Tag Archives: Matthew Morrison

Kris Allen Talks Lauren, Scotty, Memorial Day Concert, ‘Glee’ and Next Album

Kris Allen Fox photo

“American Idol” Season 8 winner Kris Allen shrugs off the fact that his two favorites for this year’s winner — Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams — didn’t make it to the final showdown.  “It is what it is.  The people in the finale are great, too — Lauren and Scotty.  I can’t imagine going through what they’re going through at that age, so kudos to them,” adds the 25-year-old peformer, speaking of 16-year-old Lauren Alaina and 17-year-old Scotty McCreery. 

 “She’s a sweetheart, really nice.  When they sang that Carrie Underwood and Randy Travis song together, Lauren just blew away everyone in the audience,” adds Kris — who happens to be Lauren’s favorite past “Idol” winner.  

 Kris says he’ll be at both tonight’s (5/24) final performance show and tomorrow night’s (5/25) crowning of this season’s “Idol” as an audience member.  “There’s always a party after the results show and I think I’ll go to that,” he says.  “It’s a lot of fun, and great to see all the people you don’t get to see very often.”

 The singer-songwriter will be among the stellar lineup for this Sunday’s (5/29) National Memorial Day Concert in Washington D.C., performing before an estimated crowd of some 300,000 — and millions more watching live, here and abroad.

 “That will be, without question, the biggest crowd I’ve sung for — by far,” he notes with a laugh.  “They asked me and, when you think of something like that, it’s kind of a no-brainer.  I’m really excited to be out there that day.”  Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna cohost, with a lineup that also includes General Colin Powell, “Idol’s” Pia Toscano, Forest Whitaker,  Dianne Wiest, B.B. King, Jason Ritter, Hayley Westenra, Daniel Rodriguez, Yolanda Adams and the National Symphony Orchestra. 

Kris will sing “God Bless the U.S.A.” at the event honoring those who have served or are serving in the military, particularly those who lost their lives in the line of duty.  Lending a particularly emotional personal note to the event, Kris notes that his wife’s brother is just now coming back from Iraq.  “Everyone’s really happy.  I’d love to have him at the concert, but he’ll probably want to just be home chilling with his wife.”

ALSO:  Kris found out recently that “Still Got Tonight,” which he cowrote, and which has become a single for Matthew Morrison, is going to be performed by Morrison in [TONIGHT’S] the June 8 season finale of “Glee.”  “I met Matt not too long ago and we had lunch together.  He’s a really nice guy.  And then I hung out on the set of ‘Glee.’  That was really cool.  That it’s in the finale is even better.  It’s nice to be on this side of things, for once,” he adds, speaking of his behind-the-scenes role. 

Kris has been focused on writing songs for himself of late, in anticipation of recording another album, soon.  He tells us, “I’m hoping that — it should be — out sometime this year.  If not, I’ll look at it as a failure.”

‘Glee’ Hit Life-Changing for Cast

(originally published November, 2009)

With Fox’s ‘Glee’ turning into an outright phenomenon, will stories of runaway egos and cast discord be far behind? Not if you ask Mark Salling, who plays Puck, the bad boy who’s been hard trying to be good — and winning over viewers’ hearts, if not the heart of his beloved Quinn (Dianna Agron).

He makes it clear, ‘It’s a good group of people.  No one does drugs.  Everybody’s really solid.  I can only speak for myself, though, and being that I’m 27, I think I’m a little too old to be so foolish as to squander everything away.’

Chris Colfer, who plays the flamboyant gay singer Kurt, is only 19, but he isn’t likely to lose his head over the sudden fame, either. He has too deep a sense of responsibility to his character, who’s quickly taking on iconic status. Chris does tell us he feels the show has already been life-changing, though, with thousands of fans showing up for public appearances these days, in addition to a flood of fan mail. The troupe even found themselves singing the national anthem at the World Series. ‘What an honor, to sing an American classic for an American classic,’ he says.

The show’s viewership is more than 8 and a half million and climbing. Sales of ‘Glee’ recordings on iTunes and traditional stores are so brisk that Reuters called them something for the beleaguered recording industry to feel joyful about this holiday season.

Cory Monteith is feeling joyful as well. The handsome 27-year-old plays football star-turned Glee club stalwart Finn Hudson (also the presumed baby daddy of his girlfriend, Quinn’s, gestating offspring). Monteith still can hardly believe he’s getting the chance to sing on television at all , considering he had never sung before getting cast on the Fox show.  ‘I’ve had zero training whatsoever.  This is the first thing I ever did with singing,’ admits the Canadian actor.

‘I’ve been a drummer all of my life so I have played music,’ he adds. ‘For me to now have this platform and to have the opportunities that this show is presenting me is a dream come true.’

Monteith admits that the musical demands of his role were a little intimidating at first. However, even a few weeks in he could tell a big difference with his performing.  ‘What you feed grows.  What you work on improves,’ he notes.  ‘It’s just gotten better and better.’

He also admits, ‘There’s a lot more acting than I thought was required originally with this character,’ as former best friends Finn and Puck literally came to blows on this week’s episode.

He goes on, ‘Finn’s got a certain naivety about him.  I really get the humor that the naivety creates.’

The older generation of ‘Glee’ stars is certainly benefiting from the show at least as much as the newcomers. At this year’s Emmy Awards, Best Supporting Actress winner Kristen Chenoweth predicted that ‘Glee’s’ Jane Lynch will be accepting an Emmy statuette next year, for her portrayal of the tough, mean, manipulating, mercurial, unpredictable and — just possibly — loveable underneath it all Coach Sue. Scores of critics and fans agree. As much as the ultra-talented actress-writer-comedian-singer has impressed audiences with her work in the past — especially in such Christopher Guest and Judd Apatow comedies as ‘Best in Show’ and ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin’ — Coach Sue is a landmark in her career.

And then there’s the lynchpin of the entire ‘Glee’ machine, Matthew Morrison—a.k.a. Spanish teacher cum Glee club leader, Will Shuester. Hard as it may be to believe now, Morrison says there was a moment he wasn’t sure whether it was going to happen.

‘I wanted the part, but I was kind of scared of it.  TV musicals haven’t really done well in the past.  I knew it was going to be really, really bad or wildly successful. There was no middle road for this kind of show.’

Fortunately for him, the series took that latter track. Morrison, who previously starred in the Broadway productions of ‘Footloose,’ ‘Hairspray,’ and ‘South Pacific,’ to name a few, now has a way to bring all his performing skills to TV.

As he puts it, ‘I’m doing everything in this show that I do well.  I get to showcase my singing, my dancing — it’s like the perfect show for me.  If I could have written the perfect vehicle for myself, this would be it.’

As for the future, they’re all hoping ‘Glee’ continues on its present path with creator Ryan Murphy for a good long run.

And after that?

‘I’d love, love, love to do Broadway,’ says Chris Colfer. ‘I grew up doing community theater. I love doing show tunes, or theatrical anything — moving set pieces. I’m like a circus type. I’ve also always wanted to get into writing and screenwriting. I’m not sure where I’ll find myself in the future.’

It would seem the sky’s the limit.

(“Glee” returns April 13, 2010)

Emily-Fortune Feimster and Stacy Jenel Smith