Monthly Archives: March 2013

One More Day to SAVE THE BUNNY!

Alessandra AmbrosioAlessandra Ambrosio Spotted in Mattel®’s Save the Bunny” tee in support of their campaign to help The Chocolate Bunny this Easter and sweeten kids baskets with toys.

The cute, adorable, delicious chocolate bunny that has been an Easter tradition over 200 years is unfortunately melting, and this supermodel-mom is one of many celebs on board donning shirts to encourage everyone to save the bunny and give toys instead!

Mattel® is making it easy to help Save the Bunny.

You can too!  

Save the BunnyUntil March 31st – tomorrow you can hop on over to the Save Chocolate Bunnies Website (you can also click on the images) for discount coupons, a chance to win Mattel® toy prizes until the end of March, and one lucky winner will receive a $4,000 Grand Prize.

 

JOIN STUDIO C “IN THE BEDROOM’ ON APRIL 5TH

in the bedroom

Studio C Artists has just announced their first One Act Festival,

IN THE BEDROOM,

which will open on April 5th (until May 11th) and run for six weeks, Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 pm.

IN THE BEDROOM is a collaboration of 4 producers, 5 directors, 10 writers, and 24 actors and is comprised of 10 One Act plays that all take place in a bedroom setting.  Alternating ten One Act plays each weekend (five on one night, five on another), the plays cover a variety of themes including love, sex, race, infidelity, murder, extortion, abortion, discrimination, and suicide – and represent a nice balance between drama and comedy. There will be an audience award for best play.

“In The Bedroom” – One Act Festival
Studio C Artists – Hollywood Theatre Row
6448 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 988-1175
studiocartists.com

buy-tickets-now

Runs from April 5th – May 11th, 2013
Running time – 1 hour, 30 minutes

Stop Haunting Me Greg Simkins

GREG ‘CRAOLA’ SIMKINS — STOP HAUNTING ME // 20 YEARS

OPENING RECEPTION SATURDAY APRIL 6, 8-11PM

Greg (Crayola) Simkins

RSVP MANDATORY: INFO@MKGALLERY.COM // GUEST LIST AT DOOR

MERRY KARNOWSKY GALLERY

170 S. LA BREA AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90036

Website: www.mkgallery.com // Email: info@mkgallery.com // Ph. 323.933.4408

Sinister Dark and Deadpan at the Whitney: This Is Your Last Chance!

DarkAndDeadpan

Don’t miss your last chance to explore the dark side of Pop art. Sinister Pop and Dark and Deadpan: Pop in TV and the Movies—which will “make you look anew at Pop” (The New York Times)—closes on Sunday.

sinisterpop_web_531Sinister Pop
Through March 31

Sinister Pop presents a unique take on the Museum’s rich and diverse holdings of Pop art from the movement’s inception in the early 1960s through its aftershocks a decade later. Although Pop art often evokes a celebration of postwar consumer culture, this exhibition focuses on Pop’s darker side through works by acknowledged masters such as Claes Oldenburg, Ed Ruscha, and Andy Warhol, as well as by many artists not traditionally associated with Pop.

warhol_burger_800Dark and Deadpan: Pop in TV and the Movies
Through March 31

This exhibition brings together rarely seen films, advertisements, and political campaign messages that reflect the extravagant yet deadpan excess of Pop. Together they reveal the central role played by television and cinema in articulating the excitement, anxiety, and desire underlying both Pop art and popular culture in the 1960s.

whitney museum

The Curious Savage at The Mirror Theater North Hollywood

The Curious Savage

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move~

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Hats off to actress Laura E. Rosas who stepped in on Friday, March 17th, to play, in less than 24 hours, the lead role in The Curious Savage, currently showing until March 30th at The Mirror Theater in North Hollywood.  Ms. Rosas’ effort was a valiant attempt to recover a production nearly thwarted because of an accidental injury by Lynne Delaney, that I was told, took Delaney out of the run completely.   Ms. Rosas’ grace kept the show open and the audience reasonably happy.

Alas, however, an effort does not a professional presentation make.

The Curious Savage is a bit of a “language” play.  It is fast.  It is witty.  The quips, jibes, taunts, in the overarching humor cannot be sluggish or we lose the intention and simply the “ha ha” of the broad comedy.

