Category Archives: Los Angeles Life and Style

4TH ANNUAL HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL THEATRE JERRY HERMAN AWARDS CEREMONY WILL BE HOSTED AT HOLLYWOOD PANTAGES THEATRE ∙ MONDAY, JUNE 1, 2015

Hollywood, Calif.  – The Nederlander Organization and Hollywood Pantages Theatre announced today preliminary nominees for THE 4TH ANNUAL JERRY HERMAN AWARDS, a celebration of the achievement and excellence in high school musical theatre in Los Angeles. Final nominations in all production and performance categories will be announced on Tuesday, May 26th.

Photo/ http://www.jerryherman.com

The annual awards show will be hosted by KABC-7 Reporter George Pennacchio at the Hollywood Pantages on Monday, June 1, 2015 at 7pm. All tickets for this awards celebration are $25 and are now on sale to the public online at www.JerryHermanAwards.comwww.HollywoodPantages.com/JHA2015,www.Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-982-2787 or at the Hollywood Pantages Box Office (6233 Hollywood Blvd). Group tickets are available atwww.PantagesGroups.com or by calling 866-755-3075 Mon-Fri; 10am-5pm PT.

 

Presenters from the worlds of Broadway, film & television currently confirmed to present awards include Corbin Bleu, Roger Bart, Kevin Chamberlin, Rico Rodriguez, Raini Rodriguez, Renée Marino, Jared Gertner, Jai Rodriguez, Josh Sussman, Lisa Ann Walter & Davis Gaines. Additional celebrity presenters and other special guests are expected to be announced soon.

KABC-7 REPORTER GEORGE PENNACCHIO RETURNS AS EMCEE. 

THE 4TH ANNUAL JERRY HERMAN AWARDS is directed by John Bowab, with Musical Direction by Gerald Sternbach and Musical Staging by Patti Colombo. Director of Education and Outreach is Paul Gleason, and the event is produced by Martin Wiviott.

 

This year’s recipient of the Ed Lester Lifetime Achievement Award is Los Angeles Arts Educator, and L.A. Opera Legend, Suzanna Guzman, who will be receiving the award from last year’s recipient, Paul G. Gleason.

 

Following in the tradition of year’s past, THE JERRY HERMAN AWARDS has invited four high schools to perform musical numbers during the awards program. Palos Verdes Peninsula High School will perform “Transylvania Mania” from Young FrankensteinOak Park High School will perform “And the Money Kept Rolling In” fromEvitaNew Community Jewish High School will perform the opening number from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and Chaminade College Preparatory High School will perform “Gaston” from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

 

All schools participating in THE JERRY HERMAN AWARDS are given the opportunity to send a leading man and leading lady to audition before a panel of judges, who determine the winner of the Best Actor and Best Actress categories. Winners in these two awards categories will represent Los Angeles at The National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City, where they will participate in a week long workshop and eventually compete for the coveted “Jimmy” Award; named after the owner of Hollywood Pantages: James M. Nederlander. This year’s panel of judges includes Kenny Ortega, Cathy Rigby, Kay ColeNancy Dussault & John Bowab.

 

Preliminary Nominations for the 4th Annual Jerry Herman Awards

During an eight month period this school year, over 32 eligible productions from 29 high schools were attended by adjudicators and scored in multiple creative, technical and performance categories, much like Broadway’s Tony® Awards. Final high school productions are currently expected to conclude by Sunday, May 24th.

 

For a full list of competing high schools and current breakdown of nominations, please visit www.JerryHermanAwards.comPlease Note: Final nominations in all performance and production categories will be announced on Tuesday, May 26th.

 

THE JERRY HERMAN AWARDS is a local celebration dedicated to recognizing, encouraging, and rewarding achievements and excellence in high school musical theatre.  It is the local award ceremony for THE NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL THEATRE AWARDS, also known as The Jimmys, which take place annually at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway in New York City. This year, the national awards show will take place on Monday, June 29th.

