May 302014

The Academy Celebrate The 10th Anniversary Of Napoleon DynamiteTHE ACADEMY CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF “NAPOLEON DYNAMITE”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the indie comedy hit “Napoleon Dynamite” with writer-director Jared Hess and star Jon Heder participating in a live commentary screening and conversation on Monday, June 9, at 7:30 p.m. at the Bing Theatre on the LACMA campus. The event is the second in the Academy’s “Live Commentary!” series, inaugurated last year with a screening of “The Princess Bride” with Jason Reitman and Rob Reiner. The format, a live version of commentaries typically included on DVDs and other recorded media, opens the door to illuminating anecdotes, behind-the-scenes details and filmmaker insights in real time.

May 272014

SUNDAY JUNE 1, 2014 AT 5:00PM CLUB NOKIA: The University of Mixed Martial Arts (aka “The U”) is a Los Angeles-based fight promotion specializing in exciting, high-octane, upscale amateur MMA events around the Southern California region. Its mandate is to provide a stage for young, aspiring fighters to hone their MMA skills and develop themselves as marketable personalities and respectable ambassadors of the sport. The U was founded in 2010, running its first show on September 19th of that year at the Irvine Marriott in Irvine, CA, as part of the inaugural California Amateur MMA Organization (CAMO) State Tournament. It ran four shows throughout Southern California in 2011. The U serves as a scouting show for professional MMA organizations. Each event is sanctioned by CAMO, which upholds the highest safety standards in the nation for amateur competition. The team behind the U collectively has over 20 years of professional promoting experience at the highest level of the sport, including international and domestic events which were broadcast on pay-per-view, cable, and network television in the United States, Japan, and Great Britain. For tomorrow’s MMA stars and champions … IT STARTS HERE!

May 252014

The Academy To celebrate 25th Anniversary Of DO THE RIGHT THINGTHE ACADEMY TO CELEBRATE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF “DO THE RIGHT THING” WITH SPIKE LEE Screenings and Live Discussion in Los Angeles and New York. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the seminal film “Do the Right Thing” with writer-director Spike Lee and members of the film’s cast and crew at two special screening events: on June 27 in Los Angeles at the Bing Theater, and on June 29 in Brooklyn at the BAM Harvey Theater. Lee’s groundbreaking third feature, set on a single block in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood on summer’s hottest day, features a large ensemble cast including Lee, Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, and then-newcomers John Turturro, Samuel L. Jackson and Rosie Perez.  It earned Oscar® nominations for Original Screenplay (Lee) and Best Supporting Actor (Aiello). Los Angeles (Friday, June 27)“Do the Right Thing” 25th Anniversary Screening  and Conversation 8:30 p.m. at the Bing Theater on LACMA campus  Moderated by John Singleton Panel discussion includes Spike Lee, costume designer Ruth E. Carter, casting director Robi Reed, production supervisor Preston Holmes and former Universal executive Tom Pollock.
New York (Sunday, June 29) “Do the Right Thing” 25th Anniversary Screening and Conversation for Closing Night of BAMcinemaFest  Co-presentation with  BAMcinématek  5 p.m. on the Steinberg Screen at the BAM Harvey Theater Moderated by Khalil Gibran Muhammad, director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Panel discussion includes Spike Lee; actors Danny Aiello, Giancarlo Esposito, Bill Nunn and Rick Aiello; film editor Barry Brown; and production designer Wynn Thomas. The Academy will also host the screening series “By Any Means Necessary: A Spike Lee Joints Retrospective,” beginning with a screening of “25th Hour” (2002) on Thursday, June 26, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood.  The evening also marks the opening of the photography exhibit “WAKE UP! David C. Lee Photographs the Films of Spike Lee,” in the theater foyer through September. “By Any Means Necessary: A Spike Lee Joints Retrospective” continues July 11–27 at the Linwood Dunn Theater and the Bing Theater in Los Angeles, and June 29–July 10 at BAMcinématek in New York.  Please visit and for more information.

May 212014

 Clare Graham first solo museum exhibitionClare Graham’s First Solo Museum Exhibition
at Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles
September 13, 2014 – January 4, 2015

This will be the first solo museum exhibition of contemporary craft artist Clare Graham, who utilizes discarded materials and found objects he has collected to create large-scale sculptures, installations, and furniture. Using buttons, paint-by-numbers paintings, grocery lists collected by a homeless neighbor, puzzle pieces, and other materials, Graham fashions tremendous structures reminiscent of natural forms, Brancusi-influenced towers, and intricately crafted furniture. Some of Graham’s accumulative sculptures can reflect 20-30 years of collecting a single kind of found object. As the former senior art director for Disneyland, Graham’s practical experience as a costume and set designer have informed his practice as a sculptor.

