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The Kleban Foundation Honors New Talent

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Shaina Taub

The Kleban Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of the 29th Annual Kleban Prize for Musical Theatre. The judges declared a tie in the most promising musical theatre lyricist category between Sarah Hammond and Shaina Taub.

Charlie Sohne

Charlie Sohne

The Kleban Prize for the most promising musical theatre librettist has been awarded to Charlie Sohne. The 2019 prizes will be presented on Monday, February 4, 2018, in a private ceremony (by invitation only) hosted by ASCAP and BMI at ASCAP. 

Since its inception, Kleban Prize winners have been selected byjudging panels comprised of the theatre’s most respected artistsand administrators. The judges making the final determination this year wereTony©nominated actorAlison Fraser,(The Secret Garden; Romance, Romance),Tony©nominated composer lyricistAmanda Green(Hands on a Hardbody,Bring It On The Musical),and Artistic Director of The Signature Theatre, Arlington, VA and Tony©nominated directorEric Schaeffer(Follies).
The Kleban Foundation was established in 1988 under the will of Edward L. Kleban, best known as the Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning lyricist of the musicalA Chorus Line.Kleban’s will made provisions for annual prizes, which in recent years have totaled $100,000 each, payable over two years, to be given tothe most promising lyricist and librettist in American Musical Theatre.For 29 years, The Kleban Prize, which has recognized and honored some of the American musical theatre’s brightest developing talents, is unique in that it is bestowed not just for an artist’s previous achievements, but for the promise of creativity to come.
Over the past 29 years, theannual Kleban Prize for Musical Theatre hasawardedapproximately $6,000,000 to66 artistswho collectively have garnered four Tony Awards(with nearly 30 Tony nominations), 59 Emmy Awards,three Grammy Awards, 10 Drama Desk Awards, nine Outer Critic Circle Awards, four Obie Awards, two Olivier Awards, and two Pulitzer Prizes. The list of previous Kleban Prize winners includes Lisa Kron (Fun Home),Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak (A Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder), David Lindsay-Abaire (Shrek), Jason Robert Brown (Parade,The Last Five Years), John Bucchino (A Catered Affair,It’s Only Life), Gretchen Cryer (I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road,The Last Sweet Days of Isaac), Michael Korie (Grey Gardens,Happiness), Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez (Avenue Q), Michael John LaChiusa (Giant, See What I Wanna See,The Wild Party), Glenn Slater (The Little Mermaid) and John Weidman (Pacific Overtures,Road Show,Assassins). For a complete listing of the last 29 years of Kleban Prize winners, see the list at the end of this document.
“For nearly three decades, The Kleban Prize for Musical Theatre has been one of the theatre’s most distinctive honors,” says Tony Award winner Richard Maltby Jr, President of the Kleban Foundation. “Ed Kleban recognized that theatrical wordsmiths had the hardest time supporting themselves while honing their craft, and so the Kleban Awards are specifically for librettists and lyricists. While other theatre awards recognize the best of the past season, The Kleban Prize celebrates work yet to be done. With a uniquely generous endowment, The Kleban Prize  identifies, celebrates and supports the most promising writing talent in the theatre, just when emerging writers need help the most. The Kleban Foundation is proud to carry Ed Kleban’s enlightened legacy into the 21st century, and to continue fostering the work of new writers, as well as supporting writers who have already begun to establish themselves. Kleban Prize winners are the  artists who are going to define the art form for years to come.”

In addition to this year’s winners, Sarah Hammond (the most promising musical theater lyricist, tie), Shaina Taub (the most promising musical theater lyricist, tie), and Charlie Sohne (the most promising musical theater librettist),  this year’s attendees include Sheldon Harnick (Tony Award and Pulitizer Prize-winning lyricist – Fiddler on the Roof, She Loves Me),  Jenn Colella (Come From Away), Tony nominated actor Alison Fraser (The Secret Garden; Romance, Romance), Richard Maltby, Jr. (Tony Award-winning director, conceiver, lyricist – Ain’t Misbehavin’, Baby, Miss Saigon), John Weidman (Tony-nominated librettist – Contact, Anything Goes, Assassins, Pacific Overtures), Maury Yeston (Tony Award-winning composer/lyricist – Nine, Titanic), Michael Winther (Mamma Mia!) and more.

