Thursday, August 28, 2014

'Jay Leno's Garage: The Ultimate Car Week' Set To Premiere Sun., Aug. 31 At 10 p.m. On CNBC

One-Hour Special Marks the First Time Leno Hosts a Show Since ‘The Tonight Show’

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ— August 28, 2014 —CNBC - the fastest growing cable network among P18-49 and P25-54 in primetime* - will premiere “Jay Leno’s Garage: The Ultimate Car Week” on Sun., Aug. 31, at 10PM ET/PT. 

Based on his Emmy-winning web series “Jay Leno’s Garage,” this special takes viewers into the heart of Monterey Week, America’s ultimate automotive event. 

Hosted by legendary comedian and one of the greatest car collectors in America, Jay Leno provides a unique perspective on the business and sport of cars and car collecting, which culminates once a year at Pebble Beach's Concours d'Elegance, featuring over 200 of the world's most prized collectibles.  

Leno scouts for vintage gems, gets exclusive first looks at several new vehicles and visits Laguna Seca racetrack, where he's the first person to hit the gas on the new 2015 Corvette Z06. 

“Jay Leno’s Garage: The Ultimate Car Week” is produced for CNBC by Open 4 Business Productions in association with Big Dog Productions.  Jay Leno and Todd Mesirow are the executive producers.

About CNBC:

With CNBC in the U.S., CNBC in Asia Pacific, CNBC in Europe, Middle East and Africa, CNBC World and CNBC HD , CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news and provides real-time financial market coverage and business information to approximately 371 million homes worldwide, including more than 100 million households in the United States and Canada. CNBC also provides daily business updates to 400 million households across China. The network's 15 live hours a day of business programming in North America (weekdays from 4:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. ET) is produced at CNBC's global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and includes reports from CNBC News bureaus worldwide. CNBC at night features a mix of new reality programming, CNBC's highly successful series produced exclusively for CNBC and a number of distinctive in-house documentaries.

Harry Belafonte To Receive Governors Award

LOS ANGELES, CA — The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted Tuesday night (August 26) to present Honorary Awards to Jean-Claude Carrière, Hayao Miyazaki and Maureen O’Hara, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Harry Belafonte.  All four awards will be presented at the Academy’s 6th Annual Governors Awards on Saturday, November 8, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center®.
“The Governors Awards allow us to reflect upon not the year in film, but the achievements of a lifetime,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs.  “We’re absolutely thrilled to honor these outstanding members of our global filmmaking community and look forward to celebrating with them in November.”

Carrière, who began his career as a novelist, was introduced to screenwriting by French comedian and filmmaker Pierre Étaix, with whom he shared an Oscar® for the live action short subject “Heureux Anniversaire (Happy Anniversary)” in 1962.  He received two more nominations during his nearly two-decade collaboration with director Luis Buñuel, for the screenplays for “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” and “That Obscure Object of Desire.”  Carrière also has collaborated notably with such directors as Volker Schlöndorff (“The Tin Drum”), Jean-Luc Godard (“Every Man for Himself”) and Andrzej Wajda (“Danton”).  He earned a fourth Oscar nomination for “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” with director Philip Kaufman.

Miyazaki is an artist, writer, director, producer and three-time Oscar nominee in the Animated Feature Film category, winning in 2002 for “Spirited Away.”  His other nominations were for “Howl’s Moving Castle” in 2005 and “The Wind Rises” last year.  Miyazaki gained an enormous following in his native Japan for such features as “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind,” “Laputa: Castle in the Sky,” “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Kiki’s Delivery Service” before breaking out internationally in the late 1990s with “Princess Mononoke.”  He is the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, a renowned animation studio based in Tokyo.

O’Hara, a native of Dublin, Ireland, came to Hollywood in 1939 to star opposite Charles Laughton in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”  She went on to appear in a wide range of feature films, including the swashbucklers “The Black Swan” and “Sinbad the Sailor,” the dramas “This Land Is Mine” and “A Woman’s Secret,” the family classics “Miracle on 34th Street” and “The Parent Trap,” the spy comedy “Our Man in Havana” and numerous Westerns.  She was a favorite of director John Ford, who cast her in five of his films, including “How Green Was My Valley,” “Rio Grande” and “The Quiet Man.”

