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  • "The Best of Jim Caruso's Cast Party" A BENEFIT FOR BROADWAY CARES/EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS

    REVIEW by James Andrew of Style Music TV


    Tonight, I went to see a show called "The Best of Jim Caruso's Cast Party" at Town Hall.

    I have not been to Jim's show at Birdlands before, so I'm not sure what to
    expect. But I have been to shows done by Scott Siegel, and they're always
    marvelous.

    Upon entering town hall, I saw a jazz trio setup on stage, and I was immediately
    thinking, this is going to be good: I love powerful Broadway songs, and also
    love smooth jazzy songs. Turns out this show has both, and then some !!!

    At the end of the show, the first feeling I have about it is:
    this show lives up to its name. It definitely is one of the best around.
    It has powerful Broadway style singing, it has smooth sweet jazzy vocals, it
    also has humor, comedian singing, dancing,... simply put, this show is full of
    variety and surprises.

    Jim, with the help of Billy (who is on piano, and the musical director), hosts
    the show. They introduce the performers, and they also sing a couple pieces.
    Below are some highlights of the show:

    Lisa has a unique, sassy, jazzy voice.

    Jenna also has a nice voice, and a delightful performance with her band and
    chorus setup.

    Karen, singing a song by Andrew Gerle, has the sweetest voice of the night in my
    humble opinion. Don't get me wrong, most performers on stage tonight are simply
    amazing, so to have the sweetest voice... (that means I'm searching online
    looking to buy her CD while writing this review... I already checked the CD
    sales desk at town hall, they didn't carry her CD...)


    Next singer that gives me a powerful impression is Natalie. She has a deep,
    powerful vocal, yet she makes it look so effortless.

    Marilyn Maye, two words to describe her performance: Standing Ovation !!!

    And not to be outdone by the ladies, Larry's song give us a very cozy, refined
    feel.

    On the other hand, William is a present surprise !! His presentation of the song
    "turn me on", and jamming with Billy on stage definitely marks one of the
    highlights in the show.

    With all these great singers, we have to have duets.

    Lucie and Hilary both did duet with Billy. The word "harmony" comes to mind
    when listening to duet pieces.

    On the contrary, Christopher's stalker song and Sally's Viagra song is funny,
    and yet they showed their level of power and control to be able to perform these
    tough pieces flawlessly.


    If we talk about funny, I guess when "Miranda Sings" sings her "think of me",
    its one of a kind.

    And just when you think you have seen it all, here comes another surprise:
    singing and dancing.
    Hinton's singing along with Mark Stuart's dancing is just perfect combo.

    and last but not least, we also have a few violin and saxophone performances.
    From Dave to Aaron, I guess the Dueling Fiddlers leave the deepest mark with
    Lady Gaga's song.

    And not to be outdone, this show finishes with its last performance by the one
    and only Liza Minnelli.


    To sum it up, I leave town hall with a smile on my face. I think I will visit
    birdlands to check out Jim's show. And I'm even more looking forward to the
    next show produced by Scott !! Scott's name is now a "quality seal" in my
    book. Highly Recommended if you're a Broadway music lover !!


    Read more »
  • Harold Zimmerman is the winner of the Fashion Group International’s prestigious 2011 Rising Star Award

    We are thrilled to announce that Harold Zimmerman, founder and CEO of Votre Vu, is the winner of the Fashion Group International’s prestigious 2011 Rising Star Award in the Category of Beauty/Fragrance Entrepreneur. Other nominees included Christopher Chong of Amouage, Francis Kurkdjian of Maison Francis Kurkdjian, and Ellen Sirot of Hand Perfection.

     

    The 14th Annual Rising Star Awards, which recognize emerging talent in the Fashion and Design related industries, was held on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. Bobbi Brown Worldwide president Maureen Case presented Zimmerman with the award, of which he says,

     

    “Winning this award from Fashion Group International is truly an honor; I’m proud to be recognized for what we’ve accomplished so far at Votre Vu. However, my plea would be for everyone to stay tuned to the Votre Vu channel because baby, you ain’t seen nothing yet!”

