2012 LONDON PARALYMPICS A ROYAL SUCCESS - - SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK AND JULIE TAYMOR
- - VIVA ELVIS AND PHANTOM: THE LAS
VEGAS SPECTACULAR CLOSE - -
2012 PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY MEMORABILIA - -
CARS A CONCOURS OF ELEGANCE
- - PRINCE HARRY AND THE WALKING WARRIORS - -
RECORDING ACADEMY TO GIVE FANS THE CREDIT
- - BROADWAY ON BROADWAY - - DONATE . . . Scroll Down
PARALYMPICS' OPENING CEREMONY:
BRILLIANT, COURAGEOUS, AND - ENTERTAINING
Spectacular fireworks show at the 2012 Paralympics. Photo: Mike Ehrmann / Getty
Leaving no doubt
that there is something to see besides Prince Harry's naked photographs,
was the incredible Paralympics Opening Ceremony masterfully directed by
Bradley Hemmings and Jenny Sealey. It starred non other than Steven
Hawking whose courage and brilliance have turned into a sex appeal which
rivals that of Prince Harry.
Hawking is a living example that
physical disabilities do not limit human potential.
The theme of
the three-hour show was Enlightenment, and Prof Hawking guided the
audience on a voyage of scientific discovery from the Big Bang to the
Large Hadron Collider.
"Even if we do find a complete theory of
everything, it is just a set of rules and equations," advised Hawking, who
was given two years to live in 1963 after he was diagnosed with motor
neuron disease. "What is it that breathes fire into the equations and
makes a universe for them to describe?"
The words of
Shakespeare also stood out.
Speaking via his
electronic voice box, the legendary theoretical scientist directed the fictional Miranda
of The Tempest to "be curious" - and the stadium was transformed
into a giant blinking eye. Along her travels, the curious Miranda
navigated a maze to find an apple. Spectators were each given an apple as
they entered the arena and encouraged to take a bite out of the fruit when
Sir Ian McKellen as Prospero. Photo: PA Images David Davies
British actor Ian McKellen as Prospero took liberties
from the large book he was holding - assumed to be the script - and
delivered a more modern take, advising his wheelchair bound daughter to
"go out into the world and shine your light on to the beautiful diversity
He declared that "the greatest adventure is what lies ahead."
Of course royals were at the Opening Ceremony. Queen Elizabeth said: 'It
is with tremendous pride that the people of London and the United Kingdom
welcome the world to the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
are returning to the country where they first began, more than 60 years
'We look forward to celebrating the uplifting spirit which
distinguishes the Paralympic Games from other events, drawing on
Britain's unique sporting heritage.'
Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge at the 2012 Paralympics Opening Ceremony. Photo: Getty.
The Paralympic movement
tracks its beginnings to the vision of Dr. Ludwig Guttmann, who in 1948
organized an archery competition for 16 injured patients at Stoke
Mandeville Hospital in Britain.
Queen Elizabeth was accompanied
her son Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, her
grandson Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge and her
daughter Anne, the Princess Royale who wore her patriotic Team GB scarf.
Princess Anne sat next to Kate who wore a designer coat dress
covered with golden thread embroidery by DAY Birger et Mikkelson that she
wore last year to the wedding of Princess Anne's daughter Zara Phillips
and six years earlier at the wedding of Camellia's daughter Laura Parker
Bowles. Kate also selected LK Bennett heels and a sparkling clutch purse.
Queen Elizabeth followed by her daughter-in-law, Sophie, Duchess of Wessex arrive at the 2012 Paralympics
reception and opening ceremony. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/WPA Pool/Getty Images
The Queen wore a pale blue and champagne dress and coat
designed by Angela Kelly.
Prime Minister David Cameron and his
wife Samantha, were there with the PM seated next to Prince William.
Samantha appeared in a bright red Victoria Beckham dress.
Albert of Monaco and his wife Charlene were also in the crowd. HSH
Princess Charlene was designated the Monaco ambassador for the Special
Olympics more than a year ago.
On August 30, the couple
attended various swimming events at the Aquatics Centre. They cheered
as Jonathan Fox of Team GB set a new world record in the Men's 100m
Backstroke. Afterward, the prince and princess visited the Olympic
Village where they mingled with various athletes.
Then the son of movie star Grace Kelly and his wife traveled to Yorkshire
to present a Variety Club sunshine coach to the Greenhill Primary
Prince Albert II of
Monaco and Princess Charlene of Monaco present a Variety Children's
Charity sunshine coach to pupils and staff from Greenhill Primary School
on August 30, 2012 in Leeds, United Kingdom. Photo: Andrew Benge/Getty Images Europe
Money for the bus came from the almost $500,000 raised for
the Variety Club children's charity at the black tie affair the Monaco
royal couple attended, which took place in the historic setting of
Harewood House last September.
Deputy headteacher, Jane McDermid,
said: "The children have been in a state of high excitement about meeting
a real prince and princess.
"This is our first Sunshine coach and
will open up lots of exciting the charity helped almost 60,000 children
take part in day trips.
