Film and Theatre

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Front Page         Review and Interview Archive

Alexandra Dean - Film Director

Alexandra Dean Front Page PhotoWhile in conversation with film director / producer and co-founder of Reframed Pictures Alexandra Dean it becomes immediately apparent that you are talking to one of the industry’s top documentary filmmakers. Partnering with producer Adam Haggiag and Academy Award winning actor and producer Susan Sarandon, Dean explains their self-made mandate, “Reframed Pictures is called Reframed Pictures, because we wanted to reframe the conversation around various topics. For me first and foremost it was the questions of gender and what does it mean to be a woman in America today? For my brother Adam Haggiag who is a producer it was about the environment, the most pressing issue of our time. I agree with him and we have to find new ways to tell the story of the environment in a way that is entertaining, brings in the crowds, but also delivers the message. We want to talk about human rights in general. All three of those needed to be reframed we felt and brought back into the conversation in a way that feels fresh and exciting to people. Also it needs to make people go to the ballot box and vote differently.”

It is therefore an easy step to understand what attracted Reframed Pictures and in particular Emmy Award winner Alexandra Dean to make the film Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, a film about an iconic actress and an astounding inventor.

“There were two reasons (I was drawn to Hedy), I was interested in inventors. I was doing the series with Bloomberg and I was looking at all the inventors who created and shaped our world today and seeing the obstacles that they faced. I found out that those Read More

Magda Salinas - Actress - Interview

Magda Salinas Front Page PhotoMagda Salinas was just about to conclude her five week run in the play Y gritamos sorpresa! (So We Shout Surprise!), directed and written by Sara Palomo and presented in Madrid, Spain, when she took time from her busy schedule to talk to Riveting Riffs Magazine. She also had a recurring role as Doncella during the third and fourth seasons of the very popular Spanish television series Gran Hotel. In addition she has appeared in other Spanish television shows and the web series Entre amigos. At the time of our conversation Magda Salinas was also writing a one-woman play.

Just like in North America where some of the most iconic actors, actresses and music legends began their lives far from the centers for the film, television and music worlds, in Spain it is not uncommon to find that actresses such as Magda Salinas grew up far from what now is considered the hub for film and television production in Spain, the city of Madrid.  

Let’s take a journey to Almeria, a city more than one thousand years old located in the southeast of Spain in the region known as Andalusia and where life began for Magda Salinas.

She talks about life in Almeria, a city with a population approaching 200,000, one she describes as being sunny and with a large coastline. Almeria has beaches, the desert, mountains, so we have everything. Read More

Hope Juber Interview

Hope Juber Photo Front PageShe we cannot say much about this yet, but even though Hope Juber is an actress, a very successful playwright and screenwriter, singer, songwriter and oh let’s not forget that she also produces music, as well as films, She may just have another really good movie on the way. Sorry that is all we can tell you for now…except…

“I have had readings of my movie that I wrote with my partner Ellen Guylas (Full House, Newhart, Three’s Company, Who’s The Boss?) I am very passionate about this particular project, because it is totally mine,” says Hope Juber.

For those not familiar with her work, among other things she has acted in, worked on and produced the television series for, movies of and musicals based on Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch, both of which were created by her father Sherwood Schwartz.

“I had the idea for this movie a few years ago and I brought it to my partner Ellen Guylas and we started talking about it. It was the only project I ever took to my dad. I told him all the different ideas I had and what I was working on. When I took him this one he said you keep going with this one, because this is your commercial hit movie. He said I want you to keep going. Will you promise me you will? I said yes.

I have been working on it for a long time and I am hopeful, because this is a movie that has to be made. It is a very  Read More

Actress Barbara Niven

Barbara Niven Photo for Front PageBarbara Niven is a lot of things, but if you were to ask her, she would probably tell you that what she is most proud of is being a mother and a grandmother. She waves that flag proudly and so she should. Barbara Niven, the actress has appeared in more than one hundred feature films and made for television movies. Her roles have been as diverse as currently starring as Megan O’Brien on the Hallmark Channel’s wildly popular Chesapeake Shores, where she is the prodigal mother who returns home to her five adult children and her ex Mick O’Brien or in her role as Delores Swensen, mother to amateur sleuth Hannah Swensen played by Alison Sweeney in the Murder, She Baked mystery movies, also Hallmark productions and the middle-aged Rebecca Westridge in Nicole Conn’s A Perfect Ending with the late John Heard and Jessica Clark,  a story in which her character is trapped in a loveless marriage and she falls in love with another woman.

While there is a part of every actor invested in every role that they play or at least there should be if that role is to be performed well, not every moviegoer or fan who sits in front of their television sets on a Saturday or Sunday night gets an opportunity to discover who the real person is behind the character. We invite you to spend a few minutes with us as we chat with an incredible woman, who seems to find the perfect balance between strength and kindness, while not being afraid to lend her voice to causes she truly is passionate about such as, animal rights, anti-bullying, human rights and helping others to realize their dreams. As Barbara Niven so often likes  Read More

45 Revoluciones Television Espanol

45 rpm front page photoRiveting Riffs Magazine does not write a lot of reviews these days, although those were our roots as an entertainment, fashion and visual arts publication. We now focus on interviews. Having said all of that when 45 revoluciones, which first was broadcast on Antena 3 (television) in Spain in the spring of 2019 appeared on Netflix recently, what began as a curiosity turned into a love affair between this writer and yet another fabulous production from Spain.

45 revoluciones is set in the early 1960s in Madrid, Spain at a time when Rock and Roll music gave a voice to young people in many countries in the world, but also at a time in Spain when it was ruled by a brutal and repressive dictator General Francisco Franco. Franco would not die until 1975 and during his dictatorship people of a gay sexual orientation were arrested, beaten and persecuted if caught, literature was heavily censored and often rewritten, radio and television stations broadcast what they were told to broadcast and music was censored.

Now that you understand the setting of 45 revoluciones let us talk about the outstanding thirteen episode series that we hope will be renewed for another season and if you watched the series in its entirety, yes the writers and producers did leave a window open for that to occur with the way the story was written. If it is not renewed by Antena 3 then perhaps Netflix will pick up the rights. It has done well with other Spanish productions such as Alta Mar (High Seas) and Las Chicas Del Cable (Cable Girls). Read More

Actress Charlene Tilton

Charlene Tilton Front Page PhotoI had a lot of days with really dark times and that were really challenging. There were times when I didn’t want to get out of bed. Things had happened, but I have also had some really blessed days and some really good days. Even on the darkest and most challenging days the one thing that I will say is life is exciting no matter what it brings,” says film, television and stage actress and playwright Charlene Tilton.

Charlene Tilton did not have time to be bored in (2017), even if that was in her nature, as she co-starred with Lauren Aliana in the movie Road Less Traveled, as an eccentric wine making aunt, had another major role in Second Chance Christmas, as the meddling mother of Katrina Begin’s character Caroline who is dealing with amnesia and she appears in the drama Vengeance: A Love Story with Nicholas Cage and Anna Hutchinson, as the mother of two meth addicts and a drug dealers. In the latter role she says some of her own friends did not recognize her when they saw the film. She appeared on the revived Battle of the Network Stars and she wrote the script for a one woman play Tammy Faye Tweets. At the beginning of 2017 Charlene Tilton starred in the stage production of Driving Miss Daisy. Along the way there was a stop in October of 2017 to speak at Voices for the Voiceless: Stars for Foster Kids, hosted by Seth Rudetsky in New York City, just one of several charitable causes that Ms. Tilton is involved with.

Charlene Tilton talks about  Read More

Charleene Closshey  Interview

Charleene Closshey Photo Front PageCharleene Closshey has been on a red hot creative streak since the spring of 2018. The cinematic release of the film she produced and starred in,  No Postage Necessary during the summer of 2018  was followed by the release of the soundtrack for the album in October of 2018. Her new orchestral arrangement for the song “I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day,” peaked at # 24 on the AC charts and the Holiday charts in America. The Christmas song is a precursor for the full length Christmas album, which will be released in time for the 2019 Christmas season and it is produced by six time Grammy Award winning producer / sound engineer Brent Mayer. If your head is not spinning by now Closshey is also releasing her album Only Love Remains and as we write this we are getting close to the date for the release of the first single from the album. Charleene Closshey’s short film Perception did well on the festival tour and she received numerous awards for the music she composed for Perception.

We are out of breath after that whirlwind tour of the past year of Charleene Closshey’s career and you probably are as well, so let’s turn out attention to our recent conversation with this multi-talented and creatively brilliant native Floridian.

Even though No Postage Necessary was in theaters during the summer of 2018, it can still be viewed through a variety of means, iTunes, Amazon and through the new media platform Vevue.

Closshey says, “I produced the film with my business and life partner Jeremy Culver. He was the writer and director on this particular script. We opted to produce as well, because we  Read More

Rebecca Staab - Film & TV Actress

Rebecca Staab Photo for Front PageFilm and television actress Rebecca Staab recently talked to Riveting Riffs Magazine from her home in California. The former supermodel who was born in Kansas and who grew up in Grand Island and Omaha, Nebraska discussed a wide range of topics from one of her passions, rescuing dogs, to her partner in life William, to touching upon her love for home renovations, which she warned this writer would easily comprise an entirely different interview, to talking about how she enjoyed an illustrious modeling career and currently is one of the film and television industry’s most respected actresses, careers that this former straight A high school student never had her heart set on. In this the first part of a two-part interview with Rebecca Staab she talks about her childhood and later her modeling career. It is our hope that our readers will get a sense for this funny, determined, down to earth, brilliant and engaging woman who recently starred in the ABC television miniseries Somewhere Between, as Colleen DeKizer, was Elizabeth Barrington in the television show Port Charles, is currently shooting the pilot for the television series Manopause, appears as Camille Richfield in the 2017 film Coming Home for Christmas and who has appeared in a plethora of films and television shows, some of which are still in various stages of production. 

“I was born in Kansas, but we moved to Omaha when I was seven. I just have an older sister and a younger brother. My sister is one and one-half years older than me, but my brother is nine and one-half years younger. There were two childhoods in a way. There were a few years when there was just my sister and then my brother was born when I was in the fourth grade and that was like the second half  Read More

Kerry Knuppe - Interview

Kerry Knuppe Photo Front Pagefeature film Solver will be in theaters early in 2018, which means once again one of Riveting Riffs Magazine’s favorite actresses Kerry Knuppe will also be on the big screen. Knuppe is one of the most versatile and gifted actresses in film today with other film credits including a major role in Like A Country Song and Nicole Conn’s A Perfect Ending, where she played the daughter of Barbara Niven’s and the late John Heard’s characters.

Solver was a really fun project that we did and we filmed it in upstate New York.  It is a mystery adventure and it has Antonio Jaramillo who was in Shades of Blue and me. He played the bad guy and he was really fun to work with. The people that we worked with were so wonderful. It was so fun to be in a small town where they were appreciative of us being there. It was a different feeling.

It is a fun story and a “what’s going” on mystery kind of a thing. It was a really fun project,” says Knuppe.  

Solver directed by Xandy Smith and also starring John Ruby and Jesiree Dizon, also had some interesting moments before filming began.

Kerry Knuppe shares one of those moments, while laughing, “When I was cast they said you have a week to prepare and I said I would like to come out a couple of days before we start shooting and shadow a mechanic (her character is a mechanic), so they  Read More