Where it is the actor’s job to do the best they can, it is the responsibility for a driving lead to hold an ensemble together, keeping them propped up and revolving dynamically, especially in a fast moving play.

And so, at some point it becomes a choice in a situation as this, as to where the emphasis should be placed, on heavy character work, dialect etc., or to just “say the lines”.  Had just saying the lines happened, the play would have been much more successful and so much easier for the rest of the cast who were doing their best to lite dynamite the entire evening.

And one can only hope that an award winning director such as Savages’ Julie Raelyn, who has a decent background in comedy, vaudeville style performance, and directing can be reliable enough to pull a balanced presentation together, even under duress.

If you’ve seen it done well, an actor having to understudy, or step into a role last minute, script in hand, and perform brilliantly, then you know it is totally possible.  And that is where professionalism comes in.

Ms. Rosas had the bulky task of working through material she had no time to memorize while dealing with an already mounted show.  But she was none-the-less availed of a great script that was funny and entertaining without a whole lot of work.  She also had the assistance of a well rehearsed cast who could help her along in the most difficult moments, which they did.  And she has stage experience.  In addition, she already is possessed of the stature and voice quality that endows the role with a certain believability.

Given the shared advantages of the production, that should have been enough.  And although, The Curious Savage had its tremendous, exhilarating moments, it chugged, often ungracefully; unfortunate because its has a wealth of potential.

The Curious Savage, written by John Patrick, is a comedic play about Ethel P. Savage, recently widowed, whose husband has left her ten million dollars.  Mrs. Savage’s intent is to set up a charity whereby people can be funded for the absurd things they have never been allowed to do.  A Happiness Fund so to speak.

Her horrible stepchildren, however, have other ideas about the money and they attempt to institutionalize Mrs. Savage in order to arrest the family fortune from her.

Primarily a comedy, the play sets up, a contrast between the kindness and loyalty of the psychiatric patients and the avarice and vanity of the “respectable” public figures i.e. Mrs. Savage’s stepchildren. By the end of the play, the viewer wonders who the crazy ones really are.  In its essence it is a lampoon about celebrity culture.

Playwright John Patrick stated in his foreword to his play (which was first produced in 1950) : “It is important in ‘The Curious Savage’ that the gentle inmates of The Cloisters be played with warmth and dignity. Their home is not an asylum nor are these good people lunatics. Any exaggeration of the roles will rob them of charm and humor. The whole point of the play is to contrast them with Mrs. Savage’s children and the insane outside world. To depart from this point of view for the sake of easy laughs will rob the play of its meaning.”

In hindsight, and given the situation, the respective players could only do what they could do.  And they did in fact, mostly accomplish this goal.  But taking into account the direction of the playwright himself, and all present elements: the cast, the director and the text, the show did a bit of a disservice to itself.  The audience was set up to rely solely on Ms. Rosas’ character ingenuity which filled a void but then created a vacuum that the rest of the players were sometimes forced to overcompensate for by heavily playing on the “theatrics” for a night of lamentable mediocrity.

Hopefully they have worked out the kinks since then and are set for grand exhibition on their final weekend.

The Curious Savage posterThe Curious Savage

NOW PLAYING until Saturday, March 30th
Fri, Sat 8pm
BUY TICKETS

$20

Special Show Info
Running time: 150 minutes.
There will be an intermission.

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Website

The Magic Mirror Theater
4934 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA  91601
Ample Street Parking

Leven Rambin: All Over Again…

Leven Rambin

fashion_whats_hot.Gia On The Move

If you’re thinking that wearing your favorite bling1185s, bobbles, cut ups and other little chotchkies over and over again is a sure sign that you like them and so does everyone else, you’re probably right.

I mean, what would be the point to not loving our look or our favorite, fashion forward Liz James Design Kelsey necklace?  Right Leven?  Twice is not enough.

“C’est de la bombe.”

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Leven Rambin of The Hunger Games and Chasing Mavericks Wearing

Liz James Designs

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Perez Hilton Celebrates his 35th Birthday with CRUMBS Cupcakes!

