Susan Boyle: The Story So Far

Susan Boyle: The Story So Far

The worldwide success of Susan Boyle’s debut album, I Dreamed A Dream, released on November 23rd, is the latest milestone for the Scottish church volunteer from Blackburn, West Lothian.  She stunned audiences with her rendition of I Dreamed A Dream on Britain’s Got Talent.  And even though Susan placed second in the final competition, she won the hearts of fans around the world, including celebrities such as Demi Moore and Elaine Paige.

Susan has had an undoubtedly interesting and busy life since first appearing on Britain’s Got Talent, whether it be becoming an overnight worldwide sensation on YouTube, or traveling to America to perform on the hit television show America’s Got Talent.  In the candid interview presented below, you can now see and hear from the lady herself.

Susan Boyle: The Story So Far

Susan Boyle’s Debut Album: Susan Sings “Wild Horses” on America’s Got Talent

Susan Boyle Sings “Wild Horses” on America’s Got Talent 2009

An Upbeat Susan Boyle Performed Before an Excited Today Show Crowd on Monday

A confident Susan Boyle wowed a large Today Show crowd in Rockefeller Center on Monday, as she performed songs from her hot-selling debut album entitled I Dreamed a Dream.  Before launching into her stirring signature tune, which made her a worldwide phenomenon, the 48-year-old Scottish woman playfully waved her cheery red scarf to the enthusiastic crowd.  Susan’s mini-concert included her bracing version of Mick Jagger’s Wild Horses and I Dreamed a Dream.  She’s come a very long way.  On Thanksgiving night, Susan Boyle will be featured in Matt Lauer’s People of the Year television special.

Susan Boyle sings “Wild Horses” on the Today Show Nov. 23, 2009

Susan Boyle sings “I Dreamed a Dream” on the Today Show Nov. 23, 2009

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Rooms: The Secret Life of Things Behind Closed Doors

The Dining Room of William F. Buckley’s Apartment on Park Avenue and 73rd Street, Where Buckley Entertained

The $30,000 a Night Bathroom at The Four Seasons Hotel Discreetly Deluxe Ty Warner Suite

Room 4, the Very Private Personal Shopping/Dressing Room at Bergdorf Goodman

The Backstage Quick-Change Room for Actors in “The Lion King” at the Minskoff Theater

The Clowns Private Room (Clown Alley), Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus at Madison Square Garden

A House Halfway to Hades: A Cramped Flophouse in the Bronx

A Garment Business Sweatshop in New York City’s Garment District

Inside the Dancers’ Private Dressing Room at Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club

The Pleasure Grottoes at a Brooklyn Swinger Sex Club, Where the Outré Meet the Ordinary

Rooms: The Secret Life of Things Behind Closed Doors

Photography by:  Fred R. Conrad, The New York Times

A traveling barfly finds himself in a small town near the border and entertains the locals at the tavern one night with amazing tales of his adventures.  This barfly has been everywhere, of course, and makes a great impression, especially on a young man of romantic nature who, alas, is rather poor.

Early the next morning, the young man turns up at the traveler’s room, eager to thank him for the words of inspiration he heard the night before.  But the barfly seems distracted and, as he pours himself the first drink of the day, he turns and says: “Please, sir. If you really want to help, tell me where I am, not what you learned.”-Alan Feuer, The New York Times

The Secret Life of Things Behind Closed Doors

New York City, as in other large cities like Los Angeles or Chicago, is a city of rooms, a city where  many secret things occur behind closed doors.  Who knows what mysteries are even now unfolding inside the apartment in that very ordinary-looking building on the corner of 38th Street and Seventh Avenue or, for that matter, who knows what’s happening in the apartment right next door to it?

The guiding concept of this series of photographs by Fred Conrad entitled Rooms, was to visit rooms inside of places about which you may never have thought, or even if you’ve imagined what they’re like, you’ve probably never actually been there.  The photographs capture a wide range of social and economic levels of life in New York City, including: scenes at a sweatshop, a sex club, the dressing-room in a stripper-club, a morgue in Harlem, New York City’s Office of the Mayor, the behind-the-scenes kitchen of a fancy-gourmet restaurant, super-elegant bathrooms and even a bowling alley in the basement of the Frick Museum of Art.

The framework of the project was fairly simple the whole time: to look at the interiors of rooms in the city and, from that very small perspective, to attempt an exploration of the rich fabric of New York.  And the year-long project confirmed that New York City-as is the case with other large urban centers-is a city of rooms in which the  really good stuff always tends to happen clandestinely behind closed doors.  Nevertheless, this little photographic project has merely scratched the surface of the city’s mysterious life behind closed doors.  One can imagine repeating a project like this in a few years when a large number of the rooms will have changed dramatically, which of course they will.

The Control Room of the “Today” Show, Where a Dozen Behind-the-Scenes Staff Members Keep the Show Afloat

Slide Show: Rooms/The Secret Life of Things Behind Closed Doors

(Please Click on Image to View Full-Screen Slide Show)

You can read more about the Rooms photographic project here.

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Superspectacular: The Radio City Rockettes and “The Christmas Spectacular”

Happy Holidays to All!!

The Rockettes

The 75th Anniversary of “The Radio City Christmas Spectacular

The Christmas Spectacular

Seventy-five years old and forever young, The Radio City Christmas Spectacular came flying into the Midtown Art Deco Radio Music Hall and proved to be nothing less than “Superspectacular.” For its diamond-anniversary incarnation the grand old show has been made over, from terpsichore to technology, kicking and singing into the 21st century while retaining and refining the glories of the 20th.

These include the magnificent Rockettes, more versatile and saucy than ever; the breathtaking precision and suspense of The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers; and, of course, Santa Claus, individually (the hearty Charles Edward Hall) and in vast numbers in the Here Comes Santa Claus routine that fills the huge stage with hordes of hoofing Kriss Kringles.

The revisions still result in a warm and thoughtful embrace of everything from the introductory flight of Santa to New York, to the truncated Nutcracker and a re-imagined New York at Christmas, which puts the Rockettes in snowy white (with touches of red and green) aboard a double-decker sightseeing bus. The bus takes them and the audience on a singing, dancing tour of mid-Manhattan that includes Central Park and ice skaters.

The visit to the North Pole that is the Magic Is There number, which has the Rockettes dressed as rag dolls extending seasonal greetings, has been wisely shortened and restaged to include a Santa-cynical New York teenager. And the sparklingly new Let Christmas Shine, an anniversary routine, has the Rockettes in glittering crystal costumes. Even the reverent Living Nativity, which revisits the first Christmas and is staged with camels, sheep and donkeys, has been trimmed, giving time for a grand finale that provides the Rockettes and the rest of the cast an opportunity, after three-quarters of a century, to take the most well earned of bows.

Videos about the Rockettes and The Radio City Christmas Spectacular

What follows below is a selection of videos about the Rockettes and The Radio City Christmas Spectacular. The first video is vintage 1930s footage that shows the very first group of Rockettes. This is suceeded by a video slideshow about the show, and then a video of selected scenes from the Christmas Spectacular. The next video is of a (very leggy) photo-shoot of the Rockettes in Times Square, followed by a performance by the Rockettes in Times Square on The Today Show.

The First Group of Rockettes (1930s)

Narrated Slideshow of The 2007 Christmas Spectacular

The 2007 Radio City Christmas Spectacular

Photo-Shoot of the Rockettes in Times Square

The Today Show: The Radio City Rockettes in Times Square

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