Connect with us


Those We Lost in 2022



Meat Loaf (Marvin Lee Aday), sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, his most popular being his 1977 debut record, “Bat Out of Hell.” He won a Grammy Award for his song “I’d Do Anything For Love” and appeared in over 65 movies, including an iconic role in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Hit singles include “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” and “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth.” Meatloaf

Kirstie Alley, was best known for her award-winning performance as Rebecca Howe on “Cheers” and her roles in iconic movies like “Look Who’s Talking” and “Drop Dead Gorgeous.” Alley won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her work on “Cheers” and earned the same nominations her role as the title character in “Veronica’s Closet.” She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and would see a revitalizing in her fame later in life with appearances on several reality shows including “Dancing with the Stars” twice and “Celebrity Big Brother.” Alley died after a battle with cancer.

Comedian and actor Louie Anderson was best known for his long career as a stand-up comic and for his Emmy-winning role on “Baskets.” Anderson helped create “Life With Louie,” an animated series in which he played a version of his childhood self. He was also host to a revival of the game show “Family Feud.” Anderson died at a hospital in Las Vegas of complications from cancer on Jan. 21. He was 68.

John Aniston, was best known as the character Victor Kiriakis, in the daytime soap-opera, “Days of Our Lives” which earned him a Daytime Emmy nomination in 2017, and a Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2022. Throughout his career he was featured in dozens of TV shows and films including “Kojak,” “The West Wing” and “Gillmore Girls.“ He died on Nov. 11, his daughter is actress Jennifer Aniston.

Lyricist Marilyn Bergman was teamed up with her composer husband Alan Bergman to write several hit songs. In 1969, the duo won an Academy Award for best song for “The Windmills of Your Mind.” They won again in 1975 for “The Way We Were.” In 1984, they won an Academy Award for best original song score for the movie “Yentl.” They also won two Grammys and four Emmys over their career. They also wrote the theme songs to hit TV shows like “Maude” and “Good Times” and were inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 1980.

Director Peter Bogdanovich, started his career as a movie critic and worked at the Museum of Modern Art producing film retrospectives. He worked as an assistant director on the movie “Wild Angels” in 1966. His 1971 breakthrough movie, “The Last Picture Show, garnering eight Academy Award nominations, including best picture and best director. He also directed such hits as “What’s Up, Doc?” in 1972 and “Paper Moon” in 1973. He also directed TV movies and episodes of popular shows such as “The Sopranos.”

Stephen “tWitch” Boss (40) worked as a dancer and choreographer, competing on the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance” in 2008, finishing in second place. In 2010, he worked with Ellen DeGeneres on a dance routine, and was hired as the show’s DJ and frequent guest host in 2014. He also appeared with DeGeneres in the TV show “Ellen’s Game of Games,” which was on the air from 2017 to 2021. Boss appeared in such movies as “Step Up,” “Magic Mike XXL” and “Stomp The Yard 2: Homecoming.”

James Caan’s screen debut was in the 1963 movie “Irma la Douce.” He delivered a heart-breaking performance in the 1971 TV-movie “Brian’s Song,” for which he was nominated for an Emmy. In 1972, he played the role of Santino “Sonny” Corleone in “The Godfather,” which earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination. He reprised the role in “The Godfather: Part II” in 1974. He starred in several movies in the 1970s and 1980s, such as “Rollerball” and “Thief.” He is well known for his roles in the 1990 movie “Misery,” and the 2003 movie “Elf.” 

