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STAGE: ‘Viewings’ at Rep 4 MUSIC: Half Hearts at OT 5 MUSIC: Harp Gathering 6 ART: Fiber at River House 8 ART: Birds at Hudson 9 THE PULSE: Calendar 12 COMEDY: Ralphie May 14 McGINNIS: Rodney Perry 18

SUMMER MOVIES: ‘CAPTAIN AMERICA’ • ‘CARS 2’ • ‘SUPER 8’ • ‘Deathly hallows part 2’ • ‘TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON’ MAY 11, 2011 • Episode 2 Chapter 19 • Toledo Free Press Star, Toledo, OH

Bowling for Soup to roll into Headliners

Stars of the Week

By Vicki L. Kroll Toledo Free Press Star Staff Writer

If you visit Bowling for Soup’s website, www., the first song to play from the new disc, “Fishin’ for Woos,” is “S-S-S-Saturday”: “I wish every night was Saturday night/ Here’s to hoping Monday never comes/ S-S-SSaturday night.” Bass player Erik Chandler insisted the band isn’t preoccupied with 1975 — or The Bay City Rollers. “It could be [an homage], but that actually isn’t true,” he said. “The whole idea was a tribute to the weekend, a tribute to the partying and forgetting about the everyday grind for a little while.” So the guys won’t be breaking out the tartan? “Maybe around Halloween,” Chandler joked. The foursome known for packing fun into their high-energy songs released a serious single titled “Turbulence.” “That song is one of those great, super-wellcrafted rock ballads that seems very relatable to everyone. We all go through those tough times in our lives, and you just have to stick it out and ride through it,” Chandler said during a call from Dallas, where the band was appearing on a local show. Chandler, lead singer and guitarist Jaret Reddick, guitarist Chris Burney and drummer Gary Wiseman are all about song craftsmanship. “There’s got to be the melody that you can sing even when you don’t know the words,” Chandler said. “You do that or the super-catchy hook tagline of a chorus or a pre-chorus, lyrically, something that just grabs you and that’s the thing that

Bowling for Soup is the band behind “1985,” “Girl All The Bad Guys Want” and the theme from “Phineas and Ferb.” PHOTO COURTESY RAINMAKER ARTISTS

sticks in your head.” Think “1985,” Bowling for Soup’s hit from 2004. The group is also building a young fan base, thanks to singing the theme song for the Disney cartoon series “Phineas and Ferb.” “The two creators of the show used to work together on ‘The Simpsons’ and, evidently, at least back in that day, they were playing Bowling for Soup a lot in the writers’ room,” Chandler said. “They had this 30-second song written, and

they wanted Bowling for Soup to be the band that performs this song. So they flew Jaret out to LA and had him look at some of the original episodes that weren’t even finished yet and asked him if we’d be interested — absolutely.” The show’s creators, Dan Povenmire and Jeff Marsh, liked the song so much they asked the band to record a three-minute single, “Today Is Gonna Be a Great Day.” “Jaret has a reoccurring role on the show; he’s the singer for the band Love Händel and plays

the part of Danny,” Chandler said. Bowling for Soup will play Headliners at 6:30 p.m. May 16. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the show. Slated to open are The Dollyrots, Patent Pending, This Is Everything and Ryan Started the Fire. “Bowling for Soup is not here to reinvent the wheel; we’re not here to be The Beatles,” Chandler said. “We’re here to make you smile and that is our main objective.” O



Second chance for ‘Three Viewings’ By Jason Mack Toledo Free Press Star Staff Writer

Kate Abu-Absi loves to act, but on May 21 she hopes to stay firmly planted in her director’s chair during the Toledo Repertoire Theatre’s reading of “Three Viewings” by Jeffrey Hatcher. “Three Viewings” features three half-hour long monologues performed by F. Scott Regan, Jennifer Lake and Patricia Rudes. Due to heavy snowfall, a previous performance on Feb. 5 at the Valentine Theatre was nearly canceled because the weather prevented Lake and Rudes from making the show. “I was at a family birthday party and my husband called with the message that the actresses were flipping out and couldn’t make it,” Abu-Absi said. “The Valentine general manager said they were going to pull the plug. A half an hour before curtain, I got a call saying there were about 30 people there.” “We were all kind of shocked,” said Brad Smith, president of the board and interim artistic director for the Rep. “The readings don’t draw big audiences anyway. They are material people haven’t heard of, sometimes there’s adult language, and it’s not for everybody. To have so many people show up for an unknown show in the blizzard was quite surprising.” With enough of a crowd in attendance, the show had to go on. Abu-Absi is an experienced actress, recently playing the female lead in the Rep’s “Chapter Two.” She filled in for both actresses despite never rehearsing the parts. “I was totally freaked out about having to go up there and do it,” Abu-Absi said. “I just kept thinking ‘Pat needs to be here.’ She is totally the glue in this piece. She is a very strong woman and worked very hard. She is a widow, just like the character. Sometimes during rehearsals she had to stop. I thought ‘I can’t take away the opportunity for her to play this part.’ She’s very distinct.” “It put Kate in a terrible position, and it was a real shame for the actors who put all the time into rehearsing and didn’t get the payoff of showing it to the audience,” Smith said. “It was unfortunate

on a number of levels, but the show went off and people seemed to enjoy it.” Smith wanted to provide the actresses with an opportunity to finally perform the monologues. “As an actor myself, I know how frustrated I would be if I didn’t get to perform,” he said. “I sympathized with the fact they put in this time and didn’t get the benefit of it.” The Rep’s staged readings are just one-night shows, but Smith was willing to foot the bill for another performance of “Three Viewings.” “I have to look out for the Rep’s financial interests,” he said. “Even though we’re not going to gain or lose a lot no matter how well the show does, I couldn’t justify the risk. Since the expenses are relatively low upfront, I figured I could make it one of my donations to the Rep and a goodwill gesture to the actors as a thank you. I’m looking forward to seeing them perform the roles. Now I can try and dull the memory of the horror of Kate and see how it’s properly done.” All kidding aside, Smith enjoyed Abu-Absi’s performance of both monologues. “The February audience was not cheated in the least,” he said. “They saw a great performance. When Pat and Jennifer get to do it, they’ll see a great performance then, too. We didn’t miss a beat. Kate’s that good.” “Three Viewings” contains three monologues set in the same funeral parlor within a week of one another in a small town. “The subject matter deals with death, but it’s not morose,” Abu-Absi said. “Some moments are sad, but it’s not dwelling in that. It’s full of life and it is funny. It catches you off-guard. The monologues are really well-written. It’s not predictable, but it’s not out there in a way you can’t relate to.” Regan opens the show with “Tell-Tale” as a mortician named Emil who is in love with a woman attending funerals for business purposes. “During auditions, I realized right away he was perfect for this part both physically and in his energy and everything,” Abu-Absi said. “He’s been delightful to work with.” Lake is up next with “Thief of Tears” as a grave robber named Mac. “I consider it to be an incredibly challenging part,” Abu-Absi said. “In the very first paragraph,

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Rep stages play affected by snowstorm.

Brad Smith, president of the Rep board and its interim artistic director. STAR PHOTO BY JASON MACK

she says she robs corpses and describes how she does it. You want to think of her as a bad person, but throughout the course of it you realize what has happened in her life and understand. Jennifer really is the thief of tears. It makes you wonder who you would be if you had lived the character’s life.” “It’s such a daring thing for the writer,” Smith said. “He’s purposely setting her up to be so unlikeable to see if by the end of it you can sympathize with her.” Rudes plays a widow named Virginia in the final monologue titled “Thirteen Things about Ed Carpolotti.” “When she auditioned for that part, I cried, and I’m not even a crier,” Abu-Absi said. “She is so perfect. It deals with losing someone you love but finding all these disappointments. It’s the best monologue in the show and one of the best I’ve ever heard.”

