Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Do This: Carousel No. 5

The unique photography exhibition returns to St. Pete's Green Bench Brewing Wednesday night.

Posted By on Tue, Dec 1, 2015 at 5:56 PM

  • bill yates
Carousel No. 5
Wed., Dec. 2, 7 p.m., Green Bench Brewing, 1133 Baum Ave. N., St. Petersburg.
Free. carouselshow.com.

Photography exhibits have traditionally been static affairs very much in the vein of any other visual-arts event. Now in its fifth iteration, Carousel — founded and curated by former CL Creative Director Todd Bates and St. Pete photographer Bob Croslin — turns that model on its head by taking its convivial vibe from the old family slide show, upgrading the experience considerably with state-of-the-art sound, production and more, and bringing the shots to a wide variety of venues all over the Bay area.

The main event for No. 5, at Green Bench Brewing in St. Pete’s EDGE District, is Bill Yates, a Jacksonville-based shooter who will be presenting his “Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink” series (pictured — partial image) shot in Tampa in 1972 and ‘73. Six local photogs — Joey Clay, Brian James, Hillary Jones, Beth Reynolds, Selina Roman and Will Vragovic — and Orlando’s Ben Van Hook fill out what’s sure to be an interesting and expressive event. 

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Monday, November 30, 2015

As seen on TV, local artist Jason Hulfish

He's going to be featured on web-based reality series but has a bigger reason for his Kickstarter Project.

Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 5:12 PM

WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS: Jason Hulfish in his Tampa studio. - DANIEL VEINTIMILLA
  • WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS: Jason Hulfish in his Tampa studio.
The Hulfish Project: Art with Attitude
Jason Hulfish Design Studio
2705 E. Hanna Ave., Tampa
Website: jfishart.com
A few blocks east of Seminole Heights, 45-year-old artist Jason Hulfish creates creatures and backdrops that invoke a surreal cotton candy-induced fever dream. A giant Great White shark head lurches from the wall as pink princess castles are readied for final touches in the center of the space. Giant football helmets double as chairs, and a big T-rex spooks from the back corner. The large-size pieces are created meticulously with realistic detail and the around-the-clock help of Master Builder Ben Solberg in the Tampa studio. They're used as backdrop pieces for bedrooms, businesses and other spaces.

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Eddie Izzard uses the Force tonight at Ruth Eckerd Hall

The famed British comic talks about foreign language immersion and his knack for suppressing humiliation.

Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Eddie Izzard: Force Majeure
Tonight at 7:30 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N. Mc Mullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. Tickets are $47.50-$77.50. rutheckerdhall.com.

Intrepid, tangential and transgender before it was trendy, Eddie Izzard is indeed a force of nature. The 53-year-old British comedian has transformed from pudgy drag queen to svelte, superfit androgyne — he ran 43 marathons in a seven-week period — and even tells jokes in foreign languages during his long-running international tour (two years and counting), Eddie Izzard: Force Majeure (though tonight's show will be in English, of course).

The show features a snazzy James Bond-style intro and physical comedy that is on point as he prances around the stage like a dressage horse that’s robbing a bank. Other bits involve historical lessons with a touch of surrealism and stream-of-consciousness.

In a recent phone conversation with CL, Izzard says he writes his material and builds on it with improvisation, and is decidedly more polite and less of a spaz than onstage. 

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Tangible treasures unfold at The Paper Seahorse

This Tampa space carries the torch for handwritten artistry.

Posted By on Thu, Nov 26, 2015 at 12:46 PM

A vintage Royal typewriter ready for inspired hands at The Paper Seahorse. - RANDY ROSENTHAL
  • Randy Rosenthal
  • A vintage Royal typewriter ready for inspired hands at The Paper Seahorse.

The Paper Seahorse Letter Writing Social
Sunday, Nov. 29 at 2 p.m. $5. 211 S. Howard Ave., Tampa.
paperseahorse.com or (813) 251-8096.

