Sunday, January 26, 2014

Returning to The Phantom....

The Phantom of the Opera is the longest running musical ever, and by a wide margin. For 26 years of continuous performances this story has touched the hearts of audiences on Broadway.


Far beneath the majesty and splendor of the Paris Opera House, hides the Phantom in a shadowy existence. Shamed by his physical appearance and feared by all, the love he holds for his beautiful protégée Christine is so strong that even her heart cannot resist.

Considering I have seen so many shows over the years it's surprising that the first time I saw Phantom of the Opera on Broadway was a few weeks ago. This is especially unusual because my husband's cousin Tim Jerome had been playing the role of Monsieur Firman during the time we lived in New York City several years ago. We kept planning to see Tim in the show but knew that Phantom of the Opera wasn't going anywhere so we had plenty of time. We thought we'd wait until the perfect night, like when family or friends came to town and we'd all go. 

However, we didn't think of the possibility that Tim could go somewhere....but he did, on to one of the leading roles in Tarzan, The Broadway Musical, (as Professor Porter). So, we missed our chance to see Tim in Phantom. Now, the odds of having a family member with a major role on Broadway are slim to none for most families. There he was only 15 blocks away night after night for two years and we never saw him in Phantom. In this I learned a lesson about putting things off. You can bet we saw Tim in Tarzan on Broadway (very early on)...and in 2008 when he was in a touring production as Alfred P. Doolittle in My Fair Lady, we were there. Now history has repeated itself and in 2012 he returned to his role as Monsieur Firmin in Phantom on Broadway. So we made sure to catch him in this role this time around, even though it involved a flight across the country, it was well worth it (and besides we had no one to blame but ourselves for that). The show was spectacular! Tim is a truly talented actor who has dedicated his life to the craft....and it shows. He was a fabulous part of this stellar cast.

About that Phantom.....

For those who do not yet know the story behind Phantom of the Opera we will start with young Christine, just a girl in the ensemble with a voice and a dream. A story told to her by her dying father that he will send her an angel of music seems to come true when a mysterious "phantom" from the shadows of the opera house visits her repeatedly while creating chaos around him. She wonders is he just a brilliant and lonely soul, or is he dangerous too? Enter Raoul....long before Facebook's help he finds his long lost crush Christine while watching a performance only to discover she seems to be under the spell of a strange, freakish being from the shadows of the opera house. He does his best to pull her away and into his arms. Does he succeed? 

Phantom has been performed in the past 26 years in several countries but the Broadway version is the original, where it all began. The direction of Harold (Hal) Prince, music of composer Andrew Lloyd Weber,  and the book and lyrics of Lerner, Stilgoe and Hart brought to life the story first told by Gastron Leroux (in a novel published in 1911 of a strange opera house phantom).
The new owners of the Paris Opera House....who have unwittingly purchased a theater with a resident ghost....

Tim Jerome (Monsieur Firman) & Laird Mackintosh (Monsieur Andre)...Photo by Joan Marcus for The Phantom of the Opera

When this show debuted on Broadway, Ronald Reagan was President of the United States, the internet was in its infancy, almost nobody had a cell phone and the word "tweet" was something only a bird did. So much has changed, but the Phantom of the Opera has remained a consistent hit Broadway show for over 10,000 performances on Broadway alone, (not to mention worldwide performances of this musical). That says it all about this story, and the actors, musicians and crew who have and continue to bring it to life!

"Returning to the cast of Phantom of the Opera portraying 
Monsieur Firmin is a truly rewarding, enriching experience." 
....Tim Jerome

Published in 1911, the original novel.

Phantom of the Opera fans are called Phans!

Full cast



Tim Jerome

The Phantom of the Opera Celebrates 25th Anniversary - YouTube

Remember the Las Vegas Phantom? Ran for six years at the Venetian...This was my farewell.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Why do they call it a GRAMMY Award?

Tomorrow The 56th Annual Grammy Awards air live on CBS. Originally called "The Gramaphone Awards" (hence the logo), the name was updated to "Grammy Awards" long ago.

For these awards the members of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences vote annually for 78 categories of winners.

I know a lot of people think there are too many awards shows these days. I am not one of them....because I am one of them....not in a big way of course, but before the nominees and winners accept, present and perform, one of my peers or myself has done it first at rehearsals. However, The Grammy Awards are one of the shows I have not yet worked, but my rehearsal actor/stand in peers in L.A. must be having a great time rehearsing with this year's line up. 

At the very least awards shows keep us all up to date on who are the top artists...well, at least the top famous ones because as we all know there is a lot of unrecognized talent in the entertainment business. Also, as far as awards shows go The Grammy Awards are here to stay because they matter in the entertainment business...a lot! They are equal to the music biz what the Oscars are to acting and film. 

As far as "recognized" talent goes, no doubt the biggest draw will be performances by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Both are performing live on The Grammy Awards (but not necessarily together) and are being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for The Beatles.  This year The Beatles celebrate FIFTY YEARS since their American debut! Although many Americans cannot name the Presidents of the United States, (at least the ones before Kennedy), I bet a majority can easily rattle off the four members of The Beatles...John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. McCartney and Ringo Starr
Below is a list of all of the nominees for the 2014 Grammy Awards. If you read further down you will see Grammy Awards that are not presented during the prime time telecast, ones like "Best Choral Performance", "Best Orchestral Performance" and "Best Album Notes"....(seriously, that is a Grammy Award category).

