'Still Life Goes
The New Amsterdam Musical Association (NAMA)
recently profiled by The New York Times on the Celebration of its 100th
year as a Musical Institute is expanding into Theatre to celebrate this
banner year. Opening on May 20, is ‘STILL LIFE GOES ON’,
written and directed by Christine Melton-Jordan, who recently completed a
successful two-month run at NAMA of her play, ‘BLACK PEARLS’.
This 4 character
play features former NFL
Running Back, Jimmy Gary, Jr. of The Seattle
,Hank Dennis, Jane Levy, and Rebecca White.
Set in 1968 America, in Buster’s Place, A
Greenwich Village Nightclub ‘STILL LIFE GOES ON’ explores the story
of two lovers, the reclusive nightclub owner and his headline singer, who
cling to each other while trying to restore their shattered lives. Enter
French Woman, Janine Lenot who comes to Buster’s to repair her estranged
relationship with her singer-daughter. Emotions flare with explorations of
race, heritage, the ‘Jim Crow’ era, the European Colonization of Africa, and
the question of identification in Contemporary Western Society. Complemented
by A beautiful Jazz Score Composed by Tyrone Brown (of The Max Roach
& Rachelle Farell ensembles). Christine Melton-Jordan -
New Amsterdam Musical Association, 107 West 130th Street, NY, NY 10027.
Ticket Donation $10.00. Contact Christine
Melton-Jordan for more information/tickets at 212- 348-5415 or email:
Showtimes are: May 20 to June 26, 2005. Fridays (8:00 p.m.)
Saturdays & Sundays (3:00 p.m.). Producers - NAMA & Melton Pot Productions.
HUDSON THEATRE ENSEMBLE SELECTS
ISRAELI DIRECTOR – ADI ZISMAN – TO DIRECT MUSICAL REVUE - CLOSER THAN EVER.
Each song tells a story. Each moment is a portrait.
The Hudson Theatre
Ensemble is delighted to present “Closer Than Ever,” a funny, wise, and witty
romantic musical revue for today, by composer David Shire (Big - The
Musical) and lyricist Richard Maltby Jr. (Miss Saigon), collaborators
who have worked together for decades(the team that brought us the Broadway
musical "Baby”) with direction and musical direction by the extraordinarily
talented Israeli Director, Adi Zisman. Jewish producers, Diana
London and Florence Pape, were so impressed with the outstanding
quality, professionalism, and polish of Ms. Zisman’s musical direction of
their “Company, ” “Personals,” and “HapPEAly Ever After” that they selected
her over many American applicants and offered her the post of directing as
well as musically directing this season’s “Closer Than Ever.” Clearly, Ms.
Zisman is delivering on the promise that her education and credentials have
prepared her to achieve: graduating Telma Yelin, receiving the
outstanding musician award in the army, receiving a BA and MA in piano and
musicology both Magna Cum Laude, composing her own musical, producing an
original cabaret album, directing numerous shows: Joseph, Little Shop of
Horrors, Blood Brothers, etc, and her extremely positive recent interview in
Haaretz. Each song in “Closer Than Ever” is an intimate, insightful tale about
love, security, happiness – and holding onto them in a world that pulls you in
a hundred directions at once. Maltby and Shire bring their celebrated craft
and contemporary sensibility to songs about aging, mid-life crisis, altering
relationships, doors opening and closing as life moves on, second marriages,
and role reversals with parents, as well as wicked satirical jabs at working
couples and unrequited love. The Hudson Theatre Ensemble, a professional
community theatre, is now in its sixth season and resides in a beautiful new
theater in Hoboken, NJ. We produce plays, musicals, and children’s shows. Past
seasons include the musical “Company” (musical director: Adi Zisman),
Personals” (director/musical director: Adi Zisman) “Steel Magnolias,” “12
Angry Men,” “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” “The Real Inspector Hound,” and many
others, as well as our popular Silly on Sixth – Children’s Series: “Sleeping
Beauty,” “HapPEAly Ever After” (director/musical director: Adi Zisman), and
“Silly 3s.” These spirited productions have earned us much acclaim for their
professionalism as well as their heart and soul: “Adi and the Hudson Theatre
Ensemble prove you don’t have to go all the way to Broadway or pay
astronomical prices to see a great musical. The footlights shine bright right
here on this side of the Hudson.” “Closer Than Ever” will be performed at The
Hudson School Performance Space at 601 Park Avenue in Hoboken, NJ on Friday
June 10 and 17 at 8PM, Saturday June 11 and 18 at 8PM, and Sunday June 12 and
19 at 7PM. Tickets are $16 general admission; $12 seniors/students. For more
information or reservations, please contact Florence Pape at 201-377-7014 or
The Sixteenth Annual
Jewish Cultural Achievement Awards in the Arts
left: Actor Adam Arkin, right: George Blumenthal.
The National Foundation for Jewish Culture (NFJC),
the leading advocate for Jewish cultural creativity and preservation in
America, announced today that it will honor four esteemed individuals at
its sixteenth annual Jewish Cultural Achievement Awards (JCAA) on Monday,
June 6, 2005 at The Roosevelt Hotel (45 East 45th Street). George
Blumenthal will receive the Cultural Entrepreneur award for his
pioneering efforts in using digital technology to preserve the Jewish
cultural heritage. The three artistic honorees, whose work has contributed
both to the American cultural mainstream and to a contemporary Jewish
cultural identity in America, include Frederic Brenner for Visual
Arts, Liz Lerman for Performing Arts and Donald Margulies
for Literary Arts. All of the honorees are truly notable in their
respective fields and the recipients have made art and culture arising
from a Jewish sensibility more accessible to audiences throughout the
country. Adam Arkin (actor, Brooklyn Boy, Chicago Hope)
will be presenting the award to Donald Margulies, Rachel Cowan (Nathan
Cummings Foundation) will be presenting to Liz Lerman, Frederic
Brenner will receive his award from Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (Professor
of Performance Studies and Hebrew and Judaic Studies NYU's Tisch School of
Arts), George Blumenthal will receive his award from Lawrence
Schiffman (Chair of New York University's Skirball Department of
Hebrew and Judaic Studies).
from L to R: #1.Liz Lerman,
Founder and Director Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Washington, D.C.Over the
last 20 years Liz Lerman has established herself as a leader in both the
modern dance and community arts fields. She has earned international
recognition for her work with Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, as a solo
performer, and as choreographer of over 50 works. Her credentials include
an American Choreographer Award and numerous Choreography Fellowships from
the National Endowment for the Arts. Liz's work has been commissioned by
the Lincoln Center, American Dance Festival, Dancing in the Streets,
BalletMet, and the Kennedy Center. #2.
