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Valet: “Nice car.” Bruce Wayne: “You should see my other one.” — “Batman Begins”

Dancing in the light By Morgan Delp Toledo Free Press STAR Staff Writer mdelp@toledofreepress.com

On July 23, 2010, Flint, Mich., native Craig A. Combs was ready to give up the battle he had been fighting against a chronic illness for six years. “I had resigned myself that my time was up. I didn’t know what else to do. I couldn’t continue to live on drugs that had as many side effects as the disease itself. I had to make a really major decision at that point as whether to continue or not,” Combs said. Combs, 43, said he had stopped eating, drinking, taking his medication and had even written a will when his father gave him a pep talk that changed his life and inspired him to publish a book of almost two and a half decades worth of his poetry. “My dad sat at the end of my bed and said, ‘Do you really want to die and give up? Well, you’re not giving up in my house.’ … That was his way of telling me ‘I love you and I don’t want you to go. I will not be a part of seeing you die,’” Combs said. “It was that little pep talk that kicked me in the butt.” Combs said it took him six to eight months to gain his weight back and return to his feet. It was his renewed enthusiasm and creativity that kept him on track and focused, Combs said. “It was all about my choice, and from that point forward I have felt very intimately that we all have the choice to come at an experience uplifting and hopeful or fall into desperation and just give up,” Combs said. “At that point I started looking at all my poetry; I had been writing for 23 years. I swore to God himself I was not leaving this Earth without publishing it.” That’s just what Combs did. He published his life’s work in September 2011 and his book, “Taking Tea in the Black Rose: Singing Through the Shadows Until We’re Dancing in the Light,” launched Oct. 28. Since January, the Old West End resident has been sharing his work at local poetry readings. “When we don’t hear and see the signs on an emotional and mental level, we tend to get them so dense and so encrusted and so rooted that they become physical conditions,” Combs said of his illness. “I’ve been sharing my life’s work ever since January of this year. I’ve never felt better.”

TOLEDOFREEPRESS.COM / JULY 18, 2012 n 3

Star of the Week

Craig A. Combs breaks into Toledo poetry scene.

‘The Black Rose’

Combs’ book is named for a poem he wrote in 1992. He describes the “Black Rose” as a place he visits to escape “all of the craziness.” “It’s a solitary place where my work is crafted, not in my mind as much as in my heart,” Combs said. “The rose represents my heart space, because it unfolds, and life is the unfolding of the heart.” The book is divided into five chapters that correspond with the five elements of Chinese medicine: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Combs said he became a student of holographic repatterning, which incorporates a blend of Eastern and Western traditions of medicine, similar to reiki, in 2005. “My poetry is more emotional than intellectual,” Combs said. Because of this, Combs sorted his poems into the five chapters based on their predominant emotional frequency. Combs said poems with whimsical energies are in the spring or wood section because they bring about feelings of chaotic rainstorms and violent winds. A poem of transformation would be in the fall or metal section, Combs said. Combs said the subtitle of the book, “Singing Through the Shadows Until We’re Dancing in the Light,” developed during the editing process. “We all have to deal with the shadow side of life, [which] can be brutal. There’s experiences we want to forget about,” Combs said. “Even in the midst of shadows we’re still singing through it. I’m picking myself up, brushing myself off, turning that frown upside down.”

Stepping on the scene

Combs said he has been spreading his message by performing at poetry readings in the Toledo and southeast Michigan area. Sharing with others took some getting used to, Combs said. “It’s a whole different monster. Poetry for me is putting my whole heart on my sleeve. For me it is so personal and connected and deeply rooted in my whole core and my whole being. To separate it would be impossible. I think that’s why it took nearly 25 years to start reading it out loud,” he said. Combs found he had to change the way he thought about his poems before he could present them to audiences. n COMBS CONTINUES ON 4

Craig A. Combs has been sharing his poetry at local readings since January. TOLEDO FREE PRESS STAR PHOTO BY JOSEPH HERR


4 n JULY 18, 2012 / TOLEDOFREEPRESS.COM

“I came here to show you that not everyone in Gotham’s afraid of you.” — Batman, “Batman Begins”

n COMBS CONTINUED FROM 3 “I never thought there was anything to gain from [sharing]. I thought of them as my journals,” Combs said. “But art, no matter what form it’s in, is meant to be shared with the world. It’s your gift to the world.” The Web designer of Combs’ site, blackrosetea.com, is local artist Matt Taylor, who encouraged Combs to attend open-mic nights in Plymouth, Mich., at Plymouth Coffee Bean Co. on Monday nights. Combs has also performed at Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea in Ann Arbor. Since February, Combs has performed at Glass City Cafe in Toledo, and for the past three months with the Broadway Bards at The Original Sub Shop & Deli in the Old South End. Tara Armstrong began a themed poetry series in 2011 at Glass City Cafe, and Combs first participated when he filled in at the last minute on Feb. 10, in a reading night titled “Crave: An Erotic Literature Reading.” Armstrong likes the themed nights because she said they hold the attention of the audience, instead of forcing them to jump from topic to topic. Armstrong said Combs is a gifted and passionate poet whose work, while “deep and observant,” is not for everyone. “Craig’s writing has a new age feel that doesn’t appeal to some but attracts others. People who gravitate toward his style would certainly say Craig is in a league of his own,” Armstrong said. “Other poets are passionate about politics, romance, loss, self-awareness or anything else that captivates and moves. Craig is passionate about witnessing life and gaining from both that sight as well as the process of living, and I think he has mastered the art of perceiving and accepting.” Hod Doering was one of the founders of the Broadway Bards, a group that reads poetry on the third Saturday evening of each month at The Original Sub Shop & Deli on Broadway Street. Combs, who Doering classifies as a romantic, was the featured half-hour performer in June. “I’ve enjoyed his poetry,” Doering said of Combs. “He has good imagery and a good grasp of his craft I think. He’s off to a really good start, and he will probably grow and change, as most of us do.” Combs has continued to promote himself and his work in the Toledo area, which Doering said will pay off for him. “His energy will really help him. He has volunteered to promote the Bards in Toledo,” Doering said. “[His energy] will give him a place in the scene here.”

Craig A. Combs is looking for a venue to host open-mic nights. TOLEDO FREE PRESS STAR PHOTO BY JOSEPH HERR

Future endeavors

Combs said he plans to continue reading at open-mic events while pursuing a couple of new endeavors. One of these is a second book, which has a working title of “Seducing Ourselves: Love Letters from an Unhindered Heart.” The book’s premise is inspired by love letters, romantic and otherwise, that Combs has sent and received over the years.

Toledo

“I have lots sent back and forth that can very easily be put in the category of poetry. It can be easily formatted,” Combs said. “I already have a lot done for the book; I’ve written six of them.” Combs also wants to find a venue to host his own open-mic nights in Toledo. He believes his previous experience in producing and promoting the Miss Gay Ohio America pageant will be very useful. He said he has been talking with

Warehouse disTricT

different venues and would ideally like to start something at the end of July or August. “I stay busy with things that are creative and constructive. I have a hard time sitting around doing nothing,” Combs said. “This summer’s about finding the balance in just being. I thought I would take time off and do nothing. Absolutely not.” For more information on Combs and his book, visit www.blackrosetea.com. O

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“I’m Batman!” — Batman, “Batman Begins”

Poetry picnic

Ohio Poetry Association hosts annual picnic.

W

hen I was growing up, one of the true highlights of my summer vacation was attending my grandfather’s company picnic at Kennywood amusement park in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. With the exception of late-night Yogi Bear reruns, I thought my pic-a-nic basket days were a thing of the past — until recently. As it turns out, there is somewhere poets can JOHN go to celebrate all the hard work they do throughout the year. I’m talking of course about the Ohio Poetry Association (OPA) Annual Picnic. OPA is a nonprofit educational volunteer organization first organized formed in 1929 as the Verse Writers Guild of Ohio. According to its website, OPA “exists to promote the art of poetry and support poets and others who appreciate poetry and are eager to assist poets, whether amateur or professional, as they hone their craft.” Just what are the benefits of becoming a member? In addition to a quarterly newsletter, the group offers a members-only poetry journal called Common Threads, free quarterly poetry workshops, participation in members-only contests and poet of the month competition, as a large support network. Membership categories range from $8-$18. The year’s picnic festivities will kick off July 21, in the Dairy Lane Park in the Dairy Lane Shelter House in Athens, Ohio. Cincinnati’s Susan Glassmeyer will be the featured poet, with an open mic to follow. Poets can begin arriving at 10 a.m.; lunch will be served around 12:30 p.m.

Electricity, running water, miniature golf and cornhole targets are available. Alcohol is not permitted. Attendees are asked to bring their own plates, tableware and a dish to share. The park is open until dark. A good friend of mine once said that artists travel in packs for protection. If that’s true then I really can’t think of a safer place to hang out than at Dairy Lane Park with the members of the OPA. One of the things that I remember most about those picnics I attended years ago is the feeling that you belonged, that these people were in some way your family. Well, all too often in arts communities we become isolated, whatever our discipline. All too often as poets we go to events just to hear the sound of our own voice. How are we supposed to grow if we don’t seek out other voices on the page, as well as our local corner coffeehouse? The truth is simple — we can’t. While poets must work alone, in seclusion for the most part, it’s important to sample other voices, besides the ones in our heads as we pace the floor at night waiting for that next great stanza to hit our tongues. So won’t you come on out? For more information on OPA, visit www. http://ohiopoetryassn.org/ Until next time … keep your pencil sharp. O

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John Dorsey resides in Toledo’s Old West End. His work is widely published and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

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Untitled

By Shannon McKeehen, Toledo We fail when we’re literal: blisters on the pavement, pockets trapped in ice, in glass, in suspension. Even our grieving is polite, only a suggestion, until we thaw. No one is an angel; no one joins other angels, wrapped in hope, glowing bandages. We are all afraid, we have regrets, and we lie until blisters form, surrounded by blood, our denial of ego. When she asked if I believed in God, I thought better than to answer. Answers do not matter. We fail when we’re literal. I am careful to avoid breaking skin, because even flesh is more certain than the stillness of winter, the layers of ice protecting no one, reinforcing nothing except suspension.

The Atheist

By Jonie McIntire, Toledo My salvation smells of dill And cracked pepper and Bittersweet chocolate. It looks out from your shoulders As you carry a suitcase In from the creaking car Crankily steaming after a Weekend away with grandma. My salvation rolls over And mutters ten more minutes, Mom, I’m so so tired. It is Sunday morning Spinach crepes and fresh Bedding for the gerbils And take this bag of books To the neighbors – they’ll Really enjoy them. God knows, they could Use a little kindness.

