FLASH FRIDAY: Host of Harry
For this week's FLASH FRIDAY we have a host of Harry Connick, Jr.-related clips, including a special look at his new CD/DVD and Blu-Ray ON BROADWAY, which is available now and currently showing on PBS Great Performances. From New Orleans jazz done with Broadway flair in clips featuring material from his stage musical THOU SHALT NOT, to trailers for the stupendous film version of Tracy Letts's Off-Broadway play BUG, directed by William Friedkin, that he co-stars in with Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon, to COPYCAT co-starring Sigourney Weaver to some fun music videos and soundtrack contributions and much, much more inside! Plus, check out Harry's appearances on THE COLBERT REPORT and TODAY from earlier this week if you missed them live!
What can't Harry Connick, Jr. do? As is amply evident in his stalwart stage performances - whether on Broadway stages, concert stages around the world or on soundstages in LA (or anywhere else, for that matter) - the answer is simply: nothing. In this collection of clips culled from his nearly thirty-year career in recording, acting and performing, Harry Connick, Jr. has carved out a innately unique corner of the entertainment industry for himself since he started recording albums before he was even a teenager. In addition to his skills as a singer and actor, it is his sublime musical abilities - on the piano, in the recording booth, or writing his own charts - that set him apart from many; really any other artist working on Broadway and in Hollywood today. Writing musicals - THOU SHALT NOT for the stage under the direction of Susan Stroman to his own self-penned, self-produced and self-starring holiday TV musical event THE HAPPY ELF - to writing a string of hit albums - winning an Emmy and a Grammy or three along the way for his efforts - and appearing on soundtracks for films as diverse as THE GODFATHER III and WHEN HARRY MET SALLY - he can do it all. Oh yeah, he also sold 25 million albums (not counting this week's new release). A mere sampling of his accomplishments can be seen in these carefully selected series of clips highlighting Harry at his very, very best as he conjures up his special brand of musical voodoo magic stew.
First and foremost we begin with an address from first lady Michelle Obama at the White House 2010 Governor's Ball, continuing with a short discussion of Harry's unprecedented efforts in restoring the great city of New Orleans to its pre-Katrina glory and his involvement with the New Orleans Musicians Village. While the speech and comments are fascinating in and of themselves, Harry closes out the address with a particularly rousing rendition of - what else - "When The Saints Go Marching In" to the delight of the kid-centric audience.
Following that we have a special PBS interview with Harry shown during the Great Performances broadcasts of the ON BROADWAY special all this week and weekend - check your local listings at the link - where he discusses the concert and what it's like to be the bandleader and lead singer simultaneously - certainly no small feat!
Next up are two selections from Harry's first Broadway musical THOU SHALT NOT. Both songs celebrate the Mardi Gras festivities in New Orleans and evoke the steamy, sassy sights and sounds of the famed city on its most special day. "Light The Way" illustrates the animated, costumed characters who line the streets and the parades themselves while "Take Her To The Mardi Gras" is a lively character number which had slightly more sinister overtones - to say the least - in the musical onstage in its original form.
Moving from the Broadway and concert stages to the silver screen, here we have a soupcon of Harry's most memorable cinematic roles.
Playing a corrupt serial killer, first is Harry's premiere film performance in 1995's COPYCAT, directed by Jon Amiel.
In a complete 360 - at least insofar as occupation - playing a crooked cop in the film adaptation of Tracy Letts's searing thriller centering on paranoia - but is it justified? - BUG. It is a definite mind-bender of a film and one of the most anomalous of the new century. A must-see for Harry fans. (Note: The less you know about the film before seeing it, the better. You've been warned.)
Harry's most recent leading role on the big screen came in the 2010 romantic comedy NEW IN TOWN co-starring Renee Zelweger, with Harry returning to his HOPE FLOATS boots - new, old or knockin'.
A look back at Harry's notable films would not be complete without taking a listen to the classic soundtracks he has contributed to - chief among them Rob Reiner's WHEN HARRY MET SALLY and this stunning cover of the classic "Where or When".
If only for curiosity's sake, take a listen to this love theme from Francis Ford Coppola's final installment of the GODFATHER film trilogy, "Please Tell Me You'll Remember". You don't remember a song this good in that film, do you?
As a special bonus, here is a clip from 21 years ago, the music video for "Recipe of Love"!
That concludes our Harry Connick, Jr. clip rundown, but be sure to check out our exclusive two-part InDepth InterView, too!
Please remember that if you have discovered a particularly thrilling, unique, bizarre or hilarious Broadway-related clip to please send us a line at the link below. Until next week…
From This Author Pat Cerasaro