Good Morning Franklin Village! Love Your #Graffiti

…The moments when Sunday brunch gets sidelined for a cheeky side-street street art mini mural.  Whose hungry for intergalactic #Pizza & #GrilledCheese  #Batman to the rescue … “Hello Gelsons?  We need a deliver!”

~Los Feliz, California

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Music Monday: Free Spirit

“‘Free Spirit‘; a powerful three-minute joy-ride”… “A rollercoaster of emotions & electricity courses through KAV’s The Man With No Shadow, making this possibly one of the strongest album releases of 2014”. ~GIGSLUTZ

Free Spirit Front Cover

KAV’s first album single “Dance in A Panic” saw Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) dancing to the track in a video teaser for his Movie “Decoding Annie Parker”.

KAV celebrates the release of “Free Spirit” on October 20 when he headlines The Hunnypot Radio’s Live party at The Mint, Hollywood, Los Angeles.

After several years recording between LA and London, KAV released his Debut Album “The Man With No Shadow” on August 26. A bold full-length, packed with anthemic uplifting singles and dirty, fuzz, bass-driven Rock ’n’ Roll. The album has been picking up significant radio support in the US & Canada, debuting at #20 in the top 200 ‘CMJ most added’ chart in its first week.

The single “Free Spirit” is an uplifting anthem about falling in love with a ‘Free Spirit’, the confident cool, intelligent & sexy girl, completely sure of herself, who loves good music. With soaring melodies & jagged catchy guitar riffs, combined with KAV’s attitude-riden vocal the track represents a softer side to his debut album.

Originally from Leicester UK, KAV is now based in Los Angeles. At the start of the year he signed to LA label Wild Echo Records & in May he played a headline show at The Viper Room, Los Angeles with friend & long-time supporter Oasis’s Bonehead guesting on guitar.

Stay Connected
http://www.kavblaggers.com
http://www.facebook.com/kavmusic
http://www.twitter.com/kavblaggers
http://www.youtube.com/kavmusictv
http://www.wildechorecords.com

The Rumer Has It at The Rockwell Table & Stage!

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The MoveRumer Willis Instagram

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She’s got her mother’s prettiness but she’s all sex appeal and swag like her famous dad (Bruce).  And with all of that Rumer Willis still manages to simply be herself.  She’s lovely.  She’s also 100% edge without any of the roughness.

Los Feliz 90027,  written and directed by Jake Wilson (“You Must Be Joking” and “Battery’s Down”) blasted off it’s world premiere, Episode 1, last night,  at the Rockwell Table & Stage on Vermont Ave. (Los Feliz, CA) with a full house and a high energy crowd of supporters including none other than Demi Moore who sat in full view awaiting her daughter’s debut.

A mixture of alternating live stage & film, music and uber reality waitressing/bartending — an experimental  format described as “live episodic entertainment” — the show managed a successful first night without a hitch.

rumerwillisThe love letter/spoof to soapy dramedy material isn’t grand. But the audience cared more about the characters and all of the demonstrative cattiness a heck of a lot more than the script  including a cameo by Perez Hilton on camera as a horrible casting director, so a great time was had by all.

 The storyline?…well…it’s a bit ludicrous.  It’s the … you know… I’m an actor trying to make it in Hollywood…living the dream or i’ll die trying or something like that mashed together with a drug score, a bar owner mc who cares less about the talent than fame, a porn sideline, the all-encompassing, effervescent drag show and the critical musical number that deepens the relationship between the unlikely soon to be lovers (Rumer and a new musician in town who works as a busboy at the bar); Barely post teenaged schmaltz at its best.  Miss Willis’ character, Veronica Hampton is the centerpiece actress who continually is dissed by boyfriend, friends, acquaintances and industry twits who jerk her around quite a bit in her struggle for success and happiness.

But does it all work? Absolutely.  The players are current and in reality, many if not most, (so I was told) a bunch of actors with food service side jobs.  So nearly everyone is a dead ringer and appropriately cast.  And will it keep audiences coming back?  Seems so.  No one was complaining and in a somewhat interactive environment, it’s more likely that fans will keeping loading in just to be closer to the melodrama and the (frankly) hot bods.

The show will perform twice a month (Friday and Sunday) LIVE at the Rockwell with projected pre-taped scenes with new upcoming episodes continuing on October 12 at 8pm through Sunday, February 15th.

