Archive for 2013

It’s been an emotional year for fans of the pop music-TV show mashup “Glee.”

First came news that Cory Monteith, who played simple-minded jock-turned-glee-club-leader Finn Hudson, died as a result of a drug overdose. Then came confirmation from creator Ryan Murphy that next season, the sixth, would also be the final one for the show that delighted its cult fan base early on but has slipped in recent seasons, in many critics’ opinions.

For Matthew Morrison, who’s played swoon-worthy teacher Will Shuester since the series’ inception, it was tough to return to the set this season. But it was necessary, too.

“When we first started filming this year it was definitely morose and just kind of scary going back to work. We didn’t know what to expect and how it would be. But I think it’s something that we all needed, we needed to be back at work and be with each other,” he says.

A tribute episode to Monteith’s character was a key element in the cast’s healing.

“The tribute episode was incredibly emotional and hard but it really, you know, it was very therapeutic for me and I think for all of us,” Morrison said.

But speaking during a rare break from filming in mid-November, Morrison said things were getting back to normal. That’s good, because he can’t afford to slow down for long.

He films “Glee” 10 months out of the year, spends weekends on the road performing and has his sights on a return to Broadway. Oh, and he’s planning a wedding with his fiancée, model Renee Puente.

This Saturday his schedule includes a star turn at The Grand for the venue’s annual bash, the Grand Gala. The concert isn’t the only treat for gala goers. The epic after-party at the Hotel du Pont will feature live music, open bars, dancing and gourmet goodies in six rooms.

For his portion of the big event, Morrison will be singing with a stellar group of musicians: About 50 members of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra

The group will be dipping into the standards, Broadway favorites and pop hits Morrison favors.

“I’m kind of one of those people who feels like they were born in the wrong era; I feel like I was meant to be in the ’50s and ’60s,” he said. “I love that style, I love the sound of a full orchestra behind you, like I’m going to be doing in Delaware with the big symphony orchestra behind me.”

The self-proclaimed song-and-dance man released an album packed with Broadway hits and standards – “Singin’ in the Rain,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing” and “Luck Be a Lady” all made the cut – in June, and just last month he put out a six-track EP of holiday favorites.

When asked why release a Christmas album now, he deadpans, “Because it’s almost Christmas.”

But with a chuckle he answers seriously the holiday CD was a fluke. It came out of sessions for “Where it All Began,” the album he released in June. The team and producer Phil Ramone were having such a good time recording the standards last March that they decided to dip into old holiday favorites as well.

“We strung a bunch of Christmas lights in the studio and really got into the spirit,” he says.

The six-song EP was released Nov. 19, with songs including “Jingle Bell Rock,” and a mashup of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas/Mele Kalikimaka.” The latter might have been a nod to his future wife’s Hawaiian background. She might, after all, do a traditional hula dance at their wedding. That detail is a rare one; the performer is fairly tight-lipped about his personal life.

He also likes to keep his potential projects quiet. He has a dream stage revival, but he’s not going to jinx it by talking about it. He’s talked to directors and producers and might like to do something original instead of a revival, but there’s nothing he’s going on the record with just yet.

One thing’s for sure, though. The Tony Award-nominated Morrison will be making a return to Broadway.

“I think in the grand scope of everything that I have done, it’s brought me to the realization that live performance is where my heart is, so I’m kind of itching to get back on stage to do another Broadway show,” he says.

Movies-turned-Broadway-shows are now the norm (see: “The Lion King,” “Legally Blonde,” “Kinky Boots”), so a stage adaptation of “Glee” is not a far-fetched idea. Morrison wouldn’t likely be the star, though.

“I’ve lived this show for, you know, it will be six years when we’re done. As great as the show is and as amazing a platform it has been for me and my career, I’m ready to step into someone else’s shoes,” he says.

On Saturday he’ll be stepping out with the DSO. Singing with a group of that magnitude feels like you’re “a general leading an army,” he says.

