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August 25, 2013

AMERICAN DREAM - BY BRAD ERICKSON


William Gianmmona (Dan) Ulises A. Toledo (Salvador)
Courtesy Photo 


****AMERICAN DREAM - WORLD PREMIERE 



*PLUS - A DRAG SHOW FOR THE TIMID 

The place is San Diego, California...right next to the heart of Mexico. A young mexican boy Ulises A. Toledo (Salvador) Lives in Mexico. Then by accident, Tom (William Giammona) gets involved with Ulises in Mexico. And -- the steam is huffing and puffing. How can Tom bring Salvador into the United States? I'll let you work that one out. It's a puzzling drama.   

Tom is divorced. His wife Cara (Dana Zook) is Jealous and now married to someone else -- however Cara is carrying a heavy load. She's still in love with Tom who is now Gay. Oh my -- pick up sticks. 

The main characters Dan, Tom, Buddy, Richard, Julie, Salvador and Cara are on a roller coaster ride of comedy and drama. 

Yes, there is jealous and hatred. Are they happy. What is happy? They are still trying to figure out if their love affairs will last. I don't think so. But, that is the way life is. 

This play keeps you on the edge of the stage. It really sucks you in. Believe me...it hangs with you. 

You'll laugh and you'll cry (in a clever way). Yeah -- emotions on this stage will rock like a boat. 

Sure there are some problems (very little) -- but between the angst, there is funny/good times. For now. 

The entire cast gives fantastic nuanced performances. Audiences will come out praising the performers. They are real -- and you will feel your heart beat thru-out.  And another surprise -- there is a 15 minute intermission. Love it! 

FABULOUS DIRECTING BY DENNIS LICKTEIG

PERFECT SET DESIGN BY THE TALENTED KUO-HAO LO

AND STAND UP AND CHEER FOR THE BEST TALENT IN THE CITY: Dale Albright as Dan, William Giammona as Tom, Justin Gillman as Buddy, Jeffrey Hoffman as Richard, Katherine Robbins as Julie, Ulises A. Toledo as Salvador, Dana Zook as Cara. Everyone of them are SUPER STARS****

Now Playing at the New Conservatory Theatre 

RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! (highest rating) -trademarked-

 IT'S ALL ABOUT DRAG QUEENS 

The Costumes are bright and sassy at the Orpheum Theatre. 

This transexual traveling gets to be a little boring. O.K. -- we get the message. 

To say the least -- the songs are O.K -- but the sound system at the Orpheum sucks. 

There are a few amusing moments -- but not worth fifty five bucks or more to see a 2nd class act. 

The show is kinda like "To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything -Julie Newmar". Queen of the Desert is Embarassing. 

The glitz and shake and bake, bring you a fake Madonna, but if you can stand the singing - (Always on my Mind) you might enjoy the high pitched vocals. 

When I left -- there was nothing on my mind. The ear plugs helped somewhat. 

RATING: ONE GLASS OF CHAMPAGNE!

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he also produced and hosted a long-running Arts Segment on PBS-KQED -7rs)))




August 20, 2013

GROUNDED: STORY OF A HOT-ROD FIGHTER PILOT

Lauren English as the Pilot. Photo: Mark Endres 



GROUNDED

The San Francisco Playhouse Sandbox Series creates new works where actors can go the next level. This is an amazing professional Theatre experience. You are there -- you are part of the atmosphere. Actually, so close that the Actor looks right into your eyes. 

'GROUNDED' is one of those plays where good acting takes place. In this exciting play, Lauren English again brings a tense and exciting evening to the stage. English has been seen in many innovative and exciting plays at the San Francisco Playhouse - but this time -- this one person World Premiere Sandbox Series, takes you on a flight that you won't forget.

She meets a guy in the service. Lauren and Eric both fly Hot Shot Planes. They fall in love. She becomes pregnant. She begins to gain weight. And she will have to stop flying for awhile. That's what the General says. Her boyfriend has to leave to fly right now. Eric tells Lauren that he will miss her while he is gone. He touches her belly and kisses it. She is sad, and becomes lonely. Lauren says: "I talk baby talk now". 

Then there is a problem. Eric - Lauren's boyfriend has a hard-on for a hot looking blond girl that also loves fast moving planes. 

Lauren begins to fall apart while Eric is gone. It's like she wants to die. Yeh, Lauren's a hot-rod fighter who has an unexpected pregnancy. She won't be flying in the sky for some time. Care to take a flight in your chair? You're gonna like it. 