In the 1970s, Irene Cara acted in television shows such as “Roots: The Next Generations” and “The Electric Company.” Her breakout role was Coco Hernandez in the 1980 movie “Fame,” for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination. She also sang the title track on the “Fame” soundtrack, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard dance charts. In 1983, Cara co-wrote and sang the title song “Flashdance…What A Feeling,” for the hit movie “Flashdance.” For this song she won a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Performance as well as an Academy Award for best original song.
Pat Carroll began her long career as a comedic actress on television, appearing in Sid Caesar’s variety show, for which she won an Emmy, and as Bunny Halper on “The Danny Thomas Show.” She regularly appeared on game shows and as a guest on series such as the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Laverne & Shirley.” A Tony-nominated stage actress for Catch a Star!, she also commissioned a one-woman play for herself about poet Gertrude Stein. She is best known as the stepsister in the CBS Cinderella and  the voice of Ursula, the villain in the animated film “The Little Mermaid.”
Aaron Carter, is the younger brother of Backstreet Boy member Nick Carter, who shot to fame at the young age of nine when he released his first self-titled album in 1997. His triple platinum album release “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It),” in 2000 was well received. He performed in New York as The Boy in The Fantasticks.
Gallagher, a stand-up comedian, was best known for his comedy routine in which he would use a sledgehammer, which he called his “Sledge-O-Matic,” to smash various food items, most often a watermelon. He had a series of popular comedy specials in the 1980s and continued performing stand-up for decades. He had a farewell tour in 2019 named “The Last Smash.”
Gilbert Gottfried began his decades-long career in comedy when he took to the stage in New York at the age of 15, working as a stand-up comedian. In 1980, he became a cast member on Saturday Night Live for one season. He was perhaps best known for voicing the role of the parrot Iago in Disney’s Aladdin movies. He also voiced the role of another bird, Digit, in PBS’s long-running children’s show, “Cyberchase.” He was a frequent guest on late night TV shows, comedy clubs and celebrity roasts.
Estelle Harris was known for her unforgettable role as overbearing mother Estelle Costanza on the sitcom “Seinfeld.” Harris was a veteran of stage and screen long before her career resurgence during the 1990s. Harris’ signature, high-pitched vocal delivery made her stand out even when performing vocal work for animated movies such as “Toy Story 2.”
Anne Heche appeared in TV, film and on Broadway, winning a Primetime Emmy for the TV movie “Gracie’s Choice” and a Tony Award for the play Twentieth Century. Heche also appeared in the movies “Donnie Brasco,” “Wag the Dog” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” Her memoir, “Call Me Crazy,” recounted her painful childhood and surviving abuse, which she told ABC News’ Barbara Walters led her to rely on alcohol and drugs.

Howard Hesseman was best known for playing disc jockey Dr. Johnny Fever on the TV show “WKRP in Cincinnati.” The role earned him two Emmy Award nominations. The show aired from 1978 to 1982. He also starred in the TV show “Head of the Class,” portraying teacher Charlie Moore for four seasons, and was in such movies as “About Schmidt” and “This Is Spinal Tap.”

William Hurt was one of Hollywood’s leading men of the 1980s, starring in movies such as “Broadcast News,” “Body Heat” and “The Big Chill.” He was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning the best actor Oscar in 1985 for his performance in “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” Hurt appeared in more than 50 theater productions, voiced popular movies and worked constantly in TV and film, with notable appearances in the series “Damages” and several Marvel films.

Olivia Newton-John was best known as a pop singer and actress. Her most famous roles was as Sandy in the movie adaptation of “Grease” alongside John Travolta with whom she frequently collaborated. Her hit song “Physical” cemented her as a superstar in the music video era. Newton-John’s long struggle with breast cancer inspired activism to fight the disease.

Leslie Jordan began acting in commercials in the 1980s. He appeared in many TV shows, such as “Ally McBeal,” “Desperate Housewives,” and “American Horror Story.” He is perhaps best known for the role of Beverly Leslie in “Will and Grace.” He appeared on the Los Angeles stage in the 1996 play Sordid Lives and Southern Baptist Sissies in 2000. He also starred in the off-Broadway shows Southern Blindness and Like a Dog on Linoleum.

County singer Naomi Judd scored 20 top-10 hits with her mother-daughter group the Judds, with her daughter Wynonna Judd. The duo won five Grammy Awards and were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2021.

Sally Kellerman had a career that spanned over five decades. She starred in the TV series “Cheyenne” in 1962 and guest-starred in such shows as “The Twilight Zone,” “Bonanza,” and the original “Star Trek” pilot. Kellerman was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan in the 1970 movie “MASH.” In 2014, she was nominated for an Emmy for her role in the soap opera “The Young and The Restless.” More recently she starred as Mark Maron’s mother in the series, “Maron.” Kellerman as sang in the Cabaret circuit.

