Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Multimillion dollar re-design for Times Square

Multimillion dollar re-design for Times Square 

(NEW YORK- NEW YORK ) The architects behind the National September 11 Memorial & Museum have unveiled their yet to be finalized plans to spruce up the Theater District's cross roads of the world . The pedestrianized area of Times Square will get  a multimillion-dollar face lift.Under the new proposal the curbs will be removed and the shabby blue-and- beige painted asphalt replaced with stone or concrete. The large benches and chairs will be replace the red metal seats currently scattered around the area reducing the clutter.

The street will be leveled to remove traces of the old curbs and sidewalks, and it will be embedded with stainless steel "pucks" no bigger than a nickel to reflect the lights coming off Times Square's vibrant super sized signs and lighting. The number of light poles will be reduced.

Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, who has been working closely with the architects,"We wanted to reduce the clutter ... and create a unified identity for the heart of Times Square". he went on ,"It'll look dramatically different, but we like that in some ways the design is about more being less,"

Construction is scheduled to begin next fall and be completed by 2014. So far "The general reaction was very favorable," said Wally Rubin, Community Board 5 district manager. "It's taken years of thought and work and dialogue to make Times Square the kind of place that looks good and works for the purposes that it's designed for." continued Rubin .

Officials are hoping the zone, running from W. 42nd to W. 47th Sts., will provide a place for tourists to congregate while still enabling frenetic New Yorkers who live and work in the area to pass through unhindered.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia! is a musical written by British playwright Catherine Johnson, based on the songs of the 1970's super group ABBA. Music is composed by former members of the band Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus.Although the title of the musical is taken from the group's 1975 chart-topper "Mamma Mia", the plot is not biographical.

Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, who composed the original music for ABBA, were involved in the development of the show from the beginning. Anni-Frid Lyngstad has been involved financially in the production and she has also been present at many of the premieres around the world. The musical includes such hits as "Super Trouper", "Lay All Your Love On Me", "Dancing Queen", "Knowing Me, Knowing You", "Take A Chance On Me", "Thank You for the Music", "Money, Money, Money", "The Winner Takes It All", "Voulez Vous" and "SOS".

Momma Mia!  made its US debut in San Francisco, California at the Orpheum Theatre from 17 November 2000 to 17 February 2001,moving next to Los Angeles, California at the Shubert Theatre from 26 February 2001 to 12 May 2001, and finally to Chicago, Illinois at the Cadillac Palace from 13 May 2001 to 12 August 2001.The Broadway opening was at the Winter Garden Theatre on 18 October 2001 and is currently running, as of September 14, 2011. The director is Phyllida Lloyd with choreography by Anthony Van Laast.

Over 42 million people have now seen Mamma Mia! which has grossed $2 billion dollars worldwide. A film adaptation starring Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski and Julie Walters was released in July 2008.

Monday, September 26, 2011

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is a musical with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, and Willie Gilbert, based on Shepherd Mead's 1952 book of the same name.In 1952, Shepherd Mead's satirical book, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, became a national bestseller.

In 1955 playwrights Willie Gilbert and Jack Weinstock created a dramatic interpretation ithat went unproduced for five years. Agent Abe Newborn brought the work to the attention of producers Cy Feuer and Ernest Martin, with the intention of retooling it as a musical. Feuer and Martin had had great success with the 1950 adaptation of Guys and Dolls . The tow brought in the creative team from Guys and Dolls to work on How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying .Abe Burrows and Frank Loesser set to work on the new adaptation, with rehearsals beginning in August 1961. Burrows collaborated on the book with Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert, also serving as director. The new adaptation was even more satirical than the original and added romance to the story

The October 1961 the musical opened at the 46th Street Theatre on Broadway and ran for 1,417 performances. The show won seven Tony Awards, the New York Drama Critics Circle award, and the 1962 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

In 1967, a film based on the musical was released by United Artists, staring many of the original cast  In 1995 a revival was mounted at the same theater as the original production now called the Richard Rodgers Theatre and ran for 548 performances. The revival starred Matthew Broderick and Megan Mullally. On March 27, 2011 a 50th anniversary revival directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford and starring Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette opened at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Chicago is a Prohibition-era musical set in Chicago. The music is by John Kander with lyrics by Fred Ebb and a book by Ebb and Bob Fosse. The story is as true today as it was then ,a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice and of course the "celebrity criminal"..The musical is based on a play of the same name by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins, who was assigned to cover the 1924 trials of murderesses Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner for the Chicago Tribune.

