Tag Archives: Billy Crystal

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Video: Parental Guidance – Book of Love – Bette Midler & Billy Crystal

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Photo: Bette Midler and Billy Crystal Performing At The Don Rickle’s Roast in 2013

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Photo: Bette Midler attending Billy Crystal’s Friars Club Awards last month

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Friday, September 14, 2018

Midler, Springsteen, and Crystal Each Give A Million Dollars In Scholarships To Temple University’s Arts Cirriculum

Delco Times
Rock Music Menu: Philly’s iconic Electric Factory sold
By Michael Christopher Times Music Columnist
Sep 13, 2018

Wednesday marked the end of an era on the Philly music scene as the iconic Electric Factory announced it has been sold to The Bowery Presents, a concert promotion and venue management group that itself was acquired by global concert promoting behemoth AEG Live in 2016.

“What a ride it’s been,” said Larry Magid, head of Electric Factory and Electric Factory Concerts, in a statement. “We would like to thank the hundreds of thousands of fans who have attended the over 2,500 shows at Electric Factory from its original location at 22nd and Arch from 1968-1970 to its rebirth in 1995 at Seventh and Willow. A special thanks to all the employees, old and new, that have worked at the Factory over the years and to the great acts who have graced our stage, it’s been our privilege to work with you.” Read More

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Bette Midler & Billy Crystal – Parental Guidance #BetteMidler, #BillyCrystal, #ParentalGuidance

Bette Midler & Billy Crystal – Parental Guidance

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

American actor, screenwriter, playwright and female impersonator, Charles Busch on his play “Tales Of The Allergist’s Wife being made into a movie with Bette Midler:

American actor, screenwriter, playwright and female impersonator, Charles Busch on his play “Tales Of The Allergist’s Wife being made into a movie with Bette Midler:

Coming up for Busch are a full scale revival of one of his works — which must remain nameless at the moment, as it’s not been formally announced yet — at the Cherry Lane in 2020, and it looks like the film version of his true classic, ‘Tale of the Allergist’s Wife,” is finally a real go, starring Bette Midler and Sharon Stone.

“It’s been on and off the table for 17 years, with Bette attached for 15, but it seems to be moving along. I like the director, Andy Fickman, who did ‘Parental Guidance,’ with her and Billy Crystal. He wants to have me very involved, which is rarely the case with the writer, and I keep updating my adaptation. It was very stagebound so I’ve opened it up. There are more characters and her daughter figures more in it. I’m very pleased with it; it all looked dead a year ago but seems very alive now.”

“Allergist’s Wife” is one of his plays with a very healthy regional life.

For The Full Interview: Click Here

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Kennedy Center Honors: Our top 50 recommendations who need to be chosen include Dick Van Dyke, Liza Minnelli, Jessica Lange, Bette Midler

Mister D: Ok, I admit that I’m prejudiced, but this list could be whittled down in seconds for me. My standards are high, well in some things, and some of these people don’t really belong on this list.

Gold Derby
Kennedy Center Honors: Our top 50 recommendations who need to be chosen include Dick Van Dyke, Liza Minnelli, Jessica Lange, Bette Midler
Chris Beachum
April 11, 2018 6:00AM

The next recipients for the Kennedy Center Honors will be announced in the late summer, often around Labor Day. The all-star event is held each year in the nation’s capital during the first weekend in December and then airs on CBS as a two-hour special after Christmas.

Each year, the selection committee chooses five entertainment veterans from a variety of fields – film, television, popular music, theatre, and the fine arts (dance, opera, classical music). Selected artists are almost always over 50 and generally are 60 and beyond.

The first recipients in 1978 were singer Marian Anderson, actor and dancer Fred Astaire, choreographer George Balanchine, composer Richard Rodgers and conductor Arthur Rubinstein. The most recent honorees in 2017 for the 40th anniversary program were dancer Carmen de Lavallade, singer Gloria Estefan, singer LL Cool J, producer and writer Norman Lear and singer Lionel Richie.

But there are a number of notable performers missing from the honors roll. Our photo gallery features 50 entertainers who deserve to be selected soon. For our purposes a person must be at least 60 years old to be in our gallery. We are not going to include the retired Doris Day and Gene Hackman as well as the reclusive Woody Allen since attendance at the event is mandatory. Tour through our photos and sound off in the forums about who you think should be selected soon.

