I wanted to take this column and comment on a few things I've missed and apologize for being late with this information. Here we go with some thoughts and news.
Glee (Episode Sexy)
In this weeks episode super popular character Holly Holiday, everytime I hear that name I can't get out of my head “Holly Holiday, are you a porn star or a drag queen!” Holly played with super smart Goop Gwyneth Paltrow. I call her super smart because in this past year it feels like she was able to turn her image from California Ice Goddess to one of my friends. This week she became a friend I'd call back after a few weeks. In “Sexy” it felt like she was brought back as stunt casting as opposed to just coming on the show and being charming, sweet, and sexy. Which were three things she was in the previous episode. I found her “Do You (Want to Touch Me)” a little weird with the entire playing with the students. Her and Matthew Morrison's duet of “Kiss” was good but the use of the tango made me think “Rent” and “Evita.” I did love her and Naya Rivers cover on the Dixie Chicks version of “Landslide.” Yes, I know it's Stevie Nicks however the arrangement of the song sounded identical to the Chick's Blue Grass feel of it, regardless it's still my personal favorite song. I also quite enjoyed Emma and the celibacy club cover of “Afternoon Delight.” To be honest I had never heard the song before but after listening to the Six Flags take of the song besides “Landslide” it's a song I can' t get out of my head. It's infectious without needing penicillin or a free clinic.
This past week on Idol felt like it went on longer then my life. When they got to the Thirteenth constant, sorry number 36th only due because the 13th number in that order brings you to a porn line. Which probably would have been more entertaining then Wednesdays show. Seriously, these kids need to step out of their comfort zones and pick songs that are both popular and they can make fresh. Not songs that are either unknown or so over done we're going to compare them to others. I found the best of the night being Pia Toscano sounding lovely with a belt I like, though looking a little “Jersey Shore,” Naima Adedapo who vocally wasn't anything to right home came across contemporary, which is more then can be said for a lot of others. I also liked Haley Reinhart, Scott McCreey, and Lauren Alaina. I'm kind of hoping that Seth Rogen, Casey Abrahms and Thia Megia leave sooner then later.
As anyone who knows me or has read this blog knows that I'm a Huge Kelly Clarkson fan. She has an expressive voice with an amazing belt to it and I love someone who's not afraid to unleash their belt. Well, our little Kelly has finally finished recording her 5th studio album and I recently found out two of the first singles that are being planned are called “The War is Over (You Don't Deserve Me)” and “Dumb + Dumb = You.” Not sure about the last title but this is the girl who was able to sell a song titled “My Life Would Suck Without You” so she could make it work. Kelly has written and recorded various songs for this album with the titles “Break the Silence,” “The Sun will Rise,” and “You Love Me” and recorded with well know producers and writers Howard Benson, Toby Gad, Wayne Hector, Eric Hutchinson, Rodney Jenkins, and Kyle Jacobs. I've heard one of the songs from the disc “You Still Won't know What it's Like,” which she performed at a benefit and I posted that earlier and loved the vocal and emotion she brought to it so I can't wait to find out the release date for this.
On the Theater news:
One of Chicago's leading ladies recently received two Helen Hayes Award Nominations for her work in Washington D.C. productions' of “A Light in the Piazza” and “Candide”. I recently received word from a friend that starting March 18 and running through April 10 Hollis will be playing Fraulein Schneider in a production of Cabaret at Kansas City Repertory. Hollis won a Joseph Jefferson Award for a production of “And the World Goes Round” at the old Appletree Theater so she has experience performing Kander & Ebb's music and has delivered a strong German accent in the past.
Another of Chicago's favorite Divas Susan Moniz is currently tackling a powerfully dramatic role in Provision Theater's production of William Nicholson's Tony Award winning “Shadowlands” in the role of Joy. I've heard from friends who have seen this and say she is simply breathtaking which since I've followed her career all the way from Romance Romance at the Appletree Theater doesn't surprise me. The Show is playing till March 20th so you still have some time and tickets atr $25-28, $10 industry and plays Fridays & Saturdays at 8 and Sundays at 3pm. Information can be found at 312-455-0065 or by going to the theater's website at www.provisiontheater.org, I'm not sure if I'm going to get a chance to see this but I'm sure hoping as this is one of my favorite plays and Ms. Moniz has been nothing but a dream performer.
Which got me to thinking I really miss the 2nd City Divas CD's that came out in the 90's and a few if the solo CD's the great ladies of Chicago have put out. I still treasure Hollis Resnik, and Kathy Taylors CD's and have looked for Cory Goodrich and Roberta Duchak's solo CD's. I wish that the Chicago Arts scene would start investing some money in recording solo CD's for some of these performers both male but at least for me the females. I and I know others who would be first in line for a Hollis Resnik's "My Favorite Roles," or Susan Moniz sings "The Songs that Made Me. I've thought even if they could record a few songs and put them on their sites for people to purchase at a $1.29 then that save cost in CD booklets and others. Heck if they need someone to do their cover art I'd be glad to give it a hand. If Broadway Actress Donna Lynn Champlin can put out a professional CD that she blogged about costing $1000 dollars and she recorded in her bathroom it doesn't seem like there are a lot of excuses anymore.
