- Barry Manilow in surprise visit to Hatfield Peverel pub - Undeterred at the prospect of crazed fans or the English weather, international superstar Barry Manilow proved he will go to any lengths for the perfect plate of fish and chips, when he instructed his tour bus to stop off at a Hatfield Peverel pub on Friday. Taking on board glowing recommendations for the Duke of Wellington's 'Fish Friday', the American singer-songwriter knew there was quite simply no other place to sample his first taste of the British classic mushy peas. After visiting the village the singer also stopped off in Braintree, sampling a cheese omelette in the White Hart Hotel and coffee at the Horse and Groom. He was even spotted by stunned shoppers strolling through the town centre. "He said he loved our fish and chips - he'd never tried the mushy peas before and he said he liked them," said Duke of Wellington pub supervisor Alana Smith, who served up the nine helpings of battered cod and chips while Mr. Manilow sunned himself in the beer garden over lunch. "We were very surprised to see him; his manager booked a table but didn't give any inkling of who it was for. The next minute there was a big tour bus outside. When he first came in we thought it might be an impersonator but then we realised it was actually Barry Manilow. Customers wanted to take photos but we asked them to stay calm because he just wanted to have a quiet afternoon's fish and chips. He had originally wanted to sit out of the way but it was such a lovely day he sat in the garden instead. He even asked me to take pictures of him with his fish and chips."
Unsure if her own eyes were deceiving her, super-fan Pauline Barnard decided to keep quiet when she first watched who looked like Mr Manilow stroll past the table where she was enjoying her own plate of fish and chips with friend Sandy Bisset, and their husbands. "We were eating and these seven men in dark suits went up to the bar and then there he was. I thought if I said something they would say 'don't be stupid' so I didn't say anything but then my husband went up to get a drink and heard someone saying it was Barry Manilow," said Pauline, from Chelmsford. "I thought he could only say no to a photo so I went down to the garden and waited till he had finished talking. I said 'Barry Manilow, I absolutely love you and I love your records'." The flattery, and perhaps their mutual love of the Duke of Wellington's famous fish and chips, worked a charm and Mr. Manilow happily posed with the two women.
By the time Mr. Manilow pulled away from Hatfield Peverel en route to a performance in Ipswich later that day, he and the pub's staff were even on first name terms. (Essex Chronicle, 29 May 2014)
- Stephen Mangan Stunned By Celebrity Fan - Stephen Mangan was stunned to discover Barry Manilow is a fan of his. The 'Episodes' actor recently met the legendary musician and was left speechless when he began quoting lines from his hit comedy show, which also stars Matt Le Blanc. Stephen explained: "I was on 'Graham Norton' this week and Barry Manilow came over and started quoting 'Episodes' lines to me. And the idea that Barry Manilow knows who I am is incredible. It is a really bizarre thing." (Female First, 24 May 2014)
- Review: The Academy's Copacabana at Ffwrnes, Llanelli - Fresh from winning Best Production at the NODA awards in Hereford, the Academy took to the Ffwrnes stage last night to perform Copacabana. Director Peter Sharp promised a fantastic show, and it lived up to expectation on the first of a three-night stint at the Ffwrnes stage. In a Hollywood dream world, aspiring songwriter Stephen recalls the 'music and passion' of New York’s Copacabana Night Club. Taking her first tentative steps into the world of showbiz, hopeful showgirl Lola La Mar is propelled to star status by her bartender musician boyfriend Tony. But success and happiness is countered with jealousy and intrigue as treacherous Rico Castelli whisks her off to Havana and his Tropicana Nightclub. Lead actors Eve Dalling (Lola La Mar) and Declan Stewart (Tony) produced excellent stand-out vocal and acting performances, with their on-stage chemistry only surpassed by their interpretation of Barry Manilow’s songs. The story of love interrupted by jealousy and villainy was portrayed with humour and enthusiasm by Ann Benjamin (Conchita Alvarez) and Anthony Evans (Rico Castelli). Elizabeth Bevan (Gladys Murphy) and Roger Bowen (Sam Silver) also brought the laughs with some great comedy moments in the show. The cast as a whole deserve credit for bringing the show to life, with a range of colourful costumes, a host of dynamic dance routines along with a great musical score from Diane Williams and her orchestra. It has added to The Academy’s ever growing reputation of delivering a top night’s entertainment for audiences across Llanelli. It will be on again at Ffwrnes tonight and Saturday at 7pm. (Llanelli Star, 23 May 2014)