 Sarah Hammond 

Sarah Hammond

Sarah Hammond  (2019 Kleban Prize winner, most promising musical theatre lyricist) is a playwright and musical theatre writer. Sarah wrote the book for the musical String (Village Theater World-Premiere 2018; Richard Rodgers Award; NAMT) and the book and lyrics for Theatreworks USA’s Pete the Cat (Off-Broadway, four national tours). She has been honored to receive a seven-year residency at New Dramatists, the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Heideman Award, an Ars Nova Uncharted residency, commissions from Broadway Across America and EST/Sloan, and multiple MacDowell Colony residencies. Her plays include Green Girl (SPF ’08 at The Public); House on Stilts (South Coast Rep Commission); Kudzu (Trustus); and others. Current projects are Wind-Up Girl (Ars Nova Uncharted; St. Louis Rep’s Ignite Festival), a new musical about René Descartes, and Jenny Talks to Aliens (EST/Sloan commission). Sarah is an MFA graduate of playwriting at the University of Iowa and of musical theatre writing at NYU. She grew up in Hong Kong, Belgium, and South Carolina, and now lives in Queens.

 
Shaina Taub

Shaina Taub

Shaina Taub (2019 Kleban Prize winner, most promising musical theatre lyricist) is a Vermont-raised, Brooklyn-based songwriter and performer. She has the won the Jonathan Larson Grant, the Fred Ebb Award, the Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award, and the ASCAP Lucille and Jack Yellen Award. Taub has starred in her musical adaptations of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and As You Like It at the Public Theater’s Delacorte in Central Park, commissioned and produced for their Public Works initiative. Both musicals are receiving current and upcoming productions regionally and around the world, most recently at London’s Young Vic. She’s currently writing a musical about Alice Paul and the American women’s suffrage movement and she’s writing lyrics for the upcoming Broadway musical of The Devil Wears Prada, with music by Sir Elton John. Taub’s work was featured in Lincoln Center’s American Songbook concert series and she recently made her Carnegie Hall debut performing her music with the New York Pops. She wrote the score for and co-starred in Bill Irwin and David Shiner’s Old Hats, directed by Tina Landau at the Signature Theatre and A.C.T. Her songs have been performed by Audra McDonald and Sutton Foster, and she wrote the theme song for Julie Andrews’ Netflix series Julie’s Greenroom as well as many songs for Sesame Street. She co-wrote the opening number for the 2018 Tony Awards. She earned a Lucille Lortel Award nomination as Mary in the off-Broadway run of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, and appeared in the original cast and on the cast album of Hadestown at New York Theatre Workshop. She has an ongoing concert residency at Joe’s Pub and her two solo records, Visitors and Die Happy are available at www.shainataub.com.

 
Charlie Sohne (2019 Kleban Prize winner, most promising musical theatre librettist),along with composer Tim Rosser, received a 2015 Jonathan Larson Award, ASCAP’s 2015 Mary Rodgers/Lorenz Hart Award and the 2016 San Diego Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Original Score. Their show, The Boy Who Danced on Air (NAMT 2013) had its world premiere at The Diversionary Theatre and its Off-Broadway premiere at the Abingdon Theatre (directed by Tony Speciale, choreographed by Nejla Yatkin).  The show’s cast album was released by Broadway Records, featuring a bonus track performed by India.Arie. Their pilot, Truth Slash Fiction (directed by Daniel Schloss), won best comedy at SeriesFest and ITVFest, and their song cycle, With The Right Music, made its premiere with the Oakland Symphony Orchestra in February of 2018. They’re currently working on a musical adaptation of the novel Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, and developing a new show commissioned by New York City Children’s Theater, Talk To Me. Tim and Charlie were also 2014-15 Dramatists Guild Fellows, members of The Civilians’ R&D Group and writers at the Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, ASCAP’s Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project and the Yale Institute for Music Theatre. Their songs have been seen at their sold-out 54 Below show, Birdland, Contemporary Classics at Seattle Rep, Cutting Edge Composers at Joe’s Pub, ALNM at Rockwell in Los Angeles, Above The Arts in London, a sold out show at Broadway au Carre in Paris, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.  They are the songwriting team behind India.Arie’s single, High Above.
 