Tickets range from $15 to $50. Season passes are also available.  Dinner and drinks are served.

For reservations, tickets and information call (323) 669-1550 ext. 20 or visit: http://rockwell-la.com/

LOS-FELIZ---90027---GRAPHICStarring:
Rumer Willis
Bridgette B.
Alex Ellis
Levi Freeman
Ben D Goldberg
Blake Cooper Griffin
David Hull
Carly Jibson
Sebastian La Cause
Lisa Mindelle
Same Pancake
Corbin REid
Constantine Rousouli
Tory Devon Smith
 
Guest Starring:
Brandon Breault
Taylor Montana Catlin
Jenna Coker-Jones
Tiffany Daniels
Richie Elija Carcia
Adam Genztler
Asmeret Ghebremichael
Natalie Hall
Perez Hilton
Chauncy Jenkins
Nhut Le
Chantae Pink
 
with
Daniel Imperiale
Ruby Karyo
April Moreau
Christina Nguyen
Quinn Scillian
Caroline Smith
 
Produced by Kate Pazakis
Musical Direction by Brian P. Kennedy and Richie Garcia

Back From The Undead! Stuart Gordon Directs “Re-Animator”

“I guess he just wasn’t fresh enough.”

Re-Animator“Re-Animator™ the award winning Musical” has been re-animated, with new songs and new performers just in time for Halloween.  Opening on October 17th at the Steve Allen Theatre, “RE-ANIMATOR™ the Musical” tells the story of Herbert West, a brilliant young medical student who has created a glowing green serum that can bring the dead back to life.

What should be a medical breakthrough results in hideous monstrosities and ghastly consequences.

And operatic Jesse Merlin, is back as Dr. Carl Hill who loses his head for Meg, the dean’s beautiful daughter, only to actually lose it at the hands of Herbert West. But thanks to the glowing re-agent, Dr. Hill is still able to take his curtain call with his head tucked underneath his arm.

Also returning from the original cast are (in alphabetical order) Cynthia Carle, Brian Gillespie, Marlon Grace, and Liesel Hanson playing an assortment of doctors, nurses and rampaging zombies.

New to the cast and Los Angeles are Darren Ritchie (veteran of five Broadway shows, including “Dracula” and “Little Shop of Horrors”) as Dan Cain, the handsome young medical student (and West’s hapless roommate) in love with the dean’s beautiful daughter, now played by vivacious newcomer Jessica Howell (recently on Showtime’s “Masters of Sex”). And Ken Hudson Campbell, familiar to many for saving the world with Bruce Willis in “Armageddon,” plays the doomed Dean of the medical school whom West transforms into a mindless zombie.

Stuart Gordon, the director and co-writer of “H.P. Lovecraft’s Re-Animator,” the cult film on which the musical is based, has joined his fearless producing partner Dean Schramm to prove that anything that can be done in a movie can be a hundred times more astonishing live on stage. Gordon spent fifteen years as the founder and artistic director of the Organic Theater of Chicago, where he co-created the original production of “Bleacher Bums,” and produced and directed the world premiere of David Mamet’s “Sexual Perversity in Chicago.” Gordon recently co-created and directed the long-running and critically acclaimed ”Nevermore” with “Re-Animator” film star Jeffrey Combs as Edgar Allan Poe that is now touring the country.

Mark Nutter is composer and lyricist and his cheerfully disturbing songs have been compared to Tom Lehrer. His previous stage credits include the international hit “The Bicycle Men”; “Christmas Smackdown” (created with the equally demented Cynthia Carle): and “Wild Men.” He’s also known for his work on “3rd Rock From the Sun” and “Saturday Night Live.” His CD “Twisted Songs for Twisted Sophisticates” has been banned from the airwaves.

Special effects are being done by the same guys who did them for the “Re-Animator” movie: Tony Doublin, John Naulin and John Beuchler. They all won LA Critics’ and LA Weekly Awards for their mind-boggling illusions. And the blood will flow so freely that the first row will be once again designated as a “splash zone,” so bring your raincoats.

