Connect with us

New

Gemma’s Gem of the Week: The Gift of Sensitivity

Published

on

“Why do people ride rollercoasters? The adrenaline. The feeling of facing your fears. The thrill of soaring through space. The ability to forget whatever the f*ck is going on in your life and just fly. Do I want that? Yeah. So – I gotta strap in!” – Victoria Pedretti, StyleLikeU YouTube Interview

Have you ever heard the following phrases: “Don’t be so sensitive. You’re too sensitive. I’m too sensitive. Too sensitive.” When you look at the word “sensitive,” what are the first things that come to mind? Perhaps it’s a word, or a feeling. For me, the word has made me want to crawl into a ball and hide from the world. It’s a word I’ve wanted to shove down so deeply until the world could instead see a braver, much more “put together” facade. It’s something I associated with feeling small, too much, or wrong – up until recently.

Healing has been one of the weirdest, wildest, most non-linear journeys I’ve ever embarked on; aside from existing in this strange and silly time during my 20’s. Reaching a turning point during this healing process has allowed me to see things with far more clarity. An example of this clarity lies in realizing that crying and feeling deeply are such true examples of strength and understanding. Vulnerability so often gets misunderstood as weakness. Vulnerability opens so many beautiful, fantastic doors. It allows us the opportunity to be seen. To be heard. To be loved for our genuine, authentic selves, from the right people. Vulnerability has been the very foundation and inspiration for creation.

But I know it can be daunting if we’ve been hurt. As humans, if we’ve been hurt, it’s only natural to want to build those walls up thicker and taller, with the intention of protection. And that’s okay. The truth is, as weird and confusing and strange as it all may seem, we’re only learning as we go. And even if that vulnerability might not have always been seen or respected in the highest light, the fact of the matter is that you possess a gift – the gift of sensitivity.

This gift allows you to find magic in people and everyday experiences. This gift allows you to develop deep, meaningful connections to the ones you meet. This gift allows you to learn, grow, and flourish as an individual. How can one piece of that be wrong? How can it be wrong to love deeply, to cry and allow a release, or to find the beauty around you? Humans weren’t meant to be robotic and soulless – as much as the status quo might try to argue against that. It just simply isn’t the truth.

Though I’m still working on navigating my own sensitivity, reconciling with her these days has been the biggest breath of fresh air I could have ever asked for. She’s never been against me – she’s been on my side all along.

Gemma Farquhar is the writer of "Gemma's Gem of the Week" and author of "The Shape of Something New." She is passionate about the future of storytelling and welcomes all ages to her column.

Cabaret

My View: Lucie Arnaz…..How Did She Get This Job?

Published

on

With apologies to politicians who tout their job creating policies, Lucie Arnaz did not need any assistance to get her current job at 54 Below with a show titled “I Got The Job”.  Lucie got this gig because she is a supremely talented actor/singer/dancer who possesses a distinguished resume and long career of memorable performances on the stages of Broadway, Cabaret, and Concert Halls all over the world… and as I’ve said before about this show….

Lucie Arnaz hit the stage of 54Below with all cylinders on burn and guns ablaze! She performed an evening she calls “I GOT THE JOB” and kept the New York City audience entranced from beginning to end, garnering multiple ovations that seemed as natural as breathing.

For 85 minutes, she owned the stage, dressed to work, in black tights with tuxedo rhinestone striping and a dazzling orange silk blouse with glimmering buttons and cuffs. Basic, simple, perfect. This woman comes with all the equipment to perform, entertain and break your heart. She’s a master storyteller with impeccable timing and the voice shows up for her song after song, from show after show, exhibiting range and colors and nuancing that engage the audience at every turn. The star, of course, is the daughter of showbiz royalty, but she doesn’t rely on that one bit and has her own stories to tell, and they are mesmerizing.

Lucie Arnaz has had an extraordinary life and career and judging by what was on display, last night, I imagine, as Cy Coleman & Carolyn Leigh wrote, “The Best Is Yet To Come.” Lucie wrote and directed herself in this show, which opened the Birdland Theater years ago, but it has been fully fleshed out and brought to vivid life. Sharing the stage with her is what appears to be a musical soulmate in her Musical Director, Arranger and “Acting Partner,” Ron Abel, whose hands gave Ms. Arnaz her orchestra.

