It’s difficult upsetting times in 2020, with an isolating lockdown mentality being played out and a very important Black Lives Matter movement jumping to the forefront of the news cycle. I wish I was out there protesting, with a mask on and a sign held high, but I find myself stationed solidly and safely in my familial home with my elderly parents in the town and neighbourhood (Canadian spelling) that I grew up in. And although it is not the same, it does look somewhat similar to the idyllic suburb outside of Cleveland where “Little Fires Everywhere” (available for streaming on Hulu in the States, and on Amazon Prime in Canada) burns bright. My hometown, London, Ontario, Canada has a similar feel, where front yard appearances and gardening plans are important but multi-cultural ties are (somewhat) embraced.
Not to worry, I will talk about Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere” eventually, but I feel the need to address a few things before I get to that fascinating television series that I just finished streaming over the weekend. As #BlackLivesMatter protests raise their fists to the sky demanding change all across the world, Canada finds that it is not without its own problems when it comes to discrimination, just check out my piece on TVO’s documentary, “The Fruit Machine“. Canadian’s like to embrace the idea that as a country, we are a forward-thinking progressive society and accepting of others, and always have been. Universal health care aside, there is a whole lot of darkness in Canada’s history books, particularly in terms of systematic racism, LGBTQ+ discrimination, and indigenous people prejudice. Encompassed in that wide framework, two arenas that I am personally and intrinsically connected to are my homosexuality and my Indigenous First Nation Status as a member of the Mohawk.
Within this country’s history, the government of Canada has systematically destroyed lives at the hands of their own government and their hate-filled policies. These state-sanctioned acts play out still within the police force, the RCMP, and the Armed Forces, where much more than just inequality, but brutal racism, prejudice, and homophobia live and breath just as strong as many places around the world, costing thousands of Canadians their sense of self, their pride, their dignity, and sometimes their lives. In terms of the indigenous people of Canada, the RCMP claim their intention is “to protect the rights of Aboriginal people” but more and more it is clear that they were created not to protect, but to control that population. Just recently, it was reported that a prominent First Nations chief, Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, and his wife were assaulted by an RCMP officer over an expired license plate. Similar to the continued violence against POC at the hands of the police in the United States, video footage of the assault has come to light finally after months of denials and refusals. “I could feel that I was going unconscious and all I can remember is the blood gushing out of my mouth,” says Adam (courtesy of The Guardian). The video (click here to watch it) shows the uncalled-for assault, along with Freda Courtorelle, Adam’s wife, and many bystanders pleading with the officers to put a stop to the violence.
Naturally, because we are getting used to this kind of restructuring, the RCMP stated that Adam was resisting arrest and that the two officers’ actions were “reasonable“, but the video tells a different story. “We need to know what happened here. We deserve answers,” stated Assembly of First Nations Alberta chief, Marlene Poitras. Footage of the assault was just released by the RCMP, and it doesn’t look good. The Indigenous communities across Canada are notably and rightly outraged, demanding legal action against the RCMP and its officers, particularly after the previous deadly assault by the RCMP of Chantel Moore, a 26-year-old Indigenous woman, who was gunned down by an Edmundston Police Force officer during a wellness check-in on June 4th. Enough is enough, and enough was a long time ago, to be frank.
It’s the same bitter flavors that stem from the same systematic racism stew that are brewing around the globe, and action and reform are being demanded. London, Ontario gives off the vibe that we are distant and removed from the stance and the protest, but in reality, it doesn’t feel all that far from the insular little town where Celeste Ng’s 2017 bestselling book (Ng also serves as producer and co-writer) “Little Fires Everywhere”, takes place. Systematic racism is a clever deceitful rat, that hides just under the surface and slyly peeks its nose out in micro-aggressions that do their damage before vanishing into the thin air, with a “who me?” kinda look from the perpetrator. Produced by Ng, alongside its star, Reese Witherspoon (HBO’s “Big Little Lies”), the compelling series, as adapted for television by Liz Tigelaar and directed by Lynn Shelton (4 episodes), Nzingha Stewart (2 episodes, and Michael Weaver (2 episodes), digs into the complex structure of white privilege and unpacks just how deceptively clever it can be when hidden beneath the pretty veneer of rich white Liberalism. Witherspoon delivers the subtleties with an ease that is deadly disturbing, finding chipper control in her archetypical wealth and status, and without Kerry Washington’s epic turn as Mia, she might have lived her privileged life believing in her “I don’t see color” blind attitude. As the sharply defined queen bee of the town, Witherspoon’s character finds a disturbing obliviousness in her sanitized liberal-minded agenda and wide-eyed astonishment when the curtain is pulled down exposing her racism as clear as can be for her own eyes to see. It’s a well-crafted construct, thanks to Ng and Tigelaar, that slips in the deceitful snaps of white privilege almost as cleverly as they are hand-delivered by the expert cast and crew.
