Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Behind the Scenes at CATF

The Contemporary American Theatre Festival every July in Shepherdstown, West Virginia s great for a lot of things. It is great for Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, West Virginia, the actors, the staff and playwrights. Today, on my blog I will be plugging my interview with scenic designer David M. Barber.

He did the set design for "Captors" and "In A Forest" last year. You can read my review of those shows here. This year he did the set of H20 which in my opinion may have been the best play of the festival.You can see what Mark Dewey thought of the play here.Barber also did the set of Modern Terrorism which was another festival favorite as Dewey explains here. David kept busy this year doing the set for Scott and Hem as well. That play was a treat since Hemingway is one of my favorite authors. You can read a review on that play here.

Here is to another fine run of great American plays. Hopefully, the festival will continue to bring great talent to shine in West Virginia. It is great to see Broadway type talents shine close to home.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Happy Birthday Buddy Guy!

Yes I probably blogged about him on his 76th birthday. However, Buddy Guy is worth celebrating, watching, listening to while he is still going. Him and BB King are among the few remaining old school blues players. Buddy Guy's influence on Rock music is perhaps why I like rock music.

Here he performs the "First Time I Met the Blues"

Here is Buddy from this year performing "You Give Me Fever"

He just released a two disc album of new material today as well. Seeing Buddy Guy in concert was checking something off my musical bucket list.

Here he performs "Feels Like Rain" in Biloxi again from 2013

Please search my other posts on Buddy Guy for more music. I just want to put some current songs to celebrate.

Monday, July 29, 2013

R.I.P. JJ Cale

I had problem with my internet connection over the weekend, so it is possible I might do multiple posts today. Singer, songwriter, guitarist JJ Cale passed away this weekend at the age of 74 from a heart attack.
JJ Cale was influential to Eric Clapton. Cale had been covered by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Widespread Panic, and Waylen Jennings to name a few.

Let's celebrate his life with music...

Here he is with "Crazy Mama"...

Here is JJ Cale with Eric Clapton performing "After Midnight"

Here he performs a song called "Magnolia"

Here he performs "Call Me The Breeze" with Eric Clapton...

May JJ Cale rest in peace and thanks for the songs...

Friday, July 26, 2013

Happy Birthday Mick Jagger!

I have lots of choices to write about today which is a good thing. Sometimes it is the other way around. Well today is Mick Jagger's 70th birthday so I thought I would celebrate it. His birthday trumps a lot of things. well let us start with the music...

This is a solo song called "Brand New Set of Rules" a song I have always liked. The video is great since it has tons of pictures of Mick...

Here is Mick on The David Letterman Show doing a top ten list..

Here Mick performs with Jeff Beck in The White House..

Going back in the way back machine, The Rolling Stones playing "Satisfaction"

Happy Birthday Mick Jagger! I will be back with a new post soon....

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Strange Twists of Fate and Robert Plant

Robert Plant was in town this week. I was really tempted to go. I was working  a project so I would have to go by the venue on the way home any way. The show was assigned to another writer. I was putting off getting tickets fuguring I would buy one at the venue the day of the show. Just in case I was too tired or something came up. My wife being sensible asked "how I was going to pay for it?" I avoided conflict by simply stating I don't know. Well the night before the show I got an email from the writer who said she couldn't make it and asked if I would want to cover the show? Well of course I said the obvious answer.
The rest was history and here is the view from my seat..

You can read my review here. It is pretty long, since I did cover every song.

Bombino was the opening act with their Nomadic style of guitar driven Afro-pop from Niger.

Here they play a song "Tenere"

They played a 40 minute set and they were plugged in the whole time.

Robert Plant played for 1:40 minutes, playing seven Led Zeppelin songs. It was the first time he had played Wolf Trap.

Here is how Robert Plant ended his show with Led Zeppelin's classic "Rock and Roll"

Enjoy I know I did..

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My Interview with Devour the Day's Blake Allison

I interviewed the front man of this band "Devour the Day"

Blake Allison was col to interview and you can read the interview here. He was the drummer in Central Egypt..

He and guitarist Joey Chicago from that band have formed this new project.

If you like metal and hard rock I will have another interview published soon so stay tuned and I will blog about that when it is published. I will be back soon with another post..

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Happy Birthday! Santana

Today is Carlos Santnana's 66th birthday! When I hear him play a song he is one of the few guitarists I can go "hey that's Santana." In other words he has a sound all his own that shines through.I had the pleasure to see him in concert back in 1989 or 1990. I saw him two nights in a row with Jeff Beck.

It weas the first two shows of the tour so they didn't play anything together but here they are playing "Amazing Grace"

This Peter Green song, Santana makes his own...

In recent times he has played with other musicinas with great results such as this with Michelle Branch...

and with Everlast..

I've always liked this song of his..

A god mix of rarities, newer stuff, and some classics a perfect way to celebrate his birthday!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Flowers of Spring and Summer

This will probably be my last major bloom of the season...

Of course some blooms turn into fruit like these wild raspberries...

