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

Friday, April 17, 2015

THE TREVOR PROJECT TO HONOR SIR IAN MCKELLEN

Sir Ian McKellen



New York, NY-- Celebrating 16 years, The Trevor Project will honor Sir Ian McKellen with the Trevor Hero Award at “TrevorLIVE New York” on June 15th at the Marriott Marquis, presented by Wells Fargo. McKellen will be honored for his ongoing support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community. Maine’s Ryan Fecteau, the youngest openly gay state legislator, will be named the Youth Innovator Honoree for his on-going advocacy and commitment to equality, and Johnson & Johnson will be honored with the 20/20 Visionary Award. The awards will be presented at The Trevor Project’s high-profile evening of music, comedy and entertainment which brings together top entertainers, advocates and corporate leaders to support the organization’s life-saving, life-affirming work for LGBT and questioning youth in crisis.



“The Trevor Project is proud to honor longtime supporters and allies Sir Ian McKellan, Maine Representative Ryan Facteau, and Johnson & Johnson. We want to acknowledge their dedication and support for the LGBTQ community,” states Abbe Land, executive director and CEO of The Trevor Project. “We have felt the progress of their commitment to raise awareness for the issues the LGBTQ community faces, to promote advocacy for equal rights, and to foster the responsibility that every person should provide service for their community. We look forward to celebrating these great honorees at TrevorLIVE New York.”



A legend of the stage and screen, Sir Ian McKellen has been honored with over 50 international acting awards and is co-founder of Stonewall UK, which lobbies for legal and social equality for gay people. He is treasured worldwide as “Magneto” in the X-Men films and “Gandolf” in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Born and raised in the north of England, 75-year-old McKellen attended Cambridge University and since 1961 has worked non-stop in the British theatre. Among his countless accolades, he has won Olivier Awards for “Macbeth,” “The Alchemist,” “Beny,” “Wild Honey” and “Richard III.” In 1991 Sir Ian was knighted for his outstanding contribution to theatre. In 2008, the Queen personally appointed him Companion of Honour for his services to drama and to equality.

THE NEW YORK CENTER FOR CHILDREN ANNIVERSARY

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NEW YORK'S HIGH SOCIETY

Photos By: Owen Hoffman/James Edstrom/Patrick McMullan
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Jean Shafiroff With Kathleen Turner



Jean Shafiroff With Lyn Paulsin



Lauren Vernon With Nick Loeb And Nicole DiCocco


Michele Herbert And Kathleen Turner




The New York Center for Children (NYCC) hosted its 20th Anniversary Spring Cocktail Reception on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at Bar at Clement at the Peninsula Hotel in New York City. The event raised money in support of the organization’s mission to support victims of child abuse and their families with anything they might need.



Over 130 supporters gathered at the Bar Clement for cocktails & Hors d'oeuvres and participated in a silent auction to benefit the charity, which took place through the duration of the event. Auction highlights included a three night stay in a superior suite at The Peninsula Hotel in Paris, a private dinner for eight at Clement, Personal styling and shopping with Kirna Zabete Founder Sarah Easley, a selection of clothing from designer Harrison Morgan, a weekend vacation package for the Westcott B&B in Hudson, New York and a selection of paintings created by NYCC clients.



Guests included: Kathleen Turner (Actress), Nick Loeb (Owner, Crunchy Condiments), Kevin Ryan (Chairman, New York Center for Children), Dr. Kathie Grimm (Medical Director, New York Center for Children), Michele Herbert (Board Member, New York Center for Children), Lyn Paulsin (Former Board Member), Christine Rales (Board Member, New York Center for Children), Heidi Mitchell (Board Member, New York Center for Children), Sophie Ann Terrisse (Board Member, New York Center for Children), Lauren Vernon (Board Member, New York Center for Children), Dr. Beth Worley (Board Member, New York Center for Children), Dr. Annie Sparrow (Board Member, New York Center for Children), Leane Romeo (Former Board Member, New York Center for Children), Christine Crowther (Administrative Director, New York Center for Children), Jessica Lapin (Former New York Councilmember), Jean Shafiroff (Philanthropist), Vanessa Von Bismarck (BPCM PR), Nicole Dicocco (Social Fixture)



Kevin Ryan, Chairman of the New York Center for Children, addressed the crowd of supporters thanking them for their attendance. He mentioned that it’s the contributions from loyal donors that help the NYCC execute its mission and provide child abuse victims and their families, regardless of financial standing, with the support they need. The Board of Directors include: Georgette Mosbacher (Founder), Kate Spade (Chair Emeritus), Kevin Ryan (Chair), Michele Herbert, Christine Rales, Heidi Mitchell, Sophie Ann Terrisse, Lauren Vernon, Martin Richards (In Memorium).



About the New York Center For Children


Founded in 1995 by the 55-year-old national child abuse-prevention organization, Childhelp, with the aid of the late Broadway producer Marty Richards and philanthropist Georgette Mossbacher, the New York Center for Children (NYCC) is a child-friendly Center, providing free, comprehensive evaluation and therapy services to victims of child abuse and their families. NYCC also offers professional training on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of child abuse. All of the programs and services provided by NYCC are completely free of charge. NYCC is a not-for-profit organization that relies on donations to cover the costs of operations. NYCC serves all families, including those without insurance. When children come to the Center, they are greeted by specially trained staff, colorful murals on the walls and a playroom filled with toys. In addition to evaluation and treatment, the children at NYCC also benefit from tutoring, mentoring and extracurricular events. NYCC serves children from all five boroughs of New York City. The child-friendly space is located at 333 East 70th Street, on Manhattan's Upper East Side — an easily-accessible and safe neighborhood for our children to be nurtured back to health.



