Reel Life Takes

Cool Blues is really cool: at the New Federal Theatre

Cool Blues_flyerCOOL BLUES a New Federal Theatre production, is playing at the Henry Street Settlement Underground Theatre through April 3rd.

I'm not sure I understood it all, and I'm not really a big Jazz History buff, but this play is definitely worth seeing. The story itself is about a Jazz Saxophone player called B -- who was actual name was Charlie Parker (Marcus Naylor), and his extraordinary talent.

Set in the 1950's, the action primarily takes place in the apartment of his wealthy white friend Baroness Alexandra Isabella von Templeton, known as Xan (Terria Joseph). Their friendship is unconventional for the time and the differences in social position is touched on. Some of the messages were typical addressing the idea that Blacks are not afforded the same opportunities as whites and therefore should illicit some sympathy - which I find to be a tired story. But that was only addressed as necessary for this story that took place in a very different social and political time than the present.

The play focused on a man who'd had success in his art. B takes the audience on his journey as he reviews his life (through memory sequences and visions) as he comes near death; evaluating what he had accomplished and what he'd lost along the way and even dreaming of what could be.

The memory sequences worked well. I very much enjoyed those that incorporated his friend Bud Powell, Jazz Master Pianist (Played by the talented Jay Ward - Pictured below). 









Mr. Ward's performance of Bud Powell from a vibrant talented young player, to the man he became later in life when he suffered from schizophrenia is moving and heartbreaking.

If you love Jazz, are interested in that era, and the lives of these Jazz Greats, COOL BLUES is a play to see.




SPIDER-MAN: a Broadway Entertainment Event!

IMG_5208 We all know that SPIDER-MAN on Broadway has been having some trouble saving the word from villains without injury. It's most definitely a complicated production - but that makes for a fantastical experience.

True, Julie Taymor was fired this past Wednesday...and replaced by Phil McKinley (THE BOY FROM OZ) and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to re-write and revise the show. But that made seeing it now even more fun, so I went to see the Spidey Julie was fired from.

Despite complaints that the story sucks and songs are far from what one would expect for a true American Musical Theatre was a wondrously entertaining experience.

The word "awesome" comes to mind. The amount of stunts and effects that are incorporated into this theatrical event is overwhelming. It's not so much about the story or music as it is about creating a different world for the audience to live in for 2 hours and 45 minutes (which is a little exhausting with all the simulation).

It's all about the special effects. I can best describe this production as a mixture of a living comic book, Cirque Du Soleil, a rock concert and Step Up 3 Final Battle. And to top it off, because of all the press regarding the injuries sustained by the actors during SPIDER-MAN's preview run, Fear Factor comes to mind. I was truly afraid for my life, watching Spider-man and his various girls flying over my head throughout the production - I could have been killed if a cable snapped!

Still, you would think that with all the money they are pouring into SPIDER-MAN, they could have done a better job hiding the cables...LOL. But seriously, sight-lines were horrendous and a big distraction for me during the show. I was sitting in the 7th row - prime seating (in fact, it was the seating reserved for press so it should be the best in the house) and I could see everything they were doing off stage left. This took me out of the story and annoyed me greatly.

The other problem I had as a viewer was that there is so much happening at one time that sometimes - like when Spidey is flying over me to the back of the theatre, or when several different actions are simultaneously occurring on numerous levels of the elaborate set - I didn't know what to watch to stay with the storyline. I believe it is the director's responsibility to insure that the audience can follow the main action and know where their eye should go at any given point in the production. In this way SPIDER-MAN failed. I think I even missed him saving the world because there was so much happening at once...

But the highlights were truly HIGH lights - the costumes were magnificent, but we knew they would be with Julie Taymor on the clock. And some of the sets and illusions created with the use of imaging combined with physical set pieces moving were brilliant. They brought a two-dimensional comic book world into three dimensions.

And the dance numbers were fantastic! Especially, the initial Arachne number with the set weaving in concert with the dancers behind her. And the "Pull The Trigger" dance with the solders - that was amazing.