For additional information about the artist and his work visit Clare Graham Website:

Information about Clare Graham’s upcoming exhibition:
Craft and Folk Art Museum
5814 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tel: 323-937-4230

May 172014

California Is Losing Tens Of Thousands Of Middle Class JobsMayors from Across CA Support Effort to Expand California Film & Television Production Tax Credit Program Posted by Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti .

In a call for action to support job retention and creation in one of California’s signature industries, the mayors from California’s largest cities — Los Angeles, Sacramento, Long Beach, San Francisco, Fresno, San Diego, Bakersfield, Santa Ana, Oakland and San Jose – today signed a letter backing legislation that will expand and improve California’s film and television production tax credit. In the letter, the mayors assert, “Extending California’s film and television production tax credit program is a smart, prudent investment in California’s future and economic competitiveness. The program is one of California’s most efficient and proven economic development tools, generating 51,000 jobs and providing $4.5 billion in direct spending since its inception in 2009.”

The letter comes at a time when California is losing tens of thousands of middle-class jobs and significant tax revenue to other states and nations when it comes to film and television production. Of the 54 big budget feature films of 2012 and 2013, only one was shot exclusively in California. Further, the current program does not accord tax credits to network, premium pay cable or Internet television series produced in California, all of which are now being produced elsewhere. Given these realities, few understand better than the mayors who are on the frontlines working to keep their cities thriving, the economic benefits that film and television production brings to local economies and the serious financial impact of this exodus of jobs and revenue.

“This is about middle class jobs across our state,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “California’s current incentive program is not competitive — the demand for productions that want to stay here far exceeds the current program’s resources. As a result, hundreds of productions are forced to relocate outside of California.  By providing incentives for productions to remain or locate here, local employees are hired and the local economy is revitalized.”

The legislation, Assembly Bill 1839 by State Assemblymembers Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) and Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima), is currently making its way through the state Legislature with broad bipartisan and geographic support. It has been co-authored by 66 legislators from across the state, and is supported by major state labor and business groups such as the California Labor Federation AFL-CIO and California Chamber of Commerce. In fact, the Regional Economic Association Leaders (R.E.A.L.) Coalition, an association of California’s 20 most influential business and economic development entities, also issued a definitive letter advocating for the bill’s enactment. Moreover, local government groups such as the League of California Cities and the 41 local film commission offices support the legislation.

“This is an economic development program focused on the retention and creation of jobs and economic opportunity,” asserts Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. “Enhancing the current program will help build a strong state and local tax base, and it is a wise strategic investment in California’s future.”

“A thriving film and television industry in San Francisco is creating jobs and economic opportunity for the residents of our world class city,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. “This Statewide economic investment not only ensures that California remains competitive, but also brings an influx of local spending and tax revenue for the entire Bay

Area region and showcases our region to the world through the magic of the silver screen.”
The letter concludes with the mayors avowing that “to once again be competitive, California must put in place a meaningful, expanded credit that will bring back jobs, increase revenue, and support small businesses and vendors all across the state. Too much is at stake for the people of California to let this key industry slip away.”

May 152014

Mythbusters Behind The Myths Tour Returns to Nokia Theatre Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE & AEG Live are thrilled to announce that the live show MythBusters: Behind the Myths, starring Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, co-hosts of the Emmy-nominated Discovery series “MythBusters,” returns to Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE for one night only on Wednesday, December 17th at 8:00 p.m. Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, May 16, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.  The show originally played at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in January 2012 – and is making its return due to overwhelming demand. Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage are back at it again with the return of Mythbusters: Behind the Myths in Los Angeles on December 17th 2014. Their new show promises to be an outrageous evening of entertainment featuring brand new onstage experiments, behind-the-scenes stories, and some of your all-time favorites.  A new immersive video experience will keep you bolted to your seat.  MythBusters: Behind the Myths brings you face-to-face with the curious world of Jamie and Adam as the duo matches wits on stage with each other and members of the audience.  In late 2013, the show performed a 28-city national tour playing sold out performances all over the country.  One of the most highly regarded and watched series on the Discovery Channel, “MythBusters” is now in its twelfth season. Co-hosted by Hyneman and Savage, the show mixes scientific method with gleeful curiosity and plain old- fashioned ingenuity to create its own signature style of explosive experimentation – and the supporting or de-bunking of urban myths that we live with day to day. Adam and Jamie have become spokespersons at large for applying science to real life – most recently as hosts of the Discovery Channel special “”iGenius:

