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US: Miami Beach, FL – Dance the Night Away in Miami

The Miami Beach Kizomba Festival (MBKF) marks its 5th year of bringing people together from across the globe to celebrate African culture, music and dance.

Kizomba is a slow, sensual dance and musical genre originating in Angola in 1984, a more modern music genre mixed with African rhythm and usually sung in Portuguese.  Kizomba means “party” in Kimbundu, and that is just what you are going to get at this festival.

Not to mention outstanding workshops, world-class dance instruction and lessons, unforgettable music concerts, live musicians and performing artists, superstar DJ’s  and sunrise beach parties, night parties, and pool parties.

MBKF takes place at the iconic Eden Roc Hotel, August 22-27, with live performances by Yola Semedo and Jennifer Dias. You can choose between a Party Pass, Weekend Pass or Full pass. If you like dancing, join the celebration at the Miami Beach Kizomba Festival, a great atmosphere of people from all over the world partying all night under one roof.

For Tickets:  Buy Now

Location: Eden Roc Miami, 4525 Collins Ave, Miami, FL 33140
Dates: Wed, Aug 22 – Mon, Aug 27.  2018
Time: various – see schedule
Tel: 914-226-9554
thembkf.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: miamiandbeaches.com

Canada: Hudson Village Theatre – Savannah Sipping Society is Light Summer Fun

Many of us enjoy a light read to while away a lazy summer afternoon. At the Hudson Village Theatre, you don’t even have to read to have fun – you can just listen and watch as four women meet, mingle and moan – and become a family of friends.

The director, Ellen David, takes this (Jessie) Jones (Nicholas) Hope (Jamie) Wooten delightful script and gently guides the dynamic quattro of actors as they learn “what is holding you back from one’s past and self-imposed limitations towards a compelling future”.  This could be any one of us.

The performers David chose are as well cast and strong as the four sides of a square. Randa Covington (Jane Wheeler) has defined herself by her work, and doesn’t know how to re-define herself beyond that. She tries to hold on to her safe proper business countenance, but is weighed down by feeling second best in her family. Marlafaye (Lisa Bronwyn Moore) gets the classic “dumped for a younger woman” part, so feelings of anger and rejection are keeping her from moving forward. “I swear the older you get the harder it is to jump start a new life”, she says.

Dot (Kathleen Fee), the oldest of the bunch, has just lost her husband, the only man she has known, and with whom she had planned to retire. She has no idea how to figure out what comes next. Her subtle acting is deliciously wonderful as she delivers many funny zinger lines. Paula Costain as Jinx moves and talks with the right zippy attitude to convince them, as their new “life coach”, to go (as David says)” beyond their comfort zone to a brave new world where they eventually find themselves”. Jinx reminds us that her older sister (now incapacitated with dementia) taught her that “it’s the happy in life that counts”.

The set by Jean-Claude Olivier is a comfortable porch, so the women have an informal place to gently and liquidly reveal their sagas. As this is a “Sipping Society”, drinking props (by Lea Robertson) were a fun challenge due to the many iterations of serving different kinds of alcohol. Marlafaye once toasted, “Girls, here’s to living single and drinking doubles”.

There were more costume changes than you would expect (by Elisabeth De Medeiros), creating a fashion show which helped define the scenes and the forward movement of their lives.

Jamie Wooten, one of the playwrights, was a writer for The Golden Girls, so the quality of their patter and the giggly one-liners is in the same genre of that hysterical show.  When Marlafaye sees Randa’s house for the first time she opines, “Yeah, sure is a pretty place. Everything’s so neat and clean. I’m not like that. Instead of cleaning my house, I just turn off the lights”.  When Randa comments on drinking mead, “This really isn’t so horrible”, Marlafaye responds, “The very words I said on my wedding night”.  Marlafaye also says,  “Sex is like a brownie – when it’s good it’s really good. And when it’s bad….it’s still pretty good!”.

Andrea Romaldi, the artistic director writes, “friendships are our lifelines and support structures. Good friends cheer us, challenge us, bewilder us and irritate us, but ultimately they support and help us grow into our best selves”. Head out to Hudson and lift a glass to friendship.

