Supporting Children's Charities Around the World - Over $1,000,000 and Counting!
EMOTIONAL CLOSING NIGHT for THE GO BETWEEN
OCTOBER 15, 2016 - APOLLO THEATRE, LONDON
Entire company receives well deserved standing ovation. [Flowers courtesy of the M.C.I.F.A. :-) ]
Michael's emotional and gracious speech
"I'm going to miss this. I don't know...what... but even if this is the last thing I ever do, I shall be very happy."
With those words, a clearly emotional Michael exited the stage of the Apollo, after completing this limited run of "The Go Between" which began last May. He became involved with the project over two years ago after falling in love with the music and the unique staging of this well loved classic story, and was a major force in bringing its West End appearance to fruition.
Michael praised the company for "truly being a team" and so supportive of one another, and that in 62 years on the stage, he had not experienced any better. He especially praised the six young boys for being so "disciplined", something he said was far too "naughty" to have done when he was their age. He has said Leo Colston is his most demanding role ever, and his presence on stage, literally the entire show, plus the vocal demands of Richard Taylor's beautiful score (described as a blend of Stephen Sondheim and Benjamin Britten), may make the end of the run a bit of a relief along with the sadness.
Leo Colston's last line of the show, as he clicks off the single dim light on the stage before walking slowly away, is "...I am content." And so, evidently, is Michael Crawford. Let's just hope he walks back on stage in the not too distant future.
MICHAEL MAKES SURPRISE APPEARANCE AT PHANTOM'S 30th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
The Really Useful Group streamed live onto Facebook the pre and post show activities for the 30th anniversary of Phantom's opening in London. They did not reveal ahead of time who their "special surprise guests" would be at the Special Finale Event. But as the Finale ended, the entire cast & company parted in the middle and honored the original Phantom, who made his way downstage to a huge standing ovation - as he had done hundreds of times on that very stage. Michael had raced over to Her Majesty's after finishing the evening performance of "The Go-Between" at the Apollo, and was rewarded with well deserved appreciation.
BCEFA Flea Market Sunday Sept 25!
As has been our tradition for many years, the M.C.I.F.A. has donated signed items and will be hosting a table at the BCEFA Flea Market & Grand Auction this Sunday, Sept 25th. The flea market runs from 10 am - 7 pm, and will stretch along West 44th and 45th Streets between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.
The M.C.I.F.A. table will be appropriately located in front of the Majestic Theatre, right next to the POTO cast table. :-) Please stop by for a visit - and to get some awesome Michael items! We'd love to see you. (We did not put out a call for volunteers this year, as we were fully staffed with folks coming in for the weekend anyway.) In addition to a terrific lot of POTO signed items, we have several signed programmes from "The Go-Between", which are really beautiful.
Michael signed three special items for the Live Grand Auction and the Silent auction. Click on the BCEFA link below for specifics on the Grand Auction in Shubert Alley, for which we donated a framed and signed ceramic mask, and the production company added two tickets to a POTO performance. (Item L-2) Online bidding ended at $1100!!
The silent auction consists of items put up for a certain period of time, changing every half hour. The M.C.I.F.A. Items Will be available at the following times:
1) 12:00-12:30 Item S-55
"Hello Dolly!" Movie souvenir program signed by Michael and Barbra Streisand. Opening bid $100.
2) 2:30–3:00 p.m. Item S – 120
Signed bowtie worn on stage by Michael as the phantom. Comes with letter of authenticity signed by Michael. Both framed in a shadowbox.
Come on out and enjoy a terrific day for all theater fans, and support and exceptionally great cause at the same time! Hope to see you there.
THE GO-BETWEEN Opens to Emotional Standing Ovation in London !
The Apollo Theatre was chock full for Press Night on Tuesday, June 7th, and they and the few public seats that were to be had, provided Michael Crawford and the entire company with an emotional standing ovation. Clearly, "the great man's" return to the West End was heartily welcomed, and this small "gem of a production" was well received by an audience that has known and loved the story for decades. A relieved and happy Michael greeted fans at the stage door prior to departing for the opening night party.
Michael has said this is the most demanding piece he has ever done, and the intensity of his performance and his constant presence on stage, prove this out. If you can get to the Apollo during this limited run (20 weeks ending October 20th), DO SO. It is a masterful, iconic, Michael Crawford performance.
Congratulations to Michael and the entire creative team - well done!
Click Play above for a clip of Michael singing 'Butterfly' - for production photos, click here.
First Two Previews of The Go-Between Receive Standing Ovations!
Michael Crawford has officially returned to the London stage, where previews kicked off this week to standing ovations! After demanding performances, where he is onstage literally the entire performance, Michael graciously signed programmes for the large crowd of fans at the stage door.
