Wonderama is back, filming live from Times Square. Host Emmy nominee David Osmond and his and co-hosts Coco and Breezy Dotson are back with Burke Brickner, Lady Dragons, Kelvin Dukes, Qbone, Brooklyn Queen, Dr. Bernice A. King, Arizona Lindsey and Felipe Salines to liven up the Big Apple.
The beloved classic television show is bigger than ever in an unprecedented collaboration with the Times Square Alliance, the iconic program will stage a grand live production in the heart of New York City at Duffy Square and feature their larger than life Wonderwall on the screens of One Times Square, home to the famous New Year’s Eve Ball Drop.
The show record 26 exciting new episodes for Wonderama’s 2023-2024 television season.
Executive Producer Chuck Armstrong praised the high-caliber talent set to grace the show this season, stating, “The talent this year is absolutely amazing. We’re thrilled to bring some of the hottest new bands to our stage, including New York rockers Platinum Moon, South African sensation Stefan Benz, and the incomparable Sophia Angelica.”
This new season promises to deliver a dynamic fusion of cultures, showcasing a variety of musical styles in one of the world’s most visited locations.
Wonderama has long been celebrated for its ability to bring joy and entertainment to families across America. This season’s unique combination of talent, location, and live performances further solidifies its position as a leader in the television entertainment industry.
The taping will be
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Wonderama is a time-honored television show renowned for delivering top- tier family entertainment. With a focus on showcasing diverse talent and fostering family fun, Wonderama has long held a cherished place in American hearts. After a successful re-launch, the show continues to grow in popularity, bringing joy and entertainment to a new generation of families in over 90 million households each week.
The Glorious Corner
CHRIS CARTER — (Via Maz Digital) Chris Carter was 7 years old when his mother bought him Rubber Soul, the Beatles’ sixth studio album, at a ShopRite market in Wayne, New Jersey. Fifty-seven years later, he’s the ultimate Beatles expert as host for 22 years of Breakfast With the Beatles, a radio show carried each weekday on SiriusXM’s Beatles channel and Sundays on Los Angeles’ KLOS-FM. The show is celebrating its 40th anniversary, at the same time that music fans are marking the 60th anniversary of Beatlemania.
We talked with Carter about his unique position: He’s a musician too. Carter played bass in alternative rock band Dramarama in the 1980’s and 90’s. “I loved Paul’s bass playing, but I got into wanting to play the bass from listening to Grand Funk Railroad, Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper records. That really hooked me in.”He was in the right place when he got the job. Carter follows original host Deirdre O’Donoghue, who died in 2001.
The job offer call came just before he went to a Ringo Starr concert. “I knew once I got the job, I would be there ’til I died. This is one of those long-term things and I’m not going anywhere. “Prep keeps it fresh. “I have to handpick 60 Beatles songs a day, or solo Beatles songs, and have them pertain to that day—say, an anniversary or ‘today in Beatles history.’ There’s always something in Beatles history.” On Wednesdays, he spins a wheel to develop a topic for the show, such as “fifth Beatles” or “violins.” “I have to instantly put a set of songs together that matches that category.”
And news events also play a role. When Robbie Robertson of The Band passed recently, Carter made sure to note that by discussing and playing Ringo Starr’s “Sunshine Life for Me (Sail Away Raymond),” on which Robertson and other members of The Band played. “It never gets old. If they handed me a playlist, like they do for so many DJs, and said ‘Chris, play them,’ I would have no passion for that.” He was in the right place when he got the job.
Carter loves to provide tidbits about the songs he plays, so that listeners can experience them with fresh ears. “You’re dealing with 50- to 60-year-old music. If it’s not served up properly, you know, how many times can you hear ‘Hey Jude’? But if you put it in context, like this song was No. 1 for nine weeks. It was the first single over seven minutes long. And it was the first release on their own label. Most Beatles fans, they think they know a lot about the Beatles, but when you give them some information they might not know, then they’ll come back to you and listen again.” He broadcasts in front of a crowd. The satellite radio shows are put together in Carter’s home studio. But many of the shows for L.A. radio are broadcast live from one of three area venues. “I find it fun because in radio you never see your audience. Typically, you’re sitting in a room by yourself with a microphone. You could have maybe millions of people listening, but you don’t know who they are.
