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Meet the Cast of Benny & Joon First up Bryce Pinkham as Sam

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Back in 2016 I fell in love with the adorable and winning Benny & Joon, book by Kirsten Guenther (Little Miss Fix-it), music by Nolan Gasser (Pandora) and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein (Little Women on Broadway).

Bryce Pinkham, Hannah Elless Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Bryce is doing double duty right now. He is still in Superhero at Second Stage while rehearsing Benny & Joon. Pinkham is widely known for his work on television, including Mercy Street, and on Broadway playing Monty Navarro in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, for which he received nominations for both a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical as well as a Grammy Award (Best Musical Theater Album). Pinkham originated roles in Ghost the Musical in 2012 and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson in 2010 on Broadway.

Based on the MGM movie Benny (Claybourne Elder) has taken care of his psychologically troubled sister Joon (Hannah Elless) since their parents died over a decade ago. Benny now in his early 30s, and Joon in her early 20s, but, ten years on, not much has changed. A mechanic with his own garage, Benny feels he is a master at managing the life they’ve ended up with. But when they take in a strange young man named Sam (Bryce Pinkham), who is like a modern Buster Keaton, everything changes.

Bryce Pinkham Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

The musical  explores the challenge of navigating life and love in an imperfect world.

Jack Cummings III directs. The cast also includes Conor Ryan (Sam at certain performances), Belinda Allyn, Colin Hanlon, Tatiana Wechsler, Paulo Montalban, Jacob Keith Watson and Natalie Toro. 

Benny & Joon is charming, tuneful, witty, with dialogue that makes sense, a really fabulous new sound with rifting beats and has a solid movie fan base.

Benny and Joon starts previews April 4th and opens April 14th at the Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive, Milburn NJ

If you love musical theatre this is a Do Not Miss.

Bryce Pinkham, Hannah Elless Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

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

Events

The Original Captain Jack Sparrow: Johnny Depp’s Tattoo Artist Triumphs At Cinema Village This Weekend in “Scab Vendor”

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The streets were alive with the buzz of anticipation as Cinema Village prepared to host NY’s wild and untamed VIP premiere of Scab Vendor: Confessions of a Tattoo Artist, a documentary that plunges deep into the chaotic and electrifying life of the legendary tattoo artist Jonathan Shaw. This is not your average film screening; this is a journey into the heart of madness, a redemptive descent into the underworld of ink and rebellion.

 Shaw was a divisive figure even in New York City’s outlaw tattoo subculture. A native New Yorker born to privilege, the Hollywood-raised son of bandleader Artie Shaw and actress Doris Dowling spent the most of his youth swept between the flotsam of parental neglect to hangouts at Jim Morrison’s place and campfires with Charles Manson. 

Joe Colman, Jonathan Shaw

Flexing his elevated education Shaw began writing for the Free Press and, armed with whiskey and beer, managed to wrest an interview from Charles Bukowski who promptly enlightened Shaw to his self-emasculating entitlement. He was a snowflake, if you will.  A nepo punk who needed to cast off all protection and seek wide ranging, envelope-pushing experiences in order to become the creator he aspired to be.

Joe Colman

Scab Vendor‘s Brazilian filmmakers adeptly reflect the brave alt-culture erraticism mirrored in Shaw. The production is peppered with Sisso Barros’ emotive animation that energetically  moves the history along for modern long-form viewing. The multigenerational direction team of Mariana Thome & Lucas De Barros have created in Scab Vendor an easy streaming pleasure, a semi-surreal radical fairy tale of an anti-hero’s journey to something like deliverance. 

Eugene Hütz, Jonathan Shaw, John Joseph. Photo courtesy of Clayton Patterson

With cameos from NYC rockers Iggy Pop, Gogol Bordello’s Eugene Hütz and Cro-mags’ John Joseph, along with glamorously reckless party pics of Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, the film secures Shaw’s impact as the counter-culture bridge from NYC’s illegal underground tattoo parlors and LA’s white hot global lens. 

photo courtesy Clayton Patterson

Shaw’s celebrity is well earned and largely stabilized by his gritty risk taking and repeated determination to position himself among the great American tattoo artists of the day. Even as the artistic sensibility and scope demonstrated by his famous parents pushed him beyond the dreams of these and his Beat Generation icons.

