Category Archives: Arts ‘n’ Entertainment

Brooklyn’s Young Boys Debut First Single, “Love Hits”

image-1With a rooted affinity for black-leather noise, synth-strewed weirdness and layered, wall-of-sound pop, Young Boys is a story that crisscrosses the continent. Dark post-punk that sizzles with just the right amount of droned-out fuzz, this Brooklyn based outfit are set to release their debut LP, New York Sun on February 26th via LA-based digital and vinyl label, Holloweyed Records.

The first single, “Love Hits,” which premiered yesterday, is a head bobbing post-punk anthem full of clattering guitars and thumping basslines that IFC notes is “like if Joey Ramone spent a lot of time listening to the Dum Dum Girls. In a good way, though.”

Formed by Oakland-bred David “Legs” McDaniel who, after traveling across the country, guitar in hand, looking for love and a place to call home, hooked up with fellow slimers Ethan Miller and a Minneapolis-bred player Lee Lichtsinn to solidify ranks in New York City.

Now knee-deep in NY grime and projected through technicolor static, Young Boys come armed with a pair of out-of-tune guitars, a drum machine and a certain, crunchy cohesion. The trio’s slobbering stance on classic garage pop balladry has awarded them gigs alongside Crocodiles, Sleigh Bells, Dengue Fever and Ex Cops and gathered praise from NME and The Village Voice.

Click here to download “Love Hits” for free!

New York Sun LPnew-york-sun

Out February 26, 2013 on Holloweyed Records

Track Listing:
1. Fell From Grace
2. High Tide
3. It’s Alright
4. Love Hits
5. Ode to Me
6. New York Sun

Christopher Plummer Receives 13th Annual Monte Cristo Award

On April 15, 2013, The Eugene O’Neil Theater Center will honor Christopher Plummer with their 13th Monte Cristo Award.

On April 15, 2013, The Eugene O’Neil Theater Center will honor Christopher Plummer with their 13th Monte Cristo Award.

On April 15, 2013, The Eugene O’Neil Theater Center will honor a titan of theater and film with their 13th Monte Cristo Award. Christopher Plummer is widely recognized as one of the finest classical actors of his time, enjoying nearly 60 years active in theater and a veteran of over 100 motion pictures. After his New York debut in 1954 he went on to star in many celebrated productions on Broadway, London’s West End, and Stratford, Ontario, winning accolades on both sides of the Atlantic.

From the time Sidney Lumet introduced him to the screen in “Stage Struck” (1958), Plummer’s range of memorable films include “The Man Who Would Be King,” “Battle of Britain,” “Waterloo,” “Fall of The Roman Empire,” “Star Trek VI,” “Twelve Monkeys,” and the 1965 Oscar-winning “The Sound of Music.” More recently, he is known for roles in the Oscar-nominated “The Insider,” the Oscar-winning “A Beautiful Mind,” “Man in the Chair,” “Must Love Dogs,” “National Treasure,” “Syriana,” and “Inside Man.”

He won the Oscar in 2012 as Best Supporting Actor for “Beginners,” and was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for “The Last Station” opposite Oscar winner Helen Mirren.  Plummer was awarded two Tony’s and seven Tony nominations, the latest for performances in “King Lear” (2004) and as Clarence Darrow in “Inherit the Wind” (2007), three Drama Desk Awards, and the National Arts Club Medal.

Importantly, he played James Tyrone from Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night on the PBS American Masters documentary of Eugene O’Neill.

Hartford Stage’s 15th Anniversary of A Christmas Carol Features Students from the Hartt School

Bill Raymond, center, plays Scrooge in Hartford Stage's 'A Christmas Carol - A Ghost Story of Christmas,' by Charles Dickens. This is the 12th time Raymond has played the miser, who, ultimately, has a change of heart.

Bill Raymond, center, plays Scrooge in Hartford Stage’s ‘A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas,’ by Charles Dickens. This is the 12th time Raymond has played the miser, who, ultimately, has a change of heart.

