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Summer movie Preview

With the weather getting warmer, teens wearing less and less clothing, and superhero trailers during every commercial break can only means one thing, summer is almost here. This summer, movie theaters will be riddled with superheroes fighting on screen, sequels we didn’t know that we wanted, and video game franchises making their big screen debut. Here is a list of the upcoming summer releases that should be on your radar.


Captain America: Civil War

May 6th

In their 13th entry in their cinematic universe, Captain America: Civil War pits superhero vs. superhero in the ultimate showdown fans alike have been waiting for. Following the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the world wants to hold the Avengers accountable for the collateral damage that they leave in the wake while fighting evil. This causes a rift between the Avengers, forcing the team to either choose to team between Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). Whose side are you on? Do you join team Cap side with Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner)? Or do you side with Iron Man, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Vision (Paul Bettany) and making their big-screen debut in the connected universe, Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)? Marvel has recently come out and said that Civil War is the answer to the announcement of Batman vs Superman. With the mixed reception of BvS and critical success of every Marvel film to date, Civil War is looking to kick the summer off with a bang.

X-Men: Apocalypse

May 27th

Thanks to the divide between Marvel and Fox continues that still doesn’t allow for the X-Men to be featured in the Marvel connected universe, the X-Men franchise rolls on. Digging deep into their lore, long-time fan favorite villain Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) makes his big screen debut as he wrecks havoc on the world. Just like his name infers, Apocalypse is the world’s first mutant and with the help of his Four Horsemen: Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Psylocke (Olivia Munn), Archangel (Ben Hardy), and Storm (Alexandra Shipp) plans to disseminate human kind. It is up to Professor Xavier (James McAvoy), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Quicksilver (Evan Peters), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), and even possible appearance of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) teased by the most recent trailer. With last summer’s failure reboot of the Fantastic Four, Fox will need X-Men: Apocalypse to be well received. If not, we could easily see Fox fold to Disney just like Sony recently did, letting Marvel reacquire the film rights to Spider-Man.

Tilda Swinton, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Dakota Johnson look to start of the summer with a splash in A Bigger Splash (5/4), a story about a famous rock star and a filmmaker that are disrupted by the unexpected visit of an old friend and his daughter during their vacation. Jodie Foster directs the thriller Money Monster (5/13) which follows a financial TV host played by George Clooney and his producer Julia Roberts as their lives are threatened when an irate investor holds their studio hostage all while on the air. What summer isn’t complete with a PG-13 horror movie? In The Darkness (5/13), a family returns from a Grand Canyon vacation and bring back with them a supernatural presence that terrorizes them. Becare where you vacation this summer since you could wind up next to some unruly neighbors. Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are back and this time teaming up with Zac Efron and Dave Franco to contend with the new sorority on the block led by Chloe Grace Moretz in the sequel to the 2014 rated-R raunchy comedy Neighbors in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (5/20). Flying off your iPhone and headed to the big screen, the hugely popular application video game franchise The Angry Birds Movie (5/20) are making their big screen debut.  Peter Dinklage, Bill Hader, Keegan-Michael Key, Josh Gad, Tituss Burgess, Maya Rudolph, Danny McBride, Hannibal Buress, Tony Hale and Sean Penn are just a few of the star-studded voice cast that hopes to turn this film into the cinematic franchise that Sony Pictures is hoping for. What could be nicer this summer than seeing Shane Black directing  Matt Bomer, Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, and Kim Basinger? In what is shaping up to be a spiritual successor to Black’s cult favorite Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, The Nice Guys (5/20) follows a private eye that uncovers a conspiracy in the midst of investigating the apparent suicide of a fading porn star in Los Angeles during the 1970s. To cap off May, in his final role as the The Blue Caterpillar, the late Alan Rickman joins Helena Bonham Carter’s The Red Queen, Anne Hathaway’s The White Queen and Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter as Alice (Mia Wasikowska) returns to Wonderland only to learn that Time itself (Sacha Baron Cohen) has come undone in Alice Through the Looking Glass (5/27).



