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Laura Osnes Speaks About Being New York Pops Popsed Ambassador



The New York Pops has created a special program called PopsEd where celebrities aline themselves and help get the word out about the program. This year Laura Osnes is it’s lead ambassador. The main two programs are Kids In The Balcony, a concert-going experience that provides tickets to 100 students for each New York Pops subscription concert at Carnegie Hall. PopsEd Teaching Artists conduct pre-concert and post-concert visits to teach students about the orchestra and connect content of the particular performance to general elements of musical knowledge.Each subscription concert is dedicated to one of the five Borough-Wide Band and Orchestra programs, a series of ensembles for middle school students offered through the NYC Department of Education. At The New York Pops annual Birthday Gala, over 830 tickets are provided to students in grades 3-12 from both partner and additional schools across the five boroughs.

Kids On Stage is a comprehensive program that provides middle school students access to the professional performance process from the first audition to the final note. The experience culminates onstage at Carnegie Hall alongside The New York Pops musicians at the annual Birthday Gala. Kids On Stage is open to all New York City students currently enrolled in middle school (grades 6, 7, or 8). There is no fee to apply. If selected, auditions will take place Saturday, January 28 and Sunday, January 29, 2017.

T2c got together with Laura to discuss her role in the program.

T2C: You have been involved with The New York Pops for awhile. How did this come about?

Laura Osnes: My first experience with The New York Pops was in 2008 at their Birthday Gala. Jimmy Nederlander Sr. and Jr. were being honored. I was in Grease at the time and I performed. They were kind enough to invite me back three years ago. I was thrilled to be asked to promote and represent the educational brand that bings music to hospitals and kids. This is a cause I can get behind. Kids in the balcony was created by Skip Henderson 25 years ago so this is a program that has being giving back for 25 years.

T2C:  What are your duties as the New York Pops Popsed Ambassador?

Laura Osnes: They are always continuing the program so it is spreading the word and become the face at local elementray schools for Q&A’s with the  students. I did a benefit for the Ronald McDonald House with Santino Fontana at Feinstein’s/ 54 Below (see video). Being the face on social media, so people know what the program is about and getting more people involved. Recently I did a show at Carnegie Hall about Florence Foster Jenkins and fostered three youngsters with their Carnegie Hall debut. I selected three random people from twitter.

T2C: How did music affect you as a child?

Laura Osnes: I fell in love with music the moment I came out of the womb. I started dance at four. I performed Les Miserables “Castle In The Cloud,” for my kindergarten class. I can’t remember the person I would be without music, it has always spoken to me.

T2C:  When did you first start singing?

Laura Osnes: I got a Fischer Price tape recorder and microphone at three and carried it singing everywhere.

T2C: What is your dream for the Popsed ed program

Laura Osnes: It is so important to get our next generation to love music, love the arts  and be exposed. 100 tickets for each concert to Carnegie Hall. Imagine what it would be like to be exposed at such a young age. This is so important. In school they are not being taught who Stephen Sondheim, Lerner and Lowe or  Richard Rodgers is. There are 37,000 tickets given away for free. If just a fraction of those ticket holders fell in love with music, that is a gift for free. Music has a human quality. It’s a cause I am passionate about.

Corey Cott, Laura Osnes, Bandstand

Corey Cott, Laura Osnes, Bandstand

T2C: I am so excited Bandstand is coming to Broadway. How are you feeling about this?

Laura Osnes: Beyond excited we have been waiting a long time for this announcement. I have been with the show for 2 ½ years. This is a special show and the entire team all believes so strongly in it. The music of the era sticks in your head. Sometimes the dissidence goes with the dissidence of what the characters are feeling. They were being called Hero’s but that was the opposite of what these vets were feeling. We all know someone who has fought for a country. This story needs to be told. Another thing that is exciting is the show just got six certified which means we are portraying veterans accurately and responsibly. This is important, these men served our country. Our eyes need to be opened, because we get to live a normal life because of them. Now it feels like a mission to tell their stories. We are the little show that could and we are completely being fulfilling as an artists.