Angela Lansbury, Beauty and the Beast

Angela Lansbury’s acting career began in 1942, in the movie “Gaslight,” for which she earned an Oscar nomination. She appeared in such movies as “The Manchurian Candidate” and “Beauty and the Beast.” She won an honorary Oscar in 2013, and six Golden Globes. Lansbury starred in the TV show “Murder She Wrote,” which ran for 12 seasons from 1984 to 1992. She was nominated for an Emmy Award 18 times. She starred in the Broadway musical, Mame. Throughout her stage career, she won six Tony Awards.

Quentin Oliver Lee worked on Broadway and Off Broadway in Caroline or ChangeOratorio for Living Things, but was widely known for his portrayal of the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. He was part of the team that won the 2021 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording inThe Prince of Broadway and Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.

Jerry Lee Lewis signed with Sun Records in 1956. His first hit was “Whole Lotta Shakin” in 1957, followed up that same year with another hit, “Great Balls of Fire.” He was known for his wild and rebellious performance style and stage presence. He released a country music song in 1968, “Another Place, Another Time,” and went on to have many Top Ten country singles and albums. He ventured into the pop charts with “Me and Bobby McGee” in 1971 and “Chantilly Lace” in 1972.
Ray Liotta made his acting debut in the daytime soap opera “Another World,” from 1978 to 1981. His breakout role was in the movie “Something Wild” in 1986. In 1990, he won critical praise for his role in “Field of Dreams,” but his most famous role came that year when he played mobster Henry Hill in “Goodfellas.” Liotta won an Emmy in 2005 for a guest appearance on the TV show “ER.” More recently, he appeared on television in the shows, “Texas Rising,” in 2015 and in “Shades of Blue,” with Jennifer Lopez, in 2016.

Robert LuPone, the brother of Broadway icon Patti LuPone. He was a graduate of Juilliard School, having studied with Antony Tudor, Jose Limon, and Martha Graham. He was Zach in A Chorus Line (1976), and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. Together with his former student, Bernie Telsey, LuPone established the Manhattan Class Company in 1986. This eventually became the MCC Theater. As its artistic director, he produced Frozen (2004), Reasons To Be Pretty (2008), and “Hand to God” (2014), all of which were nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play and eventually made their way to Broadway. On television, LuPone appeared in five episodes of The Sopranos as Dr. Bruce Cusamano, next-door neighbor of the titular Soprano family (1999–2007). He appeared on Law & Order: Criminal Intent for two episodes as Nelson Broome (2003–2009), and on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for one episode in 2004. He also appeared on All My Children in the 1980s and Guiding Light in the 1990s. He appeared in the pilot episode of the NBC musical series “Smash as well as the pilot episode of Showtime’s drama “Billions.”

Loretta Lynn rose to fame with her hits “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” “Fist City” and “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” which would become her first No. 1 country hit in 1966. Her song, “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” would also be the title for the 1980 film made about her life, starring Sissy Spacek. Lynn was named the Country Music Association’s first female vocalist of the year in 1967. In 1972, she became the first woman ever to be CMA entertainer of the year. She was a true country music icon.
Christine McVie joined Fleetwood Mac in 1970. She was a keyboardist, vocalist and songwriter. She wrote such hits as “You Make Loving Fun” and “Don’t Stop.” The Fleetwood Mac album “Rumours,” released in 1977, is one of the bestselling albums of all time. McVie took a hiatus in 1998 but returned to Fleetwood Mac for its “On With The Show” tour in 2014.
Mary Mara, a veteran television and theater actor, starred in popular TV dramas including “Nash Bridges,” “ER” and “Law & Order.” Mara graduated from the Yale School of Drama with a master’s degree in fine arts and her stage performances included Kindertransport, Ivanov and Twelfth Night, where she co-starred with Michelle Pfeiffer, Jeff Goldblum and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.

Mad Men’s Robert Morse

Robert Morse made his Broadway debut in 1955 in the play The Matchmaker. In 1962, he won a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as J. Pierrepont Finch in the original production of How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. He reprised the role in the 1967 film adaptation. He won another Tony Award in 1990 for his lead role in the play Tru. In 1992, he won an Emmy Award for the American Playhouse production of “Tru” on PBS. More recently he played the role of Bertram Cooper in the TV series “Mad Men.”

