by Mike Breen
Posted In: Music History
at 11:45 AM | Permalink
Lyle Lovett's celebrity marriage ends and Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett jam with CCM grads
On this day in 1995, what was seen as one of the strangest "celebrity marriages" ever came to an end as movie star Julia Roberts and singer/songwriter Lyle Lovett announced their separation after being married just 21 months. Although, in hindsight, was the coupling really as odd as it was made out to be at the time?People magazine played up the "beauty and the beast" plot line, suggesting Lovett was some sort of dog-faced weirdo who somehow, miraculously tricked America's sweetheart into marrying him just three weeks after they met. But Lovett is a smart, funny guy who seems genuine, sincere and nice. And it's not like he looked like Joseph Merrick or anything. He did have an unruly, big hairstyle, which seemed enough to make the storyline work. (When Roberts returned to The Pelican Brief set after tying the knot, the cast and crew members reportedly wore T-shirts that said "Welcome Back, Mrs. Lovett" on the front and, on the back, "He's A Lovely Boy … But You Really Must Do Something About His Hair.")People magazine's extensive coverage post-separation was typical of how most media treated the relationship. "From the very beginning of the Julia-Lyle fairy tale — beautiful-but-vulnerable movie star falls big for intriguingly offbeat country crooner — wishful thinking seems to have had an edge over dour common sense." Maybe they were right — two people from vastly different entertainment fields, especially when one is "classically" more attractive and monetarily more successful then the other, will never work out. Roberts went on to marry a cameraman — Daniel Moder — with whom she had three kids. They've been together for a decade. And Lovett has been dating film producer April Kimble since 1999. Lovett has written several touching-to-hilarious songs about love, relationships and marriages. My favorite is the amusing "An Acceptable Level of Ecstasy (The Wedding Song)" from his 1986 self-titled, debut album. But here's the song "Fiona," from his 1996, post-divorce album, The Road to Ensenada, which many feel includes several songs about Roberts. "Fiona"'s intended subject is pretty clear — that's Roberts middle name and what Lovett called her "in code" on stage during the early stages of their hook-up.Born This Day: Musical movers and shakers sharing a March 28 birthday include Country/Pop star (and actress) Reba McEntire (1955); Country singer/songwriter Rodney Atkins (1969); Pop singer/songwriter Matt Nathanson (1973); guitarist with New Wave revivalists The Killers, Dave Keuning (1976); rapper J-Kwon (1986); and superstar Lady Gaga (1986).In the Best of Cincinnati issue out today, we included a pick on a collective of Jazz players — all graduates of U.C.'s College-Conservatory of Music — who joined Gaga and Tony Bennett on last year's hit network TV special, A Very Gaga Thanksgiving. Steve Kortyka (saxophone), Brian Newman (trumpet), Alex Smith (piano) and Scott Ritchie (bass) made up her band for the duet of "The Lady is a Tramp." That's Newman playing the opening riff and introducing the entire special. Check out an interview with Newman about playing with Gaga here.
by Jac Kern
Tonight's the night! Our annual Best of Cincinnati Party is always one of the most fun events of the year. You voted for your favorite restaurants, bars, public figures, galleries, theaters, and everything in between – now's your chance to check them all out under one roof. This year's celebration is a preview party – our Best of issues doesn't hit the streets 'til Wednesday morning, which means those in attendance will be the first to know about all our winners!As always, there will be dinner-by-the-bite from your favorite restaurants like Adriatico's, Izzy's and A Tavola; coffee and dessert from Coffee Emporium and BonBonerie; and the city's best cocktails including martinis, Bloody Marys and margaritas. As you're eating your way through the beautiful Memorial Hall, enjoy music from a DJ and a live performance from Exhale Dance Tribe performers. If that's not enough, more than 100 guests will walk away with amazing swag bags from the Procter & Gamble eStore full of your favorite P&G products and coupons to local Best of businesses. Of course, like last year, we will feature Golden Ticket giveaways, which will feature amazing prizes like tickets to Bunbury, Forecastle, Bonnaroo, MidPoint Music Festival, eight consecutive Bogart's shows and much more. If you still don't have tickets, they'll be available at the door for $35. See you tonight!Other events tonight include a Make and Bake glass jewelry class at Brazee Studios from 5-7 p.m., a Homegrown Tomatoes workshop at the Civic Garden Center from 6-8 p.m. and free concert at CCM featuring the U.S. Navy Band from Washington, D.C. at 8 p.m.Find more daily arts, theaters and other events on our To Do page and follow our music blog for live show info.