THE KLEBAN FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS
 
André Bishop     Elliot H. Brown     Sheldon Harnick     Richard Maltby, Jr.
 
Richard Terrano    John Weidman     Maury Yeston
 
 
 
THE KLEBAN PRIZE – LIST OF WINNERS AND JUDGES
 
 
1991
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: MARK CAMPBELL
Most promising musical theatre librettist: GRETCHEN CRYER
Judges: JERRY HERMAN, STEPHEN SONDHEIM, JOSEPH STEIN
 
1992
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: CRAIG CARNELIA
Judges: LEE ADAMS, MARY ROGERS, STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
 
1993
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: BARRY KLEINBORT
Most promising musical theatre librettist: LANIE ROBERTSON
Judges: JERRY BOCK, BETTY COMDEN, GRETCHEN CRYER
 
1994
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: (tie) JOE KEENAN and JIM MORGAN
Most promising musical theatre librettist: WILLIAM STRZEMPEK
Judges: SUSAN BIRKENHEAD, CRAIG CARNELIA, JACK VIERTEL
 
1995
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: MARK WALDROP
Most promising musical theatre librettist: JOHN JILER
Judges: SHELDON HARNICK, CHARLES STROUSE, WENDY WASSERSTEIN
 
1996
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: GLENN SLATER
Most promising musical theatre librettist: JOHN WEIDMAN
Judges: CAROL HALL, WILLIAM FINN, JONATHAN TUNICK
 
1997
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: MICHAEL KORIE
Most promising musical theatre librettist: BRIAN CRAWLEY
Judges: MARTIN CHARNIN, JAMES FREYDBERG, DAVID SHIRE
 
1998
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: SARAH SCHLESINGER
Most promising musical theatre librettist: (tie) LISSA LEVIN and LUIS SANTEIRO
Judges: ELLEN FITZHUGH, JOHN MORRIS, JOHN WEIDMAN
 
1999
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: KIRSTEN CHILDS
Most promising musical theatre librettist: MICHAEL JOHN LACHIUSA
Judges: LYNN AHRENS, JOHN JILER, JOHN KANDER
 
2000
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: (tie) MARION ADLER, CHAD BEGUELIN,ROBERT LOPEZ/JEFF MARX and DAVID SPENCER
Most promising musical theatre librettist: STEPHEN COLE
Judges: FRED EBB, HENRY KRIEGER, WILLIAM RUSSELL
 
2001
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: (tie) JOHN BUCCHINO and PATRICK COOK
Most promising musical theatre librettist: CHARLES LEIPART
Judges: NAN KNIGHTON, MICHAEL JOHN LACHIUSA, GLENN SLATER
 
2002
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: JASON ROBERT BROWN
Most promising musical theatre librettist: LORI MCKELVEY
Judges: JEROME COOPERSMITH, MARVIN HAMLISCH, MARSHA NORMAN
 
2003
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: NELL BENJAMIN
Most promising musical theatre librettist: SUSAN DILALLO
Judges: ARTHUR KOPIT, CHARLES LEIPART, FRANK WILDHORN
 
2004
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: LAURENCE O’KEEFE
Most promising musical theatre librettist: JULIA JORDAN
Judges: SUSAN DILALLO, WILLIAM GOLDSTEIN, LONNIE PRICE
 
2005
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: DAVID JAVERBAUM
Most promising musical theatre librettist: (tie) CHERYL L. DAVIS and KEN STONE
Judges: JULIA JORDAN, MICHAEL JOHN LACHIUSA, JEFFREY SWEET
 
