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Friday, July 31, 2015

Event Pick: Other Funky Music at Canal Club

Former members of Parliament bring new band to the Bottom.

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 10:10 AM

Richmonder and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Jerome "Bigfoot" Brailey (center) has a new band featuring former members of Parliament.
  • Richmonder and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Jerome "Bigfoot" Brailey (center) has a new band featuring former members of Parliament.

Devotees of ’70s funk band Parliament-Funkadelic’s music, or “P-Funk,” know the group wasn’t just a party band.

While they are remembered for danceable hits such as “Flashlight,” “One Nation Under a Groove,” and “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker),” there were other sounds being made by the band that didn’t make the radio.

This “other” music was also known for its psychedelic edges, with extended guitar solos, hard-rock riffs and deep, interpretive lyrics. Two former members of Parliament, drummer Jerome “Bigfoot” Brailey and vocalist Gary “Mudbone" Cooper, are the core of a new band called Other Funky Music. The group intends to shine a spotlight on the edgier sounds of P-Funk. The group is rounded out by guitarist Lenny Holmes and bassist Jeff “Cherokee” Bunn, two players who have some P-funk on their resumes.

“We wanted to do a funk/rock kind of thing,” says Brailey, a Richmonder and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame about the band.

Don’t expect to hear just the greatest hits, as the foursome is taking control to bring their audience a special show of seldom heard songs, audience favorites and deep cuts of raw funk and rock. Cooper offers a simple solution for funk fans that are curious about the Other Funky Music.

“The best way to see what we’re doing,” Cooper says, “is to see what we’re doing.”

Other Funky Music plays at Canal Club on Friday, July 31. Tickets are $12.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Restaurant Closes, Art Missing

Local stencil artist won’t give up the hunt for his valuable work.

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2015 at 4:30 PM

Artist Anthony Aspero's stencil drawing "Getty" was a finalist for the 2014 World Stencil art prize. It's now missing after he lent it to a local restaurant that closed.
  • Artist Anthony Aspero's stencil drawing "Getty" was a finalist for the 2014 World Stencil art prize. It's now missing after he lent it to a local restaurant that closed.

A local stencil artist may have lost thousands of dollars worth of art, thanks to Haxall Point, a restaurant which closed in July. Anthony Aspero had loaned a dozen canvases to the bar, with sales split 70/30. He says a Haxall Point manager called three weeks after the business closed, to say that a landlord would get in touch about accessing the art.

But the call never came. Aspero says the landlord hasn’t returned calls, and that Haxall Point’s phone number is no longer in service. Aspero estimates the collection is worth around $7,000. One stencil, titled “Getty Museum,” took over 150 hours to make and was a finalist for the 2014 World Stencil Art Prize.

“I got a hold of site management last week and they told me everything had been disposed of, so the space could be shown to prospective renters,” says Aspero in an email.

A self-professed workaholic, Aspero isn’t one to give up. So he scouted the restaurant this week, and spotted his Getty Museum stencil through a window. He took a picture and alerted a security guard about his intentions. Again, Aspero got the runaround. After a brief walkie-talkie chat, the guard took Aspero’s phone number and said that someone would get back to him.

It’s not certain whether other paintings are inside the building, or if Aspero will ever get one back. A Haxall Point manager told Aspero that he last saw the paintings stacked in a back room. But management has largely been uncooperative, and appears to have been locked out of the building as well, according to Aspero.

Aspero says that the stencil he can see through the window is his “pride and joy.” He began stenciling as a hobby over a decade ago, initially inspired by Banksy and Logan Hicks. Now it’s more of an artistic calling, he says. All of Aspero’s stencils are made by hand, usually on paper or mylar.

“Just knowing that at least one of the pieces is still around gives me hope that the others are in there as well,” he says. “Or at least in good condition somewhere that they can be retrieved.”

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Warp Factor One

A hot minute on the phone with William Shatner.

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 4:00 AM

William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk in a publicity still from the original television series "Star Trek" and the episode "Whom Gods Destroy."
  • William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk in a publicity still from the original television series "Star Trek" and the episode "Whom Gods Destroy."

Eight minutes. That’s all the time Bill Shatner has today.

I was to conduct a brief phone interview in preview of Shatner’s appearance at the Wizard World Comic Con this weekend at the Greater Richmond Convention Center -- where you can pay $80 to have your picture taken with him. Even with the time limit, how could I pass this up?

