ADA – Four-time Academy of Country Music nominee Lee Brice is making his debut appearance at 7 tonight at the historic McSwain Theatre, 130 W Main in downtown.
“We are excited to host Lee Brice at the historic McSwain Theatre,” said theatre manager Jae L. Stillwell in the news release.. “The 574-seat theatre creates an intimate setting and allows for an up-close experience during concerts.”
During his chart-topping career, Brice has toured with Willie Nelson, Jamey Johnson and Luke Bryan.
Along with recording, Brice also is known as an accomplished songwriter, with credits including “Still” for Tim McGraw, “Not Every Man Lives” for Jason Aldean and “Crazy Girl,” which Brice co-wrote and was a No. 1 hit for the Eli Young Band.
Brice also collaborated on Garth Brooks’ hit song “More Than A Memory.”
As a recording artist, Brice’s highest-charting single is “A Woman Like You”, which reached No. 1 in April. He also had Billboard’s Top Country Song of 2010 with “Love Like Crazy,” the title track to his 2010 debut album; the song spent 56 weeks on the Hot Country Songs chart, peaking at No. 3 and setting a record for the longest run in the chart’s history.
For more information, go to www.mcswaintheatre.com.
Best Bets for Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2012: The Living Dead, Posthuman-Palooza, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”
Here are the Best Bets for entertainment in the Oklahoma City area this weekend, as listed in Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman. For more Labor Day weekend events happening around Oklahoma, click here. For even more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
1. NORMAN — Rise up with local musicians for The Living Dead – A Grateful Dead Tribute at 10:30 p.m. Friday at The Deli, 309 White Street. Information: www.thedeli.us.
2. See the rock musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” presented by Oklahoma City Theatre Company, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Civic Center’s Freede Little Theatre, 201 N Walker. Information: 812-7737 or www.okctheatrecompany.org.
3. Hear Oklahoma musicians Modern Rock Diaries, O’Fidelis, Sugar Free Allstars and more at Posthuman-Palooza, a mini music festival supporting the local indie film “Posthuman,” at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Myriad Gardens Water Stage, 301 W Reno Ave. Information and tickets: http://posthumanfilm.eventbrite.com.
4. Listen to Austin, Texas-based indie band The Rocketboys at 6:30 p.m. Friday at The Conservatory, 8911 N Western. Information: www.conservatoryokc.com.
Arts Festival Oklahoma at Oklahoma City Community College celebrates end of summer over Labor Day weekend
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman. To learn about more Labor Day weekend activities happening around Oklahoma, click here.
OCCC celebrates the end of summer with Arts Festival Oklahoma
From Saturday-Monday, the Labor Day weekend tradition will feature 160-plus artist booths set up under block-long tents, a performing arts stage spotlighting a variety of live entertainment and a food court serving up a wide array of mouthwatering treats.
Art lovers, music fans and foodies are invited to go back to school to celebrate the final days of summer.
Oklahoma City Community College is hosting the 34th Annual Arts Festival Oklahoma Saturday-Monday under the big tents on the festival grounds at the north end of campus. The event has become a favorite Labor Day weekend tradition at the school, said Lemuel Bardeguez, OCCC’s director of cultural programs.
“It’s just a really great way to kind of cap the summer: See some great art, buy some prints or original art to finish your home with. If you have a family, bring the kids out,” he said. “It’s a really great family event.”
Every Labor Day weekend, more than 25,000 people flock to the three-day festival, where 160-plus artist booths are set up under block-long tents, a performing arts stage spotlights a variety of live entertainment and a food court serves up a wide array of mouthwatering treats.
Tulsa mixed-media painter Neil Cluck is the featured artist for the 2012 festival. An image of one of his three-dimensional abstract skyscapes is depicted on this year’s limited edition poster. The original oil on wood work will be exhibited during the festival at Cluck’s booth, but Bardeguez said he expects it to sell quickly after the event opens Saturday.
“The poster design doesn’t do justice to the piece (since) the piece is actually three dimensional,” Bardeguez said. “It’s quite interesting. It’s quite eye-catching.”
Cluck, 58, is participating in the festival for the sixth time in the past decade and his second year in a row.
