Friday, December 20, 2013

Charles R. Drew Names Patton General Counsel


LOS ANGELES (December 20, 2013) – Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) welcomed its newest arrival, Attorney John W. Patton, Jr., as General Counsel.  Atty. Patton, also known as Elder Patton because of his longstanding affiliation with West Angeles Church of God in Christ (Los Angeles), joined CDU in November and was feted at a reception in December. Guests included Atty. Patton’s wife, entrepreneur Dawn Harris-Patton; famed civil rights attorney Connie Rice; Attorney Uleses C. Henderson, General Counsel of the Churches of God in Christ Worldwide; Judge Mablean Ephraim; and other members of the CDU community. Atty. Patton accepted his warm welcome with brief thanks and remarks.

Atty. Patton has nearly thirty-five years of experience in all aspects of civil litigation, with jury and court trials and appellate work in both state and federal courts throughout California.  Atty. Patton’s practice has focused on employment disputes, commercial business litigation, real estate disputes, and personal injury.  He has represented and counseled Fortune 100 companies, mid-sized and small businesses and individuals.  He is a 1975 graduate of Case Western Reserve University, and a 1979 graduate of Howard University School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude and first in his class.

In 1997, Atty. Patton was elected as the first African American president of the Beverly Hills Bar Association in Beverly Hills, California.  He is a former member of the State Bar of California Commission of Judicial Nominees Evaluation, the Business Law Section, and the Committee on Administration of Justice; a former member of the American Bar Association Metropolitan Bar Caucus; and a former member of the National Conference of Bar Presidents.
Atty. Patton is the past Chair and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Conference of California Bar Associations (CCBA), a powerful voice of the lawyers of California.  Among other activities and services to California lawyers and the public, CCBA provides a forum and voice for all local, minority, statewide and specialty bar associations in California to consider, debate and propose, and implement changes in California laws.
ABOUT CDU
CDU is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian, minority-serving medical and health sciences institution.  Located in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, CDU has graduated more than 550 medical doctors, 2,500 post-graduate physicians, more than 2,000 physician assistants and hundreds of other health professionals.  CDU has earned designation as a minority-serving institution by the U.S. Office for Civil Rights, and its College of Medicine is recognized by the Department of Education as a Historically Black Graduate Institution.  The University is also a charter member of the Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools. CDU is recognized as a leader in translational and health inequities research, specifically with respect to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, mental health, and HIV/AIDS.  The CDU/UCLA medical program was named the “best performer” in the University of California System with respect to producing outstanding underrepresented minority physicians by the Greenlining Institute.  For more information, visit http://www.cdrewu.edu/.


Kevin Frazier Hosts "Wolf of Wall Street" Screening

VIBE brought out various VIPs to the AMC 19th Street theater for their screening, led by ARISE TV anchor/journalist Lola Ogunnaike and VIBE editor-in-chief Jermaine Hall.

The Wolf of Wall Street opens nationwide on Christmas Day.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Diane Rodriguez Named TCG Board Chair


New York, NY - Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, announces new leadership of its board of directors and three new members. Diane Rodriguez, associate producer/director of new play production at Center Theatre Group, succeeds Phillip Himberg, producing artistic director of the Sundance Institute Theatre Program, as board president. Robert Hupp, producing artistic director of Arkansas Repertory Theatre, joins playwright Lydia. R. Diamond as joint vice presidents. Tim Jennings, managing director of Children's Theatre Company, succeeds Roche Schulfer, executive director of Goodman Theatre, as treasurer. Ralph Bryan, managing director-investments of Wells Fargo Advisors, remains as secretary.

“TCG’s board brings an invaluable breadth and depth of experience to empower TCG’s mission to strengthen, nurture and promote the not-for-profit American theatre,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG. “The aesthetic, cultural and geographic diversity of our movement is reflected in our board, helping TCG to inclusively serve our rapidly changing field.”


“My career and the career of so many other artists and theatre workers has been the result of TCG’s innovative thinking and generosity so the opportunity to sit at the helm of the TCG Board is a chance to give back,” said Diane Rodriguez, board president of TCG. “I look forward to the next couple of years as we move the group forward to truly being an activist organization that engages our diverse communities through theatre.”

Members of TCG’s board serve three two-year terms. Board officers serve terms of one-year, concurrent with the fiscal year of July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014.

