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The first-ever Macy’s fireworks show lit up New York skies in 1958, but not on July Fourth. The “pyrotechnic extravaganza” took place over the Hudson River on July 1 as a celebration of the department store’s 100th anniversary. About a million people showed up to watch. That early antecedent was replaced by the show we know today in 1976. Macy’s partnered with the Walt Disney Company to celebrate the nation’s Bicentennial with a fireworks display that became an annual tradition. Since 1977 (save for the 1986, when the pyrotechnics were held as part of the weekend-long rededication of the Statue of Liberty. Those fireworks were broadcast on ABC as part of the coverage) the Macy’s Department Store, whose home base and main store are based in Manhattan has hosted the annual pyrotechnic celebration of America’s birthday with a half-hour show from barges on either the East River or the Hudson River.

Planning a Macy’s fireworks show begins with the musical score. “is the first thing we do,” said Amy Kule head of the department that puts together the “Thanksgiving Parade and The Fireworks. The pyrotechnics are choreographed to mirror the crests and troughs of the score.

Gone are the days when the fireworks were manually fired from the barges by a person with a metal rod, but the on-board preparation of shells and firing mortars still takes up to 12 days, Kule said. “We have 50 pyrotechnicians on the barges that are hand-loading each one of the shells into the mortars and then hand-wiring those shells into the computer,” which is located at a command center in Long Island City. Altogether, it takes 50 miles of cabling and 1,600 lines of computer programmed cues to prepare the synchronized launch of about 2,200 shells per minute.

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

NASCAR Driver Toni Breidinger Celebrates Raising Cane’s Grand Opening

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Start your engines and prepare for a flavor-filled pit stop at Raising Cane’s.

On July 23, NASCAR driver and Victoria’s Secret model Toni Breidinger celebrated the grand opening of Raising Cane’s in Daytona Beach, located a short drive from the legendary Daytona International Speedway. With service speeds that will rival that of the pit crews in the Daytona 500, Raising Cane’s is bringing its ONE LOVE® – craveable Chicken Finger meals – to NASCAR fans and beachgoers alike.

To celebrate the occasion, Raising Cane’s turned to none other than one of NASCAR’s leading ladies and the only Arab American female driver, Breidinger, to pump up the crowd of more than 500 people who were waving checkered flags as they patiently waited to get their hands on a Box Combo. Breidinger is no stranger to Daytona – or to Cane’s – having been featured in the brand’s “speed” campaign earlier this year and appeared at a variety of events through an ongoing partnership.

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – JULY 23: NASCAR driver Toni Breidinger celebrates Raising Cane’s Daytona Beach Opening on July 23, 2024 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images for Raising Cane’s)

“People really underestimate the business aspect of driving. I wouldn’t be here without partnerships from brand like Raising Cane’s and Victoria’s Secret,” said Breidinger. “I’m so excited about this new location – I’m going to be here every day come January!”

The Restaurant, which pays homage to Daytona’s NASCAR roots, features local racing-themed décor, pit crew memorabilia, and Breidinger’s race suit. The Drive-Thru emulates a finish line, complete with a checkered flag as Customers drive off to enjoy their meal. The Daytona Beach location marks Raising Cane’s 16th location in Florida as the brand continues expanding within the state.

As a personal friend of Raising Cane’s owner and founder Todd Graves, Cane’s began sponsoring Breidinger’s races, where she could be seen driving a Cane’s-branded car and wearing the brand’s logo from head to toe. From there, the brand expanded the partnership to feature Breidinger within their Restaurants as part of a campaign focused on speed and accuracy – two things she excels at. Breidinger has been spotted at Raising Cane’s locations across the country working “shifts,” shooting commercials, and commemorating special moments, like the opening of the Daytona Beach location.

“Toni has been a great friend and partner to us, and I’m excited to continue cheering her on as she makes history as the first Arab American female driver in NASCAR,” said Graves. “She is such an inspiration to so many aspiring female athletes and is proof of what happens when you refuse to give up on a dream. I’m glad she could come out to Daytona today to celebrate this special opening – I look forward to seeing her here when she’s back in town for the Daytona 500.”