“I like the Oklahoma City setting. The people there are pretty open-minded. I think all the art like the Chihuly … has really kind of opened them up to accepting new things,” Cluck said.
About 150 visual artists from across the state, region, country and even Canada have been juried into this year’s festival. Their creations include drawings, paintings, photography, pottery, glass art, jewelry, mixed media, wood and metal works, sculpture, fine crafts and fiber art.
One booth this year will be dedicated to displaying works by OCCC art students, Bardeguez said.
“This is something that we’re trying this year to give them kind of the opportunity to show their artwork and be able to sell some of their artwork,” he said.
At the Children’s Activity Tent, youngsters can get hands-on at several make-and-take arts and crafts stations, a raku pottery area and a giant sandbox.
“We have a face painter every year that is juried, so it’s not your typical face painting. It’s very elaborate,” Bardeguez said.
This year, a pair of musicians will bring a special ambiance into the visual arts area. Harpist Merry Miller will play in her own artist booth at noon Saturday, while flutist Terry Frazier is set to perform under Tent 3 at lunchtime Sunday.
“This is something new that we’re trying. We’ve always like to feature performing artists on the performing arts stage, but putting them next to (visual) artists is always kind of a bit of a challenge because of the volume,” Bardeguez said.
The performing arts stage on the north side of the festival site will showcase a broad range of entertainment, from the OCCC Student Jazz Ensemble and self-described “red dirt bluegrass hillbilly” band Burlap Tuxedo to Yumare Mexican Folkloric Dancers and classical guitarist Edgar Cruz, a local festival favorite.
“What we feature during the day are primarily Oklahoma artists,” Bardeguez said. “Our festival has some things that are kind of unique to the DNA: We actually pay headline entertainment to come in and provide entertainment free of cost to our patrons in the evening.”
On Saturday night, nationally known tribute performer Billy McGuigan will take festival-goers back to the early days of rock ‘n’ roll with Rave On! The Buddy Holly Experience. The Oklahoma City Philharmonic will play Sunday night, with fireworks lighting up the sky after the performance.
Patrons are invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets and plunk down on the grass to enjoy the concert. They will have plenty of festive fare to choose from if they want dinner with the show.
“The food is, of course, great. It’s festival food and we have anything from Indian tacos to turkey legs to a few more ethnic things like Greek baklava and gyros. … And of course, anything you can fry, it’s available,” Bardeguez said with a laugh.
Although OCCC hosts Arts Festival Oklahoma, Bardeguez said it is truly a community event. More than 400 volunteers work the festival every year.
“It kind of puts south Oklahoma City on the map,” he said. “It’s the kind of event that has lots of community support and that the college is very proud to put on.”
34th annual Arts Festival Oklahoma
What: Arts, crafts, children’s activities, fair food, live entertainment including the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, fireworks and more.
When: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday.
Where: Oklahoma City Community College, 7777 S May.
Admission: Free. Parking is $5.
Information: 682-7576 or www.occc.edu/afo.
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Labor Day weekend has a lot going on
There are three days in this holiday weekend, and Oklahomans should have no trouble filling them.
No matter what the calendar says about equinoxes, solstices and seasonal shifts, Labor Day weekend is widely considered the last weekend of summer.
And Oklahomans across the state will have plenty of opportunities to celebrate with live music, visual arts and, of course, festive food.
College football fans will be in pigskin heaven Saturday as my Oklahoma State Cowboys host Savannah State Tigers at 6 p.m. in Stillwater and the Oklahoma Sooners take on the UTEP Miners at 9:30 p.m. down in El Paso, Texas.
But there are three days in this holiday weekend, and Oklahomans should have no trouble filling them.
From taking your family out to the ballgame in Bricktown and feasting German-style to getting the blues in Rentiesville and fiddling around in Grove, here is a partial list of the holiday weekend’s entertainment options. For more, go to www.wimgo.com or www.travelok.com.
Oklahoma City RedHawks vs. Round Rock Express: What’s summer without a little baseball? Cheer on the RedHawks as they close out the regular season at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 6:05 p.m. Sunday and 11:05 a.m. Monday at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S Mickey Mantle Drive. Information: 218-1000 or www.oklahomaredhawks.com.
