Joey, the 18-hand-high star puppet of "War Horse," towered over reporters Feb. 18 just before meeting two real horses from Diamond D Ranch on the morning of opening night before beginning a six-day performance at the Times-Union Center.
'Bama (as in Alabama) and the miniature horse, Honey, were unimpressed with the celebrity of the evening.
“Horses have a very strong sense of smell,” Jessica Krueger, a rear-leg puppeteer said. “Bama can tell she’s smelling three puppeteers, not a horse.”
Joey couldn’t win the mares’ hearts, but the puppet had its notebook-and-camera-toting audience following its every trot, rear and neigh. Journalists remarked that, though they could clearly see the three puppeteers manipulating Joey’s movements, the puppet felt very lifelike as it approached and interacted with them.
Krueger said months and months of preparation has gone into creating that effect. She said the production team and the puppeteers studied everything they could about the movements of horses and their behavior — every detail down to a skin flick to shake off a fly or foot stomp or nostril flare.
They studied real horses with a little help.
“Luckily, a lot of horse owners like to post videos of their horses on YouTube,” Krueger said. “So we’ve been able to do a lot of research from those.”
One of the biggest crowd-pleasers was the convincing neigh Joey’s puppeteers could belt out on demand. It’s a layered, three-person a cappella that could echo through the Times-Union Center lobby. Krueger said that horses have lungs about three times as large as that of humans, so it worked out conveniently that it takes three performers to maneuver the full size puppets.
“We really have to train our voices for that,” puppeteer Danny Yoerges said. “We had six weeks off one summer and our voices were so out of shape, we were …
An adult Easter egg hunt? The mind reels with possibilities of what you might find hiding in the eggs. Mini-bottles? Condoms?
Although these speculations are as fabricated as the Easter Bunny, the event is real: On March 23, the Jacksonville Jaycees will host its second annual Adult Easter Egg Hunt at Hemming Plaza in Downtown Jacksonville.
For only $15, you’ll get the opportunity to relive childhood memories and possibly even find a prize egg. Over 1000 eggs will be hidden throughout the plaza. Inside each egg, participants will find candy or a prize ticket. Prizes include gift certificates and sweet swag baskets from local businesses like Sephora, Fionn MacCool’s, The Cheesecake Factory, Carrabba’s, Longhorn, Publix, Sweets by Holly, Crispers, Chipotle, Which Wich and PRP wine tastings.
There will be other “adult” offerings as well: beer, for starters. When the fast kids push you down and snatch all the eggs, you can drown your disappointment. The good people from Bold City Brewery will be there serving craft brew for $4 a pint, or you can purchase three beer tickets for $10.
Those Jacksonville favorites, the food trucks, will be on hand as well.
Funds raised at this event will go to support the many local community service projects organized by the Jacksonville Jaycees. The Jacksonville Jaycees are particularly involved with the Rodeheaver Boys Ranch, the Ronald McDonald House, Habijax, Wounded Warrior Project, animal shelters and other local charities on the First Coast.
You have to be 21 to participate in the Adult Egg Hunt, but you don’t have to bring your own Easter basket — loot bags will be provided for you to lug away the spoils. This event is rain or shine, and the organizers suggest that a flashlight might come in handy to help you spot those elusive, well-hidden eggs. There will be photo opportunities you won’t want to miss. Think of how awesome you’ll look in your new Facebook …
After the initial success of the movie “Bring It On,” filmmakers did what they do best: Made a lot of lame sequels. The first one was “Bring It On Again,” and somehow they made three more after that.
Then, Tony Award-winning writer Jeff Whitty had another idea, transforming the original movie script into a musical. That’s when the magic happened and made it on Broadway.
“Bring It On: The Musical” is about the bonds formed from two rival high school cheerleading squads. It is loosely based on the 2000 original “Bring It On” starring Kirsten Dunst.
Much like fried chicken and waffles, cheerleading and musicals seemed an unusual mix, but they won critics over. The Broadway musical scored Tony Award nominations for best musical and best choreography.