How Steve Jobs Changed the World,” and have appeared on numerous shows including “Late Show with David Letterman,” “Good Morning America,” “The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” “The Colbert Report,” NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “Morning Edition,” “Countdown with Keith Olberman,” and many more.  They were invited to participate in Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s Rally to Restore Fear And/Or Sanity and have received the Young Artist Award for inspiring young people in the interest of science. The MythBusters have been invited to participate on a panel at Comic-Con, where their appearances have sold-out four years running.
Adam and Jamie serve as guest editors for Popular Mechanics and were featured on the cover of the September 2009 issue.  That same year, they were inducted as honorary members into Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society.  They are Honorary Lifetime Members of the California Science Teachers Association and were named Honorary Engineers and Honorary Members of the Francis Crowe Society at the University of Maine.  Both Hyneman and Savage were given honorary Doctorates at the University of Twente in the Netherlands for their efforts at popularization of science.
Adam and Jamie produced and starred in an H1N1 Public Service Announcement for the White House, and were chosen by the President to retest the Archimedes legend using 500 schoolchildren as surrogate soldiers.  They appeared as themselves in the movie Darwin Awards and have made several cameos on other TV shows, including CSI.  And In 2010, Hyneman and Savage received the Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism from the Harvard Secular Society.
About Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage
Jamie Hyneman is the owner of M5 Industries, an effects company specializing in problematic custom builds. Besides serving as headquarters of “MythBusters,” M5 continues to work on various research & development projects for private clients. After trying his hand at careers as various as librarian at the United Nations in Geneva to running a diving and sailing charter business in the Caribbean, Hyneman began his career in show business as special effects shop assistant in New York and later in San Francisco as a crew member on films including “Robocop,” “Arachnophobia” and “Naked Lunch.”  While managing Colossal Pictures’ model shop in San Francisco, Hyneman was given the opportunity to take over – and M5 Industries was born.
Hyneman graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Russian. He has received an honorary engineering degree from the University of Maine as well as an honorary doctorate of engineering from Villanova University, with whom he has an ongoing collaborative relationship to help develop new safety concepts for the military. He is the holder of several patents and the winner of numerous industry awards. Hyneman currently resides the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife. Adam Savage received a call from Jamie Hyneman in 2002 to participate in a demo for a TV show, which turned into the wildly popular Discovery Channel & SBS series “MythBusters.”
Savage immersed himself in the NYC arts scene before moving to San Francisco in 1990 to parlay his skills into the thriving theater scene. There he worked for dozens of companies as set designer, prop master, art director and producer before falling into the machine art community where he learned welding, pneumatics, hydraulics, electronics and robot-building. After exhibiting his work in over 50 art shows nationwide, Savage caught the eye of the special effects industry and began working as a prop builder and art director for major commercials for Sega, Coca-Cola, Nike, Burger King and Chevrolet. His work on a Coca-Cola commercial earned him a Clio Award nomination.
After a 18-month stint as head of research & development for startup toy company ZOOB, Savage joined George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic, where he worked on “Star Wars: Episodes 1 and 2,” “Galaxy Quest,” “Space Cowboys,” “A.I.,” “Terminator 3,” “The Mummy,” and dozens of commercials. During this time he also worked as model-shop supervisor for the two “Matrix” sequels as well as taught at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco.  Savage continues to dabble in his multiple hobbies, including passionately restoring his vintage four-wheel drive vehicle and accruing new pieces for his movie prop collection. He currently lives in San Francisco with his wife, twin boys and two dogs.
About MagicSpace Entertainment
Principals Lee D. Marshall, Joe Marsh, John Ballard, Steve Boulay and Bruce Granath have been producing and presenting shows worldwide for over 30 years. “We have had the pleasure and privilege of producing and presenting many great shows and tours over the years,” says Lee Marshall, MagicSpace CEO. “Our strength has always been the ability to find great opportunities that do not fit into any pre-conceived template. We get excited about projects, which have the potential to find an audience. It doesn’t matter to us if the show is a concert tour, an exhibition, an arena spectacle or a Broadway musical. Our strength is finding new opportunities and then paying a great deal of attention to how they are managed. We feel we are uniquely positioned to thrive in the current marketplace where traditional formulas and business models are thrown out and new ones need to be invented daily.”

Tickets for Mythbusters: Behind the Myths are available for groups of 10 or more by calling 1-877-AEG-Tickets (1-877-234-8425). Tickets will be available at, STAPLES Center Box Office or charge by phone at 888-929-7849.

May 122014

Metro Rerouting Traffic on Crenshaw
Construction will begin on Friday, May 16, on the Metro Crenshaw / LAX Transit Project at Crenshaw and Exposition Boulevards with a 15-hour full street closure to implement a new traffic configuration. This area will be the stage for the future underground Crenshaw / Expo Station.

Wash / Shea Corridor Constructors (WSCC) will implement this traffic configuration between Jefferson Boulevard and 39th Street beginning at 10 p.m. on Friday, May 16, through 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 17.

WSCC will place on the westside of Crenshaw Boulevard K-rail (concrete barriers) to separate the work area from the street traffic and restripe traffic lanes. Work is anticipated to last for 15 hours.

Southbound detour
Beginning Friday at 10 p.m. motorists traveling southbound on Crenshaw will be diverted to the left on Jefferson Boulevard, right at Arlington, right on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and left at Crenshaw Boulevard.

