White Devils and all

Rene Thornton, Jr. in The White Devil at ASC

Rene Thornton, Jr. in The White Devil at ASC

Tonight, hopefully, I will achieve a goal by seeing the fifth play in the American Shakespeare Center’s Renaissance Season, Daniel Webster’s The White Devil.  And if this play is as good as the season’s other offerings, it should prove to be a good time to be had by all.  By “all” I mean the audience AND the actors.  This particular troupe seems to have gelled quite well (on stage at least as I am incapable of guessing what the behind the scenes situation is) bringing a wonderful sense of fun to The Taming of the Shrew (big shout out to Allison Glenzer for being such a fabulous Kate), Aphra Behn’s The Rover (love, love, love the play and particularly Lauren Ballard and John Harrell’s performances in this show xoxoxoxo), Every Man in His Humor (Patrick Midgley- you are soooo funny when you want to be), and Mother Bombie (not my favorite of the season but they do a good job with it).  Michael Amendola who plays a bunch of parts throughout the season (as does everyone in the troupe), turns every part he “touches” into gold.  His sense of humor is impeccable and I think he is perhaps the best comedic actor I have yet to see tread the Blackfriars recreated boards. And Nathan Crocker goes down smooth as an aged Scotch in every role he depicts.

I was tardy in my report on this season and I apologize but you can still catch all the Ren Season over the next couple of weeks. Plus you will have your chance to catch the cable ASC Touring Company when they return home to roost on April 8th with Hamlet (taking a group of Tibetans with me to see that with me- should prove to be interesting), Doctor Faustus, Much Ado About Nothing and Wittenberg.

See you at the theatre!

The Culture Maven

Writer’s weekend at the Homestead

Here is a great looking retreat for writers at one of my favorite Virginia resorts.

 THE OMNI HOMESTEAD RESORT TO HOST INAUGURAL

“WRITERS’ WEEKEND,” MARCH 21-22

 

Enjoy a weekend of lectures, live demos, book signings, fine dining and more with successful Virginia authors of many genres at the legendary resort  

February 27, 2015 Hot Springs, Va. – The Omni Homestead Resort is celebrating Virginia’s history of great writers with its inaugural Writers’ Weekend, Saturday, March 21 – Sunday, March 22. The thought-provoking program will feature acclaimed authors sharing their personal experiences and insights topped off with a delicious maple-themed dinner amid the beauty of the Allegheny Mountains.

Virginia-based authors who have seen success across several genres will lead the weekend, including:

  • Lynn Seldon began writing while stationed in Germany as a young Army officer. His work has been published in more than 500 publications including Southern Living, TrailBlazer, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Charleston Post & Courier and more. Additionally, Seldon has published a half-dozen travel books and his first novel,Virginia’s Ring, was published in 2014. Seldon will lead a Writer’s Session titled “Pat Conroy, Crowdfunding & CreateSpace: How Virginia’s Ring Rang Up Sales” on Saturday at 11 a.m.
  • Learn about the elements of mystery writing from acclaimed writer Mollie Cox Bryan. Author of the Cumberland Creek Scrapbooking Mysteries, the first of which was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2012, Bryan will lead a Writer’s Session titled “Adding Murder to Your Resume” on Saturday at 10 a.m.
  • Kendra Bailey Morris is a food writer, culinary instructor and cooking show host who has been featured in Better Homes and GardensGarden and GunTaste of the South and Richmond Times Dispatch. She also served as a judge for the James Beard Awards and authored The Southern Slow Cooker: Big Flavor, Low-Fuss Recipes for Comfort Food Classics. Morris will lead a culinary demonstration at noon on Saturday where she will share valuable tips, tricks, and recipes. She will also showcase her delectable Slow Cooker Apple Cider Pork BBQ Sandwiches with Creamy Cider Slaw.
  • Beau Beasley‘s Fly Fishing Virginia: A No Nonsense Guide to Top Waters won the prestigious Excellence-in-Craft Award in 2009. He is also the author of Fly Fishing the Mid-Atlantic and an editor at Eastern Fly Fishing, Fly Fish America, and Southern Trout. Beasley will be leading a Writer’s Session titled “Effect Fly Patterns for the Old Dominion” on Sunday at 10 a.m.

To round out the weekend, participants are invited to celebrate the 57th annual Highland Maple Festival that’s taking place in nearby Highland County, affectionately known as “Virginia’s Sweet Spot.” Guests can take a seat for a Maple Bourbon Dinner in the resort’s Dominion Room and enjoy a four-course menu of savory dishes such as Maple Sugar Dusted Diver Scallop and Cherry Braised Duck Leg with crispy maple Brussels Sprouts. Each course is paired with expertly crafted Woodford Reserve bourbon cocktails.

