Barry Briefs - Archive 29

  • Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl... - Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl... - Everyone knows how that song starts. But Copacabana is more than a song - it’s a hit musical, which Halifax Light Opera stages next month at the Victoria Theatre. The song became a by-word for glitz and glamour - and its success prompted singer and composer Barry Manilow to adapt it into a full scale musical which took the West End by storm in 1994. Now Halifax Light Opera Society puts its own stamp on the show. As director Kathryn Beverley says: "It’s a fast moving show filled with music and dance and whether you’re a Manilow fan or not you’re bound to leave the theatre singing its title song. It’s a tremendous spectacle with a song everyone knows." The show has allowed numerous top performers including, principally Gary Wilmot, to come up with their own interpretations of Manilow’s hits, including 'Dancing Fool' and 'Sweet Heaven' which are featured in its story. Original songs created by Barry Manilow, dazzling costumes, spectacular sets and sensational choreography all add up to an evening of entertainment that will leave audiences breathless. Stephen, an aspiring songwriter, engrossed in the perpetual tempo of his electric synthesizer, envisions and creates the world’s next big hit, as his patient wife vies for attention. But alas, only this new song is on his mind and in his heart. His remarkable inspiration carries him and the audience back to an era when music and passion were always the fashion at the world famous Copacabana nightclub in New York city as the saga of Lola and Tony begins. The show has been delighting audiences in Britain, the USA and further afield since 1994, and as the song goes: "At the Copa, Copacabana..." - see, you’re singing it already! The show will run from Wednesday, November 11 to Saturday, November 14 at 7.15pm with a Saturday matinee at 2.15pm. Tickets from £14. Contact Victoria Theatre box office 01422 351158, www.victoria (Halifax Courier, 30 October 2015)

  • Why Frank Sinatra, even on his 100th birthday, will always be with us - I figure he’ll wait until the curtain goes up and the lights come down before slipping in the backstage door and finding a spot in the wings. The chairman of the board wouldn’t miss a night like this. His son is throwing him a 100th birthday party, and if you know anything about the greatest singer to ever pick up a microphone, you know this. Frank Sinatra never missed a good party.

    His body may have called it quits at age 82 in 1998, but his music and memory are still as fresh and vibrant as ever 17 years later, and not just with gray hairs, like me. From heavy metal and Irish boy bands to Bob Dylan, Julie Budd and Tony Bennett, entertainers from every music genre have paid their respects to Sinatra with tribute albums. In homes all across this country he still lives on vinyl and CDs. Not a year goes by without a new tell-all book written about him or a TV special on his incredible life.

    His Rat Pack image is still sought after for snazzy TV commercials, and in bars and haunts where people go to forget, it’s still Sinatra’s torch songs that help get them through the night. Gone? Nah, he’ll never be gone. "Rain or Shine," "Night and Day," Sinatra will always be with us.

    In 2013, Frank Sinatra Jr. began writing this 100th birthday show, "Centennial Celebration," which will be performed Dec. 12 at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills -- the kind of intimate joint his father loved to play. He’s counting on many members of his family being there, including his 98-year-old mom, Nancy, who is doing pretty well, he said last week from his home in Camarillo. "It’s going to be a proud evening for the Sinatra family."

    He’s been on the road this year perfecting the show, adding audio-visuals, and it’s been received very well, he said. The Dec. 12 show will have a different conclusion -- a "narrative point" he wants to share. "The music people know, the legends they know, now it’s time to learn about the man," Sinatra Junior said. "That’s where our show is going. If there are 1,000 legends about Sinatra, and there probably are, 999 of them are fallacies, exaggerations or outright falsity. The entire backbone of this show is about truth."

    As a fan, the only truth I knew for sure was that Sinatra’s songs helped a few generations of guys like me make it through some rough times. He was our big brother running interference for us in life so the hurts he knew were coming our way maybe didn’t hurt so much. He taught us it was okay to find yourself sitting at the end of a bar at 2 a.m. staring into a glass of scotch and wondering how you let her get away? He taught us it was okay to feel the tears well up in your eyes when Old Glory came waving down the street on Memorial Day -- Okay to swell up inside with pride for your country. He taught us it was okay to cry. But don’t whine, and never beg. In short, he taught us how to be men.

    His son knows. Much has been written about their relationship, but he’s the only one who knows the truth. "There were moments of happiness, of course, but there were the other moments, as well," he says. "Life is life. No person’s life is going to be happy or unhappy 24 hours a day, every day."

    As a young man, he and his father went their separate ways performing, but that ended with a surprise phone call when his father was 72 and he was 44, Sinatra Junior says. "He called me one day and asked me to be his conductor. I was floored because he could have gotten a thousand better conductors than I am. For the last seven years that he gave concerts, I was his musical director. We used to talk about the music all the time. We’d listen to the classics together. For someone who was not officially educated, he had a considerable depth of knowledge of the classics and our kind of music, as well."

    He calls the more than a dozen tribute albums that have been recorded in his father’s honor "a great show of respect." "Barry Manilow came out with a tribute album that had a song on it that blew me away," he says. "It was called '[One] Man in [a] Spotlight.' The [song] he [and Bruce Sussman] wrote was: ‘One man in [a] spotlight, one man [with a song]. When it came [to] love, he [showed] us [how].’ Now that’s very flattering, but very predictable. It was the next stanza that just blew me away. 'Was there ever a time he wasn’t [there], 'til now?...'"

    Seventeen years later, Sinatra’s still here. Still making us snap our fingers or cry in our beer -- still as hip and cool as ever. I have a feeling a lot of his die-hard fans, like me, are going to be waking up Dec. 13 with a nasty hangover after being up most of the night playing our favorite Sinatra albums, having a few too many and remembering when.

    For ticket information on the Sinatra Centennial Celebration at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12, go to, or call the Saban Theatre box office at 888-645-5006. The theater is located at 8440 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills. (LA Daily News, 10/30/2015)

  • Transport yourself to Rio for fun musical - As tickets for Barry Manilow’s final tour go on sale, Halifax Light Opera Society are putting the final touches to its version of his hit musical "Copacabana." The singer-songwriter is performing concerts across the world in his 'One Last Time!' Tour and next year in the UK starting June 11, he is at the Leeds Arena among other dates. The "Copacabana" musical is based on his smash hit of the same name. It’s a song with a story known to millions. The Light Opera Society will be staging it at the Victoria Theatre, Halifax, from November 11 – 14, including a Saturday matinee. "The whole show is glitz and glamour with some of Barry Manilow’s best music. It’s a tremendous spectacle, with a song everyone knows," said director Kathryn Beverley. Tickets from Victoria Theatre 01422 351158. (Hebdenbridge Times, 24 October 2015)

