September 11th, 2009
Maybe it’s the dour economy. Maybe it’s the drought on the local marquees.
I’ve been thinking, we all need a boost of good times and confidence-building.
And what better way than to splurge (everyone finds the moolah, when there’s a gotta-go-see-it attraction) and feel energized with a hot ticket?
If I had three wishes — you know, to hope as heck that somebody or a particular show would come here — here’s what I’m hungering for ...
1. “Jersey Boys,” that musical bio of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Besides a superb book, the show has memorable, cross-generational hit music, with a “concert” written in as a finale. “Oh, What a Night” this would be.
2. “Wicked,” the prequel to “The Wizard of Oz,” and a blockbuster on national tours, with much to ogle and admire, and recognize elements and themes that flesh out future characters and quirks in the most beloved film of all time.
3. “Spamalot,” the Monty Python bonbon of medieval merriment, feels local when coconuts emerge in the funfest. You don’t have to be cult fanatic to enjoy the nonsense, nor does the show needs the over-the-top original actors to score with audiences.
1. Bette Midler, who hates performing in her hometown and only has done this once, isn’t likely to come here when she’s not struttin’ on the Caesars Palace stage. But she could fill the stadium, along with her Harlettes, with her boogie woogie divine-ness.
2. Bruce Springsteen, the czar of American rock, has been touring with his E Street Band criss-crossing across the U.S. with his “Working on a Dream” tour. Wouldn’t a tour-ending gig be a dream for him — and us?
3. Elton John and Billy Joel, who have been playing “Face 2 Face” darn near everywhere else, ought to detour and come here, too. The Rocket Man and the Piano Man would propel sales in this slumping economy.
1. Neil Diamond, who has been a gem most of his career, has a catalogue of hits frequently reinvented by current performers. Who can resist lip-synching through “Sweet Caroline,” “Song Sung Blue” and “Red, Red Wine?” Have seen him twice: once here, once at the Greek Theatre. And yes, this Diamond is forever.
2. The Eagles, who aren’t on a current tour, would still pack a venue with the group’s warehouse of hit music. “Hotel California” is 30 years old, but retains a spot on radio playlists.
3. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, or a variation thereof, are reminders of the Woodstock gen. But amid “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” “Marrakesh Express,” and “Wooden Ships,” there are such landmarks like “Teach Your Children” to reintroduce to the young ‘uns.
Here and now:
1. Madonna has been an icon to several generations of fans; she’s due for an Isle sprint, wouldn’t you agree?
2. Jason Mraz was here last year but his “I’m Yours” had not peaked at that time; it’s been on the Billboard charts for 73 weeks now, with the longest chart life. So wouldn’t you want to sing the scat with him — again?
3. Black Eyed Peas, who just performed here amid a massive Kane’ohe traffic jam, should return — maybe next year — to win back confidence and perform in a city gig that would help erase the sour taste. Wouldn’t you make another attempt to see Fergie and compand? And give Peas a chance?
1. Tina Turner, the incomparable queen of pop, soul and blues, who has "retired." But hey, this retiree can still churn out a sultry "Proud Mary," shimmy included.
2. Paul McCartney, the prolific and productive Beatles and the Wings main man, who has never performed in the Islands. Better late than never?
3. Barbra Streisand, the consummate chanteuse, is not for everyone, but people who know show biz people know that this "People" hit-maker is a classy act on stage.
‘Tweens and teens:
1 . Miley Cyrus, the one-girl Disney TV, film and recording franchise, will get everyone lip-synching to "The Climb," her most tuneful inspirational ditty for kids that even moms and dads adore.
2. The Jonas Brothers, who have their own Disney sitcom, are far better on stage — and continue to be a work in progress worth watching.
3. Demi Lovato, who stars on "Sonny With a Chance" and appeared in "Camp Rock," has had two chartbusters; a good bill if paired with the
1. Dolly Parton, the one-time Island singer, is more than a "Backwoods Barbie;" she's a country music icon and the force behind Dollywood.
2. Taylor Swift, the country-pop next-gen superstar ("Teardrops on My Guitar," "Love Story"), does it all: sing, compose, act.
3. (Tie) Kenny Chesney or Keith Urban, who are mainstream faves, each with a following, a catalogue of hits and a stable of awards.
What shows or which singers or groups would you post on your list? Share ‘em here...