I have to admit I don't know of some of the artists on this list...better watch the show tomorrow so I am up to speed on Queens of the Stone Age, James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, and more.

If you scroll all the way to the bottom of nominees you'll find a video clip of my favorite Grammy performance ever! Pink performing an aerial act while singing live, "Glitter in the Air".  One thing I have noticed about this performance though is nobody commented later on the fact that other than a few strips of fabric she is naked. Speaking of practically naked performers, I predict the album by Miley Cyrus, Bangerz, will be a major nominee at the 2015 awards. (It was released too late for nominations this year).  I understand that Miley has made a lot of parents unhappy but this "wild child" has created a brilliant and high energy compilation of work here. I know she changed my mind about her. Bangerz is not for kids, no it is definitely not, but if you haven't noticed Miley is no longer a kid either. She either moves on to music with an adult audience now or it will be "never"....and so she has, well done. (Now keep it together girl!)

The 56th Annual Grammy Awards Nominees: 
Album Of The Year:
"The Blessed Unrest" — Sara Bareilles
"Random Access Memories" — Daft Punk
"Good Kid, M.A.A.D City" — Kendrick Lamar
"The Heist" — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
"Red" — Taylor Swift
Record Of The Year:
"Get Lucky" — Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams
"Radioactive" — Imagine Dragons
"Royals" — Lorde
"Locked Out Of Heaven" — Bruno Mars
"Blurred Lines" — Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams
Song Of The Year:
"Just Give Me A Reason" — Jeff Bhasker, Pink & Nate Ruess, songwriters (Pink Featuring Nate Ruess)
"Locked Out Of Heaven" — Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine & Bruno Mars, songwriters (Bruno Mars)
"Roar" — Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee, Katy Perry & Henry Walter, songwriters (Katy Perry)
"Royals" — Joel Little & Ella Yelich O'Connor, songwriters (Lorde)
"Same Love" — Ben Haggerty, Mary Lambert & Ryan Lewis, songwriters (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Mary Lambert)
Best New Artist:
James Blake
Kendrick Lamar
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Kacey Musgraves
Ed Sheeran 
Best Pop Solo Performance:
"Brave" — Sara Bareilles
"Royals" — Lorde
"When I Was Your Man" — Bruno Mars
"Roar" — Katy Perry
"Mirrors" — Justin Timberlake
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:
"Get Lucky" — Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams
"Just Give Me A Reason" — Pink Featuring Nate Ruess
"Stay" — Rihanna Featuring Mikky Ekko
"Blurred Lines" — Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams
"Suit & Tie" — Justin Timberlake & Jay Z  
Best Pop Vocal Album:
"Paradise" -- Lana Del Rey
"Pure Heroine" -- Lorde
"Unorthodox Jukebox" -- Bruno Mars
"Blurred Lines" -- Robin Thicke
"The 20/20 Experience - The Complete Experience" -- Justin Timberlake
Best Pop Instrumental Album:
"Steppin' Out" -- Herb Alpert
"The Beat" -- Boney James
"Handpicked" -- Earl Klugh
"Summer Horns" -- Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair & Richard Elliot
"Hacienda" -- Jeff Lorber Fusion
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
"Viva Duets" -- Tony Bennett & Various Artists
"To Be Loved" -- Michael Bublé
"The Standards" -- Gloria Estefan
"Cee Lo's Magic Moment" -- Cee Lo Green
"Now" -- Dionne Warwick
Best Dance/Electronica Album:
Random Access Memories — Daft Punk
Settle — Disclosure
18 Months — Calvin Harris
Atmosphere — Kaskade
A Color Map Of The Sun — Pretty Lights
Best Dance Recording
"Need U (100%)" -- Duke Dumont Featuring A*M*E & MNEK
"Sweet Nothing" -- Calvin Harris Featuring Florence Welch
"Atmosphere" -- Kaskade
"This Is What It Feels Like" -- Armin Van Buuren Featuring Trevor Guthrie
"Clarity" -- Zedd Featuring Foxes
Best Rock Performance:
"Always Alright" — Alabama Shakes
"The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" — David Bowie
"Radioactive" — Imagine Dragons
"Kashmir" (Live) — Led Zeppelin
"My God Is The Sun" — Queens Of The Stone Age
"I'm Shakin'" — Jack White
Best Rock Album:
"13" — Black Sabbath
"The Next Day" — David Bowie
"Mechanical Bull" — Kings Of Leon
"Celebration Day" — Led Zeppelin