  • Operatic society set to stage Manilow musical - There will be a real treat for fans of Barry Manilow when the musical Copacabana takes to the stage. Abingdon Operatic Society is performing the show from Tuesday to Saturday next week at the Amey Theatre, Abingdon School. It follows the success of the amateur group’s production of The Sound of Music in April. The society’s latest show features a string of Manilow’s hits, including Dancin’ Fool, Who Needs to Dream, Welcome to Havana and, of course, the Grammy Award-winning Copacabana (At the Copa). The musical is a tale of romance and stardom set in a glamorous New York nightclub in the 1940s. Aspiring songwriter Tony is working as a pianist in a bar when he meets the gorgeous Lola, who is determined to make it in showbiz. Quickly falling for Lola, Tony does everything he can to assist her attempts to find stardom. At Manhattan’s Copacabana Lounge, both start to find fame, before fate steps in and Lola is swept away to Havana to work in the flashy Tropicana night club. But Lola’s new boss, Rico, may demand a high price for putting her name in lights. The show is directed by Jennifer Scott, who said: “This is the second show I have directed for Abingdon Operatic Society. The cast have been absolutely amazing during rehearsals, with so much enthusiasm and energy. This Barry Manilow show really is worth seeing. Songs are great, dancing energetic and slick, not to mention the costumes, which are fabulous. If you’re looking for a night out full of enjoyment, this is the place to come.” Leading man Paul Bruce added: “As soon as I had read the synopsis and character profile for Tony I thought, ‘That’s me in a nutshell, except I don’t play piano’.” Copacabana is based on Manilow’s 1978 hit song. In 1985, he and collaborators Bruce Sussman and Jack Feldman expanded the song into a full-length, made-for-television musical starring the singer. This was then further expanded into a full-length stage musical that ran in the West End. More than 200 productions of it have since been mounted worldwide. Copacabana at the Amey Theatre in Abingdon runs from Tuesday, October 27, to Saturday, October 31, with performances at 7.30pm each night and a 2.30pm matinée on the Saturday. Tickets, ranging from £9.50 to £16, can be bought from the Newbury Building Society in Abingdon, by calling 01235 834383 or online at (The Herald, 21 October 2015)

  • Copacabana at Rose Theatre, Kidderminster - If you enjoy a show with plenty of song and dance, comedy and sparkling costumes this is the show for you. Barry Manilow’s famous musical comes to life thanks to the excellent performances of Julian Richards, Kathryn Painter, Georgie Taylor, Chris Paine, Zoe Darks and Dave Clarke. You will meet Stephen, who really ignores his wife, Samantha while he is trying to write a story. He then imagines a performance of this story, with himself and his wife as the two stars, Tony and the famous Lola of the title song. As always Julian can be relied on to give a strong performance and I especially enjoyed his version of "Sweet Heaven," which is probably the only other familiar song in the show. Kathryn is always a delight to see and hear and does not disappoint here, and Georgie makes an impressive debut for the company. Zoe Darks gives what I consider her best performance yet, as Conchita – a diverse character which she brought about to perfection, showing such emotion, especially when she was insulted (and hit) by the irrepressible Dave (as Rico Castelli)! He has such a stage presence, you cannot take your eyes off him when he is on and here he proves he can play the 'baddie' equally as well as the usual likeable character. Among other musical highlights was Chris’s rendition of "Who am I Kidding?," Zoe’s performance of "Havana/Caramba" and the spectacular finale. This was altogether an excellent working of Copa and I thought it was a better production of this lesser-known musical than the professional version I saw some years ago. (The Shuffle, 19 October 2015)

  • Give of yourself to charitable groups - The 'season' in the Coachella Valley is upon us and there is a buzz in the air as the weather starts to change and the social and charitable events kick off. Everyone who lives or visits here is fortunate that we have such a generous, philanthropically-minded community here in Palm Springs. With our great weather from now through April we also enjoy many fantastic events that provide not just great entertainment but that also help support vital services and programs throughout the valley. Theatre companies, museums, charities and the businesses that support them are a key component of our local economy and quality of life ... There are literally hundreds of events raising funds that help to make this a better place to live. Barry Manilow, with his Gift of Love holiday concerts, performs from the heart without charging a fee. The proceeds from those concerts will benefit 30 local charities. What a great example he is! (The Desert Sun, 10/14/2015)

  • Star gives blessing to local show - The county town of North Yorkshire is about to become the hottest spot north of Havana – when it plays host to the musical Copacabana. The hit show’s originator, international star Barry Manilow, has sent his best wishes to members of Northallerton Musical Theatre Company who will be staging their production from October 26 to 31 at the town’s Forum. Tickets are now on sale, priced £8 to £12, and can be obtained in person at the Forum box office, or by calling 01609-776230, or on line at (The Northern Echo, 08 October 2015)

  • Annual musical brings Barry Manilow's Copacabana to Kidderminster stage - Going full on glitz for their annual show, the Carpet Trades Musical Theatre Company (CTMTC) will dazzle audiences with Barry Manilow's Copacabana. At the Rose Theatre, in Kidderminster, the cast, which includes the glamorous Copa girls, will bring the Grammy Award-winning song to life on a local stage.

    After starting life written for a TV movie, the show became a hit in London’s West End, enjoyed numerous UK tours, and became one of the very first jukebox musicals. With an original story based around Manilow songs, CTMTC will show Wyre Forest audiences what a real night on the Havana club scene was really like - filled with fun, action, feathers, and sequins.

    The infamous story of Tony (played by Julian Richards) and Lola the show girl (Kathryn Painter) is one that audiences of all ages will connect with. Directed by Doug Forrester in his new role of main show director, this colourful spectacle will run from Thursday to Saturday October 15 to 24, including two matinees. Tickets are £11 to £13 and can be booked at the box office, by calling 01562 743745, or online at (The Kidderminster Shuttle, 30 September 2015)

  • Public voting open for Hall of Fame nominees - Starting today, the public will have the opportunity to vote online for another batch of nominees to America’s Pop Music Hall of Fame, the Canonsburg-based monument to music’s most potent hitmakers. Online voters can go on the Web to to pick 10 nominees out of 25 that have been put forth this year by the Hall of Fame’s selection committee, which includes radio and music industry professionals and experts on pop music history. The 25 nominees this year are: Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass; the Association; Lou Christie; the Dave Clark Five; Petula Clark; Sam Cooke; Dion and the Belmonts; Fats Domino; Bob Dylan; the Four Tops; Connie Francis; the Grass Roots; the Jackson Five; Tommy James and the Shondells; the Lettermen; Barry Manilow; the Rascals; Paul Revere and the Raiders; Neil Sedaka; Smokey Robinson and the Miracles; Rod Stewart; Barbra Streisand; the Temptations; Three Dog Night; and Dionne Warwick.

