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A Star-Studded 95th Birthday Bash For Legendary Singer, Songwriter, Activist, and Actor Harry Belafonte

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A benefit evening (HB95) will also present the inaugural Harry Belafonte Social Justice Awards in honor of the 10th anniversary of Sankofa.org, the social justice organization Mr. Belafonte co-founded. HB95 will be held on March 1, 2022 at The Town Hall (123 W. 43rd Street) at 7:00 PM ET. 

The evening will include musical performances, video tributes, and testimonials by civil rights and racial justice leaders, elected officials, musicians, actors, and more. Aloe Blacc, John Legend, The Belafonte Alumni Band, Laurence Fishburne, Doug E Fresh, Danny Glover, Amy Goodman, Lenny Kravitz, Michael Moore, Q-Tip, Tim Robbins, Rev. Al Sharpton, Bryan Stevenson, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Jesse Williams, and Alfre Woodward, are among the confirmed participants. 

This year’s inaugural Harry Belafonte Social Justice Awards were created to acknowledge the vast reach of Mr. Belafonte’s contribution to social justice and American history. For their unwavering commitment to justice, award recipients include Angela Davis, Rashad Robinson, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Dr. Cornel West, Darren Walker, Hank Willis Thomas, former Attorney General Eric Holder and Congresswoman Barbara Lee. In addition to live performances, Mr. Belafonte’s memorable film, television, and humanitarian career will be showcased through archive footage along with testimonials from some of today’s most popular and celebrated artists, activists, and entertainers.

Proceeds from this evening will benefit Sankofa.org and several of its programs including an innovative virtual/alternative reality technology and arts reentry program created to impact the capacity of returning citizens to develop critical core skills for a sustainable successful transition back to the community. This scientifically validated art-based program with virtual reality has been used to create breakthrough treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and is showing promise in the treatment of many other mental health conditions. Harry Belafonte said, “I am honored that so many are coming together to celebrate my birthday, life, and legacy. I founded Sankofa.org alongside my daughter Gina and Raoul Roach to create additional space for artists and allies to collaborate to garner an artistic approach to the needs of our disenfranchised communities… to use art as a tool to educate messages of hope and to encourage and energize the public to become engaged. One heart, One mind, One soul.” “It is an honor for us to host Harry Belafonte’s 95th birthday as part of our Centennial Season,” said The Town Hall’s Artistic Director Melay Araya. “Like his mentors Paul Robeson and Langston Hughes, and his contemporaries Coretta Scott King and Fannie Lou Hamer, Mr. Belafonte has taken to our stage several times over the last 70 years in support of the movements that he participated in and led. It is our hope that celebrating his life and work will inspire those in attendance to use their talents in service of others.” 

Gina Belafonte, Sankofa.org Executive Director stated, “Artists are the gatekeepers of truth, civilization’s radical voice. Without art we have nothing. Sankofa.org uses the arts as a tool to engage people to action. We are so excited to honor my father on his 95th birthday and celebrate his legacy.” “We are happy to celebrate this milestone birthday of the iconic Harry Belafonte. As a legendary artist and activist, he is an inspiration to us all. It is also beautiful to see Gina carry on the important work of Sankofa.org to positively impact future generations,” said Bridgid and Don Cheadle about the occasion. 

Actress and activist Alfre Woodard said, “HB95 is the celebration of Harry Belafonte’s bold, insistent, joyous stride towards Justice. Sankofa.org is the vehicle he’s given the generations to continue that journey forward. There goes the roof!” While this is its first public fundraising event, Sankofa.org has created and produced innovative and cutting-edge programs for the past decade. The organization is committed to rooting out systemic violence, work tirelessly for the adoption of restorative justice initiatives, and champion meaningful reforms for immigration and a livable minimum wage. 

Sankofa.org was founded by Harry Belafonte, his daughter Gina Belafonte, and Raoul Roach in 2012. Its mission is to educate, motivate, and activate artists and allies in service of grassroots movements and equitable change. Sankofa.org focuses on issues of injustice that disproportionately affect the disenfranchised, the oppressed, and the underserved, which left unaddressed will continue to impact the lives of too many individuals and remain a scar on our nation’s moral character. The non-profit organization is fiscally sponsored by Social Environmental Entrepreneurs (www.SaveOurPlanet.org).  

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

Entertainment

Prince Mario-Max Schaumburg-Lippe applauds Infolist’s CEO Jeff Gund, even my friend E! TV-Founder Larry Namer joined this VIP event.

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H.H. Dr. Prince Mario-Max Schaumburg-Lippe at Jeff Gund Infolist Red Carpet Event

One of the first people I met in Hollywood was Jeff Gund. He runs Infolist and is the secret superhero of the entertainment industry. His network connects actors with directors, casting agents with producers and production companies with networks. watching my friend Jeff working endlessly to make The Industry in Hollywood an awesome and connected place, I am always speechless how he rocks his Red-Carpet extravaganzas. He personally invited me to attend his Infolist.com Red Carpet Pre Comic-Con Bash and it was spectacular.

