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October 31, 2013

EXTREE! EXTREE! EXTREE! HOLLYWOOD CALLING




THIS YEAR'S 'HELP IS ON THE WAY' For the Holidays X11 - THIS IS WHERE THE CELEBRITY PERFORMERS WILL BE ON STAGE.

Here they are: Bruce Vilanch (comedy all the time) - Tim Hockenberry (Sings with a huskie interesting - fantastic voice - Jason Brock (always thrills with new arrangements) - Jae Rodriquez does not sing in the Bart Tunnel, but he does bring music into the modern age. Sharon McNight -- as usual entertains like nobody else can. Carly Ozard is a knockout...she brings more Talent to the stage than Hollywood does. Shawn Ryan -- truly brings his magnificent performance to all. That's right - Xmas is coming -- and his perfect singing and jokes -- are truly a masterpiece.

If Bruce Vilanch doesn't have enough Hairspray -- then just borrow some from Shawn. There will also be Davis Gaines (Phantom Star-is always a thrill.) And this will bring winter joy -- 12 year old singer/actress Veronica Powers will Power you all night long. What a voice. And you can even have more fun after the show at the Underwriter After Party @ Hotel Adagio (550 Geary Street. S.F. And, oh yes -- Holiday cocktail attire suggested. 

It all takes place on Monday, Dec. 9th at the Marines Memorial Theatre on Sutter Street. Performances start at 7:30 Pm. You won't want to miss this Holiday Gala. For Tix and info: www.helpisontheyway.org.
or call 415/273-1620.

******

TRIBECA FILMS will be at the Landmark Theatres (Opera Plaza) in San Francisco. Or, if you are in Berkeley you can catch Landmark's Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley. Lead actors are Veerie Baetens and Johan Heldenbergh.

The movie: Broken Circle Breakdown' tells the love story between Elise (Veerie Baetens) and Didier (Johan Heldenbergh). She has her own business - it's a Tattoo Shop. He play a banjo in a band. And, of course - it's love at first sight. They like American music and the Culture. Yeh - it's a relationship drama. Can't wait. Love foreign movies.

ANOTHER GREAT MOMENT: The Landmark's Embarcadero Center Cinema - 1 Embarcadero Center Promenade Level - now has a totally new look. You will love this new look at the Theater. It took a lot of patience, empathy and persistence -- but to my astonishment -- it was worth the marvel.
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MORE NEWS COMING UP! AND UP! AND UP! Do look for them. Let me know your take...

beyondchron.org



   


October 28, 2013

SOCIETY CABARET - AT THE HOTEL REX

 LEE HARTGRAVE TONIGHT



LUA HADAR - COURTESY PHO


GREAT QUALITY CABARET
AT 'SOCIETY CABARET' - SUPERB SHOW! 
AT THE HOTEL REX



This newly discovered cozy Cabaret is totally irresistible. I'm thrilled that I discovered this wonderful experience.

How much do I love the music? Well, on the night that I saw the opening show. there was Lua Hadar, who gave a rousing "Mambo Italiano". Her powerful and unique voice brings out the most unusual connection to the audience. Wow! - what energy.
 
 
The show really kept me in my chair at this unique musical. It was tender, soaring and extremely funny. There is no stopping on this show - Hadar was downright transporting. Heck, I'm still thinking about it. Well, I kept thinking all evening about the music - "Something Familiar - Something Comedy Tonight and I Never Do Anything Twice (Cole Porter)."
 
 
One of the entertainers said about the music: "Sometimes you need a Drink to Fall in Love." Yep, that'll do ya for the evening. Drinks that is.
 
 
G.SCOTT LACY swooped in, and put out some mean piano playing. Of course - he does it all the time-he's one of the greatest from Broadway and beyond. He has the power of music. Everyone wants him.
 
 
Yep - this was a downright revolutionary evening.
Other great pianists at Society, brought us "Grade A+" -- Hope their fingers hold up - as they hit the keys. We gasped at the talent - it's Thrilling and Brilliant.
 