    The nominees are chosen based on the volume of hits they generated and the influence they had on popular music. First-time nominees this year include seminal figures like Domino and Alpert, while Dylan, Francis and Three Dog Night have been nominated previously. "It’s probably the most diverse group that we’ve had," according to Terry Hazlett, the executive director of America’s Pop Music Hall of Fame and the former borough manager of Canonsburg. Christie, who hails from the Pittsburgh region, is another first-timer. Other acts from the area that have already been inducted include Perry Como and Bobby Vinton, both of whom are from Canonsburg. Along with 10 nominees chosen by the public, in keeping with the Hall of Fame’s celebration of popular judgment, five additional nominees will be chosen by the selection committee. Also due to be inducted this year are five "legacy" acts – early hitmakers who were widely influential and popular in their time, but would perhaps not be able to win a 21st-century online contest, given their accomplishments are outside the memories of many who are alive today.

    According to Hazlett, plans are on track for a four-story building to house America’s Pop Music Hall of Fame, though the location remains uncertain. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino remains the preferred spot, he explained, but there are eight to 10 other locations in Washington County that are possibilities. A full induction ceremony is planned for Labor Day weekend in 2016, and a concert celebrating the Hall of Fame is set to happen next May at the Meadows, Hazlett said. The first group of nominees to America’s Pop Music Hall of Fame were inducted in 2013, and included such luminaries as the Beatles, Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra.

  • AVENUE Q Stars Channel Barry Manilow in Bid to the Finals of AMERICA'S GOT TALENT - On last night's episode of AMERICA'S GOT TALENT, hand puppets Ira and his mom Miriam covered the Barry Manilow classic, 'Copacabana' in a bid to move on to the finals of the competition. The masters behind the magic are AVENUE Q alum Howie Michael Smith and Christian Anderson. Check out the performance! (Broadway World, 9/10/2015)

  • He’s bringing sax-y back - In a career spanning a quarter century, out saxophonist Dave Koz has enjoyed many opportunities to combine forces with celebrated recording artists - a who’s who cross section of musical genres, including legends Stevie Wonder, Barry Manilow, Stevie Nicks and Rod Stewart, to name a few. And despite his own successes, each one left an impression on him. "I learned a lot from these people," Koz says. "It is the art of collaboration. If you go in with open eyes, open arms and open hearts, you can learn so much about yourself and about other people." To celebrate his history of artistic partnerships, Koz recently issued a new album entitled Collaborations: 25th Anniversary Collection. The 15-track disc, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Jazz chart, includes three newly-recorded tracks alongside some curated selections, each connected by a common thread of creative alliance. "It’s been the one thing that’s been the essence of my life, on and off the stage," say Koz, 52, of synergistic teaming. "We decided to look at some of those collaborations that never got to see the light of day - some from my albums and some from other artists’ albums - and to put together the best of the best." As Koz reviewed his portfolio, the roster of renowned musicians he has worked with gave him pause. He simultaneously felt satisfaction and humility. "It’s one thing to know them, it’s another thing to make music with them," Koz says. "It was a bit of a shot in the arm for me after 25 years to take a moment to reflect on some of those musical relationships. [For example,] I made music with Stevie Wonder, who is one of the greatest artists in almost any genre. He sang a song on my album. It’s kind of mind-blowing." Koz looks forward to sharing that experience with North Texas audiences, as he returns to Dallas with his summer tour. "A nice thing about our show in Dallas is that it’s during the day," Koz says. "It’s on a Sunday. You come in the early afternoon, they offer lunch and then you can enjoy an afternoon show. It’s kind of a perfect timing. We did it last year as an experiment and it really worked." The CD release and tour are only two components of what has become an exceptional year for the in-demand musician. Earlier, Barry Manilow - who appears on Collaborations - asked Koz to opening for him on his One Last Time! tour. Koz, who admits to being a Fanilow, did not pass on the opportunity. The job even offered a few perks. "[Barry] was kind enough to ask me to join him on his private plane, which, by the way, ruined me forever," Koz jokes. "The day after the tour was over, I was back on Southwest. I took a picture, and I said, 'Barry who are all these people on my private plane?'" While most of the tour stops with Manilow went smoothly, Koz recalls an awkward wardrobe malfunction of the Lenny Kravitz variety. "One day I split my pants about three-quarters of the way," Koz says. "And I’m talking ripped my pants in the crotch. I still had 10 minutes more onstage. Thankfully I was wearing underwear. I just thought, 'What am I gonna do?' The cameras are on me, and I’m on the big screen. I just kept my legs together for 10 minutes straight and I hobbled off stage. Talk about embarrassing!" (Dallas Voice, 8/28/2015)

  • Dave Koz breathes new life into favorites with 25th anniversary disc: Famed jazz man to play two shows at Thornton Winery on Saturday, July 11, and Sunday, July 12 - Whenever jazz saxophonist Dave Koz teams up with other musicians, the result is something unbelievably special. Koz, who will perform Saturday and Sunday at Thornton Winery in Temecula with trumpeter Rick Braun and R&B singer Kenny Lattimore, has released an album’s worth of musical teamwork with new disc "Collaborations: 25th Anniversary Collection." "This is not a greatest hits project," Koz said during a recent telephone interview. "There is a breadth of wonderful collaborators, and the more different they are from my core genre, the more it will open listeners to great music." Among them are such icons as Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart, Stevie Nicks, Toby Keith, David Benoit, Barry Manilow, Braun and Lattimore.

    One notable song is all Koz: "Let It Go," from the enormously successful "Frozen" movie and soundtrack. "I had to do it," he said, laughing. "My nieces are the ones that opened my eyes to it. I wasn’t around it like someone with kids is, but I did try to get inside it and start to play it and I got it and I understood it." He loves the meaning. "On a global level, it is a great message," he said. "It’s a great melody and it’s a beautiful song and I love what it represents. It pushed the idea of who you are and are you showing up in your fullest capacity. For me personally that is a big concept and motivation." And the fans love it. He has been playing it on tour with Barry Manilow this year and "it has gone over like gangbusters for the Manilow crowd."

    Koz is also a Beatles fan, and "All You Need Is Love" is on the record. "That song, I mean, who doesn’t know it?" he said. "The idea for the song came from Jeff Lorber, who did an album for Jonathan Butler, but didn’t use the song on the CD. I was on the road with Jonathan and he told me about it." The song is a departure from the classic Beatles version. "I listened and I love this song and the way they did it," he said. "We slowed it down and made it a lot more midtempo. Then came the idea to do it in a ‘We Are the World’ style. The payoff was Stevie Wonder, who is one of the people who are the embodiment of love on the planet. The song is about love and this is really a basic, very heartfelt rendition."

    Moving out of the genre, modern country star Keith also joined the project with "Cryin’ for Me (Wayman’s Song)." "Keith is a country megastar, and I found myself wondering, what am I doing in the studio with him, but that’s the beautiful thing about music," he said. "It can tear down any wall. It was inspired by my buddy Wayman Tisdale and Toby’s friendship with him."

