Showing posts with label NEW YORK CITY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NEW YORK CITY. Show all posts

Sunday, January 25, 2015



Story By:James Edstrom

Joe Franklin And Producer Steve Garrin

New York City Legend Joe Franklin has taken his final "Walk Down Memory Lane".

New York City legend Joe Franklin, was the pioneering Radio and TV personality nicknamed King of Nostalgia and credited with creating the modern-day talk show, died Saturday. The star was 88.

I am going to miss Joe. I grew up watching him on late night television on WOR. Very early in my career, he would show up to my parties at Limelight, Roxy, Webster Hall and so many other NYC hotspots. Joe loved to go out. One minute he would be at some fancy high class event, then a hour later he would be at a dingy club, and no matter where the event was, Joe was there to talk. That's what Joe did, he talked.

For some reason, Joe never remembered my name. He knew my face right away, would come over and kiss me, but he always forgot my name.  We were neighbors for years in Times Square. His office was 200 feet away from me across the street. I would run into him almost every day and it was always "what was your name again, you got a card?". It was funny. Don't know if he did it to keep me on my toes, but every time this was the first conversation we had. Then we would chat away.

When I would call Joe at his west 43rd street offices to invite him to a party, he would say, "Oh Yeah, I have a bunch of your cards. It's was funny and we went through this for years. You never knew where Joe would show up next. I went to Hooters parties and there was Joe. I would show up to photograph Marilyn Monroe's dress and shoes for Pat Cooper and there was Joe. Lunch with Cindy Adams, parties at the Friers Club and late night nightclubs, there was Joe Franklin, talking away, because this is what Joe loved and did. He loved people. He loved talk.

In the old days when all the legends hung out at Sardi's Restaurant on 44th street, Joe would walk in and chat with everyone in the front bar. I was usually there with Joyce Randolph and her husband Dick Charles. Joyce played Trixie on the Honeymooners television show. Joe loved Joyce. Funny thing, in all my years, I never saw Joe have a drop of alcohol.

I loved having Joe as a neighbor. Our many conversations on the street were classic. His memories of the old days of television made me wish to go back to the old days. I love the story on how some photographer from my building asked Joe if he could photograph him in his office. Joe thought he was doing the guy a favor, then the guy sent him a bill. Joe was like, " This guy is crazy."

Joe Franklin friend and producer Steve Garrin said, " With Joe's passing, it's the end of a era." Late night talk show queen Robyn Byrd said on her facebook Page, "RIP Joe Franklin... Sweet man, I was on his show a few times. He said I changed the look of television."

Rest in peace Joe Franklin, enjoy your trip down memory lane with all your old friends in the sky.

Friday, January 23, 2015



Story By: G. H. HARDING

 The Wrecking Crew Trailer

STING’S SHIP --- I’ll fess up and say that I was among the first to be somewhat dubious about Sting’s foray into Broadway, his The Last Ship, but, I caught last night’s performance and was literally blown away. It’s not perfect, but with stunning songs, staging and terrific acting from an excellent cast, and, a packed Neil Simon Theatre, it was pretty damn impressive.

The show closes tomorrow, so I'm quite sure many of the attendees were people who had wanted to see the show and just didn’t make it in the beginning.

The show tells the story of Sting’s childhood upbringing, in Newcastle; a town where ship building was the usual employment. The ship building stops; misery sets in and finally, one last ship is built, aided on by the town’s Father O’Brien (essayed by an incredibly strong and funny Fred Applegate).

Concurrent to this plot of the story of Gideon (Michael Esper) and Meg (Rachel Tucker), lovers when they were young, yet Gideon left and returns 15 years later to Meg and a young son, who turns out to be his.

The music is indelibly Sting. “All The Time,” “When We Dance” and “The Last Ship” are just beautiful. In fact, let me go on record now as saying I predict that Sting will perform several of these songs on his next tour with Paul Simon later this year.

Sting is an amazing artist; in all his years, he’s always done it his way. From The Police, to great albums like The Dream of The Blue Turtles and Soul Cages, to his terrific work with his Rainforest Foundation (with wife wife Trudie Styler); he’s astonishing. I saw his tour with Simon last year and he more than held his own and had one crackerjack band to boot.

Some of his projects are better than others, but they all burn with a terrific intensity and stunning style. Quintessential Sting.

WRECKING CREW COMING OUT --- From The Wrecking Crew’s Danny Tedesco: I know you've all been waiting patiently for the news of the Wrecking Crew Release. We are proud to announce that Magnolia Pictures has picked up the film for distribution.

Magnolia will release the film as a limited theatrical release and VOD (Video on Demand) at the same time. Magnolia has also produced a new one-sheet for the film .

Anyone that is receiving this email made this all happen. If you donated, saw the film, bought merchandise, told someone about the film or just signed on for info; that made the difference. We showed them that there is an audience for this film. It took years, but we all did it.

After 18 years, the film will finally be seen to a wider audience. On February 20th, the film will be open at the Bloor Cinema Theater Toronto, Canada.

On March 13th, we will be opening in New York at the IFC Center in New York and in Los Angeles at the NUART Theater.

The Wrecking Crew is the official story of the legendary musicians who played with the likes of The Beach Boys; The Mamas and The Papas; The Monkees; Nancy Sinatra; Bing Crosby; Bobby Vee; The Partridge Family; The Carpenters, The 5th Dimension, John Denver, and The Grass Roots.