An actor, producer, singer and lifelong activist, Belafonte began performing in theaters and nightclubs in and around Harlem, where he was born.  From the beginning of his film career, he chose projects that shed needed light on racism and inequality, including “Carmen Jones,” “Odds against Tomorrow” and “The World, the Flesh and the Devil.”  He was an early supporter of the Civil Rights Movement, marching and organizing alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. and often funding initiatives with his entertainment income.  Belafonte was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1987 and currently serves on the boards of the Advancement Project and the Institute for Policy Studies.  His work on behalf of children, education, famine relief, AIDS awareness and civil rights has taken him all over the world.

The Honorary Award, an Oscar statuette, is given “to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.”

The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, also an Oscar statuette, is given “to an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.”

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Casey J's Debut Single Cracks Billboard's Top 25

Casey -10  1
Atlanta, GA (August 26, 2014) — New artist Casey  J took the platform just days before the memorial service of Michael Brown and told the congregation during this time of injustice and pain “our prayer needs to be that God will fill us up with his spirit.” Casey J’s emotionally driven radio single “Fill Me Up” has become an anthem and is taking the faith based arena by storm.
This rising Christian new artist continues to climb Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs Chart landing at #23 this week and continues to rise. The buzz surrounding her single have been praised by radio personalities and movers and shakers. Imparting a recipe of powerhouse vocals and heartfelt narratives of praise, Casey J’s musical offerings are seasoned with her own flair of Contemporary Gospel.
She was recently featured on the Yolanda Adams Morning Show and will perform her single on the upcoming 34th season of BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel. “Fill Me Up” is available now at all digital outlets.

'A Walk Among The Tombstones' Opens Sept. 19

Based on Lawrence Block’s bestselling series of mystery novels, A Walk Among the Tombstones stars Liam Neeson as Matt Scudder, an ex-NYPD cop who now works as an unlicensed private investigator operating just outside the law. When Scudder reluctantly agrees to help a heroin trafficker (Dan Stevens) hunt down the men who kidnapped and then brutally murdered his wife, the PI learns that this is not the first time these men have committed this sort of twisted crime…nor will it be the last.

Blurring the lines between right and wrong, Scudder races to track the deviants through the backstreets of New York City before they kill again. Written and directed by Scott Frank (The Lookout), A Walk Among the Tombstones is produced by Jersey Films’ Danny DeVito, Double Feature Films’ Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher, Exclusive Media’s Tobin Armbrust and Cross Creek Pictures’ Brian Oliver. Universal will distribute the film in North America.

Genre: Thriller
Rating: R
Starring: Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens, David Harbour, Boyd Holbrook
Directed By: Scott Frank
Written By: Scott Frank
Produced By: Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher, Tobin Armbrust, Brian Oliver

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Academy Celebrates 'Young Frankenstein'

