All stories by Chris Willman on BroadwayStars

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Downtown L.A.’s First Talkie Theater Becomes a Spectacular Apple Store, and Preservationists Are Talking It Up by Chris Willman

One of downtown Los Angeles’ landmark clock towers, the one atop the 1927 Tower Theatre, is no longer right just twice a day. More significantly, the landmark theater below it at 8th and B…

SOURCE: Variety at 06:41AM
Wednesday, June 23, 2021

H.E.R., Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen and Other Top Music Stars Enter Emmy Competition by Chris Willman

More than a dozen of music’s biggest stars, from Beyoncé to H.E.R., would love an Emmy to add to their award shelves. A Variety review of the 535 entries throughout the Television Academy…

SOURCE: Variety at 09:39PM
Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Foo Fighters to Ring Concerts Back In at Madison Square Garden With 100% Capacity June Show by Chris Willman

Dave Grohl is determined to be at the forefront of some post-quarantine firsts. Foo Fighters played the first Los Angeles stadium show of the pandemic era, with a closing set at the filming …

SOURCE: Variety at 02:33PM
Sunday, May 16, 2021

Clive Davis Shares Joni Mitchell’s First Public Interview in Six Years, Chats With DaBaby, Oprah Winfrey, H.E.R. and More by Chris Willman

Clive Davis has a gig as music’s own new Barbara Walters, if he wants it. For the second half of his two-part virtual “Grammy gala” this year, the music mogul doubled down in Saturday …

SOURCE: Variety at 06:56PM
Friday, April 23, 2021

Sara Bareilles Returns to Hollywood Bowl, Sans Audience, to Promote Live Album by Chris Willman

Returning to the scene of the crime seemed to Sara Bareilles like a good way to promote her just-announced live album, “Amidst the Chaos: Live at the Hollywood Bowl,” and so the singer-s…

SOURCE: Variety at 12:58PM
Thursday, April 22, 2021

‘Bat Out of Hell’ Star Lena Hall on the Genius of Jim Steinman, a Writer Who Saw No Distinction Between Stage Music and Rock by Chris Willman

Jim Steinman was an ultimate officiant in the marriage of rock ‘n’ roll and theater. The songwriter, who died April 19, only had a handful of productions play out on the legit stage, inc…

SOURCE: Variety at 11:18PM
Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Clive Davis Sets Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, H.E.R., DaBaby and Others for Season’s Second ‘Pre’-Grammy Gala by Chris Willman

Clive Davis has announced the second part of his virtual “Pre-Grammy Gala,” delayed from its original date of the night before the awards, with music veterans like Elton John, Joni Mitch…

SOURCE: Variety at 06:30AM
Thursday, April 15, 2021

Adam Schlesinger to Be Celebrated in Online Show by Ex-Bandmates and Dozens of Rockers and Actors by Chris Willman

The late rocker and TV/theater composer Adam Schlesinger, who died from complications of COVID-19 in April 2020, will be feted by dozens of musicians and actors in May in an online tribute b…

SOURCE: Variety at 07:26PM
Monday, April 12, 2021

‘Dreamgirls’ Reunion Highlights ‘RWQuarantunes’ Benefit Raising $1.3 Million for Broadway Cares by Chris Willman

A virtual 40th anniversary reunion of the original “Dreamgirls” dream cast — Loretta Devine, Jennifer Holliday and Sheryl Lee Ralph — was among the highlights of a virtual benefit Su…

SOURCE: Variety at 07:56PM
Friday, April 2, 2021

Appreciating Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger, A Year After COVID Took One of Modern Rock’s Great Songwriters by Chris Willman

Droll. Adroit. Literary. Observational. Epigrammatic. Empathic. Finely tuned. Waggish. Harmonious. Hilarious. Dryly devastating. These were the qualities that marked Adam Schlesinger’s son…

SOURCE: Variety at 06:20AM
Friday, March 26, 2021

Lil Nas X Lapdances With the Devil in Provocative Video for ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’ by Chris Willman

