Concert will feature ‘best of the best’
A link has been sent to your friend’s email address. Join the Nation’s Conversation To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs Sting’s ‘The Last Ship’ sets sail, in concert Elysa Gardner, USA TODAY 10:37 a.m. EDT September 26, 2013 Pop star introduces songs from a musical – his first – in intimate performance. Sting performs ‘The Last Ship’ to benefit The Public Theater on Sept. 25 in New York City. (Photo: Kevin Mazur, WireImage) Singer/songwriter was joined by a small gathering of musicians in a 260-seat venue Writing for other characters’ voices “freed me up” to craft new songs, Sting says New tunes showcase folk textures and propel story informed by Sting’s youth SHARE 8332 CONNECT 63 TWEET COMMENTEMAILMORE NEW YORK Who will play Sting on Broadway next year? That was the burning question posed sort of Wednesday night at the Public Theater, as the pop veteran launched a 10-night run of benefit concerts introducing songs “inspired by” his first musical, The Last Ship, due to arrive on the Main Stem in fall 2014. Billed as “An Evening With Sting: The Last Ship,” the show placed the international star in the Public’s 260-seat Anspacher Theater, where he explained to an audience including fan-club members and lottery winners how he conceived his virgin project as a musical-theater composer/lyricist. Set in Northeast England, where he grew up, it features as its hero a man who is, like Sting, the son of a shipyard worker, who leaves his small community and remains “very ambivalent about where he comes from.” His name is Gideon not a far cry, Sting wryly noted, from his own given name, Gordon (Sumner). “There’s some autobiography there,” he said. But not too much. Sting’s newly released album, also titled The Last Ship and featuring songs from the upcoming musical, is his first collection of new tunes in a decade. It came to fruition, he told the crowd, only after he was freed from writer’s block by the concept of crafting songs to be delivered by other people, representing different perspectives. He likened the consequent outpouring of music to “projectile vomiting.” His set list at the Public where he was joined by 14 other musicians and vocalists, a number of them also natives of Northern England featured at least one song that hadn’t made the cut for the stage project (but is on the album): Practical Arrangement, a bittersweet duet written for Meg, the feisty single mom who is Gideon’s love interest, and a rival for her affections.
I am prepared to sing every song I can remember, he announced smoothly. The good news is, were going to sing all the songs. The bad news is, I hope I can remember them. Looking for things to do? Select one or more criteria to search Kid-friendly Get ideas Richies been crooning the same songs for so long Penny Lover, Truly, Ballerina Girl, Lady that he could probably sing them in his sleep. The same could be said of the members of the predominantly middle-aged crowd. We have known each other a long time, he cooed onstage, flashing a big smile at the ladies in the front row who werent seat-sharing but instead jumping up and down and shrieking. Richie instructed people in the arena to go back in time and reminisce about when they first heard his songs, and where you were, what you were doing and who you were doing it with. From the dreamy looks on many peoples faces, those were some happy memories. What could have been an incredibly sleepy affair with so many slow love songs actually zoomed by, as Richie basked in his former glory, strolling back and forth across the stage, pausing to tell the history of some of his (and the Commodores) most well-known hits, including Still, Stuck On You and Three Times a Lady. Richies voice, strained at some points, still provided enough power for bursts of energy for Dancing on the Ceiling and the island-themed smash All Night Long. Although it was a little unsettling to see Richie (whos Grandpa Lionel now, he reminded everyone, although his grandkids call him Pop Pop) make the hourglass-figure hand motions with Brick House. But Richie embraced the cheesiness, with some especially awkward dancing: lots of hip swivels and pointing of index fingers in the air. Easily winded, he caught his breath a couple times as he soaked in the screams from the audience and wiped the sweat from his forehead with a small towel. No mention was made of his recent return to pop-culture relevance with last years Tuskegee , a compilation of countrified versions of his songs featuring guest stars that include Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean. It was his first No. 1 album in 25 years. Instead, the concert remained all about the past, culminating in a long shout-out to Michael Jackson when Richie closed with We Are the World. Curiously, the feel-good group hug of an evening ended on a somber note. What really disturbed Jackson, Richie recalled, was that after they wrote the song, it didnt seem to change anything.
China Council in Raleigh. Xie said, The mission is to promote a cultural exchange between North Carolina and Charlotte. Next spring, our goal is to perform in China. He plans to promote cultural exchanges between North Carolina and China. Xies organization has sponsored a variety of cultural arts events since 2006. We bring the best of the best from China, Xie said. The musicians have performed in Washington, D.C., and will perform in two other cities in North Carolina. The final North Carolina performance will take place in Raleigh on Oct. 6. The four concerts will be conducted by He Jianguo, who led CNO concert tours in Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Germany, Japan, the United States and Egypt. The orchestra has produced more than 15 CDs, and it has won numerous awards from the Chinese Ministry of Culture. Jian Zhang, president of Charlottes Chinese American Association, is excited about the Oct. 5 concert. This is the best Chinese music anyone can enjoy around the world. Its an opportunity of a lifetime, Zhang said.