The show has a particularly diverse cast with some real-life cheerleaders who have very little experience in theater and others who have never cheered before this show.
“Everyone had their strengths and everyone had their weaknesses,” actress Mia Weinberger says. “So everyone helped each other out and that’s what really made it seem like a team effort.”
Weinberger has been singing, dancing and performing for most of her life. She’s starred as “Legally Blonde,” “Berenstain Bears LIVE!” and “Wizard of Oz.” In “Bring It On,” she’s currently playing Kylar, a ditsy character with a heart of gold.
Weinberger admits that she can be a little ditsy at times herself, “I like to call them my Kylar moments.”
“Between the music and the choreography, I just think there’s a lot to offer. And everyone can find something they love in it,” Weinberger says.
As the ball fell into the water on Tiger Woods’ first shot on the 14th hole, his hopes of winning The Players Championship appeared to be sinking fast on Sunday.
Instead, it was Woods’ rival, Sergio Garcia, who met his end in the water — twice on No. 17 and again on No. 18.
The final round of The Players was billed as a slugfest after Woods and Garcia sparred verbally over an incident in the third round Saturday at the TPC Sawgrass Players Stadium Course.
Despite Woods being at the top of the leaderboard for almost the entire day, his double-bogey on the 14th hole pulled him back to the pack. Because of it, Woods and Garcia were tied at 13-under as Garcia teed off the 17th hole.
Garcia proceeded to hit the ball into the water twice and left the hole with a quadruple-bogey on his scorecard. It became worse when he hit his first shot on the 18th hole into the water. He plummeted from 13-under to 7-under over the final two holes of the tournament.
On Saturday, Garcia claimed that Woods wasn't paying attention and caused cheers in the gallery while Garcia was hitting a shot from the fairway on the par-5 second hole.
Woods, who finished with a 13-under 275 on Sunday, outlasted all challengers as Jeff Maggert also hit his tee shot into the water on No. 17 to make double-bogey. David Lingmerth, a Swede who now lives in Jacksonville Beach, shared the 54-hole lead with Woods and Garcia, and he missed a birdie putt on No. 18 that would have forced a playoff with Woods.
Lingmerth finished in a tie with Maggert and Kevin Streelman for second — two shots behind Woods.
After winning in 2001, Woods now becomes one of only five golfers to claim two Players Championship victories at TPC Sawgrass — joining Fred Couples, Steve Elkington Davis Love III and Hal Sutton.
It was also Tiger's 78th PGA Tour victory overall, which puts him four behind Sam Snead’s record 82 wins. Woods claimed $1.71 million with the …
Grammarians everywhere are rejoicing after "Weird Al" Yankovic dropped the music video for "Word Crimes" — a parody of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" — earlier this week.
Joining the grammar police, Yankovic skewers the improper use of "fewer" and "less" as well as "its" and "it's." No one is safe, as he takes aim at Reddit, Twitter users and the doge meme. (Don't worry, he excuses dropping the Oxford comma.) The Weird One takes time to remind that he's a "cunning linguist" with a "big dictionary" (a reference to Thicke's video).
The animated video for "Word Crimes" was directed by Jarrett Heather, who spent more than 500 hours working on it, according to his blog.
While watching the video, you might beg for an extensive explanation of "there, their and they're." It never comes, but he's straightening people out on "literally," "irony" and "lightning/lightening," so who are we to complain?
"Word Crimes" was the second music video in a plan to release eight in eight days. The releases for Yankovic's new album, Mandatory Fun, began with "Tacky," his parody of Pharrell's "Happy."
Jax Surf Fest II was six long hours dedicated to surf rock that I thought would never end. Seven bands, both local and national, played their own version of the classic Dick Dale genre, most of them pretty standard represenatations of the genre, sticking to the typical mold of surf-rock: a 4/4 rhythm and a fast tempo. Although technically talented, their sounds tended to run together after awhile.
