Thursday, July 29, 2010

Runway hair and fashion show tonight in St. Pete

Calling all fashionistas.Want to know the latest hip fashions this season? Find out tonight at the Urban Couture Hair and Fashion Show at NOVA 535 in St. Pete.

It's the perfect girls' night out event, featuring the latest trends showcased by area designers. There will be cool music and food to compliment the fashion fair.

The runway show is from 9 to 11 p.m. but there's several entertaining activities leading up to and after the show. Here's a run down of the evening:

6-9 p.m. Entrepreneurs Social Club featuring Disaster TV, St. Pete Print, and Handyman Carl Lundy

8-10 p.m. Free still and sparkling wines

9-11 p.m. Fashion runway show featuring Designers: CLVR Apparel, Curb by Chateau, and One of One Customs.

11 p.m. Live Performance by Hip/Hop Artist Enzo

Midnight-3 a.m. AFTER-PARTY with Certified Fresh DJ Ich

Also, from 6 p.m. to midnight there will be culinary delights for purchase by The Executive’s Chef and Sarah’s Sweets.

Tickets are $10 advance, $15 at the show. Get tickets online at For more information, call (727) 821-6682. NOVA 535 is at 535 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. St.  N., St. Petersburg.
- January Holmes

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Local "America's Got Talent" competitor honored

Remember Chris Eisenberg - Sarasota's 12-year-old "America's Got Talent" competitor? He was recently honored with a surprise visit from County Commissioner Carolyn Mason before his recent performance with the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe. Mason presented him with a Certificate of Recognition from Sarasota County.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tuesday night dance party

The Golden Apple Dinner Theatre is opening up its venue for a special dance event Tuesday featuring Sarasota Gold and the Blues Brothers. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with dancing at 7:30 p.m.

Sarasota Gold is a 17+ band that plays a little bit of everything - pop, rock, blues, jazz and Latin. Vocalist Mary Beth McLeod and the Blues Brothers will sing along.

A full bar and lite bite menu will be available. Tickets are $10.

RSVP at 366-5454 for more info.

Meanwhile, it seems like the theater's latest musical "The Drowsy Chaperone" is the hottest ticket in town this summer. It's been extended FOR THE SECOND TIME through Aug. 1.

- January Holmes

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sarasota Players selling season tickets early

The ticket demand for the Players Theatre season in Sarasota is so high that the venue has decided to sell single tickets to shows a month earlier than planned.

That means single tickets to its 2010-2011 season will go on sale Aug. 2.

"I believe our single ticket buyers are nervous that they won’t get a seat, since we had a number of sold out performances this past season," said Michelle Bianchi-Pingel, the Players' managing director. "We have also created a new pick-four subscription package that has caused our subscription sales to spike up 20 percent over last season.”

The new season includes "The Fantasticks," "Oklahoma!" "Mame," "Big: The Musical," "Rumors," "The Producers" and "Victor Victoria." Single tickets to each show is $25 adults and $12 students.

For more info or to purchase tickets, call 365-2494.

-January Holmes

Progressive wine tasting at St. Pete art galleries

Four St. Petersburg's galleries will host a progressive wine tasting event from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 31. Proceeds will benefit Casa, a refuge for domestic violence victims.

The galleries involved in the wine tasting include The Sebastian Thomas Gallery, The Donna Gordon Gallery & Studio, MQC Gallery and Gallerias Bohemia - all located in the 600 Block of Central Avenue. Guests will spent 30 minutes at each gallery tasting wine and learning about the specific grape, growing region and winery it came from. Participants should meet at the Crislip Arcade, 641 Central Avenue, St Petersburg.

The event is sponsored by Ocean Imports LLC and The Hooker Tea Company. Please RSVP by calling (727) 895-4912 or email

- January Holmes

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

$10 tickets to summer concerts - Wednesday only!

