For 26 years Elton John has been synonymous with Oscar night as his annual Oscar-viewing party and fundraiser for his Elton John AIDS Foundation has become a staple of the awards. The foundation’s chairman and John’s husband, David Furnish, is still amazed the couple get to invite their friends and favorite musicians to raise funds to fight AIDS.
“I always say to Elton when we leave and walk out the front door of our house to go and do the event, ‘We should be break dancing down the driveway,'” Furnish says. “The fact that we’re still able to do this after 26 years and get the support that we get. We’re already several million dollars inthe bank before we’ve done the auction, before we’ve done the pledging, just the level of support we get is unbelievable.”
That begs an important question: who is the better break dancer? “Me, definitely. When Arlene Phillips directed Elton in his ‘I’m Still Standing’ video she said he was the worst dancer with no sense of rhythm she’d ever worked with in her career,” Furnish says cracking up. “That’s not me, that’s Arlene Phillips who said that.”
Furnish promised he’d be break dancing in the pit last night when young rockers Greta Van Fleet took the stage following the Oscar telecast/dinner and a silent auction. Actor/musician Matthew Morrison also promised to be break dancing.
“I’m always in the mosh pit, I’ll be break dancing in the mosh pit,” he joked.
Morrison is a veteran of the party, having attended for more than a decade. He comes out because of his friendship with John and the cause.
“I’ve been coming to this event for over a decade now. They’re not gonna stop anytime soon,” Morrison said. “This is a force. People don’t talk about HIV and AIDS the way they used to. It was an epidemic, it’s got a little bit of a handle, but it’s still an epidemic out there. But I think if it wasn’t for the Elton John AIDS Foundation we would be talking about it in a much different way because they have done so much, not just for the actual disease, but for the stigma and the kind of shame that is associated with the disease. It’s amazing the outreach that they have and the work that they do behind the scenes.”
When throwing an Oscar party and fund raiser it has to both share the message and be a hell of a party. It is as Morrison’s most memorable moment attests to.
“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I will because it was very memorable, Elton John often wears those studded shoes, blinged out, I remember licking his shoe one year,” Morrison says. “Yeah, had a few drinks and he held it up. That was my most memorable moment.”
Matthew Morrison’s5-month-old son Revel will never have that problem in school where the teacher calls out a name and five different kids look up. We’re looking at you, David and Michael.
Morrison told Us Weekly on Wednesday, March 1, that he and his wife, Renee Puente, spent a long time deliberating over monikers for their first born before deciding on Revel — “Rev” for short.
“My wife’s name is Renee, and I’m Matthew, obviously,” Morrison told Us at the Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards viewing party press preview day in West Hollywood. “We wanted our boy to have an R name . . . and we just kind of came with different R names.”
The couple kicked around “Ryder” and “Ryner” until one day it just came to them.
“We were just having a conversation and talking about how we want to revel in our child, just revel in love,” explained the 39-year-old dad. “It’s not really a typical name, but it’s not so weird.”
The Glee alum added: “The thing we didn’t really anticipate was, whenever I say his name, some people are like, ‘Rebel?’ That’s the only hard thing.”
hough Morrison, who has been involved with the Elton John AIDS foundation for more than a decade, was thrilled to be at the event, he admitted it was hard to be away from his infant.
“I hate leaving my kid with anyone. We’d rather have him around,” he said. “For things like this, it’s a special night. We’re hermits. We never go out!”
But Morrison and Puente aren’t having any trouble keeping their romance alive. “We’ll put him to bed a little early,” he told Us, “Then we’ll just go downstairs and cook an amazing meal together.”
Stage and screen hearrthrob Matthew Morrison chats about how becoming a father has changed his career, what he loves about New York City vs. LA and date days with his wife, Renee, at Issue 004 cover shoot at Garcia House in Los Angeles.
Matthew Morrison and wife Renee Puentewere on a date night. But all the Glee star wanted to talk to Us Weekly about was their infant son, [Revel] James Mak[a]i.
“He’s intensified the love I have for life,” the Glee star, 39, told Us at Todd Snyder’s fashion show – which was presented by Cooper & Thief Cellarmasters — on Monday, February 5. “The baby is three and a half months and he’s finally noticing us and realizing how important we are to him and his survival.”
