January 4, 2015 |
When Berry Gordy talks about the legendary record company he started in Detroit back in 1959 (originally Tamla Records, it became the Motown Record Corp. in 1960), he describes an entity transcending music. "My Motown is like a tree," he says with relish. "We go out on branches in every different direction. " The sounds and sights of Smokey Robinson's Miracles, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, the young Michael Jackson, the Temptations, the Four Tops, and Diana Ross (Gordy's onetime, longtime paramour)
June 20, 2014 |
A COMPOSER IN "Jersey Boys" says he's moved to write music when he hears the voice of Frankie Valli, which he compares favorably to greats like Dinah Washington. In the ear of the beholder, I guess. There are others who think Valli sounds like one alley cat sexually assaulting another. Yet no matter what you think of the voice behind "Rag Doll," you leave "Jersey Boys" with respect for the sheer determination of the crooner and his band the Four Seasons. They had way more hits than you think they had, and stuck around longer than you think they did. How you feel about "Jersey Boys," the movie, is another matter.
June 16, 2014 |
At the beginning of May, straight off a six-week return engagement playing Frankie Valli in the London stage production of the smash jukebox musical Jersey Boys , John Lloyd Young was sitting in a New York screening room. He was about to watch Clint Eastwood's film adaptation. And he was about to watch himself as the falsetto-powered front man of up-from-the-streets '60s chart-toppers the Four Seasons. "It's funny, because the stage version is very fast-paced, like a treadmill, one scene - bang!
May 14, 2014 |
MANY'S THE former child star who winds up making headlines for all the wrong reasons - holding up a convenience store, spray-painting a historic landmark, suing his parents, getting carted off to rehab. But it's a "Beautiful" thing what's happened to Jarrod Spector, the onetime, made-in-Philly juvenile talent who broke into the biz at the ridiculous age of 3. And survived to tell the tale. Now he's a handsome and "relatively sane" 33-year-old and the toast of the New York theater scene with a great featured part and his very first Tony nomination in "Beautiful," the charming Carole King "bio-musical.
January 22, 2014 |
AS A GOOD amount of snow is heading this way today, let's hope that Justin Bieber won't be passing through town. According to TMZ.com, Bieber and his posse were driving in Snowmass, Colo., on Sunday when his Escalade parade pulled to the side of a private road and Justin pulled out his privates and relieved himself. His aim was true. There were no leaks from any of his bodyguards. And, alas, no streaming video. When slack-jawed residents went over to check out Justin's handiwork, they saw that "JB" had been whizzed in the pristine white landscape.
December 15, 2013 |
The boys put it best: "Oh, what a night!" As a Jersey girl, I can tell you that Jersey Boys , the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, is a high-energy musical full of great songs ("Earth Angel," "Sherry," "Walk Like a Man," "Working My Way Back to You") and great voices. The show - a Broadway hit that won four Tony Awards and a Grammy for best musical show album - was last in Philly two years ago. I had a good time then, and I had a good time again. Valli (Nick Cosgrove has a killer falsetto)
December 13, 2013 |
Theatrical dialect coaches believe that in an actor's creation of a character, the talk has to precede the walk - or, if you're a Jersey boy, the "tawk" precedes the "wawk" - especially if you're going to sing a "sawng. " And that means you need a dialect coach. Dialect coaches are like Henry Higgins, the phonetics professor from Shaw's Pygmalion and, later, Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady . They can tell where you're from at the drop of a consonant. Jersey Boys , the popular musical about Frankie Valli and his guy-group the Four Seasons, has been workin' its way back to us, babe, on national tour, and opens Thursday for a month at the Forrest Theatre, its third visit in four years.
December 13, 2013 |
SINGING passionately from head and chest and heart, with full voice and a distinctively soaring (yet macho) falsetto, has always come naturally to Frankie Valli. So recalls this one-of-a-kind stylist's longtime musical partner and friend for all seasons, Bob Gaudio. "The man just opened his mouth and that's what came out," Gaudio marveled earlier this week from Nashville, remembering his first "meet" with Valli more than five decades ago (1958) in Newark, N.J. "He's what I call an inside-out singer, a natural.
October 9, 2012 |
No one was going to rain on Betty Paglia's parade Sunday afternoon when she began dancing in the streets. The South Philadelphia woman has attended the Columbus Day parade for 40 years and appeared a natural when Joe "Asti" Pomante, 51, captain of the Durning String Band from Barrington, took her by the hand for a few twirls along South Broad Street. Paglia, 66, and neighbor Millie Aros, 68, live near the parade route, which ran from Morris Street to Oregon Avenue and ended with a festival at Marconi Plaza.
August 17, 2012 |
MICHAEL J. FOX has decided to quit loafing around the house and go back to full-time work. The 51-year-old actor - can you believe that? - is pitching a sitcom based on his life, and given his track record ("Family Ties," "Spin City," "Back to the Future," a best-selling autobiography) he probably has a good chance to get it on the air. Vulture.com reports that Fox has teamed with writer Sam Laybourne ("Arrested Development," "Cougar Town") and director Will Gluck ("Easy A")