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Does No One Get We Are At War?

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Thousands of pro-Palestine protestors shut down the Brooklyn Bridge after flooding NYC streets alongside orthodox Jewish members to condemn Israel’s war in Gaza. Businesses were plastered with ‘Zionism is Terrorism’ stickers. Another sticker  stated ‘Zionist donors and trustees, hands off our universities’, and another “From the U.S. to Palestine. Abolish the settler state.”

The organizers of this event “Within Our Lifetimes” stated on their website “I don’t think the state of Israel should exist. I don’t think anything except for we need to give the land back to Palestine.”

How is this happening? How is this kind of hate being allowed to close our bridges, disrupt our schools read about what happened at Cooper Union, disrupt our country and send our soldiers to war. Oh and by the way who do you think is paying for the police to patrol these protestors rants? There were between 1,500 and 1,800 officers stationed along the route.

I learned tonight over 900 soldiers have been deployed to fight, but the truth I also learned from men in the military, is that those numbers are much more than that. Two weeks ago over 1200 were sent and we were not even told. We are being lied to and being thrown into what could be WWIII. There is something terribly wrong with this picture.

I am not sure what the answer is and I do believe in Freedom of Speech, but when it throws hate and dissension into our streets, our bridges and leaves us vulnerable, we need to come up with solutions.

We need to face facts…when we deploy that many soldiers, war is only seconds away.

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

Cabaret

My View: Carole J. Bufford…”You Don’t Know Me”. ( Now We Do)

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Her show is titled “You Don’t Own Me” and if anyone in the Palm Beach audience didn’t know Carole J. Bufford before, they certainly do now after her exciting performance last night at Cafe Centro.

Carole J. Bufford, award-winning cabaret star and powerhouse vocalist, returned to Cafe Centro last night with a tribute to the fearless, fabulous females of the 1960s. With the music made famous by Janis Joplin, Tina Turner, Carole King, Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, Nancy Sinatra, Cher, and more, Carole and her quartet put their own inimitable spin on those great song classics in her show You Don’t Own Me. Her electrifying  musical tour de force celebrated a time of great change and transition in America and across the pond.

As Carole noted, the musical and cultural landscape was never the same after these bold and daring women planted their flags and ensured their voices were heard.  Well, Carole Bufford’s voice was authoritatively heard in West Palm Beach last night as she took charge of each song and brought the music of the 60’s back to life.  The moveable spot in the club illuminated this dynamic entertainer thrilling each table in a room filled with her Palm Beach fans.

Ms. Bufford’s good friend and co-producer of the evening Sandy Fisher introduced Carole to the enthusiastic Cafe Centro audience.

Next up in the Fisher/Sorokoff Cabaret series is Dawn Derrow on March 12, and on April 24th one of the hottest acts in show business “The New Belters” Seth Sikes & Nicolas King will be bringing their music to  Cafe Centro.

CAROLE J. BUFFORD

HERE’S CAROLE!

CAROLE J. BUFFORD

CAROLE J. BUFFORD

CAROLE J. BUFFORD

CAROLE J. BUFFORD & SANFORD FISHER

STEPHEN SOROKOFF & CAROLE J. BUFFORD

EDA SOROKOFF, GIO MOLLA, RON ABEL, SANFORD FISHER

ROB RUSSELL, CAROLE J. BUFFORD, RON ABEL

DAWN DEROW & CAROLE J. BUFFORD

JEFF LEIBOWITZ & ROB RUSSELL

SANFORD FISHER & ISANNE FISHER

PETER CALO

CAFE CENTRO

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Family

Each Migrant In NYC Wins A $10,000 Lottery….And New Yorkers Foot The Bill

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New York City gave a uncontested contracted to Mobility Capital Finance (MoCaFi) to whom will receive a fee of $53 million. MoCaFi does not have any kind of experience running this kind of program. They normally give the pre-paid business to third-party debit cards and bank accounts which are marketed to minorities.

Each illegal migrant is about to get to $10,000 in NYC with no ID check or fraud control. This will cost New Yorkers $2.5 billion.

Mayor Eric Adams will start with the 500 families staying at The Roosevelt Hotel and claims it will save New Yorkers money. What if we just spend the money to fly them back home? Isn’t that a lot cheaper? By the way Adams stated earlier that he met MoCaFi’s founder, former JPMorgan Chase managing director Wole Coaxum, on the campaign trail. Isn’t that a conflict of interest?

