BLAINESWORLD #948 (Please send any comments to: bginbc@aol.com.)

Section 2, part 2

(1) Vickie G. in NC: AM ENJOYING your newsletters.

(2) Michelle B. in NC: Love the Thought for the Day.

(3) Tina F. in NC: Packed full of good things, Blaine! Good work. And thanks for the mention. That was a fun day together!

(4) Sally B. in NC: Thanks for sharing my news.

(5) Angela S. in NJ: It’s good having friends who care. Thanks for the condolences, Blaine. That was a wonderful newsletter.

(6) How to Find a Job With Meditation and Mindfulness

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/23/fashion/how-to-find-a-job-with-meditation-and-mindfulness.html

(7) Zuzu W. in NC: A nice segment on my CD release in here [BLAINESWORLD #447]. Enjoy, and consider joining Blaine’s distribution list. His newsletter is very fun and informative, as you will see if you read this one.

Blaine is a huge supporter of all things Asheville, and I am thankful to be part of what he supports.

(8) Jennifer G. in England: I have 2 new ebooks that are free this Thanksgiving weekend. One is actually written by my 12 yo son and it is quite funny and insightful at the same time. I was hoping maybe you could mention them in your newsletter if you are doing one this weekend. Here are the links! Have a fabulous weekend!!

http://www.amazon.com/Unheard-Voices-Silent-Christopher-Gillies-ebook/dp/B00Q0IAMTK

And Mine:

http://www.amazon.com/Angel-Messages-Soothe-Soul-Kids-ebook/dp/B00PZ9EUP2

(9) Telling my son about Ferguson

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/26/opinion/ferguson-telling-my-son-michelle-alexander.html

(10) Henry W. in NY: Went to see Force Majeure, a thought-provoking new Swedish movie, that is psychologically and emotionally unsettling. The film explores the unanticipated familial consequences that erupt when on the second day of a young Swedish family’s vacation in the breath-taking Swiss Alps an avalanche heads towards their resort. How one reacts to a potentially catastrophic event in those precious few seconds forms the basis for the rest of the movie. On the heavy side, so don’t expect too many light moments.

(11) Retirees Turn to Virtual Villages for Mutual Support

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/29/your-money/retirees-turn-to-virtual-villages-for-mutual-support.html

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Section 4, Reviews

(1) Joe G. in NY, my actor friend, has this to say about BIRDMAN:
I saw it. I really liked it. I was VERY and probably most impressed with the camera work. I read a review afterwards that said the camera seemed to ebb and flow like water. I would agree. It seemed alive. Maybe they were trying to emulate a sense of flying too.

I enjoyed the work of Emma Stone and Edward Norton and it was great to see Michael Keaton back on the big screen in a starring role and thought his work was solid as well.

Much of the offstage drama was very funny and very believable. That stuff happens! Sometimes the best show is the one that is not actually onstage.

I usually rate a movie personally (i.e. put it in my ‘Top List’) by how well it holds up in the days after I watch it. Am I still thinking about it? Etc… Birdman hung around for a day or two. But no more. I really liked it but didn’t love it.

(2) Mike M. in NC has this to say about the same film:
BIRDMAN ***

Somewhat strange screenplay that I liked, but didn’t love. What I did love are the performances. Michael Keaton gives the best performance of his career as a washed out comic book movie star trying to make a comeback by writing, directing and starring in a Broadway play. Also giving exceptional performances are Emma Stone as his troubled drug addicted daughter, Edward Norton as a popular temperamental actor, Naomi Watts as the plays leading lady and Zach Galifianakis as his lawyer and business manger. Even with the strange story you don’t get a cast ensemble much better then this. Definitely look for this to be one of the 5 films nominated for best cast ensemble in the SAG awards. Actually, look for this to be nominated in all awards as it is just strange enough for Hollywood to love. According to Gold Derby Michael Keaton is the Oscar front runner for best actor.

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Section 12A, NC events

(1) At NC Stage: DON’T DRESS FOR DINNER

News Flash: We are extending for one week only!
Don't Dress for Dinner
“I haven’t laughed that hard in a very long time.” –Facebook Comment

Don’t let this be the scene at your house this weekend!
Bring the Thanksgiving crowd to our place!
(2) Auditions for the newly forming improv troupe, Lab Ratz, will be held Monday, December 8th, at the Performing Arts Laboratory rehearsal space (Abernethy UMC, 1418 Patton Avenue, Asheville, 28806)! All experienced and beginning actors and improvisers welcome from 7:00-9:00 PM. It’s preferred that you stay the entire two hours – however, if you can’t, then please remain for at least one hour, as we’ll be performing various short-form exercises (a.k.a. theatre games) and want to check for chemistry, teamwork, and collective creativity.

