Grand Re-opening…Grand Closing?

On January 18th Gotham’s hottest celebrities and Warren Buffett came out to celebrate with rap mogul Jay-Z.  And it was not to celebrate the birth of his daughter Blue Ivy Carter; it was to officially announce that 40/40 Club was re-opened for business.  Or is it?  Yes, the Flatiron nightclub, located on West 25th Street, received a $10 million overhaul, but apparently that wasn’t enough to get the club a passing grade with health inspectors and was closed again a day later.

According to the Post, the health inspector gave the club 69 violation points and a “C” grade, and in case you are unsure what that means, that is bad.  The health inspector found perishable food at dangerously warm temperatures inside the walk-in refrigerator, “hot” food left out on the counter and a worker mixing salsa with bare hands. 

The grade will be adjudicated at a hearing next month.  Ron Berkowitz, spokesman for 40/40 Club, stated to TMZ that the grade was a still pending.  Since news broke of the club’s closing a day after its star-studded re-opening, some have rushed to various websites to question Jay-Z’s business acumen.  But even “The Donald” has had his share of bumps along the road.  I’m sure HOV could’ve oversaw the details of re-opening of 40/40 Club with a platinum tooth comb to ensure no hiccups like this would happen, but I believe Jigga has much more on his mind as of late.  Wouldn’t you agree?

Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images

It’s Good To Be The King

 

Or at least the CEO.  According to MSN Money, fashion icon and creator of the Polo dynasty Ralph Lauren’s income as a CEO is $66.7 million dollars.  The average salary for a Ralph Lauren employee is $$50,200.  Now for you FAMERS that hate math as much as I do, that is a CEO-to-worker pay ratio of 1,328-to-1…Holy Hemline!  We all know that there would be no Polo Ralph Lauren without the master designer; he is the founder of this colossal fashion and lifestyle brand.   And this fact is not lost on Polo Ralph Lauren’s board which bestows homage by granting him with options and restricted stock. 

In high school Lauren wrote in his yearbook that he wanted to be a millionaire.  Well, I think he can cross that one off his bucket list.  Although Mr. Polo appeared on MSN Money’s “7 CEOs pulling in outsized paychecks” article, Lauren, unlike some of the other CEOs, is in a unique position.  He is after all only reaping the benefits of a dream he had and turned into reality.  No one ever smote King Midas for his golden touch, did they?

To read the entire MSN Money article, click http://money.msn.com/investing/7-ceos-pulling-in-outsized-paychecks.

 

Lady Gaga Top Artist For 2011

Whether she was born that way or is just a brilliant creation – an ingenious splice of Grace Jones, Madonna, Elton John, David Bowie, Donatella Versace, Andy Warhol and a host of other musical, cultural and pop icons of the 70s and 80s, there is no one that can deny that 2011 was the year of Gaga.  She is all those influences, stirred the melting pot of New York City and poured out for the world to admire.  And doesn’t hurt that the girl can truly sing and bang out on those ivories. 

Already becoming an icon in her own right, Lady Gaga cemented her status as the Grand Dame of pop music when she released Born This Way in May 2011.  The album debuted in the top five spots in every major market and sold 1.108 million copies in the first week.  The album’s title track became the fastest selling single in iTunes history.  By year’s end, Born This Way had sold over 8 million copies and received three Grammy Award nominations.   As she stood with Mayor Bloomberg to drop the famous Times Square ball on New Year’s Eve, legions of “Little Monsters” wait on bated breath to see what Mama Monster will do this year.  What ever it will be, I’m sure she won’t disappoint them, her detractors and the rest of the universe.

Here is a look at the best of Lady Gaga’s videos for 2011:

Chinglish Top Comedy For 2011

If asked what was the recipe for the success of Chinglish, I would say:  a cup of English, a cup of Chinese, three dashes of miscommunication and a teaspoon of an affair gone awry.  Pour on to the stage and wait for laughs.  Sexy, sophisticated and damn funny, Chinglish is one of David Henry Hwang’s best works.

To view F.A.M.E NYC’s review, click http://famenycmagazine.com/2011/11/04/a-celebration-of-chinglish/.

Spiderman 2.0 Top Musical For 2011

High-flying hijinks…lyrics by Bono and Edge…a new stealth production, how can you go wrong?   Spiderman 2.0 rises above its predecessor in grand fashion.  It may have took a few tries and over $70 million dollars, but they finally got it right.  Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark turns up the volume and gives fans something to Marvel at on Broadway.

To view F.A.M.E NYC’s review, click http://famenycmagazine.com/2011/07/05/spiderman-2-0-the-future-of-american-musical-theatre-personified/.

Rent Top Off-Broadway Musical Revival for 2011

After many incarnations, Rent returned to its Off-Broadway roots.  Still as powerful as ever, Jonathan Larson’s rock opera and its new cast brought me to tears.  Long live Rent!  

To view F.A.M.E NYC’s review, click http://famenycmagazine.com/2011/09/14/a-testimony-for-rent/.

Diary of a Madman Top Off-Broadway Production For 2011

Ah, Geoffrey Rush!  What more can I say?  Watching him on stage was bliss.  He may have descended into madness, but I was lifted watching one of the greatest actors of the late 20th century perform his craft.

To view F.A.M.E NYC’s review, click http://famenycmagazine.com/2011/02/26/oscar-nominated-actor-geoffrey-rush-reprises-madman-one-last-time/.

Clifford Chase’s Winkie Top 59E59 Production For 2011

The theaters of New York City are like my second home.  But there is one that I resided in more than any other in 2011.  I was at 59E59 Theaters so often that I was thinking of moving in the area, and therefore I had to give the Off-Broadway theater its own category this year.

I viewed myriad shows, from theater companies from all over the country and abroad.  Most were gems, a few were cut glass.  Out of all the productions I viewed in 2011 my top would be Clifford Chase’s Winkie.  I loved the idea of a stuffed animal coming to life and experiencing all the evils of the world and still having the capacity to love.  What a lesson we could learn from Winkie!

To view F.A.M.E NYC’s review, click http://famenycmagazine.com/2011/03/25/and-justice-for-winkie/.