Friday, September 30, 2011


Thursday, September 29, 2011


Elton John Rocks Las Vegas

Sir Elton John

Elton John returned to The Colosseum at Caesars Palace and premiered his new show, The Million Dollar Piano, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Photo By: RD / Kabik / Retna Digital


Trump Taj Mahal

Lots of buzz generated today on what may be the most interesting and innovative promotion I have seen in a long time. This one's called the Nip, Tuck, and Lift sweepstakes...courtesy of the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. They are giving away $25,000 in plastic surgery on October 29 to one of their gamblers who is playing in their casino at 10pm.

When i first saw this, I thought they were kidding. But nope, it's true. And, the more I thought about it, the less crazy it seemed. I mean, cosmetic procedures are becoming commonplace these days. And let's face (no pun intended) it, who couldn't use a little work here and there. Plus, a lot of people are born with imperfections or develop issues along the way. But in this economy, when there are bills to pay and not a lot of extra money around, it's tough to take a few thousand dollars and do something for yourself. Winning this promotion allows you to do that-guilt free.

But even if you are perfect in every way, this promotion is for could always just take the $25,000 cash and splurge!



Steve Buscemi

SOUNDS FROM EMPIRE --- If you're a fan of HBO's Boardwalk Empire, you're going to love the just-released compendium of music from the Terry Winter show that literally bursts forth with some of the best vinyl-classics from the 1920s re recorded by some of the top contemporary artists around, including Regina Spektor, Loudon Wainwright III, Martha Wainwright, Catherine Russell, Nellie McKay and Leon Redbone. The album's just out in tandem with the show's second season premier last week on HBO. Spektor's version of “My Man,” originally made popular in 1921 by Ziegfeld follies singer Fanny Brice, is priceless. Also, current day New York-jazz band Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks who appear regularly on the show as the house band at Babette's Nightclub, contribute five modern-day renditions of key songs from that era, including “Magic” and “Dark Town Strutters Ball.” We also loved Catherine Russell's “Crazy Blues,” Nellie Mckay's “Wild Romantic Blues” and Redbone's “Sheik of Araby.” As a long-time fan of the acerbic and wholly-original Redbone, we're tempted to say that this is indeed the perfect format for him. An acquired taste for sure; I'll never forget his first national TV appearance on SNL in 1975 (Season 1), where he literally stunned the audience (in the studio and beyond) he is, simply unique … in every way. Though I haven't been drawn into this show as I have Winter's last show, a little show called The Sopranos, I will admit to star-Steve Buscemi's tremendous acting prowess; I mean, from what I've seen … he carries the show on his shoulders! The show, set in Atlantic City at the dawn of Prohibition, when the sale of alcohol became illegal throughout the United States. The album’s is spot-on terrific. If you're a fan … essential!