Smith said he sees the staged readings as opportunities to take risks with pieces like “Three Viewings.” “The Edgy Rep readings are a way to push the envelope even more with material people haven’t heard of,” Smith said. “We couldn’t fill three weekends with some of these pieces, but we can get one good audience that will appreciate this challenging, unusual piece.” Despite the near impossibility of snow on May 21, Abu-Absi is not getting her hopes up for a large turnout. “It will probably be the most beautiful day of the year, and we’ll have no audience,” she said. “Everyone might want to be outdoors. It would be amazing irony.” Tickets are available for $10. The reading begins at 8 p.m. in Studio A of the Valentine Theatre at 410 Adams St. Visit for more information. O


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“. . . a consistent TRIUMPH . . .     EXTRAORDINARY”

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The Half Hearts formed in Minneapolis with a mix of prog rock and ’70s rock.

– Los Angeles Times



A performance by The Half Hearts is anything but halfhearted. “We all have acting backgrounds, so we get really theatrical. It’s a lot of jumping around. We’ve been compared to a cabaret,” said singer-guitarist Flip Arkulary. “Sometimes there are costumes involved. It’s not unusual to see a bearded lady at one of our concerts.” The Minneapolis-based foursome sounds like a mix of progressive rock, ’70s pop, grunge and surf, Arkulary said. “We get compared to everybody from Fleetwood Mac to the Pixies and I’ve heard the B-52s. It’s a mix for sure,” said Arkulary, who has been called Flip since the day he was born thanks to the in-utero gymnastics he used to right himself when he was expected to be born breech. Singer-bassist Robert Cox, singer-keyboardist Caitie Collins and singer-drummer Mitch Miller round out the group. The Half Hearts’ sophomore release, “Uptown Sounds,” set for release May 10 on Apter Records, chronicles the band members’ lives in Minneapolis during the past two years. The title refers to an artsy section of town where a couple of the members live. “If I could make one album in my entire life, this would be it,” Arkulary said. “We all sing on it and we all wrote the songs. Caitie and I wrote most, but all of us really put our stamp on it. It’s an ode to the city and how we all came together.” The group’s first album, “After the Flood,” covered Arkulary’s journey as he graduated from the University of Iowa and left to work on Obama’s presidential campaign as his college town was being ravaged by a flood. “I was saying goodbye to all I knew as a flood

was washing away my city,” Arkulary said. “It was a good metaphor for coming into adulthood for me — a physical and metaphorical flood.” After the campaign, Arkulary moved to Minneapolis, where he ran into Cox, a childhood friend from Duluth, Minn., and Collins, an acquaintance from college. “Caitie and I both majored in music. She’s an opera singer and me in classical composition. When those things didn’t work out for us, we became rock singers and songwriters,” Arkulary said. Miller replaced the group’s previous drummer earlier this year. “We had a drummer quit halfway through the album. It sparked a lot of fights,” he said. “There were a couple days we were plotting each other’s deaths. Like Fleetwood Mac actually.” With Minneapolis so far from the next major city, its indie music scene has developed its own unique sound, Arkulary said. “Minneapolis is really insular,” Arkulary said. “We wanted to create a dialogue about what that means. Where do we fit in as a band? Are we part of this insular sound or are we part of something different on top of that? I could go through layers and layers of that. It’s intellectual masturbation.” Arkulary hopes people come to the show with an open mind. “What we’re selling is not your typical indie rock experience,” he said. “We get really into our act. We just have a lot of passion. I’m really lucky to work with the three most passionate people I know. I want people to walk away with a catharsis. I want them to show up with an open mind and leave feeling that they’ve been spiritually satisfied.” The Half Hearts will play Howard’s Club H, 210 N. Main St., Bowling Green, at 8 p.m. May 12 and Ottawa Tavern, 1817 Adams St., with The Matt Truman Ego Trip on May 13. For more information, visit the website www. O


MAY 18 – 22 1-800-745-3000


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Date de Livraison : April 26, 2011 Date de Parution : May 18, 2011 Couleur : CMYK

027564_ALE_TOL_May18 Star Weekly Paper 4.875” x 5”

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Frank Stella, Tuftonboro III (detail), 1966, fluorescent alkyd and epoxy paints on canvas, 110 ¼ x 110 ½ x 3 in. (280 x 280.67 x 7.62 cm). Collection of the artist. © 2011 Frank Stella / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo by Steven Sloman.

The Half Hearts to play gigs at OT, Howard’s Club H.


Photo: Al Seib Costume: Dominique Lemieux © 2001 Cirque du Soleil

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Harp gathering Annual harp event will include three public concerts. By Sarah Ottney TOLEDO FREE PRESS SPECIAL SECTIONS EDITOR

Harpists near and far will gather in Northwest Ohio this month for a weekend of concerts, workshops and camaraderie. The fourth annual Harp Gathering will draw musicians from 13 states and two Canadian provinces to Sauder Village in Archbold on May 12-15, said Toledo harpist Denise GruppVerbon, who founded the event with her husband, Michael. The couple, who perform as a harp-guitar duo called Tapestry, will be introducing several new releases during the event, including a CD, a harp instructional book and a customdesigned harp. About 125 people, which includes nonmusician companions of harpists, typically attend the Harp Gathering, with many returning every year, Denise said. “We set it up so everyone eats together, so you can rub elbows with performers. You might be able to sit across the table from someone famous in the harp world,” Denise said. “And having it

at Sauder supports the nonprofit village, so that’s pretty cool.” The weekend will include three concerts open to the public: 7 p.m. May 13, 7:30 p.m. May 14, and 11:15 a.m. May 15. The May 15 show includes an ensemble performance of Harp Gathering participants. Tickets cost $15 per concert and can be purchased at the door. The venue is handicap-accessible. “Quite a few people come because where else can you see a harp concert?” Denise said. Besides plenty of hands-on workshops taught by Tapestry and harpists Frank Voltz, Timothy Harper, Kim Robertson, Lisa Lynne, Louise Trotter and Sharlene Wallace, Harp Gathering participants will also have the chance to win dozens of giveaways, including the weekend’s grand prize — a harp. One popular activity is the “harp tasting,” in which attendees listen to harps being played without being allowed to see external details like color, finish or brand name. “People have fun trying to pick out their harp and are definitely surprised,” Denise said. Denise, who has been playing harp since she was 11, said she enjoys the harp because the in-

Denise and Michael Grupp-Verbon perform as Tapestry. PHOTO COURTESY DENISE GRUPP-VERBON

strument is almost universally pleasing and also extremely personal. “The sound you get from it is directly related to the way you pluck the strings,” Denise said. “It’s very personal, tactile and close to your body when you play. It’s therapeutic both to the listener and the player.” Tapestry’s third album, “The Red Leaf,” is a collection of traditional folk and Celtic music. The disc includes several original compositions by the couple and will be released May 13. For more information, visit Denise, who gives private harp lessons and teaches part time at Owens Community Col-

lege, will also debut a 60-page instructional book called “Finger Puzzles and Shapes for the Harp” during the Harp Gathering with a companion DVD to be released soon. “It teaches you what your hands look and feel like when you’re playing. It shows how shapes on the music page look and associates it with how your fingers look and feel on the harp, which creates more confident playing,” Grupp-Verbon said. “This is a new perspective that I haven’t seen much of before. It’s not stuffy or scary like an exercise book; it’s approachable and accessible.” For a schedule of public events and more information, visit O


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Fiber arts

River House exhibit examines ‘Transforming Touch.’ By John Dorsey Toledo Free Press STAR Staff Writer

