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American Idol

Adam Lambert. Say no more. If he doesn’t win, I’ll be sick, but no matter what happens with him on the show, I’m just thrilled that the masses are finally getting to hear his amazing voice. And his delivery expertise really enhances his natural talent.

Adam has the best voice I’ve ever heard. I actually crave it. For years, I’ve been playing the one CD I have of him singing Is Anybody Listening, the one and only reason to have seen the awful The Ten Commandants multiple times.

I’ve been obsessed with his talent since I first saw him in the above-mentioned musical at the Kodak adam LambertTheatre several years back. Since then, I’ve been talking about him, on my show and in life, to everyone I know, and writing him up at every opportunity.

I’m sure my fellow crazed Adam Lambert fans are as thrilled as I am that he’s finally getting the forum he so richly deserves. I’m equally happy for the people, like my little mother in New York, who never had the chance to hear him sing before this.

I only wish I had been a record producer to have been able to help him along before this. The few times I’ve met him, I said he should go on American Idol, as I’m sure everyone did. But I’m just glad it’s now, even though I think he would have won every season before this. Definitely the last three years, at least. (The world may not have been ready for him before, though.)

Mr. X hates that I’m always making DVDs of everything on TV I think is worthwhile. So, it was with trepidation that I showed him my latest compilation the other day.

All I wrote on it is ADAM. He took one look at it and said, “I don’t blame you.” That’s pretty highest praise, trust me.

And Adam is as darling and down to earth as one can be. He’s so NOT full of himself! I’ve met him only twice, the latter time being September ’07. Then I saw him at the opening of Pippin at the Mark Taper Forum a few weeks ago. I flew down the steps to say hi, my heart pounding at the thought of explaining who I am, now that he’s on the brink of stardom.

All I said is, “Excuse me, Adam,” and he turned around and gave me the most genuine big hello! I said, “Do you remember me?” and he answered, “Of course! We’ve talked after those shows.” How amazing is that!

We talked and laughed for about ten minutes, (I got a few hugs in, too!) and I’m happy to report that he’s exactly the same as always, which is absolutely lovely. And he’s gorgeous, to boot.

Looks, charm, and that voice--what a combo!

Remember to vote for Adam, please, if you can recover from the awe of his performances to pick-up the phone.

Minsky's

Minsky'sEvery time I go to the theatre, I say, “I wish every show could be The Drowsy Chaperone.” It moved to the top of my favorite shows list when it opened here several years ago, and has kept it’s status through multiple visits from me (here and in New York) and even a cast change.

Don’t worry--it’s still #1. And that’s due mainly to the humor, but also the songs, costumes, surprise sets, and overall happiness it provides.

Now the team from that show has a new, equally happy one, Minsky’s. It’s based on the old movie "The Night They Raided Minsky’s", which I had seen but didn’t remember.

So my short review is: See It. It really doesn’t hold a candle to Drowsy, but it doesn’t have to. The costumes, sets, and tap-dancing are worth the trip. The story is weak, but that’s not their fault, since it’s following the plot of the movie.

The great Beth Leavel, who won the Tony for her part as the title character in The Drowsy Chaperone, can sell any number. She just has that perfect theatricality that makes an over-the-top-when-necessary performance interesting without being obnoxious. And I was happy to see that the chorus is made-up of dancers who, for the most part, aren’t spring chickens. Besides being so talented, they also lend an authenticity to the period the show takes place in, the burlesque days.

The only mysteries are the casting of the guy and gal leads. They’re both okay, but absolutely noting special, which is surprising from this team. And the absolute last song should be canned because the rousing number before looked like the finale to all who witnessed it on opening night.

But those little snags don’t detract from the fun experience as a whole. So, if it’s colorful fun you’re after, this is the show for you. I have a feeling it will be a big hit on Broadway, so get in on it while you can.

Minsky’s runs through March 1, 2009 Ahmanson Theatre 135 N. Grand Ave.
213 972-4400 CenterTheatreGroup.org

World Championship Figure Skating - Staples Center

How lucky are those of us who live in Los Angeles that the World Championships are coming to our city?! I’ve planned my whole year around being here for them! To have this much genuine talent so close-by is kind-of mind-boggling, even to an admittedly jaded Los Angelina.

