Friday, July 18, 2008

MAMA MIA THE MOVIE IS A HIT, BLAST, SUPA STAR re: go see it

MAMMA MIA! employs the hit songs of famed pop group ABBA to tell the story of Sophie Sheridan, a young girl who hopes to discover the identity of her father. On the eve of her wedding, she brings three men from her mother Donna's past back to the Greek island they visited over two decades ago. It was here that the story began, well not began, but was played out for the first time. The story began with British Judy Craymer who in 1995 was working with Tim Rice on Chess in collaboration with Björn Ulvaeus (at the 5th Anniversary of Mama Mia on Broadway 10/18/06) and Benny Andersson (orginal members of ABBA); she had an idea to produce a play using ABBA songs, as she was a huge fan and knew there was a story that could be weaved around these songs. Björn and Benny were nervous, they were very protective of their work, soon their fears were put to rest.She commission Catherine Johnson to write a screenplay about love, loss and triumph. When the script was finished tapped Phyllida Lloyd to direct the piece. Three strong women were behind the success of this musical about three strong women. Mama Mia opened on April 6th 1999 at prestigious Prince Edward Theatre in London’s West End. October 2001 heralded the Broadway premiere at The Winter Garden Theatre. And it was at that time that I saw the musical, it was just the life that NYC needed after the tragedy that befell the City the month before. - A few months back I photographed the Lincoln Center Salutes Meryl Streep event. At the time I had no idea who this bloke was, but now that I have seen the movie I know why he was at the event. Actor Stellan Skarsgard [Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) has sent wedding invitations to the three men who might be her dad: Bill (Stellan Skarsgard), Sam (Pierce Brosnan) and Harry (Colin Firth)] Meryl Streep seems to channel her inner silliness; hitting every note effortlessly, with an appealingly light pop voice, she prances through the movie as if ever-so-slightly tipsy. She twists her lines into appealing little knots, and does a bit of comic business involving a cordless drill that's almost a movie in itself, and this is why the film is so great, it's not to be taken seriously, it's trivial, fun, lighthearted and totally Streep. And when was the last time you heard an audience clap at the end of a song in a movie, ok that's right Dreamgirls, well they did it tonight too, but I'm not going to tell you which song, you will just have to see it for yourself.
The downside of the movie: OK, let’s get this out of the way: Streep is 20 years too old for this role. Any attempt to put the characters’ histories into a coherent time frame will result in a splitting headache and I did spend a good part of the movie trying to figure out what age Meryl is supposed to be, finally the daughter states her age and I thought, THAT'S RIGHT!! This is a movie and we are supposed to suspend our sense of reality. My advice: Just roll with it.
But then again Meryl's real daughter Mamie Gummer born 8/3/1983, so it could happen? Sassy little thing isn't she. Here she is at the Film Society event I mentioned, it was in April 2008


Christine Baranski [56 years old, so at least her age is in context with Meryl Streep, because had they cast say Uma Thurman or that bitch Jennifer Aniston, well it would be way off [see 5/17 for reference why the biotch comment] plays one of Donna's best friends. She was amazing, and in the words of the Swedish super group, she can dance, she can jive, she's having the time of her life and it shows in this movie. Her scenes are delicious, and girl Ms Baranski can kick as high as a Rockette. Currently she can be seen on Broadway in Boeing-Boeing. I took this shot at the Tony Awards last month in NYC.
One more downside, Pierce Bronson was miscast, but who cares, he's so handsome. Ironically one of the songs he sings is SOS, and I just wanted to laugh when he sang that line.


