Friday, June 29, 2012

FRIDAY LIVE: Allman Brothers Band, Jan. 17, 1971, Pittsburgh, Pa.

America's greatest rock band at its best (or at least very close), here's the perfect concert to blast while grilling and guzzling in celebration of Independence Day.

It's a superb soundboard recording of the original Allman Brothers Band lineup performing just a couple months before going to New York for the shows resulting in the group's seminal live album "At Fillmore East."

This Pittsburgh show starts off with leader Duane Allman, who died in a motorcycle crash nine months later, thanking opening Taj Mahal before launching into a sizzling version of "Statesboro Blues," which Duane learned from Taj's self-titled album.

ABB is spot-on, vibrant and determined throughout, giving "You Don't Love Me" a fabulous outro before mesmerizing with 20 beautiful, highly emotive minutes of "Whipping Post."

Artist: The Allman Brothers Band
Date: Jan. 17, 1971
Location: Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh
Lineup: Duane Allman (lead guitar, slide guitar), Gregg Allman (organ, piano, vocals), Dickey Betts (lead guitar), Berry Oakley (bass guitar), Jai Johanny Johanson (drums, congas, timbales), Butch Trucks (drums, tympani).
Setlist: 1 Statesboro Blues
2 Trouble No More
3 Don't Keep Me Wonderin'
4 Memory Of Elizabeth Reed
5 Midnight Rider
6 You Don't Love Me
7 Whipping Post

Read more here:

—Undated photo of Gregg Allman (left) and Duane Allman from

Thursday, June 28, 2012

LISTEN: Iris DeMent's 'Sing the Delta,' title track to her first album of originals in 16 years

It has been 16 years since revered singer/songwriter Iris DeMent released an album of original material.

"Sing The Delta," scheduled for release Oct. 2, presents a dozen new compositions by DeMent. It's her first collection of originals since 1996's "The Way I Should."

“I didn’t know when or if I’d make another record," DeMent said in a statement. "I gave up on trying to steer it or force it and decided to just make myself available in my heart and mind as much as I could and leave the rest up to fate.”

"Songs would come along, here and there, and I’d go out and sing them for people," she said. "Then last year, it seemed like a door kinda opened, a handful of new tunes showed up and I managed to finish up a few others and I knew I had a record!”

LISTEN: Title track to "Sing the Delta."

DeMent is releasing "Sing The Delta" on her own label, Flariella Records. It was recorded at Richard McLaurin’s House of David studio in Nashville with co-producers Richard Bennett and Bo Ramsey, with a supporting cast that included Bryan Owings on drums, Dave Jacques on bass, Al Perkins on pedal steel and Reese Wynans on B3 organ, as well as horn players Jim Hoke and Steve Herman on a couple of numbers.

“I guess what I've learned in the process is to just surrender and trust the natural flow and order of things, and not worry about it,” DeMent said. “Some of these songs I’ve had awhile but needed time to grow into them. I’m glad I waited.”

I interviewed DeMent in 2007 (with more of it here) before taking my mom to see her give a gripping performance at Tampa Theatre.

—Publicity photo from

WEEKEND: Three Dog Night play free Fourth of July fest in Palmetto (interview), fireworks, Coldplay, 'Magic Mike' and more

Three Dog Night headlines Palmetto's free Fourth of July party at Sutton Park; singer Cory Wells on band's new platinum record; just saying no: interview

Full list of fireworks, rock 'n' roll planned for July 4th holiday in Manatee

Loved and loathed: Coldplay at Tampa Bay Times Forum 

Review: Soderbergh and his strippers work it with feeling in 'Magic Mike'

And much more in Weekend.

—Photo shows Fouth of July fireworks exploding over the Manatee River. By PAUL VIDELA/ 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Top 10 Nora Ephron films

Nora Ephron, who died Tuesday of leukemia in New York at age 71, wrote, directed and produced numerous films.

Her greatest hits include several smart, beloved romantic comedies and a classic dramatic thriller.

Here are my favorites.

1. "When Harry Met Sally..." 1989 (writer, producer)
The ultimate rom-com about getting stuck in the friend zone finds Billy Crystal at his best and Meg Ryan at her most adorable. Also features fine performance by Carrie Fisher.

