ROCKS THE SUNSET STRIP + EXCLUSIVE RED CARPET ACCESS TO LAGFF
MICHAEL EHLINE HW’S: CRUISE SHIP
ATTORNEY YEAR OF THE
EXCLUSIVE PROFILES ON SONGTRESS MARGO THUNDER MTV- GR HOST GEORGE SATSIDIS, RISING STARS AMY MARKHAM AND ERIKA THOMPSON
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- AUGUST 2011 -
24 FEATURES EHLINE 06 MICHAEL H W ‘S: MARITIME LAWYER OF THE YEAR
DRY CLEANERS 08 BUBBLES A very rare combination of Style & Substance.
ENTERTAINMENT SATSIDIS 10 GEORGE AN EXCLUSIVE PROFILE ON GREECE’S HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
MARKHAM 12 AMY DRIVEN FOR SUCCESS
TO SHINING BEACHES 14 SEA PROFILE ON VICKY ARVANITI AND MARIA TSIARTSIANI; GREECE’S #1 WOMEN’S BEACH VOLLEYBALL TEAM’S VISIT TO LA
THUNDER 18 MARGO BRINGS BACK GOOD VIBES WITH “R&B 101”
GREEK FILM FEST ROCKS THE SUNSET STRIP
NAACP THEATRE AWARDS 20 ATHE 21ST CENTURY RENAISSANCE THEATRE BEAT 32 LA WHAT’S NEW ON THE LA THEATRE CIRCUIT. HAMMOND 34 JULIUS GIVES BACK TO HIS COMMUNITY RISING STARS 36 LA THE BEST IN NEW FASHION FILM AND MUSIC STAR 38 RISING SPECIAL PROFILE ON ERIKA THOMPSON LIFE & STYLE YOUR BEAUTY 28 MINDING A LUXE ‘BOOT CAMP’ FOR YOUR BODY AND SOUL
IN THE SUN SHINE IN 30 LET THE IMPORTANCE OF VITAMIN D NIGHTLIFE: 37 THE TRU HOLLYWOOD EXPLORE ONE OF HOLLYWOOD’S HOTTEST CLUB VENUES
Hollywood Weekly is a monthly publication wholly owned by Jackson Publishing Company. © 2011 All Right Reserved. Reproduction of any content without written permission of the Publisher is expressly prohibited. Letters to the editor may be sent to: Editor@JacksonPublishing.com Hollywood Weekly 1438 North Gower Street, BOX 42 Hollywood, California 90028 . For Advertising Inquiries call: (323) 315-9498.
AUGUST 2011, VOL. 11 PUBLISHER/EDITOR IN CHIEF Prather Jackson VICE PRESIDENT Bernice Harris
PAMELA AND ZOI
A NOTE FROM
THE SENIOR EDITOR
From red carpets to sandy beaches, Hollywood Weekly Magazine is on location capturing the moment!
In this issue we bring you exclusive coverage of the Los Angeles Greek Festival. As a proud media sponsor we were there to bring you the “opa opa” that filled the red carpets from opening to closing night of LAGFF 2011. We’ve also turned the spotlight on individuals who are reporting worldwide, athletes on the road to LONDON 2012 and people making a positive difference in the world. With the sun shining bright in Hollywood and beyond our health & fitness section focuses on the benefits of Vitamin D. So get your sunscreen on and go soak up that sun! All this and so much more fill this issue of Hollywood Weekly as we continue to bring you a magazine with No Gossip ~ Strictly Entertainment and a little inspiration too. We hope you enjoy reading our August 2011 issue. It is our hope these articles inspire you to continue to strive for your dreams - within the entertainment industry or beyond. We’d love to hear from you. You can find us on facebook, follow us on twitter or visit our website at www.hollywoodweeklymagazine.com.
OPERATIONS Erskine D. Mcswain (1991-2000) SENIOR EDITOR Pamela Sprys MANAGING EDITOR Jenny Werth DIR. OF MARKETING Launy Rhem LIFE & STYLE EDITOR Niki Shadrow ASSOCIATE EDITOR Anthony Calderon GUEST CONTRIBUTOR Fran Scott CONTRIBUTORS Christina Anastasiou Anthony Calderon Jenny Werth Pamela Spyrs Brea Tisdale Niki Shadrow Darwin Heard Dena Romios Steve Zall Sid Fish Laura Wilhelm Sharon Sprys Bianca Bagatourian
ART DIRECTOR Kristal Lindo SITE DIRECTOR/ GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jenny Lopez PHOTOGRAPHY Jenny Lopez Brian To ADVERTISING/ SOCIAL MEDIA JT Etchebarren PRODUCTION MANAGER Hector Santacruz DISTRIBUTOR NEWSWAYS
Senior Editor KEEP UP WITH HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY AT: www.hollywoodweeklymagazine.com FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @hollywoodweeklymagazine
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HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY’S CRUISE SHIP ATTORNEY OF THE YEAR
Michael Ehline “The Only Real Voice Fighting for Victims of Cruise Ships”
hat sets Attorney Michael Ehline apart from other Attorneys claiming to “care” about victims of cruise ships is that he is the only Attorney we have found who is not interested in “capitalizing” on these tragedies... He isn’t earning “extra income” by offering “pre-paid” services for people about to board cruise ships. He isn’t printing cruise ship pamphlets with his face on every page and disseminating them in mass mailings to neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles, as other Attorneys in this field have done, regardless of whether or not these people have ever stepped foot on a cruise ship before in their life... He doesn’t have a private publicist working twenty-four hours a day to get his face on every news program vaguely discussing this horrible cruise ship epidemic...