I’ve seen it twice now and if you are a music person, this is a terrific film.

TREK ON --- Actor Simon Pegg has been set to co-write Star Trek 3, the film that just got Fast & Furious director Justin Lin aboard after Roberto Orci exited the helmer chair. He will co-write the script with Doug Jung, creator of the TNT series Dark Blue.

Pegg’s already a pivotal player in the JJ Abrams-produced pic having been in the two previous re-boots. In the forthcoming pic he'll of course will reprise his role as Montgomery Scott, the engineering wiz originated by James Doohan in the original 1960’s Gene Roddenberry series. Jung also wrote a film called Diamond, which is how he got the gig. They are just now getting underway.

Pegg certainly has the writing credits to back him up for such a job. With director Edgar Wright, he’s scripted the Wright-directed Cornetto-trilogy consisting of Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End, as well as the cult-fave Run Fatboy Run.

As interesting a choice as Pegg is (and, I’m a huge champion of his), I'm wondering how the tenor of the script will change. As a true Trekker, I liked with Abrams did with his first two films, but he did change several things; like Spock was Spock, but he had a girlfriend (Zoe Saldana) and in the second film, almost became an action hero.

Anyway, I'm in … make it so!

OSCAR NOM FOR GLEN --- Glen Campbell has been nominated for an Academy Award for the song “I'm Not Gonna Miss You from the documentary Glen Campbell...I'll Be Me.

The nominations, which were announced this last week, also included a nod for veteran songwriter Diane Warren for Grateful from the film Beyond the Lights along with Common and John Legend who previously won the Golden Globe for Glory from the movie Selma.

The surprise nomination for Campbell comes as the singer/guitarist battles Alzheimer Disease. Glen revealed that he was ill in 2011 and has since released two albums and toured for a final time. He is currently a resident of a Nashville area nursing facility.

“I'm Not Gonna Miss You,” written with producer Julian Raymond, was Campbell's final song, recorded in January of 2013.

CLOSING NOTES --- Walking down 52nd street last night to see The Last Ship at The Neil Simon Theatre; I was aghast by what had closed on that block – Roseland and Lucky Cheng’s (though in retrospect that outpost never really deserved to be on that block.) There’s still Victor’s Café (awesome Cuban food) and the newly-renovated Gallagher’s Steak House. A Tom Cuddy fave …

Speaking of The Last Ship, interesting to not that two of the producers are Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss … the original A&M Records duo; the label that had both The Police and Sting’s early-excellent solo albums. Visionary talents for sure …

Congrats to actress Rebecca Holden and producer (Robey) Joel Diamond ... married last week ...

Monkees Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork will do two dates in Canada in April ...



Vanessa Hudgens

Tickets go on sale today at 10:00 AM at or by phone at (877) 250-2929 for the new Broadway production of Gigi, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s beloved Oscar and Tony Award-winning film and stage musical. Gigi will open on Broadway on Wednesday, April 8 at the Neil Simon Theatre (250 West 52nd Street). Previews will begin on Thursday, March 19.

Gigi stars Vanessa Hudgens, who will make her Broadway debut in the title role, Tony Award-winner Victoria Clark (The Light in the Piazza, Sister Act, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella) as Mamita, Corey Cott (Newsies) as Gaston Lachaille, three-time Tony Award-nominee Dee Hoty (The Will Rogers Follies, The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public, Footloose) as Aunt Alicia, two-time Tony Award-nominee Howard McGillin (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Anything Goes) as Honoré Lachaille and Steffanie Leigh (Mary Poppins) as Liane d’Exelmans. 


Chiwetel Ejiofor

Celebrating its 6th year bringing live theatre to cinema audiences around the world, NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE is pleased to announce an international broadcast of Academy Award nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) in the title role of Everyman, adapted by Carol Ann Duffy and directed by Rufus Norris, live from The National Theatre of Great Britain’s Olivier Theatre on Thursday, July 16, 2015. Dates will vary at venues internationally and encore screenings will follow. Tickets on sale beginning February 9, 2015. For more information, please visit

Everyman is successful, popular and riding high when Death comes calling. He is forced to abandon the life he has built and embark on a last, frantic search to recruit a friend, anyone, to speak in his defence. But Death is close behind, and time is running out.

One of the great primal, spiritual myths, Everyman asks whether it is only in death that we can understand our lives. A cornerstone of English drama since the 15th century, this new production has words by Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate, and movement by Javier De Frutos.

The production will have set designs by Ian MacNeil, costumes by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting by Paul Anderson, choreography by Javier De Frutos, music by William Lyons and sound by Paul Arditti.

Chiwetel Ejiofor returns to the National – where he last appeared in 2000 as Romeo, Peer Gynt, and in Blue/Orange, receiving the Evening Standard Best Newcomer Award – to play the title role. His many film and TV performances since then include 12 Years A Slave for which he won the BAFTA Award for Leading Actor and received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations; A Season in the Congo, Half of a Yellow Sun, 2012, The Shadow Line, Dancing on the Edge, Tsunami: the Aftermath, Kinky Boots and Dirty Pretty Things (Independent Film Award for Best Actor). Theatre includes The Seagull (Royal Court) and the title role in Othello at the Donmar, for which he won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor.

