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Posts Tagged ‘John Legend’

Hearst Documentary Screens in San Francisco

Following a splashy private screening at Hearst headquarters in New York City and a public world premiere earlier this month at the Hamptons International Film Festival, feature documentary Citizen Hearst has come home to roost. Commissioned by Hearst and narrated by actor William H. Macy, the film will debut in San Francisco tonight at a Legion of Honor event sponsored by the Chronicle.

The movie was co-produced and directed by Leslie Iwerks, who previously took a look at another west coast media giant in The Pixar Story. The parade of on-screen interviews includes Oprah Winfrey, Dan Rather, Mark Burnett, Walt Disney Company chairman Bob Iger and a number of William Randolph Hearst descendants.

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Dan Rather, Steve Kroft and An Encore Appearance by John Legend

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I got several emails last week when I was on vacation alerting me to John Legend‘s presence in the dining room. “You’re missing him!” texted one faithful “Lunch” reader. “Oh well,” I thought, “next time.” Imagine my surprise when the singer magically appeared in the dining room today and even shot me a big smile on the way to his corner table. How thoughtful of him to schedule a return engagement on a Wednesday!

I was joined today by uber publicist Judy Twersky and her agency’s account supervisor, Jennifer Bristol, who I met in this very dining room through our mutual friend, Diane Dimond. A little birdie told me that Judy knows just about everybody and has represented a very interesting mix of famous folks so I knew lunch would be fun. I wasn’t disappointed.

Judy, who once toiled as media director for Ogilvy & Mather, started her own firm in 1992 and has had an impressive roster of clients, including Maury Povich, Dr. Andrew Weil and none other than actor James Earl Jones. (No word on how he felt being banished to the bleachers at the Oscars while Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy took to the stage). Judy, who tells me she gets most of her clients through word of mouth, specializes in authors but also handles her fair share of celebrities. Her current client list includes former CIA agent-turned-photographer Hank O’Neal, who has traveled the world chronicling street art. His new book, aptly titled XCIA’s Street Art Project (Siman Media Works), will debut in March along with a mobile app. None other than Tony Bennett praises Hank’s work as “one of the greatest contemporary works of art I have ever experienced.”

Jennifer Bristol, Diane Clehane, Judy Twersky
Jennifer Bristol, Diane Clehane and Judy Twersky

Judy also reps pianist Richard Glazier, whose PBS special, “From Ragtime to Reel Time: Richard Glazier in Concert” premieres on stations around the country next week. Judy first met Richard on a TCM cruise and was enthralled by his skills as a raconteur as he regaled the audience (who stayed up way past their bedtimes) with the stories behind the “Great American Songbook” and tales of his childhood friendship with Ira Gershwin. Richard is coming to New York next month to be feted by violinist Joshua Bell.

Speaking of great parties, Judy’s 60th birthday bash made “Page Six” recently with the news that Paul Shaffer wrote a song especially for her to mark the occasion. (Paul’s wife Cathy is Judy’s best friend, and Judy is now managing the couple’s 19-year-old daughter Victoria Shaffer who has aspirations to host her own talk show). Her good pals also arranged for The Naked Cowboy to come in and sweep her off her feet (literally). “You can book him for 15-minute sessions,” Judy told me with a laugh. “I couldn’t believe it.” Who needs birthday cake when you can be serenaded by a man in his underwear?

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Dan Rather and another important looking gent we didn’t recognize

2. Peter Brown

3. 60 MinutesSteve Kroft and  journo Jackie Leo, engrossed in some important looking papers

4. John Legend (in jeans) and Warner Music Group CEO  Lyor Cohen

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Trump Gets Roasted, But ‘The Situation’ Gets Burned

The Hammerstein Ballroom was packed to the brim with wannabes, has-beens and the occasional celebrity last night, as Comedy Central taped its roast of Donald Trump.

The roast, which will air next Tuesday, saw a lineup of comedians like Lisa Lampanelli and Jeff Ross, join some celebrity roasters like Marlee Matlin, Larry King and Snoop Dogg to mock one another and Trump himself.

Also in attendance: Jersey Shore’s Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, but more on him later.

Trump, who made (and lost) billions in real estate and casinos, and is said to be considering a Republican presidential run, spent much of the night in a chair in the middle of the stage, glowering, as his daughter Ivanka and wife Melania watched from the audience. FishbowlNY also spotted John Legend, Ice-T, Norah Jones and Russell Simmons in the crowd.

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Former LA Sparks Marketing Director Wins Greek Theatre Lawsuit

An LA Superior Court jury has handed down a $3.2 million verdict in favor of Denise Herron (pictured), whose visit to the Greek Theatre on September 2nd, 2009 led to a nightmare of personal injury, job loss, and repeated surgeries.

Herron and her boyfriend were there to see John Legend. But after they were directed to “The Jungle”, a notorious dirt parking lot carved out of a canyon hill in Griffith Park, things went south. All the lights were out; to avoid oncoming night traffic in “pitch black” conditions, Herron followed the lead of other concertgoers by climbing over a fence onto a downward slope, where she fell and broke her leg.