    His collaboration with Manilow on "Apartment 2G: I Hear Her Playing Music," took a nostalgic turn. "The first time I ever met Barry in the studio, it was when he was recording ‘Here at the Mayflower,’" Koz said. "He had written a song about a woman who was a loner and listened to music late at night, and he wrote the lyric saying at the end that she’s listening to Dave Koz in the middle of the night. This is the first time I am meeting a superstar and I hear him sing my name! I was in the lyric! That was our first connection and he’s been a huge part of my life so that’s why I chose the song."

    And Stewart’s appearance on "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons" was a thrill as well. "When Rod was doing his American Songbooks, he had asked me through Phil Ramone to play on the first album," he said. "I played a few tracks with him. That dude is a rock star and we were playing jazz. I must have played 12 songs with him over those four albums and it was nice to have the kinship with him and when we asked him, he said, 'Sure.' I don’t play much on the song but it is a nice combination and it makes me stop in my tracks and think 'Wow, I’m playing with Rod Stewart!'"

    And Braun and Lattimore joined him for "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher." "We did 'Higher and Higher' and Kenny killed it," he said. "It’s a perfect song and we had good horn lines for me and Rick and a great melody for Kenny to sing." While he’s had a blast with Manilow, he’s looking forward to hitting the road with his jazz group. "The Thornton shows will be first shows of summer," he said. "It is all about fun, really. I’ve shared the stage with Rick for years and I love his music. We’ve added Kenny and I was blown away by him on our jazz cruise last year." Where: Thornton Winery, 32575 Rancho California Road, Temecula. Admission: Saturday's show is $95 general admission and $170 for a reserved seat and supper. Sunday's show is $85 for general admission and $160 for a reserved seat and supper. Information: 951-699-3021, (The Press-Enterprise, 7/8/2015)

  • Dave Koz Celebrates 25th Anniversary ... Noted jazz saxophonist Dave Koz celebrates a career milestone with the July 31 release of "Collaborations: 25th Anniversary Collection." The Concord Records set features 15 tracks culled from Koz’s own previous recordings, projects he’s done with other artists and three new tracks. One of the new tracks is [an] instrumental version of "Let It Go" -- the anthem from the 2013 Disney film Frozen -- closes out the set. "Some of my favorite moments in the last 25 years have been collaborations with ... mentors, and friends and people whom I never would have expected to meet,” Koz said in a press release announcing the project. "And that's the power of music. It will come up against any wall that can divide people and bring it right down." The nine-time Grammy nominee will be performing at the Thornton Winery in Temecula, Calif., on July 11-12. His summer tour also includes stops in Atlanta (July 24), New York (Aug. 5), Las Vegas (Aug. 22), Los Angeles (Aug. 23) and San Diego (Sept. 25). "Collaborations: 25th Anniversary Collection" [includes] "Apartment 2G: I Hear Her Playing Music" - Barry Manilow featuring Dave Koz (from Barry's 2001 release, "Here At The Mayflower"). (, 7/6/2015)

  • July 4 2015 Events Washington DC: Things To Do For Independence Day In The Capital - July Fourth is finally here. Three days of fun, friends and fireworks await you no matter where you live in the United States, but the celebrations will be particularly joyous in the nation's capital. Washington, D.C. is the place to be for Independence Day, when history and modern culture collide with events of all kinds. The city was already preparing for the crowds: On Friday, the Metro Police Department set up security checkpoints inside subway stations, stopping people to conduct random inspections as visitors and residents entered the stations. Transportation Security Administration agents were also present, so you can celebrate safely. Here are things to do in D.C. this weekend ... On Saturday, kick back and listen to A Capitol Fourth, the traditional concert on the West Lawn. Admission starts at 3 p.m. for the 8 p.m. concert, during which you'll hear the National Symphony Orchestra as well as legendary musician Barry Manilow, country singer Hunter Hayes and former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger. Bringing food and drink is OK, but leave the alcohol at home. The show will also be broadcast live on PBS. (International Business Times, 7/3/2015)

  • Fourth of July TV highlights - Celebrate the holiday with the 35th annual "A Capitol Fourth" special (PBS at 8), featuring headliner Barry Manilow, Nicole Scherzinger, Alabama, Hunter Hayes, KC and the Sunshine Band, Meghan Linsey, Lang Lang, Jack Everly, Ronan Tynan, Robert Davi, the Choral Arts Society of Washington, and the National Symphony Orchestra as well as several military ensembles. (Washington Post, 7/3/2015)

  • Let TV put you in the July Fourth spirit - By falling on a Saturday, the Fourth of July has created a conundrum for TV programmers. Do they start the holiday weekend on Friday and go for two days? Three? What about those who choose Monday as their official holiday? Don’t they deserve marathons, too? What if you’re relying on television to get you into the Independence Day spirit? Here are some shows and marathons that might help ... As it does every year, PBS broadcasts "A Capitol Fourth," live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol at 7 p.m. Saturday. Twenty cameras around Washington, D.C., show that "viewers are front and center for the greatest display of fireworks in the nation," PBS says. This year’s performers include Alabama, Barry Manilow, Hunter Hayes, KC and the Sunshine Band and Ronan Tynan, with the National Symphony Orchestra and the U.S. Army Band. The whole show is repeated at 8:30. (Daily Herald (Provo, UT), 7/3/2015)

  • Fourth of July Music on TV - There's no better way to celebrate America's independence then by kicking your feet up in front of the TV -- hot dog in hand -- while watching some of your favorite artists sing on screen ... PBS' A Capitol Fourth is an hour and a half concert held on the U.S. Capitol Lawn hosted by Emmy-winning actor Bradley Whitford. Barry Manilow, Nicole Scherzinger, Hunter Hayes, Alabama, KC & the Sunshine Band and Meghan Linsey are just a few of the artists performing at the event, followed by a fireworks show (8–9:30 p.m. ET). (, 7/3/2015)

  • Not interested in fireworks outdoors? Try TV's, instead - If you're not out celebrating the Fourth of July on Saturday but still want to get in on the fireworks -- no worries. You can enjoy Independence Day happenings from the comfort of your couch. Twin Cities Public Television is airing "A Capitol Fourth" (7 p.m.) hosted by [Bradley Whitford] and featuring a grand fireworks display along with performances by Barry Manilow, Alabama, Hunter Hayes, KC and the Sunshine Band, the National Symphony Orchestra and pops conductor Jack Everly. (Pioneer Press (Twin Cities), 7/2/2015)

  • Things to do in the D.C. area on Fourth of July weekend - Here are the Independence Day weekend's best bets in nightlife, festivals, music, sports and so much more around the Washington area. For more information about July 4 events around the Mall, check out this list of Fourth of July events ... Saturday: The gates for "A Capitol Fourth" on the West Lawn of the Capitol open at 3 p.m., giving you plenty of time to find a spot for the concert -- featuring Barry Manilow, Alabama, up-and-coming country singer Hunter Hayes, KC and the Sunshine Band, the National Symphony Orchestra and others — and the fireworks, which start after dark. The concert starts at 8 p.m., the fireworks go boom at 9:09 p.m., and admission is free. (Washington Post, 7/2/2015)

