“Forgotten Hollywood”- Saroo…

June 22nd, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`A child is traumatically separated from his family, and winds up in a foster-family system. Eventually, he is adopted. Two decades later, he embarks on a heartfelt journey to find his actual family. The search is problematic, but it brings a tear to your eye when the reunion occurs. A tale ripped from today’s headlines? Actually, it is the narrative from one of the finest movies from the last decade.

“`Lion is the 2016 production that features fine performances from Nicole Kidman, Dev Patel, Rooney Mara,  and the remarkable Sunny Pawar (who portrays the boy… Saroo). The movie was appropriately nominated for six Academy Awards.

“`The motion picture was made on location in Khandwa and Calcutta in India,  and Tasmania and Melbourne in Australia. The plight of this lost youngster who resembles Oliver Twist, and sparse narrative, creates a visually stunning presentation that tugs at your heartstrings, and rings incredibly true, considering recent immigration policy.

“`I have personally watched the film a number of times. This cinematic experience is expert Hollywood craftsmanship.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Sympathetic Simian…

June 21st, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Koko the gorilla had a remarkable sign-language ability and maternal attachment to pet cats, and helped change the view about animal intelligence and their capacity for empathy. She became a celebrity who played with Robin Williams, Leonardo DiCaprio, Betty White, William Shatner, Sting, and Mr. Rogers.  At her home preserve, Koko (right) was treated like a queen.

“`Koko was taught sign language from an early age, part of a scientific test subject and eventually learned more than 1,000 words, a vocabulary similar to a human toddler. Koko was not the first gorilla to learn sign language, but through books and media appearances, she became famous.

“`Koko appeared in countless documentaries, including a 2015 PBS production, and twice on National Geographic. The simian’s 1978 National Geographic cover featured a photo that the animal had taken of herself in a mirror. Koko watched movies and television, her favorite movies included the Eddie Murphy version of Doctor Doolittle and Free Willy, and favorite television show was Wild Kingdom.

“`Koko was particularly close to Robin Williams. The two held hands and tickled each other in a widely shared video. The gorilla publicly mourned his passing.

“`The tranquil and sensitive Koko was 46.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Boldly Cruise…

June 20th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Star Trek: The Cruise III is a unique Star Trek enterprise. This six-day voyage on the spectacular Norwegian Jade offers you an unprecedented engagement with your favorite stars, as well as being able to enjoy special Star Trek-themed shows, events, parties, and programs. More than a passenger, you will become a member of the crew, and part of the magic and majesty that is Star Trek.

“`Star Trek: The Cruise III provides a week-long voyage full of exciting moments, including performances, comedy shows, and concerts by Star Trek actors.  You will not want to miss the intimate speaking engagements with leading scientists and experts. Cast members include Wil Wheaton, Jonathan Frakes, and Brent SpinerThere is so much to do and see, such as themed parties, nightclubs, casinos, private islands, interactive games, screenings, and much more.

“`Star Trek: The Cruise III  will be setting sail on the beautiful Norwegian Jade, the NCL Jewel Class cruise ship outfitted exclusively for charter programs. You are cordially invited to experience the wonders of sailing on Norwegian Jade. With more than fifteen extraordinary dining options, eleven bars and lounges, an award winning casino, tranquil spa, and spacious garden villas, this ship is special.

   

“`Star Trek: The Cruise III  boldly goes to the Caribbean. The cruise ship leaves from the port of Miami in January of 2019.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Road to El Segundo…

June 19th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Due out this Fall, the anticipated release of my next paperback in the Forgotten Hollywood Book Series. The title of this latest entry is in part a homage to the iconic Road films that starred Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Dorothy Lamour  (right). My new work is entitled Road to Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History.

“`Call it kismet. This weekend, there is a film festival that highlights the performances of Hope, Crosby and Lamour. Old Town Music Hall is a treasured cultural landmark located in El Segundo, right by Los Angeles International Airport.

“`The screen team starred in a series of seven Road Pictures from 1940-1962 for Paramount Pictures. These movies were comedic, adventurous, and romantic. Much of the dialogue was ad-libbed by Crosby and Hope. You can tell they had a blast making these flicks, and decades later, we are still laughing and enjoying the fun.

“`The screenings include Road to Singapore, Road to Morocco, Road to Utopia (personal favorite), and Road to Rio. Every show begins with music played on their historic pipe organ, an audience sing along, and a comedy short. There will be a 15-minute intermission, followed by the feature film.

“`The Old Town Music Hall is located at 140 Richmond Street, El Segundo, CA.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Sweet Adeline…

June 18th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`After eight decades of being a male-only organization, Barbershop Harmony Society has announced that women will be allowed to join the a capella singing organization. The organization, which is based in Nashville, Tennessee, announced on their website that membership to the society is open to everyone, effective immediately.

“`But, the statement also says that its local chapters will get to decide how to integrate, or whether to integrate their singing groups, such as keeping male-only choruses, or having female-only choruses or mixed groups.

“`The Barbershop Harmony Society opened to men of color in 1963. In 2009, women were allowed to participate in the organization as associates, but couldn’t join chapters or quartets.

