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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Arts Roundup: Beautiful Balloon Forest, Adam Sandler, the Symphony's Big Tent Goes to the Southside, plus Friday Cheers round one.

Posted By on Wed, Feb 28, 2018 at 2:45 PM

Swan lake in the balloon forest.
  • Swan lake in the balloon forest.

If you have a chance to swing by Regency Mall in the next few days, make sure to check out the RVA Enchanted Balloon Garden.

There's a moving story behind it: a group of balloon artists came together from around the country and world to create the exhibit as a tribute to a local balloon artist who is terminally ill. You can read more at the RTD in this Bill Lohman piece.

Regardless of what you think of Adam Sandler movies (not much, here) the guy is still out there hitting comedy stages, I'm guessing with his guitar in tow. He'll be coming to Altria Theater on Friday, April 20 with another old school SNL reference: Rob Schneider. Tickets range from $52 to $228 bucks a pop and go on sale Friday, March 2. Learn more here.

Come to think of it, "Punch Drunk Love" was a decent movie. It probably has the greatest thing Sandler was ever a part of: the "shut-up" telephone scene with Philip Seymour Hoffman. NSFW, btw.

The Richmond Symphony's big tent will be hosting its first Southside Community Festival on May 18 and May 19. The event will be held at the Southside Community Center, 6255 Old Warwick Road and Friday night features a free performance by the Richmond Symphony with local salsa greats, Bio Ritmo. Circle that one on your calendar.

Also, Venture Richmond's Friday Cheers announced the first round of its summer performances: Week one is Valerie June with Devon Gilfillian on May 4 ($10). Week two is Tank and the Bangas with Sweet Crude May 11 ($10); Then after skipping a week is week three: RVA Music Night featuring Butcher Brown, Dharma Bombs and Piranha Rama on May 25 ($5) and week four is Tyler Childers with talented local tunesmith Saw Black on June 1 ($5)

Check out some videos below for a sampling of the headliners at these first four shows. Summer getting closer, hot freaks.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Magician David Blaine Coming to Altria Theater June 28

Posted By on Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 10:50 AM

Popular magician and modern Harry Houdini, David Blaine is coming to Richmond's Altria Theater on Thursday, June 28. Tickets are $25 to $99 and you can learn more here.

Tickets will go on sale to the general public starting Friday, March 2 at 12pm local time at LiveNation.com, davidblaine.com, Altria Theater and Dominion Energy Center box offices, online at etix.com or charge by phone 800-514-3849.

Blaine, an old buddy of actor Leo DiCaprio's, is a magician, illusionist and endurance artist who has broken several world records. His one-man show in Richmond will be an interactive experience.

Here's more from the press release:

Described by Howard Stern as the greatest magician that ever lived, David Blaine single-handedly redefined magic after producing and directing his original television special Street Magic when he was just twenty-three. Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller called “the best TV magic special ever done.” The New York Times noted that Blaine has “taken a craft that’s been around for hundreds of years and done something unique and fresh with it,” whilst The New Yorker claimed “he saved magic.”

Blaine’s highly-rated primetime specials have shown him being buried alive in New York City for a week, encased inside a six-ton block of ice for three days, surviving standing atop a 100ft tall pillar in Bryant Park for 36 hours without a safety net, enduring 44 days inside a transparent box in London on nothing but water, and living within one million volts discharged at him continuously for 72 hours from seven Tesla coils. Blaine also spent one week submerged in a sphere-shaped aquarium at Lincoln Center, after which he broke the world record for breath holding live on the Oprah Winfrey show where he held his breath for over 17 minutes. Since graduating high school, he has performed to audiences of over 20,000 in arenas around the world. He has performed for U.S Presidents including Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and other international leaders and prominent figures such as Bill Gates, Henry Kissinger, Michael Bloomberg, Stephen Hawking and Muhammad Ali. For more information visit www.davidblaine.com.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Trevor Noah of "The Daily Show" Announced for Altria Theater, Saturday, May 5

Posted By on Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 4:50 PM

Trevor Noah, the host of Comedy Central's Emmy and Peabody Award-winning "The Daily Show," will be performing at Altria Theater on Saturday, May 5 at 7 p.m.

