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German Actress Marina Welsch

Marina Welsch Photo OneA.R. Gurney’s play Love Letters was presented in Solingen, Germany during the spring of 2016 and it starred German actors Marina Welsch and Michael Lesch, with Lesch also directing the play. The play originally was staged Off Broadway in New York City and starred Kathleen Turner and John Rubinstein in 1989 and Love Letters was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The story is told through letters that were written by the characters, Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and Melissa Gardner to each other throughout their lives. The response for tickets was so great that an additional performance was added at Theater Kammerspielchen and Welsch and Lesch also have plans to present Love Letters in several other German cities during the autumn of 2016.  

Just prior to the opening of the play in Solingen, the warm and thoughtful Marina Welsch took a few minutes to sit down with Riveting Riffs Magazine to discuss the play, the art gallery that she owns and her life and career.

As for staging Love Letters in Germany, Welsch explains, “It was my idea. Christina, Michael’s wife, was my former acting agent years ago and at the time he was still very busy doing TV serials. He is quite well-known in Germany. When I changed my agency and I lost track of Christina, but when I opened my gallery in September (2015), she went there and meanwhile Michael had returned to Solingen, which was his family’s home years ago. Christina and I talked about what Michael was doing and what I was doing. I always  Read More

Dina Morrone - The Italian In Me

Dina Morrone Front Page AActress Dina Morrone has appeared in feature films both on screen and off as a voice artist and she has also appeared in a whole host of commercials.  The Canadian / Italian actress who has called Los Angeles home for many years now is likely the voice that you heard at numerous high profile awards shows, as she introduced the celebrities walking out on stage.

With all those options exercised in Canada, Italy and America, Dina Morrone says, “My love and my passion would be for me to only write plays and to be a solo performer, whether it be through the acting of my work or the reading of my pieces on stage.”

Despite the fact that there was a period in Morrone’s life when she was in denial of being the daughter of an Italian immigrant family, it was her embracing of her Italian heritage, in addition to the coaxing of a few friends and acquaintances that resulted in one of her most successful theatrical achievements, her self-produced play The Italian In Me.

Her one woman play prompted renowned Canadian film director Norman Jewison to say, “Not since Moonstruck have I seen such Italian wit, humor and charm.”

American actor and producer Maray Ayres describes Dina Morrone’s performance in The Italian In Me this way, “"Every now and then talent and beauty walk hand in hand.”   Read More

Sally Stevens Interview

Sally Stevens Front Page PhotoWe would be here all day if we attempted to list every one of the musical accomplishments during Sally Stevens' career, but throughout the course of our recent conversation with Sally and in the account of that interview which you will read here, we will attempt to give the reader a glimpse into the career of one of America’s and the music industry’s most successful people, during this two-part interview.  

Sally Stevens has performed and recorded as a solo singer, a session singer, she has scored feature films and she has worked as a vocal contractor, auditioning and hiring the singers and choir members who appear on major films and her film work as relates to music now encompasses more than 600 films, including Academy Award winners and nominated movies. Here are just a few of the films that Sally Stevens has worked on, Tomorrowland, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Secret of NIMH, Dr. Zivahgo, The Sound of Music, Bridge of Spies and Jurassic World.

She toured and recorded with Burt Bacharach and she lent her voice to the records of, Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Country Joe and the Fish, Neil Diamond, Michael Bublé, Percy Faith and Sonny and Cher to name just a few of the iconic artists with whom she has worked.

Sally Stevens grew up in Los Angeles and in Tujunga located in the Greater Los Angeles Area.  Read More

Film Review - Super Speed Dates

Carolyn Bridget Kennedy Front Page PhotoCarolyn Bridget Kennedy’s short film Super Speed Dates which made its Toronto premiere September 8 th (2017) at the Toronto Independent Film Festival at the Carlton Cinemas presents speed dating in a quirky and fun fashion. Kennedy wrote the script for, produced and starred in this comedic expose that takes a look at dating or even finding a date in today’s hectic world when time is at a premium, work takes up the majority of our waking hours and many are faced with the simple challenge of where to find potential people to date?

Whether we are talking about speed dating or some form of online dating or similar there are always adventures, misadventures and in some cases love is found. As for Carolyn Bridget Kennedy’s cast of rather, hmm, shall we say rather interesting characters, film fans will have to be the judge as to whether or not this is art imitating life.

Kennedy says, “I started with the concept of whether superheroes, attending as their alter-egos, could be good dating material.  I then brought in the concept of speed dating as the format for the dates. I wrote the script so that the viewer is left to interpret whether the male characters are actually the alter egos of the superheroes or just men who are simply weird (Editor’s note: We are siding with the latter option!).  The comic book fans may latch onto the characterizations and Easter eggs and hopefully enjoy it from that perspective.  Others may be entertained by the quirky, Read More

Actress, Mary Jane Wells - Heroine

Mary Jane Wells Photo Front PageWhether she is talking to you on the phone or you are watching her act in a film or she is narrating a book the first thing you notice about Mary Jane Wells is the command that she garners with her voice. She possesses great vocal technique, Wells is articulate and the tonal quality of her voice is magical. Mary Jane Wells uses her voice in another way however, to draw attention to a very important issue sexual assault in the military. Her one woman play titled Heroine is a true story of a lesbian soldier named Danna Davis (a pseudonym that we will use throughout this interview) who served in the United States army.