The restaurant will operate from 10 to 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, with extended hours until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday to fuel late-night Chicken Finger cravings.

 

 

Photo Credit: Raising Cane’s

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Broadway

The Heart of Rock and Roll’s Huey Lewis Gets His Portrait On Sardi’s Wall

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Huey Lewis had the honor of being placed on the Sardi’s Walls of Broadway fame with his portrait at an unveiling by Max Klimavicius, owner of Sardi’s.

Huey Lewis Photos by Tricia Baron

Huey Lewis, Max Klimavicius – Photo by Tricia Baron

Huey Lewis, Max Klimavicius – Photo by Tricia Baron

Huey was represented on Broadway this season with the musical Huey Lewis  but he also made his Broadaway acting debut as Billy Flynn in Chicago in 2005 where the iconic Grammy Award wining rocker fell in love with the Broadway community.

Huey Lewis, Mike Baerga – Photo by Tricia Baron

Jonathan A. Abrams, Brian Usifer, Hunter Arnold, Huey Lewis – Photo by Tricia Baron

Brian Usifer, Huey Lewis – Photo by Tricia Baron

Many of The Heart of Rock and Roll’s creative and cast came out to congratulate him!

Lorin Latarro, Brian Usifer – Photo by Tricia Baron

Mike Baerga, Robin Masella, Huey Lewis, Autumn Guzzardi – Photo by Tricia Baron

Kayla Greenspan, Jonathan A. Abrams, Hunter Arnold – Photo by Tricia Baron

Huey Lewis, Tamika Lawrence – Photo by Tricia Baron

Huey Lewis, Ross Lekites – Photo by Tricia Baron

F. Michael Haynie, Huey Lewis – Photo by Tricia Baron

Autumn Guzzardi, Taylor Marie Daniel, Josh Breckenridge, Michael Olaribigbe – Photo by Tricia Baron

The Company of The Heart of Rock and Roll – Photo by Tricia Baron

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Events

A Dazzling Summer with Paramount+ Movie Nights at Bryant Park

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The magic of cinema is sparkling in a dazzling way this season at the 31st season of summer movies in Bryant Park.

The Big Apple’s movie nights have returned for another sparkling year as was demonstrated on July 22 with a screening of “Cinema Paradiso” thanks to Paramount+.

On the night that showcased the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1990, thousands of guests gathered on the great lawn to watch the first foreign film screening in Bryant Park’s outdoor movie history. Some attendees brought picnic dishes will others indulged in delicious and scrumptious dishes and drinks from Stout NYC and Hester Street Fair.

Coming up next for cinema delivers to attend:

July 29 – “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”

August 5 – “Arrival”

August 12 – “Titanic”

Paramount+ Movie Nights at Bryant Park are supported by Vulture and HSS. Screenings are free to the public and the lawn opens at 5 pm with films beginning at 8 pm.

For more info, please visit HERE.

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Celebrity

The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

Madonna; Jellybean and David Salidor

MADONNA’S BACK — (via Deadline) Madonna is teasing she is back working on her biopic and is titling it Who’s That Girl.

The singer shared a social media post where she is seen with a typewriter and making edits to a movie script.

“I Need A-lot of Bandz to make this………..OKAY. (Story of my life),” she captioned the post on Instagram.

In one of the pictures from the slideshow Madonna teased, you see a line drawn across the title M Untitled. The new title of the biopic is Who’s That Girl, a nod to Madonna’s 1987 film and song of the same name.

The script is noted as being “Rewritten by Madonna and ECW.”

News of Madonna working on her biopic comes almost a year and a half after the project was paused indefinitely. In January 2023, it was reported that the film at Universal Pictures had been scrapped.

Madonna was set to direct the film about her life and career, penning the script with Diablo Cody and Erin Cressida Wilson. Julia Garner had been chosen by the Queen of Pop herself to star in the film after proving to be a standout in a singing and dancing boot camp.

Entertainment Weekly reports that Garner is still attached to star in the film now called Who’s That Girl.

