Aaron Paul's film "Smashed" listed as one of the most anticipated at Sundance

MTV chose Aaron Paul's feature "Smashed," co-starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, as one of the 10 most anticipated films at Sundance Film Festival which opened this week. Winstead and Paul, who co-stars in the smash TV series "Breaking Bad," play an alcoholic couple struggling to stay together after one of them decides to put down the bottle. Nick Offerman, his wife, Megan Mullally, and Octavia Spencer also star.

"Smashed" premieres at 8 p.m. Jan. 22 a the Liberty Center Theatre in Park City, Utah, and shows four more times during the festival.

Gourmet deli and culinary store a'Tavola opens in Boise's Linen District.

Culinary maven Lisa Peterson opened a’Tavola, today, Jan. 19. It's a gourmet delicatessen, market and cafe located in the former Donnie Mac’s Trailer Park Cuisine space at 1515 W. Grove St. in Boise’s Linen District. Donnie Mac’s closed in October.

Not everything is up and running yet. The breakfast menu will be available starting next week, Peterson says, and she is still waiting on a beer and wine license to open the wine bar and store part of a’Tavola.

Looks like Idaho's Aaron Paul is engaged

Boise grown actor Aaron Paul (Stutevant), co-star of the hit series "Breaking Bad," is getting a huge buzz in the gossip press for his reported engagement to documentary filmmaker Lauren Parsekian.
The happy couple:
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Paul, who graduated early from Centennial High School to pursue an acting career, won the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role as meth dealer Jesse Pinkman in AMC's "Breaking Bad" in 2010. Since then he's been on the "A" list and is branching into feature films. His latest film,"Smashed," a dramady co-staring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival later this month.

Parsekian is the president and co-founder of the Kind Campaign, which works to bring "awareness and healing to the negative and lasting effects of girl-against-girl crimes." She also made a documentary "Finding Kind" about the issue.

CBS is reporting he popped the question in Paris on New Year's Eve. Congratulations.

Learn more about Lauren Parsekian and her Kindness Campaign HERE

Boise's Alan Heathcock chosen as the Great Lakes Colleges Association's new fiction writer of 2012

ImageThe Great Lakes Colleges Association selected Boise writer Alan Heathcock as the winner of its 2012 GLCA New Writers Award for fiction for his story collection "Volt" (Graywolf Press, $15).
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1326259739 Boise's Alan Heathcock chosen as the Great Lakes Colleges Association's new fiction writer of 2012 Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Boise's Aaron Paul featured in Ciroc vodka ad with Ditty

Check it out. Idaho's Aaron Paul ("Breaking Bad") is featured in commercial for Ciroc vodka with rapper, actor and music producer Ditty (Sean Combs).

Shot in Las Vegas, the campaign, titled "Luck Be a Lady," features a soundtrack by Frank Sinatra and a "modern-day Rat Pack" of several up-and-comers, including Aaron Paul ("Breaking Bad") and Jesse Williams ("Grey's Anatomy").

Check it out here: Paul has some nice moments.

Four Idaho teens could head for the Grammys

Four ArtsWest students are among the finalists of the Grammy Jazz Sessions contest for high school musicians and singers.

There are 30 finalists in each category, such as vocals, drums, guitar, bass and other instruments.

The Idaho finalists in the vocal category are Cari Stevens,18, and Andrew Coba, 15. Also Micah Stevens, 16, won a spot on the guitarist list, and John Priddy, 16, on drums.

