Tag Archives: Kentertainment

Poppin’ at PIPPIN: Patina Miller Gets Engaged on Opening Night!

26 Apr

Yes, there was poppin’ at the PIPPIN party and Patina answered in the positive to the proposal!  And that’s a lot of plosives for one paragraph!

Patina Miller Gets Engaged!

Patina Miller Gets Engaged!

Patina Basking In the Glow of the Moment

Patina Basking In the Glow of the Moment

Patina Takes It In

Last night, as if the Opening Night of the Broadway revival of PIPPIN wasn’t exciting enough, “Leading Player” Patina Miller found that there was magic to do in the corner of SLATE Restaurant when in no time at all this extraordinary kind of woman spread a little sunshine among partygoers who witnessed the glory of boyfriend David Mars popping the question.  The simple joy of this love song captivated the hearts of everyone in attendance.

David Mars Pops the Question to Patina Miller

CLICK THE PICTURE BELOW FOR A LITTLE VIDEO MONTAGE OF THE JOY!

Patina and David 2

VIDEO: Click the pic above for a little video montage of the joy.

PIPPIN co-star Matthew James Thomas congratulates the happy couple.

PIPPIN co-star Matthew James Thomas congratulates the happy couple.

Matthew shares a hug with his co-star.Matthew shares a hug with his co-star.

PIPPIN stars Patina MIller & Matthew James Thomas

PIPPIN stars Patina MIller & Matthew James Thomas

Patina Miller, I was honored to be in the room with you for this special occasion!

VIDEO: Ken interviews Patina Miller earlier in the evening.

VIDEO: Ken interviews Patina Miller earlier in the evening.

I’ll bet Patina and David had morning glow when the sun came up today and am certain they’re on the right track to a lifetime of happiness.  Congratulations on the PIPPIN Poppin’!!

Patina and David take it all in.

Patina and David take it all in.

The Happy Couple

The Happy Couple

p.s.  Extra points if you noticed that this entire post is comprised of every song title from PIPPIN…what is a science to some is just an ordinary life for me.  🙂

At the PIPPIN Party

At the PIPPIN Party

 

 

Happy 92nd Birthday, Carol Channing!

31 Jan

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Happy 92nd Birthday, Carol Channing!

It’s no secret that I am a  great admirer of the legendary Carol Channing.  I’ve been blessed and lucky enough to have had the fortune to interview Carol Channing on numerous occasions (generally connected to my annual “That’s Kentertainment!: A Christmas Carol” specials or when I’m helping to promote the “Dr. Carol Channing & Harry Kullijian Foundation for the Arts” started by both Carol and her sorely-missed late husband Harry).

Carol Harry

Harry and Carol: Childhood Sweethearts

Here is an excerpt from the “3rd Annual Christmas Carol”.  This interview was filmed November 27, 2004, the day after Thanksgiving.  My great friend Jason Olsen and I got up extra-early (like 4am-early) and extra-stuffed (from Thanksgiving dinner) to schlep via train to Holyoke, Massachusetts to interview Carol, who was in the area performing her show, “The First 80 Years Are The Hardest” (or at least that’s what she liked to call it!).  After some crazy mishaps (including getting on the wrong train yet somehow making a connection to the right train…don’t ask…) Jason and I arrived at the quaint “Log Cabin Inn” for the interview.  Carol and Harry were the most wonderful, generous couple imaginable and still beaming with the sparks of rekindled-love (these childhood sweethearts had reunited after 70 years and married May 10, 2003).

CarolHarryCD

Carol and Harry: July 23, 2010. Photo by Ken Kleiber

At the start of a previous one-on-one interview, Carol had clued-me-in to the fact that aiming a camera from sightly-above the subject would create a more flattering image.  When I arrived and set the camera to film from this-flattering, thinning high angle, Carol remarked, “Oh Ken…you remember how I like the camera!”.  True, but in all honesty, I was also doing this to mask my bloatage…you might notice that this angle is practically from the  ceiling.  Poor Jason on camera.

In any case, this day has gone down in my memory banks as not only one of the most-fulfilling achievements of my interviewing career, but also as one of the happiest.  For long stretches of time, I literally forgot that we were on camera and we just chatted away (which doesn’t always make me look so great on camera, but then again, the focus wasn’t on me).  At the end of the interview, Harry had remarked that Carol had told me things that even he hadn’t know about her, so it was a learning experience for him as well.  After the nearly-hour interview (the time raced on and none of us had been aware), Jason and I said our “Thank You’s” and packed-up our equipment, still sort of amazed that the previous hour had happened.  And I’m so glad that my friend was there to share this with me which made it all the more magical.