Screening Event Headlines September Slate of Programs

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present a 40th anniversary screening of “Young Frankenstein” with special guests Mel Brooks, Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr and executive producer Michael Gruskoff on Tuesday, September 9, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.  Film historian Leonard Maltin will introduce the comedy classic and host a live onstage discussion with Brooks, Leachman, Garr and Gruskoff.
“Young Frankenstein,” Brooks’s 1974 homage to the Golden Age of monster movies, features a large ensemble cast including Leachman, Garr, Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars and Gene Hackman.  It earned Oscar® nominations for Adapted Screenplay (Wilder, Brooks) and Sound (Richard Portman, Gene Cantamessa).
Additional Academy events coming up in September at the Bing Theater in Los Angeles are listed below, with details at
“Let There Be Fright: William Castle Scare Classics”
The Academy pays a centennial tribute to William Castle, one of the most popular and prolific filmmakers in fantastic cinema, with double features, ghoulish giveaways and frightful freebies every Friday in September.
September 5, 7:30 p.m.          “The Tingler”
September 5, 9 p.m.               “Hollywood Story”
September 12, 7:30 p.m.        “House on Haunted Hill”
September 12, 9 p.m.             “13 Ghosts”
September 19, 7:30 p.m.        “Mr. Sardonicus”
September 19, 9:10 p.m.        “The Night Walker”
September 26, 7:30 p.m.        “Strait-Jacket”
September 26, 9:15 p.m.        “Homicidal”
“Why Be Good?”
September 6, 7:30 p.m.
The Academy presents the U.S. restoration premiere of Colleen Moore’s final silent film, in which she plays a wild flapper with a dubious reputation who finds herself romantically linked with her boss’s son. “Why Be Good?” features a Vitaphone soundtrack with sound effects, hot jazz and Twenties dance music.
“Animation Masters: John Canemaker Celebrates Winsor McCay and Walt Disney”
September 13
In this three-part presentation, animation historian and Oscar-winning animation director John Canemaker examines some of the art form’s most remarkable early achievements.
Gertie the Dinosaur and the Birth of Personality Animation – 6 p.m.
Long before any princesses wandered across the screen, animation’s first female personality was spunky Gertie the Dinosaur, who celebrates her 100th birthday this year.  Canemaker hosts a salute to Gertie and her creator, the prolific comic strip artist and animation pioneer Winsor McCay.
The Lost Notebook: Herman Schultheis and the Secrets of Walt Disney’s Movie Magic – 7:30 p.m.
Canemaker, who is the author of The Lost Notebook: Herman Schultheis and the Secrets of Walt Disney's Movie Magic, explores the fascinating mechanical and optical processes that enabled the Disney artists to delight the eye with dancing snowflakes, erupting volcanoes and other visual treats, described in a recently discovered notebook by photographer and effects specialist Schultheis.
“Fantasia” – 8:45 p.m.         
Walt Disney took one of his boldest gambles with this dazzling 1940 feature, for which his top animators scaled the heights of imagination to provide visuals for some of the most beloved pieces of classical music, conducted by maestro Leopold Stokowski.  The film’s many highlights include Mickey Mouse starring in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and the haunting imagery of “Night on Bald Mountain.”
“The Color of Pomegranates (Sayat Nova)”
September 20, 7:30 p.m.
The Academy presents a new digital restoration of artist, poet and groundbreaking filmmaker Sergei Parajanov’s1968 masterpiece, a kaleidoscopic biography of the 18th century Armenian troubadour Sayat Nova.
“Two Sides of George Stevens”
September 27
As part of the Academy’s long-standing George Stevens Lecture series on directing, “Two Sides” juxtaposes two romantic dramas from cinematographer-turned-director George Stevens.  Both films in the series are new restorations by the Academy Film Archive.
“Laddie” – 5 p.m.
Eight years before receiving his first Oscar nomination for “The More the Merrier,” Stevens directed this 1935 black-and-white feature based on Gene Stratton-Porter’s novel.  This rarely seen film will screen from a newly restored print.
“A Place in the Sun” – 7:30 p.m.
Academy Award®-nominated screenwriter Richard LaGravenese will introduce this classic, based on Theodore Dreiser’s 1925 novel An American Tragedy.  Starring Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor, “A Place in the Sun” earned six Oscars®, including Stevens’s first for Directing.
Tyrone Power Centennial
The Academy celebrates the centennial of one of Hollywood’s most handsome and charismatic stars of the Golden Age, Tyrone Power, with matinee screenings of some of his most beloved films.
September 2, 1 p.m.               “Marie Antoinette”
September 9, 1 p.m.               “The Mark of Zorro”
September 16, 1 p.m.             “The Black Swan”
September 23, 1 p.m.             “The Razor’s Edge”
September 30, 1 p.m.             “Nightmare Alley”
For more information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit

# # #

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards—in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners — the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Doris Bergman's Annual Emmy Bash Is A Hit!

By Darlene Donloe

It’s becoming tradition!  Doris Bergman throws a party and celebs show up!

This week, in honor of the 66th annual Primetime Emmy® Awards, Bergman hosted the Fifth Annual Emmy Style Lounge & Party at Fig & Olive in West Hollywood.  The Emmy Awards are set to air Mon., Aug. 25 on NBC.

Considered one of the hottest tickets in town, the invitation-only event was hosted by MD Sun Skin Care and presented by Gerard Cosmetics & Whitening Lightning. 

The lavish event, for those lucky enough to snag an invitation, honored the television industry’s Emmy-nominated actors, former Emmy winners, presenters, stylists and industry VIPS. Celebs mixed and mingled while vendors showered them with high-end swag that included jewelry, cosmetics, customized hats, skin and hair care products, watches, spirits, shoes, plus a gourmet luncheon prepared by Fig & Olive Executive Chef, Pascal Lorange.

