Monthly Archives: May 2012

Wednesday Night’s Hollywood Preview of Snow White and The Huntsman

by Tracey Paleo

So many prophesies, so little time to fulfill.  And oh, how we love the predictable.  But should she keep her clothes on or off seemed to be the opening theme of Snow White and The Huntsman, Universal Pictures, marginally virginal, and far too thin version of this fairytale classic.

Anyone who has been watching the TV series, Once Upon A Time, will by now have gone way beyond settling for the Disney version of this updated allegory.  So why did Hollywood decide to produce a virtually all Brit cast film, with Frodo style dwarfs, action packed dark forces and enough magical forest sans the unicorns and rainbows (although there were fairies), that could test the limits of even a 6 year old’s imagination? We’ve kind of seen it before.

It could have been a much more story driven movie.  Instead, Snow White and the Huntsman for all of the great actors involved, fantastic editing, excellent direction, great musical score by James Newton Howard and props to the filmmaker and effects, somehow decided to forego a real script with any depth.  So much talent wasted on trivial line readings of every kind of do-over of a verse one could imagine. Even Charlize Theron’s effortless beauty could not enhance the fluff enough.  And really, we wished she had more to do besides be bad in ways that confused us with her virtually unwielded powers that continued to mystify by way of being used or unused, it seemed, in all the wrong moments.  It would have been much more awesome to have had a more cunning than insecure Queen.

The upside is, if you loved the Thor-meister Chris Helmsworth, you will not be disappointed here apart from the fact that he didn’t have enough to act.  Rachael Sterling (daughter of legendary actress Diana Rigg) brought depth to the miniscule time she was given on screen along with a host of other well known talents such as Bob Hoskins, Eddie Marsan and Toby Jones to name a few, who brought an although expected comic effect, never-the-less kept us well entertained.

Then there was Kristen Stewart whose entire often bare and eventually chainmailed shoulders this picture’s success rested upon.  As I sat watching the credits discussing the particulars with some of my more illustrious film critic friends in the audience, the conclusion was that although Ms. Stewart was an obvious choice and did a fine job of embracing the role, it was unfortunately flat.  If you are looking for any sort of emotional weight, you won’t be finding it here.

Overall, Snow White and the Huntsman is an entertaining flick with definitely some great visual screen moments and worth the ticket for younger crowds.  Adults can opt to stay home for this one.

Opening in theaters on June 1st.  Check your local listings.

Reviewed by Tracey Paleo

MORE MOVIE REVIEWS:

What Ever Happened To Victoria Winters – Dark Shadows Gets Kitchy

The Most Anticipated Movie Sequel in 2012 – SodaHead predictions

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Road Trips Just Got Easier with America’s first Chain Restaurant Food Guide

Summertime means family road trips. Each rest stop and eatery provides dozens of food options with only one shot to get the meal right – and please all members of the family.   Too many similar choices make for a dining disaster

Josh Dinar, cofounder and publisher of DiningOut magazine, has just put out the new pocket guide, Good, Better, Best Dining Out: A No-Nonsense Guide to America’s Favorite Chain Restaurants, the first book to review and rate 30 of America’s favorite chain eateries. The pocket-sized book is perfect for travel and is ready to inspire diners with its delicious meal suggestions, easy-to-find references, and multitude of options.

A very serious treat — Josh let Gia On The Move ask a few interesting questions about the guide and about travel food, organic, vegan options and what’s really out there.  Browsing through was actually pretty neat and plenty mouthwatering:

GOTM:  Family road trips. They can be totally exciting or a total disaster. Where does food fit in all of this to begin with?

JOSH:  Everyone has to eat, and when kids are hungry they will make a lot of noise—which can make driving a painful undertaking. We didn’t cover this in the book, as it fell below our price window, but we prefer the growing ubiquity of Starbucks along our nation’s highways. The food is lighter, cheaper, and less processed than a lot of what we found at sit-down chain eateries. That being said, sometimes a plate of fries, a bundle of crayons and a paper menu is the only thing that will bring balance to a car-weary kiddo.

GOTM:  How did you get the idea for this book?