The way we look at fibers is changing. The Perrysburg gallery River House Arts’ latest exhibition examines the things that touch us most and the craft that goes into their creation. The “Transforming Touch” group exhibition now on display features artists working in the field of fabrics, including Jennifer Maestre, Stephanie Metz, Erin Endicott, John Paul Morabito, Susan Iverson, Sandra Jane Heard, Jeanne Butler and Lia Cook. “I wanted to offer a diversity of works in varying fiber techniques that were expertly crafted, demonstrated refined editing and portrayed a strong concept,” said curator Sandra Jane Heard. “For this show, I also sought works that had an inherent emotional rawness and would elicit a very human interaction.” Heard’s goal with the exhibit was to introduce more people to this often overlooked field and to stimulate discussion within the arts community. “I think the show reflects the infinite possibilities and meaning that can be pursued using the various media. They are also finely made,

well-crafted works that manage to convey and express the artist’s concept. What sets this show apart from other exhibits is that the presentation is more focused on the message and concept than the medium,” said gallery owner Paula Baldoni. “We have an extraordinary collection of contemporary artworks that are grounded in some of the most demanding, historical material processes such as weaving, sewing and felting. These are world-class works that just happen to fit the genre of fiber.” The artists represented have exhibited their work in a number of venues and permanent collections around the world, including the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., the SOFA Expo in New York, the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, Mass., the Davis Museum at Wellesly College, the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh and a host of others. “Transforming Touch” will be on display through June 18. River House Arts is located at 115 West Front St. For more information, call (419) 874-8900 or visit O

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Taking flight


Hudson Gallery hosts Goldman exhibit. By John Dorsey Toledo Free Press STAR Staff Writer

The Hudson Gallery’s latest exhibit is taking flight in the hearts and minds of area arts patrons. The series of screen prints by artist Jane E. Goldman is on display through May 28. The gallery is offering a free public open house from 5 to 8 p.m. May 12. Goldman began the work nearly a decade ago, after being loaned a book of images created by noted ornithologist and painter John James Audubon. Audubon, who lived from 1785 to 1851, is best known today for his major work, “The Birds of America.” Along with Benjamin Franklin, Audubon was one of the first Americans to be named a fellow of London’s Royal Society for Improving Natural Knowledge. “We’ve had Jane’s work in our gallery for quite a few years now. It has a very natural element to it, with dramatic use of shadow that’s very appealing,” said gallery owner Scott Hudson. “She worked on these pieces over a long period of time, around one a year, and the whole show came together in a very organic way. The work is

so amazing and stunningly beautiful,” Goldman has exhibited her work in galleries around the world since 1975. Her pieces are included in the permanent collections of the Toledo Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Fogg Art Museum, Detroit Institute of Arts, the Library of Congress and Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. Renowned as both a painter and a printmaker, Goldman makes her home in Massachusetts. The images in Goldman’s “Audubon Suite: the Loaned Book” were painstakingly screen printed in as many as 18 colors and printed on highquality paper ranging in size from 22-by-30 up to 41-by-28.5 inches. “This show is very different for us — it’s very traditional, yet contemporary,” Hudson said. “One of the first things that I first noticed about these pieces was the perspective of the images, looking down. I would say that this show is one not to be missed — it’s not every day that a museum-collected artist is displayed in our community.” The Hudson Gallery is located at 5645 North Main St. in Sylvania. For more information, call (419) 885-8381 or visit the website O

Painting from Jane E. Goldman exhibit, ‘Audubon Suite: the Loaned Book.’ ILLUSTRATION COURTESY HUDSON GALLERY

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JUNE 24: “CARS 2”

Popcorn Season

Superheroes, sequels and Spielberg offer summer movie thrills. By Jeff McGinnis Toledo Free Press Star Staff Writer


rom the birth of “Avengers” franchises “Thor” and “Captain America” to the curtain call of the “Harry Potter” series, Summer 2011 is geared up to provide some cool relief from the hot days outside. Here are some of the cinematic highlights that should keep popcorn and Twizzlers sales soaring.

May 6 “Thor” — It’s time for yet another Marvel superhero movie, the first of three this summer. This time, it’s the God of Thunder himself, played by the guy who played Captain Kirk’s dad (Chris Hemsworth). He certainly looks the part, and whoever decided to cast Anthony Hopkins as Odin deserves a medal. But the big question is, does the general public know Thor as a character enough to justify building a whole movie — let alone franchise — around him? Things working in the movie’s favor: It suddenly has another Oscar winner in its cast (Natalie Portman), and a director who is very respected both inside and outside of mainstream cinema (Kenneth Branagh). We may not be talking “Iron Man”level grosses here, but it’ll probably do well enough to win a couple of weekends at the box office.

May 13 “Bridesmaids” — Imagine “The Hangover” with an all-female cast and produced by Judd Apatow. Kristen Wiig stars as a bridesmaid who meets the rest of her best friend’s wacky bridal party, and shenanigans ensue. Wiig co-wrote the screenplay, and the director, Paul Feig, has many episodes of “Arrested Development” and “The Office” to his credit — seriously, how could this lose? Prediction: Melissa McCarthy, who plays the party’s large and crude member, will be the breakout star a la Zach Galifianakis. “Priest” — Based on a popular Manga, here’s a post-apocalyptic tale with stylish visuals and over-the-top action. Yep, another one. Here, Paul Bettany stars as (surprise!) a priest who kills vampires. If the idea of Bettany in this kind of movie seems oddly familiar, it should: He also appeared in “Legion,” which substituted angels for vampires, and was directed by Scott Stewart — who also directed “Priest.” However many hardcore action fans turn out for this, it won’t be enough to dethrone “Thor” or “Bridesmaids.”

May 20 “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” — Captain Jack is back! And let’s hope this one is better than “At World’s End.”

Director Gore Verbinski has stepped aside, replaced by Rob Marshall, whose own resume (“Chicago”) doesn’t seem to indicate that he has this kind of swashbuckler in him. But still, it has Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush and new female lead Penelope Cruz, so hopes are high. It has this weekend all to itself, so it’ll open huge, but what it does from there is all about how good it is. Especially since the following week has ...

May 27 “The Hangover: Part II” — Yep, it’s time for the sequel. All the original cast is back, as is director Todd Phillips, whose last film was the lackluster “Due Date.” This time, the guys are all in Thailand for Stu’s wedding when (of course) things go crazy. It’s a major, major challenge to follow up a hit comedy, let alone one of the most popular comedies of all time. It doesn’t help that the trailer has a very “been-there, done-that” feel to it; as it even seems to recycle the exact same plot. Odds are this isn’t gonna be as funny as the first movie (what could be?), but regardless, it’ll make a mint at the box office. “Kung Fu Panda 2” — Speaking of sequels, here we have the first big family film of the summer, featuring the return of Jack Black as Po, the panda with huge martial arts skills and an appetite to match. All the rest of the cast is back, too, but with a new director, Jennifer Yuh, whose past work is full of awesome non-Disney animation work (story artist on the original “Panda” and “Madagascar,” even directed episodes of the incredible HBO series based on “Spawn”).

“Cowboys and. Aliens,” July 29

“The Hangover: Part II,” May 27 Simply put, this’ll be the summer’s biggest family film ... for at least a month, until “Cars 2” comes out.

June 3 “X-Men: First Class” — The original stars are getting too old/too expensive/too involved in their own franchises, so guess what? It’s time for the prequel! Set in the 1960s, this look at the early days of Xavier’s School for the Gifted stars James McAvoy (“Atonement”) and Michael Fassbender (“Inglorious Basterds”) as Professor X and Magneto. The period look of the trailer seems to understand its era well, and using world events as a backdrop (Cuban Missile Crisis, anyone?) might invest the whole thing with a gravity the earlier installments kinda lacked. The director, Matthew Vaughn, also knows his way around special effects (he made “Kick-Ass” and “Stardust”), and Bryan Singer, who made the first two X-films, is back on as a producer, so there is reason to hope.