The flames begin to crackle with the slack-jawed Elana Richardson, played impressively by Witherspoon, standing silently watching her majestic mansion go up in flames. It’s an awe-inspiring image to take in, as three-quarters of her high-school-aged children sit huddled in a car staring and studying the scene. They watch intensely as their father, Bill, played magnificently by Joshua Jackson (Broadway’s Children of a Lesser God), talks with the fireman, and we all wonder, who is responsible? And how did all these “Little Fires Everywhere” get ignited? It’s clear it was intentionally set, and it’s also clear that the fire is an attack on Elana Richardson. She is obviously to blame for all this, and the intended victim, but the ‘whys’ and the ‘hows’ are left floating in the air like ash floating in the smoke-filled air from an out-of-control fire.
The show jumps back to where the unraveling first sparked up, in August of 1997. Elena appears to have the suburban dream all stacked up in accordance with what is right in her world. Her kids file in with an authentic ease and a sly discomfort. Popular senior student Lexie, played to clever perfection by Jade Pettyjohn, looks and acts like a pint-size carbon copy of her mother. High school junior Trip, slyly portrayed by Jordan Elsass, has all the advantages his privilege holds dear. He’s handsome, athletic, and casually charming, but a bit of a self-important dick to the world, and his younger brother Moody, well crafted by Gavin Lewis, who has little of those obvious rich entitled white man perks. But he has a poetry and fragility that is endearing, maybe not to his fellow classmates, but for the viewer, he’s the one we feel most engaged with and protective of. Then there’s the black sheep, Izzy, sharply portrayed by Megan Stott, whose sole purpose seems to be to get under her mother’s skin and to set alarm bells off in our head. The lack of tenderness between Izzy and her own family is uncomfortable to watch, and it’s no better for her at school, where she is bullied for a transgression that remains unknown to us for most of the early episodes. But we know it’s damaging and daunting, and will never fit nicely into Elana’s crisp well-designed world. And the more we know about Elana, the more we feel for and understand the difficult path Izzy has before her.
But that’s just the set-up and a somewhat obvious one as we watch Elana make a call to her buddies in the police department when she sees a dirty luggage-filled car parked in a city parking lot. It doesn’t fit in with the clean and tidy town they live in, especially when she sees what appears to be a black woman and her daughter sleeping in the front seat. That just doesn’t work for Elana, and she needs this infraction to be investigated, not because they are black, she lies to herself, but because that kind of behavior is just not allowed in her town. This is Elena at her best worst; entitled, privileged, connected, and oblivious to her racist stance. This is the focal point of conflict, these two persons she calls the police on; the nomadic tense artist mother, Mia Warren, played with a wild dynamic edge by Kerry Washington (Broadway’s American Son) and her wildly appealing teenage daughter Pearl, achingly played by the beautiful Lexi Underwood. Her depiction of Pearl shapes the emotional core of “Little Fires Everywhere”, and without her intensity and clarity, this fire wouldn’t burn so bright, nor so deep.
Elana finds the two standing before her later that same day, looking to rent an apartment that Elena owns. You see the conflict and the undercurrent of judgment rolling around just behind her eyes. She doesn’t really want to rent her the flat, but she also has a deep need to be seen as the non-racist and non-judgemental savior, so in the end she does. She can’t help herself, not particularly out of care for another, but because it fits the ‘enlightened’ view of herself that she wants to present and be seen as. The reasonably wary Mia takes hold of the space against her better judgment, signing on to the apartment, mainly for her daughter’s education, and a server job to help with the bills as she works on her art. It’s clear from the beginning that the energy in Mia’s two-person family is both intensely strong and tetters on the edge of internal teenage revolt, but the real flame that is waiting to ignite lies somewhere in between the two families, and in the end, that chemical reaction will burn the whole motherf**ken house down.
