It Isn’t even Thanksgiving, but the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree rolled into town last night. The gorgeous Norway Spruce is 75 feet tall and weighs between 12 and 13 tons. The tree was cut down Thursday in Pennsylvania. Starting today the tree will be lit with five miles-worth of LED lights (that’s 45,000 to be exact) and a 9.5-foot Swarovski star decked out in 25,000 crystals with one million facets.
The Rockefeller Center’s head gardener Erik Pauze has been eyeing this year’s 80 year-old Spruce since 2010, waiting for it to be the perfect height to take center stage.
For over seven decades, the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center and the holiday decorations adorning and surrounding have stood as a holiday beacon for New Yorkers and visitors alike. From the beginning, the Tree was a gathering place and reflection of what was happening in the world around it. Even before the first formal tree went up, workers lined up beneath a Christmas tree on the Rockefeller Plaza construction site to collect their paychecks during the height of the Great Depression. People from around the world came after September 11th to see the Tree decorated in a patriotic red, white and blue. Today, more than half a million people pass by the Tree every day, making Rockefeller Center the epicenter of New York City’s holiday celebrations.
The official tree lighting ceremony will be held November 29 at 7pm and will stay lite until January 7. Set to perform are Gwen Stefani, Billboard chart-topping country artist Brett Eldredge, Tony- and Grammy-winning performer Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton), Pentatonix, country singer Jennifer Nettles, and classical/pop trio The Tenors.
The tree then gives it’s life a second time as it is donated Habitat for Humanity to be used as lumber.
NYWIFT MUSE Awards Celebrates in New York City
New York Women in Film & Television and NH Collection New York Madison Avenue Hotel announced at the ceremony the exclusive partnership.
“The NH Collection brand is globally recognized for offering its guests unique experiences with local flavor. We are proud to be the hotel sponsor of the NYWIFT Muse Awards, which embrace the unique essence of New York City’s arts and culture like no other. We hope the award honorees have an extraordinary stay with us” said Carlos Salomon, General Manager of NH Collection Madison Avenue Hotel.
For more than 40 years, NYWIFT has presented the Muse Awards to celebrate and illuminate women of outstanding vision and achievement, both in front of and behind the camera in film, television, music, and digital media. NH Collection, part of NH Hotel Group, has been fostering cultural growth around the world through the NH Short Story Prizes, NH Stock Art and other endeavors. Their partnership with NYWIFT furthers their commitment to supporting artistic endeavors.
“NYWIFT is thrilled to partner with the NH Collection Madison Avenue hotel, Their beautiful midtown hotel is a wonderfully hip, elegant spot perfectly in line with the Muse Awards experience we are cultivating in our return to in-person events in 2023. I particularly love their glam lounging areas with stylish retro décor that includes vintage cameras, books, and typewriters. It is why I love working in their NYC location lobby,” said NYWIFT CEO Cynthia Lopez.
The news comes on the heels of news of a partnership with Bleecker Street to award three scholarships as part of NYWIFT’s Scholarship Fund. NYWIFT and Bleecker Street will promote this special opportunity to film schools as part of the NYWIFT Scholarship Fund for students in NYC. Scholarship recipients will be announced in the fall and meet with the Bleecker Street team at their New York headquarters.
NH Collection and Bleecker Street’s contributions were officially acknowledged at the ceremony.
This year’s MUSE Award honorees include:
President, IFC Films
Actor and Singer
The Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment “Made in NY” Award
Director, Writer, Executive Producer
Nancy Malone Directing Award
Journalist, Anchor, Executive Producer
Enid Roth Award for Excellence in Journalism
Advocate, Activist, Philanthropist, Home Life Expert
Actor, Activist, Producer
Loreen Arbus Changemaker Award
Actor, Artist, and Humanitarian
Producer and President, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
March Glorious Happenings
It’s been a beautiful season this month all over the country with some glorious happenings.
An exciting milestone achieved by Ticket to Dream Foundation, a national non-profit dedicated to supporting foster youth. Their partnership with Famous Footwear, a Caleres brand, has resulted in their generous customers donating over $10M during checkout since the launch in 2020, making it possible for Ticket to Dream to help over 468,000 children and teens experiencing foster care.