GROUNDED by George Brant 
Directed by Susannah Martin 

This Debut production for the National new Play Network "Rolling World Premiere". 

"Grounded" runs thru September 7th as part of SF Playhouse's Sandbox Series. (1119 Market St. at 7th St.) 

 


 

August 14, 2013

LEE HARTGRAVE-FOR ALL EVENTS..."PITCH PERFECT"




PITCH PERFECT
At - Central Works  


Plus+ "I Give it a Year"-- Movie

Plus+ - Help in on the Way XIX at the Palace Theatre - A Grand Benefit show for Aids Service Organizations


PITCH PERFECT 

I had an argument with Don Draper today. Not really. 'Pitch Perfect' - the play is the real deal in the advertising department. It's all real -- and 'Central Works' sure knows their way around in the Agency business. And I thought I had a Big Ego. Well, you know how puffed up men get in the office. They expect you to jump through many hoops. Yes, there is a lot of loud talk in the office. Each guy tries to out do the other. 

Bob is a smart alecky advertising guy who thinks he is King S--t. What do you expect?...he's from New York. Nothing is more smart assy than "Bob". I'm surprised that the lights didn't blow out while Bob was ranting and raving. Oh heck - lets say it. Bob is High-Voltage. Of course, we know that he is dominating the minute he walked into the office. But, he does have Charismatic moments. Yelling or not. 

The production features 4-actors. And just how can you define Great modern performances? That's easy -- go to "Central Works" Theatre where you always hear and see Bravura performances. The seductive and stunning actors are: Deb Fink, Maggie Mason, Timothy Redmond, Brian Trybom and Alan Smithee who delights us with several dialects.

"Astonishing and spellbinding acting"... that is exactly what we expect at "Central Works."

Sound by Greg Scharpen and Costumes by Tammy Berlin (Very Mad Men Looks)

written by Martin Edwards
directed by Gary Graves -- 
a Central Works Method Play  

THE CITY CLUB THEATER
in Berkeley

(Highest Rating: Four Glasses of Champagne!!!! 



GIVE IT A YEAR

What's the Best Advice you've ever received? Well, here is one bit of advice...See this British Comedy about life and getting married. This movie is one of the sharpest and outrageously refreshing films that I have seen in years. 

The British romantic comedy sparkles with sharp great one-liners. So fabulous, that I will want to see it again, and again. Believe me - the audience was bent over with laughter. The place turned into a "very lively affair!" You can't stop laughing.  

The writer/director Dan Mazer has come up with A Masterpiece -- what a Divine and rapturous movie. The Cast is Superb. The title of the movie is "I Give It A Year" -- well, tell me how much time do you think this marriage will last? Not much.

I'll tell you this: Seeing this movie is genuine magic. It's touching and mesmerizing. It'll put you on a mission to restore your reputation. And...a laugh every two minutes...everyone gives us effortless charm. 

Here is the bouncy and spirited cast: Rose Byrne, Rafe Spall, Alex Macqueen, Stephen Merchant, Jane Asher, Terence Harvey, Minnie Driver, Jason Flemyng,  Nigel Planer and Anna Faris, Simon Baker. The rollicking team is loaded with exuberant charm. It's an infectious crowd-pleaser. No doubt about it...this is one of the Best films of the year and beyond. "Seductive, Charismatic and mesmerizing!" 

NOW PLAYING IN SAN FRANCISCO 

RATING: Four Glasses of Champagne!!!! - highest rating- trademarked- 

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he has produced a long-running Arts Segment (7yrs) on PBS KQED))) 



THEIR WILL BE A LOT OF CELEBS AT THE PALACE OF FINE ARTS - IT'S BACK RUBBING TIME 


FROM HIGH SCHOOL TO GLEE  -- ALEX NEWELL SEES A ROLE AND HE TACKLES IT

HELP IS ON THE WAY IS A BLACK-TIE GALA FEATURING STARS FROM BROADWAY, FILM, TV AND THE RECORDING

It's mingle time at this three-tiered event. There is a pre-performance black-tie reception for corporate sponsors. Fine wines from high-end wineries is there for you, and there is hors d'oevres from SF's best restaurants and caterers. There is also a dessert reception. 

