Wednesday, February 27, 2013

ICON MANN Hosts Inaugural Power 30 Dinner


Exclusive Event Celebrates Powerful, Trailblazing Black Men in Entertainment and Multimedia
ICON MANN Power 30 Dinner Group Photo

BEVERLY HILLS (February 27, 2013) - ICON MANN's Pre-Oscar POWER 30 Dinner, Celebrating Trailblazing Black Men in Entertainment and Multimedia, took place on Saturday, February 23rd at the posh L'Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. It was an exclusive event curated in recognition of the amazing dialogue that is about living the best life and using one's platform to empower others.  Sponsors for the evening were Keith Clinkscales' The Shadow League and the L'Ermitage Hotel Beverly Hills.  The event was presented by ICON MANN Sports Entertainment Brand Management.

Guests included actor Michael Ealy ("Think Like A Man"), rapper/actor Common, actor Jesse Williams ("Grey's Anatomy"), actor David Oyelowo ("Lincoln"), marketing executive James Lopez (Sony/Screen Gems), director Tim Story ("Think Like A Man"), magazine publisher Len Burnett (Uptown Magazine), entertainment attorney Gordon Bobb, director George Tillman, Jr. ("Notorious"), actor Dennis Haysbert ("The Unit"), talent agent Charles King (William Morris Endeavor), actor Omari Hardwick ("Sparkle"), talent manager Brian Dobbins (Principato Young Entertainment), entertainment executive Guy Primus (Overbrook Entertainment), actor Wendell Pierce ("Treme"), talent agent Ryan Tarpley (Creative Artists Agency), and NFL Player Terrell Suggs (Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens), among others.

The event kicked-off with a cocktail reception and private tasting featuring Remy Martin's Louis XIII cognac, followed by the sit-down three-course dinner, which was highlighted with a special welcome by Ambassador Shabazz, eldest daughter of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz.  She shared inspiring thoughts about the importance of Black men coming together to fellowship and defining the narrative of their life.

"ICON MANN is a state of mind for anyone who uses their opportunity and access to create great and significant change by unapologetically conquering everything they envision," says ICON MANN Principals Tamara Houston and Adrienne Alexander. "We are committed to championing their accomplishments and encouraging their influence across multiple platforms."

ICON MANN Sports Entertainment Brand Management (http://iconmannsports.com/) represents the entertainment, branded content and digital interests of professional athletes and sports organizations.

  ICON MANN Power 30 Dinner
   ICON MANN Power 30 Dinner 
  Common Omari Hardwick
Common                                                      Omari Hardwick
David Oyelowo and Michael Ealy David Oyelowo and Dennis Haysbert 
David Oyelowo and Michael Ealy       David Oyelowo and Dennis Haysbert
Dennis Haysbert Guy Primus Len Burnett 
(L-R): Dennis Haysbert, Guy Primus and Len Burnett 
Louis XIII Cognac Jesse Williams and Michael Ealy 
Louis XIII cognac bottle                       Jesse Williams and Michael Ealy 
Charles King Jesse Williams Michael Ealy George Tillman Jr 
(L-R): Charles King, Jesse Williams, Michael Ealy, and George Tillman, Jr.
Terrell Suggs Common Dennis Haysbert 
Common (center) greets Terrell Suggs (left) and Dennis Haysbert (right)
Terrell Suggs Dennis Haysbert 
Terrell Suggs and Dennis Haysbert
Len Burnett Guy Primus Hamet Watt 
(L-R): Len Burnett, Guy Primus, and Hamet Watt
ICON MANN Power 30 Dinner 
ICON MANN Power 30 Dinner ICON MANN Power 30 Dinner 
 ICON MANN POWER 30 PRE-OSCAR DINNER
February 23, 2013
L'Ermitage Hotel
Beverly Hills, California


Photo credit: Earl Gibson III



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

38th Gracie National Award Winners Announced

Award Winners to be Recognized at Annual Gala Featuring the Biggest Names in News and Entertainment

 ROBIN ROBERTS

February 26, 2013 (McLean, VA) –­ Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) is pleased to announce the 2013 national winners of the 38th Annual Gracie Awards. The awards will be presented at a black-tie Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Los Angeles, CA on Tuesday, May 21, 2013. Local market, public, digital and student award winners will be announced later this week.

