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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

 Quick Comparison Between
The Bodyguard Movie & The Bodyguard:The Musical

By Tinsel & Tine Editor, Le Anne Lindsay

Note: Post contains both movie and musical plot spoilers 
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THE BODYGUARD is a 1992 American romantic thriller film directed by Mick Jackson,written by Lawrence Kasdan, and starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston. Costner stars as a former Secret Service agent-turned-bodyguard who is hired to protect Houston's character, a music star, from an unknown stalker. Kasdan wrote the film in the mid 1970s, originally as a vehicle for Ryan O'Neal and Diana Ross. The film was Houston's acting debut and was the second-highest-grossing film worldwide in 1992, making $411 million worldwide. The soundtrack became the best-selling soundtrack of all time, selling more than 45 million copies worldwide.- wikipedia.org

As a someone who tends to date outside my race, I've always had an affinity for this love story between Rachel Marron (Houston) and Frank Farmer (Costner). The Bodyguard may not possess an award winning script, and it's not quite in a class with Pretty Woman or When Harry Met Sally, but it's a good movie which captures your attention and heart every time you watch it. But mainly, 1992 was a pinnacle moment for Whitney Houston, she was a girl on fire! She looked so beautiful, seemed so fabulous, her career in the place everyone wishes for at some point in their lives. And that soundtrack! I mean every song, not one did you skip on the CD, except later,  when "I Will Always Love You" got so over played, at the time, you couldn't stand it anymore.

So, I was thrilled when The Kimmel Center/Allied Philly asked me if I wanted to host a contest to give away tickets to the opening night of The Bodyguard, The Musical starring Deborah Cox in the lead role.  And it would seem from the number of entries I received, that Tinsel & Tine Subscribers also have a soft spot in their hearts for this movie, turned musical.

The show is currently at The Academy of Music (Feb 21-26, 2017) as part of The Kimmel Center Broadway Season.  The opening number, "Queen of the Night" feels just like you're at a concert instead of a Broadway show - full of smoke, concert venue lighting, great sound and exuberant back up dancers.

Me with Winner of 2 Tix to Opening night - Andrea October

The story of the musical pretty much follows the flow of the movie, with different emphasis. The movie plays up the friction between Agent Frank Farmer and Rachel's staff, particularly her current head of security and publicists. That friction is there in the musical, but not as sharp.

In the play, there's a triangle introduced into the plot, as Rachel's sister Nicki gets interested romantically in Frank before Rachel makes her move. And I have to say Nicki & Frank have good chemistry too.  Rachel doesn't try to cock block Nicki, she's got no idea of Nicki's feelings for Frank.  This romantic angle is not a part of the movie. In contradiction, in the movie, Nicki has hired a hitman to kill Rachel, out of mere jealousy of being the sister in the shadows. In the musical, her only crime is having corresponded with the stalker; yet feeling the way she does about Frank, she'd have more motive in the play/musical to kill then in the movie.

I have to send a special shout out to the actress/singer who plays Nicki Marron in this production, Jasmin Richardson, she is most certainly not in Cox's shadow, what a delicious voice!

My friend and fellow writer Thomasena Farrar of MusicMoviesThoughts interviewed Richardson - click HERE for the interview.

Not to take anything away from Deborah Cox who plays Rachel to the hilt and sings the hell out of "He's All The Man I Need" and, of course, "I Will Always Love You" she definitely channels a bit of Whitney throughout the show.

Molly Eichel interviewed Cox for Philly.com -  click HERE for interview

The relationship between Frank (Judson Mills) and Rachel's son, Fletcher (Douglas Baldeo) is played more strongly in this musical version; in the movie he likes the kid, but they don't have very many scenes together.

My only criticism - would be that it took me a while to get into the rhythm of the dialogue. For some reason, it's stilted and feels a little like a high school play.  As the story progresses, it gets better, but the actor's delivery seems to be deliberately flat. Not sure what the purpose of this is?

The good news - there's very little dialogue. It's really a Whitney Houston songbook, one favorite after another. "The Bodyguard, The Musical" is a wonderful tribute to the late Ms. Houston, whose magic was wasted in the second half of her short life, a tragedy; but the height of her talent will forever be a gift.

Philly Influencers at Opening Night; lft to rt: Emma Tramble - Strategist, Speaker, Author | Tatiana Bacchus - Producer, Actress, Filmmaker | Thomasena Farrar - Journalist, Music Authority, Blogger | Darryl King - Writer, Director, Movie Critic |  
Le Anne Lindsay - Blogger, Social Media Maven, Photographer | Mike Dennis - Founder of Reelblack, Filmmaker, Black film historian.

