Friday, April 3, 2009

CONNIE STEVEN'S WHIRLWIND TRIP TO PHILLY TO PREMIERE "SAVING GRACE B JONES" AT THE Philadelphia FF/CineFest

Last week Concetta Rosalie Ann Ingoglia AKA Connie Stevens came to town to premiere a movie based on a period in her life which was somewhat traumatic "Saving Grace B Jones". Having seen the movie it's amazing to me that Connie went on to live a fabulous life with a wonderful disposition, which was never fulfilled for two other iconic sex kittens of that time who had less than idea childhood's ie Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield. No Connie conquered the world of music, show business and later in life a hugely successful cosmetic empire.

(Connie pictured here with Thom Cardwell arriving at the premiere of her movie at the Ritz 1; She is so cougarlicious)
Connie Steven was once married to Eddie Fisher and has two daughter's with him, Tricia Leigh Fisher and Joely Fisher, it is my guess that these flowers were from them. Since I had just met Connie 5 minutes before I felt uncomfortable to ask that question.

I ran over to the Loews Hotel with Carol Tamburino, who has known Connie for over 30 years having met her at a fundraiser at Palumbo's. I wish I was around when Palumbo's was happening, that must have been exciting. Two of their friends had come in from NYC, Westminster Dog Breeder Eugene Zaphiris, Connie Stevens, Matthew Stander and Carol Tamburino.
Cast of "Saving grace B Jones" with Gregory James, Melinda chilton, Audrey Wasilewski, Connie Stevens, , Evie louise Thompson, Rylee Fansler arriving at Ritz 1 in Philadelphia. There was a great turn out, but sadly the theater was having a problem with the sound issues, which made the film a tad difficult to understand. (I wish it had premire at the Prince Theater because their sound system was right on target)
PhilaCineFest Board of Director Member Claire Brown-Kohler with Connie and Rylee Fansler who plays the young Connie Stevens.
After the movie Carol Tamburino took the whole gang to Postiano Coast for a celebration. Joining them were Vince and Janet Papale, and later the Geater with the Heater stopped by to say hello to Connie. (I had to leave early to catch the fun at Shut Up & Dance, and hopefully spot Gerard Butler or Jamie Foxx no luck there, but someone I know saw them that night)

The next day it was on to conquer the Prince Theater . I wish someone would rent out this space between festivals and bring back some good old fashion movies, this is the perfect place to catch a flick in comfort. In between seasons the www.princemusictheater.org
have cabaret, plays and musicals. If you haven't been to the Prince then you are missing out.

Connie and the cast take Questions from the audience. Gregory James, Connie Stevens, Evie Louise Thompson, Rylee Fansler and Melinda ChiltonMelinda Chilton gives the 411 to Philadelphia Legend Trudie Haynes.
Longtime fans, Allan Breitenbach, and partner, David Tolley, show Connie the scrapbook he's been collecting since 1969 of her life (and I thought the Gerard Butler fans were devoted) (If you look closely you will see a photo of Connie & Carol from the Republican Convention Philadelphia 2000; it's rumored that Connie once dated Sen John McCain, but a fact that they are long time friends. Connie as First Lady, now that might have changed the outcome)
Then it was off to Del Frisco's for an early dinner. Thanks to Connie & Carol for lunch.

The movie is just amazing, if it wasn't a true story, it would be too disturbing of a film for me. It tackles the issue of mental instability, starring Tatum O'Neal who will blow you away; it's a slice of life as Connie says, and she's right. I hope that you will get a chance to see it.
Connie brought pork sandwiches from oy where are those notes. Well it's the first place Connie goes to when she gets off the plane.
Carol, Former Union League President Frank and Dottie Giordano , Connie, Jeff and Lisa Klinger

Director of the Phila CineFest Ray Murray, with Connie and guest
And then the hail storm came and I barely said good-bye, but since the Stevens/Fishers will be attending the Tamburino/Thorne nuptials in October at the top secret location that I look forward to breaking, I know where it is but mums the word I am told, I will see her there. I might just have to ask for an autograph something I haven't done since Tom Cruise 1,000 celebrities ago. There's still a few more days left to the Film Festival so go and enjoy:
www.phillycinefest.com/
ALSO CHECK OUT STREETTALKIN'S COVERAGE OF THE NIGHT:
http://streettalkin.com/saving-grace-b-jones-connie-stevens/