June 10th

Angry Birds is not the only video game property seeing its big screen debut. Director Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) will have his hands full this summer bring the fantasy world of Azeroth to life in Warcraft. Based off of the massively popular MMO for computers, Warcraft follows two species, humans and orcs, as they feud for their families, their people, and their homes. After magical portals open in Azeroth, the orcs must abandon their world and colonize another to avoid extinction. That other world belongs to the humans. The film portrays both sides of the conflict, as both sides must come together if either has a chance of saving their races. With an acclaimed director at the helm, Universal Pictures has put a lot of eggs in the Warcraft basket. With the hopes that it becomes the next mega franchise, Warcraft is sure to be a fun filled fantastic time at the movies.

Finding Dory

June 10th

She told us that all you need to do is “just keep swimming.” This summer, Dory (Ellen Degeneres), Marlin (Albert Brooks), and Nemo (Hayden Rolence) are back in their first full-length animated feature film since 2003’s Finding Nemo, in Disney’s Finding Dory. Known for her lack of short-term memory, Finding Dory follows Dory as she sets out to find her long-lost family in the deep blue ocean. On their adventure, they will encounter new faces to the franchise like the whale shark; Destiny (Kaitlin Olson), a beluga whale named Bailey (Ty Burrell), Hank (Ed O’Neill) the octopus and more. Finding Dory also features a talented voice including Idris Elba, Willem Dafoe, Bill Hader, Diane Keaton, and Sigourney Weaver. With the success of Frozen, Star Wars, and Marvel franchise, Finding Dory is set to be another box office hit in Disney’s Finding Dory.

Independence Day: Resurgence

June 24th

It has been 2 decades since President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) gave his call-to-action speech about how we, as humankind, will not bow down to an alien threat but rather celebrate our Independence Day. Set 20 years after the first invasion, David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) is back to combat an alien invasion in Independence Day: Resurgence. Apparently just before Levinson and Stephen Hiller (Will Smith) took out the mother ship, the aliens sent out a distress signal. Now the aliens are back with an even bigger fleet with one sole purpose, eradicate humanity once and for all. Director Roland Emmerich is back at the helm with Pullman, Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, Judd Hirsch and Brent Spiner rejoining to accompany him. New wo the series are Liam Hemsworth, Jessie Usher, Maike Monroe and Sela Ward. While Smith’s Hiller won’t be making an appearance, apparently his character will play into the lore of the film. Just in time for the holiday, Independence Day: Resurgence is sure to set off fireworks in the box office this summer.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Out of the sewers and into June, the radical turtles are back in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (6/3). After the mixed reception of the 2014 reboot, we see our heroes fighting fan favorites for the first time on the big screen as in Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry), Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (WWE’s Sheamus), as well as the dreaded alien Krang (Fred Armisen). The comedic comedy rap group of the Lonely Island are bringing their talents to the big screen this summer in Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (6/3), which follows pop/rap superstar conner4real (Andy Samberg) as his celebrity high life begin to collapse in a mockumentary ala Behind the Music. Daenerys Targaryen herself, Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin star in the love story about a girl in a small town forms an unlikely bond with a recently paralyzed man she’s been caring for in Me Before You (6/3). After grossing 15 times its production budget with a total of $318 million worldwide, it’s no surprise that Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson are back and being plagued by malicious spirits in The Conjuring 2 (6/10). The Four Horsemen (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, and replacing Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan) return to dazzle and impress with their magical tricks only this time to be joined by the wizard himself, Daniel Radcliffe, in Now You See Me 2 (6/10). Wondering where Kevin Hart is this summer, don’t worry! Hart and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson are teaming up in the comedic action flick Central Intelligence (6/17), in which Hart plays a mild-mannered accountant that lured into the world of international espionage by his high school friend (Johnson).  Blake Lively will learn just how dangerous the ocean can be this summer when she stranded just a short distance from shore after being attacked by a great white shark in The Shallows (6/24). Matthew McConaughey rounds out the end of June gathering rebels and farmers as he leads the fight against the Confederate army in Free State of Jones (6/24).

Central Intelligence



The Glorious Corner



G.H. Harding

STRIKE END LOOMS — (Via Showbiz 411/Roger Friedman) All the studio chiefs met Wedneday with the Writers Guild and will continue negotiating tomorrow, according to a WGA post.

The sudden seriousness of the studios is welcomed as the deadline looms for the 2023-24 TV season. If the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes aren’t resolved by early October, my sources say it will be impossible to put on a season.

Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, Disney’s Bob Iger, Universal’s Donna Langley and Warner Bros Discovery’s David Zaslav were present today for the negotiations, a sure sign that the studios are finally in panic mode.

