Saturday, February 16, 2019

Review of My Very Own British Invasion at the Paper Mill Playhouse in NJ: You're Into Something Good! - Peter Noone's Musical will have you Rockin' and Rollin'

Review by Beth Abramson Brier

Brexit be damned!  The U.K. is rockin’ Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey with the world premiere of  My Very Own British Invasion now through March 3.  Created by the real life Peter Noone, “Herman” of “Herman’s Hermits”, it is the stylized story of the British rockers who took the U.S.A. by storm.  Sixteen year old Peter manages to talk his way into The Bag O’ Nails, a pub and popular hangout where The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Animals and other emerging superstars of early rock and roll got their start.  It’s 1964-- Ed Sullivan, LP Albums, go-go boots and flippy hairdos are everywhere.  Here at home AM radios are tuned to Cousin Brucie and we can’t get enough of Twiggy in her mod Mary Quant fashions.  

Enter Peter (Jonny Amies, making his professional theatrical debut), right out of central casting looking every bit the adorable shaggy English boy.  Think H.R. Pufnstuf crossed with Davy Jones* and you get the picture.   Good Boy Peter falls hard for Pamela (Erika Olson off of the First National Tour of Beautiful), girlfriend of Bad Boy Trip (Conor Ryan) channeling Mick Jagger. This age old story of boy-meets-girl-loses-girl-gets-recording-gig provides the perfect backdrop for some of the decade’s greatest hits.  Kyle Taylor Parker (original cast Kinky Boots and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory) plays Geno, who serves the dual purpose of pub MC and stage narrator.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

HBO Documentary: The Many Lives of Nick Buoniconti Profiles this Football and Legal Legend - Exclusive Interview with Gail Gordon on this Hall of Famer

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

HBO has a new documentary airing, "The Many Lives of Nick Buoniconti." Nick was a football player at Notre Dame and in the AFL, Hall of Fame Miami Dolphin, sports agent, corporate executive, fundraiser and more. His family and his family's world revolved around football, as his son also played the game, but whether or not football was good for their family is something for the viewer to determine. Nick's son was paralyzed 33 years ago from playing in a football game for the Citadel, and Nick, who described himeself in the past as a "Renaissance" man always relearning, seeking new adventures and successfully battling challenges now suffers from dementia. He has said that he had over 10 concussions.

The story is told through the eyes of the family. Reviews coming in say that it is a brilliant piece of work by female producer Bentley Wiener, from HBO's "Inside the NFL". She lets the family and others who know him form and drive the story. It is narrated by Liev Schrieber.

I had the pleasure of speaking to Gail Gordon, NJ Attorney and wife of former State Senator Bob Gordon, who was the Chief of Staff for Nick from 1984-1991 while he was President of US Tobacco and who is featured in this #HBO documentary. Gail was honored to be a part of it. 

Saturday, February 9, 2019

NJ Event: Ridgewood Guild International Film Festival Kicks off its Annual Festival with "An Evening With Oscar" Party: Music, Triva Contest, Costumes and More

Ready for a fun evening? The Ridgewood Guild International Film Festival is kicking off its ninth season with "An Evening With Oscar" on February 22nd, a partyfeaturing music, food, drinks, a "Red Carpet", dancing, a movie trivia contest and costume contest with prizes. The public is invited.

The fundraiser takes place at Park West Loft 38 Oak Street in Ridgewood, NJ from 7:30-11:30pm and costs $65, which includes a two-hour open bar, passed hors D'oervres, pasta station, salad and desssert. 

Committee member Jim Suozzo says, "You'll have a good time and meet people you may not have met otherwise.  Most importantly, you will be supporting the arts in this community." The party is sponsored by Super Cellars and Pearl Restaurant. The event is a fundraiser for the festival which awards prizes in several genres of film and also gives a $500 scholarship to the director of the best film by a student.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Interview with Actor/Producer David Alan Basche: On Hatching an Egg, Being Married to A Warden, Raising Kids and Being A Really Neat Guy

Actor/Producer David Alan Bashe plays a tough business man in his new movie EGG, which he also produced, a far cry from his most well-known gig on TV, playing an affable and very likeable dentist on TVLand's The Exes. In this interview the multi-talented David shares how his true personality is much closer to that of his character on The Exes. Read on to find out more about David's new projects, working with his wife (actress Alysia Reiner, OITNB) and what principles guide his life.    
                
You've been all over TV and film..comedy, drama and more. What is your favorite genre to act in?

David Alan Basche: Theatre is my absolute favorite medium, but on TV my first love is still comedy. I just love making people laugh, and that’s usually at my own expense so that keeps me humble, too. 

Interview: Get to Know Filmmaker Vikkramm Chandirramani: On the History of Bollywood, On Making Movies in India and On Bringing them to America

Indian Filmmaker Vikkramm Chandirramani
Vikkramm Chandirramani is an up and coming filmmaker from India, whose previous short film, Destiny, a romantic comedy, not only reaped international film festival laurels but also is a viral sensation with over 4.2 million views on YouTube and rising. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the Ridgewood Guild International Film Festival in NJ, and being involved in films myself, I was fascinated by the differences between Hollywood and Bollywood. In this enlightening interview he talks about his roots as well as the roots of the film industry in India through his own unique lens.