What he is doing is quietly, and very discreetly – out of respect for his clients – holding cruise lines responsible for people who have been victimized onboard their ships. These are the reasons why Hollywood Weekly has voted Attorney Michael Ehline our Cruise Ship Attorney of the Year. He is essentially a hard-working, humble Attorney dedicated and committed to fighting this shameful practice of “covering up” public crimes that occur on cruise liners... Michael Ehline is well-known to readers of Hollywood Weekly as being the first Attorney profiled in our “Attorney Spotlight Series” back in 2007. His article, entitled “Working Class Hero,” which can be read in its entirety on HollywoodWeekly. net, has proven to be our most popular profile in the Series, and the elements that first attracted us to Michael Ehline Atty. Ehline a no-nonsense Attorney not willing to make problems “go away” for these multi-million dollar cruise line
corporations; he is concerned with only one thing: receiving the maximum justice the law will allow for his clients. You see, in 1979, Ridley Scott’s “Alien” taught us something. We learned that in space, no one can hear you scream. But now, sadly, space is being rivaled. There’s a whole new place of terror...here on Earth. Our sacred oceans have become nightmares. Places of unexplained disappearances. There have been physical assaults, and rape, and as you know by now, this isn’t happening on pirate ships. I’m talking about Vacation Cruises; a place where one should feel safest. There are no “rough neighborhoods” on cruise ships. And there aren’t any gangs or drive- by shootings. But, Agatha Christie’s novel holds true: Everywhere there is “Evil under the Sun.” What cruise ships have sometimes, are bad people. And these few bad people are ruining lives. One of the most frightening aspects of all of this is that may of the perpetrators are cruise ship employees. The majority are not from America, which becomes extremely important point when trying to track someone down. There are some workers who’ve had no background checks at all. Not all countries have this system in place. A person is released from jail and that’s it – tomorrow they could be working with your kids. Or serving you breakfast onboard a cruise ship... Welcome to the world of Michael Ehline. The stories make one question our century. How can this problem not have been addressed? The F.B.I. statistics are outrageous. From 2002 to 2007 – 184 cases opened. All filed and described as serious crimes. And these are just the incidents “reported.” Many women never report their rapes. This problem is compounded by ship doctors. Michael Ehline’s point on this is valid: “Ship doctors are employees of the cruise ships!” Whose side are they really going to be on? Forget about impartiality. When attacked by the ship’s staff, who can you trust? And then there are the “Passenger Contracts.” Hurdles Atty. Ehline tackles daily. One can’t sign away their right to safety – no matter how hard cruise ship attorneys try... Still, you should read your contracts thoroughly. Look for any wording that might be red flags. Especially about things that take place “off the ship.” Many cruises will dock in foreign countries; here’s where Atty. Ehline says “Watch Out!” If your safety was at risk onboard a cruise ship – God help you on land with no protection... The problem is with your itinerary: part of your package deal is stopovers. Once off the ship you’re supposedly given fun tour options. An exciting way to see this new land... Okay... But remote, private tours can be dangerous. The cruise ships
claim no liability – repeat no liability... So, what happens off the ship is, well, sort of like Las Vegas as far as the cruise ships are concerned – it stays off the ship! In the end, the cruise line attorneys will claim it was all in the “fine print” of your contract. Again, we’re talking about women being molested and raped. Passengers who’ve been beaten and robbed... For Atty. Ehline, it’s a legal mess. His one rule of protection for you is never assume. If you’re on a cruise ship, in one of their pools – when you climb out, don’t assume the surface areas are non-slip; many of Atty. Ehline’s cases involve “negligence” on the part of cruise ships, where “slip and falls” happen daily – issues cruise ships are already aware of but refuse to spend the money to fix... So, don’t assume, walk slowly, and with caution. Don’t assume the ship’s staff are always thinking of your best interests ... Don’t accompany staff members to any remote areas of the ship... And, if you’re drinking, make sure you’re not alone. Don’t assume someone will guide you to your room. Have a “designated friend” with you... And most importantly, don’t assume that your fellow passengers are your friend. Many victims onboard cruise ships have been assaulted by other travelers... Most importantly, read your cruise contract well. Know their policy on things outside the ship; find out if they take responsibility. If they don’t, forego taking that jungle tour – you might end up being the hunted out there... And parents of young girls, specifically, don’t let your daughter go anywhere alone. That cruise dance class with the male teacher – no! Whether she’s embarrassed or not, stay with her. Don’t assume anything on cruise ships are safe. If you act with extreme caution, and are vigilant, if, God forbid, something does happen to you, the ship’s guilt will be easier to prove, because you were doing everything you were supposed to be doing... Our oceans have become the new wild west, where “law” dissolves in the salty waters. The good news is that people are now talking... Cruise ship attacks are no longer looked at as implausible scenarios, which means victims aren’t afraid to come out. Their stories are being investigated... Atty. Ehline’s fight has now gone public – he’s turned a large, steady spotlight on cruise line crimes, and all this new attention will only mean one thing: our oceans have become that much smaller for predators.
DON’T ASSUME SOMEONE WILL GUIDE YOU TO YOUR ROOM. HAVE A “DESIGNATED FRIEND” WITH YOU... AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, DON’T ASSUME THAT YOUR FELLOW PASSENGERS ARE YOUR FRIEND. MANY VICTIMS ONBOARD CRUISE SHIPS HAVE BEEN ASSAULTED BY OTHER TRAVELERS...
AUGUST 2011 - 7
Bubbles Dry Cleaners
A very rare combination of Style & Substance Written by Anthony Calderon
here have been many great artists throughout history, but none could harness the true power of color and master it in the way that the great Henri Matisse did so effortlessly, and standing in the foyer of Bubbles Dry Cleaners, taking in the pure aesthetics of its interior design, I was reminded of those fantastic, incredibly colorful, vibrant paper cutouts and collages Matisse created in the Third Act of his life â€“ and this is only part of the magic and charm of Bubbles, who more than hold their own across the courtyard of the world famous W Hotel in Hollywood. 8 - HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY
Anyone entering Bubbles will question whether they are actually in a dry cleaning establishment, which is exactly what the owners want you to think. They’ve completely changed the game on us – in place of seeing the stereotypical automated machine with hundreds of clothes wrapped in plastic and waiting to be misplaced, Bubbles has a huge, wall mounted flat screen TV which will probably be playing a Rihanna video. To your left, where normally you’d see a hunched over tailor hemming pants and surrounded by piles of clothes, Bubbles has immaculate glass cases featuring ties, bowties and cufflinks for sale, and they’re replaced with new designs every month. One of the glass cases is filled with perfume and cologne, and the fragrances are continued on a massive wall display case. Indeed, the only thing missing from the foyer is a man named “Jeeves” dressed in a butler suit, holding a silver tray with crystal glasses of Champagne, but that might be too much – most people would be satisfied with a Mimosa. That’s the “Style,” now we’ll get into “Substance.” Like most responsible people today, the owners of Bubbles wanted to create an eco-friendly business. Most dry cleaners use a chemical called perchloroethylene, or PERC, to clean your clothes; it just so happens that PERC is a possible carcinogen – Bubbles is a “PERC-Free” dry cleaning establishment, so you can rest assured you won’t have to pay the ultimate price for fashion... On the Bubbles website, www.bubblesdrycleaners.com, their symbol is a green planet sprouting plant leaves with dew drops on them – they take being eco-friendly very seriously. The truth is historically dry cleaners have been responsible for a lot of waste, and Bubbles has put an abrupt stop to all of it. Clothes are cleaned in eco-friendly solvents. Hangers are recycled. Customers are given reusable garment covers made from
recycled, biodegradable plastic; and every customer is given a free reusable garment bag to bring in their laundry to be washed – essentially Bubbles is making it very easy for you to help save the planet... Of course, we’re in L.A., the notorious land of the pampered – I’m sorry, that’s just the way we are! So, Bubbles has a solution for this: Free pick-up and delivery within a five mile radius. They have a tailor available on the premises six days a week for your convenience, and just in case you need any tailoring done, and the you’re within that five mile radius, the tailor will travel to you and take your measurements in the comfort of your own home – or Studio, since Bubbles caters to various Movie Studios within their area. The accumulated years of dry cleaning, tailoring and alteration experience for the owners of Bubbles is over 20 years, which is why they can handle everything from cleaning bedspreads, blankets and covers, to leather and suede cleaning and restoration. Believe it or not, shoe repair and even luggage repair is part of the Bubbles repertoire. If I had to describe Bubbles in two words, it would be “Customer Care.” Everything grew from there. The genesis of Bubbles for the owners was creating a dry cleaning business where your clothes are treated with the same love and care that they treat their own, and I really don’t think it can get any better than that... Bubbles Dry Cleaners 1600 Vine St. Ste. 1 Los Angeles, CA 90028 323 461 6050 Online pick-up and delivery requests can be made at www.bubblesdrycleaners.com
R E T R O P E R D O O W Y L L HO
GEORGE SATSIDIS MAKES HIS MARK WORLDWIDE BY: PAMELA SPYRS
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PHOTO: SPIROS POROSS
eorge Satsidis stems from the ancient city of Athens, Greece where he is currently based working for MTV. As the host of MTV Take 20 Satsidis lives a “here today, gone tomorrow” lifestyle. He’s considered Greece’s Hollywood Reporter, and rightfully so as he interviews some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry and does so in multiple destinations worldwide. Having interviewed over 200 mega celebrities in the last decade Satsidis’ long list of guests include Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Beyonce, Tom Cruise, Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, Sara Jessica Parker, Hugh Jackman, Anthony Hopkins, Maria Menounos…shall I go on? The list is endless and continues to grow. As if that doesn’t keep Satsidis busy enough he also is the host of a popular daily radio show on VFM 88.3, a freelance writer and is a special guest DJ at the hottest parties throughout Greece. “I love everything about what I do,” said Satsidis, “I love traveling to exciting new places, meeting fascinating actors and filmmakers and seeking to learn something new after every interview I complete.” He also shared he recognizes there are always challenges, surprises, good and bad things that come with being involved in the entertainment industry but that he wouldn’t change his
career choice for any other job in the world. Satsidis went on to say, “Sometimes it can get really tough and competitive but somehow I come out of it all feeling like a hero which makes it all worthwhile.” When asked where he finds his inspiration Satsidis shared, “Spending holidays in the islands of the Aegean Sea is something I would never change in my life – it’s a source of power,life – it’s a source of power, kind of a rebirth for me everytime I’m there.” He stated he also gets inspired when visiting the US whether for work or play and added, “Traveling to the US brings me much inspiration as well. I enjoy basking in the beautiful weather while soaking in all the incredible opportunities that exist in the entertainment capital of the world. I also enjoy the long distance flights which gives me time to relax and focus on positive thinking.” “I would love to work in the US someday as a host and/or reporter on a popular entertainment show like Extra or Access Hollywood,” said Satsidis when asked if he would ever consider working in the US, “I’ve dreamt about it since childhood. And to be honest most everything I have dreamt of has come true.” I asked Satsidis what’s next and he replied, “I’ll be heading to New York soon to interview James Franco. From there I’ll head to the Hamptons for a few days, then back to Greece to hit the islands for more holidays. By the end of August I’ll be back in my work routine again and ready for my next big interview.” Now that’s living the good life!
