Saturday, June 30, 2007

Joel Siegel Dies of Colon Cancer at 63

Another iconic TV gossip/interviewer has passed away from cancer in as many as two weeks. Veteran Good Morning America movie critic Joel Siegel, known for his knowledgeable and engaging reviews and his personable reporting style, died Friday afternoon after a long battle with colon cancer, ABC News and WABC-TV announced. He was 63. Siegel passed away in New York surrounded by family and friends, according to his longtime employer. Here's a two shot I got of Joel onMay 8, 2007. In another example of how I didn't want to interupt a conversation, I missed a good shot. It was exciting nonetheless to see one of my favorite movie reviewers in person, especially since I wasn't expecting Chris Cuomo and he to walk out, as the anchors usually come out about 10AM and it was only 9:15AM. I never got the chance to ask him to pose, but I am happy to have seen him in person. The mustachioed Siegel, who joined "Good Morning America" in 1981, was remembered by his ABC News colleagues for his wit and passion for the arts."Joel was an important part of ABC News, and we will miss him," ABC News President David Westin said in a news release. "He was a brilliant reviewer and a great reporter. But much more, he was our dear friend and colleague."ABC anchor Charles Gibson described Siegel as "brilliant" and "a man of impeccable taste." For his television work, Siegel received five New York-market Emmy Awards. He also co-wrote the book for the 1981 musical "The First," which earned him a Tony nomination.Siegel was 54 when doctors informed him that he had colon cancer in 1997, shortly after he learned that his third wife, artist Ena Swansea, was pregnant and he was going to be a first-time father. Concerned that he may not live long enough for his young son to get to know him, Siegel wrote the 2003 memoir "Lessons for Dylan: From Father to Son." "I was in my 50s when Dylan was born, so even in the best of times I couldn't expect to spend more than a score or so of years with him," Siegel told the Chicago Jewish News in 2003. "And it hasn't been the best of times, not with three cancer surgeries and chemo and CAT scans and six months of radiation in the past five years."

Friday, June 29, 2007

Christine Ebersole Arrives At the Tony After Party

"Ms. Ebersole, Ms. Ebersole, Congratulations, could I get a photo?" Ahh no response, as she was in a hurry to attend the Tony After Party at the Rockefeller Rink Restaurant I thought to myself. Pictured here assistant#1 is carrying her Tony (11:44PM) Tony winner John Gallagher congratulates Christine as she arrives at the top of the stairs to the party. I'm waiting patiently to find the right time to ask them both to pose. Christine starts fussing with her earrings. They are now removed, I know I am never going to get that shot. I know she won't pose without them. Were they bothering her, is someone bringing a new set, why did she take them off I wonder? Turning around to acknowledge the congratulations, still ignoring me
but a fan walks right up and askes for a photo, maybe I will get my shot. Now her other assistant is holding her Tony. A Closeup with no earrings. She's so beautiful, even if she is ignoring me.Congratualations!! No really congratulations, I want your attention, I am grabbing your wrist, pay attention to me. I think, maybe I should go closer to her and try this method. Still talking (11:53PM) it's getting crowded with well wishers, what is she waiting for, I am so far away, I think. How am I going to get the money shot for the night (11:54PM)
Oh there's her first assistant who she arrived with; I guess he went down and scoped out the place for her. Here he is reporting the layout to her. (11:56PM) Finally at 11:57PM she makes her entrance 12:06AM Christine Ebersole leaves the party from the VIP entrance on the opposite side of the entrance. She literally walked through and went out the otherside. I am sure she was off to attend the Grey Garden Party at some fancy joint with Mary Louise Wilson. I never did get that money shot!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

It's all about the timing as you know

Last Sunday I made a trip to the beach, Sea Isle City NJ to shoot some scenesAs I was taking photos and taking in the sites, I saw the beach tag inspector who was busy checking tagsThen I caught this kid sneaking onto the beach without a badge
going under the rail dropping 6 feet to the sand hooking up with his his friends and continuing a time honored tradition of avoiding those damn beach fees

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Scene Around Town: Macy's Center City Window - Philly Pride 2007

The Stonewall riots were a series of violent conflicts between New York City police officers and groups of gay and transgender people that began during the early morning of June 28, 1969, and lasted several days. Also called the Stonewall Rebellion or simply Stonewall, the clash was a watershed for the worldwide gay rights movement, as gay and transgender people had never before acted together in such large numbers to forcibly resist police.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Photos: Tony Awards Seeing Stars