Tell me about when or how you decided you wanted to make movies. What was your schooling or profession?

Vikkramm Chandirramani: I did my schooling at St Dominic Savio, Salesians of Don Bosco at Andheri. After that I graduated in commerce and got a Diploma in Digital Design. Thereafter, I learned animation and editing. I contemplated getting into filmmaking at that point in time. I had spent most of my life until then watching films. I was a voracious reader and wrote because of my Dad, who was a prolific writer. I had a lot of love for the medium, however, the entry barriers were very high. Movies were shot on film and required expensive cameras. Although I had learned editing, when I tried getting work, I realized they only paid conveyance money to those with no experience. So I got into web design and development, building websites for many companies that required an internet presence. Along the way, I started my own websites and was writing for them. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Opinion: What an Enterainment Writer Needs to Gear Up on for 2019

My Thoughts...exactly!  An Opinion by Beth Abramson Brier 

Welcome back to me.  I finally emerge from my sugar-plum-soaked-post-Hallmark-holiday-season stupor only to learn that Reese Witherspoon drinks whiskey from a teacup!  FROM A TEACUP! Did you know this?  More to the point, how did I not know this??? Even worse, I came to know this only because - and understand my shock here- it is a title of a book on the clearance table at Costco. Did you hear me?  AT COSTCO!!  ON THE CLEARANCE TABLE!!!  Not only does the news of this genteel inebriation take me by surprise, it leaves me wondering - WHAT ELSE HAVE I MISSED? 

Interview and Video: Alex Weisman Talks His New Film An Acceptable Loss and Being in Harry Potter on Broadway

Alex Weisman's character Jordan is front and center to the events unfolding in the new political thriller An Acceptable Loss  starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Tika Sumter  In this edge-of your-seat thrileer by Writer/Director Joe Chappelle, Alex plays Jordan,  grad school roomate of  Martin (played by Ben Tavassoli)  Martin has a secret that haunts him in this movie and then does what he can to protect a secret  (but no spoilers here you'll have to watch the movie to see if it's the same one). Jordan doesn't quite know what's going on, but his trusting spirit knows it's something.. somthing BIG.

Behind the Scenezz caught up with Alex Weisman on a cold night in NYC for a Special Screening of An Acceptable Loss  hosted by Joe Chappelle at the IFC Film Center. In this interview you'll hear about how he got into his character so well and believably and also about his current job, in the immensly popular Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway.

You can see Alex Weisman in An Acceptable Loss in theaters and on-demand. If you can't make it to NYC to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, stream episodes of Chicago Med and Chicago Fire to see Alex in his role as Chout.

Watch Full Interview Here (3 minutes)


For more information on Alex: 

Event: Start the New Year Off with Inspiration: Morphmom Presents "Brainstorm, Believe, Begin" for Women Who Want a New Career

Are you interested in doing something new? Learn the secrets and get inspiration on ways to make a change for the better in your life. Whether you are just starting to consider a "second chapter" or "second career" or ready to make a definitive step, Morphmom's "What's Next" Conference can lead you in the right direction. This first conference of 2019 is called "Brainstorm, Believe, Begin."

The event takes place on Feburary 4, 2019 at the James Ward Mansion in Westfield NJ. Speakers inlcude the Executive Editor of Good Housekeeping, A Broadway actress and female entreprenuers. Complete list is:


Saturday, January 26, 2019

Interview with Actor Jeff Hephner: On Being Adrian in Newest Film An Acceptable Loss, A Proud Michigander and A Girl's Basketball Coach

Interview by Suzanne Ordas Curry

You will recognize the dashing actor Jeff Hephner from his many roles on TV including Chicago Med, Chicago Fire  and Code Black as well as from film including Interstellar and Pepperming.
He's also just started on this season of the popular sci fi series Mars on Nat Geo as Kurt Harrelle. Here we talk to him about his latest film role, starring as the powerful behind-the-scenes operative Adrian in An Acceptable Loss with Jamie Lee Curtis and Tika Sumter. An Acceptable Loss is a political thriller written and directed by Joe Chappelle (Chicago Fire, The Wire) that is full of twists and turns to keep you watching until the very end, and Jeff's character Adrian is the man responsible for a lot of the drama. And without giving away any spoilers... you may or may not agree with his decisions.

On Getting the Call for the Part

Jeff Hephner: Actually, I got a text from an entertainment writer named Brittany Frederick telling me that Colleen (Note: wife of Joe Chappelle, writer and director of An Acceptable Loss) wanted to connect with me.  When we finally did connect she said, “Joe wrote a scr-” And I said, “I’m in.” I’ve always enjoyed working with Joe.  He was such a steady hand on the rudder in my time on Chicago Fire.  And I have a ton a respect for his body of work and how he does his job. Also, Colleen used to make cookies for the crew on Fire and I was pretty sure if I did the movie I would get cookies.


Friday, January 25, 2019

Movie Review of Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse - This Oscar-Nominated Film is Truly a Treat as it Revels in its Roots

Movie Review of Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse 
by Connor Moriarty


Self-aware humor is a dangerous chasm to traverse. Its impact is completely dependent on its writer’s care and understanding of what surrounds it. Plot, characters, and atmosphere are just a few elements that need to be carefully fleshed out in order for jokes of this kind to feel clever as opposed to cringe.