Laura Fine Hawkes, who  designed the almost as bloody  “Lieutenant of Inishmore” at the Taper, will provide the creepy sets, Joe Kucharski the moldering costumes and Jeff Ravitz the cadaverous lighting. Stage manager: Michael Lemek will be the master of the mayhem.

“Re-Animator™ the Musical” was developed and premiered at the Steve Allen Theater under the artistic direction of Amit Itelman who also founded Trepany House.

The Steve Allen Theater, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90027.

Parking lot behind building.

Previews Oct. 10, 11, 12 . Opens October 17, 2014, runs through November 2. Fridays through Sundays at 8:00 p.m.

ADMISSION: $25. Previews $20.

RESERVATIONS: 800-595-4849

ONLINE TICKETING: www.trepanyhouse.org

Book by Dennis Paoli, Stuart Gordon and William J. Norris.
Music and lyrics by Mark Nutter.
Adapted from the story by H.P. Lovecraft.
Based on the film “H.P. Lovecraft’s Re-Animator” produced by Brian Yuzna. Musical director: Peter Adams. Choreography by Cynthia Carle.
Directed by Stuart Gordon.
Produced by Dean Schramm and Stuart Gordon. P
resented by The Schramm Group LLC and Red Hen Productions in association with Trepany House. 

 

 

Vox Lumiere–The Phantom of the Opera

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

Vox-Phantom_1

My mostly non-theatre-going guest thought it was amazing, and that’s good enough for me.

If you’re looking for a bumped up movie experience a-la a Gothic version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, then, Vox Lumiere’s, Phantom of the Opera is for you.

For the “season of the witch” you can expect something grandly dark, mysterious and carnival-style “over-the-top.”  What Vox Lumiere delivers is entertaining downtown LA movie mash-up, escapism mixed with live performance that doesn’t challenge the audience to much.

Most of the magic takes place on screen via the original 1925 American silent black and white horror film, Phantom of the Opera, a truly dramatic, visual treat, not easily found in any cinema today.

Erik, TThe Phantom (Lon Chaney) and Christine Daaé (Mary Philbin)An adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra, the film was directed by Rupert Julian and starred Lon Chaney, Sr in the title role of the deformed and obsessed Phantom who haunts the Paris Opera House, causing murder and mayhem in an attempt to make the woman he loves a star. The movie remains most famous for Chaney’s ghastly, self-devised make-up, which was kept a studio secret until the film’s premiere.

Interesting about this particular movie, is that Universal Studios last month, in order to make room to expand its theme park, actually destroyed Stage 28, which is where the original 1925 Phantom of the Opera silent picture was filmed.  Stage 28, historically, is one of the oldest stages on the lot at 90 years and the set, then commissioned by producer Carl Laemmle, whose niece Carla, who died on June 12th of this year (2014), was up till then, the oldest surviving actor in the film, has been housed in the space since that time.  Hence, it is one of the biggest and best reasons to experience this offering.  It is an incredible piece of film history not to be passed up. The rest is periphery.

The live performance has been created to add layers of detail, insight and emotion to the narrative, as well as a 21st century ‘story-within-a-story’ that complements and is a juxtaposition with the 1920s-era film.  But although the entire cast is technically, musically and choreographically deft in all forms, the performance below the screen finds itself hard-pressed to compete with what is showing above.  It’s a nice touch though and without all of the add-ons, the experience just wouldn’t be as inviting.

Overall, it’s a great show, family friendly and visually extravagant.

NOW PLAYING

Untitled-1Music and lyrics by Kevin Saunders Hayes

Adapted from the novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Gaston Leroux

Featuring the 1925 silent film The Phantom of the Opera directed by Rupert Julian and starring Lon Chaney

Fridays at 8 p.m: Oct. 10; Nov. 21; Dec. 12
Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Sept. 20; Oct. 11; Nov 22; Dec. 13
 

Los Angeles Theatre Center
514 S Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013

TICKETS:
$40-$75
Call for group, family, student, senior and military discounts
Call: 844 VOX-ROCK or visit:  www.voxlumiere.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/voxlumiere
Twitter: @voxlumiere
 
Vocalists: Julie Brody, Marisa Johnson, Victoria Levy, James Lynch, Chris Marcos, Danielle Skalsky, D. Valentine
Dancers: Siân Dakin, Cameron Evans, Carolyn Pampalone, Jamie Pfaff, Dustin Ripkens, Jason Sensation
Musicians: Christopher Allis on drums; Zac Matthews on bass; Jeff Miley on guitar

Produced by Rick CulbertsonGregory Franklin and Victoria Levy in association with Franklin Theatrical Investors.