 
There is plenty to hear and see at Society Cabaret. There is Cole Porter to Edith Piaf. The laughs go on and on. The Talent is Enthusiastic - they are high wire confident. Boys and Girls -- where do you get all that physical verve?
 
 
The Society Cabaret is a Rare Jewell. Hooray to the Show and the Hotel Rex.
RATING: HIGHEST RATING
 
 
(((Four Glasses of Champagne (highest rating) -trademarked-)))
 
Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he produced and hosted a long-running Arts Segment at PBS-KQED (7-years).

October 18, 2013

CELEBRITY -POP! POP! - A-RAZZI!

CELEBRITY - POP! POP!-A-RAZZI! 




CELEBRITY BY DEMAND! 


And that would be Tom Orr with his 'Parody Revue' at the New Conservatory Theatre - "Dirty Little Showtunes!" It's enormous fun on the stage -- and when I say it's ENORMOUS -- Orr really means it! If you get the inches. And you will! Officially - you will now be a Tom Orr Fan. He's a fabulous performer. He BLOWS your mind -- or he blows something. There is also something called a "Ring" -- I have no idea what Orr does with it. Will see - won't we? The machine was a little HARD to get on. The Lyrics are by Tom Orr. The engagement is conceived & directed by F. Allen Sawyer and the musical direction is by Scrumbly Koldewyn. They are real names. Believe it or not! Orr will completely captivate you. Orr has something to show that is "PULSE POUNDING" -- and, oh yes, it's potent. You could say that it is "riveting and explosive!" OPENING NITE: AT THE NEW CONSERVATORY THEATER (Saturday - Oct. 19th.) You will not want to miss this crackerjack action! Try it on for size. 
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SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE FUN

42nd STREET MOON PRESENTS 

IT'S A BIRD, IT'S A PLANE, IT'S SUPERMAN! 



October 15, 2013

BENGAL TIGER AT BAGHDAD ZOO. "HAUNTING!"



WONDERFUL STAGING AND RICH IMAGINATION

There is lots of stuff going on at the SF Playhouse these days. And one of their most exciting presentations is here and now. A human plays the Tiger role. The Tiger is behind bars. A Soldier wants to give the Tiger something to eat. Well, the Tiger decided that it would eat the Soldier's hand.

Why? Well, Tigers have to eat. Bengal is driven by fear and hunger. The Tiger bites Tom's hand off. He is in terrible pain. Kev - - another Soldier grabs a gun and shoots the tiger. But that's not the end of the Tiger. He becomes immortal. The Soldiers are haunted by the ghost of the tiger, who wanders about Baghdad. They both have super injuries.

Kev (soldier) reveals that he used a gold gun to shoot the Tiger. The gun came from the palace of the late Uday Hussein. The gold-plated gun creates a tussle between Tom and Kev. They both struggle over a gold toilet seat (Uday's).

I don't want to get too intricate -- I would rather you see the play for your self. It has a marvelous set (Thanks Bill English). This is a darkly comic tale. It is narrated by a tiger that was held in the Baghdad Zoo.

Each character brings out the rich imagination of the direction. The talent on the SF Stage sheds light on each character's turmoil. Yep - these are Major Talents. Everything is imposed by the 'real' world -- and the not so real. Bill English's direction, has no flaws. It's powerfully imaginative. He takes daring leaps.

HERE ARE THE STARS: Kuros Charney, Livia Demarchi, Pomme Koch, Pomme Koch, Gabriel Marin, Craig Market, Will Marchetti, Sarita Ocon and Joe Rivera. They keep us on the edge of our seats. The Actors bring us dark and unforgettable moments. Who would dream of missing it? I sure wouldn't. Emotional truth packs a wallop! It's like a stirring crescendo!

