Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Healdsburg International Short Film Festival Set


The Healdsburg International Short Film Festival kicks off Friday night September 21, 2012 at 7:00 PM with an exclusive screening for filmmakers, sponsors and limited seating for the general public, at the Raven Film Center located at 415 Centre Street in Healdsburg, Ca.

This exciting event will welcome the festival’s numerous filmmakers, many of who are traveling great distances and a few from our own backyard. The evening’s program will also acknowledge and thank the festival's prominent local sponsors, who have helped bring life to this celebration of film. The public in attendance will be treated to a showcase of shorts that represent the tone of films to be shown in the body of the festival. 

 TOM WAITS

For those seeking a night on the town, Healdsburg’s ultra -chic “h2hotel” is offering up the “Spoonbar” as the setting for filmmakers and the public to mingle.  There will be a 45-minute film screening at 10:00 PM and ticket holders of this event will also receive a free drink. This is a great opportunity to hang out with filmmakers and festival attendees after a long day of experiencing the magic of independent film!

 JACK McGEE

The festival is proud to add two family screenings to the weekend lineup, Saturday Sept. 22 and Sunday Sept. 23, both at 2PM. We encourage the public to bring children over the age of 7 for an engaging, rich cultural experience of independent film designed for the younger crowd and those young at heart! The family screening tickets are discounted in the amount of $12.00

Tickets for the festival kick off and all festival events and screenings are on sale now at:

The festival founders are deeply grateful to the esteemed jury for their support and participation. Each judge has a strong commitment to the craft of film and each are unique and prolific artists in their fields. The judges currently on board to judge the films that audiences will first vote on are:

KATHLEEN BRENNAN an American songwriter, record producer, artist, writer and longtime collaborator with her husband Tom Waits.

ED BEGLEY JR has been as a successful actor, director, producer and devout environmental activist for over three decades.

JACK McGEE is a veteran actor of dozens of critically acclaimed motion pictures and enumerable TV roles.

JON SHAPIRO is a renowned Digital 3D Pioneer, as well as a two time Emmy-winning Motion Picture, Television, and Music Producer.

TOM WAITS is a two-time Grammy® Award-winner and Academy Award®-nominated singer/songwriter/musician/actor and in 2010 was inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

BET's 'Sunday Best" Set To Crown Season 5 Winner


PREMIERING SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 2 AT 8 P.M.*

Featuring  A Special The King’s Men Performance By Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp, Donnie McClurkin And Israel Houghton And An Unforgettable Performance
By Kim Burrell And The Two Finalists

NEW YORK—August 28, 2012-Finishing off its highest rated season in series history, SUNDAY BEST season five culminates Sunday, September 2nd at 8 P.M.* with two back-to-back episodes featuring electrifying performances by some of today’s top gospel and soul hit makers including Kurt Carr, Marvin Winans, Ledisi, Tye Tribbett, Israel Houghton and Marvin Sapp. SUNDAY BEST judges Yolanda Adams and Donnie McClurkin and host Kirk Franklin are also slated to take the stage to deliver rousing sets of their most celebrated tracks.

After nine weeks of fierce competition, the field has narrowed to two finalists, South Carolina’s Joshua Rogers and Kansas’ Alexis Spight, going head to head in the finale. In addition to the coveted SUNDAY BEST title, the winner of season five will receive a national recording contract with Music World Gospel, a cash prize, and an exclusive prize from Ford. SUNDAY BEST season five is hosted by Kirk Franklin with celebrity judges Pastor Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams and Cece Winans with vocal mentor Kim Burrell.

SUNDAY BEST, television’s #1 gospel series each year, achieved a new franchise high on Sunday, August 19.  The SUNDAY BEST season five episode 9 is the #1 telecast in SUNDAY BEST history drawing in 2.2 Million viewers during its time slot, making it one of the Top 10 Ad-Supported Cable Telecasts for the weekend.  Episode 9 also ranked #1 in its time period across all Ad-Supported Cable Networks among Adults 18-49 (906K P18-49). The series continues to reign as the #1 reality competition show on cable and ranks among BET’s top series ever in the third quarter. Season five episodes have been Cable’s #1 Telecasts among African-American viewers every Sunday since the season launch.

For continuous SUNDAY BEST updates, please visit http://www.bet.com/Sunday Best. Also, follow SUNDAY BEST on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BETSundayBest (hash tag: #BETSundayBest) and Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/BETSundayBest.

*All times are ET/PT.

About BET Networks
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks - BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET operates in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.

Monday, August 27, 2012

'GHOST-WRITER' PLAYS TO TYPE




When Michael Hollinger’s “Ghost-Writer” opens, Myra Babbage, superbly played by Paige Lindsey White, is at the typewriter pounding out a tome as she conducts an interview with an unseen reporter.
She’s being questioned about having completed a book by acclaimed novelist Franklin Woolsey who died mid-sentence while dictating his last effort. A dutiful secretary who feels she understands what Woolsey would have written had he not died, Babbage continued the book sending each chapter to the publisher under her late employer’s name.  Woolsey is firmly played by Leland Crooke.
 
For years, Babbage was Woolsey’s “typewriter girl,” who is not only the play’s focus, but also its principal narrator.   During her employ, which began in 1919 in New York, their relationship went from strictly employer/employee to blossoming to the point of them literally finishing each other’s sentences. It ultimately became intimately more than either one of them had expected.
In an attempt to plead her case to the interviewer, Babbage’s argument is that Woolsey’s spirit dictated the remaining chapters of the book to her. It’s something his wife, Vivian, aptly played by Cheryl David, disagrees with – quite strongly.  .
Soon the question becomes whether Babbage is disturbed, a fraud, a forger or actually an attentive assistant who paid attention to her employer’s style and just happens to also have a literary gift. Is Woolsey’s ghost just a figment of Babbage’s imagination?  

Hollinger (Opus, An Empty Plate in the Café du Grand Boeuf, Red Herring, Tiny Island, Tooth and Claw and Incorruptible) leaves that decision to the audience.
White gives an intense, focused portrayal of Babbage.  She essentially gives a 90-minute monologue as she recalls her years working for Hollinger and interacting with his wife, Vivian, who, herself, longs to be a writer.
 Hollinger’s script is fascinating and slow-moving, yet the pace works for both the time and the material. 

Ghost-Writer” is a slow-burning waltz into a story of romance, dedication, deception, intrigue and more.
Director caryn desai has assembled a first rate cast to deliver Hollinger’s emotional and character driven piece.
She makes great use of the stage and gives each character enough space to come into their own. For instance, the little nuances White gives Babbage speak volumes, be it a head turn here, or a wicked, disapproving stare there.  The material is lacks action, yet through movement, light, wardrobe and cadence, remains full of life.
White, who spends most of her time seated in front of an old-fashioned typewriter – looking front and center as she addresses the interviewer – is exceptional and mesmerizing in the role of Babbage. She vacillates between humor and drama, all the while drawing the audience in with her naivete and then her sophistication.
 