Presented by Stage 28LLC

Lyric Theatre NYC’s, ON THE TOWN, in preview: The Model Critic Reviews

 

REVIEWED BY CARLOS STAFFORD, THE MODEL CRITIC
On The Town

OLD SCHOOL/NEW SCHOOL

About to open on 42nd St., this newly minted revival of  “On the Town” is pure, shimmering entertainment. Like a fine vintage wine from good stock, this show has color, clarity, and depth. Buy a ticket, sit back. and enjoy–it’s a sure thing. You’ll get a full orchestra, big glossy sets, great singers and dancers, slapstick humor, memorable ballads, fun, era costumes, a huge cast, and a battleship full of red, white and blue energy.

Everyone in America, with the exception of a few Milliennials, has probably heard or seen this familiar show in its entirety somewhere, somehow; or seen the movie “Fancy Free,” or heard the music–at least one song or another: “Lonely Town,” “New York, New York,” “Lucky to Be Me,” or “Some Other Time”–all familiar standards.  If not, here’s a great opportunity.

First done as a ballet, “Fancy Free”, by Jerome Robbins for American Ballet Theatre in 1944, next as a long running Broadway show based on the same idea a few years later, then finally reworked into an MGM movie in 1949, starring Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, and Ann Miller, this show has a long storied pedigree with many reincarnations here and abroad.

“Buy a ticket, sit back. and enjoy–it’s a sure thing.”

The plot is tissue thin, but beautifully manic: three young sailors on leave in New York City have 24 hours to meet some babes.  They see a poster of Miss Turnstiles in the subway, and one of the crew, Gabey, falls in love with her image–the lovely Miss Ivy Smith. On the poster is a glowing list of some of Ivy’s “accomplishments,” and armed with these slim clues, Gabey, and his two buddies, Chip and Ozzie, decide to track her down. Off in different directions, Gabey gets lucky and finds her at a singing lesson in a Carnegie Hall rehearsal studio.

This show is about song, dance and vaudevillian humor. Leading with the dance, and making this show uber special, is the super charming Megan Fairchild, a principal dancer with The New York City Ballet, who impeccably plays the sweet and petite Ivy.  It’s probably safe to say, historically, no one has ever danced this role better. Crisp, exacting, and fluid, Fairchild brings an ease and brilliance to her dances that is stunning–even for the talented cast surrounding her. Being a Balanchine trained dancer, a ballet technique requiring quickness, speed, and strength, the role is perfect for her, as she charms the house. She even gets to deliver a few spoken lines with quality.

The most affective song of the evening was the beautiful ballad “Lonely Town,” delivered by Gabey as he wanders the Battery at dusk, before his fortunes change with Ivy. Gabey, played by Tony Yazbeck, goes for all the passion in this big set piece, and truly captures his isolation as a scrub in the Big Town. His blue lament is underscored as people rush by, moving him to dance an expressive solo on the esplanade, with only the Statue of Liberty in the harbor for company.

The dance, apart from Ms. Fairchild’s welcomed feminine presence, is mainly the men’s work in the show. The choreography is what I’d call “Sailor Jazz” old school look–goofy sailor walks, slides, hitch kicks, big leaps, blazing turns full of speed and athleticism. This however, is not Jerome Robbins’ original choreography, but “in the style of…” that works well. Cylde Alves as Ozzie, romps, especially in the museum, and has tons of personality, while Chip, Jay Armstrong Johnson, the wildly naive one from Peoria, dances with a plasticity and energy that’s truly amazing. In the big ensemble pieces, all three shine.

The singing belongs to both Hildy (Alysssa Umpress), the zophtic cabbie who tempts Chip into her cab for a free “affair,” and takes him for a wild ride around the city,  then up to her apartment, and Claire DeLoone (Elizabeth Stanley), the looney Anthropologist who loves the study of Man, and wants to measure Ozzie for science, and study his primitive ways; likewise, corrals him into her apartment for futher examination. Both gals have big clear, belt voices, that create wide range and high notes–did I hear a high C from Ms Stanley?

