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Fellow Singer/Songwriters and Friends Remember and Mourn the Loss of Rock ‘N’ Roll Icon Little Richard

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Grammy Award winning, Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame member, Little Richard, the mastermind behind legendary hits “Long Tall Sally,” “Rip It Up,” “Good Golly Miss Molly,” “Tutti Frutti” and many more, has passed away at the age of 87. Little Richard’s music broke racial barriers and his impressionable style shattered all that was standard. The eccentric star paved the way for other stand-out acts with his unique nature, flamboyant flair and inspiring innovations to culture. With an unmatched career of stellar achievements, the musical giant leaves behind an unforgettable legacy. Little Richard was not only a distinct entertainer but a friend to many in the music industry.

Fellow artists mourn the loss of their friend and share fond memories that have left them forever moved by the Iconic, Little Richard.

“In my book, Little Richard was the king of rock ‘n’ roll. He carried a full horn orchestra and wrote most of his songs. He was the first really crazy rock ‘n roll guy that everybody loved, black or white. I always had a Richard album or two even when I was broke. One of The Jordanaires told me that when he met Richard in the 50’s his face was painted purple. That about says it all.” Don McLean

“I knew Richard for more than 60 years. He truly was one of the founding fathers of American contemporary pop music, so we all need to tip our hat out of respect for the contributions he made not just the American culture but to the world. RIP Little Richard.” Sam Moore

“Little Richard and I worked together multiple times over the years. I believe the last time we shared the stage was in the 90’s. When you think about Rock and Roll music, he is one of those at the top. What amazed me the most about him was the great records he made with none of the technology like there is today. He will be greatly missed by all.” BJ Thomas

“Little Richard was a pioneer in the world of Rock and Roll. He excited audiences with his stage presence and through his music. In an era of James Brown and Elvis, Little Richard still captured millions of fans. I will not forget meeting him on the Celebrity Wheel of Fortune. My family and I send prayers to those who loved him.” Lee Greenwood

“Little Richard was a Rock and Roll pioneer and his legacy will remain as such. Years ago we had him on as a guest on our Oak Ridge Boys Live from Las Vegas TV show on the old Nashville Network. What a sheer joy he was… backstage as well as onstage. Energy just flowed from him… Rest easy man… you took R&B and turned into ROCK and ROLL!” Joe Bonsall / Oak Ridge Boys

“Little Richard, known as the “architect of Rock ‘N’ Roll” was one of the most dynamic entertainers in the music business. He was a true inspiration to generations of performers. Thank you Little Richard. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.” Deana Martin

“I remember, like yesterday, the first time I met Little Richard. It was down in Joshua Tree outside of L.A. on the set of a Taco Bell shoot. There was a freak snow that morning, so he and I waited and talked all day. We wound up getting to work the next day and from then on, we were good friends. He asked me to honor him by performing his songs on a television special, called ‘Celebrate The Soul Of American Music.’ I remember him sitting on the front row, smiling that big electric smile of his and clapping his hands. He called on my birthday and the last time I talked to him was to wish him a Merry Christmas. I sure will miss my friend. He was a sweet guy and a good pal. God rest his soul. “A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-wop-bam-boom!!” T. Graham Brown

“I’m so sad to hear of the passing of the fabulous, flamboyant Rock Icon, Little Richard. He came into this world breaking barriers with style and music! He was so sweet, so much fun and truly, bigger than life! I’m so glad I got to know him! I loved him! I know he’s still breaking barriers, Onward and upward!!! Rock on in peace Little Richard.” – Deborah Allen

“Several years ago I was at my accountant’s office when I heard this commotion in the front office. When I walked out into the lobby I saw Little Richard entertaining the secretaries. His appointment was right after mine. One of the biggest shocks in my life was when Little Richard said to me, “I know who you are, Tim. I’ve been following your career.” That was a surreal moment for me! He then sent his assistant to his car and presented me with a Bible. He told me wherever I do a show, make Jesus proud. It’s the best advice anyone has ever given me. To most of the world Little Richard was a bigger than life entertainer (and he was that for sure), but to me he will always be that kind soul who encouraged me in my music and who cared enough to talk about my salvation.” – Tim Atwood