- First sniff of freedom for beagles rescued from lab testing - A touching video of nine beagles getting their first taste of sunshine after being rescued from an American animal testing lab has gone viral on Youtube. The Beagle Freedom Project rescued the beagles from an animal testing lab in Nevada, in the USA, and introduced them to a new life in the backyard of a Las Vegas support of the group on May 6th. After uploading the video to Youtube two days later it received more than 1.7 million views and 5,790 likes in less than a month. Although tentative at first, the beagles quickly took to their new surroundings and were soon sniffing, bounding and playing with each other in their new environment. The beagles were released one by one and each time a new member of the group arrived another dog raced over to welcome them to their new surroundings ... The rescued beagles were also given names, after previously only having identification numbers. They were named after honor of famous Las Vegas names including the Rat Pack -- Frankie, Dean, Sammy, and Joey ... and Wayne, Barry, Peter, and Tommy. "These animals deserve a chance, and given the proper care, most of these animals can have very full lives," Las Vegas Senator Mark Manendo told The Las Vegas Review-Journal after the pups were freed ... For more information about the Beagle Freedom Project visit their website: www.beaglefreedomproject.org/. (Examiner.com, 5/23/2014)
- The fans' verdict: Barry Manilow, SSE Hydro, Glasgow - Barry Manilow has remained at the top of the charts - and within many hearts - for the last couple of decades, quite simple because of his enthusiastic fans. His army of 'Fanilows' follow his every move and come out to support his tour in their masses. (Evening Times, 19 May 2014)
- "It's just so much fun. I saw him a couple of years ago and I enjoyed it then. I wouldn't have come back unless he was good," said Wendy McAllister from Wishaw.
- Sister Mandy Smith - who may have been named after the song made famous by Manilow - came to the show to celebrate a special birthday. She said: "I enjoyed it and he sang Mandy." The sisters' mum Alison Carlin added: "He is a wonderful entertainer."
- James Mullen, from Glasgow, admitted it was his first time seeing Manilow in concert and he was pleasantly surprised at how good he was. He said: "He is like a fine whisky, he gets better as he matures. I remember all his hits in the 70s and I never thought he would be as good live. I was blown away, he simply has an outstanding voice."
- Fife couple Peter and Helen loved the show but felt the interval was too long - and they would have liked to have seen more Manilow on stage. Peter said: "He is a fabulous entertainer. I would have just liked him on earlier and the interval could have been shorter."
- Dundee friends Agnes Gowans and Wendy Rae wore their football style Manilow scarfs to the gig. The girls, who have saw him loads throughout the year, said they loved the show. Agnes added: "It brought a tear to my when he sang back to his younger self on the screen during Mandy."
- Superstar Barry Manilow samples food and strolls through Braintree during tour travels - Legendary crooner Barry Manilow stopped over in Braintree at the weekend during his travels for his UK tour. The international superstar had a cheese omelette at Braintree’s White Hart Hotel, drank coffee in the Horse and Groom, in Rayne Road, and ate fish and chips at the Duke of Wellington in Hatfield Peverel. Eagle-eyed fans even spotted him wandering through the town centre in the sun. (Braintree and Witham Times, 21 May 2014)
- Llanelli theatre company The Academy win Best Production award ahead of Copacabana show - Llanelli theatre company The Academy won the prestigious Best Production title at the annual NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association) awards [for] their production of Jesus Christ Superstar. It comes as the theatre company prepare to return to Ffwrnes with their show Copacabana from Thursday until Saturday. The production tells the famous story of aspiring singer Lola and songwriter Tony. Tony, played by Declan Stewart, attempts to assist her to break into show business, however fate steps in and Lola, played by Eve Dalling, is swept away to find fame and fortune. The lavish stage show, originally written by Barry Manilow, will be taking to the stage at Ffwrnes between Thursday, May 22 and Saturday, May 24. They will be joined on stage by an all singing, all dancing cast of more than 50 people. Producer Peter Sharp said it was set to be a “fantastic” show. All performances take place at 7pm. (Llanelli Star, 20 May 2014)
