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Archive for February, 2012

John Mayer Tours the U.S. for First Time in 2 Years

John Mayer had a tough run last year. After having to cancel several concert dates due to throat complications, it was found that Mayer had a granuloma (throat inflammation) near his vocal chords and the condition would need surgery. That led to months of recovery, which have kept Mayer out of the spotlight, which means out of his comfort zone. Now eager to return, he’s doing so in a big way with a new album, and the first chance in two years for his U.S. fans to see him live.

Most likely as soon as he came off doctor-ordered bed rest, Mayer started working on his fifth studio album, “Born and Raised.” Fans will have to wait until the May 22 release date to hear the record in its entirety but the first single, titled “Shadow Days,” will be released to radio stations on Monday, March 5. And, those who get tickets to the early dates can be some of the first people to hear many of the new tunes off the album.

The tour picks up in Bloomington, Indiana on April 9 and will play out a total of 18 dates, wrapping things up in Phoenix, Arizona on May 6. But hearing the tunes a little earlier than other fans isn’t the only thing to be excited about on this tour — it’s Mayer’s first time around the U.S. in two years! Tickets go on sale March 2 and March 3 and a portion of the proceeds are going to charity; you can find the full schedule and all the John Mayer tickets here. .

Madonna – A Star Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

It wouldn’t be a Madonna show if it wasn’t controversial, and no doubt, the public was divided on her Super Bowl performance. Some of her fans, and some casual admirers, were very impressed that Madonna pulled a good show off, especially given her age (she’s 53), while others were disappointed that the iconic and fearless performer didn’t turn in a more original and even “shocking” show.

After all, this is the woman who created the “Sex” book and earned worldwide notoriety for “Erotica” and “Justify My Love.” She also made history by swearing like a sailor on The Late Show with David Letterman in 1993—long before it was cool to be a TV rebel.

It’s hard to deny that the show was creative—after all, we had a pom pom segment, a gospel choir and help from LMFAO, Cee Lo Green, Jamie King, Cirque du Soleil, and Moment Factory. All that, plus M.I.A. giving the middle finger to the millions of Super Bowl viewers. Outraged parents should be happy that all we saw from a Madonna show was a finger! Compared to Janet Jackson’s fiasco a few years ago, this was a good show that entertained millions while not stealing the Super Bowl’s thunder.

And score Madonna did! It is estimated that with 114 million viewers, Madonna’s Halftime Show was the highest-rated show in history! Madonna still has us hot and bothered even three decades after her debut! And who can forget some of her most memorable songs such as “Like a Virgin”, “Like a Prayer” and “Vogue”? She is not only a music icon but also a movie icon, as her musical influence was honored in films like Moulin Rouge, while Madonna herself acted in the 1996 film, Evita, singing and acting her way to a Golden Globe award.

Madonna had quite a decade in the 2000s, earning the title of best-selling single Artist of the Decade in the U.S. and also giving birth to Rocco Ritchie. Why not come and celebrate with this living legend as she debuts songs from her new album MDNA on her Madonna World Tour?

Where in the World will Rick Nash Go?

Rick Nash might be traded, and that’s big news not just for the Columbus Blue Jackets that he plays for, but the entire hockey world. It might have some reminiscing about when the Edmonton Oilers traded off their franchise with the trade of Wayne Gretzky. Rick Nash is the franchise, but Wayne Gretzky he is not. Still, it’s an intriguing move if it’s going to be made. But where will Rick Nash go?

It’s hard to say. While Rick Nash undoubtedly wants to win a Stanley Cup during his career (and will probably never get one with the Blue Jackets,) he also has a no-trade clause in his contract. However, he has given his team execs a list of teams that he’d be willing to be traded to, and it’s rumored that they are: the New York Rangers, the Vancouver Canucks, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Los Angeles Kings (interesting that this is also the team that Gretzky was traded to.) But again, Nash is not Gretzky, and it’s his value that has many of the teams he’d like to go to have a problem with.

The Rangers don’t want to give up Brandon Dubinsky, Chris Kreider, and a first round pick; things they’d most likely have to part with in order to acquire Nash. But the Canucks don’t want to give up too much either. Cory Schneider, Cody Hodgson, Keith Ballard, Sami Salo, and Mason Raymond are just a few of the Canuck names that have been talked about, and almost immediately shot down.

So where will Rick Nash go? It’s impossible to say. But the big news right now is that the Blue Jackets are entertaining the thought of trading away the face of the franchise. And that’s big news indeed.

Freak Out with Criss Angel Live and in Person!

Just when you think you have seen it all, Criss Angel finds another amazing feat to dazzle and disturb audiences! This American-born magician is probably best known for his TV show “Criss Angel: Mindfreak”, but it is nothing compared to seeing the tricks preformed live and in person!

Criss Angel has truly amazed audiences with some of his death-defying feats. His fascination with magic started from a mere seven years old. He is now considered the man that has brought back the love of magic to popular culture today. There hasn’t been such an interest by the masses in magic since the days of Houdini himself.