Crooke is distant and reserved as the sturdy Woolsey, while David shines in her role as the uppercrust, yet jealous wife.
This production comes together with an effective set design (Staci Walters) and sound design (Dave Mickey), emotional lighting (Donna Ruzika) and appropriate costume design (Kim DeShazo).
Ghost-Writer,” written by Michael Hollinger, directed and produced by caryn desai, stars Paige Lindsey White, Leland Crooke and Cheryl David.
Ghost-Writer,” International City Theatre, Long Beach Performing Arts Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA; Thur. -Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m.; through Sept. 16; $37-$44; (562) 436-4610 or www.InternationalCityTheatre.org
On the Donloe Scale, D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likable), O (OK) and E (excellent), “Ghost-Writer” gets an E (excellent).

Stars Come Out For 4th Annual Merge Summit Awards Luncheon

August 27, 2012 - Exhibiting content that highlights the very essence of The Merge Summit, TV Land (Viacom) hosted "The Soul Man" Master Class with star Niecy Nash, TV Land President Larry Jones, TV Land VP of Programming Rose Catherine Pinkney, Executive Producer Eric Rhone ("The Soul Man"), Director Stan Lathan, and Writer Devon Shepard. Emmys.com Digital Content Editor Juliana Bolden moderated the panel discussion.
 
"The Soul Man" Master Class panelists (L-R) Director Stan Lathan, Writer Devon Shepard, TV Land VP of Programming Rose Catherine Pinkney, Executive Producer Eric Rhone, Actress Niecy Nash, and TV Land President Larry Jones pose with moderator Juliana Bolden of Emmys.com at the 4th Annual Merge Summit. (Photo Credit: Naomi Richard)
 
(L-R) Writer Devon Shepard, TV Land VP of Programming Rose Catherine Pinkney, Executive Director Eric Rhone, Actress Niecy Nash, Director Stan Lathan, and TV Land President Larry Jones participate in "The Soul Man" Master Class panel at the 4th Annual Merge Summit. 
(Photo Credit: Naomi Richard) 
 
Actress Niecy Nash (L) and TV Land President Larry Jones (R) listen as Director Stan Lathan discusses "The Soul Man" at the 4th Annual Merge Summit. (Photo Credit: Naomi Richard)

Emmys.com Digital Content Editor Juliana Bolden serves as moderator of "The Soul Man" Master Class panel at the 4th Annual Merge Summit. 
(Photo Credit: Naomi Richard)

Director Stan Lathan, Merge Summit Co-Founder Robi Reed, star of "The Soul Man" Niecy Nash, Merge Summit Co-Founder Holly Carter, Executive Producer Eric Rhone ("The Soul Man"), and actress Brély Evans ("Sparkle") at the 4th Annual Merge Summit Awards Luncheon. 
(Photo Credit: Naomi Richard)

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Toni Braxton Stars In 'The Oogieloves In The Big Balloon Adventure,' Set To Open Aug. 29

TONI BRAXTON (2nd from left) with THE OOGIELOVES

Grammy-winner and R&B sensation Toni Braxton lends her star power to THE OOGIELOVES IN THE BIG BALLOON ADVENTURE, a simple story of a loving friendship, a surprise birthday party and a BIG adventure.  The film is set for nationwide release Fri., Aug. 29.

The story goes like this. It’s a beautiful day in Lovelyloveville. It’s Schluufy’s birthday and the Oogieloves (Goobie, Zoozie, and Toofie) along with their friends J. Edgar, Windy Window and Ruffy, are organizing a party (Ssshh! It’s a secret).  Everything is going along just perfectly until J.Edgar trips and loses the last five magical balloons in all of Lovelyloveville - OH NO!!!

 TONI BRAXTON

The Oogieloves immediately take action and set out to find the magical balloons in time to
save their friend’s party.  Along the way they meet some very interesting characters
indeed, including Dotty Rounder (Cloris Leachman); Bobby Wobbly (Carey Elwes);
Milky Marvin(Chazz Palminteri), Rosalie Rosebud (Toni Braxton) and Lola and Lero
Sombero (Christopher Lloyd and Jaime Pressly). Can these new friends help them
recover the magical balloons and get back to the cottage in time to celebrate Schluufy’s
surprise birthday?

The movie is directed by Matthew Diamond with a story by Scott Stabile and Kenn Viselman. It's written by Scott Stabile and produced by Kenn Viselman.  It's co-produced by Angela Rivet and executive produced by Michael A. Chirco, Scot J. Moceri and David R. Schwarcz. Original songs are by Scott Stabile (lyrics) and Josh Gronner.  Follow the Oogieloves on Twitter: @TheOogieloves. The official website is: www.oogieloves.com

Friday, August 24, 2012

Cast Is Set For 'Seminar" At Ahmanson Theatre


FOUR ACTORS JOIN JEFF GOLDBLUM IN THE NEW BROADWAY COMEDY
“Seminar” Begins Previews October 10 and Opens October 17, 2012
 
 
          Actors Aya Cash, Patrick Heusinger, Jennifer Ikeda and Greg Keller will join the previously announced Academy Award and Emmy Award-nominee Jeff Goldblum in the West Coast premiere of “Seminar” at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre. The sexy, smart new comedy written by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Peabody Award-winner Theresa Rebeck and directed by Obie Award-winner Sam Gold, will kick off the Ahmanson Theatre’s new season October 10 through November 18, 2012. The opening is set for October 17.

In “Seminar,” four aspiring young writers sign up for private writing classes with Leonard (played by Goldblum), an international literary figure.  Under his recklessly brilliant and unorthodox instruction, some thrive and others flounder, alliances are made and broken, sex is used as a weapon and hearts are unmoored.  The wordplay is not the only thing that turns vicious as innocence collides with experience in this provocative new comedy.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Legendary Artists Gladys Knight and Maze featuring Frankie Beverly Set To Headline Benefit Concert


Faithful Central Bible Church & Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles
join forces to build homes in Los Angeles and South Africa

Benefit Concert honoring Dr. & Mrs. Kenneth C. Ulmer to build homes in Los Angeles and South Africa

