New play Remembers Holocaust, Celebrates Anne Frank’s 90th Birthday at Museum of Tolerance

LOS ANGELES (May 2, 2019) — In observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Simon Wiesenthal Center today announced casting for a new play about Anne Frank that will celebrate what would have been her 90th birthday this summer.

Eve Brandstein will direct Timothy P. Brown, Rob Brownstein, Tony DeCarlo, Andrea Gwynnel, Ava Lalezarzadeh, Kevin Matsumoto, Mary Gordon Murray, Aylam Orian and Marnina Schon in the U.S. premiere of Anne by Dutch playwrights Jessica Durlacher and Leon de Winter — in a never-before-seen adaptation by Nick Blaemire. Suzi Dietz will produce.

In this new adaptation of the immortal Holocaust story, 13 year-old Anne Frank imagines her life as a young woman — safe in a post-war world. When she meets a publisher who expresses interest in her story, Anne looks back on the two years she spent hidden away with her family during the Nazi regime.

This innovative production eschews traditional sets and costumes to place the audience and actors on the same dramatic plane as the characters — all real people under real circumstances — fighting for their lives, sanity and dreams of the future.

Previews will begin June 5, with performances taking place June 16 through July 22 at the Museum of Tolerance.

‘Pro99’ Actors’ Equity Members Send Open Letter to AEA President Kate Shindle

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 27, 2015)

Members of the “Pro99” movement of Actors’ Equity Association have issued an open letter to AEA’s newly elected president, Kate Shindle, in response to her victory and to her inaugural address as president of the national union for actors and stage managers.

The open letter is signed by over 400 Equity members (listed below), including such notable names as Ed Asner, Francis Fisher, Sally Kirkland and Alfred Molina.

AEA President Kate Shindle

AEA President Kate Shindle

The “Pro99” movement formed in late 2014 in opposition to AEA’s rollout of a new plan that will effectively force “intimate theaters” in Los Angeles to pay Equity actors minimum wage, go “non-union” or even close – despite an overwhelming vote against the plan by 66% of the Los Angeles membership on an advisory referendum. “Pro99” members around the nation, who take their name from the current AEA “99 Seat Plan” that allows members to volunteer in smaller venues, oppose AEA’s new promulgated plan. They are requesting that Equity leadership put a moratorium on the plan until local members’ voices can be heard, and that the union work with its members to develop an alternative plan that will more realistically address the needs of the Los Angeles theater community.

The Letter reads:

Dear President Shindle,

We, the undersigned members of AEA who support the Pro99 movement, both in the L.A. area and around the nation, congratulate you on your win, and wish you a successful term as President of our beloved union. We were satisfied that our passionate campaigning helped to elect you, and appreciated that during your campaign you came to Los Angeles to meet with us and express your interest in the 99- Seat debacle that has galvanized our Los Angeles Theatre Community.

In your “Inaugural Column” in the July/August 2015 edition of Equity News you wrote: “Everyone has a different definition of what’s cool; to me, the coolest thing Equity can do is to encourage its members to be passionate, vocal activists and ambassadors. Because that will not only make our industry more successful, it will also make our union stronger.”

We couldn’t agree more. We are also encouraged and grateful that you mention our cause in your column, especially since we do not feel we have always been fairly represented in Equity News and emails — that is, when we’ve been represented at all. Thank you for your willingness to both meet with us and publicly discuss what absolutely continues to be a crisis in our union. As you noted, we do have much to celebrate about intimate theatre in L.A. — almost thirty years of rich and creative work under the guidelines endorsed by our own union.

However, we’re concerned about your mention of a recent Fringe Festival production that was produced under the proposed “New 99-Seat Theatre Agreement.” Though you present it as something to perhaps celebrate, we wish to be clear that that Agreement is precisely what an overwhelming majority of local AEA members voted against in the advisory referendum (66%: a landslide). As you can imagine, LA members don’t consider this an event to celebrate. We think it is, in fact, the problem, and not the solution. Worse, we think the way the new agreement was promulgated by the union is even more problematic for the democratic process. We have found the actions and messaging of the leadership of our union troubling, and the fact that the leadership ignored the will of its own membership is deeply disturbing. Worst of all, we firmly believe this new plan will effectively destroy our vibrant theatrical community.

We love our union. We have, from the beginning, offered to work with Council and staff to find a solution that will not only address our concerns, but also make our union stronger and respectful of local members’ needs. We welcome turning a new page with your support and willingness to listen to us articulate the realities of our community in order to resolve this crisis.

