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Stage And Screen

Three nights before the Academy Awards (and the Elton John AIDS Foundation‘s gala), the spotlight was already on Elton, who was attending Donatella Versace‘s fashion show in Los Angeles, California.

He and David Furnish arrived in a golf cart, and USA Today suggested the idea probably came from Sydney Sweeney, who used such a vehicle for another designer’s show. However, Elton used a golf cart last year when he attended (and sang at) Saks’ Fifth Avenues window unveiling in New York, and in 1975, when he got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Elton and David were all smiles, although they recently lost a furry family member. Marilyn was a companion to Elton’s beloved cocker spaniel Arthur (who died a few years ago). The dog was also devoted to Elton and David’s sons.

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Other stars at Thursday evening’s event included Dua Lipa, Miley Cyrus, Lil Nas X, Cher, and Anne Hathaway. The latter’s credits include the movie The Devil Wears Prada. As you know, the stage version made its debut in the Midwest last year, and featured songs penned by Elton and Shaina Taub. It is also expected to play London, England. The Chicago Tribune‘s Chris Jones stresses that this is not a done deal, but it appears that a different director will be involved. Instead of Anna D. Shapiro, the likely candidate is Jerry Mitchell.

Meanwhile, Elton and Lee Hall’s Billy-Elliot musical is to make its premiere in Queensland, Australia. On the first of July, it comes to the Star Gold Coast. Auditions have begun, and producers are impressed with the boys’ dedication and hard work–not to mention seeing ”every move under the sun, and then some.”

On America’s East Coast, a man who played on Madman Across The Water is appearing on 15 April. In Woodstock, New York, the Bearsville-Theater will host An Evening With Rick Wakeman: His Music and Stories.

Rick told that he occasionally mentions Elton (”but I don’t tell any specific stories”) during such events as he’s an admirer. They have bumped into each other over the years, but ”I haven’t seen him this century.” He adds: ”A fabulous guy and a pleasure always to be with . . . especially when it comes to football!”

Rick has contributed to a track on Ann-Margret‘s forthcoming album, Born To Be Wild (her first in over a decade). It’s a collection of her favourite pop and rock music from the fifties through the seventies. Another guest artist is the Who‘s Pete Townshend. It brings to mind Ann-Margret in Tommy (with Pete’s bandmate Roger Daltrey cast as her son) and of course, Elton as the Pinball Wizard. So it would have been nice to see Elton here, too. Incidentally, we’re coming out on Tommy‘s anniversary: It was in 1975 on the 19th of March that the film was released in the States (and the 26th in the UK). A good portion of Elton’s cameo was included when the popular TV show, The-Midnight-Special, saluted him in 1975.

Next month, The-Lost-Weekend-A-Love-Story opens. The documentary about May Pang and John Lennon’s relationship contains footage of friends like Elton and Harry Nilsson. May told this website that Elton is also featured in her photos, to be exhibited on 18 March, at the City Winery in Boston, Massachusetts.

We’ll wrap things up with an announcement from Elton. He says that  he’s continuing his partnership with the Alliance-For-Lifetime-Income, his presenting partner on last year’s farewell tour of North America. He spoke out on their behalf, telling fans it’s important to have protected income during retirement. The Mirror suggests that Elton is going from ”Rocket Man to Pocket Man.”

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