The master illusionist has been known to walk on water, levitate, survive explosions, and even cut himself in half! He does traditional feats of magic, but with a big bold twist, such as making a Lamborghini disappear, or floating between two buildings in front of a live audience of fans. He has even wowed famous celebrities and has been asked to appear on TV shows such as the Ellen Show, Oprah, The Tonight Show and The Late Show.

Criss Angel’s amazing stunts eventually landed him a $100 million Broadway style financed show with MGM Mirage in Las Vegas. Today, you can see what some are calling the most exciting show in Las Vegas at the Luxor Theater inside the Luxor Hotel. The show has a partnership with Cirque du Soleil, and is titled “Criss Angel – Believe”. This show has been running since 2008, and is still the best place to catch all of the magic in person. This production features amazing illusions, danger, excitement and even a little comedy to pull it all together.

Las Vegas can certainly pull off the trick of making your money disappear if you step into a casino, so why not spend it on some memories that will last a lifetime instead? Check out the amazing feats happening at the Luxor Theater at the hands of a master magician! If you want to see the magic of Criss Angel with your own eyes, you can see “Believe in Las Vegas”, or keep an eye out for appearances scheduled for your hometown.

Cirque du Soleil Comes to Radio City Music Hall

It looks like bringing the circus to Radio City Music Hall might be turning into an annual event! Just like it did last year, Cirque du Soleil’s “Zarkana” is coming back to New York for the summer, starting on June 6 and wrapping up on September 4. Although “Zarkana” plays in many different theaters around the globe, it was made with the venues of Radio City Music Hall and the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow. These two cities are the only theaters in which “Zarkana” is a seasonal event.

Being Cirque du Soleil, of course it’s going to be filled with tons of acrobatics, illusions, and tons of theatrical flair; but this show takes the regular Cirque and takes it up several notches. It takes its name from blending the two words “bizarre” and “arcana;” and as the story unfolds, we find a magician in the middle of his empty theater after he’s lost both his love and his magic. Begging God to bring both of them back, the magician and the audience are taken into a world that is transformed and where the lines between the real and the surreal become not only blurred, but erased altogether.

One of the best experiences any theater-goer can hope for when they go to a show is to be taken to a world completely different than the one they know, and in that regard “Zarkana” does not disappoint. Tickets for this truly magical and bizarre show go on sale February 20.

“Carrie” Returns To Broadway, Will It Do Better This Time Around?

It was almost twenty-five years ago when the adaptation of Stephen King’s breakthrough novel, “Carrie” landed on the Broadway stage and turned it to a scene of blood and gore. After only five performances, each one met with reviews and criticisms that were just as ghastly, it was pulled and many who worked on the project vowed to never touch it again. Those same folks are eating their words now, as they’ve been actively involved in reworking it for the stage, and “Carrie” now has an off-Broadway opening date of March 1. So what’s different this time around?

Back then in 1988 it was composer Michael Gore, lyricist Dean Pitchford, and screenplay writer Lawrence D. Cohen who wrote the original version met for Broadway. It was something they were proud of, until it fell into the hands of Terry Hands, who completely reworked it and took out major pieces of dialogue. After seeing what their work had been turned into, the three writers needed to leave the theater and wait in the lobby until it was over. It was then that it came to Broadway for its very short stint.

The core of original writers including Gore, Pitchford, and Cohen are still heavily involved in what’s hoped to be a much better showing, but the show does have a new director, and that seems to have made all the difference. That director is Stafford Arima, who was only 19 when he saw “Carrie” in Toronto with his mother. Going to a variety of shows had always stayed with Arima, but it was “Carrie” in particular he wanted to see brought back and given another chance. He started asking the writers in 2008 to consider it, at which they routinely shot him down, until he convinced them — and the rest of the theater world — to give the play another chance.

But Arima’s not the only difference. All the writers involved in this new reworking of the play have also made quite a few revisions, and we imagine many of those are replacing what was taken out of it for the first round. Check it out for yourself and see if this adaptation fares any better than the first; it’s playing off Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theatre beginning March 1.

War Horse: The Dark Horse of the Academy Awards Started on the Stage

War Horse proved to be a successful play, and even featured a “horse choreography” given to Toby Sedgwick.

The film version of the story is based on the play and is directed by Oscar-favorite Steven Spielberg. War Horse was nominated for six Academy Awards for 2012 including Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Art Direction, which we assume is the closest thing to a “horse choreography” Oscar. The film was also nominated for five British Academy Awards.

Spielberg decided to make the film after seeing a production of War Horse in London. Spielberg later commented that it was a story that could provide “heart and a message that can be felt in every country.”

Like the film, the play also tells the story of Joey, Albert Narracott’s beloved horse, who is sold and shipped to France. Joey the horse serves in both British and German armies and befriends Topthorn (another army horse) along the way. This is quite the rare novel, (all the more rare because it is a children’s book), as it literally tells the story from a horse’s point of view. The movie does provide more insight into the human story happening, however the horse is truly the main character. Quite the achievement for a World War I war story!

You can still order theater tickets for War Horse online. Why not see what the hype is about by seeing this magnificent tale live and in person?