Beauty and the Beast Brings Magic to Philadelphia

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(PCM) When stage actor Kevin Kulp isn’t singing or dancing his heart out in the enchanting touring production of “Beauty and the Beast,” he finds other outlets for his creativity.

At age 24, the Morristown, N.J. native is thrilled to be coming back home for the Philadelphia return of the smash hit Broadway musical from February 16-21, as part of the Broadway Philadelphia 2015-2016 season.

The current touring show, which is produced by NETworks Presentations, reunites the creators of the original Broadway production, and promises the same magical experience.

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is the classic story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.

Based on the 1991 Oscar-winning animated film and celebrating 21 years since its Broadway premiere in 1994, “Beauty and the Beast” is the 9th longest running musical in Broadway history. It has become an international sensation seen by more than 35 million people worldwide in 22 countries, and translated into nine different languages. This production began in February 2010 and has been seen by nearly three million people.

“It’s always a special treat when we’re able to invite families and theater loves to come to the relive a classic like Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” said Kimmel Center President and CEO Anne Ewers. “This treasured story, now brought back to life by the Broadway production’s original creators, is sure to be a must-see for fans of all ages.”

Kulp plays a townsperson and enchanted object. His credits include: “Anything Goes”  at The Marriott Theatre, “Miss Saigon”  at the Walnut Street Theatre and Signature Theatre, “A Chorus Line” (Paul), and “The King and I” at the Walnut Street Theatre and Olney Theatre.

Q: When did you join the current tour of “Beauty and the Beast?”

KEVIN KULP: I joined the tour in August. We had three weeks of rehearsal in New York City and we left for the road in September and I am contracted to be with the show until the end of July. It was a long audition process, with lots of call backs. I was there tumbling, singing and acting. We are in Daytona Beach, Florida today and soon head to Philly – my back yard.

Q: Where did you grow up?

KK: Morristown, N.J. Right outside of Philly.

Q: When did you first get the acting bug?

KK: It started when I was little. I sang with the Philadelphia Boys Choir with four years and traveled with them, and we sang a lot of songs from musicals. I was also in The Nutcracker every year at the Academy of Music where “Beauty and the Beast” will be performed so that is thrilling. I loved performing every day and I guess you could say it started from there.

Q: You have tons of local connections?

KK: Yes. I graduated from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, and was in a few shows at the Walnut Street Theater.

Q: Coming home must be exciting. Who is coming to see the show?

KK: I have had lots of friends from Florida, Portland, and L.A. seeing the show at various venues. Now my hometown friends and my family will be coming to Philly, so that is really special to me to be able to share it with them.

Q: Are there any other performers in your family?

KK: No, I am the only one.

Q: Have your parent been supportive or concerned about a show business career?

KK: My parents have been encouraging; they have been truly amazing. They have been my number one supporters since I was little. They have always driven me to auditions and helped in any way that they could.

Q: What do you love about this show?

KK: I love performing in front of an audience every night, and “Beauty and the Beast” is such a fun show it is hard to love it. When you see young children, families and several generations all sharing this, it is really gratifying to see that such a loved musical that everyone has some connection to.

Q: What are some of your of your other favorite Broadway musicals?

KK: I love the classic Rogers and Hammerstein musicals — shows like “Carousel” and “Sound of Music.” I also have a friend from college who is in the current 50th anniversary production of “Fiddler on the Roof” on Broadway.

Q: Are there surprises being part of a tour like this?

KK: Yes, the traveling. You don’t realize what it’s going to be like constantly being on the go – packing and unpacking and checking into the different hotels. We don’t have any breaks so we can always moving and exploring the cities during the day and performing at night. It is great; but so much more involved than I thought. I didn’t realize the entirety of touring before I did it.

Q: How do you relax when on tour?

KK: A lot of times we will just go out and explore. A lot of the dancers get massages since we are constantly on our feet. The temperature is going up to the high 70s today in Daytona, so many of us will head to the beach.

Q: What else do you do to chill out on the road?

