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Cali Lili’s : Eve N God This Female Is Not Yet Rated (with original soundtrack) 



After the first minute, I knew this would not be an LA – guns – and –  car – crash film.

eVe N’god this female is not yet rated™ ©CaliLili™ from Cali Lili @CaliLiliIndies™feMt0™ on Vimeo.

There was artistry, care and attention to detail, but most of all an homage to intelligence – allowing the audience to think for themselves.  Cali dares us to sit and watch or  else,  just – turn on a re – run of, say… “Columbo”.  I kept writing as I watched in response, not out of criticism,  but, tracking, as a witness. As in any art form – that refuses to be told – I let go and it took me back to where all art should take us: to love, to oneself and forgiveness for the natural sin of guilt.

The dreamy woman, almost asleep on the stern of the boat is not just the character, she IS the film maker, her subconscious streaming, inviting us into the pre – sleep dream that we all understand, like T. S. Elliot’s “Love Song Of J. Alfred Proofrock”:
“Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky,
Like a patient etherized upon a table…”

The woman dreaming on the boat is our abraxas or the horizon line before the sun drops to the darkness of another day or, the light that explains, prepares us for the events and responsibilities of the agenda’s we all set for ourselves, during the waking hours.  She could be a surfer girl or the beauty who zips by on blades along the promenade in Venice, leaving those in her wake, cranking necks to watch her disappear into the anonymous crowd.

But, Cali never allows us to look away. At times she gazed straight into the camera, definitely, stating, without fear or apology – that she knew we were there. We all knew why she was there. Her personal strength and as the character’s – evolves:  committed,  palpable, specific and alive placing us, on the other side of the proscenium yet – in her thrall. It is a comfort to the viewer – we do not have to worry.

Wings was beautiful. So simple and true; thoughtful, at times, funny but slightly repentant as the handsome old man next to the clock with no hands.  I never thought I could feel sympathy for a deity but he made me realize that even God recognized that there was a new sheriff in town and  – it wasn’t John Wayn.

Something happens to us.  We have to dare to accept the intricacies, the subtle nuance of the literate dialogue, scenes that would rival Brecht, Pirandello or a French Film Auteur’s like Jean – Luc Godard,  invoked from the 1950’s. It was no “he – said, she – listens”, conventional scenes out of a Syd Fields plot – point script designed to “sell” to the “suits”. It demanded that “attention must be paid”, with distinct references to literature, history,  art, dance and music. At times the film makes fun of the Greecian conventions of “Beginning, Middle and End”. Cali knew you were keeping score, thinking you were a step ahead. No, she knew. Poof! “Doc” makes mention of the structure of the film, alluding to story development – or lack thereof.  Just sit back and accept it, on its own structure. (Cali’s music, her singing, her lyrics with Wings playing the instruments underneath, throughout,  seemed to  mix naturally into the feast like herbs directly plucked from the garden).

But horror and fear, a subtle reference to a Snub Nose 38,  all co – mingled with the proud, personal denial of one’s own racism and the ever – present fear of one’s own sexuality, a topic that pinches us into squeamishness and denial for those of us brought up in the “goodness” of the puritanical Judeo/Christian tradition. No! Throw all that out! You’re on your own…

I rarely think about films after I’ve seen them once. I’ve watched “La Strada” a hundred times and will watch again – any time it’s offered. And I know I will cry at the end. I know it. I access something about myself every time I find out “she passed away”. The same applies to “Cool Hand Luke” when Newman plays a banjo – badly – to his mother’s death. “Waiting for Godot” never allows me to “think clearly” but I will rush to get a ticket to see it again.

If I am honest and willing to have the courage to see into my own fears, “Eve N God” helped explain the inexorable  pull to sexual jealousy, possessive impulses of the women I’ve known and loved. I recognize, with regret, any rights I might have imposed on their thoughts and feelings, that I could invoke on their desires, on nature or on humanity itself – especially when it comes to love. No one has the right to climb into the hypothalamus of someone else’s brain and tell that 3 pound organ that those pleasure impulses, those electrical charges of desire are within the purview of another, not in spite of  marital commitment, but – in the nurturing of the those lucky enough to wake up in the morning and say, “ I love you – but I don’t own you”.   In a strange way, the experience “liberated” me from the fear of sexual possession. The universe knows what it wants from us all and, sometimes – we simply must – just, get out of the way.