August 21, 2012… Faithful Central Bible Church announced today the next evolution in its partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles—a benefit concert with legendary artists Gladys Knight and Maze featuring Frankie Beverly on Friday, October 19, 2012 at the Hyatt Century Plaza Hotel. 
  Launched in the spring of 2012, Celebrate Home & HealthTM is a new initiative between Faithful Central and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (HFH GLA) to promote and develop healthy homes and healthy families within communities, locally and around the world. As a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, their mission is to provide the leadership, expertise and resources that enable under-served communities to reach and maintain their optimal level of health and well-being and to empower them to obtain sustainable and affordable housing. Based in Inglewood, California but with a global reach, Celebrate Home & HealthTM combines education and coalition building to advance environmental and economic empowerment within our community.  With the help of our corporate and civic partners and thousands of caring individuals throughout the Greater Los Angeles area, we plan to build or entirely renovate homes within the local community as well as provide much-needed home exterior repairs (paint, landscaping, roof, etc.) through HFH GLA’s A Brush with Kindness’ program. In addition, through HFH GLA’s global network, we plan to build and renovate in economically challenged regions of South Africa. 
“We are thrilled to expand our relationship with Habitat for Humanity, building homes in two places close to my heart, here locally in Los Angeles and in South Africa”, commented Dr. Kenneth C. Ulmer, Faithful Central’s senior pastor-teacher. “We have a steadfast commitment here at Faithful Central to impact our community and this tremendous partnership keenly reflects our dedication to this mission.  I’m looking forward to an evening of great music. It’s truly an extraordinary event for an extraordinary cause.”  
President & CEO of Habitat of Humanity of Greater Los Angeles, Erin Rank echoed Ulmer’s sentiments; “The success of an organization is due in large part to having continuous, visionary leadership. It is with pride that we partner with FCBC in the celebration of the inspired leadership of Bishop and First Lady Ulmer who have walked hand-in-hand with love and faith for over three decades, carrying out God’s plan for Inglewood and the world at large.  Like FCBC, Habitat for Humanity walks in faith to provide decent shelter to all God’s people in need.”
Kicking off this exceptional evening of entertainment is legendary Grammy award-winning artist Gladys Knight.  Known as the “Empress of Soul,” Knight brings her incomparable talent to the stage singing the hits we all know and love: "Midnight Train to Georgia,” “I Heard it Through the Grapevine”, “Neither One of Us,” among countless others.  Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, Knight is also the recipient of eight Grammy awards, solidifying her place in music history.     
Maze featuring Frankie Beverly first captured the admiration of audiences everywhere when the group debuted as the opening act for Marvin Gaye in 1971.  Since then, they have released a string of hits and have performed to sold-out arenas across the globe.  Their string of classic hits include "Happy Feelin's", "Joy and Pain,” “Before I Let Go,” "We are One,” and many others.   
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit our website at www.celebratehomeandthealth.org.  Contact Jo-An Turman at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles or Sonya Ede at SYE Publicity for additional information. 
About Faithful Central Bible Church
For more than two decades, Faithful Central has been on the cutting edge of community service. Faithful Central’s mission is to provide training and services to empower families, the building block of our community. We assist those in need by: Dispensing emergency food; Giving healthcare referrals; Providing employment readiness training; Administering short-term case management; and providing transportation services.  In view of our ongoing vision to impact our community, locally and globally, we do all we can to touch the lives of those around us.

About Habitat For Humanity of Greater Los Angeles
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (HFH GLA) strives to eliminate substandard housing through advocacy, education and partnership with families and individuals in need to build decent, sustainable and affordable housing. Since 1990, HFH GLA has built and renovated more than 700 homes locally and worldwide, transforming the lives of hundreds of individuals. HFH GLA is a GuideStar® Valued Partner and has achieved the coveted Charity Navigator 4-Star rating awarded to nonprofits for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. For more information, please visit http://www.habitatla.org or call 310-323-4663. Visit our blog at http://buildingagreaterla.blogspot.com.
Date & Time:
Friday, October 19, 2012 | 7:15 p.m. (doors open 6:45 p.m.)
Location: Hyatt Century Plaza Hotel
2025 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Ticket Prices: general admission starts at $75; reserved seating starts at $150

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

CTG Announces 2013 Season At Mark Taper Forum


Taper’s 46th Season at the Los Angeles Music Center Features Five Powerful Productions

The Season Opens with Nina Raine’s “Tribes” Directed by David Cromer
Followed by August Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” Directed by Phylicia Rashad
Bruce Norris’ “A Parallelogram” Directed by Anna D. Shapiro
The Classic Joe Orton Farce “What the Butler Saw” Directed by John Tillinger
Brian Dennehy in Sebastian Barry’s “The Steward of Christendom” Directed by Steven Robman

The New Season Begins February 27, 2013, and Runs Through January 5, 2014.


PHYLICIA RASHAD
Five powerful productions have been scheduled for Center Theatre Group’s 2013 season at the Mark Taper Forum, it was announced today by CTG Artistic Director Michael Ritchie.
The Taper’s 46th season at the Los Angeles Music Center will open with the off-Broadway hit comic drama “Tribes” by Nina Raine, directed by David Cromer; and continue with the August Wilson classic “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” directed by Phylicia Rashad;  the new dark comedy “A Parallelogram” by Bruce Norris, directed by Anna D. Shapiro; and the farce “What the Butler Saw” by the inimitable Joe Orton, directed by John Tillinger. The season closes with Brian Dennehy in the deeply moving “The Steward of Christendom” by Sebastian Barry, directed by Steven Robman.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

National Congress of Black Women, Inc., Set To Honor Community Leaders


LOS ANGELES, CA –  On Saturday, August 25, 2012 the National Congress of Black Women, Inc., Los Angeles Chapter will host the 2012 Annual Awards Gala and Dinner. . It will be an evening of delectable dishes, entertainment, highly esteemed honorees. The event begins at 6 PM at the J.W. Marriott/Ritz Carlton LA Live, 900 West Olympic Boulevard. This year's fundraising event theme is  “Building Bridges to Serve our Communities".
U.S. CONGRESSWOMAN KAREN BASS

The honorees this year are U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass, representing the 33rd District of California; Dr. Alfred Jumper, Director of Pediatric Anesthesia, Specialty Surgical Center; and Jason L. Seward, Founder & CEO Millennium Momentum Foundation, Inc. are being recognized for their commitment to “Building Bridges to Serve Communities.” Congresswoman Karen Bass is the keynote speaker; Honorable Irma J. Brown, Supervising Judge of Inglewood Juvenile Delinquency Court, is special guest speaker; Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq., National Chair, will bring greetings. Pat Prescott, a popular morning show host on 94.7 FM, The Wave , will serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies.
PAT PRESCOTT

At the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Congress of Black Women Inc. fundraising dinner and evening gala, you will have an opportunity to visit  the “Gala Market Place",  shop from hand -selected vendors and bid on auction items; meet and mingle with the honorees and sponsors and enjoy a dance performance by the Lula Washington Dance Theater. Says NCBW-L.A Chairperson Judy Matthews,Not only are we inviting everyone to come out and have a great time, but the proceeds from this major fundraising event allows us to continue offering unparalleled programs and services in our communities." 

