The Fantasticks

I saw The Fantasticks when I was in college. A friend of mine, Scott Leonard (now the lead tenor in Rockapella) was playing the part of Matt. It is a wonderful, bittersweet, timeless musical. Next week, Lucas Grabeel will be playing the role of Matt in the Reprise theatre company production. The show is set to run May 5-17 at the Ralph Freud Playhouse on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles. If you are in the LA area you can get tickets at reprise.org.

Grabeel is excited to get back to his roots of musical theatre. He hasn’t done any live theatre in 6 years. Though “The Fantasticks” is the longest-running musical in history, Grabeel said he was unfamiliar with it. “I’d never seen the show or read it.”

Grabeel took to the character of Matt quickly. “Matt is a young kid who thinks he’s a real man and a hero,” Grabeel explained. “He has these preconceived notions about what class is. He imagines himself as this educated, heroic man who saves the damsel in distress. But he finds out it isn’t that easy and he isn’t the man he thought he was.”

Who is the Beast to Vanessa’s ‘Belle’?

Vanessa will be shooting the movie “Beastly” this summer. It is a teen romance based on the novel by Alex Flynn, which is a modern retelling of “Beauty and the Beast”.  The story will take place in Manhatten and Vanessa is playing the fair maiden who must fall in love with the Beast to break a spell placed on him by a date/witch that he dumped. So, who will be starring opposite Vanessa? British model and actor Alex Pettyfer will be playing the Beast. Nineteen year-old Pettyfer has been doing commercials since age 6, modeling since age 7 and made his professional acting debut at the age of 15.
Alex Pettyfer

Chris Warren Jr’s New Movie

Chris Warren Jr (Zeke from the High School Musical movies) will be playing the character of Xander in “Alvin and the Chipmunks:The Squeakquel”. We don’t know much about his character yet. The movie has just started filming. It seems Jason Lee will play a much smaller role as Dave Seville in this movie. The new lead is Zachary Levi (TVs Chuck). Zach will be playing Dave’s cousin, Toby. The Squeakquel also reintroduces the Chipettes, the love interests yet rival singing group of the chipmunks. Rumors have the Chipettes being played by Drew Barrymore, Miley Cyrus and a yet to be rumored actress/singer. For those of you wondering…yes, Jesse McCartney is returning to play Theodore. The movie is set to release on Christmas Day 2009.

Vanessa Hudgens News

Baby V has been out of the news for a while now but she does have some things coming up.

  • Vanessa is the covergirl for the July edition of the magazine In Style UK. The photoshoot was done last week and the magazine will be hitting news stands in the UK on June 4th.
  • Mid-June she will be heading to Canada to film the movie “Beastly” which is an adaptation of the classic story of “Beauty and the Beast” she will play the female lead, Lindy.
  • Vanessa’s long awaited film “Bandslam” is said to be hitting theatres in the US on August 14th.
  • In September she will be back in Canada to film the movie “Sucker Punch”

Sounds like Vanessa has a busy few monthe ahead of her. We wish her all of the best.

Ashley’s New Music Video

Here is the music video for “It’s Alright, It’s Ok”. Check it out and leave me a comment letting me know what you think. Is it Awesome! Alright! Ok! or Not! ? I can’t wait to get your input.[kml_flashembed movie="http://lads.myspace.com/videos/vplayer.swf" width="430" height="346" fvars="m=56138228;type=video" wmode="transparent" /]

Justin Martin in The Soloist

High School Musical 3:Senior Year newcomer, Justin Martin hits the big screen again this weekend. Believe it or not this time he is with some real big time movie stars! Justin is in The Soloist which stars Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. The Soloist is based on the life of Nathaniel Ayers. Nathaniel was a music prodigy who developed schizophrenia and became homeless. In the movie Foxx plays the adult Ayres and Justin plays Ayers from ages 13-16.

Because this movie is about a musical prodigy, the director only auditioned kids who could play violin. Justin took 2 all day violin classes and was cast in the part. Justin has to play the cello in The Soloist so after he was cast in the role, he took 4 months of cello training so that he could play in the movie.  Since this movie is about a real person Jamie and Justin got to meet Nathaniel Ayers. They both had to learn his mannerisms and change their look to be more like Mr. Ayers. Justin had to grow his hair longer than usual and wear prosthetic teeth because Nathaniel has a gap between his front teeth.

I can’t wait to see this movie. I looks like it is going to be a touching and heartwarming tale of a difficult life. The Soloist opens this weekend across the United States. Let me know if you go see it!

17 Again Go or No

Zac Efron’s movie 17 Again hit theatres yesterday. While I am sure tons of young High School Musical fans want to see this movie so that they can swoon over Zac, this movie isn’t appropriate for all ages. To start with, it is rated PG-13. I usually disgree with movie ratings and often feel PG-13 movies should be R and PG movies should be at least PG-13. So, on that basis alone my 13 yr old would not be allowed to see 17 Again.

Why was it rated PG-13? There is an underlying theme of pre-marital sex and teen pregnancy as well as teen partying and beer. It is also rated PG-13 for language.  Even with these hints we don’t know for sure what this movie is actually like. My suggestion would be, especially for kids 13 and under, either the parents see it first and then let the kids see it at a later date or just wait until it comes out on DVD and then you can preview it at home before the kids see it.

Happy Birthday Kenny Ortega

Tomorrow 4/18/09 is Kenny Ortega’s 59th birthday. Of course, Kenny is the award winning director of all 3 High School Musical movies. Kenny is a choreographer, producer and director. He has worked with Madonna, Cher, Gloria Estefan, Michael Jackson and many, many more musical icons of our time. He has choreographed Super Bowl half-time shows, Olympic opening ceremonies and the Academy Awards. Kenny worked with Gene Kelly on Xanadu and he choreographed the classic Dirty Dancing.

Kenny has won 2 ALMA awards, the American Choreography Award for Career Achievement, 3 American Choreography Awards, a Directors Guild of America award and 2 Emmys…so far. Currently, Kenny is working on the remake of the 80’s classic Footloose.

Happy birthday Kenny, we hope you have many, many more!

Lucas the Ninja?

Lucas Grabeel’s next film, The Legend of the Dancing Ninja, casts him as an orphaned boy who dreams of being a ninja. He goes to Hollywood to try to find his birth parents. While in Hollywood he gets mixed up in a crime. The evil villian he comes up against is played by…David Hasselhoff!

Wikipedia states the release date is May 2009, but most other sources just show the year 2009 for the release so I will keep you posted as we get more information on this movie.

Zac Hosts SNL Tonight

Tonight is the night Zac Efron has dreamed about since he was 10 years old. Tonight he will host Saturday Night Live for the first time. Efron has said he started in sketch comedy and is looking forward to returning to his roots. The musical guests this week are the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

How do you think Zac will do? Can he handle the opening and the skits? Is he funny enough? How is his comedic timing? The answers to these questions will come in one of two ways. 1. From your opinions left in the comments. 2. From his success or failure tonight on SNL 11:30pm EDT on NBC.