Tag Archives: News

Controversial “Mosque Alert” Play Opens in Chicago

Poster art for the stage play, "Mosque Alert." (PRNewsFoto/Silk Road Rising)

Poster art for the stage play, “Mosque Alert.”

“Mosque Alert,” a bold new play by award winning playwright Jamil Khoury, will receive a professional world premiere production, this Spring, from March 24 to May 1, 2016 at Silk Road Rising in The Historic Chicago Temple Building, 77 W. Washington St, Lower Level, Chicago, IL.

Mosque Alert  tells the story of three fictional families living in Naperville, Illinois, whose lives are forever changed by a proposed Islamic Center on the site of a beloved local landmark. The play was inspired by the 2010 “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy in New York City.

“If Mosque Alert was relevant when I first started, that relevance has since exploded. Today the play exists within a cultural zeitgeist animated by fears of immigrants, fears of Muslims, demographic anxiety attacks, and calls to erect walls and impose bans—a more optimistic read is that of one big messy America struggling to work it out for the better,” says playwright Jamil Khoury.

Unlike most plays, Mosque Alert was developed through an open and public workshop process, originally conceived as an online video-based civic engagement project.

Director Edward Torres, who returned to his native Chicago from New York City where he recently directed Macbeth for the Public Theater, reflects on the themes of the play and says,

“Mosque Alert gives voice to multiple American perspectives and exposes the fears at the heart of intolerance.”

Over the last two years, Khoury has adapted the project into a stage play by working in communities with both Muslim and non-Muslim participants. Over 2,500 individuals have participated in the new play’s development and have expressed their surprise at how closely the play reflects real life scenarios.

“When I launched Mosque Alert as a digital online initiative nearly five years ago,” says Khoury, “how could I have guessed that my three fictional families in Naperville, Illinois, with intertwined lives and competing worldviews, would drive a story so reflective of actual mosque battles and presidential politics in 2016? Mosque Alert, I believe, not only responds to the current climate, but gives new spin to the adage ‘life imitates art.'”

Playwright Jamil Khoury, author of "Mosque Alert." (PRNewsFoto/Silk Road Rising)

Playwright Jamil Khoury, author of “Mosque Alert.” (PRNewsFoto/Silk Road Rising)

Mosque Alert explores the intersections of zoning and Islamophobia with humor, family drama, and refreshingly blunt honesty. The play provides no easy answers. Instead, it offers insights into conversations taking place within segments of the Muslim American community, the challenges faced by their allies, and the political beliefs that have contributed to a climate of fear.

The play isn’t one sided, either. Instead, it works to ascribe integrity to a wide spectrum of perspectives, even those we may find objectionable, and it presents characters that are complex, flawed, and ultimately relatable.

“With Mosque Alert we’re seizing the gray areas,” says Khoury, “and inviting audiences to grapple with unsettling truths about our post-9/11 world: namely, the resistance to mosque-building in communities across the US, and what that resistance tells us about ourselves.”

Mosque Alert performs from March 24 to May 1, 2016 at Silk Road Rising in The Historic Chicago Temple Building, 77 W. Washington St, Lower Level, Chicago, IL.

For more information, including purchasing tickets online, visit http://www.mosquealert.org.

About Silk Road Rising

Silk Road Rising creates live theatre and online videos that tell stories through primarily Asian American and Middle Eastern American lenses. In representing communities that intersect and overlap, we advance a polycultural worldview. For more information on Silk Road Rising visit http://www.silkroadrising.org.

David in Valhalla: “An Eclipse of Ships” at SXSW Today March 12th

“David J is the Avant of the Avant-garde.” –Perry Farrell, Jane’s Addiction

David J, a British artist and something of a Renaissance man, makes his SXSW debut, premiering his upcoming 2014 album, An Eclipse of Ships. Selected by Spin magazine as a “SXSW Must See” artist, David J plays Valhalla on Wednesday, March 12 (1:00AM), Gingerman Pub on Friday, March 14 (3:00 PM) and Joe’s Crab Shack on Sunday, March 16 (6:00 PM).