Choctaw Oktoberfest: Take in authentic German food, beer and entertainment at the 22nd annual festival in Choctaw Creek Park, 2001 Harper Road. Hours this weekend are 5 p.m. to midnight Friday, noon to midnight Saturday and Sunday and noon to midnight Monday, with the festivities continuing Tuesday-Sept. 8. Information: 390-8647 or www.choctawfestival.org.
Arts Festival Oklahoma: Take in a variety of artwork at 160 booths, live music from Rave On! The Buddy Holly Experience and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Sunday night fireworks, children’s activities and more at the 34th annual festival at Oklahoma City Community College, 7777 S May Ave. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday. Information: 682-7576 or www.occc.edu/AFO.
Dusk ’til Dawn Blues Festival, Rentiesville: Get the blues with 35 bands performing on three stages, plus children’s activities at the 22nd annual festival at the birthplace and home of late Oklahoma blues legend D.C. Minner, 701 D.C. Minner St. Hours are 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday-Sunday. Information: (918) 855-0978 or www.dcminnerblues.com.
Jana Jae Fiddle Camp & Music Festival, Grove: Jam along with fellow fiddlers, take workshops or just hear the music when the famed bluegrass fiddler and “Hee Haw” regular hosts her yearly camp. The event will include evening festivities starting at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and daytime activities beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Information: (918) 786-8896 or www.grandlakefestivals.com.
Mayor’s Blues Ball, Medicine Park: Hear more than 15 blues bands perform live at the resort town’s sixth annual blues ball. Hours are 7 p.m. to midnight Friday, noon to midnight Saturday and 1 to 11 p.m. Sunday. Information: (580) 529-2825 or www.medicinepark.com.
60th Annual Cherokee National Holiday, Park Hill: Take in Cherokee arts and crafts, music, storytelling, traditional games and other cultural activities at the Cherokee Heritage Center, 21192 S Keeler Drive. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Information: (918) 456-6007 or www.cherokeeheritage.org.
Loose Caboose Festival, Purcell: Check out this Main Street festival featuring antiques, collectibles, arts and crafts, live music, fashion show and more. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Information: 527-0462 or www.loosecaboosefestival.com.
Choctaw Nation Labor Day Festival, Tuskahoma: Experience Choctaw cultural exhibits, an intertribal powwow, arts and crafts, stickball games and live music from country music stars Sara Evans, Josh Turner, Ricky Skaggs and Martina McBride. Activities begin at 9 a.m. Friday and Monday, 6:30 a.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. Sunday at the Choctaw Capitol grounds. Information: (580) 924-8280 or www.choctawnation.com.
Pollard Theatre’s “Forever Plaid,” Guthrie: See the Pollard’s production of the charmingly goofy tale of a 1950s all-male singing group that returns from the Great Beyond to perform the show they never got to when they were alive, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at 120 W Harrison. Performances continue through Sept. 15. Information: 282-2800 or www.thepollard.org.
Arcadia Blues Festival & Rodeo: Take in rodeo action, live blues music, gospel extravaganza, a parade, street dance and more at this 29th annual event at various locations in Arcadia. The festivities start at 7 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday and Sunday. Information: www.townofarcadia.com.
Henryetta’s Labor Day Celebration: Billed as the largest Labor Day event in the state, the Main Street festivities include a carnival, parade, fireworks and more from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday. Plus, the community is hosting this weekend the Living Legends Rodeo, with the action starting at 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at historic Nichols Park. Information: www.henryetta.org.
PRCA Rodeo of Champions, Elk City: Catch pro rodeo events, a parade, children’s carnival and concerts by John Conlee and the Bellamy Brothers at this 74th annual event Friday-Sunday at Beutler Brothers Rodeo Arena in Ackley Park. Rodeo action begins at 8 p.m. nightly. Information: www.elkcitychamber.com.
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman. This story was co-written with George Lang of Staticblog and Matthew Price of Nerdage.
Legends of the fall
Just based on pedigree and buzz, autumn’s offerings look stellar, including Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master,” Disney’s “Wreck-It Ralph,” the 50th anniversary James Bond entry, Rian Johnson’s “Looper” and the long-awaited adaptation of David Mitchell’s “Cloud Atlas.”
