“I loved it. I hated it. I couldn’t put it down.”

To order, click here.




/Guest reviewer Cheryl Ives

Hair Club Burning tricks us into thinking it’s a rollicking ride with quick-witted language and a back-handed attitude of cool. Painfully clear descriptive texts can feel a little too much like being there, making us complicit voyeurs and compatriots in outrage and desire. This tale disguises itself as a story about race and class, while making us notice uncomfortable truths about cultural conditioning, gender relations and materialism. We’re offered no clear heroes and a lot of bad behavior all around. I loved it. I hated it. I couldn’t put it down.

Follow reviewer Cheryl Ives on twitter @mrswhich

Follow us on twitter @shadowteams or @GiantSweettart

Chat on Facebook at Hair Club Burning or Shadowteamsnyc or Beth Wareham


41GRU36jOtL._SX294_BO1,204,203,200_    www.shadowteams.coSIH_FrontCover_092715_Final copym

                                  Purchase here

Purchase here


I have spent a great deal of time with New York Times art critics. Willingly, you ask? Well yes, I am married to one – now retired – though still critiquing his way through the world. I was with Ben Brantley when he pointed at the “Critics” sign in the office and said, “It might as well say ‘throw bombs here.” I sat at the great Joe Lelyveld’s house when literary critic Michi Kakutani kept us on the edge of our seats recounting a performance piece where the artist ate monkey brains over and over. Oh, and let’s not forget the titanic John Rockwell going mano-a-mano about French culture with a woman wearing at least 10 strands of pearls. (John said it was over. She disagreed.)

Always interested in what might go on inside my husband’s head, I picked up a copy of A.O. Scott’s Better Living Through Criticism. Now involved in the film business, I couldn’t wait to hear what this fine reviewer had to say about the movies.

Ooph, did I buy the wrong book. This great film reviewer had become the expert of everything art and the whole enterprise read like an unmoored balloon, filled with gas and headed god knows where.

Here is, in no specific order, the artists and thinkers this film critic invokes: The Avengers, Mencken (required), Kant, Rilke, T.S. Elliot, the French New Wave, Pollock, Plato, Dante, Velazquez, Milton, Joyce, Horace, Aristotle, Orwell, Facebook, Marshall McLuhan, Edmund Wilson (required), Kant, Kafka, and Henry James….AMONG MANY OTHERS. It’s a huge scrum of all the characters involved in a Liberal Arts education and A.O.’s parents got their money’s worth.

Maddening. A book that could throw out this nonsensical sentence, “Or maybe I’d conclude that we are able to make determinations and discriminations of value because we have access to innate and eternal standards that, though they mutate over the centuries and express themselves differently from place to place, nonetheless keep us on the path of truth and beauty” makes me think, DAMN, WHERE WAS A.O.’s EDITOR THAT DAY? A POSITIONING MEETING? What a pompous meaningless sentence. The pointed pencil should have come down like the Sword of Allah.

Please Mr. Scott, descend the abstraction ladder and help us out.

But then A.O. says this and my mind lights up like the Fourth of July: “A work of art is itself a piece of criticism.” BOOM! He hit the mark.  And thus the maddening up and down of this book, both dense and convoluted and direct and fresh, keeps you from tossing the book at your critic husband for yet a few more pages.

And now I want to be a critic. The place? The Vatican. The moment? Four summers ago. I came around the corner after fleeing my group of tourists and there she was, out for cleaning.  I stood understanding and not understanding at the same time. Her face was calm yet filled with the sorrow of all of mankind as she held her dead son across her lap. I started crying, that deep kind where the tears just run and you can’t even make noise. I may have even dropped to the floor, I no longer remember.

From that moment forward, she created a kind of reverse PTSD in me, flashing in front of my eyes at the strangest times, goading me toward love and empathy.  As a critic, I can not compare her to anything else made by human hands because she was larger than that.

It was Michelangelo’s Pieta and my review would have said, “No words.” Just that. Everybody would have understood and we didn’t need Kant or Mencken to get there.

A.O. Scott had a different motive when he conjured Rilke up in his book, but it fits my experience with the Pieta as well:

                  ……………..For there is no place here

that doesn’t see you. You must change your life.


Follow us on twitter @shadowteams or @giantsweettart

Chat on Facebook at ShadowteamsNYC or Beth Wareham

P.S. That’s my husband’s book up top on the right, Something I Heard.  He’s a music critic so it’s about music. Seemed a good fit.



HAIR CLUB BURNING  by Jason Davis and Beth Wareham

Review by Kac Young*


On sale date: March 15, 2016

Unknown-4 copy

You do not want this book to end, ever. It’s way too clever, entertaining, guffaw-inducing and scrumptiously poignant to not go on for at least another hundred pages. Just like the first bite of a cronut, you crave more.

The characters are expertly hatched with the skill of a psychological profiler and, to the delight of the reader, plausible. (I’m already casting the movie version in my head.) The writing is razor sharp, the humor ripe with hilarious references: the antagonist law firm is named Rosen, Guilder and Stern. The novel is peppered with durable phrases like, “horizontal fun in between vertical meetings,” or describing Starbucks as “a room full of white people moving through an overly moist environment.”

The principles of this novel not only come alive; they actually jump off the page onto your lap. The impeccable writing style makes it easy to believe every word even when a notorious gang banger shows up to a mani-pedi appointment in a suburban Westchester salon. There is always a logical human reason why culturally opposites find harmony.

This book is a great read. It’s fun, full of delicious bites of satisfying revenge and educational if you’re not from Harlem or South Central. I laughed, I gasped, and I rooted for the protagonists. It’s a wild romp and a half and I’m still a bit grouchy that it ended. I could have easily read another few hundred pages. Of course this does leave room for a sequel. Fingers crossed.

Kac Young was the Vice President of Television Production and Development at Universal Studios Hollywood and ran her company for 25 years, serving such clients as JC Penny and Procter & Gamble. She got her start in Hollywood working for Dick Clark and subsequently worked for Cher, Neil Diamond and host of other celebrities. After a career of high stress jobs, she had a heart attack in 2006 at age 57. She completely changed her life, becoming a PhD in Natural Health and a Doctor in both Clinical Hypnotherapy and Naturopathy. To know Kac is to love her.

Follow us on twitter @shadowteams  and @giantsweettart

Watch our  Hollywood pitch video on Facebook at Hair Club Burning or on

our YouTube Channel  https://youtu.be/2o4e6H6rGI4



ON SALE MARCH 15 the HAIR CLUB BURNING pitch got over 120,000 views on Facebook. Maybe more. Weird. Exciting. Alarming. And it’s all about the racial harmony and  integration. The integration that matters: FRIENDSHIP.

We made this short pitch tape for a famous Hollywood director so he could critique us. He told me to keep my hair out of my eyes.


Follow us on twitter @shadowteams @giantsweettart

Or Facebook at Hair Club Burning or Shadowteamsnyc or Beth Wareham