Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Harrison Held's SceneAroundTown.... Actors Fund 2013 Tony Awards Viewing Party.... Taglyan Cultural Complex

 Elena Vasilenha arrives with Actors Fund Tony Awards Viewing Party Host Tommy Tune... Photo by Billy Bennight

Mickey Rooney, Mitzi Gaynor & Norm Crosby... Photo by Billy Bennight

Loni Anderson... Photo by Billy Bennight

Desperate Housewives'  Marc Cherry sings to Artistic Achievement Award winners (from left)  Nancy Dussault, Anne Jeffreys, June Lockhart, Millicent Martin (not seen), Charlotte Rae, Cathy Rigby & Marissa Jaret Winokur... Photo by Nina Prommer/Milestone Photos

For more information about the Actors Fund visit www.actorsfund.org

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Harrison Held's SceneAroundTown.... Film Festival Flix Presents "Love, Sex & Missed Connections"...Regal Theater

Kenny Stevenson

Alex Enriquez, Shane Elliot, Abraham Smith & director Eric Kissack 

Dorien Davies

Samantha Klein...  Photos by Billy Bennight

Had a great time at my first Film Festival Flix event, a screening & after party for the winning new indie comedy "Love, Sex & Missed Connections" directed by Eric Kissack & written by & starring Kenny Stevenson.  The ambitious low budget movie rich in humor & talent tells the story of Neal (Kenny Stevenson) trying to get his life back together after walking in on his best friend Allan (Avi Rothman) & girlfriend Christine (Julie Mitchell) sleeping together.  His scheming wisecracking pals George (Alex Enriquez) & Barry (Shane Elliot) encourage him to hook up with emotionally vulnerable, sexy hungry women he meets off the internet thru the missed connections ads on craigslist.  Joining in on the amorous adventures are Neal's offbeat funny neighbor Bryce (Abraham Smith), Jane (Dorien Davies) & her best friend Cassandra (Samantha Klein). Neal's sister Jillian & brother-in-law Daren are played by Stephanie Escajeda & Scott Beehner.  Most of the appealing cast have performed with comedy improv groups like The Groundlings & The Upright Citizens Brigade & the film was shot over weekends totaling about 20 days and for about $25,000 via two kick starter fund raisers - that is what I call a movie miracle!  

Monday, June 3, 2013

Harrison Held's SceneAroundTown.... Premiere of "Sleepless in the Seattle - The Musical".... Pasadena Playhouse

Audiences are in for a treat when they see "Sleepless in Seattle -The Musical" now playing at the Pasadena Playhouse through June 23rd.  I really loved this heart warming, magical, family friendly new stage production directed with skill & flair by artistic director Sheldon Epps with book by Jeff Arch who created & wrote the film "Sleepless in Seattle",  music by Ben Toth, lyrics by Sam Forman & choreography by Spencer Liff.  The funny, romantic & poignant successful stage adaptation stars Tim Martin Gleason, Chandra Lee Schwartz, Todd Buonopane, Robert Mammama, Sabrina Sloan, Joe West with Sachin Bhatt, Terron Brooks, Jay Donnell, Cynthia Ferrer, Charissa Hogeland, Katherine Leonard, Teya Patt, Adam Silver, Yuka Takara, Lowe Taylor & Carter Thomas.  Young Jonah (Joe West) has lost his mom & lives with dad Sam (Tim Martin Gleason) in Seattle.  Jonah wishes Sam would meet & marry a new woman so they both will be happy again and  he will have a mother.  Jonah takes the initiative by calling in to a radio talk show explaining the situation.  Women across the country become enamored with the man known simply as "Sleepless in Seattle" including a lovely reporter named Annie (Chandra Lee Schwartz) from Baltimore.  Annie is engaged to well meaning Walter (Robert Mammana) but in her heart of hearts feels her destiny rests with Sam.  She is encouraged & cajoled by her boss Becky (Sabrina Sloan) to take a chance & pursue him.  "Sleepless in Seattle - The Musical" features over fifteen new songs including "Out There",  "Not Like the Movies", "We're Doing Fine", Rock Stars", "Don't Give Up on Cary", "Safe at Home", "It Might Be Magic", "Look at Me Now" & "Something's Calling Me".  Triple threat performers Tim Martin Gleason & Chandra Lee Schwartz shine as Sam & Annie & child actor Joe West is terrific, reminiscent of a young Mickey Rooney.  The supporting cast is terrific too as is the ensemble & scenic design by John Iacovelli, costume design by Kate Bergh,  musical supervision by Larry Blank & musical direction by David O.  For more information visit www.pasadenaplayhouse.org

"Sleepless in Seattle - The Musical" stars Tim Martin Gleason, Joe West & Chandra Lee Schwartz.... Photo by Jim Cox

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Harrison Held's SceneAroundTown.... "Putzel" Premieres Opening Nite of The 8th Annual Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival.... WGA

Melanie Lynskey & Jack Carpenter star in "Putzel"

Fran Kranz & Jack Carpenter star in "Putzel"

The 8th Annual Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival got off to a roaring start Saturday night with the premiere of the crowd pleasing independent movie "Putzel" starring Jack Carpenter, Melanie Lynskey, John Pankow, Susie Essman, Fran Kranz, Allegra Cohen, Steve Park, Fred Berman & Adrian Martinez.  The stylish character driven edgy romantic comedy, well directed by Jason Chaet, tells the story of  likable loser Walter Himmelstein aka "Putzel" who dreams of running the family fish store known as Himmelstein's on Manhattan's upper west side.  The store is run by his older over bearing  married cousin Sid (John Pankow) who he grew up with after being orphaned as a baby after his parents' death.  One day a pretty dancer with a yen for kosher fish platters named Sally (Melanie Lynskey)  ventures into Himmelstein's & Sid is smitten.  Sid's plans to retire and move away with his wife Gilda (Susie Essman) are thrown out the window & Putzel's life is thrown upside down.  The original quirky romantic comedy script penned by Rick Moore was shot over 18 days on a $200,000 budget but looks like it cost millions more.  Resourceful  producer Allegra Cohen (Putzel's estranged wife Willa) was able to secure an authentic Manhattan deli for Himmelstein's when they closed the store for 10 days to observe Passover.  The film features terrific performances throughout by it's talented cast members & Jack Carpenter who carries the film is a standout as Putzel.  For more information about the festival visit www.lajfilmfest.org....   "Shalom"

Glee's Josh Sussman joins Putzel's Jack Carpenter & his wife Michelle

Director Jason Chaet (center) is joined Deverill Weekes & Juliet Landau whose film "Mr. Gutman's Eulogy" screens Tuesday nite at Sinai Temple 

Ron Gilbert, Deverill Weekes, Juliet Landau, Robert Uher & Harry Demas

Guest M.C. Larry Miller & the film's Allegra Cohen