Summer normally deserves its reputation for offering explosive lightweight fare, but the hot months of 2012 produced some of the best films of the year, including “The Dark Knight Returns,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “The Avengers.” The period typically known as “awards season,” those last months leading up to the holidays and the cutoff date for Oscars, are generally packed with more thoughtful fare, but the best films of summer set a high bar for the prestige acts coming in the fall.
Just based on pedigree and buzz, autumn’s offerings look stellar, including Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master,” Disney’s “Wreck-It Ralph,” the 50th anniversary James Bond entry, Rian Johnson’s “Looper” and the long-awaited adaptation of David Mitchell’s “Cloud Atlas.” And for viewers who cannot get that fizzy summer feeling out of their systems, the studios are rolling out a new version of “Dredd,” the final installment of “The Twilight Saga” and yet another “Resident Evil” creepfest.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick play parents whose young daughter (Natasha Calis) encounters a malicious spirit after buying an antique box at a yard sale. Billed as based on a true story, the horror-thriller carries Sam Raimi’s (the “Spider-Man” and “Evil Dead” movies) production stamp.
“Celeste and Jesse Forever”
In this comedy-drama, a couple (Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg) in the midst of a divorce tries to stay friends while simultaneously seeing other people.
Director William Friedkin (“The Exorcist”) teams up again with Tulsa native playwright/screenwriter Tracy Letts; the pair previously worked on the 2006 film “Bug.” In the NC-17-rated black-as-pitchas comedy, a Texas drug dealer (Emile Hirsch) hires a hit man (Matthew McConaughey) to kill his mother.
“Robot & Frank”
In the near future, a humanoid robot (voice of Peter Sarsgaard) moves in with a retired cat burglar (Frank Langella) in order to help take care of the aging man’s needs. The film, which played at the 2012 deadCenter Film Festival, co-stars Oklahoma native James Marsden.
Bradley Cooper stars in a romantic drama about an up-and-coming novelist who didn’t actually write his breakout book. Zoe Saldana, Olivia Wilde, Jeremy Irons and Dennis Quaid also star in the movie, which got people talking at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
“Searching for Sugar Man”
Two South African fans go on a search for 1970s folk singer-songwriter Rodriguez, who became big in South Africa but was relatively unknown in the U.S. and was rumored to have killed himself. This documentary won the 2012 Sundance Film Festival’s prestigious Special Jury Prize and World Cinema Audience Award.
“The Cold Light of Day”
Soon-to-be Superman Henry Cavill stars as Will Shaw, a man on vacation in Spain whose family is kidnapped. Sigourney Weaver and Bruce Willis co-star in this action thriller.
Kirsten Dunst plays an overachieving maid of honor named Regan, whose best friend Becky (Rebel Wilson) is about to wed. Becky wants a tame bachelorette party, but her friends Gena (Lizzy Caplan) and Katie (Isla Fisher) have other plans in this raunchy comedy. Oklahoma native James Marsden (“X-Men”) co-stars.
Co-starring Max von Sydow, Leelee Sobieski and Jeffrey Tambor, this sci-fi thriller is set in a dystopian near-future where corporate brands have created a disillusioned, dependent and passive populace. One man (Ed Stoppard) embarks on a mission to uncover the truth behind the conspiracy and stop it from destroying our world.
“Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark: The IMAX Experience”
The cinematic classic that introduced the world to adventurous archeologist Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) rolls into IMAX theaters for an exclusive one-week engagement.
“Finding Nemo 3D”
This Academy-Award winning film will be re-released in a 3-D version. In the Oscar-winning 2003 Pixar film, a clownfish (voice of Albert Brooks) goes searching for his missing son.
“Resident Evil: Retribution”
Milla Jovovich returns as Alice in the fifth installment of the sci-fi/zombie film franchise based on the video game “Resident Evil.” In “Retribution,” Alice goes worldwide in a hunt for those responsible for the outbreak of the zombie-causing virus.