Clayton Patterson, Lucas de Barros, Mariana Thome

LES archivist Clayton Patterson weighed in on Shaw’s importance to NYC’s 90’s counterculture when he secretly opened Fun City, the city’s oldest tattoo shop still thriving on St. Mark’s Place. “Shaw was the major rep between east coast and west coat and that counted for a lot. He became the editor of the world’s most sophisticated tattoo magazine and took that to LA and helped make tattoos a legitimate art form. Here in New York where his shop and community were you couldn’t become famous. It’s classic Jonathon, he lives the contrast and takes opportunities from both sides. “

Jonathan Shaw-as-bridge between the old New York and it’s stroller strewn modern iteration is echoed often among his circle of supporters. Bronx-based attorney Stacey Richman observed on the artist’s nature after she successfully defended him from a massive weapons charge in 2011. “Jonathan is a collector,” she explains, speaking about the trove of guns and finely forged knives discovered by movers when Shaw relocated west to begin recovery. “Back in the day, you could buy an AK-47 on Canal Street. He had licenses for all the weapons and they were stored away for years along with art and other ephemera. As the laws changed, people like Jonathan got caught in the middle.”

As fascinating as all this NYC history is, Scab Vendor is a deep treat on many levels. The hilarity and delight as an ungloved Johnny Depp gouges “OCJ” into Shaw’s arm amongst loud curses and complaints is fly-on-the-wall celebrity pleasure. Shaw’s struggle with addiction and his resolve for compassionate communication with his parents and far-flung son is a pointed lesson in masculine evolution. As Shaw continues his shaman era (a term the showman rebukes) from his Rio de Janeiro retreat it would appear that the mountain of acclaim has now come to the man.

Now Playing: Scab Vendor: Confessions of a Tattoo Artist

June 14-16 

Cinema Village

22 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003  

Special Events:

  • Director’s Q&A: On Friday, June 14, join directors Lucas de Barros and Mariana Thome for an insightful Q&A session following the 7 PM screening.
  • Meet Jonathan Shaw: The renowned tattoo artist will be present at the showings, providing a unique opportunity to hear his stories firsthand and gain insights into his extraordinary career.

Why You Shouldn’t Miss This: “Scab Vendor” is based on Shaw’s 2017 book of the same name and features music by Iggy Pop and Gogol Bordello. The documentary explores Shaw’s rise to fame, his struggles with addiction, and his profound influence on the tattoo culture in NYC and beyond.

A Special Treat for Collectors: For those looking to add a permanent piece of Shaw’s art to their collection, Jonathan Shaw will be tattooing at his World Famous Tattoo City over the weekend. This is a rare chance to be inked by the artist who helped shape the tattoo culture in New York City.

Be There: Head to Cinema Village this weekend to immerse yourself in the fascinating world of Jonathan Shaw. Don’t miss the chance to be part of this special event, meet the icon who revolutionized tattooing, and experience his incredible story through the lens of those who knew him best.

Get Your Tickets: Tickets are available now for the screenings and special events. Join us at Cinema Village, 22 East 12th Street, NYC, and be part of this unforgettable celebration of a tattoo legend

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Events

Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents Randy Edelman

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“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents”, is filmed live every Wednesday from the Hotel Edison.

In this episode T2C’s publisher and owner Suzanna Bowling talks with Randy Edelman about his extensive musical career. Some of Edelman’s best known films scores include Twins, Ghostbusters IIBeethoven, Gettysburg, Angels in the Outfield, The Mask, Dragonheart, Gettysburg and so many more. If you known the Carpenter’s “You,” Barry Manilow’s “Weekend in New England,” Olivia Newton-John’s “If Love Is Real” Dionne Warwick’s “The Laughter and the Tears,” Blood, Sweat & Tears “Blue Street” and many others, these were written by Randy.

Randy will be performing this Friday, June 14th at Chelsea Table & Stage at 9:30pm

Randy appeared thanks to Eileen Shapiro.

We are so proud because the show and our guests are now featured on the TV screens in the lobby and the hotel rooms. We were also gifted a poster in the lobby.

I am so grateful to my guest Randy Edelman

Thank-you Magda Katz for videoing and creating the content to go live, Rommel Gopez and The Hotel Edison for their kindness and hospitality.

We are so proud and thrilled that Variety Entertainment News just named us one of Summer’s Best Picks in the category of Best Television, Radio, PodcastsThe company we are in, has made us so humbled, grateful and motivated to continue.

