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Hugh Jackman , The Greatest Showman
From the moment this splashy big movie musical begins, we know we are in for a highly visual extravaganza starring the showman of all showman, Mr. Hugh Jackman (“Les Miserables”) as legendary circus man, P. T. Barnum. The casting seems pretty spot on with the wonderful Michelle Williams (“Manchester By The Sea”) as paramour and wife, Charity Barnum, the impressive Will Swenson (Broadway’s 2014 revival, Les Miserables) in the small role of Philo Barnum, the father to a young P.T. (Ellis Ruben), and also, the perfect man to be Jackman’s apprentice and the next generational successor for showman of the year, Zac Efron (“Hairspray”) as socialite and soon-to-be second in command, Phillip Carlyle. As directed by Michael Gracey (movie directorial debut), with cinematography by Seamus McGarvey (Atonement), The Greatest Showman starts out quietly in a fascinating (although not quite sensical) musical number that begins with a wonderful silhouette of Barnum and ends with a full-on big number straight out of dance pop Madonna music videos or large scale arena pop concerts. It doesn’t appear within the narrative that Barnum had always dreamed of creating a circus, as this first song and dance suggests, but this moment does sum up everything that this movie is. In essence, this number rolls-up everything into one psycho-energized showmanship of a song: big, loud, frantic, and over the (big) top, orchestrated to thrill and designed to overwhelm our senses. And it does just that. To a fault.
Zac Efron, Zendaya.
With music and lyrics by the two men who brought you “La La Land” and Broadway’s Dear Evan Hanson, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, with composer credits also shared by Joseph Trapanese and John Debney, have supplied this film with huge show stoppers, one after the other, with numerous wonderful moments throughout. As trapeze artist, Anne Wheeler portrayed beautifully by Zendaya (Disney’s ‘Shake It Up!’) she sings a compelling song with Efron, “Rewrite the Stars“ that flies almost as much as the choreography. Their slow motion meet-cute moment earlier on is beautiful in a hold-your-breath kind of way, as many of the visual tricks of the trade are and used to optimal effect.  Loren Allred (‘The Voice‘) wows us all with her spectacular vocals when she sings “Never Enough“.  Jackman’s Barnum is as awestruck as we are, and part of the joy of that song is it is filmed with subtle focus on this red-lipped beauty rather than trying to heighten the effect with over-sized visuals.
Loren Allred.
Keala Settle (Broadway’s Waitress) as the bearded lady, Lettie Lutz leads another big number, “This Is Me“, that is one of the strongest belt-it-out of the park kind of anthems. The visuals are equally impressive but by that moment in the film, the CG visuals are starting to wear us down. The onslaught of crowd pleasing moments is constant and begin to lose their impact. The problem is that they all start looking and sounding the same, with similar constructions in movement and big show-stopping sounds. It starts to feel like we are being smashed over the top of head with big frenzied energy and heightened visuals, watering down the emotional context with computer graphics and melodramatic set-ups. Too many leaps of faith and simplistic story lines attached to conflicts that are too easily solved, and exaggerated predicaments, start to weigh The Greatest Showman down extracting any opportunity for real emotional connection. It fails in comparison to the similar but slightly more emotional Moulin Rouge in terms of connection and depth. Or even pales when compared to the flimsy but sweet La La Land, a film that I thought was fine, but vastly overrated. The singers are all wonderful in Showman, and the choreography by Ashley Wallen (UK’s 2011 Ghost the Musical) snaps with precision and expertise, but that doesn’t create a musical number that resonates on a deeper emotional level. Sometimes a weaker singer, like Nicole Kidman or even Michelle Williams has the ability to tug at our heart strings stronger through subtlety and fine acting choices, rather than the belting it out moments.
This is a film for a younger crowd I’m guessing, one who wants and needs the visual pop splendor and the big pop-musical score that leads by the hand through the emotional landscape. It’s crazy gorgeous, loud and imposing destined to do well over the holidays, but I would be surprised if anyone sheds even one tear for the inflated conflict. But with the fractured screenplay by Bill Condon (“Dreamgirls“) and Jenny Bicks (‘The Big C‘), I was left feeling more tricked then treated. I believed I was hood-winked by Barnum into seeing his use of oddities as a humanitarian gesture of inclusiveness and care, and manipulated by the rags to riches story of this great man who created the greatest show on Earth. This movie has musical grandness and visual excitement that goes into every frame and moment, and it’s almost infectious enough to make us not notice the simplistic story and lack of an emotional core beyond the obvious. Barnum was the master exploiter of show business fantasy over authenticity, and he would be mighty proud of this glossy re-fabrication of his persona.  But that doesn’t say much for the movie.
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My love for theater started when I first got involved in high school plays and children's theatre in London, Ontario, which led me—much to my mother’s chagrin—to study set design, directing, and arts administration at York University in Toronto. But rather than pursuing theater as a career (I did produce and design a wee bit), I became a self-proclaimed theater junkie and life-long supporter. I am not a writer by trade, but I hope to share my views and feelings about this amazing experience we are so lucky to be able to see here in NYC, and in my many trips to London, Enlgand, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, and beyond. Living in London, England from 1985 to 1986, NYC since 1994, and on my numerous theatrical obsessive trips to England, I've seen as much theater as I can possibly afford. I love seeing plays. I love seeing musicals. If I had to choose between a song or a dance, I'd always pick the song. Dance—especially ballet—is pretty and all, but it doesn’t excite me as, say, Sondheim lyrics. But that being said, the dancing in West Side Story is incredible! As it seems you all love a good list, here's two. FAVORITE MUSICALS (in no particular order): Sweeney Todd with Patti Lupone and Michael Cerveris in 2005. By far, my most favorite theatrical experience to date. Sunday in the Park with George with Jenna Russell (who made me sob hysterically each and every one of the three times I saw that production in England and here in NYC) in 2008 Spring Awakening with Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele in 2007 Hedwig and the Angry Inch (both off-Boadway in 1998 and on Broadway in 2014, with Neal Patrick Harris, but also with Michael C. Hall and John Cameron Mitchell, my first Hedwig and my far), Next To Normal with Alice Ripley (who I wish I had seen in Side Show) in 2009 FAVORITE PLAYS (that’s more difficult—there have been so many and they are all so different): Angels in American, both on Broadway and off Lettice and Lovage with Dame Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack in 1987 Who's Afraid of Virginai Woolf with Tracy Letts and Amy Morton in 2012 Almost everything by Alan Ayckbourn, but especially Woman in Mind with Julia McKenzie in 1986 And to round out the five, maybe Proof with Mary Louise Parker in 2000. But ask me on a different day, and I might give you a different list. These are only ten theatre moments that I will remember for years to come, until I don’t have a memory anymore. There are many more that I didn't or couldn't remember, and I hope a tremendous number more to come. Thanks for reading. And remember: read, like, share, retweet, enjoy. For more go to


