Thursday, May 30, 2024

Elton John Planning Return to Broadway as Composer


Elton John is planning a return to Broadway as a composer with Bernie Taupin, and partner/husband David Furnish as producer. Furnish confirmed this last night at a glittery black tie fundraiser for the Elton John AIDS Foundation here in New York at Cipriani downtown. The only thing I know is that the musical will be an original book, with new and old songs by Elton and Bernie. Of course, this team has had mega success with “Billy Elliott,” and Elton had a hit years ago with “Aida.” No word yet on who will direct, but Stephen Daldry can’t be so far away.

Meantime, the EJAF– one of the very best foundations– was celebrating several things including a major donation from Lady Gaga via Yoko Ono. Gaga won of Yoko’s LennonOno Peace Prizes that came with a cash award. Gaga immediately donated the money to EJAF. Furnish told me how pleased and grateful he was. “We have a wonderful relationship with Lady Gaga,” he said.

Anderson Cooper emceed the event last night (for the sixth straight year) which later was set to feature a performance by Stevie Nicks. But in the crowd were New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who was an honoree; Matt Lauer, Brooke Shields, Tony winner Judith Light, Lance Bass, Courtney Love, Julian Schnabel, Alan Cumming, Cheyenne Jackson, Ingrid Sischy and Sandy Brandt of Vanity Fair, and Viacom chief Phillippe Daumann.

And who stopped by? Madonna’s legendary publicist, Liz Rosenberg. Elton and Madonna have buried the hatchet. Anyway, Sir Elton and Liz are friends from waaay back. “I love Elton, I’m not fighting with him!” exclaimed a widely smiling Liz.

Everyone loves Elton John, kids. The people came in tuxes and gowns through a monsoon rain storm that would not let up. I was very happy to see old pals Bill and Tani Austin of the Starkey Hearing Foundation, which does reciprocal work with EJAF.  You can read all about the foundation and see why it’s so effective at They issue regular reports about their many grants and proved to be incredibly effective. Elton and David, and foundation director Scott Campbell have done a great job with lots of transparency (unlike some other groups):

PS I don’t know why, but for weeks the same Elton John song has been in my head. I think it’s because it was on the Pnau remix album. Here it is:


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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