Thursday, April 2, 2009

SHUT UP AND DANCE 2009 PHILADELPHIA

Hot. Original. Inspired.
Choreographed by dancers of Pennsylvania Ballet for MANNA, Shut Up & Dance, was held on Saturday, March 28 at 8:00 PM. Hosted by Michaela Majoun of WXPN, the performance was held The Forrest Theatre at 1114 Walnut Street in Philadelphia. The evening featured original works choreographed and performed by the dancers. Unfortunately I missed the main event as I was covering at an event at the Philadelphia Film Festival with Connie Steven's which I will be writng about tomorrow night, but I did catch the afterparty at the Loews. You know me I can never miss a party, especially one in a venue I've never been in before, well I've been in Sole Food at the Loews, just not at a party utilizing the whole space.
It was here I ran into Ann Hoskins-Brown and Rob Saxon of Manna
DJ Robert Drake spun all night, with him is VIP Special Services to the stars, good friend of Brandy, Chaka, Patti and now Connie Steven's Jonathan Vendrick and Natelia
Alex Ratcliffe-Lee, Lily DiPizazza, Jenny Winton, Sarah Hay and Casey Krieger
Raffle tickets were moving, everyone who attended was very generous:

MANNA nourishes the mind, body and spirit of clients, volunteers and supporters alike. Drawn from all walks of life, the young, old, urban and suburban come together with one common goal: to promote wellness through nutrition for people at acute nutritional risk living in Eastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey.
Five days a week, MANNA chefs and volunteers work together to prepare, package, and deliver almost 2,400 medically appropriate meals each day to individuals and families living with a life-threatening illness such as cancer, diabetes or HIV/AIDS – in total, almost 72,000 meals a month.
JimmyStyles - Jimmy Contreras, Malcolm Lazin Founder and Executive Director Equality Forum which is coming up in May and is a must do on PhillyChitChat's list (Unfortunately I think I will be in NYC for the Tribeca Film Festival, again), and Matthew Vlahos of Vlahos Public Relations
Also in the house, literally staying at the Loews and stopping by the Manna event to join in the Festivities: John Welch, Chris Brooks, Jvonne Pierson, Dawn Downing and Comedian David Arnold


Look who rolled in a little after midnight and was kind enough to stop by for a brownie and picture with Manna's Marketing Director Meg Rider. More about Miss Connie Steven's tomorrow night. Manna is always looking for volunteers daily, weekly, once a month, or whenever you have time. Please keep them in mind. They were very generous to my bestfriend Shawn when he passed away of AIDS 8/18/92
WHAT ARE YOU DOING TODAY:

THURSDAY, APRIL 2

Phillies “Pup Rally” for Pennsylvania SPCA with partner The Friends of Rittenhouse Square: OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, 5 - 7 p.m., Rittenhouse Square

Dress your dogs in their Phillies best and join the Red Phanatic, Phillies Broadcasters and Phillies Ballgirls to raise funds and awareness for the Pennsylvania SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Drop off much-needed blankets and toys. Cash donations will also be accepted. Cats and dogs will be available to adopt. There will also be a raffle for a variety of items. Donors will receive a special ticket discount for a future Phillies game.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Calder Garden at 22nd & the Parkway is No More - THIS IS NOT AN APRIL FOOLS DAY JOKE -

What happened to The Calder Park at 22nd & the Ben Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia PA
www.quondam.com (Click on pix to see amazing larger shot)

In 2001, the Pew Charitable Trusts announced a $5-million grant to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to present a series of outdoor installations of work by Philadelphia-born sculptor Alexander Calder along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Ordinary (1969), the 21-foot tall, multi-colored stabile/mobile was placed at 22nd & Parkway in Philadelphia first and the garden grew around it. At one point there was even talk about the first Calder Museum being built on this spot, but in the end the deal fell through as insiders at the time told me that the Calder's were reluctant to sign long term loan leases of 99 years.
The grant was written so that enable the Philadelphia Art Museum, in collaboration with the Calder Foundation, would install 10 to 15 sculptures on a rotating basis over an initial 12-year period beginning in 2001.

Ordinary was rotated out May 2006 to the plaza in front of Mies van der Rohe's Seagram Building on 56th & Park Avenue in NYC
Philadelphia is the only City in the world where THREE GENERATIONS OF CALDER CAN BE FOUND SO PROMINENTLY FEATURED.

Alexander Sandy Calder (1898-1976) was the third generation of an accomplished artistic family from Philadelphia whose work can already be seen in dramatic succession along the Parkway.

His grandfather, Alexander Milne Calder (1846-1943), who emigrated to Philadelphia from Scotland, created some 300 sculptural decorations adorning City Hall, including the bronze statue of William Penn (1886-1894) that stands atop the clock tower.

His father, Alexander Stirling Calder (1870-1945), who was born in Philadelphia, created the Swann Memorial Fountain (1924) at Logan Circle, and many other sculptures throughout the city. At the western end of the Parkway, Alexander Calder’s ethereal mobile Ghost (1964) is suspended in the great stair hall of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.



Alexander S. C. Rower, Director of the Calder Foundation, said: “I can think of no more appropriate place to celebrate the greatness of my grandfather’s work. It is extraordinary in this urban garden and underscores the remarkable place that generations of my family hold in the city of Philadelphia.”