     

    Founded in 2007, Votre Vu is a luxury skin care company offering the finest French-made, natural products. Vu’s premium formulas—created by a French, family-owned laboratory that boasts more than 80 years of research and development expertise—are botanically based with the best, freshest, and most potent ingredients used in skin care.

     

    Votre Vu products are available at www.votrevu.com

     

    Read more »
  • Mario Batali and Food Bank For NYC Launch Culinary ...

     

    AN INVITATION FROM MARIO BATALI…JOIN NYC’s CULINARY ICONS FOR A PALATE-PLEASING EVENT ATOP THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING TO BENEFIT NEW YORKERS IN NEED THIS HOLIDAY SEASON…

     

     

    New York, NY…October 26, 2010 — You’re Invited — join the Food Bank For New York City, Culinary Council Chair Mario Batali, and other culinary luminaries for an exclusive event — Eat•Celebrate•Support — on December 7th, 6:00 – 9:00pm, atop the Empire State Building (34th Street & Fifth Avenue) Manhattan.  Mingle with Mario, Anthony Bourdain, Tom Colicchio, Ted Allen, Andrew Carmellini, Brad Farmerie and many more of New York City’s most distinguished chefs, restaurateurs and culinary icons while helping fight hunger in New York City! 

     

    Enjoy an evening of holiday-inspired cocktails and sumptuous hors d’oeuvres including presentations from David Burke Townhouse, Locanda Verde, Public & Double Crown, SD26, Riverpark, Morimoto, and others, and help celebrate the kick-off of the Food Bank’s newly formed Culinary Council. Bid for auction prizes including four tickets to the taping of Iron Chef and a private studio tour;  tickets to the Emeril Lagasse Show, restaurant gift certificates galore and more!  Finally, at this once-in-a-lifetime event, you’ll be present as the iconic Empire State Building turns orange, the color of hunger awareness. 

     

    The Culinary Council, Chaired by chef/author Mario Batali, brings together prestigious leaders in the culinary industry to raise funds and awareness for the Food Bank For New York City and its sustained efforts to provide food and services for the 1.5 million New Yorkers who rely on them.   One in Five New York City residents relies on the Food Bank’s programs and services, including one in every five children.

     

    Proceeds from this event, sponsored by Condé Nast Food Group and the Empire State Building, will support the Food Bank’s ongoing efforts to end food poverty in New York City.

     

    Arrive in time for the ‘Orange’ Carpet at 6:00pm. Tickets are limited. Festive attire $250 per ticket.  To purchase tickets please visit: www.foodbanknyc.org/go/culinary

     

    Food Bank For New York City recognizes 27 years as the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs.  As the city’s hub for integrated food poverty assistance, the Food Bank tackles the hunger issue on three fronts — food distribution, income support and nutrition education — all strategically guided by its research. Through its network of approximately 1,000 community-based member programs citywide, the Food Bank helps provide 400,000 free meals a day for New Yorkers in need. The Food Bank’s hands-on nutrition education program in the public schools reaches thousands of children, teens and adults. Income support services including food stamps, free tax assistance for the working poor and the Earned Income Tax Credit put millions of dollars back in the pockets of low-income New Yorkers, helping them to achieve greater dignity and independence. Learn how you can help at foodbanknyc.org.

     

     

     

     

    Read more »
  • Madonna booed in Bucharest for defending Gypsies

    BUCHAREST, Romania - At first, fans politely applauded the Roma performers sharing a stage with Madonna. Then the pop star condemned widespread discrimination against Roma, or Gypsies — and the cheers gave way to jeers.

    The sharp mood change that swept the crowd of 60,000, who had packed a park for Wednesday night's concert, underscores how prejudice against Gypsies remains deeply entrenched across Eastern Europe.

    Despite long-standing efforts to stamp out rampant bias, human rights advocates say Roma probably suffer more humiliation and endure more discrimination than any other people group on the continent.




    Sometimes, it can be deadly: In neighboring Hungary, six Roma have been killed and several wounded in a recent series of apparently racially motivated attacks targeting small countryside villages predominantly settled by Gypsies.

