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The New York Pops Hitsville: Celebrating Motown Had Audiences Dancing In The Aisle

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The songbook of my life came alive last night as The New York Pop’s celebrated with “Hitsville: Celebrating Motown” featured classic pop songs from the 60s, 70s, and beyond.

Steven Reineke photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

The New York Pops lead by Steven Reineke, heated up the room from the moment the concert began with a Motown medley that ended with “Do You Love Me”. This arrangement by Mr. Reineke ask us a question and the answer is Yes, we do.
Do you love me?(I can really move)Do you love me?(I’m in the groove)Now do you love me?(Do you love me)Now that I can dance(Dance)
Watch me now, hey.

Bryan Terrell Clark photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Bryan Terrell Clark photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

 Entering the stage in a smoking hot white tuxedo, guest number one, Bryan Terrell Clark, who can currently be seen in “Saint X” on Hulu and in the Disney+ musical film “Sneakerella,” brought his A game. Clark originated the role of George Washington in Hamilton, as well as Marvin Gaye in Motown the Musical. Taking on the Four Tops he started with a groovin “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)”.

Bryan Terrell Clark photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Bryan Terrell Clark, Steve Reineke photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Bryan Terrell Clark photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Letting the audience know that was Herstory month he celebrated by throwing roses to the women in the audience, while crooning Smokey Robinson’s hit “My Girl”.

Valisia LeKae photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Valisia LeKae photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Looking stunning in a fabulous gown, Grammy and Tony nominated singer and actress Valisia LeKae, who starred as Diana Ross in Motown the Musical and she earned a Grammy, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle and Tony nomination as well as a Theatre World Award brought to life Mary Wells’ “My Guy”

Valisia LeKae photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

and The Supremes’ “Where Did Our Love Go”.

Bryan Terrell Clark photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Bryan Terrell Clark photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Bryan Terrell Clark photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Letting loose Bryan Terrell Clark reminded us of the Marvin Gaye’s and the raisin’s hit “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”

Bryan Terrell Clark, Valisia LeKae photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Bryan Terrell Clark, Valisia LeKae, Steven Reineke photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Bryan Terrell Clark, Valisia LeKaephoto by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Bryan Terrell Clark, Valisia LeKae, Steven Reineke photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Bryan Terrell Clark, Valisia LeKae photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Bryan Terrell Clark, Valisia LeKae photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Bryan Terrell Clark, Valisia LeKaephoto by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

The two stars got together to perform Ashford and Simpson’s hit’s “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing”, and “Precious Love”.

Stephanie Fisher, Melodie Ray and Charlyn E. M. Willis photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Making the two stars sound even better were Stephanie Fisher, Melodie Ray and Charlyn E. M. Willis.

Valisia LeKae photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

“If I Were Your Woman” by Gladys Knight

Bryan Terrell Clark photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

The Temptation’s “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”

Steven Reineke photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

With the first act ending with Stevie Wonder’s classic “Sir Duke”.

Steven Reineke photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Starting off act two, Mr Reineke announced the 41st Birthday Gala, which will be the show of the year and shared how high schooler Asia Zabski won a contest and that her essay “Motown Music and It’s Impact on Society” was printed in the program. Then a Diana Ross and The Supremes medley entitled “I Hear a Symphony, The Symphonic Songs of Diana Ross”, arranged by Mr. Reineke, had the audience back in the mood and ready to soak up the music that shaped a lot of our lives.

Valisia LeKae photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Valisia LeKae photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Looking beyond gorgeous Ms. LeKae treated us to “I Hear a Symphony”,

Valisia LeKae photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Valisia LeKae photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

continuing with the Diana  Ross hits “You Can’t Hurry Love”

Valisia LeKae photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Coming into the audience she “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” and got the audience to join in.

Bryan Terrell Clark photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Bryan Terrell Clark photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Showing some swag Mr. Clark laid into Smokey Robinson’s “The Tracks Of My Tears” and “Tears of a Clown”.

Bryan Terrell Clark photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Bryan Terrell Clark photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Showing us why he was so wonderful in Motown The Musical and singing his favorite singers songs “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” and “What’s Going On”, Marvin Gaye’s lyrics became a powerful anthem of today.