The album, An Eclipse of Ships is essentially a journal of the heart and a paeanto Woman as muse. This new work sees a return in style to earlier mainly, acoustic records such as Songs From Another Season and Crocodile Tears and The Velvet Cosh and features a stellar group of musicians on violin, acoustic piano, Rhodes, standupbass, mandolin, oboe, percussion and a bevy of acoustic guitars. Recorded by candlelight in the City of Angels, the album is a showcase for lustrous jewels retrievedby a gentleman thief from the boudoirs of beautiful women.

“The title, An Eclipse of Ships, is a play on the old Longfellow line, ‘ships that pass in the night’, describing the rare incident of seaborne vessels sailing directly past each other in the dark,” explains David J. “Traditionally, sailors would shine a light onto eachother’s hulls as a silent greeting before continuing on their respective voyages. The phrase was later employed to describe a brief, intense encounter between two people who then part, never to see each other again.”

As founding member of Bauhaus, one of the most influential bands since The Velvet Underground; David J spearheaded the post-punk alternative music scene of the early‘80’s with a string of innovative albums and singles including, ‘I’ll Be You Chauffeur’, the first number one single on the newly formed Alternative Charts in 1989. He was also a founding member of the innovative psychedelic rock band, Love and Rockets who scored a number two single on the Billboard charts with ‘So Alive’ in that same year. This year saw the release of the thirty year anniversary edition of his solo debut album, ‘Etiquette of Violence’.

Aside from his own critically acclaimed solo works, various guest appearances, collaborations and production duties, David has also written and directed various stage productions including the spectacular multi-media tour de force, Silver for Gold (The Odyssey of Edie Sedgwick) which originally premiered at the Met Theatre in Hollywood in 2008 and was shown at the REDCAT in Downtown Los Angeles in 2011. That same year, David penned and directed the haunting play with music and Butoh, The Chanteuse and the Devil’s Muse which opened at the Bootleg Theatre in Los Angeles. He has also written several screen plays in collaboration with Don C. Tyler.

In 2014, David J showcases at SXSW, and tours his new album An Eclipse of Ships around the globe. His memoir, ‘Who Killed Mister Moonlight?’ (Bauhaus, BlackMagick and Benediction) will be published by Jawbone Press later this year.

39th Annual Fancy Food Show Names Victory Amory A Top 5 Trend

Victory AmoryThis January, at San Francisco’s 39th annual Winter Fancy Food Show, Victoria Amory’s new Fine Herbs Mayonnaise, one of nine creations in her latest artisan condiment line, was named one of the food and beverage show’s Top Trends by a panel of expert food writers and journalists. The panel – which included Specialty Food Association senior director Denise Purcell, Nancy Hopkins of Better Homes and Gardens, and PBS cooking host Joanne Weir – selected five top trends from over 80,000 specialty food and beverage products and 1,350 exhibitors at the specialty show and chose Victoria Amory & Co. for its newest creations selected Amory’s Fine Herb Mayonnaise as the leading product in the Condiments Dressed Up trend!

Armory’s tip: Even the simplest dish can be dressed up for dinner. She suggests pairing her Top Trend Fine Herb Mayonnaise, inspired by the lush Basque region in Spain, with crispy coconut shrimp for fun fusion fare.
Victoria Amory has created nine new fancy condiments in all: Green Chili Piri Piri, Red Chili Piri Piri, Almond and Garlic Romesco Sauce, Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise, Fine Herb Mayonnaise, Classic Lemon Mayonnaise, Sherry Ketchup, Champagne Ketchup, and Smokey BBQ Ketchup. All nine creations are now available at victoriaamory.com.

Follow her on twitter @vixmam.

About Victoria Amory

Victoria Amory is an award-winning author, cook, and television personality. She writes about food, entertaining, and lifestyle for local and national magazines and newspapers such as Food & Wine,Veranda,Town & Country Travel,The Miami Herald, and The Huffington Post. Born and raised in Spain, where she learned the art of gracious entertaining, Victoria has made cooking for her loved ones and sharing her secrets to easy elegance in the kitchen her life’s work. She shares her fabulous yet effortless recipes and tips for the sophisticated home through her blog, victoriaamory.com, and her collection of Victoria Amory & Co. soups, sauces, and skinny chicken parmesan. Amory’s line is designed to help women create graceful, memorable meals and occasions with ease and confidence. Victoria currently lives in Connecticut with her husband and their three boys.