Location: 28 Rue Wharf, Hudson, QC J0P 1H0
Phone: 450- 458-5361
Dates: til July 22
https://villagetheatre.ca/

 

US: Connecticut – June 21- Connecticut is Joining Make Music Day Around the World

The first annual Make Music Connecticut, a free, wild and wonderful mix of over 250 free outdoor musical events, will make its debut on Thursday, June 21.# Women - Ukulele 26201732312_bf1e5567e3_b

Modeled after a Parisian tradition (Fête de la Musique) that began in 1982 as a tribute to the Summer Solstice.  Each June 21st Paris is filled with musicians of all kinds performing on sidewalks, lawns, balconies, in parks, etc. for anyone to enjoy at no cost.

Drums 13914042290_1e8733da4a_bMake Music Connecticut is part of Make Music Day, a global music celebration that takes place on the summer solstice each year and brings people of all ages and skill levels together to make music. This year, more than 70 U.S. cities and the entire state of Connecticut will host thousands of Make Music performances across the country as part of the world’s largest annual music event.Guitars 14100592595_92d013c9e4_b

Featuring musicians of all abilities and music from any genre.  Sidewalks, parks, front porches, and public spaces throughout the region will become stages for local musicians to perform and for all to enjoy. Each region will have its own ambiance. This will be a day packed with more than 250 free musical events happening with concerts on streets, sidewalks, and parks around the state.

Keyboards 13914058319_70760e6e56_bCommunity Jam Sessions, Dueling Drums, Battle of the Bands are some of the featured events. For a full schedule of events: MakeMusicCT.org

Location: Numerous locations throughout Southeastern CT
Date: June 21, 2018
Time: Various – see schedule
Tel: 860-460-5236
makemusicday.org/southeasternct

US: Richmond, VA – International Film Festival With Emphasis on Music

Richmond International Film Festival (RIFF) brings more than 150 international cutting edge films to RVA, plus industry panels, Q&As, live musical performances, red carpet awards, and entertainment mixers that usher the spirit of Hollywood into Virginia’s  Bowtie Cinemas, various music venues, and the historic Byrd Theater, a venue touted by USA Today as “one of the top 10 places to still see a movie in splendor in the United States.”Byrd_Theatre_marquee_preview

With more than 20 countries represented, the RIFF Official Selection consists of a diverse range of films (features and shorts), music videos, and screenplays across all genres.

RIFF_photo_4_previewRIFF is known for placing a heavy focus on music each year. The 2018 Festival will again include more than 50 music performances, industry networking events, panels, music business roundtable discussions, industry mixers, and more. On top of providing great entertainment from some of the music industry’s hottest talent, RIFF utilizes this area as a platform for filmmakers and musicians to forge new working relationships. Top awards will be given out across a variety of music categories during the annual red carpet awards.

2018 Special guests include: Kate Bosworth, Michael Polish, Danny Glover, Lee Aronsohn, Rene Balcer & Carolyn Hsu-Balcer.RIFF_photo_7_preview

It’s a one-of-a-kind festival honoring some of the most singularly entertaining projects on the international film scene.

Location: Various
Date: Mon, Apr 23, 2018 – Sun, Apr 29, 2018
Tel: 804-219-0675
rvafilmfestival.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitrichmondva.com

US: Miami Beach, FL- Florida Grand Opera: Free Family Day and Performance

Do you have a New Year’s resolution for 2018, perhaps that includes exposing your family to more culture, well here’s your chance. On January 6th, Florida Grand Opera is holding a fun-filled Family Day for those new to the genre or seasoned opera aficionados.

Explore the world of opera through hands-on activities, performances, interactive experiences, and the thrill of live theater. Enjoy a special presentation of Hansel & Gretel by the FGO Children’s Opera.

Florida Opera Piano2017-12-12_14-48-09Activities (while supplies last) –

10am-12pm: Black Box: Voice experience with an interactive voice lesson

Lab Theater: Instrument Petting Zoo

Classroom: Costume Demonstration and crafts

Dance Rehearsal Studio: Makeup/lighting color effects demo

12-12:45pm Hansel & Gretel Main Stage performance Floridsa Opera Hansel & Gretel FB_IMG_1510853432253

12:45 Post-show autographs and pictures in Main Stage Lobby

Appropriate for all ages. Free admission;  All patrons entering the theater require a ticket regardless of age. This includes children and infants.