This particular army of musicians already has a leader, music director David Amado, who says the group is equally excited about the show.

“We don’t get to do the popular songbook much, and that’s great for us,” Amado said.

When asked if it allows the group to “let their hair down,” he said they do that all the time.

“I like to think we let our hair down even when nobody thinks we let our hair down. The world of classical music has this stereotype of being really buttoned up, but it’s not.”

It’s a good thing the group knows how to let loose, because one of Morrison’s idols is Gene Kelly. So he plans to “work up a nice sweat” during the performance.

Another idol is Paul Newman, and not just for his acting chops. Morrison admires his philanthropic legacy.

Although his gig as a choir teacher is just for TV, Morrison wants to make sure kids have access to music education. His goal is to open a few performing arts high schools – modeled after his alma mater, New York’s Tisch School of the Arts – in California within the next 5 years. From there, the schools could go national.

“That’s the dream,” he says.


Matthew on Access Hollywood Live: videos!
POSTED ON Dec 06, 2013 BY Valentina INUncategorized

Matthew Morrison speculates on the ending to “Glee” and how Lea Michele is holding up on set. Plus, Matthew gives details on his upcoming wedding. And, Billy Bush and Kit Hoover get into the spirit with Matthew’s new Christmas album, “A Classic Christmas”, and explains the origin of his “BB” tattoo (which can also be found in the trivia page of this site).

Matthew on “The Talk”: interview!
POSTED ON Dec 05, 2013 BY Valentina INVideo

Matthew stopped by The Talk earlier today (December 4) to chat and perform his new single, “This Christmas”!

Watch the full interview and performance below:

Matthew to guest on The Talk!
POSTED ON Dec 03, 2013 BY Valentina INUncategorized

Matthew is going to be a guest on The Talk on Wednesday, December 4th. The show airs on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm PT-CT.

Matthew Morrison’s Christmas questions – video!
POSTED ON Dec 02, 2013 BY Valentina INVideo

He’s the teacher who sets hearts aflutter in Glee, but away from starring as the swoon-ey Will Schuester, Matthew Morrison is spreading Christmas cheer with his latest album A Classic Christmas.When he joined us in the studio to record a track of his latest musical offering,we asked him for a special little early Christmas gift as we put your Christmas-themed questions to Matthew.And just like Santa Claus he delivered, answering as many of your questions as he possibly could before disappearing into the night, presumably to spread further Christmas cheer across our little island…

Review: 5 Stars for
POSTED ON Dec 01, 2013 BY Valentina INUncategorized

Matthew Morrison, the TV and theater star with the golden pipes makes his solo debut at the Kennedy Center with his unique take and touching renditions of Broadway standards from My Fair Lady to West Side Story and other lesser-known pieces.First, the National Symphony Orchestra took the stage, at home in the Concert Hall, for a fun program of their own. The evening began with the “Overture” from South Pacific, which was a real treat to hear from this accomplished, full orchestra with almost 100 members instead of blasting from a pit under a stage. They also featured renowned arranger Nelson Riddle on a medley of Gershwin songs originally written for piano. Arrangers are everything for a Pops orchestra since there’s a much smaller canon of music actually written for an orchestra. They did two songs, “Put on a Happy Face” (from Bye Bye Birdie) and “Mack the Knife” (from Three Penny Opera) arranged by Conductor Steven Reineke. They were both delightful and Reineke spent the evening with a huge grin on his face and one hand on his heart even as he swept the orchestra through each piece.Matthew Morrison, who has been nominated for a Tony Award for The Light in the Piazza as well as an Emmy and Golden Globe for his beloved Glee character, took the stage in a snappy suit and a fedora and jumped into the Duke Ellington classic, “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing).” An apt choice, because he couldn’t stay still all night

Watch Matthew perform “Cheek to Cheek” with Jane Lynch on episode 5×07 of Glee, “Puppet Master”!Promo for the fall finale of Glee, “Previously Unaired Christmas”, airing next Thursday, December 5, at 9/8c on FOX!

