Category Archives: Hollywood

What’s Your ‘Real Name’? Say ‘Hello’ to Celebrities Who Changed Their Name

Photo credit: Kai-Z-Feng
Photo credit: Kai-Z-Feng

*I must admit, I have always had a problem with people who change their birth name. I mean, that’s your whole identity. I’ve always thought maybe these folks were going through some kind of identity crisis. How does a name like “Shelton Jackson” become Spike Lee… Or “Steveland Morris” become Stevie Wonder… Or someone once known as Eileen Regina Edwards is now called Shania Twain?

These are not just “revisions” to an existing name like Kevin becomes Kevyn…They are totally NEW names.

But I guess if I am going to be OK with anyone doing it (not that these folks have one f**k to give whether I do or not) it does sit better with me if you’re a celebrity. Hey, in this case, your name is your brand, so it should have a good ring to it right?

Let’s be real, would we have given “Peter Gene Hernandez” a good listen had he not been introduced to us as Bruno Mars?

Hi, when I grown up I'm gonna change my name to BRUNO MARS!
Hi, when I grown up I’m gonna change my name to BRUNO MARS!

Continue reading

Hey Peanuts Fans! Check Out The Charles M Schulz Museum and Research Center

DarkStormy_InteriorPage-728

*I’d been in Santa Rosa the night before for Johnny Mathis’ show, and couldn’t resist checking out the Charles M Schulz Museum & Research Center before heading home. Fans of Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy, or any of the Peanuts gang will love the center, while learning something they didn’t know about the revered comic strip.

Unknown-2

“It Was A Dark And Stormy Night” is the name of the Center’s newest exhibit, outlining the history behind Snoopy’s hysterical writing career.  Other attractions included Snoopy’s presentation of famous United States presidential pets — did you know that long before we met the Obama’s dogs, a pet alligator lived in the White House?? — and an exhibit that details the Peanuts gang’s devotion to health and fitness (Peppermint Patty was ahead of her time in trying to eat a healthy lunch). Continue reading

Elvis Presley’s Daughter, Lisa Marie, Claims She is Broke as Hell! (Watch)

lisa-marie-presley-divorce-papers

*DaYUM! How does one go through $300 million dollars in one lifetime? I guess we will have to ask one Lisa Marie Presley, who as the sole heir of her father, Elvis Presley’s estate, estimated at the hefty amount, doesn’t appear to have a pot of her own to piss in today.

Can I repeat, daYUM!!!

Hey, it’s not like I went looking for this info. I actually stumbled across it and nearly caught a bug in my mouth because it stayed open for so long.

Presley actually laid the situation out in court papers because she is seeking a divorce from her FOURTH husband. Seems she went through several more after the short-lived marriage to Michael Jackson and then to Nicolas Cage.

But her dire financial straights is just one of the shocking items in the court documents. Equally shocking is the REASON Presley is seeking divorce from her musician husband, Michael Lockwood. According to the still aspiring singer, she found “inappropriate photos of children” on his computer.

Uh oh. Continue reading

Charles Wright, Funk & R&B Legend, at South Pasadena Library this Thursday! (Free)

Charles Wright
Charles Wright

*A very special Author and Music Night in honor of Black History Month brings Charles Wright, legendary L.A. musician and bestselling author of “Up From Where We’ve Come: An Eventful Journey” to the South Pasadena Public Library Community Room on Thursday, February 23 at 7 p.m.  The event will also feature Petrella, “The First Lady of Country Soul” and her band, Mixed Influence. The event is free and will be presented by the South Pasadena Public Library and the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library, with special thanks to 210 eastsound!

Charles Wright is the founder of the pioneering funk and R&B band of the 60s and early 70s, The Watts 103 Street Rhythm Band, known for the hits “Do Your Thing”, “Till You Get Enough”, and “Love Land”. Their biggest and most enduring hit “Express Yourself” is among the most sampled tracks by rap and hip hop groups. Continue reading

The Lego Batman Movie Cracked Me Up, Delivers Laughs For Kids Of All Ages

the_lego_batman_movie_trailer_2_thumb_56f9a68c4f62a0-07314395

*I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I can take another Trump announcement, pronouncement, or tweet!  Yesterday, I needed a break from the dismal news cycle, so I snuck into a showing of the hysterical new The Lego Batman Movie. Even a die-hard Superman fan like me loved it.

Maybe that’s because the Man of Steel himself has a role in the movie, and provides a fairly significant plot point to the action-packed romp, during which Batman struggles with…

…wait a minute. Am I ACTUALLY writing a review about a film that’s based on Lego building blocks??

Yes, I am. I was drawn into the story from the first few frames.  I howled with laughter during the flick, which has lots of action and humor that will appeal to the little ones, along with many jokes that will go right over their heads while leaving you in stitches.

Will Arnett, who provides the voice of the most vain Caped Crusader we’ve ever seen on screen (“…I get up at 4:30am and pump iron until my pecs are just sick!”), may well be my favorite cinematic Batman. Continue reading

El Capitan in Hollywood Presents ‘Festival of Fairytales’ Series

Festival of Fairytales

*HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (February 14, 2017) – In anticipation of the upcoming release of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” the latest live-action adaption of a classic animated film, the legendary El Capitan Theatre presents a series of films, FESTIVAL OF FAIRY TALES: Disney’s Live Action Adventures, from March 3 – 12, 2017.