Valisia LeKae photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

The Jackson Five were not forgotten with “I Want You Back”

Bryan Terrell Clark, Valisia LeKae photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Another Ashford and Simpson hit “Your All I Need To Get By”brought the duo back. This was both Ms. LaKae and Mr. Clark’s Carnegie Hall debut and they were grateful and so adorable as they thanked those who got them there. Ms. Lakae’s husband and 99 year old grandmother were in the audience. Her grandfather passed away last year. Mr. Clark’s husband and the designer of his outfit was also in attendance.

Bryan Terrell Clark, Valisia LeKae photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

If I had to choose the perfect ending song, I would have chosen right, as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, left a feeling of hope, resilence and joy spreading through out Carnegie Hall.

Bryan Terrell Clark, Valisia LeKae photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

For the encore ….. the classic “Dancing in the Street”, had the audience dancing in the aisles and out into the streets. It was the perfect ending to a night filled with songs we will never forget.

Callin’ out around the worldAre you ready for a brand new beatSummer’s here and the time is rightFor dancing in the street
They’re dancing in Chicago (dancing in the street)Down in New Orleans (dancing in the street)In New York City (dancing in the street)All we need is music, sweet musicThere’ll be music everywhere

Bryan Terrell Clark, Valisia LeKae photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Bryan Terrell Clark, Valisia LeKae photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Back stage the love continued….

Steven Reineke, Jamie deRoy and Ken Fallin photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Steven Reineke and the supporting singers that includes Stephanie Fisher, Melodie Ray and Charlyn E. M. Willis photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Bryan Terrell Clark, Steven Reineke and Valisia LeKae photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Bryan Terrell Clark, Steven Reineke and Valisia LeKae with Stephanie Fisher, Melodie Ray and Charlyn E. M. Willis photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Bryan Terrell Clark photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Bryan Terrell Clark photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Bryan Terrell Clark and Valisia LeKae with Jay Covington and Roderick Covington photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Steven Reineke and Christian Kriegeskotte photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Steven Reineke and Michael Markowski photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Steven Reineke and Asia Zabski photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Steven Reineke and Members of Kids on Stage photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Steven Reineke and Valisia LeKae photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Valisia LeKae photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

June Freemanzon and Steven Reineke photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

On Monday, April 29, at 7:00 p.m. The New York Pops will present their 41st Birthday Gala, “The Soundtrack of Our Lives: A Tribute to the Legendary Clive Davis”. Now this is another show not to miss with guests that include: Babyface, Toni Braxton, Busta Rhymes, Deborah Cox, Fantasia Barrino Taylor, Kenny G, Melissa Manchester, Barry Manilow, John Mellencamp, Ray Parker Jr., Carlos Santana, Rob Thomas, Dionne Warwick, and more to be announced. See you there.

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

Broadway

The Outer Critics Circle (OCC) Awards And You Are There Part 1

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The Outer Critics Circle (OCC), awards ceremony for the winners was held on Thursday, May 23, 2024, in the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center’s New York Public Library for The Performing Arts (111 Amsterdam Avenue, NYC).

Current President David Gordon and  Vice President Richard Ridge welcomed everyone. There were celebrity presenters and Tony Danza proved why he is a comedy star. The first award given out was to Outstanding Video/Projections: Peter Nigrini – The Who’s Tommy.

Danza also gave out the awards to Outstanding Orchestrations Marco Paguia – Buena Vista Social Club.

Outstanding Costume Design: Linda Cho – The Great Gatsby

Outstanding Lead Performer in a Broadway Play: Jessica Lange – Mother Play

Receiving the John Gassner Award for New American Play (preferably by a new playwright): Oh, Mary! and a tie for Outstanding Lead Performer in an Off-Broadway Play (tie): Cole Escola left a video message.


