The 10 Best Live Theater Venues in Massachusetts!

Jul 01, 2022

Supporting the arts in your community is vitally important, and what better way to do so than by attending a production at a local theater? From nationally-recognized performance arts centers, to theaters that have been around for decades, to immaculate opera houses, Massachusetts is home to some of the best in the country. If you’re looking to be blown away by a production, these 10 Massachusetts theaters are the best in the state!

Share your favorites in the comments below!
Citizens Bank Opera House, Boston, MA

Considered tops in New England theaters, the Citizen Bank Opera House has been in business for more than 80 years. Check out their website to see their upcoming shows, including plays and musicals.
Boch Center, Boston, MA

Formerly called the Wang Theater, the Boch Center sets the stage for documentary plays, musicals, and a wide range of concerts. This stunning theater offers ticket holders a trip back in time to when attending the theater was a truly special event. The Boch Center also encompasses the nearby Charles and Shubert Theaters as well.
The Melody Tent, Hyannis, MA

In addition to their list of musical talent, the Melody Tent offers live theater during their summer productions. And the Melody Tent is just that, a tent. So to add to the experience of enjoying a performance, you’ll get to feel the warmth of a perfect summer night.
Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield, MA

A nonprofit theater company, the Barrington Stage Company is housed in an old vaudeville theater in Pittsfield. Since the theater is small, check out the upcoming plays and musicals and reserve your tickets early.
The Norwood Theatre, Norwood, MA

Even though the majority of shows at the Norwood Theatre are concerts, they do musicals at least a couple of times a year. Their performances are generally met with exceptional reviews, with previous noteworthy productions like the “Nutcracker,” and “Hairspray.”
Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, Worcester, MA

Although their lineup includes concerts, ballet, and more, the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts also features live theater productions. In 2011, while under the previous name of Poli’s Palace Theater, the theatre was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
North Shore Music Theatre, Beverly, MA

This theatre has received national recognition. Some of the theatre’s biggest hits were the world-premiere of Tony Award-winning “Memphis,” in 2003, as well as productions such as “Hairspray,” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” They feature a collection of yearly children’s productions, too.
Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Lowell, MA

Professional actors fill the roles in Merrimack Repertory Theatre productions. Each season’s roster features contemporary plays. Notable productions include awarding winning musical memoir “The Lion,” as well as “A Christmas Carol.”
Regent Theatre, Arlington, MA

Although the Regent Theatre still shows films in its tiny setting, they feature live theater and musical performances, too. This theatre is “dedicated to bringing the highest quality events to the area,” according to its site. Check the website for all their upcoming performances, because tickets sell out fast!
Academy of Music Theatre, Northampton, MA

Housed in an historic venue, the Academy of Music Theatre has musicians on tap, in addition to their live theatre production. The theatre is small and sells out quickly, so grab your tickets as soon as they go on sale!
View more Massachusetts Theaters and Playhouses.

Regent honors Sir Paul’s 80th with previously unseen Beatles footage

Jun 22, 2022

Maybe you’re amazed that there’s still more to learn about the Beatles in 2022. Maybe you’re afraid of missing out on all the previously unseen Beatles footage out there. Or maybe you just need to head to The Regent Theatre to witness a belated 80th birthday bash for Sir Paul McCartney, curated by local Beatles experts Cha-Chi Loprete and Erik Taros.

Loprete and Taros roll up to the Arlington theater this Thursday (June 23) with heaps of privately-owned footage of the capital-I Iconic band for “Maybe I’m Amazed: A Paul McCartney 80th Birthday Party.” The evening will feature footage spanning 1963 to 2019, from lost television appearances, to rare home videos, and clips of Macca performing in Boston.

“These films have always been privately owned,” explains Lorpete, host of the “Breakfast With The Beatles” show on WUMB and Seacoast Oldies. “They have been tucked away in their attics and rediscovered years later and put up for sale. We have acquired these films through the years through various auctions from around the world as well as contacts made through our network of Beatles’ collectors. Apple Records do not own these films. In fact, Apple Records prefers not to buy films, but would rather license their use.”

Many of the clips guests will see Thursday night were filmed by fans who snuck 8mm cameras into venues, capturing many performances that the Beatles themselves never bothered to record themselves. Lorpete and Taros even have clips from the final Beatles concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, circa 1966.

But that’s not the crown jewel of the pair’s collection. “Our favorites include a segment from a pristine copy of the Shea Stadium concert that we own,” Loprete tells Vanyaland. “It’s never been seen in this condition.

He could even say…”It’s truly amazing.” Scratch that “maybe” from the event title.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED: A PAUL MCCARTNEY 80TH BIRTHDAY PARTY:: Thursday, June 23, at the Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St. in Arlington, MA:: All ages, 8 p.m., $25 – $45: Tickets Here!

Without crowds, Arlington’s Regent Theatre battles through pandemic

Sep 18, 2020

By Jesse Collings
Posted Sep 15, 2020 at 12:45 PM Updated Sep 15, 2020 at 12:45 PM

“You can’t keep scrapping and clawing forever,” Leland Stein, co-owner of the Regent Theatre, said.

The Regent has not hosted any events with live audiences since March 13, putting a real strain on the Medford Street institution that has hosted live performances since 1916. The pandemic has done a number on many businesses, but perhaps none of have been hit harder than theaters specializing in live events, and there is currently no definite timetable for them to resume business.

“On March 13 we had a sold out show that night, but a few hours before it was supposed to start we had to cancel, and we haven’t hosted any crowds since,” Stein said. “It has been difficult following the state as they go through the phased plan, we had hope that as part of Phase III we would be able to open in some capacity, but we have not been able to. Theaters have been open with a limit of 25 people, but that is only for films.”

Stein noted that none of the 20 people on Governor Charlie Baker’s Reopening Advisory Board are from the world of arts, entertainment or live event production. He said that it doesn’t make sense for him for theaters to be limited to only 25 people as a general rule.

“If it is all about the statistic of limiting eight people per 1,000 square feet, than in a 9,000-square-foot building like the Regent, we should be able to have 72 people, distributed over two levels, and have them easily distanced apart from one another,” Stein said. “If we could get that number, combined with streaming our events, we could get to a place where we might be able to approach to what we were doing (in revenue) normally.”

Stein said the town, as well as his landlord, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, and local residents have been supportive of the Regent during this time, but eventually the theater will need to start bringing in more revenue to remain a viable business.

“It is in everyone’s interest for us to be here and to see live events, but right now everyone’s hands are tied,” Stein said.

In the meantime, Stein and the staff at the Regent have been making investments in order to live stream performances and to hopefully generate revenue from people watching at home. It has been a learning process as lighting, sound and video equipment is altered to be a production geared to be viewed through a screen and not live and in person. Events however, are beginning to trickle in and over the next coming weeks, a few fundraising events for the Regent will be taking place.

On Friday, Sept. 18, the Regent will be hosting an international event that will celebrate the life and career of rock n’ roll legend Jimi Hendrix on the 50th Anniversary of his death. The event will be live streamed beginning at 6:30 pm, with a special presentation from English author and filmmaker Peter Neal, who will be live from England and presenting clips from his new documentary on Hendrix, “Starting at Zero.” The presentation will be followed by a live musical tribute to Hendrix from professional Boston-area musicians, recorded live from the Regent.

“This has been a personal project for myself and I had a lot of plans for it (before the pandemic),” Stein, who is co-producing the event, said. “We are collaborating with folks from England and we got an all-star group of musicians, and we will be broadcasting to a world wide audience.”

Future events also include a showing on Friday, Sept. 25 of “Come Together” a rock opera created and performed by the Regent’s house band, the Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra, as well as as a Sept. 27 performance by local comedian, activist and political candidate Jimmy Tingle on Sept. 27.

For more information on the Regent Theatre and to purchase any of their upcoming shows, visit

Clivio to Headline Virtual Benefit for Boston’s Historic Regent Theatre on Sunday, September 13th

Sep 11, 2020

“This show is about lifting each other up with LOVE through music,” Clivio says when describing the show.
He began performing at The Regent Theatre when he was only 5 years old. His first taste of professional
stage time came thanks to this 500-seat venue. “The Regent is very special to me.” says Clivio, “That stage
is truly where I learned how to become an entertainer. The Regent Theatre gave me experience performing
for large audiences with live sound, live instruments, live technician and everything else. I didn’t know it back
then - but I look back now and think, ‘Wow - I was VERY lucky to have that!”

A Virtual Evening With Serge Clivio: A Live-Streamed Benefit Concert for The Regent Theatre will again
feature his Music Director, Mike Stapleton, on the piano. This will mark Stapleton and Serge’s 7th concert in
the past 2 years. Supporting the duo will be Matt Sewell (Guitar), Seth Eliser (Drums) and Molly Keane-
Dreyer (Backup Vocals). Alex Spurlock is listed as Artistic Associate for the event. But, that is not all! Serge
also let us know that there will be 3 very special guests joining him. Molly Keane-Dreyer, who has appeared
in all 6 previous shows, lends a guest vocal spot, as well as Drew Arisco (Something Rotten! National Tour)
and Allie Seibold (The Lightning Thief National Tour) who penned Serge’s second single, “Kiss Me One
More Time.”

A Virtual Evening With Serge Clivio: A Live-Streamed Benefit Concert for The Regent Theatre streams live
on Sunday, September 13th at 8pm EST. Donations can be made now by going to
The show can be streamed on YouTube (@RegentTheatreVideo & @scliv12) or the Regent Theatre’s
Facebook page. All proceeds will go to The Regent Theatre’s reopening campaign. Keep up to date on
Serge’s latest news and events by following him on social media @SergeClivio. Read more about The
Regent Theatre below.

Built in 1916, the historic Regent Theatre remains true to its roots as a vibrant vaudeville house. An intimate
500-seat performing arts center with superior acoustics and comfortable seating, “Arlington’s Show Place of
Entertainment” features live music concerts, theatre, dance events, family entertainment, comedy, film
specials, and more.

Conveniently located just minutes from Cambridge and Boston, the Regent is MBTA and handicap
accessible with free parking across the street (nights and weekends after 3pm on Saturday) and a variety of
great restaurants and shops within easy walking distance.


Sep 10, 2019

For Immediate Release
August 23, 2019

Arlington, MA –NHL All Star, 2 time Stanley Cup winner and former Boston Bruin Kevin Stevens will join a host of media, political and sports personalities past & present as they support his nonprofit charity, Power Forward, Inc. The celebration will kick off with the first New England screening of the Canadian Screen Award nominated film, SHATTERED, a documentary of Kevin Steven’s 24- year struggle with addiction.  The Regent Theatre will pull out the red carpet at 6pm for the screening and there will be a short Q&A conducted by Senator Cindy Friedman and members of Power Forward’s team after the film. Following the screening, actor, comic and fan favorite, Lenny Clarke will be at the VIP reception at the Menotomy Grill. A silent and live auction will be conducted featuring sports memorabilia and one of a kind gift packages.  Proceeds benefit Power Forward’s student education and prevention programming.

Kevin spent over two decades battling drugs after being one of the highest paid athletes in the NHL. Today, Kevin, and his team at Power Forward including his sister Kelli Wilson and co-founder Andy Bernstein are dedicated in providing resources and education to battle this deadly disease and have formed a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity, Power Forward.  One of the signature programs of Power Forward is Kevin’s Crosscheck Radio/Podcast.  Crosscheck is a media platform that is designed to bring open and honest discussion around the drug crisis affecting communities everywhere. Each week, Kevin Stevens, Andy Bernstein and Alex Bezanson tackle the real issues regarding the impact of addiction.  Prevention, education, and resources are key topics discussed with notable guests from the world of sports, entertainment, politics and the medical profession.  Crosscheck Video Podcast airs on community access stations across the state of MA, online at, on WATD 95.9 FM, and iTunes. Power Forward also has a division called Integrative Healthcare Solutions, led by Catherine DeOrsey, which focuses on non-opioid pain management within the medical community.

A gaggle of comedian friends, athletes, and other celebrities are expected to attend including: Bruins GM Don Sweeney, Olympian Mike Eruzione, Hall of famer Brian Leetch, Hall of famer Joe Mullen, former Bruin Bob Sweeney, Frank Simonetti, Ken Hodge, Jr. and a hat full of players including Dan La Couture, Dave Jenson, Tim Sweeney, Former BU Coach Jack Parker, Former BC Coach, Steve Cedorchuk, 1988 Olympic Coach Ben Smith, Harvard Coach Ted Donato, NHL Legend Derek Sanderson, Actor Kevin Chapman, Drop Kick Murphy lead singer, Ken Casey, Comedians Dave Russo, Jimmy Dunn, Joey Carroll, Josh Dolan. Former NE Patriots Max Lane and Chris Sullivan, CEO of Concussion Legacy Foundation, Chris Nowinski, media movers, Jayme Parker, Michelle McFee, Dave Wedge, Ted Wayman, Senate President Spilka, authors, Kevin Symmons and Bob Hyldburg ….and the list keeps growing.  A silent and live auction will be offered with one of a kind sports and lifestyle items.

Photo Opportunity: 6pm- Regent Theater (7 Medford Street, Arlington, MA) 7:45- 10pm VIP reception Menotomy Grill ( 25 Mass Ave, Arlington, MA)
Tickets are $35- general seating and $100 for VIP reception. Tickets can be purchased at For more information, please contact Jeanie Flynn PR Consulting at (617) 869-5482 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  Sponsorship opportunities and tickets are available at           ###

WCVB -Ch. 5 News: “Teenager’s spectacular singing voice earns him scholarship”

Aug 16, 2019

Watch the News Feature Here

Bernardo Sanchez, 15, has seen his share of struggles, but the world of musical theatre has given him a new opportunity.


Ed Asner On Still Acting Into His Nineties

Jun 20, 2019

By Hannah Uebele
June 18, 2019 Boston Public Radio

Multi-Emmy award winning actor Ed Asner joined us at the WGBH Studio in the Boston Public Library on Tuesday to talk about his lifetime of acting and his upcoming projects.

Asner will be performing in his new play “God Help Us! A Political Comedy for Our Times” at the Regent Theatre in Arlington this Thursday, June 20th at 2pm and 7:30pm. He’ll play the starring role as God who tries to reconcile a couple with differing political persuasions. Asner says the point of his role in play is, “To try to bridge their gaps, try to get them to go along with each other, to walk in each others shoes.”

The actor also spoke about the documentary “Ed Asner: On Stage and Off” that will play tonight at 7:30 at the Regent Theatre.

Well known for playing Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and Carl Fredricksen in the Disney/Pixar movie “Up”, Asner spoke about some of the high points in his lifelong acting history.

“‘Rich Man, Poor Man’ was a big point for me. It was a breakaway from comedy, I’ve become only known for comedy, and it gave me that opportunity to spring free from that identification.”

When asked if he’ll ever slow down his career, Asner replied, “It’s my life. These are all quality pieces of material. I love to do them.”

Ed Asner on BPR | June 18, 2019

Play Starring Ed Asner Comes To Arlington Theater

Jun 20, 2019

The “Mary Tyler Moore” actor and former Screen Actors Guild president plays God in the comedy “God Help Us!” at the Regent Theatre

By Alex Newman, Patch Staff
Jun 19, 2019 3:02 pm ET | Updated Jun 19, 2019 3:05 pm ET

ARLINGTON, MA — Legendary actor Ed Asner will star in a play at the Regent Theatre Thursday, June 20. Asner plays God in the comedy “God Help Us! A Political Comedy for Our Times,” which has performances at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Asner is best known for his role as Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and its spinoff, “Lou Grant.” He is a former president of the Screen Actors Guild.

As God, a “cantankerous and wildly funny deity,” Asner confronts two political pundits with a romantic history: Lawrence, a liberal, and the conservative Leslie. He is “not at all pleased with our politics or what we’ve done to his Creation,” according to a synopsis on the Regent website.


‘Electric Church’ director introduces filmgoers to a Jimi Hendrix experience

Apr 04, 2019

By Ed Symkus Globe Correspondent March 28, 2019
Sam Feinsilver/Authentic Hendrix LLC

A lot of great acts appeared at the second — and final — Atlanta Pop Festival, held July 3-5, 1970, in the little town of Byron, Ga., about 100 miles south of Atlanta. Among them, the Allman Brothers Band, Mott the Hoople, Ten Years After, Grand Funk Railroad, Spirit, and Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band. But ask any aging hippies who they were there to see, and they’ll tell you Jimi Hendrix. The self-taught master of the Stratocaster took the stage shortly after July 4 turned into July 5 and introduced that late-night’s version of the Jimi Hendrix Experience: Billy Cox on bass, Mitch Mitchell on drums, “and yours truly on saxophone.”

The band opened with a hot “Fire,” segued into “Spanish Castle Magic,” then “All Along the Watchtower” (briefly in the wrong key),” “Foxey Lady,” and “Hey Joe.” The hits kept on comin,’ the crowd ate it up, and Hendrix even played a couple of tunes that weren’t yet on record: “Freedom” and “Straight Ahead.” The terrific performance was caught on camera, as was the whole festival, by Steve Rash, who would go on to direct “The Buddy Holly Story” (1978) and “Can’t Buy Me Love” (1987). But a feature film never appeared because, though Warner Bros. liked a demo that Rash cut and optioned the rights, it subsequently said no because Warner’s own “Woodstock” was so successful at the time and the company didn’t want a competing pop festival film in the marketplace.

Decades passed. Enter Newton-based John McDermott, who manages the music catalog and co-produces recording and film projects at Seattle-based Experience Hendrix, the company run by Jimi’s sister, Janie Hendrix. McDermott, 55, now a diehard Hendrix fan, was only 6 when Hendrix died on Sept. 18, 1970. In 1992, McDermott got together with longtime Hendrix recording engineer and producer Eddie Kramer to co-write the book “Hendrix: Setting the Record Straight,” which helped McDermott land the gig at Experience Hendrix in 1995.

Years earlier, while researching the book, McDermott found the Hendrix festival footage in a vault at Warner Brothers. Well after establishing himself at Experience Hendrix, he approached Janie with an idea for a film of it, which resulted in “Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church,” a feature that tells the story behind the festival, including archival footage of the event, interviews McDermott shot years later of locals remembering it, appreciations of Hendrix from a number of musical luminaries and, 33 minutes into it, a huge chunk of the Jimi Hendrix Experience set. Except for a brief run on Showtime in 2015, that footage hasn’t been seen. The film never had a theatrical release. Till now. Produced under the auspices of Experience Hendrix, it’s being distributed, for limited screenings, through Abramorama, the company that also had “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week — The Touring Years.”
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McDermott, who directed the film, sat down to chat about it recently over lunch at Doyle’s Café in Jamaica Plain, in advance of a screening Wednesday at Arlington’s Regent Theatre.

Q. You missed the whole Hendrix thing when it was happening. How did you get into his music?

A. I was exposed to it through my dad, who exposed me to everything from Chuck Berry to Muddy Waters. Jimi was somebody I thought of in that context. I had heard “Red House,” which of course is a blues song. Then later, I heard all the other hits. All of these guys, whether it was Dylan or the Beatles, came at it and created something entirely new. But there was something about Jimi that married the blues and rock in an interesting way, from his visual approach to his skill on the guitar. He was a fascinating package.

Q. You’ve written a lot about Hendrix over the years, and produced videos of him for Experience Hendrix. What led you to directing this film?

A. I’d seen the Hendrix footage in 1990, so I knew it was great. When I got to Experience Hendrix, I knew the footage was there because Jimi had made a deal with Steve Rash back in 1970 to have his footage separated from the rest of the bands. Because of his stature, he negotiated that if you want to film me, I get the film. The idea I discussed with Janie Hendrix was that Atlanta was important because it was his largest US audience. There were 500,000 people there. So, in 2013, I reached out to Steve, and he was super excited about it. He wanted to make his film about the festival itself, and he had undeveloped footage of the other acts and of the crowds. We said we would give him some Jimi to put in that if he, in turn, would give us the footage that he had shot. He said yes.

Q. Did you always plan to begin and end the film with archival footage, but keep the whole middle section intact with just the Hendrix performance?

A. Look, nothing articulates Hendrix better than Hendrix. He truly was, in his time, a counterculture artist. There isn’t a whole host of interviews of him, so when he’s on the screen, just leave him, let him do the work. By that point in the film, you understand what it took for him to get there, and what it took for the people to get there, and endure. So now, you’re seeing what they wanted to see, which is him playing.

Q. The film looks and sounds great. Was it all restored?

A. Yes, we went to FotoKem in Burbank and had all of the footage rescanned right from the original source elements. The same with the sound. The original sound was done by CBS Records because they had a number of acts on the bill. They did a hell of a job recording it, but Eddie Kramer did the sound on the film. Because we decided to start fresh, when we remixed it, we went back to the original one-inch eight-track tapes.

Q. Do you have a second-favorite rock artist or band?

A. Jimi Hendrix is the greatest guitarist of all time. As the timeline continues to move forward, the value of his music — and I don’t mean from a commercial sense — only increases because you realize how special and unique it is. But at the same time, what’s so fascinating about Hendrix is that this is the guy who did it without setlists, without light cues, without pre-thought-out encores. The whole idea of Hendrix walking onstage and saying, “Let’s forget about yesterday and tomorrow; let’s build our own little world here right now” — that’s a pretty amazing statement to an audience. Also, something that was so special about him in a live setting was the simplicity of it. It’s one guy, three pedals, and a piece of wood with six strings. There was no magic going on. It’s just him!

Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church

At the Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $13-$15, 781-646-4849

Interview was edited and condensed. Ed Symkus can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Security Project at the Regent-November 10th, 2017

Dec 08, 2017

Security Project with Paul Bielatowicz

The Regent Theatre, Arlington, MA

November 10, 2017

Story, photos, and video by Kelly D

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As noted in my previous review for the Peter Gabriel tribute, the Security Project, they are simply excellent. When I discovered
A rare moment of tranquility

they were to play another show the same week as when I saw them in Northampton, I knew I had to get out east to the stalwart of Arlington entertainment: the Regent Theatre. The icing on the cake? One of the opening acts was to be Paul Bielatowicz, Carl Palmer’s touring guitarist who I had the good fortune to see four times previously in the last eighteen months.

There was a first opening act, a generic rock duo- one guy with a voice so powerful he barely needed a microphone to reach those in the crowd. I chose to use this time to catch up with a concert buddy of mine, then it was time for Paul Bielatowicz to take the stage.

I highly suggest you check out this guy and his projects. Not only is he amazingly talented, but he’s a lot of fun to watch perform live. Paul looks like he’s about 19, a fellow member of Team Babyface (in that I have one too). His long blond hair adds to this boyishness, and goes flying when he REALLY gets into playing. His faces are nothing short of spectacular; he contorts them as if a younger, British version of Jim Carrey suddenly decided to start playing guitar. He’s also often throws a triumphant finger in the air after a particularly wild bout of guitar-picking with a massive, face-splitting grin. It’s hard not to mirror it back to him- but why would you resist?

Check out my review of Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy from May 2017 HERE.

His half-hour set comprised entirely instrumental versions of classical tunes like “Flight of the Bumblebee” and “Clair de Lune,” both of which are on his solo effort, Preludes and Etudes. Then came the pièce de résistance: he transcribed Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”- all three parts- to play on guitar and then performed while the iconic silent movie A Trip to the Moon played behind him on the movie screen. As both pieces were around 15 minutes, it synced up perfectly. Brilliant!

Check out my review of YEStival (featuring Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy) from August 2017 HERE.

After a much-needed trip around the corner to grab a slice of pizza, my companion and I came into the last half of Security Project’s version of “Family Snapshot.” I suspected we had missed a few songs, but since I had already ostensibly heard the ones they had performed in my absence in Northampton I wasn’t too bummed. Thankfully, the theater wasn’t at all full so I drifted to the end of my row by the wall to stand and dance, something I didn’t have a chance to when I saw them at the Iron Horse in Northampton.

Once more, the tightness of the band can’t be overstated. This time around those of us in Arlington had the pleasure of seeing the band with graphics projected behind them on the theater’s movie screen, something those of us in Northampton didn’t get. “San Jacinto” had accompanying desert imagery and graphics of Native Americans and the band performed “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” with shots of New York City whizzing by behind them.

Another treat: as Happy Rhodes, lead singer extraordinaire, has such an extraordinary singing range, the group sometimes plays the music of erstwhile Peter Gabriel collaborator Kate Bush. In Arlington, we got “Mother Stands for Comfort,” off of Bush’s album Hounds of Love, your reviewer’s personal favorite. Rhodes’ voice is eerily similar to Bush’s- like, “close your eyes and you’d think the real thing was onstage” spot-on.

Towards the end of the night, Jerry Marotta came out from behind his drum kit to thank us all for supporting their efforts and to explain what the Security Project is all about. Marotta, who used to play with Gabriel in the 1980s, mentioned how they choose to perform the more obscure songs from Gabriel’s catalog to distinguish their music from the man’s current touring setlist. This is why they stay away his later works, like his smash hit So, the one with “Big Time” and “Mercy Street” on it. Once again, Marotta charmed me with his hammy quips and anecdotes; it made me thankful the band hails from the Hudson Valley of upstate New York, meaning there’s a good chance they’ll come around again and play my neck of the woods sometime soon.

It doesn’t hurt, either, that they’re all very sweet! Paul Bielatowicz and I were able to spend a while talking after the show and I mentioned to him how funny it is that in the past eighteen months I’ve seen him play five times- four times of which he was part of Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy. This is why I choose to live in Western Mass: proximity to lots of concert venues! Happy Rhodes came up behind me and said, “I recognize that hair!” and was kind enough to chat for a few minutes as well. Thanks, everyone! You’ll keep me coming back for more.

“I am willing/Lay your hands on me

I am ready/Lay your hands on me”

  Fly on a Windshield (Genesis cover)
  I Have the Touch (Peter Gabriel cover)
  Family Snapshot (Peter Gabriel cover)
  No Self Control (Peter Gabriel cover)
  The Family and the Fishing Net (Peter Gabriel cover)
  Mother Stands for Comfort (Kate Bush cover)
  Collective Heart (Happy Rhodes cover)
  Games Without Frontiers (Peter Gabriel cover)
  Here Comes the Flood (Peter Gabriel cover)
  I Don’t Remember (Peter Gabriel cover)
  Lead a Normal Life (Peter Gabriel cover)
  San Jacinto (Peter Gabriel cover)
  The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (Genesis cover)


  Lay Your Hands on Me (Peter Gabriel cover)

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Film Review: Remembrance of Things Zappa

Nov 19, 2017

Frank Zappa fans will enjoy an incisive look into a seminal period of the artist’s work, with its balance of sophisticated orchestral numbers and sardonic social commentaries on glitz, chintz, and cocaine.

Summer ’82: When Zappa Came to Sicily, directed by Salvo Cuccia. Screening at the Regent Theatre, Arlington, MA, at 7:30 p.m. on November 20.

By Scott McLennan

Frank Zappa was a brilliant, provocative and complex musician. But if you know that name, you probably already knew that about him. Zappa’s music, as you recall, could be ridiculously puerile even as it (and Zappa himself) demanded incredible skill and acumen to play it properly. Zappa was also a doting father, which maybe you did not know. And as we learn in this fascinating documentary, Summer ’82: When Zappa came to Sicily (receiving its regional premiere at the Regent Theatre)  is also a source of pride for residents of the small town in Southern Italy where Zappa’s grandfather and father lived before the family emigrated to the U.S. in the early 20th century.

Filmmaker Salvo Cuccia packs a lot into this tightly framed 2014 documentary, which explores the impact that Zappa, who died in 1993, had as a musician and reveals interesting bits and pieces about his family and his personal life.

The film runs parallel storylines, one involving Zappa’s 1982 European tour , which concluded in Palermo with a show cut short as fans and police clashed. Another tangent concerns Cuccia’s own obsession with Zappa’s music, particularly his failed attempt to be at that Palermo concert.

Zappa’s wife Gail and three of the couple’s grown children end up meeting Cuccia in Italy; that encounter forms a third narrative facet.

Many years after the Palermo debacle, Cuccia began reconstructing the events surrounding the concert and struck up a relationship with Zappa’s family, which gave him access to archival film and audio recordings, including a wealth of material from the 1982 European tour.

Cuccia does an admirable job generating a portrait of Zappa in the early ’80s, touching on the unexpected pop hit of “Valley Girl,” a song Zappa recorded with daughter Moon Unit, and the rigorous (and often humorous) preparations for a major tour with a new band.

The filmmaker then examines a later trip that Gail, Dweezil, Moon Unit, and Zappa daughter Diva made to Italy, when they visited the town where Zappa’s father was born. The musician’s legacy had become the basis of a civic celebration; Zappa made the same trip in 1982, though it was hardly a heralded event.

Cuccia neatly layers all of these stories into his film, with considerable thanks to Massimo Bassoli, a bohemian spirit and Italian rock journalist who befriended Zappa in the ’70s. He hung around with him to the point that he was able to write a well-received biography of the musician. Bassoli accompanied Zappa throughout the 1982 tour and helped arrange the trip that Zappa made to his ancestral home of Partinico.

Bassoli is present in the early footage Cuccia weaves into his film; the writer is there 30 years after the 1982 European trek to accompany the visiting Zappas on their own pilgrimage to Partinico. The journalist contributes absurd irreverence one moment and heartfelt sincerity the next; in the court of King Zappa he played the role of both jester and confidante. This duel role makes him a wonderful guide, tying together the various strands of Cuccia’s tale.

The trips to Partinico become meditations as well as celebrations on the influence of heritage and family on art. Zappa’s music frequently veers toward the progressive and avant garde; yet the portrait of Partinico is undeniably quaint, Cuccia’s juxtaposition of the two examines the irony of overlapping (or is that clashing?) cultural values.

Tucked into all of this is Cuccia’s personal story of how he came to love Zappa’s music and the attempt he made to attend the ill-fated Palermo concert. At times, the director seems to be trying too hard to pull all of his story lines together, but by the end of Summer of ’82 he brings it all together and offers some surprising “a-ha” moments.

Zappa fans will enjoy this incisive look into a seminal period of the artist’s work, with its balance of sophisticated orchestral numbers and sardonic social commentaries on glitz, chintz, and cocaine. Guitar virtuoso Steve Vai, who gained his professional footing as a young hotshot in Zappa’s band, is among those interviewed, and he helps set the scene for all that went wrong at the Palermo concert.

The Palermo debacle, however, was not a total loss, because the trip drew Zappa, his family, and his admirers into a deeper exploration of the bonds and relationships that influence creativity.

Since the 2014 release of Summer ’82, Gail Zappa has died, and the Zappa kids have split into two factions, each fighting over the handling of their father’s music, a situation that will strike viewers as an unfortunate coda to the story told by this film.

Note: Dweezil Zappa, who for years has performed his father’s music in concert, will be at the Regent screening and will take part in in a Q&A session after the film.

Scott McLennan covered music for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette from 1993 to 2008. He then contributed music reviews and features to The Boston Globe, The Providence Journal, The Portland Press Herald and WGBH, as well as to the Arts Fuse. He also operated the NE Metal blog to provide in-depth coverage of the region’s heavy metal scene.

Sundance award-winning “Unrest” heads to Regent Theatre

Nov 10, 2017

By Abbi Matheson
Posted Nov 9, 2017 at 5:59 AM

For Rivka Solomon and Jennifer Brea, everyday activities can often leave them bedridden for weeks, even months. Solomon and Brea have myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). Often referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome, the neuroimmune disease can leave people bedridden or home-bound for long periods of time.

Brea created the film “Unrest” after she got sick at the age of 28 and was left confined to her bed. Doctors did not believe her story, telling her it was all in her head. To prove to them just how sick she was, she started filming herself, which is how “Unrest” begins. But Brea knew she had to make the story broader than just herself.