For more information on NYCC, visit newyorkcenterforchildren.org.

ADAM LAMBERT'S HARD JOURNEY OF SELF ACCEPTANCE

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THE GLORIOUS CORNER

Story By: G. H. HARDING
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Adam Lambert




EAGLE COUNTY? --- Eagles drummer/vocalist/songwriter Don Henley has announced his upcoming solo album, Cass County. It will be his first solo effort in fifteen years, and will have what he calls a "country flavor."



"I do have a solo album, as they say, ‘in the can,’ " said the former hell raiser. "So far, I've recorded 17 songs—I've been working on it for the last four, five years."



Henley goes on to say the record "sort of has a country flavor. I guess you could categorize some of it as country, and some of it could be called Americana."



He recorded the majority of the album in Nashville, utilizing "some of the best musicians in Nashville, and a lot of the best - in my opinion - singers and songwriters in Nashville." Tracks were recorded both at his home in Dallas and in a studio in Southern California . . . often aided by Henley’s cohort Stan Lynch.



Henley promised "some really interesting guest stars" on the album, and some duets in "unexpected combinations."



Henley has always produced just exemplary music, both with Eagles or as a solo artist. Who can forget his “Dirty Laundry,” “Sunset Grill,” “The Boys of Summer,” or the contemplative late ‘80s track “The End of the Innocence”? While I can appreciate his mellowing out a bit, I do hope we also get some new first-class rockers here.



The record, incidentally, is named after the county in which Henley was raised as a boy in Texas. "The album is based on the music that influenced me when I was growing up", he explains.



Cass Country will be out in the third quarter of 2015.



IDES ATTACK --- 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the band that drove the 1970 Billboard smash “Vehicle” to the top of the charts: The Ides of March. To commemorate this momentous occasion, the band has released a deluxe “limited- edition” five-disc set called Last Band Standing: The Definitive 50-Year Anniversary Collection set to hit on April 18 (via Ides Of March Records).



Last Band Standing is a perfectly-executed celebration of the group’s history, and is also a showcase of a band still in their prime 50 years into the game. Original members Jim Peterik (also of ‘80s band Survivor fame, and songwriter behind “Eye of the Tiger,” made a big chart hit after being featured in Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky III in 1982, as well as many other chart-toppers), Bob Bergland, Larry Millas, and Mike Borch started as a group of teenagers whose love of rock ‘n roll and R&B music led them to showcases and bandstands in and around their native Chicago, and leading them to eventually hit it big nationally with “Vehicle.”



In a further nod to his connection with these guys, Stallone also went on to feature “Vehicle” during a great car-repair sequence in his popular 1989 prison picture Lock Up. [And given the beefy brass section at play in this marvelous track, one could definitely make the case that the sound of “Vehicle” inspired film composer Bill Conti when writing the definitive Oscar-nominated theme from Rocky, “Gonna Fly Now.”



The first four audio discs contain material from across this great band’s storied career. Included are Warner Brothers albums Vehicle (1970) and Common Bond (1971); first-time-ever releases of the best of their RCA releases, World Woven (1972) and Midnight Oil (1973); and choice cuts from the ‘90’s, such as “Spirit Of Chicago”—an ode to the Windy City that featured some of the area’s most prominent artists like Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick), Dennis DeYoung (Styx), Gary Loizzo (American Breed), and cult favorite Jim Ellison.



Ides rarities like “Like It or Lump It” and “No Two Ways About It” have been re-mastered in all their original mono-mixed glory, along with other highlights culled from the Ides vault such as 1966’s Billboard charter “You Wouldn’t Listen.” The audio portion is completed with brand-new Ides of March tracks, including the brass-driven “Who I Am,” the harmonious “Too Far to Turn Around,” and the aptly titled “Last Band Standing,” featuring Steve Cropper (iconic songsmith behind both Booker T and the MGs along with Sam & Dave—and ultimately with The Blues Brothers.



Disc Five is a live DVD of The Ides performing fifteen of their most iconic songs in an eleven-camera shoot at the House of Blues in Chicago last year on May 31, 2014. In addition to this high-energy hometown set, the DVD boasts a slew of extras: archival footage from their TV appearances in the ‘70s; new interviews; a look “behind the scenes;” a photo collage spanning 50 years, plus an exciting new music video for the title track “Last Band Standing.”



Jim Peterik, who recently released his autobiography Through the Eye Of the Tiger: The Rock ‘N’ Roll Life Of Survivor’s Founding Member (BenBella Books), and who also performed an amazingly brilliant solo show at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room last year (one of the best performances I’ve ever seen) is a true rock ‘n roll soul.



I'm interviewing him next week, and am eagerly anticipating it. He is a true survivor.



THE FILLMORE ARRIVES IN PHILLY --- Live music, “Philly-style,” is coming to what has now been envisioned as the “best live rock music venue in the United States.”



As part of the continued revitalization of iconic Fishtown (one of the city’s historic locales), the legendary Ajax Metal Factory is being transformed from a pounding WWI munitions machine facility constructed over 100 years ago into a gloriously pounding music venue of a different sort, 2015-style.



Honoring the legendary traditions of Fillmore music halls around the country, the 2,500-capacity venue—scheduled to open in the fall—will showcase incredible state-of-the-art production, vintage poster art, VIP amenities, and friendly hospitality that celebrates the live concert experience.