As for Prince Harry, he'd never been
scheduled to appear at the Paralympic Opening Ceremony. Same goes for
Prince Charles and Camilla. Prince Philip had planned to attend, but after
his latest bout in the hospital, he was advised to sit this one
Prince Harry has always been slated to make his first public
Paralympic appearance on Monday, September 3, when he watches swimmers in
the aquatic center and later chats to sportsmen and women in the official
meeting place for the country's competitors - Paralympics GB
William, Harry and Kate are all Paralympics GB
The opening ceremony for the London 2012 Paralympics
was created by artistic directors Jenny Sealey and Bradley Hemmings, who
share a long history of staging exciting live shows together, including
work with deaf and disabled artists.
Sealey, 47, has been the
artistic director of Britain's flagship disabled-led theatre company
Graeae since 1997. Sealey, who went deaf at seven, has used sign language
and audio description plus different forms of physical movement to try to
reach wider audiences. She was awarded an MBE for services to disability
arts in 2009.
Artistic Directors of the London 2012 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony,
Bradley Hemmings and Jenny Sealey pose together as they visit a circus skills workshop on May 2, 2012 in
London, England. 60 specialist performers in the Paralympic Opening Ceremony took [art
in an eight week training program at Circus Space in Hackney, London. Source: Handout/Getty Images Europe
Hemmings, 51, is the artistic director of the
Greenwich+Docklands International Festival and also curates and produces
Liberty, London's annual disability arts festival for the London Mayor.
From the get-go the pair was thrilled.
Sealey said: "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work
collaboratively with leading deaf, disabled and non-disabled artists to
create a unique, unforgettable spectacle to be enjoyed by millions across
Londoner Hemmings commented: "I feel both excited and
privileged to have the chance to work with artists and Paralympians on a
ceremony which, perhaps uniquely, has the power to transform perceptions."
50 specialist performers in Opening Ceremony prepared by
attending an 8 week circus skills training program at Circus Space in
The program which is funded by Arts Council
England, saw performers with disability, including established artists and
people new to the arts such as rehabilitating soldiers and non competing
Paralympians, learn circus arts skills.
These new skills will not
only to help them with their specialist roles in the Ceremony where they
will perform aerial work on a 35m high rig, but also build on these skills
after the Games.
The Opening Ceremony included an Adult Volunteer
Cast of 3000, Children Volunteer Cast of over 100, and a Professional Cast
of over 100.
The show featured 73 deaf and disabled professional
performers and 68 disabled people.
Groundbreaking in its
inclusivety and innovative staging, the Ceremony showcased the excellence
of deaf and disabled artists and opened with a fly past by Aerobility, a
British charity that trains disabled people to become pilots.
Athletes entered the arena to the David Bowie song Heroes. Music
used for the parading athletes was mixed and played by three London-based
DJs - DJ Walde, DJ Excalibah and Goldierocks.
Blind soprano Denise
Leigh sang the specially commissioned Paralympic tribute song Spirit in
Motion, by British composer Errollyn Wallen, as the moon rose behind
her. The words were signed by the deaf actor Deepa Shastr.
performers included soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, Beverley Knight, the
British dance group Flawless, and six London-based choirs - including the
London Gay Men's Chorus and the Lewisham Choral Society - performed
Prinicipia, a specially composed piece by Greenwich-based composer
Live music concerts are planned for every evening
during the Games. There will also be cultural entertainment.
Coldplay's track Viva la Vida will be played at hundreds of
community concerts throughout the UK at 2pm on September 9 in celebration
of the London Paralympic Games concluding.
The rockers gave
permission for the tune to be played with Frontman Chris Martin stating,
"It's a great honor for us to be part of the celebrations for the
Paralympic Games and it should be a great moment when the bandstands of
Great Britain strike up in unison."
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ART AND ABOUT
2012 PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY MEMORABILIA
is being collected by Smithsonian Curators.
Wielding large portfolios under their arms, political history curators
Larry Bird and Harry Rubenstein of the Smithsonian's National Museum of
American History wound their way through the crowds at the GOP National
Convention this past week and will repeat the process at the upcoming
Democratic National Convention.
They aren't trying to find a better spot to see the podium or to try to
get anybody to sway their vote. Rather, they are scouting out the best
Since the late 1980s, the duo have been attending political campaigns and
collecting signs, buttons, posters, hats, sunglasses and other novelties
that speak to the atmosphere of the conventions.
This is just one step in the ongoing effort to preserve political
memorabilia for future generations to study the political movements of
An Obama bag by Diane von Fürstenberg
Larry Bird and Harry Rubenstein have been collecting political objects
together for the Smithsonian since 1988.
Every four years, Bird and Rubenstein, or "Harry and Larry" as they are
popularly known, attend the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries as
well as the Democratic and Republican Party Conventions. Their collecting
forms part of a large research collection in American presidential
politics, and the objects are used to tell campaign stories in museum
exhibitions such as The American Presidency and The First
"These objects represent a celebration of democracy and how people express
their identity and the identity of the nation," said Rubenstein about the
materials added to the national collections.
"Whether it's handmade or mass-generated, each object represents history
in the making by showing how candidates communicate with the public and
how the public in turn communicates with the candidates," said Bird.
An "I Like Ike" dress supporting Eisenhower for President
In addition to the posters, badges, buttons, ribbons and advertising
novelties the curators expect to collect, they also will try to obtain
materials used by the media and other individuals associated with the
So, if you're wearing a political campaign shirt and a couple of guys
named Harry and Larry ask you to take it off - they're aren't being rude,
"By actively collecting new materials at the early primaries and the party
conventions, the museum is better able to document the political campaign
process and can share the spirit of the presidential campaigns with the
American public, both now and in the future," said Marc Pachter, interim
director of the museum.
