Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Nowhere is this more true than in the singles' scene. First dates are riddled with getting-to-know-you questions, and if you've been blessed to experience your 100th first date, you've probably got answers polished with quips. You are a connoisseur of conversation; a wizard of wit; a dater debonair.
But, I talked with a few of my friends about the continual monotonous meetings, be they casual or fancy. Sometimes you may feel as though you've lost your identity by trying to pretend to be someone you are not; responding to questions with answers just to cater to the interests of someone else. How often have we tried to change ourselves just to get someone to like us? How often do we look upon the outward appearance rather than our hearts?
MORE: MORMON TIMES
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Posted May 24, 2009 • 1:58 p.m.
Flamingo headliner Donny Osmond might be teaming up with British singing sensation Susan Boyle, and today she’s told Britain’s Daily Mirror tabloid that he’s invited her to the Strip and that she’s accepted and plans to be here next month.
Susan, who is now in the semifinals of Britain’s Got Talent, admitted that she used to sing Donny Osmond songs in her bedroom as a teenager to practice her singing skills. The 47-year-old never-been-kissed and unmarried Scottish lady won over Simon Cowell, his fellow judges and Britain when she performed, for the first time, “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables. Click HERE in case the below YouTube embed has been disabled.
There’s been great interest on Donny’s part,” I was told by a high-placed Flamingo executive this afternoon. “He was trying to fly to England and surprise her on his days off here. He talked about doing a duet with her on a new album. I know he’s very interested in working with her."
Today’s Daily Mirror reported that Donny had sent Susan an invitation for her to be his guest here in Las Vegas and sing onstage at the Flamingo. Click HERE for that story.
Photo: Britain's Got Talent
“That would be a real coup,” the Flamingo executive said. “We’ll roll out the red carpet for her. We’re delighted she’s telling people in England she’s coming to Las Vegas next month.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
But the person himself seems to have changed surprisingly little. To use a simple, old-fashioned word, he is nice.
And it's no mean feat to stay grounded after more than 40 years in show business with legions of adoring fans.
Aged just five he scored his first gold record with My little Darling. At nine he achieved the biggest selling solo single in the family with Long Haired Lover From Liverpool. By the time he was 15, 'Little' Jimmy had developed and supervised most of the Osmonds' merchandising business.
As a teenager, he also launched a successful advertising agency while, as part of his family band – the Osmonds, Jimmy sold more than 100 million records worldwide.
In 2004, he hit the UK theatre scene, performing in Boogie Nights in Blackpool. The show broke box office records and spurred him on to a West End debut in Grease in 2009.
Now, Jimmy, who has previously visited Portsmouth for a Christmas show at the Guildhall, will play smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn in hit musical Chicago at the Kings, Southsea.
'I have been in musicals before but never one as classy as this,' he says of his new show. 'It's an amazing production and everybody is so proud to be part of it.'
Of his fellow cast and orchestra, he says: 'They are so fit, and the music is amazing.'
Jimmy recalls his 'first real gig' on the Andy Williams shows as a three-year-old singing Red Roses For A Blue Lady, and says he hasn't stopped since.
'I had a hit record in Japan – in Japanese – when I was five, and life has been a whirlwind, a big blur.'
Of life in a family band, Jimmy says: 'I have been so grateful to be part of a family that was close.
'We have had so many wild experiences together, in so many big arenas in the 1970s, it's scary.
'To be able to do it with a support system around me was really lucky. Today you don't have a lot of that.'
Jimmy attributes the Osmond's success part to luck, part to talent and skill and part to marketability. He says: 'We were at just the right time of life – a unique commodity, a family who performed and harmonised together.'
What about his solo successes such as Long-Haired Lover From Liverpool, which made him the youngest ever person to top the singles charts in 1972? 'That was part of the ride,' he says. 'It came out of nowhere. I didn't even know where Liverpool was.'
Jimmy admits that, at the time of that song, he lacked perspective: 'I got to a stage where I took myself too seriously, which we never should.
'I was playing Wembley with my brothers and the whole arena was singing it because they were ticked-off because we weren't doing it.
'I thought then: "It's not about me but being part of people's memories." And we were.
'Now I'm 46 and I'm grateful I was part of a song like that – one that everybody knows whether you like it or not.'
As well as pop and theatre successes, Jimmy has taken part in all manner of TV shows, including I'm a Celebrity..., Celebrity Family Fortunes and Celebrity Come Dine With Me. He is an accomplished cartoonist, has places on the boards of numerous charities at home and abroad, is involved with a number of organisations in his home town of Branson, Missouri, and has his own production company.
But does he get as much satisfaction now as an entertainment-industry entrepreneur as from performing?
'The truth is no. There's nothing like being able to perform live. That inter-reaction with a live audience is something you can't replace.