Next to present was Montego Glover who gave Outstanding Featured Performer in an Off-Broadway Musical (tie) Judy Kuhn – I Can Get It For You Wholesale

and to Thom Sesma – Dead Outlaw

Outstanding Book of a Musical and Outstanding Score Shaina Taub – Suffs

Outstanding Scenic Design (tie): Paul Tate dePoo III – The Great Gatsby

Outstanding Lighting Design: Brian MacDevitt  The Outsiders

Outstanding Featured Performer in a Broadway Play: Kara Young – Purlie Victorious

Next up Steve Gutenberg gave awards to Outstanding Revival of a Play: Appropriate

Outstanding Sound DesignRyan Rumery – Stereophonic

Outstanding Solo Performance: Patrick Page – All the Devils are Here

Founded during the 1949-50 Broadway season by respected theater journalist John Gassner, The Outer Critics Circle is an esteemed association with members affiliated with more than ninety newspapers, magazines, broadcast stations, and online news organizations, in America and abroad. Led by its current President David Gordon, the OCC Board of Directors also includes Vice President Richard Ridge, Recording Secretary Joseph Cervelli, Corresponding Secretary Patrick Hoffman, Treasurer David Roberts, Cynthia Allen, Harry Haun, Dan Rubins, Janice Simpson and Doug Strassler. Simon Saltzman is President Emeritus & Board Member (Non-nominating) and Stanley L. Cohen serves as Financial Consultant & Board Member (Non-nominating). Lauren Yarger serves as the Outer Critics Circle Awards ceremony executive producer.

Tomorrow Part 2.

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Cabaret

Cabaret and Talks For June

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92 Street Y: 1395 Lexington Ave. 6/1 – 3: Wonder of Wonders: Celebrating Sheldon Harnick; 6/11: Daddio: Advance Screening and Dakota Johnson in Conversation with MTV’s Josh Horowitz; 6/15: An Evening with Noah Hawley with Special Guest Jon Hamm and 6/20: Dr. Anthony Fauci in Conversation with Lawrence O’Donnell: On Call.

Birdland Jazz: 315 West 44 St. Every Monday at 5:30 Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks and 9:30pm Jim Caruso’s Cast Party; Every Tuesday at 8:30pm The Lineup with Susie Mosher; 6/1, 8, 15, 22, 29: 6/3: Gabrielle StravellI; 6/3: Gabrielle Stravelli & Billy Stritch “Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other”; 6/10: Susan Mack “No More Blues”; 6/1: Eric Comstock & Barbara Fasano: “Sun! Skin! Sin! Sinatra!”; 6/ 18 – 19: Stacey Kent and 6/24: Clint Holmes in “Icons”.

Clint Holmes

Cafe Carlyle: 35 E 76th St. 6/1: Ethan Slater; 6/4 – 8 Rumer Willis and 6/11 -24: Aaron Tveit.

Rumer Willis

Carnegie Hall: 881 7th Ave at 57th St. 6/20: FOLLIES in Concert

Norbert Leo Butz, Christine Ebersole, Santino Fontana, Jennifer Holliday, Norm Lewis, Donna Murphy

Chelsea Table + Stage: Hilton Fashion District Hotel, 152 W 26th St. 6/14: Randy Edelman.

Randy Edelman Photo by Jeff Smith

Don’t Tell Mama: 343 W. 46 St. 6/2: Lucille Carr-Kaffashan.

The DJango: 2 Avenue of the Americas.

Klea Blackhurst

Dizzys Club Coca Cola: Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street. 6/9: Songbook Sundays Johnny Mercer with Billy Stritch, Klea Blackhurst,Gabrielle Stravelli and more.

54 Below: 254 West 54 St.  6/1: Tony Danza: Standards & Stories; 6/2: Lea DeLaria: Brunch Is Gay; 6/6 – 8 and 10 – 13: Norm Lewis: Summertime (Special Tony Edition; 6/14- 15: Gavin Lee: Steppin’ Out With Fred Astaire; 6/18 and 26: Christine Andreas: Paris to Broadway; 6/21 – 25: Linda Eder and  6/28 – 29: Jackie Evancho: My Story

Linda Eder

The Green Room 42: 570 10th Ave. 6/17: Nicholas King; 6/20: Sally Mayes; 6/23: Reeve Carney and 6/29: Corinna Sowers Adler, Marieann Meringolo and Sandra Piller.

Reeve Carney – Photo by Matthew Tammaro

Sony Hall: 235 W. 46th St. 6/2:Paula Cole; 6/14: Eliane Elias and 6/27: Gino Vannelli.

Eliane Elias

Theatre at the West Bank Café: 407 West 42 St. Every Saturday and Sunday Lucky Cheng’s Drag Brunch; 6/12: Craig Rubano.

