25 / pub 44 / FREE / May 5-11, 2010
Roots Music to Be Reckoned with:
Donna the Buffalo play Soapbox Laundro Lounge on Saturday
encore | may 5-11 , 2010 | www.encorepub.com
Come to Drifters Bar & Grill… see what all the hype’s about! Enjoy great food in a fun, relaxing bar atmosphere. You can enjoy live entertainment, sit out on the sun deck, or play pool in the Irish back bar; we have something for everyone. You’ll meet friendly people, be offered daily drink specials & fun food specials and you will always feel welcome. Our menu offers a variety of grill and deli items made with our unique twist using only the freshest of ingredients. We strive to bring you “the best”; not only in food but service, too. Stop by today and see why Drifter’s Bar & Grill remains “the best kept secret” in downtown Wilmington. A friendly staff, great food and good times await you. We’ll see you soon!!
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Wednesday - Karaoke Thursday – Live music Friday & saTurday nighT Live Music Live Music Every Saturday & Sunday on the Patio from 2-5 Saturday Corn Hole Tournament: 1PM sign up; 2PM start - $10/ team. 2nd place gets $10, 1st gets the rest!! Sunday Beer Pong Tournament: 1PM sign up; 2PM start - $10/ team. 2nd place gets $10, 1st gets the rest!!
Dog Friendly patio • Ping Pong • Corn Hole • Pool 108 WalnuT sTreeT www.driftersofwilmington.com Phone (910) 762-1704 encore | may 5-11, 2010 | www.encorepub.com
contents vol. 25 / pub 42 / May 5 - 11, 2010
What’s inside this week
DONNA THE BUFFALO p. 20 They’ve become folk troubadours, traversing the world, bringing their mountain music to audiences everywhere. They’ll be coming to the Soapbox—the show currently moved from Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre— this weekend to play their eclectic and often socially conscious music. Check out Adrian Varnam’s interview on page 20 with Tara Nevins.
Want to see the best in music at Myrtle Beach’s House of Blues? Wilmington’s Soapbox Laundro Lounge? Or UNCW’s Kenan Auditorium? Visit, www.encorepub. com, to enter one of our many concert contests, and try for a chance to score tickets to area shows!
“They say there are about 12 million illegal immigrants in this country. But if you ask a Native American, that number is more like 300 million.” —David Letterman “This is the worst thing to happen to beaches since the Speedo.” —Bill Maher, on the oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico “The top executive of Goldman Sachs testified before Congress today, which proves crooks always return to the scene of the crime.” —Jay Leno “During a Goldman Sachs hearing yesterday, Sen. Carl Levin used the S-word 11 times on live television when quoting
EDITORIAL: Editor-in-ChiEf: Shea Carver ChiEf Contributors: Adrian Varnam, Gwenyfar Rohler, Anghus Houvouras, Carolyna Shelton, MJ Pendleton, Claude Limoges, Jay Schiller, Lauren Hodges, Tiffanie Gabrielse, Tom Tomorrow, Chuck Shepherd, Chirstina Dore, The Cranky Foreigner and Lisa Hunyh
an e-mail. Which begs the question — if a guy swears on C-SPAN and there’s no one watching to hear it, does he really make a sound?” —Jimmy Fallon “Is it really a good thing for President Bush to remind us of the decisions he made? I would have just let people forget.” —Jimmy Kimmel “Arizona is the meth lab of democracy.” —Jon Stewart on Arizona’s new immigration law
Wanna know what’s in encore for the week each Wednesday it’s published? Listen to Shea Carver on the Penguin 106.7, with Glenn every Wednesday morning at 9:15. They’ll keep you informed first on what’s happening in the Port City—followed by great music, too.
living it up locally
Stay tuned! We have a great summer contest coming up, allowing readers an op-
pRODucTIOn AnD ADvERTIsIng: Art dirECtor Sue Cothran AdvErtising sAlEs: John Hitt: Downtown, Carolina Beach Kris Beasley: Wrightsville Beach, N. Wilmington Shea Carver: Midtown, Monkey Junction Promotions mAnAgEr: John Hitt distribution: Reggie Brew, John Hitt
encore is published weekly, on Wednesday, by Wilmington Media. opinions of contributing writers are not necessarily the opinions of encore.