 

THE JERRY HERMAN AWARDS has a run time of 2 Hours and 45 Minutes and is recommended for all ages.  (Please note that in consideration of audiences, no one under 2½ years of age will be admitted to the theatre.)

 

For more information on THE JERRY HERMAN AWARDS, please visit www.JerryHermanAwards.com.

 

For tickets or more information about THE NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL THEATRE AWARDS, please visit www.nhsmta.com.

 

Veluzat Melody Ranch Movie Studios Joins SANTA CLARITA ANNEXATION of THREE MOVIE RANCHES INTO CITY’S MOVIE RANCH OVERLAY ZONE

Paul Veluzat, grandson of the late Paul T. Veluzat, makes the rounds at the family-owned Melody Ranch Motion Pictures Studios,  the storied backdrop to such films as The Lone Ranger, Wyatt Earp, Gunsmoke, Hopalong Cassidy, Annie Oakley, Rin Tin Tin, The Cisco Kid, and most recently Deadwood, Tall Tails, Last Man Standing, and Magnificent Seven.    Photo by Margie Anne Clark
Paul Veluzat, grandson of the late cowboy movie-ranch icon Paul T. Veluzat, makes the rounds during filming at the family-owned Melody Ranch Motion Pictures Studios, the storied backdrop to such films as The Lone Ranger, Wyatt Earp, Gunsmoke, Hopalong Cassidy, Annie Oakley, Rin Tin Tin, The Cisco Kid, and most recently Deadwood, Tall Tails, Last Man Standing, and Magnificent Seven. The City of Santa Clarita annexed three additional movie ranches into it Movie Ranch Overlay Zone  (MROZ) which includes the Veluzat Movie Ranch. Photo by Margie Anne Clark

The City of Santa Clarita has annexed three additional movie ranches into its Movie Ranch Overlay Zone (MROZ), including Blue Cloud Movie Ranch, 50’s Town, and Veluzat Movie Ranch

Santa Clarita, Calif. – The City of Santa Clarita has annexed three additional movie ranches into its Movie Ranch Overlay Zone (MROZ), including Blue Cloud Movie Ranch, 50’s Town, and Veluzat Movie Ranch, www.melodyranchstudio.com.  Already one of the busiest film communities in Los Angeles County, Santa Clarita anticipates continued increases in filming as a result of the recent annexation.

In April 2013, the City became the first in Los Angeles County to create a MROZ as a way to support existing production and film businesses, while attracting new productions and film companies.  Filming at properties located within this Zone benefit from reduced-cost permits and expedited permit processing time.  Sable Movie Ranch, Rancho Maria and A Rancho Deluxe were the first three ranches to be included in the MROZ last year.

“The film industry has been a part of Santa Clarita’s business community for more than a century,” said Mayor Laurene Weste.  “We are one of the busiest film communities in Los Angeles County, and are committed to developing innovative programs and incentives that help keep the State’s signature industry right here,” she added.

The MROZ provides the film industry with stability and certainty of being able to film at these ranches now and in the future.  The MROZ also demonstrates the City’s commitment to the film industry, providing an incentive for film productions to relocate to Santa Clarita.

Santa Clarita is one of the most filmed Southern California film communities in the 30-Mile Zone because of its film-friendly practices and policies, as well as its film infrastructure, which includes nearly 10 movie ranches and more than 20 sound stages.  In Fiscal Year 2013-2014, Santa Clarita set new film records with 1,370 film days representing an estimated $33.5 million in local economic impact from location filming alone.  August 2014 was another record-breaking month for the film office, with a 19 percent increase in film days and 43 percent increase in economic impact when compared to the year prior.

The City of Santa Clarita is currently home to some of television’s most-watched programming, including “NCIS,” “Switched at Birth,” “The Bridge,” “Chasing Life,” “Franklin and Bash,” “Justified,” “Utopia” and “Wipeout.”  For more information, please contact the Santa Clarita Film Office at 661-284-1425 or visit FilmSantaClarita.com.