There are no daytime or nighttime talk shows, no new material on TV, and actors can’t promote the fall and winter movies. The actors have already missed the Telluride, Venice, and Toronto Film Festivals. Now the New York Film Festival looms, as does the premiere of Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

The so-called Fall TV Season has been decimated; the Emmy’s pushed back and just general chaos everywhere. The severity of the strike -142 days in- has hurt almost-every-single below-the-line sector, from caterers to limo drivers to costume houses. It’s reported that it will take up to 10-12 weeks to fully resume everything. That means early-November and let’s not forget come Thanksgiving, the holiday season officially starts. Stay tuned.

Burt Bacharach

LOVE, BURT AT THE CUTTING ROOM — Monday night at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room was the presentation of Love, Burt – celebrating the majesty and memory of Burt Bacharach’s music.

The show really moved me and reminded me of the reason I do what … the music!

The show was just sumptuous – with the assembled group -led by Mike Visceglia- honoring and doing proper justice to a host of Bacharach songs – everything from “Baby, It’s You” to “One Less Bell To Answer,” The Look Of Love” and “Alfie” were all dutifully done. Especially poignant was their rendition of “A House Is Not A Home.”

The fact of the matter is that when these songs were recorded, they were embedded into everyone’s consciousness. These versions were good, but the originals remain standout. You hear a lot about the Great American Songbook, but these songs are the “new” Great American Songbook. Just luscious.

They ended the show was one of my favorite-Bacharach songs, from the 1988 album Burt recorded with Elvis Costello, Painted From Memory. One of the album’s strongest cuts is “God Give Me Strength.” It was simply sensational.Spotted there were Benny Harrison and Maria Milito from Q1043.

The room was packed like never before; what a night! 

Micky Dolenz on KTLA

SHORT TAKES — Micky Dolenz headlines the ACE Theatre Friday night in LA, and was a guest on KTLA Wednesday. Here’s a shot of him on-set with Sam Rubin who interviewed him with the KTLA-gang. Sam’s the second from left. Industry stalwarts at the ACE Theatre show include legendary-LA Times writer Randy Lewis; LA Magazine’sRoy Trakin and Goldmine’s Ken Sharp … Roger Friedman reported Wednesday that the pre-sales of Jann Wenner’s upcoming book Masters have been severely impacted by his New York Times interview. Take a read here: And just last night his big presentation at NYC’s 92nd Y with Cameron Crowe was shuttered as well … SIGHTING: Alison Martino at NYC’s Algonquin Hotel

The Morning Show

When Apple TV’s The Morning  Show debuted years ago (November 2019), created and run by Kerry Ehrin, it was a first-rate series certainly of The Sopranos-like and Mad Men-like caliber. Billy Crudup was astonishingly good as were Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell. The second season was basically trash. Three episodes in on a third season -with a 4th already guaranteed- it’s kind of a mixed-bag. I did not care for the first two EPs, but the third was bordering on the edge of greatness – and Witherspoon wasn’t even in this one and there was no explanation why. Jon Hamm has joined the cast as sort of an Elon Musk-figure. To me, he’s still Don Draper, just with an updated wardrobe. Most of the production staff has been replaced and it seemed to me, they’re still finding their way. The trouble is, that with these 8 or so episode-runs, it gets really good at episode 6. Go figure …

Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch to retire per CNBC? More on this next column Meg Ryan and David Duchovny in What Happens Later – looks cute and Ryan directed it – check out the trailer: Roger Whitaker

David McCallum

and Happy Bday David McCallum; Curtis Urbina; and Bill Murray!

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Glenn Gretlund; Jodi Ritzen; Leonard Nimoy; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Scott Shannon; Zach Martin; Michelle Grant; Art Rutter; Maria Milito; Joe Lynch; Melinda Newman; Mandy Naylor; Kimberly Cornell; Sam Rudin; Jim Clash; Terry Jastrow; Randy Alexander; Bob Merlis; Andrew Sandoval; Art Rutter; and CHIP!

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The Glorious Corner



G.H. Harding

WENNER TAKES A DOWN —Jann Wenner always speaks his mind and this week he may have overstepped just a bit. In an interview that ran in the New York Times about his new book called Masters, he quite openly said that there were no black or R&B artists in it, because they were not able to articulate properly. I know, I felt the same way reading that. Minutes later, he was let go by the board of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which he helped start with Ahmet Ertegun way back in 1983.