  • 4th of July TV: local, national, 'Dandy' - If you love Fourth of July fireworks, television offers several options ... "A Capitol Fourth" is PBS' holiday contribution from 8 to 9:30 p.m., with an immediate repeat at 9:30 p.m. Bradley Whitford of "The West Wing" hosts the Washington event. The lineup includes Barry Manilow, KC and the Sunshine Band, Alabama, Nicole Scherzinger, Hunter Hayes, Meghan Linsey of "The Voice," pianist Lang Lang and Irish tenor Ronan Tynan. Conductor Jack Everly leads the National Symphony Orchestra. Actor Robert Davi helps celebrate Frank Sinatra, one of America's greatest singers. (Orlando Sentinel, 7/2/2015)

  • D.C. community calendar ... A Capitol Fourth - [Bradley Whitford] hosts this year’s festivities: entertainment, fireworks, appearances by Barry Manilow, Alabama, Nicole Scherzinger, Hunter Hayes, Meghan Linsey, KC and the Sunshine Band, Lang Lang, Ronan Tynan and Robert Davi; Jack Everly conducting the National Symphony Orchestra, the Choral Arts Society of Washington and other performers including the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” U.S. Army Presidential Salute Battery and members of the Joint Armed Forces Chorus, with members of the Military District of Washington carrying the state and territorial flags with the Armed Forces Color Guard, followed by spectacular fireworks. 8 p.m. U.S. Capitol, West Lawn, East Capitol and First streets. 202-619-7222. Free. (Washington Post, 7/2/2015)

  • In the District, Maryland and Virginia, July 4 celebrations will light up the sky - A Capitol Fourth Barry Manilow, Alabama, Nicole Scherzinger, Hunter Hayes, Meghan Lindsay, KC and the Sunshine Band, Lang Lang and Ronan Tynan perform with the National Symphony Orchestra, Choral Arts Society of Washington and military ensembles for broadcast on PBS, concluding with fireworks. The Capitol grounds open at 3 p.m.; gates for the concert open at 5 p.m., concert, 8-9:30 p.m. West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol building, 100 Constitution Ave. NE. 202-467-4600. Free. (Washington Post, 7/1/2015)

  • Local band heads to D.C. to play at Kennedy Center - Hand-picked for their musical excellence, roughly 30 high school jazz musicians will head to Washington D.C. to perform on July 4. "Being there in the nation's capital on the Fourth of July, that's just got to be an invigorating and electrifying experience," Pacific Grove trumpet player George Haugen said ... "It's a very big deal and it's just a fabulous opportunity for our county (to show off its best) students. These are students that have worked very, very hard this whole season," band director Paul Contos said ... The group has been rehearsing for weeks. "That's going to be amazing. It's great just being there and being able to be there with all my friends. Being able to play together in D.C. is just going to be amazing," band member Akili Bradley said ... "I'm just honored that we get to perform in a nationally recognized venue and of all days, July 4th," Haugen said. The band and vocal jazz ensemble [will] open for Barry Manilow, who will perform after the high schoolers in the well-known Capitol celebration. But for these students, it's about more than just prestige. It's all about the music. "Music gives me the chance to express myself," Haugen said. "It's all about the love and respect of America's music," band member Miranda Garcia said. (KSBW Action News 8, 6/30/2015)

  • Barry Manilow dines around town - Barry Manilow, who’s been running a musical instrument drive to benefit the Boston Public Schools through his Manilow Music Project, played the TD Garden on [Tuesday]. The day before, he was spotted at two local restaurants — Davio’s Boston and Legal Harborside. Manilow turns 72 on Wednesday. (Boston Globe, 6/16/2015)

  • Barry Manilow: June 13 at the Wells Fargo Center - A staple of the concert scene for decades, Barry Manilow is finally calling it a day. The "One Last Time" tour is exactly what it sounds like, a long goodbye. A storied career that has featured hits like "Mandy," "Copacabana" and "Can’t Smile Without You" isn’t exactly coming to a complete end; Manilow’s "Fanilows" will be happy to hear that Barry will still be performing, just on a limited basis from here on out. Expect more residency-like outings, including Las Vegas, where he’s already had some storied extensive stays. (The Mercury Entertainment, 6/10/2015)

  • Bethel author/musician has tales to spare - For most of his 74 years, Lenny Levine was a music man -- singing, composing, playing instruments -- that was his passion and source of income. After he retired in 1999, Levine's creative side took him in another direction -- writing fiction ... Levine grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and said his passion for music started in high school when a friend played him the album, "The Weavers at Carnegie Hall." While Levine began his music career as a folk singer, it wasn't long before he began writing songs. His mother taught him to play piano and he taught himself guitar and electric bass. When he was 30, back in 1971, he broke into the lucrative world of jingles. "I got into the business because of the kinds of songs I wrote -- humorous and lyric oriented," he said. "I was lucky enough to sell the first jingle I wrote." The winning tune -- "You can hardly go without Yardley" -- was for Yardley cologne. "I got a fee of $1,000, which to me was unbelievable," he said. "A publisher friend introduced me to the jingle producer who gave me that shot at Yardley. I did it on spec; it was like entering a contest. Once I had done that and a few more, I got into the business as a singer, as well as a writer. Barry Manilow sang the solo on the Yardley TV and radio commercial; I sang backup" ... Though he hasn't spoken to Manilow in many years, Levine recalls he was very nice. "He told me about another jingle producer who I later auditioned for, and he gave me a lot of work." Levine said "the jingle business is gone now," but in those days there was plenty of work to go around. He sang on most of the McDonald's commercials ("We do it all for you") in the 1970s. On Monday, June 15, Levine will speak at the Bethel Public Library, 189 Greenwood Ave., at 6:30 p.m., free, recommended for adults; registration required, 203-794-8756, ( Connecticut, 6/10/2015)

  • Scenes from the Barry Manilow concert at the Arena at Gwinnett Center - CLICK HERE for the Gwinnett Daily Post photos from Barry Manilow's ONE LAST TIME! tour stop at the Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia (near Atlanta) on Thursday June 4th. (Gwinnett Daily Post, 6/5/2015)