E! Television Founder Larry Namer and H.H. Dr. Prince Mario-Max Schaumburg-Lippe

Having just messaged with my friend Larry Namer, the nicest of the uber-accomplished Hollywood Moguls  – he founded E! Television – I was happy to see him there and he was the indicator for a great Red-Carpet event. My parents Prince Waldemar and Princess Antonia zu Schaumburg-Lippe have attended an Infolist event with me years ago and its just great fun to see so many industry friends again and meet new ones like Colin Ford from The Hill, Jordan Roman or Leckie Roberts. And all those news: Gennadiy Photography has a new pageant event coming up at the Taglyan, where i opened LA Fashion Week. Silvia Masera is branching out her Gala Events to Europe. And many new celebrity shows popped up on the red carpet, with wonderful hosts.

Infolist CEO Jeff Gund with H.H. Dr. Prince Mario-Max Schaumburg-Lippe

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Celebrity

The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

24 BACK — (Via TV Line) The clock is ticking (again): A movie adaptation of the hit Fox drama 24  is in early development at 20th Century Studios, our sister site Variety reports.

Keifer Sutherland

Brian Grazer, who executive-produced the original series, teased the prospect of a film version in a June interview with MSNBC’s Squawk Box. In a discussion of different legacy IP brands at his production company Imagine Entertainment, Grazer mentioned a 24 movie in the works “that we’re going to do in a very interesting way with Disney and Fox.”

The project is still in the very early stages, though, so there’s no word yet if Keifer Sutherland will return to reprise his role as counterterrorism agent Jack Bauer in the film. Sutherland starred as Bauer during 24′s original run, which aired for eight seasons on Fox beginning in 2001. The real-time thriller became a hit and won a number of awards, including Emmys for best drama series and for Sutherland as best lead actor in a drama. Sutherland returned as Bauer for the limited series 24: Live Another Day, which aired in 2014. Fox also tried a spinoff, 24: Legacy, in 2017 — with Corey Hawkins taking over the lead role — but that was scrapped after a single season.

The way I see if – and, as a longtime fan of both the show and Sutherland – is that if Keifer is not there, it’s not worth doing. Agreed?

Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford


SHORT TAKES — I watched an interview with Kathie Lee Gifford on Today Wednesday and didn’t even recognize her. Check out the clip here: https://www.today.com/health/news/kathie-lee-gifford-hip-surgery-rcna162079 … Great Micky Dolenz interview from the Monterey Country NOW by Dave FariesMicky Dolenz of The Monkees – and much more – still thrives on stage with songs and stories. | Music | montereycountynow.com

Brad Balfour (Film Festival Traveler) interviewed Steven J. Immerman on his In Search Of Pleasure Island tome this week… Home Depot loads in their Halloween-toys and treats this weekend. It may seem a bit early, but October will here before you know it. A PR-source of ours was about to work on a Halloween-movie coming out in September and had a co-promotion event with the store and the movie; then it all fell apart. Seems to me this would have been a superb tie-in … One of the great A&R men of them all Ed Rosneblatt passed this week in LA. From Peter Gabriel to Madonna to Neil Young; Eddie had a hand in it. Take a look at this story from Hits:https://hitsdailydouble.com/news&id=341939&title=EDDIE-ROSENBLATT-1934-2024 

Cameron Crowe

Meryl Streep is set to essay Joni Mitchell in a film by Cameron Crowe. Big news for sure. Crowe’s Almost Famous is a stone-called classic; as is Crowe …

Francis Ford Coppola

This year’s Kennedy Center Honors will be awarded to director Francis Ford Coppola, rock band Grateful Dead, blues and rock singer-songwriter Bonnie Raitt, jazz trumpeter, pianist and composer Arturo Sandoval and the venue The Apollo. The ceremony will take place on Dec. 8, for broadcast on Dec. 23 …

We haven’t weighed in on Apple +’s Presumed Innocent; the re-working of Scott Turow’s book (in 1987) and movie (in 1990), but the finale is next week and the show’s just been renewed for a second season. Jake Gyllenhaal has been great, as has Bill Camp, but David E. Kelly’s words have been just off the charts. For me, it’s the best Kelly’s done since Big Little Lies. If you haven’t seen this series yet, watch all the 8 episodes. It’s a gift for sure. Stunningly good … Just received: NYC’s legendary West Bank Cafe will close …

Tom Viola (by Tristan Fuge)

After an extraordinary run of 36 years, Broadway Cares’ Tom Viola is leaving. Bravo Tom! … RIP Bob Newhart!

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Hoda Kotb; Roseanna Scotto; Ray ‘Pinky’ Velazquez; Jim Burgess; Stephanie Shepherd; Monica Lynch; Robert Dragatta; Len Berman; Brad Balfour; Jim Milliot; Sue Simmons; Cindy Adams; Liz Smith; Claudia Cohen; Neal Travis; Richard Johnson; Howard Smiley; and SADIE!