Florida Opera Face Painting2017-12-12_14-50-12Location: South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 211 Street, Cutler Bay, FL 33189
Date: Sat, Jan. 6th, 2018
Time: 10am – 2pm
Tel: 786-573-5316
Tel Box office: 786-573-5300
smdcac.org/events/fgo-family-day-2017
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & attractions: miamiandbeaches.com

 

US: New Smyrna Beach, FL: Jamaican Rhythms at New Smyrna Beach’s Reggae Festival

Yeah Mon’- Don’t worry ’bout a thing, cause every little thing’s, gonna be alright at the annual New Smyrna Beach Reggae Festival, celebrating everything Reggae and Island on June 16 – 18, 2017.Reggae -Group

Over a dozen acts are set citywide for the musical weekend commemorating one of America’s most popular music genres, everything from classic reggae to new Island rhythms. The weekend includes multiple band meet and greets and plenty of free giveaways. And best yet – every performance is free – no cover charge, though some locations do have a minimum age admission of 21 years.

Reggae Band Love TribeNo need to set sail for the Caribbean, plan to attend this festival and Jamaica will be brought right to you. Sit back, relax and enjoy the variety of performances at numerous locations throughout New Smyrna Beach.New-SmyrnaBeachReggaeMusicFestival2

Location: Flagler Ave, New Smyrna Beach, 32169
Dates: June 16, 2017 – June 18, 2017
Time: 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Tel: 800-541-9621
flaglerave.com/event/nsb-reggae-festival-2
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: nsbfla.com

US: Baltimore, MD – Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show

Light City is a FREE festival that transforms Baltimore with large-scale light installations, performances, music and innovation. Central to Light City is the BGE Light Art Walk along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, featuring more than 50 attractions including visual arts such as illuminated sculptures, projections, interactive technologies, performances, concerts, food vendors and a children’s area.

Baltimore Light City Skyline

Performance artists bring Light City to life with entertaining acts including fire (a showcase of fire and LED performances utilizing dance, flow arts, circus arts, and music), illuminated puppets, projections, stilt walkers, dance, musical entertainment at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater and along the BGE Light Art Walk.

Inner Harbor Skyline Photo Courtesy of Baltimore Office of Promotion and Arts

Music is a major attraction at Light City. The festival features a full schedule of FREE concerts including local, regional and renowned DJs, bands and musicians across every genre.Light City Baltimore Congregation KMA

Families can visit Mini Light City in Pierce’s Park for hands-on, illuminated craft activities in a youth makers’ tent, children’s entertainers and whimsical snacks such as lighted cotton candy. The park is home to a sound garden by artist David Hess.

Congregation_KMA_Photo by: Tom Wexler

From the south shore of the Inner Harbor to Harbor East, festival -goers can explore 1.5 miles of world-class installations – all free, accessible and open to the public.Light City The Pool

Attendees of the Light City Baltimore festival are encouraged to download the free app prior to their visit to see all that the festival has to offer including the festival map, schedule and general festival information. lightcity.org/light-city-baltimore-app

The Pool  Photo by Jen Lewin.

Location: Baltimore’s Inner Harbor – lightcity.org/map
Date: Fri, Mar 31 – Sat, Apr 8, 2017
Hours: lightcity.org/schedule
Tel: 410-752-8632
lightcity.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitbaltimore.org

Canada: Montreal , Quebec – Centaur Theatre’s Last Night at the Gayety

George Bowser and Rick Blue have an amazing way with words. True to the their well-known genre it’s the songs at Centaur’s Last Night at the Gayety, that really “sing”. They are just so darn clever. The play, about Montreal’s infamous years of “Casinos, Bordellos and Booze” (one of the songs) could have been formulaic, but manages to relate a story which not only keeps you interested, but giggling and titillated throughout.

A tale of this era could not be told without the usual suspects: the gangster, nightclub owner, priest and cops (the good and bad). The glue holding it all together is the famous stripper Lili St. Cyr. Julia Juhas is a knockoff, so perfectly cast; she elegantly glides across the stage dressed to kill in early 50’s fashions, yet bumps and grinds so provocatively with those sinuous long legs.

What could be wrong with a night of inside jokes, overacting, silly songs, erotic dancing, love, lust, murder, gangsterism and priestly disgust – all so definitively Montreal. Bowser and Blue make sure to point out, tongue-in-cheek this city was made for burlesque because there’s a main street named Beaver Hall Hill and the crossroads of downtown is after all, called “Peel”. Lili retorts that she prefers Las Vegas because its main street is known as “The Strip” (bada boom).

Centaur's Last Night at the Gayety