Jacksonville locals The Crowkeepers went on while the sun was still shining. There was hardly an audience this early, but they played like there was one. Full of energy, but not too much. It was very fitting of typical surf music. The second band, Tidal Wave, a three-piece from Tampa, started things off much faster, bending chords, and strumming more chaotically. "Are you ready for a beach party!?" shouted the lead singer, and then played their most popular song "Beach Party." It sounded like a party on the beach or something.
There are long breaks between each band. Too long. Everyone takes forever to set up, and they all have their own gear. The only thing to keep the audience entertained between sets is a merch table with skateboards up for raffle.
The Surge is the band that takes the stage when an audience starts to funnel in. Lead guitarist Eddie Katcher is known in surf rock circles as a legend, and a veteran of the Atlanta surf music scene. A smile is on Katcher's face the whole time, perfectly in tune with the other three members. They perform in uniform, red shirts and all with greying hair. They break up their set of originals with a lively rendition of "Hotel California," which the crowd immediately recognizes. It was a welcome surprise, and the band pulled it off well.
Another Atlanta-based band, MOONBASE, takes the stage and offers thanks to their predecessors: "Eddie Katcher is my hero. I wouldn't be standing on this stage if I hadn't met him." They had more of a punk sound, focusing on loud drums. But then it was back to the same old …
Symbiote Spider-Man and Wonder Woman are talking in the corner. Zelda and a Stormtrooper are posing for pictures.
Worlds collided as fans enjoyed playing as their favorite characters, straight out of comic books, video games and fantasy July 13 at the Legend of GAAM at The Museum.
The Games, Art and Music event included a art sale benefiting Child's Play, a charity dedicated to improving the lives of children in hospitals with toys and games.
The event also included a cosplay contest for those dressed in character, a magic show in the "Lost Woods," a dance contest in Ganon's Dungeon and a DJ playing many memorable tunes from video-game classics as well as live music from On Guard. Nevado Arts put on a martial arts demonstration, while vendors offered prizes.
A photobooth designed to mirror the world of Zelda greeted you on your way in. Many took pictures posing in their Zelda-inspired costumes and props.
A gaming room with more 20 TVs and other consoles throughout The Museum invited gamers to plug in.
The first GAAM event was themed on the "Street Fighter" series and also included a 3D lifesize Mario game outside The Museum. That event drew about 350 people in December.
The Legend of GAAM sold out with more than 600 enthusiasts enjoying "The Legend of Zelda" theme, including the Triforce, rupees, health hearts and a three-leveled Zelda walk-through with the Night Sky, Fairy Cave, Lost Woods, and Ganon's Dungeon.
GAAM founders Ryan Thompson, Derrick Nevado, Logan Zawacki and Edmund Dansart created the events to bring awareness to the gaming industry in Jacksonville and help strengthen it.
Thompson originally made fan art for the 25th anniversary of "Street Fighter" and put it on Tumblr. He received a strong response and realized he wanted to do something even bigger. Then, he met Nevado, Zawacki and Dansart and GAAM was born.
For the final 15 minutes, “Million Dollar Quartet” had the crowd on its feet.
Keep in mind, this came only after a standing ovation that felt more obligatory than any the Artist Series had seen this season. If only the writers allowed these legends to uncork their fire earlier and if only the story was engaging enough to hold it all together.
Don't blame the stars. Cody Ray Slaughter (Elvis Presley), James Barry (Carl Perkins), Scott Moreau (Johnny Cash) and John Countryman (Jerry Lee Lewis) displayed the vocal and musical talent to keep the Times-Union Center's Moran Theater rocking on April 22. But for too long, the 100-minute musical (without an intermission) rests on a thin plot of four legends arriving in Memphis with very different agendas.
Based on the legendary recording session on Dec. 4, 1956, at Sun Records, the jukebox musical takes liberties with the songbook, but that mostly can be forgiven. (Other lesser-known songs and more gospel hits were played at the actual session, which was recorded by Sun founder Sam Phillips.)