Films like Deadpool 2 and Scream 3 sacrifice a lot of these devices in order to shift focus onto how “meta” they can be. While clever(ish), their dependence on self-referential comedy hollows them and will eventually date them.



Monday, January 21, 2019

Review: Director Marianna Palka's Egg with Christina Hendricks, Anna Camp and Alysia Reiner is Complicated and Funny

Review by Emily Galow

Marianna Palka’s EGG is a biting dramedy starring the beautifully-acted Tina (Alysia Reiner) and Karen (Christina Hendricks) as old art school friends meeting for dinner after years apart. Tina, shocked that Karen is in the final months of pregnancy with her husband, Don (David Alan Basche), eventually reveals that her and her own husband, Wayne (Gbenga Akinnagbe) are having a baby via surrogate mother, Kiki (Anna Camp). Conflict immediately ensues, though that’s foreshadowed from the beginning: Tina and Wayne live in a run-down neighborhood, which wealthy developer Don scoffs at, while Tina asks her husband how she looks in an elegant dress clearly designed to compete with Karen before she even arrives. The characters argue almost like stock sitcom characters: Tina and Wayne are the liberal couple who are having a child via surrogate to subvert gender roles, while Karen and Don are a typical white suburban couple who wax on about the joys of pregnancy.

Watch this Movie on Just About All Streaming and Video Services
See Facebook for Select Theaters

Friday, January 18, 2019

Interview: Writer/Musician Risa Mickenberg Talks About How Her Film "Egg" with Christina Hendricks, Anna Camp and Alysia Reiner was Hatched: The Path to Motherhood is Changing and not without Controversy

Interview by Suzanne Ordas Curry

Risa Mickenberg is the writer of EGG The Film, now showing in theaters around the country and on demand almost everywhere. It's the story of two couples, played by Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) and David Alan Basche (The Exes, Equity) and Alysia Reiner (OITNB) and Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Deuce) and their quests towards parenthood. But wait, there's also a third female, played by the lovely Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect). You'll have to see the movie to see how a third female figures into the mix but needless to say this movie attemps to shatter some pre-conceived and traditional notions about motherhood and parenthood as we continue in this new millenium. In this interview Risa will share how EGG was fertilized and hatched. And we'll also learn a little bit more about her, including how she's also the lead vocalist for a popular East Coast band Jesus H Christ and the  Four Hornsmen of the Apocolypse. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Movie Review of Joe Chappelle's Political Thriller An Acceptable Loss with Jamie Lee Curtis and Tika Sumpter: Tension and Surprising Plot Twists Keep You Watching Till the Very End


Review by Connor Moriarty

An Acceptable Loss (2018) is a political thriller with an intriguingly ambitious execution. Tika Sumpter (Ride Along. Nobody’s Fool), Ben Tavassoli (Overlord), and Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween ’78, Halloween ’18) all turn in strong performances in their respective roles and Writer/Director Joe Chappelle (Chicago Fire, The Wire) crafts a timely, thrilling, and emotional story.

Political thrillers a-la Body of Lies (2008) and The Ides of March (2011), tend to bite off more plot devices and elements than they can chew. An Acceptable Loss gains a lot of ground in its innate sense of urgency. Right off the bat, there’s an undeniably frightening tension between the two leads, Martin (Tavassoli) and Libby (Sumpter).

Friday, January 11, 2019

New York Filmmaker and Musician David Patrick Wilson Releases Country Song Pickup Truck


David Patrick Wilson is a filmmaker out of New York that just released a new song. His last film, Collar the Movie, available on Amazon stars Tom Sizemore and Rebecca DeMornay. Now he is turning to his musical roots with a new country song just released but with more in the works.  

Tell me what prompted you to do this. Have you done anything similar in the past?

David P Wilson: I had a pickup truck that my Uncle left me when he passed and I was staying at his place in Long Island.  I went to visit my mom upstate NY in Sullivan County and I took her dog, "Shadow" on a ride in the pick-up.  I had such fun with him on that ride that I wrote the song on the way back to Long Island.  I had never done anything like that before, mostly because my mother hated country music, which I love.  I have written a lot of music of all different kinds, but that was my first foray into country music.

Monday, January 7, 2019

MOVIE REVIEW: Angie Thomas' The Hate U Give is A Must-Watch - Masterfully Created and Acted, Personal and Human - A Story to Make Us Think, and Maybe Act


Review by Emily Galow

"This movie is masterfully crafted and acted, and more than that, it tells the story of a teenage girl, in all of her messiness, in all of her humanity, and the journey she undergoes to find her voice and use it. The Hate U give is personal."

When you hear the words “movie adapted from a YA novel,” certain tropes and images may spring to mind: dazzlingly attractive 25 year-olds playing teenagers, a vaguely evil futuristic dystopia that demands conformity above all else, a special white girl rebelling against the dystopia with a ragtag group of freedom fighters.

Here’s the plot of Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give, adapted into the movie directed by George Tillman: Teenage Starr Carter is the only witness in her childhood best friend Khalil’s murder at the hands of a police officer, and she has to decide whether to testify on his behalf in the trial to come. Here’s the first scene in The Hate U Give: when they were little kids, Starr’s father, played with fierce love by Russell Hornsby, gives Starr (Amandla Stenberg), her older brother Seven (Lamar Johnson) and her little brother Sekani (TJ Wright) The Talk black families give to their children on what to do when an officer approaches you or pulls you over. “Put your hands on the dashboard,” Maverick tells his wide-eyed children, “Don’t make any sudden moves.” 

