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Archive for April, 2013

Harry Connick Jr. is Going on Tour!

We’ve become more accustomed to seeing him on the Broadway stage or taking up various roles on television and the silver screen. Now though, Harry Connick Jr. is going back to his roots with a new music album, and it’s the most personal he’s ever written. To promote the album, and give his fans a chance to see him for just who he is, the megastar is also taking the album out on the road this summer!

The album will be his seventeenth studio album and it’s titled, Every Man Should Know. It will be out on June 11, and the singer said in a press release that it’s his most personal album yet.

“No rules, no limits,” Connick says. “I used to be more comfortable writing…ideas that intrigued me but didn’t necessarily come from personal experience. It’s one thing to assume the role of a storyteller — it’s quite another when the story is your own. I felt ready to explore some of my personal experiences in some of the songs this time around.”

He also says that while it’s the most personal, it’s also the most eclectic album he’s ever made. While it does largely stick to his roots in jazz, the album also contains “straight-up country” and guests such as trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and vocalist Kim Burrell.

The tour to support the album will be almost a month long, beginning on June 19 in Baltimore and wrapping up on July 17 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In between Connick will also be stopping into Rhode Island, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Atlanta, and Pennsylvania, to name just a few of the tour stops.

Daniel Tosh Hits Las Vegas This Month, Retirement Could Follow

Daniel Tosh is probably best known as the host of Comedy Central’s Tosh.0, which uses a lot of viral web videos to get laughs out of viewers as Tosh interjects his comedy in between. He’s also a successful stand up comedian, though.

Tosh really burst onto the scene in 2001 when he was on the Late Show with David Letterman. Eventually, one Comedy Central special led to another before he picked up his own show in 2009. Tosh is known for pushing the boundaries of acceptable comedy, so his content often includes jokes about racism and sexism.

Tosh has had a running joke that he will end his career on May 29, although he has a slew of shows scheduled starting on May 30 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Still, you never know. The last chance to see Daniel Tosh perform could come on April 19 and April 20 in Las Vegas, Nevada when he performs at the Terry Fator Theatre at the Mirage.

Tosh is always coming up with fresh material, but he has released one CD, one DVD and one combination CD and DVD. Those might give some sense of what you can expect to hear from his routine this year. True Stories I Made Up was released in 205, while Completely Serious came out in 2007 and Happy Thoughts dropped in 2011.

Any time Tosh performs without the constraints of television censorship, you never know exactly what you might get. On top of his own admission to making misogynistic and racist jokes that he finds funny even if he doesn’t believe them, Daniel Tosh was at the center of controversy last July after accusations that he made inappropriate jokes about rape.

Tosh denied that the accusations were accurate, but apologized for his remarks nonetheless. A long list of prominent comedians then came out to support his right to speak uncensored as a comedian, much in the tradition of many comics who pushed the boundaries of acceptable speech in the past.

You may not know exactly what you’ll get, but you know that Tosh won’t be afraid to speak his mind and there are sure to be plenty of laughs so get your tickets now for his shows in Las Vegas on April 19 and 20.

Shakespeare’s ‘The Winter’s Tale’ Opens at McCarter Theatre

Last night audiences at McCarter Theatre were privy to a very special treat — Rebecca Taichman’s take on Shakespeare’s Winter Tale. Taichman has done plays before, both taking on Shakespeare and being done at McCarter. But, this being a play that “has everything, really,” as lead actor Mark Harelik puts it, people were doubly excited, and doubly as anxious to see if Taichman could pull it off. Turns out she can, and with flying colors, too.

The Winter’s Tale is a story about King Leontes, and how he believes that his wife, Hermione, is having affections for his best friend. Acting upon his jealousy he imprisons her, leaving her to give birth to their child in her jail cell; and then later having that child abandoned. Only after he can no longer have Hermione at all, and after she starts haunting his dreams, does he begin to realize his deep love for her, and need to be reunited with her once again.

Taichman has only a small cast for this production, so many characters assume many different roles — and many, many different costumes — throughout the play’s entirety. Mark Harelik takes on the main role of King Leontes, while Hannah Yelland (Tony-nominated for 2011’s Brief Encounter) will be playing the part of Leontes’ wife, Hermione.

The play, directed by Taichman, eliminates parts of the script that are difficult for audiences to follow; and set after intricate set by Christine Jones pulls this great show together from beginning to end. Opening night is over, but you can catch The Winter’s Tale at McCarter Theatre in Princeton until April 21.