2006
Most promising musical theatre lyricist (tie): ALISON LOUISE HUBBARD
and ROBERT L. FREEDMAN/STEVEN LUTVAK
Most promising musical theatre librettist:  
LAURENCE HOLZMAN/FELICIA NEEDLEMAN
Judges: CHERYL L. DAVIS, SUSAN DRURY, KEN STONE
 
2007
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: JOE ICONIS
Most promising musical theatre librettist: JEREMY DESMON
Judges: RICK ELICE, CAROL HALL, CHARLES KOPELMAN
 
2008
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: DAVID LINDSAY-ABAIRE
Most promising musical theatre librettist: (tie) LAURA HARRINGTON
and BILL SOLLY/DONALD WARD
Judges: BETH BLICKERS, LINDA KLINE, GILBERT PARKER
 
2009
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: BETH FALCONE
Most promising musical theatre librettist: KAIT KERRIGAN
Judges: SHELDON HARNICK, THOMAS Z. SHEPARD, SHERMAN YELLEN
 
2010
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: PETER MILLS
Most promising musical theatre librettist: BARRY WYNER
Judges: CRAIG CARNELIA, SUSAN DRURY, JEFFREY SWEET
 
2011
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: ADAM GWON
Most promising musical theatre librettist: MICHELLE ELLIOTT
Judges: STEPHEN FLAHERTY, MICHAEL KORIE, DAVID ZIPPEL
 
2012
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: MARCY HEISLER
Most promising musical theatre librettist: (tie) ANDREW GERLE and MATT SCHATZ
Judges: MARSHALL BRICKMAN, TED CHAPIN, DEBRA MONK
 
2013
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: DANIEL MATÉ
Most promising musical theatre librettist: ALAN GORDON
Judges: SEAN HARTLEY, HENRY KRIEGER, MICHELE PAWK
 
2014
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: NATHAN TYSEN
Most promising musical theatre librettist: ARTHUR PERLMAN
Judges: JASON DANIELEY, COLLEEN JENNINGS-ROGGENSACK, 
BILL ROSENFIELD
 
2015
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: SAM WILLMOTT 
Most promising musical theatre librettist: SAM CARNER
Judges: KERRY BUTLER, WILEY HAUSAM, DAVID SHIRE
 
2016
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: STACEY LUFTIG 
Most promising musical theatre librettist: DANIEL GOLDSTEIN
Judges:JUDITH IVEY, MICHAEL PRICE, ANDREW ZERMAN
 
2017
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: DANIEL ZAITCHIK
Most promising musical theatre librettist: LISA KRON
Judges: KRISTEN ANDERSON-LOPEZ & ROBERT LOPEZ, 
MARY TESTA, IRA WEITZMAN
 
2018
Most promising musical theatre lyricist:
(tie) ALAN SCHMUCKLERand AMANDA YESNOWITZ
Most promising musical theatre librettist:CHRISTIAN DUHAMEL
Judges: MARIN MAZZIE, DAVE MALLOY, LAURENCE MASLON
 
2019
Most promising musical theatre lyricist:
(tie) SARAH HAMMOND and SHAINA TAUB
Most promising musical theatre librettist: CHARLIE SOHNE
Judges: ALISON FRASER, AMANDA GREEN, ERIC SCHAEFFER

 

 

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 Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

ARGENT RETIRES — (via Ultimate Classic Rock) Rod Argent, a founder and longtime keyboardist for the British Invasion band the Zombies, has announced his retirement from touring following a stroke.

The group’s management announced in a statement that said: “We are saddened to report that Rod Argent, founder, keyboardist and primary songwriter of the Zombies, has suffered a stroke. Rod had recently returned home from a triumphant Zombies tour of the U.K. and spent a weekend in London with his beloved wife, Cathy, celebrating his 79th birthday and their 52nd wedding anniversary, before the stroke occurred.

“He was hospitalized overnight and released the next day. Doctors have advised that Rod will need several months of rest and recuperation. Rod has asked us to convey that he has made the very difficult decision to immediately retire from touring in order to protect his health. He was already preparing to wind down his live performance schedule after health scares on recent tours.”

In January 2022, the Zombies pushed back tour dates to 2023 after an unnamed member required an “urgent but non-life-threatening” medical procedure.