JOSH:  The idea came from a conversation about the beauty of consistency—specifically a vacation abroad that wreaked havoc on our gastrointestinal system and ended with a particularly heavenly visit to a Chili’s.

GOTM:  Organic, Vegan, Gluten Free. These are all hot button words in food today. What DID you actually find out there? Were you disappointed? Excited? Why?

JOSH:  Rather meager selections, honestly. Most chain restaurants will provide good allergen information on their dishes that extends to gluten, but organic and vegan options are hard to come by. Organic is sort of an all-or-nothing endeavor. For instance, people won’t be too jazzed by an organic chicken breast served with conventionally grown greens and potatoes. We like to think chain restaurants will be moving in that direction eventually, however. Because gluten-free dining is still a rapidly growing dining trend—and a necessity for celiacs—it was probably the best-represented dietary realm.

GOTM:  Did you see any breakthroughs in chain food culture during your adventures?

JOSH:  Nothing particularly revelatory. We did notice more places adding “No Trans Fat” demarcations to their menus, which was always heartening.

GOTM:  Is ‘fresh’ a real thing you can get at a chain restaurant or is that just another fancy label?

JOSH:  Fancy label, mostly. Granted, some of the food is fresh—take the lobsters at Red Lobster, for example—but because most of the menu items don’t change throughout the year, ingredients are seldom local or seasonal, meaning they move long distances in refrigerated trailers.

GOTM:  What would you like to see more of on the road?

JOSH:  Lighter fare. Not to be crude, but eating fried and/or greasy foods on a road trip can make for too many emergency pit stops.

GOTM:  Are there any particular food chain trends happening to watch out for—good or bad?

JOSH:  Boneless chicken wings will rule in 2012.

GOTM:  Finally, any particular favorites of your own?

JOSH:  Waffle House. No pretense; most of them have a jukebox; open 24 hours; grits!

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Good, Better, Best Dining Out contains everything a hungry family needs to know about the nation’s most popular restaurants. The book is divided by broad categories and supplies Good, Better, and Best options for each:

  • Restaurant profiles with the best dishes from each
  • Restaurant type: American, Mexican, Italian, Asian, etc
  • Top breakfasts, appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts
  • The best Gluten-free, low-calorie, and vegetarian options
  • Family friendly and eco-friendly favorites

“Our goal was to create a guide that people could use quickly and efficiently no matter where they live or travel,” explains author, as well as cofounder and publisher of DiningOut magazine, Josh Dinar.

Hungry for a burger? Take the guesswork out of finding the tastiest option by opening to the “American Entrees” chapter and reviewing the burgers page.

Good: Hard Rock Café’s S.O.B. Burger

Better: T.G.I. Friday’s Kansas City BBQ Burger

Best: Red Robin’s Bleu Ribbon Burger

The chosen “good,” “better,” and “best,” options are each standouts and “best” was rarely an easy call by Dinar and the DiningOut magazine team. All the restaurant brands surveyed for the book are full-service and have at least 75 domestic locations spread across all regions of the country.

About the Author

Josh Dinar (Boulder, Colo.) is cofounder and publisher of DiningOut magazine, a network of North American regional dining publications. He has written for many publications and websites, including SKI Magazine, Delicious Living, Natural Foods Merchandiser, and Wild Blue Yonder (Frontier Airlines’ in-flight magazine). He has authored a pictorial history of Denver entitled Denver Then & Now. Josh is on the board of directors of Lighthouse Writers in Denver and is a co-owner of H BurgerCO, a small chain of American grills in Colorado.

Good, Better, Best Dining Out: A No-Nonsense Guide to America’s Favorite Chain Restaurants

Buy it on Amazon today: http://www.amazon.com/Good-Better-Best-Dining-Out/dp/1615641432

Josh Dinar

March 2012, $14.95

ISBN: 9781615641437

Alpha Books

(March 2012, $14.95, ISBN: 9781615641437, Alpha Books).

Let the Bidding Begin: The Whitney Museum of Art – Art Party Auction Now Online

The 2012 Art Party Auction is open for online bidding! Browse art by current Biennial artists such as K8 Hardy, Andrew Masullo, and LaToya Ruby Frazier, as well as work by renowned artists like Max Snow, E.V. Day, and Liz Magic Lazer, among many others. Bid or “Buy Now” before the online auction concludes at 9 pm on June 5, or continue your bidding in person at the Art Party on June 6. Tickets for the Art Party on June 6 can be purchased online.