For more information or to purchase tickets, please call (800) 895-3180 or visit the website www.ncbwinclac.org.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL CONGRESS OF BLACK WOMEN INC. LOS ANGELES CHAPTER.
For twenty-eight years, the National Congress of Black Women, Incorporated has operated nationally and internationally as a nonprofit 501(c) (3). In 2009, the Los Angeles Chapter was formed, joining the fight for improvement of communities through educational, political, economic and cultural development of African American women and their families
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Veteran Actor/Comedian Dick Van Dyke Honored With 2012 SAG Life Achievement Award

 DICK VAN DYKE

49th Annual Accolade to be Presented During the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards®
Simulcast Live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, January 27, 2013
 

LOS ANGELES (August 21, 2012) – Dick Van Dyke, beloved actor, singer, dancer, writer and comedian, will receive SAG-AFTRA’s highest honor – the SAG Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment. Van Dyke will be presented the performers union’s most prestigious accolade, given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession,” at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards®, which premieres live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, at 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT, 6 p.m. MT and 5 p.m. PT.

In making today’s announcement, SAG-AFTRA Co-President Ken Howard said, “Dick is the consummate entertainer -- an enormously talented performer whose work has crossed nearly every major category of entertainment. From his career-changing Broadway turn in 'Bye Bye Birdie' and his deadpan humor in the Emmy® winning 'Dick Van Dyke Show,' to his unforgettable performance as Bert in 'Mary Poppins,” he sets a high bar for actors. Stage, big screen, small screen, literally everywhere he has worked he has inspired millions of fans and has had a tremendously positive impact on the industry and the world. He is so deserving of this honor and I congratulate him."

SAG-AFTRA Co-President Roberta Reardon said: "With Dick, it's so much more than the proverbial 'triple threat.' He started his career as a radio announcer, game show host and comedian and was a spokesman for Kodak, among numerous other roles over his nearly 60-year career. His contributions to the success of the business and to his fellow performers is legendary as is his work with a number of the leading ladies of our times, including Julie Andrews and Mary Tyler Moore — both previous Life Achievement Award recipients. His infectious laugh has warmed audiences for decades and is an unforgettable facet of his fabulous personality."

Holder of five Emmys®, a Tony® Award and a Grammy®, Van Dyke at 86 still possesses the zest for life that first propelled him into the limelight more than a half-century ago with the Broadway and film versions of “Bye Bye Birdie,” the seminal ‘60s situation comedy “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and the film classic “Mary Poppins."

He was born Richard Wayne Van Dyke in West Plains, Missouri, on December 13, 1925, and raised in Danville, Illinois, hometown as well to Donald O’Connor, Gene Hackman and Bobby Short. As a youngster he taught himself music, magic and pantomime. By 16, he was appearing in school plays, running track, serving as junior class president and working part time as an announcer on a local radio station. Enlisting in the Air Force at 18, he soon was performing for the troops and hosting a radio show called “Flight Time.” After one year of duty he was back in Danville, giving advertising a try, but it was not a fit. With another Danville local, Phil Erickson, he hit the road in a record-pantomime act called “The Merry Mutes,” a perfect showcase for his physical comedy gifts. While appearing in Los Angeles, he sent for his high school sweetheart, Marjorie Willet. The two were married on “Bride and Groom,” a network radio program offering gifts and a honeymoon to newlyweds.

After a run hosting a daytime talk show in Atlanta and a morning show in New Orleans, CBS put him under contract. Van Dyke moved to New York where in 1954 he began hosting “The Morning Show” (which featured up and coming newscaster Walter Cronkite). Other hosting jobs preceded his 1957 television-acting debut on an episode of “The Phil Silvers Show.” and his Broadway debut in 1959 with Bert Lahr in the comedy revue “The Boys Against the Girls.” The following year his career soared when he was cast by director/choreographer Gower Champion opposite Chita Rivera in “Bye Bye Birdie.” His performance as rock star Conrad Birdie’s songwriter/manager Albert Peterson earned Van Dyke a Tony® Award and brought him to the attention of Sheldon Leonard and Carl Reiner, who signed him for a pilot opposite newcomer Mary Tyler Moore. The now eponymous “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” starring Van Dyke and Moore as Rob and Laura Petrie, premiered in 1961 and ran for five seasons. With a perfect ensemble cast including Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam, the wittily written series was a showcase for Van Dyke’s genius for physical comedy, earning him three lead actor Emmy® Awards.

The tireless Van Dyke spent his series’ hiatus shooting the film version of “Bye Bye Birdie” in 1963 followed by “What a Way to Go” and Disney’s 1964 musical classic “Mary Poppins,” It won five Academy Awards® including one for star Julie Andrews (SAG’s 2006 Life Achievement Award recipient) and earned Van Dyke a Golden Globe® nomination and, with Andrews, a Grammy®. A run of films followed including “Lt. Robin Crusoe, USN,” (1966), “Divorce American Style” (1967), “Fitzwilly” (1967), the musical “Chitty Chitty Bang-Bang” (1968), Garson Kanin’s satire on conformity “Some Kind of a Nut” (1969) and Norman Lear’s anti-smoking “Cold Turkey” (1970). Van Dyke, who had delivered the eulogies for his comedy idols Stan Laurel and Buster Keaton, explored the role of a fictional silent movie star in 1969’s “The Comic,” He would return to the big screen again in Stanley Kramer’s “The Runner Stumbles” (1978), Warren Beatty’s “Dick Tracy” (1990) and more recently the Ben Stiller comedy  “Night at the Museum” (2006).

After a year of filming “Chitty Chitty Bang-Bang” in England, Van Dyke moved with his family to their ranch in Carefree, Arizona where “The New Dick Van Dyke Show” was produced for CBS for three seasons. In 1974, his stunning portrayal of an alcoholic family man in David Wolper’s groundbreaking ABC Television movie “The Morning After” earned Van Dyke an Emmy nomination. A guest-star turn as a homicidal photographer opposite Peter Falk’s “Columbo” followed.

It was back to song, dance and comedy in NBC’s variety series “Van Dyke and Company,” earning him a fourth Emmy® (this time shared with his fellow producers,) followed by a national tour in “The Music Man,” which brought Van Dyke back to Broadway and a national tour in “Damn Yankees.” The 1980s brought a run of television movies including the Showtime production of “The Country Girl” opposite Faye Dunaway, ”Drop-Out Father," opposite Mariette Hartley, “Found Money” opposite Sid Caesar, “Breakfast with Les and Bess” opposite Cloris Leachman for PBS’s “American Playhouse” and the miniseries “Strong Medicine.”