The combustible kindling is clearly stacked. Moody falls hard for the pretty and smart Pearl, but it’s the handsome and iconic Trip that she secretly longs for. Lexie is a manipulator, but a desperate one, much like her mother, as she needs with all her heart and cracked soul to fulfill all the familial dreams by getting into Yale, but her privilege, as she sees it, doesn’t come saddled with anything to overcome. How will she get into Yale on that kind of privileged essay? But Pearl has some clearly defined obstacles, so thinks Lexie, that she should feel honored to share one with her. And what’s so wrong about borrowing one of Pearl’s, if it will help? Who’d really care, since everyone always says yes to Lexie, just so they can stay in her good graced circle. Pearl seems pleased to be invited into that clan, so why not. Izzy is drawn to mother Mia’s rebellious and nomadic creative life, which sits strongly as a complete rejection of all that her own mother holds dear. It’s a well-orchestrated rebellious slap in the face to Elana, particularly because, most importantly of all, Mia compulsively fascinates Elana, mainly because Mia doesn’t fall for Elana’s gold-tinged Liberalism. Mia sees the subjective judgment that itches at Elana just under the surface, that is one part elitism and privilege, but also a big slice of envy and a strong need to be seen as most wonderfully open-minded and “colorblind.” Naturally they are repulsed by one another, but obsessed and on guard. Elana can’t help her need to be ‘liked’, and Mia, wisely, will do almost anything to protect her daughter from Elana’s spirited micro-aggressive dream. This is the match that sets the action aflame, and it’s one of the most devastatingly well-designed aspects of this perfectly appointed upper-class home.
One aspect about the series that I did not know when I first watched it, was that in the book, Mia and Pearl’s race is not specified. The decision by the creatives to construct a sharp contrasting framework fits most exactingly into the rebellious times we find ourselves. The fuel has been there for centuries, just waiting for the catalyst to spark the fire that rages across the States and the world. Who could have known that the timing of these “Little Fires Everywhere” would click in the way that it does and that the much-needed conversation of white privilege that smacks around Elena’s head would be so hotly required at this moment in time? And the casting of such powerful actors for the roles of Mia and Pearl adds a powerfully fraught jolt to the polarity of the construct. It illuminates the elitist prejudice and self-righteous rich blindness of the community they live in. It’s inside every micro-aggression that comes forward, making a lot of it uncomfortable to watch at times, but it is in that discomfort and conflict where the art and the brilliance lies. The dialogue drips in micro-aggressions, forcing Elana and her family’s white privilege to be seen and understood in a way that shivers down our collective spine in tight discomfort.
Washington and Witherspoon find the itchy uncomfortable core at the heart of this combustible debate and unearthing. It takes a bit of time to dig into the true art of the piece, as the authenticity sometimes tetters on some heavy-handed clunky dialogue. But the tense anxiety of their intolerance with one another finds its way in eventually, turning the tables on the casual watcher, forcing one to transition into a hypnotized compulsive binger for the last few episodes. The explosions are not surprising, but still burn the skin of all those that stand too close, and familial ruptures find and leave their painful mark. The final proverbial straw comes when Elena and Mia find their compulsive focus in an explosive parental rights case that involves an illegal immigrant, Bebe Chow, beautifully portrayed by Lu Huang, who had left her baby outdoors one night at a fire station’s door during a heart-breaking and tense postpartum depressive act of desperation. The opposition to each other and motives behind their conflict are dutifully played out, almost a bit too tidily, but the argument is clear, and the lines in the burnt sand are expertly drawn. In the tense showdown inside the courthouse, we can feel the heat between the two mothers, almost as sharply as when Elena’s attorney husband Bill forcibly tells his wife to sit down when he does not sink to her manipulative level, in the manner she thinks he should have.