Carol Ann Duffy is Professor and Creative Director of the Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University. She was appointed Poet Laureate in 2009. Her poetry has received many awards, including the Signal Prize for Children’s Verse, the Whitbread, Forward and T. S. Eliot Prizes, and the Lannan and E. M. Forster Prize in America. In 2011The Bees won the Costa Poetry Award, and in 2012 she won the PEN Pinter Prize.

Rufus Norris’ productions for the National include Behind the Beautiful Forevers, The Amen Corner, Table, London Road, Death and the King's Horseman and Market Boy. His other work includes Feast, Vernon God Little and Tintin for the Young Vic; the Olivier Award-winning Cabaret in the West End and on tour; Les Liaisons Dangereuses on Broadway; and Festen at the Almeida, West End and New York. Screen work includes Broken, which won the British Independent Film Award for Best Film, and the film of London Road which will be released later this year.


Now celebrating its 6th year broadcasting live performances to cinema screens internationally, National Theatre Live has now been experienced by over 3.5 million people worldwide. The first season began in June 2009 with the acclaimed production of Phédre starring Helen Mirren. Recent broadcasts have included Carey Mulligan, Bill Nighy and Matthew Beard in Skylight from the West End, Gillian Anderson, Ben Foster and Vanessa Kirby in A Streetcar Named Desire from the Young Vic, Helen McCrory in Medea, Simon Russell Beale in King Lear, the award-winning original West End production of War Horse, Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus from the Donmar Warehouse, Benedict Cumberbatch & Jonny Lee Miller in Frankenstein directed by Danny Boyle and the record-breaking and award winning West End production of The Audience starring Helen Mirren as The Queen.


Swifty's Restaurant New York City

Swifty’s Restaurant on the Upper East Side celebrated the New Year with an Art Show, titled Excerpts at Swifty’s, featuring renowned, still life photographer Barry Seidman.

Guests joined owners Robert Caravaggi and Chef Stephen Attoe for cocktails, tasty hors d’oeuvres, and a look at Seidman’s latest photographic series, Feast for the Eyes, as well as pieces from his series, Drinks, which will be on exhibition at Swifty’s restaurant through to March 2, 2015.

Patrons at Swifty’s are always delighted to see the exquisite selection of paintings and photos displayed on the walls of the restaurant, which are rotated regularly by Caravaggi and Attoe. Chef Attoe’s wife, Patricia Attoe, draws on her extensive art background in curating the art at the restaurant. New York artist Mary Lou Schempf’s stunning work is exhibited in the front room on an ongoing basis. Her work complements the restaurant’s style and décor which was brought to life by famed decorators Mario Buatta and Anne Eisenhower.

Photo Courtesy Of: Pauline Shapiro Photography/Lawlor Media

Thursday, January 22, 2015


NYTB At New York Live Arts To Host Benefit

The Alice-in-Wonderland Follies

New York Theatre Ballet will perform at New York Live Arts from February 18-21, 2015. New York Live Arts is located at 219 W. 19th Street, NYC. Performances: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 7:30pm; and Saturday at 2pm and 7:30pm. Tickets are $25 ($15 for students), and are available by calling the Live Arts box office at 212.691.6500, or by visiting the box office, Monday-Saturday 1pm - 9pm and Sunday 1pm - 8pm.

NYTB at New York Live Arts will host a Benefit Celebration to honor Elena Zahlmann (NYTB member for 15 years), Steven Melendez (NYTB member for 15 years) and Keith Michael (NYTB choreographer for 35 years). The benefit will take place at I Trulli restaurant (122 East 27th Street) from 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm on February 21st, 2015. Benefit tickets are $200 (includes reception and one ticket to an NYTB at NYLA performance of your choice). RSVP for benefit tickets by February 1st via email: or via phone 212-679-0401.

New York Theatre Ballet will present four ballets in an unforgettable evening. The program will include two world premieres by Nicolo Fonte and Pam Tanowitz. Nicolo Fonte is choreographing There, And Back Again, a 20-minute piece for four dancers inspired by the Brothers Grimm classic story "Hansel & Gretel" in a wholly contemporary esthetic, performed to a new score composed by Kevin Keller for piano and violin. Pam Tanowitz will create One Plus One, a new 13-minute ballet for ten dancers set to the Andante movement of Beethoven's Sonata in DMajor #15, which will be played live on piano two times at different tempos. The dance is based on the "pas de deux" and will be used as a metaphor for the age-old notion of unrequited love. The company will also revive Merce Cunningham's trio Cross Currents, staged by Jennifer Goggans, performed to an arrangement by John Cage of Conlon Nancarrow's Rhythm Studies for Player Piano Nos. 1-6. The evening is completed by a revival of Keith Michael's The Alice-In-Wonderland Follies, which Broadway World called "A fantastic production...there is no more delightful or charming production to be found in New York City."

NYTB's 2014-15 season will continue with:

New York Theatre Ballet at Danspace Project

June 18-20, 2015 at 8pm
Tickets: $20 ($15 Danspace members)
New York Theatre Ballet will perform Richard Alston's Such Longing, Frederick Ashton's Capriole Suite, the World Premiere of Gemma Bond's The Assembly, a new, as-yet-untitled work by David Parker, and Antony Tudor's Dark Elegies.


