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Incredible Guitarist Gary Lucas Offers a 40th Anniversary Show on 9/11 at Le Poisson Rouge

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Gary Lucas’ 40th Anniversary Show
8 – 10pm
Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street

Tickets: https://bit.ly/3B70RWB

I’m always happy to exploit a chance to tout the virtues of the late musical game-changer, Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet). Being in his Magic Band was a feather in the cap for any musician. So, not only did the fantastic guitarist Gary Lucas play in his band for the latter part of its history, but he also served as Beefheart’s manager and press liaison in the ’80s. Quite a transition from doing marketing for a major label such as Columbia, it demonstrated Lucas’ versatility in art and in life.

Beefheart created music that not only influences bands to this day, but is still difficult to affix any label to it. Part atonal avant-garde music mixed with jazz and blues, it takes a dexterous player to perform his complex pieces. Having been called, “One of the 100 Greatest Living Guitarists” by Classic Rock Magazine, Lucas was up to the task — and to this day keeps Beefheart’s musical legacy alive through shows and recordings. 

But he not only contended with Beefheart, he grappled with the late singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley and his emotionally trying life which ended far too early in an accidental drowning. In mid-1991, Buckley began co-writing with Lucas resulting in the songs “Grace” and “Mojo Pin” and by late ’91 began performing with Lucas’ band Gods and Monsters around New York City. The day after they officially debuted in March 1992, Buckley left the band.

Wrangling with complex music and people has marked his long career which included a constant travel schedule until the lockdown. In order to keep out there and keep his fans happy, Lucas did regular live performances on Facebook throughout. 

In addition, a new recording came out this July, “Le Beast Concrète” — a collaboration with multi-genre producer David Sisko. Mixing Lucas’ guitar (both from studio and field recordings) and Sisko’s electronics, synthesis & beats, it can be considered a “genre-fluid” mix of blues, rock, dance, trap and avant-garde sounds. 

Now decades later, this Grammy-nominated guitarist/songwriter/composer is celebrating his 40 years of creative work. Lucas has released over 35 albums as a leader in multiple genres including jazz, rock, avant-garde, world, classical, folk and electronica. In addition and played on countless others. The 60-something has performed in 40-plus countries including China, Russia, India. Japan, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, and all over Eastern and Western Europe. But this former Syracuse native makes his home in NYC for many years and reflects the city’s diversity as well.

A partial list of artists he’s worked and collaborated with includes Jeff Buckley, Captain Beefheart, Future Sound of London, Nona Hendryx, Chris Cornell, Patti Smith, Peter Hammill, Lou Reed, John Cale, Los Van Van, and the Plastic People of the Universe.

So when a label decided to release a extended overview of his career it’s no wonder that Lucas’s new retrospective double album “The Essential Gary Lucas” (Knitting Factory Records) — spans over 40 years of music running at 160 minutes . This release includes 12 rare and unreleased tracks and continues to receive excellent reviews and airplay internationally. The physical CD is now in its second pressing.

In addition, from 8pm to 10pm on Saturday, September 11th 2021, Lucas celebrates these 40 years of innovative music with an all-star show at NYC’s Le Poisson Rouge. Lucas will perform solo, in duo format, and with his longtime jazz-rock supergroup Gods And Monsters, featuring Ernie Brooks (Modern Lovers) bass, Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads) keyboards, Billy Ficca (Television) drums, and Jason Candler (Hungry March Band) sax.

Special guests include Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) guitar, and vocalists Richard Barone, Felice Rosser, and Emily Duff.

With that in mind, this acclaimed guitarist, songwriter and composer answered a few questions about his up-coming performance on 9/11.

Q: how do you select the material from over four decades of work to perform live? How did you change things up?

GL: I chose some songs I haven’t played in years with the guys, like “Jedwabne:”– and some I know the audience wants to hear, like “Grace.”

I tried to select some cool music from all phases of my 40 year career—but of course, having put over 35 albums out to date, there’s going to be something missing for some of my fans I’m sure 

Q: Can you mention some songs and their significance?

GL: “Jedwabne” is a song about an infamous pogrom against the Jewish community in July 1941 in a little town in Poland where my relatives on my mother’s side came from. I wanted to commemorate this event as it has been a controversial subject in Poland since a book came about by Professor Jan Gross titled “Neighbors” which looked into this incident deeply—and discovered that many of the non-Jewish neighbors of the Jews incinerated in the Jedwabne community were all too willing and complicit in this pogrom, which took place under German occupation. 

