‘Rock of Ages’ Begins Performances Tomorrow, 10/1
ROCK OF AGES cranks up the volume Off-Broadway with performances beginning Wednesday, October 1 at New World Stages. Slated for an open-ended engagement, the show will have its Official Opening Night on Thursday, October 16 at 7:00 PM.
This production features Constantine Maroulis (Broadway: The Wedding Singer; Off-Broadway Jaques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris; Television: …American Idol Season 4),
Underwood releases holiday version of CD – Two-disc package goes on sale Oct. 21 exclusivley at Wal-Mart
Due Oct. 21 exclusively at Wal-Mart, the two-disc package will couple the …Carnival Ride CD with a second disc containing five Christmas favorites, four of which are previously unreleased.
Among the seasonal classics are …Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, …The First Noel, …What Child Is This, and …O Holy Night ‘ all newly recorded for this collection ‘ in addition to Underwood rendition of …Do You Hear What I Hear, featured on last year multi-artist compilation, …Hear Something Country Christmas.
Rock of Ages, with Maroulis, Barrett, Molina and Swenson, Arrives Off-Broadway Oct. 1
The 1980s-set musical Rock of Ages ‘ starring “American Idol” finalist Constantine Maroulis ‘ begins performances at Off-Broadway’s New World Stages Oct. 1 with an official opening Oct. 16.
Featuring a book by Chris D’Arienzo, the musical, press notes state, is “fueled by high-octane 80s rock ‘ from the anthems that defined an era to the power ballads that lit up arenas everywhere.” Expect songs by Journey, Bon Jovi, Styx, Reo Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Poison, Asia and Whitesnake.
American Idol alum, LaKisha Jones, to get married Sunday
FLINT, Michigan — Kiki’s getting married.
Former Flintite LaKisha Jones of “American Idol” fame will wed fiance Larry Davis Sunday in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Jones’ mother, Beverly Jefferson, and her grandmother Ruth Jefferson Morris, said they’ll fly out to California for the wedding.
“You’d better believe I’m excited, ” said Morris, a Flint resident. “I’m proud of her.”
Jefferson, a teacher at Flint’s Northern Academy, said “a lot of relatives will be coming from all over the country. It’s going to be small and intimate — about 100 guests.”
In Hollywood, sexuality is less secret, still can be big deal
It used to be called “the love that dare not speak its name” — particularly in Hollywood, where the revelation of homosexuality was believed to be a career-killer.
Now, out gays and lesbians are as casually visible as the cover of People magazine, which has recently run stories on Ellen DeGeneres’ wedding to Portia de Rossi and Clay Aiken’s decision to discuss his sexuality.
So, in a time when self-declared bisexual Tila Tequila can have a highly rated MTV show on looking for a partner of either sex, Lindsay Lohan talks about her relationship with DJ Samantha Ronson and “Star Trek’s” George Takei can have a very public wedding with his longtime partner, is coming out still a big deal?
Orientations: Clay’s coming out had a message for us
We have to hand it to Aiken, though. The recent birth of his son, he told People, was the impetus for coming out of the closet.
“I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things, ” he told the mag. “I wasn’t raised that way, and I’m not going to raise a child to do that.”
With National Coming Out Day celebrating its 20th anniversary this month, it’s a timely point. Coming out has more to do with honesty, self-acceptance and putting faith in loved ones than it does with anything else. It is not, as some like to assume, about declaring an ill-conceived or malicious rejection of society’s moral code.
Jennifer Hudson Is Telling You: No Truth to Label Rift
(Sept. 30) – Jennifer Hudson says there is no truth to the rumor that Arista Records wasn’t pleased with the initial direction of her debut album, which drops Tuesday. “There’s a rumor that the album was scrapped, ” Hudson tells PopEater. “That was never the case. [The delay] is because I filmed three or four films in between recording the album. I don’t believe in doing them both at the same time. If I’m filming, I’m filming and if I’m recording, I’m recording. I don’t want to split my focus.”
Jennifer Hudson’s old dream, music, is a new dream
Two years ago, the biggest question surrounding Jennifer Hudson’s career was whether she could act.