The Art Party Auction supports the Whitney Museum’s education programs, including our famed Independent Study Program, which counts artists such as Jenny Holzer and Glenn Ligon among its alumni.

Tee’s For Tuesday

It’s Tuesday morning.  Back to work after the lazy days of the Memorial Weekend and bummer — I have nothing to wear?  Ah, yes you do…with Tee’s for Tuesday.

T-shirts are a great staple. You can dress them up with heels or under a blazer, dress them down or look cute and work out in them.  And the unique T-shirts from Lifetime Collective will help any outfit and keep you connected to your inner, earthy, weekend wild child!  Check out this brand with edge.

LifetimeCollective.com

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More Fashion Trends This Summer:
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There’s Still Time To Dine-Out-For-Charity in May!

Each time you dine out at 10,000+ restaurants, a donation will go to your favorite charity!

New Yorkers Click Here to Find Restaurants in Your Area: http://www.gooddining.com/search.htm?q=New+York%2C+NY&e=

Angelenos Click Here to Find Restaurants in Hollywood: http://www.gooddining.com/search.htm?q=Hollywood%2C+CA&e=

Saving the environment, helping homeless animals, finding a cure for cancer, buying books for schools….people across the country will be doing all of these things and more each time they dine out at one of 10,000+ restaurants this May.  May 2012 is the first ever National Dine-Out-for-Charity month.

Here’s how it works:  GoodDining.com includes 10,000+ restaurants across the country that will donate 3.5% or 6% (depending on how often you dine out) of the diner’s bill, including tax and tip, back to the charity or school of the diner’s choice.  Yes, that’s any charity or school the diner chooses from GoodDining’s list of over 105,000 – whether that be a large national organization like The American Red Cross or a local cause like a neighborhood dog rescue or homeless shelter.  We can provide you with a list of participating restaurants and nonprofits in your area!

 And, in celebration of National Dine out for Charity Month, users that sign up in May and spend $30 at a participating restaurant within 60 days of signing up, will earn a $5 bonus donation for their favorite cause. This is in addition to earning a donation of up to 6% of their bill year-round.

This is an incredibly simple and free way for people to support a cause that is close to their heart.  Diners simply visit GoodDining.com to register and choose the organization they’d like to support. Then they dine at one of the participating restaurants, bars and clubs. When they pay with their registered card at the participating restaurants, the donation is automatically made.

So, if you’’re going out with your spouse for a nice dinner, grabbing pizza with the kids, getting some drinks after work, you could be helping to make this world a better place by supporting a cause you care about at the same time.

GoodDining is a new product from GoodSearch.com, a company that partners with over 105,000 charities and schools to enable people to change the world through simple everyday actions like searching the web (powered by Yahoo), shopping online (over 2,500 stores nationwide), and now dining out. The GoodDining program was built in partnership with Rewards NetworkSM, a leading provider of restaurant marketing services and dining rewards programs for major frequent flyer programs and other affinity organizations.

So, please go enjoy a meal during National Dine out for Charity Month in May ‘12 and help the cause that is closest to your heart.

Though You Slay Me at The Merry Karnowsky Gallery

MERRY KARNOWSKY GALLERY PROUDLY PRESENTS

Though You Slay Me, the latest solo exhibition by Edward Walton Wilcox from May 26 – June 23, 2012 with an opening reception on Saturday, May 26th form 8-11pm.

THE ARTIST WILL BE IN ATTENDANCE

This exhibition serves to reaffirm that Wilcox represents the continuation, if not evolution of the multi-talented Renaissance man, achieving an absolute mastery of craftsmanship across a vast swathe of mediums and disciplines. Though his Gothic and almost archaic technique betrays a romantic affinity for the legacy of his craft, without a doubt Wilcox brings us something new, captivating and disquieting.