In 1982, Van Dyke earned his fifth Emmy for his vocal performance as the Father in the CBS Library special “Wrong Way Kid.” His voice over talents were employed most recently in the 2006 animated feature “Curious George” and the 2010 short “The Caretaker 3D,” a tribute to the Hollywood Sign.

Van Dyke’s crime solving physician, Dr. Mark Sloan, was introduced in a 1991 episode of “Jake and the Fat Man” and became the central character in three TV movies before evolving into the CBS series “Diagnosis: Murder.” It ran from 1993 to 2001, followed by two Dr. Sloan television movies in 2002. “Diagnosis: Murder” co-starred Van Dyke’s son Barry as a police detective and during its run provided guest-star opportunities for Van Dyke’s daughter Stacy, grandchildren Carey, Shane, Wes and Taryn and brother Jerry Van Dyke.  From 2006 to 2008, the father-son team reunited for a series of four Hallmark Channel “Murder 101” movies, casting Barry as a private investigator opposite Dick’s absent-minded but brilliant criminology professor, Dr. Jonathan Maxwell.

In 2003, Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore re-teamed to portray lonely seniors in D.L. Coburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “The Gin Game” on “PBS Hollywood Presents” and the following year recreated husband and wife Rob and Laura Petrie for Carl Reiner’s CBS telefilm “The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited.” They were notably reunited this past January when Van Dyke presented Moore with SAG’s 48th Life Achievement Award on the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Van Dyke, whose 2011 memoir “My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business” made the New York Times Best Sellers list, admits that his retirement plans have yet to work out. In 2006 he returned to Broadway receiving standing ovations in his “Bye Bye Birdie” leading lady’s “Chita Rivera: The Dancers Life.”  In addition to his memoir, Van Dyke is the author of “Faith, Hope and Hilarity: The Child’s Eye View of Religion” (1970) and “Those Funny Kids” (1975), a collection of classroom humor.

Music, Van Dyke’s spiritual nourishment, became richer when he teamed twelve years ago with Eric Bradley, Bryan Chadima and Mike Mendyke to form The Vantastix.  Their first major public appearance was at the Society of Singers Ella Awards honoring his “Mary Poppins” leading lady Julie Andrews. They’ve since performed the National Anthem at L.A. Lakers playoffs, mounted a musical memoir at L.A.’s Geffen Theatre, appeared at the Hollywood Bowl, Disney Hall and at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. with the President and First Lady in the front row and released an album of children’s song: “Put on A Happy Face.”

For nearly twenty years Van Dyke has been tirelessly committed to his volunteer work at The Midnight Mission, Los Angeles’ century-old downtown shelter for the troubled and homeless. He helped raise millions for their new building program and is there without fail every Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and times in between offering comfort and cheer, often with the Vantastix and members of his own family.  He is passionate about raising funds for music and art programs for public schools and has performed at countless fundraisers. He became a spokesperson for the National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation in 1967 after losing a granddaughter to that disease and in 2010 was named the first spokesperson for the Cell Therapy Foundation.

Van Dyke has four children from his marriage to the late Marjorie Willet Van Dyke -- sons Christian and Barry, and daughters Stacey and Carrie Beth -- and seven grandchildren.

On February 29, 2012, he married make-up artist Arlene Silver (whom he met at the 2007 SAG Awards) and whose vocal talents now occasionally blend with those of Dick and The Vantastix.  They live in Malibu, California.

The 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards presented by SAG-AFTRA will be produced by Jeff Margolis Productions in association with Screen Actors Guild Awards®, LLC. Kathy Connell is the producer. JoBeth Williams, Daryl Anderson, Scott Bakula, Shelley Fabares, Paul Napier, and Woody Schultz are producers for SAG-AFTRA. Gloria Fujita O’Brien and Mick McCullough are supervising producers. Benn Fleishman is executive in charge of production. Rosalind Jarrett Sepulveda is executive in charge of publicity. Jon Brockett is awards coordinating producer. Maggie Barrett Caulfield is the talent producer. For more information visit sagawards.org/about, “like” the SAG Awards at facebook.com/sagawardsofficialpage and follow the SAG Awards at twitter.com/sagawards.

SAG-AFTRA represents more than 165,000 represents actors, announcers, broadcasters journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. With national offices in Los Angeles and New York, and local offices nationwide, SAG-AFTRA members work together to secure the strongest protections for media artists into the 21st century and beyond. Visit SAG-AFTRA at sagaftra.org, follow SAG-AFTRA at twitter.com/sagaftra and ‘like’ SAG-AFTRA at facebook.com/sagaftra.

TNT, one of cable’s top-rated networks, is television’s destination for drama. Seen in 99 million households, TNT is home to such original drama series as “Rizzoli & Isles,” “Falling Skies,”  “Dallas,” “Perception,” “Major Crimes,” “Franklin & Bash,” “Leverage,” Southland and the upcoming “Monday Mornings.” The network also features dramatic unscripted originals like this summer's “The Great Escape” and the upcoming “Boston Blue” (working title) and “72 Hours” (working title). In addition, TNT is the cable home to popular dramas like “The Mentalist, “Bones,” “Supernatural," “Las Vegas,” “Law & Order” and “Castle,” which starts this year; primetime specials, such as the “Screen Actors Guild Awards®;” blockbuster movies; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR, the NBA and the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.

TBS is basic cable's #1 network among young adults in primetime. Available in 100 million households, TBS features the Emmy®-nominated late-night series “CONAN,” starring Conan O’Brien; and original primetime comedy series like “Men at Work,” “Sullivan & Son,” “Cougar Town,” Tyler Perry's “For Better or Worse,” “Wedding Band,” “King of the Nerds”), Deon Cole's “Black Box” (working title) and “Who Gets the Last Laugh?” (working title). TBS also features an outstanding slate of contemporary comedies, such as “The Big Bang Theory” and “Family Guy,” along with blockbuster movies and championship sports. In addition, TBS produces special live comedy events, like the star-studded comedy festival held each year in Chicago.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news; entertainment; animation and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.

TV One's R&B Divas Propels Network To New Ratings Record


R&B Divas Delivers Most Watched Original Premiere in Network’s History

FAITH EVANS

SILVER SPRING (August 22, 2012) – TV One announced today that its newest reality series R&B Divas delivered the most watched original premiere in the history of the network.  The series, airing Monday nights at 10pm, ET, tells the current real-life story of five multi-talented, beautiful R&B stars - Faith Evans, Nicci Gilbert-Daniels, Monifah Carter, Syleena Johnson and Keke Wyatt looking to reclaim their place in the musical spotlight.