By Rajiv Joseph

Directed by Bill English

NOW PLAYING AT THE SF PLAYHOUSE ON POST STREET (Near Union Square)

RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! (HIGHEST RATING) - trademarked-

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






October 14, 2013

NORM LEWIS -TONY NOMINATED-BROADWAY STAR



NORM LEWIS SINGS THIS COMING WEEKEND

 AT THE VENETIAN ROOM --  SUNDAY OCTOBER 20,13
photo by: Peter Hurley

AND I CAN'T WAIT. What a thrill to see him again. His singing voice is just incredible. He takes us on a magnificent trip with thematic nuances and dramatic undertones. I have never heard such vivid singing ever. Perfection should be his middle name. Not only does Lewis bring to the Venetian Room amazing talent on this glorious stage. He makes us feel all warm and fuzzy.

Norm Lewis can sing everything -- from 'Javert' to Sweet romantic songs.  I could listen to him sing the music from Les Miz forever. And I do. He's been performed in "Sideshow", "Porgy & Bess" and "This is the Life" and hundreds of other performances. Who is this? This is Norm Lewis! And I wouldn't miss him for all the money in the world. This is the stuff that evenings are made of. On every Stage, Lewis gets critical praise. And no wonder, he has the talent, and the looks.

Lewis is so smooth. He's a real pro. He makes his music seem so effortless - it doesn't seem like work at all.  I'd say -- he's the best singer in the world -- he's an instant classic! You'll find that out when you hear him - everyone will really enjoy his rich and expressive songs. He knows how to bring along the great song selections.

This is the singer that I have been waiting for. He's a winner! He has been nominated for two Drama Desk Awards. He has been Nominated for Leading Actor in a Tony Award musical. He also was nominated for the Drama League Award and nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award. And he can sing to me whenever he wants. And that will be at the gorgeous Venetian Room of the Fairmont San Francisco.

Take my word for it....Norm Lewis will give us "A Charming Celebration."

Hey Norm -- keep singing those tales of love! See you at Bay Area Cabaret. www.bayareacabaret.org.

SOME CALL HIM BOLD...I CALL HIM BRILLIANT!

(((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)))
Sunday Datebook and he also produced and hosted a long-running Arts Segment on PBS-KQED)))






SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE STORIES --
Have fun with "Shocktoberfest" (next down)



October 11, 2013

SHOCKTOBERFEST 14: JACK THE RIPPER - UMMM...TASTY



Hey - Guess what?  SHOCKTOBERFEST 14  is Ridiculous Fun. Right from the start - I was having 'A Ripping Good-Time. It's a Crime Thriller that meets 'The Departed!" Jack The Ripper gives the audience pulse pounding action. And, oh and by the way -- the element of surprises will knock you out of your chair.

The show completely surprises in this superb Shocktoberfest. The people in the seats shake with gales of laughter. You feel the spirits that soar around you. One of the actors sat on the steps to the audience and he (Jack Crow) reached over and touched my ankle. Yes, I did feel an icy chill. But, I loved it. I'm dying to get to know the handsome guy better -- but maybe I don't want to die just yet.

Here's what you will want to see. You'll be thrilled with this visual marvel. The show and the actors are gorgeous to watch in all its dazzling splendor. The imagination is indisputable. The musical is a little on the Kinky Side: But the Erotic actors sing out their sexual songs as they spank each other. Oh my! I blushed. I'm so extra virgin. 

The cast is a "Home Run" -- They play it up with sly, rascally charisma. You'll definitely want to stand up and cheer. Well, they might want to spank your ass. Just stay in your seat and it won't happen. 

HERE ARE THE EROTIC GENIUS PLAYERS.......

Russell Blackwood (Director/Producer. He brought us the first Grand Guignol horror play 20 years ago. He's the one that SHOCKS US THE MOST! Alex Kinney is a Director, writer and performer that helps with this Major work. Scrumbly Koldewyn (Composer/Music Director) was a founding member of the Cockettes. 