New York Theatre Ballet (NYTB), founded in 1978 by artistic director Diana Byer, is the most widely seen chamber ballet company in the United States and has been hailed by The New York Times as "an invaluable company." NYTB is dedicated to inspiring a love of dance in diverse audiences through performances of chamber ballet masterpieces and bold new works, as well as innovative one-hour ballets for children, all at affordable prices.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015



Story By: G. H. HARDING
Len Berman And Todd Schnitt

BERMAN BACK --- News-Talker in Manhattan, WOR has finally settled on a new morning show –and, it’s a winner- with veteran sportscaster Len Berman paired with syndicated talker Todd Schnitt, for a new local program, starting January 26th. Len Berman and Todd Schnitt In the Morning will air 6:00 AM -10:00 AM (ET) weekdays.

Berman, known for his many years anchoring sports on WNBC’s WNBC-TV, said, "I've been fortunate to broadcast for some historic stations and am thrilled to add the iconic WOR to that list. Todd Schnitt has made his mark as a fresh creative voice in many markets and I'm confident he'll do the same in New York."

Berman left WNBC when his contract wasn’t renewed. Sources said at the time that his was one of the last big contracts of the day. He did show up occasionally on The Today Show and even returned to WNBC, but not full-time.

WOR said, "Len is a well-known sports reporter and this opportunity will also showcase his other skills and personality. Listeners will immediately engage with Todd's quick wit and creative take on the things that impact New Yorkers."

PR-pasha David Salidor, said, “Len Berman is without a doubt one of the classiest guys around; a class act all the way. I first met him years ago at an Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric AIDS event with several clients and he could not have been more supportive and funny. To tell you the truth, most of the guests there were more excited to meet him than anyone else.”

Our WOR pal Tom Cuddy pulled a winner here for sure!

X FILES TO FLY AGAIN? --- First Twin Peaks, now, The X Files? Confirming some prior reports, the Fox Network says they are seriously chasing a reboot of The X-Files and are possibly interested in bringing back Prison Break too and possibly another edition of24 as well …. but, without star Keifer Sutherland?

On The X-Files front, Fox say they have been in talks with series creator Chris Carter about reviving the supernatural procedural, which was a major hit for the network from 1993 to 2002. The executives also revealed they hope to have original series stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprise their roles on the show.

“It’s true that we've had some conversations on X-Files,” Fox said, “We're hopeful of being able to bring that back at some point.”

Chairman Dana Walden added: “ I worked through the entire run of The X Files. It was a great experience. We've maintained good relationships with Chris, David and Gillian. We're very hopeful, but it’s hard. The actors are very busy. They have a lot going on. Chris has a lot on his plate, so it’s just trying to carve out the time.”

Amazon recently declined to make Carter’s new post-apocalyptic series project The After, so the writer-producer may be more open to revisiting his past. More problematic is that Duchovny has an upcoming NBC event series, Aquarius, while Anderson has a recurring role on NBC’s Hannibal. Both actors would presumably have to get contractually clear of their commitments to Fox’s rival before signing onto an X-Files re-launch.

As for Prison Break (whose stars Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell guest stared on last night’s The Flash-and, we're terrific!), the Fox team sounded more skeptical of a reboot coming together, but also very interested. “There is some speculation in the press about Prison Break, which honestly was slightly news to us,” Fox’s Gary Newman said. “Although we've made it clear over the years to the studio that we would bring Prison Break back in a heartbeat. It’s probably the perfect event series. If our old partners in that show are interested, that would be great.” Stay tuned.

And, as for 24, Fox said they'd love to continue with Sutherland, though they might be open to doing a cycle without him! But, is that even possible as they've killed off almost everyone else who could fill Keifer’s spot. More on this one for sure.

EYES HAVE IT --- We finally got a moment to see Tim Burton’s Big Eyes last weekend and just loved it. For some reason, the true story of the woman who devised those big eye-paintings didn't interest me all that much, but once I settled in, I couldn't take my eyes (!!!) from the screen.

In a way it’s unlike any other Tim Burton movie I'd ever seen …. it was almost normal, save for one scene when the main character Margaret Keane (Adams) begins to hallucinate that everyone in her local market has the big eyes … she looks at them and their eyes morph. A typical, yet stellar Burton moment.

Adams and Christoph Waltz (Walter Keane) are just terrific with Waltz never better. The Vienna-born actor just keeps delivering stellar performances and this one as a confidence man, claiming to be the artist behind these paintings, just spot on.

Ultimately, the two meet in court and have to defend their supposed talents, with each one being ordered to paint. I won't reveal what happens, but it is a stunning moment.

The music by Lana Del Rey beautiful as well. Out of this stellar Oscar-season, Birdman, Boyhood and all, this is a special one indeed. Don’t miss it.

CLOSING NOTES --- Singer Frank Shiner was asked, How do you follow up your Top 5 AC single? (which was Randy Newman's "Feels Like Home") . Said, Shiner, You follow it up with the title track of my album The Real Me. The record just tied for #1 Most Added Song of The Week! Congrats …

Micky Dolenz presents, along with Kenny Loggins and Gavin Rossdale at tonight's 5th Annual Guild Of Music Supervisors Awards at Mack Sennett Studios in L. A. Manager Ken Levy will be on hand as well ...