If one squeezed the collected works of Edgar Allen Poe hard enough to transmute words into paint and meld this essence with the stark piety of the Dutch masters, then you’d have something fairly close to Wilcox’s vision for Though You Slay Me. Thematically and actually, darkness is all pervasive. It saturates his palette of amber tints, ember reds, sulfur yellows, decaying sepia tones; it manifests itself in the form of dilapidated windmills, the looming mortality of skeletons and beautiful things rendered unsettlingly.

Collectively, his paintings and hand-crafted installations ensnare us and pull us into the depths of an alternative future reality. In this future, our age’s obsession for constant technological progress has given way to the pursuit of the utopian ideal of a morally and spiritually balanced universe. Evoked through Wilcox’s agency, the inmates of this world peer out at us, their intensity blurring the line between the reality of the room and Wilcox’s fantasy. Try as we might, we cannot help but immerse ourselves and engage with their mute divulgences.

Superstition and the spirits of the distant past lurk here; but where the sixteenth century had Bosch to guide us through the dark – we have Wilcox.

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Originally from West Palm Beach, Florida, Wilcox now resides in California. He graduated with a BFA from the University of Florida, receiving High Honors and the Presidential Award for Artistic Excellence. Since then his work has been featured across the United States and Europe and appeared in publications such as The LA Times, Juxtapoz, Coagula Art Journal and FLAUNT Magazine

THOUGH YOU SLAY ME

MERRY KARNOWSKY GALLERY

170 S. LA BREA AVENUE

LOS ANGELES, CA 90036

http://www.mkgallery.com

The Visceral Company Presents Henry James: The Turn of the Screw

Amelia Gotham and Nich KauffmanIt’s all about perception and lighting in the newest adaptation of Henry James The Turn of the Screw  currently being presented by the Visceral  Company at The Underground Theatre in Hollywood, CA.

In The Turn of the Screw, a young woman is sent to a desolate English manor house to care for two recently orphaned children.  As the new governess settles in, she learns of the illicit affair between her predecessor and the estate’s wicked valet – and their tragic deaths.  Ghostly apparitions  of the duo have her convinced that their spirits have returned, with sinister plans for the children.  But, the insurmountable question is, are the ghosts real, or only in her mind?

The Turn of the Screw is considered to be a Henry James novella where the chief character, the governess, is written, and left to be surmised by audiences, as both a heroine and a villain.  In all of the years and all of the versions of the play, which coincidentally, has even been featured as an opera, it has never been decided by the critics whether or not the governess is insane, or that she actually saw the ghosts that cause her suspicions with the children or the housekeeper Mrs. Grose.

The story is laced with latent sexual undertones.  It is said that the valet, Peter Quint’s character as gauged originally by Victorian readers was actually seen by them as a child molester.  Indeed, throughout this story it is more than suggested that Peter Quint had a sexual hold on everyone starting with Ms. Jessel, the former governess, with whom he had engaged in an ongoing, physical, immorality.  This emotional ‘turn of the screw’ plays upon the fragile mind of the new governess.  It eventually incites a deep violence within her as well as the children, leading to the demise of the household entirely.

There is a back history of the story within this play.  Mile’s expulsion from school, by his own admonition, was because he ‘knew’ things other boys didn’t.  It is this admission that begins an other-worldly battle between good and evil webbed by a series of riddles in the fight to protect the beautiful, untouched innocence of the children.  And as the governess sees them as innocent, at first  the children’s orchestrated pranks seem only to stem from a desire to have their uncle come down to visit them – something they also know the governess wants.  How to construe the facts, is what the governess cannot decide.

Nich Kauffman and Amelia Gotham in The Turn of the Screw

We begin with a traditional story telling style forth wall broken, characters directly speaking with the audience.  From the start, the play is in the full force of its malevolence and sexual carnality as the opening scene between the governess and her new employer more than suggests seduction between the two.  They even talk of the children themselves seducing her with their loveliness – or will it be the other way around.  There is a definite wicked attraction between them.

 

Born to the family of a strict, cold, somber pastor, and bred with a stoic religious upbringing everything about her imminent undertaking is beguiling to this young woman.  She has never experienced anything so imaginative before except for Bible stories, interrupted by the rare and secret occasional fiction which her father,  would burn, when discovered.