The Triad: 158 W. 72 St. 6/19: Timeless Songs from the Silver Screen;

The Town Hall: 123 West 43rd Street. 6/3: Let’s Put On A Show! 35 Years Of Irish Rep Musicals! and 6/20 – 21: Samara Joy

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Events For June

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On going is still  Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature, is at The Morgan Library & Museum through 6/9.Florals in Fashion highlights the work of designers Hilary Taymour (Collina Strada), Olivia Cheng (Dauphinette) and Kristen Alpaugh, aka FLWR PSTL Also Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz’s “Giants,”is at the Brooklyn Museum until 7/7. The exhibition features artists who have made and continue to make a significant impact on the art world and contemporary culture. The show features 98 artworks by Black American, African, and African artists including Gordon Parks, Kehinde Wiley, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mickalene Thomas, Hassan Hajjaj, Barkley L. Hendricks, Lorna Simpson, and Amy Sherald. Until 8/11 the Whitney Biennial, this happens every two years.  This year, the theme is “Even Better Than The Real Thing” and features the work of 71 artists and collectives. Also on display is Apollo: When We Went to the Moon at The Intrepid Museum. The exhibit is included with museum admission and goes until 10/2. The Rubin Museum, is permanently closing its physical space later this year and is open until October. If you’ve never been time to go. Until 10/27: The New York Botanical Garden is getting in on the Mad Hatter fun with a new, garden-wide exhibition for 2024 titled “Wonderland: Curious Nature.”

6/1 -23: How Long Blues at Little Island. Twyla Tharp featuring live music by T Bone Burnett and David Mansfield.

6/6 – 16: Tribeca Film Festival

6/7 – 9: Governors Ball

6/7 – 24: River to River Festival 50th anniversary has celebrations of dance, music, video, installation, and exhibitions. Featuring 13 projects of live art, performances, and participatory events in public spaces throughout Downtown New York, the 2024 River To River Festival explores themes of resonance, reconsideration, and resistance.  All events are free and open to all. Reservations are requested for some performances and events with limited capacity reserve here.

6/9: National Puerto Rican Day Parade

6/10: Movie nights in Bryant Park Forrest Gump (1994)

6/12: The Tony Awards

6/12: NY Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks

6/12 – 30: Summer for the City The Dream Machine Experience and The Bridge Lincoln Center Presents Time travel through an immersive AR experience across our outdoor spaces led by Cyboracle, the larger-than-life virtual avatar portrayed by Nona Hendryx.

6/12: The third annual Summer for the City festival. Over 200 free or choose-what-you-pay events that span a variety of topics, genres and  locations.

6/13 – 16: Juneteenth New York Festival

6/13: Summer for the City The Outdoor Film Series Black Swan Natalie Portman gives an Oscar-winning turn as a sheltered but driven young dancer with a ballet company in NYC who begins to buckle under pressure

6/17: Movie nights in Bryant Park The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

6/18 and 20: SummerStage The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital featuring Leah Hawkins, Mario Chang, Michael Sumuel

6/19 – 30: Black Restaurant Week up to 80 participating venues, including Red Rooster Harlem, Cascade Jerk, Twins BBQ Co., Collective Fare, Tamarind Island, Voila Afrique, Misfits Nutrition, Brooklyn Blend, Negril Village, Lee Lee’s Baked Goods, The Real Mothershuckers and many more.

6/20: Summer for the City The Outdoor Film Series Before Sunrise Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy) meet on a cross-Europe train. In Vienna, they walk, talk, look around—and fall unexpectedly in love. Damrosch Park

6/21: Summer for the City Social Dance Abaddón Tango. Get swept up in the majesty and beauty of Argentinian tango at this social dance night featuring the Abaddón Tango sextet.

6/21: 125th birthday of the Bronx Zoo 

6/21: Summer for the City The Outdoor Film Series Before Sunset. Nine years after Before Sunrise’s open-ended finale, Before Sunset’s immediate question—did Jesse and Céline reunite in Vienna—soon gets eclipsed.

6/21: Summer for the City Silent Disco. Strut your stuff under the stars as our popular Silent Disco series returns to NYC’s largest outdoor dance floor with a ten-foot disco ball.

6/22: The Coney Island The Mermaid Parade kicks off at 1pm.

6/22: Summer for the City Mykal Kilgore a concert for all ages featuring GRAMMY-nominated performing artist Mykal Kilgore!

