Well, I was actually talking about the music for this dance. It's from Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party with Julia Murney and the Off-Broadway cast singing A Wild Wild Party.....this song is so energetic it's one of my favorites from the album and the show. This video is actually from last season's So You Think You Can Dance. I knew the song was featured on the show and now I'm glad somebody posted it on YouTube. Amazing vocals!!!!
As usual they are hilarious but I have to warn you guys about the language....since I know Lani's neices are reading this blog (Hi By the way!!!)
The interaction between brother- sister/children-father is fascinating and painful to watch because the characters are so human. And the issues they are forced to deal with are real. The extremely well-written story hits close to home. No sappy deathbed scenes or emotional reconciliations here though. But the ending is most satisfactory. Excellent performances all around. Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman can do no wrong.
The only downside is the title brings up memories of a song from Pocahontas :(
This is the Senado. At night. It's the Old Portuguese quarter of Macau and town center.
We had a celebrity sighting, Jay Cuenca (I don't really know him but they said he's an up and coming actor in the Philippines). That's Yaya (Nanny) Jona with him in the pic.
Check out the Disney Line of the Hongkong MTR system!!!!
The Ruins of St. Paul church which was built in the 1600's by the Japanese Christian exiles under the supervision of a Jesuit, Carlo Spinola. Only the facade remains from a fire in 1835. The backside of the church is now a museum and the facade has been the symbol of Macau
Take a look at the Portuguese tiles!!!!
The Senado square and it's old buildings
Tiles act as cobblestones in this quarter. I don't know why but this part reminds me of Las Ramblas in Barcelona.
Are you in Gotham this week? New York City Restaurant Week Winter 2008 kicked off last week. It resumes tomorrow 28 January and continues until 01 February. You can enjoy a 3 course prix-fixe meal for $24.07 lunch and $35.00 dinner. Click here for reservations.
It's the wonderful Sutton Foster and the original Broadway Cast of Thoroughly Modern Millie! This was during the 2002 Tony Awards. Check out the hoofing....it's FIERCE!
Theatre-loving martial artists, kiai! (Do I hear two or three people cheering?) A musical based on the life of Bruce Lee is in the works. Tony nominee David Yazbek is writing music and lyrics, with Tony nominated director Bartlett Sher at the helm. It will have an out of town engagement in, appropriately, Seattle. It is expected to open on Broadway during the 2009-2010 season. Producers may even bring it to China. This might be good for Asian-Americans on Broadway. Although Mr. Yazbek said the cast would be mostly dancers and acrobats. How about Paolo Montalban as Bruce?
(Photo from All Movie Portal)
It is more harrowing than The Sea Inside, because we see things from Bauby's point of view for much of the film. The result is unnerving yet moving. When we're not watching life from his hospital bed or wheelchair, we are treated to gorgeous flights of fancy. His imagination is let loose by his affliction.
Aside from the beautiful cinematography, clever editing and sound, the supporting cast is solid. Most notably Emmanuelle Seigner who played loyal Celine, the mother of his children and Max Von Sydow as Jean-Do's father. Don't forget to bring tissues. This isn't your run-of-the-mill triumph of the human spirit movie. But it is not as grim as it sounds. Some of Bauby's internal dialogue: very funny, especially when surrounded by his beautiful therapists, secretary and hospital staff. The film is however, nothing like I've ever seen before. It will give you a whole new perspective.
In this week they discuss Broadway.....specifically The Eff-it Point. What is it you may ask.....well to quote the writer, Dan Hopper:
What is the Eff-It Point, you ask? Why, it’s the highly useful term I’ve just invented to refer to the point where a Broadway show that once sustained itself on its story, music, and buzz, finally just says “ahhhh, f*ck it” and starts casting mediocre celebrities in lead roles to bolster their marquee and grab the attention of easily impressed, money-having tourists. Or non-tourists. Pretty much anyone who’s stupid and has money, I guess.
Among those who follow the theatre world, that is what you call Stunt Casting. My favs are the comments about Tony Danza in the Producers and Young Frankenstein LOL! Although regarding his comment about Chicago (which is notorious for stunt casting).....well, he should have listed Melanie Griffith, Kelly Osbourne and Ashley Simpson instead of those guys!!!!! Oy!
