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What to Look For At The 40th Annual Sundance Film Festival

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Utah 40th annual Sundance Film Festival will run from January 18 to the January 28. Since 1985, hundreds of films launched at Sundance Film Fest have gone on to gain critical acclaim and reach new audiences. Expectmovies about AI, politically and socially conscious films starring Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg (who is also back directing), Pedro Pascal, Sebastian Stan, Riley Keough, Woody Harrelson, Laura Linney with the return of Sundance darling Aubrey Plaza.

Highlights look to be the documentary Eno about the legendary music producer of David Bowie, Talking Heads, U2 and other artists.

Peter Sillen’s Love Machina following two futurists who commission an advanced humanoid AI named Bina48 to transfer Bina’s consciousness from a human to a robot in an attempt to continue their once-in-a-galaxy love affair for the rest of time.

Eternal You from Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck about startups which are using AI to create avatars that allow relatives to talk with their loved ones after they have died.

Jazmin Renée Jones’ Seeking Mavis Beacon explores late ’80s educational software Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing. However, the program’s Haitian-born cover model vanished decades ago and two DIY investigators search for the cultural icon, while questioning notions of digital security, AI, and Black representation in the digital realm.

Love Me: Long after humanity’s extinction, a buoy and a satellite meet online and fall in love. Cast: Kristen Stewart, Steven Yeun.

A Real Pain:Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Jesse Eisenberg. Mismatched cousins David and Benji reunite for a tour through Poland to honor their beloved grandmother. The adventure takes a turn when the pair’s old tensions resurface against the backdrop of their family history. Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Kieran Culkin, Will Sharpe, Jennifer Grey, Kurt Egyiawan.

Suncoast: A teenager who, while caring for her brother along with her audacious mother, strikes up an unlikely friendship with an eccentric activist who is protesting one of the most landmark medical cases of all time. Inspired by a semi-autobiographical story. Cast: Laura Linney, Woody Harrelson, Nico Parker.

The American Society of Magical Negroes: A young man, Aren, is recruited into a secret society of magical Black people who dedicate their lives to a cause of utmost importance: making white people’s lives easier. Cast: Justice Smith, David Alan Grier, An-Li Bogan, Drew Tarver, Rupert Friend, Nicole Byer.

DEVO: Born in response to the Kent State massacre, new wave band Devo took their concept of “de-evolution” from cult following to near–rock star status with groundbreaking 1980 hit “Whip It” while preaching an urgent social commentary.

A Different Man: Aspiring actor Edward undergoes a radical medical procedure to drastically transform his appearance. But his new dream face quickly turns into a nightmare, as he loses out on the role he was born to play and becomes obsessed with reclaiming what was lost. Cast: Sebastian Stan, Renate Reinsve, Adam Pearson.

The Outrun: After living life on the edge in London, Rona attempts to come to terms with her troubled past. She returns to the wild beauty of Scotland’s Orkney Islands — where she grew up — hoping to heal. Adapted from the bestselling memoir by Amy Liptrot. Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Paapa Essiedu, Stephen Dillane, Saskia Reeves.

Presence:  A family moves into a suburban house and becomes convinced they’re not alone. Cast: Lucy Liu, Chris Sullivan, Callina Liang, Julia Fox, Eddy Maday, West Mulholland.

Rob Peace:Robert Peace grew up in an impoverished section of Newark and later graduated from Yale with degrees in molecular biophysics and biochemistry while on scholarship. Peace led a dual life in academia and research while also earning six figures selling marijuana. Based on Jeff Hobbs’ bestselling biography. Cast: Jay Will, Mary J. Blige, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Camila Cabello, Michael Kelly, Mare Winningham.

Sasquatch Sunset: A year in the life of a singular family. Cast: Riley Keough, Jesse Eisenberg, Christophe Zajac-Denek, Nathan Zellner.

Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story: Never-before-seen home movies and extraordinary personal archives reveal how Christopher Reeve went from unknown actor to iconic movie star as the ultimate screen superhero. He learned the true meaning of heroism as an activist after suffering a tragic accident that left him quadriplegic and dependent on a ventilator to breathe.

