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jan. 19, 2011

Verbal villain S.S.T.R.E.S. rocks Main Street’s ‘S&S Experience’ Call Now To Enroll for Classes!

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EDUCATION: TSA open house 5 JULES WEBSTER: Schedule C for artists 6 RACHEL RICHARDSON: Mentors come and gone 8 COMICS: Mercs get their due 10 HERE COMES THE GUIDE: Winter bridal trends 11 THE PULSE: Events calendar 31 LILD: Wake up, rapper 36 JEFF McGINNIS: A new horoscope 38

S.S.T.R.E.S. at Main STreet • Nelson tribute in Tiffin • Wil Clay passes • Here comes the guide • Jillian on Wii • Ophiuchus JAN. 19, 2011 • Episode 2 Chapter 3 • Toledo Free Press Star, Toledo, OH: “Every breath you take, every move you make. I’ll be watching you. ” — The Police, “Every Breath You Take”

Comedy with Finesse at Fat Fish Blue By Jeff McGinnis Toledo Free Press STAR Staff Writer

“It’s comedian Finesse Mitchell, man,” the voice mail said. “‘SNL,’ ‘Tyra Banks Show,’ ‘Chelsea Lately,’ ‘Nick Swardson’s Pretend Time,’ Comedy Central, the ‘Today’ show, the movies ‘Mad Money’ and ‘Who’s Your Caddy.’ I’m coming to Toledo! Again! Toledo! Don’t ask me why, but I’m coming! I murdered it last time I was there, and I’m coming back!” Rarely does an individual announce themselves so thoroughly and enthusiastically — especially when they are just leaving a message. But Mitchell is a very passionate guy. The hilarious comedian brings endless energy and talent to every aspect of his performance, which will be on display at Fat Fish Blue Home of the Funnybone in Perrysburg on Jan. 20-23. So how did the über-cool and smooth “Finesse” get his nickname? “I was in college, and girls just started calling me ‘Finesse.’ And I didn’t wanna go to the locker room and tell everyone my name was ‘Albert.’ So the football players started calling me that, and all the sorority girls started calling me that,” Mitchell said during a phone interview. The college, by the way, was the University of Miami, Florida. Yes, he was a Hurricane, back when that was a great thing to be. He was a walk-on with the football team, with a desire to go pro. “And then one day, this dude hit me so hard where I didn’t wanna play football no more,” Mitchell said. “I changed my mind, looked for something else to do.” That “something else” didn’t come easily. He rode out the rest of his college days basically waiting to graduate. Afterward, “I got into the financial services industry, where I was selling insurance,” Mitchell said. But always on the back burner was stand-up comedy. He had begun performing in college, through his fraternity Kappa Alpha Phi (which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, Mitchell proudly noted).

“I tried to be a rapper, but I was wack. And then one day, I got on stage and I did comedy, it just went great, man. I never heard so many screams. So I thought I was a comedian. And the very next week, I went back for the open mic night, and invited all my friends. And I got booed so hard. And after that, I was hooked.” He continued to refine his act during his years working in insurance. One day, his boss saw him perform and gave the young Mitchell a great vote of support. “He said if I ever needed time off to go do college shows, he would let me do it.” After a few years on the circuit, he got his first big break performing on BET’s “Comic View,” leading to a number of appearances on a variety of late-night shows. But his biggest break came almost by accident, as Finesse wandered by the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles one night. Out front, Dane Cook and Jay Mohr stood talking. “And I heard Jay tell Dane that Tracy Morgan was leaving ‘SNL’ and they were looking for the new black guy. And I just happened to be walking by, and I went, ‘I’m black!’ And they were like, ‘Hey, Finesse, send your tape in.’” He did, and after a series of auditions, Mitchell landed a role as a featured player for the 28th season of the late-night comedy institution. He rose through the ranks to become a full-fledged cast member, before being dropped from the show in 2006. “It was just big turnaround, because the cast was so huge, and NBC was not doing great, and they were looking for cutbacks, every show,” said Mitchell, who noted that he regrets that he didn’t have more time to grow into his own on “SNL.” “To be honest with you, I really didn’t ‘get’ the show, and know where I was, until I was gone.” In the years since “SNL,” Mitchell’s visibility has grown through his film roles, ongoing appearances on “Chelsea Lately” and more. He’s also expanded into written humor, with a regular column in Essence Magazine and a book, “Your Girlfriends Only Know So Much.” “I just wrote a couple sitcoms I’m excited about, there’s a lot of stuff that’s about to go on in LA. I’m excited about 2011,” Mitchell said. O

Finesse Mitchell.


Star of the Week



Verbal villain

Main Street offers music, comedy during ‘S&S Experience.’

By Mighty Wyte


There is no question that our local Hip-Hop talents know how to put on a hard-hitting show. On Jan. 26, the Main Street Bar and Grill will play host to one stiff uppercut of an event. Audience members will be treated to live music performances and fresh stand-up comedy acts. Set to perform at the show, dubbed the “S&S Experience,” after the local artist management group sponsoring the night, are three comedians and four musical acts. Tavon Patterson, Keith Cook and Glenn Kynard Jr. are billed as comedic performers for the night, along with musical artists Jason Kelly, Sq’air, The Great Lakes Crew and Toledo’s own verbal villain, S.S.T.R.E.S. Less than one year after the release of “The Prophecy,” S.S.T.R.E.S. has chosen not to take any time off between albums, and has already begun to record and perform new material. With the success of “The Prophecy,” S.S.T.R.E.S. said it was important to carry the momentum forward and capitalize on all of the positive feedback he’d been receiving. “The response to the album has been great; it has helped me make a mark in the music scene and it’s helped me to become respected as a true MC,” he said. S.S.T.R.E.S. — an acronym for Still Standing Through Rhetoric and Everything Senseless — writes about issues that face real people. He knows how to keep his audience engaged. “I try to create an environment where people feel like they can be themselves. There is comedy interlaced with high-energy songs, but overall my shows are pretty laid-back,” he said. Doors for the “S&S Experience” open at 8 pm. Admission is $7 at the door. Main Street Bar and Grill is located at 141 Main St. O



S.S.T.R.E.S. will join an all-star lineup at Main Street Bar and Grill on Jan. 26. STAR PHOTO AND COVER PHOTO BY MIGHTY WYTE

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‘There are other ways to learn’ Toledo School for the Arts kicks off enrollment period with Jan. 22 open house. By Sarah Ottney TOLEDO FREE PRESS STAR STAFF WRITER

On any given day at Toledo School for the Arts (TSA), students can be found choreographing dance routines, practicing guitar riffs or putting the finishing touches on their latest paintings. Since 1999, the public charter school Downtown has helped hundreds of creative students, including recent “American Idol” runner-up Crystal Bowersox, nurture their gifts in music, dance, theater and visual arts alongside core academic subjects. At first, the school drew mainly from the Toledo area; now it draws students from 27 school districts, said TSA Development Director Dave Gierke. To kick off its next enrollment period, TSA will host its annual open house starting at 10 a.m. Jan. 22, the first day applications for the 2011-12 school year will be accepted. Teachers, parents and students will be available to answer questions, 20-minute informational tours will start every half-hour and student artwork and club information will be on display, Gierke said. Gierke advises prospective students to

download an enrollment packet from TSA’s website or pick one up at the school before coming to the open house. “Open house used to be a time to talk and check it out, but now it’s almost become a day to be here with your stuff in hand and ready to go,” Gierke said. “We start scheduling placement interviews that day.” TSA, which has 560 students in grades six through 12, has openings for 85 sixth-graders and a few openings in other grades, Gierke said. Last year, the school received 300 applications for 115 openings, of which 80 were for sixth-graders. “So few kids ever leave that usually if they don’t get into the school in sixth grade, they won’t get in,” Gierke said. Alumna Caitlin Stoner, a 2007 grad who came to TSA in 10th grade, said the school helps build confidence. “I felt in my previous schooling I was just being pushed along, but here I was being developed,” Stoner said. “It’s a healthy and encouraging atmosphere for creative kids.” TSA’s diverse, liberal environment with high levels of autonomy is not the right fit for every student, but many who find a home at TSA report they have trouble finding another place

that nourishes them so completely, Gierke said. “It’s a very different culture,” Gierke said. “Students become very ingrained. Students are here after school a lot. It’s not unusual for teachers to be here late into the evening.” “Pretty much everything” about TSA is different, from the jazz-club-inspired cafeteria décor to the classes, Gierke said. “We believe creative students do better here when arts are infused into education, meaning you may go to science class and be learning the science of sound, which may help you understand your instrument better,” Gierke said. Stoner, who attends Bowling Green State University, where she designed her own music major, said she enjoyed that classes at TSA were tailored to the artistic mind, whether it was writing plays in history or creating geometric art in math. TSA, located at 333 14th St., has been rated excellent by the Ohio Department of Education for the past five years and named a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, according to its website. About 75 percent of graduates go on to higher education, Gierke said. For more information, visit www.ts4arts. org or call (419) 246-8732. O

A music class at TSA.


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Schedule C for artists — made simple


was a good year for many artists and designers in Toledo. Although the economic downturn was unkind to some in our field, others saw their sales and the demand for artwork and art-related services (graphic, Web, and sound design; event promotion) increase beyond expectations. When you reach the point where your hobby or side job becomes a regular form of work for profit, you are required to file a Schedule C with your 1040 tax return. Many people aren’t comfortable taking on the responsibility of converting their primary form of artistic expression into a “for profit” entity, and are even more uncomfortable keeping business records and filing paperwork with the appropriate government agencies. I felt the same way until I sat down with a certified public accountant who explained how the IRS categorizes types of deductible expenses for sole-proprietors. Most artists are sole-proprietors, and the paperwork required for this type of business is relatively simple. Even if you take in only slightly more money than you spend on art materials and supplies used in art production, you can significantly reduce the amount you owe in taxes or increase your return by keeping accurate records of your expenses and deducting them from the amount of your taxable income. Each artist and business is different; consult a professional CPA who can assess your situation

and help prepare your tax return. The more organized your records, the smaller the fee for preparing your return. Print or download the two-page Form 1040 Schedule C and related instructions at www.  and familiarize yourself with the documents. Most artists will list their expenses in 10 or fewer categories in Part II: Expenses of Schedule C and itemize large JULES or miscellaneous purchases in Part V: Other Expenses. For ease of preparing your year-end taxes, keep a running total (which you tally and record at the close of each month) of how much your business spent in the following deductible categories. The number listed next to the expense category title corresponds with numbers found on Schedule C. Assume that all receipts being counted are ordinary, necessary and generally accepted within your business field. O 8-Advertising. The cost of print ads, design services, website production, TV and radio

commercials, postcards and printing for all promotional materials. O 9-Car Expenses. Keep a log of all miles driven for business purposes. This does not include the miles driven to and from home to your office or main workplace. It’s usually better to record your mileage and be reimbursed at the set mileage rate than claim itemized car-related costs. Keep a tab of tolls and parking fees incurred because of your work. O 17-Legal and Professional Services. Fees paid to lawyers and accountants who prepare business documents. O 18-Office Expenses. Pencils, pens, paper, ink, Post-its, file folders, envelopes, tape, etc. This category also includes money spent on postage and package delivery. It does not include office furniture or computer equipment, which are listed on Form 4562 and depreciate over several years. O 20-Rent. The amount paid for office/ studio space.