2. "Silkwood," 1983 (writer)
Meryl Streep rocks as a metallurgy worker at a plutonium processing plant who has been contaminated, mentally abused and possibly murdered so she won't expose the plant's safety violation.

3. "Julie & Julia," 2009 (writer, director, producer)
Ephron taps Streep again, this time to brilliantly play famed food writer/TV chef Julia Child in this touching, joyous biopic with a twist.

4. "Sleepless in Seattle" 1993 (writer, director)
Tom Hanks and Ryan (adorable again) make sparks fly in this story about what happens when a recently-widowed man's son clandestinely plays matchmaker. 

5. "You've Got Mail," 1998 (writer, director, producer)
Ephrom re-teams with Hanks and Ryan (still adorable) for another rom-com romp that takes its title from some email prompt thingy and, ah, chat rooms, from AOL. The first "e-com"? Maybe.  

6. "My Blue Heaven," 1990 (writer, producer)
Not exactly a "Nora Ephron film," but she wrote this mafioso comedy solo nonetheless, creating one of Steve Martin's most hilarious (and underrated) roles as the gangster with the heart of gold.

7. "Heartburn," 1986 (writer)
Based on her novel of the same name about her marriage to Washington Post/"All the President;s Men" writer Carl Bernstein. Film stars Streep and Jack Nicholson.  

Read more here:

8. "Michael," 1996 (writer, director, producer)
Likable fantasy film finds John Travolta playing hard drinking, smoking slob Archangel Michael. 

9. "Mixed Nuts," 1994 (writer, director)
Better than critics (or box office numbers) indicate, Christmas comedy stars Martin, Madeline Kahn, Rita Wilson and a young Adam Sandler.

10. "Cookie," 1989 (writer, executive producer)
Ephron's first mafioso comedy is not "My Blue Heave" but it's not bad. Cast features Peter Falk as

Ephron also coauthored, with her sister Delia Ephron, the  play "Love, Loss, and What I Wore," which can be seen at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota.

Writer-filmmaker Nora Ephron dies at 71

—AP Photo is an image released by Warner Bros. Home Video showing actors Tom Hanks, left, and Meg Ryan in a scene from"You've Got Mail." 

Read more here:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

UPDATED 6/27: Louis C.K. bringing stand-up skills to Straz Center in Tampa

UPDATED 6/27: Second show added (see below).

Emmy and Grammy Award winning comedian Louis C.K. – creator, executive producer, director, editor and star of FX's critically acclaimed series "Louie" – will perform 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Nov. the Straz Center in Tampa.

And he's selling tickets his way.

“This year, I'm trying something new, building on the fun, success and fan-benefit of selling my content online," he said in statement. "I've cut the ticket charges way down and absorbed them into the ticket price. To buy a ticket, you join NOTHING. Just use your credit card and buy the damn thing.”

Tickets are $45 (inclusive of all fees) and are on sale at Louis C.K.’s website,

Back in December, Louis released his last standup special, "Louis C.K. Live At the Beacon Theatre," directly to consumers through his website for $5. He has since added additional content to the site.

Monday, June 25, 2012

INTERVIEW: Robin Givens at Manatee Players in Bradenton to workshop new play 'Joy in the Morning'

UPDATED 7/29: 'Boomerang' star Robin Givens on staging her play 'Joy in the Morning' in Bradenton: interview

The Manatee Players announced today a joint partnership with Robin Givens to workshop "Joy in the Morning."

It's a new play with music written by the stage and screen actress best known for the starring opposite Eddie Murphy in the film "Boomerang."

The play, with cast coordination by Manatee Players’ Producing Artistic Director Rick Kerby, will be work shopped and directed by Givens during the month of July at the Manatee Players Riverfront Theatre in downtown Bradenton.

Givens will host a reception after the final performance of "Joy in the Morning." The next production of the play will be in Toronto in October. The script was originally presented 10 years ago in a play reading at Carnegie Hall in New York.

During her month-long stay in Bradenton, Givens will be presenting a workshop two days a week for two hours each day at the Palmetto Boys and Girls Club. The course,  "The Art of Living through Acting," is open to teens and preteens.