Thelma: When 93-year-old Thelma Post gets duped by a phone scammer pretending to be her grandson, she sets out on a treacherous quest across the city to reclaim what was taken from her. Cast: June Squibb, Fred Hechinger, Richard Roundtree, Parker Posey, Clark Gregg, Malcolm McDowell.

Will & Harper: When Will Ferrell finds out his close friend of 30 years is coming out as a trans woman, the two decide to embark on a cross-country road trip to process this new stage of their relationship in an intimate portrait of friendship, transition, and America.

Winner: Reality Winner is a brilliant young misfit from a Texas border town who finds her morals challenged while serving as an NSA contractor. A sarcastic, gun-lovin, vegan, yogi, and CrossFit fanatic, Reality is an unconventional whistleblower who ends up being prosecuted for exposing Russia’s hacking of the 2016 election. Cast: Emilia Jones, Connie Britton, Zach Galifianakis, Kathryn Newton, Danny Ramirez.

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

Celebrity

The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

LET IT BE AGAIN — (Via SHOWBIZ 411) I told you yesterday the Beatles are releasing a restored version of “Let it Be,” the film, on Disney Plus. Peter Jackson, who made the “Get Back” series, did the work with his lab of mad scientists. “Let it Be” will begin streaming on May 8th.

Michael Lindsay-Hogg shot all the footage in 1969 and then made the final film. It played in theaters briefly, then disappeared. The rumor always was that Paul McCartney didn’t like the film. But when Jackson released “Get Back,” those reasons didn’t make sense.

Now the general public will see the film. (I saw it back in the day.) It should be exciting.

“Let It Be” contains footage not featured in the “Get Back” docuseries, bringing viewers into the studio and onto Apple Corps’ London rooftop in January 1969 as The Beatles, joined by Billy Preston, write and record their GRAMMY Award®-winning album Let It Be, with its Academy Award®-winning title song, and perform live for the final time as a group.

Michael Lindsay-Hogg

Michael Lindsay-Hogg says, “’How often do you get to see artists of this stature working together to make what they hear in their heads into songs. And then you get to the roof and you see their excitement, camaraderie and sheer joy in playing together again as a group” …“I was knocked out by what Peter was able to do with ‘Get Back,’ using all the footage I’d shot 50 years previously.”

“I’m absolutely thrilled that Michael’s movie, ‘Let It Be,’ has been restored and is finally being re-released after being unavailable for decades,” says Peter Jackson. “Over three parts, we showed Michael and The Beatles filming a groundbreaking new documentary, and ‘Let It Be’ is that documentary – the movie they released in 1970.”…“I now think of it all as one epic story, finally completed after five decades. The two projects support and enhance each other: ‘Let It Be’ is the climax of ‘Get Back,’ while ‘Get Back’ provides a vital missing context for ‘Let It Be.’

As much as I liked the Peter Jackson-version, the original still burns in my head. I well remember when it came out – with a greatphoto book I still have on my shelf. When all the chatter began about how much fun they really had come out; I sort of didn’t believe it. Face it, if the Fab Four didn’t like Hogg’s version back then … it never would have come out.

I think there was a backlash of sorts and that’s why the original is finally coming out again, though Jackson ‘s involvement is curious. The first time in 50 years no less!  If you want to see it unvarnished and how it really was … watch it.

DON IS BACK — (Via Deadline) Don Johnson is set to star opposite Joshua Jackson in Dr. Odyssey, a new ABC drama series from Ryan Murphy, which is targeting a fall launch. It hails from 20th Television in association with Ryan Murphy Television.

As is the case with any Ryan Murphy series, no details about the premise are being revealed. As the title suggests, Dr. Odyssey is believed to be a medical procedural. According to sources, it is set on a cruise ship.

Details about Johnson’s character are being kept under wraps.