More than 170,000 migrants have arrived in the city since May of 2022 when Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Adams flew them into Westchester when this influx begin…..want to know how?……They flew them here in the dead of night.

Don’t believe me watch.

Why aren’t we taken care of Americans? What about our Veterans? What about our citizens who are homeless and starving? When do we get a break?

In the meantime the illegal migrant gangs are robbing us, killing us and shooting our Police Officers and our DA’s and judges are letting them free with slaps on the hands.

If you have read or watched the recent news Chinese, Syria and Turkey migrants at the boarder have stated “they’re here to take the money”.

When are we going to get mad as hell and ask our Congress, Senators, and the people who are suppose to take care of us, when are they going to care about American’s.

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Cabaret

My View: Direct From Florida..The King’s Academy Jazz Ensemble Heats Up 54 Below

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Spectacular, awe-inspiring, and sensational were all words being uttered by the audience after The King’s Academy Jazz Ensemble’s high-energy, horn-powered, Big Apple style weekend performance at the iconic 54 Below Club. In that intimate and elegant room, these students matched the part with their classy black suits and stunning stylish dresses. Their debut show in New York City called “Students of the Songbook” gifted listeners with a youthful and reimagined spin on many jazz favorites. TKA Jazz performed with a level of confidence and excellence often reserved for season veterans.

Band Leader Wes Lowe hosted the night of jazz. Due to the limited space on the stage, Mr. Lowe introduced the songs and players stage right. He would then step off stage allowing his band of twenty high school and middle school students to masterfully make their instruments sing as he trusted them to navigate the night musically under their own direction.

Between lead trombonist Julia Basile who wowed the audience with her rendition of Black Orpheus, Julia Drahos on lead trumpet, and Stephen Boylan on lead alto sax, the lead horns kept a tight energetic performance all night. The rhythm section of drummer Ashton Horne, bassist Hadiya Stewart, and pianist Breck Dorow played in the pocket behind the horns in absolute perfection. Early on I noticed how young middle school trumpeter William Smith phrased like Louis Armstrong, letting his solo melodies breathe as they also swung. Soon however, I realized that they all did this as well. This young band of instrumentalists and soloists play well beyond their years.

Changing up the mood, Wes Lowe called upon several beautiful and talented ladies to add their vocal talents to the night. Ella Garcia, although new to the group, sang classics such as “It Had to Be You” with a soulful tone. Current Young Artist Award Winner from the Society for the Preservation of the Great American Songbook, Maddie Begin, sang show-stopping numbers such as “Feeling Good” and “But The World Goes Round.” She is a name to remember with a powerhouse voice you won’t forget. And making a surprise appearance, TKA Jazz alumni Annie Matot graced the stage singing the classic “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm.” These young women took the audience from sing-along moments to complete moments of absolute awe.

In addition to TKA Director of Instrumental Arts and Band Leader Wes Lowe entertaining skillfully as the host, his colleague, Associate Director of Instrumental Arts, Mickey Smith Jr. also played the hottest solo of the night with his rendition of the Bill Wither’s classic “Just the Two of Us” on the alto sax. With that being said, everyone’s solos packed melodic invention in a confident swagger. Even more fun were the breathtaking syncopated conversations when the horns all played full force. The energy in the room was palpable for the entire evening. This was a hot performance on a cold night in New York City at 54 Below that was above and beyond anything anyone could have expected.

WES LOWE, DIRECTOR

THE KING’S ACADEMY JAZZ ENSEMBLE.   

MICKEY SMITH JR.

THE KING’S ACADEMY JAZZ ENSEMBLE

MADDIE BEGIN

ANNIE MATOT

JULIA BASILE

THE KING’S ACADEMY JAZZ ENSEMBLE

MADDIE BEGIN

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Film

Stage and Screen Favorite Rita McKenzie Has Passed Away

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We are sad to report the death of stage and screen favorite, Rita McKenzie. Ms. McKenzie, was known for her powerhouse stage voice and theatrical personality, died peacefully surrounded by her family on Saturday, February 17, 2024 in Los Angeles, days before her 77th Birthday.  Her death was announced by her husband Scott Stander.  She succumbed after a long-term illness.

In 1988 she took New York by storm with her off-Broadway one-woman show, Ethel Merman’s Broadway which became the longest running one woman show in theatrical history. Her tribute to Merman gained critical acclaim and eventually toured throughout the country. She played Lita Encore in the Los Angeles premiere of Ruthless! The Musical and reprised the role in the recent New York revival of the show.