Several Live Nation shows are offering tickets for $10 - tomorrow only. The concerts, hosted by the AskGary Amp. in Tampa include:

Rihanna with Ke$ha, July 30
Goo Goo Dolls, Aug. 15
Creed, Sept. 1
Jonas Brothers with Demi Lovato, Sept. 8

The $10 tickets will be available beginning 12:01 a.m. tomorrow through

- January Holmes

Watch party tonight for "America's Got Talent" hopeful

There will be a watch party tonight for "America's Got Talent" hopeful Christ Eisenberg of Sarasota. Cheer "Lil Chris" on at the Broadway Bar, 1001 Cocoanut Ave. Sarasota when the show airs tonight at 9 p.m. The restaurant is right behind Publix off U.S. 41 in the Broadway Promenande section.

- January Holmes

Monday, July 19, 2010

Saturday's Art Brawl full of great music, art

Music and art joined forces Saturday night for Art Center Sarasota's Art Brawl. The fun event was in conjunction with the Vinyl Music Festival.

As the party got started, artists created works site on scene to the beat of the DJs music mixes. Guests watched every brush stroke. Some, like me, even became part of the action as Javier Rodriguez used people in the crowd for his art piece. Can you spot my face in his work as he paints another model?

Chris Lundy did an awesome statement piece on the Gulf oil spill featuring a dragon surrounded by newspaper headlines related to the spill.
Lundy's work as the evening progressed

Nick Sirotich spent the evening sketching. A video camera captured his sketch work and projected it on a screen for guests to get a closer look.

In the front gallery Cara Emily painted up a storm.

It was a great time meeting some of the artists and the people who attended Art Brawl. The event lasted until about 2 a.m., but I didn't stay that long to see the finished pieces.

The only thing missing, at least while I was there, was dancing. Everyone seemed to be waiting for someone else to get the dancing started. But with the Vinyl Music Festival's main event going on next door at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, people headed there to get their groove on.

I would love to see Art Brawl return next year with more artists and lots of dancing.

- January Holmes

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Antiwarpt Fest kicks off during Warped Tour

Next week, Vans Warped Tour lands in St. Petersburg, along with a new fringe event dubbed the Antiwarpt Festival - for those wanting to escape the madness that comes with an outdoor fest. Things such as excruciating heat, sweaty crowds and expensive water, according to Antiwarpt.

While the Warped Tour is sure attract music fans no matter the heat or the crowds, Antiwarpt is offering an alternative: air conditioning, more than 20 bands and affordable tickets.

Oh, and no sweaty people, too.

The event, sponsored by Daddy Kool Records and Brokenmold Entertainment, is for ages 18 and up and is spread out over several downtown St. Pete venues during July 23, the same day as the Warped Tour. Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door.

Here are the venues and whose playing where:
✹ Local 662:::: Have Gun Will Travel, Semis, The Still Voice, Alias Punch, Florida Night Heat, Brent Rademaker
✹ Starbooty:::::Boys Are Scary, Only Monsters, Travis Brown, Living Arches
✹ Emerald::::: Bombshell Lust, Signals from Satellites, Living Arches, Dead Cat Lounge, The Whales
✹ Fubar::::: Lights Out!, Red Letter Day, Criminal Culture, Weapons Of Ass Destruction

For more information on times and address, e-mail or visit here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

More Chihuly

St. Petersburg's Chihuly Collection (presented by the Morean Arts Center) opens to the public today.

This fascinating collection of art includes many of glass artist Dale Chihuly's drawings as well as his colorful, eye-catching pieces. Some date as far back as the 1970s while others are as new as the gallery itself.

A few of the many intriguing items in the collections include the settings of the different rooms themselves - such as the room that contains pieces from Chihuly's Persians, Venetians and Seaforms series. Architect Alberto Alfonso, who led Saturday's media tour with Britt Cornett, head of exhibitions at Chihuly, Inc., said the room is metaphorically a reflection of the Venetian sea. The colors, shapes and lighting of the glass works represent the sky, the sea and life under the sea.