Here are some of the wonderful performers - Jim Bailey, David Burnham, Jason Brock, Carole Cook, Spencer Day, Loretta Devine, Lisa Vroman and the wonderful "B.O.O.B.S!" They are Leanne Borghesi, Jessica Coker and Soila Hughes. 

You will also like 'Salsamania (World Latin Dance Cup Champions...and Award Winning Gay Men's Chorus - plus Arkadey Polezhaev - (International Latin Dance cup Champions.) 

Oh, what a night this will be. There will be celebrities, Hi-Society, and Fun performers and signing of Autographs.  

PICTURES FROM THE PALACE OF FINE ARTS CONCERT: THIS WILL BE A MARVELOUS SHOW - IT'S A DON'T MISS


DAVID BURNHAM

           
 GLEE STAR - ALEX NEWELL - courtesy photo 







CAROLE COOK 







B.O.O.B.S 











August 13, 2013

LEE HARTGRAVE TONIGHT - "I GIVE IT A YEAR!" - "BRILLIANT COMEDY!"



I GIVE IT A YEAR

What's the Best Advice you've ever received? Well, here is one bit of advice...See this British Comedy about life and getting married. This movie is one of the sharpest and outrageously refreshing films that I have seen in years. 

The British romantic comedy sparkles with sharp great one-liners. So fabulous, that I will want to see it again, and again. Believe me - the audience was bent over with laughter. The place turned into a "very lively affair!" You can't stop laughing.  

The writer/director Dan Mazer has come up with A Masterpiece -- what a Divine and rapturous movie. The Cast is Superb. The title of the movie is "I Give It A Year" -- well, tell me how much time do you think this marriage will last? Not much.

I'll tell you this: Seeing this movie is genuine magic. It's touching and mesmerizing. It'll put you on a mission to restore your reputation. And...a laugh every two minutes...everyone gives us effortless charm. 

Here is the bouncy and spirited cast: Rose Byrne, Rafe Spall, Alex Macqueen, Stephen Merchant, Jane Asher, Terence Harvey, Minnie Driver, Jason Flemyng,  Nigel Planer and Anna Faris, Simon Baker. The rollicking team is loaded with exuberant charm. It's an infectious crowd-pleaser. No doubt about it...this is one of the Best films of the year and beyond. "Seductive, Charismatic and mesmerizing!" 

NOW PLAYING IN SAN FRANCISCO 

RATING: Four Glasses of Champagne!!!! - highest rating- trademarked- 

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he has produced a long-running Arts Segment (7yrs) on PBS KQED))) 



  

August 6, 2013

BLUE JASMINE **** "UNFAILINGLY ENTERTAINING!"



BLUE JASMINE IS A FILM JUST PACKED WITH WINNING PERFORMANCES!


Cate Blanchette will certainly deserve to walk out of Hollywood carrying an "Oscar." This modern day Woody Allen take on "Streetcar Named Desire" is extremely dramatic. Yep, Woody Allen gives us surprise moments. There is some fun in Allen's movie -- but there is also much tragedy. 

Did Woody Allen cast Blanche(tte) so he could have an actress play Blanche (from the black and white movie? 

The movie moves from New York to San Francisco locations. Allen uses the Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin side. By the way -- there is even little touches of "Tennesse Williams."

Yep, I bet anything that Blanchette will be nominated for that coveted Oscar for her performance. But I have not forgotten that the cast has delivered a blast of winning performances. 

Alec Baldwin (Blanchette's hubby) is a slimy and slick swindler who conjures up Ponzi schemes. The trounced on Sally Hawkins in the role of Ginger makes you want to get off of your seat and hug her. There are so many nuances in the film that make you want to see it again and again. 

This movie can be many things. One of those things is shadows of the famed Bernie Madoff. Like "Streetcar" -- Blanchette thinks in the lines of materialistic. She is obsessed with clothes -- big homes and high society. Of course, the money comes and goes...'very fast!" It's all about her. She visibly ages right before your eyes. Yes, she is self-seeking and on her way to the gutter. 

Blanchette is in a downhill spiral. We feel sorry for her, as she babbles to anyone who will listen. They didn't feel sorry -- and Jasmine (Blanchett) fades away -- 'crushed'! 

ASTOUNDING ACTING! This is a quality film that stays in your mind for days, weeks and months. 

Rating: Four Glasses of Champagne!!!! -(highest rating -trademarked- 

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he produced a long-running Arts and Entertainment Segment on PBS KQED)))