Minding your


O 22-Supplies. A broad category which includes all merchandise and materials purchased for resale or consumed during one year’s production. It also includes professional equipment with a useful life of one year or less such as paint brushes and dust masks. O 23-Taxes and Licenses. Keep records of the sales tax paid to the state and government fees related to starting or operating the business. O 25-Utilities. Total cost of utilities for your workplace. Does not include home phone or cellular lines, unless the phones were added on top of current “base” coverage and used for the business. O 27-Other Expenses. This is the sum of all business-related expenses that don’t fit into other categories. These expenses are itemized in Part V and can include, but are not limited to: computers and related equipment, credit-card processing fees, tuition for classes/training in your field, selling expenses (juried show and craft fair booth fees), professional photographic services and a plethora of other things. File copies of all miscellaneous or questionable expenses and have your tax professional help you decide where to account for each. More info on the Schedule C and helpful tips will be continued in the next Star. O Jules Webster is owner of Shine Ceramics and Shine 419, a division of the business created to promote Toledo’s vibrant creative scene. Visit www.shineceramics. com or e-mail

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Mentors found and lost Remember those who came before, and carry their advice as you create your art.


ne thing about coming of age and creating a life of art and activism in Toledo is that there are potential mentors everywhere you look. I’ve only been able to find this niche because it was there to be found; it was created by many people before me for many years before me. Another thing about all of these talented mentors is that they do as much as they can to make their marks and work tirelessly for their purpose, but a time comes when they expire. I suppose this isn’t all that profound. It’s just life and death. No biggie. Today, though, I am struck because I am just leaving Murphy’s Place where Joan Russell is being spiritedly celebrated. The club is absolutely packed full of community members and musicians there to honor Joan and Murphy’s as the institutions that they are. To say that the place is swingin’ would be an understatement. She is there grinning because of it, and is also here with me as I write this. Just like she will be for the rest of my life every time I think to myself, “How would Joan handle this?” And, again, I am grateful to even have had the opportunity to know her well enough to guess how she would handle things. If her response isn’t the appropriate one, I can al-

ways think about how Rusty Monroe did things. My relationship with Rusty was quite different as I waited tables in her club and got my jazz legs. A juxtaposed position, but I learned nonetheless that these two women were the personification of: If you want it done your way, you had better be prepared to do every bit of it yourself. They each had such focus and refused to be deterred. They did it for the music and for the musicians Rachel and never for themselves. I try to remind myself of that in my own work. When the advice I need has more to do with being a musician rather than behind the scenes, I can call on another teacher who left a few years ago. Joan and Rusty held down the clubs, but Leon Cook held down the stages in those clubs. Losing Leon changed my connection to jazz, making it nearly impos-

Levis Commons Perrysburg, OH


sible to listen without continuing to actively mourn him, but I still take him with me every single time I make music in front of an audience. Leon was the consummate performer. He dropped countless gems of wisdom on me about the music and my attitude, even down to the clothes a singer should wear on stage. I still do as I was told on that front. I’m missing a piece in the shape of Leon’s guitar. In Toledo, there is also no shortage of those who went before in the visual art and activism arenas. I have been lucky enough to have been raised by a mother who led by the example that eccentricity made the world go round, and who made sure that art and music were simply normal. I am, quite literally, surrounded in my apartment at this moment by paintings




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done by my aunt (my mom’s sister, Mona Rubin) whom I know very little about and who died quite a few years ago, but whose art has covered the walls of every home I’ve lived in. Supplemented by the work of Judy Dilloway (my mom’s dear friend who also passed away), I have been and continue to be steeped in the expression of artists who were compelled to create pieces about war, civil rights, HIV/AIDS, education and the human condition. Lately, I’ve said to myself that God or The Universe or whatever is in charge has a special purpose when it breaks the heart of or injures the sensibilities of an artist. It knows that the artist will spend the rest of his or her existence tending to that wound by creating beauty or speaking to injustice or by answering ugliness. Or, in the case of some activists (I’m thinking of Dr. Robert Brundage, whom Toledo lost two years ago), by operating from the understanding that their brains and bodies are merely vehicles for doing meaningful work. O Rachel Richardson is an activist, musician, cofounder and co-director of Independent Advocates, and a product of Toledo, Ohio. E-mail her at

Coming in February!

PAULY SHORE Feb. 17-19



Wil Clay dies Jan. 15 Toledo-area resident Wil Clay is reported to have died on Jan. 15 in Toledo. Clay was an illustrator, storyteller, graphic designer, painter and sculptor. He received the Coretta Scott King Honor Award for Illustration in 1993 for his artwork in the book, “Little Eight John” as well as receiving numerous other awards. Clay was born in Toledo. He returned to Toledo in 1987 after working in commercial design projects in Providence, Rhode Island and Houston, Texas. Clay opened a studio at the Common Space Center for Creativity in 1988, where he taught drawing. In 1989, Clay’s six-foot bronze and stainless steel sculpture that honored the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. titled “Radiance,” was dedicated in Downtown Toledo. The sculpture was placed on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge. The American Academy of Art in Chicago, the Vesper George School of Art in Boston and CLAY University of Toledo are listed in his biography as places of study. Clay’s most recent illustration project was “A Biography of George Washington Carver” that was written by Steven Krensky. Funeral arrangement information has not yet been released. A memorial service has been scheduled for Jan. 22 at the Toledo Museum of Art, where some of Clay’s paintings are displayed. O — Lisa Renee Ward

Jane Eaglen to speak before ‘Ring’ opera Soprano Jane Eaglen will speak at the Toledo Opera Gala before a performance of Richard Wagner’s “The Romance of the Ring.” Toledo Opera’s General and Artistic Director Renay Conlin will introduce Eaglen at the even. Eaglen will talk about her life and career as an opera singer. The event will take place at 7 p.m. Feb. 12 in the Green Room at the Toledo Museum of Art. Eaglen, who teaches at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music in Berea, Ohio, will also speak about how playing iconic roles enhanced her understandings o Wagner’s work. “It’s remarkable she agreed to share her insights about the music we are about to perform,” Conlin said. Born in England, Eaglen studied in Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. She played minor parts at the English National Opera right out of college and earned worldwide acclaim playing Donna Anna in Mozart’s “Don EAGLEN Giovanni.” Since then, Eaglen also performed “music that required a big voice,” Conlin said. Eaglen has performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Seattle Opera. Directly after Eaglen speaks, there will be a performance of excerpts from Wagner’s “The Romance of the Ring.” The production will include soprano Deborah Mayer, tenor Michael Hayes and bass Gustav Andreassen, also accompanied by the Toledo Symphony Orchestra directed by Thomas Conlin. The pre-concert talk is free to Gala ticket holders. Those interested in seeing Eaglen speak are asked to call (419) 255-7464 to reserve a space. O — Matthew Liasse

1/24/2011, 7– 8 p.m.

Doors tribute set for Maumee Indoor Theatre

Hosted by 13abc’s

A Tribute to Jim Morrison is scheduled at the Maumee Indoor Theatre for Jan. 29. The performance features the Maxx Band and Philip Barone as Jim Morrison. The Maxx Band and Barone have performed Doors music for several years at Put-in-Bay and decided to bring the act to Toledo, Barone said. “I think the music of The Doors hasn’t died. You turn on the radio and you’re going to hear The Doors. The music is timeless,” Barone said. “I think people should come out for that reason.” Proceeds from the concert benefit the YWCA. The concert begins at 8:30 p.m. with opening act Shane Piasecki. VIP tickets are $65 and include drinks. General admission is $20. Tickets can be purchased at Harold Jaffe Jewelers, Rosie’s Italian Grille, The Shed, Koto Buki and Maumee Indoor Theatre. BARONE For more information, call (419) 897-8902. O — Kristen Criswell

Toledo-Lucas County Main Branch Library 325 N. Michigan St., Toledo

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Moderated by

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Toledo Free Press Editor in Chief

Greater Toledo Area Chapter



Sometimes, even superheroes need cash There are several levels of existence in superhero society, from the cosmic, space-borne Superman and Thor to the street-level Batman and Spider-Man, but all are heroes nonetheless. Then there’s a sub-level of superhero who is rarely discussed in polite company: the mercenary crusader. Marvel’s new “Heroes for Hire” tackles this thorny tier of titans. “One of the most important staples in superhero comics is the Team Book,” said Ed Katschke of Monarch Cards & Comics. “The conventions of a Team Book require a gaggle of mostly unaligned but somewhat like-minded super beings to join together and battle that which no single superhero could stand against alone. This tried-and-true formula has worked for decades and nowhere moreso than at Marvel Comics. Unfortunately, Marvel has a track record of trying to take its street-level vigilantes and solo heroes and forcing them into a team book atmosphere, but finally, after decades of experimenting and false starts, they have gotten it right. “‘Heroes for Hire,’ written by acclaimed creators Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning and drawn by Brad Walker, enters its second issue

this week and the creators have hit a home run. Adopting a ‘Mission Impossible’-style format, Abnett and Lanning have taken such disparate characters as Misty Knight, Ghost Rider, Silver Sable, Falcon, Paladin and Black Widow and forged them into a team of agents ready to track down and stop everything from illegal arms dealers to demonic sorcerers. This is a book that has no business being half as good as it is.” As Katschke said, this isn’t the first time Marvel has attempted the concept. Way back in 1972, it debuted one of the first black superhero headliners, Luke Cage, in a book of his own, “Hero for Hire.” That lasted until 1986, but the company liked the idea of heroes who worked for pay and trotted out the pluralized “Heroes for Hire” in 1997 with Cage and several other mercenaries. That title ran less than two years before cancellation. Perhaps Marvel has hit upon the right recipe this time, a way to put across a concept that can feel so wrong on the drawing board but can feel so right in full-color action. O — Jim Beard

Fitness game challenges Jillian Michaels Fitness Challenge 2011 (D3 Publisher) New storyline action combines with the regular exercise element in Jillian Michaels’ latest exercise video game. This version does not include a Nintendo DS version as the 2010 installment did, but gives players the option of using the Wii MotionPlus controller. The controls work well, but there seems to be a response delay in the game, so getting the timing right can be a challenge. Players can still customize their own “resolutions,” which creates a great sense of accomplishment. These resolutions are quick and relatively easy to set up, but the execution and control response still lacks a bit. Game developers keep the handy camera angle rotation and the difficulty levels are easy, medium and high intensity. The new mission mode includes added urban environments combining action and exercise fairly well. After the basic training that includes stretches and warm-ups, players can get out and save the world from an evil processed food corporation. The 14 new exercises include side lunges, hip twists and planks. As in the previous installments, players can totally bypass any movements because the game puts players on the “honor system” to complete the exercises. The overall entertainment value is a bit lacking here. The environments and planned actions lack that driving purpose beyond the basic fitness goals. Competing against Miss Michaels as a fitness standard would add more depth to the festivities, but she can motivate at times — with scolding while offering some guiding information (**, rated E for alcohol reference and mild violence).

