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Thursday
Oct162014

HOLA Founding Member and Latina Actress, Elizabeth Peña Dies at 55

The following article was written and posted on Latino-Review by Ms. Peña's nephew, Mario-Francisco Robles on Oct.15. 2014.  

Photo courtesy of Latino-ReviewElizabeth Peña has passed away. The actress, with a professional career spanning nearly 40 years, left us on the night of October 14 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She had recently wrapped work on the first season of the El Rey Network's action series, Matador, where she played the title character's mother Maritza.

Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey and raised by her Cuban immigrant parents, Peña was destined for a career in the arts. Her father, Mario, was a playwright, director, actor, and designer in their native Cuba, who opened up the Latin American Theatre Ensemble after establishing a life for him and his family in New York. As a teen, Peña began making a name for herself as a formidable young actress in the New York theatre scene. She attended, and graduated from, the High School of Performing Arts and began her professional film career in 1978 with León Ichaso's El Super. A few years later, the ambitious Cubana would set off to try her fortunes over on the west coast. 

That move would prove fruitful, as she would go on to land roles in several major films in the 1980s. By the end of that decade, she had a resumé that included La BambaDown and Out in Beverly Hills*batteries not included, and Blue Steel. She even did something that was almost unheard of for a Latina actress: She had her own primetime ABC series, I Married Dora. She played the title role of Dora in the series, which became infamous and notable because of its controversial premise- which centered on a "green card marriage" that would eventually evolve into something more genuine. 

She kicked off the 90s with a prominent role opposite Tim Robbins in Jacob's Ladder. She continued her string of notable films with roles in the critically lauded John Sayles drama, Lone Star opposite Matthew McConaughey, as well as Rush Hour and Free Willy 2. Along the way, she racked up TV appearances on L.A. Law, Dream On, Shannon's Deal, and Drug Wars: The Camarena Story

At the turn of the century, Peña began shifting her talents in new directions. Aside from starring roles in films like Tortilla SoupHow The Garcia Girls Spent Their SummerNothing Like The Holidays, and Showtime's Resurrection Blvd, Peña began branching out as both a voice actress and as a director. She directed episodes of a few television series, and lent her vocal talents to everything from the Academy Award-nominated Pixar film The Incredibles (Mirage) to the Justice League cartoon series (Paran Dul), and Seth MacFarlane's American Dad!

Aside from her current work as a series regular on Matador, Peña also had a recurring guest star spot as Pilar, the mother of Sofia Vergara's Gloria on the hit ABC comedy Modern Family.

At the time of her death, Peña had just turned 55.

She is survived by her husband Hans, her two teenage children Fiona and Kaelan, her mother Estela, and her sister, Tania.  

To read the full article, PLEASE CLICK HERE

Tuesday
Oct072014

BROADWAY TO DIM ITS LIGHTS TOMORROW NIGHT WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 8TH AT 7:45 PM IN MEMORY OF TONY-AWARD WINNING PREMIER STAGE ACTRESS MARIAN SELDES

Marian Seldes (1928–2014)The Broadway community mourns the loss of Marian Seldes, a Tony Award-winning actress, five-time nominee, and the recipient of a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. She died on Monday at the age of 86. The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in her memory tomorrow evening, Wednesday, October 8th, at exactly 7:45pm for one minute.

"Marian Seldes's name is synonymous with theatre. Her persona on the Broadway stage was as real as her genuine grace and kindness off stage,” said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League. “Her lovely elegance and iconic talent will be deeply missed by her family, friends and fans."

With a career that spanned 60 years, Marian Seldes made her Broadway debut in 1947 in the Robinson Jeffers adaptation of Medea directed by John Gielgud and starring Judith Anderson in the title role. In 1967, she won aTony Awardâ  as Best Featured Actress in a Play for her role in A Delicate Balance by Edward Albee. Ms. Seldes has a long association with the playwright, appearing in The Play About the Baby, Tiny Alice, Counting the Ways(as part of Beckett/Albee plays) and Three Tall Women, a tour de force for the actress. She entered the Guinness Book of World Records for her appearance in Ira Levin’s Deathtrap when she didn't miss a single performance of the play’s four-year run.

Other stage credits include Equus, Painting Churches, The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, and The Chalk Garden. She received Tony Award nominations for her performances in Father’s Day, Deathtrap, Ring Round the Moon, and Dinner at Eight. Her last appearance on Broadway was in 2007 in Terrence McNally’s Deuce.