“Philadelphia is a city with a proud musical heritage, and we could not be more excited that The Fillmore will join the host of great live music venues that this city has to offer,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “What’s more, this new attraction will bring thousands of people to the Delaware River Waterfront, which is in the midst of a transformation and poised to become one of America’s most dynamic, exciting urban waterfronts.”



The original Fillmore is one of this country’s landmark performing stages that was first opened in San Francisco in 1965. That Fillmore was the focal point of the psychedelic music scene during the 1960s and ‘70s, helping to launch the careers of iconic rock acts such as The Grateful Dead; Jimi Hendrix; Led Zeppelin; Santana; The Doors; The Allman Brothers Band; and many, many others that helped the venue’s brand to grow into the legend it is today.



President of Live Nation’s House of Blues division, Ron Bension said, “The Fillmore Philadelphia will feature the best sound system of any club its size, unparalleled sight lines, and remarkable food and beverage, making it more than a place for a concert. It will be a true experience.”



The venue will also have a “club within the club.” An intimate, second live music club, The Foundry, will be located on the top floor of The Fillmore. Featuring state-of-the-art lights and sound, concertgoers will be able to dance and get close to the stage in an energizing 450-seat capacity space that will showcase singer/songwriters, local acts, DJs, and smaller touring bands.



Circle Bar at The Fillmore will be a lively and upscale lounge and bar, where guests can enjoy VIP service and enhanced benefits as part of their concert event. Located on the second floor of the venue with its own private entry, this intimate and exclusive lounge will feature top-tier cocktails and craft beers, exceptional service, and an extensive food menu providing guests a comfortable place to hang and relax before, during, and after our concerts.



Circle Bar will connect directly to club boxes and the best seats in the house on the mezzanine level of The Fillmore, providing in-seat food, beverage and bottle service, and amazing sidelines.



CLOSING NOTES --- Six years after exploding into the pop world through his appearance on American Idol, Adam Lambert is back with his third studio album called The Original High—an album that he says is designed "to encourage people to face their shit." Lambert has been doing some serious self-examination since his critically-acclaimed but commercially disappointing sophomore release, Trespassing, and talked briefly about his journey to self-acceptance:



“I came out five years ago in a scene where I didn't have a lot of people to look to or a blueprint for advice,” he says. “I was flying blind. At that time, I was reading things that were being written about me and it was affecting me both negatively and positively. It was really intense to get dropped into that whole world really quickly.”



We can't wait to hear the new disc . . .



How about hat new trailer for the new Star Wars movie? Is that closer shot with Chewy and Han Solo (aka Harrison Ford) just the best? Especially when it begins with the voice-over with Solo saying "We're home Chewy!" Awesome for sure ...


If you're a Pete Townshend fan—or Who fan, for that matter—you absolutely must read Andy Greene's interview with Pete in the current issue of Rolling Stone. Being a fan of that powerhouse British group since 1967, Greene’s talk with Townshend is terrific. Greene told me he could have filled another five pages with what Townshend gave him (yes, Pete does like the sound of his own voice). That being said, this was one of the best rock-music interviews I've ever read . . .Long Live Rock, indeed!



Thursday, April 16, 2015

FIVE COVERS FOR THE MAY ISSUE OF MARIE CLAIRE

Iggy Azalea



Iggy Azalea, Felicity Jones, Zoë Kravitz, Hailee Steinfeld, and Kate Upton are the five Fresh Faces of Marie Claire’s May issue (on newsstands April 21). The cover girls grace five different covers of the issue, which also happens to have the longest cover (36 inches!) ever produced in magazine history. What we love about this year’s crop of Fresh Faces — besides their mega talent — is their fearless attitudes toward career (with physically demanding film roles, say) and life (like picking up and leaving home at 16). And their willingness to say, “Why’s next?” Whatever that is, count us in.




FRESH FACES QUOTES



IGGY AZALEA


On the Internet feeding frenzy over paparazzi photos of her: “I hope women think, Iggy Azalea actually has a body that is relatable to my body… and you should feel fucking good about that.”

On singing: “I can get vocal training as much as I want, but I will never be able to sing."


HAILEE STEINFELD


On her role in this month’s Pitch Perfect 2: “I couldn’t believe I was making this movie. I was like, ‘Oh, my God! There’s Rebel! I literally gained 10 older sisters. We have a group chat that hasn’t stopped since we made the movie.”


ZOË KRAVITZ


On losing weight for her role in The Road Within: “I went through eating disorders in high school, so it triggered some old stuff. I was so thin that I wasn’t getting my period. And part of me didn’t want to gain the weight back, which was really scary. People were like, ‘You look so good!’ I was like, Oh, my God, that is disturbing.”


FELICITY JONES


On living in New York City: “I have always had this secret desire to live in New York from watching Sex and the City growing up.”


KATE UPTON


On motivation: “Anytime there’s doubt or someone says I can’t do something. I always accomplish it. Haters and doubters are very, very good motivation.”

On People naming her Sexiest Woman Alive: “My parents were pretty funny about it. They told me, ‘We went out to dinner and dressed a little nicer because our daughter is the Sexiest Woman Alive.’”


VINCENT PASTORE STARRING IN 'A QUEEN FOR A DAY'

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OFF BROADWAY
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Vincent Pastore




New York:  Michael Ricigliano Jr.’s A QUEEN FOR A DAY directed by John Gould Rubin will begin performances on April 14 and will open on May 3 running through July 26, 2015 at Theatre at St. Clement’s (423 West 46 Street). Tickets are $49-$99 and can be purchased by visiting www.AQueenForADayPlay.com, or by calling Ovationtix (866) 811-4111.