The original Broadway production opened June 3, 1975, at the 46th Street Theatre and ran for 936 performances. Bob Fosse choreographed the original production, and his style is strongly identified with the show. Chicago's 1996 Broadway revival holds the record for the longest-running musical revival on Broadway and is its fourth longest-running show.of all time  As of April 2011, it has played for more than 5,900 performances.

The musical was also produced in London's West End and on several tours and international productions. The 2002 Academy Award-winning film version of the musical was directed by Rob Marshall and starred Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere, John C. Reilly, and Queen Latifah.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Surf is up for the Unofficial New York Surf Week

Surf is up for the Unofficial New York Surf Week

Yesterday Friday September 23rd marked the official start of  the unofficial surf week in New York with the 17th Annual Manasquan Longboard Classic in New Jersey . Wednesday is the start of the 11th Annual Unsound Pro in Long Beach, NY which runs through the week and weekend and overlaps the 2nd Annual NY Surf Film Festival which opens on Friday and runs through Sunday, September 27 at Tribeca Cinemas. Yes that's New York, New York with its gritty ultra urban environment New York City is  one of the few true metropolitan areas of the world where you can pretty much find any type of food, art, people, music, and culture, with legitimate yes legitimate surf within reach of mass transit.


Unsound & NY Surf Film Fesitval Kickoff Party: Tiki Bar, Long Beach NY, 7-11PM (Free)
Join the event staff and competitors for drink specials and a buffet as well as a premiere of “Spectacular Adventures” starring Cory Lopez , Asher Nolan and more. For more information call (516) 608-0018.

A Rising Tide Charity Event: Bar 13, New York, NY, 7-10PM ($20 Door/Charitable Donation)
Please join WAVES FOR DEVELOPMENT at Bar 13 as we celebrate the diverse work of surf-related nonprofits and kick-off the 2nd annual NY Surf Film Festival and Unsound Pro surf competition. A sick space with 2 for 1 drink specials and a 400 person capacity roof top lounge. Join various other surf-related non profits (Surfrider, SurfAid, Stoked Mentoring, Waves of Health and Life Rolls On) who will provide information on their respective causes. There will also be raffle prizes and a NYC premiere of “Spectacular Adventures” starring Cory Lopez, Asher Nolan and more.


Unsound PRO, Long Beach, NY: 9AM-3PM
Mens Round One Surfing @ Lincoln Blvd.
Unsound Pro Party, Long Beach NY, Swingbelly’s, 8-11PM
Free Buffet and Drink Specials all night. Giveaways from Unsound, Oakley and Skull Candy. Meet Unsound and Red Bull Team Riders Ryan Carlson, Balaram Stack, Ian Walsh and Evan Giesalman

Unsound PRO: 9AM-4PM
Mens and Junior Pro Action and Round 1 Womens and Long Board Pro @ Lincoln Blvd
DJ “Vynl Ritchie” Spinning on the Beach from 12PM-4PM
Autograph Signing with Unsound Team Riders Balaram Stack, Ryan Carlson and TJ Gumiela and Giveaways all day long from Skull Candy, Unsound and BP Fuel.

NY Surf Film Festival DAY 2 @ Tribeca Cinemas, NYC, 6PM-1AM
Feature Films Screening: Clay Marzo: Just Add Water, The Women and the Waves, White Wash, Beyond the Dream: The Joey Buran Story, Innermost Limits of Pure Fun, Modern Collective, Sea of Darkness
Short Film Screenings: Hindered Root, Dark Fall, Lets Boogie, I’d Rather Sink Than Call Brad for Help, All Points South, Tear Devils, Gum for My Boat, Inundation.

Unsound PRO: 9AM-4PM
Semi Final & Finals Action for all Divisions @ Lincoln BLVD, Long Beach NY
DJ VYNL RITCHIE SPINNING 12PM-4PM with giveaways from Skull Candy, Unsound, Oakley and BP Fuel.