As a child of the '70s, one of the first toys I ever owned was a Capt. James T. Kirk action figure along with a funky planet (Mission to Gamma) where the evil alien creature was your own fist wearing a spotty green glove. I never became a Trekkie, but there are plenty other layers of Shatner’s career to enjoy. Oh, are there layers.

He started off as a Shakespearean actor, had a bunch of television cameos including “Twilight Zone” and “Gunsmoke,” then came the defining, albeit brief original Star Trek series run in the late '60s, later rediscovered as a cult hit in the '70s, which spawned “Star Trek” movies that reignited his career mostly in the '80s.

There’s all the glorious, B-movie flotsam starring Shatner that is cheesiness at its finest, from “Kingdom of the Spiders” and “Big Bad Mama” to the unintentionally hilarious '80s cops show “TJ Hooker.” At one time, it seemed like there was no role too poorly written or bizarre for Shatner to turn down. And you can't forget his novelty music albums such as “Transformer Man” with its unhinged covers of “Mr. Tamborine Man” and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and the more accomplished "Has Been" album with Ben Folds.

Fortunately, Shatner has always been willing to make fun of himself, to laugh at what many perceive as his own dramatic overacting. His. Penchant. For. Dramatic. Pause.

More recently, he scored an Emmy win for “Boston Legal” and, of course, became the spokesperson for the familiar Priceline.com commercials -- probably how millennials know him best (he really should've held onto his stock options, he's noted).

At a robust 84, Shatner has a bevy of pursuits these days including breeding saddle horses; his internationally touring one-man show, “Shatner’s World”; a recent self-help book for seniors called (“Catch Me Up”); a brown bag wine tasting show; a sci-fi graphic novel, “Man O War”; a starring role in a new Krampus film titled “A Christmas Horror Story"; and oh, he just drove a steampunk-styled motorcycle with flame throwers across the country for charity. Whew.

The guy doesn’t know how to slow down. You could interview him for a day and not even scratch the surface of his Renaissance man lifestyle. So eight minutes? Really?

Style: How are you? Where are you?

Shatner: Good. I’m up in the I-cloud, in Los Angeles. It’s a pleasure to talk to you, I just want to make sure your readers know I’ll be at the Greater Richmond Convention Center Friday and Saturday.

Yes, I will definitely include that. So will you be checking out any local wine or maybe taking a trip to see horses?

No, I don’t have time. I would’ve checked out the horses. We have competed in Virginia from time to time. And I think I rode with the foxes there, but that was a long time ago. ... No, no horses in Virginia. Just a lot of science fiction people in that area who are really passionate about uhhh, science fiction and the current culture, and I deal with them quite often on uhhh, Twitter.

You’ve been a pop culture icon for so long now, is there one thing about fame you wish more people understood?

Well, I don’t know how to answer that. But my response would be in the area of using celebrity for good purposes. I can raise money for charities by using my celebrity or inveigle somebody else who is talented and a celebrity to come entertain us and raise money. I’ve been doing that a lot, either first or second party, sending out things to be auctioned off or to help people with their charity -- plus a great deal of personal appearances.

For example, I drove from Chicago to Los Angeles on a motorcycle and we were under the aegis of the American Legion -- who helped with logistics -- so we had an honor coterie of guys, veterans on bikes, and we stopped at American Legion posts [ahem] and tried to raise money for their scholarship fund for the children of fallen soldiers. So, in doing this ride, which was meant to promote a motorcycle and shoot a documentary and raise money, I was able to use this celebrity that’s been foisted on me to that purpose. And it really worked. It was so gratifying to get the people out, press out, soldiers giving bills and small checks, all they could afford to help with this fund. It brought tears to your eyes. That -- that’s the thought about celebrity.

You’ve said before that you never understood how you became popular with “hipsters” and bloggers years back. I feel like it started with those leaked VHS tape copies of the “Rocket Man” performance from 1978. That’s such a quirky distillation of the '70s for some people. Do you remember what was going through your head during that performance?

My recollection is that it was an in-house moment at a small award show [the 1978 Science Fiction Film Awards]. They asked me to do a number like that. I thought, “there are three rockets here: Rock it. Rocket” and then there was a third one, I can’t think of it now. So I tried doing all three at once. It was just experimental and something for the immediate audience. Well, somebody stole it and it got out there and it’s proceeded me ever since.

Just today, a fan-made video of your cover version of “Common People” (Pulp) was posted on the site Dangerous Minds.