The Festival of Fairytales will kick off with Disney’s “Maleficent” (2014) directed by Robert Stromberg, March 3-4, followed by Disney’s “The Jungle Book” (2016) directed by Jon Favreau, March 5-6;  “Pete’s Dragon” (2016) directed by David Lowery, March 7-8,  “Cinderella” (2015) directed by Kenneth Branagh, March 9-10, and concluding with “Alice in Wonderland”(2010) directed by Tim Burton, March 11-12.

A re-imagining of Disney's cherished film, PETE'S DRAGON is the story of a boy named Pete (Oakes Fegley) and his best friend Elliot, who just happens to be a dragon. Photo Credit: © 2016 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
A re-imagining of Disney’s cherished film, PETE’S DRAGON is the story of a boy named Pete (Oakes Fegley) and his best friend Elliot, who just happens to be a dragon. Photo Credit: © 2016 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“Recently Disney has taken some of its most beloved stories and made them into new films for new audiences – of which “Beauty and the Beast” opening March 17 here at The El Capitan Theatre is the latest,” said Ed Collins, General Manager of The El Capitan Theatre.  “Many of these new films which have been very popular with audiences and critics alike have become classics in their own right.  They have given a whole new generation a way to have a unique experience with these characters. We know that our El Capitan Guests will welcome a chance to see these films again on the big screen as they were meant to be seen and we are thrilled to present them now.”

The El Capitan Theatre is offering a special FESTIVAL OF FAIRYTALES Package; for $50 per person, guests receive a Reserved Ticket, small box of popcorn & 12 oz. fountain drink to each of the five films, tickets for this package must be reserved in advance by calling 818-845-3110.  Guests will choose show date & seats for all five films at the time of purchase.  A $20 VIP preferred ticket is also available for each film individually, which includes a VIP Preferred Seat, popcorn in a souvenir tub and 20 oz. drink. Continue reading

Obba Babatundé Stars in ERT Production of ‘Five Guys Named Moe’

Courtesy Obba Babatunde
Courtesy Obba Babatunde

*LOS ANGELES, CA (February 2017) Ebony Repertory Theatre (ERT – Producing Artistic Director Wren T. Brown) announced today that ERT will present FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE starring Emmy Award-winner Obba Babatundé (Dreamgirls/Tony nomination). Written by Clarke Peters, this exuberant, international hit musical pays tribute to the music of rhythm and blues pioneer Louis Jordan.  ERT’s production, directed and choreographed by Keith Young (Sammy), with musical direction by Abdul Hamid Royal (FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE/original Broadway production) will commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the musical’s Broadway production. Performances will run May 18 – June 11, 2017 with an official press opening on Saturday, May 20 at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center (4718 West Washington Boulevard) in Los Angeles, 90016.

“Ebony Repertory Theatre is very excited to present FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE in the 25th Anniversary year of its Broadway debut,” said Wren T. Brown, ERT Producing Artistic Director.  “I will never forget the sheer excitement I felt while sitting in the Eugene O’Neill Theatre on Broadway in 1992 watching six wonderfully talented men and a most swinging band celebrate the music and persona of the seminal and pioneering saxophonist, singer and bandleader Louis Jordan.  In addition, we are thrilled to have Keith Young make his Los Angeles directorial debut with this production.  We are also honored to have the original Musical Director of the Broadway production, Abdul Hamid Royal, leading the band. And of course, we are overjoyed to have the gifted triple-threat Obba Babatundé as Nomax. Continue reading

Jealous MJ Fans, This Interview with ‘Michael and Me’ Author, Shana Mangatal, Won’t Cure You

Shana3
Photo courtesy: Shana Mangatal / Credit: Basim Abdel

*Sorry. They say truth can be hard on the ears. But face it, some things you’ve just got to live with. So I’ve got one bit of advice for the Michael Jackson fans who continue to throw shade at Shana Mangatal, the beautiful woman who had a decades long friendship and romance with the King of Pop, and seven years after his passing turned her diaries into a book titled, Michael and Me.

Get over yourself. 

Hear me out, will ya? When I was first approached by veteran publicist Lynn Jeter, to review ‘Michael and Me,’ I had the same apprehension as many of you. Afterall, how easy would it be for some twit to fabricate a story about a romance with the world’s biggest star…after he died and couldn’t refute it!

I was prepared to not like it, or HER, at all (and would later tell her this)! The invitation to review the book came with a package that included several reviews that had already been written. But I trashed them without even looking (still haven’t!) as any writer worth his or her salt relies on her own thoughts and this writer didn’t need help from anyone.

So I read and reviewed the book. And if you haven’t already, you can  read that review hereBut afterwards I felt I had to interview Shana Mangatal. I felt a connection with her. Not only because many of the things in her book checked out against my own personal knowledge, the history of the times, etc., but because we both shared a rare, yet similar relationship with larger-than-life men.

I, with another celebrity…icon.

I purposely chose to write about my interview with Shana on ThisNthat, a blog site that would allow me, as a writer, the freedom I don’t have while writing a review; or writing on a site such as EURweb.

One thing Shana and I understood from the onset of that interview is, with all due respect, these kinds of stories will not be believed by many. Innately, people just don’t believe things like this can happen. There probably isn’t a tween girl alive that hasn’t dreamt about meeting their celebrity crush, and even marrying him. Shoot, these things don’t really happen, right?

Wrong. Especially if you live in a place like Los Angeles. Continue reading