Michael Crawford will return to the London Stage in a new musical, based on the famed novel THE GO-BETWEEN. The production will begin performances on May 27th at the Apollo Theatre in London's West End. The production will mark Crawford's return to the stage after most recently appearing in THE WIZARD OF OZ at the London Palladium and will open on June 7th. THE GO-BETWEEN is a novel by L. P. Hartley published in 1953. His best-known work, it has been adapted several times for stage and screen. The musical's creative team includes composer Richard Taylor, writer David Wood and producers Joseph Smith and Bill Kenwright.
Michael Reprises Frank Spencer Role for Record-Breaking Sport Relief Special
Michael brought back his iconic comedic role as Frank Spencer in a BBC One special for Sport Relief Night on March 18 at 7pm. If you're in the UK and missed it, it's downloadable here.
Michael is "...thrilled and delighted to have been asked to bring Frank Spencer back for Sport Relief." This year's event raised a record breaking £55,444,906!
Below, watch Michael on the live broadcast talking about the sketch and the charity, plus a new interview!
MICHAEL TO RECIEVE VISUAL COMEDY LEGEND AWARD APRIL 8 in Bristol, England
As the accident-prone yet loveable Frank Spencer in BBC TV’s classic comedy Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em (1973-78), Michael Crawford captivated 16 million viewers a week and turned “Ooh, Betty” into a national catchphrase. The role also earned him comparisons with Buster Keaton, due to his mastery of slapstick-style, physical comedy and his willingness to use even more daring stunts, such as dangling from a Morris Minor over a cliff edge or roller-skating underneath a moving articulated lorry.
This alone makes him a worthy winner of the Aardman Slapstick Visual Comedy Award, presented annually by Slapstick Festival and Aardman Animations , and whose previous recipients include Eric Sykes CBE, The Goodies and Pierre Etaix. Michael will be presented with this prestigious award onstage during the event.
Hear Michael in conversation discussing his role as Frank and his many other award-winning roles involving comedy, skill and hazard, among them Billy (based on the novel Billy Liar ), Barnum, the Phantom of the Opera and most recently The Wizard of Oz.
Please join us for this unique tribute to the creator of one of comedy’s finest onscreen characters.
MICHAEL HOSTED FUNDRAISER FOR SICK CHILDREN'S TRUST TUESDAY, OCT 13 ~ Cambridge, England
The UK based Sick Children's Trust has long been one of the M.C.I.F.A.'s 'official' charities, and much of the US$1 million+ that we have raised has been given to this amazing organization. Michael is the President of the Trust, and takes every opportunity he can to support their efforts to provide 'homes from home' to families with hospitalized children.
On TUESDAY, OCT 13th Michael hosted a 'tea and fizz' fundraiser for SCT.It was a great success, and Michael very much enjoyed the day. During his 'chat time' with attendees, he denied rumours in the press that he would be doing a renewed version of Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, but he is actively pursuing other projects.
Michael has been spending a good bit of time visiting the SCT homes and visiting with the staffs, as well as families residing at the homes during their children's treatments for life-threatening conditions. In the midst of such family distress, having the opportunity to visit with one of Britain's legendary stars is a lovely break from such difficult times. And, clearly, Michael is enjoying himself, as well - as the photos below show.
The M.C.I.F.A. encourages donations to this wonderful cause at ANY time. In fact, you can direct your gifts to the home that bears Michael's name, which was done in honor of his and the M.C.I.F.A.'s dedicated support of the SCT over the years.
Michael Receives CBE at Windsor Castle
It's official!! Michael was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by the Queen in an investiture ceremony in March at Windsor Castle. He was honored for his charitable and philanthropic services, particularly for children's charities.
In an article from the Oxford Mail, Michael joked afterwards, "My mother always told me to do things modestly - so I'm not really a good advertisement for any charity."
May we respectfully disagree with him, and say that he has been a superb representative for all the charities with which he is involved, and that his modesty has helped make him the man that he is. And we're very sure his mother is very proud of him, as are we all.
We know you all send Michael love and huge congratulations for his inclusion on The Queen’s New Year’s Honor’s list, December 2013. It was announced that Michael is a recipient of the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire)!
Michael is absolutely delighted and said during an interview with the BBC that news of the award was “...a great surprise, I’m quietly and respectfully very excited." Michael spoke of his humble beginnings and said the award would inspire him to “work harder.” He also said that, "I do thank most sincerely those who are responsible for my receiving this great honour and to all my friends and colleagues at The Sick Children's Trust, I'm proud to be a part of our very special charity."
The M.C.I.F.A. is proud to have participated with the Sick Children's Trust in the sponsorship of Michael for this honour. Michael’s Twitter page has lit up with congratulatory messages from all over the world.
Well done, and WELL deserved, Michael!!