During the evening we were treated to a story of her audition (in a theatre) for THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG. During the audition, Neil Simon walked onto the stage and told her she was a breath of fresh air. She later “got the job.” Last night, she also stole our hearts and, now, we’re helpless and LOVE LUCIE.

LUCIE ARNAZ

LUCIE ARNAZ

RON ABEL

54 BELOW

LUCIE ARNAZ

RON ABEL & LUCIE ARNAZ

54 BELOW

MACRON PRICKETT

54 BELOW

Continue Reading

Cabaret

My View: An Evening With Rex Reed, Will Friedwald, & POLLY BERGEN

Published

on

Will Friedwald’s Clip Joint presented the legendary film critic and personality “Rex Reed Remembers Polly Bergen” last night at the TRIAD Theater.  It was a fascinating evening as Rex, who was one of Polly Bergen’s closest friends told fly on the wall show biz stories and personal anecdotes about her remarkable life.  An especially hilarious one occurred at the annual OSCAR NIGHT party that Polly had every year in her New York apartment.  There was Rex, watching the Oscars on a TV in Polly’s bedroom, Lucille Ball on one side of him and Paul Newman on the other .  Milton Berle who had been in another room parades past them wearing one of Polly’s gowns that he snatched from her closet!

Will and Rex reminisced about her amazing career in the movies ( including three classic comedies with Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis) but even more so on television.  In fact, her career spans the very history of the small screen medium, starting with appearances on pioneering broadcasts of the late 1940’s right up to a memorable regular role in the hit series DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES-although she was probably best known for starring in the legendary 1957 PLAYHOUSE 90 live television biography of HELEN MORGAN.  In other guises, she was an entrepreneur and political activist. 

Will Friedwald brought along his extensive library of film clips of her appearances on The Hollywood Palace, The Andy Williams Show, The Dean Martin Show, The Perry Como Kraft Music Hall, The Dinah Shore Chevy Show and appearances with Phil Silvers, George Burns, Red Skelton, Andy Williams and many more. Polly Bergen (1930-2014) had three husbands, and unfortunately became a Doris Day type financial victim because of her last one. And now “here’s the rest of my personal Polly Bergen story”.

Many years ago a firm placed a large order with my factory.  When I checked with our credit insuring agency they advised me that the company did not have enough finances to purchase that amount of goods and consequently the agency would only insure half the order.  Not wanting to reject a sizable order I made an appointment to meet the owner in his garment center office and check out his business for myself.  During the course of the conversation somehow the entertainment business came up (of course it did) and he mentioned that he was married to Polly Bergen.  Being a fan and and having reverence for the famous and talented artists in this world I dropped my usual due diligence guard and the hour was spent talking about show business, I loved it, especially when he invited me over to their apartment to watch the Super Bowl.   Well, I shipped all the merchandise…and you can guess what happened….Years later I met Polly Bergen at one of Rex Reed’s evenings and introduced myself with the opening line “ you cost me a lot of money” and then related the story of how her husband never paid.   Polly put her arm around me and said in her bawdy way, “ honey, you’re lucky it was only that much, he bankrupted me”.

WILL FRIEDWALD

REX REED & WILL FRIEDWALD

POLLY BERGEN

REX REED

POLLY BERGEN & DEAN MARTIN

PERRY COMO & POLLY BERGEN

REX REED & WILL FRIEDWALD

ANDY WILLIAMS & POLLY BERGEN

POLLY BERGEN & SANDLER & YOUNG

REX REED & POLLY BERGEN

REX REED & EDA SOROKOFF

Continue Reading

Cabaret

My View: Happily Ever Laughter at 54 Below……Liz Callaway & Jason Graae

Published

on

At first glance they might seem like a musical and personality mismatch, but the chemistry between Liz Callaway and Jason Graae is far from problematic.  It is an enormously entertaining integration of these two artists musicianship, acting, and comedic expertise. Liz Callaway’s once in a lifetime voice and vocal dexterity doesn’t just sing in tune.  It lands in the middle of the middle of a note with a clarity that pierces your soul.  Jason, once he gets his oboe in tune (that’s a double entenndre) also possesses excellent vocal technique, and my camera, no matter how many photos I snap is incapable of capturing his enormously expressive facial movements that glide between comical and the heartfelt with such ease. His rendition of William Finn’s “What More Can I Say” brought tears.  The duets from “BABY” for which Ms Callaway was nominated for a Tony and her two songs from the animated film Anastasia (in which she starred) were highlights.  This evening’s friendship (they’ve been for forty years) was the perfect blendship, together with the masterful Alex Rybeck on the piano at 54 Below last night. The show was very appropriately titled “Happily Ever Laughter” and it has two more performances, July 5 & 6.