The Bodyguard, The Musical is directed by Thea Sharrock | Set & Costume Design by Tim Hatley to purchase tickets visit thebodyguardmusical.com


Foodie Blog Post: RENZELL Dining Experiences in Philadelphia

Wednesday, February 15, 2017



By Le Anne Lindsay, Editor

This one's for my Foodie Subscribers,

WHAT IS RENZELL? - The best way for me to describe Renzell is a cross between the Zagat's Guide and Michelin Stars only the ratings are created by the members who fill out a survey sometime shortly after a dining experience. Renzell then takes all the surveys and calculates them to create more detailed ratings based on (Design, Food, Cocktails, Service, Vibe, Value) than you may find on Yelp, Open Table, Zomato or even Tinsel & Tine ;)

WHO ARE THE MEMBERS? - Anyone can be a member and it's FREE to Join. You just have to be someone interested enough in dining out that you'd be willing to give your opinion to Renzell on your experience, in order to earn points.

WHAT DO THE POINTS GET YOU? Every month Renzell holds a special tasting at a Philadelphia upscale restaurant for members who have earned enough points to attend. It becomes both an exclusive invitation and a reward!

WHAT IS TINSEL & TINE GIVING AWAY? as usual, free promotion :) In fact, the above breakdown is my own wording and I think I did a pretty good job with the FAQ, And guess what? I'm not even invited to the first event in Philly :( HOWEVER, I'm happy to feature Renzell this month because I do think it sounds like a fun, foodie kinda club to join! And it's great that Philadelphia is one of the 11 cities chosen for their roll out, and because T&T is about highlighting interesting stuff about film/movies, food/dining and Philly for my readers, subscribers and followers... and I do think Renzell's mission to create the most accurate, objective restaurant ratings in the world is interesting.

Your Attendance at the First Philly Renzell Private Tasting at Aldine (1901 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103)
Date: Sunday, March 5, 2017
Time: 7:00pm

Details: The Winner (2 tickets) will enjoy a multi-course tasting to join Renzell Members as they celebrate their launch in Philadelphia. Private Tastings include a pre-dinner cocktail, a tasting menu with wine pairings, coffee or tea, and water. (Additional food or drink can be purchased at your own expense).

Aldine Cuisine: American - a bit brooding and industrial, Aldine sits on the second floor of a walk-up, affording it some nice views of the surrounding neighborhood. Hipsters and non-hipsters alike will be inspired by the elevated and complex seasonal small plates—many of them vegan or gluten-free—that they enjoy to a soundtrack lifted straight from the 90s.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

The facebook entry comment : can be about dining out in Philly, upscale/trendy restaurants you have tried or look forward to trying. Or the comment can be your initial thoughts on Renzell. (fb earns 2 entries). don't forget to click the "I commented" button

You Can Also Tweet: Hey Philly Foodies, Enter to Win a Dining Experience @aldinephilly w/ @renzell via @tinseltine (twitter earns 1 entry)

Renzell Social Media: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | LinkedIN
Renzell is a new membership club for dining enthusiasts looking to change the way restaurants are rated.
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Tinsel & Tine (Reel & Dine): Philly Film, Food & Events Blog


LOST GIRLS: Interview with Playwright/Screenwriter John Pollono

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Tinsel & Tine Shines a Philly Spotlight
Theatre Exile's Production of "Lost Girls"

By Editor, Le Anne Lindsay

Theatre Exile continues their 20th anniversary season with the Philadelphia premiere of "Lost Girls", running February 16 to March 12, at Studio X. This hard-hitting drama is the story of three generations of women who struggle to rise above their limited prospects, in a world indifferent to their struggles, to prevent history from repeating itself.

The play was written by a voice new to Philadelphia's stage - John Pollono, an American playwright who also penned the award-winning "Small Engine Repair". Pollono has appeared on NBC's hit show This is Us, and he also wrote the soon-to-be-released movie Stronger with Jake Gyllenhaal.

I got a chance to ask John Pollono a few questions
about both projects:

T&T: Would you describe “Lost Girls” overall as a cautionary tale, a spotlight on class in America, a family drama or a story of young love?

