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February 27, 2014

LEE HARTGRAVE TONIGHT - NEBRASKA







NEBRASKA THE MOVIE

BRUCE DERN AS WE'VE NEVER SEEN HIM 

Nebraska is extremely entertaining - the performances are extraordinary and notably nuanced. This 'dark pearl' (in black and white) is an addictive, spellbinding story - from start to finish. 

Woody (Dern) receive a 'flyer' in the mail. He reads that he's won a million bucks. Gee, it's so easy - he thinks. The problem is that Woody just needs to buy some magazines to see if he has the winning number. Just like buying a lotto that will never give you a million bucks. 

Woody (a lifelong alcoholic) hangs around with a not so wonderful bunch of people who want a piece of him. Everyone wants a piece of the millions that are not really there. His family however, knows that it is all a hoax. 

The movie is in fantastic black and white. Lucky for his son David knows that the flyer is a hoax - but David continues to drive his father (Dern) around the country to please his dad. 

This film is magical. The natural elements on the screen hypnotize the audience. "Nebraska" is one of this years best films. Dern deserves an "Oscar" for both father and son as they travel from Billings, Montana to Lincoln Nebraska. The son David (Will Forte) tries to help his father Woody (Dern) struggle with dementia. 

Woody's wife is a kick in the rear. She is June Squibb and she just might end up with an Oscar. She gets enormous laughs from the audience. June thinks nothing about shouting out to her hubbie "F. You!" The musical accompaniment certainly keeps the story moving along the dusty road. 

The individuality of all the characters in this superior cast bring real life to what real people do. There is plenty of dust all over the country -- and that's what happens when you live in road trip country. 

The movie is sad, funny and comic. Without this marvelous cast -- there would be no Nebraska. This film is the Real Deal. I think about this dark pearl over and over again. O.K. - I'll tell you what you want to hear - It's simply brilliant!" 

THE STUNNING CAST: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, Bob Odenkirk, Angela McGowen, June Squibb and Stacy Keach.

Directed by Alexander Payne (Dazzling Best)

(((FIVE STARS*****(highest Rating) Five Glasses of Champagne)))    

OSCAR BUZZ -SWEET GOLD ON SUNDAY 

I don't have a crystal ball -- but here are a few guesses: Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine hopes for an Oscar...Then there is of course Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Judi Dench and maybe Sandra Bullock. I think that there is a good chance that Bruce Dern with carry heavy Gold. He's 77 years old -- lets give him the Shiny Guy. He's old though. Christian Bale (American Hustle) could end up with everything. My hope is that "Nebraska and Bruce Dern"and Will Forte (supporting) win Gold.  Hey, there doesn't seem to be many guys - but there is Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto (best supporting). 
















  

February 21, 2014

MR FIRST NIGHTER - LEE HARTGRAVE-

Chita Rivera 'Live' at Famed Venetian Room.
Courtesy Photo 

by Lee Hartgrave 








SHE WANTS TO BE MUSIC  -   - 
CHITA RIVERA 

This is not a coming out party, but it sure is sensational. Rivera has been building a fan club for several engagements. Her songs take the standards and turn them into assured brilliance. Yep, no doubt about it. Chita makes us all fall in love again. When she was on the stage last time at the glorious Venetian Room - I noticed that several people were holding hands. Of course, no one touched my hands -- but then, I wasn't going to sing either. 

Ingratiating performer Chita, has amazing energy on the stage. Everywhere she goes she garners rave reviews around the world. Every note is passionate and emotional. You will find that Chita belt out song that can can make you swoon with her versions of the torch songs. She is excitingly professional and smart and witty.  

We can't wait to hear the music and the warmth Chita gives to the audience. In between the fantastic songs -- she is also responsible for her fantastically amusing delicious wit. Rivera sings many showtunes that we all love. What an impact - Chita really doesn't need a microphone to dazzle the audience with her rich voice. The last time she was at the wonderful Fairmont, the audience was begging for more. 

Lets face it. Whatever Chita Rivera does on the stage is "Damn perfect!" She's remarkable from beginning to end. It's a Cinematic love letter for all of us. FA-LASH... Let's Celebrate Chita and The Fairmont. She is a nine-time Tony nominee, two-time Tony Award winner, and first hispanic woman ever to receive the Kennedy Center Honor. This is a can't miss! 

RATING: FIVE GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE*****(highest rating)

Now at The Venetian Room (Fairmont San Francisco. Sunday, February 23, 2014

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Sunday Datebook and he previously produced and hosted shows on PBS-KQED for seven years))) 




  




February 17, 2014

LEE HARTGRAVE TONIGHT - 'A MAZE' SURE AS HELL IS COMPLEX




A MAZE 

FREEDOM FOR ALL 

There I was - sitting on the aisle seat as the dialogue takes us on a brilliant theme. Not just one theme, but many. There is a man who is trying to arrange over 15,000 pages of strange themes. Actually this man is so weird that you might wonder what he is up to. Well, here is some of the story. This writer is very creepy. He meets up with a young girl who is not happy with her family. She somehow hooks up with this very strange man. She grows up over the years, and the strange man keeps her locked up in the basement. He only lets her slightly free only while he is there. When he isn't there -- she becomes a prisoner to a nut. It's an addiction. Will she escape? I won't tell you. I'll let you dig deep in the play. There are many exciting moments that interweave these stories. It's a thrilling ride.   

