Category Archives: Songbook

‘PHANTOM OF THE OPERA’ CLOSING NEXT YEAR AFTER HISTORIC RUN ON BROADWAY ·

(from Eyewitness News 7, 9/16; via Drudge Report..)

NEW YORK (WABC) — “Phantom of the Opera,” Broadway’s longest-running show and an icon of New York City theater, will close early next year.

The show announced Friday it will commemorate its 35th anniversary Jan. 26, and then stage its final performance on Broadway on Feb. 18.

Mayor Eric Adams attended the show earlier this month, kicking off Broadway Week with an appearance to celebrate the theater district’s resilience in the wake of the pandemic.

Bottom of Form

Phantom has been the longest-running show in Broadway history for well over a decade.

On Broadway alone, the musical has played more than 13,500 performances to 19.5 million people at The Majestic Theatre on West 44th Street.

(Read more)

DAVID SERERO STARS AS MOSES IN THE U.S. PREMIERE OF ‘THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, THE MUSICAL’—MAY 5TH (3PM), 8TH (6PM – PREMIERE), 10TH AND 12TH (8PM), AND THE 15TH (6PM) ·

(via The Culture News news@theculturenews.com

LET’S GO!

Under star and director David Serero, the French musical The Ten Commandments, finally in English–based on the biblical story of Moses, an adopted Egyptian prince who becomes the deliverer of his true brethren, the enslaved Hebrews, by leading their Exodus–will  open Off-Broadway, MAY 5TH (3PM), 8TH (6PM – PREMIERE), 10TH AND 12TH (8PM), AND THE 15TH (6PM).  Along with Serero, as Moses, the cast of twelve includes theatre and operatic talents, including: DaShaun Williams (Ramses), Stephanie Craven (Sephora), Brooke Myers (Jochebed), Lisa Monde (Bithia), Cale Rausch (Joshua), Zachary Harris Martin (Aaron), Kristyn Vario (Myriam), Shane Patrick Watson and Julia Anne Cohen (Various roles and U/S).

WHERE: This limited engagement will be performed at the Center for Jewish History (15 West 16th Street, New York NY 10011)

TICKETS: Available on thetencommandmentsthemusical.com or 1.800.838.3006 for $26 and $36.

Serero is a critically acclaimed, award-winning opera singer, actor, director, and producer, who has performed more than 2,500 performances in more than 45 countries. He has directed and produced nearly 100 theatrical productions, starred in over 100 films and T.V. series, recorded and produced over 100 albums, and played more than 50 leads and title roles (in several languages) from opera, theatre, and musical repertoire. In New York, he starred Off-Broadway in iconic roles such as Shylock, Cyrano, Othello, Barabas, Yiddish King Lear, Don Giovanni, Figaro, Romeo, Nabucco, as well as in new works such as Napoleon by Kubrick, Queen Esther, and Anne Frank a Musical, among others. In his native Paris, he also starred as Don Quixote (Man of La Mancha) and Happy Mac (Beggar’s Holiday by Duke Ellington). He entered the prestigious Who’s Who America for demonstrating outstanding achievements in the entertainment world and for the betterment of contemporary society. In 2019, he received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, the Morocco Day Distinguished Achievement Award, the Trophy of the Culture of Morocco, and was named among the fifteen most influential Moroccans worldwide by Morocco’s airline Royal Air Maroc.

David is a member of the Recording Academy and the Television Academy and a voting member of both the Grammys and Emmys. In 2020, David Serero received the UNESCO Award for Diversity in Paris and became an Honorary Member of the United Nations of Arts and Science. In 2021, he won 4 Broadway World Awards for Best Performer of the decade, Best Producer of a Musical of the decade, Best Producer of a Play of the decade, Best Opera singer of the Year. He was awarded the Certificate of Recognition by the Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, for his contribution to the City’s dynamic cultural landscape, enriching the vibrant performing arts sector, and uplifted and inspired diverse New Yorkers. His first documentary film on fashion designer Elie Tahari won dozens of awards (including Best Director, Best Documentary, Best Producer) and received over 100 film festivals selections. www.davidserero.com

More:

France’s The Ten Commandments, (Les Dix Commandements) announces its upcoming U.S premiere—and  releases its first single in English.
 
Almost 20 years after its opening, “The Ten Commandments” is coming to America and will be presented in English–below,  listen to the first single from the Cast Album,  created by the filmmaker Elie Chouraqui, with music by Pascal Obispo and lyrics by Lionel Florence and Patrice Guirao.  The show has already played to over 3 million spectators in Europe alone.

The revival recording and stage adaptation are the ideas of star baritone (playing Moses) and producer David Serero, who wrote the English language adaptation for American theatrical productions. The first single from the upcoming Cast Album Recording, titled “The Maximum Pain (La Peine Maximum),” has been released on all platforms. The first series of Off-Broadway performances will take place in May 2022 in New York.  Tickets and additional information will soon be available.

First presented in October 2000, the musical was an instant hit, equaling in success another famous French musical: Notre Dame de Paris. The musical carried such radio hits as “L’envie d’aimer,” performed by Daniel Levi. The shows original stars included Yael NaimAhmed Mouici, and more. Sonia Rykiel designed the original costumes, and Kamel Ouali  created the choreography.
 