The students auditioned by video in October. The selection committee will chose a three to five piece combo, an eight-voice choir and a 16-to 18-piece big band, for a total of 27 to 30 students who will hang out in Los Angeles during Grammy week. They’ll perform at jazz venues, and Grammy events and get to meet the nominees.
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Andrew Coba, pictured right, has been mentored by Boise jazz artist Curtis Stigers over the past year. You can see Andrew perform at all three nights of the “X-Treme Holiday X-Travaganza.”
You can still get tickets for the 6:30 p.m. Dec. 20 show HERE

Aaron Paul's AMC TV show earns top honors from American Film Institute

The American Film Institute chose "Breaking Bad," the AMC drama co-starring Boise's Aaron Paul, as its No. 1 television program for 2011. Paul, 32, who people in Boise know as Aaron Sturtevant, graduated a year early from Centennial High to pursue an acting career in Los Angeles. It paid off.
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It took a few years but once cast in "Breaking Bad" as Jesse Pinkman, a young meth dealer who spirals into the messy world of crime and drugs with his former high school chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston), Paul has been on a roll.

Paul won the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2009. (Cranston won the Best Actor category). In the next year, he will have three independent films coming out, including "Smashed" with Mary Elizabeth Winstead and "Decoding Annie Parker" with Helen Hunt and Samantha Morton.

Both Paul and Cranston, pictured above, are front runners this year for the Emmy as they wrap up the show's fourth season and head into it fifth and final season of "Breaking Bad."

AFI TV PROGRAMS OF THE YEAR
BREAKING BAD
BOARDWALK EMPIRE
CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM
GAME OF THRONES
THE GOOD WIFE
HOMELAND
JUSTIFIED
LOUIE
MODERN FAMILY
PARKS AND RECREATION

Curtis Stigers adds a third show for X-Treme Holiday X-Travaganza

Rocker turned crooner Curtis Stigers' fund-raising concert X-Treme Holiday X-Travaganza is one of those shows that everyone wants to perform in and it turns out, everyone wants to see. It's sold out for the past four years. This year, tickets went so fast for the two shows, with no advertising that Stigers was stunned.
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"It's wild, and a little frustrating," he says. "I had all this time to talk about the show and no tickets."

The solution was simple: add a third show, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 20 at the Egyptian Theatre, 700 W. Main St., Boise. Tickets are $25. To purchase follow the link below.

So, he's calling on his core performers such as The Fool Squad, Steve Fulton, Bill Coffey, Dave Manion, the Moody Jews and AKA Belle and others, and is adding a host of performers he wasn't able to get in the first two nights. Each act does one song, and it must be a holiday tune. It really is a fun night of surprises and festive spirit, and you'll be amazed at the breadth of talent in the Valley.

The show is a fundraiser for The Interfaith Sanctuary, that provides shelter and aid for the homeless. Last year's two-show event raised more than $62,000 from ticket and bar sales, and the live and silent auction. Stigers hopes to match or beat that in a year when the need is even more great, he says.

Click here to buy tickets.

Boise writer Alan Heathcock goes GQ

Alan Heathcock keeps getting attention and critical praise for his first book "Volt" (Greywolf Press, $15). The story collection about the quirky, disturbing and mesmerizing lives of people living in a small Western town was selected as a GQ magazine Best Book of 2011.
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The feature asks well known writers to pick their favorite books of the past 12 months.

Crime writer Frank Bill chose "Volt," writing that Heathcock “carves characters out of the grains of the earth. Alan is our next Cormac McCarthy.”

I would suspect that "Volt" will pop up on a few more best-of lists before the year is over.

Go Alan.

Click here to read the GQ feature.

'Cyber Monday' (Nov. 28) ticket deal for 'Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour'

If you want to see Cirque du Soleil's "Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour" and you want a deal, today is your day.

You can get a $25 discount on all tickets — except VIP packages — on what's called Cyber Monday, the internet version of Black Friday. The offer is good until 11:59 p.m. Nov. 28.

The show is at 8 p.m. Jan. 3, Taco Bell Arena, 1401 Bronco Lane, Boise. Regular ticket prices are $50-$250 at Select-a-Seat.

Click here to take advantage of the Cyber Monday deal.

The production values are pretty spectacular and it travels in close to 40 semi trucks. It on stage you'll see company of dancers, tumblers, clowns, trapeze artists and other specialty acts, all paying tribute to Jackson. Check out the show:

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