In this shifting work of Art - there is exciting pieces that go from one stranger to another. Each character brings to the stage a new story, as A Maze twists everything. Yes, you do get lost in this internal mess. 

Here's the thing. There are very dark secrets that will keep you in the dark. Many short stories bring to the stage A King and a Queen. Then there is a Rock star (Paul) Harold Pierce and (Oksana) Sarah Moser. They both have just left a rehab clinic. 

The imprisoned girl is growing up. She is trying to escape a Maze of her own. Does it work? Yes and no. She is still very neurotic. The writer Clive Worsley, is Beeson. Yep, he's the one who locks up Sarah in the basement. She's been there for several years. Finding your way out of this locked basement is not an easy task to escape. 

There is a lot to put all of this on the plate. You have to think deeply to figure out just what this Maze has in mind. Many challenges will trip through your head. This 'A Maze' surely would not be for children. They would get lost in the dialogue. Heck - I'm old and I get lost easily in this show. However, it does challenge everything on this dark day and night that eventually bring us a tense and inspiring evening. "It's unforgettable!" "Stellar Performances. Uniquely Engaging!" 

HERE IS BRILLIANT CAST: Lasse Christiansen - Janis Delucia - Carl Holvick-
Thomas - Frannie Morrison - Sarah Moser - Harold Pierce - Lauren Spencer - Clive Worsley. 


DIRECTOR MOLLY AARONSON-GELB 
Riveting

RATING: FIVE GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE*****

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he also contributed many stories and reviews on PBS KQED - 7 years)))



February 13, 2014

LEE HARTGRAVE TONIGHT - CHITA RIVERA



Chita Rivera 'Live' at Famed Venetian Room.
Courtesy Photo 








SHE WANTS TO BE MUSIC  - 
CHITA RIVERA SHE WANTS TO BE MUSIC  - 
CHITA RIVERA 

This is not a coming out party. Rivera has been building a fan club for several engagements. Her songs take the standards and turn them into assured brilliance. Yep, no doubt about it. Chita makes us all fall in love again. When she was on the stage last time at the glorious Venetian Room - I noticed that several people were holding hands. Of course, no one touched my hands -- but then, I wasn't going to sing either. 

Ingratiating performer Chita, has amazing energy on the stage. Everywhere she goes she garners rave reviews around the world. Every note is passionate and emotional. You will find that Chita belt out song that can can make you swoon with her versions of the torch songs. She is excitingly professional and smart and witty.  

We can't wait to hear the music and the warmth Chita gives to the audience. In between the fantastic songs -- she is also responsible for her fantastically amusing delicious wit. Rivera sings many showtunes that we all love. What an impact - Chita really doesn't need a microphone to dazzle the audience with her rich voice. The last time she was at the wonderful Fairmont, the audience was begging for more. 

Lets face it. Whatever Chita Rivera does on the stage is "Damn perfect!" She's remarkable from beginning to end. It's a Cinematic love letter for all of us. FA-LASH... Let's Celebrate Chita and The Fairmont. She is a nine-time Tony nominee, two-time Tony Award winner, and first hispanic woman ever to receive the Kennedy Center Honor. This is a can't miss! 

RATING: FIVE GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE*****(highest rating)

Now at The Venetian Room (Fairmont San Francisco. Sunday, February 23, 2014

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Sunday Datebook and he previously produced and hosted shows on PBS-KQED for seven years))) 




  



February 4, 2014

NEWS SCOOPS! LETTER WRITING IS SO SUBTLE! ECCENTRIC!







Courtesy Photo - Lois Tema 

NEWS SCOOPS

 ENGAGING DRAMA 

 THE PARIS LETTER 

AND IT ALL STARTS HERE - 
LeeHartgrave tonight



THE PARIS LETTER 

CHECK THE WRISTS OF THE SHARPEST DRESSED FOLKS IN TOWN 

These Guys know how to spend money on expensive deals that don't get them the compound earned interest that they would like  -but don't worry - watches and glittering Jewelry and fancy clothes keep putting on those phoney "Look at Me" - I am rich" - guys." After-all garnets bring out fire and desire. That comes out of your body. Yes, go ahead and bump your wine glasses together. You're Rich, Rich, Rich.  

Fine clothing and good looking men and woman in this era always  creates romantic treasures. You get the pleasures that warm your passion, fire and desire. The heat still smolders. You're love isn't just average -- no sir, keep going to those fancy hangouts that they deserve. Just be careful -- don't let anyone bring sadness, avert evil thoughts and beg for the person that you really want. Ooops -- however there is someone that you know that shoots himself. Would that be one of you guys that you so dearly love? He's a tall good looking blonde young man. 

This a a play with two themes. Both about failure of gay therapy in the sixties. Then later the failure of high finance. These themes are examined with great insight. 

