The Fantastiks | Snapple Theater (New York)

A “Fantasticks” Spectacle Indeed

When a show moves into the 20,000 performance range, there is no doubt regarding its popularity and acceptance. It truly becomes a legend, like The Fantasticks, which is the world’s longest running musical and even if you are not much of a theatre person, missing a live performance of this caliber is a crime!

 

The simplistic backdrops
The USP of the show is its “old wine in a new bottle” format of boy meets girl with a fresh style of storytelling. The Narrator and other cast speak to the audience directly throughout the duration of the play. The small, simple stage with a bench, a chair, a trunk and a sheet displaying logo of the show, makes up the entire setting. Pierce Cravens is amazing as the Mute and wall that fills up all visual voids. The music is great, especially the customary “Try to Remember” and “Soon It’s Gonna Rain” by Harvey Schmidt. The two-member orchestra with Robert Felstein at the piano and Maria Banks at the harp do a great job as well.

 

Captivating performances
The present cast comprises 8 members with MacIntyre Dixon, turning in a brilliant performance as The Old Actor with his charm and persona that combines traits of being world weary and flamboyant at the same time. The Man Who Dies, whose forte lies in faking deaths using create methods has excellent timing, which is augmented by his spontaneous personality – Michael Nostrand more than does justice to his role.

Talent galore
The crafty co-conspirators, the two fathers – Don Sharkey and Kevin R. Free, have powerful chemistry, which can be experienced first-hand on the stage. Their duets deserve a special mention as they are infused with modern musical comedy finesse and vaudevillian style. Michael Sharon as the Narrator bewitches with his dimple grin and cunning mannerisms. As for the protagonists, The Boy and The Girl played by Max Crumm and Samantha Bruce respectively set the stage on fire with their romance and witty comedy. Bruce’s sincerity shines through, as does her wonderful voice, while Crum has an off-handed, low-key delivery and a nice singing voice. Overall, you root for these characters, even though you are already aware of how their story concludes.

The musical does have its off moments when its mysticism becomes slightly self-aware, but this can be attributed to the show being conceptualized in the early 60s, when everything was drastically different. Nevertheless, you should definitely watch this iconic show at the Snapple Theatre in New York.

Chris Brown | One Hell of a Nite Tour

A Helluva Tour for Sure!

Music doesn’t follow rules or equations – it creates its own path and niche. It allows you to break open the shackles that restrict your freedom and take you to a happy place – as an artist, you shouldn’t be afraid to step out of the comfort zone, a statement, which Chris Brown greatly believed in. He is a triple threat – artist, dance, and actor, which comes as no surprise since he started dabbling in singing and dancing from a very young age.

Rise to stardom
Brown was born in Tappahannock, Virginia and due to his fascination with music; he was closely involved with the church choir and participated in numerous locally held talent shows. His debut album, in association with Jive Records gained the number two position on the US Billboard 200 and received a double platinum certification with record breaking sales. He followed it up with Exclusive that achieved similar sales figures.

…and the dominos fall
It all went downhill in 2009 when Brown was subjected to harsh media glares due to the felony assault of his girlfriend at the time, well-known singer Rihanna. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 5 years of probation as well as 6 months of community service. Needless to say, it was a very rough patch in Brown’s life but his fans gave him strength to pull through, so he could put all transgressions in the past and move on.

Lazarus can rise yet again
His dedicated fans welcomed their hero with open arms when he began to release music online, including the mix tapes with his # 1 singles “Deuces” and “No BS.” Encouraged with the brilliant response, he titled his new album as F.A.M.E, an acronym for Fans Are My Everything. He repeatedly thanked his fans for their love and support, and how they are an important part of his rebound and albeit slow, but steady progress up the ladder of success yet again. The hot favorite of F.A.M.E. was “Beautiful People”.

Concert tour details
The summer amphitheatre tour, also known as “One Hell of a Nite Tour” produced by Live Nation and Haymon Events, will take Brown from Kansas City, which is the first stop, on 12th August, through Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Miami and San Diego, with the final performance in Concord on 19th September. It also features performances by Kid Ink, Omarion, Fetty Wap and Teyana Taylor. The tour is interestingly timed during a major event in Brown’s life – his attempts to reconcile with Karrueche Tran, with whom he has a daughter named Royalty. He is doing his best to smooth over stuff with Tran and be a part of his kid’s life at the same time.

Get your tickets booked for Chris Brown’s “One Hell of a Nite Tour” right away to avoid last-minute disappointments.

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Miguel Live in Concert | Wildhearts Tour 2015

Experience the Power of Wildheart

The wait is finally over for Miguel fans! After the success of Kaleidoscope Dream in 2012, he had announced a follow-up, which is due about 3 years later, on 30th June, just days away. The new album is called Wildheart, and needless to say, has generated enormous hype and fans are literally counting the hours with bated breath.

Earlier portfolio
Right before Wildheart, Miguel scored several one-off singles and collaborations, which features duets with Jessie Ware and Janelle Monáe, Adult Swim song “Can’t Sleep Together”, and of course, his musical inputs to the soundtracks of the Girls and Hunger Games. The reason why there is an increasing buzz around Wildheart’s release is that he hasn’t been too forthcoming with details about the album. Although, he has admitted to working in the studio with Pharrell and producer DJ Premier, who is well-known for his association with D’Angelo, Jay Z, and Nas.

His summer tour
To popularize his album, he shared “Coffee (F*cking)” that went viral instantly. It was basically a revamped form of the “Coffee Track” that originated about a year back, and was among the his surprise three-song EP in December as well. It features guest bars from Wale and highlights a double shot of sexual desire – a fantastic marketing idea that truly hit home! He is all set to hit the road for an official summer tour, where he exclusively promotes Wildheart. It starts in late July and spans across Houston, Atlanta, New York City, Toronto, Chicago, and many more. The final performance will be in Los Angeles at the onset of September. Pre-orders for the album have shot up like crazy on iTunes, and it looks like the Adorn star has yet another winner on his hands.

Bring out the wildness
Wildheart is supposed to be a love letter dedicated to his hometown of Los Angeles with strong influences of hip-hop tunes and rock music to portray how California soul sounds in 2015. Apparently, the music from the album is being streamed in certain regions already, before its release via NPR Music’s First Listen. The whole idea is to let fans enjoy the music and feel it, which is why the Grammy winner is staging a special First Listen Live performance at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City on June 30, before he heads out for his summer tour. Other First Listen Live performers include Arcade Fire, ScHoolboy Q, Iggy and The Stooges and Alabama Shakes.

Special guest Dorothy, who performs in an LA-based band of the same name with guitarist Mark Jackson, bassist Gregg Cash and drummer Zac Morris, is joining Miguel on the tour. They mostly play traditional rock with a blues vibe, so it will be interesting to see what the powerful combination of Miguel and Dorothy will create.