Donnie Kehr, late of the terrifically under looked movie version of Jersey Boys (directed by Clint Eastwood), is at 42West Thursday, with a new show, Rockin' Dueling Pianos; a high energy, all request, rock 'n roll experience ...

Photo Courtesy Of: WOR


Kristolyn Lloyd

NEW YORK BROADWAY-- Signature Theatre (James Houghton, Founding Artistic Director; Erika Mallin, Executive Director) is pleased to announce casting is confirmed and tickets are now on sale for the New York Premiere of The Liquid Plain by Naomi Wallace, directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah. All tickets for the initial run of the production are $25 as part of the Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access. The production runs February 17 through March 29, 2015 with a March 8 opening night in The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues).

The cast includes Ito Aghayere (The Tempest at Classic Stage) as Dembi, LisaGay Hamilton (ABC’s “The Practice”) as Bristol, Robert Hogan (ABC’s One Life to Live) as James De Wolfe, Michael Izquierdo (The Wolf of Wall Street) as Cranston, Kristolyn Lloyd (Heathers: The Musical) as Adjua, Karl Miller (Completeness at Playwrights Horizons) as Balthazar/William Blake, Tuck Milligan (The First Breeze of Summer at Signature) as Gifford, Tara A. Nicolas (“The Blacklist”) as Guinea Worm, Johnny Ramey (Julius by Design at the Access Theater) as Liverpool Joe, Lance Roberts (This Is Where I Leave You) as Nesbitt.

On the docks of late 18th century Rhode Island, two runaway slaves, Adjua and Dembi, plan a desperate and daring run to freedom. When a chance encounter triggers an unexpected collision of worlds, painful truths are uncovered and the brutality of past crimes spills into the next generation. Winner of the 2012 Horton Foote Prize for Promising New American Play, The Liquid Plain brings to life a group of people whose stories have been erased from history.

The design team includes Riccardo Hernandez (Scenic Design), Paul Tazewell (Costume Design), Thom Weaver (Lighting Design), Shane Rettig (Sound Design), Alex Koch (Projection Design), UnkleDave’s Fight-House (Fight Direction). Cole Bonenberger is the Production Stage Manager. Casting by Telsey + Company, William Cantler, CSA.

Supplemental programming has been set for The Liquid Plain. There will be post-show talkbacks on February 24, March 12, 19 and 24. Talkbacks brought to you by American Express. There will be a pre-show Page to Stage discussion with playwright Naomi Wallace and director Kwame Kwei-Armah on Tuesday, March 3 at 6pm. There will also be a Backstage Pass event with a member of the creative team on Tuesday, March 10 at 6pm. Patrons are also welcome to join the Book Club and delve into the context of The Liquid Plain by discussing Marcus Rediker’s book The Slave Ship: A Human History with Signature’s literary staff on Thursday, March 26 at 7:30pm. All events are free and open to the public.

To purchase tickets for all Signature productions, call Ticket Services at 212-244-7529 (Tues. – Sun., 11am – 6pm) or visit


Jennifer Lopez

Ryan Guzman

Ryan Guzman and Jennifer Lopez were snapped arriving at to a special fan screening of Universal Pictures "The Boy Next Door" at the Crosby Hotel last night in New York City.

Monday, January 19, 2015



Story By: G.H. Harding

Bob Weir

SWEET CAKE --- I’ve always loved Jennifer Aniston. I mean, her Rachel on Friends was so wacky, so flighty, but oh so cute. Her movie career post-Friends has been somewhat spotty; Horrible Bosses 1 was great, 2 not so great. Her much talked about new movie Cake, which opens this Friday, is a complete turn-around. Playing a victim of a horrific car accident, wherein she lost her daughter and is now addicted to pain medication, is certainly something to behold. Safe to say you never saw her like this before.

The movie is solid, although there are a few continuity errors, like her husband (Chris Messina) who shows up for one brilliant scene then mysteriously disappears and William H. Macy as the driver of the other car who shows up to apologize and mayhem ensues.

It’s a bold, strong performance and the awards she’s been nominated for are well deserved. Anna Kendrick is spot on as an acquaintance Nina (from a pain-support group), who has taken her own life, giving Aniston’s character, Claire, pause for thought. This is the one constant theme that runs throughout: should she end her life to end her suffering? Sam Worthington as a possible new suitor is superb too.

Adriana Barraza as her loyal housekeeper Silvana is standout as well. Putting her own life on hold to take care of Claire, her performance is award-worthy for sure.

It’s a tough movie no question, but is exemplary. Her uncle Telly Savalas (Kojak) would be super-proud. The direction by Daniel Barnz is serviceable and straightforward. Without question, the first true artistic and critical his of 2015.

SHINING ON --- If you asked Frank Shiner his favorite song, he just might say “Georgia On My Mind,” although he says it’s usually the one he’s working on at the time. Shiner’s debut album, The Real Me, which was release late-last year has received just terrific praise for the new artist.

Shiner explored some overlooked classics by the likes of Elvis Costello, Tom Waits and the album’s first single, Randy Newman’s “The Real Me” that went Top 5.

The L. A. Examiner said, "Just when you thought that Josh Groban and Michael Bublé held the patent on amazing voices, along comes Frank Shiner to shatter those preconceived notions."