Friday, January 4, 2019

Intervew with DriverX Film Producer Mark Stolaroff: Secrets to Making a Micro-Budget Movie, Working with Patrick Fabian and What He Learned Making This Movie - Prioritize, Find a Cast Who Cares Plus More Tips

Interview by Suzanne Ordas Curry

It's not easy to make a film these days. It's not easy to make a good film these days. And it's even harder to make a HIT film on a limited budget. But Mark Stolaroff knows a few secrets, some secrets any new filmmaker could learn from. His latest film, DriverX, written by Henry Barrial and starring Better Call Saul's Patrick Fabian is now in theaters and on-demand, all over the place. It's a success story of an indie securing distribution from a great company - IFC films, winning awards and making money. Driver X is the story, insprired by the writer's true experiences, of a middle-aged man who after exploring other job opportunities after his record business fails (no suprise there) and ends up as an Uber-type service driver. It's funny and enlightening, with a great cast. We speak to Mark about the genesis and production of this film.

BTS: Tell me about how DriverX came to be, how you got involved in it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Sarah Jessica Parker, Ellen Burstyn, Lisa Nishimura, Marysoon Zayid, Tricia Brock and Terry Lawler Honored at New York Women in Film and Television's 2018 MUSE Awards: Photos and Video of Sarah Jessica Parker

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

The energy in the room from the thousand or more -mostly females - was evident, electric and exciting as the New York Women in Film and Television held their annual MUSE Awards at the Hilton Midtown in New York City in December 2018.


This year's NYWIFT MUSE honorees were:

Sarah Jessica Parker - Actor, Producer

Ellen Burstyn,
Actor

Lisa Nishimura, Vice President of Original Documentary and Comedy Programming, Netflix

An Acceptable Loss Starring Tika Sumpter, Jamie Lee Curtis and Ben Tavassoli is a Fast-paced Political Theater Coming to Theaters January 2018: Trailer and Pics

An Acceptable Loss starring Tika Sumter and Jamie Lee Curtis is making it's way to theaters across the county and on-demand beginning January 18th. This film, written by Colleen Griffen of CorrodaoMooncoin Productions and directed by husband Joe Chappelle (Director Chicago Fire, Fringe, The Wire) is a female-driven political thriller. It is female-driven in that the females are the leads in the movie, and the movie showcases females in positions of power.

Tika Sumter plays Libby, a former top US official with something to hide, and Jamie Lee Curtis who is still part of the US Cabinet out to find out exactly what that is. Ben Tavassoli plays Martin, a student at the college Libby now teaches at, who is key to unraveling what the mystery is. The film is an edge-of-your seat thriller that will entertain and also make you think.

Here is the trailer:


Is Ellen DeGeneras "Relatable" In Her New Standup Special On Netflix? The Answer is YES, Relatable and LOL: Keep it Coming Ellen


By Suzanne Ordas Curry

Is Ellen Still "Relatable?"

As a big fan of Ellen DeGeneras' daytime talk show, I was a bit disheartened to hear that she may be stepping down from it...maybe that is.

What she is doing now is going back to her roots, doing standup. Netflix nabbed her, and she’s got a special that just started streaming on this platform that now showcases comedians, and well, just about everything else.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Let's Talk Hallmark Christmas Movies - BehindtheScenezz TV Premieres First Episode Discussing the Pros and Cons (Wait There Are None) of Hallmark Christmas Movies: Candace Cameron Bure Pics Featured

BehindtheScenezz is starting BTSTV! Our first "episode" is now available on our sister Youtube Channel. It's the unedited version of our first show. It's about Hallmark Christmas movies so we figured we should get it up soon!

In this episode you'll hear Suzanne Ordas Curry and Beth Abramson Brier discuss one of their favorite guilty pleasures, Hallmark movies. They talk about what they like about them, going into detail on some, and what makes them so full of holiday spirit. In this episode they focus on Candace Cameron Bure movies - whom they dub the Queen of Hallmark. Editor's note- they forgot to talk about A Shoe Addict's Christmas so they will cover that at a later date.

They also give their current Top 5 must-see Hallmark Christmas movies. View video here:



 If video does not play click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_1VdMwo0G4&t=4s

Monday, December 10, 2018

Give Yourself the Gift of Peace of Mind This Season: Learn How to Defend Yourself Against an Assualt from Professional Stunt Man Scott Coscia at a Free Comprehensive Assault Prevention Seminar in NYC

Scott Coscia onset with Tracey Morgan
Professional New York City/Hollywood Stunt Coordinator Scott Coscia is presenting a FREE Comprehensive Assault Prevention seminar on Saturday, December 15th at The Tank, 312 West 36th Street from 11am-1am  in New York City.

The class will cover the many different ways a female - or male can prevent or defend against a sexual assault. Though you may think you are helpless, there are some simple and more complex tactics you can use to protect yourself.

Scott is a former New York City Police Officer who has also been a bodyguard to stars. In addition, he has worked on shows such as Shark Tank, Ink Master and Minute to Win it.  Using his police training and martial arts training, he has been doing work in film as a weapons specialist and stunt coordinator.

