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F.A.M.E NYC’s St. Paddy’s Day Ticket Giveaway

Spring is near and if you weren’t already itching to get out of the house, let F.A.M.E NYC give you another reason.  Daniel Radcliffe is best known for conjuring magic on the big screen, but he has also been known to create some special moments on stage as well.  This spring Radcliffe is coming back to Broadway in THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMANAnd we want to give someone a pair of tickets to see Radcliffe in action.  All you have to do is riddle us this?

What school did Harry Potter attend?

Leave your answer in the Comment Box below for a chance to win.  

We will choose the winner on St. Patrick’s Day at 5 p.m.  May the luck of the Irish be with you!

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Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad Head to the Big Screen as Romeo and Juliet

Last fall Orlando Bloom made his Broadway debut playing opposite two-time Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad in “Romeo and Juliet”.  This month the production made its debut in movie theaters nationwide as part of Broadway HD.  Broadway HD combines the experience of The Great White Way with Hollywood, taking a live production and showing it in a different medium.

Filmed at the end of its Broadway run, “Romeo and Juliet” is playing a limited engagement in theaters, which ends on February 19.  Seeing this production when it first premiered at the Richard Rogers Theater, I felt the show was a bit comme ci comme ça, but after seeing this production in the theaters, I felt that it had come full circle.  Both Bloom and Rashad seemed more comfortable with the language.  The production in its entirety, which seemed to not be fully complete when I saw it, exhibited a richness that wasn’t present when I saw it last year.

Another aspect of this film version was the distinct difference of viewing “Romeo and Juliet” on stage as opposed to seeing it on the screen.  On Broadway the audience is part of the experience; the actors are performing for you.  Watching it on screen I got the sensation of a voyeur – a gate crasher sneaking through the side door who quietly watches the show unfold.  The excitement wasn’t as palpable; however it was still there.

If you ask me Broadway HD is a brilliant concept.  Not everyone has the luxury of living in New York City and those that do don’t always have the opportunity to see productions while they’re making their run.  Broadway HD allows Broadway to be accessible to everyone no matter if you are in Atlanta, Denver or Brooklyn.  I’m looking forward to watching future productions courtesy of this innovative series.

Photo: Carol Rosegg

 

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KEEP UP WITH THE JONESES CONTEST

Robert Frost once wrote, “Good fences make good neighbors.”  But how many of you would jump at the chance to peer past the fence and find out what your neighbors are really like?

F.A.M.E NYC would like to give one lucky FAMER and a guest the opportunity to find out by extending two passes to the dress rehearsal of “THE REALISTIC JONESES” on March 12 at 8 pm.  Written by Will Eno and directed by Sam Gold, “The Realistic Joneses” stars Academy Award nominee Toni Collette, Golden Globe winner Michael C. Hall, Tony Award winner Tracy Letts and Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei.

To enter to win the passes for this exclusive event, all you need to do is answer this question:

What is the name of the film in which Marisa Tomei gave her Oscar winning performance?

The winner will be announced on February 25 at 5 pm.  Despite the mounds of ice littering our sidewalks, spring is coming!  And on Broadway Spring 2014 is shaping up to be one helluva season.  Here’s your chance to become a Broadway insider. Enter this contest! 

Good luck FAMERS!

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Romeo and Juliet, #TheBomb or #Bomb…

When it comes to love stories, none is more well-known than that of Juliet and her Romeo.  William Shakespeare literally wrote the book (or should I say play) on the notion of star-crossed lovers.  The adaptations of this classic are endless, yet the public never tires of the story of love gone awry.  So it goes that after 36 years, William Shakespeare‘s Romeo and Juliet has returned to the stage of the Richard Rodgers Theatre.

