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SOUND OFF: GLEE Gets NakedSOUND OFF: GLEE Gets Naked
by Pat Cerasaro - February 1, 2013

Last night's buck naked, buck wild episode of GLEE, 'Naked' - written and directed by series co-creators Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan - acted as evidence that GLEE is about more than mere surface sheen, shine and brilliantine vacuity and it owes its continued success to the its three best features - or, make that assets - the music, the message and the cast. Dressed to the nines or in the all together, as last night's case may have been, taken all together, GLEE continues to hit the high notes, touch the heart and showcase top talent. 'Naked' was one more episode in a surprisingly strong and enjoyable Season Four, albeit a bit body-conscious. Plus, the grand returns of Santana (Naya Rivera), Quinn (Dianna Agron) and Miss Pillsbury (Jayma Mays). (more...)
SOUND OFF: GLEE's Role-Reversing ReturnSOUND OFF: GLEE's Role-Reversing Return
by Pat Cerasaro - January 25, 2013

Last night, GLEE made its big Winter return on FOX with Episode 11 of Season Four, titled 'Sadie Hawkins' and a virtually (and sonically) dizzyingly plot-packed and music-bedecked episode written by Ross Maxwell and directed by Bradley Buecker. New characters were introduced, romances were born and furthered and a lot of songs were sung - all in all, a GLEE just right for the midway point of the year. (more...)
SOUND OFF WORLD PREMIERE EXCLUSIVE: SMASH DVD Special Feature With Christian Borle & Craig ZadanSOUND OFF WORLD PREMIERE EXCLUSIVE: SMASH DVD Special Feature With Christian Borle & Craig Zadan
by Pat Cerasaro - January 4, 2013

Today, in anticipation of the DVD release of NBC's hit musical drama series SMASH on January 8, BroadwayWorld is pleased to present this exclusive clip from the extensive behind-the-scenes features available on the complete Season One DVD box set! 2012 Tony Award winner for Best Featured Actor In A Musical, Christian Borle, along with SMASH executive producer and lauded theatrical producer Craig Zadan, expound upon some specifics of the hit series in this exclusive look at the bonus content present on the forthcoming DVD set. Enjoy! (more...)
SOUND OFF WORLD PREMIERE EXCLUSIVE: Two Images From THE CHRONICLES OF DOWNTON ABBEYSOUND OFF WORLD PREMIERE EXCLUSIVE: Two Images From THE CHRONICLES OF DOWNTON ABBEY
by Pat Cerasaro - January 3, 2013

Just in time for the Season Three premiere of DOWNTON ABBEY on PBS stations across the US starting this Sunday, BroadwayWorld is pleased to present two exclusive images from the spectacular fact-filled THE CHRONICLES OF DOWNTON ABBEY by Jessica Fellowes, niece of creator Julian Fellowes. (more...)
SOUND OFF: New Year's Eve & Live From Lincoln Center's Marvin Hamlisch CelebrationSOUND OFF: New Year's Eve & Live From Lincoln Center's Marvin Hamlisch Celebration
by Pat Cerasaro - January 1, 2013