This film would be in demand, played on a loop in NYC art houses, women’s movements, LGTB coommunity and anyone who thinks they are better than the ones they stand next to, in line, at the DMV. Men who think they are “MEN”! – Oh, really?

It takes astonishing courage to step out of the confines of linear expectations, walk alone into the woods with just a True North compass; to launch a small, single – woman sailboat into the Pacific, living out of the sea. Or – to make a film, in LA, with a beggars budget and, yet, have it all become so intellectually gratifying and allowing us to think on it long after.


Gary Swanson

Gary Swanson’s show business career began in the circus as a Steel Pier High Diver in Atlantic City.  He moved to NYC and became a contract player on Day Time TV show “Somerset” leading to a life – long career as film, TV and theater actor.  He’s written for numerous magazines, taught masters programs. He still acts, directs, writes and produces. His political barnburner, If You Can Keep It, is in development. He lives by the Atlantic in Montauk, NY.


Tribeca Festival Premieres ‘Elizabeth Taylor: The Lost Tapes’



Tribeca Festival hosted the North American premiere “Elizabeth Taylor: The Lost Tapes” on June 11 in New York City.

The film which makes the audience understand Taylor’s moxie in a whole new way is captivating and a thrill to watch. It is hard to turn your eyes away from the screen that shines a spotlight on one of the most famous legends in Hollywood history. The tapes tell her version of an icons larger than life script.

As the iconic actress says in a recording as highlighted in the HBO Documentary film, “To thine own self be true. That’s all I have to do.”

In attendance at the screening at the SVA theater were Aude Temel (Co-Producer), Barbara Berkowitz (EP & Elizabeth Taylor Estate), Bill Gerber (Producer), John Paul Horstman (Co-Producer), Nancy Abraham (Executive Vice President, Documentary and Family Programming, HBO),Nanette Burstein (Director/Writer), Glen Zipper (Producer), Quinn Tivey (EP, Elizabeth Taylor Estate and Elizabeth Taylor’s grandson), Rachel Rusch Rich (Producer), Sean Stuart (Producer), Tal Ben David (Editor/Writer), and Tim Mendelson (EP & Elizabeth Taylor Estate).

Oscar-nominated director Burstein’s documentary showcases a mesmerizing journey via audio tapes discovered in the archive of journalist Richard Meryman. Through her lens we are guided by Taylor’s voice as she walks the audience from the first step of her career through her time with Burton in the 1970s.  As described, “she reveals intimacies about her relationships, romantic and otherwise, she peels back the layers of a beloved public figure to reveal a vulnerable, funny, and tenacious woman who persevered despite a life led almost entirely under the scrutiny of public opinion.”

Speaking on the red carpet about Taylor’s accomplishments on the screen to her celebrated advocacy work Burstein mused over the icon and said, “She realized that she could change the game and she did.”

Photo Credit: HBO Documentary Films






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Composer Randy Edelman Will Be Honored And Closes The Evening At The Metropolitan Club for Career Bridges



On Tuesday May 7, 2024, The Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges, David Schuyler Bender and Barbara Bender will be celebrating their Twentieth Annual Concert and Dinner at the historic and illustrious Metropolitan Club located @ 1 East 60th Street, NYC. There will be a cocktail reception & silent auction beginning at 6:30 and the dinner and concert will begin at 7:30. Black tie is preferred, tickets are still available at

David Schuyler Bender and Barbara Meister Bender

The mission of Career Bridges is to help young opera singers launch their careers by awarding them grants in voice coaching, diction, language, repertory and stage presence. Many of the grant recipients will be performing at this year’s Gala hosted by renowned Metropolitan Opera Star Denyce Graves and Theodore S. Chaplin, former President of Rogers and Hammerstein Organization.

As one of the prestigious honorees, eminent Symphonist Randy Edelman will be granted “The Lifetime Achievement Award” for his endless contributions to the cultural mosaic of music in film, television, recording, and nearly every aspect of the music industry.

The music of composer Randy Edelman isn’t just a tune, but rather a touch, a supernatural force that makes galaxies collide and creates a million tiny universes. His music is an emotion unfurled and perfectly orchestrated, a melody that becomes a story making song and singer, a single force engulfed by the notes. The crowd caresses the echoes of his lyrics replaying past memories that awaken forgotten worlds. His music is stronger than time.