Issey Miyake was a Japanese fashion designer who rose to global fame by defining a unique Japanese vision. He created pleating methods that would allow flexibility of movement for the wearer and ease of care and production; his designs featuring origami-like pleats merged art and fashion. After Steve Job’s idea of uniforms for Apple employees proved unpopular, Jobs opted for one for himself, including Miyake’s black turtleneck sweaters paired with Levi’s 501 jeans and New Balance 991 sneakers.
Manfred Thierry Mugler was a French fashion designer known for his adventurous and theatrical designs, worn by supermodels, Hollywood royalty and fashionistas around the world. In 2019, he was responsible for Kim Kardashian’s “wet look” dress for the Met Gala, and that same year dressed Cardi B in a pink and black “stormy Venus” dress for the Grammy Awards. Mugler created a perfume line and was also an author and artist.
Nichelle Nichols broke through barriers during her decades-spanning career as an actress, singer and dancer. She is best known for her portrayal of Lt. Nyota Uhura on the television and movie series “Star Trek,” in which she shared a landmark interracial kiss with her co-star William Shatner on the small screen.
Pele was a Brazilian professional footballer regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. He was among the most successful and popular sports figures of the 20th century. In 1999, he was named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committeeand was included in the Time list of the 100 most important people of the 20th century. In 2000, Pelé was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) and was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century. His 1,279 goals in 1,363 games, which includes friendlies, is recognised as a Guinness World Record

Pope Benedict who became first to resign in 600 years when he stood down nine years ago. He will lie in state in St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican

Sidney Poitier starred in the movie “No Way Out” in 1950 and in “Blackboard Jungle” in 1955. He earned an Academy Award nomination in 1958 for “The Defiant Ones.” In 1964, Poitier became the first Black actor to win an Academy Award for best actor for his performance in “Lillies of the Field.” In the 1970s, he directed such films as “Uptown Saturday Night” and “Let’s Do It Again.” He received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1995 and an honorary Academy Award in 2002. In 2009, President Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign is the longest in the history of the British monarchy. She ascended to the throne in 1952 at the age of 25.
Bob Saget began his career as a stand-up comedian and was best known for his role as Danny Tanner in the TV show “Full House,” which ran from 1987 to 1995. In 1996 he directed the TV movie “For Hope” and in 1998 he directed the movie “Dirty Work.” He was featured in the film “The Aristocrats” in 2005 and hosted a documentary series “Strange Days with Bob Saget” in 2010. In 2016, he reprised the role of Danny Tanner for the Netflix series “Fuller House.” He was also the voice of the narrator on the TV show “How I Met Your Mother.”
Tony Sirico’s film debut was in 1974 in the movie “Crazy Joe.” He appeared in several movies directed by Woody Allen such as “Bullets Over Broadway,” and “Café Society.” He was best known for playing gangster roles, such as Tony Stacks in “Goodfellas,” and, most notably, he played Paulie Walnuts in the TV show “The Sopranos.” Sirico

Paul Sorvino

Paul Sorvino was best known for his roles as mobster Paulie Cicero in the movie “Goodfellas” and an NYPD sergeant in the TV series “Law & Order.” Born in Brooklyn, he made his Broadway debut in 1964 and film debut in 1970. He became a mainstay in TV and film, in roles from Henry Kissinger in “Nixon” to a communist in “Reds.” Sorvino was also a respected tenor, performing at Lincoln Center in 2006. He had three children with his first wife, including the Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino.

Willie Spence was a contestant on season 19 of American Idol and placed second behind Chayce Beckham and sang hits such as “Georgia on My Mind” and “A Change Is Gonna Come.”

French actor Gaspard Ulliel was best known for his role as a young Hannibal Lecter in “Hannibal Rising” and his portrayal of fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent in “Saint Laurent.” He won two Cesar awards, France’s highest film honor, one for his role in “The Very Long Engagement” and the other for “It’s Only the End of the World.” Ulliel was a rising talent, set to star in the highly-anticipated Marvel series, “Moon Knight” and was the face of Chanel’s Blue de Chanel fragrance.