She started talking to other people with ME, using the power of the internet to interview them from her home. Solomon, from the Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association, noted that there are an estimated 1 to 2.5 million people in the United States with ME and 17 to 20 million across the globe.

“Unrest” is screening at the Regent Theatre in Arlington on Sunday, Nov. 12 from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The film, which won a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival for editing, is now up for Oscar consideration.

The event is co-sponsored by two local organizations; the Old Schwamb Mill and the Arlington Commission on Disabilities. Susin James, a commission member, said she always felt strongly about advocating for people with different types of disabilities, diseases and disorders.

Music Interview: Badfinger’s “Straight Up” — Live and Complete

Nov 01, 2017

By Blake Maddux

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the British band Badfinger was seemingly being groomed to be the next Beatles by the Fab Four themselves.

Paul McCartney wrote their debut single, “Come and Get It.” The group’s two Liverpudilians—bassist Tom Evans and guitarist Joey Molland—played on John Lennon’s 1971 album, Imagine. Members of the group also appeared on recordings by Ringo Starr and George Harrison. The quartet’s second, third, and fourth albums were released on Apple Records, the label that The Beatles founded in 1968.

In addition to “Come and Get It,” Badfinger scored a string of Top 40 hits that were written by Evans and/or rhythm guitarist Pete Ham. These included “No Matter What,” “Day After Day,” and “Baby Blue.” (“Without You,” also written by Ham and Evans, was a #1 hit for Harry Nilsson in 1971 and a top 5 entry for Mariah Carey in 1994.)

The last two of these songs appeared on the 1971 album Straight Up, the production of which was begun by George Harrison but completed by Todd Rundgren. In 2013, “Baby Blue” played over the closing scenes of Breaking Bad‘s final episode.

On November 3, Joey Molland (the band’s sole surviving member) will be performing the whole of the band’s 1971 classic at Arlington’s Regent Theatre on Friday, November 3. Among the album’s songs are five of his own compositions.

Molland spoke to The Arts Fuse by phone from Minneapolis, which he has called home since the early 1980s.

Arts Fuse: How did Badfinger get its name?

Joey Molland: The story that I got told was that it was a working title for “With a Little Help from my Friends.” John was playing the piano on the demo, John Lennon, and he wasn’t that good a pianist. So they called it “Bad Finger Boogie” because of the mistakes in it, I think. We got the name, it was passed on to us by Neil Aspinall, the head of Apple Records, so it kind of makes sense that that’s what happened.

AF: What were your contributions to Lennon’s album Imagine?

Molland: We played on two songs. Tommy Evans and myself both played acoustic for him. We played on “Jealous Guy” and on the song called “I Don’t Want to be a Soldier.” It was a very exciting time for us, obviously. Playing with John Lennon was a big deal. He was very cool and very nice. Very much like the John Lennon that you imagine, you know.

AF: What were your relationships with other members of the Fab Four like?

Molland: The closest was with George Harrison, doing the Straight Up album. You know, George was producing it. And, of course, we played on George’s solo album and at the Bangladesh concert with him. But during the recording of the Straight Up album, we kind of got really close. He was super. Liked to bring his guitar in and play with us. He was really great. He was lovely. He wasn’t a big ego tripper or nothing. Just a good guitar player. He was very thoughtful about what he played, you know what I mean? He’d take his time and work it out. And he had good suggestions for us, although he didn’t really interfere too much with what we played.

AF: How did having Todd Rundgren take over production duties from Harrison affect the making of the record?

Molland: He was the entire opposite to George. He was very arrogant, to the point of being rude, really. He was very conceited and full of himself. George was very modest. He had a very modest side to him. There’s no way you could say that about Todd Rundgren. Todd was a very imaginative guy, though. You know, loads of sparks coming off him and stuff. Again, he didn’t really advise us on our playing, licks that we played. I don’t think he thought much of us as musicians. He was a very confident guy. He’d been raised as genius, so he carried that with him. I suppose he still does.

I talked to him about it once. We did a concert together down in Atlantic City at the Hilton. I asked him why he was like that, and he said, “Oh, I’m not really like that, you just remember me like that.” So he got out of it that way, but on the other side of him there was a good social side to him. He was nice and easy to talk to that night in Atlantic City all those years later, but when were making the record it was really kind of difficult. And he really didn’t think too much, I don’t think, about what we wanted. He didn’t really talk to us about it or what we thought of the song or anything. We would just play the song for him and he would take it away and do what he wanted, really.

AF: How did you learn that “Baby Blue” was being used on the final episode of Breaking Bad?

Molland: I was taping the show for my son, is what I did.

AF: So you didn’t know that it was going to be on until you saw it?

Molland: That’s right, yeah. It just came on. I had no idea. They played it and it was fantastic. It was a real thrill to hear. I had no idea it was going on, you know. … He was coming home the next day. He found out himself. It was all over the news. It was on the TV news in Minneapolis, where I live. And then, of course, the phone started ringing, and you’d pick up the house phone and it was like the New York Times calling or [Access Hollywood]. All of a sudden the phones wouldn’t stop ringing. I was like a rock star. It was incredible. I think it was bigger when that happened than when the record was actually out.

AF: How do you think you would have reacted if someone told you 45 years ago that you would be performing Straight Up in 2017?

Molland: I think I would have laughed! We had no idea about these things, of course, in those days. Whenever you’d see one of the old bands like The Beatles or The Rolling Stones and they were talking about being in rock band, everybody thought—and we thought the same thing—that it would be over a long, long time ago, maybe by the time we were 30. I’m a lot older than that now, I’m 70 now. I wish I could say I was 50, but I’m not, and I’m lucky that my voice is holding up and I’m not in bad shape. I’m lucky in that way. I’m really blessed. It’s just an amazing thing to me that this is happening. And the other thing that’s amazing is these venues. We’ve been having really good crowds and it’s great. And we’re getting loads of shows, like we’re doing, I think, 10 shows in November, 10 or 12 shows, which is a lot of shows for a band that’s like 50 years old! It’s really good. I’m really happy.

AF: Somerville resident Al Kooper played on a version of the song “Name of the Game” that later appeared on a reissue of the album. Is there any chance that he might join you on stage in Arlington on Friday?

Molland: He might, because he did a bit of work on that song, didn’t he? We did some sessions with him at Bell Studio in New York. But I haven’t seen him since, or if I have he’s never come and said hello. Mind you, I haven’t gone and said hello to him as well if I’ve seen him somewhere. But I don’t know. If he chose to come down and he wanted to do that, that’d be just fine with us. Fine with me.

Blake Maddux is a freelance journalist who also contributes to The Somerville Times, DigBoston, Lynn Happens, and various Wicked Local publications on the North Shore. In 2013, he received an MLA from Harvard Extension School, which awarded him the Dean’s Prize for Outstanding Thesis in Journalism. A native Ohioan, he moved to Boston in 2002 and currently lives with his wife in Salem, Massachusetts.

A wonderful tribute to the late Sam McClain at the Regent Theatre

Nov 28, 2015

Net proceeds from the event will benefit homeless veterans and provide housing and services. Homelessness was a very special cause to McCain. John McGah, who produced the show, is a senior associate at the National Center on Family Homelessness in Waltham. He met the Mighty Sam McCain when he was producing a music CD on homelessness. At the time McGah was working with Appleseed Recordings who brought together artists that had experienced homelessness with celebrity musicians. McCain, fell into both categories.

“On my first call with McCain, said McGah, I saw that he was immediately passionate about this project of putting musicians together. He felt we were all in one house. He also got the point of the CD project because homelessness is about disconnection, and music is about connection.”

McGah went on to quote Mighty Sam who said, “We’re all on this earth together.” Then McCain laughed a deep, genuine mighty laugh (that McGah later came to know), and said “We’re all in one house!” More laughter. “We’re all in one room!”

He later learned that Mighty Sam had been homeless as a boy, and as an adult. McCain sent McGah some demos of song ideas for the CD project. He’d been going through them and liking them but nothing jumped out. Then one day driving to the wake of a dear family friend (a few yards from the Regent Theatre), and feeling very emotional, he put in Sam’s demo. The song, “Show Me The Way” came on. McGah was so moved and realized that this was the special song he had been searching for.

The music was written by (Donn) Scott Shetler, McCain’s friend and saxophonist. McCain put words to it, based on when he was homeless, eating out of a garbage can, and stopping to reflect on his situation he said to God, if you see me out of this situation, I will never stop praising your name and speaking out for homeless people.

“We sent the song to Jon Bon Jovi, who loved it (himself a passionate advocate for homeless people),” said McGah. “Mighty Sam and Bon Jovi recorded an amazing vocal duet, with the Mighty Sam McClain Band providing the music. It’s the powerhouse track of the CD, which was called Give Us Your Poor. Among the many artists (including Springsteen, Jewel, Bonnie Raitt, Pete Seeger, Natalie Merchant, Mario Frangoulis, Buffalo Tom, etc.) McCain was the only one appearing on 2 tracks.”

McGah continued, “But, why this concert at the Regent is so special for me? I’ve been in an amateur band, the Wait, for 20 years with my best friends. In 2010, we had a Christmas show to benefit homelessness with comedian Jimmy Tingle and Mighty Sam McClain. Singing with my best friends, to an audience of friends and family, in a theatre I loved and grew up down the street from, and sharing vocals with the Mighty Sam McClain on “Merry Christmas, Baby” is one of the musical highlights of my life. I felt like an alter boy serving mass with the Pope, and he was so welcoming, supportive and generous. A Mighty Heart!

After some of these projects slowed down and time would pass, I’d occasionally get a call out of the blue, “He John how are you brother, I’m thinking of you and hope you are doing well.” It meant the world to me and was very indicative of his connection to people, loyalty to friends, and his capacity to love. Or he’d make sure we got together for lunch.

There have been live shows in support of this project in Boston, New York, New Orleans, Washington D.C., and now in Arlington. Before McCain’s passing, he helped McGah at every turn with this project.

Here are some photos from the event at the Regent Theatre.

A Mighty Love:  A Tribute to Mighty Sam McClain—Sat 11/28, 7pm

Nov 26, 2015

Day: Sat, Nov 28, 2015
Showtime: 7:00-10:00 PM
Doors open: 6:30 PM
Ticket Prices* $20.00, $25.00, $35.00     Veterans & Kids

<18yrs half price

Michael Letendre
John McGah
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A Mighty Love—A Tribute to Mighty Sam McClain is an evening to remember and celebrate the life and music of Mighty Sam McClain, who died at age 71 in June 2015. The fundraiser to help end homelessness (an issue near and dear to Sam’s heart) is set for the Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA on Saturday, Nov 28 at 7:00 PM, the Sat. after Thanksgiving. An all-star line-up includes artists from blues, soul and rock ‘n’ roll who are coming to honor Sam from multiple cities and countries (see full list below). There will also be video messages from other famous friends that worked with Sam. The event honors the life and music of Mighty Sam McClain, with his friends and those who have been deeply affected by the life and death of this great pillar of American music.
Sam said it best, “I’m a singer—a man with a song and I have a message for you—love one another and to your ownself be true.” Sam McClain had a mighty voice, and a huge heart. He shared his joy, his pain and his soul through his music and touched many, many people. Expect some tears and also jumping for joy, as we celebrate the life and art of Mighty Sam McClain.

Seated Tickets range in price from $20 to $25 to $35 and children under 18 are half price. Tickets are available at (, charge by phone at 781-646-4TIX (4849). Tickets may also be purchased Monday-Saturday 12:00pm-6:00pm at the Regent Theatre Box Office (7 Medford St., Arlington, MA) as well as two hours before the show. For more information on ticket sales contact the Box Office and for information about the show email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Performers at Nov 28 Regent show and hometown/genre):

• Concetta (Soul, Boston)
• Ted Drozdowski (Nashville/Blues, Rock, Americana)
• Digney Fignus (Boston/Rock)
• Big James Montgomery (Chicago/Blues)
• Dave Keller (Vermont/Soul, Blues)
• Bob Moore (Boston, Blues)
• Tyler Morris (Boston, Blues)
• Knut Reiersrud (Norway/Soul, Blues)
• Bob Teague (Nashville; Roots Americana/Classical Guitar)

About Mighty Sam McClain (excerpted from Ted Drozdowski)

Mighty Sam McClain was once described as “America’s best purveyor of red-clay soul blues” and was widely considered one of the greatest soul singers that ever lived.  The songs he wrote and chose to sing—whether soul, spiritual music, R&B, blues, funk or the cross-cultural love duets he recorded in recent years with Iranian vocalist Mahsa Vahdat—were transformed by the elemental properties of his voice, which seemed as strong, natural and enduring as a redwood, as deep and swirling as the Mississippi, and as clear in its messages and ability to bear witness as a prayer.

Songs/Recordings Mighty Sam was known for include:

• “Sweet Dreams,” his first record (1966), originally recorded by Patsy Cline
• “New Man In Town,” prominently featured in the TV series Ally McBeal
• “Show Me The Way,” a recorded duet with Jon Bon Jovi (2008)
• “No Good Reason,” recorded with Natalie Merchant and others (2008)
• Scent of Reunion: Love Duets Across Civilization, CD recorded with Iranian folksinger Mahsa Vadhat (2009) – Nominated for a Grammy in Norway
• One Drop Is Plenty – recorded with Knut R.
• Sam sang “Time and Changes” the theme song for filmmaker Ernest Thompson’s 2013 drama  
Mighty Sam McClain’s Bio

Samuel McClain was born in Monroe, Louisiana in 1943. His father left when Sam was two years old, and he began singing in his mother Emily’s Baptist church at age five. Even at that age, he knew he had a gift and determined to use it. Sam began to sing professionally in elementary school, when his physical education teacher put a backing band together and began booking him at kids’ parties and dances. But at age 13, after years of abuse from his stepfather, he’d had enough. He considered shooting the violent man with one of his own hunting rifles. Instead, Sam left home, sneaking out through a window at night, and did not see his beloved mother for four decades. He carried the pain of that experience throughout his life.

Then in New Orleans Sam recorded an EP that included Sam’s blues hymn “Pray.” New Orleans musicians and booking agents began to take notice of his astonishing vocal abilities. A chance encounter with a Japanese tourist visiting the Crescent City led to a tour of Japan and a live album in 1987 that raised his profile. The same year he appeared on Hubert Sumlin’s Blues Party, an album organized by guitarist Ronnie Earl for the then-high-profile US blues label Black Top. The four songs Sam sang on that album began getting him consistent airplay in the US for the first time in nearly 20 years.

The 1990s were a dynamic and life-changing period for Sam. He started to crystallize a new vision for his music. His writing began to weave together the spiritual and the secular, and the stories in his songs became compelling parables from everyday life and from his own experiences that made keen observations about faith, dignity, race, oppression, freedom and social responsibility. He was rewarded by the many letters he regularly received from fans around the world who said their lives had been changed for the better by his music.

In a typical display of his willpower, he gave up drinking one day, literally, after deciding it was interfering with his goals and his personal life. Most important, he married Sandra, affirming their deep romance, which would last throughout the remainder of his life. Through her and her children, he also found the loving family connections that he had craved for so many years. In 1995 Sam also formed a musical partnership with his bandleader and guitarist Pat Herlehy, who would also become Sam’s co-arranger, engineer and co-producer. They remained close friends for 20 years and recently created two more albums, Undiscovered — Diamond in the Rough and Up from the Dust, which have yet to be released.

Sam started Emily’s Son Publishing in 1996 and then launched McClain Management with Sandra. He also began producing his own albums and in 2003 created his own label, Mighty Music, with the release of One More Bridge to Cross. That album was followed by Betcha Didn’t Know in 2009 and 2012’s Too Much Jesus (Not Enough Whiskey), which garnered more Blues Music Award nominations.

Sam’s social consciousness, his time living on the streets and the hardships he endured in childhood made him a perfect fit for the 2008 benefit compilation CD, Give US Your Poor, which was dedicated to help fight homelessness. Rock star Jon Bon Jovi duetted with Sam on Sam’s original song “Show Me the Way,” co-written with his saxist Scott Shetler. Sam also recorded and performed with singer Natalie Merchant to address homelessness. Touring behind the project, Sam appeared onstage at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and Strand Theatre in Boston.

In 2009, the Norwegian guitarist and songwriter Knut Reisersrud invited Sam to make an album of love duets with Iranian folksinger Mahsa Vadhat. The album, Scent of Reunion: Love Duets Across Civilization, was an effortlessly beautiful bridge that transcended cultures and ideology to speak in the language of the heart. It reached number six on the European world music charts and was nominated for a Grammy in Norway. They recorded an equally remarkable sequel in 2012 titled A Deeper Tone of Longing, which followed a 2011 soul-blues collaboration between Sam and Reisersrud called One Drop Is Plenty. Sam also lent his voice to the theme song for filmmaker Ernest Thompson’s 2013 drama Time & Charges.

In recent years, Sam’s recordings became more rhythmically driving and intense, with Too Much Jesus (Not Enough Whiskey) at times evoking the classic funk of James Brown and Sly Stone thanks to Sam and Herlehy’s arrangements and the raw, focused power of his road-honed seven-piece band. The unreleased Up From the Dust showcases Sam and Herlehy blending yet another element into Sam’s music – ’60s rooted, groove driven psychedelia.

Sam declared that “to me, making music is all about freedom. I believe I have a gift from God and I’ve worked hard all my life to pursue my own vision of it. This is what I do, and I’m going to keep doing it as long as God gives me breath.”

Links About Mighty Sam McClain

Arlington’s Regent Theatre To Present Hendrix & Rory Gallagher Concert Film Premieres

Sep 16, 2015

Arlington, MA (September 4, 2015) – On Friday and Saturday, September 18th and 19th, the historic Regent Theatre will present an unprecedented documentary screening event with two New England theatrical film premieres featuring revered guitar players Jimi Hendrix and Rory Gallagher.  Both films showcase legendary festival performances from the summer of 1970—45 years ago—and the weekend screenings also commemorate the 45th anniversary of Hendrix’s death (9/18/70). 

Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church is a new documentary which unveils previously unseen footage of the 1970 Atlanta Pop Festival.  Hailed as the ‘Southern Woodstock’, Jimi Hendrix headlined the sprawling festival which drew nearly 500,000 people to Byron, Georgia, a tiny farming town 100 miles south of Atlanta.  Hendrix’s spectacular July 4 performance features unforgettable renditions of such signature songs as “All Along The Watchtower,” “Purple Haze,” and “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” and has never before been seen in America.

The film presents interviews with Hendrix himself, commentary from festival organizers and fellow festival performers, and well-known friends and musicians including Paul McCartney, Mitch Mitchell, Billy Cox, and Kirk Hammett to provide new insight into the musician’s personality and genius.  Hendrix’s path to the festival is set against the explosive growth of the festival culture that took root in the aftermath of the premiere of the Woodstock documentary in May 1970.  All across America, young people sought out their own cultural gathering places and the Atlanta Pop Festival quickly blossomed from an expected audience of 100,000 to nearly half a million people.
Directed by John McDermott, whose resume includes the Grammy winning Band Of Gypsys, the Emmy Award winning Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin’, Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood Live At Madison Square Garden, and Buddy Guy: My Time After Awhile). 

Screening Friday, 9/18 at 9:15pm & Saturday, 9/19 at 7:30pm. 90 minutes.

“What’s Going On – Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 tells the story of Eire’s seminal rock band Taste. Formed in Cork, Ireland in 1966 by Rory Gallagher, Taste had a brief but influential career, releasing two studio albums in 1969 and 1970 and disbanding shortly after their legendary appearance at the 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival—the centerpiece of this film.

The core of What’s Going On is the band’s performance at the festival on August 28th. Encapsulated within a documentary on the history and importance of Taste, the film features contributions from Rory’s brother and Taste road manager Donal Gallagher along with Brian May (Queen), The Edge (U2), Bob Geldof and renowned guitarist Larry Coryell.

Taste’s performance at the festival was so well received that when Jimi Hendrix was asked “How does it feel to be the best guitarist in the world,” he replied, “I don’t know, why don’t you go and ask Rory Gallagher?”

The original 1970 footage was shot by Academy Award winning director Murray Lerner. The 16mm film has been restored and the sound remixed for this 2015 version of What’s Going On – Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970, which includes all the tracks on the original 1971 Polydor LP plus several additional tracks. 
Rory Gallagher would go on to enjoy an acclaimed and highly successful solo career.  Johnny Marr said, “The man who changed my musical life was Rory Gallagher, I picked up a guitar because of him.” 

The electrifying What’s Going On – Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 is an early example of Rory’s justified reputation as the ultimate live performer.  90 minutes.
Screening Friday, 9/18 at 7:30pm & Saturday, 9/19 at 9:30pm. 90 minutes.


“Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church”  and “What’s Going On – Taste Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970” will be presented at Arlington’s historic Regent Theatre on Friday and Saturday, September 18th and 19th starting at 7:30pm each night .  Located at 7 Medford St. in Arlington Center (off of Mass Ave)—minutes from Cambridge and Boston—the Regent is MBTA and handicap accessible with free parking across the street.  General Admission tickets are $10 single admission or $15 for the double feature. For tickets and info call 781-646-4849 or visit . 

The Acro-cats leap into a town near you, including Philly, Brooklyn and Boston

Jul 23, 2015

To Samantha Martin, cats like to have jobs, just like people.

You can see their fondness for their vocation watching members of the Acro-Cats—the performing feline troupe that’s prowling across the East Coast this month—during their off-hours at Martin’s home, she said.

“Sometimes, Sookie will just start rolling her barrel,” Martin said of the cat trained to push objects on-stage. “Now Tuna [a star of the show known for ringing bells] is touching the remote control, giving me that look like, ‘Hey, you should do some work.’ They actually ask to work. They enjoy it.”

Martin’s performing cats—all former rescues, strays and orphans, and ranging from a part-Siamese to a Tuxedo, a Calico, a Tortoiseshell and a Ginger-and-white—live at her home in Chicago.

The tour will be at The Muse Brooklyn Thursday through Sunday and in Boston on July 23. Foster cats will be at the performances for guests to adopt.

Martin, who is the “chief executive human” of the Acro-cats, acknowledges that the show they put on is not a perfect performance.

“The cats kind of make up their own stuff sometimes,” she said. “Every show is a little bit different because we never know what the cats are going to do and when they’re going to do it.”

“It’s very ad-lib, very go with the flow. People can expect to see things they’ve never seen before.”

The concept of the Acro-cats was born 10 years ago when Martin, a life-long animal lover, began taking a few trained cats into Chicago art galleries and doing small shows with basic props. Audiences went wild, she said, and she began expanding the show.

For Martin, who aspired to be an animal trainer from the age of seven, working with the Acro-cats is “a dream come true,” she said.

See below for more about how Martin puts on the show.

How do you get the cats to do the tricks?

I use clicker training. It’s all positive reinforcement where they get a treat when they do a trick.

They’re my pets, so I watch what they do around the house and I come up with things that can be made into a trick. So if the cats are climbing, I’ll come up with something that involves climbing. If the cats are scratching, I’ll come up with something that involves scratching.

The props in the show—it’s almost like their playground. They’re very unpredictable.

How do the cats feel about their work?

They enjoy it. If you look at their body language, you’ll see that they’re happy, they’re interested, they’re not towering. If somebody startles them, they can go back to their carrier.

Can people bring their dogs?

No dogs allowed.

Safety concerns

Some cat circuses, especially in Russia, have a bad reputation.

There is a boycott campaign against Moscow Cat Circus for alleged cruelty in their training methods—specifically training the cats to perform complex tricks by hurting them.

Martin stressed that the Acro-cats is a “go with the flow” performance with tricks that mostly just include performing the sorts of jumps and behavior that domestic cats typically perform at home.

A portion of the proceeds from Philly went to the Philadelphia Community Cats Council.

Arlington Public News (APN) Feature Story on The Regent Theatre

Jul 09, 2015

View The Complete Feature Here!

Concert raises $1,550 for people displaced by Arlington fire

Jun 16, 2015

By Spencer Buell
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Posted Jun. 16, 2015 at 5:50 PM


  The latest of local efforts to help those impacted by a devastating East Arlington fire, a benefit concert at the Regent Theatre on Wednesday, June 10, raised $1,550 for displaced families.

  Tickets and merchandise sales at the June 10 event, which featured several musicians and performers from Arlington and was billed as “Side By Side for Brookside,” supported a fund to help residents find and pay for new homes.

  Regent co-owner Leland Stein said the theater hosted the event at no charge, a sound engineer worked pro bono and performers donated all proceeds from sales of CDs and other goods.

  “When there’s an opportunity to do something like this, we’re all for it,” Stein said. “A theater is nothing if it’s not about community and this was a perfect instance of that.”

  The Housing Corporation of Arlington established the fund shortly after the May 5 fire.

  Dozens were forced out of their apartments after the four-alarm fire tore through the Brookside Condominiums complex on Arizona Terrace. One man died in the blaze, and as many as 27 people may still be searching for a place to live, 11 of whom remain in direct contact with the HCA looking for help, according to HCA Executive Director Pam Hallett.

  Including funds from the concert, the HCA has collected about $20,000, Hallett said, which is almost enough to help those in most need pay for a month’s rent and security deposit on an apartment.

  None of the money has been spent yet, she said. Facing a limited stock of affordable apartments in the area, none of the displaced residents have been able to find a new home nearby.

  “That’s a problem,” Hallett said. “Right now the rents are so high they can’t find a unit to replace the one they lost.”

  After electrical repairs at the complex, about 16 Brookside residents were able to return to their homes this week, Hallett said. She said another eight are set to return when cleanup of the first floor – which sustained heavy water damage – is complete in a few weeks.

  The HCA is also collaborating with Reading-based Mission of Deeds to secure bedding and other furniture for families whose belongings were destroyed, Hallett said.

  To contribute to the fund, visit the HCA website’s donation page. In the “designation” field, write “fire.”

Ba-da-bing! Bisantz directs ‘Old Jews Telling Jokes’

Apr 12, 2015

From The Lowell Sun

By Nancye Tuttle, Sun Correspondent
Updated:  04/06/2015 08:55:45 AM EDT

So you think you’ve heard every Jewish joke out there, right?

Not necessarily, a fact you’ll discover with Old Jews Telling Jokes, Peter Gethers and Daniel Okrent’s off-Broadway hit playing Arlington’s Regent Theatre April 15-May 17.

Directed by Jerry Bisantz, one of Lowell’s favorite funny men and co-founder of Image Theater, the play features five local actors in a joke-filled revue that pays tribute to and reinvents classic jokes from the past and present.

Besides the jokes, there are comic songs, some new and some old, plus tributes to some giants of the comedy world and the brilliant raconteurs.

The show earned kudos in New York, including a New York Times rave, calling it “hilarious, magnificent, enduring rhythm of Jewish humor.”

The cast of actors/singers includes young and old, Jewish and non-Jewish talent.

And that, notes press material, “makes the point that you don’t have to be Jewish to love this show. Jewish humor is universal and it is the essence of American humor.”

But you may want to keep the kids home, since there is adult material being bandied about. It’s recommended for ages 17 and up.

Show times are Wednesdays, 2 and 7 p.m.; Thursdays, 7 p.m.; Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sundays, 2 p.m. Tickets $45-$65 at 781-646-4849 or

Boston’s ULTRASONIC ROCK ORCHESTRA To Perform WHO’s 1973 Masterpiece “QUADROPHENIA” In Its Entirety

Jan 27, 2015

On Friday, February 6th and Saturday, February 7th, 2015 the historic Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts, will present THE ULTRASONIC ROCK ORCHESTRA kicking off their 11th year with two exclusive concerts of the Who’s “Quadrophenia.” From the thunderous opening chords of “The Real Me,” to the rollicking centerpiece “5:15,” to the closing jubilation of “Love Reign O’er Me,” Quadrophenia remains one of the most power-packed recordings ever made. These two shows feature URO’s 14 singers and instrumentalists performing the 90-minute opus beneath a spectacular light show.

“Quadrophenia,” says URO co-founder Sal Clemente, “is the ultimate adult rock record—written by Pete Townshend and recorded by The Who at the peak of their powers. It has an immense weight to it, and brims over with earnestness, taking us on an anti-hero’s journey—told in the first person with tortured angst and abstract resolution. I LOVE this record. Not just because it spoke to me in my youth, but because even though the words are the same, their meaning continues to evolve. Isn’t that what the best art does? Quadrophenia is one of THE great rock records, and it’s a total thrill for us to be performing it on the Regent stage.”

“I grew up with The Who and love so much of their music,” says Regent Theatre co-owner Leland Stein, “but, Quadrophenia is the Who record I keep coming back to. Tommy may be more popular and recognized around the world, but in many ways, Quadrophenia is better, more sophisticated, and diverse—with amazing songs that resonate to this moment. The URO grabs this challenging material like a pack of hounds—doing justice to the original work while putting their own stamp on it.”

The Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra performs jaw-dropping, electrifying, dynamically diverse renditions of classic ‘60s and ‘70s British Rock. As the works of Mozart and Beethoven live on in symphonies, the URO is a unique and unconventional orchestra, bringing to vivid life this glorious, beloved music.  Performing with uninhibited power, nuance and feeling, the URO is honored to bring these iconic classic songs to today’s audiences.

THE ULTRASONIC ROCK (URO) Performs The Who’s “Quadrophenia”
Friday, February 6th and Saturday, February 7th at 8pm
Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street (off Massachusetts Avenue), Arlington, Massachusetts
MBTA & wheelchair accessible; free parking in municipal lot across the street
Reserved Seats: $25
Tickets & Theatre Info: 781-646-4849 or

Award-Winning Tribute Artist DOUG CHURCH-The True Voice of Elvis-Returns to Historic Regent Theatre

Jan 08, 2015

On Saturday, January 24th at 8pm and Sunday, January 25th, 2015 at 2pm, the historic Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts, will present DOUG CHURCH—“The True Voice of Elvis”—in concert accompanied by Boston’s HOUSTON BERNARD BAND.  The unprecedented show will feature a set of Elvis concert classics followed by a set of songs associated with other artists—reimagined as if Elvis had survived beyond 1977 and added them to his repertoire. A horn section will also be added to the band for these special shows.

Doug Church
is known throughout the world by his fans and peers as having the closest singing voice to Elvis Presley. He has won the coveted Worldwide Elvis Impersonator Contest in Memphis, Tennessee competing against Elvis entertainers from all over the world and starred in and performed soundtrack vocals for the award winning documentary film “Almost Elvis.” Regarding Elvis Beyond ‘77 Church explains, “I’ve always wondered what it would have been like if Elvis had picked himself up, got off the prescription medications, and allowed those who cared so deeply for him to lend a helping hand in regaining his lust for life… to continue his career beyond 1977. I’m sure many other Elvis fans have wondered the same thing (if for no other reason than to simply have him with us still). My aim is to bring that fantasy to life and to allow Elvis fans to experience that dream, if only for a short time on the stage, to envision what he would have been like had he lived…to hear what music he would have gravitated toward, and see how he would have reinvented himself all over again…”

The Houston Bernard Band performs original, fresh, and hard-hitting country music for fans throughout the Northeast. They have been nominated for a 2015 New England Music Award for “Country Act of the Year,” and were on the ballet for the 2014 GRAMMY Awards. Says Bernard, “Working with Doug Church has been amazing in that, not only is he one of the best Elvis tribute artists I have worked with, but he is one of the best performers overall. The way he commands the stage and is so closely in touch with and responsive to his audience is wonderful to witness. It is a privilege to be working with Doug and the Houston Bernard Band looks forward these shows.”

