Tag: Songs

15 Celebrities You Might Not Have Known Wrote Children’s Books

Inspired by Channing Tatum announced his Children's book, 'Sparkella', this list accounts for celebrities that you might not have known wrote children's books.

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Theater Fans, Say Goodbye to ‘Phantom of the Opera’…Sort Of

For the uninitiated, Phantom of the Opera is a musical with music written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe. It’s based on a 1910 novel of the same name by Gaston Leroux. The musical opened in 1986 in London’s West End. It had been running for 34 years, until March 2020 when the theater had to close because of the coronavirus.

And yet, as theater fans—not just in the U.K. but around the world—waited with bated breath for the reopening of society and the theater, Cameron Mackintosh, the producer of the musical, announced that Phantom of the Opera would be closing permanently. After a run of 34 years since 1986, Phantom of the Opera’s curtains and infamous chandelier will not be rising again, even after other shows open again.

Image Via Twin Cities Arts Reader

At least, that’s what the original statement was. In the U.K.’s Evening Standard newspaper, Mackintosh wrotean article about how untenable opening theaters back up was in the current pandemic. And since there’s no end in sight, he had to make huge downsizes to his company to make sure it would survive. Mackintosh knew this was coming—he wrote:

In early May I warned Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden and the Government that [downsizing] would be necessary unless we received financial help. Despite the recent announcement of a £1.57 billion rescue fund for the arts, this help still hasn’t materialized.

Unfortunately, this meant he had to make some tough decisions.

“Andrew [Lloyd Webber] and I have had to sadly permanently shut down our London and U.K. touring productions of The Phantom of the Opera, but are determined to bring it back to London in the future.”

While his comma use is questionable, his intentions are not—he wants to bring the musical back to London. But he also said that it is closed permanently. These two statements seem contradictory. How can the musical be closed permanently and yet hopefully will be brought back?

Image Via Classic FM

Well, the answer lies in a statement made to The Stage by The Really Useful Group, which is owned by Lloyd Webber and produces, licenses, and promotes his shows. The president of the Really Useful Group, Jessica Koravos, said:

What Cameron [Mackintosh] was meaning to say is, we have closed down the production entity that has been that [production of] The Phantom of the Opera for 34 years, and have closed down the physical production. Even before the pandemic hit, we were already in a process of going carefully through the physical production, some parts of it already having been decommissioned. There are systems in that set you could not get the replacement parts for me any more—they just aren’t made after 34 years.

What does that mean? They’re permanently closing down the production of The Phantom of the Opera that’s been running for 34 years, but they’re not permanently stopping showing a production of the musical. It’ll be back as the same glorious musical it’s always been, just with some necessary updates needed. It’s basically a reboot.

The musical is going to return unchanged, with the same work done by the original creative team, including director Hal Prince and designer Maria Björnson. But they needed to update the physical set itself, because it’s been more than three decades and it’s probably getting a little rusty.

Koravos added that they had planned to do a period of closure in a few years to do said renovations, but after the pandemic forced a close, they couldn’t afford to do two. So, honestly, it’s pretty efficient that they’re doing the reboot now instead of in a few years.

Phantom of the Opera set
Image Via Lincoln Journal Star

Furthermore, once they looked at the set, it became clear that the building itself also needed work. So they need to do repairs on the set and the building, and they can’t even work on the building until the whole set is out.

But, theater fans, the gist of it is that you don’t have to worry, The Phantom of the Opera will be returning in all its glory. They just need to do some renovations and add in some new technology, but the show will continue to be “the brilliant original.”

So when will The Phantom of the Opera be back in London? It’s difficult to say. Koravos said, “Unlike some other shows that can say they will reopen as soon as social distancing ends, we have these other issues which means we are not able to give people a date, and so could not in all good faith keep people hanging on for a genuinely unknown length of time.”

They’re working hard to update the musical and keep it working, so fans just need to be patient. It will be back. The theater venue will be waiting—no other show will take The Phantom of the Opera’s place. Not that it could, anyway.

Featured Image Via Entertainment Weekly
Music Mondays image

Music Mondays – Songs For Your Summer Reads

Each book listed down below is paired with one song – or possibly two – that would best fit the book’s theme given its summary, and the books themselves have been hand-selected from those being released this summer – starting this month – and those that have already been released within the last few months of this year…

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A Rockin’ Librarian Ignites the Web With Her Third Song

Will this rockin’ librarian’s debut song be a hit? Hopefully, because if kids don’t get the message, then we have a public service warning for you about a “beautiful and talented librarian” so upset that she’s ransacking hallways in an effort to locate overdue library books.