(TOP/LEFT) ACADEMY AWARD WINNER® BEN AFFLECK AND SATSIDIS (BOTTOM/LEFT)SEX AND THE CITY’S SARAH JESSICA PARKER AND SATSIDIS (RIGHT) SATSIDIS WITH EXTRA’S MARIA MENOUNOS
AUGUST 2011 - 11
Driven for Entertainment Success
PHOTO BY BRIAN CARDENAS
Amy Markham, an internationally published model originally from Texas, is the star of no less than twelve online features, gracing eight different product posters and advertisements, and being published twenty eight times and counting in recent months. The in demand model and host has also conquered reality tv with appearing on a Telemundo series called “Promo Girls”, and being a camera favorite on the series “Any thing That Rolls” on Channel 39 in Houston, Texas. A model host, she is well known among industry insiders as a hard worker that goes the extra mile to ensure only the best work is released. Amy’s extensive travels have taken her nationwide for appearances and photoshoots, and her worldwide adventures and proven appeal making Amy the ideal personality for the entertainment industry.
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New Direction Markham’s drive and desire for success is an asset to all productions she is involved in. Having conquered the automotive market with numerous print and live appearances, she is accepting offers and expanding her talents to more commercial gigs. The 5’5” powerhouse possesses the ethnically ambiguous appeal currently in high demand in the industry. Markham says, “Since the day I took the plunge and decided to go all in with modeling, it’s been a blessing. I have had the opportunities people only dream of, and it’s all because of my unique look and my personality.” Although the long haired busty beauty’s looks may bring to mind more current breakout stars currently dominating popular culture, she is an original and brings a fresh perspective and voice not currently heard on television. Understanding the importance of expanding her audience via online social networking, Amy’s ardent followers can be found engaging with her on social networking sites such as her facebook fan page, twitter and website. As an “Army Brat”, Markham was born in Seoul, Korea. She has lived in Germany and all over the US, but calls the area of Killeen - Ft. Hood, Texas her home. Soon after graduating high school, Markham first attended college as a Pre-Med Major, but after only a year, she instead chose a completely different career, only this time in entertainment. She adds, “During my senior year of High School and Freshman year of
college, I was diagnosed with a life threatening illness which could have drastically changed my life, had I not overcome it. After realizing that life is too short to hide behind your dreams, I decided to live mine to the end, and live everyday like it’s my last.” Her out going personality and ability to catch the eye of anyone around made her an instant hit. After deciding to go with her new passion and attending a few local automotive shows and just a few photo shoots, it was clear to everyone that Amy Markham was going to be a sight and name to remember. She has then became a fan favorite at shows, not only in Texas but the entire Southwest. After finally getting her foot in the door, Markham soon expanded more into the glamour world of modeling, gracing the pages of men’s magazines, websites, and posters. Markham’s next step to take in her career will be acting and film, as well as more hosting. Markham states, “It seems to be a natural progression for me. I am planning my career in such a way that I can continue doing what I love to do, and I love to be in front of the camera.” Currently Markham is entertaining audiences as a host on BiteMeTV and will no doubt soon be seen on your TV screens as the next breakout star from Hollywood. Amy with her team is currently reviewing relevant offers and taking meetings. UEM. Management Division, Launy Rhem (310)836-2446 Launy@ueminc.net
“AFTER REALIZING THAT LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO HIDE BEHIND YOUR DREAMS, I DECIDED TO LIVE MINE TO THE END, AND LIVE EVERYDAY LIKE IT’S MY LAST.”
AUGUST 2011 - 13
From Sea To
PHOTO BY: RAY DEMSKI
PHOTO: RAY DEMSKI/RED BULL PHO
TWO OLYMPIANS < ONE DREAM
BY: PAMELA SYPRS
ATHLETES VS. CELEBRITIES – THEY ARE ONE IN THE SAME THESE DAYS. DURING A RECENT VISIT TO LOS ANGELES, I MET UP WITH GREECE’S #1 WOMEN’S BEACH VOLLEYBALL TEAM, VICKY ARVANITI AND MARIA TSIARTSIANI WHO DESPITE THE FACT THEY WERE IN LA AND COULD HAVE SPENT THEIR TIME SITE-SEEING EVERYDAY THEY WERE SWEATING ON THE SAND AS THEY TRAINED WITH THE BEST OF THE BEST IN BEACH VOLLEYBALL.
atching the perseverance in these player’s eyes as they faced off against such teams as Kerri Walsh – Misty May Treanor (USA), in practice games
tournament wins between 2004-2007. Their 2004 win in Valencia saw Arvaniti become one of the youngest ever winners on the tour. She followed this by being named most improved player on the 2005 tour. Since then, Arvaniti has competed in two Olympic Games and is on course with her current teammate, Maria Tsiartsiani, for the London Games in 2012.
was electrifying. You would have thought they were going for the Olympic Gold right then and there. The focused look of determination to win that gleams from within them is what will take them all the way to the LONDON 2012 Olympic Games.
