Four ‘American Idols’ join for holiday concert at Easton’s State Theatre
It’ll be “Idols for the Holidays in Concert” come Wednesday at Easton’s State Theatre, but this time around, it won’t be Clay Aiken and his Christmas show.
The current tour, which kicks off Saturday in Pittsburgh, features former Top 10 “American Idol” finalists David Hernandez and Chikezie Eze, both from Season 7, Diana DeGarmo from Season 3, and Kimberley Locke from Season 2.
The four performers will deliver solo, duet and ensemble numbers in the new production led by “Idol” musical director Michael Ormand.
In a recent phone interview from his home in Phoenix, Hernandez says the Christmas tour will stop in 15 cities across the country before it wraps up in Waukegan, Ill., on Dec. 21.
‘Idol’s’ Brooke White to turn on temple lights
A young woman already used to the bright lights will flip the switch Friday night and turn the Mesa Arizona Temple Grounds into a dazzling world of colorful holiday splendor.
Brooke White, 25, who grew up in a Mesa ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is now a recording artist in Van Nuys, Calif., finished in the top five last spring as part of the seventh season of “American Idol” on the Fox network.
White, the daughter of Brad and Kaylene White of Mesa, will turn the switch for the 29th annual temple lights display ceremonies at 7 p.m. on the grounds, 525 E. Main St. The lights will be on daily through Jan. 1, from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. for the public to see as they wander the sprawling grounds.
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Mormon support of gay marriage ban ignites vigil
When Mormons light their massive and colorful Christmas displays tonight on the Mesa Arizona Temple grounds, thousands of candles may burn across the street in a vigil in Pioneer Park.
Vigil organizers call it a demonstration of solidarity for gays and lesbians seeking full civil rights. They say their vigil was precipitated by Mormons’ staunch opposition to same-sex marriage with passage of amendments to constitutions in Arizona, California and Florida in the Nov. 4 general election.
“We are not going to march. It is not a protest. We will have our candles, ” said an organizer, Robert Parker, an outspoken gay Mormon from Mesa. Parker hopes to get 5, 000 people to assemble in the park “to stand in solidarity with gay Mormons who are stuck in the closet and need to know that we are working to help secure their civil rights.”
All the world on stage
“Kumbaya” is the new mantra at Syracuse Stage for the opening of “Godspell, ” the 1970s musical based on the Gospel according to St. Matthew.
“As a storyteller, I often tell the cast there are many paths in the forest, but they all lead to one place, which is peace, love and unity of all people, ” says Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj, associate artistic director of Syracuse Stage. “Godspell” is the directorial debut at Syracuse Stage for Maharaj, who joined the staff in August.
Opening night for “Godspell” is Saturday and it continues through Dec. 28. It is a collaboration between Syracuse Stage and Syracuse University’s drama department for their annual holiday production.
‘Tis the season for Locke to lock up another holiday hit
The holiday season is a time packed with tradition.
Hanging the stockings. Wrapping the presents. Watching “A Christmas Story” over and over again on television.
For the last three years, there’s been another tradition to add to the list – Kimberley Locke sitting atop the Billboard adult-contemporary singles chart with a Christmas song.
In 2005, it was “Up on the Housetop”; in 2006, “Jingle Bells”; and the year after that, “Frosty the Snowman.” She’s going for a fourth this year with “We Need a Little Christmas, ” which is available as a digital download.
Diana Degarmo Returning to Her Country Roots
Diana DeGarmo, one of the top “American Idol” contestants during the Fox show’s third season, says she is excited and satisfied with the direction her career has taken since her time on the show.
DeGarmo, who will be performing with three other “Idol” finalists at a Christmas show Saturday, says she has been thrilled with her success so far, which includes her smash hit “Dreams, ” released after her season on the television show in 2004. Now, DeGarmo is returning to her main love, country music, and hoping to get a record deal soon.
Ex-‘Idol’ finalists spread a little cheer
EL PASO — What’s the trick to freshening up familiar Christmas songs?
For Diana DeGarmo, it’s all about tweaking an arrangement or adding a little of your own flavor.
Just as when she performed in Broadway shows “Hairspray” and “Brooklyn: The Musical, ” the former “American Idol” contestant doesn’t want to sound bored singing the same songs over and over.
“You have to remember that you have to make it as new as you can for (the audience) each and every time, ” she said. “That makes you get excited all over again, keeps it fresh and makes it great.”
Former ‘American Idol’ Chikezie Eze speaks out
Chikezie Eze hasn’t had a moment to breathe since appearing on the most recent season of “American Idol.”
He’s been on the road as part of the “American Idols Live Tour 2008” and just signed on for a holiday tour with former “AI” contestants Diana DeGarmo, Kimberley Locke and David Hernandez, which brings him to the Lycian Centre on Sunday.
At least he gets to go home for Thanksgiving this year.
“It’s gonna be kind of weird because I’m vegan, ” he laughs, “but, there’s tofurkey. And, I will be with my family, finally. Last Thanksgiving was kinda lame because I didn’t get to hang with them, but this year will be much better.”
After this tour, he really wants to get to work on his album because he has a “need to create something.”
Seymour: ‘I Didn’t Ditch Cowell By Phone’
Simon Cowell’s ex Terri Seymour hit out at reports claiming she ditched the music mogul by text message, and she insists that would be too impersonal a way to end such a long-lasting relationship.
The couple dated for more than six years, until Seymour called time on the relationship in September.
Cowell later told a news show he was dumped by text, but Seymour insists that wasn’t the case.
And she is adamant the split had nothing to do with Cowell’s admitted lack of interest in settling down and starting a family.