Special rates for the Writers’ Weekend start at $255 for one night, or $230 for two nights. The weekend’s full schedule can be viewed online here. For more information or to make reservations at The Omni Homestead Resort, please contact (800) 838-1766 or visitwww.thehomestead.com.

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ABCD Photography exhibit opening at The Bridge in Cville

This event intrigues me because I think I might learn something about feeling culturally alienated regardless of a specific background.

This info is taken directly from the Bridge PAI website.

HP-FEATURE-ABCD-opening
 February 23, 2015 by 

Photography Exhibition Opening: Friday, March 6 at 5:30

That ABCD Life

ABCD=American Born Confused Desi. That’s what they call American kids of Indian descent. Why are they confused? Are they actually confused? What goes on in the minds of these people, split between two cultures? “That ABCD Life,” a photo exhibit by Madhavi Reddi, seeks to share the sentiments of Indian-Americans from all over the country. Join Madhavi and some of the models in the photos on March 6 and discover what “That ABCD LIfe” is all about.

This exhibition will be open weekdays until March 27.

This program was created in partnership with The Big Read. The Big Read supports organizations across the country in developing community-wide programs which encourage reading and participation by diverse audiences. The current Big Read book is The Namesake By Jhumpa Lahiri. With penetrating insight, Jhumpa Lahiri follows the Ganguli family from their traditional life in Calcutta through their fraught transformation into Americans.

WNRN Culture Connection for February 23rd – March 1

February wraps up with a theatrical world premier in Richmond, a collection of Chekhov shorts (not to be confused with a collection for shorts for Chekhov – spring IS coming after all) in Charlottesville and an art show in Staunton.

To learn more about these events you can click the links provided or play a podcast of this week’s WNRN Culture Connection by going to wnrn.org> features>culture connection.

The World We Know:

http://www.firehousetheatre.org/this-world-we-know-world-premiere/

Vodka Variations: An Evening of Chekhov Shorts:

http://tickets.artsboxoffice.virginia.edu/single/PSDetail.aspx?psn=4042

Mixed media art show:

http://saartcenter.org/

THIS WORLD WE KNOW

THIS WORLD WE KNOW

Have a cultured week!

Best,

Mary

The Culture Maven

WNRN Culture Connection for Feb 16 – 22

One play, on ballet and some art on display.  Thus is this week’s WNRN Culture Connection- A musical version of Jane Austin’s Mansfield Park, the ballet version of Don Quixote and portraits by Lucian Freud.

To learn more about these featured events, click on the link below.

Don Quixote:

http://www.richmondballet.com/event/don-quixote-feb-20-2015-7pm/

Lucien Freud:

http://www.virginia.edu/artmuseum/exhibition/lucian-freud

Mansfield Park:

http://svu.edu/news/2015/professor-writes-directs-original-musical-mansfield-park-feb-13-14-19-21/

imgres

Enjoy the week and… get out there and get cultured.

Mary

The Culture Maven

WNRN Culture Connection for Feb 2 – 8

Punksatawney Phil master groundhog prognosticator has deemed we are in for six more weeks of winter which means it is a good time to explore some history.  This week’s WNRN Culture Connection features three events that offer you that chance:  Henley Street Theatre Company’s production of The Lion in Winter,  music from the swinging ‘60’s at Four County Players’ Songs in the Cellar: Broadway by the Decade, and a chance to view the VMI Cadets parade on post is full dress.

To learn more about these featured events click on the links below. To hear a podcast of this week’s Culture Connection go to wnrn.org and click on the “features” tab to find Culture Connections.

The Lion in Winter:

http://henleystreettheatre.org/

Songs in the Cellars:

http://www.fourcp.org/SitePages/index.aspx

VMI Dress Parade:

http://events.lexingtonvirginia.com/events.php?view=d&id=6951&m=02&y=2015&d=6

Stay warm and have a great week!

Mary

LionInWinter_border_r1

WNRN Culture Connection for Jan 19 – 25

Its January and loosing weight is on many people’s minds so now is a great time to learn about GMO’s via a film at the Central Branch of the Library, work off some calories biting your nails at Arena Racing or give it up altogether and have a great meal and watch a funny play.

For more information on the featured events, click on the links provided.

Arena Racing:

http://richmondcoliseum.net/events/

The Drowsy Chaperon Dinner Theater:

http://roberteleehotel.com/

GMO-OMG: Film at the Library:

http://www.jmrl.org/cgi-bin/calendar.pl?view=Event&event_id=4860&datestring=20150122

 

Arena Racing Champion

Arena Racing Champion

If you know of a cool event coming up, shoot me an email at culturemaven@wnrn.org.