Thirty young people will be given the opportunity learn and feel better about themselves through improvisation and rehearsed scenes.

“It is all about confidence building,” said Givens, in a statement.

Details: Performances of "Joy in the Morning" at the Manatee Players' Riverfront Theatre,  102 12th St. W., Bradenton, will be held at 7:30 p.m. on August 2 and at 8 p.m. on August 3 as a benefit for the Manatee Players. A limited number of preferred seating tickets will be available for each evening which include a private talk-back. Preferred seating tickets are $50 per person. All other seats are adult tickets at $26, students at $13 and teachers at $15. Tickets are available by calling the box office at 941-748-5875 or online at

—Photo of Robin Givens provided by Manatee Players

Saturday, June 23, 2012

REVIEW: ‘Love, Loss, and What I Wore,’ Asolo Repertory Theatre, Sarasota

Mary Testa, Loretta Swit, Roni Geva, Donna McKechnie and Rosalyn Coleman (from left) in the Asolo Repertory Theatre's production of 'Love, Loss, and What I Wore.'

Fashion can be fun.

And traumatic.

That’s what we learn from “Love, Loss, and What I Wore,” which opened Friday at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota.

The evening of monologues had the audience laughing on numerous occasions during the 94-minute production.

Nora Ephron, the screenwriter of such films as “Silkwood,” “When Harry Met Sally…” and “Sleepless in Seattle,” coauthored the play with her sister Delia Ephron. It’s based on the best-selling book of the same name by Ilene Beckerman.

It’s a nice match of mostly witty vignettes, 28 total, about clothes-associated memories delivered by five women, all dressed in black, turning pages and seated in front of music stands.

But these aren’t just any five women.

Loretta Swit, the actress who won two Emmys for playing Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan on "M*A*S*H," has the only really definable role of the narrator, Gingy.

Tony Award winner Donna McKechnie (the original Cassie in "A Chorus Line"), two-time Tony nominee Mary Testa, "Love, Loss, and What I Wore" regular Roni Geva, and Rosalyn Coleman (who appears in the recent Zach Galifianakis film "It's Kind of a Funny Story") round out the cast.
Everyone except Coleman had previously made an appearance in “Love, Loss, and What I Wore,” which has been playing off-Broadway since 2009.

On Friday, each woman did a solid job of selling the stories, with Testa taking the prize for best performance with Geva placing a close second.

Those two just brought an extra energy to the anecdotes that increased the believability factor.
When Testa talks about the sorrows of not being able to fit into a certain size, it’s like hearing a salon confessional.

Subject matter includes dressing room drama, bad bras, prom problems and purchase struggles that tie in with mommy issues.

The material bounds from hilarious to sad, at times burdened by predictable punch lines and a certain maudlin banality.

On balance, though, it’s entertaining if not as insightful as the play would like to be.

Details: Through July 15, Asolo Repertory’s Mertz Theatre, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $20-$67. Information: 941-351-8000 or

—Photo provided by Asolo Repertory Theatre.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tampa ranked vainest city in America

As someone who grew up just north of the city, and lived in South Tampa for several years, today's announcement comes as no surprise.

Tampa is home to the vainest people in America.

St. Petersburg ranked No. 11.

Miami ranked No. 8.

Men’s Health determined this by adding up each city’s percentage of Botox beauties, dye-job junkies and "people who will spend anything to look younger (Experian Marketing Services)," reads the email advertising the July/August issue of Men’s Health, on newsstands June 26.

Also tallied were sales of at-home hair dyes, teeth whiteners, and shapewear (SimplyMap), as well as per-capita rates of cosmetic procedures, cosmetic dentists, plastic surgeons, and tanning salons (American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, AMA, and SimplyMap).

Foursquare provided information on where people check into those salons most often.
Top 10 vainest cities in America

1. Tampa

2. Plano (part of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex)

3. Atlanta

4. Las Vegas

5. Dallas

6. Pittsburgh

7. Houston

8. Miami

9. San Francisco

10. Providence

Full list of most, and least (go  Des Moines!) vain cities in America.

