Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Southern California Motion Picture Council's Golden Halo Awards

A great event last nite - The Southern California Motion Picture Council held their annual Fall Ball & Golden Halo Awards Show well hosted with humor by the council's president Randal Malone at the Sportsman's Lodge in Studio City.  Congratulations to all the recipients...  HH

Tom Tangen President of the Hollywood Appreciation Society (left)  presented award recipient Mamie Van Doren  with a surprise  Golden Mask Award & SCMPC President Randal Malone presented Ms. Van Doren with her prestigious Golden Halo Award.

Oscar Winner Margaret O'Brien with award recipients Blake Fullmer & Mario-Max Prinz Zu Schaumberg-Lippe

Margaret O'Brien with award recipients Prince Waldemar Schaumberg-Lippe & Princess Antonia Schaumberg-Lippe

Award recipients Mario-Max Prinz Zu Schaumberg-Lippe & Sue Wong joined by Harrison Held... Photo by Dr. Princess Antonia Schaumberg-Lippe

McKenzie Olsen & award recipient Sue Wong

Great vocals by Blake Fullmer

SCMPC's President & Host With The Most Randal Malone... Photo by Julia McClintock Russell

Surrounded By Love... Mamie Van Doren with husband Thomas Dixon & son Perry Anthony... Photo by Julia McClintock Russell

Surrounded By Love... Mamie Van Doren with son Perry Anthony, step daughter Julia McClintock Russell & her daughter Katy Russell... Photo by Julia McClintock Russell

Hank Garrett & Mamie Van Doren

Mamie Van Doren & Harrison Held... Photo by Andre Agazaryan

Lana Svetlana & George Thomas

Lindsay Patino, Mamie Van Doren & Amber Patino

Monika Henreid (center)  is joined by fans of her father matinee idol/director Paul Henreid

Dm Smith, Maureen Lee & Monika Henreid

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Detroit '67.... LATC

Abdul-Khaliq Murtadha & Cherise Boothe star in Detroit '67

Damu Malik & Abdul-Khaliq Murtadha star in Detroit '67

Detroit '67 written by Dominique Morisseau and well directed by Joy Hooper makes a sizzling west coast premiere downtown at the LATC produced by The Standard in association with The Latino Theater Company.  The intriguing drama based on a true story about likable siblings Chelle and Lank Pointdexter both in their late 30's who live in the humble suburban Detroit home they were raised in by their late parents.  The 2 act production begins right before the historical Detroit riots begin in the summer of 1967 and is generously laced with the sweet soulful Motown sounds of Mary Wells, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Supremes, Smokey Robinson and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas.  Down to earth Chelle (Cherise Boothe) and gentlemanly wise Lank (Abdul-Khaliq Murtadha) subsidize their modest inheritance by hosting after hours parties in their shabby mismatched basement recreation room which helps to pay for her son's college tuition. Ambitious Lank and his best friend funny guy Sly (Damu Malik) who is sweet for Chelle,  dream of opening their own legit bar downtown while the more conservative Chelle prefers things the way they are both romantically and business wise.  Mutual neighborhood friend, saucy party girl Bunny (a hilarious Kellee Stewart) spices up every scene she's in and the tension mounts when the guys bring home a mysterious unconscious sexy redhead named Caroline well played by Trisha La Fache who they found badly beaten up on the streets. Amidst the tragedies that unfold the strong solid cast deliver great performances in this poignant story ending on a message of hope.  Detroit '67 is a winner of the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History. Photos by Chaz Photographics.  For more information visit www.thelatc.org  or call 866 811 4111.

Kellee Stewart & Cherise Boothe star in Detroit '67

Trisha La Fache & Abdul-Khaliq Murtadha star in Detroit '67

Kellee Stewart & Abdul-Khaliq Murtadha star in Detroit '67

Sunday, September 27, 2015


A PICASSO stars Natalia Lazarus & Charlie Fathy... Photo by Danette Garrelts
I saw this wonderful play a few years ago and can't wait to see it again before it heads to Europe for an exclusive run!  A Picasso is proudly presented by the Promenade Theatre in Santa Monica and stars Natalia Lazarus & Charles Fathy and is produced and directed by Steve Ullman and Natalia Lazarus.  HH

Jill Janger, Edoardo Ponti, Clara-Lisa Kabbaz, Maestro Carlo Ponti, Donelle Dadigan & Harrison Held  (Photo by Eloise Kabbaz-Szabo)

Another wonderful evening @ Theatre Raymond Kabbaz for the season premiere of the Los Angeles Virtuosi Orchestra beautifully conducted by Italian born Maestro Carlo Ponti. 