“Playing with Vicky brings me great inspiration,” shares Tsiartsiani, “together we are focused on our game as we play for our great country – Greece.” Tsiartsiani Though these incredibly focused went professional in athletes stay on beat with their game 2003. That year she the photographs from the sidelines placed 5th at the FIVB stay in full effect capturing every Open Shanghai and victory and defeat from practice ninth place one year games to grand slams worldwide. later at the same event. The life of dodging the paparazzi is In 2005 Tsiartsiani alive and well within these athletes placed 1st at the Greek lives everywhere they go. Though at Championships, 3rd times, as they stated, it feels invasive place at FIVB Open Bali they remain positive in believing it’s and 2nd place at the good exposure for them especially FIVB Open Espinho. To given the financial difficulties their date Tsiartsini has, like homeland, Greece is experiencing. her teammate Arvaniti, This financial crisis hits hard for not competed in two only Arvanti and Tsiartsiani but for Olympic Games and (TOP) MARIA TSIATSIANI (BOTTOM) VICKY ARVANITI all athletes representing the country looks forward to playing PHOTO: RAY DEMSKI/RED BULL PHOTO FILES of Greece. her first Olympics with teammate, Vicky “The game must go on,” says Arvanti, “we play hard and Arvaniti. “We are ready!” Tsiartisiani said with remain strong in hopes of our next sponsor confirming excitement in her voice and sparkle in her eyes. their support.” Arvaniti has reached an ultimate high in her strength of the game since her debut volleyball As a team Arvanti and Tsiartsiani have displayed performance at the first under-21’s international event great strength in their ability to make it all the way in Catania at the age of just 17. It was a dream come true to LONDON 2012 and quite possibly bring home a to become a member of the national beach volleyball medal for Greece. Though they did not partake in team as her idol Vasso Karadassiou became her four of the 2011 World Tour events thus far, due to teammate. Between them they have secured eight FIVB an injury of Tsiartsiani’s they continue to persevere
PHOTOS: MARIA & VICKY ON THE SANDS OF MANHATTAN BEACH, CA WITH “ZOI” PHOTOS BY: PAMELA SPYRS
AUGUST 2011 - 15
as they play ever so intensely in every tournament they participate in which has kept them placed firmly within the top 25 in the world. “Vicky and Maria have shown for many years now that they are very good players and that they can beat even the best teams in the world. But this year they also proved that they are real fighters who never give up,” says Christoph Dieckmann (currently head coach to Arvanti & Tsiartsiani), “Despite missing the first four tournaments due to an injury, despite the very difficult financial situation due to the crisis in Greece and despite continuous injury problems, they manage to perform well against the tops of the world and they put themselves in a place with good chances to qualify for the Olympic Games. I have a lot of respect for that” There is no doubt this dynamic duo will go far representing Greece. They have true patriotism with great love for their country and incredible appreciation for their fans. They are what defines true “Olympians”! For more information on Arvaniti-Tsiartsiani go to: www.vickymaria.gr PHOTO: MARIA AND VICKY SHOWING OFF THEIR LOVE FOR LA PHOTO BY: PAMELA SPYRS
WE FILM ANISSA WILLIAMS C A S T I N G www.anissawilliamscasting.com PROVIDING CASTING SERVICES IN HOLLYWOOD FOR OVER 20 YEARS
SCHOOL IS IN: MARGO THUNDER BRINGS BACK GOOD VIBES WITH “R&B 101” BY: FRAN SCOTT
Lightning Strikes Again! Margo Thunder comes roaring back with electric performances from her debut solo album “R&B 101.”
inger, songwriter Margo Thunder is holding summer school with sizzling performances from her new solo album “R&B 101.” Last caught by loyal audiences burning up the stages of LA’s Conga Room and private concerts for LA’s KJLH, Thunder has been winning since the age of nine. Hailing from a family of nine siblings like the Jacksons, and performing since a similarly young age, Thunder was known around her native Boston as “Little Aretha” for her vocal delivery with the “soul of a woman,” the title of one of her early hit records. A young Thunder first graced the stages of the Apollo by winning multiple talent competitions, after her mother took note of her unique vocal delivery. Young Margo’s first night on the Apollo stage was shared by none other than her idol, the “Queen of Soul” herself, headliner Aretha Franklin who gave her
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cherished words of encouragement after her win. Thunder would also perform her hits on the stages of American Bandstand, and Solid Gold, and Soul Train with girl group 9.9, a group she was instrumental in forming with friends from Boston’s first music school. With early help from Richard “Dimples” Fields, also the manager of Natalie Cole, among the labels the in demand singer recorded for RCA and Capitol Record before going indie with her latest album, now available on i Tunes with MEI. As the numbers on her social networking fan sites will attest, the album has been long anticipated by her loyal followers. Margo’s Got A Story For You. Thunder’s mature vocals were heard of by producers and requested for the theme song
for the movie “The Happy Hooker,” which she wasn’t allowed to view as she was so young. Yes, Margo’s got stories for days. Not one to name drop, one of Thunder’s early backup singers was Luther Vandross, and her many collaborators going back to her time at Boston’s Berklee College of Music include Kevin Eubanks who played guitar in her band. Early on, Thunder was recruited to sing for a road show with heavyweight champ Joe Frazier whose Las Vegas style show was mapped out by Paul Anka. Thunder went on to sing on the soundtrack of Whoopi Goldberg’s “Sister Act” in the climactic “If My Sister Is in Trouble.” She is featured in the video with the movie’s leads in a high energy performance with girl group “Lady of Soul.” Thunder’s rendition of “Lady Marmalade” can also be heard in
another Whoopi Goldberg project “Eddie” in a pivotal scene. Her vocals can also be heard on “Eddie & The Cruisers II.” Thunder, through her management is currently reviewing offers for more soundtrack placements. Desire To Help Thunder’s longevity in the industry, and personality would make her a must see match for mentoring talent on one of the many singing competition shows. She has provided coaching and assistance for singers at home in her studio for many years on the differences giving pointers on the differences between live performances, and vocal delivery in studio. She is interested in opportunities to continue to outreach to underserved youth, feeling they could relate to her journey out of the tough Roxbury. Thunder has also lent her vocal talents for benefit concerts, performing for Susan Komen Breast Cancer Society, and Diabetes Fund charities. She hopes to continue to promote breast cancer awareness and education, particularly to groups like women of color, sometimes found to often have more aggressive strains of breast cancer. She would also like to contribute her talents to Diabetes related causes to honor her mother who had Diabetes. The song “One of Nine,” featured on Thunder’s album is a tribute to her mom’s tenacity in raising six boys and two girls successfully.
Certainly unique to an industry known for its epic girl group squabbles, the enduring friendship despite the tumultuous business is telling of Margo’s personality. Longtime friendships and an illness which confined the singer to bed, making her “only able to sing” provided the impetus for delivering the new album. The album’s executive producer Ken Wilson, another long time industry friend continued to approach Margo with what would become the debut single on the album
keep singing no matter what” she says and did just that as an irate woman hit a man over the head with a bottle when she caught him out cheating at a performance. “I got into the business for the love of creating and the joy of seeing people enjoy this gift that was given to me.” “I want to move you to make you think, and laugh.” The Divine Ms. M Returns Since being christened as Thunder by Capitol Record executives when their first recording session was interrupted by lightning and thunder blowing the lights out in the studio when Margo began to sing, Margo has kept it moving as a force in the challenging entertainment industry. “I’m just so glad I made such an impression after all these years that people tell me they are happy to see Margo’s back.” You may catch the inimitable Margo Thunder performing her lead single “Mistreated,” the Aretha inspired “Make Me Say Ooh,” an updated “Feel the Fire” and maybe request some classics by following her tour schedule on social networking sites Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube. The feel good “R & B 101” is currently available for a listen on i Tunes.
“I’M JUST SO GLAD I MADE SUCH AN IMPRESSION AFTER ALL THESE YEARS THAT PEOPLE TELL ME THEY ARE HAPPY TO SEE MARGO’S BACK.”
