Monday, September 18, 2006

Hello again from the inner sanctum of the Boomtown Hive.

Sorry it has been so long since the last post, but the calender has been so full that one suspects it of gluttony.

Several interesting things though. Since the last time there has been a post, Boomtown has undergone several interesting developments both in scheduling and position.

First is the Opening of the Atrium Stage for Friday Night Performances.

John installed the notorious Andrew Arnold scented River City Playhouse theatre curtain in the Atrium a few weeks back, and I must say that it is truly nice to be able to see the damn thing finally unfurled in all of its 30 foot burgundy brocaded glory.

The first performance to be hosted with such a breathtaking swoosh of a backdrop? The delightful Sherry Chung.

We finally got back the video from Josh Skierski of the Real American Cabaret, Episode Three: Five Points. I have an advance clip of the DVD up on Look up 'stephendare' on youtube, and when you get my postings, click on "Why Don't They?" (scroll down to the bottom of this post!)

The coincidentally named Blake Osner's run as the lead of the Not Necessarily Pink Cabaret came to a fairly ignonimous end and we have cast an all new performance group to man the sentimental tribute to the oh-so-gay cabaret performances of the 50s and 60s. The Not Necessarily Pink Cabaret is performed on the final Friday Nights of the month, following the ever evolving Mad Cowford Comedy Improv Troupe.

NNPC is a tribute to the cabaret tradition in the style of the brilliant Blake Edwards productions best encapsulated in Victor/Victoria (although with wonderful references in The Pink Panther series as well) and recreates some of the legendary stock characters from three centuries of small stage performances and conventions. The 'Blake' character is the show's host and Emcee, who works the crowds with improv comedy, song, and monologue as seques between 5 full production musical theatre acts. The new 'Blake' will be played alternately by both Bill and John Allen Harrett.

The first show lineup has already been tentatively set, featuring performances of:
Eartha Kitt's "I Wanna be Evil".
A great costume dance number to Bob and Tom's hilariously blue "Pussy Cat Song".
A gay lounge version of "I Like em Big and Stupid"
"When you're Good To Mama" from Chicago
and a fully rendered Jazz Performance of Malcolm McLaren and Catherine Denueve's "Jazz is Paris"
A sentimental homage to Gilda Radner's wonderful wit with "Let's Talk Dirty to the Animals."

And Finally, the link to the above discussed clip. Melissa Cox, looking every inch a star in her performance as Christy Clark, the unambiguously interesting lead of Five Points.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Pulp Fiction Theater and The TSI outing to The Pearl

Thursday Night is Pulp Fiction Theater night at Boomtown, and we are thoroughly enjoying creating this production, if only because of its historical value.

Its amazing how influential and unique Pulps were (and are) yet the number of people who have ever physically seen an actual pulp magazine is very very small. I guess Mayor La Guardia, the famous mayor of New York in the 40s truly had his way when he vowed to destroy the Pulp industry, since even the physical memory of them has passed out of our society.

We take our productions straight out of the old publications. First we read them aloud to decide whether or not they can be adapted to the stage, and then I redraft the original work as Reader's Theater. If the piece can be further adapted for stage, we then turn the Readers Theater piece into a full script and create the blocking and lighting for the show itself.

The final step is filming the production using a movie blocking script rather than our stage blocking and producing a body of short pulp fiction films. In the end, we create three seperate treatments of the Pulp Fiction short manuscripts: Readers Theater script, Stage Script, and Screenplay. (Usually, John learns his lines shortly after the screenplay is finished, thereby FINALLY sticking to an actual script by the time we film.)

Of course from a theater point of view, one of the interesting things about creating a new series or stage product is the group of people who coalesce around the new theme, and the Pulp Fiction crew is turning out to be quite interesting.

It is comprised of a LOT of NEW people to the stage. Several of them are quite young. Randi McFarlane, one of the lead ingenues is only 17 years old. Juliet Fixl, another lead is 18.

Right now we are performing two new pieces, a really great oil swindle story called "Jedrick the Unstung" originally printed in 1938 in a great old pulp called "Easy Money", and a Twilight Zone style sci fi thriller called "Stolen Centuries" set in the Depression.