Set in an abandoned warehouse, Giovanni (David Proval) is a respected “made-man” forced into a difficult position. Torn between love, loyalty and survival, he is asked to give up his crime boss brother, Pasquale (Vincent Pastore), as part of a one day immunity deal also known as a “Queen for a Day.” Michael Ricigliano Jr.’s new play, A Queen for a Day offers a glimpse into a world where loyalty is prized above all and there is nothing anyone would not do to protect their family.



The cast includes: David Deblinger (“Broad City,” “The Sopranos,” Kiss Me Guido), Portia (Broadway: Ride Down Mt. Morgan, Ruined), Vincent Pastore (“The Sopranos,” Bullets Over Broadway) and David Proval (“The Sopranos,” “Picket Fences”. Film: Mean Streets, The Shawshank Redemption,”). Creative team includes: Andreea Mincic (Set Designer), Bobby Frederick Tilley II (Costume Designer), Isabella F. Byrd (Lighting Designer), Leon Rothenberg (Sound Designer), Libby Jensen (Production Manager), Erin Cass (Stage Manager) and Cheryl Dennis (General Manager). A QUEEN FOR A DAY is produced by Jackson Leonard Productions in association with Steve Acunto, Max Wyman and Ric Zivic.


A QUEEN FOR A DAY


By Michael Ricigliano Jr., Directed by John Gould Rubin



Beginning Performances on April 14, 2015

Opening May 3 – July 26, 2015



Theatre at St. Clement’s is located at 423 West 46 Street (Between 9th & 10th Ave)


NEW YORK AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL @ LINCOLN CENTER


The Prophecy


NEW YORK, NY – The Film Society of Lincoln Center (FSLC) and African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) have once again joined forces to present the New York African Film Festival (NYAFF), running May 6-12. Under the banner of the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent (2015–2024), the 22nd edition of the festival presents a diverse crop of 15 features and 13 short films from Africa and the Diaspora. The NYAFF continues throughout May at the Cinema at the Maysles Documentary Center and the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMcinématek. The festivities take place as AFF celebrates its 25th anniversary.



Isa Cucinotta, Film Society of Lincoln Center Programmer said: "We are thrilled by this year’s selection of films exploring the breadth and depth of the African experience both on the continent and beyond. Through comedy, drama, and documentary, the striving of a people on the move is vibrantly expressed. We are happy to be able to share the dreams and hard work of today’s artists."



“As we reach our anniversary, it is clear that on many levels we have achieved all we set out to do some 25 years ago in creating a festival to challenge the prevailing narrative about Africa through the cinematic arts,” said AFF Executive Director and NYAFF Founder Mahen Bonetti. “As we revisit our mission this year, we see that our community has not only helped bring our masters to the attention of global audiences but that we continue to push to the forefront new voices that celebrate Africa in this important moment in our history.”



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

JUST MESMERIZED BY HOZIER'S TAKE ME TO CHURCH

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THE GLORIOUS CORNER

Story By: G. H. HARDING
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Hozier




HOZIER --- When Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” came out, I was simply mesmerized. The song was unlike anything else on the radio, and yet it fit in so perfectly.



The song became an instant radio hit, aided by a visually stunning video. The more I heard it, the more I realized that it was work from an important new artist. When he appeared on February’s Grammy Awards—singing with Annie Lennox, no less—he more than held his own. (Frankly, I couldn't take my eyes off him!) He plays guitar without a pick, in the tradition of British guitar genius Jeff Beck and Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, and the acoustic effect he achieves is just delightful.



We finally got his first Stateside album, and love everything about it. The track “From Eden” is superlative. Reminiscent of the sound and songwriting style of Paul Simon, it’s an altogether stunning track.



Andrew Hozier-Byrne (born in March 1990), is an Irish musician and singer-songwriter from Bray, County Wicklow. In 2013, he released his debut EP, featuring the hit single "Take Me to Church", and his second EP From Eden in 2014.



His debut studio album, Hozier (Sony), was released in Ireland in September 2014 and globally in October 2014.



He has also appeared on Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014, Saturday Night Live, and Late Night with Seth Meyers. We also loved the CD’s tracks “Jackie Wilson,” “Someone New,” and “To Be Alone.”



Plus, the album cover graphic—painted by his mother (!!)—is also a real treat. Here is the arrival of an important new artist, for sure, and the best album of this year for me so far. A must-have for every playlist.



SHINER SCORES A RECORD --- New York-based vocalist FRANK SHINER has nabbed himself another Top 5 AC record. His song “The Real Me”—the title track off his current album The Real Me—has soared to the #5 spot (FYI: Shiner now becomes the second of two artists to land consecutive Top 5 AC records so far this year). Shiner, who just performed at NYC’s Cutting Room to much acclaim, will be the headline performer on Friday at the 60th annual Fine Arts Fiesta in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania.



The Fine Arts Fiesta (which will run this year from May 14-17) began in 1956. It remains a gathering of the great volume of fine art created within the community of Wilkes Barre.



The Fiesta has recognized since its formation the need for a community to come together in order to celebrate diversity, talent, passion in artwork, and friendship.



Shiner joins other headliners at the fest, including singer/songwriter Marshall Crenshaw (“Someday, Someway” from 1982 – Crenshaw also had a brief cameo as the musician-boyfriend to Helen Hunt’s character in Francis Coppola’s 1986 Boomer-beloved “time-travel” comedy-drama Peggy Sue Got Married) and the Marko Marcinko Jazz Quartet.



Shiner will also return for an encore performance at The Cutting Room on July 25.



FLASH FRAME --- As this year’s rather dismal TV season limps to its official close next month, we want to, one-by-one, go through the hits and misses.



