Thursday, November 26, 2015

Legend bloodies up theRegal Winter Park movie screens.

I went to a free screening of Legend at the Regal Winter Park 20, 510 N Orlando Ave, Winter Park, FL. Gladys West from Elite Animation Academy somehow always gets me hooked up with these advanced screenings. I got there save a I got there save at hours early so I could complete a sketch before standing in line. Terry didn't want to see a gangster movie. She was going to see a co-worker's baby. The ticket taker didn't want to let me in the theater, since the line for the movie would form outside. I had to talk to the manager to let him know that [ needed to finish a sketch for my report. Inside I sat at one of fire empty tables to sketch the concessions stand. 

Star Wars, The Legend Return banners announced that movie's opening in December. Recent Star Wars films have been rich in digital effects and short on story. with Harrison Ford back in the franchise, I'm hoping some of the original magic might return. A dark robotic villain is barely visible behind his high saber. I hope the fit lives up to the hype.

A huge candy machine kept coming alive, belting out its sickly sweet song. It's hard to ignore concessions when they keep shouting for your attention. Terry showed up since she was denied access to the baby. The mom had simply forgot. She still didn't want to see The movie, so I was confused as to why she came. She spent some time on her phone as I finished up the sketch. Then she announced that she was leaving. She realized the she was in a fowl mood after not getting to see the baby, and she didn't want project it on me. Maybe ten minute after she left, the sketch was done. I went out side to see how long the line was for Legend. There was no line. With time to kill, l decided to get Mexican food at Lime next door. As I ordered my surfer tacos, Terry said hello. She had also stopped for a taco salad, so we got to have dinner together. we talked about trolls, Nazis and gun control. My tacos were fantastic. I will definitely be returning to Lime.

After dinner,  I went back to the movie theater and went straight inside. The theater was 3/4 full. Perhaps because of Thanksgiving most people were home. The security lady told us all to turn off our phones. The lady two seats from me kept texting, clueless. The security shouted that is is very easy | spot an illumined d phone in a dark theater. She marched over to the text her and stood in from of he say" that if she needed to text she could content in the lobby. When the texter stopped the audience clapped and hooted its approval. 

So, the movie, Legend had the Suave, charming and volatile, Reggie Kray (Tom Hardy) and his unstable twin brother Ronnie (also played by Tom Hardy) leaving their mark on the London underworld in the 1960s. Using violence to get what they want, the siblings orchestrate robberies and murders while running nightclubs and protection rackets. With police Detective Leonard "Nipper" Read hot on their heels, the brothers continue their rapid rise to power and achieve tabloid notoriety. The film was better than I expected. It was narrated by Reggie Kray's girlfriend an then wife, played by Emily Browning. Just like in the Godfather, Reggie dreams of going straight as a club owner, but he can't give up his East End London criminal past, He is just too good at it. The violence is graphic and insane, so don') bring your kids. It is a story of brotherly love and the pain that comes from loving a gangster. I gave the film 7 out of 10 hammers.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Benoit Glazer at Avalon Island

On the third Monday of each month, The Gallery at Avalon Island (39 S Magnolia Ave, Orlando Florida), hosts the In Between Series, a music series before the art goes on the wall for Third Thursday. June was a bit different because the nude photos by Yuri Maiorov  stayed on the walls until a fee the concert. Benoit Glazer usually hosts concerts in his custom built acoustic living room in the White House, he works at Cirque Du Soleil in Downtown Disney as the composer. He was on the trumpet along with Dan Jordan, Doug Matthews and Bobby Koelble some of the greatest jazz musicians from Central Florida.

There were lofty sounds from flutes and clarinets, African flavors, and funky odd meters, with a touch of sad ballads and angry mobs. The music related the story of a storyteller. It was about 2 boy named Abu, and his muse Lela. The music ebbed and flowed with intensity. The event was catered by Maxine’s on Shine.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Robots and Rainbows at BART.

Wednesday November 18th was the opening for Robots and Rainbows at BART, (1205 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL).  This show is a joint effort of the husband and wife team of Evan an Christie Miga  These are the artists who brought the blockbuster Fringe show, Dog Powered Robot to life. When I arrived, Evan was closest to the front door. He explained that he created all the robots, and that Christie art directed his paintings of laughing sun and puckering moon. He also made rocket ships out of simple plastic cups and slinkies. When the slinkies were jostled, they made a sound much like Star Wars sound effects. Later, Christie informed me that this was actually the first time Even had shown his work other than on the stage.