You can catch us on the following platforms:

Pandora:

https://www.pandora.com/podcast/live-from-the-edison-hotel-times-square-chronicles-presents/PC:1001084740

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/show/1084740

Spotify:

Amazon:

https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/e3ac5922-ada8-4868-b531-12d06e0576d3

Apple Podcasts:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/live-from-the-edison-hotel-times-square-chronicles-presents/id1731059092

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Celebrity

The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

A JON BON SURPRISE — (Via Ultimate Classic Rock) Jon Bon Jovi played a surprise five-song set in Nashville on Friday, June 7.

The intimate performance celebrated the grand opening of JBJ’s, the new rooftop bar and restaurant owned by Jon Bon Jovi. It also came on the day Bon Jovi released their sixteenth studio album, Forever.

The show was notable considering the lingering uncertainty surrounding Jon Bon Jovi’s voice. The singer underwent vocal surgery in 2022 and has been enduring a long road to recovery ever since. The frontman recently confirmed he’ll be unable to tour in support of his new album, noting that he’s “more than capable of singing again,” but that “two and a half hours a night, four nights a week” would not be possible.

The frontman’s voice appeared pitchy but strong during the Nashville club set. Bon Jovi showcased plenty of his trademark energy during the gig, dancing on the small stage and engaging fans to sing along with him.

The performance opened with “Blood on Blood,” the stirring album cut from Bon Jovi’s classic 1988 LP New Jersey. According to Ssetlist.fm, this marked the first time “Blood on Blood” has been performed in concert since 2019.

Later, the singer addressed his absence from performing.

“It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been up on a stage with some people in the house,” Bon Jovi declared midway through the set. “Too long, too long. Yeah, it feels good. I hope it sounds good, because it feels good.”

Bon Jovi also acknowledged Nashville’s importance in his band’s history, noting that they’d spent “so much time” writing and recording in the town. “I always jokingly say, Nashville, this is my people.”

Motley Crue singer Vince Neil. Jelly Roll and Big Kenny from Big and Rich were among the celebrities on hand for Bon Jovi’s club gig. Other highlights on the night included a rousing rendition of “You Give Love a Bad Name” and the lead single from Forever, “Legendary.”

See the complete set list below, along with video of the entire performance.

Bon Jovi, 6/7/24, JBJ’s, Nashville, Set List

1.  “Blood on Blood”
2. “We Weren’t Born to Follow”
3. “You Give Love a Bad Name”
4. “Born to Be My Baby”
5. “Legendary”

Jon’s been very, very visible of late. From his Hulu-four-part show to stints on everything from Kelly Clarkson to Jimmy Kimmel and it seems to me he’s been a tad overexposed. Sure, he’s got a new album to sell as well as the cable-series, but his logline seems to be over whether he can tour … or not.  And, apparently, he can’t.

Honestly, that’s gotten bigger play than his rumored feud with Richie Sambora. I know Jon and he’s smart as a fox. He and his PR-person, which I believe is Brad Cafarelli, have done a stellar job.

This Nashville-appearance was after he may the ‘I can’t tour’ announcement, so what gives?

I’d love to know who he played with in Nashville. Was it some of the Bon Jovi-band or just some Nashville-players? Maybe we should ask Brad.

George Harrison

GO GEORGE — We loved this story from Far Out Magazine about George Harrison and Phil Collins:

The seed for his prank on the Genesis drummer began back in 1970 when Collins was a teenage session musician who grew up in absolute awe of everything Beatles related.

At the time, Collins was in his former band Flaming Youth and wouldn’t audition to join Genesis until later on in the same year.

“Our manager got a call from Ringo Starr’s chauffeur, who said they needed a percussionist, and he suggested me,” said Phil.

“So I went down to Abbey Road, and Harrison was there and Ringo and Billy Preston and Klaus Voormann and Phil Spector, and we started routing the song.”

George was recording his debut solo album, All Things Must Pass.

“No one told me what to play, and every time they started the song, Phil Spector would say, ‘Let’s hear guitar and drums,’ or ‘Let’s hear bass and drums.’ I’m not a conga player, so my hands are starting to bleed. And I’m cadging cigarettes off Ringo – I don’t even smoke, I just felt nervous. Anyway, after about two hours of this, Phil Spector says, ‘Okay congas, you play this time.’ And I’d had my mic off, so everybody laughed, but my hands were shot.”