—Photo from the Facebook page South Tampa D-----bags.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bradenton band HGWT's summer tour launches in Ybor City; get new album on vinyl with pint glass, koozie

Tampa Bay's top purveyor of Americana awesomeness, Have Gun, Will Travel, announced today a summer tour that kicks off June 29 at New World Brewery in Ybor City.

The nationally acclaimed Bradenton band  also issued an email alerting fans that the vinyl version of its most recent full-length release, the highly recommended "Mergers & Acquisitions" (read my review) is finally available.

Visit Shop Radio Cast to order the limited edition, deluxe set and receive a CD, LP, pint glass, koozie and button.

HGWT summer Tour:

6/23 - Orlando, FL @ The Plaza Theatre w/ The Black Lillies. FREE SHOW!
6/29 – Ybor City, FL - Tour Kick-off @ New World Brewery w/ The Rosewoods, The Sh-Booms, and Macrame Owls.
7/04 – Charlotte, NC - U.S. National Whitewater Center River Jam w/ Moreland & Arbuckle and These United States
7/05 – Raleigh, NC @ The Pour House Music Hall w/ Thomas Wynn & The Believers and Stella Lively
7/06 – Atlanta, GA - Georgia Aquarium Live Music Series
7/07 – Statesboro, GA - Details TBA w/ Lingo
7/12 – Athens, GA @ 40 Watt Club w/ Damion Suomi and the Minor Prophets
7/13 – Atlanta, GA @ Smith’s Olde Bar w/ The Whiskey Gentry and Waller– TWANG ON!
7/14 – Knoxville, TN @ The Well w/ Matt Woods and Dixieghost
7/19 – Greenville, SC @ The Radio Room
7/20 – Asheville, NC @ Jack of the Wood - 5:00pm Free Happy Hour Show
7/20 – Asheville/Lake Lure, NC @ Lake Lure Resort HGWT (9-11pm) w/ The Whiskey Gentry (7-9pm)
7/21 - Asheville/Lake Lure, NC @ Lake Lure Resort w/ The Whiskey Gentry and Black Iron Gathering, All Day
7/28 – St Pete, FL - Antiwarpt Music Festival

Tune in next Thursday, June 28, to Tampa Bay's WMNF 88.5 fm to hear HGWT perform live on the air during "It's the Music! The Thursday Nooner." Check out to listen live. Fans are invited to "get in touch if you live in the Tampa Bay area and would like to come to the studio and watch us play on the air."

—Photo of Have Gun, Will Travel is a screen capture from the video below. From left: Daniel Burke, J.P. Beaubien, Matt Burke, and Scott Anderson.

Read more here:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

WATCH: Natasha Leggero, daughter of Holmes Beach resident Johnny 'Leggs,' on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

While Johnny "Leggs" Leggero happily spends his days tanning near his home on Holmes Beach, his daughter, Natasha Leggero, a frequent guest on "Chelsea Lately," continues to make people laugh with her witty charm and lovable cruelty. 

Last night the actress/comedian with local ties tried to eat the couch on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," cracking up everybody's favorite avuncular host and fictional male stripper Matthew McConaughey.

Spoiler alert: Leggero is is not a fan of the Kardashians.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

UPDATED 4:45: Kiwanis proposes donating $1.1M toward Manatee Players' new venue in Bradenton

UPDATED 4:45: Kiwanis proposes donating $1.1M toward Manatee Players' new venue in Bradenton

The Kiwanis Club of Bradenton voted today to submit a letter of intent to the Manatee Players’ Board of Directors outlining a completion plan for the Manatee Performing Art Center’s second floor, reads an email sent by the Manatee Players.

This upper level of the multi-use venue being built near the Bradenton Riverwalk would include classroom space, a sewing room, costume storage, rehearsal space, meeting/conference room and a catering kitchen .

Among the contingencies of the proposal on the new home of the Manatee Players, which the community theater troupe hopes to have ready for a production of "Miss Saigon" next March, would be approval by the City of Bradenton, Bradenton Riverfront Partners and the community’s financial commitment to open the current phase of construction.

About three months ago, the Kiwanis Club presented the Manatee Players with a check for $250,000.