The donations have helped to ensure foster youth have access to new shoes, warm coats, clothes, extracurricular activities, and laptops for school, making a tangible impact on the lives of foster youth across the country. During a time when donations can be hard to come by, and kids entering care need more assistance than ever, Famous Footwear has allowed Ticket to Dream Foundation to reach more kids than ever before.
“Ticket to Dream has been blown away by the generosity of Famous Footwear and their customers,” said Gina Davis, CEO of Ticket to Dream Foundation. “We can’t wait to see how many kids we can help in 2023.”
Legendary photographer Albert Watson, along with industry hard hitters Stylist Brendan Cannon, Makeup Artist Romero Jennings, and Hair Stylist Linh Nguyen, translate the fashion iconography of the past into life for a new generation with the model whose career has spanned it all, Carmen Dell’Orefice, now the oldest Vogue cover girl ever at 91.
Inside, Carmen discusses her lifelong, storied, and still-going-strong seven-decade career with Marek Torčík. She discusses among other things photographers, storytelling, and why she believes modeling agencies should unionize.
Shot in New York City with Producer Anna La Germaine, Watson spins the inspiration from the past while making each image uniquely contemporarily stunning for today’s eye. Carmen’s poise and relationship with the camera transcend time as she poses in contemporary pieces by Schiaparelli, Ralph Rucci, Lever Couture, Rick Owens, Issey Miyake, Benchellal, Andrew Gn, Kokin, Jason Wu, and a custom-made piece by Verdavainne.
In New York City, Susan Lucci hosted a Sip and Shop with an exclusive preview of her custom-designed heart necklaces to benefit the American Heart Association. Leesa Rowland also held a party at Il Tinello East to celebrate her cover on “New York Lifestyle.”
In Los Angeles, around 200 guests gathered at WarWick for a night that showcased three new covers being released in April. Modern Day Communications held the event on behalf of our “The Modern Day Living Magazine” and “INFLUENCED Magazine.” Cover stars Teddi Mellencamp was there along with Derek Warburton and Qimmah Russo.
Over at SXSW, the Cinema Center, the film festival hospitality hot spot, created a 3-day pop-up around the corner of the main Paramount Theater for SxSw’s Film & TV Festival to host seven premiere parties during the opening weekend in downtown Austin, TX. The Cinema Center was supported by William Grant & Sons portfolio of luxury spirits including Hendrick’s Gin, Milagro Tequila, Reyka Vodka, Monkey Shoulder Scotch, Glenfiddich Scotch, and Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, with specialty cocktails complimented by Q Mixers. Peroni USA also supported as the official beer.
Those gathered included LongHouse president Nina Gillman, president emerita Dianne Benson, board members Sherri Donghia, Derick T. George, Anne Erni, Gael Towey, Emma Clurman, Deborah Nevins, and Peter H. Olsen as well as Abby Bangser, Ted Farris, Ronnie and Alan Fisher, Marina Kellen French, Susan Gutfreund, Sharon King Hoge, Michele Gerber Klein, Alison Levasseur, Faith Popcorn, Barbara Tober, and many more.
The Glorious Corner
HERE’S BEKKA — (from Rolling Stone) Bekka Bramlett grew up around John Lennon and George Harrison, but nothing could prepare her for joining Fleetwood Mac in 1994, during one of the rockiest periods in the band’s history.
The Bekka Bramlett incarnation of Fleetwood Mac released a single album, 1995’s Time, before dissolving the next year to make way for a lucrative Hells Freezes Over-style reunion album and tour by the classic Rumours lineup. This period of the band may seem like little more than a footnote to some rock fans, but it was a pivotal time for Bramlett, and she looks back on it without any regrets.
“I knew my job was to get Stevie back,” she tells Rolling Stone from her home in Nashville. “I wasn’t a moron. I also knew this was a dangerous job when I took it. I knew I was facing tomatoes. But I didn’t want to wear a top hat. I didn’t want to twirl around. I wanted to be me. I even dyed my hair brown just so people in the cheap seats would know that Stevie wasn’t going to be here. I didn’t want anyone to be discouraged or let down.”