Who Says Girl Groups Can’t Get Along? Margo recruited high school friends and 9.9 band mates Wanda Perry and Leslie Jones to sing backup vocals for her album. Their friendship has endured the test of time, much like the ongoing relationship she has with her fans, even producing a gospel album for group member Wanda Perry.
he felt was a perfect match. Collaborator Gordon Worthy, and manager since her girl group days Belinda Wilson, and Eddie Sims are all long term relationships that helped bring the album together says Thunder. Upon recovering from her illness Margo says her message from God was “I got you here for a reason, there are things that you know and things that you are supposed to be doing.” “This is what I’m supposed to be doing.” Thunder and team birthed “R&B 10,” so named for a longing to “get back to the basics” of feel good R&B music and storytelling says Thunder. The songwriter has compiled a list of songs many years in the making incorporating stories she has seen in her life. “Did You Wrong” is such a tale, inspired by a couple fighting a young Margo saw from the stage. “I was taught to
Management: Belinda Wilson email@example.com Eddie Sims firstname.lastname@example.org Executive Producer: Ken Wilson www.MoonridgeEnt.com Fran Scott is an award winning east coast writer and publicist currently based in LA. Contact: FranLAPR@yahoo.com
AUGUST 2011 - 19
(LEFT) TIA BOYD, NAACP THEATRE AWARDS PROGRAM PRODUCER (TOP) DIAHANN CARROLL, LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT HONOREE (BOTTOM) RAVEN-SYMONÉ, SPIRIT AWARD HONOREE
THE NAACP THEATRE AWARDS A 2 1 S T C E N T U RY R E NA I S S A N C E BY: ANTHONY CALDERON
Yet do I marvel at this curious thing: To make a poet black, and bid him sing!” So wrote the great Countee Cullen 86 years ago, a time when the struggle for African American artists to have their work appreciated and accepted into mainstream society was such a Herculean challenge it truly was comparable to tortured King Sisyphus in Countee’s poem, endlessly rolling a boulder up a hill and having it roll back down again just before reaching the top for infinity…
ortunately for Countee Cullen and other artists of the Harlem Renaissance the NAACP had already found a solution to this dilemma; the answer had come into existence 15 years prior to Cullen’s critically acclaimed first collection of poetry, “Colors,” and was slowly becoming the main source of wide public acceptance for African American artists: it was “The Crisis,” the NAACP’s official magazine founded by W. E. B. Du Bois. The Crisis introduced the world to Langston Hughes in 1921, and it was from Langston’s 1951 poem “A Dream Deferred” that African American playwright Lorraine Hansberry drew inspiration and the title of her 1959 play “A Raisin in the Sun,” making her the first African American woman produced on Broadway and also introduced Broadway’s first African American director, Lloyd Richards – all taken into account, the synergy resulting from the NAACP’s decision in 1910 to create a venue for African American artists is directly responsible for the thriving, lucrative art world within the African American community today. So, the preservation and flourishing of any art form is completely dependent on a consistent platform to showcase past and present artists, and no one is more aware of this than the NAACP Theatre Awards Executive Producer Tia Boyd. An unlikely hero and champion of African American Theatre, Tia’s rise to our Nation’s foremost campaigner for African American playwrights is just serendipitous enough to one day morph into pure folklore.
that included Hollywood greats like Phylicia Rashad, Debbie Allen, Melba Moore and Fayard Nicholas was why she had never heard of this Award ceremony before. Two years later in 2005 Tia Boyd was on the planning committee for the NAACP Theatre Awards, and many at the Beverly Hills/Hollywood branch of the NAACP started to notice that Tia was full of incredibly creative marketing ideas and innovative concepts for the Theatre Awards. It wasn’t long before Tia was asked to produce the Awards ceremony, which she accepted.
In 2003 Tia Boyd, working at Tanner Mainstain Blatt & Glynn, LLP, decided to give back to the community by volunteering in the Treasury department of the Beverly Hills/Hollywood Branch of the NAACP. Tia had volunteered her talents to other organizations in the past that had indirectly benefited people of African descent, but this promised to be a more exact, “hands on” form of volunteering that would profit African Americans directly.
For her sophomore Theatre Awards production Tia had an epiphany that would end up being a virtual cornucopia of successful networking and would pull the NAACP Theatre Awards further into the National spotlight. She remembered a past NAACP Theatre Award Honoree Larry Leon Hamlin, founder and artistic director of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company and founder and executive director of the National Black Theatre Festival. Tia’s idea was simple and brilliant – since African American actors, actresses, directors and playwrights from around the country were gathering in North Carolina every year for the Theatre Festival, why not make both programs stronger by working with each other since the overall goal was to promote African American Theatre. Tia called Lawrence Evans, the North Carolina Black Theatre Festival Celebrity Coordinator and was soon on a plane headed to North Carolina to the Theatre Festival with a battalion of cards to hand out. Lawrence
Tia’s hard work soon landed her on the Board of the Beverly Hills/Hollywood branch of the NAACP, and she found herself one evening in attendance of the NAACP’s Theatre Awards at the Scottish Rite Temple on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. What Tia witnessed that night was an amazingly wellproduced program full of wonderful vignettes and talented artists. What Tia couldn’t understand was, given the high caliber of the show’s production
Immediately Tia started utilizing her experience and resources at Tanner Mainstain Blatt & Glynn to set about making her 2006 production of the Theatre Awards like nothing ever seen before. Under the tutelage of Ron Hasson, Beverly Hills/Hollywood Branch President and Willis Edwards, Beverly Hills/ Hollywood 1st Vice President/ National Board Member and co-founder of the NAACP Theatre Awards Show, she brought in high-net worth businesses to act as corporate sponsors of the ceremony, and worked at getting community businesses more involved. Tia also developed a website for the Award show www. bhwdnaacptheatreawards.com and made full use of on-line marketing. The word, so to speak, was getting out, and Tia’s 2006 NAACP Theatre Awards was a huge success, honoring Theatre greats like Billy Dee Williams, Tyler Perry and two-time Tony Award winner George C. Wolfe. She continued to honor theatre icons over the years, four time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, six time Tony Winner Harold Wheeler , Tony Award Winner Ruben SantiagoHudson and Tony Award Winner Jeffrey Wright.
AUGUST 2011 - 21
gave her VIP & front row access to all of the plays and events, and introduced her to legends in the Theatre Community. Tia’s North Carolina excursion was a triumph and a networking goldmine. She was now able to bypass publicists and agents when contacting A-list African American talent in the theatre world and call them directly about appearing in and being a part of the NAACP Theatre Awards & Festival…and there was more. Tia’s level of love and education about the importance of African American Theatre, and her appreciation of its rich, historical past enabled Tia to place herself and the work she was doing in a very important timeline.
culminate with the NAACP Theatre Awards on August 29th, at the Directors Guild of America in Hollywood. The 2011 Honorees include Obba Babatunde, who will receive the Trailblazer Award and also open the Theatre Festival with a tribute to Sammy Davis, Jr.; the legendary Diahann Carroll will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award; one of Hollywood’s most powerful and talented young stars, three time NAACP Image Award Winner, two time Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award Winner and two time Emmy Award Nominee, Raven Symone will receive the Spirit Award and Pamela Browner-White, one of the first minority women to hold a senior- executive position with the NFL (Philadelphia Eagles) and Chairperson of the Marian Anderson Awards, whose award recipients include Harry Belafonte, Oprah Winfrey, Sidney Poitier, Maya Angelou, Norman Lear, Bill Cosby and Mia Farrow will be given the President’s Award.
