Friday, July 25, 2014

HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH IS JUST ASTONISHING

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THE GLORIOUS CORNER

Story By: G. H. HARDING
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Neil Patrick Harris




HARRIS SIZZLES IN HEDWIG --- Neil Patrick Harris in Hedwig and the Angry Inch is just astonishing. We saw it Wednesday and I'm tempted to say it was one of the best things I've ever seen on Broadway.




Harris, who won a Tony this year for this performance, is a triple-threat for sure. I even remember him as Doogie Howser, M.D. on TV, and his work in the just-ended How I Met Your Mother was superb. He’s been in Glee, Rent, hosted the Tony Awards, and has appeared in such movies as the forthcoming Gone Girl and A Million Ways To Die in the West.




Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a rock musical about a fictional rock and roll band fronted by an East German transgender singer. The text is by John Cameron Mitchell, and the music and lyrics are by Stephen Trask. The musical premiered in 1998 and has been performed throughout the world in hundreds of stage productions.




We first saw it around that time in Lower Manhattan and knew it was something totally unique. There are heavy-elements of Bowie, Lou Reed and Queen, but it stood alone and was a major, transformed work for sure.




The story draws on Mitchell's life as the son of a U. S. Army Major General who once commanded the U.S. sector of occupied West Berlin. The character of Hedwig was originally inspired by a German divorced U. S. Army wife who was a Mitchell family babysitter and moonlighted as a prostitute at her Junction City, Kansas, trailer park home.




The music is steeped in the androgynous 1970’s glam rock era of Bowie (who co-produced the Los Angeles production of the show), as well as the work of John Lennon and early punk godfathers Lou Reed and Iggy Pop.




The musical opened Off-Broadway in 1998, and won a Village Voice Obie Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical. The Off-Broadway production ran for two years, and was remounted with various casts by the original creative team in Boston, Los Angeles and London.




Lena Hall, in the role of Yitzhak, also won a Tony for her performance. She was terrific as well. The music, especially “Sugar Daddy” (a real showstopper), “Hedwig’s Lament” and “Wicked Little Town” sound better and stronger than ever.




The concept is just brilliant (and, true), and this production just electric. The experience was like that of seeing rent for the first time. Fresh, new, intoxicating … in a good way.




Director Michael Mayer’s best work … ever!




Harris, onstage for almost every minute, is stunningly good. For me, the performance of the year … eye-opening and exceptional.

Matthew McConaughey



COMIC-CON NOLAN & McCONAUGHEY ---  Comic-Con fans were reeling on Thursday afternoon as Christopher Nolan and Matthew McConaughey made their first-ever appearances at the San Diego fan confab, answering questions and offering a new trailer for their Interstellar movie to SRO crowd.




“Thought it would be a fun thing to come down and see what all the fuss is about,” Nolan told the roaring audience.




Interstellar has largely been veiled in secrecy, but Paramount was looking to give fans what they want, putting footage front and center. The studio also showed footage from Hot Tub Time Machine 2, found footage pic Project Almanac, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and SpongeBob SquarePants: Sponge Out of Water, which will be a combo of animation and CG live-action.




The director of Inception and the Dark Knight trilogy explained that the driving force of the upcoming sci-fi drama was going to space.




“To be an astronaut was the highest ambition,” he said. “The idea to keep exploring space farther and farther… it (fell) off greatly. We are in a period of incredible technological change, (but it’s about) what’s in your pocket, your living room. I like the idea that we are on the cusp of a brand new era and we are traveling outwards more.”




According to McConaughey, it all began in Nolan’s living room: three hours, nothing about a movie, just Nolan and the Oscar-winning actor.




“I was like, what the hell was that about,” the actor quipped. “A week later, the script came out, I read it and I liked it quite a lot and I was in.”




So what is the film about?




Said the True Detective star, “Cooper is a pilot, an engineer, and a widowed pilot of two children where civilization is just sustaining. There’s food, clean water, but they don't need any explorers, no new bright ideas. Then something happens and the dream of being a pilot again knocks on his door.” The chance becomes the greatest mission he’s ever taken on.




Nolan explained that the spaceship, its interiors and exteriors were designed to be as “realistic as possible for the actors.” That meant actual views out the windows, for example.




Paramount also chose to show extended footage and an additional trailer, roughly six to eight minutes in total, showing shots of Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway and Michael Caine in character.




RONSTADT @ WHITE HOUSE --- Linda Ronstadt has been selected to receive the National Medal of Arts Monday at the White House.




The National Medal of Arts is the highest award in the U.S. given to artists and arts patrons by the federal government. Next Monday's ceremony will be hosted by President Obama with Michele Obama in attendance and will be streamed live at 3:00 PM via WH.gov/Live.




Ronstadt was selected "for her one-of-a-kind voice and her decades of remarkable music. Drawing from a broad range of influences, Ms. Ronstadt defied expectations to conquer American radio waves and help pave the way for generations of women artists."




Linda will reportedly make the trip to Washington, a rarity these days since her announcement last year that she is suffering from Parkinson's Disease. Ronstadt did not attend her recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.




Also being honored is Albert Maysles who, with his brother David, documented the infamous Rolling Stones 1969 show at Altamont in the documentary Gimme Shelter.

Scott Shannon



CLOSING NOTES --- Monkee-Micky Dolenz confirmed for CBS FM’s Scott Shannon 101-show Anniversary next Friday (8/1) at the City Winery. Also present will be Mark Rivera …




Billy Joel has been selected to receive the sixth Gershwin Prize from the Library of Congress.