Northbound detour
For those motorists traveling northbound on Crenshaw Boulevard, they will be diverted to the right at Martin Luther King Jr., left at Arlington, left at Jefferson and right at Crenshaw Boulevard.

After the full street closure on Saturday traffic will resume with two lanes in each direction. The bus stop located on the southwest corner of Crenshaw Boulevard and Rodeo Road will be relocated to the northwest corner of Crenshaw Boulevard and Exposition Boulevard.

There will be limited access to business during the night time activity. However, pedestrian access will be maintained as well as access to emergency vehicles.

The 8.5-mile Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor Project is a light-rail line that will run between the Expo and Green Lines. The $2.058 billion Measure R transit project will serve the Crenshaw Corridor, Inglewood, Westchester and the LAX area with eight new stations, a maintenance facility, park & ride lots, traction power substations and the acquisition of rail vehicles and maintenance equipment.

Following the closure WSCC will begin these construction activities: utility relocation, pile installation, street decking and excavation.

For more information on the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project visit or by email to, by phone at (213) 922.2736 or follow the project at or

About Metro
Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that is really three companies in one: a major operator that transports about 1.5 million boarding passengers on an average weekday on a fleet of 2,000 clean air buses and six rail lines, a major construction agency that oversees many bus, rail, highway and other mobility related building projects, and it is the lead transportation planning and programming agency for Los Angeles County.  Overseeing one of the largest public works programs in America, Metro is, literally, changing the urban landscape of the Los Angeles region. Dozens of transit, highway and other mobility projects largely funded by Measure R are under construction or in the planning stages. These include five new rail lines, the I-5 widening and other major projects.

May 082014

In a report commissioned by the California Nations Indian Gaming Association, the occupational opportunities provided by casinos owned by American Indian tribes provided thousands of jobs to the citizens of California.

Tribal CA Casinos Provide Thousands of Jobs

Beacon Economics, an economic research and industry analyst firm located in Los Angeles, found out that a significant portion of the $8 billion economic output of tribal-operated casinos in the state is dedicated in supplying a steady revenue stream for the workers in the industry. According to their research, almost $3 billion of their expenditures go to salaries on people working for the casino industry, with the rest of their spending divvied up by advertising, administration, food and drinks, and gaming expenditures.

“Directly in the tribal government, in the tribal casinos and in the secondary impacts of the suppliers and other people that we use in our facilities,” CNIGA Vice Chairman Steven Stallings said. He also said that people who work for Indian-owned casinos have higher wages than California’s average and contribute to more than $100 million each year in income taxes.

While this may be good news for both investors and job seekers, critics panned the timing of the study with the recent push for the legalization of online poker and casinos in the state. With New Jersey finally embracing the potential of online gaming last year, some states started their campaign in allowing online gaming operators to offer their services. As of the moment, online gaming in California is still a gray area, and a lot of players are still unsure whether or not they are allowed to access gaming portals. However, Stallings dismissed the weird coincidence and said that the study is in preparation for the National Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention.

NIGTC is an annual country-wide gaming convention that pools Indian casino owners, stakeholders, and suppliers of products and services. The convention serves as a marketplace for buyers and sellers to have serious business and discuss the current trends and issues faced by the gaming industry. 888 Holdings, whose independent B2B arm is responsible for the creation of games on Bubble Bonus Bingo, has consistently used trade shows such as the NIGTC to showcase their portfolio to possible partners. In 2013, they used the G2E to announce that they’d taken over online operations for Wynn Resorts, Ltd., one of the biggest names in the casino industry.

“This is exactly the type of partnership we’ve envisioned when we formed (the network),” CEO Brian Mattingley said in a statement announcing the Wynn deal. “The challenge of establishing a robust, entertaining offering with ample player liquidity is one of our prime goals”.

May 082014

World Premiere Different Words For The Same Thing Opens At  Kirk Douglas TheatreWorld Premiere Directed by CTG’s Neel Keller Runs through June 1, 2014 /The world premiere of Kimber Lee’s “different words for the same thing”Opens this Sunday, May 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Center Theatre Group / Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. Performances continue through June 1, 2014.
Directed by CTG Associate Artistic Director Neel Keller (who directed “The Nether” at the Douglas last season), “different words for the same thing” features acclaimed stage and screen actors Sam Anderson (“Blackbird” at Rogue Machine, “Lost”), Jackie Chung (“brownsville song (b-side for tray)” at Actors Theatre of Louisville), Stephen Ellis (“The Coward” at LCT3), Monica Horan (“Everybody Loves Raymond”), Devin Kelley (“Resurrection”), Rebecca Larsen (Sacred Fools), Savannah Lathem (“Lost,” “Moneyball”), Erick Lopez (“Faking It”), Malcolm Madera (“House of Cards,” “Boardwalk Empire”), Alyson Reed (Broadway’s “Marilyn: An American Fable,” “Cabaret”), Hector Atreyu Ruiz (“Gang Related”) and José Zuniga (“The Call”).  “different words for the same thing” has set design by Sarah Krainin, costume design by Candice Cain, lighting design by Geoff Korf and original composition and sound design by Paul James Prendergast. Casting is by Heidi Levitt, CSA, and the production stage manager is Kirsten Parker.