Today, the museum's political history collection includes objects related
to presidential history and political campaigning, as well as the history
of the White House and first ladies; the civil rights, women's suffrage
and reform movements; the World War II home front; and labor
The political history collection includes some of most important national
treasures, such as the small portable desk on which Thomas Jefferson
wrote the Declaration of Independence; the top hat Abraham Lincoln wore
the night he was assassinated; and small metal buttons made to celebrate
George Washington's inauguration in 1789.
The National Museum of American History, located in Washington, DC,
collects, preserves and displays American heritage in the areas of social,
political, cultural, scientific and military history.
Prince Harry supports the Walking With The Wounded
South Pole Allied Challenge 2013. Photo: Official handout.
Patron of a charity race to the South Pole between three teams of
wounded servicemen from around the world.
The Prince, who last year joined a group of injured soldiers as they
trekked to the North Pole, is now supporting the Walking With The Wounded
South Pole Allied Challenge 2013.
Groups of armed forces personnel from Britain, the United States and the
Commonwealth - who sustained physical or cognitive injuries in the line of
duty - will take part in the competition in November and December next
During the four-week Antarctic expedition the racers will trek a total of
210 miles, drag sledges - known as pulks - weighing more than 150lb and
face extreme temperatures as low as -45C, along with savage 50mph
The Allied Challenge to the South Pole will combine five charities for
injured servicemen and women from across the globe.
Funds raised will be shared among the host organizations Walking With the
Wounded (UK), Soldiers to Summits (USA), Soldier On (Canada), Soldier On
(Australia) and Wounded Warrior Trust (New Zealand).
The event, which will involve daily treks of between nine and 13 miles,
has been predicted by polar experts to be the largest modern day
expedition of its type.
THE RECORDING ACADEMY
LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO
"GIVE FANS THE CREDIT"
Giving those who did the work, the credit!
The Recording Academy, the organization internationally known for the Grammy Awards, is
launching Give Fans The Credit - a new campaign that will help enhance fans' discovery of new music by ensuring all music creators are credited for their work on digitally released recordings.
Honorary Ambassadors who will help further awareness of this important initiative
include: 12-time Grammy-winning producer T Bone Burnett; Grammy-winning songwriter
Lamont Dozier; singer/songwriter/percussionist Sheila E; singer/songwriter Skylar
Grey; five-time Grammy-winning producer/songwriter Jimmy Jam; two-time Grammy-winning
producer/songwriter RedOne; and three-time Grammy-winning producer Don Was.
"The staggering pace of digital innovation gives consumers access to more and more
information, but in this case — digitally released music without liner notes — the music
fan is getting less information," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of
The Recording Academy. "We can watch movies online with the credits included, and
the same should be true for digitally released recordings. If music devices
can access millions of tracks in the cloud, we're confident we can
find a way to acknowledge those who created the tracks here on Earth."
Anytime Broadway To Vegas reviews a CD every effort is made to include the names of the musicians, and who participated in the recording - such as the recording engineer or who mixed the album.
If it weren't for those folk, there would be no CDs.
According to the Recording Academy project: "Songwriters, non-featured performers, producers and engineers make significant
contributions to recordings, but as liner notes are becoming less common, these creators
rarely receive credit on digital music devices. Currently, the only credits consumers
are generally able to see are the song title, album, and artist; but music fans should
have access to additional information: the songwriter who composed the work, the producers
and engineers who shaped the sound, and the musicians who brought the song to life."
The Give Fans The Credit campaign will address this issue on several fronts.
Campaign ambassadors and other leaders at The Recording Academy will begin a series
of discussions with digital music services to brainstorm ways to deliver more robust
crediting information on digital music platforms. At the same time, The Academy's Producers & Engineers Wing will continue its efforts to ensure accurate data is contained within the music files.
"By engaging consumers and the industry in this effort, we seek to give music
fans the rich information and content they desire," said Daryl Friedman,
Chief Advocacy & Industry Relations Officer for The Recording Academy. "Discovery is a key part of today's digital music services. By knowing who wrote, produced and played on the tracks, consumers will be able to discover even more great music. This will give both creators and fans the credit they deserve."
SPREADING THE WORD
BROADWAY ON BROADWAY the free outdoor concert in the heart of Times Square kicks off the new Broadway season with star performances from new shows and long-running favorites,
accompanied by a 30-piece live orchestra.
Singer, actress, talk-show host and lyricist Kathie
Lee Gifford will host the September 9 event.
Presented by The Broadway League and The Times Square Alliance, the
concert will begin at 11:30 AM.
Gifford is the writer (book and lyrics) of the upcoming new musical Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson that is coming to Broadway in October. She's best known for her 15 years on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee
and is currently the three-time Emmy Award-winning co-host of the fourth hour of NBC's Today show with Hoda Kotb.
Gifford made her Broadway debut in Stephen Sondheim's Putting It Together in 2000, then originated the role of Marta Dunhill in Rupert Holmes' Thumbs and played Miss Hannigan in a record-breaking run of Annie at Madison Square Garden. In 2005 her first musical Under the Bridge (book and lyrics) opened Off-Broadway. She contributed three songs to Hats!, the musical, has recorded numerous CDs and is a three-time New York Times best-selling author.