 Doris Bergman

Actress Carolyn Hennesy (Devious Maids)
Bling It Hat Designs and Khandi Alexander

(l-r) Actor Harrison White, Christie Bird (Jones & Rose) 
and Kelsey Scott (12 Years A Slave)
Celebs on hand included Emmy nominees Kate Burton (Outstanding Guest Actress Scandal), Jon Voight (Supporting Actor Ray Donovan) Joey King & Joshua Close (Outstanding Miniseries, Fargo), Khandi Alexander & Ntare Mwine (Outstanding Miniseries Treme), R.J. Mitte (Outstanding Drama Series Breaking Bad), Jamie Brewer (Outstanding Miniseries American Horror Story), Marina Toybina (Triple Emmy Award Winning Costumer/Designer), Meneses (The Goldbergs), Ashley Argota (The Fosters), Asia Monet Ray (Dance Moms & Raising Asia), Boti Bliss, Dot Marie Jones (Glee), Elaine Hendrix (Sex, Drugs & Rock & Roll), Eric Martsolf, Eva La Rue, Hal Sparks (Lab Rats), Jesse Henderson (Finding Carter), Kelsey Scott (12 Years a Slave), Marilu Henner, Rosa Blasi (The Thundermans), Rowan Blanchard (Girl Meets World), Shanola Hampton (Shameless), Tiphany Adams (Push Girls), Toks Olagundoye (The Neighbors) and Gregg Daniel (True Blood).

Gregg Daniel (True Blood) and his wife, actress Veralyn Jones

“I came because I wanted to contribute,” said Gregg Daniel, who attended with his actress/wife, Veralyn Jones. “This was a great opportunity to give back. I like the idea that we were asked to give something to help Wednesday’s Child. I’m having a great time.”

Wednesday’s Child is a program that works with children in the LA County foster care system. 

Antrelle Brown a designer for Origami Owl Jewelry

My Sweet Cupcake

Roadkill Boutique

(l-r) Adam Pratt and model Lesley Bazant of Radar Watches


Olive Designs Jewelry


Intemporelle Designs

 Twisted Silver

My Saint, My Hero

 Tequila Azul Imperial

Gifts and services were provided by: Jones & Rose, IdefyneMe Inspirational T’s, Go Fore Broke Sportswear, Telic Footwear, “My Saint, My Hero,” Radar Watches, Nature’s Flavors, Twisted Silver, Perch Jewelry, Bon Bon Home & Garden, Honest Tea, Spongelle, Art Lewin Bespoke Executive Clothiers, Kaya Di Koko, Single Dress, Single Underwear, GUESS, Tequila Azul Imperial, Veved Ice Vodka, Clif Bar, Luna Bar, Intemporelle Designs, Vida Emanuel European Day Spa, Dawn Lee Cosmetics, Stacy Vason Haircare, Roadkill Boutique, Origami Owl Jewelry, Ooh La Bra, Bling It Hat Designs, Unity Vintage Jean Company, Clothing Nation, My Sweet Cupcake (Winner of “Cupcake Wars” on the Food Network), Olivia Designs Jewelry, Model Call and CDs from vocalists Lea Anderson and Devyn Rose.

(l-r) Christie Bird and Cecily Lewis of Jones & Rose

One of the popular items at the event was the natural skin care products by Jones & Rose (

“We have a natural baseline,” said the company’s founder, Christie Bird (Rose). “ We use only natural ingredients.”

Bird, who at one time worked for Proctor & Gamble, makes the products herself. According to Bird Melinda Williams, Sherri Shepherd and Cynthia Bailey are just some of the celebs who have used the products.

Anabel Baltazar of GUESS

According to Anabel Baltazar, who represented GUESS at the event, the company recently donated a number of GUESS bags to Wednesday’s Child.

“The company loves to give back,” said Baltazar.

(l-r) Daryl Doris and Ashaki Rucker of IdefyneMe Inspirational T's
Ashaki Rucker launched IdefyneMe Inspirational T’s with a specific purpose in mind.

“I wanted to surround our children with positive messages,” said Rucker. “They are surrounded by negativity on a daily basis. I want them to be able to find their way to success.”

 MD Sun

Dr. George Sun, his wife and Emmy-Nominated Actress Kate Burton

Celebs flocked to talk to Dr. George Sun, whose company, MD Sun (, was one of the sponsors.  Everyone wants to have flawless skin. Dr. Sun talked about the benefits of his products.

“This is high grade cosmeceuticals,” said Sun whose office is in Arcadia, CA. “This system is essential for those who need and are seeking highly effective, but gentle products.  Whether you have acne, oily skin, pigmentation problems or superficial blemishes, it doesn’t matter.”

Ashaki Rucker launched I Defyneme as a means of surrounding children with positive messages.

“We want kids to find their way to success,” says Rucker.

