Students Perform MJ Medley At At Her Majesty’s Theatre In The West End

Sources: This is Local London – By James Craven| All Things Michael

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Theatre students got a taste of life in the West End as they took to the stage to perform a Michael Jackson medley.

Pupils from Stagecoach Barnet, based in Cromer Road, New Barnet, performed at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Westminster last Sunday alongside pupils from other Stagecoach schools across the country.

The young performers sang and danced to “Earth Song,” as well as remixes of “Beat It” and “Smooth Criminal.”

Stagecoach Barnet principal Jenny-Marie Cooper said: “I am delighted that pupils from my school had the opportunity to perform at this iconic venue. Everyone has had a brilliant time rehearsing for the production and it was great to see them on stage.

“Performances like this showcase the hard work of our students, providing them with memorable experiences and life skills which they can use throughout their careers. I have no doubt that for these talented students it will not be the last time they perform on a West End stage.”

 

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Senior/Women’s Dance Group The Red Hot Mama’s Perform Beat It At Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Sources: NY Daily News| Red Hot Mamas | Edited By – All Things Michael

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Thousands of New Yorkers lined the streets for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, from the Upper West Side to Herald Square, casting their gaze to colossal balloons drifting overhead.

Temperatures hovered in the 30s and flurries of snow did little to dampen the spirit of New Yorkers and out-of-towners packing the sidewalks.

The Red Hot Mamas, a group of elderly women decked out in matching neon floral print dresses and occasionally pushing walkers, drew one of the loudest cheers as they danced to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”

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The Red Hot Mama Parade Unit is a dance/drill team featuring strollers, milk jugs, mops, shopping carts, or any other idea we get.  The combination of drill team precision and outrageous costumes cause a Rip Roarin’ Riot wherever they go.

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The zany Red Hot Mamas are nothing but unique, capturing the hearts of all ages.  The group is composed of women with a Genuine Zest for Life, a Mama, Grandmama, Great Grandmama, OR just plain Great!  The Queen Mama is currently 80 years young, with most members ranging in age from 30 to 60 (But don’t try guessing which ones are over 60 unless you can run real fast!!) These women triumph over all that life has to throw at them including illnesses and personal losses. Hi-Spirited, Vibrant, Full of Fun, and definitely: ONE-OF-A-KIND

The Red Hot Mamas are a not for profit musical/comedy service organization. Founded by artistic director, Mikki Stevens in 1993. Auditions are held annually.

Members are trained in theatrical performance skills, stage makeup, costuming, choreography, drill team, dance, sound tech, and properties management for public presentation.

They were entered into congressional record by Governor Butch Otter and also honored to receive The Americanism Award from the VFW for writing and producing an original play entitled “Tribute to the American Spirit” to support 9/11 relief efforts.

The group mission is to encourage and motivate women to be all they want to be at all ages, while evidencing humor, hope, and fun through uplifting entertainment to Change the World!

Debut performance video

Website

Gospel Artist / Singer/ Songwriter Andrae Couch To Honored With Nationwide Tour

Sources: Progess Index | Edited By – All Things Michael

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RICHMOND — Gospel music legend Andraé Crouch will be honored with the “Let the Church Say Amen” celebration tour in cities nationwide this holiday season. The tour stops in Richmond at the Altria Theater on Tuesday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m. It will feature guest performances by some of Gospel’s top artists, including CeCe Winans, Marvin Winans, Israel Houghton, Marvin Sapp, Rance Allen and jazz artist Gerald Albright.

Tickets range from $34 – $64 (plus applicable fees) at the Altria Theater Box Office located at 6 N. Laurel St., online at AltriaTheater.com, or by phone at 800-514-3849 (ETIX). ADA seating tickets are available. Box office hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The “Let the Church Say Amen” celebration tour will hit multiple cities, with stops in Charlotte, Birmingham, Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Richmond, Detroit, Indianapolis, Columbus, Milwaukee, Chicago, Cleveland and more to be announced.

