BLAINESWORLD #1056 (Please send any comments to: bginbc@aol.com.)

Section 2, part 2

(1) Michaeleen L. in PA:  Thought for the day reflects my thoughts as well.  I also get Lonely Planet and enjoyed seeing Asheville named.

(2) Bray C. in NC:  I’m bummed that you didn’t like Office Christmas Party. I like all those actors, too.  We have plans to see it next week with some friends.  I’ll go in with low expectations, then.  Maybe that’ll help.

(3) Deborah B. in NC: Beautiful, Blaine. Thank you!

(4) Ange M. in PA:  Alleluia on your thought for the day.  I loved it.

(5) Kathy B. in FL: If anyone has a Sirius radio account, they have a special rate right now til 12/31 of $30 for 6 months (plus tax of about $7). If you are paying more than this, all you have to do is call them and change your plan. They try to sell you something more expensive, but just tell them you want the special or you will cancel your subscription. I set up a reminder for myself for the expiration of the new plan so I don’t get caught with them charging me the highest rate.

Note: This recommendation applies to the other bills; e.g., cable, cell, etc. If you call to question what you’re paying and mention the possibility of changing, you can often get a break in price.

(6)

(7) Jason I. in NC: Love seeing your continuing adventures!  Hope things are as well in the real world you you and your bride as they seem in your writing.

(8)

(9) Mike M. in NC: FENCES ***1/2

Brilliantly acted and directed by Denzel Washington with an adapted a screenplay by August Wilson prior to his death recreates the story of a 1950’s hard nosed black man in Pittsburgh who struggles though life trying to deal with race relationships mentally challenged brother and his relationship as a father.

Denzel Washington and Viola Davis recreate their 2010 Tony award winning performances. ad Troy and Rose Maxson. Both won Tony’s for lead performances ina revival of a play. Viola choose to put herself in the supporting category for awards season and this was a wise choice. Her character Rose is definitely supporting and the best actress field is way to crowded with other great performances. Denzel is on screen about 95% of the film and just gives an amazing performance. The cast as an ensemble blends well together and will walk away with the SAG award for best cast ensemble even aganist two other films with great ensemble performances, Mancchester By The Sea and Moonlight. Not nominated or mentioned in most reviews Mykelti Williamson who play Gabe the mentall challenged brother. His performance as a mentally challenged man tugs at you heart. The reviewer for USA Today said Denzel choose to film this more as a play then a movie with most of the film based in the backyard and house of the Maxson’s which is a valid point since 95% of the film is based at their home but there is enough other scenes that you don’t feel like it is a Broadway show filmed for Fathom events of Live From Lincoln Center on PBS

This is a must see film this holiday season. I would love to hear from any of my theater friends who saw the 2010 revival and their feelings on how it compares with the film.

(10) Todd S. in NJ: Saw Collateral Beauty. Great movie. Bring tissues for the last 2-3 minutes.

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Section 12A, NC events

(1) The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)
Music by Eric Rockwell; Lyrics by Joanne Bogart;
Book by Eric Rockwell and Joanne Bogart

January 6-22, 2017
Fridays and Saturday nights at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 2:30 pm
35 Below

Tickets:

https://ashevilletheatre.secure.force.com/ticket#details_a0S3100000GGCaIEAX

Karen Covington-Yow – Abby (The Matron)
Daniel Hensley – Jitter (The Villain)
Tabitha Judy – June (The Ingenue)
Strother Stingley – Billy (The Hero)

Jessica Garland – Choreography/Lighting Director
Misty Theisen – Producer/Director/Music Director

Times are hard. Why see one musical when you can see five at the same time? The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) is a hilarious satire in five acts, each of which tells the exact same basic plot about a young woman unable to pay rent to her evil landlord. However, every act is performed in the style of a different famous composer – from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Stephen Sondheim to Andrew Lloyd Webber! You don’t need to catch all the references to historical shows to still love every minute of this fast-paced comic valentine.

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(2) Zuzu Welsh Band at White Horse Black Mountain
Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 8 PM – 11 PM

White Horse Black Mountain
105 Montreat Rd, Black Mountain, NC

Returning to the White Horse in Black Mountain to kick off 2017, and say farewell to one of the founding members of the Zuzu Welsh Band. Yes, Abbot will be playing his last show with us. Abbot has been an integral part of the band from day one, and it is certainly not a stretch to say he has been as valuabel to the band as anyone in it. So bring your dancing shoes and shake it up to some fine original and classic rock, blues, r&b and more. Ticket information:
http://www.whitehorseblackmountain.com/2014/03/long-range-calendar-of-events.html

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Section 12B, PA/NJ events

(1) BCCC Book Club Kicks Off 2017 With “Game Of Thrones” Showrunner’s Book

Other authors include Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ann Patchett, and Kazuo Ishiguro.

BCCC Book Club Kicks Off 2017 With "Game Of Thrones" Showrunner's Book

Is your New Year’s resolution to read more? The Bucks County Community College is beginning its 2017 book club on Jan. 12 and is inviting the public to attend.

The new year will begin with a discussion on a book by the showrunner of HBO’s hit series “Game of Thrones.”

The free book club will discuss “City of Thieves” By David Benioff at 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 12 in room 114 of the Rollins Center, located near the Student Life office at the college’s Newtown campus, 275 Swamp Road, Newtown.

The group meets informally on the second Thursday each month during the academic year from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., the college said.

Literature professor Michael Hennessey runs the meetings and says group members come from a variety of backgrounds, but share a love of reading. In fact, the titles are suggested by group members at the last meeting of each semester, the college said.

“There’s not much conflict over the titles we choose,” Hennessey said in a statement. “We certainly often disagree about the value or worth of some titles and some characters, but it’s always a civil discussion.”Publishers Weekly says Benioff has written an adventurous, bittersweet coming-of-age novel based on his grandfather’s stories about surviving WWII in Russia, according to the college. During the siege in Leningrad, 17-year-old Lev is caught looting a German paratrooper’s corpse and faces execution. But a colonel spares Lev and a Russian army deserter also facing execution if they can acquire a dozen eggs for the colonel’s daughter’s wedding cake. Their mission takes them behind enemy lines, where they take on an even more daring objective: to kill the commander of the local occupying German forces.

Other titles to be discussed are:

  • February 9 – “The Buried Giant” by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • March 9 – “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • April 13 – “Commonwealth” by Ann Patchett
  • May 11 – “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead
  • June 8 – “LaRose: A Novel” by Lousie Erdrich

For snow closing information, call (215) 968‑8000 or visit the college’s website.

For more information, contact Hennessey at (215) 968-8164 or email Michael.Hennessey@bucks.edu.

(2) Musical Revue, ‘Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris,’ Comes to MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre Jan. 6 to 15

West Windsor, N.J. – Ring in the New Year with a musical revue that will delight and surprise you – and even offer up some words of wisdom for the times we live in.  Pierrot Productions proudly presents “Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris” at Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) Kelsey Theatre Fridays, Jan. 6 and 13 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Jan. 7 and 14 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, Jan. 8 and 15 at 2 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is located on MCCC’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

The show features four vocalists ready to make musical magic: Tom Chiola of Trenton, Haley Schmalbach of Marlton, Michael Wemer of Westampton, and Debi Zeontz of West Windsor.  Kelsey patrons are invited to join in the lobby before the performances for dessert and coffee/tea. (Note that this show replaces “Billy Elliot,” which has been rescheduled for next season.)

Often referred to as the Bob Dylan of France, Jacques Brel was a prolific Belgian singer, songwriter, actor and director who composed and performed literate, thoughtful, and theatrical songs that generated a large, devoted following – initially in Belgium and France, and later throughout the world.

The show, a blend of ballads, tangos, boleros, rock and classics, pays tribute to Brel’s unique genius. Telling stories about people actively questioning their own values, each number takes on a potent theme: love, war, adventure, broken dreams, class in society, being young and growing old. And throughout, Brel finds ways to treat his subjects with humor and irony.  Kelsey patrons are likely to recognize many of these tunes, which have been performed by some of the 20th century’s greatest artists including Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Judy Collins, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, and more.

The show originally opened off-Broadway in 1968 at The Village Gate Theatre, where it ran for four years, and then spawned international and regional productions, as well as a West End production and Off-Broadway revival. A film adaptation was released in 1975. Brel’s songs were translated into English by Eric Blau and Mort Shuman, who also wrote the story.

The production team includes Director Pete LaBriola, Music Director Erica Silver, Stage Manager Virginia McGowen, Technical Director Bernie McGowen and Costumer Ruth Rittman.
Tickets are $20 for all and may be purchased online at www.kesleytheatre.net or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333.  Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking next to the theater.  For a complete listing of adult and children’s events, visit the Kelsey website or call the box office for a brochure.

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