June 10 “Super 8” — Perhaps the summer’s most intriguing movie, in large part because the trailer takes great pains to not give too much away. Advertisers, take note. Director/writer J.J. Abrams brings a sci-fi tale of kids in the 1970s filming an amateur movie who happen to capture a horrific train crash in progress, as well as ... something ... escaping the wreckage. No big stars in the cast to speak of, but with its intriguing premise and pedigree (Steven Spielberg is among the executive producers), this will probably draw people in on the strength of its makers alone. “Judy Moody and the NotBummer Summer” — Based on a popular series of children’s books, this family romp is about a young girl who is determined to have the best summer ever. This isn’t a highconcept plot or anything, but the trailer has a lot of energy and fun in it, so for kids looking for a bit of summer frivolity this may

“Cars 2,” June 24 just be the ticket. Director John Schultz last turned in the questionable “Aliens in the Attic” though, so the jury’s still out. Also features Heather Graham.

June 17 “Green Lantern” — Hmm, it’s been two weeks since the last comic book movie, which means we’re way overdue for another one! This time, it’s the only character from the DC stable to get a flick this summer, as Ryan Reynolds stars as Hal Jordan, adventurous test pilot who through a twist of fate gets inducted into an intergalactic group of guardians known as the Green Lantern Corps. The trailer promises lots of flashy special effects and alien races, but really, how many outside of die-hard comic geeks know enough about Green Lantern to care? Then again, the same could be said of Iron Man, so ... “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” — Another live action family flick sees Jim Carrey starring as a businessman who inherits six penguins. Don’t even start thinking of comparisons to “Ace Ventura” here — this is a lighthearted kids’ comedy (very) loosely based on a muchloved book. Carrey hasn’t been around that much lately (“I Love You, Phillip Morris” notwithstanding), so it’ll be interesting to see how his first mainstream live action flick in nearly three years will fare.

June 24 “Cars 2” — The original film back in 2006 ended up being one of the most popular films in Pixar’s history, so a sequel was probably inevitable. But instead of simply rehashing the original, director John Lasseter and the rest of the crew have taken a wild left turn, making the sequel into a spy thriller with Lightning McQueen and Mater exploring the world.

JUNE 24: “BAD TEACHER” This neatly makes everything feel remarkably fresh, and sidesteps the sad fact that neither Paul Newman nor George Carlin can reprise their roles from the first film. Also, Lasseter (who made the first two “Toy Story” movies and “A Bug’s Life”) hasn’t helmed a Pixar flick since the first “Cars,” so it’s nice to see him directing again. “Bad Teacher” — Here’s your raunchy, nasty, potentially hilarious comedy of the month. Cameron Diaz stars as an extremely disgruntled teacher who wants to seduce a new colleague (played by Justin Timberlake), but feels she needs to get breast implants to be noticed. The fact that Cameron Diaz thinks she needs bigger breasts to be appealing to a guy is a little out there, but whatever. The trailer is really, really funny (especially the uncensored version), and the director is Jake Kasdan, who last turned in the hilarious “Walk Hard,” so fingers crossed.

July 1 “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” — Let’s get the obvious comments out of the way — yes, another Transformers movie. Yes, it’s still directed by Michael Bay. No, this isn’t an adaptation of the Pink Floyd album. There. Now, even Bay admits the last movie wasn’t very good (no, really?), and has promised this one will be better and deeper. Of course, better for Bay usually equals more pounds of C4 exploded, so we’ll see. The trailer’s intriguing at least, and the first film in the franchise was shockingly good, all things considered, so who knows. “Larry Crowne” — Tom Hanks returns to the big screen as a director for the first time in 15 years with a quaint dramedy about a simple man (Hanks) who loses his job at a Sam’s-Club-ish store and tries to better himself by going to a community college. Co-stars Julia Roberts as his reluctant professor. Hanks’ first film was the charming “That Thing You Do,” — he has genuine talent behind the camera. This won’t blow any doors off the theaters, but the older crowd will eat it up.

July 8 “Zookeeper” — Or, as we can think of it, “Night at the Museum Goes to the Zoo.” A roly-poly zookeeper (Kevin James) discovers to his shock that the animals he cares for can all talk (with celebrity voices, in fact) and want to help his love life. The trailer looks dumb but harmless, and director Frank Coraci is not particularly known for sophisticated humor (his credits include “The Waterboy” and “The Wedding Singer”). Those hoping for a low-key family flick will enjoy it, but anyone looking for more should keep looking. “Horrible Bosses” — Three buddies, led by the invaluable Jason Bateman, decide that their terrible bosses are the things holding them back and concoct a grand scheme to kill them all. Yep, we’re dealing with a dark comedy, here, a “Throw Momma from the Train” for the workplace set. The odd factor may be its director, Seth Gordon, mainly known for his fun documentary “The King of Kong” and less fun comedy “Four Christmases.” Does he have the kind of cheerful malevolence this material needs? Time will tell.

July 15 “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” — Do I really need to say anything? Yep, it’s the grand finale, the final battle, the end-all-be-all-thisis-it for the most popular movie series of our time. Warner Bros. and all the cast deserve to be applauded for making it to the end, and consistently turning in extremely entertaining films that did justice to the books they came from. Will this be the biggest film of the summer? The competition’s steep, but if the dramatic conclusion satisfies on film as much as it did in print, fans may want to revisit this one a few times.

TOLEDOFREEPRESS.COM / MAY 11, 2011 n 11 fairly hot commodity right now. Also will benefit from the presence of Danny McBride, who is always entertaining, even when his movies aren’t. “Final Destination 5” — It’s the last one. For realz. We’re serious this time, you guys, we won’t make any more. Yeah, right. Let’s at least be grateful that the rumored original title — “5-nal Destination” — didn’t come to pass. Anyway, you know the drill, attractive young people nearly die in an accident then start dying anyway. Frequent James Cameron collaborator Steven Quale gets a shot as director here.

Aug. 19 “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” Aug. 5 “Winnie the Pooh” — Now here’s an odd bit of counterprogramming. On the same week that one of the most successful franchises ever reaches its climax, Disney releases a traditionally animated film based upon one of its most beloved characters. It’s a superb idea to not upgrade Winnie to computer animation, to be sure. But will this relatively slight film get bulldozed by the Potter juggernaut?

July 22 “Captain America: The First Avenger” — Yep, here comes another comic book flick, the second that will act as a stage-setter for next summer’s “Avengers” movie. This and “Thor” can almost be seen as feature-length trailers for the REAL movie in 2012. But that doesn’t mean this one can’t be a success on its own merits, with Chris Evans as the supersoldier who fights the Nazis and supervillain Red Skull (Hugo Weaving). As little as two weeks ago, an All-American hero might have seemed a tad passé. But in the wake of the events of May 1, Cap might be arriving at precisely the right time. “Friends with Benefits” — Hmm, where have we seen this plot before? Two friends who are unlucky in love decide to just have sex with each other, no strings attached. Oh, wait, that’s right, there was that movie last fall, called, what was it? Oh, well, doesn’t matter. Anyway, this version stars Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake, two of the hottest stars around, so if this one does well, it’ll be all about their drawing power. Director Will Gluck’s last flick was the well-received “Easy A,” so maybe this one’ll surprise us, originality be damned.