The easiest way to see them is in your own comfortable home on TV, otherwise if you have $250 to spare you could buy a ticket, but here's what I did about three weeks ago. If you have been reading my blog for the past weeks, you would know that I scored myself two tickets to the Tony Rehearsals, now I will tell you how I did it. I heard a few people gather to watch the presenters and performers arrive and depart from the 52nd Street Stage Door. When Simon and I arrived at 8:30AM, the only crowd there was lined up to go in. I saw a guy with a clipboard and I asked him if there was a waiting list. He said you have to be invited to attend the rehearsal, but then he said "wait over there, if there is room I will give you two tickets.", Sadly he was reamed out by his boss for promising us two tickets, but in the end they gave them to us. THANKS!! (Pictured Simon waiting by the VIP line. This group was usually people in the business, or close family members)We sat in the First Mezzanine with friends and distant relatives. Christopher Plummer at the RehearsalLater when reviewing my photos, I noticed that during the "Spring Awakening" performance the bulletin board had the following statements "Totally Fucked" and "The Bitch of Living" on it. I reviewed my Tivo of the show and saw that they made it on the broadcast too which was funny since they weren't allowed to sing those lyrics.When Simon and I left the rehearsal we saw the crowd waiting for the talent to depart. This could be you next year!Anne Heche leaving. She had walked over to the fans, posed and signed for them.In the evening I got a late start to observe the arrivals. When you see this scene, you know you are late. (This is 52nd Street) I hurried towards the Red Carpet on 51st Street And arrived just as Angela Lansbury exited her car and blew kisses to the adoring crowd.
Tanned Tommy Tune on the Red CarpetAfter awhile the crowd got on my nerves, especially since I kept getting a lot of shots of the back of their heads. This is a shot of the action down near the skating rink restaurant, where the After Party would be held later that night. On your left is the fans, on the right are the celebrities on the Red Carpet. I then went back to my friends Katie & Simons house. They live in a Paparazzi or Broadway Fan's dream location near 55th and 7Th Ave. I would be back later to catch the departures.
After watching the Tony's (Soprano and otherwise) on TV, I ran over to Radio City Music Hall about 10PM to watch the Tony winners race across the street into NBC to do the press.
On the side of RCMH there is a "Stage Door" (Martha Plimpton in green dress smoking a cigarette after losing to her costar in Coast of Utopia). The stage door is exactly across the street from an entrance to Rockefeller Headquarters and a door to the elevator which takes you to the Rainbow Room and the awaiting press. Tom Stoppard and his Tony make their way to the press room As the 11 O'Clock hour approached, I decided to run around to the other side of RCMH and catch the orchestra audience "VIP" leaving. Most of these people skip the after party and just head to their waiting limo's to take them to private parties or home. Here is Zach Braff waving to the screaming fans.
Jeff Daniels ignoring the screaming fansVanessa Redgrave greeting Movie Studio Mogul Harvey WeinsteinAfter whetting my appetite with celebs leaving via the 52nd street Stage Door, I run over to the site of the After party, which is always at the restaurant at Rockefeller Center. Most of the talent, and invited guests just walk the block to the entrance. Although some do arrive in limo's depending on their stature and age, like Celeste Holm's and her child groom.No matter how they arrive most have to stand in line with everyone else waiting to get into the party. although some who know the area well will surprise us by sneaking down the stairs, or taking the stairway that goes from RCMH underground to the Rockefeller Concourse and then through the glass doors to the restaurant. Last year that is how Julia Roberts got to the After party. Pictured here is Julia White taking the stairs in the middle of the plaza, skipping the line, the roaming paparazzi, fans and tourist. But for me it was a race to capture as many people with Tony's as possible. Here we find Jay Johnson: The Two and Only has won the Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event. Glamour girl Donna Murphy Spring Awakening's Tony Award winners Duncan Sheik and book writer/lyricist Steven Slater Felicity Huffman has performed in many off Broadway plays, including Dangerous Corner, Shaker Heights and The Joy of Definitely Going Somewhere. She is co-founder of the Atlantic Theater, but she wouldn't look up and give me a big smile anyway. I loved Swoosie Kurtz in Sisters After shooting arrivals, I went to the other side of the rink to shoot departures. Now I am not saying they don't leave the same way they come in, some do (like this kid from Ugly Betty), but the major players leave on the opposite side as to avoid the crowd of gawkers that have gathered at the entrance. Only a few fans figure out the exit strategy, and now you know. First up comes Cynthia Nixon and her girlfriend Christine. A second before this shot they were holding hands, but as I set up the shot Cynthia let go.
Damn overexposure of Neil Patrick Harris and boyfriend Marcia Gay Harden is surrounded by fans, many with their Tony Programs looking for signaturesI give props to these two who did sign and pose for photos with the above fans, but when it came to us paparazzi they didn't want to pose. I mean I can understand it was 2:15AM and they were probably tired. For what is only his second Broadway job (following Rabbit Hole), John Gallagher Jr., who plays the desperate young student Moritz in Spring Awakening, won the Best Featured Actor (Musical) Tony. He was with his sister and mother. Even Bebe Neurith signed for fans Although Julie White snuck in, she came out the VIP exit where my Friend David Pershica asked to pose with her. The last photo of the night, Phylicia Rashad at about 2:30AM; finally a close to a very long day exciting day. Until next year. But wait where was Christine Ebersole, see below"A precursor to my next entry on my blog. Christine Ebersole was just about the last to arrive at the party, and I captured her big entrance. Until next time...HughE
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