Barbara Walters was a broadcast journalist and television personality. Known for her interviewing ability and popularity with viewers, Walters appeared as a host of numerous television programs, including Today, the ABC Evening News, 20/20, and The View. Walters was a working journalist from 1951 until her retirement in 2015. Walters was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1989, and in 2007 received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2000, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Vivinne Westwood was an English fashion designer and businesswoman, largely responsible for bringing modern punk and new wave fashions into the mainstream. Westwood opened four shops in London and eventually expanded throughout Britain and the world, selling an increasingly varied range of merchandise, some of which promoted her many political causes such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, climate change and civil rights groups.

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:


Events In April Bring Easter, Spring and Flowers Galore.



Photograph: Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Macy’s, Inc.

Join the Judy Garland and Fred Astaire tradition with the Easter Bonnet Parade on Fifth Avenue. There is also the Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden or right at home the flower show at Macy’s. On select Fridays every month, you can enjoy Free Admission to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum between 5 pm and 9 pm.

Until 4/9: Macy’s Flower ShowThe show includes beautiful, bright floral arrangements, special events including live music, and kids’ activities.

until 4/23: This is The Orchid Show‘s 20th year. Reconnect with nature while experiencing the picture-perfect beauty of the orchids. On select nights, adults can experience the exhibition through Orchid Nights, with music, cash bars, and food available for purchase.

4/1-30: Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival. The festival, hosted by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, celebrates Japanese culture and the arrival of spring. It features a variety of cultural performances and activities, as well as a small flea market, tea ceremonies, and crafts. The highlight is the magnificent display of cherry blossom trees, with over 200 trees in full bloom. Visitors can admire the pink and white blooms and enjoy a traditional Japanese atmosphere. Tickets are usually around $40 for adults, though seniors and students get a reduced rate of $35.

4/7-16th: The New York International Auto ShowThe first new york Auto Show took place in 1900, for over 120 years now they have been sharing what’s new and interesting in the auto industry.

4/9: The Easter Parade starts near St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 10am. The tradition dates back to the 1870s, where elaborate bonnets and fashion galore is full frontal.

4/9: “Georgia O’Keeffe: To See Takes Time,” comes to MoMA.

4/15: The Tartan Day Parade is an NYC tradition that offers attendees a unique way to celebrate and honor Scottish culture. For the 25th year, there will be bagpipes, dancers, and even Scottish dogs marching in the parade. Attendance is free and open to the public. In addition to the parade, expect a whole week of Scottish-themed events and festivities.

4/15: Pillow Fight in the Park at Washington Square Park.

4/15: The New York Restoration Project is giving out 3,500 free trees to New Yorkers across all five boroughs. To get one of the 3,500 free trees that will be given away, register in advance on this website, where you’ll also get to browse through the current list of distribution dates, times and locations.

4/15 and 29: f the likes of udon, yakitori, ramen, and taiyaki make your mouth water, then mark your calendar for Japan Fes in Chelsea. The event will be held from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and is considered a paradise for Japanese foodies and cultural enthusiasts.

4/16: Holi in The City demands food, music, dance, and fun while embracing people and organizations from all ethnic and religious backgrounds.

4/22: Earth Day celebrated in NYC with a festive, family-friendly outdoor fair in Union Square. There will be dozens of exhibitors, interactive displays, a green-vehicle show, family activities, music, and entertainment. 12-6pm.

4/27: Attend The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience

4/27- 30: Antiquarian Book Fair now in its 63rd year, this festival for book collectors at Park Avenue Armory for a full weekend of first editions, maps, manuscripts and other treasures from literary epochs past from nearly 200 exhibitors.


Continue Reading

Out of Town

The Unpacking of the First Métis Man of Odesa, An Interview




Punctuate! Theatre is unpacking a love story. A love story about a couple. A love story about Ukraine. And a love story against an unbelievably complicated backdrop. Starting at The Theatre Centre in Toronto, the company is ushering forth the world premiere of First Métis Man of Odesa before it spins itself out on stages across Canada. Spanning continents and set against the backdrop of the COVID pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Métis playwright and Punctuate! Artistic Director, Matthew MacKenzie (Dora Award-winning playwright for Bears, After the Fire, The Particulars) joins forces with his wife, the award-winning Ukrainian actress Mariya Khomutova (Odesa Film Festival Grand Prix – The Golden Duke award-winner NONNATwo People), to tell the story of their COVID courtship and share an intimate perspective on the personal impacts of the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Matthew MacKenzie and Mariya Khomutova.