The Trailer



I doubt this movie in the long run effects the Broadway run of Mama Mia, but I do think the timing of the touring show coming to Philly the same week as the movie opens might have some effect on the ticket sales. But I hope not. 7/18 - 7/27 at the Academy

AND don't forget to go see the PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL GAY & LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL as it winds down next Tuesday, http://www.phillyfests.com/piglff/2008/home.cfm I will be posting right through the weekend as I have a lot to say. Also subscribe to my blog and everytime I update it you will be notified in your mailbox between 9AM & 11:59AM so you won't miss a thing. Then if it sounds like something you want to read, you just click on the link. (I'm lying, I want you to click on the link whether you care or not - LOL) Thanks HughE

A TASTE OF HONEY on a Friday at 4PM

When I was a kid my parents listened to this song and album for hours.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIKE & HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO US BOTH re: ok and Happy Birthday to me in 7 days

July is a big month for us. We love July 4th, that's why we have 2 parties. We bought our house in July. It's our anniversary, really on 7/10, but Mike being the typical guy said he might not remember that day could we do it on the day that we had our first date, his birthday. I gave him Tomatos and peppers for that first date, I grew them in my community garden. Then the 3rd date on 7/23 I took him to meet my parents, I had never done that before, even though I had been out for 10 years. And the rest is history, our history. A very good history. Thanks to Mike I can bring you nightly updates of the Philly social events. He is also preparing the calendar, no pressure Mike, and helping out on the business end of things 'cause I'm the artist, I keep telling him, and he's the business man, really mike you are.
So join me in wishing Mike a big Happy Birthday!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

PIGLFF XIX COCKTAIL PARTY IN CELEBRATION OF Midnight Cowboy 40th Anniversary re: photos of a swanky afternoon among celebrities

The Philadelphia Gay Lesbian Film Festival is just kicking into high gear, don't worry mom I am getting enough sleep to get by. Here we are Saturday afternoon being hosted by XIX and GM Jeffrey Miller for their generosity. As we enter the breath taking lounge we find equally breath taking Perri and Jarad who no doubt are disgusted that they have to pose one more time for Philly Chit Chat because I like my photoblog to have some continuity. And I need to do a photo check too, yep colors are perfect. Seriously kids smile next time, you guys can light up a room with your smiles, I've seen them I so made a beeline over to the women in the red hair after I received this email from my friend David Traupman who left me behind as he summers and winters in Miami with his beau Jesse Walters. Who as some of you may know refused to be a delegate in support of George W Bush at the 2004 Convention (I know he's still a republican, but we can overlook that, he seems to be smarter than most -ouch, ok mom and dad are republicans too and I still love them) David writes: "Speaking of movies - I was speaking yesterday to Carol Coombes, the Director of the Miami GLBT festival and she is heading to Phila festival this weekend to speak on a panel (something regarding media and film). If you see a thin woman wearing dark lipstick and pink hair in an asymmetircal cut speaking in a British accent, it is her. Be sure to say hi and take lots of great pictures of her to post on your site. Carol is wonderful - she came to Miami after working with the London film festival and has really built up the festival here." She is with girlfriend Raquel Berman and TLA staffer Lewis Tice. Karen Cornell is one of the sweetest of the sweets. She shoots for Philly Edge & Philly Gay Calendar when she's not summering down the shore and shooting for the Cape May Herald (Don't you love their Shout Out Page "Mrs Smith lets her children run around the yard in barefeet while the chickens roost there!" or "Would the women who gave me the finger while making a right on red, get off the damn phone and pay attention!"; if you ever stayed in Cape May County you'd know what I am talking about) here she is with girlfriend Beth Frank.

Director of last year's "Four Letter Word" and this years "Between Love & Goodbye." Alongside him between love and good bye is his boyfriend actor Ryan Turner. Could this be the new Mia & Woody, or Joel Cohen and Frances McDormand. Actors being directed by their spouses, by the looks of the movie greatness was achieved.
Denice Witkowski, Jen Hughes and Melanie Orpen who is just about to celebrate another birthday in a few weeks.
Cute, Jesse Cute that is. Really this guy has a lot to live up to with that name and I think he's achieved it. They are all a bit cute, don't ya think? Which one is Jesse Cute do you think?
My trio of happiness Sharon Pinkenson, Mary Patel and Susan Helfrich. Did you see the great shot of Susan and Sharon in last months Philadelphia Style Magazine. Great fashion shot. Paige Wolfe and Jackie
Tim Yates, VP OmeProductions, "Finding Me", Sontaia P. Briggs President of One Productions and Donald Carter. I wish I had met these two after the film, which I saw last night. Nicely done, great storyline, exactly what the African-American community needs, an honest but optimistic gay storyline. No DL crap going on here.
John Herzins, Carlie Seltzer and Rich Goldberg