Speaking of friendship and blendship, my table of KT Sullivan, Eda, and Debbie Gravitte was pretty special too.

JASON GRAAE & LIZ CALLAWAY

LIZ CALLAWAY & JASON GRAAE

LIZ CALLAWAY & JASON GRAAE

LIZ CALLAWAY & JASON GRAAE

JASON GRAAE

JASON GRAAE

JASON GRAAE & LIZ CALLAWAY

JASON GRAAE & LIZ CALLAWAY

LIZ CALLAWAY

JASON GRAAE & LIZ CALLAWAY

54 BELOW

LIZ CALLAWAY & JASON GRAAE

ALEX RYBECK, LIZ CALLAWAY, JASON GRAAE

54 BELOW

JASON GRAAE & RICHARD SKIPPER

KT SULLIVAN, DEBBIE GRAVITTE, EDA SOROKOFF

HAPPILY EVER LAUGHTER

Continue Reading

Cabaret

My View: Jamie deRoy & Her Friends….Who’s Like Them….Damm few

Published

on

There wasn’t a sign on the door that said “ Private Party…you have to know Jamie deRoy to get in”, but it seemed that way last night as all the tables in Birdland were filled with Jamie’s friends. They came for another edition of her long running (34 years) variety show.  Jamie as usual hosted the evening and presented a talented line up of performer friends which included: Jason Graae, Jason Henderson, Cory Kahaney, MOIPEI, A.J. Shively, and Jim Vallance & Catherine Porter. The evening, which benefited the Entertainment Community Fund, was directed by Barry Kleinbort with musical direction by Ron Abel.

A show tends to be well received when an audience is mainly comprised of friends. However, even an audience of strangers would have become Jamie’s friends after watching this outstanding cast creating a highly enjoyable evening of music and humor.  As the song says.. “ya’ got to have friends”, and to answer the question asked by the many friends who couldn’t snag a ticket…yes, Jamie sang “Jews Don’t Camp”.

Check out the show photos and the Cast Party

JAMIE deROY

A.J.SHIVELY

JASON HENDERSON

CORY KAHANEY

CATHERINE PORTER & JIM VALLANCE

CATHERINE PORTER

JASON GRAAE

JASON GRAAE

JASON GRAAE

RON ABEL, music director

RON ABEL

Continue Reading

Cabaret

My View: If She Were On The Debate Stage Tonight…Age Would Not Be An Issue

Published

on

It’s not my photography skills, nor the lighting, camera, or lens that make these photos taken last night of Christine Andreas appear to be similar to the ones I shot 10 years ago.  Madame Andreas ( who speaks lots of French during her show at 54 Below) has found the secret of ageless, timeless beauty.  You can also say the same about her glorious voice and shimmering vibrato which she so effectively joined with her energetic acting and verbal skills to sing the timeless songs of Paris and Broadway.  Her Cabaret show Paris to Broadway is a gem and husband/music director Martin Silvestri is a superb composer/arranger/pianist/ and accordionist, who helped create the musical authenticity for her show stopping set list. 

One thing for sure, if Christine Andreas was on that debate stage tonight, age would not be an issue.

CHRISTINE ANDREAS

CHRSTINE ANDREAS

CHRISTINE ANDREAS

MARTIN SILVESTRI & CHRISTINE ANDREAS

MARTIN SILVESTRI

CHRSTINE ANDREAS

MARTIN SILVESTRI & CHRISTINE ANDREAS

CHRISTINE ANDREAS

CHRISTINE ANDREAS

STANDING OVATION

54 BELOW

LORNA DALLAS BROWN & LEE ROY REAMS

EDA SOROKOFF & CHRISTINE ANDREAS

EDA SOROKOFF, CHRISTINE ANDREAS, STEPHEN SOROKOFF

MARIA VON NICOLAI

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2023 Times Square Chronicles

Times Square Chronicles