CorreSpoNdeNCe: p.o. Box 12430, Wilmington, N.C. 28405 firstname.lastname@example.org • www.encorepub.com phone: (910) 791-0688 • Fax: (910) 791-9177
portunity to win a staycation in downtown Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach or Ocean Isle! Check out our upcoming May editions for more information. Local businesses who wish to sponsor Living It Up Locally should contact John Hitt or Kris Beasley at (910) 791-0688 for more information!
Want encore delivered to your inbox every Tuesday—one day before the magazine officially hits the stands? Well, go our Web site and sign up: www.encorepub.com. Not only will you get the weekly arts and entertainment news first, you’ll also be able to sign up for our contests, flip through our virtual ‘zine and be oh-so-tech savvy in the 21st century.
KIDZink is featured in this week’s encore exchange. To have your child’s/classroom’s art work, writings, poetry, photography, and creative submissions printed, e-mail shea@ encorepub.com by the 25th of every month, at the very latest! KIDZink comes out the first week of every month!
Want $25 worth of Firebelly for half the price? Or how about an earthBound Salon gift certificate for Mom worth $50 but for half off? Well, check out halfoffdepot.com for our weekly offerings. Businesses currently posted include: PT’s, Giggles, Bellamy Mansion, YMCA, Cubbies, Port City Wrestling, North Chase Spalon, Papa John’s, Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen, Revolution 9, Fibber’s Public House, Ingram Planetarium, Reel Cafe and Dynamic Martial Arts.
news & views................. 4-9 4 live local campaign: Gwenyfar finds the Chatterbox, a.k.a. Folk’s Cafe, a true connection to her neighborhood.
6 see black box. 8 news of the weird: Chuck Shepherd reports on news of the strange and odd.
artsy smartsy ................. 10-25 10-11 theater: MJ Pendleton gives a five-star review to Opera House Theatre Company’s “Five Guys Named Moe” and previews Big Dawg’s upcoming production, “Goodbye, Charlie.” 13 film: Anghus is not a fan of a poorly directed and acted The Losers. 14 art: Lauren Hodges talks to Dixon Stetler about her latest key project and the opening of the juried show at Wabi Sabi Warehouse this Friday. 15 gallery guide: Find out what exhibitions are hanging in our local art galleries. 16-17 music: Adrian Varnam previews the upcoming CCM Foundation concert and gets the scoop on Donna the Buffalo’s upcoming show, which moved to the Soapbox from Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre. 18-21 soundboard: See what bands and performers are playing in venues all over town.
encore exchange........... 1x-32x 2x-16x kidzink Read student and teacher profiles, see kids’ art work and read their writings, and check out the local school and organizational news that betters our youth. 17x-34x classifieds: Let our classifieds help you sell or buy a home or a car. Crossword on page 12. 35x pet of the week: Find out what animals need adopting and other breeds for sale.
grub & guzzle ................. 22-25 22 feast on the southeast: Shea Carver talks with Jane Steigerwalk about the Southeastern North Carolina Food System’s latest foray into the restaurant industry, by encouraging local farmer/chef relationships. 24-25 dining guide: Need a few suggestions on where to eat? Flip through encore’s dining guide, and read about our featured restaurant of the week.
extra! extra! ................... 27-35 27 books: Tiffanie Gabrielse reviews encore’s first book club read, Push.
28 fact or fiction: Follow Claude Limoges latest installment of ‘An Involuntary Intimate.’ 29 mother’s day entries: Readers share stories about their mom’s in honor of May 9th. 30-35 calendar/’toons/corkboard: Find out where to go and what to do about town with encore’s calendar; check out Tom Tommorow and encore’s annual ‘toons winner, Jay Schiller; read the latest saucy corkboard ads.