The Jewish Cultural Achievement Awards are the American
Jewish community's foremost recognition of artistic achievement. A portion
of the proceeds from this event will support the further digitization of
Jewish manuscripts, books, art, and film, as well as educational materials
that will encourage their use and appreciation. To purchase tickets for
the event, or to make a contribution to the National Foundation for Jewish
Culture, please call (212) 629-0500 or visit them online at
the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. The National Foundation
for Jewish Culture is the leading advocate for Jewish cultural creativity
and preservation in America. Founded in 1960 by the Council of Jewish
Federations, the NFJC works with artists, scholars, cultural institutions
and community agencies to enhance the quality of Jewish life in America
through the arts and humanities. The National Foundation for Jewish
Culture is supported by the Jewish Federation movement in America through
allocations from the National Funding Councils, including funds provided
by the UJA Federation of New York, and more than 100 local Federations of
Jewish philanthropy. For more information, please visit
More information about the event can be obtained directly from
Klein at Keith Sherman and Associates, Phone: (212)764-7900, fax:
(212)764-0344 or by emailing him at
AND CELEBRITIES OF THE MONTH: ILIL ARBEL, ALISON ENGLAND, ERIKA LUCKETT,
PAULETTE ATTIE, LIESL MULLER, NATALIE DESSAY, ROBERTO ALAGNA, ANN PLAGIANOS,
Dr. Ilil Arbel.
Dr. Arbel is the author of the
magnificent book "The Lemon Tree" and several other books on Jewish culture,
mythology and arts. Unquestionably, Arbel is one of the greatest
writers/authors of our generation. A tour d'horizon of her world of culture,
authorship, wisdom and art is a must. Visit her website at
http://www.ililarbel.com . This superb
and formidable author and Israeli scholar is a major contribution to the
world. of literature, modern thoughts and social philosophy. Her books nourish
and fertilize the landscape of world culture, history and Jewish heritage. No
Judaic library or center of reference is complete without her books,
particularly, "The Lemon Tree" and "Maimonides".
Imagine a world without music!? A sky
without stars?! Empty stages and silent orchestras?! Imagine our lives without
cherished memories, some permissible escapades and days without nights...and
nights without the sparkling voices of bursting talents and captivating
divas!? This could and would be the end of our world, the apocalypse of the
mind and the soul. Fortunately, our world is filled with beauty, tender
whispers, innocent creative madness, flashes of hope and delightfully
beautiful musical virtuosity bursting from within the heart and soul of
Alison England, Erika Luckett, Anne Paglianos, Paulette Attie, Anna Bergman,
the sweet, tender, wise and loving words and phrases of Ilil
Arbel, and perhaps the eternal sacred whispers and exploding laughters of
Alison England, broadcasting live.
Imagine a world without the poetry of
Lamartine and Victor Hugo, a world without the screaming of the
bleeding souls of Goya, a world without Brahms, Chopin and Ravel...a
world without children playing with their dolls, cars and torturing their
toys...a world without the smiles and the faces of people we love...a world
without books by Tolstoy, Ilil Arbel, Voltaire, Proust and
Chateaubriand...Everyday, every single dawn and sunset that enters my life
invites me to thank the daring maker of our universe. For I know, every new
day in our lives will bring new hopes, new possibilities, new opportunities
and an ultimate reason for creating, writing, composing, singing and spreading
warmth and beauty around us. Thanks to THE music and THE beautiful voices of
artists, entertainers, even crazy and silly comedians, our world shines
brighter and warmer. Our guests and international artists of the month gave
me this ultimate reason for rejoicing.
THE MAJESTIC DIVA
Alison England, a super magnificent
Opera Diva from the United States invaded France with most unusual
ammunition: An American sense of humor, a majestic operatic voice and a
Voltairian-Ernst Hemingway laisser faire attitude. She came to Paris, et
voila, the French went apes! They loved this American aristocratic wild
Diva! She mesmerized and confused the hell out of them. They did not know
what to do with flamboyant, extravagant and overwhelming Yankee woman. So,
they settled for an ultimate admiration for her with one million questions
buried in their aching Parisian curiosity. So, Alison is doing fine in
France. She is highly respected in France. She teaches voice. She designed
opera productions. She sings like a dream, she keeps on mesmerizing the
French and the French are not totally pleased with all this. They still want
to know a lot of thing about this " Ravissante Americaine" (Ravishing
American Woman". One of the 4 reasons of Alison's great success in France is
her approach to life. Of course, her sublime operatic voice opened wide
doors for her. But, her vision of the world, her most wonderful American
humor and internal strength made her shine in France.
Liesl Müller Echoes
The Authentic Music of the Golden Era
Photo: Liesl Muller, the
international traditional star or world cabaret.
Muller is an icon. Probably, one of the very
few and last remaining European Divas of the Golden Era of Paris, Vienna and
Berlin nostalgic world of cabaret.
Erica Soderholm in the
World Art Celebrities Journal writes that Liesl Müller is among artists
who define what ‘La Chanson Française’ is all about. The article includes an
‘historical synopsis of French singers of the golden era - artists like Damia,
Yvette Gilbert, Juliette Greco’. Homage is paid to remarkable American and
Canadian singers like Raquel Bitton, Juliette Koka, and Joelie Rabu.