Everyone knew she could sing; after all, it was her soaring, gospel-inflected voice that made her famous during her finalist run on “American Idol” in 2004. The question was whether her considerable talent extended to acting when she was cast in the drama-filled role of Effie in the movie adaptation of the musical “Dreamgirls.”
An Oscar win for best supporting actress answered that handily, and roles in the summer blockbuster “Sex and the City” and the upcoming “The Secret Lives of Bees” have only reaffirmed her newfound gift. But as Hudson puts the focus back on her singing with her self-titled debut CD, she has to answer more questions’ like whether winning an Academy Award last year has made it easier or harder for her to be seen as a singer
Size matters in Jennifer Hudson’s future goals
Actress-singer Jennifer Hudson is especially excited about her next film project, ‹The Secret Life of Bees, ƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ in which her co-stars include fellow singer/actresses Alicia Keys and Queen Latifah, as well as Dakota Fanning.
Hudson plays Rosaleen, a ‹‹mother figureƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ to Fanning character. At one point, Hudson character ‹‹is beaten up just because she trying to register to vote and she black.ƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬
Ludacris Lends Jennifer Hudson Some Cred
Jennifer Hudson feat. Ludacris, “Pocketbook”
Despite the corny image of Hudson swatting away Ludacris for getting too fresh, this new track from her upcoming solo release does a good job of transforming Hudson from a Dreamgirl into a modern R&B star.
Jennifer Hudson stays in the ‘spotlight’
Better material. That’s the overarching feeling you get when you listen to Jennifer Hudson’s eponymous debut CD. She needs better material. She deserves better material.
Unfortunately, she’s not alone. Most artists in the industry today suffer from the same problem. It is no wonder that the most successful artists, the ones with staying power, write their own music: Beyonce, Mariah, Justin Timberlake and Alicia Keys. However, what saves Jennifer Hudson from the bad song selection curse that has plagued Clive Davis’ artists is the same thing that saved Whitney Houston – her voice.
Kellie Pickler Takes Her Time
Sept. 30, 2008 ‘ Kellie Pickler releases her self-titled sophomore album on Tuesday, and it represents a larger investment of time and consideration than her 2006 debut.
The first CD, Small Town Girl, was recorded in a hit-and-miss fashion for logistical reasons. She was in the middle of the American Idol Tour and needed to get her first CD in stores while she still had momentum from the TV show. This time around, the whole process was much more planned, and the result, she told Billboard, is an album that “a lot more ‹me because we had the time to make it ‹me.”
This time around, she chose a different producer: Chris Lindsey, who co-wrote her hits “I Wonder” and “Red High Heels.”
Kellie Pickler Advice for Young Women ‘ Stay Single
Kellie Pickler new, self-titled album is brimming with breakup songs. Considering that she a favorite among young women, I asked her to share any advice for those girls with broken hearts.
…I think the best advice that I could give a younger girl ‘ and this is for someone in elementary school through high school ‘ I would just advise young girls to not get into serious relationships so young, she says. …Im from a small town, so it kind of expected of you. When I graduated, there were girls in my graduating class that were barefoot and pregnant walking across the stage and the guy was not anyone to take home. And it already leading to a road of disaster.
Kellie Pickler Shares Her Secret to Keep From Going Crazy
Kellie Pickler first made a name for herself on American Idol, but she firmly insists that there are no more reality shows in her future.
“I’ve been offered so many reality shows just to have people follow me around, ” she tells CMT.com. “I don’t see why anybody would want to follow me around all day because I’m really not that interesting. I told my manager, ‘I can’t do it. It’d be like ‘bleep bleep.’ They wouldn’t be able to show anything. It’d be like a whole television show of nothing. It would be muted the whole way. There would be no talking, and I’d probably get committed into some home. … They’d probably take me away to some psychiatric ward because I’m nuts. But, yeah, I can’t have one unless they have it on, like, HBO at night.”
Our Kellie Pickler Exclusive
To say that Kellie Pickler is excited about her sophomore album, which dropped today, is an understatement. With more time to dedicate to recording (For her first album, her main recording time was in between shows on the AI tour.), a more seasoned approach, and even a new outlook on life, Kellie’s new CD will reflect all the changes she’s experienced since her debut album.
