Gucci Memoir : Chronicle of a Not So Secret Love

bookshot-spine-cropIn the Name of Gucci: A Memoir, by Patricia Gucci (Crown, on sale May 10) is the first book written by a direct descendant of Guccio Gucci—Patricia’s grandfather and the company’s founder. It chronicles her life as the secret love child of Aldo Gucci and Bruna—the woman he fell in love with when she was just eighteen, and remained at his side until his death at 84 years of age. What started out as an affair became a lifelong commitment and for the last 20 years of his life, long after he had been estranged from his first wife Olwen, it was Bruna who was considered his wife in the US, culminating with their marriage in the 1980s. Woven throughout the book is the complicated, but loving father-daughter relationship between Aldo and Patricia Gucci, the first woman in the family to be elected to the Gucci board of directors, and who ultimately became his sole universal heir.

gia on the move fashion

Patricia Gucci with her father Aldo Gucci

This is a daughter’s bittersweet tribute to her beloved father which traces Aldo Gucci’s marketing brilliance and stamina in establishing Gucci as one of the world’s most iconic brands. He was the first Italian to set up an Italian luxury goods retail operation in the US, opening on Fifth Avenue in New York, Worth Avenue in Palm Beach and Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, paving the way for the ‘Made in Italy’ phenomenon throughout the world for countless others to follow in his footsteps.

Meet Patricia a her book signing and conversation with Wall Street Journal reporter Marc Myers on Friday, May 13, 2016 at 7pm at The Strand bookstore located at 828 Broadway (at 12th Street) New York, NY 10003

Connect with Patricia Gucci:

WEBSITE: http://PATRICIAGUCCI.COM
FACEBOOK: inthenameofgucci/
INSTAGRAM: patriciagucciofficial and #IntheNameofGucci
TWITTER: #IntheNameofGucci

Kristin Kontrol: (Don’t) Wannabe

gia on the move

Dee Dee ditching her Dum Dum Girls guise, an outlet through which, for over a decade she had crafted studio apartment nylon string guitar demos, was definitely a leap in to the unknown.

“Sometimes the project you pour your soul into ends up hemming you in.”

At the top of 2015, shedding her ‘skin’ for her real name, Kristin, and adding Kontrol just resonated.  Her goal has been to sweep all her loves together into one genreless experience.  The result is a song is off her forthcoming debut, X-Communicate, which comes out on May 27 via Sub Pop Records.

Kristin also announced her first set of tour dates HERE, with more to come.

Challenging Fear in an “Office Hour” at South Coast Repertory

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
Raymond Lee and Sandra Oh in South Coast Repertory's 2016 world premiere of Office Hour by Julia Cho. Photo by Debora Robinson/SCR.

Raymond Lee and Sandra Oh in South Coast Repertory’s 2016 world premiere of Office Hour by Julia Cho. Photo by Debora Robinson/SCR.

“Is there a more primal emotion than fear?” asks writer John Glare in his introduction to Office Hour, a world premiere commissioned by South Coast Repertory from Korean-American writer Julia Cho (The Language Archive, The Architecture of Loss).

Office Hour is a psychologically riveting and hypothetical amalgamation of real events sparked by the mass school shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007 and further influenced by the more recent shootings at UC Santa Barbara. It is one of the most important discourses on the subject of “what if” theatre-goers will experience this year.

Experientially disturbing, embedded in every inch of this text is fear – rational and irrational, unsettling hopelessness and deep internal pain. It is a teacher versus student deadlock in a potentially un-savable situation. It is a struggle for control and identity recognition, a desire to be seen, to claim a humanity that has been stripped because of a person’s “difference”.

Dennis, a seemingly troubled, Asian student in a college screen-writing program composes frightening pornographic, sexual violence, which scares his fellow students and professors alike. All except one – Gina an adjunct professor, also Asian, who thinks he’s weird but not all that unusual. When her colleagues complain about his writing and borderline psychotic classroom behaviors they ask Gina, whose class Dennis is now attending, to “talk” to him hoping she might find a “way in” via their shared ethnicity. Dennis has not actually broken any official school policies and has managed to maintain his grades so the meeting itself already borders, “crossing the line.” But Gina finds a way to do it and it sets the stage for a series of explosive confrontations.

