tanna frederick today

January 24, 2012

She’s doing WHAT?!

Tanna Frederick – photo courtesy of Irene Rubaum-Keller

Okay.  So our friend Tanna has done the following things:

– Acted in movies:

Hollywood Dreams, Irene In Time, Queen of the Lot, Just 45 Minutes From Broadway (to be released this summer) and The “M” Word (in post-production)

– Acted in plays:

A Safe Place, Always…But Not Forever, Just 45 Minutes From Broadway, Sylvia (this doesn’t include the long list of plays she did before moving to LA.

– She’s won a bunch of awards for her acting.

– She started Project Save Our Surf to help save the oceans and marine life, mobilized tons of celebs and regular folks to help out – and they’ve raised tons of money to support various worthy conservation and educational charities like Inside the Outdoors, Waves for Water, Santa Monica Baykeeper and Tumelo Homes.

– She runs marathons to raise funds for charity.

– She does Tae Kwon Do and surfs and runs. She’s in incredible shape.

I’m sure there are other things I don’t know about, but this is the short list to which she’s now adding… drumroll please…


Yep, Tanna Frederick can add directing to her credits. She’s taken on a play called Why We Have A Body, which was written by Claire Chaffee. The play is about a lesbian private investigator named Lili who specializes in men  who cheat on their wives, Lili’s sister Mary who holds up 7-Elevens (played by Tanna Frederick – yes, she’s acting AND directing!), and their mother, an archaeologist – a specialist in the female brain.

This is gonna be VERY funny. It opens on Feb 17 at the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica.   I’ve got it on very good authority that Tanna is a great director.

More details here:



November 22, 2011

Movies, Movies and Movies – Oh, My!

So our friend Tanna has a bunch of movies coming out – three that I know of. First, will be the soon to be released (I hope) Just 45 Minutes From Broadway which is in post-production according to IMDB. This was originally a Henry Jaglom play, which ran in Los Angeles at the Edgemar Center For the Arts for almost a year. Jaglom, decided to make it into a movie, with mostly the same cast – Tanna Frederick, David Proval (The Sopranos), Diane Louise Salinger, Harriet Schock, Jack Heller, Julie Davis and Judd Nelson (replacing David Garver). I’m really looking forward to this. Just 45 Minutes From Broadway has moved into the top five of my all-time favorite plays. That list includes (big productions and small) The Sound of Music and Karen Black’s play Missouri Waltz.

Movie number two is The ‘M’ Word, also written by Jaglom. This film is all about menopause. I don’t know that a film has been made about that topic, but you never know. Jaglom is very fascinated women’s issues and this film promises to be interesting, especially if it’s in the same vein as Eating and Going Shopping. Tanna Frederick and her co-stars – Corey Feldman (Stand By Me), Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos), Gregory Harrison (Trapper John, Md) and Francis Fisher (Titanic) – pretty much guarantee that this will be a fun romp.

Michael Imperioli? OHMYGAWD!!! How exciting. It’ll be good to see him and, hopefully, not think of his character Christopher Moltisanti from The Sopranos. I did see him in episodes of Law And Order and he reminded me a little of Christopher. Maybe they’ll have him grow a moustache or do something different with his hair or wardrobe so that he looks different. I think Gregory Harrison is drop dead gorgeous and he was fabulous in Randal Kleisr’s true story It’s My Party.

The third movie is called Just Beautiful and I’ve read that it’ll be the first production of Project Cornlight, which is Tanna Frederick’s new endeavor. Project Cornlight was created to revitalize the film industry in Iowa in the wake of the scandal that prompted the demise of the Iowa Film Commission due to misappropriation of funds. Many Iowa filmmakers left the state as a result of not being able to get funding and support. Frederick and Kimberly Busbee (Wild Rose Film Festival) decided that something should be done to bring filmmaking back to Iowa, home of Field of Dreams, Twister, and The Bridges of Madison County. Just Beautiful will have an all-Iowa cast and crew. What a beautiful thing to do! Once again, Tanna Frederick sees a need and does something to fulfill it.

Thanks, Tanna! (And Kimberly)

October 4, 2011

Surf24 is coming! Get ready! Wax your boards!