Perez Hilton

His Royal Highness,

the Queen of all Media, Perez Hilton, celebrated his 35th birthday over the weekend with a blowout pajama extravaganza and plenty of birthday cupcakes provided by CRUMBS Bake Shop.
Perez, along with celebrities like Ciara, Jordin Sparks, Jason Derulo, Bella Thorne and more nibbled on red velvet and vanilla cupcakes stamped with Perez’s photo, custom made by CRUMBS!
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Edward Villella, The Boy Who Could Fly: Words on Dance

prodigalson-nycb-edward-villellaWords on Dance
Edward Villella
The Paley Center for Media, New York
In Conversation with Crista Villella
On March 11, 2013 this year, the Paley Center hosted a very special conversation between legendary dancer Edward Villella and his daughter Crista Villella (ballet mistress of Miami City Ballet).
Carlos Stafford, The Model Critic was there to share in the history of one of Dance’s most golden boys, his personal struggles and his ultimate triumphs with dance…
Edward Villella is a true legend in 20th Century American Dance. It all began in Bayside, Queens where the scrappy kid was taken from the streets unconscious after some hard knocks and rough play with the local kids.  His mother had seen enough, and put him into ballet where he reluctantly followed in his sister’s footsteps, and was given a full scholarship at George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet.  Embarrassed to be there, he would dress in his baseball uniform to go to class, in case he would be spotted by any of his friends. He was ten years old, and was soon called, “the boy who could fly.”
His father was a truck driver in the garment district, and was never pleased with his son’s involvement in dance, so in 1952 when Edward was sixteen, both he and his sister called it quits to ballet, and Edward enrolled in the New York Maritime Academy and soon graduated with a B. S. in Marine Transportation. While there, he lettered in baseball, and was welterweight boxing champ for three years.
He returned to SAB in 1955 and in 1957 was invited to join the New York City Ballet.  Two weeks later he was a corps member, and then Jerome Robbins soon created a principal role for him, Afternoon of a Faun.
He was promoted to Principal Dancer in 1960, and was best known for his roles in A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, Harlequinade, Jewels, Bugaku, and The Prodigal Son.
Remarkably, he was the first dancer to perform with the Royal Danish Ballet, and the only American to ever have an encore performance at the Bolshoi.  He performed at Kennedy’s inaugural, and danced for President Johnson, Nixon and Ford. He received many honors and awards in his career, and went on to found the Miami City Ballet, where he nurtured, directed, and choreographed for twenty-six years. Now back in his hometown, he has truly become the prodigal son. As he himself said, you can go home again! He will be chairing the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi in June of 2014.
Villella spoke on the rigors the art of ballet imposes on dancers. A television clip of him doing Rubies at NYCB shows exactly what the demands are graphically, as it follows him through his exuberant variations of intense, quick jumping combinations; his entrances and exits, and his collapsing backstage in between. Robbins choreographed Rubies to match his abilities, and apparently got the best possible effort. Villella underscored that ballet is not only tough physically, but mentally, and then moreover, artistically. He always referred to himself as the neophyte, and it seems for good reason. As has been said before, Balanchine didn’t teach so much as inspire, so when Edward came raw to NYCB and was given a role he barely was coached or rehearsed properly. Roles were run through quickly at first, and then dancers were left to figure out meaning, intent, and in Edward’s case, in A Midsummer’s Nights Dream, mime. Balanchine would give clues occasionally, but no coaching as we think of it today. Dancers had to be intelligent and dig into their roles to discover and perform correctly.
He also spoke of the toll ballet takes on ones body.  He said that his own background in sports, in general, didn’t prepare him for the specific demands of ballet. In those days the companies had no physio-therapists available like today, and Villella always suffered from cramping with his fast and explosive technique. Villella always needed a long barre, but Balanchine only took fifteen to twenty minutes, so he started taking from Stanley Williams from the Royal Danish because it suited his body better. Balanchine held no grudges.
In his long and influential career, the most important thing that was taken away from this interview, was that a dancer’s stage live is ephemeral, that as a art form, ballet is like any other art form in that it is handed down from generation to generation; that the exchange of knowledge and wisdom must be transferred to the next group telling them everything. This he did in Miami for his stewardship there.  In Paris, where he took his company after years of work and development he filled houses to 97% capacity for three weeks, and received a warm French welcome. This, for Villella, was the highlight of his extraordinary career, that in many ways no one will ever be able to quantify; he opened the doors to male ballet dancing in America through his great athleticism, unique dedication, and intelligence.
Edward & Crista Villella

There Will Be Blood – and Surprises

MacbethEmail.1

In anticipation of opening Macbeth as the centerpiece of their summer season, Independent Shakespeare Co. will be exploring Shakespeare’s complex tale of inappropriate desire and dire consequences in the Independent Studio.