In this predominately digital age, old-fashioned letter writing stirs the senses with tactile delight. The clack of typewriter keys or the soft scratch of a fountain pen, the clean scent of paper and envelope glue, can invite passage into a slower time.

Tona Bell, proprietor of The Paper Seahorse, wants to nudge folks out from behind their screens and help them recapture that time.

“It’s hard to stop and slow down,” Bell said. “I think people would be more mindful, would be happier, if they did.”

With husband Randy Rosenthal, a vintage typewriter enthusiast and owner of Tampa Type, Bell shares all things written and analog at her artisanal “paperie and makerie” housed in a cozy green bungalow on Tampa’s South Howard Avenue.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Movie Review: Brooklyn

A lush, tender immigrant tale starring an Oscar-worthy Saoirse Ronan.

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 5:15 PM

STARTING OVER: Saiorse Ronan stars in Brooklyn.
  • STARTING OVER: Saiorse Ronan stars in Brooklyn.
4 out of 5 stars
Directed by John Crowley
Stars Saiorse Ronan, Jim Broadbent, Emory Cohen and Domhnall Gleeson.
113 min, PG-13
Now playing at local theaters

Brooklyn is an ode to the immigrant experience in America, released at a time when half the population seems to have forgotten immigrants' role in our history.

Directed by John Crowley (Intermission, Boy A), the coming-of-age tale stars Saoirse Ronan (Atonement, Hanna) as Eilis (pronounced ay-lish), who contends with homesickness and the torn feelings that come with starting over far from home.

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Theater review: Tender Napalm knows no limits

The actors are terrific, but good luck penetrating the script.

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 12:40 PM


2 out of 5 stars
Tampa Repertory Theatre’s TRT² at Silver Meteor Gallery, 2213 E. Sixth Ave., Ybor City, Tampa.
Through Nov. 29, Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. $15. tamparep.org.

I wish I could say that I was enchanted by the word- and world-painting of Tender Napalm, Phillip Ridley’s exasperating confection currently showing at the Silver Meteor Gallery in a TRT² production. But as graphically inventive as Ridley’s dialogue is — and as talented as Betty-Jane Parks and Derrick Phillips are at speaking it — this is a game with no net, no way of telling who’s winning, who’s losing, or what’s at stake.

Imagine two lovers who can say anything to each other, compose any fantasy, verbalize any aggression. At first, the idea may seem liberating. But after a while, after he’s expressed everything from tender love to the will-to-mutilate, and she’s responded with lyrical grace and readiness-to-emasculate, you realize that there’s no start or stop to this rhapsody, that it can go on for hours without ever exhausting itself, that you the unwary spectator have wandered into someone’s private fantasia and there’s not even an intermission during which you can sneak out.

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The Laugh Tract — Who's Bringing the Funny

Gallagher, Eddie Izzard and others will help you laugh off that Turkey tryptophan.

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 12:13 PM


It's time for turkey, football and braving crowds to hunt for bargains.

But it's also a time for comedy as well. Maybe not on Thursday, although dinner with the family can quickly become a comedy of errors.

Still, there are plenty of shows the rest of the week. So on Black Friday, while you shove your way toward that cheap tablet for grandma that she'll never use, think about taking in a little laughter as well.

Here are your best bets:

Theaters and Special Events

Eddie Izzard at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Izzard has certainly forged his own path with his own sense of style. His comedy seems like random thoughts strung together, but he always has something unusual to say. At times political, thoughtful and irreverent, his blend of social commentary and biting comedy has earned him fans all over the world.
Showtime is Monday at 8 p.m. $46.50-$77.50. 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Info: rutheckerdhall.com or 727-791-7400.

Joke's on You Comedy Tour featuring Gallagher at the State Theatre. Gallagher, the godfather of the cable comedy special, brings his stand-up and sledgehammer to the State Theater on Friday night. Longtime comedy vet Artie Fletcher and the "Princess of Parodies," Traci Kanaan, provide support for the comedy legend.
Showtime is Friday at 7 p.m. $20-$40. 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. etix.com or (727) 895-3045.