KK: I really like music. I have made a lot of play lists on the road and get the chance to listen to full albums during our travel days. Music is one of my main relaxation outlets. I also really like photography, so I do a lot of photo blogging on Instagram. [Please follow him on Instagram @Kulpy].

Q: Being on the road – what do you miss the most?

KK: My family and friends. And little things – like having a kitchen and being able to cook. Being constantly on the move and being in hotels you don’t get to cook. But sometimes we share an apartment and we can cook.

Q: What is the initial dream versus the reality of your career?

KK: Five years ago the dream would be to tour and travel – exactly what I am doing now. You don’t really don’t know what tour life is like until you do it. Going places on a bus. Living out of a suitcase and performing eight shows a week. It is not a normal life. We perform throughout Christmas and the New Year’s season. We don’t get weekends or holidays off. So I am living the dream – but the reality is that it is also a job and hard work, albeit work that I truly love.

Q: Were you familiar with “Beauty and the Beast” before this tour?

KK: My childhood friend played Chip on Broadway when he was younger and we went to see it together after he retired. So, I have a long history with the show. And we have the same creative team that mounted the show in the ‘90s. so it was really great to be working with the same artistic team that presented it then.

Q: I hear you become good friends with those on tour. Are you pals with your roommate?

KK: Yes. I have an amazing roommate and he is one of my closest friends now. I know that we will remain friends after the tour. We will be sharing an apartment in downtown Toronto when we get there and can escape the hotel living and cook some nice meals. I look forward to that.

Q: Do you have any advice to young people who want to follow in your footsteps in pursing musical theater, theater or an entertainment career?

KK: Yes. I would advise someone to really think if this is what your passion is and if you want to make this your career, because you may get 100 rejections before you get a part or an offer. Even after all that you can never get disappointed in yourself, you can’t let the last rejection affect the rest of your day. If this is what you love to do, you need to put yourself out there and something is bound to come out of the auditions and stick. I would also say, audition, audition, audition!

Tickets for Beauty and the Beast and other Philadelphia Broadway series shows may be purchased by calling (215) 893-1999, visiting www.kimmelcenter.org, or at the Kimmel Center Box Office. For group of 10 or more call (215) 790-5883.

For more tour information, visit www.beautyandthebeastontour.com.

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Earth, Wind & Fire Founder Maurice White Dead At Age 74

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(PCM) It is with great sadness that we have learned Earth, Wind & Fire founder and leader Maurice White has passed away at the age of 74.  White is best known for co-writing some of the groups biggest hits such as “Shining Star”, “September” and “Sing A Song”. The news of his passing was confirmed in a Facebook posting from his brother Verdine White.

Verdine wrote: “My brother, hero and best friend Maurice White passed away peacefully last night in his sleep. While the world has lost another great musician and legend, our family asks that our privacy is respected as we start what will be a very difficult and life changing transition in our lives. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes.”

Maurice White founded Earth, Wind & Fire in 1969 and the band’s soulful and upbeat tunes ruled the airwaves throughout the 70’s and 80’s. Their music was passed down from generation to generation, as it was easily relatable and spoke to an individuals soul.  The music of Earth, Wind & Fire is a mosaic of genre with elements of funk, rock, jazz and blues.  The musical landscape has no doubt suffered yet another irreplaceable loss.

In countless interviews White claimed that the band’s main objective was to create uplifting music and spread the message of positivity and they without a doubt succeeded. Our sincere condolences go out to Maurice White’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult time.

This post came fromEarth, Wind & Fire Founder Maurice White Dead At Age 74 - unSkinny Pop

Lady Gaga Will Honor David Bowie At The Upcoming 58th Annual Grammy Awards

Lady-Gaga

(PCM) The Recording Academy® will honor GRAMMY® winner and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient David Bowie with an experiential tribute performed by one of his biggest fans, six-time GRAMMY winner and current nominee Lady Gaga, at the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards®. Affording audiences a chance to experience Bowie’s music once again, the tribute will be a multisensory testament to the icon’s incredible artistry and a reflection of his limitless creativity.

