Story By: G. H. HARDING
Debbie Gibson

CHRISTMAS GIBSON --- In the middle of rather hectic (and, somewhat surreal) Xmas season, we took pause and went out to Prospect Heights in Brooklyn last night to see a special holiday concert featuring none other than Debbie Gibson at The Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph.

The pop-princess captivated the attendees with a mix of Xmas-delights (featuring her patented two dancers on several numbers) and performed two new songs, which to my studied ear, were just dazzling. Her current style, more cabaret than ever before, but simply terrific.

I was deeply invested in Gibson’s early pop career –she stills holds the record for the youngest performer ever to have written, performed, and produced a #1 pop record- and she delighted critics and audiences alike with magnificent performances in Beauty And The Beast; Cabaret; Grease; as well as being a formidable cast member on Celebrity Apprentice; and, this summer was on the questionable reality show Sing Your face Off.

She was just inducted into the Long Island Rock & Roll Music Hall of Fame and will next appear in the UP movie The Music In Me.

There’s been several dramatic and revelatory behind-the-scenes moments in her career which have resulted in some career mis-steps from which she has never recovered (a movie destined to be for sure!).

She was Taylor Swift before Taylor Swift, but was unable to maintain the momentum of her early days. When Swift came out with “Shake It Off” and her subsequent album 1989; Gibson should have stepped up.

Face it, Gibson did do“Shake Your Love” first and Swift’s video for her song was a direct rip-off of one of Gibson’s. Yet her camp stayed mysteriously silent.

Featured for several songs as well as a wondrous duet with Gibson, was Broadway’s James Barbour (A Tale Of Two Cities; Jane Eyre; Assassins; Beauty And The Beast).

Delightful voice … almost gospel-like! We loved it.

Gibson’s great … always has been. Last night’s show was splendid; but, I would have love to have seen her included in the all-star-lineup for Stephen Colbert’s last show (which featured everyone from George Lucas to Sam Waterston to Big Bird and Barry Manilow). That’s where she belongs. A true icon for sure.

SONY UPDATE --- So, did Sony cave by pulling their movie The Interview? There are strong opinions from both the creative end and business end, but I will say, that had the movie opened and attacks occurred in some fashion, the monetary outlay could have been huge for the studio.

As a writer, I can certainly stand firmly behind people like Rob Lowe and Ben Stiller, but as a businessman, you have to do what’s right for your business too. Sure, it may appear that free speech suffered –and, it did take a hit- but at the end of the day, you have to look at the bottom line.

Sony already is looking a 3-class action suits and it’s only going to get worse from there.

My #1 observation is that once the government got involved, and to me, they were strangely silent from November 25 (the date of the first hack) on, they seemed to have made an overnight determination where and from who this hack originated.

Movies are, I believe the #1 export from America … why did the government wait so long. Had they intervened initially; maybe the movie would have come out. Just a thought.

A GAMBLE STAR MOMENT --- Pretty Poison's Jade Starling shared a special moment on the red carpet with one of her newest fans, legendary Sound Of Philadelphia architect Kenny Gamble at his recent An Evening of Style & Grace fundraiser in Philadelphia.

CLOSING NOTES --- I can’t quite believe that the New York Times’ Bill Carter has accepted a buy-out from the tome and will be leaving the paper shortly. I haven’t always agreed with him, but what he has said always made perfect sense and his access was legendary. He wrote the brilliant book, Late Shift, based on the Letterman/Carson/Leno/NBC debacle. He'll be back soon I hope … but, I'll miss his brilliant musings …

Madonna's music hacked? The cynic in me thinks this is a PR-stunt. I think she's been watching the uncanny rise of Charlie XCX and got nervous? That was some performance by Charlie on this week's David Letterman atop a baby grand piano. Even Dave prefaced his intro with the phrase Happy Xmas ... too funny ...

One more Foxcatcher thought: Steve Carell was utterly brilliant. Been thinking about his strong, strong performance all week ...

SIGHTINGS --- PR-pasha David Salidor and Brit Brashear at Lucky Strike on Grand Street in NYC … Bruce Willis and entourage at Blue Fin in Times Square NYC ...