Through long discussions with Obba Babatunde, Theatre/ Television Actor, Wren Brown, Founder of the Ebony Repertory Theatre, Inc. and Director of the Nate Holden Performing Some of the Presenters Tia has Arts Center and men like lined up: Vanessa Williams from Woody King, Jr. of the New “Desperate Housewives”, Quinton Federal Theatre, Tia discovered Aaron from “The Blind Side,” cultural diamonds like the (LEFT) STAGE AND SCREEN ACTOR OBBA BABATUNDÉ (RIGHT) PAMELA BROWNER-WHITE Courtney Vance, Harry Lennix, Negro Ensemble Company, a Brian White, Stacey Dash, Tatyana New York based theater company founded by playwright Ali, Brandon T. Jackson, Romeo Miller and many other talented Douglas Turner Ward, producer/actor Robert Hooks, and Actors, Actresses, Writers, Directors and Producers. In short, for theater manager Gerald S. Krone in 1967. Tia was now able to all of us, her viewing audience, it will be another magical evening. reach back and celebrate African American theatre pioneers who had paved the way for the artists the NAACP were now I began this story with a quote, and I’ll end with one: when W. awarding, so special ceremonies honoring trailblazers like E. B. Du Bois named the NAACP’s first publication “The Crisis,” the Negro Ensemble Company was not only necessary, they he took the name from a poem written by noted abolitionist became vital components to the overall justification of what James Russell Lowell. In the final few lines of his poem “The the NAACP Theatre Awards represented. Present Crisis,” Lowell wrote: “New occasions teach new duties; Time makes ancient good uncouth; They must upward still, and In 2008, Tia again standing on the shoulders of Ron Hasson onward, who would keep abreast of Truth…” and Willis Edwards created the first NAACP Theatre Festival – needless to say, the festival was a great success. It was exactly what Los Angeles needed and the Theatre Community responded beyond all expectations. In addition to the incredible list of Workshop Panelists Tia and company were able to assemble, one of the truly innovative highlights of the festival, the “Black Box Theatre of 10 Minute Plays,” which have become a huge hit on YouTube. 2008 also marked the first year the NAACP Theatre Awards were held at the world famous Kodak Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Actress N’Bushe Wright from “Blade”, comedian Vincent Cook and Producer Clarence Williams played an integral part in the development of the 1st NAACP Theatre Festival. There are moments in life when it’s okay to sit back and reflect over how far we’ve grown from any given point; for Tia Boyd, I can only imagine that she must have had just such a moment in 2008. By that time she was already the Executive Producer of both the NAACP Theatre Awards and the NAACP Theatre Festival. Through her sheer creative will and hard work Tia and a host of dedicated volunteers “who without them, she quotes, the Award Show would not be possible, the Theatre Awards has grown from the Scottish Rite Temple on Wilshire Boulevard to the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, one of the most acclaimed email@example.com theatres in the world. Not bad for a person who only wanted to volunteer their accounting services to the NAACP. 6820 LaTijera Blvd., Suite 115
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So, now we’ve come to the 21st Annual Theatre Awards & Festival Weekend, which will start with the Theatre Festival on August 26th and 28th at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, and 22 - HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY
Los Angeles, CA 90045
THE SUNSET STRIP A LOOK INSIDE THE 5TH ANNUAL LOS ANGELES GREEK FILM FESTIVAL
BY: PAMELA SPYRS his
Laemmleâ€™s Sunset 5, located in Los Angeles. An exclusive Closing Night Gala hosted by Earth Friendly Products brought the house down on Sunday, June 12, 2011, at the prestigious Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills.
LAGFF continues to celebrate its passion for the arts, cinema and culture while gradually bridging the gap between Greek filmmakers and Hollywood. During this year’s impressive line-up, LAGFF presented seven feature films, five documentaries and nine shorts, including three world premieres, 10 US premieres and eight LA premieres to an often sold-out crowd during the four-day festival. “We are witnessing a new wave of Greek cinema emerging from an irreverent generation of young filmmakers who insist on breaking ties with past trends and seeing things in their own unique way,” shares Angeliki Giannakopoulous, Co-Founder of LAGFF. “Industry Panel, Crossing Borders: Foreign Films in Hollywood, took place on Saturday, June 11, 2011. Panelists included marketing maven Scott Edwards (AV Squad), Greek distributor/producer Dionyssis Samiotis (Odeon), Lionsgate Executive VP Distribution David Spitz, Writers Vlas & Charley Parlapanides (Immortals) and ICM agent Peter Trinh. This panel addressed questions on the future potential of foreign films in the broader international market, including issues such as international representation and the use of alternative distribution.
The Festival’s five-member jury, which included academic and industry professionals Alessandro Ago, Anikó Imre, Johnny E. Jensen, ASC, Robert Koehler, and Lev L. Spiro, were responsible for selecting the Orpheus
Award winners in the various categories. The Orpheus Award for Best Feature went to KNIFER, directed by Yannis Economides; Best Documentary Orpheus Award went to directors Angeli Andrikopoulou and Argyris Tsepelikas for THE GAME MUST GO ON; Theo Alexander (True Blood) presented the Best Short Film Orpheus Award to RF, by Stavros Liokalos. Internationally acclaimed singer Alexia Vassiliou then took the stage to present the Career Achievement Award to composer Mikis Theodorakis (Zorba The Greek, Serpico). Theodorakis, who was unable to attend, addressed the audience from Greece through a prerecorded message. He thanked the festival for the acknowledgment, and Director Asteris Koutoulas (Mikis Theodorakis: Composer) accepted the award on the composer’s behalf. TITANIC star, Billy Zane, presented the evening’s final award, the Audience Choice Award, to WITHOUT BORDERS directed by Nick Gaitajis. “We are grateful to the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, for their generous support of LAGFF in conjunction with 1821 Pictures. We have great appreciation for all of our sponsors who made this year’s program possible,” says Ersi Danou, Co-Founder LAGFF, “and we look forward to many years ahead as we continue to celebrate excellence in Greek cinema.”
(LEFT /TOP: L-R) PAUL LILLIOS, VICTORIA BOUSIS (LAGFF SPONSOR, BOUSIS FILM COMPANY), DAVID MILBERN, NICK GAITATJIS (DIRECTOR - WITHOUT BORDERS), VICTOR LÓPEZ, PETER NIKKOS. (LEFT/BOTTOM: L-R) ERSI DANOU, DAVID SPITZ, CHARLES PARLAPANIDES, PASCAL LADREYT (ELMA, INDUSTRY PANEL SPONSOR), DIONISIS SAMIOTIS, PETER CARANICAS, SCOTT EDWARDS, VLAS PARLAPANIDES, PETER TRINH, AND ANGELIKI GIANNAKOPOULOS. (RIGHT) MOLLY RINGWALD AND PANIO GIANOPOULOS, CLOSING NIGHT GALA. PHOTOS BY: MARIA MARTIN
As LAGFF came to a close on Sunday, June 12, 2011, the evening began with a soiree of
celebrities who came out in support of Greek Cinema. The red carpet was adorned by such name as Billy Zane (Titanic), Molly Ringwald (Sixteen Candles), Theo Alexander (True Blood), Phedon Papamichael (The Pursuit of Happyness), Patrica Kara (Deal Or No Deal), Theo Pagones (Men Of Honor) and numerous others. The night continued with the presentation of the Orpheus Awards, hosted by comedian Angelo Tsarouchas (Fred & Vinnie). President of the Hellenic Film Academy, Tassos Boulmetis, made prolific opening remarks. Van Vlahakis, founder of Earth Friendly Products and the evening’s sponsor, addressed the audience on the closing night gala’s green theme. Tsarouchas followed by explaining that LAGFF supports green action in Greece and around the world and this year is supporting ARCHIPELAGOS, a national environmental organization in Greece that is committed to the conservation of the rare natural wealth of the Greek Seas and islands. Five percent of the evening’s proceeds is being donated to ARCHIPELAGOS toward Arc for the Greek Seeds Project, which works to preserve the last remaining local varieties of agricultural plants.
