Wednesday, March 27, 2019

View: (Not) The Last Word on the College Admissions Scandal - We're Ready for the Movie

View by Beth Abramson Brier  
"My Thoughts Exactly!"

Scandal! Scam! Shame! And even though you know we haven’t heard the last word about the college admissions shenanigans, I’m channeling my grandmother and adding another:  “Shanda”!  As in: “It’s a shanda! A shanda I tell you!”  If you still can’t tell from the context, the literal translation from the Yiddish is “Aunt Becky, how could you?”. 

Oh sure.  I’m outraged.  You’re outraged.  But that’s nothing compared to the real victims here- the students who were denied a seat at these prestigious institutions as well as those who are now questioning the value of their degrees. The students who really attended classes, and labs, and problem sessions.  Who stayed up for thirty six hours to edit their final papers wearing no makeup and messy buns. Who toted their shampoo down the hall to a shared bathroom.  (Note to incoming freshmen: Dorm life is not all twinkle lights and matching comforters.) Those students should not have to defend their hard earned honors.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Ridgewood Guild International Film Festival: "Hollywould" the Film Premieres with Academy Award and Golden Globe Nominiee Actor Eric Roberts Appearing April 25th

The Ridgewood Guild International Film Festival is coming to Ridgewood and with it a bevy of local and international filmmakers and some Hollywood celebrities. Premiering at the festival is the Joshua Coats film Hollywould starring Eric Roberts and Ridgewood's own RJ Konner. Eric Roberts will grace the  Red Carpet on Thursday, April 25th at 6pm.

The 9 day festival officially begins on April 10th with a showing of the Oscar-winning movie Roma. Main nights at the Bow Tie Cinema are April 24th and 25th. The Red Carpet outside the theater is free, to get entry into all films for an entire night is $12 per day.

VH1 Reality Star and Billboard Artist Jackie Madden Back with a New Song called "I Don't Need You."

Singer/Songwriter and Billboard Hit artist Jackie Madden is back with another song. Called " I Don't Need You, this song about moving on was made in collaboration with Grammy-nominated Steve "Mr. Mig" Migliori and Dark Intensity.

Jackie got her start in entertainment on the VH1 reality show, You're Cut Off.  She was in the premiere season of this show, though before that she was a dancer on her award-winning college dance team. Her song "Falling" reached the top 5 on two Billboard charts in the last decade. After a hiatus from entertainment to start a successful career in real estate and to get married (you can also see her in a 2018 episode of Say Yes To The Dress!) she's back with a poppy, dancy song that makes you just want to get up and move. 

Read what Jackie has to say about her journey from reality star to singer.

Tell us about the song. What is it about? What spoke to you about it to make you want to record it?

Writer/Director Caytha Jentis Presents Women at the Crossroads Event in NYC as part of Women History Art Month

Start off spring with stories. Writer/Director/Producer Caytha Jentis has put together a talented lineup of accomplished women in NYC to tell their stories for an evening of humor, truth, inspiration and imagination. "Women at the Crossroads" will be held on Wednesday, March 27th at 7:30pm at the Advent Lutheran Church, 2505 Broadway in New York City. Tickets are still available at $15 and $20. Each woman will do a ten-minute monologue of life stories and lessons. The event is part of Women History Artist Month presented by the Goddard Riverside Community Arts  in NYC. 

Friday, March 22, 2019

New FiImmaker Series: Nick and Ophelia to Premiere at Northeast Pennsylvania Film Festival, Interview with Director Luz Cabrales on this "Supernatural Romance"

The feature film Nick and Ophelia is set to premiere at the Northeast Pennsylvania Film Festival. This festival takes place over three days in three beautiful venues in Waverly and Scranton. Nick and Ophelia will premiere at 2pm on Sunday, March 24th at the University of Scranton. The film festival boasts that it will feature local as well as international talent.

Nick and Ophelia is billed as a "supernatural romance". It is produced by Scranton Films, which uses local talent from the Scanton area. It's a unique company put together to help interested filmmakers and other gets started in the film busines right in their own backyard. 

I had the honor of speaking to Luz Cabrales, who produced, directed and edited the film. Her business partner, Julian Santos, was the writer. Luz stated, "We are super, super excited to be part of the Northeast Pennsylvania Film Festival. Come and check out our two films, Nick & Ophelia and our Mystery Box Film Challenge The Devil's Ball on Sunday, March 24th starting at 4pm at The University of Scranton."

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Brad Forenza's The Rehearsal - About the Drama of a Wedding - Comes to New York City's TADA Youth Theater for One Night: Starring Alicia Giangrisostome, Rosie Gunther, Maureen Van Zandt and more



Coming to the TADA Youth Theater in NYC, as presented by Emerging Artist Theater is the new play, The Rehearsal, written by filmmaker Brad Forenza. Tickets are still available for the one - act play on March 7, 2019.

This play stars Alicia Giangrisostomi, Rosie Gunther, Nando Prudhomme, Christian Spinella, Maureen Van Zandt and Richard Vetere. Brad wrote and produced the play with Brian Dashew directing.


The Rehearsal takes place during the wedding weekend of Eric (Christian Spinella) and Kim (Alicia Giangrisostomi). As Spinella notes, “Weddings can be chock-full of drama. And drama is exactly what Eric is faced with.” Two families who don't know each other real well come together in one home, so imagine what happens.


“What I like about Kim is that she’s a go-getter,” adds Giangrisostomi (the bride-to-be). “She wants to be more and do more, and I can relate to that.”


Specifically, Eric and Kim want to start their new life far, far away from the groom’s mundane family (Rosie Gunther and Nando Prudhomme). As Gunther observes, “You’re never too sure how the M.O.G. feels about her son’s wedding. Then again, this M.O.G. is probably skeptical of most weddings.”