encore | may 5-11 , 2010 | www.encorepub.com
below Live Local. Live Small. 6 Thalian Hall’s Grand Re-Opening 9 News of the Weird
Live Local. Live Small. The neighborhood ‘Chatterbox’ keeps everyone connected
eady to head out to the Chatterbox Café, m’dear?” Jock asks me with a grin. “You know,” he continues, “In a world where a lot of people talk nostalgically about the Chatterbox Café in Lake Woebegone, we visit there everyday, and that’s really what Folks is.” Folks Café is on the corner of 12th and Princess streets, and Jock is right. There, the Chatterbox Café is not a nice memory, but alive and well. A little over a block from our house, it is the center of our neighborhood. Last year, the Swarts sold it to a wonderful family from South America, the Puccinis. Juan Puccini left Argentina for Ecuador, where he met and fell in love with the beautiful Tammy. Five lovely daughters later, they moved to California. Two years ago the eldest
by: Gwenyfar Rohler daughter, Paula, and her husband, Robbie, moved here to open The Olive Tree Co. on Front Steet. The family followed, discovered Folks Café was for sale, and the rest, as they say, was history. Everyday for us begins with Edith Wharton, our 9-month-old spaniel, informing us that it is: Time! To! Go! To the coffee shop. She knew “coffee shop” before she knew “sit,” “stay” or “come.” During the week,when they open at 6:45am, this is not a problem; but on the weekends, when she has to wait until 8:30am—wow! That is a horrendous hour with her. Edith loves the coffee shop in the morning. She sits on the bench outside, and greets all her
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friends, both quad- and bi-ped alike, while Jock and I get caught up on the news of the neighborhood. For us, we are not spending money on Fair Trade Coffee everyday; it’s our admission to sit down and see our neighborhood. It’s having five minutes to chat with the kids before they catch the bus for school. It’s walking in the door to be greeted by name and have our usual orders waiting—not that we even need the usual order, but it’s a nice touch. Folks offers the community those moments of shock, when we realize the gorgeous young woman we didn’t recognize in the corner was seemingly just an awkward 12-year-old last week. It’s knowing our neighbors will be there when we are. It’s providing a forum to discuss the concerns of our micro community. Best of all, it’s real communication, not text-messaging and e-mail. It’s birthday cake and new babies coming into the world. It’s much more than a cup of coffee or a bagel. “In a world where you e-mail your likeminded friends your favorite political head-
lines and jokes, Folks Café provides a forum where every morning our neighborhood Republicans and Democrats, Libertarians, Independents and Greens face-off and debate that morning’s paper,” Jock points out. “That’s important, and it’s dying.” The fourth Thursday and Friday mornings of the month are always crazy at Folks Café, as the ACME crowd starts counting down the hours to Fourth Friday Gallery Walk. Anyone who walks in will find people holding strategy sessions or picking up emergency coffee rations. It’s official: The local art scene is alive and caffeinated. Folks is the mid-point between our house and The Full Belly Project shop, so whenever I can’t find Jock, I drop by and if he’s not there, he has just left or is just coming in the door. For more than five years it is where Jock has met the Saturday morning Full Belly volunteers. For us, it doesn’t get much more local than this: The investment in our neighborhood is incredible, and we reap the benefits everyday.
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We would like to thank our participating restaurants, sponsors and readers for making the 2010 Wilmington Spring Restaurant Week a success.
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse Catch Blue Plate De Lara Mediterranean Cuisine The Melting Pot Aubriana’s Verandah Cafe at the Holiday Inn-Wrightsville Beach
Katy’s Great Eats Yo Sake Flaming Amy’s
Flaming Amy’s Bowl East inside the Blockade Runner Hotel
Caprice Bistro Hieronymus Port City Chop House South Beach Grill Banks Channel Pub & Grille Flat Eddies Henry’s Eddie Romanelli’s Leland Location
Carolina Ale House Cape Fear Seafood Company Fat Tony’s Jamaica’s Comfort Zone Mixto Pilot House Elijah’s Priddy Boys The Little Dipper Siena Trattoria Wrightsville Grille
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Theatrical Reveal: Thalian Hall showcases its renovations during May’s ‘madness’