Entertainment News: Cast & Crew Launches Financial Services Division

On a technical note…


Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, a leading provider of payroll services serving the entertainment industry for nearly four decades, has expanded its services by establishing Cast & Crew Financial Services, LLC, it was announced today by company President and CEO Eric Belcher.  Cast & Crew Financial Services will provide production incentive financing and administration services for film and television productions.

Belcher said, “We are very excited about this opportunity to broaden our product offering, while maintaining the high level of customer service that our clients have come to expect from Cast & Crew.”

Cast & Crew is headquartered in Burbank and has eight offices throughout North America – including New York, Atlanta, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Detroit, Albuquerque and Wilmington as well as in Toronto and Vancouver.   Cast & Crew recently established its first European office in London.

About Cast & Crew
Founded in 1976, Cast & Crew Entertainment Services is a leading provider of technology-enabled payroll and related business process outsourcing services to the motion picture, television, live entertainment and commercial markets, all supported by 24/7 client services professionals. Production companies use the company’s solutions to manage payroll processing and related regulatory filings, production accounting software, workers’ compensation insurance coverage and claims administration, residuals processing, purchasing and procurement services, and production incentive guidance. Cast & Crew was acquired by ZelnickMedia in December 2012. www.castandcrew.com

The Full Release Can Be Read By Clicking This Link 

Annual Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards

2014.01.14.awards, make up, hair stylistsYesterday the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild’s President Susan Cabral-Ebert announced nominations for the 2014 Annual Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards in 14 Categories.

Winners will be announced at the 2014 Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild (IATSE Local 706) Awards honoring make-up artists’ and hair stylists’ outstanding achievements in motion pictures, television, commercials and live theater and will take place on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at Paramount Studios. M.A.C. Cosmetics is the Official Cocktail Reception Sponsor.

“We are so excited to receive entrees for our crafts from all over the world,” said Cabral-Ebert. “We had a wonderful response and over three times as many entries as we anticipated. Thanks to our dedicated committee who viewed all the submissions and made very tough choices. We are proud of our nominees and the work that was submitted this year, which has the best examples of the finest of our craft.”



Unfinished Song
Aurora Bergere

One Chance
Christine Blundell
Donald Mc Innes

Lee Daniels’ The Butler
Candace Neal
Robert Stevenson


Donald Mowat
Pamela Westmore

August: Osage County
Carla White
Bjoern Rehbein

One Chance
Christine Blundell
Donald Mc Innes


American Hustle
Katherine Gordon
Michelle Johnson

The Lone Ranger
Gloria Pasqua Casny
Jules Holdren

Nina Paskowitz
Michael Moore


Dallas Buyers Club
Evelyne Noraz
Rachel Geary

The Lone Ranger
Joel Harlow
Mike Smithson
3rd Petition Robin Beauschesne

The Great Gatsby
Maurizio Silvi
Lesley Vanderwalt


Bad Grandpa
Stephen Prouty

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
Mike Elizalde
Lufeng Qu

The Hunger Games – Catching Fire
Ve Neill
Nikoletta Skarlatos

TELEVISION and NEW MEDIA SERIES (Episodic Television)


The Voice
Shawn Finch
Jerilynn Stephens

Breaking Bad
Georgie Sheffer
Carmen L. Jones

Bates Motel
Donna Bis


Kelley Mitchell
Jennifer Greenberg

Super Fun Night
Debbie Zoller
Tami Lane

Breaking Bad
Tarra Day
Sheila Trujillo Gomez


Dee Corcoran

Hell on Wheels
Chris Glimsdale
Penny Thompson

Key and Peele
Amanda Mofield
Raissa Patton


Boardwalk Empire
Michele Paris

Hell on Wheels
Sharon Toohey
Rose Gurevitch

Key and Peele
Scott Wheeler


Thomas McInerney

Steve La Porte

The Walking Dead
Greg Nicotero
Jake Garber



Behind the Candelabra
Marie Larkin
Yvette Stone

American Horror Story: Coven
Monte Haught

Killing Lincoln
Ardis Cohen
Greg Bazemore


Behind the Candelabra
Kate Biscoe
Deborah Rutherford

American Horror Story: Coven
Eryn Krueger Mekash
Christien Tinsley

Game of Thrones
Paul Engelen
Melissa Lackersteen


Darren Jinks
Brandi Strona
3rd Petition Samantha Wooten

Magic Flute
Darren Jinks
Samantha Wooten
3rd Petition Brandi Strona

Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels
Vanessa Dionne
Cassandra Russek