“One of the best old school Rock ‘N’ Roll singers of all time. He influenced so many people in his time. We lost another legend in the music industry that will never be forgotten. RIP Little Richard”  Shane Owens

“I am sad to hear the passing of the Iconic Little Richard. His charismatic showmanship and his flashy piano playing will forever be remembered. Prayers up to one of the founders of rock and roll!”  J.D Shelburne

“It’s never a good time to lose a staple in music such as Little Richard, but this is a hard loss during these times. Being the founder of so many new and experimental music genres during his heyday, Little Richard added so much to the music scene and entertainment as a whole. I know his fun and lively spirit will live on through his hits like “Tutti Frutti” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin On” even as he’s gone. My thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family during this time” – Paige King Johnson

“Thanks to Little Richard for setting such a great example: Be yourself!” – Carrington MacDuffie

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

Music

The Canadian Festival of New Musicals Unveils Three New Works

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This Saturday, thanks to the theatre gods of Toronto, I was gifted with the chance to experience the next wave of new Canadian musicals. Getting underway earlier this week, the inaugural season of The Canadian Festival of New Musicals, running from May 23rd – 26th at the Berkeley St Theatre, unveiled a few new musicals. Presented by The Musical Stage Company in association with Canadian Stage, the three new shows were given the grand opportunity to present snippets of their work-in-progress; new musicals that are being experimented with, played with, and developed for our theatrical enjoyment. And what a joy it was to be in the room with all these enthusiastic souls.

New Voices. New Stories. New Musicals.” is the Festival’s motto, as I made my way downtown to join the celebration of creativity, innovation, and collaboration, giving the audience a glimpse of three of the Musical Stage Company’s musicals in development.

Featuring excerpts from IN REAL LIFE, AFTER THE RAIN, and COWBOY TEMPEST CABARET, the Canadian Festival of New Musicals was an electrifying showcase that gave audiences a first look and listen at the new stories being created by some of our country’s most promising lyricists, composers, and writers, and delivered by some amazing performers, such as Brandon Antonio (Broadway’s & Juliet), Raquel Duffy (Coal Mine’s Apppropriate), Eva Foote (Stratford’s Hamlet-911), Brendan Wall (MSC’s Natasha, Pierre…), and the phenomenal Elm Reyes (Factory’s Trojan Girls…). The festival also provided opportunities for music theatre creators to meet new collaborators, learn more from experts in the field, and engage in the conversation around the development of new musical theatre in Canada.

These musicals are all being developed for full-length productions, with AFTER THE RAIN already programmed into the upcoming Tarragon season, a production that I am super excited to have the chance to experience again.

THE CANADIAN FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS

Details and schedule:

AFTER THE RAIN (Double bill with COWBOY TEMPEST CABARET)

May 23RD 8:00pm and May 25th 3:30pm

Co-Commissioned and Co-Developed by The Musical Stage Company and Tarragon Theatre

Book by Rose Napoli

Music & Lyrics by Suzy Wilde

Featuring Eva Foote, Raquel Duffy, Brendan Wall, and Shaemus Swets

Her parents are famous. Her boyfriend is stupid. And Suzie is a mess.

When she accepts a mature piano student obsessed with mastering only one song, Erik Satie’s “Gymnopedie No. 1”, struggling songwriter Suzie’s life takes an unforeseen turn. Full of family turmoil, life’s complexities, and centered around a devastating discovery, AFTER THE RAIN is a musical based on a true story about the healing power of music.

COWBOY TEMPEST CABARET (Double bill w AFTER THE RAIN)

May 23rd 8:00pm and May 25th 3:30pm

Commissioned and Developed by The Musical Stage Company

Book by Niall McNeil, Lucy McNulty & Anton Lipovetsky,

Music by Anton Lipovetsky

Lyrics by Niall McNeil

Featuring Brandon Antonio, Raquel Duffy, Eva Foote, Dylan Harman, Yousef Kadoura, Elm Reyes, Shaemus Swets, and Brendan Wall

Guns and magic. Love and hurt. When gunslinger Prospero conjures a storm in the desert, he begins a chain of events that forces every cowboy and spirit into a fight for freedom. Created by an artist with Down Syndrome and his longtime collaborators, Cowboy Tempest Cabaret is a totally lawless adaptation of Shakespeare’s Tempest musicalized in the styles of rock, folk and country & western music.