Dr. Odyssey is written, and executive produced by Murphy, Jon Robin Baitz and Joe Baken. Paris Barclay is directing and executive producing. Eric Paquette, Alexis Martin Woodall, Eric Kovtun, Scott Robertson and Nissa Diederich also executive produce alongside Jackson.

Johnson is known for his roles as Det. Sonny Crockett on the classic 1980s NBC series Miami Vice and as the title character in the 1996 CBS series Nash Bridges, which he also reprised in the 2021 Nash Bridges movie for USA. Recent credits include the Emmy-winning HBO limited series Watchmen, Rian Johnson’s Knives Out and the Book Club feature franchise. He has coming up Book Club 2: The Next Chapter and Rebel Ridge.

Tokyo Vice

SHORT TAKES — Watched the second season of MAX’s Tokyo Vice-toplining Ansel Elgort; Ken Watanabe and Rachel Keller. Was a great run, though the ending seemed somewhat somber. Sure the bad-guy was offed, but it was his wife who did the most damage. Great show. Michael Mann is one of the Executive Producers and you can see his hands on everything … Felix Cavaliere and The Rascals at SONY Hall on May 17 …

(Via Deadline) Financier and producer Participant is shuttering after 20 years. Founder Jeff Skoll alerted staff at 10:30 a.m. PT on Tuesday, Deadline has confirmed. Sources say Skoll did an audit of the company and wanted to pivot from entertainment. We understand that most of the 100-person staff is being let go except for core employees who will settle out remaining productions and oversee outstanding commitments to the catalog. Participant’s m.o. was to bring content to the world that was socially conscious, read its Oscar Best Picture winners Spotlight from Open Road and Universal’s Green Book, as well as DreamWorks’ Oscar winner Lincoln. All in, Participant counts 135 films, five series, 21 Oscars — including the two Best Pictures, four Best Documentaries and two Best International Features — 18 Primetime Emmys and north of $3.3 billion in global box office

Pam Anderson joins Liam Neeson in a Naked Gun re-boot? Yes indeed …

Ripley

Steve Zaillian’s Ripley on Netflix is a staggeringly spellbinding take on Ripley; the novel by Patricia Highsmith. Not quite the often comedic-romp that was Matt Damon’s take, but rather a very stylish re-construction. Michael Scott as Ripley is pretty awesome and shot in black-and-white, the images are stunning. After the first few episodes that meandered a bit, I’m definitely into it. Very much recommended.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — John Boulos; Manny’s; Al Roker; Roger Friedman; Roy Trakin; Alec Baldwin; Ken Sharp; Surf Ballroom; My Father’s Place; Eppy; Chuck Pulin; Joel Diamond; Billy Amato; Ray Free; Al Teller; Joel Diamond; Robey; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Glenn Friscia; and SADIE!

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

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Celebrity

The Glorious Corner

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Kjersti Long (David Kaptein)

G.H. Harding

GO LONG —- We’ve spoken before of 17-year-old Kjersti Long – on Origin Entertainment/ModSquad (ADA) Records. Her latest single “Sad Song” has become a digital-hit and a new album (her second) is in the works.

She’ll also be in NYC for June’s Tribeca Festival and a prominent agency is stepping up to rep her and her play Relative Space is prepping for an opening in the West End.

Said NEW HD’s Zach Martin: “Kjersti Long, at just 17, stands as a beacon of talent and ambition in the music industry. Her journey from a prodigious debut at the tender age of 11 with the album “Stronger Than You Think I Am” on Broadway Records to becoming a significant influencer on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, Kjersti’s career trajectory is nothing short of remarkable​​. Her engagement with her fans and the music community through platforms like Instagram and TikTok, where she has garnered over 50 million views and more than 160,000 new followers, underscores her magnetic appeal and the resonant connection she forges through her music​​.”

She also has a song on the new Vanessa Williams album, “Legs.” Williams’ official video will be out April 26, but here’s an update on her from LifeMinute TV:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eD-Okb_T8CM

www.kjerstilong.com


RASCAL-ING AROUND —
(Via Forgotten Hits) Look for a new Rascals box set coming out May 31st.