The writing, acting and direction are all excellent. The amazing and clever staging adds a lot the the production. However, a spin goes in places that it shouldn't be. Despite a tragic ending -- the play is extremely entertaining. 

The evening is Exhilarating, robust, smart and witty. Bravura performers at every step. Has he met the love of his life? Ummm- you'll just have to see it for yourself. And if I were you - I would not miss it. It's perfect high-concept that succeeds. 

HERE ARE THE AMAZING STARS: Paul Collins, Ron Dritz, David Ewing, Michaela Greeley, Tom Reilly. The Cast plays as several different characters. Everyone of them are Brilliant. What a thrilling ride. I'd see it again! 

By Jon Robin Baitz 
Directed by the amazing George Maguire 

(HIGHEST RATING: Five Stars*****) 

NOW PLAYING AT THE NEW CONSERVATORY THEATRE CENTER 

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he also produced an Arts Program and that was fascinating fun on PBS -KQED -7 years)))













February 3, 2014


Courtesy Photo by Lois Tema 







THE PARIS LETTER 

CHECK THE WRISTS OF THE SHARPEST DRESSED FOLKS IN TOWN 

These Guys know how to spend money on expensive deals that don't get them the compound earned interest that they would like  -but don't worry - watches and glittering Jewelry and fancy clothes keep putting on those phoney "Look at Me" - I am rich" - guys." After-all garnets bring out fire and desire. That comes out of your body. Yes, go ahead and bump your wine glasses together. You're Rich, Rich, Rich.  

Fine clothing and good looking men and woman in this era always  creates romantic treasures. You get the pleasures that warm your passion, fire and desire. The heat still smolders. You're love isn't just average -- no sir, keep going to those fancy hangouts that they deserve. Just be careful -- don't let anyone bring sadness, avert evil thoughts and beg for the person that you really want. Ooops -- however there is someone that you know that shoots himself. Would that be one of you guys that you so dearly love? He's a tall good looking blonde young man. 

This a a play with two themes. Both about failure of gay therapy in the sixties. Then later the failure of high finance. These themes are examined with great insight. 

The writing, acting and direction are all excellent. The amazing and clever staging adds a lot the the production. However, a spin goes in places that it shouldn't be. Despite a tragic ending -- the play is extremely entertaining. 

The evening is Exhilarating, robust, smart and witty. Bravura performers at every step. Has he met the love of his life? Ummm- you'll just have to see it for yourself. And if I were you - I would not miss it. It's perfect high-concept that succeeds. 

HERE ARE THE AMAZING STARS: Paul Collins, Ron Dritz, David Ewing, Michaela Greeley, Tom Reilly. The Cast plays as several different characters. Everyone of them are Brilliant. What a thrilling ride. I'd see it again! 

By Jon Robin Baitz 
Directed by the amazing George Maguire 

(HIGHEST RATING: Five Stars*****) 

NOW PLAYING AT THE NEW CONSERVATORY THEATRE CENTER 

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he also produced an Arts Program and that was fascinating fun on PBS -KQED -7 years)))


















THE PARIS LETTER 

CHECK THE WRISTS OF THE SHARPEST DRESSED FOLKS IN TOWN 

These Guys know how to spend money on expensive deals that don't get them the compound earned interest that they would like  -but don't worry - watches and glittering Jewelry and fancy clothes keep putting on those phoney "Look at Me" - I am rich" - guys." After-all garnets bring out fire and desire. That comes out of your body. Yes, go ahead and bump your wine glasses together. You're Rich, Rich, Rich.  

Fine clothing and good looking men and woman in this era always  creates romantic treasures. You get the pleasures that warm your passion, fire and desire. The heat still smolders. You're love isn't just average -- no sir, keep going to those fancy hangouts that they deserve. Just be careful -- don't let anyone bring sadness, avert evil thoughts and beg for the person that you really want. Ooops -- however there is someone that you know that shoots himself. Would that be one of you guys that you so dearly love? He's a tall good looking blonde young man. 

This a a play with two themes. Both about failure of gay therapy in the sixties. Then later the failure of high finance. These themes are examined with great insight. 

The writing, acting and direction are all excellent. The amazing and clever staging adds a lot the the production. However, a spin goes in places that it shouldn't be. Despite a tragic ending -- the play is extremely entertaining. 

The evening is Exhilarating, robust, smart and witty. Bravura performers at every step. Has he met the love of his life? Ummm- you'll just have to see it for yourself. And if I were you - I would not miss it. It's perfect high-concept that succeeds. 

HERE ARE THE AMAZING STARS: Paul Collins, Ron Dritz, David Ewing, Michaela Greeley, Tom Reilly. The Cast plays as several different characters. Everyone of them are Brilliant. What a thrilling ride. I'd see it again! 

By Jon Robin Baitz 
Directed by the amazing George Maguire 

(HIGHEST RATING: Five Stars*****) 

NOW PLAYING AT THE NEW CONSERVATORY THEATRE CENTER 

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he also produced an Arts Program and that was fascinating fun on PBS -KQED -7 years)))