COMING TO YOUR TV THIS FALL

The top 5 new television shows coming in the 2011-2012 season that you need to watch.
By Alex Nagorski

TV
 
1. The X Factor (FOX Wednesdays & Thursdays, 8 pm)

The UK’s ultimate reality singing competition is finally making it stateside. Guaranteeing the winner a $5 million recording contract, this show promises the largest prize ever in the history of reality TV. So how is it different than American Idol or The Voice? The X Factor divides its contestants into 4 groups: males from 12-15, females from 12-25, singers over 25, and vocal groups of any age.

Hosting the show will be Eden’s Crush/Pussycat Dolls front woman and failed solo artist Nicole Scherzinger (did you even know she officially released her umpteenth attempt at a lead single last week?)  and model-turned-British TV personality Steve Jones. On the judges’ panel will be hit making songwriter and producer L.A. Reid, the man responsible for launching the careers of such musicians as Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Pink, Rihanna, and Justin Bieber. Joining him will be Cheryl Cole, otherwise thought of as the pop star known everywhere in the world except for America (but it looks like that’s about to change!). And last but not least, The X Factor reunites original Idol judges Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul.

  

2. Ringer (THE CW Tuesdays, 9 pm)

There was a while after Buffy ended that I was scared Sarah Michelle Gellar would never get any work that wasn’t a PG-13 remake of a cheesy Asian horror flick. Then she had to go stop acting for a while because she was “pregnant.” Like I get that you’re having a baby and all but why punish your fans? So rude.

Originally intended for CBS, Ringer reunites Sarah Michelle God-der with The CW, the network that was home to the first five seasons of Buffy. It looks like the perfect over-acted melodrama that you’ll secretly plan your night around while politely declining to go out because you “already made plans with another friend.”

  

3. Up All Night (NBC Wednesdays, 8 pm)

I personally feel that Christina Applegate is one of the most underrated female comedians around. She could totally be in the same league as Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Kristen Wiig if given the chance. I mean, hello! Her hysterical guest-starring role on Friends made for two of the best episodes of the entire series (yeah, I went there).

Hence, I could not be more excited for a new (non-Samantha Who) sitcom from her. ESPECIALLY since she’s being joined by Arrested Development star Will Arnett and SNL/Bridesmaids actress Maya Rudolph. While the storyline of this show hardly seems revolutionary, I have full faith that Up All Night will have the potential to join the rankings of Modern Family as one of the funniest shows on television this fall.

 

4. The New Girl (FOX Tuesdays, 9 pm)

Confession: I would totally go straight for Zooey Deschanel. Like, name someone cuter. I dare you. You can’t. It’s just not possible. Between her vintage dresses, sultry singing voice, quirky humor and girl-next-door bangs, she’s just the most adorable hipster goddess in the biz.  

The New Girl looks as though it’s really going to launch Zooey to national mega-stardom. The trailer showcases her impeccable comedic chops and it’s hard to think that she won’t be getting film offers left and right after this show premieres. And the fact that it’s coming on directly after Glee, still one of the hottest shows on TV today, can do nothing but help kick it off as the “it” sitcom of next season.

 

5. The River (ABC Mid-Season)

If you know me at all, you know that I love horror movies. That being said, I’ve always been annoyed that horror is a genre that has yet to successfully transition out of movie theaters onto a smaller screen. Sure, it’s been attempted a few times, but I have yet to see a consistently frightening TV show that makes me feel the way a good horror movie does.

I’m hoping that’s all going to change with The River. While it’s not entirely a horror show, it has that same element of suspense and looming threat that all of the characters’ lives are constantly on the line. Executive produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by that dude who brought us Paranormal Activity, The River promises to be a smart, Lost meets Anaconda hybrid that will send chills up and down your spine every week. Count me in. 

 

Originally published on Crazytown Blog

EXCLUSIVE CONTEST AND TICKET OFFER FOR OFF-BROADWAY’S SMASH NEW MUSICAL COMEDY, "LUCKY GUY”

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A couple of weeks ago, I held an exclusive contest to win tickets to see Broadway’s The Normal Heart. Today, I’m having another contest to win tickets for the Off-Broadway musical smash, Lucky Guy!

The Nashville-set Lucky Guy is a hysterical story of a group of All-Americans striving for the same goal: a gold hit record. An outrageous show full of lavish costumes and extravagant musical numbers that pay ode to countless genres, Lucky Guy is like Xanandu meets 9 To 5 … remixed and doused in glitter and whiskey by Ke$ha.

For me, watching Lucky Guy kind of felt like alternating Dolly Parton and Taylor Swift wigs, followed by lubing up a rainbow and sliding down it into a pile of rhinestone-dusted hay.  Starring Emmy Award-winning Will & Grace alumn Leslie Jordan and Next To Normal star Kyle Dean Massey, Lucky Guy doesn’t ask and it doesn’t tell … but instead yee-haws through the loudest and sparkliest megaphone out there.

To win tickets, all you have to do is head on over to Crazytown Blog and answer the following question in the comments section of the post:

If you were to release a hit album, what would be the name of your debut single? 

The winning answer will be selected this Thursday (05/19/11) and the winner will be given a pair of tickets to see Lucky Guy at The Little Shubert Theatre.

And if you don’t win, you can purchase tickets with a special Crazytown discounted offer! But act quickly, as the coupon expires this Thursday as well!

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to Crazytown now!

UPDATE: CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR CONTEST WINNER, DAN! THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED AND GOOD LUCK TO DAN WITH THE RELEASE OF HIS CHART-TOPPING DEBUT SINGLE, “SMACK THAT BOOTY.”

