With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

‘Beautiful – The Carole King Musical’ – Stephen Sondheim Theatre, New York, USA – Wednesday 2nd January 2019 January 15, 2019


Seeing a Broadway show was never on my bucket list, but it was a part of my beautiful wife Catherine’s list! So while in the Big Apple we had to do it and we chose ‘Beautiful – The Carole King Musical’. It was at the rather amazing Stephen Sondheim Theatre on 43rd Street, a theatre that is mostly underground!

The show tells the story of the rise of the former Carol Klein from a starry-eyed and understated yet ambitious 16-year-old into the incredibly talented superstar singer songwriter Carole King. The show deals with the ups, downs and heartache of her relationship with her early songwriting partner and husband Gerry Goffin. Back in those early days she composed the music while Goffin provided the lyrics. There are some wonderful scenes where the pair have their songs recorded by the Drifters (“Some Kind Of Wonderful”) and the Shirelles (“Will You Love Me Tomorrow”). The affection of Carole’s friendship with fellow songwriters Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann is depicted in a beautifully heartwarming and humourous way. The guy who played Don/ Donnie Kirshner; Paul Anthony Stewart is a very classy actor, although no singer, well not that he was required to sing of course. So maybe he can hold a tune. Evan Todd brought home a brilliant emotional performance as an often troubled Gerry Goffin.

I should also give a very special mention to Mike Longo who covered three parts; Neil Sedaka, Lou Adler and Bill Medley. The latter off of the Righteous Brothers. There were many highlights for me; Little Eva (one time babysitter for King and Goffin who became an overnight sensation with the pairs “The Locomotion”. Eva was played by Gabrielle Elisabeth. Ben Jacoby’s performance overall, but particularly “Who Put The Bomp” and “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” he really nailed Barry Mann’s initial disdain for the future Righteous Brothers smash. But the best part of the show for me was Sara Sheperd’s performance. She totally stole the show as Carole King. The finale of “It’s Too Late”, “You’ve Got A Friend” and “Beautiful” was truly awesome and regular readers know that I really do use that word sparingly. Not only that but Sara is an understudy to the usual lead Jessie Mueller. Sara is also Dance Captain, although I must confess that I have no idea what that is. But Sara Sheperd is most definitely immensely gifted and talented. I totally loved this show and coming from someone who is really not a fan of musicals that is high praise indeed, believe me! If you do get a chance to see this show, especially in New York City then do not miss it!

Catherine On Broadway!

 

“I’m like the B-19, loaded with Benzedrine” May 20, 2012


Hands up who thought that heavy drug references in music arrived in the 60s and the ‘straights’ just didn’t get it? Well if that’s you, you’re very, very wrong. Fred Astaire was singing about Benzedrine in a song back in 1942. The song was “On The Beam” written by Johnny Mercer and Jerome Kern. Astaire sang it in the film ‘You Were Never Lovelier‘ (Thank you to the rather excellent Word magazine for bringing this to my attention)

However much he took, Fred could never get as high as Audrey Hepburn

It’s certainly not the earliest drug reference in song either. Cole Porter wrote “I Get A Kick Out Of You” for the Broadway musicalAnything Goes‘ in the early thirties and the song has the lines  ‘Some get a kick from cocaineI’m sure that if I took even one sniff That would bore me terrifically, too’ I love that I have been able to talk about lines and cocaine in the same sentence there!

Feel free to contribute with your own favourite drug reference in songs, especially if it’s earlier than these two!

 

 

“They say a secret is something you tell one other person” January 5, 2012


Despite all its false starts, technical problems and the death of Producer Tony Adams it seems that the Spiderman Musical may actually achieve big success on Broadway and beyond. The full title of the show is ‘Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark’ and it was written by Bono and The Edge off of U2.

It grossed $2.9m from 9 shows in its first week which beats the previous record of $2.2m taken by ‘Wicked’ from 8 shows in it’s first week in January 2011. Takings for ‘Wicked’ during Spiderman’s first week were $2.7m. Whilst this is a great start for Spiderman it should be balanced against the fact that it is the most expensive show ever put together for Broadway at $75m.

If it remains successful I wonder if it will lead to a whole stack of other superhero related musicals. Perhaps Meatloaf as the Hulk could be an option. What ideas do you have for superhero shows?

I thought I’d finish this post with a classic and appropriate U2 song which you can watch below on the web! (geddit?)

 

“Now hold on a minute before we go much further, give me a dime so I can phone my mother” April 17, 2011


Dizzee enjoyed dressing as an 18th Century poet whilst promenading with a powerful female. Thatcher hasnt aged well has she?

Hello people, I have some assorted bits of music related news for you in todays post. Some old, some new and some strange. Beginning with Dizzee Rascal, who according to the UK tabloid press has an addiction. But not to drugs, drink, sex or gambling, but to 18th century poets. He is very much into his Wordsworth, Byron, Blake and Keats. Mr Rascal, formerly known as Dylan Mills, is hoping that classical English poetry will have an influence on his next album. Sounds interesting doesn’t it? Read about it here in the soaraway Sun and be careful your phone isn’t tapped!

Simon makes one last appearance on Page Three before he departs for the USA

Most of you probably know that Simon Cowell will be leaving the UK version of X Factor to launch and take part in the US version. It still seems most likely that he will take Cheryl Cole with him, providing the Americans can understand her one assumes. My only wish is that the opportunity is taken to get rid of Louis Walsh. What do you think and also who would your ideal fantasy X Factor judging panel consist of? My vote would be Lily Allen, Keith Richards, Jeremy Paxman and Nick Clegg. The latter choice is largely because there should always be one idiot on the panel and surely he will be out of a job soon won’t he?

Clearly Liam was buzzing about the new Beady Eye Bee Side

You’ve probably all heard of the post Oasis band Beady Eye, which is basically Oasis without Noel. I have listened to their album and it’s not bad, it’s hardly ‘Definitely Maybe’  or ‘Morning Glory’ but it’s ok. Anyway this isn’t a review but a rather strange piece of news about Liam Gallagher. According to a report in the NME (click here to read it) he likes to warm up before he goes on stage by listening to Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy”, let’s pray he doesn’t do a cover version of it! What song do you use to get pumped up before work? For me it’s often “Complete Control” by the Clash or “Do Anything You Wanna Do” by the Rods.

Billie Joe auditions for a part in the new version of Snow White

Tom Hanks is currently preparing to produce a film adaptation of Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ album. The director is likely to be Michael Mayer who was the director for the ‘American Idiot’ Broadway musical. Could this be this generation’s ‘Tommy’? Only time will tell. Click here to read the NME report. What album would you like to see turned into a film? I would definitely vote for David Bowie’s ‘Diamond Dogs’

And finally how small do you think the world’s smallest working guitar actually is? Well you’re probably wrong. It is in fact no bigger than a human blood cell and obviously impossible to be played in a conventional way. It has to be played by having lasers directed at the strings. Read more about the Nano Guitar in the Guardian by clicking here.

 

 
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ACCREDITED SENIOR PSYCHOTHERAPIST/COUNSELLOR -Dr.Fawzy Masaoud-LONDON, ENGLAND

NO DESPAIR WITH LIFE AND NO LIFE WITH DESPAIR . Email: dr.fawzyclinic2019@yahoo.com

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