The Glorious Corner



G.H. Harding

THE NEW OUTLAWS — (Via Ultimate Classic Rock) Willie Nelson has announced the lineup and dates for his 2024 Outlaw Music Festival Tour.

In addition to headlining sets by the 90-year-old country legend and recent Rock & roll Hall of Fame inductee, this year’s Outlaw Music Festival Tour will include performances by Bob Dylan each day throughout its 25-date run.

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will also play on select dates, alternating appearances with John Mellencamp.

Nelson’s Outlaw Tour debuted in 2016 and has since featured Sheryl Crow, Van Morrison, Chris Stapleton, Neil Young and ZZ Top.

“This year’s Outlaw Music Festival Tour promises to be the biggest and best yet with this lineup of legendary artists,” Nelson said in a press statement announcing the shows. “I am thrilled to get back on the road again with my family and friends playing the music we love for the fans we love.”

Brittney Spencer, Celisse and Southern Avenue will also perform at this year’s Outlaw Music Tour Festival. Billy Strings will join the tour for one concert at Washington’s The Gorge. You can see the tour’s complete run dates and lineups below.

General public ticket sales start on March 1 at 10 a.m. local time. Citi card members have access to presale tickets starting Tuesday at 10 a.m. local time until Thursday at 10 p.m. local time. More information can be found at the tour’s website.

