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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.

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 23, 2016

Irina Shayk, Lena Gercke, Jason Statham, Ann-Kathrin Brömmel among guests at Audi Night at Kitzbühel

Lucire staff/12.26




Gisela Schober, Lennart Preiss

Audi’s stressing its off-road credentials at the Hahnenkamm, Kitzbühel ski races this winter, sponsoring the Audi FIS Ski World Cup on the Streif. Its Quattro models, which revolutionized the use of four-wheel-drive in a premium line from the launch of the first car in 1980, are a favourite of those seeking luxury and off-road comfort, and celebrities had a chance to sample them at the Hahnenkamm. That evening, they celebrated with some 350 guests during the Audi Night on Friday at the Zur Tenne hotel, which kicked off the 76th Hahnenkamm weekend of racing.
   Irina Shayk, Lena Gercke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jason Statham, Noomi Rapace, Luke Evans and Christina Stürmer were on hand to celebrate with Audi both during the day and celebrate at the evening event, alongside skiers Marco Büchel (as MC), Felix Neureuther, Marcel Hirscher, Maria Höfl-Riesch, Martina Ertl-Renz and Christa Kinshofer, Le Mans winner Benoît Tréluyer, and Audi DTM drivers Timo Scheider and Mathias Ekström. Other guests during Friday included game show host Kai Pflaume, Martina Ertl-Renz and Sven Renz, Jessica Hinterseer, Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thuman and Jürgen Thuman, Mario Götze and Ann-Kathrin Brömmel, Patrick Shriver Schwarzenegger, and Patrick Knapp. Gregory Porter sang live at the evening event.
   Along with familiar models such as the R8, TT and all-new A4, Audi showed off its E-tron Quattro concept, an all-electric car that points to the future technology and design language of the brand.




























Gisela Schober, Lennart Preiss

January 21, 2016

Rosamund Pike, Adriana Lima, Karolína Kurková, Zhou Xun, Jessica Kahawaty at IWC SIHH launch

Lucire staff/23.23




Chris Jackson, Harold Cunningham

IWC Schaffhausen has released its Pilots’ Watches collection at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) show in Genève, with celebrities during the show and dinner including Adriana Lima, Karolína Kurková, Rosamund Pike, Hilary Swank, Zhou Xun, Marc Forster, Scott Eastwood, Christoph Waltz, American actor Chris Evans, Scott Eastwood, José Mari Manzanares, Dev Patel, Elyas M’Barek, Moritz Bleibtreu, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Fabian Cancellara, author Paulo Coelho, Ronan Keating and Storm Üchtritz, Supertramp’s John Helliwell, Joaquim de Almeida, Raya Abirached, Hend Sabry, Fabio Capello, Jose Maria Yazpik, Ralf Möller, Moritz Bleibtreu, Franziska Weisz, Juan Mata, Levison Wood, Elsa Zylberstein and Ruben Alves, Roberto di Matteo, Thomas Kretschmann, Elvira Lang Netzer and Gunter Netzer, Arsene Wenger, José Mari Manzanares, Raya Abirached, Hend Sabry, Alexei Nemov, Galina Nemov, Sandra Bauknecht, Nadya Hasan, Barbara Becker, Jessica Kahawaty, Razane Jammal, Christian Knoop, Olga Litvinova and Konstantin Khabensky, Anna Ferzetti and Pierfrancesco Favino, Alessia Marcuzzi, Andrea Berton, Nagora Aramburu and Xabi Alonso.
   Guests were entertained at a revue-style show on Wednesday night called Come Fly with Us in the evening, MCed by Rob Brydon, which featured performances by the Pepe Lienhard Big Band from Switzerland, Patti Austin, Ronan Keating, Curtis Stigers, Eric Harland and Till Brönner. A troupe of 20 dancers from the UK performed a routine inspired by the 1930s.
   Pike noted, ‘I enjoyed every minute. The ’30s atmosphere was so creatively interpreted that I kept thinking I was on a film set.’
   Earlier in the day, IWC brand ambassadors visited the SIHH, where CEO Georges Kern introduced the new range. The IWC booth continued the 1930s theme, with a hangar theme, and a Supermarine Spitfire that had been brought from Manchester to Genève.
   IWC’s Pilots’ Watches’ range comprises the Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch 55 (ref. IW510401), the Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch 48 (ref. IW510301), the Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII (ref. 3270), and the Pilot’s Watch Automatic 36 (ref. 3240), which is the smallest in the IWC collection with a case diameter of 36 mm.









































































Harold Cunningham, Ian Gavan, David M. Benett, Chris Jackson

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

December 21, 2015

In photos: what happened when Miss Universe 2015 host Steve Harvey read the wrong winner’s name