Christina Ricci

TV HITS & MISSES --- Call me superstitious, but this current TV season far .. I am liking very much. Certainly much more than I would have thought. On Sunday we positioned over some early favorites and now, I've got a few more: Pam Am which I watched last night, I just loved. Part-Casablanca, part-soap … the premise is of the lives of the first class of Pam Am stewardesses and their unfolding personal lives. One's a part-time spy; another, just postponed her wedding. … and, they all have stories to tell. They have an interesting device, where they go back to one's past and you see it unfold onscreen. Yes, I know it seems a bit shady at first, but it all works; terrifically well in fact. You have to pay attention to what happened and then you appreciate the payoff that much more. I'm wasn't that at all familiar with the faces which was probably a good thing, as I could focus fully on the story. Christina Ricci (as Maggi) does have a starring role and we also caught Rent's Will Chase in a juicy role as a duplicitous husband carrying on an affair with one of the stews .. the French-one. Kelli Garner (Kate) is the one who exited her wedding had a running plot as a photo of her appeared on the cover of Life magazine, thereby granting her instant celebrity literally everywhere. Good plot point indeed. We loved the show from producer Jack Orman, whose done similar duty on ER, JAG and Men Of A Certain Age. It's got a good feel so far; I think it'll be a hit. Fox's much heralded two-hour premiere of the sci-fi Spielberg epic Terra Nova was pretty enjoyable as well. Spielberg's other TV opus, on TNT, called Falling Skies premiered earlier this year and was equally as good, although nowhere near as expensive looking. Noah Wyle carried the earlier show and in my opinion made it work … even when he entered the alien-spaceship at the ending of Season 1 ... what? Nova, starring the sensational Jason O'Mara (Life On Mars) and Stephen Lang (Avatar), tells the tale of a group of people who go back in time to essentially start-over; as the current-day world has about come to an end. Terrific graphics and CGI … and, all those dinosaurs are pretty cool. As always, a good narrative doesn't hurt and this one moves swiftly and competently. The performers are all excellent and Mara is sensational and oddly, doesn't seem too far removed from his earlier character-portrayal on Mars. Seems that even in the new world, there exists the nay sayers and Mara's character has joined the security end to assist Lang in sussing them out. Costing upwards of $4 million an episode, it's a big gamble for any network. They got 9 million viewers for the first show, which isn't bad (although 28 turned out for the premiere last week of Two And-A-Half Men.) So, the Nova people, spent about $2 for every person who watched the pilot … ouch! The fourth season of CBS' The Mentalist resolves last-season's cliff-hanger when Patrick Jane seemingly killed his nemesis-Red John. Needless to say, Jane is ultimately freed, but with the chilling proclamation that the man he shot, probably isn’t Red John after all! Simon Baker who essays the character is just dazzling. What he does on screen looks easy I guess, but he's simply sensational. This is a show (from Rome's -2005- Bruno Heller) where the writing is so good, that it's just a delight to watch. The rest of the cast is superb, but Baker is firing on all cylinders. Great show! Also, Poppy Montgomery's new show Unforgettable, with Dylan Walsh and Michael Gaston. The show features the title character who remembers everything. Inspired by the recent disclosure by actress Marilu Henner, who remembers everything; it's a fresh take on the all-too usual who-done-it. Great performances from both actors. This one's a keeper too.


Steve Martin

SNL IS 37 --- Can Saturday Night Live really be 37 years old? I watched last weekend's premiere with Alec Baldwin, I believe hosting for a 16th time, and found myself enjoying it mostly. Baldwin's opening with an unexpected Steve Martin (and, drug-expert Seth Rogen ) was pretty good. Baldwin certainly looks great these days with a reported sugar-free diet and a new Yoga-girlfriend. Musical guest Radiohead was terrific … but, somewhat eerie; it's easy to see why they've yet to become mainstream favorites. The writing was pretty good too - thank you Seth Meyers. I hope they get some inspired hosts this year .... how about: Micky Dolenz? Confirmed upcoming hosts will be: Ben Stiller and Anna Farris.


Andy Rooney

BYE BYE ANDY --- This Sunday's 60 Minutes with Andy Rooney will be his last. After 1097 episodes, he's calling it quits. He's been a fixture of the news magazine show since 1978. It will be preceded by a segment in which Rooney looks back on his career in an interview with Morley Safer.“There’s nobody like Andy and there never will be. He'll hate hearing this, but he’s an American original,” said Jeff Fager, from CBS News. “His contributions to 60 Minutes are immeasurable. It's harder for him to do it every week, but he will always have the ability to speak his mind when the urge hits him.” Rooney began his run on 60 Minutes in July 1978 with an essay about the reporting of automobile fatalities on the Independence Day weekend. I can say without hesitation; that although I always found him irascible as hell, he always captivated me every time he was on ...