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Ken and Jason, circa 2004.

So here’s an excerpt where Carol discusses when she performed “Hello, Dolly!” for the last time with legendary producer David Merrick present and also, after reuniting with Harry, how her own life had mirrored that of Dolly Levi.  Make sure you watch to the end for an adorable clip of Harry and Carol dancing plus a stunning clip of Carol performing her “Before The Parade Passes By” monologue in 2004.  And she sums it up best in the very last line of the clip…and I take it as a blessing.

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Click here for video of “Carol Channing Reminisces”

Nick Jonas: HOW TO SUCCEED on Broadway!

7 May

Nick Jonas and Ken backstage.

Recently I was lucky enough to revisit “How to Succeed in Business (Without Really Trying)” (see my Daniel Radcliffe & Cast post here).  This time, the part of “J. Pierrepont Finch” has been taken over by the terrifically-talented Nick Jonas of “Jonas Brothers” fame.

Nick as “J. Pierrepont Finch”

Nick is no stranger to Broadway, having first performed in A CHRISTMAS CAROL when he was 8-years old (following-up with performances in ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, BEAUTY & THE BEAST and LES MIZ),  made his West End debut in 2010 performing the role of “Marius” in LES MIZ and in 2011 played “Link Larkin” in a Hollywood Bowl production of HAIRSPRAY.

Nick Jonas & Chris Sieber in “Beauty & the Beast”

Here are some video highlights of my interview with the youngest (19) of the wildly successful “Jonas Bros.” where Nick discusses topics ranging from his early training, advice and the age-appropriateness of his character, what it’s like to replace Daniel Radcliffe and his passion for singing and what’s next for the Jonas Brothers!  I even got Nick’s goose a bit when I suggested that the “Finch” character was a bit of a likable creep (I know, I know…Finch isn’t that bad except for the half-truth and deception stuff…but that’s why we love him!).  Nick was a pro and charming as we all hoped he’d be, and after seeing his performance, he proved to sing the part better than any “Finch”  I had previously seen (including myself ).

 

For theatrical clips aplenty, visit MTIShowspace.  For more information about HOW TO SUCCEED and theatrical licensing, visit Music Theatre International.  For more information or tickets to the Broadway production of HOW TO SUCCEED click here.

Nick Jonas: How To Succeed on Broadway

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Audio Interview: “The Other Steve & Edie” visit “The Kentertainment Report”!

4 Feb

Wednesdays at 12:15pm you can usually find me at the Sirius/XM Radio Studios in Midtown Manhattan doing my (mostly)-weekly “Kentertainment Report”.  This takes place during “The Frank DeCaro Show“, which is hosted by comedian/author/host Frank DeCaro (natch) and his ever-suffering sidekick (and producer) Doria Biddle.  Here’s a picture of us at the Sirius/XM Studios in West Hollywood, CA., taken August 8, 2007- the first day I met Doria in person.

Doria, Frank & Ken, together again…for the first time. And not in that order.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I generally dish on the latest Broadway, theatre and showbiz happenings around the US and environs, but also am lucky enough to interview special guests (recently folks like Donna McKechnie, Kristin Chenoweth, Christopher Sieber, etc.).  This Wednesday Frank and Doria celebrated 7 years together on the air, and as an anniversary gift, I brought in a couple of fantabulous talents as a surprise: Stephen Wallem and Edie Falco (both currently in Showtime’s NURSE JACKIE) a.k.a “The Other Steve and Edie”.  How’s that for a title?  I LOVE THAT THEY THOUGHT THAT UP!  And they even have a few upcoming cabaret dates to show it off.

The Other Steve and Edie. How clever is that?!