DOUG CHURCH—The True Voice of Elvis—Backed by Boston’s Houston Bernard Band
Performs “Elvis Beyond ‘77” In Celebration of Elvis Presley’s 80th Birthday
Saturday, January 24th at 8pm and Sunday, January 25th at 2pm
Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street (off Massachusetts Avenue), Arlington, Massachusetts
MBTA & wheelchair accessible; free parking in municipal lot across the street
Reserved Seats: $25 to $37.50
Tickets & Theatre Info: 781-646-4849 or

Hirsh Gardner goes back to the beginnng with upcoming New England reunion concert

Aug 09, 2014

Drummer-producer Hirsh Gardner has been a very busy man these days. Aside from his Cambridge studio chores, he‘s been organizing a reunion concert for his once nationally famous band New England. “Don’t Ever Want To Lose Ya” and many other New England originals will come alive. Gardner and his original three band mates will perform a full concert at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts on Friday, August 15, at 8:00 p.m. New England is one of those bands that have been kept alive on the internet and in the memories of fans.

“New England has been sort of bubbling under for years,” Gardner said. “The band broke up in 1983. But, we all stayed friends and communicated with each other. John Fannon, our lead guitarist-lead vocalist, he continued producing and film scoring. I was also a record producer for many years and continue to play drums and do sessions. Jimmy Waldo was living in Los Angeles with Gary Shea shortly after the band broke up. They put together the band Alcatraz with Yngwie Malsteem and Steve Vai.”

As they’ve all remained friends and still make music, reunions were certain to happen. Several of the albums New England recorded back in the day were re-released on GB Music label, which Gardner co-owns with his partner Gary Borress.

“With the re-release of everything on CD and the advent of the internet, the fans were just coming out of the woodwork,” Gardner said. “We’ve got several hundred thousand hits on YouTube. Some of the response and the comments the fans made were mind blowing. We’d talk about it on the phone to each other. We’d say ’Geez, man. Folks really loved this band.”

HirshGardner1New England placed singles in the Top 40, toured the world, opened for bands like AC/DC, Kiss, Journey, Kansas, Cheap Trick. They also headlined major theater themselves during their rise to the top. With the rekindling of interest in New England, the four played a few benefit concerts. “We just enjoyed getting together after 20 or 30 years and just playing five or six songs together.”

Next week’s New England concert at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts came about when Gardner and Regent’s co-owner and administrator Leland Stein thought it’d be cool to put on an entire New England concert. “This is actually the first time we’ve gotten together in over 30 years and played our full concert set,” Gardner said. “So, it’s going to be a wild and wonderful evening for us. When we get together there‘s this magic thing that happens.”

That New England has such staying power, rekindling interest 30 plus years after their 1983 break up, makes one wonder how they connected so deeply and personally to their fans. “I guess it’s the music itself,” Gardner said. “because that’s the main comment I hear. I would urge you to just go online; go to YouTube and look at the New England “Don’t Ever Want To Lose Ya” video, and just read some of the comments. It’s really, really heart warming to see the impact we had on people back then. People now see the video. Time’s gone on. They’ve sort of forgotten the song, and when they hear the song again, some of comments are amazing.” Many of the comments Gardner refers to are very positive, saying the song sounds as good as anything on the radio today as well as back as then.

“I love reading that we had such a positive impact on people’s lives,” Gardner said. “That really means that we touched everyone. Sometimes, it’s not the record companies that recognize the greatness or don’t recognize the greatness, it’s the general public. I’m humbly thinking to myself, well, maybe a lot of the folks out there just thought the band was great.”

HirshGardner9So, why then, did New England not become or remain a household name? “I think that the record company, quite frankly, fucked everything up,” he stated flatly. “I don’t want to go negative here. The sad part about is, (when) we played in Birmingham, Alabama. I think we played with Blue Oyster Cult. We were there in town for a couple of days. So, we decided to go out and visit some of the record stores and music shops, and we couldn’t find any of our albums in the stores. We played for 20,000 people that night and got standing ovations, encores, people were flipping out, lining up outside our dressing rooms for autographs. It was just amazing. And those kids, those 20,000 kids, I’d say there were 200 of them that wanted to go out and buy that record, the next day. Well, they couldn’t. Had there been 200 record sales in Birmingham, Alabama, on that day, Billboard Magazine, Cashbox Magazine, all the radio stations would have recognized that and heard about it immediately. But, if you don’t distribute the product at the stores, you can’t get that recognition, which we were desperately trying to do.”

Because of the internet, people all over the world can now hear the music of New England. Music fans and musicians are finding that their music still holds up, still hangs tough, still sounds as fresh today as it did back in the day. Gardner and his New England band mates have pretty much the same story as rock and roll musicians who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s. They all saw The Beatles and The Rolling Stones on the Ed Sullivan show.

“I was a jazz guy,” Gardner said. “I was listening to people like Shelly Mann, Buddy Rich, Gene Kupra, Ed Shaunessy. My aunt and uncle got me into all the big band swing stuff. Then, I got into rock and roll after that. We just all met in Boston. We had all played in various bands. We actually put the band together in ‘73. We played together for four or five years. This toured all over the east coast. This was just as a bar band, playing originals and covers. Then we ended up breaking up, and we ended up reforming several years later. Basically, we said ‘OK. We’ve done the club scene. We’ve done the cover music. We don’t want to play that any more. The next gig that we play has to be Madison Square Garden or something like that.”

HirshGardner5That dream actually came true. New England had holed up in their rehearsal studio for roughly two years, recording 16 songs. They got a record deal because Bill Aucoin, who was also managing Kiss, Billy Squire, Billy Idols, and many others, discovered them and signed them on the spot. “The next gig that we played was virtually Madison Square Garden,” Hirsh said. “We did the ‘79 Dynasty tour with Kiss, which was just amazing, being thrust out in front 20,000 people.”

New England got booed on their second night opening for Kiss. The other three players were plugging in their amps. Gardner played a drum solo, just to shut them up, not wanting to start off on a bad vibe. Then, the audience went nuts.

“I think we were one of, or ,the only band to get encores on the Kiss tour,” Gardner said. “You’re not just hearing this from me now. All of this stuff is on Facebook and on YouTube. To me, it justifies everything. It makes you feel pretty good about it.”

A favorite memory that stands out in Gardner’s mind is playing with AC/DC, saying he learned a lot by watching drummer Phil Rudd with the bassist and the rhythm guitar player groove. “Watching those guys play taught me a lot about simplicity.”

Another stand out memory for Gardner, as a drummer, was opening for Rush. “Can you imagine having to go on stage before Neil Peart,” he said. “That was pretty scary. But I buckled up and went up on stage and said ‘I don’t care who’s playing with me. I’m just going to kick ass and rock the joint.’ And we did. Rush is an amazing band. But, New England held their own whenever we played with bands like that.”

HirshGardner4Thanks to non stop rehearsing, New England didn’t have much difficulty nailing down their sound in the studio. They were also working with the best producers in the world, Mike Stone, Paul Stanley, Todd Rundgren. “We were all serious players,” Gardner said. “Jimmy Waldo’s our keyboard players and obviously John’s our guitar player. When we orchestrated all of those parts, we orchestrated them so the keyboards and guitars would almost be in sync and in unison. We would take one of John’s guitar parts, and we would meld it together with Jimmy’s keyboard parts. And Jimmy was very innovative with his sound. This was back in the early ‘80s, and we had all the great analog gear. We used mellotrons back then, mini moogs, micro moogs. Jimmy had Fender Rhodes, the RMI keyboards. These were all very unique instrument back then.”

It didn’t hurt that Gardner and bassist Gary Shea were a quintessential heavy metal rhythm section backing that huge, melodic, orchestrated sound. It also didn’t hurt that they had three lead vocalists in the band. “John and I blend and fit together very well,” Gardner said. “Last night, Jimmy and I were at my recording studio in Cambridge, and did four hours of just vocal rehearsal. That’s also a part of the sound. A lot of these metal bands, you got a lead vocalist and nobody else in the band sings. We sort of broke that mold.”

Being a rock star on tour with his band and with the fans and with the press was only a surface joy for Gardner. “Being a rock star is just a by product of being a great musician,” he said. “Every musician has a huge ego. Some people have a positive ego, which I believe we all have. Some people have a negative ego, which is like ‘I’m better than you. Fuck you.’ That type of ego is harmful. But I believe that in order to get up on stage, you have to have a pretty big ego to get up there and do it. But, it’s got to be a positive ego, so you’re up there pushing your art form forward, but at the same time, it’s entertainment. We want to get up there and we want to be a rock star. It’s all part of this weird, wonderful business we chose to do.”

HirshGardner3Being a rock star has been a bit confusing for Gardner’s children. At a restaurant with his two daughters, he was recognized by a New England fan who sought an autograph. His girls were like “Huh? Dad’s a rock star?” Gardner said it’s heart warming to be recognized for what he has loved to do his whole like.

For the Regent show, Gardner said he and his New England band mates will play all of the major songs that were played on the radio back in the day, as well as some forgotten gems they never played live, and a few acoustic numbers. “This is a special event for us,” he said.

Years ago, Gardner put aside his musician hat and became a producer. Yet, he still got to play on people’s albums when they needed a certain part, guaranteeing he’d still be a musician. “One of the greatest things about being a producer,” he said, “is that it’s like joining a band every couple of months. You have to become a member of the band. As a producer and as an engineer, I have to know the songs as well as they do. I never wanted to give up my musician chops, nor did I ever have a chance to.”

The greatest personal joy of being a producer is pushing the artist to be the best he can be. “It’s so gratifying when you finally sit back and listen to the song and see what you pushed your band mates, because now I’m in the band(while working with the band) and see what you’ve pushed these people to come up with.”

Being a drummer first means that the first thing Gardner listens to in a band he’s producing is their drums. He feels that the drum track is the most important part when putting a song together, because everything is built on it. “It’s got to be solid. It’s got to be in time. The fills have to be perfect, and the drummer has to execute every single one of those beats or hits for the entire four minute song,” he said. “I would make sure that everything that they had laid down was just about as perfect as it could be. If I hear something as a drummer, I would say ‘Hey, listen. Don’t do that fill. It doesn’t work there. Let’s save that fill for this spot where it works a little bit better because back there, your fill is walking on the lead vocal.” Gardner said drummers may appreciate the feedback or that they might put up a fight.”

HirshGardner10“You’ve got to work with these guys,” he said. “You’ve got to be a psychologist. You’ve got to nurture these people. You’ve got to baby them sometimes. Sometimes you have to yell at them because you’re working really hard to put four or five or six different instruments together to make it a great song.

When asked what’s been the most rewarding thing about his lengthy career, he said “Having a career this lengthy.” He has also had a life long commitment to helping other musicians. It began when he was a teenager who had gone with his friends to see a famous orchestra with a famous orchestra leader. After the show, outside in the freezing cold by Lake Ontario in Toronto, near the stage door, they got invited in after telling an orchestra member who came outside that they’d like to meet their boss.

The famous man was sitting at a mirror with light bulbs all around the mirror. He motioned to his band member to let the kids in. The orchestra leader asked them if they enjoyed his show. “This gentleman spent 15, 20 minutes with us, after spending two and a half hours on the stage, and he was an older guy, and he was constantly giving. I think that was the lesson I learned that night was that you always have to give something back to people, as a musician.”

Near the end of this story, Gardner revealed who he was talking about. “Duke Ellington did that for me that night,” he said. “It meant so much to me to meet him.” With that credo in mind, Gardner has done benefit concerts. Some of the New England Regent concert proceeds will go to Ernie Boch Jr.’s program Music Drive Us., which buys musical instruments for school music programs.

“We’ve got plenty of money to throw at football teams, and basketball teams, and baseball. But, they’re pulling money away from the arts, and I think that it’s really important that we give something back,” Gardner said. “This show has some meaning. If we can present Ernie with a check then he can go buy some kids some musical instruments, we’ve done our jobs.”

Gardner said he and his New England band mates would love to see all of their old friends at the show. “It’s going to be a wild night,” he said.

Special guest Jon Butcher, a well-respected national musician, will also entertain.

Tom Rush, On Stage and Screen, Wows at Boston Documentary Premiere

Jul 31, 2014

There was an extra surprise at the Boston-area premiere of the award-winning documentary, “Tom Rush: No Regrets,” at Arlington’s classic Regent Theatre late last month. While a Q&A session was expected at the end of the screening, Rush also treated fans to a three song, 15 minute set (“I don’t do two song sets,” he joked from the stage). Rush then entertained questions from the audience, along with filmmakers Todd Kwait and Rob Stegman, for another 20 minutes.

Rush began his mini-set with a new love-song-in-progress, apparently titled “Life is Fine.” He introduced it by explaining how his “muse” woke him up with the idea, and if he didn’t grab that moment of inspiration immediately, the song would be given to “Arlo.” Rush followed with covers of “Drift Away,” most notably a 1973 hit for Dobie Gray, and a medley of “Who Do You Love” and “Bo Diddley.”

You can watch the entire musical set in the embedded video. Mr. Rush appears about two minutes into the clip.

“Tom Rush: No Regrets” was the recipient of the 2013 “Best N.H. Documentary” at last year’s New Hampshire Film Festival. More information about the film can be found in the links below.

Keep up with Performing Arts Examiner news. Just click on Subscribe above, or follow @DylanExaminer on Twitter. Harold Lepidus also writes the Bob Dylan column for Thanks for your support.

‘My Son the Waiter… a Jewish (Mother’s) Tragedy’ (5 Stars) by India Pearl

May 02, 2014

The life of an actor in New York is often lived out as a waiter. We’ve all heard the stories about dog walkers, shoe salesmen, nannies, and anything else performers can do for work just to get by before that next audition. Mr. Zimmerman talks about his mother being supportive, but still overbearing and needling as many Jewish mothers are purported to be. Without ruining to story of his long life as an attempted artist, he spent TWENTY-NINE years as a waiter before “hitting the big time” and like many talented performers, he later discovered he had a talent and love for something aside from acting: standup comedy.

Brad Zimmerman is one of those comics that falls under the “Rule of Fame” in comedy. Although he has opened for some of the biggest names in the business, including George Carlin and Joan Rivers, he has never achieved a high level of fame himself. The “Rule of Fame” is that there are a number of comedians that are considered famous only among other comedians, but are not household names like Jerry Seinfeld or Dane Cook, so you may never hear of them. You would have to be fortunate enough to stumble upon them by accident in a late night New York comedy club. And even then, you may not remember their name while an open-mic comedian you will also never hear of is standing on the sidelines hoping for them to die so they can have their paid spots around town.

While I am also a fellow actor/comic, I should bow down to the perseverance of this man. In between his one-liners and details of touching and/or hilarious family life, there was story after story recounting every server’s nightmarish customers. And after all the years of dealing with indecisive and nitpicky diners, a cushy job in the family business would have been very appealing. Luckily for us - the packed house of an audience at the show at the Arlington Regent - he didn’t give in and discovered (slowly) just how talented he was.

Anyone that enjoys standup, grew up with an overbearing parent, or has worked in customer service will also enjoy this 90 minute journey with Brad Zimmerman. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry while laughing, and you’ll have a plethora of one-liner jokes to tell at your next dinner party, so long as you credit the funny man behind them. Brad Zimmerman is one of those famous-but-not-famous-comic gems that you shouldn’t miss out on, because who knows the next time he could be stumbled upon over at 24th Street. 

Click to Read Complete Review via Boston Events INSIDER


Apr 03, 2014

[Arlington, Mass. – March 19, 2014] Filmaker and musician Tim Jackson announces the premiere benefit screening of his new film WHEN THINGS GO WRONG: ROBIN LANE’S STORY including a special performance by Boston favorites Robin Lane & The Chartbusters (and friends). The premiere screening, post-screening Q&A, and performance takes place Friday, April 4 at 7pm at The Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street, in Arlington, MA. Tickets are $22 in advance and $27 day of and are available at or by calling

Robin Lane began as an artist singing with Neil Young in California’s Laurel Canyon music scene of the late 1960’s. A decade later, in the Boston punk scene, she achieved high critical praise with her own band, The Chartbusters, which became the 11th band on to be broadcast on MTV. After the birth of a daughter she was rejected by the music business and after decades of struggle and ups and downs, she began songwriting workshops for women who have survived trauma and abuse. The film is a feminist perspective on the difficulties of sustaining a career as an independent woman in male dominated business.

Directed by filmmaker and musician Tim Jackson who has played drums with Robin Lane for 35 years. The soundtrack features 21 songs by Robin Lane, many heard for the first time, with additional music by John Kusiak.

The film will be followed by a Q&A with both Tim Jackson and Robin Lane as well as live performances by Robin, The Chartbusters, Barrence Whitfield, Ramona Silver, and others.

For more details on the film, visit
781-646-4TIX. Proceeds raised will help secure publishing rights to the Robin Lane songs featured in the film.

About The Film – A Synopsis by Tim Jackson
The film begins in 1950’s Los Angeles where Robin Lane, daughter of Dean Martin’s accompanist, Ken Lane, was born. Neglected as a child, in and out of trouble, she would later discover the deeper issues that would affect her adult life, but inevitably contribute to her creativity.

Her adolescence was spent in Topanga Canyon in the 1960’s, where bands like the Byrds, the Doors, and Buffalo Springfield ruled the Sunset Strip and where they wrote the soundtrack to the riots and protest movements of the counter culture. Her musical talent was nurtured in this richly creative, but chauvinistic folk/rock revolution. Her peers were impressed with the talents of this “girl” singer, but the peace, love, drugs, and freedom of the age had a downside.

In her 20’s, Robin moved to the east coast and eventually to Boston, where she was seized with the energy and passion of punk rock. She changed her writing style and vocal approach and carefully assembled a band. Asa Brebner and Leroy Radcliff were plucked from Jonathon Richmond’s Modern Lovers. She added Scott Baerenwald on bass, and myself on drums. Robin called band The Chartbusters.

In 1979, after considerable local success and national recognition she and the band were signed to Warner Brothers Records. The group had the 11th video played on MTV, did several national tours, and was voted one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s Top 10 New Bands of 1980. Despite their success the band dissolved after 3 years. Soon after, when Robin announced her pregnancy, she was told “Once a woman has a baby in this business, she’s over.” As an artist and now a mother, years of struggle to maintain a musical identity intensified. Eventually, after coming to terms with her own past, her gift for music and melody have found their way to a remarkable series of songwriting workshops.

Robin’s journey, from Hollywood wild child to her success as an influential singer and songwriter, through her conflicts with managers, marriages, and money and finally developing and leading songwriting/healing workshops for abused woman, elders, and teens, engages a remarkable cast of characters and range of issues about abuse, survival, creativity, re-invention, and being female. The film unfolds through interviews, concert and archival footage, news clips, and photographs.

For 40 years, Robin Lane has demonstrated a natural gift for music and melody. Her songs, music, lyrics, and the lyrics of the women with whom she works provide the soundtrack. They offer a range of moods, thoughts, and obsessions. Her successes, failures, determination to create, to sing, to touch other lives are universal experiences. WHEN THINGS GO WRONG makes us reconsider the power and importance of music in a culture where the forgotten voices often sing the most powerful songs.

About Director Tim Jackson
Tim Jackson is an assistant professor at the New England Institute of Art in Boston. He has played drums in some 20 groups, on recordings, national and international tours, and film soundtracks. He has worked helter-skelter as an actor and has directed three documentaries: Chaos and Order: Making American Theater about the American Repertory Theater; Radical Jesters, profiling 11 interventionist artists and agit-prop performance groups, and When Things Go Wrong: The Robin Lane Story. He is currently finishing American Gurner, a documentary short about his participation in the British ‘gurning’ competition. He is a senior writer for The Arts Fuse, an on-line arts magazine.

About Robin Lane & The Chartbusters
In 1978, Lane formed the Chartbusters with Asa Brebner and Leroy Radcliffe (of The Modern Lovers), Scott Baerenwald and Tim Jackson. She had signed
with Private Stock Records, which shortly afterward went out of business. After Jerry Wexler saw a Chartbusters show, however, he signed the band to Warner Brothers. Their first album, Robin Lane & the Chartbusters (1980) featured the singles “When Things Go Wrong” and “Why Do You Tell Lies?”, earned favorable reviews, and received widespread airplay; the music video for “When Things Go Wrong” was the 11th song shown on MTV’s first American broadcast day, August 1, 1981. The band had two more releases on Warner, the EP “5 Live” (1980) and “Imitation Life” (1981). The limited commercial success of these records, combined with business disputes and Lane’s desire to have a child, led to the breakup of the Chartbusters in 1983. Lane continued writing and recording music, and released the independent EP “Heart Connection” (1984), the self-produced cassette In Concert (1989), and the full- length Catbird Seat (1995). She co-wrote the song “Wishing On Telstar” for the 1991 Susanna Hoffs album When You’re a Boy. In 2001, Lane and several of the Chartbusters regrouped for two reunion concerts, and decided to continue recording and performing; they released “Piece of Mind” in 2003. Since then, Lane has moved to western Massachusetts, where she works with the Turners Falls, Massachusetts Women’s Resource Center, using music therapy to aid survivors of abuse.

About The Regent Theatre
Built in 1916, the historic Regent Theatre remains true to its roots as a vibrant vaudeville house. An intimate 500-seat performing arts center with superior acoustics and comfortable seating, “Arlington’s Show Place of Entertainment” features live music concerts, theatre, dance events, family entertainment, comedy, film specials, and more.

For interviews, high resolution images, and more information, please contact Ami Bennitt, Ashmont Media, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Last Dance Productions presents the Last Waltz LIVE, re-creation of the Band’s classic concert film

Apr 03, 2014

Arlington, MA (PRWEB) March 31, 2014

Last Dance Productions announces a special live performance of the Band’s classic 1978 concert film The Last Waltz on Saturday, April 5 at 8PM at Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA. The concert features renditions of all the hits by the Band featured in the film, such as “The Weight,” “Up On Cripple Creek,” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” as well as songs by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Eric Clapton and many more. Musicians from the local music scene perform the songs of the film’s original special guests. The line-up of artists includes the Rev Tor Band, Gary Backstrom of Jiggle the Handle, Vance Gilbert, Chris Fitz, Jim Infantino of Jim’s Big Ego, Chris Nemitz and Charlie Carrazzo of Sun Jones, Regie Gibson, Adam Michael Rothberg, Emily Grogan, Todd Mack, Marina Evans, Vinny Serino of Boston Baked Blues, Nikki Howard, Les Sampou, Vykki Vox, and Richard Cambridge.

Tickets are on sale now. For sponsorship & playbill advertising opportunities, contact Brian Quinn at brian(at)lastdanceproductions(dot)com or (508) 789-7611.

Since 1996 the Rev Tor Band has maintained a powerful presence on the east coast club and festival circuit, performing in venues from Maine to Key West, Florida. In their home stomping grounds of New England, they keep a heavy performance schedule enthusiastically supported by a large following of dedicated fans.

The Last Waltz LIVE is a benefit for Music In Common, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen, empower, and educate communities through the universal language of music. Music in Common (MiC) produces free, publicly accessible concerts, school programs, and multimedia productions with an interest in underserved areas and communities where there is a history of conflict, providing a platform for the exchange of ideas and collaborations that can lead to positive social change. Based in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, MiC has toured to more than 100 communities across the United States, Middle East, and Far East, and operates multiple programs locally, nationally, and internationally.

For more information, images, or to arrange for an interview with Last Waltz LIVE musical director Tor Krautter or Music in Common executive director Todd Mack, please contact Melissa Zeigler: melissa(at)powderfingerpromo(dot)com or Emily Edelman at emily(at)musicincommon(dot)org / 413-591-8234

Can You See the Real Me? URO Kicks up The Who’s “Quadrophenia” March 29

Mar 23, 2014

Link to Complete Feature

The Who’s “Quadrophenia,” put bluntly, was the most key album of my youth. No, I didn’t live in London, ride a scooter, or was part of a gang (neither Mod nor Rocker). But I was a teenager, growing up with extreme joys and conflicts – with parents, with authority, with love and sex, with booze, with who the hell I wanted to be. It didn’t hurt that the protagonist was named Jimmy. The “four personalities in one body” thing written by Pete Townshend hit my psychic home and as a rock opera it cut closer to the bone than the more fanciful and mystical “Tommy.” It also had some of Keith Moon’s most frenetic drumming. So, it helped get me through my teenage years and has resonated throughout my life. I’ve seen the Who play it live four times, including their last time at TD Garden.

Boston’s Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra – responsible for keeping the songs of Queen, Bowie, Zeppelin and others alive and fresh – are now tackling this most complicated of projects Saturday March 29 at 8 at the Regent Theatre in Arlington. We had an e-chat with URO’s main man Sal Clemente on what this meant and why he and company are staging in.

JSInk: Why did you choose this?

Clemente: Last November, we’d just finished performing a well-received run of our version of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and putting something that complex together gave us a great feeling of accomplishment. We love that the URO gives us the flexibility to do special and different performances like JCS and we decided we wanted to do something equally ambitious. Leland Stein, at The Regent Theatre, suggested we do “Tommy” next, but “Quadrophenia” resonated more with me (and it turned out, with the members of URO) and I thought “Tommy,” although perhaps better known, just wasn’t as challenging as doing “Quadrophenia” would be. We pitched it to the theatre and they, to their credit, were all for it. “Quadrophenia” is an epic, seminal piece of music. It’s difficult to execute, but still accessible – by that I mean, like “Superstar,” there are anchor songs that keep it from wallowing into prog, so just when you think you might be lost, Pete gives you something that’s a bit easier to chew on – hard to swallow maybe, but easier to chew on. Hopefully, fans of The Who and the URO will appreciate that it’s not something bands do every day and come out to support the effort.

What does “Quadrophenia” mean to you personally?

I love the album and the songs. Being a kid and opening that record and reading Jimmy’s story and looking at those pictures while listening to the songs really did something that only the concept album can do. It allowed me, the listener, to build Jimmy’s world. This was a direct parallel to my experience with “Sgt. Pepper” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.”  Like “Superstar” I thought the URO could bring something new to it as well, which hopefully the audience will appreciate.

The songs on the album don’t tell a linear (filmable) story of Jimmy’s life, but really delve into the far edges of Pete Townshend’s id. Each song a complete arc of a story. As such, I don’t want to ‘see’ a linear story slapped onto these songs. I want the audience that hears us play “Quadrophenia” to take the same journey the record took me on – and that’s an aural journey. It’s the greatest of errors to try to slap a narrative onto a concept album like “Quadrophenia.” As evidence, the “Quadrophenia” film plainly fails to capture the breadth of storytelling of the recording, it bloody well ignores the record!

How difficult was this to learn?

We’re deep in the process and…it is extremely difficult. Some of the song structures are very unconventional. We also want to do what musicians are supposed to do and deliver something of ourselves to the music. For example, Pete’s demo version of “The Real Me” has a fifth verse that wasn’t on the original recording. I can understand why, at the time, they excised the verse, but now…the lyrics of that verse have a profound resonance to me, and I’m certain others. So I suggested we merge that verse into our arrangement of the song, which adds a few layers of risk to the effort because – will people appreciate the change, and will we execute the idea well enough? Another example -  we have put a gospel spin on the vocal and music arrangement of “Drowned”. Hopefully, these choices work for the piece as a whole and for the audience. “Quadrophenia” is also a bit bi-polar (Schizophrenic? I’m bleeding Quadrophrenic!) – one of our guitarists, Clinton Degan was saying that the first half of the piece (through “I’ve Had Enough”) is very firmly structured, but from “5:15” on things get more and more loose, almost like Pete (and the band) were falling apart as they struggled to complete the album. I don’t think that most folks appreciate the kind of effort it takes to write, record and produce a 90 minute piece of music that is held together by a single conceptual idea.

Were you affected by the fact that the Who kicked this album up last time through – and have played it with some regularity since its fall-apart debut back in the early 70s?

I think the fact that The Who continue to perform “Quadrophenia” regularly just goes to show how important it is to them (especially Pete). I heard Pete say in a recent documentary on the BBC that “Quadrophenia” was ‘the last great album by The Who.’ I remembered hearing about the rough launch of the first tour in the ‘70′s but I didn’t realize until recently that they had toured it as much as they have. Certainly they should. How many records now require you to listen to them front to back in order to receive the full message the artist intended to impart? But if you don’t listen through to “Love Reign O’er Me” then you don’t ‘get’ the moment of catharsis and if you don’t listen to what happens before then why would you need catharsis? “Quadrophenia” is a very important piece of music and deserves to be heard live – it’s also amazing to be a performer and sing and play these songs.

“Quadrophenia” gives us a little bit of a sugar high but there’s a big price to pay for it. That’s the kind of rock and roll that sticks with you for a long time and it must be kept alive, not just through recordings, but live performances. Unlike other creatures, we humans gather in large groups to share the experience of music…to find a communal feeling we can’t get anywhere else. In the history of humanity, no art form, no religion, has achieved this to the degree that rock music has. On March 29, in The Regent Theatre, 500 people (audience and performers) are going to go on a hell of a ride.

Pete Townshend dug down into himself to pull up every harsh truth about what it means to be young, invincible, and full of yourself, and then be forced to face the reality that you don’t know anything; that you’ll never get what really want but that there might be a way to live with that.
And then he worked with a tight-knit group of amazing musicians to give those truths artistic expression.  THAT is very difficult to do. Those truths are hard to look at; hard to listen to, but they are necessary and important – and they have immense value.

7 Medford St., Arlington, 781-646-4TIX (4849)

FUSE Film Feature: Local Rocker Robin Lane and Coming Back Strong “When Things Go Wrong”

Mar 23, 2014

Link to Complete Article

By Brett Milano

A few years back, film professor and director Tim Jackson (and Arts Fuse film critic) was looking for a particular kind of story to tell. “I wanted to tell something about creativity, something about aging, and something about women,” he recalls. It was Jackson’s wife who came up with the obvious answer: What about that woman he’d been playing music with for the past three decades?

The result is When Things Go Wrong, Jackson’s documentary about singer/songwriter Robin Lane, which gets its first public screening at the Regent in Arlington on April 4. A true local treasure, Lane is probably best-known for her early-‘80s near-stardom with the Chartbusters, a band that includes Jackson on drums and still plays on occasion (They’ll perform with a few special guests after the screening). But her story goes back to her ‘60s days as a child of Hollywood glamor, her long tenure as a Boston rock survivor, and her recent renaissance as a musical counsellor for abused women. “The story divides nicely into three acts,” says Jackson, an assistant professor at the New England Institute of Art. “I’ve seen a lot of rock documentaries, and they’re always about bands who are successful and ‘How did they get to be so wonderful?’ Or else they’re about people who are so damaged that you can’t believe they’re still alive. I’m more fascinated by the people in the middle, regular folks who live a creative life. That’s one of the questions I wanted to look at: How does a creative person make it through?”

Lane’s life, however, is far from run of the mill. Her first showbiz connection is one that her Boston fans didn’t always know about: She’s the daughter of Ken Lane, Dean Martin’s longtime pianist and the writer of his signature tune “Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime.” As Jackson explains, “He was a distant father at best—We leave [their relationship] ambiguous in the film, and I think it was ambiguous in her life. But when I started shooting and had Robin standing on the beach telling me about her father, I knew she was willing to talk about anything.” This includes her teenage life among the Laurel Canyon music royalty; she lived with Neil Young for a time and famously sang on his 1969 album, Everybody Knows This is Nowhere. “She was incredibly beautiful and enormously talented, so she was noticed.” Jackson had to leave a few priceless rock ‘n’ roll stories out of the film, simply because there are so many. He doesn’t mention, for instance, that Lane was sitting directly across the table from Stephen Stills when he wrote the classic “For What It’s Worth.”