Also, on Saturday you can witness the production of seven, ten-minute plays created less than 24 hours earlier when Live Arts presents: 24/7.  More at livearts.org.

Have a culturally fabulous week!

Mary

The Culture Maven

WNRN Culture Connection Jan 12 – 18

Photographic portraits of Middle Eastern women, Pianist Adam Golka, and the VCCA open house are on this week’s cultural radar as winter keeps us indoors for the most part.  But the days are getting longer and before you know it little green leaves will appear on trees, flowers will bloom and birds will be making a racket in the wee hours of the morning.

If you would like more information on the featured events, click on the links below.  To hear a podcast of this week’s Culture Connection, go to: http://www.wnrn.org/2015/01/wnrn-culture-c…-january-12-18/ and click on the “play” triangle at the bottom of the page.

Adam Golka plays with the Richmond Symphony:

http://www.richmondsymphony.com/events_details.asp?id=303

VCCA open house:

http://www.vcca.com/main/index.php

Beyond Western Borders at W& L:

http://events.lexingtonvirginia.com/events.php?view=d&id=7132&m=01&y=2015&d=15

Adam Golka on the piano

Adam Golka on the piano

Note: Over the weekend I went to see Taming of the Shrew at ASC in Staunton and it was a hoot.  I totally recommend it.

Stay warm and get some indoor culture in this week.

Mary

The Culture Maven

The Culture Maven Report 2014

Because I am an Arts & Culture media person people imagine that I am out all the time at cultural events.  This is not true.  As a single mom without a familial support system close by with a full time job, I often in my PJ’s by 8pm snuggled up with a good book or binge watching whatever TV series I have chosen to view in order to stay conversant with people (this past year I binge watched GAME OF THRONES and HOUSE OF CARDS and kept up with season 4 of DOWNTON ABBEY).  But looking back over 2014 I was able to glean, through saved ticket stubs, roughly how much culture I absorbed.

I thought it would be fun to share the tally with you, though I am certain it is not entirely accurate as there were events I attended without tickets like THE HERITAGE HARVEST FESTIVAL at Monticello and other events I attended purely as part of my job at WNRN like THE RED WING ROOTS MUSIC FESTIVAL.

So here is most what I saw/did/experienced in 2015:

1 Opera – I wish I had seen more.  I was sad to miss two different productions of LA BOHEME along with Va. Opera’s entire season. :-(

7 Concerts– That seems way off but often I am on the guest list and I have the memory of a goldfish.  I can tell you that the best concert I attended this year was Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings– positively awe-inspiring!

13 museums/exhibits– This does not include art galleries.  My favorite exhibit was a guilty pleasure viewing of Hollywood Glamour at the MFA in Boston- I know it should be something loftier like the Goya, Jamie Wyeth or Gordon Parks but hey, I was a fashion major in art school and am a big sucker for old movies.

14 Films – And I think I never go to the movies- Hah! My favorite film I saw this year…GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE, an Iranian vampire movie in black and white. Caught it at the Virginia Film Festival. Tender love story with a twist. Adorable.

25 Plays– Excluding a production of SPAMALOT at Tandem Friends School in which my daughter played Patsy, my favorite play this year was CYRANO DE BERGERAC at American Shakespeare Center.  I have said it before, John Harrell’s portrayal of the title character was the performance of a life time. I feel privileged to have witnessed it. :-)

John Harrell as Cyrano at ASC

John Harrell as Cyrano at ASC

Not bad for 52 weeks.

Here’s to a Culture filled 2015!

What is your culture tally for 2014? Do you have a favorite play, movie, exhibit or other cultural experience to share?

The Don’ts of Writing a Bucket List

Every year around this time, I set aside a day or so to be alone and work on my goals for the year and beyond- a bucket list of sorts. But for me it is important to take this exercise a little further than a simple list. Visuals are important to help make my goals and dreams come true and visuals that I can look at every day are even better. So I make a “visioning book” instead using a small notebook and pictures cut out from magazines or printed off the internet. Using this technique allows me to journal about my bucket list items AND have consistent visuals to help reinforce them in my brain which provides detail which helps keep me focused. The small size of the notebook makes it portable so it can go with me on my travels. I can also easily add things to the notebook and use any extra pages for daily gratitude lists and/or stories about how my dreams actuated.
Weather you decide to create a list, poster or notebook or nothing at all, I hope you have the chance to realize at least one dream in 2015!
Happy New Year!!

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