The annual free outdoor concert at the crossroads of the world brings together stars and performances from current and upcoming Broadway productions to celebrate the beginning of the new Broadway season. Times Square will be a big block party with thousands of attendees between 46th & 47th streets between Broadway and Seventh Avenue.
FREE OPEN REHEARSAL for The Government Inspector takes place at the Tony Award winning Shakespeare Theatre Company's Lansburgh Theatre in Washington, DC on Wednesday, September 5.
Nikolai Gogol's outrageously funny satire of provincial bureaucracy, is the perfect play at just the right time for our nation's capital. Michael Kahn directs and Derek Smith stars in this masterful comedy of errors.
The Government Inspector arrives Thursday, September 13 with performances through October 28, 2012.
CARS - A CONCOURS OF ELEGANCE
Prince William driving his bride from their reception in his father's Aston Martin.
Photo: Getty Images
Concours of Elegance - it's from the French meaning a competition of elegance -
referring to the gathering of prestigious cars - dates back to 17th Century
French aristocracy, who paraded horse-drawn carriages in the parks
of Paris during Summer weekends and holidays.
Updated to the present.
Remember Prince William driving his bride Kate away from their wedding reception in that 1969 Aston Martin, borrowed from his father?
The nervous bridegroom did forget to dislodge the parking brakes and managed to burn out
the stopping devices. Those brakes have been repaired.
Now, you can get up close and personal with that car September 7 to 9th at Windsor Castle
Concours of Elegance at Windsor Castle in England.
A gift to Charles from his mother the Queen on his 21st birthday, the car is considered
one of Prince Charles most prized possessions, and one of the
rarest and most sought-after Aston Martins.
It will be joined by a further 60 of the rarest motor cars in the world.
Uniquely, within the walls of Windsor Castle
a show of spectacular historic automobiles.
From pioneering horseless carriages
to the birth of the supercar.
Famous race winning sports cars, graceful limousines, exquisite one-off
examples of celebrated coachbuilders' art. All the great motoring marques
from AC to Zagato.
1912 Rolls Royce Photo: Concours of Elegance
A three day gathering of magnificent motor cars and elegant people, in
what's been called England's most romantic castle.
Great Britain has played more than a pivotal role in the history,
development and indeed restoration of the motor car and brags that it still does to
What they lacked has been a world-class concours event
that proudly acknowledges that heritage. The Windsor Castle Concours of
Elegance intends to put that right.
With the permission of Queen Elizabeth, the cars will be displayed in the central quadrangle (The Upper Ward) of Windsor Castle. Half of the automobile gems will be coming from abroad-almost 20 from America. Some of them are outright concours winners, others are in the final
process of restoration ready for their 'debut'.
Nearly all of the cars are being driven into the Castle by
their owners on the opening day - Friday, September 7. A further 60
British classics will be driven on the Royal Automobile Club's Best of
British Tour on Saturday, September 8.
On Sunday, September 9 a further 60 cars, one from each year of HM The
Queen's reign, are arriving as part of the Octane Jubilee Tour.
And if that wasn't enough, numerous Owners' Clubs are planning to bring
their top 60 examples too. Everyone from Aston Martin to Bentley, Jaguar
to Ferrari will be joining the party with special displays along the
Castle's Long Walk.
Last, but not least, The Prince of Wales' 1969 Aston Martin Volante DB6
MKII will take to the stage. Only a
handful of these desirable convertibles were ever made.
Finished in Seychelles Blue, this is no ordinary Aston Martin. The Prince, an ardent
environmentalist, has had it converted to run on bioethanol fuel
produced from waste generated by English wine production and
whey, a by-product of cheese making.
The Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance's primary objective is to be a
highly successful fundraising event. Thorough Events has chosen The Royal
Marsden Cancer Charity and East Anglia's Children's Hospices as this
year's charitable beneficiaries, supporting their work in the area of
palliative care for children and young people.
There are an estimated 40,000 children in the UK with a life limiting
illness. Palliative care services offer vital support for these children
and their families. They help to manage pain and symptoms, provide
respite care, support siblings and help families plan for end of life and
However, while there is a great deal of public support for children with
life threatening conditions, the availability of high quality palliative
care services for children remains very sporadic. Where it is available,
it is often not available at home, where the vast majority are cared for
on a daily basis, often at great financial and personal cost.
Britain is credited with leading the world in the provision of children's palliative care.
In many parts of the world, and especially the developing world, there is
little or no pain relief or palliative care available for children.
The funds raised through the Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance will be
granted to organizations which are making a real impact in this area. The
Royal Marsden and East Anglia's Children's Hospices whose royal patron is HRH The Duchess
of Cambridge - that would be Kate - are just two such
organizations which are already working in this area.
All of the proceeds from this event (expected to be at least
$200,000 will be distributed equally between The Royal Marsden and East
Anglia's Children's Hospices.
GORE VIDAL'S THE BEST MAN the new Broadway revival has recouped its initial
capitalization of $3.25 million.
The play will conclude its limited engagement at the Gerald Schoenfeld
Theatre in NYC on September 9. Upon closing, the show will have played 209
THE LVH which lost the
right to use the Hilton Hotel name, announced that the financially troubled
Las Vegas resort would be sold in a November foreclosure sale.
The operator of the LVH hotel-casino in Las Vegas its chief
creditor and a partner intend to buy it out of foreclosure in November and
then continue operations.