Tanna Frederick rides the waves - photo by John Heller

Okay, I have to admit that I’m not a surfer and the only reason I know the term “wax your boards” is because I heard it in a song someone wrote about surfing.

Project Save Our Surf’s annual Surf24 surf-a-thon is coming up soon – October 15-16. I’m going this year! I think it’ll be fun to watch. I’ve read about all the activities from past years and seen press about the various beneficiaries of Project Save Our Surf’s efforts. They do some really cool things. My favorite is Inside the Outdoors (www.insidetheoutdoors.org). What a great group! They do stuff with kids – taking them on field trips, they have an Outdoor Science School, they immerse them in the environment in such a way that they learn how it works and they get the value of taking care of our planet. Awesome organization!

Another of Project Save Our Surf’s beneficiaries is the Save The Waves Coalition. They are “a global nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the coastal environment, with an emphasis on the surf zone, and educating the public about its value.” They’re the only environmental organization that focuses specifically on surfing areas.

Santa Monica Baykeeper – “This program tests levels of bacteria from runoff and city drains which flow into the LA coastline from Malibu to Marina Del Rey. When people in the community suspect pollution, they can call a hotline and a volunteer is sent out to sample the water. The sample is then brought back to a lab to be tested. Each test for bacteria alone costs $100. Currently it is unsafe to swim in Los Angeles County beaches at least two days after it rains, due to the high concentration of pollution running into the ocean. As many of you know and may have experienced, high levels of bacteria can make surfers and swimmers sick with sinus infections, staff infections, rashes and colds etc. Santa Monica Baykeeper is determined to make a change in local water and beach laws, by using the test results found with their DrainWatch program. To learn more about Santa Monica Baykeeper check out the website.” Amazing! http://www.smbaykeeper.org/drainwatch.html

Tumelo Homes – This one is far-reaching. “The Home is known for its enthusiasm, progressive ideas, and high integrity for quality physical and mental care. The children are not simply housed and fed, but are taught and encouraged to reach their maximum growth potential. As a result, eight of our children have moved on and are attending different special schools in Natalspruit, Ekurthuleni, Gauteng.
The ages of the children at the Home range from three to 33-years old. The staff’s areas of expertise include nursery care, pre-school education, and education for the intellectually disabled. The Home is a place filled with love and laughter. The children are provided with 24-hour monitoring and care.” Wow!

Waves For Water – “This young non-profit was started by pro surfer Jon Rose and local surfer Christian Troy. Their mission is simple, “get clean water to everyone that needs it.” They do this by sending easy-to-use water filters to areas without access to clean water. One $50 filter gives clean drinking water to a village of 100 people for more than an entire year. To learn more about Waves For Water check out their website at http://www.wavesforwater.org/ Incredible!

Did I mention that the celebrity surfing heat is on the 15th at 10:15am? I’m not the biggest celeb-watcher in the world but I’m getting up early, with camera in hand, to hopefully get shots of Jesse Spencer (House), Tate Donovan (Damages) and Gregory Harrison (Trapper John, MD – but I fell in love with him in It’s My Party).

Other celeb surfers include Sam Trammell (True Blood), John Slattery (Mad Men), Richard Burgi (Desperate Housewives), Chad Lowe (24), Gregory Harrison (One Tree Hill), Michael Munoz (Amazing Race), Zoe Bell (Death Proof), Pat Parnell (Fuel TV’s The Daily Habit), Chris Bruno (Dead Zone), Galen Gering (Days of our Lives), David O’Donnell (Air Force One), Peter Brinkerhoff (Daytime Emmy winning director), Preston Davis (Entourage), John Philbin (Point Break) and Kathy Zuckerman (Gidget).

Tanna Frederick and the whole Project Save Our Surf team are amazing. Four years ago, Project Save Our Surf was a tiny organization. It’s growing like a giant wave. Come out to Surf24. You have a whole 24 hours to drop in and out, check out the scene, groove to the music, watch the surfing (or surf yourself) and get educated about what’s going on. If you can, why not join a surf team and surf? This is an easy way to be a part of something important, something that will benefit us and future generations. Project Save Our Surf is a BIG DEAL. We need their help to conserve the oceans and marine life and they need ours. This is a great bandwagon to jump on. See you on October 15.

