Saturday, January 7, 2012
Amidst a lot of pomp and circumstance, Ed Lee will be inaugurated into office in a public ceremony at City Hall tomorrow (Sunday January 8th).
The Mayor's handlers noted that the event - to be emceed by former Mayor Willie Brown - will feature music and dance with a spotlight on the Chinese, Mexican, Filipino, Hawaiian, Indian, Indonesian, and Peruvian cultures.
The inauguration will be a reflection of San Francisco's people and the City's "world class" nature, according to a press release, which was dispatched from City Hall at the end the week.
Attendees will also be treated to performances by the San Francisco Boys (and Girls) Choir(s), the San Francisco Symphony, and the celebrated Gay Men's Chorus of San Francisco.
Senator Diane Feinstein is slated to administer Lee's oath of office.
In an election held last fall - during Gavin Newson's second term - Mr. Lee beat out several rivals who were competing for the coveted Mayoral post.
Mr. Lee is expected to complete his full four-year term (God willing!).
I was perched at a window seat at Starbucks this morning, sipping on a piping-hot cup of misto, when I was startled by an image that loomed large on the sidewalk on the street outside before me.
An elderly Asian woman trotted by with a pole on her shoulder balancing a large cloth bag on each end!
Gosh, the face of America is changing, wouldn't you agree?
Posted by Julian Ayrs at 10:46 AM
Last night, Dave Letterman informed his viewing audience that in the future all his tweets will be tailored for mass consumption.
There won't be any more tweets about rival talk-show hosts (Jimmy Fallon is a definite "no-no"), for starters.
The decision comes on the heels of a CBS ban which I reported on earlier this week at The Tattler.
Die-hard fans of the mischievous (at times naughty) comic are probably wondering aloud today if the attempts to muzzle Dave will eventually cramp his style.
The question of the hour?
Will Letterman kow-tow to the "suits" or eventually jump ship?
News at 11!
Friday, January 6, 2012
According to Hugh Jackman's handlers, the sexy hunk has signed on to star in a Broadway production that will zero in on little-known corners of the life of Harry Houdini (the legendary magician).
The much-anticipated entry - slated for the 2013/2014 Theatre season - features a score by talented Stephen Schwartz (Wicked) and a book conjured up by Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network).
The plotline follows an epic battle that allegedly took place between Houdini and a trio of spiritualists who claimed to be able to communicate with those passed over (the dead).
Jack O'Brien (Hairspray) has been hired on to helm the project.
Sounds intriguing, doesn't it?
As usual, Jackman will give it the old "College Try", and then some!
The Occupy Wall Street protesters must have roared their approval this past week when it was announced that IRS audits of "millionaires" was up by 12.48 percent.
According to sources, the focus on the so-called - 1 percenters - was not triggered by any of the raucous (in-your-face) protests which played-out loudly in the streets around the country in recent weeks, though.
Apparently, the Government watchdog has been zeroing in on the uppercrust for the past three years, at least.
Is the trend expected to continue?
News at 11!
I vividly recall that fans literally weeped out loud in their seats beneath the footlights at movie theatres around the country when "Love Story" first screened decades ago.
What a tear jerker!
Of course - what has commonly become known as a "chick flick" - launched that old-familiar (but sappy) sentimental phrase:
"Love is never having to say you are sorry"
Overnight, Ali MacGraw (Ryan O'Neal, too) was propelled into the glare of the International spotlight - an "it" girl - who managed to survive her fifteen minutes of fame (in part due to steamy scandalous affairs between-the-sheets with the likes of screen stud Steve McQueen).
Though a recluse in recent years, Ms. MacGraw is slated to appear at a screening of "Love Story" on Valentine's Day, which has turned out to be quite a coup for the Castro Theatre.
On the eve of the return of the classic love story to movie theatres, there will also be a tribute to Ms. MacGraw as well.
To ensure that film buffs get a lot of bang for their buck, management has booked Katya Smirnoff Skyy to warble the theme song as Hollywood hopefuls compete in an Ali MacGraw / Ryan O'Neal look-a-like contest which should be a real hoot!
The winners will be crowned by the ever-gracious Ms. MacGraw.
Romantics may reserve tickets (sure to go fast) at 415.863.0611 in San Francisco.
Callers who ask for the "Preppie" (an inside trivia joke) will get a $5.00 discount.
See 'ya there!
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Hopped-up organizers for the annual Mavericks Surf Contest issued a press release this past week noting that the 3-month "window" for the much-anticipated event just kicked off on the West Coast.