In solidarity,
Members of AEA
#PRO99 movement

Photo by:Joe Marzullo

Golden Globes “Payola” Suit Settled

Hollywood, CA: February 20, 2013

The Wrap reports that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and its former publicist, the Michael Russell Group, have reached a settlement in a lawsuit that stretched for two years and contained blockbuster allegationsgoldenglobestatuedark_620_011113post of corruption and fraud against the group the runs the Golden Globe Awards.

News of a deal came in a California Superior Court filing last week, in which the plaintiff’s attorney asked to vacate a jury trial set for April 29.

On the eve of the 2011 Golden Globes, Russell sued the HFPA for $2 million in lost salary and additional damages. In his suit, he alleged that the group’s members accepted money, vacations, and gifts from studios in exchange for nominating their films; sold media credentials for profit; and accepted payment from studios and producers in return for lobbying other members to nominate their films.

A month later, the HFPA countersued Russell  for breach of contract, trading on the organization’s name and accepting payola. In that suit, the group alleged that Russell attempted to get InStyle to pay $10,000 for a client that loaned furniture for its presenter’s lounge and tried to enlist the HFPA in a shady celebrity fundraiser to raise money for Haitian Earthquake relief.

It is not clear if the HFPA has dropped its countersuit as part of the settlement.

The recent years have been litigious ones for the organization behind the Globes. In addition to the legal standoff with Russell, the HFPA was engaged in a protracted court battle with the producer of its annual telecast, Dick Clark Productions, over control of the television rights to its broadcast. The HFPA alleged that the company had negotiated a new contract to air the Golden Globes with NBC without its consent, but a California judge found otherwise and ruled last April in Dick Clark Productions’ favor.

Howard K. Stern Guilty in Anna Nicole Smith Case

Los Angeles, CA – October 28, 2010

Anna Nicole Smith’s partner, Howard K Stern, was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy for procuring prescription medications for Anna Nicole Smith using his own name.

A Los Angeles jury howard-k-stern-picconvicted Stern for conspiring to prescribe prescription drugs using fraudulent means and conspiring to furnish prescription drugs to an addict.

The jury dismissed seven other charges against Stern.

Besides Stern, two doctors – Khristine Eroshevich, 62, a psychiatrist and Sandeep Kapoor, 42, who specializes in internal and geriatric medicine – were also charged with multiple felonies for allegedly conspiring to furnish prescription drugs to an addict.

The jury convicted Eroshevich of four charges, but cleared Sandeep Kapoor of all counts.


Paris Hilton was booked by Las Vegas police after the socialite was found to have cocaine in her purse Friday night.

The Las Vegas Police paris-hiltonDepartment have released few details about the case but a police official told CNN Hilton was riding in a black Cadillac near the Wynn Hotel when police smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle and pulled it over. Both Hilton and the driver were arrested.

Hilton has since been released and there are no details on her pending court appearance to face charges.


Sunday, August 29, 2010. 10 a.m.

In a statement to on Saturday, Paris Hilton’s attorney David Chesnoff says, “Paris Hilton was released this morning on her own recognizance. This matter will be dealt with in the courts not in the media and I encourage people not to rush to judgment until all of the facts have been dealt with in a court of law. There will be no interviews and no more comments at this time.”

Meanwhile, reports are also surfacing that Vegas police did not follow standard procedure during the arrest.

Paris was taken into the security offices at the Wynn and searched there, a source has told media outlets. “Cops discovered the cocaine inside the security offices where Paris was taken. Because Paris was taken away from the scene where the car was pulled over, this could potentially be an illegal search of a person.

Gibson Camp Scrambles to Save Mel’s Reputation

Sorry Guys. Too Late for That.

Since the release of the fifth tape revealing Mel Gibson’s mad rants and threats against his former girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, his team have gone into overdrive to mel_gibson2present Mel as an up-standing citizen and fine husband and father to his multitude of kids.

They have found audio experts to state that the tapes have been “tampered” with even after various top experts for the CIA and the FBI have analyzed the tapes and conformed their authenticity.

They have also convinced Mel’s ex wife, Robyn Gibson to write a letter to the court to state that “Mel never engaged in any physical abuse of any kind toward me before, during or after our marriage.” Robyn also claims that there was never any domestic violence perpetrated by Mel against any of their children.

Wonder if the fact that Mrs. Gibson is due to receive upwards of $450 MILLION dollars from her divorce from the insane actor have anything to do with her stepping up to save his reputation. Nah. It couldn’t be.

Gibson’s lawyers say he was set up but there is a ton evidence to indicate the opposite.  Oksana’s teeth were knocked out, there is a bruise on their baby’s chin, allegedly from when Mel hit Oksana while she was holding the child. Oksana’s son is also reported to have witnessed the verbal abuse of his mother.

