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February 4, 2016

It’s farewell to nudes as Playboy unveils revamped March ’16 issue; Sarah McDaniel on cover

Lucire staff/10.18

Snapchat and Instagram personality Sarah McDaniel graces the cover of the first non-nude issue of Playboy, its March 2016 number, to hit newsstands on February 12.
   The eagerly anticipated revamped magazine, which had been following a similar formula for 62 years, will be unveiled on February 5 at Playboy’s annual party during Super Bowl weekend in San Francisco.
   The March Playmate is Dree Hemingway, daughter of Mariel Hemingway, who appeared in the magazine in 1982; while artist and model Myla Dalbesio takes her own photographs in this issue.
   Since removing its explicit nude photographs from its website, Playboy has seen its traffic increase, and the magazine is expected to follow suit with a greater circulation.
   Playboy says it has gone back to its ‘intellectual, artistic and literary powerhouse years’ of the 1960s as inspiration for 2016. ‘The result is a Playboy magazine for a new generation, full of fresh contributors, new regular features, and an entirely contemporary take on photographing the beautiful women who have made the publication one of the most enduring and successful of all time.’
   There is a slight size change, with an increase to 9 by 11 inches (22·9 cm by 28 cm), with an upgrade in paper quality. It can also be bought at 1,200 new retail locations in the US.
   Highlights for the revamped magazine include: ‘Francofile’, the return of a monthly high-profile interview by James Franco; ‘Rabbit Hole’, Ben Schott’s monthly column; ‘My Way’, with entrepreneurial advice; ‘Playboy Advisor’, now written by a female columnist, Rachel Rabbit White; ‘Artist in Residence’, this month focusing on cartoonist Jay Howell; ‘No Filter’, written by a woman who’s making waves in entertainment; and a political column by John Meroney. This month’s features include: an interview from Rachel Maddow; 20 questions with Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer of Broad City; an essay on modern sexuality by Bret Easton Ellis; ‘God Bless Birth Control’, with Erin Gloria Ryan examining the IUD; a feature on one man’s tussle with US Immigration; and two literature instalments, with an excerpt from Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle: Book Five, and ‘Boone Daniels Rogue Ride’ by Don Winslow.
   The party will be held at a space in Lot A of AT&T Park in San Francisco, with sponsors Dodge, Effen Vodka, Aquahydrate and Red Bull. Alesso will DJ the party. An Instagram-activated vending machine will invite guests to post for a peek of the new magazine.

February 3, 2016

Royal New Zealand Ballet kicks off Speed of Light, with première at the New Zealand Festival

Lucire staff/1.29

The Royal New Zealand Ballet kicks off 2016 with Speed of Light, a mixed bill of three works, to feature at the New Zealand Festival and the Auckland Arts’ Festival, before touring the South Island. It marks the first programme put together by Francesco Ventriglia since he joined the company in 2014.
   The first work is William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, originally commissioned by Rudolf Nureyev for the Paris Opéra Ballet in 1987. It will be the RNZB’s first time dancing this ballet, and the second time it has been performed in New Zealand. Ventriglia himself was once selected by Forsythe to dance one of the lead roles at La Scala in Milano. The music of J. S. Bach accompanies this ballet; Julien Tarride created the composition and sound design.
   The second work is Andonis Foniadakis’ Selon désir, which the RNZB performed when on tour in the UK and Italy in 2015. New Zealand audiences will see the company give this Selon désir its New Zealand première this work during the New Zealand Festival. Music is by Thom Willems in collaboration with Les Stuck, staging by Thierry Guiderdoni, and technical supervision by Tanja Rühl.
   Finally, Alexander Ekman’s Cacti, makes up the third work, with the New Zealand String Quartet joining the RNZB. A parody of contemporary dance’s excesses, Ekman created this work for 16 dancers in 2010. It has been nominated for a Swan Award in Holland for best new dance production, the Critics’ Circle Award and an Olivier Award. Lighting and co-set design are by Tom Visser, music is by Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, and staging by Ana Lucaciu.
   Dates for Speed of Light are: Wellington, February 26 to 28 inclusive; Auckland, March 2–6; Christchurch, March 10–12; Dunedin, March 16. For booking information, visit www.rnzb.org.nz.
   The world première of the Ryman Healthcare Season of The Wizard of Oz is May 4 in Wellington, choreographed by Francesco Ventriglia, with music by Francis Poulenc, and design by Gianluca Falaschi.

