All stories by Chris Willman on BroadwayStars

Monday, October 8, 2018

A Star is Reborn: Roy Orbison Reemerges With a Surprise Tribute in Bradley Cooper’s Hit Musical by Chris Willman

One of the emotional climaxes of the new “A Star is Born” remake arrives when Bradley Cooper, playing alcoholic country-rocker Jackson Maine, drunkenly humiliates his wife, a mortified L…

Linked From Variety at 09:30PM
Friday, August 17, 2018

Album Review: Ariana Grande’s ‘Sweetener’ by Chris Willman

At some point in the process of listening to Ariana Grande’s fourth and most delightful album, “Sweetener,” which is slightly dominated by six songs produced and co-written by Pharrell…

Linked From Variety at 05:00AM
Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Concert Review: Go-Go’s Have the Beat — and Bassoons, Too — at Hollywood Bowl by Chris Willman

The Go-Go’s have never had a harmonic bicoastal convergence like the one they’re enjoying in both Los Angeles and New York this month. On the east coast, Broadway is currently playing ho…

Linked From Variety at 06:00PM
Friday, April 20, 2018

Song Review: Ariana Grande’s ‘No Tears Left to Cry’ by Chris Willman

The sleek, carefree party jam of the spring… as inspired by the Manchester bombing of last spring? That’s not a contradictory notion, at least not in the intent behind Ariana Grande’s …

Linked From Variety at 02:28AM
Saturday, February 24, 2018

Olympic Figure Skating Resurrects ‘Moulin Rouge’ and Baz Luhrmann Is Loving It (EXCLUSIVE) by Chris Willman

Baz Luhrmann is nowhere near South Korea at the moment, but you could be forgiven for thinking that he had a hand in the winter Olympics. A good part of it is playing out as a tribute to his…

Linked From Variety at 10:00AM
Monday, October 16, 2017

David Lynch’s Festival of Disruption Unites ‘Peaks’ Cultists in Meditation Talk and Musical Mayhem by Chris Willman

“It’s a world out there that is horribly stressed,” said Bob Roth, the well-known transcendental meditation (TM) teacher, providing some remarks at a two-day festival designed to raise…

Linked From Variety at 07:35PM
Monday, November 10, 2014

'Into the Woods': Stephen Sondheim, Original Stars Reunite for First Time in 27 Years by Chris Willman

“I don’t think the term mash-up existed then," playwright/director James Lapine said of the origins of the 1987 Broadway successread more

Linked From The Hollywood Reporter at 06:53PM
Sunday, June 8, 2014

Frankie Valli on Jersey Boys and His Unlikely Success: 'The Way I Grew Up, It Was Basically Against All Odds' by Chris Willman

One day last fall, on the Jersey Boys location shoot, music legend Frankie Valli found himself at his childhood home, revisiting his humble beginnings in the projects of Newark. “I was sit…

Linked From at 08:36AM

Meet the Four Stars of Jersey Boys by Chris Willman

Every time a Broadway musical gets made into a feature film—which isn’t nearly often enough—a groan goes up in the world of theater lovers as casting announcements are made. Almost wit…

Linked From at 08:36AM
Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review: A high-voltage 'End of the Rainbow' by Chris Willman

Cautionary tale or theatrical thrill-aganza? Who cares, when Tracie Bennett, as Judy Garland, commands the stage. Playing Judy Garland in the months leading up to the actress' fatal 1969 ove…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 07:25PM
Thursday, April 26, 2012

Theater review: 'Million Dollar Quartet' plays it fast and loose by Chris Willman

The musical's thin fictionalized take on the actual meeting of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins is saved by the songs and performances.You'd be hard-pressed to fi…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 03:00AM
Thursday, December 29, 2011

'Wicked's' universal appeal: Commentary by Chris Willman

With sweeping themes of friendship, individualism, power and prejudice, 'Wicked,' now in its third run at the Pantages, offers something for everyone. Dear little girls and Gleeks of America…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 01:00AM

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