Actor J.B. Smoove grew up funny. He’s the first to tell you that his whole family — particularly mom Elizabeth Whitehead — is “hilarious.” So he had a head start on the road to a career as a comedian.
But it took more than luck to hit a peak in his career at age 42, when the Mount Vernon, New York, -raised Smoove was tapped to play Leon, the permanent houseguest, on Larry David’s cringeworthy HBO comedy series “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
He talks about his relentless climb up the ladder and reveals the key to his success in my conversation with him for The Journal News/lohud.com in advance of his appearance at the Paramount Hudson Valley Theater in Peekskill, New York, this Friday evening, April 6.
His standup act it unpredictable and changes on a dime to suit his mood and the vibe of the evening’s audiences.
“I would say this: If you love Leon, you’re gonna love J.B. Smoove,” he says.
Read the interview and get all the details for seeing him live in Peekskill on lohud.com by GOING HERE.
Posted in Comedy, Concerts, Interview, lohud.com, News, tv
Tagged curb your enthusiasm, j.b. smoove, jerry brooks, leon, lohud.com, mount vernon, Paramount, Peekskill, standup
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If you think animated movies are just for kids, think again and be sure to check out “The Little Prince,” a beautifully animated retelling of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s beloved illustrated novella, brought to the silver screen by “Kung Fu Panda” director Mark Osborne.
Osborne, who lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, may have made his mark in Hollywood with the Jack Black-voiced panda in 2008, but he’s deeply devoted to his latest project, which hits theaters March 18 after a special preview event at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, New York, on Sunday, March 6.
He tells me that he’s eager to make sure adults see the film, which took him 5 1/2 years to make, because it’s for them as well as their children and grandchildren.
“I think people will be surprised at how much this movie is like the book,” he tells me. “It’s designed to be for the child that we all once were — or currently are … No matter how grown-up you are, you were a child once. And you can’t erase that, no matter how much you want to get away from that.”
Osborne spend some time talking to me about the project — a family affair that involved at one time or another his wife, Kim, and their children, Maddie and Riley — the other day.
Go here to read the interview on lohud.com, or pick up a copy of The Journal News on Wednesday.
It’s been 40 years since Bruce Springsteen unleashed “Born to Run” on the world. Robert Brum of The Journal News/louhd.com talks to some of the people involved in the iconic recording’s creation at 914 Sound Studios in Blauvelt, a place, as Brum puts it, “away from the time and financial constraints of the New York City studios.”
Read Brum’s wonderful piece by tapping or clicking here. There’s also a photo gallery here and a video here and a sidebar about 914 Sound Studios here.
Ron Fierstein’s new book takes is about Edwin Land, one of the founders of Polaroid Corp. Land and Polaroid launched an epic battle against eventual rival Kodak. “It’s a fantastic story almost of operatic dimension,” Fierstein says. “They went from being mentor-protégé to arch-enemies over 60 years.” (Photo: Carucha L. Meuse/The Journal News)
I knew Ron Fierstein’s name from his successful career managing singer-songwriters such as Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, and Mary Chapin Carpenter. And it occurred to me that he might be related to a Broadway macher.
What I didn’t know was that Fierstein, who moved to Chappaqua from Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood two decades ago, had a successful career as a patent lawyer before he helped Vega navigate to her early success.
He’s quit the music business and spent the last several years writing a book about the historic case he worked on while an associate at Fish & Neave in New York City: Polaroid vs. Kodak.
Fierstein took some time the other day to meet me in his Bedfore Hills office and talk about his life, his multiple careers, and the new book: “A Triumph of Genius: Edwin Land, Polaroid, and the Kodak Patent War.”
The book is a remarkably detailed account of a Land, a fascinating and brilliant man, and the souring of the relationship between his company, Polariod, and Eastman Kodak, its longtime “mentor” and friendly competitor.
Tap or click here now to read the full interview at lohud.com.
Posted in Books, Country, Folk, Interview, Music
Tagged Bedford Hills, Chappaqua, Edwin Land, Harvey Fierstein, Kodak, law, lohud.com, Mary Chapin Carpenter, patent, Polaroid, Ron Fierstein, Shawn Colvin, Suzanne Vega, The Journal News
The husband-wife duo Over the Rhine, whose songs deal thoughtfully with life’s “big questions,” hit the Irvington Town Hall Theater on Saturday night, after stops Thursday at the Towne Crier and Friday at Club Helsinki Hudson.
I got the chance to speak with Linford Detweiler about his thoughts on the band’s 25-years together and what’s ahead, including a barn raising to create a venue and studio at the home he and Karin Bergquist share in southern Ohio.
Special ticket prices are now available for the show. Orchestra seats are available for only $20, balcony seats for $15, and a few select seats as low as $10. Type in the discount code OTRIRV at checkout when you buy online here.
Tap or click here to read the full interview on lohud.com or pick up a copy of Friday’s edition of The Journal News.
Porter Carroll Jr. (Photo by Michael Nelson For The Journal News)
Drummer Porter Carroll Jr. and some classmates from Woodlands High School in Westchester County, New York, made a big mark in the music business with the band they started in 1970, before they graduated — an act that evolved into the R&B group Atlantic Starr.
After a decade and a half with the band behind hits like “Circles” and “Touch a Four-Leaf Clover,” Carroll struck out on his own as a solo artist, but quickly turned to songwriting. Eventually, tastes changed and that work dried up, leading Carroll to give up the music business – forever, or so he thought.
He went to work hawking haberdashery at Bloomingdale’s and then moved to a long-running gig in advertising.
Like all good things, that came to an end — in a layoff that put Carroll on the unemployment line for quite awhile, until he got a completely unexpected Facebook message that landed him a gig with Hall & Oates, turning him into a rock ‘n’ roller at age 52.
Read my interview with Porter Carroll Jr. and learn the rest of his remarkable story by tapping or clicking here to visit lohud.com, or pick up a copy of Tuesday’s edition of The Journal News at your local newsstand in Westchester, Rockland, or Putnam county.
Posted in Interview, Music, Pop and Rock
Tagged Atlantic Starr, Bloomingdale's, drummer, facebook, Greenburgh, Hall& Oates, Hartsdale, lohud.com, percussionist, Porter Carroll Jr., R&B, The Journal News, Westchester County, Woodlands High School
John Cohen (Photo: Carucha L. Meuse/The Journal News)
I got the chance recently to spend an hour or so talking to John Cohen, one of the legendary figures of the musical and artistic scene of Greenwich Village in the 1960s, for The Journal News/lohud.com.
Cohen, the founder of the New Lost City Ramblers is still making music — now with a trio of much younger musical traditionalists in the Down Hill Strugglers — promoting his documentary films, working creating a cultural center in his hometown of Putnam Valley, New York, and preparing to start painting again.
The 82-year-old says he has explored so many ways of expressing his creativity over the years that “I’m drowning in my past.”
Check out the full interview online at lohud.com by tapping or clicking here. Or pick up a copy of the Tuesday, March 10, edition of The Journal News.
Posted in Art, Books, Folk, Interview, Movies, Music, World Music
Tagged Bob Dylan, Greenwich Village, John Cohen, lohud.com, music scene, New Lost City Ramblers, The Journal News