In preparation for the awards Gala, Gracie Award statues are being engraved for such accomplished women as Lena Dunham, Julianne Moore, Amy Poehler, and Robin Roberts, and in recognition of such dynamic programming and talent as ABC Family/Pretty Little Liars’ Lucy Hale, CNBC’s The Suze Orman Show, CNN’s Gaza/Israel Conflict Coverage, ESPN’s Outside the Lines, Fox/The Mindy Project’s Mindy Kaling, Lifetime’s Steel Magnolias, Nickelodeon’s Nick News with Linda Ellerbee, NPR’s Ina Jaffe, OWN’s Super Soul Sunday, The Style Network’s Giuliana & Bill, NBC/Smash’s Angelica Houston, and Univision’s The Woman in the Mirror representing a broad cross-section of outstanding actors, reporters, stories and programs. 

The Gracies recognize exemplary programming created for women, by women and about women in all facets of media and entertainment, as well as individuals who have made contributions to the industry. The awards program also encourages the realistic and multifaceted portrayal of women in entertainment, news, features and other programs.

“The Gracies Awards recognize the women in front of and behind the scenes of intelligent programming that teaches and entertains,” stated 2013 AWMF Chair Kay Olin. “We look forward to showcasing the incredible work of these accomplished women at the Gracies.”

The Gracies are presented by the AWM Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AWM which supports educational programs, charitable activities, public service campaigns and scholarships to benefit the public and women in the media. The Gracie Awards, established in 1975, honor programming and individuals of the highest caliber in all facets of radio, television, cable and web-based media, including news, drama, comedy, public service, documentary and sports.

“The Gracies is a night to celebrate and share the compelling work of so many talented women in media,” said AWMF President Erin M. Fuller, CAE. “The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation’s signature event is a showcase of the diverse, important and inspiring contributions women make to the media industry.”

Supporting the Gracies is synonymous with supporting women’s achievements in all facets of media and entertainment. Reserve your table and demonstrate your commitment to the AWM Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit charity. Sponsored tables are available ranging from $10,000 to $50,000. For more information, please contact AWMF at (703) 506-3290.

For more information about the Gracie Awards, please visit www.thegracies.org.

The New 'Dancing With The Stars' Cast Revealed

D.L. HUGHLEY

The cast of the 16th season of the highly popular show, Dancing With the Stars, was revealed this morning. It includes reality television stars, comedians, country singers, an NFL player and Olympic athletes. A 12th spot will be revealed at a later date.

The new season of dancing celebrites, which will be without popular dance pro Max Chmerkovskiy, starts Monday, March 18 at 8 p.m. on ABC.   Bachelor star Melissa Rycroft won last season's crown.

The cast includes: boxer Victor Ortiz and new pro Lindsay Arnold, comedian D.L Hughley and Cheryl Burke, Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff, comedian Andy Dick and former troupe member Sharna Burgess, actor Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas, country singer Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough, country legend Wynonna Judd and Tony Dovolani, Disney Channel star Zendaya Coleman and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Olympic figure skater Dorothy Hamill and Tristan MacManus, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules star Lisa Vanderpump and new pro Gleb Savchenko.

Monday, February 25, 2013

'End of the Rainbow' Cast Is Set, Rehearsals Begin


Casting has been announced for the upcoming engagement of “End of the Rainbow,” which begins previews March 12 at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre at the Los Angeles Music Center.  Opening night is March 20 and performances run through April 21, 2013.
“End of the Rainbow,” written by Peter Quilter and directed by Terry Johnson, features Tracie Bennett reprising her Tony Award-nominated performance as Judy Garland, Michael Cumpsty (also Tony Award-nominated for his role), Erik Heger and Miles Anderson. Rehearsals begin February 26.
“End of the Rainbow” has set and costume design by William Dudley, lighting design by Christopher Akerlind and sound design by Gareth Owen.  The production stage manager is Mark Dobrow.
“End of the Rainbow” is set in December 1968, and Judy Garland is about to make her comeback . . . again. In a London hotel room preparing for a series of concerts, with both her new young fiancé and her adoring accompanist, Garland struggles to get beyond the rainbow” with her signature cocktail of talent, tenacity and razor-sharp wit.  This savagely funny drama offers unique insight into the inner conflict that inspired and consumed one of the most beloved figures in American popular culture. “End of the Rainbow” features some of Garland’s most memorable songs, performed with the show-stopping gusto for which she will always be remembered.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Oscar® Nominees Honored at Shorts Awards

February 22, 2013 Beverly Hills, CA--- ShortsHD™,The Short Movie Channel announced this evening the winners of the Shorts Awards 2013, a celebration of outstanding achievement in short films and the most prestigious shorts from around the world. The evening honors the Oscar® Nominated Short Filmmakers at the Shorts Awards during a special star-studded ceremony held at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. The event marked the 3rd installment of the Shorts Awards, which has become the must-attend event Friday night before the Oscars®.