"…Like Clockwork" — Queens Of The Stone Age
"Psychedelic Pill" — Neil Young With Crazy Horse
Best Metal Performance
"T.N.T." -- Anthrax
"God Is Dead?" -- Black Sabbath
"The Enemy Inside" -- Dream Theater
"In Due Time" -- Killswitch Engage
"Room 24" -- Volbeat Featuring King Diamond
Best Rock Song
"Ain't Messin 'Round" -- Gary Clark Jr., songwriter (Gary Clark Jr.)
"Cut Me Some Slack" -- Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Krist Novoselic & Pat Smear, songwriters (Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Pat Smear)
"Doom And Gloom" -- Mick Jagger & Keith Richards, songwriters (The Rolling Stones)
"God Is Dead?" -- Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi & Ozzy Osbourne, songwriters (Black Sabbath)
"Panic Station" -- Matthew Bellamy, songwriter (Muse)
Best Alternative Music Album
"The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You" -- Neko Case
"Trouble Will Find Me" -- The National
"Hesitation Marks" -- Nine Inch Nails
"Lonerism" -- Tame Impala
"Modern Vampires Of The City" -- Vampire Weekend
Best R&B Performance:
"Love And War" — Tamar Braxton
"Best Of Me" — Anthony Hamilton
"Nakamarra" — Hiatus Kaiyote Featuring Q-Tip
"How Many Drinks?" — Miguel Featuring Kendrick Lamar
"Something" — Snarky Puppy With Lalah Hathaway 
Best Urban Contemporary Album:
"Love And War" — Tamar Braxton
"Side Effects Of You" — Fantasia
"One: In The Chamber" — Salaam Remi
"Unapologetic" — Rihanna
"New York: A Love Story" — Mack Wilds 
Best R&B Album:
R&B Divas — Faith Evans
Girl On Fire — Alicia Keys
Love In The Future — John Legend
Better — Chrisette MicheleThree Kings — TGT
Best Traditional R&B Performance
"Please Come Home -- Gary Clark Jr.
"Get It Right" -- Fantasia
"Quiet Fire" -- Maysa
"Hey Laura" -- Gregory Porter
"Yesterday" -- Ryan Shaw
Best R&B Song (A Songwriters Award)
"Best Of Me" -- Anthony Hamilton & Jairus Mozee, songwriters (Anthony Hamilton)
"Love And War" -- Tamar Braxton, Darhyl Camper, Jr., LaShawn Daniels & Makeba Riddick, songwriters (Tamar Braxton)
"Only One" -- PJ Morton, songwriter (PJ Morton Featuring Stevie Wonder)
"Pusher Love Girl" -- James Fauntleroy, Jerome Harmon, Timothy Mosley & Justin Timberlake, songwriters (Justin Timberlake)
"Without Me" --  Fantasia Barrino, Missy Elliott, Al Sherrod Lambert, Harmony Samuels & Kyle Stewart, songwriters (Fantasia Featuring Kelly Rowland & Missy Elliot)
Best Rap Performance:
"Started From The Bottom" — Drake
"Berzerk" — Eminem
"Tom Ford" —  Jay Z
"Swimming Pools (Drank)" — Kendrick Lamar
"Thrift Shop" — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Wanz
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration:
"Power Trip" — J.Cole Featuring Miguel
"Part II (On The Run)" — Jay Z Featuring Beyoncé
"Holy Grail" — Jay Z Featuring Justin Timberlake  
"Now Or Never" — Kendrick Lamar Featuring Mary J. Blige
"Remember You" — Wiz Khalifa Featuring The Weeknd 
Best Rap Album:
Nothing Was The Same — Drake
Magna Carta…Holy Grail — Jay Z
Good Kid, M.A.A.D City — Kendrick Lamar
The Heist — Macklemore  & Ryan Lewis
Yeezus — Kanye West
Best Rap Song
"F***in' Problems" -- Tauheed Epps, Aubrey Graham, Kendrick Lamar, Rakim Mayers & Noah Shebib, songwriters (ASAP Rocky Featuring Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar)
"Holy Grail" -- Shawn Carter, Terius Nash, J. Harmon, Timothy Mosley, Justin Timberlake & Ernest Wilson, songwriters (Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl & Krist Novoselic, songwriters) (Jay Z Featuring Justin Timberlake)
"New Slaves" -- Christopher Breaux, Ben Bronfman, Mike Dean, Louis Johnson, Malik Jones, Elon Rutberg, Sakiya Sandifer, Che Smith, Kanye West & Cydell Young, songwriters (Anna Adamis & Gabor Presser, songwriters) (Kanye West)
"Started From The Bottom" -- W. Coleman, Aubrey Graham & Noah Shebib, songwriters (Bruno Sanfilippo, songwriter) (Drake)
"Thrift Shop" -- Ben Haggerty & Ryan Lewis, songwriters (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Wanz)
Best Country Solo Performance:
"I Drive Your Truck" — Lee Brice
"I Want Crazy" — Hunter Hayes
"Mama's Broken Heart" — Miranda Lambert
"Wagon Wheel" — Darius Rucker
"Mine Would Be You" — Blake Shelton 
Best Country Album:
Night Train — Jason Aldean
Two Lanes Of Freedom — Tim McGraw
Same Trailer Different Park — Kacey Musgraves
Based On A True Story — Blake Shelton
Red — Taylor Swift