FIERCE AND FEELING MIGHTY

A review of Kylie Minogue’s “Aphrodite” tour.
By Alex Nagorski

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Remember that level of Mario Kart called Rainbow Road? You know, the one where the track is just a massive rainbow with giant glittery obstacles for you to bypass? Well, imagine the player you’ve selected to use on this level is Princess Peach and the car you’ve chosen is a pink Barbie-esque Corvette to match your pretty princess dress and compliment your golden tiara. Every time the car turns, fairy dust comes out the end as you catch a star and sparkle harder than Edward Cullen on a Santa Barbara beach day. Now imagine that the game music is down and you’re playing while blasting the Burlesque soundtrack and are getting a pedicure from a naked Zac Efron and back rub from a nude Channing Tatum. Still following?

Well if you’re able to visualize all of this then it’s pretty safe assumption to think that what you’re imagining sounds like the gayest thing imaginable. Well guess again. Because compared to Kylie Minogue’s “Aphrodite” tour, that scenario is the motherfucking Superbowl and you’re scratching your balls with hands drenched in Dorito dust and Budweiser.

SAM_1479 Kylie knows her audience. Like, I can’t emphasize this point enough. Girl knows her audience, more commonly referred to as “that army of drunk homosexual men.” I say this because upon entering the Hammerstein Ballroom for Kylie’s final New York stop on her “Aphrodite” world tour last Wednesday, I felt like I was mounting a pride parade float custom designed by Christian Siriano.

SAM_1486 Greek columns framed the stage as the audience surrounded it to prepare to worship at the Temple Minogue. Screens in the background showed an undersea world full of flawlessly sculpted mermen, adding to the mythological ambiance the show was setting its audience up for. The lights dimmed and the crowd shrieked as Kylie emerged center stage, coming out of a golden shell looking fiercer than any Botticelli bombshell ever did.

Appropriately, Kylie opened the show with “Aphrodite,” the title track from her criminally underrated 2010 masterpiece of a pop album. As she descended down the stairs, followed by her two GaGa-esque backup singers and legion of hunky, half-naked male backup dancers, I immediately knew I was in for a night of epic proportions that would surely make my mother go to church to pray for my redemption.

SAM_1481 Kylie is a true veteran of the industry. Although she may not be as recognized this side of the Atlantic, she’s been around just as long as Madonna and has tons and tons of hits. She blended older songs like “On A Night Like This” and “Spinning Around” perfectly with more contemporary smashes such as “Get Outta My Way” and “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” within her over two-hour set. Name any Kylie song you can think of. Chances are she performed it.

Visually, the show was stunning. During “Cupid Boy,” for instance, her dancers fell from ribbons in the ceiling, doing mid-air aerobics throughout the song … sort of like a softcore gay porn parody of Pink’s “Glitter In The Air” Grammy performance.  Kylie changed costumes multiple times and would always re-enter the stage in a very dramatic fashion – like by popping up on a giant golden statue of Pegasus, the winged horse.

SAM_1510 While her interactions with the audience were minimal, whenever Kylie did take a break to talk to the crowd she was never anything but cute and funny. Constantly using words like “fierce” and “fabulous,” she was humble when talking about the amazing reception her three-night stint in New York has been. Despite her status as a pop icon, Kylie never seemed anything but humble. Humble but self-aware. The type of woman you would want to sit down for a quite coffee date with but also someone you’d play dress up with while doing tequila shots off each other’s bodies after.

SAM_1503 The “Aphrodite” tour was spectacular in every way. I honestly couldn’t have had a better time. It’s exactly what I think Britney’s upcoming “Femme Fatale” tour should be. Kylie is admittedly not a dancer. Therefore, despite the occasional dance break, she didn’t try to outdo herself and instead did flawless Tyra-esque struts and various other activities on stage. During Britney’s “Circus” tour, she tried too hard to give off the dancer impression. Here’s hoping she’ll take a page from Kylie’s book and find other things to do on stage while remaining entertaining and true to herself.

Kylie brought it hard with the “Aphrodite” tour. She may not be the household name in America that she is abroad, but girl owned the stage and had New York eating out of the palm of her hand. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect show to kick off my summer concert series.

 
Originally published on Crazytown Blog

THE GREATEST MUSICAL EVER WRITTEN

Finally a piece of musical theater that will blow your mind.
By Alex Nagorski

I went to a small liberal arts school in Pennsylvania called Muhlenberg College. Ranked one of the top (non-conservatory) theater schools in the country (esscuuuse me as I pat my weave), it was full of more theater queens than your Grindr app on a Saturday night at The Ritz.

What this experience taught me is that 1) gays will harmonize to anything — including spoken word tracks (like slam poetry … or Ke$ha) and 2) more often that not, I loathe musical theater. Bat Boy this. Fiddler on the Roof that. Urinetown? Fucking shoot me. And don’t even get me started on Oklahama.

However, Muhlenberg did also teach me that there is one musical that I absolutely adore (well maybe not so much Muhlenberg so much as my lovely stoner ‘Berg friends). I’d describe it for you, but the entire thing is under 20 minutes and available on YouTube (thanks to the incarnation of the Messiah who recorded/posted it), so I think it’s best if you experience it on your own. Therefore, without further ado, prepare to have your mind completely blown by the genius, madness, and brilliance of 1,000 Cats. And just think of the versatility you’ll show the next time you audition if you prepare 32 bars of a robot cat solo. Just sayin’ …

Part One:

Part Two:
Originally published on Crazytown Blog