Yeah. For me, that album with Ben Folds was a real high-water mark. I wrote some of the songs on “Has Been.” It was a real achievement.

What was the most meaningful tribute you saw to your friend, Mr. Nimoy, when he passed?

Well, you know, I helped his son Adam get funds to make a documentary. And he interviewed me about Leonard. So there is his son doing a piece of film on his father. I mean that. That. Is. Just. ... Extraordinary.

William Shatner appears Friday night and Saturday at the Richmond Convention Center as part of Wizard World Comic Con. For more info, go to their website.

Friday, July 24, 2015

New Country Station Appears Ready to Launch Monday

RadioInsight reports on FM changeover.

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 4:15 PM

Richmond's country radio competition appears to be kicking up.

Newsradio 1140 WRVA, which started a simulcast on 98.5-FM last year, has been playing construction sounds today, promising "something new" starting Monday morning at 9.

people_most_unlikely_signal.jpg

Owned by iHeartMedia, the station has registered Big985Country.com, Lance Venta reports in a blog on RadioInsight.com:

iHeart has also registered Big985Country.com for 98.5 W253BI Glen Allen/Richmond, VA. W253BI will give Richmond its fourth Country station joining SummitMedia’s “K95” WKHK and Alpha Media’s “98.9/100.3 The Wolf” WLFV/WARV-FM and Classic Country “93.1 Hank-FM” WWLB.

The Big985Country.com domain refers visitors back to iHeart.

Aaron Sutten, director of marketing and promotions for iHeartMedia Richmond, declines to discuss the changes before Monday.

iHeart, which also locally owns Q94, XL102 and 106.5 The Beat, must have sensed an opening in the market for a new country station. Longtime Richmond powerhouse K95, owned by Summit Media, sunk in Nielsen's quarterly spring ratings from the No. 2 spot to No. 8.

That's according to the topline ratings information released by Nielsen on July 16, measuring the average share of listeners from 6-10 a.m., ages 12 and older.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Event Pick: Flashlight Tag at Ashland Coffee and Tea

Duo joined by friends, including a member of Gwar, for album release party tonight.

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 11:00 AM

Justin Laughter and Brian Phelps will be celebrating the release of their new Flashlight Tag album "Americana Electronica," which was funded by Kickstarter, tonight at Ashland Coffee and Tea.
  • Justin Laughter and Brian Phelps will be celebrating the release of their new Flashlight Tag album "Americana Electronica," which was funded by Kickstarter, tonight at Ashland Coffee and Tea.

Making the familiar surprising isn’t easy.

Then again, neither is actual flashlight tag, a kid’s game that involves either outrunning an instantaneous beam or trying to convince another player that they have been, however briefly and insubstantially, illuminated.

It is an apt name for a quirky Americana duo that plays hide and seek in a playground of venerable popular songs.

On it's new album, "Americana Electronica," warhorses like “Bill Bailey,” “In the Good Old Summertime,” “Home on the Range” and “Oh Susanna” are taken out for a brisk spin. The words are old but the vernacular is new, speeded up with “Little Brown Jug” or slowed down in the Tom Waits-ish “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Some new songs, notably about Revolutionary figures “Betsy Ross,” “Benedict Arnold” and “Paul Revere,” fit the mood, as do a number of brief historical “spoken word” pieces.

The CD has a big sound for a two-payer group. The principals, Brian Phelps (Classic Monkey Shine, That Monster) and Justin Laughter (Silly Bus, junction) are joined by an eclectic cross section of Richmond players including Daniel Clarke (k.d. lang, Ryan Adams) and Terry Clark (Carbon Leaf). For the release party at Ashland Coffe and Tea they will be joined by Craig Evans and Brad Tucker (both of The Taters), Sarah White (Sarah White & The Pearls) and Michael Bishop (GWAR, Kepone).

Flashlight Tag holds an album release party at Ashland Coffee and Tea, July 23rd. Tickets: $12

Friday, July 17, 2015

RVA Street Art Festival Postponed

Southern States silos to get murals in spring 2016.

Posted By on Fri, Jul 17, 2015 at 2:00 PM

The iconic Southern States silos in Manchester will be painted over as part of the 2016 RVA Street Art Festival, which will announce its new date this fall. - FILE
  • File
  • The iconic Southern States silos in Manchester will be painted over as part of the 2016 RVA Street Art Festival, which will announce its new date this fall.

The RVA Street Art Festival sent out a news release today that the festival originally planned for September at the Southern States silos in Manchester has been moved to spring 2016 due to "logistical challenges."