The band has been active in recent years, following their 2019 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. They released their seventh album, Different Game, last year.

Argent and the Zombies had their first hit in 1964 with “She’s Not There.” The Hertfordshire, England-formed band, featuring singer Colin Blunstone, scored three Top 10 singles by the end of the decade, including “Time of the Season” from their classic 1968 album Odessey and Oracle, their last before a 1991 reunion LP.

During the break, Argent led the band Argent, which had a Top 5 hit in 1972 with “Hold Your Head Up.”

Argent and Blunstone, along with original bassist Chris White and original drummer Hugh Grundy, got back together for a 50th anniversary tour of Odessey and Oracle in 2017. (Original guitarist Paul Atkinson died in 2004.) The quartet has since toured with other current members of the band.

The statement concluded, “We don’t know what the future holds. What we have to tell fans today is that all upcoming performances by the Zombies will be canceled.”

SHORT TAKES — Watched the cast of Stereophonic perform two numbers on Thursday’s Today show.

This is the show that openly boasts that the play is a performance of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album and how it was recorded. I was actually surprised by just how closely it sounded like that album. If I was Mick Fleetwood, I’d ask for some of the profits. Amazing! …

Nicky Hopkins

You may not know the name Nicky Hopkins, but in the 60’s and 70’s he played with everyone from Joe Cocker to John Lennon and George Harrison.

He also put out a killer solo album called The Tin Man Was a Dreamer in 1983. He passed away years ago, but there’s a new doc on him (Session Man). He was a great player. Check out the trailer: https://thesessionmanfilm.com

… A Broadway-play on the life of Muhammad Ali is in the works … Saw the first commercial yesterday for back-to-school. does that mean the summer is officially over? …

Kevin Costner’s Horizon is going to MAX shortly. Sadly, it has not been the smash everyone desperately wanted. Check out Deadline’stake on it: https://deadline.com/2024/07/horizon-2-delayed-1236006327/

The Alec Baldwin trial has begun in Santa Fe. Will he testify? Hard call. Again, I think it was just a terrible accident. Should gun-safety be increased on movie sets? Of course …

Jeff Zucker

The Zuck returns? Rumors spread like wildfire Thursday that Jeff Zucker (NBC and CNN) will now run CBS News. He’s a visionary for sure … Happy Bday Shep Pettibone … RIP Shelley Duvall

NAMES IN THE NEWS —– Jackie Stander; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Owen Bradley; Jon Bon Jovi; Brad Balfour; Jordan Gray; Steve Immerman; Tony Seidl; Frank’s Steaks; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Nancy Ruth; Teresa Knox; Freda Payne; Brenda Lee; Mike Campbell; Veruca Salt; Bonnie Culpeppersmith; Roy Trakin; Daryl Hall; Jonathan Wolfson; Carl Perkins; Tommy James; Carol Ross; Marty Ostrow; Jann Wenner; and BELLA!

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Celebrity

The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

JON BON HISTORY —- (Via Ultimate Classic Rock) Bon Jovi’s new album Forever certainly didn’t live up to its name on the charts. As noted by Forbes, after debuting at No. 5 in its first week of release, the album fell all the way out of the Billboard 200 album sales chart the following week. Unless it returns in the future, Forever will be the first Bon Jovi studio album to only last one week in the Top 200.The band’s previous album, 2020’s pandemic-delayed 2020, only notched two weeks on the chart. It debuted at No. 19, then fell 126 spots the following week before departing for good.

With their touring future in doubt due to singer Jon Bon Jovi’s medical issues, the band promoted Forever with a multi-pronged media campaign that included the release of the documentary series Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi story. The series showed Bon Jovi being diagnosed with loose vocal cords after he was unable to perform up to his usual standards on the band’s most recent tour, then undergoing surgery and a rigorous recovery program.

Last month, Bon Jovi confirmed that he was still unable to mount a full-scale tour in support of Forever. “It’s a work in progress,” he told The Guardian. “There’s no miracle. I just wish there was a fucking light switch. I’m more than capable of singing again. The bar is now: can I do two and half hours a night, four nights a week? The answer is no.”