So to sum it all up, if you don't really care about the story and don't necessarily want to hear great music but you want to have an experience like none other on Broadway, SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK is definitely worth seeing.

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SAG Awards: Actors Honoring Actors!!

Screen-actors-guild-awards-2010-winners Being a performer and union member myself, I love Acting Awards - especially when we keep it in the family.

And I am pleased that once again, there is talk about combining SAG (Screen Actors Guild) and AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) into one Actors Union...It's about time, don't ya think? I'm all for it.

And now, in order of appearance:

Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama Series:
He was so nervous about being the first award of the night, it was cute! And although I didn't expect it, I really wanted Hugh Laurie to get his due for HOUSE...maybe next year?

Outstanding Female Actor in a Drama Series:
(My personal pick!) Julianna Margulies, THE GOOD WIFE
She was so stunning and gracious, in her red dress (My favorite color). The best part was her thanking her in-laws for producing the most beautiful human being...her husband. "Life is just better with you in it Keith." I love romance.

Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series:
Steve Buscemi did the talking but he didn't know what to say...he left his napkin with his speech on his table. This win is no surprise but I was routing for THE GOOD WIFE!

Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role:
Melissa Leo, THE FIGHTER
When she got to the podium she was crying. She's better when someone else writes her words or clothes her... so she says. But I thought she did great and the silver sparkle dress she wore was amazing.
But, what I want to know is why wasn't Dianne Weist nominated for RABBIT HOLE? Hello?

Outstanding Male Actor in a Comedy Series:
Alec Baldwin, 30 ROCK
What a disappointment. Chris Colfer deserved this one.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series:
Who doesn't love a sweet, funny, old lady? She's 89 year old. And she got a well deserved standing ovation as she walked the long way to the podium. Why would they put any nominee, especially an old one, in the back? I don't understand that, but I'm glad she won!!

Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series:
Yay! How fun is this show??? SO fun!! Ty Burrell spoke for the show and they were so happy. It is truly an ensemble piece. 

Screen Actors Guild Awards 47th Annual Life Achievement Award:
Ernest Borgnine, who just turned 94 years old.
He's done 164 films so far. He's so cute. I think he and Betty White should hook up! To all the actors, he said, "We are a privileged few who have been chosen to work in this field of entertainment."  And it is a privilege!

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries:
Good job...unfortunately he was not there to accept the award.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries:
So awesome that she gave credit for her performance to her fellow cast members. Just lovely.

Outstanding Male Actor in a Supporting Role:
Christian Bale, THE FIGHTER
I picked him...who wouldn't! He's hot. Plus, he appreciates the gift of being an actor. "We get to walk in other peoples shoes, and life without empathy is no life at all."

Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role:
Natalie Portman, BLACK SWAN
We all knew she was the front runner... and she going to be a mom. It's almost like she's grown up.

Outstanding Male Actor in a Leading Role:
I think he might take all the awards for this category this year. But this award is the one that really matters to him because it was getting his SAG card that made him feel like a real actor!

Outstanding Ensemble Acting:
I was surprised. I really saw the cast of the SOCIAL NETWORK as the best ensemble. But everyone is always more moved by a story of over coming than taking over. Oh well - good for them.

Ok, so my question is why don't they air the winners for the Stunt Ensembles? That's not right, they're part of our union too!! Why don't they get any air time? I guess they were just the warm up act... to the main ceremony.

The stunt performers and coordinators from INCEPTION and TRUE BLOOD received honors for Outstanding Performance by Film and Television Stunt Ensembles. SAG Awards committee chair, JoBeth Williams, and SAG president, Ken Howard, announced the awards on the Red Carpet.

Thank you Actors and the Screen Actors Guild for giving all of us the chance to dream, feel and experience things we never would, if it wasn't for the movies...and TV!

The Golden Globes ...Red's Take

Golden-globe-award We love the GOLDEN GLOBES because The Hollywood Foreign Press always make sure it's fun and there is plenty to drink. So, it's like a big party. Plus, I personally love that they still acknowledge that people who act are different sexes by not referring to everyone in the male term - Actor. And not only that, I think the Golden Globes is the only award show that actually sticks to schedule. Probably because everyone is already a bit loopy and wants to get to the after party. Anyway, the 68th Annual Golden Globe Winners are...


Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical: Annette Bening for THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT. Love her and her amazingness. And who doesn't love the gays. This award was also wins the honor of Best Presenter (who I understand will host next years Golden Globes): Robert Downing Jr. is the best because he wanted to give it to all the nominees (sexual pun intended).

Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical: Paul Giamatti in BARNEY'S VERSION - Something I've not seen yet. But I think I should.

Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Natalie Portman in BLACK SWAN - Fantastic Natalie, of course I was routing for Nicole Kidman in RABBIT HOLE. But maybe I'm biased and we do all love dancing and Swans.

Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: Colin Firth in THE KING'S SPEECH who ironically did a wonderful job in his acceptance speech. And he talked about a triangle of man love...who doesn't love that?

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture: Melissa Leo - THE FIGHTER.

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture: Christian Bale for THE FIGHTER. He looks great! I'd do him..Hello! 

Best Actress in a Mini-Series, or TV Movie: Claire Danes for TEMPLE GRANDIN.

Best Actor in a Mini-Series, or TV Movie: Al Pachino for YOU DON"T KNOW JACK. And he was incredible in that mini-series about Jack Kavorkian - Dr. Death. What a guy, both of them. 

Best Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or Musical: Laura Linny - THE BIG C. This is such a smart show, dramatizing the tragedy of coming to terms with having cancer using humor, bringing to light the paradox of living with death. Laura walks the balance beam of moving and amusing wonderfully. She wasn't there to accept, because of the death of her father. Our hearts are with you Laura.

Best Actor in a TV Series - Comedy or Musical: Jim Parsons – THE BIG BANG THEORY.

Best Actress in a TV Series - Drama: Katie Seagal, SONGS OF ANARCHY - Never watched it. I wanted Julianna Margulies, having worked with her on CITY ISLAND. She is not only lovely to work with, but an amazing actress. Creating real, complicated, and sympathetic characters even when she is walking the line of playing THE GOOD WIFE to a man who has disappointed her in ways that most women cannot imagine dealing with.

Best Actor in a TV Series - Drama: Steve Buscemi for BOARDWALK EMPIRE. I worked with him and Michael Pitt in DELIRIOUS. Steve is a funny guy who plays a gangster-politician with a heart in this dramatic TV series.

Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series, Mini-Series, or TV Movie: Jane Lynch - GLEE. This is her first win for this role which she was nominated for last year. She is brilliant. And she claims that Ian Brennan, one of the writers of the show, puts words in her mouth, making her character live. I, as a writer myself, appreciated that she gives him credit for his work that makes her work possible. The greatest thing for Jane about being a part of GLEE is that it makes people happy and she's right! Love that show, love her character, love that she won!

Best Supporting Actor in a TV Series, Mini-Series, or TV Movie: Chris Colfer for GLEE. He is the true winner here and a wonderful inspiration for everyone. Chris was not supposed to be cast at all because there was no role right for him in the script, as it was originally written. But he auditioned anyway, and they loved him so much they wrote a role specifically for him. And now...he's not only a role model for being who you are, gay or not, as his character on GLEE - but a real life role model for pursuing your dream, even when it looks impossible!! From a Red perspective, this is the best win of the night.

Cecil B. DeMille Award: Robert De Niro. At age 67, with more than 70 films under his belt, he is an icon in this industry! How can it be that he's been in more movies than years he's lived? But somehow, he did it! Graciously, he thanked everyone over and over again during the endless standing ovation.


Best Original Song - Motion Picture: YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE LAST OF ME. Written by Diane Warren for BURLESQUE - this is her 5th Nomination and her first win. Yay Cher too! She brought this song to life! She fought for this song to be in and stay in the movie. And because of who she is, and where she is in her career, Cher really brought meaning to this number that no one else could have!

Best Original Score - Motion Picture: THE SOCIAL NETWORK - the music sets the tone for this movie about how our the world was changed. Underscoring how the virtual world brought a new view to our actual world.


Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical: THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT. It's definably a Gay year at the Globes...we've come so far! Now let's allow them to marry - right? And I don't care what anyone says, I think Mary Tyler Moore looked great as she introducing my personal favorite movie nomination, BURLESQUE.

Best Motion Picture - Drama: THE SOCIAL is a sign of our digitally driven times and an amazingly moving movie about real relationships.

Best Mini-Series or TV Movie: CARLOS (a Latino celebration of Hispanic stuff) I didn't see it.

Best TV Series - Musical or Comedy: GLEE - YAY!!! This show just makes everyone happy! It reminds us of how music and arts change peoples lives and how being different makes you special. And best of all, during the acceptance speech, Ian thanked public school teachers for their work - because Glee makes you appreciate these things!

Best TV Series- Drama: BOARDWALK EMPIRE. This is no surprise with all the money and big names that went into this TV series that it is more like a Movie.

Best Animated Feature Film: TOY STORY 3 - Which incorporated a lot of adult themes, making it fun for everyone. But really, how can any animated film be a loser?

Best Screenplay - Motion Picture: THE SOCIAL NETWORK. Which was in fact brilliantly written. But for innovative thinking and creativity, I liked INCEPTION. 

Best Foreign Language Film: IN A BETTER WORLD - Denmark. But the truth is, our host - Ricky Gervais - was right... Americans really don't care about foreign films. But I must admit that for me, working with foreigners on movie sets is one of the best experiences I've had in this business. I'm sure it was great.  

Best Director - Motion Picture: David Fincher - THE SOCIAL NETWORK. A well deserved award. 

So, there you have it, folks. Another award night of fun and drunkenness. Hope you all enjoyed Red's take on this years Golden Globes.


Les Miz: Papermill launches the national tour

Les miz What a disappointment.

Les Miz is my favorite musical in the whole wide world. When I first saw it 15 years ago it literally changed the course of my life. The moving score, touching story-lines of love, loss and honor make it one of the most powerful musicals of all time. I believed that it's almost impossible to screw it up. Unfortunately, this new version did just that. Not only did it miss the mark, in fact, it is a completely different story and only resembles the original in the use of the score and the names of the characters.

That said, if you've never seen the original production of Les Miz, you may find this version spell-binding, just be aware that it is not the real story of the Les Miz that we all love for it's long run on Broadway. This version should never make it there.

The sets and images by Matt Kinley are lovely, as is the lighting (Paule Constable). The use of screen images to enhance each location of the story is imaginative and works well. But that's the only positive thing about this production. And, truly, I miss the rotating floor and the creative use of lighting to bring to life a mostly bare stage of the original. But then again, in the original version, we had the talent. So the show came to life, not because of the set, but because of the magnificent acting. Here we have to depend on these set and lighting tricks to keep the audiences attention. The acting in this version simply doesn't cut it without other visual aids to keep the audience watching.

The use of colorblind casting does not work for this show. There is, as we know in theatre, a trend to cast roles that are supposed to be white with ethnic actors. This convention can work in certain cases when the color of the character is not integral to the storyline. But when it is, or when the story is set in a historical time, when the difference in color mattered more than it does today, the use of colorblind casting serves to confuse the audience and detracts from the story. That is the case here, with this latest version of Les Miz.

Lawrence Clayton's portrayal of the fugitive Jean Valjean as a black man, leaves much to be desired. He is not have the charisma to carry the show and Lawrence is not the right vocal type for Jean Valjean. The fact that he plays the role as a black slave was obviously a choice, but in doing so, it changes the dynamic of every relationship and changes the original story into another story all together; one that is far less interesting and believable than the original.  And I loved the original musical story. I do not love this one. It feels forced and disingenuous to have the role of Jean Valjean reduced to a suffering slave, instead of a hero.

Additionally, the difference in his color from that of Cosette's is a glaring distraction when Cosette (Jenny Latimer) refers to him a "Papa".  Seeing that it's visually clear that he is not her father, the ruse he's plays on her would not fool even a Young Cosette (Katherine Forrester) into thinking that he was her real Dad. All this might be forgivable if he'd played the role with some sense of understanding of the magnitude of this role and the power of this character.

Andrew Varela was fine as Javert, but his struggle with himself is unconvincing. I think playing opposite a black actor forced him to tone down what otherwise is a more powerful role. I'm sure you don't what to appear prejudice, but there is no other way to see the character of Javert, considering the current casting choice for Jean Valjean.

And what's up with Young Eponine (Anastasia Korbal) being a small white girl who grows up into an angry black teen (Chasten Hamon). That alone ruins the suspension of disbelieve necessary to make a musical work. Nowhere, with the exception of Michael Jackson, does someone start off one color as a child and change colors as they mature. But even beyond that there were problems with Harmon's portrayal of Eponine.

The Eponine we love who longs for Marius' attention is not in this version of Les Miz. Hamon played a character so unlike Eponine, I'm not sure what she was doing in that cast. First, I had the feeling that she was going to start snapping a Z and speaking in Ebonics at any given moment as she played up her blackness in a very contemporary manner. And given that this is a period piece, her take on Eponine was very distracting from the story.

Additionally, being a black woman in love with a white man significantly changes the nature of her relationship with Marius. In the original, Eponine had an almost innocent illusion that Marius might one day truly see her and care for her. And in fact we know that he does love her like a sister. One of the beauties of the story of her unrequited love is that it creates a sense of longing and hope in every audience member. Thus, when Eponine gives her life for Marius it is a beautiful self-less gesture.

Hamon, however, is far from sympathetic in her portray of Eponine, coming across as a pathetic, desperate, love-lost girl who is bratty, selfish and self-centered; one could hardly hold the interest of Marius, let alone a friendship. I imagine that playing Marius opposite her would make his job of showing grief at her death, a very difficult task. It certainly was not believable. Especially since, as an audience member I was so glad to see her whiny-face finally die. That was the real tragedy and a dismal failure of this new revival.

So, I recommend that if you're going to see Les Miz for the first time, your better off seeing a community theatre version of the original than the so called "Les Miz" revival at Papermill, which is unfortunately the version that will be touring our country.

It is a sad fact that this New "Les Miz" is but a cheap imitation, and does not capture the magic, of it's original counter part.

Brief Encounter: a theatre dream

After a BRIEF ENCOUNTER at Studio 54, I'm compelled to share my experience of a tender, tragic and touching love affair...
No, I'm not talking about a late night hook-up I had at a club. I'm talking about the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of the Noël Coward's beautifully written play, BRIEF ENCOUNTER, which runs through to December 5, 2010 at Studio 54 on Broadway. 

Director Emma Rice's Broadway stage adaptation (first produced in 2008 at The Kneehigh Theatre) of the beloved 1945 film, BRIEF ENCOUNTER, is brilliantly crafted to capture the essence of the mind-blowing wonder, intensity and confusion that accompanies the chance connection of two married people who fall in love with each other.  

Watch BRIEF ENCOUNTER Video Trailer

Laura (Hannah Yelland) and Alec (Tristan Sturrock) fall in love when a chance meeting at a train station brings them together. But this is not a simple romance. Both are already married when they meet. They tussle with the essential question of how handle the intensity of their feelings for each other within the constrictions of social expectations. Their romance defies reason and unravels their previous notions about what matters in life and challenges the ideals that used to seem so simple and clear to each of them. This production takes the audience through every possible emotion associated with the complexity of these peoples' struggle to do the right thing, honor their love for one another, while staying true to the brilliant connection and passion they have found.

Full of the heartbreaking twist and turns inherent to falling in love outside marriage, Broadway's BRIEF ENCOUNTER is a marvel, capturing the unfathomable yearnings of true love under conditions that make it’s unbridled expression egregious. It's not often that a story of this kind is told with such keen sensitivity to the humanness of the people involved, and with an understanding of the emotional roller-coaster that come with (and between) a romance under these circumstances.