“`Consider this latest decision a profile in courage in its decision-making policy.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Downton Abbey: The Exhibition…

June 15th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

`Downton Abbey: The Exhibition, based on the beloved television show, transports fans to post-Edwardian England,  where the characters and iconic castle comes to life.  You shall be immersed in this fascinating social history, culture, and memorable moments from the program’s six-season run.

“`Do not expect any of the cast to be present; however, many of their original wardrobe is on display. To celebrate Downton Abbey: The Exhibition, The Whitby Hotel and The Pierre has launched a daily Afternoon Tea. Both are conveniently a short walk from the hotel.

“`Viking is the presenting sponsor of Downton Abbey: The ExhibitionThis partnership continues its long history with Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle, and the Carnarvon clan.

“`The exhibition is located at 218 West 57th Street, between Broadway and 7th Ave.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Return of Looney Toons…

June 14th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`Warner Brothers Animation have announced their plans for a new short-form Looney Tunes set to air in 2019. The intention is to create a thousand minutes of animated shorts each season. It is not totally clear how fans will be able to access the new content, but its distribution will reportedly range across several platforms including broadcast, mobile and digital.

“`The series will feature veteran Looney Tunes voice cast members, including Jeff Bergman, Eric Bauza, and Bob Bergen. There will be more news on the cartoonists they recruit soon. 

“`Looney Tunes initially appeared in 1930 in response to the success of Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse cartoons, as well as the high demand for talking pictures at the time. The series made stars of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Sylvester, among others.

   

“`Wait for it…                                                                    That’s All Folks!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Wiseguy Diner Goes Up in Flames…

June 12th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Earlier this week, a historic diner in Queens went up in flames. GoodFellas Diner opened in the early 1960s and was once called Clinton Diner.  It was re-named for the Martin Scorsese cinematic masterpiece following the film’s release.

“`There were two scenes shot at the diner for the movie, both featuring Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta; at a booth, and also in the parking lot at a payphone, where De Niro’s character finds out Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) was killed.

   

                                                                  ROBERT DE NIRO     RAY LIOTTA

“`Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Pierce Brosnan have visited the iconic eatery. The diner has also been featured on television, most memorably in The Good Wife.

“`There were no injuries, and the diner is currently boarded up. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. The owners are currently working to re-open the restaurant, though no timeline has been established.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Lunch with the Pink Lady…

June 11th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`I will be spending Wednesday with Jackie Golberg, aka The Pink Lady. She is hosting a new web-based program on LATalkRadio.com called  Pink Lady Presents. Her previous guests include local talent and civic leaders.

“`This hour-long program airs LIVE at 11a, and I shall be chatting about my broadcasting career, and promoting my award-winning Forgotten Hollywood Book Series. I also plan on performing a number from The Music Man.

“`Please plan on tuning in and show your support for a recent KNX 1070 Hero of the Week… Jackie Goldberg!! Here is the link if you would like to view:

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Founding Father Goes Home…

June 10th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`The blockbuster musical Hamilton is finally traveling to the nation’s capital, and its citizenry is preparing for the visit. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s  historical musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton is starting three months at the Kennedy Center.

“`Ironically,  Hamilton would not spend much of his professional career in Washington. The United States capital was in Philadelphia while he served as the nation’s first treasury secretary; and the federal government didn’t move to Washington until 1800, four years before his death.

“`The myriad museums of modern Washington have been preparing specialized exhibits. The Postal Museum has already launched an exhibit —  Alexander Hamilton: Soldier, Secretary, Icon — and it includes mail, portraits, and postage stamps reflective of his life. A highlight of the exhibit are the two flintlock pistols made of walnut, brass, and gold that were used in the July 11, 1804 duel with Vice President Aaron Burr, resulting Hamilton’s demise. These pistols are on loan from the private collection of JP Morgan Chase and Co.

“`The Library of Congress is unveiling its own Hamilton display, drawing on its collection of more than 12,000 of Hamilton’s papers and documents. Miranda based his musical on a 2004 biography, Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, which drew from the same material. Also, there is material chronicling a historic meal between Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson.

“`The Library of Congress is supplementing the physical exhibit by making a vast number of Hamilton-related papers accessible online. These include the Reynolds Pamphlet, his 100-page public response to his involvement in the first American political sex scandal.

“`With a song in their heart, the District of Columbia is mad about the boy.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Genuflect…

June 8th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`A 26-foot statue of Marilyn Monroe has been placed in a Stamford, Connecticut park across from a church, which is getting a full view of her back side. It depicts the famous scene from 1955’s The Seven Year Itch where the actress holds down her white dress as air is blowing up from a subway grate.

“`Forever Marilyn is one of 36 the statues by artist Seward Johnson that are on display and on loan in the downtown area through the summer. They are part of the city’s annual Art in Public Spaces program. All the statues except Marilyn are life-size and depict persons doing everyday activities. The back of her statue showing her underwear is clearly visible from the front of the First Congregational Church of Stamford.