Editor’s Note

For this edition I selected work that I had wanted to publish in previous editions, but for whatever reason hadn’t had a chance to. The next edition is the result of a suggestion by Toledo Free Press Staff Writer Brian Bohnert; it will be a special children’s poetry page, which means either work by children — which I’d prefer — or work about that special child in your life. The edition after that will be a featured section by Toledo poet Zach Fishel. As always send questions, comments, and concerns to glasscitymuse1@yahoo.com We are currently seeking submissions. — John Dorsey

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“It ends here.” — Batman, “Batman Begins”

SoundTrek By Caitlin McGlade Toledo Free Press Star Staff Writer cmcglade@toledofreepress.com

If you like music festivals, but not camping or the hot sun or even the walking, SoundTrek might be for you. The Friday night music event is back for a second year with more than 30 live bands scattered around 11 locations. The Arts Commission began SoundTrek last year as a fundraiser and collected about $4,000. But this year, the point is just to stir up fun, engage the community and offer area musicians paid gigs. “We heard from the music community that they are playing a lot of events for free,” said Ryan Bunch, performing and literary arts coordinator at The Arts Commission. “And these are people who are practicing a few times a week and lugging their equipment around everywhere.” Starting at 8:30 p.m. on July 20, music fans can hop along the Adams Street corridor to catch musical acts that encompass everything from rock to pop, hip-hop to country, blues and jazz, to folk, ethnic or R&B. Wristbands will admit you into all venues and cost $10 in advance or $15 the night of the event. This also covers buses, rented from the University of Toledo, that will take guests from

Arts Commission event offers something for everyone.

one venue to the next. Visiting a single venue costs $5. To buy tickets, call (419) 254-2787 or visit www.theartscommission.org. About 1,000 people attended last year’s SoundTrek, which hosted 41 bands at 13 venues. The idea for SoundTrek is rooted in a now-defunct “Jazz Loop” that kicked off Toledo’s Blues & Jazz Festival in the mid-2000s, Bunch said. SoundTrek allows the commission to spotlight a range of music, rather than limiting the shows to jazz musicians. To choose bands, a handful of people formed a committee and looked at who played last year, researched which bands around town are up and coming and which ones are the most popular. They also sought to include a variety of music, Bunch said. The result offers SoundTrek guests the option to check out world music with live belly dancing at The Attic on Adams, jazz at Manhattan’s, electronic and indie/hip-hop at The Ottawa Tavern, folk at the Glass City Cafe or drag shows and high-energy DJ tunes at Bretz Nightclub. For a complete list of bands and venue schedules, visit www.theartscommission.org and click on the SoundTrek icon at the top of the page. This edition of Star lists many of the SoundTrek stops and performers in The Pulse events calendar on Page 19. O

Ohara Koson, also known as Shoson (Japanese, 1878–1945), Kingfisher and Iris (HanaShobu ni Hisui) (detail). Color woodblock print, published by Watanabe Shozaburo in 1933. Toledo Museum of Art gift of Hubert D. Bennett, 1939.260

April 13–September 2, 2012 Chavar Dontae performs at SoundTrek in 2011.

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“Sometimes the truth isn’t good enough.” — Batman, “The Dark Knight”

Still bad to the bone By Alan Sculley

Toledo Free Press Star Staff Writer star@toledofreepress.com

George Thorogood’s new CD, “2120 South Michigan Ave.,” is the veteran blues rocker’s tribute to the early rock and roll artists who recorded for the legendary Chess Records label in the 1950s and ’60s. It’s a logical album for Thorogood to do, considering his amped-up brand of blues is strongly influenced by classic Chicago blues. “If you look back at our catalog, scattered here and there, there’s over 20 cuts from Chess to begin with,” Thorogood said in a recent phone interview. But he wasn’t the one who had the idea. It was his label, Capitol Records. In fact, Thorogood said his immediate reaction to the idea was to be a bit puzzled. “I said, ‘Why did you come to me?’” Thorogood recalled. That answer prompted some eye-rolling from the folks at Capitol, who couldn’t believe an idea so obvious hadn’t quite registered with Thorogood. Of course, Thorogood quickly made sense of the idea. “I started thinking, well, if you want to make a Western, you go get John Wayne, right? If you want to do Hamlet, you go ask Orson Welles?” Thorogood said. “That’s why

George Thorogood brings blues and rock to Detroit.

they looked at me, ‘Who are you kidding? This is what you’ve been doing your whole life. You’re the man for the job.’” Indeed, the idea behind “2120 South Michigan Ave.” (the Chicago address of Chess Records) was right in Thorogood’s wheelhouse — and not just because of his affinity for Chicago blues. Thorogood, who will play at MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit on July 29, has made it a career-long mission to record overlooked songs by blues and early rock ’n’ roll artists. Look at the credits on any of the 14 albums he has recorded since 1977 and you’ll see plenty of outside material mixed in with Thorogood originals. In fact, his 1977 self-titled debut CD includes “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” which became a signature song for Thorogood, even though it was originally written and recorded by blues great John Lee Hooker. In 1978, another cover — this time a rocking version of country icon Hank Williams’ “Move It On Over” — became the hit single that set the stage for Thorogood’s breakthrough into the mainstream. That came with the title song of his 1982 CD, “Bad To The Bone,” which Thorogood wrote. But even that album featured covers of tunes by the likes of Jimmy Reed, Hooker, Nick Gravenites and one of his go-to sources, Chuck Berry. n THOROGOOD CONTINUES ON 9

George Thorogood’s first record debuted in 1977. PHOTO COURTESY CAPITOL RECORDS

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“Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded.” — Batman, “The Dark Knight”

Berry, of course, was one of Chess Records’ most important and popular artists. And yes, he’s represented on “2120 South Michigan Ave.” with a hard-hitting version of “Let It Rock.” That song wasn’t necessarily Thorogood’s first choice, he said. “Capitol was adamant about it,” Thorogood said. “They said, ‘You’re going to do a better version.’ They were really encouraging. And Tommy Hambridge was just over the top, the producer. He didn’t want to hear me say anything about someone’s already done it or did it better. His idea was ‘Look, this is the World Series. You’re batting cleanup and you’re better than any player in the league. Get in there and hit.’ It’s nice to have a producer like that.” Thorogood, for the most part, followed his pattern of choosing less-than-obvious songs to cover. He does a kicking version of Buddy Guy’s “High Heel Sneakers” (featuring contributions on guitar from Guy himself), gets down and dirty for a chugging take on Muddy Waters’ “Two Trains Running,” kicks into overdrive on J.B. Lenoir’s “Mama Talk To Your Daughter” and gets a helping hand from harmonica ace Charlie Musselwhite in a dead-on version of Little Walter’s “My Babe.” Two of the more famous covers come from a pair of other Chess stars who were cornerstone artists for Thorogood coming up in the early 1970s — Howlin’ Wolf (“Spoonful”) and Bo Diddley (“Bo Diddley”). “I dug the other ones (on Chess Records),” he said. “I listened to Muddy Waters a lot. I listened to Little Walter a lot … But it was Howlin’

Wolf, Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley that really fascinated me.” “And I’m not much of singer. When I broke in, the big thing was Robert Plant and Roger Daltrey and Rod Stewart,” Thorogood said. “There was no way I could sing like that. There’s no way anybody can sing like those three guys. John Fogerty was just coming out when I was picking up the guitar for the first time. I listened to their vocals and said, ‘Oh my God, George, it’s not going to happen for you.’ But I started paying attention to Howlin’ Wolf and Johnny Cash and Jerry Reed, and then Louis Armstrong, and I said, ‘Look how far these guys have gone with their type of vocal.’ So I really dug into Howlin’ Wolf and Bo Diddley very heavy. I said look what John Lee Hooker and Bo Diddley can do with one chord. Look at what Wolf can do with his voice.” While Thorogood didn’t live anywhere near Chicago, he at least met a few of his Chess Records heroes early on and got some much appreciated encouragement. “We opened for Wolf,” Thorogood said. “He was kind of on his last lap. He had lost a lot of weight. He had had a heart attack and had been in a bad car crash and he had to get on a dialysis machine every three days, the kidney machine they plug you into for World War II veterans. He was very nice when we did speak to him. But his band was very encouraging, and very enthusiastic about what we were doing. It was a great experience working with them.” O Tickets for the July 29 show are $33-$44 at www.ticketmaster.com.

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“You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” — Batman, “The Dark Knight”

Chiefalone

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harismatic onstage with a cool demeanor offstage is the way I would describe rapper Chiefalone. He is one of the four talented members of Toledo’s own Swagga Boyz. Chiefalone, also referred to as Chieledo or Chief, has consistently performed with and without his musical brothers for years, gaining him regional and national exposure. Most notable are his high-energy, polished performances with fellow Swagga Boyz member Cuntry as they switch between playing featured artist and hype man on each other’s sets. It was those performances that brought me to ask about a possible collaboration album between the two currently solo artists and according to Chief, in time this could happen. Hard work and dedication have paid off for the artist who has remained in music industry

Swagga Boy breaks out with ‘Larry Flynt Project.’

conversation by consistently performing and releasing singles like his track, ‘Change the Beat.’ Recognized for his style and his music, Chief is a standout performer and is already enjoying critical acclaim of his current mixtape, “Larry Flynt Project,” released on his birthday, July 14. His mixtape is loosely based on and inspired by the movie “The People vs. Larry Flynt” and includes snippets from the film (as well as a few others) as introductions and highlights throughout the project. Features include area artists and producers Mally The Martian, Cris Siege, Lagik, MidWest Tone and female rapper Johnnie Mae, to name a few. Creatively, it is going to be one of this year’s best in terms of beats and content. Chief uses song subjects as his playground and on “Larry Flynt” he effortlessly bounces from

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Martini Rox: What serves as your main inspiration? Chiefalone: Business inspires me. Being an entrepreneur inspires me, my friends, my circle. Of course artists like Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, Quincy Jones, but mostly it has to do with my circle of friends, my surroundings. Because its like all those guys are good and they look at me, they give me the utmost respect so I got to keep that. Martini Rox: As a Swagga Boyz member you were signed to Shawn Stockman’s (Boyz II Men) Soul Chemistry label; having already dealt with the harsh realities of the industry while in a group, what did you take away from the experience? Chiefalone: You can’t take nothing for granted, because it’ll get swept right from under your feet. You got to go for it. You got to take advantage not for granted. If you are that type of person that plays the leader role … you should play the leader role. Don’t play in the back. For more information, contact Chiefalone at Bookingchief@gmail.com. Download music at www.soundcloud.com/chiefalone and check him out on Twitter: @Chieledo As we continue on ... O

the self affirmation track “I Am” to “Chie in Love” to his personal observation of his life in “Mirrors.” A diversified flow and lyrical talent makes this 16 track (plus 2 Bonus tracks: “Change the Beat” and “Runnin’”) mixtape worth a listen. “Larry Flynt” is available for download at www.datpiff.com. Chief is currently anticipating his upcoming July 27 video shoot at the Glass Bowl at 5 p.m. for the album’s single “March” and he and producer Lagik’s going away party is July 28 at the Peacock. Chief will soon move to New Jersey to join fellow Swagga Boyz CHIEFALONE member Mally Speaks as he gets ready for the next chapter in his career. Martini Rox: How would you describe your style of music? Chiefalone: I would describe it as complex … and misunderstood. Martini Rox: As an artist what do you feel you bring to the music industry? Chiefalone: Of course originality, that’s what everyone else would say. I kind of feel like it’s more, I bring a different type of edge. I say that because I’m more of a misunderstood artist.