February 1, 2016

Leonardo DiCaprio, Brie Larson win top SAG awards, Spotlight, Alicia Vikander, Idris Elba among winners

Lucire staff/23.56




Charley Gallay; Dimitrios Kambouris; Stefanie Keenan

The Screen Actors’ Guild Awards sometimes provides an indication of what Hollywood is thinking when it comes to the Oscars, though this year, the number of black actors who were awarded at the SAGs suggests that that might not be the case. Awarded on Saturday at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Lucire spotted Laverne Cox, Viola Davis, Kristen Wiig, Emilia Clarke, Hugh Dancy and Claire Danes, Kate Winslet, Christian Bale and Sibi Blazic, Alfie Allen, Amanda Peet, David Benioff, January Jones, Samira Wiley, writer Lauren Morelli, Hannah Bagshawe, Joanne Froggatt, Annie Parisse and Paul Sparks, Christina Ricci, Ariel Winter, Sola Bamis, Sarah Paulson and Jon Hamm, Sarah Hyland, Kathryn Hahn, Diane Lane, Kiernan Shipka, Julianne Moore, Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman, Priyanka Chopra, Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara, Julianna Margulies, Rachel McAdams, Leonardo DiCaprio, Rooney Mara, Naomi Watts, Tina Fey, Dame Helen Mirren, and Anna Faris on the red carpet; Eva Longoria, Julius Tennon, and Amy Poehler additionally at the cocktail reception; Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Uzo Aduba, Marisa Tomei, Jacob Tremblay, and Raquel Cassidy backstage; and, during the show, Demi Moore, Pedro Pascal, Eddie Redmayne, Taye Diggs, Jeremy Renner, Laura Prepon, Susan Sarandon, Ray Liotta and Karsen Liotta, Sarah Silverman and Michael Sheen, and Saoirse Ronan.
   Top prizes on the night went to Spotlight, for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, with Billy Crudup, Brian d’Arcy James, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery, Michael Keaton and Liev Schreiber collecting the award; Brie Larson won Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for her role in Room; and Leonardo DiCaprio won Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for The Revenant.
   Television drama prizes went to Downton Abbey for best series, Viola Davis for How to Get Away With Murder, and Kevin Spacey for House of Cards. For comedy, the honours went to Orange Is the New Black for top series, Uzo Aduba for Orange Is the New Black; and Jeffrey Tambor for Transparent.
   Alicia Vikander won Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role for The Danish Girl; while Idris Elba won the Male award for Beasts of No Nation. Queen Latifah won Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for Bessie, while Elba also won Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for Luther.
   Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture went to Mad Max: Fury Road; the television equivalent went to Game of Thrones.
   The legendary Carol Burnett won the SAG Life Achievement Award, the most prestigious offered by SAG-AFTRA. Burnett has already won numerous Emmy Awards, a special Tony, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and both a Kennedy Center honour and its Mark Twain Prize for humour.
   We caught Viola Davis, Queen Latifah, Kimiko Glenn, Lea DeLaria, Beth Fowler, Leonardo DiCaprio in the trophy room after their wins, and Idris Elba, Carol Burnett, Brie Larson, Kevin Spacey, Alicia Vikander, Julianne Moore, and Jeffrey Tambor in the press room.
   The awards were streamed through TNT’s and TBS’s websites and apps as well as broadcast through their TV channels.










































































Larry Busacca; Christopher Polk; Mark Davis; Kevin Winter; Stefanie Keenan; Dimitrios Kambouris; Jason Merritt; Charley Gallay; Mike Windle

January 29, 2016

Kerry Washington named Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ Woman of the Year with festivities in Massachusetts