Ahmet Ertegun

His Like A Rolling Stone autobiography book was quite an indulgent read last year, but Wenner has in the last several years suffered several health set backs and it was pointed out that he may not be in his right mind. Still, he should have spoken way more carefully. I’ve known Wenner for decades and trust me, he feels he’s way entitled, and that said, you can rest assured that there were dozens and dozens of people (and former employees) waiting to take him down.

The sad fact is that most of the accusations are true. That said, let’s face it Rolling Stone magazine in it’s heyday was a miraculous outlet for so much music and terrific journalism – from Ben Fong-Torres to Hunter Thompson and Jann himself .. it was distinguished. Now, he may have killed it all.

Rolling Stine magazine Monday posted this – essentially disowning his from the magazine: “Jann Wenner’s recent statements to the New York Times do not represent the values and practices of today’s Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner has not been directly involved in our operations since 2019. Our purpose, especially since his departure, has been to tell stories that reflect the diversity of voices and experiences that shape our world. At Rolling Stone’s core is the understanding that music above all can bring us together, not divide us.”

Here’s the report from Deadline:

FILE – Drew Barrymore attends the Time100 Gala, celebrating the 100 most influential people in the world, at Frederick P. Rose Hall, April 26, 2023, in New York. The National Book Awards dropped Barrymore as the host for this year’s ceremony, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023, a day after her talk show taped its first episode since the Hollywood writers strike began. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

DREW’S BLUES — Boy, what did Drew Barrymore ever do to deserve the treatment she’s been through with the media. Sure, her ideas to bring back her daily-chat fest was a good one, for the right reasons, but everyone from Rosie O;’Donnell to the trade papers have bounced on her like madmen. I never met her, don’t hate her, but really … let’s get back to something real, like these Russell Brand-accusations!

SHORT TAKES — We finally caught David Bryne and Fatboy Slim’s Here Lies Love and absolutely loved it. I remember it well when it premiered at the Public Theater way back when and knew they were trying to get it to Broadway. Honestly, I never thought twice about the Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos story, but the play was riveting then and it remains now. They’ve outfitted NYC’s magnificent Broadway Theater with disco-balls galore and club-lighting and the immersive experience is terrific. Here’s a great re-cap of the play’s evolution from Theatre Guide:

Chris Carter and Micky Dolenz – Breakfast With The Beatles

Micky Dolenz appeared on Sunday’s Breakfast With The Beatles with Chris Carter (on KLOS) and talked about his new Dolenz Sings R.E.M. on Glenn Gretlund’s 7a Records. He also talked about his time with The Beatles and John Lennon. Carter also played a mash-up of Monkees and Beatle-songs which was done in England and it was superb. Here’s a shot from the event at LA’s Hard Rock Cafe on Highland and Hollywood Blvd. … SIGHTING: PR-pasha David Salidor and Benny Harrison at Monday’s Cutting Room tribute to Burt Bacharach … RIP Sammy Ash …

Jimmy Buffet

I’ve been thinking the best way to describe Jimmy Buffet and I saw this headline in LA Magazine: leisure evangelist– and it fits perfectly …

Happy Bday Donnie Kehr and Richard Branciforte.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Dan Mapp; Brad Auerbach; James Clash: Robbie Robertson; Carol Ruth Weber; Randy Alexander; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Andrew Gans; Kathy Brown; Roger Clark; Chris Boneau; Tricia Daniels; Dan Zelinski; Benny Harrison; Steve Walter; Gil Friesen; Donna Dolenz; Dan Mapp; Brad Auerbach; James Clash; and ZIGGY!

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The Glorious Corner



STRIKE UPDATE— (Via TV Line) “9-1-1, what’s your TV emergency?” The dual WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes need to be resolved by the end of this month if scripted primetime fare such as 9-1-1: Lone Star and The Cleaning Lady are to return with new episodes in the 2023-24 TV season, says Fox entertainment president Michael Thorn.

When last we tuned in, 29 days ago, the WGA had countered the AMPTP’s latest offer; no next meeting has been scheduled. Things are proceeding even slower on the SAG-AFTRA front. Sources tell TVLine that it will take scripted shows roughly eight weeks to get back into production once the strikes are resolved.

