Tag Archives: Britain’s Got Talent

Three years ago you had never heard of Susan Boyle. And then the dream she dreamed came true.

BOYLE: three new albums in three years

Three years ago, to this very day, Susan Boyle boldly strode on stage in Glasgow to audition for Britain’s Got Talent. (If you’ve forgotten just how powerful that moment was, treat yourself by clicking on the word ‘audition’  — as long as you have Kleenex handy.) All told, she was only on stage and on camera for seven short minutes — but those seven minutes changed her life.

Well, okay, YouTube changed her life. Some 100 million ‘hits’ later, Boyle even has that famous audition footage on her own website, including her statement that she hoped to be as successful as her musical idol, legendary British diva

BOYLE: the historic audition

Elaine Paige. It was Paige, an OBE currently regarded as the First Lady of Musical Theatre, who introduced the world to such Andrew Lloyd Webber classics as Memory and Don’t Cry For Me Argentina. At the time Boyle’s remark drew audible snickers from the audience, but then she started to sing, and they stopped snickering and jumped to their feet cheering.

Since then, of course, Boyle has been making up for lost time, releasing three, no kidding, three albums – I Dreamed A Dream, The Gift and Someone To Watch Over Me – an autobiography, The Woman I Was Born To Be, and a website that sells not only her CDs but also Susan Boyle merchandise. A new crowd-pleaser musical based on her life story, I Dreamed A Dream: The Susan Boyle Musical is currently touring the provinces (Liverpool next week, then Cardiff, Birmingham, etc. until opening in Glasgow in October.)  So Susan Boyle, the unemployed Scottish villager, is pretty much her own industry now.

What somehow escaped me along the way was the fact that, after all those headlines and YouTube hits, Piers Morgan arranged for Boyle to not only meet her idol Elaine Paige but to actually duet with her on television, to one of Paige’s hit songs from Chess. And yes, YouTube has that one too. To see and hear the incomparable Paige and the transformed Ms. Boyle, just click here – and enjoy.

ELAINE PAIGE duets with uber-fan SUSAN BOYLE

OUR TOWN: Hey, who’s superstitious? Official opening night for this year’s 15th annual TIFF Kids film festival (it used to be called Sprockets)  is this

WILLIAMS: year 11

Friday the 13th, and Chimpanzee, a brand-new True-Life Adventure from Disney, is the official opening film. And there’s even a GapKids red carpet for young fest-goers to stroll. For more info on the TiFF Kids filmfest, click here … Cadence, Countermeasure, New York Voices, The Nylons and The Swingle Singers are among the glory-voiced performers set to light up the stage this weekend when the Toronto Vocal Arts Festival Sing! opens at Harbourfront, with Micah Barnes, Dylan Bell and Heather Bambrick among those leading vocal workshops. One of Barnes’ workshops

HAYSBERT: ReelWorld star

sounds like it has the makings of a reality show. He calls it the “quick Speed Dating version” of his Singers Playground Performance Workshop, where he works one on one with each A Capella singer for the benefit of both themselves and the class … and has it really been 11 years? Tonya Lee Williams’ 11th annual ReelWorld Film Festival opens tonight with Luv, with Dennis Haysbert, Danny Glover, Michael Rainey Jr. and hip-hop hero Common, at the Cineplex Odeon Sheppard Cinemas. To check out this year’s impressive list of films, click here.

*     *     *

Advertisements

Marlo Thomas set to open in New Brunswick

Marlo Thomas, who blogs on wowOwow.com and decades later still looks like That Girl,  is about to premiere a controversial new play in New Brunswick.

WAGNER: New Brunswick-bound

WAGNER: Russian roots

Okay, calm down. 

Marlo opens Friday night in New Brunswick, but not our New Brunswick. She’s taking the stage in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

The play, New Year’s Eve, is the newest work of legendary stage and screen scribe Arthur Laurents (Gypsy, West Side Story) and co-stars Keith Carradine and Natalie Wood’s beautiful daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner. (Her mother Natalie, who changed her Russian first name to please studio execs, revisited tradition with her daughter by writer-producer Richard Gregson. When Natalie & Robert Wagner remarried, RJ formally adopted Natasha as his own — hence her impressive three-name marquee allure.)