  • Come on down to the Copacabana - There will be music and passion at the Lindley Church Amateur Operatic Society’s production of Copacabana – as well as plenty of glitz and glamour. On Tuesday, June 9, the company opens a five-night run at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield with the much-loved Barry Manilow stage musical. It will be the amateurs’ 76th production since the society’s foundation in 1934 – it celebrated its 80th anniversary last year – and will feature a cast of 28, including dancers. The show promises lavish costumes and scenery. The 80th anniversary concert featured songs from shows past, present and future, including numbers from Copacabana, which became a West End stage musical in 1994. Copacabana has a storyline involving an aspiring young songwriter who hopes to pen a new musical. His show features wannabe singer Lola who meets songwriter Tony and goes to work at the Copacabana nightclub in New York. Lola is spotted by Italian gangster Rico, who drugs her and flies her to Havana to work in his own establishment, where she is rescued by Tony. It is a tale of love and sacrifice with a score of lively music and ballads that include the famous title song Copacabana. Lindley CAOS has chosen semi-professional singer Rachel Clegg for the leading role of Lola. The part of Tony is being played by Andrew Lockwood. The show is directed by Martin Saxton. Tickets are from £9.50 to £14.50 from or 01484 430528. (Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 05 June 2015)

  • Spotted in Portland: Jonathan Silverman at Manilow Concert - On May 28th, actor Jonathan Silverman was spotted during the Barry Manilow concert at the Moda Center. When recognized by a fellow Fanilow, Silverman said that he is in town working on the new CW show, "Significant Mother." Silverman, who is well-known for his role as Richard Parker in Weekend at Bernie’s, will return to our living rooms this August [3rd] during the premier of "Significant Mother." (Go Local PDX, 6/1/2015)

  • Acts to see June 4-10 in Louisville - Barry Manilow wins just by virtue of never apologizing for being anything but Barry freaking Manilow, pop singer, old-school entertainer. His "ONE LAST TIME! TOUR" is upper-case for a reason. Dave Koz opens. WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday (June 5th). WHERE: KFC Yum! Center. COST: $129.75, $99.75, $79.75, $39.75, $19.75, available at the venue,, all Ticketmaster outlets and by phone, (800) 745-3000. (The Courier-Journal, 6/2/2015)

  • Barry Manilow gets unexpected 'gift' at Key Arena - Crooner Barry Manilow still has moves, apparently. Manilow performed at the Key Arena Wednesday night as part of his "One Last Time" tour. The aging heartthrob, known for hits such as "Can’t Smile Without You" and "Copacabana (At the Copa)," received an unexpected surprise when a pair of women’s underwear flew on to the stage. Sure, they weren’t lacy or skimpy. In fact, M.J. McDermott called them "granny panties." But Manilow seemed thrilled, saying he hasn’t received a pair of underwear on stage since the ’70s. Manilow, you dog. You still got it. (Q13 Fox - Seattle, 5/28/2015)

  • Barry Manilow is among highlights for the week of May 24 - The mellow 71-year-old crooner, who normally sticks to Las Vegas, says this is his "One Last Time" tour. Time will tell. To honor his breakout 1975 hit, "Mandy," tickets are priced as low as $19.75 for the tour. Another fun fact: Manilow accompanied Bette Midler (who appears in Seattle June 1) when she started out at the Continental Baths in the early ’70s and produced her first album. Smooth jazz saxophonist Dave Koz opens the show. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, at KeyArena, 305 Harrison St., Seattle; $17.75-$125.75 (800-745-3000 or (The Seattle Times, 5/24/2015)

  • Barry Manilow and Suzanne Somers at Westgate Las Vegas Nevada United States, Saturday 23rd May 2015 - 'Suzanne Sizzles' Grand Opening at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino at Westgate - Las Vegas, Nevada, United States - Saturday 23rd May 2015. (Contact Music, 5/24/2015)

    Suzanne Somers' Las Vegas Residency Grand Opening - Barry Manilow and Suzanne Somers arrive at Suzanne's residency show grand opening at Westgate Hotel and Casino on May 23, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Getty Images, 5/24/2015)


  • Review: Copacabana, Cromer Pier - Music and passion are always in fashion at the Copacabana says Barry Manilow’s lyrics. And they always are in the Cromer and Sheringham Operatic Society’s annual musical too. So it was an apt, if brave, choice by the group, after a spate of seat-filling standards to tackle this show - which is heavy on dance and light on plot. It is loosely based on the crooner’s pulsating Latin hit - a tale of showgirls, gangsters and love. The story should be sponsored by Kraft, it is so thin and cheesy. But it is the spectacle of feather-draped showgirls, and choreography as bright as the glittering costumes, that are the backbone of this show. There was rumba, samba, tap, even a steamy balletic bolero, in numbers that tested an "am dram" cast. Choreographer Carole Beatty, leading by example, coached the best out of her troops - some of whom brought their dance skills to the fore, while others were stretched to new levels. Paul Allum impressed with a fine singing voice in the role of singer-songwriter Tony, with Annabelle Abendroth, as his dream girl Lola, combined a sweet voice with silky dance moves in her first leading musical role. Praise too for the sparkling supporting roles of Andrea Wilson as the bubbly cigarette girl Gladys and Nick Bird as the brash but comedic night club owner Sam Silver. Matt Scantlebury extracted panto baddie boos with his performance as rival Rico and Claire Reynolds was excellent as his wife, playing an aging star in Havana’s Tropicana club who is danger of being ousted by young incomer Lola - a part played with venom, humour and compassion in equal measure. The show, which runs until Saturday, is a bit of a one-song wonder. But, as ever, the CSODs, and director Chrissie Robertson, make it an entertaining and endearing escape. Who could ask for more? (Eastern Daily Press, 24 May 2015)

  • ShowStoppers to join Barry Manilow in concert: Perry Ehrlich’s troupe to join legend for a few songs at Rogers Arena - A group of teenagers will perform next week alongside a legend whose biggest hit came decades before they were born. The ShowStoppers, a teenaged performing group led by Richmond lawyer Perry Ehrlich, will perform some of Barry Manilow’s hits with the musician himself at his concert May 26 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. The 71-year-old has worldwide record sales of over 80 million and has over 50 Top-40 hits, including his career-transforming hit "Mandy" in 1975. Manilow has staged few concerts in recent years, following 400 shows in Las Vegas from 2005 to 2011. Enter his One Last Time! Tour, a way of “thanking everyone for their years of support—one last time,” according to the artist. Manilow released his latest album, My Dream Duets, last fall, but one of his albums has a name the ShowStoppers recognize. The singer-songwriter released Showstoppers in 1991, an album that features classic hits of Broadway ... Tickets to Manilow’s May 26 concert are still available at Ticketmaster. Manilow insisted the average ticket price be accessible, and true to his word, tickets start at $19.75 -- a tribute to the year his career took off. The concert will feature Manilow’s band of 13 musicians and singers, along with special guest Dave Koz, a saxophonist. (Richmond Review, 5/22/2015)

  • CTV News Vancouver: Barry Manilow - CTV Vancouver is pleased to welcome Barry Manilow - One Last Time Tour to Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena on Tuesday, May 26th. Watch CTV Morning Live from Wednesday May 20th to Friday May 22nd for the Barry Manilow Code Word and enter for your chance to win a pair of ticket to the show PLUS round trip limo transportation courtesy of Ultimate Limousine.

