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NY is on a Journey of Love and Healing: The Orchid Book Conversation with co-authors Rocio Aquino, Angel Orengo

Learn to Love Yourself: The Orchid Book Conversation with co-authors Rocio Aquino, Angel Orengo

Rocio Aquino and Angel Orengo, co-authors of “The Orchid” are, as their website shares partners in life and spirit, wanderers who found home in each other’s hearts.

Their journey together has been filled with a myriad of cultures, beliefs, and encounters with both the ordinary and extraordinary. 

The Orchid: The Secret Code of Modern Goddesses

The Orchid: The Secret Code of Modern Goddesses

The Orchid: The Secret Code of Modern Goddesses

The story focuses on five of these women, each wrestling with unique life challenges such as closeted sexuality, career pressures, spousal abandonment, sexual abuse, eating disorders, and manipulative behavior. 

As they engage with the program’s curriculum, they peel away layers of self-deception, pain, and societal conditioning, discovering that the love and solutions they seek already reside within them. 

The Orchid serves as both the setting and the metaphor for their collective journey toward self-realization and empowerment.

Today’s conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  For the full, un-edited conversation, visit FlavRReport’s YouTube channel here. 

Joe Winger:

We’re talking about The Orchid: The Secret Code of Modern Goddesses

I go to a lot of book events, and a few weeks ago in Los Angeles, I went to The Orchid’s book signing. What I was amazed by was there was so much emotion in the audience.  Big smiles, happy tears. 

What are we missing in our lives that your book, The Orchid, helps us recognize? 

Rocio Aquino: 

How beautiful [of a] question. I think, to be honest, that we are perfect already. And we forgot.

Angel Orengo: 

Yeah, I think we forget that at the core life doesn’t need to be that difficult. It’s not that complicated that we allow ourselves to be complicated by the things around us, by the things that we’re told, by the way we think our lives need to be, by the number of houses, clothing, shoes – everything right that we need to have.

The moment you bring it down to the basics and you’re like, yeah, life should be simple. We are okay. We’re just learning here. We’re back. We’re like in a school and the teacher wasn’t angry because we got it wrong. On the contrary,  it was just like, Oh, don’t worry. I’ll teach you.

Joe Winger: 

So what I’m interpreting is, people are having these emotional realizations because they’re remembering your message that they’re perfect already?

What do you think it is about that audience interaction that your book is giving?

Rocio Aquino: 

I was in the front, so I was not as intimate like you and your perspective. But what resonates with me and what I see that can resonate for someone else is that they know and they understand that they are not alone on this journey.

The struggles they are feeling are real. They feel the difficulty. Everyone at some point is [feeling] who here has a difficult path? Everyone is like me. That connection is not superficial, but it’s more in a deep way when you are in a group setting after being so disconnected really to talk about the important things that matters in life has another connection.

Angel Orengo: 

We’ve gotten large amounts of feedback by now.  Some people are touched by the fact that someone has written a book selflessly to help them. I know there were people that were touched very much by that.  

I think you understand what that means really, it was all about how do we help the reader get to a different place, right?

Go from point A to point B, right? There are people that for the first time find themselves in an environment where they can treat themselves with some kindness, where maybe they haven’t stopped to think about that before.  Because we try to block it.  

It’s easier to numb pain than to experience it and let it go.

Other people are [having the realization that] it’s not that complicated.  I’m just so happy that I found this now. I think it’s just all of that energy. 

The energy in the room that day was really powerful. When you’re in the presence of that energy and by presence, the collective – it wasn’t us.  It’s we  – emotions come to the surface, and that’s how we clear emotions, and that’s how we clear energy. 

Thank you for sharing that because I didn’t realize that was happening. 

Rocio Aquino:  

We didn’t have any idea and remember, we have two teenage daughters. They bring us back to reality really quickly at our house. 

 

Joe Winger: 

Going to the actual book itself between the characters, the descriptions, their backgrounds. 

What’s real?  What’s fiction?  And for fiction, what inspired it?

Rocio Aquino: 

Everything happened, everything is real, but never happened all together.

Angel Orengo: And not to those people.

Rocio Aquino: We know that some of the places exist and all the situations exist.

The fiction is today there is not a place that you can go for free to heal in this way. But we hope that someone will open it.  Let’s hope we can do it..

Angel Orengo: 

Yeah, the characters, the book is absolutely real.

Every single thing that happens there has either happened to us or happened to someone we know, or we’ve read it in the news. 

The story about the model and the sexual abuse that’s real, right? It’s happening in the modeling industry now where they have gone through their own “Me too” movement.

There is a scene in which “Olivia” is doing a silent walk and she has a vision of her mother near her. [to Rocio] That’s something that has happened to you, about your own mom who passed away.

There’s a scene in which “Olivia” is speaking to her father. It was a difficult relationship and her father wasn’t the best version of a father that he could have been.

That a lot of it is after my own experience with my own father, who I met three times in my life. One of which, the longest, was five hours. So we took pieces and through the help of everyone who collaborated in the book to construct these characters that brought together all these experiences.

We wanted to write the story of Rocio, who morphed into “Sophia”, and then we realized that we wanted to tell more that we needed that in order to be of service to the people who would be reading the book, we needed to tell more stories because there are so many things happening to women out there that we don’t hear about that we wanted to do justice by representing as many of them.

That’s where it all comes from.

Rocio Aquino: 

The same happened to us when we were reading, not writing the book. We were crying constantly.  At one point I put it down, we were crying [so much]. Then we did it first in English and after in Spanish and then we were crying in Spanish so was like, “Okay I’m continue to heal.”

The process for us was really intense 

Angel Orengo: 

The experience that you’re having [the audience and reader’s emotion], everyone is sharing similar things. It’s simple, but as I’m going, I find myself thinking about things that I’ve never thought about in my own life.

I need to put them down. Sometimes it takes me a little bit before I pick it up again. So it’s like peaks and valleys of intensity.

Joe Winger: 

As authors, how are you feeling now knowing that so many people are having such extreme feelings and discoveries from your pages?

Rocio Aquino: 

You never know how your work is going to be received, to be honest. 

Even though we have a very strict culture of not judging anyone, being totally neutral, we are going to make suggestions.

Now that people are seeing the book, it’s a pleasure, it is humbling. 

Angel Orengo: 

There was intentionality in what we were writing. The book came after our first year of deep introspection into who we were and how we wanted to change our lives. [We studied] a lot of self help books. At the time that we started writing, it was about how do we share this with people who normally don’t have access to information

Also for people who don’t have resources to go and spend time in a retreat for a weekend or spend $5,000 or even $500. [We thought] we should do television because this is our background. But let’s own the intellectual property, the story behind it.

[We thought] we should do television [series], but let’s own the story behind it.

So when we sit down with the people who are going to help us craft the TV show, we have a say in how it’s made. Right now what ends up happening is that people don’t think that love is powerful enough to deal with the issues that you have around you. 

We think that we have to combat anger with anger or force. That’s what we’ve been raised to believe. We’ve gotten to a point where love really does conquer all, but not in the way in which we were taught. 

So when we approached a book, it was, “Let’s do it with a lot of love,” we said, and if we can help one person, it’ll have been worth it.

Everyone who we are connecting with is having similar reactions so it’s humbling.  We’re filled with gratitude beyond belief that we were chosen, selected, inspired to write what we wrote and to put it forth. 

Not just write it, but really now be the face of it and take it to as many places as we can.

Rocio Aquino: 

That’s the main point.  When someone says “Thank you”, because now that means I can continue to share with more people.  If more people feel better about themself, that is incredible. That’s our main point to invite everyone to our party.

If more people feel better about themself, that is incredible. 

And the part is really, if you are feeling better about yourself? Great! So it’s about that.

Joe Winger: 

During your book event introduction, you mentioned one of your goals is to bring The Orchid to real life.  Where are we today with that goal? How can the audience help you? 

Angel Orengo: 

Everything in your life begins with an intention.  Waking up in the morning, getting off your bed, right? 

Everything is intention after intention. The first and most important thing that we want is for people to truly enjoy the book because through the enjoyment of the book, there is a transformation that’s taking place.

We now understand that the way to change the world, and even though this is not the ultimate intention is the indirect intention, we can make this place a better place to be for all of us. 

It begins by me feeling better about myself, and you feeling better about yourself. And it begins by all of the things that we create.

All these things these women are experiencing in The Orchid. 

To your question, the first thing is for people – and it’s happening already – to say, wouldn’t it be awesome if this place really did exist and these transformations were taking place.  If one person says it, it’s a big deal.

If a million people begin to think that way, or a billion people begin to think that way. Wow. It is about the power of what we have to manifest. 

In terms of The Orchid as a retreat center, I think there are versions of it throughout the world already.  There are many places that exist. I think those places will be inspired when they read our book to go to a different level. We can do more to expand the way we’re doing this. 

There are podcasts down the line. There are television shows that we’ve mentioned. There’s a digital community that we would like to work on and develop.  There is a nonprofit because there are going to be issues that will require that approach.

We’re going to continue building this community that ultimately is going to want to continue conversations as to how I deal with this.

Even though we attempted to do a very complete seven day experience at this retreat center, the truth is that the experiences can vary greatly.

There’s so much more out there.

We only depicted a number of healers. The number of healers and healing modalities out there are endless. I believe it will happen. 

We have had initial conversations with certain people about it, but I would say it’s in early stages.

I would much rather encourage everybody who is already well advanced into a retreat center to look at themselves and see if there’s anything that can be learned from ours and create their own orchid so that we can help more people around the world.

Rocio Aquino: 

Yes. Take the lessons, what you learn and it really is, “How I can begin to have a conversation with someone.”

Joe Winger: 

As authors, can you talk a bit about what your writing process was like? What was the timeline going from idea to finished, published book?

Angel Orengo: 

We began our process for the book at the end of 2021.  So it took us about two and a half years. 

We’ve come across a lot of people who say, ”Wow, that’s fantastic.” It took them nine years or 10 years and so on.

We were doing this 24 hours a day for two and a half years. 

We relinquished everything else that we were doing and we dedicated ourselves to our growth, our personal growth and introspection, which in itself was the core of what’s at the book and to crafting putting on paper as many of the thoughts and ideas that we had.

The first step was Rocio and I basically went back and forth.  We started thinking about which things worked. At first she was the guinea pig. She was experiencing things, a lot of healing practices. 

Rocio Aquino: 

It’s a process. Experiencing different things, and at the beginning you don’t have it very clear, but you begin, “Okay, this was my story.”

The main thing was to teach the lessons in a very original way.  When you are relaxed, when you are in your house watching TV or reading. 

You begin to question, is this serving me or not?  The process of putting our learnings on paper.

Everyone is a creator.  We can create and create.  

No one is going to have our perspective. Angel was very clear [about] what he likes in life and has never spoken bad about anyone.

In my mind, I was not like that. I was speaking bad about people. But then I learned the power that [kind of speaking] represents and now I don’t want to do it.

But it’s those lessons that you begin to learn [from]. I grew up with that different paradigm, and now that I know another one, I prefer the new one.

Because it gives me more freedom, creativity, and everything.

We put everything in place. We worked hard to make this happen because our motivation was to do a book for [the younger version of] me 32 years ago when I tried to kill myself and I didn’t have the tools and I didn’t have anything.

So this is a book that I wish my mom had before she passed away 32 years ago. 

The motivation was really to spread that another way of thinking was available. So we were in a hurry, like this needs to be available for those Rocio’s, for those Pepitas who were out there, who are out there and need to have something that they can grab quick, and they can begin to see a change.

Angel Orengo: 

I would add, the process of writing the book was truly experiential. It wasn’t just spitting it out, we were living certain things. 

There were times we stopped the book to have an exercise of releasing energy. 

What we realized as we were writing, there were things inside of us that needed to be addressed.

Whether it was an experience that happened when you were a child…

I can’t tell you the times where we were crying, deeply moved by what we were writing and reading and how that was cleaning us inside and how that was changing us. 

We went through different hurdles. 

For example, we realized at an early stage that the book could not be judgmental about anything. if we were going to connect with readers, right?

