Category Archives: Media

Palm Beach Film Festival Winner Highlights Announced

fb52ffa3-04c4-47e9-aa9d-b96f75526a94The 21st Palm Beach International Film Festival (www.pbifilmfest.org) ended dramtically last night by presenting its coveted Jury Award for Best Feature Film to “PO” directed by John Asher.

Winner of the festival’s first ever horror film competition was “The House at the End of Time” directed by Alejandro Hidalgo from Venezuela and best documentary went to “When Elephants Were Young” directed by Patricia Sims from Canada.

The winner of the Jury Award for Best Short Film was “Randy” directed by Shawn Ryan.

#PBIFF2016 @PBIFF

PBIFF President and CEO Jeff Davis and Director of Programming Larry Richman said this year the festival welcomed a record number of more than 150 filmmakers and actors from around the world to present their outstanding works and for the first time winners in the various categories received not only a trophy but a cash prize of $2,000, a sign the Festival is spreading its silver screen wings.

The festival awards included presentation of the first Flossy Award for Lifetime Achievement to Yvonne S. Boice, PBIFF Chair Emeritus, for her years of dedication to making PBIFF one of the world’s most respected film festivals.  The award created by celebrated artist Yaacov Heller was presented to Boice on opening night.

“What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas”…except in Coachella

beerCoachella gets an extra buzz this year as Las Vegas extends the essence of “What Happens Here, Stays Here” (WHHSH) and adult freedom, with an unveiling of  its limited edition #WHHSH Beer this month during the music and arts festivals in Palm Springs, on April 16-17.

Guests will celebrate the craft brew along with performances by chart-topping artists, delicious culinary offerings from top Vegas eateries, beauty services from the leading glam squads of the Strip, surprise celebrity guests and more.

“’What Happens Here, Stays Here’ has always been about the freedom to be and do in Vegas what you can’t at home. We felt that #WHHSH Beer is the perfect embodiment of that and a reminder of what awaits when you embrace the Vegas lifestyle.”

#WHHSH Beer will be the first of Las Vegas’ limited edition #WHHSH signature products to be introduced for a tangible extension of the famous Vegas experience.

coachellaCrafted locally in Las Vegas by Tenaya Creek Brewery, #WHHSH Beer is an easy drinking, pale ale with hints of citrus and pine creating a cool, clean finish. The exclusive beer will only be available at select Las Vegas sponsored events. 

ABOUT THE LVCVA

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is charged with marketing Southern Nevada as a tourism and convention destination worldwide, and also with operating the Las Vegas Convention Center and Cashman Center.  With nearly 150,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas alone and 11 million square feet of meeting and exhibit space citywide, the LVCVA’s mission centers on attracting ever increasing numbers of leisure and business visitors to the area.  For more information, go towww.lvcva.com or www.LasVegas.com.

“In Response” An Open Invite from Hollywood’s Towne Street Theatre

In Response

Towne Street Theatre, L.A.’s premiere African-American Theatre Company with Curator Connie Martin Trevino present a special “In Response” Visual Art Exhibit in response to Race Relations & Politics in America at the Stella Adler/LA Art Gallery from April 9 – 24 at Stella Adler Theatre, 6773 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood, CA 90028

The art exhibit has been specially curated and is meant to continue the dialogue created by the production, “In Response” which will run simultaneously with the exhibit which will be available one hour before show opening, during intermission and one hour after the show ends.

New works were created just for “In Response” and other works are conversations the artists have been working on throughout their career. Nathaniel Bellamy, Barbara Johnson Graham, Roz Myles, John David Trevino, Lamar Usher, and Connie Martin Trevino are the participating artists.  This exhibition will consist of photography, collage, painting, and drawings, and reflects the artists various backgrounds, experiences, and conversations.

“In Response,” is a multi-media, multi-author event told from a historical perspective through poetry, short plays, video and song; a “response” to systemic racism throughout American history.  It will address race relations and politics in America.  It touches on such poignant topics as interracial relationships, slavery, lynchings, the effects of race on public perceptions, job placement, freedom, and life experiences, as well as the hope and optimism for the future of race relations in America.

There will be talkbacks and a call for audience responses after every show.