- The "Ultimate Cocktail Party" (April 5th, 2014) climbed quickly to cruising altitude at the Palm Springs Air Museum for Celebrity Doodles. Everything from the classic, doodled cocktail napkin to beautiful, fully realized illustrations by celebrities including Bob Mackie, Kylie Minogue, Olivia Newton-John, Rosie O’Donnell, Dr. Phil, Lily Tomlin, Vanessa Williams,and many others were available in the silent auction. The 350 attendees sipped cocktails and enjoyed delicious hors d’oeuvres by Lulu California Bistro as they eagerly submitted their bids, raising a total of more than $30,000 for Desert AIDS Project. Celebrity Doodles event founders and producers Peter Demopoulos, Mark Messenger, and Julie Turkel were delighted with the response from celebrities and guests alike. "I think this 4th Annual Celebrity Doodles was the best yet," said Demopoulos. "And the silent auction was the biggest it’s ever been." Alan Hamel, manager-husband of the incomparable Suzanne Somers -- who created the very first doodles that got this event started in 2010 -- once again made their artistic contributions, even though they were the guests of honor as recipients of the inaugural "Doodle Master Award." Since Leeza Gibbons, a close friend of Somers, was unable to present the award due to an unexpected scheduling conflict, Bill Feingold stepped in and had the crowd murmuring "Did he really just SAY that?" while Somers and Hamel laughed, along with Somers-BFF Barry Manilow and Lorna Luft. Erin Quill of Broadway fame and Matthew Dowden, a triply-talented singer/comedian/magician, performed host duties throughout the evening. Taylor Dayne rocked the crowd... (Desert Sun, 5/18/2014)
- Ipswich: Not long until Barry Manilow plays Portman Road - With more than 50 Top 40 hits to his name, the Grammy, Tony and multi-Emmy Award winner has sold more than 80 million records around the world. The Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, famous for performing, composing, arranging and producing will be supported by nine-time Grammy nominated saxophonist Dave Koz. Gates for Friday’s concert open at 5pm, with the show starting at 8pm. See Saturday’s East Anglian Daily Times for pictures. (East Anglian Daily Times, 14 May 2014)
- Celebrities pay tribute to fundraiser - Teenage cancer fundraiser Stephen Sutton, from Burntwood in Staffordshire, raised more than £3.2m for the Teenage Cancer Trust. In a post on Facebook announcing Stephen's death, his mother, Jane Sutton, said he was a "courageous, selfless, inspirational son". Celebrities have paid tribute to him on Twitter ... Cricketer Kevin Pietersen: So sad to hear the news about Stephen Sutton. What an amazing, selfless and immensely inspirational young man ... Comedian and actor Ricky Gervais: A true hero & inspiration to us all. ... Singer Barry Manilow: What an inspiring and beautiful soul ... Comedian Sarah Millican: So sad to hear about Stephen Sutton. What a wonderful and inspiring man ... Actress and TV presenter Lynda Bellingham: What a brave and wonderful boy ... (BBC News, 14 May 2014)
- Sax star Dave Koz blows into town with Barry Manilow this Friday - Sibling rivalry can lead to good things. Take nine-time Grammy nominated saxophonist Dave Koz, supporting Barry Manilow at Portman Road on May 16. "I was 13 and my older brother had a band growing up that played weddings, bar mitzvahs, fraternity parties, stuff like that. I saw him and his friends not have to get regular jobs, working on the weekends and making pretty good bucks and I was like okay, I want to be in that band. He made it very clear that was not going to ever happen," remembers the platinum-selling solo artist, who has seven number one contemporary jazz albums under his belt. "One day he let it slip the only way I could get in was if I played the sax because they didn’t have a sax player. So when I was in seventh grade I picked up the alto - which was the first instrument I played that felt really right in my hands - and I practiced my butt off for a couple of years. I would constantly bug him, it drove him crazy. I think how I really got into the band was so he could get me to shut. He said ‘fine you can do this one gig’ and that was all I really needed to prove myself. I think it was a wedding in Woodland Hills California."