We had no idea that we needed to ensure that the people at the Orchid, Mary and her staff. [They] never looked at anybody and said, “Oh, I’m so sorry.”  It’s more, “We know we’ve been there. You too can heal from that.”

And so all of those things emerged as we were writing.

There was intentionality and some clear ideas as to how we wanted to proceed.  The truth is that we were experiencing and adjusting as we went.

Rocio Aquino: 

With a lot of respect.

Angel Orengo: 

With a lot of respect for each other, the people we were collaborating with, and the reader.

Joe Winger: 

The book is called The Orchid: the Secret Code of Modern Goddesses. 

The color scheme, it’s primarily female names, from a traditional or direct point of view, it’s geared more toward a female audience. 

As the authors, trying to get a guy in a woman’s life to read it. What would you encourage them to say to get a guy to read it?

Rocio Aquino: 

#1, I’ve been a woman and reading many books about guys, written by guys and I love it. 

So maybe it’s time for a guy to be open minded. I can do this and I can read a book about women.

#2, it’s incredible to go in the deepest way of thinking of women. So try to understand how they work and what they are thinking. This is a fantastic opportunity. It has so many good sides because you want to have a better understanding of your mom, of your sister, your girlfriend, your wife, your daughters.

Then you’ll have a better way of how women relate to each other, but how do they relate to themselves, and how you can be an ally in their process. 

Angel Orengo: 

Recently I was writing a brief article for a fraternity that I belong to and I was very active when I was in college.

Essentially the article is to inspire them to read this book. The issues that we talk about, whether it’s sexuality,  limiting beliefs, the power of forgiveness, the power of gratitude or any of the other issues that the women who are there are speaking of, they’re universal.

They’re not gender based, right? 

So any opportunity that you have or that you give yourself to relate to those issues, it’s an opportunity to grow. 

I think for men for far too long, we’ve defined masculinity as “the absence of emotion” or perhaps the “existence of physical strength.”

More and more we’re finding out about emotional intelligence, right? 

That emotions in general and our ability to share them to be vulnerable is powerful and can only enhance the people that we are. 

I would say be open minded. The issues are truly for everybody. You can learn a thing or two, not just about yourself, but about the women in your life.

It’s and it could be really powerful. Plus let’s face it, the better we communicate with one another, the better we relate to one another across genders the better our community is going to be, and we need more community in the world. 

I think if anything has shown us, and this is true at any time, right?

Every person you speak to, we’re all longing for community. We need connection. We need to connect more with each other.

Rocio Acquino: 

Deep connection, not superficial.

Joe Winger: 

The book is called The Orchid, The Secret Code of Modern Goddesses.

Wrapping up, for people out there who want to buy the book after hearing about it, Whether it’s websites, social media, how can we follow you? How can we buy the book? 

Rocio Aquino:

There are so many ways right now.  We have a website:  TheOrchidBook.com

You can find the book in English and Spanish.You can buy it on Amazon, and Barnes and Noble, Apple, and we have the audiobook too. 

And the exercise, if you want to do a book club with your friends, you can do some exercise that are on the website. 

Instagram, Facebook YouTube, TikTok.  All @TheOrchidBook_

 

Tribeca Festival 2024: Kristen Stewart, Jenna Ortega World Premieres, Trey Parker & Matt Stone Doc

Tribeca Festival 2024: Kristen Stewart, Jenna Ortega World Premieres, Trey Parker & Matt Stone Doc

“Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge” To Open the 23rd Edition of the Festival

World Premieres with Jenna Ortega, Lily Gladstone, Michael Cera, Maya Erskine, Kristen Stewart, Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Mike Birbiglia, Neil Patrick Harris, Liza Minelli, and More

“Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge”, Tribeca 2024

“Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge”, Tribeca 2024

The 23rd edition of the Tribeca Festival is out with its slate of feature films including world premieres starring Kristen Stewart, Lily Gladstone and Jenna Ortega.

Another high-profile title is Saving Casa Bonita, a new documentary about South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone restoring an iconic Colorado restaurant.

Saving Casa Bonita, a new documentary about South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone -- Tribeca 2024

Saving Casa Bonita, a new documentary about South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone — Tribeca 2024

Stewart toplines Sacramento, a road trip comedy directed by Michael Angarano and also starring Michael Cera and Maya Erskine. Jazzy with Gladstone and Jasmine Bearkiller Shangreaux is a companion piece to 2023 indie drama The Unknown Country, in which Gladstone appeared just prior to her Oscar-nominated performance in Killers Of The Flower Moon. Ortega stars in director Tiffany Paulsen’s romantic drama Winter Spring Summer or Fall alongside Marisol Nichols, Percy Hynes White and Adam Rodriguez.

The 2024 Tribeca Festival, presented by OKX, today unveiled its features lineup, offering a diverse array of narrative, documentary, and animated films. Scheduled to run from June 5-16 in New York City, this year’s Festival promises a thoughtfully curated program and includes everything from timely documentaries addressing political and social concerns to independent narratives showcasing award-winning actors. Additionally, the opening night event, presented in partnership with OKX and City National Bank, was announced.

Headlining the Talks is Robert De Niro in conversation with French artist JR about continuing the film icon’s family legacy of art through film. The two will also share a sneak peek of an upcoming project. Emmy Award-nominated actor, author, and producer John Stamos will also join for a fireside chat about his New York Times best-seller, “If You Would Have Told Me,” and a discussion about his creative process for performing across various mediums.

Tribeca kicks off on Wednesday, June 5 with the world premiere of Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge, an intimate look at the life of the fashion designer and cultural luminary. The film captures Diane von Furstenberg’s impact as a creative icon, who challenged the status quo with the bold inquiry, “Why shouldn’t a woman do what a man can do?” Directed by Tribeca alumni Trish Dalton and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Woman in Charge opens the lineup of features.

The 2024 selection of feature films includes Jazzy with Lily GladstoneDaddio starring Dakota Johnson and Sean PennFirebrand starring Alicia Vikander and Jude LawBrats, directed by Andrew McCarthy, with Demi Moore, Ally Sheedy, Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, and Lea ThompsonSacramento, directed by Michael Angarano, starring Michael CeraKristen Stewart, and Maya ErskineWinter Spring Summer or Fall starring Jenna Ortega and Percy Hynes White; and Liza: A Truly Terrific Absolutely True Story with Liza Minelli. Comedic stars are in Group Therapy, including Neil Patrick HarrisMike Birbiglia, and Tig NotaroAll That We Love stars Margaret Cho and Jesse Tyler Ferguson; and Outstanding: A Comedy Revolution features Lily TomlinWanda SykesRosie O’DonnellHannah Gadsby, and Joel Kim Booster.

Music documentaries highlight the boldest voices of each generation with They All Came Out To Montreux with Prince, Sting, Carlos Santana, Aretha Franklin, and Keith RichardsSatisfied about Renée Elise GoldsberryLinda Perry: Let It Die Here with Linda Perry, Dolly Parton, Brandi Carlile, and Christina Aguilera; and Avicii – I’m Tim with Tim ”Avicii” BerglingChris Martin and David GuettaRenée Elise Goldsberry and Linda Perry will be performing following the world premiere of their respective films.

“Each year, the Tribeca Festival reflects our culture, capturing the essence of the present moment. We’re thrilled to showcase our 23rd edition, delving into captivating explorations of artificial intelligence with Demis Hassabis, thought-provoking discussions on the future of democracy, and so much more,” Tribeca Co-Founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal. “Storytelling possesses a remarkable ability to bring us together, offering hope in these challenging times. We eagerly anticipate engaging with audiences on difficult yet timely subjects.”

The 23rd edition of Tribeca reflects our activist roots, to showcase a slate of films that speak to today’s political moment and inform voters ahead of the upcoming election. Hacking Hate, directed by Simon Klose, questions the role of social media in amplifying hate speech and extremism. McVeigh, directed by Mike Ott, portrays right-wing extremism with chilling modern implications. America’s Burning, directed by David Smick and narrated by Michael Douglas, dives into the economic root of hate and division.

At the core of our mission is the belief that art can spark change, particularly in the aftermath of global conflicts. The Cranes Call, directed by Laura Warner, spotlights war crimes investigators for the Clooney Foundation for Justice, led by Amal and George Clooney, as they risk their lives traveling across Ukraine to build cases against Russian soldiers and commanders. Antidote, directed by James Jones, digs into the truth about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s deadly regime. Checkpoint Zoo, directed by Joshua Zeman, documents the daring rescue of thousands of animals trapped behind enemy lines in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As War continues to affect regions like the Middle East and Ukraine, art serves as a powerful reminder of our shared humanity.

“In a year of record high submissions, despite industry-wide challenges, and global tumult, our incredible filmmaking community delivered again with some of the most surprising, inspiring, hilarious, galvanizing, boundary-breaking, and downright entertaining work we’ve had the privilege to feature at the festival,” said Tribeca Festival Director and SVP of Programming Cara Cusumano. “Whether grappling with everything from the crisis of global democracy to the most intimate of human dramas, it was heartening to be reminded of the undeniable power of a great film to illuminate our world.”

For the first time, Tribeca’s signature Viewpoints section of bold original visions and innovative perspectives will be in competition. The interdisciplinary program encompasses U.S. and international films across narrative, documentary, and animation, including the animated feature Boys Go to Jupiter starring Elsie FisherTavi GevinsonJulio Torres, and Sarah Sherman, and the narrative thriller Darkest Miriam with Britt Lower. Documentaries include Champions of the Golden Valley, directed by Ben Sturgulewski, an inspiring sports fable and portrait of people in profound political and social transition, and Searching for Amani, directed by Debra Aroko, a 13-year-old’s dramatic quest to investigate his father’s mysterious murder in one of Kenya’s largest wildlife conservancies.

The final selections were chosen from a record-breaking number of submissions (13,016). This year’s program includes 103 feature films from 114 filmmakers across 48 countries. The lineup comprises 86 world premieres, two international premieres, six North American premieres, and eight New York premieres. Half of the films in competition are directed by women. Additionally, 35% (36) of feature films are directed by BIPOC filmmakers. There are 30 films directed by first-time filmmakers and 25 directors returning to Tribeca with their latest projects.

The Tribeca Festival is curated by Festival Director and SVP of Programming Cara Cusumano, Artistic Director Frédéric Boyer; VP of Shorts Programming Ben Thompson; Senior Programmers Liza Domnitz, Faridah Gbadamosi, Jarod Neece, José F. Rodriguez; Programmers Casey Baron, Jason Gutierrez, Jonathan Penner, and Madison Egan; VP of Games and Immersive Casey Baltes and Immersive Curator Ana Brzezińska; EVP of Artist Relations Nancy Lefkowitz and VP of Artist Relations Meredith Mohr; Curator of Audio Storytelling Davy Gardner; Music Programmer Vincent Cassous; along with a team of associate programmers; supported and inspired by the legendary Paula Weinstein.

The full feature film lineup is detailed below. For more updates on programming follow @Tribeca and #Tribeca2024 on TwitterInstagramFacebook, and LinkedIn.

A Tribeca Membership or 2024 Tribeca Festival passes and ticket packages can be purchased at tribecafilm.com.

ABOUT TRIBECA FESTIVAL
The Tribeca Festival, presented by OKX, brings artists and diverse audiences together to celebrate storytelling in all its forms, including film, TV, music, audio storytelling, games, and immersive. With strong roots in independent film, Tribeca is synonymous with creative expression and entertainment. Tribeca champions emerging and established voices, discovers award-winning talent, curates innovative experiences, and introduces new ideas through exclusive premieres, exhibitions, conversations, and live performances.

The Festival was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan following the attacks on the World Trade Center. The annual Tribeca Festival will celebrate its 23rd year from June 5–16, 2024 in New York City.

In 2019, James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems bought a majority stake in Tribeca Enterprises, bringing together Rosenthal, De Niro, and Murdoch to grow the enterprise.