Dr. Stephanie Leigh Batiste, will lead our talkback on Sunday, April 10th.  Dr. Batiste is Associate Professor in the Departments of Black Studies & English at University of California at Santa Barbara. Her book, “Darkening Mirrors: Imperial Representation in Depression Era African American Performance” (Duke University Press, 2011) is winner of the William Sanders Scarborough Prize for Research in African American Literature and Culture from the Modern Language Association and Honorable Mention for the Book Award from the Association for Theater in Higher Education.

As artists of color, the company felt it had to respond to the recent numerous police shootings and violence against unarmed black men and women, including the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and the brutality suffered by African-Americans, beginning with slavery.

As April is also National Poetry Month, Towne Street has invited a number of Spoken Word Artists to share their poetry and feelings about racism in America.

Community Response:  Towne Street Theatre would like to empower the community and engage with their audience on their responses on this topic, each week after the 8:00 p.m. Saturday shows and the 4:00 p.m. Sunday shows. The public is invited to share a poem, a spoken word piece, a letter, or a memory.  The public can submit their ideas to tstsubmit@yahoo.com.

Towne Street Theatre, L.A.’s Premiere African American Theatre Company, was founded in 1993 in the aftermath of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Its mission is to create positive social impact by producing and developing original works reflective of the African American experience. Towne Street continues to be an oasis for creativity and imagination; a theatre that helps to bridge the cultural divide by bringing artists and audiences of all colors and ethnicities together. Originally, located in a downtown loft, the Towne Street Theatre has been in residence at the Stella Adler Theatre/LA in Hollywood since 2004. The 9th Annual TST Ten Minute Play Festival begins in October of 2016.

Tickets for “In Response” are only $8 for the Preview night (April 8th).  For the entire run of the production tickets are $16 General Admission and $12 for Seniors, Students and Groups of 6 or more.

Tickets on sale Now. Get them at http://tstinresponse2.eventbrite.com/

For more information visit our website at townestreetla.org or on Facebook at facebook.com/TowneStreet

 

Beth Polsky Finds “Gorgeous” Self-Love at the Let Live Theatre

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
gia on the move theatre reviews tracey paleo

Jocelyn Hall (Cody) and Di Koob (Izzy) in the world premiere of Beth Polsky’s “Gorgeous” presented by Fierce Backbone

.“We can’t all be skinny, but we can always be Gorgeous.”

Amid laborious and manifold scene transitions, sweat inducing, furniture maneuvers, and slightly fatigue-producing actor direction, writer Beth Polsky has quite contrarily written a superbly funny and empathetic show for the world premiere of her new comedy, Gorgeous.

Gorgeous embraces the ideal of finding love exactly where it should be through an autobiographical romp in a world of sausage pizza, psychiatric mediums and nocent hyperfemininity.

Izzy has a problem, and it’s not the temptation of Ding-Dongs or her passive-aggressive therapist or the fact that her mother continues to micromanage her eating habits and fashion choices…even after she’s dead. Figuring out what is really missing in her life, is the denial she keeps swallowing down with each overdosing, pound-packing snack.  Izzy’s in trouble.  The question is, will she allow herself to be helped.

Polsky’s Gorgeous, is the very real struggle of defining who she is on her own terms – through a vulnerable Izzy.  Being Izzy is tough in the extreme as the chronically, disappointing, unfashionable, child for a vocal Saks Fifth Ave mother. Breaking the chain of emotional binging is one hard knocks episode after the next.

Indeed, the production runs very much like a LIVE studio audience late night soap opera,  brimming with TV sitcom-structured actor deliveries that routinely amp up the comedic gags, but which tend to deplete the emotional intimacy and impact from what is really being meritoriously featured here.

On the surface Polsky is attempting to bring to light damaging societal hypocrisies about femininity and beauty.  At it’s core Gorgeous address people on the most essential level and the relationships and walls and “stuff” they surround themselves with in order to not have to address the most basic of issues of love, self-esteem, and self-acceptance.  

Gorgeous is a compelling play that with some directional tweaking might better serve Polsky’s important voice in a world that very much needs it.  There are some lovely and quite humorous surprises in every character’s journey and the “feel good” ending puts the story just in the right place to land its message, that we all, in our own special way, are “gorgeous.”

gia on the move theatre reviews tracey paleo

Gorgeous by Beth Polsky

Directed by Paul Messinger
Featuring: Thomas W. Ashworth, Jocelyn Hall, Di Koob, De Ann Odom and Stella Valente.
Presented by Fierce Backbone.