Nickelodeon Fit (2K Play)

This Wii exclusive fitness game has all-ages exercise fun with Nickelodeon stars Dora the Explorer, Diego, Kai-Lan and The Backyardigans. Players of all ages can engage in 30 different exercises developed by physical education and exercise science expert Dr. Jackie Goodway. Players can monitor progress and even customize routines. The only catch is it’s a one-player game, so players have to continuously hand off the remote — not ideal especially when little ones struggle with that strap. Still, the graphics are sharp and the playable characters match up with other stars of the corresponding shows. The helpful game text and voice commands provide easy instructions. Players can use the balance board, but make sure young ones do not jump on it. (***, rated E for everyone). O


— Michael Siebenaler


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Here cOMEs The Guide Bridal Guide Winter 2011

AP/Photo Illustration by James A. Molnar

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2011 trends include honeysuckle, tight bodices, personal touches


hen it comes to the top trends of 2011, there are two words you need to know: “Understated Sophistication.” Color creates ambience and mood and illustrates a couple’s style. As designer John Saladino said, “The most important thing about color is that it cannot be isolated ... Every color is only ever seen in juxtaposition with other ones.” The 2011 color of the year is honeysuckle. It’s a very uplifting color and perfect for 2011 when we are seeing more detail come back into the design spotlight. But this reddish pink tone is not alone. 2011 brides are BRITTANY pairing colors with a palette of three to four vintage, earthy and sun-washed hues to create their signature look. In the spring and into summer we will see honeysuckle paired with bright blue, navy paired with light pinks and washed pink paired with white and off white. Late summer into fall we’ll see shades of yellow and green, vintage green with soft pinks and black with pink. These colors will carry into winter as pink will be paired with gold.

Outdoor weddings were big in 2010 and will continue to rise in 2011. Since destination weddings are out and couples are returning to the comforts of their backyard or family cottage, the party doesn’t have to end. There’s no time limit like there would be on a rented ballroom. Guests can enjoy entertainment into the morning with yummy goodies to satisfy their palette. And speaking of yummy goodies, cupcake “cakes” are out. Donuts and childhood comfort sweets are in. We are also saying goodbye to the espresso or cappuccino stations. In are herbal and black tea stations in a variety of herbs, served with natural sugars. Couples are creating their signature tea blend and serving it with their monogram on the tea tag. As the saying goes, a bride has to have something borrowed, blue, old and new. This year’s something old is trended with Victorian and vintage inspired accessories. Vintage jewelry, pearls and rhinestones are not just worn on the fingers or wrist, but added as accessories to the waistline, dress pick-ups and hair styles.




Making a return from last year are the jeweledtones, with navy being the most popular. Metallic accessories like gold or silver shoes have been popular for bridesmaids since 2006. We are continuing to see metallic on the feet, but also with over-the-top jewelry, hair accessories, belts and broaches on the bride, bridesmaids and mother-of-the-bride gowns. And speaking of gowns, the big ball gown is back. When I think of a big ball gown, I think of Princess Diana’s wedding to Prince Charles. Wonder if her future daughter-in-law will follow this year’s trend? Famous women like Princess Diana were the inspiration for Carolina Herrera’s 2011 spring bridal line. Herrera designed gowns based on famous women of history. Just another way vintage is revived. In bridal gowns we are seeing the influence of ballet and the movie “Black Swan.” Dresses, even long ones, have tulle skirts and tight bodices. Grooms are staying within the theme of sophistication with the return of the bow tie and custom cufflinks. Instead of renting the common wedding tux, grooms are treating their groomsmen to custom ties and vests for a signature look. These make great gifts. Beautiful fabrics are not just for the dress. We are seeing luxurious fabrics on the table from ruffles to custom designs and flourishing trims. With luxurious tablecloths come soft, simple flowers and clean-lined table settings with chic modern glassware. This creates a balanced tablescape. Still, we will continue to see simple and chic with a lot of DIY (do-it-yourself) projects to

create the personal, one-of-a-kind touch. Another item brides are keeping simple and understated in 2011 is the menu. Instead of heavy gourmet foods, brides and grooms are choosing childhood favorites like mac ‘n’ cheese to complement their filet mignon. Take a seat. Props aren’t just for fun engagement and couple sessions. Brides and grooms are posed on chic couches with plush fabrics for a more relaxed, comfortable look. This was popular in the ’70s, which makes this trend a bit vintage. Got royal fever? This year’s brides anxiously await the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William, but we won’t see those trends take full effect until the fall/winter season and then boom in 2012. With so many details unknown and the constant parallels of Kate’s simple, chic style and Diana’s lavish, opulent gown, there’s no telling what we will see. Whichever style Kate chooses will certainly take off with dress manufacturers copying the dress overnight. The 2011 theme of “Understated Sophistication” allows today’s bride to have the platinum look without breaking the bank. Over the top opulence is passé. With DIY touches, and simple luxuries, brides are creating a classic look they are sure to look back and enjoy years to come. O Brittany Craig is the principal event designer and coordinator for Crowning Celebrations. She specializes in weddings and social celebrations. Follow her Eventista blog at www.crowning

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Couples today have the world at their fingertips, both from an information and flower selection standpoint, local florists say. “Fifty years ago, brides were limited to whatever flowers were in season that they could get locally; there was not a whole lot of choice,” said Frank P. Viviano, president of Bartz Viviano Flowers and Gifts in Toledo, Perrysburg and Oregon. “Brides today come in having done all kinds of research online. They have pictures, they have ideas — our job is to advise them about what works and what’s in their price range.” The old advice about ordering seasonal flowers to save money doesn’t hold as true anymore, since most ship worldwide and are available year-round without much price fluctuation, said Ann Strickland, special events consultant with Bartz Viviano. “There are only a few — less than a dozen — that I have to limit myself from selling yearround,” Strickland said. That level of availability paired with brides’ penchants for personalization make it hard to pinpoint trends. “Out of 20 weddings, I will literally have 20 different ideas for bouquets,” Strickland said. That being said, Strickland said she has noticed choices trending toward bigger blossoms, softer colors and the addition of natural elements, like twigs, herbs, thistle,

pods and berries, for texture. Others want to add “bling” — sparkly crystal and diamond accents — to bridal bouquets and centerpieces, said Jen Cummins, owner of Beautiful Blooms by Jen in Sylvania. Keith H. Brooks, owner of Keith H. Brooks Florist in Sylvania, said cascade bouquets, as opposed to round, for brides seem to be staging a comeback while, because about half of bridal parties now wear short dresses, bridesmaid bouquets are getting smaller. One downside of online browsing is sometimes couples want things they don’t realize are unrealistic for their price range, although most ideas can be adapted to fit smaller budgets, Brooks said. Cummins said flowers usually cost 10 to 15 percent of a wedding budget, with couples spending between $1,000 and $3,000 on average. “We can work on any budget, but it’s important to know what your budget is,” Cummins said. All the florists agreed it’s best to nail down key wedding decisions before attempting to plan the blooms for your big day. The more information about the venue, colors, attire, theme — even food choices — a couple can bring with them, the better. “After that we can be in a good position to offer advice; if not, we are just kind of shooting in the dark,” Viviano said. n Florists CONTINUES ON 16



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n Florists CONTINUED FROM 14 It’s helpful for brides to bring color swatches and photos of dresses as well as any photos that caught their eye, whether for color, style, container or any other reason, Strickland said. Inspiration photos are helpful because “a lot of times the bride tells me one thing, but then shows me a picture and it’s not at all what I was thinking,” Cummins said. Booking a florist six to nine months out is ideal, if only to assure availability for your date, as many are already booking into 2012. For couples with tight budgets, surrounding a few large blossoms with less expensive flowers, like Gerber daises or carnations, can fill out arrangements for less, Strickland said. A “hand-tied” bouquet, with its just-gathered look, is less expensive than a more formal, laborintensive, arranged bouquet, Strickland said. Some brides are choosing to skip boutonnieres “since men don’t usually care about flowers anyway,” Cummins said. One area that should never be skimped on, however, is the bride’s bouquet, Strickland said. “Everything else can be cut, but you might as well make it right for the most important person there,” she said. Silk flowers aren’t really a cost-saver since ones that look real are nearly as expensive as flowers, Cummins said. Another tip is to reuse as many blooms as possible between the ceremony location and the reception, such as using bridesmaid bouquets for table centerpieces. Ornate venues may not even need extra decoration, Brooks said. Avoid a delivery and setup fee by having a


Flowers by Beautiful blooms by jen / photo by JP Photography


family member do the pickup and set up, Cummins said. Of course, there’s also the full DIY route: buying from a chain store and arranging your own blooms. This option can potentially save a

lot of money, but should be weighed against the stress it can bring on your wedding day, the florists said. A lot has changed, but flowers will always be synonymous with weddings, Viviano said.

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“People have been celebrating weddings with flowers for eons, since they could pick them out of fields,” Viviano said. “Trends come and go, but using flowers to celebrate this special day is something that will always be there.” O



How to obtain a marriage license in Lucas County In Lucas County, both the bride and groom must be present when filling out an application for a marriage license. A marriage license is valid for 60 days after it has been issued. An ordained or licensed minister of any religion within the state, who is licensed with the secretary of state as well as a judge in municipal or county court may solemnize mar-

riages. Marriage licenses can be obtained at the Lucas County Probate Court, 700 Adams St. suite 200, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost of a marriage license is $50 and must be paid in cash. What you need: O Government issued picture ID (driver’s license, state ID, passport or military ID) O Social Security number (requested but not mandatory) O Birth certificate for those younger than 21 O Copy of final Decree of Divorce, Dissolution of Annulment (for those previously married) O Copy of Death Certificate (for widows/widowers) Ohio residents must obtain a marriage license in the county where either the bride or groom resides. There is no waiting period on marriage licenses and weddings may take place the same day. For information, visit O Source: Lucas County Probate Court web site

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Personalized ice sculptures can be centerpieces, full statues By Sarah Ottney Toledo Free Press Star Staff Writer

Couples looking for a unique “wow factor” at their wedding might consider commissioning a personalized ice sculpture. Chad Hartson, owner of Ice Creations in Napoleon, said he and his crew do about 3,000 ice sculptures a year, with about a third of those for weddings. Possibilities for a ceremony or reception include fountains, drink luges, punch bowls, sorbet dishes, food tables, ice bars, candle holders, wine bottle holders, vases and centerpieces. Hartson has also artfully suspended chunks of ice from string, forming a curtain to hang behind the altar, said Paul Raukar of Ice Dreams. He has been doing weddings for 14 years along with his wife and business partner, Tajana, a seven-time world ice carving champion. “Guests are used to flowers or candles on the tables, so it’s something a little bit different,” Raukar said. Hartson, who has also been carving for 14 years, said ice sculptures at weddings are popular on both coasts, especially in New York and California, and the trend is working its way inward. “It’s still kind of one of those things people don’t really know about,” Hartson said. “I think more than anything they don’t think it’s possible to do unless we mention it or they see a picture of something we’ve done.” Hartson said he used to get lots of requests for swans or lovebirds perched on hearts, but lately monograms have become more popular. Couples also request

pieces with personal touches, such as a photo or other item frozen inside. Ice carvers use everything from power tools to hand tools. Details and words are formed by using router bits to engrave the design, which is then packed with snow and refrozen, Hartson said. “It’s very similar to woodworking, just a lot colder,” Hartson said. Hartson, who was introduced to ice carving during culinary school and has since received national and international recognition, said a typical wedding sculpture takes about two hours to complete and is usually carved two weeks in advance. All of his sculptures start from a 300-pound block of ice 40 inches tall, 20 inches wide and 10 inches thick. Large sculptures are transported to events in freezer trucks and smaller pieces in insulated boxes with dry ice, Hartson said. One of the biggest sculptures Hartson has carved for a wedding was commissioned by Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men, who was married in Toledo. The pieces are cold enough that it takes six to eight hours before details starts to blur and 12 to 14 hours before structural melting begins. “It’s melting throughout the night, but it melts at such a slow pace that details usually last all night,” Hartson said. Hartson said an average wedding sculpture costs about $270, including delivery, set up, trays and lights. Ice bars start from $1,250, fountains $350 and centerpieces $75 each (minimum of 10), according to Raukar’s website. Hartson said he encourages couples to contact him about their dates and ideas as early as possible, but he has done sculptures as late as a week before an event. Both Hartson and Raukar said

it’s fun to work with couples to make their wedding visions come true. “I just like creating something new all the time, that’s basically what it is,” Hartson said. “I do the ice carving, watch people react to it, it melts and then you get to do it all over again.” For more information, visit or O


How to hire a wedding professional From venues to transportation, photographers to florists, be sure to follow these few steps to ensure reliable and professional service on your wedding day: O History New or experienced, don’t be afraid to ask how and why they got started in the wedding industry. Even a new professional should be able to share prior experience that led them to this point in their career. O References A well-seasoned wedding professional will have a list of brides, grooms and mothers-of-thebrides, whom you can call upon. Ask for professional references, too. A vendor who produces great product may be difficult to work with and unfavorable amongst other professionals. You want all your professionals to work like a welloiled machine. O Portfolio Ask to see images from their events. While inspiration boards and concept ideas are a fabulous way to see a wedding professional’s creativity, it’s best to view actual examples of their work or product. O Web or social media presence This is a great way to see how active they are in the industry and community. A website will show their portfolio and give more detail about their product. Social media avenues like Facebook, Twitter and online planning sites such as will show interaction and reviews.


