Friday, October 31, 2008

'Idol Mania' comes to Sarasota (again)

Believe it or not, it will be just a couple more months before "American Idol" is back on the air again for season eight. But if you simply can't wait that long for an Idol fix, a few Idol folks are cooking up a special event just for you right in Sarasota.

We found out that "Idol Mania Live" is kicking off its brand new national tour at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota Dec. 6, presenting nine top finalists from various seasons of "American Idol." To make things official, Blake Lewis will announce details about the tour around 5:30 p.m. Saturday (tomorrow) on the stage of the Sarasota Blues Fest, we were told by Idol handlers via e-mail.

Here's a run down of who will be at the "Idol Mania Live" kick-off concert:
Blake Lewis - season 6
Diana DeGarmo - season 3
Ricky Smith - season 2
Vonzell Solomon - season 4
Mikalah Gordon - season 4
Melissa McGhee - season 5
Gina Glocksen - season 6
Justin Guarini - season 1
Chikezie Eze - season 7

Gates open at 11 a.m. Dec. 6. There will be face painting, balloons and other surprises for the kids. At noon, there will be karaoke contests and the Idols will perform a few hours later at a soon to be determined time, said Michael Gold of Celebrity Events Group, who is handling the family-friendly tour.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children ages 10 and under. They go on sale Sunday via Ticketmaster. The official "Idol Mania Live" Web site,, will be launching later on today, Gold said.

For tickets, call Ticketmaster starting Sunday at (813) 287-8844 or visit This concert, right in our backyard, is one die-hard Idol fans shouldn't miss.

- January Holmes

Thursday, October 30, 2008

MTV looking for young lovebirds

Nowadays, when love is in the air, you can bet there will be a TV camera somewhere capturing every unabashed moment. And if there isn't, now is your chance to make that happen. MTV emailed us yesterday asking to help recruit young engaged couples for the third season of its documentary series "Engaged and Underage."

You can let MTV tell the world your love story on national television - highlighting the engagement, the roller coaster ride of planning the wedding and the wedding day itself.

Interested couples between the ages of 18-22, who plan to get married this year or in January 2009 can fill out a lengthy questionnaire at Be ready to explain why you feel its important to squander your youth by getting married young, if friends or family members want you to wait a few years before you and your dreamboat tie the knot, the biggest issue you have in your relationship and why you feel you'd be prime reality TV material.

Or you can take the easy route and e-mail MTV at Tell them when and where you're getting married, why it's important to you and all the other incidentals - like name, phone number, e-mail address and a digital photo of you and your sweetie. In return, they will send you the questionnaire to fill out.

If you get picked, please e-mail me at We'd love to do a story on you and your TV love story!

- January Holmes

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Free food on Election Day

The whole process of voting - the waiting in long lines and breaking a sweat hoping your vote will help propel your candidate to victory - can leave you hungry. So the Chick-fil-A in Creekwood, 5206 73rd Lane E., Bradenton, is giving away free chicken biscuits for breakfast and chicken sandwiches for lunch to voters on Election Day. One per customer. The only catch is that you have to wear your "I Voted" sticker.

A spokesperson for the fast-food restaurant said in a press release that the sandwich give-a-way is an effort to reward "civic-minded" customers for letting their voices be heard during this election season.

Sandwiches will be given out from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Nov. 4 at the Creekwood location only. Too bad they don't offer this during early voting, though. I voted early and received the "I Voted" sticker but I have no idea what I did with it. I hate missing out on free food.

- January Holmes

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Film brings light to immigrant struggles

The Manatee Players will host a screening of "Under the Same Moon," from 2-5 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 1) for National Hispanic Heritage month. The event is free.

I haven't heard of this film before, but I'm told it is full of emotion and humor. It deals with a single mom that has been working in Los Angeles, sending money to the family (her mom and her son) back home in Mexico to provide them a better life. But when her mom dies, her young son, Carlos, tries to reunite with his mother, crossing the border on his own to find her.

Luz Corcuera, program director of the Healthy Start Coalition of Manatee County - one of the sponsors of the screening - said the 2008 film, written by Lighia Villalobos and directed by Patricia Riggen, is about love and emotion rather than immigration and politics. It has been shown in more than 600 theaters in the United States and 350 in Mexico. "Under the Same Moon" has won five Imagen Awards. Villalbos also has been recognized with the Norman Lear Writers Award.

Corcuera said the intention in showing the film is to share the impact of the separation between parents and children in such situations. Other local sponsors of the film screening are the Latino Community Network of Manatee County, Jim Delagado, Esq. Kallins, Little & Delgado, P.A., Tidewell and the Sarasota/Manatee Farmworkers Association.

For more information, call 650-5711. It's rated PG. Light hors d'oeuvres will be served. The theater is at 102 Old Main St., Bradenton.
- January Holmes

Monday, October 27, 2008

Willy Wonka Chocolates bring big prizes

In anticipation of the Manatee Players' upcoming December show "Willy Wonka," the community theater is selling Willy Wonka candy bars - Lindt's milk chocolate, toffee crunch and white chocolate with coconut - for $5 a piece. And just like the story, a few lucky candy buyers may find a golden ticket sticker inside their chocolate bar.

Those who find a golden ticket will win a special prize. Prizes include a theater ticket package to the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, the Van Wezel and the opportunity to be a bat boy or girl for the Pittsburgh Pirates at a pre-season game.

One golden ticket has already sufaced in the area from Kristi Woodruff. She won a trip to Jungle Gardens, a candy gift basket, two $25 gift certificates to Mattison’s Riverside and a one-night walk-on role in the Manatee Players production of "Willy Wonka" in December. Sounds like a cool deal!

Get your Willy Wonka candy at the Manatee Players' box office and at the concession stand during performances at its Riverfront Theatre location: 102 Old Main St., downtown Bradenton. You may just be a lucky winner too.

Pictured: Manatee Players Managing Artistic Director Rick Kerby and Kristi Woodruff

- January Holmes

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tampa Bay Rays bring back baseball memories

The hottest ticket in town right now isn't to a Broadway show or concert. It's the World Series, which kicks off tomorrow at the Trop between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies. On my birthday of all days.

So as a present I'm hoping the Rays will win the first game just for me.

The hoopla over the Rays in the playoffs and their historic first-ever bid in the World Series brought back a lot of memories of me as a kid cheering for my favorite team baseball team ever - the Atlanta Braves. I was in middle school at the time, and I remember staying up in my room with the TV on late into the night to watch the Braves in the playoffs and the World Series games for subsequent seasons. I had to keep the sound on the TV pretty low, cheers to a minimum and my Tomahawk Chop chants silent so that my mom would think I was sleeping instead of staying up late watching the games. But it was still exciting getting all caught up in the drama of it all. The Braves came close to winning it all several times, but just didn't made it all the way until 1995, when they finally won a World Series. By then, though, I wasn't the baseball fanatic I once was. I was too into the high school football scene.

Here's hoping the Rays will win all the first time around.

-January Holmes

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

We're back!

Buzzworthy has been on a summer hiatus. But now that the area's entertainment season is back in full swing, I'll be in full form again writing about local events that are generating lots of buzz in the community. I'll also discuss celebrity and television highlights. Stay tuned every Monday and Wednesday.

- January Holmes