Althought it is free, a donation of $3-$5 is always appreciated. Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/2199776530283551/

Friday, November 30, 2018

DriverX the Movie Starring Patrick Fabian, Tanya Clarke with Desmin Borges, Melissa Fumero, Oscar Nunez Opens with Special Screening in NYC: Photos and Video

Desmin Borges, Tanya Clarke and Patrick Fabian of DriverX Movie
By Suzanne Ordas Curry

DriverX the Movie  had a special Sneak Peak Screening at the IFC Center in New York City the Tuesday before it's national release opening, November 30th.

DriverX is the story of  a middle-aged man coming of age as he embarks on a new career as a rideshare driver (called DriverX in the movie. Patrick Fabian plays the husband, father and former breadwinner of the housefhold whose former job was owning, ironically, a record store called The Last Record Store.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Event Review: Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn at the PaperMill Playhouse in NJ - Glitz, Glam, Dancing and Shining Performances by the Cast Make This A Holiday Must-See For Everyone

by Beth Abramson Brier

I don’t know about you but after just one pre-Thanksgiving snowstorm, I’m done. Instead of a white Christmas, I’m dreaming of a glam Christmas. A dazzling, shimmery, twinkly, jingle bell Christmas. Just like the ones I used to know. Kinda. Take it from this Jewish girl with holiday envy - check out of the cold and check into Holiday Inn now playing at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey. Based on the beloved black-and-white movie classic from Universal Pictures, Holiday Inn features the music and lyrics of Irving Berlin (who obviously shares my secret obsession for reindeer and mistletoe along with latkes).

INTERVIEW: Actress Hayley Podschun Talks about Her Role in Holiday Inn at the Paper Mill Playhouse, White Christmases, Podcasts and Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls

Interview by Beth Abramson Brier

Just a week before opening night, on the evening of the big snowstorm, I had a chance to chat with the talented and amiable Hayley Podschun, one of the female leads of Holiday Inn not caught in the snarled traffic.

Hayley, were you familiar with the classic movie version of Holiday Inn?

Hayley Podschun: Growing up I watched A Christmas Story and White Christmas and only four years ago did I first see Holiday Inn. I love that the stage production is a fresh modernized take on the story.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Indie Film Awakening Arlene by Brad Forenza Wraps Production in NJ - Sopranos Star Vincent Pastore Stars, Music is by Grammy-Winner Julie Gold in this Short About A Woman Coming of Age in MId-life

Jersey City, NJ, November 2018 – Awakening Arlene, a short film written and directed by Brad Forenza (Breaking Points), with original songs by Julie Gold (Grammy-winner, “From a Distance”) recently wrapped production. The quest-oriented, later-life coming-of-age film stars Jo Walker and Vincent Pastore (SAG Award-winner, The Sopranos).

As Walker, who plays the title character, observes: “Awakening Arlene addresses existential themes like freedom, aging, and angst. It’s the story of a middle-aged woman struggling to make sense of her worlds, both large and small. The problem is that her worlds often defy logic and feel beyond reproach.”

Singer/songwriter Julie Gold opens the film with haunting voice and perspective through her original lyric, “Don’t Ask Me (I Don’t Know) “Awakening Arlene is just what the world needs right now: a female protagonist finding her voice and taking action,” says Gold.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

View: Christmas Movies on the Hallmark Channel, Lifetime, Netflix - If You Like Princes, Castles, Snow, Romance, Christmas Festivals, Singing and Happy Endings Your Stocking This Year Will be Overflowing


By Suzanne Ordas Curry
Never Too Early To Start Watching

Just when you might be thinking, well, I guess it's close enough to start thinking Christmas, you will realize you have already missed quite a lot of holiday movie viewing. It seems that this year there is just too much - yes, too much, and I say this even though I can bing fo 8 hours straight on holiday movies without a break (mind mush at that point, however).

Interview: Actor Desmin Borges of You're The Worst Talks About His Role as Another Complicated Man in DriverX Movie with Patrick Fabian

                                                                                                                  Interview by Suzanne Ordas Curry
Actor Desmin Borges, who has been seen on many notable tv shows and films including playing a very memorable vet with PTSD on FX’s You’re The Worst, is now starring in a new comedy-drama called DriverX, which chronicles the life and riders of a ride-share driver played by Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul). Desmin plays one of the service users, Tommy, a comedic character trying to find himself in the back seat of a car as well as through some very interesting night-time rendezvous.

Also starring in the movie, which starts its theater run late November 2018 and can also be seen on many streaming platforms at the same time, are Tanya Clarke, Melissa Fumero, Oscar Nunez, Max Gail and Travix Schuldt.

I had the opportunity to talk to Desmin about his role in the film, learn about his comedic inspiration, and get a glimpse into what makes this successful actor tick.

-----------------------------------------See DriverX in Theaters and On Demand Starting November 30, 2018


Interview: Actor Desmin Borges Talks His Experience Playing Edgar Quintero on Who's The Worst Now Streaming - What He Learned About Vets, PTSD and Why Vets Did and Didn't Relate to His Character

Everyday more vets come home and have to assimilate into civilian life. In You're The Worst, which is streaming on many platforms, Desmin Borges plays a vet with PTSD, and lots of other problems.  We chat with Edgar on what he learned playing this part, and how he was so proud to make a connection with our veterans through this role. 

