Tony Season Is Here

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The Emmys and Oscars in L.A have come and gone, but in NYC, we’re just gearing up.  Spring brings with it cherry blossoms in Central Park and a slew of new productions on Broadway that culminates with the Tony Awards.  This year the 67th annual award ceremony will air live on CBS on Sunday June 9 from Radio City Music Hall.  The eligibility cut-off date for 2012-2013 season is April 25 with the nominations to be announced on April 30. 

This month The Tony Awards Administration Committee announced its lifetime achievement recipients, which included Bernard “Bernie” Gersten, Executive Producer of Lincoln Center Theater, Scenic Designer Ming Cho Lee and Paul Libin, Executive Vice President of Jujamcyn Theatres.  In addition, theatergoers can view unique content from and about this season’s musicals and plays eligible to receive Tony Awards by visiting Spotlight On, a program, which includes plot summaries, interesting trivia, cast albums, scripts, links to shows’ social media, production history, downloadable music and more. Spotlight On will be updated throughout the season, currently, users can explore over twenty shows with more being added every day. 

If you are interested in going to the 2013 Tony Awards there will be a limited number of tickets made available to the public starting April 30. The American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards are presented each year by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

For more information on the Tony Awards, visit www.tonyawards.com.

Follow the Tony Awards on Facebook and Twitter: Facebook.com/TheTonyAwards, @TheTonyAwards.

For additional information on Spotlight On check out, http://www.tonyawards.com/en_US/multimedia/spotlight/index.html.

Photo courtesy of Slate PR

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Daniel Craig Bonds with NYC

Martinis are a staple with 007 and so are luxury cars.  Daniel Craig showed off the latest that Range Rover had to offer last night as he whipped the all-new Range Rover Sport through the streets of The Big Apple as part of a short film titled The Delivery, directed by acclaimed action director Jonathan P B Taylor.  The film tells the story of a driver tasked with delivering the car through the streets of New York, over Manhattan Bridge to the car’s official unveil reception.  Craig used his precision driving skills to maneuver through the closed-off blocks of the city, delivering the car live to a packed crowd.

New York is Range Rover’s biggest metropolitan market and the Range Rover Sport is Land Rover’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S.   The all-new Range Rover Sport is the fastest, most agile and technology packed Land Rover ever.   All-new high strength aluminum structure provides a weight savings of approximately 800 lbs. over the previous generation Range Rover Sport.   It also touts a superbly crafted, luxurious interior and choice of 340 hp supercharged V6 or 510 hp supercharged V8 engines.

 Photo:  PRNewsFoto/Land Rover

ARIS Air Collection by Vancelette Signature

Clutch…wristlet…tote… hobo, bags make me (and every fashionista in world) happy.  Old world artistry meets New York style with Vancelette Signature.  Designer and artisan Rachel D. Vancelette creates accessories that beautifully combines hard and soft lines and are super chic – just like a New York woman. 

Check out Vancelette Signature’s spring 2013 line at, http://www.vancelette.com/luxury-handbags-collections/air-collection.html.  

Photo:  Vancelette.com

Breakfast at Tiffany’s on Broadway, Where are Audrey and Truman When You Need Them?

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It’s a good thing that Audrey Hepburn and Truman Capote have gone on to their greater glory so they wouldn’t have to bear witness to the goings on at the Cort Theatre.  On the other hand, maybe someone should’ve performed a séance before curtain call, so that their presence could guide the cast.  Breakfast at Tiffany’s was one of the productions I was most looking forward to this season.  Sadly, I must report that the core of this production, which on the surface seems to be about beautiful people sipping martinis and champagne, is a flat as an eight-day-old open bottle of Pink Champale.  It was unconvincing, inauthentic and could evoke more zzzz’s than a bottle of Ambien. 

The 1958 Truman Capote novella of the same name and its protagonist Holly Golightly are iconic symbols of American literature and culture.  Audrey Hepburn became synonymous with the character after portraying her in 1961 film.  Unfortunately, this production didn’t bring with it the spirit of Holly Golightly or the colorful characters of Capote’s book or Blake Edwards’ movie. 