NY Surf Film Festival DAY 3 @ Tribeca Cinemas NYC, 3PM-6PM
Feature Films Screening: Surfing 50 States, Out of Place, The Endless Summer, Hanging Five
(Click Here for Film Groupings, Tickets and Schedule)
Trailers | Feature Films | Short Films


Billy Elliot

Billy Elliot is a musical based on the 2000 film Billy Elliot. The music by Sir Elton John, and book and lyrics are by Lee Hall, who also wrote the film's screenplay. Hall's screenplay was inspired in part by A. J. Cronin's 1935 novel, The Stars Look Down about an earlier miners' strike, to which the musical's opening song pays homage.

The plot revolves around motherless Billy, who trades boxing gloves for ballet shoes. This is the story of Billy's personal struggle and fulfillment balanced against a counter-story of family breakdown and community strife caused by the UK miners' strike (1984–1985) in County Durham, in North Eastern England.

The musical premiered in London's West End in 2005 and was nominated for nine Laurence Olivier Awards, winning four including Best New Musical. The London production is still running strongly, and its success led to productions in Australia, on Broadway and elsewhere. In New York, Billy Elliot won ten Tony Awards and ten Drama Desk Awards, including, in each case, best musical. It has also won numerous awards in Australia including a record-tying seven Helpmann Awards.

The Broadway production opened at the Imperial Theatre on 1 October 2008 in previews and officially on 13 November 2008. The London production's creative team directed and designed the entire Broadway production. The title role of Billy was rotated among three young actors, David Álvarez, Kiril Kulish and Trent Kowalik, the last of whom had also played the role in London. The supporting cast included Haydn Gwynne, reprising her role of Mrs. Wilkinson from the London production, and Gregory Jbara as Billy's father. The Broadway production opened to rave reviews.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera is a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the French novel Le Fantôme de l'Opéra by Gaston Leroux.

The music was composed by Lloyd Webber, with most lyrics were written by Charles Hart, and some additional lyrical help by Richard Stilgoe. and Alan Jay Lerner who was an early collaborator, withdrew due to illness did some initial work on a single song, "Masquerade"

The central plot revolves around a beautiful soprano, Christine Daaé, who becomes the obsession of some would say stalked by a mysterious, disfigured masked musical genius.

The Phantom of the Opera opened in the West End in 1986, and on Broadway in 1988. It became the longest-running musical in Broadway history after overtaking Cats in 2006 and it is also the second-longest-running West End musical.

Phantom won the 1986 Olivier Award and the 1988 Tony Award for Best Musical, and Michael Crawford as the Phantom won the 1986 Olivier and 1988 Tony for Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical. The show has been performed in 149 cities in 25 countries, and has played to over 100 million people. With a total worldwide box office receipts of over $5.1billion with a "B" .Making Phantom is the highest-grossing entertainment event of all time. The New York production alone has grossed over US $800 million, making it the most financially successful Broadway show in history.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Memphis is a musical with music and lyrics by David Bryan and Joe DiPietro ,lyrics and book. The musical is loosely based on Memphis life of disc jockey Dewey Phillips, one of the first white DJs to play black music in the 1950s.

Memphis was staged during the 2003-04 season at both the North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Massachusetts and TheatreWorks in Mountain View, California.It opened on Broadway on October 19, 2009 ,Directed by Christopher Ashley and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo, the Broadway production began previews at the Shubert Theatre on September 23, 2009 and officially opened on October 19.

The cast included many of the cast members from the pre-Broadway productions, including Chad Kimball as Huey Calhoun and Montego Glover as Felicia Farrell. The creative team included costume designer Paul Tazewell, scenic designer David Gallo, and lighting designer Howell Binkley. The Broadway production won Best Musical in the Live Theatre division of the Golden Icon Awards, and at the 2010 Tony Awards Memphis won for Best Musical, along with three other Tony's. Memphis has played 800 performances on Broadway as of September 21st, 2011.

The Lion King

The Lion King produced by Disney Theatrica is a musical based on the 1994 Disney animated film. The music is by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice along with the musical score created by Hans Zimmer with choral arrangements by Lebo M. Directed by Julie Taymor, the musical recreates the animated film by featuring actors in animal costumes as well as giant puppets.