Lucire staff/7.47

Miss Universe 2015, broadcast from Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday night, will be remembered for years for the crowning of Miss Universe Colombia, Ariadna María Gutiérrez, after host Steve Harvey read her name wrongly as the winner, and the removal of her crown less than five minutes later in favour of the correct winner, Miss Universe Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach.
   Gutiérrez wore the crown, placed on her by Miss Universe 2014 Paulina Vega, for two minutes before Harvey returned to stage to apologize for his error, for which he took full responsibility.
   It was only then that Wurtzbach was announced as the correct winner. Wurtzbach, who had already returned to join her fellow competitors at the back of the stage, was told by her fellow competitor, second-runner up Miss USA, Olivia Jordan. Wurtzbach returned out front, and Vega then came out later to move the crown on to the correct winner.
   Miss Universe New Zealand executive director and CEO Nigel Godfrey, who was present in the audience to support Miss Universe New Zealand Samantha McClung, said, ‘The scenes here are extraordinary.’ His counterpart from Binibining Pilipinas, Stella Márquez-Araneta, sat in front of him.
   Las Vegas, sadly, also saw a major car accident on the strip where one person was killed and 37 were injured after a car went up on the pavement, right after the telecast.
   Harvey apologized to Wurtzbach backstage, while Gutiérrez still had the composure to thank her supporters.


A sigh of relief from Miss Colombia, Ariadna María Gutiérrez, as her country’s name is read out by host Steve Harvey.


A clearly joyful Miss Colombia, with the Miss Universe crown and sash.


Steve Harvey has the difficult task of returning to the stage and owning up to his mistake.


Embarrassed host Steve Harvey explains that he read out the wrong name.


Miss USA Olivia Jordan informs Miss Universe Philippines Pia Wurtzbach that she is the correct winner of Miss Universe.


Former Miss Universe Paulina Vega removes the crown from Miss Universe Colombia, Ariadna Marïa Gutiérrez.

December 19, 2015

Iris Mittenaere, Miss Nord-Pas-de-Calais, wins Miss France 2016

Lucire staff/23.19


Bertrand Noël/SIPA courtesy Endemol and TF1

Iris Mittenaere, Miss Nord-Pas-de-Calais, has been crowned Miss France 2016.
   Mittenaere, 22, is a dental student in her fifth year of studies. 20minutes earlier revealed that she scored the most highly in a general knowledge quiz (17·5 out of 20, above the average of 13·5).
   She succeeds Camille Cerf, who took home the title last year, and who was present to crown her successor.
   Miss Martinique, Morgane Edvige, and Miss Tahiti, Vaimitu Teiefitu, were runner-up and second runner-up respectively.
   The competition was held at the Zénith in Lille, hosted for the 21st time by Jean-Pierre Foucault. Sylvie Tellier, a former Miss France, remains the organizer of the event, which is aired live on France’s TF1 network each year, typically netting 8·5 million viewers and a 40­·5 per cent share of the audience. Thirty-one contestants, who had each won regional pageants, competed for the title this year.
   The top 12 were: Miss Martinique, Morgane Edvige; Miss Provence, Julia Courtes; Miss Tahiti, Vaimitu Teiefitu; Miss Côte d’Azur, Leanna Ferrero; Miss Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Iris Mittenaere; Miss Réunion, Azuima Issa; Miss Bretagne, Léa Bizeul; Miss Aquitaine, Gennifer Demey; Miss Alsace, Laura Muller; Miss Languedoc, Lena Stachurski; Miss Centre–Val de Loire, Margaux Bourdin; and Miss Rhône-Alpes, Nora Bengrine.
   These were then narrowed down to a top five of Miss Martinique, Miss Provence, Miss Tahiti, Miss Nord-Pas-de-Calais, and Miss Réunion. The viewing public accounted for 50 per cent of the vote, the judges the other 50 per cent.
   Miss Martinique, Miss Provence and Miss Tahiti tended to top internet users’ polls in France.
   Jean Paul Gaultier chaired the Miss France jury and was joined by actress Laetitia Milot, The Voice: la plus belle voix winner Kendji Girac, Miss France 2009 Chloé Mortaud, singer Patrick Fiori, singer–songwriter Anggun, and rugby union player Frédéric Michalak.
   Gaultier himself emerged on stage during the early part of the telecast wearing a crown of his own creation and a sash, a notable change in raising the judging panel’s profile.
   A regional costume section complemented themed parades referencing the ‘dreams’ of former Miss France winners, including ones based around pirates, cheerleaders, superheroines, toys, Christmas, confectionery, and eveningwear.

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