Thursday, March 31, 2022

Review of Spielberg's Oscar-Nominated West Side Story - Better than the Original with Standout Performances by Rachel Zegler and Ariana Debose

By Ashton Samson

Ever since the first heard the album for its original 1957 Broadway production, Steven Spielberg has wanted to make West Side Story and now he’s finally done so, arguably making a superior film to the 1961 version. Skeptics may call this an unnecessary remake, but if you truly understand Speilberg, then you’ll see that it is a worthy remake that both honors the original film’s legacy and wisely updates the story for our current times. 

For one, the film utilizes twenty Puerto Rican (and Colombian) actors unlike the original, which cast American actors whose faces were painted to appear Puerto Rican.  As good an actress as Natalie Wood was, she was never the right Maria, but Rachel Zegler, the twenty year old breakout actress is the perfect choice, not only because she is of Colombian descent, but because of her superior vocal talent. Wood’s voice was dubbed, but Zegler actually sings the songs with grace and eloquence. 

Opening Act's Annual Play Reading Gala features NYC Stars, Reading Directed by Tony Award Winner Rachel Chavkin & Hamilton's Supervising Director Patrick Vassel

Opening Act is on a mission to provide arts funding in New York City. In order to raise funds, it is holding its annual Play Reading Gala. With a star-studded list of actors, it's directed by Tony Award Winner Rachel Chavkin with Creative Direction by Hamilton’s Associate & Supervising Director, Patrick Vassel and featuring student, alum, and celebrity performances.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Roger Newcomb's 12th Annual Indie Series Awards To Be Held April 7th, 2022, Patrika Darbo and Anna Maria Horsford To Host: Read for Full List of Nominees

by Suzanne Ordas Curry

Do you watch TV on the web? Are you a fan of podcasts? The Indie Series Awards, now in it's 12th year, celebrates the originality and creativity of independent artists whose work can be found online. From it's humble beginnings in NYC many years ago Indie Series Awards founder Roger Newcomb has built a movement recognizing the shows and actors we have come to love.  This year the ceremony is being held on April 7, 2022 at the Colony Theater in Burbank California. 

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Casting Call: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Seeking Background Actors for Next Season's Episodes, Filming in NYC


Do you love The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? Would you just love to set foot into that beautiful apartment, walk along a street with old cars in them.. or just transport yourself back in time through the magic of Hollywood? Backstage Magazine has a call our for a certain type of background. If you're not familiar with background casting, it is often specific. And,  you don't need acting experience to be background - though I would recommend googling some tips. So, check it out and while you're on the site you can see what other shows are casting.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Movie Review of Reeve's THE BATMAN: An Overdue, Superb Reinvention of Gotham and Interpretation of Bruce Wayne as Public Guardian Presented with Against a Fittingly Dark Canvass


By Ashton Samson,  Twitter: @ashboomstick2

=4.5/5 🌝🌝🌝🌝🌛 Review of The Batman,
Directed by Matt Reeves. With Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Jeffrey Wright, Colin Farrell. 

In a dimly-lit interrogation room, a police commissioner mutters directions under his breath to a man dressed in black. “Through that door. Hallway to the stairs that go to the roof,” is what he says in a guttural voice. It soon becomes clear that this commissioner is giving the man in black a way out of the building as a swarm of distrusting cops storm towards him. 

Soon, the commissioner has been punched in the face by this prisoner who is trying to buy time. He runs as fast as he can, with a hint of desperation and anxiety in his eyes and ends up on the edge of a roof. This man seems to be afraid of heights; he almost jumps back from the ledge, seemingly having just processed where he is. Donning a wingsuit, he jumps off of the building with some apprehension, gliding through the night sky before taking a vicious tumble onto the streets of…Gotham City! 

Axial Theater Presents New Plays Via Zoom for Women's History Month: Actors include Days of our Lives Tamara Braun, Inga Cadranel (General Hospital), Yoshi Sudarso (Power Rangers) and More.