Following the biopic getting put on pause, Madonna suffered a “serious bacterial infection: in June 2023, which made her postpone her Celebration Tour. After recovering from health complications, Madonna embarked on her tour in October 2023 with stops in cities like London, Paris, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Houston, San Francisco, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, and many more.

Having lived through Madonna’s hey-day (and survived) I will admit it’s quite the story: From Patrick Hernandez to 610 Broome Street, Jellybean, Shep, PR-man David Salidor, MTV, Mark Kamins, Preston Powell and Seymour Stein and Warren Beatty too, I wonder just how forthcoming she’ll be. To me, the truth is, those early days were simply astounding and do make a terrific story, but that said, they’ve have to be told honestly and a accurately.

Julia Garner would be great, though I wonder again, what exactly was involved in Madonna’s so-called boot camp? Madonna can be, somewhat demanding!

BIDEN OUT — I knew it was a forgone conclusion after that first (and last debate with Trump) but Biden is officially out; with Kamala Harris eyed as the new choice. Biden did, btw, endorse her, though as of this writing she has not been formally nominated.

Topsy-turvy? Yes. More to come? I’m sure. Stay tuned.

Amos Lee

SHORT TAKES — Amos Lee was terrifically impressive on CBS’ Saturday Sessions this weekend. Stellar in fact.

Adrian Niles

Reminded us of Adrian Niles from years ago … After a seemingly endless heat wave in NYC, I heard one of the weather-heads describe the break in the heat as borderline comfortableGuess Who Don’t Sue: What enterprising director had a red-hot doc ready to go on a iconic superstar, but he let his reps go fingering he could do it with his own mojo? He couldn’t and the deal fell through …

Steven J. Immerman

Brad Balfour interviewed Steven J. Immerman on his In Search Of Pleasure Island tome for the Irish Examiner. Check it out here: https://irishexaminerusa.com/wp/?p=29625

We watched Sofia Coppola’s On The Rocks with Bill Murray and Rashida Jones. Coppola’s Lost In Translation (2003) is perhaps my all-time favorite film. This was a different, lighter path, but we definitely give it a thumbs up. Murray, as usual, was terrific …

Katy Perry

I’m a bit bothered by all this media-backlash about Katy Perry and her comeback single “Women’s World.” There were disturbing items about it in both SHOWBIZ 411 (https://www.showbiz411.com/2024/07/19/katy-perrys-new-single-womans-world-fails-to-launch-with-just-3k-sold) and the Daily Mail (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-13635579/Katy-Perry-comeback-music.html); citing everything from Dr. Luke’s involvement to a hideous video for the song. It all seems a bit unwarranted. It may not be “Firework,”  but not totally a disaster. Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVIJUH29pjU … And, great quote from Peter Frampton on the passing of Bob Newhart: We were friends and when I took him to lunch, it was the Four Seasons. when he took me to lunch, it was some place else. It was the accountant in him.” Much-missed and thank you Bob! for all the laughs.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Andrew Sandoval; Bob Merlis; Roy Trakin; Roger Grimsby; Bill Beutel; Spike Jonze; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Kent & Laura Denmark; Susan Storm; Geraldo Rivera; Rosanna Scotto; Paul Mescal; Paul Undersinger; Harrison Jordon; Jordon Gray; Lori Immerman; Vinny Rich; Scott Stark; Don Wardell; Marsha Stern; Billy Smith; Robert Funaro; and CHIP!

Images on this page have been licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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Events

NYC Restaurant Weeks Is Here With Three Pricing Option

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On Monday, July 22 through Sunday, August 18, 2024 Restaurant Week returns. This bi-annual event was created in 1992 to offer prix fixe menus to allow New Yorkers to eat at the city’s most coveted restaurants. Hundreds of restaurants across all five boroughs are participating this year with a 2-course lunch, 3-course dinner, or both. There will be a trio of pricing options for $30, $45 and $60. The deals run Monday-Friday, as Saturday is excluded as is Sunday to certain restaurants.

If you have a preregistered Mastercard you will receive $10 back for in-house dining transactions of $45 or more.

Menus and reservations can be found here.

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