2012 marked the passing of a number of notable entertainment icons whose influence will be felt for centuries to come, yet unquestionably one of the most pertinent people to pass on insofar as Broadway babies were concerned given his considerable contributions to musical theatre (and far, far beyond) was the one and only EGOT-plus recipient himself - that is: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony-winner; plus a spare Pulitzer Prize, in his case, as a matter of fact - legendary composer/conductor/arranger Marvin Hamlisch. And, last night, byway of PBS and Live From Lincoln Center, audiences across the country were treated to a live gala event celebrating his tremendous Broadway and Hollywood legacy - ONE SINGULAR SENSATION: CELEBRATING MARVIN HAMLISCH. Highlights of the star-studded night included SMASH Brian D'arcy James on a song he debuted in Hamlisch's short-running SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, Michael Feinstein with an emotional take on Hamlisch's self-professed favorite self-penned song, Raul Esparza and Kelli O'Hara on two obscure SWEET SMELL gems and Maria Friedman with a song from Hamlisch's forthcoming musical THE NUTTY PROFESSOR, with book and lyrics by Rupert Holmes, based on the comedic cinema classic by Jerry Lewis, with the moment of the night owing to O'Hara and McDonald joining SMASH lead Megan Hilty on a spine-tingling iteration of the stunning A CHORUS LINE trio "At The Ballet". Through the ears of Marvin, last night we were reminded that nobody did it quite like he did while remembering the way we were - and what we won't forget - while being entertained by some of the best songs of the last century offered by New York's finest performers, musicians and creative talents. (more...)
SOUND OFF: LES MISERABLES - On Film, On Its OwnSOUND OFF: LES MISERABLES - On Film, On Its Own
by Pat Cerasaro - December 23, 2012

Christmas Day 2012 marks the biggest and best day of the year for many Broadway babies around the world, but the anticipatory fervor has little to do with the man with the beard in red and white from the North Pole - you see, the guy in question in this equation is more apt to be seen in red and black and his origins are decidedly a bit more Gallic than Jolly Old St. Nick. The man whom I speak of is, of course, Jean Valjean, the protagonist of Victor Hugo's spellbinding 1862 historical epic LES MISERABLES, a novel which was subsequently adapted into a 1980 concert spectacular and ultimately a 1985 full-fledged stage musical, painstakingly developed through the shepherding of uber producer Cameron Mackintosh, alongside the talents responsible for breathing song into the story - original French composer/lyricist team Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil (along with Jean-Marc Natel), to whom Mackintosh added English lyricist Herbert Kretzmer (and also contributor James Fenton). Through a special partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company, LES MISERABLES: THE MUSICAL premiered at the Barbican Theatre in the West End soon thereafter under the direction of Trevor Nunn and John Caird and opened to largely negative reviews, albeit ecstatic, ebullient audiences. Broadway was next, where it went on to win Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Actor, Best Featured Actress & Actor and even more (eight total). LES MISERABLES onstage was a hit like few others from then on and the rest, ze say, is history - or, in this case, l'histoire. Yet, on Christmas Day, the next step in the evolution of the worldwide phenomenon commonly and colloquially known as LES MIZ will occur - just days after the Mayan-predicted end of days, no less - and the movie musical adaptation of the stage show will finally become a reality, featuring an all-star cast comprised of Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Barks, Aaron Tveit, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter, among others. The time has come to hear the people sing onscreen at long, long last. But, first, how is the film? (more...)
SOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Matthew Morrison Sings 'Thankful' From A VERY BROADWAY CHRISTMASSOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Matthew Morrison Sings 'Thankful' From A VERY BROADWAY CHRISTMAS
by Pat Cerasaro - December 21, 2012

Today we are featuring the second of two world exclusive song premieres from the brand new holiday music collection A VERY BROADWAY CHRISTMAS with GLEE star and Broadway notable Matthew Morrison lending his golden vocal tone and emotive delivery to the original John Glaudini/David Green song "Thankful". 'Tis the season, after all! (more...)
SOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Susan Egan Sings Ahrens & Flaherty's 'Christmas Cliches' From A VERY BROADWAY CHRISTMASSOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Susan Egan Sings Ahrens & Flaherty's 'Christmas Cliches' From A VERY BROADWAY CHRISTMAS
by Pat Cerasaro - December 20, 2012

Today we are kicking off the first of two world exclusive song premieres from the brand new holiday music collection A VERY BROADWAY CHRISTMAS with original BEAUTY & THE BEAST star Susan Egan's hilarious and endearing take on a particularly theatrical holiday tune coming from the pens of RAGTIME composer/lyricist combination of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, "Christmas Cliches". (more...)
SOUND OFF: GLEE's Black & White Christmas & ChanukahSOUND OFF: GLEE's Black & White Christmas & Chanukah
by Pat Cerasaro - December 14, 2012

