All stories by Chris Willman on BroadwayStars

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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From Variety at 11:48PM
Thursday, April 11, 2019

Motown — Busier Than Ever in 2019? TV Specials, Broadway Musicals Reload the Jukebox by Chris Willman

Motown has almost certainly never had more ancillary projects happening at once in the realms of TV and theater than it does in 2019. Among the offshoots keeping the catalog alive in multipl…

Linked From Variety at 04:01PM
Thursday, April 4, 2019

Album Review: Sara Bareilles’ ‘Amidst the Chaos’ by Chris Willman

“She used to be mine” — that’s how a lot of Sara Bareilles fans probably felt, losing her to the legit stage, at least as a recording and touring artist, for the better part of five …

Linked From Variety at 10:03PM
Friday, March 29, 2019

In Defense of Alanis Morissette’s ‘Jagged Little Pill,’ by Letters to Cleo’s Kay Hanley (Guest Column) by Chris Willman

Earlier this week, Jezebel published an op-ed in which Tracy Clark-Flory says that Alanis Morissette’s iconic, multiple Grammy-winning 1995 album “Jagged Little Pill,” which she loved …

Linked From Variety at 11:37AM
Thursday, March 28, 2019

ASCAP Screen Awards Tap Pasek & Paul, Pinar Toprak, Michael Giacchino for Honors by Chris Willman

The ASCAP Screen Music Awards has announced several honorees to be feted at a May 15 ceremony in Beverly Hills, with “Captain Marvel” composer Pinar Toprak, “Incredibles 2” scorer Mi…

Linked From Variety at 10:09AM
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

‘This Is Us’ Composer Siddhartha Khosla Signs With ASCAP by Chris Willman

Siddhartha Khosla, one of the busiest composers in TV with ongoing assignments for “This Is Us,” “The Kids Are Alright” and “Marvel’s Runaways,” has made the move to ASCAP, the…

Linked From Variety at 07:26PM

Sara Bareilles Premieres New Songs, Declares Love for Obama at Intimate L.A. Show by Chris Willman

“I know it’s been a really long time since I made a record,” said Sara Bareilles, introducing a night of mostly new music at the Troubadour Tuesday. Hearing some shouted assents from t…

Linked From Variety at 06:07PM
Monday, March 18, 2019

Musicians Freak Out as They Belatedly Learn Myspace Lost 50 Million Songs by Chris Willman

Myspace-related news travels very, very slowly in the late 2010s. So while the company had quietly acknowledged a massive data loss in response to user inquiries last year, it took until thi…

Linked From Variety at 01:27PM
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Aretha Franklin ‘Amazing Grace’ Film Set for Premieres at Civil Rights Museums, African American Churches (EXCLUSIVE) by Chris Willman

Aretha Franklin is going on tour — or, rather, the concert movie she stars in is, as “Amazing Grace” is being booked for a solid week’s worth of premieres across the country at the e…

Linked From Variety at 01:07PM
Sunday, February 10, 2019

Brandi Carlile Goes Three for Three in Grammy Pre-Telecast; Lady Gaga, Kacey Musgaves, Childish Gambino Get Two by Chris Willman

One of this year’s most nominated artists at the Grammys, Brandi Carlile, won all three of the awards she was up for in the pre-telecast ceremony Sunday afternoon. She was one of two p…

Linked From Variety at 07:22PM
Monday, January 28, 2019

How Ariana Grande’s ‘7 Rings’ Took Rodgers & Hammerstein’s ‘Sound of Music’ to the Top by Chris Willman

A few months before the film version of “The Sound of Music” hit the silver screen, a song plugger working the catalog of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein approached label owner Dav…

Linked From Variety at 09:57PM
Monday, January 21, 2019

Concert Review: Lady Gaga Outdoes Her Other Vegas Show With Masterful ‘Jazz & Piano’ by Chris Willman

In a year when Lady Gaga stands to win at least one Oscar next month and has a decent chance at two, it may sound like a case of premature congratulation to suggest that she’s already enjo…

Linked From Variety at 04:40PM
Monday, January 14, 2019

Ariana Grande to Headline Lollapalooza 2019 (EXCLUSIVE) by Chris Willman

Among those who are so F—ing grateful to Ariana Grande right now: the nation’s festival bookers, who, facing a shortage of contemporary rock heavyweights, are increasingly looking to…