Throughout a single hour, Gina breaks through Dennis’ silence and faces off with him, his intentions, motivations and whether or not he is actually in control of his overwhelming anger, in control enough to either not hurt himself or hurt others. At times, tender at others fiercely combative the session becomes increasingly intense with each new discovery about Dennis’ childhood, his family, his sexual experiences, his outcast status and the depth of his despair.

Real time scenarios continuously shape shift with frighteningly violent, alternate outcomes that challenge perspective in the mere seconds they appear, before returning to the apparent conversation at hand. The possibilities of what could happen in these moments as opposed to what does, are so shocking that each time, we are oddly left in a middle space, a dilemma of conscience, perhaps more enlightened as to the “why” of Dennis but not the “what if”.

Dennis is Gina’s Matterhorn – a mountain of all mountains. There may never be a way to save him or for Dennis to save himself. Gina continues to hope.

Sandra Oh is brilliant in her utterly heartfelt, rational and determined performance; an embodiment of a concerned teacher culturally and personally empathetic to Dennis’ issues having lived them. In some ways, Dennis is a sort of reflection of herself.

Raymond Lee has taken Dennis to an eye-opening extreme of a young man in torment existing at a razor-thin edge.

Performances by Sola Bamis (Genevieve) and Cory Brill (David) round out this play “full spectrum”.

Office Hour is chilling yet profoundly moving and thought-provoking.  It focuses a highly sensitive lens on our personal paranoia, over what could happen in this age of aggressive terrorism and deranged violence and the ongoing debate as to what to do when faced with an uncomfortable person or situation. How do we judge, decide, act. And are we truly objective, or living merely in anxiety? Are we seeing the truth or are we irrationally creating what isn’t necessarily there?

Superb direction by Neel Keller is even more enhanced by a hair-raising lighting design by Elizabeth Harper, sound design by Peter Bayne and beautifully uncomplicated scenic design by Takeshi Kata and Se Oh who use every inch of the space to perfection.  Costume design by Alex Jaeger absolutely serves the genre.

Written by Julia Cho
Directed by Neel Keller

David (student) – Corey Brill
Genevieve – Sola Bamis
Gina – Sandra Oh
Dennis — Raymond Lee

This show is now closed.

Judy! Liza! Peter! Live From “The Boy From Oz”

Reviewed by Marc Wheeler

gia on the move theatre reviews marc wheeler

The life of Peter Allen takes center stage in The Boy From Oz, the Australian-turned-Broadway hit now getting an ambitious 51-seat West Coast premiere at Celebration Theatre under the direction of Michael A. Shepperd.

Who’s Peter Allen?

That’s what I asked when I first heard of this musical. (It’s also what I asked at intermission, but we’ll get to that). The Boy From Oz — book by Martin Sherman, original book by Nick Enright — seeks to answer that question in its sweeping journey from the 1940s-1990s. Briefly, Allen was an award-winning, Australian singer-songwriter who found international success performing in stage shows large and small, from his humble beginnings in pubs and cabarets, to Radio City and the Sydney Opera House. His songs were performed by Olivia Newton-John, Melissa Manchester, Frank Sinatra and others. And it was through a chance encounter with Judy Garland that he met and married her daughter Liza Minnelli before divorcing and coming out as gay.

Ohhh, THAT Peter Allen!

It’s no wonder Celebration — LA’s historic LGBT theater — gravitated toward this show. Their current home at The Lex, however, poses significant challenges in mounting a big Broadway musical. But as they demonstrated a few years back with their wildly successful, small-stage production of The Color Purple, they’re more than crafty at fitting large pieces in intimate spaces.

