Alfonso Ribeiro Brings His Love Of Baseball And “Carlton Dance” To Dow Diamond

Source: – By Hugh Bernreuter | All Things Michael


MIDLAND, MI — Before Alfonso Ribeiro became a Broadway star, Michael Jackson’s child double and Will Smith’s foil on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, he was a Little League shortstop from the Bronx who was in love with the New York Yankees.

“Because I’m short,” Ribeiro said Friday at Dow Diamond before the Great Lakes Loons faced the Lansing Lugnuts in a Midwest League game.

“I could hit better than I could field … I could go out there and have a good time hitting right now,” Ribeiro said. “I’m a kid from the Bronx, so it had to be the Yankees for me. Dave Winfield was my No. 1 guy. He gave me one of his Hall of Fame balls for my 40th birthday.”

Ribeiro’s career, however, put him in front of a different kind of audience. He landed the lead role in the Broadway Musical The Tap Dance Kid. Ribeiro, 42, landed the role as Michael Jackson’s “child double” for a Pepsi commercial and a spot on the sitcom Silver Spoons.

“If people ask me what I’m most proud of, it’s The Tap Dance Kid,” Ribeiro said. “I was a 12-year-old kid with a leading role on Broadway.”

But he received his greatest fame starring next to Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, playing Carlton Banks. The sitcom ran from 1990 through 1996, serving as a platform for Smith.

Ribeiro’s greatest fame from the sitcom came from a dance, which has become known as The Carlton Dance, a series of scripted moves that accentuates a lack of dancing ability.

“I actually took the dance by Courteney Cox on the Bruce Springsteen video and combined it with Eddie Murphy’s White People dance from Delirious,” Ribeiro said. “You take things from other people. I put my own flair on it.

“It’s fun. I danced with Michael Jackson, but that’s the thing I’ll be remembered for and that’s OK because people love it.”

In the last five years, Ribeiro has worked as a game-show host, a reality-show contestant and director.

He also golfs in charity events, which led to a friendship with Jamie and Karen Moyer and, by extension, Great Lakes Loons shortstop Dillon Moyer, who caught Ribeiro’s First Pitch.

“I will get it to him, but I’m not sure how close it will be to him,” Ribeiro said. “On the elevator up here, my wife just asked me not to do something that gets put on ESPN. We don’t want any 50 Cent pitches.”


His wife, Angela Unkrich, didn’t need to worry. Ribeiro’s first pitch to Moyer had decent velocity and hit the outside corner.

Ribeiro’s love of baseball was forced to take a backseat when his childhood drifted toward Broadway and dancing.

“I know I missed a lot of things because of my career, but I was doing something I loved, something I had a passion for,” Ribeiro said. “So I don’t really regret it, but I do realize that there were things I missed during my childhood.

“If someone asked me for advice, I would tell them to enjoy their childhood, enjoy doing dumb stuff. It’s a different time now, where everybody has a cell phone with a camera on it. You’re not allowed to be young and famous and stupid anymore.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read more at Mlive

New Robert Burns Musical Reportedly In The Works

Source: Scottland Now


A musical, which showcases the poetry and life of the Bard, is set to be revived by music producer David Gest after he found songs written by the late Michael Jackson.

The late Michael Jackson has inspired a new musical based on the works of Robert Burns.

The King of Pop planned to illustrate the poetry and life of the Scottish Bard in a stage show during the 90s with long-time friend and music producer David Gest.

However, Gest will revive the show after he found the songs written by the Thriller icon – with Scottish actor John Barrowman expected to play the lead role.

Gest said: “I found the recordings from that time about four months ago. It’s going to be a different play but it is still going to be the story of Burns.

“Work is under way on a revised script and soundtrack.”

Casting for One Fond Kiss will begin at the end of the month and the show is expected to open in Lossiemouth next year.

Gest is to star as Tam O’Shanter in the new production, which is a collaboration between the musical producer and Rock Academy College.

The idea for the original show 20 years ago came about when Jackson offered Gest use of the family recording studio in California.

They put together the soundtrack for the original musical, Red Red Rose, based on Burns’s life. It featured songs adapted from 12 poems of the Bard.

Gest said: “We found his poetry so moving and his life so fascinating.”

But the project never got off the ground after the show’s producer, Psycho star Anthony Perkins, died later that year.


Read more:

Apollo Historian Says “Michael Was A Gift, By God”

Source: The Telegraph – By Martin Chilton


The world famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem celebrated its 80th birthday this week with a special gala concert featuring Natalie Cole, Edwin Hawkins, The Isley Brothers and Gladys Knight.

James Brown, the “Godfather of Soul”, performed at the Apollo more than 200 times and he was celebrated by British singer Joss Stone, who performed It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World during a spring gala charity show that raised a record £1.4million.

