From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
February 16, 2017
I’m thrilled to be one of four artists in Huntington Arts Council’s “Her Story Through Art” Invitational Show! The Opening Reception – Friday, March 3, 2017, from 6-8 pm – is free and open to the public.
“Her Story Through Art” Invitational Show ,at Huntington Arts Council. Opening Reception: Fri., March 3, 2017, from 6 – 8 PM. Artists: Anahai DeCanio, Ann Parry, Tara Leale Porter, Irene Vitale.
Since the exhibit celebrates Women’s History Month, I selected pieces from my portrait and news photography that focus on females of all ages – with emphasis on women passionately involved in civics and politics, cultural arts, and volunteering.
Last night my daughter Sue and I saw Episode 1 of Kevin Can Wait being filmed at Gold Coast Studios in Bethpage. This new CBS sitcom, starring actor Kevin James, is the first prime-time network series originating from a Long Island studio – hello, Hollywood East!
First we saw the pilot, which gave background to the episode being filmed that night. It introduced us to the Gable family: father Kevin, a newly retired police officer; mother Donna, a school nurse; and their children Kendra, Sara, and Jack.
We also met Kevin’s brother Kyle (who looks like a short Kevin with facial hair), Kendra’s fiancé Chale (who looks like… no, I’ll leave that as a surprise), and Kevin’s three friends who are fellow retired police officers.
BTW from LI: The Gable family lives in the south shore town of Massapequa, so they’d have to move just a few miles west to be the Gables of Merrick Gables, a 1920s development of Spanish stucco houses near my home.
HAPPY & PEPPY
Long Island’s Joey Kola was the warm up comedian. Over the course of the night, Joey identified dozens of cast and crew … had us sing along to songs the DJ played … shared anecdotes that were probably at least partly true… did fast and furious impressions (mostly of Long Islanders, of course)… and introduced countless audience members who were fellow comedians, notable Long Islanders, media personalities, and relatives of cast and crew.
The first scene filmed was the first scene of the episode, and there were several partial and whole retakes (that I found riveting) – of this scene and scenes in general – in order to tweak dialogue and action, and film from different viewpoints. As Director Andy Fickman – who made some genuinely funny comments when cameras weren’t filming – explained to the audience, the sitcom studio filming is done in chronological order – except that night the last two scenes were reversed so Mary-Charles Jones, a minor, would finish her last scene before 11 PM.
I especially liked how Kevin Gable – the eponymous character played by star Kevin James, a gifted everyman physical comedian – didn’t always have to be the one getting the Big Laugh, so his character had the chance to convey emotion, doubt, conflicted feelings – you know, things real people feel while living life without a laugh track, let alone a live studio audience.
And I hope to see more of Chale, who stood out as a unique, engaging character.
BTW from LI: “Chale” has a range of meanings throughout the world: Perhaps the village Chale in the Isle of Wight, England, is relevant. Also, “Chale” means “strong” and “manly” in Spanish, which might be something to think about.
When Executive Producer Rock Reuben took questions from the audience, he stated that KCW will be free of references to a certain infamous Massapequa resident from the early 1990s.
BTW from LI: Wouldn’t it be fun if Kevin Can Wait has Kevin bumping into, or even hanging with, Long Island natives Alec Baldwin, Ray Romano, Jerry Seinfeld – say, at All American Hamburger?
UPDATE Ray Romano guest-starred on KCW Oct. 23, 2016
Cameras weren’t allowed, but cell phones were, though they couldn’t be on/out during filming.
Media, including People magazine and Newsday, were there to cover the night, and though I wished now and then I were covering it with my Nikon D4, it was a nice change to be sitting there with my daughter and fellow audience members, simply enjoying the show – you know, things people do while living life without a pro DSLR and Press badge.
The long evening of filming was so much fun it sped by. If you’re in the Long Island area and interested in free tickets to a future filming of Kevin Can Wait at Gold Coast Studios in Bethpage, visit 1iota.com (August & most September 2016 dates are already Sold Out). And don’t forget to eat dinner before you go to the studio.
So, okay, maybe it’s partly because I’m from Long Island, plus there’s a retired police officer in our family, but I enjoyed watching the pilot and filming of the first episode of Kevin Can Wait, and can’t wait to see its premiere on Monday, September 19, 8:30 PM (EST) on CBS.
