Daniel Radcliffe’s Broadway Debut

Actor Daniel Radcliffe, known for his portrayal of Harry Potter, had his Broadway musical debut on Monday. Although his musical talents were said to be rather limited, his performance was met with the approval of the critics because of his enthusiasm and eagerness while on stage.

The 21-year old chose “How to Succeed in a Business Without Really Trying,” for his debut, where he played the green, ambitious J. Pierrepont Finch as he ascended into the heights of business.

What Does New York Think?

A review in the New York Times said “While Mr. Radcliffe is clearly not on the musical manner born, I would give him, oh, a six out of ten.” It continued, saying that Radcliffe “hits his choreographic marks,” and “speaks his lines quickly and distinctly (with a convincing American accent).” The review also said “and because you feel the effort and eagerness with which Mr. Radcliffe responds to that voice, you truly want him to succeed, just as you hope a favorite athlete or hip hop artist will avoid elimination on ‘Dancing with the Stars’.”

Mr. Radcliffe actually had his first Broadway performance in 2008 as a psychotic stable boy in “Equus,” but his current “How to Succeed” is a musical that is a full two hours long. This time, Radcliffe also participated in an aerial somersault during the chorus.

The New York Post said “Daniel Radcliffe is so adorable in his Broadway musical debut, you just want to pinch his cheeks.” It also mentioned his “endearing amount of dedication and enthusiasm.”

Chris Brown’s Meltdown on Good Morning America

Yesterday, pop/R&B singer Chris Brown’s effort to improve both his career and reputation encountered a setback when he stormed off the set of “Good Morning America” and shattered the window in his dressing room.

The breakdown was induced by co-host Robin Roberts who, during the interview, asked Brown about the 2009 assault of singer Rihanna. The question came after Brown’s performance of his first song of the evening, with his second expected to be viewed after a commercial break. However, when the cameras were switched off, Brown returned to his dressing room, smashed a window and a few other items with a chair, and stormed shirtless out of the New York studio before the security guards could arrive.

Brown was featured on Good Morning America to debut his newest album “F.A.M.E.,” which he says stands for “Forgiving All My Enemies.” The album has generated mainly positive reviews, and has already produced three hit singles. When the interview moved from the music to Rihanna, Brown appeared agitated and said “this album is what I want them to talk about and not what happened two years ago.”

Iowan Man To Live Solely on Beer for Lent

An editor and beer-brewing blogger from Iowa is battling the “teetotalling, neo-prohibitionist tendencies” of some aspects of Christianity by surviving only on beer throughout the 46 days of Lent. The decision is meant to pay homage to the beer-making Bavarian monks of the Middle Ages.

J. Wilson, 38, is an editor at the weekly Adams County Free Press, who blogs in his spare time. He also intends to write a book about his Lent experience. In the first entry of his blog, Diary of a Part Time Monk, Wilson wrote: “I hope beer lovers learn something reasonable about Christianity, and I hope Christians learn something reasonable about beer.”

Wilson, following the tradition of liquid fasts practiced by German monks from the 17th century, drinks four 12-ounce (or 355 mL) beers during the week, and five on weekends.  This schedule is not the only sacrifice being made between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday- numerous others have sworn not to use Facebook or Twitter for the duration of Lent.

A “Reality Check” For Christians

Wilson explains that his goal is to give Christians a “reality check” as well as a history lesson. “Back in the Middle Ages- and far beyond that- the Church and beer were very linked.” He added that “You’re not going to Hell if you drink a beer.” Wilson has described himself as a “non-denominational” Christian.

The home brewer joined forces with Eric Sorensen, the senior brewer of the Rock Bottom Brewery in Des Moines, in an effort to create the perfect beer for the regime. Entitled Illuminator Doppelbock, it was made in the traditional doppelbock manner of Munich. This beer is often described as “liquid bread.” Each 12-ounce beer has 288 calories and a 6.67% alcohol content. Sorensen allowed Wilson to craft the beer for free as he had “a lot personally invested in it,” Sorensen said in a video.  Wilson explained that the 17th century Monks who took the well-known bock beer and “kicked it up a notch” by putting additional grain in as a means to survive their prolonged fasts. He describes the beer as “bold” and “full-bodied,” and “bready, with some sweetness.”

Six Days In…

This past Monday, Wilson interviewed with the Star. He was just six days into the fast, and had already lost 11 pounds. Other than a headache that passed after day two, he said he felt fine.

“Honestly, I’m not hungry-hungry. What I’ve found, though, is that aromas will trigger a pretty serious desire.” He explained that the fast has taught him the difference between the two. “I’m not hungry… but when I smell stuff, boy do I desire that chicken-fried steak.”

Wilson schedules his ‘meals’ separately during the day so that he can work and drive, if necessary. “It’s not a hammer-fest. But if you walk in the rain, you’re going to get wet. I understand this,” he said. With two sons and a wife, he needs to act responsibly. He pointed out that his wife has been supportive.

“She has been around me for sixteen years now, so she knows all my wild and interesting ideas. So she’s certainly used to that facet of my personality,” he explained.

Both a doctor and a pastor are monitoring Wilson, one for his physical health, and one for his spiritual. Wilson, who has never sacrificed anything for Lent in the past, had said that he has already experienced moment of “heightened focus,” which he describes as “sort of like walking through a tunnel in a very good spot.”

Phil Collins Retires

Phil Collins has officially decided to retire from the music industry. The musician is now sixty years old, and suffers from hearing problems and a dislocated vertebra. He also has nerve damage in his hands which makes it difficult to grip drumsticks. Despite these issues, Collins has stuck with the industry for years. Why, then, is he leaving? He has made it quite obvious that he feels now would be the best time to bow out because of heavy criticism that he has suffered throughout his career.

What Criticism?

Throughout his time in the industry, Collins has been awarded with seven Grammy awards as well as an Oscar for the Tarzan soundtrack. He also had numerous hit singles, and sold over one hundred and fifty million copies of his albums. Despite his impressive accomplishments, critics have often regarded him as a not-good-enough artist. Noel Gallagher once went as far as to say “You don’t have to be great to be successful. Look at Phil Collins.”

His Response

In response to their harsh, and possibly incorrect, words, Collins recently said: “I’m sorry that it was all so successful. I honestly didn’t mean it to happen like that. It’s hardly surprising that people grew to hate me. I don’t really belong to that world and I don’t think anyone’s going to miss me. I’m much happier just to write myself out of the script entirely.”