Lion King the musical debuted July 8, 1997, in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Orpheum Theatre, and was hailed as an instant success before premiering on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theater on October 15, 1997 in previews with the official opening on November 13, 1997.The Broadway production moved on June 13, 2006,to the Minskoff Theatre to make way for the musical version of Mary Poppins, where it is still running after more than 5,350 performances making the Lion King Broadway's seventh longest-running show.

The show debuted in London's West End at the  Lyceum Theatre on October 19, 1999 and is still running. The cast of the West End production were invited to perform at the Royal Variety Performance 2008 at the London Palladium on December 11, in the presence of the British Royal Family.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Introduced to most of us by the 1964 Walt Disney musical film starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. Mary Poppins is a Walt Disney Theatrical musical based on the Mary Poppins series of children's books by P. L. Travers and of course the movie.. The West End production opened in December 2004 and received two Olivier Awards, one for Best Actress in a Musical and the other for Best Theatre Choreography.

The musical shares the film's musical score and lyrics written by the Academy Award winning Sherman Brothers, along with additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. The book was written by Julian Fellowes. The musical was directed by Richard Eyre and co-directed by Matthew Bourne, who also acted as co-choreographer with Stephen Mear.The  Broadway production opened with a near-identical creative team in November 2006. The Broadway version received seven Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, winning for Best Scenic Design.

The stage musical is a fusion of various elements from both the film and the book series. Some elements from the Mary Poppins series of children's books that had been omitted from the film were restored, such as the walking statue and the ladders rising to the stars while others were omitted, such as the scene in which Uncle Albert gets caught on the ceiling, chuckling.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Jersey Boys

Jersey Boys is a documentary-style musical, based on the life and times of the most successful 1960s rock 'n roll groups, the Four Seasons .The music is by Bob Gaudio, and lyrics by Bob Crewe ,the book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice.  Jersey Boys opened on Broadway in 2005, and has since had a North American National Tour, along with productions in London's West End, Las Vegas, Chicago, Toronto, Melbourne, Sydney and Philadelphia. Jersey Boys was the winner of four 2006 Tony Awards including Best Musical.

Jersey Boys first premiered at the La Jolla Playhouse at University of California, San Diego, in an out-of-town tryout on October 5, 2004 and ran through January 16, 2005 The Broadway previews began on October 4, 2005 and the show officially opened on November 6, 2005 at the August Wilson Theatre. The original cast starred John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli, Christian Hoff as Tommy DeVito, Daniel Reichard as Bob Gaudio, and J. Robert Spencer as Nick Massi. The musical is directed by Des McAnuff, with choreography by Sergio Trujillo. The musical uses many of the group's hit songs to tell the turbulent story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons' rise to fame and fortune. The Broadway production has had 38 previews and 2241 performances as of April 10, 2011 and on June 25, 2011 the musical became the 25th longest-running show on Broadway.


Wicked is a musical based on a novel by Gregory Maguire : The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (1995), a parallel novel to the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz and L. Frank Baum's classic story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900). Music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman.

Wicked is told from the perspective of the witches of the Land of Oz: Elphaba. There is the misunderstood girl with emerald-green skin, and Galinda, later Glinda, the beautiful, ambitious and popular blonde.  The two clash  and Wicked tells the story in which these two unlikely friends as they grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and the Good Witch of the North. All the time struggling through opposing personalities different viewpoints,  a rivalry over a love-interest, reactions to the Wizard's corrupt government, and finally, Elphaba's  fall from grace. The plot begins before Dorothy's arrival from Kansas and includes references to locations, events, characters and situations from the original 1939 film and Baum's novel and ends some time after Dorthy departs.

Wicked was originality produced by Universal Pictures in coalition with Marc Platt and David Stone, the Joe Mantello-directed and Wayne Cilento-choreographed original production premiered on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre in October 2003, after completing pre-Broadway SHN tryouts at San Francisco's Curran Theatre in May 2003. It originally stared included Idina Menzel as Elphaba, Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda, and Joel Grey as the Wizard. Though the critics were originally luke warm , the musical has proved a favorite among patrons. The success of the Broadway production has spawned openings of five other North American productions, including two national tours, as well as a four-year strong West End production and several international productions in Japan, Germany and Australia.

