Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Anything Goes at The Ahmanson

Cole Porter's, 2011 Tony winning, Anything Goes opens at The Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles tonight. This a great show full of amazing songs, like “You’re the Top,” “Friendship,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “It’s De-Lovely,” “Blow, Gabriel, Blow” and “Anything Goes.”. I've seen other productions and know that it is a fell good, toe tapping good time. I can't wait to see it again tonight.

Here's the synopsis:

When the S.S. American heads out to sea, etiquette and convention head out the portholes as two unlikely pairs set off on the course to true love… proving that sometimes destiny needs a little help from a crew of singing sailors, an exotic disguise and some good old-fashioned blackmail.

I'm going to do my best not to sing along.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

PBS Kids Toys at Tuesday Morning


PBS Kids has partnered with Tuesday Morning to offer some great preschool toys that extend PBS Kids on screen learning to the home. Being a member of PBS Kids VIPs I received an assortment of the games, and by assortment I mean a huge box filled with 8 great looking preschooler games. Even my 8 year old, who normally won't have anything to do with "baby" toys, was interested.

After fending off my 3rd grader, we decided that these toys would be a great holiday toy donation for Sparks of Love at LA County Fire Department. My father was and LA County fire fighter, so this is always my preferred toy donation site. But there are many great organizations that take toy donations to give to needy families at the holidays. Toys for Tots is a national organization you can donate at.

Where ever you live I encourage you to take the time to donate toys for children that may not receive anything this holiday. These PBS Kids toys go on sale at Tuesday Morning on December 4th and are available online now. They range in price from under $10 -$20. They're a great value and something I think kids will truly enjoy.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Larry Hagman RIP

So sad to hear Larry Hagman died today. I had the opportunity to talk with him and his original Dallas co stars at last years TCM Classic Film Fest. He seemed genuinely excited to revisit his character JR from Dallas on the revival of the show on TNT, which premiered last summer. They are, now, in the process of filming the second season so I can only hope he was enjoying himself right up till the end.

I've included the pictures I snapped that day last April. The top image is Larry with the back of costar Linda Grey (Sue Ellen). Below Larry and Patrick Duffy (Bobby). 

And finally here is some very rough video of me interviewing Josh Henderson who plays JR's son John Ross saying some nice things about Hagman's portrayal of JR.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

American Masters: Inventing David Geffen On PBS

Tonight on PBS American Masters: Inventing David Geffen premieres. He has had such an amazing life, full of colorful people and over the top successes. It's a fascinating story and really comprehensively told by those who were there. Watching his nearest and dearest try to find diplomatic ways to describe him is entertaining in itself.

 Last Summer I was at the PBS press tour when a room full of experienced journalist tried to interview Geffen and it was excrutiating. Geffen was in no mode to answer questions with anything more than a yes or no. By the end of the hour I think I had developed an ulcer. So this American Masters bio is probably your best chance to get a sense of David Geffen's life.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina opens this Friday, Novenber 16th in select cities (see below for complete schedule). It's such a unique and beautiful telling of this classic. Even if you've seen other versions many times before, this one is so different it feels like a totally different experience. Very theatrical, in the way it involves the audience.

Yesterday I was able to speak with both Anna Karenina's star, Keira Knightly and director, Joe Wright. They both mentioned the intention of drawing the audience into the product much as a theatre production would. Telling the observer this is a church, even if it's only a darken stage and having the audience so involved that they except it.

They also both talked about the importance of costume. How Anna's veil were symbolic of the caged bird, her character personifies.It is interesting to watch the progression of the veils throughout the film. The patterns are and epic tale in themselves. Also all the headed furs she wears as death imagery. When pushed to name a favorite of the gowns, Keira said she was particularly fond of a white dress she wore made of bed sheets.

Finally, we talked about the much discussed balletic qualities of the film. Dance is most noticable in the blocking, but as Joe Wright pointed out it can also be seen in the camera work. It is all to show the Russian aristocracy acting and dancing their way through life. Something Anna can no longer be apart of, once awoken to true love/true feeling. Which of course becomes her undoing.

Really a spectacular film that will translate best on a big screen, so make sure to catch it when it opens in your city.




Tuesday, November 13, 2012

PlayStation PS3 Wonderbook Book of Spells

Yesterday PlayStation sent me the Wonderbook Book of Spells Bundle. It's a new augmented reality storytelling game featuring new and original content from J.K. Rowling. It launches today and based on my daughters enthusiasm for it, I think it's a winner.

My daughter literally ripped the box apart to get to the game and immediately started playing. The first chapter teaches a few spells and gives a final exam, where the spells can be used. Each chapter adds new spells and adventures. The game is rated E for everyone and 10+ as an age guide. My daughter is 8 years old and had no trouble with it.

The game really is an amazing augmented reality experience. Using the book you turn pages and move it about to get a better look at various objects and creatures. There are also several new stories by J.K.Rowling. Finally, the Move motion controller becomes a magic wand.

