Get ‘Spanked!’ at the Kirby Center

December 15th, 2014

Spank! returns to the F.M. Kirby Center in March. The stage show, which parodies the “50 Shades of Grey” phenomenon, hits the theater just after the movie based on the book hits theaters nationally.
Here are the details from the press release:

“SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody is the whip-smart comedy that takes on the naughty fun of the best-selling book and highly-anticipated movie, and brings it to outrageous life! Featuring musical numbers, steamy performances highlighting the famous hunk and his grey tie, and lots of hilarious surprises, SPANK! is bound to have you begging for more. Get in the mood with pre-show cocktails, then stick around and fulfill your fantasy, with the opportunity to take photos with the star himself. It’s a riotous night of fun that will leave your Inner Goddess breathless. Don’t miss your chance for the ultimate “girls’ night out!” Learn more at
“SPANK! takes place at the F.M. Kirby Center on Friday, March 6th at 7:30pm. Tickets start at $39.50 (plus applicable service fees) and go on sale Friday, December 19th at 10am and can be purchased at, 570.826.1100, or the F.M. Kirby Center Box Office. A special Kirby Member Pre-Sale begins Wednesday, December 17th at 10am.”
Since its premiere in October of 2012, SPANK! has become a huge box office hit with tour dates in over 200 cities across the globe.”

New Bond movie gets title and cast

December 4th, 2014

We knew Daniel Craig would be back. Now we get the main cast and name for the film.
It’s “Spectre” and the cast additions include the mesmerizing Christoph Waltz and brilliant Monica Bellucci.
Here’s the story.
What is your favorite Bond movie?

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Getting ready for The Force unleashed

November 28th, 2014

Pat’s three rules of “Star Wars.”
1. Han shot first.
2. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.
3. Let the Wookie win.

With that, Here’s the biggest news of the day.

But, let’s have a little more fun.
Here are the trailers from the original films.

“Star Wars” (1977)

Notice that it says it could be happening right now. Also, the trailer makes it sound like a romance between Luke and Leia. Gross, now that we know the background.

The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

That narrator kind of sounds like Han Salo.

Return of the Jedi (1983)

Not much of the ewoks in the preview.

The Phantom Menace (1999)

No mention of midichlorians in the trailer. But we get our first glimpse of Jar Jar.
On the plus side, Padme, Darth Maul and young Obi-Wan.

Attack of the Clones (2002)

This trailer does not represent the movie. It’s full of action, the movie is full of angsty love.

Revenge of the Sith (2005)

This was Ian McDiarmid’s movie.

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Enjoying Mike Nichols

November 20th, 2014

Award-winning and beloved film director Mike Nichols has died.
For me, I have a love-hate relationship with the director. It’s mostly love. But, when things go bad, it’s not just awry. It’s gallons of water shooting out of your basement furnace terrible.
I loved “The Graduate,” “Charlie Wilson’s War,” “Regarding Henry,” “Primary Colors, “Silkwood,” and “The Birdcage.” I own the first four on that list. He had a beautiful way to subtly show you how a foibled and flawed person could do astounding things. I haven’t seen all of “Angels in America” but have seen enough to know I’m cheating myself for not having seen the entire thing.
But “Closer” and “What Planet Are You From” were boring, incredibly lazy and major disappointments. Sure, there were scenes that fulfilled the promise of a Nichols’ film. But on the whole, they were incomplete. “E! True Holywood Story” when I wanted Ken Burns.
Instead of concentrating on those two films, however, I look at the brilliance of the others.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman had a career of fantastic, deep performances, but his role as Gust Avrakatos in “Charlie Wilson’s War” was his best. You could tell he was having fun and working hard on this brilliant, cantankerous real person. The way he uses his body and how he finds a way be understated at points with a very overstated character is astounding. Check out this scene. I didn’t imbed the video, instead giving you a link, because this blog is part of a family newspaper chain and the language is very blue.
Compare that scen with this.