May 072014


American Express® ticket presale begins tomorrow!
Tickets On-Sale Friday, May 16 at 10:00 AM

Jesus Christ Superstar, the global phenomenon that has wowed audiences for over 40 years, is reimagined for the 21st century as an arena rock spectacular.  The biggest ever North American arena tour of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s groundbreaking rock musical is coming to the Southland – July 20 at Honda Center and July 26 at STAPLES Center – with an extraordinary cast of rock, pop and R&B superstars.  Tickets will go on sale Friday, May 16 at 10:00 AM.

Tickets for the Honda Center performance can be purchased at or by calling 800-745-3000.  Tickets will be available to purchase at the Honda Center box office beginning Saturday, May 17 at 10:00 AM.

Tickets for the STAPLES Center performance can be purchased at, by calling call 888-929-7849 or at the STAPLES Center box office.

American Express® Card Members can purchase tickets for both shows before the general public beginning Wednesday, May 7 at 10:00 AM.  Tickets range from $44.50 to $224.50 with a limited number of Gold Circle seats and VIP Experience packages available.  Additional ticket fees may apply.

Brandon Boyd, Grammy® nominated lead vocalist of rock band Incubus, is confirmed for the role of ‘Judas Iscariot’, Grammy® nominated *NSYNC vocalist, JC Chasez, will play ‘Pontius Pilate’, Grammy® Award winner and member of Destiny’s Child, Michelle Williams, will take the female lead as ‘Mary Magdalene’, English singer-songwriter and lead singer in Public Image Ltd. (PiL) and Sex Pistols, John Rotten Lydon, will play ‘King Herod’ and introducing British actor and singer, Ben Forster, who won England’s ITV Superstar competition in 2012 and played the lead role in the UK and Australian arena tours of Jesus Christ Superstar, will revive his role as ‘Jesus.’   With over 50 cast and musicians on stage this is one arena show that can’t be missed!

The North American leg comes on the heels of the wildly successful UK and Australian arena tours, which began in the UK in September 2012 and commenced in Australia in May 2013. The Times said  “The show gets the right balance between the spectacular, the jokey and the sincere. The performances from the well-choreographed supporting cast are fine throughout. Honestly, it’s enough to give rock opera a good name.”

The Evening Chronicle exclaimed, “the extravagance of the production, a flamboyant spectacle of acrobatics, dramatic flames and provocative pole dancing,” and Liverpool Daily Post claimed,  “Restored to its rock roots, the star-studded second coming of Jesus Christ Superstar is big, brash and bold…” and the Manchester Evening News stated, “from the very opening strains the pounding music, the huge and sophisticated video backdrops and pulsating energy from a talented ensemble cast make this a true spectacle.”

“Jesus Christ Superstar began life as a rock album…probably because nobody believed back in 1969 that you could present a stage musical about the last days of the life of Jesus Christ.  I shall never forget its first live performance in the Civic Arena, Pittsburgh on July 12th 1971.  Of course JCS subsequently became a legit theatre stalwart, but I, personally, have always hankered after seeing it again in the arenas where it started,” said Andrew Lloyd Webber.

“In 1971 Andrew and I were thrilled by the first-ever Jesus Christ Superstar tour of the United States,” said Tim Rice. “We certainly did not imagine then that 43 years later we would be witnessing another America-wide tour of our first big hit show. We are delighted and grateful that enthusiasm for Superstar has been maintained over the years and this new production presents the work in its most powerful format – as a true rock experience.”

“I’m excited to be involved with Jesus Christ Superstar,” said Michael Cohl.  “The show has evolved greatly over the past 40 years and it is exhilarating to be a part of a project that marries this incredible property and its extraordinary music with the new, innovative technology that has become available for live shows.  This arena rock spectacular is a whole new experience for fans.”

“I am so thrilled to be a part of this amazing production!” said Brandon Boyd.  “I grew up on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classics and never imagined I would be playing a role in one, let alone with such an incredibly diverse cast of players. Truly an honor!”

“When I heard Jesus Christ Superstar was coming to the States, I was excited at the idea to be a part of telling one of the most influential stories in history through the scope of such a talented composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber,” said JC Chasez.  “I’m excited to work with such a dynamic cast, and to bring Jesus Christ Superstar back to its roots as a rock arena experience.”

“I am so excited to be part of such a legendary production alongside an amazing cast!, said Michelle Williams.  “I am truly looking forward to this experience!”