Monday, the county Tourist Development Council voted to recommend a $250,000 matching grant for the center financed with an overage accrued from bed taxes during a particularly successful winter tourist season.

The Manatee County Commission must still approve its recommendation.

The goal of the Manatee Players Capital Campaign is about $15 million, but the facility could operate at $12 million; with the $250,000 grant and a match, the theater troupe would be about $600,000 or $700,000 short of being operational, said Janene Witham, executive director of the Manatee Players.

The Manatee Performing Arts Center will seat 380 in its main room, Cora may Stone Hall, while only 238 people fit inside the Bradenton company's Riverfront Theatre on Old Main Street.

Manatee tourism council OK's $250,000 grant for Manatee Players theater

Manatee Players raise $1.75 million toward new theater in Bradenton 

—Photo of the Manatee Performing Arts Center provided by Manatee Players

Read more here:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fiona Apple coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

Brilliantly moody piano woman Fiona Apple, whose new album "The Idler Wheel" comes out Tuesday, had added a Sept.29 date at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater to her tour schedule, which also includes an Oct. 1 stop at Hard Rock Orlando.

Tickets for both shows go on sale June 23, according to her website. 

—Publicity photo.

Manatee Players: $250K for new theater in Bradenton OK'd by TDC

It's a done deal.


The Tourist Development Council just authorized up to $250,000 in matching money to help the Manatee Players complete its unfinished downtown Bradenton theater.

The money would come from extra bed-tax earnings due to a highly successful winter tourist season.

The council's recommendation now goes to the Manatee County Commission for final approval.

The Players plan to open the Manatee Performing Arts Center next March in time for a production of "Miss Saigon."

Read more here:

Read more.

Read more here:

UPDATED 6/6: $250K grant for Manatee Players new theater in Bradenton could be coming from tourist dollars 

Manatee Performing Arts Center should be huge boon for downtown Bradenton

—Photo of the Manatee Performing Arts Center by PAUL VIDELA/Bradenton Herald.

Friday, June 15, 2012

FRIDAY LIVE: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Sept. 19, 1978, Passaic, N.J.

In honor of Father's Day, here's a special performance by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band.

It includes an early version of "Independence Day," the greatest song ever about father/son relationships.

Culled from a radio broadcast of a Jersey show in Passaic, this show might just be the best representation of the group's classic 1978 Darkness Tour.

My dad and mom, Springsteen fans living in Hershey, Pa., at the time, might've been at this concert.

But they were home taking care of their baby boy.

Artist: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Date: Sept. 19, 1978
Location: Passaic, N.J.
Lineup: Bruce Springsteen (lead and backing vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano), Roy Bittan (piano, keyboards, backing vocals), Clarence Clemons (tenor, baritone and soprano saxophones, backing vocals, percussion), Danny Federici  (organ, piano, accordion, glockenspiel, backing vocals), Garry Tallent (bass, backing vocals, percussion), Steven Van Zandt (guitar, backing vocals), Max Weinberg (drums, backing vocals).
Setlist: 1. Intro
2. Badlands
3. Streets Of Fire
4. Spirit In The Night
5. Darkness On The Edge Of Town
6. Independence Day
7. The Promised Land
8. Prove It All Night
9. Racing In The Street
10. Thunder Road
11. Meeting Across The River
12. Jungleland
13. Kitty's Back
14. Fire
15. Candy's Room
16. Because The Night
17. Point Blank
18. Not Fade Away
19. She's The One
20. Backstreets
21. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
22. 4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
23. Born To Run
24. 10th Avenue Freeze-Out
25. Detroit Medley
26. Raise Your Hand
27. Good Rockin' Tonight
28. It's My Life
29. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
30. High School Confidential
31. Sweet Little Sixteen
32. The Fever
33. Incident On 57th Street
34. For You
35. It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City

SeRead more here:

—Photo from this Facebook page dedicated to the Sept. 19, 1978 Springsteen show.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Delbert McClinton, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Ana Popovic to play Sarasota Blues Fest

The Sarasota Blues and Music Festival takes another fresh step outside its namesake genre this year with two-time Grammy Award winner Delbert McClinton, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Ana Popovic, Curtis Salgado, Paul Thorn and prodigy act Pett Crow scheduled to perform at Ed Smith Stadium on Sept. 29.