I probably like “Primary Colors” more than I should. It’s not a better movie than “The Graduate” or “Regarding Henry,” but I watch it more. I enjoy all the performances. Part of it is that the movie doesn’t use Travolta to show who the character is. We learn more about him by the reactions of his wife, his staff and the voters.
In many ways, it’s similar to the “Frank Sinatra Has A Cold” profile by Gay Talese.
Then, there’s “The Graduate,” his best known and best loved film.
Everyone remembers the iconic exchange with Mrs. Robinson, but I love the final scene.
The shot of them running to the bus and the looks of the other passengers as they sit, laughing in the back.
It’s scenes like that that were the backbones of his brilliant career.

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Kirby Center adds Tedeschi Trucks band to schedule

November 17th, 2014

The Kirby Center has booked another act for the winter season. This time it’s the Tedeschi Trucks Band for a February show.

They have a made up mind; Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks are bringing the band to Wilkes-Barre. It was announced today that Tedeschi Trucks Band will visit the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, February 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets go on sale Thursday, November 20 at 10:00 a.m. and can be purchased at the Kirby Center box office, online at or by phone at (570) 826-1100. A special Kirby Member Pre-Sale begins Wednesday, November 19 at 10:00 a.m.

Tedeschi Trucks Band is an 11-member collective that thrills audiences worldwide with its transcendent live performances and award-winning albums. Formed in 2010 by husband-and-wife Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, and featuring two harmony singers, a three-piece horn section, keyboards, bass and a pair of drummers, the band disproves the adage “less is more” while building a devoted following of fans and critics alike.

Tedeschi Trucks Band has taken its roots-rich musical mix to audiences across the globe and become a proven powerhouse on stage. Driven by Trucks’ signature slide-guitar sound and Tedeschi’s honey-to-husk voice, the group consistently delivers an electrifying blend of blues, soul, jazz, and rock drawing from an ever-evolving song list.

They have headlined the venerable Newport Jazz Festival, co-headlined tours with B.B. King and The Black Crowes and have played to packed houses in the world’s most celebrated venues, from Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the Beacon Theatre to the Hollywood Bowl and Royal Albert Hall.

The band’s debut release, Revelator, earned both a Grammy and Blues Music Award, while 2011′s live follow-up, Everybody’s Talkin’, delivered a double-disc classic reminiscent of legendary concert recordings like The Allman Brothers Band’s At Fillmore East. Currently the band is touring in support of its second studio effort, Made Up Mind, which entered the Billboard 200 at #11 and was hailed by Rolling Stone as “equal parts Stax and Muscle Shoals without dilution of either.”

Emerging as one of the most respected guitarists of his generation, Trucks led his own Derek Trucks Band for more than 15 years, prior to teaming up with Tedeschi. For the past 13 years the Florida native has also performed as a full member of The Allman Brothers Band and has toured with both Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana. Trucks was voted #16 on the top 100 Guitarists of All Time (Rolling Stone – November 2011) by a panel of fellow musicians and industry experts.

No stranger to centerstage herself, singer-guitarist Susan Tedeschi started playing in bands in her hometown of Boston at age 13. Her knack for combining American roots music, particularly electric blues, Southern soul, and gospel, with passionate, awe-inspiring vocal prowess has resulted in a prolific solo career full of award-winning records, six Grammy nominations, and a devoted following. Blessed with a voice that ranges from powerful R&B belters to gentle ballads, Tedeschi is a talented guitarist as well, her style alternately recalling post-war electric blues and Hendrix-inspired rock.

Easily capable of shining as individuals, this 11-piece ensemble is concerned more with the sound than the spotlight. Sharing a level of respect and camaraderie rarely found in rock and roll, Tedeschi Trucks Band has found a magical combination that delivers an unforgettable, can’t-miss concert experience, one the Boston Herald says, “booms like a soul thunderclap.”

For these musicians and their audiences, more is indeed more.

“Survivor” casting call announced at Mohegan Sun

October 31st, 2014

Here is what arrived in the email last night.

CBS’s hit reality show, Survivor, is coming to Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs for a contestant casting call on November 17th!