'Making it happen for other people is exciting but money isn't my motivation.' \
The singer's Vegas revue was producer by Gans, who died on 1 May (09), and the two stars became close friends. Osmond conducted one of the showman's final TV interviews.
Speaking at his pal's memorial on Thursday (21May09), Osmond said, "I know he's entertaining everybody in heaven. He was such an angel on earth."
MORE: CONTACT MUSIC"
Music legend Donny, 51, has invited angel-voiced Susan to be guest of honour at the Las Vegas review show he promotes with his sister Marie.
And star-struck Susan, 48, who honed her show-stopping vocals by singing along to Donny’s records as a teenager, can’t wait to appear onstage with him, possibly as soon as next month.
An insider said: “Donny has written to Susan inviting her to duet with him and she can’t wait. It’s a dream come true.
“She idolised him as a girl and still has all his records. He’s a genuine hero and inspiration to her.”
MORE: MIRROR UK
Monday, May 18, 2009
But, what about the family members you think of often (are even grateful for), but rarely get the opportunity to see? You know what I'm talking about. You never call; you never write. They're probably wondering if you are even alive.
MORE: MORMON TIMES
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Hitch a rainbow ride through ancient Egypt when Pittsburgh CLO kicks off its 63rd Summer Season with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Cheer for the kid in the coat May 26 through June 7 at the Benedum Center in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh's Cultural District.
This colorful retelling of the story of Joseph, his coat of many colors and his amazing ability to interpret dreams is a musicAl Blockbuster of Biblical proportions. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's award-winning musical parable features a delightful array of musical styles, from country-western and calypso to bubble-gum pop and rock 'n' roll, entertaining young and old alike with such hits as "Go Go Go Joseph," "Close Every Door" and "Any Dream Will Do."
David Osmond (Joseph) returns to Pittsburgh CLO, reprising the role he performed in Pittsburgh CLO's 1998 production. He most recently advanced to the "Hollywood Round" of "American Idol." Mr. Osmond and his brothers played to sold-out stadiums and arenas worldwide in the 1980s and 90s. He later became his Uncle Donny's understudy in Joseph during various North American National Tours of the musical that ran from 1992 through 1997. He then continued as Joseph in a National Touring Company of the musical, produced by Pittsburgh CLO.
Shoshana Bean (Narrator) makes her Pittsburgh CLO debut. She has previously starred in the Broadway productions of Wicked and Hairspray and the National Tours of Wicked and Leader of the Pack. Ms. Bean has been a back-up singer for superstars such as Whitney Houston, Destiny's Child, Usher, 'N Sync, Ray Charles, Britney Spears and Michael Jackson.
Peter Matthew Smith (Pharaoh/Levi) also makes his Pittsburgh CLO debut. A Point Park alumnus, he has performed on Broadway in Cry Baby, Fiddler on the Roof, Hairspray, Rent and Mamma Mia. He will be recognizable to local audiences thanks to his numerous Pittsburgh Musical Theater and Point Park University Playhouse credits.
Gene Seracini (Jacob/Potiphar/Guru) is a veteran of 22 Pittsburgh CLO productions, including West Side Story in 2008. He has performed locally for Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre and City Theatre. He toured North America in Shakespearean repertory and is Professor Emeritus of Theatre after a 37-year academic career at Seton Hill University.
This production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat also features 75 current students at Pittsburgh CLO Academy in the children's choir.
Richard Stafford (Director/Choreographer) returns to Pittsburgh CLO having choreographed Mame in 2008. He also directed and choreographed Cats in 2007. His Broadway credits include choreographing In My Life (Music Box Theatre), serving as associate choreographer for Aspects of Love (Broadhurst Theatre) and dance supervisor for Cats (Winter Garden Theatre). Mr. Stafford won the Barrymore Award for outstanding choreography for La Cage Aux Folles at the Walnut Street Theatre.
Craig Barna (Music Director) has conducted on Broadway, in Los Angeles and for prominent regional theaters across the country. Mr. Barna was last seen at Pittsburgh CLO in 2008 as the music director for Peter Pan and Smokey Joe's Café. He conducted the National Tours of Grease, Singin' in the Rain and Cats, and touring and Broadway companies of Jesus Christ Superstar and Peter Pan. Other career highlights include TV appearances on the "Today Show", "CBS This Morning" and the 1999 Tony® Awards.
In the summer of 1967, Andrew Lloyd Webber and his friend Tim Rice began writing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The first performance was held on March 1, 1968, in England, lasting just 15 minutes. It was such a success that a second performance was arranged two months later, when critic Derek Jewell of The Sunday Times saw the show and wrote a favorable review.
After securing additional financial backing so they could continue to write, Lloyd Webber and Rice began work on several projects, including Jesus Christ Superstar.
The success of Jesus Christ Superstar enabled Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat to continue to grow.