Dates for the new festival will be announced this fall.

“The Southern States silos are so iconic to Richmond, and there is a lot of energy in Manchester right now. Our goal is for this festival to build on the enormous success of the previous ones - and to create an amazing and unforgettable experience for the City. To make this happen, however, we recognized that we needed more time and resources to bring it all together,” said festival co-founder Jon Baliles in the release.

Co-founder Ed Trask added, "We know the community will love what we are putting together. We've spent months estimating ideas and costs associated with our creative and production teams, and we need more time to get it right. The first two festivals had their own vibe and unique spaces, but this event is so big we're literally trying to take it to another level.”

The RVA Street Art Festival raises money and supports arts education for children through local nonprofits. Last year, in its sophomore year, the festival transformed the historic GRTC bus depot into "a 5-acre outdoor art gallery."

Reached for comment by Style, co-founder and city council member Jon Baliles says that the big bike race had nothing to do with the postponement, that they had even considered a transportation theme similar to last year's exhibit. He adds that huge nature of the structure opened up a much larger amount of possibilities for art than expected.

Baliles says that one artist who recently completed a similar project is muralist Hense (Georgia native Alex Brewer), a friend of Trask's who was involved in the first two street art festivals. HENSE painted huge grain silos in Australia that you can see here.

"Our biggest thing is do we paint such an iconic part of Rchmond, or what do we do with them?" Baliles said, indicating that there also might be a national sponsor involved in addition to local sponsors such as Altria and MeadWestvaco, who he described as "amazing partners" in the past.

From the beginning, Baliles says the three goals of the RVA Street Art Fest have been to support arts education for kids, support local artists and find up-and-comers, and to revitalize areas that need it.

For information, follow the RVA Street Art Festival Facebook page.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Fall Line Fest Canceled

Updated: One-day music fest under different name still possible, say organizers.

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 2015 at 4:00 PM

Since 2013, the Fall Line Fest featured touring groups alongside local bands around the city.
  • Since 2013, the Fall Line Fest featured touring groups alongside local bands around the city.

The 2015 Fall Line Fest has been canceled, citing "limited time and funding" on its website.

The festival goes the way of a similar attempt in the mid-'90s (was it called Route One? I can't even find a mention on Google) for an alternative fest and industry conference that quickly tanked after its inaugural year. Plenty people want their own version of South by Southwest, but few succeed in the crucial early years.

The all volunteer-run Fall Line Festival began at various venues around the city in 2013 and had branched out from music to fine arts and food events in conjunction with the weekend, which was slated to move to early November this year.

"A couple of us still have some bands that are confirmed and booked that we don't want to get rid of, so we'll still try to do something on one day -- maybe 10 to 15 bands," says co-founder Stephen Lecky. "We don't have much info other than that. It won't be under the name Fall Line though. But we'll still hopefully have some good groups."

Lecky explains that a big reason for the cancellation had to do with inability to attract sponsors. The festival has been limited in scope and size the first two years by the smaller sizes of local venues involved.

"This wasn't the kind of centralized event we're used to, where a huge amount of people could show up. Two thousand people [at various clubs] is a small event compared to others," Lecky points out regarding the appeal to advertisers. "The cost to use places is tough, getting funds takes legwork and time, it's almost a full-time job asked of volunteers who have other full-time jobs."

Lecky, who also runs the successful Friday Cheers event for Venture Richmond, says Fall Line board members are hoping the event can bounce back in some form or another next year. But he says it wouldn't hurt to have someone with "deep pockets" take an interest.

The original plan called for an organic, snowball approach to building a local music festival -- but it didn't work in this case. The festival could not afford the kinds of bigger bands that would generate buzz and national media coverage.

A model of shared cost and benefit seems essential to organizing a festival these days. For example: If you have seed money and a parent organization with a paid staff (National Folk Festival), you make your festival free to attend, family-friendly, with a huge local volunteer force (Richmond Folk Festival), then the chances for success are strong. Anything else is going to take some major elbow grease and maybe a rich relative or two.

The Fall Line fest was initially intended to piggyback on touring bands headed to-and-from the successful Hopscotch Festival in Raleigh, NC, now in its fifth year. That larger festival, which features three nights of major acts downtown and hundreds of other bands in its easy-to-navigate club crawl, was started by an entrepreneur in conjunction with the local alt. weekly, the Independent.

Here is what that founder, Greg Lowenhagen, had to say about the economic impact of that alternative festival on the city in a 2014 interview with the Triangle Business Journal.

