- What You Missed at the Concert for America Starring Barry Manilow - Seth Rudetsky shares highlights from the April Concert for America with Barry Manilow, Chita Rivera... We flew back from London on Sunday, I rehearsed my amazing back-up singers on Monday, and we tech’d the show on Tuesday. It went so great! It all began when I emailed Barry Manilow a few months and asked him to do our first Concert For America on Inauguration Day. He wasn’t going to be in NYC, but he wrote back and told us that he would be here the week of April 17 for Clive Davis’ Radio City Music Hall bash and he would do it that week if we wanted. YES we wanted! We didn’t know what he’d be willing to do... one song and then peace out? Well, turns out, he did so much more than we expected!
At the beginning of the show, James and I came out and told everyone that Concert For America is a monthly concert raising money for NAACP, Southern Poverty Law Center, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Sierra Club Foundation and the National Immigration Law Center. Then I told everyone that the main purpose of the concert (besides raising funds and awareness) is to cheer people up. “And what’s more joyous than this opening vamp?” And I played the beginning of “Daybreak”! The crowd went crazy. And then I added, “And who more perfect to sing it than the man who wrote it? Mr. Barry Manilow!” He came out and sang it in the original key (he’s 73!)!
We talked about his return to NYC and how much he loves it and he launched into the title track from his new CD “This Is My Town.” I had him on my SiriusXM radio show the next day and we talked about how during rehearsal he initially didn’t want to do the song in our concert. James and I actually had to talk him into it. Why? Well, he said he was nervous to perform that tune because it was “preceded by six words that strike fear into the audience: Here’s one of my new songs.” So hilarious and so true! Barry told us that he knows people come to concerts to hear the hits and people will literally stream out of the audience whenever artists try to do a new song. But this one was so perfect that James and I knew he had to do it.
Barry made his second appearance halfway through the concert and sang one of his hits... then another... then another! It was literally 9 minutes of hit songs! I’m talking “Weekend In New England,” “Even Now,” “Ready To Take A Chance Again,” “One Voice,” “It’s A Miracle,” “I Write The Songs,” and MORE! He began with “Mandy,” which he said was his first hit “released way back in 1821.” When I was chatting with him on SiriusXM the next day he talked about how much he learned about songwriting when he was doing jingles in the ’70s (such as “You deserve a break today...”). Some of those jingles are still being used today, but he doesn’t make any money on them! Turns out, jingle composers made a one-time fee per tune…in the 1970s—around $500. But the singer gets residuals every time it’s used, so any jingle of his played with the original recording still doles out money to the original singer. He jokes that the woman who sang “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there...” is on her third Mercedes.
I asked him about becoming famous in the ’70s and if he ever got to do American Bandstand. He said he was so excited to do it in the classic American Bandstand studio but instead, they filmed it on a beach! I, of course, asked if he wore a skimpy bathing suit and he said no because he has “pelican legs.”
Another highlight of the Concert was when Richard Cohen, the president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, announced a lawsuit they had just filed against a major neo-Nazi organization ... Richard has worked on this kind of lawsuit before and bankrupted major leaders of hate groups, which prevents their power from spreading. Right after he spoke we applauded his group for standing up for American values and freedom and Barry walked onstage and simply started “Let Freedom Ring.” So moving and inspiring! (Playbill.com, 4/24/2017)
- Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives - Aretha Franklin [was] on hand at Radio City Music Hall to honor the music mogul at the world premiere of the new documentary “Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives,” which opened this year’s Tribeca Film Festival ... Rocking a white dress and gamely shimmying across the stage, she dished out solid if unspectacular versions of “You Make me Feel Like a (Natural Woman)” and “Freeway of Love,” and saluted Davis’ influence on the music world ... The night’s bill of artists featured a string of Davis’ many finds and signings. First up was Barry Manilow, who opened the show with a medley of hits including “Copacabana,” “Mandy,” and “Can’t Smile Without You.” Earth, Wind and Fire also ran through some R&B classics, including “The Way You Move” (assisted by easy-listening legend Kenny G), while Dionne Warwick added some soft soul with “I’ll Never Love This Way Again,” and “That’s What Friends are For.” Davis’ most famous discovery, Whitney Houston, was also acknowledged by way of a medley sung by Jennifer Hudson... (New York Post, 4/20/2017)
- Documentary delves into life of music pioneer Clive Davis - Clive Davis celebrated his legacy with the debut of a documentary about his life, along with performances from artists he helped become icons, during the opening night of the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. Davis, 85, said it was a dream come true to launch "Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives" at Radio City Music Hall since he grew up in Brooklyn and didn't visit Manhattan until he was 13.