Tell me what is was like doing the role of Edgar, a role that has not been tackled before in this manner.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Interview: Actress/Activist/Producer/Entreprenuer Alysia Reiner of Orange is the New Black and Better Things: Read about her Upcoming Film Egg, Life, The Women's Movement, Her Favorite Shows and Why She Loves NY

Alysia and her mother on the Red Carpet
                                                                                      
                                                                                                                              Interview by Suzanne Ordas Curry
Alysia Reiner proudly accepted the Made in New York award at the 2017 MUSE Awards sponsored by the New York Women in Film and Television, and spoke about the things that mattered to her, that she feels we all should care about. As an actress, producer, mother, wife and entreprenuer she speaks out on what she's seen, dealt with and what could be made better. Often hitting on controversial topics, she's not afraid to speak her mind. 

As Warden Fig on Netflix's Orange is the New Black, she's used the platform to speak about prison reform. She talks about women's rights, democracy, gun control, the environment and motherhood. Her next feature film called Egg coming in 2019, which she produced with her husband, actor David Alan Basche, covers the topic of surrogacy and explores the choices women have now. It is her second feature film which is female-centric, meaningful - and entertaining. Her first feature film which she was a producer on, called Equity, starred Anna Gunn as a female investment banker navigating the male-dominated world of Wall Street. This film won a Women's Image Network Award.She will also be seen in the new movie An Acceptable Loss in 2019. 

Friday, November 9, 2018

New Filmmaker Series: New York City's Hannah Roze Tackles Sisterhood With a Little Help from Her Sisters in her First Short Film Entitled The Disenchantment of a Young Adult and Wild Child

Hannah Roze is an up and coming actress, writer and filmmaker, though her greatest satsifaction comes from acting. Her first short film, The Disenchantment of a Young Adult and Wild Child, has been making the film festival from the West to the East Coast. This New Yorker who does a mean British accent from her mom's side of the family- is a force to be reckoned with in film as well as in her "day job"- a NYC tour guide. Read more about the making of her new film, how she enjoys the company of women on a set, and what's she learned so far.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

So You Want to Be A Television Meteoroligst: WABC-TV New York Meteorologist Any Freeze Has Some Advice on How To Get Started

It's always fascinating to see how people get there start, especially when it's a fascinating job. I had the honor of speaking to the lovely and talented meteorologist Amy Freeze of  ABC New York’s Eyewitness News how she came about becoming a meteoroligst in the the biggest TV market in the United States.Sometimes the best way to figure out how to get to where you want to be is to see how other people did it. Here’s what Amy had to say:

Q. What sparked you to think, “I want to be a meteorologist?”

Amy Freeze: In college I studied print journalism. I  did a lot of work with foreign policy. I did a study abroad in South Africa. I studied in Germany. I was very interested in what was happening with the European Union.

I wrote some poems. but I ended up writing for a television station, that happened up in Portland Oregon. When I got up to the newsroom there was an opportunity to start doing weather at the state universtiy, and they chose me to do it because of my name. They  were like, you know, your name is Freeze so you should do this and it got the ball rolling. Then I had to further my education in it.

Q: You already had a college degree and were highly educated, but this was a lot of math, right?

Amy Freeze: Definitely. Math and physics play a big role in meteorology and even when you're in the job you have to constantly understand those things.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Interview: Meteorologist Amy Freeze of New York City's WABC Eyewitness News Talks Weather, Spaghetti Models, Motherhood and What Her Real Name Is

By Suzanne Ordas Curry


We’ve come a long way from the days of Ted Baxter and Anchorman. Amy Freeze is a meteorologist with ABC Eyewitness News in New York City. She does the weather reports with ease and a smile, making even the harshest forecasts palatable. She also is a correspondent for other events, including the New York City Marathon, which is near and dear to her as she is a runner herself. I had the pleasure of meeting her at a social function and she agreed to an intervew. (Note: Some of this content is a repost from an earlier article).

Remember the term "weatherman?" Well that went out with the milkman. Meteorology is a hot topic these days, and we need poised, professional, educated people delivering the news. I can’t remember a time prior to this past decade when the weather was one of the top topics on the national evening news topics like it is now. There’s almost always something going on and in many instances its quite disastrous, devouring unusual amounts of resources like manpower and money. Growing up, I can’t recall many storms or weather events, if that was even a term decades ago, that had the effects that weather does now. Of course now we have more people, more development, more to upset.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

NJ Event: Your Thrilling Next Chapter Awaits You - Learn How You Can Make a Change in Your LIfe with Jackie Pantaliano

Are you looking to do something new in your life? Whether you are in your thirties or your sixties, you can make a change and start a new chapter in your life. This workshop will take place Sat, November 3, 2018 at 10AM – 12:00 PM EDT at Beneficial Bank,  1901 New Jersey 70#E in Cherry Hill, NJ 08003.

