Thursday, May 29, 2014

William Shakespeare is one of the greatest writers ever. As a poet, playwright, and more, his work continues to be ("To be, or not to be...") revered nearly 400 years after his death. (I believe the recently passed away Dr. Maya Angelou will be remembered for eternity as well.) Each year, a local arts group gets together to celebrate the Bard, therefore the Ninth Annual Charlotte Shakespeare Festival is getting underway, running Thursdays to Sundays, from this evening (May 29) to June 15 at The Green in Uptown (400 S. Tryon Street).

The show is a 1960s music-inspired version of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labor’s Lost. Here's the synopsis:

Four best friends attempt to swear off women and devote themselves to study for three years, but when a princess and her hot friends show up at their doorstep, will they be able to keep their vow, or will they jump head over heels in love? Directed by Charlotte Shakespeare founder Elise Wilkinson, this hilarious, Beatles-inspired musical romp is set in the 1960s.

Local musicians, performing artists, storytellers, and poets will entertain audiences beginning 45 minutes prior to each performance. All performances and workshops are free, but donations are encouraged ($5 minimum suggested). Seating is first-come, first-served and opens 90 minutes prior to show time. You're welcome to bring blankets and lawn chairs, and picnics are allowed.

Charlotte Shakespeare Festival - Love’s Labor’s Lost Schedule

Thursday, May 29, 7:30 p.m. | Friday, May 30, 8 p.m. | Saturday, May 31, 8 p.m.
Sunday, June 1, 5 p.m. workshop | Sunday, June 1, 6:30 p.m. show

Thursday, June 5, 7:30 p.m. | Friday, June 6, 8 p.m. | Saturday, June 7, 8 p.m.
Sunday, June 8, 5 p.m. workshop | Sunday, June 8, 6:30 p.m. show

Thursday, June 12, 7:30 p.m. | Friday, June 13, 8 p.m. | Saturday, June 14, 8 p.m.
Sunday, June 15, 5 p.m. workshop | Sunday, June 15, 6:30 p.m. show

Then later this summer, the festival recommences and moves indoors to Booth Playhouse for Shakespeare's Measure for Measure. Inspired by the exploitation films of the 1970s, Los Angeles-based director Tiger Reel brings a fun and funky vibe to one of the Bard's darkest and most modern comedies. Runs Thursdays to Sundays, August 7-24.

For complete details, visit and

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

At first I was like, who cares? But then I thought about it some more and realized this is really important to musicians who travel. Two members of the band Time for Three were attempting to board a US Airways flight at Charlotte Douglas International Airport yesterday when they ran into a problem regarding their instruments. The flight crew told band members Zach De Pue and Nicolas Kendall that they would not be able to bring their violins aboard the plane, saying it was against FAA regulations (that's being disputed) and instead would need to place them with the checked luggage. The musicians refused, and one of them recorded a video on his cell phone during the "standoff" (soon after posting it onto YouTube). After not boarding their original flight, they also did what is common with gripes these days, they took their complaints to social media, which reportedly helped persuade the airline to allow the band members to board a later flight with their instruments.

The little-longer-than-two-minutes YouTube video has received more than 60,000 views in less than 24 hours, along with a couple hundred comments (seemingly most siding with the musicians).

A friend of mine is a DJ, and I remember talking to him one time about how he travels around the country for parties and shows he's booked for. He said he carries his DJ equipment, primarily a laptop and digital turntables, on board the plane because not only is this valuable cargo, but if it would happen to get misplaced, as luggage is often lost or delayed with flights, it would jeopardize his ability to perform at his scheduled event. And I'm sure that's why the violinists wanted to carry their instruments on board their plane departing Charlotte. I do think they were acting a little like D-bags in the video though. The pilot and flight crew were simply doing their jobs, even if there's some inconsistency in the enforcement of the rules.

Time for Three posted this photo on Instagram of them in the Charlotte airport concourse (at least there are rocking chairs), awaiting a decision to let them board a later flight.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

I Saw Auntie Anne's Inside Lowe's

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 5/24/2014 No comments
I popped into Lowe's this afternoon to pick up a replacement part to fix a leaky faucet (I'm such a DIYer... ehh, a lil bit). I visited the Lowe's store near Northlake Mall, and I was surprised to see an Auntie Anne's snack shop there. I think I actually smelled those delicious warm pretzels before my eyes focused on this unexpected display (this isn't the first time I've marveled at Lowe's advancements).