Returning board members include: Sarah Bellamy, associate artistic director – education, Penumbra Theatre Company, St Paul, MN; Ralph Bryan, managing director – investments, Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC., La Jolla, CA; Mark Cuddy, artistic director, Geva Theatre Center, Rochester, NY; Lydia R. Diamond, playwright, Evanston, IL; Teresa Eyring, executive director, Theatre Communications Group, New York, NY; Cynthia Fuhrman, director of marketing & communications, Portland Center Stage, Portland, OR; Joseph Haj, producing artistic director, Playmakers Repertory Company, Chapel Hill, NC; Andrew D. Hamingson, executive director, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Brooklyn, NY; Aimée Hayes, artistic director, Southern Rep, New Orleans, LA; Michelle Hensley, artistic director; Ten Thousand Things Theater Company, Minneapolis, MN; Ed Herendeen, producing director; Contemporary American Theater Festival, Shepherdstown, WV; Philip Himberg, producing artistic director, Sundance Institute Theatre Program, Sundance, UT; Robert Hupp, producing artistic director, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Little Rock, AR; Chris Jennings, managing director, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington, DC; Tim Jennings, managing director, Children's Theatre Company, Minneapolis, MN; Marshall Jones III, producing artistic director, Crossroads Theatre Company, New Brunswick, NJ; Kwame Kwei-Armah, artistic director, Center Stage, Baltimore, MD; Max Leventhal, general manager, Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, GA; Kate Lipuma, executive director; Writers' Theatre, Glencoe, IL; Kevin Moriarty, artistic director, Dallas Theater Center, Dallas, TX; Jonathan Moscone, artistic director, California Shakespeare Theater, Berkeley, CA; Lynn Nottage, playwright, Brooklyn, NY; Ralph Peña, artistic director, Ma-Yi Theater Company, New York, NY; Diane Rodriguez, associate producer/director of new play production, Center Theatre Group, Los Angeles, CA; Eric Rosen, artistic director; Kansas City Repertory Theatre Company, Kansas City, MO; Michael S. Rosenberg, managing director, La Jolla Playhouse, La Jolla, CA; Sean San Jose, program director, Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco, CA; Roche Schulfer, executive director, Goodman Theatre, Chicago, IL; Mark Valdez, executive director, Network of Ensemble Theatres, Los Angeles, CA; Clyde Valentin, executive director, Hip-Hop Theater Festival, Brooklyn, NY; Megan Wanlass, executive director, SITI Company, New York, NY; Angel Ysaguirre, deputy commissioner for arts planning, City of Chicago - Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Chicago, IL.  



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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

One Village's 'Black Coffee' Set For Release

 
Film coming to theaters in Atlanta, Baltimore, 
Chicago and Washington D.C.

Love is brewing as One Village Entertainment serves up a strong cast in the official theatrical release of BLACK COFFEE. The film, which releases January 10, in AMC theaters in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago and Washington D.C., stars Lamman Rucker (WHY DID I GET MARRIED?), Erica Hubbard (LET’S STAY TOGETHER), Darrin Dewitt Henson (STOMP THE YARD), Gabrielle Dennis (THE GAME) and Christian Keyes (LET’S STAY TOGETHER).

Robert (Henson) picked the wrong time to meet his soul mate!  After being fired from his own father’s company, he feels like his luck has run out – until Morgan (Dennis) enters into his life.  Just as things start to heat up between them, trouble brews as Morgan’s ex-husband (Rucker) vows to get her back and Robert’s gold-digging ex-girlfriend (Hubbard) returns with an agenda of her own. With the help of his cousin (Keyes), Robert’s about to find out how much good can come out of a bad situation in this charming romantic comedy that’s good to the last drop.

For theater and ticketing information, please visit: https://www.amctheatres.com/movies/black-coffee

Fox Searchlight Re-Releases '12 Years A Slave'

 
Film to be Re-released in Select Cities January 17
Nominated for 7 Golden Globe® Awards and
4 Screen Actors Guild® Awards

Los Angeles, CA December 18, 2013 – Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley announced today that the company will re-release director Steve McQueen’s Golden Globe Award nominated film 12 YEARS A SLAVE  in select cities for a special return engagement on Friday, January 17.