“I’m here to sing with the King of the Jews, who could ask for anything more?” said John Rotten Lydon.

“I feel so excited to bring this production to North America,” said Ben Forster.  “America has to experience this rock arena spectacular as Andrew Lloyd Webber envisaged it. I am the real life Billy Elliot, from a coal mining city in the north of England to touring huge arenas across North America! You are about to witness my dream come true!”

The Jesus Christ Superstar Arena Spectacular North American Tour is presented by S2BN Entertainment and The Really Useful Group.

May 062014

Internships Open Doors for New TalentThe deadline for the 2014-2015 grant cycle has passed. Please check back in September 2014 for information on the 2015-2016 grant cycle. Each year, numerous interns receive financial support as part of the Academy’s Internship Grants Program. This year, more than $175,000 was distributed to 22 institutions across the nation. Read more about the interns who have benefited from this program. “One might not expect the day-to-day responsibilities of the average film industry intern to be very glorious, but my experience was a bit different,” opines Colin Wiley, a recent graduate of New York University’s film program and a beneficiary of the Academy’s Internship Grants Program. Wiley worked as an editorial intern on the Spike Lee film “Miracle at St. Anna” in 2008, and said the whole experience left him with a real sense of accomplishment. “There were many occasions when I realized that I was working on something that really had a chance to touch people’s lives in a special way,” recalled Wiley. The internship also led him to the opportunity to work on another of Lee’s projects. Wiley is just one of many students with aspirations to work in the motion picture industry who have been able to make their way into the field as a result of an Academy-funded internship.
Each year, numerous interns receive financial support as part of the Academy’s larger Institutional Grants Program, which seeks to foster educational activities and opportunities between the public and the film industry while encouraging the appreciation of motion pictures as both an art form and a vocation. This year, $500,000 was divided among a record 73 film-related nonprofit organizations, including universities, museums and career development programs. Internships accounted for more than $160,000 of that money, distributed among 21 colleges and universities across the nation.

“Providing funding for student internships is a very important part of the Academy’s educational outreach initiatives,” said Academy Grants Coordinator Shawn Guthrie. “The Institutional Grants Committee strongly believes that high-quality internships are one of the best ways for the next wave of young industry talent to get their feet in the door. Good internships are those that give students the opportunity to do real work, and if a student is doing real work, they need to – and should – receive some kind of meaningful pay.”
Indeed, according to a recent article in the New York Times (April 2, 2010), the United States Department of Labor is cracking down on firms that fail to pay interns properly and is expanding efforts to educate companies, colleges and students on the law regarding internships.
In order to be considered for Academy funding, eligible colleges and universities must submit an application along with a two-page proposal and supporting budgetary documents by the annual January deadline. The strongest proposals are sent on to the Institutional Grants Committee, which in turn selects the most worthy programs to receive funding and determines the amount to be awarded.

The Academy plays no direct role in the operation of the program, or in matching individual students to internships, or in deciding how much money each student is provided for their internship. For example, schools may fund multiple internships all at the same monetary level, or they may vary the amounts based on the level of financial need among the students. The only stipulations set forth by the Academy are that all of the grant money must go to the students – none of the money can be used for program overhead – and that the internships must be related to the theatrical motion picture industry.

The Internship Grants Program has produced a number of success stories, both in terms of the internship experiences themselves and student interns going on to further their goals in the motion picture industry. A few examples:

Andy Uhrich, a recent graduate of the NYU Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program, received considerable hands-on experience from his internship in Spring 2009 with Anthology Film Archives, an international center for the preservation, study, and exhibition of film and video with a particular focus on American independent and avant-garde cinema. Uhrich was tasked with inspecting and preserving Anthology’s collection of films by Sidney Peterson, an American surrealist filmmaker, who in the late 1940s and early 1950s made a series of experimental short films with students at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute).

“I have long been a fan of Peterson’s work, so the opportunity to handle the original film elements, shot and spliced together by Peterson himself, was a fantastic experience,” says Uhrich. “And working on Peterson’s films was an invaluable opportunity for me as an archivist to get a sense of the specialized knowledge needed for preserving experimental and independent films.”

This summer, Uhrich is working at the Chicago Film Archive, which specializes in documentaries, amateur and industrial/sponsored films related to the Midwest. He will begin the PhD Film Studies program in Indiana University’s Communication and Culture Department in the fall.

Hillary Elder, a second year MFA student at UCLA, was selected for a one-on-one internship with Oscar-nominated cinematographer Stephen Burum (“Hoffa,” 1992).  They met once a week for eight hours a day for 10 weeks. Elder learned various lighting techniques, operated a Panaflex GII camera system, and had in-depth conversations with Burum about the art of cinematography.

