Friday, July 11, 2008

Ukuleles Rule! Stopped in at a free concert presented by the Japanese American National Museum and Ali Lexa, host of Ukulele Spotlight on KPFK 90.7 FM. The courtyard of the museum was the scene as all ages and ethnicities were lovin' every minute. Comic relief and emcee duties were handled by King Kukulele and he made sure we were smilin' and laughin'. Proceeds from the concession stand (sushi, salads, snacks and even brewskis) helped to support the museum. (I wanna see their new exhibit featuring art by Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park. )

What a cool showcase for different styles of music being played on the ukulele! From multi-instrumentalist Brittni Paiva -- dang she's good--and Abe Lagrimas -- flying fingers! Even NY was represented by the group The Moonlighters who brought with them a 20s and 30s jazz/swing vibe.

The last performer, and the one I wanted to hear the most, was Paula Fuga who's starting off a short West Coast July 2008 tour and later joins Jack Johnson on his tour . Her myspace page ( shows pics of her with Jack, Ben Harper and Willie Nelson from Jack's Kokua Fest.

Her voice is so soothing to me! She sang Country Roads (the song she recorded with Johnson) and ended her set with her hit Lilikoi (sour and sweet, like love) Listening to her music was like I was being transported back home. Sigh! I guess I better take my ukulele out of its case and start playing!

Hooray for Hollywood! Sir Michael Caine has cemented his place in Hollywood lore and joined the cavalcade of stars in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Today's hand and footprinting ceremony was well overdue. The color of the cement was notable in that it's yellow and was used only one other time -- for Marilyn Monroe.

With 2 Oscars (Hannah and her Sisters & Cider House Rules), over 100 credits (according to imdb), the man is a legend. At the age of 75, some people would be seeking bridge tournaments or bocce ball games. But Michael (he seems like a down-to-earth gentleman--hope he doesn't mind me calling him by his first name) has not retired and is still one of the best in the business. He's got a wicked sense of humor but doesn't seem to take himself too seriously. I mean, any actor who can go from Alfie to The Man Who Would Be King to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels to Austin Powers: Goldmember (!), etc. etc. is something truly special.

And now it'll be great to see him as Alfred and the way he again handles Bruce Wayne/Batman. Can't wait to see Christian Bale and Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight with the knighted one himself. Have a great weekend everybody!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Movie distributors are torturing me. Who has the money, not to mention the time, to see all the summer movies? Luckily, I was invited to a pre-release screening of KABLUEY. Hmmm...what the heck is that, you may ask? A cutesy way of describing something blowing up? Well, in the vernacular of the 'kids' today: (slang: to get big or popular really quickly)--KABLUEY should definitely 'blow up'!

The cast was excellent—each and every one. I didn’t know much about the film beforehand so I was happily surprised to see some of my favorite actors Lisa Kudrow, Christine Taylor, Conchata Ferrell, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Parnell, and most welcome Teri Garr! But ultimate kudos to writer, director and star: Scott Prendergast. Not only was his script hilarious and poignant, his direction was assured and did not get in the way of the telling of this all-too true story of America today. I don't want to give anything away about the plot or what/who Kabluey is -- but I love Kabluey! I want a Kabluey plushie to hug when I'm blue. KABLUEY opens in LA July 11th and will be released to more cities throughout the summer. You deserve a laugh -- go see KABLUEY when it arrives in your town!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Welcome to LyWood. I'm just gonna jump in and blog away...hopefully it'll be coherent ...

We've just celebrated our 232nd birthday here in America -- swimming, grilling, picnicking and fireworks. Hope your pets weren't traumatized. The occasional whistling fireworks turned my dog into a cowering, whimpering wreck. Watching the choreographed cascading sparks accompanied by music from Josh Groban to Luciano Pavarotti to John Phillip Sousa, I'm struck by the thought that people actually make a living with computer programmed controlled explosions. "Hi--I'm a professional pyro."

Another big weekend for Will Smith. You could've predicted Hancock would do well on the 4th of July weekend. The reviews weren't overwhelmingly great but when you put Big Willie with stunning Charlize Theron and the hilariously witty Jason Bateman --wow, a $108.33 M haul! Holy action anti-hero! A year ago Will filmed several scenes on Hollywood Blvd. The blvd. was closed for all sorts of mayhem -- crashed cars, destroyed streets and fleeing pedestrians -- and you could tell then that it was gonna be a crowd pleaser.

The LA premiere (July 2nd) was all that is fun and special about Hollywood yet at the same time a bit excessive. But a big red carpet shindig was a welcome respite from the ills of the world. I would venture to say the premiere wasn't a 'green' affair what with all the lights shining down on the stars. Will & Jada and kids, Charlize & love Stuart Townsend, Jason and wife Amanda. Plus more stars, many sitcom veterans of the 20th century. Sinbad, Damon Wayans, Chi McBride, Tia Mowery, Tisha Campbell, Tatiana Ali, Justine Bateman ,Valerie Bertinelli and her Jenny Craig co-hort Queen Latifah looking good. Throw in the expectant Minnie Driver, the Cheetah Girls, Chris Daughtry and wife Deanna, T.O. (Terrell Owens), Tyson, and Diddy (who zipped by photogs and ET/Access Hollywood) being one of the latest arrivals and everyone looked ready to have a good time.

Hopefully everybody had a good time this past weekend-- onward and upward. Chat with you next time.