Grammy News: Into the Woods, Viola Davis, Beyonce, Adele, Encanto and Lin-Manuel Miranda
Into the Woods 2022 Broadway Cast won Best Musical Theater Album.
Viola Davis reached EGOT status after winning a Grammy for the audiobook performance of her memoir Finding Me. The 57-year-old actress made history as the third Black woman to achieve the honor, following Whoopi Goldberg and Jennifer Hudson. Davis has won an Oscar, two Tonys and an Emmy. She won the won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2017 for her role as Rose Maxson in 2016’s Fences. She won Tony awards for King Hedley II, and the Broadway production of Fences.
Beyonce, missed her milestone moment where she took home her 32nd gold gramophone trophy. She thanked her husband, children, and her late gay uncle. Queen B broke the all time record for most wins ever at the Grammy Awards ever. She won the Grammys for Best R&B Song, Best Traditional R&B Performance for Plastic Off The Sofa and Best Dance/Electronic Recording for Break My Soul before the awards show aired live coast-to-coast.
Adele won the award for best pop solo performance for her song “Easy on Me.”
Encanto won three Grammy Awards, including Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media, Germaine Franco for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media, and Lin-Manuel Miranda and the songwriting team for Best Song Written for Visual Media, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”! Miranda, who did not attend the ceremony, beat Beyonce (“Be Alive”), Taylor Swift (“Carolina”), Lady Gaga (“Hold My Hand,” a current Oscar nominee), Billie Eilish (“Nobody Like U”) and Jessy Wilson (“Keep Rising”).
One of the best parts of the night was The 50th-anniversary tribute with electric performance featuring a star-studded lineup, including: Ice-T, Public Enemy, Nelly, Queen Latifah, RUN-D.M.C., Missy Elliott and younger stars Lil Baby and GloRilla. The tribute was co-curated by six-time Grammy Winner Questlove, and the Roots performed as the supporting band. At a later date, there will be a longer tribute.
The Grammys memorial tribute included Loretta Lynn and Christine McVie. Kacey Musgraves performed a tribute of “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” Lynn died at age 90 in October.
Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt and McVie’s Fleetwood Mac bandmate Mick Fleetwood honored her with a touching performance of “Songbird.” McVie died at age 79 in November.
Kim Petras made Grammy history as the first transgender woman to win a Grammy in the best pop duo/group performance category. She won alongside Sam Smith. “I want to thank all the incredible transgender legends before me who’ve kicked these doors open for me so I could be here tonight.” Petras paid homage to her late friend and music producer Sophie, who she says always believed in her. She also thanked Madonna for fighting for LGBTQ rights.
And Harry Styles wins Best Pop Vocal Album of the year.
Broadway’s A Doll’s House Meticulously Stunning Revival Soars Like a Birdie Above That Clumsy Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
For a revival to find its footing, it has to have a point of view or a sense of purpose far beyond an actor’s desire to perform a part, whether it suits them or not. It needs to radiate an idea that will make us want to sit up and pay attention. To feel its need to exist. And on one particular day in March, I was blessed with the opportunity to see not just one grande revival, but two. One was a detailed pulled-apart revolutionary revival of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House that astounded. The other, unfortunately, was a clumsy revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that fell lazily from that high-wired peak – not for a lack of trying, but from a formulation that never found its purpose.
Relevantly Tuneless Fairytale Bad Cinderella Isn’t Bad, It’s Forgettable
You are seriously asking for it, when you make the title for your musical Bad Cinderella, however the show is not bad, it’s just seriously lacking. For an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which is normally rich in melody, the only song that has any kind of hold is “Only You, Lonely You” sung by Prince Sebastian (Jordan Dobson or in my performance the wonderful Julio Ray). The lyrics by David Zippel and book by Emerald Fennell, adapted by Alexis Scheer are inane. It doesn’t help that the cast for the most part speaks and sings with mouths full of cotton. The orchestrations sound tinny and computerized, The lead Linedy Genao has no charisma or vocals that soar musically, instead she is rather nasal, like Bernadette Peters with a cold. Why this show is two and a half hours long is beyond me.
The show is based in a town called Belleville (beautiful town en Francais), that is based solely on looks and prides itself on its superficiality. The opening number starts with “Beauty Is Our Duty,” the Queen (a fabulous Grace McLean) is into her hunks including her missing son Charming (Cameron Loyal).
And the fairy godmother (Christina Acosta Robinson) is a plastic surgeon who sings “Beauty Has a Price”. In a day and age, where we are suppose to see past all that, this show is politically incorrect.
Cinderella a Gothic, and a graffiti artist, naturally does not fit into the town’s mold of beauty, which is how she earns her nickname. Her rebel move happens when she defaces a memorial statue of Sebastian’s older brother, Prince Charming. Sebastian is more of a geek, and he and Cinderella are in the “friend zone,” since both lack communication skills in admitting their love.
Sebastian is being forced by his mother, the Queen to find a wife at a ball and invites Cinderella. Cinderella’s stepmother (the always remarkable Carolee Carmello) blackmails the Queen to get one of her daughters Adele (Sami Gayle) or Marie (Morgan Higgins) the gig.
McLean and Carmello are the bright spots in the show and if the show had been about these two, maybe we would actually have a show that could work. These two steal the show.
Cinderella has not one, but two what should have been show stopping numbers “I Know I Have A Heart (Because You Broke It)” and “Far Too Late,” but she does not have the vocals, the character development or the star power to carry them off.
The set and the revenge porn costumes by Gabriela Tylesova, are just over the top, with the storybook set faring much better than the over complicated flowered pastels that waltzed across the stage.
The direction by Laurence Connor is just dull and lacks oomph.
If you like buff men and Chippendale type choreography this is the show for you.
Bad Cinderella, Imperial Theatre, 249 West 45th Street.
Did You Know There Is A Kander & Ebb Way?
On Friday, March 24th, the 96-year-old John Kander was given a Mayoral Proclamation from Mayor Eric Adams in celebration of the first performance of his new Broadway musical New York, New York. Following the proclamation, Lin-Manuel Miranda unveiled the sign renaming 44th Steet ‘Kander & Ebb Way. On hand was the Manhattan School of Music to performed the iconic Kander & Ebb song “New York, New York.”
New York, New York opens Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at Broadway’s St. James Theatre (246 West 44th Street).
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