Song of the Living Dead

September 6, 2011 at 11:39 pm (Art, performing arts, South Florida, theater, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Though not a fan of vampires, werewolves or zombies over the weekend I saw “Song of the Living Dead” at the Promethean Theatre in the Black Box Theatre at Nova Southeastern University. This “Musical about love” “play about zombies” actually surprised and entertained me. We were warned ahead of time about two things: it’s raunchy and there will be blood. So with not much more than the title of the play, a little warning and clothes that could get bloody we set out with a group of friends to see the show.

The play opens with George and Judith on a beautiful day as they are getting engaged. Unbeknownst  to them there has been a viral outbreak that’s reanimating corpses and of course all they want is brains! …except for the dyslexic kid zombie who wants “brians”. Intertwined in this mix is Harry Hardman, the over-the-top executive who is obsessed with the newly-engaged Judith. Harry is definitely a stand-out in the play providing such gems as the song “I’m F*ing Awesome” while wearing a double breasted suit with comically large shoulder pads (think of a business suit designed by the Romulans). As the zombie virus spreads Judith, George and a now commando version of Hardman end up trapped in a Party City with a small collective of other refugees.

A parallel storyline to the triangle of George, Judith and Harry is the Reverend Seabrook, a fire and brimstone preacher who leads his choir in “The Lord God Hates Them All”. Seabrook fears and holds in contempt anyone who is different than him and his faith all whilst encompassing the parable of the man in the flood. This leads to some very funny scenes involving him and the gay couple consisting of an Orthodox Jew and a Muslim – a hilarious trifecta of Rev. Seabrook’s hatred.

The play delivers on the promise of blood, there’s a “splash zone” in the first row, but the blood hit all the way back to the fifth. There is indisputably raunchiness, a zombie gives birth to a zombie fetus and there’s a scene about “Going Gay for Jesus”. The play is worth seeing and I hear rumors that the play might be extended through September 10th.

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U2 360 MIA

July 1, 2011 at 10:05 am (Design, Florida, Miami, South Florida, technology, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Taken with a Blackberry

Imagine a structure 164 feet tall, that uses 120 trucks to move and several days to assemble. Now imagine that same structure surrounded by 50,000 to 300,000 people per tour stop; pretty impressive, right?

June 29th U2 landed their space ship like stage in Sun Life Stadium. This monster stage – the largest touring stage ever built – looks like a giant claw or a structure built by NASA. The stage has four legs that support a center column of LCD screens, speaker stacks, and even four aerial lighting platforms that 12 crew strap in to and get hoisted into positions within the legs. A giant spire looks as though it’s been thrust through the whole apparatus, and the stage has two concentric circles of performance platforms. There was a lot of buzz about both the stage and the tour when I went to LDI in 2009, but even with the advanced knowledge I couldn’t grasp the magnitude of this concert.

The idea of the stage, as the “360” tour name suggests, is a concert in the round. Instead of the traditional stage flanked by speaker stacks and fans only concentrated in one direction, the fans literally surround the stage. This stage did everything functionally and SFX wise that I was hoping for. Whenever I’d say “it would be cool if…” all of sudden that very thing would happen – smoke, LCD screens moving, elevator systems for bringing equipment on stage, even the ramps that span from the inner circle to the outer circle moved! With 432 speakers distributed between eight speakers stacks the sound quality was excellent no matter where you sat. This was truly a feast for the eyes and a massage for the ear drums.

U2s songs reverberated through the stadium and the crowd was so in tune to it that you could feel it. Yes in the way you do at a normal concert where you feel the bass and the music, but there was more than that. As people were clapping, stomping, and jumping I could actually feel the vibrations through the steel of the prestressed concrete of the stadium. This was both really cool, and a little disconcerting all at the same time. My mind kept bouncing between enjoying the show and worrying about the stadiums mechanical resonance and how that affected the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Obviously the fans did not cause the stadium to shake itself apart, or you would be reading about somewhere else than my blog.

