BBC Two Series - "The Many Faces of Michael Crawford"
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.
Michael's Martini Glass
Michael was contacted several months ago to support a Celebrity Martini Glass Auction, a fundraiser created to support the Naples International Film Festival and the Arts. World-renown fashion & jewelry designers create one-of-a-kind works of art on a celebrity signed martini glass. We sent the signed glass back to them a few weeks ago, and it is now part of the featured rotating display on their website. It turned out quite spectacularly! On February 18, 2013 these unique works of art will be on display one night only at the Philharmonic Center for the Arts. The martini glasses will be viewed by guests, then auctioned off at the event. Perhaps some of you Florida members might want to attend and get a chance at this. It's pretty neat!
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.
And in Australia
“Michael Crawford’s Christmas - O Holy Night” features 21 tracks of classic Christmas and Spiritual songs from Michael’s previously released Christmas and ‘On Eagles Wings’ albums. Neither of these albums is currently available in stores in Oz but you can order this special compilation Click Here.
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.
PHANTOM to Celebrate 25th Anniversary on Broadway 1/26/2013
The longest-running show in Broadway history, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA will again make theater history when it becomes the first Broadway show to celebrate its 25th Anniversary on Saturday, January 26, 2013. Sierra Boggess, who played the role of Christine at the London 25th Anniversary concert at which Michael appeared, will be joining the Broadway production for a limited engagement.
There is no word yet whether Michael will be in New York during the anniversary, but we will keep members updated through future Hotline Updates. click here for more info.
Michael to Voice 'The Giant' in JACK AND THE BEANSTALK UK PANTO
Michael will record the voice of 'The Giant' for a new pantomime of JACK AND THE BEANSTALK starring Britt Ekland and Anita Harris. For more information, click here.
"That old Frank ‘n’ Betty team still in action..."
The Chichester Observer has a new interview with Michael's SOME MOTHERS DO 'AVE 'EM former co-star, Michele Dotrice about her new project, The Ladykillers. Michelle notes "“But the other day my friend Michael Crawford came around to the flat and said ‘How are you going to play Mrs Wilberforce?’ I said I didn’t know, and he just started to play her, no script, just playing her how she should be, off the top of his head. I was in hysterics. I had tears rolling down my face the way he played this little old innocent lady with a beaming smile, apparently totally vague, but you know that she is as sharp as a pencil underneath. It was so hysterical watching him. “I said to him ‘Michael, will you do me a favour? I think it will be funnier if you play her for me!’”"
Click Here for the full interview.
Michael Crawford to Duet with Susan Boyle
Susan Boyle last week revealed that her upcoming 4th album would have a musicals theme. Now, the star has revealed the title (Standing Ovations - The Greatest Songs from the Stage), the cover and the track list!
Susan writes that on the album will be "The Music Of The Night featuring Michael Crawford, this is from Phantom of The Opera, so who better to accompany me than the Phantom himself! I found this awesome to perform."
Michael has sent a message to M.C.I.F.A. members adding that he hopes everyone enjoys the album.
Sick Children's Trust Update
On August 2, 2012, Sick Children's Trust President Michael Crawford stopped by Rainbow House yesterday to film their ICAP Charity Day DVD.
The Sick Children’s Trust believes that seriously ill children should not be separated from their loved ones whilst in hospital.
The Sick Children's Trust (SCT) is a UK registered charity (similar to the American "Ronald McDonald House" organization). It was founded in 1982 to alleviate family stress and promote the recovery of seriously ill children through the provision of accommodation near hospitals, where families can stay close to their sick child.
Photo: Michael and the Great Britain Team - Source @TeamGB, July 31 2012
Got Olympic Fever?
Michael has been working with the Great Britain Olympics Synchronized Swimming Team. As well as coaching them on improving their artistic marks, Michael provides the voice over for their Peter Pan-themed free routine.
We thought you'd enjoy the following links to the article and video coverage:
The synchronized swimming competition is scheduled to take place from August 5 to August 10, 2012.
InDepth InterView: Patricia Kelly Discusses GENE KELLY @ 100, Lincoln Center Shows, SINGIN' IN THE RAIN HD & More
On BroadwayWorld.com, Gene Kelly's widow Patricia Kelly talked about a number of topics, including about Gene's work with Michael in HELLO, DOLLY! Click here for the full interview.
PK: Michael Kidd was the choreographer on the picture, but Gene choreographed and staged the “Ribbons Down My Back” number and Michael Crawford’s number, “It Only Takes A Moment”. If you look at those numbers, they are very distinct numbers in the picture. Of course, he also created the parade scene, as well. Another interesting thing about that picture is that the producers did not want Michael Crawford to sing.
BWW: Which is almost impossible to believe.
PK: I know, but they didn’t want him to sing “It Only Takes A Moment” in the film - they said that he had this tiny, little voice and that they wanted a powerhouse to sing that song. So, they didn’t want that scene even to be in the picture with him singing it, but Gene said, “No, I want it in,” and, since, obviously, look what’s happened to Michael Crawford!
BWW: Precisely. Michael spoke so favorably of working with Gene when he did this column. Did you and Gene see him in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA at any point?
PK: Yes, we did. We were actually at the opening night in Los Angeles. Michael was a dear friend to Gene and I have heard him in interviews recently explain why Gene was so important and so inspirational to him. So, I really, really appreciate that - Michael speaks so highly of what Gene taught him and it is so nice to hear. You know, with things like that and with the new Warner Brothers featurette with these choreographers, directors and dancers saying, “Hey,Gene Kelly was my inspiration; Gene Kelly is my model;Gene Kelly influenced me; Gene Kelly inspires me every day,” it’s really like he’s alive. It’s not like he’s dead and 100 - he’s still cool and relevant.
On February 5, 2012 - Michael played his last performance as the Wizard at the London Palladium
Michael completed his run as the Wizard in Andrew Lloyd Webber's new production of THE WIZARD OF OZ at the London Palladium on Sunday, February 5, 2012. The show began previews on February 7, 2011 and opened on March 1, 2011 to lots of rave reviews!
His performances were great and he received Standing Ovations throughout his run!
Click Here for a Look Back...