Others to be honored alongside the multi-award winning composer include: Jason Kwintner, Director of Special Events for the Metropolitan Club, Dr. Joan Taub Ades, who will receive the Humanitarian Award for her musical philanthropic work, and Tony Award winning producer Jane Bergère.

Special thanks to Lorraine Silvetz (Executive Director Of Global Stress Initiative), Yvette Wenger and Jane Thorngren.

The official website for tickets may be found at the Career Bridges Website here:

T2C will be interviewing Randy Edelman this Wednesday at The Hotel Edison.

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Tony Bennett Auction Exhibition at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco



Tony Bennett: A Life Well Lived,” exclusive exhibition opening at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, California, celebrating the legendary life and career of the iconic pop jazz vocalist before its two-day auction event by Julien’s Auctions taking place April 18th and Friday, April 19th, 2024 at Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame in Jazz at Lincoln Center. The free public exhibition opens April 8th and runs through April 10th (10am-6pm daily).The Fairmont San Francisco and Mr. Bennett have enjoyed a special relationship for decades. Mr. Bennett first performed his hit “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” in the Venetian Room at the hotel in 1961. The Fairmont San Francisco has had the honor and pleasure of welcoming Mr. Bennett and his family to the hotel for decades. The hotel also touts a special Tony Bennett suite that pays homage to his career and features several pieces of his artwork.Highlights of the exhibition include artifacts pertaining to the American songbook master’s life and career with his special link to San Francisco such as a San Francisco cable car bell award presented to Bennett for his instrumental role in saving the city’s iconic cable car system in the 1980s; a San Francisco Giants jacket worn by Bennett as the Texas Rangers faced the San Francisco Giants in Game 1 of the World Series in San Francisco, California, October 27, 2010 and his white personalized “Bennett” San Francisco Giants jersey; his original “Landscape San Francisco” watercolor painting; as well as record awards, a Grammy nomination plaque for his iconic hit, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and more.

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Jameson Set to Take Over Times Square for Epic Event and More with Colin Jost and Michael Che



To make St. Patrick’s Eve as epic as possible, Jameson is taking over Times Square on Saturday, March 16. Starting today, fans can visit to enter for a chance to score a spot on the guest list for Jameson’s St. Patrick’s Eve celebration in New York City, co-hosted by Jost and Che, featuring a  surprise DJ performance and a can’t-miss, first-of-its-kind ‘rock drop’ – a Jameson version of the famous Times Square ball drop – at 8 p.m. ET (aka midnight in Ireland) to mark the occasion. Jameson Irish Whiskey is one of the first brands to ever drop the Times Square Ball to launch a celebration for a new holiday. To further spread the St. Patrick’s Eve spirit from coast-to-coast, Jameson will also light up the Sphere in Las Vegas in Jameson green, wrap the ferries and water taxis in the dyed- green Chicago River and have a complete digital takeover at L.A. Live – all marking the new holiday.

Anyone 21+ can tune into the rock drop live streamed on and for those in NYC, Jameson will have a kick-off to St. Patrick’s Eve in Times Square Plaza between 43rd and 44th Streets with a live DJ, giveaways and more from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET.

Because a special holiday deserves an equally stylish look, Jameson is releasing limited-edition, vintage-inspired jackets at The design includes a hidden pocket inside the jacket to perfectly

hold a Jameson hip flask that comes with the order, as well as luxe patches signature to the iconic Irish Whiskey brand. The Jameson St. Patrick’s Eve jacket will retail for $150 plus tax with free shipping in the continental U.S., and 50-jacket drops will take place weekly hrough March 12.

All proceeds will benefit the Restaurant Workers’ Community Fund (RWCF), a nonprofit dedicated to advocating for food and beverage service industry workers, continuing the brand’s long-standing partnership with the organization to support its bartending community.

For more details about Jameson St. Patrick’s Eve festivities or for St. Patrick’s Eve cocktail ideas, visit and follow @Jameson_US.


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Off Broadway

Public Theater Brings “The Ally” Forward for an Intense Debate




So here’s the pickle. This play, The Ally, clocking in at a far too long two hours and forty minutes, throws controversy at you in numerous long-winded speeches one after the other, filling your brain with details and complexities that clash and do battle with each other from beginning to end. The structuring is intelligent, as the Public Theater‘s new play, The Ally, written by Itamar Moses (Outrage; The Band’s Visit) and directed with precision by Lila Neugebauer (Second Stage’s Appropriate), strides forward into dangerous territory with determination against all odds. Wickedly smart and articulate, the play, in general, overwhelms the intellectual senses. It’s factual and intricate, somewhat off-balanced and attacking, delivering detailed positions with fiery accuracy, which only made me question whether I wanted to sit this one out. Or step more in.