“After that they all disappeared – someone said they were watching TV or something – and I was told I could go. A few months later, I buy the album from my local record shop, look at the sleeve notes, and I’m not there. And I’m thinking, ‘There must be some mistake!’ But it’s a different version of the song, and I’m not on it.”

Once Collins would become a world-famous star in his own right, he and George were back in contact.

“Cut to years later,” Collins added. “I bought [former Formula 1 driver] Jackie Stewart’s house. Harrison was a friend of Jackie’s, and Jackie told me George was remixing All Things Must Pass.

“He said, ‘You were on it, weren’t you?’ And I said, ‘Well I was there.’ Two days later a tape’s delivered from George Harrison with a note saying: ‘Could this be you? Suddenly the congas come in – too loud and just awful. At the end of the tape you hear George Harrison saying, ‘Hey, Phil, can we try another without the conga player?’

“So now I know, they didn’t go off to watch TV, they went somewhere and said, ‘Get rid of him,’ cos I was playing so badly. Then Jackie rings and says, ‘I’ve got someone here to speak to you,’ and puts George on and he says, ‘Did you get the tape?’ and I said, ‘I now realise I was fired by a Beatle.’ He says, ‘Don’t worry, it was a piss-take. I got Ray Cooper to play really badly, and we dubbed it on. Thought you’d like it!’ I said, ‘You f**king bastard!’”, Collins then reminisced in hindsight, “It was lovely, wasn’t it?”

Yes, George went out of his way to pay a whole band to spend a day in the studio with him just so he could pull a joke on Phil Collins.

The Killers

SHORT TAKES — Our spy at the weekend’s Governor’s Ball said The Killers were spectacular. They played “Mr. Brightside” and “Andy, You’re A Star” (first time in seven years). One of my favorite bands, ever! Great to hear this …

Dick Van Dyke

Congrats to Dick Van Dyke at 98 winning an Emmy for his stint on Days of Our Lives. Bravo! …

This Thursday at the Landis Theatre in Vineland, New Jersey, is a special screening of The Zombie Wedding. Based on the hit interactive play (which premiered in 2015). The first-ever wedding between a Human Bride and a Zombie Groom; starring Heather Matarazzzo; Kevin Chamberlin; Vincent Pastore and Micky Dolenz.

Details to follow from producer Robert Dragotta … Watched Michael Mann’s Ferrari over the weekend and just loved it. Adam Driver; Penelope Cruz and Shailene Woodley were just extraordinary. Not your typical Mann-pic either. A must-see for sure …

And also caught Netflix’s Hitman with Glen Powell-the man-of-the-moment in film. He’s great, sort of a George Clooney-in the making. Directed by Richard Linklater – a surprise. Kind of a silly premise, but he carries it admirably and does his love-interest, the sultry Adria Arjona – who makes a rather memorable debut.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Jane Blunkell; Dan Zelinski; Jane Berk; Howard Bloom; Peter Lubin; Stu Taub; Roy Trakin; David Adelson; Michael Nice; Joel Diamond; Mark Bego; Jimmy Fallon; Julie Gurovitsch; Vince Napolitano; Obi Steinman; Peter Abraham; David Sanborn; Craig Zisk; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Brad Balfour; Jill Christiansen; Anni Bella; Lush Ice; Markos Papadatos; and Bella.

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Events

Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents David Zayas Jr.

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We are so pleased to announce our guest this week is David Zayas Jr.

David Zayas Jr. is making his Off-Broadway directorial debut with Simpatico at The Chain Theatre, 312 West 36th Street 3rd Fl. Simpatico plays until June 29th. David most recently directed the Jesus Hopped the A Train staged reading starring Common, John Ortiz, and David Zayas. David also directed LABs 30th Anniversary and the Barn Series, which included three New Works in progress by Stephen Adly Gurgis. A Bronx Native, theater and film Director, Actor, and Photographer, David is a member of The Actors Studio’s Playwright/Directors Unit and LAByrinth Theater Company. He has directed with Planet Connections, Actors Theatre of NY, NY Theater Festival, Samuel French OOB Festival, and Chain Theatre along with award winning films in over 20 festivals.