Next they will claim Gibson’s traffic stop and subsequent anti-semitic rant to a Malibu police officer was also a set up.

Poor Mel. The world is out to get him. Him and OJ Simpson. Both victims.

Please! Someone from Gibson’s camp get this abusive, angry old man some help before he hurts someone, or even worse, kills someone or maybe self destructs from the venom brewing inside him. Compared to him, Lindsay Lohan is Mother Terresa.

One thing for sure. We will be hearing a LOT more about Gibson in the coming months.

Kiefer Sutherland to Face Minor Assult Charges Over Headbutt Incident

Kiefer Sutherland will surrender to authorities to face a minor assault charge for head-butting a fashion designer at a party, a law enforcement source told the New York Daily News.

Sutherland will be charged with third-degree assault for the attack on designer Jack McCollough, sources said.

The actor 18884pcn_Kieferwill be issued a desk appearance ticket for the misdemeanor – meaning he won’t be jailed and will be free to travel before he’s arraigned.

Sutherland slammed his head into McCollough’s at a SoHo nightspot – felt bad about the bizarre display according to a friend.

“Kiefer is sorry it happened. Absolutely. It’s terribly regrettable,” the friend said.

Still, the friend insisted Sutherland lashed out because McCollough, a designer for Proenza Schouler, bumped into actress Brooke Shields and didn’t apologize. “Kiefer was provoked,” the friend said.

Another source at the party meanwhile said Sutherland ”way overreacted” when McCollough bumped into Shields ”clearly by accident” while she was chatting with Sutherland.

A source at the post-gala party who witnessed the altercation claims ”it happened in a flash. Suddenly there was all this yelling and cursing and Jack’s face was all bloody.

”Kiefer really looked like he was in a daze of some kind.”

The designer reportedly was rushed to a New York hospital, suffering from a broken nose. He was released Tuesday after being kept in the hospital overnight for observation.

McCollough’s publicist called Sutherland’s actions a ”vicious, violent, unprovoked assault” on the designer. ”Anyone who knows Jack McCollough knows that he wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

The actor, who co-starred with Shields in the 1996 film ”Freeway,” is currently on probation in Los Angeles on a DUI charge. The L.A. authorities have yet to comment on what, if any, action they will take in light of the Monday night incident.

McCollough’s people are not saying if the designer will be filing a lawsuit against Sutherland.

Roman Polanski Will Not Return For Hearing

A lawyer representing Roman Polanski said that the director would not return to Los Angeles to appear at a hearing this week at whichpolanski460 a judge has offered to reconsider evidence against Mr. Polanski in a decades-old sex case, The Associated Press reported.

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge had given Polanski till this Thursday before he would consider whether to dismiss the case based on prosecutorial misconduct in a case that began in 1977 with Polanski’s conviction of having sex with a 13 year old girl.

In a court document, Polanski’s lawyer claimed that the director’s presence in court was irrelevant as to whether his constitutional rights were violated at his trial.

Polanski fled to France prior to his sentencing in the 1977 case.

Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Bruno” Dodges an NC-17 Bullet

Sacha Baron Cohen’s new film about a gay Austrian model’s adventures through America is a follow up to his Borat movie from a few years ago. Word has it that it is loadedbruno-one-sheet with gay sex scenes and much crude humor, making Borat seem tame in comparison.

The Motion Picture Association of America originally gave the film the dreaded NC-17 rating forcing the filmmakers to cut scenes and make Bruno more palatable for the masses.

After seeing the latest cut, the ratings board reversed it’s decision and gave Bruno an R for “pervasive strong and crude sexual content, graphic nudity and language.”

Meanwhile the poster for the movie has recently been released, and you can catch the trailer at:

Roman Polanski Case Set for Showdown

After much legal manuvering by both the defense and the  Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, the showdown on film director Roman Polanski’s effort to have a 31-year-old sex prosecution against him dismissed will be heard in a Los Angeles court today.

Polanski’s efforts to clear his name and conviction status was sparked by an HBO documentary film, “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired,” which disclosed new information about actions by the now deceased judge who presided over his case, a scenario which his lawyers say amounted to misconduct.

The central issue in Tuesday’s definitive hearing will not be the allegations of misconduct but rather the question of whether Polanski’s case can be heard without his presence.

Polanski, who pleaded guilty to having unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl, fled into exile in France in 1977.

He had spent 42 days in prison in what his lawyers believed was his full sentence under a plea bargain. A decision by the now deceased judge to add more prison time and require his voluntary deportation prompted him to leave the country.

The documentary on the case suggests behind-the-scenes manipulations which the defense claims amounted to judicial misconduct.

Polanski, now 75, lives in France where his film career has continued to flourish.