If you think you have what it takes to outwit, outplay and outlast your competitors, join us from 11:00am – 3:00pm on November 17th for the chance to become a castaway in the running for 1 million dollars! Participants cannot line up until 5:00am the morning of the event. Eligibility requirements and applications are available at


Monday, November 17, 2014

Convention Center at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs

Registration in Salon E, Keystone Grand Ballroom

Auditions in Salon F, Keystone Grand Ballroom

11:00am – 3:00pm


For more information, please see the event listing. If you have any questions about the event, please do not hesitate to reach me at this email.

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Kirby Center books Vince Gill

October 21st, 2014

The F.M. Kirby Center has booked Vince Gill.

Here’s the release.

Direct from Nashville’s “Music Row,” 20-time Grammy Award winner Vince Gill and the rest of The Time Jumpers will bring a one-of-a-kind evening of western swing to the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, November 22 at 8:00 p.m.

Tickets to see this 11-piece, country ensemble are on sale NOW and available at the Kirby Center Box Office, online at and by phone at (570) 826-1100.

The Time Jumpers was established in Nashville in 1998 by an assemblage of high-dollar studio musicians who wanted to spend some spare time drinking beer and jamming with their sonically gifted buddies. The notion of building a rabidly devoted following was the last thing on their minds, but that’s what happened.

Learning that Monday evenings were the slowest in the week for Nashville’s Station Inn bluegrass club, the super-pickers settled into that fabled venue at the start of each week and set up shop.

Pretty soon Monday nights were sounding a lot like Saturday nights—and drawing commensurately lively crowds.

As word spread along Music Row that something special was happening at Station Inn, big stars began dropping by, some to sit in with the band, others just to enjoy the vast array of country, swing, jazz and pop standards The Time Jumpers rejoiced in playing. Among those drop-bys were Bonnie Raitt, Reba McEntire, Norah Jones, Robert Plant, The White Stripes, Kings Of Leon, Jimmy Buffet and Kelly Clarkson.

None asked for their money back.

The Time Jumpers includes 11 members, each a master of his (and, in one case, her) instrument. Alphabetically—which is the only diplomatic way to present such a phalanx of evenly matched talent—they are Dennis Crouch (upright bass), Larry Franklin (fiddle), Paul Franklin (steel guitar), Vince Gill (vocals, electric and acoustic guitars), “Ranger Doug” Green (vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar), Andy Reiss (electric guitar), Dawn Sears (vocals), Kenny Sears (vocals, fiddle), Joe Spivey (fiddle, vocals), Jeff Taylor (accordion, piano) and Billy Thomas (drums, vocals).

To list the artists these pickers have recorded and toured with would be tantamount to posting all the Billboard country charts for the past 30 years. Suffice it to say that the list ranges from Ray Price to John Anderson to Carrie Underwood. And the stages these luminaries have graced extend from the Grand Ole Opry to Carnegie Hall.

The Fresh Beat Band is headed to the Kirby Center

October 3rd, 2014

The F.M. Kirby Center has booked a show.
At first I thought the Fresh Beat Band was something from Dwight Schrute’s farm, but it’s a Nickelodeon thing.

The Fresh Beat Band, Nickelodeon’s preschool music group and stars of the Emmy Award-winning TV series of the same name, head back on the road for a brand-new nationwide concert tour Nov. 5–Feb. 15. The Fresh Beat Band Greatest Hits Live presented by Nickelodeon will travel to nearly 40 cities including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit and one night in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

The Fresh Beat Band will visit the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, December 5th at 6:00 p.m. This show sold out two performances back in 2012, so seats are sure to fill up quickly! Tickets go on sale next Friday, October 10 at 10:00 a.m. and will be available at the Kirby Center Box Office, online at and by phone at 570-826-1100.

A special Kirby Member Pre-Sale begins this Wednesday, October 8 at 10:00 a.m.

The show will feature Kiki, Marina, Twist and Shout performing the band’s greatest hits including “Bananas,” “Here We Go” and a remixed version of “Great Day,” plus new songs including the pop classic, “Walk Like An Egyptian.”