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Rosie’s offers two patios: A 30-seat front smoking patio features two large tables each fully enclosable into a personal gazebo, smaller tables and a group of cushioned chairs, while a nonsmoking back patio features a

half-enclosed 50-seat room available for private parties and an outside seating area, featuring a waterfall. Wine bottles are $5 or $10 off on Wednesdays. “It

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“I’m whatever Gotham needs me to be.” — Batman, “The Dark Knight”

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y’s at the Park b m i Qu 25 S. HToluredoon St. (419) 244-7222

p.m. (lunch) Open: 11 a.m. to 2 Tuesday-Friday, er) nn (di se and 5 p.m. to clo day, tur Sa se 5 p.m. to clo nday closed Sunday and Mo sa Quimby’s at the Park offer facing patio red cove ially casual, part d Thir Fifth to ance entr the main postField, perfect for watching orks, game or Fourth of July firew said general manager Tony about Murawski. The space seats

ty of 40 people and also offers plen ice bar, serv fulla , room ding stan ials and daily drink and food spec al live sion a platform stage for occa yone music. “In the summer, ever ” , patio the for goes straight ty of Murawski said. “There’s plen ”O room to sit, eat and drink.


12 n JULY 18, 2012 / TOLEDOFREEPRESS.COM

“Criminals aren’t complicated. Just have to figure out what he’s after.” —Bruce Wayne, “The Dark Knight”

Batman takes flight in video games By Michael Siebenaler Toledo Free Press Star Staff Writer

Dark

Knight

star@toledofreepress.com

The Batman media blitz is on and the video game realm offers many choices, especially since the Christopher Nolan “Batman/Dark Knight” film trilogy began in 2005 with “Batman Begins.” The oneplayer Batman Begins game (**1/2 on PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox) is a Warner Brothers and DC Comics collaboration with Electronic Arts that features stealth and stark realism. The weapons cache is deep, but controlled (e.g., you get limited freedom in special weapons like grenades). The flashbang grenades and high frequency (HF) transponder, which uses sound waves to summon bats, come in handy in later missions. Healthy habits like using the optic cable to size up battle situations reduce those trial-and-error frustrations. Blocks, countermoves, multiple attacks and special final finishing moves, all prompted on the screen, can make gameplay even easier. There have been no video game adaptations of the later Nolan films, but gamers can still enjoy various games involving the Caped Crusader and even his partner Robin.

In 2009, Batman Arkham Asylum (***1/2 LEGO Batman: The Videogame (***) released on mobile, Mac, PC, Xbox 360, Wii, on PS3, also on (Mac, PC, Xbox 360) really PlayStation 2 and 3, PSP, and Nintendo DS in let Batman spread his wings with expanded 2008, the same year “The Dark Knight,” the movements and huge open world scenarios. second Nolan film, hit theaters. This fun, ac- Next year the near perfect Batman Arkham tion-filled, platformer features formulaic fun City (**** on PS3, PC, Xbox 360) where players can expect strong action and with beat ’em up action, creative environment problem- solving amid the creepy interactions, special suits Arkham Asylum setting as The and a few puzzles with Joker unfolds another master recognizable characplan. The graphics are clean ters that grunt, hum except for a few clipping and wince instead and camera angle issues, of speaking audible which occasionally block character dialogue. views of the amazing finEach hero and vilishing fight moves. Jumps, lain has unique acswings and ledge climbs tions, which develhave locked mechanics, so opers use toward Controller from if players hit the correct movecreating the base ‘Arkham City’ ment button or do not intentionstory mode from ally walk off the edge, they can both perspectives. Players can then replay each level easily avoid any pitfalls. Be patient and wait in free mode once completing the story mode for reveals to avoid unnecessary trial-andmission. Wayne Manor provides a nice base error frustrations. Easy fighting mechanics and gadgets like for gameplay choices among the 15 hero levels complemented by the 15 villain levels. Multiple explosive gel and the grappling hook keep players can easily drop in and out of gameplay. the core Batman action intact. Great extras A solid, all-age title with considerable replay include an in-game Riddler’s challenge and value including bonus content and unlockables several add-on bundles. found in free play mode. n VIDEO GAMES CONTINUES ON 13


“You wanted me, here I am.” — Batman, “The Dark Knight”

TOLEDOFREEPRESS.COM / JULY 18, 2012 n 13

Now Open for Breakfast & Lunch 8am-3:30pm Monday-Saturday. In addition to our regular full menu, we will also be offering Maumee Bay Brick Oven Pizzas and Stromboli for Lunch. Gluten Free Pizzas available upon request. Lego Batman 2 n VIDEO GAMES CONTINUED FROM 12 Players can also grab the Batman: Arkham City Collector’s Edition (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) as well as some cool peripherals like the batarang controller. Batman: The Brave and the Bold The Videogame (**1/2 for Wii and DS), based on the successful television series, also released in 2010 with more traditional comic style visuals, sharp controls and humorous banter amid an appealing four chapter story. Now the third Nolan film, “The Dark Knight Rises,” raises the bar even higher for developers to match the magnitude in the Batman related games. The first-person shooter Gotham City Impostors (*** on PS3, PC, Xbox 360) is now free for PlayStation Plus members. This Batman game adds wild mayhem, multiplayer options, inventive weapons and multiplayer options. Creativity is rules as players can customize characters — The Bats and The Jokerz. This Monolith Productions project features over-the-top gameplay, maps, and options like

costumes, homebrewed gadgets and a wide range of traditional and imagined weapons. The most recent Batman video game, LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (*** on PS Vita, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, 3DS, DS, PC), adds audible character dialogue and more special suits. Developed by TT Games, this game is easy to pick up and play and, as the subtitle implies, includes other DC heroes and their respective powers including Superman (heat vision) and The Flash (fast running speed) plus many others and some surprise characters. In the PS Vita version vehicles like motorcycles, boats, and helicopters entice in the cut scenes, but not within gameplay, so instead of using Catwoman’s bike or Two-Face’s vehicle players can only destroy them. Players can replay each level in free mode once completing the story mode mission. The handheld console versions include a Justice League Alliance game mode — a battle challenge set against DC Universe villains. A Mac version is scheduled for an August 2012 release. O

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Catch “Jedi of Pop Culture” Jeff McGinnis on

Christian Bale Val Kilmer Adam West

George Clooney Michael Keaton

The Dark Knights rise The many faces of the Caped Crusader. By Jeff McGinnis Toledo Free Press Star Pop Culture Editor PopGoesJeff@gmail.com

When last we left our Dynamic Duo, Batman and Robin were faced with their most perilous peril yet! The fiendish Egghead had locked them in a room with a most confounding contraption — an Alternate Universe Bomb! This horrific horror threatens to destroy not only our Heroic Twosome, but the very fabric of the universe itself! Will our Precarious Pair of crime-fighters be able to stop this Fiendish Fiasco? Tune in tomorrow! Same Bat-Time! Same Bat-Ch ... oh, wait! My bad! The adventure actually continues now!

“Holy exposition, Batman!” Robin said. “You have to deactivate that Alternate Universe Bomb or the world — maybe even all of existence — might be obliterated!” “Yes indeed, old chum,” Batman said as he removed the cover from the egg-shaped explosive. “Which is why it’s very important that I not have any distractions right now. Like, say, a young ward yelling about how everything has some kind of religious significance.” “Holy hidden meanings, Batman! I’m not quite following you, but I’m sure you’re right!” Robin said. “Can you see the wires?” “Yes, there are many wires, Robin. Luckily I brought my trusty Bat-wirecutters for this

very occasion. A quick snip here,” he said as he began to cut. “A quick snip there, tie these two together, lift this panel and … yes!” “You’ve done it, Batman!” Robin exclaimed. “Indeed I have, chum! Thanks to that clever maneuver, I now know that there are three seconds left before this bomb goes off,” Batman said. “Three seconds! Holy limited time frame, Batman! How will you be able to diffuse —” BOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMM!!!!! The pair lay stunned under a small pile of debris. Slowly, Batman stirred. “Robin? Robin, are you all right?” “I’m fine,” Robin finally said. “Lucky that this pile of cardboard boxes broke our fall!”

