Thursday, December 14, 2017
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Categories of Blog

Nightlife: Theater & Performing Arts

December 5th, 2017

Tampa’s performing arts scene may not compare to those of New York or Chicago or Los Angeles, but for a city with less high-rise buildings than fingers on your hands, we’re surprisingly spoiled. The bay area is scattered with plenty of beautiful theaters that often don’t garner the attention they deserve- Tampa’s Straz Center, Clearwater’s Ruth Eckerd Hall, and St. Pete’s Mahaffey Theater, to name a few. Tampa is also home to two great comedy clubs hosting not only local acts but touring comedy icons, The Improv in Ybor and Side Splitters on N. Dale Mabry Hwy. This is something I’m... Read More

Course Correction

November 19th, 2017

Movies make a promise. Good movies keep them. In one of the early scenes in John Wick, a dipstick gangster and his boys break into the home of a nobody. They beat the nobody, steal his car, and kill his dog. Just another day at the office, right? Not quite. The gangster’s father is a crime lord. He explains to his son that they just made an enemy of the most feared assassin alive. “John wasn’t exactly the boogeyman. He was the one you send to kill the f—ing boogeyman.” That scene sets up an expectation for the audience. It tells us: You just saw an absurdly cute... Read More

Beth Reynolds and One Day Tampa Bay

November 17th, 2017

Beth Reynolds has a long history in the Tampa Bay Area and is known as a photographer with supreme talent.  I initially met her through the Morean Art Center where she worked managing the gallery shop in the late 1990s.  Over the years, she has evolved into the Director of Photography for the center, which is currently celebrating its 100th year.  It is a perfect fit for her since she describes a lifelong passion for photography. “I found the camera to be a tour guide through life when I very shy. Most of my life I have worked as a documentary photographer – I have balanced a career... Read More

Probably The World’s Greatest Detective

November 12th, 2017

We’re coming to the end of 2017, and not a moment too soon, says I. In terms of reasonable behavior, this year has been an absolute horror show. Previously respected actors, artists, and other public figures have been revealed to be degenerates. The citizens of Alabama are seriously considering voting for an alleged child molester. Our very own President literally cannot go more than a week without saying or doing something insulting, vulgar, stupid, or all of the above. It makes one yearn for a more sophisticated time, a time where manners, taste, and class weren’t in woefully short... Read More

May the Force Be With You: Star Wars and the Power of Costume

November 11th, 2017

Today was an interesting day.  It started with this fellow in a robe coming up to me. He had the most intense gaze and this magical, calming voice. I remember that we spoke — he said something, but I can’t quite recall what it was.  The next thing I knew, he was gone and I found myself with an overwhelming compulsion to go and visit the Star Wars and the Power of the Costume Exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. Anyone who has seen any of the Star Wars franchise knows about the remarkable costumes within:  Darth Vadar’s black ensemble emblazoned him as one... Read More

Food: Oxford Exchange

November 7th, 2017

If you’re looking for a trendy spot to sit down with your laptop, spend a few bucks on a cup of coffee or tea, camp out, and let everyone around you know how interesting you are by openly working on your novel or screenplay or- uh, blog post, then boy, have I got the place for you. Across from the University of Tampa, near downtown, there’s a narrow, white brick building marked only by two black letters, OE. Inside the doors you’re immediately greeted by a bookstore to set the theme. Beyond that, a shoe-shine stand for those time-travelling from the 1940s. The hallway then opens up to... Read More

What The Hela?

November 5th, 2017

  What happens when the title of a movie promises one thing but delivers something entirely different? That goes to the larger issue with moviegoing, I suppose. You see a trailer, spy a poster, even just hear a title, and an imaginary movie with a very particular look and feel starts playing in your head. If the movie in your head aligns with reality, even somewhat, you’re likely to be a happy camper. In 1994, audiences saw a trailer for When a Man Loves a Woman. It starred Meg Ryan, long considered to be the alpha and the omega of romantic comedy. What the trailer showed was a light... Read More

Mister Movie Critic, You Could Have Saved The Audience

October 29th, 2017

Imagine, if you will, a brand-new car by Tesla. The world’s top engineers have been brought in to create a vehicle with maximum acceleration and driving range and the apex of functionality. The world’s most creative designers have crafted butter-soft leather around the steering wheel, seats that are the height of ergonomic perfection without sacrificing comfort, and a control panel that’s intuitive and informative. During a press conference to unveil this automotive marvel to the world, Elon Musk invites the media to witness a test drive. The driver sits in the vehicle, gently... Read More

Mirella Cimato — A Bit of Italian Spice

October 27th, 2017

Mirella Cimato is a petite woman filled with spunk.  She speaks quickly, her words heavily soaked in a charming Italian accent.  As with most artists, she is busy hosting multiple jobs – she sits on art boards, maintains an art gallery and creates works of vibrant colors. Her career in the arts was part of her transition to life in the United States. She grew up in Rome, Italy, and went into Classical Studies in college.  There she learned about the world of the ancient Greeks and Romans, and she fell in love with the arts that those cultures produced.  This passion... Read More

Nightlife: Halloween Weekend

October 25th, 2017

Remember when you thought you’d outgrown Halloween? That first year you didn’t dress up. Why would you? Trick-or-treating is for babies. Then sometime between getting a driver’s license and moving out on your own you were introduced to this whole new side. It became one of your favorite holidays. Well, not really the holiday. It became one of your favorite weekends. So much to do, so little inhibitions. And maybe you’ve outgrown that as well. But for those of you who haven’t, or even those who are just looking for normal, costume-less weekend plans, I’m here to offer a few suggestions. For... Read More