First up: Two comic book classics brought to the TV screen. Fox’s Gotham, and CW 11’s The Flash.



Gotham was sold as the story of Batman before Batman. It was actually more the story of soon-to-be police commissioner James Gordon, essayed brilliantly by young Ben McKenzie. It was a brilliant concept, developed by Bruno Heller (The Mentalist), and the stories for the most part have been excellent. But (and there’s always a but) they have sure taken their time telling this story.



With only three episodes to go before the season’s end, they still have yet to bring young Bruce Wayne close to even becoming the tormented superhero alter-ego at the center of his world. Monday’s episode had young Wayne witnessing his first death—at the hands of a young Catwoman, no less) and coming close to tears.



Clearly, this show’s version of Bruce Wayne still has a few steps yet left to become the Caped Crusader.



Gotham started strong--very strong—out of the box, but its trajectory has certainly slowed. Me being a die hard comic book guy, I'm loving the show—but I felt the season should have ended with Bruce perhaps putting on “the cowl.” It'll be back for another season, but it'd better step it up quickly.



The Flash, on the other hand, has fared far better. While it’s been conceived in more of a comic-book world, with fantastical imagery and great effects, the stories have been spot-on excellent, and the performances by Grant Gustin, Jesse L. Martin, and—in a brilliant move—John Wesley Shipp (who portrayed the main character in an ill-advised 1990 version of the show) have all been terrific. Especially good in the show has been Tom Cavanagh in the role of Harrison Wells, who may or may not end the season as a hero or foe. Wells is sensational, bringing a sense of wonder and passion to the whole show.



Sure, each episode has a so-called “villain of the week,” yet each ep has ended with a teaser of sorts that has proven each time to be totally captivating. The stories are told quickly and with quirky hooks (they boast superb special effects for a TV outing) that work terrifically well.



For my money, The Flash has been the #1 show of the season.



CLOSING NOTES --- We picked up Crain’s New York Business the other day, as we've sort of lost track of it, and was surprised to see almost an almost entirely new staff in place. At some point earlier this year, they apparently cleaned house. Sad to see that our friend, editor Valerie Block, is gone from the publication. She was a visionary and creative editor, and her stamp could be found all throughout the paper. Now, Crain’s seems somewhat directionless. Too bad . . .



Check out Parade's terrific interview, by Nancy Berk, on actress and now-singer Gloria Reuben and her new album Perchance To Dream (MCG Jazz).



We are sending out positive thoughts to actress/singer Rita Wilson upon learning of her breast cancer diagnosis. We've loved her since the 1985 movie Volunteers, where she met future husband Tom Hanks. The real deal, for sure ...



Billy Joel and girlfriend Alexis Roderick are expecting their first child, a representative for the 65-year-old singer announced. They have been dating since 2009.



Roderick will be 34 next month.



The baby will be Joel's second child and first with Roderick. He is the father of singer-songwriter Alexa Ray Joel.



The statement from Joel's representative said the couple "opted to keep any further details of her pregnancy under wraps until their new addition makes an official debut."



Joel is completing a month-to-month residency at Madison Square Garden in New York City. His next show is on May 28 .

. .

The Monkees (a.k.a., the “Micky & Peter Show” this time around) are set to play Westbury Music Fair (or, whatever it's being called these days) on August 29. Quick—call Frank's Restaurant to book a delicious nearby pre-show dinner . . .



Percy Sledge, RIP ...



SIGHTINGS --- WOR's Tom Cuddy at Walker's in Tribeca.




DAVID HENRIE VISITS THE NYC EMPIRE STATE BUILDING

David Henrie



Actor David Henrie visited The Empire State Building promoting his 2 films, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and Little Boy on in New York City the other day.


THE EAST SIDE SETTLEMENT HOUSE SPRING 2015 GALA

Jean Shafiroff With Fe Fendi



The East Side Settlement House held its Spring Gala on the opening of the International Auto Show at the Javitt's Center in NYC.



During cocktails guests viewed some of the greatest cars in the world. Guests included Chuck Scarborough, Jean and Martin Shafiroff , Geoffrey Bradfield, Phil and Maria Yang, Fe and Allesandro Fendi, Mariana and Elia Zoas, Barbara and Donald Tober, Patricia and Tom Shiah, Paola Rosenshein and Arnie Rosenshein and Roric Tobin.



The event raised $500,000 to support East Side House Settlement, a leading social services agency that serves children and families in the South Bronx and surrounding communities. The event was made possible through the generosity of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association (GNYADA) and the New York International Auto Show, as part of a proud tradition of dedicated community service.


Photo By: Billy Farrell Agency
 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

NICK CANNON INSISTS "NO DRAMA" WITH MARIAH CAREY

Nick Cannon



Nick Cannon insists there's "no drama" between him and ex-wife Mariah Carey!


E! News recently caught up with the 34-year-old America's Got Talent host to chat about his recent Easter reunion with Carey. "It was amazing, man," he gushed. "That's what people do, they spend time with their families."


The former couple shared a cute Easter pic of them playing with their twins Moroccan and Monroe this past Sunday. "It's a beautiful thing. That's what holidays are all about is spending time with family and your loved ones. So it was a good time," he said.


So what about the rumors that Cannon is writing a juicy tell-all about his marriage to the 45-year-old singer?


"I'm so disappointed in the media," he told us. "It's funny, even to see people that I know and respect kind of report rumors and just ridiculous stuff that comes from nowhere. You could have just called me and asked me. I guess it's like people go for the story and sensationalism instead of figuring out the truth. And when there is no drama, people want to create drama. Like I said, if you guys want to continue to perpetuate negativity, do that. But I'm good and happy and so is my family. I don't know anything about no tell-all books or anything like that."