1. Dick Van Dyke
Van Dyke is just an Oscar away from EGOT status. He is a five-time Emmy Award winner for “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “Van Dyke and Company,” and “The Wrong Way Kid.” He won a Tony Award for “Bye Bye Birdie” (1961) and a Grammy Award for “Mary Poppins” (1964). Van Dyke is a member of the Television Academy Hall of Fame and received the Screen Actors Guild life achievement award in 2013.

2. Liza Minnelli
Minnelli is very close to EGOT, having never won a Grammy Award before. She won a Tony Award for “Flora the Red Menace” (1965), an Oscar for “Cabaret” (1973), and an Emmy for “Liza with a Z” (1973). The daughter of legendary entertainer Judy Garland, other films have included “The Sterile Cuckoo” (1969, her first Oscar nomination), “New York, New York” (1977), and “Arthur” (1981).

3. Denzel Washington
Washington is the only African-American with two Academy Awards for acting (“Glory,” 1989; “Training Day,” 2001). His other Oscar nominations were for “Cry Freedom” (1987), “Malcolm X” (1992), “The Hurricane” (1999), “Flight” (2012), “Fences” (2016, producing and acting), and “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” (2017). He also won a Tony Award for the same role in “Fences” (2010).

4. Gladys Knight
The “Empress of Soul” started her career in 1952 on Ted Mack’s “Original Amateur Hour” TV show. Her group Gladys Knight and the Pips joined Motown in 1966 and became one of the top recording artists of the 1960s and 1970s with such hits as “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “If I Were Your Woman,” “Neither One of Us,” and “Midnight Train to Georgia.” The six-time Grammy winner was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

5. Mick Jagger
Whether he gets selected by himself (like Paul McCartney) or with his group The Rolling Stones (like The Who and Led Zeppelin), this honor is long overdue. The lead singer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with his band in 1989. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003. Their lengthy list of hit singles has included “Satisfaction,” “Get Off My Cloud,” “Ruby Tuesday,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Brown Sugar,” “Wild Horses,” “Angie,” and “Start Me Up.”

6. Jessica Lange
Lange is just one notch away from EGOT. She is a two-time Academy Award winner (“Tootsie,” 1982; “Blue Sky,” 1994) among her six nominations. She is a three-time Emmy champ (“Grey Gardens,” 2009; “American Horror Story,” 2012; and “American Horror Story: Coven,” 2014). Lange won a Tony Award in 2016 for “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.” Other films in her career have included “Frances,” “Sweet Dreams,” “Crimes of the Heart,” “Cape Fear,” and “Big Fish.”

7. Alan Alda
Alda has established himself as a triple threat on television, on stage, and in films. He won five Emmy Awards for the legendary comedy series “M*A*S*H” spread out over acting, directing, and writing (the only person to prevail in only three fields). He also took home a sixth Emmy for his role on “The West Wing” and was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1994. He’s been nominated at the Oscars (“The Aviator,”), Grammys (“Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself,” 2008), and three times at the Tony Awards (“The Apple Tree,” 1967; “Jake’s Women,” 1992; “Glengarry Glen Ross,” 2005).

8. Bette Midler
Midler was a big hit right out of the gates when she won Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards in 1974. It was the first of three Grammys along with three Emmys for her variety specials and a Tony Award in 2017 for “Hello, Dolly.” That just puts her an Oscar away from EGOT, and she has competed at those awards twice as a leading actress for “The Rose” and “For the Boys.”

9. Harrison Ford
Ford is the biggest box office star in American history but still hasn’t had much of an awards career but did receive an Oscar nomination for “Witness” (1985). He was awarded the American Film Institute life achievement in 2000 and the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes in 2002. His film career has included “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Working Girl,” “Regarding Henry,” “Patriot Games,” “The Fugitive,” “Air Force One,” and “42.”

10. Reba McEntire
McEntire is a Country Music Hall of Fame member who has been one of the most popular singers and performers in the 1980s and beyond. She has had the most CMA Award nominations (49) and ACM Awards nominations (45) of any female artist. She has won two Grammy Awards for “Whoever’s in New England” (1987) and “Does He Love You?” (1994) among her 12 career nominations. McEntire has had a successful TV show with “Reba” (2001-2007) and was widely acclaimed for her Broadway debut in “Annie Get Your Gun” (2001).

11. Tommy Tune
Tune has been one of the top choreographers and dancers in Broadway history. He is a nine-time Tony Award winner for his performances in “Seesaw” and “My One and Only,” for his direction of “Nine,” “Grand Hotel” and “The Will Rogers Follies” and choreography of “A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine,” “My One and Only,” “Grand Hotel” and “The Will Rogers Follies.”