The 7-disc set encompasses their entire recorded output with Atlantic Records, 1965 – 1971, including mono and stereo copies of their albums, special singles mixes and some previously unreleased tracks.  (I remember shelling out big bucks for an earlier CD edition of this set … but I’ve gotta tell you, this one has got the COOLEST looking cover!!!).

“The Rascals:  It’s Wonderful: The Complete Atlantic Studio Recordings features 152 remastered songs, including 14 previously unreleased tracks. The first four albums are presented in both stereo and mono, along with significant single edits and foreign language versions. The collection includes a 60-page booklet with detailed notes and rare illustrations from The Rascals archives.

Amazon’s got it for $69.99 (I paid 2 ½ times that much way back when for the original!) so pre-order now.  This is quite the collection!

Interesting that this box set is from the UK-based Cherry Red Records. Founded by Iain McNay in 1978, Cherry Red Records has continued to uphold the same fiercely independent values since day one. Check them out here: https://www.cherryred.co.uk/about

And don’t forget about Felix Cavaliere and Gene Cornish and The Rascals at SONY Hall on May 17.

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Atlantic-Recordings-Rascals/dp/B0CZ3NHLGG?crid=3S8UG8TZCIC3M&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.fcz-QxVsrVNGCoS-EbSPkg.htVhtZLFLUN8n9NrR1H-6rJi5fsjLvQexjIPS6c2Ges&dib_tag=se&keywords=B0CZ3NHLGG&qid=1712320481&s=music&

Micky Dolenz at Troubadour (Stevo Rood)

SHORT TAKES — Check out Tone Scott’s review of Micky Dolenz at LA’s Troubadour in Goldmine: https://www.goldminemag.com/columns/micky-dolenz-songs-and-stories-raises-the-roof-off-the-troubadour-all-for-make-a-wish#gid=ci02dac725a00025c5&pid=thumbnail-3

RIP Eleanor Coppola, wife of Francis Ford Coppola at 87. Years ago, I was at a screening of Roman Coppola’s A Glimpse Inside the Mind Of Charles Swan with Charlie Sheen. I loved the movie and at a post-screening event, I met Francis Ford Coppola, who could not have been more approachable.

He invited me to sit at his table with his wife Eleanor. Both were terrific. She’ll be much-missed by the film community as well. From Deadline: https://deadline.com/2024/04/eleanor-coppola-dead-hearts-of-darkness-francis-coppola-wife-1235883537/Happy Bday Brit Brashear.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Melinda Newman; Barry Fisch; Toby Rasmussen; Roy Trakin; Joel Diamond; Fred Armisen; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Richie Kaczor; Jim Burgess; Tom Scott; Steve Walter; Dan Zelinski; Herb Alpert; Hubert Laws; Eppy; Craig Newman; Jane Blunkell; John Billings; Lora Evans; Andrew Sandoval; Chris Carter; Wen Fernandez; and ZIGGY!

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Broadway

Patti LuPone Returns to Broadway and The Big Screen

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Three-time Tony Award winner Patti LuPone, who gave up her Equity card in 2022, will star opposite Mia Farrow in Jen Silverman’s new play, The Roommate. The production will be directed by Jack O’Brien and will begin previews at the Booth Theatre in August ahead of a September opening.

The Roommate tells the story of Sharon, in her mid-fifties, who is recently divorced and needs a roommate to share her Iowa home. Robyn, also in her mid-fifties, needs a place to hide and a chance to start over. But as Sharon begins to uncover Robyn’s secrets, they encourage her own deep-seated desire to transform her life completely. A dark comedy about what it takes to re-route your life – and what happens when the wheels come off.

The Roommate premiered at the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville in March 2015, and has had several regional productions including at Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2017.

Ms. LuPone will star in the upcoming Marvel series, WandaVision spinoff series Agatha: Coven of Chaos. She’s in a coven of witches, playing Lilia Calderu, who is hot, with a great body and hair. Calderu, first appeared in Marvel comics in 1973 as a 450-year-old Sicilian witch whose power is divination and whose trial is tarot. The other witches are Kathryn Hahn, Aubrey Plaza, and a familiar who is played by Joe Locke. Locke, is currently on Broadway in Sweeney Todd.