According to a press release (link here) "The Pew Charitable Trusts is proud to support this magnificent display of sculptures by Philadelphia's own Alexander Calder," said Rebecca Rimel, president and CEO of The Pew Charitable Trusts. "What a wonderful contribution these works provide to a renewed Benjamin Franklin Parkway, for the benefit of our residents and an ever-growing number of visitors."
And then perhaps because of the economy things changed because as I passed 22nd and the Parkway yesterday morning on my way to work
I saw they were dismantling and
flat bedding the Calder Sculptures, and it
didn't look like they were rotating anything back inWhen I walked home after work my fears were confirmed. I asked a source on the scene what happened to the sculptures. She said the funding ran out and they were being returned to their owners, and the City didn't have the money to fund the upkeep of the park anymore. (Is that true, I mean we're just about to go into summer and that's a frightening thought?)I asked why this one was still on site, do we get to keep this one at least? No,her husband said, he had heard that the flat bed was packed and that they would be back Wednesday AM to cart it away.
Where was the Three Discs, One Lacking (1968) I wondered since it's owned by the City of Philadelphia. Where did it go?
As I was leaving my source told me he noticed that the several homeless people have already come by to drop their bags near their future home, er bench. I hate to say it, but I would like the benches in the former Calder Park removed until the City finishes what they set out to do decades ago and make the Parkway a viable destination. How long until this is the tent city it once was before the Calder Park was created?Tomorrow the electricity is turned off on the guard house and the guard will be reassigned. I suggest they dismantle it too, as it could turn into a nuisance.
I think what really makes me sad, besides losing art work on the Parkway, is that I never appreciated the sculpture that replaced Ordinary and I didn't have any photos of it even though I passed it every day. I am thankful the funding for the Barnes Museum went through, and although they will have an empty lot to look at across the street, I'm hopeful they will put a few sculptures in their front yard. Please read the GOOD NEWS comment from my friend David from Cappricio's Cafe Cret and The Inquirer has since done an article:
http://www.philly.com/inquirer/breaking/news_breaking/20090401_Calder_Garden_of_sculptures_removed_from_Parkway.html

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

WPHI 100.3fm The Beat Music Conference and Workshops

The 2nd Annual Radio One, whose stations include WPHI 100.3fm The Beat, WPPZ Praise 103.9fm, and 107.9fm WRNB, hosts its 2nd Annual Music and Entertainment Conference tomorrow. This sold-out annual event gathers individuals interested in music, film, dance, and fashion, desiring to gain knowledge and potentially their big break within the music and entertainment industry. Regarded as Philadelphia’s own American Idol, the 2nd Annual Music and Entertainment Conference unites Hollywood stars and budding artist through music and entertainment educational workshops.

Brandy & Jazmine Sullivan
During Sunday’s workshops, participants will be exposed to multiple, renowned experts per panel. Some of the featured panelists and workshops range from an R&B Workshop starring Philly’s own, Grammy nominated Jazmine Sullivan and Brandy, Hip-Hop Workshop highlighting Common, Gospel Workshop featuring Yolanda Adams; Music Writing and Production Workshop showcasing New Edition member and Boyz II Men founder, Michael Bivins; Film and TV Workshop featuring Oscar award winner Jamie Foxx; Fashion Industry Workshop starring America’s Next Top Model winner Eva Marcille;


Keri Hilson- R&B Singer who's CD just dropped last week. I never hear of Keri, but a quick YouTube search got me up to speed that she duet's with lots of people that we know.

Judakiss
Ms. Latina Pennsylvania Donna Mobley Thomas

Author Miasha will present for one night only stage play: Secret Society
Saturday, May 9 University of Pennsylvania - Irvine Auditorium Presented by 5th Avenue Productions $40-$50Call 215-834-9480 t

Toccara Jones- Model has slimmed down and is now marketing an exercise tape

Brandy visits Philly again. Love ya girl, I bought your new CD. I snuck into the "Green Room" to get this photo. I got some of the best photos from this room before they kicked me out. As a freelancer that has photos published internationally, I think it's a mistake to keep me in the Press Room which is less colorful. I had about 3 photos published on Essence.com from this event.Jamie Foxx wraps up with the Law Abiding Citizen filming this week.
Yolanda Adams, beautiful voice, beautiful person
What the heck is Patti wearing?
This year’s conference will also honor legendary icons in the music industry such as Boyz II Men, Teddy Pendergrass, and Patti Labelle.
Mycheal Knight- Fashion Designer and my Laiya St. Clair. Somehow the Beat let Laiya slip away. She was the best, connected out to here, wonderful person too, generous; I know she will bounce back somewhere else and be better than ever!!