Saturday, June 21, 2014

SceneAroundTown... "Flim Flam: Houdini and the Hearafter" at The Malibu Playhouse

Rick D. Wasserman & Melissa Kite in "Flim Flam: Houdini and the Hearafter" Photo by Brian McCarthy

A great evening of magical theater last night at the Malibu Playouse world premiere of "Flim Flam: Houdini and the Hearafter".  The well written original play by artisitic director Gene Franklin Smith features a stellar cast starring Rick D. Wasserman as the legendary Houdini, Mellisa Kite as his beautiful but put upon wife/assistant Bess Houdini, Peter Van Norden as his colleague and friend Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Gigi Bermingham as Lady Jean Conan Doyle, Sabara Malkinson as Mina Crandon and Cameron Mitchell Jr. as Dr. Leroi Crandon.  The play is directed with flair by Thomas James O'Leary and the story takes place in the summer of 1922 where Houdini & Conan Doyle team up to investigate psychic mediums for the Scientific American Committee.  Conan Doyle goes to great lengths to prove that beautiful pychic Mina Crandon & her husband are the real deal in the physic world while the cynical Houdini is out to prove just the oppposite.   Houdini knows every trick in the book but becomes convinced that Crandon is real when she makes contact with his beloved deceased mother revealing intimate details that only she & he would know.  Kudos to the production team on a great show - for more information visit or call 323 960 7711.  It was also fun to see The Magic Castle's Houdini expert Jim Bentley perform magic at intermission & before & after the play.
Report by Harrison Held

Saturday, June 14, 2014

WGAW's Behind The Screen 2014: Summer Edition

L-R: "Expendables 3" co-screenwriters Creighton Rothenberger & Katrin Benedikt

"Think Like A Man Too" co-screenwriters David A. Newman (L) and Keith Merryman (R) flank "Belle" screenwriter Misan Sagay

L-R: "Trancendence" screenwriter Jack Paglen and "Hercules" co-screenwriter Ryan Condal

L-R: "Muffin Top: A Love Story" co-screenwriter W. Bruce Cameron, WGAW members Ken Pisani and Gary Goldstein, & "Muffin Top: A Love Story" director/star/co-screenwriter Cathryn Michon

R-L: WGAW Publicity & Marketing Committe Chair Aaron Mendelsohn, "22 Jump Street" co-screenwriter Oren Uziel & guest

"Guardians of the Galaxy" co-screenwriter Nicole Perlman & guest

L_R: "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" co-screenwriters Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver

"Deliver Us From Evil" screenwriter Paul Harris Boardman

L-R: "22 Jump Street" co-screenwriter Rodney Rothman, "Maleficent" screenwriter Linda Woolverton, and "Snowpiercer" co-screenwriter Kelly Masterson

L-R: "The Loft" screenwriter Wesley Strick & "Godzilla" co-screenwriter David Callahm

Harrison Held and W. Bruce Cameron

A great evening at Capital Grille on 3rd & San Vicente where the WGAW hosted their "Behind The Scene 2014: Summer Edition" press reception/cocktail party.  Delicious food, great camaraderie & and very interesting conversations with busy WGA members,  many of whom have features out in release including Godzilla, 22 Jump Street, Maleficent, God Is Not Dead, Belle and Transcendence plus the upcoming Hercules, Think Like A Man Too, Expendables 3, Deliver Us From Evil, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Loft, Snowpiercerer, Guardians of the Galaxy & Muffin Top: A Love Story.  In particular it was very enjoyable to meet prolific writer W. Bruce Cameron & his lovely writing partner/wife Cathryn Michon, the creative forces behind the upcoming Muffin Top rom com which I am looking forward to seeing.  Cameron also wrote the best selling "8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter"  which became the hit ABC TV series "8 Simple Rules".  The late great John Ritter played his character on the series... small world!  
Report by Harrison Held/All photos by Michael Jones WGAW

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Actors Fund 18th Annual TONY Awards Viewing Party Honoring Barbara Cook

