Tag: Michael

Michael Lavine Honors Arthur Siegel With an American Popular Song Society Program

The performance takes place on Saturday, October 10th at 12 Noon ET via Zoom.

Join singer/musical director and sheet music archivist Michael Lavine on Saturday, October 10th at 12 Noon ET for an American Popular Song Society program honoring the Broadway composer and cabaret artist Arthur Siegel.

Arthur wrote the music for many of the songs in the NEW FACES Broadway shows of 1952, 1956, 1962 and 1968. He mainly collaborated with June Carroll, but in later years, Arthur wrote with other lyricists. He musically directed most of Ben Bagley’s Revisited cd’s over the years, providing arrangements and also singing on them! Michael will be joined by a number of stars from Broadway and Cabaret, who will be presenting songs by Arthur. Michael will also tell some stories of his friendship with Arthur. Performers lined up to entertain: Steven Brinberg, Fay DeWitt, Natalie Douglas, Jay Aubrey Jones, Jon Peterson, T. Oliver Reid, Steve Ross, Sandy Stewart, KT Sullivan, and Sara Zahn.

For more information on the Free Zoom event please go to the website of the American Popular Song Society: http://apssinc.org/zoom.html

Michael Lavine has worked as a musical director, pianist, vocal coach and singer all over the world. He gives master classes on auditioning in New York, Los Angeles, Moscow, Bangkok, Australia, Singapore, Tokyo, Manila, Martha’s Vineyard and other locations. Michael musically directed productions of RENT, SWEENEY TODD, and THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE at the Shanghai Theatre Academy. He has accompanied Broadway and television stars n New Orleans, San Francisco, Australia, Hollywood and at 54 Below, Feinstein’s, and the Metropolitan Room in New York. Michael conducted THE LITTLE MERMAID starring Emily Skinner. He also regularly plays for the Outer Critic’s Circle Awards in New York and musically directed the Broadway Cares Teddy Bear Auction for its entire 15-year run. Michael has conducted orchestras in a number of cities around the country For the past several years, Michael has been producing a series of CD’s called LOST BROADWAY AND MORE, recording songs from Broadway shows that have never been recorded before. A graduate of Columbia University, Michael owns one of the larger privately held sheet music collections in the world. More information can be found at Michael’s website, www.michaellavine.net.

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New California probation law celebrated by reform group founded by Jay-Z, Meek Mill and Michael Rubin

REFORM Alliance, the criminal justice reform organization co-founded by Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, rapper Meek Mill, entrepreneur Michael Rubin and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, is celebrating its first significant legislative victory this week: a probation reform bill signed into law by California’s governor. 

“It’s an incredible step forward in fixing our broken probation system,” Rubin told Yahoo News in a video interview. “Today there’s 6.7 million people in the criminal justice system, 4.5 million people on probation and 2.2 million in prison. There’s been so much good work done on fixing some of the problems on the prison and jail issues, but there’s been really nobody focused on how do you fix probation? How do you fix parole?”

AB 1950, signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday, will limit adult probation sentences to a maximum of one year for misdemeanor offenses and two years for felony offenses. Advocates argue that the change will reduce needless probation violations.



Gavin Newsom wearing a suit and tie: Gavin Newsom, governor of California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)


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Gavin Newsom, governor of California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

“Americans across the country took to the streets this summer rightfully demanding more and better of our criminal justice system — and of ourselves,” Newsom said in a statement. “We heard those calls for action loud and clear.”

REFORM Alliance was inspired by Philadelphia-native Mill’s personal experiences with the probation system. Mill has spent his entire adult life on probation, going in and out of prison for technical violations without committing a crime. 

“The REFORM Alliance has a goal of getting a minimum of 1 million people that don’t belong in the system out of the system within five years from when we started at the beginning of 2019,” Rubin said. “There’s been tons of research that’s proven once someone’s after a year or two on probation, there’s really no incremental benefit. There’s just lots of costs. So what we want to do is help people that are on probation to truly rehabilitate themselves and move forward in life and step forward and not focus on just keeping people stuck in the system.”