Best Country Duo/Group Performance
"From This Valley" -- The Civil Wars
"Don't Rush" -- Kelly Clarkson Featuring Vince Gill
"Your Side Of The Bed" -- Little Big Town
"Highway Don't Care" -- Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift & Keith Urban
"You Can't Make Old Friends" -- Kenny Rogers With Dolly Parton
Best Country Song (A Songwriters Award)
"Begin Again" -- Taylor Swift, songwriter (Taylor Swift)
"I Drive Your Truck" -- Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington & Jimmy Yeary, songwriters (Lee Brice)
"Mama's Broken Heart" -- Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally & Kacey Musgraves, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)
"Merry Go 'Round" -- Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves & Josh Osborne, songwriters (Kacey Musgraves)
"Mine Would Be You" -- Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington & Deric Ruttan, songwriters (Blake Shelton)
Best New Age Album
"Lux" -- Brian Eno
"Illumination" -- Peter Kater
"Final Call" -- Kitaro
"Awakening The Fire" -- R. Carlos Nakai & Will Clipman
"Love's River" -- Laura Sullivan
Best Jazz Instrumental Album:
Guided Tour — The New Gary Burton Quartet
Money Jungle: Provocative In Blue — Terri Lyne Carrington
Life Forum — Gerald Clayton
Pushing The World Away — Kenny Garrett
Out Here — Christian McBride Trio
Best Improvised Jazz Solo
"Don't Run" -- Terence Blanchard, soloist
"Song For Maura" -- Paquito D'Rivera, soloist
"Song Without Words #4: Duet" -- Fred Hersch, soloist
"Stadium Jazz" -- Donny McCaslin, soloist
"Orbits" -- Wayne Shorter, soloist
Best Jazz Vocal Album
"The World According To Andy Bey" -- Andy Bey
"Attachments" -- Lorraine Feather
"Liquid Spirit" -- Gregory Porter
"WomanChild" -- Cécile McLorin Salvant
"After Blue" -- Tierney Sutton
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
"Brooklyn Babylon" -- Darcy James Argue's Secret Society
"Night In Calisia" -- Randy Brecker, Włodek Pawlik Trio & Kalisz Philharmonic
"Wild Beauty" -- Brussels Jazz Orchestra Featuring Joe Lovano
"March Sublime" -- Alan Ferber
"Intrada" -- Dave Slonaker Big Band
Best Latin Jazz Album
"La Noche Más Larga" -- Buika
"Song For Maura" -- Paquito D'Rivera And Trio Corrente
"Yo" -- Roberto Fonseca
"Eggūn" -- Omar Sosa
"Latin Jazz-Jazz Latin" -- Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet
Best Gospel Album:
Grace (Live) — Tasha Cobbs
Best For Last: 20 Year Celebration Vol. 1 — Donald Lawrence
Best Days Yet — Bishop Paul S. Morton
God Chaser (Live) — William Murphy
Greater Than (Live) — Tye Tribbett
Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance
"Break Every Chain [Live]" --Tasha Cobbs
"Hurricane" -- Natalie Grant
"Lord, I Need You" -- Matt Maher
"Overcomer" -- Mandisa
"If He Did It Before... Same God [Live]" -- Tye Tribbett
Best Gospel Song
"Have Your Way" -- Calvin Frazier & Deitrick Haddon, songwriters (Deitrick Haddon)
"If He Did It Before... Same God [Live]" -- Tye Tribbett, songwriter (Tye Tribbett)
"If I Believe" -- Wirlie Morris, Michael Paran, Charlie Wilson & Mahin Wilson, songwriters (Charlie Wilson)
"A Little More Jesus" -- Erica Campbell, Tina Campbell & Warryn Campbell, songwriters (Erica Campbell)
"Still" -- Percy Bady, songwriter (Percy Bady Featuring Lowell Pye)
Best Contemporary Christian Music Song
"Hurricane" -- Matt Bronleewe, Natalie Grant & Cindy Morgan, songwriters (Natalie Grant)
"Love Take Me Over" -- Steven Curtis Chapman, songwriter (Steven Curtis Chapman)
"Overcomer" -- David Garcia, Ben Glover & Christopher Stevens, songwriters (Mandisa)
"Speak Life" -- Toby McKeehan, Jamie Moore & Ryan Stevenson, songwriters (Tobymac)
"Whom Shall I Fear (God Of Angel Armies)" -- Ed Cash, Scott Cash & Chris Tomlin, songwriters (Chris Tomlin)
Best Contemporary Christian Music Album
"We Won't Be Shaken" -- Building 429
"All The People Said Amen [Live]" -- Matt Maher
"Overcomer" -- Mandisa
"Your Grace Finds Me (Live)" -- Matt Redman
"Burning Lights" Chris Tomlin
Best Latin Pop Album
"Faith, Hope Y Amor" -- Frankie J
"Viajero Frecuente" -- Ricardo Montaner
"Vida" -- Draco Rosa
"Syntek" -- Aleks Syntek
"12 Historias" -- Tommy Torres
Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album
"El Objeto Antes Llamado Disco" -- Café Tacvba
"Ojo Por Ojo" -- El Tri
"Chances" -- Illya Kuryaki And The Valderramas
"Treinta Días" -- La Santa Cecilia