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Film

David Kramer Presents Jimi Hendrix – The Documentary/ The Review

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by John Muller ( Blue Notes and Conversations)

 “There’s so much misinformation out there in movies, documentaries and the internet, it’s as if there’s a deliberate campaign of disinformation to mislead in an attempt to rewrite history” says David Kramer. “The Hendrix-story has taken on urban myth-like proportions – stories abound that many people believe to be true but largely are not.”

I had the good fortune of seeing Emmy-Award winner David Kramer’s truly remarkable “Jimi Hendrix – The Documentary” at the Nyack International Film Festival. Hard for me to believe that the sensational 2-hour film that we were able to view is part of a much larger, even more extensive 12-plus hour, multi-part series covering the life and times of Jimi Hendrix. This is unauthorized, and that point was made by David at the screening on Saturday night, the Hendrix Estate legally trying to suppress the entire series, so far, thankfully unsuccessfully. It is a truly incredible slice of history, an amazing look into the life of Jimi Hendrix, without the hype and the canonization, without the beatification, leaving the legend behind so we get a deeper and closer look at the man himself. No bullshit – just the truth from those who knew him, performed with him, and were close to him.

Kramer has spent the last 30 years, with a small team, pulling together, unearthing, discovering hours of unseen Jimi Hendrix footage, well over 400 on-camera interviews, music clips and celebrating Jimi Hendrix – his joy, his humor, the tragedy, the mystery and all that surrounded Jim’s life and music.

I was fascinated by the segments presented on the screen, details many of which were unknown to me, a Jimi fan for decades. From the days when the Isley brothers auditioned an up and coming guitar player in the early 1960’s he already had quite a reputation for his unorthodox style of guitar work – left handed and upside down – onto the times Jimi spent living with the Isley Family in Teaneck, New Jersey; his performance at the Paterson Armory that had fellow musicians thunderstruck and amazed and the fans crazed with delight; his early days performing, including  a date with the Isley’s in West Nyack, New York at a battle-of-the-bands held outside on a flatbed truck. Those acid-dripping and alcohol-fueled performances at the legendary nightclub: The Scene, located in the basement of 301 West 46th Street where bands like The Animals, the Who, Young Rascals, Fleetwood Mac, Jeff Beck, Traffic, Muddy Waters, The Lovin’ Spoonful, and Led Zeppelin, all performed nightly where jam sessions always followed. Jimi regularly jamming into the wee hours of the morning with folks like Janis Joplin, Stephen Stills, Jim Morrison. On one particularly wild night Morrison was deep into drugs and alcohol, his performance with Jimi incoherent as Morrison screamed into the mic, going so far as to try to sexually seduce Jimi on stage with bouncers dragging him out of the club, as Morrison continuing to howl like a banshee on the mic as he was dragged outside.

Hendrix jamming with anyone, Johhny Winter among so many others mentioned in the film, and everyone who was lucky enough to make it inside the cramped and packed basement club on any given night of the week. Seemed like everyone wanted to outperform Jimi up on that dimly lit stage – and both the interview with, and video of Larry Coryell and Hendrix really illuminates the rivalry that many felt. The interviews with musicians who were there, those who performed with Hendrix, managers, friends and musicians, give a real keen insight into the real-life Jimi Hendrix, tossing aside the myths and the halo. He was a quiet, unassuming guy, who loved to perform, thrilled to play his guitar and have fun on that small basement stage, drinking his red wine, blending into the crazy scene of hangers-ons, groupies, friends, musicians, managers, cultural icons and lovers.