Paul Simon

PAUL SIMON'S NIGHT --- Thank God for our pal Tom Cuddy. He gave us a copy of a recent Paul Simon concert from NY's Webster Hall ... and, it is just superb. We're only half-way through, but it is a brand-new Simon: relaxed, composed, funny ... just sensational. Simon's always been a most mercurial performer. If I recall correctly, David Browne in his recent book Fire And rain claimed Simon recorded vocals for one of his signature songs, literally over and over; igniting frustration from his studio-mates. The Webster Hall is one of his best ever ... 4 guitarists, accordion ... amazing! We'll have a report next time! Love it!

Photos By: RD/Walter McBride/Dziekan/Kirkland/Orchon/Leon/Retna

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


George Clooney

Ryan Gosling With George Clooney And Jeffrey Wright

Ryan Gosling

Evan Rachel Wood

Marisa Tomei

Max Minghella

Kate Mara

Jacinda Barrett

Gabriel Macht

Stacy Keibler

Stacy Keibler along with Jacinda Barrett, Kate Mara, George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Gabriel Macht and others, attended The Los Angeles Premiere of "The Ides of March" held at the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, California.

Photos By: RD / Orchon / Retna Digital


Charlie Sheen

It was a family affair for the Sheen’s at NINETHIRTY Restaurant at W Los Angeles-Westwood the other night. Charlie was joined by brother Emilio Estevez, father Martin Sheen, and his mother Janet Sheen, among others. Everyone ordered the salmon, except Martin decided to spring for a hamburger (without any onion). They were very sweet and mellow. The party snacked on kabobs while they waited for their entrees.

The executive Chef, Dakota Weiss of NINETHIRTY at W Los Angeles-Westwood just finished filming the newest season of Top Chef, which airs in early November.

Photo By: RD/Kirkland/Retna


Melissa Etheridge

Melissa Etheridge was Honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, California.

Photo By: RD / Orchon / Retna Digital



Jonathan Groff

Eddie Kaye Thomas

Rutina Wesley

Rutina Wesley along with Jonathan Groff, Eddie Kaye Thomas and others, were snapped during the Curtain Call for the MCC Theater World Premiere Production of 'The Submission' at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York City.

Walter McBride / WM Photography / Retna Ltd.


Madame Paulette

World-renowned couture cleaning specialist, Madame Paulette recently sponsored a Fashion Week celebration benefiting the Rainforest Foundation. The New York hotspot hosted the event to raise money for the Rainforest Foundation and to get ready for The Rock The Rainforest Concert Series that will launch in October 2011. Twenty percent of the evening’s proceeds were donated to fight the cause and benefit the Rainforest Foundation.

The Rainforest Foundation was founded in 1989 by Sting and Trudie Styler to help protect the rainforest and its inhabitants in 20 countries, protecting more than 28 million acres of rainforest. They have been long time clients of Madame Paulette, and in return, Madame Paulette has donated its staff and resources to the foundation’s concert series at Carnegie Hall for several years. The need to protect the rainforest continues grow as rainforest destruction and global warming continues. All benefits for the Rainforest Foundation raise vital funds, build awareness and encourage people to support the foundation.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City is a semi-annual event, held in every February and September. The most prominent fashion weeks are held in New York City, London, Milan and Paris, the four fashion capitals of the world. Fashion Week was first held in 1943 in New York City, and since then it’s grown into a semi-annual event that is essential to the fashion industry.


Founded half a century ago, having achieved the status of being the finest Custom Couture Cleaner in the world, Madame Paulette® offers state-of-the-art, unrivaled cleaning services for its clientele — including internationally-renowned Couture designers (Vera Wang, Oscar de la Renta, Christian Dior and Chanel, among others), retail establishments (Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue), celebrities (Alicia Keys, Chelsea Clinton, Eva Longoria), high-profile VIPs (Carl Ichan, Donald Trump, Anna Wintour) and iconic establishments (The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art). Madame Paulette boasts an unparalleled expertise and attention to detail.