    CLICK HERE for Barry Manilow Contest Official Rules & Regulations. Contest closes Friday, May 22, 2015 at 3:00pm PT. Tickets still available through (CTV News Vancouver, 5/20/2015)

  • Cromer curtain goes up on feathers and glitz of Copacabana this weekend - Showgirls, feathers, glitz and the pulse of Latin music are the heady cocktail being served up in an annual flagship musical at Cromer pier. Copacabana, which opens this weekend, is a new departure for the Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society. It flits between the 1980s and 1940s as aspiring songwriter Tony heads back in time in his imagination, and to the glamorous Copacabana and Tropicana nightclubs in Manhattan and Havana. The 32-strong cast is tackling a "huge dance spectacular" said director Chrissie Robertson. It demands a 20-strong dance troupe including seven showgirls - and a rainbow of colourful costumes. "Our shows normally open with a big number followed by a bit of dialogue. But the first eight pages of Copacabana involve three big musical numbers. There are showstopper songs, and some of the hardest dancing we have ever done - so it is a lot of hard work." Mrs. Robertson said the society had done a series of popular well-known musicals such as Oliver and the Sound of Music in recent years to help grow its funds, so there was now a chance to do "something different." It auditioned for the key dancing parts in the Barry Manilow-penned musical and was thrilled by the level of applicants, who are being choreographed by Carol Beatty. The key roles see Paul Allum as songwriter Tony Forte, and Annabelle Abendroth as his wife, who becomes showgirl Lola in the 1940s. Matt Scantlebury is "baddie" Rico, and Claire Reynolds Conchita his girlfriend and star of the Tropicana. Nick Bird is club owner Sam Silver, and Andrea Wilson plays cigarette seller Gladys Murphy. Mrs. Robertson said the music was a mix of blues and Latin salsa - with some lavish full feather costumes. Copacabana runs from May 23-30 at the Pier Pavilion. Contact the box office on 01263 512495 or (Norwich Evening News 24, 20 May 2015)

  • Stephen Colbert announces major gift for SC teachers: Twitter users react to Stephen Colbert's gift to SC students - Social media lit up Thursday after a celebrity announced a major donation to South Carolina students. Comedian and soon-to-be "Late Show" host Stephen Colbert revealed that he would fund every grant request by South Carolina public school teachers on Colbert partnered with The Morgridge Family Foundation's Share Fair Nation and ScanSource, which is headquartered in Greenville, to fund nearly 1,000 projects for more than 800 teachers at over 375 schools, totaling $800,000. As news of the Palmetto State native's donation spread, Twitter users, including Barry Manilow, responded... "Bravo @StephenAtHome, thank you for supporting our teachers and everything they do to educate our children! (" (Greenville Online, 5/7/2015)

  • 9th Annual Adrienne Arsht Center Gala - For its 9th Anniversary Gala (Friday, April 24 at 6:30 p.m.), the Arsht Center's Ziff Ballet Opera House will be reimagined into a supper club reminiscent of the days when "The Rat Pack" reigned. The legendary and beloved American singer/songwriter Barry Manilow will treat Arsht gala guests to a special tribute of song as we tip our fedora in honor of "Ol' Blue Eyes" and his 100th birthday. Mr. Manilow will be accompanied by the Henry Mancini Institute Big Band Orchestra led by Grammy-nominee Shelly Berg, with musical direction by multi-Grammy-winner Gregg Field. Philanthropists Swanee and Paul DiMare will chair the black tie gala; Adrienne Arsht, the Center's name benefactor, will serve as honorary chair; and Margaret and Mike Eidson will serve as Gala co-chairs. Dinner will be served on the Lynn Wolfson Stage at 8 p.m., followed by the special Barry Manilow Tribute. (Social Miami)

  • Barry Manilow gets the presidential treatment - Barry Manilow stayed in the Presidential Suite of the JW Marriott Marquis Miami before his performance Friday at the Adrienne Arsht Center Gala. (Miami Herald, 4/24/2015)

  • Barry Manilow to headline Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County 9th Anniversary Gala on April 24, 2015 - Tony, Emmy and Grammy Award-winning international superstar Barry Manilow will wow guests with a concert at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County’s 9th Anniversary Gala on April 24, 2015 with a special tribute to Frank Sinatra in honor of Frank’s 100th birthday. For the Arsht Center’s annual celebration, the Center will transform the Ziff Ballet Opera House into an intimate "supper club" with cocktails, dinner, and dancing directly on the Lynn Wolfson Stage. "In what has become an annual tradition to welcome world-class talent to the Arsht Center’s state-of-the-art stages for our Anniversary Gala, guests this year will enjoy a performance by the legendary Barry Manilow," said Swanee DiMare, chair of the Gala for the third year in a row along with her husband Paul DiMare. "As an avid supporter of arts education, Mr. Manilow is the perfect choice to grace the stage, as all the money raised by the Gala will be reinvested into the Arsht Center’s robust educational programming." Manilow is also a strong believer in the importance of arts education, founding The Manilow Music Project in response to the severe reduction of music programs in public schools. The Project seeks to highlight the importance of music programs through donations of instruments and materials to middle and high schools across the country... (Arsht Center, 3/5/2015)

  • Colourful Copacabana show on Cromer Pier - A well-loved musical is set to bring colour laughter and a lot of dance to the coastal town of Cromer. Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society are bringing their version of Copacabana, complete with feathers and sequins galore, to the Pavilion Theatre Cromer Pier stage following the success of 2014’s centenary production of Oliver. Written by Barry Manilow and based on his Grammy-award winning song, Copacabana is the story of Lola from Tulsa, who arrives in New York with showbiz aspirations. Tony is a bartender and composer who falls in love with Lola and helps her become a Copa girl in the famous Copacabana nightclub. Lola attracts the amorous attentions of rival night club owner, Rico who abducts Lola and takes her to his club in Havana. With the help of his friends, Tony sets out to help rescue Lola. The musical, written by Manilow and his longtime collaborators Bruce Sussman and Jack Feldman, is packed with original songs, dazzling costumes and dynamic choreography. The show features classic Manilow hits including "Dancin’ Fool," "Who Needs to Dream," "Sweet Heaven" and of course, "Copacabana." After starting life as a made for television movie, the show became a hit in London’s West End where it played for over a year and enjoyed numerous UK tours. The show originally opened in London at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1994, with well-known stage actor Gary Wilmot as Tony and Nicola Dawn as Lola. It appealed to fans of Manilow, becoming one of the very first jukebox musicals. It has also enjoyed life on the US amateur theatre scene. Copacabana will run at Pavilion Theatre Cromer Pier from Saturday, May 23 to Saturday, May 30 with nightly performances at 7.30pm (except Sunday and Monday) and 2.30pm matinees on Sunday 24, Monday 25 and Saturday 30. Tickets range from £9.50 to £14 and are available from the Pavilion Theatre Cromer Pier Box Office on 01263 512495. (Eastern Daily Press, 24 April 2015)

  • Barry Manilow serenades Michigan native in Vegas! Locally, people may remember Susan Schubert for her role as Hannah, chief retainer, in the Otsego High School stage production of "Revenge of the Space Pandas." The 1988 OHS grad returned to a larger stage last Friday, April 10, when she was unexpectedly invited to dance by Barry Manilow, who twirled her around and spoke with her briefly during his "Moonlight Serenade" number on the One Last Time Farewell tour concert at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The arena seats 16,000 and was nearly sold out for Manilow's performance. "Sue from Kalamazoo," as she introduced herself to Manilow, calmly danced and quipped with the megastar before being escorted back to her seat. Her friend Dave caught it all on video.