0306_Romeo&Juliet (c) Carol RossegDirector David Leveaux’s version of Romeo and Juliet takes Shakespearian English and injects it into modern setting.  Another added twist to the original plot is the subject of race – the Montagues are a white family and the Capulets are black.  Hollywood hottie Orlando Bloom and Broadway sensation Condola Rashad play the young, ill-fated lovers.  All these elements should’ve have produced results that were more explosive than a NASA rocket launch to the moon.  Instead, it was more the equivalent of high school chemistry nerds experimenting after class – yeah; there was a little smoke, but no real fire (except for the random bursts of fire on stage).

Although I wasn’t expecting Romeo and Juliet to declare their love on Facebook, I also didn’t expect the term ‘modern’ to be interpreted in such a banal fashion.  The set, which consisted of a ginormous bell, an elevated plank of wood for a balcony, and a wall that contained a Renaissance secco, was uninspiring and a poor match for the lush verse of one of William Shakespeare’s greatest works.  The first time Orlando Bloom appears on stage he is riding a motorcycle, and while that might be modern it is also clichéd.  At the Capulet’s soiree, I thought the choreography would carry an element of hip-hop or krunking, something other than the interpretations of African dance that were exhibited on stage. The nurse walking a bicycle to deliver a message to Romeo and the parkour climbing of the graffiti-ridden mural does add a nod to a more modern era; however these devices failed to deliver on such a promising idea.

0024_Romeo&Juliet (c) Carol RossegThe cast seem to hurry through the dialogue as if they were just trying to get it over with.  Shakespearean English is a mouthful, literally, but the pace was so rushed that some of the beauty of Shakespeare‘s poetry was lost in this interpretation.  While Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad certainly looked as if they had the potential to rival the flames that occasionally appeared on stage, their scenes together were undersupplied of the heat necessary for me to believe that these two would rather die than live life apart.  Brent Carver, Christian Camargo and Jayne Houdyshell’s portrayals of Friar Laurence, Mercutio and the Nurse were an absolute pleasure to watch and brought balance to this production.

Director Baz Luhrmann attempted a modern interpretation Romeo and Juliet on screen in 1996, back when I thought modern versions of Shakespeare were a sacrilege, and it actually became one of my favorite depictions of this classic love story.  Perhaps Leveaux should’ve taken a few notes from this film.  After 36 years, this Romeo and Juliet ascended to no grander heights nor did it plateau to a great theater low.  All and all it was steady and flat, just like the boards of the balcony – wooden and just plain regular.

Photos:  Carol Rosseg

NYC Get Ready To Dance

downloadHear ye, Hear ye…get your jazz hands together and prepare to do your best two-step, hustle and freestyle! NYC Dance Week is fast approaching.  The festival is in its second year and will be held from June 20-29, 2013.  Over 30 NYC’s studios will give New Yorkers the chance to explore the beauty of dance by offering free or discounted classes.

On June 11, Copacabana’s Rooftop Garden will host the first NYC Dance Week Gala.  On June 26, Harkness Center of Dance will hold a special workshop to teach people how to prevent injuries and safeguard their bodies.

Ever wanted to learn how to do a plié at Joffery Ballet School, learn the style of Horton at The Ailey Extension or learn how to do a proper capoeira ginga?  Now is your chance, just click the following links to register and get a list of participating studios, http://nycdanceweek2013.eventbrite.com/, http://nycdanceweek.org/the-festival/free-classes, http://nycdanceweek.org/the-festival/discounts.

Tickets for the Copacabana dance party are $40 and can be purchased at http://nycdanceweekgala2013.eventbrite.com.

And don’t forget to check Facebook, facebook.com/nycdanceweek, and Twitter, @nycdanceweek, throughout the festival to take advantage of promotions and sweepstakes.

Dena Kaye with the Danny Kaye Sandwich

A Danny Kaye Please…Light On the Mayo

Every holiday season new generations are introduced to stage, screen and comedic icon Danny Kaye through the White Christmas marathon that plays on AMC.  Danny Kaye was a performer in a day in age when entertainers were expected to do it all.  Not only was Kaye a true artist, he was a great humanitarian and chef.  Danny Kay was born on January 18, 1913 in Brooklyn, and to celebrate the centennial of this legendary impresario, famed eatery Carnegie Deli added the Danny Kaye Sandwich to its menu.