Texas roots music hero McClinton, best known for the 1981 hit "Giving it Up for Your Love" and penning "Two More Bottles of Wine,"  headlined the festival in 2001 and 2005.

Royal Southern Brotherhood is a Dixie-flavored soul, rock and funk playing supergroup with singer and percussionist Cyril Neville (The Meters, The Neville Brothers, Galactic), vocalist/guitarist Devon Allman (Honeytribe), Blues Music Award-winning vocalist/guitarist Mike Zito, drummer Yonrico Scott (Derek Trucks Band) and bassist Charlie Wooton. Devon fronted his Honeytribe band and then performed with  his dad, Gregg Allman, at the 2006 Sarasota Blues Festival.

Blues-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist Popovic; soul singer/songwriter Salgado; WMNF fave and Mississippi-raised prizefighter turned scrappy singer/songwriter Thorn and Pett Crow are making their Sarasota Blues debut.

New Orleans supafunk star Troy 'Trombone Shorty' Andrews made a big splash at the festival in 2010 while genre-hopping rockers Los Lobos headlined last year. 

For the 22nd annual festival this fall, producer Three Zebras Entertainment promises a Saturday celebration of music, fun and family-friendly entertainment.

This year’s festival will offer VIP ticket buyers food and beverage service, upgraded beer and wine and a separate restroom area, all of which will be in close proximity to the artists on stage. To make this year’s festival more family friendly, fans with children can try out The Family Fun Zone, an area with amusement rides and games for the young ones.

“Ensuring families have a great time from the moment they enter the gates is a big part of how we approached the festival this year,” said Bill Haggett, General Manager of the Sarasota Blues and Music Festival, in a statement. “And continuing the tradition of bringing the best of the blues to Sarasota is apparent in the all-star lineup this year. We can’t wait for September 29th!”

Tickets to the 22nd Annual Sarasota Blues and Music Festival go on sale June 22 and are available at Gates open at 11 a.m. Sept. 29, with musical talent starting at noon and lasting until the festival’s end at 10 p.m. Advance sale general admission tickets are $22 and children under the age of 14 are free with paid adult admission. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $75.

—Photos of Ana Popovic (top) and Delbert McClinton provided by Sarasota Blues and Music Fest.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Holograms of Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison could be next

In my Sunday column about the rise of dead celebrities,  I joked about Jimi Hendrix's holographic likeness performing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the Super Bowl.

Well, it just might just happen. reported today that the estates of Hendrix and Jim Morrison are considering future holographic live performances.
Jeff Jampol, who manages the Doors as well as the estates of Morrison, Otis Redding, Janis Joplin, Peter Tosh and Rick James, hopes to eventually create a multimedia experience featuring the band. The show might take place in either a tent or a freestanding building, with the walls pixilated like a large TV screen and utilizing lasers, lights, high-quality sound, vibrations, projected imagery and the 3-D figures, he says.

"We're trying to get to a point where 3-D characters will walk around," Jampol says, noting that he's been exploring the idea for about eight years with British music video/commercial director Jake Nava. "Hopefully, 'Jim Morrison' will be able to walk right up to you, look you in the eye, sing right at you and then turn around and walk away."
Read more of "Estates Ready 'Holograms' of Elvis, Hendrix, Monroe & the Doors."
—Photo: Jimi Hendrix performs at Woodstock in 1969/Associated Press.

Read more here:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Top quotes from Tony Awards

The Tony Awards would've been a bit more fun, for me, at least, to see the Asolo Rep alumni who were members of the "Bonnie & Clyde" team pick up trophies.

But host Neil Patrick Harris proved highly entertaining again, as did the winners.

Even I if had never met/interviewed any of them recently in Sarasota.

Many gave great speeches worth quoting.

Here's my favorite, from Mike Nichols, accepting the award for best director of a play for "Death of a Salesman."
There's not a person in this theater that doesn't know what it is to be a salesman - to be out there in the blue riding on a smile and a shoeshine. As we know, a salesman has got to dream. It goes with the territory.
Read more "Memorable quotes from the Tony Awards."

