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Archive for June, 2012

Cavalia: A Dazzling Dance of Horses and Performers

One the most beautiful relationships is that almost mythical bond between humans and their horses.  Cavalia brings this relationship to life with some of the most awe-inspiring performances ever presented under a big top circus tent.  Scratch the usual conceptions with watching a horse show.  Cavalia presents the full grandeur with equestrians, dancers, musicians and a charismatic horse communicator to deliver a message that the horse’s mythical power and freedom are gifts to the human spirit that should be celebrated, but never fully harnessed.

The Cavalia philosophy toward horses is that the training methods should be designed so that the horses enjoy both the training and performing on stage.  The horses, themselves, seem to have an awareness of the audience, an expectancy for hearing the audience laugh and hearing it applaud.  Springing from its roots in Montreal, the show gathers performers from Europe, Canada and Morocco, to give you a unique experience, one of the best ever witnessed under circus lights.

Talk about lighting!  With state of the art design and lighting set under a 100-foot-high turreted white tent, the show boasts forty-nine horses; among them, Quarter Horses, Appaloosa’s, and Arabians, plus thirty-seven acrobats and performers.  Incredible choreography, along with live music, places you into the depths of fantasy and delight, more reminiscent of New Age theater than a traditional horse show.

The show is enhanced by a 200-foot wide screen showing a constantly changing digital background.  Over the course of two hours, you’ll stay glued to your seat as the horses gambol, trot and sometimes gallop at breakneck speed across the expansive 160-foot-wide stage.  In keeping with the Cavalia philosophy, the horses sometimes wonder freely, and are occasionally guided by a trainer through a series of graceful ballet movements, but usually carrying riders executing astonishing, seemingly impossible stunts.

Although the show is not affiliated with Cirque du Soleil, it is the brainchild of Normand Latourelle, who was the co-founder of the Cirque.  Latourelle said it took him ten years to realize his dream once he came up with the idea for his first Cavalia show.  The result is stunning and breath taking, everything Latoourelle said he had intended.

Even if you’re not a horse lover, it will be hard to forget this display of acrobatic performance at its best, where animal and humans meet in a symphony of grace and coordination, bring the magic of true performing art to the stage for the greatest big top show of the year.

Jim Parsons Makes a Big Bang in Broadway’s “Harvey”

Jim Parsons is most well-known for playing the anti-social genius, Sheldon Cooper, on TV’s “The Big Bang Theory.” But after enjoying his time in a small Broadway production The Normal Heart last year, he’s back! This time, he plays the starring role of Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey.

The theater play is a reprisal of the original that was done in 1944, written by Mary Chase; and it’s no wonder Parsons was eager to take the role. The play won a Pulitzer Prize in 1945 when it was up against Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie; and Jimmy Stuart played the role on Broadway for three years and then in the 1950 film, the latter of which got him nominated for an Academy Award. Parsons brings all due respect to this quiet character, but keeps his own charm that audiences have come to know and love. Making the audience laugh at all the right moments, think when they need to, and bringing together an equally talented cast, it’s clear that Parsons can play much more than just a science geek.

Along with Parsons, Jessica Hecht takes the stage as Elwood’s socialite sister; Tracee Chimo plays Myrtle Mae, Elwood’s niece; Rich Sommer, who plays Myrtle’s boyfriend; and Charles Kimbrough, who plays Elwood’s psychiatrist.

So who’s Harvey?

He’s Elwood’s best friend — a six foot tall rabbit. Who of course, is also invisible. But is he real? That’s for you to decide.

Morrissey Goes on U.S. Tour, is it his Last?

Morrissey wrapped up his most recent tour, which wrapped in Stockton, California on May 26 and now, he’s set to go back out once again. The next leg of his 2012 world tour begins this summer and will take Morrissey to nearly all the four corners of the world. But is this tour so extensive because it’s Morrissey’s last? That’s what people are saying; even Morrissey’s hinting at it. And, a very public feud with drummer Matt Walker earlier this month might be the first signs that this may be the end for the iconic singer.

While Morrissey is only 53, he has said that he is “aging a lot recently,” and that he hopes to retire by the time he’s 55; which may suggest that this tour may be the last. This time Morrissey will begin in Liege, Belgium on July 5 and from there he’ll travel through Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Portugal, and the UK before landing in the United States. Once here he’ll play over 30 stops from July 28 — December 8. Those stop will include some of the biggest venues: Radio City Music Hall, Staples Center, Wang Theatre, and Davies Symphony Hall.