A well-seasoned wedding professional will have a list of brides, grooms and mothers-of-thebrides, whom you can call upon. Ask for professional references, too. A vendor who produces great product may be difficult to work with and unfavorable amongst other professionals.


O Staff Be sure to ask if the professional you are meeting with will be there on your wedding day. And if they say they might not be, don’t be alarmed. Some vendors, such as DJs, can take several weddings or events in one weekend. They usually plan their staff around a client’s needs and style. O — Brittany Craig


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never fantasized about my wedding day growing up, but the day after I got engaged, I went out and bought a bridal magazine. I was caught up in the excitement and I just wanted to dive right into planning. Flipping through the pages of some of the information seemed useful, but most of the weddings I saw would require racking up some serious debt to fund. At bridal shows I looked for tips, but always felt like someone was trying to sell me something. When it came down to it, the best advice I got came from friends who were former brides. As a recent newlywed, Kristen I’ve decided to share some of what I learned from my wedding day and wedding planning with the readers of Toledo Free Press Star. O Add personalization to your wedding day. One of the best ways to make your wedding unique is to add personal touches from you and the groom. My wedding cake had Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head as a topper because we dressed as the couple for one Halloween. We also served pizza at the reception in addition to the dinner because it is my husband’s favorite food. Even if it may seem unconventional, little touches of personality can make a wedding more memorable. O Remember the meaning of a wedding. Future brides always hear, your wedding day is all about you, but really your wedding day is about both you and your future husband. It’s the first day of your lives together. Don’t forget that. It’s very easy to fall into this is what I want; make sure you step back and ask your fiancé what he’d like. O Get organized. I laughed when my mom came home with a wedding-planning binder, but it helps. You could meet with several venders before choosing the one you want, so don’t assume you’re going to remember everything. Write down what you liked and didn’t like about someone and save it for later. With the plethora of options available for each part of a wedding having a running tab of likes, dislikes and prices will really help.

In addition to a binder, create a checklist for every guest (see image). Make sure there’s a spot to check off if you’ve sent out his or her invitation, thanked him or her for a shower gift and then thanked each guest for the wedding gift. This is a great way to make sure you don’t forget to invite someone as well as thank him or her for a gift. O Ask for help. Weddings consist of many details and not everyone can afford a wedding planner; asking for help and accepting help from friends will make everything a little less crazy. My wedding wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the help I got from my mom. She took care of many of the details I could not. And my older sister designed my invitations. Don’t be shy about asking for assistance, but don’t be demanding either. Many people will be more than willing to lend a hand, but you don’t want to take their gesture for granted. O Send out thank yous when you get a gift. It’s common to get gifts sent to your home before a wedding; the best thing to do is sit down and send out a thank you that day. Thank yous can pile up after a wedding and become an overwhelming task, so plan ahead. O Check out This site has some practical advice as well as some other useful tools for planning a wedding. Plus it contains forums for discussions where you can interact with other brides. While the site doesn’t contain info on all the different wedding venders in Toledo, it’s still handy and free. I found the best feature to be the ability to create your own Wedding Website.




n Criswell CONTINUES ON 21

“A dress that zips up the back will bring a husband aND wife together.” — JAMES BOREN n Criswell CONTINUED FROM 20 The interface is very user-friendly and it’s a great way to share useful information with your wedding guests as well as share the story of how you and your husband-to-be first met. O When buying a dress, think of your longterm comfort. Maybe try and sit down in it for a little or dance around in it. My dress was strapless and I made the decision, against the advice of my mom, to go one size smaller so I wouldn’t have a wardrobe malfunction walking down the aisle or on the dance floor. Huge mistake. While everything went nicely walking down the aisle, when I finally got to the reception and sat down to have some food, I could no longer breathe. I ended up leaving the reception early and coming back in a different outfit so I could enjoy myself. O Roll with the punches. Wedding days are hectic. It’s very easy to forget things and little things can go wrong. So if you do like I did and forget to bring the wedding ring to the church, take a second, breathe and remember this is why attendants are there to help you get ready. Also, little things that don’t seem perfect at the time might be that way because of nerves and stress. Looking back you’ll see the bigger picture not all the tiny details. O Enjoy the day and your new husband. While it may feel like forever for your wedding day to arrive, once it gets here, it flies by. O Kristen Criswell is special sections editor for Toledo Free Press. She was married Nov. 13, 2010, in Athens, Ohio. Kristen can be reached at


Groom’s guide to wedding planning


ongrats gents on gathering the heart- or joint accounts? How and when will you pay your bills? Discuss income, thumping courage, shaky loans, savings accounts hands and weak knees and the mortgage. to ask the love of 4. It takes two. Your your life if she will spend wedding day should reflect forever with you! You both your styles. By deterare officially the groommining your wedding style, to-be. Your fianceé is probit will make choosing a ably already up to her nose venue, dinner menus and in wedding magazines, color music easier. swatches and inspiration 5. Line up your roster boards. Inspiration boards, and pick “Team Groom.” you ask? Just wait. First ask your best While your bride is DVR-ing man, followed by your every bridal show on TV, take a groomsmen and ushers, sec to review these 10 tips: if needed.   1. Establish your wedding BRITTANY 6. While “Team priorities and share them with Groom” is planning the your bride. What’s most imporbachelor party, you will tant to the two of you? Don’t lose have some planning site of that. of your own. This in2. Don’t put the horse becludes the honeymoon, fore the cart. Marriage is a rite which traditionally is of passage. The reception is a paid for by the groom. celebration of the ceremony. Today’s grooms are also Give heartfelt thought and consideration to planning a ceremony that joins planning the music by booking DJs and bands, as well as transportation with limos, vintage your beliefs and heritages. 3. Talk cold hard money. This goes two- cars and specialty buses. 7. Set a timeline — and stick to it. fold: Discuss the wedding budget — but furthermore, discuss your finances. When your Grooms are notorious for leaving details and bride becomes your Mrs. will you have single reservations to the last minute, thus sacri-




ficing the best wedding pros. Be sure to fulfill your responsibilities. This will help prevent pre-wedding arguments or tiffs with your bride. It will also ensure that you will enjoy a fun engagement. 8. You deserve the best, so hire the best. Ask your coordinator and other wedding pros for recommendations for the best wedding vendors. Check the BBB and online websites for testimonials. 9. Look your best on your wedding day. Start a workout routine or maintain your look. Be sure to dress the part with style to compliment your beautiful bride. Rent or order suits and schedule alterations. Be sure to pick them up two days prior to wedding day to ensure the proper fit. 10. Give with gratitude. Shop with your bride for Mr. and Mrs. wedding bands. Also be sure to pick her up something special for the traditional wedding gift. Groomsmen, ushers and parents should be on the list, too. Grooms, keep in mind the pressure and responsibilities brides are under to plan their special day with their perfect man. If you follow these top 10 tips, you are sure to impress her. O Brittany Craig is the principal event designer and coordinator for Crowning Celebrations. She specializes in weddings and social celebrations. Follow her Eventista blog at www.crowning

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Buying the right ring By Joel Sensenig Toledo Free Press Star Staff Writer

Guys, you know you want to spend the rest of your life with her, now it’s time to buy the ring. “If you’re going to get engaged, you’re going to have to buy a diamond. You’re talking about spending thousands of dollars, you want to make sure you get something that’s nice for X amount of dollars and something that’s worth X amount of dollars,” said Maxwell Ohnezeit, manager at David Fairclough Fine Jewelers. Ohnezeit said the most popular time for men and women to get engaged are around the holidays and during the summer. Local jewelers reported slightly different accounts of how often the men bring their future fianceés with them to look at engagement rings. Jeffrey Mann, owner of Jeffrey Mann Fine Jewelers, said it was about 50-50 on whether the woman accompanied the man to peruse, while Ohnezeit stated

he meets the female recipient of the ring “well above 50 percent of the time.” Jennifer Bostleman, managing partner at J. Foster Jewelers, said “very rarely do we have a man just on his own.” When it comes to engagement rings, Mann said he likes to see men take a risk. “What I tell guys a lot of times if I have the opportunity is, ‘If you surprise her with a ring, it’s always going to be the ring you chose for her,’” he said. “It may not be exactly what she would have picked out, but besides selling jewelry, we also sell sentiment. If she comes in with you and picks out that exact ring that you picked out, you’ve lost that element of surprise and those bragging rights that go along with her telling everyone you picked it out for her. We encourage surprises.” n Ring CONTINUES ON 23


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n Ring CONTINUED FROM 22 All three jewelers said it wasn’t how much one spends on jewelry that matters, but how much one knows and the quality of the jewelry that really counts. “When your fianceé opens something and it’s a good solid reputable store in Toledo, that shows a lot about what his choices were in buying a ring and what he thinks of her,” Mann said. He touted the Charriol line of products as being representative of the belief that one doesn’t need to spend a lot to get a lot. “The cool thing is you don’t have to spend more money to get the best, you just have to be educated so you know what’s important,” Ohnezeit said. “We sell engagement rings that are $500 and we sell rings that are $100,000. It just depends on where somebody’s at in their life.” Bostleman said J. Fosters has a large selection of semi-mounted and loose diamonds that allow men to create their own ring “a la carte.” She said one carat is the most popular size, with princess and round being the most desired cuts. Bostleman said, “We don’t care if you spend $1,000 or $15,000, we just want to be your jeweler. We’ll find you the best ring for your money.” O

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By Kristen Criswell Toledo Free Press Special Sections Editor

After trying on more than 15 different dresses, Christie Lange found her wedding dress. Lange, of Maybee, Mich., started with one vision of her perfect wedding dress, but that gradually changed as she tried on more and more dresses. “She came in wanting a simple A-line dress. Now she’s ending up with one that’s more fitted with ruffles,” said Dee Seger, senior sales consultant at Atlas Bridal. “Your style may change as you get the dresses on your body.” At Atlas Bridal, each bride starts with eight to 10 dresses in their dressing room and consultants bring them additional dresses based on the bride’s feedback. “I just look at what they’re liking and pick out details of what they’re liking,” Seger said. “It’s our job to know what is going to look good on her. I combine the elements that she likes into one dress. It’s almost like a puzzle in a way.” Atlas Bridal has seamstresses that can help alter dresses to make a dress more custom for the bride and it’s the consultant’s job to let a bride know that, Seger said. “We’ll talk about things and pin things down to give them a vision. A lot of my job is reading what they want and figuring out how I can make it the best I can,” she said. “I’m big on doing a little custom change to the dress because if she does [make the changes] she’s going to be the only person who ever does that to the dress.” Lange said having a dress consultant helping her try on wedding dresses really helped. “Honestly, when I first tried this dress on, I did not like it. All it took was her to say you can take that off and suddenly this is my favorite one,” she said. “If someone hadn’t suggested, ‘Oh take the strap off ’ I would have taken the dress off and been done with it.” When trying on dresses, Seger reminds brides to be realistic about their budget and not to try on things outside it.

