November 29, 2012
By LYNN ELBER
Broadway superstar Audra McDonald is adding a new chapter to her long history with Lincoln Center.
The singer-actress is the new host of “Live From Lincoln Center,” Lincoln Center said this week.
McDonald will emcee seven broadcasts from December through spring 2013, starting Dec. 13 with “The Richard Tucker Opera Gala” and Dec. 31 with the New York Philharmonic’s New Year's Eve gala.
“It’s a great honor. I'm thrilled that they came to me and trusted me to do it,” said McDonald, 42, whose five Tony Awards include a trophy this year for “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.”
Her memories of the Lincoln Center performing arts complex in Manhattan run deep.
“I remember watching Beverly Sills broadcasting from the Met (the center’s Metropolitan Opera House) on my PBS channel at my home in Fresno,” McDonald said, adding that she was amazed at the venue’s size and “inspired by the music.”
As a high school student, she had the chance to visit the center and recalled thinking, “This is where I want to be some day.”
That wish was fulfilled when she moved to New York to attend The Juilliard School, which has its campus there.
Stepping in as host of the PBS series “feels like it’s my way of thanking Lincoln Center,” she said.
“We can’t imagine a more perfect match,” said Elizabeth Scott, the center's executive in charge of the TV series. McDonald’s passion for the performing arts is “infectious,” Scott added.
McDonald, who starred in “Private Practice” as Dr. Naomi Bennett, has performed on the long-running PBS showcase several times, including programs with Elvis Costello, Patti Lupone and the New York Philharmonic.
She will be working especially hard New Year's Eve when she hosts and performs in the holiday program, “One Singular Sensation: Celebrating Marvin Hamlisch” (check local listings for time).
“We’ll see if I fall down by the end of the evening, or by the middle,” she said, lightly. What she’ll sing is a secret for now, but McDonald said it’s among Hamlisch’s most famous pieces.
The composer, who died in August at age 68, created more than 40 film scores and won a Tony and the Pulitzer for Broadway’s “A Chorus Line.”
“Live From Lincoln Center” is in its 37th broadcast season. In recent years, artists and actors including Yo-Yo Ma and Alec Baldwin have filled the host’s job that previously saw long tenures by famed opera singer Sills and TV personality Hugh Downs.
Ding-dong! Destiny is at the door. Let it in and enjoy the change of pace. You’ll be happy to make a few adjustments for this most welcome guest. Follow through on instincts and hunches! Soul Affirmation: My spirit makes all things new.
Stay on course with your current decisions and dreams. You may doubt your progress this week but you really are moving toward a better tomorrow with your determined attitude. Keep your emotions under control this week for sure. Soul Affirmation: I enlarge my happiness by forgetting about myself this week.
You feel great ! Your shining spirit attracts many seekers this week so let your best wisest self answer questions that are put to you by those who want advice. You’ll smooth over a sticky situation at work with ease. Soul Affirmation: Distant love is sometimes sweeter.
Busy week. You’ll want to get up with the birdies and you may even want to whistle a happy little tune. You’ll be very much in demand for your expertise and positive attitude. Way to go! Soul Affirmation: I enjoy the act of adoring.
A quiet week will work wonders for you. Make an effort to slow your pace, both physically and mentally this week. Use your imagination to think of quiet ways to entertain yourself. Soul Affirmation: Knowing I can do it is the biggest preparation for getting it done.
While you may have much work facing you in the beginning of the week, a steady, patient attitude will help you accomplish a great deal this week. Be good to yourself and take things nice and slow. You’ll finish what you need to. Soul Affirmation: The sunlight of my spirit shines in the land beyond the horizon.
This week is another week when your intuition and insights are remarkable. A lesson you learned in the past may suddenly reveal itself as more this week; you’ll have plenty of food for thought. Soul Affirmation: I paint my world in colors of the rainbow.
Someone whose values are different than yours may annoy you this week if you let them. Let your most tolerant mind-set rule, and enjoy being able to listen to others’ points of view. You’ll feel very blessed by the end of the week. Soul Affirmation: Change is my middle name.
You learn something this week that makes you very happy. One of your most wonderful gifts is your ability to be delighted with all forms of learning and education. This is a terrific week for personal delight. Soul Affirmation: Trust gives me a deep sense of peace and joy.
Shopping has its appeals this week, and you’ll want to check your bankbook balance before indulging in anything that is whimsical and expensive. Give yourself hours to think about what’s important to you. Control impulses this week. Soul Affirmation: I change the way I look at business this week.