LA-born Koz, who’s played with the likes of Burt Bacharach, Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, Shelby Lynne, Kenny Loggins, U2, Manilow, Michael McDonald, Luther Vandross and Rod Stewart among others, admits he’s excited and nervous about opening for his long-term friend Manilow on tour. "Not nervous because of him but because of the these venues we’re playing. I know everyone comes to see Barry, they’re going to see me and go ‘who are you, where’s Barry’," he laughs. "It’s a nice thing to be able to have half and hour, whatever, to say ‘here’s what I do and here’s who I am’ and I’m excited and honoured to bring my music to Barry’s audience.
"I’m sure many people will be seeing me for the first time; I hope not to disappoint you and if you don’t like it I promise you it will be short enough, you’ll be seeing Barry soon enough" he laughs again. Koz is a regular visitor to Europe and Britain, playing with his UK collective who will back him up this time too. He loves English audiences. "I love getting the chance to be an ambassador of American music, specifically American jazz music. UK audiences are so musically adventurous and the average person’s knowledge of music seems to go far deeper than the average American so that’s very inspiring."
Next year marks his 25th anniversary of making his own records, he was gigging another 10 years before that. "Like most things in life, if you stick around long enough people start to go ‘okay, I guess you’re not going away better take this seriously’," he jokes as we discuss the roll-call of stars he’s collaborated with. "I feel very blessed, all kidding aside, for a guy who blows through a piece of metal. I’ve had some unbelievable experiences and gotten the chance to make music around the world too with so many different people and take my own music around the world."
Koz is a huge Manilow fan, promising Ipswich fans they’re in for phenomenal time. "I know he takes each tour, each series of shows, very seriously and puts together a show that is truly magnificent. We haven’t gotten into the actual set yet, but I’ve a sneaking suspicion he’s going to drag me out there. I’d much rather play and be a part of the fun than sit on the side of the stage but whatever it is I’ll be happy." (Ipswich Star, 13 May 2014)
- In the next episode of The Graham Norton Show... Norton welcomes double Oscar-nominated actress Brenda Blethyn, iconic fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier, comic actor Stephen Mangan, and musical legend Barry Manilow ... Manilow joins Norton and his guests to chat about his new album and UK tour. Talking about the success of his album, he says, "It’s been an amazing experience. It is in the top 10 with people I don’t know – they are all so young." Talking about his famous Copacabana shirt, he says, "The Smithsonian Museum asked if they could have it. I sent it to them and when I later made a joke that I always thought it would end up in an institution, they sent it back." Manilow performs "I Write the Songs," live in the studio. This episode of The Graham Norton Show airs on Tuesday, 20 May at 21:35 on BBC Entertainment, channel 120 on DStv. (Media Update, 13 May 2014)
- "Evening Under The Stars" Boogies to "First Ladies of Disco" - The First Ladies of Disco proved to be a smashing success at the 21st annual Evening Under The Stars held May 3 to benefit the AIDS Assistance Program (AAP). Nearly 1,500 guests gathered at O’Donnell Golf Club in Palm Springs to support the organization that provides food vouchers for men, women, and children who are HIV/AIDS positive.
There was heavy bidding during the pre-dinner silent auction and the live auction that offered everything from an Andy Warhol portrait by Michael Childers to exotic trips and cocktail and dinner parties, and even a fancy wedding package. The high bids plus large sponsor donations all added up to an expected $250,000 for AAP, according to Mark Anton, executive director.
