Friday, February 20, 2009

WALNUT STREET THEATER'S 200TH ANNIVERSARY GALA

1809 Theatre opens as The New Circus (equestrian acts). A few years later, an 80-foot dome was added, making it the highest structure in the city at the time. The dome remained until the remodeling of 1828. Earlier this month the Walnut Street Theater held it's 200th Anniversary Gala to celebrate this milestone and in doing so many of her alumni came home to perform snippets from the shows they had appeared.

Founded in 1809, the Walnut is America's oldest theatre and the oldest continually operating theatre in the English-speaking world. The self-producing non-profit company boasts a 57,000 member subscriber base, the largest in the country. A cocktail party kicked off the festivities and took place in the lobby of the theater.• Since 1985, Studio 5, a 52-seat black box theatre located on the Walnut’s fifth floor, has been rented out to local theatre companies. The Arden Theatre Company, founded in 1988, played its first two seasons at the Walnut.
• Ticket sales account for only 85% of the cost of producing shows on the Walnut’s mainstage. The remaining 15% is generated through donations, and corporate sponsorships.
• Currently, the Walnut is the largest subscribed regional theatre company in the world, with over 57,000 subscribers annually.
Bernard Harvard and Sheldon Lubliner - For the past 26 years, Bernard Havard has been the top gun at the Walnut Street Theatre. As producing artistic director, he expanded the theater’s subscription base to the largest in the country. While other Philadelphia troupes have staffs ranging in size from 15 to 30, Havard employs close to a hundred. While others sell 6,000 or 7,000 subscriptions, the Walnut sells 56,000, including its studio and children’s productions. Annual attendance exceeds 300,000.

Born in England, Havard emigrated to Canada and was educated at the University of Alberta and the Banff Centre for the Arts. He got an Equity card acting on TV in Calgary. He was managing director of the Alliance Theatre Co. in Atlanta from 1977 to 1982, when he came to the Walnut. Havard made the Walnut a nonprofit producing company, rather than just a booking theater, and in 1985 he created its theater school. (City Paper 1/17/02)

Jason Lewis, Scott Ambrass and Congressman Robert Andrews (D-NJ)The star-studded party began at the theatre, with performances "highlighting some of the great moments in recent Walnut history, while paying tribute to 200 continuous years of theatre at the corner of 9th and Walnut." The post-show reception was held in the Ballroom at the Benjamin Franklin House.

The Orphan Ensemble from the Walnut’s productions of Annie (2003) and Annie Warbucks (2004) performed “It’s A Hard Knock Life”
Michael Reitter, Mike Toub and Allen Hampton enjoy the festivities. Michael and Allen are long time subscribers of the Walnut Street Theater, which is very admirable. Why travel to NYC when you can see a Broadway quality show here in Philadelphia at one of the dozens of theaters that Philadelphia has.
This sweet child put together the dessert room, which was delicious. Marilyn G. Marshall has worked at the Ben Ballroom for 28 years.
Mary Jan Hovian, Choreographer of Hairspray and Connie Schaefer

Hugh Panaro, Walnut Street Theater's Andrew Terranova and guestJason Lewis and Andrew Kindig
Paul Schoeffler who provides voices for many of the cartoon characters on the Cartoon Network Channel
Scott Greer, Jesse Bernstein, Steven Klien, Frank Ferrante, Matt Pfeiffer, Aaron Cromie, T.J. Sokso and Jeffrey CoonTODAY With more than 20 productions, over 600 performances and over 350,000 attendees each season, Walnut Street Theatre is the most active theatre company in the region. Our education and outreach programs reach over 110,000 students and their families each year. As a producing company, we hire hundreds of the nation’s best artists from Philadelphia and around the world. We continue the tradition of creating some of the best professional productions in the United States. In 2009, Walnut Street Theatre celebrates its 200th anniversary.
And it there were an award for the best theater seats, Walnut Street Theater would come in first. I'm a big guy and there was still ample space for me to rest my hands on my side. 2nd Place goes to the Kimmel Center, 3rd to the Suzanne Roberts Theater. Last place The Academy of Music, I'd rather stand. (Sunday's Inquirer 2/8/09)

Our friends over at Streettalkin did a piece on the Walnut Street Theatre 200th Anniversary

Thursday, February 19, 2009

IS Wired 96.5 G-N KANG ENGAGED?

Wired 96.5's G-N Kang makes Phila Lingerie Football Team (5/13/09):
www.phillychitchat.com/2009/05/gn-kang-makes-philadelphia-passion.html

THERE ARE THREE POSTS FOR THURSDAY 2/19/09 - SEPARATE ENTRIES so keep scrolling down....

PhillyChitChat can tell what words people use to come into the site. Today I was being bombarded by searches "Is G-N Kang engaged?" So I thought G-N's an acquaintance I'll ask her. "Hey G-N, (These photos are from the G-N Kang Blog)
Hope you are well. I am getting lots of hits on my blog today asking if you are engaged? Is this true? Happy Tuesday either way (of course later I realized it was Wednesday).

Did FINN ask for your hand in marriage:

"Hi there!