Meanwhile, Cannon has a new love in his life. E! News confirmed that he's dating30-year-old model Jessica White and the lovebirds are "going really strong."



 

Friday, April 10, 2015

BLOWN AWAY BY GLORIA REUBEN'S METROPOLITAN GIG

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THE GLORIOUS CORNER

Story By: G. H. HARDING
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Gloria Reuben




REUBEN GOOD --- I really love nothing more than being invited to a show—not really knowing what to expect—and being totally blown away. It doesn't happen all that often. Happily, that was not the case last night when we saw actress Gloria Reuben’s debut in NYC at The Metropolitan Room.



The twice-nominated Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actress has a new album out (her second one, actually) called Perchance to Dream, which is just sensational. Sultry, moody, atmospheric jazz that’s just a pure delight, this is one of those albums that you can’t help but fall in love with as soon as you hear it. Its level of performance, production, and song selection is spot-on and delightful.



Her delicate, yet soulful voice (with echoes of Al Jarreau and Michael Franks in the air) immediately grabs you and doesn't let go; but it’s a delightful ride for sure.




In her performance, Reuben pretty much followed the sequence of songs on the album, beginning with the lush and enticing “Change Partners” and then shifting seamlessly to the song “Poor Girl” (based on a Maya Angelou poem, with music by Jay Ashby).



The packed audience (which included Debbie [David – you’d know better than me, but doesn’t she prefer “Deborah” as her first name these days?] Gibson and actor Robert Funaro from HBO’s The Sopranos) was totally in sync with Gloria from start to finish.



Another high point of the show was the final song (in which Reuben accompanied herself on piano) called “Here’s To Life.” The song left the audience breathless as they beheld the end of a night’s performance that was very nearly perfect in every way. Reuben’s band, fronted by her producer Marty Ashby on a beautiful hollow-bodied guitar, was exceptional. Kudos!



It really was an extraordinary show; one of the best that we’ve seen so far this year.




DIVAS UNITE --- Legendary dance divas Martha Wash, Evelyn “Champagne” King and Linda Clifford have formed the new diva super-group—First Ladies of Disco—and released their first collaboration, the single “Show Some Love.”



The initial release also features a B-side “bonus mix” – a dance remix by John LePage and Brian Cua.



“What I like about ‘Show Some Love’ is the song and its cross-genre appeal gave all of us a chance to use our talents and range in an uplifting song that I know is going to inspire,” says two-time Grammy nominee Martha Wash, who gained fame in the 1970s as a member of Two Tons of Fun, and who was also the back-up vocalist for the late disco legend Sylvester.



She also, as it turns out, recorded “It’s Raining Men” (1979) as one of The Weather Girls, and is the voice heard on No. 1 dance-track hits by C&C Music Factory and Black Box. (Fun fact: Did you know that “It’s Raining Men” was written by Paul Jabara and none other than David Letterman’s longtime music-director sidekick Paul Shaffer?



Wash is joined by Evelyn “Champagne” King (her classic hit, “Shame, “cracked the Top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in 1977) and five-time Grammy nominee Linda Clifford. The three plan to tour as well.



Listen to The First Ladies of Disco single “Show Some Love” on Soundcloud:




BILLIE HOLIDAY CENTENNIAL --- As a special birthday gift to the woman widely considered to be one of the greatest vocalists of the 20th century, The Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame is proud to welcome Billie Holiday as its newest inductee on the centennial anniversary of her birth in the City of Brotherly Love.



Billie Holiday was also known as “Lady Day,” a beloved name given to Holiday early in her career. The name was further immortalized in pop culture by original Four Seasons member/songwriter Bob Gaudio and co-writer Jake Holmes, whose song “Lady Day” was then sang with great affection by Frank Sinatra on his 1971 album Sinatra and Company). Holiday is only the first of this year’s inductees to be announced. The Philadelphia Music Alliance (PMA) will hold a press reception in late May to announce the rest of the Walk of Fame’s Class of 2015. Holiday and the rest of the new honorees will be formally inducted together in October during ceremonies along the Avenue of the Arts.



"The Philadelphia Music Alliance wanted to present what we think is a 'perfect' birthday gift to an extraordinary vocalist, Billie Holiday, and announce her induction on her 100th birthday," said Alan Rubens, Chairman of the PMA. "It will be an absolute pleasure to be able to walk down Broad Street and see her name where it rightfully belongs, on the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame, with other homegrown jazz giants like John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, and Grover Washington Jr.”



Holiday was born Elinore Harris on April 7, 1915 in Philadelphia General Hospital in West Philadelphia. As the official marker on Lombard Street (west of Broad Street from the Pennsylvania Historical Museum and Commission) says, “[S]he was called the greatest jazz vocalist of her time. Starting in 1933, she recorded with Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson, and others. Notable songs include ‘Lover Man,’ ‘Strange Fruit.’”



As Philadelphia’s own Jill Scott tells Vanity Fair: “Billie Holiday is guts. She is guts, and pain, and challenges. She is the sweetest pain…. Her voice gave me permission to have pain on a record. To convey the heart’s heart. To be able to sing songs about what is happening in society, as well. She did all this with a lot of freedom. There wasn't a bunch of production. It was just Billie Holiday, being herself. All the miseries and all the wounds, and then reporting it, basically, to society. That is an artist. There is a difference between being an entertainer and an artist, and Billie Holiday is a true artist.”