Safety consultant John Muse testified that the condition of this parking lot and callous disregard for patrons’ safety was the worst he had seen in the thousands of cases he has investigated… Denise Minatoya, operations manager for the Nederlander-operated city facility, admitted she had never been to the Jungle at night in the eight years that she has managed the Greek.

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Lunch: Glenn Close Talks Fatal Attraction

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— DIANE CLEHANE

I love when the stars align just right on a Wednesday at Michael’s, and I get to chat with a star I’ve always admired. I hit the jackpot today when I spotted Glenn Close in the dining room. Just last week, I’d seen Glenn on Oprah Winfrey‘s Oscar special where she and Michael Douglas did their first joint television interview about Fatal Attraction. “It was great fun,” Glenn, who looked positively radiant, told me. “We’d never done that before and it brought it all back for us.”

I don’t think anyone who saw the iconic thriller (nominated for six Academy Awards, including a best actress nod for Glenn) could ever forget her portrayal of book editor Alex Forrest. While audiences pegged Glenn’s character as a home wrecker and bunny boiler, the actress, after doing tons of research for the part, saw her much differently. “I never thought of her as a villain,” she says. Instead, she viewed the character as an unstable woman driven to madness over an affair gone wrong. Audiences made it the second highest grossing film of 1987, and it became a cautionary tale for men everywhere who thought twice, at least for five minutes, about having that one night stand. “We had no idea we were going to be part of a social phenomenon,” says Glenn, who happened to be lunching with Stanley Jaffe, the film’s producer. “But it was right at the time when there was a lot of feminist anger, and we touched something that was right below the surface.” I’ll say.

I was joined today by Myrna Blyth, who after spending two decades as editor-in-chief of Ladies Home Journal and later launched MORE, is now at the helm of BettyConfidential.com. (Full disclosure: I write a parenting blog for the site). Since launching two years ago, the site, which was co-founded by Deborah Perry Piscione and Shaun Marsh, now ranks seventh in comScore’s top ten in the Beauty/Fashion/Style category and was recently nominated by MIN for editorial excellence for their Best of the Web Awards — competing with Conde Nast and The Daily Beast. “What’s great about being online is that you can talk to women about what they want to talk about when they want to talk about it,” says Myrna. While so many in print are bemoaning the decline of magazines, Myrna doesn’t have time for all the whining: “The web is great. You can’t go backwards and you can’t fight it, so you’ve got to get with it.”

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Today show co-hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb with Sunny Luciani. The gals ducked out early for their weekly Broadway outing.

2. Michael Fuchs and a blonde mystery gal

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and Paula Zahn

4. Jonathan Wald and The Financial TimesChrystia Freeland. I told Jonathan that his Facebook posts on Sunday had reassured me that Cablevision and WABC-TV would, in fact, come to their senses and restore service so that their 3.1 million viewers could watch the Oscars. “It will be settled in time,” he predicted when things didn’t look good later that afternoon, and lo and behold, the show appeared 13 minutes into the telecast. Whew!

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Legend Lines Up For TV Guide Bash

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Okay, so it’s not the Oscars but Emmy night is still one of Tinseltown’s biggest post-awards party nights. And the race is on to see who will get the prize for best bash on Sept. 16.

TV Guide is tossing its hat into the ring with a Les Deux-set soiree that will feature a “special private performance” by John Legend, the mag announced this week. In addition to the Grammy winner, the small-screen publication has again recruited the “Band From TV” to hit the stage for a second year in a row.

In case you don’t know, that group consists of TV regulars-turned-rockers Hugh Laurie, James Denton, Greg Grunberg and Bob Guiney with lead vocals by Bonnie Sommerville, star of the upcoming Cashmere Mafia on ABC. Oh, and if that’s not enough music for one night, celeb DJ Samantha Ronson will be in the house as well.

- CHRIS GARDNER

LAT in 90 Seconds

mamet.jpgDavid Mamet Likes Hollywood: Never mind that Speed the Plow — his play that opens tonight at the Geffen — and his book Bambi vs. Godzilla are not exactly love letters to Tinsel Town (his book includes a passage about execs who keep films “in development,” saying, “This is the fig leaf of propriety covering, if I may, not the genitals of artistic potential but the empty space where they once lay.”), never mind all that. Mamet tells the LAT: “I love the movie business. I’m crazy about it! It’s the most fun in the world.”

how_i_wrote_that_song.jpgAd Space: It’s not anything close to a slow news day, but we were struck nonetheless by an ad on this morning’s site: LAT and BMI on Saturday are co-sponsoring a panel discussion with the likes of Cee-Lo and John Legend called “How I Wrote That Song.” We’d like a second panel discussion with the folks in marketing called, “How I Came Up With This Odd Idea.”

lostpic.jpgLost Is Back Tonight: It’s Back! It’s Back! It’s Going To Be On TV Tonight!