Produced by Riverphlo Entertainment (Mano Hanes), the “Let The Church Say Amen” celebration tour will pay homage to the living legend’s career spanning over five decades. With seven Grammy Awards, six GMA Dove Awards and an Academy Award nomination for The Color Purple, Andraé is a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

As it relates to the tour, Pastor Andraé Crouch says, “Luther “Mano” Hanes is a musical genius! I am so proud of him! He is a monster producer and a superb musician. I am blessed to call him my son and whole heartily endorse this exciting tour.”

“With a visionary like Mano at the helm nothing but pure amazement will follow! He walks in a psalmist anointing that can’t be denied. This is not just a concert this is an experience! You won’t leave the way you came.” – Pastor Sandra Crouch

Andraé’s songs have been recorded by everyone from Elvis Presley to Paul Simon, and he has worked as a producer and arranger with many of music’s top artists, including Michael Jackson, Madonna, Quincy Jones, Diana Ross, Elton John and many others.

Andraé can also be heard on Michael Jackson’s hit singles “Man in the Mirror,” “Keep the Faith,” “Will You Be There” and “Earth Song.”

For more information, visit http://letthechurchsayamentour.com

Andrae Crouch’s Biography

“Man in the Mirror” – Michael Jackson (Live)

Michael Jackson Keep The Faith

Michael Jackson- Will You Be There

Michael Jackson – Earth Song

MJ’s Memorial – Andrae Crouch Singers – “Soon And Very Soon”

 

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Ben Bowman: “The Great Thing About Michael Jackson Is That You Never Stop Learning”

Sources: Crawley  Observer – By Phil Hewitt | Edited By – All Things Michael

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Ben Bowman cites an interview in which the late Michael Jackson said he would love to meet Michelangelo just to ask him what inspired his art.

“He wouldn’t have been wanting to ask him who he had slept with the night before,” Ben says. “He would have wanted to know about the art.”

And that’s the way Ben – who brings his Jackson Live in Concert tribute to Martlets Hall in Burgess Hill on Friday, November 28 – hopes and believes we are now heading with Jackson himself, five years after his death.

“Now he has passed, I think he is being recognised for what the whole world really should have cared about, the fact that he was an amazing artist.”

Ben himself has always been a huge fan: “I am one of those people that always loved watching him and trying and learning the dance moves. When I was 15 or 16, just about to leave school and didn’t know what to do with my life, I was mucking around in a science lesson, impersonating Jackson’s voice, and one of my friends said ‘You really sound like him! You should really do something with that!’”

Ben insists it would never have occurred to him, but he took the advice. His first show was two pounds a ticket. It sold out, and Ben has never looked back. He managed a café for the first three years alongside his Jackson activities, but at the age of 21, the Jackson work was taking off enough for him to be able to devote himself to it full time.

“I took the plunge and became a full-time impersonator, but the great thing about Michael Jackson is that you never stop learning. I say that with tribute acts you can only ever be as good as that person, but Michael Jackson was so great that you can never stop reaching new heights.”

Ben continues: “He wanted to be the greatest pop star that ever lived, and he was. He went for it and achieved it and more. He was a terrific writer, but also a terrific arranger and performer and singer and dancer. Everything about him was genius pop star.”

“I remember reading he was very nervous before the press conference announcing the O2 dates because he didn’t think people would remember him. He had no idea.”

When Jackson died, things went mad in the tribute industry. Ben was on TV, in huge demand for interviews and sometimes doing five shows a day. Things have quietened down considerably since then.

“But I hope people can now see what a wonderful person he was.

“For me, it is just fantastic to be able to take off someone that I really admire and have a passion for.”