HERE IS THE ENORMOUS CAST: Everything they show you is enormous -- if you get the drift. They are: TJ Buswell, Michelle Louise, Julia McArthur, Noah Haydon, Tina Sogliuzzo, Bruna Palmeiro, Zelda Koznofski, Russell Blackwod, Eric O'Kelly, Kai Brothers.THERE'S MORE: Noah Haydon, John Flaw, TJ Buswell, Drew Staffen, Steve Bolinger and Jack Crow (one of the favorites) he's the one that massaged my ankle. I'll never forget it. It was so - You no -- touching! 

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

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


SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE STORIES









October 9, 2013

SUPERMAN FLYS ABOVE THE CLOUDS



SUPERMAN IS ONE OF THOSE 
MUSICALS THAT HAS ALL 
THE RIGHT INGREDIENTS 

 42nd Street Moon -- is close to being a big Broadway hit. Some on the Broadway strip didn't care much for it in N.Y. They thought that it had too many faults. What do the know?  Hey, that's O.K with me. Some thought that the show didn't have what it takes. But they are wrong. This Super Guy (Lucas Coleman) is lots of fun. It's tongue and check-melodrama on this stage. It's on the level of "Bye, Bye Birdie". The musical numbers are hip and cool . Some of the songs are great show stoppers. 

Here's the story: Metropolis is in grave danger. But don't worry - Superman is out to defeat Dr. Agnes Sedgwick (Darlene Popovic). Wow! what a wonderful and amazing performer she is. She's evil -- but that's what makes her so interesting. She even manages to take away all of Superman's energy. What a Bitch, she is. 

Also terrific is the Suave Max Lane (Brent Schindele). Lois Lane (Jen Brooks) -- doesn't get it. She is working in the same Newspaper office as Superman -- That's hilarious. 

The entire show is truly interesting. Especially the character Max Mencken (a Winchell-type Columnist) is all over the place. He has enough energy to power the whole Newspaper Industry. Plus he's handsome, and so is "Superman." 

This is one the the most entertaining shows that I've seen in a long time. I would love to work at the "Daily Planet" along with Superman. Geez - you'd think that he would at least let me wear the cape now and then. 

NOW PLAYING AT 42nd Street Moon (Eureka Theatre)  

RATING: THREE GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!! 

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

October 5, 2013

CARRIE: THE MUSICAL - PERFECTION



SUPERMAN IS ONE OF THOSE 
MUSICALS THAT HAS ALL 
THE RIGHT INGREDIENTS 

 42nd Street Moon -- is close to being a big Broadway hit. Some on the Broadway strip didn't care much for it in N.Y. They thought that it had too many faults. What do the know?  Hey, that's O.K with me. Some thought that the show didn't have what it takes. But they are wrong. This Super Guy (Lucas Coleman) is lots of fun. It's tongue and check-melodrama on this stage. It's on the level of "Bye, Bye Birdie". The musical numbers are hip and cool . Some of the songs are great show stoppers. 

Here's the story: Metropolis is in grave danger. But don't worry - Superman is out to defeat Dr. Agnes Sedgwick (Darlene Popovic). Wow! what a wonderful and amazing performer she is. She's evil -- but that's what makes her so interesting. She even manages to take away all of Superman's energy. What a Bitch, she is. 

Also terrific is the Suave Max Lane (Brent Schindele). Lois Lane (Jen Brooks) -- doesn't get it. She is working in the same Newspaper office as Superman -- That's hilarious. 

The entire show is truly interesting. Especially the character Max Mencken (a Winchell-type Columnist) is all over the place. He has enough energy to power the whole Newspaper Industry. Plus he's handsome, and so is "Superman." 

This is one the the most entertaining shows that I've seen in a long time. I would love to work at the "Daily Planet" along with Superman. Geez - you'd think that he would at least let me wear the cape now and then. 

NOW PLAYING AT 42nd Street Moon (Eureka Theatre)  

RATING: THREE GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!! 

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