Laura Osnes

Laura Osnes

T2C:  Your voice was amazing on the Lerner and Lowe material at the last The New York Pops Concert. Can we see you doing Camelot or My Fair Lady on Broadway?

Laura Osnes: I would die to do that. I was so inspired by Rodgers and Hammerstein’s that getting to set foot in those character for one night was thrilling. I have been a Nathan Gunn fan for a long time. He’s from the opera world and he found this music this so fun to sing. He was shocking that this music was so enjoyable. These are dream roles for me so this was especially fun as there hasn’t been an opportunity. Music speaks to me stories speak me.

T2C:  In ending this interview, what would you like our audiences to know about The New York Pops PopsEd?

Laura Osnes: It so important to pass on the gift of music to our next generation. It is our responsibility to give that to them. I am honored to be a part of it all. I love kids, I love music and I am so thrilled to be a part of this all.


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:


The Mayor of Times Square Meets One of the World’s Oldest Holocaust Survivors



I arrived to a packed lecture room at a Library in South Florida.   This lecture caught my eye weeks prior and I made sure to have it in my calendar.  After all, how many more times will I get a chance to hear a 99 year old survivor tell his remarkable story of inconceivable hell, survival and ultimately impressive success?   What I heard in the room that day was hard to fathom it wasn’t part of a Spielberg movie with some creative liberty thrown in to embellish an already unbelievable true story.  This was the real deal.  A vivid description of hell on earth.  What I couldn’t understand is how did this survivor go on to create a vibrant family and a very successful business career and not be bitter every day of his life?   Equally remarkable is how someone his age could tell a story from 85 years ago as if it happened yesterday and with energy and charisma of someone half his age.  He spoke for 45 minutes without a break.  Little did anyone in the audience know that, just prior to arriving at the Library, he fell and injured himself, making his perseverance in even making it to the Library even more heroic.  This is no ordinary man.   I approached the stage after the lecture, patiently awaited my turn to speak with him and asked if I could interview him for my podcast.  I am pretty sure he knew little to nothing of what a podcast was, but he agreed as you are about to learn why telling his story over and over is his divine mission.

Eli Marcus and Sam Ron

Sam Ron bears personal witness to the greatest atrocity in human history. He is one of the only remaining Holocaust Survivors his age who survived four concentration camps…and a Death March.  He turns 99 in July.  His story is remarkable…and he himself is equally as remarkable.

Here’s what you will learn when listening to this World Exclusive interview on The Motivation Show podcast:

-Where did Sam grow up and what was life like before the Germans invaded his country

-How life changed once the Germans invaded and how long did the changes take

-Why and when did Sam and his family decide to go into hiding and where did he hide

-How did Sam end up in the Krakow Ghetto, how was it different than the infamous Warsaw Ghetto, and what took place in the Ghetto

-When did Sam first realize that the Germans were not just transporting Jews to what they disguised as labor camps, but were actually killing them.

-How many times was Sam transported in cattle cars and what was that like

-Which concentration camps was Sam in & what were they like

-What was life like in the concentration camps and why did they move Sam around to different camps

-What is a Death March, why and how did that happen and how did Sam survive it

-What lessons should listeners take away from Sam’s experience

-What does Never Again mean to Sam and why is it so important for him to share this and other Holocaust lessons

You can listen to this interview on any podcast listening app or use this Spotify link:    WARNING:  This interview is GUARANTEED to move you to tears!!!

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Events In April Bring Easter, Spring and Flowers Galore.



Photograph: Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Macy’s, Inc.

Join the Judy Garland and Fred Astaire tradition with the Easter Bonnet Parade on Fifth Avenue. There is also the Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden or right at home the flower show at Macy’s. On select Fridays every month, you can enjoy Free Admission to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum between 5 pm and 9 pm.

Until 4/9: Macy’s Flower ShowThe show includes beautiful, bright floral arrangements, special events including live music, and kids’ activities.

until 4/23: This is The Orchid Show‘s 20th year. Reconnect with nature while experiencing the picture-perfect beauty of the orchids. On select nights, adults can experience the exhibition through Orchid Nights, with music, cash bars, and food available for purchase.

