Monday, March 21, 2011

Updates from Everywhere

This weeks Entertainment News or at least in my world and others world the only news that really matters.

Glee had there highly anticipated episode this week “Regionals” where New Directions competed the regionals title against The Warblers and Aural Intensity. This was the first time that “Glee” used original music in the show where Santana sang a jazzy treat called “Trouty Mouth” to Sam that Naya Riveras delivered like a jazz diva while tossing off comedic insults in regards to her boyfriends mouth. Mark Sallings character Puck serenaded his love Lauren with the rockabilly “Big Ass Heart” which I still haven't gotten and Amber Riley went all diva with her take on “Hell to the No.” They all lost the chance to perform of course to Lea Michelle's Rachel who delivered the inspirational ballad “Get it Right,” which in the contact of the show worked the emotional level it needed to along with the summer anthem “Loser Like Me.” The comical songs were funny “Loser Like Me” worked as an anthem kids be running around singing but I thought “Get it Right actually” was a good song and if still that with the Warblers cover of Pink's “Raise Your Glass” they were two best performances of the episode. I was happy in this episode they were finally able to tighten up the story lines that had seemed like they were out of control. I thought the two most perfect scene in this one and should be submitted for Emmy Consideration were the kiss which was handled with so much truth, honesty and beauty how could you not cry over Blaine's line “Kurt, there’s a moment when you say to yourself, ‘Oh, there you are. I’ve been looking for you forever.’” Which is something anyone would love to hear. I also loved the scene between Quinn and Rachel because I felt it was honest. I like Queen, she knows she's superficial but like any complicated character she's fascinating and more more interesting then say Finn who just screams co-dependent.

On American Idol this week blah singer Karen Rodriguez was sent home after looking like a fem bot on Tuesday show and delivering lethargic take on Taylor Daynes “Love Will Lead You Back” which was slightly better then her song from last week. I found her groveling after before the verdict announced tacky and felt with the slight exception of Casey Abrahms weird over the top and what boiled down to a bunch of scream's with bad lighting and then he finishes the song and smiles to the camera!!!!! I also loved how he went on about this is a song for a generation which is true it's just not HIS generation.

My favorites of the night were again Haley Reinhart who's bluesy rock voice was a strong contract to “I'm Your BabyTonight, Lauren Alaina who was ble to find new ways to play around with the melody and deliver a strong belted “I'm the Only One” and Pia Toscano who used her trademark power and gorgeous tone to a “decent” song “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” with a great arrangement. I'm hoping next week we finally ose when of the many men who just need to go home.

Kelly Clarkson was one of the headliners at the Celebrity Fight Night Gala in honor of Muhammad Ali. The current batch of Idol hopefuls were there along with Reba to cheer on Kelly who sang “My Life Would Suck without You”, and an original song she has recorded from her new album written by Eric Hutcninson called “Why Don't You” and there's video that I'm including here hope you like it. In other Kelly news her smash duet with Jason Aldean “Don't you Wanna Stay” is still sitting at #1 on the Country Billboard awards. Which is an amazing feat for Kelly as she is the only Idol contestant to have the most #1 on various charts all over billboard. Here's hoping to some Grammy love for this duet.

Jennifer Hudson “I Remember Me” - I've recently heard the new solo disc and will review it for an upcoming album but I will say this. Jennifer and her vocals are finally getting more and more confident and she's unleashing that power and music is for the better because of it.

Jennifer will be making her Ravinia Festival debut Saturday July 16th so get your tickets fast. Also of interest at Ravinia this Summer Broadway's Laura Benanti in Bennett-Godon Hall on August 27th and “An Evening with Mandy Patinkin and Nathan Gunn on August 31 at the Pavillion. I think its odd that they couldn't get LuPone as she's the one who usually tours with Patinkin and performs at Ravinia quite a bit.

In Chicago theater scene Loyola University Theatre Program is opening their production of Stephen Schwartz's classic “Pippin” April 8 though the 17; Thursday – Saturday performances 7:30PM & Sunday 2:00PM at the Kathleen Mullady Theatre located at 115 West Loyola Avenue

A link to their blog is listed below

I have always loved the music to “Pippin” and saw a television production so I'm looking forward to seeing it live.

Thursday I will be attending Drury Lane Oakbrook's production of the Tony Award winning “Aida” and on Friday I'm attending the Chicago premiere of Dixie's Tupperware Party! At the Royal George so those should be blasts

I saw that the Tony Award winning Best Musicals “Spring Awakening” (also known as the show that skyrocketed the careers of Jonathan Groff & Lea Michele) will be returning to Chicago this time at the Oriental Theatre May 3 though the 8th.

The wonderful Rogers Park storefront theatre company announced their 2011-2012 season and they've given us some delicious treats that aren't often seen around here. The shows for next season are the 1976 Matby & Shire revue “Starting Here, Starting Now” playing in the fall from September 25-November 6. After that the “Pump Boys and Dinettes will be serving you from November 27 though January 1, 2012 (that sounds like a great way to ring in the new year) after that they being ambitious and taking on Adam Guettel's chamber Opera “Light in the Piazza” and then finishing up the season with a Neil Sedaka revue called “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” sure to include such classics as “The Diary,” “Where the Boys Are,” “Stupid Cupid,” Solitare,” “Love Will Keep Us Together,' “Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen” along with the title song. If you visit there web site at you can find out additional information.

On Broadway the semi new musical “PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT” opens tonight and I will include some of the reviews in the next column and starting previews is “Wonderland” Jekyll & Hyde's composer Frank Wildhorn the man who believes you can make a musical out of anything, and has tried you should hear the music to his demo to BladeRunner? “Wonderland” reinvents “Alice in Wonderland” for the 21st Century with Alice being a modern-day Manhattan Mom so this should be interesting. The thing that makes me nervous is that Wildhorn has yet to have a hit show on Broadway “The Civil War,” “Jekyll & Hyde,” “Dracula,” “The Scarlet Pimpernel,” all were flops and “Havana,” Bonnie & Clyde,” and “Gold” were not able to make it to Broadway but I've heard the music to Wonderland and some of it's catchy and Wildhorn is smart enough to write accessible melodys so there's always hope.

Well that's it for now will talk to you guys later,

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