The Gershwin Prize For Popular Song "celebrates the work of an artist whose career reflects lifetime achievement in promoting song as a vehicle of musical expression and cultural understanding." The recipient is chosen by the Librarian of Congress based upon recommendations from a board made up of scholars, producers, performers, music critics, songwriters and music specialists.




James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress, said "Billy Joel is a storyteller of the highest order. There is an intimacy to his songwriting that bridges the gap between the listener and the worlds he shares through music. When you listen to a Billy Joel song, you know about the people and the place and what happened there. And while there may be pain, despair and loss, there is ultimately a resilience to it that makes you want to go to these places again and again."




Joel issued his own statement, saying "The great composer, George Gershwin, has been a personal inspiration to me throughout my career and the Library’s decision to include me among those songwriters who have been past recipients is a milestone for me."




SIGHTINGS: PR Pasha David Salidor at the Palm in East Hampton ... Producer Brian Grazer at walking and talking on NY's Central Park South ...



EAT DRINK LAUGH: THE STORY OF THE COMIC STRIP

Gilbert Gottfried



Tonight at 7 pm at Cinema du Parc (3575 Avenue Du Parc) in Montreal, EAT DRINK LAUGH: The Story of The Comic Strip -- a documentary about the world famous Comic Strip Live comedy club -- will premiere.



This feature documentary explores the 35-year history of The Comic Strip, the iconic New York comedy club where Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock and hundreds of the best comedians of our time honed their craft.



Some of these include: Billy Crystal, Alan Colmes, Arsenio Hall, Chris Rock, Colin Quinn, George Wallace, Gilbert Gottfried, Joe Bolster, Joe Piscopo, Larry Miller, Kevin Nealon, Paul Provenza, Paul Reiser, Ray Romano, Richard Belzer, Richard Lewis, Bill Maher, Elon Gold, Susie Essman, Jay Leno, Dom Irrera, and Judy Gold.


CRAIG FERGUSON SITS DOWN WITH LARRY KING

Larry King And Craig Ferguson




Larry King got the EXCLUSIVE first sit down with CBS’ "The Late Late Show" host Craig Ferguson since announcing leaving the show. Ferguson opened up about why he’s moving on; who should replace him; & if, given the chance, he’d have taken Dave Letterman’s gig. You can see it all on ORATV.


Photo Courtesy Of: ORA TV


Thursday, July 24, 2014

STARFISH FOUNDATION'S NEW ORLEANS TO NYC GALA

Tatyana Ali



Tatyana Ali  looked stunning while she attended The Starfish Foundation Fourth Annual New Orleans To New York City Gala and Powerful Summit at Espace tonight in New York City. 


JALEEL WHITE VISITS NYC BROADWAY SHOW ILUMINATE

Jaleel White



The cast of iLUMINATE received a special backstage visit from Jaleel White after their July 18th performance. White, who shot to superstardom as Steve Urkel on ABC’s long-running “Family Matters,” was so overwhelmed by the show that he felt compelled to share his heartfelt enthusiasm with the entire company.


ALYSSA MILANO SIGNS NEW BOOK 'HACKTIVIST' IN NYC

Alyssa Milano



Alyssa Milano signed copies of 'Hacktivist' at Barnes & Noble in New York City the other day.



MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY EATS WONDERFUL PISTACHIOS

Maksim Chmerkovskiy



Maksim Chmerkovskiy takes a break from Dancing With The Stars to snack on Wonderful Pistachios in New York City yesterday.



​Photo Courtesy Of: Bobby Bank/Domain MSA

ELLE VARNER & DAISHA ATTEND 'THE KNICK' SCREENING

Elle Varner And Daisha



Elle Varner and Daisha attended 'The Knick' special screening at The New York Academy Of Medicine on  in New York City yesterday.


YOU TUBE SENSATION ORION CARLOTO @ RADIO SHACK

Lily Lane With Orion Carloto And Mandy Jiroux



RadioShack Santa Monica was filled with excited teens yesterday afternoon as they hosted a Meet & Greet and performance by singer/songwriter Lily Lane (known for her recent Pretty Little Liars single "Nothin' But Trouble") and Youtube sensation Orion Carloto. During the Meet & Greet with a line of 70+ people, Mandy Jiroux - recording artist, DJ, choreographer and former face of Miley Cyrus' "Miley and Mandy Show" - was on-hand, spinning some tunes for the audience to enjoy.



Lily and Orion then took to the stage to perform covers of songs like "Royals", Iggy Azalea hit "Fancy" and Lily Lane originals like “Nothin’ But Trouble” and "I Get High". Lily was accompanied on guitar by good friend Evan Stanley, son of KISS guitarist Paul Stanley.


Afterwards, guests hung around to check out items in the custom concept store - playing with items like Samsung Tablets, SOL REPUBLIC headphones (which two attendees won on-site), Kodak Smart Lens and more.


Photos By: Lisa Rose/Domain MSA

ANTHONY ANDERSON PLAYS TWISTER IN LAS VEGAS

Jonathan Ogden



Paul Taylor



Marcus Belcher



Dale Moss



Seema Sadekar And Herb Williams



Coach Mike Woodson



Anthony Anderson And Golf Team



Anthony Anderson initiates a game of Twister with his golf team mates at The Coach Woodson Las Vegas Invitational at Southern Highlands Golf Club.


REAL HOUSEWIFE KRISTEN TAEKMAN SHOPS NYC

Kristen Taekman



Real Housewives of New York star Kristen Taekman was spotted picking up a pair of Ocean Minded sandals for the summer in New York City.


Photo Courtesy Of: Bobby Bank/Domain MSA
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