“You don’t want to fall in love with a dress and then not be able to afford it,” she said. Seger said brides should bring two to four people with them to try on dresses, any more than that and too many opinions get involved. “The most important opinion is your own. If you have 10 people tell you they don’t like your dress before you even look at it, it’s hard for you to even know what you really like. Your judgment gets clouded by other people,” she said. For the brides looking for that emotional moment when they find their perfect dress, don’t be too disappointed if that doesn’t come, Seger said. “If you’re not a crier, you’re not going to be a crier,” she said. “A lot of girls do have that moment, but you’re still you. It’s still your personality and you know in your heart if you love that dress or not. It’s OK if you don’t have that feeling.” Seger said popular trends starting to show for next year include one shoulder dresses, ruffled or tiered skirts as well as a lot of lace, flower or feather accents. There are also several trends that will never go out of style, such as the wrap style, since it’s so slimming, as well as trumpet and mermaid dresses, she said. When it comes to color, Seger said ivory is the most popular with 50 percent of the dresses she sells in that color. White is close behind with roughly 40 percent and the other 10 percent of dresses Seger sells are in colors like champagne and light gold. Women who can’t find their wedding dress at a store can visit Sew-n-Such for custom dresses. “So many people don’t want to look like everybody else. People have an idea in their head of what they want to look like and they come in with it,” said Mary Cianci, owner of Sew-nSuch. “‘I want this kind of dress and I can’t find it anywhere.’ Or they’ve found a dress, it’s so expensive. We can make it pretty close.”

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Mary Cianci of Sew-n-Such n Dress CONTINUED FROM 24 Brides come into the store with pictures and descriptions of what they want and Cianci sketches the dress for them, she said. The brides are then given a shopping list of materials to purchase and they bring it back into the store. Cianci said she likes to have at least three months to complete a dress, but she can make one faster if need be. “I like to do it slower because a lot of the time a girl comes in with the material and we start cutting for the fittings and as we’re getting into it brides change their minds,” she said. “If you rush through it, you don’t get the chance to change as you go.”

Cianci said not all dresses have to be made from scratch and she can work with any existing dress. A lot of women come in with dresses they’ve found at garage sales, the Salvation Army and even online and ask her to fix them, Cianci said. Cianci, who has been working on and making wedding dresses for 34 years, said she can also be a particular help to those brides who are having religious ceremonies. “There are no dresses with shoulders and sleeves. The few that are out there are pretty bad and a lot of people don’t like that. I can help them,” she said. Sew-n-Such can also make custom dresses for bridesmaids and mother of the brides as well as custom suits for grooms. O

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“Between a man and his wife nothing ought to rule but love.” — William Penn

Wedding etiquette built on the basics: ‘Mind your manners’ By Kristen Criswell Toledo Free Press Special Sections Editor

When it comes to weddings, brides, grooms and guests should remember the old saying “Mind your manners.” From who to invite and when to invite them to what guests should wear, weddings are full of etiquette rules for both the guests of honor and those in attendance. “A wedding is a moment you will remember forever. Once it’s over, your life is your new family and new mate; you want to start off on the right foot,” said Jill-Marie Zachman, founder of First Impressions Etiquette Training & Image Development. Prior to planning a wedding, the bride and groom should determine their wedding budget, Zachman said. The budget will help the couple determine the size of their wedding and where they need to cut within the guest list. “It is their day. They need to decide who is important for them to spend their special day with,” she said. “Of course, their immediate family, extended family and maybe a few co-workers and friends but it’s not necessary. Some weddings are small and private and some are larger.” The guest list should be based on an agreement between the bride and groom on whom to invite. Save the dates have become very popular recently, but shouldn’t be used as a wedding announcement, Zachman said. Save the dates should only be sent to those who’ll be invited

and are traditionally sent a year to 18 months in advance, she said. The invitation sets the tone of a wedding and should be as specific as possible, Zachman said. If a bride and groom don’t want children or want a black tie wedding, they should state that. Zachman recommends using a reputable printer to assist with the invitation’s wordage so no one is offended. “The wordage is very important,” she said. “We live in a day and age where ZACHMAN people don’t dress up for anything. You think people would know, but people don’t get it.” Invitations should be sent out six to eight weeks in advance and even longer for out-oftown guests, Zachman said. Brides and grooms should include hotel information and maps if they can; they should try and help their guests out as much as possible. Guests should always RSVP by the date listed on the response card. If a guest can’t RSVP by that date, they should call the bride or groom and let them know how many are coming and that the response is in the mail, Zachman said. When RSVP’ing guests shouldn’t ask for any favors or assume they’re the exception to a rule, Zachman said.

“If you’re single, don’t assume you can bring a guest. Your invitation will be specific; Ms. Cathy Brown and guest. If it’s not specified you don’t get to bring one,” Zachman said. “It might have been an oversight, but don’t assume otherwise and don’t call and ask if you can bring a guest. It doesn’t matter if it’s your best friend.” Guests should pay close attention to the invitation for cues of what to wear. Colors like silver and gold as well as engravings can indicate a more formal wedding, Zachman said. A wedding could be more casual or even themed and that will all be noted by the invitation, Zachman said. “Be aware of the tone of that wedding and accommodate the wishes of bride and groom” she said. “We show value and respect for the occasion and people by the way we look,” Zachman said. “A lot of money is spent on a wedding and we should put our finest clothes on unless otherwise specified.” When picking out their outfits, guests should completely avoid the color white or ivory. Guests should also avoid outfits that are glitzy and bright, Zachman said. “It’s the bride’s day and you don’t want to show up the bride with your dress or pantsuit,” she said. On the wedding day guest should try and show up at least 10 minutes early, Zachman said. If a guest arrives late, and the processional has already commenced, the guest should wait

until after the bride has walked down the aisle to find a seat. During the wedding, remember common courtesy, Zachman said. Turn off cell phones, don’t talk during the ceremony and dress appropriately. Zachman said those with young children or babies should be aware if their child is disrupting the ceremony and take him or her. “There are others that have taken the time to come to the wedding, don’t let your family be a distraction to them,” she said. Following the wedding, either at the ceremony site or reception, brides and grooms should make a point to greet and thank every guest for coming, Zachman said. The couple can have a receiving line, or go from table to table at the reception, but when they meet with the guests they should give them 100 percent of their attention even if it is for just a few minutes, she said. “The bride and groom need to make sure the social interaction is positive,” Zachman said. “Many times, this could be aunts, uncles and cousins’ first time meeting your new bride or groom. Make a good first impression, smile and make eye contact.” Zachman also reminds brides and grooms to make quick introductions even if someone may have already met. “You don’t want either party to squirm because they may not know each other’s names,” she said. n Etiquette CONTINUES ON 27

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“Marriage is a wonderful invention: then again, so is a bicycle repair kit.” — Billy Connolly n Etiquette CONTINUED FROM 26 When it comes to gifts, etiquette has changed through the years, Zachman said. It used to be tradition to send the present to the address of the bride’s parents, but now it is more common for people to bring gifts to a wedding. If a guest chooses to bring a gift to the wedding, they should ask bridesmaids or groomsmen where to leave it. The guest should never hand a gift directly to a bride or groom, she said. A thank you card should be sent four to six weeks after a wedding, unless the bride and groom are taking a honeymoon outside the country. The thank you card should be handwritten and thank the guest for attending the wedding as well as thank them for the specific gift, Zachman said. “Thank you for the money; it will be used to decorate our new home,” she said as an example. If for some reason a bride or groom cannot get out their thank yous right away, they should make sure to call close friends and family to thank them and let them know a thank you will be coming in the mail eventually, Zachman said. “A late thank you is better than no thank you,” she said. Zachman reminds brides and grooms that flexibility is key to a wedding, so be respectful and considerate of others’ suggestions. “Many battles are started during a wedding and it doesn’t need to be like that,” she said. “If everyone is willing to give and take, things can go smoothly. Just because someone is paying for a wedding doesn’t give them the right to dictate every detail of the wedding. That’s very important to realize.” For more etiquette tips, visit


More brides inform guests online By Caryn Rousseau Associated Press

With friends and family headed to her California wedding from all around, brideto-be Carrie Shields decided online organization was key. “Really the wedding website was one of the first things we did,’’ the 32-year-old public relations director from San Diego said. Shields is marrying fiance R.J. Jones, 36, who was born and raised in Wales. Their April wedding in Napa Valley comes four years after they met through friends. “I knew people were going to have a lot of questions about what to do and how to get there,’’ Shields said. “I wanted to make it fun and personal. I kind of jumped right on things because people were traveling so far.’’ Wedding experts at and its partner say this year’s survey found 64 percent of brides now have a website to share details with guests about ceremony and reception logistics, registry information and travel accommodations. Carley Roney, editor and founder of, said her site and together host more than 500,000 wedding websites for couples.

Roney offers three tips for setting up a wedding website: O Don’t assume your audience is only younger friends, and remember your etiquette. “You want to keep things ‘wedding and older people friendly,’’’ Roney said. “You don’t want to go on and on forever. You don’t want to put things like, ‘please ship our gifts to.’ Some of the etiquette that is wrong for wedding invitations is wrong for this too. To be making specific demands of your guests isn’t appropriate.’’ O Include your registry information. According to and survey, about 61 percent of guests find out where a couple is registered from their wedding website — a figure that has grown from 47 percent in 2008. “It really is becoming the absolute de facto way that guests are going to find out where you’re registered,’’ Roney said. “It used to be that brides were worried it was tacky, but it’s simply not tacky. It’s how it’s done now.’’ O Get the word out. Don’t just create and publish the website and assume everyone knows it exists. “Send the information directly to your guests,’’ sometimes more than once, Roney said. “You can’t assume that something you put on your website was acknowledged by all.’’ O

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Jessica Alexander’s wedding was everything she had envisioned: a private gathering by her summer house on an Iowa lake. There was a pink and purple color scheme, a butterfly motif and a dessert bar rather than a full meal. And, wearing a short periwinkle dress designed “to show off her legs,’’ was Alexander’s minister and bridesmaid, Anna-Megan Raley, a close friend who was ordained online specifically to perform the ceremony. Raley, a blogger for the Houston Chronicle, didn’t even know she had been ordained until Alexander and her mother sprang the news at the bridal shower. They had already paid a $25 fee and filled out a form with her name and address, making her the Rev. Raley. “I thought it was a joke. I’m sure that I put it on Facebook and Twitter,’’ said Raley. “But I had heard about people getting ordained to perform weddings. So, I said: ‘Sure, I’d love to.’’’ Nontraditional? Perhaps. A growing trend? Definitely. More and more engaged couples are turning to friends or family members to perform their wedding ceremony. They say it is more personal, relatively stress-free and cheaper. It is also surprisingly fast and simple. Getting ordained requires little more than finding an online ministry that performs ordinations, and filling out a short form with your name and address. Some websites require a nominal fee for paperwork; others don’t charge anything. Prospective brides and grooms should look into the website and local marriage laws, however, to make sure the ceremony would be valid. Although online ordinations are generally recognized, laws vary widely from state to state, sometimes from county to county. Some states require ministers to register after they are ordained. In Louisiana, parishes ask for a letter of good standing from the church, while Las Vegas requires a four-page application and background check. Last year, about one in seven weddings were performed by a friend of the couple, according to The Wedding Report, a research firm. Andre Hensley, president of the nondenominational Universal Life Church, which has been issuing ordination credentials since 1962, believes more couples are turning to friends because of the Internet, which makes the process easier and because of many people’s lack of affiliation with a church. “I’ve gone to weddings where the ministers didn’t know the couple or anything about them. It didn’t have a special feeling,’’ said Hensley, who estimates that his church has ordained 18 million people. About 3,000 to 5,000 are ordained every month, a number that has steadily increased over the last 10 years, Hensley said. It takes about 24 hours for the church to process an ordination request, each of which are reviewed by a live person, he said.


