Sunday, May 26, 2013

SceneAroundTown... Claire Booth Luce's "The Women"... Theatre West

Heather Alyse Becker and Maria Kress....  Photo by Thomas Mikusz

Caitlin Gallogly...  Photo by Thomas Mikusz

Cast of  Theatre West's "The Women"... Photo by Thomas Kinusz 

Theatre West's latest production transports audiences winningly back to the 1930's via Claire Booth Luce's comedic satire "The Women" gamely directed by Arden Teresa Lewis.  The story is about a circle of several affluent Manhattan society women and their far from healthy and far from perfect relationships with each other and their men though no men appear in the production.  The hired help in their lives at their homes, salons and stores are also featured prominently and often show better judgement, kindness and good will than they do. Likable Maria Kress stars as Mary Haines, a lovely, sensible happily married wife and mother.  Happy that is until her scheming bitter friend Sylvia Fowler (Leona Britton) bragging about her "jungle red" nail polish sets her up with well meaning but gossiping manicurist Olga (Heather Alyse Becker) to find out her husband is cheating on her with conniving gold digger shop girl Crystal Allen (Caitlin Gallogly).  The women love their "jungle red" nails and love to use them to claw at each other.  It's hard for them to fathom the idea of a shop girl like Crystal getting her claws into someone like Stephen Haines and moving into their social class.  Mary's mother (Sandra Tucker) advises her to turn the other eye and ignore the affair just as she did when she found out her husband had a mistress years before.  Mary can't believe that her own father cheated on her mother and for a while goes along with her mother's advice to ignore the situation.  That is until the sparks fly when Mary and Crystal meet shopping at the ritzy department store they both patronize.  Idealistic Mary believes that she must file for divorce and then her husband will come to his senses and come back to her but in time she finds out that "Reno's full of women who love their pride".  Kudos to the talented cast and crew on a very entertaining show. "The Women" features beautiful sets and costumes by David Offner and Valerie Miller respectively and plays until June 16th.  Visit for details.        

Sunday, May 19, 2013

SceneAroundTown.... World Premier Of "The Magic Bracelet".... WGA Theater

Stacy & Ari Goldberg arrive for the premiere of Rina Goldberg's "The Magic Bracelet"...  photo courtesy Ella Batalon
Bailee Madison & Hailee Steinfeld...  photos by Ella Batalon
 Lana Parrilla joins The Magic Bracelet's  Bailee Madison & Tamika  Lamison....  photo by Ella Batalon

Last nite was the very moving premiere of the late Rina Goldberg's short film called "The Magic Bracelet" at the WGA in Beverly Hills.  Rina was a smart, sweet, socially conscious creative teen from Philadelphia that died from mitochondrial disease in December 2010 a fews weeks after her 15th birthday.  "Mito" is a genetic disorder that prevents the body's cells from producing enough energy for the body to function. Rina wrote a feature length film in the hope of raising awareness about the disease and one of her dying wishes was for the film to be completed and have a big Hollywood premiere. Rina's mantra was "Always Love Life, Dream Big, Be Positive".   Last nite Rina's wish came true thanks to Tamika Lamison's extraordinary "Make A Film Foundation", who's mantra is "LIFE... Camera... Action!", the film became a reality.  Academy Award winning writer Diablo Cody came on board to streamline the story into a wonderful, family friendly short film starring popular young actresses Bailee Madison as Ashley, a young girl living with mito and Academy Award Nominee Hailee Steinfeld as Angela.  The cast of the very inspiring, magical film directed by Jon Poll also includes Jackson Rathbone, Kaitlin Doubleday, James Van Der Beek, J.K. Simmons, Scarlett Estevez, Eve Janey, Shawn Klush, Macy Victoria Gumm & canine thespians Biscotti & Ricochet The Surf Dog.  The evening was hosted by the colorful J.R. Martinez & also included a Mentorship Award to actor Chad Coleman & a Humanitarian Award to producer philanthropist Peter Samuelson of First Star.  Teen singer Vasi Hunton performed her lovely song "7 Wonders" featured in the film.  To learn more about volunteering or donating to Make A Film Foundation visit

Director Jon Poll & Bailee Madison last December on location for Rina Goldberg's "The Magic Bracelet"...  photo courtesy MAFF

"Putzel" is the opening nite film of The Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival which starts June 1st
Visit for more details