 

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Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean Director Steve Barron Talks About Working With The Eighties’ Biggest Music Artists In His New Memoir

Sources: The Telegraph – By Rupert Hawksley | Edited By – All Things Michael

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“I was more excited about The Human League,” laughs Steve Barron, as he tells me about the time he was asked to direct the video for Michael Jackson’s hit single, Billie Jean. “I was more disappointed about not doing The Jam’s Down in the Tube Station at Midnight.” This was 1982.

A decade later, the Billie Jean video was inducted into the Music Video Producers Hall of Fame and now, some 32 years after the video was released, Barron has written a book, titled Egg ‘n’ Chips and Billie Jean: a Trip Through the Eighties. The music video that least excited Barron has, in many ways, come to define him.

The 58-year-old Dubliner has since directed a number of successful feature length films including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), Rat (2000) and the hugely popular Mike Bassett: England Manager (2001), a sequel to which is due to be released next year. He has also been nominated for 27 Emmy Awards and five Golden Globes.

However, it is Barron’s creative output during the Eighties, when he was working with and producing music videos for artists such as Fleetwood Mac, Madonna, Dolly Parton, A-ha (Magne Furuholmen from the band designed the artwork for the memoir), Paul McCartney and David Bowie, that forms the basis of this fascinating memoir, released earlier this month.

Was writing the book a cathartic experience?

SB: It was quite a cathartic experience. I wrote it in two chunks; I just went away for some of it and did nothing else for 14 hours a day, which is the best way of doing it.

I imagine all sorts of memories came flooding back…

SB: Memories kept popping out of the woodwork. I’d be writing about a specific day in the Eighties, and suddenly I would be back near the street where I once was with Michael Jackson – La Brea [in Los Angeles]. It’s a very particular street between Highland and Santa Monica that I drove up and down many times. It is almost the route to everywhere: not far from the Chateau Marmont where you’d hang out, [near the] Sunset Marquee, so it seemed to be at the centre of everything. I did once add up that I’d spent a total of four years at the Sunset Marquee during the Eighties.

When I went to write about all of that, I kept driving again and smelling La Brea, which has a very specific, dry smell. It has a smell that is very hard to describe: it’s LA, but it’s dry, dust meets petrol. It was very different to London, which has always got this very familiar, but sort of dank feel.

It was obviously a special time…

SB: Things came together at a certain time; in a certain atmosphere; when, culturally, things were at a certain place. Culture was in a pretty bad way. When you look at movies in the Eighties, we weren’t in great shape, creatively.

And so there was a massive opportunity for something to come along and change, in particular, the rhythms. And we realised that we didn’t have to just do what we’d seen before. We could be open to something completely original or extraordinary. There was a bunch of us who felt that way at the same time, and we began kicking open the door and the door kept opening, so we just piled in and had a great experience creating some absolute rubbish – and some stuff that has stayed around. I am really, really happy that I was there to experience, and lucky enough to experience, that journey through the Eighties.

And how do you feel about the state that culture is in today?

SB: My heart bleeds for music video directors who are trying to get through now on formats such as YouTube. There isn’t an industry, it’s falling away. Whereas we had a massive opportunity, there was a gaping hole to be filled. Right now, such a thing does not exist, there’s just a mass of everything with no holes to fill. You just have to shout louder. And there are some great videos being done that would have won MTV Video of the Year 10 times over back in the day. It is much harder to get appreciated because there is so much noise around. But there is some really great stuff out there.

Let’s go back to how it all started. How did you arrive at a stage when Michael Jackson’s agent is calling you to ask you to direct the video for Billie Jean?

SB: I left school early and became a camera assistant; a tea boy, really. I leaned to make a great cup of tea and got very involved with a lot of good film crews, who were doing a lot of good films. At the time I was really good at the tea and I think I was quite efficient at being perceptive of what might be needed.

Who gave you that first break?

SB: I worked with a film director called Peter Macdonald who was absolutely brilliant. He was involved with Cabaret (1972), A Bridge Too Far (1977), Superman (1978); all these major films. He was a brilliant operator, but he also had a real discipline about him which I’d never really seen.