No audition slots or appointments necessary; just come dressed for comfort and movement and be ready to have some crazy-creative fun! The troupe hopes to be up and in performance mode by February/March 2015. There will also be improv-intensive classes being offered at the Performing Arts Laboratory beginning in January (sign up for them now!).

Please call 828-450-2196 if you have any questions. Hope to see you there on the 8th! 

(3) DAVID TROY FRANCIS Holiday Concert Sun Nov 30th 2014 at 7:30pm at White Horse Black Mountain

Tickets:

$15 in advance/$18 at the door 

If you’ve heard David before then you know what an amazing pianist he is.    He’s also a good friend of White Horse and we’re thrilled to have him on our stage for a special holiday concert.
He’ll be joined by talented vocalist Simone Vigilante.The music will be seasonal fun, uplifting and celebratory and will include selections from both the sacred and secular repertoire.
About David Troy Francis

David Troy Francis was born in Memphis, Tennessee and is best known for his steadfast championing and performance of contemporary American music. Now living in Asheville, North Carolina, he is an esteemed concert pianist and recording artist as well as a respected composer, arranger and accompanist.

His electrifying and critically acclaimed cd, The Americans, features compositions of living American composers including the world premiere recorded performance of Eight Etudes by two time Pulitzer Prize winning composer Ned Rorem. Other eminent American composers represented on this CD are the magnificent Lowell Liebermann, the distinguished Tobias Picker and the excellent Michael Boustead. His piano performance of this music has been described by the Los Angeles Times as consistently absorbing, whether in lyrical repose or propulsive fury. He has earned raves from composers and critics alike for his compelling combination of pulverizing technical virtuosity and poetic piano artistry.

He has a stellar recording of his performance of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor recorded live with the Pasadena Concert Series Orchestra.His popular CD, by George – Gershwin reconsidered, is an all Gershwin project including Mr. Francis’ version of the piano transcription ofRhapsody in Blue as well as newly arranged versions of songs from stage and screen. He had seven CDs commercially available.Mr. Francis’ unique arrangements of American Hymns have led to two best selling CDs; Pieces of My Childhood – American Hymns Revisited & Be Still, My Soul – American Hymns Revisited Volume Two. The latter cd was recorded in the famous Studio A at Capitol Records in Hollywood, California – the recording home of such voices as Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole.He performs frequently in recital including performances at colleges, churches and performing arts venues throughout the world performing classical works along with selections from his American Hymn and Gershwin CDs. He has played for Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden when he performed for a Nobel Prize Luncheon. He gave a totally digital rendering of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 for Roland Instruments on their digital concert grand. He performed the same work with orchestra for the distinguished Lindenwood Concert Series in Memphis, Tennessee.The delightful piano duo Francis and Weiser features Mr. Francis and Dr. Daniel Weiser.
Mr. Francis’ performance of original compositions as well as classical pieces can be heard in major motion pictures starring such luminaries as Sir Anthony Hopkins, Chris Rock, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon and Goldie Hawn. Mr. Francis has composed music for television including the animated children’s series Extreme Dinosaurs. He is also the composer for the documentary The Age of Elegance and theMock-A-Mentary Dogs.Mr. Francis was the recording pianist and celeste player for the Will Smith/Sony film Pursuit of Happyness. He was the recording pianist for the classical piano works for the film Elegy starring Penelope Cruz and Sir Ben Kingsley and was also the recording pianist and musical consultant for the re-make of the film Fame.He is the composer, musical director and executive producer for the smash hit musical BARK! which ran for two years in Los Angeles becoming the 3rd longest running production in Los Angeles intimate theatrical history. BARK! was unleashed in approximately 16 cities with spectacular success and continues to enjoy new productions.The funny and poignant show was translated into Portuguese and opened in Brazil in April 2009. BARK! has been selected critics’ choice by the Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune and has received over 30 critic’s pick or rave reviews. This musical comedy presented from a dog’s perspective has also received the endorsement of The Humane Society of The United States-the first time ever the society has endorsed a commercial entity.Mr. Francis was nominated for Best Score by the distinguished Los Angeles Drama Critics’ Circle Awards and has been awarded three consecutive ASCAP Plus Awards for musical excellence.
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