“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents ”, is a show filmed at the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. To see our past episodes; First episode click here second episode click here,  third episode click here, fourth episode click here, fifth episode click here, sixth episode here, seventh episode here, eighth episode here, ninth episode here, tenth episode here, eleventh episode here, our twelfth episode here, thirteenth episode here, fourteenth here, fifteenth here , 16th here, 17th here and 18th here.

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Celebrities

The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

TRAINOR’S TODAY — She first hit the airwaves a decade ago with “All About That Bass” and has managed to remain a headliner since. A new album Timeless dropped Friday and though she was pretty great on the Today Show; she’s certainly not in the same atmosphere as Beyonce or Cardi B or Janelle Monae. Why? Her performance on Today was without a band; with backing tracks; and six dancers. Corny? Perhaps.

Her whole allure seems to be somewhere on the Peggy Lee-spectrum, which if memory serves, was cute, but a tad boring.

As to her backing tracks, veteran PR-man David Salidor (who has worked with everyone from Madonna to Debbie Gibson) says, “It’s ironic, because if an artist used backing tracks in the 80’s, it was widely criticized and looked down upon. I think the audiences today don’t really care and it’s a shame because there’s a real artistry in having a band, Sadly, these audiences are missing that and they don’t even know it. I bet if they knew what they were missing, they’d demand it.

MORE BEACH BOYS — No doubt about it, this Disney doc has ignited opinions both pro and con.

The Brian Wilson-fans said since Brian couldn’t really be interviewed, the opinions were somewhat one sided, while fans of The Beach Boys loved it. Variety’s Roy Trakin perhaps said it best: Survivors get to tell the story. This is more hagiography and tribute than biopic but the music saves it. Beach Boys 101. Nothing new to see here. But it did look good in IMAX.

The last hour was quickly wrapping up all the pieces – perhaps a tad too quickly. Love’ s suit against Brian claimed to be about the publishing rights, which father-Murray sold years ago for peanuts, figuring they’d never be worth anything.

Dennis Wilson

“Kokomo” which was a big hit isn’t spoken about at all, instead used as a closing theme. and, Dennis’ death hardly mentioned. Pacific Ocean Blue not mentioned either.

As with most of these docs .. they leave you wanting more … and I did with this one.

Benny Harrison

SHORT TAKES — What ever chapped to Benny Harrison’s Back To Front series. This was to be a show featuring the backing musicians and studios that go into making a show. Great idea but apparently Harrison couldn’t find the right producers. There’s another show very similar out right (featuring The Power Station studio now owned by Berklee) now and that probably didn’t help … Eminem and Jellyroll dueted on “Sing For The Moment” for this week’s Detroit-concert. celebrating the re-opening of Michigan Central Station. They sounded great together. Also, there Diana Ross; Melissa Etheridge and Jack White …

New Eels album out- titled Eels Time ... Carol Klenfner was married to industry magnet Michael Klenfner. Here’s what she’s up to now: https://w42st.com/post/carol-klenfner-west-side-story-ping-pong/?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTEAAR2qx06-OGVRqdQ-Uq_5Vban37FBUlmbINGjXI45lSRt2yDropCNpBIg9lU_aem_AUwj8G9hZ961orkpaRbod2lsomw3aHTWWS6h7ymamZxSKBXHozIvFkracqZg2NLQ4eHi-c_jC7H7zc6Pl1u0kRaL

Cheap Trick/John Lennon

Did you ever take a look at the John Lennon video with Cheap Trick doing his “I’m Losing You?” It was producer Jack Douglas’ idea. Brilliant if you ask me. Take a look: https://www.loudersound.com/features/cheap-trick-rick-nielsen-john-lennon-double-fantasy

… Great Neil Finn tale of how he joined Fleetwood Mac in Mojo:https://www.mojo4music.com/articles/stories/neil-finn-on-joining-fleetwood-mac/HBO/MAXjust canceled Toyko Vice after 2 seasons. I loved it … Happy Bday London Records’ John Boulos!

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Ed Steinberg; Vinny Rich; Adrian Niles; Anni Bella; Nicole Nirvana; Lucy Woodward; Robert Miller; Alan Rothstein; Kneecap; Tony King; Jane Ayer; Pete Gidion; Ray Free; Ron Alexenburg; Herbie Rosen; Juggy Gayles; Jerry Lembo; Wayne Rosso; Tone Scott; Dan Zelinski; and ZIGGY!

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