SHORT TAKES — Boy, that Andy Cohen news sure disappeared quickly. I guess Brandi Glanville’s lawyers were right when they said NBC/COMCAST was making too much money from Cohen, to dismiss him. Sure, Andy apologized, but that was it …

Joe Manganiello is hosting the new Deal Or No Deal Island. With one of the worst haircuts, I’ve ever seen, he was on Monday’s Today Show -3rd hour- with Jenna and Hoda assisting him. There were so many rules in the intro, I was immediately thrown. All these game shows seem to be the thing these days – cheap to produce; easy to write; and B and C actors are certainly available …

Jenny Boyd

Jenny Boyd – sister to Patti and married twice to Mick Fleetwood – has a new autobiography out, Jennifer Juniper. Here’s a great piece from Spin on it:

Patti Boyd-Harrison

Not to be outdone, sister Patti Boyd-Harrison has an exhibit with Christie’s in London. Take a look: … Markos Papadatos has a great new interview with John Oates in Digital Journal, but strangely, nothing about his ongoing dispute with Daryl Hall. Methinks it was more of a PR-move to quickly extinguish any and all reference to it, as it just dragged their legacy (Hall & Oates) down … way down. Take a read: … One more trailer for Kevin Costner’s epic Horizon. Pundit Roger Friedman quipped the Indians don’t look too happy in this one. To be honest, I see much of Yellowstone in the trailer. And, Danny Huston who was in the series is in the movie too. Take a look: … As of this writing, subway crime in NYC up 22% from this time last year! Reminds me of the 70’s here these days … Big, big layoffs at both Atlantic and Warner’s. The later about 600 employees. To me, they got rid of all the people who knew exactly what to do and when to do it. Sad for sure … SIGHTINGS: PR-pasha David Salidor at Brooklyn’s Table 87

Mike Scott

And, one of the greatest forgotten about bands is Mike Scott and The Waterboys. Just tremendous and timeless music. Check this article out from The Guardian:… RIP McCanna “Mac” Anthony Sinise.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Obi Steinman; Felix Cavaliere; Gene Cornish; Steve Walter; Jane Blunkell; Markos Papadatos; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Anthony Noto; Anthony Pomes; Kent & Laura Denmark; James Edstrom; Alec Baldwin; Lee Jeske; Andrew Tobin; Jewel Smithee; David and Delia Jones; and ZIGGY!

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The Most Beautiful Woman in the World 



photo credit Conor Weiss

Who comes to mind when you see that phrase—Catherine Zeta-Jones, perhaps, or certainly Grace Kelly?  Most would concede the title belongs to one glorious, gracious and violet-eyed lady – Elizabeth Taylor.   

Elizabeth (ET from hereon in) was known for her films, jewelry and various husbands, but there was much more to that woman. The perfect person to let us in on the side we never saw is Ann Talman, who played her daughter in The Little Foxes on Broadway. Chosen for her uncanny resemblance to ET as a young girl, they remained close friends until ET’s death in 2011. Through song and story, Ann paints a portrait we never would have imagined—the prankster, surrogate mother, the fashion advisor funny-face maker and more. When consulting with her about what to wear to an awards gala, ET arranged for a private fashion show at Saks and then added “Do you want to borrow any of my jewelry?”.  Now that’s a friend to have! 

The evening began with Ann singing “The Shadow of your Smile” from The Sandpiper, a film that starred ET and Richard Burton against a backdrop of ET holding a sandpiper. In the film, the bird is a metaphor for broken-winged people, and Ann shyly admits that she had been a sandpiper. Ann was 22 when they met, and she explained how ET took on the surrogate mother role and gave her the support and counsel she needed. When Ann talks about pajama parties and drinking Soave Bollo, one imagines two sisters sharing secrets and giggling. (I can’t imagine ET in PJs, can you?)  Nevertheless … 

As if the offer of shared baubles was not indication enough of ET’s generous nature, Ann gave a brief history of ET’s involvement with AMFAR (American Foundation for AIDS Research) as well as her own foundation.  