The disco favorites belted out their songs on stage as the enthusiastic crowd sang the lyrics with them, danced, and gathered to the front of the stage to cheer the return of the disco era. Their disco favorites included Martha Wash, Anita Ward, France Joli, Linda Clifford, Pamala Stanley, Maxine Nightingale, Jeanie Tracy, Charlene Moore, Evelyn "Champagne" King, and the ladies formerly of Chic - Alfa Anderson, Luci Martin, and Norma Jean. Barry Manilow and Suzanne Somers were attendees to the May 3 "Evening Under the Stars" at the O’Donnell Golf Club in Palm Springs. (Palm Springs Life, 5/7/2014)
- The Graham Norton Show on BBC1 tonight with Barry Manilow, Jean Paul Gaultier, Brenda Blethyn & Stephen Mangan - More star guests are on the sofa as the current series of The Graham Norton Show continues on BBC One tonight (Friday, May 9). The show includes a mix of comedy, celebrity chat and music. Among the guests tonight are actress Brenda Blethyn, who talks about her role in detective drama Vera. Comic actor Stephen Mangan is also on the programme, along with fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier and musical legend Barry Manilow. The programme will be screened at 10.35pm. (Scunthorpe Telegraph, 09 May 2014)
- The Graham Norton Show, tonight with Stephen Mangan Jean Paul Gaultier and more! - Last week's X-Men extravaganza on The Graham Norton show is a very tough act to follow. However, the Irish talk show host and comic is always up for a challenge and this week's show looks like it has all the makings of a very special show. With Jean Paul Gaultier sharing the sofa with Stephen Mangan, the star of the new Postman Pat movie, and Oscar-nominated actress Brenda Brethyn, as well as music from the one and only Barry Manilow, we think he might just nail it ... The last time that Barry Manilow was on The Graham Norton Show, the Irish comic convinced him to perform a short rendition of his classic Mandy, and he and Katherine Jenkins performed a verse from I Write the Songs. It was short and sweet and we all wanted more. Well, this time, we are going to be treated to an exclusive performance. The crooner has recently released Night Songs, an album of his classics which features just him and his piano. So maybe he will perform a track from that, but you won't know unless you tune in at 10.35pm tonight! (Celebrity Red Carpet, 09 May 2014)
- The Academy's Copacabana set to hit Ffwrnes - Glitz, glamour, and an abundance of feathers will be on the agenda when Copacabana comes to town this month. The lavish stage show, originally written by Barry Manilow, will be taking to the stage at Ffwrnes between Thursday, May 22 and Saturday, May 24. Brought to the venue by The Academy theatre group, the production tells the famous story of aspiring singer Lola and songwriter Tony. Tony attempts to assist her to break into show business, however fate steps in and Lola is swept away to find fame and fortune. But will it come at a high price? Taking on the leading roles are choreographer and actress Eve Dalling and Declan Stewart. They will be joined on stage by an all singing, all dancing cast of more than 50 people. Producer Peter Sharp said it was set to be a "fantastic" show. He added: "This is a big dance show. We did the production 10 years ago and I didn't think it could get bigger. But this has grown even bigger. It's huge. There's still a bit of tidying up to do in rehearsals, but we are ready. Everyone is delighted and can't wait as they know they have quite lavish costumes to wear." One person who has worked particularly hard to bring the production to the stage is choreographer Ms. Dalling. Not only is she starring in the show, but she has also choreographed the production's numerous dance routines. Mr. Sharp added: "She has been working hard at it since the beginning it will be brilliant. Copa is simply a fantasy from the beginning to the end." And by coincidence, the show's famous creator will also be performing in Cardiff that same week. The show runs at Ffwrnes from Thursday, May 22 to Saturday, May 24. (Llanelli Star, 07 May 2014)
- Copacabana at the Barrington Theatre, Ferndown - Songwriting legend Barry Manilow arrives at the Rose Bowl in Southampton on 21st May to perform one of his very rare UK Gigs, but if you haven’t managed to get a ticket, Ferndown Phoenix Musical Society has the next best thing. The society is staging Copacabana at the Barrington Theatre from 21st to 24th May. The entire musical score is written by Manilow and although many of the songs will be unfamiliar to some, it's likely that they will all seem to be strangely familiar, which is a tribute to Manilow's talent as a songwriter. He writes catchy tunes, that you must have heard somewhere before. The show centres around the Copacabana nightclub in post-war New York and features the character of the famous Copacabana song. Those familiar with the song, will recognise the names of Lola (she was a showgirl), Tony (he tended the bar) and Rico (he wore a diamond). The storyline is an intriguing one and will keep the audience guessing right up until the end, Will Lola find true happiness? Will Tony turn out to be the hero or will Rico triumph? Will the world-famous Copacabana nightclub survive the ultimate treat to its very existence? The principle roles are taken by Jason Harris, Lindsay McGowan, Marion Taylor, Derek Salt, Lee Neal and Charlotte Giddins. (Blackmore Vale Magazine, 06 May 2014)