The Black President Leads Tony Nominations

F.A.M.E NYC told you that Fela! was the best production for 2009, and The American Theatre Wing agrees.  Fela! nabbed 11 Tony nominations including Best Musical, Bill T. Jones for Best Direction of a Musical and Best Choreography, Sahr Ngaujah for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical and Lillias White for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical.    The revival of La Cage aux Folles also grabbed 11 Tony nominations with Kelsey Grammer also vying for the Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical award

The revival August Wilson’s Fences garnered 10 nominations including Denzel Washington for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play, Viola Davis for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play, Kenny Leon for Best Directions of a Play and Branford Marsalis for Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre. 

 

 

 

Broadway goes to Radio City Music Hall as the Tony Awards air live Sunday June 13 on CBS.  To view a list of all the nominees please visit www.tonyawards.com.  Good luck to all the nominees and we at F.A.M.E NYC will have our fingers crossed for Fela!

 

Prom 2010

Josh Madden

Soon after the cherry blossoms arrive and spring fever fills the atmosphere, another fever quickly approaches.  This fever usually is accompanied with the desire to don formal attire, order corsages, take a hundred pictures and ride in rented limos and town cars.  That’s right; I’m talking about the prom.

 

 

Paul Iacono

For teenagers across the United States, the junior and senior proms are a rite of passage that culminates the high school experience.  It is a moment that resides in the memory bank and is carried throughout the rest of our lives.  On May 8, the fashionable of New York City came together to create new, fabulous prom memories.

Claudine De Sola and Joonbug.com’s CEO Jon Gabel

Joonbug.com and FashionIndie.com presented Prom Class 2010.  Fashion’s dandies and dandettes braved cyclone winds to Wang Chung at Espace, located on W. 42nd St.   The venue with its chic décor provided the perfect setting for the razzle-dazzle and bumping and grinding found inside.  Drinks were flowing and a good time was definitely had by all. 

 

Shontelle

DJs Josh Madden, Steve Powers, Manero and Claudine De Sola spinned a mix of 80s and 90s hits as well as future dance classics.   And as expected at any prom the dance floor was filled with fashion.  I shook a tail feather with Glam God and designer Indashio who wore an Asian-inspired prom kimono.  Songstress Shontelle looked sexy in a black and taupe geometric print dress.  And what would a prom be without a king and queen; Prom 2010 provided royalty as well.

Rebecca Minkoff

The hosts for this extravaganza were designer Rebecca Minkoff, Paul Iacono from The Hard Times of RJ Berger and Gurj Bassi from Downtown Girls, Rescue Me’s Callie Thorne and Micah Jesse of Micah Jesse.com.  Half the proceeds collected from ticket sales went to benefit The Society of Independent Fashion Journalists.   I never had the opportunity to attend my prom when I was a teenager, but the longer I live the more I realize that it is never too late to do anything.  My prom memories may have come 17 years later, but I now can say that I have had my night of spree and style.  Too bad I did not get elected queen.

 

Photos courtesy of Joonbug.com

Gawk and Awe

Dozens of strangers corralled into a wide dark space unsure of what will happen next.  Strobe lights are overhead as the DJ spins electro-tech sounds.  I’m no stranger to clubs (in fact they are my second home) and this definitely feels like one.  There is barely anywhere to sit and I began to think to myself, “I thought I was going to see a show.”  But before I could get lost in my thoughts, it began.

A man dressed in a white suit begins to run on a treadmill.  He accumulates speed as simulated wind and rain try to block him.  In a flash a loud shot rings in the air, my heart briefly stops.  He is shot and pauses, but the action is just beginning.

Fuerza Bruta Look Up is an explosion of performance art.  From start to finish it is a marathon of aerial acrobatics and constant movement, even the audience gets to participate.  As a member of the audience you move from one end of the theater to another following the show as the cast moves from one form of movement to the next.  You become part of the experience as the cast joins the audience to revel, break boxes of confetti over willing audience members’ heads and dance as water is sprayed from above.  And if you enjoy watching women in baby doll frocks slosh around in water, Fuerza Bruta Look Up has that too. 

It does not matter how you feel when you enter.  The vibes are so kinetic that you will leave soaked with bolts of energy to carry you through the rest of the night.  Fuerza Bruta Look Up is an out-of-the-box celebration that can be enjoyed by young and old.  It is provocative and absolutely the best fusion of art, nightlife and theater I have ever witnessed.  It is carnival on steroids.  Look up, look left, look right, but I guarantee you will not look away.