Lane had her wilder days in Los Angeles, but by the time she came to Boston she was something of an anomaly; a folk-rocker who could play with punk bands at the Rat. She was more seasoned than her Boston contemporaries—and by then, a lot straighter. “Asa and I were the bad boys [guitarist Asa Brebner, still a Boston scene mainstay], but Robin never did a single drug on the road, she had Jesus. She was very good at putting up with us.” Like many other great Boston bands, the Chartbusters got close to national success—closer than most in fact, with two critically praised albums for Warner Brothers. In a scene bound to draw a houseful of boos, Lane got told she’d lost her contract because she’d gotten pregnant and couldn’t be a sex symbol anymore—though Jackson thinks that was just a convenient excuse to drop the band after their second album didn’t hit. “I didn’t wind up talking much about [the Chartbusters’ lack of bigger success], because I personally didn’t find it that interesting — I hate to do that thing where you have some minor success in a band, and that becomes the major achievement in your life.”

In telling the story, Jackson also had to confront the darker elements in Lane’s past — particularly her relationship with Leroy Radcliffe, the Chartbusters’ former guitarist and the father of Lane’s daughter. “I had heard that Leroy had been abusive, though I didn’t see any evidence of that while we were on tour — When you’re touring that much, things get a little unreal. And I was talking to Bill Flanagan [MTV producer and Lane’s longtime friend] who said, ‘You know, there’s two sides to every story.’ So I knew that I had to talk to Leroy myself, which was something I hadn’t planned on doing. Hadn’t seen him in years, but I went to LA where he was living in a houseboat. And he was looking great, friendly as could be. So I just said it: ‘Did you beat up on Robin?’ And he was honest — He said ‘I was abusive, but I asked her forgiveness and she gave it to me unconditionally’. Robin told me that was true.”

The story ends on an upbeat, focusing on Lane’s current work under the A Woman’s Voice banner; helping trauma survivors to heal through songwriting. It also focuses on Lane’s relationship with her daughter Evangeline, another bright spot in her life. “When you get to the last third of the story, the men disappear altogether,” Jackson notes. “So it really becomes a feminist story, about her resilience as a woman.” A Woman’s Voice was in fact the movie’s working title, but When Things Go Wrong, also the title of Lane’s most famous song, seemed more appropriate — especially if you know the song, which is about keeping hopeful when things get tough. “I realized that everything in the movie informs the songs Robin writes,” Jackson says. “For Robin this isn’t the swan song, it’s not her memorial. It’s a creative life that she is continuing, and that’s what makes it uplifting.”

Brett Milano has been covering music in Boston for decades, and is the author of Vinyl Junkies: Adventures in Record Collecting (St. Martins, 2001) and The Sound of Our Town: A History of Boston Rock & Roll (Commonwealth Editions, 2007). He recently returned from New Orleans where he was editor of the music and culture magazine OffBeat.

Fuse Concert Review (By Brett Milano): “Mission of Burma” — Boston’s Fab Four?

Feb 11, 2014

By Brett Milano

Just before going out on Sunday night to the Regent Theatre — an evening when the world was being prodded to remember the Beatles — I made a snarky Facebook post saying that “It’s a perfect night to celebrate that fab band that we’ve loved for all these years: Mission of Burma.” My implication was that Boston’s beloved experimental rockers somehow operated in a different universe than the Fab Four.

But as John and Paul once said, I should have known better. Because the current wave of Beatlemania apparently hit Burma as well, and that’s when they reached for their Revolver. Or more specifically, for a Revolver-era single: “Paperback Writer” and “Rain,” which kicked off the trio’s encore on Sunday night (sung respectively by drummer Peter Prescott and guitarist Roger Miller, with bassist Clint Conley doing his best McCartney-isms throughout). The band’s resident smart-aleck, Prescott yelled out “Sacrilege!” afterward — but in fact both tunes ranked with the most faithful covers Burma’s ever done; the distorted guitar lead on “Writer” was right up Miller’s alley. And with Burma’s soundman Bob Weston doing live tapeloops, it may be the first time “Rain’s” been played live with the backwards vocals in the right place.

One of the night’s other standouts also brought Beatle days to mind, though the song wasn’t Beatlesque at all. But “This is Hi-Fi” concerned a very mid-‘60s lyrical subject, the space-age fascination with recorded sound. And the song hinges on a single-note, staccato guitar lick that makes me think of the satellite noises that used to introduce AM-radio news bulletins. Like the rest of Burma’s last album Unsound (released in mid-2012), the song swerves away from pop conventions, with big, dissonant outbursts between the choruses. But there’s always something improbably catchy about Burma’s out-there moments, and maybe that’s where the Beatles’ mark comes in: It’s the difference between random noise and noise that swings.

For those keeping track, Mission of Burma – who broke up in 1983, and reformed in 2001 – have now been reunited more than three times as long as they were originally together. Which means their instrumental interplay is now more intuitive than ever — nobody ever careens off the road without the road joining them. They’re also making better use of the combined vocals, with a few surprising flashes of three-part harmony. And sometimes, as on the oldie “That’s How I Escaped My Certain Fate,” it was just a matter of all three members screaming at the right moment.

They’ve also kept the setlists unpredictable, always playing a couple well-known tunes but seldom doing them all (“Academy Fight Song” and “This Is Not a Photograph” were played on Sunday; “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver” wasn’t). Before the show, local Burma expert Eric Van named the frenetic “He Is, She Is” as one of the few old Burma songs that hasn’t been played since the reunion — and sure enough, it turned up on Sunday. Following that was an even bigger surprise: The Conley tune “Eyes of Men,” which was demoed in the early days but never formally recorded; Van reckons it was last played around 1980. A moment to mark for trainspotters, a fine and moody song for everybody else.

Prescott played an opening set with his other band Minibeast, a mostly-instrumental band that downplays guitar rock in favor of Prescott’s other passions: Soundtrack exotica, German experimental rock via Can and Faust, dub reggae and psychedelia. The opening tune alone covered all those bases – beginning as an ambient drone with the houselights still on, then gaining momentum as a pulsing bassline provided the hook. Prescott moved from synthesizer to drums and finally guitar, slashing out power chords while shouting one line of lyric: “This is an invitation!” An invitation to what, exactly? Maybe to join them in letting the imagination flow.

Brett Milano has been covering music in Boston for decades, and is the author of Vinyl Junkies: Adventures in Record Collecting (St. Martins, 2001) and The Sound of Our Town: A History of Boston Rock & Roll (Commonwealth Editions, 2007). He recently returned from New Orleans where he was editor of the music and culture magazine OffBeat.

From The Arts Fuse: Boston’s Online Arts Magazine

Mission of Burma plays benefit show for Somerville Local First at Regent Theatre February 9th, 2014

Jan 15, 2014

Somerville, MA, January 6, 2014 - The Regent Theatre in Arlington and Somerville Local First announced today that renowned post-punk band Mission of Burma will be playing a benefit concert for Somerville Local First on Sunday, February 9, 2014 at the Regent Theatre in Arlington. This will be Mission of Burma’s first Boston show in over a year and the only area scheduled performance in 2014.Minibeast, featuring Peter Prescott of Mission of Burma, and Bugs and Rats, from Quincy, MA, open.
Mission of Burma’s performance kicks off the first annual benefit show for Somerville Local First, a non-profit organization committed to supporting a diverse economy in Somerville, Massachusetts that is local, sustainable and fair. Funds raised from this concert will help support Somerville Local First’s efforts to help launch and nurture the development of independent businesses in the city.
Ticket Information: Tickets are $27.00 and $22.00 (includes $3.00 restoration fee) and can be purchased through the Regent Theatre Arlington online or at their box office located at 7 Medford Street in Arlington, MA, 781-646-4849. Doors are 7 PM with showtime at 7:30 PM. This is an all ages show. Beer and wine will be available for purchase by those 21 and over with proper I.D.
“I’m so excited and honored that Mission of Burma is lending their time and influence to the local movement. As local heroes themselves it’s great that they are supporting us in our mission to provide assistance to locally owned, independent businesses in Somerville.” said Kat Rutkin, Executive Director of Somerville Local First.
Leland Stein, Manager of the Regent Theatre Arlington added, “I’ve been a big fan of Mission of Burma since its early days and am very excited that the Regent is hosting this as our first major concert event of the new year. And, as supporter of the “shop local” movement - and the co-owner of a business that contributes significantly to the local economy - the fact that it’s a benefit for Somerville Local First is a bonus.”

Mission of Burma
Roger Miller (vocals, guitar) Clint Conley (vocals, bass) Peter Prescott (vocals, drums) and Martin Swope (loops) initially formed this internationally known post-punk band in 1979. They reunited in 2002 after a nearly 20-year hiatus with Bob Weston replacing Swope.
Widely credited with influencing bands such as Nirvana, the Pixies, R.E.M., Sonic Youth, and Yo La Tengo among others, Mission of Burma has released five studio albums - Vs., ONoffON, The Obliterati, The Sound The Speed The Light, Unsound, and their live album,The Horrible Truth about Burma - all to critical acclaim. They have also issued the Signals, Calls and Marches EP and a number of singles. Unsound, their latest album, was released in 2012. Artist Website:

The musical creation of Peter Prescott, (Mission of Burma, Volcano Suns, Kustomized and Peer Group), Minbeast combines surf, psych, punk, easy listening, 60’s children’s music, and soundtrack influences to create instrumental soundscapes. Minibeast released their firstself-titled vinyl album this year and became a four piece rock unit to play live performances. Prescott is joined by Gillian Chadwick (guitar), Alec Redfearn (bass) and Rick Pelletier (percussion).
Artist Website:

Bugs and Rats
Hailing from Quincy, Massachusetts and “making childish noise since 2003”, Bugs and Rats is Shawnie Brando (guitar/vocals), Kellzo (drums) and Radek Weirzbowski (bass). Playing together since high school, Bugs and Rats’ music supports liberation of the soul through their uncompromising adherence to unforgiving minimalism. Bugs and Rats has released three albums, Smart as a Whip (2004),Adidas (2010), and Get That F***ing Light Outta My Face (2012) as well as a number of singles and EPs. They plan on wrapping up a new record this winter, which moves their sound into even louder, harsher territory.
Artist Website:

About Somerville Local First: Celebrating all things local, Somerville Local First is a non-profit organization that is committed to supporting a diverse economy in Somerville, Massachusetts that is local, sustainable and fair. Its mission is to increase the ability of independent businesses to thrive in the community by supporting one another while protecting the well-being of future generations. Somerville Local First’s efforts make it possible for local dollars to work harder. For every $100 spent locally, it generates an additional $45 in secondary spending versus $14 from big box stores.
More information about Somerville Local First can be found at

About the Regent Theatre Arlington:
The Mission of Burma Benefit Concert for Somerville Local First will be presented at the historic Regent Theatre, located at 7 Medford Street (off Massachusetts Avenue) in Arlington, Massachusetts. Conveniently located minutes from Cambridge and Boston, the Regent Theatre is MBTA and handicap accessible with free parking in the municipal parking lot across the street. Reserved seats may be purchased for $22 or $27 online at, by calling 781-646-4849, or in person at the Regent Theatre box office. This is an all ages event, but beer and wine will be available for purchase to those 21 and over with proper I.D.
More information about the Regent Theatre Arlington can be found at

Regent One of Boston’s Top 5 Accessible Live Performance Venues for Families with Special Needs

Jan 15, 2014

as Reported on Mommy Poppins Boston...

We take our family out to concerts in the Boston area almost every weekend, and my eight-year-old son, Ivan, is in a wheelchair and totally blind. Accessibility is very important to us!

Below you’ll find my rundown of our favorite accessible theaters and live performance venues in the Boston area. I share pros and cons based on a multitude of special needs because I realize that the criteria for what’s accessible will be different for each family. Some kids are in wheelchairs, some have sensory issues, some have hearing or visual impairment and all will react differently in different environments! Find one that looks like a good match for your family and give it a shot! Remember, if it doesn’t work out you can always leave. No big deal.

The Regent Theatre in Arlington

Regent Theatre is our favorite spot for music, hands down. It’s a classic theater space and smells like movie theater popcorn, which can be a wonderful cue for kids plugged into scents. They also keep the house lights on during shows which is great for children with low vision who can get nervous in the dark. Everything is on one level in the theater and they have large open spots in the back of the theater for wheelchairs. The chairs in the back can be moved so if you need extra space just let them know and they’ll make an area for you.

The Regent also has a very large bathroom in the back of the theater (with a changing table) that’s great for families or kids that need more room.

The team at the Regent is extremely accommodating and understanding. If you need something special or different, just ask! We bring a large group to the Regent every year for our holiday party and they are always happy to welcome us back!


Spajazzy, Panettone and Italy Music Camp: OPEN HOUSE at Regent Underground Theater, Arlington

Dec 27, 2013

Spajazzy, Panettone and Italy Music Camp:
OPEN HOUSE at the Regent Underground Theater (RUT), Arlington Ma

Address: 7 Medford St, Arlington, MA 02474 Phone:(781) 646-4849

Please Join Us on December 29th from 5 to 8 Pm for the first of a series of Monthly events hosted by Spajazzy at the Regent Underground Theater (RUT) in Arlington Ma

Our first theme will be Panettone (the typical Italian Cake served around the holidays) which sets the pace for the Music of Spajazzy, a group founded ,with Spaghetti and Jazz in Mind, by Sergio Bellotti and Tino D’ Agostino in 1998.

Joined on stage by Steve Hunt on keys (formerly with Allan Holldsworth) ,Bill Vint on Sax, Multi instrumentalist Mark Greel and Ron Murphy on Vocals, Spajazzy will also present highlights from the past editions of “Musica Vesuviana Festival” in Italy and will showcase the great program set for the summer of 2014. Q & A about the Camp will be more than welcome: Meet the Teachers and some former students of this amazing ALL inclusive Music Camp/Festival held on the marvelous costa Cilentana (Sa)

This is a great opportunity to meet new friends, say BUON ANNO and HAPPY HOLIDAYS to old friends, hear some great Italian classics as well as some originals from the upcoming CD “Al Dente” featuring Mike Stern on Guitar

Free Admission—- All Ages——Free Will Donations will be welcome

For More Info: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 617 312 7090
Facebook Event:
Eventbrite :

PHOTOS: The Rock and Soul Holiday Show 2013

Dec 18, 2013

On Sunday, December 15, 2013, the fifth annual Rock and Soul Holiday Show took place at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts.

The event is sponsored by the folks that put the show on, huge thank you to Gary Sohmers and all of the talented musicians who performed at this years show.

Some of the musical artists this year included Christine Ohlman of the Saturday Night Live Band, Professor Doug Bell of Bellevue Cadillac, Danny Klein of J. Geils with his band, Danny Klein’s Full House, members of the New England band, Barrence Whitfield of the Savages, Greg Hawkes of the Cars, Sara Thompson, Mike Girard and the Fools, Charlie Farren, the Community Auditions band and Erin Harp and the Delta Swingers who are winners of the 2013 Boston Music Award for Best Artist of the Year.

Examiner went backstage to share some of the evenings photos with you.


Nov 22, 2013

On Saturday, December 7th at 8pm, Arlington’s historic Regent Theatre will present “An Intimate Evening with Art Garfunkel”—an acoustic performance with songs, anecdotes, prose and a unique audience Q&A session.

Blessed with what the New York Times described as a “beautiful countertenor,” singer ART GARFUNKEL has made an indelible mark on the music world as both a solo artist and half of the unrivaled Simon & Garfunkel.  He has also enjoyed a successful film career, published a book of poetry and released 12 solo albums, the most recent being SOME ENCHANTED EVENING in 2007.

Since then, he has been busy as a husband and father to his two sons, 23 year-old James and eight-year-old Beau Daniel.  He is also an avid walker who has walked across Japan, the US (celebrated in the 1997 concert DVD ACROSS AMERICA) and now Europe. 

GARFUNKEL was originally revered for his Grammy-winning, chart-topping songs and albums with partner and fellow NYC native Paul Simon.  Their greatest hits collection, which includes “Mrs. Robinson,” “Scarborough Fair,” “The Sound Of Silence,” “The Boxer” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” among others, is the biggest selling album ever. 

After Simon & Garfunkel parted ways in 1970, GARFUNKEL landed several major film roles, including “Carnal Knowledge” (opposite Jack Nicholson), “Catch 22” and Nicholas Roeg’s “Bad Timing/A Sensual Obsession.”  His solo debut ANGEL CLARE spawned the top 10 hit “All I Know.”  His other solo albums include BREAKAWAY (‘75; features the hit “I Only Have Eyes For You”), WATERMARK (‘78; featuring “[What A] Wonderful World” with James Taylor and Paul Simon), FATE FOR BREAKFAST (‘79), SCISSORS CUT (‘81), THE ANIMALS’ CHRISTMAS (‘86), LEFTY (‘88), GARFUNKEL (greatest hits, ‘88), UP TILL NOW (‘93), ACROSS AMERICA (‘97), SONGS FROM A PARENT TO A CHILD (‘97), EVERYTHING WAITS TO BE NOTICED (’03) and SOME ENCHANTED EVENING (’07).

The late ‘80s brought two new challenges for GARFUNKEL: he published Still Water, a collection of poetry in ‘89, and began an amazing trek across America—on foot.  But the ‘80s and ‘90s found GARFUNKEL doing what he does best: singing for an audience.  “Taking on the fear and vulnerability of a live show keeps you vital,” says GARFUNKEL, who relishes the opportunity to perform new and classic material for fans around the world.  “I’m a singer trying to get away with a lucky job.  I try to soothe, to lift…That’s my life.”

GARFUNKEL earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at Columbia College, majoring in Art History; later he earned his Masters degree in Architecture at Columbia University.  He lives in New York City with his wife Kim.  GARFUNKEL is an avid reader and has chronicled every book he’s read since June 1968 on his website–-1,193.

“An Intimate Evening with Art Garfunkel” will be presented at The Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street in Arlington, Massachusetts on Saturday, December 7th at 8pm (doors open at 7pm). Reserved seats are $43. The Regent is MBTA and handicap accessible with free parking in the municipal lot across the street. For tickets and more info, call 781-646-4849, or visit

A DIFFERENT KIND OF HALLOWEEN Infamous Radio Broadcast Recreated on October 31 at Regent Theatre

Oct 25, 2013

This new War of the Worlds theatre recreation will use classic Foley audio techniques (where sound effects are produced mechanically where possible) and will feature a cast of local media celebrities, including Christopher Lydon from WGBH; arts and entertainment critic Joyce Kulhawik; journalist Laura Raposa; Cha-Chi LoPrette from 100.7 WZLX, and others to be announced. The production will be directed by Nerissa Williams with Sound Design by Hal Wagner and with Foley Artist Austen Wright.

The live event will raise funds for The Orson Welles Complex, a new documentary produced and directed by Garen Daly about the legendary Cambridge art house. As one of the Cinema’s managers during its heyday, Daly is chronicling the unique story of the Welles with cinematographer Austin de Besche, noted for his work with John Sayles, among others.

“What more fitting tribute than to recreate War of the Worlds, the broadcast that launched Orson Welles’ career in the movies, as we embark on preserving the memory of the Orson Welles Cinema in a documentary film,” said Daly. “We thought it would be a lot of fun and a great way to commemorate the anniversary on Halloween night.”

For those living in the Cambridge area in the 1970s and 1980s, the Orson Welles Cinema figures prominently in their memories. Patrons enthusiastically relished the innovative programming that included midnight movies, revivals, and European films. Viewers discovered Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, and many others at the Welles. Tommy Lee Jones was the Cinema’s first manager, and Stephen King included the Welles in three of his stories. Through the years, the Cinema added a film school and a restaurant, and it spawned a generation of people dedicated to the arts who influenced the industry. Daly’s documentary The Orson Welles Complex is scheduled to release in 2015. Follow news and updates at

War of the Worlds live theatre event will take place Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 7:30pm at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA. Tickets are $20.00 in advance and $25.00 at the door. Purchase at the Regent Theatre box office or online at
The Regent Theatre is located at 7 Medford Street, Arlington, MA. (781) 646-4849


Oct 25, 2013

Tickets are $12 advanced and $15 day of show. In addition to the films, the Regent will be hosting a temporary exhibit from The International Life Cast Museum of Real Cast Imprints from the Faces of Hollywood Horror Films—including Bela Lugosi, Alfred Hitchcock, Stephen King and many more.

The film Vampyr (1932), screening on Saturday, November 2nd and Sunday, November 3rd is Carl Theodor Dreyer’s expressionist film based on a collection of supernatural stories. It portrays a densely layered vampire film with a mesmerizing atmosphere and unsettling imagery. Allan Gray (Julian West), a traveler obsessed with the supernatural and fascinated by the occult is assailed by various ghostly haunts and the evidence of vampires in a village outside of Paris.

The film The Phantom of the Opera (1925), screening on Saturday, November 2nd is the film adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s novel, staring Lon Chaney as The Phantom, in what is probably his most famous and certainly his most horrifying role. Erik, a deranged escaped prisoner haunts the Paris Opera House and becomes uncontrollably obsessed with an opera singer named Christine, putting her life in danger.

The film Nosferatu (1922), screening on Sunday, November 3rd is an adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic novel, Dracula. Real Estate agent, Thomas Hutter (Gustav von Wangenheim) is dispatched to Count Orlock’s (Max Schreck) castle in Transylvania to sell Orlock a house in Winbourg, Germany. After strange events occur, Hutter begins to suspect the Count is not entirely human, but discovers the secret too late. Orlock has already embarked on a trip to Wisbourg to prey on Hutter’s entranced wife.  {Continued Next Page}

The Andrew Alden Ensemble’s mission is to bring forth new music for classic films and chamber music. The ensemble produces textual scores with contemporary classical music, combined with rock and electronic influences, for an audience’s unique experience of classic films. The ensemble includes: composer Andrew Alden, playing piano and drum set; Beltran Del Campo, on violin and viola; and Teresa Alden performing electronic sound design, synthesizer and percussion. For more info:
Classic Horror Films with live musical accompaniment by The Andrew Alden Ensemble will be presented at the historic Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street in Arlington, Massachusetts on Saturday, November 2nd at 7:30pm (“Vampyr” & “Phantom of the Opera”) and Sunday, November 3rd at 2:00pm (“Vampyr & “Nosferatu”). General Admission tickets are $12 in advance, $15 day of show. The Regent is MBTA and handicap accessible with free parking in the municipal lot across the street. For tickets and info call 781-646-4849 or visit

About The International Life Cast Museum
The ILCM is a 501c3 non-profit institution, dedicated to building a permanent site in Massachusetts that will be fully accessible to touch for the visually impaired to enjoy.  A Life Cast is a three-dimensional copy of a human or other organic subject, derived from molding and casting techniques. It is virtually an imprint taken directly from the subject with the resulting cast looking exactly like the original. Most of the time it is a face cast or a hand cast. 
Our exhibit at the Regent Theatre will represent a small portion of the many life casts of Hollywood Actor’s faces in the collection. More specifically, due to the nature of the films being presented, they are motion picture stars that will forever be linked to the characters they brought to life (or death) in the Horror films they starred in. Among those being shown for November 2nd and 3rd are Boris Karloff, Linda Blair, Alfred Hitchcock and Bela Lugosi. We look forward to bringing you face to face with history.
We encourage you visit our website  where you can view a portion of the diverse collection and how it will be exhibited in our future facility. The collection includes life casts of Historical figures, including a Pope, Tsars, Presidents and the Queen of England. Other areas will be devoted to Nature casts, Fine Art Body casts, life casts of people ‘making a difference’ in society with their selfless acts that have benefited the masses, and a room that will house the life masks and stories of Holocaust survivors.

Regent to Host Boston Premiere of “Beer Hunter: The Movie” Thursday, November 7

Oct 08, 2013

7 Medford Street, Arlington, MA   02474 * 781-646-4849 *
Regent Theatre to Host Boston Premiere of “Beer Hunter: The Movie”
Story of How Michael Jackson, aka “The Beer Hunter,” Influenced the World of Craft Beer
Event to Feature Guest Speaker, Tom Acitelli, noted author of The Audacity of Hops… Plus Local Craft Beers

Thursday, November 7
Doors open at 6:30 / Film at 7:30
General Admission: $8 (advance) $10 (day of show)

Contact: John Voci
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Beer Hunter: the movie is an homage to the late British writer and journalist Michael Jackson.  A legend in the world of craft brewing, Jackson’s landmark 1977 book, The World Guide to Beer, was the first of its kind and the first to categorize almost every major style of beer in the world. Jackson viewed beer as a component of culture and described beer in a cultural context. The Beer Hunter, his 1993 television series, helped launch the craft beer movement. Jackson was also the author of several other influential books on both beer and whisky, and also wrote columns and articles for numerous publications.

Jackson’s influence was so significant that he was appointed an honorary officer of Belgium’s Ridderschap van de Roerstok in 1997 for his contribution to the international success of Belgium beer, an honor previously bestowed only on brewers. He was the first winner of the achievement award of the institute for Brewing Studies in the US and was elected chairman of the guild of beer writers in Britain. He was also honored in France and Germany.

Filmmaker JR Richards began working with Jackson in 2004 on a series of videos for Jackson’s Rare Beer Club. Richards followed Jackson on his many trips through Europe and the US and discussed the idea of making a documentary with Jackson and another Beer Hunter series. After Jackson’s death in 2007, Richards decided that the footage from these travels would be made into a documentary.

Beer Hunter: the movie features interviews with noted brewers including: Fritz Maytag (Anchor Brewing), Garrett Oliver (Brooklyn Brewing), Charlie Parpazian (Brewers Assoc.), Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head Craft Brewery), Tomme Arthur (Lost Abbey), and Greg Koch (Stone Brewing).

Special Guest, Tom Acitelli, author of The Audacity of Hops: The History of America’s Craft Beer Revolution will introduce the film and speak afterwards about Jackson’s influence and the development of craft beer in the United States. A regular contributor to Town & Country and founding editor of Curbed Boston, Acitelli was a senior editor at The New York Observer for five years; and has written for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg View, New York Post, Redbook, and All about Beer. 

Beer Hunter: the movie will be presented at the Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street in Arlington, Massachusetts on Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 7:30pm (doors at 6:30). General Admission tickets are $8 in advance, $10 day of show. The Regent is MBTA and handicap accessible with free parking in the municipal lot across the street. For tickets and info call 781-646-4849 or visit

For this special event, The Regent will serve beer exclusively from Massachusetts brewers provided by the event’s sponsors: Berkshire Brewing Company, Cisco Brewers, and Samuel Adams.

Sponsors of November 7 “Beer Hunter” Film Premiere Event

Beer Advocate
Beer Advocate is a global, grassroots network, powered by an independent community of beer enthusiasts and industry professionals who are dedicated to supporting and promoting beer. Based in Boston, Beer Advocate was founded in 1996 by Jason and Todd Alström to wake the masses to better beer options, give beer consumers a voice, empower them to learn, share, and advocate, rally to support the beer industry and to put the respect back into beer.

Berkshire Brewing Company
Located in South Deerfield, MA, Berkshire Brewing Company was established in 1994 by Christopher Lalli and Gary Borgoff. BBC’s goal is to produce clean, fresh, well balanced ales and lagers in small batches. All BBC beer is unfiltered, unpasteurized and brewed without any chemical additives or preservatives. In addition to its signature Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale, BBC produces eight other styles of beer year round and seven seasonals.

Cisco Brewers
Cisco Brewers was founded in 1995 by Randy and Wendy Hudson and is located on Nantucket Island. Whale’s Tale Pale Ale is the flagship brand but the brewery has also received much acclaim for some smaller batch beers from their Island Reserve and Woods Series Beers. Sister companies Triple Eight Distillery and Nantucket Vineyard sit on the same site just one mile from picturesque Cisco Beach. Open year round this a world class drinking destination.

Craft Beer Cellar
Craft Beer Cellar was founded in 2010 by ex-restaurateurs Kate Baker and Suzanne Schalow on a desire to create a beer store that they would want to shop at, passion for the industry, and a commitment for changing the world of beer. They fell in-love with craft beer in the late ‘90s, and began a quest (which they’re still on) for amazing beer, the people behind it, and all that it entails! Their focus is on awesome beer with flavor, not those beers whose ingredients are intended to lighten color or lessen quality.  Craft Beer Cellar currently has stores in Belmont and Winchester with new stores scheduled to open in Braintree, Chelmsford, Newton and Waterbury, Vermont.

Samuel Adams
Samuel Adams is America’s leading craft brewer, brewing handcrafted, full-flavored beers. With more than 50 styles of craft beer, the brewery relentlessly pursues the development of new styles and the perfection of classic beers by searching the world for the finest ingredients.  Jim Koch first brewed Samuel Adams Boston Lager in 1984, challenging conventional thinking about beer. Samuel Adams continues to innovate with industry firsts like barrel aging beer, and has won more awards in the last five years than any brewery.

John Wetton tours US with District 97 featuring music of King Crimson—Fri Oct 11 at Regent

Sep 27, 2013

John Wetton tours US with District 97 featuring music of King Crimson
John Wetton (Asia, UK, King Crimson) records and performs with rising talents District 97 featuring popular American Idol female finalist Leslie Hunt. Following a successful European tour in May, iconic vocalist John Wetton rejoins the rising prog rock talents in October for a USA tour.This is a special treat for fans of both new music and those of John Wetton. Selections from District 97 will be played along with songs from King Crimson—many not performed live since the 70s.


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John Wetton With District 97
John Wetton With District 97
PRLog (Press Release) - Sep. 4, 2013 - NEW YORK—Iconic vocalist John Wetton joins District 97 for a 2 week US tour featuring the music of King Crimson

John Wetton (Asia, UK, King Crimson) records and performs with rising talents District 97 featuring popular American Idol female finalist Leslie Hunt.


Following a successful European tour in May, iconic vocalist John Wetton (Asia, UK, King Crimson), rejoins rising talents District 97 (with American Idol favorite Leslie Hunt) in October for a USA tour.

John Wetton is considered one of the outstanding vocalists and songwriters of modern rock. He is one of the world’s most popular musicians and responsible for some of the most memorable hits in rock and roll.

John has continually supported young rising talents throughout his career. He lends his vocals to new bands in recordings and live performances. He is one of the original celebrity instructors of the famous School of Rock. He has recorded a special track, ” The Perfect Young Man,” with District 97 for their sophomore release Trouble With Machines.John Wetton is District 97’s featured guest on their October tour of the USA. This tour follows a successful series of well-received dates in Europe in May.

This US tour is a special treat for fans of both new music and of John Wetton.  Selections from District 97 will be played along with a series of songs from King Crimson, many of which have not been performed live since the seventies.

John Wetton Explains:

“It goes without saying that I am very much looking forward to once more sharing the stage with District 97—-the most exciting, explosive and musical band of its generation.  Audiences can also enjoy a little of what blazed the trail 40 years ago in the same evening. How magical!”

Jonathan Schang, drummer and bandleader of District 97 adds:

“Touring Europe for the very first time was a thrill, but to have the opportunity to do so with John was an incredible honor.  We found out very quickly that not only was John as amazing a musician as his legacy suggests, but also an extremely fun and enjoyable person to spend time with on the road.  I’m very much looking forward to having that experience again, and bringing this presentation back home to the USA.”

For a taste of the concert to come. 21st Century Schizoid Man performed by John Wetton and District 97:

Concert dates::

10/6-Shank Hall, Milwaukee, WI
10/7-Winchester Music Hall, Lakewood, OH
10/8-Jammin’ Java, Vienna VA
10/9-Sellersville Theater, Sellersville, PA
10/10-The Lost Horizon, Syracuse, NY
10/11-Regent Theater, Arlington, MA
10/12-Chameleon Club at Cara Irish Pub, Dover, NH
10/13-Roxy and Duke’s Roadhouse, Dunellen, NJ
10/15-Iridium, New York City, New York
10/17-Reggie’s Rock Club, Chicago, IL

*10/14-John Wetton with The Les Paul Trio, Iridium, New York City, New York

Please visit for more details and ticket info.