I figured it made sense to sketch robots digitally. Working on a tablet kind of blows my cover. People looked over my shoulder more than usual and I kept having to explain what kind of tablet I was working on. People must be attracted to the glowing screen, or perhaps the ghost in the machine lures them in. I had several pleasant conversations that put the sketch on hold, but in the back of my mind, I was concerned that the tablet battery would die before the sketch was complete. I also experienced several technical issues That I will not go into. But I resolved the problem by saving the sketch and working on it in another program. Pencil and paper never has these types of technical glitches.

Terry arrived and sighed in disgust when s saw the tablet in my lap. She prefers my watercolor sketches and feels I'm going to the dark side ever time I do a digital sketch. She took a look a the show and the shouted to me, "Should I get one!" "Sure Dear." I yelled back. Christie shouted to me, "Tell her to get a big one!" "Get a big one!' I shouted to Terry. Terry picked the big pink robot that looks a bit like Lollybot. Its head is a cylinder shaped hat box and its body a simple box. Its eyes have cute round lenses and there are three yellow buttons on her chest. I should really stop calling her "it", she deserves a name. I'll name her when she gets home.

The show is up for one month, right up until the week before Christmas. If you want to buy something truly unique for Christmas how about getting your loved one a robot or perhaps a genuine unicorn shoe. You will find one of a kind gifts, perfect for the holidays or just to keep for yourself. Both of the soft donut pillows sold immediately, but Christie says she will consider taking orders. She also has a line of hand made ornaments that will add sparkle to any tree.  Make this a Robots and Rainbows Christmas.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Phantasmagoria at the Gods and Monsters Grand Opening Celebration.

On June 13th Gods and Monsters, (inside Artegon, 5250 International Drive; Suite E8, Orlando, Florida) the second largest comics, toys, collectibles and gaming venue in the U.S. celebrated its grand opening. Inside the cavernous venue were comics games and collectibles making it a geek paradise, as well there was the Transmetropolitan Gallery and Offworld L.O.U.N.G.E. making it a comfortable haven to relax and linger. The Grand Opening consisted of 12 hours of entertainment, activities, art demos, contests and give-a-ways, all while raising money for the Hero Initiative!

The Official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was at 10am. The re was a free arcade sponsored by Free Play Florida and BART.  Throughout the day, there were special appearances by renowned cosplay models, Callie Cosplay, Heather1337 and Jenifer Ann. [ don't claim to know who they are, or even who they were dressed as, but it upped the events celebrity status.

Florida's critically acclaimed Victorian Horror Troupe Phantasmagoria performed in the back of the cavernous space. The acoustics weren't ideal to say the least so it was near impossible y hear The actors over the din of conversation from excited fan in the store. They are consume professionals however and they shouted their lines to the rafters.

 the re were artist demos all day long and i said hello to Toni Taylor who was work in on a large canvas that will wrap around a pillar. Other artists included Bianca Roman-Stumpff, Kevin Wood, Mark Pacich, Robo Ohno, Shawn Surface, Derrick Fish, Jenni Gregory, and Michael “Locoduck” Duron . Photo opportunities with costumed characters, including Starlite Princess, Iron Man and Spider-Man.

After Phantasmagoria's performance there was a Costume Contest with prizes. The entire audience seemed to consist of comic book characters. Both adults and children got on stage to sport their costumes. One of the cutest costumes was a young girl dressed as a bumble bee. One of the goriest was z zombie Betty Boop.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Maxine's on Shine

I had an exhibit at Maxine's on Shine, 337 Shine Ave, Orlando, FL. After the exhibit came down, I returned to tie up some loose ends. Kirt Earhart and I met at the bar and the I stayed for dinner, drinks and a sketch. As I recall, Maxine was at some Gala. A young lady at the bar had her laptop perched open on two books, and her friend spent more time on her iPhone than she did eating or conversing. Since a sketch takes two hours, there were several shifts of couples that came an went. People in America don't linger in a restaurant the way they do in France. of course not as many people will be going out considering the terrorist attacks. My heart goes out to all the people who were out to enjoy an evening's entertainment, only to be gunned down.

