I first met world renowned photographer Peter Langoné when I was a young reporter in my early 20s. I was working for City Link magazine for Michael Farver, Jake Cline and Dan Sweeney. W. Kelley Lucas was the art director of our publication and he brought me along on several photo shoots for the magazine to Peter’s house on Las Olas Boulevard to dress the models and help style the shoots. It was something I always looked forward to. I enjoyed the energy of watching Peter and Lucas together. And I was in awe of Peter from the first time I met him. He had the coolest living space filled with books, Buddhas and thousands of photographs he had taken over the years. Everyone from Matt Damon, Paul Sorvino, Donald Trump and Jane Lynch to Derek Jeter, Venus Williams and Beau Bridges had gone before his lens for portraits. Peter was a legend on both the local and international art scene. His photos truly revealed the souls of his subjects. He was able to capture a raw, beauty and grace through his work that set him apart from others in his field.
I never met another photographer like Peter and I doubt I ever will. I loved to watch him work. He did everything with purpose yet he always maintained an ease about himself through it all.
I received the ultimate honor in 2014 when I was fortunate enough to have Peter photograph me in his new home photography studio. He had launched a new company with Lucas called Pretty Pretty Photography Studio. Their concept was about giving every woman a chance to have a true modeling experience and receive access to a professional makeup artist, hair styling session, wardrobe and art direction. Peter was behind the camera to capture it all.
This is the cherished image he captured of me that day.
This was taken a few months after giving birth to my son and I will never forget how special Peter and his team made me feel. #RIP dear Peter and know that you will never be forgotten. Thank you for all the beautiful contributions you left behind. You will be eternally missed.
Ali MacGraw, Ryan O’Neal
Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw first demonstrated their onscreen chemistry in the iconic ’70’s film, Love Story. The pair has reunited now for a national stage tour of A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters. The captivating production involves O’Neal, who plays the studious and sensible Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and MacGraw, who shines as poor little rich girl, Melissa Gardner. The duo’s turbulent relationship unfolds over the course of 50 years beginning as children and then carrying them toward the much later days of their lives.
The play is ultimately an homage to two lost art forms that once dominated our society—listening and the art of letter writing. As Andrew and Melissa look back into the crevices of their hearts and memories, it’s painfully depressing to realize that love stories today can be deleted in an instant and exist only on invisible, intangible clouds.
As a writer, the play made me yearn for the comforting feel of quality cardstock and the graceful, indelible strokes of a fine fountain pen. Love Letters is a must-see show for fans of Love Story but especially the 20 and 30-something generation that has traded love letters for texting and is more likely to snap selfies than listen.
Love Letters runs through July 26 at Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Avenue, Ft Lauderdale, FL, 33312.
Tickets start at $41.30.
To read interviews with O’Neal and MacGraw, don’t miss these fabulous pieces written by my friends Rod Hagwood
and Linda Marx
There are some days I want to rip my hair out working as a journalist. Jan. 30 was not one of them. Jim Parsons provides the voice for the lovable alien “Oh” in the new Dreamworks Film, Home. I screened the film Jan. 29 and I was so pleased to see a children’s film where the heroine is not only a girl, but a multicultural girl as well. The film, which hits theaters March 27, centers on The Boov, an alien race who invades planets running from their enemy, which is another alien race. Rihanna provides the voice for the film’s star Gratuity Tucci [I just love saying that name]. And like Rihanna in real life, Tucci is from Barbados. J. Lo provides the voice for her mother and the hilarious Steve Martin shines as the voice propelling Captain Smek, the inept leader of the Boov race.
There are so many wonderful metaphors in this film regarding cultural acceptance and the importance of not judging people purely on what you see or assume on the outside.
The scene at The Mandarin Oriental in Miami Jan. 30 was buzzing with a variety of Latin market journalists and the usual entertainment writing suspects. I was thrilled to have enough time to grab a pretzel and a seat on the balcony to collect my thoughts in the media suite before heading to the interview in the next room.
[This was the epic view from the media suite].
When I had mentioned to my family earlier in the week I would be interviewing Jim Parsons, their faces lit up with wonderment. “I love him! You’re meeting Sheldon?” they all gushed. “Oh, you’re so lucky!”
After participating in a roundtable interview him, I did indeed feel very lucky. He’s a delightful human being with a true star presence and an intelligent, quirky and quick personality. He was kind enough to pose for photos with all the journalists there. My interview with Parsons will publish next month for South Florida Parenting magazine and I cannot wait to share his thoughts on this film that is going to have an impact on audiences of all ages.
Supermodel and Sports Illustrated swimsuit legend Petra Nemcova made miraculous headlines in 2004 after surviving the horrific Thailand tsunami that tragically took more than 230,000 lives. A year later, Nemcova launched her Happy Hearts Fund to rebuild schools and restore the lives of children after natural disasters. Her travels around the world for photo shoots and philanthropy have now inspired a line of candles she has cleverly called “Be The Light New York” that’s available on Bloomingdales.com and at Bloomingdale’s in Aventura. The luxury candle line retails for $98 a candle and includes six scents modeled after six different countries and the hidden treasures they offer.
“Be The Light is all about bringing light, love and laughter,” Nemcova said at the May 3 launch of her line at Bloomingdale’s in Aventura.
Christian Hosford, co-founder of the Be The Light New York collection was also on hand to explain the passion behind the brand and what the duo hopes to achieve with this line. “Every candle in the line is special and has its own signature scent,” Hosford said. “The American Bluebell Bliss candle was inspired by the Bluebell fields in America and represents gratitude. The candle has a wonderful cedarwood, eucalyptus and jasmine scent.”
Other candles in the line include: Indonesian Patchouli Peace, which represents peacefulness; Czech Holiday cookies which represents family togetherness and is a nod to Nemcova’s childhood holidays in the Czech Republic; Spanish Saffron Heat, which represents passion; Mexico Cacao Mystique, which symbolizes a celebration of life and Haitian Hibiscus Breeze, which evokes beauty and strength. Each candle offers three wicks, more than 60 hours of burn time and comes with a box of matches.
“This line is very special too because of the hand-drawn maps on each candle representing the country it’s paying tribute to,” Hosford said. “When you line the candles up side by side, the map connects.”
Although Nemcova enjoys all the scents in her line, she does have two favorites. “I really love the American Bluebell Bliss because I’m all about gratitude and the Czech Holiday Cookie candle because it reminds of being with my family.”
For more information on the line, visit Bethelightny.com.
(originally published in East Side Living; Forum Publishing Group).