For further information, please visit



Queen Sona Pavlasova Ceska With Countess Petra Brehl

Hector With Nicki And Vinny

Sona Pavlasova Ceska With Petra Brehl And Fire Islands Own Nicki

DJ Brandywine AKA John Brand With Sona Pavlasova Ceska,
Petra Brehl And Nicki

I am just going through the photos from the Into The Night event in Cherry Grove last weekend and they are great. The costumes my friends wore from Dune Point were just great. Petra Brehl and her mom Sona Pavlasova Ceska, really went to town creating their outfits. As always Fire Islands own Nicki was in rare form, stunning just about everyone on the street with her outfit.

I met some new and exciting friends at Dune Point also. There was Hector and Vinny from the Bronx, and just so many more friendly people staying at the island retreat. After the Ball, everyone headed over to Cherry's On The Bay to hear world renowned DJ Susan Levine spin her greatest mixes.

This weekend is the famous Halloween party, and the Dune Point breakfast with my son DJ John Brand spinning his first gig. He is so proud that Susan Levine will be there to hear him spin his tunes. He loves to watch her DJ at Cherry's and I think he has learned so much from her, her style and her feeling for the crowd.

There is still time for Times Square Gossip readers to book a room at Dune Point. Just visit their website to reserve a room and as always, Times Square Gossip readers get a 10% discount. At checkout just type in "GOSSIP" and the discount is yours. Or just call Petra at 631-597-6261 and tell them you want your Times Square Gossip rate.

This will be my last summer fling in Cherry Grove, then it's back to the harsh winter and back to reality. Would love to see some of my friends there!

Photos By: James Edstrom


Hailee Steinfeld

Alana De La Garza

Jason Alexander

Meg Liberman

Octavia Spencer

Shaun Cassidy

Nicole Sullivan

Brian Cranston With Freddy Rodriguez

Dick Wolf

Darren Criss

Darren Criss along with Brian Cranston, Jason Alexander, Nicole Sullivan, Freddy Rodriguez, Dick Wolf and others, attended The 27th Annual Artios Awards held at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

Photos By: RD / Orchon / Retna Digital

Tuesday, September 27, 2011




Norah Lawlor

Every year BizBash readers nominate New York businesses for the Readers’ Choice Awards for ten different categories. This year, Norah Lawlor of Lawlor Media Group has been graciously nominated for Publicist/PR Executive of the Year 2011!

Vote now for your favorite publicist until midnight on October 16th, 2011. The winners of the Readers' Choice Awards will be announced during the awards presentation at the BizBash New York Expo & Awards on Wednesday, October 19th, 2011 at the Jacob K. Javits Center.

Originally from Canada, Norah Lawlor began her career producing fashion shows, bringing the hottest Canadian talent to New York, which fired her ambitions to build her career in public relations. After moving to New York City in the 1990s, she initially handled PR on the New York nightlife scene, which evolved into a brief stint as a columnist.

Building on these experiences, she launched Lawlor Media Group Inc., which takes an innovative approach to generating buzz and media interest for her clientele, which includes many familiar to the New York and Hamptons elite, in the social and society scene. Today, Lawlor’s business has metamorphosed, providing strategic PR consulting and campaign implementation for a roster of national and international luxury lifestyle clients, encompassing real estate, hospitality, charitable organizations, fashion, travel, health and beauty, television, movie premieres, and authors, plus celebrities and high-profile personalities.

After many years of working with Norah Lawlor, she sure has earned our vote, she is the best in the business.



Director Daniel Goldstein And Choreographer Christopher Gattelli

Morgan James And Charlie Siedenburg

Eric Michael Krop

Corey Mach

Lindsay Mendez

Hunter Parrish And Telly Leung

Stephen Schwartz

Wallace Smith

Wallace Smith along with Hunter Parrish, Eric Michael Krop, Lindsay Mendez, Corey Mach, Telly Leung, Stephen Schwartz and others, attended the Sneek Peek Performance for the upcoming Broadway Revival of 'Godspell' at Ballet Hispanico in New York City.

Photos By: Walter McBride / WM Photography / Retna Ltd.



