‘Maiden’ is a must-see voyage

“Maiden” – Some people reach for the stars.  Tracy Edwards reached for the ocean. Growing up in a loving household, Tracy’s sunny trajectory in the UK took a sharp and painful detour, and before one could say “troublemaker”, high school administrators suspended her 26 times.  This frustrated teenager left home, and her unlikely, winding path led her to, of all things, sailing.  In approximately eight years – and fueled by a motivated, adventurous spirit – Tracy hired a crew and captained a yacht in the 1989 Whitbread Round the World…

Hospital Ward ‘5B’ is a heartbreaking and inspirational destination

“5B” – “I was ready, but I was scared.” – Alison Moed Paolercio, Ward 5B nurse manager In 1981, the AIDS crisis frightened the nation.  San Francisco and other U.S. metropolitan centers became ground zero, and this mysterious disease – born from unknown causes – was horribly labeled Gay Cancer. Out of nowhere, young gay men developed ghastly skin lesions, as the disease pulverized their immune system into dust.  Soon after – sometimes within a month – their bodies followed suit. How is AIDS contracted?  How is it spread?  Soon,…

‘Maria by Callas’ bursts with celebration and heartbreak

“Maria by Callas” – “There are two people in me.  I would like to be Maria, but there is the Callas that I have to live up to.” – Maria Callas, 1970 Before Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Madonna, there was Maria Callas.  Callas, who passed away in 1977, is considered one of the best, if not the premier, opera singers of the 20th century, and with her larger than life persona and massive talent, she was also known as La Divina. Director Tom Volf’s directorial debut is nothing short of…

‘Love, Gilda’ offers plenty of reasons to remember and love Gilda

“Love, Gilda” – “Because I’m not a perfect example of my gender, I decided to be funny about what I didn’t have instead of worrying about it.” – Gilda Radner Gilda Radner, the very first cast member selected for “NBC’s Saturday Night”, did not always have it all, but she certainly garnered the adoration of millions and shot up to superstardom as one of three female Not Ready for Prime Time Players in 1975, along with Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman.  Martin Short affectionately remarks that Radner always lit up…

Stern searches for order in ‘American Chaos’

“American Chaos” – “They hate her, and they hate Obama too.” – James D. Stern The aforementioned quote about Hillary Clinton and President Obama is one of the conclusions that director James D. Stern inevitably acknowledges in his documentary “American Chaos” about a nearly two-year-old event, the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.  Stern – a lifelong Democrat who declares that Bobby Kennedy is one of his heroes – probably already knew that particular fact before making his movie.  He confirms it, however, during his own personal ground game. For six months…