Laurents, now an indefatigable 91, is letting his hand-picked cast take his new play for a test drive at the George Street Playhouse for three weeks so he can tinker with the engine when he’s not preoccupied with his current Broadway revival of West Side Story.

Ain’t showbiz grand?

* * *

IBOMEKA: cast your vote

IBOMEKA: cast your vote

SHARPS ‘N’ FLATS: Mamma Mia composers Björn Ulvaeus & Benny Andersson have written a follow-up to their worldwide hit musical. Their new show, Kristina from Duvemala, reportedly opened in Sweden to ecstatic audience response   one of the ninth annual ReelWord Film Festival’s most popular attractions is slated for late-night screening this Friday at the Cineplex Odeon Carlton Cinemas on Carlton. Starting at 11 pm, the filmfest’s Music Video Program, supported by BravoFact and MuchMusic, will unspool some unusual, engaging and entertaining music videos by, to name only a few, Simple Plan, Friendly Fire, Alex Cuba, Bedouin Soundclash and The Sicilian Jazz

STREISAND: DVD x 3

STREISAND: DVD x 3

Project …  great news for Beatlemaniacs: The original Beatles catalogue has been digitally re-mastered for the first time, for worldwide CD release on September 9. Two new Beatles boxed CD collections will also be released on the same date … Streisand: The Concerts will go on sale in Great Britain before we get to see it over here. The special three-disc DVD set showcases some of Ms Barbra’s most memorable concert performances over the decades, including 17 songs never before released on DVD … and soul man D.K. Ibomeka, supreme saxophonist Jane Bunnett and violin virtuoso Lenny Solomon are among the nominees for the 2009 National Jazz Awards – and you can vote for them! To cast your ballot, just click here.

* * *

2009_0326_amazon_mary_tyler_mooreLITERATI:  Tis the season to Tell All, sort of. And everybody’s doing it, almost. Including Mary Tyler Moore, who subtitles her second autobiography Life, Loves, And Oh Yeah, Diabetes … the youngest Best Actress winner in history, Marlee Matlin was only 21 when she won the coveted statuette, In her new autobiog I’ll Scream Later she reveals that at the peak of her fame she was about to put herself into the Betty Ford Clinic to fight against her addiction to alcohol. Still an inspiration for millions of hearing impaired fans, she also discusses her sometimes stormy romances with William Hurt, Rob

MATLIN: youngest Best Actress

MATLIN: youngest Best Actress

Lowe, Richard Dean Anderson and West Wing creator David E. Kelley … Simon & Schuster reps are buzzing about Love Child, a new memoir by Allegra Huston, daughter of legendary director John Huston and Italian American dancer Ricki Soma. Her mother died in a car accident when Allegra was only four and Allegra grew up with her siblings Anjelica, Tony and Danny Huston. To make things even more interesting, she later discovered that her biological father was British writer John Julius Norwich … and Joan Rivers is riding high with two, count ‘em, two new books — a spoofy Agatha Christie-meets-Barbara Taylor Bradford mystery called Murder At The Academy Awards, and a highly informative How To (and What Not To) manual on the pleasures and perils of plastic surgery called Men Are Stupid (And They Like Big Boobs.) Rivers fan Larry King did a special web interview with her for his CNN website, and you can see it right here.

* *  *

SIMON: stunned silence

SIMON: stunned silence

GET OUT YOUR HANDKERCHIEFS: If you still have any Kleenex left after seeing the socko finale of the first season of Being Erica on CBC television, wait ’til you watch 46-year-old British villager Susan Boyle try her luck with Simon Cowell & Co. on Britain’s Got Talent. Jane Fonda twittered it yesterday(“I find it so touching!”) and it made all the major national newscasts, and I can honestly say, without fear of contradiction, that Ms Boyle’s performance must truly be seen and heard to be believed. And yes, to see it just click here.

* * *

TOMORROW:

SHOWBIZ GUESSING GAME: The refusal of two Hollywood screen sirens to wear the on-screen wardrobes chosen for them unexpectedly makes it possible for a reserved British leading lady and a bold young New York TV actress to start collecting Oscar nominations.

Guess who??