The musical director for Lady Gaga’s tribute is three-time GRAMMY winner Nile Rodgers, whose own history with Bowie dates back more than 30 years to “Let’s Dance,” the chart-topping 1983 hit that marked the beginning of a lifelong friendship between the two.

Lady Gaga joins previously announced performers including Adele, James Bay, Andra Day, Ellie Goulding, Sam Hunt, Tori Kelly, Kendrick Lamar, Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood, and The Weeknd. Entertainment icon and two-time GRAMMY winner LL COOL J is set to host Music’s Biggest Night® for the fifth consecutive year. Taking place at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be broadcast live in HDTV and 5.1 surround sound on the CBS Television Network, Monday, Feb. 15, 2016, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Additional performers will be announced shortly.

The tribute will mark Lady Gaga’s fourth appearance on the GRAMMY Awards telecast. She is nominated for Best Song Written For Visual Media for “Til It Happens To You” with Diane Warren.

“We had already booked Lady Gaga on this year’s show, but when David passed — almost in a single moment — we knew we had to change direction,” said executive producer of the GRAMMY Awards Ken Ehrlich. “We immediately spoke and agreed that she should be the one to honor David. She’s perfect for it. So I reached out to Nile and, before long, we were on our way to creating what we believe will not only make a great GRAMMY Moment, but one befitting of David.” 

For the latest news and content, follow the GRAMMY conversation on social:

Facebook: Facebook.com/theGRAMMYs

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This post came fromLady Gaga Will Honor David Bowie At The Upcoming 58th Annual Grammy Awards - unSkinny Pop

Jewel Hits The Road This Spring For An Intimate Tour

Jewel

(PCM) Grammy-nominated songwriter and New York Times’ bestselling author and poet JEWEL will return to the road this Spring for an intimate tour, performing hits spanning her 12-studio albums including 2015’s ‘Picking Up the Pieces’ and sharing stories from her memoir Never Broken — Songs Are Only Half the Story.  Jewel’s “Picking Up the Pieces Tour” kicks off Friday, March 4 in Lake Charles, LA at Golden Nugget Casino Grand Ballroom.

“It’s going to be really fun to get back out on the road,” Jewel said.  “I’m excited to share the stories behind some of my favorite and most personal songs in such an intimate setting.”

The tour marks Jewel’s first since 2013’s “Greatest Hits” tour and is the culmination of an exciting 2015 that saw the singer release her first memoir and her 12th studio album ‘Picking Up the Pieces’ within days of each other.  Praised as “remarkably raw” and “bracingly honest (Entertainment Weekly)” the album has been noted as a bookend to her multiplatinum selling debut, 1995’s ‘Pieces of You’.  “Never Broken — Songs Are Only Half the Story” shares experiences spanning Jewel’s childhood and career and earned the designations of a NY Times Bestseller and “the perfect celebrity memoir” by TIME.

Called “one of the most richly idiomatic pop singers of her generation (Rolling Stone),” Jewel has sold over 27million albums to date and earned praise from fellow songwriters including Loretta Lynn and Neil Young. A cornerstone of the current American and folk movements, the singer will perform fan favorites spanning the record including “Who Will Save Your Soul”, which sold 12million copies.

Full “Picking Up the Pieces Tour” dates included below, for additional information visit: http://www.jeweljk.com/