I’ve gone to weddings where the ministers didn’t know the couple or anything about them. It didn’t have a special feeling. Andre Hensley

President, Universal Life Church


Janis Jones, a 27-year-old Chicago nurse, asked her older sister to perform her wedding this June. “Neither of us belong to a church, and we liked the idea of incorporating prayers and the religious aspect into the ceremony, but we didn’t want to be married by someone we don’t know at all and who didn’t know us,’’ said Jones, who has been dating her fiance, Eric Strand, for six years. The couple turned to Jones’ sister, Vicky Rappatta, who has been happily married for 10 years, has a background in writing and had always been a motherly figure to her younger sibling. “I was so honored and so moved that they wanted me to be such a huge part of their wedding. Now, I’m getting terrified,’’ said Rappatta, who plans to write an original wedding prayer for the couple. Rappatta said she researched the legality of the ordination process, including checking with the county where her sister will be getting her marriage license. “The last thing I wanted to do was get a fake ordination,’’ said Rappatta, who got her credentials from American Marriage Ministries, whose website boasts “over 10,000 marriages performed!’’ Kirsten Nichols, whose October wedding was performed by her husband’s cousin, asked a co-worker who is an ordained minister to be on hand at the service — just in case. “If you find out after the fact that you are not legally married, it can definitely put a damper on things,’’ said Nichols, who lives in Montgomery County, Md. Nichols, who is Christian, and her husband, who was raised Muslim, wanted a spiritual ceremony that would “focus on us coming together under God, not on the fact that we are of two different faiths.’’ At Alexander’s lakeside wedding in Iowa, her minister-bridesmaid Raley also served as personal attendant, and helped decorate for the reception — all of which lent an air of comfort and familiarity to the ceremony. “It helped that she was the one standing up there for us,’’ said Alexander, a fourthgrade teacher who lives in Rockwell, Texas, outside Dallas. “I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.’’ O

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((((((((((((( THE PULSE

JAN. 19-26, 2011

What’s what, where and when in NW Ohio

Compiled by Whitney Meschke Events are subject to change.

MUSIC MUSIC The Ark This small venue offers a showcase for lesser-known acts, as well as folk, bluegrass and acoustic acts. 316 S. Main, Ann Arbor. (734) 761-1451, (734) 761-1800 or O Jake Armerding, Rachael Davis: 8 p.m. Jan. 20, $20. O The Ragbirds: 8 p.m. Jan. 21, $15. O Leon Redbone: 8 p.m. Jan. 22, $25. O Nellie McKay: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23, $17.50. O Thanks for the Joy, Ruthie Foster, Eric Bibb: 8 p.m. Jan. 24, $20. O Gifts or Creatures, the Photographers: 8 p.m. Jan. 25, free.

Basin St. Grille This Toledo standby has been revived with more than 20 different flavors of martinis and live, local music. 5201 Monroe St. (419) 843-5660. O Scott Fish, Bob Stevens: Jan. 19. O Open jam with Mike Whitty and Friends: Jan. 20. O Tom Turner & Slow Burn: Jan. 21. O A Box of Cats: Jan. 22. O Jeff Stewart: Jan. 26. O Open jam with Scott Ballard: Jan. 27. O Distant Cousinz: Jan. 28.

noted. (734) 996-8555 or

St. (419) 754-1903.

O Dryvel, Hero Jr., Konniption Fit: 9:30 p.m. Jan. 19. O Jehovah’s Witness Protection Program, Pink Lightning,

O DJ Lamont: Tuesdays. O Devious: Thursdays (also open mic night)-Saturdays.

Pewter Club, Jesse Shepherd Bates: 9:30 p.m. Jan. 20. O Counter Cosby, Blue Snaggletooth, Scared to Death: 9:30 p.m. Jan. 21. O Steppin’ in It, Wolfie Complex: 9 p.m. Jan. 22. O Violet Sun, Luke James, Image, This Is Everything: 9:30 p.m. Jan. 25. O Matthew Dear Live Band: 9 p.m. Jan. 26. O Plug: 9:30 p.m. Jan. 27. O LO5, London Homicide, GP, Duke Nukem, Kadence, MIC, Nickie P, Clavius Crates, Bedroxx, Tru Fam, Casper, OG Kolor Blind, DJ Cataclysmic: 9:30 p.m. Jan. 28.

Bronze Boar Be sure to check out this Warehouse District tavern’s namesake, overhead near the entrance. 20 S. Huron St. (419) 244-2627 or O Jerod: Wednesdays and Thursdays. O Open mic night with Chris Knopp: Mondays. O Karaoke: Tuesdays. O Swamp Kings: Jan. 21. O See Alice: Jan. 22. O Kingston Dread: Jan. 28.

Club Soda This university hot spot from back in the day hosts entertainment Fridays and Saturdays. 3922 Secor Road. (419) 473-0062 or O Bush League: Jan. 21-22. O Skoobie Snax: Jan. 28-29.

Dégagé Jazz Café Signature drinks, such as pumpkin martinis, plus live local jazz performers. 301 River Road, Maumee. $5 weekends for cafe seating. (419) 794-8205 or O Gene Parker & Friends: 7-10 p.m. Jan. 19 and 26; 7:3011:30 p.m. Jan. 28-29. O The Skip Turner Band: 7:30-11:30 p.m. Jan. 21-22. O Micheal Peslikis: 7-10 p.m. Jan. 25. O Jason Quick: 7-10 p.m. Jan. 27.

The Distillery

Coffee and music, what more can one want? If a snack is the answer, this is your spot. 723 Airport Hwy., Holland. (419) 724-1433 or O Poetry and jazz open mic: Jan. 19.

Karaoke is offered Tuesdays, but paid entertainers rock out Wednesdays-Saturdays. 4311 Heatherdowns Blvd. (419) 382-1444 or O Kyle White: Jan. 19. O Ben Barefoot and Company: Jan. 20. O Swagg: Jan. 21-22. O Nathan Cogan: Jan. 26. O Calen Savidge and Company: Jan. 27. O Venyx: Jan. 28-29.

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Caesars Windsor

Doc Watson’s

Catch local acts while taking in the pub’s modern Irish and American fare. 601 Monroe St. (419) 418-2339 or www. O MAS FiNA: Jan. 21. O Hey Monea! Jan. 22 O The Bridges: Jan. 28-29.

If you have your passport, consider hopping the Detroit River for this casino’s entertainment offerings. Ticket prices, in Canadian dollars, are for the cheapest seats; attendees must be 19 or older. Caesars Windsor Colosseum, 377 Riverside Dr. East, Windsor, Ontario. (800) 991-7777 or www. O Michael Waltrip’s Comedy Garage: 9 p.m. Jan. 22, $15.

Named in honor of the owners’ forefather, this bar and restaurant serves a variety of dishes and entertainment. 1515 S. Byrne Road. (419) 389-6003 or O Name this tune: 7 p.m. Jan. 20. O The Berlin Brothers: 10 p.m. Jan. 21. O Joe Woods: 10 p.m. Jan. 22. O John Barile and Bobby May: 10 p.m. Jan. 28.

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Blind Pig A variety of rock, soul, pop and alternative acts perform at this bar. 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor, Mich. $3-$20 unless

Brooklyn’s Daily Grind

style grub. Levis Commons, 6140 Levis Commons Blvd., Perrysburg. (419) 931-3474 or O Tantric Soul: 9:30 p.m. Jan. 21 and 9 p.m. Jan. 22, $2. O Tom Turner and Slow Burn: 9:30 p.m. Jan. 28 and 8:30 p.m. Jan. 29.

Frankie’s Toledo’s venue for rock. 308 Main St. Tickets vary between $5 and $15, unless noted. (419) 693-5300 or www. O Auto Tune karaoke: 9 p.m. Mondays. O Open mic nights, hosted by Larry Love: 9 p.m. Tuesdays in January. O M-Eighty, Philippe, Vherbal: 9 p.m. Jan. 19. O Levi Lowrey, Clay Cook, Brett Juhasz, Miles Before Sleep: 9 p.m. Jan. 20. O Words After, the Miracle Vitamins, Beach Parade, Longitude, Johnny Lucas: 9 p.m. Jan. 21. O Sworn Secrecy, From the Depths, Tres Negros, BEEF, Mouth Sewn Shut: 9 p.m. Jan. 22. O The Crimson Armada, a Fightfight in Kansas, Amistad, Until Forever, Death to Its Toll: 6 p.m. Jan. 23. O We Are Danger, From Atlantis, the Party Foul: 5 p.m. Jan. 24. O Kris Roe: 8 p.m. Jan. 27. O Hundredth, Scarlett O’Hara, No Bragging Rights, Letlive: 5 p.m. Jan. 28.

French Quarter J. Pat’s Pub Live entertainment after 9:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays. Holiday Inn French Quarter, 10630 Fremont Pike, Perrysburg. (419) 874-3111 or O Colin Dussault Acoustic Side Project: Jan. 21-22. O Noisy Neighbors: Jan. 28-29.

Ice Restaurant & Bar This local, family-owned enterprise offers food, drinks and music in a sleek atmosphere. 405 Madison Ave. (419) 2463339 or O Shella Landis: 5 p.m. Jan. 20. O Dan and Don: 8 p.m. Jan. 21 and 28. O Jason Quick: 8 p.m. Jan. 22. O Kelly Broadway: 5 p.m. Jan. 27.

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Kerrytown Concert House This venue focuses on classical, jazz and opera artists and music. 415 N. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor. $5-$30, unless noted. (734) 769-2999 or www. O The Fortytwo, Sarana VerLin: 8 p.m. Jan. 20, $10. O Ellen Rowe Quartet: 8 p.m. Jan. 21. O Eric Comstock, Barbara Fasano: 7 and 9 p.m. Jan. 22. O Only on Sunday: 4 p.m. Jan. 23. O Wine, Women & Song IX: 8 p.m. Jan. 28-29 and 4 p.m. Jan. 30.

Croswell Opera House, 129 E. Maumee St., Adrian

Jan. 30, 7 p.m.: “Diner”

Kevin Bacon at the Croswell! ( Barry Levinson’s directorial debut is set in Baltimore in 1959. “Diner” features Kevin Bacon, Steve Guttenberg, Daniel Stern and Mickey Rourke in the semi-autobiographical tale of a group of high school friends, now in their 20s, who reunite for the wedding of one of their group. The friends return to the Fells Point Diner, their late night hangout, and explore their changing relationships. Tickets are $5 for adults, $2 for all 18 and younger. Kids 5 and younger are free. Sponsored by the Adrian Kiwanis Club and Toledo Free Press Star. O


‘Big Band at the Bay’ On Saturday, Jan. 22, the Resort Lodge at Maumee Bay State Park is hosting a big-band dance, featuring Night Session Big Band, with a choice of three packages: dancing ( $30 per couple), dancing and dinner ($89 per couple) or dancing, dinner and a room ($159 per couple). Reservations can be made by calling the Lodge at 419-836-466.