“The Beatles are fans. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have each called into the show for interviews, but Carter doesn’t have his head in the clouds about it. “They’ve got to sell a solo record. You’re on the radio. They need you for publicity. They know you’re there for them. Even though they’re the gods of the world, they still need you to sell their records.”SHORT TAKES — (Via Deadline) The meteoric political rise of George Santos and the web of fabulist tales it was built on are getting a movie treatment. HBO Films has optioned the rights to Mark Chiusano’s new book The Fabulist: The Lying, Hustling, Grifting, Stealing, and Very American Legend of George Santos, which was published on November 28, 2023. My only comment is, why? If this ever gets made, it will not be a hit. Exploitative? Definitely and not needed at all …
I’ve watched the two episodes of Hulu’s Fargo so far this season and though somehow intriguing, but didn’t I just see this show on Netflix – Who Is Erin Carter? Fargo’s creator Noah Hawley must have been transfixed by Carter. Odd for sure …
Also, just for the record, why was there so much Russian-dialogue in episode 4 of Apple TV+’s For All Mankind without any sub-titles? Clearly this show has suffered some major budget-cuts, but that was a huge error for sure. Ronald D. Moore’s creation started out brilliantly, but has become something like a space-age soap-opera. Sad for sure.
This show was among my favorites … I loved Chuck Lorre’s Big Bang Theory, so I was anxious to see his Bookie on MAX. Sebastian Maniscalco – who I don’t really get at all – left me somewhat underwhelmed. The show’s about a bookie – funny? Somehow it wasn’t. Even a cameo by Charlie Sheen w/o tiger blood was a letdown.
Very disappointed … Joe Cocker-scribe Mark Bego speaks to Zach Martin Wednesday for his NEWHD outpost …
HAPPY BDAY Randy Newman and RIP one of the most adventurous, creative and intriguing women I’ve ever known, Mica Ertegun.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Kent and Laura Denmark; Steve Leeds; Ira Robbins; Richard Branciforte; Eppy; Barry Fisch; Frank Patz; Bobby Bank; Roger Clark; Edmond O’ Brien; Jonathan Clyde; Richard Johnson; James Edstrom; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Kent Kotal; Bob Kaus; and BELLA!
Music News: Julie Benko, Karen Mason, Debbie Wileman, Klea Blackhurst, Jim Caruso, Billy Stritch, KT Sullivan, Jeff Harnar, Stacy Sullivan and Todd Murray
CLUB44 RECORDS has released “The Man with the Bag” – the festive and swinging new single from breakout Broadway star Julie Benko. Her full debut holiday EP Christmas with You has also just been released. After skyrocketing to fame as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl on Broadway last season, Julie has returned to the New York stage in Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman’s wonderful musical Harmony. “The Man with the Bag” is arranged by Jason Yeager. The EP Christmas with You is produced by Julie Benko and Jason Yeager, with arrangements by Jason Yeager.
Birdland Jazz Club will present the return of Broadway, recording and concert star Karen Mason for her annual holiday show “Christmas! Christmas! Christmas!” on Monday, December 11 at 7:00 PM. With Karen’s unique interpretations of holiday classics old and new, the holidays will never be the same. Sassy, brassy, and tinged with confessional monologs, this show includes a slinky arrangement of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” a heartfelt “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and more.
Debbie Wileman, the singing sensation who captured world-wide attention during the global pandemic with her uncanny recreation of Judy Garland’s legendary voice, as she makes her return to Carnegie Hall on Sunday, December 10, 2023 as the star of “Judy Garland” We Need a Little Christmas.”
Debbie will be joined by special guests, including the legendary Tony Award-winning Broadway icon Chita Rivera and Academy Award winner Margaret O’Brien, the iconic film, radio, television and stage actress and one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema, with more guests to be announced. (subject to change)
Debbie will be accompanied by a live orchestra, conducted by award-winning musical director and arranger Steve Orich. She will take to the stage to perform Judy’s signature Christmas songs as well as newly arranged holiday hits that Judy may have performed if she were with us today.
