Thursday, August 17, 2017

"AVERAGE" L.A. WEEKEND..........



FRIDAY NIGHT---LESLEY ANN WARREN AT HOLLYWOOD FOREVER CEMETERY

Yes, cemetery. The LGBT Center held a fundraising screening of Lesley's movie, CLUE, outside on the lawn in the cemetery. The movie is shown on a mausoleum wall. Hollywood Forever does these screenings on a regular basis and they draw a very nice crowd of about 1000 people. Lesley Ann's appearance drew 2500 people, the largest ever for any screening, and raised $100, 000 for The Center. Congratulations!

Check out Lesley's pants. I want them.


SATURDAY DAY----HAMILTON AT THE PANTAGES





I'd had tickets for HAMILTON early on in New York, but was forced to cancel them because of terrorist threats in New York. When the police with guns hit Times Square.....I'm out!

I was skeptical of HAMILTON because people seemed to be really going over the top about it. Well, I saw it and I'm over the top, too. This production at the Pantages is fantastic. HAMILTON really has changed musical theatre forever. I sat there wide-eyed and at attention the whole time. The touring company is brilliant. Total Broadway quality.


SATURDAY NIGHT-----HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CONNIE STEVENS

Connie opened her home for a New England Lobster-Clambake. She invited her closest friends, members of the SAG board, and, of course, her family. Connie is all about family, and if you're her friend, you're "in forever." She looked absolutely beautiful.

Joely, Connie, and Tricia Leigh

Connie's backyard was so welcoming


Tricia and Lainie Kazan



And, at Connie's, there were prayers for
Joe Bologna. His wife and kids were by
his side that night. He and Renee have been
fixtures at Connie's parties for over 40 years.
He died the next day. God bless you,
Sweet, Funny Joe.






SUNDAY----BRUNCH WITH FRIENDS AND TAROT READINGS


Erika, Lynne, Merrin, Lesley, and Jill
At Merrin's suggestion, we went to Sawyer in Silverlake for brunch and it was glorious. We sat in their beautiful garden and ate fantastic food. Then, it was off to House of Intuition on Sunset where we all had readings.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

JIMMY CARTER'S BIBLE CLASS IN PLAINS, GEORGIA


DID YOU KNOW THAT FORMER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER TEACHES A BIBLE CLASS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AT HIS HOME CHURCH IN PLAINS, GEORGIA? 
                                      I DIDN'T.

My friends from Palm Springs, Keith Coplen and Bryan Kraft, retired heavy-duty political operatives, read somewhere that Jimmy taught a class a few times a year in Plains, and saw that the next date was coming soon. They literally made plane reservations that moment and went. THAT'S how life should be lived, I think. When they returned, they told me that their lives were "forever changed" by the experience.




Keith and Bryan sitting in the pew
Jimmy's childhood bedroom
Plains "business district"
Police station
Rosalynn's birthplace





Original Carter Family Farm

Train Depot and also headquarters for his presidential campaign

Billy Carter's gas station





City Hall

Entering Plains--FEWER THAN 700 PEOPLE LIVE THERE

The Cafeteria






Keith in front of the restaurant




The only restaurant (at left) in Plains is The Cafeteria
Fried Chicken, greens, and mac 'n' cheese. What else?

















Jimmy's boyhood home




Where Jimmy and Rosalynn live now. You can't get in.

Monday, August 7, 2017

LYNDA CARTER CONCERT AT PALM SPRINGS COMIC-CON


FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER AT COMIC-CON, 

LYNDA CARTER WILL DO HER SENSATIONAL CONCERT ACT 

AT THE PALM SPRINGS CONVENTION CENTER, AUGUST 26






I have been watching Lynda's musical act since the 80s in Las Vegas and all over the country. You are in for a treat. And her band.....all Grammy-winning musicians.

FOR TICKETS:
comicconpalmsprings.com

August 26
8 p.m.
Palm Springs Convention Center

Note: Lynda is not appearing inside the Comic-Con Festival, only at the theatre.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

DUNKIRK, THE MOVIE--YES, NO, MAYBE?


DUNKIRK IS HOLLYWOOD'S DARLING RIGHT NOW. ALL YOU HEAR IS OSCAR, OSCAR, OSCAR...AND I'M SURE IT WILL WIN SOME.



To be fair, I am not a fan of war movies. I remember my mother forcing me to sit and watch an old movie called "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" when I was a child. I was terrified. I don't find war movies to be entertainment. A possible exception could be SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, just because the character development was so strong that you really felt connected.

