Thursday, March 26, 2015

Painters, photographers needed — calls for artists

Centre Gallery, Carrollwood Cultural Center are accepting proposals for new art shows.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 4:20 PM

ART SMART: Centre Gallery hosts a a diverse array of shows. Here “Inside Out” by Grace Strattan, 2014.
  • ART SMART: Centre Gallery hosts a a diverse array of shows. Here “Inside Out” by Grace Strattan, 2014.

Centre Gallery at USF has issued a call for artists. Proposal submissions for Summer/Fall 2015 Seasons are now being accepted in the gallery, MSC 2700, until Friday at 5 p.m. Gallery exhibitions are two weeks in duration, but we the gallery occasionally accommodates proposals of different lengths (for performance art, film, etc.). Click here for requirements, dates and other info.

The Gallery at Carrollwood Cultural Center is inviting local artists, sculpture, illustrators and photographers to participate in an exhibit titled Inspiration in July and August. An open reception and awards presentation will take place on Friday, July 10 from 5 until 8 p.m. Application deadline is June 19. Reception & Awards: Friday, July 10, 5-8 p.m.

The Gallery at Carrollwood Cultural Center is located at 4537 Lowell Road in Tampa. Entry forms are posted online at For more information, contact Nancy Kirkpatrick, art curator, at, or 813-731-7056.

Theater Review — Gutenberg! The Musical!

American Stage presses its luck with Gutenberg! The Musical!.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 3:13 PM

FIT TO PRINT: Joey Panek and Matthew McGee in Gutenberg! The Musical!. -
  • FIT TO PRINT: Joey Panek and Matthew McGee in Gutenberg! The Musical!.

As Act Two of Gutenberg! The Musical! begins, we’re finally treated to some meaningful comedy. Prior to this, the script by Anthony King and Scott Brown has been mostly insipid, with no real significance beyond its desire to please. But now, as the lights come down, we “overhear” the two actors, Matthew McGee and Joey Panek, supposedly chatting in their dressing room, unaware that a mic is on. What they choose to talk about is the keyboard player, David Estevez, who, sitting onstage, is taking in every condescending word and reacting, we imagine, with justified outrage. In these enjoyable moments — which aren’t in my copy of the text — a subject as important as ethnic stereotyping is referenced, along with an issue as perennial as human hypocrisy. We laugh heartily because these topics really matter. And we’re tempted to look inward, at our own transgressive thoughts.

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Countdown to GASP!: Here's the complete lineup for Friday's big bash

It's the everything fest — and here's what's happening when.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 1:10 PM

  • UNRB.

You know an event is big when it takes two days just to blog about the first and second hours. Or maybe that's just me over-sharing.

But seriously, there is so much to see and hear and taste at GASP! — CL's multi-discliplinary performing arts fest taking place Friday, March 27 from 6-10 p.m. at the Tampa Museum of Art — that it's hard to fit in all in one post.

And trust me — as in any festival worth the name, the FOMO factor will be in full effect.  

To assuage your own fears of missing out, here's the full lineup of performers, listed by genre, and where to find them.

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The world's largest Slip 'n' Slide — psych!

An invitation on Facebook turns out to be a hoax. Don't order tickets through the event page's link.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 12:28 PM


The Urban Slide revisits a warm weather childhood recreation activity and takes it to the billionth power. The "world's largest waterslide" is touring the country.

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The surprising Norman Rockwell at Tampa Museum of Art

Though disdained by critics as sentimental, he created indelible images of equality and courage.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 10:53 AM

YES, IT’S ART: Rockwell’s "The Problem We All Live With," an illustration created for Look magazine, Jan. 14, 1964. - ©NORMAN ROCKWELL FAMILY AGENCY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NORMAN ROCKWELL MUSEUM COLLECTIONS
  • ©Norman Rockwell Family Agency. All rights reserved. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections
  • YES, IT’S ART: Rockwell’s "The Problem We All Live With," an illustration created for Look magazine, Jan. 14, 1964.

American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell
Tampa Museum of Art, 120 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, through May 31. 813-274-8130,

At the start of her 2013 biography of Norman Rockwell, Deborah Solomon sums up the artist’s complicated status as one of America’s best-known, most beloved and most disdained of 20th-century art makers: “The scathing condescension directed at Rockwell during his lifetime eventually made him a prime candidate for revisionist therapy, which is to say, an art-world hug,” she quips.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Out of the trash, into the tank — Re:Purposed and Holoscenes at Ringling

Two exhibitions at Ringling yield intriguing ecological perspectives.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 11:39 PM

TABOO TOTEM: Vanessa German’s “Reality Check: To Call the Police Use this Phone,” 2013.
  • TABOO TOTEM: Vanessa German’s “Reality Check: To Call the Police Use this Phone,” 2013.
Runs through May 17 Lars Jan: Holoscenes
Wed., Mar. 25, Fri., Mar. 27 and Sat., Mar. 28, 12-5 p.m.
Thurs. Mar. 26, noon-8 p.m.
John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota

Glance at the label next to a Vanessa German sculpture, and what you won’t find is a snippet of vague art lingo like “mixed media assemblage,” but rather an exhaustive and poetic list of all that combines into her sculptures. The white buttons, toys and cell phone chargers that fuse into the dress of a small black figure are also “white things to quell the rage, to clean up the bones, to speak for the already-gone-to-dust ancestors.” Using the most trivial of stuff, German conjures a charged history of racial oppression. Along the way she illuminates how human relations are shaped in part by the junk we live by and the meaning we imbue it with.