Carlos Robles, owner of Clothing Nation launched his online company with 20s-30s demographic in mind. Some of his clothes range from $20-$50. 
Verby Nix, whose apparel company, Go Fore Broke ( launched last May, was excited to be at the event for the first time.

“I’ve always wanted to be my own boss,” said Nix. “So, I jumped out in faith.  I have something for everyone.”

 Toks Olagundoye (The Neighbors)

In the spirit of giving back, guests & sponsors donated unwrapped gifts for young adults (ages 15-18) for a Pre-Holiday Gift Drive benefitting Wednesday’s Child -- a weekly segment airing on KTTV FOX 11 News, Los Angeles, with Anchor Christine Devine. Wednesday’s Child highlights ‘harder to place’ children in the LA County foster care system who are in need of adoptive families. In Los Angeles County, alone, there are over 30,000 children receiving child welfare services,” says social worker, William Wong.  “Gift and monetary donations to the Wednesday’s Child Pre-Holiday Gift Drive has been overwhelming and, most importantly, the event sponsors and celebrity guests have provided examples to follow -- giving the public permission to embrace our kids.  I believe that people are inherently good and want to do good things. Additionally, Bergman invited two foster children to join in on the festivities and experience what it felt like to be treated as a VIP -- the love from the guests and sponsors was tremendous!” added Wong.

Marqual W., one of the foster children invited to the party, responded ‘yes,’ when asked if he was having a good time at his first ever Hollywood, red-carpet event.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

'The Giver,' A Haunting Look At The Future

Jeff Bridges and Brenton Thwaites 

By Darlene Donloe

The Giver, directed by Phillip Noyce, is a sci-fi/drama about a post-apocalyptic world that is conformed, colorless and devoid of emotion. There is no war, no sickness, no prejudice, essentially no culture.  It would seem there are also very few ethnic groups. The world is predominantly white.

There was a time when all of those elements (war, sickness, etc.) existed, but it was done away with because people were unable to make good choices. 

There is now a system called Sameness.

The Giver, who is an actual person, is the sole keeper of the community’s memories. He and he alone remembers a time when they felt pain, anger, disappointment, but most of all love.

The one thing I never really figured out about the film or the book is, if you don’t want anyone to go against the grain, why is there a need for someone like The Giver? If you don’t want anyone to know how things were before the world changed, then don’t have anyone called The Giver, who holds all of the secrets.

The Giver is based on Lois Lowry’s best-selling 1993 Young Adult novel, which was the winner of the 1994 Newberry Medal.

So, here is the story.

The haunting story of The Giver centers on Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), a young man who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Yet as he begins to spend time with The Giver, who is the sole keeper of all the community's memories, Jonas quickly begins to discover the dark and deadly truths of his community's secret past. With this newfound power of knowledge, he realizes that the stakes are higher than imagined - a matter of life and death for himself and those he loves most. At extreme odds, Jonas knows that he must escape their world to protect them all - a challenge that no one has ever succeeded at before.

The Giver, a kind of coming of age story, is slow and plodding. However, the story, which is a bit like Hunger Games and Pleasantville is intriguing.

The always good and believable Jeff Bridges, who also produces, plays The Giver, a man who because of personal circumstances has a bone to pick with the establishment. When it’s time to pass on the baton, The Giver meets 16-year-old Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) things begin to change. 

Jonas has his own ideas much to the chagrin of his parents played by Alexander Skarsgard and Katie Holmes. He knows something is missing, but he’s not sure what. He knows there is something beyond his world, something beyond the boundaries.

Once he gets a taste of the truth, Jonas decides he can no longer live the Sameness way. He wants to see what is over the rainbow.

Meryl Streep is in a surprising role. She plays a stoic Chief Elder who is determined to keep the status quo running smoothly. There is no room for originality or individualism.

The movie also stars Odeya Rush and Taylor Swift.

The Giver is Rated PG-13. Running time: 1h 40m

On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (OK) and E (excellent), The Giver gets an L (likeable).

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Pasadena Playhouse Announces Diahann Carroll As 2014 Diversity Award Honoree

PASADENA, CA (August 14, 2014) – The Pasadena Playhouse (Artistic Director Sheldon Epps and Executive Director Elizabeth Doran) announced today that trailblazing actress Diahann Carroll will be the 2014 Diversity Award Honoree at the 8th Annual Pasadena Playhouse Wells Fargo Theatrical Diversity Project fundraising event on Sunday, September 21, 2014.