“The Fresh Beat Band is back on the road to give kids a chance to see their favorite rock stars live in concert,” says Doug Cohn, SVP, Music, Nickelodeon. “This re-imagined, high-energy production features the band’s biggest hits, never-before-performed songs, and fun surprises that will deliver an unforgettable experience for families.”

Nickelodeon is currently in production on Fresh Beat Band of Spies, a brand-new animated preschool series based on the hit live-action show, The Fresh Beat Band. In the new series, Kiki (Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer), Marina (Tara Perry), Twist (Jon Beavers) and Shout (Thomas Hobson) are bandmates and also undercover spies. The pop band uses their individual talents and the coolest transforming spy gadgets to outwit a goofy cast of bad guys and solve wild and wacky mysteries. The series, which teaches problem-solving to preschoolers, is created by Nadine van der Velde and Scott Kraft (The Fresh Beat Band). Fresh Beat Band of Spies will premiere in 2015.

The Fresh Beat Band soundtracks – The Fresh Beat Band: Music From The Hit TV Show and The Fresh Beat Band: More Music From The Hit TV Show Vol 2.0 – are currently available on iTunes and in stores everywhere. For more information, visit the tour website at and for Fresh Beat activities and fun go to

In each episode of The Fresh Beat Band preschoolers sing and dance along as they help The Fresh Beat Band solve everyday challenges. Preschoolers learn the fundamentals of music such as melody, rhythm, tempo and performance styles and the importance of friendship, working together, and respecting each other’s differences. Ne-Yo, Justin Bieber, Jason Mraz, Wayne Brady and Sarah Chalke have all hung out with the Fresh Beats and the group is beloved by many celebrity parents.

Nickelodeon, now in its 35th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in almost 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 19 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B).

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Audition for Music Box Dinner Theater

September 29th, 2014

We just got this in from the Music Box Players.

Auditions for the Northeast PA premiere of A CHRISTMAS STORY, musical based on the popular Jean Shepherd movie (Ralpie wants a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, the famous Leg Lamp) will be held at the Music Box Dinner Playhouse on October 20 at 7PM for children ages 8 to 13, and Oct 21 at 7 PM for adults. Those who audition are asked to sing a song of choice and read from the script. The director is Debbie Zehner. Performance dates are Dec 4 to 7, 11 to 14, and 18 to 21.

So if you’re looking too play Santa or Scott Farcus, this is your chance.

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Catch a free flick at the Kirby Center

September 26th, 2014

Just got this from the Kirby Center. Looks like it could be an interesting evening

The F.M. Kirby Center Announces A Life in Theater:

The W. Curtis Montz Playbill Collection

The F.M. Kirby Center is excited to announce a FREE screening of the film, It Happened One Night (1934 Not Rated). This free event will also introduce A Life in Theater: The W. Curtis Montz Playbill Collection. Curtis Montz worked at the Kirby Center from 1986 until 2010, and his passion for film and theater was unmatched. In 2006, the film series was renamed the W. Curtis Montz Film Series. Now we have a way to celebrate his love for theater, as well. Earlier this year, the Montz family donated Mr. Montz’s playbill collection to the F.M. Kirby Center.

The Kirby will be showing the collection of almost 600 playbills, spanning 80 years of performances on Sunday, October 12th. Playbills include Broadway, Off-Broadway,

Little Theater of Wilkes-Barre, Music Box Theater, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and many more! Come celebrate with the Kirby as we say THANK YOU!

It Happened One Night is a 1934 American romantic comedy film with elements of screwball comedy directed by Frank Capra, in which a pampered socialite (Claudette Colbert) tries to get out from under her father’s thumb, and falls in love with a roguish reporter (Clark Gable). The plot was based on the August 1933 short story “Night Bus” by Samuel Hopkins Adams, which provided the shooting title.

The film was the first to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay). In 1993, It Happened One Night was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. In 2013, the film underwent an extensive restoration.