Currently in previews for the Broadway revival of “Anything Goes” she releases another solo CD this Tuesday on the sh-k-boom label. “An Evening with Sutton Foster Live at the Cafe Carlyle” features the newish diva belting to her heat's and our cores featuring such diverse tracks as “I'm Beginning to See the Light,” “Up on the Roof,” “Down with Love,” “Defying Gravity,” and a can't wait to be heard version of “And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going”.
Speaking of Sh-k-Boom/Ghostlight label is also releasing in the coming months a solo album from “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee's Lisa Howard titled “Songs of Innocence & Experience” and based on the musical of William Finn. They're also releasing the Original Broadway Cast Recordings for “Catch Me If You Can” and “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” along with the Original London Cast of “Sister Act.”
Soon to be opening her one woman show on Broadway "Kathy Griffin Wants a Tony" I found online her stage bio which has to be one of the funniest things I have ever read. I'm printing it below for you to laugh out loud. Ms. Griffin has said that she would love to host the Tonys and even though I can already hear the the jokes about Gays and who she plans on pissing off I think they would be crazy not to get her.
"Kathy Griffin is thrilled to be performing at the storied and absolutely haunted Belasco Theatre, where she has already told legendary stage impresario David Belasco's ghost, in no uncertain terms, to "Suck it." Ms. Griffin is especially excited to be reprising the role of Kathy Griffin after spending four years as Kathie Lee Gifford in a touring company of Ms. Gifford’s one-woman musical jamboree, Jesus Is My Homeboy. Born in Madagascar, raised in Rangoon (that’s for you, Streisand-obsessed gays), Ms. Griffin made her stage debut at the age of nine in a Griffin family kitchen production of Boys in the Band, where Ms. Griffin played seven gay men simultaneously. Can you say foreshadowing? Broadway: Speed-the-Plow (with Jeremy Piven, Sushi Taster no. 4); Macbeth (Macbeth's wisecracking red-headed sidekick); Les Misérables (Jean Valjean's funny flame-haired henchwoman); The Iceman Cometh (Iceman's sharp-tongued best friend); Neil LaBute's I Hate You But I Won't Say It Till It Can Do the Most Damage (Dead Whore); Cats (Fierce-y Tattletail MacHairBall); Sweeney Todd (Pie Eater No. 3); Chicago (Mrs. Cellophane); Your Arms Too Short to Box With God: A Soaring Celebration in Song and Dance (God's Fight Promoter); Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark (Head Stuntwoman, fired). Off-Broadway: Mark Twain Tonight! (Understudy); Stamp (the sister production to Stomp, but about stamp collecting); How Do I Get to Broadway? Off-Off-Broadway: Live! Live! Girls! Girls! Sex! Sex! (still running). Television: the double-Emmy-winning "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List" (series regular); "Law & Order: SVU" (no, really, this isn't a Playbill joke, I'm like a real New York actor!); "Suddenly Susan" (not Brooke Shields); "Seinfeld" (not Julia Louis-Dreyfus); "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (not Larry David); "Glee" (another Emmy please); CNN "New Year's Eve With Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin" (Gloria Vanderbilt's best friend); more stand-up comedy specials than any other comedian EVER, including four in 2011 alone; "ER"; "The X-Files"; "The Simpsons"; "Ugly Betty"; "American Dad." Ms. Griffin has also hosted countless awards shows. Look, just type "comedy legend" into your search engine and her picture will come up, probably sixth or seventh. Talk show bannings: "Oprah," "The View," "Live with Regis & Kelly," "Ellen," "Maury Povich Baby Daddy Specials," "The 700 Club," "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer." Celebrity Feuds: Oprah, Ryan Seacrest, Bill O'Reilly, any and all Palins and Angela Lansbury (she knows what she did). Film: Pulp Fiction; Four Rooms; It's Pat; Gandhi (Gandhi's wacky girlfriend); Saving Private Ryan; Cold Mountain; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Can’t Stop the Music; Can’t Stop the Music 2: Turn It Up; Can't Stop the Music 3: Okay, Now That's Just Too Loud; The Remains of the Day; Tyler Perry's Diary of a Mad White Woman; Black Swan; The King’s Speech; The Social Network. Awards: Ms. Griffin has received two Emmy awards, having been nominated seven times. She has also received three Grammy nominations, the GLAAD Vanguard Award, the Trevor Project’s Lifetime Honoree Award, the Human Rights Campaign's Ally for Equality Award, a 2007 GAYVN Award (aka gay porn), the key to Louisville and the 2011 Tony Award (fingers crossed!). Ms. Griffin is also the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Official Book Club Selection: "A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin." She lives in Los Angeles, but loves New York, and would like to thank her dogs PomPom Griffin and Larry Griffin-Arquette, as well as her loving fiancee Kelsey Grammar. However, Ms. Griffin's most cherished production is that of her four children: Apple, Moses, Willow and Jaden. Without their strength and love and support, she would not be able to continue to tell dick jokes for the best audience in the world (that's you, people!). She would also like to thank God, and remind everyone how closely she follows Biblical scripture: "Behold I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces." (Malachi 2:3)
Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark
The show that seems to have everything going for it has just annouced their third delay, cost over 65 million dollars, pissed off the critics with their date changes that they ended up buying tickets to the show anyway and reviewed it. The Director and Writer Julie Taymor is a lot more talented then this crud has been let go and Bono and The Edge will finally do some work on the score which I've heard is boring and flat. They also got rid of the number where the Queen Spiders and her chorus of little Spiders stop at Macey's to buy Shoes. I'm not kidding.
Well that's all the news for now.