This video is a teaser from our first show, Gats in the Hat:

(updated evening with Ryan Rummell, and Jason Grimes at their downtown loft planning a visit to The Pearl.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tonight is Boomsong!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Jaguar Wright this Saturday Night at Soul Release!

From Nokturnal Escape's website:

Philadelphia-based singer/songwriter Jaguar Wright's name can be added to the list of such Philly-based neo-soul talents as Grammy Award-winning rap band the Roots and multi-platinum hitmakers Jill Scott and Musiq Soulchild. She grew up in a household where secular music was forbidden, so her earliest musical influence came through attending church events, social gatherings, and weddings where her father would sing. Still, Wright got her fill of such favorites as Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Minnie Riperton by attending parties and listening to music while her parents were away. She started performing as a rapper in a group called Philly Blunts and later began doing background vocal work for artists in Philly, New York, and New Jersey. After impressing Scott Storch of the Roots, she was added to the lineup of the Black Lily, an acclaimed performance showcase held at the Five Spot in Philly, and later toured with the group on the Okayplayer Tour. The she debuted her vocal virtuosity on The Roots’ hits, “What You Want” from The Best Man soundtrack and “The Lesson Part III” from The Roots Come Alive. Wright also earned rave reviews for her background vocal stint at Jay-Z's MTV Unplugged appearance in December 2001 and released her debut album (Denials Delusions and Decisions) early the following year through the Roots' Motive label. Divorcing Neo 2 Marry Soul followed in July 2005.

Listen to tracks online by T-76 aka Tony White at

Jaguar follows the incredible success of the Goapele Concert, and we definitely suggest reservations. Jaguar is doing the incredible female vocals in the YouTube video above on MTVs Unplugged.

She will not only be performing her own work on Saturday Night, but she will also be hosting the poetry readings.

For prices and reservations, call Tiffany at 626-2812.
The Miles Jaye Show

On a rare Sunday Night performance, Boomtown just experienced our first bout of The Miles Jaye Jazz Cafe. what a great time.

Who knew one of the Village People was local here in Jacksonville?

But if we were expecting klunky, laughable disco retrofantasticness, we were surprised at the multi leveled flawlessly executed jazz performance that was in store for us.

We didn't really advertise this show, because we just didnt know what to expect, but the next one is a don't miss.

What a great time.

Check out this (very old) video of Miles Jaye!

The Warehouse Dance Party At JMOMA.

The Boomtown crew divided evenly after Soul Release. John and I went over to JMOMA to check out the action at the Canvas of Sound Party with Orlando photographer, Chris Gillyard.

At twelve is was buzzing with all the usual suspects one anticipates to be at a hip event inside the incongruous museum. Troy Spurlin was at the door in anachronistic 70s style powder blue ruffled tuxedo shirt of the type which used to plague high school proms vengefully. (Naturally his infectious smile and good looks allow him these personal eccentricities.) Kevin Gay of Operation New Hope was apparently there, although we missed him by minutes.

Not to be outdone, George Kinghorn, the Executive Director of the Jackonville Mission to Omit Melodramatic Artists was inside practicing the intricacies of looking vague but still possibly interested upon the crowd at large. A crowd which it might bear mentioning was quite diverse. Oh certainly, there were sufficient numbers of ex-debs, current debs and debs-to-be to start their own species if they were ever lagooned on an island somewhere, but these after hours parties have begun to turn into something actually fun and cool because of the very diverse people who are showing up at them......Well, diverse only in the old sense of that word. Obviously the crowd had several very serious things that united them.

Boredom, love of Culture and Art, Intelligence (except for a couple of notable exceptions---who already know exactly who they are) and the universal ideals. These things united the crowd in the only way that people should be united.

Tiffany Duhart arrived with Talaam Acey, the noted national spoked word artist, (after his feature performance at Boomtown--always a roof raiser) the local spoken word/hiphop artist, Cuban, and Brother Immanuel and charged the atmosphere with passionate intellectual performance art.

The evening was divided into three main contingencies. 1) The 'glass of wine, face time and obligatory trot around the galleries while smiling dazzlingly' crowd, all of whom abrubtly (though gracefully) left at exactly 12:45. 2) The 'God this is relievingly cool, and isnt it interesting that the Dance floor is outside" crowd sitting mostly in the restaurant and entrance chatting each other up and listening to the Poetry. And 3)the "we built this city on art and music' crowd which remained pretty firmly by the bar on Duval Street.