Monday, September 21, 2015


Christy McGinity Gibel  & Vida Ghaffari in the intriguing black & white Strangers In A Notebook which screened recently at the Action On Film Festival held at the Krikorian Theatre in Monrovia.  The talented & vivacious Ms. Ghaffari  was also one of the producers & appeared in two other movies in the festival!

The Reward is a sweet & hilarious family friendly movie written and directed by Yolanda Romersa about young moms & their "oh so talented kids" with a dramatic twist and is definitely worth checking out!  The story line was inspired while Ms. Romersa overheard her daughters and her  "Mommy" friends lovingly  boasting how talented each of their own kids is.  Ms. Romersa's directorial debut was Paloma which she starred in with Steven Bauer and garnered many awards.   I also enjoyed the Canadian  film Sudden Samurai which was also part of the short film block.  The Reward's inspiring  poster (above) was designed by Alex Benavides.  The talented cast includes Reyna Day, Mariah McGinnis Brown, Edwonda Williams, Kelly Beltran, Erin Stegeman, Mariah Young, Brian LaMont, Alden Lomeli, Yocani Toratuih, Mauricio Lowry, Brandon Young, Josiah Brown Jr, Josiah Brown, Art Parga, Don Harris, Jesse Estevez & Harrison Held.

On The Red Carpet...  The Reward's Yolanda Romersa &  Harrison Held are joined by Strangers In A Notebook's Vida Ghaffari (2nd from right),  Pooneh Navab (far right)  & Pedram Navab (far left)

The Reward's  cast members on the red carpet at the Action on Film Festival...  It was like a family reunion!  Great to see Yolanda Romersa, Jesse Estevez, Reyna Young, Mary Fry, Doris Chan, Brian Lamont +++ Photo Courtesy Nance Broderzen

Man of the Hour Bob Esty interviewed by Harrison Held

It was great to interview music legend Bob Esty about his work with Cher, Barbra Streisand,
Donna Summer & Dusty Springfield... to name a few... at a special screening of the Streisand/O'Neal starrer The Main Event at the beautiful Filmmakers' Gallery in Long Beach.  The evening was hosted by owners Paul Belsito & Steven Roche and included a great Q&R hosted by L.A. Talk Radio's Sheena Metal. Great to see chanteuse Irene Soderberg there as well - she's working on a recording with Bob.   Thanks to producer/computer wizard Michael Steindel for shooting the red carpet interviews & to the Filmmakers' Gallery for their generous hospitality.

EMMY FEVER....   Bob Mauro, President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences joins Donelle Dadigan, President and Founder of the Hollywood Museum at  the museum's "Best In Television... EMMYS 2015 Exhibition" classy opening nite event. The beautiful exhibition showcases the best of television with the largest selection of authentic costumes and unique props from this year's nominated shows and 'fan favorites' and will run from September 16 through November 1. I had a great time looking at the displays and seeing friends (great food too) but I could only stay for 45 minutes as I had to zip over to The Ruby Theatre on Santa Monica for the world premiere of talented actress/writer's Jillian Leigh's edgy new play called "Hooked" which I reviewed for Discover Hollywood Magazine.   Hollywood Museum Photos by Bill Dow.

The beautiful Hollywood Museum is located on the south east corner of Hollywood and Highland

Patrika Darbo and Richard Herd

                                                                            Romi Dames & Jorge Del Busto                                                                            

Screen vets Diane Ladd & George Hamilton meet the media after announcing this years nominees for the Family Film Awards at a luncheon recently at the Universal Sheraton.  Also joining FFA founder Dr. Antonio Gellini and administrative director Munni Irone were Shari Belafonte and Paul Sorvino - Calico Band provided great music & the chicken was delicious lol.

George Hamilton interviewed by host BJ Korros... That's super publicist Roger Neal in the middle.