The dream-like quality of this production captures the essence of romance movie magic, tragic unrelenting love and theatrical drama by artfully merging both film and theatrical techniques (film, screens, music, puppets, creative choreography and staging - both dance and creative movement, musical numbers, multi-level moving sets, brilliant lighting, soaring underscoring, montage sequences, and exquisite acting). 

The complexity of the production mirrors the complex human struggles of the story line. It is sheer genius.

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Toronto International Film Festival: making movie magic

Today 2 movies that I worked on are premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). I'm so excited and can't wait to see how they are received. Both very different films; one a Comedy and one a Drama of the most intense degree.

How lucky am I to work with such amazing people and be a part of creating something that can move people to laughter and tears? I'm very proud to say I was a part of both of these projects  - making movie magic!


CEREMONY (Uma Thurman and Michael Angarano)

This Comedy is a story of how a young guy looks to crash the wedding of a thirty-something woman with whom he's infatuated.

Written and Directed by Max Winkler.

Cast: Michael Angarano, Uma Thurman, Reece Thompson, Lee Pace, Jake Johnson, Rebecca Mader

For TIFF Review click of CEREMONY Go Here.



Rabbit Hole (Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart) 


This adaptation tells how a family navigates the deepest form of loss, as husband and wife fight to save their marriage after tragedy.

Based on David Lindsay-Abaire Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway Play and Directed by John Cameron Mitchell.

Cast: Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest, Miles Teller, Tammy Blanchard, Sandra Oh 

Lionsgate snatched up RABBIT HOLE and plans to release it later this year in time for the Oscars. Reviews say that RABBIT HOLE is a flawless film and there is talk of Nicole Kidman and Diane Wiest as a strong Oscar contenders for their stunningly performances.


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Star Trek: now and then

Warning: Spoilers below...


I admit that when I first heard that Star Trek was coming out with a Prequel I was afraid that even with J.J. Abrams direction, they could not capture the spirit of the original show or the characters, without the original cast. (Which would be impossible now that many are no longer with us.) So I thought it would, well, suck. 

I admit, I was wrong.

2startrek460As a matter of fact, I took my time to go and see this movie, but when did I saw it in style at the IMAX theatre. I was excited to see what they came up with, being limited by the magnitude of the impact of the original series on television and on pop culture. Plus, they had the fan base to contend with; those loyalist and Trek Freaks that hang on every potential inconsistency. But writers: Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman found their way around it while still having sensitivity to the truths of the Star Trek Universe. 

They not only created a movie that was consistent with the essence of the Star Trek's original series by paralleling current times, in a future setting. But they also successfully created a story line that is wide open to infinite unknown future adventures by creating a new time-line. So now, for these new Star Trek stars playing classic Star Trek characters anything is possible. Because they did what Star Trek is famous for, incorporating current issues into the plot line, they were able to spark a connection with a new generation of fans that may never have been exposed to the original series.Star-trek

As far as the characters I felt all but one did justice to the originals. The only one that I felt failed at this was the role of Chekov. In the original series Walter Koenig was a hottie, I understand that all the girls wanted him. In the movie, Chekov was played by a boyish, Anton Yelchin, who just didn't cut it for me. I don't blame him, I blame casting. He simply wasn't right for the role. 

But those who really did a stellar job in recreating the characters were, of course: Zachary Quinto as Spock, Karl Urban as Bones, and Simon Pegg as Scotty.

Chris Pine as Kirk didn't suck either and following William Shatner is no easy task since Shatner is so associated with that role. I was, however, disappointed that they didn't do the quintessential Kirk thing of having his shirt ripped off Ripped_shirt2during hand to hand combat. There were enough fights in the movie, they certainly could have fit that in! But never the less, all these new Star Trek Stars are certainly cuties!  

Zachary Quinto excelled in creating a young believable Spock. This is impressive not only because of the magnitude of the role and the specificity necessary to create such a character, but because Leonard Nimoy, (the original Spock) was also in the movie playing an older version of the same. They even had scenes together, upping the anty for all to draw comparisons.