OPPOSITE PAGE: (TOP) STILL FROM FEATURED FILM “ BURNING HEADS”(BOTTOM/LEFT ) STILL FROM FEATURE FILM “HARISMA” (BOTTOM /RIGHT) STILL FROM FEATURE “PELICANS WATCH” PHOTOS: COURTESY OF LAGFF
AUGUST 2011 - 25
LOS ANGELES GREEK FILM FESTIVAL ON THE RED CARPET AT THE 5TH ANNUAL LAGFF JUNE 9-12, 2011
Billy Zane (Actor, TITANIC). Photo by Maria Martin Thaao Penglis (Actor, DAYS OF OUR LIVES). Photo by Maria Martin Van Vlahakis and Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks (Sponsors, Earth Friendly Products). Photo by Maria Martin
Dino Andrianos (Sponsor, Astro Burgers) and sons Yani & Thanasi Andrianos Photo by Maria Martin
Theo Alexander (Actor, TRUE BLOOD). Photo by Maria Martin
(L-R) Constantinos Isaias, Alexia Vassiliou, Zoi Kottas and Demi Jiova. Photo by Maria Martin
(L-R) Richard Varga (Sponsor, Chivas Regal) Angelo Tsarouchas (Actor, FRED & VINNIE) Photo By Don Q. Hannah
Orestis and Eleni Hillas (Sponsors, Hillas Beer). Photo by Maria Martin Theo Pagones (Actor/Writer, ASTORIA) Photo by Maria Martin
Victoria Bousis (Sponsor, Bousis Film Company) Photo By Maria Martin
Patricia Kara (Actress/Model â€“ Deal Or No Deal). Photo by Maria Martin
Eka and Phedon Papamichael (Cinematographer, WALK THE LINE) Photo by Maria Martin
Koula Papageorgiou and Terry Dougas (Sponsors, John S. Public Benefit Foundation & 1821Pictures) Photo By Don Q. Hannah
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SUN EXPOSURE = VITAMIN D We are definitely enjoying longer days with more sunshine while the summer heat is in full effect! Speaking of sunshine, let’s talk about the benefits of Vitamin D. I have come to the conclusion that although we can get Vitamin D from the sun, it is only healthy to have the level of exposure for short periods and not in peak sun. Always wear sunscreens and choose them carefully as you want to get ones that aren’t full of chemicals. Vitamin D sufficiency, along with diet and exercise, has emerged as one of the most important preventive factors in human health. Hundreds of studies now link vitamin D deficiency with significantly higher rates of many forms of cancer‚ as well as heart disease‚ osteoporosis‚ multiple sclerosis and many other conditions and diseases. Humans make 90 percent of our vita30 - HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY
SUN SHINE VITAMIN D min D naturally from sunlight exposure to our skin – specifically, from ultraviolet B exposure to the skin, which naturally initiates the conversion of cholesterol in the skin to vitamin D3.
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LA THEAT School may be starting back up, but our local theatres are also starting up, with offerings including: “Preposterous” follows the troubled life of Allen and his close-knit group of friends as they struggle through the challenges of adulthood and human bonds. In the waning hours of a wake, the death of their friend John still a tragic cloud in the air, Allen and his ex-girlfriend Miranda are reunited and forced to confront the open wounds of their past and the mysterious future that lies ahead. Ultimately, their relationship with each other and their four other friends digs deeper, stretching backward in time to decipher the muddle of companionship, friendship and love. Written by Jason Britt and directed by Taylor Ashbrook, it runs September 2 through October 9 at the Eclectic Company Theatre in Valley Village. For tickets call 818-508-3003 or visit www.eclecticcompanytheatre.org. “Stranger Things” Helga and her mother have transformed a dilapidated old farmhouse into an inn. She had a brother who lived there too, until he fled these bleak surroundings. One day, two young men, Matt and Johan, stop at the inn. Matt has never been here before, but Johan is returning for a mysterious reason. Written and directed by Ronnie Clark, it runs September 3 through September 25 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-281-8341 or visit ghostroad.secure.force.com/ticket. “Jolson at the Winter Garden” is a recreation of Al Jolson’s famous Sunday concerts and includes great American songs such as “Swanee,” “Rockabye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody,” “Sonny Boy,” “Nothing Could Be Finer than to be in Carolina,” “Toot, Toot, Tootsie” and more! Written and directed by Bill Castellino, it runs September 6 through September 18 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 877-733-7529 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com. “Laurel and Hardy” Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy reminisce about their lives, loves and careers in Vaudeville, Silent Movies, and the Talkies. Flashing back to some of their world-famous comedy sketches, slapstick, music and dance routines, as well as poignant glimpses behind the scenes, the charm and wit of Laurel and Hardy are reborn in this affectionate homage to the men behind the laughter and success of one of the most prolific comedy duos in Hollywood. Written by Tom McGrath and directed by Dimitri Toscas, it runs September 9 through October 2 at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-955-8101 or visit www.falcontheatre. com. “Fairy Tale Theatre: 18 & Over” Remember learning your lessons from stories read to you by teachers and parents? Well grownups need lessons too, from sex to relationships to financial stability to parking regulations. Join Percy Ruthford as he brings to life a collection of fairy tales and fables with morals for adults in this one-man show plus puppeteers and special guest stars. Written by J. Michael Feldman and directed by Annie McVey, it runs September 15 through October 20 at the Acme Comedy Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-525-0202 or visit www. fairytaletheatre2011.com. “South Street” From an old firehouse to a strip joint to the now-celebrated location of the annual Full Moon Festival, Sammy’s Place has been a fixture on Philadel-
32 - HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY
BY STEVE ZALL AND SID FISH
phia’s eclectic South Street for decades. It’s a place where the locals come to celebrate life and to discover the legendary magic of the rabbit that dwells in Sammy’s moon clock hanging over the bar. The club now lies at a crossroads with the ownership threatened and its future in jeopardy. Written by Craig Carlisle, music by Richard Addrisi, and directed by Roger Castellano, it runs September 16 through October 16 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.pasadenaplayhouse.org. “Raised in Captivity” Sebastian and Bernadette’s mother was tragically killed by an errant showerhead. Sebastian is in a pit of loneliness since the death of his lover and seeks new love with a convicted murderer. He also breaks up with his longtime therapist who does not take the news well and turns to self-mutilation. Meanwhile, Bernadette and her husband start to question life and their marriage, but are derailed by an unexpected pregnancy. Written by Nicky Silver and directed by Alejandro Romero, it runs through September 18 at the Renegade Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-7792 or visit www.plays411.com/raised. “Treat Yourself like Cary Grant” When a brilliant young attorney attempts to exonerate a man who is on Death Row for murdering his wife, she discovers he is under the delusion that he is a dead classic movie star. As she tries to untangle the loose ends of the case in time to save his life, she finds issues of her own life – her father, her ambition, her relationship with her boyfriend – changing dramatically because of her contact with this strange yet charismatic madman. Written and directed by Rick Pagano, it runs through September 18 at the Elephant Stages Lillian Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-7745 or visit www.plays411. com/carygrant. “Beau Jeste” Convinced that her parents won’t approve of her gentile boyfriend, an eager-to-please daughter hires an actor to play the man of her mother’s dreams (not just a doctor; a surgeon!) until she can work up the nerve to tell them the truth. But when her parents fall in love with her new beau, can she remember not to do the same? Written by James Sherman and directed by Martin Lang, it runs through September 24 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com. “DOLLS! - Not Your Usual Love Story” a cheerfully mysterious, unexpectedly amorous musical unveiling of the remarkable secret life of the dolls we left behind. The handsome Tin Soldier, the ephemeral Music Box Dancer, the ever-smiling Raggedy Girl, the cracked Porcelain Victoriana, the anatomically incorrect Fashion Doll and more bare their souls, and their startling private lives. Written by Evelyn Rudie & Chris DeCarlo, music by E. Rudie with Matthew Wrather and directed by Chris DeCarlo, it runs through September 25 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 or visit www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com. So make sure your schedule includes one or more of these productions on it. Practice makes perfect!
AUGUST 2011 - 33
GIVES BACK TO HIS COMMUNITY
ou can call him a role model. The 6 foot Mr. Hammond doesn’t shy away from taking a starring role in helping his community. The leading man demonstrates his range a-la Denzel Washington, bringing his numerous special skills, and business savvy to the screen. “Everything I do, I give 110%” .
