Telly Leung currently starring as the title role in Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway announced the release a new digital single, an updated version of the holiday classic “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to benefit ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty) from Yellow Sound Label today, Friday, November 30. The song, arranged by Lynne Shankel, is available on iTunes, and Amazon, as well as all streaming platforms.
“ASTEP connects performing and visual artists with underserved youth,” says Telly, “to awaken their imaginations, foster critical thinking, and help them break the cycle of poverty. We wanted to spread some holiday cheer while raising money and awareness for this fantastic organization. All proceeds from the digital downloads will go to ASTEP, and it’s our hope it inspires others to use the talents they were given to make the world a better place. My dear friend and colleague, Lynne Shankel — who was the musical supervisor and orchestrator of Allegiance — is committed to ASTEP and she originally arranged this version of the song for her annual benefit at Joe’s Pub. Lynne and I love this organization, originally founded by Broadway musical director Mary-Mitchell Campbell, and we wanted to echo the mission of ASTEP and use our artistic expression to put something positive in the universe.”
Telly Leung is a New York City native who was recently named one of the “Out 100” by Out Magazine and “Faces To Watch” by The Los Angeles Times. His Broadway and national touring credits include In Transit, Allegiance (with George Takei and Lea Salonga), Godspell, Rent (final Broadway company), Wicked (Boq, original Chicago company), Pacific Overtures, and Flower Drum Song. In 2010, he starred as Angel in Rent at the Hollywood Bowl opposite Wayne Brady, directed by Neil Patrick Harris. Television audiences will remember him as Wes the Warbler on “Glee,” as well as his guest star appearances on “Instinct,” “Odd Mom Out,” “Deadbeat,” and “Law and Order: Criminal Intent.” Telly is featured on many original Broadway cast recordings and he has released two solo albums, I’ll Cover You (2012) and Songs for You (2016) on Yellow Sound Label. For more information, please visit www.TellyLeung.com.
ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty) was conceived by Broadway musical director Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Juilliard students to transform the lives of underserved youth using the most powerful tool they had — their art. Today, ASTEP delivers after-school workshops and summer camps for young people affected by refugee and unaccompanied minor status, the justice system, homelessness, HIV/AIDS and systemic poverty. ASTEP Volunteer Teaching Artists create a safe space for students to use the arts to build leadership skills, strengthen their capacity for self-expression, learn to collaborate, and develop the confidence to make healthy life choices. With these skills, ASTEP students learn they have what it takes to succeed no matter the obstacles, which is key to breaking cycles of intergenerational poverty. For more information, visit ASTEP.org.
Yellow Sound Label is an Emmy Award-winning and Grammy Award-nominated, cutting-edge company that produces established performers, up-and-coming artists and original cast recordings. The boutique label takes a hands-on approach in nurturing and producing passionate, focused performers and composers who create quality, noteworthy recordings. www.YellowSoundLabel.com
Telly Leung Photo by Michael Kushner
Did You Know Andrea Bocelli and Hauser Performed Live from Times Square
Combining world-class musical performances with intimate conversations across the awe-inspiring Italian countryside, The Journey: A Music Special from Andrea Bocelli is an exploration of the moments that define us, the songs that inspire us, and the relationships that connect us to what matters most. The film hits theaters April 2 – 9 and you can watch it through fantom events.
The Journey is an exploration of the moments that define us, the songs that inspire us, and the relationships that connect us to what matters most. Bocelli and his wife Veronica travel on horseback along Italy’s Via Francigena, an ancient road traveled by pilgrims for centuries in the footsteps of the apostles and saints. Along the way, they are joined by friends Michael W. Smith, Tori Kelly, Tauren Wells, and TAYA for world-class musical performances in some of Italy’s most magnificent venues and majestic locations. Following a blessing from the Pope, Bocelli’s children Matteo and Virginia make appearances in this amazing adventure, as well as musicians and singers Katherine Jenkins, Clara Barbier Serrano, 2Cellos, 40 Fingers, and many others.
To celebrate this release Andrea Bocelli and Hauser performed Melodramma live from Times Square.
The Glorious Corner
HERE’S BEKKA — (from Rolling Stone) Bekka Bramlett grew up around John Lennon and George Harrison, but nothing could prepare her for joining Fleetwood Mac in 1994, during one of the rockiest periods in the band’s history.
The Bekka Bramlett incarnation of Fleetwood Mac released a single album, 1995’s Time, before dissolving the next year to make way for a lucrative Hells Freezes Over-style reunion album and tour by the classic Rumours lineup. This period of the band may seem like little more than a footnote to some rock fans, but it was a pivotal time for Bramlett, and she looks back on it without any regrets.
“I knew my job was to get Stevie back,” she tells Rolling Stone from her home in Nashville. “I wasn’t a moron. I also knew this was a dangerous job when I took it. I knew I was facing tomatoes. But I didn’t want to wear a top hat. I didn’t want to twirl around. I wanted to be me. I even dyed my hair brown just so people in the cheap seats would know that Stevie wasn’t going to be here. I didn’t want anyone to be discouraged or let down.”
