Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

Hannibal-based hard rock band works on first full-length album

Hannibal-based hard rock band Far From Over is becoming more well known in the music business, rubbing elbows with nationally known artists and working on a full-length album.

The band is set to play at Monirae’s Restaurant in Pennellville 6:30 p.m. Feb. 13. Far From Over joins national recording artist Buckcherry and other local bands.

Started as a cover band in 2011 by drummer Zane Pointon, bassist Alex Carter and guitarist Tyler Battist, Far From Over welcomed vocalist Zac Birdslow in 2012. Pointon, Carter and Battist attend Hannibal High School, and Birdslow is taking classes at Cayuga Community College.

The show with Buckcherry is not Far From Over’s first time rubbing elbows with some of rock radio’s biggest stars. Last year, the band played at 95X Fest 2013, which featured acts such as Sick Puppies and Adam Gontier, formerly of the band Three Days Grace.

“95X-Fest was a blast! It was so amazing to be able to hang out backstage and talk with the other bands,” Pointon said in an email.

He cited Gontier and Sick Puppies as influences of the band.

“We tend to blend both modern rock sound and the newer post-hardcore genres into our own work,” Pointon said.

Far From Over began gaining local exposure when a 95X DJ played their music on his show.

“Scott Dixon has always been a huge help to us and the whole Syracuse music scene. I don’t think there is one thing he cares more about then this music scene,” Pointon said. “Dixon does a show on 95X called ‘Locals Only.’ Bands all throughout Syracuse can submit their music to be played.”

Having released the “Burn” EP in 2012, Far From Over is working on their first full-length album. The video for the band’s newest single, “Tonight,” has reached more than 1,600 views on YouTube.

“ Filming the music video was a lot of fun and a great experience. It was all produced by our bassist, Alex,” Pointon said. “Being able to make the video for free and on our own was awesome but it was a lot more work. Our bassist stayed up for nights reviewing the shots and making the final edit.”

The band is trying to raise money for recording the new album on fundraising website Indiegogo.

“Like most local bands we make close to nothing. So funding our production and buying are merch can sometimes be hard,” Pointon said.

Despite the challenges of finding funds and juggling work, school and music, Pointon said Far From Over allows him and his bandmates to do what they love.

“We plan to just keep growing bigger in hope of turning from a local act to a touring national one day,” Pointon said. “Our new musical style is just what this world is asking for and we’re ready for the next step.”

Presale tickets for the Feb. 13 show are $25 and can be purchased at ticketweb.com, Monirae’s or the Sound Garden in Armory Square, Syracuse.

For more information about Far From Over, visit ffoband.com or like the band on Facebook at facebook.com/ffoband.

CNY Arts Center hires technical director

John Gamble is the new technical director for theater productions at the CNY Arts Center, 357 State St., Fulton.

As technical director, Gamble will oversee set building, painting and prop design for productions in rehearsal, including Searching for Eden: The Diaries of Adam and Eve, and Willy Wonka, Jr.

Other productions are planned throughout the year.

“We are thrilled to add John to our artistic staff,” said Nancy Fox, executive director. “This is a hugely important role in theatre and demands close attention to safe and cost effective construction techniques.

“John not only has training and experience in set and prop construction, he also has a deep passion for the challenge of finding creative solutions,” Fox said. “A tree made of cardboard and burlap comes to life in John’s hands, a hefty looking rock is actually soft and spongy when applying techniques for building safe but realistic looking everyday items.”

Gamble, a graduate of SUNY Oswego’s theater department, quickly moved into professional theatre after graduation. He has theater credits with New York Stage and Film in Poughkeepsie, Mac-Hayden Theater in Chatham and in Dubai helping set a world record for the largest fireworks display for Grucci Family Fireworks.

After returning to Oswego to be near family, John was recommended to CNY Arts Center through a mutual acquaintance.

