Gladys Knight is backtracking a bit from the Farewell in her Midnight Train to Love — Farewell Tour. “I should have re-titled that. Instead of ‘farewell,’ I should have been saying ‘see you later,’” says the gracious Motown legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. “I’m not saying I’m never going to see you again. But you know, you can’t take time for granted. I don’t get back to Europe for seven, eight years – so we don’t know if there’ll be another time when I’ll get there, and I want to say my goodbyes now and let everyone know how much I appreciate them.”
Knight has a two-night stand at California’s Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts (Sept. 25, 26), then heads to the U.K.. Tito Jackson’s opening for her, and plans to include a Michael Jackson tribute in his performance. Other Jacksons will be turning up as well, she says. And as far as the Jackson connection continuing when she returns to the States, “There’s a very good possibility. It’s going to be fun, really big time.”
That’s exactly how Gladys feels about her experience acting in Tyler Perry’s “I Can Do Bad All by Myself,” which opens today (9/11). She’s delighted to have played a character – a churchgoing woman who wants to turn Taraji. P. Henson’s hard-drinking nightclub chanteuse character around. She tells us Perry helped her forget her nervousness over lines by having her improv. Will she be doing more acting as a result of this movie? “I sure hope so. I would love to.” Movies, TV, a series? “I’d be open to any ideas,” she says. “I wouldn’t mind a recurring part on a TV show. I love playing a character, someone who isn’t me. I’ve done so many cameos as myself, it’s been-there-done-that.”
MEANWHILE: Adam Rodriguez starts shooting a seven-episode arc on “Ugly Betty” today (9/11), glad to be back in his home town of New York City. He has a big week behind him, including the “I Can Do Bad” premiere and promotion work. The “CSI: Miami” actor is on his way out of that show, in case you haven’t heard, with a commitment to finish out his Eric Delko character in 10 more episodes of the crime drama. He says he found himself at a crossroads, and that he and the network made a mutual decision about his future.
“I’m going to miss ‘CSI,’ it’s been a great eight seasons and everybody there is like a family member. Still, it felt like my time to move forward. This was a great way to start out – this movie,” he says. “I’m really, really happy about the way it turned out.”
The actor plays a Colombian immigrant who starts working for Henson’s character, and then romantic sparks ignite. “It’s a simple family movie,” Adam attests, “the message is clear and at the end you walk out feeling good, feeling inspired maybe, to make changes in your own life.”
GOING FOR THE GOLDEN LADY: “Wizards of Waverly Place” creator Todd J. Greenwald is hoping that he and the rest of the show’s creative team and cast head into their big D-23 Expo Appearance Sunday (9/13) “coming off a high at the Emmys the day before as opposed to a low.”
The Disney Channel show starring Selena Gomez, David Henrie and Jake T. Austin is up for Outstanding Children’s Program honors, being presented at tomorrow’s (9/12) Creative Arts Emmy Awards. “Up until this year, they tied together the fictional and non-fictional shows in this category, and Linda Ellerbee and Maria Shriver won, and deservedly so,” Greenwald notes. “This year is the first time they’ve had a category for purely fictional shows.”
Win or lose, on Sunday, the “Wizards’ group expects to be communing with a crowd of some 5,000 fans at the Anaheim Convention Center, in a setting that emulates the living room seen on the show.
“We’re going to have some special guests from the show as well,” he notes. And the band Honor Society is performing.