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What to Watch in The New Year: March 9

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For The Record Berkeley Rep. One of the ten weekly audio plays in Place/Settings: Berkeley about specific places in Berkeley, California. This one is by Sean San Jose: “ometimes music becomes indelibly linked to specific memories, invoking the people with whom we shared them. Songs by Isaac Hayes, Peter Tosh, Stevie Wonder, the Doors, the Knight Brothers, and Patti LaBelle conjure a deep friendship, one that began on a hot night in 1986 outside Leopold’s Records.”

The New York Pops Up Festival a thousand in-person performances throughout the state from now through June. Most events associated with NY PopsUp will be unannounced (and unticketed) and will be designed so that New Yorkers happen upon them in their everyday lives. (Since we can’t have large gatherings right now, we want to bring a lot of small things to the public where they are) NY PopsUp is a surprise that you happen upon, rather than an event or concert you are alerted to via a notification or a schedule.

4pm: CyberTank Variety Show By The Tank A weekly, remote, multidisciplinary, variety arts gathering open to all where we explore theatricality + themes by you.

The CyberTank Weekly Variety Show is a remote, multidisciplinary variety arts gathering open to everyone. The arts community has been presented with a challenge to re-examine theatricality, and The Tank has reframed this as the gift of an opportunity to grow and choose community over despair. Each weekly installment is centered around a specific question and features guest artists who will perform and facilitate conversation.

7:30pm: Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci
Equally scandalous when they premiered separately in the late 19th century, these two short operas, often presented as a double bill, show just how searing and soapy opera can be. In Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, a lay-about villager leaves the girl he’s impregnated for another man’s wife. And in Pagliacci, a tortured clown plots against his beautiful young wife, whom he suspects of carrying on with a younger man. Neither ending is happy; each is exquisite.

Anika Larsen
Anika Larsen

8pm: Stars in the House: Women’s History Month Guest host Anika Larsen is joined by Broadway’s Karen Olivo, Ruthie Ann Miles and Andrea Varga for this special Women’s History Month episode.

Assassins Reunion: Original Off-Broadway Cast The original cast and creative team of the 1991 Off-Broadway debut of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Tony-winning Assassins will reunite virtually to celebrate the musical’s 30th anniversary.

The free online event is part of the Studio Tenn Talks: Conversations with Patrick Cassidy series and will feature Studio Tenn Artistic Director Cassidy as well as other original cast members Victor Garber, Greg Germann, Annie Golden, Lyn Greene, Jonathan Hadary, Eddie Korbich, Terrence Mann, Debra Monk, William Parry, and Lee Wilkof plus Sondheim and Weidman, director Jerry Zaks, musical director Paul Gemignani, and orchestrator Michael Starobin.

Happy Days The Wild Project through March 11
Beckett’s post-apocalyptic vision, with Winnie buried in a mound of dirt and her husband Willie off to the side, filmed on stage without an audience, directed by Nico Krell, featuring Tessa Albertson and Jake Austin Robertson

Jill Eikenberry

Jericho NNR Premiere. Marsha Mason, directs Jill Eikenberry in Jack Canfora’s play, which serves as New Normal Rep’s inaugural production. The thought-provoking piece explores how people cope with personal and collective catastrophe as a family reunites for Thanksgiving dinner after tragedy

Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Festival: Swan Lake New York City Center presents Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Festival, a digital showcast featuring four New Adventures productions filmed at London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre.

The series, highlighting Bourne’s twists on ballet classics, launches with Swan Lake, available on demand for 10 days.

Swan Lake stars Will Bozier as The Swan/The Stranger, Liam Mower as The Prince, and Nicole Kabera as The Queen.

SuperYou Musical the new musical that last year pivoted from its traditional opening to a drive-in concert in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, is now heading online. A filmed version of the drive-in presentation will stream on Broadway On Demand 

The musical, penned by Lourds Lane, tells the story of a woman and her superheroine creations that suddenly come to life, reminding her of the power of her own voice.

Prior to the 8 PM stream, Playbill will host a virtual red carpet event, with interviews with the cast and creative team. A digital afterparty will also take place at 9 PM.

An Iliad (Streaming) Court Theater. A film of the site-specific production at Chicago’s Oriental Institute by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare.

Smithtown The Studios of Key West $20 In this play by Drew Larimore starring Michael Urie, Ann Harada, Colby Lewis and Constance Shulman, a single text message overturns life in a small Midwestern university town, a riff on the effects of social media.

 Julius Caesar, Starring Patrick Page By Shakespeare@ Tony nominee Patrick Page (Hadestown) stars in the title role with Jordan Barbour (The Inheritance) as Brutus and Keith Hamilton Cobb (American Moor) as Cassius. West End Harry Potter and the Cursed Child performers Jamie Ballard and James Howard co-star as Mark Antony and Metellus Cimber, respectively. 