Nudes were hung on all the walls with care. If you ever nee advice on picking a goo bottle of wine, Yo u need to go to Maxine's and talk to Kirt. He is an expert sommelier. His "Jedi Master Approved' wine case is a goo place to pick up a bottle to take home. If you are looking for fine food and entertainment today, Sunday November 22,  Alex Cole is performing for the Rejuicination Brunch, 11am to 2pm. Then, Peyote Moon will perform for the Sunday Serendipity Supper Club, from 7pm to 9pm. Sunday Serendipity Supper Club at Maxine’s provides an ever changing weekly eclectic mix of Orlando’s best from the live music scene. From indie to classic rock to folk to everything tasteful in between, enjoy the laid back sounds and intimate staging while savoring Maxine’s tasty offerings. It’s the perfect way to christen the end of your weekend.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Master Class at the Dr. Phillips gave insights into the mind of a Diva.

Terrence McNally's Master Class presented by Florida Opera Theater showcased insights into the mind of the world renowned singer Maria Callas. Susan Neves was original cast as Callas but she got sick just days before the show's opening. Seva Anthony stepped in to fill the lead roll having recently performed the roll this past summer at the Players Theater in Sarasota. of course, hearing this I lowered my expectations reverting back to the days I withheld respect for substitute teachers. However, the moment Seva walked on stage, she demanded respect, and she got it. She confronted several ladies in the front row, letting them know that they lacked a "look". She shouted to stage hands that the lighting was all wrong, and the audience was plunged into darkness.

She explained that this wasn't an evening about her. She would not be performing, and she expected no applause. She couldn't be bothered to remember the pianist's name, Manny, played by Austin McElwain, although she did recall that he wore a red shirt at a past workshop. Her stool was to tall so she demanded a foot stool. An elder stage hand, Larry Stallings,  humbly delivered the stool. Finally Callas was ready and the first student (victim) was called out on the stage. Soprano Eileen Vanessa Rodriguez entered wearing a short skirt and black stockings. Callas demanded that the singer block her ears. Stunned, she clasped her hands over her ears. Callas turned to the audience and said something like, "See this is what I'm talking about, she has no look." Once she was done shredding the young singer, she shouted repeatedly for her to open her ears. As an audience member, I was rooting for the singer to impress the diva. When she sang her first luscious note, Callas shouted "Stop ! Stop! STOP!!!" confused the singer turned to her master. "What was that?!" Callas shouted. "I was just singing." the girl responded. " Exactly, don't just sing!" The young singer never got to perform. She left the stage bewildered, in tears. "Tears will never get you anywhere my dear, trust me, I know."

The next singer, soprano Janette Zillioli entered in a gorgeous purple gown. There could be no denying that she had a look! However Callas chided that she should never wear such a gown to a master class. "A gown like that should only be worn after midnight." She demanded that the singer should enter the stage in character and she personally demonstrated how to perform the entrance. The girl rushed off stage and didn't return. Tony, a lyric tenor, Brandon Evans, followed with some confidence. After a battle of wills, Callas demanded that he leave the stage. He stood firm and replied loudly, "No!" "Well." Callas replied that is the first interesting thing to have said, continue." His performance swept over Callas and she clutched her chest completely enthralled. Emotionally over whelmed she had no insights but wished him good fortune with his career. When he pressed her for advice, she said simply, "Remember the spring."

The beautiful soprano in the purple gown returned, She had been vomiting in the bathroom. When she finally sang, Callas thought back to her own crowning achievement singing the same roll. She had married a much older man named Ari, and his fortune helped skyrocket her career. She loved him a little, but never completely. On stage however she gave herself completely to the audience. "Applause is what we live on, sometimes it is a we have." Her husband came to resent her callous partial love. She got pregnant and wanted to have the child. It was too little, too late. He demanded that she have an abortion. She followed through, crushed. All this rushed through her as she listened to the young soprano's performance. She hadn't really been listening. Once again her ego managed to hurt the singers feelings. This time the singer struck back, "You want to make the world dangerous for everyone, just because it was dangerous for you!" She stormed off the stage, a stronger, more confident performer.

Calla's best insight was, "It is hard to care about rivals when no one else can do what you do." and, "I have to think that art makes a difference." The performers got a well deserved standing ovation. The painting of Callas, projected above the stage was by artist Colleen Ardman from Winter Park.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Weekend Top 6 Picks for November 21 and 22.

Saturday November 21, 2015
1pm to 4pm . Free. Orlando Fringe Open House. Orlando Fringe 812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL.  See the new space and rehearsal hall on the second floor of the Lowndes Shakespeare Center, Suite 300. Light bites and champagne will be served.

