Before Williamsburg brought back leg warmers, before the L Word brought back Jennifer Beals, long before Showgirls, The Company, Black Swan and all the rest, there was Flashdance, a 1983 hit film about a girl and her dream. Specifically, her dream to get out the coal mines and bikini bars of her every day and make it as a proper dancer on her own terms. The story was originally envisioned by its creators as a stage play but Hollywood intervened and the rest is cinematic history. Now that story comes full circle with Flashdance the Musical, which is currently on tour in the U.S. with an anticipated Broadway premiere coming in 2014.
In this edition of the Pontani Pages, hostess Angie speaks with Jillian Mueller, who is currently playing Alex, the dancer in the dark at the center of this tale. Jillian is a fellow native New Jerseyan, and still at a tender age, she’s already a veteran of numerous Broadway and off-Broadway productions. Listen in on the conversation and feel the feelin’!
In this special edition of the Pontani Pages, our charming hostess becomes a bachelorette-no-more. Listen in as Angie and her beloved—trumpet player and bandleader Brian Newman—tie the not, Brooklyn style.
And by the way, dear listeners, the Pontani Pages is now available through Stitcher Radio. Listen anywhere on the go! Download the free stitcher app from iTunes or the Stitcher website and search for “Pontani Pages.” Don’t forget to let ‘em know we sent ya!
In honor of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, and just because it’s summer time, the Pontani Pages is going to Coney Island to meet up with our dear friend Lola Star. You may know Lola as the designer of your favorite tee shirt that your cousin bought you on the boardwalk one year, but there is so much more to this budding businesswoman than just trendsetting graphics. Take a listen to our conversation and then get yourself on a D, F, N or Q train to the end of the line. There may be only one Coney Island in the universe but there are now two Lola Stars and they’re here to stay.
Music in this edition:
“Bugler’s Dream” (Olympic Anthem) by Leo Arnaud
“I_I_I” by Discount Fireworks
“Real Summer” by Future Bible Heroes
Play the podcast above or click HERE to download.
For our tenth edition, the Pontani Pages podcast is thrilled to bring you a true tale of lust, tragic beauty, scandal, and madness. Hostess Angie Pontani speaks with the director of Bettie Page Reveals All! — a new documentary about, and narrated by, the late, great, pin-up sensation. Oscar-nominated filmmaker Mark Mori first met Bettie Page in 1996, after being introduced by their mutual entertainment lawyer. Bettie had vanished from the spotlight in the late ’50s, at the height of her success as a model, muse and scapegoat for all of society’s ills. But when a resurgence of appreciation sprang up in the ’90s and a spate of presumptive biographers flubbed her story, the brunette bombshell with the black bangs decided it was time to set the record straight. Although she doesn’t appear in the film –wishing her fans remember her for the iconic images that still smoulder after all these years– Bettie’s aged Southern twang recounts a complicated life, both within and behind the gloss.
Check out Angie’s exclusive interview with Mark Mori as he talks about what it was like to lunch with Bettie and just how far her influence has spread in the decades since she was dubbed, “the dark angel.”
Play the podcast above or click HERE to download.
It’s a Lower East Side standoff when a crochet art-star and the crafty burlesquer come together. Check out this special video edition of the Pontani Pages wherein Angie visits Olek upon completion of the artist’s latest spectacle, “Synthetic Nature.” Or, click above for the full interview in audio format.
Olek, the Polish-born Queen of Crochet, uses her needles to stitch entirely different dimensions and flip our every day reality on its ear. Olek made a name for herself “knit bombing” the New York City landscape, employing a camoflage pattern of bright pinks, purples, yellows and reds, sometimes with sly text worked into the mix. From someone’s locked up bike in the East Village to the Wall Street Bull and the giant Alamo cube at Astor Place, Olek’s work took multi-media installation out of the art gallery and dropped it with a prankster’s spirit into the public space. Her work continues to surprise and she’s received commissions from all over the world to cover other cities with her crochet creations. Most recently Olek’s been fascinated with the medium of long balloons, both inflated and otherwise, and her triple stitchin’ skills were on full display when Angie caught up with the artist on a recent afternoon at the Krause Gallery.
Actress and former fashion model Hogan Gorman became an expert on the fractured health care system the hard way: she got hit by a car while without health insurance. She also learned more than she ever meant to about food stamps, legal aid and spinal injuries. She learned so much, in fact, that she wrote and starred in an award-winning one-woman show called “Hot Cripple” that has now been expanded into a fantastic book of the same name. The funny and charming Ms. Gorman visited the Pontani Pages last week where she and Angie talked about such hot topics as health care reform, sexy physical therapy and fashion tips for the destitute.
How about a little bubbly? Not that fancy, frenchy kind that gives you a headache. Good old New York style seltzer (or club soda, if you prefer). Back in the day, folks round here used to have the stuff delivered to their house right behind the milk man. But where people have forsaken fresh milk for the store bought stuff, they’ve also left behind the sensation of seltzer like it oughtta be: so effervescent the bubbles burn your throat. Now that’s seltzer!
A lucky few, including our own effervescent hostess, Angie Pontani, still get their seltzer delivered fresh in the antique glass bottles that can only contain such carbonated density. Find out what gives in the world of fizz when legendary seltzer deliveryman (one of the very last of his kind) Eli Miller drops by the Pontani Pages to spill the goods.
Anne Marsen found instant notoriety this past year as the star of “Girl Walk // All Day,” a 71-minute music video for Girl Talk‘s “All Day” album. The film/video features Anne as a frustrated dancer who leaves behind the prim and proper world of pirouettes for a day spent spinning, hopping, skipping and tapping all over New York City. Most of the incredible dancing in the film was improvised by Anne, her very talented co-stars, and many accidental pedestrians turned performers in this paean to New York, music and the spirit of movement. In this edition of the Pontani Pages podcast, hostess and fellow hybrid-style dancer (ahem) Angie Pontani talks shop, and talks Walk, with Anne.
The Pontani Pages podcast is particularly pleased to present to you people a conversation between Angie and our deal pal, Don Spiro. Don is a first rate photographer, specializing in burlesque, portraiture and film stills. He also puts together a very special club night in New York called Wit’s End, celebrating the jazz age on the last Saturday of every month.
Don talks with Angie about all this, and about his late beloved, Diane Naegel. Diane was one-of-a-kind, and when she passed away in October 2011 after battling breast cancer, she left behind a much loved community that she herself had helped foster. Part of that community is celebrated in the bi-annual magazine she founded and which Don has continued to publish in her honor. Zelda magazine celebrates what Diane called, “the Vintage Nouveau,” and its pages are rife with stories from early Hollywood, interior decorating advice and music reviews of bands continuing the hot jazz tradition. As Don says, “I always thought I knew quite a bit about things from the past but I would talk about something from back in the day and she would know more about it than I did. She really knew her stuff.”
Angie scores the interview of the century: Mr. Showbiz himself, Murray Hill. While it’s true they’re actually dear friends, the coup was not getting to speak to Murray but getting him out of bed and into the studio before 2pm.
Bucket of fish.