International critics agree
Müller's music is a tribute to the singers, composers and librettists of the
golden era. She uniquely presents the songs of yesteryear. Some songs of the
thirties and forties can be sampled on Liesl Müller's Golden Era website. It
is also a joy to listen to her authentic interpretation of Viennese songs of
the twenties and earlier.Liesl Müller, an accomplished chansonniere in the
classical tradition and a great admirer of Lotte Lenya and Ute Lemper, is
herself an excellent interpreter of the work of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill.
Weedon and the "intimately sublime" Viennese Chanteuse Liesl Muller are
currently jointly working on a new album featuring beautiful songs of a bygone
golden era. The period from the Thirties through to the Sixties will be evoked
in French, German and Italian with some interesting Viennese and Rumanian
A recent review of her CD
in the international press goes like this: "A refined lady who sings like a
femme fatale chanteuse of "Les annees folles" and Paris Pigale of 1930. A warm
and sinfully evocative voice which brings to life the magic, nostalgia and
tender beauty of a vanished golden era of the early days of Cabaret and
Kabaret of Paris and Berlin. Listening to Liesl Müller's "Paris Canaille" is a
joyfully sad delight, because Liesl awakes in us cherished memories we lost
"For Johnny" most recent CD by Liesl Muller.
Liesl's interpretation of
Edith Piaf's "Milord" is tenderly sublime. She did capture the intimate
moments, the passion and the vocal virtuosity of Piaf. Liesl did not sing
Piaf's biggest hit with a French flair. She did it her way; an honest, warm
and emotionally captivating personal interpretation. Liesl Müller is an
authentic cabaret chanteuse with class, style, finesse and emotions. She is
the real thing! Her recent CD " Wien und der Wein" is a superb evocative
interpretation of the golden era of early Paris and Berlin world of cabaret.
The simple, yet melodiously beautiful musical
arrangements, the fabulous accordion half java, half musette "flons flons",
and the voice of Ms. Müller gave us a magnificent recording. The accompaniment
of Caio Bescarano, Mario Cavaceppi and David Perkins are first class. And this
is exactly what Ms. Muller needed to authentically and truthfully recapture
the golden era of European cabaret. The song "Drunt' in der Lobau" (Down there
in the Lobau) is a pure magic. It tells us the story of a woman who "cannot
find the place where her young lover kissed her, but she does remember every
bit of that wonderful moment when they kissed: nightingales were singing,
happiness laughed from a thousand branches, and they dreamt of an everlasting
love." Liesl did a superb job in singing that song. Wien und der Wein is a
marvelous CD. Two thumbs up! Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Buy it. Get your copy.
You will treasure it for many years to come.
WIEN UND DER WEIN: GEM IEJCD3. Licensed
by MCPS. Highbreck Associates.
DESSAY: French Arias ,
Michel Plasson, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse.
Splendid collection of
coloratura soprano arias cleverly chosen from French most lyrical operas by
Donizetti, Massenet, Thomas, Offenbach and Gounod. Natalie Dessay, the
world's top coloratura soprano, showed her incomparable virtuosity and
flute-like high notes in a perfect bouquet of popular and best kept secret
operatic odes and ballades. In brief, acquire a copy. Rating: 5 stars out of
5. Released on Virgin.
ALAGNA: NESSUM DORMA
French-Italian tenor Roberto Alagna delivered a world-class album of Italian
arias, including Giordano's Fedora, Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur Puccini's
Nessun dorma, Leoncavallo's La Bohème, I zingari, and Zazà. Alagna took on a
great vocal challenge, for he has a medium-bodied voice. However, his vocal
projection and Italian diction were magnificent. Alagna is backed up by the
Royal Opera House Orchestra. Highly recommended. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Released on EMI.
LUCKETT'S "UNEXPECTED" IS PURE GOLD! TWO THUMBS UP! Rating: 5 stars out of
of Erika Luckett's CD "UNEXPECTED", selected by World Art Celebrities
Journal as "Best International Music CD of the Year".
Erika Luckett is a
musical phenomenon. She just sent me her new CD "UNEXPECTED"; a bouquet of
11 songs of an exquisite beauty. And as usual Erika was the lead and
background vocals, the composer, the lyricist, the steel string, the nylon
string, the electric guitar, the cuatro and the hand claps artiste
extraordinaire. She did it all and came up with a five star rating product!
"UNEXPECTED" is a real gem, for it contains an astonishing multi-varied
abundance of musical and vocal virtuosity, styles, genres and individuality.
For instance, the song "UNE PROFONDE DOUCEUR" in French is the reflection of
a pure Parisian-intellectual-existentialist-romantic, quasi film noire and
seductive Montmartre flair chanson. A genre quite difficult to project and
deliver, since in France, very few remarkable singers like Barbara,
Catherine Sauvage and Zizi Jeanmaire succeeded in doing so. Erika Luckett
mastered that genre and brought it back to life through most singular
originality. Others songs in Italian, Spanish, Portuguese cache and English
added an unlimited and infinite rich, rich, rich cosmos of world music.
This woman is amazing. It would be wrong and improper to compare her to
giants in the music industry. For Erika Luckett is a living legend and quite
a unique artist, in all her rights. However, I am still tempted to put
under her hat and in her creativity, the voice, the persona and bursting
talents of Barbara, Joan Baez, Amalia Rodriguez, even the wild Gypsy Kings!
CD is a triumph. Erika "UNEXPECTED" was expected to be a masterpiece. This
is a cosmic festival of Samba, Bolero, Janice Joplin delightful madness,
Chris Christofersen genius, the mystique of Paris, the melodramatic magic
of Portugal El Fado, the lyricism of a clever singer blended with
intellectual romanticism. Do not allow me to complicate the review of her
CD. It is simply overwhelming, magnificently delivered and goes straight to
your heart. Two thumbs up. No discotheque or a meaningful musical collection
is complete without "UNEXPECTED". Visit her website at
WHO IS ERIKA
LUCKETT? WELL, SHE HAS BEEN ELECTED TWICE AS "THE BEST SINGER IN THE WORLD!"