12. Betty White
White is one of the favorite comedic performers in TV history and was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame in 1995. She has won five prime-time Emmy Awards for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Golden Girls,” “The John Larroquette Show” and “Saturday Night Live” plus a Daytime Emmy for “Just Men.”

13. Burt Bacharach
Bacharach has composed hundreds of songs in his lengthy career, many of them popular hits. He is a three-time Oscar winner for his original song and score in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and original song in “Arthur.” He is a two-time Grammy champ for “Cassidy” and “I Still Have That Other Girl” plus an Emmy winner for his 1971 variety special.

14. Diane Keaton
Keaton is an Oscar-winning actress (“Annie Hall,” 1977) who has been primarily working in films since the early 1970s. Her career has included “The Godfather,” “Reds,” “Marvin’s Room,” “Baby Boom,” “Father of the Bride,” “The First Wives Club” and “Something’s Gotta Give.” She was the 2017 recipient of the American Film Institute life achievement award.

15. Arturo Sandoval
The Cuban-born Sandoval is one of the greatest trumpet players in music history. He defected to America in 1990 while performing with previous KCH recipient Dizzy Gillespie. He is a 10-time Grammy winner, Emmy winner and recipient of the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom.

16. Cynthia Gregory
Gregory is one of the most famous American prima ballerinas of recent decades. She first became well known in San Francisco as a teenager before joining the American Ballet Theatre in 1965. She has had roles in “Giselle,”” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Coppelia,” “Don Quixote,” “The Eternal Idol” and “At Midnight.”

17. Bob Newhart
Newhart has proven to be one of the most beloved comedians in American history since the early 1960s. In fact he won at the 1961 Grammy Awards as Best New Artist and for Album of the Year. He was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame in 1993 for his roles on “The Bob Newhart Show” and “Newhart.” He won his only Emmy Award in 2013 for a guest role on “The Big Bang Theory.” He was the 2002 recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center.

18. Whoopi Goldberg
Goldberg is one of the few people who have achieved EGOT in her entertainment career. She won an Oscar for “Ghost,” a Grammy for her comedy album “Direct From Broadway,” a Tony Award for producing “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and a Daytime Emmy for hosting “The View.” Other film roles have included “The Color Purple,” “Sister Act” and “The Lion King.” She was the 2001 recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center.

19. Jerry Lee Lewis Read More

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Bette Midler and Billy Crystal: We Got This…Maybe

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Electric Factory Owner Creates 11 Million Dollar Scholarships In Honor Of 11 Performers

The Temple News
Electric Factory owner is giving back to Temple to ‘honor’ his beginnings
by Patrick Bilow 06 February 2018

Before opening the Electric Factory in 1968 and becoming good friends with musician Bruce Springsteen and actor Billy Crystal, Larry Magid was a “dyed-in-the-wool, rock ‘n’ roll rebel” who booked small bands for fraternity parties at Temple and the University of Pennsylvania.

“I love music,” said Magid, a 2012 honorary alumnus. “It was on all the time in my house growing up, on the radio, on the TV, but this was where my career in music really began. … I started asking myself, ‘How do I give back to where I came from?’”

Magid, who has owned the Electric Factory on 7th Street near Callowhill for 50 years, recently made a seven-figure pledge to Temple in the form of 11 new scholarship funds. They will be for students from the Philadelphia area in need of financial assistance who are enrolled in the Boyer College of Music and Dance, Klein College of Media and Communication, School of Theater, Film and Media Arts or the Lewis Katz School of Medicine.

Magid wanted to give back to the art programs but was also impressed with the advancement and research at the medical school.

The scholarships bear the names of popular performers including three $1 million scholarships in honor of Bruce Springsteen, Billy Crystal and Bette Midler — legendary performers who have proven their dedication to charity through donations, Magid said.

“I never thought I could afford to go to college, but Temple took a shot with me,” Magid said. “And if even one other person could get that same opportunity, well then it’s worth it to me.”

Originally from Cobbs Creek in West Philadelphia, Magid was able to afford tuition at Temple on a Veterans Affair allowance, as his late father served in the military. He found a mentor in Chuck Sherman, a professor who was also a jazz disc jockey, but Magid spent three years in and out of classes for financial reasons.

Magid finished a business and management certificate through Temple’s business school in 1964. Then, he took a job with General Artists Corporation, a music booking agency in New York City.

