Archive for September, 2011

Winnie the Pooh is Alive and Well and in Your Home City!

pooh-and-his-friendsThe Winnie the Pooh legacy was acquired by Disney in 1961, several years after the death of Stephen Slesinger, who bought the rights to the story in 1930 from the original creator A. A. Milne.  Since then, Disney has been handling all productions involving Winnie the Pooh and his friends, including films, direct-to-video productions and merchandising.  

Contrary to what you’ve heard though, Winnie the Pooh is not hibernating, nor is he extinct.  In fact Winnie the Pooh was last seen in the summer of 2011 in theaters around the country.  The 2011 film was based on the original writings of A. A. Milne and produced by Pixar powerhouse John Lasseter.  All this plus John Cleese’s narration and a new rendition of the famous theme song sung by Zooey Deschanel, of all people.

However, Winnie the Pooh is not just a superstar of the small screen or the big screen–he is also a Broadway sensation!  Winnie the Pooh has been involved in theater almost since his creation, the first production produced by Sue Hastings Marionettes in 1931.  The latest production for Winnie the Pooh is by the Broadway Theatre of Pitman, and is a children’s production starring all of your famous friends like Pooh, Baby Roo, Piglet, Eeyore Owl, Rabbit and Tigger.

This production is an interactive children’s show, one that blends imagination and education.  There are many creative sets, live actors, and best of all, live music and songs.  Productions are short and last just long enough for toddler-aged children to appreciate what’s happening without becoming scared, bored or distracted. 

If you grew up watching Winnie the Pooh and company, then tradition suggests you should give the same learning experiences to your own children.  Winnie the Pooh is such a peaceable and timeless story, that it has been circulated worldwide in a number of different languages.  It is also been used by numerous philosophers as a way to explain some rather complex ideas; just consider how Benjamin Hoff used the characters to explain Taoism, or how Frederick Crews used the characters to satirize philosophical analysis.

It seems as if Winnie the Pooh’s beautiful simplicity inspires children and adults alike!  Come see the event live and relive your childhood!

Lady Gaga Releases New “You & I” Video


With the original release of her video “You & I,” Lady Gaga proved that she can not only be many people, but be them all at the same time. But a month after the original’s release, she’s focused on just one of those people — her mermaid alter-ego. Yuyi. 

Let’s look back to the original….

The video for “You & I” starts off with a high-fashion Gaga walking down a countryside road. From there, it goes to Gaga in her purest form — nearly no makeup and just straight, natural hair — playing in a cornfield (in what eerily resembles a crop circle,) with her alter-ego, Joe Calderone, sitting atop of the piano and bopping away as she plays. But while it may all look like a mishmash of the various “stuff” that goes on in Gaga’s head, there is a real plot here.

When talking about the video, Gaga has said that it’s her portrayal of coming back to Nebraska for the one she loves. This explains the large-brimmed black hat and the strappy heels (which have made her ankles bleed slightly,) that we see Gaga wearing in the beginning of the video. And it also explains the love scene in a barn that we see later on in the piece, with her and her Nebraskan lover and Gaga appearing as Yuyi.  Mishmash sure, but organized mishmash at that.

But that was all in the original and apparently, Gaga wasn’t entirely happy with it…..

Perhaps unhappy with the little time spent as a mermaid in the original, Gaga’s now released a newer and shorter version of the video, in which she’s dressed as a mermaid for the entire piece — including gills on her shoulders, neck and face. After writhing around and under a chair for about two minutes, she then is carried off to another Nebraskan shack by hunks of shirtless men. The video is actually backstage footage of the original shooting, but it is a move that hasn’t been done by many artists before. And for hopeful fans, it might be a hint that there’s more behind-the-scenes footage to come from Gaga.

After 31 Years, R.E.M. “Calls it a Day”

REMR.E.M. was one of those rare bands that has the talent and the passion to not only stick around on the music scene for a very long time, but truly be a part of its core and change it for the better. Now, after 31 years, the band is “calling it a day.” With no temper tantrums and no hard feelings, the four band members are splitting up and disbanding R.E.M. And they’re doing it all for each other, for the fans, and for the band.

The band made the initial announcement on their website yesterday, stating that, “we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening.”

The band then updated the announcement later on, each giving their own personal insight to the breakup; and each expressing that there are no hard feelings. The music and concerts had simply come to an end and it had nowhere else to go. Wanting to go out on a high note, they knew it was time and wanted to do it the right way.

R.E.M. is not just a band that tours and records together. They are four men that have seen each other through multiple ups and downs in both their personal lives and throughout the course of their career. The three members that make up the band today are original members of the band; they started it together, and they will end it together. In November, the band will release a greatest hits album that will include the biggest hits of their career.

