Gwyneth Paltrow

SO SEXY GLEE – Last night’s episode of Glee heralded the return of our favorite Gwyneth Paltrow – reprising her role of her terrific role of Holly Holiday … substitute teacher. In her earlier performance, she and Matthew Morrison performed a sensational mash up of “Singing In The Rain” and Rhianna’s “Umbrella.” This episode featured the two performing Prince’s “Kiss” in a tango-inspired production. To me, it didn't have the sizzle of that earlier performance, but, boy, do they both make a cute couple. There was also an outrageous performance of “Afternoon Delight” (originally performed by The Starland Vocal Band in 1976 and hit the #1 slot) and “Landslide” originally performed by Fleetwood Mac in 1975. What a great script this episode was. And, if you're interested: the door was left totally open for Paltrow to return. An idea, which I think is superb! -- Also, it was the season finale of TNT’s Southland, which NBC originally canceled and has gone onto being a hit for the cable-net. Terrific performances by Benjamin McKenzie and Michael Cudlitz, as the two main characters. Yes, it’s another cop show … but, with a tensely dramatic overview and terrific writing. I know a lot people have trouble with the non-traditional shows on the non-traditional networks, but this one’s a great and welcomed selection. Also back Monday was NBC’s The Event; which has a stellar cast (Blair Underwood; Laura Innes; Jason Ritter) but somewhat muddled writing. Strong and rich production values, I watched the two-hour return for some semblance of a story … and, waited and waited. Though it promised to answer some questions; after a torturous 3-month layoff, it actually posed several more. I'll keep watching (it'll run through May), but it better get moving.


TAYMOR OUT – Reports are filtering through the morning news that Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark director Julie Taylor is out. If that’s true, and it does appear to be the case, that’s a tragic shame for this much troubled production. With many, many delays of the official opening (now set for June); several disastrous accidents on the set; and, costs terrifically spiraling out of control, the play has been the beneficiary of so much free press that you have to wonder if it'll ever open. The business reason for the much delayed-opening is two-fold: First, typically and traditionally, new plays aren't reviewed until their official opening; thereby giving the production team all the time necessary (or, so it would seem) to successfully tweak any mistakes. In Spiderman’s situation, the play’s already been reviewed (interestingly, all the critics virtually ignored the set-in-stone rule to wait for the official opening) and they were almost universally derided. Second: The advance sales have been so successful, they really don't need to officially open … they're still making money! Also, if they did officially open; it would almost surely close the very next day. The Los Angeles Times' Charles McNulty blames Taymor's "run-amok direction" for the show's downfalls. "This is, after all, her vision, and it's a vision that has been indulged with too many resources, artistic and financial... The investors of "Spider-Man" have inadvertently bankrolled an artistic form of megalomania. The book, by Taymor and Glen Berger, is an absolute farrago, setting up layers and subplots before the main narrative line has been established," he wrote ... and, a bit harsh ... don't you think? Strangely enough, I caught a performance on the David Letterman Show last week of the principal cast and the lead actor who plays the web-slinger, where they sang the song “Rise Above” which was actually quite moving and totally not what the critics said. Also, the visuals behind the singers was totally impressive and caught the eyes and ears of this person! I haven't seen the show, but the performance mesmerized me so, I now want to see it. The production and back-story to this show has become the story; it should have been about the mythic titular comic-book character and the behind-the-scenes work of visionary Taymor; who to me, has proven herself more than once with her work with The Lion King and the awesome movie Across The Universe. Taymor is a visionary ... always has been and always will be! It might just be best the end it now and have it live on as a tremendous failure. It wouldn't be Broadway’s first – remember Paul Simon’s Capeman? One of my all time favorites too!


Michael Longoria

MIDTOWN MEN IN NYC -- After a successful 2010 tour of nearly 50 cities across the US and Canada, The Midtown Men bring their highly anticipated concert act to New York City with a performance and fan reception at the Colden Center at Queens College on Saturday, April 9th at 8pm. The Men are Tony Award winner Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard, and J. Robert Spencer; the four stars from the original cast of Jersey Boys. The group’s jump- to- your-feet show features top hits from a who’s who of the 60’s including The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Temptations, The Jackson 5 and The Four Seasons.”The 60’s produced some of the greatest songs ever written,” says Hoff, who won the Tony for his portrayal of Four Seasons bad boy Tommy DeVito, “so we're having a ball adding to our own style to those great songs everyone loves.” Their tour continues with stops across the country including a special appearance in New Jersey in early May where their talents will raise finds and awareness for a 10th year commemorative project honoring victims of 9/11 and their families. Get tickets here:


Teresa Giudice

WHAT ABOUT JOLENE – We just sat with NY-celebrity/personal trainer Jolene Matthews and can now report and confirm that she will most definitely be the next emerging personality from this new and intriguing skill set category. In the tradition of TV’s Jillian Michaels or L.A.’s Gunnar Peterson, Matthews brings with her passions a bit of a different take; she is recovering from her own personal year-long battle with alcohol. She says it was a family issue and one that she didn't even realize was happening to her. Strengthened by her own personal views and commitment (which led her to establishing her own company, Addiction Fitness Wellness) her first-hand observations and recommendations have clearly struck a chord with many. In addition to her varied clients, she has just begun training Teresa Giudice, from Bravo’s The Real Housewife’s of New Jersey. Additionally, she teaches group fitness classes at ’30 Rock,’ ‘Sony,’ Mercedes Benz,’ and, ‘Work It Out Studios’ in Manhattan. She is about to roll out several new spring events; including penning a weekly health-style column for an online infotainment site; and, is about to sign on as a regular fitness correspondent for a Morning radio show. “I am enjoying being a personal trainer and wellness consultant, but the more I get into it, the more I see a much wider role for myself. I am inspiring people … and, I want to get that message out in as many platforms as possible.” She'll attend tomorrow’s event at the Charles Hotel for fashion consultant Jene Luciani, and, the E-book launch of her book, The Bra Book (BenBella Books) and her couture collaboration with Project Runway’s Chris March. Hello Jolene!

MICKY DOLENZ – Before he hits the boards with The Monkees 45th Anniversary Tour this summer, Micky Dolenz is back in London with the production Hairspray and will star with Brit-Michael Ball, best known for his version of “Love Changes Everything” and, his varied theater roles in Les Miserables, Aspects of Love, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. btw: Ball won the 2008 Laurence Olivier Award for best actor in a musical. They debut together next Tuesday, in the U.K. production on March 15.

Photos By: Walter McBride/RD/Kabik/Thomas/Retna