A court-appointed receiver, Ronald Paul Johnson, has been running the
property under an agreement reached in January between its owners,
investment company Colony Capital LLC and investment bank Goldman Sachs,
and its main lender, which is also Goldman Sachs.
Billionaire financier Kirk Kerkorian built the hotel in the 1960s and
called it The International. He sold the property to the Hilton Corp.,
which expanded the hotel to 2,950 rooms.
The Las Vegas Hilton was famous as the showroom where Elvis
SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK AND JULIE TAYMOR
have reached a tentative settlement which
ends a legal dispute over her role in the musical, according to the
Associated Press which first published the report.
A document filed August 30 in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan said
the case could be reopened within two months if the agreement breaks down.
A jury trial on the case was originally scheduled to start in early 2013.
Settlement terms were not released.
In November 2011, Taymor who was the original Spider-Man: Turn Off the
Dark filed a lawsuit against the producers of the musical asserting
they had violated her creative rights and did not compensate her for her
work on the musical.
In response the producers filed in January 2012 an answer and
her company, LOH, Inc. The counterclaims were that Taymor refused "to
fulfill her contractual obligations, declaring that she could not and
would not do the jobs that she was contracted to do."
HANG IN THERE . . . .
RICHARD BACH 76, author of the 1970 best selling book, turned into a movie, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, was seriously injured September 1 in a plane crash. He was attempting to land his small plane - N346PE, a 2008 Easton Gilbert G SEAREY C/N 1DK425C, that he nicknamed "Puff" - at a private airport on San Juan Island in Washington state.
The experienced pilot was flying alone when his landing gear caught the power lines. He was trapped in the cockpit which had crashed upside down. Local media reported that a group celebrating the Labor Day week-end holiday cut him free.
The accident took down two power poles and caused a small grass fire.
Bach is noted for his love of flying and for his books related to air flight and flying in a metaphorical context. He has pursued flying as a hobby since the age of 17.
He was listed in serious condition at Harborview Medical Center with a head injury
and broken shoulder.
VAN CLIBURN 78, who
has been diagnosed with advanced bone cancer. The famed classical pianist
has performed for every president since Harry Truman.
Cliburn won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004, and was presented
with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003.
EDDIE VAN HALEN 57,
who underwent emergency surgery for diverticulitis, resulting in the band
Van Halen to postpone a tour of Japan.
The group posted a statement to its website explaining Van Halen had to
be treated for a "severe bout" of the painful digestive disorder
that involves the formation of pouches on the outside of the colon, and
that a "full recovery is expected within 4-6 months."
VIVA ELVIS AND PHANTOM: THE LAS VEGAS
SPECTACULAR are no more. Viva Elvis
left the Aria building on Friday, and Phantom at the Las Vegas
Venetian Hotel dropped the chandelier for the last time on September
Viva Elvis will be replaced by the Cirque show Zarkana,
which closed in New York City on Saturday, September 1, and now rolls 87
trucks down the highways to Sin City.
THE DEATH OF THE NOVEL
by Jonathan Marc Feldman. Directed by Rick
Explained as: Brilliant young novelist Sebastian Justice claims to be the
most well-adjusted, depressed agoraphobic in Manhattan. While he rants
about anything from global warming to tennis, his publisher-ordered
psychologist (a "writer's block-whisperer") tries to get to the bottom of
his grief. But when a stunning and mysterious Saudi woman intrudes into
his self-contained world his emotional descent takes a sudden turn, for
the raving beauty may not be the person she says she is. Will this
stranger be the one to help him find his way back, and at what cost?
Identities blur in this enthralling and evocative story that takes a look
at the modern world through the eyes of a brilliant and tragically wounded
Vincent Kartheiser (Sebastian), best known to audiences worldwide as
spitfire advertising executive Pete Campbell of the Golden Globe, Emmy,
and SAG Award-winning drama series Mad Men, Amy Pietz (Perry),
Vaishnavi Sharma (Sheba),
Patrick Kelly Jones (Philip), Zarah Mahler (Claire).
The design team includes: John Iacovelli, scenic design; Denitsa
Bliznakova, costume design; David Lee Cuthbert, lighting design; Haddon
Givens Kime, composer/sound designer; Stephanie Schliemann, stage manager;
Deirdre Rose Holland, assistant stage manager; Bruce Elsperger, casting
Performances through September 22, 2012 at San Jose Rep in San Jose,
LOVE STORY a new musical on a beloved book and blockbuster film by the same name. By Eric Segal. Book and Lyrics by Stephen Clark.
Music and Additional Lyrics by Howard Goodall.
When Oliver Barrett IV wanders into a library in search of a book, he discovers Jenny Cavilleri. They came from different worlds. He was a Harvard man, she was Radcliffe. He was rich, she was poor. But they fell in love. This is their story.
September 4 - October 21 at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, PA.
HARBOR by Tony nominee
Chad Beguelin. Directed by Westport artistic director Mark Lamos.
Tony Award nominee Bobby Steggert and Emmy Award nominee Paul Anthony
Stewart co-star in this world premiere comedy.
Joining Steggert and Stewart are Kate Nowlin and Alexis Molnar.
According to Westport, "Harbor opens with Ted and Kevin, who have been
together for 10 years, in their picture perfect house in Sag Harbor. When
Kevin's ne'er-do-well sister Donna, whom he hasn't seen in years, and her
15-year-old daughter arrive out of the blue, the pair's idyllic life
changes and tensions quickly bubble to the surface. The bonds between kith
and kin are tested in this alternately biting, touching and hilarious new
comedy about the constantly shifting nature of the meaning of family."