During the ceremony, ShortsHD™ presented the Nominees Award to the 15 Oscar® Nominated 2013 Shorts in the Live Action, Animation and Documentary categories.

At Friday's Shorts Awards, ShortsHD honored five industry luminaries with the Shorts Visionary Awards, recognizing established filmmakers and actors who embrace the medium's reputation for bucking the trend, contributing their considerable talents to innovative short movies that embody the genre's best qualities.


The 2013 Shorts Visionary Awards were given to the following honorees:

Visionary Actor-Martin Freeman- Martin Freeman's acting career encompasses classic roles in films such as "Love Actually", "Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy," and most recently as Bilbo Baggins in the classic "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey".  Martin Freeman has created an incredible body of work in short films, and provided important support to the work of emerging and established short movie directors, writers, and producers.

Visionary Actress - Julia Louis-Dreyfus- Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus who has won Emmys for her iconic television roles including HBO's "Veep," "Seinfeld," and "The New Adventures of Old Christine" is a big supporter of short films. She recently starred and co-produced "Picture Paris," a short film directed by Brad Hall, making the jump into short film so successfully and bringing her own unique and always funny presence into the medium.

Visionary Leader - Nik Powell- Nik Powell is one of the founders of The Virgin Group with Sir Richard Branson. Powell established himself as an acclaimed producer of feature films with such credits as "The Crying Game, Mona Lisa," "The Company of Wolves," "Fever Pitch," and "Twenty Four Seven." Today Powell is Chairman of Scala Productions and is the director of the National Film and Television School in England, one of the leading and most prestigious centers for education in film and TV in the world.

Visionary Director - Matthew Modine- Matthew Modine's film roles include "Full Metal Jacket," "Birdy," "Vision Quest," and most recently "The Dark Knight Rises." Modine has worked with some of the most highly regarded directors in the industry and he has a tremendous passion for directing short films. Modine has directed a number of short films and has chosen the medium of short film to bring his stories to life.

Visionary Animator - Joan Gratz- Joan Gratz is an accomplished director, artist, and animator. She pioneered the animation technique known as clay painting, working with bits of clay she blends colors and etches fine lines to create a seamless flow of images. She won the Academy Award in 1992 for her animated short "Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase." Since establishing her own studio, Gratz film in 1987, she has received many honors for independent short films and commercials. Most recently Gratz taught clay painting to animation students in Tehran, Iran.

The Shorts Awards also honored the following 2013 Oscar® Nominees in the Short Film categories of Live Action, Animation and Documentary:

Animation
  • "Adam & Dog"- Minkyu Lee
  • "Fresh Guacamole"- PES, Sarah Phelps
  • "Head Over Heels"- Timothy Reckart, Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly 
  • "Maggie Simpson in 'The Longest Daycare'"- David Silverman 
  • "Paperman"- John Kahrs, Kristina Reed

Live Action
  • "Asad"- Bryan Buckley, Mino Jarjoura
  • "Buzkashi Boys"- Sam French, Ariel Nasr
  • "Curfew"- Shawn Christensen,
  • "Death of a Shadow"- Tom Van Avermaet, Ellen De Waele
  • "Henry"- Yan England

Documentary
  • "Inocente"- Sean Fine and Andrea Nix,
  • "King's Point"- Sari Gilman, Sari Gilman, Jedd Wilder
  • "Mondays at Racine"- Cynthia Wade, Robin Honan
  • "Open Heart" - Kief Davidson, Cori Shepherd Stern
  • "Redemption"- Jon Alpert, Matthew O'Neill


"Tonight we celebrated the achievements of the next generation of filmmakers and visionaries who have truly embraced the world of shorts," ShortsHD™ CEO Carter Pilcher commented. "We are delighted to bring global attention to achievements at the pinnacle of global short filmmaking.