Grounded in family and raised in the church in his native Los Angeles, Julius Hammond knows his way around a set. Julius Hammond brought his considerable talents to “NCIS Los Angeles,” “NCIS NY,” “The Defender’s,” “No Ordinary Family,” and “Knocked Up” to name a few. His wide ranging special skills and personality are assets to any production. He can authentically portray his experiences in football, basketball, baseball, golf, fishing, go cart riding, boxing, and weight lifting. He is also a trained barber, plays drums and counts a mean Jamaican accent in his repertoire.
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WHEN HE GRACES THE SCREEN, HE TRANSFORMS HIMSELF INTO THAT PARTICULAR CHARACTER; YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT HE IS THAT PERSON.”
Not surprisingly, the chocolate Aries is an early riser, hitting the gym to maintain his physique that makes him a sports official for youth league sports in his native Los Angeles. The mentoring he provides as a referee for basketball, an umpire in baseball and other sports provides much needed leadership example for the youth in Carson, California. The oldest of three, he continues to embody the role of leader. He credits the positive influences of father Joe Hammond, sister Alicia Hammond and mother Wendy Mashell in his development. As a highly visible positive example to those not as fortunate to have an available supportive family unit, he is meeting a much unaddressed need for urban youth. Trained Star is Ready to Shine Growing up in the church, singing in the choir, Hammond has also played the flute, and saxophone, performed in local theatre, and continued his acting training in Las Vegas TV & Film School of Acting, among numerous commercial training classes and seminars to develop and sharpen his skills. Hammond majored in business management, and understands the importance of integrating business on the set. “I’m punctual, friendly, and the constant professional who you would enjoy working with” he assures. “My biggest motivation is my Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Another source of my motivation is my little girl Samarah. Every time I see her it makes me want to push harder and go further to be that successful actor and business man.” Julius Hammond also looks forward to developing other areas of his creative talents with a drama he has in mind in the role of producer, and looks forward to expanding his industry opportunities. Encouraged by a meeting with Denzel Washington at an industry event when the actor of the same height encouraged Hammond’s goals, Hammond says Washington’s work ethic is among actors he emulates. “When he graces the screen, he transforms himself into that particular character; you really believe that he is that person.” Although a self-described “passionate person who loves making people laugh, smile” Julius can see himself in a range of dramatic roles including transforming to a villain in the hotly in demand 18 -25 age range. Hammond is slated for rehearsals for his next feature film role going into production shortly. Hammond’s resume and reel can be viewed at Actors Access, LA Casting for direct bookings. Meetings are available by contacting his management team UEM at Sunset Gower Studios.
Contact: Launy Rhem (310)836-2446 Launy@ueminc.net
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LA’s Rising Talent FASHION, FILM, AND MUSIC
By: Christina Anastasiou
Described as “heavy space rock,” the Useless Keys, made up of Michael Bauer (vox/guitar), Michael Regilio, (Guitar/Keys), Davin Givhan (Bass/Vox), and Jerry Roe (Drums), have gained a loyal following to their enchanting sound, giving their fans reasons to stay for life. They’re quickly gaining popularity along the West Coast and have gained press for their first self-released EP, “Is the Painting Changing.” The band’s cohesive sound and poignant lyrics are vivid on, “White Noise” to the dreamy “Arizona Highways.” This summer, the band has been touring the Southwest. They have plans to tour the East Coast in the fall to promote their second EP, giving the release a buzz for both Image by Sonya Bowman music journalists and fans alike.
Chanel’s career began in her teens as a model. She’s been working on major commercials and editorial campaigns in the last few years, and has now leaped to film. This year, she booked a role in “Small Apartments,” directed by Jonas Ackerlund, “Skum Rocks,” with Alice Cooper and Jon Stewart, “Bad Kids Go to Hell,” and the already acclaimed “Witches of Oz,” directed and written by Leigh Scott. Chanel’s career is sure to soar this year unlike ever before. She is also an animal lover and dedicated animal rights activist. Chanel is one to watch for.
Image by Jeff Slater
Former model turned entrepreneur, Ernest Sturm found a clever way to offer the best of the modeling industry for companies looking to add a fashion spark to their events. As a former model, he understood the instability of the industry, and founded Runway Waiters. His professionalism and saavy business skills have led him to work with clients such as Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Cavali, the Von Furstenburgs, and many others. His company is the only company in L.A., working with models signed exclusively by some of biggest agencies in the world.
Originally from Italy, Emanuela is garnering a following in both English and Spanish. She is a classically trained musician since childhood and a graduate of the Musician’s Institute of Hollywood. She was named as one of the top 100 unsigned artists of year and won a Hollywood Music in Media Award for her single, “Stay with Me.” Her inspiration as a singer, songwriter, and performer has come from the late singer Selena. She re-did a cover of “Bidi Bidi Bidi Bom Bom.” Emanuela has all of the makings of an international star.
Kikey is the next Eva Longoria. Her talent, beauty, and versatility on stage and film is slowly, but surely being noticed by Hollywood. On the brink of a breakout, Kikey is currently a co-host on Latin Heat’s, “Let’s Talk,” a bilingual Latina talk show about Latinas and for Latinas. She’s interviewed some of the world’s most famous faces on the red carpet and has been the voice over for many national commercials. Most recently, she played a ruthless girlfriend alongside Danny Trejo in the drama, “513.” Her second feature this year was “Lean Like a Cholo,” directed by Demetrius Navarro in which she plays a chola. She recently launched her own blog, Livin La Vida, where she blogs about her adventures of living in L.A. as an actress. 36 - HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY
RISING STAR Bombshell Looks & Winning Attitude: Erika Thompson
he down to earth and bubbly Erika Thompson loves a challenge, and wants to motivate you to do the same! The successful fitness model turned actress eats goals for breakfast, and invites you to come along for the ride. A walking encyclopedia of motivational quotes, she infuses everyone around her with her sunny outlook, warmth and charm. With personality plus on her side she has overturned obstacles to grace the covers of Iron Man, and American Curves, appearing in Maxim, MuscleMag, Body Mag, Splat, Que Pasa Vegas, and Fitness X in the short time she has been in the US. Hailing from South America’s Uruguay Erica’s stunningly exotic looks are a combination of Brazilian, Spanish and European heritages. She attributes her drive for success to her upbringing in the scenic capital of Montevideo in a loving family. The 5’4” Aquarius says of her big personality, “I was taught patience, humility, hard work and confidence,” she explains of her qualities as is evident to all lucky enough to meet with the bombshell.
DESIRE TO HELP OTHERS
Thompson willingly shares her extensive knowledge of training and eating right with friends. Luckily, Thompson
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makes friends easily, always looking to help another. “Try different things every day,” she offers. “Every second, every minute is a new experience. Try to enjoy every moment. Every day is different “When you wake up each day, the sun is shining.” “You’re beautiful no matter what” she says of her quest to empower others with selfesteem. She has helped many with her sunny outlook and high energy suggestions on fitness and eating right.
Erika is interested in bringing her charisma to both dramatic and comedic roles, for the growing Latin markets and beyond. She embodies the energy and presence of a Sofia Vergara, and would love to share the screen with favorites Denzel Washington, and Anthony Hopkins. “When I’m on the set of a shoot, I like to make people feel comfortable.” “I like to help people see the big picture in life.” The beauty engages her fans via her social networking sites, understanding the need to be available to connect with her growing audiences. A Hollywood insider Erica can be spotted out at industry events considering the many opportunities to bring her creative light and personality to entertain a wider audience. Erica Thompson may be booked through her management team at: UEM. Management Division, Launy Rhem (310)836-2446 - Launy@ueminc.net
AUGUST 2011 - 39
Michael Ehline is one of California's premiere lawyers and is featured as HW's Maritime Attorney of the year. Also, be sure to check out the...
Published on Aug 1, 2011
Michael Ehline is one of California's premiere lawyers and is featured as HW's Maritime Attorney of the year. Also, be sure to check out the...