Although he’s regularly seen on television each week as “Glee’s” teacher-with-a-heart-of-gold Will Schuester, Matthew Morrison admits his soul belongs to the stage.

“I’ve been on stage since I was 10 years old, doing show after show, and I never knew how much I wanted to be on stage until I was without it,” Morrison says. “When I got into ‘Glee’ and started doing film and TV and I didn’t have that interaction with a live audience, I realized how much I truly missed it and it’s really where my heart is.”

To appease his thirst for the stage, the Broadway vet has spent the past nine months performing with different symphony orchestras all over the world, and is headed to play the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony Orchestra tonight and Saturday night, in “NSO Pops: An Evening with Matthew Morrison” under the baton of conductor Steven Reineke.

“I’ve done Broadway my whole career and then the last five years I’ve been on a television show, so this is my chance to get back on stage,” Morrison says. “I am looking forward to this the most because I have such a history with the Kennedy Center, after doing a couple of Kennedy Center Honors’ performances. Having the chance to play with the NSO is such a great thing and I’m really looking forward to the shows coming up.”

The Tony-nominated singer will be singing standards such as “The Lady is a Tramp,” “As Long as She Needs Me” and some Broadway tunes that were included on his recent album, “Where it All Began.” Morrison also plans to bust out a holiday tune or two from “Classic Christmas,” a six-track EP he released backed by the same 60-piece orchestra that accompanied him on his other album.

“When we were finishing up ‘Where it All Began,’ we were done ahead of schedule and we were in this creative, great space so we just decided to do a couple of Christmas songs,” he says. “I’m really proud of it and excited to join the ranks of great Christmas albums out there. Growing up, I listened to Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra and I wanted that same classic feel. I always feel like I was born in the wrong era.”

Morrison knew early in life that he wanted to perform and studied musical theater at Tisch School of The Arts in New York, landing his first Broadway show, “Footloose,” at age 19. Other shows followed, including “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Hairspray” and his Tony-nominated role of Fabrizio Naccarelli in the critically acclaimed “The Light In The Piazza.” It’s the success he always dreamed of.

“It’s a combination of an incredible amount of dedication that you put into your craft, with a lot of luck involved as well,” he says. “I feel like I worked hard from a very young age and knew what I wanted. I did workshops and other shows, until I got my big break with ‘Hairspray,’ which was kind of a fluke. I was in the ensemble but the guy playing the lead landed a movie, so they bumped me up to Link. I’ve been very lucky to have the breaks I have had in my career.”

Once “Glee” came along, it completely changed the ballgame for him, opening him up to a more international audience and allowing him to spread his wings and see what opportunities come.

He’s proud of the work he’s done on the show and the message that has resonated with so many — especially those in the LGBT community. “Through the voice of Kurt, I think we saw that first voice of a young gay person and the experiences that he had to go through in high school. There’s a lot of people telling these kids it gets better, but when you are in it, you don’t really see that sometimes,” says Morrison, who’s straight. “I feel it was great for people to actually see him go through the stuff and actually see he went through the trouble and it did get better. I think that character was such an inspiration to a lot of the younger gay audience going through a similar experience.” Morrison believes Ryan Murphy and the cast helped make history with the show and its positive vibe will live on for years through DVDs and in syndication. “At the end of the day, art and music are the great things that can bring you out of getting bullied. Putting your time and energy into something that is very positive,” he says. “It has been really groundbreaking and I think a lot of people have had their lives changed by this show.” When “Glee” finally ends after the 2014-15 season, Morrison has no doubts about what he’ll do next: “I’m going to go back to the stage,” he says. “It’s been kind of calling me for a while and I’m looking forward to jumping back on.”


Matthew talks about his upcoming wedding, Glee and Cory Monteith in the latest issue of OK! Magazine UK.

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