“Dorothy, I don’t think we’re on the Old Town Road anymore,” as the saying goes. Lil Nas X ditches the quaint world of horseback commuting for the highway to hell in “Montero (Call…

SOURCE: Variety at 05:16PM
Monday, March 15, 2021

Beyonce Breaks Record to Become Most Awarded Woman in Grammy History by Chris Willman

Beyoncé’s 28 wins at the Grammys Sunday made her the most-awarded woman in the history of the awards, moving her ahead of the former champion, Alison Krauss. Among both genders, she trail…

SOURCE: Variety at 08:26AM

Taylor Swift Becomes First Woman to Win Album of the Year Grammy Three Times by Chris Willman

Taylor Swift became the first woman to win the award for album of the year three times when “Folklore” triumphed in that marquee category at the Grammy Awards Sunday night. She previousl…

SOURCE: Variety at 08:26AM

Taylor Swift Brings the ‘Folklore’ to Grammy Stage in Performance With Jack Antonoff, Aaron Dessner by Chris Willman

Taylor Swift performed on the Grammy Awards for the first time in five years, bringing her “Folklore” collaborators Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner with her for the first on-stage perfor…

SOURCE: Variety at 08:26AM
Friday, March 5, 2021

Leslie Odom Jr. on How His Theme Song for ‘One Night in Miami’ Echoes Sam Cooke for the Era of George Floyd by Chris Willman

When Leslie Odom Jr. signed up to play Sam Cooke in “One Night in Miami,” he knew that he had a non-acting task awaiting him after shooting: director Regina King had already made it clea…

SOURCE: Variety at 07:46PM
Thursday, February 25, 2021

Taylor Swift’s Attorneys Countersue Evermore Theme Park in Utah, Setting Up Competing Rights Claims by Chris Willman

Taylor Swift’s lawyers have said “It’s on,” effectively, to a Utah theme attraction, Evermore Park, that sued Swift earlier in February, alleging that her “Evermore” album infrin…

SOURCE: Variety at 08:06AM
Saturday, February 13, 2021

Taylor Swift Brought Back Some Original ‘Love Story’ Musicians for the Remake: Who Returned and Who Didn’t by Chris Willman

It’s become clearer that Taylor Swift is making her re-recordings of her older catalog as close to the originals as possible, but the question arises: How difficult is that to pull off wit…

SOURCE: Variety at 08:47AM

Billie Holiday’s ‘God Bless the Child’ Gave Blacks Their Own Mournful But Hopeful ‘Over the Rainbow’ by Chris Willman

Of all the words of wisdom my mother has passed on to me, the earliest ones I remember have been the most useful. She told me I could achieve any goal I set for myself, but being Black, I wo…

SOURCE: Variety at 08:47AM
Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Dolly Parton Remakes ‘9 to 5’ as ‘5 to 9’ for Damien Chazelle-Directed Super Bowl Ad Spot by Chris Willman

Dolly Parton has reimagined her classic 1980 song “9 to 5” as “5 to 9” for a Squarespace commercial celebrating office workers getting their entrepreneurial side hustles going after …

SOURCE: Variety at 02:54PM
Friday, January 29, 2021

‘Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It’ Review: A Role Model Who’s Thoughtful and Always ‘On,’ Even in Her 80s by Chris Willman

Rita Moreno’s most indelible screen moment, which had her and a “West Side Story” ensemble sizing up the pros and cons of their adopted U.S. homeland, remains an eternally clever music…

SOURCE: Variety at 09:37PM
Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley Looks to Take Country Stage Musical ‘May We All’ to the Big Screen by Chris Willman

Florida Georgia Line member Brian Kelley’s plan to bring a country-music musical to life as a legit stage production is now extending to a movie version that is being developed simultaneou…

SOURCE: Variety at 10:28PM
Monday, January 25, 2021

Ariana Grande’s ’34+35′ Would Add Up to No. 1 — If Not for Olivia Rodrigo’s Dominant ‘Drivers License’ by Chris Willman

Ariana Grande was nearly able to make her song “34+35” add up to No. 1, by releasing a hit remix that includes Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat. The song moves up to second place on the …