Sitting there watching the documentary I was transfixed by the interviews, by the footage and details from the “Isle of Wight” concert, the mysterious gentlemen who surrounded Jimi just before he was found dead in London, the reminiscences that were carefully compiled, interviews that came straight from the heart from so many who knew Jimi, performed with him, hung out with him, slept with him, and deeply cared about him – and many who were very worried about so many strange events that were part of Jimi’s life towards the end of his life.  The details about “The Monkees Party ” where Jimi was rescued by John Sebastian, a good friend, the infamous opening night party held at Electric Lady Studios where Japanese food was served spiked with acid unbeknownst to many, an event few remember, but those who do, say it was quite a trip!

As I sat there watching the film I could hear yells and cheers, cries from the audience as folks like Ginger Baker, Todd Rundgren, Jorma Kaukonen and Stephen Stills, to name but a few and many regional musicians from the New York area who were interviewed known to the audience as some were in attendance on Saturday night.

David Kramer Presents: Jimi Hendrix-The Documentary is a fascinating film, a project filled with enormous amounts of love and respect, dedication and perseverance. We get to see another side of Hendrix, stripping away the facade, hacking apart the legend, breaking down the walls of historical inaccuracies and legendary misinformation.

Jimi was a performer, a musician with other-worldly talent, who enjoyed playing the guitar, hanging out with friends, loved his women and up to a certain point in his life, was really enjoying himself as a regular person. We are welcomed into a world of intrigue, mistrust, free love, psychedelic-drug fueled jam sessions, explosive stage performances, explosive tirades, mafia influences, complete meltdowns, unbelievable guitar pyrotechnics and electrifying stage theatrics from a guy named James Marshal “Jimi” Hendrix.

A must-see for music fans worldwide. Seek this movie out immediately! I was captivated, mesmerized, and thoroughly entranced by the 2-hours that passed by as magically as the notes from “Purple Haze.” Outstanding achievement!

Rock guitarist, singer, composer, bandleader Jimi was gone by September 18, 1970 at the young age of 27.  He certainly lived a remarkable life.  Thanks so much David Kramer for giving us a chance to know Jimi a little bit better as a person, as a gifted and somewhat troubled human being, seeing him warts and all for the first time, a journey that was certainly worth the wait. What a trip!

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Broadway

Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents Pascale Roger-McKeever and Tony Award nominee Austin Pendleton

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“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents”, is  filmed live every Wednesday from 5 – 6 in the lobby of the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. This particular episode was filmed in two parts at different times due to the weather and extenuating circumstances.

In this episode T2C’s publisher and owner Suzanna Bowling talks with Pascale Roger-McKeever and Tony Award nominee Austin Pendleton.
We are so proud because the show and our guests are now featured on the TV screens in the lobby and the hotel rooms.

Austin Pendleton, Suzanna Bowling

Suzanna Bowling, Pascale Roger-McKeever

I am so grateful to my guests Pascale Roger-McKeever and Austin Pendleton. for joining me.

Austin Pendleton, Rommel Gopez, Suzanna Bowling

Rommel Gopez, Suzanna Bowling, Pascale Roger-McKeever

Thank-you Magda Katz for videoing and creating the content to go live, the audience who showed up to support us, Rommel Gopez and The Hotel Edison for their kindness and hospitality.

Austin Pendleton

Suzanna Bowling, Pascale Roger-McKeever, Craig J Horsley

Suzanna Bowling

Pascale Roger-McKeever will be starring in Fingers and Spoons directed by Tony Award nominee Austin Pendleton. Soho Playhouse 15 Vandam Street. starting on April 25th.

Roger Sichel, Austin Pendleton, Rommel Gopez, Suzanna Bowling

You can catch us on the following platforms:

Pandora:

https://www.pandora.com/podcast/live-from-the-edison-hotel-times-square-chronicles-presents/PC:1001084740

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/show/1084740

Spotify:

Amazon:

https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/e3ac5922-ada8-4868-b531-12d06e0576d3

Apple Podcasts:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/live-from-the-edison-hotel-times-square-chronicles-presents/id1731059092

We hope to see you there on April 17th. We will be announcing our guests tonight.

All photo’s except for the picture with Roger are by Roger Sichel.

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