Maroon 5 Headlines Honda Civic Tour, and Kelly Clarkson’s Coming Too!

It’s official: the world is going pop! That certainly seemed to be the case first when Bjork was announced as a headliner at Ottawa’s Bluesfest this year, and now another huge event has also gone to the side of pop. Followers of the tour are finding out that Maroon 5 is going to be headlining the Honda Civic Tour this year, with Kelly Clarkson co-headlining. A handful of other acts will provide support along the way, with different bands performing different dates.

The Honda Civic Tour hasn’t been an exclusively rock tour, with Paramore performing in 2010, and Panic! At the Disco headlining before that in 2008. However, with rocker bands like Blink-182, My Chemical Romance, and Fall Out Boy filling the bill for the past several years, it certainly has made that name for itself. That being said, this slight change of pace is exactly what’s making this year’s tour one of the most exciting and highly anticipated yet.

Rozzi Crane and Tony Lucca will be appearing as the supporting acts, as will PJ Morton, who recently stood in as the keyboardist for Maroon 5.

The tour starts on August 1 in St. Louis and from there will travel all around the United States for a total of 31 stops. Some of the biggest cities along the way include Tampa, Austin, Atlanta, Saratoga Springs, and Raleigh. The tour will wrap up on October 5 in Chula Vista, California. For a full listing of dates, as well as who will appear as the opening acts, you can find them on the Maroon 5 tickets page.

Will you be going to the Honda Civic Tour this year? Are you excited about the change in musical genre?

Who Won at the ACMAs?

Sunday night was country music’s biggest night of the year as the Academy of Country Music awards ceremony was held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. And while names like Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift have dominated in year’s past, this year it was Miranda Lambert and co-host of the show, Luke Bryan, that were the biggest winners of the night.

Lambert picked up three cowboy-hat-topped trophies, one that included beating out past favorites, Swift and Underwood, when she took home Female Vocalist of the Year. Her song, “Over You,” which she co-wrote with her husband, Blake Shelton, won in two categories — Best Song of the Year, and Best Single Record of the year.

In addition to the awards voted on by the Academy, there are two categories that are always the most popular by viewers, because they’re the ones voted on by the fans. One of those was New Artist of the Year, for which Florida Georgia Line was awarded the trophy; and the biggest award of the night, Entertainer of the Year, which went to Luke Bryan.

Bryan was both choked up and speechless when he accepted the night’s biggest honor, saying that music was the only thing he ever wanted to do, and how grateful he was to be able to do it. Afterwards his co-host, Blake Shelton, joked about how great it was that Bryan could win on his “first and last year as co-host.”

If there were big winners though there were also big, well, not so much winners. Of the night, those honors go to Hunter Hayes, with Taylor Swift running a close second. While Hayes was nominated for six awards and went home with nothing, Swift was nominated for five and also went home empty-handed.

Angels Home Opener Worth the Wait as Athletics Visit

It can be one of the most frustrating things about the start of baseball season. You wait all winter to see your team take the field, only to have to sit through a week or more of road games before the home opener finally rolls around.

That’s the predicament that Los Angeles Angels fans find themselves in this year, but the home opener may well live up to the hype when the Oakland Athletics visit Tuesday April, 9.

Last year the American League West was one of the toughest divisions in baseball, with the Athletics, Texas Rangers all notching 89 or more wins. The Angels missed the playoffs at 89-73, though, and will be looking to get off to a strong start in the division this year.

Last year rookie phenomenon Mike Trout was one of the biggest stories in Major League Baseball, hitting 30 home runs and driving in 83 runs while hitting .326 in just 139 games. Trout made dazzling plays in the field as well, en route to the American League Rookie of the Year award.

That’s earned Trout a lot of attention in the offseason, from sports magazines to Gentleman’s Quarterly with plenty of other media attention in between. That and a little extra weight on the way into spring training left room for speculation about a possible sophomore slump.

Thus, all eyes in Los Angeles will be on Trout when he takes the field in the home opener.

The Angels also bring back Albert Pujols, who hit .285 last season with 30 home runs, 105 RBI and 85 runs.

Los Angeles also made a splash in adding Josh Hamilton in the offseason. The slugger hit .285 last year for the Rangers with 43 home runs and 128 RBI, so the Angels lineup will have plenty of pop with Trout, Pujols and Hamilton.

Don’t miss out on your opportunity to take in a great day at the ballpark and see Josh Hamilton’s home debut for the Angels. Get your tickets right away so that you can be there when Mike Trout begins his sophomore campaign.