 “I had the true honor (and the great fun) of directing Diahann Carroll here at the Playhouse in our production of BLUE,” said Sheldon Epps. “She has become a good friend and a great supporter of my work here.  Diahann has been a great trailblazer and pioneer in our field, opening many doors in the entertainment industry.  One could say that the Diversity Project itself is in the grand tradition of her achievements.”

Diahann Carroll has moved effortlessly between the worlds of film, television, concerts and the stage throughout her career, earning her the title of “Hollywood Legend.” Ms. Carroll is, perhaps, best known for her critically acclaimed television series, Julia, which debuted in 1968 and ran for three years.   This was one of the first series on American television to star a black woman in a non-stereotypical role for which she received her first Emmy nomination.  She made her Broadway debut starring in Harold Arlen and Truman Capote’s musical House of Flowers. Following this, she starred in the Broadway musical No Strings, for which she won a Tony Award. She returned to the Broadway stage again in 1983 in the award winning production of Agnes of God and received rave reviews for her portrayal of “Norma Desmond” in the Toronto premiere of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Sunset Boulevard.   In 2002 she starred in The Pasadena Playhouse production of Charles Randolph Wright's BLUE. Her long television career has included her game-changing role as “Dominique Devereaux” on the internationally acclaimed television series Dynasty as well as recurring roles on Grey’s Anatomy and A Different World. She currently has a recurring role on USA Network’s hit series White Collar. On the big screen, Carroll received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress and a Golden Globe award for her starring role opposite James Earl Jones in Claudine. Other notable films include Carmen Jones, Paris Blues, Porgy and Bess, Hurry Sundown, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Eve’s Bayou.  Her latest book, “The Legs Are the Last to Go”, was a New York Times bestseller.

The Theatrical Diversity Project has raised over a million dollars since the 2005 inception. These funds are used to support Playhouse Diversity Initiatives, The Pasadena Playhouse’s vision to build a legacy of artistic and theatrical diversity through eclectic programming, outreach and education programs, HOTHOUSE (The Playhouse new play development program), and continued efforts for expanded audience engagement. This year’s Diversity Project fundraising event will coincide with the theatre’s season opener KISS ME, KATE starring Wayne Brady and Merle Dandridge.

The Diversity Project fundraising event will take place on Opening Night, September 21, 2014.
Pre-show reception begins at 3:30 p.m.
Presentation to Diahann Carroll is at 4:45 p.m. on the Mainstage.
Curtain is at 5:00 p.m.
Post show party immediately following.

Patron Levels with benefits start at $1000 for two tickets.
Single tickets, which include the show and the post-party (pre-reception not included), are $250.

For more information about the Wells Fargo Theatrical Diversity Program, or to become a Patron of the 2014 Diversity Celebration, contact Julia Fitzgibbons by phone at 626-204-7383 or via email at

KISS ME, KATE represents the iconic composer-lyricist Cole Porter at his very best and includes some of musical theatre’s most famous songs: “So in Love,” “Another Op’nin’ Another Show,” “Too Darn Hot,” and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare.”  It is without a doubt one of the great classics of the American musical theatre, celebrating Shakespeare (it describes a production of a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew) and the joys, madness, and the rewards of working in the theatre - both onstage and off.   The book is by Bella and Samuel Spewack.
The Pasadena Playhouse production will view the work through a new lens, using the wonderful material of this celebrated production to showcase the trailblazing African-American actors and entertainers of the early 20th century.
KISS ME, KATE will play September 16, 2014 through October 12 with the official press opening on September 21.  The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101.  The performance schedule is Tuesday through Friday at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Rehearsals Begin For 'Marjorie Prime' At Taper

(L - R): Jeff Ward, Lois Smith, Lisa Emery and Frank Wood on the first day of rehearsal for “Marjorie Prime” by Jordan Harrison. Directed by Les Waters, “Marjorie Prime” will have its world premiere at the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum September 10 through October 19, 2014. For tickets and information, please visit or call (213) 628-2772.
Contact: 972-7376
Photo by Craig Schwartz