“We found his skills and dedication to his craft to be a great asset and a perfect fit for our needs,” Fox said. “He immediately took on both productions scheduled back to back and has EDEN almost performance ready with the show opening Feb. 14.

“He will jump right in to Willy Wonka Jr. and lead teams of parent volunteers in a huge set build involving painted backdrops, waterfalls, factory machinery with moving parts, and all the demands of the familiar story,” Fox said.

“For his part, John has expressed excitement for the prospects of a professional theater in Oswego County where he can work and continue to live close to family,” Fox said.

“It is the desire of many artists who must choose between sacrificing artistic pursuits in favor of employment to stay in the area near family or move away and sacrifice family connections to pursue employment and artistic outlets in more urban areas,” Fox said.

Two Maroun Elementary students perform in “Les Miz” in Baldwinsville

Two students at Michael A. Maroun Elementary School have roles in Baldwinsville Theatre Guild’s musical production of Les Misérables.

Larissa and Lily MacDonald, fourth and second grade students at MAM, were cast during auditions in June. They sang a song from the musical during the audition and both scored a place in the production, despite having never been in a musical before.

Their mother, Kristen MacDonald, heard about the show from Special Education Teacher Justin McArthur, who was also auditioning. MacDonald auditioned as well, and joins the cast as a factory worker.

She hadn’t been on stage since her children were born. The MacDonalds live in Pennellville.

Auditions for the production were elite. Out of the 120 plus who auditioned, only 35 were selected for the cast. The cast also include Phoenix alumni Henry Wilson, Jason Bean and Paul Thompson.

The story chronicles the struggles of Jean Valjean, a French peasant who searches for redemption after serving a prison sentence for stealing bread to feed his family. The musical is entirely sung.

Larissa plays Young Eponine, while Lily is a part of the youth ensemble. The cast is made up of mostly adults — the MacDonald sisters are the youngest of the children.

Singing in all of the chorus parts, Larissa is looking forward to joining chorus as a fifth-grader. She is also involved in gymnastics, Battle of the Books, and the school science fair.

Lily plays piano.

The girls have broken some of the MacDonald’s house rules in order to a part of the production. Play practices close to show time ran up until 11 p.m. some week nights, ending a few hours past their normal bedtimes.

The hard work and long rehearsals have paid off. Each show has sold out, and a Thursday night performance (Feb. 6) has been added.

After the curtain closes, Larissa and her sister hope to continue performing. Larissa recently sang the national anthem at the Winterguard’s first home show at the high school.

What’s happening at the CNY Arts Center?

CNY Arts Center has a date night planned for Valentine’s Day — Friday, Feb. 14.

“Searching for Eden: The Diaries of Adam and Eve” will be presented in conjunction with a dinner.

The play stars Peter and Kelly Mahan and in Act One is loosely based on the Mark Twain classic “The Diaries of Adam and Eve.” The comedy takes a turn in Act Two when Adam and Even are reimagined in contemporary society at middle age.

Doors open at 6:30. Tickets are $25 a person. The dinner features a pasta bar and a chocolate fountain for dessert.

Additional performances are at 8 p.m. Saturday Feb. 15 and at 3 p.m. Sunday Feb. 16.

The latter two performances will be $12 a person, with desserts by Treat Me Sweet available for purchase.

For more information, visit www.cnyartscenter.com, call 592-3373, or visit the Arts in the heART gallery at 47 S. First St.,  Fulton.

Tables of eight are available for reservation.

Something new at the Arts Center is Arty’s Winter Recess. We’ve got kids arts classes to keep them busy during winter break!

Enroll your child in one or more classes like, such as:

** Art of Heroes: How to Draw Superheroes

** Story Time Art

** Imitating Master Artists

** Different Ways to Draw

** Theatre Improv

** Glee Club

** Beginning Guitar

** Songwriting Workshop

** Dance Makers

Visit the Kid’s Classes Page  at www.cnyartscenter.com for details and to pre-register your child or children.