"Repeat After Me" -- Los Amigos Invisibles
Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano)
"El Free" -- Banda Los Recoditos
"En Peligro De Extinción" -- Intocable
"A Mi Manera" -- Mariachi Divas De Cindy Shea
"Romeo Y Su Nieta" -- Paquita La Del Barrio
"13 Celebrando El 13" -- Joan Sebastian
Best Tropical Latin Album:
3.0 — Marc Anthony
Como Te Voy A Olvidar — Los Angeles Azules
Pacific Mambo Orchestra — Pacific Mambo Orchestra
Sergio George Presents Salsa Giants — Various Artists
Corazón Profundo — Carlos Vives 
Best Americana Album:
Old Yellow Moon — Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell"
Love Has Come For You — Steve Martin & Edie Brickell
Buddy And Jim — Buddy Miller And Jim Lauderdale
One True Vine — Mavis Staples
Songbook — Allen Toussaint
Best Bluegrass Album
"It's Just A Road" -- The Boxcars
"Brothers Of The Highway" -- Dailey & Vincent
"This World Oft Can Be" -- Della Mae
"Three Chords And The Truth" -- James King
"The Streets Of Baltimore" -- Del McCoury Band
Best Blues Album
"Remembering Little Walter" -- Billy Boy Arnold, Charlie Musselwhite, Mark Hummel, Sugar Ray Norcia & James Harman
"Cotton Mouth Man" -- James Cotton
"Get Up!" -- Ben Harper With Charlie Musselwhite
"Seesaw" -- Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa
"Down In Louisiana" -- Bobby Rush
Best Folk Album
"My Favorite Picture Of You" -- Guy Clark
"Sweetheart Of The Sun" -- The Greencards
"Build Me Up From Bones" -- Sarah Jarosz
"The Ash & Clay" -- The Milk Carton Kids
"They All Played For Us: Arhoolie Records 50th Anniversary Celebration" -- (Various Artists) Chris Strachwitz, producer
Best Regional Roots Music Album
"The Life & Times Of...The Hot 8 Brass Band" -- Hot 8 Brass Band
"Hula Ku'i" -- Kahulanui
"Le Fou" -- Zachary Richard
"Dockside Sessions" -- Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience
"Apache Blessing & Crown Dance Songs" -- Joe Tohonnie Jr.
Best Reggae Album
"One Love, One Life" -- Beres Hammond
"Ziggy Marley In Concert" -- Ziggy Marley
"The Messiah" -- Sizzla
"Reggae Connection" -- Sly & Robbie And The Jam Masters
"Reincarnated" -- Snoop Lion
Best World Music Album
"Savor Flamenco" -- Gipsy Kings
"No Place For My Dream" -- Femi Kuti
"Live: Singing For Peace Around The World" -- Ladysmith Black Mambazo
"The Living Room Sessions Part 2" -- Ravi Shankar
Best Children's Album
"Blue Clouds" Elizabeth Mitchell & You Are My Flower
"The Mighty Sky" -- Beth Nielsen Chapman
"Recess" -- Justin Roberts
"Singing Our Way Through: Songs For The World's Bravest Kids" -- Alastair Moock & Friends
"Throw A Penny In The Wishing Well" -- Jennifer Gasoi
Best Spoken Word Album
"America Again: Re-becoming The Greatness We Never Weren't" -- Stephen Colbert
"Carrie And Me" -- Carol Burnett
"Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls" -- David Sedaris
"Still Foolin' 'Em" -- Billy Crystal
"The Storm King" -- Pete Seeger
Best Comedy Album:
"Calm Down Gurrl" — Kathy Griffin
"I'm Here To Help" — Craig Ferguson
"A Little Unprofessional" — Ron White
"Live" — Tig Notaro
"That's What I'm Talkin' About" — Bob Saget
Best Musical Theater Album
"Kinky Boots"
"Matilda: The Musical"
"Motown The Musical"
Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media
Django Unchained
The Great Gatsby (Deluxe Edition)
Les Misérables (Deluxe Edition)
Muscle Shoals
Sound City: Real To Reel
Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media
Argo -- Alexandre Desplat, composer
The Great Gatsby -- Craig Armstrong, composer
Life Of Pi -- Mychael Danna, composer
Lincoln -- John Williams, composer
Skyfall -- Thomas Newman, composer
Zero Dark Thirty -- Alexandre Desplat, composer
Best Song Written For Visual Media
"Atlas" from "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" -- Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion & Chris Martin, songwriters (Coldplay)
"Silver Lining" from "Silver Linings Playbook" -- Diane Warren, songwriter (Jessie J)
"Skyfall" from "Skyfall"-- Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth, songwriters (Adele)
"We Both Know" from "Safe Haven" -- Colbie Caillat & Gavin DeGraw, songwriters (Colbie Caillat Featuring Gavin DeGraw)
"Young And Beautiful" from "The Great Gatsby" --Lana Del Rey & Rick Nowels, songwriters (Lana Del Rey)
"You've Got Time" from Orange Is The New Black -- Regina Spektor, songwriter (Regina Spektor)