Hosted by Jackie Pantaliano, who has had her own business ImPRessions doing public relations and publicity for decades, and who herself has embarked on a new career,  you will gain insights as to what the rest of your life has in store for you.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Movie Review: Halloween with Jamie Lee Curtis - This Horror Movie Delivers Blood, Scares, Gore and Everything Else Desired by a Die-Hard or New Horror Fan

Review by Connor Moriarty

Halloween (2018) admirably fills the shoes left by its predecessor. Direction is sharp, performances are strong, horror sequences are suspenseful and exciting, and the blood flows oh so beautifully. Writer/Director David Gordon Green and collaborator Danny McBride have reinvigorated a franchise that, for the past two decades, has put out nothing but laughably bad sequels and remakes. While it may not live up to the greatness of the original 1978 classic, fans and newcomers alike should find this new entry unequivocally satisfying.

Even with all the praise I just gave, Halloween (2018) doesn’t do anything new with the Michael Myers character. Michael stalks. Michael stabs. Michael stabs again. If you’ve seen any of the 6 sequels or even just the two remakes, you know what to expect. Even Laurie Strode’s paranoia and action hero persona aren’t new elements – see H20. However, it’s this barebones approach that makes the film so enjoyable. There’s no forced sibling backstories, no druid cults, and no reality TV shows - thank God!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Egg: A New Film on Motherhood Directed by Marianna Palka and Starring Christina Hendricks, Alysia Reiner, Anna Camp, Gbenga Akinnagbe and David Alan Basche to Premiere in Theaters and Streaming January 2018

Cast and team behind Egg the movie at Tribeca premiere.
A new film called Egg will be out in theaters  and streaming on January 18th, distributed by Gravitas. The film, which takes a new look on the ever-changing concept of motherhood and family has a lot of familiar names in it. It stars Christina Hendricks (Madmen and most recently The Romanoffs), Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect), Alysia Reiner (Equity, Orange is the New Black), Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Deuce) and David Alan Basche (Equity, The Exes).

This film centers around two couples that have a very different take on life with and without children and offers food for thought on new options for motherhood in this century. Centered around the lives of two couples, the movie will make you think and laugh. Orginially a play, it was written by Risa Mickenberg. It is produced by Reiner, Basche and Michele Ganeless (former Comedy Central president). Marianna Palka, who currently acts in Glow, continues her directing career for this flick.



Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Interview with Big Brother's Jessie Godderz aka "Mr. PecTacular" on His New Music Video with 98 Degrees Superstar Jeff Timmons; Who Gets the Girl in "The Girl is With Me?' Watch Video Here

There's a whole lot of HOT in this new video by 98 Degrees artist Jeff Timmons and Big Brother's Jessie Godderz AKA Mr. PecTacular. Jessie teams up with super artist Jeff Timmons in the new song "The Girl is With Me." But just who wins out? You'll have to watch. 

The song's got a great beat and a catchy tune. It will keep you watching until the end.

I had the opportunity to ask Jessie, who I met at the Datyime Emmys for his work on Tainted Dreams about his musical debut. Yes, Jessie the popular Big Brother Alum and wrestling superstar who also acts in the Emmy-nominated series Tainted Dreams on Amazon and in a new movie can now add musical artist to his resume. So what does he have to say about his debut role as a musical performer?

Did you do any singing prior to this?


Jessie Godderz: I've sung before in High School Choir and Swing Choir but that was many years ago and I never sang in public since...and never professionally. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Interview: Inspiring Mom Kathleen Butler Smith on Going from Prosecutor to Business Owner & Podcaster: How Morphmom Can Change Lives for Women


What exactly is a Morphmom? 

That is the question Kathleen Butler Smith, founder of Morphmom, will answer. To give a hint, it's about a re-invention, a new beginning starting later in life. Or, perhaps, a substantial change in career earlier in life. 

Kathleen, a former prosecutor in one of the busiest counties in New Jersey and possibly the US, now runs the company Morphmom. Morphmom is a website, events where women (and men) can learn about how to change their career paths in life, and also  a popular podcast in NYC, interviewing some of the most prominent women in the New York metropolitan area.

Monday, October 15, 2018

NEW FILMMAKER SERIES: Interview with Elsa Levytsky of the Award -Winning Horror Short Goodnight Death Starring Callum Blue as The Grim Reaper

Filmmaker Elsa Levytsky is off to a great start. Her latest short, a horror thriller, Goodnight Death is not even completed yet but has already been named "Semifinalist for Screenplay" at the Hollyshorts Festival in Los Angeles. The film, which stars Callum Blue (Smallville, Royal Pains, The Tudors) and Danielle Kotch (Person of Interest, Made in Jersey) will be making its rounds at film festivals beginning 2019. Simply put, this film is about the Grim Reaper.

Goodnight Death was created and directed by Elsa and written by Elsa, Richard Weems and Mick Lexington. In this interview we find out more about this talented Ukranian-born filmmaker (who happens to be fluent in Japanese) - and how where she lived  - across from a cemetary- just might be her reason for this choice of genre. Regardless, horror is hot and Elsa is on the pulse of this new generation of films.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

An Acceptable Loss Movie Screens at the 2018 Chicago International Film Festival: New Political Thriller Stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Tika Sumter and Ben Tavassoli Coming to Theaters 2019

Tika Sumter and Ben Tavsolli with
members of the producing team
An Acceptable Loss, the new film by Director Joe Chappelle (Chicago Fire, Fringe, The Wire) and Colleen Griffin of CorradoMooncoin Productions is screening for the first time at the Chicago International Film Festival 2018. This film, a fictional political thriller, stars Tika Sumter (The Haves and the Havenots, SouthSide with You, Nobody's Fool), Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween) and Ben Tavassoli (New Blood, No Offence). It is a female-driven plot centered around the fallout of something the United States does in a time of peace.