halian Hall is a beacon of Wilmington arts, standing for over 150 years and continuously expanding the local cultural landscape. She houses artists, singers, thespians and politicos alike, as its main stage brings in shows, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, and the connecting offices house our city officials. “In many ways Thalian Hall defines Wilmington—its past and its present,” Tony Rivenbark, Thalian’s executive director, who has led the helm at the historic site for 30-plus years, told encore. “It is one of the things that makes the city unique. It is something that the entire community can take pride in.” And we have—through many shows. Over the years, Rivenbark, too, has seen hundreds of performers come from behind the red curtain. They have played instruments across the board, acted in some of the most well-known plays, and have danced and sung their hearts out, all to entertain and enlighten our community. “Barbara Cook was a very special artist who generally does not play a hall this size,” Rivenbark remembered, from a few of his favorite Thalian performances. “The Shanghai Opera was one of the most colorful and culturally diverse performances. The New Vic Theatre from London presented ‘Canterbury Tales,’ which was a delight. Chet Atkins was one of the most gracious artists to appear on this stage. Tommy Smothers, [who I] met many years ago, was great fun to have here. The thing that I find so interesting is how these touring artists respond to performing here. It is an intimate space, which is very welcoming to anyone on the stage, and they always comment on that.” Making the theater cozier, as well as more spacious, renovations have been underway since last summer. The only surviving theatre designed by John Montague Trimble, one of America’s foremost 19th-century theater architects, will have received a $3.6 million redo, one of the largest since its first cornerstone was laid in December 1855, “There was some work done in every decade,” Rivenbark noted, “but significant changes in the interior or improvements were made in 1871, 1888, 1904, 1909, 1940, 1954, 1975 and 1990. The remoldeling of the theatre in 1909, the restoration after the fire in 1973, and the expansion and renovation of the stage house in 1990 were the most extensive.” This month visitors will be introduced to Thalian’s new digs. Some updates include: new seats, replastering and repainting of all of the docorative surfaces, hydraulic orches-
encore | may 5-11, 2010 | www.encorepub.com
by: Shea Carver
Thalian Hall’s Grand Re-Opening May 14th-15th: Invitation-only black-tie affair Public Dedication: May 18th “Madness of May”: May 16th, 20th-23rd Fuill details: www.thalianhall.com tra pit lift, new sound system, new lighting system, a new box office, a new concession and the installation of a $75,000 period chandelier. “Patrons will also enjoy more leg room, better air flow and major life safety improvements,” Rivenbark explained. Funded from the City of Wilmington and from private contributions, the new Thalian Hall gets unveiled at a black-tie affair on the
BEAUTIFULLY HISTORIC, INSIDE AND OUT: Thalian Hall will reveal its current renovations on May 14th and 15th at its private gala re-grand opening. The public will be able to experience it at the dedication on the 18th, and its many upcoming events throughout May.
14th and 15th (admission by invitation only), featuring Wilmington playwright R.V. Fulk’s original musical, “Madness of May,” based on John Galsworthy’s short story The Apple Tree. Then, on May 16th, 20th-22nd, and 23rd, the show will open to the public for $25 a ticket. “With a brilliant cast, gorgeous costumes, a beautiful set, and an 18-piece orchestra, who would not want to come and experience it in the stunning theatre?” Rivenbark asked, rhetorically.
A public dedication ceremony will be held on Tuesday, May 18th, wherein the public is welcome to attend. Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo and the City Council formally dedicate the grand reopening of Thalian Hall Center For The Performing Arts, and tour the beautiful, newly renovated and restored space. The month continues with events that will engage the community further. “I am really looking forward to Helen Mirren in The Last Station,” Rivenbark said, a biography about Leo Tolstoy, also starring Christopher Plummer. In fact, the May 24th showing of WHQR’s Cinematique will include a 6:30pm reception before the 7:30pm screening begins. May 28th welcomes the variety show, “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” and the children’s classic “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” will be shown on the 29th, featuring the astounding use of shadow masks, puppets and full-body actors.
Playing the MC in “Cabaret” and Mozart in “Amadeus,” as well as reprising his famed role as Ebenizer Scrooge for many years in the Theatre Exchange’s production of “A Christmas Carol,” Rivenbark is no stranger to the stage. Nor is he a stranger to continuously working to make sure Thalian Hall brings some of the best entertainment in our historically rich town. “The Thalian Hall Main Attractions have been booked, and the season will open with John Tesh on October 9th,” he said. Also on the bill are The Red Clay Ramblers, Susan Werner, In the Mood: The Big Band salute to the 1940’s, Natalie MacMaster’s “Christmas on Cape Breton,” and comedians Etta Mae and Jon Reep. “Everyone is so proud of this theatre,” Rivenbark reveled. “It is the crown jewel of Wilmington. I had a young actress walk into the theatre after the 1990 renovation, and she looked up and said. ‘I want to have this theatre’s baby!’ Quite a tribute!” Check out more of Thalian Hall’s renovation photos, as well as their schedule of events on www.thalianhall.com.
