll never forget.

© © Disney

iTunes Store: Top Movies in Concert Films

Witness the glory, the magic, the bleeped-out words of ‘TODAY! The Musical’

First there was “The Sound of Music Live!” Then there was “Peter Pan Live!” But what could be NBC’s greatest musical effort ever aired Monday morning.Behold the magic of “TODAY! The Musical,” a fun and goofy tribute to all of the madness and mayhem that goes on behind the scenes of the show.If you haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, you can check out the full video.




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Stephen Colbert ends run on ‘Report’ with star-studded musical farewell

Truthiness took a massive hit Thursday night when Stephen Colbert ended his nine-year, 1,447-episode run as the memorable “Stephen Colbert” character on “The Colbert Report.” But leave it to Colbert to go out with a bang, surrounded by dozens of stars singing “We’ll Meet Again.




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‘School of Rock’ Musical to Hit Broadway Next Year

An upcoming musical adaptation of the 2003 Jack Black comedy School of Rock will bust down Broadway doors in the fall of 2015, with previews beginning on November 2nd at the Winter Garden Theatre, and an official opening scheduled for December 6th, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Like Richard Linklater’s movie, the……
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Carole King Musical ‘Beautiful’ Announces Nationwide Casting Calls

If you think you can sing “It’s Too Late” and “So Far Away” like Carole King, some Broadway producers would like to hear from you.
Carole King Bio-…
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Tinder Co-Founder’s ‘Next’ iPhone App: Discover Your Musical Crush

Is finding a new artist to connect with like starting a relationship?
Two veterans of the Tinder app think so. They took the same discovery dynamic…
Billboard.com Music News

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Musical of film ‘Rocky’ knocked down on Broadway

Musical of film ‘Rocky,’ battered on Broadway, will close in August, never having been a hit
MSN Music: News
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Tupac Musical Closing After Just Six Weeks On Broadway

“Holler If Ya Hear Me,” the Broadway musical based on Tupac’s life, is ending after just six weeks.
News

Shia LaBeouf Kicked Out Of Broadway Musical ‘Cabaret’

Actor Shia LaBeouf was handcuffed and escorted out of the Broadway musical “Cabaret” on Thursday night, according to Variety.

He was charged with criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct after smoking in the theater and being disruptive during the first act, the entertainment trade magazine reports.

Tony Award nominee Benj Pasek tweeted:

Actress Lena Dunham was quick to… extend her sympathies?:

Last year, LaBeouf was fired from his planned Broadway debut in “Orphans” before the opening.

Earlier this year, LaBeouf denounced his celebrity status, and he has previously “retired from all public life.” Despite these declarations, a trailer for LaBeouf and Brad Pitt’s new film “Fury” was released earlier this week.

This story is developing…
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Hear Three Tracks From the Tupac Shakur Musical

It was just under a year ago that we first reported that a Tupac Shakur musical was in the works Back in April it was revealed that singer/poet Saul Williams was cast in the musical and with Holler If Ya Hear Me set to start preview performances next week a…

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Connections On A Dance Floor: The Musical Brotherhood Of Young Fathers

The Scottish trio makes music unbound to any one genre, with songs reflecting very different backgrounds. The group discusses friendship, influence and what it takes to make the cool kids dance.

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15 Musicians Performing A Disney Medley Is Musical Magic

15 Musicians Performing A Disney Medley Is Musical MagicFor the past two years, Mike Votano and Ashley Carruthers have been Disney Cruise Line employees. That meant listening to a lot of Disney tunes every single day. After some time, Votano decided to create an arrangement that mixed some of those tunes up. Oh, he also incorporated a 14-piece jazz big band. "I just wanted to create some real music that made people feel happy," Votano told The Huffington Post. The video above was recorded in January of 2014 in Sydney, Australia, and is a medley of the tunes from Votano's three favorite Disney movies: "The Lion King," "Beauty



Music News Headlines – Yahoo News

'Godzilla: The Musical!' Will Send You Running To The Aisles

Godzilla tried to destroy Broadway in a 1998 remake of the monster franchise. Now Broadway can return the favor.

Get ready for “Godzilla: The Musical!

It’s a parody preview from CineFix, but given the amount of reboots “Godzilla,” has seen, including a new release opening May 16, a song-and-dance extravaganza wouldn’t be THAT far off.

As a certain orphan from a real Broadway musical might say, “Leapin’ lizard!”

(h/t Laughing Squid)

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Connections On A Dance Floor: The Musical Brotherhood Of Young Fathers

The Scottish trio makes music unbound to any one genre, with songs reflecting very different backgrounds. The group discusses friendship, influence and what it takes to make the cool kids dance.

» E-Mail This

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ADULT ENTERTAINMENT NEWS UPDATE:Gabby Love’s top pick! Click and enjoy!