The Macchia room, featuring Chihuly's Macchia series is a picturesque forest of glass. In fact, the flower-like works have been set up on tall stands to give them the appearance of trees.

A collection of rooms in the rear serve as metaphoric "chapel," Alfonso said. They include the large-scale Mille Fiore - a glass forest of sorts, with the neon blue Tumbleweeds room and a room featuring a tall cylinder of Blenko glass acting as "side naves."

Alfonso noted that the Mille Fiore has several gaps within the piece. They were purposely left that way by Chihuly for "a secret garden effect, creating a pathway through the glass," he said. 

- January Holmes

Saturday, July 10, 2010

First glimpse of St. Pete's Chihuly Collection

Chihuly's Mille Fiore

Today I got the biggest treat: an early glimpse of St. Pete's The Chihuly Collection (presented by the Morean Arts Center), featuring the works of glass artist Dale Chihuly. His works are truly breathtaking! The permanent collection opens to the public Monday. Media was invited today for a personal tour and ribbon-cutting. Sadly, Chihuly couldn't make it to the event but it was still a sight to see. I'll post more info about the tour later but wanted to post a few photos I took.

Also, take a look at the Herald tomorrow for my story on the collection.

- January Holmes


from the ceiling of a hallway

Persians series

Macchia "forest" series

The10,000 sq. ft. building was designed by award-winning architect Albert Alfonso (center). To the left is Katee Tully, executive director of the Morean Arts Center in front of the Persians series

from the Tumbleweeds series - a neon blue piece that hangs like a chandelier from the ceiling

Friday, July 9, 2010

Local pizza owner finalist for World's Fastest Pizza Maker contest

Did you know there was a contest for the world's fastest pizza maker? And that Rene DeGuia, owner of a Sarasota Domino's Pizza, will be competing in the next one? DeGuia is a finalist in Domino's 2010 World's Fastest Pizza Maker Competition, which will be held July 21-22 at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.

DeGuia, who gets an all-expenses paid trip to the event, will try to beat the world record in pizza making: 46.4 seconds.

Contestants will be judged on how fast they can make one large cheese pizza and two large one-topping pizzas. First prize is $3,000. Second prize is $1,000 and the third and fourth prize are $500 each.

DeGuia, whose been with Domino's for 21 years, is a great contender. He's won the competition in 2000 and 2005. This will be his 12th time in the finals. The contest has been active for 28 years.

“Speed is so important in our industry,” said DeGuia. “Domino’s has the fastest pizza makers in the world. To prepare, I have been doing some daily speed drills. I also put more focus on the very first time of the day as you only get one chance to be fast and high quality.”
In other news, be sure to get your free Slurpee this Sunday at 7-Eleven in celebration of the store chain's 83rd birthday.
- January Holmes

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Betty White = calendar gal

Beloved actress Betty White is still going strong. And her newest venture is even hotter than her new hit TV Land comedy series "Hot in Cleveland." It's the 2011 Betty White Calendar where White stars as the calendar "pinup girl" from January to December - with the help of some shirtless (and well buffed) hunks.

Proceeds from the calendars will benefit The Morris Animal Foundation in Denver, Colorado.

The calendar, at $12.99, goes on sale in stores in September.

- January Holmes

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Exclusive events leading up to Chihuly Collection grand opening

Instillation of Ruby Red Icicle chandelier at the Chihuly Collection

Dale Chihuly art fans can get their first look at the Chihuly Collection this week with several special events leading up to next week's grand opening - including appearances by the world-renown glass sculpture artist himself.

2-4 p.m. July 10 Chihuly lecture and book signing
The Renaissance Vinoy
Tickets: $150
Dale Chihuly will present a lecture in the Grand Ballroom of the Renaissance Vinoy Resort in St. Pete. Each guest will receive a complimentary Chihuly book to be signed by Chihuly himself after the event. Champagne and desserts will be served.