In 2010, to heighten the public's awareness of short movies and the Oscar® nominees, ShortsHD™ launched the Shorts Awards on the Friday night before the Oscars® in Los Angeles.  In addition to honoring each of the 15 nominees, the organization bestowed the first "Lifetime Achievement Award in Short Film" on John Lasseter and three Visionary Awards to established filmmakers who have embraced short films, including Melissa Leo (who also won Best Supporting Actress), Kenneth Branagh and June Foray. Since then - ShortsHD™ has bestowed honors on film making greats such as Bill Plympton as Visionary Animator and Nick Parks for Lifetime Achievement.


About ShortsHD™
ShortsHD™ is the first high definition channel dedicated to short movies and is available on DIRECTV (Channel 568), and AT&T U-Verse (Channel 1789). ShortsHD™ is operated by Shorts International, the world's leading short movie entertainment company with the world's largest movie catalogue dedicated to short movies. Shorts International also operates ShortsTV™, which is available in France, Belgium, Luxembourg on Numericable (Channels 134 and 52) and in Turkey via TTNET's Tivibu service. Shorts™ is the short movie on-demand service available on iTunes movie stores in the US, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Taiwan and throughout Europe. The company is headquartered in London, England with additional offices in Paris and Los Angeles and is led by Carter Pilcher, Chief Executive. Shorts International is owned by Shorts Entertainment Holdings and Liberty Global Ventures.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Doris Bergman's 5th Annual Valentine/Oscar® Party Attracts Celebrities and Hollywood Insiders

 
DORIS BERGMAN'S VALENTINE/OSCAR® PARTY

Once again Los Angeles socialite Doris Bergman had Santa Monica Blvd. jumping as she recently hosted her Fifth Annual Valentine Romance Oscar® Style Lounge & Party at Café La Boheme in West Hollywood.

DORIS BERGMAN

Bergman is known for kicking off the Oscar® season with a first-class, invitation-only event that features Café La Boheme’s 5-star cuisine, decadent drinks, a host of entertainment insiders and vendors with high-end gifts.  Her latest event didn’t disappoint!

QMADIX

QMADIX, the title sponsor, hosted more than 100 Hollywood revelers who were more than ready to get a jump-start on the Valentine’s Day celebration. Attendees were able to grab a ‘sneak peek’ at what’s going to be hot on the Oscar® Red Carpet. 

 DENNIS CHRISTOPHER AND ORIANA JOHN 
of WHITENING LIGHTNING

The party was co-presented by Whitening Lightning and Nature’s Flavors, and included an array of fashion for him and her, stunning jewelry, the finest in beauty and skin care, electronics, romantic trips, fashion forward luggage, sexy lingerie, fabulous footwear, gourmet cuisine, delectable goodies, exotic cocktails and more!
  
On hand for the soiree was former The Tonight Show with Jay Leno bandleader Kevin Eubanks.

“I love coming to this event because Doris (Bergman) always throws a good party,” said Eubanks. “Hanging with Doris is always fun. What’s not to like?”

KEVIN EUBANKS

Other celebs on hand included: Oscar® winner Martin Landau, Dennis Christopher (Django Unchained), John Gatins (Oscar® nominee, Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for Flight), Dyan Canon, David Steen (Django Unchained) Anne-Marie Johnson, Estella Warren, Obba Babbatunde, Modern Family’s Rico Rodriguez and his sister Raini Rodriguez who stars in Austin & Ally on the Disney Channel, Diedre Hall, Elizabeth DeRazzo from HBO’s Eastbound & Down, Hal Sparks, The Artist’s  Ken Davitian, Lisa Ann Warren,  Rosa Blasi, Ann Lopez, Angeline Rose Troy, Nicholas Guest and more. 