A road trip might be in the offing; grab a friend and go dutch-treat. You’ll enjoy yourself more if you are sharing costs this week. Mutual generosity in all things will make your week perfect. Soul Affirmation: As chances come around again. I take advantage of them.
This week is likely to make you feel young again. You’ll want to play jokes and tricks on people around you. Make sure they are ready to deal with your playful mood. Enjoy yourself, you fabulous being! Soul Affirmation: Superficiality is often the best route to clarity.
Police say the daughter of the late Whitney Houston and Bobbi Brown was cited in a car accident in a northern Atlanta suburb.
Officers Wednesday morning responded to a call about a black Chevrolet Camaro that slid off the road and landed in a ditch in Alpharetta.
They found 19-year-old Bobbi Kristina Brown standing beside her damaged car near her home.
Police say Brown lost control and was not driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
No injuries were reported.
Police cited Brown for failing to maintain her lane.
Steven Tyler is apologizing — if Nicki Minaj misinterpreted his recent comments.
The former “American Idol” judge and Aerosmith frontman responded to Minaj’s claim that he’s a racist.
Minaj took offense to comments Tyler made during an MTV interview in which he said Bob Dylan would likely be immediately dismissed from this year’s show.
“Idol” premieres Jan. 16 with Minaj, Mariah Carey and Keith Urban serving as new judges. The rapper called the comment racist and fired an expletive at the Aerosmith frontman, as well.
During an interview with the Canadian entertainment news program “eTalk,” Tyler spoke directly to Minaj, saying: “I apologize if it was taken wrong, Nicki.”
“I am the farthest from — what did she say I was? — a racist,” Tyler said in the interview. “I’m the last thing on this planet as far as being a racist. I don’t know where she got that out of me saying I’m not sure how she would have judged Bob Dylan. I was just saying that if Bob Dylan came on the show, he would’ve been thrown off, so maybe I spoke out of turn. But a racist I am not, Nicki.”
Berry Gordy Jr. may only be five-foot tall in height but he left big shoes to fill when he sold Motown Records nearly 25 years ago.
As founder of the historic record company in 1960, which launched the careers of Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, and the groups The Temptations and The Supremes, Gordy, 82, said he had a vision to introduce Black singers to America.
“I knew there was talent beyond just white voices. There were soulful sounds being made by Blacks but no one could hear them because they had nowhere to go to produce the kind of music Blacks wanted to hear,” Gordy told an audience during a tribute to him at the Art Institute of Chicago.
“All I wanted to do was help Black singers recognize their talent and share it with the world.”
He added that he always took the unconventional route to success, regardless what the circumstances were. This was a man who, as a child, could not recite his alphabet from A to Z but could sound them off backwards. He recalled how he was once stopped in Los Angeles by police for suspected drunken driving and was let go after the officer told him to recite the alphabet backwards.
He also talked about what he had to do for the classic movie “Lady Sings the Blues” starring Diana Ross to get made and released by Paramount Pictures. The movie studio had only budgeted $500,000 for what he said they described as a Black movie.
“I told them that this is not a Black film (but) a film with Black stars,” recalled Gordy.
These were some of the memorable stories he recalled during a PBS-TV taping where journalist Gwen Ifill interviewed him before a live audience. The History Makers, a non-profit organization in Chicago, hosted the tribute. The show is expected to air spring 2013.
Joining Gordy at the tribute was the Rev. Jesse Jackson; Suzanne de Passe, a former Motown Records executive; Los Angeles Sentinel and L.A. Watts Times Publisher Danny Bakewell; Gordy’s daughter Hazel Gordy and son Stefan Gordy.
Audience members were treated to a performance by two cast members of Gordy’s upcoming Broadway show, “Motown: The Musical.” The scene, he said, re-enacted Gordy (portrayed by Brandon Victor Dixon) and Diana Ross (played by Valisia LeKae) falling in love in Paris. The song: Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “You’re All I Need to Get By.”
Entertainment at the tribute included a performance by singers Kem and Valerie Simpson, who performed “I’ll Be There,” originally sung by the late Michael Jackson and his brothers known then as the Jackson 5.
Berry had dropped out of high school to pursue a career as a boxer before finding his niche in music. Before pursuing music Berry was a lover of boxing. So he dropped out of high school to pursue a boxing career, which lasted until 1950 when the United States Army drafted him for service in the Korean War.
In 1953, he returned home from service and married Thelma Coleman.
In 2001, Berry Gordy established a relief fund for former Motown artists, musicians & writers who are down on their luck.
The Gwendolyn B. Gordy Fund assisted artists from the 60’s and 70’s with Gordy donating $750,000 in the name of his late sister.
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