I attended an official government apology ceremony in July 2001 held in Jedwabne —and was motivated to commemorate the event in that song, which was on the last studio Gods and Monsters album “The Ordeal of Civility.”  

Since then they’ve passed laws in Poland making it a crime to speak about the Holocaust in connection with any possibility of Polish people sharing responsibility for this atrocity, which is patent nonsense. The government there even tried to rescind numerous prizes awarded to Prof. Gross for his research, in fact. Orwellian is not quite the word for this. I thought it was important to commemorate the story of Jedwabne in song, and thus have brought it back for this 40th anniversary show, 

Another important song is “Lady of Shalott.” The lyrics to this are by the UK expat writer David Dalton, who has written some excellent biographies of James Dean, Marianne Faithfull and others Many years ago we were introduced by the late Steve Paul (founder of the legendary 60’s club The Scene in NYC amongst other things). David’s best friend is Marianne Faithfull, and he approached me about putting music to lyrics he had written for her to sing—a kind of gloss on Alfred Lord Tennyson’s famous poem “The Lady of Shalott.” which is based on Arthurian legend. 

I found his lyrics haunting and came up with what I think is appropriately haunting music. I demoed it up and Steve presented it to Marianne, who said it wasn’t in her key! A good song is a good song, so I decided to adapt this for my group, and revised the personal pronouns in some of the lyrics but essentially left them alone. One of the rare instances when I let someone else’s lyrics come first to drive the songwriting process! 

When Jeff Buckley and I worked together, I would always come up with the music first, then pass it on to him to put lyrics and a vocal melody to. I think the song came out great and I am happy to perform it again in this show!

Q: How much will you improvise and how much will be fixed?

It will be about 50% composed and 50% improvised music.

Q: Was Beefheart’s music composed?

GL: Yes absolutely—only he was allowed to improvise.

I recall that when we played this incredible show at the Beacon Theater in Nov. 1980 with James Blood Ulmer opening, my friend, the saxophonist Tim Berne came up to me and said, “I could never play the same parts every night like you guys did.”

He was referring to the fact that the only improv allowed on the gig was by Don Van Vliet himself. I told Tim that it didn’t bother me, as it was total ecstasy playing Don’s music. 

In that, it was like modern classical music. You had to adhere to the parts or the whole thing would have collapsed. What sounds like random playing on the part of the band in spots was all meticulously rehearsed and worked out,

Q: Of course working with the Captain was enough to establish you in history. Every time I listen to him I hear something new. Is that the same for you when you play his music? What is it that drove you to want to work with him?

GL: Yes Don was a staggeringly powerful artist and I found his overall presence overwhelming. When I met Don I was ready for magic in my life; everything seemed very flat and boring at that time. After seeing his debut show in NYC I knew I had found it.

Q: You’ve written much about Jeff Buckley is there anything about Jeff that you want to add or summarize?

Jeff was the most gifted all-round musician I ever met and collaborated with. I can’t praise his musical ability enough. I feel really blessed to have worked with him.

GL: When Jeff died the world lost a rare treasure. An artist of that quality doesn’t come along, maybe only once in a generation. Personally I was devastated by both the loss of a friend and the greatest collaborator I’ve ever known.

Q: You’ve worked with such amazing people as Don and Jeff –do you there is something in common with these artists and you?

GL: Yes, I have been blessed to work with some of the creme de la creme of modern musical artists. I think they recognized a simpatico sensibility and sensitivity in me as a player and collaborator that made for mutual attraction– what can I say:?

Q: What are your goals as far as writing and playing music for folks around the world?

GL: I think wherever I go in the world (and I’ve traveled and played in over 40 countries to date, including Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico, Scandinavia, Israel, Serbia, all over Eastern and Western Europe, Brazil, Colombia , Morocco, Canada and of course the US) I meet bored people looking for something different, something special, something that will bring a sense of wonder into their lives. And I aim to provide that experience as best I can with my guitar playing—which leans heavily on the blues, which I find to be universal—everybody feels pain and everyone experiences joy (another kind of blues) in their lives. 

But beyond that I try to bring the X-Factor into my playing  in ways designed to elevate, comfort, astonish and delight—to provoke the response “I never heard such music played like that before”. That’s my mission.

For more information go to: http://www.garylucas.com

Art

Events for March

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St. Patrick’s Day, Women’s History Month, a Harlem Renaissance exhibit at the Met with160 works by Black artists. Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature,at The Morgan Library & Museum through 6/9. The Orchid show continues until 4/21 at the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. 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.