For more information on John Wetton, please go to


Sep 10, 2013

NEW YORK, NY (August 15, 2013)– SpectiCast and Eagle Rock Entertainment are once again collaborating to distribute the long-awaited DREAM THEATER: LIVE AT LUNA PARK concert film to theatres worldwide beginning Thursday, September 19, 2013 including Arlington’s Regent Theatre at 7:30pm.  This anticipated cinematic event was captured over two nights during the final leg of the band’s 15-month “A Dramatic Turn Of Events” world tour, which hit 35 countries. DREAM THEATER: LIVE AT LUNA PARK was filmed in Buenos Aires, Argentina – home to one of Dream Theater’s most ardent fan-bases.  DREAM THEATER: LIVE AT LUNA PARK runs for 160 minutes and features many of Dream Theater’s classic tracks, including, “Metropolis Pt. 1,” “The Silent Man,” “Pull Me Under,” “The Root Of All Evil,” “The Test That Stumped Them All,” “The Spirit Carries On,” and the recent track “On The Backs Of Angels.” Dream Theater formed in 1985 under the name Majesty and has remained a top name in progressive metal ever since.  “DREAM THEATER: LIVE AT LUNA PARK is a fantastic addition to our ROCK IN CINEMA series,” said Mark Rupp, Co-Founder and President of SpectiCast.  “We are delighted to continue our relationship with Eagle Rock Entertainment, bringing theatrical releases of concerts by some of the world’s best musical groups to theatres around the globe.”  DREAM THEATER: LIVE AT LUNA PARK will premiere on the SpectiCast network beginning September 19 2013.  For more information, visit and

Furthermore, DREAM THEATER – the first self-titled collection in the GRAMMY®-nominated band’s nearly three decade career – arrives at last on September 24th.  The album is now available for pre-order in a wide range of distinctive versions, including standard and special edition CDs, 180 Gram Vinyl Double LP, and a Limited Edition Box Set. Fans who pre-order the album via the iTunes Store will receive an instant free MP3 download of the Dream Theater’s new single, “The Enemy Inside.” Preorders are also available at Dream Theater’s Webstore as well as at the Roadrunner Records Webstore.

**** Notes To Editors: SpectiCast is the fastest growing all-digital distribution company in the world, distributing film, cultural arts events, and alternative-content programs to both theatrical and non-theatrical venues around the globe. SpectiCast markets and distributes the finest 2D and 3D programs using the industry’s most advanced technologies for some of the world’s most prestigious cultural arts organizations including Opéra de Paris, Salzburg Festival, Paris Opéra Ballet, Mariinsky Theatre, the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra and others. SpectiCast’s fast growing slate of alternative content and “event cinema” includes classic-and modern-music events from best- selling artists including Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pat Metheny, Andre Rieu, and Jimi Hendrix, as well as world-class theatre events including Great Expectations from London’s Vaudeville Theatre, Stephen Sondheim’s Company, and Phantom of the Opera from The Royal Albert Hall. SpectiCast distributes hundreds of programs to more than 1,400 theatres in 24 countries on six continents. SpectiCast is a privately owned and operated firm based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Eagle Rock Entertainment is the largest producer and distributor of music programming for DVD, Blu-Ray, TV, Audio and Digital Media in the world.  Eagle works directly alongside talent to produce top quality, High Definition and 3D programs, both concerts and documentaries, including The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Who, Queen, The Doors, Jeff Beck, U2, Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney and Ozzy Osbourne. Eagle is a Grammy Award winning company and has received over 30 multi-platinum, over 50 platinum and over 90 gold discs, worldwide.  Eagle Rock Entertainment has offices in London, New York, Toronto, Paris and Hamburg.
For more information regarding this and other Eagle Rock Entertainment releases, contact Carol Kaye at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow us on Facebook at  Follow Eagle Rock Entertainment at: Facebook: Twitter: YouTube:  For more information about DREAM THEATER: LIVE AT LUNA PARK screening, contact:  Information & Booking: Mark Rupp SpectiCast .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (215) 381-3901 Publicity: Versa Manos | Robert Hensley Gorgeous PR .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  (323) 782-9000

For more information about EAGLE ROCK ENTERTAINMENT, contact:
Carol Kaye Kayos Productions, Inc.
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
(212) 366-9970


Sep 01, 2013

Los Angeles, CA – Syndctd Entertainment & International Films Management (IFM) have officially announced they will theatrically re-release Perry Henzell’s cult classic film “The Harder They Come,” to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of its US premiere.  On opening night in Kingston, Jamaica, the reggae-fueled hit provoked riots when thousands could not get into the sold-out Carib Theater.  The February 1973 launch in New York led to six straight years of cannabis-smoke filled midnight screenings around the United States and has gone on to become one of the best regarded independent films of all time.

This fall, one-night-only screenings in North America and the United Kingdom will commence with a special showing in Los Angeles on September 3rd at the Arclight Cinemas Hollywood.  The film will then be released worldwide at theatres in most major markets with a special screening at Arlington’s Regent Theatre on Friday, September 6 at 7:30pmm—featuring live music from the Boston Jazz Reggae Trio before the screening.
“The Harder They Come” stars GRAMMY winning legend Jimmy Cliff as Ivan Martin, an aspiring reggae singer-songwriter, who turns to life as an outlaw after being swindled by the corrupt record industry.  Directed and produced by the late Perry Henzell, and co-written with Trevor Rhone, the film ranked among AMC’s all-time Cult Classics.  “I had a choice when I set out,” Henzell once said, “to make a film for Jamaicans or…for the rest of the world.  I chose to make a film for Jamaica.” 

In the end, the film’s impact was felt far beyond the Caribbean, introducing both Jamaica and reggae to the world while launching Jimmy’s music career to international success.  “I knew 40 years ago we had something special with the film. With the re-release of “The Harder They Come,” combined with my upcoming tour and recent Grammy win, I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the past, present and future.” says Jimmy.

To commemorate the 40th Anniversary, the film will be released theatrically in its fully restored and re-mastered version for pristine theatrical presentation, by IFM’s long time distribution partner Xenon Pictures, who will be releasing a Blu-ray version for release later in 2013.  As a part of Syndctd’s 360-degree approach to re-launching the classic film to a new audience, a brand new merchandise line has been created with a fresh take on vintage artwork from the film.  Fans around the world will be able to purchase the clothing at select theatres, national retail outlets and online through the film’s newly revamped website (  Syndctd also ran a very successful crowd-sourced poster re-design contest on Facebook, asking fans and artists to submit their own take on the original poster artwork.  The commemorative winning poster design will be displayed in theatres nationwide. “We are honored to be working with Justine Henzell at IFM and Jimmy Cliff to re-release such a classic and historic film back onto the big screen.  Xenon’s newly restored version and the film’s unforgettable soundtrack will be an amazing experience for fans of all generations to enjoy in movie theatres around the world,” say Syndctd Entertainment co-founders Philip Camino and Jonathan Chaupin.
In conjunction with the re-release of “The Harder They Come,” Jimmy will embark on a 17 date tour, performing in intimate theatre and club settings in the US on his “2013 Many Rivers Crossed Tour,” beginning September 6.  For tickets, info and other tour dates, visit

* To celebrate the start of the live Jimmy Cliff tour, The Regent will be giving away pairs of tickets to the September 25 Boston House of Blues concert at the September 6 screening event.


Syndctd Entertainment ( is a full-service film marketing and distribution company, offering filmmakers and studios a multi-platform release strategy with their vast network of exhibitor, VOD/digital, and home entertainment partners.  Syndctd has worked with numerous globally recognized artists and filmmakers to release their films around the world, and help them navigate the new media landscape with direct-to-fan marketing and targeted social media engagement.

International Films Management retains all rights in “The Harder They Come” and various other intellectual property created by Perry Henzell.  IFM is an active production partner in the live musical adaptations of the film and other The Harder They Come-related projects in the works.  Jason and Justine Henzell own the company.


The 40th anniversary theatrical re-release of “The Harder They Come” with live music for the Boston Jazz Reggae Trio will be presented by the historic Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street, in Arlington, MA on Friday, September 6, 2013 at 7:30pm. General Admission tickets are $9.50 in advance and $12.50 day of screening. The Regent Theatre is handicap and MBTA accessible with free parking in the municipal lot across the street. For tickets or more info, call 781-646-4849 or visit

Zombies Perform To Sold-out Crowd at “Wonderfully Renovated” Regent Theatre

Aug 09, 2013

Written by John Reed for

Link to Complete Review

The music world was all abuzz last year when the Rolling Stones’ 5oth anniversary as a band officially arrived. And while the band just finished their tour to celebrate (which is now Mick Jagger and the boys’ 51st year as a band) - it is interesting to note that another band from that era, The Zombies, were actually started 52 years ago! One of the original British Invasion bands (and one of the best), The Zombies performed (and sold-out) at the wonderfully renovated Regent Theater in Arlington, MA on July 7, 2013. Lead singer Colin Blunstone revealed the age of the band on stage and it was amazing as The Zombies as in as great form now as they were during their early hit making days.

Fronted by original members Blunstone and Rod Argent, The Zombies were, and are, one the most interesting and accomplished bands of all time. Celestial vocals and harmonies combined with master musicianship and songwriting skills which match those of Brill Building/Motown alums, the bands catalogue is one of the most captivating ever put on record.

Opening their show with “I Love You” and Solomon Burkes “Can’t Nobody Love You,” it was jaw dropping to hear the power in Blunstone’s vocals. When they did a cover of Jimmy Ruffin’s “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted,” it was a reminder that the Zombies really have soul to spare.

Since the Zombies were the creators of one of the greatest and highly critically acclaimed records ever made,” Odyssey and Oracle,” they dished out a good sampling of the record on Sunday.

Blunstone reminded the crowd that Dave Grohl’s favorite song is the lead off cut from “Odyssey and Oracle,” “Care of Cell 44,” which the group pristinely resurrected in all its angelic harmonic filled glory. “Time of the Season” is where Rod Argent shined (as he did many times this night) as his complex and infectious keyboard led solo astounded.

Argent and Blunstone were very quick to give credit to former Zombie bassist Chris White (whose son’s band, Et Tu Brucé, opened the show) for his songwriting contributions and even told of how White wrote the majority of the wildly successful hit “Hold Your Head Up” for the band Argent (the band that Rod Argent formed after the original Zombies spilt), which was a centerpiece of the Zombies set. It was also made extra special as current bass player Jim Rodford is now in the Zombies. Rodford, who is a masterful bassist, has a resume that included an 18 stint with The Kinks (and he was originally asked to be in the Zombies).

The show ending “Just Out of Reach” was a treat, as band had done the song for the 1965 Otto Preminger film “Bunny Lake Is Missing,” was followed by a killer revamping of ”Summertime” (from the Zombies first album), which was appropriate for the heat wave that was going on just outside the theater that night.

Liner notes from the bands 1997 box set ” Zombie Heaven” stated that the only time the original Zombies played Massachusetts was at the Pittsfield Boys Club in 1966 (however, the current version of the band has performed in Massachusetts more recently). Not an appropriate place for such an iconic band, so it was great to see then in a venue more fitting for one of the coolest quintets of all time.


Aug 09, 2013

from DIG BOSTONPosted on July 12, 2013 by Blake Maddux


Despite what the four-disc 1999 box set Zombie Heaven might suggest, the band did not record an enormous amount of material during its early- to late-60s time together. (Zombie Heaven, like most box sets, includes live and alternate versions of many songs.) Therefore, it was not surprising that Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone performed covers from their days with The Zombies as well as songs from their respective careers after the two wandered off in separate directions.

These performances came across as being less artificial padding than evidence that Blunstone and Argent were proud of the work they’ve done in throughout their five professional decades. Although Blunstone’s solo song declared “I Don’t Believe in Miracles,” the performance of the Motown classic “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” made it clear that he didn’t mean Smokey Robinson’s band.

Additionally, the inclusion of “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?”, a huge hit in 1966 for Motown legend Jimmy Ruffin, served as a reminder that the major (and minor) British Invasion bands – as unique as their individual sounds ended up being – were all rooted in American blues, soul, and R&B.

As nice as these were to hear, Argent and Blunstone knew damn well that the crowd was there for Zombies songs. Happy to oblige, the quintet started off the set with “I Love You,” “Can’t Nobody Love You?” and “I Want You Back Again.” They also drew four tracks from their latest album, 2011′s Breathe Out, Breathe In, of which Argent said the band was very proud.

In addition to “Time of the Season,” the boys served up “A Rose for Emily,” “Care of Cell 44” (in which the narrator joyously awaits his jailbird lover’s imminent release from the slammer), “This Will Be Our Year” (which, as Argent pointed out, Nike used in a Father’s Day commercial featuring Tiger Woods), and “I Want Her She Wants Me,” the song that might single-handedly deserve credit for there being a band called Belle & Sebastian.

Following this odyssey of classics was a mix of the aforementioned covers, new songs, the 1965 smash hit “Tell Her No,” and perhaps the oddest selection of evening, “Old and Wise,” an Alan Parsons Project song on which Blunstone sang lead back in 1982. (Odd, yes, but as I said before, Rod and Colin are proud of their long careers.)

The blokes ended the main set with “She’s Not There,” the song that catapulted them to stardom in 1964. Then, without perfunctorily heading backstage for the customary 30 seconds or so, they kicked into the extremely well-chosen “Just Out of Reach,” which appeared – along with the band – in the 1965 Otto Preminger film Bunny Lake Is Missing.

(Quick note about the opening act, Et Tu Brucé: Lead singer and songwriter Jaime White is the son of Chris White, the original Zombies bassist who wrote more than half of the songs on Odessey and Oracle in addition to – as Rod Argent said during the show – “90% of ‘Hold Your Head Up’.”)

Arlington will come alive with FREE Summer Arts Block Party Saturday July 13 in Arlington Center

Jul 02, 2013

June 24, 2013- The Arlington Alive Summer Arts Block Party, a day to celebrate the arts, will take place on Saturday, July 13 in Arlington Center.  From Noon to 5:00pm at Broadway Plaza (rain date July 14) come enjoy live performances that include zydeco with the Squeezebox Stompers, bluegrass and Texas Swing with The Bagboys, family fun with Ben Rudnick & Friends and Margot Fox, plus a special performance from Jon Cohan & His Golden Rulers featuring Woody Giessmann of the Del Fuegos

A Family Arts Area will offer art activities for all ages, the Promenade of Arts with feature booths of local artists showcasing their works, and the Food Court will feature local restaurants. Plus more music will be heard on the Acoustic Second Stage.

Then come to The Regent Theatre from 6:30pm to 9:30pm (rain or shine) to enjoy more, including music from the Liberty Belle Chorus, live dance performances from Intimations Dance & Calamity Dance Company, scenes from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” from Arlington Children’s Theater, improv with True Story Theater and a selection short films curated by the Arlington International Film Festival.

All events are free and open to the public.

More Information

THE GOOD SON: The Life of Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini—Sneak Preview with Mancini Q&A Mon 6/17

Jun 15, 2013

Film Synopsis
In the 1980s, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini was the world lightweight boxing champ, an adoring public considered him a national hero, the real-life Rocky. Born and raised on the rough streets of Youngstown, Ohio, Mancini was cast as the savior of a sport: a righteous kid in a corrupt game. The champ who fought for those left behind in busted-out mill towns across America.  But on November 13, 1982, in a brutal battle at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas everything changed when Mancini’s challenger, Duk Koo Kim, went down in the 14th round and never regained consciousness. Three months later, Kim’s despondent mother took her own life. The deaths would haunt Ray and impact his carefully crafted image, suddenly transforming boxing’s All-American   Boy into a pariah.

Official Trailer:

Tickets can be purchased at:

WHAT:  The Gathr Preview Series introduces the Acclaimed Documentary The Good Son: The   Tragic Story of Boxer Ray ‘Boom Boom” Mancini. Ray Mancini will be available for interviews and photo ops prior to the screening and will participate in a post screening Q&A. If interested, please let us know as we would love to have the support of the region’s print media!

WHO: Ray ‘Boom Boom’ Mancini

WHEN: Monday, June 17, 2013
7:00 PM Pre-Screening Interviews/Photo Ops
7:30 PM Screening Begins
9:00 PM Post-Screening Q&A With Ray ‘Boom Boom’ Mancini

WHERE:  Regent Theatre
7 Medford Street, Arlington, MA
Box Office 781-646-4849

Media Contact:  David Stamps / 323-512-4100

The Gathr Preview Series gives audiences in select cities including Pittsburgh, the chance to see the best new independent cinema in theaters before anyone else - even before the NYC and LA releases. Think of it as your year-round film festival, movie club, and mid-week date night all rolled into one! Join us, bring your friends, and be the first to see the movies everyone will be talking about! A new film every week! 4 films per month * Members get free tickets and guaranteed seats to each screening * Frequent Post-screening discussions and surprise screenings * Limited memberships available - less than $5 per movie. 

Mass. native turned New Yorker returns to his roots with “Transitions”: An Evening of Tap Dance

Jun 13, 2013

Former Massachusetts resident Ryan P. Casey will return to his roots on Friday, June 14th as director and choreographer of an evening of tap dance, “Transitions,” presented at The Regent Theatre in Arlington at 8:00 p.m.

The show, Casey’s first full-length endeavor, will feature original tap choreography – solo, duet, trio and ensemble work – set to a variety of music, from Dinah Washington and Tower of Power to Harry Connick, Jr. and Shel Silverstein.

Poetry, humor, hip hop and other elements are also included in the program.

Some of the material has been previously presented at such venues as the Massachusetts Dance Festival, Dance for Life Boston, Monkeyhouse Dance’s “Against the Odds” Festival and The Yard on Martha’s Vineyard.

Casey, 22, studied at The Dance Inn of Lexington and Arlington for 13 years, honing his tap skills under the tutelage of Director Thelma Goldberg and Kelly Kaleta while also training in other styles. During his time with the studio’s Legacy Dance Company, he performed at venues like Tap City: The New York City Tap Festival, the Boston Center for the Arts, and the annual Boston Dance Alliance gala.

Additionally, the 6’8” hoofer was the recipient of a YoungArts award from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, appeared on an episode of “So You Think You Can Dance” and was a student of the inaugural tap program at The School at Jacob’s Pillow.

Now on faculty with the Legacy Dancers, he continues to work both as a soloist and choreographer while also dancing for Bessie-award winner Michelle Dorrance in her New York City-based company, Dorrance Dance.

In May, he graduated from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a self-designed B.A. in “The Sociology and Morality of Literature” and had the honor of performing at Lincoln Center.

Several former Legacy Dancers will also join him onstage for the show. Kaleta, a Boston native now living and teaching in Connecticut, will perform a series of duets with Casey that the two choreographed together.

“The show is entitled ‘Transitions’ because I created a lot of this work during, or as a result of, changes in my life and my career,” Casey said. “Some of it was inspired by my pilgrimage to New York City; some of it explores how I overcame the hindrances and self-consciousness caused by my unique body type; and the show overall represents a shift into my newfound roles as choreographer and director.”

Tickets ($27, or $20 for groups of 10 or more) will be available online and at the door. More information can be found at or

Regent Theatre to Present an Evening of Comedy, Magic & Music for Krystle M. Campbell Memorial Fund

May 04, 2013

On Monday, May 13 at 7pm, the Regent Theatre in Arlington Massachusetts will present a special evening of performances to benefit the Krystle M. Campbell Memorial Fund. The variety show—“Laughs, Licks & Awesome Tricks”—will feature musicians Vance Gilbert, Jesse Dee, Erin Harpe & Richard Rosenblatt, Franc Graham, Patrick Coman and Serge Clivio, along with comedian Mike Prior and Jenny the Juggler. The evening’s emcee will be magician Matt Roberts.

“After the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, we were approached by several performers who suggested the Regent host some type of fundraiser for the victims,” says Regent co-owner Leland Stein. “Learning that Krystle recently lived and worked in Arlington, we decided to put together a vibrant show to celebrate her life, and give 100% of the ticket proceeds to the fund her family has set up in her memory.”

Two of the featured performers were moved to write about the tragedy: Vance Gilbert noting in his Blog, “…The horror fazes me, hurts me, but doesn’t daunt me…” and Patrick Coman who was compelled to write a song called “Last Week” after experiencing the profound minute of silence one week after the bombings. He introduced his new song on his site with these words:

“…Today I felt overwhelming proud to call Boston my home. I came home and wrote this song straight down on paper pulled out my phone and recorded it. I don’t know if it will bring you comfort or catharsis. I know it hasn’t for me, but it has started the healing process. I’m going to leave it here for you to listen if you’d like. I’d encourage you to give money and support to those who need it and I’d encourage you to fight fear and to let love carry the day.”

The “Laughs, Licks & Awesome Tricks” benefit variety show for the Krystle M. Campbell Memorial Fund will be presented at the historic Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street (off Mass. Ave.) in Arlington. General Admission tickets are $20 ($25 day of show) and $10 for students ($15 day of show). There will be a limited number of Reserved VIP seats available in the first two rows of the center orchestra for $100 per ticket. The Regent is MBTA and handicap accessible with free parking in the municipal lot across the street. For tickets and more information call the box office 781-646-4849 or visit


Magician & Emcee…  Matt Roberts

Frequently recognized as “that guy from the Wal-Mart commercials!” (The retailer cast him as the host of their current major TV ad-campaign), Matt Roberts is an award-winning magician who is a regular favorite at corporate events, theaters and at Boston’s Symphony Hall, where he has performed his annual “Music & Magic” concert series since 2010.  A long-time friend of the Regent, where he also performs his one-of-a-kind brand of laughs and illusions during the Regent’s annual “Magic Month.” 
“... proves that magic is not just for kids.”—MIT

Comedian… Mike Prior

Cutting his teeth in the fiercely competitive Boston scene over 15 years ago, Mike Prior has been featured at literally hundreds of comedy clubs and colleges across this country. Mike has an amazing ability to turn life’s most frustrating moments into hilarious stories to which everyone can relate. He was one of the featured performers on a Comedy Central special in 2004, and has toured with several national recording artists such as Weird Al Yankovick, and Randy Travis.

Singer/Songwriter… Vance Gilbert

Vance Gilbert burst onto the singer/songwriter scene in the early 90’s when the buzz spread through the folk clubs of the Northeast about an ex-multicultural arts teacher who was knocking them dead at open mics. Word got out about this Philadelphia-area born and raised performer, and Shawn Colvin invited Gilbert to be a special guest on her 1992 Fat City tour. Gilbert took audiences across North America by storm, and has been performing relentlessly in the two decades since, now with 10 albums under his belt… Artists as varied as Arlo Guthrie, Anita Baker, and the late George Carlin have in recent years requested Vance to be added to their evenings.
”... the voice of an angel, the wit of a devil, and the guitar playing of a god.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Singer/Songwriter… Jesse Dee

Boston’s Jesse Dee is a singing, songwriting, guitar-playing soul man-a modern day trailblazer inspired by the old school. Dee’s passion is exploring and updating soul music for contemporary audiences. With his warm and honest sound, his instantly memorable melodies and positive, slice-of-life lyrics (evoking the heyday of the Brill Building songwriters), he accomplishes just that. His inventive, hook-filled songs are delivered with buoyant, youthful exuberance. Live, he always brings down the house, and keeps his ever-growing fan base coming back for more. His band lays down driving, infectious grooves while Dee’s expressive vocals put him in a class by himself. On the strength of his fervent live shows, Dee plays to packed clubs in New England and has toured across Europe, earning new fans at every gig.
“Dee has an explosive voice. He possesses a powerful, raspy tenor and an uncanny phrasing ability that can’t be taught.”—Boston Herald

Blues Duo… Erin Harpe and Richard Rosenblatt

Erin Harpe and Richard Rosenblatt have just won a Boston Music Award for “Blues Artist of the Year” with their band Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers, and recently returned from Memphis where they were Semi-Finalists at the 2013 International Blues Challenge for their duo. Their acoustic country blues is rooted in vintage 1930’s Mississippi delta blues, featuring finger-picking guitar by singer Erin Harpe and harmonica by Richard Rosenblatt. Erin is recognized along with Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi, Shemekia Copeland, Rory Block and Ana Popovic in 2013’s “30 Women Burning Up the Blues” in The Alternate Route Magazine!
“Erin Harpe has it all. The looks, the chops, the voice, the presence and the band all add to an aura that mesmerized the crowd…” –The Alternate Route

Singer/Songwriter… Patrick Coman

Patrick Coman plays the soundtrack for Saturday night sinning and Sunday morning redemption. Merging the rootsy barroom shuffle of Coman’s Oklahoma birthplace with the poetic intensity of traditional New England folk, he has steadily become a force for the Americana scene in his adopted hometown of Boston and beyond.
“Might have just become one of our favorites”—Dig Boston

Singer/Songwriter… Franc Graham

Fronting a low-rock Boston band since the ‘90s, Graham delivers a signature grit and groove: turntables and guitars snake around a voice intimate and commanding… swamp rock, alt-Americana, and hillbilly hip.
“I’m a Franc Graham convert.” - Lucinda Williams   “Immensely Underrated… cool and commanding… an unusually rich blend of singer-songwriter rock…” - The Boston Globe

Vocalist… Serge Clivio

Grand Prize Winner: Disney World’s “American Idol Experience” 2010

Jenny the Juggler

Boston’s Best (and only!) Professional Female Juggler since 1997!

Jimmy Tingle event to rally behind an expanded Bottle Bill at the Regent: Sat 4/6, 7pm

Apr 01, 2013

Jimmy Tingle, along with the Massachusetts Sierra Club, MASSPIRG, Mass Climate Action Network, and Environmental League of Massachusetts present:


a one-time special event at The Regent Theatre in Arlington, featuring comedy, music, conversation, and calls to action for passage of an expanded Bottle Bill

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

7:00PM – 9:00PM

The Regent Theatre

7 Medford Street

Arlington, Massachusetts

$15 General Admission

$10 Students & Seniors

$25 Meet & Greet at Not Your Average Joe’s, directly following the show.







Phil Sego of the Sierra Club

Janet Domenitz OF MASSPIRG

State Senator Bob Hedlund (R,Weymouth)

State Senator Ken Donnelly (D, Arlington)

State Representative Sean Garballey (D, Arlington)

State Representative Jon Hecht (D, Watertown)

The show will be recorded for cable access television, the internet, and other potential television outlets.

Why is the Bottle Bill important?

The bottle bill has been around for 30 years, and it is - by far - the state’s most effective recycling and litter control program. It’s a great bill, BUT it doesn’t cover water, tea, or other non-carbonated beverages. That’s what we’re pushing for with an expanded Bottle Bill!

Quick Facts

•      It is endorsed by 208 cities and towns.

•      It is supported by 77% of voters.

•      It helps cities and towns with litter/disposal costs; The State estimates that cities and towns will save approximately $7 million total in these costs once the update passes.

•      It complements curbside recycling, reaching the on-the-go beverages that curbside cannot. For example, curbside recycling recycles only 22% of water bottles, but the bottle bill brings in 80% of deposit bottles like Coke and Pepsi.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Bottle Bill Campaign and be administered by the Mass. Sierra Club. Donations are not tax deductible.

About the Regent Theatre

The historic Regent Theatre, conveniently located at 7 Medford Street (just off Mass. Ave.) in Arlington Center, is MBTA and handicap accessible with free parking in the municipal lot across the street. Beer & wine will be available to those 21 and over with Proper I.D.  For directions and more info visit or call 781-646-4849.

This event is being produced by Jimmy Tingle and Tingle Productions who aspire to use the power of entertainment to raise spirits, funds and awareness to affect social change.

Regent to screen GREAT EXPECTATIONS from London’s West End on March 21 & 28 at 7:30pm

Mar 20, 2013

Arlington, Massachusetts – The Regent Theatre is pleased to announce that on Thursday, March 21 and Thursday, March 28 at 7:30pm, it will screen a stunning new production of Charles Dickens’ GREAT EXPECTATIONS for local audiences.  Dickens’ classic tale has widely been believed to be too difficult to translate to stage. However, this production has been universally acclaimed as a triumph on its sellout tour of the UK head of its West End debut.  Having had great success of the stage, the production was captured live on February 7, 2013 from the Vaudeville Theatre in London and produced to be shown on the big screen.
This Jo Clifford adaptation reframes Dickens’ tale as a series of flashbacks as Pip, now an old man, reflects upon his life – the mistakes he made, the plots in which he got entangled, and the fated path they led him down.  The production, which was directed by Graham McLaren, and features Jack Ellis as Jaggers, Chris Ellison as Magwitch, Paula Wilcox as Miss Havisham, Paul Nivison as Adult Pip, Grace Rowe as Estella.  [YOUR VENUE] is delighted to bring this brilliant new adaptation from across the Atlantic to [YOUR CITY] for local audiences.  The extravagant and harrowing production values of the program, which bring to mind the gothic aesthetic of Tim Burton and which have met with rave reviews from the critics, only prove that this production will transfer beautifully to the big screen.  In addition to the play itself, the film features include red carpet, arrivals from the February 7 premiere and behind-the-scenes footage exclusively for cinema audiences.
GREAT EXPECTATIONS will premiere at The Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street, Arlington, MA on Thursday, 3/21 and Thursday, 3/28 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $10 advance and $12 day of show. The Regent is MBTA and handicap accessible with free parking in the municipal lot across the street. For tickets and more info call 781-646-4849 or visit

Captured live on February 7, 2013 Vaudeville Theatre - West End, London
Adaptation by: Jo Clifford
Directed by: Graham McLaren
• Jack Ellis as Jaggers
• Chris Ellison as Magwitch
• Paula Wilcox as Miss Havisham
• Paul Nivison as Adult Pip
• Grace Rowe as Estella
• Taylor Jay-Davies as Young Pip
Running Time: 130 min
• Act 1: 50 minutes
• Intermission: 20 minutes
• Act 2: 60 minutes

BOSTON GLOBE: Music for kids (and parents too) at Regent Theatre

Feb 16, 2013

And when it came time to put together a group, Shriber didn’t need to look far. He already had all the talented musicianship he needed among his staff at the Wellesley music school he opened in 2010, Jammin’ with You.

At the 5,000-square-foot facility, Shriber and his colleagues teach lessons, mentor groups, and lead classes; but when they go on the road, the same adults who teach voice, keyboard, and guitar get to take center stage.

Their initial following was easy to come by. Not only did they have the kids who attend their music school, Shriber had been performing at temples and parties in the region for years. But it soon became clear that their popularity went far beyond those who already knew them. As an undeniable sign of the band’s success, Josh and the Jamtones opened last summer for an internationally popular children’s music ensemble, the Wiggles.

“Our music is a mix of rock, reggae, and Americana,” Shriber said. “We incorporate all the same elements you’d hear from current music playing on the radio. We have really high-quality drumming, amazing guitar playing, talented keyboardists.”

Shriber gives a lot of thought to making music for all ages and what that requires.

“Some of the best feedback we get is that we don’t dumb down our music. I’ve always known that singing about putting socks on with a spoon was never going to be fulfilling enough for me,” he said.

“We try to interject humor into our performances, but it’s not necessarily kiddie humor. Sometimes it’s a sarcastic or dry aside meant specifically for the adults in the audience, although of course we always stay clean and appropriate. ”

Josh and the Jamtones released its first CD, “Jump Up!,” last fall. Of the 12 tracks, 10 are original and two are the band’s interpretation of old standards.

In concerts, Shriber isn’t afraid to throw in a few familiar folk songs. “There are songs like ‘Old MacDonald’ and ‘You Are My Sunshine’ that may be a little babyish, but everyone knows them and sings along,” he said.

“So sometimes what we try to do is just inject some new life and funky music into the old classics, to give everyone a chance to sing along and be part of a positive experience.”

And while Shriber loves to see lots of small children singing and dancing along, he still finds compliments from adults to be most gratifying.

Not long ago, a mother told him that her kids asked to listen to the Jamtones CD on the way to school. It was only after dropping them off, doing three more errands and driving home that the woman realized she was still playing it. Never mind opening for the Wiggles — that, to Shriber, is musical success.