Birdland Jazz Club will present the 14th Annual “A Swinging Birdland Christmas” – starring vocalists Klea Blackhurst, Jim Caruso, and Billy Stritch – for five performances from Thursday, December 21to Monday, December 25 at 5:30 PM. The December 22 show will be available as a special livestream, with tickets available HERE. This wildly successful extravaganza has been celebrating the holidays at this historic music room since 2010. In the tradition of beloved seasonal specials, the trio of singers will perform swinging arrangements of “The Christmas Waltz,” Kay Thompson’s “Holiday Season,” “Sleigh Ride,” “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” “Snow,” and “It Happened in Sun Valley,” among other favorites. The show will also include a musical tribute to Birdland regular Freddy Cole, who was also a holiday tradition. The vocalists will be joined by Steve Doyle on bass and Daniel Glass on drums.
54 Below, Broadway’s Supper Club, presents four award-winning New York cabaret favorites KT Sullivan, Jeff Harnar, Stacy Sullivan and Todd Murray with Music Director jazz virtuoso Jon Weber in the New York debut of We Love The Winter Weather Songs of the Holidays on Tuesday December 5th at 7pm, in-person and with a livestream option.
The show is an eclectic and entertaining holiday songbook including songwriters Irving Berlin, Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn, Carol Hall, Peter Yarrow, Mel Torme and David Friedman. The seasonal spotlight shines musically on traditional favorites as well as surprises including “Grandma,” Elvis, Peggy Lee and a “Short Attention Span Theater” retelling of the film White Christmas with the quartet donning the roles of Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Vera Ellen and Danny Kaye. This show had its debut at The Brownville Concert Hall in Brownville, Nebraska. This quintet of talent will send you out believing “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
Inside the Roku Holiday Bash to Celebrate a Season of Giving
Talk about a perfect way to celebrate the holidays!
Roku’s holiday event last night dazzled the tastemakers and influencers of New York City.
Guests were thrilled to enjoy the splendid soiree that showcased Roku’s full ecosystem of products, leading operating system, and newly launched All Things Food and All Things Home destinations.
Roku is a one-stop-shop for all of your gift giving needs with a range of products to choose from no matter your budget, including TVs, streaming players, audio devices, and smart home products.
Be sure to check out Roku’s Holiday Promotions:
- Now through 12/02: $15 off Express 4K+, $20 off RSS 4K
- Now through 12/09: $30 off Roku Ultra
- 12/03 through 12/30: $5 off Express, $10 off Express 4K+, $10 off RSS 4K
- 12/17 through 12/30: $30 off Roku Streambar
The Glorious Corner
TAP 2 — (Via Rock Cellar) Doubling down after a May 2022 report that indicated everything was a go for a sequel to 1984’s classic comedy/music industry satire This Is Spinal Tap, filmmaker Rob Reiner has now confirmed that plans are taking shape in a big way.
Not only is the sequel on tap (pun intended) to begin filming in early 2024, but Reiner recently told comedian/podcast host Richard Herring that “everybody’s back” for the sequel. This no doubt refers to principal cast members Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest, though Tony Hendra (who portrayed the band’s manager, Ian Faith, passed away in 2021).
The U.K.’s Guardian notes that the plot will reportedly center on Faith’s death, after which his widow inherits a contract that requires the band to do one last concert. Reiner is also due to return in the character of film-maker Marty DiBergi, a figure supposedly based on Martin Scorsese, who had directed celebrated music documentary The Last Waltz in 1976.
What’s more, Reiner also spilled the beans that appearances from Sirs Paul McCartney and Elton John and Garth Brooks are in the works too, among what one must assume will be a million other amusing cameos. After all, a film as beloved and influential as the original This Is Spinal Tap counts pretty much every living musician as a fan (give or take), so you know the sequel will hold nothing back when it comes to the entertainment factor.
In the podcast, Reiner also talked about This Is Spinal Tap’s remarkable afterlife, culminating in selection for the National Film Registry in 2002, after its initially unfavourable reception on its first release. “To wind up in the National Film Registry, that’s bizarre,” Reiner said. “We previewed it in a theatre in Dallas, Texas, and the people didn’t know what the heck they were looking at. They came up to me afterwards and said, ‘I don’t understand, why would you make a movie about a band that no one has ever heard of, and they are so bad? Why would you ever do that? Why don’t you make a movie about the Beatles or the Rolling Stones?’ I would say, ‘It’s satire,’ and I tried to explain. But over the years people got it, and started to like it.”
