All stories by Chris Willman on BroadwayStars

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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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 …

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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 …

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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 …

Linked From 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…

Linked From 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 …

Linked From 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…

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

All that Chat

Oct 06, 2019: Slave Play
Oct 17, 2019: The Sound Inside - Studio 54
Feb 01, 2020: The Minutes
Mar 31, 2020: Diana - Longacre Theatre
Apr 19, 2020: Sing Street - Lyceum Theatre
Dec 16, 2021: Diana - Longacre Theatre