Liberally utilizing tried and true heartstring-tugging tropes masterfully displayed in holiday entities as diverse as LOVE, ACTUALLY, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, HOLIDAY INN and even showing some Chanukah action sure to set virtually anybody's menorah fully alight thanks to the Puckerman brothers, GLEE's Christmas episode - this year, aptly titled 'Love, Actually' and written by Matthew Hodgson and directed by HAIRSPRAY and ROCK OF AGES movie musical helmer and a recent participant in this very column, Adam Shankman (available here) - was all in all a quite quintessential quintet of seasonal joy, cheer, and, well, glee, broaching the quoin of many and any a viewer's heart valves in so pleasingly enacting its ample entertainment value over the course of the episode's five featured segments within the winning framework. While the split-location structure of the series as dictated by the new style of GLEE 4.0 is assuredly more pronounced than would be the case had the proposed NYC-set spin-off gotten the greenlight by FOX, the cast and creators are making it all work and it is more seamless as it goes on - and the addictive, giddy, all-consuming glee of it all that drew us all in in the first season is still there to relish by Santa's sleigh-ful. (more...)
SOUND OFF Special Interview: Josh Young Talks Solo Album, AMAZING GRACE Workshop & MoreSOUND OFF Special Interview: Josh Young Talks Solo Album, AMAZING GRACE Workshop & More
by Pat Cerasaro - December 7, 2012

Today we are talking again to one of Broadway's recent rising stars all about his sensational sophomore solo album, STILL DREAMING OF PARADISE, as well as his role in this weekend's invitation-only reading of the new musical AMAZING GRACE - 2011-2012 season standout and JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR Tony Award nominee Josh Young. Espousing on the many elements that converged to make his solo album a reality, Young outlines his process with his close collaborators by discussing the imperative inspirations, subsequent arrangement experimentation, actual studio recording, scientific song selection process, major project goals and a lot more, as well as shares memories of what many of the album's tracks mean to him on a personal level and what we can expect from albums from him in the future, near and far. Plus, Young reveals his affection for his first major New York post-SUPERSTAR production, AMAZING GRACE, as he shares his enthusiasm for the daring subject, rich source material - no less than the life of controversial historical figure John Newton - and the purportedly thrilling new score composed for it and the unique and compelling tale behind it as the new musical takes this next step in its developmental process in the Lincoln Center-set industry presentation. Additionally, Young touches upon his favorite memories from the Tony Awards and participating in the Transport Group's recent concert production of BABY - and much, much more! (more...)
SOUND OFF: O Holy GLEE... And All That JazzSOUND OFF: O Holy GLEE... And All That Jazz
by Pat Cerasaro - December 7, 2012

"For the first time in its charmed, yet pitiful, existence the New Directions has lost Sectionals," and, with that, indeed did "Christmas came early for one Sue Sylvester." As GLEE gave the gift of its inimitable takes on a number of musical theatre showstoppers - among them, songs from CHICAGO, COMPANY and HALLELUJAH, BABY - to gleeks around the world with last night aptly-titled "Swan Song" episode, the Lima-based glee club that now and always acts as the focal point of the show faced perhaps its most treacherous hurdle yet - and that's not even including Sue's evil shenanigans. In NYC, the temperature rose in much the same way that it actually unseasonably happened to do in Gothan itself this week with a spectacularly sexy "All That Jazz" and some seriously stage-worthy barn-burners courtesy of "Being Good Isn't Good Enough" - recently re-introduced to the world at large by no less than Barbra Streisand in her landmark 2012 tour (as well as on her recently released cut-out compilation RELEASE ME) - and COMPANY classic "Being Alive". While next week is sure to provide all the holiday cheer a show named GLEE could possibly muster - which is a whole lot - this week's "Swan Song" reminded us why GLEE connects and continues to express an all-too-rarely explored, expressed and enacted trope of those who are involved with the performing arts: competition inspires greater dedication. (more...)
SOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive First Listen: GLEE's 'Don't Dream It's Over'SOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive First Listen: GLEE's 'Don't Dream It's Over'
by Pat Cerasaro - December 3, 2012

