A Subversive Look at Plastic Surgery – TAKE MY NOSE PLEASE – Newport Beach Film Festival

Allure’s Joan Kron looks at the pressures women have to be attractive and fit in society and seeking plastic surgery as the answer. Kron’s Take My Nose Please premieres at the 2017 Newport Beach Film Festival on Saturday, April 22 at 6 p.m. at the Triangle Square Cinemas in Costa Mesa. An encore showing will take place on Thursday, April 27.

TAKE MY NOSE PLEASE is a seriously funny and wickedly subversive look at the role comedy has played in exposing the pressures on women to be attractive and society’s desire/shame relationship with plastic surgery.

More than 15 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the US in 2014. And 90% of them on were done on women. Yet, for those who elect to tinker with Mother Nature, especially for high-profile women, plastic surgery is still a very dark secret. Funny women, though, are the exception. From Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers to Roseanne and Kathy Griffin, comedians have been unashamed to talk about their perceived flaws, and the steps taken to remedy them. For these dames, cosmetic surgery isn’t vanity, it is affirmative action – compensation for the unfair distribution of youthfulness and beauty.

By admitting what their sisters in drama deny, comic performers speak to women who feel the same pressures, giving them permission to pursue change (or not to) while entertaining us.

TAKE MY NOSE PLEASE follows two comedians as they deliberate about going under the knife. Emily Askin, an up-and-coming improv performer, has always wanted her nose refined. Jackie Hoffman, a seasoned headliner on Broadway and on TV, considers herself ugly and regrets not having the nose job offered in her teens. And maybe she’d like a face-lift, as well. As we follow their surprisingly emotional stories, we meet other who have taken the leap – or held out.

Putting it all in perspective are psychologists, sociologists, the medical community and cultural critics. And for comic relief and the profundity only comedians can supply. The film includes commentary from Roseanne Barr, Phyllis Diller, the late Joan Rivers, Judy Gold, Julie Halston, Lisa Lampanelli, Giulia Rozzi, Bill Scheft, and Adrianne Tolsch.

David Chesky’s ‘The Mice War’ Comes to Newport Beach Film Festival This Saturday

“The Mice War,” a new animated musical created by Grammy-nominated composer and writer David Chesky, will open at the 18th annual Newport Beach Film Festival on April 22.

Geared to children ages 5 to 11, the film tells the story of the money-hungry Blue Mice of the North who, in order to satisfy their greed, go to war with the peace loving Red Mice of the South.

As the story unfolds, the Blue Mice initiate a conflict after noticing that the Red Mice prefer a different color of cheese. “The moral of the tale is that these mice must learn to accept one another’s differences if they ever hope to succeed as a species,” Chesky says.

“This message makes the story meaningful and timely because it teaches children about the absurdity of war and how we have to learn to resolve conflicts peacefully,” he adds.

“My students are champing at the bit to see the movie again,” says 2nd-grade teacher Megan Mitchell, “I can’t stop talking to other teachers about the impact I have seen it have on my students and my children.”

The movie features a cast of some of the most talented Broadway singers and actors today, including Tony Award winner Gregory Jbara voicing the warmonger General Kan, and Tony nominee Alison Fraser as the voice of Lucy, the lovable sea monster; Rock of Ages star Mitchell Jarvis narrates the story.

“Featuring rousing musical numbers supported by a large orchestra, ‘The Mice War’ delivers a powerful message in a fun way that children and parents will understand and enjoy,” Chesky says.

Marvel Releases Trailer and Images to Freeform’s ‘Cloack and Dagger’

Marvel Television’s first foray into Freeform television got its first glimpse with a trailer and image.

Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger” is the story of Tandy Bowen (Olivia Holt) and Tyrone Johnson (Aubrey Joseph) – two teenagers from very different backgrounds, who find themselves burdened and awakened to newly acquired superpowers which are mysteriously linked to one another. Tandy can emit light daggers and Tyrone has the ability to engulf others in darkness. They quickly learn they are better together than apart, but their feelings for each other make their already complicated world even more challenging. The network has ordered ten one-hour episodes slated to debut early 2018. “Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger” stars Olivia Holt, Aubrey Joseph, Andrea Roth, Gloria Reuben, Miles Mussenden, Carl Lundstedt, James Saito and J.D. Evermore. The series is co-produced by Marvel Television and ABC Signature Studios. Joe Pokaski (“Underground,” “Heroes”) serve as showrunner and executive producer; Jeph Loeb (“Marvel’s The Punisher,” “Marvel’s The Defenders”), Marvel’s head of Television, and Jim Chory (“Marvel’s The Punisher,” “Marvel’s The Defenders”) also serve as executive producers. Gina Prince-Bythewood (“Love & Basketball”) directed the first episode.

Lightwire Theater’s Moon Mouse Comes to Segerstrom Center’s Family Series – April 22 & 23

Marvin the mouse wants to be popular. Constantly bullied and picked on by the “cool” rats, he is labeled as a loser and a geek. As respite from the continuous badgering, Marvin retreats into his science books and a world of fantasy. He longs to have adventures and to be the hero. Join Marvin on the space adventure of a lifetime: a trip to the surface of the moon on his homemade rocket, where he meets a strange cast of misfit creatures, learns of infinite peril and views awesome beauty. Will Marvin make his dreams come true and experience the glory and acceptance he craves? Lightwire Theater is proud to present Moon Mouse: A Space Odyssey, a cosmic adventure about celebrating differences. Combining dance, puppetry, and traditional theater, the costumes, props and sets come to life as electroluminescent wires create dazzling and colorful 3D sculptures. This wondrous electroluminescent production features more than 40 delightful characters and a variety of music from pop to classical. The 1 p.m. performance on Sunday, April 23 will be ASL interpreted.

Tickets are $20 each and available online at SCFTA.org, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787.

Audiences are encouraged to arrive an hour before each performance for free creative activities. The Center’s Education Department offers these enriching experiences to provide young people and their families more opportunities to play together creatively. Studies show that this is critical in helping to develop the ability to think and problem solve.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts applauds The Charles & Mildred Schnurmacher Foundation, Inc. for its support of the Family Series. Parenting OC is the Media Partner of the Family Series. Kia is the Official Automotive Partner of the Center and United Airlines, Official Airline of the Center.

About Lightwire Theater
Lightwire Theater combines optical illusion with technology to produce a theatrical experience. Lightwire Theater creators Ian and Eleanor Carney were both born and raised in New Orleans and met at the age of 13, through ballet class. An immediate connection was made between the kindred spirits as they discovered their mutual love of art, theater and technology. After coming across a product called, “EL wire,” the lights turned on and the possibilities seemed endless. Together they began to experiment with shapes and designs to develop puppetry-based neon creatures that quickly came to life. Since then, they have become internationally recognized for their signature brand of electroluminescent artistry, poignant storytelling and music scores designed to evoke imagery. Lightwire Theater continues to create and deliver innovative theatrical experiences to audiences worldwide based out of New Orleans, LA.

Imaginary Mary – WonderCon Panel

From Adam Goldberg, the creator of “The Goldbergs” comes “Imaginary Mary.”

Alice (Jenna Elfman, “Dharma & Greg,” “Friends With Benefits,” “EDtv”) is a fiercely independent career woman whose life is turned upside-down when she meets the love of her life – a divorced father with three kids. This triggers even more upheaval when the slightly unhinged imaginary friend she created as a child suddenly reappears to help her navigate the transition from single girl to a woman ready for a family.

Hidden Figures – Movie Review

I thought I knew everything about the space program and the first Americans to land on the moon, but low and behold something new. Hidden Figures is the story of three brilliant African-American women: Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe). Taking place at the beginning of the 60’s Civil Rights Movement, these women played a vital role in the space race against Russia.