Alice Cooper adds U.S. and Canada Tour Dates

alice-cooperAlice Cooper will never stop, and he’s currently proven that by jet-setting around the globe on a world tour. For the past few months he’s been bringing his music to fans in New Zealand, England, Singapore, and Australia, to name just a few of the faraway places Cooper’s been. But now, the rocker who was just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this past March, will bring his music back home to his fans in North America.

Alice Cooper will only take about a week’s break from the No More Mr. Nice Guy tour when he leaves Moscow on November 19. He’ll pick it back up in Huntington, West Virginia on November 26 and from there make a few other U.S. stops, including Atlantic City, New Jersey. Then on December 5th, Cooper will start giving Canadians a show too, with his first stop being in Kingston, Ontario. From there he’ll travel to other Canadian cities including Kitchener and Oshawa, before heading back to the States to wrap up the tour on December 14 in Orlando, Florida — with many shows in between, of course!

Alice Cooper is a rock legend that’s released 19 studio albums during a career that has spanned over four decades. Cooper’s most known for bringing big shows filled with intensity and drama and from the shows he’s already given on this tour, it’s proving to be no different. For a complete listing of concert dates, you can check them out on StubPass: Alice Cooper Tickets.

Nirvana Concert to be Released, with Album to Follow

nirvanaFans who have been missing Kurt Cobain’s performances ever since his death nearly twenty years ago can now relive some of the magic! VH1 will release the filming of a Nirvana concert held on Halloween night in 1991 at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, three years before Cobain’s suicide. No one has ever seen the footage before and the network thinks that releasing it on the anniversary of the band’s Nevermind album is the perfect tribute. The concert is an hour long and will be shown on September 23 at 11:00 p.m. on VH1, VH1 Classic, and Palladia.

Fans that have been relying all-too long on their tired Nirvana recordings, both studio and live, will finally get a fresh taste of Nirvana through this concert showing. The concert shows Cobain and the rest of his band mates playing many of their biggest hits including Breed, Lithium, and Polly. But it’s not just the biggest song titles that made the show. The band also plays some lesser-known music, such as Jesus Don’t Want Me for a Sunbeam, a Vaseline cover that also appeared on their MTV Unplugged in New York album that was released in 1994, the same year as Cobain’s death.

And that’s not all the good news. The full live concert will also be released four days later on Blu-Ray and DVD on September 27. That’s bound to get fans excited, as it’s likely to be the last Cobain concert footage we’ll ever see.

Retired NFL Players to Sue NFLPA


There are more lawsuits floating around in the world of sports. But this time it’s not unions suing owners, or players’ associations suing league execs. This time, it’s retired NFL players who feel as though they’ve been getting the short end of the stick — and all because they’re no longer playing.

The lawsuit has been filed by 28 retired NFL players including Carl Eller, Chuck Bednarick, and John Hannah, although it represents all retired NFL players. The lawsuit is against the NFL Players’ Association; DeMaurice Smith, the union’s president; Tom Brady, New England’s quarterback; and Mike Vrabel, a former player in the league. The suit deals with the collective bargaining agreement that was agreed on to stop the lockout and get the season started for this year. The retired players say that their rights were given up during negotiations, in order so that the current players in the league could receive more benefits and bigger pay.

Just two of the benefits the retirees were forced to sacrifice affected their pension incomes as well as their health care in their retirement years. More importantly than that, the retired football players are also saying that because the union was decertified in March 2011 before the lockout began, there was no union to represent them and so, their rights were violated.

Lawyer Mark Hausfeld is representing the plaintiffs in the case. He was also the lawyer that represented the retired players while the labor dispute was being settled. And while he’s been talking plenty about the case, players on the defendant’s side, as well as the executive director of external affairs for the NFLPA, could not be reached for comment.

Nickelback Dishes about New Album, to be out Soon


It’s been just about three years since Nickelback released their last album, Dark Horse. And although it saw huge success, selling 3 million copies, the band wanted to stay in the studio and get the music right before they released another. The wait is over and sure to be worth it, as Nickelback has just announced that they’re ready to release their seventh studio album, Here and Now.

The album will be in stores on November 21, but you don’t have to wait that long to get a taste. The band will be releasing two singles, first When We Stand Together, which will be released on September 26; and then a follow-up single, Bottoms Up. Both will be aired on both pop & rock radio.

With a new album, two new singles, what more could Nickelback fans ask for? How about a world tour to promote said new album? That’s going to happen, and it will likely begin early 2012, although no official dates have been released yet. Chad Kroeger, the band’s front man, says that he’s excited to show fans what they’ve got; and although it may have taken a small wait, the band had a vision and was going to be in the studio for as long as it took to get that vision to come together.