Today BroadwayWorld is proud to present the third and fourth world premiere exclusive songs in a month's time, following "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee" performed by Kitty (Becca Tobin) and the New Directions girls as well as "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee (Reprise)" performed by Marley (Melissa Benoist): following "All That Jazz" from CHICAGO courtesy of Rachel (Lea Michele)and Cassandra (Kate Hudson), here is Cory Monteith, Darren Criss and the New Directions with a theatrically-attuned group reworking of the 80s Crowded House pop classic "Don't Dream It's Over" from this Thursday's brand new episode, "Swan Song". (more...)
SOUND OFF: The GLEE Gang's Gangnam StyleSOUND OFF: The GLEE Gang's Gangnam Style
by Pat Cerasaro - November 30, 2012

Over the last two weeks, GLEE has bravely taken on a catalog comprising everything from David Bowie and Simon & Garfunkel to FOOTLOOSE, PROMISES, PROMISES, the Scissor Sisters, Kelly Clarkson and fun., to say nothing of Psy's current worldwide smash hit "Gangnam Style", and, in so doing, it is clearly showing no signs of slowing down - actually, its amped up. Mashing up the New Directions of the original glee club with the new crew comprised of GLEE PROJECT winners and new faces, to say nothing of the Season Four additional storyline following the New York City-set travails of Rachel (Lea Michele) and Kurt (Chris Colfer) with guest stars Kate Hudson and Sarah Jessica Parker, both "Dynamic Duets", written and directed by co-creator Ian Brennan, and "Thanksgiving", written by Russel Friend & Garrett Lerner, directed by Bradley Buecker, also introduced anomalous themes into the GLEE universe while juggling everything else - namely: super heroes and a holiday tribute, Thanksgiving. While this week's episode was perhaps more generally amiable and appealing and certainly more successful in its overall execution and worthy place in the upper half of the episode stack four seasons in, last week packed a plosive "Pow!" of a punch insofar as its appreciable visuals and creative utilization of the tried and true tropes of comic book lore, new and old. (more...)
SOUND OFF Special Interview: David Phelps Discusses CLASSIC, Concert Tour, Christmas & MoreSOUND OFF Special Interview: David Phelps Discusses CLASSIC, Concert Tour, Christmas & More
by Pat Cerasaro - November 20, 2012

Today we are talking to a recording artist whose new release, CLASSIC, virtually acts as an overview of his impressive career thus far, with its overall wide embrace of titanic vocals and big emotion while covering pop, opera, country, classical, religious themes, theatre music and more - celebrated crossover star David Phelps. In addition to all about CLASSIC, outlining its origins and creation, plus song selection process, actual recording and producing and more, Phelps also casts a glance back at his idiosyncratic journey thus far, opening up about the impetus for pursuing a life of music as well as how he has now made it a family tradition thanks to the participation of his siblings and even his daughter in a special duet on the stirring new release. Also, as well as all about CLASSIC and its current tour, Phelps cites his foremost influences, reflects on some of his favorite recordings to date, illustrates the finer points of his recording process with his collaborators, points out some of his favorite holiday song selections - and much, much more! (more...)
SOUND OFF: GLEE Transforms From Sandra To Sandy Thanks To GREASESOUND OFF: GLEE Transforms From Sandra To Sandy Thanks To GREASE
by Pat Cerasaro - November 16, 2012

