The Manhattan Cocktail Classic Celebrates Its 6th Anniversary with Spectacular Venues in Downtown Manhattan

Opening Night Gala at Cipriani Wall Street and Industry Invitational at the Newly Opened Pier A Harbor House, May 16-19, 2015

New Team Takes the Reins of the Four-Day Festival to Amplify Its Offerings and Engage the Wider Hospitality Sector and Beyond

The Manhattan Cocktail Classic (MCC), New York’s legendary multi-day celebration of cocktails and culture, today announces its move downtown with new festival venues as it prepares to celebrate its sixth anniversary. The much-anticipated Opening Night Gala (usually held at the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue) will be held at the iconic Cipriani Wall Street on Saturday, May 16, 2015 and the trade-oriented, Industry Invitational will take place Monday, May 18 in the newly opened Pier A Harbor House overlooking New York Harbor in Battery Park. (Tickets will go on sale soon at www.manhattancocktailclassic.com.)

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Part festival, part fete, part conference, part cocktail party, The Manhattan Cocktail Classic (MCC) is an annual celebration of the myriad points of intersection between cocktails and culture. With a wide range of events– parties, pairings, dinners, dances, workshops, lectures, tiki-tours and bar crawls–spread across four days and multiple boroughs, the MCC offers a vast array of unique experiences to enthusiasts and professionals alike, expanding the very definition of what constitutes a “cocktail event” and is produced by Cocktail Classic Productions LLC. Most of these events and activities are conceptualized and organized independently by brands, both large and small, as well as craft bartenders and cocktail luminaries. Ticket prices vary by event, but typically range from $25 to $295.

The Manhattan Cocktail Classic opening night Gala at The New York Public Library on Friday, May 17, 2013. Photography Credit: Gabi Porter

The Manhattan Cocktail Classic opening night Gala at The New York Public Library on Friday, May 17, 2013. Photography Credit: Gabi Porter

Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra entertain guests in the Bartos Forum. Photography Credit: Filip Wolak

Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra entertain guests in the Bartos Forum. Photography Credit: Filip Wolak

Located at 55 Wall St., The stunning Greek Revival masterpiece with its facade embellished by 12 towering ionic granite pillars will be transformed into New York’s most glamorous and exciting cocktail party for thousands of revelers. Built between 1836 and 1842, it originally housed the Merchants Exchange, the U.S. Customs House and National City Bank. Its Grand Ballroom is opulently designed and crowned by a vast dome. The building’s terraces overlooking Wall Street, its bi-level restaurant and library will also be devoted to the Gala. And for the first time ever, the Cipriani Club, a secret subterranean level complete with a barber shop, billiards room and screening room, will be open to gala attendees as part of the festive evening.

Leo Robitschek pours a classic Negroni at the 2013 Manhattan Cocktail Classic Opening Night Gala Photography Credit: Virginia Rollison

Leo Robitschek pours a classic Negroni at the 2013 Manhattan Cocktail Classic Opening Night Gala Photography Credit: Virginia Rollison

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THE ACADEMY EXPLORES ROBOTS, SCIENCE AND SUPERHEROES WITH “DECONSTRUCTING BIG HERO 6”

“Listen up! Use those big brains of yours to think your way around the problem! Look for a new angle!” –Hiro Hamada

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will examine the creative leaps and technical innovations that went into crafting “Big Hero 6,” this year’s Oscar® winner for Best Animated Feature Film, on Thursday, April 23, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater (8949 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212) in Beverly Hills. Hosted by Academy governor Bill Kroyer. With special guests: directors Don Hall and Chris Williams, producer Roy Conli, visual effects supervisor Kyle Odermatt, head of animation Zach Parrish and director of cinematography lighting Adolph Lusinsky.

Big Hero 6 tells the story of fourteen-year-old science prodigy Hiro, who spends his time developing fighting robots for underground competitions until his older brother introduces him to an eccentric group of young inventors. When the talented misfits band together to fight a dangerous villain, they gain an unlikely ally: a gentle healthcare bot named Baymax.