THE 17TH ANNUAL L.A. CANCER CHALLENGE 5K/10K WALK/RUN RETURNS ON OCTOBER 26

Now in its 17th year, the LA Cancer Challenge 5K/10K Walk/Run (LACC) is another step closer to finding a cure for pancreatic cancer. Held on Sunday, October 26 at the Veteran’s Administration Grounds in West Los Angeles, the annual Halloween-themed family-friendly charity event will benefit the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. Photos by Angela Daves Haley
Now in its 17th year, the LA Cancer Challenge 5K/10K Walk/Run (LACC) is another step closer to finding a cure for pancreatic cancer. Held on Sunday, October 26 at the Veteran’s Administration Grounds in West Los Angeles, the annual Halloween-themed family-friendly charity event will benefit the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. Photos by Angela Daves Haley

unnamed unnamed-2 unnamed-3The Family-Friendly, Halloween-themed Charity Event will feature a Kids Can Cure Fun Run, Live Entertainment, a Fit Family Expo, a Halloween Kid Zone, a Costume Contest and more

 
LOS ANGELES, CA – Get ready for the return of the 17th Annual L.A. Cancer Challenge 5K/10K Walk Run on October 26th.  Honorary chairperson actor Michael Muhney of “The Young and the Restless” and “Veronica Mars”and Curt Sandoval, sports anchor with ABC7 Eyewitness News will be joining in the festivities. Now in its 17th year, the LA Cancer Challenge 5K/10K Walk/Run (LACC) is another step closer to finding a cure for pancreatic cancer. Held on Sunday, October 26 at the Veteran’s Administration Grounds in West Los Angeles, the annual Halloween-themed family-friendly charity event will benefit the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.
As one of Southern California’s largest and most popular charity races, the LACC includes: Kids Can Cure Fun RunFit Family Expo; Halloween Kid Zone with pumpkin decorating; live entertainment and a Halloween Costume Parade & Contest. Nearly 5,000 men, women and children of all ages are expected to attend with many of them dressed in festive Halloween costumes. 
 
“Each year, the LA Cancer Challenge brings awareness about pancreatic cancer to more people as well as raises money for much needed research,” said Lisa Manheim, executive director, Hirshberg Foundation. “As we continue to move forward, we see progress in research and treatment bringing us closer to finding a cure.” To date, the LACC raised over 5 million dollars for pancreatic cancer research. 
 
According to the American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts & Figures 2014, an estimated 46,420 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the U.S. and over 39,590 will die from the disease. Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. 94% of pancreatic cancer patients will die within five years of diagnosis. Only 6% will survive more than five years. 74% of patients die within the first year of diagnosis. Pancreatic cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US and is one of the few cancers for which survival has not improved substantially for more than 40 years.
 
The LACC is the Hirshberg Foundation’s signature fundraising event. The public is invited to register as individuals or teams. Early registration will remain open through October 3: $35 (5K OR 10K);$40 (5K AND 10K) and $20 (Kids Can Cure Fun Run ages 2-10).  Late registration is open from October 4 – 24 ($40 for the 5K OR 10K) and ($45 for the 5K AND 10K).
 
For more information or to register for the LACC, call 310-473-5121 or visit www.LACancerChallenge.com. Online registration ends October 24.
 
How else can you help?  Wear purple!  Show support by wearing a purple wristband embossed with the Foundation’s motto: You can hope, or you can help.  Bands are $2.00 each and are sold in packs of 10.  To make purchase or simply make a donation, please visit www.pancreatic.org or call (310) 473-5121
 
About the Hirshberg Foundation: Founded in 1997, the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing pancreatic cancer research, and providing information, resources and support to pancreatic cancer patients and their families.
 
Established by Agi Hirshberg, whose husband Ronald died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 54, the foundation includes the Ronald S. Hirshberg Translational Pancreatic Cancer Research Laboratory; the Ronald S. Hirshberg Chair in Translational Pancreatic Cancer Research; and the Hirshberg Pancreatic Cancer Information Center.
 