“Indeed!” Batman said. “When will the villains of Gotham City learn to stop building their hideouts in abandoned warehouses?” “Oh, it’ll be a while yet,” a new figure said. The Dynamic Duo’s heads turned with a start toward the new arrival. “Holy surprise entrances, Batman!” Robin exclaimed as he struggled to his feet. He looked in the direction of the voice. “Who are you?” A figure slunk in from the shadows. He wore black head-to-toe, the ears on his cowl coming to an abrupt point. His cape flowed easily behind him. He stared at the Dynamic Duo as though they were from another planet. n BATMAN CONTINUES ON 15


TOLEDOFREEPRESS.COM / JULY 18, 2012 n 15

n Tuesday mornings on 92.5 KISS-FM.

n BATMAN CONTINUED FROM 14 “It’s not who I am underneath,” he explained. “But what I do that defines me.” “That’s a bit … cryptic, stranger,” Batman said. “I am Batman, and this is my sidekick Robin, the Boy Wonder. What is your name?” “… I’m Batman.” “Holy dual identity, Batman! He says he’s you!” “Yes, old chum, I heard that.” “Does he always repeat the obvious?” the new Batman asked. “You have no idea,” the first Batman replied. “I think we’re seeing the aftereffects of Egghead’s fiendish Alternate Universe Bomb! Don’t you see, Robin, this stranger is me … albeit a bit younger and wearing a cop-out rubber suit with fake muscles built in!” “Cop-out?” Batman Bale asked. “Listen, grandpa, if I took off this costume I’d still be twice the man you are. You ever plan to hit the Bat-Bowflex one of these days?” “Hey, leave the guy alone,” a voice said from the darkness. “We can’t all afford personal trainers, Mr. Oscar-Winner.” Robin wheeled toward the new arrival. “Who are you?!” The figure lunged toward Robin. He, too, was clad in a rubber Bat-costume, but one that was more muscular in tone. He grasped Robin by the shoulders and lifted him to his face. “I’m Batman,” he said. “No, he’s not,” said Batman Bale. “He’s Beetlejuice.” “Hey!” shouted Batman Keaton. “You’re one to talk, ‘Terminator 4.’ Run out of interns to yell at this week?” “That’s enough!” shouted a new entrant. Soaring in from the rafters, the new arrival looked superficially similar to his ’60s counterpart, but considerably more … two-dimensional. “Who are you?!?” Robin yelled, still in Batman Keaton’s grasp. “Robin, please stop asking that,” ’60s Batman said. “It’s plain to see ...” “He’s a cartoon!” Batman Keaton said in surprise. Stunned, he released his grip, and Robin landed with a thud. “Where are those cardboard boxes when I need them?” Robin groggily thought. “Cartoon? Cartoon?!? I am animated, I’ll have you know. And considering how shallow all your depictions of me have been, my history is considerably deeper than any of yours,” Animated Batman said with a sneer. “So, you’re saying your show was the first to give Batman any depth? Yeah, right,” a grizzled voice said sarcastically. “Give me a break.” A new Batman emerged, this one consid-

On the web and on air

erably older and more weathered than the others. “Who are ...?” Robin began to ask as he rose to his feet. The latest arrival backhanded Robin across the face, sending him sprawling again to the ground. “I’m the goddamn Batman,” the Frank Miller creation growled. “Hey hey hey,” ’60s Batman protested. “There’s no need for that kind of language; this is a family newspaper.” “Look at you all,” Batman Miller said, disgusted. “Mass market pansies. No one would have taken a gritty Batman seriously if I hadn’t come first.” “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Batman Bale said. “The millions and millions of viewers we got would never have happened if it hadn’t been for the, oh, hundreds or so you roped in, right?” “Hey! Wait a second!” Robin said, climbing to his feet once more. “Why are there only Batmen showing up, here? Where are the Alternate Universe ... Me’s?” “I never had a Robin,” Batman Keaton said. “Me neither,” Batman Bale added. “Part-time,” Batman Animated said. “She couldn’t make it,” Batman Miller said. Robin looked down, dejected. “Hey, don’t be so glum, chum” ’60s Batman assured him. “Could be worse, at least none of them are dead or anything.” The other Batmen exchanged uneasy glances, then silently agreed not to say any more. “Well, anyway,” Batman Bale said. “I think I’ve hung out with the golden oldies long enough. I have a movie to release, a Bane to beat, millions of dollars to make, you know how it is...” “Hey! I haven’t liked your tone one bit since you arrived, young whippersnapper,” Batman 60’s said, clenching his gloved fists. “Now you better quiet down that mouth or I may have to BIFF! and POW! you into oblivion!” “Biff? Pow?” Batman Miller said, with disgust. “Is that what you think comic book punches sound like? How idiotic.” “Now who’s disrespecting their elders, you ‘gritty’ gasbag?” Batman Animated said. “Who are you calling an elder, paint slick?” ’60s Batman retorted. The assembled Batmen began to argue incessantly, with Robin acting as a default, ineffectual referee. Suddenly, the chatter stopped. Something had changed in the room. Every Dark Knight knew it. They turned to see a new figure in the doorway. He was unmistakably a Batman, but there was something...different. Silence enveloped them for several long seconds. Finally, ’60s Batman spoke. “You can say it now, Robin.” “Who are you?” Robin asked the new arrival. “I am the prime.” “You’re a Transformer?” Robin asked. ’60s Batman shot him a glare. “No,” the new arrival said. “I am the prime. The alpha. I am the first Batman.” A stunned silence continued to persist

‘‘

Cartoon? Cartoon?!? I am animated, I’ll have you know. BATMAN

Animated

’’

among the group as he entered and walked among them. “All of you evolved from me,” Batman Prime continued. “And I must say, none of you are anything like what Bob Kane envisioned when he created me.” He paused. The group considered his statement. Then, Prime added, “I think that just shows how remarkable we all are.” He glanced around the room. “Look at every one of us. A figure of his era, and yet timeless. You each changed into what society needed you to be.” “We were the heroes our eras deserved,” Batman Bale said. “But not the ones ...” “Let’s not overdo the quotes, here,” Batman Prime interrupted. “You’re all so different. And yet, at your core, you were still me. “It didn’t matter if you were campy or serious, live action or animated, on a big screen, small screen or printed page. Each of you — and many more Batmen that may not have made it here due to space constraints — were exactly what was needed in your time.” He glanced at ’60s Batman. “Although the Bat-Shark-Repellent was a bit much.” “What the hell is a Bat-shark?” Batman Keaton asked. Prime looked at each of their faces in turn. “For someone, somewhere, you were all Batman. You were their Batman. You played a part in their childhood, their life, their world. And while time marches on, a part of you will always remain with them — and they with you. And that, my friends, is the greatest superpower of them all. “So leave behind your differences. For at our core, each of us was, is, and forever will be a hero for someone. Because we are ... vengeance.” Animated Batman smiled, slightly. “We are the night.” “We ... are ... ” the group said in unison. A loud clatter was heard, interrupting the reverie. In rushed a man wearing a strangely designed blue outfit. “Sorry I’m late,” Batman Clooney said. “Did I miss anything?” A pause. “No,” Batman Prime said. O This column was inspired by a suggestion by fellow TFP columnist Jim Beard. Thanks, Jim!

Look for Film Editor James A. Molnar’s full review of “The Dark Knight Rises” at 12:01 a.m. Friday on www.toledofreepress.com/movies. He will also discuss the film on “WNWO Today” around 5:50 a.m. Friday on NBC 24.

Batman at the Oscars By James A. Molnar The Gold Knight jmolnar@toledofreepress.com

The Caped Crusader may be adept at saving those in peril, but Batman has quite a sordid past with the Oscars. Granted, the movies themselves have run the gamut from terrible to good to brilliant. Batman’s first Oscar came in 1989 when Tim Burton’s “Batman” won an Academy Award for Art Direction, its sole nomination that year. The film, starring Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson and Kim Basinger, was critically lauded for its visuals and panned for its story. It was the No. 1 movie at the box office that year. The next Batman film to do so would be “The Dark Knight” in 2008. The only acting Academy Award nomination — and win — given to a Batman movie was presented posthumously to Heath Ledger for his supporting performance as the Joker in “The Dark Knight.” Critics and fans alike were shocked when the Christopher Nolan sequel did not receive a Best Picture nomination in 2009 for the 81st Academy Awards. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which puts on the Oscars, later expanded the category to include more than five nominees with the hope of including more popular films. This expansion could prove lucrative for director Nolan and his final Batman movie in the trilogy, “The Dark Knight Rises,” out nationwide July 20. Nolan’s most recent film, “Inception,” received critical acclaim and eight nominations, including Best Picture, and four Oscar statuettes. Nolan, however, was shut out of the Best Director race. One of his go-to cinematographers, Wally Pfister, won the Oscar in his category. Nominations are not announced until Jan. 15, 2013, and there is still a barrage of movies to be released in this calendar year. But if “The Dark Knight Rises” is critically acclaimed and well-received, Academy members may just give Batman his due.

Oscar nominations:

O “Batman” 1989 (62nd Oscars): Art Direction (winner) O “Batman Returns” 1992 (65th): Makeup, Visual Effects, Cinematography, Sound, Sound Effects Editing O “Batman Begins” 2005 (78th) Cinematography (Wally Pfister) O “The Dark Knight” 2008 (81st) Supporting Actor (Heath Ledger, winner), Art Direction, Cinematography (Wally Pfister), Film Editing, Makeup, Sound Editing (winner), Sound Mixing, Visual Effects O


16 n JULY 18, 2012 / TOLEDOFREEPRESS.COM

(To the Joker): “You’ll be in a padded cell forever.” — Batman, “The Dark Knight”

‘Year of the Bat’: A retrospective By Jim Beard Toledo Free Press Star Staff Writer star@toledofreepress.com

How times change — where once a new Batman film meant a plethora of publications from DC Comics promoting the film, now the venerable company relies on the strength of the character alone to draw in new readers. July’s “The Dark Knight Rises” will exist without any special fanfare in its counterpart comic book universe, standing in stark contrast to Marvel Comics’ prolific promotion for its “The Amazing Spider-Man” film in the same month. 1989’s hotly anticipated Tim Burton “Batman” film arrived in a furious beating of batwings, a resuscitated “Batmania” from the 1960s. DC put out not only an “Official Comic Adaptation of the Warner Bros. Motion Picture” but also ramped up the events in Batman’s ongoing series with the aftermath of the death of Robin, a “Year 3” flashback storyline and the introduction of a new Robin, Tim Drake. If a movie viewer liked what they saw on the screen that year, they could find much in the comics to bat-rope them in. Likewise, 1992 brought perhaps an even bigger Bat-blitz with its “Batman Returns” tie-ins, such as another “Official Comic Adaptation” and a splashy set of one-shot books featuring the film’s villains, the Penguin and Catwoman. The rest of the 1990s Bat-films, 1995’s “Batman Forever” and 1997’s “Batman and Robin,” continued that string of tie-in titles with “Official

Comic Adaptations” of their own plus standalone one-shots of the movies’ crafty criminals, the Riddler, Two-Face, Bane, Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze. Even Alicia Silverstone’s Batgirl was considered enough of a blip on the Bat-radar for DC to publish a special Batgirl book in 1997. The new millennium brought a new series of Bat-films, kicking off with 2005’s Christopher Nolan-Christian Bale opus “Batman Begins.” Perhaps the movie’s more somber, serious outlook toward the character curtailed flashy gimmick tie-ins from DC — for the first time since 1989 there was no “Official Comic Adaptation” nor were there any special one-shots or other special Bat-events in comic book form. This new era of quiet promotion continued in 2008 with the billion-dollar blockbuster “The Dark Knight.” In fact, DC had Batman planted deep in a long-winded, murky storyline that culminated in his apparent death. Funny way to drag in new readers, some thought. Today, “The Dark Knight Rises” may rival its predecessor as a cash cow, but DC continues to favor storytelling over slam-bang in a “Year of the Bat.” No “Official Comic Adaptation” or other such obvious film tie-ins will dot the shelves; the Caped Crusader must cinematically sink or swim on his own. O

BIFF! ZLONK! ZOWIE! Batman ’66 license now available. By Jim Beard Toledo Free Press Star Staff Writer star@toledofreepress.com