The most-nominated film of the year, 12 YEARS A SLAVE has already garnered over 20 major nominations from groups including The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Nominated for 7 Golden Globes including Best Picture), Screen Actors Guild (Nominated for 4 SAG Awards including Best Ensemble), FILM Independent (Nominated for 7 Spirit Awards including Best Feature), and has earned numerous Critics Groups accolades including Best Picture from Washington DC Area Film Critics and New York Film Critics Online.  After winning the Audience Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Mill Valley Film Festival, 12 YEARS A SLAVE opened domestically on October 18 and has grossed over $35 million, making it the most successful English-language specialty platform release of the year.

“We are honored to re-release this incredible film to theaters after it debuted to standing ovations in Telluride and Toronto. Steve McQueen’s deft storytelling with a superbly talented cast continues to win over audiences everywhere,” said Utley and Gilula. 

12 YEARS A SLAVE is based on an incredible true story of one man's fight for survival and freedom.  In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.  Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender) as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity.  In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) forever alters his life.

The film is directed by Steve McQueen (HUNGER) and written by John Ridley (RED TAILS).  Producers are Brad Pitt (MONEYBALL), Dede Gardner (EAT, PRAY LOVE), Jeremy Kleiner (WORLD WAR Z), Bill Pohlad (THE TREE OF LIFE), Steve McQueen (SHAME), Arnon Milchan (L.A. CONFIDENTIAL) and Anthony Katagas (KILLING THEM SOFTLY); executive producers are Tessa Ross (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE) and John Ridley.  The filmmaking team includes director of photography Sean Bobbitt, BSC (HUNGER; SHAME); production designer Adam Stockhausen (MOONRISE KINGDOM); editor Joe Walker (HUNGER; SHAME); Academy Award® nominated costume designer Patricia Norris (THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD) and Academy Award® winning composer Hans Zimmer (DRIVING MISS DAISY). 

Fox Searchlight Pictures is a specialty film company that both finances and acquires motion pictures.  It has its own marketing and distribution operations, and its films are distributed internationally by Twentieth Century Fox.  Fox Searchlight Pictures is a unit of 21st Century Fox.

Stars Attend Premiere of 'The Wolf of Wall Street'



 MARTIN SCORSESE

 JONAH HILL and LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Patti LaBelle Set To Headline Super Bowl Event


ADDED TO THE LINE-UP OF ACCOMPLISHED PERFORMERS ARE
MARY MARY, NATALIE GRANT, TAMELA MANN AND
DONNIE MCCLURKIN
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MEGA-EVENT TO BE HELD AT THEATER AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
JANUARY 31, 2014
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Tickets Currently Available on Ticketmaster.com, with Portion of Ticket Sales
Benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
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Media Credentials Application Available for Press Conference and Red Carpet
NEW YORK, NY - December 18, 2013 – Bringing faith, football and gospel music together, the 15th Annual NFL Sanctioned Super Bowl Gospel Celebration will be in New York City, kicking-off Super Bowl XLVIII weekend on Friday, January 31, 2014 at Theater at Madison Square Garden. Sponsored by American Family Insurance, this year’s concert will align GRAMMY® Award-winning artists, church and faith leaders and special guests – all on one stage to give audiences a show to remember.
Announced as the headliner of this milestone concert, taking the stage will be legendary entertainer and GRAMMY® Award-winner Patti Labelle.  Also joining the list of top performers at this year’s show include gospel sensation Mary Mary, Christian contemporary singer Natalie Grant and actress & singer Tamela Mann. Previously announced performers include GRAMMY® Award-winning Gospel artist and Pastor of Perfecting Faith Church in New York, Donnie McClurkin, and the NFL Player’s Choir, which is exclusively composed of current and former players.
Over the course of fifteen years, Super Bowl Gospel Celebration has brought together amazing performances and special guests including Anita Baker, Gladys Knight, Yolanda Adams, Kelly Price, The Clark Sisters, and many more. Most recently, the 2013 event was hosted by Emmy Award-winning co-host of ABC’s “The View,” Sherri Shepherd, and seven-time GRAMMY® Award-winning gospel artist Kirk Franklin. Headlined by GRAMMY® Award-winning, platinum-selling artist and American Idol winner Fantasia, the night was full of memorable moments including great performances by Donnie McClurkin, Marvin Winans, Bishop Paul S. Morton, and the NFL “Players’ Choice” hip-hop Christian artist Lecrae.
“The Super Bowl Gospel Celebration has been a formal sanctioned partner for 15 years, and has played an integral role in bringing together fans and football players under one roof with a shared love of inspirational music,” said Tisha Ford, NFL Director of Events Business Development.