The event was hosted by comedian Wayne Brady, and Australian quartet Human Nature performed Motown hits, including I Want You Back by the Jackson 5. Billy Mitchell, who has been the Apollo historian for the past three decades having previously worked, since he was 13, as an usher, co-ordinator of amateur nights and tour guide, told AP’s Anna Hiatt this week that the best thing he had ever seen at the 125th Street venue was the Jackson 5 in their prime in 1967. Mitchell, 64, recalled with wonder how nine-year-old Michael Jackson brought the house down, saying:

“They rocked this stage. Michael Jackson was a gift, by God. I’ve never seen anyone, before or after, anywhere else, do what Michael did.”

Black and White - Apollo   2002

Black and White – Apollo 2002

Since 1934, the Apollo has launched the careers of many of America’s greatest musicians in blues, jazz and soul, swing, gospel, Motown, funk and hip-hop. Jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald was a teenager when she won an Apollo amateur night contest in 1934. And, 30 years later, guitarist Jimi Hendrix won one at 22. Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, James Brown, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles all played the Apollo.

The Isley Brothers’ name will be added to the walk of fame in front of the venue later this year. “Funds for the Apollo allow us to continue to provide innovative performing arts programs, educational programs for young people, students and families,” said CEO and president Jonelle Procope.

As Gladys Knight appeared on the stage she looked out at the crowd and summed up the feeling of so many performers with the words: “It’s good to be home.”


Read more:

Spirit of Michael Jackson Dance Contest To Be Held At Juneteenth Celebration

Source: – By Kelsey Stein


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Live music, children’s activities, dance and karaoke contests and much more will be part of the family-friendly festivities Saturday, June 7, at the 18th annual Juneteenth Culture Fest at Kelly Ingram Park.

The oldest known commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States, Juneteenth dates to June 19, 1865. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute has been hosting the local celebration for 18 years.

From 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., the main stage will run the gamut from gospel choirs, dynamic jazz, reggae and R&B bands. Acts include Raw Jazz Trio, Take 7, MC Shaheed and DJ Supreme, Foxxy Fatts, Domenion Band, Joyfulaires, the Goins Sisters, Rhythms Band, Heel and Chucks and The Make it Happen Theatre Company.

But a new addition to this year’s activities will likely garner special attention.

“We have added a special contest to the agenda this year,” said Ahmad Ward, BCRI’s head of education and exhibitions. “To pay tribute to the fifth anniversary of the death of the legendary Michael Jackson, we are featuring a ‘Spirit of Michael Jackson Dance Contest.’ The person who can best emulate the look and dance movements of the King of Pop will win $150 in cash.”

Registration for the Michael Jackson contest starts at 6:30 p.m. at the main stage. Other activities during the day include the Children’s Village in the Park, featuring moonwalks, face painting a rock wall and a magician. The Pavilion in the Park will host Kids’ Dance, Old School Dance and karaoke contests. Food and merchandise vendors will be selling a variety of items from African clothing to Polish sausage.

A Bid Whist tournament and video game trailer will be set up at the intersection of 16th St. and Fifth Ave. North. BCRI will be open with free admission to the galleries and other activities. Author Nick Patterson will be signing his book, “Birmingham Foot Soldiers: Voices From the Civil Rights Movement” from 1-3 p.m. at the BCRI Gift Store.

For more information, call 328-9696, extension 234, or see the agenda at

Can you do this?


Read more:


Motown The Musical Tickets On Sale

Source: Mercury News – By Karen D’Souza

Heard it through the grapevine that tickets just went on sale for “Motown the Musical.”

This is the inside story of Barry Gordy’s journey from boxer to music mogul, adapted from his 1984 autobiography “To Be Loved: The Music, the Magic, the Memories of Motown.”

Gordy founded the Detroit-based record label Motown in 1959, and went on to launch the careers of everyone from Diana Ross and Michael Jackson to Smokey Robinson.

The nostalgic Broadway hit, which premiered in April 2013, dashes through some 50 classic Motown songs, including “Ain’t no Mountain High Enough” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” “Dancing in the Street” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “Mercy Mercy Me,” “Stop! In the Name of Love” and many more.

The production runs Aug. 15-Sept. 28 at San Francisco’s Orpheum Theatre. Tickets are $45-$210;

Read more:


Oshkosh Youth Choir Performs ‘Influential Musicians’

Source: Green Bay Press Gazette


“Influential Musicians” is the latest offering by the Oshkosh Youth Choir. The spring concert is a collection of more than twenty-five popular songs from the fifties through today, several of which have been “mashed up” to become unique musical presentations. Songs include titles by Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, The Backstreet Boys, Lady Gaga and more. “Influential Musicians” will be performed in the auditorium at Webster-Stanley Middle School on Wednesday, May 28, at 6 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. This concert is free to the public.