    It was pure luck that found her seated right in front of the portion of the stage that Manilow used to walk out into the audience; she had changed seats with friends a few times at the end of the first set to accommodate the view of people seated behind her, she said. Already in possession of a wealth of knowledge about Manilow, "Sue from Kalamazoo" says it's all been kicked up a notch since her moment in the spotlight. "I am officially a Fanilow now," she said. (Michigan Live, 4/15/2015)

  • Instruments donated to students at Uniondale School District through Manilow Music Project - As part of the Manilow Music Project, an organization that is trying to keep music alive in schools and communities, any concert goer who donated a new or slightly used musical instrument received two free tickets to a Barry Manilow concert, which was last Friday at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale. Over 80 instruments were donated to the Uniondale School District, and students and teachers were ecstatic when the delivery arrived. (PIX 11, 4/9/2015)

  • BMFL Spots help Barry Manilow Say Farewell in Grand Style - Barry Manilow is in the midst of a memorable and extensive 'Farewell' US tour for which creative director Seth Jackson specified 12 Robe BMFL Spots as part of an elegant and stylish design to help ensure the legendary artist exits an incredible performance career on a high note. Manilow, one of the most prolific and successful singer/songwriters and producers in the world with over 80 million records sold, is also among the best-selling artists of all time. Responsible for classics like ‘Mandy’, ‘I Can’t Smile Without You’, ‘Copacabana’ and numerous others he is also celebrating 40 years at the top in show business. Seth has enjoyed a long-standing working relationship with the artist dating back to 1998 when he started as a 'fill-in guy'. Over that remarkable 27 years, he’s also taken on the lighting, set and production designer roles, and has enjoyed the various challenges of creating fresh and invigorating performance environments each time.

    Seth has used Robe products in other projects over the last couple of years – including Selena Gomez’s acclaimed ‘Stars Dance’ extravaganza – and this was his first chance to spec BMFL Spots. Knowing the tour was approaching, he 'auditioned' ten BMFL Spots during the Austin City Limits Music Festival towards the end of 2014 and was "immediately sold" on using them. The tour design does not feature a 'big light show' look as they wanted to avoid all the clichés of a rock concert. Instead they chose a sumptuous theatre-referenced look, with lots of red velour draping, warm wood trims and the trusses completely concealed. "It gives the stage an energy that’s more unusual in a standard world of grey carpets and truss toners," he remarked!

    The BMFL Spots are the only hard-edged fixture on the rig and are positioned on the overhead trusses and used from the front to wash the stage area and from further back as down and rear lighters. They cover multiple needs from general colour washes to gobo texturing to animation effects: "Incredibly versatile," says Seth. "The flexibility of the BMFL Spot is remarkable. From tight beams to washes, terrific colour mixing and the speed and brightness of the fixture, they are helping me cover a lot of ground with only a few units."

    Seth is particularly impressed with the power and brightness. "Even in the wider zooms with the most intensely saturated colours in, there is still enough headroom to cut through. It’s really quite amazing," he reiterates, adding that a split-second later you can snap the BMFL Spots into a tight pencil beam for graphic style looks. Seth and lighting director / programmer Nathan Alves worked very closely with video content producer Brent Sandrock to ensure they meticulously crafted an intelligent and thought-through big visual picture with a lot of impact, harmony and continuity to support Manilow’s massive charisma onstage. In addition to the BMFL Spots, there are also ten of Robe’s little LEDBeam 100s on the floor, used for punchy beam effects to help fill out the larger effects. "For their tiny footprint, they add enormous depth and scale to the space," comments Seth. Ten ROBIN CycFX 8s are positioned upstage to colour the soft goods and scenic elements.

    Thirty-six Anolis ArcDots are used to line the centre stage runway which allows Manilow to get right in amongst his fans. These were selected after a discussion with the artist in relation to his current 'Dream Duets' album, as he decided to perform his dream duet with Judy Garland. They had TV footage of her on a runway lined with lights, so this was added in to the touring set. Seth needed a suitable, durable and tourable light, to replicate the effect and when he saw the ArcDots on a visit to Robe Lighting’s Florida headquarters he found his solution! "They add a great look to the runway, give us plenty of options and are super-bright for such a small fixture," he confirms.

    The most difficult element of lighting this tour has been preparing for the vast back catalogue of music available for Manilow to play onstage. The artist himself is integrally involved in every aspect of the process of developing the show’s concepts and technical elements and always has the highest expectations from everyone on the creative team. Nathan is running the lighting from a grandMA2 ultra light console and the equipment is being supplied by Bandit Lites, crewed by Jeff Archibech and Carter Harris. Bandit and Seth have enjoyed a great working relationship since 1998 and the Tennessee based rental company first provided lighting for Manilow in 1999.

    This tour is project managed for Bandit – one of the first rental companies to invest in Robe’s new signature fixture – by Michal Golden, who says: "We’re extremely happy with the performance of the BMFL Spots." The company is also actively working on a number of other projects with them. Golden adds: "We’ve had the privilege and pleasure of working with some outstanding industry professionals in our years of supporting Barry Manilow’s live work, which – apart from Seth – includes production manager Sacha Bambadji and tour manager Adam Kief." (Entertainment Technology News On Web, 4/7/2015)

  • Glendale giving away Barry Manilow tickets - The Glendale Convention and Visitors Bureau is giving away a pair of tickets to see Barry Manilow perform Wednesday, April 8, at Gila River Arena. The pop singer is on his farewell tour and promises an "emotional roller coaster." A former jingle writer, Manilow was Bette Midler's musical director and arranger before launching a wildly successful career on the pop charts of the 1970s, topping Billboard's Hot 100 with "Mandy," "I Write the Songs" and "Looks Like We Made It." Other Top 10 hits include "Could It Be Magic," "Copacabana (At the Copa)" and "I Made It Through the Rain." Visit and click on the 'Giveaway' tab. The deadline is 3 p.m. Thursday, April 2. The winner will be drawn later that day and notified by email. (AZ Central, 4/1/2015)

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