And here are the Grammy Awards Nominees/Awards that you will not see on TV.....

Best Instrumental Composition
Bound Away -- Chuck Owen, composer (Chuck Owen & The Jazz Surge)
California Pictures For String Quartet -- Gordon Goodwin, composer (Quartet San Francisco)
Koko On The Boulevard -- Scott Healy, composer (Scott Healy Ensemble)
Pensamientos For Solo Alto Saxophone And Chamber Orchestra -- Clare Fischer, composer (The Clare Fischer Orchestra)
String Quartet No. 1: Funky Diversion In Three Parts -- Vince Mendoza, composer (Quartet San Francisco)
Best Instrumental Arrangement
Invitation -- Kim Richmond, arranger (The Kim Richmond Concert Jazz Orchestra)
On Green Dolphin Street-- Gordon Goodwin, arranger (Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band)
Side Hikes - A Ridge Away -- Chuck Owen, arranger (Chuck Owen & The Jazz Surge)
Skylark -- Nan Schwartz, arranger (Amy Dickson)
Wild Beauty -- Gil Goldstein, arranger (Brussels Jazz Orchestra Featuring Joe Lovano)
Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)
La Vida Nos Espera -- Nan Schwartz, arranger (Gian Marco)
Let's Fall In Love
The Moon's A Harsh Mistress -- John Hollenbeck, arranger (John Hollenbeck)
Swing Low -- Gil Goldstein, arranger (Bobby McFerrin & Esperanza Spalding)
What A Wonderful World -- Shelly Berg, arranger (Gloria Estefan) 
Best Recording Package
Automatic Music Can Be Fun -- Mike Brown, Zac Decamp, Brian Grunert & Annie Stoll, art directors (Geneseo)
Long Night Moon -- Sarah Dodds & Shauna Dodds, art directors (Reckless Kelly)
Magna Carta...Holy Grail -- Brian Roettinger, art director (Jay Z)
Metallica Through The Never --  Bruce Duckworth, Sarah Moffat & David Turner, art directors (Metallica)
The Next Day -- Jonathan Barnbrook, art director (David Bowie)
Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package
The Brussels Affair -- Charles Dooher & Scott Sandler, art directors (The Rolling Stones)
How Do You Do (Limited Edition Box Set) -- Mayer Hawthorne, art director (Mayer Hawthorne)
The Road To Red Rocks (Special Edition) -- Ross Stirling, art director (Mumford & Sons)
The Smith Tapes -- Masaki Koike, art director (Various Artists)
Wings Over America (Deluxe Edition) -- Simon Earith & James Musgrave, art directors (Paul McCartney And Wings)
Best Album Notes
Afro Blue Impressions (Remastered & Expanded) -- Neil Tesser, album notes writer (John Coltrane)
Call It Art 1964-1965 -- Ben Young, album notes writer (New York Art Quartet)
Electric Music For The Mind & Body -- Alec Palao, album notes writer (Country Joe & The Fish)
Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps -- Jonathan Cott, album notes writer (Leonard Bernstein & New York Philharmonic)
360 Sound: The Columbia Records Story -- Sean Wilentz, album notes writer (Various Artists)
Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard: Hard Time, Good Time & End Time Music, 1923-1936 -- Nathan Salsburg, album notes writer (Various Artists)
Best Historical Album
Call It Art 1964-1965
Charlie Is My Darling - Ireland 1965
The Complete Sussex And Columbia Albums
Pictures Of Sound: One Thousand Years Of Educed Audio: 980–1980
Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen (Deluxe Edition)
PRODUCTION, Non-Classical
Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
Annie Up -- Chuck Ainlay, engineer; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer (Pistol Annies)
The Blue Room -- Helik Hadar & Leslie Ann Jones, engineers; Bernie Grundman, mastering engineer (Madeleine Peyroux)
The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here -- Paul Figueroa & Randy Staub, engineers; Ted Jensen, mastering engineer (Alice In Chains)
...Like Clockwork -- Joe Barresi & Mark Rankin, engineers; Gavin Lurssen, mastering engineer (Queens Of The Stone Age)
The Moorings -- Trina Shoemaker, engineer; Eric Conn, mastering engineer (Andrew Duhon)
Random Access Memories -- Peter Franco, Mick Guzauski, Florian Lagatta & Daniel Lerner, engineers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer (Daft Punk)
Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical
Rob Cavallo
Dr. Luke
Ariel Rechtshaid
Jeff Tweedy
Pharrell Williams
Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical
Days Turn Into Nights (Andy Caldwell Remix) -- Andy Caldwell, remixer (Delerium Featuring Michael Logen)
If I Lose Myself (Alesso Vs. OneRepublic) -- Alesso, remixer (OneRepublic)
Locked Out Of Heaven (Sultan + Ned Shepard Remix) -- Ned Shepard & Sultan, remixers (Bruno Mars)
One Love/People Get Ready (Photek Remix) -- Rupert Parkes, remixer (Bob Marley And The Wailers)
Summertime Sadness (Cedric Gervais Remix) -- Cedric Gervais, remixer (Lana Del Rey)
Best Surround Sound Album
Live Kisses -- Al Schmitt, surround mix engineer; Tommy LiPuma, surround producer (Paul McCartney)
Sailing The Seas Of Cheese (Deluxe Edition) -- Les Claypool & Jason Mills, surround mix engineers; Stephen Marcussen, surround mastering engineer; Les Claypool & Jeff Fura, surround producers (Primus)
Signature Sound Opus One -- Leslie Ann Jones, surround mix engineer; Michael Romanowski, surround mastering engineer; Herbert Waltl, surround producer (Various Artists)
Sixteen Sunsets -- Jim Anderson, surround mix engineer; Darcy Proper, surround mastering engineer; Jim Anderson & Jane Ira Bloom, surround producers (Jane Ira Bloom)
Sprung Rhythm -- Daniel Shores, surround mix engineer; Daniel Shores, surround mastering engineer; Dan Merceruio, surround producer (Richard Scerbo & Inscape)
Best Engineered Album, Classical
Hymn To The Virgin -- Morten Lindberg, engineer (Tone Bianca Sparre Dahl & Schola Cantorum)
