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Former 'American Idol' Runner-Up McPhee Lands Movie Role; KISS' Peter Criss to Release Solo Album


According to The Hollywood Reporter, singer Katherine McPhee will make her major motion picture debut in an upcoming comedy that stars Anna Faris. The 23-year-old 2006 American Idol runner-up will appear alongside Emma Stone, Rumer Willis, Kat Dennings and Dana Goodman. The yet-to-be titled film centers on "a Playboy bunny who gets kicked out of the Playboy Mansion and becomes the house mother to the lamest sorority on campus."

On July 23, ABC-TV will air the 2-hour primetime special CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock. Performances were filmed during the 2007 CMA Music Festival, which was held in June in Nashville, Tennessee. Many Country stars will be seen in the special, including Brooks & Dunn, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood and The Wreckers.

Previews for the Broadway revival of Grease will begin on July 24. The show, directed and choreographed by two-time Tony Award-winner Kathleen Marshall, stars Laura Osnes as Sandy and Max Crumm as Danny. The 1978 film version starred Olivia Newton-John as Sandy and John Travolta as Danny. Osnes and Crumm competed for their starring roles on the 12-week, nationally televised reality show Grease: You're The One That I Want. Grease will open at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York on August 19.

On July 24, Peter Criss, a founding member of the rock group KISS, will release his new solo album One For All. He wrote the title track following the events of September 11, 2001 and features the Church of Transfiguration Boys Choir. Criss says, "I went to church that day and coming home, watching it on television, it was so surreal, but I knew I wanted to do something." The collection includes two cover songs. Criss recorded his version of Stephen Sondheim's "Send In The Clowns" and the Dinah Washington classic "What A Difference A Day Makes."

A musical based on Madonna's 1985 movie Desperately Seeking Susan will open at London's Novello Theatre in October. Several songs made famous by Blondie will be used in the show, including "Heart of Glass," "One Way Or Another" and "The Tide Is High." Blondie's lead singer, Deborah Harry, will also write a new song for the production.

NEW ALBUM RELEASES

New albums scheduled for release on July 24 include: "Planet Earth" by Prince, "Home At Last" by Billy Ray Cyrus, "Famous" by Puddle Of Mudd, "Underclass Hero" by Sum 41, "The Great Lost Performances" by Johnny Cash, "The Horseshoe Curve" by Trey Anastasio, "Young Modern" by Silverchair, "The Walk" by Hanson, "Beautiful Door" by Billy Bob Thornton and the original motion picture soundtrack to "The Simpsons Movie."

MUSICAL EVENTS/FESTIVALS/BENEFITS

Jeff Beck, Robert Cray, Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, Buddy Guy and B.B. King are just a few of the many artists who will join Eric Clapton at his "Crossroads Guitar Festival." The concert will take place on July 28 in Chicago, Illinois. Proceeds will go to Clapton's Crossroads Centre in Antigua, which helps people with chemical dependencies.

TOUR DATES AND INFORMATION

On July 22, Counting Crows will begin a U.S. summer tour in Wilmington, Delaware. The band will perform at 26 minor league baseball stadiums through September 2. Counting Crows have been in the studio with producer Gil Norton working on a new album. Their last release was 2002's Hard Candy.

81-year-old legendary blues guitarist B.B. King will perform with Al Green and Etta James on his "B.B. King Blues Festival Tour," which begins on July 24 in Miami, Florida. Joan Osborne, Robert Randolph and James Hunter will open select shows on the 18-city tour. After wrapping up the outing on September 16, B.B. King will continue playing concerts on his "60th Anniversary Tour."

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