Michael Featured on BBC Four Program About Benjamin Britten
Michael shared some of interactions as a teenager with noted British composer Benjamin Britten in an interview that was part of a recent BBC FOUR program.UK residents may view the entire hour long show at:
While Michael was in California this past March, in addition to the 'Moment with Michael' event for M.C.I.F.A. members, he recorded a lengthy interview for BBC Two. Members, please see the latest Hotline Update for additional information on viewing the program.
According to BBC Two, the program "...features a new interview with Michael in which he reveals he's not a natural singer or dancer — the 'Hello, Dolly!' producers wanted to overdub his most famous song. That song is now a cult classic but his Hollywood success was short lived and he spent some time working in his wife's cushion factory before landing his best known part as Frank Spencer in 'Some Mothers Do Ave Em.' His love of stunts and mastery of Frank's comic mannerisms made him a household name but once more Michael Crawford turned to the stage in what became the biggest musical of all time — The Phantom of the Opera. In recent years he has stayed on stage but relentless stunt work and a punishing schedule has taken a toll on his health. Nevertheless, after more than 50 years in the business, he recently returned to the stage in the musical The Wizard of Oz— still singing and dancing with a new generation."
Photo by Genevieve Rafter-Keddy
Phantom's 25th Anniversary in New York
The M.C.I.F.A. had a weekend full of activities for members during the mega-celebration for The Phantom of the Opera's 25th Anniversary in New York on January 26th. Michael couldn't make it to the festivities, but he was certainly well-represented 'in absentia', with hordes of enthusiastic fans in attendance, on-screen and on-stage mentions from the creative team and former co-star Sarah Brightman, and a letter he sent, read by the legendary Hal Prince.
Here's what Michael had to say in a brief note, introduced by Hal Prince as "someone who we wish was here" that received much applause:
Just a note to congratulate everyone on this wonderful 25th Anniversary of Phantom. Hal, I remember the night before we opened, when you told me that my life would change from that day on. And, sure enough, I had the most exciting period of my career during that first year of Phantom - working with the great company, crew and orchestra. So many wonderful memories. My love to you all and to the many subsequent company members through the years and most of all - thanks Hal for a being a great captain of the team.
Two New CD Compilations Available
UK 2CD Release ‘The Ultimate Collection’ a 2CD set of 28 of Michael’s most classic recordings is due to be released in the UK on November 26. The CD set can be preordered at Amazon.com, Click Here.
The record company has generously donated some CDs to the M.C.I.F.A. to raise money for our charity work, and members should watch our Hotline Updates for details.
The Ultimate Collection contains acclaimed performances from classic musicals such as The Phantom Of The Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Miserables, The Lion King and Aspects Of Love as well as beautiful love songs including If and When I Fall In Love.
Michael Crawford and Susan Boyle Duet on 'The Music of the Night'!
“The Music of the Night” is from Boyle’s new album, “Standing Ovation,” which will be released November 13 (click here to pre-order). Boyle has reached international stardom and sold over 18 million albums in the just three years. “Standing Ovation” showcases duets with both Michael Crawford and her lifelong idol, Donny Osmond and is filled with songs from her favorite shows. click here for more info.
1993 - Jenny Jones Show (Chicago)Recorded during his sold out tour of 'The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber', this includes some great clips of 'Gethsemane' as well as the 'Only You' video released for the promotion of his 'Michael Crawford Performs the Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber' album.
According to MCV, an Andrew Lloyd Webber video game titled "Andrew Lloyd Webber Musicals: Sing & Dance" will be released exclusively for Wii on Sept. 14, 2012.
A description of the game states: "Fans of hit musicals such as 'The Phantom of the Opera', ‘Sunset Boulevard’, 'Evita', 'Cats', 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' and 'Jesus Christ Superstar' will now be able to put themselves center stage with this new game." The game features 45 years worth of Webber's works, including 32 songs from 13 musicals, such as Evita's "Don't Cry For Me Argentina," Jesus Christ Superstar's "Superstar" and The Phantom of the Opera's "All I Ask Of You." It also features West End stars Elaine Paige, Michael Crawford, Boyzone, Donny Osmond, David Essex, Sarah Brightman and more performing alongside the gamer. Players can also choose between "Dance", "Sing", or "Career" modes and have the option of performing alongside up to three other gamers in multiplayer mode.
M.C.I.F.A. AWARD at SCT 30th ANNIVERSARY EVENT
On Thursday, June 28th, The Sick Children's Trust recognized the M.C.I.F.A., along with a number of other long-time supporters at their 30th anniversary event in London. The cumulative giving to SCT over the years by M.C.I.F.A. is an amazing £298,351 (US$473,987)! SCT President Michael was on hand to present our award to Coordinating Committee Member Sandy Kuriyama, who made a special trip to London to represent the M.C.I.F.A. Thanks, Sandy!! In her remarks, Sandy thanked all the members for their generosity over the years as well as Michael for guiding us into our support of the Trust and its remarkable work.
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