IN REAL LIFE

May 24th and 25th at 8:00pm, May 26th at 2:00pm

Commissioned by The Musical Stage Company and Co-Developed by The Musical Stage Company and fu-GEN Theatre Company

Book & Lyrics by Nick Green

Music & Lyrics by Kevin Wong

Featuring Alicia Ault, Janelle Cooper, Colleen Furlan, Hailey Gillis, Matthew Joseph, William Lincoln, Jacob McInnis, and Daniel Williston

Set in a dystopian future, technological prodigy Max is an ideal student with a bright future, until, with a single swipe, he sets out on a journey to forbidden corners of the Internet, underground societies, and forgotten parts of himself. A story filled with twists and turns, In Real Life examines the complexities of power, technology, and freedom in the digital era.

For more information, click here.

For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

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Events

Memorial Day Playlist

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As you lay out by the pool, the beach, Central Park or on the sidelines of a parade, T2C offers you music to celebrate and get you in the mood.

 

 

 

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Broadway

Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Richard M. Sherman Songwriter for Mary Poppins and Jungle Book Passes On

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Richard M. Sherman, was a nine-time Academy Award nominee along with his brother Robert. The Sherman Brothers wrote more than 200 songs for some 27 films and 24 television productions. Their film credits include Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Absent-Minded Professor, The Parent Trap, Summer Magic tv, The Sword in the Stone, That Darn Cat!, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, The Happiest Millionaire, The Aristocats, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

The won two Academy Awards for Mary Poppins, taking home the trophies for Best Score – Substantially Original and Best Original Song (for “Chim Chim Cher-ee”). They won three Grammy awards and received 24 gold and platinum albums and were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005 and received the US National Medal of the Arts in 2008.

They also wrote the score on Broadway for Over Here.

The brothers were portrayed in the 2013 film Saving Mr. Banks, which told the story behind the making of Mary Poppins.

Sherman died of age-related illness at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills. His brother Robert died in 2012.

 

 

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Dance

Events For June

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On going is still  Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature, is at The Morgan Library & Museum through 6/9.Florals in Fashion highlights the work of designers Hilary Taymour (Collina Strada), Olivia Cheng (Dauphinette) and Kristen Alpaugh, aka FLWR PSTL Also Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz’s “Giants,”is at the Brooklyn Museum until 7/7. The exhibition features artists who have made and continue to make a significant impact on the art world and contemporary culture. The show features 98 artworks by Black American, African, and African artists including Gordon Parks, Kehinde Wiley, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mickalene Thomas, Hassan Hajjaj, Barkley L. Hendricks, Lorna Simpson, and Amy Sherald. Until 8/11 the Whitney Biennial, this happens every two years.  This year, the theme is “Even Better Than The Real Thing” and features the work of 71 artists and collectives. Also on display is Apollo: When We Went to the Moon at The Intrepid Museum. The exhibit is included with museum admission and goes until 10/2. The Rubin Museum, is permanently closing its physical space later this year and is open until October. If you’ve never been time to go. Until 10/27: The New York Botanical Garden is getting in on the Mad Hatter fun with a new, garden-wide exhibition for 2024 titled “Wonderland: Curious Nature.”

6/1 -23: How Long Blues at Little Island. Twyla Tharp featuring live music by T Bone Burnett and David Mansfield.

6/6 – 16: Tribeca Film Festival

6/7 – 9: Governors Ball

6/7 – 24: River to River Festival 50th anniversary has celebrations of dance, music, video, installation, and exhibitions. Featuring 13 projects of live art, performances, and participatory events in public spaces throughout Downtown New York, the 2024 River To River Festival explores themes of resonance, reconsideration, and resistance.  All events are free and open to all. Reservations are requested for some performances and events with limited capacity reserve here.

