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Threefifty Duo Performance Launches Music at First

A performance by New York City-based Threefifty Duo (guitarists Brett Parnell and Geremy Schulick) will kick off the inaugural season of Music at First on February 19th, 2010, at 7:30pm. Threefifty Duo has been described as a "classical guitar duo with
a rock edge."  After years of writing and performing together and with a second album under Threefifty's belt, the duo’s stylistic tendencies have expanded beyond their initial categorization, with genre blurred by an intensely personal sound. Parnell and  Schulick weave their contemporary rock sensibilities into the rich fabric of classical guitar.
Music at First is a new music series to be held at First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn from February through May, 2010.

This series, curated by Wil Smith (New York composer who is also organist at First Presbyterian), occurs monthly, featuring one performer or ensemble per evening. Each concert will last about an hour and half each. Smith describes the new series, Music at First, as “a diverse mix of New York City's best new music ensembles and performers, accessible to a wide audience of both community members and seasoned new music listeners.”

Future performances include:

March 26 - pianist Kathleen Supové
April 16- cellist/vocalist Jody Redhage and Fire in July
May 28 - flute/percussionist duo Conor Nelson and Ayano Kataoka

There is a $10 suggested donation which will be collected at the door.
For more on Threefifty Duo, visit

Music at First
First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn
124 Henry Street
New York, NY 10002

Man in the Mirror: Michael Jackson and Viva l’Italia Exhibit

On January 27th, from 7 to 9pm, PowerHouse Arena will host a book launch party for paparazzo Ron Galella’s new books Man in the Mirror and Viva l’Italia. Man in the Mirror is a tribute to the life and memory of Michael Jackson that features shots ranging from his early days in the Jackson 5 up to the weeks before his untimely death.

In Viva l'Italia Galella presents portraits of Italy's most famous sons and daughters. In honor of the exhibitions starring subject, the Arena will exclusively be playing the King of Pop all night. 

The venue is also hosting Galella’s Man in the Mirror exhibition from Jan. 8th – Feb. 14, 2010. The event will feature from both Man in the Mirror and Viva l’Italia.

Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, was a superstar of unprecedented and epic proportions, and is still the best-selling recording artist of all time. An icon raised in the spotlight, but ever reclusive and terribly shy, Jackson was the ideal subject for paparazzo Galella.

Galella shot Michael throughout his whole life. Finding intimate moments with the legend offstage, he captured candid, unguarded portraits of the man behind the mask and a lifetime of style and glamor.

Over the years Galella also captured Michael in the company of fellow celebrities including:
Muhammad Ali, Diana Ross, Chuck Berry, Brooke Shields, Jane Fonda, Liberace, Quincy Jones, Barry Manilow, Emmanuel Lewis, Don King, Liza Minnelli, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Sophia Loren, Sylvester Stallone, Ted Kennedy, Dionne Warwick, Whitney Houston, Donald Trump, Eddie Murphy, Elizabeth Taylor, Madonna, and Marcel Marceau.

He displayed the personal side of Michael in images of him with his children, his sister Janet and the rest of the Jackson family, and even his pet chimpanzee, Bubbles. In a tribute to the life and memor
y of Michael Jackson, Galella has compiled a body of images of the King of Pop in Man in the Mirror: Michael Jackson.

In Viva l'Italia, Galella sets out to find his own Italian roots, and in so doing, takes us on a viaggio as he combs his vast archive for images of Italian and Italian-American actors, artists, and fashion designers, along with a wide range of other cultural icons. Galella's tour begins in Rome's famed Cinecittà where Federico Fellini relaxes between takes on a film set. It was Fellini who proclaimed, "paparazzi are bandits of images," coining the word with his character Signor Paparazzo in La Dolce Vita.

As he continues on, Galella presents us with portraits of Italy's most famous sons and daughters, including
Virni Lisi, Isabella Rossellini, Silvana Mangano, Marlon Brando, Monica Bellucci, Carla Bruni, and Sophia Loren.

Never one to shy away from bad boys, he even includes the "Dapper Don," John Gotti, emerging from federal court in Manhattan. Gale
lla's photography is complimented by quotes he has amassed over a half-century of travel and celebrity encounters.