Noah, who took over for Jon Stewart, debuted his ninth comedy special "Afraid of the Dark" in February of last year on Netflix. A year before that, he released his first book, "Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood," which was "a New York Times bestseller, the highest-rated audiobook of 2016 on Audible, and the recipient of two NAACP Image Awards," according to a release.

Pre-sale tickets go on sale this Wednesday, Feb 21 at 10 a.m. here. Ticket costs range from $39.50 to $95.00 plus fees.

Rhiannon Giddens and No BS Brass Named as Friday Cheers Act

Posted By on Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 3:40 PM

One of Richmond's favorite downtown music series, Friday Cheers, announced that its June 8 concert will feature Grammy-winning singer Rhiannon Giddens with the Richmond Symphony and No BS Brass as opening act.

The event, presented by Bell's Brewing, is part of the new Festival of the River at Brown's Island and $10 tickets go on sale March 6.

Giddens, known for her early work with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, has made waves with her second solo effort ("Freedom Highway") and won a MacArthur "Genius" grant in 2017, which includes a no-strings-attached $625,000 grant distributed over five years. She also has a recurring role on the CMT television show, "Nashville."

Venture Richmond and Friday Cheers should have more announcements of other acts in the coming weeks.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Pick: Miramar with strings at In You Ear Studio, Feb. 22

Posted By on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 12:50 PM

In case you haven’t noticed, this is a fairly spectacular week for vocal music in Richmond. Top jazz vocalist Dianne Krall, aka Mrs. Elvis Costello, is at the Altria Theater on Wednesday. Cecelia McLoren Savant, current Grammy winner and arguably the brightest young vocalist to emerge in decades is at the Modlin Center on Friday. And between the two, on Thursday night, Miramar, one of the jewels of local music in one of the best listening spaces in town, the studio at In Your Ear.

Miramar’s focus is Puerto Rican boleros, deeply romantic songs originally performed in a salon setting. The project started as a labor of love for Bio Ritmo pianist Marlysse Simmons and vocalists Rey Alverez and Laura Ann Singh. Their 2016 breakthrough recording “Dedication to Sylvia Rexach” made multiple best of year lists, got them featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, being one of a dozen artists selected for NYC's globalFest and a slot at WOMAX, the premier world music event.

So, seeing them with the Classical Revolution RVA string section in an acoustically perfect room with less than 60 people is kind of a big deal. And in a week of spectacular events, one very much worth considering.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Launch Trampoline Park Opening on Hull Street in Midlothian

Posted By on Sat, Feb 17, 2018 at 2:30 PM

Founded in 2012 by a Rhode Island entrepreneur and Ty Law, three-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots, Launch Trampoline Park is opening a location at 10901 Hull Street in Midlothian.

A press release from the Launch Franchising, LLC notes that the new park will be locally owned and operated and construction is set to begin this winter. The website for the new location is already up and has 14 job listings.

"The parks provide kids of all ages with endless fun of whether it is bouncing on trampolines, playing dodgeball in mid-air, jumping through the ninja course, playing laser tag, or tumbling on the track. Launch Richmond will be available for birthday parties, fundraisers, fitness classes, toddler time, teen nights, private events and more! The park has a full-redemption arcade, Launch Restaurant and private party rooms. Additionally, Launch Trampoline Park has its own mascot – “Joey,” a 7-foot tall green kangaroo mascot – who is in charge of fun at the park, assisting with birthdays and special events."

“The Launch Richmond franchisees are excited to bring family fun to the area and are ecstatic to be a part of the Launch team. We can’t wait for the community to enjoy all the fun and action that Launch has to offer,” stated Robert Arnold, president and co-owner of Launch Franchising in the press release.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Preview: Going Places: The Technology of Transport at the Science Museum, Feb. 16 through Aug. 19

Posted By on Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 11:30 AM

It would be tough to top a 99-year old train station as the ideal place for an exhibition on the technology of transportation. Just don’t look for any trains.

Cars, planes, bikes, boats and even a hovercraft make up “Going Places: The Technology of Transport,” a new highly interactive exhibit opening Friday at the Science Museum. Even the seating scattered throughout the exhibit references various modes of conveyance, with wooden car seats, bus seats and rally car seats providing respite.

Using key science concepts in engineering, physics, biology and math, the exhibition invites guests to experience various aspects of transportation as well as explore the technology, efficiency and reliability behind them. For a kid, it’s one thing to see adults put a key in a car’s ignition but quite another to use a screen to build a virtual automobile engine that then allows them to turn the key and pump the gas to start the “engine.”

Chuck English, the Science Museum’s director of playful learning and inquiry, sees the exhibit as an entertaining way for the family to learn together. “With technology and engineering, kids always ask why I need to learn this or that,” he says. “Kids can draw connections by doing the exhibit with their parents.”

Carrier ships are highly efficient modes of transporting goods, but packing them requires attention to weight and placement, a concept kids can explore by loading a miniature ship efficiently enough that it won’t capsize.

For every adult who has no idea that it was German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin who invented the first rigid-framed steerable airship, there are likely a dozen children eager for an opportunity to steer one of the two airships in the exhibit through a large hoop. Doing so requires patience and tenacity, qualities often in short supply in an instant gratification world.

“It’s a purposely slow process,” English explains of the controllers on either side of the cage housing the airships. “It’s a chance to play with something not nearly as easy as a drone, although with no wind to battle, it’s easier than it would be outside.”

That’s not to say there’s no wind in “Going Places” because it makes an appearance further into the exhibit at a display of land yachts. There, visitors can launch a selection of wooden boats, assuming they learn the basic principles of how a fan simulating wind works on a sail to affect the boat’s movement. Or they can take a seat in the hovercraft to get one minute of feeling the wonder of riding on air.

A variety of experiences make the exhibit a kind of transportation sampler. There’s a pair of very differently styled recumbent bikes that allow visitors to climb on and pedal to compete against each other on a race course shown on a large screen. For an even bigger challenge, check out the red and white flight simulator, complete with wooden propeller and wings, that allows an amateur pilot to do basic flying. Just don’t expect the simulator to allow you to land on a roadway because, as English demonstrated, it’s smarter than that.

For those with a creative bent, there are stations to design your own city from the ground up and post the results on a wall. Gearheads can design two cars, from body shape to engine to tires, and then race them onscreen to see how design elements determine fuel efficiency.

The exhibit was created in Australia – check out the license plate on the half car with the open trunk – and has made appearances in California, Texas and New York, but this is its first mid-Atlantic showing.

“We hope families will experience it together,” English says. “If kids get excited exploring it, they may want to go into these fields. It’s hands-on applications that excite some kids.”

“Going Places: The Technology of Transport” opens February 16 and runs through August 19 at the Science Museum, 2500 W. Broad St. smv.org

Monday, February 12, 2018

Vote for Richmond Bands to Make Lockn' Festival

Rockn' to Lockn' nominees include The Folly, Jouwala Collective and South Hill Banks.

Posted By on Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 8:30 PM

One of the premier jam band festivals on the East Coast, Lockn Festival is being held on Aug. 23 through Aug. 26 at Infinity Downs and Oak Ridge Farm in Arrington, Va.

Among the headlining bands: George Clinton and P. Funk, Widespread Panic, Dead and Co. (two nights, four sets), Toots and the Maytals, the Suffers, popular Virginia band Agents of Good Roots, and Sheryl Crow.

But right now, you can support Richmond bands by going here to vote for the annual Rockn' to Lockn' contest that will go in rounds, with an eventual winner being selected after club shows to appear at the fest.

The three Richmond bands on the list this year are The Folly, Jouwala Collective and South Hill Banks.

