Music

Cinderella premieres September 3rd on Amazon (Starring Camila Cabello, Charlotte Spencer, Idina Menzel and Maddie Baillio) (Photo Kerry Brown/Amazon)

CINDERELLA

  • By KEN WERTHER
  • Photo By KERRY BROWN/AMAZON

Imagine, if you will, the story of Cinderella, starring pop music sensation Camila Cabello in the title role. Add Billy Porter as her Fairy Godmother (yes, you read that right). Sprinkle in a few other stars including James Corden as a rat … are you ready? Amazon Prime Video has a surprise for you! Said writer/director Kay Cannon, “While so many elements of the classic Cinderella tale are timeless, I really wanted to reach a new generation through contemporary touches on many of the aspects that felt outdated. The opportunity to turn some of those classic tropes on their heads was exciting to me, and I couldn’t wait to retell this in a way that’s more relatable to what girls, including my almost-eight-year-old daughter, and young women are going through today. Our Cinderella is not just some pretty face waiting to be saved by a prince. She’s vocal, active, fearless and witty; she has dreams and craves independence.” 

I was able to sneak a peek at the opening, and let me just say, well … we’re talking a huge dance number set to Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation!” Along with Cabello, Porter, and Corden, the cast includes Idina Menzel (Wicked, Rent), Minnie Driver, Nicholas Galitzine, Pierce Brosnan, Maddie Baillio, Charlotte Spencer, and John Mullaney. This Cinderella looks like one charming, whimsical, wild musical ride. And Billy Porter as the Fairy Godmother. I thought that was worth mentioning twice!

Streaming on Amazon Prime Video, click here.

Billy Idol

BILLY IDOL

  • By ASHLEY HALVERSON

Be on the lookout for some new music from Billy Idol with his EP The Roadside which is produced by Butch Walker and scheduled to drop mid-month.  Written and recorded almost entirely during the pandemic, this will be Billy’s first release after nearly seven years and features his longtime cohort/co-writer/lead guitarist – the incredibly talented Grammy Award-winning Steve Stevens.  For those fans that love to spin records The Roadside will be released on classic black or electric blue vinyl.  

The lead single Bitter Taste is a haunting narrative that reflects on Billy’s near-fatal motorcycle accident in the early 90’s.  Bitter Taste has an accompanying video beautifully directed by photographer/filmmaker/producer Steven Sebring.  In support of this new EP release Billy Idol launched a fall tour.  As if you needed an excuse to head to Las Vegas – Billy has several October dates scheduled at The Cosmopolitan.  

What else has Billy been doing in the last seven years?  He released his New York Times Bestseller autobiographyDancing with Myself which is a candid and honest tale about his life in the emerging punk scene in England to his lifestyle of pure debauchery in Los Angeles.  In more recent months the story is much different however as he thoroughly enjoys time with his granddaughter Poppy Rebel – teaching her how to walk, talk and of course… how to rock.  

For all things Billy Idol, click here.

Ebony Repertory Theatre Presents A Brand New Day (Featuring Terry Steele) September 18th

A BRAND NEW DAY

  • By ARLENE WINNICK

Luther Vandross was a brilliant singer, songwriter and record producer.  His songs “A House is Not a Home,” “Here and Now” and “Dance with my Father” still echo in my mind.  And who can forget his duet with Beyoncé, “The Closer I Get to You.”  Now courtesy of Grammy nominated singer Terry Steele, the magic and music of Vandross returns to Los Angeles with his live show, A Brand New Day, on September 18 at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center on West Washington Boulevard.

Steele is a successful songwriter and international recording artist who has sung and collaborated with noted artists such as Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Barry White and Patti LaBelle.  This performance of A Brand New Day will include special tributes to Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin.

The Ebony Repertory Theatre, the only African American professional theatre company in LA, is the resident company and operator of the Holden PAC.  EPT, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Wren T. Brown and Managing Director Gayle Hooks, presents award winning theatre plus music, dance and lecture series honoring a culturally diverse audience.

Next up on the Nate Holden calendar is Blues in the Night conceived by Sheldon Epps which opens in November for an extended run.  The show traces the love stories of three woman as told through the music of Bessie Smith, Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer and others.

To purchase tickets and details, click here.

LA Phil’s Conductor, Marta Gardolinska

LA Philharmonic

  • By J. Cook

It’s September — have you made it out to the Hollywood Bowl yet? The first weekend this month will feature the one and only John Williams, teaming up with David Newmann to play most of the tunes you remember from movies over the past 40 years. It is incredible that the scores for Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Wars, and Superman were composed back-to-back from 1975–1978. They span styles from Tchaikovsky to Pendereki, Wagner to Beethoven — and all this music was written during less than 10% of his career. 

Speaking of Beethoven, Marta Gardolińska will conduct the dance inspired Seventh Symphony on September 9. This will be her Bowl debut, though you may remember her from the Grammy Award-winning Ives Symphony Cycle. She will be joined by Hélène Grimaud on the keys for Schumann’s only Piano Concerto. Why the italics? Well, Schumann was famous in his day for programmatic piano scores. He also wrote symphonies. It seems logical that he would combine the two but after his first attempt was rejected, his wife Clara encouraged him to keep going. Fortunately, she got him over the hump and this piece became one of the most performed Romantic Concertos of all time.

The middle of September will feature Thomas Wilkins and Baaba Maal performing the score from Black Panther. So get outside, enjoy the beautiful summer we’re having, and get your Phil on!

For all things LA Phil, click here.