Photo: Mike Nichols accepts the Tony for Best Direction of a Play during the 66th Annual Tony Awards at the Beacon Theater in New York, June 10, 2012. Nichols won for his work in "Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman." / Sara Krulwich/AP

Read more here:

Read more here:

Friday, June 8, 2012

FRIDAY LIVE: The Rolling Stones, Nov. 26, 1969, Baltimore

Usually on Fridays afternoons I spend my time catching up on emails, planning for the upcoming week and and listening to an unreleased rock show from one of the greatest concert tours of all time.

Starting today, I'm going to share my findings.

Having finally read Keith Richards' autobiography "Life," I've been on a serious Stones kick lately, leading to this gem of a performance from the band's famous 1969 tour of the U.S.

The Rolling Stones were touring in support of the album "Let it Bleed," which came out just days before this gig in Baltimore.

Look for more complete concert picks from other acts every Friday. 

Artist: The Rolling Stones
Date: Nov. 26, 1969
Location: Baltimore
Lineup: Mick Jagger (lead vocals/harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar/backing vocals), Mick Taylor (guitar), Bill Wyman (bass guitar), Charlie Watts (drums).
Setlist: 1. Jumping Jack Flash
2. Carol (Chuck Berry cover)
3. Sympathy For The Devil
4. Stray Cat Blues
4. Love In Vain
5. You Gotta Move
6. Under My Thumb/I'm Free
7. Midnight Rambler
8. Live With Me
9. Satisfaction
10. Honky Tonk Women
11. Street Fighting Man

Top 10 Keith Richards songs

Thursday, June 7, 2012

WEEKEND: Bon Iver at Straz in Tampa plus 'Prometheus,' Puscifer, 'Turbulence' and more

Singer/songwriter Justin Vernon wins fans over with husky falsetto, rugged romanticism and facial hair.

Tool and A Perfect Circle mastermind Maynard James Keenan brings his other project to Ferguson Hall.

Read more here:

Orlando band brings ska, reggae and punk to the party.

And much more in Weekend. 

Read more here:

—Photo: Justin Vernon, Fall Creek Wisconsin, August, 2010, by D.L. Anderson

Read more here:

Read more here:

Elton John to play USF Sun Dome 'Grand Opening' in Tampa

Sir Elton John will piano-rock the newly renovated USF Sun Dome at the Tampa venue's Sept. 14 Grand Opening.

The Friday evening concert features the singer/pianist with a five-piece backing band and promises "all the hits."

Tickets are $39.50-$139.50 and go on sale 10 a.m. June 15.

“We are absolutely thrilled that Elton John will be performing live at the newly renovated Sun Dome for our Grand Opening.” said USF Sun Dome General Manager Trent Merritt, in a statement. “Elton John is one of music’s most legendary performers. He is a master musician, vocalist and an icon the likes of which will never be seen again. His timeless music and unparalleled live performances have entertained fans all over the globe for the last 5 decades. This is one concert not to be missed!”

John last played Tampa in 2009 with Billy Joel at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Show details. 

Photo: Elton John by Chris Pizzello/Associated Press.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

President Obama a country music fan?

President Barack Obama is greeting country music fans tonight.

So is likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

Both have taped humorous video segments that will appear as part of the opening segment tonight on the CMT Music Awrds.

Obama has sung a snippet of soul master Al Green's "Let's Stay Together," performed "Sweet Home Chicago" with blues greats B.B. King, Buddy Guy and more — the prez even landed an invite last month from Jay-Z to perform at the hip-hop king's new music festival.

But what does he think about country music?

"Now, I know folks think I'm a 'city boy' but I do appreciate listening to country music because like all Americans, I appreciate the broad and indelible impact that country has had on our nation," Obama said during "An Evening of Country Music" at the White House in 2009.

"It's touched countless lives, it's influenced all genres of music, it's helped us make the American people more hopeful, it's captured our restlessness and resilience, and told so much of our story in the process."

Alison Krauss and Union Station, Brad Paisley, and Charley Pride were the performers that evening.