the XIX spread
Director Todd Stephens and actor Aaron Michael Davies
It's time to go see the movie. If you noticed that you didn't see the honorees of the night, it's not a mistake as those shots may very well turn up in the press and well I can't scoop myself.
Joey Ruggiero and Kathy Fowler. Check out Joey out at http://highoctanefacemask.blogspot.com/ I went to school with a Kathy Fowler, she was a total Deadhead but also wore a tierra. I wonder what happened to her, I wonder if this KF is her daughter? Yea I'm that old, another birthday is just 8 days away, but I am having the time of my life so it doesn't bother me like when I turned 25.

Monday, July 14, 2008

PHILADELPHIA STYLE MAGAZINE PARTY PHOTOS "Best Of List" re: Thursday I covered two big parties in town, but they were seamless in fun

ENTER THE WORLD OF FANTASY AND DELIGHT. Having just shot an event here the day before I was amazed at the transformation into a decadent den of iniquity Have a drink, these pops were collectibles. So if you were willing to carry it home you could add it to your pretty bottle display
The VIP lounge. Sofa's by Natuzzi. They done it up right.
Thom Cardwell or Henri David look a like, it was neither as I swung him around. Skinny water, vitamin water, smart water? Finally adjectives that for water that were attributed to the product without marketing.
Wine is Brian Freedman's expertise, ya gotta hear the pouring of the wine on his website. So authentic you wanna pop a bottle yourself: http://www.brianfreedmanphiladelphia.com/ with him is his wife Stephy.
I'm just a sweet transvestite was probably not the theme they were going for here Miriam serves up the drinks at Urban Saloon and participated in "Martini Madness" contest
I was looking for a little style, a little magic, a little something that would jazz up the blog and I found it here with Marlene Gravely, Kathy Holtzer, Marie Campanile, Carol and Ralph Colabelli
(I think they may be related to John M. Colabelli, Philly Style Magazine's publisher) Publishing the magazine every two months drives me crazy, I need more updates with the social scene. That's what I am tryin to do here on Philly Chit Chat as long as I don't get distracted
Kim Locher and Kim Gravatt with Jaermeil liquor. Now this is a decandent amount of liquor for to be consumed. Pearl where the superstars seem to go late. Hello call me, I take photos, I'd like to get you noticed, I've been published in all the swanky glossies nationally (I'm Philly's only paparazzi ie see my kyw interview) Would have loved to photographed John Legend there last week!! Ahh the other superstar photographer, not a paparazzi, but an honest to goodness celebrity, portrait snapper, Christopher Gabello (check his stuff in the Metro [finally they are giving up their taking photos off the AP and using someone local to get local stuff]), PunchMedia James Zeleniak http://punchmedia.biz/ and Wayne Glassman of Wayne Edward's Men's store. hmm autograph seeker

kissing cousins Paula and Ashley with g-men Rob and Matt Ettore is back from Dallas Pride, where it was hot in more ways than I can put into this blog (ie see Chi Chi LaRue entry)
Jayne Laychak, Nola Dabs, Megan Stecher and Sarah Haas
Erin Boyle, Kim Derrak, Eirica D'Andrea and Jillian Dunn. They are all sporting their Nicole Miller as Erin chomps on a chocolate cigar. No lungs were hurt during this photo shoot.
CTO's Big Walt and the Groove PHAG Jason Crook and Sheryl Freas. I'm not a big Phan of the word PHAG no matter how it's spelled, but the guys over at PHAG have embraced it and it's turned into quite a cute store with something for everyone. Think the defunct "Afterwords" with "Fosters" and you have PHAG. http://www.thephagshop.com/ And I do love his stylish paisley coat.