While the original production won three out of its ten Tony Award nominations, garnered six Drama Desk Awards and received one Grammy Award, Wicked has since accrued one Laurence Olivier Award and six Helpmann Awards internationally. Since its 2003 debut, Wicked has broken box office records around the world, holding weekly-gross-takings records in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, St. Louis, and London. It's  original production, having played 3,259 performances, and celebrating its eighth anniversary on October 30, 2011. This milestone  makes Wicked the 14th longest-running Broadway show in history.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mariano Rivera picks up 602

Mariano Rivera picks up 602

(NEW YORK- NEW YORK) In an all to familiar scene the 41 year old Mariano Rivera steeped to the mound and closed out the side .As soon as the door to the bullpen opened the Yankee Stadium crowd rose to its feet. Growing louder and louder through the scoreless ninth as the ever-dominant reliever converted yet one more save. This one, the big one number 602 , putting Rivera to the top of the list of all time saves.

With this save Rivera passed Trevor Hoffman for the top spot on baseball's all-time saves list. The win, coupled with a Boston afternoon loss, makes  the New York Yankee playoff magic number to four to clinch a playoff spot.

The save also marks the seventh time in Rivera's illustrious career that he has recorded at least 43 saves in a season (1997, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2009). Only Hoffman, who has done it nine times, has more than Rivera's eight 40-save seasons with 9. The save also marked  the right-hander's 290th save at Yankee Stadium and 32nd save against the Twins.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bryant Park WiFi Hotspot ,yes it works

Bryant Park WiFi Hotspot ,yes it works 

Bryant Park has always been one of my favorite public spaces in Manhattan . Like many of the old guard hard core New Yorkers I was quite skeptical of the "free WiFi" and wondered if it really worked .Bryant park has been wireless since 2001 ,but I was still a non believer .

Today I arrived a bit early for a midtown meeting and though I would give it a try . I am happy to report that I got on with out a hitch and the bandwidth seemed more than adequate. So I spent the better part of an hour surfing away seamlessly with plenty of bandwidth to spare .

I didn't really see as many laptop as one would expect . The park was mostly filled with a mix of tourists snapping photos and local suits escaping from the corporate grind. Most people seemed just happy to sit back and realxing watching the world go by .

Saturday, September 3, 2011

There is No Place like Home for the Labor Day Weekend

There is No Place like Home for the Labor Day Weekend
PJ Blogger and the Staff of the Ridgewood blog

You don't have to hit the road to enjoy an awesome Labor Day Weekend.

Ridgewood , NJ- Whether its the cost of gas , cleaning up after hurricane Irene or the economy just has you down ,or for what ever reason your stuck home for the labor day weekend There are plenty of ways to have fun without leaving the village proving over and over again that  "there's no place like home."

In order to get away from it all simply unplug your phone and staying away from your laptop and turn off the local news . Kick back in your own yard finish some gardening projects or just relax in your won back yard.
Maybe its time to host your own , "dream barbecue" ditching the plain old hot dogs and burgers and trying something more interesting. Seafood , steaks or pork are great on the grill, as are veggies like zucchini and eggplant. Make your own potato salad or try out one of favorite recipes.

Make and appointment and Indulge yourself with a massage, take to the hot tub or try a local restaurant you've always been curious about.

Consider spending a night at a hotel or campground close by or you can even camp out with the kids in your own backyard. It will give you a totally different "outsider" perspective and make you feel like you've gone on a secret get away.

Do an Internet search for "unknown" attractions in your area and visit one of them. There is so much to do right here in Ridgewood and even Bergen County It can be easy to overlook the diversions that are right under your nose.

Pick another culture and celebrate it with film, cuisine and activities.

Rent ,down load or buy a bunch of movies with a particular theme and celebrate your own film festival.

Take it easy when it comes all the around the house stuff like cleaning the yard or other household tasks. Labor Day is about taking a break from work, not doing it!


USS ling in Hackensack :
The Hermitage :
the James Rose Center :

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