Gilbert and Sullivan spoof: A Modern US President. (Fun!!)

For all the musical theater fans out there (plus political junkies), especially Gilbert & Sullivan fans, here’s a political spoof just for you:

 

YouTube Obama: A Modern U.S. President

Here’s a hilarious parody of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Major General’s Song”, from Pirates of PenzanceThis video is directed by and starring Ron Butler as the President Obama.  Pretty fun, right?  And Michelle’s brief cameo is a riot.

     
     

Continue reading

Barack Obama musical Hope! set to open in Germany

HOPE!!

 

Hope! – a musical based on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign – will be hitting the stage in Germany next month.

The video above shows some highlights from the show, including a big rock song sung by John McCain. Surprisingly, a Sarah Palin character does not make an appearance in the video, but she no doubt will have be a big supporting actor in the production. (fyi: it’s interesting to note that in the cast list below the fold, the same actress is playing the parts of both Sarah Palin and Hilary Clinton.  hmmm…..)

It’s been rumored that the creator of the musical, American producer Randall Hutchins, had the idea for this show right at the beginning of Obama’s campaign.

Visit the website for Hope! here

Click on “Read more” for complete list of the Hope! cast.

Continue reading

The Obamas are Broadway-bound

 Obama_family

According to Politico.com:

The Obamas will fly to New York City Saturday to take in a performance of the August Wilson play Joe Turner’s Come and Gone [NY Times review], which chronicles African Americans’ search for identity after the end slavery. Details weren’t provided on the weekend public schedule, which said only that the Obamas would pay a “personal visit to New York City.

 

Chad L. Coleman, Roger Robinson, and company

Productions info after the fold.

Continue reading

Michelle Obama – Arts Warrior!

I’m excited to report that, during her second New York City visit, first lady Michelle Obama spent her time emphasizing the crucial role the arts play in our society, reopening part of the American wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday and later addressing the crowd at a glittering ballet gala – where she was greeted with enthusiastic ovations from audiences that included prominent figures in politics, the arts, entertainment and fashion.

She stressed the importance of giving young people better access to the arts:

“The arts are not just a nice thing to have or to do if there is free time or if one can afford it,” she said at the museum. “Rather, paintings and poetry, music and fashion, design and dialogue, they all define who we are as a people and provide an account of our history for the next generation.”

michelle Obama and Caroline Kennedy at Metropolitan Museum of Art“The president and I want to ensure that all children have access to great works of art,” she told a crowd that included students from four New York City public schools that focus on the arts. “We want all children who believe in their talent to see a way to create a future for themselves in the arts community, either as a hobby or as a profession.”

Mrs. Obama also she reminded the audience that her husband, President Barack Obama, had included an additional $50 million (yeah!) for the National Endowment for the Arts in his economic stimulus package.

It was hardly the first time Michelle surprised the art world with her involvement, and it’s looking as if it’ll be far from the last. She and the president have gone to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to watch the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. They attended the reopening of the newly renovated Ford’s Theater, where Lincoln was assassinated. She’s been spotted at Washington’s Shakespeare Theatre, for a Welcome to Washington event that included performances by the Washington Ballet, the Arena Stage, the Washington National Opera, and other groups.

Mrs. Obama spoke in the newly renovated Charles Engelhard Court, a striking room filled with sunlight, in front of the Greek Revival-style facade of an early 19th-century bank branch that was originally on Wall Street. She wore a bright purple Isaac Mizrahi sheath and coat.  To the amusement of a crowd that included Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Vogue editor Anna Wintour, former model Iman and designer Ralph Lauren, Mrs. Obama was reminded by museum president Emily Rafferty that she and the president had their first date in a museum. (aside: how cool is that?!?)

“Thank you for reminding me,” Mrs. Obama said. “You know, after 20-some-odd years of knowing a guy, you forget that your first date was at a museum. But it was, and it was obviously wonderful; it worked.”

Michelle ObamaMichelle also met with arts luminaries in the gallery in the Egyptian wing named for Hatshepsut, the woman who ruled as pharaoh. “We thought it would be appropriate,” says Emily Rafferty.

After meeting with a group of arts leaders, the first lady changed into evening clothes and headed to American Ballet Theatre’s spring gala at the Metropolitan Opera House, a highlight of the city’s social calendar. Among the glitterati: Actresses Sigourney Weaver, Kim Raver, and Rosemary Harris; New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, opera singer Renee Fleming, and Wintour, who pronounced the evening “wonderful _ wonderful for the ballet, wonderful for the arts.”