Kristeen Young will be along for support and Iggy and the Stooges will be appearing as Morrissey’s special guest at his Los Angeles show on November 24. However, there is one person that won’t be along for the trip — long-time drummer, Matt Walker. Earlier this month Walker tweeted, “Things are weird and getting weirder,” on Twitter before officially leaving the band.

In response Morrissey issued his own statement saying, “Our little covered wagon has lost drummer Matt Walker, who was eager to bring his term to an end. No bargaining could persuade him to stay, and his interest drew its last breath at Stockton. Behind the kit, Matt was a greyhound unleashed, and his great work on Years of Refusal will always and forever speak up in his favor. His exit is sad, but he had no wish to continue, and a branch falls away.”

The Thrill of the Antiques Roadshow

Do you have a little treasure just sitting around in your home? You may have heirlooms, or found a garage sale find, and are just curious to see if they are worth anything. There is nothing as thrilling as finding out that little trinket is worth thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars! That is the thrill of the Antiques Roadshow.

The show, as fans already know, is aired on the PBS station. It started back in 1997, and is still going, stronger than ever. The concept is fairly straightforward. The show goes from state to state and people line up with their odds and ends to get them appraised by a professional. They have the person who brought in the item, talk about how they came to own it, its history if they know any of it, and they usually ask them what they think it is worth. Then it is big reveal time, is the item worth nothing or could it be worth more than your wildest dreams? A woman from New York brought in a painting recently to find out it was worth somewhere in the ballpark of $400,000 dollars! These are the types of jaw droppers that make the show worth watching.

If you love the Antiques Roadshow TV program, imagine how much better it is live and in person? The show is currently going around the country and may be making a stop in your neck of the woods. Current stops include Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as well Rapid City, South Dakota on July 14, 2012, Cincinnati, Ohio on July 21, 2012, Corpus Christi, Texas on August 4, 2012, and Seattle, Washington on August 18, 2012. You don’t have much time to get tickets so click here to get the tickets now.

If you have something you’ve always wondered the value of, and want it appraised by professionals, then going to the Antiques Roadshow when it is in your area is the perfect solution. You can enjoy being part of a great TV show, and maybe even get pleasantly surprised by what your old antiques are really worth.

After the Big Names Crumble, Webb Simpson Wins the U.S. Open

There’s one thing to be said for the U.S. Open: it’s always exciting. Before Thursday began it was all about Tiger Woods, and people just couldn’t wait to see what he was going to do. For the first two days of the tournament he seemed to be proving everyone right and looked like he was back at the top of his game. Then Sunday came and Tiger fell apart. And while two other favorites — Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell — didn’t crash and burn; they didn’t soar on to victory either. That honor was reserved for Webb Simpson.

Simpson started out on the tournament flying very low on the radar. Bogeying two of the first five holes and going up five above par, he certainly didn’t pose a threat — especially with so many of the big names doing so well. But it all came down to the 18th hole. Tiger was already out, Simpson held the lead, and all that was left was for Furyk and McDowell to finish up. McDowell birdied hole 17 to keep him in it but his 24-foot miss on the last hole finished him off. And with no trophy to speak of.

“There’s a mixture of emotions inside me right now…disappointment, deflation, pride, but mostly just frustration,” McDowell said after being knocked out of the running. “That’s the U.S. Open. You’re supposed to hit it in some fairways. And that was the key today really for me.”

But Furyk was the real threat. It was he who had held the lead since Friday; and taking it away from him was going to be tough. All Simpson could do was sit and wait. A bogey on the 16th hole was enough to revive hope in any of his competitors, but when his ball dropped in the sand on hole 18, the tournament was Simpson’s. At the end of the day, Webb Simpson, another U.S. Open unlikely, walked away with the US Open Championship Trophy and a cheque for $1.44 million.

In an interview with NBC after the tournament Simpson said, “It was pretty nerve wracking. I knew it was a tough golf course. I had to go out and do as well as I could. I probably prayed more the last three holes than I’ve ever done in my life. It helped me stay calm and get in with two under.”

Whatever it was it worked; and that, along with a quiet determination for all 18 holes, won Simpson the 2012 U.S. Open. In the meantime, he provided golf enthusiasts with a thrilling match that lasted all weekend long.

The Gazillion Bubble Show: Fun for the Whole Family

There is plenty of adult entertainment and kiddie entertainment these days, but it can be hard to find something that both kids and parents alike will really enjoy outside of a movie, and especially in New York. Here’s an idea: break away from the rut and really have a fun night out with the kids at the Gazillion Bubble Show!

The Gazillion Bubble Show is really a feast for the eyes, and young and old alike are giving it rave reviews. The show, as the name suggests, is all about bubbles! Watches as an endless stream of bubbles float your way and be dazzled as light effects and lasers really make everything “pop”. There are even bubble masterpieces made by the entertaining cast.

Fan Yang is performer and scientist as he transforms a normal little soap bubble into something jaw dropping. He has also has an amazing 16 entries in the Guinness Book of World Records, his most recent feat putting a giant elephant inside of a bubble. He has also put 18 people inside a single bubble for a record, then went on to do 22 people, then 24, and then 42! He and the rest on the bubble team will amaze with tricks such as building giant bubbles filled with bubbles, bouncing bubbles, mega huge bubbles, smoking bubbles and more. You’ll see tricks done with bubbles that you never thought possible, and you’ll never look at those little kitchen soap bubbles the same way again!

This show runs about a kid’s attention span, about 75 minutes, and is sure to leave your family with some fun and effervescent memories. There is even a special “Me In a Bubble” photo opportunity where up to 4 people can get their photo taken inside a giant bubble! The show is becoming so popular that it has even been featured on shows such as The Late Show with David Letterman, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and more.

The show runs Wednesday through Sunday, with the times varying by day. If you want to treat your kids and yourself to a really fun night out, then buy your Gazillion Bubble Show tickets online today!

Inside the Texas Showdown Festival in July

The days of tattoos only being for sailors and bikers are long gone, as everyone is loving the personal statements that they can make with body art. You might even be surprised to find your own mother sporting a hidden tat. If you love tattoos, tattoo culture, and great music, then head down to El Paso, Texas for The Texas Showdown Festival.

The Texas Showdown Festival is a three-day festival that runs from July 13th to the 15th at the El Paso County Coliseum. At the festival, you will find well over 200 of the best tattoo artists from around the country, including the famous LA Ink TV star Amy Nicoletto. This is the perfect opportunity to get a brand new tattoo done by one of the great artists of today. What goes along with tattoos better than body piercing? You’ll also find plenty of vendors offering body piercings for every imaginable part of the body! Of course, tattoos and piercings aren’t all you can find–there is also plenty of other entertainment!

The main concert stage will feature some great musical acts that are free to see with the purchase of your festival tickets. For Friday’s events this year, the lineup includes bands such as Mushroomhead, Crown of Malevolence, All That Bleeds, Aura Lynn and more. Saturday is the biggest day for music with over 10 bands gracing the stage. Saturday’s lineup includes Hawthorne Heights, Dirty Mexican Zoe, Bowling for Soup, Authority Zero and more. Sunday, the final day of the event you’ll see Static-X, Days Of The New, Suicide Romance and others.

If tattoos and tons of live music sounds good, throw in some insane shows and you have one great night! There are human suspension shows, midget wrestling from the Half Pint Brawlers, A carnival-style freak show, and the entire cast of Animal Planet’s TV show Pit Bulls & Parolees. There are also tons of vendors selling bikes, kennels, clothing and more. You can also check out the food vendors, offering up some of Texas’ best grub.

The Texas Showdown Festival is sure to be a fabulous weekend. Don’t forget to get your tickets early in case the event sells out!

Justin Bieber – The Music Industry’s Rising Star

Justin Bieber is certainly enjoying a successful ride to the top–and that’s whether you love him or just rant about him on Facebook. Bieber’s songs are blasting out of radios everywhere, and his face can be seen on the big screen, in both his movie Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, and a cameo in the new Men In Black 3 film.

More good news for all his fans: starting fall 2012, you can see him live and in concert in your own hometown as he starts his Believe Tour. Bieber’s newest album is also to be entitled “Believe”. This is the young singer’s third album and is due to be released June 19th 2012. The album is rumored to feature songs with stars like Drake and Kanye West. The first singles of the album are “Boyfriend”, which is the second highest in digital sales ever, and “Die in Your Arms”. Other tracks on the new album include “All Around the World” which features Ludacris, “As Long As You Love Me” featuring Big Sean, “Beauty and a Beat” with Nicki Minaj, and of course, the title track “Believe”.

The young singer is currently ranked in the #2 spot on the Forbes list of “Best Paid Celebrities Under 30”. He also has won numerous awards including from The American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, Brit Awards, and (no surprise) he was also nominated for the Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards. He has yet to win a Grammy Award, but was nominated in 2011 for Best New Artist. Will next year’s Grammy’s hold a shot for the singer and his new album? Only time will tell.

The new tour promoting the album kicks off on September 29, 2012 in Glendale Arizona. Other stops currently scheduled include Las Vegas, Nevada, Los Angeles, California, Orlando, Florida, Dallas, Texas, and many more cites all over the country. He will also be hitting stops outside of the U.S. including Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg. Will he be playing live near you? Check for ticket sales to see just when you can see Justin Bieber live and in person! The Believe Tour is sure to be a sellout show, so be sure you buy your tickets early.

A New Side of Steve: Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers

Pile on your bangles, haul out those colorful bandanas, and put on your dancing shoes.  It’s that time of year when bluegrass festivals hit the fairs, the back country arenas and the urban parks with their upbeat, heartland music.  There’s nothing like some fiddle playing and banjo strumming to get into the mood of summer festivities, and Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers are smoking the foot stompers and boogy down audiences all over the country side.

That’s right; Steve Martin, better known as comedian and actor, picks a mean banjo.  Playing alongside Nicky Sanders on the fiddle, the results are absolutely amazing.  It’s a wonder the strings aren’t popping and flying through the air, but when they break out in “Orange Blossom Special”, the railroad tracks, the long, lonely thrill of the approaching train, the heaped up shacks with smoke and grime, children playing kick the can and mothers hanging their clothes on a line come floating in like an Arlo Guthie memory.  Barn dances full of hay and studded cowboy shirts seem to float through the rhythm of mandolins and banjos, while the fiddle gets hotter, and faster and seething with a life of its own.  You’re shaking.  You’re moving.  You’re dancing!

Steve Martin is perhaps one of the most courteous Hollywood performers turned musician, kicking up the music waves these days.  He doesn’t hog the show.  He steps aside when the vocalists sing, the mandolin weeps and the fiddle, that awesome, incredible fiddle tacks down a bullet track chord.  Don’t expect any funny one-liners or a comic act.  When Steve Martin jams down on the banjo, he gets serious.  Recent performances include a guest spot on the David Letterman show, where the Steep Canyon Rangers treated the audience to Bluegrass at its best.

While the Steep Canyon Rangers are a young group, making their debut at the Allegany County Fairgrounds in 2009, their talent is taking the bluegrass world by storm.  Expect to see them around for a long time, as there’s nothing quite like the humble music that put America into motion, that plucked at the heartstrings as it rendered up the sounds of mountains and valleys, simple back country villages and long, lonely trains.  If you miss out on Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, you’ve missed out on an entire summer of the most festive occasion to roll through the concerts and fairgrounds today!

Tony Performers Announced!

One of the best things about the Tony Awards is that it’s one long night full of the past year’s best Broadway shows, and with a medley of performances from the most popular musicals. This Sunday’s award show promises to be nothing less than the best, with Neil Patrick Harris hosting for the third time.

As is typical, this year’s Tony awards will include performances from the shows nominated for Best Musical — Newsies, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Once, Evita, Follies, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Leap of Faith. But it’s not just musicals that get to have all the fun; shows nominated for Best Play, including End of the Rainbow, Peter and the Starcatcher, and One Man, Two Guvnors, are also set to perform. And, surprising many is the fact that some shows not even nominated are also going to put on a show. Two of those acts will be put on by Ghost the Musical and Godspell.

Along with the biggest stars singing and dancing across the stage, those watching the Tony awards will also be able to see some of their favorite celebrities presenting at the event. Currently some of those names include: Ellen Barkin, Candice Bergen, Jessica Chastain, Sheryl Crow, Nick Jonas, Angela Lansbury, Tyler Perry, Trey Parker, James Marsden, Paul Rudd, and Bernadette Peters.

The Tony Awards will be held at the Beacon Theater in New York on Sunday, June 10, and will be aired on CBS.