ABOUT THE 2024 TRIBECA FESTIVAL PARTNERS
The 2024 Tribeca Festival is presented by OKX and with the support of our partners: AT&T, Audible, Canva, CHANEL, City National Bank, Diageo, Easterseals Disability Services, Indeed, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, NBC4 and Telemundo 47, NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, National CineMedia, New York Magazine, Spring Studios New York, The Wall Street Journal, Variety, Vulture and WeTransfer.

OPENING NIGHT GALA
Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge, (United States) – World Premiere. Child of a Holocaust survivor, Princess by marriage, and founder of a fashion empire, the many faces of fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg are revealed in this captivating and glamorous documentary portrait, featuring interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Marc Jacobs, Hillary Rodham Clinton and more. Directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Trish Dalton. Produced by Fabiola Beracasa Beckman, Tracy Aftergood, Sean Stuart, Obaid-Chinoy and Dalton. A Hulu Release.

NY FlavR

Kit Connor, Rachel Zegler are Romeo + Juliet on Broadway Fall 2024

Kit Connor, Rachel Zegler are Romeo + Juliet on Broadway Fall 2024

Shakespeare’s timeless tragedy now belongs to a new generation on the edge.

Seaview is thrilled to announce that Emmy Award winner Kit Connor (“Heartstopper”) and Golden Globe Award winner Rachel Zegler (Spielberg’s West Side Story) will star in the new Broadway production of William Shakespeare’s ROMEO + JULIET, directed by Tony Award winner Sam Gold, with music by Grammy Award winner Jack Antonoff and movement by Tony Award winner Sonya Tayeh 

 

“With the presidential election coming up in November,

I felt like making a show this fall that celebrates youth and hope,

and unleashes the anger young people feel about the world they are inheriting.”

Director Sam Gold 

 

Tickets for ROMEO + JULIET will go on sale to the public in May 2024. To sign up for early access and to be the first to receive updates, sign up at www.romeoandjulietnyc.com 

Romeo + Juliet on Broadway

Romeo + Juliet on Broadway

The youth are fucked. Left to their own devices in their parents’ world of violent ends, an impulsive pair of star-crossed lovers hurtle towards their inescapable fate. The intoxicating high of passion quickly descends into a brutal chaos that can only end one way.

 ROMEO + JULIET will open on Broadway in Fall 2024 and will mark the Broadway debuts of Kit Connor, Rachel Zegler and Jack Antonoff, who in February won his third consecutive Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, becoming only the second producer in history to win three years running. More information including theatre, dates, design team and additional casting will be announced at a later date.

ROMEO + JULIET is produced on Broadway by Seaview. 101 Productions, Ltd will serve as general manager. Casting is by Taylor Williams, CSA.

For more information visit www.romeoandjulietnyc.com

Kit Connor as Romeo

Kit Connor (Romeo). Screen International Star of Tomorrow actor Kit Connor landed his first film role aged eight in the lead role of Tom in Warner Bros. Pictures’ Get Santa (2014). Since then, he has had roles in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018) and The Mercy (2018). Notably, he played Older Reggie in Rocketman (2019), taking on the role of young Elton John. He also appeared in Little Joe (2019) as Joe. Kit is well-known for voicing Pantalaimon in “His Dark Materials” (2019 -2020) and his TV work also includes “War & Peace” (2016). His theatre credits include Welcome Home, Captain Fox! at the Donmar Warehouse and Fanny & Alexander, where he played Alexander at The Old Vic. Kit is best known for his lead role of Nick Nelson in the global hit TV adaptation of Alice Oseman’s “Heartstopper,” with the third season set to launch this October on Netflix. For season 1, Kit won the Children’s and Family Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Performance in 2022 and the RTS Award for Leading Actor Male in 2023. Kit voices a role in The Wild Robot for DreamWorks alongside Lupita Nyong’o, Pedro Pascal and Bill Nighy out in September 2024. Kit will also lead the mystery-horror film One of Us and also star in Ace Entertainment’s film A Cuban Girl’s Guide To Tea And Tomorrow opposite Maia Reffico. He will film a leading role in Ray Mendoza and Alex Garland’s new film for A24, Warfare alongside Charles Melton and Joseph Quinn. Kit Connor is represented by Independent Talent Group and WME.

Rachel Zegler as Juliet

Rachel Zegler (Juliet) is a dynamic actress and singer who has already established herself as a trailblazer of her generation. At only 17 years old, Rachel earned the role of María Vasquez for Steven Spielberg’s new adaptation of West Side Story out of 30,000 auditions. The film captured Rachel’s motion picture debut alongside Rita Moreno and Ariana DeBose, and earned her an NBR Award for Best Actress along with a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical. Rachel then starred alongside Zachary Levi, Helen Mirren, and Lucy Liu in D.C. Comics’ Shazam! Fury of the Gods, the sequel to the successful predecessor, Shazam! She can currently be seen leading the highly anticipated prequel The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes as Lucy Gray Baird, the girl tribute from impoverished District 12. Viola Davis, Peter Dinklage, and Hunter Schafer also star. In 2025, Rachel will be seen as Snow White in Disney’s live-action remake of the classic story, making her one of the first Latina actresses to star in a live-action Disney film. Director Marc Webb said, “Rachel’s extraordinary vocal abilities are just the beginning of her gifts. Her strength, intelligence and optimism will become an integral part of rediscovering the joy in this classic Disney fairy-tale.” She will also be seen in the A24 disaster comedy Y2K, directed by SNL alum Kyle Mooney. In the film penned by Evan Winter, which is set on New Year’s Eve 1999, two high school nobodies decide to crash the last big party before the new millennium. When the clock strikes midnight, the night gets more insane than they ever could have imagined. Rachel stars alongside Mason Gooding, The Kid Laroi and Alicia Silverstone. Rachel has been featured on the covers of Elle, Town & Country, Who What Wear and The Hollywood Reporter and has been profiled by Vogue, Allure, and VMagazine. She is a Forbes “30 Under 30” recipient and has been recognized by Time magazine with inclusion in their Time100Next list, by Variety in their annual “Power of Young Hollywood Impact“ list, and by The Hollywood Reporter with their “Next Generation” list. She was also named one of “Nine Latinx Women in Hollywood Currently Changing the World” by Elle magazine. On Latin representation in entertainment, a subject she is passionate about, Rachel says, “We are not just the quirky side character who occasionally says a word in Spanish, we are the main character.“

Directed by Sam Gold 

Sam Gold (Director). Broadway credits include this season’s An Enemy of the People with Jeremy Strong and Michael Imperioli, Macbeth with Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga, King Lear with Glenda Jackson, A Doll’s House, Part 2 (Tony Award Nomination), The Glass Menagerie, Fun Home(Tony Award), The Real Thing, The Realistic Joneses, Seminar. Recent credits: Hamlet (The Public Theatre), Othello (New York Theatre Workshop), The Flick (Playwrights Horizons, Barrow Street Theatre, National Theatre; Lucille Lortel Award nomination), The Glass Menagerie(Toneelgroep, Amsterdam), John (Signature Theatre; Obie Award, Lortel and Drama Desk Award nomination), The Village Bike (MCC Theatre), and Uncle Vanya (Soho Repertory Theatre; Drama Desk nomination), among others.

 Music by Jack Antonoff

Jack Antonoff (Music). Described as “anthemic, life affirming pop rock” by the New York Times, Bleachers are fronted by globally celebrated, eleven-time Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, musician, and producer, Jack Antonoff. Both with Bleachers and as a songwriter and producer, Antonoff, who, in 2021, was credited by the BBC for having “redefined pop music”, has collaborated with the likes of Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, The 1975, Diana Ross, Lorde, St. Vincent, Florence + The Machine, Kevin Abstract and many more. In February 2024, Antonoff won Producer of the Year at the Grammy Awards for an incredible third consecutive year, becoming only the second producer in history to win three years running. Releasing their debut album Strange Desire in 2014, Bleachers have built a huge, passionate following across three studio albums, becoming renowned for their impressive live show and infectious camaraderie. The band’s last album, Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night took them to new heights, showcasing Antonoff’s immersive songwriting and, as Variety testified, his innate skill at “supersizing personal stories into larger-than-life pop anthems”. Bleachers, the band’s fourth studio album, was released Friday, March 8th, 2024 via Dirty Hit and features singles “Modern Girl,” “Alma Mater,” “Tiny Moves” and “Me Before You.” There’s a rich depth to the band’s sound on Bleachers: it is laid out in bright, soulful technicolor. The album is frontman Antonoff’s distinctly New Jersey take on the bizarre sensory contradictions of modern life, on his position in culture, and on the things he cares about. Sonically, it’s sad, it’s joyful, it’s music for driving on the highway to, for crying to and for dancing to at weddings. There’s something reassuringly touchable and concrete about its sentiment: exist in crazy times but remember what counts.

 

Kosher Expert Reveals 2024’s Top Passover Wines

Wine Expert Jay Buchsbaum Reveals 2024’s Top Passover Wines for Passover 2024

Passover starts Monday April 22 at sundown and ends April 30th. But today’s conversation is about the flavors of Seder dinner.  

Jay Buchsbaum

Royal Wine and Kosher.com’s Jay Buchsbaum visits to talk about flavor, tradition, tastes for every family member and what’s exciting in the wine world for 2024.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  For the full, unedited conversation, visit our FlavRReport YouTube channel.

 

Joe Winger: Jay, welcome back.  I appreciate that you’re returning.  Last time was great and we learned alot.

Jay Buchsbaum: Thank you for having me. Wow. This is great. So getting invited back for a second date, that’s really cool.

Joe Winger: Passover is just around the corner and we want to talk about different over wines to enjoy during the celebration and some great wine pairings.

I wanted to start off with what might be one of the popular new bottles – Carmel Black Cabernet Sauvignon.

Jay Buchsbaum:  It’s very hot and the reason it’s very hot is because people want something that’s rich and flavorful, especially the American palate, what we call the New World style.  

Opulence, fruit forward, but they don’t want to spend a fortune like you’d have to from some fancy vineyard in Napa or from Judean Hills. When it comes to Israel or the Golan Heights, and this is one of those wines where they’ve put together this at the beginning of opulence, lots of fruit forwardness, 14 months in oak and about $25.

So it’s really one of those really wonderful wines. What I noticed, and they say they forgot to do it, but I noticed that it does not have an appellation specific, except for Israel.  The reason I believe the winemaker did that –  I don’t know for sure – he talks about it on the back [of the bottle] that they brought the grapes from some of the finest vineyards.  He chose small amounts [of grapes] from the best vineyards from different places and put them all together, carefully crafting it so that it’s big and rich and flavorful and still under $30 bucks.

Joe Winger: That sounds amazing. What are some good food pairings that you’d recommend with it?

Jay Buchsbaum: A roast would be great. On the first and second night of Passover, we don’t officially roast anything because we don’t want people to think that it was a sacrificial lamb that was done in Egypt because we don’t have it today yet.

Until the reestablishment of the temple on the Temple Mount at some future time. 

So people cook a roast in the oven, it’s not barbecued. That’s what they’re talking about from a historical, spiritual sense –  but a delicious roast, maybe chicken marsala, where you have mushrooms and caramelized onions, you have a really rich flavor to go with that.

A lot of the Sephardic foods are like that too. We talked about traditional foods. Traditional foods from where? Sometimes it’s Eastern Europe, sometimes it’s Middle Eastern, and sometimes it’s Sephardic.

Lots of seders have a mix of all [cuisines] because you have melded families.

 

Joe Winger: Royal Wine currently has a wide roster of wine suggestions for Passover  Something for every adult at the table, from Grandpa to 25 year old Grand-daughter and her boyfriend.

 

Jay Buchsbaum: That’s a great point.  I’m going to give you the last one first only because I thought this was so much fun when I thought about it and I actually might do it. 

Let’s say the boyfriend is coming over. He wants to bring you something and he doesn’t know what to get you because, he’s not that observant..

So I thought, why don’t you end the meal with something Sparkling. The Momentous Rosé. That might be fun. You go out with a pop, so to speak. There’s Vera Wang’s  Prosecco Rose that’s also wonderful.   Both around $20.

But if you want to go really high end, why not go with the Rothschild Brut Rosé from Champagne, which is magnificent.  It’s 100% Pinot Noir, and about $100 a bottle.