July 11, 2011

Surfing and Art-ing

Tanna Frederick rides the waves - photo by John Heller

Did you know that there’s an International Surfing Museum in Huntington Beach? I didn’t. There are a lot of “specialty” museums in LA – The Petersen Automotive Museum, the Gene Autry (the singing cowboy) National Center, the Museum of Tolerence, the Museum of Neon Art, etc. I’m not a surfer but I think a surfing museum might be very interesting to see. Is there such a thing as an antique surfboard?

On Wednesday, July 20, from 6-9, they’re having the Huntington Beach Art Walk. If it’s anything like the art walks in LA, it’ll be great. On this night, there will be an art show by John Culqui called “Summer’s Swell” which includes his “surf-inspired” art. I checked out his website, http://www.jsculquiart.com.

Here’s a line from his artist’s statement: “In my skate and surf art, I want the viewer to feel the motion of the water, the moving board, smell the water and concrete, and to feel the grit of the wheels touching the asphalt.” He definitely accomplishes this. Really cool, whimsical stuff that almost makes me want to pick up a surfboard or skateboard – almost. 🙂 AND, he’s donating 25% of the proceeds to the Surf Museum and 25% to Project Save Our Surf. How cool is that?

There’s also going to be a silent auction for Project Save Our Surf which will include a surfboard from Don Bigelow, gift baskets, signed books and other cool stuff. There will be music, Hawaiian food and beer and maybe some other surprises.

So check out the exhibit and other festivities:
International Surfing Museum
411 Olive Ave
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

And on another Project Save Our Surf note, I was “surfing” their website, http://www.projectsaveoursurf.org, and I looked at their Board of Directors. Great group! Guess who’s on it with Tanna Frederick? The fabulous Tate Donovan – also known as Tom Shayes on Damages, which has become my new favorite TV show. I think it’s the best thing since the Sopranos and that’s saying a lot. I can’t believe what happened to Tom in season three! I hope Tate Donovan comes to the big Project Save Our Surf event – Surf24 October 15-16 in Santa Monica. I’m definitely going to be there.

June 15, 2011

Have the Queen of the Lot Over for Dinner

Okay, I admit that that’s a tacky teaser to tell you that Queen of the Lot is now out on DVD! I can’t wait to get a copy. I heard Henry Jaglom and Tanna Frederick speak at Vidiot’s Video last year and they were articulate and engaging. Henry Jaglom could easily teach a course on film history and I’d be there hanging on every word. His anecdotes and stories were riveting. On the Queen of the Lot DVD, there’s commentary by Henry Jaglom, Tanna Frederick and Noah Wyle. Oh boy. That’s one of the coolest things about DVDs – the commentaries by directors and actors. I’m hooked on commentaries.

A few years ago, I watched It’s My Party which was written and directed by Randal Kleiser. It was his true-life story about his relationship with his lover who had AIDS. The story chronicles the time through the end of his lover’s life and the changes their relationship went through. Gregory Harrison played Randal and Eric Roberts played his lover. Both were brilliant. This was at the beginning of the AIDS crisis when nobody knew what was going on. What a courageous story. I watched the movie with a friend, then we watched it again, with Randal’s commentary turned on. Wow! To say that it was fascinating is an understatement. Then, having all the details from Kleiser, we watched the movie again! What a story. I’ve never watched the same movie three times in a row but after the commentary, the movie seemed new again and we understood it on a deeper level. That’s the beauty of commentary.

The Queen of the Lot DVD is on sale at these outlets:

Netflix.com (put it in your queue)
Barnes and Noble stores
Available in Canada in July
more to come…

If you can’t get it at one of those outlets, you need either a new car or a new computer.

June 1, 2011

Sylvia is a Hit!!!

Stephen Howard, Tanna Frederick and Cathy Arden - photo by John Heller

I’ve been checking the Sylvia website (www.sylviatheplay.com) and you should see the reviews! They’re incredible. My friend Edward took his whole family (his father, his wife, their two kids and two other friends) to see Sylvia this past weekend and they all loved it. He saw it at the Sierra Madre Playhouse and liked it even better this time, at the Edgemar. He, like everyone else I know who saw both productions (and loved both) say this one is much funnier. I guess a different director (in this case, Gary Imhoff) can really make a difference.