Mar 4 Lake Charles, LA Golden Nugget Casino
Mar 5 Biloxi, MS IP Casino Resort and Spa
Mar 6 Jacksonville, FL Florida Theatre
Mar 10 Fort Lauderdale, FL Parker Playhouse
Mar 11 Fort Pierce, FL Sunrise Theatre
Mar 12 Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live
Mar 13 Clearwater, FL Capitol Theatre
Mar 17 Greensboro, NC Carolina Theatre
Mar 18 Wilmington, NC CFCC’s Humanities and Fine Arts Center
Mar 19 Durham, NC Carolina Theatre
Apr 7 Washington, DC Lincoln Theatre
Apr 8 Albany, NY The Egg Center For the Performing Arts
Apr 9 Harrisburg, PA The Forum Theatre
Apr 14 Ridgefield, CT Ridgefield Playhouse
Apr 15 Bethlehem, PA The Sands Casino Resort
Apr 16 Atlantic City, NJ Event Center at the Borgata
Apr 17 Boston, MA Wilbur Theatre
Apr 28 Munhall, PA Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead
Apr 29 Wilmington, DE The Playhouse on Rodney Square
Apr 30 Morristown, NJ Mayo Performing Arts Center
May 13 Saratoga, CA The Mountain Winery
May 14 Grass Valley, CA Veterans Memorial Auditorium
May 15 Modesto, CA Gallo Center For The Arts
May 19 Riverside, CA Fox Performing Arts Center
May 20 Northridge, CA Valley Performing Arts Center
May 21 San Diego, CA Humphrey’s
May 25 Missoula, MT Wilma Theatre
May 26 Boise, ID Egyptian Theatre
May 27 Sun Valley, Idaho Sun Valley Pavilion

This post came fromJewel Hits The Road This Spring For An Intimate Tour - unSkinny Pop

Fans Have Launched An Official Petition For Snoop Dogg To Narrate “Planet Earth” Documentaries

Snoop-Dogg

(PCM) It is not surprising that after the hilarious clip of Snoop Dogg narrating a brief nature video titled “Plizzanet Earth” as part of a Jimmy Kimmel sketch surfaced online that fans would immediately be clamoring for more! In fact, they have even started a petition which has already reached over 37,000 signatures, that urges creators to allow Snoop Dogg to narrate the next season of the BBC series “Planet Earth”.

Good news is that Snoop, himself, is on-board as he took time to tweet his support for the petition saying ” “who made this ?? lets get this s–t going. who want more #PlizzanetEarth ?!”

We can only hope that the BBC will listen!  Seriously, it will be absolutely hilarious!

 

The post Fans Have Launched An Official Petition For Snoop Dogg To Narrate “Planet Earth” Documentaries appeared first on The World Of Pop Culture.

Veteran Actor Abe Vigoda Dead At Age 94

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(PCM) We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of veteran actor Abe Vigoda at the age of 94. Abe Vigoda who played over the hill Detective Phil Fish on the sitcom “ Barney Miller” and Mafia lieutenant Sal Tessio in The Godfather movie, died Tuesday morning at his daughter Carol’s residence in New Jersey.

The success of the “Godfather” movies in the 70’s eventually led Vigoda to the sitcom “Barney Miller”. The series ran from 1972-84. Vigoda was on the show until 1977. He was nominated for three Emmy’s for his performance as Detective Fisk on the show who was always complaining about his aches and pains.

Vigoda was born in 1921. He grew up on New York’s Lower East Side. He was the son of a tailor who studied acting at the American Theatre Wing and played characters parts for much of his early career. Vigoda established himself as a successful theater actor in the 1960’s. Francis Ford Coppola, the director of “The Godfather” took a liking to Vigoda on the stage and cast him in his movie. The rest in cinema history.

Vigoda was sort of an internet sensation when it was reported by People Magazine in 2008 that he had passed away. But he lived on for many more years and made fun of the magazines mistake.
Vigoda would go onto act in many more movies after his success with “The Godfather” including:  “Cannonball Run”, (1984) with Burt Reynolds. “Look Who’s Talking” (1989) with John Travolta and Kristie Alley, “Joe Versus the Volcano” (1990) with Tom Hanks. And 1997 film “Good Burger”.

Vigoda was married to his wife Beatrice for 24 years until her death in 1992. They had one daughter, Carol. Our sincere condolence go out to Abe Vigoda’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult time.

The post Veteran Actor Abe Vigoda Dead At Age 94 first appeared on Movie News & Reviews.

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