But was my favorite was Karl Urban as the lovable Bones, because I believe he did  DeForest Kelley proud (if only De was still here to appreciate it). Deforest Kelley was the only actor in the original cast who was truly satisfied with Star Trek as his claim to fame. Enjoying and appreciating every moment of work and acknowledgment he gained from it. Knowing this, make the fact that the spirit of the character,  which De originally created with love, was honored so truly in this movie warms my heart.

TREK Tribbles online - Credit Paramount Domestic Television

The only think that could have made it better would be more tribbles!!


146391logo OMFG! I love the 80s! If you do too, you'll love Rock Of Agesplaying at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on Broadway. 

It's more than a concert, less than a Musical. And boy oh boy, is it FUN!

Complete with free Rock of Ages "lighter" handed to each audience member as they enter the theatre, Rock of Ages makes your every cheesy 80s Rock dream come true. You can even drink beer during the show. Just like a real concert, only better!

Each character is engaging and over the top! And when they sing those great love ballads of the 80s, you almost feel like you're in a time-warp. And though the costumes are not authentically 80s, they capture the spirit with bright colors and the attention drawing patterns of that time period. But the hair was great! I do wonder how many wigs are employed to recreate big 80s hair and rockers long locks -- Wonderful!


A trip down memory lane, this show honors the legitimate genius of the bands of that time: Journey,Starship, Whitesnake, Pat Benatar, Styx, REO Speedwagon, just to name a few . With thirty-one 80s hits incorporated into this 2-hour jukebox musical, it brings all the magic of that era to life. The 80s was the last Great Rock Era.146391img3

As for the story...with music like that, who care? Constantine Maroulis as Drew and Amy Spanger as Sherrie, do a fine job with characters that have struggles, love and discovery. But it's their performance of that special music that makes you fall in love with this show.The Rock Bands of the 80s are the real stars of this musical. 


The most notable and the most lovable character is the narrator, played by Mitchell Jarvis, who breaks the forth wall with tongue-in-cheek humor that engages the audience from the top of the show to the last guitar lick. He is a delight to watch and he makes you feel like he's your best friend sharing an inside secrets as he introduces the story and it's stereotypical characters.

A side note: I must say that James Carpinello who plays the incredibly sexy Stacee Jaxx, 146391img2is ripped! Thank you James (or can I call you "my gym") for showing us your amazing abs...I love that you can look that good and, wow, you look that good while you sing! Please call me! (Wink...wink!) And please tell me your straight...not that I don't love The Gays. (But what I have in mind for you won't work as well with a Gay...)

But ROCK OF AGES would be NOTHING without the band: Henry Aronson (Musical Direction and Keyboards), Joel Hoekstra (Guitar), David Gibbs (Guitar), Winston Roye (Bass), Jon Weber (Drums), and Tommy Kessler.

Go to the theatre for a night packed with sights and sounds destined to make you believe in the power of Rock and Roll!

A Romantic Night...Love Songs with James Barbour

James Barbour001 Last night I spent a magical night at Sardi's listening to the stunning voice of James Barbour. (Most recently known for his portrayal of Sydney Carton in the Broadway Musical, A Tale of Two Cities.)

He sang me love songs!  Ok, not just me ---

Lucky for you, his Saturday Night's at Sardi's has been extended until March 28. So you too can enjoy the mesmerizing voice of this brilliant talent.

I'll bet he'll even sing you a love song.

James endears himself to the audience with his unassuming manner and enjoyable patter which seems unscripted and natural. Almost like he's just talking with friends, hanging out in his living room by the piano singing.

Using humor to encourage some audience participation he made sure the night had something for everyone. From the Musical Theatre classics (Irving Berlin, Rogers and Hammerstein), to dramatic contemporary ballads (Frank Wildhorn), to pop rock (Styx, and even Captain and Tennille), James showed his range. His engaging presences invited everyone to, not only enjoy the songs, but also to have fun. 

But when he sang...a hush fell. No one wanted to miss a single note!

Here's a little teaser for anyone who is still on the fence about going to see him.

Loving You Keeps Me Alive

James Barbour002

James genuinely brings his joy of song to life in every performance.

But if you're not in New York City and you can't go see his show

live --- don't fret you can still listen...

He has a CD and a blog.