Tag Archives: Billboard

Cole Porter said it with music, but with all the attention he’s getting, is Justin Bieber ‘just one of those things”?

His new CD My World 2.0 debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 albums chart this week, making him the youngest male artist to hit #1 on Billboard since a 13-year-old Stevie Wonder in 1963.

To borrow a lyrical phrase from legendary songwriter Cole Porter, is Justin Bieber just ‘too hot not to cool down?’

The 16-year-old bubblegum popster from Stratford Ontario has been actively pursuing fame since he posted his homemade music videos on YouTube when he was 13.  As Internet success

BIEBER: YouTube baby

stories go, he’s no Susan Boyle – but he did attract the attention of, and subsequent offers of management from, both Usher and Justin Timberlake.  As you probably know (unless you’ve been in a convent,) he signed with Usher, who has become not only his mentor and shrewd in-house guru but has also appeared with him in music videos and on key TV talk shows (e,g., Ellen.) Usher, as if you didn’t know, is one smart, talented and uncommonly classy guy. Professionally, at least, young Justin is in very good company.

Bieber is the first artist to have seven songs from a debut album make it on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and his new sizzling hot CD is his  first studio album. His first tour as a headliner, coming up this summer,includes gigs at the Air Canada center in Toronto on Aug. 21, the John Labatt Center

USHER: Atlanta mentor

in London, Ont. on Aug. 22, and Scotiabank Place in Kanata, Ont. on  Aug. 24. And as if those rooms aren’t large enough he’s already set to play Madison Square Garden on August 31.

His fans in Newfoundland will get to glimpse him even sooner. When CTV telecasts the 2010 Juno Awards from St. John’s on April 18, Bieber will share the spotlight with Billy Talent, Blue Rodeo, Classified, Drake, Great Lake Swimmer, Johnny Reid, K’Naan, Metric and another Madison Square Garden veteran, still new-ish old pro Michael Bublé.

Justin lives in Atlanta now – Usher’s home base – and is admittedly having the time of his

BUBLE: with Justin at Junos

life. He loves performing, he loves his fans, he loves making music.  It took Michael Bublé 10 years to get booked at Madison Square Garden, but 10 years from now he’ll still be playing the big rooms. Ten years from now Justin Bieber will be 26, his teen glory days far behind him. When full-bloom BieberMania ends – as it most certainly will — let’s hope Usher can help Bieber sidestep the showbiz traps and pitfalls that have crushed so many other meteoric shooting-star careers.

In the meantime, I won’t be one bit surprised if readership of this blog spikes today — not because I’m writing about Justin Bieber, but just because I mentioned his name.

Yes, folks, he really is that hot.

NEAL: New York honours (photo: David Shankbone)

TONY’S FIRST LADY: Do you know who won the very first Tony Award? Give up?  It was screen siren Patricia Neal for her performance as Regina Hubbard in Lillian Hellman‘s Another Part of the Forest in 1946.  Which is only one reason that the Peccadillo Theater Company will present An Evening with Patricia Neal at the Players Club in Manhattan on April 12. Neal, a director’s actor whose distinguished screen stints include The Fountainhead, A Face In The Crowd and Hud, will be presented with PTC’s Legends of the American Theater award, one more highlight in a long and illustrious career.

Happy long weekend. And remember, we all need to be in the light now and then. So don’t forget to soak up some sunshine!

-/-

What you may not know about the two ‘overnight sensations’ who are making GLEE your favourite new show of the 2009-2010 television season

MORRISON:  as 'Mr Shuster'

MORRISON: as 'Mr Schuester'

LYNCH: as not-so-sweet Sue

LYNCH: as not-so-sweet Sue

It seemed like they came out of nowhere, this tall, lanky high school teacher and the razor-tongued athletic coach determined to be his nemesis. If they’d been major players (or even minor ones) on earlier TV shows, I’d obviously missed those series. And even after Glee made its auspicious and, yes, spectacular debut as a test pilot, no one ever said, “Oh you know him, he’s the guy from Law & Criminals: Baltimore.” Or anything even remotely like that. We saw him in action. Then we saw her in action. And then we went wow! — who are these people?

MORRISON: in South Pacific

MORRISON: in South Pacific

Apparently we were looking for answers in all the wrong places. We should have been looking to Broadway. Matthew Morrison, who plays Will Schuester, the Spanish teacher who decides to try to resuscitate the high school glee club, is an accomplished song and dance man who co-starred in the sensational still-running Lincoln Center revival of South Pacific, nightly revisiting such Rodgers & Hammerstein classics as I Have Dreamed and Carefully Taught.
And when he isn’t playing the beleaguered high school teacher in the runaway hit of this TV season, he’s working with his South Pacific director Bartlett Sher on developing a musical version of Pedro Almodovar’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

LYNCH: with Streep in Julie & Julia

LYNCH: with Streep in Julie & Julia

(Who knew???)
We sure knew he could sing and dance, however — and stay in character — after we saw him ‘teach’ his irresistible Glee club misfits how to sell a song. (Still don’t know what I’m talking about? Just click here.)