Luckett is blazing a trail. People's jaws are dropping. Where did she come
from? Her music defies easy categorization. Part blues, part funk, part
latin, part folkpop... This is intelligent music that reaches the heart. As
one fan put it, "I want to live my life the way she plays her guitar: winged
inspiration with no boundaries, fingers dancing across steel". Crossing
boundaries comes easily to Erika. Born in Mexico and raised in Venezuela and
Brazil, she savored the richness of the Amazon, the urban rhythms of Sao
Paulo, the percolating warmth of the Caribbean. As a teenager she made her
way to France, playing in the subways where her own concoction of
Folk/Latin/Jazz/Pop echoed in the underground. Her music radiates life and
the wisdom culled from meeting the world head on with an open heart and an
exuberant spirit. After France, the multi-lingual Luckett made her way to
the Berklee School of Music where she earned a degree in film scoring. From
there she embarked on a composition whirlwind, writing for film, multimedia
and theater, garnering an Academy Award nomination, an Emmy Award and a
Newsweek Magazine "Pick of the Year" for her efforts and collaborations. She
founded the world jazz ensemble, Wild Mango with whom she recorded three
albums and toured internationally playing the Monterey Jazz Festival, the
Barbados Jazz Festival and the Aspen Jazz Festival, among others. In 1999
she leapt into the world of solo singer/songwriters and has since
established her presence across the country, performing over 150 shows a
year and releasing three albums which have earned awards and wide spread
accolade. Her first recording, "Tinted Glass" (2000), won the Just Plain
Folks award for Best Album (Torch). "My Little Crime" (2001) picked up
Acoustic Guitar Magazine's 2002 Homegrown award for Best Independent Release
of the Year, was named Best Album of the Year on Susanne Millsaps' (KRCL
radio) list of the year's top 40, won Best Album of the Year (Jazz Vocal) at
the Just Plain Folks awards and was included in the Performing Songwriter
Magazine "Editors Choice Compilation." In her most recent recording, "The
New Orleans Sessions" (2002), she pares down to just voice and guitar
revealing a unique style that includes a percussive, harmonically rich
approach. The instrument becomes her orchestra complementing the emotional
intimacy of her voice and the strength of her songwriting. A true citizen of
the world, Erika's music captures a delicious blend of cultures: Smoky
vocals over a deeply grooving guitar.
The dramatic and world-class opera star, Ann Plagianos. A national treasure.
HOSPITALITY MAGAZINE'S GERMAINE POITIERS called Ann Plagianos: " A
magnificent operatic presence, a world-class opera diva...A real gem.." The
Dramatic mezzo-soprano Ann Plagianos made her European debut in the title
role of Massenet's opera "Herodiade" with Montserrat Caballe, Juan Pons, and
Jose Carreras with the Teatro Dell' Opera in Rome, Italy. Ms. Plagianos was a
semi-finalist in the Metropolitan Opera District "Regional Competition in NYC.
She has toured with New York City Opera in their production of "Carmen". With
a powerful and captivating voice, she delighted audiences in the States and
Europe. Ms. Plagianos' roles include Amneris in "Aida", Eboli in "Don Carlo",
Santuzza in "Cavalleria Rusticana", Laura in "La Gioconda", Azucena in "Il
Trovatore", Ortrud in "Lohengrin", Adalgisa in "Norma", Flora in "La Traviata,
Frugola in "Il Tabarro", Isabella in "L'Italiana in Algieri", Maddalena in "Rigoletto",
Suzuki in "Madama Butterfly", Prince Orlofsky in "Die Fledermaus", Lola in "Cavalleria
Rusticana", and Mrs. McLean in "Susannah". It is always a delight and a feast
to the eyes, the intellect and the mind to witness an opera singer, such as
Ms. Plagiano perform with grace, intelligence and vocal virtuosity. The
magazine described the New Yorker diva as " a writer, a thinker, an artist
and a torch of spirituality. She is the kind of stars you trust, you admire
and love to be in their entourage. Brilliant, sparkling vocal virtuosity,
dominant stage presence and personal warmth define the trilogy of the unique
and captivating rich operatic aura of this diva." Will she perform soon in
New York? Her fans are anxiously waiting!
ATTIE: A TRANSCENDENTAL LEGEND FOR ALL TIME
Photo and caption by
Suzanne Freeman: Paulette Attie runs
the scales on a piano while students at P.S. 1 in New York City loosen up
their vocal chords.
both the Jewish and International lists of the 100 most unusual and
outstanding women of the year. In just one single month, 7 magazines and
newspapers in the United States and Europe wrote glowing articles about this
legendary artist. And three times, her photo crowned their front page and
covers! People use to say, legends are made not created. It is true to a
certain degree. The ultimate truth is this: Legends are nor made, nor created.
They are legends! They escape us. They are beyond our intellectual and
emotional measurements. They transcend time and space. And since when, time
and space are or were created? They were before us and will remain long time
after we are gone. And this is WHY we call the best of us "LEGENDS". When a
legend is born like Paulette Attie, we do not take note. When a legend like
Paulette Attie enters the SCALA of our lives, the shadows and the lights of
all understanding and confusion, the sublime and the absurd intellectualism,
the beauty and the provocative, the time and space mingle, unite, begin to
disturb us and confuse the hell out of us. We do not fully understand the
magnitude of their talents and immense impact on us. We smile, we laugh, we
admire them, we applaud them, we gossip about them, sometime we hate them and
envy them...but almost all the time we call them "LEGENDS". If they have
passed away, they become "LEGENDS". If they are still around, we call them
"LIVING LEGENDS". And I have problem with this. Why LIVING legends? Why not
simply LEGENDs, since we did agree that they escape time, space and the mind
of those who naively taught us that we are bound by time and space. PAULETTE
ATTIE is this sort of legend: TRANSCENDENTAL!