Tanna Frederick gets to go all out in her doggyness – and she does. I’d be exhausted after the first act if I ran around and did all the stuff she does. I know she’s in incredible physical condition. She runs marathons, surfs and does Tae Kwon Do, so all that physical activity probably doesn’t phase her.

There’s also the emotional range of her character. Sylvia is, like any dog, totally excited to see and greet enthusiastically. She goes into a rage when she sees a cat (one of the funniest scenes in the play). She’s in awe of Greg (played wonderfully by Stephen Howard) and at one point gushes, “I think you’re God.” When she sees that Bowser (the hot male dog in the dog park) is there, she gets all cute. When Greg gets her fixed, she’s really moody. She goes through all sorts of changes with Kate (Cathy Arden), running the gamut from trying to get Kate to like her to one-upping her, showing Kate that she’s the new Number One in Greg’s life. It’s amazing to watch.

Cathy Arden actually manages to get you to like and even admire Kate. She’s got a tough role to play and she really pulls it off. Under Gary Imhoff’s direction, her character is fuller, more real.

Tom Ayers is spectacular as two characters – the tough guy in the dog park (Bowser’s owner) and as Kate’s girlfriend from Vassar. He elicits some side-splitting laughter from the audience in both cases.

I’m not an actor or a director, and I don’t know how directors do what they do, but I think Gary Imhoff is a genius. He’s taken A. R. Guerney’s marvelous play, a frighteningly talented cast, a beautiful Joel Daavid set and created a masterpiece.

Check out the reviews – I haven’t seen a bad one yet!

May 24, 2011

Sylvia Sparkles at the Edgemar

Tanna Frederick - photo by John Heller

I knew Sylvia was going to be good because I’d seen it at the Sierra Madre Playhouse a few months ago. It was great back then. I loved it. What I didn’t know was that with a new director (Gary Imhoff), a beautiful new Joel Daavid set and the addition of Tom Ayers to the cast, that it would be ten times better than before.

Gary Imhoff is a master director. The characters are so much richer than before. And Tanna Frederick’s physical comedy gets a full workout.

As I’ve said in the past, Tanna Frederick has the doggy thing down. All the mannerisms and doggy behaviors (like enthusiastically greeting people as only a dog can) are there. And they’re extremely funny. In terms of over-the-top physical comedy, I’d like to see her in something with Jim Carrey and Steve Martin.

Cathy Arden and Stephen Howard reprise their roles as Greg and Kate. They too, have somehow more developed, richer characters this time. The addition of Tom Ayers to the cast is perfect. He plays two characters -Phyllis, Kate’s stuffy friend from Vassar, and the wacky, tough New Yorker in the dog park who gives sage advice to Greg in matters of love, dogs and books. Both characters are marvelous and extremely funny.

The Edgemar’s main stage is a wonderful place to see a play. Because the action is right there at front-row level, I got the experience of actually being IN the scenes. This is distinct from being in the front row and looking up at actors on a stage. It’s intimate. As we walked into the theatre, a woman in front of me looked at the set and said, “I could live here.” That seems to be a common experience when people see one of Daavid’s sets. It happened with the set Daavid designed for the Henry Jaglom play, Just 45 Minutes From Broadway. I wonder what Joel Daavid’s house looks like.

The first review of Sylvia is in, from Irene Rubaum-Keller at the Huffington Post. Read it here:

I just realized that I’ve used the words “extremely funny” more than once in this blog entry. Well. that’s what it is – extremely funny. So call the Edgemar, reserve your tickets and go see Sylvia. Here’s ticket info: http://www.edgemar.org/events/271″title=”EdgemarCenterfortheArts-Tickets

Thur. Fri. & Sat. at 7:30pm & Sun. at 5pm
Edgemar Center For The Arts
2437 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA

May 16, 2011

“Sylvia” is opening this weekend – May 20!

It’s been a long wait since Sylvia closed at the Sierra Madre Playhouse, and it’s finally opening this weekend at the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica – MUCH closer to home. Yeah! I can’t wait. I’m ready to laugh.