Kevin James as Kevin Gable
Erinn Hayes as wife Donna
Taylor Spreitler as daughter Kendra
Ryan Cartwright as Kendra’s fiancé Chale
Mary-Charles Jones as younger daughter Sara
James DiGiacomo as son Jack
Gary Valentine as Kevin’s brother Kyle
Christopher Brian Roach as Mott
Leonard Earl Howze as Goody
Lenny Venito as Duffy
Episode 1 “Kevin and Donna’s Book Club”
Writer: Heather Flanders
Director: Andy Fickman
Executive Producers: Kevin James, Bruce Helford, Rock Reuben, Jess Sussman
9/19/2016: During Z100’s Elvis Duran Morning Show, my daughter Sue spoke with Kevin James about how much she enjoyed being in the audience for taping of Kevin Can Wait at Gold Coast Studios in Bethpage, NY.
Listen to above 2-minute clip to hear what my daughter Sue calls Kevin James, on Z100’s Elvis Duran Morning Show, 9/19/2016.
Last Saturday night, after a much anticipated Nikon workshop by Steve Simon in Manhattan, I walked around the block to capture night photos at Bryant Park, whose Winter Village has long been a visual and sentimental favorite of mine.
The pink and green shadows each skater cast on the ice immediately caught my attention, and I photographed the festive, energetic, colorful scenes at the Ice Skating Rink and Holiday Shops with my Nikon D4 until around 9:30 that evening, November 9, 2013.
Our family was on a hay ride at The Long Island Fair at Old Bethpage Village Restoration decades ago, when my young daughter swung her arm to point at something, and the candy apple in that hand flew off the stick and across the field. Her double-take at the traitorous, empty stick – unforgettable.
Considering the county fair’s popularity, Long Islanders must have countless such fun memories of the event, which has been sponsored by the Agricultural Society of Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, Inc. since 1842.
And each new fair adds more memories of Civil War era costumes, dances and music; roasted corn on the cob; ribbon-winning needlework, baked goods, flower arrangements and more in the Exhibition Hall; and ponies and horses just about everywhere.
(By the way, when Old Bethpage Village Restoration had a contest on its facebook page last month, the first person to correctly post the month & year OBVR first opened to the public won 4 passes to The Long Island Fair – and guess who won!)
What’s one of YOUR family’s favorite memories of The Long Island Fair?
Sweet Suzi & Sugafixx – Long Island’s scorching blues group – performed at the recent Merrick Street Fair.
Having stepped down as head of publicity for the MBCCA concert association, I expected to take a break from covering the performing arts, but Sweet Suzi & SugaFixx’s raw, powerful, emotional performance on stage outside RS Jones stopped me in my tracks.
You never know what you’ll get at town fairs, where musical groups can be more notable for their enthusiasm than talent, but – Wow! – the passion, musicianship, and stage presence of Sweet Suzi & SugaFixx blew me away.
Curbdogs Guitarist JOHN PUGLISI (from right here in Merrick), bassist JOE PAGANO, and drummer RONNIE SCIASCIA are the sizzling SugaFixx in SWEET SUZI SMITH’s band.
And back at home, when googling them for caption info for their photos, I made to sure check their schedule of upcoming performances in the area.
By mid-morning on Monday, May 30, the rain and lightning stopped, and gray skies slowly turned blue, so it turned out a better day than expected to photograph two New York Memorial Day parades – first in Merrick and then Little Neck.
Photographing my hometown parade was like a pleasant, festive stroll up Merrick Avenue, with plenty of time and room to go wherever needed along the two-lane street.
However, on that hot and humid afternoon, photographing Governor ANDREW CUOMO and his fellow marchers in the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade felt more like participating in an extreme sport. A brisk walker, Gov. Cuomo frequently went from side to side of vast Northern Boulevard to shake hands or chat with Veterans and other onlookers; plus, I was surrounded by innocent people and banners best not to slam into.
Last Saturday, world-famous clarinetist Stanley Drucker gave a concert presented by the Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association at Calhoun High School. Naomi Drucker, his wife and fellow clarinetist; and Marilyn Sherman Lehman, pianist, also performed, to the added delight of the audience.
While dropping off concert flyers at the Drucker home the week before the concert, I told Mrs. Drucker I’d like to take photos during concert night. She looked up, smiling. “Since you’re a photographer,” she said, “you might enjoy our photos.”
What an understatement! And suddenly I was on a fun and moving tour of photos, posters, and other artwork throughout their home, including guest bathroom – all which helped bring to life the professional musical careers of the Drucker family: dad Stanley and mom Naomi, classical musicians; son Leon, double bassist Lee Rocker for The Stray Cats; and daughter Rosanne Drucker, alternative country singer.
It can be quite challenging to capture concert photos of instrumentalists, where about 95% of the photo is dark costumes, grand piano, and stage curtains and the rest is face, hands, and a tuxedo shirt that all seem to be about 9-light-stops away. I used my Nikon D200 with Nikkor 18-200mm zoom lens, and did my best – including 1600 ISO and exposure compensation – but it’s motivated me to seriously consider getting the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, so I can use my Nikon D700 for similarly extreme lighting situations in future.