When I was a kid, I loved Marvel comics. While working onWinnie the Pooh, I asked John Lasseter if I could explore the Marvel world for inspiration for my next film. I was encouraged to explore the Marvel vaults and one of the projects I found was calledBig Hero 6. I’d never heard of it, but I liked the title and its Japanese influences.” –Big Hero 6 director Don Hall

The filmmaking team, led by directors Hall and Williams and producer Conli, steered the Marvel source material in different directions while emphasizing that technology and intelligence are the “superpowers” of the story’s heroes. Research into the cutting edge of robot technology, particularly the soft robotics being developed at Carnegie Mellon University, led to the evolution of the film’s lovable healthcare android Baymax as well as Hiro’s microbots. The film’s animation team studied robots, human babies and a variety of animals to help refine Baymax’s awkward but appealing style of movement, finding their greatest inspiration in the waddle of baby penguins.

The creation of the film’s world was equally inventive and groundbreaking in the creative and technical realms. The team chose to set their emotional yet action-packed story in the hybrid city of “San Fransokyo,” incorporating Japanese elements into an unusually detailed and geographically precise reimagining of contemporary San Francisco. To bring this novel setting to cinematic life they incorporated state-of-the-art animation and computing technologies, making use of a cloud-based, 55,000-core supercomputer that was physically located in four separate geographic sites.

Disney’s brand-new Hyperion rendering system, a breakthrough in simulating complex and realistic lighting in computer animation, allowed “digital scouting” of an imaginary city with 83,000 buildings, 260,000 trees, 215,000 street lamps (of six different styles) and 100,000 vehicles. Meanwhile, the filmmakers used Denizen software to populate their story with approximately 700,000 distinct people, including 6,000 featured in the opening shot alone.

The evening will include film sequences and “making-of” clips alongside presentations and panel discussions highlighting the movie’s production process. The program will examine the creative and technical challenges of crafting this thrilling yet heartwarming hit.

Tickets: $5 general admission/$3 Academy members and students with a valid ID. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards—in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners — the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.

Hop into Spring with the Build-A-Bear Workshop Easter Collection

Build-A-BearWorkshop® is celebrating the arrival of spring with its 2015 Easter Collection, which features an assortment of customizable furry friends with unique personalization options, from sounds to accessories. The entire collection is available both in stores (at approximately 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide, including company-owned stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East, and Mexico) and online through April 5.

Build-A-Bear's 2015 Easter Collection features an assortment of customizable furry friends with unique personalization options, from sounds to accessories. Bright Blooms Bunny, Chocolate Bunny and Marshmallow Bunny are available fully accessorized or can be customized by gift givers. (PRNewsFoto/Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.)

Build-A-Bear’s 2015 Easter Collection features an assortment of customizable furry friends with unique personalization options, from sounds to accessories. Bright Blooms Bunny, Chocolate Bunny and Marshmallow Bunny are available fully accessorized or can be customized by gift givers. (PRNewsFoto/Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.)

Build-A-Bear‘s bunnies — starring Bright Blooms Bunny, Chocolate Bunny and Marshmallow Bunny — are available fully accessorized or custom-made with a variety of accessories, such as miniature Easter baskets, bouquets and even bunny ears headbands. These 16-inch furry friends start at $18 and can be further personalized with a Build-A-Sound® message, which guests can record in-store or over the phone.

For something more compact, but just as cute for Easter baskets, the Build-A-Bear Buddies® line has ready-made options for quick pick-up in-store or online. Starting at $10, customers can choose from the Rainbow Daisies Bunny; Pink, Purple, Blue or Yellow Spring Chick; or Lovey Lamb. The Buddies collection even has their own, specially sized clothing and accessories to fit their miniature scale, from “Hoppy Easter” T-shirts to Easter egg and bunny costumes. In addition, for the first time, Build-A-Bear is also offering full-sized children’s Easter baskets that can be embroidered with a child’s name or special message for an extra personal touch. The children’s baskets match the mini baskets for Easter furry friends to extend play fun and gifting options.