So happy to report that one of my favorite shows, So You Think You Can Dance, has returned for Season 14 better than ever.
Last year they changed formats by allowing very young dancers to compete. While I support the arts and endeavors of younger dancers, this was a successful approach. Honestly, I stopped watching the show entirely.
This year, I reluctantly started watching again. Much to my surprise, they seemed to have breathed new life into the series. The talent is incredible and they have given the All-Stars a more prominent role.
Now, when the aspiring dancers audition, they do so in front of their peers. The energy is different, and it seems the performers are bringing their very best to impress the professionals.
An exampe of this fresh take can be seen in this opener for the “Academy”, replacing the Las Vegas concept, with an academy location.
Take a look below at the exciting outdoor dance.
Bravo SYTYCD! You’re back!!!
Baby Driver, a new film by Edgar Wright, is one of the best films of the year. It tells the story of Baby (Ansel Elgort) who is the getaway driver from bank robbers. It’s also a love story.
The twist on this story is the character’s use of music, which he uses to score the soundtrack of his life. I’ve never seen such creative use of music and sound in a film before. It almost crosses the bridge into being a musical. The songs are integrated into the film, filming choregraphed, and even the dialogue has a specifc cadence.
Also starring Lily James, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, and John Hamm.
There is so much thought and care that goes into this suprising, action-packed, and moving film.
Lorde is a singer/songwriter from New Zealand. She made a big splash with her album Pure Heroine and breakout song “Royals” in 2o13. She is one of the youngest artists to have a number 1 song in the US at age of 16.
She is 20 now and has released a few songs off hew upcoming album, Melodrama.
Her performances on Saturday Night Live recently caught my attention. There is something quite unique and connected about her performances. And she is 20!
Some artists come along and are clearly meant to do what they do.
Take a look and listen.
Missing Richard Simmons is a podcast about the sudden disappearance of Richard Simmons. Richard being the health and fitness guru/energizer bunny.
Back in February of 2014 he suddenly stopped leading his exercise classes and communicating with any friends, at all. With no explanation whatsoever. He totally and completely removed himself from public life.
Three years in, his friend/acquaintance Dan Taberski, decided to investigate and find out what happened. The podcast has only six episodes, (4 have been released at the time of writing this blog). And is totally and completely compelling.
It feels similar in ways to the SERIAL podcasts.
Several times listening I kept thinking, truth is stranger than fiction. This story is a mix of celebrity, sadness, mystery, nostalgia, intrigue, humor, compassion, and surprise.
I had been reluctant at first, but now I am all in.
There is an incredible story here.
LOS ANGELES – 1992: Actor Richard Simmons poses for a portrait in 1992 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images)
It’s easy to say I am obsessed with this new song. Listened to it about 25 times and shared with most of my friends. It’s an amazing song, message, and collaboration.
What most of us want. Somebody to kiss.
Full disclosure, Susan Blackwell is a friend of mine.
So what, would you say, came before James Cordon’s Carpool Karaoke? Side by Side by Susan Blackwell, perhaps?
The premise is straightforward: Susan interviews Broadway Stars in comfortable, unique settings while engaging in a specific activity, different each episode.
But now, the successful series and features, produced by Broadway.com have racked up over 60 episodes.And Broadway stars such as Audra McDonald, Sutton Foster, Daniel Radcliffe, Kelli O’Hara, Jonathan Groff, Zachary Quinto, and more have taken part.
It is an example of a good host who helps showcase the artists in a great, natural, and flattering light. It feels like you are sitting around listening to friends talk.
And it’s funny.
Check it out, especially if you love theatre.
Here are a few highlight episodes: