CAROUSEL triple cities
vol. 1 issue 9
music. art. theatre. food. life.
MOE IS COMING
90.5 FM FREE FORMAT RADIO LISTEN LIVE, OR ONLINE AT WHRWFM.ORG
November 2013 Triple Cities Carousel 5
editorial........................................................6 music.............................................................7 comedy.........................................................11 art................................................................13 events calendar.......................................16 theatre and dance..................................19 wellness.....................................................23 food and drink..........................................25 special feature: thanksgiving.............27 fun stuff....................................................28 TRIPLE CITIES CAROUSEL P.O. BOX 2947 BINGHAMTON, NY 13902 Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Christopher Bodnarczuk Assistant Editor/Calendar Guru Ty Whitbeck Advertising Christopher Bodnarczuk, Kathleen Klein Staff Writers Charles Berman, Stacey Burke, Julian Kappel, Brian Kerins, Heather Merlis, Kaitlin Mooney, Maria Murphy, Rose Silberman-Gorn, Dan Spaventa, Ronnie Vuolo, Felicia Waynesboro, Ahlpheh Ohtis Wilson, Taze Yanik Contributors Nicole Howard, Kevin Salisbury, Kristina Strain Photography Ty Whitbeck Layout/Design Christopher Bodnarczuk Youth Liason Ahlpheh Ohtis Wilson Cover Art “Abstract #1” -Orazio Salati Printer Our Press Chenango Bridge, NY FOR ADVERTISING: email@example.com FOR SUBMISSIONS: firstname.lastname@example.org FOR LETTERS, COMPLAINTS, PRAISE, DEATH THREATS, AND MORE INFO: email@example.com
6 Vol. 1 Issue 9
Oy. That was a stressful month. Somewhere between two Carousel Presents concerts, a road trip to North Cackalacky, and the immense undertaking of the Triple Cities Scareousel Fantasmagorical Freakshow Ball (you were there, right?), we managed to get a paper out. I say ‘we’ with emphasis, because it took a whole lot more help than usual this month. Before I go any further into my monthly ramble, one of those people should be thanked in print. And that’s our dear, dear staff writer Ronnie Vuolo. Some of you may know this, and some of you may not, but that’s my mama! Several months ago, after I called her for the thousandth time to bitch about commas and fonts and deadlines, she made the biggest mistake of her life and said “oh hey, I’d love to write for you.” Sucker. What the poor woman didn’t realize was I was going to make her write a whole lot, and I’d be just as grumpy and curmudgeony as I’ve always been, albeit with a new found egotism that can only come from bossing one’s parent around, and being thanked for it. I was iffy about bringing her aboard, partly because we’re on a record stretch of not fighting, and I didn’t want to jinx it, and partly because she’d be the only staff writer we have that’s not local. She lives a good two hours down the Quickway, and is talking about moving farther south, not north. And yet, such dedication! For her October feature piece, she drove up to the Broome County Library twice to do research, and was so engulfed in her work that she wouldn’t even buy me lunch. Plus, she hasn’t misplaced a comma yet. And then the fateful day came in October when she said “you sound stressed. What can I do to help?” Since I’ve been cut off from the money train for years now, it seemed like the only thing to do was to ask her to help with editing. And edit she did. Half of the articles in this issue were edited by my mommy, and I can say without hesitation that she is the only reason this here issue exists. While I spent a week and a half hanging cobwebs and blacklights for the Halloween Ball, she mastered my bastardized version of formatting, and has put me to shame. If she wasn’t so dead set on the snowbird life, I’d probably just give her the whole business. And so, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I say shamelessly that I am thankful for my mother, and the rest of the family, and the rest of the staff writers who make this paper what it is. It wouldn’t be anything without them, nor would it be anything without you. At the risk of sounding sappy, thank you. Thank you all. For reading. For advertising. For distributing. For caring. There’s a long standing sentiment in this town that we don’t have much to be thankful for. Screw that. We’ve got the Valley of Opportunity, and it’s never looked so damn pretty. -Christopher M.F. Bodnarczuk
FOR QUOTES AND MORE, EMAIL BMOAS@YAHOO.COM 10% off with this coupon exp. 11/30
5 Court St. Downtown Binghamton or
November 2013 Triple Cities Carousel 7
FREDERICKS BROWN: Fredericks Brown. Photo Provided.
TAKING WORLD BLUES CROSS-COUNTRY
Heather Merlis Staff Writer
“Your timing is perfect. Our hotel just had a fire and we all had to be evacuated.” This is what Stephanie Brown, of Fredericks Brown, tells me when I call her a half-an-hour after our scheduled interview. Traveling across America with the World Blues Tour, (featuring the Taj Mahal Trio and Vusi Mahlasela) they’re coming to Binghamton in November. Fredericks Brown is a (kind of) two-piece band, with Stephanie Brown on keys and background vocals, and Deva Mahal wailing away on lead and partaking in the joys of hand percussion. The two get some help from Sen Ikner, who produced, engineered, and played drums on their new EP, “Glass House Mountains.” An hour into their Idaho tour stop, they were met with a measure of excitement not usually experienced in that neck of the woods. “The whole Idaho Falls Fire Department showed up. “Blazes aside, they’ve been enjoying the tour, riding through the Promised Land with legends and sages. “The drive up from Utah was stunning,” Steph goes on. “We’re rookies, opening for these veterans, which was a little intimidating at first. We’re performing just as a duo, so it’s just us and our music. It’s been really fun.” The legendary Taj Mahal, who is leading this tour with his Trio, has spent decades imbuing American
blues with world music, while incorporating myriad cultural influences into his compositions. He also produced the 2010 album “Say Africa,” by Sotho South African singer-songwriter Vusi Mahlasela, a modern-day griot who is often simply referred to as “The Voice” of South Africa. Fredericks Brown rounds out the tour, having been brought into the fold by familial ties (Deva is Taj’s daughter) and holding it down with lucid inspiration and raw talent.
“It’s been eye opening,” Deva states. “Going out and touring with my dad has been a really special experience. We’ve met incredibly open people on our tour. It makes me feel really good about all the work we did.” In the three weeks before the tour, Fredericks Brown completed writing, arranging, recording, mixing and mastering their new album. They learned how to engineer in the process, while priming themselves for the tour. “We’ve been able to soak in the music,” Steph explains, “It was in our heads and minds. We’ve been living it.” Stephanie is a New Zealand native whose grandfather was a pianist. She learned to play from an old lady across the street. Deva is from Kaua’i, Hawai’i, but spent much of her formative years in New Zealand. She began singing in her youth, in various theatre and performance arts projects put on by the old hippies and performers who retired to Kaua’i. The girls were involved separately in the same New Zealand music scene, and each took a pilgrimage to New York City within three months of each other. “I moved to Brooklyn not knowing anyone,” Steph recounts, “and my friends from home told me to call Deva, and we got fried chicken.” Deva recalls how
they reconnected in Alphabet City, and how, when she began to play one of her songs for Steph, there was an instant sense of understanding.
“We quickly developed an easy writing relationship and trust in each other,” Stephanie continues, “I think due to having so many shared musical influences.” They initially bonded over their love of Otis Redding and Etta James, but as they grew together creatively, they found that their common tastes spanned the eras and genres. Deva remembers the first time her father handed her En Vogue’s “Funky Divas” and told her, “This right here, this is serious.” As for Stephanie, “My dad was bringing home Phil Collins.” Another bond the girls share is a love of storytelling, which informs their songwriting. “We try to make music where there’s an arc to it,” Steph explains. “Work towards a climax, fall, resolution in the form of our music, and lyrically as well.” In terms of singing stories, they’ve been learning from the best on this tour. “Vusi comes on, and it’s just him and his guitar and he’s storytelling, and he’s got this voice. He’s got a great repartee; the things he says between songs, the way he relates to his audience; you can hear a pin drop. He has them in the palm of his hands.” Deva chimes in, “How humble he is, he is like a child, but also incredibly wise. You’re always learning from him.” Deva has also had the rare opportunity to learn from her father in a new way on this tour. “My dad never stops unless he is sleeping. He’s always playing or telling you something, and not just some story, it’s like, the story of American music. And he knows about agriculture, history… he has this incredible landscape of information that you can always learn
from, which is, like, a miracle.” What’s miraculous is that that a woman whose father was not present for much of her upbringing is now touring the country with him, pouring her heart out through her music. Intergenerational, cross-cultural human connection is the magic that is carrying this tour. “We did a show for nine hundred children in Logan, Utah,” Deva tells me. “It’s the legacy of music: we’re just coming in, Vusi’s in the middle of his career, and my father’s been doing it for five decades. The music opens your ears… raw, unadulterated, organic music.” As for their upcoming Binghamton performance, Steph says, “I hope people come out to see it!” Deva provides the impetus: “If anybody needs to come out and have their heart and soul touched, and forget themselves for two and a half hours, that’ll be the place for it.” I’ve seen Fredericks Brown perform live, and they’re amazing. Miss Mahal brings what she likes to call “blood and guts” to every show. She’s adopted a new approach for her recent performances, based on a piece of advice she received: “You go out there and you sing for you. Don’t sing for anyone else. You sing for you, and they’ll know it, and they’ll love you for it.” “An Evening of World Blues” featuring Taj Mahal and Vusi Mahlasela, with Fredericks Brown, will be coming to the Anderson Center for the Performing Arts at Binghamton University on Tuesday, November 5th at 8pm. Tickets are $45 for the general public, $40 for senior citizens, BU faculty and staff, and $22 for students.
CAROUSEL PRESENTS: BLACK MOUNTAIN SYMPHONY
8 Vol. 1 Issue 9
now has settled in as a five-piece, featuring violins, mandolins, multiple guitars, and even the occasional Native American flute. All members of the band play multiple instruments during their shows. Most of the time, each member takes the lead vocal part at some point in the performance. The complexities of their arrangements and harmonies make the band truly difficult to categorize, as a punk-tinged song could directly follow a baroque violin-focused tune. This range makes for a rousing performance with both captivatingly slow folk ballads and danceable tunes that will bring the crowd to its feet.
Dan Spaventa Staff Writer
On Friday November 1st, Triple Cities Carousel brings Black Mountain Symphony back to Cyber Café West for a night of music and merriment. The band is something of a local favorite, having played in Binghamton numerous times over the past few years (to larger and larger crowds upon each return). Calling them “eclectic,” would be an understatement. They’ve got the type of sound you’ve got to hear live to properly understand. Based in the Albany area, Black Mountain Symphony strives to keep their music out of any pigeonholed genre. Their performances showcase a wide range of styles: blues, jazz, funk, and Motown, to name a few. Songs feature both male and female vocals, often reminiscent of a more folk-focused Belle & Sebastian. Long sweeping jam numbers, straight out of a Phish concert, showcase both the group’s pop sensibility and a hint of classical music. Bands like Yes, Fleetwood Mac, The Corrs, and Guster come to mind in trying to contextualize their sound. Their catalogue of songs features many originals, spanning numerous styles and genres. They’ve been known to play some choice covers, reinventing songs with their own brand of strong improvisation. With an enormous catalogue of songs to choose from, the band will surprise even the most schooled music lovers with the diversity of their abilities.
The band has toured on and off for the last few years, playing diverse venues across America with big-name acts like Rusted Root and The Dear Hunter. They have made their way around the New York festival circuits in the last few years, with appearances in Oneonta, Saratoga Springs, and Albany. Their self-titled debut album, released in November 2009, features a track list that revisits the eclectic nature of their live shows. Rather than try to reinvent or reinvigorate one specific genre, Black Mountain Symphony’s record succeeds in enigmatically showing off their diverse catalogue of material. This band can appeal to anyone who appreciates bands whose music takes risks.
Black Mountain Symphony. Photo Provided.
Black Mountain Symphony features brother and sister team (and bandleaders) Annie and Bear Campo. With almost two decades of classical
GUNPOETS TO BRING HIP-HOP
training each, the two bring that sensibility to their current music. The band has cycled through a few different lineups during its decade-long run, but
Black Mountain Symphony comes to Cyber Café West directly following the First Friday Art Walk on Friday November 1st. Cyber Café West is located at 176 Main Street in Binghamton. There is a $5 cover, all of which goes to the performers. For more information about the band, their latest tour, and their recent album, check out blackmountainsymphony.com.
TO BOBBY’S PLACE
Ty Whitbeck Assistant Editor
Ithaca may be Gorges, but it’s also got roots. And from the musical seed of emcee Dan “Rising Sun” Lisbe grows the Gunpoets. Lisbe and fellow rhyme-slayer Joshua “Jayhigh” Higgins, plus a cavalry of Tompkins County royalty, make up the hip-hop group that is changing the face of Upstate New York. On the 9th of November, you’ll be able to catch this dance heavy, bass laden ensemble at Bobby’s Place in Endwell. You’ll want to see what’s growing. We’re seeing an uprising in positive and motivating hip-hop in our culture, and thanks to regional and nationally touring New York bands like Sophistafunk, AudioInflux, Subsoil and the Gunpoets, the notions of gangster rap are taking the back seat. The Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival welcomes these guys with open arms; Hell, they have half of the Grassroots lineup sitting in on their two studio albums, “Shoot the Stars” (2010) and “Come With Us” (2012). One of the best comments I read on one of their youtube videos was from a girl named Linda, who proclaimed “Hey! That’s my English teacher!,” referring to front man Lisbe, who rocks the mic with lyrical genius. As most musicians know, playing gigs doesn’t always pay the bills, and so the Gunpoets all hold down full-time jobs as teachers, bartenders, carpenters and more. “Music is a huge part of all of our lives, and the Gunpoets brings us all together and provides us with a truly amazing outlet to do what we love,” says Lisbe. It’s kind of humbling when a student can recognize their teacher on the internet for being a rock star, and not for doing something detrimental to the youth he teaches.
“The greatest thing about being an emcee is that you get to share your own unique experiences and perspective with people,” says Lisbe. “I remember once a bulldog jumped up onstage and started humping our guitar player’s leg. That probably takes the cake.” Thankfully it wasn’t that video that young Linda had commented on. The Gunpoets’ live performance is where the group truly shines. Their studio work is great, but it’s the intensity of their live show that sheds inhibitions, moves masses and connects fans to musicians on an equal plane. “The audience feeds us with their love and energy and it creates a relationship that’s cyclical, in nature,” Lisbe says. “The creative process is always very personal, so to be able to safely open our hearts and share what we’ve created is awesome.” Songwriting can be one of the biggest forms of self-inflicted sado-masochism out there, and to have a song that really moves and stands up to the test of time can stop one in their tracks. Fortunately, for the Gunpoets, the rhymes seem to cut like a hot knife through butter. Rising Sun and Jayhigh rap about freedom, justice, good times, and what it means to be a part of something whole. While the emcees hold down the front of house, the band behind them experiments with hip-hop beats and funk-inspired, soul-powerful rhythms that are generated for gyration. “Personally, I like to zone out to a beat while the band is rocking and see where my spirit takes me,” Lisbe says. “I think if you write with integrity and remain genuine, everything else will fall into place.” On November 9th, you’re going to want to fall into Bobby’s Place, at 2906 E Main St., Endwell, to welcome the Gunpoets. The show starts at 9pm and there is no cover. Find the Gunpoets on facebook and visit gunpoets.com for music, videos, dates and more.
triplecitiescarousel.com We’re on the world wide webiverses!
November 2013 Triple Cities Carousel 9
WOODSHED PROPHETS RELEASE NEW ALBUM Ty Whitbeck Assistant Editor
You may remember the bit of folklore I laid on you in the March issue of Carousel regarding Sidney, New York’s bearded heavy western quartet, The Woodshed Prophets. They’re back, and they’ve stoked the embers long enough to crank out a new record, called “Nowhere But Down,” produced by Brad Morrison. Straight out of the gate, this thing pounds. The opener, “Moonshiner’s Ball,” is white lightning in lyrical form. It’s heavy, it’s fast, and it can’t be listened to sitting alone in the bedroom. I grab the keys and my dog and head for the back roads. The sun is setting and I’ve got a quarter-tank of 87 to burn. “Nowhere But Down,” the title track, is a little slower; spiraling into the wallows and the repercussions of drinking too much with a heavy heart. It sounds just like the cover art depicts: an El Paso cowboy, down on his luck, with a spilt pack of Marlboro Reds and a half empty bottle of Old Granddad (album art by Alison Tyne Photography).
DRIFTWOOD FLOATS ON WITH NEW ALBUM, LOCAL RELEASE SHOW Driftwood. Photo by Ty Whitbeck.
Ronnie Vuolo Staff Writer
Driftwood’s new album, simply titled “Driftwood,” is anything but simple. A rich tapestry of lyrics and music, there’s nothing rote or cliché about it. While remaining true to their roots, Binghamton’s hometown heroes have stretched their boundaries and honed their talents to a lustrous shine that’s sure to please both old fans and new listeners. In the two years since the release their sophomore album “A Rock and Roll Heart,” the band compiled and refined the eleven new songs featured on “Driftwood.” Recording, which took place at four different locations, began in 2012 and was completed this past summer. “The Sun’s Going Down” was recorded at Anderson East’s Farmland Studio in Nashville, while the remainder of the songs were recorded locally at the Enfield Baptist Fellowship, Yellowbike Studio and The Attic. For Driftwood, known for their dynamic stage presence, it was a challenge to translate the energy of a live performance to the confines of a studio, where the need for perfection can trump spontaneity. By recording between tour dates, they were able take time out to regroup and keep it fresh. For those unfamiliar with the band, Driftwood is made up of Dan Forsyth (guitar/vocals), Joe Kollar (banjo/stompbox/vocals), Claire Byrne (fiddle/ tambourine/vocals), and Joey Arcuri (upright bass). Other than “Outer Space,” which was a group effort, all the songs on the new album were written by Forsyth and Kollar. Mixing rock, Americana, roots, and bluegrass (with a dash of classical seasoning), they’ve become a staple on the national festival scene, touring extensively up and down the east coast and into the mid-west. What makes them dif-
ferent from other bands of the same genre is the consistency of their finely crafted songs, standout musicianship, a high-energy stage show, and their obvious love for the music and one another.
When I was asked to review the new CD I was wary, although I liked both previous releases. Too many times I’ve gotten albums after hearing one or two tracks, only to find myself disappointed by the rest of the songs. Not so with “Driftwood.” From the first note to the last, I liked it all. While most albums contain one or two hits at most, I believe this one has five. I won’t point them all out, but if you head down to the release party on November 15th at the Choconut Inn in Friendsville, PA, it’ll be a cinch to pick ‘em out. Anyone who’s heard Driftwood perform “Before I Rust” live is likely to know the words already. Byrne sings “I want it so bad,” and the audience truly does. A show stopper at concerts, it remains amazing on the CD, albeit with Arcuri’s mystical bass solo shortened considerably to meet time constraints. The distinctive raspiness emanating from his upright echoes what he calls the “longing, desperation and heartbreak” of the song. Byrne’s voice is at its best, a combination of warm honey and fine aged whisky, imbibed in a convertible, top down, cruising the open road on a perfect day. While “Buffalo Street” and “The Carburetor and the Steam Engine” come from personal experiences, other songs on the CD come from what Kollar calls more of a streaming process, his job being to “let the thoughts and words come, stay out of the way and see where it goes.” He’s a big advocate of creating music in the van while en-route to gigs, and “Outer Space” is one such creation. While driving to a gig in Hamden, CT at a club called Outer Space, Dan started banging on the dash and Joe began to sing. By the time they arrived, a couple of verses and a chord progression had been completed. Perhaps because it’s the only song written
by all four, or because it has a more classical feel with its haunting string arrangement, or because of the smooth harmony of voices in chorus, but this song has a different feel than the rest of the album. Even the recording was done differently, with several versions being laid down in different ways, and each part recorded individually. Neither Americana nor bluegrass, it has its own unique feel. “Buffalo Street” (a real street in Ithaca) arose from Dan’s regular commute from Binghamton to Ithaca to see his then girlfriend (now wife). Combining words written on a 1920s postcard on his friend’s refrigerator (“girls on the left, girls on the right, gonna be a jubilee”) with inspiration from the street itself, the song was born. It comes on like a freight train, building momentum as it gets closer, until it subsides and the voices take over. There’s no possibility of sitting still while listening to this song. When I caught up with the band they were enroute from Cincinnati to West Virginia. I asked Kollar how instrumental the kick-starter campaign (which they ran earlier this year, raising over $20k from fans to help make the new album) was to the making of the CD. He explained that it was vitally important; it’s biggest impact to be felt in the area of promotion and publicity, as it represents their best shot at being heard. He expressed his gratitude for the tremendous support the band received from everyone. While they’re short-term goal is to get the album out to the public and continue touring, his ultimate goal is “to change how people feel, to stick together and continue to expand and enhance as individuals and as musicians…to strengthen the bonds between us as friends and musicians.” It is this camaraderie that shows so clearly in their music. This is a must-buy CD and the release party promises an amazing performance. Doors open at the Choconut Inn on November 15th at 7pm, and music starts at 8pm. Put on your dancing shoes.
The Woodshed Prophets are Dan Hardy (guitar/vox), Rob Stachyra (Telecaster/vox), Ed Gliha (bass/vox), and a man that goes solely as “Bird-Dog” (drums/piano/vox). Lead vocals are shared on the record, with the more aggressive songs sung by Hardy and the more melodic, “twangy” tunes, sung by Stachyra. There are a couple guest sit-ins, including Gavin Hardy on pedal steel and mandolin, and Mr. Lee on organ. Having been a fan of these guys from the beginning, I can say that this is a step in the right direction. Their songwriting has grown up, with a bit more personal experience added. Although, their debut album may have been a bit more edgy, “Nowhere But Down” sounds like it’s from a different part of the country altogether: think of the Southwest. The Woodshed Prophets are coming into their own as a well-rounded outlaw country band. Try to smack a label on them if you want, but the important part is that what these men are doing in the Southern Tier is catching on. This album screams booze and heartache, and the passion within each note can be felt like burning whiskey at the end of a long night. It’s an album for driving down long country roads with your dog riding shotgun, and it’s an album best enjoyed with good company (The drinking and the driving should not be done simultaneously, to be clear). Another selection that I took note of during my joyride was “Dancing in the Kitchen.” I like this song’s anthemic feel. Sung by Hardy, and the solos are equally as powerful, this can easily be one of the best songs on the album. When the album begins to repeat and my gas light turns on, I pull back into the driveway, impressed with how far these folks have come. They’ve made a thorough album, start to finish. It’s got its tempo changes, rippin’ solos, vocal switches and guest sit-ins. The production value is a little more polished than their debut album, and, like I said, they’ve matured and they have more to say. It’s still badass and it’s still got grit. I like it. If you’re doing your holiday shopping early this year, buy local and support the arts. Pick up Woodshed Prophets’ “Nowhere But Down” as a stocking stuffer for your favorite ex-lover. To enjoy it live, check out their album release party on November 1st at the Brackney Inn, just over the border in Pennsylvania.
THE FAT PEACE CHANNEL SUBLIME AT LOST DOG LOUNGE
10 Vol. 1 Issue 9
Brian Kerins Staff Writer
The weather in Binghamton has turned, but to those looking for one last shot at summer vibes, look no further than The Lost Dog Lounge on November 15th, when The Fat Peace bring the sounds of Jamaica to the Grey City. This five piece group of New York natives perform a blend of reggae, ska, funk, and punk rock, in a notable tip of the hat to 90s legends Sublime. This connection is especially tangible in lead singer and frontman Alex “Dunks” Gideon, whose voice and guitar playing are both eerily reminiscent of Sublime’s late frontman Bradley Nowell. Gideon started his career as the front man for another Upstate reggae band, King Koala, and after 2 years of refining his art moved on to lead The Fat Peace. This project represents a more experimental attitude towards music making than his former work, yet still retains the staples of the genre.
gistic duo of Gideon and drummer Jamie Bird. After spending two years drumming for Project Weather Machine, Bird joined The Fat Peace. Having known each other since high school, the two have a comfort level which comes through in their playing, as Gideon layers his guitar over Bird’s more laid back jam style of drumming. Though a more recent addition to the band, Brian Darby also attended the same high school as Gideon and Bird, and has found his way back together with them. Having a background in both drumming and guitar allows Darby to fit the niche between Gideon and Bird masterfully. Rounding out the band are two names that are likely more familiar to Binghamton residents: Kennedy Mansfield and Rob Hydell. These two former Mantraverse members bring the same solid groove established by their former band to the rhythm section of The Fat Peace, on keyboard and bass respectively. Their jazz backgrounds contribute a very funk-y attribute to their playing, an attribute that has seen a redefinition of the sound of The Fat Peace. The Fat Peace will be playing at the Lost Dog Cafe Lounge, located at 222 Water Street on November 15 at 10 PM.
BIG TOE JAM THANKSGIVING PRE-PARTY
Much of the band’s power comes from the syner-
AT THE BLIND TIGER PUB
Kaitlin Mooney Staff Writer
The Blind Tiger Pub is pre-gaming this year’s Thanksgiving with the help of The Big Toe Jam’s funky tunes and a heaping helping of alcohol. Come take part in the festivities on Wednesday, November 27th at 8pm. The Big Toe Jam (based in both Waverly, NY and Sayre, PA) released their third album, “Lying in a Ditch,” this year with the help of Grammy award winning engineer and producer Will Russel, of Electric Wilburland Studios. If the name of their current release is any indication, this band knows how to have a good time. The Big Toe Jam is four friends playing music, four friends who get crowds on their feet and dancing with an upbeat fusion of rock, funk, and old time music (self-described as “a mix of everything you would encounter in a barn in New York City”). True to their jam band roots, the guys in the Big Toe Jam have been known to create a song on the spot during their live shows. “We play and write music for the sake of playing
and writing music. We all grew up playing music together, and we don’t know how to stop,” explains guitarist Jeremy Hildebrant. They are a favorite at Johnson City’s Blind Tiger Pub, having graced the stage several times. “The atmosphere and the crowd are great!... The Blind Tiger Pub is the best outside venue that we have been invited to play in the Triple Cities. Outside bar, outside heat, and tons of space on the deck. The crowd is a great mix of folks from young to old and all walks of life....We are looking forward to our first show inside as well.” The Blind Tiger Pub is a hot spot of live music in Johnson City. Open 365 days a year the bar boasts 24 beers on tap (including a decent craft beer selection) as well as a stuffed schedule of trivia, karaoke, and live music. After catching the Big Toe Jam on Wednesday, go home, get a good night’s sleep, and on Thursday, after you’ve spent as much time as you can stomach with the family (and have eaten as much food as you can stomach) the Blind Tiger Pub will welcome you back with an open door and a warm seat at the bar. The Blind Tiger Pub is located at 4402 Watson Blvd., Johnson City. For more information on The Big Toe Jam’s upcoming shows, please visit www. thebigtoejam.com. All three of their albums can be purchased online through their website.
November 2013 Triple Cities Carousel 11
A VERY FLUFFY INTERVIEW Gabriel Iglesias. Photo Courtesy of Comedy Central.
WITH GABRIEL IGLESIAS
Kevin Salisbury Contributing Writer
When I first came across Gabriel Iglesias, I wasn’t sold on him. At that time, I was still a young, green stand-up (as opposed to the old, blue stand-up I am today), and I thought that being a comedian meant being maudlin and grumpy and drunk, and Gabriel Iglesias is none of those things. What I saw as a happy-go-lucky and cheerful stage show was based purely on the aesthetics: Hawaiian shirt, smiles… hell, they guy has a nickname, and it’s “Fluffy,” not something so dirty we can’t print it in these pages. I was influenced by comedians who drank on stage, wore all black and hardly smiled if at all... It’s safe to say that I had a preference, and I stuck by that without giving anything else a chance. Then, as people do, I grew up a little and learned to pay more attention to the craft I was studying, and in that time, something happened... I actually WATCHED his performances and promptly changed my opinion. You don’t always get a chance to sit and relax in comedy crowds. It can feel like you’re at a lecture, or listening to a passionate speech about freedom, and not watching someone who is commissioned to
make you laugh. Some people would rather be in the crowd for one of those shows, and in all honesty, there is nothing wrong with that. It is a very select market, and the big name comedians who cater to that market do it well. The casual comedy fan wants to sit with a few drinks, laugh, and NOT think about wars and injustices and the things that plague our society. This is what makes Gabriel Iglesias so important, not only as a comedian, but as a public figure. He gives us a chance to relax and get the work week, bills, and every day anxiety off of our back by giving us a glimpse into his life, by way of stories chock full of colorful characters and hilarious situations from his past.
Iglesias has quite the resume, having released numerous comedy DVDs and albums, including “Hot & Fluffy,” “I’m Not Fat... I’m Fluffy,” “We Love Fluffy,” and most recently, “Aloha Fluffy” (a two part comedy special that aired on Comedy Central). He was one of the final eight comics on season 4 of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” and he produced and hosted “Gabriel Iglesias Presents: Stand Up Revolution,” which also appeared on Comedy Central and has been hailed as “one of the all-time funniest comedy package tours.” He has also appeared on Nickelodeon’s “All That” (you know you remember SNICK) and the “Just For Laughs Festival” in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Binghamton gets an opportunity to experience his
comedic talents first hand on Friday, November 15th at The Broome County Forum Theatre. In anticipation of the show, I recently managed to get in a short Q&A with Gabriel Iglesias, in between stops on his tour. Enjoy.
vvv Every comedian has been influenced in one way or another by other comedians. Who stands out in your mind as someone who has influenced you as a performer? Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams & Paul Rodriguez. Having been seen in numerous televised specials, which one is closest to your heart and why? “Hot & Fluffy.” It was my first 1 Hour special, and my mom was alive to see it become a success. The comedy scene is blowing up right now, and there are a lot of up and coming comics making a name for themselves. Who is one of your favorite new comedians to watch? Rick Gutierrez & Alfred Robles. Check them out! Every comedian has that one comedy show that they will never forget, good or bad....
What is yours?
Performing in India while being heckled by 3 Germans in the front row. By my research, this is your first time performing in Binghamton, NY. What can we expect? A loud, fun time! We have heard your take on being fluffy, but nobody has coined a phrase for the average weight guys. Wanna take a crack at it? I call them Regs. . Got any advice for the rest of the fluffy fellas out there? Give it up before you turn 40. I had a great run in my 20s and 30s Being fluffy. Gabriel Iglesias will be performing at The Broome County Forum on Friday, November 15th. Tickets are $38-$45 and can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com or at the gate. Showtime is 8pm. Follow Gabriel Iglesias on twitter at @fluffyguy and check out his website www.fluffyguy.com for merch, tour dates, and tons of videos and media.
November 2013 Triple Cities Carousel 13
“Landscape #2” by Orazio Salati. Below left: “Four Pears.” Below right: “The Visitors.”
ON THE COVER: ORAZIO SALATI PAINTING WITH WAX AND TAR
Maria “Murph” Murphy Staff Writer
“Tar: a very thick, black, sticky liquid made from coal that becomes hard when it cools and that is used especially for road surfaces.” So says Merriam-Webster. Says local artist and gallery owner Orazio Salati, it’s actually a medium for creating a work of art. While his name has most often appeared in Carousel’s pages as a host of a slew of other talented artists, it is high time to pay homage to the man behind the curtain. This November the Orazio Salati Studio and Gallery will be featuring the work of none other than Orazio Salati himself. Salati was born only fortyfive minutes from Rome, Italy in a town called Arnara. He moved to the states, or more specifically Endicott, when he was a young boy. He graduated from U-E High School and went on to Buffalo State College, as well as the University of Siena and School of the Arts, earning both his Associates Degree and a B.S. in Art Education. From there, naturally, Salati went on to teach. “I taught a total of about forty and a half years, and I loved every minute of it,” he expresses.
Salati was a metal shop teacher at U-E High School, as well as a professor at Broome Community College, Keystone College, and Empire State College. He still teaches workshops and classes occasionally throughout the year. This past October, he hosted his first workshop in the gallery on State Street, open to all skill levels.
“Everyone is a beginner here [in the workshop], because they are learning my process; to approach painting as I do,” Salati explains. In addition to his work locally, Salati also travels back to Italy each September to teach painting at an art quilting, painting, and cooking workshop called ‘Under the Tuscan Sun.’ “It’s been a experience.”
Still, despite all his experiences, and occupations, there is one things that has remained constant with Salati: he is, and always will be, an artist. “People in the arts... it’s almost like it’s their soul. They’re born with it; can’t avoid it,” he says. “Artists never retire. It’s part of what we are.” Although the life as an artist has always been and will be for Salati, his choice of medium has been less static. From jewelry, to metals, to weaving, to paints; he’s done it all. “I’ve done everything with oils. Now I’m trying to do it with the wax and tar,” he tells.
That’s right, that “very thick, black, sticky liquid made from coal” is how Orazio Salati begins his paintings these days. “It’s messy, the way I approach painting.” He follows his preliminary tar designs with a wax and oil paint mixture he creates, and binds it with heat from a blow torch, building layer after layer until the piece is finished. This amazingly innovative process creates a depth and texture you have to feel to believe. “My work is very tactile... I like texture,” Salati continues. “That’s the excitement of being creative and putting different things together.” He is even considering adding plaster to his paintings. “I’m looking to see what happens by introducing more mixed media.” Though different and elating, it is not Salati’s method that holds his highest esteem. “The process is important... very spiritual, very emotional,” he goes on. “It’s a spontaneous thing... I don’t think about it. It just happens.” And what happens as a result of this spontaneity is not just anything: It’s art that speaks, tells a story, shares the emotions that come from the artist through brush, pallet, and torch. “With these [paintings] you’re exploring... you have
a conversation with the piece,” Salati expresses.
And what better way to speak to the world than to find your inspiration from the world? Salati finds himself surrounded by inspiration, especially the human body and nature. “I work from life,” he adds. “What motivates me are the things around me; my inspiration is everything.” With his love for life and art comes Salati’s love for his home in Broome County and the love that has been shown to him. “The community has been very supportive,” he says. And he hopes that this support of all the local art will continue not only with occasional special events, but throughout the year. “Saturday is a wonderful time to come [to the galleries], because you can see the art work uninterrupted.” The art is here even when First Friday is not, and it’s waiting to be explored. The exhibition will be held on First Friday, November 1st from 6pm to 9pm at the Orazio Salati Studio and Gallery, located at 204 State Street, downtown Binghamton. The gallery is open every Saturday from 11am to 3pm and also by appointment. To make an appointment or for more information about the gallery, the artist(s), or future workshops, call (607) 772-6725 or e-mail info@ oraziosalati.com. You can also visit oraziosalati.com for exhibition schedules and additional information and contacts.
GEOFF GOULD AND BI L L GORMAN PRESENT DUAL SHOW AT COOP GALLERY
14 Vol. 1 Issue 9
Rose Silberman-Gorn Staff Writer
From November 1st-24th, Geoff Gould and Bill Gorman will be presenting their work at a photography show at Cooperative Gallery 213. Gould and Gorman, both members of the gallery, have had shows together before, and are happy to collaborate again. Gould’s show is called “Nature Calls,” which is fitting, as his focus is on nature, in particular landscapes and waterscapes. His interest in landscapes is rooted in a childhood spent in Minnesota, surrounded by lakes, as well as his Norwegian ancestry. He took up photography after retiring 11 years ago. Prior to that he worked at Binghamton University for 26 years, serving as Director of Admissions and head of the Financial Aid offices. Many of Gould’s photos were taken during recent travels to China, Costa Rica, Norway, Finland, and the western United States. In the exhibit he’s endeavored to use pieces that evenly represent these regions. Some of the photographs are from a trip to Lake Tahoe, where he was stunned by the clear water and configurations of the boulders around the shorelines. Gould is also passionate about doing pro-bono photographic work for charity and has volunteered his services for local organizations such as the Danielle House.
Bill Gorman titles his exhibition “Red and Other Colors: Borrowings and Recyclings.” His focus is on abstract colors and patterns, with very few recognizable objects. He sometimes uses editing equipment to combine photographs, crop images to create a pattern, or saturate pictures with color. Gorman explains, “I like to focus on things people don’t ordinarily take pictures of. Through my photography, I want to show people the world as I like to see it, filtered through the viewfinder of a camera.”
Gorman also exhibits photos that were taken during his travels. While biking through Portugal, he became interested in patterns within the larger graffiti he saw. The “borrowings” part of his title comes from his photographic strategy of borrowing from someone else’s work to create something new. Also with a background in education, Gorman taught high school for 36 years. An actor, he can frequently be seen in performances at the Cider Mill Playhouse. Gorman will integrate his acting with his fine art when he performs a staged reading of “Red,” a play by John Logan about Mark Rothko’s struggle with commercialism and artistic integrity. The performance will take place on November 21st from 7-9pm at the gallery. The opening reception will be held on November 1st from 6-9pm at Cooperative Gallery 213, located at 213 State Street in Binghamton. The gallery is open Fridays from 3-6pm and Saturdays 12-4pm. For more information on the show, contact the gallery at (607) 724-3462.
ANTHONY BRUNELLI FINE ARTS
November 2013 Triple Cities Carousel 15
CELEBRATES TEN YEARS WITH NEW SHOW
inspired by the renovated galleries in Soho’s warehouse district, bought an abandoned warehouse on State Street in 2001. He spent the next three years renovating the building by creating a gallery space and a private loft space. After opening in 2003, the gallery began representing local and regional artists, later including international artists. The Brunelli brothers have also branched out recently by participating in international art fairs, including Art Hamptons and Art Palm Beach.
Rose Silberman-Gorn Staff Writer
Every winter, Anthony Brunelli Fine Arts puts together a group show with various artists from its roster. This year’s group show is special because it marks the photorealism gallery’s 10-year anniversary. Gallery Director John Brunelli highlights the gallery’s roots to Binghamton, while bringing internationally known artists to the Triple Cities. The 10-Year Anniversary Exhibition will include a mixture of work, with an emphasis on Gallery Owner Anthony Brunelli’s recent prints. Part of Brunelli’s initial motivation in opening his own gallery was to display his prints, as well as work by other contemporary artists. His prints depict cityscapes of downtown Binghamton. Anthony Brunelli’s current painting-in-progress, complete with sketch and underpainting, will also be displayed on the rear feature wall of the gallery. Thus providing a peek inside the complex process of making of a photorealistic oil painting. Also included in the group show is a sampling of works by the gallery’s represented artists, as well as new pieces from internationally known artists from Japan and Korea. John Brunelli is particularly excited to show new work by Sungchul Hong. This
Ten years after their warehouse-turned-gallery was ready to open, the Brunellis are proud to still be bringing art to the Binghamton public. “The 10-year mark shows that we’re here and are here to stay,” says John Brunelli. “We’re happy to continue to deliver quality work and grow as a gallery, and we hope to be here for 10 more years.” Yo, this is a freakin’ painting. We don’t know what it’s called, but it’s by Anthony Brunelli.
South Korean artist is known for his unique process of printing imagery across many staggered elastic bands, so that the image vibrates and moves. “Sungchul Hong’s pieces are highly innovative,” raves John Brunelli. “They are gestural and intriguing, psychologically interesting and extremely well-crafted.” Because of the show’s long run, from November 1st until the end of January, Anthony and John Brunelli will modify the exhibition slightly at the beginning of each month, rotating pieces out and putting oth-
ers in. “We change the show every month because it’s a refreshing process, and it allows us to showcase more work,” explains John Brunelli. The range of work in the exhibition is representative of Brunelli Fine Arts’ overall vision. Not only is there photorealistic work, but also labor-intensive, well-crafted paintings and sculpture. The Brunellis value innovation and high quality, which is evident in the roots, growth, and expansion of their gallery. Anthony Brunelli, full of entrepreneurial spirit and
John and Anthony Brunelli are also celebrating the release of the fourth and final book in a series about photorealism, called “Photorealism in the Digital Age,” which features Anthony’s work. They are hoping to have a book signing and copies available for purchase at the November opening. The opening reception for the 10-Year Anniversary Exhibition will be held on November 1st from 6-9pm, and the exhibition will remain on display until January 26th. Anthony Brunelli Fine Arts is located at 186 State Street in Binghamton, and is open Saturdays 12-4pm or by appointment. For more information on the exhibition, please visit anthonybrunelli.com, or call the gallery at (607) 624-3406.
triple cities carousel sunday.
The Triple Cities Carousel Events Calendar is featured each month as a courtesy to our advertisers, however we welcome everyone to submit their events to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 15th of the month prior to publication. Space is limited, so calendar entries, which have no cost, are picked on a first come/first serve basis. Triple Cities Carousel reserves the right to reject any submission deemed to be non-arts related, or, well, for any reason.
03 10 17 24
Mason Warrington Orchestra (FHS) Astrology 101/Junk Jewelry (CB) “Le Bonheur d’Elza” (BU) Marvelous Wonderettes (CMP)
“Proof” (BU) “The Stories We Tell” (BU) The Marvelous Wonderettes (CMP) “Spamalot” (EPAC) “Hello, Dolly” (FORUM) Astrology 101/Junk Jewelry (CB) “War, What’s it For?” (PMM)
Faculty Recital – Stephen Zank, piano (AC) Harpur Cinema – “A Cat in Paris” (BU) The Marvelous Wonderettes (CMP) “Spamalot” (EPAC) Astrology 101/Junk Jewelry (CB) Fire & Ivory – Scottish Music (PMM) Contra Dance (TTC)
Artists & Playwrights Fest (KNOW) The Marvelous Wonderettes (CMP) “Yes, Virginia” (EPAC) Jon Weber (FHS) Astrology 101/Junk Jewelry (CB) Home for the Holidays (ROB) “RENT” (BU)
monday. (AC) Anderson Center (ANT) Anthony Brunelli Fine Arts (BBW) Black Bear Winery (BEL) Belmar Pub (BTP) Blind Tiger Pub (BOB) Bobby’s Place (BOS) Blue Orchid Spa (BRK) Brackney Inn (BU) Binghamton University (BUN) Bundy Museum (CCW) Cyber Café West (CB) Club Bling (CG) Cooperative Gallery
04 11 18 25
(CHT) Church of the Holy Trinity (CMP) Cider Mill Playhouse (CRAN) Cranberry Coffee House (DTB) Downtown Binghamton (DTO) Downtown Owego (EPAC) Endicott Performing Arts Center (FHS) Firehouse Stage (FIVE) Number 5 (FORUM) Binghamton Forum Theatre (FTZ) Fitzies Irish Pub (FUMC) First United Methodist Church (GXY) Galaxy Brewing Co. (JS) Jungle Science
What’s New at the Bing Philharmonic? (PMM) Open Mic (BEL) Afro-Cuban Dancing (BU) Collage Mosaic (CB) Open Gallery (JS)
Open Mic (BEL) “Spamalot” (EPAC) Jazz Jams (FHS) Collage Mosaics (CB) Open Gallery (JS) French Refugees in the 1780s (PMM)
Hungarian State Folk Ensemble (AC) Open Mic (BEL) Mosaic Class (JAB) Collage Mosaics (CB) Open Gallery (JS) “A Perfect Analysis by a Parrot” (PMM)
“House With the Wrap-Around Porches” (PMM) Open Mic (BEL) Jazz Jams (FHS) Collage Mosaics (CB) Open Gallery (JS) Home for the Holidays (ROB)
05 12 19 26
(KING) Kingsley’s Pub (KNOW) KNOW Theatre (LDC) Lost Dog Café/Lounge (MB) Matty B’s (MER) Merlin’s (ORA) Orazio Salati Gallery (OUH) Old Union Hotel (PMM) Phelps Mansion Museum (ROB) Roberson Museum (SPOOL) Spool MFG (TC) Terra Cotta (TTC) Tioga Trails Café (UUCB) Unitarian Universalist Cong.
Taj Majal/Vusi Mahlesela (AC) Afro-Cuban Dancing (BU) Speakeasy Open Mic (CCW) Mosaics 101 (CB) Science Cabaret (LDC) Milkweed (OUH)
Binghamton Community Lab – Lecture (LDC) “Spamalot” (EPAC) Joe Weil & Leslie Heywood (BU) Mosaics 101 CB) Milkweed (OUH)
Book Making/Mosaics 101 (CB) Milkweed (OUH)
Old Time Folk Jam (CCW) Book Making/Mosaics 101 (CB) Milkweed (OUH) Home for the Holidays (ROB)
06 13 20 27
“50 Shades Paper
dy Walker & Jacob (CCW) r Mache/Gift Making (CB) Live Music (KING) Jam w/Miles Ahead (LDC) Comedy Open Mic (MB) “Rule Britannia” (FUMC)
Writer’s Workshop (BU) Jamie Willard (CCW) “Spamalot” (EPAC) s: The Musical” (FORUM) r Mache/Gift Making (CB) Live Music (KING) Sonando (LDC)
The Hilltoppers (CCW) Gift Making (CB) Live Music (KING) Jam w/Miles Ahead (LDC) Comedy Open Mic (MB) me for the Holidays (ROB)
Big Toe Jam (BTP) InnerMission (CCW) Gift Making (CB) Live Music (KING) Puzzled Players (LDC) me for the Holidays (ROB)
07 14 21 28
01 08 15 22 29
Live Music (BBW), Rick Iacovelli (BTP) Indigo 6 (FIVE), Tanked (BOB) 1 Year Anniversary Party (BOS) Woodshed Prophets (BRK) Black Mountain Symphony (CCW) Marvelous Wonderettes (CMP) Sonando (LDC), First Friday (DTB) Mosaic a Bowling Ball (CB) Out of Reach Printmaking (JS) Pete Ruttle & Friends (OUH) Le Bonheur d’Elza” (BU)
“Proof” (BU) Vermont Cheddar w/Carol Simek (BTP) Mid-Day Concert (BU) Cult Movie Thursdays (BUN) InnerMission (CCW) The Marvelous Wonderettes (CMP) Sewing/Stained Glass Mosaic (CB) Lutheran Skirts (GXY) Making Sense of the Civil War (PMM) Triple Down Jazz (TTC) Art Mission Taste for Film (TC)
Drop In Sewing/Stained Glass Mosaics (CB) Randy McStine (BTP) Mid-Day Concert (BU) Cult Movie Thursdays (BUN) InnerMission (CCW) The Marvelous Wonderettes (CMP) “Spamalot” (EPAC) MiZ (GXY)
Vermont Cheddar w/Carol Simek (BTP) Mid-Day Concert (BU) InnerMission (CCW) The Marvelous Wonderettes (CMP) “Ticket to Ride” (FORUM) Dan Pokorak & Justin Dyer (GXY) Drop in Sewing/Soulage (CB) Enerjee Jazz w/Ayana D. (LDC) Home for the Holidays (ROB)
InnerMission (CCW) Drop in Sewing/Soulage (CB)
“The Stories We Tell” (BU), “Proof” (BU) Live Music (BBW), Wreckless Marci (BOB) Viola Master Class (BU) “Sharknado” (BUN) Four Eye (CCW) Marvelous Wonderettes (CMP) “Spamalot” (EPAC) Infinitus in Concert (FHS) Brotherhood (FIVE) Mosaic a Bowling Ball (CB) Pete Ruttle & Friends (OUH) Live Music (BBW), Jamie/Joanna (BTP) Ring of Fire (BOB), Kim/Chris (CCW) Marvelous Wonderettes (CMP) Art Walk (DTO), “Spamalot” (EPAC) Upright Citizens Brigade (FHS) Gabriel Iglesias (FORUM) Mosaic a Bowling Ball (CB) The Fat Peace (LDC) Pete Ruttle (OUH), “RENT” (BU) Pipe Organ Recital (UPC) “A Cat in Paris” (BU) Live Music (BBW) Chris Mollo/Ego Maniacs (BOB) Chris Padgett (CCW) Marvelous Wonderettes (CMP) Brotherhood (FIVE) Mosaic a Bowling Ball (CB) Artists & Playwrights Fest (KNOW) Pete Ruttle & Friends (OUH) Home for the Holidays (ROB) “RENT” (BU)
Artists & Playwrights Fest (KNOW) Live Music (BBW) Highline (BOB) Matuto w/Clay Ross (CCW) Splash (FIVE) Mosaic a Bowling Ball (CB) Take the Black Stout (LDC) Pete Ruttle & Friends (OUH) Home for the Holidays (ROB)
02 09 16 23 30
Galumpha (AC), 10 Year Show (ANT) Delta Blues (BTP), Woodshed Prophets (BOB) Tali & the Grind (CCW) Gould & Gorman (CG) Marvelous Wonderettes (CMP) Pocket Vinyl/Live Painting (FTZ) Mosaic Class (JAB) Pattern Sewing (CB) Orazio Salati (ORA) Tim Herron Corporation (OUH) The Hilltopers (TTC)
Orazio Salati (ORA), Gunpoets (BOB) Piazzolla Plus(BU), Tumbleweed Highway (CCW) Marvelous Wonderettes (CMP) “Spamalot” (EPAC) NYC Ladies of Laughter (FHS) Rooster/Roadhouse Horns (FIVE) Pattern Sewing (CB) Kristen Becker (MER) “War, What’s it For?” (PMM) American Indian Art Market (UUCB) Styles of Tibet – Exhibit & Bazaar (SPOOL) 10 Year Show (ANT), Rick Fry (BTP) Higgins/Malteze (CRAN), Troubadours (BOB) “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (BU) Classic WWF Wrestling (BUN) Gould & Gorman (CG) The Marvelous Wonderettes (CMP) “Spamalot” (EPAC), Sewing (CB) Orazio Salati (ORA) Nate & Kate w/Pete Ruttle (TTC) Quatro Blue (CCW), “RENT” (BU) Pipe Organ Master Class (UPC)
10 Year Show (ANT), Never Enough (BOB) “Yes, Virginia” (BU), Voodoo Highway (CCW) Marvelous Wonderettes (CMP) Defying Gravity (EPAC) Canyon Folkies w/L. Fox (FHS) Indigo 6 – Anniv. Party (FIVE) Pattern Sewing (CB) Artists/Playwrights Fest (KNOW) DJ Castle (LDC), Salati (ORA) Home for the Holidays (ROB) Gould & Gorman (CG), “RENT” (BU) 2nd Edition w/Mary Meier (FIVE) Artists & Playwrights Fest (KNOW) 10 Year Show (ANT) Acoustic Persuasion (BTP) Heritage (BOB) Zarni (CCW) Orazio Salati (ORA) Madrigal Choir (CHT) Home for the Holidays (ROB)
-Interior -Exterior -Commercial -Residential
-Decks -Staining -Sand Blasting -Power Washing
Little Place, Big Taste! Try Our Homemade Pumpkin Pancakes, Root Beer Float Pancakes, House Smoked Pork BBQ, and Fresh Ground Stuffed Hamburgers! 255 Floral Ave. Johnson City (across from firehouse) Public Parking Available in Floral Ave. Park
Hours: Closed Mondays Tues-Sat 7am-2pm Sun 8am-12pm
Every Tues- Halupki Every Thurs- Chicken & Biscuits Every Fri- 3 Cheese Mac & Cheese and Fried Haddock Sandwich
607 217 4134
free wifi! check out our full menu on facebook!
theatre and dance.
November 2013 Triple Cities Carousel 19
The cast of ‘50 Shades! The musical.’ Photo provided.
DON’T FORGET YOUR SAFE WORD: ‘50 SHADES’ WHIPS INTO THE FORUM THEATRE
Julian Kappel Staff Writer
I try and subdue what’s beginning to feel like a panic attack. I’ve never had a panic attack before but this feels like the time. I’m covering 50 Shades! The Musical. It’s a damn parody. It will be funny, right? I keep trying to tell myself I’ve made the right choice. This is just research, it will be worth it. I won’t be able to appreciate the satire if I don’t know the source material, after all! I swore I’d have to read every other book in existence before I even thought about touching “50 Shades of Grey,” but here I am, with my roommates dust covered copy open and inviting. What madness overtook me that I would want this article? I asked for it, practically begged for it, but why? Might have been temporary insanity brought on by stress. Perhaps I’m a bit more masochistic than I thought.
stand the appeal, and I don’t understand why I took this damn assignment in the first place.
But who doesn’t love a good parody? On the night of November 13th, the Forum Theatre will be treated to one of the most lewd, lascivious and laugh-out-loud funny performances to ever visit the area… this one’s not for the kiddies, folks. The question is: is it for me? I must understand why this is getting so much attention. Big screen movie adaptations, XXX-Movie adaptations, the mere fact that it surpassed Harry Potter as the fastest selling paperback… What is it about this book that has made millions of women practically collapse, battered by overwhelming waves of euphoria? I make a frantic call to the two women that should be able to help me understand; the women who are bringing “50 Shades! The Musical” to this very town.
In truth, I believe I wanted to prove that I could understand what all of the hype was about. I’m an avid reader, and I’ll give just about anything a chance. Hell, I’ve made it through the works of Thomas Hardy and even conquered the Twilight Quadrilogy… twice. Therefore, the most-talked about novel of the last three years should pose no problem.
Tina Niles and Debbie Ricciardi form the unstoppable force that regularly brings nationally touring Broadway shows to Binghamton. Through their tireless effort and the passion of Broadway Theatre League founder, Tony Award-winning producer, and Binghamton native Albert Nocciolino, the area has been treated to some of the best that Broadway has to offer, including productions of “Chicago,” “Grease,” “Annie,” “Mamma Mia!,” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
In fact, it poses one very serious problem: I don’t get it. I don’t understand the story, I don’t under-
So, with this impressive list of Broadway’s best that have gone on to inspire movies which didn’t require
8,000+ internet forums discussing who could be the perfect lead, what makes this latest addition so worthy of the Forum?
“It’s a truly wonderful opportunity and we have an amazing season coming up that offers something for everyone,” Riccardi gushes. “And it’s one of the smallest venues on the circuit, with just 1500 seats, so it’s the mere fact that we can bring the caliber of shows ... it’s a real treat when they come to our community.” She continues on, talking about upcoming family shows (Cirque Dreams Rocks) shows for a younger crowd (American Idiot) classics (Million Dollar Quartet) and everything in between. It all sounds exciting, but I’m a man on a mission and I know the upcoming musical, based on a book that has been described as “literary porn,” certainly doesn’t fall into any of these categories. I must know: “But what about 50 Shades? Why now? Why here?” Debbie stops and I can practically hear her wink and grin on the other end of the phone. “This is a musical parody and with it we really plan to [pause] test the waters.” I’m intrigued, go on. “Like I said, we have something for everyone, and this is something for an older crowd, definitely 18 and older... it’s a crazy time.” The story starts simply: three woman in a book club decide to break from the norm and choose
“50 Shades of Grey” as their next literary venture. What follows is a foray into fantasy and farce fueled by a healthy dose of BDSM (Best Damn Songs and Dance! Oh man, that’s clever). It’s then that Debbie drops the bomb. “Of course, the crowd is really all women... oh, the poor man who comes with his girlfriend will be sorry,” she admits. “It’s a ladies night! It’s a time to get a little crazy and have a little fun.” And there’s my answer. I don’t have to get it! Oh, the inexpressible release of tension as I return the book to its home on the lowest shelf in the living room, pressed between “Contemporary Organic Chemistry” and an Ann Coulter diatribe that someone bought as a gag gift. Nonetheless, “50 Shades! The Musical” has received great reviews from all over the country, and who couldn’t be intrigued by songs like “There’s a Hole Inside of Me,” “How Much Can I Take,” and “Butthole in Control.” I can only imagine, for example, the depravities associated with the song “I Don’t Make Love,” which is the first half of what may be the most memorable line in the book, a line my dear editor won’t allow in such an upstanding publication as Carousel. For the women who can’t wait, and for the men far braver than I, tickets are available at the Box Office (607-778-6626) or through Ticketmaster (1800-745-3000) and will be available up until and including the day of the show. For more information visit broadwayinbinghamton.com.
SALLY STRUTHERS STRUTS HER STUFF
November 2013 Triple Cities Carousel 21
IN ‘HELLO, DOLLY!’ AT THE FORUM THEATRE
als of “Grease” and a gender-bending version of “The Odd Couple,” and has long plied her craft on the stages of regional theaters and national tours. Surprisingly, she is now involved in designing a new line of greeting cards. Hilary Fingerman, a young principal in the cast, told Carousel that Sally is “excited about the new endeavor,” and gave a possible insight into why Struthers has an affinity for by-gone eras. “She doesn’t own a computer,” Fingerman said, “so she handwrites letters or cards instead of sending emails.”
Felicia Waynesboro Staff Writer
The original production of the long-lived musical Hello Dolly! Opened on Broadway in 1964 and although that was only 49 years ago, the current production is being touted as the “50th Anniversary Tour.”
A review in the Times-Tribune, following the opening performance in Scranton, PA, said that as Dolly, Struthers, “knows where the laughs live in this show and how to play them as they should be played. Her monologues, meanwhile, give her a chance to demonstrate the skill and obvious affection she has for the role.”
The show, which opened last month in Somerville, NJ - will visit more than 70 cities in 28 states and Ontario before ending in Lubbock, TX in April 2014. So it will be, after all, 50 years. Binghamton is fortunate to be a fairly early stop on the line. The show pulls in fresh and sparkling to the Forum Theatre for two performances on Sunday, November 10th. Everything about “Hello Dolly!” is classic. The winner of 10 Tony awards, including Best Musical, it was made into a splashy motion picture and has been revived on Broadway three times. The storyline, set in the Gay Nineties (that is, 1897 when “gay” meant happy and bubbling, and hopefully, could apply to any romantic orientation), is about finding love, even if it seems too late. It’s latest incarnation stars Sally Struthers, famous for her roles on stage, film and television, most recently playing an offbeat recurring role on “Gilmore Girls.” In an
The cast of ‘Hello, Dolly!’ with Sally Struthers featured in the center. Photo Provided.
interview recorded by WSYR-TV, Struthers said of “Hello Dolly!” “In my humble opinion, [it is] one of the five best American pieces of musical theatre ever written.” Sally Struthers is widely remembered for her endearing and resonant portrayal of Gloria Stivic, the Bunker’s daughter on TV’s “All in the Family” from
1971 to 1978, for which she twice won the Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. What many may not realize, however, is that she has a stout singing voice and made her TV debut as a dancer. A hard-working, enduring actor, Ms. Struthers was notable in such 70s-era films as “Five Easy Pieces,” has made scores of television appearances, graced the Broadway stage in reviv-
“It Only Takes a Moment” to grab your tickets “Before the Parade Passes By” (shameless references to two show-stopping songs from the play)! Presented by Broadway in Binghamton, “Hello Dolly!” runs for two performances, Sunday, November 10th at 3pm and 7:30pm at the Broome County Forum Theatre, 236 Washington Street, (607)-778-1369. Tickets range from $35 to $55 and can be purchased at the box office or thru broomearenaforum.com (Ticketmaster with additional processing fees). For more info visit broadwaybinghamton.com.
BINGHAMTON HIGH SCHOOL TEENS PORTRAY A WIDOWER’S WORST NIGHTMARE IN ‘BLITHE SPIRITS’
Lessons on love and marriage are not all that these teens are deriving from this experience. When asked what they’ve learned thus far in the rehearsal process, the first thing blurted out was “time management.” Kanaesha Pugh, who plays Madame Arcati on Saturday night, explained that she’s learned how to “step out of my box and be comfortable onstage, and in who I am.”
Heather Merlis Staff Writer
Teens get a bad rap. It can be easy to forget that while their peers are busy perfecting their twerk, some high school students are dedicating their precious after-school hours to preserving the theatrical tradition.
When you go to see “Blithe Spirit,” the exuberance emitting from the cast is one that stems from a deep appreciation of their experience. “It’s important for kids to experiment with expression and how to deal with situations when you have a short amount of time, and I think that comes into our lives a lot,” said Julia Guy as she reflected upon the theatrical process.
The vibrant cast of Blithe Spirit, being presented at the Rod Serling School of Fine Arts at Binghamton High School, is testament to what can happen when a group of young people is entrusted with the realization of a work of art. “Blithe Spirit”, the 1941 comic play written by the witty and prolific Noel Coward, tells the story of Charles Condomine, an author who hires a medium as a means of research for a novel he’s writing concerning the occult. The medium, named Madame Arcati, accidentally summons Mr. Condomine’s dead first wife, Elvira. The medium, and Mr. Condomine’s new wife, Ruth, cannot see the ghost of Elvira, but Mr. Condomine and the audience can. The roles have been split for this production, so there is a different cast for each of the two performances. Megan VanVorse, who portrays Ruth Condomine in the Saturday night performance, explained that “the sense of false confidence has to be huge” when acting onstage with someone who is invisible to her character. “It can be hard to stay concentrated and not crack a joke.” The humor that holds this play together has allowed it to endure over a half-century of success, and speaks to the vitality of comedy in dark times. The same year that he wrote “Blithe Spirit,” Noel Coward’s London home was destroyed during a German air raid. For a time, Coward devoted his en-
BHS Serling Players in rehearsal for upcoming production of Noel Cowrad’s ghostly comedy ‘Blithe Spirit.’ Pictured: Tony DeLousia as Charles and Susannah St. Clair as Elvira. Photo Provided.
ergy to serving his country during the second World War: he was involved in the British Secret Service and ran their propaganda office in France. But he was at his height when lifting the spirits of his countrymen through his works of theatre and music. He toured England with “Blithe Spirit” during the war, providing a much-needed escape for war-weary audiences and encouraging them to indulge their fantasy to reconnect with dead loved ones. Tony DeLousia, a senior who plays Charles on Friday night, reflected, “Blithe Spirit is not just a funny ghost story, it’s also a marriage going awry…” Susannah St. Clair, who plays Elvira on Friday night, chimed in, “Things take a turn for the worse.” The
whole cast agreed that the tone of the play, albeit comic, is driven by the protagonist’s frustrations with both of his wives, and the tensions that build amongst the three of them. It’s worth a trip to the theatre, if only to witness high school students as they enact nuptial frustrations and the challenges of being undead. Darius Fuller, Saturday night’s Mr. Condomine, elaborates, “Throughout this whole thing, Charles is going through a roller coaster, thinking, ‘Oh, this is nice,’ having his old wife back, but it’s causing problems with his second wife, and it’s making him have mental problems while he’s trying to wrap his head around it.”
“It’s funny, it’s easy to watch, and we have some awesome, elaborate, beautiful sets,” said Susannah. The Serling School has an all-student theatre tech crew, overseen by Lawrence Kassan, who coordinates the theatre department, and the space they create is so inviting that audience members might be tempted to walk onstage and partake in a cucumber sandwich. Mr. Kassan is also the former teacher of the show’s director, Ariana Koniuto, a Rod Serling School graduate and now faculty member. There is a pervasive sense of pride among the cast of “Blithe Spirit.” “You’re not really seeing an amateur performance,” Megan attested, “we’ve all had a lot of experience.” Chelsea Bolles backed her up, “We definitely have top-notch shows here, and this one is so funny, people will love it.” Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit” will be playing at the Helen Foley Theatre at Binghamton High School, located at 31 Main Street in Binghamton, on Friday, November 15th and Saturday, November 16th, at 7:30pm. Tickets are $5 for general admission, $3 for students and senior citizens.
22 Vol. 1 Issue 9
WONDERETTES’ BOP INTO ENDICOTT
Heather Merlis Staff Writer
You know that urge you get, every so often, to hear your favorite songs from the 50s and 60s in perfect fourpart harmony, complete with choreographed slap fighting? The Cider Mill Playhouse is ready to fulfill your desires with its production of Roger Bean’s The Marvelous Wonderettes, a jukebox musical that weaves together time-tested pop and soul classics with a fresh dose of heart and humanity. “The Marvelous Wonderettes” tells the story of two sets of best friends as they work through their problems the only way they know how: by singing. The show’s two acts span the course of a decade, opening on prom night 1958 (all four of the archetypal Wonderettes are nominated for queen), and picks up in the second act at their ten-year high school reunion. But enough about plot; this show is about the music. “When I saw the audition posted,” said Jennifer Chudacik, who plays Betty Lou (and also directs a local high-school chorus), “I thought of when I used to go to my grandma’s house and play her records. It’s a total audience sing-along.” While the show is relatively new (it was first performed in 1999), the audience may be surprised at how familiar all of the songs are, and impressed by the technique with which they’re performed. Through these classic numbers (everything from “Mr. Sandman” to “Respect”), the four girls let us into their world of love, friendship, and occasional cattiness. “The chemistry is real,” Cassandra Nary, who plays Suzy, testified. Beyond the authentic, budding friendships of the actors, their characters have depth. Cassandra explained, “While it’s definitely cute, it’s not saccharine. The girls are real people. They’re flawed.” Michael Susko, the show’s director, has done his best to harness the girls’ synergy, “They never shut up or stop moving. That’s the challenge, I wish they would just stand at a mic and sing.” Their meticulously arranged vocals are accompanied by non-stop choreography, as they’re singing their stories and pulling out all the stops to bring you into their world. “The audience is the fifth character,” said Michael, so consider yourself warned. But honestly, why should you go see this show? “You can drink wine!” proclaimed the director. You can drink wine and bring the whole family. “Just reading the script is laugh-out-loud,” said Jennifer, referring to the hijinks that will keep the young ones entertained while the grown-up jokes fly right over their heads. “You leave on a high,” proclaimed Genevieve Perrino, who plays Cindy Lou. When performers sink their teeth into a performance like these ladies do, the joy is infectious. Jess Brookes, who portrays Missy, got to the heart of what’s truly going to sell this show: the love that’s been put into it. “If the audience has even a small portion of the fun we’re having, it’ll be a success.” “The Marvelous Wonderettes” will be gracing the stage of the Cider Mill Playhouse, located at 2 South Nanticoke Avenue in Endicott, from October 31st through November 24th. Tickets range from $26-$32. For more information or to order tickets, call (607)748-7363, or visit cidermillplayhouse.org.
SPAMALOT GALLOPS INTO ENDICOTT
Charles Berman Staff Writer
sketch of theirs has singlehandedly prevented anyone from casually using the phrase “I didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition” for decades.
From November 8th-17th, the Endicott Performing Arts Center will present its production of Monty Python’s Spamalot at the Robert Eckert Theatre, 102 Washington Avenue in Endicott.
“Spamalot” is, more specifically, based on what may be Monty Python’s most popular single work: their 1975 feature film spoofing Arthurian legends, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” The title refers to a line from one of the film’s few brief pieces of music in which the featured knights profess to “eat ham, and jam, and Spam a lot” in a rhyme with “Camelot.”
“Spamalot” is the fantastically popular musical that originally opened on Broadway in 2005, securing enormous ticket-sales. It won the Tony Award for Best Musical, and received thirteen other Tony Award nominations. The musical depends on the anarchic, surrealistic, and inimitable humor of Monty Python; a British comedy troupe consisting of the late Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, and John Cleese. When their BBC television series premiered in 1969, it created waves with its complete subversion of entertainment expectations; mixing surprising juxtapositions, quasi-Dada strangeness, and inexplicable running gags with their humor. It’s generally agreed that, even more than these innovations, the fact that Monty Python was consistently very funny is what accounted for their success. The “Dead Parrot” sketch (about a pet shop clerk who refuses to accept a customer’s assertion that the parrot he’s purchased is dead), may be one of the most quoted pieces of comedy of the twentieth century. Anyone who complains about getting a “Spam e-mail” is (unwittingly or no), making reference to the Monty Python sketch, set in a café, that features only reworded variations on that particular heavily-salted tinned meat. Another infamous
Broadway has seen many film adaptations cross its marquees in the past decade or two; but, as well as being one of the most successful, “Spamalot” is also among the better-pedigreed. Authoring the book and lyrics, as well as co-composing the music, was Eric Idle, one of the stars of the original film. A comedic virtuoso blessed with authorial authority, Idle made many more changes to the source material than simply adding funny songs (one of which is a parody of Broadway love songs called “The Song the Goes Like This”). “Spamalot” is essentially a new comic piece, and one whose jokes have always tended to go over, important for an adaptation of a film that so many are able to quote in-full by-heart. “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” derived much of its success from a juxtaposition of Monty Python’s literate but also consciously silly and absurdist humor with the contrastingly simplistic-but-solemn tropes associated with traditional tellings of Arthurian legends. The famous moment in which Michael Palin, playing a downtrodden peasant, reacts to the sight of his King by spewing forth a torrent of angry Marxist theory, is prime example of this kind of incongruity. In creating the stage version, Eric Idle demonstrated that he realized he had to do more than change
the name of “Sir Not Appearing in this Film” to “Sir Not Appearing in this Play.” The American audiences of New York have had less exposure than British viewers to overly reverent renditions of the legends of King Arthur, and the medium of the stage itself has different demands than that of film. “Spamalot,” as much as it is a comedy of English legend, becomes itself a self-aware and reflexive parody of Broadway musicals, with one song impressing the necessity of the involvement of Jews for a successful production and another featuring a character who plaintively expresses a wish to know “Whatever Happened to My Part?” Working on the music with Idle was Neil Innes, a longtime collaborator with whom Idle had worked on projects such as the “Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band” and impressively-enduring Beatles parody known as “the Rutles.” The original Broadway production was directed by Mike Nichols, an appropriate choice as he not only made his name as a very successful and prolific director, but also formed one half (with Elaine May) of the important comedy team of Nichols and May in the years leading up to Monty Python’s success. Under his direction, the original Broadway production ran for over fifteen hundred performances before going on a continued series of tours, the third of which is beginning this year. EPAC’s production includes Chris Nickerson as King Arthur; Mike Farley as Sir Lancelot the Homicidally Brave; Jana Kucera as the Lady of the Lake; Jason Cupelo as Sir Dennis Galahad the Dashingly Handsome; Colin Cook as Sir Bedevere The Strangely Flatulent; and others. It’s directed by Pat Foti with choreography by Emily Foti. Shows run between 8 and 17 November. Adult Tickets (for those between the ages of 12-65) can be purchased for $20, tickets for children and seniors are $18. Tickets can be ordered by calling (607)-785-8903 or online at endicottarts.com.
HUNGARIAN STATE FOLK ENSEMBLE COMES TO BU Taze Yanick Staff Writer
On November 18th, the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble will perform at BU’s Anderson Center. That’s nothing to sneeze at. The Hungarian State Folk Ensemble was founded in 1951 with the purpose of collecting, preserving and presenting the treasures of Hungarian folklore. They present all folk-related Hungarian genres on stage: historic music, authentic folk music and dance, dramatic folk plays, as well as traditional-based world music, show-dancing and elements of contemporary dance-house tradition. During the six decades of their existence, they have performed in 50 countries on four continents, entertaining more than 8 million people. At home in Budapest, they perform over 100 times a year, besides being regular guests at theaters all over the Carpathian basin. On-stage adaptations of Hungarian folklore appeared about half a century ago. Beside the authentic and educational presentation of dances, there has been an ongoing intent to establish a modern independent Hungarian dance theatre. When the real revival of folk dance onstage came about in the beginning of the 1970s, professional folk dance ensembles started to include authentic themes in their repertoire. The transformation and substitution of original dance figures with more “stage-like” movement was no longer a guiding principle. The precise reproduction of authentic dances came to be considered the right interpretation. In the last decade though, they have transcended this idea. In today’s performances, folk dance traditions
appear alongside modern choreography and music, either as the theme or as the communicative means by which the theme manifests itself. Folklore has proven to be creative and vivid enough to become the source of contemporary arts. The repertoire features authentic performances as well as contemporary ones. The traditional performances give a truthful presentation of the historical relations in traditional life, while modern dance-theater uses folklore as a language to communicate new messages.
The immensely rich and complex history of Hungary is embodied by the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble. Following successive periods of habitation by Celts, Romans, Huns, Slavs, Gepids, and Avars, Hungary was founded in the late 9th century by the grand prince Arpad. His great-grandson, St. Stephen, took the throne in 1000 AD, converting the country to a Christian kingdom. The Kingdom of Hungary existed for 946 years. It was regarded as one of the cultural centers of the Western world. After 150 years of partial occupation by the Ottoman Empire (1541–1699), Hungary was integrated into Europe’s Hapsburg monarchy, and later formed part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1867–1918). Hungary’s modern borders were first established in 1920. After World War I, it was divided up by the Western powers. It lost more than 71% of its territory, 58% of its population, and 32% of the Hungarians. During its four decade long communist dictatorship (1947–1989), the country gained international attention for the Revolution of 1956 and the opening of its border with Austria in 1989, which accelerated the collapse of the Eastern bloc. 80,000 people demonstrated against Romania’s communist regime’s plans to demolish Transylvanian villages in June 1988. In March 1989, for the first time in decades, the government declared the anniversary of the 1848 Revolution a national holiday. Opposition demonstrations filled the streets of Budapest with more than 75,000 marchers. In 1998, the European Union began negotiations with Hungary on full membership. In a 2003 national referendum, 85% voted in favor of Hungary join-
ing the European Union, which happened on May 1 2004.
The Hungarian State Folk Ensemble performs this history with a contemporary twist. The Ugros (jumping dances) date back to the middle ages. They are solo or couple’s dances accompanied by old style music, shepherd and other solo man’s dances from Transylvania. Marching dances along with remnants of medieval weapon dances belong in this group. Karikazo is a circle dance performed by women accompanied traditional folksongs. Csardas, new style dances developed in the 18– 19th centuries, is the Hungarian name for the national dances, with Hungarian embroidered costumes and energetic music. From the men’s intricate bootslapping dances to the ancient women’s circle dances, Csárdás demonstrates the infectious exuberance of the Hungarian folk dancing still celebrated in the villages. Verbunkos is a solo man’s dance evolved from the recruiting performances of the Austro-Hungarian army. The Legenyes is a men’s solo dance done by the ethnic Hungarian people living in the Kalotaszeg region of Transylvania. Although usually danced by young men, it can be also danced by older men. It is performed freestyle, usually by one dancer at a time in front of the band. Women participate in the dance by standing in lines to the side, singing/ shouting verses while the men dance. The troupe aims to collect, preserve and share the authentic folk music, dance and dress of the Hungarian people. Some of the performances find their roots in traditions passed down for hundreds of years. Enjoy the music of both the world-famous Gypsy Orchestra and the highly talented Folk Orchestra as they share the sounds of traditional instruments that will immerse you in the rich Hungarian musical culture. Don’t miss it. They don’t come to Binghamton very often.
November 2013 Triple Cities Carousel 23
REJUVENATING AT BLUE ORCHID SPA GARDENISTA
Stacey Burke Staff Writer
Human beings are strange creatures. We spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on things that will make us look good, but when it comes to actually feeling good, we sell ourselves short. We want instant gratification, because certainly if we appear attractive and put together on the exterior we will feel that way inside, right? The truth is, we want the quick fix, what will make us look good, or feel good in the moment- everything from clothing, cars, accessories and shoes to prescriptions, fad diets and wrinkle creams- we want what we want, and we want it now. The reality is that we tend to neglect caring for our mind and body on a deeper level. Truly feeling good comes from taking care of yourself, the you underneath it all. And it’s not only through healthy eating and exercise, which is what most people think of first, but by nourishing our skin, muscles, body and mind from the core, in turn creating a you that actually looks good because you feel good. Going to a spa may seem luxurious to some, but the benefits reaped from an experience such as this will nurture you mentally and physically, building the foundation for a healthier you, which is much more long lasting that any quick fix. Maybe you’ve had a massage, or even something as simple as a foot rub before. It felt pretty amazing didn’t it? Well, my friends, it felt amazing because it was. You were giving your body, the very one that works daily for you, a much needed break and even what you could consider a treat. I had the recent pleasure of spending a mini-day at the spa at our own local Blue Orchid Spa, and let me tell you, a massage is only the tip of the iceberg. Blue Orchid Spa, located at 75 Court Street in Binghamton, is operated by owner Amber Tedesco. Having celebrated their one year anniversary on November 1st, the Blue Orchid Spa brings a taste of relaxation and rejuvenation to downtown Binghamton and will be sure to melt away your stress and leave you glowing from the inside out. They offer a plethora of services to suit your needs– a variety of body wraps, massages, customized facial and skin treatments, sugaring, manicures, pedicures, and makeup/piercing. They even offer classes such as yoga, belly dancing and hooping. My experience at the Blue Orchid Spa left me feel-
ing like a million bucks. I literally thought that I may need a designated driver when leaving, I felt that relaxed. My body has certainly been thanking me ever since! The mini-spa day started with a salt glow, a procedure which involves hot towels and your entire body being rubbed down with French salt. “The salt exfoliates dead cells and detoxifies the skin, and is done prior to our body wrap treatments”, describes Tedesco. Though I only received the salt glow, a body wrap that may follow could include a Whole Wellness Body Wrap (to increase circulation, relax muscles, reduce cellulite and detoxify the skin) or a Lavender Wrap (which relaxes and de-stresses, as well as exfoliates and stimulates circulation). My skin felt remarkably soft after this treatment, from head to toe!
A 30 minute massage followed, and I practically melted into a puddle. Ruth, my massage therapist, focused on my neck, shoulders and back. Asking where I experience the most pain, she hit every spot and even those I didn’t realize I held stress in. I would return to her in a heartbeat, and had a hard time leaving the table after this. Since receiving the massage, I’ve felt much less pain in my back, allowing me to feel better throughout the day at work and while running! I was also treated to a facial, which left my skin feeling purified, deeply cleansed and totally rejuvenated. Different layers were applied, massaged in, and washed away. The days following, I could see great improvements in my complexion, assuring me I would certainly be back. Amber gave me tons of detailed information on both microdermabrasion
and chemical peels that they do at her spa as well– which are more intense exfoliations that help to treat acne, aging, fine lines, scars and dark spots. She also told me about their fantastic line of all natural, herbal products, which I definitely want to try. I’m convinced getting a treatment like this regularly will be in store for me, to continue keeping my skin renewed and feeling great [EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m only paying for the one, toots].
A manicure and pedicure were the icing on the cake for my day, leaving my hands and feet feeling fresh, smooth, and looking oh-so lovely. I can assure you by this time, the warm foot bath and chair sucked me in, ending my day in complete relaxation. All of these treatments not only felt amazing physically, but the more the day went on, any stress or anxiety had completely vanished. The combination of soothing music, essential oils, and treating your hardworking body to some pampering does wonders for your mental state of mind.
The moral of the story here, folks, is, why spend so much time and money on the latest fashion or health-craze? Treat yourself– the you that you will be living with for the rest of your life– to some true foundational feel good stuff. It really is a domino effect: when you feel good physically, you will experience improved mood, less stress and in turn feel more confident and look better! Do yourself a favor! And, by all means, visit or stop by Blue Orchid Spa, I promise you they will have you feeling brand new. For more details visit blueorchidspa.com.
Each month, we check in with KRISTINA STRAIN for advice on what we should be doing with our gardens. Kristina lives and gardens in Gilbertsville.
And so we come to November. What on earth is there to write about, garden-wise, in November, you may ask. Well friends, I won’t say it isn’t sometimes a stretch. But if you walk around and scratch your head long enough (as I have) you’ll eventually realize that November is the perfect time to think about your cellar. That might seem just a touch odd, but let me explain. Your cellar- or attic, spare closet, unheated back room- can be pressed into admirable service this time of year. Right now I have a bucket of wet sand stuffed with parsnips in my cellar, alongside a 50-pound bag of onions hanging from the rafters, and three gargantuan cabbages wrapped in newspaper and packed in a moving box. Plus a big steel garbage can full of potatoes. And well, admittedly this might seem a bit extreme, even for the most hardcore Gardenista. But the guiding principle at work here- that almost any garden surplus can be stored in some way for winter eatin’- is worth taking a good steady look at, even if you’re new at this game. A good many crops can be stored, sans refrigeration, in a chilly spot of your house safe from freezing temperatures. Some like it humid (carrots, parsnips, cabbages) and some like it bone dry (winter squash and pumpkins) and some don’t much mind whether it’s dry or humid, as long as it’s cool and dark (potatoes). I keep winter squashes spread out on an old window screen in the back room, and garlic in a bowl on top of my microwave, where it keeps more or less like King Tut until springtime. You can store cabbages (the bigger and firmer the better) for a few months in your basement, but beware- the outer layers will slowly turn black as they, er, shall we say, “mellow.” But inside a fugly black orb of cellared cabbage, the inside will still be snowy white and delicious. Amazing. By far the best way to store more vegetables, though, is in the ground where they grew. Any kind of root- carrots, beets, parsnips, turnipscan be covered with a heavy mulch of leaves, marked somehow with flags or sticks (because after the tops die down they’re crazy hard to find) and retrieved in the coldest blackest heart of winter. Kale, too, will last right through to the end of January, maybe longer, depending on how cold it gets and how fast you eat it (it stops growing right around Thanksgiving). I’ve even had fat wrinkled kale “stumps” start to sprout leaves again in springtime. There is something truly magnificent- and a little anarchical- about harvesting your own food in February. There’s even something good in hacking away the black parts of a cabbage to find the sweet white heart. It’ll make you feel a little bit brilliant, a little bit thrifty. Maybe, even, a little bit dangerous.
food and drink.
November 2013 Triple Cities Carousel 25
A TOUCH OF CLASS WITHIN THE GRAND ROYALE
Ahlpheh Ohtis Wilson Staff Writer
Under new ownership and new management, The Grand Royale Hotel is looking to attract local diners to their Royale Kitchen, which has undergone a revamped menu and an interior makeover. Located at 80 State Street in downtown Binghamton, the Royale Kitchen is “a unique Contemporary Italian American restaurant featuring a creative blend of modern and classic dishes.” The Grand Royale was built in 1897 and served as Binghamton’s City Hall for 75 years before being transformed into a full service hotel with 60 guest rooms, banquet facilities and the Royale Kitchen. The Building is touted as “one of the finest examples of Beaux Artes Architecture in the United States” and was designed by the world famous Raymond Francis Almiall. The Royale Kitchen, recently moved and renovated, is housed in what was formerly the main lobby of the hotel, and the new space has seating for 20 to 30 guests in the main room. There are two side rooms: a banquet room
with a large table for 10 to 14 people, and a smaller room with seating for four and two.
Overlooking the dining area is the Mayor’s Lounge, the Grand Royale’s Martini Bar. The Lounge feature’s martinis named in honor of Binghamton’s mayors, past and present, from The Abel Bennett (Stolichnaya Vodka, Dry Vermouth, and a lemon twist) to the Matthew T. Ryan (Patron silver tequila, triple sec, lime juice and sour mix). Drinks can be brought down to the restaurant, so I chose the Juanita Crab, a blend of Absolut Vodka, Kahlua and half & half. The Royale Kitchen has an inviting layout, with subtle beige wallpaper, crown molding and lots of open space. The room is lit with large crystal chandeliers, and the table settings are tasteful and simple. The large marble fireplace and the staircase to the lounge immediately lend credence to the age of the building. I started my meal with the Classical French Onion Soup, prepared with sautéed onions, French baguette and a Gruyere crust. I usually have a hard time with the saline solution most places call a broth, but I was pleasantly surprised at the onion’s centralized flavor in the soup. The baguette was firm and did not break down too quickly, and there was good a ratio of sautéed onion to broth. The generous topping of Gruyere was properly melted,
making it easy to fold into the soup. There were several appetizers to choose from, and I went with the Appiza. Royale offers two Apizzas: The New Haven Style (thin crust, oregano, grated cheese, chopped garlic, clams and basil) and Royale Kitchen Apizza (vegetarian version- thin crust, Fontina, artichoke, sun-dried tomato and basil). The crust (always a point of contention for me) was done very well, thin enough to crisp through fully, and firm enough to hold up to the toppings. The chef was kind enough to offer, so I chose to sample two of the featured sandwiches while I pondered my entrée. The Portobello Caprice contained grilled portobello, fresh mozzarella, sundried tomato, basil pesto, carmelized onion, and a Balsamic drizzle. The grilled portobello was nicely marinated and had good texture and consistency. I thought there might be too many flavors at play in this sandwich, but upon tasting, I found that they all came together well. The Turkey Club consisted of a ciabatta roll stuffed with tomato, mild cheddar, and cranberry mayo… simple and well done. The sandwich menu items also come with homemade chips: excellent, very light and crispy, with the potato flavor intact.
For my entrée I chose the Royale’s Signature Filet Steak. It came accompanied by herb roasted potatoes and a medley of freshly steamed broccoli, carrots and yellow squash. The Filet came topped
with gorgonzola blue cheese, and I asked for the green peppercorn brandy sauce on the side. The temperature on my filet was a nice medium, and given the thickness of this cut, it took some skill to pull off. The brandy sauce (containing several different peppercorns) was good, with quite a little kick to it- who knew peppercorns could be so spicy? It was nice to dip in, and didn’t overpower the meat completely. The Royale Kitchen also has a dessert menu, with choices from bread pudding to Souffle Al Cioccolato, but after my feast I wasn’t able to live up to the challenge. The Chef designed the menu based on 25 years in the restaurant business and extensive research into classic Italian cuisine. Menu items such as Luigi Franzese and Penne Alla Vodka Caviar are based exclusively on the original recipes. He is hoping that the attention to detail and insistence on fresh quality ingredients will bring local diners to the Royale Kitchen. The service was excellent, and my waitress Megan was very friendly and attentive. When in downtown Binghamton take a step back in time and explore the rich history of the Grand Royale and grab a bite to eat at the Royale Kitchen. They’re open for lunch Monday thru Saturday from 11am until 3pm and for dinner from 5pm until 10pm.
26 Vol. 1 Issue 9
Stacey Burke Staff Writer
Fall is in high gear, and root veggies begin to dominate the markets. Potatoes, beets, carrots, turnips and squash are in abundance, and these durable vegetables are perfect to last during the winter months, as well as provide us with grounding energy. As the weather turns colder, soups also become a more popular choice, not only warming our bodies, but often using many of these seasonal goods! I’m also a huge fan of soup because it’s generally easy to make, inexpensive and often makes large batches, allowing us to have easy leftovers (it’s a breeze to freeze). This recipe is one of my all-time favorites, making use of both sweet potatoes (or yams) and carrots, providing you with a super dose of Vitamin A– yes the healthy eye vitamin! And if you have yet to try coconut oil, this will blow you away with flavor, in addition to the oh-so-good-for-your-digestion ginger root. Not only is this soup satisfyingly filling, but it’s good for you (gasp!), darn easy and amazingly delicious.
Gingered Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup 1/2 yellow onion 2 stalks celery cut into chunks 4 coins of peeled ginger 2 tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil 1/2 tablespoon of curry powder (or mix turmeric, cumin and cinnamon) 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt Cayenne to taste (optional) 1 lb. (approx. 2) sweet potatoes (or yams) peeled and cut into cubes 2 small carrots cut into chunks 3 1/2 cups water
Directions: In a large soup pot, combine onion, celery, carrots, ginger, coconut oil, curry powder, 1 tsp salt and cayenne. Cook covered over low heat until veggies are soft. Raise heat to med/high and add sweet potatoes and 3 1/2 cups water. Simmer until yams are tender. Skim off foam, and puree the soup in a blender (in batches) until smooth– adjust salt and cayenne to taste. Enjoy!
Stacey Burke is a Holistic Health and Wellness Coach, and founder of New Roots to Health. She works with individuals whom struggle with weight loss, cravings and low energy by supporting them in setting personal goals around balancing diet and lifestyle. How often do you get the personal attention you deserve when talking about your health and nutrition? Email her at Stacey@newrootstohealth.com or visit her website www.newrootstohealth.com to learn more about programs that could change your life. Mention you read about her in the Carousel, and receive 25% off a 6-month, personalized program!
NEZUNTOZ CAFE: HEAD AND SHOULDERS ABOVE THE REST
Ty Whitbeck Assistant Editor
Nestled in the corner of the Weis Plaza, at 50 Pennsylvania Avenue on Binghamton’s Southside, Nezuntoz Café has a location that offers the amenities for a day on the town. They share a building with a grocery store and a pharmacy, there’s a hospital across the street, and the Ross Park Zoo and the Discovery Center are right up the road. I stop in for my lunch break. The fact that they share a lot with the Weis grocery store makes parking a breeze. The whole place is warm and inviting, and on a brisk autumn afternoon, it’s the most comfortable spot in town. The corner storefront boasts wall to wall windows on two sides, letting plenty of natural light past the paintings of local artists that adorn each pane of glass. The art changes monthly, and with it comes a new perspective for the season. The menu is easily readable and beautifully drawn on a chalkboard, which today portrays a shadowed tree line against a purple, orange and blue sunrise. The sandwiches have names like Maggie’s Farm and The Grinch, and it’s necessary to read over
each item carefully. They’ve got bagel sandwiches (made on freshly delivered Ithaca Bakery bagels), flatbreads, homemade soups, salads, paninis, and desserts. They also sell six packs of “day-old” bagels for a ridiculously discounted price. In addition to the mouth-watering sandwich display, they offer a full line of Fair Trade organic and “second crack” coffee, tea, and smoothies. Coffee can also be bought, whole bean, by the pound. All things considered, and it being a packed house, I think I’ve made up my mind. I settle down with half of a T. Ruth, panini style with a side of fresh salsa, and a bowl of the soup du jour, which today is a thick potato/leek creation. Betwixt my grill-pressed multigrain bread sits a thoughtful ratio of sliced turkey, spinach, artichoke hearts, Muenster cheese, and garlic aioli. The bread has a crisp, buttery taste, while the turkey on the inside is nicely enveloped by the warmth of the melted cheese and tart artichoke hearts and aioli. The tangy flavors work so well together, however I know that adding that side of salsa into the mix will take this sandwich to new heights. It even dunks well in the soup.
Potato, leek and cheddar soup is one of my favorite soups of fall. It just welcomes the root vegetables whole-heartedly into a symphony of blended broth and spices. I usually make mine with veggies from a local farmer’s market, and Nezuntoz does
theirs no different. All of their soups are made from scratch with items found in the pantry and locally sourced. They take care of the vegetarians with this soup, too, using 100% vegetable stock. All of their menu items pay attention to dietary restrictions, and you’ll see certain dishes marked to point this out. This is an “order-at-the-counter-and-listen-foryour-name-to-be-called” kind of place; so, don’t expect a wait staff to bring your food out when you go. Find a table and dress your coffee, or browse the periodicals and free wifi. Or do what I did: sit by the counter and do some people- watching while soaking up some Vitamin D. Nezuntoz is a convenient spot to grab a cup of coffee before or after doing some grocery shopping next door. It’s great to sit down, comfortably, with a group of four or less, and they’ll even cater your next event. With menu items at $10 or less, they accommodate even the most conservative of spenders. They’ve got a sweet rewards program, too. Check it out when you’re there tomorrow. Nezuntoz opens at 7am daily and closes at 5pm from Monday through Thursday, 6pm on Friday, 5pm on Saturday and 4pm on Sunday. More information can be found on their website nezuntoz.com, and like them on Facebook for daily specials. Make sure you grab a tub of homemade cream cheese and a bag of those bagels before you leave. It beats driving to Ithaca for them!
THE MOST MOUTH-WATERING ARTICLE EVER:
CHOCOLATES BY LEOPOLD Stacey Burke Staff Writer
Gertrude Hawk? Godiva? Ghirardelli? There are endless varieties of chocolates lining the shelves of every store, but if you consider this gourmet, you surely haven’t yet tried the handmade, decadent sweets crafted by local chocolatier Leo Schreiber- the founder and owner of Chocolates by Leopold.
Chocolates by Leopold, the business has expanded over the years and continues growing, going from three wholesale clients to around 80 up and down the east coast, all hooked on his creations. Taste his chocolate, and you’ll understand why (and never go back to any other!). The store itself is also expanding, with new rooms to hold space for even more chocolate creations.
It’s not often you meet someone as passionate and excited about their work as Leo. His dedication and love for his art is clear when you talk to him. To Leo, it’s not ‘work,’ it’s a way of life. While drizzling white chocolate over the newly coated pretzels, Leo shares with me that his beginnings as a confectioner began long before 1994, when he first opened his shop in the Southern Tier. In fact, at the early age of 12, while growing up in Western New York, he had his first taste of creating chocolates. “I started working in a small confectionary shop after school as extra help,” he shares. “With each year, it grew, becoming more responsibility and learning. It was a dream job for a young child, because what kid doesn’t love candy?” Upon graduating high school, Leo transitioned from part to full time and felt he was doing what he was meant to do. He became General Manager and obtained the title of Master Confectioner. Years later, having passed through Binghamton on many occasions and enjoying the area, Leo relocated to the region and fulfilled his dream by opening his own chocolate store downtown, known at the time as Olde Fashioned Candies. Here, he began to grow his business in locations on Court Street and later in the Metro Center. In late 2004-early 2005, Leo relocated his business to its current location at 170 Church St. in Montrose, PA. Now known as
Leo hard at work making delicious chocolate. Photo by Stacey Burke.
From chocolate and caramel to marshmallow and jelly, almost everything is made from scratch onsite. In the past few years, incorporating local wines and stouts has contributed to some of the most delectable truffles you’ll ever find. Some of his most popular chocolates are the peanut butter cups, caramels, raspberry frappe truffle, and the mint delight. Leo’s personal favorites include the butter crunch, Chambord truffle and hazelnut truffle. Having had many of his chocolates before, I couldn’t resist buying one of each before leaving the store, just as a reminder of why they’re favor-
ites! The man’s got good taste!
Chocolates by Leopold is not only a local chocolate shop, providing us with delectable candy, but is also very involved in the surrounding community. The Chocolate and Wine Festival as well as The Santa Roll are both annual community events hosted by Chocolates by Leopold. Proceeds from these events contribute to a yearly scholarship awarded to students in the Culinary Department at the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center in honor of Leo, and in memory of his wife, Jane. Production Manager Tom Follert added, “Funds have also gone towards a healthy snack program at Lathrop Street Elementary School in Montrose, providing weekly snacks of fruits and vegetables to over 400 area youth. It’s a great program that gets kids trying new, healthy foods they might not otherwise have tried”. The local library and hospital have also been beneficiaries of donations of over $100,000!
How can you get your hands (or teeth) on some of these amazing treats? Besides visiting the store in Montrose, you can find plenty of local spots around the Southern Tier that sell Leo’s chocolates, including; River Read Books, Water Street Brewing Company, Chat-a-Wyle, Full Belly Deli and Baked Euphoria (to name just a few). You can find more locations by searching their website at chocolatesbyleopold.com. Have a special event? Leo makes chocolates to order for all types of events; from weddings to fundraisers, corporate events to parties- you can place an order by calling or visiting the website. You can also view some of his specialty items on the online gallery. Gluten-free and sugar-free candy are available for those with dietary restrictions, so go ahead, splurge! You can even see the chocolatier in action by scheduling a tour, which is free to groups of 6 or more. Whether you have a hankering for dark chocolate truffles, milk chocolate peanut butter cups, something coconut filled or nut covered, crunchy or gooey, you’ll be on cloud nine when you try some handmade, gourmet chocolates from Chocolates by Leopold. You’ll never go back to anything else.
November 2013 Triple Cities Carousel 27
...more than you think! The Southern Tier’s Independant Media Local Arts, Local Business, Local Music, Local Achievements (from the past and present)
WELL, IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN:
THANKSGIVING! Ronnie Vuolo Staff Writer
Thanksgiving. To many, it’s a day of gathering around a communal table with family and friends to eat copious amounts of food over a period of hours, followed by more hours on the couch watching football, eating yet more food before lapsing into a tryptophan induced semi-coma. We associate Thanksgiving with a table overflowing with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and assorted pies; pilgrims, Native Americans, childhood history lessons, and children dressed up in black costumes, funny hats, and shoes with big buckles (none of which the pilgrims wore, but all of which were featured in our history books). Regardless of what we were erroneously taught as children, Thanksgiving remains a time to count our blessings and be thankful for what we have. Compared to our 17th Century ancestors, we have a lot to be thankful for. Most of us buy our victuals at the store and cook on electric appliances in a climate-controlled environment. Turnips, radishes, beets and cabbage are no longer typical holiday fare (for which I am eternally grateful). Then there are forks. The Pilgrims didn’t have any. A novelty even in England, they were utensils for the aristocracy. Eating with one’s hands and stabbing food with a hunting knife, or scooping it with a spoon, can be messy business. Mess aside; food smells on their clothes would have been an improvement. It helped drown out the smell of unwashed bodies and rarely washed clothes. For reasons both practical and superstitious, bathing was a rarity. It was thought by many that washing removed necessary oils from the skin and left one open to disease. Since the body was considered somewhat sinful, getting naked to bathe was suspect. Then there were the practical considerations. New England was cold much of the year, houses were poorly heated, and everyone lived in one room. No one was anxious to haul water to a tub (which few had), heat it, shed warm clothes and get into water that had probably already cooled. If they did brave the work, everyone, from eldest to youngest, would use the same water (hence comes the saying “don’t throw away the baby with the bathwater”… by the time the youngest bathed, the water was so dirty that it was possible to not realize there was a child in there). It was more common to take an occasional dip in the nearest body of water or more likely, wash bits at a time with a rag. I am thankful for my tub, hot running water, soap, and never having to sit next to anyone who smells that bad. Another item no one seems to comment on is the fact that this 3-day feast was held outside in mid October in Massachusetts, not a place known for its warm autumn. Activities might have kept them warm. They may not have had their turkey bowls, but males played games, held contests and wrestled. Women kept warm cooking and serving, not too different from unenlightened households today. Perhaps they consoled themselves with a nip of ale,
or perhaps they got sedately snockered and smiled indulgently at their male counterparts (as is also done today). Further thought, can you picture eating for 3 days straight and not needing Alka-Seltzer? Or 50 Pilgrims, 90 Natives, only 7 houses in the town, and no bathroom facilities? Not an outhouse in sight, only chamber pots in the homes (not a communal item after all) and the woods to wander off into. Forget toilet paper, it didn’t come around until the later 19th Century, and no Sears Roebuck Catalog either, just lots of moss, leaves and corncobs. Makes me really thankful for ultra soft Cottonelle. I truly appreciate the mod cons like refrigeration, leftovers, microwave ovens, saran wrap and trash pickup. Call me a traditionalist, but I also like cushy recliners, the Macy’s Day Parade, football, chips and blow-up larger-than-life Thanksgiving characters on my neighbor’s lawn. My favorite Thanksgivings are spent with my cousin’s large family, all of whom are football fanatics. The table groans with food, the game is on in every room, including the dining room, and dogs of all sizes are underfoot. The atmosphere is relaxed and everyone has a good time (except perhaps the son-in-law who roots for Philly). There is one part of Thanksgiving I could do without, and that’s Black Friday. Black Friday is not a new phenomenon. In 1863 President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a federal holiday to be held annually the last Thursday of November. In 1942, FDR changed it to the 4th Thursday, as November occasionally has 5 weeks. Even then, the Christmas shopping season began immediately after Thanksgiving, and retailers lost a weeks profits when the holiday fell on the 5th Thursday. After the economic devastation of the depression and wartime deprivations, this was an important factor. I have nothing against boosting the economy, but I refuse to set foot near the Parkway when traffic is snarled, stores are packed and people lose all common sense and manners. To maintain my own slender hold on sanity, I try to shop in advance at the cool local stores or buy on-line. These days my biggest gripe against Black Friday is that it’s crept so far forward that it seems to begin sometime in early September. Christmas advertising and holiday movies at the same time people are buying back to school items is pushing it too far. This year Thanksgiving comes with a twist; it’s the first time since 1888 that Chanukah and Thanksgiving occur simultaneously. Fellow members of the Tribe need to make the most of the experience, because the next time it happens will be circa the year 79,811 (give or take a few depending upon your source). Everyone should take advantage of the opportunity to celebrate the newly minted and properly trademarked Thanksgivikkah. You can do so by purchasing a Menurky, a turkey shaped Menorah, invented by 9-year-old Anthony Weintraub, who raised over $48,000 on kick-starter to get the project going. You can also find appropriate songs, clothing and recipes to fit the occasion. I’m leaning towards the latke stuffed turkey served with applesauce and sour cream. Whatever you do to celebrate, take a minute to be thankful for the simple things, like zippers, indoor plumbing and the car that allows you to leave your loving but crazy clan behind and return to the privacy of your own home with your own dysfunctional crew.
28 Vol. 1 Issue 9
by MASTROIANNI AND HART
HOROSCOPES Each month, CAROUSEL features a guest horoscope columnist. For November, we welcome NICOLE HOWARD, co-owner of Binghamton’s Lost Dog Cafe, chair member of the Gorgeous Washington Street Association, and local enigma. As far as we know, he knows nothing about astrology.
WIZARD OF ID
by PARKER, MASTROIANNI, AND HART Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) You will go to work this week and tell all of your colleagues that you won the lotto BIG! You will be lying, but you will say it with such confidence you might even believe it to be true. Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Plan a party this month, but don’t send out any invitations until one day before the party. Go on facebook and state you are throwing a party, and accept the first 50 people that respond. On the day of the party decide what you will be serving. Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) You will go out for a drive and make ONLY left turns to reach your destination. And you will be cold all winter long.
DOGS OF C-KENNEL
by MICK AND MASON MASTROIANNI
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Pay attention to facebook. Someone is planning a party. Don’t wear those striped pants with that sweater. They don’t match. Pisces (Feb. 19-Mar. 20) Wear something long and flowy out on the town. And wear a big hat with it, like the one you wore in March 1973. What did you have for breakfast yesterday? Aries (Mar. 21-Apr. 19) You will trip while walking down the street and make it look like you were running. Don’t tell anyone you tripped. No one needs to know you screwed up walking.
DEAR RUMMY Got a question for Rummy? He is learned in many subjects, and he is more than willing to make it up the rest of the time. Send your question to email@example.com. Be sure to put ‘Dear Rummy’ in the subject!
Dear Rummy, I’ve been concerned lately at all this talk of the NSA spying on average Americans. I’m an average American, and like many of my ilk, I’ve got a few secrets I don’t want the NSA to know about. Nothing big deal, just embarrassing stuff. I’m a good guy, really, but my browser history doesn’t reflect that. Why does the NSA care about what kind of pornography I look up, or how many times a day I watch the music video for “I Like to Move it, Move it” on youtube? Sincerely yours, Already Tapped
Dear Tapped, I’ve said too much already, but brevity was never my strong suit, so sure, I’ll answer you and the government employees reading in. Though I’m not sure why, because now not only does the NSA know your business, but now I do, too, and so do the 12,000 monthly Carousel readers. Anyway. The NSA claims to not care about you, and to be honest, I can’t blame them, because you don’t seem like much of a threat. But, in fact you are. And I am. And the person that’s not you that’s reading this right now. She is, too. Well, we all could be. Who knows? Someone needs to protect America from America, and who better than a shadowy organization that totally failed at catching Will Smith and Gene Hackman in that 90s documentary “Enemy of State”?
They watch because they care, I guess. Or maybe they’ve got sicker fetishes than you, porn fiend. I’m a blind faith kind of guy, so I don’t ask too many questions. I hope they’re actually watching
to protect us. There’s a lot of crazies in this world… have you ever met a Tea Party enthusiast? Nuts. And yet, there’s a lot of non-crazies, too. Like me! And maybe you! My guess is, they collect it all, just in case they need it, and your porn habits and 90s dance obsession aren’t on their radar. Maybe if you had been listening to “Informer.” That’s by a guy named Snow, and he’s Canadian. Questionable material indeed. Anyway, I guess the moral of the story is, you have a right to be concerned, even pissed. But, you’re probably safe. Safer than you would be if they weren’t watching you? Who knows? For fairness, though, I’ll leave you with my father’s response: “They watch because they’re worried about the New World Order, man, the New World Order. Something, something, Illuminati. The time is near.” Okay pops, have another toke. Very Truly Yours, Rummy
Taurus (Apr. 20-May 20) It’s time for dinner and a movie. You will go see a funny movie with a friend and then out for dinner where you will be rude to your server. If you’re moody and you know it, clap your hands. Gemini (May 21-Jun. 20) You are strong and vivacious and people love you. Wait… maybe this isn’t true? You will be chased by six dogs and you will outrun them. Wait… maybe you won’t. Cancer (Jun. 21-Jul. 22) You will need something this month. You will ask someone to help you. You will spend some time at home with your family. You will iron your outfit by laying it under your mattress. Leo (Jul. 23-Aug. 22) Roar like a lion! Don’t interrupt me, I’m talking. Watch Entertainment Tonight… tonight. Try to be humble... tonight. Go stare in the mirror. You will feel better. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Go see a movie this month. See 3 movies! No, not that one. You ‘re a pain in the ass. Just go do some yoga. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Your hair will grow 16 inches this month… schedule an appointment to get that mop chopped before November 15th. You are pretty… oh so pretty.
Published on Jan 7, 2014