Poetry Corner

60s Music, by Jim Farfaglia

 

“Send ‘em back to England,”

my dad said,

as The Beatles shook their mopheads

on the Ed Sullivan Show—

 

but imagine our world

with no Strawberry Fields,

with never knowing Eleanor Rigby,

without having Eight Days a Week?

 

People laughed at The Mamas & Papas:

skinny Michelle, hefty Cass

and hippy-dippy John and Denny,

who seemed a little too far out—

 

but what kind of world would this be

where there’s no California Dreamin’,

nothing to get us through a Monday Monday

and no one to Dream a Little Dream Of Me?

 

Yes, where would this world be

 

without The Stones’ search for Satisfaction,

or The Doors offering to Light My Fire?

What if there was no Hanky Panky,

no Dancin’ In The Streets?

 

No ‘60s music?

How strange it would all seem—

in fact, wouldn’t it just feel like

A World Without Love?

Fort Ontario, Oswego featured in War of 1812 documentary

Fort Ontario State Historic Site and its superintendent, Paul Lear, will be featured in a documentary titled “Losing Ground: The Race to Preserve War of 1812 Battlefields in New York State,” at 9 p.m. Feb 10 on WCNY.

The documentary was produced by WCNY Public Television of Syracuse and brings together some of the nation’s foremost War of 1812 experts to reflect on preserving War of 1812 sites for future generations.

The program re-airs at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 on WCNY, 2 p.m. Feb. 17 on WCNY, 7 p.m. Feb. 17 on World, and 9 p.m. Feb. 23 on World.

“Lake Ontario was the main theater of action during the War of 1812 and Oswego was a major forwarding point for supplies and ordnance used to support the fleet at Sackets Harbor and army operations on the Niagara frontier,” said Lear, who chairs the Oswego County War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee.

The footage of Fort Ontario was filmed last September when Lear led a walking tour of the battlefield and described the British attack on Fort Ontario during the spring of 1814.

That topic will be explored in depth April 4 through 6 at the fourth annual Oswego War of 1812 Symposium to be held at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center, 26 E. First St., Oswego.

The public television documentary is hosted by Timothy Davis-Reed, a veteran of more than 150 episodes of series television, including six seasons on the Emmy-winning hit “The West Wing” and two seasons on “Sports Night.”

Now 200 years later, celebrations across New York state and Canada commemorate the veterans and battlefields of the War of 1812. But with each passing year, there is less and less physical evidence of this significant part of New York history.

As the population grows and unchecked development expands, preservationists worry that the lands that played a vital role in U.S. history are disappearing at an alarming rate. Once they are gone, so too are the opportunities of enrichment for generations of future Americans.

The program features top battlefield archaeologists as they walk through the hollowed grounds of 1812 sites from Oswego to Plattsburgh, and Ogdensburg to Sackets Harbor.

Experts include Dr. Alan Taylor, historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author; James Lighthizer, president, Civil War Trust; Keith Herkalo, author, historian and president of the Battle of Plattsburgh Association; Matthew Kirk, archaeologist and New York Council for the Humanities speaker; and Constance B. Barone, site manager, Sackets Harbor Battlefield Historic Site.

For registration information on the Oswego War of 1812 Symposium, contact Paul Lear at 343-4711.

CNY Arts Center casts “Searching for Eden: The Diaries of Adam and Eve”

CNY Arts Center announces the casting of Peter and Kelly Mahan in the roles of Adam and Eve in “Searching for Eden: The Diaries of Adam and Eve,” written by James Still.

The romantic comedy will be presented for three performances only Feb. 14, 15 and 16 as part of a Valentine’s Date Night special event at the Arts Center located at 357 State St. Church (Park Street entrance), Fulton.

“I’m delighted to work with Peter and Kelly on this project,” said Nancy Fox, director. “We have worked together on numerous productions in the past, most recently including Helen Keller last spring.