Josh and the Jamtones perform at the Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $10 adults, $8 seniors and children. For tickets or more information, call 781-646-4849 or go to

2011 GRAMMY Nominated Vocalist JUDY PANCOAST in CLOSER TO YOU: A Live Carpenters Tribute Sat 2/16/13

Feb 15, 2013

Pancoast was just eleven years old when her older sister told her about a song she’d heard on the radio, and said that the girl singing it sounded “just like you.”  That was the summer of 1970, and when Judy finally heard “(They Long to Be) Close to You” it was the beginning of a childhood adulation that would last well into her adult years.  She spent her adolescent and teen years listening nearly non-stop to the music of the brother and sister duo who called themselves “Carpenters,” and she became one of the charter members of their fan club at age 12. 

Judy’s natural rich alto voice blended well with Karen’s, and she spent countless hours in front of a mirror with a hair brush “microphone” mimicking her idol’s voice.  Later, while a music major at the University of Maine, she was advised to “stop trying to sound like Karen Carpenter,” but although she managed finally to all but erase the traces of Karen’s styling, the influence had already had its impact. 

Randy Schmidt, author of “Little Girl Blue: the Life of Karen Carpenter” says this about Judy: “…her velvety voice, phrasing and conversational delivery of a song are all products of years spent listening to the timeless recordings of the Carpenters. Her passion and joy for the material make Judy the perfect vocalist to pay tribute.” 

2011 GRAMMY Nominated Vocalist JUDY PANCOAST
Closer to You: A Live Tribute to The Carpenters
Saturday, February 16 at 8pm
7 Medford Street (off Massachusetts Avenue)
MBTA & wheelchair accessible; free parking across the street
Reserved seats are $23 and $28

Regent Theatre hosts Sing-a-long Grease Mon-Fri, Feb 18-22 marking Grease’s 35th birthday in 1978

Feb 12, 2013

The Historic Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts will host Sing-a-long Grease, when the unique, interactive show rolls into town, marking the 35th anniversary of the original film version of Grease.

You’d better shape up to sing along to the great movie musical, complete with on-screen lyrics and the chance to become a T-Bird or Pink Lady for the night and join the costume parade onto the stage before the screening.

“It’s the one that you want”, says producer Ben Freedman, who previously brought us Sing-a-long Sound of Music. “Sing-a-long Grease is the show that audiences have been asking for since we first presented a singalong show back in 1999”  Now, at last, “Summer Lovin’,” “Grease Lightning,” and the chance to sport a pink wig or greased quiff while belting out “You’re The One That I Want,” are coming to a theater near you.  “Sing-a-long-a Grease is much more than ‘just a movie’”, says Freedman. “”It’s an event, an interactive experience and the most fun you can have with your clothes on.”

Sing-a-long Greasers will be decked out in their own versions of ‘50s high school garb worn at Rydell High, including poodle skirts and saddle shoes, black leather biker and powder-pink bomber jackets, chiffon scarves and skinny ties.  Costumes are most definitely encouraged, but singing is mandatory!

Every performance starts with a Sing-a-long host who warms up the audience, trains them how to “hand-jive”, deploy the contents of their free goodie bags and heckle in all the right places as well as lead the costume parade. “The rules are… there are no rules.”

35 Years Young

2013 marks the 35th Anniversary of the 1978 film musical GREASE that premiered on the stage at the Off-Broadway Eden Theatre in downtown Manhattan, before transferring to Broadway in June 1972.

The 1972 show, about two lovers in a 1950s US high school, was based on an earlier, grittier “play with incidental music” called Grease Lightning, first staged in Chicago the previous year.

In 1978 it spawned the movie starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. The movie was a huge hit on its first release. Twenty-five years later it was voted the greatest musical ever in a 2003 poll conducted for the UK Channel 4’s show on the 100 Greatest Musicals.

The birth of Sing-a-long

The unique, interactive entertainment form known as Sing-a-long, meanwhile, was allegedly born in an old people’s home in Inverness, Scotland. The nurses wanted to involve the residents in an interactive group therapy. They therefore wanted to screen Seven Brides For Seven Brothers and gave out song sheets so that everyone could sing-a-long.

The idea was then developed in 1999, before opening at the Prince Charles Cinema in August of that year. After an initial eight-show run soon sold out, while attracting huge media attention, and regular shows has been running ever since all around the world.

Now, finally, comes the dream union – between Grease and Sing-a-long!


Monday 2/18 at 7:00pm
Tuesday 2/19 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm
Wednesday 2/20 at 7:00pm
Thursday 2/21 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm
Friday 2/22 at 7:00pm and 9:30pm


$12/Kids and Seniors
$10 for Groups of 10+

Located at 7 Medford Street in Arlington Center (off Mass Ave)—minutes from Cambridge and Boston—the Regent Theatre is MBTA and handicap accessible with parking in the municipal lot across the street. For tickets and info call 781-646-4849 or visit

• Suitability for children: Grease is suitable for all. Children are very welcome, although evening performances can sometimes get a little lively and so may be more suitable for older children (plus the late finishing time may mean that younger ones get tired).

Running time: Approx. 2 hours 10 minutes including pre-show


Leland Stein: (617) 694-6612, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Boston’s First Lady of Jazz Rebecca Parris at The Regent Sat Feb 23—Rescheduled from Feb 9

Jan 28, 2013


On Saturday, February 23rd at 8pm Boston’s First Lady of Jazz, Rebecca Parris will take to the stage at The Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts to present “In Love with Parris,” a 28-year tradition (the 4th at “Arlington’s Show Place of Entertainment”) that brings couples from all over New England to celebrate the most romantic time of the year. The evening will feature classic love songs from the Great American Songbook and beyond, performed with her long-time trio of Brad Hatfield on piano, Peter Kontrimas on bass, and Jim Lattini on drums. This is the rescheduled date for the February 9 concert—postponed because of the Blizzard of 2013.

“It’s a real pleasure to host this classy, annual holiday celebration with Rebecca and her fabulous trio. Rebecca has a way with these romantic songs like no other. Her warmth and personality invite lovers to cuddle… and that voice… like melted butter,” says the Regent’s Leland Stein.

Ms. Parris has performed all over the world with her own groups, as well as with some of jazz’s greatest legends, including Count Basie, Joe Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, Terry Gibbs, David “Fathead” Newman, Red Mitchell, Buster Cooper, Nat Pierce, and many others.  Her friend and mentor, Shirley Horn once remarked, “Her voice sets her apart from any other vocalist on record today…. in one moment she exudes warmth and is poignant, and in another is driving hard and swinging.”  A new Rebecca Parris recording is slated for later this year.

In 2012, Parris produced her third recording for someone other than herself—her long-time student, Louise Van Aarsen, a talented Dutch singer-songwriter. The production has garnered terrific global accolades with several cuts ranking highly in international competitions. Parris has been producing her own recordings throughout her career, but now has become a singer’s second set of ears, bringing out the best in other vocalists.

An admired teacher and coach for 25 years, these days Parris is bringing her expertise to students worldwide—in person and in cyberspace. She has just returned from teaching a master class to pros and amateurs in Holland; received an invitation to be Artist-in-Residence at The Hague’s Royal Conservatory; and now has plans for a string of European performances and classes. A master clinician adored by those she mentors, Parris will soon be offering private lessons on the web, and is working on a series of lectures for YouTube, her website, and through social media.

“In Love with Parris,” featuring the Rebecca Parris Trio
Saturday, February 23rd at 8:00 pm
7 Medford Street (off Massachusetts Avenue)
MBTA & wheelchair accessible; free parking across the street
Reserved seats are $18, $23 and $28

This Is Tango Now presents:  IDENTIDAD Thursday, January 24 at 7:30pm

Jan 15, 2013


TheaterIDENTIDAD will take the stage to captivate and mesmerize in ONLY ONE SHOW
JANUARY 24 @ 7:30 PM . Ticket prices are $25 general admission


Fernanda Ghi and Guillermo Merlo are shining stars on the illustrious firmament of Argentine Tango. Celebrated dancers and choreographers, winners of Tony Awards and World Championships, admired and beloved teachers, they travel the seven seas to show the world that – This Is Tango Now. Together with pianist and anthropologist Alfredo Minetti and light designerAníbal Rea they set out to create a stage extravaganza to showcase their combined talents and in the process they redefined the genre of Tango shows.

Alongside Fernanda Ghi and Guillermo Merlo the cast of IDENTIDAD features South Florida’s Tango sensation Mariela Barufaldi & Jeremias Massera as well as a special treat for Dallas/Fort Worth audiences local Tango stars Jairelbhi Furlong and George Furlong, who, in recent years, elevated the D/FW Tango scene to International acclaim with performances and workshops nationally and abroad.


- - - IDENTIDAD is to regular tango shows what Cirque du Soleil is to traditional circus. - - -

The stage of IDENTIDAD is filled with an overabundance of light and colors, movement and energy, passion and emotions and music from the most celebrated Tango masters – Osvaldo Pugliese and Astor Piazzolla – to bring the story to life in front of breathless audiences.

In genre-busting choreographies and costumes the all-star cast takes us on a journey through the emotional rollercoaster that is called Argentine Tango.


Midnight – the word alone conjures up images of excitement about endless possibilities as well as fear of the unknown that looms about. It takes a brave soul to face the darkness and venture out to where the Old ends and the New begins. The sound of midnight is the tortured wail of the bandoneón, the virgin voice of the violin, the thunderclap of the piano and the vibrant pulse of the double bass – the sound of midnight is Tango.

IDENTIDAD is a story about change, personal growth and search for identity.

The Marionette and her Puppeteer are trapped in a relationship of interdependent domination and submission of mind and spirit. The strings that connect their bodies bind their souls in a futile struggle for domination and power until – the zero hour brings the Duende, incarnate spirit of passion and change. He persuades the Marionette to undo her ties and leave behind a life of manipulation and second hand dreams. Her newfound courage and curiosity let her uncover her true identity and boldly venture out to claim the life of passion and freedom she desires.

Fernanda Ghi & Guillermo Merlo
702 372 9581

URO Blows the Roof Off the Regent (Five Stars) “Event Insider” Review by Mike Hoban

Dec 27, 2012

by Mike Hoban

The Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra at the Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street, Arlington, MA December 22nd. Shows added for Saturday December 29th and New Years Eve.

One of the crummy things about getting older is that you tend to get a little jaded and fall into the “been there, done that” mindset. But one of the good things about getting older (assuming that you actually grow up) is that you find out that being wrong can be a good - even great - thing, especially when you go into an event with lowered expectations and end up getting blown away. Such was the case at the Regent Theater in Arlington on Saturday night when I went to see the Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra, a classic rock tribute band that features 10 (you read that right) singers - plus guitars, keyboards, bass and drums. And URO reminded me why The Who, David Bowie, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Queen (with a little Hendrix thrown in) have earned their lofty status as CLASSIC rock bands. And instead of playing note-for-note versions of hits from these iconic artists, the URO dug deep into the band’s catalogs and infused the old chestnuts with new life.

URO’s Rock and Roll Extravaganza is kind of the anti-thesis of WZLX, the Boston “classic hits” radio station that keeps playing the same four or five hits by major rock acts until you don’t care if you ever hear them again. URO started off with a pretty good treatment of “Baba O’Reilly” by the Who, and I thought to myself, “This isn’t so bad.” And then they just went off, ripping into faithful but imaginative versions of Led Zeppelin’s “Misty Mountain Top”, Queen’s “Killer Queen” and the Beatles “Paperback Writer” - which made me remember that the boys from Liverpool were originally a ROCK band before George Martin, LSD and the Maharishi catapulted them into a completely different brand of genius. Every one of these tunes was infused with a new energy provided by the stellar vocal arrangements and delivery of the group.

One of the elements that makes this band so much fun to watch (above their prodigious talent and the rock babe factor) is the way they shuffle in a new singer or singers for each number. There are five female singers (some with stripper-sequel names) and three male singers. And most of the singers play instruments as well, led by co-founder of the group Dr. Defiance (who looks a little like Dr. Evil from the “Austin Powers” series) who plays guitar, sings and is the ringmaster of this three ring rock circus. The leads are sung interchangeably by the male singers, including guitarist Deagan, and three of the women - Elektra, Roxy and the marvelous Alice Marvel. Marvel’s enthusiasm for the material was infectious as she seductively gyrated her way through the two sets with a smile as wide as a rich kid’s on Christmas. The rest of the band was equally joyous in their delivery - and you can tell they really enjoy what they’re doing.

The band was really impressive ripping through hi-powered rock blasters like the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter,” Queen’s “Tie Your Mother Down” and “Who Are You” by the Who (plus a blistering version of Hendrix’ “Cross Town Traffic”), but they were even more awe-inspiring with the more intricate and complex numbers like the Beatles ““Dear Prudence” and Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/ The End and their brilliant rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” URO also tripped up (and delighted) the audience with an obscure seven-and-a-half minute medley of “A Quick One While He’s Away” by The Who.

According to Dr. Defiance, what I saw on Saturday night included only half of the material from the previous week’s show, and the performance will change again on the 29th and on the New Year’s Eve Extravaganza. This show is a rock n’ roll lover’s wet dream, and if you never got to see any of the original bands at the height of their powers, this is a great substitute.

For more, see

Q&A with Legendary Electric-Rock Harpist: Deborah Henson-Conant

Dec 17, 2012

Interview by Caleb Hsu

If shining angelic beings or Victorian elegance are the first images that come to mind when you think of a harp, prepare your mind for expansion! Deborah Henson-Conant, the world’s premiere contemporary electric harpist, is redefining the antiquated perception of the historic instrument. Deborah’s assistant, Beatriz Harley, explains that Deborah sings, plays, and tells stories in Nouvelle-Cabaret style shows that cover music from flamenco to blues styles. Deborah made her debut with the Boston Pops, introducing her fearless style to the world. She has also opened for Ray Charles at Tanglewood, jammed onstage with Bobby McFerrin and Steve Vai, and performed offstage with Aerosmith’s frontman, Steven Tyler. In the following interview, Deborah explains her ongoing transformation and career goals, along with offering some great advice to anyone seeking to defy misconceptions in the world.

Berkee Groove: How do you define a successful performance – what is most valuable walking away from a show?

Deborah Henson-Conant: I was recently talking to Steve Vai about a performance we did. Like me, he’s committed to being very physically expressive as a performer, both in his body and in partnering with his instrument. He said that night that he had held back just a little bit physically, just as an experiment. I asked him how that felt and he said, “Like I missed an opportunity.” Each performance is an opportunity to connect with the music, the instrument, the audience, and myself. For me, a successful performance is when I completely embrace that opportunity.

BG: Where do you draw the line between your life and your art? Is there a line?

DHC: There are many lines, but I don’t experience them as separating my life and my work, but rather as connecting them. I used to be embarrassed that my life is my work (and vice versa) but ever since I was a kid, I’ve been creating stories with music in one form or another and eventually I made it into my work. If you decide to make a living doing the thing you actually want to do no matter what, it doesn’t make sense for there to be a line between life and art. The bigger challenge for me is understanding the line between creating my art and promoting it, making sure I don’t spend so much time on either one that I drop the ball on the other.

BG: Where was this rock-star harpist image born? What made you decide to reinvent the common perception of the harp and transform your own image?

DHC: When I first got serious about the harp in my early 20’s, I started to get a glimpse of the incredible potential of the instrument and realized the common perception – angels, for example, was a self-perpetuating stereotype. If I wanted to change that stereotype, I’d need to change everything: the music I played, the way I dressed, the way I approached the instrument – and eventually I realized I had to change the instrument itself. Basically, I had to stop being a ‘harpist’ and start being ME with a harp. I thought: “If they could make a harp you could wear, and it could be electric, then anything you could do with an electric guitar, you could theoretically do with a harp.”

BG: What is the message you hope to send to people who watch you perform?

DHC: I’ve always said, when you walk away from my show, I want you to be more in love with the person you came with – including yourself. The concept of transformation is important to me. I used to be frustrated that people have such misconceptions about the harp, but now I realize that the transformation of that stereotype, which happens right in the show, is powerful for the audience. When people see something they thought was a delicate, limited ‘ladies instrument’ – and then see it with so much power, color, depth and wildness – their stereotype transforms right in the middle of the performance, and that’s a powerful moment. People start to think, “If all of that can come from one woman and that instrument I thought was a wimp, what else might be possible; what expressive power do I have that I’m not expressing?” I love it when people say that after seeing my show, they reconnected with their own art or their own passion of some sort. I think it comes in part from how I perform and what kinds of stories and music I use, but also just from them experiencing the transformation of that stereotype about the instrument.

BG: Has there ever been a point where you felt you lacked creative drive and if so, how did you reignite the fiery passion you display on stage?

DHC: I’ve actually developed a whole presentation about this called “Strings of Passion” that’s about how to maintain the creative impulse. I’ve definitely been frustrated and not known how to break out of my own box. I’m always creating projects for myself to get deeper into the fire of what I do. The tour I’m on right now is a perfect example. I had the chance to tour with a great performer, Steve Vai, to watch him every night for nearly 100 shows, to collaborate with him developing my own solo in the show, and to play his music. My main reason for doing it was to learn from him and the experience has exceeded my hopes. Sometimes I work with a coach, sometimes I push myself to share my work in early stages with other artists I trust – not so they can ‘evaluate’ my work – but so they can observe it and tell me exactly what they saw. That’s often how I discover what’s there.

BG: Most memorable performance?

DHC: Wow. I’m always blown away by things I least expect. One of the most memorable performances I experienced was when I was in Washington D.C. staying with a friend. It was a blustery night. I went out to the car to get something and when I came back, the wind was blowing nearly gale-like, and the bush right next to the door was going crazy with the wind. It looked like it was about to fly off into the night. There was a mockingbird in that tree and it was singing like nothing I’ve ever heard: wild, abandoned, notes going everywhere like it had to get everything about the world out of it’s soul in that song before it blew away with the bush. I just stood there in the darkening sky and listened. If I could play like that!

  “Performing is the greatest freedom I’ve ever experienced.”

BG: With all the publicity and success you’ve earned, what is your overall goal in performing today – has it always been the same?

DHC: I don’t think it’s ever changed. I want the music to come alive, and I want the stories to come alive because when they come alive for the audience, they come alive for me and then we – the audience and I – are living inside them. Music isn’t like a statue or a painting; music only exists in time. Each performance is an opportunity to be alive inside that story or that music. In the greatest moments of performing, I’m like I was as a kid: playing music just to play – to be lost in it, to be lifted from everyday and to exist in the glorious absence of ‘this is the way things are’ and right inside that place where anything can become anything else, just by changing a harmony or a rhythm, or by leaning into a note, or shading words with a certain sound. Performing is the greatest freedom I’ve ever experienced.

BG: Any advice for musicians who seek to create something organic and new – how do you become a fearless innovator?

DHC: People often ask me about being an innovator and I never feel like I’m innovating. I just always feel like “This should be possible. This instrument needs do this because this is what I need to say with it.” It feels more like frustration because I can already see it being the way I know it could be. In my mind, the reality is that the thing or ability I envision already exists. The disconnect between mere physical reality and the “real” reality of what I see in my mind/imagination is maddening. I really think the best way to create something organic and new is to tell the truth. There is nothing newer and more surprising than the truth and often nothing harder to see or to tell. If you stop focusing on what sounds good and actually tell exactly your own truth, it’s completely arresting and exciting. And, apparently, innovative!

Upcoming solo show & ticket information:
WHAT: Homecoming Solstice Celebration – Deborah Henson-Conant
WHEN: Friday, Dec. 21 at 8pm
WHERE: The Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St. Arlington, MA 02474
TIX: General Admission: $22 advanced, $25 day of show, $16 Students & Seniors, $75 VIP (including pre-show artist reception)

Jimmy Tingle to raise money for American Red Cross disaster relief

Dec 06, 2012

Jimmy Tingle’s American Dream – Live on Stage & Screen combines a screening of the documentary “Jimmy Tingle’s American Dream” with a short Q&A and live performance on Dec. 14.

Held at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, reserved seating is $25. Preferred seating and tickets to the “Mingle with Tingle” after party are $50.

Political humorist Jimmy Tingle is a nationally known comedian, filmmaker, and commentator for 60 Minutes II. 

The film features the interviews and opinions of Robert Altman, Bobcat Goldthwait, Howard Zinn, Mort Sahl, Janeane Garafalo, Sean Hannity, Lewis Black, Al Franken, Robert Reich, Colin Quinn, Barry Crimmins, Jimmy’s mother, Frances, and more. The soundtrack includes music by Willie Nelson, The Mighty, Mighty Bosstones, The Neighborhoods, and Jimmy Tingle on harmonica.

Ticket information: and 781-646-4849. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and will run about two hours.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit

Hendrix celebrated at Arlington’s Regent

Nov 15, 2012

By Margaret Smith/
Wicked Local Arlington

What if Jimi Hendrix had lived to celebrate his 70th birthday? What would he have made of the impact of his music over these past decades? What more might he have brought to the prodigious body of work he left behind at his death in 1970 at age 27?

There will always be questions, but also answers – as his catalogue, technique and enigmatic life continue not only to make their mark, but also to inspire others to find their own groundbreaking musical and artistic paths.

To celebrate, the Regent Theatre in Arlington is hosting a slate of events – including two films, and a tribute concert – to honor Hendrix’s spirit and legacy and the 70th anniversary of his birth on Nov. 27, 1942.

Two recent documentary films chronicle Hendrix’s concert mastery.

But what would Hendrix festivities be without live music? The theater will feature a concert tribute with Berklee College’s Berklee’s Thaddeus Hogarth Trio and special guests, as well as a performance by the Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra—now playing a series of shows at the theater—with Hogarth as a guest.

Hendrix’s innovations resonated long after him, along with the folklore, fables and mythology that sometimes cast a shadow over a popular culture icon whose ghost still rises.

And he’ll continue to be remembered in debate, stories and yes, song. But in these upcoming events, those who love him and his music can mark his birthday milestone, even if no one can hold a candle to him.

Read more: Hendrix celebrated at Arlington’s Regent - - The Arlington Advocate


Nov 14, 2012

From Friday, November 23 through Sunday November 25, 2012, the historic Regent Theatre in Arlington will present a return engagement of Sing-A-Long Mary Poppins—seven screenings of the interactive version of the popular Disney film musical featuring on-screen lyrics, a bag of play-a-long props, an audience costume parade, plus—a newly added feature—acclaimed Mary Poppins impersonator / living statue, Linda Peck, as master-of-ceremonies and movie host.

Sing-A-Long Mary Poppins allows audiences to celebrate the golden age of movies by enjoying this Oscar®-winning film in the fashion in which it was meant to be seen—a fully restored print in a grand theatrical setting with a state of the art sound system.  In addition, audiences are encouraged to come in costume and to sing along with some of the best-known and most beloved songs in motion picture history (“Spoonful of Sugar,” “Let’s Go Fly A Kite,” “Chim-Chim-Cher-ee,” and, of course, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,”—to name just a few.)  For this special engagement, a restored 35mm print of the classic 1964 film has been customized with on-screen lyrics, while Linda Peck will introduce the film and lead the crowd through audience participation activities and demonstrate the use of a complimentary bag of interactive props.  To complete the Sing-A-Long Mary Poppins experience, audience members are invited to dress as their favorite Mary Poppins character (or in a costume inspired by the movie) and the host will invite everyone in costume to march in a parade down the aisles onto the stage—a great photo or video opportunity.

“This is our sixth annual presentation of Sing-A-Long Mary Poppins which has become a highlight of our season and a Thanksgiving tradition for many of our patrons,” says the Regent Theatre’s Leland Stein.  “It’s always a pleasure to see the joy this event brings to families—kids, parents, and grandparents alike—and the amazing costumes that some of them create for the occasion.  And having Linda Peck as movie host this year is a special bonus we’re excited about!”

Adapted from PL Travers’ 1934 novel, Mary Poppins, starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, premiered in August of 1964.  “Practically perfect in every way,” it became Disney’s biggest box office success to date and earned 13 Academy Award nominations.  In this, her film debut, Andrews won the Oscar for Best Actress beating out Audrey Hepburn.  After nearly 50 years, Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins continues to pull lasting magic from its cinematic carpetbag of tricks—the extraordinary animation, dazzling special effects, and award-winning music.

Sing-A-Long Mary Poppins plays The Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington, Massachusetts, on Friday, November 23 at 10:30am, 2:00pm, and 7:00pm*; Saturday, November 24 at 10:30am and 2:00pm; and Sunday, November 25 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm.  (*Linda Peck will host all but the Fri Nov 23, 7pm show.) General Admission tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and children, and $10 for Regent card members and groups of 10 or more.  The Regent Theatre, “Arlington’s Show Place of Entertainment” since 1916, is MBTA and wheelchair accessible with free parking across the street. For tickets, directions, and more information call 781-646-4849 or visit

Arlington Community Education and the Regent Theatre to host “Hendrix at 70”

Nov 08, 2012

ARLINGTON, MA – What Jimi Hendrix accomplished in the span of four short years before his death in 1970 at age 27 is nothing short of phenomenal. Now, more than four decades later, Hendrix is widely considered the greatest electric guitarist of all-time. On Tuesday, November 13, at 7:30pm, Arlington Community Education and the Regent Theatre will co-host Hendrix at 70, a panel discussion of the life, music and legacy of this rock icon. The program will take place in the Arlington High School Media Center, 869 Massachusetts Avenue. Admission is $10 in advance or at the door.

Panelists include Steve Morse, journalist and long-time Boston Globe music editor; Joel J. Brattin, Hendrix scholar and Professor of Humanities at Worcester Polytechnic Institute; and Carter Alan, author and host of “Sunday Morning Blues” on WZLX/Boston. Leland Stein, Regent Theatre co-owner and lifelong Hendrix enthusiast, will moderate the panel discussion and the Q&A to follow.

The program will explore Hendrix’s legacy and his diverse – and, at times, surprising – influences, and the tremendous impact he has had on a wide swath of music and musicians that followed him. Panelists will highlight songs from his non-hit repertoire with a focus on his gentler side and more lyrical tunes – the hidden Hendrix beyond ”Purple Haze” and “Hey Joe” and the contemplative, humble man behind the flamboyant stage persona.

Tickets for this event are available at the door or in advance online at Or call the Community Education office at 781 316-3568.

In the days following this event, the Regent Theatre will host several additional programs in celebration of Hendrix’s 70th birthday. Tickets for these additional programs are available at or by calling the Regent Theatre box office at 781 646-4849.

• Thursday, November 15. Hendrix documentary film double-feature: “Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child” (2010), 7:15pm, and “Jimi Plays Berkeley” (2012), 9pm.
• Friday, November 16, 8pm. All Star Jam celebrating the music of Jimi Hendrix hosted by the Thaddeus Hogarth Power Trio with Special Guests Tomo Fujita, Julien Kasper, Marty Walsh, and Neil Itzler.
• Saturday, November 17, 8pm. Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra (URO) – 12 singers and instrumentalists perform songs of Hendrix (with special guest Thaddeus Hogarth) and other rock icons from the ‘60’s and ‘70’s.
At Arlington High School • 869 Massachusetts Avenue • Arlington, MA 02476-4701 • 781.316.3568 •


Nov 04, 2012

Thursday, November 15 through Saturday, November 17, 2012 the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts will present an exclusive three-day Jimi Hendrix film and concert tribute celebrating the rock icon’s unsurpassed music, mastery, and magic 70 years after his birth on November 27, 1942.  Two recent documentary films—on the big screen in concert sound—will be presented on Thursday, November 15 along with a live concert tribute from Berklee’s Thaddeus Hogarth Trio and special guests on Fri Nov 16, and the Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra (URO) debuting six Hendrix selections (with Hogarth guesting) on Sat Nov 17. (See below for complete event schedule.) 

Thaddeus Hogarth Power Trio’s All-Star Hendrix Jam with Special Guests
Associate Professor of Guitar at Boston’s famed Berklee College of Music, “Guitar Virtuoso” (Boston Globe) Thaddeus Hogarth—born in England and raised in St. Kitts, West Indies—continues his musical evolution as an award-winning guitarist, singer and songwriter.  For the Friday, November 16 exclusive “All-Star Jam Celebrating the Music of Jimi Hendrix,” Hogarth puts his commanding, soulful and funky twist on songs of the most influential electric guitarist of all time with a dynamic power trio that features Tony Thunder Smith on Drums & Danny Mo on Bass (with Hogarth on guitar, vocals, and harmonica.) Complementing the trio on stage will be special performances from four other acclaimed Berklee faculty guitarists:  Tomo Fujita, Julien Kasper, Marty Walsh, and Neil Itzler—culminating in an electrifying program of music inspired by the most dazzling, innovative guitarist in rock and roll history.

“Hendrix was a major influence in my decision to play electric guitar,” says Hogarth. “I remember the first time I heard the Woodstock performance on record back in the ‘70s. It had a profound impact. For many years at shows where we would play my mostly original material, whenever we would throw in a Hendrix tune with our unique take on it, the response was always so positive that we hatched a plan to get a Hendrix tribute show happening with a whole evening of his music.”

Hendrix Documentary Films on the Big Screen in Concert Sound
The film portion of the Regent’s Hendrix celebration comprises a double feature on Thursday, November 15:  “Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Child”—Jimi’s legendary story in his own words; and “Jimi Plays Berkeley”—restored and expanded 2012 edition.  Voodoo Child is filled with never before seen photographs and film footage from the Hendrix family archive and features a soundtrack that includes such iconic Hendrix recordings as “Purple Haze,” “Hey Joe,” “Fire,” “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” together with never before heard live performances. Funk legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Bootsy Collins of Parliament-Funkadelic renown, is featured as the voice of Jimi Hendrix. Jimi Plays Berkeley showcases some of Hendrix’s finest ever performances filmed over two concerts at the Berkeley (California) Community Theatre on May 30, 1970. The film documents the political unrest and student uprisings in Berkeley juxtaposed against blistering Hendrix live performances of “Johnny B. Goode,” “Star Spangled Banner,” “I Don’t Live Today” and, “Purple Haze. This new digitally restored transfer from the original 16mm negative includes more than 15 minutes of newly discovered, previously unseen documentary and performance footage of such classic songs as “Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” “Machine Gun” and “Hear My Train A Comin’” not featured in the original film release. Together, these films present a rare chance for Hendrix enthusiasts and those simply curious as to what the fuss is all about, to learn about his life and legacy, while coming as close as possible to witnessing him perform live in all his sonic power and visual splendor.

Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra Performs Songs of Jimi Hendrix
The finale of the Regent’s three-day Hendrix celebration will feature the Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra (URO) debuting its versions of Hendrix selections (with Thaddeus Hogarth guesting on guitar) along with other epic rock songs of the ‘60s and ‘70s from the Beatles, the Who, Queen, David Bowie, and Led Zeppelin. As the works of Mozart and Beethoven live on in symphonies, the URO is a unique and unconventional orchestra, bringing to vivid life the glorious, beloved music of British Rock’s heyday.