The first amateur production in America was in May 1970 at the College of the Immaculate Conception in Douglastown, New York. Huge interest followed from colleges and schools and after various professional productions, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat finally hit Broadway on January 27, 1982, starting a run of 749 performances at the Royale Theatre.
The show was restaged in 1991 at the London Palladium, where it first incorporated the children's choir as an intergral part of the production, and later enjoyed a North American Tour with Donny Osmond in the title role from 1992 through 1997. The production has played worldwide during the past two decades, highlighted by a return to Broadway in 1993 and revivals on London's West End in 1991, 2003 and in 2007 - when the current production premiered.
Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber (Composer/Producer) is the composer of The Likes of Us, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, By Jeeves, Evita, Variations and Tell Me On A Sunday (two works that were later combined as Song & Dance), Cats, Starlight Express, The Phantom of the Opera, Aspects of Love, Sunset Boulevard, Whistle Down the Wind, The Beautiful Game and The Woman in White. In 2004, he produced a film version of "The Phantom of the Opera" and in 2009 he will premiere Love Never Dies, his sequel to Phantom. In 2006, he oversaw a new production of Evita in London, a unique version of The Phantom of the Opera in Las Vegas and pioneered casting for musical theater via TV with the hit BBC series "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?," which searched for a Maria in the London revival of The Sound of Music. He repeated his success with Any Dream Will Do, which cast the lead role of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for the current West End production. Knighted Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1992, his awards include seven Tonys®, three Grammys®, a Golden Globe®, an Oscar®, two International Emmys®, the Kennedy Center Honor and The Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theater presented by Pittsburgh CLO.
Tim Rice (Lyrics) began songwriting in 1965, the same year he met songwriter Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose musical ambitions were in theater rather than rock or pop. They teamed up and wrote four musicals together from 1965 to 1978, including The Likes of Us (1965-66), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1968), Jesus Christ Superstar (1969-71) and Evita (1976-78). Mr. Rice then went on to write Blondel (1983) and Chess (1986) in collaboration with Abba's Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. In the 1990s, he worked primarily with Disney, contributing lyrics to the films "Aladdin" and "The Lion King" and to the stage productions of Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Aida. He is currently reworking an operatic musical he has written with Alan Menken titled King David, and on new treatments, for both stage and screen, of Chess.
Tickets for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat start at just $18.50 and are available online at pittsburghCLO.org, by calling 412-456-6666 or at the Box Office at Theater Square. Groups of 10 or more may call 412-325-1582. Half-price tickets sponsored by Giant Eagle are available for children ages 3-14 for select performances in the second tier, including the 8 p.m. showings on May 27, May 28, June 2 and June 3, as well as the 1 p.m. matinee on May 28.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Talk about a week of parties and celebrations. Last Monday was Happy Star Wars Day with people texting, "May the Fourth be with you!" Tuesday was Cinco de Mayo -- I've never seen so many Utahns embrace their Mexican heritage. Wednesday: a birthday party -- Happy Birthday, Lyndee! Thursday ... OK, nothing happened on Thursday. It's kind of an odd day of the week. Friday: Does anyone need a reason to celebrate the return of the weekend?
With all of these shindigs, you would think one would get tired and take a day off to recoup from constantly partying. Well, that's one of the blessings about being Mormon: no binge drinking. In fact, no drinking at all. No alcohol, no hangover. No hangover, more parties!
MORE: Mormon Times
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Saturday, May 09, 2009
THE famous mega-watt Osmond smile beams across Jimmy Osmond’s face and is even more devastating experienced at close quarters.
The Long-Haired Lover From Liverpool is charming, funny and has a first-class business mind ticking away.
His entrepreneurial skills extend to managing the careers of several members of his family, producing and promoting concert tours, commercials, TV production and running theatres.
It’s no wonder he comes off stage and immediately starts working on his business interests in the States. But, at heart, the youngster member of the Osmond family is a born performer. After all, he’s been entertaining audiences since he was three and is still packing out theatres and winning TV fans with shows like I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, Celebrity Come Dine With Me and Celebrity Family Fortunes.
MORE: Coventry Telegraph
Monday, May 04, 2009
Mormon culture never ceases to amaze me. And nowhere in the world is there a more defined Mormon "bubble" than Provo, Utah.
Between teenagers coming up with crazy, creative ways of asking a girl out to a high school dance and provident living food storage, there is bound to come a point when the two collide; little did I know I'd be living in it.
MORE: MORMON TIMES
Friday, May 01, 2009
Donny Osmond talks to ET about the loss of Vegas legend and colleague Danny Gans, who passed away Thursday night.
"The unexpected passing of Danny Gans is such a shock to everyone here at Donny & Marie. He was not only our producer but also a good friend. I would call him for advice and direction regarding our show. We've lost an amazing entertainer. His friendship, charisma and talent will be greatly missed. My prayers go out to his wife, Julie and their 3 children. God bless you, Danny Gans."