 Images on this page have been licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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Broadway

Disney Broadway In Bryant Park

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106.7 LITE FM’s Broadway in Bryant Park brought Disney to its 2024 program. The Bryant Park stage is located at 6th Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets. Lawn seating is first come, first serve.

This weeks performances came from Aladdin‘s Michael James Scott, Sonya Balsara and Adi Roy

Frozen’s Charissa Hogeland and Chad Burris

And The Lion King’s Tshidi Manye, Jim Ferris, Jackie René, Ben Jeffrey and Gilbert Domally

The hosts were Paul ‘Cubby’ Bryant and Christine Nagy.

 

 

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Broadway

A Tribute to Tony Award-Winning Composer Steven Lutvak

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NYU Skirball Center will honor the late Tony Award-winning composer Steven Lutvak, the musical mind behind the Tony Award-winning musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, with performances and tributes from family and friends in a celebration of his life on Thursday, July 18 – which would have been his 65th birthday – at 3:00 PM. The event will include performances by Broadway Inspirational Voices, Crystal Monee Hall, Bryce Pinkham, Catherine Walker, Scarlett Strallen, Catherine Porter, Lori Wilner, and Jenna Pastuszek, and feature songs from A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder (Tony Award for Best Musical, 2014), his albums Ahead of My Heart and The Time It Takes, and several never-before heard works-in-progress. Admission is free, but reservations are encouraged. For tickets, please visit tickets.nyu.edu/stevenlutvak

Born and raised in the Bronx, Mr. Lutvak was a talented multi-hyphenate, working as a cabaret performer, music arranger, director, and as a performance coach in addition to his songwriting and compositional work. As a singer-songwriter, he performed across the country, including successful New York engagements at Carnegie Hall, which led to releasing two albums, The Time It Takes and Ahead of My Heart.

Mr. Lutvak made his Broadway debut with A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder in 2014, for which he composed the music, and co-wrote the lyrics with Robert L. Freedman. The musical won the Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Awards for Best Musical. The pair had previously written the musical Campaign of the Century together, which won the California Musical Theater Competition from the Beverly Hills Theater Guild.

Other musicals by Mr. Lutvak include Almost September, The Wayside Motor Inn (an adaptation of a play by A. R. Gurney), and Esmeralda. For the screen, Mr. Lutvak composed the title track for the film Mad Hot Ballroom, and the score to Anything But Love, starring Eartha Kitt and Andrew McCarthy. Mr. Lutvak was a highly awarded composer, receiving the Kleban Award for Lyric Writing for the Theater, the Fred Ebb Award for Songwriting for the Theater alongside Freedman, the American Theatre Wing’s Jonathan Larson Grant, the Johnny Mercer Foundation’s Emerging American Songwriter Award, two Bistro Awards, three MAC Awards, and multiple ASCAP Awards.

In his later years, Mr. Lutvak worked as an adjunct professor at his alma mater, the New York University Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program.

Mr. Lutvak died October 9, 2023 at the age of 64. He is survived by his husband, Artistic Director of Flight Path Dance Project, Michael McGowan, and their daughter, Eliot Rose Lutvak-McGowan.

The tribute to Steven Lutvak will take place at NYU Skirball Center, located at 566 LaGuardia Place, between West 4th and West 3rd Street, on Thursday, July 18 at 3:00 PM. Running time is 90 minutes with no intermission. Admission is free, but reservations are encouraged. For tickets, please visit tickets.nyu.edu/stevenlutvak

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Art

Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents Allison Eden

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“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents”, is filmed from the Hotel Edison.

In this episode T2C’s publisher and owner Suzanna Bowling talks with Allison Eden. Allison is the visionary artist who is creating the look at Serendipity 3, which will be opening this year on 47th Street, in Times Square. Today, she stands as a pioneer in the design world, captivating audiences worldwide with her innovative glass and stone mosaic masterpieces.

To see Allison’s work and learn more click here.

I am so grateful to my guest Allison Eden.

We are so proud because the show and our guests are now featured on the TV screens in the lobby and the hotel rooms. We were also gifted a poster in the lobby.

Suzanna, Allison and Rommel

Thank-you Magda Katz for videoing and creating the content to go live, Rommel Gopez and The Hotel Edison for their kindness and hospitality.

We are so proud and thrilled that Variety Entertainment News just named us one of Summer’s Best Picks in the category of Best Television, Radio, PodcastsThe company we are in, has made us so humbled, grateful and motivated to continue.

The Daily Geek Report” has also named host Suzanna Bowling on the list of Most Engaging Hosts. Thank-you so much for recognizing us and thank-you Eileen Shapiro who has helped us get noticed, we are so grateful.

You can catch us on the following platforms:

Pandora:

https://www.pandora.com/podcast/live-from-the-edison-hotel-times-square-chronicles-presents/PC:1001084740

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/show/1084740

Spotify:

Amazon:

https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/e3ac5922-ada8-4868-b531-12d06e0576d3

Apple Podcasts:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/live-from-the-edison-hotel-times-square-chronicles-presents/id1731059092

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