NOW PLAYING until April 24th
SHOWTIMES: Fridays & Saturdays @ 8pm; Sundays @ 3pm
Pay What You Can: Sunday, April 10th @ 3pm.

Let Live Theatre @ The Actors Company LA located at 916 N. Formosa Avenue West Hollywood, CA 90046.

Purchase tickets online: http://gorgeousplay.brownpapertickets.com/ or call (800) 838-3006. 
 

 

Stratford HD Kicks Off Stage-to-Screen Series April 24th

This year’s debut also coincides with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare‘s passing and celebrates his legacy.

Jonathan Goad as Hamlet in Hamlet. Photography by David Hou.

Jonathan Goad as Hamlet in Hamlet. Photography by David Hou.

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The Stratford Festival, North America’s leading classical theatre company, today announced its 2016 U.S. schedule of high-definition theater screenings of the Festival’s critically acclaimed productions of Shakespeare’s iconic works. Captured onscreen for audiences nationwide, the series kicks off on April 24 with the HD debut of Hamlet. The series continues with The Adventures of Pericles beginning May 8, and with The Taming of the Shrew beginning May 29.

Distributed this spring by SpectiCast Entertainment, the productions continue the massive initiative by the Stratford Festival’s Artistic Director, Antoni Cimolino, to capture all of Shakespeare’s plays over the next 10 years and bring them to a global audience. Noted producer and director Barry Avrich has captured the productions using 10 cameras and 128 tracks of sound to create an immersive high-definition, surround-sound experience while remaining faithful to the stage version of the productions.

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Coming to theaters across the U.S. this summer:

  • Jonathan Goad. Photography by Don Dixon.

    Jonathan Goad. Photography by Don Dixon.

    Hamlet – It’s been called the greatest play in the English language and this production “the most complete, most fulfilling, most satisfying in decades of theater-going.” Jonathan Goad is witty and courageous in the title role, but also deeply human. The film excites and surprises at every turn, with a cast of some of the finest classical actors in the world bringing to life the most intense and heart-breaking relationships the stage has ever seen. Directed for the stage by Antoni Cimolino. Directed for film by Shelagh O’Brien. Produced by Barry Avrich.

  • Ben Carlson, Deborah Hay. Photography by Don Dixon.

    Ben Carlson, Deborah Hay. Photography by Don Dixon.

    The Taming of the Shrew – Shakespeare’s boisterous comedy will stir your emotions with the love story of Katherina and Petruchio, the feisty couple at the center of Shakespeare’s most pointed social commentary. Deborah Hay gives a “performance for the ages” as the Shrew, and Ben Carlson is the perfect counterpoint as her plotting suitor, creating a chemistry that sets the stage alight. Directed for the stage by Chris Abraham. Produced and directed for film by Barry Avrich.

  • Evan Buliung (centre) as Pericles with members of the company in The Adventures of Pericles. Photography by David Hou.

    Evan Buliung (centre) as Pericles with members of the company in The Adventures of Pericles. Photography by David Hou.

    The Adventures of Pericles – One storm at sea brings love into the life of Pericles, Prince of Tyre, while another snatches it away. This magical production of Shakespeare’s epic tale is “moving from beginning to end.” Evan Buliung gives a sweeping performance, portraying the dashing young prince with verve and swagger, and taking him into his elder years with sorrowful tenderness. A story rarely told, and one you won’t soon forget! Directed for the stage by Scott Wentworth. Produced and directed for film by Barry Avrich.

Additional screening locations will be updated weekly.
The Stratford Festival HD project launched in February 2015 with the release of
King Lear, King John, and Antony and Cleopatra.

For more information visit: www.stratfordfestival.ca/HD

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ABOUT THE STRATFORD FESTIVAL
The Stratford Festival has been setting the standard for classical theater in North
America for more than 60 years. With the works of Shakespeare at its core, this
acclaimed repertory theater presents a seven-month season of a dozen or more
plays in four venues, along with a Forum of events to enrich the play-going
experience. Since its revolutionary first season in 1953, it has welcomed more
than 26 million theater-goers from around the world, people who flock to this small Canadian town for one reason: an unparalleled quality of performance. In 2015, under the leadership of Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino and Executive Director Anita Gaffney, the Stratford Festival embarked upon a 10-year initiative to capture the entire Shakespeare canon in spectacular HD, bringing the work of
this renowned company to audiences around the world.