“This is the first time for the two of them to work together as the only characters in the play,” Fox said. “Their personal relationship as husband and wife lends credibility to the story unfolding in the play.”

The play, based on Mark Twain’s original Diaries of Adam and Eve, in Act One finds Adam and Eve in contemporary society caught up in the whirlwind of busy lives and annoying cell phones in Act Two.

Drawn to revisit Eden, now a resort called “E,” the couple struggles to rekindle the innocence of their beginnings in the garden when everything was new and an adventure.

“The play is a wonderful portrayal of relationships, the sweet innocence of discovering the special person created just for you, “Fox continues.

“Adam and Eve lead us through those moments of awareness as self-perception makes room for the other person until you realize you’re incomplete on your own; you were created for relationship which makes the personality differences worth the confusion,” she said. “The play has rich moments of humor and tenderness. It’s a healthy look at what’s important in all relationships.”

“We’re especially excited to combine this wonderful play with an evening of dinner and dessert — Friday, Feb. 14 when we’ll offer a Pasta Bar with sides and a lavish Chocolate fountain with an exotic array of dipping choices,” said Fox.

“Saturday 8 p.m. and Sunday 3 p.m. performances will offer delectable desserts and hot beverages available for purchase in addition to the regular ticket price of $12,” she added. “Friday’s complete dinner, dessert and show package is $25 pre-sale only.”

Tickets can be purchased online at www.CNYArtsCenter.com, or picked up at the Arts Center at 357 State St. Church,  or Arts in the Heart Gallery, 47 S. First St.  For reservations and more information, call 592-3373.

Fulton Community Theatre presents ‘2 Across’

February will see a mixture of romance and crosswords played in dinner theatre setting as Fulton Community Theatre presents “2 Across.”

The comedy by Jerry Mayer, which kicks off FCT’s 24th year, will run weekends, Feb. 8, 9, 14, 15, and 16 at Tavern On The Lock, 24 S. First St., Fulton.

The comedy will be presented as a dinner theatre offering, with Friday and Saturday dinners beginning at 6 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. showtime. On the two Sunday matinees, dinner will begin serving at 2 p.m., with a 3:30 p.m. curtain time.

Tickets for a buffet dinner and show are just $25 for adults, $23 for seniors and students.

Show only tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Reservations may be made by calling Tavern On The Lock at 592-2661.

The show tells the tale of two strangers, Josh and Janet, who meet on a commuter train. They are alone in the car, both doing the New York Times crossword.

She’s an organized, sensible psychologist. He’s a free spirited, unemployed ad exec. She is a crossword pro, he always quits. They learn from each other, argue, laugh, reveal big problems, they kiss.

But will they meet again?

“2 Across” features the talents of Valerie Roscoe-Dedich as Janet and Donald Crowe as Josh. Both will be familiar faces to Fulton Community Theatre audiences. Valerie was featured in the comedy farce “Bedside Manners,” while Donald appeared last season in “Alone Together” and “Curtain Up On Murder”.

The production is under the direction of Michael A. Bolio.

Jerry Mayer is a veteran writer of stage, movies, and television. His writing credits include several stage plays, as well as writing for television shows such as M*A*S*H, All in the Family, The Bob Newhart Show, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Fulton Community Theatre’s production is a Central New York debut of his comedy.

The play, which is the second Valentine’s Day-themed show for FCT, is also the first dinner theatre venture for the theatre in many years. It was an annual staple for many seasons, and is something that the theatre has been looking at since it resumed active production in 2010.

“We believe that this comedy really fits well in a dinner theatre setting, and we hope our regular patrons will come out for a great night of dinner and entertainment, and that others who haven’t been to our shows before or in a while, will come and join us,” said theatre Artistic Director William Edward White.

For more information, contact the Fulton Community Theatre at its website, www.fultoncommunitytheatre.org, or by emailing fultoncommunitytheatre@gmail.com