DUNKIRK is not entertainment at all. It's a history lesson with tremendous direction and images by Christopher Nolan. There is very little dialogue. You barely know who anyone is. It is well-made in that you are tense and upset the entire time, which, I guess, is what a war movie should do to an audience. Will you be moved? In my opinion, not very.

Christopher Nolan


I also have to say, that the score by Oscar winner Hans Zimmer, was extremely screechy, obtrusive, and annoying. When your attention is taken off a movie plot because you are distracted by the music.....that's a problem. It happened repeatedly to me.

The movie stars Fionn Whitehead as the young soldier trying to get home. He is a wonderful find. Kennth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy are terrific, as well as every single unrecognizable face playing a soldier. Without much dialogue, and no backstory, it is hard to muster up a true caring. I'd best describe it as "generic caring."

Fionn Whitehead


If you're interested in the Academy Awards race, go see it to be informed.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

ACQUA OPENS AT THE RIVER IN RANCHO MIRAGE


CONGRATULATIONS TO BARBARA AND JERRY KELLER!!! THEY'VE DONE IT AGAIN.

ACQUA OPENED TODAY AT THE RIVER AND IT SHOULD BE A SMASH



The River Room view

Look at this view. If you eat in the River Room, one of their FOUR dining areas, this is what you'll see. It's so beautiful.

Barbara and Jerry gave us Lulu's in Palm Springs, and they've redone their former Acqua Pazza and turned it into Acqua, a restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I'm absolutely positive their presence will turn the River into a "must-go" again.

Acqua's menu is the same as Lulu's, so you know you're in for comfort and happiness.



Larry Luckinbill, Lucie Arnaz, Don Amendolia and I went for their "soft" opening.


Classic Wedge





Their Big Chips take two days to make

Fried Zucchini

Chicken Florentine

Fall off the bone gorgeous ribs

Don's Floating Island had patrons gasping




Tiramisu



Acqua has four different dining areas, as wells as two private rooms with moveable walls. The River Room features raised booths that are on wheels so they can go anywhere. There are also video monitors playing the wonderful art of Marvin Cohn, Barbara's 104-year-old father.

Here's a look around........

The bar

Open kitchen dining area in the center

Dining room at the entrance

Dining room past the bar

Moveable booths in The River Room

Outdoor sculpture that goes up to the sky


Go try Acqua. It will be your new home!




ACQUA
71-800 Hwy 111
Rancho Mirage, Ca
92270
760-862-9800
acquaranchomirage.com
Prices moderate

THE BUCKET LIST ITALY TRIP



I LOVE ROME AND VENICE, AND I FELT IT WAS TIME TO SEE FLORENCE, TUSCANY AND THE ITALIAN RIVERA

FLORENCE: It is as majestic and historic as you would imagine. Everywhere you look is some incredible part of history. In July, it is also filled with smoke, tourists, car fumes, and high temperatures.


This made it worth everything



Church across the street my my Hotel De Ville
I enjoyed the "all mass, all the time" presence. Even that cardinal of Florence came by for a visit.



Hotel De Ville--very well run

Dinner at Cantinetta Antinori, run by the Antinori Family, using all food from their farms. Best meal in Florence.

Frescoes, frescoes

TUSCANY:  IT WILL NOT DISAPPOINT YOU. IT REALLY LOOKS LIKE EVERY PHOTO OR PAINTING YOU'VE EVER SEEN. IT IS STILL......STILL......STILL. LIFE MOVES AT ONE MPH. No matter how beautiful, it was not for me. I checked it off my list and was happy I saw it.

See what I mean? A painting/photo.

My bedroom at Villa Curina, a breathtaking villa in Chianti. I urge everyone to stay there.

My living room

Villa Curina main building

Drink and dream
Villa Curina pool


SIENNA: Also in Tuscany. It's totally worth seeing. Per usual, everything is around the center square, and the church and duomo are beautiful.


My favorite photo

This is a tiny, picturesque restaurant in Castelnuovo

Needless to say, I drove to almost every Tuscan town there was.



SANTA MARGHERITA/PORTOFINO: Now THIS I liked. Even though it wasn't Venice, thoughts of DEATH IN VENICE poured through my head as I checked into Grand Hotel Miramare in Santa Margherita. There was enough marble and gold to turn me into Dirk Bogard. I loved this town.

View from my room


Lunch or cocktails


Rear gardens


Breakfast


Sidetrip to Portofino for drinks at Hotel Splendido. A glass of wine coast $80

Splendido pool

GOT OUT OF ITALY AND ESCAPED TO NICE. I LOVE FRANCE MORE THAN ANYTHING. THANK YOU, NICE, AND HOTEL NEGRESCO.