The Staples Center was good enough to recently give a few of us sportswriters a preview of the venueStaples Center Los Angleles and what’s in store. Two of the best skaters in the world, Michelle Kwan and Brian Boitano, World Champions and California residents themselves, were on hand to greet us, answer questions, and help us around the ice, if we chose to skate, or scarier, get strapped into a harness and fly above the ice, learning the jumps the way they did.

Being the crazy good sport that I am, I was on line to do the harness when time was up. Whew! Glad I didn’t have to do it, but equally happy that it wasn’t up to me in the end, because I would have been disappointed in myself to pass up a possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like that. (And being a former circus performer, I really erroneously think I can do anything.)

Brian told us that the ice at Staples “has always been great” and “the facility is awesome.” When speaking with him after, he mentioned that he’s happy to see that some of the ladies competitors are more “women” than “little girls.” Maybe that’s because this season, he’s been working with newly-crowned, and well-deserving, U.S Ladies Champion, Alissa Czisny, who’s 21, which is practically a grandmother in the field of Ladies Figure Skating!

He’s also working with the adorable male skater, Ryan Bradley, who didn’t make the World Champion team this year, but I’m hoping will be around for awhile. He’s wildly entertaining. Stars On Ice actually needs him to be their emcee. (Another idea they’ll probably use of mine next season, with no credit, but remember you heard it here first!)

I’ll give you my whole run-down and preview closer to the March 22 start of the festivities. In the meantime, the very affordable (starting at $20.) tickets have just gone on sale, so now’s your chance to get in on history. Just make sure you save a seat for ME!

Ticket info: 1-888-SKATE-09 (752-8309) or isuworlds2009.com

Stormy Weather


Lena Horne, Stormy WeatherThe fabulous Lena Horne and I share an optometrist in New York, as his staff was always happy to tell me. One day, about 10 years ago, (actually, it was exactly 10 years, because it was the week after my father died), we were in the petite waiting area at the same time. I got so excited to be so close to show biz royalty, that I dropped my change purse, and the one measly dime I had in it fell to the floor.

Guess which one of us bent down and picked it up? Ms. Horne!!! I stood there with my mouth hanging open when she handed it over, with a gracious, “Here you go.” When she went in to the exam room, I quickly asked the receptionist for a piece of paper and scotch tape, and still have that dime attached to the paper on which I wrote “Lena Horne touched this dime!!!”

So, it was with added interest that I attended the opening night of Stormy Weather, the musical of Lena Horne’s life, at the Pasadena Playhouse. Writing the above story wore me out, so this review is not in-depth.

Suffice it to say that with the beautiful familiar music, wonderful voice of the non-aging Leslie Uggums, witty performance of supporting player Dee Hoty, and rousing rendition of This Little Light Of Mine, it’s an excellent night of theatre. (But I didn’t like the cheesy device of the older Ms. Horne looking back over her Lena Hornelife. It’s probably that way to give Ms. Uggums a bigger role than it would be if the storyline was just linear.)

My only caveat is don’t sit up too close because, even though Nikki Crawford’s voice, as the younger Lena, is really good, her bug-eyed facial expressions while she’s delivering the songs are really distracting. Or just close your eyes during them and enjoy the very worthy vocal performance.

Stormy Weather runs through March 8, 2009 Pasadena Playhouse 39 S. El Molina Ave. Pasadena
626 356-7529 pasadenaplayhouse.org

Vava Skincare Promo

vava waterMy favorite bottled water, Vava Water, has developed a new skin care line, using the same electromagnetic frequency technology that use on their water. They debuted it at the recent Sundance Film Festival, and will be showcasing the products here in Los Angeles, pre-and-post Oscars. The only place you can find it, though, will be at the hipster beauty store, Makeup Mandy, on Melrose. Call before for info and appointments. And hopefully, your face will be as thirst-quenched as your throat!

VaVa Skin Care from Feb. 20-25, 2009 at Make-up Mandy 8533 Melrose Ave. 310 858-1970

 
 
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