The music mogul was all smiles at the multi-hour event Wednesday night, as performers like Aretha Franklin, Carly Simon, Barry Manilow and Earth, Wind & Fire took the stage to pay tribute to Davis. Jennifer Hudson left the stage to walk into the aisles to dance with the crowd as she sang Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody." When Franklin - who closed the show - sang "Natural Woman," she pointed to Davis and sang the lyrics, "He makes me feel." She also called her longtime collaborator a "chieftain" and "humanitarian."
Others shared the sentiment on-screen. "The Soundtrack of Our Lives," directed by Chris Perkel, gave a peek into Davis' personal and professional life. He lost his parents while he was an undergraduate at New York University, and later attended Harvard Law School. After working as a lawyer for Columbia Records, he was promoted to president in 1967, despite not desiring a career in music. "I had no inkling that music would be my passion of life," he said in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday from his office at the new Sony building in Manhattan. "I had no money after my parents died, so I went through school on scholarships. And I was going to be a lawyer."
He said watching the documentary was somewhat hard, especially scenes with Houston, who died in 2012. "It was very emotional to see artists that I worked with 20, 30, 40 years ago have the same vivid memories of how we interrelated and what we worked on and issues that arose," he said. "It certainly gives a very compelling picture of the relationship that I had with Whitney Houston and of course that's filled with emotional impact, and it really showed sides of Whitney that no one has ever seen before."
Davis went on to become the world's most popular music executive, discovering talents such as Houston, Alicia Keys and Manilow and creating second acts for legends like Franklin and Santana. He even had a large role in shaping the careers of Bruce Springsteen, Janis Joplin and Billy Joel. "What a movie," Manilow yelled before he sang some of his popular hits.
Other performers included Kenny G and Dionne Warwick, who earned a standing ovation after she hit a high note. Davis founded Arista Records in 1975 and J Records in 2000. His documentary will be available on Apple Music. (The Journal Gazette, 4/20/2017)
- Chita Rivera, Barry Manilow, and Vanessa Williams Will Sing Out at April 18 Concert for America - Tony Award winners Chita Rivera and LaChanze will join Tony nominees Vanessa Williams and Adrienne Warren among topliners at the latest in the fundraising series Concert for America: Stand Up, Sing Out!, which will be presented 8 PM April 18 at The Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St. in New York. Also taking part in the evening of song, comedy, and commentary are singer Barry Manilow, comedian-actor Caroline Rhea, Ugly Betty co-star Michael Urie, Public Theater chief Oskar Eustis, comedian Lisa Lampanelli, Watch What Happens Live! host Andy Cohen, singer Kaytie O’Hara, and Sesame Street star Sonia Manzano. Tony nominee Lisa Mordente directs.