Check out some jahmn' videos mahn .

Friday, February 9, 2018

Richmond International Film Festival Presenting Kate Bosworth its Founder's Award.

The actress will appear at the Byrd to present the film "Nona."

Posted By on Fri, Feb 9, 2018 at 1:15 PM

The opening night of the 2018 Richmond International Film Festival just got some added starpower.

Producer and actress Kate Bosworth will be joining filmmaker Michael Polish ("Twin Falls Idaho") to present a narrative feature "Nona" on opening night at the Byrd Theatre, Tuesday, April 24 at 7:15 p.m. A Q&A will follow.

Bosworth, who co-produced the movie, will also receive the festival's Founder's award honoring a filmmaker "whose work champions stories of truths often untold or overlooked," according to a press release. The film, which puts a face on Central America's sex trafficking industry, was written and directed by Polish.

The Richmond International Film Festival runs April 23-29 and you can find out more on its website. Trade publication Variety has already run an article mentioning that Bosworth will be awarded for the film in Richmond.

Here's more from a release:

Nona puts a face to Central America’s sex trafficking industry. It follows the harrowing path of a young Honduran girl from her home in San Pedro Sula, across four countries, into a living hell of servitude in a world of modern day sex slavery. Nona is an acronym, of sorts, for “No Name.” This is the first feature co-produced by the husband and wife producing team through their newly formed production company, Make Pictures Productions.

“We are thrilled to present Nona as the opening night film, which captures the heart and spirit of the festival,” said RIFF Founder and Producer, Heather Waters. “We are proud to offer a platform for brave, socially-conscious filmmakers like Michael and Kate to shine a light on a dark space impacting women and young girls around the world and establish dialogue that can pave the way towards change.”

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Dominion Energy Riverrock Announces Lineup, May 18-20

The Wood Brothers, Marcus King Band, Agents of Good Roots are headliners.

Posted By on Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 2:45 PM

Dominion Energy Riverrock announced today the full list of music acts for the tenth anniversary of its big outdoor sports festival at Brown's Island from May 18-20.

From the press release desk:

Dominion Energy Riverrock Music Lineup

Friday, May 18

6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Cris Jacobs Band

8:00 – 9:30 p.m. The Marcus King Band

Saturday, May 19

12:00 – 12:40 p.m. Chris Leggett

1:00 – 1:45 p.m. Big Baby

2:15 – 3:00 p.m. McKinley Dixon

3:30 – 4:15 p.m. Minor Poet

4:45 – 5:45 p.m. DJ Williams’ Shots Fired

6:15 – 7:30 p.m. Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds

8:00 – 9:30 p.m. The Wood Brothers

Sunday, May 20

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Black Janis

2:20 – 3:20 p.m. Sid Kingsley

3:40 – 5:00 p.m. Agents of Good Roots

From the release:

Touring in support of the newly-released ‘One Drop of Truth,’ their sixth studio album, The Wood Brothers relied on artistic expression to produce one of their most dynamic recordings yet. The trio, made up of brothers Oliver and Chris Wood, along with Jano Rix, put faith in themselves and ultimately their audience by writing and recording a collection of songs that is honest and pure. After touring extensively in support of the 2015 album ‘Paradise,’ the band, based in Nashville, took a fresh approach to recording and mixing on ‘One Drop of Truth,’ resulting in a deep wellspring of sounds, styles, and influences.

Led by 21-year-old Marcus King, The Marcus King Band is quickly becoming one of the country’s most sought-after live acts. King shows his musical ability throughout ‘The Marcus King Band,’ his second full-length album, and the fiery blend of American roots music showcases his gorgeous vocals, soaring guitar work, and heartfelt songwriting that blends perfectly with his group of masterful musicians. The Marcus King Band features Jack Ryan on drums and percussion, Stephen Campbell on bass, Dean Mitchell on saxophone, and Justin Johnson on trumpet, trombone, and backing vocals, and the band’s energy is never more evident than during its blazing live shows.

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