Kathy Posner's Chicago Christmas Tree

Once Labor Day passes and school resumes, children’s thoughts turn quickly to their next long vacation -- the winter holiday break. The December holidays mean different things to varied religious groups, so we’re supposed to be politically correct and say, “Happy Holidays,” and not delineate to which holiday they are referring. The City of Chicago does not worry about offending anyone and makes a big hoopla about the Christmas tree that is erected at Daley Plaza. In fact, it was September 7th, just two days post Labor Day, when the City issued a press release about their search for a perfect tree.

The press release said, “The City of Chicago is looking for the perfect tree to grace Daley Plaza this holiday season and serve as the City’s Official Christmas tree. Beginning September 7 through September 30, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events will accept tree nominations for this year’s tree in Daley Plaza.” The release also said, “Chicagoans will be able to vote on the three finalists beginning October 17 through October 25 on the Chicago Sun-Times website at”

So voting will open in just a few days, but I wonder how they will know that ONLY Chicagoans will vote? Even if the web site link requires an address, anybody (even my blog readers in Ireland) could click on the link and use any random Chicago address, if it is even required. But illegal voting in Chicago is a story for another blog.

There are strict criteria for what kind of tree the City will accept as a gift. The tree must be donated but the city pays The Brickman Groupto cut it down and haul it away.

• Trees must be at least 55 feet or taller;

• Spruce or Fir Trees are best. Pine trees are ineligible because they are not sturdy enough;

• Please include a brief description of why your tree should be Chicago’s Official Christmas Tree and include any background information on the tree;

• All submissions must include 3 photographs (1 from afar and 2 up close) or the tree will not be considered;

• Tree must be located within 100 miles from Chicago’s Loop

I called Mary May, the Chicago employee listed as contact on the press release, and asked how many people had nominated a tree to be considered. She would not tell me how many entries there were, but by the tone of her voice when she told me that there are not a lot of trees of that size around, I don’t think there is going to be much competition in the contest.

So what if Chicago does not get an appropriate tree? A Festivus pole is the answer! For the sitcom-challenged, Festivus is the holiday that Frank Costanza created on The Seinfeld Show. It’s celebrated on December 23rd.

The “official” Festivus website explains the holiday and its traditions.

The Festivus Pole: The Costanzas' tradition begins with an aluminum pole, which Frank praises for its "very high strength-to-weight ratio." During Festivus, the unadorned Festivus Pole is displayed. The pole was chosen apparently in opposition to the commercialization of highly decorated Christmas trees, because it is "very low-maintenance," and also because the holiday's patron, Frank Costanza, "find[s] tinsel distracting."

The Airing of Grievances: At the beginning of the Festivus dinner, each participant tells friends and family of all the instances where they disappointed him or her that year. As quoted from Frank Costanza: "I've got a lot of problems with you people, and now you're going to hear about it!"

Festivus dinner: In "The Strike," a celebratory dinner is shown on the evening of Festivus prior to the Feats of Strength. The on-air meal appeared to be meat loaf or spaghetti in a red sauce. In Festivus: The Holiday for the Rest of Us, by Allen Salkin, drinking is encouraged with hearty beer, rum, bourbon, or wine. In the episode, no alcohol was served, but George Costanza's boss, Mr. Kruger, drank from a flask.

The Feats of Strength: After the dinner, the head of the family tests his or her strength against one participant of the head's choosing. Festivus is not considered over until the head of the family has been pinned to the ground. A participant is allowed to decline to attempt to pin the head of the family only if they have something better to do instead.

Think of all the money the city will save in transporting and decorating a tree if instead, it opts for a plain Festivus aluminum pole. Because there are no religious connotations surrounding the holiday, no one should be offended if this December you cry out, “Festivus for the rest of us!” as you dance around the pole. I am cooking this year, you are all invited. But beware the Feats of Strength. I may choose YOU.

James Edstrom's Note: You can always count on some good holiday cheer from Chicago's Kathy Posner!