The crowd rose in enthusiastic applause _ one man shouted, “Brava!” _ as Mrs. Obama, dressed in a black Alaia dress and Thakoon jacket, was introduced by Caroline Kennedy, whose mother, Jackie Kennedy, was a longtime supporter of the arts.

“My husband and I believe strongly that arts education is essential for building innovative thinkers who will be our nation’s leaders for tomorrow,” the first lady said, before introducing a multiracial cast of ballet students from ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, who leaped and pirouetted their way to a huge ovation.

FYI: parts of this story are from http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-05-19/obamas-new-arts-czar/ 

Random Thoughts: American Idol, Olympics 2016, Country Club sacrifices, The Onion

AdamLambert

 Did American Idol’s Adam Lambert lose because he’s (presumably) gay?  

More here.

Also, word is out that AT&T may have swayed ‘Idol’ results.  Per the NY Times:

AT&T, one of the biggest corporate sponsors of “American Idol,” might have influenced the outcome of this year’s competition by providing phones for free text-messaging services and lessons in casting blocks of votes at parties organized by fans of Kris Allen, the Arkansas singer who was the winner of the show last week. 

 

 

ChicagoOlympics2016Looks like Obama is giving a big boost to the Chicago’s bid for Olympics 2016.  I surely hope we get it – not for the actual sports per se – but for the HUGE windfall that the arts would enjoy from the festivities.  Think about it – huge amounts of actors/performers would be needed for the opening/closing ceremonies.  And, even better, the Olympics also stages a cultural exhibition, so I’m imaging all of the theatre, symphonies, dance concerts, etc. that will be presented in Chicago for the world to see.  Go Olympics!

 

s-COUNTRY-CLUBS-largeThe Washington Post is reporting that exclusive country clubs, feeling the squeeze from the sucky economy, are being forced to open their doors to the public.  Aw…so sad.  (insert fake pout).  I wonder if this means that they’ll also allow admittance to those people. (insert minority or sexual orientation of your choice…)

 

theonion-logo

 

From The Onion, hilarious portrayal of the modern-day tracking of emergencies in the era of digital-maniacal-youth: Police Slog Through 40,000 Insipid Party Pics To Find Cause Of Dorm Fire 

Hilarious!!

“Obama On My Mind” – knew it was coming, but from London??

Barack Obama musical: “Obama On My Mind”

Okay, I knew it would appear sooner or later, but I never thought that a musical about Barrack Obama (and his campaign) would first be created in London!  It is tentatively called “Obama On My Mind.  Says CBS News:

Teddy Hayes, an American playwright currently living in London, has been inspired to pen a new and distinctive musical based upon Barack Obama’s presidential campaign”

From YouTube:

Personally, I think it looks pretty lame, but then I’ve been to many a play reading where the beginning and end product are drastically different.  (i.e., I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt).   I’m just wondering if Joe the Plumber will have a song of his own (or a duet with Sarah Palin).

Relevant blog posts:

People: Get Ready for Obama: The Musical – Barack Obama
NYTimes: Obama Musical to Have British Premiere
MTV: If Shrek Can Have His Own Musical, Why Can’t President Obama?

Chicago Theater tidbits: Goodman’s partnership, Auditorium Theatre’s "America in the Age of Obama" concert

 

l

Chicago’s Goodman Theatre has announced a new partnership with the Austrian steel town of Linz.  Read Chris Jones‘ (from the Trib) article here.
   

l

The Auditorium Theatre, in partnership with City Lights Orchestra, will be holding a special one-time concert  on Wednesday, Feb. 11th at 7:30, entitled “America in the Age of Obama: A Concert Honoring Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” 

This special benefit concert will feature music by Grammy-winner Linda Clifford, jazz-trumpet legend Orbert Davis, The Soul Children of Chicago, and Walter Payton College Prep Concert Choir.  CBS Chicago anchor Jim Williams will emcee, and special guests include Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Boeing Company VP Anna Eleanor Roosevelt and Roosevelt University President Charles Middleton.  

For more info, visit AuditoriumTheatre.org. For tickets, call 312.902.1500 or visit Ticketmaster.com.

   
  Soul Children of Chicago
 

Soul Children of Chicago