Since this was also the (global warming in evidence) outside dancefloor, this was also where alot of the actually interesting conversation was located.

Scott Peterson (DJCatharsis) the creator of the event was out there along with all the rest of the culturati. Interestingly, I ran into a guy that I havent seen since we worked on the first Rave Party to be thrown in Jacksonville together...The Revolution Rave at the old Morocco Temple on St John's Bluff. Roger. Apparently hes been throwing these Canvass of Sound Parties for the past ten years in Miami ever since he and Catharsis (originally Scotty Warhol) threw the first one right after Revolution.

Interesting stuff.

By 1:30 it was just us and a few people all deciding where to go for the rest of the evening. Bidding adieu to the amazingly animated Troy Spurlin and seeing the paramount George Kinghorn nowhere in sight we left for a good bit more fun at TSI.

After struggling with whether or not JMOMA even has the ideological underpinnings to throw an after hours event that might ever be considered 'fun' or 'cool', after the success of their Mosaic allnighter Ive decided that they can definitely hold down the fun part of it.

Keep it up guys, this is awesome.

Stephen Dare

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Robert Newman History of oil

Robert Newman is an amazing performer. Would anyone be interested in seeing him perform here in Jacksonville? He's England based, but as you can see from the video below, quite universal in his performance.

Robert Newman gets to grips with the wars and politics of the last hundred years - but rather than adhering to the history we were fed at school, the places oil centre stage as the cause of all commotion. This innovative history programme is based around Robert Newman's stand-up act and supported by resourceful archive sequences and stills with satirical impersonations of historical figures from Mayan priests to Archduke Ferdinand. Quirky details such as a bicycle powered street lamp on the stage brings home the pertinent question of just how we are going to survive when the world's oil supplies are finally exhausted.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Valentin, John Allen, and Alar
Alar and Valentin update

Just got pretty much simultaneous emails from our wayward exchange students. Valentin is back in Romania, and Alar in Estonia, and neither of them have drawn a sober breath since their return to Europe.

If you want to get in touch with the guys, just email and I will send you their email info.

What good times.

Well, now this humble webjo (apparently the hip word for web journalist) feels all kinds of legitimately bloggish. This is completely due to the inclusion of a link from the inimitable Joey Marchy's excellent blogsite, Urban Jacksonville.

Thanks for the link Joey. If you haven't been to urban jacksonville, then you certainly don't know what your missing. Check it out from our links.

Stephen Dare.
Boomtown Tonight.

Tonight we have the early show performance of MadCowford (or is it Mad Cowford?---I don't know...i don't know animals) , the comedy improv group that rose from the ashes of Improv Jacksonville performing in the main dining room starting at 8. (tickets are $5)

The show is amusing mayhem, with the cast and crew being a good deal more refreshed with a renewed sense of comedy and fun. The past three weeks of performances make us wonder why we didnt do this sooner.

Johnny K. is the new executive director and the shows style definitely reflects new leadership.

Then afterwards we have live music.

The Richard Cortez concert
immediately afterwards. This is the third concert at Boomtown for the Fort Lauderdaly based singer songwriter, and tonight Jordan Buffalo is going to open for him.

Hemming Park is abuzz with all of the changes arising from the transfer of the park to (oddly) The Parks and Recreation Department. To this effect fairly soviet looking benches and tables have been installed all along our side of Monroe Street. (By the way, they look absolutely indestructible----a nuclear bomb wouldnt do much more than char the paint job, I think)

Tomorrow Night, JMOMA is doing another of their inexplicably hip events, Canvas of Sound.

For a hip event, the 10 dollar ticket price is surprisingly low for our friends in the ivory tower of art. The Boomtown contingency plans on checking out the scene after Jaguar Wright performs here, since our friends Tiffany and Immanuel from Soul Release are arranging some spoken word there. Afterwards, doubtlessly, the weekly late night at TSI.

Well its time for your humbly blogging chef to ascend to the kitchen and get tonights menu prepped.

Stephen Dare

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

boomtown in the underground of hemming park jacksonville florida
hello world
this is the official beginning of the hours of boomtown underground