Some are calling it a miracle. It’s not a cure for cancer, AIDS or even the common cold, but it is a balm for millions of Bat-fans worldwide: The elusive 1966 “Batman” TV series merchandising license has been made available by Warner Bros. more than 40 years after the show went off the air. Holy About Time, Batman! On June 6, Warner Bros. Consumer Products revealed that the license was in place for companies to produce everything from action figures to household goods sporting the likenesses of Adam West, Burt Ward and the show’s entire cast. Until now, only the series’ logo and its range of Batvehicles could be used for commercial items, as the sticky likeness issue had previously constrained a proliferation of Batmans, Robins, Jokers and Catwomans. Warner Bros. claims it has been negotiating

with the various concerned parties, including 20th Century Fox, West and the others, since 2009, but an accord has finally been met and the Bat-floodgates could open as soon as this year. Even during the show’s original airing, from 1966-68, products with West’s and Ward’s images were rare. Some “Batman” fans speculate that even then the production company was loathe to pay out any percentage of profits to the actors. That finagling over likenesses continued unabated for decades, a source of lawsuits even, until today. Now, with the stars in their 70s and 80s or even deceased, perhaps reality has finally sunk in and the realization that everyone involved — studios, actors and estates — can make a few bucks has dawned. Rumor has it that the merchandise license announcement also doubles as a clarion call for the series to be released on DVD and Blu-ray, another 40 years-plus no-show. July’s Comic-Con International in San Diego revealed a few teases of what’s to come for the fans. Mattel flashed a few slides of its upcoming 6” line of “Batman” action figures, illuminating a very recognizable Adam West Caped Crusader. Hallmark showed off a small sample of its 2013 Adam West Batman Christmas ornament. But, as they say, “Stay tuned, Bat-fans — the best is yet to come!” O

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“This city just showed you that it’s full of people ready to believe in good.” — Batman, “The Dark Knight”

TOLEDOFREEPRESS.COM / JULY 18, 2012 n 17

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

JULY 18-25, 2012

What’s what, where and when in NW Ohio

O House of Chanel, 9:30 p.m. July 20. O Agalloch, Taurus, Musk Ox: 9 p.m. July 21. O Half-Ton Destrier, the Loneliest Whale, Stray Saints: 9:30

Compiled by Whitney Meschke Events are subject to change.

p.m. July 24. O Teddy Geiger: 8 p.m. July 25.

MUSIC

This small venue offers a showcase for lesser-known acts. 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. (734) 761-1451, (734) 761-1800 or www.theark.org. O Junior Brown: 7:30 p.m. July 22, $25. O Danny Britt, Marvin Dykhuis: 8 p.m. July 23, $15. O Rebecca Loebe: 8 p.m. July 24, free.

Bar 145

This new venue features burgers, bands and bourbon, if its slogan is to be believed. $5 cover. 5304 Monroe St. (419) 593-0073 or bar145toledo.com. O Ryan Dunlap: July 18. O Downstroke: July 19-20. O The Personnel: July 21. O Dan Fester: 9 p.m. July 25.

Be sure to check out this Warehouse District tavern’s namesake, overhead near the entrance. 20 S. Huron St. (419) 244-2627 or www.bronzeboar.com. O Open mic: Thursdays and Mondays. O Crucial 420: July 20. O Joe Woods Trio: July 21 and 27.

Caesars Windsor

If you have your passport, consider hopping the Detroit River for this casino’s entertainment offerings. Starting 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.caesarswindsor.com. O Amanda Marshall: 9 p.m. July 20, $25.

Cock n’ Bull Tavern

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 Andrew Ellis & Lucky Lemont: July 21.

Another drinking-and-dining option has opened up near Fifth Third Field and will feature occasional musical performances. 9 N. Huron St. (419) 244-2855. O Captain Sweet Shoes: 9 p.m. Thursdays. O Danny Mettler: 7 p.m. Sundays. O Chris Knopp: July 24.

Bitter End Restaurant & Bar

Dégagé Jazz Café

Basin St. Grille

If you like your entertainment with a lake view, this may be your spot. 900 Anchor Pointe Road, Curtice. (419) 836-7044 or www.bitterendbar.com. O Open mic with Tom Turner: Wednesdays. O Kentucky Chrome: July 20. O Junkanoo Brothers: July 21.

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. theblarneyirishpub.com. O Jeff Stewart: July 19. O Republik: July 20. O Dave Carpenter & the Jaeglers: July 21.

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 blindpigmusic.com. O Detroit Love Muscle, Bison Machine, Death Wish Squirrel: 9:30 p.m. July 18.

ntura’s ve

Signature drinks, such as pumpkin martinis, plus live local jazz performers. 301 River Road, Maumee. $5 weekends for cafe seating. (419) 794-8205 or www.degagejazzcafe.com. O Gene Parker & Friends: 7-10 p.m. July 18 and 24-25. O Leo Darrington: 7 p.m. July 19 and 26. O World Jazz Collective: 7:30 p.m. July 20-21. O Cynthia Kaay Bennett: 7:30 p.m. July 27-28.

The Distillery

Karaoke is offered Tuesdays, but paid entertainers rock out Wednesdays-Saturdays. 4311 Heatherdowns Blvd. (419) 382-1444 or www.thedistilleryonline.com. O DJ Mark EP: Thursdays. O Mark Would: July 18. O MAS FiNA: July 20. O Brave Youngsters: July 21. O Venyx: July 27-28.

Doc Watson’s

Named in honor of the owners’ forefather, this bar and restaurant serves a variety of dishes and entertainment. 1515

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O Shawn Sanders: 10 p.m. July 20. O DJ Ben Gates: July 21.

Grab a reuben or some fish while bobbing your head to some tunes. Southwest corner of Dorr Street at Reynolds Road. (419) 531-4446 or www.dorrstreetcafe.com. O Bobby Hollway: July 20. O Don Coats: July 21 and 28.

Fat Fish Blue

Serving blues and similar sounds, as well as bayoustyle grub. Levis Commons, 6140 Levis Commons Blvd., Perrysburg. (419) 931-3474 or fatfishfunnybonetoledo.com. O Arctic Clam: 9:30 p.m. July 20 and 9 p.m. July 21.

Frankie’s Inner City

Toledo’s venue for rock. 308 Main St. $5-$15, unless noted. (419) 693-5300 or www.FrankiesInnerCity.com. O King Conquer, the World We Knew, Abiotic, Emulator, Shores of Elysium, Trust Me I’m a Doctor: 6 p.m. July 18. O Fail and Deliver, Siklid, Seven Romans, Social Virus: 9 p.m. July 20. O Afroman, Great Lakes Crew, Mano DS, Wille Green, ADHD: 9 p.m. July 21. O Skeletonwitch, Barn Burner, Buried but Breathing, Disconnected: 8 p.m. July 22.

French Quarter J. Patrick’s Pub

Live entertainment after 9:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays. Holiday Inn French Quarter, 10630 Fremont Pike, Perrysburg. (419) 874-3111 or www.hifq.com. O Green Eyed Soul: July 20-21. O Andrew Ellis Trio: July 27-28.

Greektown Casino-Hotel

Three stages — at Shotz Sports Bar, Eclipz Ultra Lounge and Asteria — offer competition for gamblers’ attention. 555 E. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit. No cover charge, unless noted; guests must be 21 or older. (888) 771-4386 or www. greektowncasino.com. O Karaoke: 9:30 p.m. Thursdays, Shotz. O Howard Glazer Band, Emannuel Young: 8 p.m. Fridays, Asteria. O DJ Zig Zag: 9:30 p.m. Saturdays, Shotz. O DJ Lee J: 9 p.m. Sundays, Shotz. O Mandalay: 9:30 p.m. July 20, Eclipz. O HLM: 9:30 p.m. July 20, Shotz. O LaiLani & the Triple Impact Band: 8 p.m. July 21, Asteria. O New Tenants: 9:30 p.m. July 21. O Pete “Big Dog” Fetters: 9:30 p.m. July 27, Eclipz. O In2theBlue: 9:30 p.m. July 27, Shotz.

H Lounge

The New Hollywood Casino Toledo offers live entertainment and the hottest Ladies Night on Thursdays from 5-9 p.m. 777 Hollywood Blvd. (419) 661-5200 or www. hollywoodcasinotoledo.com. O 56 Daze: 7 p.m. July 18. O Skoobie Snaks, DJ Rob Sample: 8 p.m. July 19. O Candice Coleman and the Chris Brown Band, DJ Rob Sample: 8 p.m. July 20. O Nine Lives, DJ Robert Perkins: 8 p.m. July 21. O Ani Band: 7 p.m. July 22. O Jim Filipiak: 7 p.m. July 23. O Chris Shutters: 7 p.m. July 24. O Brad McNett Jazz Quartet: 7 p.m. July 25

Headliners

All ages, all genres are welcome. 4500 N. Detroit Ave. Ticket prices vary between $5 and $15, unless noted otherwise. (419) 269-4500 or www.headlinerstoledo.com. O ABK, DJ Clay: July 26.

JJ’s Pub

Live music is on Saturday’s menu; the genre varies, along with the cover charge. Karaoke is on tap 9:30 p.m. Thursdays, and a DJ starts spinning at 9 p.m. Fridays. 26611 N. Dixie Hwy., Perrysburg. (419) 874-9058 or jjsperrysburg.com. O John Barile and Bobby May: 8 p.m. July 24.

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.kerrytownconcerthouse.com. O Manner Effect: 7 p.m. July 22. O Week After Art Fair Song Fest: 8 p.m. July 25-26, free; 8 p.m. July 27, $5-$25.

Manhattan’s

This “slice of the Big Apple” in the Glass City provides entertainment most weekends. 516 Adams St. (419) 243-6675 or www.manhattanstoledo.com. O Open mic: 9 p.m. Monday nights. O Joshua Breakstone Duo: 7 p.m. July 18. O Noah Leibel Trio: 6:30 p.m. July 19.

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18 n JULY 18, 2012 / TOLEDOFREEPRESS.COM

Mickey Finn’s Pub

A variety of genres to wash your drinks down with. Open mic nights, 8 p.m. Wednesdays, no cover; $5-$7 cover other nights. 602 Lagrange St. (419) 246-3466 or www. mickeyfinnspub.com. O Open mic: 9 p.m. Wednesdays. O With the Punches, Forever Came Calling, State Champs: 6 p.m. July 19, $8-$10.

