Monday, June 1, 2015

A quick chat with Cindy Williams, appearing in Menopause The Musical

The icon of American youth is bringing us "the change" through songs and comedy.

Posted By on Mon, Jun 1, 2015 at 10:51 AM

GIVING PAUSE: The cast performs “We Were Going To Change The World; Now, ‘Change’ Has A Whole New Meaning!” - BUCKINGTRENDS.COM
  • buckingtrends.com
  • GIVING PAUSE: The cast performs “We Were Going To Change The World; Now, ‘Change’ Has A Whole New Meaning!”

Considered wholesome, sweet and all-American-pretty with a touch of quirky charm, Cindy Williams is known and loved as Shirley Feeney from the 1950s-set, 1970s sitcom Laverne And Shirley. She also starred in a couple of ultra important films like the American sock-hop classic American Graffiti — which co-starred Ron Howard and Harrison Ford — and The Conversation starring Gene Hackman. 

These days the 67-year-old actor is lending her star power to Menopause The Musical, in town at the Straz this Wednesday.  

The musical is now in its 13th year of production world-wide, produced by GFour Productions. One selling point for Williams — the production company has donated a portion of the show's revenues to The Susan G Komen Foundation.
Jeanie Linders penned the musical's book and script to provide laughter during the most reviled, ridiculed, painful and stressful rites of passage in a women's life. 

Williams had a quick moment for a few questions during CL's mad dash for Summer Guide last week ...

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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Local author named an International Latino Book Awards finalist

Tarpon Springs author a finalist in Int'l Latino Book Awards

Posted By on Sun, May 31, 2015 at 1:03 PM

LOCAL PROFESSOR EMERITUS, INTERNATIONAL AUTHOR: The first pages of David Edmonds' novel were written when he was in the Peace Corps.
  • LOCAL PROFESSOR EMERITUS, INTERNATIONAL AUTHOR: The first pages of David Edmonds' novel were written when he was in the Peace Corps.


Former USF professor and Tarpon Springs-based author David Edmonds has been named a finalist in the fiction category of the International Latino Book Awards. The winners will be announced June 27 at an award ceremony in San Francisco.

His debut novel, Lily of Peru, was released by Peace Corps Writers in January.

“Surprise and joy pretty much sum up my first reaction [to finding out about the award,]” he said. “Surprise because neither I nor my protagonist is Latino. Lily made the cut because of its setting in a Latino culture. Joy because the International Latino Book Awards is a big deal in the Latino writers community.”

Lily of Peru, which Edmonds calls a love thriller, is the story of a USF professor struggling to get the woman he loves out of Peru during the dark days of the Shining Path insurrection.


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J. Elijah Cho, AMC's new "Wonderboy"

He's landed a role on Halt and Catch Fire, and now the Tampa actor hopes to strike while the iron is hot.

Posted By on Sun, May 31, 2015 at 12:14 PM

DREAM ROLE: Cho outside Stone Soup in Ybor, wearing the t-shirt of his favorite video game character. - JULIE GARISTO
  • JULIE GARISTO
  • DREAM ROLE: Cho outside Stone Soup in Ybor, wearing the t-shirt of his favorite video game character.


As an 8-year-old in the early ’90s, J. Elijah Cho loved to play the Nintendo game Mega Man. He’d show off his controller tricks to his dad, an Air Force computer engineer and artist, who introduced him to Atari games like Pitfall when he was just out of diapers.

Wherever the Korean-American military family relocated — from Fort Walton Beach to North Dakota to Germany to Korea — video games, computers and other clunky devices of the time were a constant in the Cho household.

“We had one of the incarnations of the Apple II,” Cho said. “That and I saw the evolution of the PCs from an i286, i386, i486 to the Pentium processors we have now. My dad would build the computers from parts he’d purchase.”

Two decades and a slew of upgrades later, the Tampa-based actor is portraying one of the coders responsible for the proto-maze games he navigated with his dad. Cho’s character Wonderboy is among a throng of young programming geeks on Season Two of Halt and Catch Fire, which premieres on AMC this Sunday night at 10 p.m.


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Busch Gardens new ride alert: Cobra's Curse set to debut in 2016 (w/video)

The newest theme park ride will sport some promising features.

Posted By on Sun, May 31, 2015 at 11:54 AM

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Set to debut in 2016 in the Egypt area of Busch Gardens, Cobra’s Curse will takes passengers on an adventure to uncover the secrets of an Egyptian excavation site.

With a height requirement of 42 inches, an eight-person train, zips around at more than 40 mph, and the goal of family and friends riding together, this impressive one-of-a-kind spin-coaster brings a whole new element to family fun. Its impressive figures don’t stop there — the 3-1/2-minute ride will be able to service just more than 1,000 riders per hour.

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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Do This: The Weekend Top 10

Last of the Zendah swing-dance Sundays, tiki fun, Pub Bike Ride, Clearwater turns 100, famous magicians, ladybugs, Pablo Francisco, big mural art show in Tampa and more.