Check out the link above!
I know it's reality TV and they always edit the shows for maximum entertainment value. And you wonder how people's behavior get altered by having cameras on them. But this seemed like a truly unscripted, unabashed and unblinking look at their efforts to heal themselves. Like a motorist passing the scene of a car accident, I watched with morbid fascination as Jeff struggled with his detox, listened as group members revealed histories of abuse and cheered as a co-dependent girlfriend got lectured. I never understood addiction but I found myself rooting for these people. I hope they win their battles.
I'm sure you've all heard that Heath Ledger has passed on. May he find peace now.
Here's the complete list of nominees for this year's Academy Awards.
No Keira Knightley or James McAvoy although little Briony merited a nod. Cate Blanchett again has best supporting and best actress nominations. I wonder if stars are going to show up for the ceremony because of the ongoing writers' strike.
Mary Testa and Jackie Hoffman are hilarious!
I want to see the show again!
Meanwhile, this maybe unrelated but here's a really good article from the NY Times about......as I said in my first ever post in this blog......the sport of Stage-dooring......it has truly become a sport and dangerous with those people who are not really fans. Very disturbing actually.
The Little Mermaid is pleasant enough but lacked a certain something. I can't quite place it. Perhaps I'm just getting too old and crotchety for Disney.
"I wanna be where the people are, I wanna see, wanna see them dancing..."
Maybe I was just too prepared to love the show. I had been eagerly anticipating it from the moment I heard they were bringing my beloved Disney film to the stage. The cast is great except I kept picturing Mary Testa as Ursula (I love Sherie Rene and I was surprised to find myself thinking this). There definitely wasn't enough Norm Lewis. Some of the new songs reminded me of Beauty and the Beast. Some of the jokes fell flat, and the ending felt rushed.
Ms. Boggess has a lovely singing voice and quite good at physical comedy in the second act.
There were genuine moments of awe and wonderment, like when someone floats to the surface or sinks to the bottom ( I even applauded) or the transformation scene. And using the heelys was inspired. Granted, the visuals and colors were stunning, even breath-taking, at times. But overall the set design and costumes bothered me. (Nothing will probably ever equal The Lion King's ground-breaking staging. The King has ruined me for other Disney productions!) The outfits varied from community theatre-like to tacky Vegas extravaganza. I know; they were only trying to be innovative.
The stage door
Tituss Burgess as Sebastian. I love the new arrangements of "Under the Sea" and "Kiss the Girl". They were crowd-pleasers; also Chef Louis's 'Les Poissons.
Sean Palmer was Prince Eric.
Trevor Braun is one of the Flounders.
Despite its flaws, The Little Mermaid is still not a bad way to spend an evening on Broadway. The kids will love it.
(Thanks to Cecile for some of the photos!)
Who's your Jedi Master? For Doug and Jimmy of the Discovery Channel's Fight Quest, they'll travel the world to answer that question. The first episode I saw they were in the Philippines to learn the ancient and deadly art of Kali. Part travelogue, part smackdown, they each take a crash course in a particular country's martial arts or fighting techniques. At the end of the episode, they show off what they learned as they square off with locals. I never know who to root for. Two globe-trotters looking for a fight...what could be better? It's on Friday nights.
Well, I love the "If you can't beat them, join them" attitude that PBS has!!! They posted this clip of Raul Esparza and the cast of COMPANY singing "Side By Side" on their own Youtube account! Imagine that! Might as well post it themselves and get everyone excited for the broadcast which will be on Feb 20 (check local listings). Lani and I saw it during my birthday trip to NYC and really enjoyed it…..on a more somber level. I can’t wait! My dvd recorder will be ready :)
According to PBS: Long before Sex and the City, the Stephen Sondheim/George Furth musical Company took an unconventional look at love and commitment in complex modern New York. The 1970 era-defining classic was - and is - an honest, funny and sophisticated portrayal of five married couples as seen through the eyes of their mutual friend Robert, a waffling, 35-year-old bachelor evaluating the pros and cons of wedded life. Raúl Esparza, who won Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his portrayal of leading man Robert, heads the cast of actor-musicians. John Doyle (Sweeney Todd) directs.