American Idol Chris Sligh wants you to make his next music video
As he wraps his nationwide, headline “Back to School” tour this week, American Idol finalist Chris Sligh is asking fans to help him create his next video, by lip-syncing to the original vocals for Sligh’s debut, top 10 AC hit single, “Empty Me.”
The sardonically witty and outspoken Sligh made quite an impression when he auditioned for American Idol. Entertainment Weekly named his the “Best Idol Auditions Ever, ” and he was a fan favorite, making it to the Top 12. Chris Sligh’s debut album, “Running Back to You, ” became one of the best-selling Christian album on iTunes when it released in May. “Empty Me” is currently on Christian radio, and the follow up single, “Arise, ” hits the airwaves this week.
Photo Flash: New Production Shots of Ace Young and Company in ‘Grease’
The current cast of GREASE stars American Idol’s Ace Young, NBC’s “Grease: You’re the One That I Want” finalists Derek Keeling as “Danny” and Ashley Spencer as “Sandy” along with Ryan Patrick Binder as “Doody, ” Susan Blommaert as “Miss Lynch, ” Will Blum as “Roger, ” Jeb Brown as “Vince, ” Janine DiVita as “Rizzo, ” Allison Fischer as “Patty, ” Robyn Hurder as “Marty, ” Lindsay Mendez as “Jan, ” Jose Restrepo as “Sonny, ” Jamison Scott as “Eugene” and Kirsten Wyatt as “Frenchy.” The ensemble of GREASEÃƒ ¢’Å¾ ¢ features Ashley Arcement, Brian Crum, Natalie Hill (“Cha-Cha”), Keven Quillon, Josh Rouah, Allie Schulz, Brian Sears, Christina Sivrich, Amber Stone, Anna Aimee White.
Osbourne has a rooting interest in talent finale
LOS ANGELES (AP) ‘ Sharon Osbourne isn’t shy about her favorites on Wednesday’s “America’s Got Talent” finale. “I’m really rooting for Nuttin But Stringz, for Eli and for Neal, ” said Osbourne, a judge on the NBC talent contest.
Nuttin But Stringz is the violin duo of Damien and Tourie Escobar, brothers from New York; Eli Mattson is a pianist and singer, born in Duluth, Minn., and raised in Wisconsin; opera singer Neal E. Boyd is an insurance salesman from Sikeston, Mo.
Also competing: singer Donald Braswell of Boerne, Texas, whose focus is musical theater, and soul singer Queen Emily from Stockton, Calif.
“You’ve got a wide variety of talent and they’re all great at what they do, ” Osbourne said of the finalists.
But she sounds especially taken with Nuttin But Stringz, noting that the brothers write their unique material.
‘America’s Got Talent’ Stars Size Up the Final Five
So, who’s the most talented of all? We’re with “America’s Got Talent” host Jerry Springer and judges Piers Morgan, David Hasselhoff and Sharon Osbourne to try and settle the question everyone is asking: Which of the five remaining contestants has the best shot at winning Wednesday night’s season finale, airing live at 9 p.m. on NBC?
The soon-to-be-crowned winner is surely in for a grand prize!
Boyd vies for $1 million in TV show
But Boyd, 32, an opera-singing Sikeston, Mo., native who now lives in Town and Country, could take home a real million-dollar prize when “America’s Got Talent” wraps up at 8 tonight on NBC. Boyd is one of five finalists for the “Talent” crown, which also includes a chance to headline in Las Vegas.
Boyd went on to study voice at the University of Missouri in Columbia, where he won a national competition and performed at Carnegie Hall in 2001. He was admitted to the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music in Boston before vocal polyps forced him to drop out in 2003.
Five years later, his voice had recovered, but Boyd was sure he’d never get his big break. “My girlfriend, Heather, was tired of me whining and pushed me to audition for ‘America’s Got Talent’ because it doesn’t have an age limit like ‘American Idol.'”
Quick Chat with Jerry Springer & Piers Morgan
The stars were out at NBC’s big fall kick-off party, but no one was having as much fun as Jerry Springer and Piers Morgan.
The two opposing sides of some very emotional dice on America’s Got Talent actually get along famously … when they’re not still bickering over whether a certain 4-year-old contestant should’ve gone home.