Megan Roe, Sheryl Raskin, B101 marissa mignatta, pleasing PR maven Paige Wolfe and her columnist husband Mike. Paige wrote a very clever song about Social Networking on the internet http://www.myspace.com/paigewolfmusic I really like it. It should so be released. Paige is definitely one of the most multifaceted people that I underestimated as a person. She just goes about big life in a quiet way. It's nice like a slow boat that leaves no wake. Tumbling Dice provided the tables for the charity games that benefitted the "Gift of Life". Right to left we find the lucky wagers Tanya Teece of Teece Advertising, Molly Sager and Danny Cevallos, who I think was trying his luck at more than just the cards.
Face painter Diana Bright, Ch40's Adrianne Soresi and entertainment maven Brett Silver. I can only dream to get his numbers someday. No not his number, his hits that he received on his website. I have been wondering if I should do an email blast as he does, but I think I will be going with the subscriber passive method. I may a tortise in marketing but I'll get there and it will be one less email you don't want in your box. Although I do love getting his stuff, reminds me to keep my game up.
Jimmy Contreras and Lauren Jacobsen. Jimmy is on "The List" of Philly Style Magazine, and I heard from a little birdie that there will be a feature of him in an upcoming issue. Amanda Segal, Alison Shulman and Gala Kanevsky stylish and close. Knit Whit, BCBG and Yaya respectively.
OK this chick is the cat's meow, I believe she whispered as she grabbed my arm and wanted a photo. I said who with? Just me baby, just me. So here it is and I think it's Ashley your girl next door.
Raise the roof, theres always one in the crowd
Michelle and Brett or is it Brad? Did I mention I was dyslexic?
What time is it, I have to head over to the PIGLFF Opening Party or were they wondering when these girls got off to continue the party elsewhere? What do you think? Ah pure angelic Cashman Girls. Holly, Ashley and Jaclyn. It's like Farrah, Kate and well Jacklyn all over again.
Raise your hands, guess there's more than one in the group

Damn someone recognized me in my loud paisley shirt and they want my autograph. In fact, I had no idea when I took the below photo who he was? I said to his wife, now what's your name. Michelle and your last name. B-U-R-R-E-L-L great, and is this your husband? "Yes", and what's his name? M stares at me with well kinda the beautiful look she has below and says "Pat". Then it clicked - LOL (That's the photo I took, it was in yesterday's Inquirer - Michael Klein's INQlings)
Sgt. Ray and his friends. I love that in this line of work I get to meet testostorone driven guys like Ray and Brad because if I didn't do this I would never have been able to observe the amazing prowess of the Philadelphia social scene makers in every circumstance whether it's a gay event, straight event or mixed, which this really was 'cause I ran into quite a few people who didn't go to the Z Club but went to the Opening night at the Philly Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Party too. We're all just social animals who are looking for a little action, mine is to observe and record, of course there's a lot, and I mean a lot of "OFF THE RECORD" that stays safely in my personal journal, offline.
Stacy Jorgensen, Monica Malpass (come on Dan leave Monica alone, she's a mom for godsake), Sal DeAngelo (Demi Moore likes to eat at his place) and Dancing with the Stars youngin' Brian Fortuna of Haddon Heights.
Party Crasher: Someone who attempts and often gains entry to a party or club to which they were not invited, often using social engineering techniques. Sadly for this one stylish soul this party was the one that got away, and it's ashame as she's sporting a little color, a photographers dream.

Postscript: WELCOME to PHILLY Style Magazine, I like your makeover, did I mention the website needs a little work, but I like your night life. You are bringing it. When I lived in NYC I attended more than my share of Gotham Magazine & Hampton Magazine parties, and you haven't disappointed here. One suggestion, KELLY RIPA IS FROM SOUTH JERSEY, she was on 9/2007 Hampton Magazine Cover and now you need to get her on the Philly Style Cover. Love her, want her home. Oh and invite me to cover it in plenty of time so I can clear my schedule. Thanks. (UPDATE: Photo Gallery Feel free to download up to medium size photos and purchase larger sizes if you want: http://hughephotos.smugmug.com/gallery/5434255_npLBK#332291777_J3g3d )