Mary Jane Wells talks about first becoming aware of Danna Davis, “A friend of Danna Davis and who knew her when she was in basic training approached me while I was on the set for (the film) A Perfect Ending. She gave me a script that she had written with Danna Davis and then she told me that they had written a part for me. I read it and I was very flattered. I thought, this sounds like a true story and it has a ring of authenticity about it. It was thinly veiled in artistic license.  I spoke to her and that script really didn’t go anywhere or not yet anyway. I gradually got to know the person behind it, the survivor and whose story it really was. We became friends over the course of several years. I also said to her now that nothing has happened with it being a screenplay would you mind if I tried my hand at it as a stage play? Read More

Hallmark Movies - An Editorial

Hallmark front page photoNow that Christmas is over I thought I would take a few moments to talk about Hallmark Christmas movies and more generally the programming that exists on the Hallmark Channel and on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel.

Even though the Christmas movies follow a certain pattern, you can predict what is going to happen and you know there is a happy ending, for a lot of people that is important. Not everybody has a nice neat Christmas or someone to share it with and we live in a world where too often both in love and other matters there are not happy endings. While we realize that Hallmark movies may not be everybody’s cup of tea, for some people they do offer hope, they bring comfort and they remind us that home is where our hearts are and love is with whom our hearts belong.

The themes of romance, family, reconciliation, finding or restoring the good in people and the absence of violence are consistent throughout Hallmark / Crown Media (the parent company) programming whether it is the series When Calls The Heart, now in its fifth season or the Good Witch another Hallmark production, Chesapeake Shores or movie sequels such as the Gourmet Detective or Murder She Baked. Yes some might also say that there is an underlying theme of Christian values in the programming, not overt, not pushy, but it is there, however this piece is not about religion today, it is about why the Hallmark brand continues to grow in market share. Read More

Jean Harlow - A Book Review

Jean Harlow front pageBombshell The Life and Death of Jean Harlow, a biography by David Stenn and published by Doubleday in 1993 is a must read for any true fan or history buff when it comes to the early days of the film industry. Stenn who is also the author of the book Clara Bow: Runnin’ Wild crafted a masterpiece that is well balanced, insightful and portrays Jean Harlow in a humane way.

David Stenn whose writing credits include Hill Street Blues, 21 Jump Street and Beverly Hills, 90210, conducted interviews with many of the people who knew Jean Harlow personally, including one of her closest friends Barbara Brown, a member of what Jean Harlow referred to as “my gang.” Others included Irene Mayer Selznick, the wife of film producer David O Selznick (Gone With The Wind) and daughter of Louis B. Mayer the MGM movie mogul, countless interviews were conducted with the children and other family members of those close to Jean Harlow, including the family of her ex-husband Paul Bern whose death remains a mystery. The author also spent a copious amount of time exploring legal and medical documents to which he was given unrestricted access.

The prologue sets the scene at Jean Harlow’s deathbed and immediately raises a number of serious questions about how a beautiful 26 year old woman, adored by fans and viewed as sex siren and goddess and loved by friends and co-workers  Read More

Jim Cliffe and Donovan's Echo

Passengers Photo Front PagePassengers has pretty well everything you could hope for in a movie, drama, suspense, humor and romance. The storyline at times can be a little predictable, but the ending not necessarily so. Aurora Lane (played by Jennifer Lawrence) and Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) are two of 5,000 passengers on a ship. The hitch is they are all on a spaceship, the voyage takes 120 years from earth to a distant planet or moon where they will establish a colony called Homestead II and all of the passengers and crew are in stasis or hibernating. That makes sense or they would all die before they reach the colony. Things do not go as planned however and without giving away too much of the storyline Jim’s pod decides he should wake up thirty years into the trip. He is the only one that is awake. What to do? He still has 90 more years before he reaches Homestead II and unless he discovers that someone has stashed onboard the fountain of youth, he is not going to be around to see Homestead II.

As Jim explores the ship, Avalon, he takes dance lessons from holographic images, dines in fancy restaurants served by robots and he plays basketball in simulated games with holographic crowds. He discovers Arthur the android bartender and they become buddies, well sort of. When Jim tries to talk to Arthur about his loneliness and the dilemma he faces about whether or not to wake up a beautiful woman he accidentally discovered in another pod, Arthur simply does not have the ability to understand, after all he  Read More

Interview with Michael Maron

Michael Maron Photo front pageMichael Maron’s has enjoyed an illustrious career as a makeup artist, critically acclaimed photographer and beauty consultant. He has authored books such as Child Inside Me and Makeover Magic, which took a look at corrective cosmetics and cosmetic surgery and his book Michael Maron’s Instant Makeover Magic was a New York Times best seller. Maron has been sought out by some of the beauty industry’s top models, as well as some of the entertainment world’s biggest stars and yet he also delights in being of service to clients whose names are only known to their families and neighbors. Michael Maron has been a radio and television personality and worked on the production side of television as well. He was thrust firmly into the spotlight when an entire hour of Oprah’s television show was dedicated to Maron doing a makeover of Oprah in front of the cameras. His work with charities and with burn victims has earned him a special place in the hearts of those who have worked with him, in the hearts of his friends and with those who have been the recipients of his generosity. Riveting Riffs Magazine was honored when Michael Maron accepted our invitation to be interviewed by this publication.

Michael Maron was born in New York City and as a child moved with his family of four to Los Angeles. 

“(One of) my mother’s many sisters lived in  Read More