April 10, 2014 |
NEW YORK - "Don't speak! Don't speak!" Dianne Wiest immortalized these words in her Oscar-winning portrayal of aging Broadway diva Helen Sinclair in Woody Allen's "Bullets Over Broadway," and I kept murmuring them to myself for a different reason while writing this review of the new musical adaptation. There's certainly much to savor in this gin fizz cocktail of a show, tossed back in the Art Deco glory of Prohibition-era New York. But the ostentatious flaws of this much-anticipated production, which opened at Broadway's St. James Theatre, make it difficult for me to hold my tongue.
April 9, 2014 |
Anne Hathaway has yet to make good on her oft-professed desire to perform in a Broadway musical. Her Oscar-winning turn as Fantine in the 2012 movie version of "Les Miserables" showed that she has the singing chops. And if we need more proof, the actress appeared on NBC's "The Tonight Show" on Tuesday to remind us that she can belt it out as good as Broadway's best. Hathaway, sporting close-cropped hair and a black pant-suit number, was accompanied on the piano by host Jimmy Fallon in a series of rap and hip-hop songs performed in a humorously over-the-top Broadway style.
April 7, 2014 |
Ed Sheeran might be past his frizzy-haired Brit-folk phase. A year after the young guitar-picker teamed with Elton John for a rather warbly performance of "The A Team" at the 2013 Grammy Awards, Sheeran released a new song Monday, one that trades the cozy acoustic vibe of the earlier tune for a high-gloss pop-funk sound shaped in part by Pharrell Williams. "Sing" is the lead single from an album Sheeran is expected to release this summer, the anticipated follow-up to his hit major-label debut, "+," which came out in the U.K. in 2011 before arriving in U.S. stores the next year.
April 2, 2014 |
Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran serenaded a 15-year-old Irish fan just minutes before she died Tuesday of cystic fibrosis, according to British media reports. "Rest in peace Triona, so heartbreaking x," "The A Team" singer tweeted after finding out the teen had passed away. Before lunchtime that day, he'd been on the phone singing her the tune " Little Bird " from his 2010 album "Loose Change. " He was reportedly her favorite singer, and "Little Bird" her favorite song. Triona's brother Colm, along with his sister's friends, started a #SongForTri Twitter campaign last week after she revealed her dying wish, Ireland's Independent reported Wednesday.
March 13, 2014 |
A show about the late Weimar era vocal troupe the Comedian Harmonists bearing the title "Harmony" had better have memorable singing, and on that score this musical by Barry Manilow and his writing partner Bruce Sussman doesn't disappoint. In solos, duets and ensemble numbers especially, the voices soar on lilting melodies that strive to conjure the glory days of the American musical, that period bookended between Rodgers & Hammerstein and Kander & Ebb. The show's numbers may not evoke those easy-listening Manilow hits of the 1970s, but they have an ingratiating beauty that serves to remind that the man who made famous the Bruce Johnston lyric "I am music.
March 4, 2014 |
Idina Menzel, the mysterious "Adele Dazeem" of Oscar fame, performed "Let It Go" with Jimmy Fallon and the Roots on Monday night. And it's arguably a more outstanding performance than on Sunday's Oscar telecast. Tony-winner Menzel, whose name was mangled by presenter John Travolta, sings her heart out along with Fallon, who chimes in charmingly on the high notes. Luckily, that doesn't ruin it. The talk-show host appears to be playing children's blocks. The Roots are on other instruments straight from the toy box. There's even a kazoo. And the whole group rocks out. It's infectious!