4/1-30: Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival. The festival, hosted by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, celebrates Japanese culture and the arrival of spring. It features a variety of cultural performances and activities, as well as a small flea market, tea ceremonies, and crafts. The highlight is the magnificent display of cherry blossom trees, with over 200 trees in full bloom. Visitors can admire the pink and white blooms and enjoy a traditional Japanese atmosphere. Tickets are usually around $40 for adults, though seniors and students get a reduced rate of $35.

4/7-16th: The New York International Auto ShowThe first new york Auto Show took place in 1900, for over 120 years now they have been sharing what’s new and interesting in the auto industry.

4/9: The Easter Parade starts near St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 10am. The tradition dates back to the 1870s, where elaborate bonnets and fashion galore is full frontal.

4/9: “Georgia O’Keeffe: To See Takes Time,” comes to MoMA.

4/15: The Tartan Day Parade is an NYC tradition that offers attendees a unique way to celebrate and honor Scottish culture. For the 25th year, there will be bagpipes, dancers, and even Scottish dogs marching in the parade. Attendance is free and open to the public. In addition to the parade, expect a whole week of Scottish-themed events and festivities.

4/15: Pillow Fight in the Park at Washington Square Park.

4/15: The New York Restoration Project is giving out 3,500 free trees to New Yorkers across all five boroughs. To get one of the 3,500 free trees that will be given away, register in advance on this website, where you’ll also get to browse through the current list of distribution dates, times and locations.

4/15 and 29: f the likes of udon, yakitori, ramen, and taiyaki make your mouth water, then mark your calendar for Japan Fes in Chelsea. The event will be held from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and is considered a paradise for Japanese foodies and cultural enthusiasts.

4/16: Holi in The City demands food, music, dance, and fun while embracing people and organizations from all ethnic and religious backgrounds.

4/22: Earth Day celebrated in NYC with a festive, family-friendly outdoor fair in Union Square. There will be dozens of exhibitors, interactive displays, a green-vehicle show, family activities, music, and entertainment. 12-6pm.

4/27: Attend The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience

4/27- 30: Antiquarian Book Fair now in its 63rd year, this festival for book collectors at Park Avenue Armory for a full weekend of first editions, maps, manuscripts and other treasures from literary epochs past from nearly 200 exhibitors.


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Celebrity Chef Sal Scognamillo, George Pettignano Bring Patsy’s Italian Restaurant To Life



Patsy’s Italian Restaurant has been known for years as the restaurant made famous by Frank Sinatra, and his family still enjoys dining here whenever they are in town. George Clooney’s aunt, cabaret singer and actress Rosemary Clooney, was once quoted, “Patsy’s is still the best Italian restaurant in town. I make a pasta pilgrimage there every time I return.”

Other long-time high profile patrons who consider Patsy’s Italian Restaurant their Manhattan dining room include, Tony Bennett, Michael Bublé, George Clooney, Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, Tony Danza, Jennifer Lopez, Liza Minnelli, Al Pacino, Rihanna, Martha Stewart, Ben Stiller, Oprah Winfrey, and many others.

Celebrity Chef Sal Scognamillo

We all had the pleasure to join Celebrity Chef Sal Scognamillo for a very special Private Lunch on March 18th hosted City Guide and Eli Marcus.

Eli Marcus,George Pettignano

Chef Sal shared some of his riveting stories about celebrities, sports stars and others famous guests. Ha also told us a few one-of-a-kind frank Sinatra stories about Frank’s exclusive table near we were seated.

Popular entertainer George Pettignano, a cousin of Bobby Rydell, sang classic tunes from the 40’s to 70’s ranging from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, The Beatles, Elvis & more!  George, as a former Hollywood stunt man, shared some of his classic stories

Eli Marcus

Everyone enjoyed a great meal and then danced the afternoon away!

Eli Marcus, Celebrity Chef Sal Scognamillo, Errol Rappaport

Errol Rappaport, Celebrity Chef Sal Scognamillo,Eli Marcus

Steve Garrin, wife, George Pettignano

Colin O’Leary Celebrity Chef Sal Scognamillo,Rena Sylvester, Eli Marcus

Colin O’Leary,Rena SylvesterErrol Rappaport

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