The album was produced by the studio-wizard Gary Katz: most notable for his work with Steely Dan. Says Shiner of the Katz-collaboration, “He was like an uncle that really cared for my well being. He makes you feel good about the project and make you want to be even better than you think you can be. He has this unique ability to make you want to please him. He brings total comfort to the studio...this is very important for a vocalist.”

Frank’s manager Ken Levy, from Clive Davis’ legendary Arista Records, says, “Plain and simple this is a pop adult standards album. Frank's audience are fans of adult pop music.”

With a date soon at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room, check Frank out … you will not be disappointed.

DEAD AGAIN --- The four remaining members of the Grateful Dead are coming back together for three shows in Chicago this July and they are bringing along Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio.

Founding member Bob Weir said "These will be the last shows with the four of us together."

Weir, Anastasio, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann will play at Chicago's Soldier Field on July 3, 4 and 5 in shows that are sure to sell out in minutes. Also joining them is keyboardists Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti of Dead-spin off group RatDog.

Tickets will first be available via a mail in system, beginning tomorrow, followed by a fan club members sale from February 9 to 11, a local pre-sale on February 12 and 13 and (if there are any left) general public on February 14.

The official announcement from

FARE THEE WELL -- We are thrilled to announce “Fare Thee Well – Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead” – to the Dead community.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir will reunite at Chicago’s Soldier Field, nearly 20 years to the day of the last-ever Grateful Dead concert, which took place at the same venue. “Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead” will take place over three nights – July 3rd, 4th, and 5th, 2015 – and mark the original members’ last-ever performance together. The band will be joined by Trey Anastasio (Guitar), Jeff Chimenti (Keyboards) and Bruce Hornsby (Piano), and will perform two sets of music each night.

In the tradition of the original Grateful Dead Ticketing Service, tickets will be available via a first come first serve mail order system starting on January 20th, followed by an online pre-sale through Dead Online Ticketing February 12th and will be available online to the general public on February 14th via Ticketmaster.

Soldiers Field in Chicago was the site of the last Grateful Dead concert in 1995.

CLOSING NOTES --- As I emerged from a downtown subway on 23rd street and made my way to the exit, I heard a subway musician play America’s “Sister Golden Hair” and Bread’s “Make It With You.” Great choices to say the least. Sign him up …

Were those SNL/Justin Bieber skits not the funniest thing you've seen in ages? SNL’s Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong just brilliant ripping the Biebs-Calvin Klein ads.. Take a look:

I saw Chevy Chase on the Today Show last Friday, tub thumpping SNL's upcoming 40 year anniversary, and was devastated by how awful he looked and sounded. Raspy, way overweight and moving unsteadily ... it was horrible.

Saw Big Eyes this weekend and just adored it. Amy Adams and Christoph Walz just off the charts. And, it was the second Tim Burton movie I watched from the second row .... the first was Big Fish. More Wednesday.


Selena Gomez

NUVOtv presents new series Selena Gomez: Living the Dream on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at 9pm ET. Follow Selena’s journey from child phenomenon to international sensation, with interviews from experts and Selena herself.

Selena Gomez: Living the Dream

Series Synopsis

From facing adversity to embracing success, Texas native Selena Gomez has led her life in the spotlight with dedication and resilience. Follow her growth from child star to mature celebrity, with interviews from showbiz experts and Gomez herself.


Evan Rachel Wood

Evan Rachel Wood was snapped at The AOL's Build Speaker Series promoting her new animated film, Strange Magic in New York City the other day.

Sunday, January 18, 2015



Erik Bottcher With Jean Shifiroff And JD Thompson

Erik Bottcher and philanthropist Jean Shafiroff were photographed at The Ready for Hillary event at 42 West in New York City recently. Erik Bottcher has recently joined the staff of Corry Johnson, City Council Member.

Ready for Hillary is the super PAC urging Hillary Clinton to run for president in 2016. We happen to agree. We need Hillary Clinton for our next President. You can find out more on this Super PAC HERE.

 The event had a huge show of support from the LGBT community who hosted the event. The event was chaired by Lane Hudson and Peter Yacobellis, and had a quartet of high-profile special guests pushing a second run by the former FLOTUS (First Lady Of The United States) and Senator.

Friday, January 16, 2015



Story By: G. H. HARDING
Clint Eastwood

OSCAR NEWS --- The Oscar nominations were announced yesterday sending the net into a major hissy-fit: Snubbed: Into the Woods, Unbroken, and, Clint Eastwood as director of Best Picture nominee American Sniper. The LEGO Movie was dismissed. Almost all of Selma was bypassed, except for a Best Picture nom. The Bennett Miller film Foxcatcher, got everything but Best Picture.

Also snubbed: Jennifer Aniston in Cake and Golden Globe-winner Amy Adams in Big Eyes.

Robert Duvall’s good performance in a sub par movie, The Judge, was a nom as well. And, to me, a performance that’s really become etched into my mind, Steve Carell in Foxcatcher scored.

Odd choices for sure. I’ve seen Cake and Aniston is really stellar. It took a few days for her performance to sink in, but she’s awesome.

Last night at the Critic’s Choice Awards: Richard Linklater‘s 12-years-in-the-making Boyhood scored Best Picture and Best Director. Birdman led the field with seven wins, including three for Michael Keaton: Best Actor, Best Comedy Actor and Best Acting Ensemble. Julianne Moore kept up her hot streak, winning Best Actress for Still Alice, as did J.K. Simmons, who was chosen Best Supporting Actor win for Whiplash. The Grand Budapest Hotel took three awards including Best Comedy, and Guardians Of The Galaxy took two.