Some blooms are hidden, I had to hold a branch back for this picture..

Here is another bloom...

Here is another one...

Just random blooms around my yard. Hope you enjoy and I will be back soon with a new post...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Capital Fringe: Smellin’ Up The Den!

Last Friday I covered three shows at the Capital Fringe Festival on a rainy night. The first two were serious dramas. However, I ended the night with some great comedy when I watched Smellin’ Up The Den! The sketches and short skits were funnyand the show rolled along. It was a great change from creepy and cancer. You can read my review here.

Here is a preview of the show written by Scott Courlander. Check out the video on the preview. It is a fake commercial and adult humor. Don't check it out if you are easily offended, at work, or have children around.

Enjoy! I will be back soon with a new post.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Capital Fringe: The Actual Dance

The Actual Dance gave great insight on what it is like to be the spouse of someone who comes down with cancer, in this case breast cancer. Since, my mom has had cancer (not breast cancer) and I know a little about what my Dad has gone through. I have an Aunt who has survived Breast Cancer. I have blogged about several people who haven't survived cancer. You can read my review here.

Samuel A. Simon has put together a show that is heart touching and honest. His performance is well done and from the heart. He is also perhaps one of the warmest people at The Capital Fringe. He greets the audience afte the show, he offers to talk about the show at a local coffee house, and he shares on stage what he went through.

I thought it was more of an autobiographical story telling than a play. The show didn't blow me away. However, it was a touching show and not bad for his first play. It is worth seeing if you want to know how cancer effects others not just the victem. If you want to see honesty this show bares it.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Capital Fringe: Marsha

It was neat to see a World Premiere of Marsha. A play created in Wales to be premiered at THe Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, D.C. Alan Harris has had his work performed at The New National Theatre Tokyo, the National Theatre Wales, Liveartshow, and the BBC.

I wasn't a fan of the subject matter. However, it was well written. The talent and art was there.

Julia Thomas was incredible, creepy but again talented. She was supposed to be creepy as a person I hope she is not.She has worked at the National Theatre Wales, trained at the Drama Centre London, and on a UK National Tour.

Here is Alan Harris talking about working in Japan and the differences between Japan and Wales. This is probably about The Opportunity of Efficiency.

You can read my review here. I'll return with a new post soon.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

I (Am) Not My Mother

Wow a lot of plays that I have reviewed in the past have been popping up One Night with Janis Joplin, Young Olympians, and I am sure a few others are as well. Well the play I (Am) Not My Mother also makes a return! It is playing at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre and it had it's first show last night which I could not attend due to being booked elsewhere.

Here is my original review.You can order tickerts and find out more about the show here.

Below is a Q& A with the playwrite..

Enjoy and I will be back soon with a new post...

Friday, July 12, 2013

Crazy Day

Not all my days are this crazy. Conducted an interview with a rock star that I thought was cancelled. Surprise Then I covered three plays at the Capital Fringe Festival. It is  1AM and I just now  goot home!
In between my noon interview and leaving my house at 3:30 I did take time to watch my daughter play dress up and take her out for lunch. You have to make time for that! I also turned in another interview to see about publishing it. Now I am caught in the weeds as they say!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Despicable Me

The trailer for "Despicable Me"

Summer time means some movie theaters play special kids movies during the week. This week a movie theater in Frederick was showing "Despicable Me" for a $1.

As a parent it is a struggle to find things my six year old daughter and 16 year old son both want to do that doesn't bleed the budget way into the red. I lucked out! It was a movie my son could enjoy with his girlfriend and I could enjoy with my daughter. All the kids got up early and rushed me out of the house. It must be payback for the school year. Still I was able to take them to the movie and treat them for lunch cheaper than than a first run movie. Run a few more errands for the kids and they turn it into an all day event. Surprisingly none of us had seen the movie before.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Young Olympians on the Move

Yes, I am sure there are lots of young Olympians getting ready for their respective sport. However, I am talking about the The Young Olympians and the Most Amazingly Awesome Adventure Ever!  The Maryland Ensemble Theatre's Fun Company production premiered last year in Frederick, Maryland ands is now headed to The Capital Fringe Festival.

What did I think of the original show. I enjoyed it and my daughter enjoyed it. You can read my review here.
Here is a preview article written by the MET's Vanessa Strickland I enjoyed the soundtrack as well.

Here is a promo for their recent revival run before the festival...

Here is a meet the cast video...

If you are looking for a great family show to take the kids to at the Capital Fringe Festival the Young Olympians show is a safe bet. If you are interested in the Capital Fringe Festival stay tuned to my blog I am covering three shows this weekend and I am sure I will blog a bit about them.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Baja Florida

A good year for reading I just finished my second Bob Morris book this year in his Zack Chasteen series.

Baja Florida 5 by Bob Morris (2010, Hard...

In this book he goes out to help a friend find his daughter. The novel takes or hero from Florida to the Bahamas. Before long he is facing murder charges and more. It is a fun, tropical read. Short chapters, funny and fun and lots of actions. His books are  suspenseful and fun and hold my interest.