“Steve is such an incredibly talented cinematographer, and it was very apparent from our first workshop that he wants to give back to future generations of cinematographers by passing on what he knows about the craft,” Elder recalls. “I felt for the first time while enrolled at UCLA that I had a mentor – a mentor who really cared about my progression in cinematography – which is invaluable to me. I knew from the beginning that this internship was going to completely change the way I approach cinematography and that I was going to learn a tremendous amount from it, and I truly have.”

Karen Smalley worked as an intern on “The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement” in 2004 while enrolled at UCLA. “I was lucky enough to get on a project where dailies were screened on film – a rarity then and almost unheard of now,” explains Smalley. “I built leaders, did edge coding and helped to sync both film and Avid dailies.”

Smalley’s internship experience had a significant influence on her subsequent career-related decisions. “Even though we worked in a very inclusive environment, the majority of the creative editing took place behind closed doors. We generally worked in a more technical arena. It definitely influenced my choice to sidestep the traditional post-production career path and find work as an editor.” In fact, during the past year, Smalley has been working with Roger Corman, for whom she is currently co-editing “Sharktopus.”

In 2002, Emily Hak was a student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She interned at Artisan Entertainment, working in the company’s DVD department.  Her duties included ordering and tracking masters for subtitle creation and delivery, assisting in special feature shoots and commentary records, creating and naming chapter stops, checking final discs prior to manufacturing, and accounting tasks. Today, Hak is the Director of International Creative Services for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, responsible for international packaging, trade and POS for all international markets.

“The most valuable thing I learned from that internship is that hard work pays off,” says Hak. “I believe that any success I’ve experienced in my career is mostly due to my work ethic and positive attitude, both of which I learned from my internship at Artisan Entertainment.”
Education & Outreach

May 052014

Ahmanson Theatre The Last ConfessionRICHARD O’CALLAGHAN JOINS THE CAST OF “THE LAST CONFESSION” Replaces the Previously Announced Brian Bedford in the Role of Pope John Paul I U.S. Premiere Opens June 11 at the CTG/ Ahmanson Theatre
Eminent British actor Richard O’Callaghan will replace Brian Bedford as Pope John Paul I in “The Last Confession,” a gripping new play of intrigue and mystery which begins previews on June 7 and opens in its United States premiere at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre on June 11, 20 14. Bedford ,who was previously announced for the role
has withdrawn from the production due to illness. Richard O Callaghan created the part of Pope John Paul I in Roger Crane’s “The Last Confession” at London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket , receiving excellent reviews . He will appear once again with David Suchet (best known as Hercule Poirot in the eponymously named, award – winning TV series) on this international tour directed by Jonathan Church and featuring a cast of actors frm Canada, USA, Australia and the U .K. O’Callaghan’s performance was widely a claimed: “Richa rd O’ Callaghan is excellent,” said Georgia Brown, Mail On Sunday ;

“Richard O’Callaghan is impressive as the kind and unworldly John Paul,” according to Fiona Mountford, London Evening Standard;and “Richard O’Callaghan as Pope John Paul shows the Pope as a powerful man intent on reform. His is an exceptional performance,”said Paul Callan,Daily Express .O’Callaghan has starred in numerous London productions including  “Amadeus ”at Her Majesty’s Theatre , Haymarket ;“Butley ” at the Criterion Theatre ;“Three Months Gone ” at the Royal Court Theatre ;“Twelfth Night ” at the Regents Park Theatre and “Titus Andronicus”at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Producer Paul Elliott said,“It is a great shame tha t Brian Bedford cannot be with this unique adventure and we wish him a good and swift recovery. We are fortunat e and excited to have Richard O’Callaghan reprising his London performance .”Set within the corridors of power in the Vatican, “The Last Confes si on” explores the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of Pope John Paul I in 1978.

He died only 33 days after being elected and before he could set his liberal reforms into place. Suspicions are aroused when it is revealed that the new Pope had warne d three of his most influential but hostile Cardinals that they would be replaced on the evening before his death. The Vatican refuses to conduct an official investigation into the death but the politically savvy Cardinal Giovanni Benelli  (played by Suchet ), who had engineered the election of Pope John Paul I, is determined to find the truth.

Richard O’Callaghan replaces Brian Bedford in “The Last Confession”– 22 Charles Spencer of the Daily Telegraph said about “The Last Confession,”“What a pleasure to encounter such an ambitious new play – a conspiracy thriller and murder mystery that manages the rare feat of being as intelligent as it’s entertaining …What a superb actor Suchet is, at once subtle and charismatic, and with a rare gift for discovering the humanity of the characters he plays.” “The Last Confession” is produced by Paul Elliott, Duncan C. Weldon and Liza McLean.It premiered at the Chich ester Festival Theatre in April 2007 and then transferred to London’s Wes t End in June of the same year.

Presented as part of the Mark Taper Forum subscription season, this Chich ester Festival Theatre production is also a bonus option to Ahmanson season ticket holders. Following the Los Angeles run, the tour will continue to Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney; Australia. Tickets for “The Last Confession” are currently available on subscription only.