The program garnered a .93 HH rating, delivering 531,000 homes and among P25-54, earned a .76 rating, delivering 479,000 viewers.  Nearly 900,000 total viewers tuned into R&B Divas last night during the premiere and encore airings.

Toni Judkins, TV One EVP of Programming and Production remarked, “We were confident in the quality of production and that the compelling storytelling deriving from the Divas’ willingness to present their lives so openly and honestly would result in an entertaining series. We’re pleased that the ratings reflect the viewers’ interest in and support of the show and TV One.”

Wonya Lucas, TV One President and CEO commented, “As TV One continues to invest in original programming that reflects the breadth and depth of true Black life, it is encouraging to see the strong viewer response to quality entertainment programming.”

The eight-episode, one-hour series is filmed primarily in Atlanta, with additional shooting in Washington, DC, New York and New Orleans. The series is produced for TV One by Thinkfactory Media, Executive Producers are Adam Reed, Adam Freeman, Phil Thornton, and Leslie Greif. Co-Executive Producers are Nicci Gilbert-Daniels, Faith Evans, Paul Coy Allen, and Aaron Fishman. Executive in charge of production for TV One is Jubba Seyyid.

Connect with R&B Divas:  Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RandBDivasTVOne . Twitter: #RandBDivas. Show Theme Song “Lovin Me” and Faith Evans single “Tears of Joy” can be streamed here: [http://soundcloud.com/eone-music/r-b-divas-lovin-me-feat-faith]

Launched in January 2004, TV One (www.tvone.tv)serves more than 57.3 million households, offering a broad range of real-life and entertainment-focused original programming, classic series, movies, and music designed to entertain, inform and inspire a diverse audience of adult African American viewers.  In December 2008, the company launched TV One High Def, which now serves 14 million households. TV One is owned by Radio One [NASDAQ: ROIA and ROIAK; www.radio-one.com], the largest radio company that primarily targets African American and urban listeners; and Comcast Corporation [NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK); www.comcast.com], one of the nation's leading providers of entertainment, information and communications products and services.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Jordin Sparks Plays The Lead In 'Sparkle'




In 1976, the movie Sparkle became an anthem for little African American girls who had a dream for stardom. 

The movie was about three sisters seeking fame as a singing group.  Their dreams hit a hiccup when the oldest sister, who is nicknamed Sister, becomes involved in drugs.

It starred Irene Cara as the title character, Lonette McKee, Mary Alice, Philip Michael Thomas, Dwan Smith and Dorian Harewood.

It became a kind of cult classic and still remains a favorite among African Americans. 

1976 SPARKLE
(l-r) Lonette McKee, Irene Cara and Dwan Smith
Fast forward to 2012 and the remake of Sparkle (TriStar) is set to be released Aug. 17.  It features the last acting performance of Whitney Houston, who died Feb. 11, 2012.

The film, directed by Salim Akil with a screenplay by Mara Brock Akil, stars Jordin Sparks, Whitney Houston, Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Carmen Ejogo, Tika Sumpter, Omari Hardwick, Ceelo Green, Curtis Armstrong, Terrence J, Tamela Mann and Michael Beach.  The film is produced by Debra Martin Chase, T.D. Jakes, Curtis Wallace, Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil.

I caught up with Jordin Sparks to discuss the remake of Sparkle.

TIKA SUMPTER, CARMEN EJOGO & JORDIN SPARKS
DD: Jordin (Sparks), why did you want to be involved in this film?  Did you see the original?

JS: I saw the original Sparkle in February 2011. I heard something about it being made into a movie. It piqued my interest. I really enjoyed it. I had no idea something like this even existed.

DD: Can you identify with the film?

JS: Sparkle was a nickname of mine since I was little. I read the script and know I wanted to do it. I was emotional, happy and sad.  I had no experience auditioning. They called me and I said I got the role. I screamed. I was on a rooftop on top of a hotel. I was beside myself. I was so excited.

DD: We you sure you could do the role?

JS: When I got the part I was in disbelief. The fact that they believed in me was big. I kept thinking, I don’t know if I can. They believed in me. I can’t walk in here and be horrible. Hopefully, whatever I do is along the lines of what they wanted. I took it a day at a time. Huge learning experience.

DD: This film is based in the 60s, long before you were born.

JS: Growing up, I have a hug love for the 60s.  It was the Temps, the Supremes, Ella Fitzgerald. I grew up listening to that music. We shot it in Detroit. It was a little desolate. I remember driving in the city and getting the feeling , the buzz of what it was like back them. 

 JORDIN SPARKS AND WHITNEY HOUSTON
Houston plays Sparks' mother in the film

DD: What was it like working with Whitney Houston?

JS:  She was really cool. When you idolize someone you hear horror stories. It wasn’t like that. I was everything I dreamed of and more. She was flying back and forth to be with Bobby Kristina. She was very motherly, nurturing. We all bonded. She was the executive producer, actress and mother at the same time.

DD: Did she seem happy?

JS: She was excited to do this film. Now she’s not here, it’s bitter sweet. She was amazing. When I talk about her, it’s like she’s still here.

DD: Most memorable moment with her?

JS:  We’re all waiting around. She played gospel music all the time. I was playing some rap – Teach Me How To Dougie.  We all started doing it.

DD: Favorite scene with her?

JS:  Just being able to work opposite her. I had to tell myself ‘Jordin, keep cool.’  I didn’t change for two months.
 TIKA SUMPTER, CARMEN EJOGO & JORDIN SPARKS

DD: She had a line in the movie that is kind of eerie now.

JS:  Yeah, when she says, ‘wasn’t my life enough of a cautionary tale.’ It’s like she’s explaining things for you.  I can’t believe she’s gone. This is the last thing she left. It’s bitter for sure.

DD: Have you seen the original movie?

JS: I didn’t want to do the same thing, but I wanted to show some respect. There’s a lot of me in Sparkle. I had a hard time watching me. I can’t even watch my stuff on YouTube – well, can’t for about six months. I kept thinking, ‘oh, my gosh, what am I doing?’

DD: Do you want to do more acting?

JS: Yes.  And, 20 years from now when I talk about my first movie, I can say I was in Sparkle.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Alfred Molina Looks Good In The Color 'RED'

 

 After watching John Logan’s latest show, “Red,” you will never look at the color the same again.

In this drama, laced with comedy, Alfred Molina and Jonathan Groff  (Spring Awakening) spend 90 minutes of witty repartee debating the notion of real art. However, in the midst of their jousting are moments in which they deliberate about the true meaning and calling of one’s life.

Life and art are what are at play in this heady, urbane erudite production, which showcases the magnificence of Molina, who splendidly puts on an acting clinic.  If you’re not up on the classics, or who is who in the art world, you may not get all of the jokes. However, you will certainly get the gist.

