Thursday, September 16, 2004

Stefanie Powers Available for Interview

Stefanie Powers (Hart to Hart) available for interview in London from 21st to 30th of September to talk about the launch of her new book POWERS PILATES (Publishing January 2005)

* Submitter: Hamlyn [View Response Source PR Company Listings]
* Release Date: 16-09-2004
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Become fit & healthy with Stefanie Powers’ personal Pilates programme

Learn classical Pilates exercises to improve flexibility, posture and alignment. This step-by-step guide from inspirational expert celebrity Stefanie Powers offers a perfect well-being and fitness solution that is easy to learn and fit into your every day life.

Designed to work the body as a whole, this gentle programme creates leaner, stronger and more efficient muscles without stressing the joints or adding bulk to the body.
It is great for athletes as well as those recovering from injuries.

Powers Pilates offers the perfect fitness system for those who are young at heart and want to stay young in body and mind.

About the Author: Stefanie Powers is celebrated for her starring role as Jennifer Hart in the TV classic ‘Hart to Hart’, plus many other hits of the stage and screen. Throughout her busy professional life she has devoted time and energy to promoting fitness and natural well-being through the Pilates exercise system.

Kathy Corey has been a student and teacher of the Pilates method since 1979. Director of the West Coast Certification program and a master teacher, she is widely recognised for her national teacher-training programmes.

Published 15th January 2005, priced £14.99

To arrange an interview, request advance publicity materials, order a review copy, extract or reader offer and giveaway, please contact Stella Dwyer on 0207 531 8464 or email

Cheetah lover spots a need for fund-raiser

Woman fell in love with the big cats when she visited South Africa

April Davis of Westlake Village had never attended a fund-raiser, but that didn't undermine her determination to sponsor an event to raise consciousness and funds for her passionate cause: cheetahs.

"I didn't know what I was getting myself into, but I just had to do something," Davis, 26, said of how she got immersed in putting together the benefit Cheetah Outreach 2004 Race for Survival.

On Sept. 19, from 7 to 10:30 p.m., the Race for Survival will unfold in the Southland, at Le Meridien Hotel at Beverly Hills.

The event will honor Annie Beckhelling, founder of Cheetah Outreach, and actress Stefanie Powers, whose efforts to support wildlife preservation are known worldwide. Their awards will be presented by actor Dan Haggerty, who portrayed "Grizzly Adams" and is Davis' uncle.

The energetic Davis said it was her visit to South Africa last year that triggered such a love affair with the cheetah, and it prompted her to suspend plans to become a veterinarian.

Instead, she now plans to use her training as an occupational therapist to provide money and time to call attention to what she calls a "very endangered" species.

The "Survival" benefit will include a fashion show, auction with five-star safari and Zulu dancers, but the real celebrities, she says, will be Kamau and Kgosi, cheetahs from Northern California's Leopards Etc.

Davis didn't intend to become so smitten with the spotted cats, the fastest land animal. She was on a wine tour in Cape Town and heading to Botswana for a safari. That's when she learned about Cheetah Outreach, located on the wine estate. Already primed with a "huge love for animals," she learned Cheetah Outreach accepted international volunteers. She was accepted for November 2003 to February 2004.

She worked with the cats, "handling them when tourists paid a small fee, $5, to pet the cats and have photos taken while we explained about the cheetah and its plight," she said.

She was in charge of two cubs. Cheetah Outreach, she said, takes captive-born cheetahs, hand-raises them and escorts them to schools, malls, hotels and various venues to "teach people about these cats and instill a conservation ethic."

She calls Cheetah Outreach "the very best when it comes to animal husbandry and nutrition." One photo from Cheetah Outreach shows honorary co-chair Patrick Swayze with cat Joseph.

Davis, the daughter of Bob and Laura Davis of Westlake Village, has a bachelor's degree in occupational therapy from Boston University and a bachelor's in biology from Pepperdine University. She was poised to attend the University of Sydney, Australia, when the cheetahs appeared in her life.

Cheetah Outreach information says that, at the turn of the 20th century, an estimated 100,000 cheetahs lived in 44 countries in Africa and Asia. Today, that number has dwindled to an estimated 10,000 worldwide.
"At the present rate of decline, this species will be extinct in less than 10 years," Davis said.

A donor, who wants to remain anonymous, has agreed to underwrite the Cheetah Outreach 2004 Race for Survival and thus provide more money for Cheetah Outreach education and fellowship programs, resource building, research and upgrading of the facility.

The Le Meridien at Beverly Hills is at 465 S. La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles. For tickets, for donations or to volunteer, call Davis at 1-805-358-4222.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Temecula festival keeps reeling in fans

TEMECULA: With bigtime talent in the audience, the 10th annual film event wrapped on Sunday.

Temecula's 10th annual film and music festival came to a star-studded ending Sunday, wrapping up with a gala dinner and awards show that included several big-name actors, directors and musicians.

Among the celebrities in attendance were Academy Award-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr., three-time Grammy winner Lou Rawls, television star Stefanie Powers and directors Renny Harlin ("The Fast and the Furious") and Jonathan Lynn ("My Cousin Vinny"). Various stars also were presenters at the ceremony, including soul legend Isaac Hayes and actress Natasha Henstridge ("The Whole Ten Yards").

Organizers and city officials said the number and quality of the entertainment elite on hand indicates that, as it moves into its second decade, the Temecula Valley International Film and Music Festival has achieved notable recognition among industry movers and shakers.

Festival organizers said they received about 200 requests for media credentials, up from roughly 40 last year. The requests came from as far away as Australia, they said, and included trade publications such as Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.

On Sunday evening, Mayor Mike Naggar told the audience of 600 at the black-tie awards banquet that the festival is "hitting its stride."

City Councilman Chuck Washington said of the appearance of Rawls, Gossett and the other celebrities: "We've got legends in the Temecula Valley."

"They're larger than life to me," Washington added.

Festival program director Steve Montal said the event will continue luring and landing bigger and bigger talent.

"We've reached critical mass," Montal said. "Our accomplishments have given us recognition. The more high-profile people we bring in, the more we will attract. We'll keep growing."

Rawls and Gossett, who, along with Lynn, received lifetime achievement awards, said they were delighted at Temecula's red-carpet rollout.

"This place is booming - and it's beautiful," said Rawls, whose career includes more than 60 albums. "I was here five or six years ago, and there was nothing here. I'm totally blown away."

Rawls said the Temecula festival marks the first time he has been given a lifetime achievement award. He said the Temecula film and music festival is known by many entertainers.

Gossett, who won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for the 1982 film "An Officer and a Gentleman," said Sunday's visit was his first to Temecula. But he has soaked in Murrieta Hot Springs in the past.

"There's no such thing as a little festival, especially when you're getting a lifetime achievement award," Gossett said. "This place is just gorgeous."

Sunday's gala also included the audience awards for best films during the five-day event, which included more than 200 submissions. Winners included "Birthday Boy," Best Student Film; "Husband School," Best Short Film; "Between Two Worlds," Best Documentary; "Past Whispers," Best Animation; and "Sons of Provo," Best Feature Film.

Aaron Weisblatt, producer/director and writer of "Between Two Worlds," said he was overwhelmed at landing the audience award.

Weisblatt said his movie, whichtells the story of a World War II pilot's efforts to memorialize the sacrifices of his fellow aviators, will make appearances at festivals in Ojai and Livermore.

"It gives my film credibility throughout the film festival circuit," Weisblatt said. "And it makes me feel darn good."

Friday, September 10, 2004

Dramatic turn of events on area stages

Delaware County, PA, always the home of fine community troupes, is witnessing a coming-of-age of its professional theaters. Those who say "live theater is dead," or think Broadway's the only venue for quality shows, will think again when they check out the local playbills.

Local stages will come alive with classics like "Cabaret" and "Camelot," contemporary hits like "The Full Monty" and "The Graduate" (with Morgan Fairchild, no less) and some world premieres.

In the case of Hedgerow Theatre, the term "coming of age" may sound odd. The stately stone theater on Rose Valley Road dates back decades and is part of the history of regional theater. Hedgerow, however, went through a transition period in which it moved from a cutting-edge theater of the middle 20th century to the best known of community houses.

In the last decade, another shift began. Under the artistic direction of Penelope Reed, Hedgerow moved toward the professionalism for which it was once known nationally. Each season brings more polish to its shows.

Hedgerow now has to be considered a peer with any of the regional theaters in the Delaware Valley.

Media Theater is on a different journey. It began life as a house for warhorses, or classic musicals. Every now and then in that early history, it showed signs of ambition, but it never established consistency.

When the borough of Media bought the theater two years ago, the same artistic crew, with Jesse Cline at the helm, flexed its creative muscle. As if freed from constraints, Cline took more chances and showed more depth. His production of Andrew Lippa's "The Wild Party" in March stands as one of the highlights of the 2003-04 theater season.

While the titles Cline has chosen for 2004-05 are familiar, the expectation is they will have a higher gloss compared to shows from the past era. Like the Hedgerow, the Media is on a growth track, and it will be exciting to watch where Cline leads it.

In neighboring Chester County, People's Light & Theatre Co. is marking its 30th anniversary with an exciting season, including a new play.

* Hedgerow Theater: For 2004-05, Hedgerow, like several Delaware Valley theaters, is mixing the known with the new. It just ended a world premiere run of "Bosie," a play that showed the old Lord Alfred Douglas confronting his younger self, the boy, nicknamed Bosie, often accused of being the downfall of pantheon playwright Oscar Wilde. John Wolfson's play needs honing, but it is an example of the kind of theater Reed wants to create.

The blend of known and new starts early. Fall at Hedgerow usually means a mystery or thriller. This year, the first three plays combine for suspense and chills. Next Friday, the theater opens the 1971 Tony-winning "Sleuth" by Anthony Shaffer.

Ripe for revival, this is an intellectual thriller with lots of tricks, some of them on the audience.

After "Sleuth's" Sept. 17 to Oct. 17 run, Hedgerow goes into repertory with Patrick Hamilton's classic look at a husband trying to drive his wife mad in "Gaslight" (Oct. 26 to Nov. 13) and a new play by Jared Reed, "The Hanging," the publicity line for which is: "Prepare to be scared." As predictable as a mystery in September is Hedgerow's annual rendition of "A Christmas Carol," as adapted by Nagle Jackson, for the holiday season.

In early winter, Hedgerow takes an unusual break, coming back in March with two world premieres in repertory. One is by Nagle Jackson, a consummate theater professional with whom Penelope Reed has worked. When Jackson left Princeton, he said he wanted to write more, and he has been doing just that. From March 11 to April 17, his latest work, "This Day and Age," plays in repertory with "According to Plan," which begins performances on March 30.

For the spring, Hedgerow presents a classic, Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," before going to a new play, journalist-turned-playwright Donald Drake's "Thank You For the Flowers," in June.

* Media Theatre: The Media Theater focuses on the popular this year, but the hits it has chosen are wonderful shows from several eras in music theater history - from "Cabaret" to "Camelot." They all combine for a good solid season that has some variety within it.

Media opens with "Cabaret," the 1966 musical that found new life in a recent Broadway revival. Among the things that revival proved was there is more than one way to present this Kander and Ebb piece.

For the holidays, the Media has chosen "The Wizard of Oz," followed later in January by Jones and Schmidt's musical take on a long marriage, "I Do! I Do!"

The Who's famous rock opera, "Tommy," gets a full staging at the Media in March. After a month's pause, Lerner and Loewe's "Camelot" takes the stage from May 4 to 29.

In addition to its mainstage season and children's series, the Media has, in recent years, attracted some interesting people to appear in concert. This fall is no exception. On Nov. 6, the Media presents Judy Kaye, who strikes instant affection in the hearts of theatergoers. Kaye made her first splash as Betty Rizzo in the first tour of "Grease," made her reputation for stepping into "On the Twentieth Century" when Madeline Kahn left the show, and cemented her bond with Broadway audiences in her Tony-winning role as the first American Carlotta in "The Phantom of the Opera."

Appearing with Kaye is a Media favorite, Jennie Eisenhower.

* People's Light & Theatre Co.: I remember trekking out to Westtown to see People's Light's first show. Now the company is age 30, another sign of local theater's maturity, and has an eclectic season planned starting with Moliere's wonderful piece about unrealized stinginess, "The Miser," through Oct. 24. A large production, "Around the World in 80 Days," directed by Ken Marini, takes the stage Oct. 15-Nov. 21 while a new piece, "A Higher Place in Heaven" appears Jan. 19-Feb. 27.

A new play about sisters, probably cast with People's Light stalwarts like Marcia Saunders and Alda Cortese, "The O'Conner Sisters," plays June 15-July 24. People's Light's children's shows are "Sleeping Beauty," done in the form of an English holiday panto, from Nov. 24-Jan. 2, and "Jungalbook," (yes spelled right,) in April.

Professional theater is only the beginning of what Delaware County offers. Three community theaters, the Players Club of Swarthmore, the Barnstormers in Ridley Park, and the Colonial Theatre in Aldan, have been entertaining locally for decades. A fourth theater, the Celebration Theater, is establishing itself in Lansdowne.

And don't forget that Wilmington, Del., is a short ride away, offering topnotch attractions at the DuPont Theatre, Delaware Theatre Company, City Theatre, and the Grand Opera House.

* DuPont Theatre: The DuPont, once the Playhouse, has been the keeper of Broadway-style theater for some time. Road shows are not as plentiful as they once were.

No matter. The season booked for 2004-05 is one that should get mouths watering.

It opens on Oct. 22 with a production of "On Golden Pond," starring Diahann Carroll, who it's difficult to imagine as an old woman. In Washington, where "On Golden Pond" is originating, Carroll's co-star is James Earl Jones, but so far, he has not committed to tour, so the male lead will be different at the DuPont where "Pond" runs through Oct. 31. Next up, from Dec. 3-12, is "The Full Monty," one of the cleverest musicals of the last five years.

One of this season's mysteries was who was going to play Mrs. Robinson when "The Graduate" arrived at the DuPont from Feb. 4 to 13. The suspense is over. Morgan Fairchild, of "Dynasty" fame, will be the one who contrives to bring a young and confused college graduate of age, even as he is attracted to her daughter.

"Big River," as performed simultaneously by a deaf and hearing cast, sails into the DuPont from Feb. 18-27, after which Rodgers and Hammerstein dominate the day, with "The King and I" starring Stefanie Powers in March and "Oklahoma" in May.

* Players Club of Swarthmore: One of the top community theaters in the entire region, the Players Club of Swarthmore begins 2004-05 on Sept. 23 with "The Wizard of Oz." The rest of the season spans a wide variety of shows from "Proof" to "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Camelot."

Players Club also offers a chamber series, staging "Three Viewings" in November, "Stop Kiss" in April and a reader's theater, which presents "An Evening with the Algonquin Round Table" on Oct. 10-11 and Bruce Graham's "Coyote on a Fence," March 19-20.

* Barnstormer's: Ridley Park's Barnstormers opens with David Ives's "All in the Timing" from Thursday to Sept. 19; "Jesus Christ Superstar" from Oct. 8 to 23; "Dear Santa," in December, of course; "Theatre Stew II" in January; followed by "The Importance of Being Earnest" and "Crimes of the Heart."

* The Colonial Playhouse starts next Friday with "Mixed Emotions," a romantic comedy that launches the Colonial's 65th anniversary season.

* Lansdowne's Celebration Theater is the new kid on the block, and it has a three-production season planned: "Songbook at Sunset: Broadway Goes Batty" is a Halloween offering on Oct. 31. Other shows are "It's a Wonderful Life" on Dec. 4 and "Route 66" on March 20.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Paramount and John Wayne's Batjac Productions Sign Worldwide Distribution Agreement

- Rare Wayne Classics to Make Way to DVD and TV Beginning May 2005 -

Paramount Home Entertainment and Paramount's television distribution entities have entered into an agreement with Batjac Productions, the production company founded by John Wayne, for worldwide DVD and television distribution. The agreement was announced today by Thomas Lesinski, President, Paramount Pictures, Worldwide Home Entertainment, Joel Berman, President, Paramount Worldwide Television Distribution and Gretchen Wayne, president of Batjac and wife of the actor's late son, Michael, who owned the company for over 30 years.

Beginning in Spring 2005, Paramount will distribute a number of beloved but rarely seen John Wayne vehicles from the 1950s and 1960s, including a newly restored "The High and the Mighty" (1954) and "Island in the Sky" (1953), neither of which has previously been released on VHS or DVD. The restoration of "The High and the Mighty," by Gretchen Wayne, will see the film returned to its glorious original 35mm film and presented in Stereo 5.1. Other Wayne classics making their DVD debut under the distribution pact include "Hondo" (1953) and "McLintock!" (1962), neither of which have been released on DVD domestically or home video internationally by Batjac. These classic films will include bonus features from Batjac's extensive library of never-before-seen film memorabilia once they debut on DVD, including commentaries with the filmmakers and cast and featurettes on the making of the films, their subjects and their eras, incorporating new interviews and archival materials.

Paramount will also release five films for basic cable, international markets and DVD that were produced by Batjac in which John Wayne did not appear: "Man in the Vault" (1956), "Plunder of the Sun" (1953), "Ring of Fear" (1954), "Seven Men from Now" (1956) and "Track of the Cat" (1954).

The deal consolidates much of the home entertainment distribution of John Wayne films under one roof. Paramount's now owns 63 Wayne titles, such as "True Grit," "El Dorado," "Big Jake," "The Shootist," "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," "Donovan's Reef," "Hatari!" and "The Sons of Katie Elder," among others. Broad integrated marketing initiatives are planned across both home entertainment and television divisions in support of the Batjac titles throughout 2005 and 2006.

"Paramount has enjoyed a wonderful relationship with John Wayne and his family for more than half a century," said Lesinski. "With the addition of these timeless treasures to our existing John Wayne library, Paramount has truly become the home of John Wayne's films."

Gretchen Wayne added: "In recent years there has been growing demand by fans of my late father-in-law to see these films released on DVD and on television. We are excited to have found the perfect partner to accomplish this in Paramount."

"We are delighted to welcome these John Wayne classics into our television library," said Joel Berman, President, Paramount Worldwide Television Distribution. "As an American icon with a timeless appeal, John Wayne speaks to a whole new generation of movie lovers."

Among the films to be released under the agreement are:

"The High and the Mighty" (1954) -- Wayne stars as a washed-up pilot who must guide a damaged airliner to safety in this forerunner to modern disaster movies. Co-starring Claire Trevor and Robert Stack, it was nominated for six Oscars® including Best Director (William A. Wellman).

"Island in the Sky" (1953) -- Wayne is the pilot of a transport plane that crashes in the remote reaches of sub-Arctic Canada. As he struggles to keep his stranded crew alive in the deadly conditions, a rescue team desperately searches for them in the vast snow-covered wilderness.

"Hondo" (1953) -- Geraldine Page (nominated for an Oscar for her role) and Ward Bond join Wayne in this adaptation of a Louis L'Amour story about a half-breed Cavalry dispatch rider who protects a woman and her son living amidst warning Apaches.

"'McLintock!'" (1963) -- Wayne stars as cattle rancher George Washington McLintock who spars with his wife (Maureen O'Hara), their daughter (Stefanie Powers) and greedy land-grabbers in this hilarious western comedy.

"Man in the Vault" (1956) -- In this taut thriller, William Campbell stars as a locksmith forced to crack a bank safe deposit box in order to save his girlfriend (Karen Sharpe) from a ruthless mobster played by Berry Kroeger. Anita Ekberg also stars.

"Plunder of the Sun" (1953) -- Glenn Ford is an American claims adjuster caught up in a deadly hunt for Zapotecan treasure in this mystery set in Mexico.

"Ring of Fear" (1954) -- Circus impresario and famed animal trainer Clyde Beatty plays himself in this whodunit about a series of suspicious accidents under the Big Top. Detective novelist Mickey Spillane, also as himself, arrives on the scene to solve the crime.

"Seven Men from Now" (1956) -- Randolph Scott is a former sheriff who tracks seven men through the desert in an effort to avenge his wife's murder.

"Track of the Cat" (1954). -- Tough guy Robert Mitchum stalks a panther that killed his younger brother (William Hopper) while his snowbound family begins to disintegrate. Directed by four-time Oscar nominee William A. Wellman (The Ox-Bow Incident, The High and The Mighty).

Visit to learn more about Paramount Home Entertainment's new releases, as well as other classic Hollywood films, television programs, animated titles and family and special interest programming. Paramount Home Entertainment is part of the operations of Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc.

SEASON TICKET: Keep an eye out for 'Camelot,' 'The King and I'


If you like homegrown productions of new plays, this is the year for you. If you prefer your theater and your theater artists more seasoned, we have good news there, too: Robert Goulet in "Camelot" (ending today at the Fisher), Richard Chamberlain in "Scrooge," Stefanie Powers in "The King and I."