So you have great diversity and  accessible and quite delicious sparkling wines.

Grandpa, or if you have a real fine wine guy. You have beautiful wines from the Rothschild vineyards, the Haute Medoc. which is in the upper $30s, and then you even have Grand Cru’s LesCombes, Grand Cru Margaux as an example, and some amazing wines from the Herzog Winery in California like the Alexander Valley Herzog Reserve, or the Napa Valley Herzog Reserve.  

We have a beautiful Lake County Reserve Cabernet from California. Big, opulent, delicious, mouth filling. 

I start my Seder usually with a rosé.  The reason for that is because you’re starting your Seder, having eaten nothing pretty much since the morning. So you’re on an empty stomach and the tradition is to finish at least the first glass. So I try to start with a rosé.  It’s a little lighter, a little lower in alcohol, a little lighter in texture and, and I like to start with an Israeli wine first.

Joe Winger: Iis there a hidden gem as far as just high quality with amazing value?

Jay Buchsbaum: There’s a really wonderful wine from New Zealand.

It’s a white wine, not a red wine. It’s made by the Rothschild family, but it’s made in New Zealand, called Rimapere Sauvignon Blanc. Less than $30 for sure.  Fresh, sweet lemons, but with enough acidity and structure, almost like a palette cleanser.

Joe Winger:  Anything that you’re looking forward to in the next few  months that wine lovers should be getting excited for?

Jay Buchsbaum: We were missing rosés from Israel for a whole year because of the sabbatical year. We skipped that vintage of roses, and so they’re back for the first time in 24 months for this Passover.

I love some of the new Italian wines. One of them to take a look at is Cantina Giuliano.  it’s a boutique winery. They make 3,000 – 4,000 cases maximum. It’s run by a young couple and I just had them over at my house for Sabbath Shabbat.  His wines blew people away.

I think the most exciting thing is our new winemaker and what our new winemakers is doing with our grapes. His selection and his final product over at the Herzog Wine Cellars. And that could be

Our new winemaker, his name is David Galzignato. He’s with us about three years and he has a background that is with some of the finest and smallest, medium sized boutiques. 

He was going to be moving to France, going to go for his MW [masters of wine] and they asked him if he’d come and consider working with us and he did. He has been making literally blow your brains out wonderful wines so our Napa Cabernet, our Alexander Valley Cabernet are just up and down the line, the wines, especially the reds are just rich and opulent.

He got Joseph Herzog to buy a visual sorter, they range in cost between a $100,000 – 1 million dollar machine.

What they do is when the grapes come in [during harvest] and there’s something called sorting tables.

Done by hand [vineyard workers literally sorting through the harvested grape bunches, looking for]  damaged or a little beat up or whatever, and they only allow the perfect grapes to go through. 

This visual sorter does this electronically by computer, so nothing is missed, zero. As a result, the grape quality is much higher

Famously said in The New Yorker Years ago, “There’s only three things that matter in good winemaking. Good grapes. Good grapes. Good grapes.”

So, the fruit that we get and the fruit that we end up making wine out of is literally the most important thing.

By using these kinds of methods, which are not inexpensive. But the quality is through the roof. We’re looking to make a 100 point wine one of these days and I think it might we might get close this year. 

NYCs Tequila Lovers are searching for their Next Drink! Now Madre Mezcal offers a Gateway to a Better Taste

NYCs Tequila Lovers are searching for their Next Drink! Now Madre Mezcal offers a Gateway to a Better Taste

Today’s conversation is with Ryan Fleming from Madre Mezcal.  The LA nightlife veteran reveals his time working behind the bar in some of Southern California’s hottest spots, as well as the inspiration that got him to travel to Mexico, discovering Mezcal. 

The aroma, flavors, science and food pairings for Mezcal.

Love Tequila?  Discover the Gateway to better taste with Madre Mezcal's Ryan Fleming

Love Tequila?  Discover the Gateway to better taste with Madre Mezcal’s Ryan Fleming

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  For the full, unedited conversation, visit our YouTube Channel.

 

“…I’ve been a big Mezcal lover before I ever sold it…”

Joe Winger:  Can you share the behind the scenes or how the brand itself was created? 

Ryan Fleming: I’ve been a big Mezcal lover before I ever even sold it or made a dollar doing that. So I got to actually meet Ron Cooper, who is the legend that started the Del Maguey label back in 2011.

I got to drink rabbit Pachuca with him and all these other amazing things. The reason I bring him up is he’s a kind of one of the people that we look up to, how to sustainably bring a brand and how to create culture that crosses boundaries in a sense. 

He has a beautiful book that I recommend anyone to read if you haven’t read Ron Cooper’s book.

But we share a similar story. One of our founding partners, Tony Farfalla and one of my good friends, Stefan Tony’s an artist and he was literally traveling through Oaxaca doing documentaries and embracing the art and culture. He happened to meet Jose Morales, which is the first family we ever worked with.

If you have original bottles of Madre [Mezcal] before the labels have changed, it used to say Jose’s name on the bottle. 

So Tony was bringing bottles back to Brooklyn in plastic water bottles and it snowballed. His friends in Brooklyn were like, this stuff’s great. Started out in plastic water bottles in 2014. I think it was 2016 when our first glass bottles actually came by and we became like of a more legit brand and company.  But it started with Tony and Stefan; and they brought on our CEO and COO, Chris and Davide.

Chris actually is one of the founding driving forces in the electronic scene in the 90s in Europe. Chris comes from a very artistic, music based background. Then he went on to work for some bigger alcohol brands in the vodka world. 

madre mezcal

Davide, who is our COO, my direct boss, who I love, is Italian and his whole family built furniture and he got his big break by importing and bringing furniture over [to the United States]. He also works with a beautiful high end apparel line. 

“…everyone has a very unique artistic background, which really reflects the brand and the label…”

So everyone has a very unique artistic background, which really reflects the brand and the label. Just not wanting to make a quick buck and actually make something we can stand behind and believe in.

As the families now blossom into four, we use three: the Vasquez family, the Blas family and the Morales family are our three main producers for our red and black label, which most people are familiar with. 

We just brought in Moises and he’s actually from Santa Catarina Minas.  That’s a little town where all they really make is their production. It’s a town known for nothing but clay pot distillation. So if you actually use a copper pot in, in Manera and Santa Caterina Minas, you’re looked at as what are you doing? That’s not what we do here. 

He’s our last and newest producer and he may be the most cowboy of them all, and he’s my favorite.

When you get to Tlaxcala, you have to walk over like a little rope bridge over like a river and stuff into the hills of Minas to see his production, and he’s got his grandfather’s old still, and he’s got his mom’s little kitchen that he wants to reopen, and it’s like a restaurant. But if you and I were to look at it, it just looks like a backyard set of tables and chairs with a cooking center.

No, this is a restaurant for the village. It’s really beautiful down in Minas. I recommend everyone, if you get a chance to go down there, it felt like the jungles in Costa Rica, cause it’s up near the hills and it’s just so green and lush up there.

 

“…I’ve been working in the alcohol industry for almost 15 years …”

Joe Winger:  What got you down there? Was it for a vacation or for Mezcal?

Ryan Fleming: 

So I’ve been working in the alcohol industry for almost 15 years and I worked for the Houston Hospitality Group for over a decade, helping run programs and menus. I worked for a couple other restaurants, but I used to work for Stillhouse Whiskey, which many people remember the terrible flavored moonshine in a gas can.

Yeah I actually sold that. I did pretty well, there was always one flavor that someone loved. I had the mint chocolate chip and I would keep it in the freezer to take care of my sweet tooth when I didn’t have ice cream. So that’s how it started.

My buddy, Stefan, who’s one of the founding partners goes, “Hey, we got this Mezcal company.”  I was just basically consulting for free lunches. 

One day he goes, do you want to go to Oaxaca? And I went, absolutely. 

I familiar with going down to Mexico city, but I’d never been as far South as Oaxaca. So I jumped at the chance.

[Meanwhile] we all got an email from Stillhouse saying “Hey, I know things are being shaken up right now, but trust me, everything’s fine. Don’t worry about it.” 

That weekend, apparently the whole team got laid off, but I didn’t get the email untll I came home Monday. They’re saying, “Ryan, are you going to be okay? Do you need help finding work?”

So I went down to Oaxaca, met the families, broke bread with Jose Morales, got to meet his mother who blessed the roast and cooked us dinner.  They offered me a job.

That was started my journey about six years ago with Madre [Mezcal ]and I’ve been with him since.

Fleming motions to tattoos on his arms and hands.

Discovering Madre Mezcal

I have it tattooed on my hand right here. I have it tattooed on my palm right here. And I think I have another one on the inside of my leg too. We do tasting events and we’ll have pop up tattoo artists all the time.

 

Tequila vs Madre Mezcal

Joe Winger: 

You mentioned the tastings and the education.  Are there quick lessons that you teach the most often?

Ryan Fleming: 

Basic production, culture, financial, environmental and economic sustainability. 

I don’t think people understand that Oaxaca is the second poorest state in Mexico.  Everyone thinks the Mezcal boom must be bringing so many jobs, but it really only affects about 20 – 40,000 people that live in Oaxaca for the production, 

Mezcal is great because it does bring some financial sustainability to the families. Jose started off driving a taxi to pay his bills and now he’s making Mezcal in his family’s tradition.  His whole family, his cousin, his uncles, they all make Mezcal for a living now.

There’s so much culture behind it. Even the old argument of did the Spanish bring over copper stills and that started distillation or does it go back to the Aztecs and Mayans? Because they found distillate and pottery from 3000 years ago. It’s those little nuances.

People really like to talk about the environmental, but giving back to the people down there by not just buying product, but giving them some ownership, which Madre does do, so that everyone has a little bit of skin in the game.

So I think Sustainability, whether it’s environmental, economical, cultural, and production. Those are the things I really like to talk about.

Joe Winger:  What is the basic difference between mezcal and tequila? Or is it more complicated?

Ryan Fleming: 

You could say production techniques, additives, mass production are probably the three biggest differences. 

Tequila can only be made with one agave. It’s a blue weber.  Mezcal can be made with the other 47-ish varietals, and that number is always fluctuating, based on classification and family genius.

Production is the big one. Tequila is made in massive factories and made with either chemicals or steam for the most part. 

Whereas mezcal is actually made by hand, roasted in an earthen oven. The biggest thing that separates Tequila and Mezcal is the 1% additive rule.

Tequila can have up to 1% by volume additives, and they don’t have to tell you. That’s why certain large brands will say 100% Agave, but it’s full of additives, because it doesn’t take much  with modern chemistry. Just a couple drops of glycerin or vanilla extract to change the flavor and hide  all the nuances.

Mezcal can’t have any additives by law. 

Joe Winger: Can we walk through the roles and responsibilities between the families that produce Madre Mezcal?

Ryan Fleming: 

Yeah, the four families. Let’s start with Jose Morales. Him and his brother both make mezcal. Now they produce for us in the US exclusively. We encourage all of our families to continue making mezcal to trade. They use it for a local economy.

Every time I go down there, [their operation is growing].  When they started, they had three stills. Now there’s 12 up and running and they have solar power.  It’s just so crazy to see how much the transformation has happened. 

The original recipe, the blend of cuishe and espadine at 90 proof, that’s his family’s recipe. So we expanded that and we brought on Carlos Blas and the Vasquez family. Unfortunately, Natalio the father passed away a couple of years ago.

His daughters are now producing in the family’s tradition and we take whatever we can from them. 

But what we do, that’s a little bit different is, we started out when it was just Jose, he was making the blend himself. Now we have them make the espadine and the cuishe separately.

All three families are part of the process. Sometimes we just get cuiche from Jose. Sometimes Carlos makes all the espadine, but Carlos is like a master blender. 

We blend a cold style like Scotch does. Even though it’s not the most traditional way, all the distillation and process is as true as it can be.

But by blending post distillation allows us to keep consistency, which was a huge problem because every batch with your wild fermentation, your wild yeast and all these beautiful nuances, it’ll be inconsistent as you grow as a brand.  It was hard for us to keep consistency.