“This year we celebrate the 15th Anniversary of bringing even more power and celebration to one of the biggest events of the year — the Super Bowl,” says Melanie Few-Harrison, Creator and Executive Producer of Super Bowl Gospel Celebration.  "Each year we aim to make the concert bigger than the last with artists and special guests from all backgrounds and this year will be no different! Super Bowl XLVIII in New York will be our biggest yet!"
Since its inception in 1999, the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration has donated a portion of its proceeds and more than 5,500 tickets to local and national charities. This year’s benefactor is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Tickets to the concert are currently available for purchase on www.ticketmaster.com. The show will air in national syndication over broadcast television stations in February 2014. Air dates and local listings to be announced in January.
Media credential applications to the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration press conference (date to be announced) and red carpet are currently being accepted. Deadline for submissions is January 21, 2014 by 11:59 PM ET. For more information, visit: http://www.superbowlgospel.com/gospel/press-2/
About The Super Bowl Gospel Celebration:
The Super Bowl Gospel Celebration was launched in Miami in 1999 during Super Bowl XXXIII weekend.  In 2002, the event became the first, and remains the only concert sanctioned by the National Football League (NFL). The show has drawn crowds in the thousands and has demonstrated growth year-after-year, selling out venues in major Super Bowl host cities including Dallas, Tampa, Detroit, Jacksonville, Houston and Phoenix. For more information, visit: www.SuperBowlGospel.com, Facebook.com/SuperBowlGospel and Twitter.com/SuperBowlGospel.
About American Family Insurance:
Based in Madison, Wisconsin, American Family Insurance offers auto, homeowners, life, business and farm/ranch insurance in 19 states and is the nation’s third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company and ranks 382nd on the Fortune 500 list. For more information visit: www.amfam.com, Facebook.com/amfam, Twitter.com/amfam, and www.youtube.com/amfam.
About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital:
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other deadly diseases. St. Jude has the world’s best survival rates for the most aggressive childhood cancers, and treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since we opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent in the next decade. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs we make, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting www.stjude.org or following St. Jude on Facebook.com/stjude and Twitter.com/stjude.
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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Russell, Stars, Learn How To Do 'American Hustle'




By Darlene Donloe



There is a lot of hype surrounding David O. Russell’s upcoming release, American Hustle, set for release Fri., Dec. 20.  It’s being touted as one of the year’s best films. It’s being touted as some of Christian Bale’s best work.  It’s been touted as some of Bradley Cooper’s best work. It’s being touted as some of Jennifer Lawrence’s best work. It’s also being touted as some of Amy Adam’s best work.   Louis C.K. also turns in some incredible work.



Well, all that touting is true.



It is one of the best films of 2013. It’s also some of Bales’ Cooper’s, Lawrence’s and Adams’ best work.



The story is semi-true and tells the story of a dazzling con man named Irving Rosenfeld (Bale), who along with his equally cunning and seductive British partner Sydney Prosser (Adams) is forced to work for a wild FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Cooper). Just how much of the film is accurate about the famed Abscam caper that the FBI conducted in the late-‘70s, is up for debate. The movie actually opens with the words: “Some of this actually happened.”  In the actual story the FBI enlisted a career con artist from the Bronx to help them bust a mayor, six congressman and a senator for taking bribes.


 





In Russell’s tale, DiMaso, who isn’t sure who is conning whom, pushes Rosenfeld and Prosses into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia that's as dangerous as it is enchanting. At the same time he falls for Prosser, which definitely complicates matters.



Jeremy Renner is Carmine Polito, the passionate, volatile, New Jersey political operator caught between the con-artists and the Feds. Irving's unpredictable wife Rosalyn (Lawrence), who clearly does not have a filter, could be the one to pull the thread that brings the entire world crashing down.



Set in the ‘70s, it’s a fascinating story to watch. As a voyeur, much like DiMaso, you’re not quite sure who is actually getting conned.  There are so many twists and turns, that one can’t blink or one will miss a vital part of the con.