3/1 -3: The Vienna Philharmonic one of the world’s most celebrated orchestras, takes center stage at Carnegie Hall.

3/3 -5: Coffee Fest NY Javits.

3/3 -5: International Beauty Show Javits.

3/6 – 10: The New Colossus Festival provides a platform for new artists, including international bands making their NYC debuts. The festival will take place across multiple venues mostly spread throughout the Lower East Side and the East Village, including Bowery Electric, Mercury Lounge, Berlin, Heaven Can Wait, and others. This year’s artists include Cucamaras (UK), Ducks LTD (Canada), Heffner (US), Holiday Ghosts (UK), Hotel Lux (UK), Housewife (Canada), and more. You can check out the full lineup and schedule of events here.

3/8: International Women’s Day 

Steven Reineke by Michael Tammaro, Bryan Terrell Clark by Asher Angeles, Valisia LeKae by Antonio Navas

3/15: The New York Pops Hitsville: Celebrating Motown

3/1 -17: The Annual Flamenco Festival with 22 performances across 13 different venues all over the city.

3/1 -17: The New York International Children’s Film FestivalHappy St. Patricks Day
3/17: Join in on the 263rd celebration of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC. The parade kicks off at 11am, moving along Fifth Avenue from 44th Street to 82nd Street. This year’s grand marshal, Maggie Timoney, president and CEO of Heineken USA, is only the fifth woman to lead the parade since its inception.

3/20 -24: Affordable Art Fair with over 400 living artists to discover you are sure to find your next perfect artwork.

3/23 – 11/: JAPAN Fes, in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. This is the largest Japanese food festival in the world, with over 1,000 vendors.

The Macy Flower Show

3/24 – 4/7: The Annual Macy’s Flower Show created in partnership with Dior.

3/26 – 10/2: Apollo: When We Went to the Moon at The Intrepid Museum. The exhibit is included with museum admission.

3/29 – 4/7: The International Auto Show at the Javitts.

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Cabaret

Cabaret, Talks and Concerts For March

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Brave the rain and head out to the clubs for they abound in entertainment galore. Here are our top picks.

92 Street Y: 1395 Lexington Ave. 3/ 2 – 4: Soul Picnic: The Songs and Legacy of Laura Nyro; 3/ 11: Cabaret Conversations Sally Mayes and 3/18: The Ally: Josh Radnor and Playwright Itamar Moses in Conversation Co-presented with The Public Theater.

 

Karen Mason

Birdland Jazz: 315 West 44 St. Every Monday at 5:30 Vince Giordano and The Nighthawksand 9:30pm Jim Caruso’s Cast Party; Every Tuesday at 8:30pm The Lineup with Susie Mosher; 3/11: It’s De-Lovely: Jeff Harnar Sings Cole Porter and 3/25: Karen Mason In “Just In Styne: Karen Sings Jule”.

 

Orfeh

Cafe Carlyle: 35 E 76th St. 2/1-3: Through 3/2: Jennifer Holliday; 3/3 – 4: Mallory Portnoy and Nick Blaemire; 3/5 – 20: Hamilton Leithauser and 3/21 -23: Orfeh.

Steven Reineke by Michael Tammaro, Bryan Terrell Clark by Asher Angeles, Valisia LeKae by Antonio Navas

Carnegie Hall: 881 7th Ave at 57th St. 3/15: The New York Pops Hitsville: Celebrating Motown; 3/20: of Sinéad O’Connor and Shane MacGowan; 3/23: Meow, Meow and  3/27: Standard Time with Michael Feinstein.

Michael Feinstein

Chelsea Table + Stage: Hilton Fashion District Hotel, 152 W 26th St. 3/10: Klea Blackhurst; 3/11: Mark MacKillop and 3/16: Randy Edelman.

Klea Blackhurst

Don’t Tell Mama: 343 W. 46 St. 3/3: Marcus Simone & Tracy Stark and 3/16: Lucille Carr-Kaffashan.

The DJango: 2 Avenue of the Americas.

Ann Hampton Callaway

Dizzys Club Coca Cola: Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street. 3/8 – 10: Ann Hampton Callaway and 3/21; Songbook Sundays Rodgers and Hammerstein.