Batman v Superman: Who’s the More Powerful Comic Book Investment?

Batman vs Superman Dawn of Justice

COURTESY OF WARNER BROS.

Batman and Superman are currently locked in a heated popularity contest, driven by the much-anticipated movie, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. But while fans debate the merits of each superhero, comic collectors are asking: who’s the shrewder investment?

Both characters got their start in comic books. Superman burst on the scene in 1938 in Action Comics #1. Batman debuted in 1939 in Detective Comics #27.

Batman Gia On The Move comic books Superman Gia On The Move comic books.

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“Timing is key. Superman is the world’s first comic book superhero, he influenced all who followed, including Batman,” says Vincent Zurzolo, co-owner of Metropolis Collectibles, www.metropoliscomics.com, the world’s largest vintage comic book dealership, and www.comicconnect.com, its online auction site.

“Comics featuring a character’s first appearance are typically the most valuable. For these reasons, I believe that Action Comics #1 will always be the gold standard.”

In the last decade, four high-grade copies of Action Comics #1 have sold for over $1 million—the highest for an unprecedented $3.2 million. In contrast, only one Detective Comics #27 has broken the seven figure threshold, and just barely.

So is Batman a weak comic book investment? “By no means, if a high-grade copy of Detective Comics #27 came on the market today, it would perform very well,” says Zurzolo.

In fact, when it comes to compelling supervillains, Batman overpowers Superman, and that also impacts comic book values.  The Joker, Riddler, Penguin, Catwoman, Two Face…Batman has a deep bench of great villains.  But try to name one well-known Superman villain besides Lex Luthor. Most people can’t.

So, which character should aspiring comic book collectors choose?

A rule of thumb is to collect what you love, so pick the character that appeals to you.  Or collect both. Just do your homework. Make sure you’re buying from a reputable seller, paying fair prices, and most of all, having fun.

World’s First-Ever global Performing Arts University Rankings Released

Juilliard School ranked world’s best university for studying Performing Arts

800px-Juilliard_School_-_Alice_Tully_Hall

Julliard School. Photo by Paul Masck

 

Join the conversation at #QSWUR

The sixth edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject, released today on TopUniversities.com, features a record-breaking 42 disciplines, making it the largest-ever ranking of its kind. Juilliard School has been ranked as the world’s best university for the study of Performing Arts, in what is the first ever global rankings for this subject.

The expert opinion of 76,798 academics and 44,426 employers informed the results, alongside the analysis of 28.5 million research papers and over 113 million citations sourced from the Scopus/Elsevier bibliometric database. This led to QS considering for inclusion 1,008 institutions offering Performing Arts-related courses, nominally ranking 974, before finally publishing the top 100.

In second place for Performing Arts is University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, from Austria. Completing the top three is the Royal College of Music from the United Kingdom.

This year’s first ever ranking features the world’s top 100 places to study Performing Arts, ranking those institutions that offer courses with a practical focus in at least one of Music, Drama, and Dance. The most-featured country in the ranking is the United States which takes 6 top-20 places, and 26 places overall. It is followed by the United Kingdom, which is home to 24 of the world’s top 100 places to study the subject. The University of Oxford and the Royal Academy of Music are also in the top five.

However, though the United Kingdom and the United States dominate, QS recognise that institutions from nations across the globe are providing a world-class education for aspirant thespians, dancers, and musicians alike. The rankings feature institutions from 27 different nations, with Finland’s Sibelius Academy finishing 7th. Also in the top-20 are representatives from Sweden (Royal College of Music in Stockholm, 11th), France (Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, 12th), and Switzerland (Conservatoire de Musique de Geneve, 19th).

Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) continue to take the lion’s share of top places in the overall rankings, leading in 24 subjects between them. Each takes twelve leading positions.

gia on the move performing arts stats
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Ben Sowter, Head of the QS Intelligence Unit, said: “Though the US and UK remain dominant, our most inclusive rankings ever show that excellence can be found in an ever-increasing number of places. Nations like Austria, South Africa, Finland, Brazil, China, and Sweden can be found in the top ten of our tables. Our new top 100 for Performing Arts acknowledges academic excellence in 27 different countries, with institutions from 8 different countries in the top 20.”