"No contact, not even in song." And, with those words, the epic romance of Rachel (Lea Michele) and Finn (Cory Monteith) - Finchel, familiarly, to fans of the show; gleeks - on Fox's hit musical dramedy series GLEE came to a horrific car crash of a coda - and all-too-appropriately so given the automatic, systematic, ultimatic GLEE GREASE tribute oh-so-amusingly billed as "Glease". The Robert Aguirre-Sarcasa-written, Michael Uppendahl-directed ep gave us a generous dose of GREASE justified by the glee club's take on the classic 50s tuner while also offering us some hair-raising dramatic and thematic developments, as well - Mr. Shue (Matt Morrison)'s sabbatical; the permanent ceasing of not one, not two, but three central romances of seasons' past; as well as the nefarious interception of Cassandra July (Kate Hudson) into the entanglements of the NYC-set storyline of the all-new, revamped GLEE S4. (more...)
SOUND OFF: GLEE Is Born To Hand JiveSOUND OFF: GLEE Is Born To Hand Jive
by Pat Cerasaro - November 9, 2012

The results are in! And, last night, after a month-long hiatus, GLEE came speeding back to the small screen with the spiffy and spunky new episode, "The Role You Were Born To Play" - a Michael Hitchcock-written, Brad Falchuk-directed entry to Fox's hit musical series centering on the auditions for this year's McKinley High musical - none other than the campy 50s musical comedy GREASE! And, indeed, GREASE is the word - and, furthermore, the musical GLEE was born to do. (more...)
SOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive Part Two: GLEE's 'Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee (Reprise)' from GREASESOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive Part Two: GLEE's 'Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee (Reprise)' from GREASE
by Pat Cerasaro - November 2, 2012

Today BroadwayWorld is thrilled to present not one, but two world premiere exclusives from the upcoming GLEE tribute to GREASE - oh-so amusingly titled "Glease" - both the risque and rollicking "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee", performed by Becca Tobin (Kitty) and gleek girls, as well as the mournful, balladic "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee (Reprise)" passionately performed by Melissa Benoist (Marley). (more...)
SOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive Part One: GLEE's 'Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee' from GREASESOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive Part One: GLEE's 'Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee' from GREASE
by Pat Cerasaro - November 2, 2012

Today BroadwayWorld is thrilled to present not one, but two world premiere exclusives from the upcoming GLEE tribute to GREASE - oh-so amusingly titled "Glease" - both the risque and rollicking "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee", performed by Becca Tobin (Kitty) and gleek girls, as well as the mournful, balladic "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee (Reprise)" passionately performed by Melissa Benoist (Marley). (more...)
SOUND OFF: Top Halloween 2012 Tricks & TreatsSOUND OFF: Top Halloween 2012 Tricks & Treats
by Pat Cerasaro - October 30, 2012

While the scariness of the season may be all too real and in-your-face to East Coast BroadwayWorld readers due to Hurricane Sandy, late October is indeed the most frightening time of the year, so let's take a look at some of the top picks for Halloween 2012 - whether you are looking to pass some time in the storm, boiling up a cauldron of witch's brew for trick or treaters or donning devilish duds yourself. (more...)
SOUND OFF Special Interview: Tituss Burgess Talks New Solo Album, 30 ROCK, Broadway & MoreSOUND OFF Special Interview: Tituss Burgess Talks New Solo Album, 30 ROCK, Broadway & More
by Pat Cerasaro - October 13, 2012

Today we are talking to a breathtakingly gifted vocalist who premiered the first single from his brand new solo album COMFORTABLE right here in this very column on BroadwayWorld earlier this week - the one and only Tituss Burgess. In this career-spanning conversation, Burgess and I touch upon many of the Broadway entities which he has played a part in over the last decade or so - THE LITTLE MERMAID, JERSEY BOYS and GOOD VIBRATIONS included - as well as sharing some onset stories involving his stints on NBC's hit comedy 30 ROCK. Most of all, Burgess and I dissect the finer points of his sophomore solo album, COMFORTABLE, and he explains his songwriter process and progress, as well as the many influences and inspirations that have infused this passion project over the course of its years in writing, recording, and, now, finally, releasing. Plus, Burgess looks ahead to the future and clues us in on his late-night concert at New World Stages on Sunday night. All of that and much, much more! (more...)
SOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: New Tituss Burgess Single 'I'll Be Alright'SOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: New Tituss Burgess Single 'I'll Be Alright'
by Pat Cerasaro - October 9, 2012