This was one impressive concert. We left the stadium visually stimulated, physically resonated, and all over tired. If you want to check the tour out, there are only 10 stops left of the 109 scheduled on the tour. So get your tickets or watch it online!

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Things That Make You Go Hmmm

June 21, 2011 at 12:57 am (advertising, Branding, Design, marketing, South Florida, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Bethesda Heart Hospital

What’s the first thing you think of when you see this billboard? I thought – “huh, that’s weird. I wonder what they mean?” After all, definitions for a “foursome” range from the sexual to the game of golf, but I get the feeling this billboard is not some kinky reference or about leaving your golfing buddies alone and lifeless on the links. Thinking through the various definitions of a foursome and how it could relate to a hospital it finally dawned on me that it might relate to the anatomy of the heart. There are in fact four chambers and four valves within the heart – That’s it! Now I’m tired and my brain hurts; that was a lot of work to understand a witty billboard.

A lot of work it was, but I got it. More importantly, I remembered it. And I have a feeling that’s what BFW, the agency responsible for the campaign, wanted. I remembered not only the billboard, but also the location of the billboard just so I could stop and get a picture of it. It is no small feat to remember a single 14’ x 48’ billboard while on a 220 mile round trip drive filled with …billboards! So I guess that’s a testament to the marketing force behind the idea.

The agency reports on their blog that “The first day these two billboards appeared, they generated 474 hits on the hospital’s website (that’s huge in their market).  And, according to our client, they’ve continued to generate more buzz for the hospital than any other billboards in recent years.” I have to admit, it drove me to their website and I live 50 miles south of this billboard. Whoever designed the hospital’s logo go it right, too. The “B” reinforces the name, the heart is self-explanatory, and the style, font and color choice reinforce the healthcare aesthetic. So, I guess, job well done on all accounts. …Now where did I leave that SA Node?

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Refresh South Florida

July 29, 2010 at 11:14 pm (Florida, Fort Lauderdale, free, marketing, networking, social event, Social Events & Networking, social media, South Florida, technology, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

Tonight was Refresh South Florida, that’s right Refresh Miami and Refresh Lauderdale are playing nice together. This time around it was a joint venture between neighboring and symbiotic social media clubs.  The event was also different in that it followed the format of IgniteShow.com where presenters are only given 5 minutes and 20 slides, auto advancing every 15 seconds, to get their point across.

First to the platform was Jonathan Bradley of Afzet, Inc, home of Studdr.com. Studdr.com is a social networking site that allows you to post quotes, pictures and video of funny or interesting things that you witness or hear. He said that it is the kind of the site many people might use as bathroom reading material because of it’s short snippets of entertainment. I think the site has interesting potential, especially because a lot of my social media use is intended to entertain me in times when I need to see a funny comment or some content that allows me to get my geek on.

Mike Cuesta of Carecloud.com presented his company’s software that allows professional in the medical field the opportunity for a turn-key clinical, financial and administrative software manager.  Carecloud allows medical companies to streamline practices and move into a more lean of way handling all the data they collect on patients and their billing needs. Carecloud.com seemed to have the most practical and put together plan for profitability and company growth out of all the presenters. The software looks to have strong development and the potential to allow medical professionals to do more medical work and spend less time and money in secretarial duties.

Flavors.me, presented by Jonathan Marcus, is a site that allows users to build “an elegant website using content from around the Internet.” Flavors.me looks to be a good outlet for anyone who wants to put up a quick vanity page without needing much knowledge in programming. It sets itself apart from many theme driven design skins by allowing users to upload photos as backgrounds and adjust content along various paths – like Myspace, but less rigid in content structure.

After all of the companies presented individually they were invited for a short panel style question and answer session. Most of the questions centered around profitability, scalability, financial acquisition, and a few discussions about frameworks and development softwares and their role in creating an Internet based start-up.