In the late 1960s, when Magid was in his early 20s, he would return home on the weekends to see friends and family and often visited the Showboat, a jazz club at Broad and Locust streets that hosted prominent musicians like John Coltrane and has since been replaced by row homes.

The owner of Showboat, Herb Spivak, sought Magid’s advice on getting involved in the popular rock ‘n’ roll genre, and soon after, the two co-founded the Electric Factory, which was originally located at 22nd and Arch streets. Its original location, where Magid worked as its first general manager, closed in 1973 and the venue reopened at its current spot in 1995.

Jim Crawley, a 1994 law alumnus and Temple’s vice president of institutional advancement, grew up in Levittown, Pennsylvania, and has always known of the Electric Factory. Crawley later got to know Magid during his two terms on the Board of Trustees.

“[The Electric Factory] is a key part as to why Philadelphia is recognized as a mecca of entertainment and it’s all due to one guy who had a vision,” Crawley said. “What Larry has done with the Electric Factory is nothing short of amazing.”

At the time, the club was an early proponent of rock ‘n’ roll, including Philadelphia’s rhythm-and-blues style of music.

“I love Philadelphia,” Magid said. “It’s a great town, it’s comfortable and I knew the music that the kids in Philly wanted, so I came back, and the rest is history.”

To Magid, the grand opening of the Electric Factory was the best night of his life. People filled the club, which was once an old warehouse and later a bakery, after paying a $3 cover charge. The Chamber Brothers, a Los Angeles rhythm-and-blues band, headlined and was followed by the Philadelphia rock band Woody’s Truck Stop.

Magid said people instantly loved the Electric Factory because it experimented with different genres, from jazz to rock ‘n’ roll.

“People were dressed in costume, the hippies were there, a few socialites showed up and the place was packed,” Magid said. “I was in such awe of what was happening, and it changed my life.”

He parlayed this success to start The Quaker City Rock Festival, which debuted on Oct. 20, 1968, featuring bands and musicians like Janis Joplin, Buddy Guy and Moby Grape at the Electric Factory. He began working with more popular bands across the country, and also produced Broadway productions.

Despite traveling to other cities, he’s remained rooted in Philadelphia.

“You have to honor your beginnings,” Magid said. “Being a Philadelphian and a Temple guy, I want to give people an opportunity, especially in the arts field where I got my big break. I hope more people feel the way I do and return to their roots to help people out.”

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

7 Predictions for the Theater in 2018

Theatermania
7 Predictions for the Theater in 2018
Editorial Staff • Broadway • Jan 1, 2018

You can’t see the future, but if you stop and listen, you can hear which way the wind is blowing. With that in mind, here are seven predictions from TheaterMania about the trends and ideas that will shape the theater in the coming year:

1. More A-List Musicians Will Play Broadway
Bruce Springsteen is changing the game at the Walter Kerr Theatre. While numerous high-profile musicians have created “theatri-concerts” for the Broadway stage — a list that ranges from the likes of Bette Midler to Duran Duran — Springsteen’s solo show, complete with dark, brooding monologues about his life and new acoustic takes on his extensive song catalogue, plays more like Billy Crystal’s introspective 700 Sundays than a career retrospective highlighting his greatest hits.

Springsteen on Broadway is a cash cow, with the intense demand for tickets resulting in every single show selling out (to the point that the run has been extended through the end of June). High-profile artists have always been interested in shifting the paradigm of what audiences expect, and viewers are obviously eager to see their heroes perform in intimate settings. In 2018, we’re predicting that more A-list musicians will follow suit and create intimate concerts of their own. Here’s looking at you, Gaga.

2. The ’90s Are Back
We all know Broadway loves recycling successful properties from the mainstream worlds of entertainment, with recent examples including Anastasia, SpongeBob SquarePants, and the upcoming Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Besides success on the Great White Way, the other factor these examples have in common, of course, is that they were entertainment staples for children of the ’90s.

As the adults who grew up on Rugrats start creating rug rats (and expendable income) of their own, it makes sense for Broadway to capitalize on millennials’ nostalgia by providing kid-friendly shows that they can enjoy with their offspring. There are examples of this continuing phenomenon already on the horizon, with Mean Girls opening this spring and surely more to come. So if you’re not feeling ready for a Sonic the Hedgehog musical, it’s about time to dust of your Sega, crack open a can of Surge, and get ready for the all-singing, all-dancing return of the ’90s.