La Voie Triomphale -- Morten Lindberg, engineer (Ole Kristian Ruud & Staff Band Of The Norwegian Armed Forces)
Roomful Of Teeth -- Mark Donahue & Jesse Lewis, engineers (Brad Wells & Roomful Of Teeth)
Vinci: Artaserse -- Hans-Martin Renz, Wolfgang Rixius & Ulrich Ruscher, engineers (Diego Fasolis, Philippe Jaroussky, Max Emanuel Cencic, Daniel Behle, Franco Fagioli, Valer Barna-Sabadus, Yuriy Mynenko & Concerto Köln)
Winter Morning Walks -- David Frost, Brian Losch & Tim Martyn, engineers; Tim Martyn, mastering engineer (Dawn Upshaw, Maria Schneider, Australian Chamber Orchestra & St. Paul Chamber Orchestra)
Producer Of The Year, Classical
Manfred Eicher
David Frost
Marina A. Ledin, Victor Ledin
James Mallinson
Jay David Saks
Best Orchestral Performance
Atterberg: Orchestral Works Vol. 1 -- Neeme Järvi, conductor (Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra)
Lutosławski: Symphony No. 1 -- Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor (Los Angeles Philharmonic)
Schumann: Symphony No. 2; Overtures Manfred & Genoveva -- Claudio Abbado, conductor (Orchestra Mozart)
Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4 -- Osmo Vänskä, conductor (Minnesota Orchestra)
Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps -- Simon Rattle, conductor (Berliner Philharmoniker)
Best Opera Recording
Adès: The Tempest
Britten: The Rape Of Lucretia
Kleiberg: David & Bathsheba
Vinci: Artaserse
Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen
Best Choral Performance
Berlioz: Grande Messe Des Morts -- Colin Davis, conductor (Barry Banks; London Symphony Orchestra; London Philharmonic Choir & London Symphony Chorus)
Palestrina: Volume 3 -- Harry Christophers, conductor (The Sixteen)
Parry: Works For Chorus & Orchestra -- Neeme Järvi, conductor; Adrian Partington, chorus master (Amanda Roocroft; BBC National Orchestra Of Wales; BBC National Chorus Of Wales)
Pärt: Adam's Lament -- Tõnu Kaljuste, conductor (Tui Hirv & Rainer Vilu; Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir; Sinfonietta Riga & Tallinn Chamber Orchestra; Latvian Radio Choir & Vox Clamantis)
Whitbourn: Annelies -- James Jordan, conductor (Ariana Zukerman; The Lincoln Trio; Westminster Williamson Voices)
Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance
Beethoven: Violin Sonatas -- Leonidas Kavakos & Enrico Pace
Cage: The 10,000 Things -- Vicki Ray, William Winant, Aron Kallay & Tom Peters
Duo -- Hélène Grimaud & Sol Gabetta
Roomful Of Teeth -- Brad Wells & Roomful Of Teeth
Times Go By Turns -- New York Polyphony
Best Classical Instrumental Solo
Bartók, Eötvös & Ligeti -- Patricia Kopatchinskaja; Peter Eötvös, conductor (Ensemble Modern & Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra)
Corigliano: Conjurer - Concerto For Percussionist & String Orchestra -- Evelyn Glennie; David Alan Miller, conductor (Albany Symphony)
The Edge Of Light -- Gloria Cheng (Calder Quartet)
Lindberg: Piano Concerto No. 2 -- Yefim Bronfman; Alan Gilbert, conductor (New York Philharmonic)
Salonen: Violin Concerto; Nyx -- Leila Josefowicz; Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra)
Schubert: Piano Sonatas D. 845 & D. 960 -- Maria João Pires
Best Classical Vocal Solo
Drama Queens -- Joyce DiDonato (Alan Curtis; Il Complesso Barocco)
Mission -- Cecilia Bartoli (Diego Fasolis; Philippe Jaroussky; I Barocchisti)
Schubert: Winterreise -- Christoph Prégardien (Michael Gees)
Wagner -- Jonas Kaufmann (Donald Runnicles; Markus Brück; Chor Der Deutschen Oper Berlin; Orchester Der Deutschen Oper Berlin)
Winter Morning Walks -- Dawn Upshaw (Maria Schneider; Jay Anderson, Frank Kimbrough & Scott Robinson; Australian Chamber Orchestra & St. Paul Chamber Orchestra)
Best Classical Compendium
Hindemith: Violinkonzert; Symphonic Metamorphosis; Konzertmusik -- Christoph Eschenbach, conductor
Holmboe: Concertos -- Dima Slobodeniouk, conductor; Preben Iwan, producer
Tabakova: String Paths -- Maxim Rysanov; Manfred Eicher, producer
Best Contemporary Classical Composition
Lindberg, Magnus: Piano Concerto No. 2 -- Magnus Lindberg, composer
Pärt, Arvo: Adam's Lament -- Arvo Pärt, composer
Salonen, Esa-Pekka: Violin Concerto -- Esa-Pekka Salonen, composer
Schneider, Maria: Winter Morning Walks -- Maria Schneider, composer
Shaw, Caroline: Partita For 8 Voices -- Caroline Shaw, composer (Brad Wells & Roomful Of Teeth)
Best Music Video
Safe And Sound -- Capital Cities (Grady Hall, video director; Buddy Enright, video producer)
Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film -- Jay Z (Mark Romanek, video director; Shawn Carter & Aristides McGarry, video producers)
Can't Hold Us -- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Ray Dalton (Jon Jon Augustavo, Jason Koenig & Ryan Lewis, video directors; Tricia Davis, Honna Kimmerer & Jenny Koenig, video producers)
Suit & Tie -- Justin Timberlake Featuring Jay Z (David Fincher, video director; Timory King, video producer)
I'm Shakin' -- Jack White (Dori Oskowitz, video director; Raquel Costello, video producer)
Best Music Film
Live 2012 -- Coldplay (Paul Dugdale, video director; Jim Parsons, video producer)
¡Cuatro! -- Green Day (Tim Wheeler, video director; Tim Lynch, video producer)
I'm In I'm Out And I'm Gone: The Making Of Get Up! -- Ben Harper With Charlie Musselwhite (Danny Clinch, video director; Ben Harper, video producer)
Live Kisses -- Paul McCartney (Jonas Akerlund, video director; Violaine Etienne, Aron Levine & Scott Rodger, video producers)
The Road To Red Rocks -- Mumford & Sons (Nicolas Jack Davies & Frederick Scott, video directors; Dan Bowen, video producer)