July 29 “Cowboys and Aliens” — The summer’s most unique mash-up, with either the best or worst title in history. Daniel Craig stars as a mysterious drifter in the Old West who doesn’t know how this here futuristic bracelet got on his wrist, until aliens from another world start attacking. Co-stars none other than Harrison Ford. The trailer excites and interests most audiences until that title comes up, at which point they burst into laughter. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is yet to be seen. On the plus side, the director is Jon Favreau, who hit it huge with the “Iron Man” movies. “Crazy, Stupid, Love” — Steve Carell stars in this romantic dramedy about a man whose marriage is collapsing and whose kids are caught in the crossfire. The trailer is actually hilarious, and if the movie can deliver on the pathos the concept seems to have, this may be a genuinely memorable winner. Another reason for hope: The writer, Dan Fogelman, is one of the writers credited for the “Cars” movies. Less of a reason for hope: He’s also credited for “Fred Claus.” “The Smurfs” — Four words: Katy Perry as Smurfette. Yep, it’s time for the Smurfs to go CGI, helmed by Raja Gosnell, the auteur responsible for the “Scooby-Doo” movies and “Beverly Hills Chihuahua.”

Scared yet? Well, let’s look on the bright side — most of the celebs are nice choices for their assigned Smurfs (Jonathan Winters as Papa, George Lopez as Grouchy), and the wonderful Neil Patrick Harris plays the human who finds the blue things. Maybe adults won’t be tortured too badly while their kids watch.

Aug. 5 “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” — Yes, it’s time for an “Apes” prequel. Hoo boy. A scientist played by James Franco — wait, James Franco? What was his agent on when it was decided this should be the follow-up to “127 Hours?” Anyway, a scientist experiments on chimps, gives them intelligence and apparently ends up dooming the whole world. So he’s the guy Charlton Heston was damning to hell in the first movie. Saving grace: Andy Serkis (“Lord of the Rings,” “King Kong”) is playing the chimp. Really. “The Change-Up” — Hey, remember back when the idea of two people swapping bodies was a fresh and interesting idea? No? Anyway, here it is again. Two buddies (Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds) end up changing places, so the family man becomes the single swinger and vice-versa. The director, David Dobkin, has “Wedding Crashers” to his credit, so he can pull off raunchy comedy quite well. Let’s just hope this is more “Big” than “Like Father, Like Son.”

Aug. 12 “30 Minutes or Less” — Jesse Eisenberg reunites with his “Zombieland” director Ruben Fleischer for an R-rated comedy about a pizza delivery guy who is kidnapped and forced to rob a bank within a short time limit. The trailer isn’t anything to write home about, but the concept is intriguing, and in the afterglow of his triumph in “The Social Network,” Eisenberg is a


On the cover

2 7




“One Day” — Here’s your high-concept rom-com of the month: Two people (Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess) meet on the night of their college graduation, and then the film checks in on them every year on the same date for the next two decades. What are the odds they’ll fall in love by the time the 20th year rolls around? Anyway, Hathaway is the most likable person in movies today and her in a romantic flick almost always scores. And director Lone Scherfig’s last project was the Best Picture nominee “An Education.” “Fright Night” — Remake of the classic 1980s vampire flick sees a teenager (Anton Yelchin) who suspects his neighbor (Colin Ferrell) of being a bloodsucker. Sure, vampires are hot right now, but releasing this one in the waning days of summer doesn’t seem like a vote of confidence. But there are hints of awesomeness: The director, Craig Gillespie, made the wonderful “Lars and the Real Girl,” and the Roddy McDowell role is being played by David Tennant, the best Doctor Who of all time. (I await angry letters from Tom Baker fans.) “Conan the Barbarian” — Speaking of remakes, here’s a loincloth-clad revisit of the classic pulp character made famous by the Governator. This one stars Jason Momoa, who may not have Arnold’s pecs, but is red-hot right now thanks to “Game of Thrones.” Also red-hot (in a different way) is co-star Rose McGowan, and the director is Marcus Nispel, who last helmed the 2009 remake of “Friday the 13th.” “Spy Kids 4” — Director Robert Rodriguez was last seen blowing heads off in “Machete.” Now he returns to his popular kids’ franchise, with a mostly new cast but appearances by almost all the old characters. This one stars Jessica Alba as a former spy brought out of retirement and helped by her stepkids. This one will also be in 3-D, as Rodriguez was well ahead of that curve, releasing the third film in the format more than six years ago. Will this kiddie franchise still pack enough punch now that its former stars are Spy Tweens? O


9 10


1. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” July 1 2. “Winnie the Pooh,” July 15 3. “Harry Potter…,” July 15 4. “Green Lantern,” June 17 5. “Pirates of the Caribbean…,” May 20 6. “The Smurfs,” July 29 7. “Kung Fu Panda 2,” May 26 8. “Thor,” May 6 9. “Captain America…,” July 22 10. “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” June 17 O

Toledo Free Press Star illustration by James A. Molnar. Photos courtesy Paramount Pictures, Disney, DreamWorks, Sony, Marvel, Universal Studios, Warner Bros., Twentieth Century Fox and Disney/Pixar.


Compiled by Whitney Meschke Events are subject to change.

MUSIC The Ark This small venue offers a showcase for lesser-known acts. 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. (734) 761-1451, (734) 7611800 or O Magdalen Fossum and Steve Kovich: 8 p.m. May 11, $10. O Marcia Ball: 8 p.m. May 12, $30. O Girlyman, Coyote Grace: 8 p.m. May 13, $20. O The RFD Boys: 8 p.m. May 14, $11. O Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks: 7:30 p.m. May 15, $25 O Raul Malo, Seth Walker: 8 p.m. May 17, $40. O Lynn Miles: 8 p.m. May 18, $15.

The Blarney Irish Pub Catch local acts while taking in the pub’s modern Irish and American fare. 601 Monroe St. (419) 418-2339 or www. O Jeff Stewart: May 12. O MAS FiNA: May 13. O Kentucky Chrome: May 14. O Chris Knopp: May 19.

Blind Pig A variety of rock, soul, pop and alternative acts perform at this bar. 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor. $3-$20 unless noted. (734) 996-8555 or O The Felice Brothers, Shovels and Ropes, Matt Jones: 9 p.m. May 11. O The Kickstand Band, The Boys Themselves: 9:30 p.m. May 12. O State, S*********, Mr. C*** & the Pink Cigarettes, the Jobys: 9:30 p.m. May 13. O Jamie Register Funk Prom Party: 9:30 p.m. May 14. O Burton’s Garden, Stikyfut, Violet Void, Alexx Sumner: 9:30 p.m. May 17. O Shadow Attack, Jaws That Bite, Steve Drones, Ill.So.Naj: 9:30 p.m. May 18. O Plug: 9:30 p.m. May 19.


Bretz Bar 2012 Adams St. (419) 243-1900. O Deja Dellataro and Felaciana Thunderpussy: Thursdays-Saturdays.

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 Luke James: Tuesdays. O Kingtson Dread: May 13. O Bush League: May 14.

Caesars Windsor 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 O George Lopez: 9 p.m. May 14, $40. O Chicago: 8 p.m. May 15, $35.

Cheetah’s Den A different band performs each week. 702 E. Broadway St. (419) 754-1903. O DJ Lamont: Tuesdays. O Devious: Thursdays (also open mic night)-Saturdays.

Club Soda This university hot spot from back in the day hosts entertainment Fridays and Saturdays. 3922 Secor Road. (419) 473-0062 or O Remedy: May 13-14.

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. May 11 and 18. O David Lux: May 12. O Sheila Landis: 7:30-11:30 p.m. May 13-14.

O Logan Wells and Tim Tucker: May 13-14.

The Distillery


Karaoke is offered Tuesdays, but paid entertainers rock out Wednesdays-Saturdays. 4311 Heatherdowns Blvd. (419) 382-1444 or O Name This Tune: 7:30 p.m. Sundays. O Kyle White: May 11. O The Bridges: May 12-14. O Gregg Aranda: May 17. O Tony & Lyle: May 18.