The one edict she is given, is that she never, under any circumstances, contact her employer about the children, their welfare, education or anything else about or going on at the estate.  It is this occasion that brings about a quick devolution of  her spirit and innocent mind.

Left entirely alone with nothing to cling to but her own reflection in her bedroom mirror (a fascination she had never known until now, never having been allowed a mirror before), her reason, will and determination become fierce weapons that will ‘save’ them all. Because … “There is nothing like a child in pain” …and it must be stopped.

This production introduces us to the phenomenal talents of actor Nich Kauffman who brilliantly and without exception plays the man, the boy (Miles), the girl (Flora) who never actually speaks, the employer, and Mrs. Grose the housekeeper.  Mr. Kauffman’s performance, his exposition of character work, delivery and speech, is, in a word ‘un-paralleled.’ His co-star, Amelia Gotham who plays the feverish governess is uncanny and breathtakingly beautiful, with a heady emotional life that effusively weaves this story .  Well directed, hilarious wit and ‘adapted’ repartee allow this production to fly, to dash, to dart, in an accelerated pace that culminates in a confrontation between the ghosts and the governess in a final delirious expiation and triumph over the evil of Peter Quint.

The drama of The Turn of the Screw is incredibly intensified by the lighting in this production designed by Dave Sousa, a 2011 LA Weekly Theatre Award Nominee.  At a chance meeting outside the theatre before the show, Mr. Sousa spoke about how much detail went into creating the effects, mood and scene changes.  “I normally don’t get to be this creative.  But this being a two person show, there is a lot more than can be done in a lighting design.  It’s a lot of fun. It’s also a lot more specific” – a fact made clear by how many changes I viewed during the show which were indispensably effective.

Minimal set design by Tyler Aaron worked very well and bared no interference.  Historically accurate costuming by Erica D. Schwartz also set the tone.

Directed by Dan Spurgeon.  Adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher.

THE TURN OF THE SCREW

Now Playing at

The Underground Theatre, 1312 N. Wilton Place, Hollywood, CA 90028

Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8pm - Through June 9, 2012

Tickets: $15 Thursdays, $20 Fridays and Saturdays

Advanced tickets and information available at: http://www.thevisceralcompany.com

Run time 90 minutes.  No intermission.

Ajkun Ballet Theatre’s World Premiere of ‘RED’

 Red is the color of beauty, love and passion.  This Night of Passion and Tango promises entertainment and surprises through the energy of dance.
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Don’t Miss Out on Ajkun Ballet Theatre’s
WORLD PREMIERE of
~RED~
The Passion of Tango
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 8:00pm
Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 8:00pm
Friday, May 25, 2012 at 8:00pm
MMAC Theater in NYC
(248 West 60th Street – Lincoln Center Area – NYC)
Tickets Online: www.SmartTix.com
By Phone: 212-868-4444
 
Choreography by Leonard Ajkun
with Opening by Chiara Ajkun
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Featuring The Artists of the Ajkun Ballet Theatre:
Brittany Larrimer, Taylor Kindred, Marcello Bernard,
Allyne King, Ramon Thielen, Royce Zackery,
Ichiko Nakajima, Geena Pacareu, William Blanken,
and the Corps de Ballet of Ajkun Ballet Theatre
Come dressed in Red to join in the Fun!
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COMING UP THIS SEASON…
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*Red world premiere
Dance in Italy Festival in Igea Marina di Bellaria
June 25 – 30, 2012
July 22, 2012 Sunday at 7:30pm
 Egg Performing Arts Center in Albany
1 Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY, 12220
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*Don Quixote Full Length Ballet
August 11, 2012 - Saturday at 7:30pm
Egg Performing Arts Center in Albany
1 Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY, 12220
Tickets: Online at TheEgg.org or By Phone at (518) 473-1845
August 17, 2012 - Friday at 7:30pm
Hostos Center for Arts in The Bronx
450 Grand Concourse (at 149th Street), New York, NY 10451
Tickets: Online at SmartTix.com or By Phone at (212) 868-4444
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*A Matinee with the Dancers
For AjkunBT’s Face to Face Series
Egg Performing Arts Center in Albany
1 Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY, 12220
August 7, 2012 - Tuesday at 10:30am
Free Admission! No Reservation Required.
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*Mixed Bill Featuring two contemporary works by Ellen Sinopoli and excerpts from Don Quixote
for AjkunBT’s Face to Face Series
August 15 & 16, 2012
Wednesday & Thursday at 6:30pm
City Center Studios in New York City
130 West 56th Street (between 6th & 7th Avenues)
Tickets: Online at SmartTix.com or By Phone at (212) 868-4444
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DID YOU KNOW…?
Ajkun Ballet Theatre will launch our first annual
New York Winter Festival January 7 – 12, 2013!