Personally, I found the 1984 original movie just hilarious. Aside from a great send-up of the music biz, the cameos were just fascinating: Paul Shaffer as PR-man Artie Fufkin; Dana Carvey and Billy Crystal as ‘mime’ waiters; Fred Willard; Anjelica Houston; Russ Kunkel; Danny Kortchmar and Fran Drescher as promo-gal Bobbi Fleckman … all just inspired.
Reiner’s on a roll – his Albert Brooks doc Defending My Life is sensational. A must-see.
Maybe an update of The Monkees’ HEAD next?
SHORT TAKES — Mark Bego’s Joe Cocker tome hit #4 on theAmazon charts this week. Here’s a great review from Goldmine on the book by their Lee Zimmerman: https://l.messenger.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goldminemag.com%2Freviews%2Fjoe-cocker-book-shines-light-on-unfortunate-undercurrents-of-a-stars-career&h=AT2zaG2QKuxuHdpJO1nPHKaiO7IWkbAHCBRAeq3m4-J45axSc_wBott7ABve8Wcd7GpQC13gybDWb2Hale6D809pTdtqqmpDoxC4u6FLA7SNNJ2jHbVKKpSaH1kxX4Ide1AyXDJXSZL2idNWvOch4A
… Micky Dolenz sang “Silly Love Songs” at Monday’s Troubadour benefit for Denny Laine and our spy said he really rocked it. Maybe a Dolenz Sings McCartney album is next? … So, Merriam-Webster’s word of the year is authentic? Interesting choice for sure …
Writer and reporter Pablo Guzman passed this last weekend. An original member of The Young Lords, Guzman was a fierce fighter and brilliant writer. On Fox 5/Good Day NY for decades, he most recently was a reporter at WCBS. Here’s the Daily News take: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12799071/Legendary-NYC-news-anchor-Pablo-Guzman-dies-aged-73-Big-Apple-veteran-reporter-dubbed-son-Bronx-founded-Puerto-Rican-activist-group-Young-Lords-journalist.html …
And it’s official, the NY-launch for the Mark Bego Joe Cocker book will be Tuesday, January 9 at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Sara Gore; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Daryl Estrea; Tony King; Ace Shortly; Kjersti and Jeremy Long; Debbie Gibson; Van Dean; Liz Skollar; Maude Adams; Robert Vaughn; Steve McQueen; Zach Martin; Coati Mundi; Avery Sharp; Steve Walter; Gary Gershoff; Jane Blunkell; Kimberly Cornell; Paul Iorio; Lee Jeske; MArt Ostrow; Peter Shendell; Sharon White; and ZIGGY!
Countdown to Christmas: A Sweet Treat For Christmas and Chunakah
24 days to go! Every year people panic to find the perfect gift. We at T2C have been collecting idea’s all year long to bring you the perfect gift guide at all price levels. When you’re at the end of your rope trying to find the perfect Christmas present this year, come to this guide for some great suggestions.
I am starting first with Chanukah which starts December 7th. Here are great little surprises and treats. First up are these festive Chocolate Dreidels ($14) are handmade with the finest chocolate, and filled with milk chocolate gold-foiled Gelt coins for a surprise inside that never disappoints. They make a great addition at any Chanukah celebration everyone will love! Each Dreidel contains 3 coins. Gluten Free. Kosher Certified.
Then there are the adorable Menorah Pops. At $4.95 its a sin not to indulge.
Their unique selection of Chocolate Gift Boxes, Towers and Gift Baskets stand out among New York’s discerning chocolate enthusiasts. We loved the box of 30 Chocolate Mini Presents at $25 these bite-sized solid premium milk chocolates wrapped in Italian foil are perfect for filling stockings or party favors. Gluten Free. Kosher Certified.
Li-Lac Chocolates are fresh, gourmet chocolate hand-crafted in small batches for exceptional quality and superior taste. They also come in dairy free, sugar free and Kosher certified making them perfect for the family. These chocolates are creamy, tasty and so delightfully sinful.
Handmade in Brooklyn, not only are you supporting a local business but freshness is guaranteed.
Li Lac Chocolates are now my go to chocolate place for gifts.
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