6/22: Summer for the City The Wedding: New York’s Biggest Day Ever dreamed of getting married at Lincoln Center? For the third year in a row, we’re inviting hundreds of couples to celebrate love. Come join us!

6/22 -23: SailGP (Sail Grand Prix) will bring 10 international teams to the waters to race turbocharged F50 catamarans at more than 60 miles per hour. Fans can watch the action in stadium-style seats close to shore along Governors Island.

6/23: Summer for the City Rosanne Cash.  one of America’s leading songwriters and creative voices, performs a live set on the 30th anniversary of her classic album, The Wheel.

6/24 and 26: SummerStage The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital featuring Brittany Olivia Logan, Hannah Jones, Matthhew Cairns

6/26: Summer for the City ABT Silent Disco With DJ Remeice and Connor Holloway. Celebrate Pride Week with American Ballet Theatre in a silent disco spun by DJ Remeice and co-

6/24: Movie nights in Bryant Park Boomerang (1992)

6/26-29: Robeson at Little Island.

6/29: SummerStage Pride Disco: DJ Trixie Mattel + Amanda Lepore + Jess King

6/30: Pride Fest, The March

6/30: SummerStage Dreamland: Pride In Central Park With John Summit

 

 

 

 

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Inside 36th Annual Geraldo Rivera Golf Classic Honoring Howard Fensterman

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The 36th Annual Geraldo Rivera Golf Classic took place at the Old Westbury Golf & Country Club, Long Island, NY. The event’s host, Geraldo Rivera, Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist kicked off the golf classic with a brunch before the golfers hit the course at noon.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and town officials from West Babylon came together to proclaim the day of the event as “Geraldo Rivera Day”.  In addition, Geraldo was presented with a commemorative jersey from West Babylon High School and memento’s crafted by children participating in the Life’s WORC program.

This year’s event honored Howard Fensterman, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Abrams Fensterman, LLP as well as raised funds in support of Life’s WORC and their mission of making a difference in the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Notable attendees included: Geraldo Rivera, Erica Rvera, Howard Fensterman, Bill O’Reilly, Bruce Blakeman, Victoria Schneps, Sean Hannity (Virtual).

For decades, the groundbreaking Golf Classic and other high-profile events have helped bring hope and light to this once-marginalized population. The Life’s WORC team has been together since Geraldo’s critically acclaimed series exposing the deplorable conditions at the Willowbrook State School on Staten Island in January 1972, a half century ago.

Super-stars like John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Stevie Wonder, John Denver, and the Allman Brothers Band have all contributed with their talent and generosity. Like their concerts, charity boxing matches filled Madison Square Garden and brought thousands in celebration in Central Park. These events, including for the last 34 years the Geraldo Rivera Golf Classic, have raised millions and helped improve the lives of countless thousands.

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Tribeca Festival Gears Up

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The Tribeca Festival, presented by OKX, announced the 2024 jury members who will select winning projects in the film, games, and audio storytelling sections. The Festival has 17 competition categories in which jurors will honor winning storytellers and creators with artistic awards.

This year’s festival jury includes a diverse roster of groundbreaking filmmakers, award-winning actors, celebrated multi-hyphenate producers, and leaders from entertainment, including David O. Russell, Selma Blair, Asghar Farhadi, Kim Cattrall, Chinonye Chukwu, Nisha Pahuja, Nikyatu Jusu, Sheila Nevins, Francesca Scorsese, Clara McGregor, and more. In addition to the awards in competition categories, the Nora Ephron Award, created to honor the spirit and vision of the legendary filmmaker and writer, will be presented.

“We are thrilled to once again welcome a diverse group of remarkable filmmakers, creatives and industry players as jurors for the 2024 Tribeca Festival,” said Executive Vice President at Tribeca Enterprises Nancy Lefkowitz. “We look forward to their wide-ranging perspectives across storytelling genres and mediums coming together to honor the extraordinary group of submissions this year.”

More than 30 industry leaders were selected to honor feature-length and short film categories, composed of narrative and documentary films. Juries have also been established to honor the best work in games, as well as submissions in Tribeca’s returning audio storytelling category.

The winning films, projects, filmmakers, storytellers, and actors in each category will be announced at the Tribeca Festival ceremony on June 13.

 

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