KIM FOWLEY RIP --- Producer, writer and musician Kim Fowley died yesterday after battling bladder cancer. He was 75.

While perhaps best known as the man who put together the Runaways, Fowley already had a very successful career behind him by the time he formed the ultimate all-girl rock band. He was born in Los Angeles to two actors and attended University High School with a class that included Jan Berry and Dean Torrence, Nancy Sinatra, Bruce Johnston, Ryan O'Neal and James Brolin.

After recovering from a bout of polio, he began his management career, working with the local band The Sleepwalkers whose members included future Beach Boy Johnston and drummer Sandy Nelson.

As the 60's wore on, Kim continued to have his hand in a number of hits. He wrote Nut Rocker for B. Bumble and the Stingers, produced the Mermaid's Popsicles and Icicles and publicized for P. J. Proby.

Towards the end of the decade, he moved to London where he worked with the N'Betweens, an early version of Slade, the Lancasters which included a young Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple) and Soft Machine.

It was also during this time that Fowley tried his hand as a recording artist, releasing four singles by the end of the decade. Over his career, his output would include over 25 titles. He almost seemed to be everywhere, playing on Frank Zappa's album Freak Out! to co-writing much of Warren Zevon's debut album to collaborating on music with friend Skip Battin which appeared on the Byrd's Untitled and Byrdmaniax albums.

As the 70's dawned, Fowley remained busy, producing music for Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids, recording with Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers and writing for artists ranging from KISS to Helen Reddy.

However, Fowley's greatest legacy would come starting in 1975 when he met a young guitar player by the name of Joan Jett. Kim had been looking to put together an all-female rock band and Jett was the first piece of the puzzle. Two weeks later he met drummer Sandy West and, a short time later, added Cherie Currie, Lita Ford and Jackie Fox who became the initial lineup for The Runaways. In 1976, the group signed with Mercury Records and released their self titled debut album which was produced by Fowley along with his writing or co-writing seven of the ten cuts including the single "Cherry Bomb."

By the time the group was ready to record their second album, Queen of Noise, their relationship with Fowley was going south. While he is listed as a producer for the album, the group brought in Earle Mankey to do most of the day-to-day work. Once again, Kim contributed to seven of the ten tracks on the album as a writer. Soon after, Fowley and the Runaways dissolved their partnership.

During the 80's, Fowley moved to Australia where he worked with the bands the Innocents. Upon his return to L. A., he added the bands Candy and Steel Breeze to his portfolio.

By the start of the 2000's, Fowley had once again branched out to work on film documentaries while also continuing to pursue his own music. He also released the first part of his autobiography, Lord of Garbage, in 2012.

Bold, visionary, unforgettable … RIP Kim.

H20 --- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inductees Daryl Hall and John Oates are the Number 1 selling duo in music history, with 7 platinum albums, several gold albums, and a string of hit singles, including six U. S. #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.

Their Philadelphia-bred blend of rock and soul captured the city's signature sound and brought it to the masses, inspiring a wealth of modern artists, while solidifying their stature as musical icons.

On March 31, Eagle Rock will release their first new concert video in seven years: Daryl Hall And John Oates: Live In Dublin on DVD+2CD, Blu-ray and Digital Formats.

The film kicks off with a direct quote about the heart and soul of this group: "It's not about stadiums and smoke bombs…it's about real playing."

Filmed at the Olympia Theatre on July 15, 2014, this set features the duo's first ever concert performance in Dublin. Hall and Oates dipped into their 40+ year rich repertoire to deliver a set list steeped in hits: "Sara Smile," "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)," "Out Of Touch," "Kiss On My List," "Private Eyes," "Rich Girl," "Maneater," and many more.

It's fitting that this high-energy 15-song concert film traverses songs from across their career, as Hall promises the audience that their "making up for lost time" in a city they've never performed in before.

CLOSING NOTES --- Pretty solid and positive reviews for director Michael Mann’s cyber-thriller Blackhat, opening today, starring Chris Hemsworth. Mann, who did Collateral and Heat –not to mention the 80’s visionary/trippy TV series Miami Vice- is a terrific director and storyteller. I recently watched Collateral again and it helped up terrifically well. Am looking forward to this one …

The 2015 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival will feature

Billy Joel, Mumford & Sons, Kendrick Lamar, My Morning Jacket, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, Deadmau5 and Florence + the Machine.

Also set to perform: Ben Harper, Spoon, Tears for Fears, Punch Brothers, Earth, Wind & Fire, Bassnectar, Alabama Shakes, Childish Gambino, Belle & Sebastian, Hozier and Gary Clark Jr.

The four-day festival will get underway June 11 in Manchester, Tennessee.

Thursday, January 15, 2015



Something Rotten!