SOURCE: Variety at 08:40PM
Thursday, January 21, 2021

Katy Perry, Bruce Springsteen, J.Lo and Garth Brooks Go Gaga for America in Epic Day of Inaugural Tunes: Music Review by Chris Willman

There are two songs that are completely guaranteed to be played over the PA at any 4th of July celebration in America: Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” and Katy Perry’s “Firewor…

SOURCE: Variety at 08:32AM
Monday, January 11, 2021

Adam Lambert, Trent Reznor, Andra Day and Huge Cast Shine in ‘Bowie Celebration’ Tribute Livestream by Chris Willman

While no tribute may ever go down as the one David Bowie actually deserves, Saturday’s three-hour “A Bowie Celebration” livestream came within spitting distance of giving the duke his …

SOURCE: Variety at 06:55AM
Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Trump-Spoofing ‘Rent’ Adaptation ‘11,780 Votes’ Is the Hilarious Jam of the Unfolding 2021 Political Season by Chris Willman

If you ever loved, liked or even hated “Rent,” there’s a fair chance that you’ve never been able to hear a set of numerals large enough to include a comma without having that musical…

SOURCE: Variety at 02:13PM
Monday, December 28, 2020

Idina Menzel Launches ‘Idina’s Treehouse’ Kids’ Show on YouTube by Chris Willman

Fresh from taking over family home entertainment centers for yet another holiday season with her vocal appearances in the “Frozen” films, Idina Menzel is un-animating herself with a new …

SOURCE: Variety at 04:12PM
Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Concert Review: Ariana Grande Makes Staples Center a Curvy, Colorful Nightclub by Chris Willman

Whatever else it may be, Ariana Grande’s Sweetener World Tour is not a “get to know your superstar” affair. On record, Grande has ably followed Taylor Swift down the trail of openly au…

SOURCE: Variety at 10:45PM
Monday, May 6, 2019

Bruce Springsteen Reveals He Just Wrote an Entire Album for E Street Band to Tour Behind by Chris Willman

Bruce Springsteen hasn’t made too many public predictions about whether he’d ever record or tour with the E Street Band again. Sunday night, he answered a firm yes to both those question…

SOURCE: Variety at 06:43PM

Bruce Springsteen and Martin Scorsese Talk About ‘Are You Talkin’ to Me?’ and How ‘Last Waltz’ Influenced ‘Broadway’ by Chris Willman

In their conversation Sunday night at a private Netflix event honoring “Springsteen on Broadway,” Bruce Springsteen and Martin Scorsese spent close to a third of the 45-minute chat discu…

SOURCE: Variety at 06:43PM
Friday, May 3, 2019

ASCAP Expo Touts Streaming Revenues, Diversity Initiatives and Big Dreams by Chris Willman

It was fitting that ASCAP president/chairman Paul Williams took the stage Thursday morning at the opening of the 14th annual “I Create Music” Expo to the strains of Kermit the Frog croo…

SOURCE: Variety at 12:53PM
Saturday, April 27, 2019

Bruce Springsteen Shares Memories In Surprise Appearance at Asbury Park Film Festival by Chris Willman

Bruce Springsteen was a surprise guest at the Asbury Park Music and Film Festival for a viewing of his own documentary of clips culled from the Bruce Springsteen Archives Saturdsy at the P…

SOURCE: Variety at 11:48PM

All that Chat

May 30, 2023: Grey House - Lyceum Theatre
Jun 26, 2023: Just For Us - Hudson Theatre
Jul 24, 2023: The Cottage - Hayes Theater
Nov 16, 2023: Spamalot - St. James Theatre
Dec 18, 2023: Appropriate - Hayes Theater
Mar 07, 2024: Doubt - Todd Haimes Theatre
Apr 14, 2024: Lempicka - Longacre Theatre
Apr 17, 2024: The Wiz - Marquis Theatre
Apr 18, 2024: Suffs - Music Box Theatre
Apr 25, 2024: Mother Play - Hayes Theater
Jun 10, 2024: The Drama Desk Awards