54 Below: 254 West 54 St. 3/1: The Leading Lady Club: A Celebration of Women on Broadway and Beyond; 3/2 – 3 : Alysha Umphress: 15 Stories; 3/4: Songs From Women At The Table; 3/6: Hugh Panaro: Man Without A Mask; 3/8- 9: Christine Andreas: Paris to Broadway; 3/15 – 16: Melba Moore: From Broadway, With Love; 3/19: 54 Celebrates The Marquis Theatre, feat. Kate Baldwin, John Bolton, & more!; 3/20 – 21 and 23: Leslie Uggams; 3/22: My First Sondheim; 3/24: A Gentleman’s Guide 10th Anniversary Celebration, feat. Lauren Worsham & more!; 3/25: The Wicked Stage: Songs About Show Business, Hosted by Christine Pedi;  3/26 – 27:  Nicole Henry: Decades of Diva; 3/28: Ute Lemper: Rendezvous with Marlene and 3/29 – 30: Andrea McArdle: Confessions of a Broadway Baby.

Andrea McArdle

Andrea McArdle Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

The Green Room 42: 570 10th Ave. 3/4: Figaro a New Musical; 3/22: An Acoustic Evening with Sondheim & Melissa Melissa Errico; 3/23: Nic and Desi: 3/23: Joshua Turchin Composers In The Green Room 42 and 3/24: Reeve Carney.

Sony Hall: 235 W. 46th St.

Theatre at the West Bank Café: 407 West 42 St. 3/2,3, 9,10, 16, 17, 23,24, 30 and 31: Lucky Cheng’s Drag Brunch.The Triad: 158 W. 72 St. 3/16: Stay Golden – The Golden Girls Drag Tribute!The Town Hall: 123 West 43rd Street. 3/4: RuPaul The House Of Hidden Meanings

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Cabaret

Moonlight and Love Songs 

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And so promised Steve Ross in his new show at Birdland, and he delivered both with his customary style, wit, and superb interpretations. This fabled music room takes on the hush of a cathedral when Steve performs there, evidenced by the silent reverence of the audience throughout his performance. Sporting his subtle homage to Cole Porter—a red carnation—Steve began the evening with tunes that described being on the brink of that most coveted of falls, and as the inevitable approached, his carefully curated selections become more tantalizing. Never has “On a Slow Boat to China” been more inviting– sign me up now! A few moon-titled songs followed, including one written by Steve himself. His guest star, Nina Wachenfeld, sang in German and seemed to conjure up Marlene as a bonus.    

Kurt Weill and his haunting melodies were presented next, with appropriate tribute given to that great American wordsmith, Ogden Nash. Another aspect of the topic of the evening was Steve’s review of a few songs about love at first sight. Messrs, Coward and Porter put their two cents in, with the penultimate and heartbreaking “This Nearly Was Mine” putting a twinge in the heart of everyone as only Rodgers & Hammerstein can. Cole then did what he does best: teased and tickled the memory with his thoughts on the matter. 

Steve’s ability to find new ways to make all these songs new for an audience is part of his wonder. He snapped us out of our dreamy reveries with a joke and then the ever-hilarious “Dolphins” and then encouraged everyone to do what we were aching to do—sing along to some classics from the 1940s. He has an uncanny ability to know what an audience wants and needs and switched the dial to drama with Dietz and Schwartz’s haunting “Dancing in the Dark”.  The charming conclusion to this Valentine was the duet of “Married”. I have tried many times to dissect the magic Steve brings to his music and never quite capture it with words. You just must see it for yourself! A performance by Steve Ross is indeed transformative, as his ever-full audiences will attest.   

In between engagements on both sides of the Atlantic, Steve appears regularly at Birdland. Check his website for future appearances, and possibly even a master class! 

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Music

Jason Robert Brown’s The Connector Is Intelligent, Thought Provoking and Musically Seamless

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“The truth is not about the facts – forgive me. The facts can always be manipulated, arranged, massaged – We are not purveyors of facts, we are tellers of truths.” …..Or are we?

The Connector now playing at at MCC’s Newman Mills Theater space, has twice been extended and in all honesty should move to Broadway this season. If it did it would stands a massive chance of being nominated or winning Best Musical, Best Score, Best Orchestration, Best Direction, Best Lead Actor and many of the technical awards. I wouldn’t be surprised if it sweeps the Drama Desk and The Outer Critics Circle Awards come award season.

Set in 1996 at a newspaper called “The Connector”, this unrivaled purveyor of “the truth and nothing but the truth,” is about to be put to the test. Enter Ethan Dobson (the remarkable Ben Levi Ross), fresh out of Princeton who’s arrived with talent, guts and a smarmy style.

Scott Bakula, Ben Levi Ross By Joan Marcus

Ethan has long admired and longs to work for the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Conrad O’Brien (welcome back to the fabulous Scott Bakula), who is being over run by new owners, who care more about circulation and the color turquoise, than facts.