On April 29, Dena Kaye, Kaye’s daughter, and widow Sylvia Fine Kaye joined the staff of the Carnegie Deli as for a sandwich cutting ceremony, officially inducting the Danny Kaye Deli Club sandwich onto the menu.  The sandwich is part of activities celebrating Danny Kaye’s centennial and shares good company with another famous New Yorker, Woody Allen.

 

 To learn more about Danny Kaye visit, http://dannykaye.com/.

To view Carnegie Deli’s Menu visit, http://www.carnegiedeli.com/home.php. 

Photo:  Getty Images for PMK-BNC

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Dating F.A.M.E NYC Style

Spring 2013 is here and despite the flip-flopping weather, it appears not to be going anywhere soon.  Spring always brings with it an air of romance and New York City is a great place to have a fling.  If you already have a significant other, NYC can certainly assist in keeping the spice alive in your relationship and offers a smorgasbord of things to do, places to stay and gastro pubs to pack on calories ( that you can work off later).   A relationship novice only chooses holidays and other special occasions to show affection, but if you want the flame of your love to burn bright you had better stoke to those fires more often.  Date night in New York City is play land of possibilities.  So to all my love-struck FAMERS, this piece is for you.   I’m going to share with you my top five places to go, restaurants and hotels to create an awesomely romantic date any day or night.

SIGHTS TO SEE

Empire State Building – Hey…it worked for Carey Grant and Deborah Kerr and Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan; it could work for you and your mate.  The observation deck of the Empire State Building is indeed a place to spark romance.   Standing in the heavens with the city all around you can render a “top of the world” feeling.  There is no better time to grab your lover for a kiss or to drop to one knee for a sky-high proposal.

themetmuseumMetropolitan Museum of Art – The Met was the first date for Pierce Brosnan and Renee Russo in the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair.  Crown was a billionaire; he could take his date anywhere he wanted, but for all the rest of the 99 percentile, The Met can provide a modest date.  Priceless works of art, the ability to travel to different eras in history all for a small nominal fee.  Who needs a time machine?  Afterwards, you can take advantage of the closeness of Central Park and spring for a horse and carriage ride.  If you want to put a twist on the old horse and carriage idea, rent a luxury vehicle and cruise the park and city in opulence.

Meat Packing District – In a city filled with trendy spots, the Meat Packing District remains one of the trendiest.  You could take your honey-bunny on a shopping spree.  If you are planning an evening date, go clubbing or go on your own private bar crawl.  You could add a little role play and play the “sexy stranger” game at each new lounge or club you go to.

Times Square – Times Square is the heart of The Big Apple.  Just the luminosity of the place delivers 120 watts of electricity to your body.  You can take your beloved to dinner and a show, take in a little shopping or just sit and watch the show New York City provides via the traffic, street performers and passersby. 

Hayden PlanetariumHayden Planetarium – When I was a girl, I saw a laser light show set to The Beatles music.  The Hayden Planetarium has been one my favorite places in the city ever since. Part of the American Museum of Natural History, the Hayden Planetarium has been a New York institution since 1935.  Create some rockets in flight and a little afternoon delight, take a date into the stratosphere and canoodle under the stars. 

 

 

 

 

RESTAURANTS

Mari Vanna – Russian food and old world romance on the east side.  Oh, and did I mention they make their own Vodka.  The décor is charming.  Even if Russian cuisine doesn’t necessarily strike a chord with your palette, I guarantee that you will score points with the venue as well as the food, which is very comforting.  And if all else fails, you can get your mate drunk – nostrovia lovers!

the-lambs-clubThe Lamb’s Club – Located in Times Square, The Lamb’s Club is an experience that rivals any on Broadway.  Taking American cuisine to the next level, Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and partners have created a cool, yet opulent spot to dine before or after a show.  The menu has a wealth of great selections and scrumptious drinks.  Make sure to make it a 24-karat meal and order the Gold Rush (my mouth is watering just thinking about it).