Indeed, when the actor and Renee went out one evening, they got a call from the nanny. “She’s like, ‘OK, he’s fine, but you need to get home!’” Puente recalled to Us. When she entered James’ nursery, it was clear he was upset that Mom and Dad hadn’t included him in their plans. “He was, like, angry, making out with my face!” she laughed. “I would turn around and he would pull my hair. It was the most glorious unconditional love.”
Puente who joked that she could have 20 kids, added that doesn’t regret waiting a few years to expand their family. “It’s, like, thank God we did everything we could before had babies,” she told Us. “We had every last conversation. We had every last travel and adventure together and we were ready for this new element to come and just sweep us off our feet feet. And he did. He did.”
Though the couple are still getting to know their nugget, it appears he takes after Morrison, who has appeared in three Broadway musicals, including Hairspray and Footloose. “We sing to him all the time,” the actor told Us. “He lights up.”
Matthew Morrison, is known for starring in Glee, but long before that he treaded the boards of Broadway in Hairspray, The Light in the Piazza, South Pacific and most recently Finding Neverland. Now he is performing at Feinstein’s/54 Below until January 13th and this is a show not to miss. Morrison exudes a natural sex appeal. He claims in his show, that Feinstein’s/54 Below is the sexiest room, but this is the sexiest show, as Morrison seduces his audience with charisma galore. Starting off with a crooning “Nice N Easy,” Morrison entered from the front of the room, making audience members swoon with joy as he passed their table. Sounding and oozing the same charge, that Frank Sinatra did. His smooth stylings gave way to a man with a heart, when a young girl almost fainted with glee, was allowed a selfie with him. I have never seen anyone as delighted as this girl was. All night the cell camera’s were zoomed in so as not to miss a moment.
Next up was a sinful “On The Street Where You Live.” All I can say is if the revival of My Fair Lady has this version, it is sure to smolder.
Father to 12-week-old son Revel James Makail, John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change” brought lyrics that really affected the singer, but it was “As Long As He Needs Me” from Oliver that his emotional ties to his son came through. The arrangement had Jimmy Emerson on flute and it added to the plaintiveness of the song. Also on “Waiting on the World to Change” there were some mean solos by Emerson on Sax and Daniel Kalischer on guitar.
Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine” showed off the singers dancing skills, as well as some soul. Morrison feeds off the energy of his fans as he gyrated with a sinewy grace. During the song his hand slide down the mike as if making love to it and I can guarantee most of the audience wished it was them instead of that mike.
In “Hey There” from Pajama Game, Morrison oozed boyish charm as he played the ukulele. This was in tribute to his first gig as a back-up singer for Don Ho.
Brad Ellis, the arranger from Glee, is Morrison’s musical director and played the keys, but it was his arrangement of Cole Potter’s “It’s Alright With Me” that rocked the house. Morrison pulled some Bob Fosse moves that shook the house. Bass player Gary Wicks and drummer Pete Antunes also showed mad skills.
“We Kiss In The Shadow” was Morrison’s tribute to gay marriage and what life was like before acceptance.
His South Pacific medley made me want to see his performance and made me realize what a talented musician this man truly is.
Nominated for a Tony Award for his performance as Fabrizio in The Light In The Piazza “Il Mondo Era Vuoto,” was my favorite of the night. Stating “that show was the hardest I’ve ever done. It’s also the highlight of my career,” he vocally soared. It is in a more classical sound, that Morrison impresses and impress he does.
Keeping us up to date with the shows he has performed in, a Finding Neverland medley followed. A nine-minute Hairspray medley had Morrison rocking and rolling. It is clear he has a complete love for this show.
“Come Rain or Come Shine/ Basin Street Blues” allowed the whole band to show off. Morrison surrounds himself with some of best musicians and the caliber of this show is exceptional. For opening night Morrison’s guest was his wife Renee and the curtain call number was a medley of two Beatle songs for the girl who has knitted his young sons caps.
Morrison is personable and makes sure that everyone has a great seat and a fabulous time. His humor is a little sarcastic, but with a devilish charm. Morrison has that “it” factor and has talent galore. How Broadway hasn’t snatched him up to star in a role written for him is beyond puzzling. Do not miss this show as it is one of the best I have seen in a long time.