Hartford Stage’s 15th Anniversary of A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas, by Charles Dickens, adapted and originally directed by Michael Wilson, directed by Maxwell Williams, will feature 12 performers from the Hartt School at the University of Hartford.

The Hartt School student cast members for A Christmas Carol include Caitlin Blauvelt actor training major from Hillsborough, NJ; Josh Boscarino actor training major from Ellington, CT; Dakota Dutcher musical theatre major from Carson City, NV; Kelsey Flynn musical theatre major from Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Sarah Kozlowski musical theatre major from Coventry, CT; Lars Lee musical theatre major from Minneapolis, MN; William Macke musical theatre major from Simsbury, CT; Andrew McMath musical theatre major from Scituate, MA; Seth Peterson actor training major from South Bristol, ME; Matthew Reddick actor training major from Saratoga Springs, NY; Tara Reuter English literature and actor training major from Fairfield, CT; and Hannah Spacone musical theatre major from Providence, RI.

Through Hartford Stage’s Partnership in Training with the Hartt School, Hartford Stage is recognized by Actor’s Equity Association as an Academic Theatre, and is one of only two professional theatres in such a partnership with a BFA program.  It is a unique collaboration, where students gain valuable knowledge from workshops, master classes, and the Career Preparation class taught by Hartford Stage staff, as well as experience on stage in A Christmas Carol andother Hartford Stage performances.

Director Maxwell Williams said, “We’re very excited about our unique Partnership in Training with the Hartt School. I’m personally very proud to be a graduate, and it seems like the training and the program grows stronger and stronger each year. With A Christmas Carol as the centerpiece, we’ve now also had Actor Training and Music Theater students perform in many of our major productions, from Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams to To Kill a Mockingbird. Hartt grads are now regularly being nominated for Tonys, Obies, you name it – and we’re thrilled to continue to deepen the relationship between our institutions.”

Hartford Stage brings the magic of Dickens’ heart-warming classic to life in this Connecticut holiday tradition! The tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the heartless miser who discovers the true meaning of the holiday season after a Christmas Eve haunting, features all of Charles Dickens’ beloved characters: Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit and the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Ghosts take flight and soar across the stage, carols are sung and snow falls capturing the spirit of a Victorian Christmas forever warming the hearts of adults and children alike.

The production runs November 23 to December 29. Evening performances are weeknights and weekends at 7:30 p.m. Matinee performances are Sundays and selected weekdays and Saturdays at 2 p.m. For specific schedule of performances or to buy tickets for A Christmas Carol, call the Hartford Stage box office at860-527-5151 or visit

Local Country & Folk Artist Releases Album

W. Richard Johnson - "Moments in Time"Independent record label Tate Music Group recently announced the release of North Kingston, RI country crooner W. Richard Johnson’s new album titled “Moments in Time.

W. Richard Johnson’s journey in music began when he was still a young lad. He used to sing for his family whenever they would go on trips. His love for music continued on when he decided to major in music when he reached college. Not only that, but he was also quite active in his local church choir. He knew then that this is what he wanted to do with his life, and so he worked hard to achieve his dreams and to be the artist he is today.

The album “Moments in Time” is packed with good old country tunes with a lot of heart and soul. Listeners would surely appreciate W. Richard Johnson’s comforting approach in country music. With tracks such as “Dance with Me” and “Not Alone,” fans would definitely be left wanting for more music from W. Richard Johnson!

More information about W. Richard Johnson and his new album here.
Purchase the album here.

Winter Dreams of Pachelbel & Tchaikovsky Fill the Air at HSO Concerts

HSO Principal violist Michael Wheeler

Legendary Conductor and Violinist Joel Smirnoff to Make Hartford Symphony Debut

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra will perform some of the most memorable string compositions in the world at Pachelbel & Tchaikovsky on Thursday, November 29- Sunday, December 2, 2012 at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. Led by eminent Julliard String Quartet violinist and conductor Joel Smirnoff in his HSO debut, this wintry program will highlight the magnificent sounds of the HSO string sections on Pachelbel’s Canon in D, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1 (“Winter Dreams”), Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, and Telemann’s Viola Concerto in G Major, featuring HSO Principal violist Michael Wheeler.

