Monthly Archives: June 2013

Andre Rieu DVDs

Andre Rieu DVDs continue to be so popular. Andre Rieu has proved all his Australian critics wrong with continuing to release his DVDs that immediately go to the top of the music DVD charts.

Why does he remain so popular when similar artists have fallen away to next be seen on ‘Where Are They Now’? It’s a little difficult to say but Andre Rieu really does have a unique style and his Dutch sense of humour really resonates with Aussies. He really is quite hilarious. He’s quirky, a little strange but most importantly he’s incredibly talented both as a musician, conductor and entertainer.

Andre Rieu remains huge in Europe and also has a huge Australian following. Those that have seen an Australian Andre Rieu concert go back time and time again. Critics say its like an open air RSL show which really isn’t fair when you see the elaborate sets and huge orchestra and guest stars he brings. Let’s face it, he’s not marketed at teenagers or even twenty-somethings for that matter. But for the over 40’s he’s absolutely huge. In saying that however, a lot of twenty-somethings buy his DVDs, not to watch but to give as gifts for their parents and grandparents that love Andre.

Andre’s son is now in charge of set design which has taken his sets from elaborate to well over the top. In a recent concert series he built a replica castle to play out of in the stadiums. Then when he’s finished playing in that city, the team packs up and builds it all again at the next stadium

This week sees the latest Andre Rieu DVD released: Rieu Royale which is best explained by Andre’s quote:
‘The most beautiful day of my musical career and the crowning glory of my work’.
After sneaking a peak of this new Music DVD it’s easy to see why he would go on the record with such a huge statement. Yes, Andre is well known for his, shall we say, less than modest statements. It’s a part of his charm, but this April 2013 Amsterdam concert with the Johann Orchestra will not disappoint.

It appears the Andre Rieu DVD juggernaut will continue for a long time yet. With dozens of his music DVDs back catalog still selling well and with his new Andre Rieu Royale DVD set to go straight to the number one position next week. It’s hard to resist an Andre Rieu DVD so I guess why try. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.


James Gandolfini dies aged 51

Sad news this morning with the news that James Gandolfini has died aged 51. He’s most famous for his lead role as Tony Sopranos in The Sopranos TV series. It’s a credit to Gandolfini’s acting skills to make a gang boss who runs a crime and murder ring into a lovable and affable character we all somehow could relate too. In fact his character has been listed in Entertainment Weekly as the 42nd greatest TV Icon of all time making The Sopranos DVD Box Set a ‘forvever’ seller. Not only was his character one of the most popular TV characters of the 21st century, he also won 3 Emmy awards for his performance as Tony Soprano. To this day The Sopranos is still one of the most popular TV Series On DVD.

Jim was born in New Jersey, hence the Jersey accent, in 1961. He started his journey to fame in 1992 in On The Waterfront’s Broadway production followed the following year in the romantic thriller True Romance. His biggest box office result came in 1994 in Terminal Velocity. We then got a taste of Tony Soprano when Jim starred as a Russian mobster in Get Shorty. If you’d like to hear him with a southern American accent check out the 1996 movie The Juror.

His final work is set to be the upcoming crime drama movie Animal Rescue that’s currently in post-production. There’s no set release date as yet but given today’s news it’ll probably be fast tracked for release this year.

Today (or 19 June in USA/Europe) Jim died suddenly while on holiday in Rome reportedly from a Heart Attack. It’s always sad to hear someone go too early and age 51 is obviously way too early but for such a talented iconic actor it’s even more sad. At least his work, particularly in The Sopranos will live on forever on DVD Box Sets and TV re-runs. RIP James Gandolfini 1961-2013


Jesus Christ Superstar Arena Spectacular

Last night I had the great pleasure of attending the new Jesus Christ Superstar musical starring Tim Minchin, Mel C (from the Spice Girls), Ben Forster, Jon Stevens and Andrew O’Keefe.

Having seen the 1990’s production with John Farnham and knowing the storyline fairly well, I thought I knew what I was in for. Umm, wrong. This Jesus Christ Superstar was set in the modern day. It still had the same characters and basic storyline but Andrew Lloyd Webber has updated the show to include a few new numbers. Whilst the storyline may be a little discombobulated at times, they actually pull it off quite well. You wouldn’t expect that they could, but if Jesus Christ came to earth in the modern day this is a fair depiction of what would happen in the reflection of the bible’s events. The thing to remember is, this is a musical, a rock opera if you will, it’s telling a story in a the musical form. It’s not a documentary telling of the bible so check reality at the door and be immersed in the incredible music and performance.

Jesus still has his 12 disciples as they form a common cause against corporate greed. In remembering that it is a musical, the storyline comes across more appropriate for todays audience.

Most importantly the big numbers are still all in the show but just told from a slightly different angle with some words changed to help the modern day telling flow. I’ve got to tell you, Tim Minchin was simply superb in Jesus Christmas Superstar. I’ve seen Tim Minchin a few times over the years, including 3 of his musical comedy shows of which were outstanding. I don’t say this lightly but I honestly believe Tim Minchin is the most talented performer this country has produced in a generation. He is clearly uber intelligent and an outstanding composer and performer. Add to that his recent acting performance in Californication season 5 and his work on the Tony Award winning musical Matilda and you’ve got an all round outstanding performer.