Best Contemporary Make-up

Wash the Day Away (Kohler)
Tyson Fountaine
Brian Penikas

Voting will begin online Tuesday, January 21st and closes on Tuesday, February 11th at 5:00pm.
All 1,800+ MUAHS members vote during the final balloting.

About Local 706:
The Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild (IATSE, Local 706) was chartered in November 1937. Today, membership includes over 1,800 artisans in the entertainment industry worldwide. Local 706 members are make-up artists and hair stylists who have created the looks for Hollywood’s most memorable characters and stars of stage, screen, television and now the Internet. The wide-ranging domains of these artists include feature films and television, commercials, “live” network television, all types of theatrical productions and Disneyland theme parks. Local 706 Members have created notable characters competing for Academy Awards®, Primetime Emmys®, Daytime Entertainment Emmys®, Saturns®, BAFTA Awards®, and many other honors for make-up and hair styling artistry including their own Hollywood Make-up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards®. The Local 706 Guild publishes The Artisan, a glossy quarterly magazine, and provides panels, workshops and training both for members and others interested in the field to foster a spirit of innovation in the craft. The official website can be found at www.local706.org

Read more news from Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild


Downtown New Orleans Sees An Historic ‘Italian’ Restoration

Saenger Theatre

City Celebrates Return of Iconic Saenger Theatre to Downtown New Orleans

Historic Theatre Reopens Doors after $52 Million Restoration

Built in 1927 by noted New Orleans architect Emile Weil, the Saenger Theatre is a remarkable example of Italian Renaissance architecture and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building was significantly damaged by Hurricane Katrina and has since been the focus of complex redevelopment through a public-private partnership between the City of New Orleans, Canal Street Development Corporation, and ACE Theatrical Group.


The Saenger Theatre has been meticulously restored to its original, 1927 grandeur with historically replicated carpet, original and replicated chandeliers, and a historically accurate paint scheme. Modern technical upgrades, including new fiber optic stars in the auditorium and expanded restroom and concession facilities make the theatre a state-of-the-art live entertainment venue. Years of paint and veneer have been stripped away inside the theatre and the original color palette has been restored. Architects have worked to recreate the theatre’s original interior look and feel, including the decorative elements and ornamentation, windows and doors, light fixtures and poster boxes. The stage house has been expanded, allowing for larger productions and a wide range of programs.

 “Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “This newly restored, iconic stage house is both essential to our cultural identity and serves as a symbol of how we are building back better than before.”

The Saenger Theatre will now be home to a spectacular lineup of live entertainment, opening with comedian Jerry Seinfeld. The Saenger Theatre Grand Opening Gala Concert with Kristin Chenoweth and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra will be Saturday, October 5, 2013. This fall, the theatre will also host the sensational East Jefferson General Hospital Broadway in New Orleans 2013-2014 season, showcasing the best of Broadway, including The Book of Mormon, Ghost the Musical, Sister Act, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Memphis, War Horse and Rain. For more information on the Saenger Theatre, including all performance and ticketing information, visit www.saengernola.com.

The Saenger Theatre reopens with a seating capacity of approximately 2,600. The restoration was led by renowned architecture firm Martinez + Johnson of Washington, DC and construction was performed by Broadmoor Construction of Metairie, LA.

The Saenger Theatre Renewal Project could not have occurred without the financial support from the following institutions: Chevron TCI, Inc.; JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA; Liberty Bank and Trust Company; National Trust Community Investment Corporation; State of Louisiana, Office of Community Development; Stonehenge Capital Company, LLC; Tax Credit Capital, LLC; and Whitney Bank.



High-Priestesses Wear Manolo Blahniks: Designer Wes Gordon Dresses Spring 2013

Up and coming designer Wes Gordon’s ethereal designs in bright hues and floral distractions forecast Spring for 2013 at New York Fashion Week…and oh those Manolos!