This show was powerful, yet delicate, informative without being gossipy, funny while evoking a tear or two. It was lovingly put together with superb direction by Lina Koutrakos with Alex Rybeck as music director. The songs flowed so naturally that it might have been easy to not recognize the skill that went into their selection.   

Ann’s ability to mimic ET’s breathy voice as well as her sincerity, added to the charm and verisimilitude of the event. It was such a loving tribute, with little touches, like purple Mardi Gras beads, a printed program and cupcakes with lavender frosting for all in celebration ET’s birthday this week.   

The evening ended with a reprise of the first song. Thank you, Ann, for giving us a clearer picture of the shadow behind that most alluring smile. 

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Best 5 American Film Schools




In the pulsating world of cinema, aspiring filmmakers seek education and mentorship to carve their path in an industry that thrives on creativity and innovation. Choosing the right film school is pivotal in this journey, as it can provide the necessary skills, network, and knowledge to navigate the dynamic landscape of filmmaking. In this article, we will explore five distinguished American film schools renowned for their exceptional programs, state-of-the-art facilities, and contributions to the film industry. From the bustling streets of Los Angeles to the vibrant culture of New York, each institution on this list has played a significant role in shaping the next generation of cinematic storytellers. As students embark on this transformative educational journey, seeking additional support, such as the option to buy a coursework, can provide valuable assistance in managing academic responsibilities alongside their creative pursuits.

  1. University of Southern California (USC) – School of Cinematic Arts: Located in the Heart of Hollywood

The University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts stands as an iconic institution synonymous with excellence in film education. With its prime location in the heart of Hollywood, USC offers aspiring filmmakers unparalleled access to industry professionals, studios, and the vibrant filmmaking community. The school boasts an impressive roster of alumni who have left an indelible mark on the industry, from George Lucas to Steven Spielberg. USC’s programs cover various aspects of filmmaking, including production, screenwriting, and animation. The hands-on approach, coupled with cutting-edge technology and world-class faculty, ensures students receive a comprehensive education that prepares them for the multifaceted challenges of the film industry.

  1. New York University (NYU) – Tisch School of the Arts: East Coast Hub of Creativity

Nestled in the heart of Manhattan, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts stands as a beacon for aspiring filmmakers on the East Coast. Renowned for its diverse programs in film and television, Tisch provides students with a dynamic and creative environment. The faculty comprises industry professionals and accomplished filmmakers who guide students through an immersive curriculum covering every aspect of film production. The school’s location offers students unique opportunities to engage with the vibrant arts and culture scene of New York City. NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts is not only a training ground for technical skills but also a hub that fosters creativity and encourages students to find their unique voice in the world of cinema. For those seeking guidance in the academic aspects of their film studies, you can find valuable resources here.  This site can offer valuable insights into crafting well-researched and articulate essays, complementing the practical skills gained in a creative filmmaking environment.

  1. American Film Institute (AFI) Conservatory: Crafting Masters of the Cinematic Craft

The American Film Institute Conservatory, located in Los Angeles, is renowned for its commitment to cultivating masters of the cinematic craft. AFI’s Conservatory program focuses on hands-on learning, providing students with the opportunity to work on real film sets and collaborate with industry professionals. The program’s intensity ensures that graduates emerge not only with technical proficiency but also a deep understanding of storytelling and the filmmaking process. AFI has consistently produced award-winning filmmakers, and its emphasis on crafting auteurs has earned it a distinguished place among the top film schools in the United States.

  1. UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television: Bridging Tradition and Innovation

The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television stands as a testament to the marriage of tradition and innovation. Situated in the vibrant city of Los Angeles, the school offers comprehensive programs in film, television, and digital media. UCLA’s film school emphasizes both the art and business of filmmaking, ensuring that students are equipped with the skills necessary to thrive in a rapidly evolving industry. The faculty comprises seasoned professionals who bring a wealth of industry experience to the classroom. UCLA’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment further enhances the educational experience, preparing students for success in the global landscape of film and television.