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of  fuerzabrutanyc.com

Sneak Peek: Dres of Black Sheep – “Doin’ It Wrong Remix” Produced By Jim B.

Van Damn, it looks like Black Sheep is back!  At least one half anyway,  Dres, the lyrical half of the legendary ‘90s hip hop duo Black Sheep will be releasing a new album this summer.  In anticipation for From The Black Pool of Genius, Dres has dropped a new video for the remix “Doin’ It Wrong.”  Take a look and stay tuned for F.A.M.E NYC’s feature on Dres as soon as the album drops.

 

Video courtesy of Audible Treats

Affordable Art

Today marks the start of the Affordable Art Fair in New York City.  AAF NYC is a cool introduction for anyone who loves art.  There are over 70 international galleries represented, providing art connoisseurs and novices an opportunity to browse and view hundreds of different works from notable and blossoming artists.  This year AAF NYC features an I ♥ Brooklyn party, children’s programs, Foto Focus walking tours, sculpture and print making classes.

The main attraction of AAF NYC is the art prices; all works are priced from $100 to $10,000.  At those prices, anyone can be a collector.  The Affordable Art Fair is being held a 7W New York (7 West 34th St, near 5th Ave, NYC) and ends on Sunday.  But if you miss AAF NYC in May, you will get the chance to see it again in its first inaugural fall fair in September.

To learn more about AAF NYC or purchase tickets, visit www.aafnyc.com.

Paradise Rediscovered

Did the paradise F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald constantly crave eventually evaporate, or was it ever really there to begin with?  This is the question that has made the public fascinated with F. Scot Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda since the roaring ‘20s.  It may have been a question that they separately explored before their untimely deaths.  It certainly seemed to be the focus of This Side of Paradise, the engaging new musical playing at the Theatre at St. Clements until May 23. 

This Side of Paradise examines the lives of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and finally gives Mrs. Fitzgerald her say.  The musical is told through Zelda’s perspective and opens with Zelda in a psychiatric hospital trying to make sense of her life with F. Scott Fitzgerald by obsessively reading his novels.  As she opens up to the doctor, played by Michael Sharon, the audience is able to peer into the past and watch as The  Fitzgeralds meet, fall in love, become the toast of the jazz age and ultimately grow farther and farther apart.  Because the musical is told through Zelda’s eyes, the story is even more fascinating.  In each one of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novels we are able to see his perception of life and love; it is stimulating to witness a piece of fiction that expresses Zelda’s point of view.

Although the paradise of the Fitzgerald’s world may have been far reaching or even nonexistent, the rapture of their care-free, hedonistic, somewhat reckless yet always intriguing relationship with the public is wonderfully and tragically captured in this production.  Born from concept of Nancy Harrow’s jazz compilation Winter Dreams which details in song the relationship between F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise is as rich with beautifully crafted music and lyrics as the language in one F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novels. 

Nancy Harrow really hits the mark.  The music in This Side of Paradise truly illustrates the zany, status seeking relationship that the Fitzgerald’s shared as well as the obsession with youth and beauty that Zelda possessed throughout her life.  Songs like “Belle of the Ball”, “This Side of Paradise” and “Oh God, I’m Sophisticated” bring the world of the Fitzgerald’s jazz age to life with energy and vigor.  “Lost Lady”, “Until It Comes Up Love” and “The Extra Mile” paint a picture of the sadness of unrequited satisfaction. 

The cast absolutely excels in bringing Nancy Harrow’s music and lyrics and Will Pomerantz’s choreography alive.  Maureen Mueller’s voice is a treasure; she is completely mesmerizing as Zelda.  Rachel Moulton’s and Michael Shawn Lewis’ portrayal of F. Scott and Young Zelda Fitzgerald is superb. Together they seize every opportunity to show the Fitzgerald’s rollercoaster relationship and captivate the audience the way the real F. Scott and Zelda did in life.  Though the part of Scottie, the Fitzgerald’s only child, is small, Mandy Bruno is exhilarating and makes an indelible impression.  Her voice is as lively as a breath of fresh air.

Although the scene changes can be a bit distracting, This Side of Paradise provides an animated understanding about the complex world of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald that may have been overlooked in books.  Co-book writers and creators Nancy Harrow and Will Pomerantz have a stuck musical gold.  Whatever happiness Zelda failed to achieve in life the success of this musical has surely made up for it. 

 Photos:  Lee Wexler