    "There is generally widespread resentment against Gypsies in Eastern Europe. They have historically been the underdog," Radu Motoc, an official with the Soros Foundation Romania, said Thursday.

    Roma, or Gypsies, are a nomadic ethnic group believed to have their roots in the Indian subcontinent. They live mostly in southern and eastern Europe, but hundreds of thousands have migrated west over the past few decades in search of jobs and better living conditions.

    Romania has the largest number of Roma in the region. Some say the population could be as high as 2 million, although official data put it at 500,000.

    Until the 19th century, Romanian Gypsies were slaves, and they've gotten a mixed response ever since: While discrimination is widespread, many East Europeans are enthusiastic about Gypsy music and dance, which they embrace as part of the region's cultural heritage.

    That explains why the Roma musicians and a dancer who had briefly joined Madonna onstage got enthusiastic applause. And it also may explain why some in the crowd turned on Madonna when she paused during the two-hour show — a stop on her worldwide "Sticky and Sweet" tour — to touch on their plight.

    "It has been brought to my attention ... that there is a lot of discrimination against Romanies and Gypsies in general in Eastern Europe," she said. "It made me feel very sad."

    Thousands booed and jeered her.

    A few cheered when she added: "We don't believe in discrimination ... we believe in freedom and equal rights for everyone." But she got more boos when she mentioned discrimination against homosexuals and others.

    "I jeered her because it seemed false what she was telling us. What business does she have telling us these things?" said Ionut Dinu, 23.

    Madonna did not react and carried on with her concert, held near the hulking palace of the late communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

    Her publicist, Liz Rosenberg, said Madonna and other had told her there were cheers as well as jeers.

    "Madonna has been touring with a phenomenal troupe of Roma musicians who made her aware of the discrimination toward them in several countries so she felt compelled to make a brief statement," Rosenberg said in an e-mail. "She will not be issuing a further statement."

    One Roma musician said the attitude toward Gypsies is contradictory.

    "Romanians watch Gypsy soap operas, they like Gypsy music and go to Gypsy concerts," said Damian Draghici, a Grammy Award-winner who has performed with James Brown and Joe Cocker.

    "But there has been a wave of aggression against Roma people in Italy, Hungary and Romania, which shows me something is not OK," he told the AP in an interview. "The politicians have to do s omething about it. People have to be educated not to be prejudiced. All people are equal, and that is the message politicians must give."

    Nearly one in two of Europe's estimated 12 million Roma claimed to have suffered an act of discrimination over the past 12 months, according to a recent report by the Vienna-based EU Fundamental Rights Agency. The group says Roma face "overt discrimination" in housing, health care and education.

    Many do not have official identification, which means they cannot get social benefits, are undereducated and struggle to find decent jobs.

    Roma children are more likely to drop out of school than their peers from other ethnic groups. Many Romanians label Gypsies as thieves, and many are outraged by those who beg or commit petty crimes in Western Europe, believing they spoil Romania's image abroad.

    In May 2007, Romanian President Traian Basescu was heard to call a Romanian journalist a "stinky Gypsy" during a conversation with his wife. Romania's anti-discrimination board criticized Basescu, who later apologized.

    Human rights activists say the attacks in Hungary, which began in July 2008, may be tied to that country's economic crisis and the rising popularity of far-right vigilantes angered by a rash of petty thefts and other so-called "Gypsy crime." Last week, police arrested four suspects in a nightclub in the eastern city of Debrecen.

    Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia also have been criticized for widespread bias against Roma.

    Madonna's outrage touched a nerve in Romania, but it seems doubtful it will change anything, said the Soros Foundation's Motoc.

    "Madonna is a pop star. She is not an expert on interethnic relations," he said.

    ___

    AP Writers Alison Mutler in Bucharest, William J. Kole in Vienna and Nekesa Mumbi Moody in New York contributed to this report. Read more »
  • Fiddy's Fortress -- Back on Da Market

    50 Cent
    needs to wave his Magic Stick if he hopes to sell his Connecticut mega-mansion ... he just slashed the price another few million bucks in desperation. Read more »
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