Although, the celebrated invitational actually opened on New Year's day, the high-profile highly-competitive water sports competition will probably be held in February (if past competitions are any compass to go by).
Due to a series of mishaps last year, however, attendees are required to purchase tickets in 2012 to get an up-close-and-personal gander at the spectacular surfing.
An unexpected roar of waves knocked several folks into the drink in 2010, and subsequently, triggered a review of the proceedings.
The number of surf aficionados allowed to huddle on the bluffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean (and the dynamic competition) will be limited this year.
Ticket prices will range from $25.00 to $1,000.00!
Admission includes a meet-and-greet with the studly surfers and an adventurous ride on a boat to watch the contest from the sidelines.
One tradition remains the same, however.
A Hawaiian-style bash on the beach will launch the "opening ceremony" and gets underway tomorrow at Half Moon Bay at 2 p.m. (Friday).
Once the contest is actually called into action, surfers keen on competing will have to trot down to the shore and catch a wave within twenty-four hours.
See 'ya there!
Posted by Julian Ayrs at 11:47 AM
The prestigious National Film Registry - sponsored by the Library of Congress - announced the inclusion of twenty-five celebrated films into their archives amidst a lot of hoopla this past week.
In fact, James Billington - who selects the inductees - was quick to boast that the latest celluloid entries given the nod were a reflection of the state of filmmaking in the country today.
"What it's proven to me, having done it now for a number of years, is the continuing inventiveness and diversity of how moving images and the film industry have flourished."
"There's just terrific variety and richness," he beamed.
Stellar flicks given the nod include personal favorites of my own such as "The Lost Weekend" (1945), "Norma Rae" (1979), "Silence of the Lambs" (1991), "War of the Worlds" (1953), and "The Kid" (1921).
Worthwhile contributions to the collection, and memorable winners, all!
Tourists were a bit startled over the weekend when they encountered a crude hand-written sign on the door of the Starbucks outlet on Montgomery Street in the downtown financial District of San Francisco informing them that the cafe was closed due to a slow-down in business!
Die-hard fans of the Seattle-based coffee-maker were forced to retrace their footsteps and bounce into "Peets" for their daily jolt of java and pastry treats instead (where business was booming, by the way).
Is the high-end java-maker facing a downward trend - or, just perhaps - the competition is gaining an edge in an overcrowded aggressive marketplace where the coffee bean is king?
Curiously, just yesterday, red-faced execs at headquarters in Washington State were forced to fess up that due to "rising costs", a cup of coffee at the celebrated coffee house will be going up 10 cents a cup in a handful of states around the country.
Tea is starting to taste better every day!
Poor Dave, he's hamstrung!
Though he'd like to (?) Network brass have barred the affable talk-show host from "tweeting" about rival comic Jimmy Fallon on the Late Show in the future.
Why, pray tell?
"Because it makes CBS sad," Dave half-jokingly fessed up last night on air at the top of the ratings-getter.
To use an old familiar phrase - which was recently voted as most overused around the country - seriously?
Well, in view of the turn-of-events, I'm all agog (to put it mildly).
For those of you in the dark about the Fallon twitter "incident", I guess I'd better backtrack (re-tweeting would be inappropriate and out-of-the-question in this instant case).
So, here goes!
Night before last, fans of the Late Show were probably tuned in, when - aw-shucks Dave - fired off a tweet (during a twitter segment which has become a popular comic bit on the show) in which he referred to Jimmy Fallon as a "suck up" (because the quirky host on the other network tweeted a namby-pamby greeting to his "followers" that evening when he came online).
Subsequently, I penned a post yesterday, in which I noted that Dave's once-humble musings on "Twitter" were turning a bit cynical (if not on-the-edge of vicious) - enough so - that he might eventually become a "twitter terror" to rival Cher (the way he was going)!
Imagine my surprise, when I turned on the old boob tube last night, just in time to catch Letterman informing viewers that CBS had issued a directive that he refrain from "tweeting" Jimmy Fallon (or mentioning him) in the future because the aforementioned conduct made 'em "sad".
What prompted the ban?
According to toothy Dave, the Network is still sensitive about what "went down" during the talk-show-host musical chairs fiasco of a couple of seasons ago, and are anxious to distance themselves from the troubling past (and the black eye it delivered up in the industry).
Try as he could, even Brian Williams - first guest on the Late Show couch last night - was unable to add some levity to the mix in the aftermath.
Proving he's still quick on his feet, though - and that he still has a wicked sense of humor - Dave proceeded to take a jab at Larry King (he's open game, after all).
I expect Letterman will be getting a call from King's tie rep later today.