CCM production blends classic fairytales with new zest
0 Comments · Monday, February 27, 2012
One of the songs in Into the Woods
warns, “Careful the things you say. Children will listen.” In the case
of the current production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s a
blender full of fairytales, some familiar and some not, the “children” —
that is, CCM’s performers in training — clearly listened well as Aubrey
Berg directed them in a remarkably mature and thoroughly entertaining
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 10:29 AM | Permalink
'The Whipping Man,' 'Spring Awakening,' 'Red' and 'Collapse' are all worthy weekend productions
Each week in Stage Door, Rick Pender offers theater tips for the weekend, often with a few pieces of theater news. The Whipping Man is drawing big audiences for Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati. In fact, they’ve added several performances extending the closing date from Feb. 12 to Feb. 18. It’s the story of Simon, a dedicated former slave who remains in a ruined mansion in 1865 Richmond in the days just after the Civil War. Caleb, the wounded son of his former master, stumbles in (desperately needing some horrendous surgery) and then does John, another former slave, a young man raised side by side with Caleb. The slave-owning family was Jewish, and it’s almost time for Passover, which they must celebrate with limited means. It’s a powerful show about freedom and responsibility with a plot that will keep you guessing. As I noted recently in this week's Curtain Call column, director D. Lynn Meyers gets the most from her cast, especially Ken Early as Simon. This one is a must-see. Box office: 513-421-3555
Cincinnati's “Classical” music scene moving in exciting new directions
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 31, 2011
What is “new music” within the classical music genre? Philip Glass’ Cello Concerto, which receives its world premiere at the Cincinnati Symphony next year? CCM composer Michael Fiday’s “9 Haiku” for flute and piano performed last year by concert: nova? Leonard Bernstein’s 1937 Trio Sonata that gets its first local performance by the Morgenstern Trio in March? And is there even an audience for contemporary music?
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 17, 2011
While you might think of a play or a musical as entertainment — which it is — there’s another dimension worth considering. They are also works of literature, words written on a page meant to be spoken or perhaps sung. The success or failure of a performed work often hinges on the quality of the words in a play’s script or a musical’s book.
CCM, Beijing’s Central Opera and local Chinese Music Society collaborate
0 Comments · Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Puccini’s opera Turandot challenges even the biggest opera companies. But if the singers have the dramatic heft required and the orchestral and choral forces are on board, outsize sets and costumes hardly matter. Fortunately, UC’s College-Conservatory of Music has the musical resources to mount a concert performance of Turandot, presented in collaboration with Beijing’s Central Opera Troupe and the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Music Society.
CCM students get a chance to work with a true American opera legend
0 Comments · Tuesday, November 16, 2010
When CCM staged Carlisle Floyd's opera 'Of Mice and Men' last May, the composer was on hand for opening night. He was so impressed that when opera department head Robin Guarino asked him to return to work with students he immediately accepted. Floyd has been coaching CCM students since Nov. 10, culminating in a public performance of excerpts from his operas Wednesday.
Violist ecstatic over being named Taft’s Duncanson Artist-in-Residence
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 27, 2010
As it stands now, there is barely any free time in the schedule of violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama. The married mother of two is a world-class instrumentalist and teacher with a constantly full slate of concert appearances and recording sessions, and the juggling necessary to balance it all could be considered just another of her many skills.
CCM's presentation of Cole Porter tunes will stick in your head for days
0 Comments · Monday, March 1, 2010
Some contemporary theatergoers bemoan today's lack of tuneful musicals. That's because of shows like Cole Porter's 1934 hit, 'Anything Goes,' currently at UC's College-Conservatory of Music. Roughly 30 performers belt out tunes that have been standards for decades: "You're the Top," "It's De-Lovely," "I Get a Kick Out of You," "Let's Misbehave" and "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" will be stuck in your head for days if you go.