The band did play a surprise five-song set to celebrate the opening of their frontman’s new Nashville bar and restaurant JBJ’s on June 7, performing Forever’s debut single “Legendary” in addition to classics such as “You Give Love a Bad Name” and “Born to Be My Baby.”

With all the media on their Hulu-doc series, new album and almost incessant one-on-one interviews, the new album was either going to be a hit … or a miss. Sad for sure … I hope they don’t blame this on Richard Sambora!

Melrose Place

SHORT TAKES — 32 years since Melrose Place? I was never a fan but some of the original cast have reunited for – what else?

Micky Dolenz

A podcast … From Gold Radio in the UK:  https://www.goldradiouk.com/artists/the-monkees/micky-dolenz-age-wife-children-songs/ … Spent a few days in Waterbury, Connecticut and watched a lot of tennis. Beautiful up there. Stunning in fact …

Race

Congrats to radio-personality Race Taylor on inking a new contract-extension with WCBS-FM. Well deserved …

F1

Here’s the trailer for Brad Pitt’s next film F1


Looks good, but didn’t we just see this covered in James Mangold’s terrific Ford vs. Ferrari? It’ll be out in June 2025 …  

Billy Bob Thornton

Boy, I could have predicted this: Via Deadline – Paramount + has announced the premiere date for its latest Taylor Sheridan drama, Landman, starring Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton, will premiere Sunday, November 17. The series will launch with two episodes, and subsequent episodes of the 10-episode long first season will be available weekly on Sundays. Set in the proverbial boomtowns of West Texas, – the show is a tale of fortune seeking in the world of oil rigs. Based on the 11-part podcast “Boomtown,” the series is an upstairs/downstairs story of roughnecks and wildcat billionaires fueling a boom so big, it’s reshaping our climate, our economy and our geopolitics … Finished watching The Veil on Hulu with Elizabeth Moss. Sort of an on-the-road mystery. Moss is great, but the plot is a tad murky. B + … And for all you Papaya King fans (me included) in NYC: https://gothamist.com/news/beloved-hot-dog-hotspot-papaya-king-reopens-on-upper-east-side … 

RIP Joe Egan from Stealers Wheel.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Steven J. Immerman; Tony Seidl; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Pat Walsh; Mark Bego; Lamar Fike; Feda Payne; Kent & Laura Denmark; Nancy Ruth; The Church; Teresa Knox; Myles Smith; Chuck Scarborough; Joe Scarborough; Alison Steele; Carol Miller; Dan Ingram; Anthony Pomes; Brad Balfour; and ZIGGY!

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The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

TOWNE GONE — A few months back I watched the Robert Towne-written movie Chinatown and had exactly the same reaction as when I first watched it in 1974 – simply the best movie of all-time. Well, I still feel that way, although there are a dozen or so other movies that I would now put in that hallowed category.

Version 1.0.0

Towne passed on Friday and leaves just a splendid treasury of his work. Be it Tequila Sunrise or Without Limits or The Firm or Days of Thunder, Towne’s unique perspective and writing-style was pretty awesome.

Robert Towne

Check out Deadline’s take on Towne: https://variety.com/2024/film/news/robert-towne-dead-chinatown-1236059676/?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTEAAR3I2OAHgnXtKBODQUzXpIr-YzCHJYvPFDW6wrOp6HdEJUx-PQ5JfntN-Hk_aem_Rb9xsnahLuGqZLfRjIpyzA

Dave Mason

SHORT TAKES — Interesting review of the long-delayed Dave Mason bio, Only You and I Know, by Goldmine’s Lee Zimmerman. Check it out here: https://www.goldminemag.com/reviews/dave-mason-memoir-reveals-a-talented-artist-with-a-strong-willed-personality Still wondering if Mason’s former-manager, and Svengali, Jason Cooper (aka The Moke) is discussed at all.