“Little Fires Everywhere” finds its heat in the ideas of motherhood, beaten and dismantled by a tense drama that demands attention. The flames of the conflict lick and singe all that stand too close as it forcibly examines the white coat of flour the cakes the choices a mother makes and the painful secrets they hide. Control is applied and attempted, but the children won’t stay caged performing in a manner that makes a mother like Elana proud. Twigs that are dipped in the fiery myth of color-blindness, white privilege, abortion, and transracial adoption are tossed expertly into the pitiful home just waiting for the “Little Fires Everywhere” to ignite and explode outward. The two women in the center of that fire perform majestically, and bravely, pushing forth an agenda that is more timely than they could have imagined when they laid the groundwork. You’ll want to, like me, rewatch the first scene, and be amazed at the clever craftsmanship of the whole darn thing. It’s not as compelling from beginning to end, like “The Handmaid’s Tale” or “Dead to Me“, but those last three episodes will pull you in hard, and you’ll be unable to turn your head from watching those “Little Fires Everywhere” roar into something too powerful to put out.
For more, go to frontmezzjunkies.com
Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents Shani Grosz, Dee Rivera, Shani Grosz, Daniela Reginato and Jane Elissa
“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents”, is a new show that is filmed live every Wednesday from 5 – 6 in the lobby of the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. We will run the video on our site every Thursday and then it moves onto the podcast networks.
In this episode T2C’s publisher and owner Suzanna Bowling talks with Dee Rivera, Shani Grosz, Daniela Reginato and Jane Elissa. This show was all about women entrepreneurs and empowering women.
We were so proud because the show and our guests are now featured on the TV screens in the lobby and the hotel rooms.
I am so grateful to my guests Dee, Shani, Daniela and Jane for joining me. Thank-you Magda Katz for videoing and creating the content to go live, the audience who showed up to support us, Rommel Gopez and The Hotel Edison for their kindness and hospitality.
We hope to see you there on February 28th. We will announce our guests shortly.
Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents Has Added One More Guest Dee Rivera
Women entrepreneur and empowering women is what this week’s podcast and show is about. Joining our guests Shani Grosz, Daniela Reginato and Jane Elissa is the fabulous Dee Rivera.
Dee Rivera is considered by many the Latina of fashion and the trailblazer in discovering new designers, bringing nearly 25 years of fashion and public relations experience, and working with some of the most recognizable fashion, beauty, luxury, lifestyle brands, and celebrities in the world, Dee has her polished finger on the pulse of the next big trend.
Dee’s background started in editorial fashion working for magazines such as Modern Bride Magazine, Essence Communication, and spent 3 years as the Director of Fashion at Latina Magazine. Her career shifted when she decided to dabble into public relations. Ever the entrepreneur, the rest is history. She is the creator of Latinista.com, Latinista Fashion Week, Hamptons Fashion Week, Times Square Fashion Week, and the author of Glambition Knocking Down Walls in Heels. As CEO and founder of DCG Public Relations and DCG Media Group, Dee is an expert at crafting and delivering the messages of her brands to the media, and consumers alike. She works tirelessly to secure the top print outlets as well as high profile digital magazines, blogs, and national TV with a gift of the pen and a flair for the dramatic, she is also a jet setting lifestyle writer, forthcoming author, and animal lover. Her goal is to have a farm & rescue all animals who need a home.
Follow her at IG: @dcgpublicrelations
“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents”, is a new show that is filmed live every Wednesday from 5 – 6 in the lobby of the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. To see our first episode click here and our second episode click here. Please join us this Wednesday at 5pm in the Edison Hotel lobby for this exciting chat.
Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents Our Guests Shani Grosz, Daniela Z Reginato and Jane Elissa
Women entrepreneur and empowering women is what this week’s podcast and show is about. I am so pleased to announce our guests Shani Grosz, Daniela Reginato and Jane Elissa.
For over two decades, Shani Grosz has created beautiful dresses for women. Her signature line is known for its use of color blocking and cutting-edge tailoring, creating the perfect silhouettes.