 

 

 

Courgette Restaurant & Bistro – Yummy is the first word that comes to mind when I think about this eatery, located on W. 55th Street.   Courgette is French for zucchini, but it’s definitely not a vegan spot.  This restaurant fuses Mediterranean, Italian and French cuisine to perfection, if you try one dish make sure it’s the Acquerello Risotto with wild forest mushrooms; it’s to die for.   After you finish dining, take your date downstairs to Courgette’s sexy basement speakeasy, which boasts a state-of-the-art sound system and karaoke room. 

Le Bernardin – Eric Ripert…need I say more?  This restaurant is legendary for its chocolate dessert and seafood dishes.  If you are doing a day trip or date that features all of NYC many iconic spots, include this place on your itinerary.   

Château Cherbuliez – Speaking of iconic New York spots, no club was as iconic, historic or infamous as Limelight. This church turned club has had a few reincarnations.  Currently, it’s The Limelight Marketplace, towards the back it turns into Château Cherbuliez.  When it was Limelight, walking into this spot was like stepping into another world.  That aspect hasn’t changed.  Stepping into Château is like being whisked off to the south of France.  The décor is impressive and has one of the largest outdoor garden spaces in the city.

HOTELS

gal-pool-gansevoort-jpgHotel Gansevoort – Meat Packing District – If one were so inclined, one could plan an entire NYC-themed date in the Meat Packing District.  After a day and night of shopping, drinking, eating and partying, the Hotel Gansevoort the perfect place to catch a luxurious snooze or soak up some more of Chelsea’s ultra-trendy vibe.

 

 

W Hotel – Times Square – Dinner, a show, a few drinks, maybe even catch a light night comedy act.  Why end the night at home?  Have a nightcap at W and allow the views of the city to assist you in a night of seduction. It may not be a stage, but I guarantee you will be the star of the show.

Four Seasons – Book a room at this hotel and resort and that could be your date, period end of story.  If the five star treatment is what you’re looking for, you and your mate will find it here.

GramercyParkHotel-lobbyGramercy Park Hotel – This hotel is steeped in history.  Afterall, the Kennedy’s stayed here.   The Gramercy Park Hotel has seen its share of marvelous times and some seedy ones, but after the 2006 renovation it recaptured its former glory and has maintained it ever since.  Artist Julian Schnabel and British architect John Pawson have created a masterpiece.  It remains one of the coolest, chicest places to stay in the city.

 

 

Crosby Street Hotel – SoHo is one of the many artists’ neighborhoods turned chichi in NYC.  Elegant and eccentric, this hotel serves a taste of London with a New York twist. 

 

 

 

¡WEPA! Top Party for 2012

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¡WEPA! just celebrated its anniversary – a testament to how great this gathering is.  If dance were my religion, I would subscribe to the movement of house, scouring to find underground temples the way Coptic Christians climb mountains to worship.  Thanks to Joann Jimenez and Antonio Ocasio I know that the last Friday of every month will end in good vibrations, even better than anything The Beach Boys were singing about.  ¡WEPA! preserves the best of what is glorious about the New York underground dance scene.  Someone pass the baby powder!

To read more about the ¡WEPA! experience, click http://famenycmagazine.com/2012/02/10/friday-night-in-el-barrio/.

Photos courtesy of Joann Jimenez and Antonio Ocasio

Ring In the New Year with Hot Wings and Hot Girls

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Since the apocalypse didn’t come, you might be looking for something to do on New Year’s Eve.  Thousands of people will be in Times Square, but that might be a little crowded.  Instead, how about saying hello to Baby New Year on W.56th with jugs of beer, hot wings and jugs?  Bid farewell to 2012 at Hooters on Broadway.  You might just start of your new year with a kiss from a Hooter’s girl.   If not, there are always the boneless wings.

Photo courtesy of Parenteau Guidance