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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Rose Marie's "Laugh" Worth Its "Wait" in Gold

Wait for your laugh...your tears...your wonder...your amazement in anticipation before and after watching Wait For Your Laugh, the stunning new documentary about entertainment legend Rose Marie, best known as Sally Rogers on classic TV's The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Carl Reiner, another TV icon, who created the Van Dyke Show (and has written, directed and been featured in countless classic television shows and films) has named Wait For Your Laugh one of the "best documentaries" he has ever seen.

Such praise is not unwarranted.

Every aspect of Rose Marie's lengthy and remarkable life and career is covered with professional and compassionate, yet objective precision in Wait For Your Laugh.  Director Jason Wise and his co-writing wife Christina Wise have crafted a daring cinematic tale of truth with skill, care and unique perspective and technique rarely if ever seen in the documentary format.

Narrated by Peter Marshall, another still-vibrant performer, and the host of TV's Hollywood Squares game show (on which Rose Marie appeared for years), Wait For Your Laugh features never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage and images not only of the Van Dyke Show but from Squares, The Doris Day Show (on which Rose Marie also performed in a regular role), and her pre and post Van-Doris-Squares live performances, namely from her earliest live performances as 5-years-old as "Baby Rose Marie," to much later in the hit senior pre-Golden Girls-esque-inspiring live show "Four Girls Four" (in which Rose Marie starred along pal Rosemary Clooney, George's aunt, Margaret Whiting, and Helen O'Connell, the latter with whom the "Laugh" star notoriously and honestly clashed).

Delivered with dynamite details are, among other adventures, the tales of her truest love life with loyal husband Bobby Guy (the unheralded master trumpet player), and early career support from none other than Al Capone and Bugsy Siegel (who founded Las Vegas).

New on-screen interviews include those with Rose Marie herself, Reiner, Van Dyke, Marshall, Tim Conway (who Rose Marie discovered), writer/producer and Marie fan Dan Harmon (of TV's Community fame), Georgia Marie Guy (Rose Marie's dedicated daughter with Bobby Guy), and Rose Marie's earnest publicist Harlon Boll (who also served as one of the film's associate producers).

Each voice, face and unseen talent showcased behind and in front of the cameras of Laugh leaves the audience waiting for more of the film's winning ways.

"Wait" unwavering celebrates the much-deserved Rose Marie, who has brought so much love, energy, and talent to every aspect of not only her own personal and professional life, but every life she has ever touched or influenced, whether they were or remain close in her inner circle or the countless fans around the world who continue to be so inspired by her grand heart, humor, and persona.

So, until Wait For Your Laugh II hopefully, one day follows, don't wait, but run to see the original Wait For Your Laugh...which holds at its center an original all of its own, in the guise of reining shining star Rose Marie.


For more information about "Wait For Your Laugh," please visit:

Monday, November 6, 2017

Storybook Theatre's "Ugly Duckling" is Beautiful!

“The Ugly Duckling,” written by Lloyd J. Schwartz (of TV’s Gilligan’s Island/Brady Bunch fame), and produced with precision by Barbara Mallory, is everything an interactive, musical, and live theatre children’s production should be and more.

The vibrant stand-out cast of performers is led by director Anthony Gruppuso as Dog, Kathy Garrick as Mama Duck, Heather Keller as Rosie, and Kristin Towers-Rowles, who also contributed to the show’s clever choreography, as the Ugly Duckling.

Good, clean family-oriented fun, “The Ugly Duckling” delivers a message of love and acceptance for all ages, as its performers sing, dance and deliver their talent with such energy, enthusiasm, and verve from the second the story begins that you can’t help but be captivated and entertained.

Gruppuso’s direction is top-tier, as his Dog character serves as narrator and the perfectly downright adorable connection for the young and the young at heart to which we automatically feel a kindred.  Garrick’s comforting Mama Duck doesn’t stray too far from the pond, as she winningly serves as the true soul of the production, while Keller literally shines in her role, as Towers-Rowles amazing voice and “New York presence” is hard not to miss.

“The Ugly Duckling,” across the board, must not be missed, as its music and lyrics by Adryan Russ, and ace stage managing by David P. Johnson round out a “Class A” presentation with educated and polished skill and appreciation for all good things in theatre – and beyond.