7-11 p.m. The Chihuly Collection's "Carnival of Glass"
400 Beach Seafood & Tap House
Tickets: $200 in advance, $250 at the door
The Morean Arts Center welcomes Chihuly to the Chihuly Collection, presented by the center. The event features signature cocktails, beer/wine and heavy hors d'oeuvres. Guest will be offered one of the first public opportunities to see the Chihuly Collection. Chihuly will be on hand to sign books and visit with guest.

1-6 p.m. July 11Special opening day of the Chihuly Collection
400 Beach Drive, St. Pete
Tickets: $125
Be the first to tour the Chihuly Collection. Exclusive ticket holders will be served champagne, be led in a tour and receive their choice of a Chihuly book or DVD.

Call (727) 896-4527 to RSVP

Read our story on the Chihuly Collection in Sunday's Bradenton Herald.

-January Holmes

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Young Clyde, where art thou?

Asolo Repetory Theatre is still seeking a young Clyde Barrow for its upcoming Broadway-bound musical "Bonnie & Clyde."

Special auditions will be held 3-6 p.m. July 9 and 2-5 p.m. July 12 at the theater, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Please call for an appointment at 351-9010, ext. 3318.

To fill the role, the theater is looking for a young Clyde described as: a white male 11–14 years old that can play ages 10–15 years. He must also be an excellent singer, preferably with an unchanged voice, and a little tall for his age. 

This could be a great opportunity for a young local actor, according to artistic director Michael Donald Edwards.

"This search for the perfect young Clyde presents a rare opportunity for a young actor to work with a professional company on a production that is slated to go on to Broadway after it leaves our stage," he said. "We’ve worked with young actors before who travel from all round the region to attend rehearsals and perform with Asolo Rep. With this show only running for one month, the time commitment is much more reasonable than it may seem at first glance. It does take dedication, but we’ve worked with children from the Tampa area and Venice. It is very doable for the right performer.”

- January Holmes

Friday, July 2, 2010

Lilith Fair cancels Tampa stop

This isn't good news: Lilith Fair's Aug. 11 tour stop in Tampa has been cancelled.

In fact, nine other Lilith stops have been axed in West Palm, Salt Lake City, Montreal, Raleigh, Charlotte, Birmingham, Austin, Houston and Dallas. Refunds will be given at point of purchase.

Here's the scoop: “We are in the midst of one of the most challenging summer concert seasons with many tours being cancelled outright,” says Lilith co-founder Terry McBride. “Everyone involved with the tour would like to apologize to the fans and artists scheduled to play in these markets, and express appreciation for all the support for the festival’s return. Lilith remains the only tour of its kind, and we are confident that fans will be amazed by what each date has to offer.”

In light of these cancellations, some artists who were set to appear later in the tour may be performing in other cities. Please check  for the most up to date information for each city.

- January Holmes

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer Broadway scholarship available

Calling all young musical theater actors: The Arts Edge, an educational consulting firm is offering a scholarship For Arts Edge Summer, a two-week musical theater/college prep boot camp in New York City. The summer program is from Aug. 9-20 and will offer guidance for aspiring singers, actors and dancers in high school and college. Applications for the scholarship will be reviewed by acting and educational professionals that include "Rock of Ages" star Constantine Maroulis and "Memphis" star Chad Kimball.

Here are details:

The Arts Edge Summer program and scholarship are open to high school students who will be sophomores through seniors in fall 2010 and to college transfer students. Applicants must submit a brief application online and a video of themselves performing two short, contrasting and age-appropriate songs from the Broadway repertoire: one ballad and one upbeat selection. Candidates will be judged on stage presence, repertoire choices, interpretation, tone quality, diction, musicianship, acting and intonation.

Deadline to apply is July 12. Scholarship recipients will be announced the week of July 19. The scholarship is valued at nearly $2,000, covering the cost of the program. It does not include accommodations, meals or transportation.

For more information, visit

- January Holmes