John Pollono: I wouldn’t describe this as a cautionary tale. I just went for truth and told a story I felt hadn’t been told with sensitivity or specificity quite like this. Most people live paycheck to paycheck and, although a working class play is a genre in theater, most people actually live like this. But those of us who grew up like that still feel love and hope and pain the same as anyone. We just have additional obstacles.

T&T: Do you think Maggie or Lou or both would have been Trump supporters? And why or why not?

JP: Maggie would not be a Trump supporter, IMO. She is a strong woman and would not have put up with Trump’s misogyny. It’s pretty clear in the text that she has strong feminist beliefs. Linda is an example of someone who believes “boys will be boys” as we say in the play. Maggie often struggles because she is the smartest person in the room and doesn’t have anyone who can match her passion and wit and sensitivity.

T&T: a) Since this is a second mounting of “Lost Girls” did you have any thoughts of places where you’d like to make changes?
b) What are some of the differences in approach that each director (Jo Bonney at the Lortel & Joe Canuso Theatre Exile) brings to the piece?

JP: This is actually the third production, it ran in Los Angeles at Rogue Machine for about 6 months in 2013-2014. I made changes for the NYC production but now the play is what it is. At some point you have to let it go and have its own life. Jo and I are frequent collaborators and we really have a short hand to things. She directed "Small Engine Repair" in NYC, which is sort of a companion piece, so she was very familiar with the world. I haven’t seen Joe’s production, obviously. But we’ve been in contact. We’re in the post-Trump age, Joe has that whole level of subtext to offer now. A lot of the themes in the play are more resonant now than ever, so it’s exciting to have it being done again. And Philadelphia is similar to New England working class in many ways, so I’m thrilled that it will have that deeper connection. Sounds like Joe is really in tune with the characters and their struggles.

T&T: Your screenplay “Stronger” is about Boston bombing victim Jeff Bauman, other than the obvious that this is an incredible story of resilience and you’re originally from New Hampshire, what drew you to write it? At what point did you realize you were going to want to delve into the horrific incident to tell a story?

JP: The bombing was a very profound tragedy to everyone. When something like that happens in your neighborhood, or where you grew up, it hits especially hard. When I read Jeff’s book before it was published, I fell in love with the heart it had. And, since I grew up about half an hour from where the movie takes place, I knew I could tell the story in the voice it required. It was an incredible team to be a part of so that was huge. You know you have great collaborators when they bring out the best in you, and that was the case. And it felt like a really important story to tell. And then I met Jeff and Erin (the central characters) and knew I had to do them justice.

T&T: Were you consulted in the casting for “Stronger”? And what did it feel like when Jake Gyllenhaal, who’s known for doing off kilter movies (Nightcrawler, Demolition, Nocturnal Animals) expressed interest in your film?

JP: I had an unusually close relationship with the producers and director. The writer isn’t always as involved as I was. But everyone was so committed to making the best movie and to honoring Jeff that they kept me involved throughout. It was thrilling to have Jake involved, he brings so much to a production in terms of momentum and talent. He drew a lot of attention to the project, which you need to get your film made in most cases.

T&T: When you’re in Center City Philadelphia, what’s your favorite restaurant and menu item?

JP: Last time I was in Philadelphia, I was poor as shit and didn’t really enjoy any restaurants. Drank cheap beer and ate a cheesesteak. Looking at your blog made my stomach growl. I really missed out on some amazing meals. Anyone want to fly me out, I’ll give you a better answer!

I'm looking forward to seeing "Lost Girls" opening night! Be sure to check out Theater Exile's Schedule of performances

Directed by: Joe Canuso Honorary Producer: Louis Bluver Cast: Catharine Slusar, Trevor William Fayle, Sean Bradley, Molly Ward, Amy Frear and Susanne Collins
ABOUT THEATRE EXILE Founded in 1996 by Joe Canuso and Trish Kelly, Theatre Exile was created by a group of artists who wanted to rattle the gates of the mainstream. In 2013 Deborah Block was named Producing Artistic Director after seven years of serving as Co-Artistic Director. For their excellence in producing theatre, they have received 87 Barrymore Award nominations, with 19 awards total. Theatre Exile believes in freedom of expression formulated through innovation, exploration and provocation, all while providing a safe and creative environment, in which local artists can grow, experiment and ultimately, find their own voice.

T&T's last Philly Spotlight on Theatre Exile was a review of the Edward Albee play Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf

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Tinsel & Tine (Reel & Dine): Philly Film, Food & Events Blog


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tinseltine@gmail.com  Click AGENDA VIEW to see complete list of happenings.