I’d come out of school where it was all about getting away with what you could, and suddenly I couldn’t get away with anything. If I’d been out late the night before, he’d put me on the crane with the zoom, give me the most tricky job, where I couldn’t move out of my seat because of the balance. I would be hungover as hell. And he would have me doing the most complicated zoom, ending up on a close-up of Michael Caine. That was the best growing up I could do because it was a real discipline for someone who had become unwieldy at school. Even though I was someone who was really young, I was in the know technically, without training, just from observing.

And how did you then make the jump from working on film sets to directing and producing music videos?

SB: I’m hanging out with people like The Jam or Siouxsie and the Banshees. The music’s really interesting and we all tended to end up at the Speakeasy Club, so my social life is around music, not film.

The bands were my mates and they’re all curious about me working on these big movies. There were very few people who were connected in any way to music and film, there really wasn’t a crossover. And suddenly I was on that bridge and, even though I was just loading the film, the music people didn’t know the difference between that and a director. So it was like, ‘can you make one of those films that you’re working on for us?’

What was the first music video you made?

SB: The very first band that I filmed was The Only Ones, for their single Another Girl Another Planet. But the band I first connected with was The Jam. They were becoming really big. I wasn’t friends with them but I’d attempted to film a day at the Reading Festival that they were headlining, and so I met their manager and we filmed some of it. The Jam were aware that I was around trying to put these things together. At the time, what I was producing weren’t even called videos; they were called promotional films. I remember it changing between 1978 and 1980. At first, bands were saying ‘get me one of those promotional films’ and then suddenly it was a case of, ‘get me one of those videos’. It was then that the music video was born.

 

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Michael talks about Billie Jean on a 1999 interview at 9:23

Usher’s 6 Best Live TV Performances

Sources: Yahoo Music | All Things Michael

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Yahoo Live will stream Usher’s The UR Experience show at the Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on Nov. 30 at 8 p.m. PT/11 p.m. ET, via Live Nation’s channel on Yahoo Screen. Tune in!

Usher has rightfully earned the distinction as of the best performers of his generation. The pop star that made his debut in 1993 on the soundtrack of the Janet Jackson/Tupac film Poetic Justicecontinues to evolve as an artist. We’ve compiled highlights from his televised performances that include sharing the stage with Michael Jackson, paying homage to Luther Vandross, and bringing to life music from his own multiplatinum catalog.

Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration, “You Rock My World” (2001)

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Sharing the stage with his idol Michael Jackson was an obvious career highlight for Usher. As Jackson began to close “You Rock My World” for the anniversary special that aired on CBS, Usher entered doing a forward version of Jackson’s signature moonwalk. Jackson loved the quick face-off that peaked when comedian Chris Tucker joined them to do his own Jackson impression.

The BET Awards, “U Don’t Have to Call” (2002)

Usher rolled out the dramatic effects for this BETs appearance. He played up his sex appeal by starting the routine off lying in bed shirtless. After getting dressed, he jumped down from the 10-foot platform and met his background dancers centerstage. Later, a riser elevated him for a hip-hop dance sequence that wrapped in a circle of flames.

The BET Awards, “Yeah” (2004)

Usher’s opening for his 2004 BET Awards performance easily set him apart from his competition. Along with two background dancers and support from harnesses, he pulled off his intricate hip-hop choreography while on an illuminated platform slanted at a 45-degree angle. Honestly, Spider-Man could not have scaled the wall any better. The rest of the number included Usher’s usual high-energy routines and explosive guest appearances from Lil Jon and Ludacris.

The Oprah Winfrey Show, “Superstar” (2005)

Usher is primarily known for his dance records, but he showed impressive strength at singing ballads when covering Luther Vandross’s classic “Superstar” during a tribute on The Oprah Winfrey Show in September 2005 just months after Vandross’s passing. Considering Vandross is regarded by many as R&B’s all-time favorite balladeer, this was a bold move for Usher, but he sounded great. Usher’s version appears on So Amazing: An All-Star Tribute to Luther Vandross.