Not good for business, 'ya know!
Posted by Julian Ayrs at 9:56 AM
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Once again, the annual Arts & Leisure Weekend festival returns to the "Big Apple" with a big splash!
Die-hard fans of film, theatre, music, television, and literature will be flocking to the much-ballyhooed annual event.
And, a handful of luminaries in the biz are sure to entertain 'em - such as Carrie Mulligan, Clive Davis, Alan Rickman, Julianna Margulies, Simon Doonan, David Cross, and Seth Rogan - to name a few.
The upbeat informative and insightful weekend runs January 5th thru January 8th.
The New York Times sponsored gab-fest features a series of interviews with high-profile journalists from the daily and popular guests in the limelight in a myriad of artistic fields of endeavour.
The four-day event is held at The New York Times Building, but may also be viewed online by cruising to:
See 'ya there!
Chances are - that tourists taking in the sights in the San Francisco Bay area - may get the urge to take a trek outside the city proper to try their luck at the slots or card tables where it is legal.
In that event, discerning gamblers may be wise to pass on the Indian tribe-run no-frills Casino at Cache Creek, for starters.
Of course, some of the local tour groups offer perks, that may be tempting.
For example, tourists who cough up a paltry $9.00, will be able to lounge on a chartered bus and take in the countryside to-and-from the Casino without a hand at the wheel.
And, to make the stakes a tad higher, slot-lovers are treated to $15.00 free slot play to make the pot (!) sweeter!
But, the experience generally falls flat for the jaded, used to the adrenalin-rush of sizzling hot-spots like Vegas (for instance).
After all, the compact gambling hall is low on amenities, short on friendly wait-staff, and stingy with the cash pay-outs.
Spring for a side-trip to Reno, where the $$$ will be better invested, just betcha!
Seems like just yesterday (at the witching hour on late night, actually) David Letterman first stumbled on the "tweet" potential of the popular social hub "Twitter".
Like a kid with a spanking new toy (emphasis on "spanking") the toothy talk-show host jumped in with gay abandon (well, as best he could with lackluster typing skills and a fumbling liver-spotted forefinger) in a bold-faced attempt to burst into the dizzying technological age with a little savvy (to compete with his contemporaries?).
The mischievous King of one-liners was hardly out-of-the-gate, though, before a cynical side to his twittering reared its ugly head.
For example, last week Dave-O was gushing about the social hub - and offering up Olive branches to his talk-show rivals - to his credit.
But, last evening, he took the slippery slope (the low road) when he began to take pokes at the competition.
"Jimmy Fallon is such a suck up," he wickedly sniped to his audience, after perusing a tweet the quirky comic uttered up that was nothing short of "sweet".
In about two seconds flat, Letterman's going to be a twitter terror - to rival Cher (she's got quite the potty mouth on her) - just betcha!
News at 11!
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Suits at studios may be belly-aching about sluggish ticket sales of late (revenue was down 3-4 % during the holiday season) but management at the Castro Theatre is beaming from ear-to-ear.
Special events - featuring audience participation - are booming at the Art Deco showcase in the heart of gay gulch.
For example, on Sunday afternoon I spied exuberant film buffs queuing up at 2 p.m. in the afternoon to plunk down $15 bucks cash on-the-barrel, to join in a West Side Story sing-a-long alongside fans of the classic musical.
Just a few weeks ago, rumors were running rampant that the Castro may be on its last legs, go figure!
Not so, says Don Nasser, the director of the prestigious old venue and a member of the family that built her back in 1922.
In fact, Mr. Nasser has installed a new manager - Keith Arnold - to muster of film bookings and expand the breadth of the theatre's programming roster.
"It's going to be a strong mix of hard-to-see repertory, gold standard classics, festivals, and special events," he boasts to everyone within earshot.
Stay posted, folks!
the driving force
a man's ability
he's like a
on a sea
A Collection of Poems
Fans of the Masterpiece Theatre classic - "Downton Abbey" (an upstairs-downstairs-style drama) are thrilled at the prospect of turning in next week (Sunday @ 9 p.m.) to catch the 2nd season opener of the period potboiler.
After all, the last episode broadcast was quite the cliffhanger!
The top-rated PBS drama garnered the highest ratings of any production in recent years under their banner which is a testament to the fact that discerning viewers are hungry for quality television programming.
Tattler readers may recall that I raved about Downtown Abbey when it first premiered.
Since that time, the classy night-time "soaper" scoffed up a handful of prestigious Emmy Awards - among them - the coveted trophy for best Mini-Series!
Can't wait to tune in next week.
How 'bout you?