Entertainment

BILL COSBY

Friday, March 23

Bill Cosby - Photo credit: Erinn Chalene Cosby

One of America’s most beloved comedians of all time, Bill Cosby has captivated generations of fans with his comedy routines, iconic albums and best selling books such as Fatherhood.  His comedy transcends age, gender and cultural barriers.

Cosby broke television’s racial barrier with I Spy, becoming the first African American to costar on a television series while winning three consecutive Emmys.  He created and produced the Emmy-winning cartoon Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, which began airing in the 1970s and was made into a film in 2004.  The show, based on Cosby’s childhood in Philadelphia, was designed to educate and entertain.

The former Navy serviceman’s illustrious list of accomplishments includes roles on the children’s educational show Electric Company and creating and producing the Emmy award wining Little Bill, which is based on his bestselling book series.

Perhaps Cosby’s greatest contribution to American entertainment and culture is The Cosby Show, about a close-knit, upper class black family.  Cosby said his intent was to portray an American family.  Time magazine called the show “an encouraging sign of maturity in matters of race.”  The Cosby Show dominated the No. One spot for years, earning nearly unanimous critical praise.  Life magazine described the program as “a gentle, whimsical, warmhearted” show whose “delicious ordinariness of its pleasures and tribulations has given millions a fresh, laughter-splashed perspective on their own domestic lives.”

Bill Cosby’s next book, I Didn’t Ask to Be Born, But I’m Glad I Was, will be released by the Hachette Book Group in November. Cosby talks about the Bible, being a grandfather and his first love in his humorous and insightful manner.
Cosby has received the Kennedy Center Honors, the Presidential Medal of Freedom (America’s highest civilian honor), the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and the Marian Anderson Award.

Cosby’s been busy raising a family, too.  He married the former Camille Hanks on January 25, 1964, while she was still a student at the University of Maryland.  They raised four daughters (Erika, Erinn, Ensa and Evin) and one son (Ennis) and now have three grandchildren.  The family resides in New England.

Country Music’s Four-Time Female Vocalist of the Year

MARTINA MCBRIDE

Saturday, March 24

Martina McBride

Kansas native Martina McBride started her recording career in 1992 with the album The Time Has Come. This was followed by The Way That I Am, containing such hits as “My Baby Loves Me” and “Independence Day,” which won Video of the Year and Song of the Year from the Country Music Association. Since then, she’s been recording a solid line of popular hits including “A Broken Wing,” “Happy Girl” and “Wrong Again.”

In 2003, McBride’s single “This One’s for the Girls” became a hit not only in country music but also on the contemporary charts. She followed it up with “In My Daughter’s Eyes,” and the following year won CMA’s Female Vocalist award for the fourth time, tying Reba McEntire for the most wins in that category.

McBride’s 11th album, appropriately called “Eleven,” has just been released. She introduced it not in New York or Los Angeles but in a unique train tour around the United States, making 11 stops and raising money for breast cancer research. Included on the album is “I’m Gonna Love You Through It,” an inspirational and powerful song about love and support for those suffering with breast cancer.

BOWZER’S

ROCK N’ ROLL PARTY

March 22nd

Opening Night Entertainment Sponsord by:

 

Pilot Flying J

Bowzer

The Rally looks forward to presenting Bowzer’s Rock N’ Roll Party on opening night in Phoenix, starring none other than Bowzer himself!  But don’t be fooled…Bowzer’s alter ego, Jon Bauman, has a story all of his own.

 Jon Bauman’s portrayal of “Bowzer”, the leader of the Rock N Roll oldies group “Sha Na Na” for fourteen years, is so convincing that many fans are certain this hilarious gangly greaser actually stalked the streets of Brooklyn when he wasn’t rocking out with the group. 

Jon, like “Bowzer”, was born in Brooklyn, but there the similarity ends. The stunning disparity between mild-mannered Jon Bauman and his creation and alter ego, the inimitable “Bowzer”, has raised a lot of eyebrows in the entertainment industry. Jon was something of a child prodigy at the piano, and started classical lessons at age seven. He attended the Juilliard School beginning age l2 and ultimately graduated Magna Cum Laude from prestigious Columbia College in New York.

In l969, Jon joined several of his Columbia classmates in “Sha Na Na” and created the character of “Bowzer”. With “Bowzer” the dominant character on stage, Jon was a major force in leading the group to their successful TV series. At its peak, “Sha Na Na” was the #1 syndicated show in America, and was also seen in 32 foreign countries. The series ran for four years first-run and another three in syndicated strip.

While remaining the star of “Sha Na Na”, Jon branched out on his own and made over l50 solo appearances. He guest starred on programs ranging from “The Barbara Mandrell Show” to “Super Password”, and guest hosted such shows as “An Evening at the Improv”. He also appeared with the group in the phenomenally successful movie, “Grease”, and sang the “Born To Hand Jive” number on the “Grease” album, then the biggest selling soundtrack album of all time.

On the acting front, Jon has appeared on several episodes such as “Miami Vice” and he’s also active in voice-overs for animated series such as “Animaniacs” and feature films, including “My Little Pony” and “The Jetsons.”

And Jon has successfully added the producer’s and writer’s caps to his versatile career picture. Jon Bauman Productions followed “The Story Of Rock ‘n’ Roll” with “The Golden Age Of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” a ten-hour series for A & E.

Jon Bauman freely gives what’s left of his time to several charities, notably Cerebral Palsy-Spastic Children. He recently started the Truth in Rock Association, and is spending a lot of time in Washington with the Intellectual Properties Subcommittee of the House of Representatives. They’re working to change the law to better protect real artists from the 50’s and 60’s from knockoff impostor groups, and Jon is currently writing a book on this subject.

TICKET TO RIDE

A Live Beatles Tribute

March 25th

 Ticket to Ride

Back by popular demand after an electrifying performance that brought down the house at the 2007 Rally in Redmond, Oregon, Ticket to Ride returns to take you on a roller-coaster ride of classic Beatles hits. Band members recreate the Beatles “live in concert,” complete with authentic period instruments and costumes. The group delivers precise note-for-note renditions of your favorite Beatles songs—everything from “Help” to “Let It Be.” Ticket to Ride has performed extensively in the United States and overseas.  Don’t miss this theatrical tribute to the greatest rock-and-roll band of all time—the Beatles!

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