Which transitions me ever-so-winkingly to the production’s celebrated sexuality. Shepperd knows his audience, and eye candy — for any persuasion — is assured. The show’s intimacy is tender (especially its depictions of Allen’s later years romance), and blatant sexuality — albeit brief — is surprisingly edgy in an otherwise kid-friendly production. The Stonewall Riots are also dramatized (kudos to Eric Snodgrass’s smashing sound design) giving poignancy to sexual awakening.

Peter Allen’s played by fellow Australian Andrew Bongiorno, whose smile is as pleasant as the vocals emerging from it. And yet for all of Act One, even during Allen’s more vulnerable moments, I couldn’t see beyond his saccharine-sweet persona. I thought, Is this it? Is this Peter Allen? And if so, why did they make a musical about him?

Is Bongiorno missing something?
Am I?

I decided to go with Am I? and sat back in my seat. And as Act Two began I realized Shepperd knew exactly what he was doing all along. If Act One is Allen’s caterpillar, Act Two is his butterfly. And boy does he.

Self-love and acceptance do wonders for the soul, and Allen’s spirit flies high and proud, storm clouds be damned. And there are storm clouds. And there is an end — one tied beautifully to “long-ago” Allen, played with an indomitable spirit by Michayla Brown. Her casting is truly inspiring, proving that a young Asian girl can play the childhood version of a white Australian man — this being theater after all.

Kelly Lester is outstanding as Allen’s mother whose support and love rival her constant worries. Her heartbreaking anthem “Don’t Cry Out Loud” not only informs the story, it dares the audience, such power consumes her rendition.

Jessica Pennington is the spitting image of Liza Minnelli, thanks in large part to Michael Mullen’s (across-the-board) glorious costuming, Byron Batista’s hair and wig design and, alas, genetics. While vocally she’s not a dead-ringer, she’s within range. She shines brightest when Liza stands tallest, as in “She Loves to Hear the Music” where Liza claims her power and Pennington shows off hers.

And then there’s Bess Motta as Judy Garland. Make that, Bess Motta is Judy Garland. Her vibrato, gestures. Her throwing the mike cord over her shoulder just so. All of it: Judy. In serenades she takes the audience with her, transporting us back in time. Those who were there can relive their memories, and those who weren’t can swear they were. Power, insecurity and ferocity permeate this performance. Garland’s time in Oz is, like her life, too brief, but ohhh does Motta make the most of it, for all of us.

A strong, multi-racial ensemble rounds out the cast. And one couldn’t ask for a more perfect “descending staircase” in actors’ heights for staging aesthetics.

I was sure The Boy From Oz was a mix of songwriters, Allen making up about half the songs. But no: music and lyrics, they’re all his (including those co-written with Carole Bayer Sager, Burt Bacharach, etc). Notably, “Best That You Can Do,” “Quiet Please, There’s a Lady On Stage,” “I Honestly Love You,” “Don’t Cry Out Loud” and “I Go to Rio” are familiar hits that may inspire a few I didn’t know he wrote that! remarks. But mixed in with these bygone pop songs are some less successful “stage tunes.” None that bad, fortunately, they’re just not all dandies. That being said, a four-piece band under the musical direction of Bryan Blaskie gives this jukebox musical the sound it deserves.

Janet Roston’s choreography is fantastic. Whether bringing cutesy-silliness to the “Love Crazy” ensemble routine, Fosse-esque moves to a Liza number, or orgiastic simulations to “Continental American,” her range is broad and execution sharp.

Celebration Theatre’s The Boy From Oz is a strong example of what can happen under L.A.’s 99-Seat Plan. Not only is it an outside-the-box choice considering its venue size, it’s slick, polished and inventive (risk-taking being an encouraged component of the Plan.) Granted, I find its song selection mixed, and Act One — at least in this staging — had me feeling rather unsure, but by the end I was completely won over. This is, in large part, a wonderful production celebrating — as only Celebration can — the life of a man who learned not to keep it inside.

Now playing through June 19, 2016

Celebration Theatre @ The Lex Theatre
6760 Lexington Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays – 8:00 PM
Sundays – 2:00 PM

Running time:
2 hrs and 20 mins. One intermission.