For tickets and information, please call (213) 972 – 4444 or visit

May 022014

Jim McDonnell for sheriffHe’s the best candidate to lead the department through a rigorous and soul-searching reinvention. Los Angeles County voters are soon to pick a new sheriff from a field of seven candidates, each with a reasonably decent chance of making it to a runoff, and it’s hard to overstate both how unusual and how momentous that is. The last time L.A. saw a sheriff’s race like this, with no incumbent running and no single candidate so embraced by political kingmakers as to have a virtual lock on victory, this county’s sheriff fought crime by raising posses and galloping after outlaws in rural lairs like the Hollywood Hills. This new state of affairs, with voters rather than power brokers or the law enforcement establishment setting the Sheriff’s Department’s course, may turn out to be permanent. Or it may be a mere interlude in a long and continuing history of entrenched incumbency and unaccountability. Either way, the decision voters will make in the June 3 primary (and the Nov. 4 runoff, if no candidate emerges from the first round with more than half the vote) comes at a crucial time, culminating a period of rare public scrutiny of the Sheriff’s Department’s management, hiring, spending, internal discipline, candor and, especially, use of force against jail inmates and visitors. The election decision will have an impact for years to come.

The pivotal question before voters is whether they believe the department is emerging from a chaotic but limited period in which professional standards broke down, and that with Sheriff Lee Baca’s departure and the continuing implementation of reforms urged by a citizens commission, it is now well on its way to recovery; or if instead it is continuing on a decades-long path that promotes cliques, secrecy and abuse, and needs a sweeping and dramatic change in culture.

If it’s the former situation, as some of the candidates argue, all that is needed is the right candidate from the right departmental faction to complete a sweep of troublemakers and commit to better management of the jails, and all will be well.
But if the department’s problems are not that recent or simple — and the evidence is overwhelming that they are not — what is needed is a candidate with the law enforcement credentials, the integrity, the backbone and the skills to march the deputies, their leaders and their culture through a rigorous and soul-searching reinvention, all while raising performance standards and recommitting the department to transparency and humane and constitutional treatment of suspects, inmates and the public at large.
That latter standard is the bar a candidate should meet. The one who comes closest is Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell. The Times strongly recommends a vote for McDonnell for sheriff.

Is McDonnell as good as his reputation? Does he have the will, as well as the command presence, to confront and prevail over what is sure to be resistance from entrenched elements in the Sheriff’s Department?
The Times’ editorial page is convinced. His tenure as Long Beach police chief has been short but impressive. Before that, he was a highly regarded second in command to the Los Angeles police chief, and although he was not the most publicly visible or vocal leader of the Los Angeles Police Department during the era of Rampart reforms, his leadership during that time was unmistakable to those who closely follow the LAPD. His quick mind and thoughtful analysis were apparent as he sat on the county’s Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence that cut to the heart of problems in the Sheriff’s Department and recommended decisive corrective action.

It is also important to note his long relationship with community groups, including law enforcement critics. Repairing relationships between the Sheriff’s Department and the communities it serves must be a priority, not merely as a nice complement to strong leadership but as an essential component of it. McDonnell is noteworthy for his emphasis on respect — for the public and for the officers he leads.

Some sheriff’s deputies and leaders, and some candidates, argue that the department’s current situation is a far cry from the corrupt and abusive culture and the broken leadership that characterized the LAPD in the Rampart era. But they are wrong. Beyond the contempt shown to the people of Compton by conducting surveillance flyovers without telling them; beyond the weird sale of bulletproof vests to Cambodia; beyond the appalling hires of obviously unfit deputies from other departments; beyond the findings of race-based harassment in the Antelope Valley; beyond the staggering number of deputies arrested off duty (and in some cases on duty) for drunk driving; beyond the unfathomable cases of drugs smuggled into a jail (inside a burrito, no less), alleged fraud and weapons violations by deputies, and an inmate apparently being hidden from his FBI handlers, this is a department that for decades has been inadequate to the task of constitutional policing and jailing. It needs a reboot. It needs McDonnell.

Credit retired Cmdr. Robert Olmsted for his role in calling out abuse in the jails, but he is not the leader the department needs. Todd Rogers, especially, deserves notice for his commitment to community policing, and the integrity and professionalism he brings are badly needed in the department. But like other candidates, he need not hold the top spot to be part of the solution.

A note about candidate and former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka: His name comes up in virtually every report or interview about command breakdown and jail violence in the last five years of Baca’s tenure. His attempts to explain some of his stunning directives — for example, his admonition to deputies to work in the “gray area” of the law and his later explanation that he meant they should use their discretion — are laughable. He is exactly the wrong person to lead the Sheriff’s Department forward.
The right person is Jim McDonnell, and The Times urges a vote for him on June 3.

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