Producer Kevin McCollum is proud to announce that celebrated Broadway musical theater favorites, Tony Award® nominee John Cariani (Fiddler on the Roof), Heidi Blickenstaff ([title of show]), Tony Award® nominee Brad Oscar (The Producers), Kate Reinders (Wicked), Tony Award® nominee Brooks Ashmanskas (Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me), Peter Bartlett (Cinderella), Gerry Vichi (The Drowsy Chaperone) and Michael James Scott (The Book of Mormon) will join Tony Award nominee Brian d’Arcy James (Shrek) and Tony Award winner Christian Borle (Peter and the Starcatcher) to round out the 30 member cast of the completely original new musical comedy Something Rotten!, directed and choreographed by Tony Award® winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Aladdin), with music and lyrics by Grammy Award® winner Wayne Kirkpatrick and Golden Globe Award® nominee Karey Kirkpatrick and a book by Karey Kirkpatrick and best-selling author John O’Farrell.

Something Rotten!’s ensemble will also feature Eric Giancola (The Book of Mormon), Linda Griffin (The Drowsy Chaperone), David Hibbard (Elf), Jenny Hill (Spamalot), Stacey Todd Holt (Rocky), Courtney Iventosch (Wicked tour), Aaron Kaburick (Motown The Musical), Austin Lesch (Violet), Beth Johnson Nicely (Bullets Over Broadway), Aleks Pevec (Aladdin), Angie Schworer (Big Fish), Eric Sciotto (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), Brian Shepard (Young Frankenstein), Chelsea Morgan Stock (Sister Act), Ryan VanDenBoom (Annie), Matt Wall (Annie), Marisha Wallace (Aladdin), and Bud Weber (Aladdin).

The award-winning design team of Broadway veterans will feature Scott Pask (scenic design), Gregg Barnes (costume design), Natasha Katz (lighting design), Peter Hylenski (sound design), Josh Marquette (hair design), Phil Reno (music direction / conductor), Glen Kelly (arrangements), Larry Hochman (orchestrations) and casting by Telsey + Company/Bethany Knox, CSA.

Something Rotten! will begin previews Monday, March 23 and officially open Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at the St. James Theatre (246 West 44th Street). 

Tickets to Something Rotten! will go on sale to the general public Sunday, January 18 online at or by calling 212-239-6200 and will be available in person at The St. James Theatre box office (246 West 44th Street) beginning Monday, February 23.


From the co-director of The Book of Mormon and the producer of Avenue Q comes something original… something fresh... Something Rotten!, a world-premiere musical comedy about the musical comedy that started it all.



New York City Drone Film Festival

NEW YORK CITY-- Tickets are now on sale for the First Annual New York City Drone Film Festival.

The NYCDFF will be held on Saturday, March 7th, 2015 at the Directors Guild of America Theater located at 110 West 57th Street in New York.

Tickets are available for purchase at

NYCDFF is a one-of-a-kind, world-class event showcasing world premieres alongside drone films never before seen on the big screen. The world's first film festival dedicated exclusively to drone cinema,NYCDFF is enthusiastic about showing the world the amazing creative capabilities of drones.

NYCDFF supports and celebrates the creative expression of aerial filmmakers from around the world. The Festival will host a screening of short films, curated conversation and an awards ceremony featuring prizes for Technical Difficulty, Narrative, X-Factor, Most Epic Dronie and more.



Jean Shafiroff

Elegant Jean Shafiroff writes about philanthropist Leonard Lauder for AVENUE MAGAZINE this month. This is quite a interesting read about one of New York City's wonderful residents. You can view the story HERE.

Leonard Lauder
In the story, Mrs. Shafiroff talks about how in April, Lauder made international headlines when he announced his enormous pledge of $1.1 billion dollars of Cubist Art to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Lauder donated 78 works by great artists such as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Juan Gris and Fernand Leger to one of New York’s most famous museums. Moreover, he pledged to continue donating additional acquisitions of Cubist Art. His objective was to fill the gap in the Museum’s own collection. Lauder wanted his gift to be “transformative ” and was quoted as saying “it will catapult them into the 21st century.”

Very behind the scenes story on one of New York City's beloved icons.

Photos Courtesy Of: Patrick McMullan/RD/Leon/Retna

Tuesday, January 13, 2015



Michael C. Hall

Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the hit musical revival and winner of four 2014 Tony Awards now playing at the Belasco Theatre (111 West 44th Street), is pleased to announce a third donation has been made to Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI) as part of the show’s ongoing partnership with the organization. This donation of $200,000 brings the total raised by Hedwig for HMI to $400,000 in less than one year.

Since its first performance on Broadway on March 29, 2014, Hedwig and the Angry Inch has donated a portion of the ticket price from each Broadway ticket sold to HMI, which is the home of Harvey Milk High School, a New York City public transfer school where some of the city's most at-risk youth can learn without the threat of physical violence and emotional harm they faced in a traditional educational environment.

The relationship between Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Hetrick-Martin Institute began in 2003 with the tribute album Wig In A Box: Songs From and Inspired by Hedwig and The Angry Inch which benefited Hetrick-Martin and 2006’s Follow My Voice, a documentary film on the Harvey Milk High School and the making of the Wig in a Box album.

Ticket buyers interested in learning more about Hetrick-Martin Institute can visit or

Current Hedwig star Michael C. Hall begins the final week of his acclaimed hit run as the title character tomorrow. Hall will play his final performance on Sunday, January 18. John Cameron Mitchell returns to the role he co-created with composer/lyricist Stephen Trask starting Wednesday, January 21 for a strictly limited eight week engagement. Mitchell will join co-star and Tony Award winner Lena Hall who continues with the production as Yitzhak.