World Premiere September 10 – October 19, 2014

            Rehearsals have begun for the world premiere of Jordan Harrison’s haunting drama “Marjorie Prime,” which begins previews September 10, 2014, at the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum.  Directed by Obie Award-winner Les Waters, the profound and engaging new play opens September 21.  Performances continue through October 19, 2014.
            The cast of “Marjorie Prime” features Lois Smith (in the title role), Lisa Emery, Jeff Ward and Frank Wood.
            Set design for “Marjorie Prime” is by Mimi Lien, costume design by Ilona Somogyi, lighting design by Lap Chi Chu, sound design by Adam Phalen and casting is by Mark B. Simon, CSA.  The production stage manager is David S. Franklin.
            “Marjorie Prime” asks exquisite questions about the difference between a life lived and a life remembered.  Marjorie (Lois Smith) is a clever, wry woman who, at age 85, finds that her memory is failing. She is living out her days at an assisted living facility where she is frequently visited by her anxious, quick-witted daughter, Tess (Lisa Emery), and her kind, easygoing son-in-law, Jon (Frank Wood). With the urging of Jon and the facility and despite Tess’ misgivings, a mysterious young man, Walter (Jeff Ward), joins the group with the hope that he can help reverse Marjorie’s decline.  Through an ingenious series of shifting realities, Walter’s nature is revealed, and the family’s memories gently unfold into a cathartic meditation on life and loss, and the desire to keep our dearly departed with us.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Gary Clark Jr. 'Live' To Be Released September 23

August 12, 2014 - (Burbank, CA.) -- An occupational hazard of musical genius is categorization. Most humans, in the face of greatness crave sourcing. This desire can lead to labeled boxes impeding an evolving brilliance. Miles Davis began blowing big band tunes. Keith Richards, Eric Clapton and Albert King (to name but a few) started strumming Rhythm & Blues. The genesis of these deities is pertinent to history. Their legacies, on the other hand, could care less. This is why Gary Clark Jr. has built a young albeit decorated career on ground paved outside the categorical box. The previous three years saw the guitar hero and his band obliterate stages and stupefy audiences with pyrophoric play and clone consistency. Whether in a dark club or The White House, Philadelphia or Stockholm, alongside Alicia Keys or Mick Jagger, Clark and crew devoured and seduced entire audiences--fans walk away better for having been the feast. Ripe blues licks, syrupy grooves of R&B and b-boy beloved baselines over indigo lyrics overwhelm listeners so much that they attempt to spell the spirit, which Clark awoke in them tangible. Is he an old soul or the new soul? He is cosigned by Jay-Z and Eric Clapton, and has lit up Glastonbury, Coachella, Bonnaroo and halftime at the NBA All-Star Game. Legends have anointed him sole heir to the chordophone throne. But that voice! Exactly who on Earth is Gary Clark Jr.?
Clark's Warner Bros. debut, the vivacious The Bright Lights EP, began answering that question in 2011. Orientation continued in 2012 with the full-length Blak And Blu. Though structured in format and delivery, both were musically amorphous. Gary Clark Jr.'s Epiphone screamed psychedelic blues and garage soul but you heard Atlanta's Organized Noize down bottom, saw the silhouettes of Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye in the pools of his pen's ink. Yet, if you press the Texan to name his offspring, he'll flatly answer with shrug in tow, "It's all just soul music."
Wrapping arms around the artistry of Gary Clark Jr. is an attempt at sorcery. It exists nowhere in particular, swimming in and out of vibes. Even on stage, Clark's band performs without a net (set list), using audience's energy as fabric to customize show sequences. The process is as reciprocal as it is spiritual. But for the 6'4 evangelist, it's bigger than the word. The GCJ experience is not defined by a studio booth alone. Thus, this fall the artist whom Rolling Stone Magazine called "the Chosen One" offers a compromise via his first double album Gary Clark Jr. - LIVE.
Since a preteen who put aside drums, trumpet and piano to include six strings to his music arsenal, he has been entrancing crowds--whether in church, on 6th street or his old stomping ground, Antone's.  On his latest composition, the 30-year-old's 10,000 hours for mastery is unequivocal with a swagger to match. Texas rap legend Scarface will be proud of Clark's proclamation on "Ain't Messin 'Round": "I don't believe in competition. Ain't nobody else like me around." Then there's Clark's pen, which has a shape shifter's talent for fitting big stories into short phrases.  The song "Blak And Blu" supports this gorgeously; "When My Train Pulls In," possibly more as Clark paints the inescapable frustration of living poor despite not touching economics.
The aforementioned track is where the mastermind-to-fingertips phenomenon blooms. Chord manipulations and note runnings shoot past each other, high and low, never clashing like a light show of comets. Then the string master graduates to full puppeteer, morphing his six-stringed tool into a screaming alto. Clark's strum is so magical it nearly disguises his songbird--those shark grey vocals sing the prettiest hues of blue. On cuts like "Numb," "Things Are Changin'" and the Grammy-award winning "Please Come Home," diamonds can be heard falling from the speakers.
Gary Clark Jr. - LIVE is clearly a collection of Junior's brightest global exhibitions, but more valuably one of the richest live albums in recent decades. Clark has the incomprehensible ability to fuse genres, distort styles then blend them, all to serve up his own black fruit punch. Witness "Catfish Blues" which alchemizes the mud of the Mississippi Delta with the hip-hop swagger of The Marcy Projects.
 He approaches the endangered art of improvisation with a subtlety and homage. Only Clark would add the bottom of the Jackson 5's "Can You Feel It" baseline to "Ain't Messin' Around" or reheat his "Next Door Neighbor Blues" with dashes of Sly Stone, Bo Diddley and RZA. It ain't clean eating, but still purist catnip.
The biggest misconception about Miles Davis is that he's the pioneer of electric jazz; Jimi is the godfather of electric guitar distortion (check out Willy Johnson from Howlin' Wolf's band a year earlier for proof). John Coltrane was certainly determined to go further than the limitations of his instrument but these accomplishments should be acknowledged more as milestones than definition. Masters like Miles, Dr. Dre, Coltrane and Gary Clark Jr. are essentially decades of musical evolution in the human form of genius. These days, they hatch maybe once per decade, but the moment they first greet your ears, you're reminded of who they are and were. They step on stage without a set list and tell complete strangers, "You're gonna know my name by the end of the night."