 
They will be performing at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC this weekend, February 4, 5 & 6.  (I hear that all the shows are now currently sold-out but there is a waiting-list.)  When asked what the audience could expect, they were mostly mum on the merriment (Edie: “I’m not saying…partially because I really don’t know…We’re still trying to figure out what we’re going to do on Friday!”) but the Laurie Beechman website has this description:  The Other Steve and Edie is conceived by Mr. Wallem and Ms. Falco, with musical direction by three-time After Dark Award winner, Beckie Menzie and Direction by Tony Humrichouser. Throughout the show, the duo will take on songs from contemporary pop to jazz standards, with a healthy dose of show tunes and original material, and even a salute to the other Steve and Eydie.   Sounds good to me! 
                                          
I first met Stephen years ago when we both lived in Chicago and he was performing in his highly-acclaimed show, “Off the Wallem” (how ’bout that guy and his killer titles?!!) and Edie I know as much (or even more) for her stunning theatre work (SIDE MAN, FRANKIE & JOHNNY IN THE CLAIR DE LUNE, ‘NIGHT MOTHER, etc.) as I do for her award-winning TV work (SOPRANOS, NURSE JACKIE, etc.).  These two are so sweet, immensely-talented and overall good sports…this interview came together at the last minute and Steve and Edie were game enough to come out in the slushy snow, run around the various floors of the studio building, check and re-check in with security (none of whom at that time knew me as I’m usually on an hour earlier which made Edie jokingly [?] wonder if I actually did a radio segment there) and were barely settled into their chairs when they found themselves live on the air.  I found it all to be a hoot and they did too.  Back in Chicago, the wonderful actor Charles Durning told me that the most talented people in showbiz are also the nicest and most down-to-earth because they have nothing to prove and nothing to hide…their talent speaks for them.  I have always remembered this and it has always proven to be true…and this case is no exception.  I hope you enjoy the interview.  Below is a link to the audio track with some pictures thrown in (in case you like your audio a little more “visual”).

 

Ken with Edie Falco & Stephen Wallem.

City Center (sans Encores!)

18 Jan

The other day I posted a blog entitled, “Vegasish” where I promised to post some pix from my recent stay in the Las Vegas area.  Since the only person who knew about this blog at that time was my friend Mary (and she was with me when I took the pix) I figured there wasn’t a rush to get them out there since, well, who needs another forced deja vu.  In any case, here are some of the pictures I took with my trusty phone.  First up, City Center, the new 16,797,000-square-foot complex complete with pool, shopping, dining,  nightclub, Aria Casino, the Cirque du Soleil “Viva Elvis” show, apartments, etc. that cost approx. $11-billion bucks and sits on 76 ACRES!!  This is not to be confused with the New York “City Center Encores” concert series that now costs close to $11-billion bucks for a yearly subscription and sits on 56th Street.

76 acres! Cripes!

Wacky Typewriter Eraser Sculpture-Thingy

Slightly Curved

Look! There's Elvis! And an escalator! An Elviscalator?

Next up is The Cosmopolitan, the $3.9 billion “luxury resort casino and hotel” at which I could never afford to stay.  I wish I could because I’d love to see all the random animals running around the joint as witnessed in their rather stylish TV promo.  The place is outrageously chi chi (not to be confused with the Chi Chi’s Mexican Restaurant chain that now only exists overseas. Darn Hepatitis A!  And did you know that Chi Chi is Mexican slang for boobies ?  Some restaurant entrepreneur had a wacky sense of humor!).

How Cosmopolitan!

Swanky!

Nightclub or Star Wars battleship?

The Cosmopolitan also has this uber-upscale pool that overlooks the Strip.

Anyone for pool?

My friend Mary figured they must have left this part of the hotel open to “show off” as the place is pretty new, and once things get settled-in, we’ll likely never be allowed to set foot in there again.

Poolio!

In fact, as we walked around, we kept seeing Security Guards (a.k.a. Models) who we were certain were ready to evict us from the premises since we left our Model Cards at home.  Nearly everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, was dressed to the hilt in swanky couture and 7-in. heels.  And you should have seen the ladies!  The place seemed to be crawling with the kind of rich socialites you’d see on some Bravo reality show, only without the hair-extension pulling (in all fairness, it was still early).  Even as we first entered into City Center, a chiseled greeter was handing out some sort of card advertising the nightclub but took one look at us in our jeans and casual attire and decided that we were suddenly see-through.  It was pretty hilarious.  In fact, it was so hilarious I found myself stepping all over his Berluti’s.  Thank goodness we were invisible so he didn’t know who did it.

All-in-all, City Center and Cosmopolitan Towers is très chic (not to be confused with Trey Songz or even Trey Lorenz …what’s he been up to lately?) and next time I’ll be bringing you some highlights of the shopping gallery and the Las Vegas Serendipity 3 where the menu actually tops the NYC menu!  (There was a topping joke I was going to make here butt…never mind.).

😉