Tag Archives: STEVIE WONDER

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!

-/-

Now where was I? … ah yes, as I was saying …

Can’t say I wasn’t warned.

I believe the Latin term for it is bloggus interruptus.

It’s that peculiar brand of self-delusion that makes you believe you can still blog while you’re 30,000 feet up in the air, or on a train speeding through Switzerland, or, or …

GARBER: winner

GARBER: winner

You can’t. Well, at least, I can’t. And so I’ve finally learned. (I hope.) I didn’t run out of steam. I didn’t run out of things to blog about. I just ran out of time to blog ’em. Time-management is not my strong suit. Never has been, Never will be. I still make a daily To Do lists that Hercules himself would need a week to accomplish, and at the end of the day I am still mystified because, despite the dozens that may already be crossed off, so many items still remain To Do.

Rationally, of course, I fully expect to miss a blog deadline every now and then. But not for 10 days in a row!!

My bad.  And mine to correct.

Meanwhile:

RIVERS: roastee

RIVERS: roastee

 

TO THIS VICTOR GO THE SPOILS: Four-time Tony nominee and six-time Emmy nominee Victor Garber (Alias, Milk,) who received a big welcome home from Broadway when he moved back to New York from L.A., will miss the Tony Awards this year. On Sunday June 7 Garber will be in Alberta to receive the Cineflix Award of Excellence at the 30th edition of the Banff World Television Festival …  Robin Williams has rescheduled his cancelled March stint at Casino Rama and will now do two nights on Nov 11 & Nov 12 … triumphant 75-year-old Celebrity Apprentice Joan Rivers — “just think of me as Joan Of AARP!” she told Larry King earlier this week – will be alternately feted and fricasseed by her comedy contemporaries at her very own Comedy Central Roast on July 26, slated for telecast two weeks later on Aug. 9. She’s also picked up another Emmy nomination,this time for her voiceover work on the PBS animated series ARTHUR  … and what’s this? A new music group from Bollywood called Ruby Dhalla & The Nannies? No doubt about it, Double Exposure are back on the case. And you can check it out right here.

DOANE: glory-voiced

DOANE: glory-voiced

 

ALL THAT JAZZ:  Glory-voiced Melanie Doane is set to sing new arrangements of songs by Leonard Cohen, Randy Newman, Tom Waits, Hank Snow and more, May 26 & 27 at Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre …  still-vibrant song virtuoso Stevie Wonder is set to open the 30th annual Montreal Jazz Festival with a free outdoor concert on June 30. Wonder will give the inaugural concert at La Place des festivals, the Montreal festival site whose official opening is not scheduled until September. Also scheduled to celebrate the three-decade jamfest: Oliver Jones, Dave Brubeck and Tony Bennett  … and Ray Parker Jr., Kool & The Gang and Earth, Wind & Fire are set to shake up the 43rd Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland on July 15.

NIXON: closing

NIXON: closing

 

PEOPLE: Law & Order alumnus Chris Noth, aka Carrie Bradshaw’s Mr. Big in Sex & The City, hosts One Night Live, a once in a lifetime concert  with Sting, Sheryl Crow and the Canadian Tenors to benefit the Women & Babies Program at Sunnybrook Hospital,next Thursday at the Air Canada Centre … perennially popular ivory-tickler Ken Lindsay continues to win new fans Thursdays and Fridays at Statler’s on Church street … and Cynthia Nixon (aka Carrie’s Bradshaw confidante Miranda) closes on Broadway this Sunday  in Lisa Loomer’s disarmingly funny look at parenting in the age of the Internet and Ritalin, Distracted.

FOOTLIGHTS: The artistic Director  of Toronto’s newest South Asian theatre company, Anand Rajaram kicks off Dishoom!, a new South Asian performance

WONDER: Montreal-bound

WONDER: Montreal-bound

festival, anchored by a remount of his Summerworks hit Cowboys & Indians (with music maven Bob Wiseman) on May 23 at the Factory Theatre  …two diverse dance companies, Toronto’s COBA and Britain’s Tavaziva Dance, collaborate to present City of Tribes May 28-30 at Harbourfront’s Fleck Dance Theatre … it’s an ill wind that blows no good. The current recession is proving to be a bonanza for theatre lovers who seldom have the dough to purchase top-dollar ducats. Reduced prices abound from here to Broadway – e.g., buy one full-price ticket for Guys & Dolls and buy a second one for only $7.77, buy an adult ticket to Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas spectacular, ticket, get a free ticket for a child under 12 — and closer to home summer seat sales are sparking box office at both Stratford and Shaw.

* * * 

Have a great long weekend.

See you Tuesday!