Drawn from their real-life love story, a story that is ultimately still unfolding to this very day, First Métis Man of Odesa unpacks the journey of Matt and Masha’s love that spans continents where distance and conflicts can’t tame their passionate connection. After meeting on a theatre research trip in Kyiv, a spark is struck, and a romance between a Métis Playwright and a Ukrainian artist is ignited, taking them from the beaches of the Black Sea to the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, within the onset of a global pandemic, the eruption of a brutal war, but also the many joyous moments that this union begets, including marriage and the birth of their son.

During the height of the lockdown in 2021, an initial version of this piece was presented as a radio play at Factory Theatre, written by MacKenzie and directed by Nina Lee Aquino. This March, First Métis Man of Odesa, as directed by Lianna Makuch (Pyretic Productions/Punctuate!’s Barvinok), makes its stage debut, offering a compelling continuation of the initial story told in that first radio play. The couple, Matthew MacKenzie and his wife, Mariya Khomutova, sat down with Frontmezzjunkies and thankfully answered a few questions about their incredible journey from that first love-struck connection to its World Premiere at The Theatre Centre in Toronto.

Tell me, how you decided to embark on telling your own story and what the beginning of this creative process looked like for you two?

Initially, Matt wrote an audio play for Factory Theatre about our romance, then getting married and having their son during the pandemic.  The plan had been to expand the piece for the stage, a plan that took on much urgency after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Both the pandemic and war have a deeply dehumanizing effect, so our hope in telling our love story is to share the human side of these major world events; a human side that headlines and news clips can’t fully capture.

What aspect of your character, or your involvement with/creation of this play resonates the most powerfully inside you?

For both of us, the opportunity to share all the joy, humour, anger, and frustration we’ve experienced in the past few years is a really therapeutic process.  Many of our friends and family only know snippets of what we’ve been through, so the opportunity to tell our story across the country is one we are deeply grateful for.

The phrase “you don’t know what someone is carrying with them” has really hit home over the past couple of years, as we have had to contend with some pretty epic challenges as a couple and as individuals.

Tell me a bit about what it is like to bring your character to the stage? What does mean to you to be telling this story?

We play ourselves in the play, but we very much play versions of ourselves in the play.  We had to mine conflict between us out of a few outbursts, as there haven’t actually been a lot of [conflicts] in our relationship so that we could bring the drama of what we are going through to the fore.

Challenges of playing ourselves have included the fact that [Matt] is not a trained actor, while Mariya is. Mariya though comes from a theatre tradition that was almost entirely focused on the classics, so playing herself in a play based on her life is definitely a new and challenging experience!

Tell me a bit more about your development process? Was there a typical ‘first read’ or was it different, given your own story inspired the work…

We were able to conduct several development workshops over a period of six months.  There was no shortage of content that we could derive from our lives, so the challenge was determining what to keep and what to let fall away. Even after our first read, we cut 15 pages from our rehearsal draft.  Events in our lives and in Ukraine will no doubt continue to necessitate the evolution of our script.

What’s been the most challenging part of this process for you?

For Mariya, it was buying into the idea (that is quite a common one in Canada) that a play about someone’s real life can be art.  Seeing Hailey Gillis’s My Ex-boyfriend Yard Sale, really helped her believe this was possible.

For Matt, it met the challenge of performing for the first time in ten years.  The last time he performed, he made his friends promise they would never let him perform again, but all agreed it didn’t make much sense for anyone else to play him in this piece.

The most rewarding?

Having already performed several shows in Kamloops, the most rewarding part of this process is sharing this story with refugees from Ukraine.  Their responses have been incredible and have really encouraged us to share our story with as many people as possible.

What do you want the audience to get from this play, and from your character?

We want the audience to join us as we relive our sweeping love story, from Odesa to Toronto.  We want the audience to see the human side of the conflict in Ukraine.  And we want the audience to leave the theatre with the hope that love can and will conquer all.