Richard Gere plays Robert Miller, a hedge-fund magnate attempting to sell his business before his double-dealings are uncovered. Susan Sarandon plays Miller’s wife; Tim Roth is an NYPD detective on Miller’s case.
“For a Good Time, Call”
Finances force straight-laced Lauren (Lauren Anne Miller) and flirty Katie (Ari Graynor) to move in together, and Lauren finds out Katie is actually a phone-sex operator.
Recently single Jesse Fisher (Josh Radnor), in his mid-30s, goes back to his college campus to speak at the retirement dinner of his favorite professor. While there, he becomes nostalgic for his college days and falls for a sophomore, Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen). Radnor directs and wrote the film; Zac Efron, Allison Janney and Richard Gleason co-star.
Karl Urban stars as the ultraviolent “judge” of Mega City One in this futuristic thriller based on the British comic from the pages of 2000 A.D. magazine. Lionsgate hopes fans of the violent comic like this more than the 1995 Sylvester Stallone-Rob Schneider version, and buzz out of Comic-Con was mostly good. Lena Headey and Olivia Thirlby co-star; “Dredd” co-creator John Wagner consulted on the film.
Academy Award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the founder of a faith-based group in the post-World War II era, and two-time Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix is a Navy veteran who becomes enthralled with the charismatic leader in this drama written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (“There Will Be Blood”). Amy Adams, Lara Dern and Jesse Plemons co-star.
“Trouble with the Curve”
Clint Eastwood comes out of his acting retirement to star as Gus, an aging baseball scout who may be losing his touch. Needing insight on a hot prospect in the draft, Gus takes his daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) on a scouting trip, potentially putting her legal career in jeopardy. Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Robert Patrick and Matthew Lillard also star.
“End of Watch”
Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena play Los Angeles police officers in a found-footage-style film set in south-central L.A.
“House at the End of the Street”
“The Hunger Games” star Jennifer Lawrence co-stars with Elisabeth Shue (“Adventures in Babysitting”), who plays her mom, in the horror thriller. The film takes place when the two move to a new town, across the street from a house where a double murder occurred. Mark Tonderai (“Hush”) directs.
This film follows a group of friends at their 10-year high school reunion, including Jake (Channing Tatum), who’s about to propose to his girlfriend (Jenna Dewan-Tatum), until running into his high school ex (Rosario Dawson). Chris Pratt, Justin Long, Oscar Isaac and Kate Mara co-star.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Joe, a time-traveling hired gun, in this sci-fi action-thriller in which time travel is possible, but illegal. When criminal organizations want to make someone disappear, their targets are sent back to the past, where they encounter specialized assassins known as “loopers.” Joe is a successful looper until one day he sees himself staring into the face of his next target — and it’s himself, 30 years older. Bruce Willis plays the older Joe in this film written and directed by Rian Johnson (“The Brothers Bloom”).
Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of “Dexter’s Laboratory,” directs this animated film about a hotel run by Dracula (voice of Adam Sandler) as a place to relax and kick back. But when a regular guy stumbles upon the hotel and falls for Dracula’s daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez), Dracula may not be relaxed anymore. Steve Buscemi, Kevin James and Fran Drescher are among the stars also lending their voices to the family comedy.
“Won’t Back Down”
Two mothers (Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis) aim to get a charter school started in their neighborhood.
Writer-director Tim Burton (“Corpse Bride”) expands his beloved 1984 animated horror-comedy short into a full-length stop-motion feature about a boy and his dog. After losing his pup Sparky, young Victor (voice of Charlie Tahan) uses the power of science to bring back his best friend — with some distinct differences. Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara and Martin Short lend their voices to the feature, and Oklahoma City’s own The Flaming Lips and Grace Potter have collaborated on the song “My Mechanical Friend” for “Frankenweenie Unleashed!,” the 14-track compilation of music from and inspired by the upcoming film.
Back in 2008, “Taken” propelled Irish actor Liam Neeson (“Schindler’s List”) to unlikely action hero status in the role of a retired CIA agent who uses his Special Forces skills to save his kidnapped daughter (Maggie Grace). Neeson, 60, returns to presumably kill everyone in his path once again in the sequel, in which he and his wife (Famke Janssen) are taken hostage by a kidnapper who clearly has a greater sense of vengeance than wisdom.