This program will open with Pachelbel’s beloved Canon in D Major, whose graceful melody and heartwarming harmonies have made it a favorite for weddings, holidays, and special occasions. Next, the HSO string section will perform Vaughan Williams’ radiant and moving Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis. Based on an evocative hymn by the 16th century Tudor composer Thomas Tallis, Vaughan Williams moves the audience through a sonorous, thoughtful theme and variations.   HSO Principal violist Michael Wheeler will step into the spotlight for Telemann’s Viola Concerto in G Major. The concerto, which was the first piece of its kind for solo viola, captures the emotional range of the instrument, from somber and melancholy to bright and dancing. The program will close with Tchaikovsky’s First Symphony, which he nicknamed “Winter Dreams.” In this symphony, Tchaikovsky presents his youthful impressions of the harsh Russian winters that were so integral to his personal and artistic development.

Conductor, violinist and eminent pedagogue Joel Smirnoff made his official American conducting debut in 2000 with the San Francisco Symphony.  Guest conducting engagements include the Amarillo Symphony, Chicago Philharmonic, Juilliard Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, Texas Music Festival Orchestra, and more. Former member of the Juilliard String Quartet and former Chair of Violin Studies at The Juilliard School, Mr. Smirnoff received both the Lifetime Grammy Award for his recorded work with the Juilliard String Quartet and an Alumni Professional Achievement Award from the University of Chicago in 2011.

Michael Wheeler, currently the HSO Principal Viola, has performed with the New World Symphony, Portland Symphony, Boston Classical Orchestra, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Springfield Symphony Orchestra, and  San Antonio Symphony. Mr. Wheeler has been a recitalist and chamber music player throughout New England performing with the Island Chamber Players and Karas String Quartet. He is on faculty at The Hartt School Community Division and lives in West Hartford with his wife, pianist, Ruriko Kagiyama, and their three daughters.

Conductor Joel Smirnoff

Calendar Listing:

Featuring Joel Smirnoff, guest conductor; Michael Wheeler, HSO Principal viola
Thursday, November 29, 2012 │ 7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 30, 2012 │ 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 1, 2012 │ 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 2, 2012 │ 3:00 p.m.
Belding Theater │ The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts
Program: Johann Pachelbel: Canon in D Major; Georg Philipp Telemann: Concerto for Viola, Strings, and Continuo in G Major; Ralph Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis; Pyotr Ilyich Tchiakovsky: Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Op. 13, “Winter Dreams”
Ticket Information: Tickets to this concert range in price from $35.50-$70.50. Student tickets are $10. On Saturday, December 1, $25 tickets are available for patrons age 40 and under. To purchase tickets or for more information, please contact HSO ticket services at (860) 244-2999 or visit

The 2012-2013 Masterworks Series is sponsored by MetLife Foundation and The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation, with additional concert support from Cigna, Hartford Hospital, and the Katharine K. McLane and Henry R. McLane Charitable Trust. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s 2012-2013 season is sponsored by Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra receives major support from the Greater Hartford Arts Council, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism.

Santa and His Crew Ring in the Season at the 16th Annual L.U.N.C.H. Holiday Show

“Diana Jones: Reindeer of the Lost Arc, The Christmas Skull, and the Search For the Holy Gruel”

In this year’s presentation of the 2012 L.U.N.C.H Holiday Show, three of Santa’s magic artifacts have been stolen and hidden in remote locations around the world.  Santa enlists the help of famed adventurer Diana Jones (and her Diana clones) to retrieve the missing items and save Christmas.   Since its inception in 1995, This community favorite family entertainment event features a light-hearted take on pop culture, with parodies of popular songs along with thoughtful original Christmas music.

