High-Risk Students Star in Free Performance at Segerstrom

Summer at the Center (SATC), Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ program for high risk and underserved teens, will have its 26th annual session July 17 – 28. The program, which was adopted by the U.S. Department of Education as one of its model programs, offers high school-age teens facing personal challenges a safe environment in which to develop self-esteem, confidence and positive friendships with peers along with positive/productive goals. SATC professional teaching artists use elements of musical theater to engage participants in fun, creative lessons, and exercises.

The two-week program includes vocal training, dance, improvisation, audition techniques, and stagecraft, with a special emphasis on how these presentation skills translate into success in their personal and professional lives. On Saturday, July 29 at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in Samueli Theater, the students will perform a Broadway revue-style show demonstrating their newly discovered talents developed through teamwork and collaboration. The performances are free and open to the public; no reservations are required. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. More information is available at www.scfta.org/satc.

Summer at the Center is a collaboration between Segerstrom Center and the Orange County Department of Education. It was the first performing arts program to be offered to ACCESS (Alternative, Community and Correctional Education Schools and Services) students in Orange County. Students completing the program receive five fine arts credits with ACCESS. Summer at the Center was the first Center education program specifically created for high-risk teens.

Summer at the Center students come from homes and lives that include substance, mental and physical abuse, abandonment, social problems, gang affiliation and learning disabilities. SATC is a rigorous and disciplined experience that helps them to build critically important life skills. Their tools are collaborative and interactive lessons in singing, dancing, and acting. Guest speakers, such as musicians, actors, directors and program alumni, reinforce what the students are learning in their daily sessions.

Participants are selected through an interview process, developed deliberately as an opportunity for students to begin to step outside their comfort zones. These interviews help program coordinators to assess the level of interest and commitment to the program. They evaluate the applicants’ abilities to work in a team environment, adapt to new challenges and take the first steps towards positive change. This year, approximately 45-50 students will be selected from an applicant pool of more than 100 to participate in the program.

Bill Brawley, who has directed Summer at the Center since its first year in 1991, will return this year. Brawley has been the artistic director for The Young Americans® for more than 40 years and works alongside his wife Robyn, who is the choreographer for Summer at the Center

SDCC 2017: Mattel and WWE Unveil New Actions Figures

WWE and Mattel were out in full force at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego, where the WWE Superstars fashion doll line was revealed alongside a multitude of exciting Mattel products.

Call of Duty: WWII Nazi Zombies Beta Live Now

Activison and Sledgehammer Games are back delivering an original and terrifying new co-op survival experience in Call of Duty®: WWII Nazi Zombies. Players will embark on a chilling and mysterious journey through a snowy Bavarian village in Mittelburg, Germany, as they attempt to recover priceless works of art stolen by the Axis powers in World War II. This village holds a shadowy secret key to an unimaginable and monstrous power. Nothing is as it seems in this zombies horror, as a dark and sinister plot unfolds to unleash an invincible Nazi army of the dead.

A new horror rises on November 3.

DISENCHANTMENT – Matt Groening’s New Fantasy Series Comes to Netflix

Netflix has ordered twenty episodes of Disenchantment, an adult animated comedy fantasy series from the mind of Matt Groening.

In Disenchantment, viewers will be whisked away to the crumbling medieval kingdom of Dreamland, where they will follow the misadventures of hard-drinking young princess Bean, her feisty elf companion Elfo, and her personal demon Luci. Along the way, the oddball trio will encounter ogres, sprites, harpies, imps, trolls, walruses, and lots of human fools.

“Ultimately,” says Matt Groening, “Disenchantment will be about life and death, love and sex, and how to keep laughing in a world full of suffering and idiots, despite what the elders and wizards and other jerks tell you.”

The series will feature the voice talents of Abbi Jacobson (“Bean”), Nat Faxon (“Elfo”) and Eric Andre (“Luci”), along with John DiMaggio, Billy West, Maurice LaMarche, Tress MacNeille, David Herman, Matt Berry, Jeny Batten, Rich Fulcher, Noel Fielding, and Lucy Montgomery. Animation is being done by Rough Draft Studios (Futurama).