CLOSING NOTES --- Great to see photographers Bobby Bank, Derek Storm; PR-pasha David Salidor; and, writer Brad Balfour at the Gloria Reuben event last night . . .



Well, concert albums in Japan may be a rock-band cliche (see Deep Purple’s Made in Japan or Cheap Trick’s 1978 live album recorded at Budokan) . . . but within two minutes of listening to the new Van Halen live album Tokyo Dome Live in Concert, it’s clear that Van Halen (with original frontman David Lee Roth standing front and center, and speaking fluent Japanese at certain quiet points in the show) is back with a vengeance. Recorded in June 2013 before 44,000 adoring fans, this is as much proof as anyone might need to know that the VH machine is ready to do some fairly incredible shows this summer. Roth may not be able to hit some of the high notes, or yelp out that banshee cry, but he sure knows how to give one hell of a show. Glad to have the band back . . .



We work right near where Hillary Clinton is about to open her new campaign HQ in Brooklyn and it’ll be interesting to see what happens. I predict a mess, for sure . . .




Thursday, April 09, 2015

THE STARS 'VIVID CABARET' WANTS ON STRIP POLES

Vivid Cabaret



In an unscientific poll of the Vivid Cabaret New York Girls, the gorgeous entertainers -- legendary for their ability to dazzle audiences with their sexy moves on the city's tallest stripper pole (26 feet) -- reveal their top choices of celebrities who they'd want to to see join them for a topless performance on stage. The list includes famous beauties from fashion, Hollywood, music and pro women's wrestling.



"I'd love to strip with Scarlett Johansson," purred Vivid Cabaret NYC Girl Erika. "She's got amazing hair and a hot body, yet she's kinda innocent at the same time."



Here's who made the list:



Scarlett Johansson

Kate Upton

Rihanna

WWE Diva "Paige"

Katy Perry



"Climbing the pole at Vivid Cabaret is really fun but might be a little scary at first," said Vivid Cabaret NYC Girl Tina. "If any of these girls are afraid of heights, they can just give me a lap dance instead. Ha ha!"



Vivid Cabaret is the New York home of the Vivid Adult Movie Stars and the sister club to the world famous Rick's Cabaret NYC, located just four blocks away. Vivid Cabaret NYC constantly receives praise for its warm hospitality and amenities. The club features Private Deluxe Suites fashioned by internationally known designers, and the first of its kind "VIP Ultra Lounge." The Roof Deck Cigar Lounge and Garden is a favorite spot for celebrity, business, and private catered events.


MAMIE GUMMER & LILY RABE @ CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA

Lily Rabe



Ryan Morgan



Mamie Gummer



Mamie Gummer along with Ryan Morgan and Lily Rabe were snapped at the 'Clouds Of Sils Maria' New York Special Screening at the Tribeca Grand Hotel the other day in New York City.


TAVIS SMILEY AND LARRY KING TALK HILLARY CLINTON



Larry King With Tavis Smiley




Below is a transcript of a short clip from PoliticKING with Larry King. This week’s guest, Tavis Smiley, sounds off on his opinion of Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016.



KING: Will Bush-Clinton be a same-old same-old.



SMILEY: Oh it could never be the same-old, same-old. This is going to be, if it turns out to be there.



KING: Yea



SMILEY: I think these are still both foregone conclusions though, I think they’re foregone conclusions.



KING: About the nominations even?



SMILEY: Yeah well I think they’re - they’re certainly both going to run but I think we’re getting ahead of ourselves if we think that they’re necessarily going to be the two nominees. I think there’s a chance that might not happen number one. But secondly, I just think it’s a huge mistake, and I love Hillary Clinton she’s a personal friend, I think I can say that, but I think it’s a huge mistake for the Democratic Party to coronate her. You know, this is an election, it’s not an auction; it ought not go to the highest bidder. You’re not the queen. You ought not be coroneted here. This is an election. And I think that she is going to be a much better candidate in the general election if she really has to run the field in the primary.



KING: You’d like to see the O’Malley’s and the Warren’s?



SMILEY: For her sake, for her sake, and for the party’s sake, and for the country’s sake. I think that would serve her better, serve the party better, serve the country better. And I’m not sure what kind of - there’s going to be a lot of enthusiasm about her running as the first woman to be the nominee if she gets this but I also think that when you don’t have another - when you don’t have any primary challenges then the media has nothing else to focus on but what? But you. So the pressure on her and the intensity is going to be worse than she could ever imagine.



ABOUT POLITICKING



Larry King, the legendary Emmy Award Winner and Peabody Award Winner, brings you inside the political arena every week on PoliticKING. With headline-making personalities, the hottest issues, behind-the-scenes scoops, and no-holds-barred debates, no one does politics like The King.



PoliticKING airs on cable TV every Tuesday and Thursday at 6 pm, 9 pm, and 11 pm ET on RT America. The show is available on demand online at Ora.tv and Hulu.com.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

RITA MORENO AT THE 2015 HISPANIC FEDERATION GALA

Rita Moreno



Screen and Broadway legend Rita Moreno attended the 2015 Hispanic Federation Gala at The Waldorf Astoria tonight in New York City.



Tuesday, April 07, 2015

DAVID LYNCH LEAVES 'TWIN PEAKS' SHOWTIME PROJECT

****
THE GLORIOUS CORNER

Story By: By G. H. HARDING
****
Nile Rodgers





MAD MEN CLOSING OUT --- While binging on the last cycle of AMC’s Mad Men yesterday afternoon, before its premiere of the last seven episodes, we couldn’t help but note yet again just how wonderful they were and how much stronger they were made by the sterling acting of the show’s entire cast.