The design team includes Andrew Jackness (scenic design), Candice Donnelly
(costume design), Japhy Weideman (lighting design) and John Gromada (sound
Performances through September 15 at the Westport Country Playhouse in
CHINGLISH by David Henry
Hwang. Directed by Leigh Silverman.
In the delightful Chinglish, "an American businessman heads
to Asia to score a lucrative contract for his family's firm - but the
deal isn't the only thing getting lost in translation as he collides with
a Communist minister, a bumbling consultant, and a suspiciously sexy
Hwang said in a statement, "In a time when Americans both admire and fear
the rising power of China, the journey of Chinglish has been so gratifying
to me. First in Chicago, then on Broadway, I've seen non-Asian, Asian
American, and Chinese audience members, sitting in a theatre, watching a
comedy set in today's China - and laughing together. I'm so excited we're
now bringing Chinglish to its natural home on the West Coast, which has
long understood the often-hilarious mishaps that can occur when East and
The West Coast mounting of Chinglish features an ensemble of seven, including Vivian
Chiu (Zhao), a member of the original company of Chinglish on Broadway;
Celeste Den (Miss Qian/Prosecutor Li); Michelle Krusiec (Xi Yian); Austin
Ku (Bing/Judge Geming); Alex Moggridge (Daniel); Brian Nishii (Peter); and
Larry Lei Zhang (Minister Cai Guoliang), an original Broadway cast member
The creative team behind the Broadway production of Chinglish also handles this
mounting: David Korins (scenic design), Anita Yavich (costume
design), Brian MacDevitt (lighting design), Darron L West (sound design),
Jeff Sugg (projection design) and Shawn Duan (projection design).
The stage manager for this production of Chinglish is Michael Suenkel,
Berkeley Rep's resident production stage manager.
The West Coast premiere opened August 29
Berkeley, CA, in a co-production by Berkeley Repertory Theatre and South
South Coast Rep in Costa Mesa, CA, will present the play Jan.
25-Feb. 24, 2013. It runs at Berkeley Rep's Roda Theatre through Oct. 7.
The play is presented in English and Mandarin with English
The production will also travel to Hong Kong, March 1-6, 2013, the first
time that Berkeley Rep will ever take a show to Asia.
WICKED has blown into
Las Vegas with performances through October 7, 2012 in the 2050-seat
Reynolds Hall at The Smith
Directed by Joe Mantello, the three dozen cast members includes Nicole
Parker (Elphaba), Patti Murin
(Glinda), Kim Zimmer (Madame Morrible), Cliffton Hall (Fiyero), Tom
McGowan (the Wonderful Wizard of Oz) and Demaree Hill (Nessarose).
MICHAEL FEINSTEIN AND MARILYN MAYE the first joint engagement of the club's founder, two time Emmy and five-time Grammy
nominated entertainer Michael Feinstein and acclaimed Grammy Award nominated singer, Marilyn Maye.
The two powerhouse entertainers share the nightclub stage for the first time in an evening of dynamic
entertainment including pop standards, boogie woogie classics and audience favorites.
The show will run Tuesday through Saturday from September 4 to 22 at Feinstein's at Loews Regency Hotel in
New York City.
JOSS STONE is on stage Wednesday, September 5, at the 02 Shepherds Bush Empire in London. Next Sunday, September 9, the show is at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
entertains Friday, September 7, at the Hard Rock in Biloxi, MS. On Saturday he'll be singing his hits at The Joint in Catoosa, OK.
PINK MARTINI entertains
Thursday, September 6 at Humphrey's Concerts by the Bay in San Diego, CA.
On Saturday they are on stage
at McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, CD. Sunday, September 9, they can be
at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.
entertains Saturday, September 8, at the Canberra Theatre
in Canberra, Australia. On Sunday, September 9, the show is at the
Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia.
TOAD THE WET SPROCKET performs Thursday, September 6, at the Raft Theater in Cincinnati, OH. On Friday the show is at The Vogue in Indianapolis.
performs, September 7, at the Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley, MA.
LUCIMARIAN TOLLIVER ROBERTS died August 30, 2012 in Mississippi. She was 88.
Best known as the mother of Good Morning America co-anchor Robin
Roberts, the 88-year-old woman achieved great success in her own
Lucimarian Tolliver was born in 1924 in Akron, Ohio. As a teenager she was
awarded the John S. Knight Scholarship, given by the publishers of the
Akron Beacon Journal. The first person in her family to go to
college, Tolliver graduated in 1946 from Howard University, where she met
her future husband, Lawrence Roberts. The couple had four children and
moved 27 times as part of his
military career. Roberts was a pilot with the Tuskegee Airmen and a
colonel in the United States Air Force with 32 years of total military
Mrs. Roberts' achievements included serving as director of the Federal
Reserve Bank of Atlanta, New Orleans Branch; chair of the Mississippi
Department of Education; and as a board member for the Boys and Girls Club
of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She also served on the Presbyterian Church
(USA) National Committee on the Self-Development of People and was
co-chair of the national steering committee for the mission initiative:
Joining Hearts and Hands. In 2011 Mrs. Roberts received the Medgar W.