wrote: September 11 — Before Paulette Attie wrote
her song, "United Are We," she wrote a poem about September 11, 2001. "It was
my immediate response to what was going on in the world," Paulette said. "That
took care of me while I was watching all the horror on TV and could see all
the courageous deeds. Then, I said to myself, I need to write something that
will be meaningful for everybody. That's where the song came from." When the
award-winning songwriter and performer made her work public, she began to
receive standing ovations, followed by some good suggestions. "When I started
singing it to people who are knowledgeable in the music business, they said,
'Paulette, this sounds like a wonderful children's song.' It sort of put a
little bee in my bonnet," she told Scholastic News Online. Her search for
young voices led her to P.S. 1, a 107-year-old elementary school in the shadow
of the World Trade Center. It was the closest school to Ground Zero that was
still open for business. The 650 students of P.S. 1 have rehearsed and
performed the piece several times over the last year. They were featured on
New York 1, a local cable-news program in New York City, and will soon be the
stars of their own music video. But on September 11, 2002, they staged their
own tribute to the victims of 9/11. No media cameras were allowed on school
grounds. The short ceremony, which included a tree planting and the reading of
a poem, was for the students, their parents, and teachers only. "It was
fabulous," said principal Maguerite Straus. "The kids were happy to be a part
of it. They knew it was very special." The entire school met in the outdoor
yard, which is where they were when the first plane hit one year ago. "It was
primary day, and our school was being used for voting," Maguerite said. "We
were ready to start the day with the Pledge of Allegiance when the first plane
Photo: (left to right) Peter
Howard, John Wallowitch, Rod Derefinko, Frances "Frankie" Gershwin, Paulette
Attie, Chuck Prentiss, Bertram Ross.
United Are We" Lyrics by Paulette Attie
Right here's the place to be, the time for you and me,
Enjoy sweet harmony because united are we.
Our heroes heard the call, saw their brothers fall,
Still they gave their all, that's united are we.
need to be a king, don't need a diamond ring,
We've got everything because united are we.
And through the nation wide, we share the New York pride,
We stand side by side, because united are we.
The reason is simple, it's easy as can be,
When we love one another, united are we.
If I'm a part of you, then you're a part of me,
When we give to each other, we're happy and free.
Don't need remote control, high-techie rigmarole,
Switch on and see the whole, united are we.
And when we're upped and downed, on a merry-go-round,
We can still rebound, turn it around,
We're not lost; we're found because united are we,
Let the words resound: United Are We.
United are we, united are we,
The design is grand, that's the way it was planned,
Let's give ourselves a hand,
Because united are, united are, united are WE!
ART CELEBRITIES JOURNAL called her "The Immortal". LA FEMME MAGAZINE's Louise
de Chambertin wrote: "She is Glorious!". ART AND STYLE MAGAZINE saw in Attie
"One of the greatest American singers-entertainers of our time".
Paulette Attie made
her singing debut in a talent show at age 3 (and refused to get off the
stage). Since then, she has performed in over 1,000 concerts from
Carnegie Hall, the Bruno Walter Auditorium, Lincoln Center Outdoors, and the
Hollywood Bowl, venues in Japan, Mexico, and Canada, to over thirty cabarets.
Paulette graduated Phi Beta Kappa and number 1 in her class from UCLA and was
a showgirl in Las Vegas one week later. Paulette was selected California’s
Sportswoman of the Year, for which she made numerous TV appearances. TV roles
followed on Love of Life, One Life to Live, All My Children, Mercy or Murder,
General Hospital, Sesame Street, and the French nightclub singer in the TV
movie The Yanks Are Coming (Silver Globe Award). She produced and performed
in a series of yearly concerts at New York's Lamb’s Theatre and was the
inaugural performer at the New York and Riverbank State Parks. Album:
Paulette Performs Puccini to Porter. Off-Broadway shows saw Paulette as Lady
Capulet in Sensations, Dorothy Parker in Dorothy Parker: A Montage, the Lady
in The Lady Of Larkspur Lotion, and playing herself in her one woman show,
About Time, including songs and poems which she wrote. She has played the
leading roles in the musicals Gypsy, Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, and Sensations,
the operas and operettas The Bald Soprano, The Old Maid and the Thief, The
Merry Widow, and La Vie Parisienne, and the plays Who’s Afraid of Virginia
Wolf, Red Peppers, You Know I Can’t Hear You...., and The Perfect Party. She
is the only American to have appeared with Le Theatre de France, where she was
directed by and performed with Jean Louis Barrault at New York City Center and
toured with the company in the U.S. and Canada. She played the voice of the
French cat to Mel Blanc's skunk in the cartoon, Pepe le Pew. Paulette
Attie's Musical Playbill, 2 years on WNYC AM and FM had distinguished
songwriters joining Paulette in song. In 1979, Paulette founded the National
Musical Theater. She conceived of and wrote Encore, produced by NMT, with
Columbia Artists presenting the national tour. She’s the recipient of 5
consecutive ASCAP Plus Songwriter Awards 2000 – 2004 and the National Poetry
Award, 1998. Paulette became the first woman performer elected into the
Friars Club in 1988. She was the singer for Israel’s 50th Anniversary in
Washington D.C. With numerous articles about show business to her credit,
Paulette just completed writing her first book, The Seven Keys to Live a
Masterful Life. And today, THE
JEWISH POST adds: Imagine a world without Paulette Attie. It would look like a
prairie without wild flowers, and a dark sky without a rainbow. Attie is one
of the "ESSENTIALS".
MARGARET CURRY IN "MY DEAH"
Monday, June 27, 7 pm, Manhattan Ensemble Theatre, 55 Mercer
Street @ Broome Street, NYC
Margaret Curry told us :" I
have the amazing honor of being a part of this very special benefit for a
very worthy theatre company. Don't miss it!! It promises to be tragically
27, Tony winner Joanna Gleason ("Into the Woods," currently starring on
Broadway in "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels"), Oscar nominee Chris Sarandon ("Dog
Day Afternoon") and John Glover (TV's "Smallville" and currently Off
Broadway in "The Paris Letter") star in John Epperson's (aka Lypsika) play
MY DEAH, the Medea legend set in The South, at 7pm.
