Alas, the producers of Off-Broadway's THE FANTASTICKS have announced that the perpetually running musical will finally limp on t'wards the moonlight on Sunday, May 3 -- the 55th anniversary, to the very day, of the opening of the show way back in 1960. Come that fateful Sunday, the production will have played a total of, get ready, 20,672 performances in New York City alone. OK, so here's the math and geography: 17,162 at the old Sullivan Street Playhouse + another 3,510 at alum Jerry Orbach's place at, even better, the Snapple Theater Center. Like a Romeo and Juliet but with 1,000% more Backstreet B-spawn, the score to THE FANTASTICKS will no doubt become its legacy. Featuring music by Harvey Schmidt with book, lyrics and direction by the incomparable Tom Jones (no, not that Tom Jones), you'll never be able to hear tunes like "Try To Remember", "Soon It's Gonna Rain" or "They Were You" as they were intended ever again.
No trip to eastside Los Angeles is complete without supping among the friendly, Continental-meets-Mandarin confines of The Dresden. And no visit to that Los Feliz institution there on N. Vermont Ave. can ever be fully appreciated without then stepping one room over to catch the truly dynamic duo of Marty and Elayne Roberts. As of April 1, this all-purpose husband and wife band has been swinging five nights a week for 34 gloriously camp years--long before Jon Favoreau put them in Swingers, proper. (And eons, respectively, before the hipsters damn near destroyed the neigborhood.)
'Chicago,' the Tony Award-winning musical now in its 19th year at the Ambassador Theater, has pulled a coup and booked Grammy Award-winner Brandy Norwood in her Broadway debut as Roxie Hart. Beginning Tuesday, April 28, 2015, Norwood will star in an eight-week limited run there at the Ambassador through Sunday, June 21, 2015. A true triple-threat as a singer, songwriter and actress, at last count, "Brandy" has sold some 40 million albums worldwide. In fact, her dueling duet with Monica, “The Boy Is Mine,” remains the best-selling duo tune of all time. (And who could forget her historic role as the first African-American princess in Disney’s made-for-TV Cinderella, alongside the late Whitney Houston?)
Unlike the best would-be symphonists, Dmitri Shostakovich actually made it to ten symphonies. His Symphony No. 10 in E minor (Op. 93) was premiered by the Leningrad Phil, under the baton of Yevgeny Mravinsky, way, way back on December 17, 1953--following the most timely death of Stalin that March. Now, this here vid was uploaded to YouTube on April 1, 2015, courtesy of one William Gerlach and 'Toronto Star' music critic Michael Vincent.
With Ward Swingle gone from the SATB earth and Tim Hauser transferring no more 'cross Manhattan, the timing couldn't be any more right for Roomful of Teeth to become our starriest vocal band. Fresh off one of the most exciting drones at the Met's Temple of Dendur since, well, Interpol's record release party, the GRAMMY Award-winning ensemble (Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance) with that youngest-ever Pulitzer recipient (Caroline Shaw) on one of the best labels in the new music biz (New Amsterdam) hasn't yet made a music vid proper. Until now, of course.
It's been more than two decades since we first heard from Lisa Loeb. And while I need not mention that certain song of hers by name, if you still see Mrs. Loeb as that impossibly twee twentysomething in those tortoiseshell frames pining at the center of Ethan Hawke's continuous shot, well, you're only hearing what you want to. Nine more stories later, Lisa Loeb's become a bona fide polymath. Singer, songwriter, child lit author, burgeoning eyewear magnate, two-time reality TV star (on two different networks, no less), as a mother of two, too, she's proof that you can indeed have it all. Latest case in newest point: Loeb's musical, 'Camp Kappawanna.'
Morley, Angela passed away peacefully at age 84, January 14th, 2009. Angela also wrote arrangements for the Boston Pops Orchestra and for Yo Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman.
Recently, the Metropolitan Opera has made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Be it pre-season labor disputes with the man Peter Gelb, opening night unrest care of Leon Klinghoffer and Rudy Guiliani or just a simple technical glitch during the broadcast at your local cinema, what's been lost as of late is a lot. Such controversies, however inflated, do obscure the institution's real mission statement. First and perhaps foremost, is the fact that the Met remains this country's most enduring repertory company. For every Klinghoffer or Iolanta premiere in 2014-15, there are as many, if not more, reheated Aidas and prefab Meistersingers. Come the holidays, highly touted new productions of Le Nozze di Figaro and The Merry Widow will run alongside evergreen faire like Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Hansel and Gretel. And, let's be honest, it is the latter, lighter of these programming options that the casual opera-goer is wont to experience there at Lincoln Center. In fact, Mr. Gelb is banking on it.
Seriously, though, can Welsh mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins really sing opera? It's a curious line of inquiry everyone who has heard her asks. Eventually.
Classicalite staff writer Ian Holubiak (L) with The Hot Sardines (Evan "Bibs" Palazzo, Miz Elizabeth).
With his Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority mulligan miles behind him, Joshua Bell is Skyping with me from his suite at the Ritz-Carlton, Dubai. As per usual when talking to the press, the world's greatest living violinist is in between rehearsals. Yes, Bell has traveled to the United Arab Emirates to perform Felix Mendelssohn's 'Violin Concerto' in E minor, Op. 64 at the Royal Opera House Muscat with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields--the storied British band, founded by Sir Neville Marriner in 1958, that Bell remains the only American to have led as both music director and conductor.
Wrongchilde frontman Mat Devine and Classicalite editor-in-chief Logan K. Young talk pasts bands like Kill Hannah, Mat's stint on Broadway in Julie Taymor's 'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,' as well as his work as writer and blogger. To watch more episodes of C-LITE A.V. Club--including Mat, Neil Popkin and Camille Driscoll (singing Gerard Way's part, no less) on the emotionally charged single "Falling in Love (Will Kill You)"--just click HERE. Before that, though, check out Neil Popkin's solo on the slow-burning, electro-acoustic "Slow."
Mat Devine, Camille Driscoll and Neil Popkin of Wrongchilde recently stopped by Classicalite's Brooklyn studio to play "Falling in Love (Will Kill You)"--the emotionally charged single from their crowdfunded debut, 'Gold Blooded.'
Wrongchilde (Mat Devine, Camille Driscoll, Neil Popkin) drop by Classicalite's Brooklyn studio for a slow-burning, electro-acoustic rendition of "Slow"--the final cut from their stellar, crowdfunded debut, 'Gold Blooded.'
Classicalite A.V. Club episode with Alice Boman performing "Lead Me" | Logan K. Young, editor; Ian Holubiak, engineer