3. Adaptations Will Become Looser in an Effort to Meet the Sensibilities of 2018
Broadway producers love nothing more than plucking proven properties from the film archives, finding a creative team to work its musical theater magic, and coming out the other side with a crowd-pleasing hit that runs for years. But while titles like the Broadway-bound Pretty Woman might start with a leg up in terms of name recognition, screen-to-stage adaptations are facing their own Everest that keeps getting steeper.

In 1990, audiences were ready and willing to swoon over a silver-haired millionaire rescuing a young prostitute with untapped potential from a future of streetwalking. In the #MeToo era of 2017-18, however, that story — among others with similarly outmoded romantic tropes — will have a much harder time appealing to audiences with keener sensitivities to stereotypes, female representation, and overarching gender and racial diversity.

Artists will have to tick all of these boxes if they want to be embraced by fans and endorsed by critics — so that means these decades-old stories are going to have to get a modern tune-up. We’re predicting this will mean musicals with weaker resemblances to their source material but perhaps finished products that finally pass the Bechdel test.

4. Multilingual Theater Will Bridge the Gap Between Communities
Multilingual theater has appeared on Broadway through the years, but it started to become more mainstream after Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights, and the crossover continued with the revival of West Side Story in which select songs were translated (by Miranda) into Spanish.

Currently, The Band’s Visit is performed predominantly in English but also includes Hebrew and Arabic spoken onstage, while the Public Theater’s recent Oedipus El Rey reimagined a centuries-old Greek play in English and Spanish. Yiddish was also heard on Broadway in last season’s production of “Indecent.” This spring will see a Broadway revival of Mark Medoff’s Children of a Lesser God, in which characters use American Sign Language to communicate (A.S.L. was also featured in the recent Broadway revival of ”Spring Awakening”).

Regional theater is getting on board with multilingual productions as well. At the Colony Theatre in Miami Beach, Michel Hausmann’s Miami New Drama opened its season with a trilingual production of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town performed in English, Spanish, and Creole. The company will continue with a Latinx riff on Miss Julie called Queen of Basel.

We predict that in 2018, the theater industry will further bridge the gap with even more multilingual productions of new plays and musicals as well as the classics, appealing to all audiences that make up this melting pot of a country.

5. Theater Awards Committees Will Reconsider the Value of Gender-Specific Categories
As American society continues to embrace broader, more diverse ideas about gender and identity, the way we recognize excellence in the theater world will have to evolve too. Traditional award categories recognize exceptional performances by actors and actresses, but not all performers identify themselves according to the male-female binary. A transgender performer, for example, whose work deserves award recognition should not be forced to accept an award that does not agree with their gender identity, however they define it for themselves.

That’s why we predict that in 2018, theater award committees will begin serious discussion about how to replace actor and actress categories with gender-neutral labels. This sea change will not take place overnight, but the time is ripe for us to scrutinize the reasons we recognize performance excellence based on gender in the first place and for coming up with new ways to honor the theater’s top talent without taking an artist’s sex chromosomes into account.

6. End-of-Times Dramas Will Become All the Rage
Nuclear war. Climate change. D.I.Y. terrorism. The news on any given day already sounds like the first act of an apocalyptic drama, so how long before the mayhem transfers to the stage? Spoiler alert: It already has. Lucy Kirkwood’s The Children, set in the wake of a nuclear disaster, premiered last year at London’s Royal Court Theatre and opened on Broadway earlier this month. We’re guessing more worst-case-scenario plays will follow in 2018. They may, like The Children, be new works or, like the production of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame at Los Angeles’s Kirk Douglas Theatre last year, timely revivals. Either way, expect to be discomfited.

7. Playwrights and Directors Will Traffic in Truth and Lies
In the era of “alternative facts” and “fake news,” it is often difficult to know who is telling you the truth, who is lying to you, and who is just regurgitating the lies they themselves credulously consumed. In an effort to reflect this disturbing trend, theater makers will blur the line between fact and fiction onstage. Rajiv Joseph is already doing that in his epic Russian history play, Describe the Night, which weaves verified history, myth, and conspiracy theories into one fascinating narrative. Directors will also start breaking down the unspoken, trust-based conventions of the theater (curtains, house lights, applause) in order to make audiences viscerally feel the sensations of confusion and doubt. Lee Sunday Evans did that stunningly in the New York debut of Christopher Chen’s Caught last year. America’s leading artists seem poised to grapple with the notion of the truth as we do the same in our society at large.

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