All ages, all genres are welcome. 4500 N. Detroit Ave. Ticket prices vary between $5 and $15, unless noted otherwise. (419) 269-4500 or O Insane Clown Posse: 7 p.m. May 13, $27.50-$32. O Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Weep the Beldam, Before We Fall, Fate of Orion: 7 p.m. May 15, $15-$18. O Bowling for Soup, the Dollyrots, Patent Pending, This Is Everything, Ryan Started the Fire: 6 p.m. May 16, $15-$18.

Doc Watson’s

Ice Restaurant & Bar

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: 8 p.m. May 12. O Jeff Stewart: 10 p.m. May 13. O Meaghan Roberts: 10 p.m. May 14.

This local, family-owned enterprise offers food, drinks and music in a sleek atmosphere. 405 Madison Ave. (419) 2463339 or O Ramona Collins: 5 p.m. May 12. O Dan and Don: 7 p.m. May 13 and 20-21. O Deon Yates: 5 p.m. May 19.

Fat Fish Blue

Kerrytown Concert House

Serving blues and similar sounds, as well as bayoustyle grub. Levis Commons, 6140 Levis Commons Blvd., Perrysburg. (419) 931-3474 or O Open mic night: 8 p.m. May 12. O Jason Kelley: 9 p.m. May 13-14.

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 O Ravish Momin Duo: 8 p.m. May 11. O Arundo Donax: 8 p.m. May 12. O Benefit for Young Artists, featuring Don Baker: 4:30 p.m. May 14. O Melissa Morgan: 8 p.m. May 14. O Patrick Donley’s Full Moon Series: 8 p.m. May 17. O Starlicker: 8 p.m. May 19. O Chelsea Chamber Players: 8 p.m. May 20.

Frankie’s Toledo’s venue for rock. 308 Main St. Tickets vary between $5 and $15, unless noted. (419) 693-5300 or O Auto Tune karaoke: 9 p.m. Mondays, free. O Blue Felix, Illumira, the Plagues, BEEF, Bloody Buffalo: 9 p.m. May 12. O Boogaloosa Prayer, Hound, Joey & the Traitors, Peregrine: 9 p.m. May 14. O Last Chance to Reason; Vanquish the Populace; the Way West; Trust Me, I’m a Doctor; Realm of Insanity: 6 p.m. May 18.

French Quarter J. Pat’s Pub Live entertainment after 9:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays. Holiday Inn French Quarter, 10630 Fremont Pike, Perrysburg.


Perch Lunch


Perch Dinner


7723 Airport Highway • Holland 419.491.0098

(419) 874-3111 or

O Jason Quick: 7 p.m. May 17. O Michael Pelikis: May 19.

Lair Lounge Live music is offered on Saturdays. 3332 Glendale Ave. (419) 385-7850. O Johnny Reed & the House Rockers: May 14.

Mainstreet Bar and Grill Ronn Daniels performs weekly at this pub. 8-11 p.m. Thursdays, 141 Main St. (419) 697-6297 or O Rock showcase: May 14.








312 South Street • Waterville 419.878.9105

JULY 1: “LARRY CROWNE” Manhattan’s 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 Quick Trio: 6 p.m. May 12. O Stonehouse: May 13. O Quartet Bernadette: May 14. O Cynthia Kaay Bennett: 6 p.m. May 16.

Mickey Finn’s 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 Excuse for a Weekend, My Special Agent, Tranquil: 8:30 p.m. May 13. O Vesta, the Foreclosed, Zenadare: 8 p.m. May 14. O An Horse, Faux Paus, Words After: 7 p.m. May 17.

M.T. Loonies 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

One2 Lounge at Treo Live music starts at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 5703 Main St., Sylvania. (419) 882-2266 or O Reptet: May 13. O Joe Sneider Trio: May 14.

Ottawa Tavern Casual meals with weekend entertainment. 1815 Adams St. (419) 725-5483 or O Matt Truman Ego Trip, the Half Hearts: May 13.

Pizza Papalis Get slices with a topping of entertainment. 519 Monroe St. (419) 244-7722 or O Blue Kazoo: May 13-14.

Robinwood Concert House

O The Nu-Tones: May 13. O Bourbon Street: May 14.

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 Blue Streaks, the Unknown: May 13. O FDA, Bo Bo’s Boo Boo, Yeti Machete: May 14.

Jeff McDonald’s Big-Band Revival Party 8 p.m. Thursdays, South Briar Restaurant, 5147 S. Main St., Sylvania. (419) 517-1111 or (419) 708-0265.

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This vocal group will help St. Lucas Lutheran Church celebrate its 125th anniversary. 7:30 p.m.
May 13, 745 Walbridge Ave. (419) 243-8189 or

Anthony/Brown Piano Duo This pair will perform its third farewell concert (yes, you read that right), including pieces by Debussy and Brahms. 7 p.m. May 13, Trinity Episcopal Church, 1 Trinity Plaza. $12-$15. (419) 861-0895, (419) 243-1231 or

Ann Arbor School for the Performing Arts Youth Orchestra

The Junior String, Sterling String and Youth Symphony orchestras will perform. 3 p.m. May 14, Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor. (734) 768-8397, (734) 668-8463, or

Ohio State University Men’s Glee Club

This sushi bar offers occasional entertainment to accompany the fishy dishes. 7130 Airport Hwy. (419) 720-9333 or O DJ Jimmy James: 10 p.m. Fridays. O Karaoke: 10 p.m. Saturdays. O Kyle White: 7-11 p.m. May 12. O The Eight Fifteens: 10 p.m.-2 a.m. May 13.

This group, in its many incarnations, has been performing at venues worldwide since 1875. 3 p.m. May 15, Epworth United Methodist Church, 3077 Valleyview Dr. (419) 5314236 or

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 Bob Rex: Sunday afternoons. O The Eight Fifteens: Sunday evenings. O Frankie May, Ben Barefoot: Mondays. O Mark Mikel: Tuesdays and Friday afternoons. O Ric Caswell Allstars: May 12.


Go ! d Mu Hens

Lourdes College Choirs

Spicy Tuna

The Village Idiot

Saturday, May 14th

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

Spring for Music

A corner bar-type hangout with DJ-provided tunes on Saturday nights. 702 Monroe St. (419) 241-1118. O Open mic with Jason Kelley: 9 p.m. Thursdays. O Hip-hop night: 9 p.m. Fridays.

Friday, y, Mayy 13th

Jeff McDonald’s Big-Band All Stars

A home for the avant garde and untraditional, this Old West End venue hosts artists on the experimental end of the musical rainbow. 9 p.m., 2564 Robinwood Ave. $5 donation. O David Gross, Polly Hanson: May 14.

Tequila Sheila’s


Wesley’s Bar & Grill A huge variety of beers helps wash down the entertainment. 1201 Adams St. (419) 255-3333 or O DJs Folk, Mattimoe and Perrine: Fridays. O Jeff Stewart: May 14.


Celebrate the return of warmth, color and life with the Toledo Metroparks and Toledo Symphony. 3 p.m. May 15, Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle, 2445 Monroe St. $20-$25. (419) 246-8000, (800) 348-1253 or


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Kate Jordan and Soul Venture This group blends scripture, stories and music into a contemporary Christian, traditional gospel, and progressive southern gospel show. 10:10 a.m. May 15, United Methodist Church of Delta, 101 Northwood Dr. (419) 822-4195 or

Around the World in 80 Minutes The Toledo Symphony Orchestra will take listeners on a global musical tour. The concert will be preceded by a cocktail reception, art show and wine tasting. 5 p.m. May 15, Gesu Catholic Church, 2049 Parkside Blvd. $9-$15. (419) 531-1421 or Classified Hot Local Singles: 419-873-1200 Browse & Respond FREE Gay/Bi 419-873-3000 Use FREE Code 7744, 18+








(419) 874-3111 | 10630 Fremont Pike (S.R. 20 @ I-75 Exit 193) | Perrysburg, Ohio Follow us at |




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7742 W. Bancroft (1 Mi. West of McCord) Mon. - Sat. from 11 a.m. Closed Sundays & Holidays


FRITZ & ALFREDO’S Original Recipes from Both Mexico and Germany

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May flowers

Ralphie May plays Humane Society benefit in Sandusky.