“The Ugly Duckling,” presented by Storybook Theatre, is playing now until March 3, 2018 at Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd West, Los Angeles, CA  90068.  For tickets and more information, call the Storybook Box Office at (818) 761-2203, or (323) 851-4839.  Or visit  

Monday, October 30, 2017

Bobrick’s “Water” Soars!

Sam Bobrick is a miracle of a man, and most certainly as a writer.

The legendary literati, bard, and musical and comedic genius, is responsible for everything from songs for Elvis, to classic TV hits like Bewitched and The Andy Griffith Show, to over forty stage plays, including “Norman, Is That You” (co-authored with Ron Clark), which was adapted for the big-screen in 1976.

With his newest stage presentation, “New York Water” (now playing at the Pico Playhouse in Los Angeles through December 17th), Bobrick’s flair for the written word and ear for the funny bone, shines on.

Starring Bridget Flanery as the strong-willed Linda Shoup and Ross Benjamin as the subdued Albert Hives, New York Water resounds and rebounds the ups and downs of a modern day relationship with expert handling across the board, and coast-to-coast.   As played by Flanery and Benjamin, Linda and Ross are hapless romantic souls who find one another, and much more along the way as they peruse the geography from the Big Apple to L.A.

Directed with likable and realistic skill by Howard Teichman (who produced along with Bill Froggatt, who also designed sound and video projection), Flanery and Benjamin deliver the goods and the bads of their association with the perfect balance of energy, humor, and poignancy that never gets lost in the hustle and bustle of what they try to hold together against all odds.

“New York Water” hits all the right chords, as it takes the lucky theatre-goer on a journey of the heart and mind with a spirited production that lives up to Bobrick’s unique stand-alone style.  Bobrick is funny and he’s got heart.  It’s that simple, and it’s that evident in “New York Water.”

The laughs, tears, struggles, victories, and stamina that each of us require for a full life are wonderfully embodied in the twin souls definitively interpreted by Flannery and Benjamin who are spot-on with Bobrick’s always-witty and insightful lines.

Along with Froggatt, additional tech skills are top-notch, too, including stage manager Henry Lide, set and video designer Kurtis Bedford, and lighting designer Ellen Monocroussos.  

After watching “New York Water,” the live-theatre watcher is left breathless for more of what Sam Bobrick brings to his table of delight for all of us to heartily ingest with what it means to be alive.


“New York Water,” a world premiere of the West Coast Jewish Theatre, is now playing at the Pico Playhouse located at 10508 W. Pico Blvd in Los Angeles.  For tickets or more information, call: (323) 821-2449 [Publicity by Phil Sokoloff; photography by Michael Lamont.]            

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The School of Thought and the Cycle of Life, Love and Moving On

We all have experienced loss in our lives, whether in the way of losing a loved one, a job, or even something as benign as our hair.

In each case, the struggle is real, and should not be taken lightly.

However, also in each case, at some point, we must reach the destination of acceptance.

We have to, in order to appropriately and productively move on.

Life is about living, and not just in the moment, but for the future.

There is nothing that any of us can do about the past.

The past is over, done; gone.

We can recall it, relish it, learn from it, and even maybe embrace it a little bit.

But not too much; not to the measure at which point we live in it.

We can’t.

Living is about now, and tomorrow, not yesterday.

Living is about loving who we are; where we are, now, today.

Every moment should be a time of reflection, new beginnings, and fresh starts, and new education; we have the chance to embrace countless opportunities to learn; to reboot, review, and rewrite our fate; our destinies, combined or singular; alone or with others; with family, friends, colleagues.

Take the chance of today, on today.  Move on from the past.  Appreciate it.  Cherish it.  But move on from it, and take what you can and learn from it and apply it to today…in the most wonderful, exciting and beautiful ways.

Never forget those we have lost; always remember what has brought us to this point; what has shaped us; how we have responded; what has worked; what has not worked; and apply all of it with renewal.

Renew constantly.  Rewrite your scripts of life.  Study in the school of thought and life; the academics of who you are unending.  Your graduation is forever pending.  There is no final exam.  There are only teachers, in every form, surrounding you every second.

But know that your most important professor is yourself.

You teach yourself.  Ultimately, you are self-taught.

You are the teacher and the student.