Tickets:
$45 Reserved
$40 General Seating

Call 323-957-1884 or visit: celebrationtheatre.com

Millenials Trade In Drugs and Alcohol for Oxygen at The Music Festival Scene

gia on the move music concerts festivalsEndless Summer dancing, drinking and blazing in congested, smoke-filled air; it’s the ultimate concert experience, until now.

Festival-goers are trading in their plastic cups and lighters for a pure, more energizing alternative to drugs and alcohol with a trending wellness product: recreational oxygen.

whats hot now gia on the move music festivals oxygenFor those who crave a natural energy and recovery experience, Oxygen Plus (O+) has introduced a line of canned supplemental oxygen that’s easy to carry and breathe when on the go. O+ is 95% pure oxygen, in a variety of flavors including Natural, Peppermint and Pink Grapefruit, which delivers more than four times the amount of oxygen found in unpolluted, everyday air.

A full range of products are available online at oxygenplus.com. (Be sure to read the label warnings before purchase.)

Oxygen Plus was recently a big hit at the annual Bud Light Digital Dreams Music Festival in Toronto, Canada, and is being heralded as the newest, healthier way to bring out your inner rock star. Oxygen Plus, dubbed the “Evian of the air industry,” is galvanizing awareness. Celebrities like Lady Gaga, Mick Jagger and Justin Timberlake use oxygen on tours and in their daily life to restore vitality and feel more youthful.

gia on the move oxygen whats hot now

2nd Annual Mammoth Lakes Film Fest Announces Lineup

gia on the move film5 Days 50 Films

Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, set in the majestic setting of Mammoth Lakes, California, five hours north of Los Angeles by car and thirty minutes south of the entrance to Yosemite National Park, has announced its line-up of screenings and events for the festival’s second edition.

The five-day festival will take place over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, May 25 -29, 2016, and includes a tribute to legendary director Joe Dante, four Gala events,14 films in Narrative and a Documentary Competition, as well short film screenings, Q&As, and a Saturday morning Indie cartoon program for children. The festival will also include nightly gala events that celebrate the excitement and discovery of visionary filmmaking.

Gala events include the Opening Night Screening and Party for Operation Avalanche, Centerpiece Sierra Spirit Award Presentation to iconic filmmaker Joe Dante, Spotlight Screening of acclaimed documentary Beware The Slenderman, a Gala Closing Night Screening for Sonita, and a closing night Awards Party.

Festival passes and individual tickets are available now.
Ticket sales and additional festival information can be found at: www.MammothLakesFilmFestival.com

Discounted lodging through the festival’s lodging partner Sierra Nevada Resort & Spa can be purchased with a 20% discount on by calling in or booking online at http://thesierranevadaresort.com/ CODE – Theater)

All screenings and special events will take place in Mammoth Lakes, at venues including the Edison Theatre, the Forest Service Visitor’s Center Theater, the Minaret Cinemas, as well as the Mono Lake Visitor’s Center.

CURRENT FILM SLATE BELOW:

OPENING NIGHT GALA SCREENING & PARTY
Operation Avalanche (USA) -Director: Matt Miller
In 1967, during the height of the Cold War, four undercover CIA agents sent to NASA to pose as a documentary film crew discover one of the biggest conspiracies in American history. Opening Night Party will include entertainment by Ouroboros Shadow Pictures, an innovative shadow picture company.

SPOTLIGHT GALA SCREENING
Beware The Slenderman (USA) – Director:Irene Taylor Brodsky
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky, tells the story of a Boogeyman lurking on the internet and two 12-year-old girls who would kill for him. Ms. Taylor Brodsky will be present for Q&A.
*Also in documentary feature competition

CENTERPIECE GALA TRIBUTE & SCREENING – HONORING JOE DANTE
On Saturday evening we honor legendary director Joe Dante with our inaugural Sierra Spirit Award. The Sierra Spirit Award is given to an iconic and visionary filmmaker who inspires audiences, breaks boundaries, and has created visionary entertainment that has touched generations. Joe Dante’s tremendous body of work exemplifies storytelling passion and skill. We are proud to present a screening of Mr. Dante’s classic 1987 film Innerspace, followed by a conversation with Mr. Dante. Special guest appearance by actor Robert Picardo (Innerspace, Gremlins 2).