All three companies are worthy of note and look to have a future online. The whole night was broadcast via socialchats.net to those who were not able to attend in their carbon-based form. For upcoming events, check out OEcalendar.com

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Fat Village – Walk’n with the Arts

July 25, 2010 at 6:51 pm (Art, Art Event, Design, Design Events, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, free, Gallery Opening, Graphic Design, Illustration, networking, photography, social event, Social Events & Networking, South Florida, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Despite a tropical storm hitting to the south and the ever-welcoming South Florida heat, there was still a steady attendance at this month’s Fat Village Art Walk. New to the Art Walk were Brew la-la, Iron Forge Press, and Digital Art Wear. The Puppet Network put out a few show elements including a shadow puppeteer and projections of stop motion animation. Gallery 101 had a stronger showing compared to last month’s. The gallery had oil paintings of bulldogs by Drago Milic that were created with great color and emotion. While there I passed a few pieces made in different mediums that were very interesting – later I found out that they were all by Glauco Mendoza.

Overall it was a great night for the visual arts – puppets, printers, sculptures, painters and an entertainment company. The next art walk is scheduled for August 27th from 7 to 11 pm. See you there!

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ArtServe Red Eye 2010

July 24, 2010 at 3:04 am (Art, Art Event, Design, Design Events, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, free, Gallery Opening, movies, networking, News, photography, print media, social event, Social Events & Networking, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

ArtServe in Downtown Ft. Lauderdale hosted the reception for its 5th annual Red Eye event tonight. The purpose of the Red Eye event is to “create an innovative an exciting project that adds a twist to the conventional gallery exhibit” that “enmeshes gallery art with street art.” This year’s exhibit was on par with last year, with the exception of the graffiti. The graffiti, in my opinion, was better this year. This is not for a lack of technical skill; this year’s graf was more art piece verses last year’s predominant writer influence – I just prefer art over writing in graffiti.

This year’s event also played host to a fashion show that was previewed at Art Serve and continued at The Bubble in the IWAN facility (I did not attend this portion, but hope to visit IWAN before long). In the rear of ArtServe, live entertainment was playing and the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival held a Short Film Premiere Section.

Red Eye continues through July 30th, so check it out while you can.

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What The Flugtag!

July 13, 2010 at 10:45 am (Florida, free, Miami, social event, Social Events & Networking, South Florida, Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Saturday, July 10th,  Miami witnessed Red Bull’s Flugtag for the first time in 6 years. The event, put on by the energy drink, travels to various cities around the country each year encouraging inhabitants to build flying machines that they will hurl off a 30’ platform into the water to see if they can fly.

In 2004 I was part of the team “Camel Skiing” from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, but this time I wasn’t able to get enough people, nor enough time, to gather a team of wanna-be aviators. Luckily the company I work for, Sixth Star Entertainment, was asked to build not one, but two of these machines. The first was built for Telemundo over the course of two days and was used for the test flight on Friday. The second, built in only one day, was to celebrate the signing of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to the Miami Heat.

Enough stroking my ego – back to the main event! I have never seen Bayfront Park packed by so many people. The estimated number of spectators was between 80,000 and 100,000! That’s a lot of people in one area on one day, even for Miami. No matter where, or when, the Flugtag event you are guaranteed that the flying machines will be impressive (most will not fly) and that you will be entertained. At this year’s Miami event all walks of life were represented: from Luchadores to Beer Connoisseurs, Ibis to Rubber Ducky, rednecks in Mullets and even a giant wedding cake by a couple who is getting married at the event! Flugtag was wrapped up by a show from the U.S. Coast Guard who flew in a helicopter to pluck the Coast Guard’s Flugtag Pilot from the water.

We need more Flugtags in South Florida! We have some annual events like the Coconut Grove Bed Race, but nothing really compares to the creativity and overall experience of a good Flugtag.

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Fat Village Art Walk

June 27, 2010 at 7:56 pm (Art, Art Event, Design, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, free, Gallery Opening, social event, Social Events & Networking, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Fat Village Art Walk including the Art of Alex, Sixth Star Entertainment, and Gallery 101

You’ve probably heard of 2nd Saturdays in the Miami Design District, but how about 4th Saturdays in the Fat Village Arts District in Fort Lauderdale? That’s right, Broward County is getting it’s culture on.