Motor City Casino/Hotel

This casino’s Sound Board offers big names, big sounds and a big experience. 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit. Guests must be 21 or older. (866) 782-9622 or www. motorcitycasino.com. The casino’s Chromatics Lounge also features live performances. O Vinyle Underground: 7 p.m. July 18. O Dan Rafferty Band: 7 p.m. July 19. O Dal Bouey: 5:15 p.m. July 20. O Ani: 10 p.m. July 20. O Big Will & 360 Band: 5:15 p.m. July 21. O Serieux: 10 p.m. July 21. O Dave Hamilton: 3:30 p.m. July 22. O Blood Sweat & Brass: 7 p.m. July 23.

Mutz

This pub offers handcrafted brews … and live entertainment. 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., Mutz at the Oliver House, 27 Broadway St. (419) 243-1302 or www.TheOliverHouseToledo.com. O DJ Nate Mattimoe: 10 p.m. Saturdays. O Beg to Differ: July 20.

“Were you trying to prove that deep down, everyone’s as ugly as you? You’re alone!” — Batman, “The Dark Knight” Potbelly Sandwich Shop

What began as an antique store in Chicago turned into a string of more than 200 eateries nationwide, including Toledo. All of the shops feature live music. 4038 Talmadge Road. (419) 725-5037 or www.potbelly.com. O Don Coats: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays. O Tom Drummonds: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tuesdays.

Robinwood Concert House

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, unless noted. www.toledobellows.wordpress.com. O Peter J. Woods, Lucky Bone (Neil Gravander), Five Dollar Ferrari: 9 p.m. July 19.

Stella’s

Nouveau cuisine gets a helping of classic rock, R&B and jazz Thursdays through Saturdays. 104 Louisiana Ave., Perrysburg. (419) 873-8360 or www.stellasrestaurantandbar.com. O CJ and Company: 6:30 p.m. Thursdays. O Steve Wooley: 6:30 p.m. July 19. O CJ and Company: 8:30 p.m. July 20. O Greg Arranda: 8:30 p.m. July 21.

Uptown Night Club

Rewired presents Goth Night at 9 p.m. Wednesdays and ’80s/’90s dance music on Mondays. 160 N. Main St., Bowling Green. No cover. (419) 352-9310 or uptowndowntownbg.com.

The Village Idiot

One2 Lounge at Treo

Live music starts at 7:30 p.m. 5703 Main St., Sylvania. (419) 882-2266 or treosylvania.com. O Kyle White: July 19. O Skip Turner Band: July 20. O Stonehouse: July 21. O Wilbur: July 26. O Post Modern Blues: July 27.

Tunes combined with pizza and booze, some would say it’s a perfect combination. 309 Conant St., Maumee. (419) 8937281 or www.villageidiotmaumee.com. O Old West End Records: 8 p.m. Wednesdays. O Bob Rex Trio; the Eight-Fifteens: 6 and 10 p.m. Sundays. O Frankie May and friends: 10 p.m. Mondays. O The Maxx Band with Phil Barone: July 21.

Ottawa Tavern

Webber’s Waterfront Restaurant

Casual meals with weekend entertainment. 1815 Adams St. (419) 725-5483 or www.otavern.com. O The Cost of Living: 10 p.m. July 21.

S. Toledo $119,900

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This Point Place eatery hosts weekly entertainment on its patio with a river view. 3 p.m., 6339 Edgewater Dr. (734) 723-7411 or www.webbersrestaurant.samsbiz.com. O Bobby May & John Barile: July 22.

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Woodchucks

The place to go for an eclectic mix of people and music. 224 S. Erie St. $3. (419) 241-3045. O Touch of Rage, Bathhousebetty, Megaton Hammer: July 21.

Yeeha’s

Country and rock with a little “Coyote Ugly” style. 3150 Navarre Ave., Oregon. (419) 691-8880 or www.yeehas.com. O Noisy Neighbor: July 27.

Ye Olde Durty Bird

It’s back, and more entertaining than ever. 2 S. St. Clair. (419) 243-2473 or www.yeoldedurtybird.com. O Jeff Stewart: 9 p.m. July 18. O Steve Mullan: 9 p.m. July 19. O Ben Barefoot: 4 and 9 p.m. July 20, 9 p.m. July 21, 4 p.m. July 27. O Kyle White: 5 p.m. July 25. O The Eight-Fifteens: 9 p.m. July 25.

Swingmania

With its focus on swing music, Jeff McDonald’s group of musicians provides a peek into another era, with music from bandleaders such as Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, the Dorseys and more. With combos from trio to full orchestra, the performers provide music for all occasions. (419) 708-0265, (419) 874-0290 or www.swingmania.org. O Big Band All Stars: Dancing is encouraged. 8-10:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Trotter’s Tavern, 5131 Heatherdowns Blvd. (419) 381-2079 or (419) 708-0265.

STAR @ the movies ‘Ice Age: Continental Drift’ James A. Molnar, TFP film editor:

”The Paleolithic mammals are back and so is that cute little saber-toothed squirrel Scrat. As the fourth movie of the ‘Ice Age’ franchise, it’s formulaic and exactly what you’ve come to expect from the series. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s entertaining. The writers didn’t need to reinvent the successful box office formula here. Calling this fourth iteration ‘safe’ is accurate. Ten years after the first ‘Ice Age,’ it’s funny at times and kids — and some of their parents — will enjoy this 94-minute animated 3-D film.” Read the full review and watch the trailer: STAR is looking for movie reviews, 50 words or less. Send them via Twitter @toledofreepress. Watch James discuss movies on “WNWO Today” around 5:50 a.m. on Fridays.

Centennial Terrace

This venue next to a quarry hosts dance parties, swing bands, country singers and rockers. 5773 Centennial Road, Sylvania. (419) 882-1500, (419) 381-8851, www. centennialterrace.org or www.ticketmaster.com. O Swingmania: 7-10 p.m. July 18, $10. O Madison Avenue Band: 8 p.m. July 20, $7. O 1964, the Tribute: 8 p.m. July 21, $29.50.

For more: toledofreepress.com/movies

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“Batman has no limits” — Bruce Wayne, “The Dark Knight” Brown Bag Summer Concert Series

Grab your ham (or veggie) sammies and listen to some tunes while you nosh. Vendors will be on hand for those who forget to pack. 12:15-1:15 p.m. Wednesdays, north lawn of Toledo Lucas County Main Library, 325 N. Michigan St. (419) 259-5207 or toledolibrary.org. O Dave Carpenter: July 18. O Rodney Parker and Liberty Beach: July 25.

Jazz in the Garden

Take in some swing and smooth tunes among the swaying flowers. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursdays through Sept. 6, Toledo Botanical Garden, 5403 Elmer Dr. $6-$8; $48-$64 for season pass. (419) 536-5566 or toledogarden.org. O Hepcat Revival: July 19. O Ramona Collins Group: July 26.

Music at St. Mary’s Park

This concert series offers tunes at a low price (free, that is, but donations are welcomed) on the bank of the River Raisin. 111 W. Elm Ave., Monroe, Mich. (734) 384-9156 or www.ci.monroe.mi.us/recreation_1.cfm. O Guy Louis: 7-8:30 p.m. July 19. O Shout! 7-9 p.m. July 26.

Music at the Market

Weekly concerts will pierce the summer heat. 7 p.m. Thursdays through Aug. 23, Commodore Park, Louisiana and Indiana, Perrysburg. (419) 873-2787 or www.perrysburgarts.org. O Sea Commanders I: July 26.

Lunch at Levis Square concert series

Downtown Toledo Improvement District conspires to set lunch to music. Noon-1:30 p.m. Thursdays through Aug. 30. Levis Square, North St. Clair Street and Madison Avenue. (419) 249-5494. O Kyle White: July 19. O Glass City Steel: July 26.

Walbridge Park Summer Concert Series

Music will ring out across the river. 7-9 p.m. Thursdays through July 26, park bandstand, 2761 Broadway St. O The Jeff Williams Group: July 19. O Skoobie Snaks: July 26.

Ye

Olde

Lunch in the Park

A local restaurant will be on-site offering nibbles while performers do their thing. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Fridays, Martin and Kiwanis shelters, Bowling Green City Park, 417 City Park Dr., Bowling Green. (419) 354-6223 or www.bgohio.org/departments/parks-and-recreation. O Spittin’ Image: July 20.

Club Friday

Some of the city’s most talented performers entertain museum-goers during TMA’s It’s Friday events. 6:30-9:30 p.m., Peristyle Terrace, 2445 Monroe St. (419) 255-8000 or toledomuseum.org. O Hepcat Revival: July 20.

Jazz in the Square series

Regional be-boppers will perform in this sixth year of smooth sounds. 7 p.m. Fridays through Aug. 3, Loranger Square, Washington and East First streets. (734) 457-1030 or www.monroeinfo.com.

Party at the Park

The track hosts concerts before the evening’s harness races. 5 p.m. Saturdays, Raceway Park, 5700 Telegraph Rd. (419) 476-7751 or www.racewayparktoledo.com. O East River Drive: July 21.

Summer Concert Series

Open air weekend shows? Sounds like summer to us. 6 p.m. Saturdays, Glyn Smith Amphitheater, Ottawa Park. (419) 936-3887 or www.ci.toledo.oh.us. O Steel Drum: July 21.

Music Under the Stars

Toledo Symphony members play for people and polar bears alike at this free Toledo tradition. 7:30 p.m. Sundays through Aug. 12, Toledo Zoo amphitheater, 2700 Broadway. Parking, $6. (419) 246-8000, (800) 348-1253, www.toledosymphony.com or toledozoo.org.


Concerts in the Park

Free shows feature regional performers on a local stage. 7 p.m. Sundays, Needle Hall Stage, Bowling Green City Park, 417 City Park Dr., Bowling Green. (419) 354-6223 or www.

Tavern SU the Pa MM Pa rty ER tio A on LO LL NG !

TOLEDOFREEPRESS.COM / JULY 18, 2012 n 19

bgohio.org/departments/parks-and-recreation.

O Acoustic Penguin: July 22.

The Wanna Bees

This band is dedicated to career development for the elementary school set, singing songs about days in the life of various professionals. www.toledolibrary.org. O 10:30-11:30 a.m. July 18, West Toledo Branch Library, 1320 Sylvania Ave. (419) 259-5290. O 1:30-2:30 p.m. July 18, Mott Branch Library, 1085 Dorr St. (419) 259-5230. O 4-5 p.m. July 18, Birmingham Branch Library, 203 Paine Ave. (419) 259-5210.

Sunset Serenades: Eddie Boggs

A summer series that capitalizes on Olander Park’s lake views and natural accompaniment (geese and ducks are known to sing backup). 7 p.m.- dusk July 18, Nederhouser Community Hall, Olander Park, 6930 Sylvania Ave., Sylvania. $3 parking for non-Sylvania School District residents (or park at nearby Tam-o-Shanter and walk in). (419) 882-8313 or www.olanderpark.com.