Ethan Hawke plays a true-crime novelist who finds disturbing home movies inside his new house, making his family the target of a vicious supernatural force.
Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick (“Up in the Air”) stars as a college freshman who gets talked into joining her school’s all-girl singing group and shakes up the troupe’s tired repertoire in this musical comedy co-starring Brittany Snow, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Elizabeth Banks and Muskogee native Ester Dean.
“Chicken with Plums”
Co-writers/directors Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi follow up their 2007 Oscar-nominated animated drama “Persepolis” with a period film about a renowned musician (Mathieu Amalric) who takes to his bed to wait for death after his beloved violin is broken.
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
“The Hunger Games” 2-Disc Blu-ray + Digital Copy
There’s a fine and tenuous line between glorifying violence and exploring mankind’s troubling thirst for blood, and Gary Ross’ nimble traversing of that line gives his blockbuster adaptation of “The Hunger Games” a cinematic victory.
Turning a global literary phenomenon into a movie is never an easy task, but the Oscar-nominated director/co-writer obviously put a great deal of thought and care into his handling of Suzanne Collins’ sharp dystopian tale. Adapted from the first book in her best-selling trilogy for young adults, “The Hunger Games” stumbles over a few of the anticipated pacing and storytelling pitfalls involved in building such an intricate world, but the compelling movie mostly meets and in some arenas exceeds expectations.
Set in the not-too-distant future, what was formerly North America has been replaced by Panem, which consists of a wealthy, corrupt Capitol surrounded by 12 poor, oppressed districts whose residents provide necessities and luxuries to the sleek metropolis and its pampered denizens.
As penance for a long-ago uprising, each district is required each year to provide two tributes – a boy and a girl – between the ages of 12 and 18 to travel to the Capitol, receive training and then fight to the death in the Hunger Games. Only one of the 24 tributes will survive, and everyone is Panem is legally required to watch the dehumanizing brutality play out live on television.
In poverty-stricken District 12, 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen (Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence, who ably carries the film) and her best friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth) keep their families fed by breaking the law and hunting game in the woods outside their coal-mining village. But they can’t protect their siblings from everything, and Katniss’ gentle 12-year-old sister Prim (Willow Shields) is chosen by lottery to compete in the 74th annual Games.
Katniss volunteers to take her sister’s place, and her classmate Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), the baker’s son with whom she has a complicated history, is drawn as the male tribute. Katniss and Peeta are whisked off to the Capitol, where they are beautified, battle trained and literally paraded about for the benefit of the rich and privileged.
There’s a lot of setup involved in building this franchise, but Ross keeps the plot economically unfurling. Once Katniss, Peeta and the other tributes enter the arena and the Games begin, he ramps up the action to a near-breakneck speed, but he still is unable to quite keep up with page-turning pace of Collins’ cliffhanger-per-chapter novels.
Still, the director gets the most important part right: He never turns “The Hunger Games” into your standard slick action vehicle, the kind of movie that makes violence look kind of cool or at least exciting. Adopting a cinéma vérité shooting style, taking the PG-13 rating to the hilt and continually pushing his stellar cast to find the humanity in their characters, Ross brings to the screen an adaptation that is faithful not only to the letter but also the spirit of Collins’ books.
Bonus features: While it doesn’t offer the usual director’s commentary — unfortunately, Ross won’t be helming the sequel “Catching Fire” — the two-disc Blu-ray includes a comprehensive two-hour, eight-part making-of documentary, along with several behind-the-scenes featurettes, photo and poster galleries, trailers and a full version of the propaganda short film seen in the movie.
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Imelda May “More Mayhem” (Decca)
Just how cool is Imelda May? With her 2011 album “Mayhem,” the rockabilly revivalist actually managed to restore Soft Cell’s overplayed, obnoxiously synthed-out new wave cover of “Tainted Love,” one of the most repellent earworms of the 1980s, to the former glory of Gloria Jones’ soulful little-heard 1965 original version.
With the new souped-up edition of her album, appropriately titled “More Mayhem,” May dares to cover the Patsy Cline classic “Walking After Midnight,” and the vocal powerhouse’s jaunty, respectable cover does right by the all-time Queen of Country Music.