But by blending multiple terroirs and three different families’ production, we can keep a consistent product that tastes the same as well as expanding and bringing on more families to help instead of just going to a large factory house and not making what I would call “traditional Mezcal.”

Joe Winger: So focusing on your background, you mentioned that you’ve been a bartender in the LA nightlife.  Any memorable adventures or lessons you can share?

Ryan Fleming:

There are some stories I could tell that I probably don’t want to share publicly. But there are some amazing stories I can tell.

One of the oddest experiences I’ve ever had, I worked at Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, which is one of the most famous bars in the Hollywood nightlife in the past decade. 

Paul McCartney showed up at our door. 

But because our staff is younger and our door guys are a little bit younger, they thought it was an old weird British man that just showed up and they turned Paul McCartney away from the door.

‘Holy crap, is that Paul McCartney’?

He was like, do you know who I am? The guys [were like] ”We don’t care.” Like straight up, blowing Paul McCartney off. One of our managers came out and was like, ‘Holy crap, is that Paul McCartney’? And they’re like, wait, the guy from the Beatles?! 

My manager ran out, “Please come back,” and Paul had a great time at the bar. We got him a special little area to sit down. It was a packed Saturday.  It’s not a nightclub where we have gated off [areas]. Even if you reserve a table, people are inches away from you where you’re sitting at your table. 

Justin Bieber showed up one time and everyone went nuts.  He comes in, walks around, does a loop, comes out and goes, “I thought this was a hip hop club.” and just left.

It was a 1970s themed bar and we played nothing but 70s music. 

The dichotomy between the two different generations and to see them all melt into one location was one of the coolest things about working at that bar. 

 

Joe Winger:It’s so crowded because it’s so popular.  The Houston Brothers always do such a good job.

Ryan Fleming: 

Yeah.  The cocktails are still really good too. For as much volume as we used to do there, the biggest thing is how can I make a really beautiful cocktail that’s still cost effective and doesn’t take 12 steps. We got really good at batching stuff and figuring out how to infuse things.  Luckily our back of house was just the most amazing.  Mariano is the best barback I’ve ever had in my whole life. He’s still there. 

He is just a workhorse that got all the infusions. He would cook, he would infuse all of our products and he was just great. Even if we just did a jalapeno infusion on our tequila, if it got too spicy, he could break down the ratio and water it down with more products so that we could keep the spice level approachable.

Joe Winger:

What is the secret to high quantity yet high value cocktails? 

Ryan Fleming:

Batching is definitely the way to do it. Any of your alcohols that are shelf stable, you want to put all of those in the proper ratios in a bottle.

Instead of grabbing a modifier and your base spirit and another modifier, you’re grabbing one bottle with a special tape at the bottom, so you know which cocktail it goes to and then all your fresh stuff. 

You can’t batch the fresh stuff. It has to be separated because you put citrus in something and it goes bad in three days.  Now the whole batch is bad. So keeping your fresh stuff separated.

Joe Winger: Back to Madre Mezcal.  Obviously the bottles themselves are where all the power is.  So let’s talk about labels and taste profiles.

Ryan Fleming:

People love our labels. Our branding is top notch. It’s one of the first compliments we always get. “Oh my God, I love your branding.” 

Madre Mezcal Artesanal

Madre Mezcal Artesanal

Looked at Oaxacan culture and some other like medieval culture and combined the art from the two.

As far as the red label it’s the woman on the bull. It’s a really beautiful message of Mother Earth coming down and starting to share humanity and move across the world to plants and spread love.  That’s why she’s on the bull.  It’s the combination of animal, Mother Earth, and humans. 

Madre Mezcal Espandin

Madre Mezcal Espandin

The black label is a beautiful logo of a woman on the ground.  She’s planting and spreading the seed of life that gives us agave and flowers and fruit and vegetables and everything else.

Madre Mezcal Ancestral

Madre Mezcal Ancestral

The ancestral is this beautiful clay bottle with old clay vessels from Greece that carried wine with the fluid coming out and it’s supposed to celebrate the ancestral way of making mezcal and clay pots and clay distillation.

I always love telling the story of people who say mezcal is not supposed to be aged, which is a true-ish statement in my opinion. But back in the day, everything got transferred in barrels. So Mezcal would accidentally get aged in barrels because it would travel from town to town on horseback after the product was made.

So the idea that Mezcal was never aged is it wasn’t aged on purpose. 

Mezcal was accidentally aged in wood. The traditional way that people would age Mezcal is in glass and they would hide it underground. 

I always tell people, if you have a beautiful bottle of Mezcal, you should open it and take it out and put a wine cork in it, or at least crack the bottle and get some air because it really lets alcohol open up and aerate.

Mezcal benefits from a resting period. Pouring it in a nice open glass, like a snifter or a wine glass, letting it sit for about 5-10 minutes will really open it up.

Madre Mezcal tasting notes 

Madre is designed to be less smoky. I really hate the term smoky. I like the word roasted because what you’re tasting is like barbeque.

You’re tasting the roasting of the agave and the charcoaling and the burning of the outside agave which will affect the sugars, the caramelization.

Madre really was designed to be a more approachable mezcal. We call ourselves ”The gateway to the category.” 

We want to bring people from tequila over to Mezcal so you can explore what agave spirits also have to offer. 

It’s bright, clean, and smooth. I always compare it to a really nice, made tequila.

Our Espadine is actually a close cousin of [tequila’s] Blue Weber. It tastes really bright, clean and smooth.  But you’re going to get some of that minerality and smoke in the end. 

Like easy drinking with some earthy aromas. 

Joe Winger:  That night when I met you, what you handed me was my first taste of the night. I love that it was so pure and smooth.  It didn’t clog up my mouth for the rest of the night.

Ryan Fleming: 

I’m like you. I want to have 2-3 cocktails a night. Not just one and my palette’s done. 

Our Espadine to me is a 2-3 second palette.  It clears up and you get like a breath and it’s fading.  Our Ensemble goes on for 10- 12 seconds.  From sweet vanilla to chocolate to mineral and then to smoke.  Then the smoke fades and you get just a really beautiful, crisp.  It’s viscous. You can feel the oil in your mouth when you swirl it around and it makes the best Negroni.

Joe Winger:  Let’s talk about food pairings.

Ryan Fleming: 

I want to know if this caught you off guard, but it’s Italian food.

Very rich foods. These beautiful Mezcals are light and almost floral and fragrant, It cuts through the richness and creaminess of food.

That’s why mezcal and chocolate are consistently paired together, but that was just way too easy. There’s always mezcal chocolate pairings, but like a really nice Italian dish, something creamy and rich, like an Alfredo or a really well done piece of pizza, like a margarita or a white sauce pizza.

“…I want to know if this caught you off guard, but…”

We are working on doing some [pizza] pairings with some places in LA.   Do a different slice of pizza with three different cocktails of Madre and then have a tasting at the end.

Chocolate has a big part of Oaxaca too. You can’t not have some chocolate and mezcal at the end of the night. 

Espresso martinis are so hot again right now. Try making one with mezcal instead of vodka and just [see] how coffee helps open up the agave and the notes, and you’re going to get so much more going on in your cocktail.

If you pair a nice espresso martini with  beautiful, dark chocolate from Oaxaca.  That is your final cocktail at the end of the night, it won’t let you down.

Joe Winger:  You mentioned replacing Mezcal with vodka in a martini, are there any traditional or more common cocktails we should also try replacing Mezcal in?

Ryan Fleming: 

When I tell you this, it may blow your mind. Most gin cocktails are a little bit better with Mezcal.

There are certain times you need botanicals, but a lot of really good classic gin cocktails, if you sub them for Mezcal, are absolutely fantastic. 

Joe Winger:  I’m shocked because most gins have such unique aromatics.

Ryan Fleming: 

Which Mezcal has so many of those same unique terpenes going on that it changes the cocktail, but it works.

So instead of having botanicals, you have all these beautiful vegetal and mineral notes that just come from agaves. 

Joe Winger:  What are the biggest misconceptions in the world of Mezcal?

Ryan Fleming: 

A lot of people have a misconception, especially on the trade side, that we have grown exponentially. It’s been a lot of hard work. People think we have this massive team behind us.  There’s less than 20 of us on the whole team. That includes our team down in Oaxaca, who  watches over manufacturing and production for us down there. 

We don’t have an office.  We have a little tiny apartment in Venice for meetings.

A lot of people don’t understand the hard work that goes into creating a small brand. It’s just a lot of people working hard to create beautiful Mezcal, especially the families. 

People [unfairly comparing it to] tequila.  What do you mean, we can’t get more? Why is it so expensive? We have people going out hand collecting wild agaves and harvesting espadine.  All of that is hand cut, hand chopped.   I’ve hand cut agaves with the families.

None of this is industrialized or mechanized like tequila. 

Appreciate every drop of mezcal you have, because someone put a lot of love and labor into it.

Joe Winger:  Ryan, as we wrap up, let’s talk about where can learn more about Madre Mezcal? 

Ryan Fleming: 

We have a beautiful Instagram.  Madremezcal.com is our website. 

We also have this Instagram called mezcal. Learning and it’s a little short videos and little blurbs to talk about production, families, history, and culture. It is focused on Madre, but it’s not just Madre, it’s Mezcal as a whole.

If you want to know more about our families who produce, where it’s made, you can find all that information on madremezgal. com. 

Our bottles are in most of your nicer bottle shops, liquor stores. In California, we’re lucky enough to be in Trader Joe’s for the Espadine and Whole Foods has our Ensemble.

If you can’t find it,  go to madremezcal.com and we ship bottles to almost every state in the U S.

We’re in nine countries, too. Australia. All over Europe, Costa Rica.  We’re working on Japan and South Korea as well. So I’m just excited to see the culture of mezcal just expand beyond just America and see how excited because I, when I talk to people that are in London or, people in Australia, and they’re so excited about the idea of being able to get mezcal.

Joe Winger: What is the future for Madre?

Ryan Fleming: I can’t tell you about the big one.

But, [exciting things for] our Ancestral, which is pretty new and every batch of that’s going to be hand numbered and labeled.

We’re going to start doing small batch productions that will be very limited. Then the desert waters, which we have ready for summer. 

To learn more about MadreMezcal, visit MadreMezcal.com. Find them on Instagram at MadreMezcal

 

NYers Need Caffeine: Nitro Black, Double Espresso, Flat White! Chameleon Organic Coffee Introduces Ready-to-Drink Cold-Brew Cans

NYers Need Caffeine: Nitro Black, Double Espresso, Flat White! Chameleon Organic Coffee Introduces Ready-to-Drink Cold-Brew Cans

Chameleon Organic Coffee®, the original purveyors of handcrafted bottled cold-brew coffee, today announced the expansion of its ready-to-drink category with the debut of four ultra-convenient 8 oz. cold-brew cans.

Handcrafted with 100% organic beans, Chameleon’s new ready-to-enjoy canned cold-brew line features four distinct flavors with sweetened and unsweetened options.

Each delivers unparalleled convenience by offering sustainably sourced coffee in a shelf-stable format, providing optionality for retailers and customers alike.

“We recognized the growing demand for variety and ease of convenience in the RTD coffee segment without compromising on quality and flavor,”

Andy Fathollahi

CEO of SYSTM Foods

“Our new canned cold-brew line provides our loyal customers with another delicious, no-prep option to enjoy their daily coffee ritual on-the-go, anytime.”

Each 8 oz. can contains approximately 130mg of naturally occurring caffeine, providing the perfect boost on the move or at home.

Flavors include:

Nitro Black: Chameleon’s first nitro cold-brew offers a smooth, creamy experience in every sip.

Double Espresso: Bold and smooth organic cold-brew made with dark roast espresso beans delivers a flavorful kick.

Sweetened Black: Black cold-brew lightly sweetened with just the right amount of organic cane sugar.

Flat White: Black cold-brew blended with whole milk creates a traditional flat white experience with a creamy, velvety finish.