Saturday June 26th spirited in the monthly summer gatherings with the opening of some new studios covering fine arts and entertainment. In the last few months the area has had a surge of new talent come to join neighboring Sixth Star Entertainment, Blackbooks and the Puppet Network within the district. Some of this talent includes The Art of Alex, Rachel Henriques, Alfred Phillips, Gallery 101 and – moving in just days before the event – was the Downtown Music Hall featuring the Floribbean Swamp Funk Roots Rock Jamband, Shack Daddys.

This little stretch of Downtown Fort Lauderdale is proving to be quite promising as an up-and-coming arts district. Join them the 4th Saturday of every month through November. The area spans 4 blocks from NW 6th St. on the north, to 4th Street & from N. Andrews to the railroad tracks on the west side. See you next month.

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Edward Steichen: In High Fashion, 1923-1937

April 11, 2010 at 11:35 pm (Art, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, photography, print media, South Florida, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Gary Cooper and Mad Men's Don Draper. Photos taken nearly 90 years apart ...timeless

We were finally able to enjoy some culture this weekend with the viewing of Edward Steichen: In High Fashion, 1923-1937 on view at the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale. As someone who did not know much about Steichen’s career beyond recognizing a few photographs it was interesting to find out more about his life and work.

The layout of the exhibit starts in the early 1920’s, where many of the portraits have a sepia and faded palette to the prints, from there it chronologically follows his career through the 1930s. His photographs of the 20s seem (at least to me) to be more straightforward and less dynamic than his later works. As the 20s gave way to the 30s Steichen’s photos have more depth, both in the blacks of the grayscale and the human interest displayed within the frame. His film noir treatment of light and the Art Nuevo, and especially Art Deco styling of his backgrounds, subject mater, and overall aesthetic really began to take shape as his career progressed.

Though probably known best for his female subjects, the way he shot his male figures are both epic and timeless. The photo of Gary Cooper in the late 20s reminds me of the Don Draper character from the AMC show Mad Men (see images above). My favorite photo out of the entire exhibit was probably the smallest on display. It was of a movie director or producer taken in 1930. The man (who I really wish I could remember who it was) is seated in a director’s chair with lighting and grip equipment serving as the background. The camera is positioned lower that the subject and the lighting is of an intense key light with mild fill …exceptionally powerful and stunning.

After viewing the exhibit you see how Steichen was able to influence fashion photography from that point on. The texture and shape he could create through the natural curves of his models coupled with the lines of the fabrics they wore were both dynamic and simplistic. Edward Steichen: In High Fashion, 1923-1937 was on display at the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale from February 28 through April 11th, 2010. From Fort Lauderdale it makes it’s last scheduled stop at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO from May 15 – July 25, 2010.

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Naked Women Fully Clothed

November 16, 2009 at 12:18 am (Art, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Naked Women

This weekend we had the pleasure of seeing “Naked Women Fully Clothed” presented by The Women’s Theatre Project. The play is “A titillating, provocative and humorous collection of one act and short plays that reveal and lay bare an array of secrets and revelations.” …In plain English, it was just funny!

The format was much like Saturday Night Live, providing monologues and group skits. The cast of six women transformed a modest stage into an array of environments through basic props and some imagination. Some of my favorite sketches were, “How to Be an Actress,” “I am Pastrami,” and “Warning! Women’s Body Parts Move” – where a “Nutty Professor”-type character explains that her body parts have been disappearing, only to discover that her thighs are now on Cindy Crawford.  The play was so funny that my face hurt from laughing by the time intermission came around.

“Naked Women Fully Clothed” was the final performance of the 2009 Season, but fear not, the 2010 Season kicks off with “The Year Magical Thinking” from February 18 – March 14, followed by “Going To See The Elephant” April 22 – May 11, and Wicked Sisters August 5 – 29.

For more information about upcoming events, or how to sponsor the Women’s Theatre Project check out their website, or call them at: 866-811-4111.

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