Bob Morris is an award winning travel writer, a journalist, and a great researcher and it shows in his fiction work. Add his expertise, with action, and humor and that is why I like his work.You can learn more about this author at his website.Now that I am caught up with this series I might read some of his other books.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Power of Light

We all know the power of light. We have all been stuck in the dark due to a power outage. We have all been blinded by bright lights. Most of us who go to concerts have seen cool light shows.

I wanted to blog about theater lighting and the power of it. I spent the weekend watching shows at the Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) and the lighting stuck in mind. The lighting was designed by some of the best in the business D.M. Wood, Traci Klainer Polimeni, and John Ambrosone. I was impressed how they all made the theaters go dark before right before the shows started. The stage area was almost pitch black. It had such power in this action. The chit chat ended, the audience silenced, and all eyes were directed to the stage. A simple action but an action with such power.

The lights were used that way during intermission which as an audience member I found helpful. It made me mentally ready for the show to continue. Of course when the house lights come on at the end of a concert or show letting you know the production is over.

Obviously in theater the lighting helps set up the scenes, directs the audience attention, and plays a vital role in the production. I just noticed a little thing at the theater that had so much power!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Happy Birthday Ringo Starr!

Today is Ringo Starr's 73rd Birthday and since he is only one of two Beatles still alive it sounds like a pretty good excuse to celebrate his day. The best way to celebrate is through music since that is his profession, both with Beatles, solo and maybe a few others.

Here is Ringo and his All-Star band doing his hit "It Don't Come Easy" from a show earlier this year...

Last year he celebrated his Birthday with Joe Walsh...

Here is Ringo with that famous band back in 1965 "Act Natural"..

I have had the privilege of seeing Ringo on a couple of occasions. Always different musicians who were incredible in their own right. His shows were always fun experience. His ticket prices not outrageous like some of his peers. A solid drummer.Here is Ringo on his son playing drums for The Who...

Here he perfroms his solo hit "Photograph"

Happy Birthday Ringo!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy Birthday Robbie Robertson!

Today is Robbie Robertson's 70th birthday. He is the legendary guitarist of The Band and has had asuccessful solo career. The best way to celebrate is through the music..

Probably The Band's most famous song...

This one is a song written by Bob Dylan but one of my favorites..

Here is Robbie Robertson performing "Somewhere Down The Crazy River"

and another "Ghost Dance"

Here is "Fear of Falling" Robbie Robertson with Eric Clapton...

Happy Birthday Robbie Robertson, thanks for the music! I will be back with a new post soon!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July. I was able to celebrate Independence Day twice. Once on Saturday locally and again today in Washington.

Here are the local fireworks...

Photo: Fireworks

Here are a taste of the fireworks in Washington...

However, I enjoyed being with family and friends the most!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Terminal Man

Michael Crichton continues to work his way up my favorite authors list. I just finished reading one of his earlier works The Terminal Man. The book held my interest and like many of his works packed plenty of suspense. Since the book is about my age it is perhaps a little dated but a good story and good read none the less.

The Terminal Man

It is the second book of his I have read this year. I read The Pirate Latitudes over the winter. The Terminal Man was much easier to get into but in the end I enjoyed the pirate one a bit more.

Well I will be back soon with a new post...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Happy Birthday Richard Petty!

I am not a big Nascar fan. The race is a tad long to keep my attention span. The cars are cool! I have heard it is an awesome experience live. I do enjoy the highlights, I guess that feeds my inner demented self I like seeing the wrecks. I follow the sport cassually.

When I was a kid, like most boys of my era we had our racetracks with our little motorized cars. You know the ones with the little slot. Anyway my racing favorite when I was growing up was Richard Petty. He was legend and in my mind he was Nascar racing.

This was a bit before my is his flip at Darlington

He was in the first class inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. He wa sinducted into the International Motor Sports Hall of Fame and the Motorsports Halll of Fame of America. He also recieved the Medal of Freedom from President Bush. Perhaps the reason I liked him was he won 81 races from the time I was born until I was 13.

Last lap...

A true legend 200 victories and a member of multiple racing hall of fames. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy Birthday Willie Dixon!

Today is the 98th birthday of one of the greatest blues men, the late Willie Dixon. Not only was he an important blues man his songs were important links between the blues and rock as other artists recorded his songs. Artists such as Led Zeppelin, Cream, Eric Clapton, The Grateful Dead, Canned Heat, The Doors, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Gary Moore, Steve Miller, Jimi Hendrix and many more.Let's celebrate his birthday with music!

Willie Dixon built for comfort...

The Doors "Backdoor Man"...

The Rolling Stones "Little Red Rooster"..

Led Zeppelin "I Can't Quit You, Baby"

Willie Dixon "My Babe"

Cream "Spoonful"

Willie Dixon "I'm Nervous"

Happy Birthday Willie Dixon! I hope you enjoy with an artist like Willie Dixon we could go on and on..