Honoree Barbara Cook with Florence Henderson & Constantine Maroulis

Anne Jeffreys & Ruta Lee having a fun moment on the red carpet

Stefanie Powers

Charlotte Rae

Cathy Rigby

Kate Linder & Constantine Maroulis

Johnny Ortiz

Hal Holbook & Harrison Held

The Actors Fund 18th Annual Tony Awards Viewing Party honoring Broadway legend Barbara Cook was once again an enormous success and held this year back at the Skirball Center in the beautiful new Herschberg Hall on L.A.'s westside.  The event was well hosted by Ms. Cook's lifelong friend Florence Henderson & singer/actor Constantine Maroulis who led in a vibrant young marching band from the Pallisades playing "76 Trombones".  On hand to pay tribute to Ms. Cook as she received the prestigious Julie Harris Award for Artistic Achievement & support the Actors Fund were the fund's Jomarie Ward & Keith McNutt plus Broadway/TV/Film veteran Anne Jeffreys, Ruta Lee, Hal Holbrook, Kate Linder, Charlotte Rae, Kathleen Hughes, Barbara Van Orden & husband Elton, James Karen & wife Alba Francesca, Stefanie Powers, Lee Meriwether, Bridgette Hanley, Nancy Dussault, Roger Bart, George & Erin Pennacchio, Michele Lee, Carole Cook, Tom Troupe, Ilene Graff, Amanda McBroom, Leonard Maltin, Doris Roberts plus newcomers Thomas Kasp, Johnny Ortiz & Renee Marino who stars in Clint Eastwood's new film "Jersey Boys" after appearing in the Broadway show.  The Actors Fund is a wonderful human services organization created in 1888 to lend support to members of the entertainment business in times of need who work in front of the camera, on stage, in television & also behind the scenes. For more information visit .  A silent auction & cocktail party preceded the dinner & viewing of the Tony Awards through a live feed from New York City. Kudos to the Wells Fargo Foundation for their generosity, donating $100,00 to underwrite the event thanks to a suggestion from fund supporter Anne Jeffreys.  The lively & entertaining evening was directed written & produced by Luke Yankee.   Thanks to publicist Harlan Boll & his hard working staff for a great event & to Billy Bennight for the terrific photos.
Report by Harrison Held

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Pat Boone Celebrity Roast & Birthday Party Benefiting Ryan's Reach

Ryan Corbin, Pat Boone & Shirley Boone

Debby Boone & Victoria Corbin

Larry King

Wink & Sandy Martindale

Marty Ingels & Shirley Jones

Rich King

Billy Davis Jr. & Marilyn McCoo

Event PR Edward Lozzi with client actress Emily Capehart 

Lou & Carla Ferrigno

Tessa Ferrer

Louise Duart

Mara New

Shirley Boone, Pat Boone & Harrison Held

Mara New & Ruta Lee

Legendary singer/entertainer Pat Boone celebrated his 80th birthday in style with his talented loving family and about 1,000 of his closest friends.  A birthday party/"Dean Martin style" roast was held at the Beverly Hilton which raised much needed funds for Ryan's Reach a wonderful organization that was established by the Boones to help victims of severe brain injuries and their families.  Back in 2001 Pat's grandson Ryan Corbin suffered severe injuries when the floor of his Brentwood condominium collapsed.  Pat & his lovely wife Shirley explained to me that Ryan's financial needs are met  but countless other patients and their families are in need thus was the birth of "Ryan's Reach" in the southland.  Pat was reluctant to celebrate his big "eight-o" publicly but when a fundraiser to aid "Ryan's Reach" was suggested he eagerly jumped on board.   The fun memorable feel good roast featured Boone family friends Larry King & Wink Martindale doing the hosting honors plus Shirley Jones, Marty Ingels, Rich Little, Norm Crosby, Gavin Macleod, Tom Dreesen and Louise Duart doing the good natured ribbing and roasting. Daughter Debby Boone sang beautifully accompanied by the terrific Tony Guerrero Quintet.  For 11 years "Ryan's Reach" has been committed to providing scholarships for brain-injury survivors through the facilities of the High Hopes Head Injury Program.  In 2003, "Ryan's Reach" set out with one mission; to more effectively address the financial, emotional, physical and spiritual needs of Traumatic Brain Injury survivors and their families.  Today the vision of the foundation it to establish a home (or homes) serving brain injured adults.  Also on hand to show support was Gabri Ferrer, Marilyn McCoo and Villy Davis Jr.,  Lou & Carla Ferrigno, Rosey Grier, Sandy Martindale, Terry Moore, Michael O'Neill, Jon Voight, Tessa Ferrer, John Hindman, Peter & Laurie Marshall, Rebecca Holden, Anne Jeffreys, Chuck & Betty McCann, Teri Copley, Judy Tenuta, Ruta Lee, Susan Stafford, "Mrs. Globe" Deana Avila-Linn, Carol Connors, Pastor Jack Hayford, Branden James, Brenda Dickson, Squire Rushnell,  Dr. Daniel & Tana Amen, Elaine Dupont  plus Mara & Ron New.  Special video tributes featured lots of love from Gary Sinise, Mike Love, Stan Lee, Dolly Parton, Ray Romano, Carol Burnett, Kathy Lee, President George H.W. Bush, President George W. Bush and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  The excellent evening was gracefully co-chaired by Lindy Michaelis and Victoria Corbin.  Thank you to PR king Ed Lozzi & his hardworking staff for their hospitality and to Billy Bennight Photography for the excellent pictures. 
Report written by Harrison Held
More photos from Yolanda Pulakis to follow