Friday, November 07, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING
Mark Wahlberg

LYNNE LOVE --- Electric Light Orchestra's Jeff Lynne has confirmed that he is working on a new album.

Speaking at the Classic Rock Honors in Los Angeles this week, where he was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Music award, Lynne discussed plans for forthcoming ELO gigs in North America and added: "I'm working on a new album and they'll be involved in the new times when we play."

"I had so much [fun] in Hyde Park with 50,000 people, where I just played in September, first time I've played in 28 years it was fantastic and I loved every minute, so I'm definitely gonna come here [the US] and play." When asked when those gigs would take place, he said: "Not too long." His manager, Craig Fruin, confirmed that the shows would take place in 2015.

Lynne performed at the BBC Radio 2's Festival In A Day in Hyde Park, London, earlier this year, marking the influential pop group's return to the U. K. stage 28 years after their last full concert performance. During the 75-minute set, the Birmingham-born Lynne told the 50,000-strong crowd: "I'll do this again."

The reluctant frontman had been talked into performing at the annual event by BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show host Chris Evans.

The show saw Lynne head a band that included original ELO keyboard player Richard Tandy and the BBC Concert Orchestra, who fleshed out his compositions with record-perfect renditions. Lynne seemed overwhelmed by the reaction, sticking two thumbs up to the crowd after opening with "All Over The World." He said: "Wow, fantastic. It's unbelievable this really. I haven't done anything like this for so long, I can't believe it."

ELO enjoyed a run of 27 Top 40 hits from 1972 to 1986, when Lynne retired the group. He went on to produce the reunited Beatles' new songs for 1995's Anthology albums, as well as George Harrison’s Cloud Nine album and the two Traveling Wilbury albums.

In fact, he went onto a terrifically successful career as a producer, including working on albums by Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, Ringo Starr, Brian Wilson Randy Newman, and Del Shannon, among others. In 2008, The Washington Times named Lynne the fourth greatest record producer in music history.

A planned ELO reunion tour was scrapped in 2000.

DECADES OF DIVAS --- Academy Award-winning songwriter Franke Previte (Dirty Dancing) is realizing an entirely new musical dream in his debut as a show producer with Decades Of Divas, a musical journey with the world’s most influential women in re-inventing and revolutionizing music from the 1940’s through the present.

Decades Of Divas makes its world premiere ahead of a national tour, tomorrow, Nov. 8, 2014 at the Count Basie Theatre, 99 Monmouth St., Red Bank, NJ. Show time is 8:00 PM.

The show stars popular New Jersey shore vocalist-dancer Lisa Sherman, the show’s co-creator, who leads an arsenal of singers and musicians across a pair of nightclubs (G-Dog’s Jazz CafĂ© and the Roxie Lounge) and right down Memory Lane, which runs between them, to evoke and pay tribute to the greatest divas we’ve embraced through the decades. Decades Of Divas features the songs of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Dolly Parton, Carole King, Janis Joplin, Celine Dion, Donna Summer, Whitney Houston, Bonnie Raitt, Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand, Madonna, and, Adele.

“These legendary divas and songs are part of the fabric we, and the generations before us, all grew up with and loved,” says Previte. “So the show follows each singer passing the torch to the next. The performers show how they’re influenced by each diva .They don’t just sing the songs and sound like the artist; there’s a theatrical thread throughout. It’s a journey of five singers celebrating the divas who have influenced them.”

Previte, who earned an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Grammy nomination for writing “(I've Had) The Time of My Life,” the iconic No. 1 hit from Dirty Dancing, has put together a multi-media experience which comes to life in large part through the multiple performing talents of Sherman, a former Radio City Rockette, veteran of several Broadway shows and star of her own TV show in New Zealand. 

WOODY & BUZZ BACK ---  They will release on June 16, 2017.

Tom Hanks and Tim Allen will reprise their roles as Woody and Buzz Lightyear.

Toy Story 4 will open a new chapter in the lives of Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the Toy Story gang, Disney said, with Lasseter having come up with the idea for the fourth installment with Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter and Lee Unkrich, who are the team behind the first three films.

“We love these characters so much; they are like family to us,” Lasseter said in a statement. “We don't want to do anything with them unless it lives up to or surpasses what’s gone before. Toy Story 3 ended Woody and Buzz’s story with Andy (going off to college) so perfectly that for a long time, we never even talked about doing another movie, but when Andrew, Pete, Lee and I came up with this new idea, I just could not stop thinking about it. It was so exciting to me, I knew we had to make this movie—and I wanted to direct it myself.”

Lasseter, also directed Cars and Cars 2. A third installment is also planned.

Toy Story 3 was released in 2010 and earned nearly $1.1 billion at the worldwide box office. Unkrich, who co-directed Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc. and Toy Story 2, directed the third installment.

It will be in theaters June 16, 2017.

CLOSING NOTES --- Inflation adjusted? Look for Mark (Marky Mark) Walhberg and director Peter Berg to team up for the big screen version of the Six Billion Dollar Man; the big screen version of the Six Million Dollar Man which starred Lee Majors …

The official title for the new J J Abrams Star Wars movie has been released: Episode VII: The Force Awakens; the movie will be out December 18, 2015 …

You can catch Monkee-Micky Dolenz on Huff Post Live today at 11:00 AM ET – go here: - and, Dolenz is profiled Sunday night on Oprah Winfrey’s Where Are They Now.

SRO final performance (for now at least) of Vincent Amelio’s How Alfo Learned To Loved Women (directed by Soprano-Robert Funaro) last night in NYC. Amelio said the plan is to bring it to Broadway soon. A terrifically written romp with an excellent cast and direction. A must-see …

A final in-store appearance by Debby Campbell and Mark Bego for their Life With My Father Glen Campbell (Overlook Publishing) this Saturday at Phoenix's Changing Hands bookshop.

Loved Wednesday's CMA Awards. Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood were spot-on perfect as hosts. The material was terrifically well written, but their delivery was astounding. Who knew? Loved when Miranda Lambert sang "All About That Bass" with Meghan Trainor. And, The Band Perry's take on Glen Campbell's "Gentle on My Mind." Terrific show!

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