Serero explains “I have carried this masterpiece in my heart since its first day of creation. This unique collaboration between two masters, Elie Chouraqui and Pascal Obispo, will forever remain in the history of French musicals. The original French lyrics were by Lionel Florence and Patrice Guirao.”   

Creator, Elie Chouraqui, comments: “I am thrilled and honored that my show, “Les Dix Commandements” (The Ten Commandments) with the gorgeous music by Pascal Obispo, has finally been adapted for New York, the capital of musicals. After playing it in France, Europe, and Asia, America is a lifetime achievement. I must thank David Serero for his enthusiasm, strength, and unquenchable desire to bring this musical to Broadway.”

Elie Chouraqui is a French filmmaker born in 1950. Among others, he is known for the films Ô Jerusalem,  Harrison’s Flower, starring Andie MacDowell, Adrien Brody, Gerard Butler, and Brendan GleesonMan on Fire with Joe Pesci, Scott Glenn, and Jonathan Price. And several French film classics starring iconic French actors, such as Jean-Hughes Anglade, Christophe Lambert, Richard Anconina, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and many more. 

Pascal Obispo is one of the most successful singer/songwriters in the genre of French pop, who released numerous commercial blockbuster albums, scored Top Ten hit singles with regularity, embarked on multiple sold-out concert tours, wrote songs for a musical of his own creation, and collaborated with a long list of French pop stars. The lead single of  The Ten Commandments, “L’envie d’aimer,” was also recorded in English by Celine Dion.

“The Maximum Pain” is performed by Lawrence Neals, with background vocals by Lisa Monde, Mackenzie Tank, and Kristyn Vario. English adaptation and production are by David Serero. The music is composed by Pascal Obispo, and the original French lyrics are written by Lionel Florence and Patrice Guirao.

The Maximum Pain is available to listen to on:
YouTube: https://youtu.be/JJ8wAxkFbGs
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/5El2zq7t64kbaJ7XwCNoqX?si=92afc56325c34da3
iTunes: https://music.apple.com/us/album/the-maximum-pain-from-the-ten-commandments/1591325748

 

BARBRA STREISAND’S “ENCORE” DEBUTS AT NUMBER 1 ·

 

 

(Roger Friedman’s article appeared in Showbiz 411, 9/3; via the Drudge Report.)

Surprise! Barbra Streisand has pulled it off again. Her odd “Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway” album debuts at number 1 this week, beating Britney Spears, Florida Georgia Line, and Frank Ocean by a mile or two.

Streisand’s real triumph here is that her numbers were entirely from sales, not streaming. She sold 150,000 CDs and digital downloads. Her streaming numbers were minimal.

In real sales, Florida Georgia Line sold 129,000, Britney came in around 91,000, and Ocean dropped 81% from last week with just 44,000 in digital sales (he has no CD).

But even when you add in streaming, Streisand is number 1. Streaming for the three other acts didn’t surpass her. And that’s quite an achievement.

http://www.showbiz411.com/2016/09/02/all-hail-barbra-streisands-encores-debuts-at-number-1-trounces-hot-contemporary-acts-like-britney-spears-by-60000-copies

FEINSTEIN/MAYE: ‘SUMMERTIME SWING’ (SV PICK, NY) ·

 

(Stephen Holden’s article appeared in The New York Times, 8/24; via Pam Green.)

As much as any two performers, Michael Feinstein and Marilyn Maye embody the traditional concept of show business professionalism, in which an entertainer is expected to wow an audience by doing it all. And on Tuesday night, they joined forces for a satisfying evening of upbeat camaraderie and nostalgia at Feinstein’s/54 Below.

Their program, “Summertime Swing,” was an old-fashioned variety show, blending standards with Catskill humor, celebrity impersonations and other vaudevillian shenanigans. Mr. Feinstein alternated on piano with the musical director, Tedd Firth; Sean Smith on bass and Mark McLean on drums kept the tempos and dynamics continuously fluid.

For Mr. Feinstein, doing it all means delivering classic ballads from the American Songbook in a creamy, faraway voice while accompanying himself on rippling piano, then letting loose with impersonations of Louis Armstrong singing “Hello, Dolly!” and Jerry Lee Lewis hollering and banging out “Great Balls of Fire.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/25/arts/music/michael-feinstein-marilyn-maye-summertime-swing.html?_r=0

BARBRA STREISAND AND HUGH JACKMAN SING ‘ANY MOMENT NOW’ FROM ‘SMILE’–WATCH NOW! ·

 

 

(from Justjared.com; via Pam Green.)

Barbra Streisand has just released her version of the song “Any Moment Now” featuring Hugh Jackman, which is featured on her upcoming album Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway!

The legendary songstress has 10 new duets on the album featuring such Hollywood stars as Hugh, Anne Hathaway, Daisy Ridley, Jamie Foxx, Chris Pine, and more.

Barbra will be heading out on tour in August and we think it would be great to see some of these stars pop up as guest acts!

“The first person I thought of was Hugh Jackman,” Barbra says in the behind-the-scenes clip about the song. “He could be a werewolf or whatever he is, Wolverine? And yet he is a wonderful actor who sings great.”

http://www.justjared.com/2016/07/29/hugh-jackman-sings-any-moment-now-with-barbra-streisand-watch-now/?utm_source=laineygossip.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=pubexchange_article