When Robert Miller’s Project Grand Slam takes the stage on Tuesday, August 17, in a Benefit Concert for Shakespeare & Company at The Tina Packer Playhouse in Lenox, Massachusetts, it will be several firsts for Miller and his band.
First and foremost, Miller has had a home in the area for many years and this will be the first time that the band will perform literally in his backyard, and, second, it will be a benefit concert for an organization near to his heart, which opened their season in mid-July with King Lear, top lining Christopher Lloyd.
“I adore the Berkshires, and as a longtime resident I’ve always wanted to have the band play a major concert in the area,” said Miller. “This benefit concert is a great event in a terrific setting for a wonderful cause.”
Miller is the acclaimed leader/bassist/composer for Project Grand Slam. The band, which has released 10 celebrated albums (including a Billboard #1), has racked up over four million video views and over a million Spotify streams. Their current album is East Side Sessions, which fortuitously was released just before the world closed down from the pandemic.
Project Grand Slam has played festivals and concerts around the world, including appearances with Edgar Winter, Blues Traveler, Boney James, Mindi Abair, and more.This past March Miller started a podcast called Follow Your Dream in order to inspire and motivate people to pursue and succeed at their dream, whatever it is, just as he has succeeded later in life at his youthful music dream. The podcast is already ranked in the Top 5% of all podcasts, and he’s had a remarkable string of VIP guests including musicians, authors, broadcasters and filmmakers.
He’s also written The Follow Your Dream Handbook to go along with the podcast, which combines his unique personal story with a how-to 5-step approach for people to follow and succeed at their dream. The Handbook will be released on August 26.
We talked with Miller, in deep preparation for the event, and went through a portion of the set list they’ll perform at the concert along with his comments:
“REDEMPTION ROAD” I wrote this song in the immediate aftermath of the Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings, although it’s not a political song. I just felt that sometimes in life you need redemption from your actions.
“I’M FALLING OFF OF THE WORLD” With all the problems that we have in this world I think we all sometimes feel like we’re falling off of the world. Bu in order to avoid jumping out of a window I gave it an upbeat message: we’re going to make it through somehow!
“TAKE ME” Growing up in NYC my father (who was also a musician) always had the Spanish radio stations on. So that music and its beats have been inside of me forever. Then, when I added so many Latin band mates to PGS, I knew that I needed to start to incorporate Latin music into our sound.
“CONSTABLE ON PATROL” One of my friends pointed out to me that the word “COP” actually stands for Constable On Patrol. I thought that was a very cool image and I ran with it. It’s about our inner Constable who protects us
“YEAH YEAH” All musicians and songwriters get inspired by other artists. We don’t really think of them when we’re creating, but they’re in there somewhere. As I wrote this song it reminded me of Huey Lewis meets the theme song from Peter Gunn. Go figure. It’s the opening track from our 2019 album, PGS 7.
“MY BABY” This one is from my new “solo” album, Miller Rocks, that digs into my rock and roll roots, and which I’m releasing in a novel way: one song at a time each in its own episode of my Follow Your Dream podcast. As one reviewer said, it’s got a “rollicking, fun, 1950s-ish feel”. I hope you agree.
“LAMENT” I love the band U2 and I “borrowed” the chord progression from “With Or Without You” when I wrote this song about a woman betrayed
“NYC GROOVE” This is the first song that I wrote for PGS after I reorganized the band in 2015. My wife found an old boom box (remember them?) in a closet, and it had a cassette tape (remember them?) in it of a rehearsal version of a song that I wrote, played and forgot about 20 years earlier. I liked the melody and I wrote the lyrics in 10 minutes. A tip of the hat to my native hometown.
“JULIET DANCES” This song is for my oldest granddaughter, Juliet, who then was 3 or 4 years old (now 6) and put on a dance recital for the family. Close your eyes and see if you can picture a young girl dancing.
Events For October
The Statue of Liberty’s birthday, Oktoberfest, Open House New York, pumpkins, Halloween and more wait for your attention this October.
Events this month include:
- An intimate “Evening with Brian Stokes Mitchell” (October 5).
- 2023 Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition (October 14 and 15)
- Actress and creator of the “Red Table Talk” series Jada Pinkett Smith (October 16).
Magic Hour at the Moxy Times Square, 485 7th Ave, has pink theme’s right now it’s “Pink Pumpkin Patch.”