Ms. McKenzie performed a wide range of stage roles throughout the US – including many of Merman’s hits – Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes!, the 50th Anniversary tour of Annie Get Your Gun, and Rose in Gypsy.   She enjoyed a three year US tour of Neil Simon’s The Female Odd Couple, co-starring with her good friend, Barbara Eden.

She was the opening singer for such iconic performers as Milton Berle and his 90th Birthday Tour, Don Knotts, Norm Crosby, Donald O’Connor and Steve Allen. She appeared in the Joe Bologna, Reneé Taylor & Lainie Kazan tour of Bermuda Avenue Triangle as Reneé Taylor’s daughter.

A favorite of symphony orchestra conductors, she performed for the Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Baltimore Pops, and she sang the closing finale for PBS’s Capital Fourth Celebration on the Washington Mall in 1995.

McKenzie had featured roles on TV in The Brady Bunch -The Final Days, Caroline In the City, Frasier with Kelsey Grammar, the film Meet Wally Sparks with Rodney Dangerfield and the TV series Big Brother Jake opposite Richard Lewis and Don Rickles

Most recently, Rita enjoyed her role as Interview host for stage appearances of The Real Housewives (with Vicki Gunvalson, Jill Zarin and Caroline Manzo) and for Barbara Eden’s On The Magic Carpet show.  Her most recent role was as Associate Producer for the pre-Broadway tour of Rupert Holmes’ All Things Equal: The Life and Trials of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

In addition to her husband, Scott Stander, she is survived by her daughter, Jennifer and her husband Tom Otto, of Cold Spring, NY; son, Derek Pflug and his wife Vanessa, of Gilbert, AZ; sister, Nancy and her husband Joe Wood, of Sun City, AZ; and three grandchildren, Mason and Jackson Pflug and Thomas Otto. She is pre-deceased by her parents, Rita and Edwin Schurter, who raised her in Woodbridge, NJ – a Jersey girl, through and through.

“I first encountered the magic that was Rita McKenzie at the Pasadena Playhouse, where my thriller Accomplice played side-by-side with her remarkable tour-de-force Call Me Ethel (ultimately becomingEthel Merman’s Broadway) … in which Rita made an evening with Ethel Merman more delightful, hilarious, touching, and musical than the real thing would probably have been. Over the decades, I was thrilled to see the range and depth of roles in which Rita triumphed, and during these last three years, I was honored and grateful to work closely with her on All Things Equal: The Life and Trials of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a play commissioned and inspired by Rita in tandem with her beloved husband and the show’s lead producer Scott Stander. During the play’s development and rehearsals, Rita’s insights as a savvy theatrical pro and one of the warmest and wittiest humans I’ve had the privilege to know were invaluable in sculpting the piece into the success it has become. It is fitting that this tribute to one remarkable woman bears the imprimatur of another remarkable woman: the unforgettable Rita McKenzie.” – Rupert Holmes

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News

Could A Casino Be Coming To Freedom Plaza?

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On December 15th when writing about the Field of Light located at Freedom Plaza from 38th to 41st Streets between 1st Avenue and the East River, we summarized that this more than six acres was where the new casino was going to be built in NYC. We stated that Field of Light was sponsored by the Soloviev Foundation, a charitable arm of the Soloviev Group. Earlier in 2023, Soloviev Group revealed its plans to transform the 6.7 acre lot, to include a human rights museum that will house pieces of the original Berlin Wall, four acres of green space, two residential towers, a 1,200-room hotel, and a subterranean casino. “Smart if you ask me, as adding these public gifts will cut down on their taxes at a later date.”

Now Freedom Plaza development, a new megaproject has been unveiled by the renowned architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). Set to transform the area into a three-block-long public park with retail spaces, the Museum of Freedom and Democracy, a public green space, two hotels that will be 615-foot-tall skyscrapers connected by a captivating “skybridge”, a 150,000-gallon rooftop infinity pool and here’s the kicker…..The hotel towers are from the Banyan Tree property and a hotel operated by Mohegan, a renowned casino operator. In other words….tax free as this is part of the Indian nation.

The lobby, of the hotel will span the tops of the towers, that is envisioned housing restaurants, bars, an art gallery, and a unique glass-floored, glass-ceilinged viewing platform.

CEO Michael Hershman of the Soloviev Group, is the property developer behind the plan, ie; Field of Light and again another tax break with0out letting New Yorkers really know what is going on.

Completion dates are pending on the casino license decision. Anticipated timeline for completion is five to seven years once construction begins.

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