Free readings via Zoom from the Axial Theaters of plays specially curated by Axial Theater Artistic Director Cady McClain. These plays feature prominent actors doing new short plays. If you're not ready to venture back into the theater, or want to enjoy new entertainment in the comfort of your home, sign up for emails to see what's on tap and then sit back and enjoy. Actors include Two-Time Emmy© winning actor Tamara Braun (“Days of Our Lives”), Yoshi Sudarso (“Power Rangers”), Inga Cadranel (“General Hospital”), Donna Svennevik, Youlim Nam, James Sweeney, Axial Ensemble Member Dan Walworth, and Michael Howard Conservatory Actors Tom Ryan and Allegra Venturi

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Ridgewood Guild Int'l Film Festival Plans In Person Fest April 2022, Kick Off Party is March 25th: Submissions Open Via Film Freeway

The successful and growing Ridgewood Guild International Film Festival is entering its 11th year. Last year the festival was virtual for the first time due to the pandemic. Now with a healthier forecast, The Guild is returning to a live and in-person festival in downtown Ridgewood in late April. The most recent in-person festival included a premiere of a film starring Oscar®-nominated actor Eric Roberts, who attended in person and took photographs with fans on the red carpet in front of Warner Bow Tie Cinema on Ridgewood Avenue. Other movies shown at the festival include independent films, digital shorts, foreign-language films, student shorts, and music videos by local and regional filmmakers as well as those abroad. For updated information visit 

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

NYC Area Event: Trent Dawson's Katonah Classic Stage Presents Reading of Dinner with Friends with Christa Scott - Reed, Kelly McAndrew, Alvin Keith and R. Ward Duffy April 2, 2022

Katonah Classic Stage (KCS), Westchester County’s nonprofit, professional theatre company dedicated to classic plays, will present Donald Margulies’s comedy-drama,
 Dinner with Friends, on April 2, 2022, at 7 PM, at Bedford Hills Community House. The benefit reading will feature Broadway, television, and film veterans Christa Scott-Reed, Kelly McAndrew, Alvin Keith, and R.Ward Duffy, and will be directed by KCS Artistic Director Trent Dawson. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Interview: Real Housewife of NJ Margaret Josephs Reveals the Woman Behind the Housewife, Talks about her Journey to Success and Gives us a Hint as to What's in Her New Book: Caviar Dreams, Tuna Fish Budget - How To Survive in Business and Life: Book Signing March 9th in Ridgewood, NJ

by Suzanne Ordas Curry

Margaret Josephs, widely recognized for her role on the hit franchise the Real Housewives of New Jersey of NJ since 2017, has authored a book. It's called Caviar Dreams, Tuna Fish Budget: How to Survive in Business and Life. If you're in the New York tri-state area, she's doing a book signing on March 9th at Bookends in Ridgewood NJ. 

I had the honor of getting to know the author, mother and savvy entrepreneur behind the housewife title. Though there's a lot of drama on the housewives, Margaret did not get to where she is without being no-nonsense, sharp and hardworking. She's built a business empire with her brands Macbeth Collection, Candie Couture, House Candie and her Margaret Josephs clothing line. One doesn't accomplish this without a lot of blood, sweat and tears. For anyone that's built a business, it's not like it's portrayed on TV. It's correspondence and research and numbers and connections and all kinds of things that take dedication and inspiration to get through. It's a constant "push" one needs every day to succeed.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

90's Con by That's4Entertainment Coming to Connecticut March 2022 - Featuring A Full House Reunion and Many More of Your Favorite Stars from Movies and Sitcoms of the 90's,

The ladies of That's 4Entertainment have outdone themselves this time. On the heels of the success of their Christmas Cons, they are holding their first ever 90's Con in Hartford, CT March 11th, 12th, and 13th.               .

The convention is a lot like their fabulous Christmas Cons, with meet and greets with celebrities, photo opps, exhibits, panels and a whole lot of fun, This year it was announced that they will be having a Full House Reunion (minus Bob Saget, RIP dear man). There are a ton of actors coming. You may not recognize them by name but when you see them you'll certain feel the nostalgia envelope you.  Celebrities slated to come per the website are: 

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Film Review: Joel Cohen's The Tragedy of MacBeth is a Minimalist Masterpiece add to that Kathyn Hunter's Genius Performance as Three Witches and you Have Something Shakespeare Himself Would Beam About


By Ashton Samson

=4.5/5 🌝🌝🌝🌝🌛.   Twitter: @ashboomstick2

Another adaptation of Macbeth? Why do we need it? This may be the principal perspective of the majority as they, with some hesitance, head into theaters to watch Joel Coen’s first film without his brother, an adaptation of The Tragedy of Macbeth. However, I assure you that Cohen’s idea to adapt this again is valid, because the unique filmmaking sensibilities that he brings to the table ensure that this is a Shakespearan adaptation unlike any other. 

There are three specific aspects to the film that are particularly innovative. The decision to utilize minimalism and pare down everything in the film to its bare essentials highlights the performances, especially the soliloquies given by the always powerful Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand.