Archives for April 2014

A Great Day for a A Great Man: Honoring John Seigenthaler

John Seigenthaler has a legacy (including his unwavering support for the arts) that stretches through Nashville and well beyond. That legacy includes his work as Special Assistant to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy with the Freedom Riders during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s; his career as a reporter, then Editor and Publisher and later Chairman Emeritus […]

‘Wicked’ Once Again Works its Monetary Magic in Nashville

More than 72,000 people attended 32 performances when Wicked returned to Tennessee Performing Arts Center March 26-April 20 and the show produced a local economic impact estimated at over $19 million, according to a statistical analysis by The Broadway League, the New York City-based national trade association for the Broadway industry. This estimate includes economic impact generated […]

Bobby Bare Jr. Unbowed and ‘Undefeated’ With New Album Release

It’s a heavy-eye-lidded late-morning in Maumee, Ohio, when Bobby Bare Jr. telephones and apologizes for missing by an hour-and-change a mid-morning interview. “Sorry I’m late. Do you have time to talk now?” the affable music-maker asks the writer who has left several voice mails responding to Bare’s recorded message, a direct rip from an old Doors […]

Music Review: Nashville jazz community honors Billy Adair

Several of Nashville’s top jazz vocalists and instrumentalists joined forces over two weekends to celebrate the life and accomplishments of a beloved friend and mentor to numerous area performers young and old. The outstanding arranger, guitarist/bassist, bandleader and instructor Billy Adair, who passed away last month, was honored in two memorial concerts at Ingram Hall by The Blair Big Band (April 19) and […]

Film Review: Absolutism’s Destructive Power in ‘As It Is in Heaven’

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” 2 Peter 3:10 “For the wisdom of this […]

All-Time Records Fall as 45th Annual Nashville Film Festival Ends

The movies ended and the lights came up Saturday night on a Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) where ticket sales were up 30 percent and attendence was up more than 40 percent from last year, according to organizers. NaFF celebrated its 45th anniversary by expanding to 10 days and two locations. For the first time ever, the festival […]

Music Review: Nashville Symphony scores big in a program of Mozart masterpieces.

A suave and sophisticated British-born maestro is leading the Nashville Symphony Orchestra in its classical series concerts this weekend at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Christopher Seaman, the director emeritus of upstate New York’s Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, is conducting a program devoted entirely to Mozart masterpieces. Seaman is an outstanding interpreter of this music, and his […]

‘The Identical’, ‘Glen Campbell…’, ‘Noble’ & ‘Film About Kids…’ are 2014 NaFF Audience Favorites

Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) 2014 announced the Freedom to Choose Southwest Airlines Audience Awards tonight at the Closing Night Party of its 45th annual festival. Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me, The Identical, Noble, and A Film About Kids & Music took home the audience voted awards. Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me also received this year’s Gibson Music City/Music Films Grand Jury Prize. […]

NaFF Announces Festival’s First Annual Screenwriting Honors

The Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) announced the winners of its First Annual Screenwriter Awards today at Regal Green Hills Stadium 16. In the first year of the Nashville Film Festival Screenwriters Competition, the organization garnered over 1,500 entries. NaFF Screenwriting Manager Michael Wood says, “In our first year hosting this competition, we read so many […]

‘Violet’, A Musical Journey of Discovery, at STC Now through May 4

The Nashville premiere of the critically-acclaimed musical Violet hits the Street Theatre Company stage tonight. Set in 1964 in the Deep South during the early days of the Civil Rights Movement, the show (with a book by Brian Crawley, music by Jeanine Tesori and lyrics by Crawley) follows the enlightenment of a bitter young woman accidentally scarred by […]

‘Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me’, ‘Club Sandwich’, ‘Before I Disappear’, ‘BESA: The Promise’ Among 2014 NaFF Competitive Winners

Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) 2014 announced its 45th Annual Competition Award Winners Thursday, including Grand Jury Award Winners Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me, Club Sandwich, Before I Disappear, and BESA: The Promise, among other notable films.  The Ballad of Shovels and Rope received this year’s Ground Zero Tennessee Spirit Award for Best Feature on Wednesday. Gibson Music City/Music Films Award  Grand Jury Prize: […]

‘Once’, ‘Kinky Boots’ & ‘Newsies’ in ’14-’15 Broadway@TPAC Season

‘Book of Mormon’ Among Special Presentations in Strong Slate   The Tennessee Performing Arts Center today announced its upcoming 2014-15 HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC series as well as special engagements that comprise one of its strongest slates ever. CEO Kathleen O’Brien unveiled the seven-show season package that features four productions in their first year on tour, […]

Film Review: Ambitious Genius and a Touch of (Delightful) Madness in ‘Jodorowsky’s Dune’

“What if (director) had made (film)?” is a favorite game for movie lovers. What if Stanley Kubrick had made Napoleon? What if David Lean had made Nostromo? What if Terry Gilliam had made Don Quixote (wait, he still may)? One of the more intriguing what-ifs concerns Chilean-born filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky, who came to be known […]

‘Shovels & Rope’ and ‘Lower Broads’ Among TN NaFF Winners

  The Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) announced the winners of the Ground Zero Tennessee Spirit Awards and the Tennessee Horizon Audience Awards tonight at NaFF Cinema at Walk of Fame Park in Downtown Nashville. The Ground Zero Tennessee Spirit Awards were presented by Bob Jackson, owner of Ground Zero.  The Tennessee Horizon Awards were presented in […]

Book Review: A Loving Thanks for Life in ‘Shoebox Full of Toads’

“I had to laugh,” Tim Ghianni writes early in his touching and intimate “Shoebox Full of Toads: Farewell to Mom” tribute. “You take joy on its own terms.” Ghianni’s insightful words come after one of his mother’s frequent battles with the effects of the genetic lung disorder that eventually claimed her life. In a book where […]

Film Review: Captivating and Suspenseful ‘Closer to God’ Cuts to the Marrow

“‘When younger…I believed myself destined for some great enterprise. My feelings are profound, but I possessed a coolness of judgment that fitted me for illustrious achievements. This sentiment of the worth of my nature supported me when others would have been oppressed, for I deemed it criminal to throw away in useless grief those talents […]

Theater Review: Friendship the Perfect Blendship for NCT’s ‘Lyle’

  “It’s friendship, friendship, Just a perfect blendship, When other friendships have been forgot Ours will still be hot!” – From “Friendship” by Cole Porter The lyrics cited above were going through my head again and again while watching the very entertaining Lyle the Crocodile at Nashville Children’s Theatre. Indeed, friendship, Lyle and NCT are a perfect […]

Music Review: Pianist Jeremy Denk and the Nashville Symphony perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1

Every season, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra brings some of the world’s most important guest artists to Music City. Jeremy Denk, the soloist in this weekend’s performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1, is as distinguished as they come. A gifted writer as well as pianist, Denk recently received a contract from Random House to turn […]

‘The Identical’ Kicks Off 10-Day 2014 Nashville Film Festival Today

The world premiere of a film shot here in 2012 opens the 45th Annual Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) today. The expanded festival runs through April 26. The Identical, an appealing family drama about musically-gifted separated twins with a cast that features Ashley Judd, Ray Liotta, Seth Green, Joe Pantoliano and newcomer Blake Rayne in the leading […]

Opera Review: A Timeless ‘Otello’ for All from Nashville Opera

In the worlds of theater and opera William Shakespeare and Giuseppe Verdi are, among their other accolades, the masters of tragedy. The opera Otello is a work by Verdi and librettist Arrigo Boito that distills the Bard’s story of passion, love, jealousy and hate into four gripping acts. Nashville Opera General and Artistic Director John […]