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d r i e w e h t f o s w e n Chuck Shepherd digs up the strangest of the strange in world news
Adoptions Divorce Child Support Child Custody Visitation Rights Spousal Support Property Division Domestic Violence Protective Orders Juvenile Cases Se Habla DSS/Foster Care Issues Español Domestic Partnership Agreements Immigration Law 401 Chestnut St., Suite J Downtown Wilmington 910-795-0230
LEAD STORY In mid-April, senior Iranian cleric Ayatollah Kazem Sedighi issued a warning that recent earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, and elsewhere were caused by women’s loose sex and immodest dress. Immediately, Jennifer McCreight responded on Facebook by urging women worldwide to dress provocatively on April 26 to create “boobquake” and test the cleric’s theory, and at least 90,000 women promised they would reveal serious cleavage on that date. On April 26, following a several-day drought of earthquakes, a Richter-scale-measuring 6.5 quake hit just south of Taiwan. (Slight advantage to the ayatollah, since a Purdue University seismologist observed that a 6.5 quake was not uncommon for that region.) Cultural Diversity One of the world’s longest-running TV comedy shows (according to an April Reuters dispatch from South Korea) is the weekly North Korean production “It’s So Funny,” with its undynamic format of a man and a woman in military uniforms talking to each other (though they sometimes sing and dance). The latest episode “extolled the virtue of beans,” wrote
the Reuters stringer, “while avoiding any flatulence humor.” “If we soldiers see beans, we become happy,” said the man, leading both hosts to laugh. According to Reuters, “The two talk about how bean-fed North Korean soldiers were able to fight off U.S. imperialist troops during the Korean war.” Latest Religious Messages John Ridgeway, 45, filed a federal falseimprisonment lawsuit in March based on his 2005 trial over a traffic charge. According to a report in Michigan’s Bay City Times, just before the jury returned with a verdict, Ridgeway opened a vial of oil, rubbed some on his fingers and then around the defense table, and he later shook hands with court personnel. Ridgeway was arrested when the prosecutor, a bailiff and the ticketing police officer became ill. Ridgeway explained that the virgin olive oil had been blessed by a Colorado pastor, specifically to “cast evil” from government facilities. In March, leaders of the St. John’s Lutheran Church in Baraboo, Wis., voted to fire the principal of its elementary and middle school because of his “question(ing) the church’s teachings.” The church had held a contentious meeting of members on March 21, but few spoke out for the principal, largely because female members were banned from speaking at all. (According to the Baraboo News Republic, women cannot vote on the church’s business but generally are allowed to talk at meetings until now.) Questionable Judgments Under Britain’s Department of Health guidelines, prisoners about to be released, and who had previously taken drugs but cured their addiction while incarcerated, are being purposely re-addicted by wardens, using methadone. According to researchers, the former addicts will then be less likely to overdose when they get back on the street. Reportedly, more than 460 prisoners have thus been “retoxified” in the last five years. In March, the European Union’s Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office granted a trademark to two German entrepreneurs to market a beer called Fucking Hell. Under the office’s reasoning, “hell” is simply German slang for “light ale,” and the other word is the official name of a town in neighboring Austria. However, according to a March report in Der Spiegel, the applicants for the trademark have no connection to the town, and there is no brewery there, or even plans for a brewery. Judge Robert Benjamin of the Hobart branch of Australia’s Family Courts ruled in a March custody case that sisters, aged 10 and 8, must spend weekends with their father, even though he is a convicted sex offender with a child-porn habit. The judge attached some re-
encore | may 5-11, 2010 | www.encorepub.com
strictions that Dad must install a lock on the girls’ bedroom door that he cannot control and, if the girls stay overnight, the father must have “an adult friend” spend the night, too, so that Dad will be less likely to offend. In March, an employment tribunal in Sydney, Australia, awarded pilot Bryan Griffin damages of $160,000 (Aus.) (U.S. equivalent, $208,000) because Qantas, for which he worked from 1966 to 1982, had allowed him to continue flying from 1979 to 1982 with depression and anxiety attacks that caused him nearly to deliberately crash his aircraft. As a result of continuing to work, he had several more episodes which exacerbated his condition (and, obviously, placed his passengers in jeopardy). News That Sounds Like a Joke In January, the principal of D. Roy Kennedy Public School in Ottawa, Ontario, banned “ball-playing” anywhere on school grounds, declaring that it is too dangerous. Ricardo West, 22, who performs as a Michael Jackson impersonator, was arrested in April in Allen Park, Mich., on 12 counts of sexual misconduct with an 11-year-old boy. We Require Hundreds of Hours of Training for Barbers, But None for Parents Delmer Doss, 19, and his girlfriend, Amber Burgess, 19, were arrested in Stanley, N.C., in February on child abuse charges after police found a video made by the couple of their 11-month-old son. The toddler was blindfolded, and the parents were shown laughing at him, over and over, as he bumped into walls and fell down. In March in Dallas, Krystal Gardner, 28, confronting a repo man driving off with her SUV, tossed her 1-yearold baby through an open window to stop the moving vehicle. (At that point, the repo man stopped and got out, but moments later, a teenager emerged from Gardner’s house and began firing a 12-gauge shotgun. Fetishes on Parade A 27-year-old man reported to Oklahoma City police in April that he was sexually assaulted by a man who had perhaps misunderstood the first man’s intentions. According to a story in The Oklahoman, the first man had fully disclosed his “fetish for flatulence,” but when the two met, the hijinks were interrupted by the second man’s tying up and sexually assaulting the first man. The first man said he wanted only for the second man to “fart for me.” The first man’s name was not disclosed because he claimed to be the victim of a sex crime. Read News of the Weird daily at www.WeirdUniverse.net. Send your Weird News to WeirdNews@earthlink.net or P.O. Box 18737, Tampa Florida, 33679.
See Tomorrowâ€™s Stars Today!
May 27-29 at Brooks Field on UNCW Campus Order Passes By Calling 1-800-808-UNCW or visit www.UNCWsports.com encore | may 5-11 , 2010 | www.encorepub.com
Look Out, Sister! Opera House Theatre Company presents ‘Five Guys Names Moe’
ive Guys Named Moe” is simply spectaculaR! Director Ray Kennedy conducted the orchestra, played the piano, and choreographed the production assisted by Tracy Byrd—and he did it all with astonishing brilliance. This show is so professional it might as well be on Broadway. Kennedy cast the show perfectly; the five Moes are incredibly adorable. Not only are they beautiful, sexy and sensational, they are drop-dead talented. The women in the audience were literally begging to be brought onstage, which, by the way, is part of the production. Since there are no females in the cast, they have to be recruited from the audience, and songs like “Push Ka Pi Shi Pie” and “Look Out, Sister” entirely depend
by: MJ Pendleton
Five Guys Named Moe
HHHHH Scottish Rite Temple May 7th-9th, 8pm Sunday matinees, 3pm Tickets: $18-$20 • (910) 343-3664 on audience participation. On Friday night the audience was game—those Moes are difficult to resist! They are so damn cute. These five guys blast off the stage—they can act, sing, dance—they are really all that. When they put on tap shoes to dance
and sing “Reet, Petite” and “Gone,” it was practically overwhelming. Terrill Williams (Big Moe) was hilarious in drag and as a chicken, but Keith Welborn (Little Moe) was the Moe who stole the show. He simply had the Louis Jordan touch of telling a story in song, and when he sang “Saturday Night Fish Fry,” there was a collective enthusiastic response from the audience. In Act One, he was so darling, singing “Fat Like That”—the audience positively fell in love. The Moes’ flamboyant exuberance was exhilarating and totally entertaining. Though beautifully performed, the slower songs were not as exciting. When Tre Cotten (Eat Moe) sang “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying,” it was achingly lovely, but the razzle-dazzle jive was simply more fun. Poor Jeff Phillips (Nomax), who is a fine actor and singer, was eclipsed by the Moes’ antics to “hip this cat,” but he wasn’t entirely overwhelmed. The orchestra was also fantastic. At the beginning of Act Two, each of the horn section—saxophone, trumpet and trombone—played a solo rift, followed by the bass and drums. These musicians were
so very engaging that they rivaled the five Moes—and that’s saying a lot. The incomparable Ray Kennedy played the piano and conducted Tim McCoy (drums), Will Chacon (percussion), Luke Perkins (bass), Katie Marriner (saxophone), Michael Ellison (trumpet), and Ben Lorek (trombone). When Marriner played the sax, it was as if Louis Jordan had come to life. The performance Friday night was simply a party! The audience was jiggling and jiving, swinging and swaying to the fabulous music. The cast and a few band members formed a congo line, collecting audience participants to dance in the aisles. The lyrics to “Push Ka Pi Shi Pie” were tossed like confetti, and the audience eagerly joined the singing. When the performance ended with a standing ovation, everyone was disappointed that the party was over. This is a sizzling production—a celebratory way to kick off the heat of the upcoming summer. Tickets are on sale now for this weekend’s final performance—be sure to grab a pair and a friend who likes to boogie.