The upcoming line complements Chameleon’s existing portfolio of award-winning products, including a variety of organic ready-to-drink 10 oz. cold-brews and 32 oz. multi-serve concentrate cold-brews; each handcrafted to match every mood.

Launching just in time for summer, Chameleon’s Nitro Black, Double Espresso and Sweetened Black 8 oz. canned cold-brews will be available for purchase online at ChameleonCoffee.com and Amazon, as well as at select retailers nationwide starting June 2024 with Flat White availability to follow.

For launch updates, please visit ChameleonCoffee.com.

About Chameleon Organic Coffee®
Founded in 2010, Chameleon Cold-Brew is Austin’s original purveyor of bottled cold-brew coffee. Providing a one-of-a-kind, completely customizable coffee experience, Chameleon uses certified organic, responsibly sourced coffee. Chameleon’s proprietary brewing process produces a super smooth, less acidic, highly caffeinated coffee that can be enjoyed hot or cold. The brand’s portfolio of organic coffee offerings includes ready-to-drink cold-brew varieties, cold-brew concentrates, and now whole bean and ground coffee.

For more information, please visit ChameleonCoffee.com.

L’Artigiano Gelato from Italy Makes United States Debut at NYC’s Columbus Circle

L’Artigiano Gelato from Italy Makes United States Debut at NYC’s Columbus Circle

L’Artigiano, synonymous in Italy with creamy, flavorful gelato and a long history in the region of Umbria, is making its debut in the United States at   NYC’s Columbus Circle .

L’Artigiano Gelato

Officially launching across 12 retailers at over 400 locations in the New York City metro area, L’Artigiano is now available to purchase at D’Agostino, Kings Food Markets, Gristedes, Garden of Eden locations, and more with the ultimate goal of expanding to nationwide availability.

 

L’Artigiano Gelato Origin

L’Artigiano’s origin began in the picturesque town of Assisi in the Province of Perugia, by visionary Antonio whose dream of sharing gelato led him to develop a secret recipe making use of the region’s best ingredients. His story started­ humbly in 1927, with nothing but his recipe and a small cart before quickly transforming into a popular shop in Assisi that drew customers near and far hearing the near-legendary tales of Mastr’Antonio’s gelato.

With his secret recipe passed down within his family for generations, in 2012 the L’Artigiano brand was established by Antonio’s great-grandson Francesco Annaloro.

Today, L’Artigiano continues to expand Antonio’s dream beyond the rolling green hills of Umbria toward a global audience while keeping its artisan soul firmly rooted in Mastr’Antonio’s traditions.

The original recipe from Mastr’Antonio is the basis for the brand’s gelato products. Manufacturing still takes place in the town of Assisi, and each gelato crafted, whether classic or new, bears the enduring legacy of his profound passion and unwavering dedication.

Featuring premium raw ingredients predominantly sourced from Italy including locally procured fresh milk delivered to the factory daily and fresh fruit pulp, L’Artigiano’s devotion to the artistry of gelato shines in their traditional and innovative flavors. From Sicilian Pistachio to a vegan Mango as well as classics like vanilla, chocolate, and Chocotella (chocolate and hazelnut), the breadth of gelato available at launch provides the right sweet treat for occasions big and small.

“There’s no place better to introduce Americans

to the rich flavors and history of L’Artigiano than New York City,”

Francesco Annaloro

L’Artigiano founder

New York City’s own history is so entwined with Italian American heritage and, of course, cuisine, that bringing our gelato with its own deep connection to tradition here felt like the perfect first step into this new territory.”

To help cement their introduction with this bustling audience, L’Artigiano is joining forces with another Italian icon, Fiat, to launch a spectacular pop-up this spring and summer. L’Artigiano will be selling their gelato from a custom Fiat 500 in signature L’Artigiano colors, starting April 1st and running until June — perfect for enjoying as the weather turns warm and the desire for something cold and sweet returns. Consumers have the option to choose their favorite flavor as a scoop or cone. Flavors that will be served include Sicilian Pistachio, Mango, Vanilla, Cookies and Cream, Chocolate, Strawberry and Chocotella. Visitors can check out L’Artigiano’s pop-up at the Ground Floor of The Shops at Columbus Circle Monday through Saturday from 10:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M and Sundays from 11:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M.

Consumers can learn more and out find where they can purchase L’Artigiano at nearby retailers by checking out www.lartigianogelato.com/where-to-buy/.

L’Artigiano gelato

L’Artigiano gelato began in the town of Assisi in the Province of Perugia, Italy in 1927 by a man named Antonio. Mastr’Antonio’s secret recipe for rich and creamy gelato has been passed down for generations and is the foundation for the brand’s products today.

Since its beginnings as a humble cart ran by Mastr’Antonio, L’Artigiano has transformed over the years into a global brand, bringing its premium gelato, still made in Perugia today using ingredients sourced directly from Italy, to a continuously growing audience. L’Artigiano is available in flavors like Sicilian Pistachio, Chocolate, Vanilla, Mango, and more.

 The Shops at Columbus Circle

Developed by Related Companies, The Shops at Columbus Circle have served as the gateway to Central Park and Manhattan’s Upper West Side for more than 20 years.

This iconic lifestyle and cultural destination is home to some of New York City’s most beloved chef-driven dining destinations, including Per Se and Masa, both 3 Michelin-starred restaurants, as well as beloved concepts from Momofuku, Quality Branded and the award-winning Porter House Bar and Grill; an array of fashion and lifestyle retailers including the City’s only Williams-Sonoma; and public art icons “Adam and Eve” by renowned Artist Fernando Botero. The Shops are the heart of Deutsche Bank Center which includes the celebrated performing arts space Jazz at Lincoln Center; the five-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel; state-of-the-art commercial offices; luxury residences offering unparalleled views; and more.

For more information about The Shops at Columbus Circle, The Restaurant and Bar Collection and other special events please visit: https://www.theshopsatcolumbuscircle.com/

NYC demands a better cocktail, Monkey Shoulder whisky Responds

NYC demands a better cocktail, Monkey Shoulder whisky Responds with Refreshed Bottle, Flavor and Style

Award-winning Monkey Shoulder whisky, the 100% malt whisky made for mixing, is revealing a fresh new look and feel to its bottle, the first major change to the brand’s hero bottle since it started shaking up the traditional whisky category in 2005.

The changes include a bold refresh of the label and a lighter bottle – up to 25% in glass reduction – providing an even better cocktail-making experience.

Get ready to party with a new look.

Monkey Shoulder bottle slims down for an easier pour

The new and improved Monkey Shoulder bottle will be implemented across both The Original and Smokey Monkey varieties of the whisky and is more than just a glass reduction.

Refreshingly light, the new look includes a longer neck for an easier pour, for both bartenders and consumers making whisky cocktails at home.

The bottle is perfect for shelf display

The new look matches the liquid within; the new split-label design and the enlarged brand logo oozes premium and is perfect for being displayed proudly on the whisky shelf or back bar. Fans of Monkey Shoulder’s “three monkeys” badge need not fear, as it still features pride of place on the new label.

The innovations to the design were delivered thanks to an AI-powered visual analysis to test key features and label viewability, followed by rigorous consumer testing. This led to a new look bottle and label that not only maintained its premium cues and distinctiveness but was approved by fans of the brand.

Everything remixed but the recipe: Inside the bold new bottles is the same award-winning liquid loved around the world. Made with single malt whiskies from the Speyside region of Scotland, selected in small batches then married together, Monkey Shoulder Original Malt Whisky retains its rich, smooth, and fruity flavour.

Ifan Jenkins, from Monkey Shoulder says: “Just like our cocktails, we wanted to mix things up when it came to our look. The eye-catching, new-look bottle has been designed not only to improve the cocktail-making experience with its glass-reduction, but also stand out from the crowd (just like the liquid inside). It’s with this bold new look that we’re looking forward to shaking up the drinks’ cabinets of Monkey Shoulder fans around the world, as well as grabbing the attention of those starting to explore the world of whisky for the first time.”

The newly packaged bottle will be available in mid-2024 in countries where Monkey Shoulder is sold, available in the best bars and retailers globally.

Monkey Shoulder, the world’s first made for mixing blended malt whisky

In 2005, Monkey Shoulder, the world’s first made for mixing blended malt whisky, burst into the world of whisky, and it has been breaking the conventions of the category ever since. Developed as the ultimate mixing whisky for cocktails, Monkey Shoulder Original Blended Malt Scotch Whisky is blended in small batches of Speyside’s finest single malt whiskies then married together. Rich, smooth and fruity, the original blend is bold enough to be mixed, yet balanced enough to enjoy neat. This unique blend gets its name from when turning the malting barley was still done by hand.

Kit Connor, Rachel Zegler are Romeo + Juliet on Broadway Fall 2024

Kit Connor, Rachel Zegler are Romeo + Juliet on Broadway Fall 2024

Shakespeare’s timeless tragedy now belongs to a new generation on the edge.

Seaview is thrilled to announce that Emmy Award winner Kit Connor (“Heartstopper”) and Golden Globe Award winner Rachel Zegler (Spielberg’s West Side Story) will star in the new Broadway production of William Shakespeare’s ROMEO + JULIET, directed by Tony Award winner Sam Gold, with music by Grammy Award winner Jack Antonoff and movement by Tony Award winner Sonya Tayeh 

 

“With the presidential election coming up in November,

I felt like making a show this fall that celebrates youth and hope,

and unleashes the anger young people feel about the world they are inheriting.”

Director Sam Gold 

 

Tickets for ROMEO + JULIET will go on sale to the public in May 2024. To sign up for early access and to be the first to receive updates, sign up at www.romeoandjulietnyc.com 

Romeo + Juliet on Broadway

Romeo + Juliet on Broadway

The youth are fucked. Left to their own devices in their parents’ world of violent ends, an impulsive pair of star-crossed lovers hurtle towards their inescapable fate. The intoxicating high of passion quickly descends into a brutal chaos that can only end one way.

 ROMEO + JULIET will open on Broadway in Fall 2024 and will mark the Broadway debuts of Kit Connor, Rachel Zegler and Jack Antonoff, who in February won his third consecutive Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, becoming only the second producer in history to win three years running. More information including theatre, dates, design team and additional casting will be announced at a later date.

ROMEO + JULIET is produced on Broadway by Seaview. 101 Productions, Ltd will serve as general manager. Casting is by Taylor Williams, CSA.

For more information visit www.romeoandjulietnyc.com

Kit Connor as Romeo

Kit Connor (Romeo). Screen International Star of Tomorrow actor Kit Connor landed his first film role aged eight in the lead role of Tom in Warner Bros. Pictures’ Get Santa (2014). Since then, he has had roles in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018) and The Mercy (2018). Notably, he played Older Reggie in Rocketman (2019), taking on the role of young Elton John. He also appeared in Little Joe (2019) as Joe. Kit is well-known for voicing Pantalaimon in “His Dark Materials” (2019 -2020) and his TV work also includes “War & Peace” (2016). His theatre credits include Welcome Home, Captain Fox! at the Donmar Warehouse and Fanny & Alexander, where he played Alexander at The Old Vic. Kit is best known for his lead role of Nick Nelson in the global hit TV adaptation of Alice Oseman’s “Heartstopper,” with the third season set to launch this October on Netflix. For season 1, Kit won the Children’s and Family Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Performance in 2022 and the RTS Award for Leading Actor Male in 2023. Kit voices a role in The Wild Robot for DreamWorks alongside Lupita Nyong’o, Pedro Pascal and Bill Nighy out in September 2024. Kit will also lead the mystery-horror film One of Us and also star in Ace Entertainment’s film A Cuban Girl’s Guide To Tea And Tomorrow opposite Maia Reffico. He will film a leading role in Ray Mendoza and Alex Garland’s new film for A24, Warfare alongside Charles Melton and Joseph Quinn. Kit Connor is represented by Independent Talent Group and WME.