In 2010, Ms. Seldes received a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement  honoring her contribution to the theatre and her extraordinary talent.

Ms. Seldes also had an extensive career in movies, television and radio. She authored two books: “The Bright Lights,” a memoir; and a novel, “Time Together.”

She taught for many years at The Juilliard School and later as an adjunct professor at Fordham University.

Ms. Seldes is survived by her daughter Katharine Claman Andres (Clay); grandsons Timo, Guthrie and Wells Andres; her bother Timothy Seldes (Susan); nephew Gilbert Seldes; niece Elizabeth Seldes Annacone (Paul); and grandnephew Emmett Carnahan. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Garson Kanin whom she married in 1990. Her first marriage, to Julian Claman, ended in divorce.

Tuesday
Oct012013

NYMF Now Accepting Submissions for the 2014 Next Link Project

The New York Musical Theatre Festival, The largest annual musical theatre event in the nation is now accepting submissions for the 2014 Next Link Project! 

The Next Link Project is NYMF’s primary writer service program. It empowers emerging musical theater writing teams by providing entrepreneurial training, career networking opportunities, dramaturgical support, and other services, culminating in a subsidized production in the Festival. The Next Link Project is open to any writer – produced or unproduced, with or without agency representation.

This year’s Next Link Project Grand Jury includes:  

  • OBIE and Drama Desk award winning actress Donna Lynne Champlin
  • TONY® and Outer Critics Circle Nominee actor Hunter Foster
  • TONY® nominee composer and lyricist Amanda Green, Associate Producer of the Old Globe Eric Louie 
  • Outer Critics Circle Nominee director and choreographer Josh Prince
  • TONY® and Drama Desk Nominee actor and writer Tony Sheldon
  • TONY® nominee and Grammy winner composer Lucy Simon...and more to be announced…

Next Link Project participants receive the following benefits:

  1. A $5,000 subsidy towards their production at NYMF 2014 
  2. Additional savings in production fees, and discounted technical and marketing support
  3. Dramaturgical support
  4. Seminars and workshops geared toward helping them successfully prepare, present, and promote their NYMF production
  5. Access to exclusive industry networking events

The following application materials are required as electronic files:

  • Complete script (PDF files only, please)
  • Demo recording, containing at least 75% of the songs in the show
  • 2-3 page synopsis
  • Script sample consisting of 15 consecutive pages
  • Author bios and Production History 

The Early Bird Deadline is midnight, Thursday, October 3, 2013. Submission Fee: $55
The Final Deadline is extended to midnight, Monday, November 11, 2013.  Submission Fee: $75

For More information visit:  http://www.nymf.org/get-involved/submit-show/ Submit your show today to be considered for the 2014 Festival!

Tuesday
Oct012013

THE PUBLIC THEATER TO OFFER FREE TICKETS FOR AN EVENING WITH STING

PERFORMING SONGS FROM HIS NEW ALBUM, THE LAST SHIP, THE FIRST AND ONLY TIME SEPTEMBER 25-OCTOBER 9

For the first and only time, Sting will perform songs from his new album, The Last Ship, over 10 concerts to benefit The Public Theater. The Public will offer a limited number of FREE tickets via a lottery system for AN EVENING WITH STING, September 25 through October 9 at 8:00 p.m., in The Public’s intimate 260-seat Anspacher Theater.

As part of The Public’s ongoing commitment to accessibility and affordable programming, these free tickets will be distributed the day of each performance at The Public Theater via a lottery system. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., persons can enter the lottery by filling out an entry card with their name and indicating if they want one or two tickets. If two tickets are requested, both attendees must be present. At 6:00 p.m., the lottery winners’ names will be selected. All winners must be present at the time of the drawing. Entry cards will not be given out before 5:30 p.m. and the winners will be selected via random lottery. A minimum of 10 free tickets will be given out at each performance, excluding the special Sting.com Fan Club concert on October 2.

An evening of music and storytelling with one of the world’s most prolific artists, these benefit performances to support The Public Theater will offer unique insight into the creative process of both his new album, The Last Ship, to be released September 24, and his forthcoming play of the same name, premiering on Broadway in 2014.