“`Organizers argue that there are many nude statues outdoors in Europe — and near churches —  that are accepted by the public. But, it is sure to spark conversation when church members return for Sunday worship and catch a glimpse. One resident has already found it disturbing to see youngsters climbing on the statue’s leg and looking up the skirt. The pastor of the church, however, finds the whole thing artistically odd, and he sees humor over the perceived uproar.

“`The Stamford Downtown Special Services District is hosting the exhibit, with sponsors, including the real estate finance firm UC Funds. For now, the organizers have decided to keep on displaying Marilyn, and not to scratch the Seven Year Itch… statue!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Backwards and In Heels…

June 7th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`The lineup of repertory programs and festival for the summer season at the Film Society of Lincoln Center has been announced, including a retrospective on the classic musicals of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. This portion of the event is from July 13th to July 15th.

FRED ASTAIRE                GINGER ROGERS

“`In 1930, three years before Fred Astaire had appeared on film, writer Robert Benchley had proclaimed him the greatest tap dancer in the world. Astairealong with his sister Adele, had already been hailed as a sensation of the New York and London stage when Flying Down to Rio opened in 1933.

“`Ginger Rogers, on the other hand, was several years into a successful movie acting career, and had never danced with a partner, when they were paired in Rio. The rest is history; over nine years, Fred and Ginger would make ten movies together, immortalized as icons for their dazzlingly fleet-footed choreography, and their singularly charming onscreen chemistry.

“`This was the artistic collaboration that revolutionized and re-imagined the film musical, reshaping the genre’s legacy for generations to come. Eighty-five years after their first collaboration, the Film Society is delighted to present a three-day complete retrospective of their shared oeuvre.

“`Expect a well-choreographed event.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Bye Bye To the Lollipop Kid…

June 6th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`The last living member of the Lollipop Guild has died. Jerry Maren, who portrayed one of the beloved munchkins in The Wizard of Oz, will screen tomorrow on TCM at 5p (pst), it remains one of the most beloved movies of all-time.

             

JERRY MAREN                                 THE LOLLIPOP GUILD

“`In The Wizard of Oz, Jerry was the munchkin dressed in green, who stood alongside Jakob Gerlich  and Harry Earles. He is the one who hands Judy’s character, Dorothy, a lollipop. Maren was only 18 years old when he shot his scenes for the movie. Most of the cast have all passed away. Caren Marsh Doll, who served as Judy’s dance stand-in, is still living.

“`He also had roles in Our Gang comedy shorts, At the Circus and Planet of the Apes. In the 1950s, Maren appeared as Little Oscar for Oscar Meyer, and Buster Brown in television and radio commercials. Jerry played Mayor McCheese and The Hamburglar for McDonald’s. Maren and Billy Barty organized Little People of America. He continued to work until 2010.

“`His funeral was held at Forest Lawn in Hollywood, since he passed away in May. Jerry Maren was 99.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Saturday Night Pizza…

June 5th, 2018

Manny P. here…

“`On June 12th, John Travolta is returning to Lenny’s Pizza in Brooklyn to receive a lifetime achievement award from State Senator Marty Golden, and will be joined by his peers, family, friends, and fans. Travolta’s trip to Lenny’s is three days before the nationwide release of his latest film, Gotti.

JOHN TRAVOLTA

“`Lenny’s – a staple since 1953 –  had a co-starring role in the 1977 classic Saturday Night Fever. In the film’s opening credits, Travolta’s on-screen character, Tony Manero, gets himself a pair of slices at the now-famous Lenny’s window before strutting his stuff down 86th Street. Folks still come up to the window and mimic John Travolta’s line at least ten times a day.

“`Travolta’s latest award will serve as a gracious thank you from the New York borough, and as a commemoration of the iconic roles he continues to play.

“`Cue the Bee Gees Stayin’ Alive.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Out of Hiding…

June 4th, 2018

Manny P. here… 

“`Katherine Johnson, the NASA mathematician whose calculation helped astronauts return safely to Earth, will be honored at her alma mater with a bronze statue, and an annual scholarship in her name.  West Virginia State University is planning a dedication ceremony set for August 25th, the day before Johnson’s 100th birthday.

“`Long before the digital era, Johnson performed as a human computer at an agency that would become NASA, working in relative obscurity as an African-American woman. Her contributions were later recognized in  Hidden Figures, with actress Taraji P. Henson playing her role.

“`The 1957 launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik changed history, and Katherine Johnson’s (right) life. In 1962, as NASA prepared for the orbital mission of John Glenn, Johnson was called upon to do the work that she would become most known for.

“`When asked to name her greatest contributions to space exploration, Johnson refers to the calculations that helped synch  Project Apollo’s Lunar Lander with a moon-orbiting Command and Service Module. She also worked on the Space Shuttle and Earth Resource Satellite, and authored or co-authored 26 research reports.

“`Katherine retired in 1986. In 2015, at age 97, President Obama awarded the mathematician a Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor.

“`West Virginia State hopes to endow the $100,000 scholarship, awarding the money to students majoring in science, technology, engineering, and math, targeting people who are underrepresented in those fields.

Until next time>                               “never forget”