In situations like this, I usually prod an employee to get more information, but I was in a bit of a hurry. So, sorry, I don't know when this Auntie Anne's opened here, but I'm pretty sure it's recently. And I did some Googling just now but wasn't able to find any mention of other Lowe's store locations that have the pretzel shop (but there could be others). If this is a pilot program, it would make sense that it rolls out in a Charlotte store, since Lowe's is headquartered in nearby Mooresville. And it makes even more sense that the home improvement store would bring a hot food option on board. I imagine that a large number of the countless contractors and construction workers who make frequent trips to Lowe's are finding themselves enticed to stop and buy a famous pretzel or pretzel dog. Not to mention all the DIYers who'll be breaking bread.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Welcome Back, Charlotte Hornets

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 5/21/2014 No comments
The Charlotte Bobcats officially became the Charlotte Hornets yesterday, returning the name of the city's original NBA team after being gone for 12 years. Many of you have been keeping up with this transition that's been in the works for the past year; some of you haven't; I have relatives living in other parts of the country who never realized the Hornets even left Charlotte. Well the name is back, and while I had my doubts in the past, I bee-lieve the excitement from the fans will bode well for the franchise this upcoming season and beyond.

New Hornets signage at Time Warner Cable Arena in Uptown. Credit: @CBJnewsroom

Here are a few things you should know, according to the Charlotte Hornets' official announcement yesterday:
  • The team has secured all of the important online Hornets domains:,,,,
  • The new-look Hugo the Hornet mascot debuts June 5.
  • On June 9, the franchise will officially launch its renamed charitable foundation (formerly known as Cats Care) and will spend that day volunteering on beautification projects at Hornets Nest Elementary School.
  • The new purple and teal team uniforms will be unveiled on June 19.
  • On June 26, the new playing floor will be revealed at Time Warner Cable Arena, just hours before the Hornets participate in the NBA Draft (the team has the ninth overall pick).
  • The Charlotte Hornets will return to action July 11-21 at the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

Also, as I'd previously blogged, the newly named Charlotte Honey Bees dance team (, is holding auditions June 7.

Credit: Hornets

The Hornets also received a lot of love on social media from several of the city's other sports' professional athletes, including Dale Earnhardt Jr. (a nostalgic tweet) and Cam Newton (a swagged out Instagram video).

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy 25th Birthday Cam Newton!

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 5/11/2014 No comments
Cam Newton turns 25 years old today. We tend to forget how young these star athletes are, when we're creating high demands and expectations of them on the playing fields and beyond. And Cam is entering his fourth season as the starting quarterback of the Carolina Panthers, of which he's now the de facto leader. Add in that he has his own clothing line, a charitable foundation, and lives in the same Charlotte condo building as Michael Jordan (and he recently began using his Twitter account and joined Instagram), it's safe to say the young man has accomplished a lot in a few years.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Romare Bearden Park is a beaut, and has quickly proven to be a great addition to Uptown Charlotte. Operated by Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, and open since last fall, the urban park is really coming into its own, both in popularity with visitors and the programming it offers.

Credit: Derrick Montgomery/Flickr

There are three event series that have recently kicked off at the park that you'll be interested in, and each is free and open to the public, scheduled through September.

Music Box Lunch Series: Taking place Tuesdays and Fridays, noon to 1:30 p.m. Bring your lunch, grab a seat on a bench or at one of the patio tables, and enjoy live performances by local musicians and bands.

Party in the Park Series: Each Wednesday, 5:30-8:30 p.m., bring your folding chairs or blankets and get comfortable on the lawn after work, as local and regional bands perform live.

Fitness Program: This series is the most surprising--in a good way--because it's common to find music series going on at city parks, but to see a program that's addressing physical fitness is awesome. A variety of fitness sessions are offered Monday through Thursday, such as yoga/pilates, boot camp, and zumba.

Credit: James Willamor/Flickr

Credit: Instagram @paulbunyunbeardgang

As you can see from the photos I've embedded above, visitors of Romare Bearden Park (located at 300 S. Church Street, and across from the new BB&T Ballpark) often share their experiences on social media. You'll find several captivating photos posted on Instagram and Flickr.

Go to for complete details, and follow on Twitter @rbeardenpark.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Credit: Twitter

A Charlotte fire truck crashed this morning on Ardrey Kell Road in the Ballantyne area. After overturning, the large truck caught fire, creating an even more bizarre scene. A passerby captured a short cell phone video soon after it happened, and before emergency vehicles arrived.

Four Charlotte Fire Department firefighters were reportedly injured in the accident. Let's hope these brave first responders make a full recovery.

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