4.185113Sometimes it is difficult to step into shoes that are as recognizable as Dorothy’s ruby slippers.  Nevertheless, it can be done.  Patti LuPone’s Evita was legendary, but Madonna (who isn’t necessarily known for her acting chops) gave the role new life when she played the larger than life wife of Juan Peron for the silver screen.  Outside of George Wendt, most of the cast’s feet were just too small to fill and walk in shoes of these characters.  It is rare that I can’t find one redeeming quality about a production, but as hard as I wrack my brain, I can’t find one.  Breakfast at Tiffany’s was more like breakfast at Denny’s there was no moon river, no dose of fabulosity.  Holly Golightly said it best when she explained to her husband Doc, “You musn’t give your heart to a wild thing. The more you do, the stronger they get, until they’re strong enough to run into the woods or fly into a tree. And then to a higher tree and then to the sky.”  In essence, that is the problem with Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Richard Greenberg and Sean Mathias gave their hearts to a wild thing that had flown the coup way before it hit the stage.

Photos: Broadway.com

Hands on a Hardbody Places Its Palms on Broadway

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“As American as baseball and apple pie.” If everyone had a dollar each time that phrase was uttered, one probably could rival the new multi-million dollar winner of this weekend’s Powerball. Without a doubt, that saying is probably as old as the White House and in this day and age could probably be replaced with myriad representations of American iconography and culture.  New musical Hands on a Hardbody, shines a spotlight on two USA symbols, rock and roll and trucks.  And after viewing Hands on a Hardbody two things are evident, this musical is made for Americans by Americans and is as true to the red, white and blue as the old “stars and stripes” itself.

While not often seen in the New York metro area, a pickup truck is a still the automobile of choice for scores of Americans in the heartland and southern regions of the U.S. and is the main character for this production.  Based on a 1997 documentary of the same name, Hands on a Hardbody centers on a group of contestants in Longview, Texas hankering to win a brand new truck by placing their hands on the vehicle and enduring the heat and exhaustion until all but one drops off. 

5.185220The musical features an ensemble as eclectic as the proverbial melting pot.  A middle-aged husband (who is an unemployed, disabled worker) is doubling down and trying to relive his youth by winning.  A young Mexican-American man is hedging his bet to go to medical school.  Another young man is looking to prove just how much of a Texan he is by winning the truck and a young woman that wants to burn rubber and drive that truck right out of Texas.  A marine fresh from combat, a holy-rolling songstress, a gregarious playboy, a vixen with a few tricks up her sleeve, a no-nonsense middle-aged woman and a former winner looking to reclaim the glory of victory round out the characters placing their mitts on the truck.  A conniving salesman, his racist female colleague, the mates of the older contestants and the announcer complete the cast of the production.

Similar to In the Heights, the plot of this musical is about achieving the American dream – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and each of these characters have a different comprehension of that dream.  Courtesy of MGM and the Broadway musicals of old, I expect to view a musical with a bunch of extras that help to drive the musical numbers and along with the set, assist in making the numbers spectacular.  Hands on a Hardbody isn’t that kind of musical.  Although the pared down cast equates to a small group, the central character as well as the majority of the set is the truck.  It is a frugal musical that fits well with this economy.  It has a lot of heart and soul; I didn’t miss the pomp that most musicals can have one bit. 

4.185219Most of the grit that makes Hands on a Hardbody grand comes via music by Amanda Green and Trey Anastasio and a book by Doug Wright.   Songs like “Joy of the Lord”, “My Problem Right There”, “Born in Laredo”, “It’s a Fix” and “Keep Your Hands on It” offer an accurate description of the modern American experience and allows their rock /bluegrass soundtrack to resonate with the audience.  Led by veteran actor Keith Carradine, the cast does a superb job with the material.  Instead of looking like perfectly trained artisans belting out songs and acting out a script, they appeared more like regular people sharing their dreams and stories of heartbreak and redemption.  Each one of them was someone that you have probably met sometime in your journey and could’ve been sitting in the audience right next to you.  If there were any negative aspect to this musical, it would be the lack of choreography.  The choreography was very pedestrian and reminded me of something I might have seen in a 1990’s Fat Boy Slim video.  Still, the choreography, or lack thereof, had its usefulness.  The movements were on par with the look of the cast.  After all, a pack of ordinary people, which the cast is supposed to embody, would look a little silly trying to complete choreography that required tons of strength and agility.

All and all I thoroughly enjoyed Hands on a Hardbody and could understand why the musical made its way from the La Jolla Playhouse to the Brooks Atkinson Theater on Broadway.  I throw my thumbs to ceiling on this one and would suggest scooting on down to see a musical that is as American as you and me.