Lucire staff/17.11



Darren McCollester

The Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the oldest theatrical organization in the US, and which has a philanthropic purpose, named Kerry Washington its Woman of the Year. Previous honorees since the award was established in 1951 have included Meryl Streep, Katharine Hepburn, Julia Roberts, Jodie Foster, Elizabeth Taylor, Anne Hathaway, Claire Danes, Dame Helen Mirren and Amy Poehler.
   The festivities are presented by Related, and begin with a parade through Cambridge, Mass., followed by a roast at Farkas Hall in Harvard Square. The roast saw Washington demonstrate her talent at breaking things, from a piñata to an egg on a cast member’s face, and participate in a popcorn-eating contest competing with an elephant, and sing a lullaby with a Ray Charles impersonator. The company then performed several numbers from its 168th production, That 1770s Show.
   Its Man of the Year festivities, at which Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be honoured, takes place on February 5.
   Tickets to That 1770s Show, to be performed at Farkas Hall, 12 Holyoke Street, from February 5 to March 6, are available via www.hastypudding.org, or via the Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ box office on 1 617 495-5205. It will then be performed at Hunter College’s Kaye Playhouse in New York on March 11 and 12 (call 1 212 772-4448 for tickets), then the Hamilton City Hall in Bermuda on March 16 through 18.











Darren McCollester

January 19, 2016

Montblanc launches Great Characters Andy Warhol range of writing instruments

Lucire staff/14.23



Montblanc honoured Grace Kelly a few years ago with a limited-edition collection, and now it has turned its attention to pop artist Andy Warhol.
   Its Great Characters line, which has already offered items based on the legacies of Leonardo da Vinci, Alfred Hitchcock and John F. Kennedy over the last seven years, sees a new range that pays tribute to Warhol. The Montblanc Andy Warhol Special Edition pens feature a cap that shows four images of tomato soup cans—a reference to Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans Series of 1965—worked into stainless steel. The cap ring on the fountain pen, rollerball and ballpoint pen has Warhol’s signature alongside an engraving of ‘©/®/TM AWF’, and the cap top is engraved with one of the artist’s quotes: ‘Art is what you can get away with’. The rhodium-plated 585 gold nib on the fountain pen has a dollar sign from his Dollar Sign series.
   The Limited Edition 1928, referencing Warhol’s birth and inspired by his Flowers (1964), has another quotation on the cap, ‘You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you’, and is accompanied by an abridged version of his 1975 book, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (from A to B and back Again).
   The Montblanc Great Characters Andy Warhol Special Edition is available in New Zealand from Montblanc Boutique at 87 Queen Street, Auckland. For more information, visit www.montblanc.com.




January 17, 2016

Indulging in the arts at Lincoln Center: La vie parisienne and Dragon Boat Racing

Lola Cristall/14.18



Chris Lee


藝想天成文化傳媒

Above, from top Makato Ozone on piano at La vie parisienne at Lincoln Center. The New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Dragon Boat Racing presented by the Guangdong Song and Dance Ensemble.

There were many ways to ring in the New Year but one sophisticated approach saw melodious tunes and laughter. The New York Philharmonic celebrated in style with La vie parisienne at the David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center. The beautifully organized spectacle paid homage to the spectacular city of lights with poetic tales and songs in both French and English. The talented comedian and two-time Tony winner Nathan Lane narrated Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of Animals, written by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, adding humour and irony with each animal symbolizing a New York figure. Alan Gilbert energetically conducted the performance while Inon Barnatan and Makoto Ozone were the magnificent pianists of the soirée. Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham sang uplifting songs including ‘C’est ça la vie, c’est ça l’amour’ from Toi c’est moi, ‘Ah! que j’aime les militaires’ from La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein and Edith Piaf’s ‘La vie en rose’. As 2016 fast approached, guests stood up to sing the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, while a large glimmering image of the Eiffel Tower reflected in the background. The setting was a marvellous escape into an evening à la française with a joyful, energetic and a high-spirited crowd impatiently waiting for the New Year to emerge.
   From a conductor’s baton to a dancer’s fast paced feet, Lincoln Center is the home of such performances. The beginning of January marked a memorable occasion to celebrate a talented group of dancers, during the China Arts and Entertainment Group’s Dragon Boat Racing presented by the Guangdong Song and Dance Ensemble. Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater welcomed the limited-time presentation to the stage. They featured phenomenal choreographed dance moves to the tune of traditional Cantonese music. The majestic ambiance was exquisite. Directed and choreographed by Zhou Liya and Han Zhen with music by Du Ming and scenario by Tang Dong, the spectacle blends the beauty of traditional and contemporary features on one stage, as the artistry of the east meets the modernity of the west. The production was vibrant and uplifting, as the dancers conveyed a love story where the main character, Nian (Li Xing), is torn between Ling (Li Yanchao), the woman he adores, and Ying (Wang Minrui), the woman Nian’s father wants his son to marry. The feud and adoration are expressed through the performers’ agility while the melody underlined the story’s elements.—Lola Cristall, Paris Editor