Michael Rubin, Meek Mill posing for the camera: Meek Mill & Michael Rubin at Philadelphia Municipal Services Building. (Getty Images)


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Meek Mill & Michael Rubin at Philadelphia Municipal Services Building. (Getty Images)

Rubin hopes this California bill will push other states to also change probation and parole laws. 

“As an owner of a sports team or successful person in business, you have a huge responsibility to make a difference,” said Rubin, a part-owner of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers. “And for me, I can tell you, sometimes you need a moment that opens your mind. To be honest, it was sitting in court with Meek three years ago when I watched a good friend of mine, who didn’t commit a crime, get sent to prison for two to four years. And that’s what got me on such a mission to help change the broken probation and parole laws. But I can tell you that the players alone, they can’t get things changed without the help of everyone

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House Speaker Michael Madigan says it’s not ‘ethically improper’ to find government jobs for people. Here’s what he’s failing to mention.

For years, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has defended his aggressive push to land political allies and their friends and family on taxpayer-funded payrolls, but rarely has he waxed as philosophically about it as he did last week in a three-page letter.



Michael Madigan wearing a suit and tie: Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan (D) 22nd District talks with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R) 82nd District before a debate at Illinois House to vote on a bill raising statewide minimum wage during session at the State Capitol in Springfield on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.


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Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan (D) 22nd District talks with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R) 82nd District before a debate at Illinois House to vote on a bill raising statewide minimum wage during session at the State Capitol in Springfield on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.



Michael Madigan standing in front of a door: Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan (D) 22nd District watches as Illinois House votes on a bill raising statewide minimum wage during session at the State Capitol in Springfield on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.


© Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan (D) 22nd District watches as Illinois House votes on a bill raising statewide minimum wage during session at the State Capitol in Springfield on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.

Facing intense pressure from a federal investigation into ComEd’s bribes-for-favors scandal and an invitation from a House corruption committee to tell the public what he knows, Madigan’s missive broke two months of near silence. The powerful speaker loudly proclaimed his innocence and tried to reframe his penchant for patronage hiring as a virtue.

Not only is “helping people find jobs not a crime,” Madigan wrote, it’s not even “ethically improper” for politicians to make job recommendations.

“To the contrary, I believe that it is part of my duties as a community and political leader to help good people find work — from potential executives to college interns, and more,” wrote the 78-year-old Illinois Democratic Party chairman, alluding to some of the very jobs that prosecutors brought up in charging ComEd with crimes. “What an employer chooses to do with that recommendation rests solely with their discretion.”

What Madigan didn’t mention when discussing the numerous jobs he’s secured for people during more than 50 years in politics is how that practice has benefited him and what it’s cost taxpayers and electricity ratepayers.

The Tribune has spent the last decade chronicling how it works: Patronage jobs are the lifeblood of Madigan’s political organization. And the people Madigan recommends be hired often serve as foot soldiers on the campaigns for the very legislative seats that allow the speaker to stay in power. In turn, that control of the House is key to helping Madigan bring in clients at his law firm, which handles high-dollar property tax appeals on some of Chicago’s biggest buildings.

Starting in 2010, the Tribune published the “The Madigan Rules,” a first-of-its-kind, yearslong investigation that exposed how the speaker built his political empire and law practice, revealing how those two careers repeatedly intersected. The report found that in some cases Madigan took public actions that benefited his private clients, though the speaker said his “personal code of conduct” ensured he maintained “high ethical standards.”



Michael Madigan sitting at a table using a laptop: House Speaker Michael Madigan listens to a debate on the House floor in 2019.


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House Speaker Michael Madigan listens to a debate on the House floor in 2019.

In 2013, the legislature’s watchdog investigated Madigan’s role in a Metra scandal after the commuter

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