The two-person drama takes place in the New York art studio of Mark Rothko (Molina), a noted painter who takes on an assistant (Groff) straight out of art school.  From the very beginning the two bump heads.

Rothko’s ego is so big he believes the sun literally rises and sets on art. Groff, while a lover of art, respectfully (most of the time) disagrees.

Though Rothko feels the threatening presence of a new generation of artists, he tells his assistant, “There is only one thing I fear in life, my friend…. One day the black will swallow the red.”

“Red” is about what happens when an artist/rebel who despises the establishment suddenly works for the same group by accepting a commission to paint pictures for an uptown restaurant called the Four Seasons.

Until the moment he accepted the job, Rothko had spent his life painting pictures that he wanted people to actually feel. He wanted his work to tear the heart out of people.  He is known for paintings that seem to pulsate with a life force of their own.

Mark Rothko, was an actual Russian-American painter, classified as an abstract expressionist. He died in 1970 at the age of 67. 

Molina is mesmerizing and ultimately believable as a tortured artist who, ironically, hates natural lighting. He commands the stage with a force that is palpable. 

Groff is efficient and effective as the assistant who goes from being in awe of his employer to confronting and questioning his acceptance to work on such a commercial project.

“Red”, which opened in London in 2009, then Broadway in 2010, garnered the 2010 Tony Award for Best Play on Broadway.

The Donmar Warehouse production is directed by Michael Grandage.

“Red” features set and costume design by Christopher Oram, lighting design by Neil Austin and music composition and sound design by Adam Cork.  Casting is by Anne McNulty and Erika Sellin and the production stage manager is David S. Franklin.

“Red” runs at the Mark Taper Forum through Sept. 9. Tickets and information are available at CenterTheatreGroup.org, the CTG box office located at the Ahmanson Theatre, or by calling (213) 628-2772. 

On the Donloe Scale, D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likable), O (OK) and E (excellent), “Red” gets an E (excellent).





The Power Team of Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil, Bring A Remake of "Sparkle" To The Big Screen


In 1976, the movie Sparkle became an anthem for little African American girls who had a dream for stardom. 

The movie was about three sisters seeking fame as a singing group.  Their dreams hit a hiccup when the oldest sister, who is nicknamed Sister, becomes involved in drugs.

It starred Irene Cara as the title character, Lonette McKee, Mary Alice, Philip Michael Thomas, Dwan Smith and Dorian Harewood.

(l-r) LONETTE MCKEE, IRENE CARA & DWAN SMITH
circa 1976

It became a kind of cult classic and still remains a favorite among African Americans.

Fast forward to 2012 and the remake of Sparkle (TriStar) is set to be released Aug. 17.  It features the last acting performance of Whitney Houston, who died Feb. 11, 2012.

The film, directed by Salim Akil with a screenplay by Mara Brock Akil, stars Jordin Sparks, Whitney Houston, Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Carmen Ejogo, Tika Sumpter, Omari Hardwick, Ceelo Green, Curtis Armstrong, Terrence J, Tamela Mann and Michael Beach. The film is produced by Debra Martin Chase, T.D. Jakes, Curtis Wallace, Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil.

I caught up with the director Salim Akil, his wife and the screenplay writer, Mara Brock Akil, both of whom are also producers. We sat down to discuss the remake of the classic.

MARA BROCK AKIL AND SALIM AKIL

DD: Salim, what was your biggest challenge in tackling the remake of a classic?

SA:  My biggest challenge was finding a way to accept the job. We all know and love the original. I came home and told my wife. I told her I couldn’t do it because black folks are not going to kill me.

DD: Do you consider this a black film?

SA:  This is an Amerian story. Some will see it as an African American film only because of the shades they put on in the morning.

DD: You chose to stick with some of the elements of the original. For instance, the movie is set in the 60s.

SA:  I wanted to do it in 1968 to empower the women. In the other movie, the women were victims.

DD:  Your feeling on it, Mara?  You wrote the script.

MBA:  I, too, am always talking about empowering and about choices. I did want to pay homage to the first film, but I also wanted to make it my own. I wanted her (Sparkle) to be the only one who had a love of music.  Sisters’ (a character played by Carmen Ejogo) approach wasn’t a love of music, she just wanted to get out.  I wanted to get the point across that death doesn’t always come in the form of a coffin.

JORDIN SPARKS and WHITNEY HOUSTON

DD: You had to opportunity to write words for Whitney Houston.

MBA: I was wondering whether she wanted to be in this honestly. She was even more powerful than ever.

DD: Your thoughts about Whitney, Salim?

SA:  Her work ethic was tremendous. We were very clear that we didn’t want Whitney Houston singing on screen. We wanted her to be Emma and she delivered.

DD: You shot this film in 30 days. You also shot it in Detroit.

SA: We actually used some establishments that are legendary in Detroit. We used places like Baker’s Keyboard Lounge and Cliff Bell’s.  Our stories are American stories. Detroit is an American story. After they see this film, people will want to go there and spend some money.

DD: Why Jordin Sparks for the role of Sparkle?

SA: Now you know she’s an amazing actress. You know she can sing. When I saw her on tape, in her eyes there was a certain innocence. You get her to sing and you get R Kelly to write songs. You can’t lose unless I mess up.

The Los Angeles Theatre Center Announces Its New Fall Season: Face Of The World 2012


The Los Angeles Theatre Center, a landmark facility in Downtown's 
Historic Core, embarks on its sixth fall season under the
stewardship of The Latino Theater Company. There will be a full roster of
plays from the venue’s Cultural Roundtable, a collaborative group of
resident companies. The plays include “Faith” “Empanada for a Dream”
“Flipzoids” and “La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin” from The Latino
Theater Company; and “Anna Lucasta” from Robey Theatre Company. There will
also be visiting artists presenting plays, music and dance.
 
Face of the World 2012 will be where international and local
artists unite, reflecting the diversity of Los Angeles.

The regular season schedule will be preceded by two
limited-engagement bonus attractions:
           
September 7- 9: “André y Dorine.” Los Angeles Premiere. Written
by Kulunka Teatro (Garbine Insausti, Jose Dault, Inaki Rikarte, Rolando San
Martin, Edu Carcamo). Directed by Inaki Rikarte. Produced by Kulunka Teatro
and The Latino Theater Company in association with The Albuquerque Journal
Theatre.  “André y Dorine” is a piece of contemporary Mask Theatre about a
couple who needs to remember who they were, so they don’t forget who they
are. In a small room where memories hang over the walls, sound the keys of
a typewriter and the notes of a cello. They are André and Dorine, an
elderly couple gently decaying from routine and neglect, with a passion
once so huge for each other now fading into indifference. But an event
comes to break the monotony: Alzheimer’s, our greatest antagonist, devourer
of memories and of identity itself.