Produced by  Local United Network to Combat Hunger and featuring  professional artists  including:  Connecticut State Troubadour and 2012 Grammy Winner  Bill  Pere; 2007 Immie-Award Winner Kay Pere;  and recording artist Larry Batter; supporting a cast of 30 kids from several area schools from Westerly to East Lyme.

The show will take place on Saturday December 1,  at 7pm, with  live pre-show music starting at 6:15. (Snow date is December 2) at the Stonington Community Center.

The show will benefit local Social Service Agencies in providing holiday food baskets and basic services to families in need.  Agencies which  benefit from the LUNCH Holiday events include:  The Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center, The New London Community Meal Center,  The Groton Food Locker,  MASH, WARM,  Covenant House,  and many more.  Typical of many local agencies,  the economy has resulted in fewer donations, while the need for assistance has risen.

General Admission Tickets in advance are  $10 (adults), $8 (under age 12) or on of the day of the show. If you  cannot attend but  would like to  help    with this community outreach, you  can sponsor seats  at  $10  each, and the tickets will be given to families who  otherwise might not  be able to  attend.  Tickets are available online at or by phone at 860-572-9285.  There are usually very few tickets left by the day of the show, and seating is strictly limited, so advance purchase is recommended.

Click here to see more pictures from last year’s show.

Celebrate Our Veterans at Mohegan Sun

WHAT: This Veterans Day weekend,  Network Connecticut hosts a day filled  with fun, entertainment and more at Mohegan Sun in honor of our active military members and veterans. All proceeds of the event will benefit veteran organizations.

WHEN: Saturday, November 10th at 11:00am

WHERE: Uncas Ballroom at Mohegan Sun

IN DETAIL: This Veterans Day weekend, come honor the men and women who have served our country with a day filled with fun, entertainment and so much more as Network Connecticut hosts a special party at Mohegan Sun on Saturday, November 10th. The event, which will take place in the Uncas Ballroom from 11:00am to 5:00pm, will include live entertainment featuring Grammy-nominated Blues legend James Montgomery with Grass Root Band, Illusionist David Martin as seen on NBC’s America’s Got Talent as well as great food, boutiques, raffles and family fun.
Tickets are $20.00 per person and are available for purchase at the doors to the event. Veterans and children under 14 are free. Guests who donate a suit at the event will also be given complimentary access. All proceeds will benefit the Save-A-Suit Foundation and Operation: Music Aid.

For more information, click here.

Delightful, Delicious, De-Lovely

Join the New Haven Symphony in celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Cole Porter‘s graduation from Yale with a Roaring Twenties themed gala, Cocktails with Cole, Saturday, November 10, 6:00pm at LoRicco Ballroom, New Haven.

Cole Porter

We’ll have you shimmying to de-lovely music by Cole himself. Porter will be played with elegance and wit by singer and pianist Steve Ross, hailed by The New York Times as “the Crown Prince of New York Cabaret.” Taste our sweet specialty cocktail The Bee’s Knees and enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres followed by dinner and dessert. You don’t need to attend the Gala to buy a $25 raffle chance to win a Symphony Sunset Serenade aboard the Quinnipiack schooner with 30 friends. Bid for your chance to win silent auction prizes that include beautiful artwork, tickets to exclusive events, certificates to fine dining establishments, travel packages, and much more!

Patron Ticket $125 or Benefactor Ticket $250 (includes program listing, premium seating, and valet parking).

The Young Artists Series presents “Reflections of Walter Piston”

Award-winning pianists Jonathan Coombs and Igor Lovchinsky performed at 3 p.m., on Sunday, November 4, 2012, at Fairfield University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts as part of its Young Artists Series. The special program, entitled “Reflections of Walter Piston,” features commentary by Melvin Stecher and Norman Horowitz and compositions by Walter Piston (1894-1976), one of the most respected composers and teachers of the 20th century. Admission is free and open to the public.