Created and hosted by Playbill columnist Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley, the concert event is part of the monthly series benefiting five national organizations working to protect human rights: Southern Poverty Law Center, National Immigration Law Center, The Sierra Club Foundation, NAACP, and National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
For those unable to attend the concert in person, it will be broadcast via Facebook Live and at ConcertsforAmerica.com, beginning at 8 PM ET. Concert for America: Stand Up, Sing Out! is created and organized by Rudetsky and Wesley in association with Your Kids, Our Kids, as well as the support of The Actors Fund. It is co-produced by Joey Monda and Frankie Dailey. Tickets start at $30 and are available at Ticketmaster.com and at the Town Hall box office. (Playbill.com, 4/18/2017)
- NYC's Concert for America tickets still available - Barry Manilow, Vanessa Williams, and Chita Rivera are just some of the stars taking the stage for Concert for America on April 18, 2017, in New York. The event, which was first held to coincide with President Trump's inauguration, hopes to raise awareness about human and civil rights issues. Producers Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley are bringing the concert to cities across the country to raise money for five different nonprofit organizations. You can watch the concert live stream online or attend in person at Town Hall in Times Square. Click here for info and tickets. (Fox 5 New York, 4/13/2017)
- Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow among stars performing at NYC concert celebrating premiere of Clive Davis documentary - Davis has worked with an impressive list of music artists over the years, and some of those big names will perform at a special concert celebrating the world premiere of a new documentary about the record-industry mogul on April 19 during the opening night of New York’s Tribeca Film Festival. The show will feature Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow, Carly Simon, Dionne Warwick and Jennifer Hudson, and will be held at Radio City Music Hall immediately following the debut screening of the film, titled Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives.
The documentary offers an in-depth profile of Davis, whom Aretha once called “the greatest record man of all time,” and further delves into Clive’s successful and eventful five-decade career, spanning from the 1960s to the emergence of hip-hop and beyond. Among the many music legends appearing in the movie are Franklin, Manilow, Bruce Springsteen, Carlos Santana, Whitney Houston, Patti Smith and Alicia Keys.
Davis and the movie’s director, Chris Perkel, are scheduled to attend the event, along with Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Robert De Niro. Other celebrities expected to be on hand for the premiere screening and concert include Ray Parker Jr., Peter Fonda, Diane Lane, Christina Ricci, Gilbert Gottfried, Michael Pitt, Brendan Fraser and Jason Derulo.
Tickets for the event are available at RadioCity.com. (WFJA Classic Hits 105.5, 4/7/2017)
- At the Copa...Copacabana! Manilow musical arrives - Familiar with Lola? She was a showgirl apparently and if you want to know what happened to her you might want to get yourself to Newcastle’s Tyne Theatre this week as the curtain goes up on Copacabana. Yes the musical which of course has the same name as a massive hit single is opening on Tuesday for a five night run on Westgate Road.
The show, staged by West End Operatic Society, is set in Copacabana Night Club in New York City where the resident jack-of-all-trades (bartender, songwriter and musician!), Tony Forte, will be played by Liam Gilbert. “I’m more used to serious acting roles,” laughs Liam. “It’s a bit of a change of gear to suddenly be doing something light-hearted, but a lot of the music is just as enjoyable to sing!”
The musical follows Liam’s character - Tony - as his talent and charm win Lola, the girl responsible for Manilow’s most famous lyric: 'a yellow feather in her hair and a dress cut down to there.' Liam might be used to teaching serious poetry, but he seems to be quite enjoying swapping Browning for Barry Manilow: “It’s odd to be singing such famous - even iconic - lyrics, Barry Manilow is a great songwriter and it’s rather a privilege to be belting out some of his best songs in one of Newcastle’s oldest and most beautiful theatres.”
And what about Lola? Well the famous show girl will be played by Helen Cash. But will ambitious country girl Lola’s dreams of becoming a star come true? Well you’ll have to get yourself a ticket to find out. Copacabana is on until Saturday and tickets are available from the Tyne Theatre box office and online at Eventim. (Chronicle Live, 03 April 2017)
- TheatreZone's next season (2017-2018) takes on 'Copacabana' - TheatreZone is bringing high kickers and a youngster with an emotional green thumb to make its 13th season a lucky one, staging popular, name musicals "Copacabana" and "The Secret Garden." "Copacabana" is one of two returning from TheatreZone's early years; "Baby," is the other. Mark Danni, founder and artistic director of TheatreZone [said] "'Baby' is one of my all-time favorite shows. It's so well-written. But we ran it our first year or two, when we only had three or four performances, and I thought, 'not a lot of people have seen that.' The same was true of 'Copacabana,' which we did in our fourth season. People loved that. We all love Barry Manilow here." Productions now run for 11 performances.