I have a feeling there will be a rush on this game for the holidays. If you think you'll want to give one I recommend getting it immediately, if not sooner, before the stores are picked clean.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Downton Abbey Revisited on PBS

Downton Abbey returns to PBS January 6th. Which feels like FOREVER. PBS is airing a behind the scenes look at Downton Abbey including some peaks at the new season, Downton Abbey Revisited will air Sunday, November 25.

I love hearing what creator Julian Fellows and all the cast have to say about this amazing show. Including the show origins, the costumes, sets, and locations. It's all hosted by the incredible Angela Lansbury. Which come to think of it would make an excellent Downton character herself.

The season promises to be everything we've come to expect and Downton Abbey Revisited could be just the thing to prime you for it. Here's a little trailer.

Just as a bonus for Elise's Rambling readers here are a few behind the scenes pics of my own, taken last summer at the PBS press tour. Such a kind cast.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thank You Suffragettes

Because of these three women, and others like them, women in America have the vote today. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Susan B. Anthony stand in this unfinished sculpture in the rotunda of the capitol building in DC. The incompleteness is symbolic as their work is unfinished and there is even room for another women to take a place beside them.

Sadly none of them lived to see women get the vote. So I just wanted to say, get out and vote, for them if no one else. And another thing, it's kind of awful how much of the women's movement has back slid over the last decade or so, keep that in mind when you're making you decisions.

That is all!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Family Trip To South Africa

All my life I've dreamed of going to Africa. So when fellow blogger Jamie of I'm Not The Babysitter  asked if I'd be interested in joining her significantly comped More Hotel family trip in South Africa, I jumped at the chance.

The Hotels are all gorgeous. We will be staying in four of them. Two in game reserves and the other two in Johannesburg and Cape Town. More on them in future posts.

Now that the dream is a reality there are so many things to plan for. Not only flights and ground transportation, which thank goodness DSA Vacations has arranged for us. But also safari clothes and decisions about malaria prevention.

I'll be posting every month about the preparation for this trip of a life time, which will finally happen in February. Once it is actually here I will try to post a travel log every day with pictures and stories.

I really can't thank Jamie, The More Hotels and DSA Vacations enough for this opportunity.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pityriasis Rosea Treatment Tips

Here's a little post from the Mom Files. I just want to share this info.

Up front I want to say that according to all doctors pityriasis rosea has no treatment, with the possible exception being exposure to sunlight. All the following information is merely anecdotal experience I gathered while my daughter (age 8yrs) had the disease.

Pityriasis Rosea is a common skin rash most often in children ages 10 and up.

As soon as my daughter was diagnosed I went online looking for treatment ideas. Our doctor had said there was nothing to do but wait it out. The idea of looking at my daughter covered in spot for the 3-4 months predicted, drove me to search out 'something" to do.The only answers I found online, were going to tanning beds. With that tanning mom barely out of the news I wasn't about to try to take an 8 yer old to a tanning salon. Also my daughter is extremely fair and even 15 minutes in the sun could burn her. So that was definitely out.

Luckily my day job is as a massage therapist and I share office space with a lot of herbalist and naturolpaths. Here is their advice which comes under two headings.

One group went along the lines of fighting any virus, which they suspect pityriasis rosea is, but aren't sure.

1 Take lots of Vitamin C , and D
2 Take Echinacea
3 Make home made stock soup (boil your own bones for stock)
4 Get lots of rest

The other group suspects pityriasis rosea is related to an auto immune issue

1 Remove gluten and dairy from the diet
2 Take probiotics
3 Take fish oil

Finally the last thing I did was avoid fragranced products

1 Only use fragrance free shampoo, soap, and lotions
2 No baths
3 Short cool showers

My daughter's rash is barely visible any more and we are just at the 3 week mark. I can't guarentee any of this is the cause, it may have cleared up as quickly if I'd done nothing. But, it certainly didn't hurt her.

Also pityriasis rosea is an extreme vague disease, no one seems to be too clear what it is or how it will present itself. I want to mention my daughter's did spread to her face, since so many sites said it doesn't spread to the face. I was told not to worry unless it begins to appear onthe  palms of hand or the soles of the feet.

Good luck if you have just discovered you or your child has this. Aside for vanity it is pretty harmless.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

TCM Film Fest 2013 Opening Night

I am so excited TCM announced today the newly restored Funny Girl will open the 4th TCM Film Festival. Could an announcement of Striesand's participation be far behind???

Passes go on sale for the film festival November 15th. This year the four day classic film palooza will take place April 25-28.

Other restored films showing at the festival include Giant, The General, and The Great Escape. (it must be a G thing??)

If you've somehow missed my previous years post on TCM Film Fest. Check them out. They include interviews with Tony Curtis, Eva Marie Saint, Ernest Borgnine, Eli Wallach, and more. If you're a classic movie fan, I highly recommend you attend. Sadly many of these people are near death, and often they are gone within the year. Don't miss the chance to see them. I also love seeing these films with an audience, who loves them as much as I do.