[TV Show Review] ABC’s “Take Two”

Next week, stars Rachel Bilson and Eddie Cibrian make their grand return to television in ABC’s “Take Two”.

The upbeat detective show is all about an actress from a defunct crime series joining forces with a real detective. She originally sticks by him to learn the ropes but ends up helping him solve cases and boosts his agency. My first impression of the show is “Criminal Minds” meets “Gilmore Girls”. The detective’s life is reminiscent of the most popular crime shows, while the famous actress’ fast talk and quirky humor brings back GG memories. “Take Two” is very fast paced with a touch of the action genre. Fans of Hollywood’s crime, action and romance productions will find this show intriguing.

In episode one, detective Eddie Valetik (Cibrian) meets actress Sam Swift (Bilson) for the first time, and she tags along on his missing persons case. Even though her presence seems like a nuisance in the beginning, she holds the key to solving a related murder and catching a gang boss.

In episode two, the detective pair accidentally witness a murder during a Cheaters investigation. A woman is dead and her married lover is suspected to be her killer. Appearances are very deceiving because the woman turned out to be the master of disguise who indirectly got involved with a dangerous cartel. On a side note, we also get introduced to Sam’s new assistant Monica, who is a self-professed cyborg. Monica (played by actress Alice Lee) has biohacking implants in both of her hands.

According to the show’s official press release, Terri Edda Miller and Andrew W. Marloweby (the masterminds behind the ABC gem “Castle”) created and executive produced this new series. Tandem Productions, MilMar Pictures and ABC Studios join forces to bring his fast paced fictional story to life.

“Take Two” premieres on ABC June 21 and episode 2 airs on June 28.

*A Special Thanks to The Lippin Group and ABC/Disney for the screeners.*

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Special Tony Award Recipients

Tonight, the “72nd Annual Tony Awards” plans to honor theatre stars for their outstanding on-stage skills. While Broadway fans are anxious to see if their favorites will score an award tonight, some awards were announced for special categories prior to the show.

Let’s take a look at a couple winners now:


All rights to the images belong to the Tony Awards and CBS.

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BTSCelebs to Review Diann Mills’ “Burden of Proof”

BTSCelebs is taking a brief break from rom-com books to absorb the mystery and suspense goodness of Diann Mills. I was blown away by the 2015 novel “Taken”, and intrigued by Drew Fathering’s mysteries… so I thought it was about time I gave another thrilling project a chance.

Yesterday, BTSCelebs received the review copy of Diann Mills’ “Burden of Proof”(scheduled for an October 2018 release). It’s all about a FBI Special Agent who gets caught up in a dangerous situation with an abandoned baby and a fugitive.

I’ll get started on this thick action-packed novel ASAP and deliver the best review in the coming weeks!

*A Special Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for an advance reader copy of the book*

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Shawn Mendes Acknowledges Fans for Their Unwavering Support

All rights to the photo and video belong to Shawn Mendes and Wonderland magazine.

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[Interview] 7 Questions with Tempel Lipizzans’ Lead Trainer, Ted Goad

BTSCelebs: Who is Ted Goad?

Ted Goad: I’m the grandson of a GM executive. My grandfather had a love for horses, but never had the time during his professional life to explore the equine world. When my sister and I were growing up, he was the one to first encourage us to pursue horses. I started riding out in Wyoming during summer camps around 8 or 9 and I got my first horse when I was 13, which my grandfather facilitated. So I grew up with a love for horse power: cars and horses.

I was competing nationally at the international level in dressage by the time I went to college. I received a Bachelor of Science in Art with an emphasis on photography and graphic design from Western Michigan University in 1983. I rode all the way through college and by the time I graduated I had three horses instead of one. I arranged my school schedule so that I would have classes in the morning, drive an hour to where I kept my horses, take two lessons, sleep at the barn, wake up in the morning, take two more lessons, and then drive back to school. I did that three nights a week. That’s when I discovered coffee and frozen breakfast sandwiches. When I was actually at school for the night, I would lock myself in my room, so I could do my dark room work in my fraternity without interruption.

After college, I worked in my mom’s miniature shop making custom doll houses. At the same time, I had my own farm in Clarkson, MI. The barn was two twenty stall barns, half of which I rented out. The other half was filled with our personal horses and our clients’ horses. In 1995, after ten years of managing my own farm, I moved myself, my wife, our daughter, and our six horses to Tempel Farms to start a career training Lipizzans and switching to performance riding versus competitive riding. While the principles are the same, riding in a group is very different from competitive riding. I remained at Tempel Farms until 2002.

Twenty-five years later I seem to be repeating my story. Sixteen years ago, I remarried, and we adopted our son in 2010. We now have our own private farm in Caledonia, WI with a manageable six horse barn. In 2012, I was invited back to the Tempel Lipizzans to become the head trainer.  

Among the places you’ve worked, which place is your favorite?

Honestly, my own. I love the peace and tranquility of being at home in my own private oasis. But I also love the hubbub and commotion of getting things done that I find at Tempel Farms. Having the goal of preserving the traditions so that they can be past down to future generations is something I think is truly worth doing and it gives me a lot of pride.

Which location do your horses seem to perform the best in?

The Lipizzans seem to perform best in the performance ring. These horses LOVE a crowd. When they see the crowd they really puff themselves up and show off for the audience. You can really tell how much the horses love the applause; it can be really an electric atmosphere to ride in.