Gary Clark Jr. Live track listing:

Gary Clark Jr. Live (disc 1)
Catfish Blues (Robert Petway)
Next Door Neighbor Blues
Travis Country
When My Train Pulls In
Don't Owe You A Thing
Three O' Clock Blues (Lowell Fulson)
Things Are Changin'

Gary Clark Jr. Live (disc 2)
Ain't Messin' 'Round
If Trouble Was Money (Albert Collins)
Third Stone From The Sun / If You Love me Like You Say (Jimi Hendrix / Albert Collins)
Please Come Home
Black and Blu
Bright Lights
When The Sun Goes Down

Gary Clark Jr. LIVE is available for pre-order now. Those who choose to pre-order in any format will receive an instant download "When My Train Pulls" (live).  Both the physical vinyl and CD are available on Amazon, or digitally on iTunes.   

'Let's Be Cops' Is An Arrestingly Funny Comedy

By Darlene Donloe

Damon Wayans, Jr. and Jake Johnson are quickly making a name for themselves in Hollywood. This comedic dynamic duo has already made their presence known in the hit television show, New Girl.

Now they are bringing the funny to the big screen as they pair up, once again, in the comedy Let’s Be Cops, set for nationwide release August 13.

Buddy cop movies usually translate to big box office. This buddy cop movie will be no exception, well, except for the fact that the two characters aren’t really cops.

When two struggling pals dress as police officers for a costume party, they become neighborhood sensations. But when they take it a step too far and become involved in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line.

As the poster says: Fake cops! Real Trouble!

Wayans, a member of the comedic Wayans family comedy dynasty and Johnson and play Justin Miller and Ryan O’Malley, respectively.  Years before the two friends moved to Los Angeles from Ohio to make their dreams come true. 

Instead, Miller toils at a videogame company while O’Malley revels in his glory days as a college quarterback. 

Miller takes it on the chin when his colleagues reject his pitch for a new videogame featuring cops in real life situations.

After they attend a costume party where many of the college friends are in attendance, both Miller and O’Malley, dressed authentically as cops, are hit with the reality that their lives didn’t quite turn out like they planned.

However, as they walk down the street after leaving the party, it’s quite clear that everyone, including real cops, thinks the two friends are actual cops. The two become chick magnets while O’Malley is filled with a sudden sense of power.

Unfortunately, after they take on some bad guys, the ish gets real and Miller and O’Malley find themselves in a death and life struggle.

In the midst of the drama, Miller falls for a waitress at a local restaurant, who is also a would-be makeup artist.

The laughs are plenty in this comedic romp!

Wayans and Johnson do funny proud!

Let’s Be Cops, directed, produced and co-written by Luke Greenfield, stars Damon Wayans, Jr., Jake Johnson, Rob Riggle, Nina Dobrev, James D’Arcy, Andy Garcia and Keegan-Michael Key.

Let’s Be Cops, opening nationwide August 13, is Rated R.

On the DONLOE SCALE:  D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (OK) and E (excellent), Let’s Be Cops gets an O (OK).