Tag Archives: Cabaret Theatre

Josh Blue’s Stand-Up at Mohegan Sun

by Taryn Alessandro

Josh Blue, winner of NBC’s Last Comic Standing during its fourth season, was responsible for my hurting cheeks after his performance at the Cabaret Theatre at Mohegan Sun on July 11th. Josh has cerebral palsy and many of his jokes are centered around living with his disability, giving him a unique comic routine that allows for gut-busting jokes we never heard before. “This is truly a cripple’s dream come true,” says Josh, “It’s like my own Make-a-Wish.”

An integral part of Josh’s routine is his role as striker for the U.S. Paralympic soccer team. He explains why he chose to endorse Nike, when being bombarded with sponsorship offers. “I had to pick Nike, look at me, I was born with a swoosh,” Josh says as he points out to the audience that his “crazy arm” naturally takes the shape of the Nike swoosh.

I have to admit, I was a little nervous before the show started. Is it OK to laugh at the expense of the handicapped? Josh stripped me of that guilty feeling as soon as he started. His charisma, energy and wildly entertaining routine make us feel like we’re laughing with him, not at him. It didn’t matter if you felt like it was OK to laugh or not, because you just couldn’t help roaring. The entire audience was hysterical; we were all in this together. After all, aren’t comedians getting paid to say the things we may think but would never say out loud?

June 26, 2008 Officially Proclaimed Billy Joel Day in CT

Mohegan Sun, the State of CT and all of New England honored Billy Joel on June 26th for his ten sold-out shows at Mohegan Sun Arena. This series of ten shows is a record-breaking number for both the State of CT and all of New England, representing the most consecutive number of sold-out indoor shows.

At a press conference held in the Cabaret Theatre at Mohegan Sun, Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele read a proclamation issued by Governor M. Jodi Rell, declaring Thursday, June 26th “Billy Joel Day” in the State of CT. Mohegan Sun also presented Billy Joel with a banner honoring his ten sold-out shows in the arena. This banner is displayed in the arena and unveiled for the first time at the tenth and final Billy Joel show on Saturday, July 5th. This banner is the first of its kind to hang in the Mohegan Sun Arena honoring a performer.

During his record-breaking run of ten shows in Mohegan Sun Arena, Billy Joel entertained 100,000 fans and grossed 9.25 million dollars in ticket sales. This historic run of shows began on Saturday, February 23rd, 2008 as the first Billy Joel show sold-out in a few short minutes; a second show was quickly added. Demand for Billy Joel continued, and the public received a third concert.

As the overwhelming demand for Billy Joel continued, Mohegan Sun and Billy Joel answered with a total of ten shows.

Billy Joel had 33 Top 40 hits and 23 Grammy nominations since signing his first solo recording contract in 1972. He received the Recording Industry Association of America Diamond Award, presented for albums that sold more than 10 million copies, for his Greatest Hits Volume I and Volume II.

“Movin’ Out,” a Broadway musical based on Billy’s music, choreographed and directed by Twyla Tharp, was nominated for 10 Tony Awards and took home two, including “Best Orchestrations” – Billy’s first Tony Award win – and “Best Choreography.”

Billy Joel received six Grammy awards. In 1990, he was presented with a Grammy Legend Award. Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992, he was also presented with the Johnny Mercer Award in 2001. In 1999 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and in 2004 received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His other awards include the ASCAP Founders Award, the BMI Career Achievement Award, the American Music Awards Award of Merit, and the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal.

Billy Joel donates his time and resources to a variety of charitable causes, and he recently launched an ongoing educational initiative to provide seed money, musical scholarships, and endowments to a variety of East Coast colleges, universities, and music schools.

Most recently, Billy created an endowment fund with The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Billy Joel Fund for Music Education. For his accomplishments as a musician and as a humanitarian, he was honored as the 2002 MusiCares Person of the Year by the MusiCares Foundation and the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences; he also received a humanitarian award from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

The net proceeds of Billy Joel’s new composition, “Christmas in Fallujah,” inspired by soldiers’ letters from Iraq, are being donated to Homes for Our Troops, a nonprofit organization that builds specially-adapted homes for disabled service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.