Looks like your school library books—from Harry Potter Books to The Hunger Games (Yes, even The Magic Tree House books), all have to be returned to librarian Mary Evelyn Smith at Liberty Elementary in Worthington, Ohio, before school lets out on May 22nd, or else!

If you’re concerned right now, don’t be. It’s a music video called “Bring Back Your Books” that parodies Walk the Moon’s hit song, “Shut Up and Dance.”

This isn’t the first music video Mary Evelyn Smith has created. Her first music video entitled “All Them Books Video” and was a parody of Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass.” Calm, cool, it’s great music made with a stellar video.

Don’t believe me? Watch it below!

This 2015 song is really neat, and it was such a hit that she made a second one entitled, “Sorry,” a parody of Justin Bieber’s song of the same name.

It’s great, it’s funny, it’s got a slow but melodic beat. The only problem is it came out two years ago. In an email Mary Evelyn Smith wrote to 10TV, “I usually see a little rush of books coming back the day after the video is released… but regardless of the books, I’d say it’s 100 percent effective when it comes to building a positive and fun community here at school.”

So obviously she had to make another one.

This one is a bit different. It starts off on a subtle note by parodying a news broadcast with two students, an unnamed girl and boy sitting side by side with the phrase “Change Your Mindset” behind it.

They speak in what I can only describe as Newscaster-speak, something that reminds me of the fish from Spongebob SquarePants.

Fish newscasters on Spongebob

Image Via Youtube

The jokes are corny but cute, the standout one being, “Today’s forecast calls for a high temperature of your ice cream melts before you can eat it”.

The boy could definitely be an A-lister one day, something like Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy or Bill Tannen from Back to the Future, but the girl is so fun to watch, furiously chewing gum a la Violet Beauregarde before taking it from her mouth and rolling it between two fingers right in front of the camera. They both play off each other, which builds up to the tension when-

A GOOSE COMES IN WITH A MESSAGE! And guess what? It’s the iconic goose from the second music video.

What could be the urgent message? It’s far worse than any of us could ever imagine: a mad librarian looking for books!

The children are shocked and frightened, especially as reports come in about teachers doing “dance moves that they definitely are not cool enough to be attempting”. It’s funny and deflates any awkwardness from the music video that rolls in…

Check the video out below! The music starts about a minute and ten seconds in and while its a rockin’ song, the students give the perfect set up.

 

 

Mary Evelyn Smith also told 10TV: “The teachers have a blast being in front of the camera. It is nice to have fun and be silly together at the end of the year.”

Let’s hope they had as much fun as we did!

 

 

Featured Image Via Lamont Elementary.ca

‘The Lion King’ Official Trailer Released!

Hakuna matata! Disney fans rejoice, for the studio just dropped the first full trailer for The Lion King which showcases more glorious live action shots of the animated classic. The animation looks beautiful, rendering characters like Simba, Mufasa, Scar, Timone, and Pumba as realistic animals in all their glory. Speaking of Scar, we finally get to hear him speak and he looks glorious, creepy while retaining the slimy menace that made the original such a beloved Disney villain.

 

The menacing Scar, a scraggily lion towers over a hyena against an African rocky backdrop

Image Via Buzzfeed

Other tantalizing images include glimpses of a young Simba exploring his kingdom, including chasing a stag beetle around, as well as glimpses of Nala, Rafiki, Zazu, and the iconic duo of everyone’s favorite duo: Timone and Pumba. Iconic shots from the original look to be recreated exactly, including the sequence where Simba grows from cub to adult and the wildebeest stampede. Speaking of, we don’t know if we can relive Mufasa’s death in live action, especially with James Earl Jones returning to once again voice the lion.

Speaking of the cast, this one is very promising, a mix of iconic talent with Donald Glover as Simba (as well as JD McCrary as his younger self), Billy Eichner as Timon, Seth Rogen as Pumba, Beyonce as Nala, John Kani as Rafiki, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, and John Oliver as Zazu. The trailer itself is set to the spine tingling score of the original, punctuated by Mufas’s narration and utterly breathtaking cinematography.

This one is a must see for sure. Are you excited? The Lion King roars into theaters July 19th.

 

Featured Image Via Disney.com