Her message is very clear: See the dress but FOCUS on the woman. She dresses News anchors, Broadway stars, television personalities and many more in the entertainment industry who flock to Shani. Shani’s designs are like the perfect little black dress –something every woman needs in her wardrobe that she can always count on to let her look her best. A graduate of Parson’s School of Design, Shani, is an internationally recognized designer with over two decades as the President and Designer of SHANI Collection. She has won many prestigious design awards for her well executed vision of “Wearable Art”. Shani works closely at developing up and coming talent. Shani designs for the modern woman, celebrating her multi-faceted lifestyle that allows her to be both feminine and strong.
Daniela Zahradnikova Reginato, has over twenty years experience in haute couture, fashion distribution, customer acquisition and retention, marketing strategy, relationship management and social-media-driven market development.
Following the launch of a successful and lucrative modeling career, Mrs. Reginato had leadership positions at the Mercer Hotel, Georgio’s in FL, Domenico Vacca and Zoom, Southampton, NY where daily sales volumes averaged $10,000. Mrs. Reginato co-founded Space Sixteen, SoHo and Southampton, NY, where she served as Creative Director and Marketing Strategist.
In these capacities Mrs. Reginato identified emerging trends and nurtured leading designers, NFP, Fairchild Baldwin, Andraab, Casana, AGF, Tusk, Lorenz-Bach, Giorgio of Palm Beach, Olfactive Studio and Victor DeSouza each. She recruited King Saladeenn, Craig Holt, Edwina Sandys and Jeffrey Teresen to provide artistic works. Mrs. Reginato also founded and funded Yoy Dally, an NGO dedicated to increasing awareness of the plight of the Romani children of Eastern Europe with links to a cultural center in Bucharest for Romani children and in concern with the Roma delegation to the United Nations, Office of Foreign Missions. Specifically, Mrs. Reginato’s work focused on addressing the harsh treatment of Romani children in Eastern European schools including bullying, low graduation rates and educational under achievement.
For the past 25 years fashion designer, artist/designer and author Jane Elissa has been voluntarily raising money for cancer and leukemia research through her benefits and designs. She is also an advocate for Leukemia Research. Her whimsical hats have become best-sellers and her handmade creations have been collected by people from all over the world.
Her unique one of a kind- appliqued, beaded, jeweled and painted NY pieces are made to inspire us to have a whimsical and positive vision of life. Her Victorian and Deco inspired retro pieces are collectibles that use vintage fabrics in combination with new ones to bring the past into the present.
All of Jane’s works reflect her unique talent of putting unexpected pieces together in a collage to create a story. She not only encourages you to try and imagine “her” story, but also to see into the works and create your own. With her commitment to charity and her expert craftsmanship, she’s proud to present these works for sale.
“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents ”, is a new show that is filmed live every Wednesday from 5 – 6 in the lobby of the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. To see our first episode click here and our second episode click here. Please join us this Wednesday at 5pm in the Edison Hotel lobby for this exciting chat.
Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents And Our Guest Eddie Wunderlich
Yesterday, T2C announced that starting this Friday from 5-6 “Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents” will launch its first podcast and show. Following the launch, “Live From The Hotel Edison” will commence on Wednesdays from 5-6. This first show is geared towards Fashion Week since it officially starts that day. We thought We’d give you a sneak peek at our guests. Our first guest is Eddie Wunderlich.
Eddie Wunderlich is native New Yorker with over twenty years of experience in the beauty business and has traveled internationally to obtain an avant garde perspective for creating unique hair styles.
Wunderlich possesses an intense passion for creating stunning makeovers for his clients. To achieve this, he engages in thorough consultations and dialogues, and he is renowned for investing time in building trust with his clients while they sit in his chair. His vibrant energy and talent for curating opportunities and fostering collaborations make his clients feel valued and appreciated on a personal level.
With a passion for fashion, Eddie’s experiences include working at New York Fashion Week as the Beauty Director for Raul Penaranda, Key Hair Stylist for Cesar Galindo, Key Hair Stylist for the Women’s Sports Foundation annual gala curating glam for celebrity female Olympian athletes as well as editorial work for his celebrity clientele.
