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POP MUSIC: Shoshana Bean’s Night At The Apollo Was A Religious Experience And I Have Been Saved

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That kid with the beanstalk thought his beans were magical?. Clearly he never experienced the most magical bean there is. Shoshana Bean!

The high octave and high octane singer blew the roof off of the legendary Apollo Theater Monday night, and I was lucky enough to be there when it happened. I have to admit that after watching Bean put on such an amazing show, I have been changed…for good.

We were first introduced to the multifaceted artist back in 2000 when she was cast in the Off-Broadway revival of Godspell. From there she became one of the “nicest kids in town” on Broadway originating the role of Shelley in Hairspray. Fans watched Bean soar even higher as she became the first replacement to Idina Menzel as Elphaba in Wicked. More recently, Bean has been putting out new music with her latest album Spectrum going big…big band that is. Spectrum has been praised by both critics and fans alike for it’s spectacular songs and retro vibe. We talked more about the album back in March in an interview you can read here.

The concert began with a 16-piece orchestra slowly building towards Bean’s entrance as she then glided out as a vision in white singing “Remember The Day.” The song choice was fitting as the singer was now back at her old stomping grounds of northern Manhattan. Bean’s look matched her sound as she dazzled in a white, asymmetrical gown with a thigh high slit that prompted many a “Yaaaaas leg!” from boisterous fans. Seeing as Bean has claimed her stake on YouTube by giving soulful renditions of popular songs, it was amazing to witness her take on Rihanna’s “Stay.”

 

About halfway through the evening, Bean told the audience that there was simply not enough time to sing every song that fans wanted to hear, so she took a few song requests from the loudest fans. The first and loudest request was for “Bless The Lord” from Godspell. I swear it was one oversized hat and a “hallelujah” away from being Sunday mass. The entire Apollo Theater jumped to it’s feet and reveled as Bean sang a cappella.

Other highlights from the concert included a costume change into a sparkly, black number, a James Brown tribute and two special guests. So special in fact that I have to highlight them separately. Cynthia Erivo, another one of Broadway’s belting baddies, stopped by to duet with Bean on the cover that became an instant viral hit, Tayor Swift’s “I Did Something Bad.”

 

The next special guest was the Grammy-nominated, jazz singer Ledisi, who went belt for belt with Bean as they covered Aretha’s Franklin’s “I Never Loved A Man The Way I Loved You.”

 

Bean ended the night (pre-encore) with my personal favorite from the album, “Make It Rain.” The beautiful ballad poured from Bean’s heart and flowed perfectly alongside the orchestra. There was so much heart and soul in this performance that you could not help but shiver at the chill that ran up your spine. After the umpteenth standing ovation the starlet gave an encore performance of “If Ever I Would Leave You.” All that was left to do was to pick our jaws off the ground, and leave to go home to ice our hands from the rigorous applauding.

 

The volume of the cheers and the amount of uncontrollable outbursts from the audience proved that I was not the only one having a religious experience in that theater. Shoshana Bean is a talent that doesn’t come around too often, so if you’re in need of a little magic on your playlist, look no further! You can download Spectrum on iTunes and get more information on all things Shoshana Bean here.

 

Broadway

B’WAY BUZZ: Ryan Murphy Announces Netflix Film Adaptation Of ‘The Prom’

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At a charity performance on Tuesday, Ryan Murphy took to the stage to announce his plans to adapt the Broadway musical for Netflix. Theater lovers everywhere were like:

Back in November a new musical hit Broadway and before you knew it everyone wanted to be back in high school. The Prom follows an Indiana teen who simply wants to bring her girlfriend to her high school prom. Once the PTA catches wind of the news, the openly gay teen is banned from going to dance altogether. A gaggle of Broadway performers with questionable intentions decide to head to Indiana to help the teen get to the prom of her dreams. The musical made history when the cast performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and featured the parade’s first same-sex kiss ever. The shows jam packed with talent as it is directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw and features such stars as Beth Leavel, Brooks Ashmanskas, Christopher Sieber, Caitlin Kinnunen, Angie Schworer, Josh Lamon, Michael Potts and Isabelle McCalla.

On Tuesday, there was a benefit performance at the Longacre Theatre which helped raise money for the Hetrick-Martin Institute, GLAAD and the Trevor Project. Ryan Murphy hosted the special performance and it was there where he made the big announcement. Murphy obtained the rights to turn The Prom into a Netflix film! It’s no surprise that Murphy has chosen to take on this project as he is a huge advocate for LBGT+ community having created such inclusive projects such as PoseThe Normal Heart, and Glee. The audience – filled with celebs such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Glenn Close, Jane Krakowski, Ben Platt, Gus Kenworthy, Sandra Bernhard, Laura Dreyfuss, Janet Mock, Matthew Morrison, Bernadette Peters, Billy Porter, Andrew Rannells, MJ Rodriguez, and Christian Siriano – went wild when they heard the news. Murphy told the overjoyed crowd:

“I know, it’s exciting. I’m really tired of hearing about bad news and Trump. I want to see entertainment that is optimistic and uplifting. I was absolutely blown away by Casey’s work and the incredible cast. I cried at the end from pure joy, which has not happened to me since Patti LuPone was the flower girl at my wedding. I wish this show was around when I was a kid.”

It remains to be seen if any of the Broadway cast will appear in the film but what has been confirmed is the expected release date; September 2020. It’s no coincidence that the release date falls right around the 2020 election as Murphy closed his speech by saying “We want to change hearts, minds and votes.”

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B’WAY BUZZ: Ben Platt’s Diverse Music Video For ‘Temporary Love’ Will Bring You To Tears

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The tears streaming down my face certainly don’t feel temporary! Broadway and film star, Ben Platt, just released a music video for his latest single, “Temporary Love,” and it is the true definition of #feelgoodFriday. Not only is the song a beautiful one, the video has caused several coworkers of mine to ask if I’m alright because I have been staring at my computer teary eyed for what it is certainly too long for any workplace.

“Temporary Love” is the fourth single from the Dear Evan Hansen star’s debut album, Sing To Me Instead. The music video, directed by Nick Lieberman, features various, romantic couples of all ages, races and orientations. The powerful imagery and the song’s message combined with Platt’s velvety smooth voice is enough to tug at anyone’s heart strings.

Sing To Me Instead will be released on March 29th and will feature previous singles “Grow As We Go,” “Bad Habit” and “Ease My Mind.” Click below to watch the beautiful music video!

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B’WAY BUZZ: Jeremy Jordan And Laura Osnes Team Up In “The Next Ten Minutes Ago” To Create A Mashup That Will Restore Your Faith In Love

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Who could have thought pairing one of Broadway’s hottest heartthrob’s with a literal Princess would create the romantic mashup to end all romantic mashups? I could. It’s really kind of obvious, you guys.

The web series R&H Goes Pop! releases music videos featuring contemporary twists on classic Rodgers & Hammerstein songs. For this installment, Broadway stars Jeremy Jordan and Laura Osnes combined their beautiful talents to perform a mashup of “Ten Minutes Ago” from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella and “The Next Ten Minutes” from Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years. Jeremy starred in the film version of the Jason Robert Brown favorite and Laura Osnes was Cinder-freaking-ella on Broadway!

The mashup is beautiful and I suggest you warn your cubicle neighbor…they may hear sniffle halfway through. Click below to hear two of Broadway’s finest!

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