I well remember a show at Long Island’s Calderone Concert Hall, where Cooper passed around a jar of party favors – twice in the dressing room. It was indeed a great show which I watched from the side of the stage! He bolstered Mason’s career to it’s highest degree ever. Can’t wait to read this one … Biden will now not do any work after 8:00 PM? I don’t know, but this sounds a tad crazy, right? And desperate … Remember The Singhs? Randy Alexander did the PR for them. They played a bunch of NY-gigs and then sort of disappeared.

Next thing we heard; their new album Science Fiction was produced by Tony Visconti. Then, nada. Here’s a press release from 2013 formally announcing the album. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/science-fiction-the-new-tony-visconti-produced-album-from-boston-area-based-band-the-singhs-is-set-for-release-june-4-via-redstar-entertainment-206756061.html

They actually released a great album in 2008, Supersaturated. Bad management? Dunno, but they were a sensational band. Creative, inventive, it seemed they had it all …

Watched Apple’s Dark Matters and sort of loved it, although as it went on it got way too confusing. Based on the Blake Crouch book, it was really pretty spectacular. Australia’s Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Connelly were fantastic. If you’re a sci-fi fan, I’d say  it’s a must see … Happy Bday Danny Goldberg; Ron Fleeger; and Perry Michael Simon.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — David Duchovny; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Tone Scott; Paul Cooper; Tony Seidl; Brad Balfour; Matt Lauer; Harry Burton; Lainey Wilson; Lyndsey Parker; Tony King; Brett Summers; Jane Blunkell; Steven J. Immerman; Lora Evans; Dan Zelinski; Norena Barbella; Ken Dashow; Barry Fisch; Wayne Avers; Victor Kastel; and BELLA.

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Entertainment

Macy’s Out Did Themselves

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I have covered the Macy’s Fireworks before and this year Macy’s out did themselves. Moving to the Westside meant the press was at The Lighthouse at Pier 60.

This venue is spectacular feeling like an open air loft space. The Lighthouse has over 10,000 square feet of event space overlooking the Hudson River. The guests felt they had room to move and to enjoy the phenomenal show Macy’s put on.

We were greeted with glasses of Champagne and a vodka lemonade spritz.

The spritz sounded good, but I am not a fan of  Vodka, so the fabulous Santiago made me a versions with rum.

Santiago

The passed appetizers were fresh and interesting

Marinated BBQ Chicken…..yum

My favorite a gourmet pigs in the blanket

Crab cakes

This was delicious and healthy cauliflower bites

Also healthy kale salad bites

And of course shrimp cocktails

As for the fireworks the space has a glass-enclosed terrace that opens up with outdoor waterfront access. My friends from GMA, CNN, Knockturnal, Variety and I took our chairs to that window opening and had the best seat in the house. Before the event we watch the life out on the water and Macy’s getting ready to surprise.

Performing were Lainey Wilson, Luis Fonsi, Tanner Adell and The War and Treaty, who took to the stage ahead of the fireworks display. We watched on Live Stream TV’s, as we ate our meals that came out of three stations plus a dessert station. The performers were just one pier away and the crowd went wild for Luis Fonsi and The War and Treaty.

Then the fireworks went off, but first a drone display.

These really are breathtaking. We seriously were the closest you could get. When we added our chairs to the end of the balcony, we had to tilt our heads and our camera’s back. This first video, I was taking pictures of the drones and turned it sideways to catch all five barges. It is quirky but it really shows you the set of five barges in full display

In slow-mo you really can feel the magic.

Inspired by “Summer’s Greatest Hits,” Macy’s new summer campaign, the custom 25-minute musical score of the fireworks show, missed the mark in being patriotic, however with songs like “Amazing Grace” and “Landslide” it felt familiar. The score was produced and arranged by Grammy and Emmy Award winner Jason Howland, and featured out and queer artists Brandy Clark and Alex Newell. The whole show felt very inclusive.

The show was conceived, designed and produced by Macy’s Studios in collaboration with Pyro Spectaculars by Souza, the show’s 48th edition featured more than 60,000 shells, more than 30 colors and never before seen effects.

Here’s to July 4, 2025 with Macy’s again!

 

 

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4th of July Playlist

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For those of us who still love America. Happy 247th Birthday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

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