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GIFF interview: Lanre Olabisi of Somewhere in the Middle

The writer-director explores causality and relationships in his latest film.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 7:00 PM

In his latest film, Somewhere in the Middle, writer and director Lanre Olabisi points his lens at a relationship to reveal that truth has more facets than it seems. The story revolves around a couple, Billie (Cassandra Freeman), her husband Kofi (Charles Miller), and two women the couple pull into an intertwining affair.

“I think our reality is very subjective,” Olabisi says. “When you meet somebody, that impression can change once you get more information. But what often happens is we have a tidbit of information and we make a very strong opinion of somebody or someone. But if we knew why they did a certain thing and we had the entire story, then perhaps we would have a fuller idea of what the truth is.”

Olabisi approached his story by sharing the perspectives of each of his central characters. In one scene we see an angry Kofi in a heated tête-à-tête with his wife Billie that seems to be the last word on the matter, but after a quick cut we see the circumstances from Billie’s perspective, with events leading up to and including her confrontation with her husband. This unique methodology was developed during six months of improvisational sessions with the actors. As scenarios were acted out, Olabisi noticed something that led to the uncommon direction the story took.

“When I was creating the characters with the actors and helping create the situations, one thing I noticed was, this person has this point of view, they don’t know all this other stuff that has happened,” he says. “They don’t know why this person made XYZ decision, and I thought it would be interesting to illustrate that.”

The film also stars Marisol Miranda as Sofia, a freelance graphic designer; Louisa Ward as Alex, an employee of Billie's who inadvertently gets swept up in the melee; and Dennis Rubin Green as Nelson, Kofi’s brother and coincidentally Sofia’s therapist

To finance the project, Olabisi turned to Kickstarter to raise the $100,000 needed for his film. He recalls the experience as both interesting and stressful. “It was definitely a part-time job,” he says.

On average Olabisi recalls spending three to four hours a day on Kickstarter during the week and even more time on the weekends responding to potential investors and getting the word out. “The first wave is the people who love you,” he says. “ … They want to see you win. The next phase is getting the people who just like us, and that’s a little more difficult because now we have to prove that this is something that they want to put their money into.”

Olabisi exceeded his goal, raising a total of $104,429 in April 2013, and Somewhere in the Middle is already scheduled to screen in several film festivals around the country, including the Gasparilla International Film Festival. The next hurdle for his film is distribution. Olabasi’s previous film, August the First is currently streaming on Netflix and Hulu, but he says the distribution channels have changed since then.

“I find myself having to relearn everything completely anew,” Olabisi says. “Netflix was not a player back then. It was more impressive to say, ‘My film is in Blockbuster!’ Now you have to be the cream of the crop to get yourself into those prime distribution services. I’m just glad I’m one of them."

Somewhere in the Middle, directed by Lanre Olabisi, will be shown 5 p.m. Thurs., March 26, Plaza Theatre. $12. For more info, visit

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Matthew McGee's Top 10 pros & cons of working at the Flamingo Resort

The bouffant half of the popular cabaret duo Scott & Patti weighs in after headlining the Flamingo Resort's karaoke night — now every Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 5:21 PM

FLAMINGO KIDS: Matt McGee as Patti, left, and Scott Daniel host the karaoke nights at the Flamingo.
  • FLAMINGO KIDS: Matt McGee as Patti, left, and Scott Daniel host the karaoke nights at the Flamingo.

The Flamingo Resort
 in South St. Petersburg is a popular but often hectic hangout. For those of you unfamiliar, think Shepard's on Clearwater Beach, LGBT-fied.

When we got news that one of our favorite cabaret acts — Scott & Patti, the mother-son duo starring Scott Daniel and Matthew McGee in drag — is hosting the resort's Kamikaze Karaoke on Tuesday nights, we were just tickled pink. But we also wondered how a stage mother with fragile nerves and her spoiled but talented son would handle the culture shock. They're used to more prim and proper venues, like American Stage and freeFall.

McGee offered up a list of the best and worst things about working the Flamingo.

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The Laugh Tract — Who's Bringing the Funny

Jay Leno and John Witherspoon of Friday fame head the list of headliners on stage this weekend.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 10:39 AM

EX-HOST WITH THE MOST: Jay Leno can't stop gigging.
  • EX-HOST WITH THE MOST: Jay Leno can't stop gigging.

Comedy clubs are in full swing this week with a mix of local talent and nationally-touring headliners. But for those of you looking for an even bigger name, Sunday night will be your night to laugh. Jay Leno is in town for one show.
But there are plenty of other acts performing on both sides of the bay. Here's the lineup for this week:

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Mulder and Scully are back! The X-Files' return to TV

Some thoughts on the big news and recommended reads for fans.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 1:03 AM

  • FOX

The singing teens have left the building, but Fox viewers are gleeful about the return of another of its benchmark shows.

In case you haven't read all over the interwebs already, The X-Files will be back for a limited six-episode run at an undisclosed date — no doubt to create more suspense and hype around the network's biggest redux since 24.

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