Open Streets Columbus Avenue, every Sunday from 68th to 77th street from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- October 1, 2023
- October 8, 2023
- October 15, 2023
- October 22, 2023
- October 29, 2023
Until 10/15: Hispanic Heritage Month. Look for parades, events, film festivals, and more.
Until 10/31: OctoberFest the Loreley Beer Garden, 7 Rivington Street (between Bowery and Chrystie) will be serving sausages and pretzels as well as German beer from liter steins and boots. On Sundays at 3 p.m., there’s a delicious free pig roast. There’s also a haunted beer garden starting on 10/18.
Until, 11/1: The Color Factory has 14 immersive exhibits that engage all the senses in an exploration of the art and science of color. The museum works with local artists, designers and creatives to bring the designs to life. This Soho immersive art museum will present Haunted Hues, a Halloween-themed takeover.
Until 11/4: Blood Manor, haunted house’s 20th season at 359 Broadway. This year three new rooms, and brand-new costumes by designers from Abracadabra, Manhattan’s iconic Halloween store. Immersive experience, professional actors, set designers and makeup artists, with twisted characters and jumpscares at every turn.
Until 1/7/24: Manet/Degas, this exhibition examines one of the most significant artistic dialogues in modern art history: the close and sometimes tumultuous relationship between Édouard Manet and Edgar Degas. Born only two years apart, Manet (1832–1883) and Degas (1834–1917) were friends, rivals, and, at times, antagonists who worked to define modern painting in France. Through more than 150 paintings and works on paper.
10/3: Rooftop Cinema Club Midtown, 60 West 37th Street, will present Mean Girls, Rosemary’s Baby, Paranormal, The Exorcist, The Shining, American Psycho and other cult classics as well as Hocus Pocus and Halloween.
10/4 – 11/11:”Dreams of Dracula: An Immersive Masquerade Experience” recreates the classic Dracula universe as a brand new vampire theatrical adventure. Head to Musica NYC, 637 West 50th Street. Two floors and six rooms across 25,000 square feet for a heady mix of immersive theater, dance and decadent masquerade.
10/ 5 – 6: NYC pop-up “Love Me (Bar)Tender,” with Elvis-themed cocktails, music from Memphis bands and a photobooth. It’s sold out, but sign up here to get alerts.
10/6 – 8: The New Yorker Festival. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Misty Copeland and more. Live conversations, musical performances, and more, hosted by the magazine’s acclaimed writers and editors. The Festival brings together today’s most influential voices for a one-of-a-kind event in New York City.
10/12 – 15: The Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival has 80-plus events that include more than 500 chefs from around the world. Tastings, classes, dinners, late-night parties, drag brunches and demonstrations. Across the boroughs. This year, The Cookout, will celebrate hip-hop’s 50th Anniversary.
10/17 – 31: Black Lagoon is a Halloween pop-up cocktail bar at Pretty Ricky’s (101 Rivington Street). The experience features a curated cocktail menu of eerie Halloween-themed drinks created by Ramage and Hayes, macabre dens festooned with frightfully fun decor.
10/20- 27: Open House New York Weekend Festival. Access the city’s main buildings for 3 days. All sorts of buildings can be visited, from the very historic to modern apartments or industrial buildings that are scattered all over the five boroughs. There will be tours, lectures, performances and events around the meaning of architecture and urban design. All the information about this cool event can be found here.
10/27: The Balloon Museum is officially set to take over Pier 36 at The Seaport in 80,000-square-foot space, and is scheduled to run through January 14, 2024. You can expect a 4,000-square-foot ball pit, inflatable lava lamps and the sorts of infinity rooms that you’ll itch to post about on Instagram.
10/31: The Village Halloween Parade where zombies, ghouls, witches, monsters, giant puppets and more take to the streets for a night of costumed revelry. The parade rolls out at 7pm. Sixth Ave becomes most congested with spectators between Bleeker and 14th Sts, so we suggest setting up camp at either the head (Spring to W Houston Sts) or tail (14th St to 16th St) of the parade.
10/31: The Annual Pumpkin Flotilla at Central Park. As is gets dark around 6:30 pm, carved pumpkins are released into the Harlem Meer and will be float around for 30 minutes. The spectacle draws hundreds of visitors to the northeast corner of Central Park.
New York Film Festival to Host Cinephile Game Night
The New York Film Festival is proud to welcome back Cinephile for a second year of Cinephile Game Night events during the festival at the EBM Amphitheater.
