‘West Side Story,’ An American Classic

Leo Adam Biga's My Inside Stories

I have been fortunate enough to interview several film legends and with this story I landed a biggie in the person of the late Robert Wise, the Oscar-winning producer-director who made two of the greatest screen musicals in West Side Story and The Sound of Music, though as my piece points out he was a versatile enough filmmaker that he made memorable movies of all different genres, including horror, crime, Western, and science fiction.  My story appeared on the eve of a revival screening of West Side Story at the restored Orpheum Theater in Omaha some eight or nine years ago.  The event was organized by local impresario Bruce Crawford.  For the story I interviewed Wise, co-star Russ Tamblyn, who came to the showing, and Crawford.  Though Wise was not a great filmmaker or auteur he was certainly one of the most commercially successful prodcuer-directors of his era…

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About G. D. Grace of California

After the release of his fifth self-published novel, “Ripped & Ready (season 3)” GD ramped up for a new endeavor in radio, and on September 2, 2010 his first #BlogTalkRadio show premiered. His first two guest were two literary colleagues from two different sides of the tracks — one a former prison inmate-hustler, single father, turned author — the other, an accredited teacher and single father first time author. The intense on-air climate of cultural differences on the show, at one point, became thick enough to slice with a butter knife, however, it was a very successful event. Despite the clash over marketing approaches both authors remained professional and the outcome was a highly entertaining and interesting show. The seasons that followed incorporated talent from all walks of creativity, so in addition to the authors, GD’s guest lineup included poets and recovering addicts, motivational speakers and entrepreneurs, filmmakers and professionals in sports training and health, and also established artists from highly successful television shows, as well as, NAACP & Grammy Winners. Many shows gave us an inside glimpse inside the lives of legends from Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Smokey Robinson, Ray Goodman & Brown, Bruce A. Hawes (extraordinary writer for the Sounds of Philadelphia), Gerald Alston of The Manhattans, The Delphonics, Howard Hewett, and Chris Jasper of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognized Isley Brothers. Legends of literary Stanley Bennett Clay and James Earl Hardy also brought their distinct creative prowess to the show, as did professionals from the Broadway stage. GD’s show eventually caught the attention of World Media and through this friendship many of the legends mentioned above were tapped to be guests on the show. His friend, and often times, mentor, Wayne Barros became an influential part of the legacy that he was creating one show at time. His friendship, love, and direction helped enforce an inner-confidence in GD which allowed him to stretch his producing skills so the show would have an entertaining variety for the live listener and archive listeners. Between the two audience variations the show has been listened to by over 40,000 people. It has been successful beyond GD’s wildest dreams, and as Season 6 approaches, the adrenalin within him increases. He begins assembling the guest list next month in April 2015, and…
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