Disenchantment will premiere on Netflix ten episodes at a time, starting in 2018, and is produced by The ULULU Company for Netflix, with Matt Groening and Josh Weinstein (The Simpsons, Futurama) serving as executive producers.

“Matt Groening’s brilliant work has resonated with generations around the world and we couldn’t be happier to work with him on Disenchantment,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President, Original Content for Netflix. “The series will bear his trademark animation style and biting wit, and we think it’s a perfect fit for our many Netflix animation fans.”

Baby Driver (2017) – Movie Review


From writer/director Edgar Wright, comes one of the most original and exciting action movies this year. Baby Driver is the story of a young man, Baby (Ansel Elgort), who is the best getaway driver in Atlanta. His iPod playlist is his inspiration for getting and staying ahead in any chase situation.

Release Date: June 30, 2017
Writer: Edgar Wright
Director: Edgar Wright
Cast: Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx

In hopes of paying off his debt to the crime lord, Doc (Kevin Spacey), Baby drives criminal passengers to and from Doc’s target, mostly banks.

Baby Driver shines in three ways. One, the action is amazing. While the Fast and the Furious is a testament to what CGI can do with car races, Baby Driver is all real driving frame to frame. The sequences are like puzzles; Wright carefully places the pieces down to create a stunning chase sequence in cars and even on foot.

Two, the movie’s soundtrack drives the action. The film starts with the song “Bellbottoms” by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. The song creates the Baby’s required intensity in the preparation of the chase and soon explodes into the actual chase through the streets of Atlanta. Then we shift to “Harlem Shuffle” by Bob & Earl, which Baby uses to get the coffee for his criminal compatriots. “Harlem Shuffle” is a visually gorgeous one-shot title sequence.

Third is the story of our young hero Baby. Soon the movie sets us that final heist, which will seemingly payoff his debt to Doc. Unfortunately, he is forced to team with Bats (Jamie Foxx), who is BAT-S*** crazy. Clearly uncomfortable with the unpredictably violent nature of Bats, Baby knows he’s just one job away from freedom.

Soon things get complicated when Baby becomes enamored with the cute waitress Debora (Lily James), who works the late shift at Bo’s Diner. Debora dreams of getting out of town with just her car and her music. Baby dreams of being the one who can make that dream come true.

Baby Driver is a film with amazing chase sequences and an equally solid story to support it. The love story between Baby and Debora is sweet and of course involved music. It is the love story that ratchets up the tension as Baby’s escape from his criminal life stays just out of reach.

Baby Driver’s success also falls on its supporting characters. Kevin Spacey manages to play the bad guy perfectly holding freedom over the head of Baby. As the irredeemable Bats, Jamie Foxx just makes you feel uncomfortable every time he is on screen. Jon Hamm and Eliza Gonzalez play Buddy and Darling. This criminal duo is spicy together and almost become brother and sister to Baby. Then there’s Joseph (CJ Jones) playing Baby’s deaf and elderly foster father. Not wanting to know what Baby does at night, Joseph is the only moral compass that Baby has left in the world.

While Baby Driver is not a perfect movie, it is a great movie. The key to any action movie is tension. Tension escalates when Baby’s world is exposed when our gang stumbles into Bo’s diner and they realize that Baby and Debora know each other. Baby Driver is fun to watch and will have you on the edge of your seat. Wright also changes things up with an unexpected U-turn to start the second act and an ending that ties up loose ends in Baby’s life.

D23 Expo 2017 – Animation Session – Wreck-It Ralph and the Disney Princesses

Leave it to Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) from Wreck-It Ralph to bring together all of the Disney Princesses. I mean all of them and they will appear in Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet.

  • Jodi Benson (Ariel)
  • Paige O’Hara (Belle)
  • Linda Larken (Jasmine)
  • Irene Bedard (Pochahontas)
  • Anika Noni Rose (Tiana)
  • Mandy Moore (Repunzel)
  • Kelly McDonald (Merida)
  • Kristen Bell (Anna)
  • Auil’l Cravalho (Moana)

Not in attendance but appearing in Wreck-It Ralph 2 are Idenia Menzel (Elsa) and Ming-Na Wen (Mulan).