Linked From Variety at 06:00PM

Bruce Springsteen Eavesdrops on ‘Broadway’ Audience at Public Screening by Chris Willman

Fans attending a free screening of “Springsteen on Broadway” at Monmouth University in West Long Branch Sunday night may not have noticed a familiar face in the audience: Bruce S…

Linked From Variety at 01:48PM
Wednesday, January 9, 2019

‘Joni 75,’ Joni Mitchell Tribute Concert Film, Set for Theaters by Chris Willman

Joni Mitchell’s birthday party is making its way to the big screen. Fans who lamented they weren’t able to attend a sold-out pair of all-star Mitchell tribute concerts in L.A. tw…

Linked From Variety at 08:59AM
Friday, December 28, 2018

Ariana Grande Cancels Las Vegas Show, Citing Illness by Chris Willman

Ariana Grande may be celebrating the run-up to New Year’s Eve with bed rest. One thing is certain: She won’t be spending it on stage at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, where she’d been …

Linked From Variety at 04:12PM
Thursday, December 20, 2018

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Spotify: 15 New Holiday Albums Reviewed, From John Legend to William Shatner by Chris Willman

Now that America has come together as one and finally settled that whole “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” thing (we did, didn’t we?), it’s time to spend the remaining days of the Christma…

Linked From Variety at 08:42PM
Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Film Review: ‘Springsteen on Broadway’ by Chris Willman

Hope you like the 69-year-old version of Bruce Springsteen’s face, because it’s virtually all you’re going to see for the two hours and 40 minutes of the filmed “Springsteen on Broad…

Linked From Variety at 08:32PM

Elisabeth Moss Is the Life of ‘Party of One’ in Video From Grammy Fave Brandi Carlile by Chris Willman

Brandi Carlile has some famous friends, and they seem to especially love her song “Party of One.” Recently Carlile released a duet version of the tune in which she’s joined by Sam Smit…

Linked From Variety at 11:59AM
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Bruce Springsteen Sets Fans Straight: No E Street Band Tour in 2019 by Chris Willman

If you thought the idea of Bruce Springsteen following his grueling run on Broadway with an E Street Band tour sounded too good to be true, now it’s official: it was. Springsteen — w…

Linked From Variety at 12:07AM
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Donna Summer Musical Posts Broadway Closing Notice, With Tour to Follow by Chris Willman

When one disco’s doors close, another disco’s doors open. That seemed to be the message from a dual alert from the producers of “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,” wh…

Linked From Variety at 04:18PM
Monday, November 26, 2018

Go-Go’s-Scored Broadway Musical ‘Head Over Heels’ Set to Close in January by Chris Willman

Broadway won’t be going to a go-go for long. “Head Over Heels,” the Elizabethan period farce scored incongruously to the music of the Go-Go’s, has posted a closing no…

Linked From Variety at 05:04PM
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

John Legend Steals the Show With Surprise ‘Dock’-ing at BMI Country Awards by Chris Willman

John Legend, lately seen as Jesus, took on the role of another king of kings Tuesday night: Otis Redding. He electrified the room at the BMI Country Awards in Nashville by appearing for a cl…

Linked From Variety at 01:35PM
Friday, October 26, 2018

Sara Bareilles Talks About Celebrating Female Power in New T Bone Burnett-Produced Single ‘Armor’ (Watch) by Chris Willman

The title of Sara Bareilles’ new song, “Armor,” makes it sound like she’s ready for battle. And that’s not altogether off the mark for this female-centric anthem, as the lyrics tak…

Linked From Variety at 12:29AM
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Lady Gaga’s ‘Star Is Born’ Soundtrack Looking at Monster First-Week Sales by Chris Willman

The “A Star Is Born” soundtrack is a star in its own right. Sources watching retail reports come in from the album’s first five days of sales say it’s expected to debut with more tha…

Linked From Variety at 06:25PM
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

All-Star ‘Greatest Showman’ Album Entices Pink, Panic!, Sara Bareilles and Others (EXCLUSIVE) by Chris Willman

It’s not hard to convince a lot of pop stars to run off to the circus when that circus is the “Greatest Showman” score, the original soundtrack of which has been one of the biggest sel…

Linked From Variety at 08:01AM
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