Jessica Molaskey By Joan Marcus

The first person Ethan meets and the voice of a collective conscience is Robin Martinez (normally played by Hannah Cruz, but at my performance Ashley Pérez Flanagan). At first attracted to Ethan, Robin starts to see the cracks, as does fact checker, Muriel (a layered performance by Jessica Molaskey). Right from the start, she does not like or trust Ethan. Nor do we. In a strange way, this almost seems like a musicalized version of “The Talented Mr. Ripley”.

As Conrad takes Ethan under his wing, we see three of his stories, each done in a different musical style. The first is about an eccentric West Village scrabble player (the terrific Max Crumm). With a “Rhythm of Life” feel, Ethan becomes an over night success with circulation increasing and a fan by the name of Mona Bland (a memorable Mylinda Hull) who will end up being his downfall.

Fergie Philippe, Hannah Cruz, and Ben Levi Ross Photo: Joan Marcus

The next story is about the take down of the mayor of Jersey City, done in rap/ gangland style that gets him a nomination for the prestigious National Magazine Award. As his source Willis, Fergie Philippe gives his all, but the problem we soon find out, is that though the story is sensational, there are gaping holes in the facts, which Muriel, Robin and Mona glaringly see. 

In the end who is Ethan really? What is truth and what is fact? Does the public really care or do they just want sensationalism? Has the world really gotten over its sexism? It’s racialism? Sadly, I don’t think so. Everything becomes the movie of the week and then goes away until the next big scandal.

The Connector was conceived and directed by Daisy Prince, who does a remarkable job and asks some really intelligent questions. She has also gathered a fabulous cast, who makes this show seem real, relevant and up to date.

Ben Levi Ross By Joan Marcus

Ben Levi Ross will remind you of Jessie Einsenburg. He is loaded with talent. Not only does he posses a vocal prowess that is unmatched, his nuances and phenomenal acting choices make him so watchable. He is like an onion slowly peeling away each delicate layer. He is seriously brilliant.


As Robin, I saw the understudy who is about to take over the role, Ashley Pérez Flanagan. She sings and acts well, but lacks some of the nuances that originally made me want to see this show. I fell in love with the song “Cassandra” in 2017 and either Jason Robert Brown rewrote some of the notes or they were different in the production I saw. This song is pivotal to the show, as the lyrics talk about how women writers are written off.

“Half the stories of the world are left unwritten, half the stories have been lost along the way. And so the people of the world will not encounter, anything but one perspective, one reflection, one directive, male and white and unenlightened, every day. It’s easy for you, it’s easy for you and I’m missing it”

These are the lyrics by Jason Robert Brown for “Cassandra”. Not only is his music rich in rhythm and style, but it reaches into your soul to take capture. His lyrics hit at the heart of pain, truth, anger and honesty. Each song is a playlet with character-driven narratives and stand on their own. Smartly his band is electric and musically I could sit through this show every night of the week and hear new emotional tugs. I am so excited to announce the album will be released in late spring by Concord Theatricals Recording, because I want to listen to these songs again and again. A plus is JRB is on the piano playing with his band.

Jonathan Marc Sherman’s book is funny, terrifying and taps on timely issues, however I did want more as to the why’s and psychology of Ethan, but maybe that’s the point, we don’t understand the why’s and never will.

Not only is the show wonderfully done, but the raw masterful set by Beowulf Boritt, lighting by and projection design by Janette Oi-Suk Yew and choreography by Karla Puno Garcia are shear perfection.

You will not be able to stop thinking about this show, that is full of thought provoking ideas on journalistic integrity and the difference between fact and truth. This is a show not to be missed and that’s a fact.

The Connector: MCC Theater Space, 511 W 52nd Street, through March 17th.

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Broadway

The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

MORE MURDER — (Via Deadline) Sophie Ellis-Bextor is gearing up to tour around North America for the first time and adding more cities for fans to see her perform “Murder on the Dance Floor” live.

The British singer’s song is featured in the final scene of Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn, where Barry Keoghan’s Oliver dances naked around the manor. After the scene went viral, the song, co-written by Ellis-Bextor and Gregg Alexander, also went viral on social media. “Murder on the Dance Floor” was originally released in 2001, but it never charted on the Billboard Hot 100 until now, peaking at 51 recently.

Ellis-Bextor recently made an appearance on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon where she performed the viral hit and the star is now embarking on a North America tour.