It’s unsafe and determined, placing the action (or inaction, if you really want to get into it) inside a college campus, and attempting to engage in deep-level conversations and arguments with the complicated issues of the world. These are exactly the debates worth having, says basically one character to another, in the tradition of arguing. Because banning free speech is “weird on a college campus.” These conundrums and conflicts are core to passionate dialogue, and just the idea of having them is meeting with fierce debate at universities and colleges across the country. The complexities and the tipping points are layered and real, swimming in a sea of questions about what free speech really truly means, and how differing points of view, civil dialogue, and the stark polarization contrasts collide and enflame. And how, in discussion, defensiveness and aggressive emotional stances are taken on and used against one another like weapons; bullets, and missiles. I even feel a bit worried that taking this stance of wanting to back away might be taken as ‘part of the problem’.

Ben Rosenfield and Josh Radnor in The Ally at The Public Theater. Photo credit: Joan Marcus.

The program notes that “the theatre is a safe space in the most literal sense of that term: no one is going to be physically harmed during this performance in the Anspacher. But it is most decidedly not a safe space if by that term we mean a space where everyone will feel comfortable and no one will feel angry, saddened, or offended. It can’t be that kind of space. The theater depends on conflict – the form itself refuses the idea of a single truth. It’s why I [Oskar Eustis; Artistic Director of The Public Theater] believe that theater is the ultimate democratic art form – just like citizens in democracy, the theater demands that we listen to and share opposing viewpoints, and that from that conflict, a greater truth will emerge.” And I couldn’t agree more with that.

Yet, even with such heightened emotions on stage, delivered full throttle by the excellent cast that includes Cherise Boothe (Signature’s Fabulation,) as Nakia; Elijah Jones (Signature’s Confederates) as Baron; Michael Khalid Karadsheh (Target Margin’s The Most Oppressed by All) as Farid; Joy Osmanski (“Stargirl“) as Gwen; Josh Radnor (LCT’s The Babylon Line) as Asaf; Ben Rosenfield (RTC’s Love, Love, Love) as Reuven; and Madeline Weinstein (BAM’s Medea) as Rachel, who each try to make it sound more authentic than the writing really allows, the play suffers from how deep of a dive the writing goes. But not without a solid attempt by this cast, bringing qualities and characteristics to the forefront whenever they are given the chance. But a lot of the time, like their main focus, Radnor’s Asaf, they must stand and listen to whoever has the microphone at that one particular speechified moment. And wait, just like us, for the next round. And viewpoint.

Madeline Weinstein, Michael Khalid Karadsheh, and Elijah Jones in Ally at The Public Theater. Photo credit: Joan Marcus.

Playwright Itamar has certainly dived fully into some of the most difficult topics of our time and asks us to patiently listen to all sides, even when the dialogue doesn’t really resemble discussion but more like informed lectures or one-framed speeches. On the plainest of sets, designed by Lael Jellinek (Public/Broadway’s Sea Wall/A Life), with costuming by Sarita Fellows (Broadway’s Death of a Salesman), lighting by Reza Behjat (ATC’s English) and sound design by Bray Poor (Broadway’s Take Me Out), The Public‘s The Ally, uncovers some emotional space within the manifestos presented. Itamar states in the note section: It “wasn’t that i had nothing to say,” he carefully explains, like the main character who has to stand back and take on the full force and brunt of the argument. “Rather, I didn’t know where to begin because what I had to say was too confused, too contradictory, too raw.” And if that was the complicated stance he was trying to unpack, the playwright succeeded tremendously well.

But does that make The Ally, at The Public Theater, especially this long-winded one, worth sitting through? I’d say yes, and I’d say no. I couldn’t wait to leave that debate hall, but I was also impressed and intrigued by the arguments presented and discussed, even if ‘debate’ would not exactly be the word I would use for the ideas thrown around at one another with brutal force. One of the later statements said to Radnor’s Asaf by his ex-girlfriend, Nakia (Boothe) at maybe one of the few truly emotional moments of actual human souls speaking their truth, sums up my stance. “The thing you need, may not be words.” I won’t argue with that.

For more information and tickets, click here.

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