6/9: National Puerto Rican Day Parade

6/10: Movie nights in Bryant Park Forrest Gump (1994)

6/12: The Tony Awards

6/12: NY Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks

6/12 – 30: Summer for the City The Dream Machine Experience and The Bridge Lincoln Center Presents Time travel through an immersive AR experience across our outdoor spaces led by Cyboracle, the larger-than-life virtual avatar portrayed by Nona Hendryx.

6/12: The third annual Summer for the City festival. Over 200 free or choose-what-you-pay events that span a variety of topics, genres and  locations.

6/13 – 16: Juneteenth New York Festival

6/13: Summer for the City The Outdoor Film Series Black Swan Natalie Portman gives an Oscar-winning turn as a sheltered but driven young dancer with a ballet company in NYC who begins to buckle under pressure

6/17: Movie nights in Bryant Park The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

6/18 and 20: SummerStage The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital featuring Leah Hawkins, Mario Chang, Michael Sumuel

6/19 – 30: Black Restaurant Week up to 80 participating venues, including Red Rooster Harlem, Cascade Jerk, Twins BBQ Co., Collective Fare, Tamarind Island, Voila Afrique, Misfits Nutrition, Brooklyn Blend, Negril Village, Lee Lee’s Baked Goods, The Real Mothershuckers and many more.

6/20: Summer for the City The Outdoor Film Series Before Sunrise Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy) meet on a cross-Europe train. In Vienna, they walk, talk, look around—and fall unexpectedly in love. Damrosch Park

6/21: Summer for the City Social Dance Abaddón Tango. Get swept up in the majesty and beauty of Argentinian tango at this social dance night featuring the Abaddón Tango sextet.

6/21: 125th birthday of the Bronx Zoo 

6/21: Summer for the City The Outdoor Film Series Before Sunset. Nine years after Before Sunrise’s open-ended finale, Before Sunset’s immediate question—did Jesse and Céline reunite in Vienna—soon gets eclipsed.

6/21: Summer for the City Silent Disco. Strut your stuff under the stars as our popular Silent Disco series returns to NYC’s largest outdoor dance floor with a ten-foot disco ball.

6/22: The Coney Island The Mermaid Parade kicks off at 1pm.

6/22: Summer for the City Mykal Kilgore a concert for all ages featuring GRAMMY-nominated performing artist Mykal Kilgore!

6/22: Summer for the City The Wedding: New York’s Biggest Day Ever dreamed of getting married at Lincoln Center? For the third year in a row, we’re inviting hundreds of couples to celebrate love. Come join us!

6/22 -23: SailGP (Sail Grand Prix) will bring 10 international teams to the waters to race turbocharged F50 catamarans at more than 60 miles per hour. Fans can watch the action in stadium-style seats close to shore along Governors Island.

6/23: Summer for the City Rosanne Cash.  one of America’s leading songwriters and creative voices, performs a live set on the 30th anniversary of her classic album, The Wheel.

6/24 and 26: SummerStage The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital featuring Brittany Olivia Logan, Hannah Jones, Matthhew Cairns

6/26: Summer for the City ABT Silent Disco With DJ Remeice and Connor Holloway. Celebrate Pride Week with American Ballet Theatre in a silent disco spun by DJ Remeice and co-

6/24: Movie nights in Bryant Park Boomerang (1992)

6/26-29: Robeson at Little Island.

6/29: SummerStage Pride Disco: DJ Trixie Mattel + Amanda Lepore + Jess King

6/30: Pride Fest, The March

6/30: SummerStage Dreamland: Pride In Central Park With John Summit

 

 

 

 

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Music

The Canadian Festival of New Musicals Unveils Three New Works

Published

on

This Saturday, thanks to the theatre gods of Toronto, I was gifted with the chance to experience the next wave of new Canadian musicals. Getting underway earlier this week, the inaugural season of The Canadian Festival of New Musicals, running from May 23rd – 26th at the Berkeley St Theatre, unveiled a few new musicals. Presented by The Musical Stage Company in association with Canadian Stage, the three new shows were given the grand opportunity to present snippets of their work-in-progress; new musicals that are being experimented with, played with, and developed for our theatrical enjoyment. And what a joy it was to be in the room with all these enthusiastic souls.