Since unleashing her “Mayhem,” May, 38, has shared the stage with Oklahoma’s own rockabilly royal Wanda Jackson in New York’s Central Park, toured with guitar legend Jeff Beck (with whom she performed a stunning Les Paul tribute at the 2010 Grammys) and even sung for President Obama. Clearly, Decca wants to keep the Irish singer-songwriter’s momentum rolling, and “More Mayhem” is a smart, raucous step toward that worthy goal.
May co-wrote 13 of the 15 original tracks on “Mayhem,” which effectively showcased her versatility, mixing rockabilly barnburners like the title track and closer “Johnny Got a Boom Boom” with the blues ode “Too Sad to Cry,” the old-school country hymn “Proud and Humble,” the seductive jazz come-on “All for You,” the charming but macabre big-band number “Inside Out” and even the timeless-sounding “Kentish Town Waltz.”
“More Mayhem” continues the eclectic theme, adding four new tracks that run the gamut from the speedy rocker “Road Runner” and the slow-burning “Blues Calling” to the loping “Gypsy,” which pairs nicely with her excellent Cline cover. The special edition closes with two remixes, an electrified, hallelujah-inducing new version of “Proud and Humble” and a Latin-flavored rendition of “Inside Out.”
With her big voice, sharp sense of style and stellar band — husband Darrel Higham on guitars, Al Gare on double-bass, Dave Priseman on trumpet and Steve Rushton on drums — May stands shoulder to shoulder with rockabilly standard-bearers like Brian Setzer, Chris Isaak and Oklahomans Jackson and JD McPherson, who are all proudly carrying the torch and introducing new audiences to the pure sonic joy of the earliest form of rock ‘n’ roll.
Today’s featured event:
Listen to Austin, Texas-based indie band The Rocketboys at 6:30 tonight at The Conservatory, 8911 N Western. Information: www.conservatoryokc.com.
TULSA – For nearly five decades, Art Garfunkel’s voice has remained one of the most recognizable in popular music. His songs defined a generation and continue to captivate listeners. On Nov. 2, the legendary singer will perform at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
Tickets start at $50 and go on sale Sept. 20, according to a news release.
Garfunkel’s career began in a musical partnership with Paul Simon. The duo rose to fame in 1965 with their soundtrack recordings for “The Graduate.” Among the songs were “Mrs. Robinson,” “Sounds of Silence” and “Scarborough Fair/Canticle.”
Other legendary songs by the duo include “Bridge over Troubled Water,” “I Am A Rock,” “Homeward Bound,” “A Hazy Shade of Winter” “and “The Boxer.” The duo earned five Grammys and in 1990 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
As a solo performer, Garfunkel has released 10 studio albums, a live album and eight compilations.
His most recent release is 2007’s “Some Enchanted Evening,” which is a collection of his interpretations of many standards of the Great American Songbook.
Among his most popular singles are “All I Know,” “Breakaway,” “I Only Have Eyes for You,” “My Little Town,” “Wonderful World,” “Since I Don’t Have You” and “Bright Eyes.”
The New York City native is also an accomplished actor, earning a 1972 Golden Globe nomination as a supporting actor in Mike Nichols’ “Carnal Knowledge.” He has also appeared in “Catch-22,” “Bad Timing,” “Good to Go,” and “Boxing Helena.”
A poet and an avid reader, Garfunkel has published one collection of his poetry. He also maintains a complete list of every book he has read on his official website. He is currently at 1,158 books through February.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa is located off of Interstate 44 at exit 240. All guests must be 21 years of age or older.
For more information, go to www.hardrockcasinotulsa.com.
Carrie Underwood, All-American Rejects, OneRepublic and more to play Sunday’s “MDA Show of Strength” TV special
Carrie Underwood, who hails from Checotah; the All-American Rejects, who have Stillwater roots; and OneRepublic, the band fronted by Tulsa native Ryan Tedder, are among the performers set for this year’s Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Labor Day weekend entertainment special, now called “MDA Show of Strength.”
The show, featuring more than a dozen of today’s top entertainers, also will include inspirational “stories of strength” about families affected by muscular dystrophy and related diseases.