Stella by Starlight Honors Harry Belafonte and James Earl Jones with a Star Studded Affair at The Players Club New York City

Stella Adler Award recipient James Earl Jones at the Players Club New York City on May 20, 2012
Gia was On The Move, this Sunday evening, May 20th, with the help of  New York City colleague and media correspondent, Janet Arneau, of What’s Your Problem, TV, stepping into the spotlight at, The  Stella Adler Studio of Acting Seventh Annual Stella by Starlight Benefit Gala, at the Players Club in New York City, which turned out stars and sophistication at this glamorous event.

Marlon Brando Award recipient, Harry Belafonte

This year’s honorees included Grammy and Emmy Award Winner Harry Belafonte who received the Marlon Brando Award, and Academy®, Emmy and Tony Award Winner James Earl Jones, who received “The Stella Adler Award.”

Other honorees included, Tony Winner Daryl Roth and television and radio host Ed Schultz, who both received “The Harold Clurman Spirit Award,” and CEO for the Americas, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Masa Tanaka, who was given “The Stella Adler Corporate Award.”
All funds raised from the evening will be used to support the studio’s charitable programs including Outreach Division Program, which provides free actor training to low-income, inner-city youth. The Outreach Division has served and trained more than 3,000 students since its inception in 2004.

Packed to the “gills” a mixed crowd attended the Stella by Starlight Gala in support of Stella Adler charitable fund raising programs for actors

“I am especially honored by the commitment of our prestigious honorees at Stella by Starlight this year. Each in their own way, Harry Belafonte, James Earl Jones, Daryl Roth, Ed Schultz and Masa Tanaka are groundbreakers who held fast to courageous positions, confronted injustice or atrocity and paved new paths that made important differences in our time,” Artistic Director of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, Tom Oppenheim, stated. “They are wonderful role models for young theater artists who must fortify themselves with a commitment to truth, beauty and the conviction that they have a voice that can and will make a difference for the audiences they serve.”

Over the years, the Stella by Starlight Gala has honored some of the most distinguished artists in the entertainment and media industries. They have included Whoopi Goldberg, Liz Smith, Warren Beatty, Liza Minelli, Martin Sheen, Annette Bening, Harold Bloom, Tony Kushner, Elaine Stritch, Sidney Lumet, Ruby Dee, the late Ozzie Davis and the late Roy Scheider, as well as other key entertainment, theatrical and business leaders.

Cynthia Adler, of the Adler family acting dynasty

Since 1949, The Stella Adler Studio of Acting has been the premier actor training program in New York City and around the country. They have trained thousands of actors and artists, including the likes of Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Elaine Stritch, Benicio del Toro, Alvin Ailey, and Salma Hayek. The studio encourages its students to be well-versed in not only theater, art, music and literature, but also to be involved in social, humanitarian and community-related issues.

About The Stella Adler Studio of Acting: The Stella Adler Studio of Acting is an acting school based in New York City. The actress and teacher Stella Adler founded the Studio in 1949. Adler founded the Studio on her belief in the seriousness of her art. Adler and the school have trained many of the brilliant actors of our time. The Stella Adler Studio of Acting is a nonprofit organization, which trains over 500 actors annually. The Studio also presents public lectures, poetry readings, concerts, theater performances, dance theater events and an annual arts festival.www.stellaadler.com
Contributed by Editor Tracey Paleo in association with Janet Arneau
 