Brian McKnight and Michael Franks

The super-smooth “Back at One” singer will be joined by the wordsmith who gave the jazz world “Popsicle Toes.” 8 p.m. July 21, Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd. $49.50 to $69.50. (419) 381-8851 or www.stranahantheater.com.

Bootleggers & Blues Festival

Music and Lake Erie share the focus, with beachfront performances planned by Kelly Richey, Soul Kitchen, David Coelho Trio, Keith Scott, the Nelson Rangell Trio and more. Noon July 21-22, downtown Luna Pier, Mich. www.monroeinfo.com.

SoundTrek

A musical showcase for Glass City performers, this event will feature more than 30 local, live music acts at 11 diverse local venues. 8:30 p.m. July 20. $5, individual venues; $15, wristbands for all locations. www.ACGT.org. O Main Library 325 North Michigan St. 419-259-5200. www.toledolibrary.org. Music at this venue is 8:30-10:30 p.m. only. 8:30 p.m. VooDoo Libido (blues). 9:30 p.m. Jack & The Bear (folk/rock).

O Glass City Cafe 1107 Jackson St. 419-241-4519. www. glasscitycafe.com. 9 p.m. Miracle Vitamins (folk/rock). 10 p.m. Old State Line (Americana). 11 p.m. JW Carlson & The Heart Strings (folk/country). 12 a.m. Jeff Stewart (singer-songwriter) O Toledo City Paper Offices 1120 Adams St. 419-2449859. www.toledocitypaper.com. 8:30 p.m. What’s Next (jazz/rock). 9:30 p.m. Chavar Dontae (rock). 10:30 p.m. GOLD (funk/rock). 11:30 p.m. Thirty Three & 1/3 (psychedelic blues rock). 12:30 a.m. The Faux Paus (rock). O Wesley’s Bar 1201 Adams St. 419-255-3333. www. wesleysbar.com. 8:30 p.m. Elevated Thinkin’ (hiphop). 9:15 p.m. Great Lakes Crew (hip-hop). 10 p.m. N.Mattimoe w/ special guests (DJ/House). 11 p.m. Old School Fridays (DJs/old school funk/soul/hip-hop). O Mano’s Garden Corner of 14th and Jackson. www.toledogarden.org. 8:30 p.m. Stonehouse (jam/rock). 9:30 p.m. Quick Trio (jazz/rock). 10:30 p.m. Ramona Collins (jazz). O Toledo School for the Arts 333 14th St. 419-2468732. www.ts4arts.com. 8:30-11:30 p.m. Glass City Steel (steel drum). O Manhattan’s 1516 Adams St. 419-243-6675. www. manhattanstoledo.com. 8:30 p.m. The Dark Gypsies (jazz). 10 p.m. Buddy Boy Slim & The Blues Rockers (blues). O The Attic on Adams 1701 Adams St. 419-243-5350. www.theatticonadams.com. 9 p.m. Sarah Donnelly (rock). 10 p.m. People Being Human (rock/indie). 11 p.m. Raq the Casbah (world music with live belly dance). O Truth Art Gallery 1811 Adams St. 419-460-1343. www.thetruthtoledo.com/gallery. 8:30 p.m. 4 Deep (jazz/ blues). 10 p.m. YASU (neo-soul/R&B). 10:30 p.m. 4 Deep (jazz/blues). O Ottawa Tavern 1817 Adams St. 419-725-5483. www. otavern.com. 9 p.m. The Homeville Circle (rock/folk/experimental). 10 p.m. Mechanical Cat (electronic). 11 p.m. Wicked Lung & Wooklar (indie/hip-hop). 12 p.m. Hound (garage rock). 1 a.m. GoLab (electro-pop). O Bretz Bar 2012 Adams St. 419-243-1900 www. myspace.com/bretzthebar. 10pm-3:30 a.m. DJs Rocky Simplicity & Casey “3pm” Clark (Top 40). 12 & 1 a.m. Drag Show w/ host Deja D Dellataro, Feliciana Thunderpussy, and special guest, from America’s Got Talent, Hershae Chocolatae. O

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20 n JULY 18, 2012 / TOLEDOFREEPRESS.COM

“Well, I grew up in Gotham, and I turned out all right.” — Bruce Wayne, “The Dark Knight”

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SUMMER

July 19 – July 25 WITH THE PUNCHES

Thursday, July 19, 6:00 p.m. Mickey Finn’s Pub, 602 Lagrange St., Toledo, Ohio 43604

CONCERT SERIES

With The Punches wsg- Forever Came Calling, State Champs, East Highland, Ryan Started the Fire. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door night of show

Saturday, July 7 – Aug. 11 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

SoundTrek: Live Music Lives in Toledo!

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The Ottawa – Jermain Park Board FREE concerts in the Glyn M. Smith Amphitheater

Kenwood Blvd Behind the Police Substation and Police Museum

July 21 Glass City Steel Steel Drum July 28 DeZire Motown Aug. 4 Bobby Holloway ’50s, ’60s & ’70s Aug. 11 On the Beach Pop/Rock

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Friday, July 20, 8:30 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. The Arts Commission, 1838 Parkwood Ave., Toledo, Ohio 43604 Live Music Lives in Toledo as The Arts Commission once again presents SoundTrek on Friday, July 20, 8:30 p.m. - 1 a.m. Experience more than 30 live, local bands and performers across a wide-range of genres at 11 amazing venues in UpTown Toledo. One wristband gets you access to all entertainment, indoor and outdoor stages, and complimentary shuttle service throughout the neighborhood. Just $10 advance, $15 night of ($5 single venue admission).

Touch Of Rage, Bathhousebetty, Megaton Hammer Saturday, July 21, 9:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. Woodchuck’s Bar & Grill, 224 S. Erie St., Toledo, Ohio 43604

Touch of Rage from a small town in northwest Ohio have in a relatively short time earned some well deserved attention from fans and peers alike. Quite simply these guys crush it live ...Think classic metal, then bind it all together with a groove and a front man with Henry Rollins stage presence ... you get the picture. Now get the sound. Bathhousebetty out of BG ...just about no-one brings the power and musicianship to the stage these cats do. No holds barred live shows have made them in demand locally and with touring acts that want to play with the best. Megaton Hammer defies a category to easily slip thier music into. Heavy? Hell yeah it’s heavy ! Look at the name its Megaton Hammer for crissakes. Take modern era C.O.C.,late 80’s riff heavy metal, and crush in a healthy dose of The Melvins and you get the twisted insanity that is Megaton Hammer. $5.00 21 & Up. $7.00 Under 21. Doors at 9 p.m.

DRINK and DRAW

Tuesday, July 24, 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. The Art Supply Depo, 29 S. St. Clair St., Toledo, Ohio 43604 Open session / life drawing We are providing you with a model and music. bring your own beer or wine, ideas, and drawing tools. Get together and draw, have creative dialogue, drink, and collaborate. all media welcome. We will be playing ambient symphonic electronica for you to think / drink / and draw to. The depo will be giving a 15 percent discount on all purchases. Ten dollars / seven dollars with a friend. 18 and over only, please. Events subject to change. Information posted as on Facebook.

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“People are dying, Alfred. What would you have me do?” — Bruce Wayne, “The Dark Knight”

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Catwoman: “A storm’s coming.” Bruce Wayne : “You sound like you’re looking forward to it.” — “The Dark Knight Rises”

Pairing the unexpected

Dress up your everyday shorts with a blazer: Blazer at sheinside.com, H&M shorts, Old Navy Tank, Forever 21 necklace $12.80, H&M clutch $17.95, Heels Zara.com $30

Cool looks for steamy hot days.

I

am not sure if it’s the steamy days, calm nights, sweet smells or beautiful surroundings, but there is just something about summer that adds that extra pep into our steps. Of course the sun’s vitamin D doesn’t hurt, or the ability to stay active outside. There is something unspoken about summer though — a spice, an unspoken sexiness that these sweltering months possess. And, because of that unLaUREN derlying tone, from a fashion standpoint, we are able to have fun with what we wear. Obviously, we are able to show more skin during these hot summer months, and experiment with dresses, shorts, skirts and much more. But there’s a little more to it. There are ways to play with the items that you already own and spice them up a little bit. All of us deserve a little spice and sass, so here are some examples and ideas of how you can play with what you already

have to look and feel sexier during these summer months. Fancy up your shorts with a blazer, belt or button-down. All of us own a pair of shorts and typically we pair our shorts with a Tshirt or tank top and call it a day. However, next time you go out instead of wearing a skirt or dress try pairing your basic white, black or colored shorts with a blazer and heels. The look is chic, sexy and not done all the time so you will definitely stand out. To accomplish the look, start with a summery white blazer from sheinside.com for $33. Pair your white blazer with a simple tank like the black tank from Old Navy for only $8.50, and light blue shorts from H&M for $12.95. The colors are clean, and look chic together. Accessorize with a statement necklace

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“That’s a brazen costume for a cat burglar.” — Batman, “The Dark Knight Rises” n FASHION CONTINUED FROM 22 The modesty of the skirt and blouse with the sass of the heels and jewelry is fun and sexy. Target has a bright purple pleated skirt for $17.99, and looks fantastic paired with a yellow blouse from Old Navy for $16. To accomplish a sexier look to this modest outfit, pair with the Aldo Lenord heel for $69. The colors of the heel are fun and $ 00 spice up the outfit. Tie in fun accessories like the DSW pink and straw clutch for $19.95, Forever 21 gold hoop earrings for $4.80 and bangles $3.80. A few simple additions to this outfit can transform the look in seconds. Go retro by pairing a simple pin skirt with a cropped top. Most of us own a simple black pin skirt and most of us wear a pin skirt for work or more conservative occasions. However, if you want to incorporate your pin skirt 00 $ into your date night outfits or night out on the town, toss up the look and go retro by adding a cropped top like the floral one from H&M for Go retro: $31. The pin skirt sits high enough on the waist Dorothyperkins.com and the top is cropped tastefully enough that pin skirt, H&M top, only a small amount of skin shows. Pair with a Charlotte Russe Pumps retro, nude ankle strap heel like the ones from $35.50, ALDO bag charlotte russe for $35.50. Keep the look classic $50, Forever 21 earand simple by pairing with a nude hangbag from rings $3.80, Forever 21 ALDO for $50, gold Forever 21 studs for $3.80, bracelet $10.80 and gold bracelet for $10.80. All of us get caught in the same rut of going to work wearing work clothes, going to cookouts wearing shorts and a tank top, or going on a date Lauren blogs about fashion at www.mypin wearing a sundress. All of these outfits are safe, but moneyfashion.com. Email her at lauren@my it’s fun to pair items that are unexpected; it’s even pinmoneyfashion.com. Tune into Star 105 every Monday morning at 6:30 for weekly fashion advice. better to look amazing when we do it. O