Featured Post

Emerging Cinema: VOICELESS The Movie

  Highlighting Philly Made Film - "Voiceless"  by Le Anne Lindsay, Tinsel & Tine Editor The Philadelphia Independent Fil...

Food n Film: BURNT

Food n Film: BURNT
Bradley Cooper has more than charisma, he has an over abundance of Chi, which radiates out from him; so for me, this role as temperamental and damaged chef Adam Jones, who also inspires great love and admiration from those around him, works on the level of characterization. In fact, I think he's among a very short list of actors who would be able to pull off being so self-involved and yet likable. Doesn't hurt that he really speaks French too! READ POST

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Food n Film: CHEF

Food n Film: CHEF
Much of the movie centers around the father/son relationship, and how much they learn from each other. But the real star of the film is all the food preparation, every other scene made me groan with want of everything up on that screen! Particularly the perfectly roasted and rubbed brisket, the crispy fat of the pork belly, sizzling bacon and the much ballyhooed Chocolate Lava Cake. READ POST


The key to deciphering both the city it beautifully depicts and the man who eats it best - City of Gold

By Tinsel & Tine Contributor Denine Gorniak (The Bicycle-Chef)

What Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times food critic/writer, has done for food writing journalism and for the restaurants that he loves, the movie, City of Gold has done for Jonathan Gold and Los Angeles and its surrounding environs – it has planted taco covered kisses on them... READ POST

Food n Film: CHOCOLAT

Food n Film: CHOCOLAT
If you’re a foodie movie lover who saw Lasse Hallström’s The Hundred Foot Journey (see T&T post), this summer you may be wondering what delicious visual journey might be awaiting you in the theater next. Well, how about a look back at his film Chocolat (2000), which stars French actress Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench and Johnny Depp. Hallström’s has a special talent for turning cooking into a dramatic movie journey...READ MORE


...young Hassan, a soulful-eyed boy with lush, thick eye lashes, places his face into the sea urchin basket, and breathes in the exotic briny scent. He sticks his fingers into the aquatic ooze, takes it to his mouth and is transfixed by the taste. The vendor, oblivious to the thrusting arms of frenzied women, notices the boy and realizes he is the only one worthy of this oceanic prize; he is the one who can “truly taste.” ... READ MORE

Food n Film: JULIE & JULIA

Food n Film: JULIE & JULIA
Personally, I like the unevenness of it, because I fell in love with the post World War II, Parisian sights, sounds, food and romance between Julia and Paul. I always felt a bit jarred back into reality when the scenes returned to Julie's meltdowns and cramped kitchen.READ POST

Food n Film: EAT PRAY LOVE

Food n Film: EAT PRAY LOVE
Six months into my 38th year of this life, I had my first panic attack. I didn't know that's what it was until months later. Symptom after symptom starting piling up on me until there were days I could no longer move my arms or neck. The doctors told me I was suffering from an auto-immune condition that they felt was most likely Lupus. And so began my much deeper journey and exploration into the world of spirit, alternative medicine, yoga, meditation and Eat, Pray, Love. READ POST

Philadelphia Magazine » Blog » Foobooz


With a film like this, food plays a main character in the story and I was lucky enough to get an interview with the film's Food Stylist, Janine Kalesis.READ POST

Food n Film: WAITRESS

Food n Film: WAITRESS
In this 2007 film, Keri Russell stars as Jenna - a desolate diner waitress seeking solace in the art of pie-making. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, she’s eager to escape her husband and her small-town hell and sets about to make a run for it by entering an out of town pie baking contest. READ POST


Those of us in attendance were not only given the opportunity to see Babette's Feast, the Oscar winning, Danish film, considered one of the all-time great "food films"; we also got to taste Babette's menu! READ POST


I participated in WalkMS Philly on 4/30/16
Thank you to the readers who donated to the cause - It's not too late to support! Click badge below

15 Top Food in Film Flicks

15 Top Food in Film Flicks
Cozy Quilt of Food Movies, we'll add more patches as T &T discovers more films where food plays the biggest "roll"

Tinsel & Tine on Paper.li

Tinsel & Tine on Paper.li
Really love this platform, you feature your stuff and other people's stuff you follow, and it all configures like the front page of a newspaper. Click to see what I mean

Visit Our YouTube Channel

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Videographer Oliver Gallini 5 min short featuring organic-chemist-turned-chef, Townsend Wentz, who got his start at The Four Seasons Philadelphia.


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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?
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