CLOSING NIGHT GALA SCREENING & AWARDS PARTY
Sonita (Iran) -Director:Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami
The inspiring story of Sonita Alizadeh, an 18-year-old Afghan refugee in Iran, who thinks of Michael Jackson and Rihanna as her spiritual parents and dreams of becoming a big-name rapper. Her family has a very different future planned for her: as a bride she’s worth $9,000.
*Also in documentary feature competition

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION
All The Colors Of The Night (Brazil) – Director: Pedro Severin
Iris wakes up in her spacious seafront apartment, discovers a body in the living room and enlists the help of other women, setting off a spiral of redemption in an atmospheric drama of dark imagery and questionable reality.

Baby Bump (Poland) – Director:Kuba Czekaj
11-year-old Mickey House is no longer a child. But who is he? He has no clue. He has no friends. He hates what’s happening to his body. Reality and imagination blend together in a toxic mix. Growing up is not for kids.

Bodkin Ras (Netherlands) -Director:Kaweh Modiri
A young fugitive searches for a nonexistent home, in a small town called Forres, a Scottish town well-hidden between the Highlands and the North Sea. The characters in this town are all real people with traumas whose stories are incorporated into the film script, in which documentary and fiction are blended together.

Buddymoon (USA) –Director:Alex Simmons
Flula Borg (Pitch Perfect 2) stars in this buddy-flick comedy. Jilted groom David is convinced by his excitable best man, played by Flula, to continue with his planned honeymoon, a backcountry trek in the mountains of Oregon, in this comedic ode to friendship and the great outdoors.

Mad (USA) -Director:Robert Putka
A tragicomedy about a matriarch who passes the point of a nervous breakdown, her two daughters that don’t give a damn, and the heat-seeking missiles of resentment they toss at each other.

Last Summer (Italy) – Director:Leonardo Guerra Seragnoli
On a luxury yacht off the coast of Italy, a young mother has four days to leave her son with a lasting memory of her before she loses custody of him for many years. Starring Academy Award nominated actress, Rinko Kikuchi (Pacific Rim, Babel).

On The Rocks (USA, World Premiere) -Directors: Ariel Gardner & Alex Kavutskiy Dallas struggles to get ahead in life. As he is dealing with his father passing he must overcome the day to day obstacles that prevent him from making progress. When he thinks he has taken one step forward he soon will see that he took two steps back.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION
Atlan (Iran) – Director:Moeen Karimoddini
Ali is a Turkman horse trainer. Horses are his life. His horse Ilhan has won him so many prizes. Ali is planning to use Ilhan’s and his other horses’ awards money to pay for his wedding. But not everything goes favourably in the course of events.

Beware The Slenderman (USA) – Director:Irene Taylor Brodsky
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky, tells the story of a Boogeyman lurking on the internet and two 12-year-old girls who would kill for him. Ms. Taylor Brodsky will be present for Q&A.
*Also Spotlight Gala Screening

Helmut Berger, Actor (Austria) -Director:Andreas Horvath
A relentless, yet intimate portrait of the legendary actor Helmut Berger who epitomized the exuberant jet set lifestyle of the 70s, and now reigns over a run down two-room apartment at the outskirts of his hometown Salzburg, Austria. The film exposes the brusqueness of his character for what it really is: a cry for attention, closeness and intimacy.

Learning To See (USA) -Director:Jake Oelman
Insect photographer Robert Oelman’s transformational journey to find and document the Amazon’s strangest creatures. His quest culminates with a New York City gallery show where he finally shares his striking and magical images with the general public.

Myrtle Beach (USA) -Directors:Michael Fuller & Neil Rough
Like a darker less whimsical Vernon Florida, Myrtle Beach profiles a charismatic cast of local eccentrics, survivors and lone wolves.