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Gender Ambiguity: Big Dawg Productions presents â€˜Goodbye Charlieâ€™
laywright George Axelrod was the father of the sex-farce genre and, in the moralistic â€˜50s, this was not a simple accomplishment. In an interview shortly before his death he said, â€œThe bulk of my sex-comedy career was done with this enormous handicap: not being allowed to have any sex. I was trying to write these so-called sex comedies in the â€˜50s when we had to deal with the Breen Office. The premise of â€˜Seven Year Itchâ€™ is that a guy has an affair with a girl, while his wife is away, and feels guilty about it. In the movie, he couldnâ€™t have the affair, but he felt guilty anyway; so the goddamn premise didnâ€™t make any sense.â€? Following the â€œSeven Year Itch,â€? Axelrod wrote â€œGoodbye, Charlieâ€? and was essentially censored again when Hollywood replaced sultry Lauren Bacall with bubblegum Debbie Reynolds, which effectively altered the psychological tone of the play. Though Axelrod referred to the genre as â€œboobs and boobsâ€”dumb guys and sexy girls,â€? many of his female characters are in-depth character-studies of independent women. Big Dawg director Ken Cressman has set the production of â€œGoodbye, Charlieâ€? in the present day, with very few editorial changes. â€œI liked what it had to say about the role of women in modern societyâ€”it was ahead of its time,â€? he said. The story is about Charlie, a player who uses women for his own pleasure, then cavalierly discards them. When he is killed by an irate husband, he is reincarnated as a woman. â€œCharlie is a womanizer; women are his playthings,â€? Cressman explained. â€œThere are still men who think of women as secondclass citizensâ€”not as important, not as intelligent. When Charlie becomes a woman, he realizes that women are real people. He comes to realize that as a woman he has
by: MJ Pendleton
Goodbye, Charlie Cape Fear Playhouse â€˘ 613 Castle St. May 6th-9th, 13th-16th, 20th-23rd, 8pm Sunday matinees, 3pm Tickets: (910) 341-7228 more to offer then he thought women ever did.â€? The conflict arises when Charlie-as-awoman, falls in love with â€œhisâ€? best friend George. â€œCharlie discovers that â€˜sheâ€™ can love, which is the greatest irony of the entire situation,â€? Melissa Stanley, who plays Charlie, said. â€œâ€™Sheâ€™ falls in love with someone who couldnâ€™t possibly love â€˜herâ€™ back. George canâ€™t love me because Iâ€™m always going to be that guy, Charlie.â€? â€œGeorge starts realizing that he has feelings for Charlie, but itâ€™s complicated,â€? Tony Moore, who plays George, added. â€œIf Charlie were anyone else, heâ€™d marry â€˜her,â€™ but he canâ€™t get past it.â€? George, though, does reflect, â€œWho wouldnâ€™t want to be married to a woman who has been a man, because she knows what a man wants.â€? This is the type of comedy that Big Dawg does very well in their intimate, neighborhood theater on Castle Street. â€œA Thousand Clownsâ€? sold out every night, and â€œGoodbye, Charlieâ€? is similarly appealing. â€œItâ€™s very funny, very well-written, and the attitude in the story is timeless,â€? Cressman said. Gender disparity is also a timeless issueâ€”something, perhaps, that will never be resolved; but it always makes good comedy. Make reservations, come early, windowshop the antiques, sip a glass of wine at the tiny bar next to the theater, and have a lovely evening of laughter.
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