How does Hopscotch benefit local businesses?

"From the direct feedback I’ve received from downtown business owners, Hopscotch is one of the most lucrative weekends for businesses in Raleigh. We haven’t done an official economic impact study since our second year in 2011, but at that time, the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau estimated our impact was upwards of $2 million. I’m in the process of submitting updated data to the GRCVB for a new number, and I expect it to greatly exceed that figure. We sold tickets to fans from 42 states last year, and we have attendees from England, Germany, Australia and all over the place. That said, one cool thing about Hopscotch, and one that also lessens the GRCVB’s estimate, is that our fan base is still predominantly local. Roughly 70 percent of our ticket buyers are from the Triangle, and the GRCVB’s model doesn’t account for dollars being spent by residents of Wake County in Raleigh. These two facts lead me to believe our overall impact for three days in September is pretty huge.

It was just announced yesterday that the Moogfest of Asheville, NC -- celebrating acclaimed synthesizer man Bob Moog -- is moving to Durham in April of 2016. Clearly it's a good town for music fests.

Below is the official announcement of cancellation from the Fall Line Festival's website:

"Due to limited time and funding, this year's Fall Line Fest will not take place. We'd like to thank our volunteers; the participating venues, bands, restaurants, and galleries; the city of Richmond; our sponsors; and, of course, all of the attendees for their support over the past two years. It's been an honor bringing over 100 bands to nine different venues, hosting awesome community-built art projects, and highlighting just some of the excellent food found in this town. None of it would have been possible without the hard work of our all-volunteer board and amazing network of supporters.

While the 2015 Fall Line Fest will not take place, you can still help us achieve the primary goal of the festival: to fill and support Richmond's venues, restaurants, and galleries. RVA has--and will continue to have--excellent and innovative music, food, and art. Go out and enjoy it!

Early Bird ticket purchasers will be refunded by 07/17/15. Please contact info@falllinefest.com with questions.

Cool School

"Rock 'n' Roll High School" movie airs tonight outdoors.

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 2015 at 1:30 PM

Outdoor movies in the summertime are even better when the Ramones are involved.
  • Outdoor movies in the summertime are even better when the Ramones are involved.

Tonight, fans of musical comedy films are in luck.

Movie Club Richmond and Yesterday's Heroes Vintage are presenting a special outdoor screening of "Rock 'n' Roll High School" starring punk favorites, the Ramones.

The 1979 film directed by Allan Arkush will air on the lawn behind Yesterday's Heroes Vintage at 105 S. Addison St. (across from Lamplighter Roasting Company) beginning at 8:30 p.m.

Bring "blankets, chairs, snacks, bug repellant," leather, whatever. But Movie Club always pays for licensing, so please donate at least $5 to the cause.

Russell Dvonch, who co-wrote “Rock 'n' Roll High School” also was the original scriptwriter on the legendary Richmond-filmed debacle, "Rock 'n' Roll Hotel," which was shot at the Jefferson and featured in this Style cover by Dale Brumfeld.

Arkush also went on to direct the best acting performance of Lou Reed's career in the bizarre 1983 musical comedy, "Get Crazy." There used to be a wonderful collection of all of Reed's scenes from the film on YouTube, but it's been disabled. Sorry. It was hilarious. This was all I could find.

Friday, July 10, 2015

'Round Midnight

Chop Suey holds release party for new Harper Lee book at the Jefferson.

Posted By on Fri, Jul 10, 2015 at 1:25 PM

The cover of the hotly anticipated new work by Harper Lee -- yes, that Harper Lee. Chop Suey is having a midnight book release party at the Jefferson on Monday.
  • The cover of the hotly anticipated new work by Harper Lee -- yes, that Harper Lee. Chop Suey is having a midnight book release party at the Jefferson on Monday.

When Harper Lee’s novel “Go Set a Watchman” hits bookstore shelves next week, it will give millions of ardent fans their second visit to Scout Finch’s Maycomb County, Alabama.

And they only had to wait 55 years for the chance.

Locally, fans can welcome the new book at a release party at the Jefferson Hotel’s Lemaire restaurant Monday, July 13. The fete kicks off at 10 p.m., as a warm-up for the book’s official release at the stroke of midnight.

While Lee wrote “Go Set a Watchman” before “To Kill a Mockingbird,” it survived only as an unpublished manuscript until this year. There’s a mess of online reading, full of controversy and conjecture, available to anyone curious about why the book is only now reaching print. Lee, 89, isn’t talking. She resides at an assisted-living facility in Monroeville, the same town where she grew up, and she famously shies from giving interviews.

