Tag Archives: review

‘Kevin Can Wait’ Here on Long Island

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
August 20, 2016

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!

  • NOTE: scroll to end of post for Z100 audio Update
Bethpage, New York, USA. August 19, 2016. Actor KEVIN JAMES (middle of low railing) the star of the CBS new comedy series "Kevin Can Wait" set to premiere mid September 2016, autographs copies of the script cover of the first episode, right after filming is completed. After the pilot was shot,13 episodes were ordered in May. The Sony Pictures Television Inc show is the first series to be shot entirely on Long Island, and is filmed at Gold Coast Studioes. Kevin James, a Long Island native, portrays the title character Kevin Gable, a newly retired police officer who lives with his family in Massapequa. Other cast members, several who also autographed the cover, include: Erinn Hayes as his wife Donna, a school nurse; Taylor Spreitler as their older daughter Kendra; Ryan Cartwright as Kendra's fiance; Mary-Charles Jones as the younger daughter Sara; and JAMES DIGIACOMO as the young son Jack, and GARY VALENTINE as Kevin's brother Kyle Gable. Episode #101 was written by Heather Flanders and Directed by Andy Fickman. Executive Producers are Mr. James, Bruce Helford, Rock Reuben, and Jess Sussman. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Bethpage, New York, USA. August 19, 2016. After filming’s done, actor KEVIN JAMES (low center by railing) the star of CBS sitcom “Kevin Can Wait” set to premiere Sept. 19, 2016, autographs copies of script cover of 1st episode. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

THE HOUSE OF 5 GABLES

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.

HOT SET

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.

Bethpage, New York, USA. August 19, 2016. Ann holds printed sheet with PRIORITY TICKETS to be in audience during taping of CBS new comedy series "Kevin Can Wait" starring actor KEVIN JAMES, and set to premiere mid September 2016 The Sony Pictures Television Inc show is the first series to be shot entirely on Long Island, and is filmed at Gold Coast Studioes. Kevin James, a Long Island native, portrays the title character Kevin Gable, a newly retired police officer who lives with his family in Massapequa. Other cast member include: Erinn Hayes as his wife Donna, a school nurse; Taylor Spreitler as their older daughter Kendra; Ran Cartwright as Kendra's fiance; Mary-Charles Jones as the younger daughter Sara; and James DiGiacomo as the young son Jack. Episode #101 was written by Heather Flanders and Directed by Andy Fickman. Executive Producers are Mr. James, Bruce Helford, Rock Reuben, and Jess Sussman. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Bethpage, New York, USA. August 19, 2016. Ann holds tickets to filming of CBS sitcom ‘Kevin Can Wait’ at Gold Coast Studios. (© 2016 Sue Moller)

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

NO CAMERAS

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.

FREE TICKETS

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.

TICKETS at 1iota.com: Kevin Can Wait

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.

CAST

Cast includes:

  • 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


  • UPDATE 

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.


“Kevin Can Wait”:   slideshow  | gallery

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Mohonk Mountain House

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
November 26, 2013

Mohonk Mountain House is a Currier & Ives print come to life….

Mohonk Mountain House outdoor Ice Skating Rink, young sisters skating, March 2010 (Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

New Paltz, New York, USA. Mohonk Mountain House Ice Skating Rink (© 2010 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Though the Mohonk Tower was a constant, iconic part of the scenery during my years at SUNY New Paltz, it wasn’t until many years later that I visited its home on the 2,200 acres of Mohonk Mountain House, a Victorian castle built in the late 19th Century by its Quaker owners, twin brothers Albert and Alfred Smiley, whose descendants still own and operate this National Historic Landmark.

NEW PALTZ - MARCH 14: Lake Mohonk seen beyond boulders at shore, with view of long wood pier, mountains and Mohonk Mountain House on overcast winter morning of March 14, 2010 at New Paltz, New York, USA. For Editorial Use Only. (Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

New Paltz, New York, USA. Frozen Lake Mohonk at Mohonk Mountain House. (© 2010 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

I’ve been going to Mohonk Mountain House for over ten years for their mid-March murder mystery weekends.

Being avid mystery fans, my friends Carolle and Diane and I started going decades ago to murder mystery dinners and weekends – including in NYC brownstones and Thayer House at West Point. So I guess it was inevitable we’d go to Mohonk’s world-famous murder mystery weekends.

During my early years going to Mohonk, Joni Paci and Ron Paci presented the interactive murder mysteries. Joni wrote each campy, lively mystery – as she also wrote the successful play “Murdered by the Mob” – and she and a talented and lively group of fellow actors not only presented set pieces at Mohonk’s balconied Parlor, but also stayed in character throughout the weekend, notably during the meals in Mohonk’s grand dining room with curved walls of sweeping windows looking out over the lake and mountains.

Since one or more actors stayed incognito, blending in as regular murder mystery guests, until the dénouement Sunday morning, it was an extra level of fun wondering who, if any, of our teammates were not who they claimed to be. I tended to be suspicious of everyone I didn’t actually drive to Mohonk with. Happily, my hyperactive wariness didn’t prevent me from becoming friends with delightful fellow guests from around the country – most especially Cindy and Mel Yoken, Carol, Bonnie – and some of the charming actors.

One of the high points of each weekend was the Authors Panel. Famous mystery authors, such as Lawrence Block, Harlan Coben, Ed McBain, and Susan Isaacs, attended the weekends with their families (Coben’s young children were adorable), and on Saturday afternoon would share about their lives as writers and then answer questions in the Lake Lounge.

Mohonk Mountain House Murder Mystery Weekend March 2010 (Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

New Paltz, New York. USA. Mohonk Mountain House interior. (© 2010 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

As my first Mohonk mystery began, during Friday afternoon tea in the Lake Lounge, I sat next to an elegant, beautiful woman with ash blond hair in a chignon, and when she asked who my favorite author there was, I said, “Well, Susan Isaacs is the only one I’m familiar with, so I’ll say her.” When I asked who her favorite author there was, she explained that her husband was Lawrence Block, so she better say he is. Yikes! Anyway, I enjoyed listening to Block and Coben so much that I bought their books at Mohonk’s gift store, and became a fan of Block’s “The Burglar Who…” series, and Coben’s  sports agent character Myron Bolitar.

Since then both of my daughters have joined me for exciting Murder Mystery Weekends at Mohonk.

Mohonk Mountain House has hiking trails, lake boats, lake and indoor swimming, tennis, golf, fine dining, cross-country skiing, ice skating, spa services, horseback riding, and much more. Guests have many options, such as staying for dinner, theme weekends, midweek specials, weddings, reunions, and meetings.

NOTE:  This is updated version of post that was on my earlier blogspot blog.

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