India Splendor, a unique festival running August 10-15, will bring exciting developments in Indian independent cinema, arts and technology to the Hollywood Beat. The festival's theme is "Heritage, Holistic and Hi Tech" and will launch an exclusive portal for distributing modern Indian cinema, and provide meaningful dialogue with spiritual and business leaders.

To launch this ambitious project, we attended a reception at the Beverly Hills home of Dr.B. K. Modi chairman, MCORP, Global, and met such prestigious guests as Jeff Berg, President, ICM, Pravaht Sing, Indian Consul, San Francisco, Dean Rosen, UCLA School of Film and TV, and the serenely beautiful Mariel Hemingway.

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Dr. Modi, Carol Hamilton & Dr. Raj Kanodia (Dr. 90210)

Among the festival highlights are the premiere of Sha Rukh Khan's latest film, Chak de India, a Tribute to Raj Kapoor, Film Screening of Gandhi, with Ben Kingsley, a fashion show by Designer, Suneet Verma and dialogue with Ashok Amritraj, India born tennis star, and prolific Hollywood film producer. For further info, please visit their website www.indiasplendor.com.

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Ruth & Judea Pearl (parents of the late Danny Pearl - A Mighty Heart)

It was a starry night when famed American/Israeli star, Mike Burstyn opened in his one-man production of Lansky at the Odyssey Theatre. Burstyn, who has won three Academy Awards for his films in Israel, and starred in many Broadway musicals including Barnum, plays the gangster/gambler Meyer Lansky, in this play directed and co-written by Joe Bologna and Mike Krevol.

Among the celebs joining in the opening night ovation were Connie Stevens, Valerie Harper and Bologna's wife, Renee Taylor, who we remember for her portrayal of Golda Meir a few years ago. You can catch Lansky at the Odyssey for several more weeks, so call 310-477-2055, Ext. 2.

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Joe Bologna, Renee Taylor, Mike Burstyn & Connie Stevens at Lansky

Last week was also the opening night of the eighth season of Plaza Sweets, a free summer concert series that ends August 8. All performances begin at 8 p.m. and are held in the Beverly Hills Civic Center Plaza. Free parking is available.

The Los Angeles opera presented a mixed bag of opera classics including selections from Tosca, Show Boat and Porgy and Bess. Daniel Faltus was the very humorous host and pianist, and the talented cast included Tammy Jenkins, Diana Tash, Cedric Berry and Daniel Montenegro, who stole the show. Dan Guerrero, who directed Montenegro last fall in "Concierto Para Mendez" at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, says, "He's the one to watch."

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Marci with Mariel Hemingway

Among the celebrated guests in attendance were Beverly Hills Mayor, Jimmy Delshad, Dolores Elena Richardson, Tony Plana (Ugly Betty) and his actress wife, Ada Maris, and Flora Thornton, who donated a large sum to form the Flora Thornton/Placido Domingo Young Artists Program at the L.A. Opera, and her husband, Eric L. Small, co-chair of the L.A. Opera's Community and Education Programs, headed by Stacy Brightman.

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Daniel Montenegro,Tammy Jenkins,Diana Tash & Cedric Berry, performers at Plaza Sweets

To receive a schedule of future events, please call 310-550-4796. Where else can you enjoy an entertaining evening gratis, on the Hollywood Beat?