How did you get involved in Tempel Lipizzans?

Ultimately, it was George Williams (former Director of Training of the Tempel Lipizzans and current President of the United States Dressage Federation) that brought me to the Tempel Lipizzans. He was the Director of Training at the time. We met down in Florida and we both had little girls the same age. We got to know one another through the Florida show circuit. After that, we started traveling back and forth to Tempel Farms from Michigan for clinics and training and judge’s forums. It got the point where we were traveling back in forth so much we just decided to stay.

How does 2018 training differ from the 1990s?

The staffing is different, we had a more direct connection back to the Spanish Riding School in the 90’s. Two of our main trainers got their start there, so those traditions and structure were fresher. My goal is really to get back to that. In the years I was gone, there were traditions that were lost. The goals of the program shifted from the performances to competitions. While the principles are similar the end goal is different; in our performances we are riding in a group versus in a competition where you are riding on your own. You have to be able to almost forget that there’s a horse under you so you can focus on your teammates. To help bring back those traditions that I remember from my earlier days at Tempel we are making connections back to the Spanish Riding School with the help of our master coaches such as Arthur Kottas-Heldenburg (former Chief Rider of the Spanish Riding School) and Conrad Schumacher (a world-renowned dressage and Olympic coach). We are also making those connections through our breeding program. Just two years ago, we imported three pregnant mares from Piber, the stud farm for the Spanish Riding School. Through all of these efforts, we hope to bring back these classical connections, and we are making great strides to that goal.

Tell us about a moment you were most proud of your work. 

It’s hard to pick. Actually, one was when my wife beat me at a horse show. Others would be… when my student did her first solo or when I see horses I started do their first successful Airs Above the Ground movement. I get the most pride out of seeing one of my horses or students succeed. Especially when I get a problem case horse. Those successes are the ones I’m most proud of.

What should we look forward to seeing at next month’s Tempel Lipizzans?

I think a true continuation of classical riding. Audiences should be prepared to step back in time to an era where horse back riding was the favorite pastime and entertainment of monarchs. Each performance is set to classical music and shows the progression of training, from the newest foals up through the High School segments: the Airs Above the Ground and the Quadrille. What we do, in so many ways, is a dying art. The harmony we can achieve between horse and rider is really a beautiful thing to watch. Not to mention the beautiful country setting; it makes for a great escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We give our audience a chance to just slow down and enjoy something truly beautiful and fantastic that can’t be observed anywhere else in the United States.

Don’t miss Ted Goad’s amazing work at “The Tempel Lipizzans’ 60th Anniversary” celebration which runs from June 17 – Sept 2, 2018.

*A Special Thanks to Ted Goad and The Silverman Group for the exclusive interview and image.*

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Book Review: Debra White Smith’s “The Jane Austen Series – First Impressions”

Jane Austen‘s romantic classic “Pride and Prejudice” (aka “First Impressions“) gets resurrected in author Debra White Smith’s version. Smith’s modernized novel gives readers an entertaining tale with many of the main stars being professionals (ex: lawyer, veterinarian, CEO and police officer).

Our 21st century versions of Darcy (Dave Davidson) and Elizabeth (Eddi Boswick), meet during a local town meeting about the upcoming “Pride and Prejudice” play. A terrifying tornado forces them to get close during their first encounter, but ignites a war. As the story progresses. the successful businessman and lawyer score the leading roles in the iconic play and their lives get turned upside down as their family and friends embark on topsy-turvy relationships with each other.

Dave and Eddi’s connection mirrors Austen’s book at every turn with her eldest sister and his best friend falling in love, her youngest sister dating his estranged cousin, Dave’s aunt strong disapproval of Eddi and more. The major differences lie in Eddi’s family business, her youngest sister’s mistake and the nationalities of the stars (the story is set in Texas rather than England.)

Overall, the book was an interesting read. I loved the striking similarities between the classic and the modern version and looked forward to spotting the unique surprises Smith sprinkled in. If you are anxious to expand your vocabulary, this book will definitely be in your top 10.

*BTSCelebs thanks Bethany House for the complimentary copy of the book.*

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Theatre Review: A&A Ballet’s “Cinderella” 2018

Year 2 of Cinderella was sheer bliss!

BTSCelebs was invited to attend the lovely fairytale performance at the Studebaker Theatre today. Dancers Trinity Santoro, Lee Borowski and Ryland Acree shined as Cinderella, Prince Charming and The Jester respectively. The entire cast made the family friendly ballet even more enjoyable by their seemingly efffortless dancing throughout the entire show.

The adorable children performing as the grasshoppers, butterflies, gnomes and bees introduced the audience to the next generation of stars. Their dance was absolute perfection for ones so young!

While the seasonal fairies and international princesses (Spanish and Asian Princesses),  were dazzling, Cinderella and the Prince’s dance was the highly anticipated event of the afternoon. The two stars illustrated what fairytales are made of. They seemed like they walked straight out of a storybook with their dreamlike movements and sweet on-stage chemistry.

A&A Ballet is getting better every year. Chicago is anxious to see “The Nutcracker” (November  30th -December 2nd) and “Sleeping Beauty” (May 4, 2019) at the Studebaker Theatre.

* BTSCelebs sends a special thanks to A&A Ballet for the press passes and the photo.*

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