As for the outrageously funny Jane Lynch — frankly, and i mean candidly: Where Have I Been? She’s been a popular recurring multi-episode player on such long-running hit series as Boston Legal, Criminal Minds, The ‘L’ Word and Two And A Half Men. Comedy

GLEE: tonight at 9 pm

GLEE: tonight at 9 pm

aficonados will tell you in a heartbeat that she performed all her own singing and guitar playing in A Mighty Wind, and that she made them scream with laughter when she appeared with Steve Carrell in his breakthrough film The 40 Year Old Virgin. (Morrison also has on-screen history with Carrell. He played the cop that wouldn’t get off his case in Dan In Real Life.) What many of her fans don’t realize, however, is that Lynch is currently on screen with Meryl Streep, playing the small but key role of Julia Child‘s sister in Julie & Julia. And that she opens off-Broadway with Tyne Daly tonight — yes, tonight — as part of the rotating all-female cast of the new Nora & Delia Ephron opus, Love, Loss And What I Wore. So she continues in very good company, on stage and screens.

MORRISON: Broadway baby

MORRISON: Broadway baby

LYNCH: TV veteran

LYNCH: TV veteran

So does Glee. Two weeks ago, barely into the run of the series, Glee cast recordings accounted for 10 spots on the iTunes list of top 200 downloaded songs and four places on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week. The top-selling Glee cast recordings included two mash-ups created for the series — one of Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life” and Usher’s “Confessions Part II,” and the other of Beyoncé’s “Halo” and “Walking on Sunshine,” by Katrina and the Waves. And more sales are in the offing. On Nov. 3 Columbia Records and 20th Century Fox Television will release Glee: The Music, Volume 1, the first in what is planned as a series of soundtrack albums. And last week the Fox series made more headlines when NBC reneged on its invitation to have the Glee cast perform during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which it broadcasts. So now the Glee cast will perform during the World Series, singing the national anthem in either Los Angeles or Philadelphia, depending on the outcome of the playoffs, during game three of the series, which is telecast by Fox.

Still wondering what all the fuss is about? To catch up with the pilot that started it all, just click here. To catch a new episode, tune in tonight at 9 pm to Fox or Global. And enjoy!

TOMORROW:

More star-studded news and views

from Vanessa Williams, Lily Tomlin and more.

-/-

Juno stars Page & Cera and director Jason Reitman return to TIFF with three new flicks. Meanwhile …

PAGE: on a roll

PAGE: on a roll

MEANWHILE: Don’t be surprised if TIFF-bound Jason Reitman, who scored his first big hit at the festival with Thank You For Smoking, bumps into his Juno star Ellen Page. The irresistible Ms Page is coming here to promote Drew Barrymore’s first film as a director, Whip It, which features the most roller derby pulchritude we’ve seen since Raquel Welch tore up the track in Kansas City Bomber.

Meanwhile, joining Page and Barrymore on screen are formidable femmes Marcia Gay Harden, Juliette Lewis and SNL scene-stealer Kristen Wiig, so what’s not to like?

CERA: "hysterically twisted"

CERA: "hysterically twisted"

Meanwhile, Page’s Juno co-star Michael Cera has his own entry in the upcoming TIFF sweepstakes: Youth In Revolt, which TIFF programmer Cameron Bailey describes as an “hysterically twisted coming of age tale,” with Zach Galifianakis, Jean Smart and Steve Buscemi, directed by Miguel Arteta.

Meanwhile, director Reitman, still in L.A. finishing his new TIFF entry Up In The Air, has been taking Sundays off to screen movies he’s never seen but always wanted to. Last Sunday’s screening? Francois Truffaut’s 1959 classic The 400 Blows.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Prima ballerina turned prima producer Veronica Tennant is on the Gemini honours list again. This time she’s up for two, with a Best Director nomination for her shot-in-Cuba dance essay, Vida Y Danza Cuba, which is also nominated for Best Performing Arts program. Ms

DORE: clowning at Comix

DORE: clowning at Comix

Tennant’s brilliant cinematographer, Don Spence, is also a nominee this year, for his fearless camerawork on the Rick Mercer Report, which is about to launch its seventh season on CBC Television … reigning country music queen Shania Twain and Tony-winning Wicked star Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies) have both been tapped to sub for Paula Abdul as guest judges on the next season of American Idol … and Canadian crowd-pleaser Jon Dore headlines at Comix, the comedy club on West 14th Street, this weekend in Manhattan.

OH TO BE A FLY ON THAT WALL: It’s official — Barbara Streisand is giving an intimate concert of selections from her new album at the famed New

STREISAND: new Love

STREISAND: new Love

York jazz club the Village Vanguard on Sept. 26. Her new album, Love Is the Answer, will be released Sept. 29 and marks the first time that Streisand has worked with Diana Krall and her combo. Streisand was executive producer of the album; Krall was producer.

“Her mom used to play my records,” says Streisand, “so she kind of grew up with them. I usually produce a lot of my own things, so we did it as a collaboration.”

The regular CD features the orchestra versions of the songs; the two-disc deluxe CD set also features Streisand performing the selections with Krall’s jazz group.

KRALL: producer

KRALL: producer

Krall always records basic tracks with her band and then the orchestra is added later. “David Foster records that way, where you do the tracks first,” Streisand told L.A. Times reporter Susan King. “I don’t particularly like it. But it brought me back to the way I started, so there was something very … nostalgic … about it.”

The small Manhattan clubs where she got her big break, the Bon Soir and the Blue Angel, are gone now. When she was 19, she auditioned at the Vanguard, where Miles Davis was the star of the show. “I didn’t get the job.” No, but somehow she managed to survive. Last month her three-disc DVD set, Streisand: The Concerts, went platinum after a three-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Charts, making it the biggest selling music DVD of 2009.

Ain’t showbiz grand?

TOMORROW:

Pre-TIFF Oscar buzz, Hugh Jackman,  Jodie Foster & Mel Gibson, and more.

-/-