Paul Betts, Andrea Sorrentino, Doris Roberts & Harrison Held

The Italian Connection.... Mariella Salvatori, Florindo Bandolini & Mara New

"The Secret of Joy"...  I attended a terrific luncheon hosted by actress/producer Mara New at the Beverly Hills Women's Club - now celebrating their centennial -  honoring talented Italian designer Andrea Sorrentino who's latest film The Secret of Joy opens soon.  Cast members Doris Roberts & Paul Betts attended showing their support as well as Y&R's Kate Linder.  The event benefited Kids Cancer Research Association and included several of Mr. Sorrentino's beautiful designs from The Secret of Joy and a behind the scenes short showing the designer at work.  Bravo Sr. Sorrentino & as always thanks to photographer by Billy Bennight for the great photos!

Kate Linder, Mumsey Nemiroff, Andrea Sorrentio, Mara New & Doris Roberts

Beautiful gown & headpiece designed by Andrea Sorrentino

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Sierra Madre Playhouse Presents A Terrific Production of "Always... Patsy Cline"

Cori Cable Kidder wows  as legendary country star Patsy Cline

A Winning Duo... Nikki D'Amico & Cori Cable Kidder star in Always... Patsy Cline

Last nite I attended one of the best opening nites I have attended in years...  "Always... Patsy Cline" written by Ted Swindley and directed by Robert Marra opened to a packed house at the charming Sierra Madre Playhouse in the beautiful sleepy town just east of Pasadena.  One word can sum it up and that is "WOW"...   Statuesque Arkansas native Cori Cable Kidder is sensational as the ill fated hit making legendary country star with the golden soulful voice.  She sings and acts beautifully capturing the tone & essence of Patsy Cline perfectly while talented high energy Texan Nikki D'Amico is terrific and funny as her sidekick and biggest fan Louise.  Backing them up is a dynamite band led by musical director Sean Paxton.  "Always... Patsy Cline" is based on a true story that happened in Houston 1961.  Feisty young single mom Louise Seger is Patsy's biggest fan.  She discovers her magical voice while her kids are watching Arthur Godfrey's TV show and is instantly drawn to her and makes sure local DJ Hal Morris plays Patsy's songs... a lot.  Lucky Louise hears that Patsy will be appearing at the local honky tonk called Esquire Hall and the rest is history.  Louise drags her reluctant boyfriend and boss to the show where her and the beautiful down to earth Patsy becomes fast friends and she takes on the role of pseudo manager for the nite.   The two ladies maintained a loyal friendship corresponding often until Patsy's untimely death at age 30 in a plane crash en route to Tennessee in 1963.   The charming 2 act production features over 25 of songs associated with Patsy Cline including Back in Baby's Arms, Anytime, Walkin' After Midnight, I Fall to Pieces, Stupid Cupid, Sweet Dreams, She's Got You, Crazy, Blue Moon of Kentucky, Shake Rattle & Roll, If You've Got Leavin' On Your Mind and Bill Bailey.  I highly recommend this show playing til September 12th.  The early 60s are well created by the talented crew with special kudos to costume designer A. Jeffrey Schoenberg and wig designer Krys Fehervari.  For more information visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org - Enjoy!  HH

Cori Cable Kidder stars as Patsy Cline

Nikki D'Amico stars as Louise in Always... Patsy Cline

Sunday, July 12, 2015


Danny and The Deep Blue Sea dt at the LATC on Spring Street...  A Very Very Wild Ride & Strong Performances... Extended to August 1... Starring Hugo Medina & Sofia Yepes & directed by Fidel Gomez... Photo courtesy LATC

Lily Tomlin & Kat Kramer.... Lily's many fans & friends are ecstatic about her latest screen project called Grandma directed by talented nice guy Paul Weitz.  There is lots of early awards season buzz about her performance for her role in this film plus for her fine work with Jane Fonda in their hit  Netflix series Grace andFrankie.  Lily also keeps busy doing multiple live concerts every year... WoW...  She Is Amazing & deserves every award under the sun!    Photo by Bob Delgadillo

Standing out in the crowd in his white tux....  Congratulations to talented singer Roger Neal who appears in the new music video Dream It! Believe It! directed by Fame's Debbie Allen.  Ms. Allen  teamed up with Grand Arts High School to make the video to help support arts education in schools.