Playbill.com previously reported Jan. 14, that MTV networks confirmed that casting is underway for an upcoming reality television series that will search for Legally Blonde's next Elle Woods via the same network that brought the musical to millions of television viewers in October 2007.
Full article here. I can just see the Hills Girls hosting this. Why don't you just stab me in the eye with a ballpoint pen!!!!!!!
My sister Lynn sent us belated Christmas gifts from the Philippines. Aside from the Knorr Chicken Noodle Soup that we requested (reading the Sodium content alone clogs up my arteries), she gave me the Munchlax figure that you see on the right (the pre-evolved form of Snorlax that you see underneath) and the Spice Girls Greatest Hits CD. The CD is being released in the U.S. today.
I never watched Pokemon and never understood the whole phenomenon. But I saw Snorlax and found it irresistibly cute. It is a Pokemon after my own heart---very lazy, eats and sleeps all day. Just like Garfield, but more slothful.
Yes, I like the Spice Girls (gasp!). Probably because they bring back memories of my then 5 and 2 year old nieces singing and dancing to their music. (They might not admit it now---Hi girls!) Although some of their lyrics were not appropriate for children, their attitude, catchy songs and messages of Girl Power and friendship, took the world by storm. The sassy group became one of the most successful bands of all time. Say what you will about them, their music is pure pop. "Wannabe" is number 33 in VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s. So people of the world, spice up your life.
I'm sorry I didn't see Gone Baby Gone when it was out in theaters last year. I figured it was another whodunit with an unfortunate title. After seeing it yesterday at my local $2 moviehouse, I left thinking it's probably one of the best films of 2007. Showing us that Good Will Hunting wasn't a fluke, Ben Affleck co-wrote the profanity-laced screenplay and made his directorial debut in Gone. It is almost a love letter to his hometown of Boston.
Brother Casey Affleck plays Patrick Kenzie, a private detective living in Beantown's working-class section of Dorchester. He and his girlfriend Angela Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan) investigate the disappearance of four-year-old Amanda McCready from the same neighborhood. Amanda's mother Helene, fiercely portrayed by Tony and Golden Globe nominee Amy Ryan, is a druggie. (Probably one of the most unfit and unsympathetic screen mothers ever.) Ed Harris, John Ashton and Morgan Freeman play members of Boston's Finest who are leading the investigation. Mrs. Ed Harris (Amy Madigan) plays Bea, and Titus Welliver is Lionel, the girl's aunt and uncle who hire the PIs.
Based on an earlier novel written by "Mystic River" author Dennis Lehane, this is "Mystic River" lite. In Kenzie and Gennaro's search for the little girl, they encounter drug dealers, pedophiles (this sub-plot is so unsavory but important) and dirty cops. (I wonder why Boston's police force are never good guys in movies.) The revelations near the end of the movie just made me want to shout "Oh the moral ambiguity!" and ask the eternal question: What Would I Do?
This movie is enough to erase the memories of Gigli or Jersey Girl. I await Mr. Affleck's sophomore effort. Brother Casey is definitely a must-watch actor and star.
The DVD will be released on 12 February 2008. (Photo from Yahoo!)
Here's the complete list of winners.
The Little Mermaid cast on yesterday's Good Morning America.
At the after-party: Tituss Burgess (Sebastian), Sierra Boggess (Ariel); Sean Palmer (Prince Eric); Sherie Rene Scott (Ursula) and Norm Lewis (King Triton---apparently underused and barechested according to Mr. Brantley)
Ariel 2008 with Ariel 1989, Jodi Benson
Thanks to Playbill and Broadwayworld for the photos! (How awesome that you made them right-clickable!)
Full article about the broadcast on Entertainment Today.