First Métis Man of Odesa is in Toronto for its world premiere run at the Franco Boni Theatre @ The Theatre Centre from March 30 – April 8, 2023 (opening March 31). Following the world premiere in Toronto, First Métis Man of Odesa will appear at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, The Cultch in Vancouver, and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg. For information and tickets, please visit

For more go to
Continue Reading

Book Reviews

Inside The PR Brain



G.H. Harding

For PR-guru David Salidor, late-February proved to be as hectic a week in his 40+-year career as ever. With client Micky Dolenz in tow; Monday night was The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon; Tuesday held four different interviews at SiriusXM; later that night was the premiere for actor Willem Dafoe’s new movie Inside; and, Wednesday held an early spot back at NBC for NY LIVE with host Sara Gore.

THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON — Episode 1803 — Pictured: (l-r) on Monday, February 27, 2023 — (Photo by: Todd Owyoung/NBC)

For the music industry veteran, it was the latest chapter in a career that was sealed back in 1967 at Long Island’s Lido Beach Club when he saw a new group, The Who: Says Salidor, “My father who worked for Decca Records asked if I wanted to accompany him and go see a new group the company had just signed. Believe it or not, it was The Who, playing around the club’s swimming pool. It was unlike anything I had ever seen; Keith Moon with day-glow drumsticks and Townshend literally destroying his guitar at the end of the set. For me, that was it, this business was for me.”

Salidor also worked for the legendary My Father’s Place club in Roslyn, New York, that launched everyone from Bruce Spingsteen,  to Todd Rundgren and Hall & Oates. “If The Who whet my appetite, My Father’s Place solidified my journey,” Salidor adds.

London Records

His first job out of college (where he was music director the college-station) was for the much-missed London Records. “All of a sudden, I was working with the Rolling Stones and Moody Blues, Al Green and Gilbert O’Sullivan. I was the new kid in town, but learned about everything all at once. I was doing ad layouts, writing press releases and taking the artists to radio stations. It was a trial by fire for sure, but I loved it,” adds Salidor.

He went onto to work for other labels like Atlantic and the PR-firm the Howard Bloom Organization, which at the time was the hottest pr-firm in the country, with clients including Billy Joel; Prince; Genesis. Genesis stands out for him. “It was right when Peter Gabriel left the band and there was a tour which I went on. Imagine every night not only seeing a terrific show, but also a dazzling visual show. No question, they were the tops at that point,” he says.

He also formed a relationship with Tom Silverman – then running a very influential tip-sheet called Dance Music Report. He and Silverman, who was also his first and only partner for a spell, went onto create the New Music Seminar, which became a focal point for all the new labels and artists to network. Adds Salidor, “That first event was held at SIR Studios in NY and everyone who was anyone attended. It’s funny now to recall that we started it because we couldn’t get properly accredited for the Billboard Music Forum, which was then the featured industry event in the business; but really neglected the up-and-coming acts and labels.”

A two-year stint with indie ZE Records was also a fascinating run. “This was during the burgeoning new-wave/no-wave movement and I just loved it. Kid Creole & The Coconuts; Cristina; Material; Suicide ; james White and the Blacks and it introduced me to the The Mudd Club, which became an instant favorite.”

A life-long association with August Darnell and his Kid Creole & The Coconuts began as well. “August is without a doubt one of the most creative artists I’ve ever worked with, Totally unique.”

He decided to start his own firm in 1984. He adds, “I learned very quickly that working for someone else is a double-edge sword. If a good campaign happens, the head of the firm gets the credit; if the campaign doesn’t work, you get called on the carpet.”

His first success via his dis Company was with Profile Record’s Run-DMC. “Profile was an amazing label back then. Cory Robins was one of the premiere music guys and had a prescient nuance. Together we got Run-DMC on the cover of Rolling Stone and made them a major marquee attraction. They started the whole urban, hip-hop era. I know it was a long time ago, but they were the first along with Kurtis Blow. No question.”

The next big project to come his way was with a 15-year-old from Merrick, Long Island, named Debbie Gibson. “This was something I had never encountered before; a performer who wrote her own music; produced it and had just an engaging personality. Needless to say, she was a smash. Tours, videos, hit singles followed. Totally engaging and creative. I remember being in Bremen, Germany, when I sat with her at a piano and she played me her entire second album … that hadn’t even been recorded or released yet. Totally amazing talent,” adds Salidor.