Evers Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gulfport branch of the
Mrs. Roberts collaborated with daughter Robin Roberts and author Missy
Buchanan to pen My Story, My Song: Mother-Daughter Reflections on Life
and Faith (Upper Room Books, April 2012). The book brings together
pivotal moments of Lucimarian Roberts' intriguing life with personal
reflections from Robin Roberts.
Robin Roberts has gone public with her medical struggles; first against
breast cancer and then being diagnosed with MDS, a rare blood disorder
that affects the bone marrow.
Her sister, Sally-Ann, is a match, and the GMA host is scheduled to
start her treatments for a bone marrow transplant this week. She took a
leave of absence from the popular morning television show to be by the
side of her dying mother.
Lucimarian Roberts was preceded in death (2004) by her husband of 57
years Lawrence E. Roberts. She is survived by their children Dorothy
Roberts McEwen, Lawrence E. Roberts II, Sally-Ann Roberts Craft Nabonne,
and Robin René Roberts.
TONY ZOPPI died August
24, 2012 in Texas. He was 92.
Texas newspapers gave his death some
interesting coverage, while the Las Vegas newspapers barely listed a
There was a prolonged period of time when Tony Zoppi was one of
the most powerful men on the Las Vegas Strip.
According to the Texas newspaper obits: "Raised in Long Branch, N.J., a
teenage Tony Zoppi worked days as a telephone pageboy at an elegant beach
club. At night, at the same club, he was the band boy for the Abe Lyman
Orchestra, often carrying bags for acts like Sophie Tucker or Milton
"I knew that's where I wanted to be," Zoppi remembered in 1999, "in show
business. I didn't want to be an entertainer. I wanted to be a writer like
Walter Winchell or Ed Sullivan."
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Zoppi enlisted in the Army,
was given an officer's commission and worked as a special service
officer booking USO shows.
He met his wife, Terion Hebisen, a woman with two toddler sons whose
husband was killed on Guadalcanal. After Zoppi and Hebisen were married,
he adopted the two boys. Taking a job at the Longview (Texas) News
Journal, Zoppi was hired in 1948 by Congressman Lyndon Johnson to do
advance work for his senate campaign. After working for Johnson, he took a
job at The Dallas Morning News as an entertainment columnist, and
was host of the television show Dallas After Dark.
Tony Bennett often credited Zoppi's review of a 1956 show the crooner
gave at a Dallas hotel for giving him the courage to tour.
Anthony "Tony" Guy Zoppi became an international celebrity because he
knew striptease club owner Jack Ruby who would regularly call Zoppi wanting free
After Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald it seemed that every media outlet in
the world wanted to interview Tony.
A devout Catholic, in 1965 Zoppi left his family in Texas and moved to
Las Vegas where he would be hired as Publicity Director before becoming Vice
President of Entertainment booking superstars. He remained at the resort
for 17 years.
Zoppi contracted such acts as Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley.
He signed Ann-Margret for her first live performance in 1967 and planned
her wedding in May of that year to 77 Sunset Strip star Roger Smith
- and even served as a groomsman.
This was the heyday of Vegas superstar entertainment with the best acts in
the world performing for an average of a week to 10 days at a time.
For the entertainment press it was never-ending dinner show opening
nights followed by backstage, dressing rooms press parties.
Depending upon which performer was starring at the Riviera, there were
times when I was in Tony Zoppi's office every day of the week.
I got to know him quite well.
On September 11, 1970 the Associated Press announced that Jean Mcgowan had
been named director of public relations at the Las Vegas Dunes Hotel,
replacing Lee Fisher. Unheard of. A woman not only as a hotel executive,
but in what had always been a "man's position." Mcgowan was a bright, hard
working, beautiful, vivacious blonde who managed not to become jaded while
doing a man's job at the Dunes Hotel - which at that time was one of the
major hotels on the Strip. She was one of the nicest individuals you could
ever hope to know.
She and Zoppi became good friends.
Several times they came to my home.
Just because Zoppi wasn't physically present in Texas didn't mean he
didn't love and care for his Texas family.
The boxes he shipped to The Lone Star state are probably why the post
office, at one time, was prosperous.
Eventually Zoppi moved his elderly mother to Las Vegas. The woman suffered
from dementia. This was prior to an abundance of assisted care facilities
Zoppi was always searching for somebody to help care for her. Frequently,
he was left with no option but to bring her to show openings and sit her
at the press table. Sometimes she would sit next to me. She was a
charming, opinionated woman who would forget where she was.
During the 70s, bouffant, French twists and bee hives were still popular
hair styles. I'd just been to the beauty shop and sat next to her at the
opening for a major performer. She spent the entire time removing hair
pins from my hair and trying to unwind the curls. Zoppi looked pained,
but he was trapped as many care givers are. He had to tend to an opening
night at his hotel and couldn't attempt to save my hair-do.
Back then I was a really placid person who wouldn't have complained about
anything - and Tony knew that. Never-the-less the following day he called
to thank me and offered me two comp tickets to the most expensive gourmet
restaurant in the hotel, which I declined. Comped gourmet dinner tickets
are lovely, except you're still expected to tip and a tip in a gourmet
restaurant can equal a week's food budget. The fact that he thanked me
and even offered the meals meant a lot.
When a person you knew over a long period of time dies, you start to think
about them. All types of memories come to mind.
Tony knew how to get along with everybody. He wasn't the type to sit you
down and tell you want you needed to know.