TheaterMania reports that Adam Pascal (AKA Rent's Roger Davis and Aida's Radames) will be participating in three projects related to Nickelodeon Television's "The Backyardigans". The animated children's show is a favorite of my co-workers' kids. He will be the Narrator in a new TV movie, "Tale of the Mighty Knights". This will premiere on 14 January at 7 pm. Adam is also among the featured artists -- along with Cyndi Lauper and Alicia Keyes -- on the CD "Born to Play", to be released on 22 January. Mr. Pascal will also perform the ballad "Not An Egg" in Backyardigans Live!, a live theatrical presentation that will kick off a 50-city national tour in York, Pennsylvania on 28 March. Pity no child!
If you're like me, I just mumble incoherently and taper off when I try to name some Broadway folk. Charlotte D'Amboise, Michael La Chiusa anyone? I found this helpful thread on Broadway world's message board. It discusses how names of Broadway actors and actresses are pronounced. Very enlightening indeed.
09 January ADDENDUM: See? Just quote something from Arthur Miller's The Crucible and the universe cooperates. The Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning play is returning to the stage on 09 February. The off-Broadway Arclight Theatre will be home to the popular drama until 02 March. I saw the most recent revival in 2002, starring Liam Neeson and Laura Linney. Very intense.
BBC reports that a musical based on The Diary of Anne Frank will premiere in Madrid's Calderon Theatre next month. The Anne Frank Museum is reportedly endorsing the project and even gave a tour of the Amsterdam attic apartment to cast members last week. 13-year-old Isabella Castillo plays Anne Frank. Strange subject for a musical. Show could be very good or very bad.
And last but not the least...Idina Menzel and Josh Groban have been rumored to star in the 21st anniversary concert performance of Chess at London's Royal Albert Hall on the 12th and the 13th of May. Why not Julia Murney as Svetlana if she can't be Florence?
09 January ADDENDUM: It is confirmed! Idina Menzel and Josh Groban will play Florence and the Russian, respectively at the two concerts. Go to the Royal Albert Hall website for ticket information.
Kristin Chenoweth is also crossing the pond to make her English National Opera debut. She is reprising her role as Cunegonde in the New York Philharmonic production of Candide. It will open at the London Coliseum 23 June and will run for 13 performances.
Ms. Chenoweth's Pushing Daisies co-star, Lee Pace, is in the film Miss Pettigrew lives for a day. I saw the trailer this weekend. By the way, if you're not watching "Daisies", you're missing out. Lots of Broadway actors in guest appearances. Thanks to my sister Cecile for encouraging me to keep watching. I wasn't completely sold after the first episode.
Maybe the post should be titled "London Calling" instead.
One of my patients asked me what nationality I was. When I told her I'm from the Philippines, she said her favorite singer is Filipino. I asked her who it was, and sure enough, it was Lea Salonga. She said she's watched all of Ms. Salonga's shows, even sat next to Lea's family at the Carnegie Hall concert. Before Christmas, I thought I'd copy these 2 CDs for her. She came in last week and was thanking me profusely. She said it's her favorite CD now and plays it in her car all the time. She even downloaded it to her Mom's computer so she can also listen to it when she's there.
It is a predictable but sweet and whimsical film. The star is a very realistic lake creature named Crusoe who is "raised" by a lonely boy named Angus. (Weta Workshop did the special effects so it's obviously very good.) I loved hearing the little kids in the theatre bursting out laughing and giggling throughout the movie. Although towards the end as Crusoe was being pursued by townsfolk and soldiers, there were some frightening scenes for little ones. The scenery is beautiful and the ending gives hope for people like me who want to believe there may be room in this world for creatures like Champ (from Lake Champlain here in the U. S.) and Nessie.
(photo from Yahoo!)
1) Wicked with Julia Murney as Elphaba from the first row
2) Grey Gardens with Christine Ebersole and Mary Louise Wilson
3) August: Osage County with the Chicago Ensemble at Steppenwolf
4) XANADU !!!!!!! ---> a place that I would dare go.......several times
5) Curtains --> this was a total surprise to me when I first saw it because I wasn't really expecting anything BUT I really enjoyed the show and the energy of the cast; I would love to see it again
For this coming year I am really looking forward to the following:
1) Billy Elliot
I urge Lani, Ate and Mike.....and maybe some of you guys who read this blog to list their Top 5 too....be it in movies, theatre or even events of 2007..........Cheers!!!!!!!