 “You’re going get to a point in the fall, in the late fall, where it’s going to be very hard to launch [scripted shows] within the traditional TV viewing season,” Thorn told our sister site Deadline.

If the strikes are resolved later than October 1, that’s where difficult scheduling decisions will have to be made.

“If that means the [delayed scripted] show could work and succeed in the summer [of 2024], great,” Thorn said. Or, “If it’s better to wait for the fall and use football and sports” to promote/launch scripted seasons, “we’ll do that.

“You could use October 1 as the date” by which the writer and actor strikes need to be settled,” Thorn added. “Every show is different but sometimes when you’re staring at a May launch date, you always wonder, ‘Is that the best time?’” to premiere a season/series

Fox’s fall TV slate features one full night of scripted animated fare (on Sundays), while the rest of the week is rife with multiple Gordon Ramsay cooking competitions, new seasons of Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test, Name That Tune and The Masked Singer, 9-1-1: Lone Star reruns, the new, David Spade-hosted Snake Oil game show, and, of course, Friday Night SmackDown.

But whenever the magical day comes for live-action scripted fare to return to our screens, “we’re going to return those shows with vigor,” Thorn avowed. “We really pride ourselves on ‘less is more’ and we were fortunate to be able to really put our money where our mouth is in that regard. When we return, Animal Control is going to get the full backing of this far-reaching platform [as will] John Wells’ new show, Rescue: Hi-Surf, when we launch it.”

Several columns back we posited that the strike might just be settled by Labor Day .. and we were lambasted with emails from a scattering of actors, writers and below-the-line talent that it would not be. They were right. As Gordon Gekko said, greed is good. Is it? Let’s all make nice and good back to work.

SHORT TAKES — As you may know the Toronto Film Festival has been going on and the two films that have received the most buzz are the Paul-Simon/Alex Gibey doc,

Michael Keaton

In Restless Dreams and Knox Goes Away starring Michael Keaton, who also directs, with Al Pacino, can’t wait to see both. Bravo! …The latest episode of Hulu’s Only Murders In The Building was just OK. So far, this third season has totally underwhelmed us. We said a few columns back it was most likely due to the fact that Martin hasn’t written any of the episodes so far. Why? I have no idea. Matthew Broderick played himself, but with a little more anxiety than usual, but the real highlight of this episode was a video-phone call between Martin Short and Mel Brooks. Irresistibly funny … Hard to believe that it’s the 25th anniversary of MTV’s ground-breaking TRL Live (Total Request Live).

Carson Daly

Carson Daly did a nice remembrance on Thursday’s Today Show, even citing John Norris and Kurt Loder, who were key correspondents. They taped many of the shows at NYC’s long-gone Palladium (now an NYU dorm), but many, many memories come to mind; Hall & Oates rehearsing in their dressing room

Debbie Gibson at Z100 on The Morning Zoo

and running into Debbie Gibson is one. Daly pointed out -and rightly so- TRL was a fan-driven show, where viewers had to request what to hear. These days I guess it’s just a download. Much missed for sure …

Carrie Underwood

Funny watching Carrie Underwood this morning; as she she reminded me so much of Shania Twain. from the music, to her visuals. As always, her “Before He Cheats” is tremendous and a big crowd pleaser … It’s a funny world for sure.

RL Stine

When RL Stine’s Goosebumpsfirst debuted in 1992, it was heralded as refreshingly new, both for the kid-demo and its brilliance. There were a few attempts at a series (even with Stine introducing them) and even a movie in 2015 that did just so-so. Now, with Netflix’s Stranger Things having hit a home run, Disney+ is starting a series, with Justin Long, that appears to veer dangerously close to Stranger Things. Also, oddly enough, Stine does not appear to be involved with it. He says: “I wish I knew something about it. I’m not in the loop. It looked to me like they weren’t going to do an anthology show. They were going to do something different that was some kind of continuing story. That’s what it appeared. But I have no information about it.” It begins on October 31. Have a look at the trailer:

Seeing Here Lies Love Saturday night, can’t wait …

Mary Wilson and Bernie Taupin

Great Bernie Taupin interview on NY Live with Sara Gore. They’re friends, so the interview as sensational. Check it out:

Love Bernie and Sara! …Happy Bday Randy Jones and Amy Billings!