Sting also has a long tradition of hosting special events for members of his official fan club. 100 Sting.com Fan Club members have been selected, via lottery, to receive free tickets to attend a very special concert in celebration of Sting’s birthday on Wednesday, October 2 at The Public Theater.

A limited number of benefit tickets are still available for sale at http://www.publictheater.org, by calling (212) 967-7555, or in person at the Taub Box Office at The Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street. Tickets at the top tier to include VIP seating and a pre-show meet and greet with Sting.

On September 24, Sting will release a new album of original material entitled The Last Ship.  Drawing inspiration from the shipbuilding community of Wallsend in the North East of England where he was born and raised, Sting has crafted both an entire world and a close-knit community of original characters. In celebration of the album, these intimate benefit concerts at The Public will reveal Sting’s influences behind the album through storytelling and visual projections paying homage to the traditional roots of the North East of England, with music from pub-like folk tunes to a wall of sound from Sting’s full band, many of whose members also hail from the North East.

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Monday
Sep022013

NYC & COMPANY PRESENTS THE THIRD SEMIANNUAL BROADWAY WEEK WITH 2-FOR-1 TICKETS NOW ON SALE

2-for-1 Tickets Available to 19 of New York City’s Most Popular Broadway Shows September 2–15

NYC & Company, New York City’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organization, announced that Broadway Week Fall 2013 2-for-1 theater tickets are on sale today. Theatergoers can purchase 2-for-1 tickets to 19 popular Broadway shows from September 2 to 15. This season American Express will also provide the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at theater professionals who produce and manage the sound, stage and casts of Broadway shows. Broadway Week gives visitors and New Yorkers a chance to experience one of the most iconic attractions in New York City at a savings. Tickets can be purchased at nycgo.com/broadwayweek.

“Nothing says New York City like Broadway,” said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company. “Each year millions of New Yorkers and tourists visit Broadway to experience the unmatched creativity and talent that define our theaters. Through NYC & Company’s Broadway Week’s 2-for-1 ticket promotion, we are giving everyone the opportunity to enjoy some of the best theater in the world at an affordable price.”

“Broadway contributes more than $11 billion to the economy of New York City on top of ticket sales and supports 86,000 local jobs. NYC & Company’s innovative 2-for-1 programs benefit the City, the industry and, of course, the consumer,” said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League. “Broadway Week has become a much-anticipated fall tradition for everyone.”

Through NYC & Company’s Broadway Week promotion, more than 300,000 2-for-1 theater tickets have been sold. New Broadway Week participants this fall include the award-winning shows The Trip to Bountiful and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella as well as the highly anticipated productions of Big Fish and Romeo and Juliet

Shows participating in Broadway Week Fall 2013:*

  • Annie
  • Big Fish
  • Chicago
  • First Date
  • Forever Tango
  • The Glass Menagerie
  • Jersey Boys
  • The Lion King
  • Mamma Mia!
  • Newsies
  • Once
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • Rock of Ages
  • Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Soul Doctor
  • Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
  • The Trip to Bountiful
  • Wicked
NYC & Company is the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide. For more information, visit nycgo.com.

*Subject to availability. Blackout dates may apply.

For the fall 2013 promotion, longtime NYC & Company partner American Express presents “Inside Broadway,” offering Cardmembers and theater enthusiasts a behind-the-scenes look at some of the professionals who are intricately involved in bringing Broadway to life. The series of interviews include original photography along with insider tips on how audiences can enjoy Broadway—and New York City—to the fullest. The interviews are posted on nycgo.com/broadwayweek and feature:

In addition, consumers can enter the Official Broadway Week Sweepstakes, powered by Audience Rewards, for the opportunity to win dinner at Barbetta and tickets to a Broadway show of their choice for the winner and five friends. Audience Rewards members can also take advantage of earning 100 Amtrak Guest Reward points per Broadway Week ticket purchased during the promotion.

Broadway Week is produced by NYC & Company in partnership with The Broadway League, American Express, AARP, Amtrak and NBC 4 New York. The campaign is supported by an estimated $1.2 million in media value, including promotional support from partners, bus stop shelters, street pole banners, taxi videos, and print and digital advertising.

To enter the Official Broadway Week Sweepstakes and to purchase 2-for-1 Broadway Week tickets, visit nycgo.com/broadwayweek.

About NYC & Company:
NYC & Company is the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide. For more information, visit nycgo.com.