DAVID STEEN

 MODERN FAMILY'S RICO RODRIGUEZ (r) AND HIS SISTER RAINI RODRIGUEZ  (l)
POSE WITH KENNY NOVAK, QMADIX DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL ACCOUNTS

Gifts and services included:  Couture gowns by Monatelier; Art Lewin & Co. Custom Clothiers; I-Phone 5 cases, iharmonix Stereo Mobile Earphones w/Microphone; Q-i-sound Stereo Bluetooth Speakers by Qmadix; Lusciouss jewelry; Twisted Silver®; Aditi Jewelry; evening bags and accessories by Charlie Lapson; sexy lingerie by Dulcenea; bath and shower treats by Spongeables® LLC; My Spa Life; Pauline’s Peanut Brittle; Honest Tea; Caribbean vacations provided by Caribbean Living Magazine;  hair design tools by Whirl-a-Style, home décor accents by Bon Bon Home; Kelly Nishimoto®; Whitening Lightning; Nature’s Flavors;  Undiepads; exquisite handbags by Lauren & Luca; candy-wrapper handbags by Ollin Arm Candy; luggage by Traveler’s Choice & Pacific Gear; Tequila Azul Imperial; KIND Snacks; Terox footwear; Kara Cham Jewelry; Carol Lynn Sweets Jewelry, Bully Bling Energy Drink and glass-blown hearts by Handmade Hearts.

HANDMADE HEARTS

“I started Handmade Hearts because glass has longevity and I wanted to bring some love into the world,” said Hillel Rzepka, founder of the company. “Five thousand years after I’m gone, the hearts will still be the same.”

NATURE'S FLAVORS

Bill Sabo, the president and CEO of Nature’s Flavors, started the company when he was 17. He is now 52 and is still excited about his products, which have swelled to 8,000 on the website.

“We manufacture with ingredients from all over the world,” said Sabo. “We are natural and organic. We’ve been manufacturing since 1983. We make essential oils, vanilla extract and more.”

Kenny Novak, director of national accounts for the event’s title sponsor, Qmadix, was excited to talk about his innovative product.

“Ninety-nine percent of the portable speakers out on the market right now are only one speaker,” said Novak. “We have two speakers. We have true left and right speakers. You can actually separate the speakers up to 15 ft. apart. You can move it around. True stereo sound separation is what you get.”

ROSEMARIE HOUSTON of BON BON HOME

“People come to our store because they can find unique items,” said Rosemarie Houston of Bon Bon Home, a nine-year- old company based in San Diego. “They come to find fantastic pieces. When I design, I try to find unique items.”  

TWISTED SILVER

“We have new bracelets and earrings,” said Cassidy Clark of the unique jewelry company Twisted Silver. “We have an eclectic mix of metal pieces with a new attitude. We’re introducing copper for spring. We’re also introducing a lot of daintier earrings. We’re known for a clunkier chain and earrings, but we’re also doing daintier this season.”

JENNIFER GERARD of WHITENING LIGHTNING

“Whitening Lightning is American made product you can use at home,” said Jennifer Gerard, president and CEO. ‘It’s designed for people with sensitive teeth. We have all natural, no chemicals. That’s what sets us apart. All of our products are high grade. We’re into problem solving. It’s designed for the person on the go. You can whiten your teeth while doing your laundry or checking your email. It takes 20 minutes. You can use it once and put the rest in the fridge for up to six or eight months.”

A favorite highlight of the annual event is when guests donate new and unwrapped gifts for children ages 13-17 for a pre-holiday gift drive benefiting ‘Wednesday’s Child’, a weekly segment airing on KTTV FOX 11 News, Los Angeles, with Anchor Christine Devine. Wednesday’s Child highlights ‘harder to place’ children in the LA County foster care system who are in need of adoptive families.

Reportedly, there are more than 35,000 children receiving child welfare services in Los Angeles County.

KEVIN EUBANKS
 
“Wednesday’s Child is wonderful,” said Eubanks. “We need something like this to keep people sane. In Hollywood it can easily make everything about ‘things’ instead of people. Hollywood can get like a candy store. This kind of thing brings us back.”

 SPONGEABLES



OLLIN ARM CANDY

 MY SPA LIFE
LAUREN & LUCA  


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hosts Rouse & Cabeza Bring In Big Daddy Kane


Legendary MC To Perform February 23 !
 