Melvin Stecher and Norman Horowitz are internationally acclaimed duo-pianists and music educators to whom Walter Piston dedicated his Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra, later transcribed in a second version for two pianos soli. This work is included in a program that features the complete piano repertoire of Piston as well as a work by his colleague Aaron Copland, “El Salon Mexico,” transcribed by Piston’s student Leonard Bernstein. The Quick Center’s Young Artists Series is presented in association with The Stecher and Horowitz Foundation, which through its flagship program, The New York International Piano Competition, is committed to furthering the education, recognition and fostering of a new generation of talented young musicians. The Foundation helps aspirants achieve their personal and professional goals through mentoring, career guidance, artistic development, and performance opportunities throughout the year.

Ciara Celebrates in Superstar, Bi-Coastal Style

Ciara to Perform “Sorry” and Never-Before-Heard Track “Got Me Good” From Her New Album One Woman Army on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Video for “Got Me Good” to World Premiere on the Sony JumboTron in Times Square on October 25th

Ciara “Got Me Good” Single Artwork (PRNewsFoto/Epic Records)

Ciara has reasons to celebrate her birthday.  Her most recent single, “Sorry,” is climbing the charts, and her new album, One Woman Army, has quickly become one of the most highly anticipated winter releases.

Ciara will be in Los Angeles to tape an outdoor concert for Jimmy Kimmel Live, which will include her current single “Sorry” and her new single “Got Me Good” which is produced by Rodney Jerkins and will be released on October 25th.  Simultaneously, the Jimmy Kimmel Live performance will air tomorrow, on Ciara’s birthday, October 25th.   She will then jet to New York where she will celebrate by premiering the new music video for “Got Me Good” on the Sony JumboTron in Times Square.  Clear Channel’s New York station Power 105 had promoted the Times Square Premier this week, and is the exclusive radio partner.  Immediately following the premier, this high-energy performance video, directed by Joseph Khan, will go live on VEVO, and  MTV JAMS and MTV HITS will air “Got Me Good” every hour on the hour all night long in addition to spins on AMTV.  On Oct. 27th, the video will be spotlighted on VH1′s Top 20 Countdown, and on October 29th, the video will be featured on BET’s hit music video countdown show 106th & Park.   In addition, “Got Me Good” will be front-and-center on AOL Music, Yahoo Music and MySpace Music.  Following an exciting week, fans will be able to get their hands on “Got Me Good” on November 5th available on iTunes

“Sorry,” the first music video from One Woman Army, generated an incredible response when it was released in September.  The video for the song went to #1 on BET’s flagship show 106th & Park and has remained on the countdown for a remarkable six consecutive weeks, holding the #1 position eight times.   The “Sorry” music video has accrued over 7.5 million views on YouTube, and the press are raving.   It’s a “really dope video,” Complex said, while MTV commented that Ciara brings it with “the perfect blend of sexy and apologetic” and Pop Crush claims “Ciara is back in a big way…”

On Nov. 4th, BET will broadcast Black Girls Rock, which features Ciara performing “Sorry” in addition to her #1 hit “1, 2 Step.”   Ciara, noted for both her beauty and her style, fired up the fashionista blogosphere when she showed up on the Red Carpet at the event dressed by Givenchy.

As a singer/songwriter, Ciara’s career has already hit stunning heights.  She’s had eight top ten singles on Billboard’s Hot 100 and has sold over seven million albums worldwide, including more than 4.3 million albums and nearly 7 million digital singles in the United States alone.   Ciara’s won a GRAMMY Award, three BET Awards, three MTV Awards, and was previously named Billboard‘s Woman of the Year.

One Woman Army is Ciara’s fifth album and her first for Epic, where she reunited with her mentor, Epic Chairman L.A. Reid.   It’s a powerfully honest record, and Ciara’s most ambitious to date.  “‘It represents my strength, it represents where I stand with love,” Ciara says.  “It represents what I want out of life.”