Rico Simonini as Dracula, Joelle Arqueros as Studio Exec & Harrison Held as Renfield....
 I had a blast performing in Down For The Count at the popular Fringe Festival in a series called Hollywood Shorts produced by writer  Dallas Bancroft and directed by John Fingal  O'Donnell.  The series was produced at the famous Asylum Theater on Santa Monica where I've always wanted to perform... Dreams Do Come True... Thanxs Dallas & John... It was a lof ot fun... There's nothing like performing in front of a live audience!   Photo by John Fingal O'Donnell

Veteran actor Ed Asner and cast members in Dallas Bancroft's 2 part hit series Hollywood Shorts which was part of the popular and acclaimed Fringe Festival this year.  Congratulations to Dallas Bancroft & John Fingal O'Donnell.

Dallas Bancroft (right) & Dave Buzzotta... Photo courtesy Hollywood Shorts

Popular actor Steven Bauer and award winning actress/singer/director Yolanda Romersa show off their film festival bling for their critically acclaimed short film Paloma masterminded by Ms. Romersa based on her acclaimed musical play.  Next up for Ms. Romersa is her new family friendly short called The Reward (below)...  Here's to lots of awards  for The Reward!

Harrison Held plays a reporter interviewing Brian Lamont & Alden Lomeli who play2  young heroes in The Reward directed by Yolanda Romersa... Photo by Ramiro DeAnda

Mamie Van Doren became an Honorary Colonel recently at the American Legion in Hollywood... Photo by Harrison Held

Honorary Colonels Mamie Van Doren & Gina Elise... Photo by Harrison Held

A great evening....  Harrison Held, Kathleen Hughes, Mamie Van Doren and Thomas Dixon at the American Legion in Hollywood... Photo by Billy Bennight

Mamie Van Doren & Michael Hjelmstad

A great evening at the famous Dunbar Hotel where cast members showcased songs from their hit musical play The Magnificent Dunbar Hotel to raise funds to support traveling costs for the cast to perform at The National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, NC August 4th & 5th.  One of the show's highlights is Ethel Waters played by Elizabeth June and Lena Horne played by Tiffany Coty  (above) performing a hot rendition of Sweet Georgia Brown.... Photo by Tomoku Matsushita

Meet Us at the Dunbar

Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Cemetery in  Westwood

Fans pay tribute to the late Farrah Fawcett in Westwood...  Photos by Harrison Held

Honoring her memory six years later...  Farrah's pal Linda Aviles, Harrison Held and friends visit Farrah Fawcett's grave in the famous Westwood cemetery where she is buried.... RIP Farrah...  Photo by Samantha Bigioni

Thank you Councilman Tom La Bonge for all your years of much appreciated service for the city of Los Angeles!

Kudos to the multi talented Vida Ghaffari on her award from the West Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce seen here with Mario-Max Prinz Zu Schaumberg-Lippe....    It was a great party...  Photo by Billy Bennight

Funny guy Ken Davitian and friend at Vida Ghaffari's soiree... Photo by Billy Bennight

Excellent singer Nick Palance and friends raised funds and awareness for the homeless recently in Santa Monica... Thanxs to Dr. Estella Sneider for the invite to this great event... Photos by Billy Bennight

I was proud to attend the poignant Mickey Rooney Square Memorial held on Sunset Boulevard across from Hollywood High where Mickey attended school.  On hand to sing his praises were daughter Kelly Rooney, granddaughter Dominique Rooney plus friends and co-stars Margaret O'Brien and Marsha Hunt.  Councilman Tom LaBonge officiated the event and along with publicists Roger & Lynn Briggs Neal were instrumental in making this dedication happen. Great work team...   RIP Mickey... You are missed and very deserving of this and your many other honors....PS. I'm looking forward to seeing Roger C. Memos documentary called Marsha Hunt's Sweet Adversity September 13 at the AMC Theatres in Burbank...   Photos by Billy Bennight

Cast members of the hysterical new play The Claw at Theatre West on Cahuenga Boulevard... Catch it while you can... It's great!  Written by Chris DiGiovanni & directed by Linda Rand.  The Claw is part of Theatre West's Writers-In-Rep presentations for 2015.  Both of 2015's Writers-In-Rep shows are written by women and directed by women. For more information visit www.theatrewest.org