Work on the album started earlier this year and now that the vision has all come together, it’s just a matter of weeks until we get to hear it!

Lil Wayne’s Release Strategy Sells More Than Kanye or Jay-Z

lil-wayne-releaseJust before he released his new album, The Carter IV, Lil’ Wayne said that he hoped more artists would follow his creative strategy in the future. The strategy was to release the album on iTunes seconds following MTV’s VMA Awards and, it worked. So well in fact that Lil’ Wayne might get his wish, and we might see more of these types of releases in the future.

The rapper did face some obstacles in getting his latest album released online; the main one being that some of the album was leaked on the Internet before it was actually released. But that did nothing to stop sales, as The Carter IV sold 300,000 downloads in just four days. That’s 10,000 more than Kanye’s and Jay-Z’s Watch the Throne, which was released last month and only sold 290,000 downloads in the same amount of time.

But Watch the Throne wasn’t the only album The Carter IV beat, it broke records too, and Lil’ Wayne holds the current record! Before The Carter IV, the most sales in the first week of release was The Carter III, which Wayne released in 2008. The Carter IV is expected to sell 850,000 copies in its first week; official sales results will be released this Wednesday.

There’s no doubt that with numbers like those, more artists will be sure to follow in Lil’ Wayne’s footsteps and plan for more creative and publicity-inducing release dates.

Come Hear the New Sensation Adele in Person!

adeleHave you heard the sultry crooning of the newest British singer to hit the US charts? This British babe simply goes by Adele, and she has taken the music scene by storm! Adele has already added some hefty awards to her name, such as Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 2009 for her debut album “19.” Her newest album “21″ released just this year has already won over critics and audiences alike. She even broke the U.K. record for the most digital downloads!

Adele’s sound is unique; often described as having the soulfulness of Motown and the vibe of folk music, but with a modern youthful appeal. Get out your iPod and download her biggest hits such as “Someone Like You”, “Rolling in the Deep”, “Chasing Pavements”, and you’ll get a taste of what that big beautiful voice can do!

What can you expect of a live Adele concert? Moody lighting, witty banter and perhaps even some tears. Yes, Adele’s emotive voice has moved many sold out crowds to tears with hits like “Do You Remember”. Not to worry, there are still plenty of beats and thrills included that will bring a smile to your face after a good cry. You can tell this young singer is having the time of her life, which helps make the production a better show.

Adele is all about the music, so there is no lip-syncing at her sold out shows. Her fans often gush that the singer sounds even more amazing in person than she does on her albums. Well, that’s no surprise, as she is a graduate from the BRIT School for the performing arts. Adele isn’t some “girl” producers picked for her looks and then taught to sing. No, she is the real deal, a lover of music since she first learned to sing as a child. In fact, her first big single “Hometown Glory” was written when she was only sixteen!

Grab up a pair of tickets when Adele is touring your hometown and experience a concert like no other. Look for discounted tickets online for a good deal and a good time.

Tyler Perry: A Man That Transcends Race and Captures the Essence of American Culture

tyler-perryTyler Perry made his name and his career by connecting with black audiences and black culture. That stint as “Madea” only helped to put his name on the map. However, in recent years, Tyler Perry has taken his once ghettoized plays and movies and brought them into mainstream consciousness. Perry doesn’t just shock like Spike Lee or John Singleton, nor does he clown around like the Wayans Brothers or Chris Rock. He really transcends race and captures the true spirit of Americana. One of his biggest successes was producing the Best Picture nominee Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire. He truly did the unprecedented and combined comedy and drama for a number of family-oriented features–stories that were not just about race but the American experience.

Despite his new success as a filmmaker, Tyler Perry is still sticking to his roots as a playwright. Many of his feature length films actually started as plays and were then adapted for the screen. His first production as a youth was “I Know I’ve Been Changed”, a community theater production that dealt with Christian themes and abusive families. Despite the production’s poor performance, Perry kept on, and eventually retooled the play until it received mainstream acceptance. Perry has since made more than $100 million on Broadway, which doesn’t even count his movie or merchandise profits.

His newest feature written for the stage is another comedy drama, this one entitled The Haves and The Have Nots. The play begins by observing a wealthy family who has everything. The family seems preoccupied with the peripherals of life until they become involved with a plot involving their poor housekeeper. Eventually, they are forced to see how the other half lives. However, the spiritual journey to come is the real issue. The play actually features dialog and music written by Tyler Perry, and some great performances by singers and comedians.

The production has received excellent reviews and is helping to cement Tyler Perry as one of the most popular artists of the new millennium. Come learn something about life by seeing one of Tyler Perry’s soul stirring plays in person!

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