Creating art has always been a means of self-expression. For Eddie, expressing oneself is tantamount to loving oneself. The statement “I’ve never looked in the mirror and loved myself this much in years” speaks to the transformative power of creating beauty from the inside out.
You can make appointments with Eddie at New Collective NY, 135 west 29th street suite 401
Tomorrow meet Friday Jones.
Come join us on Friday February 9th at The Hotel Edison, 228 West 47th St, in the hotel lobby from 5-6 for this new adventure and learn what the newest trends in fashion are. How to update any wardrobe to be on trend. Who decides how we should look and how do you create your own style. We look forward to having you join us.
Julian Schlossberg Talks With T2C
Julian Schlossberg,is a motion pictures, theatre and television producer. He has been a college lecturer and television host regarding films. T2C talked with Julian about all his upcoming projects, which are many.
In 1964 Julian began his career in television at ABC and in 10 months, he was promoted to head the department. He left ABC to join the Walter Reade Organization in the Television Division. He moved to the Theater division in 1969 as an assistant vice president. He later became the vice president and head film buyer.
In 1974, Schlossberg began hosting Movie Talk, a four-hour nationally syndicated radio program aired in New York. Over the next nine years, he interviewed hundreds of stars (many of whom rarely did interviews) such as Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty.
From 1976 to 1977 Schlossberg served as the vice president of World Wide Acquisition at Paramount Pictures. He was vice president of production in 1977, but in 1978, Schlossberg left Paramount to start Castle Hill Productions, a film production and distribution company. It became one of the largest independent film distribution companies in the world.
Elia Kazan, Woody Allen, John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, The Marx Brothers, Jack Nicholson, Glengarry Glen Ross, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams, Martin Scorsese, Fellini, John Cassavetes, and George C. Scott, Elaine May and Robert Duvall are just some of the people he worked with.
In 2006 Schlossberg sold Castle Hill Productions and started two new production and film distribution companies. Then, in 2014, Schlossberg sold them and their library to Shout! Factory, where he still remains with the new owners as an adviser.
Schlossberg has also been a record executive when he and partner Danny Goldberg founded Gold Castle Records. The company went on to record artists such as Peter, Paul & Mary, Joan Baez, Don McLean, The Washington Squares, and Judy Collins.
Schlossberg has created and is currently producing Witnesses to the 20th Century, a fourteen-hour series that examines the major historical events of the twentieth century from some of the prominent people who lived during it. He is also producing “100 Voices For 100 Years”, 100 one-hour interviews with some of the most recognizable people from the 20th century.
His recent projects include:
And tonight he is the guest-interviewer on TCM interviewing Elaine May at 8PM, the Schlossberg-produced documentary Nichols and May: Take 2 (1996); then plays at 10:15PM, then A New Leaf (1971); at 12:15AM, Mikey and Nicky (1976); and at 2:15AM, Ishtar (1987). Leading into each film, Schlossberg sits down with May, in a rare interview appearance, to discuss her storied career as a performer, screenwriter and director.
Video by Magda Katz
The Glorious Corner
Wendy Williams: Guardianship/ Conservatorship and What You Need To Know Part 1
Bonnie Comley Nothing To Wear
Romantic and Meaningful Love Quotes For Her To Help Win Her Heart
Entre Institute Review – Is Jeff Lerner’s Program a Scam?
How to Take Advantage of Virtual Numbers for SMS
Fashion4 days ago
Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents Shani Grosz, Dee Rivera, Shani Grosz, Daniela Reginato and Jane Elissa
Cabaret4 days ago
My View: Carole J. Bufford…”You Don’t Know Me”. ( Now We Do)
Music3 days ago
Jason Robert Brown’s The Connector Is Intelligent, Thought Provoking and Musically Seamless
Cabaret4 days ago
Sex and the City’s Candace Bushnell Returns to Café Carlyle
Travel4 days ago
Step Into the World of Hirschfeld at The Algonquin Hotel
Events4 days ago
The Eighth Annual LOVE ROCKS NYC Benefit Concert for God’s Love We Deliver
Entertainment3 days ago
Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus Makes Grand Return to New York City This Weekend
Events4 days ago
The Acting Company Honors Stephen McKinley Henderson and William H. Wright II