The production is also be available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, and Stitcher.

Produced by Jersey City’s Shakespeare@, this audio production is the third installment of the season, produced and adapted by Artistic Director Sean Hagerty.

Hagerty has crafted the production into four weekly parts and partnered with the Emmy-winning team at Sonic Designs to capture the lost art and thrill of radio drama all without leaving the confines of quarantine.

Julius Caesar features original music composed by Joan Melton with sound design by the Emmy-winning team of Dan Gerhard and Ellen Fitton of Sonic Designs. Justin Goldner is the music producer and supervisor, and casting is by Robin Carus. Sydney Steele serves as the associate producer. 

The Things Are Against Us Susan Soon He Stanton’s The Things Are Against Us will be the next production in MCC’s LiveLab one-act digital reading series. Ellie Heyman directs the cast, which includes Juan Castano, Emily Davis, Susannah Flood, Babak Tafti, and Danny Wolohan, in tthe play set in a mysterious house with a mind of its own. 

John Lithgow, Daniel Breaker, More Sing Adam Guettel’s Myths & Hymns (Episode 2) By MasterVoices The central project of MasterVoices’ 2020-2021 season will be a virtual rollout of award-winning composer Adam Guettel’s theatrical song cycle, Myths and Hymns, in an online staging conceived by Ted Sperling. 

SoHo Playhouse Presents Typical Soho Theatre and Nouveau Riche present the world premiere of Typical, the film version of the stage play, released exclusively on Soho Theatre On Demand 

Written by Ryan Calais Cameron and directed by Anastasia Osei-Kuffour, Typical uncovers the man and the humanity behind the tragic true-life events of Black British ex-serviceman Christopher Alder and the injustice that still remains twenty years since his story emerged. 

Bad Dates George Street Playhouse through March 14. Andrea Burns stars in Theresa Rebeck’s one-woman comedy about a single mom in search of cute shoes, the perfect dress, and a romantic table for two 

7pm: Franz Kafka’s Letter to My Father M-34 through March 28
In 1919, the ailing writer wrote a letter to his father full of intense mixed emotions.

Expirer Wilma Theater Dive into a cyberspace underworld through this interactive website. Demons, both classical and contemporary, lurk among the virtual artifacts, waiting to be purged. Part of this Philadelphia theater’s weekly Hothouse Shorts.

The Manic Monologues Current Slave Play Tony nominee Ato Blankson-Wood, Rent Tony winner Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Accidentally Brave playwright Maddie Corman, and more stage favorites will explore mental health this winter in a new digital production from the McCarter Theatre Center.

The Manic Monologues debuts February 18 with 21 true-life monologues that users can explore at their own pace and through an interactive element virtually respond to.

Christa McAuliffe’s Eyes Were Blue Center Theater Group
through April 4. $10 Kemp Powers’ play tells the story of twins, one who dreamt of space, the other who became a successful attorney, who have lived starkly different lives, because one has dark skin and the other passes as white. The action plays out in 1980s New York and a Minnesota courthouse in 2006.

Simply Sondheim Signature Theater of Arlington. Available through March 26. Thirty Sondheim songs performed by a 16-piece orchestra and a dozen singers, including Norm Lewis, Emily Skinner, Solea Pfeiffer and Conrad Ricamora

Directed by Golden Globe winner Marsha Mason, Napoleon in Exile stars Emmy nominee Jane Kaczmarek and Will Dagger as mother and son. After the performance, the artists join host Claudia Catania to discuss writing for actors and bringing theater chops to the world of sitcom TV.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice By Southwark Playhouse The Sorcerer’s Apprentice will now be streamed due to the pandemic and continued lockdown. The pay-per-view stream will be available February 26–March 14.

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

Broadway

Barry Manilow’s and Bruce Sussman’s Harmony Meets The Press Part 2

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Yesterday we told you how the cast and creative’s met the press

The cast and creatives

In today’s edition hear director Warren Carlyle, Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman describe their show.

The 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

 

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Broadway

The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

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!

Will Swenson and Neil Diamond

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:

https://www.adweek.com/tvnewser/nbcs-today-unveils-new-graphics-package/535209/#:~:text=The%20new%20design%20highlights%20the,effects%20as%20the%20previous%20design%20%E2%80%A6

The Rolling Stones

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

Donnie Kehr and Cori Gardner’s Rockers On Broadway (their 30th edition) is coming up on Monday, October 16 at SONY Hall. 

Debbie Gibson

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!

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Off Broadway

Golden Rainbow…indeed! 