The cast was huge, around 30 players, and many played multiple roles. Jackie Hoffman was absolutely hilarious in four roles. She was terrific as Maude P. Dilly, Ivy’s drunk, Jewish music teacher from Europe, who staggeringly says to student Ivy: “I could’ve been big over there if it hadn’t been for Those people.” “Who, says Ivy, the Germans?” “No, says Maude, “the audiences.”  Hoffman also plays Diana Dream at Diamond Eddie’s and sings “I Wish I Was Dead,” and again as Dolores Dolores at the Conga Cabana Club where she again sings “I Wish I Was Dead.” What a fine comedian!

When Gabey finally finds Ivy at Carnegie Hall, and get up the guts to ask her out, she accepts, and agree to meet at Nedicks. However, she is thwarted by Maude, who wants Ivy to go to work that evening instead, to make money for her music classes. We learn Ivy really isn’t the girl in the advertisements but a cooch dancer in Coney Island, so she never shows up to meet Gabey.  Maude meets a disconsolate Gabey instead, and tells him where Ivy works. All rush to take a subway to Coney Island, with only two hours remaining on their leave.

In an imaginary sequence of Coney Island, Gabey and Ivy dance an erotic dance in a boxing ring that dramatically represents the Freudian tensions of their attraction– an evocative, and shall we say, entertaining, dreamlike pas de deux enjoyed by everyone. A Japanese gentleman sitting next to me nodded and said it best, “She, very good dancer.” I nodded back, “Yes, very good.”

There’s much to like in this show, so many talents, so many bright scenes, wonderful music, great sets. There’s a lot of corny humor, abundant clichés, and not such great choreography, but in the end, all hangs together well because of its full body spirit and jazzy exuberance.  Those who know it will love it again, and those who haven’t will get a peek into mid-century Broadway history.  In all adds up to a remarkable experience; a cultural landmark of the American Musical Theatre that is simply, pure joy.

A must see…

buy tickets

ON THE TOWN
LYRIC THEATRE

 Now playing until March 29, 2015 at

Ford Center for Performing Arts, 214 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10019

MUSIC BY LEONARD BERNSTEIN
BOOK AND LYRICS BY BETTY COMDEN AND ADOLF GREEN
BASED ON AN IDEA BY JEROME ROBBINS
MUSIC DIRECTION JAMES MOORE
CHOREOGRAPHED BY JOSHUA BERGASSE
DIRECTION BY JOHN RANDO

For more information visit the website.

A 16 Year Old Girl Takes On Female Empowerment Through Games

nancy drew board game

 

This came up on the radar yesterday and just begged to be shared.  As part of the ongoing Gia On The Move triviadid you know that Gia’s first job as a professional critic was in grammar school when she was asked to review the entire Nancy Drew mystery series for a local Boston newspaper?

Now there’s a game that not only inspires reading, but empowerment for girls all around.  Be sure to go to the kickstarter page and view the video!  Read on…

Since the 1930’s, millions of youngsters have enjoyed the beloved Nancy Drew mystery series. As a heroine she has served as a great role model for girls and has been cited to help inspire the success of many famous women including Supreme Court Justice Sotomajor, Hilary Clinton, Barbara Walters, Sheryl Sandberg, Gail King, Diane Sawyer and Barbara Bush.

Quincy McShaneNow a determined young girl, 16 yr. old Quincy MacShane, from Concord, Massachusetts, who read the original 56 books, has obtained the rights from Simon & Schuster to launch the Nancy Drew trivia board game. Quincy, who was drawn into the series by the character’s strength, confidence and intelligence, strives to be like Nancy Drew.

“I have designed this trivia board game to be a fun way for girls to learn about Nancy Drew. She is strong, confident, and smart.” ~Quincy

Quincy has already designed the game prototype and with the assistance of friends and family, has filed a provisional patent, formed a company and has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $20,000 to get the game on the shelves. She is currently working with a top game production company in Michigan that feels confident that if she meets her fund-raising goals, they will be able to fulfill the preliminary orders. 

Please help this remarkable young woman achieve her goal of raising $20,000 via Kickstarter:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2026070997/nancy-drew-board-game      

She has 18 days to go!

There is also a Facebook page for the game:
https://www.facebook.com/thenancydrewboardgame