With most of the episodes crafted by MM creator Matt Weiner; they seemed to approach Shakespearean proportions of theme and mood throughout. Terrifically dazzling.



It has been a great ride and the show is, without a doubt, one of the best things ever on TV . . . network or otherwise.



Hunkered down for the first ep, titled The Severance, it was great albeit a tad confusing since it jumped ahead in time somewhat, with the Sterling Cooper partners now part of a giant conglomerate, yet operating pretty much on their own.



I’ve watched almost every ep at least twice, often getting more out of the second viewing. I think this opening episode clearly falls into that category. It’s going to be a great final ride.



PEAKS UPDATE --- David Lynch – who co-created the original and iconic Twin Peaks TV series, directed the 1992 cult-fave feature film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, and was set to direct the recently-announced upcoming Showtime revival – has left the project, according to an announcement he made via Twitter last night.



The filmmaker also said the project may still be very much alive at the cablenet.



“Dear Twitter Friends, Showtime did not pull the plug on ‘Twin Peaks,'” Lynch wrote in a series of tweets. “After 1 year and 4 months of negotiations, I left because not enough money was offered to do the script the way I felt it needed to be done.”



“This weekend, I started to call actors to let them know I would not be directing,” he went on. “ ‘Twin Peaks’ may still be very much alive at Showtime. I love the world of ‘Twin Peaks’ and wish things could have worked out differently.”



Lynch’s announcement came after reports surfaced this week that the project was dead. Showtime issued a statement on Lynch later on, saying it hopes to still bring back Twin Peaks in all its glory.



“We were saddened to read David Lynch’s statement today since we believed we were working towards solutions with David and his reps on the few remaining deal points,” they said in the statement. “Showtime also loves the world of ‘Twin Peaks’ and we continue to hold out hope that we can bring it back in all its glory with both of its extraordinary creators, David Lynch and Mark Frost, at its helm.”



Showtime announced the revival last October. Lynch and co-creator Mark Frost have already penned all nine episodes, and Lynch was originally set to direct them all as well. They also announced in January that Kyle MacLachlan would reprise his role as FBI agent Dale Cooper.



Twin Peaks was set to go into production this year, eyeing a 2016 premiere date.



My take: The additional funds will magically appear, and Lynch will be back in the driver’s seat . . . I mean, how could he not? He is Twin Peaks!



WHAT NILE WANTS --- While the 62-year-old musician/producer Nile Rodgers first found fame in ‘70s disco group Chic - who recently unveiled their new single, “I'll Be There” – he is planning a host of other things on his platter:



While he has collaborated with a whole host of big names throughout his career – penning tracks for the likes of Diana Ross and producing music for David Bowie and Daft Punk among others – there's one artist he'd really like to team up with as of late:



“I've also become the biggest Miley Cyrus fan on the planet. I've watched her sing live twice—my jaw dropped!" he said recently. “Have I ever thought about working with a contemporary rock band? The Strokes are awesome, and I like Arctic Monkeys a lot too. I'd most like to do the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I've always dug them for some reason.”



Madonna is another star Nile has worked with, after lending his expertise to her album Like a Virgin. He'd welcome the chance to collaborate with her again, though he thinks it would be nothing like it was the first time around. (Rumors flew back in the day that when he was approached to produce that breakthrough record in 1984, his advance was a cool million upfront—in cash!)



Nile also shared who he thinks is the funkiest man alive, naming the pop sensation Prince after having a "ridiculous" guitar duo with him recently.



CYNTHIA PASSES --- Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and Yoko Ono have posted their thoughts on Cynthia Lennon (John Lennon’s first wife), following her death last week at age 75.



McCartney said, “The news of Cynthia’s passing is very sad. She was a lovely lady who I’ve known since our early days together in Liverpool. She was a good mother to Julian and will be missed by us all, but I will always have great memories of our times together.”



In a statement, Yoko Ono wrote, “I’m very saddened by Cynthia’s death. She was a great person and a wonderful mother to Julian. She had such a strong zest for life and I felt proud how we two women stood firm in the Beatles family. Please join me in sending love and support to Julian at this very sad time.”



Ringo Starr tweeted: Peace and love to Julian Lennon God bless Cynthia love Ringo and Barbaraxx.



Cynthia and Lennon married on August 23, 1962. George Harrison and Paul McCartney attended the service. Beatles manager Brian Epstein was the Best Man at the ceremony.



Their son, John Charles Julian Lennon, was born on April 8, 1963. They divorced on November 8, 1968 and John married Yoko on March 20, 1969.



Cynthia died after a short battle with cancer at her home in Spain, with her son Julian by her side.



CLOSING NOTES --- Micky and lovely wife Donna Dolenz spotted at Saturday’s Johnny Mathis Concert at Disney Concert Hall in L. A. . . . Manager Ken Levy at Traif for Passover dinner Friday night . . .



On April 12, 2015, UPtv presents the exclusive premiere of The Music in Me, starring Debbie Gibson and Gloria Reuben (TV’s ER). The made-for-TV film is an uplifting musical drama about a small-town girl who gave up her dreams of performing, only to rediscover her joy of singing and songwriting as an adult through her work with a failing church choir. Gibson has written and performs the film’s original song, “Promises.” Gloria Reuben’s new album, Perchance to Dream, is out (MCG Records) and is formally launched this Thursday at NYC’s Metropolitan Room . . .



James Spader's character Red Reddington getting shot on last week's The Blacklist? Methinks it all a distraction, as earlier in the show he announced, “It's time to disappear.” The show's away for two weeks, then it returns.