Tony was always nice to me, as he was to everyone. But suddenly
he began acting just too nice. He'd just sort of look at me in a
pitiful way, pat my head and say things like - 'you deserve better' and
'just a shame' or
'once a man does character assignation to a woman, he owns her. He's in
At the time none of that made any sense. It was also an era when you
didn't snap back with - 'You sound crazy, what are you talking about'
retort. Or, at least I didn't, though I wish I had.
A man I was involved with for decades got together with his television
honcho buddies and composed a letter to a sex magazine that was so vulgar, lurid, offensive and incendiary
that the effects still linger - resulting in not only serious
monetary loss but also serious physical harm.
Unknown to me, this man listed me as one of the beneficiaries of his
will, and I stayed as a beneficiary in that will for years.
I learned about that inclusion when his nasty lawyer sent me an e-mail
saying I was being removed from the will and I shouldn't try to contest
my removal. I had no idea what he was talking about and called the
mouthpiece to ask what was going on. In a sassy, arrogant way he said, to
the effect, that he'd read a lot about me. Then, in a gleeful, sassy tone
of voice informed me that I was excitable and boy would he have fun with
me on the stand.
Whatever. Only, I have the right to defend myself and speak out whenever I think it's
Zoppi wouldn't have known about me being in anybody's will, and the will removal came a decade after Zoppi left
Las Vegas - but his change
in attitude - patting me on the head - means he must have seen the sex
letter. I really wish Zoppi had told me.
In addition to a period when he patted my head, there was a season when a
bird sat on his.
A small bird had fallen from its nest, landing
by Tony's window. He scooped the bird up and
made a shoebox "nest". The future winged flyer was miraculously kept alive
by Tony feeding it soft canned dog food with a toothpick. When the bird
first opened its eyes the first thing it saw was Tony. From that second
on, the bird thought Tony was its mother.
Bird had the run of
the office. Immediately it became evident that birds can't wear
Enter Zoppi's office and the hotel executive would be brushing
up what he hoped were all of the bird's droppings.
would be talking on the phone while the bird was perched on top of his
hair. If the bird thought you were getting too near Mother Tony, the
three-inch creature thought it was a guard dog and came straight at
your eyes until you turned away.
The time had come for the bird to wing it elsewhere. The bird loved Tony
and didn't want to fly the coop. Not one to toss an object out of the
window not even one with wings - Zoppi located a lady in either
California or Oregon would had an animal sanctuary and agreed to adopt a
bird who thought he was a pr assistant.
A bird-brained problem was
that Zoppi would have to play surrogate mother for several weeks until the
lady was scheduled to visit Las Vegas.
Finally, moving day
Days later Zoppi looked downcast. He said he missed the bird. "Do you
really think he thought I was its mother?" was the pitiful
Mcgowen died of breast cancer. After 17 years at the Riviera, Zoppi
returned to Dallas when his wife became terminally ill with cancer.
He loved and raised his sons via commuting from Las Vegas.
Unfortunately they both preceded him in death. Larry Lee Zoppi passed away
in 1994. When son Ronnie Vee Hebisen died in
2007 at the age of 67, his obit stated: "He was raised and nurtured by
Anthony G. Zoppi."
Tony is survived by seven grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and
one great-great-grandchild. and his daughters-in-law Joan Zoppi Bryan and
Norma Hebisen. The funeral Mass was
September 1, 2012 at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Dallas.
HAL DAVID the famed lyricist died on September 1, 2012 at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles from complications of a stroke. He was 91.
He enjoyed a lengthy career writing numerous hit songs with Burt Bacharach.
The pair won two Oscars - one for the soundtrack for the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - and the other for the song Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head.
His work on Broadway included Promises, Promises which received a Best Musical Tony nomination. the production won a 1970 Grammy Award for Best Cast Album.
He also was the featured songwriter for André DeShield's Haarlem Nocturne
(1984) revue and was the lyricist for the 2003 revue The Look of Love.
In 1972 he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
In 2011, he and Burt Bacharach were awarded the Gershwin Prize for popular song by the US Library of Congress, the first time a songwriting team has been given the honor.
David was a founder of the Los Angeles Music Center. He was a member of the Board of Directors of ASCAP, having served as its President
from 1980 till 1986, and later worked on reform of intellectual property rights.
In May, President Barack Obama and the first lady hosted a concert honoring Bacharach
and David as part of the In Performance at the White House series.
Neil Portnow President/CEO of
The Recording Academy issued the following statement: "Grammy winner Hal David was an exquisite lyricist who penned timeless songs that have become classics in the American songbook. With his heartfelt and poetic lyrics, he wrote for countless legendary recording artists, and his songs such as Promises, Promises and Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head have graced Broadway stages and the silver screen, garnering both Oscar and Tony Awards. In 1997, The Recording Academy honored David and longtime writing partner Burt Bacharach with a Trustees Award, recognizing their historic contributions to the music industry. Our very own
Grammy Museum includes a permanent Songwriters Hall Of Fame section thanks to a vision of David’s that brought
a longtime dream of his to reality. His body of work has left a lasting impact on our culture, and today we have
lost a true legend of our industry. Our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends and those he
inspired through his exceptional and legendary work."
His first wife, Anne, died in 1987. He is survived by his wife, Eunice; two sons, three
grandchildren, and two stepsons.
Next Column: September 9, 2012
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