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“This city needs me.” — Batman, “The Dark Knight Rises”

Jazz legend Michael Franks to bring laid-back style to Toledo By Vicki L. Kroll Toledo Free Press Staff Writer vkroll@toledofreepress.com

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Nobody has more fun writing songs than Michael Franks. Listen to any track and you’ll hear his witty wordplay. From “Now That the Summer’s Here”: “I can spare some wherewithal/ Listening to Ahmad Jamal/ ‘Poinciana’ says it all/ Now that the summer’s here.” Or “Island Christmas”: “While others plod through ‘Jingle Bells’/ We’ll roam the beach collecting shells/ I understand flannel pajamas/ Are not allowed in the Bahamas.” And, of course, “Popsicle Toes”: “You got the nicest North America/ This sailor ever saw/ I’d like to feel your warm Brazil/ And touch your Panama/ But your Tierra del Fuegos/ Are nearly always froze.” “I like to spend a lot of time with a composition; it’s a very enjoyable part of my career,” Franks said. “I’ve always tried to emulate the great era of American song, the people that I considered to be the greatest — like Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Gershwin-type writers, Harold Arlen.” The mustachioed musician has been creating quintessentially cool songs for nearly four decades — and performing them with distinctive delivery. “I just sing the best way I can. It’s not so much an affectation, that’s just the voice,” he said during a call from his home in Woodstock, N.Y. “I love Peggy Lee and Mose Allison and people who I guess in the past I’ve been sort of grouped with, which is a pleasure.” In 1975, the singer-songwriter’s relaxed style flowed into the music world with his second album, “The Art of Tea,” which combined jazz, pop, soul and R&B. Producer Tommy LiPuma tracked down Franks’ wish list of musicians for the record. “I’ll never forget this — [LiPuma called and] said, ‘OK, we’re all set.’ And I said, ‘Well, who did we get?’ And he said, ‘We got The Crusaders (guitarist Larry Carlton, keyboardist Joe Sample and bassist Wilton Felder) and (drummer) John

Guerin,” Franks said and laughed. “I was afraid as well as being happy and excited because, wow, I’ve got to work hard to play with these guys and practice all these tunes.” That 35-minute vinyl classic went smoothly. “We recorded that album in 12 hours, which is just amazing to me now,” the jazz superstar said. “Now it seems I spend 12 hours on two vocals.” His 2011 disc, “Together Again,” also features FRANKS an array of guest artists, including guitarist Chuck Loeb, pianist Gil Goldstein, saxophonist Eric Marienthal and trumpeter Till Brönner. “I end up writing in the first person and it’s probably 90 percent originating from my personal feelings or observations,” Franks said. “On this record, the title song was about our dog, Flora, and then ‘Charlie Chan in Egypt’ was about the experience of being in airports and seeing these poor kids come home from the Middle East sort of broken, if not physically broken, kind of spiritually broken, and I guess their families financially broken too, and trying to make a comment about that. “I seldom make any social comments; the only other time in fact was the title song for [1987’s] ‘The Camera Never Lies,’ which was about apartheid, which was still existent in South Africa.” On the lighter side, “Mice” chronicles his adventures of finding freeloaders in the 1791 farmhouse he lived in at the time. “Three times I thought the same ones were just reappearing after I’d taken them far away and released them, but I couldn’t figure out how to tag them, so I don’t know if that was true or not,” he mused. Franks will perform at 8 p.m. July 21 at Stranahan Theater; the concert will also spotlight Brian McKnight. Tickets range from $49.50 to $69.50. O

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“You are in deep trouble with the wrong people.” — Bruce Wayne, “The Dark Knight Rises”

‘Les Misérables’ in Adrian

Student Edition plays through July 22.

By Renee Lapham Collins Toledo Free Press STAR Staff Writer star@toledofreepress.com

A publication of Toledo Free Press, LLC, Vol.3, No.29 Established 2010. Thomas F. Pounds, President/Publisher tpounds@toledofreepress.com Michael S. Miller, Editor in Chief mmiller@toledofreepress.com EDITORIAL

Mary Ann Stearns, Design Editor mastearns@toledofreepress.com James A. Molnar, Lead Designer jmolnar@toledofreepress.com Sarah Ottney, Special Sections Editor sottney@toledofreepress.com Jeff McGinnis, Pop Culture Editor PopGoesJeff@gmail.com Whitney Meschke, Web Editor news@toledofreepress.com ADMINISTRATION

Pam Burson, Business Manager pburson@toledofreepress.com CONTRIBUTORS star@toledofreepress.com Jim Beard • Amy Campbell • Zach Davis John Dorsey • Matt Feher Dustin Hostetler • Stacy Jurich Vicki L. Kroll • lilD • Martini • Jason Mack Rachel Richardson

Chris Kozak, Staff Writer Emeritus Lisa Renee Ward, Staff Writer Emeritus Darcy Irons, Brigitta Burks, Marisha Pietrowski, Gary Varney Proofreaders ADVERTISING SALES

Betty Jane (BJ) Rahn, Sales Manager bjrahn@toledofreepress.com • (567) 377-6744 Renee Bergmooser rbergmooser@toledofreepress.com • (419) 266-0254 Casey Fischer cfischer@toledofreepress.com • (419) 654-0515 Chick Reid creid@toledofreepress.com • (419) 705-5396 DISTRIBUTION

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Students from all over the area are the stars of this month’s Croswell production, “Les Misérables — Student Edition,” which continues July 18-22 at the Croswell Opera House in Adrian. Jere Righter, artistic director of the Croswell, said there were many reasons for selecting the popular, Tony Award winner. “I have had many patrons ask for this show,” she said. “Many have seen it and many haven’t, but it has a huge following. It’s one of those shows you can watch over and over again and love it every time. For those who could never afford the hefty ticket prices of a national tour or Broadway, we provide all of the quality at much more reasonable prices.” “‘Les Misérables,’” she said, “is considered one of the greatest musical theater pieces of all time and so it deserves to be in the lineup of Croswell shows. It also made sense for us to include it since a movie of the musical is going to be released this year.” Based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel, “Les Misérables” tells the story of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his attempts to start a new life as he is pursued relentlessly by police officer Javert over many decades, all against the backdrop of the French Revolution. Righter also likes the message of the play. “One of the most important reasons for doing the show is the message it delivers,” she said. “‘Les Misérables’ is ultimately a story of redemption, of hope, of giving yourself for those you love and your convictions. It is a show that resonates with all of us with its powerful story.” Righter said the timelessness of that powerful story began with its initial reception in the 19th century with French readers. “Bookstores were literally overrun with people wanting to buy the book,” she said. “It’s just so rich with characters, with storylines that break your heart and fill you with bravado. It’s just a wonderful, wonderful show and I’m so glad we could bring it to the Croswell.” Among the challenges facing the show’s producers and directors are the expectations on the part of the audience. The play is being codirected by Julie Dolan and Sue Smith — Smith is also the choreographer — and they are doing an amazing job, Righter said. “So many people have seen ‘Les Misérables’ done professionally so we knew we would have big expectations in terms of set, costumes and performance,” she said. “It can be hard to live up to the big budgets of the tour or Broadway, but I knew we were up for it. I think people seeing the show were amazed at what we have done on our small stage with our small budget.” Set designer Doug Miller created what Righter called “one of the best sets ever at the Croswell.” “I don’t think there is a chance of disappointment because the show looks amazing.” she said.

A scene from ‘Les Misérables — Student Edition’ at the Croswell Opera House. PHOTO COURTESY CROSWELL OPERA HOUSE

Casting was also a challenge because the leads and ensemble parts are “tremendously large in terms of range,” Righter noted. “And, of course, the fact that we aren’t able to stage the show with an entirely age-appropriate cast, but are restricted to using all students, that was a major concern and challenge to me,” she said. “How would our audiences respond to these students? Would they buy tickets for the show? Would the performances be up to what our audiences expect? These were all concerns we had going into the first weekend of the show.” As it turned out, however, their worries proved groundless. “The directors — Sue and Julie — have gotten so much from the cast that the show is incredible.” Righter said. “After the first weekend, several patrons stopped me after the show and commented that they like our show better than professional productions in Toronto and New York,” she said. “Now that is a compliment. Sue and Julie worked so hard with the students to tell the story of the show, to develop characters that are rich and well-rounded, they don’t just stand and sing the music, they tell the story in picture, in character, in mood and setting and they sing. “It’s the whole package.” Rebecca Nowak, who plays Eponine, is costarring in her 20th musical and her 13th at the Croswell. She has been involved with theater since fourth grade. “My cousin Brianne Nowak got me started in theater by leading me to take voice lessons from Leah Crocetto in third grade,” Nowak said. “When she moved from the area to pursue her career in opera, I went to Michael Yuen for voice lessons and I’ve been taking lessons from him ever since. Without his help, I do not know where I

would be as a performer.” Nowak, who will be a senior at Tecumseh High School in the fall, most recently had featured roles in “Into the Woods” with the Tecumseh Youth Theatre. “I have always loved ‘Les Misérables,’” she said. “The music is absolutely phenomenal and I could listen to it every day of my life. Jonathan Sills, who is the music director, does an amazing portrayal of the music in the show and I am thrilled to be able to work with him.” Nowak said she was also “very excited” to work with Miller, Dolan and Smith. “On top of our great production team, there is an amazing group of high school students who all share the same passion for theater and together that is what makes ‘Les Misérables’ a truly exceptional show,” she said. Righter agrees. “The cast of 48 comes from seven or eight different schools, plus, the Croswell can provide them with truly the best artistic team possible and a level of professionalism not possible at the high school level,” Righter said. “From the costumes to the set design, professional orchestra and the directors, we have put together one of the best creative teams ever, which provides a unique experience for these students. They are learning from the best. “And because this show is part of our summer lineup, when we make up nearly half of our annual income, we are expecting a lot from these kids and honestly, they have more than risen to the occasion.” Curtain times 8 p.m. July 19, 20 and 21 and 3 p.m. July 21 and 22. Tickets are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors and students and $15 for children 12 and younger. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (517) 264-SHOW (7469) or visit www. croswell.org. O


“I’m not afraid. I’m angry.” — Batman, “The Dark Knight Rises”

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“I’m not afraid of you.” — Bruce Wayne, “Batman Begins”


Toledo Free Press STAR – July 18, 2012