Trying out new ideas throughout the workshop style run, at each performance you’ll be invited you to share your thoughts and impressions, including an interactive art installation: The Nightmare Floor.

You’ll be able to share  your darkest dreams by writing them on the stage before the performance. Your fears will be the very ground they will be walking on.

After the show, there will be a discussion about the play while you enjoy the night’s signature cocktail, a cup of Witch’s Brew.

The performance features Luis Galindo as Macbeth…and plenty of blood.

Macbeth
April 13 – May 12
Saturdays & Sundays at 5:00

Tickets $20 ($15 for students) at www.iscla.org or call (818) 710-6306

At the Independent Studio
3191 Casitas Ave. #168
Los Angeles, 90039

With: Richard Azurdia*, Benny Briggs, Matt Callahan, Danny Campbell, Melissa Chalsma, Joseph Culliton*, Thomas Ehas*, Luis Galindo*, Aisha Kabia*, Rudy Marquez, André Martin*, Brandon Massey, Erik Mathew*, Ashley Nguyen, Dana Pollak, Sean Pritchett*, Bernadette Sullivan*, Erwin Tuazon, Stage Manager: Laura Rin*, Assistant Stage Manager: Karen Zumsteg, Direction: David Melville

*Member, Actors’ Equity Association.

A Poet Speaks: Quentin Has On His Mind…

Quentin VolvertI know a poet.  A very young man looking at the world with a completely different perspective than my own.  Through his words I see what I don’t normally look for.  I am hearing the Gen Y voice.  I admit that sometimes I find it sad and shocking.  But life is not always beautiful for everyone.  Often experiences are so extremely opposite.  But I think in poetry we can come together.  We can see each other, hear each other and truly open our hearts and minds at an honest meeting ground.  So this morning, I told Quentin that I would publish his words that he sent over spontaneously (all the way from Marche-en-Famenne, Belgium).  No we’ve never actually met in person only online.  But I think he’s a divine youthful spirit in the world, on his way, on his journey to meet a destiny like the rest of us.

by Quentin Volvert

I seek the dust wandering in time,
Just in time to plant the rose and iris
To take up my blood flowing monsoon
Perhaps intoxicated by the flights of Alice.

Just in time to plant thorns
Who love their venom I hallucinating
Me an old Indian in a sunny vineyard
Singing constantly coaxing me the illusion.

Just time to perch on top of the tree
Observing the ambulance wander among the living kingdom
Of luxuriance. Tell me who is in the ambulance?
Who are the others who pay?

The wind cries of drunken nights I wander and white
In dust time. The time wandering proliferates
In our souls. Behind the comet, seeks its mark
In the dust, leaving the rest, the rest is hunting.

What are one of Quentin’s influences?

A Tropical Twist for an Early Spring Easter Brunch

tropical-fruit-parfait

Spring holidays fall earlier this year and may be much cooler than usual.  To keep the table warm and cheery, why not try a tropical fruit parfait, layered with a sweet, creamy filling, scented with Nielsen-Massey Pure Orange Extract. The recipe below offered from the people over at Nielsen-Massey, is guaranteed to add some sunshine to your Spring/Easter celebrations. Made from the finest oranges, the extract will enhance the fruits’ natural flavors.  Your guests will appreciate the light dessert.

Tropical Fruit Parfait

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 to 4 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Orange Extract

4 fruit choices such as finely diced mango, pineapple, grapes, strawberries or whole blueberries

  1. Combine the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, milk and orange extract in a mixing bowl and beat using an electric mixer.
  2. Alternate layers of the cream cheese mixture and the fruit in a trifle dish or parfait glasses by either spooning the cream cheese mixture or piping with a pastry bag.

Note: Approximately 3/4 cup of each fruit choice allows for 2 tablespoons per layer in parfait glasses.

Serves 6

NMV-Orng-4-oz-smallAbout Nielsen-Massey Vanillas
Throughout its more than 100 year history, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has earned its reputation as a manufacturer of the finest extracts in the world. The full line of Nielsen-Massey’s Pure Vanilla products include: Vanilla Beans and Extracts from Madagascar, Tahiti and Mexico; sugar and alcohol-free Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar, Organic Fair trade Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Beans. Nielsen-Massey Vanillas also offers a full line of Pure Flavors. Check the website for more info.