New Voices. New Stories. New Musicals.” is the Festival’s motto, as I made my way downtown to join the celebration of creativity, innovation, and collaboration, giving the audience a glimpse of three of the Musical Stage Company’s musicals in development.

Featuring excerpts from IN REAL LIFE, AFTER THE RAIN, and COWBOY TEMPEST CABARET, the Canadian Festival of New Musicals was an electrifying showcase that gave audiences a first look and listen at the new stories being created by some of our country’s most promising lyricists, composers, and writers, and delivered by some amazing performers, such as Brandon Antonio (Broadway’s & Juliet), Raquel Duffy (Coal Mine’s Apppropriate), Eva Foote (Stratford’s Hamlet-911), Brendan Wall (MSC’s Natasha, Pierre…), and the phenomenal Elm Reyes (Factory’s Trojan Girls…). The festival also provided opportunities for music theatre creators to meet new collaborators, learn more from experts in the field, and engage in the conversation around the development of new musical theatre in Canada.

These musicals are all being developed for full-length productions, with AFTER THE RAIN already programmed into the upcoming Tarragon season, a production that I am super excited to have the chance to experience again.

THE CANADIAN FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS

Details and schedule:

AFTER THE RAIN (Double bill with COWBOY TEMPEST CABARET)

May 23RD 8:00pm and May 25th 3:30pm

Co-Commissioned and Co-Developed by The Musical Stage Company and Tarragon Theatre

Book by Rose Napoli

Music & Lyrics by Suzy Wilde

Featuring Eva Foote, Raquel Duffy, Brendan Wall, and Shaemus Swets

Her parents are famous. Her boyfriend is stupid. And Suzie is a mess.

When she accepts a mature piano student obsessed with mastering only one song, Erik Satie’s “Gymnopedie No. 1”, struggling songwriter Suzie’s life takes an unforeseen turn. Full of family turmoil, life’s complexities, and centered around a devastating discovery, AFTER THE RAIN is a musical based on a true story about the healing power of music.

COWBOY TEMPEST CABARET (Double bill w AFTER THE RAIN)

May 23rd 8:00pm and May 25th 3:30pm

Commissioned and Developed by The Musical Stage Company

Book by Niall McNeil, Lucy McNulty & Anton Lipovetsky,

Music by Anton Lipovetsky

Lyrics by Niall McNeil

Featuring Brandon Antonio, Raquel Duffy, Eva Foote, Dylan Harman, Yousef Kadoura, Elm Reyes, Shaemus Swets, and Brendan Wall

Guns and magic. Love and hurt. When gunslinger Prospero conjures a storm in the desert, he begins a chain of events that forces every cowboy and spirit into a fight for freedom. Created by an artist with Down Syndrome and his longtime collaborators, Cowboy Tempest Cabaret is a totally lawless adaptation of Shakespeare’s Tempest musicalized in the styles of rock, folk and country & western music.

IN REAL LIFE

May 24th and 25th at 8:00pm, May 26th at 2:00pm

Commissioned by The Musical Stage Company and Co-Developed by The Musical Stage Company and fu-GEN Theatre Company

Book & Lyrics by Nick Green

Music & Lyrics by Kevin Wong

Featuring Alicia Ault, Janelle Cooper, Colleen Furlan, Hailey Gillis, Matthew Joseph, William Lincoln, Jacob McInnis, and Daniel Williston

Set in a dystopian future, technological prodigy Max is an ideal student with a bright future, until, with a single swipe, he sets out on a journey to forbidden corners of the Internet, underground societies, and forgotten parts of himself. A story filled with twists and turns, In Real Life examines the complexities of power, technology, and freedom in the digital era.

For more information, click here.

For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

Continue Reading

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