The Model Critic Reviews Ellison Ballet

Erez Milatin in "Last Man", reviewed by Carlos Stafford, The Model Critic

Erez Milatin in “Last Man”, choreography by Jason Ambrose

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Reviewed by Carlos Stafford, The Model Critic
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The Ellison Ballet Spring Showcase 2012 had a rousing performance last Saturday night at the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center.  In an evening of classical and contemporary ballet, the students delivered a pleasing amalgam of well-chosen pieces that showcased their remarkable abilities.
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A sampling of romantic duets to music by Chopin opened the program–Waltz, Scherzo, Minute Waltz, and Nocturne –with nuanced and delicate partnering. Sara Ezzell–David Hochberg, Sarah Tryon–Jason Ambrose, and Lauren Archer-Louis Picuira-de Pimodan painted beautiful languorous and evocative shapes in Nocturne, while the men in their solos, and ensemble work were outstanding in the Finale–bold and confident.  All appeared well-rehearsed and sharp in their intentions.
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As the evening proceeded, there were a few brilliant performances. Ka’imi Cambern was technically exacting in the “Variations from Flower Festival at Genzano” executing the difficult Bournonville style with attack and elevation, and added haughtiness. We were also presented with “Variations from Don Quixote,” by Erez-Ben Zion Milatin, who matador straight, bold, and strong, danced with panache.
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But perhaps the best pure dance performance of the evening was by Leonid Khrapunsky, in “If Only.”
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Dance being one of the primal arts was certainly in evidence here. With contemporary choreography to percussion instruments only, Mr. Khrapunsky viscerally interpreted the beats with elemental and animal athleticism;  with a quick tempo, and intense, expressionistic movement encompassing a lightly woven theme and variation, he electrified the audience thoroughly.
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And there was more!  Closing the program was a thoroughly engaging “Gypsy Dance from Don Quixote.”
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Music by Minkus, choreography by Larisa Calero after Marius Petipa, and Gypsy Solo choreography by Kasyan Goleizovsky.  This turned out to be the piece de resistance for the evening.  What was good? Everything. Lauren Archer, the music, guitar solos, sexy costumes, big wild hair with flowers, all added up to a true mood of a gypsy camp; like swans, you can never have too many gypsies.  Everyone likes the myth of the gypsies, and they are found everywhere from India, Romania, to Spain  These were of a Russian variety.
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Lauren Archer provocatively captured the Spanish passion and essence of her character, and danced with wild abandonment as she displayed a flexible, pliant, and expressive body.  The choreography sizzled, and the corps of fellow gypsies were wild and beautiful, as gypsies should be.
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After having seen the Ellison school perform a few seasons ago, I must say the men were stronger and better prepared than ever before.  The women were also sharp and displayed a maturity that was evident, say in “Fan Dance from La Bayadere,” where they all appeared in harmonious unison in another Minkus score.
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In a word, the energy, commitment and dedication all showed through, and one lucky graduate, David Hochberg was accepted into the Sarasota Ballet Company.  Well done and congratulations!
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A lovely reception followed, where dancers, former dancers, instructors, family members and balletomanes socialized after an exciting evening.
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Ellison Dance in Rehearsal:  I LOVE DANCE!
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READ OTHER BALLET REVIEWS BY THE MODEL CRITIC
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Get Your Monthly Tongue & Groove LA

Tongue & Groove

A monthly offering of short fiction, personal essays, poetry, spoken word + music. Produced by Conrad Romo and featuring: Chiwan ChoiAbductions, Ed Lin One Red Bastard, Traci Kato Kiriyama, Suzanne Whang and musical guest Meiko

Sunday May 20th
6-7:30 pm
The Hotel Cafe
1623 1/2 N. Cahuenga Blvd.
Hollywood, Ca 90028
$6.00

Chiwan Choi is a writer, editor, teacher, and publisher.
Abductions is his second book of poetry.

Ed Lin is the author of WaylaidThis Is a Bust and Snakes Can’t Run. Lin, who is of Taiwanese and Chinese descent, is the first author to win three Asian American Literary Awards. The native New Yorker’s latest book is One Red Bastard, by Minotaur.