  1. Columbia University School of the Arts – Film Program: Where Intellectual Rigor Meets Artistic Exploration

Columbia University’s School of the Arts Film Program distinguishes itself as a place where intellectual rigor meets artistic exploration. Situated in the cultural melting pot of New York City, the program encourages students to engage deeply with the theoretical and historical aspects of film in addition to honing their practical skills. Columbia’s approach is interdisciplinary, allowing students to draw inspiration from various artistic disciplines. The program’s emphasis on critical thinking and creative expression sets it apart, producing graduates who not only excel in their technical proficiency but also contribute thoughtfully to the intellectual discourse within the world of cinema.

Choosing the right film school is a crucial step in a filmmaker’s journey, shaping not only their technical abilities but also their creative voice and industry connections. The American film schools mentioned above stand as pillars of excellence, each offering a unique blend of resources, faculty, and opportunities. Whether on the West Coast or East Coast, these institutions provide a fertile ground for aspiring filmmakers to cultivate their skills and emerge ready to make a meaningful impact in the dynamic and competitive world of cinema.

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NYC Movie Travel Guide: Visiting Filming Locations of Famous Movies




New York City has long been a favorite destination for movie lovers, thanks to its iconic skyline, bustling streets, and vibrant energy. If you’re a film buff looking to find more content related to the magic of the silver screen, then this NYC Movie Travel Guide is just for you. 

Take a journey to the filming locations of famous movies, walk in the footsteps of your favorite actors, and experience the city like never before. From classic blockbusters to indie gems, New York City has served as the backdrop for countless cinematic masterpieces. Get ready to explore the city’s most famous filming locations and walk in the footsteps of your favorite movie characters.

Times Square

Lights, camera, action! Start your movie adventure in the heart of Manhattan at Times Square. This iconic location has been featured in countless films, including “Spider-Man,” “The Avengers,” and “Midnight in Paris.” Take a stroll down the bustling streets and soak in the electrifying atmosphere.

Central Park

Step into the green oasis of Central Park, where many memorable movie scenes have been shot. From “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” to “When Harry Met Sally,” this sprawling park has provided the backdrop for countless romantic and adventurous moments on the big screen. Don’t forget to visit the famous Bethesda Terrace and Bow Bridge.

Empire State Building

Feel like you’re on top of the world at the Empire State Building. This iconic landmark has been featured in numerous films, including the classic “King Kong” and the romantic comedy “Sleepless in Seattle.” Take the elevator to the observation deck and enjoy breathtaking views of the city that never sleeps.

Brooklyn Bridge

Take a walk across the majestic Brooklyn Bridge, which has been featured in films like “Annie Hall” and “I Am Legend.” Marvel at the stunning views of the Manhattan skyline as you follow in the footsteps of your favorite movie characters. Don’t forget to snap a selfie with the bridge as your backdrop.

Grand Central Terminal

Step into the bustling Grand Central Terminal, a hub of transportation and a favorite filming location for many movies. From “North by Northwest” to “The Avengers,” this iconic train station has played a starring role in numerous films. Marvel at the celestial ceiling in the main concourse and imagine yourself in a movie scene.

Statue of Liberty

No visit to New York City is complete without a trip to the Statue of Liberty. This iconic symbol of freedom has been featured in films like “Ghostbusters II” and “X-Men.” Take a ferry ride to Liberty Island and get up close to Lady Liberty herself. Don’t forget to capture the moment on camera.

Coney Island

Experience the nostalgia of Coney Island, a beloved amusement park that has been featured in films like “The Warriors” and “Uptown Girls.” Take a ride on the iconic Cyclone roller coaster, indulge in Nathan’s Famous hot dogs, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of this iconic New York City destination.

The High Line

Take a stroll along the elevated park known as the High Line, which has become a popular filming location in recent years. From “The Amazing Spider-Man” to “The Devil Wears Prada,” this unique urban park offers stunning views of the city and a glimpse into New York City’s industrial past.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Channel your inner art enthusiast at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a cultural landmark that has been featured in films like “The Thomas Crown Affair” and “When in Rome.” Explore the vast collection of art and immerse yourself in the beauty and history of this world-renowned museum.