“To Kill a Mockingbird,” released in 1960, tells the story of two children growing up in small-town Alabama as their father Atticus defends a black man on trial for the rape of a white woman. “Watchman” is about the grown-up Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, returning to Maycomb County 20 years after leaving home for New York City.

Ward Tefft, owner of Chop Suey Books, says the bookstore’s staff started talking about an event soon after the book’s publication date was announced. It isn’t the first time Tefft has held a midnight book-release party (Haruki Murakami’s “The Strange Library,” last year). But recognizing the occasion was a no-brainer.

“We had to do it,” Tefft says. "'To Kill a Mockingbird’ is such an important piece of American literature that we wanted to jump on board.”

The new book is the No. 1 pre-order on Amazon. Tefft says his store has received more pre-orders for this novel than it has in a long time.

Buyers who pre-order “Go Set a Watchman” at Chop Suey will get a 10 percent discount up until the night of the release. This isn’t the first splash Harper Lee has made here in town. Nearly 50 years ago, the Hanover County School Board voted unanimously to ban "To Kill a Mockingbird," on the grounds that it was “improper for our children to read.” The decision was reported on the front page of the Richmond Times-Dispatch dating Jan. 5, 1966. Lee fired off an angry letter to the paper later that month. In it, she accused the school board members of illiteracy and enclosed a $10 donation to the Beadle Bumble Fund to purchase copies of the book for county school kids.

“I enclose a small contribution,” Lee wrote, ending her note, “that I hope will be used to enroll the Hanover County School Board in any first grade of its choice.”

“Fifty years ago we were debating whether the book should even be in print,” Tefft says. “Now it’s printed in just about every language there is.”

Admission to the release party is free. Expect themed cocktails -- Tequila Mockingbirds and perhaps the Bob Ewell, a mix of several liquors within arm’s reach -- and a book- and movie-based trivia contest.

No word on whether dressing as your favorite “To Kill a Mockingbird” character will get you any pull at the bar. But showing up in Scout’s paper-mache-and-chicken-wire ham costume likely would go over well. Of course, Scout herself could show up -- Mary Badham, who played the youth in the famous film, lives in the Richmond area.

Here's a preview of the PBS television special about Lee airing tonight at 9.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Monty Python Stars Coming To Richmond

Update: Second John Cleese and Eric Idle show added on Oct. 25.

Posted By on Tue, Jul 7, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Icons of world comedy, John Cleese and Eric Idle are headed to Richmond this fall.
  • Icons of world comedy, John Cleese and Eric Idle are headed to Richmond this fall.

Two of the world's most beloved comedians, Monty Python veterans John Cleese and Eric Idle, are bringing their "Together Again At Last ... For The Very First Time" tour to the Carpenter Theatre on Oct. 25. Tickets start at $59.50 and go on sale this Friday, July 10 at 10 a.m at the CenterStage website.

From the press release:

In "Together Again At Last…For The Very First Time," Cleese and Idle will blend scripted and improvised bits with storytelling, musical numbers, exclusive footage, aquatic juggling and an extended audience Q&A to craft a unique comedic experience with every performance. No two shows will be quite the same, thus ensuring that every audience feels like they’re seeing "Together Again At Last… For The Very First Time," for the very first time. And now you know why the show is called that, don’t you?

Running from October 2 to 30, the 13-city tour will see the British icons perform unforgettable sit-down comedy at premier venues in Sarasota, Ft. Meyers, West Palm Beach, Miami, Clearwater, Orlando, Atlanta, Charlotte, Baltimore, and more!*

As founding members of Monty Python, Cleese and Idle are unarguably among the godfathers of modern comedy, helping to pioneer an irreverent, absurdist sensibility that is emulated by comics around the world. As individuals, they have written, performed and produced some of the most beloved and critically-acclaimed shows of all-time like Spamalot, A Fish Called Wanda, Fawlty Towers and The Rutles.

*Yes, most of the shows are in Florida. Yes, this is a deliberate ploy by John & Eric to score a free vacation. Yes, they’re perfectly okay with you knowing that. England is very dreary come October.

UPDATE: A second, matinee show has been added for John Cleese and Eric Idle at the Carpenter Theatre at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 25.

For full details, visit www.cleeseandidle.com.

Here's Cleese on the whole soccer versus football thing.

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