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By Jacqueline Parker 

Nature’s reward for enduring a spate of rain and gloomy weather is a rainbow. The York has delivered just that in their latest production in their Mufti series, Golden Rainbow. This musical from the late 60s is always mentioned among aficionados of this art form with wistful smiles and fond remembrances. The York has brought it back to life in a version that features some new lyrics by original composer/lyricist Walter Marks that carry the storyline into this century.   

Robert Cuccioli , Max Von Essen
Photo Credit: Rider R. Foster

From the opening notes of the Jule Styne-esque overture to the rousing finale, the audience was toe-and-finger tapping along to the sounds so evocative of the time when most of us were very young. The story itself is touching—a single father of a boy on the brink of teenhood must wrestle with the choice of saving his livelihood or letting his son move to the other side of the country with his aunt. The connection between father and son is made clear through several songs delivered touchingly by dad Max Von Essen and son Benjamin Pajak. 

Mari Davis Photo Credit: Rider R. Foster

The arrival under a false pretense of Mara Davi as Aunt Judy sets the plot spinning and allows Robert Cuccioli as mobster Carmine Malatesta and Danielle Lee Greaves as Jill to play their part in the resolution with songs hilarious and touching.   

Max Von Essen and Mara Davis Photo Credit: Rider R. Foster

If the story seems familiar it’s because it is taken from the film “A Hole in the Head,” based on the same source material, that starred Frank Sinatra and Eddie Hodges singing the Oscar-winning song High Hopes. Golden Rainbow opened in 1968 starring Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme in the leads. They were household names at the time, based on their talent and popularity from television appearances and cabaret performances.   

Max Von Essen and Benjamin Pajak
Photo Credit: Rider R. Foster

Perhaps most impressive in this production was Von Essen’s version of the hit song “I Gotta Be Me.” It was haunting as it built in intensity and left the audience almost breathless at the end of Act 1. 

Benjamin Pajak
Photo Credit: Rider R. Foster

Pajak, familiar to all from his recent appearances in Oliver! and The Music Man was astounding in his ability to project the at times heartbreaking and lovingly joyous emotions of his character.

Mari Davis Photo Credit: Rider R. Foster

Mara Davi’s character has her own roller coaster ride of emotions, which she transmits with style and conviction.

Robert Cuccioli Photo Credit: Rider R. Foster

Robert Cuccioli was hilarious as a mobster singing Taste,

Danielle Lee Greaves Photo Credit: Rider R. Foster

and Danielle Lee Greaves delivered two of the new songs, making me hope for a new recording of this terrific show soon.   

Max Von Essen and Benjamin Pajak
Photo Credit: Rider R. Foster

The clock is ticking on this gem of a show – it closes Sunday, October 1st.  Get your tickets at yorktheatre.org and find your own pot of gold at the end of this rainbow. 

Max Von Essen and Mara Davis Photo Credit: Rider R. Foster

 

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Broadway

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

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The curtain rose last tonight on the first performance of the final Stephen Sondheim musical. Here We Are, the new musical from David Ives and Sondheim, is on stage at The Shed’s Griffin Theater (545 W. 30th Street), with an Opening Night on Sunday, October 22, for 15 weeks only.

Directed by two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello, the cast of Here We Are will feature Francois Battiste, Tracie Bennett, Bobby Cannavale, Micaela Diamond, Amber Gray, Jin Ha, Rachel Bay Jones, Denis O’Hare, Steven Pasquale, David Hyde Pierce, and Jeremy Shamos. The understudies for Here We Are are Adante Carter, Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Bradley Dean, Mehry Eslaminia, Adam Harrington, and Bligh Voth.

Here We Are is inspired by two films, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Exterminating Angel, by Luis Buñuel.

Here We Are will include choreography by Sam Pinkleton, set design and costume design by David Zinn, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Tom Gibbons, orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, musical supervision and additional arrangements by Alexander Gemignani, hair & make-up design by Wigmaker Associates, and casting by The Telsey Office.

Tickets are on sale on TheShed.org.

For each performance, a limited number of $25 tickets will be available via a weekly lottery, which will open for entries on the TodayTix app each Sunday at 12:01 AM for the coming week’s performances and will close at 12:00 PM on the day before each performance. Winners will be notified by push notification and email between 1 – 4 PM on the day before their selected show, and will have 30 minutes to claim their tickets in the app. Entrants may request 1 or 2 tickets, and entry is free and open to all.

Via TodayTix’s mobile rush program, a limited number of $40 same-day rush tickets will be available for that day’s performance of Here We Are at 9:00 AM each day on a first-come, first-served basis. Users can download the app and “unlock” rush tickets by sharing the program on social media ahead of their desired performance day.  

The most award-winning musical of the 2022-2023 season, Some Like It Hot, will play for 13 more weeks through Saturday, December 30, 2023, at Broadway’s Shubert Theatre (225 West 44th Street) before launching a national tour and West End production.