Posted By on Sat, May 30, 2015 at 4:02 PM

LOOKING GOOD FOR ITS AGE: Clearwater celebrates its centennial this week. - JULIE GARISTO
  • JULIE GARISTO
  • LOOKING GOOD FOR ITS AGE: Clearwater celebrates its centennial this week.


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Ladybugs and good grub: The Harbor Dish in Safety Harbor is celebrating the end of spring with acoustic music by Jeff Brockman, games, chalk art, Jenga, shade trees to sit under (bring your own chair). The menu includes Chipotle Orange Chicken, Smoked Pulled Pork, Kale Salad with Cranberries, Pine Nuts and Raspberry Vinaigrette, and a variety of desserts and drinks. In addition, 35,000 ladybugs will be released at  7 p.m. According to vegetablegardener.com, the beetles are beneficial insects for the growing veggies. Saturday, 5-7 p.m. The Harbor Dish Community Cafe, 123 Fourth Ave. S., Safety Harbor. 727-796-8286, HarborDish@HarborDish.org.

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Friday, May 29, 2015

Art exhibit and documentary to showcase life in war-torn Syria

The gallery founders recently returned from a trip to the country's border with Turkey.

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2015 at 10:19 PM

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At the moment, life in many parts of Syria is a combination of brutality and desperation. 

While it's easy for most of us to ignore — all we have to do is change a channel or click on a different link, brushing off the degradation of a once-flourishing culture into one of medieval strife isn't right — or wise.

Saturday at 8 p.m., you can hear about conditions in the war-torn country, and even learn how to help a little. Ahmad Hussam and Nicolas Armero, founders of Peace House Productions and USF students, are hosting the screening of  a documentary on their travels to the Syrian-Turkish border this past January.

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

One Man Breaking Bad — the unauthorized parody hits the Straz

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2015 at 6:42 PM

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The heartbreaking end of an engaging TV series doesn't necessarily have to mean the end of an era, and such is the case of the ever-popular AMC drama Breaking Bad.

While we are still coming to terms with the end of a much beloved show, having said our goodbyes to Walter White, Jesse, and our other favorite characters, one comedy live theatrical comedy show can help ease the pain. 

In September, Tampa's Straz Center will present actor Miles Allen in his acclaimed comedy show One Man Breaking Bad — The Unauthorized Parody — a show that has over 1 million YouTube views and is sold-out on tour internationally.

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Meet acclaimed authors, friends with UT connections

Weirdos and sketchoids, unite behind your local(ish) literary heroes!

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2015 at 6:22 PM

SUNSHINE STATELY: Author and University of Tampa grad Shane Hinton.
  • SUNSHINE STATELY: Author and University of Tampa grad Shane Hinton.

It’s an all-too-rare event: Two cool, young, edgy, nationally-accomplished authors with Florida connections swinging through Tampa to read, kvetch and generally Inspire the Youths. Orlando-based Burrow Press is mounting a statewide tour in support of Shane Hinton’s new short story collection, and he’s bringing along his pal Jeff Parker for a reading at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 29th at Wilson’s Book World in St. Pete. In a town where finding accomplished fictioneers can seem like searching for a lost ring on the beach (but which nonetheless often turns up gold), this one’s a gimme.

Hinton is the nominal headliner, reading from Pinkies, a collection Burrow is releasing in late May. Previews promise a collection of surrealistic Florida oddities, including python fights, hyperaggressive automobiles, and (somehow) anxieties about fatherhood.

You can preorder Pinkies here for pickup at the event.

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Aloha: Hello and goodbye, Cameron Crowe

A major disappointment from the man who made Almost Famous.

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2015 at 4:02 PM

HAWAIIAN EYES: Cooper, Stone and McAdams. - SONY PICTURES
  • Sony Pictures
  • HAWAIIAN EYES: Cooper, Stone and McAdams.

I was catfished by Cameron Crowe.

I believed the trailer. I was completely expecting to walk into the theater and be treated to some laughs, some love, and maybe – just maybe — learn a little along the way.

The trailer, as it turns out, is a blatant misrepresentation of the film. The uproarious comedic scenes we’re promised? Not present. The romantic storyline that supposedly changes lives and hearts? Unconvincing. And two of the film's biggest draws, Bill Murray and Alec Baldwin, have roughly 10 minutes of screen time between them.

The only thing I learned from this movie was that I’m a patient woman.

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Do This: Mural art show in Ybor Saturday night

Big party, big venue, big art, big talent.

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2015 at 3:32 PM

UNDER RECONSTRUCTION: Murals are being painted at MF Arts as we speak.
  • UNDER RECONSTRUCTION: Murals are being painted at MF Arts as we speak.

Two new Ybor venues are offering content usually associated with Burg art events.

The cigar district’s new supersize arts venue, MF Arts Ybor, is off to an auspicious start with its second big show in the past couple of months. Joining Dysfunctional Grace and other recently erected neighborhood galleries, MF is one more sign that the district is becoming more artsy and less fartsy as David Morris so eloquently puts in his story this week.

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