Paul Anka: He’s still got it!


 

Paul Anka at the Palace Theater in Columbus, Ohio.

Paul Anka at the Palace Theater in Columbus, Ohio.

What does the name Paul Anka mean to you? If you were running around in the 50’s and early 60’s he was a teen idol. Songs he wrote and popularized include “Puppy Love,” and “Lay your head on my shoulder.”

You also might know him as a popular songwriter. He wrote for various artists including Tom Jones, ” She’s a Lady.” He wrote “My Way” for Frank Sinatra in about 5 hours. It was so successful that it brought Sinatra out of retirement.

Anka appeared at The Palace on October 13, and gave a memorable show.

He surprised the audience by making his entrance from the back of the theater. By the time he got on the stage, it was crystal clear that he still had the voice, energy, and charm. His full piece orchestra situated on the stage was first class.

He kept saying he did the gig because he had a passion for entertaining Luckily, the audience benefited from his spirited performance. He also told funny jokes throughout the show. He danced with a woman in the first row. He shook hands with the audience.

It just wasn’t a former teen idol singing his hits like “Puppy Love” and “Put your head on my shoulder.”  Anka is the real deal, an accomplished musician, and songwriter. He did let the audience reminisce with him by singing along at the beginning and end of the show.

There was a movie screen that came down and showed excerpts of Anka with a lot of famous people including members of the “Rat Pack:, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra. Dick Clark, the perennial teenager from American Bandstand, momentarily appeared in the montage.

There was acknowledgement of the great Sammy Davis Jr. In a filmed segment, Sammy was singing one of Anka’s songs and smoking a cigarette for artistic effect. (Prophetic, considering Davis died from throat cancer at 64.)

Midway through the show Anka, sat on the stage and played the guitar in tribute to Buddy Holly.

Near the end of the show, he energetically performed,” My Way.” The orchestra also did a tribute to Prince by weaving in “Purple Rain.” I’m not sure the audience got the connection.

There was a group of ladies waiting for him at the stage door. They had that look of idol worship on their faces.

If you get a chance to catch Anka on his upcoming tour, go. He’s one of the best.

Move Live Tour: Derek and Julianne Hough: A Review


I decided to attend the “Move Live Tour” featuring Julianne and Derek Hough. They are the talented brother and sister act that are from “Dancing With the Stars.” Julianne used to be a dancer on the show,  but stepped up to be a judge last year.

I love watching Derek each season, but it’s something else to watch Julianne dance with him. It’s a treat to watch him masterfully dance with professionals. It reminded me of the Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire movies.

Julianne is as good as he is, and she has a fantastic voice.

Their show sold out the Palace Theater in Columbus, Ohio which holds hundreds of people. The audience was primarily women of all ages, sizes and shapes. During the show the Houghs kept engaging the huge audience, and made it feel like we were a part of the show. They even got the crowd up on their feet to dance.

Derek and Julianne started the show coming out on their huge staircase set, music playing and lights flashing.  The set changed with each number. They had a group of talented dancers accompanying them who were just as limber, energetic, and easy on the eyes. There’s something refreshing about youthful energy.

The show went from traditional to modern dancing. They even did a few dances emulating Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. They also shook their booties in a most entertaining way. The skill and artistry was present throughout the show.  My favorite duet with the Houghs was a dance they did on “Dancing With the Stars”. (If you’re a viewer, it was the dance done with the children imitating their dance moves.  ( They did it without the kids in this show, but it was still terrific.)

Toward the end, Julianne sang some great ballads wearing unique costumes. One of my favorites was a dress that lit up with all kinds of lights and reflected back and forth between audience and the stage.

During parts of the show, Derek came out and shared some pieces of advice. I suspect it was while they moved around the set and changed costumes.

Julianne and Derek Hough

Julianne and Derek Hough

My favorite was when he said, ” if you don’t feel confident with a skill go out and try it. You may not be great, but you will get better. If you wait and wait  you won’t get better.”

The show lived up to its name, and kept moving. If it’s coming to your town, go see it. You won’t  regret it!

Les Miserable


If you’ve never seen the Broadway play of Les Miserable, maybe you’ll appreciate this clip from a 10th anniversary special. These were all the professionals who played the main parts.

I did enjoy the movie, but I was a little haunted by all the big voices I was used to hearing when I saw it live. This play is a particular favorite of mine.    I’ve seen it several times. What do you think?

Going to Myrtle Beach? Don’t miss “One” at The Alabama Theatre


If you’re vacationing at Myrtle Beach and want to see some first-class entertainment, do I have a show for you!

It’s called “One”, and it’s showcased at the beautiful “Alabama Theater”. The theater was opened by the famous  country group, Alabama. It’s a beautiful theatre.

I would suggest buying tickets on the main floor. Although you can see from the balcony, the main floor makes it more intimate.

Flag of City of Myrtle Beach

Flag of City of Myrtle Beach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not that much of a country music fan, and I picked this venue because it promised a little bit of everything, and it delivered. There was: country, Broadway, Motown, a smidgen of gospel, and a little Rock-n-roll.

I wasn’t expecting the great entertainment featured there. I didn’t know all the performers had terrific resumes. Greg Rowles, the musical emcee, was a Star Search winner, and has gotten national recreation. I guess singing at the Vatican, and repeatedly starring at the Grand Ole Opry qualifies him.

There are 25 members of the cast, they are all  mega-talented. The band was fantastic!  Everyone sang and danced expertly.

It started out with a comedian, Grant Turner, who I thought was going to be a 0 when he started. Guess what? He was a 10. He made me laugh aloud. It was g-rated humor too. How refreshing is that?

My highlights: A scene from “Wicked”. I’ve seen the actual musical several times, and the people starring in this were just as good if not better. The witch even flew!

A song from “Les Miserable” by Steven Michael Gannon who actually did the part for 4 years. “Bring Him Home” brought tears to my eyes.

The singer, Gail Bliss, did “Crazy” by Patsy Cline. (It’s one of my husband’s favorites, so I was familiar with it.) She did an excellent job. I guess this is one of her specialties. She was super-talented and did other numbers throughout the show!

They did a tribute to Frank Sinatra, and it was good. Although I’m too young to really have been much of a Sinatra fan, I knew all the songs. It was enjoyable.

I really enjoyed the Motown tribute. I am plenty old enough to know every song they sang. There was a super dance tribute to Michael Jackson.

The costumes, and the sets were just amazing. They projected great stuff on huge screens behind the cast members when they were performing.

The ending was quite patriotic. It was a little schmaltzy,  but I enjoyed it anyway. I liked the patriotic songs they picked to sing!

This production equals anything I’ve seen on Broadway or Las Vegas.

It’s a bargain for the $ 30.00 to $40.00 tickets.

There website is http://www.alabama-theatre.com.