BIG DADDY KANE
Los Angeles - Quintessential event hosts Kevin Rouse and Deshawn (Young Gun ) Cabeza are bringing 2013 in big. Big Daddy Kane big ! Well recognized as the hosts with the most, Rouse and Cabeza, are bringing rap icon Big Daddy Kane to Los Angeles, Saturday, February 23 ! This very rare live appearance and performance by Kane will see him celebrating 25 successful years in the music industry.
The festivities will be held, Saturday, February 23, 2013 at the Rooftop 3100, located at 3100 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles.  Doors open at 9:00 pm. Tickets can be purchased at http://bigdaddykanelive.eventbrite.com/# .
Big Daddy Kane is one of hip-hop's most charismatic MC's and a legendary pioneer figure in the rap game. He will rock his hits "Smooth Operator," "I Get The Job Done," "Ain't No Half Steppin," "Warm it Up Kane," and "Raw" during his Los Angeles appearance. Kane was recently featured on TV One's critically acclaimed series, "Unsung." This will be his first Los Angeles appearance / performance in several years!  
With the Big Daddy Kane venture, Rouse and Cabeza continue their legacy of producing unrivaled levels of entertainment for Los Angeles' upscale and progressive professionals. Their brand boasts nightlife that blends the best of entertainment including fine dining, celebrity performances, live music and dancing. This year, the duo are adding to the palette, providing concierge provisions to clientele around the country interested in attending their events.
"My two plus decades in the hotel industry have provided me unique access to provisions not easily obtained by many. Cabeza and I are branching out in 2013, offering services like private jet travel and hotel bookings for parties interested in getting a real taste of L.A. nightlife," reveals Rouse.
Event hosts Kevin Rouse and  
Deshawn (Young Gun) Cabeza
Rouse and Cabeza's roster of events includes "The Annual Elegant New Years Eve by the Sea," "Blazers & Stilettos," actor "Brian White's Star Studded Birthday Celebration," and the seasonal "L.A. Nights." The two often partner with some of Los Angeles' premier promoters to make it all happen, including Pernell Clark and the Impresario Group, Marc Gaspard, Roland Wirt, Larry Moore, Chuckie Miller, Dantae Dupree and many others. Their venue locations grace the span of greater Los Angeles, including downtown, Beverly Hills, Sherman Oaks and this historic Crenshaw district.
For ticket information go to http://bigdaddykanelive.eventbrite.com/# . Reach out to Kevin Rouse directly at (213) 926-2809 or at kevinarouse@msn.com for your concierge needs. 

Two TV Talk Shows, Lake & Probst, End Their Runs

RICKI LAKE

Twentieth Television recently announced it would NOT be renewing "The Ricki Lake Show" for a second season.

CBS Television Distribution made the same decision about "The Jeff Probst Show."

Both shows struggled in the ratings. Also, both first time daytime series will continue production and broadcast and will likely finished their runs by this summer.

 MONTY HALL

In other TV news, Monty Hall, the first host of the game show, 'Let's Make a Deal,' and the late Bob Stewart (creator of 'To Tell The Truth', 'Password' and 'The 10,000 Pyramid') will both be given lifetime achievement awards at the 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards. 


Monday, February 11, 2013

DOMA Theatre Co. Opens Season with 'Dreamgirls'

Hollywood, Calif. — February 11, 2013 — DOMA Theatre Company opens its second “all musicals” season with a Tony, Drama Desk and Grammy Award-winning hit that sizzles with R&B soul. Marco Gomez directs a cast of 30 in Dreamgirls, with musical direction by Chris Raymond and choreography by Marco Gomez and Rae Toledo. The six-week run opens March 1 at the intimate MET Theatre in Hollywood.

First a smash Broadway musical, then an award-winning motion picture, Dreamgirls captures the spirit and hope of Motown. Inspired by show biz stories of 1960s R&B acts like The Supremes, The Shirelles, James Brown, Jackie Wilson and others, it tells the story of a black girl group from Chicago that makes it big in a business controlled by white men. As superstardom challenges their musical and cultural identity, the trio fights for recognition, fellowship and love. The musical’s message about striving to “get to the top” and the personal cost invoked to stay there is universal.

“I love the glitter and the spectacle,” says Gomez. “But the heart of Dreamgirls is the music. The songs are so emotional. Achievement. Love. Betrayal. It’s a roller coaster ride.”

Jennifer Colby Talton (Mimi in the national tour of Rent, DOMA’s Tick, Tick... Boom!), Tyra Dennis (Ephraim’s Song–NAACP Theater Award nomination) and Constance Jewell Lopez (Justin Love and Ovation Award-winning The Color Purple at the Celebration Theatre) star as Deena Jones, Lorrell Robinson and Effie White, the young and hopeful “Dreamettes.” When ambitious agent Curtis Taylor, Jr. (Ovation nominee Welton Thomas Pitchford) discovers them, he lands them a job as backup singers for the rock and soul sensation James “Thunder” Early (Keith Arthur Bolden – CTG’s A Raisin in the Sun, Neighbors at the Matrix, Gem of the Ocean at both the Fountain and Rubicon) and begins to guide their quickly rising career. However, when the beautiful Deena emerges as the star of the group rather than the full-voiced Effie, the girls are brought to a personal and professional crossroads.