PINK - Grammy Awards Performance, 2010

PINK "Glitter in the Air"



Friday, January 10, 2014

Catching up with Carrot Top

When you live in Las Vegas as I do there are performers you intend to see but for some reason take a long time to get around to it. One of these for me was Carrot Top.

A resident performer at The Luxor  Hotel & Casino for several years now, he has reached a milestone....30 years as a professional performer, so I thought it would be a good time to finally catch his act!

Scott "Carrot Top" Thompson is a Las Vegas headliner who is known as a great guy who is good to his fans, and one of a kind.....which means he fits in perfectly in a town full of one of a kinds!

Scott "Carrot Top"

Filing into his theater at The Luxor, I wondered if Carrot Top's show would be a little dated or contrived, because he has been doing it for so long....Ha, not even close! The guy keeps it fresh and up to the minute with a blend of  prop comedy, improv, rock and roll, and talk back that is as sharp and witty as it gets. It was great!

I believe there is more to him than meets the eye. His obvious love for heavy metal makes me wonder if he can sing? Also, I couldn't help but think Carrot Top would make a great Puck in Midsummer Night's Dream. Although that is not something I expect he will ever do....but then again with him you never know!

Born in Rockledge, Florida he currently lives in Orlando and Las Vegas. His father was a NASA engineer, his mother a bank executive. His brother grew up to be an F16 Fighter pilot, but Scott's path was obviously different. Comparing his career to his brother's, some would say it takes as much courage to be an entertainer as it does to fly F16s!.....(no wait it was Kanye West who said that).

Scott's first stand up comedy routine was as a college freshman at Florida Atlantic University. He graduated with a degree in marketing before embarking on his comedic career. Like many comedians before him he started out performing at hotels, parties, comedy clubs, and even a turn on "Star Search." Since then he has and still performs all over the world, including well known TV, film and voice over roles (almost always playing himself), in addition to his long term residency at The Luxor Hotel & Casino.

He has said "My way of fitting in was telling jokes and making people laugh."

“Nobody can steal my act,” says Carrot Top (a.k.a. Scott Thompson). “I’ve challenged comics to write me a prop and they can’t. Comedians have done plays on words but writing a visual joke is something else. I’m happy not only that I have my own style but I’ve been an original from the very start.”  (Excerpt from

"The Topper"....Photo by ChristopherDeVargas

Sources/Links Internet Movie Database/Scott "Carrot Top" Thompson 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

How to Reach your New Year's Resolutions

Happy 2014! 

I think it's time for some of us, myself included, to stop making the same resolutions year after year and actually achieve some of them...

Here are my FIVE E-Z tips for crushing your resolutions in 2014!

  • First and foremost, only make three New Year's resolutions, MAX. One is best, two is good and three is really asking for a lot of change in one year. Let's face it, most of us want to but can't seem to change even one long standing habit and so it ends up on the list year after year.  So, one is enough if it's all you've got in you, two is inspired and three is really being ambitious!

  • If you make more than two resolutions make that third one easy! Make it so easy that you accomplish it fairly early on in the year and it fills you with confidence for the other two.

  • Tell a friend or family member your resolutions. Then have them tell you theirs. That way when you aren't doing very well on yours and they bring it up you will remind them of their similar failed attempts! Then you can both laugh at your lack of progress and recommit over coffee or a drink, (or a magic brownie, if you live in Colorado).

  • Don't try more than one resolution at the same time. You have ALL year to accomplish these resolutions right? So, start on the easiest one first then tackle the other one (or two). If you haven't started on that second one by spring, that's okay because you've still got NINE months! If human beings can be created in that amount of time you can certainly tackle and accomplish at least one resolution. (This is especially true if your resolution is to become a parent)!

  • Create a document out of your resolutions and make it your screen saver! How can you ignore your commitment to yourself when every time you log into your laptop it says..."Get in Shape!....Save More Money.....and Stop Twerking!"...(or whatever YOUR resolutions are).

Wishing all a Happy New Year 
where your dreams (and resolutions) come true!


Anna Wendt...Copyright 2014.