Traci Akemi Kato-Kiriyamais the creator/ producer of Tuesday Night Café in Little Tokyo. She is a writer, performing artist, educator and grassroots organizer. She tours throughout the country with shows, workshops, & her book of poetry, signaling, and is currently working with stage partner and aerial artist Kennedy Kabasares as they expand their piece, PULL: tales of obsession, supported by the Center for Cultural Innovation/Durfee Foundation.

Suzanne Whang is an actor, television host, stand-up comedian, author, keynote speaker, radio host, writer, Universal Life minister, and political activist. Suzanne has made many television appearances.

Meiko is an American indie singer/songwriter, born and raised in Roberta, Georgia. She independently released a self-titled album on September 1, 2007 — without the help of a record label, her album reached #35 on the iTunes Top 100 Albums chart. It was also iTunes’ #1 Folk album for over a month and in under nine months, over 200,000 singles had been downloaded from iTunes. Several tracks have been featured in primetime TV shows.

Come one, come all and come early! Seating is limited and we start on time.
www.tongueandgroovela.com

DC Shoes All Grown Up – Trendsetters On The Move

Styles trends are bustin’ out all over.  And for Summer and especially Fall,          DC SHOES is about to give some of us our walking/skateboarding papers. Because if you think that nobody walks in LA, well think again.  Leading the pack will be advanced tweeners and twenty-somethings alike on four wheels swooshing across Sunset, Melrose, Vine and Cahuenga showing off updated, grownup, coolness.  We may have graduated from the Valley ‘dude’, but we’ll never leave it behind!

What more could a busy blogger who loves to travel on foot and on bicycle to arts and culture events, major shopping destinations and dance classes want, but an uber chill pair of footwear that officially nominates her to that hip street culture of gravel surfers who just know what’s hot and what’s not.

Which is why it was so much fun hanging out with DC Shoes designers and diehards this week getting an outrageous China Glaze neon manicure (mini-hearts included), a trendy hair-braid updo by stylist Sheenon of Nine Zero One Salon,


and eating my very own Unicorn Strawberry Jam Glitter Cupcake (well, I AM a girl!) during the DC Shoes preview event at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

And by the way, I love my new duds!

Being fairly new to the DC Shoes brand, it was no surprise to discover that it has, for years, been a favored insignia for skateboarders, snowboarders, BMXers and other extreme sports-o-holics.  Origins being in unique T-shirts for skaters in the west, it’s popularity managed over the years to infiltrate east coast (and everywhere else) tweens, boys and girls alike, until eventually it marked its own superiority as a technical (skateboarding) shoe specialist.

Villain SP – DC Shoes Fall 2012

What’s different now is that DC has decided to expand it’s territory and start catering a bit more to the dedicated girl fans of the brand who, according to popular Hollywood fashion blogger and BFF (she’s so cool!) Dana Johnson of www.wordsfromtherunway.com, traditionally wore boy’s skate clothing anyway, there being no real alternatives in the early days.

This latest phase is a definite stride in the understanding of what it means to grow up with a brand.  Sufficiently sophisticated in design, there is never-the-less more than just an ode to the young-uns’, who really brought the line up.  And now as they’ve being ‘growing up,’ DC is offering its eternally youthful veterans a way to stay young and current without having to get stuck in the ‘good old days,’ designing a less logo driven clothing line and more than just colorful sneakers.  In fact, what you will see this Fall are super below the knee, two toned boots, multi-layered, mixed fabric hoodies and edgy prints with a bit more detail and attention to the small stuff like the stitching.  What you won’t see is a leap to over-the-top fashion designs that take the line to another universe altogether.  The DC Women’s ‘experiment’ intends on keeping it’s strong cultural tenure of extreme comfort, simplicity and bottom line skater friendly grey faded fabrics.   

DC Shoes Women’s Flex Boot LE

Must haves to watch out for:  Apache, Sioux and Camanche Dresses, Reno Hooded sleeveless tunics and an all-blogger agreed upon favorite, The Deadwood Knit Tanktop with Fringe (Available after June 2012).  SEE MY SUMMER SWAG BAG – CLICK HERE!

Camanche Maxi Dress Ombre Print

Deadwood Knit Tanktop with Fringe Heavy Sand Wash

~contributed by Tracey Paleo

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