You have the ability to instruct yourself.

So, study hard, and live your A-life; a passing grade that not decide your graduation, but permit you not to let your life pass you by.


Saturday, October 21, 2017

"The Power of Words"

The Bible says, "By your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matt. 12: 37); "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Prov. 12: 21); And "Thou shall also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee" (Job 22: 28).

Charles Fillmore, cofounder of Unity, wrote: "The spoken word carries vibrations through the Universe ether, and also moves the intelligence inherent in every form, animate or inanimate."

Ernest Holmes, founder of the Church of Religious Science, has written: "The word gives form to the unformed. The greater the consciousness behind the word, the more power it will have. Just words, without conviction, have no power, and just conviction, without words, will never stir up latent energy. There must be a combination of the two to make a complete thing."

The Tibetan master D.K., through Alice A. Bailey, has said: "Every Word differentiated or synthesized, affects the deva kingdom, and hence the form-building aspects of manifestation. No sound is ever made without producing a corresponding response in deva substance."

As author John Randolph Price writes in his wonderful book, THE ANGELS WITHIN US, "From these resources it should be obvious why the masters of the early academies taught the aspirants to be aware of the consequences of words on the mental, emotional, etheric, and physical planes. They were schooled in the Power of sound and how words spoken with a controlled mind could literally change the force field around any form, including the belief system of the personality, and free the imprisoned spiritual consciousness."

As Price continues to write in ANGELS, he began to use the old Oriental standard to gauge the value of speech: Is it true? It is kind? It is needful? The result of this brief survey, Price discovered, was that only a few of his remarks passed the three tests. And that he admitted that when monitoring his own words, he missed the mark several times, even though he was consciously trying to measure the quality of what he was saying. "We are all walking around with a loaded gun between our teeth," he revealed, "and our tongues seem to love to pull the trigger."

"Remember," he concluded, "we are either healing or harming" with our words, spoken or written. "There is no in-between, so even in our humor we should practice harmlessness. Let's be builders of the new world through constructive words and creators of harmony with loving words."

Sunday, May 28, 2017

"It's In Their Blood" - the compelling new book by Scott Lee Needham

A "behind-the-scenes" Hollywood story like no other.
That's the best way to describe author Scott Lee Needham's new book:
This is the true-life tale of Needham's mother, actress Diane Adams Spears, and her brother, actor Roger Perry.
Explore the chronicle of two young siblings who venture to Hollywood on separate paths - and unite 70 years later.
Available at,, and wherever quality books are sold.
Order your copy today - via any of the links below.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Anthony C Ferrante, director of the iconic “Sharknado” films, has selected “Farway Canyon” as his follow-up genre project. Based on the independent comic book series written and published by Steve Hillard and Dennis Nowlan, Ferrante will develop the project as a television series, along with Hillard’s partner in “The Chronicles of Ara” franchise, Joel Eisenberg.
Ferrante, who will serve as director and executive producer of the proposed series, says “Farway Canyon combines that nostalgic innocence of classic genre movies while adding some fun, modern sensibilities to it.. It’s going to be a blast bringing this amazing world to life that Steve and Dennis created.”
“We are excited to be working with a talent of Anthony’s caliber,” says Hillard. “’Farway Canyon’ is a multi-layered take on the great sci-fi monster flicks of the 1950s and 60s. The story centers on a group of idealistic college students who investigate a lost Cold War project more secretive and potentially threatening than Area 51. Our project is a perfect canvas for Anthony’s patented brand of action and humor.”
Nowlan adds: “We want to introduce younger audiences to an updated genre by paying homage to movies like Them, Godzilla, Forbidden Planet and even Dr. Strangelove.”
Hillard and Eisenberg are authors and television producers who work primarily within the pop culture, science fiction and fantasy genres. Their acclaimed novel series, “The Chronicles of Ara” and “The Lost Chronicles of Ara,” have been lauded by artists as diverse as multiple New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer, and legendary filmmaker John Landis. In early 2015, they sold television rights to Ovation TV. The duo are also producing the nostalgia-themed talkfest, “Then Again with Herbie J Pilato,” which premieres in January of 2017 for Decades, a CBS and Weigel Broadcasting company.
Ferrante and the team expect to pitch “Farway Canyon” beginning in January.