MY DEAH Starring Joanna Gleason, Chris Sarrandon and John
Glover. Directed by Erik Sniedze
The event is a benefit for The
Millennium Talent Group and will take place at Manhattan Ensemble Theatre at
55 Mercer Street, just south of Broome. Don't miss this incredible event!
For more info call 212.925.1900 between 10 am and 5 pm.
With Andy Langton, Margaret Curry, Tony Raymond, Matt Schuneman, Taylor
Stockdale, Ryan Knowles, Laura Gosheff, Dennis Shinners, Louis Reyes
Cardenas. Margaret is currently
working on a new solo cabaret show, and is also working on a show with Brent
Winborn, both of which will have Ric
k Jensen as musical director/arranger. Margaret
continues as Titania
in "Fools in Love"
, which moves Off-Broadway in June to the Manhattan
Ensemble Theatre for a ten-week run. Margaret is a world-class artist
with unsurpassed talent, depth and formidable stage presence. Go see her in
action. She is terrific.
PLAYWRIGHT RELEASES FREE COPIES OF ORIGINAL SCRIPTS VIA WEB
At a time when the film and music industry is taking
extraordinary steps to discourage audiences from making and sharing digital
copies of their products, Jewish playwright Max Sparber is taking exactly
the opposite approach. This New Orleans-based writer whose plays have been
performed throughout the country, has taken the unusual step of releasing
eight of his scripts as PDFs on his Web page,
Additionally, Sparber has released the scripts with Creative Commons
license. This alternative to copyrighting allows authors to release their
work with a greater permissiveness than traditional copyrighting allows.
Sparber's scripts, for example, may be freely copied and traded, so long as
no profit is made from the exchange. Additionally, one of his plays, "Boy
ELROY," may be performed by anyone at any time, without any requirement that
the author be paid or even notified.
A massive uprising against Bessarabian Jews that
occured at the start of the 20th century, and the basis for my play "Kishinev."
Pictured are murdered Jews, wrapped in prayer shawls and laid in the streets
of Kishinev, awaiting burial. Sparber's Kishinev play was based on a
historic antisemitic uprising in the East European city of Kishinev, this
play tells of a young Hasidic girl, beset with supernatural visions, who
rises to lead a group of ultra-Orthodox Jews during a pogrom.
Kishinev was originally written in screenplay form, but was
quickly adapted to a stage play. It is epic in approach, with a running time
that approximates three hours and a cast that nears one hundred. It has
never been produced.
Sparber's eight plays
have, collectively, been performed 19 times around the country, including two
Manhattan productions, and he has been lauded by such publications as the New
Yorker and the Denver Post. (Each script online is augmented by past reviews
of productions.) Additionally, Sparber worked as a theater critic for five
years, three of them for Minneapolis' celebrated newsweekly, City Pages. He
points out that he hasn't had much difficulty finding venues for his plays;
he has enjoyed seven productions of his plays in the past two years alone.
Yet he argues that by releasing his scripts in a free, easy transferable
format, he will enjoy even more productions in the future. "As I see it, I
have everything to gain by giving the plays away," Sparber says. "Scripts are
not literary exercises. They're designed to be performed, not read." He sees
his Web page as a one-stop production resource for his scripts. Aside from
offering copies of his scripts, the site offers additional support media, such
as MP3s of songs from his plays. "I suppose there is a risk that people might
just take the scripts and perform them without paying me anything," Sparber
says. "But, then, they would have to avoid publicizing the production, as it's
easy enough to find out if someone if being duplicitous with a single Google
search." More than anything, Sparber says, he just wants to make the process
of finding and reading his scripts as simple as possible. He points to such
examples as science fiction author Cory Doctorow, who releases his novels as
free online documents before they go into publications, and points to an
increase in eventual sales due to the increased publicity that accompanies his
books. “It might seem counterintuitive to give your writing away for nothing,”
Sparber says, “but it’s really just a new business model, and one that’s been
shown to work. Eventually, the increased exposure leads to increased profits.”
And with his play "Boy ELROY", which he is literally giving away to anybody
who wishes to perform it? "It's a pretty experimental script," Sparber says.
"I'm just interested in seeing what people can do with it. I’m not looking to
make any money on that one. Sometimes its nice to just give something away."
Sparber's plays include "Kishinev," a dramatization about anti-Jewish riots in
Eastern Europe at the turn of the 20th century, and "Cruelties," which looks
at the self-destruction of a popular novelist inspired by Truman Capote.
Superstar Roni Ben-Hur to take on New York.
Photo: Singer Kathy Kosins.
born (to Tunisian parents) guitarist Roni Ben-Hur quite his job as a high
school teacher and moved to New York City to study with master pianist Barry
Harris. Since arriving here Ben-Hur has released four critically acclaimed
recordings, including his latest, "Signature,” and has become a first-call
sideman for many of jazz's legendary players. Roni has also taught
thousands of people the joys and thrills of playing jazz through his
workshops, ensembles and private lessons at The Lucy Moses School of Music,
and through two high school music programs developed entirely by Ben-Hur. In
addition to being a six-time ASCAP award-winning songwriter, and a ten-year
member of Was, Not Was (world renowned producer Don Was’ band), vocalist
Kathy Kosins is a musical archeologist. In order to a find a new repertoire
of little known and rarely sung songs to be recorded on her new CD,
"Vintage," (coming out on Mahogany Jazz/Warner Bros.), Kathy scoured used
vinyl shops, flea markets, garage sales and anywhere she could get her hands
on classic recordings from vocalists such as Carmen McRae, Julie London,
Tony Bennett, June Christy, and others. The result is tour-de-force jazz
record that showcases Kathy’s magnificent alto. Roni Ben-Hur will be
appearing in July at the Lenox L0unge in celebration of this new CD, on July
22 & 23.