 
(l-r) Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, 
Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence 



The cast is superb. There isn’t a weak link in the bunch. This movie delivers the goods. It’s funny, there’s some drama, it’s sexy, it’s entertaining, the story is helter skelter and Russell’s direction in on the mark.



Kudos to everyone involved, especially Russell who created a great story and assembled a cast that seemed to effortlessly bring this vibrant story to fruition.






The fashions are just as much a character as the cast. While the acting is garnering a bunch of praise and nominations, the fashions are also causing heads to turn.  In addition to vintage Halston and Diane von Furstenberg, designer Michael Wilkinson created one of a kind pieces specifically for Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams. 



American Hustle, directed by David O. Russell (Silver Lining Playbook, The Fighter), is written by Eric Singer and Russell. It stars Bale, Adams, Cooper, Lawrence, Renner, Robert DeNiro, Louis C.K., Michael Pena and Jack Huston.



Running time: 138 minutes. Rated: R



On the Donloe Scale: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work),  L (likeable), O (OK) and E (excellent), American Hustle gets an E (excellent).


Monday, December 16, 2013

Jonathan Butler Talks About First Christmas CD




By Darlene C. Donloe

Jonathan Butler has long been lauded and applauded for his popular R&B, pop and gospel songs.  Now the handsome South African singer is giving his fans another genre to smile about – Christmas music.

For the first time in his career, Butler has released a Christmas CD. Merry Christmas To You has eight  traditional songs and a couple of newbies he penned, including the title track as well as the song, Happy Holidays.

Released by Artistry Music, the playlist includes: Merry Christmas To You, Sleigh Ride, Happy Holidays, This Christmas, Little Drummer Boy, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, I’ll Be Home For Christmas, The First Noel, O Holy Night and the lesser known Sweet Little Jesus Boy.

While there are traditional songs, Butler, a two-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter-guitarist, has added his own flavor to each selection.

There is an instrumental take with a South African flair on Sleigh Ride and Little Drummer Boy.

Butler says he deliberately didn’t want the songs to have a “lot of instrumentation.” Plus, he says, he wanted his “fans to have a personal Christmas message from me.”

The youngest of 17 children, Butler, a former child star who grew up under apartheid, was the first black artist played on radio stations in South Africa.

I caught up with the singing sensation recently to talk about his latest CD.



DD: Why did you finally decide to do a Christmas album?

JB: In 2013, I feel like I’m in a good place. I feel like I’m in my prime creatively. I hear everything, feel everything. I can touch it. I can make sounds. I feel like something is happening to me – lyrically. I’ve gone through some stuff.

DD: How long did it take you to pull this CD together?

JB: I think I did it in one week from Saturday to Saturday. In one week I chose the songs. I needed to get it out of my system. I had no idea it was going to turn out like that.  This is about plugging your guitar and voice into a recorder. I went online and got the lyrics of the songs and I was in my room by myself and began to sing the song. I didn’t even do two or three takes. I wanted this to be raw. I wanted to capture my spiritual feelings.

DD: You definitely put you own funk on these songs.

JB: I put a little bit of flavor on Sleigh Ride. It’s very South African.

DD: When will you release some new R&B music?

JB: I’m writing a new urban album that is coming out next year. I tracked down George Duke before he passed away and also Marcus Miller. I think 2013 was one of those years where I pushed myself. There are some things I needed to complete.

DD: You seem very happy right now.

JB: I’m in a good place. I’m still growing. Right now I’m enjoying the music.

DD: Why these songs?  What was the process in deciding which songs to sing?

JB: Well, when you hear O Holy Night, you hear how I’m seeing it personally. Didn’t want it tainted with piano and stuff like that.

DD: You have a song on the CD that isn’t that well known.

JB: Little Jesus Boy, a friend turned me on to that. He said it was a Negro spiritual. I heard it from an early recording. The songs I chose were songs that don’t need productions, it just needs guitar. 

DD: So, of course, you’re singing them during the Dave Koz Christmas Tour.

JB: Yes, the portion of the show I do is simple. It’s about the message. If people hear the words to what you say, it has a greater impact. It becomes more stripped down. It makes more sense to me. I do Little Drummer Boy every night on stage. It has now become my prayer dedication for Nelson Mandela. The song takes on a whole new meaning. It’s great to do live. 