Joining Fleetwood Mac at 26 would have been a shock to the system of most singers, but Bramlett had been living in close proximity to rock stars her entire life. When she was very young, her parents toured and recorded with George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and many other A-list rock stars, winning renown as Delaney & Bonnie and Friends. Those artists also spent a lot of time at her mansion in the Hollywood Hills.
Bramlett didn’t realize any of this was unusual until she boarded the school bus one morning gripping her Disney Princess lunchbox. “This other little girl had a Beatles lunchbox,” she says. “I said to her, ‘I know him. He’s on our couch right now.’ I pointed to George Harrison. ‘I know him too.’ I pointed to John. She started hitting me since she thought I was lying. I was petrified and confused. I thought they were just Daddy’s friends that had accents.”
When she was just four years old, her father recruited Bekka and her sister Suzanne to sing background vocals on his song “California Rain.” “My mom had to get some gaffer tape to keep the headphones on my head since I was so little,” she says. “I used to hate the way it sounds, and now I love it so much. It’s so endearing.”
Right around this time, her parents split up, and she went to live with her father and grandmother. “It was weird, since mostly the moms got the babies back then,” she says. “But my parents were alcoholics. My grandmother never even smoked cigarettes or said cuss words. She brought us to church every Sunday, Wednesday, and Monday. We were in safe hands with our grandmother. I think both of my parents trusted that.”
Delaney and Bonnie both struggled to find solo success in the Seventies, and they dealt with significant substance abuse issues, but Bekka inherited their talents, and she knew from a young age that she’d devote her life to music. “I briefly thought I’d be a lawyer, but I thought I’d be a singing lawyer,” she says. “Then I wanted to be a jockey since I love horses, but I thought I’d be a singing jockey. Music is just what I’m good at.”
As a teenager with a fake ID in the early Eighties, Bramlett spent many nights checking out bands on the Sunset Strip. “I remember standing on the side of the stage as Guns N’ Roses played,” she says. “Seeing it up close, I was like, ‘This is why you never try heroin.’ But then I’d go into the audience and be like, ‘This is why you join a rock & roll band!’”
SUCCESSION — (via Deadline) The Roys are back with a vengeance. The Season 4 premiere of Succession drew an audience of 2.3M on Sunday across HBO Max and linear telecasts, which is a series high for same-day viewers. Total viewing for Sunday night was up 62% compared to Season 3’s premiere viewership of 1.4M in October 2021. At the time, that marked the best premiere night performance of any HBO original series since HBO Max launched in May 2020. Sunday’s viewership is also up about 33% from the Season 3 finale’s 1.7M. Season 3 averaged about 7.2M viewers per episode, according to HBO.HBO also says that all previous seasons of succession saw a 4x increase in viewership in the week leading up to the Season 4 premiere, compared to the week prior.
The Roy family saga picks up as the sale of media conglomerate Waystar Royco to tech visionary Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) looms. The prospect of the seismic sale provokes existential angst and familial division among the Roys: patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and his four grown children, Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Siobhan (Sarah Snook), Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Connor (Alan Ruck). A hopefully Roy-esque power struggle will ensue as the family weighs up a future where their cultural and political weight is threatened.
Succession has 13 Emmys including Best Drama Series wins for its Season 2 and Season 3, the latter of which premiered in 2021.
We had mentioned earlier that most of the advance reviews said the writing was the star of the premiere episode and I definitely agree. Creator Jesse Armstrong wrote it and delivered just a stellar job. The episode began with a grumpy-Brian Cox at his birthday and took a few moments to develop into the powerhouse it has become, but it was very, very enjoyable.
Sure some of the dialogue and plot harked back to earlier episodes, but it’s so good, you hardly noticed. And the ending with Shiv and Tom, alone at at home and contemplating their futures, was just splendid and reeked of the amazing emotion the show almost always conjures up. A class act all around.
Variety confirmed this week, that the locale of the next White Lotus, from Mike White, will be Thailand. Now, if we could only get Jennifer Coolidge back … Congrats to New York Independenteditor Keith F. Girard on his second novel –
just out: The Curse of Northam Bay …PR-pasha David Salidor was interviewed by Charles Rosenay for Monkee Mania Radio … Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer open July 21 and it is indeed 3 hours.
It stars Cillian Murphy and the trailer looks rather stupendous. Check it out here:
indieplazaoutdoor Music Festival is Coming to Rockefeller Plaza
Get ready for the second annual indieplazaoutdoor music festival coming to Rockefeller Plaza this September! The first indieballroom show will kick of the music series on Sunday, May 7 at 7p.m., featuring SQÜRL, Bria, and a special guest (for tickets click here).
Rough Trade first partnered with Rockefeller Center back in the summer of 2021, and they featured artists such as Megan Thee Stallion, Mary J Blige, Father John Misty, and Japanese Breakfast.
The festival is part of a larger four-part concert series that includes quarterly indieballroom shows at the Rainbow Room, featuring three artists, two stages, one ballroom, and a full bar, all tied together with jaw-dropping views of NYC.
The indieplazaoutdoor music festival will be held at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
Last year’s show featured 20+ musical guests including Claud, Yaya Bey, The Muckers, Say She She, Cola, and more.
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