The Glorious Corner: Brian May, Chris Pine, Elton John and More

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By G.H. Harding

MAY DAY — Queen guitarist Brian May said he was shocked into silence by the media’s behavior during Oscars season, and said that “vitriol and dishonesty” had left him saddened, even after Bohemian Rhapsody’ssuccess at the awards ceremony last month.

Brian May

The biggest-grossing music biopic of all time won four Academy Awards after Queen and Adam Lambert had opened the show last month – but afterward, May found himself unable to explain how he had felt in the preceding months.

“You saw I went very quiet after the Oscars were over,” he said in an Instagram post. “What really happened? We opened the Academy Awards show in a way it’s never been opened before, in an avalanche of excitement, looking out on an instant standing ovation from a glittering audience containing many of our heroes, all beaming and singing with us and punching the air. We then, shockingly, walked away with four Oscars – the top haul of the night.”

He added that the head of local production had congratulated him for the “best opening” in his 40-yearOscars career. “A lovely moment,” he continued. “So – everyone assumes that we would then all go forth, deliriously partying with not a care in the world. But I guess I’m not that kind of animal. I was, and I am, deeply grateful for our Freddie film being recognized in a way we never had the audacity to expect. But I found the public activity behind the whole awards season, and the behavior of the media writers surrounding it, deeply disturbing.”

May argued that the vast majority of press and online discussions leading up to the Oscars was “aimed at discrediting one or other, or all of the nominated films by innuendo and smears, rather than discussing their merits and admiring the skills that went into making them.”

He added that “vitriol and dishonesty, and blatant attempts to shame and influence the members into voting the way they, in their arrogance required them to. It’s not the fault of the awards panels – they stood up well. It’s a kind of vindictive sickness that seems to have gripped public life.”

His silence, he explained, had been a desire to avoid influencing the awards results “even by a hair.” After the events were concluded, he was left “with very mixed feelings,” until he found a Spectator article that he said expressed his position accurately.

In that piece, titled Bohemian Rhapsody’s Oscars Win Is a Triumph Over Snobby Film Critics, author Toby Young criticized critics for apparently willfully ignoring the movie’s positives. He wrote that the main two reasons were that the members of Queen had come from relatively successful social backgrounds, which went against critics’ desire for rags-to-riches stories, and that the depiction of Freddie Mercury’s sexuality hadn’t followed the established politically correct format.

“Now I don’t have to explain,” May finished. “It’s all here.”

Calling All Divas
Chris Pine

SHORT TAKES — We watched the finale of TNT’s much-hyped I Am The Night, with Chris Pine and directed by Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman). Penned by Jenkins’ husband Sam Sheridan, the six-episode mini-series tried to unravel a noir Hollywood mystery which somehow involved the infamous Black Dahlia murders. Pine was great; as he always is, but the murky episodes were indeed rough to follow. I searched for a review of their final episode this past Monday and found nothing. Jenkins has directed the next Wonder Woman, with Pine and we’re looking forward to this. This one was all style, and little substance…PR-kingpin Randy Alexander has unwrapped his new project, Calling All Divas! A new musical tale following four very different and remarkable women competing for one moment in the spotlight, as they battle for the chance to become the world’s next female singing superstar. Academy Award-winning songwriter, Franke Previte (Dirty Dancing) and world-renowned live show specialist, Michael LaFleur  (Celine Dion, Sarah Brightman) invite you to join a young, hopeful songwriter on a whimsical quest through the music nightspots of the big city, as he sets out to find the right voice to sing his sure-fire hit and save his boss’s failing nightclub. Jam-packed with decades of timeless hits, this musical experience brings audiences to their feet in a joyous celebration of music, friendship and the power of sisterhood. It’s a pop, rock, soul, and country hit parade, transporting us all on a magical musical journey, and we’re Calling All Divas! Here’s the post-show celebration from their opening last weekend at Philadelphia’s Keswick Theater. L-R: Cast members Zach Holden, Brittneyann Accetta, Lisa Sherman, Carol Riddick, Trenna Barnes, Frank Dicopoulos, director Michael La Fleur, creator Franke Previte (photos by Estelle Massry/CouCou) … Friday is Micky Dolenz’s birthday and he’ll celebrate it at Huntington’s Paramount Theater, as part of the Mike & Micky tour. Details on Monday … Elton John was at Madison Square Garden last night, part of his ongoing Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. Our colleague Roger Friedman covered it and wrote one of the best-ever reviews of the show. Check it out here: 

Elton John
Micky Dolenz

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Gary Graff; Jason Elzy; Mike McCann; Adam White; Radcliffe Joe; Steve Leeds; JB Carmicle; Joel Diamond; WIlliam Schill; Anthony Noto; Heatehr Moore; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Race Taylor, and CFS.

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