Tony nominations are just around the corner, and one of the titles you can bet will yield a fair amount of ‘em is After Midnight, the marvelously assembled one-act jazz revue now playing on Broadway. Since opening last fall, the musical has remained one of the most acclaimed shows of the season, and remained quite relevant due to a bright cast of rotating guest performers (recent months have seen k.d. lang, Toni Braxton, Babyface, and Vanessa Williams, the latter currently playing through May 11). READ FULL STORY
Tag: Music (11-20 of 95)
You wept at the book, then wept at the Meryl Streep-Clint Eastwood film, but save some more tears for the achingly lovely new cast recording for the Broadway tuner The Bridges of Madison County, composed by the prolific Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five Years, Parade), which gives listeners the unique pleasure of preserving two of the very best vocal performances of the last few years, by dynamite duo Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale, whose stirring chemistry could set a cornfield ablaze. The musical — about a lonely Iowa farm wife (O’Hara), happily married but stifled, falling in love with a handsome photographer (Pasquale) blazing through town to capture the historic bridges of the title — has earned stellar reviews since opening in February (including one by senior editor Thom Geier), and the new album contains 20 tracks (including “Falling Into You” and “It All Fades Away”) in total. READ FULL STORY
Six months into its run and still knockin’ the crowd out, the dance-packed jazz revue After Midnight has proven an enduring threat come awards time. One of the reasons behind this is the uniquely chosen guest artists who have added new luster to the already bright show, most recently Toni Braxton, k.d. lang and original guest star Fantasia (who is coming back May 13-June 8).
But if you’re seeing the show between now and May 11, you are in for a treat, as stage-and-screen star Vanessa Williams (a multiple Tony, Grammy and Emmy nominee) essays the guest spot, and in the EW exclusive clip below, get ready to swoon for the seemingly ageless beauty’s take on the Arlen/Koehler classic “Stormy Weather”. Her silky performance style here (in one of Isabel and Ruben Toledo’s drop-dead costumes, no less) will make you momentarily forget the classic takes by Ethel Waters, Lena Horne, and Billie Holiday, and remind you Ms. Williams is always perfectly at home on a Broadway stage. READ FULL STORY
Apparently, the redoubtable Audra McDonald needs to break that Tony-winning record. With five wins under her belt (the last was for her shattering take on the drug-snorting, tortured female lead of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess), she could net a sixth for the Broadway premiere of longtime regional staple Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, in which she will embody none other than “Strange Fruit” and “God Bless the Child” songstress Billie Holiday, in what would become a Tony milestone as she currently ties Angela Lansbury and the late Julie Harris for the most competitive wins by an actress. (Additionally, if the production is considered a play versus a musical — à la the recent Broadway production of the Judy Garland-flavored End of the Rainbow — McDonald would be the first actor to win all four possible female acting categories at the Tonys.)
Directed by Lonny Price (who directed McDonald to a Tony nom in 2007’s 110 in the Shade) and written by Lanie Robertson, the setting of Lady Day is a seedy bar in 1959 Philadelphia, where Ms. Holiday gives a legendary performance just four months before her tragic death of cirrhosis at age 44. In the teaser below, listen as McDonald and company expound on the exciting prospect of inhabiting one of the most indelible female jazz artists of the 20th century.
If you choose your favorite bands based on their obscurity, the following video is not for you. (Unless you have a sense of humor. Do music snobs have a sense of humor?)
For everyone else, the comedy network Above Average has created a guide to interacting with the world’s most picky music fans. It’s the second installment in their tongue-in-cheek Idiot’s Guide to Smart People series, and it’s quite humorously spot-on.
The video opens by explaining to viewers (a.k.a. “idiots”) that “it takes a smart person to love music in a way that takes all the fun out of it.” When interacting with a “smart person” in a situation that involves music, here are some of their tips:
Be as painstakingly specific as you possibly can when telling a music snob what kind of genres you like. “Louisiana Swamp Pop” would be a particularly good choice.
The more mainstream success a band has, the less a smart person will like them. Bon Iver is so 2007.
Do not, under any circumstances and bouts of common sense, wear a band’s T-shirt to said band’s concert.
And remember: When in doubt, heavy metal is the answer.
We first fell for Prince’s duet with Zooey Deschanel, “FALLINLOVE2NITE,” when they performed a portion of the song on the actresses’ Fox comedy, New Girl, back in February. (We’re guessing the 25.8 million other people who also watched the post-Super Bowl episode did, too.)
The Purple One’s perfectly understated guest role was a gift for fans, but now he has delivered the icing on the cake: On Friday, Prince’s “funk ‘n’ roll” band, 3RDEYEGIRL, tweeted out the link to the full-length track. The soundtrack to the rest of your weekend can be found here:
Proving that their young love is meant to be — seriously, guys — Justin Bieber posted a pair of steamy videos in which he dances a choreographed routine (to John Legend’s Ordinary People, of all things), allegedly with his on-again, off-again lady love Selena Gomez.
Bieber reportedly posted two back-to-back clips on Instagram on March 10. But before the posts could earn thousands of angry comments from heart-broken Beliebers, the young singer took them down from his social media account.
Bieber’s representative did not respond to EW’s request for comment.
While making the rounds in support of As the Palaces Burn – the documentary, in theaters now, chronicling Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe’s legal ordeal and trial in the Czech Republic last year — Blythe and director Don Argott took a minute to sit down for a Pop Culture Personality Test. Unsurprising: Blythe loves the Sex Pistols and doesn’t see the point to writing love songs. Somewhat more surprising: He really likes the Pet Shop Boys, even though they are “the antithesis of everything that I stand for.” Watch it below. READ FULL STORY
Stop! Wait! What?! Yup, that’s right: EW has a listening preview of the entire cast album of the rollicking new musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (prominently listed on EW’s Best of Stage this past year). The current musical — sure to be a top contender for several categories at the Hugh Jackman-hosted Tonys on June 8 — has been playing on Broadway to pleased-as-Punch audiences since October, and now you can see just what the howling is about. In Guide, the tireless Jefferson Mays plays no less than eight roles, encompassing the various members of the D’Ysquith (think “dies quick” as said by Elmer Fudd) family, a dynasty threatened by a genial serial killer (Bryce Pinkham) who attempts to bump off as many as he can to inherit a sizable fortune. Listen to 23 tracks on the full album below, which features the witty, inventive work of composers Steven Lutvak and Robert L. Freedman, two Broadway newbies we’re certain to hear more from in the future.
The album will be available digitally on February 25, with a physical CD (including a 40-page booklet and an essay by Time Out New York’s David Cote) to drop on April 1 (for information on pre-ordering, please visit the Sh-K-Boom official web page).
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder is now playing at the Walter Kerr Theatre in an open-ended run. For tickets and additional information, please visit the show’s official website. READ FULL STORY
Mean Girls geekery rolls deep, y’all.
To wrap up the ongoing Retromania: Hip Hop Week on MTV, Amber Rose (a.k.a. Mrs. Wiz Khalifa) has rounded up buddies Iggy Azalea, Waka Flocka Flame, and frequent MC collaborator Ed Sheeran to reenact a scene from one of her favorite early aughts movies. So what happens when a model, two rappers, and an inked-up ginger channel their inner teen queens to engage in a little telephonic subterfuge? Find out below… READ FULL STORY
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