DD: What song was your go to song when you were growing up?

JB: The only record I ever played was Nat King Cole’s Christmas album.  I played it every year. It’s kind of cool to have a Christmas album that people like. It could have been the other way around. Thank God for the anointing.

DD: What is your favorite Christmas song?

JB: Sweet Little Jesus Boy and Little Drummer Boy, I like it that way. Sometimes we funk it up. I went into a different place for it. It’s me. It’s a little South African. It has a different feel that I like. I just plugged myself in and started singing. 

DD:  Was it you or your record company that wanted you to do the Christmas CD?

JB: It was me. I wrote and recorded the CD. I went in to see them about something. I said, ‘By the way, I wrote a Christmas record. Call me if you like it. Call me if you don’t. I got a call from the president of the company the next day. He was really excited. I said, ‘Hopefully you can fund it.’ He said I got his family in the mood for Christmas and it’s June.



DD: You wrote two songs for the CD.  Talk about them.

JB: There are going to be more in the future. It’s important to write. What is your experience about Christmas? We should usher in a new Christmas story of our own.  Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas To You is like postcards to family. I’m impressed to write more Christmas songs. I wanted to write more.  I have another full Christmas album in me.  We should all step into our own Christmas experience.

DD: Do you have any Christmas traditions?

JB: It’s a special time. It’s a huge family affair with a lot of feasting and singing carols. Christmas Eve is as big as Christmas. Christmas is just for family. Then we have Boxing Day (or Day of Goodwill), which is the day after. That’s when we invite the friends. It’s a long celebration in South Africa. It’s always been that way at my house.

DD: Describe your best Christmas  - EVER.

JB: It is going to be this one. I’m flying a lot of family members to Los Angeles. It’s been a long time  since we’ve all been together. It will be very special. They will meet my granddaughter. They haven’t met her yet.

DD: What’s next for you?

JB: 2014 is going to be hectic. I don’t want to think about it. I have a cruise in January. I have a new record in February/March. I’m going to Manila for a relief benefit at the end of February. I will also be in Indonesia. I will be in London in March. I am living my dream. My new album comes out next year. I have the Dave Koz cruise. Then I got back to South Africa to host my safari and launch the Jonathan Butler Foundation in Capetown.

DD: Tell me about the foundation.

JB: The foundation is very exciting. We launched it this year in Johannesburg. We are funded by local governments.

DD: Your focus is drug abuse prevention. Is that because it’s very personal to you?

JB: Yes, it’s because it was my story – drug abuse. The foundation will deal with drug abuse prevention, music therapy and music education. We are doing a lot of cool stuff. I will be spending more time in South Africa. We can’t fight drug lords, but we can win our kids back. Purpose Kills Addiction is the purpose. We are focused on getting involved in local communities and schools. 

Butler is also part of the Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Tour with Oleta Adams and keyboardist Keiko Matsui.  The tour concludes Dec. 22, at the Warfield in San Francisco. 
 
To find out more about Butler and his upcoming Dave Koz & Christmas Tour, log on to www.jonathanbutler.com.
 
On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (OK) and E (excellent), Merry Christmas To You gets an E (excellent).







Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ellia English Set For Christmas Performance


Inline image 1
Actress Ellia English is pleased to announce her Christmas show, “Christmas Is The Time For Love” on Sat., Dec. 21, at Vitello’s Jazz & Supper Club, 4349 Tujunga Ave, Studio City.
The fun begins at 8 p.m. when English will sing familiar Christmas songs.
As a little girl, I couldn’t help but notice that people were not only happier around Christmastime, but more loving as well, said English. "So, along with being the ‘season to be jolly’, I like to remind myself that Christmas is the time for love’.”
Ellia is known for her roles as Aunt Helen on the Jamie Foxx Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Auntie Rae and Mary Lou Wentz on Disney’s Good Luck Charlie.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Vintage Designs Frame Russell's 'American Hustle'

American Hustle is set for release on December 20. While the acting is garnering a bunch of praise and nominations, the fashions are also causing heads to turn.  In addition to vintage Halston and Diane von Furstenberg, designer Michael Wilkinson created one of a kind pieces specifically for Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams.  The movie, directed by David O. Russell and written by Russell and Eric Singer, also stars Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Robert Deniro, Jeremy Renner, Louis C.K., Jack Huston and Michael Pena.