By John Benson Toledo Free Press Star Staff Writer

Comedian Ralphie May is coming to Northwest Ohio and he’s not pulling any punches. In fact, he may be giving a few unsuspecting folks some gut-wrenching shots of material that he promises will be politically incorrect, racially insensitive and culturally controversial. May makes his Sandusky debut May 15 at the Sandusky State Theatre. The event is a fundraiser for the Huron County Humane Society and the Humane Society of Erie County. May first became a national name when he appeared on NBC-TV’s “Last Comic Standing” in 2003. From there, he has seemingly toured non-stop, released DVDs and grown his fans into the millions. Toledo Free Press Star talked to the funnyman about Sandusky, his pot bust in Guam last fall and his growing popularity. Star: Have you ever been to Sandusky before? Ralphie May: No, I never have. It’s like I’m stepping down, but really I’m stepping up. Star: You never went to Cedar Point before? RM: No, they don’t let fat guys on amusement park rides. Star: What’s new in your world? RM: I’m doing two different shows entirely. I’m doing a real controversial one for Showtime and another special for Comedy Central called “Ralphie May 4-20.” The Comedy Central show will be taped in October. The Showtime special will tape a month later. Star: Is it hard to have two acts at once? RM: I don’t think so. I just tell stories about my life. My life is interesting. It should be a reality show. It really is pretty incredible. Like two weeks ago, Tony Bennett comes to one of my shows, stays the whole two-and-a-half hours, gives me a standing ovation and then leaves and asks for a finger-banging shirt. It’s hilarious to me. I have Bennett’s approval. I mean, if I wasn’t so much Irish I’d think I was made like Henry Hill. Star: Which show is Sandusky going to get? RM: Probably the Comedy Central show because it’s a benefit for the Humane Society. So you kind of have to talk about the time where you loved dogs so much that even though you had weed on you that you didn’t know you had, you walked 60 feet out of your way to go pet a drug dog. You pretty much have to talk about that, right? I’m also going to talk about me witnessing the miracle on the Hudson. Star: So you saw Captain “Sully” Sullenberger’s greatest moment? RM: Well, see, that’s one perspective. My perspective is that I almost got killed by an old guy who couldn’t miss some birds. I was only 500 yards away from where the plane crashed. Maybe I’m crazy, but geographically he barely missed me. It’s like I got shot at and grazed; that’s how close it was. And so it’s all a matter of perspective. I tell people I felt sorry for those survivors. Like not for nothing, they fly for four minutes, think they’re going to die for three, they crash into the dirty, frozen Hudson River. Great, now you got

RALPHIE MAY (AP) AIDS because there’s big chunky AIDS floating in that dirty Hudson. And then boom, they take you to North Hudson Hospital in New Jersey to check you out. It’s like after all that crap, you have to go to Jersey, too. I mean, when will it ever end for these people? I feel bad for them. If that happens to me, I’m telling them to throw me back in the river, son. They have pills for AIDS, but there ain’t no pill for New Jersey. Star: As for the benefit, what makes you a good host for an animal fundraiser? RM: I draw big numbers for them, I’ll sell some tickets for them and that’s what they really want. Last year we gave over $25,000 to various animal shelters around the country and the Humane Society. It’s something that’s close to my heart because both of my dogs are rescues. They’re the greatest animals in the world, and I think to stand idly by and not protect the weakest of us is kind of something that honestly we should do more of. We should actively help and fight for animals and stuff like that because we’re the stewards of them. Star: You’re not going to soften up your set even though you’re playing a fundraiser. RM: Yeah, I’m not going to soften it at all. It’s not what I do. When they hired me they knew I would probably be controversial. That’s great. I like to give people the whole show. Even though I’ve never been to Sandusky, I’ve been to Toledo and all over Northwest Ohio. I have to be honest, everyone up there needs to laugh. You’re at the end of a winter that was brutal this year. It was just horrific and what a better time to laugh to know that your money stays there in town — in the two counties — and protects animals that are there for the adoption. If I can help out, it’s my pleasure. It was just something I think I need to do. I need to help people out. O Ralphie May headlines the event to benefit the Huron County Humane Society and the Humane Society of Erie County at 7 p.m. May 15 at the Sandusky State Theatre, 107 Columbus Ave., Sandusky. Tickets are $27 to $100. Call (419) 626-1950 or (877) 626-1950, or visit


The social networker By Mike Bauman

Toledo Free Press Star Staff Writer

Australian singer-songwriter Martine Locke has a passion for music that has led her to travel the globe, meeting people and sharing their stories. On May 13, Locke will bring those stories and her acoustic guitar to Toledo for the first time when she performs at People Called Women Bookstore, 6060 Renaissance Place, Suite F in Toledo. “I always warn people, if you’re going to tell me your story, be careful because there’s a good chance it’ll end up in a song,” Locke said in a phone interview from Los Angeles with Toledo Free Press Star. If there’s anyone who knows a good story and how to express it, it’s Locke. The curly haired Aussie spent part of her childhood on the move in the Australian outback, later finding out from her mother when she was applying for her Visa to the United States that it was because her father was wanted for embezzling. Locke credits that constant uprooting and moving for helping prepare her for life as a musician on the road. “I’ve got to take it back to my upbringing,” Locke said. “I’m certain that that whole experience of being born into that situation, and even that age, and living on the road and having that life. I mean, even when we’d settle down we’d move every four years, or every two years. So that kind of moving around and being able to be comfortable with a life that moves, I think all of that set me up to be who I am and what I’m doing today. Middle child, Capricorn, stubborn as all. I think that’s all contributed.” Locke always knew that being a musician was what she wanted to do, from the time her older sister introduced her to a live album of The Bay City Rollers performing at Wembley Stadium in England, to the times she would sit side stage and watch legendary Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel play at her parents’ pub in Adelaide, Australia, when she was a teenager. Though Locke attended and graduated from college,

music was her passion and she refused to give up on her dream. In her early 20s, she started playing smaller venues and, later, on television shows in Adelaide. As her career and exposure progressed, Locke eventually hooked up with Perth, Australia native Rose Farrow (now Rose Parker) in 1994. The duo formed The Velvet Janes and released four CDs together, and it was with Parker that Locke played her first show in the United States back in 1998. Locke has since gone on to release three solo CDs, has performed with Dionne Ward and opened for the likes of Arlo Guthrie, The Cowboy Junkies, The Waifs, Weddings Parties Anything, as well as Ani DiFranco and Emmanuel. Locke plays more than 150 shows a year in three countries, booking all of her own shows in the United States and creating a web of fans all across the world. “It’s my tribe,” Locke said. “I have a tribe of people all over the world that are part of my family, and obviously some of them are closer than others, but I get to see them when I come into town and do shows, and they get involved, and I sometimes get them up on stage. To me, that’s the reason why I’m here in the first place on Earth, is to have these relationships with people, and create my tribe and learn how to be a better human being. “My story — I always say this to people — our stories I believe are the greatest gift that we can actually give one another. It’s nothing about material stuff. You sit down and tell me your story, and to me that’s the greatest gift you can give me. And then I’ll write a song about it.” In addition to her shows, Locke has a blog,, where she shares thoughts and experiences with her fans. After all these years, Locke’s energetic spirit and passion for music are still as vibrant today as they were when she first started playing shows back home in Australia. She just released a live album that became available in the States at the end of March and in Australia in April. The album was recorded in front of a sold-out audience this past November in Indianapolis, the city Locke calls home when she’s in the United States.


