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Makeup Maven Sam Fine Puts on Shoes

Renowned makeup artist Sam Fine, whose celebrity clients Tyra Banks, Halle Berry, Naomi Campbell, Patti Labelle, Vanessa L. Williams and others testify to his being a leading light among women of color, is at the pinnacle of his profession. Once at a pinnacle, of course, one wants to start expanding boundaries.

That's the idea behind the Chicago native's newly launched collaboration with the Brazilian footwear company Cavage: Who better, the reasoning goes, to predict and pick shoe colors that will match makeup trends for the coming Fall/Winter 2010 fashion season?

Fine's "Sunshine" line of Cavage flats debuted last night at DEX New York, on West 30th Street in the fashion district. The multifaceted makeup/photography/hair studio served as the setting for Fine and  Cavage's introduction of a stylish line, with an equally multifaceted, multihued and multilingual multitude of fashionistas and industry professionals in attendance.

The distinctive touches at the event were:

• A startlingly realistic trompe l'oeil of a cake by the art-pastry firm Cakes by Manny

• Two boutique brands of drink — the Louisville, Ky.-based Rhythm Liqueur, a 70 proof citrus liquor infused with caffeine, ginseng, taurine, damiana and B vitamins; and Izze, a fruit juice concentrate-sweetened soda that originated in Boulder, Colo, in 2002, and successful enough to have been purchased for a reported $75 million from PepsiCo in 2006

Fine, whose work has appeared on the covers and pages of Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar, Essence, Vibe and Marie Claire and was chosen as the first African-American spokesperson for Revlon and Covergirl Cosmetics, mingled with the crowd and spoke with the press.

Following the photos below, watch an exclusive video of Sam Fine answering questions on fashion trends for fall.










Photos and videos by: Frank Lovece
Interviewer: Maitland McDonagh

Emergency Benefit Concert for Haiti

Emergency Benefit Concert for Haiti 4 Nights, Jan 20th–25th, 2010 is being held at City Winery, 155 Varick Street, New York City. The SoHo winery/restaurant is hosting a series of Emergency Benefit Concerts to raise $100,000 in four nights to help the victims of Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake.


Patti Smith, Swell Season, Josh Ritter, Lewis Black, Vernon Reid and Corey Glover of Living Colour, the Young People's Choir of New York City, Rosanne Cash , Yo La Tengo, Marshall Crenshaw, John Wesley Harding, Brian Stokes Mitchell and many others

City Winery CEO and founder Michael Dorf has reached out to musicians and artists to donate their time and talents to assist in the relief efforts in the devastated nation. No country in the Western Hemisphere has been battered more than Haiti in the last 500 years—the nearly complete annihilation of its native population over two decades, a brutal slave regime, ongoing foreign military interventions over hundreds of years, brutal dictatorships supported by western powers, blockades of aid and more recently, devastating natural disasters from hurricanes to this latest earthquake.  

Haitians are strong and resilient people—theirs is the first country in the world to establish an independent republic led by former slaves. The devastation writ large by the earthquake will persist for generations, but by acting today in concert, everyone can make a difference in how that recovery proceeds. The artists confirmed have all donated their time and talent so that the citizens of Haiti can rebuild and reshape their future.

100% of funds raided from this benefit will be directed Doctors Without Borders, Partnership in Health and to the Emergency Mobile Hospitals initiative administered by the United Nations.  The cost of a ticket is a charitable donation and is tax deductible as allowed by law.

Big Hearted Donor Tickets for $200 100% Donated  - 100% Tax Deductible.
(includes a bottle of City Winery wine signed by every artist appearing each night.)

Schedule So Far:

01/20 9pm - $75  Patti Smith, The Swell Season, John Wesley Harding, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Yo La Tengo, Young People’s Choir of New York City, Joshua Bell

01/21 9pm - $50  Lewis Black, Willie Nile, Vernon Reid & Corey Glover of Living Colour, Rich Pagano & The Sugarcane Cups, Marshall Crenshaw

01/24 8pm - $50  Rosanne Cash, Madeleine Peyroux, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Tambou Combo, BETTY

01/25 8pm - $20  20 Indie artists: Vienna Teng, Amber Rubarth, Ari Hest, Alex Berger, Nate Campany and many more.

For further information and concert updates, visit

Emergency Benefit Concert for Haiti
Jan 20th – 25, 2010

City Winery
155 Varick Street
New York City



Want to See Broadway's Best? Be Prepared to be Ripped Off by Ticket Resales!

This rip-off business of some theater ticket sites selling “resale tickets” at outrageous prices by “bots” is now illegal; but the resale of tickets purchased by individuals at posted box offices prices to sites for enormous mark-ups, appears to be legal. Both practices are highway robbery. Interestingly, though this moneymaking scheme creates a great loss for producers, they have done nothing to stop sites from individual ticket reselling. It appears to be covered by the Constitution – an inalienable right.

After purchase, these tickets are offered at three, four, and five times face value. It’s nothing more than consumer rip-off, but it’s what some consumers are willing to do for seats to blockbuster shows. There needs to be a rebellion! Avoid the price-gouging.

In a measure to stop the “bots” rapid purchase of tickets, legislation was passed late last year by voice vote in the Senate and House of Representatives that would crack down on computer software used by some ticket brokers to snap up tickets. This sells out performances to, say, Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, or Hello Dolly!  and, months before its March 2018 opening at the renovated St. James Theatre and before the box office even opens, Frozen in minutes according to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Then, tickets are resold at upwards of $1,000 or more.

An Associated Press report cited third-party brokers that resale tickets on sites such as TicketMaster, StubHub, and TicketsNow average margins of 49% above face value and sometimes more than 10 times the price. The bill would make using the software an “unfair and deceptive practice” under the Federal Trade Commission Act and allow the FTC to pursue those cases.

Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League [of producers], announced their support for NY’s Senator Chuck Schumer‘s sponsorship of legislation that would impose a $16,000 fine on those who use automated ticket purchasing software to purchase tickets online. Miranda is proud of the 40 plus tickets per show Hamilton makes available for $10 via digital lottery. Other shows either have lotteries or heavily-discounted day-of rush offers.

However, “bots” rapid purchase is different from consumers buying up what they can at posted box office prices and selling the tickets to sites for resale.
An executive with the Shubert Organization informed that “what these sites are doing is legal – even if greedy and unethical.” However, the executive added that what theatre owners and producers are attempting to do “is shut down sites which sell the same seat(s) twice or more; and also those issuing bogus tickets.” According to several theatre house managers, this is happening more frequently and buyers get turned away when they arrive. A new scheme is to attempt to buy as many wheelchair seats as possible and then pass them off as regular seats. But theatres know how many wheelchair seats per show have been sold and remove specific seats to be prepared. You have to be the ultimate con artist to arrive in a wheelchair when you don’t need one.

A solution, which is something that won’t work for everyone – especially those trying to plan an outing months In advance, is to go to the box office. Treasurers are eager to help you secure the best seats for a price you can afford. And if you go as a couple but don’t mind seeing a show in separate seats, you’d be surprised what you can get into. Sadly, when the bots attack a hit show, they don’t leave many desirable seats for the box office to sale.
Another safe option is Shubert Organization-owned TeleCharge, where service fees will apply but where you won’t be gorged in the wallet.

Since you have to pay rent or monthly fees and also eat, you might consider the numerous promotions for shows in previews. The Broadway League has the Kid’s Night promotions; NYC & Company, the bi-annual Broadway Week [usually two weeks] 2-for 1 ticket offers []. Take advantage of the fact that 90% of shows are available for 40-50% off [plus $4.50 service fee] at the TDF booths.

Keep in mind when a show sells out, the box office offers standing room. Prices vary, but around $50.00 is a good bet. Just wear comfortable shoes.

 Now, you can find bargains. For instance, just this week someone found second row orchestra seats for the farce The Play That Goes Wrong on and for under $115.00, including service fee. Both sites have theater clubs that are free to join.

 FYI: Tony and Drama Desk winner Donna Murphy will play the title role in Hello, Dolly!  on Tuesday evenings and September 6-10, October 15 evening performance, October 30, November 1-5, November 24 matinee, and January 7 evening. Check the Hello, Dolly! site for updates.

The posted box office price for Hello, Dolly! orchestra seats is $189.00-$229.00Dear Evan Hansen, $189.00. Frozen tickets just opened its online sell and shows are sold out for months but ticket resale schemes are huge. Since almost every young girl will want to see this show, imagine what it will cost to have a matinee or evening theater outing.

Here are recent examples of how people desperate to see the blockbuster hits are being taken to the cleaners by individual reselling tickets. Over the weekend, a young patron reported her boyfriend paid $1,000.00 for two orchestra seats for Dear Evan Hansen on one of the ticket sites. When asked why, she replied, “It was last minute, and we really wanted to see it.” She added that both will go without lunch several days. Maybe even dinner! Tickets were popping up
on resale sites: $187.50 tickets were $429.00 to over a thousand dollars – not including fees. Event wheelchair seats were gone.

TicketMaster, where a recent purchase of a Hamilton ticket, rear Mezz, Row E, right, with a posted base price of $179.00 $229.00 (front) was resold for $587.00 plus service fee of $93.92, for a total of $680.92. Where is the service in reselling a ticket at more than twice its value?
At, resale prices for Hamilton ranged from a $79.00 ticket for Balcony, Row F, left, resold for $275.00 plus $90.00 service fee; $422.00 for Mezz, Row D, side; to $552.00 for side Orch, Row V or, get this, $2,760.00 for side Orch, Row W (second to last row). The site recently sent an e-mail blast: Save $50 On Hamilton tickets! Well, okay, then; but make it $100! is offering Hello, Dolly! for $180.00-$420.00 [sides, Balcony] – $990.00 [center Orch]; Dear, Evan Hansen, $285.00 [sides, Mezz]-$800.00 [center Orch] in the intimate Music Box Theatre., usually the site for bargains, has offered weeknight tickets [prior to Donna Murphy performances] for Hello, Dolly! for $326.00 [Balcony]- $490.00 [Orch/partial view].

There seems to be no shame. Box office prices [which also average $145.00 for plays] can be daunting. Then, add another $2 facility fee. Seniors on walkers and in wheelchairs should keep in mind that the Shubert Theatre has not succeeded in finding a way to install a handicap-accessible bathroom.

Round One of the 2014 Oscar Predictions

As 2013 races to a close, it's time for the first round of Oscar predictions. 2013 started with a whimper with a truly slumping spring season that moved into a relatively disappointing summer slate of blockbusters (at least from a critical perspective). But the fall season hopes to make up for any inadequacies of the rest of the year with a lump sum of certifiably great films. Although some of my predicted contenders have yet to see the light of day, there are now enough pieces in play to make a fair judgement as to what may and may not make the cut come the year's end. Come join us to discuss our first round of 2014's Oscar predictions.

I've personally only seen a few of the big contenders for Best Picture (Gravity, Dallas Buyers Club, Captain Phillips), some have played their way through the festival circuit (Inside Llewyn Davis, Saving Mr. Banks, 12 Years a Slave, Inside Llewyn Davis) and the remainder have yet to be seen at all (The Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle, The Monuments Men). But even for these unknown qualities, all you have to do is look at the talent and directors and a shoe-in is the rule rather than the exception.

Read more: Round One of the 2014 Oscar...

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