Brits Idris Elba & Naomie Harris Grace Jet Cover


British actors Idris Elba and Naomie Harris grace the cover of JET magazine and discuss creating the movie, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, inside the publication.

The movie, based on Nelson Mandela’s autobiography of the same name, chronicles Mandela's life journey from his childhood to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.  With the recent passing of Mandela, the film is in high demand for moviegoers.  However, the co-stars revealed to JET magazine the challenges they faced portraying the iconic South African figures.   

 “I didn’t feel like I was accomplished enough to play such a great man,” said Elba when referencing what it was like to portray Mandela. “It was a massive challenge. He could energize people with his charisma and aura. I tried to channel that. I want people to be inspired by his story.”

Harris was also nervous about playing the role of Winnie Mandela, a crusader in her own right, but acknowledged that Elba helped her along the way. 

“I felt like he was holding my hand through the whole thing,” Harris said about her co-star, Elba.  “It was a very difficult story to tell – dark and harrowing.  We got to go on a journey together.”

While the two had never met prior to filming, they quickly found a connection, which resulted in great on-screen chemistry.  The two disclosed to JET that they found they had several things in common outside of being two of Hollywood’s most coveted individuals, including the fact that they both were born on September 6. 

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71st Annual Golden Globe Nominations Announced

Nominations for the 71st annual Golden Globes were recently announced. The show airs Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. ET/5 PT on NBC.

MOVIES
Drama
12 Years a Slave
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Philomena
Rush

Comedy or musical
Inside Llewyn Davis
Her
American Hustle
Nebraska
The Wolf of Wall
Street

Actor, drama
Idris Elba, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughy, Dallas Buyers Club
Chiwetel Ojiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Robert Redford, All Is Lost

Actress,
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine 
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks
Kate Winslet, Labor Day

Actor, Comedy or musical
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
Joaquin Phoenix, Her

Actress, Comedy or musical
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Enough Said
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Supporting actor
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Daniel Bruhl, Rush
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle

Supporting actress
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
June Squibb, Nebraska

Director
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips

Best screenplay
Eric Singer and David O. Russell, American Hustle
Bob Nelson, Nebraska
Jeff Pope and Steve Coogan, Philomena
John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Spike Jonze, Her

Best original score
All Is Lost
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Gravity
The Book Thief
12 Years a Slave

Best original song
Let It Go, from Frozen
Ordinary Love, from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Please Mr. Kennedy, from Inside Llewyn Davis
Sweeter Than Fiction, from One Chance
Atlas, from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Best animated feature film
Frozen
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Best foreign film
The Great Beauty
Blue is the Warmest Color
The Hunt
The Past
The Wind Rises

PRIMETIME TELEVISION
Drama
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
The Good Wife
House of Cards
Masters of Sex

Comedy or musical
The Big Bang Theory
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Girls
Modern Family
Parks and Recreation

Actor, drama series
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Live Schrieber, Ray Donovan
Michael Sheen, Masters of Sex
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
James Spader, Blacklist

Actress, drama series
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Taylor Schilling, Orange is the New Black
Kerry Washington, Scandal
Robin Wright, House of Cards

Actor, comedy series
Jason Bateman, Arrested Development
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Michael J. Fox, The Michael J. Fox Show
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Andy Samberg, Brooklyn 99

Actress, comedy series
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Veep
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Miniseries or TV movie
American Horror Story: Coven
Top of the Lake
Inside the Candelabra
Dancing on the Edge
White Queen

Actor, miniseries or TV movie
Matt Damon, Inside the Candelabra
Michael Douglas, Inside the Candelabra
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dancing on the Edge
Idris Elba, Luther
Al Pacino, Phil Spector

Actress, miniseries or TV movie
Helena Bonham Carter, Burton and Taylor
Rebecca Ferguson, The White Queen
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven
Helen Mirren, Phil Spector
Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake 

Supporting actor, series, miniseries or TV movie
Josh Charles, The Good Wife
Rob Lowe, Behind the Candelabra
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Corey Stoll, House of Cards
Jon Voight, Ray Donovan

Supporting actress, series, miniseries or TV movie
Jacqueline Bissett, Dancing on the Edge
Janet McTeer, White Queen
Hayden Panettiere, Nashville
Monica Potter, Parenthood
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family