To date, the Foundation has:
  • Funded Seed Grant Award Recipients who have received $60 million in NIH grants
  • Raised more than $14 million for pancreatic cancer research and education
  • Granted over $1 million dollars in financial aid for patients
  • Provided assistance to thousands of patients and their families
  • Initial funding to UCLA allowed Seed Grant Program to extend to 24 Medical Research Institutions domestic and international.
  • Supported the American Pancreatic Association (APA), Japan Pancreas Society, and the European Pancreatic Club’s Annual Meetings
  • Presented the Agi Hirshberg Symposium at UCLA, focusing on research progress and patient and family education
  • Funded the creation of the Tissue Data Bank at UCLA
  • Awarded international grants to new investigators
 
Foundation Commitments:
  • Fund medical symposiums for pancreatic cancer research
  • Fund seed grants for new research projects of merit for pancreatic cancer
  • Consistently update the pancreatic.org site with the latest news and information
  • Host fundraising events to raise awareness and funds for pancreatic cancer
  • Provide financial assistance for patients
 
The Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research is a California charitable non-profit, corporation. It is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. The federal tax ID number for the foundation (EIN) is 95- 4640311. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
 

‘Avenue Q’ Muppet parody opens at Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre –

By Margie Anne Clark

Hollywood, Calif., – Taking its cue from the groundbreaking years of public television’s Muppet lore, Broadway’s Tony Award winning musical ‘Avenue Q’ is sweeping the clouds of political correctness away during its whirlwind stop at the Pantages Theater. The show opened tonight and runs through Sunday in a special limited engagement.Image and video hosting by TinyPicDavid Colston Corris, Ashley Eileen Bucknam, Michael Liscio Jr. (Top-Bottom) Actors Michael Liscio, Jr., David Colston Corris and Ashley Eileen Bucknam pose at the opening night of “Avenue Q” at the Pantages Theatre on March 1, 2011 in Hollywood, California. Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images North America) _________________________________________________________________________Reflecting on the early days of ‘Sesame Street’ which starred the likes of Bert and Ernie, Kermit the Frog, Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster, ‘Avenue Q’ cast member Ashley Eileen Bucknam who stars in two roles as “Kate Monster” and “Lucy the Slut,” told City Life that audiences are sure to enjoy the show’s unique and risqué format.

“You have to come into the show with an open mind, and by the end of the show you end up really feeling for these puppets,” said Bucknam who was born and raised in South Jersey where passion for the arts took flight at the age of two while growing up along the beaches of the Jersey Shore.

“There are many similarities to the original characters of Sesame Street but there is a lot more to it than a-b-c and one two three. You get involved in their lives and every character is someone you can relate to and have fun with.”

While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, ‘Avenue Q’ has not been authorized or approved in any manner by The Jim Henson Company or Sesame Workshop, which have no responsibility for its content.

In a departure from Sesame Street, the puppeteers of ‘Avenue Q’ take to the stage more in the tradition of a ventriloquist than a muppeteer.

Bucknam and her fellow cast members are fully seen on stage as they provide the voices for their colorful furry, Styrofoam-eyed characters with their lips moving in full sight.

“All of the actors wear black, but as the show progresses they are watching the puppets – it’s like watching the subtitles in a movie,” explains Bucknam of the challenge audience members may have of suspending belief with the actor’s faces and moving lips in full view. “Eventually you get used to it end up watching the puppets.”

As the play opens, ‘Avenue Q’ introduces audiences to a young man named Princeton, a bright eyed, college grad who moves to NYC with big dreams and a tiny bank account. The only apartment he can afford is way out on Avenue Q, where everyone is looking for the same thing he is: a decent job, a stable relationship, and a “purpose.”

“Every show is different because the characters evolve over the course of the tour,” Bucknam said of the show that has been seen in more than 96 cities in the United States and Canada.