Awarded Best Musical by The Drama League, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle, Some Like It Hot received over 20+ major awards throughout the 2022-2023 season, including four Tony Awards for Best Lead Actor in a Musical (J. Harrison Ghee), Best Choreography (Casey Nicholaw), Best Orchestrations (Charlie Rosen & Bryan Carter) and Best Costumes in a Musical (Gregg Barnes). J. Harrison Ghee made history as the first non-binary performer to take home the Tony Award in their category.

A national tour will launch in September 2024 and a West End production will follow in 2025, produced by The Shubert Organization and Neil Meron in partnership with Ambassador Theatre Group.

At the time of the final performance, the production will have played the Shubert Theatre for over a year, for a total of 483 performances.

Will Swenson and the cast. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.

Will Swenson, who is electrifying audiences with his star turn in A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical, will play his final performance as ‘Neil Diamond – Then’ at the Broadhurst Theatre (235 West 44th Street) on Sunday, October 29. Casting for the role of ‘Neil Diamond – Then’ will be announced at a future date.

The unofficial commencement of “spooky season” takes place this Friday, September 29, when Tony Award® Nominee and Grammy Award® Winner Patrick Page returns to the New York stage in All The Devils Are Here: How Shakespeare Invented The Villain, a new work created and performed by Mr. Page, based on the villains of William Shakespeare. Directed by Simon Godwin, the solo show will play the DR2 Theatre (103 E 15th Street) beginning Friday, September 29, with an Opening Night set for Monday, October 16, for 14 weeks only.

Tickets are now available at allthedevilsplay.com, Telecharge  or by visiting the DR2 Theatre box office (103 E 15th Street).

Julie White

Julie White and Brandon Uranowitz will join Ato Blankson-Wood in a staged benefit reading of The Laramie Project. Moises Kaufman and the Members of Tectonic Theatre Project’s The Laramie Projectwill bedirected by Dustin Wills (Wolf Play, Wet Brain). The event, which will raise funds to support the work of The Trevor Project, will take place on Monday, October 16th at 7:00 PM at Peter Norton Symphony Space, and is being produced by District Productions. Additional casting is soon to be announced. For tickets and more information, visit https://www.symphonyspace.org/events/vp-the-laramie-project-a-benefit-staged-reading

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Music

Global Superstar Fally Ipupa Captivates America with Congolese Music

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This is a beat you want to hear!

International music sensation Fally Ipupa has set out to conquer the American music market with the captivating sounds of Congolese music. Rising to prominence since his debut solo album Droit Chemin in 2006, the gold hitmaker reflects on his ignited sensibility to change the face of the American music industry while visiting New York.

“It is really just the beginning of a wonderful journey,” states the renowned artist. “The sounds and beats of the Congo will open doors and unify the planet.”

With millions of fans around the globe and billions of online and social media impressions, the king of the Congo music world has achieved legendary status and sells out stadium-size concerts in countries from Europe, the United Kingdom to all of Africa.

Already a household name across the African continent, Ipupa is an award-winning luminary with acclaim for his distinctive blend of Congolese rumba, modern Afro-pop, and soukous. Now the visionary performer ambitiously has produced an electrifying campaign to ignite the global stage with his unique style and sensational vocals that has led to such mesmerizing hits as “Eloko Oyo,” “Original,” and “Sweet Life.” Prior to his evolving solo career as a performer, producer, and business entrepreneur, he played an instrumental role in the band Quartier Latin International. Ipupa has collectively won the Kora Awards for Best Artist or Group from Central Africa. He also has multiple nominations and titles including the MTV Africa Award for best video, and artist of the year. The singer has been nominated multiple times also for the BET Best International Act and he has won two AFRIMMA Awards at the 2023 ceremony in Dallas, Texas.

The hitmaker’s latest album Formule 7 topped charts and the rumba maestro continues to successfully blend African music with Congolese sounds and international beats. Creating lyrics in French, as well as his native language, Lingala, he masterfully expresses the beautiful culture to growing American fans with love lyrics and thrilling dance beats.

The popularity of the beloved international performer is more than ever attractive across the Atlantic and he is deeply appreciated for the music as much as his business skills and highly acclaimed work as a philanthropist. In partnerships with UNESCO, UNDP, and UNICEF, he serves as an ambassador to support the fight for women and children’s rights. Since 2017, Ipupa has collaborated with UNICEF in the fight against malnutrition and to aid in providing clean water.

His performances world-wide help bring light to his philanthropic mission and keep the connection between his fans and him through his music. The next rendezvous with his European and African fans will be in November 25th, at the U-Arena, Paris where Fally Ipupa is expecting an audience of 43,000 people to sing with him, before heading to play at OVO Arena, London on December 8th.

 

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