Whitney & Marc Anthony...
Whitney Pictured With Marc Anthony, Tuesday Night
at the Miracle On 34th Street Event.
Miracle On 34th Street...
Houston, Jackson cap MSG musical `Miracle'
By ROBERT OSBORNE, The Hollywood Reporter
NEW YORK - It was billed as a new ``Miracle on 34th Street'' and, indeed, that's what it
turned out to be: a dazzling portion of today's hottest music stars (Ricky Martin, Marc
Anthony, Christina Aguilera, 98 Degrees, Jon Secada, Son by Four, Destiny's Child and the
list goes on) all strutting their pipes and other parts before an enthusiastic audience of
20,000 at 34th Street's Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, crowned in its final minutes by - unbilled, unannounced, unexpected -
Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson, everyone eventually
near-buried in falling fake snow and good holiday cheer. Ring this one up as the most
successful, and biggest, gala yet produced by David Gest, the gent best known up to now in
Hollywood circles for the all-star shows he has thrown for his American Cinema Awards
Foundation, which has raised many millions for the Motion Picture and Television Country
House and Hospital, the Actors' Fund, the Whitney Houston Foundation and other causes. But
music has always been Gest's main love, and it served him in good stead for this
pre-Christmas ``Miracle,'' done for New York-area radio station WKTU to this year benefit
Toys for Tots, the March of Dimes and the aforementioned ACAF. Above and beyond the dynamic performances of the night (mainly those of
Martin and Anthony) and the surprise shows of Jackson and Houston, there were other highlights to boast about: Gloria Gaynor getting the
proceedings off to a stunning start as she wailed her disco number ``I Will Survive''
accompanied by 16 dancers; also Aguilera doing ``White Christmas'' with a chorus of 49
youngsters; additionally, some striking vocals by Brian McKnight, Edwin Starr, Deneice
Williams and Debelah Morgan. If there was a downside, it was Toni Braxton, who hosted the
event. She changed her wardrobe for each of her 12 appearances, a clever touch, but soon
became a bore by constantly calling attention to her ensembles (``Do you like my outfit,
New York?'' became the evening's most overused phrase). Each of her intros of a guest
artist was basically limited to ``Let's give this next entertainer some love,'' the
evening's second most-overused phrase. Braxton was, however, the only flaw in an otherwise
sensational show, one worthy of that ``Miracle'' designation.
NEWSFILE: 21 DECEMBER 2000