In most cases musical theater is 95% non-music. The music comes in, says "Hamilton" choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, only when words are no longer strong enough to capture the emotion. But in "Hamilton" the beat never ends, which means the actors have a challenging job.
"I'm always talking to the cast saying you can't dance to the beat, you have to look like the beat," Blankenbuehler said Monday night in a conversation about the creation of "Hamilton."
"And in that way, it takes the common lessons that we go through every day -- life, death, falling in love -- by putting that beat underneath it, it rises everything up," he added. "So nothing is on the ground, everything is immediately heightened."
What did Randy Newman glean from rerecording his songs for a recent series of “Randy Newman Songbook” albums, in which he delivered his material solo with just his own accompaniment?
“One thing that struck me was the consistency,” Newman, 73, told an intimate invitation-only gathering Thursday night at the Village recording studio in West Los Angeles.
Many pop musicians, he noted as an ardent student of pop music history, deliver their best work in their 20s and 30s, and often struggle through the rest of their lives to match those youthful creative peaks.
The mystery of rocker Robert Plant's long-dark website home page has been resolved, and it has nothing to do with rumors of a Led Zeppelin reunion. Rather, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer and songwriter will release a new solo album, backed by his band of recent years, the Sensational Space Shifters.
"Carry Fire," due Oct. 13, will also feature several guests such as the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde, Albanian cellist Redi Hasa and English viola-fiddle player Seth Lakeman.
In a statement accompanying the announcement of "Carry Fire," Plant said, "I respect and relish my past works, but each time I feel the lure and incentive to create new work. I must mix old with new.
Miley Cyrus is making good on her promise of returning to her country music roots with her latest single, "Younger Now."
The pop star and "Voice" judge released the titular track from her forthcoming album on Friday, along with a a retro-inspired music video that features a geriatric carnival, toddler mimes, a sock-hop and puppet show.
Just how many Santa Monica Symphony musicians boycotted the recent concert with guest conductor Dennis Prager, the conservative radio host? Enough that orchestra Music Director Guido Lamell flew in a principal violist from Texas.
Lamell turned that into a joke about L.A. traffic: "Larry Wheeler came in from Houston to join the orchestra and got here faster than I did from Santa Monica," he said Wednesday night at the orchestra's summer fundraiser at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
A representative for the boycotting musicians said more than a dozen refused to play, citing Prager's past comments about gay people and Muslims, among others. The concert was a sellout, drawing Prager's fan base to Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Singer Robin Thicke and girlfriend April Love Geary have a baby on the way, the 22-year-old model announced on social media Thursday with a sonogram picture.
And here's the twist: "The due date is March 1st, Alan's birthday!" Geary said.
Alan, of course, would be Alan Thicke, Robin's father, who died suddenly in December at 69 from a ruptured aorta after collapsing on an ice rink. The couple, who made their first public appearance together at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2015, are "very excited" about the little one, she said.
I guess I have kind of a purist view that is no longer practical, that I would rather have my work speak for me. ... But then I've always separated my public self from the private so I could have one. I don't feel I've owed my life to the public — a performance, yes, but my life, no.