Joining Fleetwood Mac at 26 would have been a shock to the system of most singers, but Bramlett had been living in close proximity to rock stars her entire life. When she was very young, her parents toured and recorded with George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and many other A-list rock stars, winning renown as Delaney & Bonnie and Friends. Those artists also spent a lot of time at her mansion in the Hollywood Hills.
Bramlett didn’t realize any of this was unusual until she boarded the school bus one morning gripping her Disney Princess lunchbox. “This other little girl had a Beatles lunchbox,” she says. “I said to her, ‘I know him. He’s on our couch right now.’ I pointed to George Harrison. ‘I know him too.’ I pointed to John. She started hitting me since she thought I was lying. I was petrified and confused. I thought they were just Daddy’s friends that had accents.”
When she was just four years old, her father recruited Bekka and her sister Suzanne to sing background vocals on his song “California Rain.” “My mom had to get some gaffer tape to keep the headphones on my head since I was so little,” she says. “I used to hate the way it sounds, and now I love it so much. It’s so endearing.”
Right around this time, her parents split up, and she went to live with her father and grandmother. “It was weird, since mostly the moms got the babies back then,” she says. “But my parents were alcoholics. My grandmother never even smoked cigarettes or said cuss words. She brought us to church every Sunday, Wednesday, and Monday. We were in safe hands with our grandmother. I think both of my parents trusted that.”
Delaney and Bonnie both struggled to find solo success in the Seventies, and they dealt with significant substance abuse issues, but Bekka inherited their talents, and she knew from a young age that she’d devote her life to music. “I briefly thought I’d be a lawyer, but I thought I’d be a singing lawyer,” she says. “Then I wanted to be a jockey since I love horses, but I thought I’d be a singing jockey. Music is just what I’m good at.”
As a teenager with a fake ID in the early Eighties, Bramlett spent many nights checking out bands on the Sunset Strip. “I remember standing on the side of the stage as Guns N’ Roses played,” she says. “Seeing it up close, I was like, ‘This is why you never try heroin.’ But then I’d go into the audience and be like, ‘This is why you join a rock & roll band!’”
SUCCESSION — (via Deadline) The Roys are back with a vengeance. The Season 4 premiere of Succession drew an audience of 2.3M on Sunday across HBO Max and linear telecasts, which is a series high for same-day viewers. Total viewing for Sunday night was up 62% compared to Season 3’s premiere viewership of 1.4M in October 2021. At the time, that marked the best premiere night performance of any HBO original series since HBO Max launched in May 2020. Sunday’s viewership is also up about 33% from the Season 3 finale’s 1.7M. Season 3 averaged about 7.2M viewers per episode, according to HBO.HBO also says that all previous seasons of succession saw a 4x increase in viewership in the week leading up to the Season 4 premiere, compared to the week prior.
The Roy family saga picks up as the sale of media conglomerate Waystar Royco to tech visionary Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) looms. The prospect of the seismic sale provokes existential angst and familial division among the Roys: patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and his four grown children, Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Siobhan (Sarah Snook), Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Connor (Alan Ruck). A hopefully Roy-esque power struggle will ensue as the family weighs up a future where their cultural and political weight is threatened.
Succession has 13 Emmys including Best Drama Series wins for its Season 2 and Season 3, the latter of which premiered in 2021.
We had mentioned earlier that most of the advance reviews said the writing was the star of the premiere episode and I definitely agree. Creator Jesse Armstrong wrote it and delivered just a stellar job. The episode began with a grumpy-Brian Cox at his birthday and took a few moments to develop into the powerhouse it has become, but it was very, very enjoyable.
Sure some of the dialogue and plot harked back to earlier episodes, but it’s so good, you hardly noticed. And the ending with Shiv and Tom, alone at at home and contemplating their futures, was just splendid and reeked of the amazing emotion the show almost always conjures up. A class act all around.
Variety confirmed this week, that the locale of the next White Lotus, from Mike White, will be Thailand. Now, if we could only get Jennifer Coolidge back … Congrats to New York Independenteditor Keith F. Girard on his second novel –
just out: The Curse of Northam Bay …PR-pasha David Salidor was interviewed by Charles Rosenay for Monkee Mania Radio … Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer open July 21 and it is indeed 3 hours.
It stars Cillian Murphy and the trailer looks rather stupendous. Check it out here:
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