Antonique Lisca – Tampa Realtor

October 22nd, 2017

Why Choose Me As Your Agent?  When you work with me, you will receive a knowledgeable and professional real estate agent, a committed ally to negotiate on your behalf, the systems in place to streamline buying your home and the backing of a trusted company, Keller Williams Realty.  Why Work With A Keller Williams Agent?  Looking to sell your home? As a real estate associate of Keller Williams Realty, you will now have access to over 110,000 associates across the country to help you sell your property. With our technology, we are leading the way in how homes are sold and purchased through online... Read More

Prescott’s Bravest

October 22nd, 2017

Can you imagine it? It’s you, 17 of your brothers, and your supervisor. You see the fire coming at you. The word inferno simply doesn’t do it justice, with 70-foot flames and temperatures about 2,000 degrees. The fire is big, hot, and moving right for you at unbelievable speed. So you do what you’ve been trained to do. You clear a space for your fire shelter, a large foil pouch lined with silica-thread cloth. You lay flat on your belly, pull the fire shelter over you. Maybe you pray. You hope it will do some good. The Yarnell Hill Fire started on June 28, 2013, near Yarnell,... Read More

An Unconventional Life

October 15th, 2017

My dear friend Devila and I recently saw the new film Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. As the credits rolled, she joked that a Snopes meter should be prominently displayed on the screen, providing the audience with a running measurement of cinematic accuracy. While I would gladly donate money for the creation of a gadget like that, her comment got me thinking. How much responsibility do filmmakers have to hard, cold reality when they’re making a biopic? In the end, how much does hewing to the truth really matter? Consider a film like Braveheart. It’s a sprawling historical... Read More

Ed Stevens and His Global Perspectives

October 13th, 2017

As an artist, I was jury-selected to bring my rainbow-colored wire mermaid to Come OUT St. Pete.  This was the show’s second attempt at a reception — the first had been cancelled due to hurricane Irma.  Despite its new date, the rains still manifested into one of Florida’s famous torrential downpours.  Walking in from the gloom, my eyes were greeted by a room filled with rainbows — the theme for the night. My failed attempt to wait until the rain slowed down meant that I arrived during the last caveat of the reception.  After touring the show, I sat down at one of the... Read More

More Human Than Human

October 8th, 2017

We live in an age of miracles. It doesn’t always seem that way, though. When a maniac opens fire on a country music concert and the citizens of our country are locked in an ideological battle, it can feel like we’re hurtling toward the abyss. I don’t think we are. Not really, anyway. The miraculous surrounds us, we just have to remember to see it. When we think about the events of Las Vegas, we can’t help but be confronted by the numerous acts of heroism that inevitably overshadow the attack itself. When we consider politics, we have to remember that, as citizens, there’s... Read More

John Gascot — Don’t Blink!

October 6th, 2017

John Gascot moves at lightning speed.  If you blink, you’ll miss him…but that’s what it’s like to be a man with a mission.  I first met this energetic artist when we were showing at the Twelve Days of Dali.  He had lovely make up on and stood next to his portrait of Frida Kahlo. Since then, I have run into him at several shows that he has curated.  He is such a force that rather than speak for him, I have decided to let the artist speak for himself. You currently curate Pom Pom’s, Cider Press Café, run Galleries at 5563 and were a runner up for “Best of... Read More

Backwards And In High Heels

October 1st, 2017

As a straight, white dude, I know I’ve got a lot to answer for. People that look a fair piece like yours truly have dropped atomic bombs, invaded the wrong countries, and generally behaved idiotically at best and abominably at worst. The shorter way to put it? Men kinda suck sometimes. That’s an entirely unsurprising concept, especially when viewed through the prism of the 2016 presidential election. For the briefest of moments, let’s zoom in and look at the debates. On the one hand, you had Hillary Clinton, a candidate who undeniably did her homework. She showed up and was able... Read More

Manners Maketh Man

September 24th, 2017

Hollywood is built on sequels. For decades, studios have ruthlessly focused on IP’s and searched for profitable films that can be milked for additional installments. For decades, critics have gnashed their teeth and bemoaned the lack of originality in filmmaking. For decades, audiences have complained about Hollywood never doing anything new and then subsequently flocked to the theaters to catch the latest Star Wars installment.* All of that must mean that sequels are bad, right? Well…not necessarily. They can be bad. Jaws 2 and onward are godawful. Speed 2: Cruise Control is... Read More

Steven Ramsey, the Genteel Bohemian

September 22nd, 2017

Steven Ramsey is a man of multiple dimensions.  He speaks softly but walks quickly.  He tells stories of his life while adding splashes of spiritual insights and personal philosophies.  He is a kung fu master.  He is also a very prolific artist whose range of creativity boggles the mind. In telling the tale of is own life, he constantly returns to his drive to create. “I have been painting for 63 years.  I started when I was five years old,” he says. “Even if I painted 5,000 works and not a single one sold, I’d keep right on painting.” Steven Ramsey talks about... Read More

You Are Not Prepared

September 17th, 2017

If you’re anything close to a movie nerd, you’ve probably seen references to CinemaScore. Let’s talk about what that is before we get to the subject of today’s review. CinemaScore is a market research firm out of Las Vegas. They perform audience surveys to rate their experiences in 25 major cities around the United States. Essentially, you’re given a card and asked to rate the film on a scale from A to F, whether or not you would buy the film on DVD, and why you chose to see that particular film. Bear in mind that it’s not necessarily an indicator of quality.... Read More