Also in the show is Mel C from the Spice Girls. I was a little sceptical with that casting to be honest, taking on the role of Mary Magdeline but she was actually very good. A faultess vocal performance. Much better than expected. Jesus was played by Ben Forster who won the spot on a UK reality show. Whilst his performance was not perfect he certainly has an outstanding voice. We haven’t seen the last of Ben Forster.

The show is still touring Australia with 5 concerts in Melbourne starting tomorrow before finishing in Brisbane. The show then returns to the UK. If you missed the show you can get it on DVD which includes heaps of bonus features well worth getting. What’s even better is the DVD is available for a tenth of the cost of the musical ticket. I’d certainly recommend getting the Jesus Christ Superstar Musical DVD while it’s still available.

All up, this was an excellent show with some amazing talent. It’s been 20 years since the last big production of Jesus Christ Superstar toured Australia so here’s hoping we dont have to wait another 20 years for it to come back.

Like all my blogs, neither I nor DVDLand received any inducements to provide this blog. All tickets and related expenses were paid for by DVDLand.

Jesus Christ Superstar

Tony Awards 2013

The Tony Awards were handed out earlier today. What a great telecast it was on Foxtel’s Arena (via ABC America). It was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris from How I Met Your Mother (or some of us will remember him as Doogie Howser). The difference with the Tonys and why they are so much more entertaining than other award shows is they concentrate more on showcasing current Broadway shows rather than the boring announcing of nominees and acceptance speeches. In fact a lot of the awards were given out prior to the telecast leaving the show to give us a taste of current Broadway shows.

For those that haven’t watched the Tonys before, they are a peer awards for shows (musicals and plays) on New York’s Broadway. They’re replayed tonight on Arena if you have a spare couple of hours. But if you don’t have time, watch the opening number, it really was amazing and worth watching.

Whilst some musicals are released on Musicals DVD unfortunately most of them aren’t which is a real tragedy seeing how very few Broadway musicals we get here in Aus. After seeing a few numbers from Matilda and Best Musical winner Kinky Boots I’d really like to watch them on a Music DVD which would be far cheaper than a 24 hour plane journey to New York.

Talking of Matilda, wasn’t their numbers that was shown on the Tonys awesome. The music and lyrics of Matilda were composed by Australia’s own Tim Minchin. He’s an incredibly talented entertainer originally from Perth but now resides in London. You may know him as an hilarious musical comedian who sells out his one man shows. I’ve had the absolute pleasure to seeing all his shows. He’s got to be one the most talented entertainers this country has ever produced, seriously. He’s currently touring Australia as the lead in the new Jesus Christ Superstar. Anyway, Minchin didn’t win for his nominated work on Matilda, but in my biased opinion, he was robbed 🙂 But Matilda did pick up a few awards. We can only hope this will be released on a Musical DVD like Jesus Christ Superstar which is now available on DVD and Blu Ray.

He was beat out by, get this, by Cyndi Lauper. Yes, that Cyndi Lauper. She did music and lyrics for Kinky Boots which looks great. If nothing else Lauper should have won an award for best hair (or should that be worst hair) but hay, it’s Cyndi Lauper, it would have been disappointing to have seen her in a regular hair cut.

It was Neil Patrick Harris’ 4th time hosting the Tony Awards and quite frankly they should give the hosting role every year. I saw him in Cabaret on Broadway quite a few years ago, when we only knew him as Doogie and was blown away by his talent. Check out the replay of the 2013 Tony Awards tonight, it’s not going to be released on a Music DVD so it’ll be your last chance to watch the official telecast.

Tracy Anderson DVDs

Many believe Tracy Anderson produces the best fitness DVDs. It’s hard to argue with
Tracy Anderson DVDs regularly outselling any other Fitness DVD on the market. It’s easy to see why with a long list of A Grade celebs as her clients including Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez.

The 38 year old Fitness entrepreneur is the daughter of a dance instructor. She planned on becoming a professional dancer but after putting on 20kg in her first year in New York, she changed paths to fitness and wellness.

Tracy is best known for her, not surprisingly titled, Tracy Anderson Method but after starting her own family she started producing pregnancy DVDs aimed at women in pre-natal and post-natal periods. This is arguably where Tracy Anderson gained her most fame. This was helped with regular appearances on Oprah Winfrey and the US Talk Show circuit.

It’s hard to think of any other more popular fitness DVD instructor than Tracy Anderson, picking up from the trail originally blazed by Jane Fonda. Tracy has on many occasions credited Jane as her inspiration. Whether or not that’s just Tracy’s PR to align herself with the world’s original fitness guru we’ll never know. What we do know is Tracy Anderson goes from strength to strength creating the most effective and popular fitness DVDs. They are worth a go, at least trying them will save us from the sometimes uncomfortable gym.

Tracy Anderson DVD at DVDLand

Tracy Anderson DVD at DVDLand