JumbotronKEEPING UP WITH THE STARS
TRACY CHAPMAN, J86, H04 , the four-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, has released her eighth studio album, Our Bright Future, coproduced with Larry Klein (the producer behind artists like Joni Mitchell and Herbie Hancock). Billboard says she “remains true to her musical calling: soul-rich folk melodies.” And her “voice of honesty and nuance” still “nails ambivalence like no other.”
Our Bright Future is a smash in Europe, where Tracy toured in November and December of 2008. In France, sales have topped 100,000, and the upbeat single “Sing for You” has been in heavy rotation on the radio. An American tour will start sometime in 2009 (details at tracychapman.com).
NICOLE FISCELLA, J01 , is playing snotty Isabel Coates on the CW’s teen soap opera Gossip Girl, which just wrapped up its second season. Entertainment Weekly calls the show “bright and energetically jittery,” rife with “eruptions of jealousy and status-seeking.”
Season three, beginning this fall, should continue that trend, but with at least one somber note: rumor has it that a major character meets a tragic end. Could it be Isabel? Penn Badgly, who plays rigid, judgmental Dan Humphrey on the show, confirms that there’s a funeral in the pipeline, but beyond that, his lips are sealed. “Somebody does die,” he told popsugar.com. “It’s a person. . . . I can’t say anything.”
OLIVER PLATT, A83, is starring in a revival of Guys and Dolls that opened on Broadway in March. He’s Nathan Detroit, who, as the song says, runs “the oldest established permanent floating craps game in New York.” Lauren Graham (Lorelai on WB’s Gilmore Girls) plays Miss Adelaide, his long-suffering girlfriend. The New Yorker calls the production “lavish and energetic.”
Can’t make it to the Great White Way? Catch Oliver at the multiplex. He’ll play a high priest in The Year One, a biblical comedy opening this June. The movie also features Jack Black (School of Rock, Tropic Thunder) and Michael Cera (Juno, Superbad) as ne’er-do-well hunter-gatherers searching for the meaning of life.