Sonita (Iran) -Director:Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami
The inspiring story of Sonita Alizadeh, an 18-year-old Afghan refugee in Iran, who thinks of Michael Jackson and Rihanna as her spiritual parents and dreams of becoming a big-name rapper. Her family has a very different future planned for her: as a bride she’s worth $9,000.
*Also Closing Night Gala Screening

Under The Sun (Russia) – Director:Vitaly Mansky
Despite continuous interference by government handlers, director Vitaly Mansky managed to document life in Pyongyang, North Korea in this fascinating portrait of one girl and her parents as she prepares to join the Korean Children’s Union on the ‘Day Of The Shining Star’ (Kim Jong-Il’s birthday).

Film To Watch: Art Bastard – Rise of a Rabble-Rouser

gia on the move art moviesIn a madcap art world obsessed with money, fame and hype, how does an artist driven by justice, defiance and his own singular style thrive? ART BASTARD is the tale of a rebel who never fit into today’s art world… yet has become one of its most provocative, rabble-rousing characters nevertheless. At once a portrait of the artist as a young troublemaker, an alternate history of modern art and a quintessential New York story, ART BASTARD is as energetic, humorous and unapologetically honest as the uncompromising man at its center: Robert Cenedella.

CAVU Pictures presents a Concannon Productions film, ART BASTARD, written and directed by Victor Kanefsky and produced by Chris T.

The new documentary will release in New York on May 20th at the Angelika Film Center and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas and on June 3rd in Los Angeles/Orange County at the Laemmle Monica Film Center in Santa Monica and Edwards University Town Center 6 in Irvine, followed by a national release.

Cenedella was a contemporary of Andy Warhol. But he has essentially served as the anti-Warhol. His noisy, raucous, color-splashed paintings of city scenes approach the world with a sincerity that defies the irony, frivolity and controversy-for-the-sake-of-controversy that have become the cultural currency since the 60s.

Yet, as ART BASTARD reveals, Cenedella couldn’t be any more a product of these times. He was the son of a blacklisted writer, raised on crushed 50s dreams. He’s been haunted by dark family secrets that had him questioning his identity. His passionate convictions started so young they got him kicked out of high school. Even when he found solace and expression in art, he was an unabashed outsider – never a gallery darling, not pursued by museum curators, but an artist who was going to have his say regardless of who was paying attention. Even so, over time, Cenedella’s vast canvases, rife with the chaotic beauty of politics, humor, history and humanity, drew admirers from all walks of society – even from the vaunted art patrons who rejected him.

In a fast-moving series of riveting interviews with family members, art critics, museum directors, New York power brokers, art students and Cenedella himself, director Victor Kanefsky candidly presents Cenedella’s personal journey – and reveals the creation of a modern art career that ignored all the modern art rules.

Kanefsky follows Cenedella from his days selling cheeky “I Like Ludwig” buttons to pay his art school tuition to his apprenticeship in New York with George Grosz (1893-1959), the German painter and graphic artist who was the most outstanding caricaturist and political satirist of the period after World War I.

Grosz inspired Cenedella with his merging of refined technique with blistering social critique; from Cenedella’s provocative 1965 “Yes Art” exhibit which became the most popular – and debated – show of the year, lambasting the crass commercialism of the blossoming Pop Art movement, to his sudden, 12-year break from painting and his fruitful return as a teacher, mentor and unbowed iconoclast of American painting.

While Cenedella forthrightly questions the mechanics – and profit-making — of the art world, he has it out for no one. As he puts it: “It’s not what they show that bothers me, it’s what they don’t show.”

What ART BASTARD shows, in stunning cinematic detail, are the living, breathing, storytelling canvases that Cenedella has created for six decades. Set to a rollicking soundtrack, the film not only tours Cendella’s life. It also tours his eye-poppingly intricate, New York-centered paintings as one might travel the city – peering into every corner to uncover Cenedella’s characters, commentary and emotions.

Running Time: 84 minutes
Rating: Not Unrated
Language: English