Release Date: January 6, 2017
Writer: Theodore Melphi
Director: Theodore Melphi
Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Jim Parsons, Kevin Costner

In the early 60’s, computers were a new thing. So new that even NASA did not have a computer. The high-level calculations required to successfully launch a man strapped to the front of a rocket, get him into orbit and find the right trajectory to bring him home safely was left to a small pool of mathematicians. This mathematician was Katherine Johnson played beautifully by Taraji P. Henson. Johnson’s job was to double-check the work of the NASA engineers.

Johnson faced several challenges. As important as her work was, Johnson lived in the segregated United States. She couldn’t drink coffee from the same pot of co-workers and the only colored bathroom was on the opposite end of campus. Her work was also hampered by the top-secret material she was asked to work on and a great deal of information she needed was redacted with a large black marker. Also, her department was far behind in its work and the Russians were outpacing the U.S. to space. Outside the box thinking was needed to create the math required for safe space flight.

The only bright spot is the project team leader, Al Harrison (Kevin Costner), whose job was to find the math by any means. The goal was the prize and it didn’t matter who or what came up with the solution as long as the solution could be found.

While the film focused primarily on Katherine Johnson, there was also Dorothy Vaughn who worked in the pool of American-American office temps. While she worked there, she was really the one in charge and served as the administrator of that pool. The problem was she was asked to do the work of a manager, but without the title of manager nor the salary of one. Her requests for promotion turned to the dear ears of her supervisor, Vivian Mitchel (Kirsten Dunst).

Finally, there is Mary Jackson, who is assigned to engineering specifically by it’s team leader, Karl Zielinski (Olek Krupa) because he saw in Mary Jackson the tools necessary to become a NASA engineer. Jackson’s problem was that she did not have the education needed for the job and the education she needed could only be obtained from a whites-only school.

Hidden Figures hits a lot of notes. First, it’s an inspiration film about an inspiration story. The 60’s was a time when you could not sit around and wait for someone to rescue you from adversity. You had to rescue yourself. For Johnson, Vaughn and Jackson, they fought for their place in history. They fought hard and succeeded (Spoiler Alert!)

Hidden Figures is also a civil rights and women’s rights film. History shows that the most unreachable goals, like landing on the moon, cannot happen if you leave it to just the white men. You have to expand your circle of knowledge and creative thinking, especially when your answer does not lie with someone of your same gender or ethnicity.

Finally, Hidden Figures is a math movie. Nerds and geeks rejoice, math was just as cool in the 60’s as it is today (Not sure this is the most convincing statement).

Hidden Figures manages to overcome the problems that many biographical film face. The story moves smoothly and does not feel like a series of one happy event to the other. The moments of character revelation feel real and the moments of heroism from Johnson, Vaughn and Jackson don’t feel heavy handed. Although my favorite line from the movie comes from Costner’s Harrison character, “At NASA, we pee the same color.”

Fine acting. Films like Hidden Figures succeed with you have great actors in great roles. These fine actors help build the credibility of the people they portray. The lead actresses, especially Henson, manage to bring dimension to their roles and create three distinct characters. Each actress fights through her individual problems uniquely.

Hidden Figures is an amazing story about the mission to the moon. A story that until now would have gone unnoticed. It’s also a film of inspiration. The lesson to keep fighting to be who you were meant to be.

‘From Page To Stage’ Comes to Newport Beach Film Festival – April 23

A Documentary about life in the theatre with a colorful cast of characters

For two years we followed a talented troop of actors, writer-director and others as they face the challenges to go “From Page to Stage” with the new queer friendly stage comedy Baby Oh Baby written by Phil Scarpaci and T.L. Shannon, directed by Scarpaci, produced by Pattie Kelly.

Cast, crew and production staff share their insights and anecdotes about surviving the slings and arrows of participating in the intimate 99 Seat Theatre scene in Los Angeles.

With body clocks ticking and artificial insemination options Baby Oh Baby might even get its world premiere.

“From Page to Stage”, an official selection of the Newport Beach 2017 Film Festival, premieres Sunday, April 23rd at 2:45 pm, at Triangle Square Cinema, 1870 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa, 92627.

TICKETS: https://www.newportbeachfilmfest.com/event/page-stage-love-theatre/