Today we have a super-special SOUND OFF exclusive taken from the sensational forthcoming sophomore solo album from Broadway notable and 30 ROCK standout Tituss Burgess, "I'll Be Alright". (more...)
SOUND OFF: THE X FACTOR Boot Camp & GLEE's Big Break-Up(s)SOUND OFF: THE X FACTOR Boot Camp & GLEE's Big Break-Up(s)
by Pat Cerasaro - October 7, 2012

This week on Week Four of THE X FACTOR, the first round of contestants to make it into the competition for the $5 million recording contract were let go at boot camp - and, on GLEE, romantic walking papers were issued willy-nilly as four long-standing relationships between central characters came to a conclusion (at least for now). (more...)
SOUND OFF: THE X FACTOR & GLEE Times ThreeSOUND OFF: THE X FACTOR & GLEE Times Three
by Pat Cerasaro - September 28, 2012

This week marked the third X FACTOR/GLEE combo Thursday on Fox and both shows continued to deliver the chill-inducing trills and riff-tastic runs we have come to expect from the entertainment extravaganzas showing off TV's top vocalists, performers, celebrities, hottest songs and guest stars. Evidently, Sarah Jessica Parker and Britney Spears sure can spice up and heat up a cooling late-September autumnal soup! (more...)
SOUND OFF: THE X FACTOR & GLEE: ...Britney, One More TimeSOUND OFF: THE X FACTOR & GLEE: ...Britney, One More Time
by Pat Cerasaro - September 21, 2012

This week saw the second Britney Spears-centric episode of the musical dramedy series GLEE, "Britney 2.0", as well as the second three-hour block of new episodes of the reality singing competition THE X FACTOR, the latter featuring none other than new judge Britney Spears as it continued to offer up even more preliminary auditions as the arbiters hone in on a Top 20 and we gear up for the live shows starting soon. While the theme of Thursday night on Fox may have very well been their $15 million investment given glam, grand primetime treatment as only the network AMERICAN IDOL and GLEE built really could, both shows proved that the pop princess of the 21st century is at the top of the entertainment heap for very good reason, leaving X FACTOR fans, gleeks and entertainment junkies alike left requesting one thing and one thing only by the time 11 o'clock rolled around: "Gimme gimme more." (more...)
SOUND OFF: THE X FACTOR 2.0, Now With Britney & GLEE's New NYC State Of MindSOUND OFF: THE X FACTOR 2.0, Now With Britney & GLEE's New NYC State Of Mind
by Pat Cerasaro - September 15, 2012

This week saw the premieres of not one, but two of the biggest entertainment extravaganzas currently on show in the vast TV landscape, both on Fox - the season two debut of the reinvented reboot of the reality singing competition show THE X FACTOR (with Britney Spears and Demi Lovato as new judges), as well as the season four premiere of the returning, albeit re-jiggered, half-NYC-set GLEE (with a memorable Kate Hudson, and, also, Sarah Jessica Parker joining next week). While one may have been more successful than the other in pulling off its grand switcheroo (especially insofar as overall transitional smoothness, THE X FACTOR really seems to be finding its voice, pardon the puns), the sheer enjoyment levels achieved by each was enough to make both recommendable and worthy of review given their intrinsic ties to the performing arts realm and their exploration, exhibition and employment of the titular x factor. Individuals with that oh-so-unmistakable allure were on ample display both on THE X FACTOR and GLEE, making both properties once again worth revisiting each week this year, like last year - look no further than jaw-dropping X FACTOR audition of Carly Rose Sonenclar for clear-cut proof of that. Plus, next week, THE X FACTOR and GLEE shall share a similar theme when GLEE gets 1,2,3 (or, more to the point: 5,6,7,8) with a second Britney Spears tribute, "Britney 2.0" (more...)

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