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Visual arts: St. Pete's Museum of Fine Arts celebrates female artists

An exhibition of prints by American women is a major achievement for the MFA.

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 3:00 AM

Guerrilla Girls, Abrons Art Center, New York, 2015.
  • Guerrilla Girls, Abrons Art Center, New York, 2015.

Marks Made: Prints By American Women Artists from the 1960s to the Present Museum of Fine Arts
255 Beach Dr. NE, St. Petersburg, through Jan. 24, 2016. 727-896-2667, fine-arts.org.

What are the advantages of being a woman artist? Working without the pressure of success? Being reassured that whatever kind of art you make, it will be labeled feminine? Or being included in revised versions of art history (after being excluded from the canon for a lifetime)?

The list, emblazoned on a 1988 poster by the Guerrilla Girls — an artist collective famed for donning gorilla masks and pseudonyms to critique art world sexism — wouldn’t be so bitingly funny if these ironic honors didn’t ring at least somewhat true. If the feminist anger simmering beneath the faux-cheery inventory of benefits seems retro, it’s not because the situation has changed by much. In just the past two years, studies have indicated that women make up only 24 percent of museum directors at institutions with budgets over $15 million, and that female artists are outnumbered by men, 30 to 70 percent, on gallery rosters in New York and LA.

Katherine Pill, a curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, cites those statistics about the inequities faced by women in the art world in her exhibition catalogue for Marks Made: Prints By American Women Artists from the 1960s to the Present. The show, which features more than 90 prints by several dozen artists, ushers in the high point of the museum’s 50th anniversary year with evidence of the achievement of a bold goal: expanding the number of American women represented in the MFA’s permanent collection thanks to the generosity of donors Martha and Jim Sweeny, whose museum-assisted purchases and donations make up most of the works on view.

Five years in the making, that fun, smart and adventurous objective is now backed up by a fun, smart and adventurous exhibition.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tampa Bay's packed with poet laureates

Gulfport's the latest town to crown a poet.

Posted By on Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 3:34 PM

Margie Davis and Peter Hargitai. - CATHY SALUSTRI
  • Cathy Salustri
  • Margie Davis and Peter Hargitai.

True story: A group of poets is called an iamb, as in "-ambic pentameter."

Another true story: The Tampa Bay area now has an iamb not just of poets, but poet laureates. 

With the appointment of Peter Hargitai as Gulfport's poet laureate, the area now boasts four laureates. Eckerd College professor of poetry and nonfiction writing Helen Pruitt Wallace officially begins her tenure as St. Petersburg's new poet laureate in January, James Tokley serves as Hillsborough County's poet laureate, and the state poet laureate – Creative Loafing contributor Peter Meinke – lives in St. Petersburg. Before Governor Rick Scott appointed Meinke to the state poet laureate-ship, he served as St. Petersburg's poet laureate.

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Light in the tunnel

A new conversation series connects through storytelling.

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 10:36 PM

From left, panelists Jerry Rawicki, Beth Morean, Amy Foster, and organizer Ya Levy La’ford. - TIMOTHY ARRUDA
  • timothy arruda
  • From left, panelists Jerry Rawicki, Beth Morean, Amy Foster, and organizer Ya Levy La’ford.

Cocooned in a colorful tunnel, surrounded by soothing blue LEDs and sparkling metallic shapes, more than 60 students studying social justice at Shorecrest High School participated in a thought-provoking discussion Friday afternoon, during a community event presented by installation artist and educator Ya Levy La’ford in partnership with the Florida Holocaust Museum.

Second in a series of three, the program brought students together with educators, artists, politicians and other community members to share powerful stories inside the 85-foot-long tunnel adjacent to Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill in St. Petersburg — dubbed the Sunnel by La’ford, who created a permanent art installation in the space during September’s SHINE Mural Festival.

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