Big Band Sundays at Paulette’s Studio of Dance

Night Session Big Band is excited to announce the band will be playing at Paulette’s Studio of Dance the second and fourth Sunday of each month. The next dance will be held Jan. 23. Paulette will teach a group dance lesson from 5:005:30 p.m. No partner is required. New and seasoned dancers will learn fun steps and techniques. The band will play from 5:307:30 p.m. The total cost for the dance and the lesson is $10 per person. Paulette’s is located at 4853 Monroe Street, Building B (just west of Bob Evans). Night Session will be playing swing, rhumba, samba, mambo, tango, bossa, foxtrot and even a polka or two! Check and for more information.O

This “slice of the Big Apple” in the Glass City provides entertainment most weekends. 1516 Adams St. (419) 243-6675 or O Vytas and Steve: 7-10 p.m. Wednesdays. O Open mic with Bread and Butter: 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Mondays. O The Quick Trio: 6 p.m. Jan. 20. O Blue Flamingos: Jan. 21. O Slow Burn: Jan. 22. O Tom Turner: 8 p.m. Jan. 25. O Dick Lange Trio: 6 p.m. Jan. 27.

O The Ruggs: 10 p.m. Jan. 21. O The Lighthouse and the Whaler: 10 p.m. Jan. 26. O Wilbur Shaw: 10 p.m. Jan. 28.

Downspeed: Jan. 22. O Great Lakes Crew, fr@nk!3, Mister, King Bitch, Strres: Jan. 28.

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A variety of genres to wash your drinks down with. Open mic nights, 9 p.m. Wednesdays, no cover; $5-$7 cover other nights. 602 Lagrange St. (419) 246-3466 or O Local music and film nights: 8 p.m. Thursdays in January, no cover. O Stonehouse: 8:30 p.m. Jan. 21. O Banned From EARTH: 8:30 p.m. Jan. 22. O Nightlands, Our Stable Violent Star: 8:30 p.m. Jan. 25. O Lux Band, Secret Stones: 8:30 p.m. Jan. 28.

Get slices with a topping of entertainment. 519 Monroe St. (419) 244-7722 or O Kyle White: 7-11 p.m. Jan. 21-22. O Jeff Stewart: 7-11 p.m. Jan. 28.

Country and rock with a little “Coyote Ugly” style. 3150 Navarre Ave., Oregon. (419) 691-8880 or O DJ Matt Lewis: Jan. 21. O Rachael Timberlake: Jan. 22. O Nine Lives: Jan. 28.

Toledo’s Mainstreet Bar and Grill

Jeff McDonald’s Big Band Revival Party

Ronn Daniels performs weekly at this pub. 8-11 p.m. Thursdays, 141 Main St. (419) 697-6297 or www.

8 p.m. Thursdays, South Briar Restaurant, 5147 S. Main St., Sylvania. (419) 517-1111 or (419) 708-0265.

M.T. Loonies

The Village Idiot Tunes combined with pizza and booze, some would say it’s a perfect combination. 309 Conant St., Maumee. (419) 8937281, (419) 740-2395 or O Old West End Records: Wednesdays. O Mark Mikel: Friday afternoons and Tuesday nights. O Bob Rex: Sunday afternoons. O Frankie May, Ben Barefoot: Mondays. O The Nu-Tones: Jan. 21. O Andrew Ellis & the Setting Sons: Jan. 22. O Kentucky Chrome: Jan. 28.

Dancing is encouraged. 8-10:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Trotter’s Tavern, 5131 Heatherdowns Blvd. (419) 381-2079 or (419) 708-0265.

Last Born Sons Band performs at 9 p.m. Thursdays; DJs take over on Fridays and Saturdays. 6648 Lewis Ave., Temperance. (734) 847-7222 or

Murphy’s Place Jazz — straight, smooth, bebop or traditional — all kinds are played here. 151 Water St. (419) 241-7732 or www.

Omni This club is a venue for music (and music lovers) of all types. 2567 W. Bancroft St. (419) 535-6664 or O Pink Droyd: 8 p.m. Jan. 28, free.

Ottawa Tavern Casual meals with weekend entertainment. 1815 Adams St. (419) 725-5483 or


Woodchucks The place to go for an eclectic mix of people and music. 224 S. Erie St. (419) 241-3045. O Karaoke with Georgia Peach: Wednesdays. O Abnormal Conditions, Buried But Breathing, Haud Imperium, Truth Ascension: Jan. 21. O Infernal Names, Deadbeat Moms, General Bastard,

Jeff McDonald’s Big Band All Stars

Rain The Beatles live on … in this tribute that’s been a touring and Broadway favorite for decades. 8 p.m. Jan. 19, Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd. $20-$44. (419) 381-8851 or

Winter Music Festival The Toledo School for the Arts’ chorus, orchestra, winds and percussion from junior high performances to more advanced groups, will present a seasonal selection of music. 5:30 p.m. Jan. 20, Owens Community College, Center for Fine and Performing Arts’ Mainstage Theatre, 30335 Oregon Road, Perrysburg. (419) 246-8732, ext. 2, or

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Robert Plant continues to folk it up after having got the Led out. He’ll be joined by Patty Griffin and Buddy Miller among the band; the North Mississippi Allstars will open. 8 p.m. Jan. 21, University of Michigan’s Hill Auditorium, 825 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor. $39.50-$75. (734) 764-2538, (734) 763-8587 or

Visual and audible arts combine for a new experience. Great Gallery (unless noted), 2445 Monroe St. (419) 255-8000 or O William Mathis of BGSU and friends: 3 p.m. Jan. 23.

Mozart Plus … Beethoven The Toledo Symphony will perform pieces by the aforementioned masters and Barber. 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22, Franciscan Theatre & Conference Center, Lourdes College, 6832 Convent Blvd., Sylvania. $30-$35. (419) 246-8000, (800) 3481253 or

The Water Coolers A clean show of original songs, pop parodies and sketch comedy of workplace humor that spans the entirety of life and the attempt to balance it. 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22, Central Auditorium, 200 W. Main Cross St., Findlay. $18-$23. (419) 422-4624 or

Mozart Birthday Bash Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra will perform some of the composer’s symphonies in order to celebrate his birthday. 8 p.m. Jan. 22, Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor. $10-$53. (734) 768-8397, (734) 668-

Gunnar and Matthew will perform their pop’s songs in tribute to his musical legacy. 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22, Ritz Theatre, 20 S. Washington St., Tiffin. $10-$35. (419) 448-8544 or

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Night Session will provide big-band music for dancers and listeners alike. A 30-minute dance lesson will precede the music. 5 p.m. Jan. 23, Paulette’s Studio of Dance, 4853 Monroe St., Building B. $10. (419) 6543262 or This percussionist uses music to communicate selfesteem building concepts. 1:30 p.m. Jan. 23, Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor. $14. (734) 7688397, (734) 668-8463, or www.

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Lemony Snicket’s work concerns dastardly deeds plaguing a hapless orchestra — the Toledo Symphony in this case. The audience is invited to help TSO cellist Bob Clemens find the culprit. 3 p.m. Jan. 23, Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle, 2445 Monroe St. $20-$25. (419) 2468000, (800) 348-1253 or


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Ricky remembered Nelson to bring tribute show to legendary father to Tiffin Jan. 22. By Vicki L. Kroll Toledo Free Press Star Staff Writer

A few years ago, Nelson was in Japan to play a concert for the troops during the holidays. The base commander was a big fan of Gunnar and Matthew Nelson’s father, Ricky Nelson. The twins hadn’t played their father’s music at their concerts. “We thought, OK, we’ll do this for the first time,” Gunnar said. “And what really struck us was … the kids that were filling the dance floor and just getting off to this music did not grow up with Ozzie and Harriet, did not grow up with Ricky Nelson music, they just loved the songs for what they were.” The duo decided to put together a tribute show for their dad. During his career, Ricky Nelson charted with more than 50 songs, including “Hello Mary Lou,” “Never Be Anyone Else But You,” “Travelin’ Man,” “Poor Little Fool,” “It’s Late” and “Just a Little Too Much.” Millions listened and watched as he grew up on radio and TV shows starring his parents, big-band artists Ozzie and Harriet. In 1985, he died in a plane crash at age 45; two years later, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “We actually argue that he was the most televised rock star in history. With the 435 episodes of ‘The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet’ to choose from, we put together a show that’s a full multimedia experience,” Gunnar said during a call from his Nashville home. Gunnar and Matthew will perform “Ricky Nelson Remembered” at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Ritz Theatre in Tiffin. Tickets range from $10 to $35.

Nelson plays the music of Ricky Nelson on its current tour. PHOTO COURTESY RICKYNESLSONREMEMBERED.COM

“[The tribute show] really accomplishes what I think the family was best at which was connecting with the fans. And the fans feel connected not only with our dad’s music and with [the Nelson] heritage in entertainment, but also with their place in Americana,” Gunnar said. “The Nelson family was just notified a couple weeks ago that we’re being inducted into the Smithsonian Institution for cultural impact on American history, which I thought was pretty cool.” Gunnar does have his favorites to play during the concert. “The first one is ‘Lonesome Town’ because I get to sing that one and it’s so elegantly simple; it’s just an acoustic guitar and a voice. And I think our dad really sang ballads better than anyone back in the day,” he said. “And the second song, of course, is ‘Garden Party’ because it was a statement of

his motto of life. It was his experience to get booed off the stage at Madison Square Garden for not being an oldies act, and he just wanted to let everybody know that you can’t please everyone, he’s got to please himself.” While Gunnar and Matthew keep their Nelson and tribute shows separate, the brothers are ready to rock with a new disc, “Lightning Strikes Twice,” due out in February. “This record, even though it’s 20 years later, it’s a seamless follow-up to our first album, ‘After the Rain,’ which sold five million copies,” Gunnar said. “It was a record I’ve always wanted to make … [Grunge] was the single largest paradigm shift in music history; it was no fault of our own, but we went home after doing that monster tour, and everything had changed. In America, they were not playing any of our kind of music anymore.” O

General Bastard marches into Woodchucks Jan. 22 General Bastard will bring its brand of surf thrash to Woodchucks Bar & Grill on Jan. 22. “It’s a lot of different styles of music with a guitar influence,” said General Bastard, lead singer and guitarist for the band. “It’s got that punk attitude, heavy metal heaviness and cool vibe of surf music. It’s real upbeat and energetic.” Based out of Detroit, General Bastard began as a one-man band and is now a three-piece group. In addition to General, the band is comprised of Pvt. Nick the Dick on bass and Sgt. Six Pack on drums. GEN. BASTARD The band started out as an idea for a band that would cover all TV. theme songs and consist of different characters from those shows, General said. Since General Bastard has grown into what it is today, with the members wearing camouflage and wrestling masks, he said. The group still sometimes plays TV themes, such as “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” but is focused on different music, the General said. Individuals who come out to the show can expect to see “great musicianship” and experience a whole lot of fun and humor, he said. “It’ll be guitar playing like they’ve never seen before,” General said. “We also talk a lot of smack about people — like Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. There’s a big-time wrestling aspect to the show, going out there and picking on other people. It’s all in good fun.” General Bastard will release its new CD, “You’re Not Special,” Jan. 29. Fans can expect to hear some songs from the new album at the show, General said. Also playing that evening are The Deadbeat Moms, Downspeed and the Infernal Names. “People should come out to support their local musicians,” General said. “If local musicians don’t get support on the local scene, everything will become a dance club and ‘American Idol’ karaoke. There will be no good places to listen to music.” The show is $5 for those 21 and older and $7 for those under 21. The doors open at 9 p.m. with the show starting at 9:30 p.m. Woodchuck’s is located at 224 S. Erie St. For more information about General Bastard, visit the website O — Kristen Criswell