Photos: Broadway.com

F.A.M.E NYC Spring Ahead Ticket Giveaway

Spring is here!  And why not celebrate with a quickie ticket giveaway.  Did you read “Top Five Reasons Why I Can’t Wait To See Ben Foster in Orphans”?   Hint, hint….

That’s right FAMERS win two tickets to see Alec Baldwin, Ben Foster and Tom Sturridge on Broadway in Orphans

All you have to do is answer the following question:  What Ben Foster film was mentioned three times in the previous post?

Comment as much as you like.  Every comment increases your chances of winning. 

Contest ends on March 23 at midnight.  This is a quickie giveaway, so act fast!

Tickets courtesy of Serino Coyne.  To learn more about Serino Coyne visit,http://www.serinocoyne.com/.

To learn more about Orphans visit, http://www.orphansonbroadway.com/.

Photos:   Alec Baldwin: Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews  •  Ben Foster: Photo by Jerry Avenaim/Creative24  •  Tom Sturridge: Photo by Julian Broad/Contour by Getty Images

Top Five Reasons Why I Can’t Wait To See Ben Foster in Orphans

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Everybody knows Shia LaBeouf dropped out of Orphans, which begins previews on March 26, and was replaced by Ben Foster.  While I do like LaBeouf, the addition of Foster to the cast makes me want to run outside and sing in the street as if I were Julie Andrews singing on a grassy hilltop.  Ben Foster is one of the brightest stars of his generation and I’m waiting on bated breath to see him display his talent live on stage.  If you don’t know about Ben Foster, you better ask somebody.  Or, you can just ask me – I will give you five reasons why I can’t wait to see Ben Foster on Broadway.

  1.  Alpha DogAlpha Dog ….ALPHA DOG!  His performance in this movie was so visceral that I had to write the title more than once. 
  2. No young actor slips into darkness better than Ben Foster.  Whether we are talking about his character in Contraband, 30 Days of Night or  the remake of The Mechanic, Foster can thread the line of master manipulator and  bat sh*t crazy with the skill of an expert tailor.  The audience never sees the hemlines, just a beautifully crafted performance partly because Foster isn’t afraid to go there.
  3. Hottie….Hello?!  Ben Foster is cutie pie with a side of brooding sex appeal.
  4. He knows how to pick ‘em.  The secret to an actor’s success is the selection of the right films early in their career.  Judging by Foster’s body of work, I believe this choice will only strengthen his already accomplished body of work.
  5. Foster is the better man.  No offense to La Beouf (he has had his share of blockbusters), but Foster is the better man to tackle a role like this.

Orphans will be playing a limited engagement at Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. Don’t foster any delusions about missing this production; I predict it will be one of the best productions this season.   

Photo: Jerry Avenaim/Creative24

F.A.M.E NYC Springs Ahead

Rain, sun, sleet or snow flurries, March 20 marks the beginning of spring.  La primavera is the season that is generally associated with rebirth.  F.A.M.E NYC is also going through a revival of sorts and I believe spring is the perfect time to unveil a few new changes to the site. 

First, F.A.M.E NYC is getting a facelift – a new theme, same good written content.  Second, I will be adding a couple of monthly features (details coming soon).  In addition, there will be more visual content and more contests.   As I have said countless times, thank you for sharing this journey with me.  I am super excited to share these changes with you. 

And to show how grateful and excited I am, be on the lookout for F.A.M.E NYC’s first spring contest. 

HAPPY SPRING 2013!

Patricia Field Forever!

What or should  I say who does The Devil Wears PradaSex and the CityUgly Betty and Mother Goose Rock ‘n’ Rhyme have in common?  If you said Patricia Fields, then you know your fashion trivia! 

Patricia Field is a New York born costume designer, stylist and fashion designer.    Her boutique in the Lower East Side is just as legendary as her edgy fashions. 

Patricia Field is celebrating the re-launch of her YouTube channel and she wants you to get in on the act. Wanna lil’ Patricia Field in your life…well if you visit the site, you could win the chance to win a $500.00 gift certificate!

Visit the link below, watch the video and add a comment, yep… it’s just that simple.  Happy YouTubing FAMERS!  I might just get in on this one myself.

Photo:  Patricia Field.com