For more information visit
Man in the Mirror: Michael Jackson and Viva l’Italia Launch Party and Exhibition Opening
January 27, 2010
Man in the Mirror: Michael Jackson and Viva l’Italia Exhibit
January 8 – February 14, 2010

powerHouse Arena
37 Main Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Golden Globes Sunday — Read Nominee Interviews

The  Hollywood Foreign Press Association presents its annual Golden Globe Awards this Sunday, January 17, in a live NBC telecast starting at 8 p.m. ET. And, true to the journalists' group international basis, the HFPA joins a host of others in donating aid to the victims of this week's devastating earthquake in Haiti, giving $100,000 on January 14 to Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti relief fund.

The organization already this year has presented $1,249,000 in financial grants to 29 film schools and non-profit organizations, including the American Film Institute, the American Cinematheque, the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment, the Independent Feature Project, the Museum of African American Cinema, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, Outfest, and such schools as Columbia University, Loyola Marymount University, and NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

Read more: Golden Globes Sunday — Read...

Bollywood Review - "Pyaar Impossible!"

Directed by Jugal Hansraj
Written by
Uday Chopra
Uday Chopra, Priyanka Chopra, Advika Yadav, Dino Morea, Anupam Kher and Rahul Vohra

The phrase "Don't do business with relatives" doesn't mean much in Bollywood, where generations of scions follow in family footsteps to create filmmaking dynasties. Even so, that doesn't mean you give Paris Hilton her own hotel to run.

Uday Chopra — actor son of major Indian producer/filmmaker Yash Chopra and younger brother of the successful Aditya Chopra (producer-writer-director of the 2008 hit Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, among others) — spends a lot time helping out around the family studio, doing some executive producing here, some assistant directing there. And while letting him write, produce and star in his own romantic comedy must have seemed a very nice birthday present or some such, it's no gift to audiences. Despite a few cute moments, the beauty-and-the-geek tale Pyaar Impossible! ("Love Impossible!"), set against the backdrop of computer software and corporate theft, is a vanity project that only goes to show that while love may or may not be impossible, nepotism is eternal.
We'll give Chopra points for at least not directing it himself, and for having a good eye for talent in choosing Jugal Hansraj to do so, even though Hansraj's only previous credit was the animated flop Roadside Romeo (2008). Whatever this film's faults, they don't stem from Hansraj's hand; he keeps both romantic complications and corporate shenanigans moving along at a good, grounded clip, and his experience as a former child actor probably helped wickedly precocious newcomer Advika Yadav, who as a six-year-old romantic mastermind steals her scenes with conviction and the most ironic cuteness since the last Pee-wee Herman show.

Not that that's enough to save this well-meant effort. Ahbay Sharma (Chopra) is a computer geek who, in college, saved beautiful co-ed Alisha (Priyanka Chopra, no relation, seen here stateside in the terrific 2008 faux-gay comedy Dostana) from drowning. Seven years later, living with his supportive dad (beloved Bollywood veteran Anupam Kher), he still carries a torch for the girl, who never got a good look at him. But when con artist Varun Sanghvi (Italian-Indian model turned actor Dino Morea) steals the code for the groundbreaking software Ahbay's developed, Ahbay tracks him to Singapore, where Sanghvi's selling the purloined program to a company whose marketing head is, surprise, Alisha — now single mom to Tania (Yadav). Through a mix-up, Ahbay becomes the nanny — the latest in a line whom Tania's terrorized. But after a rocky start, Tania sees that Ahbay loves her mom, and the kid's plans eventually lead to an adorable musical number (one of three in the film proper) that clues Alisha in to Ahbay's identity.

Bollywood romantic comedies, to their credit, construct romantic obstacles that feel more organic than the almost defiantly contrived ones often found stateside. As in I Love Lucy, they make the preposterous palatable. Nothing, however, can do that for Uday Chopra, who wears only about two expressions and who, in his way-too-many close-ups, looks uncannily like the late-period Michael Jackson — which somehow adds to his inadvertent-stalker creepiness. The painfully charmless Chopra is unconvincing as either a computer geek or even a geek at all. He seems exactly like what he is — a rich kid playing with daddy's toys.(In Hindi and English, with English subtitles) 130 minutes. Unrated, but the likely equivalent of G or maybe PG.

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