Also in the DOMA cast are Tiffany Williams (national tour of Your Arms Are Too Short To Box With God with Jennifer Holliday) as Michelle Morris; Lorenzo T. Hughes (To Kill A Mockingbird at the Lex) as Marty; Parnell Damone Marcano (national tour of Sophisticated Ladies) as Wayne; Theodore Mark Martinez (Intimate Apparel,The Piano Lesson at the Morgan-Wixson) as Jerry; and Frank  Andrus Jr. (recent graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy) as C.C. White. Ensemble members include Stephen Anglin, Ty Brittingham, Regan Carrington, Ra’Shawn Durell, Leon Fleisher, Alan Fleury, Robert Gee, Adair Gilliam, Lina Green, Michelle Holmes, Mookie Johnson, Paul Lange, Leslie Marrero, James Oronoz, Melissa Owens, Desiree Parkman, Nik Roybal, Marni Stone, Tandrea Tarver, Rachae Thomas and Jeremy Whatley

A joint venture between Dolf Ramos and Marco Gomez, DOMA Theatre Company has carved a name for itself by presenting large-scale, Broadway-style musicals in a small intimate setting. DOMA’s five-play, 2012 season received critical acclaim for productions of The Who’s Tommy (“Exhilarating!” – Rock Cellar Magazine), Songs for A New World (“Transformational!” – LA Splash), Jekyll & Hyde:The Musical (“Pick of the Week” – LA Weekly), Xanadu (“Another standout production” – Working Author) and Avenue Q (“Critic’s Choice” – Los Angeles Times).

Scenic design for Dreamgirls is by Amanda Lawson; lighting design is by Johnny Ryman; sound design is by David Crawford; costume design is by Michael Mullen; wigs and hair are by Aja Morris-Smiley; and props design is by Hallie Baran.

Dreamgirls runs Fridays and Saturdays @ 8 pm and Sundays @ 3 pm from March 1 through April 7. Tickets range from $30–$34.99; seniors and students with ID pay only $20. The MET Theatre is located at 1089 N. Oxford Ave., Los Angeles CA 90029. For reservations, call (323) 802-4990 or go to www.domatheatre.com.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Pacino, Walken and Arkin Are 'Stand Up Guys'



Stand Up Guys stars three of the industry’s best actors. Yet, even with Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin, the movie doesn’t quite hit the mark.

The story lags, as does the dialogue. The actors lumber through their scenes as if they’re looking for some direction.   Directing his first dramatic feature, it looks as if Fisher Stevens’ allowed the actors to do their thing while the cameras rolled.

That being said, even though this is a bad movie, watching this threesome is still magical, especially once Arkin hits the screen. 

 CHRISTOPHER WALKEN, ALAN ARKIN & AL PACINO

The story goes like this.

Val (Al Pacino) is released from prison after serving 28 years because he refused to rat on one of his fellow criminals. Soon after his best friend Doc (Christopher Walken) picks him up from prison, the two pick up another one of their criminal pals, Hirsch (Alan Arkin) and decide to not only party like it’s 1999 one last time, but they also resume their criminal ways.

Val, Doc and Hirsch are literally OGs. The one-time gangsters, all in their late 60s, let fly with a myriad of old man jokes. There are references to Viagra, technology and drugs.

The story takes a dark turn when it’s revealed that one of the friends is keeping a dangerous secret- he's been put in an impossible quandary by a former mob boss, and his time to find an acceptable alternative is running out. As the sun rises on the guys' legendary reunion, their position becomes more and more desperate and they finally confront their past once and for all. 

 CHRISTOPHER WALKEN and AL PACINO

Stand Up Guys (Lionsgate), directed by Fisher Stevens, stars Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin, Julianna Margulies, Lucy Punch, Mark Margolis, Addison Timlin and Vanessa Ferlito.

Running time: 1 hr., 35 minutes.

On the Donloe Scale – D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (OK), E (excellent), Stand Up Guys gets an O (OK).