Martine Locke’s music unites.

Martine Locke will play People Called Women Bookstore on May 13. PHOTO COURTESY MARTINE LOCKE

Locke will be playing songs from that CD on tour for the rest of the year, and is also planning to do a new studio album as well as some girl’s rock camps in the near future. “This is the only thing I know,” Locke said. “This has been my job my whole adult life. And honestly, I listen to so many people talk about doing jobs that they hate, and I don’t understand that mentality in any fashion. I think I’ve been incredibly fortunate that I haven’t had to understand that. Now, there are some really hard things

about doing this job, and sometimes it shifts me to the ends of the earth, but at the end of the day when I plug my guitar in and play, it’s the greatest job in the world as far as I’m concerned.” Locke will perform with djembe player Jamie Price at People Called Women Bookstore on May 13. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on a sliding scale donation between $10-15 (more if you can, less if you can’t). For more information about Locke, visit and O


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to put words together, but his real life experiences were a great teacher. In contrast, an artist like Rick Ross studied other artists’ lifestyles and backgrounds to build his image. Jayi Kemp has both “street smarts” and formal education, and it puts him in a better position. Regardless of how talented you are, nobody likes an arrogant person. Not only is Jayi Kemp humble, but his approach to business is unique. Kemp isn’t just trying to take people’s money: “I care about the people I come in contact with. I want them to know they have a friend.” He will also refuse your service if the level of professionalism is not acceptable. Kemp realizes that perception is reality, and he does not want his name attached to anything that will taint his image. Even his Facebook page is G-Rated. Everyone knows it takes money to make money, and Kemp has no issue investing in his career. He has top-of-the-line equipment, and a brand-new studio at 4428 Secor Road that has a reception area and a large studio space. Kemp is turning into a one-man conglomerate, offering all types of photography services, from indoor shots to business cards to concept imagery. So with the success he has experienced, why would Kemp refer to himself as an amateur? “I refer to myself as an amateur so that I can remain humble.” As Kemp stated this, his phone rang. It was a client who called to tell him “You did such an amazing job. I love the pictures!” Kemp’s work can be found on his website, O




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Up comes first

R A publication of Toledo Free Press, LLC, Vol. 2, No. 19 Established 2010. Thomas F. Pounds, President/Publisher Michael S. Miller, Editor in Chief EDITORIAL

Mary Ann Stearns, Design Editor James A. Molnar, Lead Designer Brandi Barhite, Associate Editor Sarah Ottney, Special Sections Editor Chris Schmidbauer, Sports Editor Lisa Renee Ward, Web Editor ADMINISTRATION

Pam Burson, Business Manager CONTRIBUTORS

Jim Beard • John Dorsey Matt Feher • Jerry Gray Dustin Hostetler Stacy Jurich • Vicki L. Kroll lilD • Martini • Jason Mack Jeff McGinnis • Whitney Meschke Rachel Richardson • Julie Webster Don Zellers Chris Kozak, Staff Writer Emeritus Lisa Renee Ward, Darcy Irons Sarah Ottney, Proofreaders ADVERTISING SALES

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Toledo Free Press Star is published every Wednesday by Toledo Free Press, LLC, 605 Monroe St., Toledo, OH 43604 • (419) 241-1700 Fax: (419) 241-8828 Subscription rate: $100 /year. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content in any manner without permission is strictly prohibited. Copyright 2011 with all rights reserved. Publication of ads does not imply endorsement of goods or services.

odney Perry is a familiar face to viewers of almost any medium. He has appeared extensively on television in the past few years, as both the co-host of BET’s “The Mo’Nique Show” and as a guest star on sitcoms such as “Meet the Browns.” He is breaking into movies with a role in the recent “Madea’s Big Happy Family.” But for Perry, JEFF who will appear at Fat Fish Blue beginning May 13, it all comes back to his true passion — stand-up. “I’m super-duper excited about coming in,” Perry said of his Glass City appearance in an interview with Toledo Free Press Star. “I mean, I’ve been blessed over the last couple of years to get some opportunities to do some television and to do some film. But, you know, stand-up comedy is my roots. I love to just perform for people who have never seen my act before.” To watch Perry onstage is to be bowled over by his energy. His passion for his artform can be seen in every moment. He describes himself as, “Knock-down, drag-out, energy for an hour straight. I’m a kinda thick guy, but I move around the stage like I’m 98 pounds.” Perry first began to hone his onstage persona nearly 20 years ago. He began performing while serving in the military. “During that time, from ’90 to ’98, I was in the Navy, but I was performing the whole time, I was never stationed on a ship. I like to tell people — I was a yeoman in the Navy. And what a yeoman is, for anybody that doesn’t know, when you watch ‘Star Trek’ and Captain Kirk and the Doctor, they all go down to the planet — the yeoman is the one who always gets killed,” Perry joked. “It was a great time. I made some lifelong friends and cut my teeth. My first times onstage was when I was in the Navy.” After leaving the service, he began focusing on his performing in earnest, spending years working clubs with the occasional televised appearance. “If you’ve seen a comedian on television, or on a DVD, or whatever — you haven’t seen them yet. If you haven’t been in the room with a comedian, you haven’t seen them perform. There’s something about the connection you get inside of a comedy club, and that’s why I love to play clubs.” It was while working clubs, in fact, that Perry made the connections that got him his highest profile gigs, such as when comedian/actress Mo’Nique attended his show. “I got a random call, like, maybe three days later. And it’s Mo’Nique. I didn’t recognize her voice, I’d never talked to her on the phone. And

‘Mo’Nique Show’ co-host Rodney Perry to perform at Funny Bone at Fat Fish Blue.

she was like, ‘You were hilarious!’ And we began to have this conversation, as two comedians,” Perry said. “And she was like, ‘Now, don’t take this the wrong way. Can I take your wife on a shopping spree?’ Now, this was the lean years. This was my first encounter with this woman. And she wanted to take my wife on a shopping spree. So I was, like, totally taken aback. “And I was like, ‘How do I pay you back for this?’ And she was like, ‘You don’t. Someday, you’ll be able to help some young comic the way I’m helping you.’ And so, that’s my initial meeting with this lady.” Their connection would lead to a gig as co-host on Mo’Nique’s radio show, which in turn led to Perry becoming co-host of her hit talk show on BET. “I consider myself my Scottie Pippen to her Michael Jordan. My job is to assist her in any way




I can, and to provide an atmosphere.” Perry, who is based in Atlanta, has also made strides in film, particularly via Tyler Perry (no relation) Studios, such as his appearance in “Madea’s Big Happy Family.” “Now, apparently, they’d PERRY been looking to fill this role for like, two months. So, I went in on a Thursday, I auditioned, didn’t hear a thing Friday. By Saturday, I’m like, it’s not gonna happen, because I know they’re shooting on Monday. So, I’m talking to one of my best friends on the phone and I’m like, ‘Dude, this is not gonna happen’,” Perry said. “And just as it came out of my mouth, the phone rang. And it was them telling me, ‘Congratulations.’” But for Perry, it all comes back to his first love. “I love film, I love television. But when it comes to stand-up, I’m the end-all, be-all. I write, produce, direct; I’m the final word on what I end up saying. I’m kind of a control freak, so because of that, I think — and, you know, I love making people laugh.” O Email Jeff at


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Profile for Toledo Free Press

Toledo Free Press STAR – May 11, 2011  

The cover for this edition features an illustration of the summer movies, which our own Jeff McGinnis previews (see all the film on page 10)...

Toledo Free Press STAR – May 11, 2011  

The cover for this edition features an illustration of the summer movies, which our own Jeff McGinnis previews (see all the film on page 10)...