Bucknam stars opposite David Colston Corris Princeton, Rod), Michael Liscio, Jr. (Nicky, Trekkie Monster, Bear & Others), Lisa Helmi Johanson (Christmas Eve), Tim Kornblum (Brian), Anita Welch (Gary Coleman) and Kerri Brackin (Mrs. T, Bear & Others). Rounding out the company are ensemble members Ben Hart, Kate Lippstreu, Katie McCreary, and Zach Trimmer. Avenue Q features music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, a book by Jeff Whitty, based on an original concept by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx; and is directed by Jason Moore. Puppet design is by Rick Lyon, with orchestrations by Stephen Oremus, choreography by Ken Roberson, scenic design by Anna Louizos, costume design by Mirena Rada, lighting design by Howell Binkley, and sound design by Lew Mead. Associate director is Evan Ensign and music supervisor is Andrew Graham.

“We’re thrilled and excited to be performing right in the heart of L.A.,” said Bucknam in between performances during her San Francisco stop prior to making her way down to the streets of Hollywood’s storied Tinseltown.

“Everything in life is for now only,” the classically trained actress added borrowing a line from the last song of the show when the characters come to the realization that growing up isn’t so bad at all.

“I hope that LA will love it as much as we do – and you never know what will happen next!”

Tickets to ‘Avenue Q’ may be purchased by visiting www.broadwayla.org or by call 800-982-ARTS (2787). Parental warning, Due to adult situations (like full-puppet nudity), ‘Avenue Q’ may be inappropriate for kids under 13. (Everyone must have a ticket; children under 5 will not be admitted to the theatre).

HARRY’S FRIENDSHIPS TESTAMENT TO HIS APPEAL – HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 1 OPENS NOV. 18 IN THEATERS EVERYWHERE

By Margie Anne Clark

The first installment of the two-part conclusion to the Harry Potter series finds the bespectacled wizard (Daniel Radcliffe) walking away from his last year at Hogwarts to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes to end Voldemort’s bid for immortality.
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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I will be releasing in the USA on 19th November, 2010. The $250 Million Dollar film will soon be followed by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II to be released on 15th July, 2011. Photo/Warner Bros.
But with Harry’s beloved Dumbledore dead and Voldemort’s unscrupulous Death Eaters on the loose, the world is more dangerous than ever. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I will be releasing in the USA on 19th November, 2010. The $250 Million Dollar film will soon be followed by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II to be released on 15th July, 2011.
But what makes this spectacular franchise so unique and enduring? In the mind of this reporter, Harry Potter is the ultimate hero to an entire generation of young muggles who literally grew up with the precocious orphaned wizard.
His amazing powers and struggles against the dark powers of Lord Voldemort have become an adventure the whole world has become engaged in.
What makes Harry Potter so special and such a worldwide phenomena is the way in which J.K. Rowling has brilliantly mixed magic and fantasy with the everyday struggles and angst that youth of today must face.
The story of Harry Potter is modern, yet timeless by means of transforming ordinary circumstances into extraordinary adventures.
In his struggle against good and evil, Harry Potter must face the world – mortal or otherwise – in all of its gritty glory, juxtaposed against the wonders of magic.
All the while facing his destiny, and mortal dangers that come with it – with a little help from his friends. And therein lies the real magic and the heart of Harry’s enduring appeal. The friendships that he forges, no matter what the odds, will always win out. And of course, Daniel Radcliffe’s portrayal the title character is the key to the young wizard’s popularity in the movie version of the Harry Potter series.

The modest British actor is endearing, possessing a young Paul McCartney-esque appeal with the charm and British wit to match. And like the timeless appeal of the Beatles, the character Radcliffe has created in film will no doubt stand the test of time and go on to enthrall generations of young muggles to come.

The Harry Potter films represent movie-making at its finest. The stories are gripping and engaging, and the superb special effects are brilliantly orchestrated to render a story that captivates its audience, even as it leaves us wanting more. Harry Potter is truly a Renaissance man, whose story will live on forever.

Margie Anne Clark is a Los Angeles based writer. She can be reached at margie@losangeleslifeandstyle.com