Today is World Water Day – Don’t Forget to Turn Off the Tap

World Water DayAccording to Wikipedia, World Water Day has been observed on  March 22, since 1993 when the United Nations General Assembly declared  March 22 as World Day for Water.

This year Danielle Nierenberg,
Co-Founder and Co-President of FoodTank.org, the Food Think Tank, decided to share some vital water statistics and also offer some tips for how Americans can save water. Danielle has spent the last two and a half years traveling to 35 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, conducting research on environmentally sustainable ways of reducing hunger and poverty.

Over the last fifteen years she’s had op-ed pieces published in hundreds of publications around the world, including The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, the Houston Chronicle, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Seattle Times, the Christian Science Monitor, and dozens more. Her research has been featured on National Public Radio, Voice of America, ABC, and CNN.  In other words, you probably should listen…

Celebrating World Water Day by Reducing Water Use in the United States

by Danielle Nierenberg, Co-founder of Food Tank: The Food Think Tank (www.FoodTank.org)

The United States is one of the world’s biggest users of water—many Americans use as much water as approximately 900 Kenyans. As a result, water resources in the U.S. are shrinking. In the last five years, there have been water shortages in almost every part of the country, including the worst drought in at least 25 years, which hit 80 percent of the country’s farmland in 2012. Even worse, the damaged land won’t fully recover this year, and at least 36 states are expecting local, regional, or statewide water shortages, even without drought.

The Natural Resources Defense Council expects water scarcity to affect the American South, West, and Midwest the most. Fourteen states in these regions already have “extreme” or “high” risk of water scarcity. Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Nevada, and Texas face the most danger because they are expected to see some of the largest increases in population by 2030. Water scarcity is about more than lack of water, it’s about lack of drinkable water. It is estimated that as many as 53.6 million Americans have contaminated tap water.

But as eaters and consumers, we can profoundly reduce water waste and water consumption through the food choices we make. Recent research from the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN) shows that a healthful diet and environmentally sustainable diet can go hand in hand.

Here are five steps to save water in the United States:

eat less meatEating a little less meat. Switching from a meat-centered weekly menu to a diet rich in vegetables and grains could save 2,500 liters of water a day! And eating grass-fed and locally-raised meat, eggs, and dairy products can also save water.

steamed vegetablesSteam veggies instead of boiling. In general, steaming vegetables uses less water than boiling, and according to a study in the Journal of Food Quality, it is more nutritious. For example, boiling corn on the cob in a large pot may use 6-8 quarts of water, whereas steaming only uses 1-2 quarts. If you must boil, save the water for your garden, soup stock, or use it to clean pots.

local farmers

Rachel and Ben of Clay Bottom Farm

Provide support for small-scale, family farms. Agricultural subsidies in the United States disproportionately support large-scale agribusinesses over the small-scale producers who are more likely to be engaged in sustainable food production, and may be challenged by drought or commodity price fluctuations. Changes in government support services could reduce this deficit and improve food and water security.

Plant a California Native GardenStreamline water use in home gardens. During the summer months, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that nearly 40 percent of household water is used for watering lawns and gardens. National Geographic suggests incorporating native plants into your garden that are adapted to the local climate and often require less water. Manually watering plants, instead of using automatic sprinklers, cuts water use by 33 percent, according to a report by the EPA. Consumers can also buy self-watering planters, or construct rain barrels that can save you up to 1,300 gallons of water.

food wasteReduce food waste. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization reports that nearly one third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted throughout production, storage, transportation, consumption and disposal. Learn about your food’s shelf life and how long you can store food in your freezer. Other ways to reduce food waste are only buying what you plan to eat, using leftovers to create new meals or donating food you can’t use to soup kitchens.

STOP RIGHT THERE!!!  : WE’VE GOT SOME APPS FOR THAT!

Green Egg Shopper app222 million tons food app

CLICK TO THE EARLIER STORY BY GIA ON THE MOVE FOR MORE APPS TO CUT DOWN ON FOOD WASTE AND SAVE ON YOUR BUDGET.  IT’S SO EASY!!!)

It’s more important than ever that this World Water Day Americans find ways to save every drop.