The movie was shot in various location around Chicago last year, home of the filmmakers.

Also featured in this film are a bevy of talented actors including Jeff Hephner  (Mars, Chicago Med), Alysia Reiner (Orange is the New Black, Equity, Egg) , David Eigenberg (Sex and the City), Alex Weisman (Chicago Med, Chicago Fire), Clarke Peters (The Wire, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) and  Deanna Dunnagan (The Exorcist)

Monday, October 8, 2018

As The World Turns and General Hospital's Trent Dawson Working on New Short Film Called The F Starring CBS Instinct's Alejandro Hernandez - Video Interview with Trent about his Film and Crowdfunding Campaign

Trent Dawson, best known for his role as on Henry Coleman on As The World Turns and most recently as on General Hospital as Huxley Lynch, is busy at work on his first short film, The F. The F is a drama with some very funny moments about a very vibrant couple battling with uncertainties while waiting for a subway train in New York City.

Trent has announced the actors for this film, which they all actually filmed in a NY City subway on one hot summer night. The lead actors are Alejandro Hernandez (CBS' Instinct) who plays the boyfriend, NY and Chandler Rosenthal who plays the girlfriend. NY actress Lily Davis plays an onlooking subway rider.

Trent had a reading of the play in the Village this past summer, which was attended by a bevy of his soap friends including  Austin Peck, Terri Conn, Anne Sayre, Eric Sheffer-Stevens and Martha Byrne .

Friday, October 5, 2018

Review: The Color Purple at NJ's Paper Mill Playhouse Directed by John Doyle: A Powerful, Heartwarming and Beautiful Musical Adaptation of Alice Walker's Famed Novel

By Beth Abramson Brier, My Thoughts Exactly!

Hell Yes!

Number 1 on your “to do” list this October: Get tickets to see “The Color Purple” at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey. Even before you buy your Halloween candy and scary Lindsey Graham mask, come see this powerful performance. John Doyle directs this production of Marsha Norman’s screenplay based on the novel by Alice Walker. Set in rural Georgia in the early part of the 20th century, it is perhaps more timely than first intended. Read on.

Actor Interview: Adrianna Hicks and Carrie Compere of Paper Mill Playhouse's The Color Purple Dish About Their Roles in this Iconic Story


 Hell More!- Interview by Beth Abramson Brier

After the stunning opening night performance of “The Color Purple” at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey, I had a chance to informally chat with Adrianna Hicks (Celie) and Carrie Compere (Sofia) at the after party between photo shoots.  In sharp contrast to Celie, who must spend hours in make-up and wardrobe to look so shabby and downtrodden, Adrianna (in a fabu purple jumpsuit) is beautiful and radiant.  Carrie is just gorgeous and as sparkling as her character Sofia. Both Adrianna and Carrie were authentic and forthcoming and I thank them for taking time to talk to me before they even had a chance to get some dinner. 

What was the first performance you saw that inspired you to pursue theater?

Adrianna:  I saw a high school production of “Guys and Dolls” and I just knew.  We cannot underestimate the power and importance of the arts in school.

Carrie: I never considered a career in theater until I saw “Betsey Brown” at McCarter Theater in Princeton.  It was an all-black cast and I saw myself on stage.

Movie Review: Netlfix's Hold The Dark: Not much Darkness Held Back in this Disturbing Yet Beautiful Film by Jeremy Saulnier


Review by Connor Moriarty


There’s no government, no civilization, no laws, and no common power. Humanity is in a war of “all against all.” So, writes English philosopher Thomas Hobbes in his 1651 book, Leviathan. This particular sentiment refers to Hobbes’ theory on the “state of nature.” A state in which he would famously quote, that human life is “nasty, brutish, and short.”


Apart from being a centerpiece of every university’s freshman seminar class, Hobbes’ philosophy has also found itself the subject of American filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier’s, ever-growing body of work. While the motivations for violence differ between the two films, they both borrow themes from Hobbes’ writing.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Interview: Filmmaker and Now Graphic Novel Author Tina Fine Talks about Building Sand Castles, A New Career and The Unusual Powers of A Superhero Called Off Girl - Coming To New York Comic Con 2018

New Yorker Tina Fine changed her career as her kids were getting older. Going from a 9-5 job as an economist she decided to turned to filmaking, and most recently, she's created a new graphic novel about a FEMALE superhero. Her first short film, Sand Castle, is available online and is a heartwearming, poignant story of a little girl. Contrast that with her new comic book which also features a heroine, and without giving away too much, is about a heroine with a very special power. Read on to find out more about Tina and the birth of Off Girl.

I just watched Sand Castle, and had to wipe away the tears. Was that your first foray into entertainment? 

Tina Fine: I wrote my first script when I was between jobs.  That was way back when I was working as an Economist.  Nothing came of that script ... I got a job and got busy with work and family.   Fast forward to when my kids were 8 and 13 and had more time on my hands and I got an idea for a story and I just started writing.  I took a class at NYU - Screenwriting I  and thus began my honing the craft.