"Harlan Howard proclaimed country music "three chords and the truth," Obama said. "Garth Brooks said it's 'honesty, sincerity, and real life to the hilt.'  And Dierks Bentley called it 'the best shrink that 15 bucks can buy.'"

Then in November of last year,  as part of their “In Performance at the White House” series, the President and First Lady invited Bentley, Krauss, Kris Kristofferson, Lyle Lovett, Lauren Alaina, The Band Perry, Darius Rucker and James Taylor to perform.

Watch for Obama, Romney, Toby Keith, Carrie Underwood, Willie Nelson at 8 p.m. EDT from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on CMT.

—Photo of President Barack Oabma copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

UPDATED 6/6: $250K grant for Manatee Players new theater in Bradenton could be coming from tourist dollars

UPDATED 6/6: Manatee Players of Bradenton could receive $250K from Tourist Development

The Manatee Players might be taking another big step toward completing its new theater.

Manatee County commissioners are exploring giving a minimum of $250,000 from Tourist Development Council overage money as a matching grant toward the completion of the Manatee Performing Arts Center near Riverwalk in downtown Bradenton.

The Manatee Players recently raised $1.75 million toward the new, multi-use facility scheduled for completion next March. The $250,000 grant, when matched, would leave the community theater troupe within $600,000 of money needed to open the doors to its new home.

More information to follow.

—File photo of the Manatee Performing Arts Center by PAUL VIDELA/Bradenton Herald.

Monday, June 4, 2012

UPDATED 6/5: Bradenton named top retirement destination

UPDATED 6/5 (with photos): Bradenton named top retirement destination by Where to Retire Magazine 

The Friendly City continues to gain national attention as a great place to live, largely thanks to our much-vaunted downtown arts scene and Riverwalk.

Selected by Where to Retire magazine as a top retirement destination, Bradenton will be profiled in the July/August issue, available nationwide June 19.

The Houston-based publication launched in 1992 with the goal of helping its readers find the ideal place to retire.

“Boomers love the relaxing charm of Bradenton, and the residents live up to its motto – The Friendly City,” said Mary Lu Abbott, editor of Where to Retire.

“Bradenton possesses qualities important to today’s retirees. They find plenty of action in the nationally recognized arts community, including the Manatee Players theater and the Village of the Arts, where they meet and mingle with dozens of artists living and working together in restored cottages.”

She also notes that with the $6.2 million transformation of the Bradenton Riverwalk, scheduled for completion in October, the downtown entertainment scene “will get even livelier.”

Last month, AmericanStyle Magazine issued a statement that its survey participants voted Bradenton the second-best small city arts destination in the country, up from No. 10 last year and No. 22 in 2010.

“Bradenton, a sunny locale 45 miles south of Tampa, may not be on your radar for arts destinations yet, but it should be,” reads the opening sentence of the blurb on page 66 of the new summer edition of the Baltimore-based publication. “It’s home to Florida’s largest art colony, the Village of the Arts.”

Where to Retire Magazine


Friday, June 1, 2012

'Bad Girls Club' casting call in Tampa

Hey ladies, are you cruel, naughty and sexy?

Ready to make your behavioral and psychological problems part of pop culture?

Then plan on being in Ybor City on Tuesday.

Oxygen’s hit reality show "Bad Girls Club" is inviting local females to attend an open casting call for Season 10:

10 a.m. to 5 p.m, June 5, Gaspar’s Grotto, 1805 E. 7th Ave., Ybor City.

The casting directors are from Bunim/Murray Productions, the creators of the hit shows “The Real World” and “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”

"Bad Girls Club" promises to bring together a cast of self-proclaimed ‘bad girls’ in a beautiful mansion.

"These women recognize that their fun, outrageous behavior has hindered their relationships, careers, and lives," reads the email. "Will living together help them move forward and turn their lives around – or will the claws come out and chaos rule?"

For those who can’t make it to the open call, applications can be submitted via email.

Visit for complete details on how you can apply.

Applicants must bring a recent picture of themselves (which will not be returned) and photo ID. The minimum age to apply for Bad Girls Club is 21.

More information is available at