The artist announced her first-ever live show in NYC, set to take place on June 6 at Webster Hall, and the date quickly sold out. Ellis-Bextor has now announced more dates across the U.S. and Canada that will take her to San Francisco, San Diego, Boston, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia.

“Oh my… the New York show sold out in a day! Thank you thank you thank you,” Ellis-Bextor said in her newsletter announcing the additional tour dates. “So – how about some more shows in some more cities?! My band and I are coming for you! Super excited. Come and dance with me….”

May 30: August Hall (San Francisco, CA)May 31: The Observatory North Park (San Diego, CA)June 3: 9:30 Club (Washington D.C.)June 4: Royale Boston (Boston, MA)June 5: Union Transfer (Philadelphia, PA)June 6: Webster Hall (New York City, NY)June 8: Danforth Music Hall (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

I love this record, because its an actual song. Sure, they repeat the title about three-dozen times, but its a great track.

Neil Diamond and Micky Dolenz

NOISE CLOSES — (Via Deadline) Broadway’s A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical will play its final performance on Sunday, June 30, before launching a national tour this fall, producers announced today.

The musical, which began previews on November 2, 2022, at the Broadhurst Theatre and opened that year on December 4, will have played 35 preview performances and 657 regular performances when it closes.

As I’ve said, early reviews of the show, kind of stopped me from going to this. An artist who is even referenced in the play said to me ‘why would I go to a play that got bad reviews.’ Understood.

But, I did see it and absolutely loved it. Of course, I’m somewhat on the business side and loved all the insider-nuances. And, I saw it with the original performers in it.

There will be a national tour and I predict it will be a huge hit as Diamond’s music is multi-generational. As I’ve said, I preferred Diamond’s “Solitary Man”-period more than “America” and “I Am, I Said.” Although, “Turn On Your Heart Light” (written with Carole Bayer Sager and Burt Bacharach) was a great record.

An icon for certain.

SHORT TAKES — Warner’s second Aquaman movie; Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will stream on MAX on February 27. The first Aquaman movie, out in 2018, remains the highest-grossing DC film of all time. The sequel, after a plethora of media, mostly about Amber Heard, disappeared in a matter of weeks … Broadway-journeyman and Rockers On Broadway-creator Donnie Kehr recupping. Get well soon brother! … Keith Girard’s New York Independent featured an interview with 17-old wunderkind Kjersti Long. Check it out: https://www.thenyindependent.com/music/1704991/kjersti-long-17-explores-her-jersey-roots-by-way-of-utah-with-power-pop-style-video/

Pet Shop Boys

Just listened to the Pet Shop Boys “West End Girls.” What a tremendous record that hold up amazingly well all these years later. It came out in 1984 and produced by Bobby Orlando … Amazon shuttering Freevee? First off, as an offshoot of Amazon, this has got to be one of the worst monikers ever! I mean, FreeVee ... always sounded like frisbee!  Adios … Thursday’s Law & Order was the ode to Sam Waterston’s Jack McCoy-character (Last Dance).

Sam Waterston

After 404 episodes, we had to say goodbye. It wasn’t the greatest episode, but when McCoy took over the case and presented it to the jury, Waterston shone brightly. When McCoy said to Hugh Dancy (Nolan Ryan), it was a hell of a ride, it resonated terrifically. Thanks Jack! …

True Detective

I loved the finale on HBO of True Detective with Jodie Foster and Kali Reis. I didn’t understand it all, but the look and direction (by Issa Lopez) and Jodie Foster was just superb. I had forgotten just how good an actress Foster was. Sure, she was good in Nyad, but it was a supporting role. Here, she was just stellar. I’d like to see more of her …

Micky Jones

It was a grim week medically speaking as talk-show hostess Wendy Williams was diagnosed with aphasia and dementia and Mick Jones of Foreigner, with Parkinson’s. Sending prayers to both … And finally, news surfaced Thursday that an “inebriated” Andy Cohen harassed Brandi Glanville. I don’t know Andy at all, but his bad-boy antics of the last several years were clearly leading to something like this. Glanville’s lawyers even invoked NBC’s Matt Lauer in their brief. Expect a huge media brouhaha over this one. Sad for sure … Happy Bday Lou Christie; Niki Avers and Chloe Gaier.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Steve Walter; Obi Steinman; Felix Cavaliere; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Kent Kotal; Ace Frehley; Alex Saltzman; Lush Ice; Tony King; Barry Zelman; Justin Ridener; Kent & Laura Denmark; Mark Bego; Mark Scheerer; Barbara Shelley; and SADIE!

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