Featuring a mix of movie trivia and other popular Cinephile games like Six Degrees, Filmography, and Inglorious Basterd, Cinephile Game Night is a trivia night like no other. Featuring Cinephile: A Card Game creator Cory Everett and Cinephile Game Night co-hosts Jordan Raup and Conor O’Donnell, along with other special guests to be announced, the events will feature multiple trivia rounds including NYFF history and beyond, with chances to win tickets to this year’s edition and more prizes. Come meet and mingle with your fellow movie buffs for an evening of festival fun. There’s no need to bring Cinephile to participate––only your movie-loving brain is required. And all is free!
Cinephile Game Night is the ultimate trivia night for film nerds, movie geeks, and cinephiles. Since 2019, Cinephile has brought their one-of-a-kind live events to the Academy Museum, New York Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, Museum of the Moving Image, Alamo Drafthouse, and more. Cinephile: A Card Game will also available for purchase at the Alice Tully Hall merch booth during the festival.
33 Seaport Hotel Hosts Artistic Nights with Paint and Sip Monthly Event
An unforgettable evening of creativity, camaraderie, and relaxation was found this week at 33 Seaport Hotel. Guided painting was hosted along with a lovely paint-by-numbers kit. Ticket included two drinks of your choice from a curated selection of fine wines, crafted cocktails, and refreshing beers. The event will take place again in November ($65/person).
33 Seaport Hotel, a new boutique property managed by Crescent Hotels & Resorts, has opened in the heart of New York City’s Seaport District amidst the revitalization of the historic Lower Manhattan neighborhood. The 66-room hotel will be operated under the Latitudes: Lifestyles by Crescent brand of luxury hotels and joins more than 100 hotels and resorts in its U.S. and Canada portfolio. Featuring lavishly appointed rooms in an intimate, cozy atmosphere, 33 Seaport Hotel is designed for the modern, experienced traveler seeking a departure from the saturation and bustle of Manhattan’s more well-trodden neighborhoods.
“The Seaport District has a completely unique character that you won’t find in any other part of the city. It is rooted in the earliest period of Manhattan’s history and yet is constantly changing and being reborn.” said Michael George, President and CEO of Crescent Hotels & Resorts. “For visitors who are familiar with New York and are looking for a fresh, more authentic experience enhanced by personalized service, luxurious comfort and elegant style, 33 Seaport Hotel is a welcoming escape”
While the hotel’s name is derived from its address, the number 33 is rich in symbolism befitting both the hotel’s and the neighborhood’s sense of renewal. The number is said to signify new beginnings, creative talents, growth, and abundance.
33 Seaport Hotel’s guest rooms are adorned with thoughtfully curated, European-influenced design elements inspired by the history of the surrounding community that reflect the youthful energy of the neighborhood’s rejuvenated spirit. Design details include handcrafted teak millwork, white marble, rain showers and handcrafted Italian furnishings. Free high-speed Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel, along with an array of amenities including a 24/7 fitness center, concierge services and signature amenities such as locally made chocolates and welcome drinks.
Barry Manilow’s and Bruce Sussman’s Harmony Meets The Press Part 2
In today’s edition hear director Warren Carlyle, Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman describe their show.
Then it was a treat as the cast sang 5 songs from the show. Including “Harmony,” Hungarian Rhapsody,” “Where You Go’ and “Stars in the Night.”
Hear The Harmonists Sean Bell, Danny Kornfeld, Zal Owen, Eric Peters, Blake Roman and Steven Telsey, along with Chip Zien, Sierra Boggess and Julie Benko.
The hit song of the show will be the gorgeous ballad “Every Single Day” sung by Danny Kornfeld.
Harmony begins previews at the Barrymore Theatre on Wednesday, October 18, ahead of a Monday, November 13 official opening night.
Photo’s by Genevieve Rafter Keddy
The Glorious Corner
JESSE L MARTIN — We caught the debut of Jesse L. Martin’s The Irrational Monday night and really enjoyed it. I’ve been aware of Jesse since his role in Broadway’s Rent and he’s really tremendous. He was great on Law & Order as Ed Green (10 years and 9 seasons); and his role on the CW’s The Flash (as Joe West) was simply terrific.
The show, based on the book by Dan Ariely and created by Arika Mittman, certainly reminds one of The Mentalist or Instinct. This first case isn’t wondrous by any means, but Martin’s charisma carries it all through.
Lauren Holly (NCIS) is in it too, thought her one-scene was over and out in a flash.