Is the "Copacabana" the hottest spot north of Havana? Find out in this musical concocted on the foundation of a single Barry Manilow song by that name. The popular melody also buttressed a made-for-TV movie and an Atlantic City show, all in some form telling the tale of two nightclub performers whose love plans are thwarted by a gangster with a roving eye. TheatreZone first staged the musical in 2004, Danni said; its popularity then kept it high on the list of return requests.
Individual tickets, priced at $50 to $75, will go on sale May 1. Purchase them online at theatrezone-florida.com or by calling the box office 888-966-3352. The on-site box office is at at the G&L Theatre on the Community School of Naples, 13275 Livingston Road, North Naples. It is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays through June 13, and reopens Sept. 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. "Copacabana": March 8-18, 2018 (8:00 pm – March – 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17 | 2:00 pm – March – 11, 17, 18 | 7:30 pm – March – 11, 18). Auditions will be held Sept. 9 and 10, with details to come later. (Naples News, 3/31/2017)
- Barry Manilow & Carly Simon join stars for Clive Davis film festival tribute - Barry Manilow, Carly Simon, and Dionne Warwick have been added to an all-star concert to mark the world premiere of music mogul Clive Davis' new The Soundtrack of Our Lives documentary at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. The trio will hit the Radio City Music Hall stage in New York City on 19 April 2017 with Aretha Franklin, Earth Wind and Fire, and Jennifer Hudson, among others. Director Chris Perkel's new film, based on Davis' bestselling 2013 memoir, The Soundtrack of My Life, chronicles Davis' life from his humble beginnings in Brooklyn, New York to his executive roles at Columbia Records, Arista Records and J Records. The 16th annual Tribeca Film Festival will run from 19-30 April 2017. (Xpose.ie, 22 March 2017)
- Performers Added to All-Star Concert at Tribeca Premiere of Clive Davis Doc - Barry Manilow, Carly Simon and Dionne Warwick have been added to an all-star concert following the red carpet world premiere of Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, a documentary about the legendary music executive that will open the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. Tickets are now on sale for the event, being held April 19 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Other artists scheduled to perform include Aretha Franklin, Earth Wind and Fire and Jennifer Hudson, among others.
Directed by Chris Perkel, the film is based on Davis' best-selling 2013 biography The Soundtrack of My Life and explores the Sony Music exec's life and career, from his humble Brooklyn beginnings to his rise at Columbia Records and his trailblazing work at Arista Records and J Records. "More than mere biography, The Soundtrack of Our Lives is a guided tour of cultural revolution from the '60s to the rise of hip-hop, led by a man who consistently caught the next wave before everyone else -- if he didn’t just create the wave himself," reads the film's description on Tribeca's website. (Billboard.com, 3/21/2017)
- Washington schoolboy brings Barry Manilow musical to life - Music and passion are always in fashion for a teen actor as he takes on a role in Copacabana. Jack Hindmarch, 16, from Washington, is preparing to help bring alive the colourful tale, with music by Barry Manilow, for a series of performances by the West End Operatic Society. The St. Robert of Newminster School pupil will take to the stage at the Tyne Theatre and Opera House, in Newcastle, when the show is performed from April 4-8. He’ll be featuring as Willie the waiter and a dancer in the musical, which is based on Barry Manilow’s 1978 song of the same name. It tells the story of wannabe singer Lola who meets aspiring songwriter Tony when both are contestants on a radio show. Tony is immediately smitten with Lola and assists her flailing attempts to break into show business. Speaking about how he got into musical theatre, Jack said: “I used to play for a football team when I was younger, but I soon got bored of it and decided that it wasn’t for me. “I had always loved seeing shows and watching musical films. I decided to go to a local drama workshop and I was hooked. I think my favourite part is dancing. I know it sounds cheesy but dance takes away any stress you are feeling because you can lose yourself through dance. I could dance for ages.” Copacabana will be at the Tyne Theatre and Opera House from April 4-8. Tickets from Tel. 0844 249 1000. (Sunderland Echo, 17 March 2017)