Meet the 5 acts on the final ‘Got Talent’ ballot
Truthfully, says judge Piers Morgan, he’ll be happy whichever way the chips fall tonight on the finale of NBC’s America’s Got Talent (9 ET/PT). Viewer votes determine who gets the top prize of $1 million (and fame). “Unlike previous years, I think the voting went brilliantly, ” Morgan says. “As a judge, you can’t ask for more.” USA TODAY scopes out the Final 5:
Week 2 results on ‘Dancing with the Stars’
After two eliminations last week, we’re back to the one at a time boots to the behind on Dancing with the Stars. Will we be shocked, surprised, horrified by the results? I wouldn’t take that sucker’s bet if I were you…
The show kicks off with the standard recap package complete with confessional interviews from the couples. Tom Bergeron says that Brooke performed a “passionate Paso Doble.” Were we watching the same dance? By the way, these things are entirely too long. Ninety-eight percent of the audience tuning in watched last night so we already know what happened.
‘Dancing With the Stars’: Stepping Out
Uh oh! There will be no more ”glitz and glam” for ”reality TV star” Kim Kardashian, whose dreams of coming back to ”wear a few more outfits” have been crushed by a resounding ”6-6-6.” Good thing she has another, somehow more ridiculous reality show on which she should feel free to waltz around in a different sparkly candy costume whenever she likes. (May I recommend Airheads? So many flavors! Just stay away from ”Mystery, ” as it simply would not apply.)
Kim’s elaborate sendoff included a 10-second interview and a few chords of ”See You Later, Alligator” (ha!) to send her off into the breezy land of pretty things ‘ and shopping, and nails, and somehow having other people accept that you purposely operate with the vocal register of a baby doll ‘ from which she floated in.
‹Dancing with the Stars: Brooke Burke, Warren Sapp, and Toni Braxton lead the pack
You know things are bad in the world when current events pierce even …DWTS’s pleasantly anodyne bubble. At the outset of this week competition, co-host Tom Bergeron referred to the bailout bill failure in Washington. What is this, …60 Minutes? Another noteworthy thing about week two was the bold display of bosoms everywhere you looked — holy moly. There must be someone in the costume department with a degree in structural engineering. And, finally, it is worth stating that the judges — even Bruno, who usually a bit looser with the compliments, however odd the metaphors may be — were afflicted by a malaise that caused them to deliver harsh (if not undeserved) feedback and low scores to many of our contestants. Perhaps theyd invested all of their money in Washington Mutual stock. (Speaking of WaMu — RIP — it still had commercials running during this episode.)
Dancing With Rocco, Week 2
Rocco DiSpirito has had a bumpy ride on Dancing With the Stars. His first performance earned him just 14 points, but then he and Karina Smirnoff shot up to 21 points for their sizzling mambo.
But last night, at just 16 points, they walked away with the second-lowest score. (Feisty wisecracker Cloris Leachman was at the bottom with 15.)
Carrie Ann Inaba pooh-poohed their lackluster rumba with a simple “Nice try.”
But DiSpirito isn’t letting the judges’ not-so-nice critiques get him down.
Dancing With The Stars: Week 2 Results
(S07E05) It’s time for the second week eliminations. The early week eliminations are always interesting times because, more often than not, the results are a little screwy. I’m reminded of past seasons that saw Jerry Springer, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Master P, to name a few, all hanging on far longer than their dancing abilities warranted. Would we see something similar tonight? The results, and a quick rundown of the results show performances, are after the jump.
Backstage: Meet the Two Kim Kardashians
Just in case you were confused, there are two Kim Kardashians: The shy person who stars in her family’s reality series, Keeping Up with the Kardashians. The reserved person who poses for Playboy. The party girl who makes the rounds of L.A. clubs but doesn’t drink. And the model who’s happy in front of a camera, unless she has to dance.
Backstage: Lacey’s Think You Can Dance Pals Visit
Dancing with the Stars was infiltrated Monday night by some of its stiffest dance competition: three heavyweights from Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance.
Sitting ringside was So You Think You Can Dance creator, executive producer and head judge Nigel Lythgoe, who has always made a point of praising Dancing with the Stars on the air. In another section of the ballroom sat So You Think judge Adam Shankman, who also directed the feature film Hairspray. And three seats down from Shankman sat the show’s Season 2 winner, swing dancer Benji Schwimmer.