The Jimi Hendrix 70th birthday film and concert celebration will be presented at the historic Regent Theatre, “Arlington’s Show Place of Entertainment,” Thursday, 11/15 through Saturday, 11/17, 2012. Reserved Seats for the Friday, 11/16, 8pm “All-Star Jam Celebrating the Music of Jimi Hendrix,” and the Saturday, 11/17, 8pm “URO Hendrix Night” are $25. General admission film tickets for the Thursday evening Hendrix double feature at 7:15pm are $8 in advance and $10 day of show. Located on 7 Medford Street (just off Mass Ave) in Arlington, Massachusetts, the Regent is MBTA and handicap accessible with free parking across the street. For tickets and more information, call 781-646-4849 or visit

Regent Theatre Jimi Hendrix 70th Birthday Celebration Schedule at a Glance

Thursday, 11/15:  7:15pm, “Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Child; 9:00pm, “Jimi Plays Berkeley”
Friday, 11/16 at 8pm: “All-Star Jam Celebrating the Music of Jimi Hendrix”
Saturday, 11/17 at 8pm:  “Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra Hendrix Night”

‘Rez’ leads pack at Arlington Film Fest

Oct 21, 2012

A standout documentary effort, Somerville filmmaker Brian Truglio’s “Racing the Rez” was shot on location in the canyons and mesas of Northern Arizona on the Hopi and Navajo reservations, where Truglio’s subjects, young Native American cross-country runners, strive against a majestic, at times surreal backdrop. The film, which can be seen tonight at 6:30 at the Arlington International Film Festival 2012, is an accomplished sports-related tale of underprivileged students for whom running may be a way out of a particularly brutal cycle of poverty and substance abuse.

More than that, running for these young men is a part of their cultural heritage and a virtual religious experience (Truglio observes that -Navajos still practice the ritual of running east to greet the rising sun). Add “Racing the Rez” to the list of note-worthy movies about running, in-cluding the fiction films “Chariots of Fire” and Tony Richardson’s “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner.”

(“Racing the Rez” contains no objectionable material.)

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Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra Returns to Regent Theatre Saturdays and New Year’s Eve Starting October 27

Oct 19, 2012

For those who cannot get enough of The Who, David Bowie, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Queen, you can’t get closer to the anthemic rock experience than seeing and hearing the Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra at Arlington’s Regent Theatre eight times beginning Saturday, October 27 through December 31, 2012.  URO perform electrifying, dynamically diverse renditions of the crown-jewels of ‘60s and ‘70s British Rock accompanied by a goose bump inducing light show and earth-shaking sound. As the works of Mozart and Beethoven live on in symphonies, URO is a unique and unconventional orchestra, bringing to vivid life this glorious, beloved music with uninhibited power, nuance and feeling.

The Regent Rock Xtravaganza will also present an “All-Star Jam Celebrating the Music of Jimi Hendrix” on Friday, November 16, hosted by the Thaddeus Hogarth Power Trio with Special Guests: Tomo Fujita, Julien Kasper, Marty Walsh, and Neil Itzler.

Boston premiere screenings of the restored and expanded 1965 Rolling Stones film “Charlie is My Darling” on November 5, and digitally remastered in high definition concert film “The Doors at the Bowl ‘68” on November 7 and 11, will complement the Xtravaganza’s live concerts. (Other film screenings will be announced shortly.)

The Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra is a Boston-based group of 12 singers and instrumentalists who—for close to a decade—have been committed to bringing the best of classic rock to life for those who have never had a chance to hear it live, and those wanting to relive the heyday of Epic Rock. A versatile ensemble capable of bringing off even the most intricate rock pieces with effortless ease, they perform with lighthearted humor and undeniable vocal prowess.

“A man actually came up to me in tears, nearly speechless because as a teenager he’d bought Abbey Road and the Beatles broke up the next day.” said URO drummer, Chunky A, “He thought he’d never get to hear songs from that record performed live, it was actually a dream come true for him and that’s a great feeling, to know that you’ve really connected with the audience in that way.”

The appeal of this music now crosses the generations, and many diehard URO fans have brought their kids to shows—URO lends parents instant “rock cred,” and the kids love them for it. (In fact, for the youngest of ears, there will be a special URO “Unplugged” family show on Saturday, October 27 at 10:30am.)

Among the many dozens of songs in their repertoire, URO concert spotlights include “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” “Space Oddity,” “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End,” “Immigrant Song,” and the crowd-pleasing showstopper, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” (While Queen never played the whole song live—skipping the intro and playing a recording during the ‘Galileo’ section—with URO every note is sung and played live.)

The Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra (URO) will perform eight concerts—Saturdays, October 27, November 3, 10, 17, and December 15, 22, and 29 at 8pm, as well as Tuesday, December 31 (New Year’s Eve), 2012 at the historic Regent Theatre, “Arlington’s Show Place of Entertainment.” Reserved seats are $25.00.  Located at 7 Medford Street in Arlington Center (off Mass Ave)—minutes from Cambridge and Boston—the Regent is MBTA and handicap accessible with free parking across the street. For tickets and info call 781-646-4849 or visit

Sal Clemente .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), 617-233-9469 Leland Stein .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), 617-694-6612


Why the URO?

At recent shows, I’ve been talking with audience members about what exactly the Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra is and why we exist. There’s such a stigma for bands which ‘cover’ other people’s music, especially among musicians and critics, that I wanted to describe to people why I don’t feel that way performing in the URO. Alan and I performed in original bands in Boston for years before we accidentally formed the URO and found ourselves on a new path as performers and creators. We actually understand that stigma and have been on the other side of it ourselves—it is strong and somewhat justified when thinking of GB (General Business) bands or ‘tribute’ acts that essentially either sell themselves as human jukeboxes, play background music at functions, or cavort about in Freddie Mercury mustaches and Kiss make-up doing their best Rich Little style impressions of people who can’t be imitated.

The URO formed organically, as did our playlist, through a series of choices we made throughout our ordeal with Andrew Lloyd Webber (long story and thanks, Sir Webber!), and as such, it has taken us a while to be able to articulate exactly what the URO is and what role we fill as the musicians and artists we consider ourselves to be. We’ve described it in several different ways over the years, but never in a way that really diminished the stigma of the words ‘cover band,’ or to a lesser degree, ‘tribute act.’

That all changed for me when we performed in Pennsylvania and a friend and former bandmate saw the URO perform over several nights. He pulled me aside after the show and said to me, “I get it.” He’s a somewhat sardonic gent but someone I really respect (I played bass for him in his band back when I was a pup), so I asked him what he was on about. “You really are like an orchestra. Just like a symphony you’re performing music live that no one’s ever going to hear the original artists play again.” That articulation of what we do immediately closed several loops in my head. He was right, of course. Orchestras are, in effect, giant ‘cover’ bands who play the music of people long dead and the music we perform is by the Mozarts, Bachs and Beethovens of rock music—bands who will never perform this music live together again.

Freddie, Keith and Entwistle are gone, as are Bonham, Harrison and Lennon. Paul continues on, but it’s certainly not the Beatles, and Bowie no longer performs live.

But their music LIVES.

And it’s important to hear this music - not just through earbuds but live, in 3-dimensions. LIVE (I’ve always found it interesting that live and live are spelled the same way).

There’s been no music revolution or revelation that has fundamentally altered what was accomplished by the Beatles, Bowie, Queen, The Who or Led Zeppelin. Their music is the wellspring from which flows much of today’s popular music. We could argue about a few others who might belong to this particular pantheon, but not really about whether any of these artists belong, or the effect that experiencing this music has on audiences across the generations.

As for the URO—we have and continue to break new ground. As crazy (and perhaps arrogant) as it sounds, there’s never really been anything like us, and as such, I don’t think that other artists or critics really know how to react.

Is it okay to like these guys? Is it okay to say that what they do is important? In a word—yes.

I’ve played in a ‘cover’ band… I lasted about a week. As one fellow musician put it - you kind of know when what you’re doing as a musician is wrong because you kind of feel dirty doing it. I’ve never felt that way performing with the URO. I know the feeling that I have when we perform is that what we are doing has a place, is important, and has value.

Rock music, just like classical music, opera and ballet has been, in a way, frozen in time at its pinnacle. One hundred years from now, this is the music that ‘orchestras’ will be performing live. I can write the most amazing song that you might ever hear, but its seed was planted by one of the artists the URO performs.

—Sal Clemente, URO Co-Founder

Schedule/Program:  Arlington International Film Festival 2012

Oct 14, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

7:00PM Best of Festival Shorts (31 min)
CASUS BELLI (11 min)
Yorgos Zois, Director|Greece|2010
AIFF Jury Award for “BEST NARRATIVE SHORT” From grocery stores to night clubs, lines form for access to every need. Is life punctuated by waiting in line, a cycle of endless anticipation? Is it a habit that unites people from all backgrounds?
KAHANIKAR (The Storyteller) (10 min) Nandita Jain, Director|UK|2011 AIFF Jury Award for “BEST ANIMATION SHORT” Seven year old Nirmala attempts to grapple with the demons of her grandfather’s dementia when he starts to forget the details of her favorite story EVERYTHING IS INCREDIBLE (10 min) Tim Skousen, Tyler Bastian, Trevor Hill, Directors|USA/Honduras|2012 |NEW ENGLAND PREMIERE AIFF Jury Award for “BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT” A disabled man named Agustin in Honduras has been building a helicopter in his home for the past 53 years causing controversy amongst his family and community. Some wonder if he is crazy. Other’s see him as inspirational. Some believe he is wasting his time. But for Agustin, the helicopter has become a way to cope with his debilitating polio as he painstakingly crafts the homemade flying machine. But will it fly?

ALL ME: The Life & Times of Winfred Rembert (Film, 78 min)
Vivian Ducat, Director|USA|2012
AIFF Jury Award for “BEST OF FESTIVAL” With his intensely autobiographical paintings depicting the day-to-day existence of African Americans in the segregated South, Winfred Rembert has preserved an important, if often disturbing, chapter of American history. His indelible images of toiling in the cotton fields, singing in church, dancing in juke joints, or working on a chain gang are especially powerful, not just because he lived every moment, but because he experienced so much of the injustice and bigotry they show as recently as the 1960s and 70s. Now in his sixties, Rembert has developed a growing following among collectors and connoisseurs, and enjoyed a number of tributes and exhibitions of his work. In “ALL ME: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert,” the artist relives his turbulent life, abundantly visualized by his extensive paintings and, in a series of intimate reminiscences, shows us how even the most painful memories can be transformed into something meaningful and beautiful. A glowing portrait of how an artist—and his art—is made, “ALL ME” is also a triumphant saga of race in contemporary America.
Panel discussion to follow:
Vivian Ducat, Director, Winfred Rembert, Artist & Subject of Film

After-Party for VIP and Festival Pass Holders at Tango Restaurant

Thursday, October 18, 2012

REINALDO ARENAS (3:45 min) Lucas Leyva, Director|USA/Cuba|2011|NORTHEAST PREMIERE Narrated from the point of view of a dying shark, this film metaphorically explores the current state of the aging Cuban-American exile community, many of whom have still not come to terms with the Communist Revolution that changed their lives forever. The film culls from various Cuban films and works of literature to create not a singular voice, but a feeling of a particular moment in time.
THE WALL: A World Divided (57 min) Eric Stange, Director|USA|2010 A story documenting the forces that built and then brought down the Berlin Wall is told through rare archival film and photos, as well as the unique historical insights of George H. Bush, James Baker, Helmut Kohl, Mikhail Gorbachev and the people of East & West Germany Q&A with Eric Stange, Director and John Kusiak, Composer

Forgás, Hungarian Folk Dance Troupe & Musicians
Endre Hules, Director|Hungary|2012|EAST COAST PREMIERE
Set in post-communist Hungary, The Maiden Danced to Death is a story about two brothers – two dancers; one defected, the other stayed… one gave his soul to commerce, the other to the Party. After twenty years, they meet again…and the dance begins. Expelled by the Communists 20 years earlier, Steve (Hules), has earned success abroad before returning to Hungary where his very presence challenges the ideals of his brother Gyula (Laszlo) who “stuck it out” at home all those years. This exceptional film combines dramatic scenes with dance and music, seamlessly slipping from one into another. Where words fail, the dance takes over revealing long-held secrets and emotions the protagonists kept even from themselves. The Maiden Danced to Death is a reckoning with old shadows, and an examination of the individual’s social responsibility in old and new Europe.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Navid Nikkhah Azad, Director|Iran|2012|MASSACHUSETTS PREMIERE
Simin’s world is turned upside down when the biological mother of her daughter wants her back.

Brian Truglio, Director|USA|2012| WORLD PREMIERE
AIFF Jury Award for “BEST DOCUMENTARY” The film follows Navajo and Hopi runners from two rival high schools cross country teams in northern Arizona who are fighting for a state championship. Shot over two years, it focuses on how the sport impacts the lives of five boys growing up on the reservation and helps them confront the challenges they face on and off the course. Panel Discussion moderated by Larry Gagnon, panelists Brian Truglio, Director, Sean Sandefur, Editor, Christopher McDougall, Author. McDougall will reveal the “Best Story Never Told” the missing chapter of Born to Run which concerns the Hopi tradition of running.

Lisa Gossels|USA|2010 In July 2002, twenty-two Palestinian, Israeli and Palestinian Israeli teenage girls traveled to the United States to participate in a women’s leadership program called Building Bridges for Peace. “My So-Called Enemy” is the story of six of the girls and how the transformative experience of knowing their “enemies” as human beings meets with the realities of their lives at home in the Middle East over the next seven years. Through the coming-of-age narratives of Building Bridges participants Adi, Gal, Hanin, Inas, Rawan and Rezan, we see how creating relationships across personal, political and physical borders is a first step towards resolving conflict. By watching “My So-Called Enemy” communities will experience the complexities of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict though a human lens - as well as the possibility and hope that come from listening to each other’s stories. The girls are the experts in “My So-Called Enemy” - and their voices need to be heard, especially because they are young women.
Q&A with Lisa Gossels, Director

Saturday, October 20, 2012

9:45AM Selected Shorts |50 min
INTEGRITY|Animation|6 min
Olanrewaju Oluwafemi, Director|Nigeria |2012|MASSACHUSETTS PREMIERE

LEONORA & GABRIEL |Experimental|8:16 min
Lizet Benrey|Mexican/USA|2011|EAST COAST PREMIERE

THE READER|Narrative|10 min
Duncan Rogers|USA|2002

VANISHING|Narrative|30 min
Bartosz Kruhlik|Poland|2011|NORTHEAST PREMIERE

Laura DeBlass|Italy|2011

11:00AM High School and College Division – Selected Shorts
High School Division
La Joie de Vivre|Documentary|4:57 min|2012
Jeremy Vassiliou, Director|Montreal, Canada

MOLINEUX|Narrative |10:00 min|2012
Jacob Sussman, Director|Wayland, MA

IN YOUR HEART|Animation|3:08 min|2012
Raymond Caplin, Director |Montreal, Canada

THE CROWN OF LIFE| Experimental|7:12 min|2012
Real Junior Leblanc, Director|Montreal, Canada

CHERRY VANILLA|Narrative|11:05|2012|Honorable Mention
Lydia Mullan, Director|Winchester, MA

ATIUN Traditions|Documentary|6:00 min|2012|Honorable Mention
Kevin Bellefleur, Director|Montreal, Canada

PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT|Experimental|5:46 min|2012
Sonny Finch & Dimitri Giannopoulos, Directors|Boston, MA

BAD WOLF| Narrative|4:52 min|2012
Joe Poverchuk, Director|Allston, MA

BREAKING THE CYCLE| Documentary|7:22 min|2012
Maxwell Anthony, Director|Boston, MA

ME NOT YOU|Experimental|1:03 min|2012
Felicia Imbriana, Director|East Boston, MA

NIGHT GLASSES|Narrative|3:39 min|2012
Louis Phillippe Moar, Director|Montreal, Canada

HOLLOW LAKE|Narrative|2 min|2012
Thomas Violet & Nancy Alberson|Billerica, MA

A PERFORMER|Narrative|7:48 min|2012
Malcolm D.C.|Brighton, MA

College Divison
5-DAY FORECAST|Narrative|18:00 min|2012
Joe Wielosinski &Leah Shortell Chapman, Directors|Chicago, IL

MICROPHONE (116 min)
Ahmed Abdallah, Director|Egypt|2011|USA PREMIERE
When Khaled returns to Alexandria after years of travel, he discovers that it is too late to rekindle a relationship with his old love and with his aging father. Self-absorbed, he roams the city and stumbles across the underground art and music scene. He is mesmerized by the discovery of this world and his life gradually changes. Supporting the movement, he draws attention to the diverse facets of the city. Details of his private life and events of the movement overlap. He awaits an inevitable change that he believes will come from the dynamic and unique art scene in Alexandria, rather than from Cairo; the overpopulated capital. Microphone is a vibrant image of this colorful music and art movement. It is a real narrative of this new generation of artists from Alexandria and the intricate details of their lives.

Sebastian Borensztein|Argentina|2012
A comedy about the meeting between Jun, a Chinese man who has just landed in Argentina and doesn’t speak a word of Spanish and Roberto, a cranky loner who is forced to “adopt” him. Seeking a way out of this absurd situation, Roberto will discover a way of solving his deeper problem… loneliness.

4:45PM Aconcagua Chilean Folk Dance
SKYDANCER (74 min)
Katja Esson, Director|USA|2011
The Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building, the World Trade Center: for more than 120 years, Mohawk ironworkers have raised America’s modern cityscapes. They are called ‘sky walkers’ because they walk fearlessly atop steel beams just a foot wide, high above the city. Who are these Mohawk sky walkers? What is their secret for overcoming fear? Has ‘sky walking’ replaced an ancient rite of passage? Or is it the pure need to adapt in order to survive? And what is their life really like when every Friday at quitting time, they jump in their cars and make the eight-hour drive up north to their families on the reservation?

Martin Haroutunian and Friends, Armenian Music
Suzanne Khardalian, Director|Sweeden/Armenia|2011
Filmmaker Suzanne Khardalian makes a journey into her own family to investigate the terrible truth behind her late grandma’s odd tattoos. Her grandma was always a bit strange, never liking physical contact and covered with unusual marks. Everybody in the family seemed to know the story, but no-one ever spoke about it. So when grandma’s mystery is slowly unveiled, family taboos are broken down and Suzanne exposes the bigger story - the fate of the Armenian women driven out of Ottoman Turkey during the First World War. The painful journey behind Suzanne’s grandma’s tattoos unfolds through Armenia, Lebanon, Sweden and Syria, finally bringing out the truth.
Q&A with Lerna Ekmekcioglu, Professor of History, MIT

ASHBASH…A Love Story (56 min)
Heidi Sullivan, Director|USA|2012
A single woman. A singular celebration. The inspiring film that tells the story. Amusing, unflinchingly honest, and deeply profound, this ultimately inspiring documentary follows one woman’s journey of self-exploration from full-on panic over being single to her epiphany that she does not have to get married; that her single life and all the many relationships in it are worth celebrating – in style.
Q&A with Heidi Sullivan, Director/Producer and Ashley Norwood, Subject/Producer

TUNGSTEN (98 min)
Giorgos Georgopoulos|Greece|2011|MASSACHUSETTS PREMIERE Tungsten deals with the idea of electricity as a metaphor; of all metals in pure form, tungsten has the highest melting point, lowest vapor pressure and the highest tensile strength. It is known for its heat endurance, as well as for its high conductivity. The scenery is urban, and the plot is unfolded during a single day…one day in Athens, continuous outages, and a final blackout, caused by the strike of technicians at the electricity company. A day during which, six people’s lives are being crossed and diverted, two teenage boys, a ticket inspector, a young couple, immigrants, children, all cornered at the end of a blind alley in the center of Athens. A black & white episodic film with spare, non-linear narration portrays a society on the edge, “forgotten in the dark” as noted by one of the characters. As victims and villains switch roles, a mechanism stronger than their own volition is revealed: the meat grinder of bounced checks, empty bank accounts and bankrupt dreams that moves the action forward to the point of dead end.

Sunday, October 21, 2012
9:45AM Selected Shorts | MA Filmmakers |50 min

TUMBLEBEE|Experimental|3 min
John Soares and Jeff Mellin|USA|2012|WORLD PREMIERE

LIZZY|Documentary|12 min

OÙ EST FLEURI ROSE|Animation|23 min
Nick Thorkelson, Mark Warhol & Amy MacDonald|USA|2012


INTERFACES|Narrative|15 min
Tom Kingdon|USA|2009

THE MINERS|Narrative|11:29 min

BUDRUS (82 min) Julia Bacha, Director|Occupied Palestinian Territories/Israel/USA|2009 Struggling side by side, father and daughter unleash an inspiring, yet little-known movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories that is still gaining ground today. In an action-filled documentary chronicling this movement from its infancy, Budrus shines a light on people who choose nonviolence to confront a threat yet remain virtually unknown to the world. While this film is about one Palestinian village, it tells a much bigger story about what is possible in the Middle East. Ayed succeeded in doing what many people believe to be impossible: he united local Palestinian political factions, including Fatah and Hamas; he brought women to the heart of the struggle by encouraging his daughter Iltezam’s leadership; and he welcomed hundreds of Israelis to cross into Palestinian territory for the first time and join this nonviolent effort. Budrus includes diverse voices from the Palestinian leaders of the movement and their Israeli allies to an Israeli military spokesman, Doron Spielman, and Yasmine Levy, the Israeli border police officer stationed in the village at that time. While many documentaries about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict either romanticize the notion of peace, or dwell entirely on the suffering of victims to the conflict, this film focuses on the success of a Palestinian-led nonviolent movement. In a keynote address immediately following the debut of Budrus at a Gala screening at the Dubai International Film Festival in December 2009, Her Majesty Queen Noor Al Hussein of Jordan praised the film, stating that Budrus: “Gives an enormous amount of hope… It’s a story which will have an impact and can help bring change.”

LARBI OR THE Fate of the Great Football Player (92 min)
Driss Mriani|Morocco|2011| USA PREMIERE Larbi, a fiction movie inspired from the life of the outstanding football player, Haj Larbi Benbarek. The movie tells wonderfully this extraordinary figure, the football player who surpassed all his challengers and the man who assumed his destiny with faith and dignity. This is Larbi, who was born in a modest family, who grew up in a popular district and who was a big fan of football since his young age. He invested himself passionately in the game, seeking with rage to surpass himself and to succeed. His intellect, his sense of observation and his perseverance take care of the rest. Success and prestige are soon part of his life: Olympic of Marseille, France’s national team, Athlético of Madrid, etc.. His nick name sums it all « The black Pearl » ! Before, during and after this wonderful and rich career between the 30s and 50s, it is Larbi, the man, who believes, who loves, who shares, whosuffers… But Larbi the believer, is clinging to the true values: love of his homeland, loyalty to his family and his children. He is loving and serene, at peace with himself. At the end of a prestigious career, he is facing, with courage and dignity, terrible hardship: the loss of his two wives and three children, the disease of his son, his own illness and ... death in loneliness!

Marc Fields, Director|USA |2011
The banjo’s been called America’s quintessential instrument, perhaps because its long and contested history has encompassed so many popular musical forms, from black folk styles and the 19th century minstrel show, to blues, ragtime, early jazz, old time folk and bluegrass. One of the biggest challenges of making Give Me the Banjo was trying to cover the full range and breadth of music that the banjo has helped to shape.
Q&A with Marc Fields, Director

CONSENT (86 min)
Ron Farrar Brown, Director|USA|MASSACHUSETTS PREMIERE A wealthy Manhattan family’s inability to cope with the suicide of their eldest daughter sends them into a downward spiral of drugs, alcohol and sexual taboos that threatens to destroy them.
Q&A with Ron Farrar Brown, Director.

Brendyn Schneider, Storyteller
Thomas Ladenburger|Germany/Morocco |2010|EAST COAST PREMIERE On Djemaa el Fna Suare in the Moroccan city of Marrakech, Abderahim El Magori tells stories that he has been collecting in his mind and heart since he was a child. Now that he is growing older, he is teaching his son, Zoheir the tricks of a dying trade. In the Halqu, the storyteller’s circle, the boy practices his skills and his father provide blunt criticism. Once Zoheir is ready for it, he and his father travel to Fez, the intellectural capital of Morocco, for the ultimate test on the lrge city square. The camera follows the pair on their journey which is interspersed with stories about ghosts, kings, shoemakers and animals. However, Zoheir has to find his own style for a new generation of listeners who do not only want to hear about days long past but also get information about things like AIDS.

8:00PM Dancers from the Thillai Fine Arts Academy, Newton
Joshua Dylan Mellars|USA/India|2011|MASSACHUSETTS PREMIERE The film chronicles the legendary Indian sarodist Maestro Ali Akbar Khan, who introduced Indian classical music to the U.S. at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1955 and who has been referred to as “The Emperor of Melody”. Kahn is a national treasure in India and the U.S., a Grammy nominee, and according to renowned master violinist Lord Yehudi Menuhin, “possibly the greatest musician in the world”. His son, American born Alam Khan, travels from California to India on his first concert tour without his ailing father. When Alam shares with his father the weight he feels of living up to his family’s north Indian classical music tradition he remembers his father’s advice: “Don’t worry, play like a Lion!”

**Film programs and time schedule subject to change.**

AIFF Announces its Line-up of Films & Performances

Oct 07, 2012

Arlington, MA (Sept 27, 2012) The 2nd annual Arlington International Film Festival (AIFF) announces its lineup of independent features and shorts that will screen at this year’s festival by filmmakers from Arlington and around the world. All films will be shown in their original language with subtitles. The audience will have the opportunity to participate in discussions with filmmakers after many of the screenings. We will also feature special multicultural performances that will enhance many of the films being screened.

“This year’s festival represents a great diversity of themes and genres of the independent filmmakers. Their films serve as a vehicle in which to break the barriers created and perpetuated by stereotypes and will provoke the audience to challenge mainstream ideas about various ethnicities,” said April L. Ranck, Executive Director . “I encourage people from all backgrounds to come and enjoy as many films as possible.”

The Festival’s Opening Night Gala will begin with a reception by invitation only. The Regent Theatre will open its doors to the general public at 7:00 PM and our program will begin with our award winning “Best of Festival Shorts” followed by our “Best of Festival” feature, ALL ME: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert. There will be a moderated discussion with the filmmaker, Vivian Ducat and artist, Winfred Rembert following the screening.
The Festival will close on Sunday evening with a tribute to the legendary Maestro Ali Akbar Khan with the screening of Play Like a Lion by filmmaker Joshua Dylan Mellers and a performance by Sunanda Narayanan.

Special Featured Performances listed below are included in the general programming:
Aconcagua, Chilean Folk Dance Group
Brendyn Schneider, Storyteller
Forgás, Hungarian Folk Dance Group
Mauricio Gonzalez, Chilean Folk Guitarist/Singer
Sunanda Narayanan’s Dancers, Indian Folk Dance Group
Martin Haroutunian and Friends, Armenian Musicians

Films with an independent perspective made in the United States, from Arlington to California, include:
All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert by Vivian Ducat, New York, NY
AshBash by Heidi Sullivan, Boston, MA
Consent by Ron Farrar Brown, New York, NY
Give Me the Banjo by Marc Fields, Lincoln, MA
My So-Called Enemy by Lisa Gossels, New York, NY
Racing the Rez by Brian Truglio, Somerville, MA
Skydancer by Katja Esson, Brooklyn, NY
The Wall: A World Divided by Eric Stange, Arlington, MA

The number of women filmmakers is increasing each year. AIFF is proud to promote feature films created by a growing group of talented women which include:

All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert directed by Vivian Ducat
AshBash directed by Heidi Sullivan
Automaton Emergence directed by Jeong Hyo Kim Budrus, directed by Julia Bacha Kahanikar directed by Nandita Jain
Leonora and Gabriel: An Instant directed by Lizet Benrey
My So-Called Enemy directed by Lisa Gossels

Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street, Arlington, MA 02474
General Admission $11
Festival Pass (20 Admissions) $45.00

For more information on the festival program please visit Tickets and Festival Passes can be purchased at the Regent Theatre Box Office or online at

The 2nd annual Arlington International Film Festival is made possible by the generous contributions of our sponsors and their commitment to the festival. We would like to especially recognize our fiscal agent, The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), the largest organization in New England promoting the rights and integration of immigrants and refugees.

Our sponsors are:

Acitron Restaurant - Arlington Community Media, Inc –Arlington Advocate - Citizens Bank –
Floral Arts Designs - Jam’n Java Café - Museum of Fine Arts – Not Your Average Joe’s Restaurant - Punjab Restaurant - RCN - Regent Theatre – RULE - Tango Restaurant – Watertown Saving Bank – Wickedlocal – - Zhen Ren Chuan Martial Arts.
The mission of the Arlington International Film Festival is to foster appreciation for different cultures by exploring the lives of people around the globe through independent film — to nurture the next generation of filmmakers within our community.

Wednesday – October 17
7:00PM Best of Festival Shorts |31 min
Q&A with filmmaker & subject |45 min

Thursday – October 18
7:00PM Reinaldo Arenas |Cuba |3 min
Q&A with filmmaker & composer |30 min
8:45PM Hungarian Dance Troupe & Musicians |30 min

Friday – October 19
Q&A with filmmaker & Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run |1hr
8:45PM MY SO-CALLED ENEMY | USA/Israel |89 min
Q&A with filmmaker

Saturday - October 20
9:45AM Selected Shorts |50 min
Integrity | Nigeria |6 min
Leonora and Gabriel | Mexican/USA |8:16 min
The Reader | USA |10 min
Vanishing | Poland | 30 min
Pizzangrillo | Italy |15 min
11:00AM High School Shorts
12:45PM MICROPHONE |Egypt |116 min
2:55PM CHINESE TAKE-AWAY | Argentina |96 min
4:45PM Chilean Folk Dancers |30 min
6:45PM Armenian Musician | 20 min
Q&A with historian |30min
Q&A with filmmaker and subject |25 min
10:20PM LOVE IN THE MEDINA | Morocco |113 min

Sunday – October 21
9:45AM Selected Shorts | MA Filmmakers |50 min
Tumblee | 3 min
Lizzy | 12 min
Ou Est Fleuri Rose |23 min
Automaton Emergence |2 min
Interfaces |15 min
The Miners |11:29 min
11:00AM BUDRUS |Palestine |82 min
2:15PM GIVE ME THE BANJO | USA |83 min
Q&A with filmmaker |20 min
4:10PM CONSENT |USA |86 min
Q&A with filmmaker |25 min
6:10PM Brendyn Schneider, Storyteller |15 min
8:00PM Indian Dance Troupe |30 min
PLAY LIKE A LION | USA/India |72 min
**Film programs and time schedule subject to change

New Rock Film Documents Clash Breakup (Boston Globe)

Jul 09, 2012

New Rock Film Documents Clash Breakup

Steve Morse, Boston Globe

Rock ’n’ roll artists, as we all know, can take dramatically different paths. Two new rock movies open this week, illustrating just how strangely divergent these paths can be. One is a glimpse at Neil Young mellowing into a solo act full of sweet nostalgia and spiritually enlightened songs, while the other is a tense, retrospective look at punk pioneers the Clash as they crumble and dissolve amid widespread bitterness and disgust.

Titled “Neil Young Journeys” and “The Rise and Fall of the Clash,” they debut in Boston a day apart. The Young film, directed by Jonathan Demme (his third film documenting Young) opens Friday at the Kendall Cinema, while the Clash opus is a one-night stand Thursday at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, where director Danny Garcia will conduct a Q&A afterward. It’s sure to be entertaining and maybe a little heated — some people still have strong feelings about the Clash, even though they broke up 27 years ago after a meteoric, hyper-manic run.

The Young movie finds him playing a laid-back but brilliant 2011 solo show at Toronto’s Massey Hall, where he also played a famed gig in 1971 that finally came out a few years ago as a live CD. Young also reminisces breezily about his boyhood in nearby Omemee, Ontario, where he drives around and chats about his old fishing hole, school, and the local reverend’s house.

The Clash documentary, on the other hand, is a compelling but edgy tale of the band’s still-angry, mudslinging “soap opera,” to quote director Garcia in a recent phone interview from his home in Barcelona. More on that conflict in a minute.

Not surprisingly, the Young film will get better distribution and has already garnered a wealth of advance promotion. Young and Demme (who directed “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Philadelphia,” as well as the first-rate concert movie “Stop Making Sense” about the Talking Heads) have a formidable track record. Their first film together, “Neil Young: Heart of Gold,” in 2006, portrayed a Young concert at the old Grand Ole Opry site, the Ryman Auditorium, in Nashville, soon after he recovered from a brain aneurysm. Their second, “Neil Young Trunk Show,” bowed in 2009.