Kulunka Teatro’s contemporary and committed mask theatre transcends
language barriers. It is wordless. It explores uplifting and thought
provoking themes with movement, masks and music. It has toured extensively
in Spain, South America, China and Europe, and will continue its tour in
United States and Asia. It was an award winner at the Birmingham European
Theatre Festival in 2011, and at the La Habana International Theatre
Festival 2011 (Cuba).

In Los Angeles Theatre Center’s 280-seat Theatre 2. Fri. & Sat. at 8 p.m.,
Sun. at 3 p.m.  Admission: $30. Students and seniors $20. Groups of ten or
more, $20.

September 28-30: “Illuminated Manuscript: a hip-hop interpretation of The
Epic of Gilgamesh.” Directed by Amy “Catfox” Campion. Produced by Antics
Performance and The Latino Theater Company. Illuminated Manuscript is a
multimedia street dance/theater saga inspired by the Epic of Gilgamesh and
told through performer-activated video projection and street dance
choreography. Heroic characters use breakdancing, popping, krumping, and
hip hop dance to journey through the wilderness, fight monsters, and
discover the secret to immortality.  Colored by the virtuosity that hip hop
dances are known for, the choreography synthesizes body language, gesture,
and street dance by drawing on the inherent strengths and integral concepts
of street dance traditions.

In the 320-seat Theatre 3. Fri. & Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 7 p.m..
Admission: $30. Students and seniors $20. Groups of ten or more, $20.

Five plays follow in the regularly scheduled season:

October 6- October 28: “Flipzoids.” Written by Ralph B. Pena. Directed by
Jon Lawrence Rivera. Produced by PAE Live! and The Latino Theater Company.
Flipzoids is a funny and highly moving story about three Filipinos
navigating through the shifting landscapes of home, desire and loneliness.
Set on a deserted beach in Southern California, the play examines what it
means to be an outsider. Redford is a 20-something kid that hangs out at
beachside restrooms searching for connections; Vangie is a nurse who
memorizes the dictionary to sound more American; Aying, Vangie’s mother,
struggles with understanding a daughter to whom she has become an
embarrassment. Together, they search to understand what it means to be
Filipino and/or American - to be a hybrid.

In the intimate 89-seat Theatre 4. Thurs.- Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 3 p.m.
Admission: $30. Students and seniors $20. Thursdays $10. Previews (Oct. 4 &
5) $10

October 12- November 11: “Faith: Part I of A Mexican Trilogy.” World
Premiere. Written by Evelina Fernandez. Directed by Jose Luis Valenzuela.
Produced by The Latino Theater Company. Set before the backdrop of the
Great Depression, Faith is the story of a family faced with the challenge
of retaining ancient traditions and cultural memory in the midst of social
and political upheaval. A journey that begins as a last resort for the
Garcia family becomes an incredible legacy that will give birth to a
generation of Mexican-Americans. A Mexican Trilogy depicts a
Mexican-American family impacted by three historical figures - Franklin
Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Pope John Paul II.
In Theatre 3. Thurs.- Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 3 p.m. Admission: $40.
Students and seniors $20. Thursdays: $10. Previews (Oct. 12, 13, 14, 18)
$10

October 25- November 18: “Empanada for a Dream.” West Coast Premiere.
Written and performed by Juan Francisco Villa. Directed by Alex Levy.
Produced by The Latino Theater Company. Downtown on Allen Street
everybody’s blasting music - bacchata, merengue and salsa. Everybody’s
cooking – plantains, paella, and empanadas. Boys play baseball and football
on the street while the most beautiful girl watches from a window. In his
living memoir, “Empanada For A Dream,” Juan Francisco Villa uncovers the
treasures of his family’s dark legacy in the streets of New York’s Lower
East Side. A poignant and funny portrait of family and neighborhood – set
against a secret that destroys it all. An inspiring tale about growing up
by getting out and coming back, home. Winner of the 2012 ITBA (Independent
Theatre Bloggers Association) Award for "Outstanding Solo Performance."
Performed in English (with a little Spanish). Suggested for audiences age
13 to Adult.

In Theatre 2. Thurs.- Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 3 p.m. Admission: $40.
Students and seniors $20. Groups of ten or more $20. Previews (Oct. 25 &
26) $10

November 8- December 9: “Anna Lucasta.” Written by Philip Yordan. Directed
by Ben Guillory. Produced by Robey Theatre Company in association with The
Latino Theater Company. Expelled from her home by her over-protective and
jealous father young Anna Lucasta is forced to confront life’s inevitable
fight for survival. When her family with their own piggish desires offers
her a chance at “ redemption” Anna accepts the refuge of home. A glimmer of
feeling is present when she is introduced to a young, handsome man and Anna
shocks them all by embracing true love only to encounter her own demons and
the unforgiving father’s vengeful plan that threatens to destroy the future
she deserves.

In Theatre 4. Thurs.- Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 3 p.m. Admission: $30.
Students, seniors and veterans $20. Groups of ten or more $20.

December 6 and December 7 at 7:30pm: “La Virgen De Guadalupe, Dios
Inantzin.” Adapted from “Nican Mopohua” by Evelina Fernandez. Directed by
Jose Luis Valenzuela.  Produced by The Latino Theater Company. This is the
eleventh annual production of the spectacular holiday pageant and inspiring
story, which has become a Los Angeles tradition featuring a cast of over
100 actors, musicians and dancers. The story of the indigenous peasant Juan
Diego, to whom the Virgin Mary appeared repeatedly with accompanying
miracles in the mountains of Tepeyac outside Mexico City in 1531, is
visually dazzling and deeply moving. Join the tens of thousands who have
already thrilled to this holiday experience like none other. Presented in
Spanish with English supertitles.

At Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple St., Los Angeles, CA
90012. General admission is FREE. Reserved seating is available for $30
through November 1, $35 thereafter. Reserved seating for groups of ten or
more is available at $20 per ticket through November 1, $25 thereafter.

This season, Los Angeles Theatre Center is making available the opportunity
to participate in a voluntary, audience-friendly, money-saving Membership
program. In economically challenging times, the LATC Membership card is the
answer to an avid theatergoer’s prayer. For $50 for a full year’s
membership, the following benefits are available:

50% off tickets for regular season programming (limited to two tickets per
night):

Priority Seating for general seating performances;

A free glass of wine (one per member per show, for adults);

Invitations to Opening Night receptions;

Special discounts for select off-season and leased events;

Weekly e-newsletter;

Recognition in performance programs and on the LATC website.

When attending, have your LATC Membership card with you to obtain your full
benefits, worth several times the cost of the card itself.

The Los Angeles Theatre Center is located at 514 S. Spring St.,
Los Angeles, CA 90013.