The Oshkosh Youth Choir is a not-for-profit organization that is open to all 3rd through 12th grade students in Oshkosh and the surrounding areas. The organization is comprised of three vocal choirs: Etude for students in grades 3-5, Lyric for students in grades 6-8, and Aria for students in grades 9-12. Encore!, a show choir, is available to students in grades 7-12.

Anyone interested in supporting the mission of the Oshkosh Youth Choir can call (920) 235-8313 for more information.

Read more:


19 Memorable Music Moments At Bournemouth and Poole College

Source: Daily Echo – By Darren Slade and Sarah Cartlidge


SOME of the biggest names in the world of music have played Bournemouth and Poole over the years.

Here we take a look back at some of the memorable moments. How many of these gigs to you attend?

1. Paul Simon

Paul Simon played the BIC for the first time in November 2006, supporting his acclaimed album Surprise. Simon told the audience that he remembered playing a folk venue in Bournemouth in the 1960s and had gone back to look for it that day but found it gone.

2. Kate Bush

The Beatles and Queen to Oasis – 19 gigs of Bournemouth and Poole’s past (From Bournemouth Echo)

Kate Bush played a warm-up concert for her one and only UK tour on April 2 1979 at Poole Arts Centre. Her number one hit Wuthering Heights was the encore number. But the event was marred by a tragedy, when lighting engineer Bill Duffield fell 20ft to his death while checking the darkened venue after the show. The singer contemplated cancelling the tour.

3. The Beatles

The Beatles played a six-night engagement at the Gaumont (now the Odeon) in Bournemouth in August 1963, giving the town one of the first live performances of their new single, She Loves You. They were at the Winter Gardens that November and at the Gaumont again the next year, while Paul McCartney played the Winter Gardens with Wings in 1973.

4. Everly Brothers and the Rolling Stones

In October 1963, Bournemouth’s Gaumont hosted a package pop show featuring the Everly Brothers, Bo Diddley, Little Richard and a new London band called the Rolling Stones. It was the first of several Stones appearances in the town.

5. Michael Jackson

The man destined to become the world’s biggest pop star, Michael Jackson, played Poole Arts Centre on February 25 1979 with the Jackson 5. Stage doorman Tony Burns told the Echo about the “polite and friendly” young singer who asked to use the phone and shared a cup of coffee and a chat.

6. Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd unveiled their new album, The Dark Side of the Moon, when they played the Winter Gardens on January 22 1972.The venue also played host to a number of other musical greats including:7. Queen (1974)8. Jimi Hendrix (1967)

9. Ella Fitzgerald (1975)

10. Emerson, Lake & Palmer (1970)

11. Tom Jones (1968)

12. Black Sabbath (1974)

13. David Bowie

In May 1975, David Bowie performed his fourth and final Ziggy Stardust appearance in Bournemouth. He had played Chelsea Village twice and the Royal Ballrooms in Boscombe the year before. He did two shows at the Winter Gardens and was filmed by BBC Nationwide backstage and at his hotel.

14. AC/DC

Australian rockers AC/DC played possibly one of the most random shows to feature in our list in 1975 when they played Bournemouth’s Village Bowl in the midst of major arena tour.

15. Oasis

In 1995, Oasis and archrivals Blur both had local shows booked – at the BIC and Showbar respectively – mirroring their contest for the number one singles slot as Oasis Roll With It lost out to Blur’s Country House.

In the end, Oasis postponed their date but went on to play the Lighthouse in 2004, producing a record sell-out for the Poole venue.

The audience included a host of famous faces including Ringo Starr, who was there to watch son Zak Starkey on drums, Jude Law, Sienna Miller and Paul Weller.

16. Brian Wilson

Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson became the first £50 a ticket show in Bournemouth when he played the Pavilion Theatre back in 2004.

17. Elton John

In July 2006, Elton John became the hottest ticket in town when the Rocket Man himself played to 18,000 people at AFC Bournemouth’s stadium.

18. Take That

Take That provoked the kind of hysteria not seen in Bournemouth since the Beatles were in town when they played the BIC in 1993. Scores of fans were pulled from the crowd and one girl was taken to hospital.

19. Bon Jovi

The New Jersey-native had King’s Park rocking when the Radio 1 roadshow came to town.


Read more:







Audiences Flock To See Energetic Student Dance Show

Source: Thame Gazette

9664009Pupils from all year groups took part in a spectacular Dance Through The Decades show at The Grange School. The annual event is so popular, both performances on Thursday and Friday evening were sold out.

Students danced to music from the 60s through to the modern day including songs by Michael Jackson, the Beatles and Pharrell Williams, and wore clothing representative of the eras.

The head teacher’s PA, Mrs Jenny Bell said: “The students were all very enthusiastic and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a great event for the school.”

Mrs Bell said the show was organised by PE teacher Mrs Michelle Shepherd, with assistance from learning support assistant Keoni Bougouneau, who is a very keen dancer.


Read more: Thame Gazette