Washington Square Park

End your movie-inspired journey at Washington Square Park, a vibrant gathering place that has been featured in films like “When Harry Met Sally” and “August Rush.” Sit on one of the park’s iconic benches, watch the street performers, and reflect on your cinematic adventure in the city that never fails to captivate.

New York City is a treasure trove of filming locations, offering movie lovers the opportunity to step into the world of their favorite films. From Times Square to Central Park, the Empire State Building to the Statue of Liberty, each location holds a piece of cinematic history. So grab your camera, put on your walking shoes, and get ready to embark on a movie-inspired adventure through the streets of the Big Apple.

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Is Donald Glover Related to Danny Glover?




With all the talk of nepotism babies in Hollywood, many people wonder who is related to whom, and when two famous actors have the same last name, it can be easy to conclude they must be related. Donald Glover and Danny Glover have been widely speculated to be related. Are the father and son? Uncle and nephew? Or do they just have the same last name?

The Last Name “Glover”

The family name Glover comes from medieval England, where many names were based on someone’s occupation. Think of other names like Fletcher (someone who makes arrows), Cooper (someone who makes barrels), and Carpenter (a woodworker). Glove-making was also a specialized trade hundreds of years ago. The glove maker within a community could be referred to as a glover, creating this surname.

Despite originating across the Atlantic, Glover is a fairly common name in the US. In the 2010 census, there were 66,858 reported uses of the last name recorded. So, while it may not be the most common surname, many individuals have that last name in America.

So, search the last name, and you’ll find dozens of notable people called “Glover” from both the US and Europe. In fact, you may have known some Glovers in your life.

Donald Glover

Born in 1983, Donald Glover is an actor, musician, writer, director, rapper, and producer. After graduating from TISCH in New York City, he started as a screenwriter for the show 30 Rock. This multi-talented man first rose to fame as an actor in the TV series Community. Since then, he’s appeared in films like Into the Spiderverse and series such as Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

As a rapper and musician, he goes by the stage name Childish Gambino. His second album, Because the Internet,debuted at #7 on Billboard’s charts in 2013.

His full name is Donald McKinley Glover Jr, and he is originally from California. His father is Donald Glover Sr, and his mother is Beverly Glover. He has three children and was recently wed to his long-time girlfriend, Michelle White.

Danny Glover

Also a California native, Danny Glover was born in 1946 and has enjoyed a long career. He began acting in stage plays but moved to LA and started taking on film roles in the 1970s. His breakthrough role was in The Color Purple alongside Whoopie Goldberg in 1985. He is best known now for his role in the Lethal Weapon series.

Along with his acting and directing career, Danny Glover has a passion for activism and a strong interest in civil rights in the US and globally. He has raised money for AIDS research while spreading awareness about the disease. Like Donald Glover, he is also a music lover and has been a board member of the Jazz Foundation of America for many years.

Danny Glover has been married twice and has one child, a daughter named Mandisa, born in 1976.

So, Are Danny and Donald Glover Related?

The simple answer is no.

Despite both being extremely talented and creative men with the same last name, there is no known familial tie between Donald and Danny Glover.

Donald Glover even joked humorously about the assumed relationship between the two of them, saying, “Yes, I am Danny Glover’s father,” when he appeared on Saturday Night Live in 2018. He also refers to this mistaken assumption in his 2011 song “Sunrise”.

Despite there being no relation between the two, entertainment writers have mistakenly connected them in blurbs and articles since Donald Glover rose to fame or misattributed things one has said to the other.

There are several other famous Glovers in the entertainment industry, but they also have no family ties to Donald or Danny Glover. Some you may know are Crispin Glover, known for taking on eccentric and sometimes bizarre characters, and Stephen Gilchrist Glove, better known by his stage name Steve-O from the series Jackass.

Finding Relatives Online

Even though Danny and Donald Glover aren’t related, the curiosity about their relationship reflects a growing trend toward family research. Many people are interested in getting in touch with their roots. Family tree resources and even genetic testing are on the rise.

However, if you’re looking to reach out to someone you’ve lost touch with, we recommend starting with a people search too, like this one here, to reach out to friends and relatives you haven’t seen in a while. This database can help you find their most recent contact information so you can stay in touch.

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