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O Best Picture “127 Hours,” “Black Swan,” “The Fighter,” “Inception,” “The Kids Are All Right,” “The King’s Speech,” “The Social Network,” “The Town,” “Toy Story 3” and “True Grit” Dark Horse: “Winter’s Bone”

O Best Original Screenplay “Black Swan,” “The Fighter,” “Inception,” “The Kids Are All Right” and “The King’s Speech” Dark Horse: “Another Year” O Best Adapted Screenplay “127 Hours,” “The Social Network,” “Toy Story 3,” “True Grit” and “The Way Back” Dark Horse: “The Ghost Writer”

James A. Molnar



O Best Director Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”), David Fincher (“The Social Network”), Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”), Christopher Nolan (“Inception”) and David O. Russell (“The Fighter”) Dark Horse: Danny Boyle (“127 Hours”) and Joel and Ethan Coen (“True Grit”) O Best Actor in a Leading Role Jeff Bridges (“True Grit”), Leonardo DiCaprio (“Inception”), Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”), Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”) and James Franco (“127 Hours”) Dark Horse: Robert Duvall (“Get Low”), Ryan Gosling (“Blue Valentine”) and Mark Wahlberg (“The Fighter”) O Best Actress in a Leading Role Annette Bening (“The Kids Are All Right”), Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone”), Lesley Manville (“Another Year”), Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”) and Michelle Williams (“Blue Valentine”) Dark Horse: Anne Hathaway (“Love and Other Drugs”) and Nicole Kidman (“Rabbit Hole”) O Best Actor in a Supporting Role Christian Bale (“The Fighter”), Andrew Garfield (“The Social Network”), Jeremy Renner (“The Town”), Mark Ruffalo (“The Kids Are All Right”) and Geoffrey Rush (“The King’s Speech”) Dark Horse: Ed Harris (“The Way Back”) and John Hawkes (“Winter’s Bone”) O Best Actress in a Supporting Role Helena Bonham Carter (“The King’s Speech”), Mila Kunis (“Black Swan”), Melissa Leo (“The Fighter”), Hailee Steinfeld (“True Grit”) and Jacki Weaver (“Animal Kingdom”) Dark Horse: Amy Adams (“The Fighter”) and Barbara Hershey (“Black Swan”)

O Best Animated Feature “How to Train Your Dragon,” “The Illusionist” and “Toy Story 3” Dark Horse: “Tangled” O Best Art Direction “Alice in Wonderland,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I,” “Inception,” “The King’s Speech” and “True Grit” O Best Cinematography “Black Swan,” “Inception,” “Shutter Island,” “The Social Network” and “True Grit”

O Best Costume Design “Alice in Wonderland,” “Black Swan,” “The King’s Speech,” “Secretariat” and “True Grit” O Best Film Editing “Black Swan,” “The Fighter,” “Inception,” “The King’s Speech” and “The Social Network” O Best Makeup “Alice in Wonderland,” “The Way Back” and “The Wolfman” O Best Music — Original Score “127 Hours,” “How to Train Your Dragon,” “Inception,” “The King’s Speech” and “The Social Network” O Best Music — Original Song “If I Rise” from “127 Hours,” “Coming Home” from “Country Strong,” “I See the Light” from “Tangled,” “We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3” and “Shine” from “Waiting for ‘Superman’” O Best Visual Effects “Alice in Wonderland,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I,” “Inception,” “Iron Man 2” and “Tron: Legacy” For the remaining seven categories, go to TheGold Nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards will be announced Tuesday morning, Jan. 25. Look for full coverage at and . O Toledo Free Press Star Lead Designer James A. Molnar blogs about all things Oscar at TheGold His column will appear online and in print periodically.

36 . n JAN. 19, 2011 / TOLEDOFREEPRESS.COM


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r. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. The least you can do is wake up. The latest trend with Toledo Hip-Hop artists is to emulate the rappers they see on television. Why not? Those guys have everything they want: rented jewelry, sleepless nights and accumulated taxes that equate to more than some LIL people’s salaries. Oh, wait; that’s the part they don’t see. They think every platinum-selling artist woke up one morning, let all their friends hear their music and somehow got a record deal because everyone in their neighborhood thought they were the best. Doesn’t that sound stupid? So imagine how you sound shouting, “I’m the hottest in Toledo!” This doesn’t apply to every artist here, of course. There are a few artists who are throwing parties to promote themselves, investing in studio time, researching their markets and performing for more than their friends. But the majority of artists here are wasting their time trying to get into a business for which they aren’t ready. There is no proven formula for “making it” in the music business; however, there are several ways to ensure that this dream never happens. There are entertainment groups in Toledo with an immense amount of talent, but no direction. If your entire group comes out to support an artist at his/her show, but the group leaves right after that artist’s performance, the group will be perceived as stuck-up. Your favorite rapper is Ludacris, but you guys are too good to mingle? Shake hands with your supporters? Watch another artist’s performance? Obviously you don’t know Ludacris very well. Or are you the rapper who complains about the lack of support in the city? Toledo came together and got B Wills a championship on BET’s “Wild Out Wednesday.” You know why? People support good causes. If

you have a mixtape that no one knows about, how can you expect them to support it? You’re telling me your favorite rapper is Talib Kweli, but you expect me to spend $5 on a mixtape that you wrote on in black sharpie? I happen to own every Talib Kweli album and they are all professionally pressed. Perhaps you’re the rapper who smokes and drinks all day, fornicates with “models” (that’s an article for a different day), and thinks you’ll make it off of talent alone. Of course, your favorite rapper is Lil Wayne. Shocking. Wayne has managed to make drug use cool; he looks like he’s on drugs, yet women still like him; he raps about being high all the time, but he won a Grammy. I guess you forgot that Wayne has been signed to a major record label since he was 14, and at 28, he’s just now getting recognized on a national level. Maybe you didn’t realize that he’s the only artist to stay with Cash Money Records after the original signees left for money issues. Maybe if he spent less time smoking and more time looking over paperwork, he’d be worth more money. Oh, I know; you’re the socio-conscious rapper, who doesn’t want to be commercial. You don’t care about endorsements. You don’t need a lot of Twitter followers. All you need is a microphone and a group of people to influence. Don’t tell me; your favorite rapper is Nas. You listen to all his albums and think that you’ll get a record deal simply because you’re not begging for one. Do some research; Nas worked hard to get his record deal and the $55K he pays in monthly alimony/child support should tell you that he’s worth plenty of money. Instead of “acting” like the people on television, act like you have sense enough to know that no one is an overnight success. They say if you want to hide something from a black person, put it in a book. Ever heard of Donald Goines? Jimmy Iovine? Kevin Lyles? Guess they were right. O




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Catch Jeff McGinnis tuesday mornings on the kiss-fm 92.5 morning show.

Other horoscope changes M

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any have coolly received the news of the massive changes hitting the world’s horoscope pages with the advent of a new sign, Ophiuchus, and the shifting of all previous dates on the calendar. I, rather, see it as a good first step. Far too long, the horoscopes of America’s newspapers have been antiquated. It’s JEFF time to change them up for a new century. Below, I present a modest proposal for other ways to modify the remaining symbols, and make them more relatable to modern audiences. O Old sign: Aquarius (Feb. 16-March 11). Right away, the astrological signs show their age. Aquarius? Really? How ’60s. The “dawning of the age of Aquarius” was more than a half century ago, for Pete’s sake. Live in the now, astrology. Let’s see, if the old sign was a buzzword for the hippies, we need to come up with something that’s even more relevant to today’s kids. O New sign: iTunes O Old sign: Pisces (March 11-April 18). This presents the perfect opportunity to embrace one of the most lucrative trends in modern marketing: Naming rights. If sports stadiums can get away with it, why not the horoscope page? And who’s gonna miss Pisces, anyway? It’s a fish! Who wants their birth to be commemorated by the Incredible Mr. Limpit? But people would kick themselves if they weren’t born under ... O New sign: Reese’s Pisces O Old sign: Aries (April 18-May 13). Not bad. One letter away from the original God of War. But to kids today, Ares is as dead as Elvis in an Edsel. So, let’s upgrade to a new God of War, shall we? O New Sign: Kratos O Old sign: Taurus (May 13-June 21). Again, decent. A bull is pretty hardcore already. But also deadly plain, and let’s be honest, there are more intimidating things out there. We need something hard-nosed and powerful, while at the same time big and impractical. O New sign: Hummer O Old sign: Gemini (June 21-July 20). Let’s leave behind the American Gladiator jokes and focus on the “twins” aspect. There has to be a better way to sum up identical siblings in the mind of John Q. Public. O New sign: Olson O Old sign: Cancer (July 20-August 10). Well, that’s just depressing. Who was the marketing genius who approved putting the most deadly disease known to man among the birth signs? There has to be a less … fatalistic … affliction we can use here. O New sign: Tourette’s O Old sign: Leo (August 10-Sept. 16). This

change would come with the full support of the Disney corporation, and they’d really appreciate if the horoscope could include a mention of “The Lion King” whenever the road show comes to town. O New sign: Mufasa O Old sign: Virgo (Sept. 16-Oct. 30). The maiden. Rwrr. We need something that screams beautiful and desirable, while also intelligent and talented enough to be nominated for multiple awards. A girl next door with a PhD, if you will. O New sign: Portman O Old sign: Libra (Oct. 30-Nov. 23). Ugh, too politically biased. How long have the horoscopes been leftist? In the interest of equal time, this change can’t come soon enough. The sign can be an amalgamation of Glenn Beck and an elephant. (Rush Limbaugh, in other words.) O New sign: Conservata O Old sign: Scorpio (Nov. 23-Nov. 29). Wait — only six days? Really? Why are we even




talking about it? How did a sign only six days long sneak past committee? Still, if it must exist, we might as well dedicate it to something else small and insignificant. O New sign: Ferrari Owner’s Junk O Old sign: Sagittarius (Dec. 17-Jan. 20). The archer. On the surface, we could just give this one to Robin Hood and be done with it, but Russell Crowe kinda killed him dead this past summer. Besides, arrows are far more badass when they have explosives attached to them. O New sign: Rambo O Old sign: Capricorn (Jan 20-Feb. 16). Seriously? A goat? We waste a whole sign on an animal whose primary characteristic is their willingness to eat anything? You might as well name it after me. I say we aim for the youth demographic, instead. O New sign: Dora the Explorer And as for the most recently announced sign … Ophiuchus? Bwa? Who can relate to that, let alone pronounce it? I say it’s immediately replaced with … O New sign: Morpheus (Nov. 29-Dec. 17). “You take the blue pill, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe about the planets and stars influencing your life. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland and I show you that you need a better hobby.” O E-mail Jeff at


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Toledo Free Press STAR – Jan. 19, 2011  

The cover for this edition features S.S.T.R.E.S., who will rock Main Street’s “S&S Experience” (see page 4.) Columnist James A. Molnar (The...

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