Rachel Zegler as Juliet

Rachel Zegler (Juliet) is a dynamic actress and singer who has already established herself as a trailblazer of her generation. At only 17 years old, Rachel earned the role of María Vasquez for Steven Spielberg’s new adaptation of West Side Story out of 30,000 auditions. The film captured Rachel’s motion picture debut alongside Rita Moreno and Ariana DeBose, and earned her an NBR Award for Best Actress along with a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical. Rachel then starred alongside Zachary Levi, Helen Mirren, and Lucy Liu in D.C. Comics’ Shazam! Fury of the Gods, the sequel to the successful predecessor, Shazam! She can currently be seen leading the highly anticipated prequel The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes as Lucy Gray Baird, the girl tribute from impoverished District 12. Viola Davis, Peter Dinklage, and Hunter Schafer also star. In 2025, Rachel will be seen as Snow White in Disney’s live-action remake of the classic story, making her one of the first Latina actresses to star in a live-action Disney film. Director Marc Webb said, “Rachel’s extraordinary vocal abilities are just the beginning of her gifts. Her strength, intelligence and optimism will become an integral part of rediscovering the joy in this classic Disney fairy-tale.” She will also be seen in the A24 disaster comedy Y2K, directed by SNL alum Kyle Mooney. In the film penned by Evan Winter, which is set on New Year’s Eve 1999, two high school nobodies decide to crash the last big party before the new millennium. When the clock strikes midnight, the night gets more insane than they ever could have imagined. Rachel stars alongside Mason Gooding, The Kid Laroi and Alicia Silverstone. Rachel has been featured on the covers of Elle, Town & Country, Who What Wear and The Hollywood Reporter and has been profiled by Vogue, Allure, and VMagazine. She is a Forbes “30 Under 30” recipient and has been recognized by Time magazine with inclusion in their Time100Next list, by Variety in their annual “Power of Young Hollywood Impact“ list, and by The Hollywood Reporter with their “Next Generation” list. She was also named one of “Nine Latinx Women in Hollywood Currently Changing the World” by Elle magazine. On Latin representation in entertainment, a subject she is passionate about, Rachel says, “We are not just the quirky side character who occasionally says a word in Spanish, we are the main character.“

Directed by Sam Gold 

Sam Gold (Director). Broadway credits include this season’s An Enemy of the People with Jeremy Strong and Michael Imperioli, Macbeth with Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga, King Lear with Glenda Jackson, A Doll’s House, Part 2 (Tony Award Nomination), The Glass Menagerie, Fun Home(Tony Award), The Real Thing, The Realistic Joneses, Seminar. Recent credits: Hamlet (The Public Theatre), Othello (New York Theatre Workshop), The Flick (Playwrights Horizons, Barrow Street Theatre, National Theatre; Lucille Lortel Award nomination), The Glass Menagerie(Toneelgroep, Amsterdam), John (Signature Theatre; Obie Award, Lortel and Drama Desk Award nomination), The Village Bike (MCC Theatre), and Uncle Vanya (Soho Repertory Theatre; Drama Desk nomination), among others.

 Music by Jack Antonoff

Jack Antonoff (Music). Described as “anthemic, life affirming pop rock” by the New York Times, Bleachers are fronted by globally celebrated, eleven-time Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, musician, and producer, Jack Antonoff. Both with Bleachers and as a songwriter and producer, Antonoff, who, in 2021, was credited by the BBC for having “redefined pop music”, has collaborated with the likes of Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, The 1975, Diana Ross, Lorde, St. Vincent, Florence + The Machine, Kevin Abstract and many more. In February 2024, Antonoff won Producer of the Year at the Grammy Awards for an incredible third consecutive year, becoming only the second producer in history to win three years running. Releasing their debut album Strange Desire in 2014, Bleachers have built a huge, passionate following across three studio albums, becoming renowned for their impressive live show and infectious camaraderie. The band’s last album, Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night took them to new heights, showcasing Antonoff’s immersive songwriting and, as Variety testified, his innate skill at “supersizing personal stories into larger-than-life pop anthems”. Bleachers, the band’s fourth studio album, was released Friday, March 8th, 2024 via Dirty Hit and features singles “Modern Girl,” “Alma Mater,” “Tiny Moves” and “Me Before You.” There’s a rich depth to the band’s sound on Bleachers: it is laid out in bright, soulful technicolor. The album is frontman Antonoff’s distinctly New Jersey take on the bizarre sensory contradictions of modern life, on his position in culture, and on the things he cares about. Sonically, it’s sad, it’s joyful, it’s music for driving on the highway to, for crying to and for dancing to at weddings. There’s something reassuringly touchable and concrete about its sentiment: exist in crazy times but remember what counts.

 

Ella Beatty makes her Broadway debut Appropriate on Broadway March 25

Ella Beatty makes her Broadway debut Appropriate on Broadway March 25

Ella Beatty (“Feud: Capote vs. The Swans”) will make her Broadway debut as “River” in the critically acclaimed hit play, APPROPRIATE, written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and directed by Lila Neugebauer. Ms. Beatty will begin performances on March 25, when the production begins its limited extended engagement at the Belasco Theater (111 West 44th Street). 

Ella Beatty joins the “blistering cast” (Jesse Green, New York Times), which also includes original company members Sarah Paulson (“American Horror Story”), Corey Stoll (“Billions,” “House of Cards”), Michael Esper(The Last Ship), Natalie Gold (“Succession”), Graham Campbell (Broadway debut), Alyssa Emily Marvin (Grey House), Lincoln Cohen (Broadway debut), and Everett Sobers (Broadway debut). Ms. Beatty is replacing Elle Fanning, who is not transferring with the production.

Ella Beatty

Ella Beatty

Ella Beatty is a Juilliard-trained actress who can currently be seen starring in the role of “Kerry O’Shea” in the Gus Van Sant-directed, Ryan Murphy-produced FX series, “Feud: Capote vs. The Swans.”  Ella will next be seen in the A24 film, If I Had Legs I’d Kick You, alongside Rose Byrne and A$AP Rocky. Ms. Beatty is represented by CAA and Entertainment 360.

Joining the production as co-producers are Elizabeth Armstrong, Burnt Umber Productions, Eric Christian, Eastern Standard Time, Edgewood Entertainment, Nicole Eisenberg, FutureHome Demar, Marcia Goldberg, Haffner-Wright Theatricals, Kim & Alan Hartman, Nathaniel Hill, HSN Newport, HudsonMann, Hal Luftig Productions, Gabrielle Palitz, Robertson Turchin, Daryl Roth, Ken & Janet Schur, Corey Steinfast, Arielle Tepper, and Barbara Whitman.

Tickets for the limited engagement are currently available at Telecharge.com. The box office at the Belasco Theater will open on March 11th.

APPROPRIATE opened to rave reviews on December 18th and sold out its initial run, adding a three-week extension due to popular demand.  The best-reviewed and best-selling play on Broadway, APPROPRIATE has broken Second Stage’s box office record at the Hayes Theater and is on track to be Second Stage’s most successful Hayes production ever. The production will conclude its run at the Hayes on March 3rd.

APPROPRIATE is produced by Ambassador Theatre Group, Amanda Dubois, Annapurna Theatre, Bad Robot Live, Runyonland, Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson and Bee Carrozzini in association with Second Stage Theater (Carole Rothman, President and Artistic Director; Lisa Lawer Post, Executive Director).

APPROPRIATE features scenic design by dots, costume design by Dede Ayite, lighting design by Jane Cox, sound design by Bray Poor and Will Pickens. The Production Stage Manager is Barclay Stiff. Casting is by Jim Carnahan Casting.  General Management by 101 Productions, Ltd.

APPROPRIATE will be performed on the following schedule at the Belasco Theater: Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 7pm, Wednesday at 1pm and 7pm, Saturday at 2pm and 8pm, Sunday at 3pm. NOTE: The performance schedule for the week of March 25th is as follows: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday at 7pm, Friday at 8pm, Wednesday at 1pm and 7pm, and Saturday at 2pm and 8pm. NOTE: the performance on Sunday, June 16th will be at 1pm.

Two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and Obie Award winner Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (An Octoroon) and Drama Desk Award winner Lila Neugebauer (The Waverly Gallery, invite you to one helluva reunion in the darkly comic American family drama, APPROPRIATE.

It’s summer, the cicadas are singing, and the Lafayette family has returned to their late patriarch’s Arkansas home to deal with the remains of his estate. Toni (Paulson), the eldest daughter, hopes they’ll spend the weekend remembering and reconnecting over their beloved father. Bo (Stoll), her brother, wants to recoup some of the funds he spent caring for Dad at the end of his life. But things take a turn when their estranged brother, Franz (Esper), appears late one night, and mysterious objects are discovered among the clutter. Suddenly, long-hidden secrets and buried resentments can’t be contained, and the family is forced to face the ghosts of their past.

For more information please visit: AppropriatePlay.com

Jeremy Jordan and Eva Noblezada: ‘The Great Gatsby’ Sets Spring Broadway Opening

‘The Great Gatsby’ Musical With Jeremy Jordan And Eva Noblezada Sets Spring Broadway Opening

A new musical adaptation of The Great Gatsby starring Smash‘s Jeremy Jordan and Hadestown‘s Eva Noblezada will open on Broadway this spring, producers announced today.

The musical begins previews on Friday, March 29, at The Broadway Theatre, with an opening night set for Thursday, April 25. The announcement was made by lead producer Chunsoo Shin.

Direct from a record-breaking, sold-out world premiere at Paper Mill Playhouse last fall, the show features music and lyrics by Tony Award nominees Nathan Tysen (Paradise Square) & Jason Howland (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), a book by Kait Kerrigan (The Mad Ones), and is staged by award-winning director Marc Bruni (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) and choreographer Dominique Kelley (Mariah’s Magical Christmas Special).

The Broadway premiere of The Great Gatsby will feature scenic and projection design by Paul Tate de Poo III, costume design by Linda Cho, lighting design by Cory Pattak, sound design by Brian Ronan, hair & wig design by Charles G. LaPointe & Rachael Geier. Arrangements are by Jason Howland, and Orchestrations are by Jason Howland and Kim Scharnberg. The Music Director is Daniel Edmonds and the music producer is Billy Jay Stein for Strike Audio. Mark Shacket of Foresight Theatrical serves as Executive Producer.

The musical’s world premiere engagement was the highest grossing show in Paper Mill Playhouse history. The production, which ran October 12–November 12, 2023, also broke the theater’s record for ticket sales in a single day, and sold out the entire run before its very first performance.

This production is not to be confused with a Gatsby stage musical announced in 2021 with Florence Welch and Thomas Bartlett attached.

Charlotte St. Martin To Retire As President Of Broadway League After 18 Years

Charlotte St. Martin To Retire As President Of Broadway League After 18 Years

Charlotte St. Martin, whose 18-year leadership of the Broadway League has included both good times – record-setting revenue – and bad – the historic 18-month Covid shutdown – will step down from her role as President effective February 16.

In its announcement today, the League said St. Martin has “decided to retire” from the organization, but will continue to serve in an advisory capacity for special events through the 2024 Tony Awards.

Jason Laks, The League’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel, will serve as Acting President while the Board conducts an official search.

“While there is never a good moment for an executive who has spent a great deal of time in their role to resign, it is the appropriate time for me,” St. Martin said in a statement.

“It is truly the most difficult decision as I love the League, the staff, and of course, the industry that we have supported. I am very proud of our League team and the successes we have shared and know they will continue to provide the League with the highest level of commitment for which they are known. It has been the honor of my career to lead this organization, and I am grateful for all that we have accomplished together.”

During her tenure at The Broadway League, Ms. St. Martin has successfully grown the League and steered the organization through government relations successes, economic shifts, labor challenges and a global pandemic.

Also under her tenure, as the League notes, the trade organization representing theater owners and producers, has created numerous development, mentorship, and educational programs.

In addition to presenting the annual Tony Awards with the American Theatre Wing, the League manages the National High School Musical Theatre Awards.

Prior to joining the League, St. Martin was one of the highest-ranking women in the hospitality industry, holding a variety of positions including Executive Vice President of Operations and Marketing, and President and CEO of Loews Anatole Hotel. She served as Chair of the New York Society of Association Executives and also served as Chair of both Meeting Planners International and the Professional Convention Management Association Foundations.