7:30pm to 10:30pm Free. JC Sevcik's Farewell Reading. Kerouac House 1418 Clouser Ave, Orlando, Florida.  Doors will open at 7:30, and light refreshments will be available. You are welcome to bring something you'd like to drink.

7:30pm to 9:30pm $15 FIASCO: A Night Of True Stories, Entertaining Disasters. East End Market 3201 Corrine Dr, Orlando, Florida. Storytellers of Central Florida present Tellebration—A Global Event. Join us for a great night of crafted, personal stories, as cities around the world celebrate the art of storytelling through Live Performance. All centered around comic disaster.
Tickets: $12 in advance / $15 at the door.
Questions? 407-721-1999

Sunday November 22, 2015 
Noon to 2pm. Free, but grab some food. Florida Gospel Jam. Fish on Fire 7937 Daetwyler Drive Belle Isle FL. Every 2nd and 4th Sunday.

1pm to 3p m. Free but get some coffee. Irish Music. Olivia's Coffee House, 108 N Bay St, Eustis, FL.

1pm to 3pm Free Yoga. Lake Eola Park, 195 N Rosalind Ave, Orlando, FL near the red pagoda. Every week.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Cigarz on the Avenue attracts regulars.

Cigarz on the Avenue, 333 S Park Ave, Winter Park, FL, seems to always have customers outside smoking a thick one. Sometimes I go to Winter Park just to enjoy a stroll down Park Avenue. Terry might crinkle her nose and complain any time we walk near smokers. I on the other hand seem to have lost all of my sense of smell. Anytime I return from a vacation, I notice a smell of mold when I get to Orlando. I'm likely allergic to Orlando. Having lost the sense of smell however can be a blessing however since it allowed me to relax outside the Cigar Store and sketch the regular patrons who likely relax every afternoon at this spot. I can say this because a woman stopped to admire my drawing and she named the two gentlemen and told me they could be found at this spot everyday.

The Cigar store wooden Indian seemed to have lost the spear or stogie he once held. He must search for it every night, but his feet are strapped to a dolly which might inhibit his movement. Then again he might get around better by kneeling down and using his hands to roll himself around the shop. I thought that a wooden Indian wasn't exactly a politically correct way to attract customers. But what do I know, 

Because of the general illiteracy of the populace, early store owners used descriptive emblems or figures to advertise their shops' wares; for example, barber poles advertise barber shops. American Indians and tobacco had always been associated because American Indians introduced tobacco to Europeans, and the depiction of native people on smoke-shop signs was almost inevitable. As early as the 17th century, European tobacconists used figures of American Indians to advertise their shops.

Because European carvers had never seen a Native American, these early cigar-store "Indians" looked more like black slaves with feathered headdresses and other fanciful, exotic features. These carvings were called "Black Boys" or "Virginians" in the trade. Eventually, the European cigar-store figure began to take on a more "authentic" yet highly stylized native visage, and by the time the smoke-shop figure arrived in the Americas in the late 18th century, it had become thoroughly "Indian." People within the Native American community often view such likenesses as a caricature or as depictions that perpetuate stereotypes, drawing an analogy to the African-American lawn jockey, which I've heard is quite popular in Winter Park as well.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Socialites and Dinosaurs at the Neanderthal Ball

Patrons partied like it’s 100,099 B.C. at Orlando Science Center’s 9th Annual Neanderthal Ball on Saturday, November 7. The Gala benefited the Orlando Science Center and its mission to inspire science learning for life, the event was part of the year-long 60th anniversary celebration and it was an evening of prehistoric fun for everyone! New this year, Mayors Jewelers presents: Champagne on the Rocks with the chance to win a diamond necklace by purchasing a $60 glass of champagne to toast the Science Center’s 60th anniversary.

One of Central Florida’s most generous philanthropists and fascinating fashionistas, Harriet Lake sponsored the Caveman Couture Contest. Patrons became an icon of stone age style by rocking a killer leopard print scarf with your outfit or wearing full-on Neanderthal garb! Prizes will be awarded to those who exhibit the most flair with their “caveman couture.” I had a brief conversation with artist Josh Garrick, and I believe he won a well deserved price for his skull inspired couture.