Mark Bego and David

Also, a life-long association with celebrity-scribe Mark Bego began. Called the “prince of pop bios” by Publisher’s Weekly. 62-books later, their relationship continues to this day. Bego will be releasing a bio on Joe Cocker later this year via Yorkshire Publishing – also a client.

David, Mark Bego and Micky Dolenz at the Hard Rock Cafe in 1993

Bego would go on to pen several books on Salidor’s clients; including Debbie Gibson and Madonna. Also, Bego wrote the authorized bio on Micky Dolenz (I’m A Believer) in 1993 and Salidor set up a launch party at NYC Hard Rock Cafe. That was the first time Salidor met Dolenz,which foreshadowed a Dolenz/Salidor PR-connection down the road.

David with Jellybean, Madonna; and Russell Simmons photos from dis COMPANY archives)

He was also involved with Madonna in her early stages. “Madonna was always a star. You could just feel it. Repping her then boyfriend and producer John Benitez was key. She and I would constantly discuss pr and together we accomplished a lot. Signing her to Seymour Stein’s Sire was a major move for her.”

Salidor also recalls repping a number of prominent DJs turned producers as well, including Jim Burgess; Arthur Baker; Shep Pettibone and Mark Berry. Remembering, “It was an interesting time; people today forget the amazing contributions they made to music. Pettibone’s production and writing of ‘Vogue’ is still a gem to this day.”

Amid so much success, Salidor also recalls the low-points of a career. “When a client leaves after so much success, there’s certainly a mourning period, but it’s also part of the business. Loyalty is a word that gets thrown around a lot, but is not as evident as one would assume in this business. I just read where a major music personality personally delivered tour bonuses to his road  crew. In all my years, I’ve never heard of something like that happening … never. Loyalty and professionalism are rare, rare traits.”

Gibson and Profile would eventually leave his purview; although he worked for Gibson on many of her other endeavors.

In 2004 Salidor met Micky Dolenz and they began working together. “No shade to former clients, but Micky is the most professional client we’ve ever had. Certainly, growing up in the family business, as I had, had everything to do with it. Last year Dolenz did a sit-down with CBS Morning’s Anthony Mason which was sensational. Mason, a fan, did a no-holds barred interviews that was universally embraced by not only Dolenz’s huge fanbase, but by other PR-persons as well, which is always an interesting development – having other experts compliment you!” Salidor recalls.

“When you set a campaign up, three things can happen. #1, everything goes well and it’s a smash. #2: It doesn’t go well, and, #3. It happens, but there’s no feedback. The reality is that sometimes, even bad feedback is good. It’s a funny business, but your reputation, contacts and experience is key.”

Regrets … he’s had a few: “There was a jazz/rock/fusion band that made some terrific records, on SONY of all places and though they had a #1 jazz album, they just did not get the respect that they should have had. I love jazz and watching them perform live was just great. The powers-that-be there had their own ideas, which weren’t at all realistic.”

And, “When Debbie Gibson was a hit, every parent that had a child who they thought could sing called us. 99% of them didn’t have it. Talent, success, know-how … it’s something that I’ve always been able to recognize. We’ve worked with several young female-singers, but they just didn’t have the right people in place. One from New Jersey had her father paying for everything, but doing exactly what he wanted and he just didn’t have any idea about the business. He installed solar heating panels!”

Continues Salidor, “Management is key and finding the right one is often not easy; there are a lot of people who profess to be a manger and they’re clearly not. Organizing a campaign is a lot of meticulous work; knowing what the client is capable of is key too. Being a PR-person is akin in some ways to being a closet-psychiatrist – you’ve got to know your limitations. That NYC-week with Micky Dolenz was prodigious because I knew exactly what would work and I knew how well he’d perform.”

Salidor is also currently repping involved writer Terry Jastrow (Anne Archer’s husband); Donnie Kehr’s Rockers on Broadway and writer C.W. Hanes.

What does Salidor see in his future. “Certainly, more of the same. Identifying the talent and trying to develop it to the point of releasing it in the most effective way. Many of my peers say the music business has changed and not for the better. I disagree as there are more opportunities for music and musical artists than ever before.  bring it on!

Continue Reading
Advertisement pf_06-2


Copyright © 2023 Times Square Chronicles

Times Square Chronicles