Chris Lee










藝想天成文化傳媒

Not New Now in Marrakech: coming soon

Lucire staff/13.51


We’re looking ahead to our upcoming coverage of this year’s instalment of the Marrakech Biennale called Not New Now (لا جديد الآن in Arabic; Quoi de neuf là in French), curated by Reem Fadda, running for a full 11 weeks, from February 24 to May 8, 2016. That means you have a big window for viewing it. This rich cultural destination makes use of heritage sites for its installations and site-specific commissions, and includes events at many free public spaces. Get ready for provocative dialogue about newness, decolonization, and cultural resistance, animated by performances, readings, exhibits, panels, and beautiful people.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor

Filed under: culture, Lucire, travel, Volante
January 11, 2016

Derek Zoolander promotes Fiat 500X in advance of Zoolander 2

Lucire staff/3.46



Ben Stiller’s Derek Zoolander alter ego, returning to cinemas on February 12 in Zoolander 2, 15 years after the original, advertises the Fiat 500X crossover in a TV campaign that broke during the Golden Globes’ telecast yesterday.
   While the first spots were 60 seconds, 30-second spots break today on US television. The campaign will also reach digital and social media.
   The campaign has been directed by Jeff Mann, who executive-produces Zoolander 2. Background music is Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s ‘Relax (Don’t Do It)’, and Zoolander adopts his ‘Blue Steel’ pose when he sets off a traffic camera. The campaign was created in partnership with Trailer Park.
   The Fiat 500X is Fiat Chrysler’s latest entry in the 500 family, which was revived in 2007. Built on the larger Fiat Punto platform, the 500X is, for the North American market, an all-wheel-drive crossover that adopts the retromodern looks of the 500 supermini, which in turn paid tribute to the 1957, rear-engined nuova 500. Other markets receive a front-wheel-drive 500X model.
   ‘Joining forces with Paramount Pictures and Zoolander No. 2 allows us to align the Fiat 500X with a pop culture moment through one of this year’s most anticipated films,’ said Olivier François, chief marketing officer and Fiat’s global brand head.
   ‘We are thrilled for Derek Zoolander fans around the world to finally see the result of our year-long collaboration with the Fiat team on a campaign so perfectly in sync with his character,’ commented LeeAnne Stables, president of Worldwide Marketing Partnerships at Paramount Pictures. ‘These Fiat spots are a hilarious reminder of the fun that audiences will have when the movie releases next month.’
   Last March, Stiller as Zoolander and Owen Wilson, in his Zoolander role as Hansel, walked the Valentino runway during the autumn–winter 2015–16 collections in Paris.
   Zoolander 2 is directed by Stiller, and sees the return of Wilson. Will Ferrell, Penélope Cruz, Kristen Wiig, Fred Armisen, Milla Jovovich, Christine Taylor, Justin Theroux and Kyle Mooney also star. The film is written by Theroux, Stiller, Nick Stoller and John Hamburg. Stiller, Stuart Cornfeld, Scott Rudin and Clayton Townsend produce.

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