To be fair, major hits "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Folsom Prison Blues" kept the opening night crowd tapping their feet, and that finale of "Hound Dog," "Riders in the Sky," "See You Later Alligator" and "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On" sent many home satisfied.
However, some of the lines in "Million Dollar Quartet" might leave you wondering if these jokes were even funny in 1956. At one point, Sam pleads "Say amen, somebody," and Jerry Lee replies, "Amen, somebody."
No, it wasn't all that bad. Carl points out that "drunks don't buy records," and Johnny's reply, "they just make them," earned one of the night's biggest laughs.
Barry delivers the most memorable performance, though he has the advantage of playing the least-known of the four legends.
As Sam, Vince Nappo has the unenviable task of trying to hold the story together. More than once, he comes running out, begging for applause from the audience. …
It’s easy to see when somebody loves what they’re doing. It’s plain as day to spot and nearly impossible to imitate. They could repeat it every day and night for years and still their eyes will light up and they’ll look like a kid who just surprised themselves, learning how to do some exciting new thing.
Five decades into an illustrious career, Tommy Emmanuel still loves playing the guitar. That was clear for his audience on the opening night of his two-day performance with Martin Taylor at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall on Feb. 20, because he’s damn good at it.
The duo draws a motley crowd — a near-even mix of Van Halen-era tour tees and double-starched collars. Of snarled manes and wispy greys. When Emmanuel picked up the guitar, the reason behind the dichotomy became clear.
The man can shred the cheese. He’ll out-solo the best of ‘em, and then just keep going until he feels like doing something else, giving the audience his self-assured wink-and-nod service the entire time. Still, there’s a sophistication to his playing. Ten fingers conduct their six-stringed orchestra, coaxing an eclectic array of textures and moods and percussions out of one instrument. It looks like a parlor trick, and he’s very aware of that, making extraneous, often humorous moves with his hands as bedroom rock-stars young and old study the master’s every move, hoping to witness his secret.
The secret is, there is no secret. It’s apparent from the ear-to-ear grin and the way he struts about the stage that he’s simply a big kid playing with his toys — he's just been playing with them a whole lot for a quite a long time.
The show is nearly all guitar-driven, though Emmanuel does chime in with his Australian take on a honky-tonk drawl for a few verses of “Deep River Blues.” When he does sing, it takes a backseat to his playing and when he doesn’t, you don’t really miss it — and that’s not a knock against his voice. Like classical music, …
The animated American classic "Scooby-Doo" with the medling, mystery-solving gang of teenagers and their talking great dane comes to life in "Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries."
The cartoon originated in 1969 and is still in production today, a staple in children’s animated television. There may be some superpowers at work aiding the staying power of Scooby and the gang all these years, but whatever has been keeping audiences captivated is one mystery that doesn’t need solving.
Folio Weekly spoke to Cody Collier, a Springfield, Mo., native who plays Scooby-Doo, by phone about his experience on tour.
Folio Weekly: How long have you been performing and perfecting your craft?
Cody Collier: I was really shy as a child all the way up and through middle school, and it wasn’t until high school that I started doing these school plays. Then, it branched out to community theater and stuff like that, and then after graduation I moved to New York to study it — The New York Film Academy acting for film conservatory — and I decided to take dance classes and voice classes and stuff on the side while studying acting in New York for the past year. And after graduating there, I went to the Boston Conservatory and studied musical theater just to get back in the groove of singing and dancing, because I had been acting all year long. And then after I got back to New York, I auditioned for "Scooby-Doo." I’ve been at it for a short amount of time compared to other people.
F.W.: Did you think that you would land the role of Scooby when you auditioned?
C.C.: I wasn’t really sure because whenever I originally saw the casting notice for "Scooby-Doo," I submitted for Scooby, Shaggy and Fred — all three of the lead roles there, and I never heard anything back for a month or so. Then, I saw they had a second casting notice posted and they hadn’t found a Scooby-Doo yet. So I was like “OK, what the heck?” and I …