ART, QUALITY, FUN AND
GLAMOUR AT THE FLORENCE BIENNALE
CHERCHEZ LA FEMME! THE ARTISTIC FEMME
AT FLORENCE BIENNALE
Photo: An artist and her art at the
art has to be austere? Art could be fun too. Art is a nourishing
experience if shared with others. And this is what an artist gets at the
Florence Biennale. Delight, learning, fun, exchange of ideas, exposure,
recognition, challenge, talent development, friendship and even glamour
are part of the international art competition and exhibition of the
magnificent Florence Biennale. Oui Monsieur, art is a succulent fun, when
femmes fatales artists, femmes existentialist artists, femmes
provocatively talented artists, the Nafertiti and Cleopatra type artists,
and super accomplished artists add their talent, their artistic aroma and
sinfully captivating scents to the linens and canvases hung on the walls
of the historical Fortezza da Basso hosting the prestigious art event of
we do see women artists from around the globe taking part in a huge collective
art exhibition and sweet-bitter competition as our eyes witnessed this unusual
women artists gathering phenomenon in Florence: A real human mosaic of
accomplished women artists and promising emerging talents, a festival of a
universal art in all its forms, dimensions, planes, concepts and visions. An
avalanche of creative women artists adding glamour, un flair chic and finesse
to the world of art. Even women artists from Saudi Arabia and "religiously
somber" countries participated in the competition of the Biennale!
FEMALES ARTISTS OF THE FLORENCE BIENNALE
Photos from L to R: #1. Barbara
Elizabeth Mercer, a noted Canadian artist who participated in the Biennale.
Mercer worked with the Canadian Opera Company, the CBC, the National Ballet
of Canada, the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, and TV Ontario. Mercer who
works in acrylics, egg tempera, pen and ink, mixed media, is also an
accomplished writer, author, poet, printmaker, sculptor and a music
Upper Block, 30-1/2" X 25", acrylic on canvas by Barbara Elizabeth Mercer.
"The man in Drag, the
Violinist, the Artist, and the Thief on a Tram in Amsterdam" by Susan
Dorothea White who exhibited at the Florence Biennale 2001. Ms. White
represented Australia in more than 60 international
group exhibitions and biennales around the world. Often the same works she
created were rejected in Australia but, have been selected for international
I don't know what kind of
criteria, the Biennale jury adopted to select the best artists who
participated in its international art competition. But most certainly, those
criteria got to be solid and meaningful, for the winners have revealed a
high level of artistry. Art is universal. Art is divinity. Art is not
masculine nor feminine. Art is beyond our comprehension, for it unites,
freezes and frees every single whisper, daring thoughts, unimaginable Sufi
vision, Danteis-que and delightful madness. And the women artists who
competed at the Florence Biennale revealed just that! The Biennale women
artists sparkle under a rainbow of splashes of lights, deep compositions,
enchanting colors, elegant pottery and ceramics forms, strong personal
statements, reflections of ethnic culture, even some Zen escapades and
delicately intellectual-lyrical strokes as it is the case in the artwork of
Lebanese artist Salwa Zeidan who captured the 4th place in the last year
Photos from L
to R: #1. Conflict by Inez Schrader. #2. Dance by Helen Lucas. Both painters
exhibited at Florence Biennale 2003. #3. Margret E Short, one of the
contestants at the Biennale 2005.
Photos from L to R: Barbara Andolsek, finalist
in the National Oil and Acrylic Painters' Society 2004 Best of America
Competition , has been invited to participate in the Biennale 2005. #2.
"Street cafe" by Artist Barbara Andolsek. #3. Pottery by
Sana Musasama, a 2001 Biennale
participant and current Assistant Professor at Hunter College, (Adjunct
Ceramics). #4. ethereal painting by Salwa Zeidan.
FEMALES PARTICIPANTS IN THE FLORENCE
BIENNALE: WORLD-CLASS ARTISTS
from L to R: #2. Superb artwork by Connie Noyes, a participant in the
Biennale 2003. Her work is exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary
Photography, Chicago, IL . #2.
Ode to Janis J - Power &
Passion I, by Birte Hella.
particular painting "The Bedouin Woman" by Sharifa Al Sudairy which was
ranked fifth in the Biennale in 1997, captured my attention, for that
painting has conveyed a humanistic message and flirted with a sensitive
socio-political theme. Like Salwa Zeidan, Al Sudairy is a self taught
artist with a remarkable and honest talent. In an interview given to Al
Hayat newspaper, Al Sudairy said: " I received most of my education here
in Saudi Arabia. However, as a painter, I am self-taught; I did not attend
any university or institute to learn art. When I first got married, I
traveled much. Later, I was busy with my children. When they grew up, I
started tending to my art. Today, I feel that I did not do enough." She
added, "I think I started in the 1980s, when I participated in an
exhibition held in Jeddah, which displayed paintings of a group of women
artists. It was Princess Moda bint Khaled who encouraged me; she was
invited to dinner at my sister's place with members of Gulf committees and
associations. My sister started showing them a number of her paintings and
then told them I have some too. So they asked me: why don't you
participate in the exhibition that would be held in Jeddah? They mentioned
some of the women participants among whom was Mona Qusaibi, a famous
artist who organizes exhibitions. The next day, Princess Moda called me
and encouraged me again. She gave me Mona Qusaibi's number and insisted
that I call her and tell her about my desire to participate in the
exhibition. The truth was that I was surprised by her quick positive
answer. I was very buoyant, so I sent my painting, traveled to Jeddah and
participated in the exhibition with the support of my father… I was very
happy because everybody admired the painting I displayed." Sudairy
continued, "That first exhibition was followed by another, which was
positively reviewed in the media. In 1989, I took part in a competition
for the Gulf artists in Bahrain. I sent one of my paintings to Bahrain
while I was busy with the Jeddah exhibition. A week later, my painting was
ranked third among the others."