I briefly met Cathy Arden, who plays the character, Kate, and Stephen Howard, who plays Greg, at the Sierra Madre Playhouse. I can’t wait to see Tom Ayers, who plays three very distinct characters. I can’t imagine anyone playing a dog better than Tanna Frederick. She’s got it down.

I’m going this weekend. Who else is coming? The last time I saw Sylvia, I felt like my inner dog was really acknowledged – no, it’s not my inner child, it’s my inner dog. I’ve said it before, I know I was a dog in a past life.

When I saw Sylvia the first time, I felt like I was playing with a puppy – that’s how I experienced the play. The only thing that was missing was that new puppy smell (kind of like a new car smell, only better). All the other doggie-like warm fuzzies were there.

So, here we go. Make your reservations for this weekend. Don’t wait. It’ll be fun.

May 6, 2011

A Labradoodle and a Good Home

Yes, the play Sylvia is coming to the Edgemar Center for the Arts on May 20. I can’t wait to see it again.

There’s one change in the cast. Tom Ayers is playing three separate and distinct (and funny) characters. It’s interesting when one actor leaves a role and another step in. Two different people will play the same role very differently. Both can work. I saw it with the long running Henry Jaglom play, Just 45 Mnutes From Broadway. At one point David Proval was out of town for a couple of weeks and he was replaced by Greg (“Mary Jartman, Mary Hartman”) Mullavey. Very interesting how differently they played it.

Same thing with the role of Vivian in the same play. Diane Louise Salinger was replaced by Karen Black – two radically different acting approaches. It can work.

This reminds me of a situation I had once where the boss who had been on the job for years left and the employees hated the new guy until he proved himself. It was weird to see my co-workers take it out on the new guy as if the old guy’s leaving was his fault. But enough of that. I’m sure Tom Ayers will be great, especially being directed by Gary Imhoff. I read Tom’s bio and he’s done a lot of comedy. He’ll be  great. I’ve decided, in advance, that I’m going to like him.

The rest of the cast is the same, Stephen Howard as Greg, the midlifer with a crisis who brings home a Labradoodle instead of a Lamborghini, Cathy Arden as his very straight-laced wife, and of course, Tanna Frederick as the adorable stray, Sylvia the dog. I’m looking forward to a lot of laughs and  maybe a few surprises.

There’s a website for Sylviahttp://sylviatheplay.com. It has lots of info. I also just discovered a Facebook fan page for Sylvia. It’s called “Tanna Frederick’s New Play ‘Sylvia’ is Opening at Edgemar Center May 20.” Check ’em out. And go see Sylvia. I don’t know about you but I could use a few laughs. I could use a lot of laughs.  I’m gonna go get my laugh on. 🙂

March 13, 2011

Name Dropping

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Sally Brooks @ 8:50 pm
Tags: , ,

Cher, Denzel, Brad, Noah, Angelina… Some of our most well-known and loved actors are easily identifiable by their first names only. People say, “Have you seen Denzel’s latest movie?” You’ll never hear anyone say, “Cher Who?” Most people probably don’t know her full name is Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPiere. There are two Toms – Cruise and Hanks. Actually, there are two Brads – Pitt and Paisley (country singer). Let’s face it, when somebody mentions “Elvis” by first name only, they’re not talking about Elvis Costello. 

Maybe I should change my name. I might be famous some day. Maybe I’m okay. There aren’t that many Sallys around, although years ago Sally Jessy Raphael held the number one Sally spot with her radio talk show – and I was hooked on it.

There are other Tannas. There’s a city called Tanna in Germany. There’s an island called Tanna in a country called Vanuatu. Have you ever heard of that country? There are several animals and insects called Tanna – a couple of birds endemic to Vanuatu, a genus of cicada and a jumping spider. Eww! Check this info out on the “Tanna” Wikipedia page. And also check out the “Tanna Frederick” Wikipedia page. I’m glad we have the real Tanna in the US and not some creepy spider.

By the way, I’ve often heard her name mis-pronounced. It’s Tanna – think sun TAN, not Tawna.

No last name is necessary. When you drop the name Tanna, people will know who you’re talking about.

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