I hear the third episode of the show is magnificent, so stay tuned. Don Johnson said many years ago that Don Johnson was made for TV … so is Martin!
SWENSON OUT — (per Deadline) Will Swenson will play his final performance as Neil Diamond in Broadway’s A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical on Sunday, Oct. 29, producers announced today.
A replacement for the starring role will be announced at a future date.
“It’s been the thrill of a lifetime to get to stand in Neil’s shoes,” Swenson said in a statement. “It’s been such an incredible honor to get to know Neil, to tell his powerful story, and bring his amazing songs to Broadway audiences every night. I’m immensely proud of the moving, beautiful show we made. I will miss it very much.”
A reason for Swenson’s departure was not disclosed, but his planned departure date suggests a year-long contract coming to a close: He and the bio-musical began previews at the Broadhurst Theatre last Nov. 2 (official opening was Dec. 4).
“Making A Beautiful Noise with Will Swenson was a deep and wonderful experience,” said director Michael Mayer. “The true affection he has for Neil’s work and life is palpable in every aspect of his tremendous performance. I will miss him terribly, of course, but will always treasure our time together, and very much look forward to the next show we do.”
Swenson has been one of Broadway’s go-to leading men since his breakthrough performance in 2009’s Hair, and he has since starred on the New York stage in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Little Miss Sunshine, Waitress and Assassins, among many other shows.
In addition to Swenson, the cast of A Beautiful Noise features a principal cast of Mark Jacoby as the aged Neil Diamond, Robyn Hurder and Shirine Babb.
The musical includes a score of Diamond’s hits, a book by Anthony McCarten, direction by Mayer, and choreography by Steven Hoggett.
He’s pretty tremendous as Diamond. I didn’t see the show straight away, but absolutely loved it when I did. His exit of kind of short notice … but let’s see what happens.
SHORT TAKES — How about those snappy new graphics for NBC’s Today Show. Introduced a week ago, they certainly look more relevant and certainly more fun. They did the same for Nightly News a week ago. Per TVNewser:The network said the decision to unveil a new logo and graphics for Nightly was made as a way of appealing to younger viewers who primarily consume news using digital media. It’s safe to assume is true for Today, the youngest-skewing of the linear morning shows that boasts a robust digital presence. Here’s their whole story:
The next Rolling Stones single, “Sweet Sounds of Heaven,” is tremendous. Mick hasn’t sounded this good in years and Lady Gaga is an added treat. Magnificent! Take a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEJd5xtbEPY …
Donnie Kehr and Cori Gardner’s Rockers On Broadway (their 30th edition) is coming up on Monday, October 16 at SONY Hall.
Joining honoree Melissa Etheridge will be KT Tunstall and Debbie Gibson, Simon Kirke, Dan Finnerty and Ty Taylor … Happy Bday Chuck Taylor!
NAMES IN THE NEWS –— Anthony Noto; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Paul Lester; Ian Harrison; Magda Katz; Pete Townshend; Miko Blanco; Brad LeBeau; Mal Evans; Derek Taylor; Andrew Sandoval; Rick Rubin; Bill Adler; Cory Robbins; Manny Bella; Race Taylor; Scott Shannon; Buddy Blanch; Steve Walter; Benny Harrison; and BELLA!
Events For October
Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Musical Director Ian Niederhoffer
New York Film Festival to Host Cinephile Game Night
Romantic and Meaningful Love Quotes For Her To Help Win Her Heart
How to Take Advantage of Virtual Numbers for SMS
Entre Institute Review – Is Jeff Lerner’s Program a Scam?
Broadway3 days ago
Barry Manilow’s and Bruce Sussman’s Harmony Meets The Press
Broadway2 days ago
Barry Manilow’s and Bruce Sussman’s Harmony Meets The Press Part 2
Entertainment3 days ago
The Mayor of Times Square Interviews Billionaire John Catsimatidis on The Motivation Show Podcast
Broadway2 days ago
Theatre News: Here We Are, Some Like It Hot, A Beautiful Noise, All The Devils Are Here: How Shakespeare Invented The Villain and The Laramie Project
Food and Drink4 days ago
Ubah Hassan and Serafina Launch the Sizzling Hot Pizza of the Season
Cabaret3 days ago
My View: Barrington Stage Co. on 42nd Street Oct. 30 For Its Gala at Green Room 42
Off Broadway3 days ago
Meet Michel Wallerstein and Spencer Aste of Chasing Happy
Celebrity4 days ago
The Glorious Corner