The Apollo, “You Make Me Wanna” (2007)

Usher was on the verge of superstardom when he released his sophomore album, My Way, in the summer of 1997, and that was evident in his stage presence when he played the historical Apollo. The then-teen singer had mastered engaging the lively audience. He knew when to sing, when to appease the crowd’s singalong to his first pop hit, and when to put the microphone down and simply dance.

The Grammy Awards, “OMG” (2011)

In 2011, the veteran performer proved that he was still the king of the stage, sharing a moment with his protégé Justin Bieber, along with Jaden Smith. After Bieber sang “Baby” and “Never Say Never” with Smith, Usher appeared (at 3:45 mark), executing some of his best-choreographed moves.

 

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Madame Tussauds And Sketchfab Team Up For 3D Print Of Michael Jackson, Steven Spielberg, Fidel Castro And Others

Sources: 3dPrint.com – By Brian Krassenstein | All Things Michael

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Just like 2D scanners became affordable and mainstream and saw a rapid increase in the quality of their capabilities two decades ago, the same is now happening within the 3D scanner space. If you ever have an opportunity to use a 3D scanner, it’s actually quite fun, and I must say, addictive. Capturing people, moments in time, and all sorts of objects, in a form which will put a picture to shame, the technology promises to transform how we preserve the past.

Already there are tens of thousands of 3D models of scanned objects available for those who wish to view them, or even duplicate them via a 3D printer. As 3D printing technology continues to progress, the ability to replicate cherished objects, museum exhibits, and whatever the heck else you want, will become ever more possible and higher quality.

We’ve already seen several museums jump on board the 3D scanning wave including the Smithsonian, Peabody, and the Met, among others. While almost all the objects have been artifacts and art, the technology is now being used at one of the more interesting museums out there,  Madame Tussauds, to scan people… sort of.

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If any of you have ever wandered into the Madame Tussauds Museum in London, or any of the other branches located in a number of major cities around the world, you may have felt like you were among some of the most important people to ever walk the earth. That’s because in a way you are. The museums feature dozens of famous people, from athletes to presidents to royals and more, all sculpted out of wax, presented as full size statues. The intricate detail of each piece is extraordinary, displaying details which could fool anyone viewing a picture of one of the statues into believing it’s an actual person.

Today Sketchfab, along with Madame Tussauds, have released the initial scans of what should be a comprehensive collection of 3D models of the Madame Tussauds collection. The gallery is crowdsourced and asks users to “contribute to this gallery by tagging your work ‘madametussauds.’”

From Albert Einstein to Michael Jackson, Jimmy Hendrix, Steven Spielberg, and Fidel Castro, there are currently over 30 models available for download. Once downloaded, any of these models can easily be 3D printed, allowing fans of various actors, politicians, and musicians to step up their fanhood, or should be say ‘obsession,’ quite a bit.

While it may be impossible to get many of these celebrities to set time aside to actually undergo the scanning process, not to mention many are no longer with us, scanning a wax model which is nearly identical to each person is certainly the next best approach.

Let us know you thoughts on this very interesting gallery at Sketchfab. Feel free to share with us any 3D prints you have done in the Sketchfab & Madame Tussauds forum thread on 3DPB.com

 

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6-Year-Old Dances To Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal And Brings The House Down

Sources: Huffington Post – By Avery Stone | All Things Michael

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This boy is smooth.

Six-year-old Willie Osborn decided to channel Michael Jackson during an elementary school talent show. Dancing to Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal,” his performance — and his outfit — were spot-on.

The video was uploaded to YouTube Wednesday, but it isn’t the first time Willie’s wowed crowds with his dancing. He previously made headlines with “Smooth Criminal” when he performed the routine — complete with backup dancers — at a talent show in Indiana.

 

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