I spent most of time sketching the Jeremy, Freddy Quartet. They Jazzed up the evening although no one took to the dance floor.  By the time I was done, most of the foot had been devoured. I did grab a few chicken nuggets before I left. Maxine and Kirt Earhart had a thriving speakeasy bar set up in the back of the room. A giant woolly mammoth of a man blocked the door was but I squeezed in around him.  Every seat at the bar was taken. Although I had my own seat, I decided not to stay.

With the new construction I couldn't find the exit. I ended up in the basement with live alligators and turtles. of the silent auction items, my favorite was a ticket and VIP seating at the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. Terry and I went last year with my family and we had access to the police family viewing section. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience.  As I left the Science Center, I wondered if I should stay and do a series of quick close up sketches of the best costumes. That is on my bucket list. There are only so many hours in the day to sketch.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Beatnik brings flower power to the Venue.

This is the third year that Beth Marshall Productions has brought Beatnik to The Venue, 511 Virginia Dr, Orlando, Florida. This year the title was, Beatnik Cubed: A 60's Flashback. This was the 3rd and final installment of the unique, audience interactive speak-easy 60’s theme one-night only event. Whether attending for the first time or returning, all audience members will get into the groove of enjoying a flashback of the 60’s. Many of the regular beats, poets, freaks, geeks and gypsy artisans of every kind will be returning along with some new acts and surprises. Fully immersive and interactive theatrical experience. The pre-show was full of both entertainment, and information about past installments.

 The premise of the show is that the cast is celebrating the birthday of  the fictional proprietor of the Venue, Adrian LePeltier. In the pre-show, the black clad Beatnik chicks stood on the stairway where they read a poem. A Varie Tease dancer,  Michelina Wingerter, performed an improvised interpretive dance to the poem. In this small living room area the cast mingles with the audience. There was also a performance in front of the Venue, but I returned to the theater to finish up the sketch I had started. 

 This sweeping variety show has everything. The Beat King Host, Samuel Butcher, was a cynical but rather funny drunk whose dark insights speak to artistic integrity above all else. The cast is divided into the colorful and carefree hippies and the dark brooding beats. All of Them have a love for the Venue and what it represents. 

One of my favorite performances in the show came from the husband and wife team of Tod and Christen Caviness as the Poet Guru and his Muse. Tod recited a poem about Jack Kerouac and the striving of his generation in the late 50's and early 60's. Christen performed a sensual dance that perfectly expressed the longing of a generation. Since this was a rehearsal and they didn't have a baby sitter, their young son Carlin was part of the  performance. Tod held his grinning son in his arms as he belted out the epic poem. Carlin watched his mom dance in amazement. When she danced to the far side of the stage however, she was too far away. His face crinkled and he began to cry, softly at first, and then all out. In a pause in her dance Christen's face reflected her heart felt concern. Tod lost track the poem in 1961 but then got right back in the groove, shouting over his sons tears. later in the show, as the whole cast danced on stage to "Let the Sun Shine", Carlin was on Christen's hip and smiled with joy as the cast danced around him. Unfortunately Carlin will not par for in the actual show, but his moments on stage were pure unrehearsed magic. 

Brett Carson performed the Bongo Beat. Dramatic moments were often accompanied by a bongo beat followed by the snapping of fingers rather than clapping. The audience becomes part of the action when note cards are handed out. Each member of the audience with a card was asked to shout out their word when the host pointed to them. Scrawled on my card was a word that rhymes with truck. "Should I really shout this out?" I thought. Perhaps I should just make up my own word.  The host pointed to me and I shouted "F*ck!" "Oh come on!" he shouted. "F*ck me like you mean it." "F*ck!" I yelled. Other words included Woman, War, hate, and many others. Shouted in sequence they almost made sense.  That's beat. Or is it? Snap, sap, snap.
Andy Haynes read a story about breaking up with cynicism and choosing vulnerability instead. When he got off stage, he kissed Julie Snyder. The spontaneous evening came to a screeching halt when everyone learns that their beloved Venue has been sold to an Ivanhoe Development company. Julie somehow managed to secure herself a job in the new venue which features an exercise gym. She was hilarious as she struggled do push ups and do jumping jacks. In a break, she asked me to give her big muscles in the sketch, but I sadly missed that sketch opportunity. It was hard to separate the affection felt for the real cast as opposed to the drama of the fictional cast. Billy Manes as Andy Warhol entered the Venue snapping photos of the audience in the final scene. Billy is famous for reporting on the twisted inner workings of local government. Perhaps this however was his 15 minutes of fame.