First off, your fashion week photos are AMAZING!!! ....(I knew I liked that girl) Then an off the record conversation (See I can keep secrets)
G-N's Blog states: Listen to Chio in the Morning Thursday to find out if I got engaged. SO what are you waiting for, turn off the Lily Allen CD, and tune to Wired 96.5 to get the answer
Other popular keywords (1322 uniq hits, with 421 being search engine hits) today include in this order PhillyChitChat, Del Frisco's (Those people should give me a free steak dinner I get so many hits for their place), then there's Del Fresco's, Union Trust (lots of variations on the spelling), Butcher & Singer (again spelled lots of different ways), where is gerard butler filming now, Shecky's girls night out in philly, John DeBella's Comfort Food, Philly Car Show Gala, Sabrina Tamburino (w/33 hits - that's why I write about her alot, she's the Paris Hilton/Lindsay Lohan/Victoria Beckham of Philly), top magazine photographers in phila, pa (Call Chris Gabello www.ChristopherGabello.com) Oscar Party Philly, Erin Elmore, and a whole bunch of people individually who's names I will protect, in case your looking for a new job. BUT my favorite search today: patti labelle gets pissed off at photographer video

LINDSAY LOHAN LOOKED GREAT despite reports to the Contrary

I wish I hadn't sent a wretched photo of Lindsay Lohan to my agency as Perez Hilton bought it and posted it with unkind thoughts regarding Lindsay. I've photographed Lilo more than a dozen times in the past years, and she has never looked better. I hope she finds her way....I took this photo at the opening of the Matthew Williams Store Opening on Sunday.
But I would recommend she drop Sam Ronson before she kills Lindsay or Lilo kills her.

HAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO TIE ONE ON WITH MONICA MALPASS, JOHN CLARK OR HOW MUCH FUN WOULD IT BE TO PARTY WITH MITCH WILLIAMS?

Celebrity Bartenders Night

Thursday, February 19, 2009
This annual fundraiser features your favorite local celebrities and Philadelphia Athletes, stepping behind the bar to mix cocktails for a good cause. Join Variety - The Children’s Charity for this fun event, …

- Get the complete details for Celebrity Bartenders Night

RSVP NOW FOR A NIGHT OF FUN FOR A GREAT CAUSE!

Celebrities Include:

Mitch Williams of the Philadelphia Phillies

Monica Malpass of 6ABC

Nydia Han of 6ABC

Miss Philadelphia

John Clark of NBC10

Doug Kammerer of CBS3

and many more!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Celebs I Photographed at Fashion Week which ended up on web

Back from Fashion Week. It was definitely one of the most successful periods I have had both personally and professionally. I hadn't been there in about 4 months, and it was great to see a lot of my friends in the business as that just doesn't exist in Philly. As soon as I arrived on Thursday I began my intense shooting of celebs (amfAR with liza Minnelli) until Tuesday at 8PM when I took my last shot of Leonaro DiCaprio attending the Georgio Armani Store Opening on 5th Avenue.Often times people ask me why I photograph the same folks in Philly, but it's really no different than the same people that appear week after week in the glossies, or daily on celebrity blogs; One day I asked my friends why they needed to photograph Lindsay Lohan again, it was because she changed her outfit from a fashion show she attended to her shopping outfit, then later her party outfit. Although LiLo isn't doing so hot professionally, her photo still moves.This is one of the shots as even the most seasoned photographers overlooked as a non-event. I was just in the right place at the right time and stubled upon it, the Mathew Williamson Store Opening Parties. We were all really surprised that Lindsay Lohan was there as she was scheduled to be in Miami with her girlfriend Sam Ronson that night, but it seems they had a fight the night before and Sam flew back to LA and Lindsay went out partying, ending the night at Chace Crawford's house, as my friend Vincent caught for TMZ and is now making big time news.

Amanda Bynes is into short skirts. I love that she is not wearing black.
Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel after the showing of his collection. The biggest mob scene which I will talk about next week, I have videos, they are off the hook.

John Mayer at the Armani Store Opening Party. Store Openings are always a good time with a lot of ecelectic people invited. You can always expect the "Face of that Product" to show up, and many of the other people who get free clothes from the fashion house. Armani is an elite brand and the party was reserved for elite guests, Paris, Aubrey nor Nicole Ritchie could be found here.

A mob scene developed when she showed up; I only got a few shots like this, and one of her looking directly at her.
My best shot of the week, definitely of the year, and perhaps of my career was this one as I was one of three photographers to snap this photo of Victoria Beckham arriving from London last Friday. I later learned that a lot of the photographers were waiting for Kim Kardashian's plane to arrive, in another terminal, they were besides themselves when this shot went up on the photo pages.
We were driving around after the Charlotte Ronson show and came upon Lindsay Lohan shopping at Blue & Cream. There were already 2 photographers waiting for her to come out of the store. Her driver told us to be patient and polite and we would be able to get our shots. I was happy with the shots I got.

Usually the night before Fashion Week begins, there are a flurry of parties. This year "because of the economy" all the bigwigs seemed to pull back and the only choice was amfAR annual event. A lot of my friends never cover events like this as it's a "Broadway", B-list event. I enjoy these people.
Gerard Butler, who wasn't recognized by anyone until I started asking him questions about his stay in Philadelphia. Then the girls began to swoon.

Aubrey O'Day who was signing the latest copies of Playboy on which she appears.
Paris and Nicky Hilton. Paris and Nicky going into the Tracy Reese show where they were forced to sit next to Kim Kardashian, Paris' arch enemy.

Gossip Girls Whitney Port and Olivia Palermo arriving for the Mercedes-Benz IMG New York Fashion Week Fall 2009 - Diane von Furstenberg Show. The two girls were also filming a scene from the gossip girl so look for me playing a "paparazzi" in an upcoming episode.

I'm exhausted, but ready to return to photographing my Philadelphia Celebrities. On that note, a lot of the folks in NYC had heard of my success and congratulated me, which was great. Word gets around I guess. I'm very fortunate to have forged so many great friendships with these photographers, because as you can imagine they are competitive group, not fond of outsiders (meaning not from NYC) and I truly wouldn't be as successful if they didn't help me out with tips and their friendship - Thanks and I'll see you in April for the Tribeca Film Festival.