“MDA Show of Strength,” a three-hour primetime broadcast special, will air at 7 p.m. Sunday. The show will include performances and celebrity appearances from Hollywood, Nashville and New York.
The show will be broadcast over MDA’s “Love Network” of almost 150 television stations across the country, including Oklahoma City’s CW station KOCB-TV. It also will be streamed from mda.org. Local cutaways in each market will feature area families, sponsors and MDA service programs. For a list of stations, visit mda.org/showofstrength/love-network.
“We couldn’t be more excited about the show and the incredible talent we have lined up this year,” said MDA Interim President Valerie Cwik, M.D., in the news release. “MDA is in business to save and enhance lives. Our show will both entertain and urge the American public to answer the call to support critically important research and services for more than a million Americans affected by neuromuscular diseases.”
Along with Underwood, Pitbull, Will.i.am and Carole King are set to headline the show. Plus, the following stars also are scheduled to appear: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, B.o.B, Brandy, Luke Bryan, Gavin DeGraw, Hot Chelle Rae, Karmin, Alanis Morissette, Eva Simons, Paula Abdul, Max Adler, Jann Carl, Diana DeGarmo, Lou Ferrigno, Benji Madden, Joel Madden, Jesse McCartney, Tim McGraw, The Miz, Nancy O’Dell, Khloe Kardashian Odom, Alison Sweeney, Ace Young and more.
“This year’s show gives everyone involved a unique opportunity,” said “MDA Show of Strength” Executive Producer RAC Clark in the release. “We have a chance to tell a series of compelling stories about MDA families while delivering quality entertainment. In doing so, we can raise public awareness of MDA’s long-standing mission of help for today and hope for tomorrow.”
Clark is a longtime executive producer of the Academy of Country Music Awards and the son of the late Dick Clark.
“RAC has a history and knack for making shows and events successful, and ‘MDA Show of Strength’ will benefit from his talent,” said Pete Fisher, vice president and general manager of the Grand Ole Opry, in the release. “MDA is in good hands with RAC. He’s done a phenomenal job with the ACM Awards and has helped continue country music’s growth and popularity. He’s connected with the biggest names in the business.”
Through the years, MDA’s iconic fundraising show has presented some of TV’s most memorable moments. What started as a 21-1/2-hour Labor Day weekend telethon was shortened to six hours in 2011 in response to changing television viewing habits.
“The broadcasting and entertainment industries have experienced dramatic change; as a result, our show has changed with it,” said MDA Executive Vice President of Business Development Kevin Moran, in the release. “But our cause remains the same and our commitment to our families is unwavering. MDA has assembled an outstanding team focused on putting together a jam-packed, three-hour special that drives home our mission and inspires our audience to contribute generously.”
Joining Clark as co-producers are Los Angeles-based entertainment professionals Suzanne Bender and Debbie Williams, a popular TV stage director. Some of Bender’s current credits include the “Golden Globes,” “American Idol,” the “Academy of Country Music Awards” and “America’s Got Talent.” Williams’ credits also include the “Golden Globes,” “American Idol,” the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” as well as the “Academy Awards” and the “MTV Video Music Awards.”
Six “stories of strength” will be told from the individuals’ and families’ perspectives. They include MDA’s new National Goodwill Ambassador Bryson Foster, a spunky 12-year-old who envisions a future as an NFL quarterback; Veronica Nino, a 45-year-old mother of three who is fighting for one more day with her family after being diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease); and a teacher affected by spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) who credits MDA summer camp with giving her the confidence to pursue and achieve her dreams.
“Of the utmost importance is that our show audience be introduced to the incredible individuals and families served by the Association,” Cwik said in the release. “Their stories of strength are what inspire all of us at MDA to seek out and fund the most promising research in muscle disease, and to improve their daily lives through our services programs and advocacy efforts.”
MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to finding treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.
In addition to funding some 300 research projects worldwide, MDA maintains a national network of 200 medical clinics; facilitates hundreds of support groups for families affected by neuromuscular diseases; and provides local summer camp opportunities for thousands of youngsters living with progressive muscle diseases.
For more information, go to www.mda.org.