NAMES IN THE NEWS —Andrew Sandoval; Jacqueline Boyd; Alison Martino; Robert Funaro; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Roy Trakin; Daryl Estrea; Glenn Gretlund; Jane Blunkell; Roger Friedman; Felix Cavaliere; Dan Mapp; Jim Kerr; Sam Rubin; Liz White; Grace Mendoza; Roy Trakin; and ZIGGY!

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Cynthia Bailey is September Cover Star of ‘Mr Warburton Magazine’




Actress and TV personality Cynthia Bailey is the September cover star of the relaunch of Mr Warburton Magazine.

The inspiration for the shoot was 1975 film Mahogany starring Diana Ross. We took over a street in DTLA and created a set.


“I wanted to show Cynthia in a different way. No wigs, just character,”  says EIC Derek Warburton. “I have been friends with Cynthia half of my life and this is the first time she has posed for one of my magazines. I feel the world has a specific view of her but I see so much more. She is a chameleon & at 56 years old Hollywood isn’t gonna know what hit them when she gets the right role.”

Be sure to check out the new double cover issue HERE.

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Santino Fontana Brings Voice, Comedy and Showmanship To 54 Below



Tony Award® winner Santino Fontana brings his tremendous talent to 54 Below and it is a show that wraps you up in his humor, charm, vocal prowess, laid back demeanor, jeopardy style musical choices and over all entertaining. By the end of the show you feel as if you know him or at least a part of him. Starting off with Charles Strouse and Lee Adams’s “Stick Around,” the night turned into a Russian roulette of material.  The audience picked numbers and as Santino put it “if you don’t like the show, it’s your fault.” First up for my show was the naughty but amusing  “Making Love Alone” followed by Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella‘s “Do I Love You,” which made for an amusing combination of songs. During Cinderella Mr. Fontana had shoes that were built up 2 inches inside and 2 inches outside, which cause a tremendous amount of pain, so the song told the story of his plight, which made the song take on a much different meaning. Sondheim’s “Anyone Can Whistle,” was sung for a Carol Burnett tribute, that luckily we were treated to.


His guest for the evening was Sarah Steele (“The Good Wife,” The HumansThe Country House) who sang “out There On My Own” from Fame. On the 14th it will be Greg Hildreth (Company, Disney’s FrozenRodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella). Click on the name and you can hear that version.

Showing off his baritone side with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “If I Loved You.” We almost got to see Santino in Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields”s Sweet Charity, instead we got hint of what that would be like with “Too Many Tomorrows.” A hilarious version of “I feel Pretty” from West Side Story lightened the mood and had the room in tears. Recreating his duet “Love Is An Open Door” from Frozen, Santino channeled Dorothy Michaels from Tootsie. Again the room was laughing with the sheer comedic genius that won Mr. Fontana a Tony Award. Bringing the energy to a calmer state was the emotional Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley’s “Who Can I Turn To?”

Vocally the most impressive song of the night was “Joey, Joey, Joey” from Most Happy Fellow. Mr. Fontana’s voice was glorious in the tones and the subtle texturing. Keeping in the ballad mode and honoring Marilyn Bergman he launched into the iconic “Where Do You Start,”while accompany himself on the piano, which was highly impressive. Back to the uptempo mode “I Met A Girl” from Bells Are Ringing, was given a rigorous, amusing take. This was his original audition song. Lerner and Loewe’s “How to Handle a Woman,” from the recent Camelot, showed how Santino would have made an excellent King Arthur.

Another favorite moment of the night was “Buddy’s Blues” from Follies. Already a personal favorite, this made me want to see Santino play this role at a later date, though personally I would cast him as Ben.

For the finale songs “The Music In You” from Cinderella, told how he and the cast loved watching the magnificent Victoria Clark perform. “This Can’t Be Love” from 1938 Rodgers and Hart musical The Boys from Syracuse, ended up in an encore, of Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones’s “They Were You” from The Fantasticks, which made my guest producer Pat Addiss extremely happy.

Cody Owen Stine

Santino was backed by his musical director and accompanist Cody Owen Stine, who played flawlessly.

Santino Fontana

Santino Fontana opened September 10th at 54 Below and you can still catch this marvelous show tonight September 14th.

This is a do not miss!


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