WORLD-CLASS ARTISTS PARTICIPATED IN THE FLORENCE BIENNALE
L to R: #1. "Garbage can lid", a
selection from the survival
series by Jenny
Holzer who participated in the Biennale . Holzer's paintings were
exhibited at the
Musée National d’Art Moderne, Center
Georges Pompidou, Paris, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, 48th
International Exhibition of Contemporary Art, The Museum of Modern Art,
and the Guggenheim Museum Soho, New York. She is the recipient of the
Diplome of Chevalier from the Order of Arts and Letters from French
Government, and the Goslar Emperor Ring Monchehaus Museum fur
Moderne Kunst and Verein zur Forderung Monererner Kunst Goslar. #2.
Painting from the
Nocturne Series by Barbara Bachner who exhibited at the Biennale 1998.
ARTISTS GET A
BOOST FROM THE BIENNALE
Biennale launched the career of many artists who took part in its
international art competition. Self taught and remarkably accomplished
artists exhibited their work, side by side at the Biennale. And by doing
so, they reached out to world art communities. They exchanged ideas and
visions with leaders in the field. They explored possibilities not readily
available to them. Those who were honored by the Biennale jury enjoyed
international recognition and were proud to show the prestigious awards
they received from the Biennale. Some became famous and a household name.
Others are on their way to world fame. And all this, thanks to the
devotion, sincere efforts and opportunities given to them by Piero
Celona, Pasquale Celona and John T Spike.
LOVELY AND MEANINGFUL ARTWORKS BY
FEMALE ARTISTS AT THE BIENNALE
Has the Florence Biennale lived up to her
expectations? Yes! You bet!
from L to R: Nina Gruschwitz, a London-based abstract painter who
represented the United Kingdom at the Florence Biennale 2003. "The Florence
Biennale is an international event, which means a lot of artists from
different countries will gather under one roof to show their work", said
Nina Gruschwitz. #2."Let Us Fly (Detail 2002), by Gruschwitz, 100x150cm,
acrylic on canvas.
The Florence Biennale
deserves a lot of credit. It did open doors to many female artists. Its
contribution to world art is significant. The Biennale should and must be
considered as a giant international bridge joining and uniting multiple and
different kinds of cities. Cities of an astonishing multi-varied styles,
genres and schools of art and culture. Under one roof, the Biennale managed
to bring together so many different artists from so many different
countries. Almost 75 countries. The American females artists brought their
ultra-modern avant-garde, revolutionary art visions. The Middle Eastern
females artists added an exotic touch. The females artists from Portugal,
Spain and Brazil enriched the expositions with ardent colors and vivacious
compositions. The Russian and Eastern Europe females artists infused their
politely rebellious figures and humanistic warmth. The British and
Australian females artists added strong and liberated strokes.
Photos: "Canadian Icons"
by Canadian artist Barbara E. Mercer at the Biennale 2003.
EXPECTATIONS, EXCITEMENT AND ENTHUSIASM AT THE FLORENCE BIENNALE
the Florence Biennale lived up to her expectations?", asked an art critic
at the BBC. Nina Gruschwitz answered: "I've dreamed of getting to know as
many artists as possible. New inspirations, a new creative atmosphere, new
art styles...what could be more exciting?" It is more than exciting, for
the Biennale succeeded in attracting young and relatively old artists. A
polite way to describe the age of a 71 year old woman artist, Barbara E.
Mercer of Canada who showed her Canadian Icons series of portraits
at the Florence Biennale last December at age 70.
Mercer was so excited. She told Canadian Contents journal about her
"exciting experience at the Biennale". Here is an excerpt from the paper,
as written by J. Lynn Fraser "One of the artists whom Mercer met was a
young man whose language she could not speak but with whom she
communicated through hand gestures. By the end of their conversation
about each other's artwork he had taken her hand and kissed her on the
cheek. Mercer thought Florence during her two week stay was "absolutely
magnificent" and that the "ambiance was wonderful and mysterious". No
doubt encounters like that with the young man did a lot to maintain her
enthusiasm. Ms. Fraser continues: "The Florence Biennale was organized in
part by Harvard educated, curator, art historian, and author Dr. John T.
Spike. He would compare Barbara's work to David Hockney and Caravaggio.
Spike is the author of more than twenty books and has published major
monographs on Masaccio (1996) and Fra Angelico (1997), and
the standard catalogues raisonnés of the paintings of Mattia Preti (1999)
and of Caravaggio (2001)."
THE MAGIC AND RICH CULTURAL-ARTISTIC
EXPERIENCE AT THE FLORENCE BIENNALE
A view at the Biennale. Courtesy of Sarah Larsen.
SO MANY BIENNALES AROUND THE
Yep! So many
biennales around the globe, including:
Biennale for Contemporary Art
Internaconal de São Paulo, Brasil. 3-International Biennale, Brazil. 137
artists from 75 countries 614 works.
d'Art Contemporain de Lyon, France.
of Sydney, 2002. 6- International Festival of Contemporary Art.
de Paris. 8-Berlin
d'Art Contemporain de Lyon, France.
Biennal, Cuba. 11-Istanbul.
Biennial International Art Exhibition. Also other Biennales in the United
Arab Emirates, etc.... But the best of all is the Florence Biennale!
artists who exhibited at Florence Biennale:
Photos from L to R:
"A Great Game Called Life", decorative
Art Panel by Mari Hall. #2. "Cubist
Rainbow", triptych, oil, 26" x 60", by
Mildred Hurwitz. #3. "Fragrance
Floating on the Wind", by Nancy Scheinman. #3. "Perugia", by Cisca van
Photos from L to R: #1. "Tangle" by
Jamie Gagan. #2. "Joy",
bronze unique cast, by
Shona Nunan. #3. "Perugia", by Cisca van Veelen. #4. "In the Studio", by