She currently serves on the board of NYC Tourism+ Conventions. She was named to Grain’s New York Business 2019 Hall of Fame.

In a statement, Kristin Caskey, Current Chair, Board of Governors, The Broadway League, said, “Charlotte’s remarkable leadership over these past 18 years will have a lasting impact on the League and the Broadway industry. She championed many of the League’s remarkable initiatives, including Broadway Bridges and Viva! Broadway, as well as expanded critical programs like the Jimmy Awards and Broadway Membership Fellows, among many others.

“When Broadway shut down for two years during the pandemic,” Caskey continued, “it was under Charlotte’s steadfast leadership that the League helped create the Shuttered Venues Operations Grant and the New York City Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit, two vitally important initiatives that ensured the successful return of our industry. We are immensely grateful for her tireless efforts and deep devotion to our community. I know I speak on behalf of our membership when we celebrate her indelible legacy and wish her great happiness in this next chapter.”

The League was founded in 1930, and currently represents more than 700 members from nearly 200 national and international markets including theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers as well as suppliers of goods and services to the commercial theatre industry.

Broadway Hit ‘Kimberly Akimbo’ Tony-Winning Musical Annc’s Spring Closing

Broadway Hit ‘Kimberly Akimbo’ Tony-Winning Musical Annc’s Spring Closing

Kimberly Akimbo, winner of five 2023 Tony Awards including Best Musical, will play its final Broadway performance on Sunday, April 28, producers announced today.

Remarkably for Broadway, the entire original company, which has been performing together since the musical’s Off Broadway world premiere in 2021, has continued, and will continue, with the production through its final performance.

The universally acclaimed musical, which finds humor, heartbreak and hope in the tale of a teenage girl with a rare (and fictional) rapid-aging genetic condition that likely will take her life before she finishes her adolescence, opened on Broadway November 10, 2022, following its world premiere at the Atlantic Theater Company in November 2021.

Upon closing, Kimberly Akimbo will have played 32 previews and 612 performances on Broadway. The musical will kick off a 75-week, 60-city national tour at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts this September. (The touring cast has not been announced.)

Though the production grossed a big $720,330 for the holiday week ending December 31, figures have been up and down in recent months as the show began to lose some of its original Broadway steam: While once routinely filling more than 90% of seats at the Booth Theatre, more recent figures hover in the 70%-80% range.

Among its many accolades, Kimberly Akimbo scored a Best Actress/Musical Tony for star Victoria Clark, who delivers one of the great stage musical performances in recent memory. As Kimberly, Clark, who began playing the 15-year-old character when she was 62, captures, simultaneously, the nuances of both adolescence and middle age in one astonishing achievement.

In addition to the Best Musical and Leading Actress wins, the production also took Tonys for Bonnie Milligan (Featured Actress/Musical), David Lindsay-Abaire and Jeanine Tesori (score) and, for Lindsay-Abaire, Best Book. The show made Tony history with Tesori’s win, the first time a female has won two Tonys for Best Score (she won with Lisa Kron in 2015 for Fun Home).

In addition to Clark and Milligan, the cast includes Tony nominees Justin Cooley and Steven Boyer, Alli Mauzey, Olivia Elease Hardy, Fernell Hogan, Michael Iskander and Nina White.

The musical is produced by David Stone, The Atlantic Theater Company, James L. Nederlander, LaChanze, John Gore, Patrick Catullo, and Aaron Glick.

92NY presents Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra with Richard Egarr and Reginald Mobley: Garden of Good & Evil Jan 25 2024

92NY presents Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra with Richard Egarr and Reginald Mobley: Garden of Good & Evil Jan 25 2024

The 92nd Street Y, New York (92NY), one of New York’s leading cultural venues, presents Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra with Richard Egarr and Reginald Mobley: Garden of Good & Evil on Thursday, January 25, at 7:30 pm at the Kaufmann Concert Hall. Tickets start at $30 and are available at https://www.92ny.org/event/philharmonia-baroque-orchestra.

America’s premier Baroque ensemble joins with music director and harpsichordist Richard Egarr and countertenor Reginald Mobley, bringing their compelling program performed to acclaim in the UK. Centered on the creation story, Garden of Good & Evil pairs Handel arias with modern works for Baroque forces by celebrated composers Errollyn Wallen and Tarik O’Regan – jointly commissioned to write new music exploring an aspect of the Biblical creation story. Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra’s blend of authenticity and innovation and juxtaposition of old and new is beautifully illuminated in this musical examination of the most profound of themes.

Handel, Overture to Orlando

Handel, “Al lampo dell’armi” from Giulio Cesare

Handel, “Orride larve … Chiudetevi miei lumi” from Admeto

Handel, Concerto Grosso in A Minor, Op. 6, No. 4, HWV 322

Errollyn Wallen, The Forms (New York premiere)

Tarik O’Regan, The Golden Measure (New York premiere)

Handel, Concerto Grosso in B-flat Major, Op. 6, No. 7, HWV 325

Handel, “O sacred oracles of truth” from Belshazzar

Handel, “Se in fiorito ameno prato” from Giulio Cesare

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Richard Egarr brings a joyful sense of adventure and a keen, inquiring mind to all his music-making—whether conducting, directing from the keyboard, giving recitals, playing chamber music, or indeed talking about music at every opportunity. After a successful career as Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music for 15 years, where he succeeded founding director Christopher Hogwood, he joins Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale as Music Director.

Richard also holds responsibilities as Principal Guest Conductor of Residentie Orkest The Hague and Artistic Partner at The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota, after having served as Associate Artist with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. As a conductor, Richard straddles the worlds of historically-informed and modern symphonic performance, making him an ideal fit for PBO’s parallel commitments to early and new music. Richard is already well-known to the musicians and patrons of PBO, having guest conducted the orchestra four times since 2012 in both regular season offerings and the PBO SESSIONS series. In addition to his conducting genius, he is a brilliant harpsichordist and is equally skilled on the organ and fortepiano.

Richard is a beloved teacher and has been on the faculty of The Juilliard School for eight years in their Historical Performance division, has conducted major symphonic orchestras such as London Symphony Orchestra, Lincoln Center Festival Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, and The Philadelphia Orchestra, and regularly gives solo harpsichord recitals at The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, the Smithsonian, and elsewhere.

Born in Lincoln, England, Richard trained as a choirboy at York Minster, was organ scholar at Clare College Cambridge, and later studied with Gustav and Marie Leonhardt in Amsterdam, where he makes his home.

Under the musical direction of Richard Egarr in his second season as Music Director, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale (PBO) is recognized as “America’s leading historically informed ensemble” (The New York Times). Considered the most versatile ensemble of its kind, and performing on period instruments, PBO presents repertoire ranging from early Baroque to late Romantic, as well as new works and major operatic productions. The ensemble engages audiences through its signature Bay Area series, national and international tours, recordings, commissions, and education programs. Having celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, PBO was founded by Laurette Goldberg and led by Music Director Laureate Nicholas McGegan for the past 35 years. Philharmonia is the largest ensemble of its kind in the United States.

PBO’s musicians are leaders in historical performance and serve on the faculties of The Juilliard School, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Harvard, and Stanford. It welcomes eminent guest artists including mezzo-sopranos Susan Graham and Anne Sofie von Otter, countertenors Anthony Roth Costanzo and Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, violoncellist Steven Isserlis, and maestros Jonathan Cohen and Jeannette Sorrell. PBO enjoys longstanding artistic collaborations with The Juilliard School, the Mark Morris Dance Group, and the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC), and appears regularly at Disney Hall, Lincoln Center, Norfolk Chamber Festival and Tanglewood. In collaboration with Cal Performances in 2017, PBO produced a fully-staged period opera, Rameau’s Le Temple de la Gloire, and produced a fully-staged, reimagined production of Handel’s Aci, Galatea e Polifemo directed by Christopher Alden and featuring countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, bass-baritone Davóne Tines, and soprano Lauren Snouffer in eight sold out performances in January 2020. “Aci” was named Best Operatic Performance in the Bay Area by San Francisco Classical Voice in 2020. PBO also co-produced “Aci” with National Sawdust in Brooklyn, Cath Brittan and Anthony Roth Costanzo in 2017.

Among the most recorded orchestras in the world, PBO boasts a discography of nearly 50 recordings, including a coveted archival performance of mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson in Berlioz’s Les Nuits D’été, and a GRAMMY®-nominated recording of Haydn symphonies. The orchestra released the world premiere recording of the original version of Rameau’s Le Temple de la Gloire with the unedited libretto by Voltaire in 2018. In 2020, PBO released three groundbreaking recordings: a full collection of commissioned works by Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw, a selection of arias sung by rising star contralto Avery Amereau, and Handel’s Saul with countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen.

Noted for his ‘shimmering voice’ (BachTrack), GRAMMY-nominated American countertenor Reginald Mobley is globally renowned for his interpretation of baroque, classical and modern repertoire, and leads a prolific career on both sides of the Atlantic.

An advocate for diversity in music and its programming, Reginald became the first ever Programming Consultant for the Handel & Haydn Society following several years of leading H&H in its community engaging Every Voice concerts. He holds the position of Visiting Artist for Diversity Outreach with the Baroque ensemble Apollo’s Fire, and is also leading a research project in the UK funded by the AHRC to uncover music by composers from diverse backgrounds.

His American concert schedule includes solos recitals (New York at the Miller Theatre, Chicago (Collaborative Arts Institute)), concerts with orchestras performing Handel’s Messiah with, this year, the Pittsburgh Symphony, Philadelphia and Minnesota orchestras and Carmina Burana with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as well as regular appearances with the most prestigious baroque ensembles: Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Early Music Vancouver, Collegium San Diego, Seraphic Fire, to name but a few. Recent and future highlights include his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood Festival (Andris Nelson), with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and with Orchestre Métropolitain de Montreal, conducted by Masaaki Suzuki.

In Europe, Reginald has been invited to perform with Orchester Wiener Akademie, Balthasar Neumann Chor & Ensemble, Freiburger Barockorchester, I Barocchisti, Bach Society in Stuttgart, Holland Baroque Orchestra, Dutch Bach Society, Monteverdi Choir and English baroque soloists, as well as the City of Birmingham Orchestra and the Budapest Festival Orchestra for a series of performances as Ottone in L’incoronazione di Poppea. He has also engaged in a few projects together with the Academy of Ancient Music in Cambridge, singing the role or Disinganno in Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno and devising a new programme, Sons of England, supported by UKAHRC, which reflects his research under their umbrella, which will be touring in April 2024. Reginald gave a Purcell, Handel and Sancho programme for his solo debut recital in Paris, which he repeated as part of the Bayreuth baroque opera festival in September 2023.

His first solo album with ALPHA Classics was released to great acclaim in June 2023 to coincide with a major series of concerts with pianist Baptiste Trotignon in Paris, York and Liverpool as well as part of both the Aix-en-Provence and BBC PROMS festivals. In addition, Reginald features on several albums with the Monteverdi Choir, Agave Baroque and Stuttgart Bach Society.

Highlights of the 2023/24 Tisch Music Season include:

  • Joshua Redman Group release concert of where are we featuring Gabrielle Cavassa
  • NY premieres of new work by Tyshawn Sorey and COTTON by composer Damien Geter
  • New York concert debuts of the Isidore String Quartet and pianist Tony Siqi Yun
  • Pianist Conrad Tao returns to 92NY as part of the global celebration of Rachmaninoff at 150
  • Ongoing partnerships continue with concerts from the Curtis Institute of Music, the New York Philharmonic, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra with special guest artists
  • Art of the Guitar Series with Beijing Guitar Duo, David Russell and Manuel Barrueco
  • 2023/24 Lyrics & Lyricists series celebrating Howard Ashman, Laura Nyro, Stevie Wonder, andSheldon Harnick in a special event led by Ted Sperling honoring the legacy of three-time Tony Award winner, and Broadway legend, Jason Robert Brown, featuring a one-night-only appearance.
  • Expanded American Songbook offerings including exclusive concerts by Audra McDonald, Joshua Henry and Stephanie J. Block

For more information, please visit 92NY.org/Concerts.

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