This new one, unlike the Nashville concert, which was a special, one-time event, is simply the last stop on a tour backing his “Le Noise” album last year. “With ‘Heart of Gold,’ we staged that for the movie,” Demme recently told Marshall Fine of “That show was never a tour. We had a costume designer and rehearsed it the way we would stage a show, with a visual script design for certain shots. It was completely hand-crafted. This film was inspired by an existing show, with us coming in to film it.”

“The Rise and Fall of the Clash” is a head-first plunge into conflict and chaos. It’s not a rosy story, but it’s an essential one for Clash completists who wondered what the heck happened to their favorite band after it conquered the world in the late ’70s and early ’80s at the height of the punk era. The concert footage is extraordinary — from early clips of the Clash tearing it up at London’s 100 Club (previously unseen footage) to the Roundhouse, the Lyceum, and on up to New York’s Shea Stadium, where Mick Jones sings the hit “Should I Stay or Should I Go.” Alas, the fall was just as dramatic, but has not been as well-covered until now. There have been previous Clash movies such as “Westway to the World” and “The Future Is Unwritten,’’ but they have not delved much into the last years.

“A lot of people don’t know about that later era,” said director Garcia. “A lot of people think they were finished when Mick [was fired], but they were around for another 2½ years with replacement players.”

It’s an ugly story that resembles a VH1 “Behind the Music” episode times 10. Clash guitarist Jones and manager Bernie Rhodes (who Garcia said had worked with Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren and even named the Sex Pistols) originally put the Clash together. But Garcia noted that the Clash was a “fabrication.” Unlike U2 or the Beatles, for example, whose members knew each other as kids, the Clash was a created band.

“Bernie chose [bassist] Paul Simonon for his looks because he looked like David Bowie,” said Garcia, adding that Rhodes also told the Clash to write songs about “politics and not about love.” The Clash wrote some of the great political punk of all time — from “I’m So Bored With the USA” to “Police on My Back” — but they couldn’t sustain any unity. They ended up kicking out drummer Topper Headon because of drugs. Several spokesmen in the film suggest that the Clash should have taken time off to let Headon enter rehab (he is clean and sober today), but Rhodes insisted that the band keep touring and get another drummer right away.

Eventually, Jones was pitted against Rhodes, singer Joe Strummer, and Simonon, so his days were numbered. His last gig was in California at the US Festival, where the Clash were paid $500,000. Jones recalls in the film that “there was a punch-up at the end, then Paul [Simonon] jumped in.” Meanwhile, the Clash unfurled a banner at the end of the show that said “The Clash is not for sale!” By then, however, it was clear that the band was being co-opted by the system, other spokesmen say in the documentary.

The shock of the film is how raw the emotions still are. Rhodes and Simonon wouldn’t talk on camera (though Rhodes is thanked in the credits and Garcia said he was shown the script and approved it), but Jones speaks of how out of control the scene became. “It’s still a painful era for him,” said Garcia. And when Strummer finally realized they had made a mistake and should invite Jones back, it was too late because Jones had joined another band, Big Audio Dynamite. Strummer even went to Nassau, rented a bike, and rode around for three days to find Jones, only to be rebuffed.

The later replacement members of the Clash — drummer Pete Howard and guitarists Vince White and Nick Sheppard — vent an incredible amount of anger at how they were treated. White says they were only paid a little over $300 a week. It’s sad punctuation to the legacy of a group that was once praised in the press as “the only band that matters.”

Getting this film made at all is quite a coup for Garcia, who simply defines himself as a Clash fan. Now 41 years old, he first fell in love with the band at age 9 by listening to his older brother’s records. “I also remember riding on my bicycle and singing the chorus to the Clash song ‘Spanish Bombs,’ ” said Garcia, citing a Clash song about the Spanish Civil War. “And I thought then, ‘You will remember this moment all your life.’ ”

His film won’t get the attention of “Neil Young Journeys,” but it’s well worth investigating if you care about the history of rock ’n’ roll. If you miss it in the theater, it will be out on DVD this fall.

June 28th VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR with Helmut of Gnats!

Jun 21, 2012

Icons of British Progressive Rock VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR

Coming to Arlington’s Historic Regent Theatre Thursday, June 28 at 8pm

Exclusive New England Performance!

On Thursday, June 28 at 8pm, NewEARS (New England Art Rock Society) will present legendary British Progressive-Rock band Van der Graaf Generator at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts. Opening will be Connecticut-based instrumental symphonic prog-fusion band Helmet of Gnats. Both bands perform at the
Regent just after appearances at the sold-out “NEARfest Apocalypse” in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

 Icons of English Progressive Rock, Van der Graaf Generator still feature three surviving members of the original 1968 line-up. Their signature sound is shaped by Peter Hammill’s distinctive & dynamic voice, Hugh Banton keyboard & bass parts and Guy Evans’ rolling jazz-rock-like drumming. VdGG’s albums tended more
atmospheric than many of their prog-rock peers, a trait they shared with King Crimson, whose guitarist Robert Fripp guested on two of their albums. Forming in Manchester, they first broke out on BBC Radio 1 and supported Jimi Hendrix at London’s Royal Albert Hall in 1969. For more information, visit the band’s official web site:

VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR with Helmut of Gnats

Thursday, June 28 at 8pm (doors at 7:30)
Regent Theatre
7 Medford Street (off Massachusetts Avenue), Arlington, Massachusetts
MBTA & wheelchair accessible; free parking across the street
$55 - Preferred Seating (Rows A-G Center Orchestra), $45 – Reserved Seats (Rest of Orchestra & Balcony
Tickets & Theatre Info: 781-646-4849 or

Press Inquiries
Interviews & High Resolution Images
Leland Stein (617) 694-6612,
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Late Artist Karen Aqua to be Honored at Memorial Tribute May 30

May 29, 2012

-Matt Robinson, Dirty Water News

To millions of sesame Street fans, Karen Aqua was the awardwinning animator who helped make counting and the alphabet fun and easy to remember.
To many more, she was a great friend and teacher. To Boston’s Ken Field, she was a wife…and so much more!

When Aqua died last May of ovarian cancer, the world lost a teacher, Boston lost a driving creative force, and Field lost a life partner. On May 30, all of these people (and many others) will gather at The Regent Theatre in Arlington ( for a special tribute to Aqua that will be hosted by Field and introduced by Dr. Ursula Matulonis of the Dana- Farber Cancer Institute. Proceeds from the $15 tickets will benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund at Dana Farber.

Since her graduation from Rhode Island School of Design in 1976, Aqua’s unique style amazed audiences and won her acclaim from New York to Hiroshima and Annecy, France to Zagreb, Croatia. A long-time animation lecturer and instructor at Boston College and Emerson College, Aqua was also able to reach many on an intellectual level. Stills taken from her animations appeared at the Museum of Fine Arts, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Dartmouth College and other vaunted venues around New England and the world. What most people may know Aqua for, however, are the 22 segments she produced for Children’s Television Workshop.
Aqua and Field met when Aqua was still a student at RISD and he was studying at Brown University. At least, he says, that was when they “sort-of met.” “We really met when we both shared a summer ride from a rideboard driver who was going crosscountry,” Field recalls. “She got out in Denver, and by that time I was pretty hooked on her.”

Drawn to her “cute hippie artist” vibe, Field (who is himself an award wining artist who performs in such acclaimed bands as Revolutionary Snake Ensemble and Birdsongs of the Mesozoic), Field was keen to reconnect with Aqua when they both returned to Rhode Island.

“We renewed our friendship from that drive when we both ended up back in Providence the following fall,” he explains. Apparently, it was what Field calls a “perfect” match, as Field was able to help Aqua score her early animation pieces. “The music was a recording I had of Eric Dolphy,” Field explains, citing a fellow master of the sax and flute. The pair continued to collaborate, each helping the other find and explore new artistic avenues. Theirs was a beautiful and symbiotic relationship and when Aqua passed last year, Field’s life and the artistic landscape of the area changed dramatically.

“It seemed appropriate to mark the one-year anniversary of her passing with this screening of her work,” Field suggests, noting that much of Aqua’s oeuvre can be seen Tat “I also wanted to give people an opportunity to see all of her films in a theater setting, since such screenings are relatively rare.”
In addition to these special screenings, guests will be able to see and appreciate a carefullycrafted chronology of Aqua’s 35- year career. “I just want to keep Karen’s work and Karen’s life in the public eye,” Field explains. “She was a truly gifted artist!”


Apr 27, 2012



Arlington’s Regent Theatre in Collaboration with Belmont World Film to Present Screenings May 10-19 Including Special Event Fri May 11 Featuring Live Performance By Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra / URO

Once upon a time…or maybe twice…there was an unearthly paradise called Pepperland…

Los Angeles and Boston – April 25, 2012 – The Beatles’ classic 1968 animated feature film, Yellow Submarine, has been digitally restored and will be presented on the big screen in select theaters across the United States in May including five screenings at Arlington’s Regent Theatre Thursday, May 10 through Saturday, May 19 . EMI and Apple Corps Ltd. have teamed with D&E Entertainment ( to give Beatles fans of all ages the opportunity to come together and share in this visually stunning movie and soundtrack.  On May 5 at the famed Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City, Yellow Submarine will start its theatrical campaign with an 8pm screening.

The Friday, May 11, 8pm Regent Theatre screening will be preceded by the Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra Unplugged,’ a special 30 minute live set of All-Beatles masterpieces; new songs they’ve never performed before, including classics from Yellow Submarine. Audience members can sing along with the URO and then enjoy the film in its entirety. (This special event along with the Saturday, May 12, 10:30am screening will be co-presented by Belmont World Film.)

Currently out of print, the film has been restored in 4K digital resolution for the first time by Paul Rutan Jr. and his team of specialists at Triage Motion Picture Services and Eque Inc.  Due to the delicate nature of the hand-drawn original artwork, no automated software was used in the digital clean-up of the film’s restored photochemical elements.  This was all done by hand, frame by frame. The restored film will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on June 5 (June 4 internationally), and the film’s songtrack album will be reissued on CD on the same date.

Yellow Submarine aficionado John Lasseter (Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios) wrote in his essay for the DVD and Blu-ray packages, “As a fan of animation and as a filmmaker, I tip my hat to the artists of Yellow Submarine, whose revolutionary work helped pave the way for the fantastically diverse world of animation that we all enjoy today.”

“We are ecstatic and honored to have been selected and entrusted to give Yellow Submarine a theatrical campaign,” stated Evan Saxon and Doug Kluthe from D&E Entertainment.  “We’re setting up matinee screenings so parents can share with their children as well as evening screenings for all to enjoy.  The digital cinema presentation will be the absolute best viewing experience and representation of the hard work put into the film.”

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Yellow Submarine’s confirmed theatrical screening dates, cities and theaters have been posted at and

Directed by George Dunning, and written by Lee Minoff, Al Brodax, Jack Mendelsohn and Erich Segal, Yellow Submarine began its voyage to the screen when Brodax, who had previously produced nearly 40 episodes of ABC’s animated Beatles TV series, approached The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein with a unique vision for a full-length animated feature. 

Yellow Submarine, based upon a song by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, is a fantastic tale brimming with peace, love, and hope, propelled by Beatles songs, including “Eleanor Rigby,” “When I’m Sixty-Four,” “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” “All You Need Is Love,” and “It’s All Too Much.”  When the film debuted in 1968, it was instantly recognized as a landmark achievement, revolutionizing a genre by integrating the freestyle approach of the era with innovative animation techniques.

Inspired by the generation’s new trends in art, the film resides with the dazzling Pop Art styles of Andy Warhol, Martin Sharp, Alan Aldridge and Peter Blake. With art direction and production design by Heinz Edelmann, Yellow Submarine is a classic of animated cinema, featuring the creative work of animation directors Robert Balser and Jack Stokes with a team of animators and technical artists.

“I thought from the very beginning that the film should be a series of interconnected shorts” remembered Edelmann.  “The style should vary every five minutes or so to keep the interest going until the end.”  These styles included melding live-action photography with animation, 3-dimensional sequences and kaleidoscopic “rotoscoping” where film is traced frame by frame into drawings.  The entire process took nearly two years, 14 different scripts, 40 animators and 140 technical artists, ultimately producing a groundbreaking triumph of animation.

Yellow Submarine will be presented on the big screen at the historic Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street in Arlington, Massachusetts Thursday, May 10 through Saturday, May 19, 2012. General Admission tickets are $8/Advance, $10/Day of Show, $5/Kids under 12, and $7 Regent Members; (For the Friday, May 11, 8pm special event featuring the live performance by the URO, prices are $12/Adv, $15/Day of, $10/Regent Members, and $5/Kids Under 12). The Regent Theatre is MBTA and handicap accessible with free parking in the municipal lot across the street. For tickets and info call 781-646-4849 or visit

Complete Regent Screening Schedule for Yellow Submarine:
Thursday May 10th - 8pm
Friday May 11th - 8pm (with LIVE Performance by the Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra (URO)
Saturday May 12th - 10:30am
Wednesday May 16th - 8pm
Saturday May 19th - 10:30am

About Belmont World Film
Belmont World Film promotes cross-cultural understanding through the powerful universal language of film. It presents award-winning feature films, documentaries, animation, and shorts from around the world, enhanced by post-film discussions led by topical speakers, cultural performances and ethnic cuisine. Programs include the 6-week International Film Series in the spring, a Family Film Festival in November, and special events throughout the year.

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Yellow Submarine synopsis:
Once upon a time… or maybe twice, there was an unearthly paradise called Pepperland, a place where happiness and music reigned supreme. But all that was threatened when the terrible Blue Meanies declared war and sent in their army led by a menacing Flying Glove to destroy all that was good.  Enter John, Paul, George and Ringo to save the day!  Armed with little more than their humor, songs, and of course, their yellow submarine, The Beatles tackle the rough seas ahead in an effort to bring down the evil forces of bluedom.

Production credits
Running Time: 89 minutes
Director - George Dunning
Producer - Al Brodax
Screen story - Lee Minoff
Screenplay - Lee Minoff, Al Brodax, Jack Mendelsohn, and Erich Segal
Art Director - Heinz Edelmann
Animation directors - Robert Balser and Jack Stokes
Production Executive - John Coates
Music Producer and Supervisor - George Martin

Story based on a song by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Featuring music by The Beatles
* * *

Media Contacts

Leland Stein – Regent Theatre
(617) 694-6612 / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Jennifer Ballantyne – EMI Music North America
(323) 871-5494 / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Jonathan Chaupin—D&E Entertainment
(323) 464-2403 / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Seeds of Sound Featuring Ronnie Earl, Comanchero, Sam Reid, and more April 15th!

Mar 26, 2012

The Regent Theatre & The New England Americana Association Present…
An All Day Roots Music Stage & Screen Festival and Fundraiser

On Sunday, April 15, 2012 at 2pm, Arlington’s historic Regent Theatre and The New England Americana Association will co-present “Seeds of Sound Celebration,” a very special matinee roots concert event followed by an evening of films on the Regent’s big screen. Proceeds will go to the Regent Theatre equipment fund and the New England Americana Festival 2012.

Many acclaimed musicians and bands will be featured on the Regent stage starting at 2pm including W.C. Handy award-winning guitar virtuoso, Ronnie Earl in a rare solo acoustic performance, Comanchero, Sam Reid & The Riot Act, Jeff Byrd, and Arlington-based duo Adela & Jude.

In addition, on the big screen at 7:30pm, there will be a special 35mm screening of Murray Lerner’s “Festival”—a 1967 GRAMMY Award-Nominee for Best Feature Documentary (with historical performances for the 1963-65 Newport Folk Festivals). “Festival” will be preceded at 7pm by an exclusive 30-minute sneak preview of documentarian Beth Harrington’s “The Winding Stream,” with excerpts from her film-in-progress telling the remarkable story of the American roots music dynasty, the Carters and the Cashes.

Beer and wine will be available for purchase to patrons 21 and older with proper I.D. throughout the event, and food will be catered by the award-winning Blue Ribbon BBQ between the concert and film segments of the festival.

“Seeds of Sound Celebration” will be presented at the Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street in Arlington, Massachusetts on Sunday, April 15, 2012 at 2pm (film at 6pm). General Admission tickets are $12 advance, $15 day of show(Concert Only); $18 advance, $20 day of show (Concert & Film with BBQ); and $8 advance, $10 day of show (Film Only). Regent Theatre Members may get one free ticket for each purchased. The Regent Theatre is MBTA and handicap accessible with free
parking in the municipal lot across the street. For tickets and info call 781-646-4849 or visit

Bicycle Dreams, Award-Winning Documentary Film, Coming To Boston On March 6

Mar 05, 2012

Bicycle Dreams, Award-Winning Documentary Film, Coming To Boston On March 6

Bicycle Dreams, the award-winning feature-length documentary about the Race Across America (RAAM), will premiere in Boston at the Regent Theatre in Arlington on Tuesday, March 6 at 7 p.m. as part of the film’s ongoing nationwide winter tour. The screening is presented as a benefit for MassBike and is co-sponsored by Team 4HIVHope, a local team that will be competing in RAAM later this year.

The film, which has been selling out theaters from coast to coast on its current tour, has won numerous awards at film festivals all over the world, “is an up-close look at what RAAM riders go through,” says Stephen Auerbach, the director and producer of Bicycle Dreams. “They deal with searing desert heat, agonizing mountain climbs, and endless stretches of open road. And they do it all while battling extreme exhaustion and sleep deprivation. It’s a great subject for a film.”

“Bicycle Dreams is a spectacular and heartfelt film that offers a riveting portrait of extreme courage in the face of inhuman obstacles,” writes “It is an artistic triumph that renewed my belief in the power of desire and the strength of the human will.”

“We are very excited to be able to bring Bicycle Dreams to so many locations along the route that have never had access to the film before,” says Auerbach. “Viewers will be overwhelmed by the amount of pain and suffering these riders go through.”

To capture the mammoth scope of the race, Auerbach worked around the clock with a complement of 18 cameras. Embedded camera operators traveled inside the racers’ support crew vehicles, gaining unprecedented access to the cyclists and their teams. Their footage captured emotional and physical breakdowns, late-night strategy sessions, and great moments of personal triumph, all in intimate detail. Auerbach then took on the enormous task of editing hundreds of hours of material and forming it into a powerful and inspiring look inside the most difficult race on the planet.

Bicycle Dreams has won major awards at the Fallbrook and Breckenridge film festivals, as well as the Yosemite, Grand Rapids, Red Rock and All Sports LA film festivals, among many others.

Most recently the film added the Best Foreign Film trophy from the Krasnogorski International Festival of Sports Films in Moscow and was also invited to be included in the 2011 World Cinema Showcase in New Zealand as well as the Mountain Film Festival in Istanbul, Turkey. And before that it made its Australian debut at the Big Pond Film Festival in Adelaide.

Critical acclaim for the film continues to pour in from all sources.

“An astonishing documentary,” declares Pez Cycling. “This film is a ride of many stark contrasts; when it ended I felt both shattered and triumphant. I realized I was experiencing its genius. A central theme of Bicycle Dreams is the profoundly inspiring strength of the human in facing monumental challenge and tragedy. Bicycle Dreams is a race of truth.”

“This film isn’t for those who want to shy away from the tragic side of the human experience, unwilling to risk the cracking of their shell of denial, not willing to risk their coping mechanism,” writes “Bicycle Dreams captures the human condition like few other films. Bicycle Dreams moves us to break through the barrier of the fear of death. I have seldom found a film that captures this ‘life drama’ as powerfully as does Bicycle Dreams.”

Bicycle Dreams also has been named one of the top 10 adventure films of all time by both The Matador Network and Playground Magazine, calling it the best bicycle film since “Breaking Away.”

Tickets will be $12 in advance and $15 at the door the night of the show. To purchase advance tickets, order online at The Regent Theatre is located at 7 Medford St. in Arlington.

The guest speaker at the event will be one of the racers in the film, Patrick Autissier of Boston, who is a member of Team 4HIVHope, which will be competing as a team in RAAM 2012. Three of the four members who completed RAAM 2011 in just over six days are living with HIV and two of them will return for this year’s race. Autissier, who is an HIV scientist and researcher, will be conducting tests during the race in hopes of discovering the effects of endurance athletics on both HIV-positive and negative individuals and comparing the results. For more information, go to

For more information on the film, go to

Arlington’s Regent takes a bold shot at its musical roots (Boston Globe)

Feb 23, 2012

Arlington’s Regent takes a bold shot at its musical roots

-Rich Fahey, Boston Globe

When you’re involved in live theater, you’re an optimist at heart.

But will people who show up and enthusiastically sing along to the movie “The Sound of Music’’ also show up to see a work-in-progress musical about a woman undergoing a midlife meltdown? The owners of the Regent Theatre in Arlington are eager to find out.

The Regent - which began life in 1916 as a vaudeville palace, became a movie house, and now uses movies, music, theater, dance, comedy, and children’s shows to fill its 500 seats about 200 times a year - will present the musical “Monsters! A Midlife Musical Meltdown’’ for three weekends beginning Saturday.

“Our schedule is a huge mishmash,’’ admits Leland Stein, who runs the theater with partner Rick Stavros. “But musical theater actually harkens us back closer to our roots as a vaudeville house.’’

Drawing theatergoers into the suburbs is problematic, even in Arlington, located close to Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville. For every long-running company such as the Reagle Music Theatre in Waltham, the countryside is littered with the corpses of companies such as the Fiddlehead Theatre in Norwood, which won awards and critical acclaim for its shows but couldn’t draw enough patrons.

“We’re just far out enough that we’re not the city, but people in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville do have so much to choose from,’’ said Stein. “But we can price things modestly, offer free parking and dinner-show packages, and offer an experience comparable to Boston.’’

“Monsters!’’ is the story of Samantha (played by Emily Browder Melville), a New York City stockbroker who decides to celebrate her 40th birthday by quitting her job and going off to find herself in Peru’s Machu Picchu. But arriving on the scene is her skeptical mother, played by Arlington native and award-winning actress Cheryl McMahon, who saw her first movie matinee at the Regent and is reprising the role she first played in the original production in 2006.

She desperately tries to persuade Samantha to reconsider, to do the practical thing. Samantha insists she’s firm in her resolve to strike a new path at 40, but the echo of her mother’s words stirs up a toxic blend of old insecurities embodied by monsters familiar to us all - apathy, fear, and body image.

The Regent is coproducing “Monsters!’’ along with GP Productions and Image Theater.

“The Regent deserves a lot of credit for bringing in live theater,’’ said Jerry Bisantz, the director of “Monsters!’’ and one of the coproducers of Lowell-based Image Theatre with partner Ann Garvin.

The Regent last changed hands in 2001, when Gary Adelson bought the building. Stein and Stavros formed their partnership to lease the theater soon afterward.

Stavros and Bisantz had worked together on other theatrical productions, so when Bisantz and “Monsters!’’ playwright Gail Phaneuf approached Stein and Stavros last summer, they were convinced to journey north to the Deertrees Theatre in Harrison, Maine, to see a production of “Monsters!’’

Stein said he and his partner were very impressed, looked at available dates, and signed the deal.

Phaneuf, who wrote the book and lyrics for the show, and composer Ernie Lijoi, a Dedham native, first presented the work to area audiences in 2006 at CentaStage in Boston to strong notices.

It had been workshopped in New York City since then, as the creators revised and tightened up the piece, which they say is now ready for a return to Boston.

“I’m thrilled to have the show up and running again,’’ said Lijoi, who said he felt the rewrites had transformed the piece “into a truly solid and funny musical. I couldn’t be happier with it.’’

Phaneuf said the original positive critical reaction served as an incentive to refine it.

Lijoi, a fellow at the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop in New York, has been writing music and lyrics for new works since 2001. His work will be represented on Broadway this fall; he wrote the lyrics with composer Barbara Anselmi for two songs in “It Shoulda Been You.’’ The show was recently produced at New Jersey’s George Street Playhouse, directed by David Hyde Pierce and starring Tyne Daly.

Stein cut his teeth doing everything and anything in the music business, and one-night concerts have been one of the staples of the Regent in recent years. One exception was Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra’s Rock ’n Roll Circus, which had a long run last fall.

“We’ve been doing a lot of ‘one-offs,’ ’’ said Stein. “Obviously, we’d like to get some events with longer runs.’’

Whatever happens with “Monsters!’’ musical theater won’t be a “one-off’’ at the Regent. The theater has already scheduled another of Phaneuf’s musicals, “The Love Note,’’ for June.

“There is risk involved, but we’re sharing the risk with other people and believe we have the right audience to make it work,’’ said Stein. “We’re working with good people for three weeks. If it doesn’t work, it won’t kill us.’’

Boston-Originated Hit Musical Monsters! Makes Triumphant Return Home

Feb 17, 2012

Boston-Originated Hit Musical Monsters! Makes Triumphant Return Home

Who:      Gail Phaneuf, Playwright/Producer
What:      Monsters! the Midlife Musical Meltdown
Where:      The Regent Theatre, Arlington, MA
When:      Saturday, 2/25 – Saturday, 3/10

Composer Ernie Lijoi’s lyrics to make Broadway debut this fall in It Should’ve Been You, most recently staged by David Hyde Pierce, starring the epic Tyne Daly
Mila Kunis’s body double, actress Jennifer Fogarty steals the show in her captivating role as the “birthday stripper”

Boston-based collaborators playwright Gail Phaneuf and composer Ernie Lijoi collaborated on this project for years before the world premiere in 2006

Created to feature roles for 4 women in their 40’s, a rare opportunity for actresses offered by very few musicals

Features Boston favorite actress Cheryl McMahon who originated the role of “Mother” in the world premiere, 2006

Every day we observe ambitious young 20-somethings racing through the years at breakneck speed, aspiring to maturity, respect and triumph.  Suddenly 40 arrives, their youth screeches to a halt, triggering the age-old realization “Half of my life is over!”, the plague of the generation!

The reality of turning 40 is captured in Boston originated musical Monsters! A Midlife Musical Meltdown, hitting the stage at The Regent Theatre, opening next Saturday.  Back by popular demand, Monsters! triumphs through years of development and regional productions after a rousing 2006 world premiere in Boston, home to playwright/composer team Gail Phaneuf and Ernie Lijoi. 

Paralyzed at that very thought, NY stockbroker Samantha seeks clarity in her cup half-full of coffee: “I’ve been half focused, half resolved, half in control of my life!”  Instantly the dreaded 40-year milestone becomes the launching pad for the half of her life ahead “Plenty of time to do what I want to do!”  But what to do?  How will she muster the resolve to tear down her Monsters and invigorate her future?  This universal topic comes to life through witty characters and side-splitting humor not to be missed!

Monsters! has taken a road sparked by many highlights, including high-profile New York City industry readings featuring Broadways stars including Andrea McArdle, Cady Huffman, Joy Franz, Ann Harrada and Nicolette Hart.  Most recently Monsters! was produced at The Deertrees Theatre in Harrison, Maine.

Performances will be held at the historic Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St. (off Mass. Ave.) in Arlington, from Saturday, February 25 through Saturday, March 10, 2012. Reserved seats range from $20-$30, with discounts available to groups and students.  The Regent is MBTA and handicap accessible with free parking in the municipal lot across the street. For show times and to purchase tickets, please visit, or call the box office at 781-646-4849.  For further information, or to listen to sample recordings, visit

Re:Generation Review (Boston Phoenix)

Feb 17, 2012

Michael Walsh, Boston Phoenix

“It is worrisome to me that cultures prefer dancing to a machine,” says John Densmore around the halfway point of RE:GENERATION, which screens tonight at the Common and Arlington’s Regent Theater. The quote is delivered via a voice over while we witness the Doors drummer making a death row-like march into a Los Angeles recording studio. Once inside, he’s is greeted by a rather carefree “Sup!” from Skrillex, seemingly ignorant to Densmore’s distaste for his entire being.

In a lot of ways, that’s how most of the interactions in Amir Bar-Lev’s documentary play out. The film pairs off five producers—DJ Premier, the Crystal Method, Mark Ronson, Pretty Lights, and the aforementioned prince of discord—with five genres of music outside their comfort zones. The end result of the collaborations are hardly what the film’s about though. In fact, they’re almost treated as an afterthought, each given a curtailed run-through just before the credits.

Rather, it’s the interactions, like the one detailed above, that make the film worthwhile. The Crystal Method get a metaphorical bitch slap from Martha Reeves thanks to the sophomoric lyrics they come with for their R&B collaboration. Skrillex powers through blank stares from Ray Manzarek. And perhaps most uncomfortable of all, the collaboration between Pretty Lights and Dr. Ralph Stanley. I’m not trying to give too much away, but you can probably imagine what a standoff between an 84-year-old bluegrass stalwart and a 30-year-old ecstasy stalwart might entail.

It isn’t all get-off-my-lawn indifference though. There are also a handful of ethereal moments as well. Admittedly, I don’t know shit about Mark Ronson aside from the fact that he’s a rather dashing bloke, but his collaboration with the Dap Kings, Zigaboo Modeliste, and Erykah Badu is a highlight. He probably got a better draw with having to create a jazz track than poor Pretty Lights with country, but his handling of a rather orchestral cast of musicians was revealing of his aptitude as a producer. And for the entirety of DJ Premier’s screen time—from him digging Beethoven records to him standing on stage at our very own Jordan Hall in anticipation of his collab with the Berklee Symphony—I was basically reduced to a state of fanboy geekdom.

Re:Generation isn’t getting a wide release, but as mentioned up top, it is screening tonight at 8 pm in two local spots: the AMC in the Commons (also screening there again next Thursday at 8 pm) and the Regent in Arlington (also 10:30 pm tomorrow night). This not being the film blog and myself not being a film critic, I’m just going to go ahead and say, 4 OUT OF 4 STARS! MUST SEE!

No, but for real, it’s good. I wasn’t expecting much and was duly impressed, even as a rather cynical hater of all things wobble. And finally, as a bit of self-promotion, I’m starting a new blog focusing on electronic music that will be appearing here, On the Download. First post goes up tomorrow. Be on the look out.

Judy Pancoast shines in Carpenters tribute

Feb 14, 2012

Judy Pancoast shines in Carpenters tribute

-Bill Copeland

Taking a brief rest in her busy schedule as a children’s music composer, Judy Pancoast put together Close To You: A Live Tribute To The Carpenters. Pancoast has been a fan of The Carpenters since she was 11 years old and has seen them in concert five times, culminating in a backstage meeting. Last Sunday’s tribute concert at The Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts might be the beginning of a big thing for Pancoast.

Presenting The Carpenters’ major hit songs and some lesser known gems, Pancoast kept her audience thoroughly entertained for over two hours, reaching people on an emotional level. Pancoast didn’t settle for imitation. She channeled the essence of what The Carpenters always tried to do: show respect and warmth for the people they were singing to. And Pancoast has a voice to handle the technical challenges and emotive qualities of that music.

Pancoast’s voice rose above the music on The Carpenters’ rendition of “Ticket To Ride,” settling comfortably in that zone where Karen Carpenter made her vocal the key instrument in each song. A listener almost doesn’t feel the build up to the chorus because Pancoast can deliver it so unobtrusively. This is one thing that makes this music work so well for her, or make Pancoast work well for the music.

Pancoast’s vocal timber widens majestically during each chorus. It is in this singer’s ability to suddenly shift dynamics or widen her timbre that made her uniquely suited to deliver these heart warming, time-honored songs. Remember, with The Carpenters, most of the power was in Karen Carpenter’s ability to use her voice as the principle instrument. She may have seemed merely a pleasant voice on the radio or on your turntable, but there were actually a lot of sophisticated techniques employed by that pop singer.

Pancoast moved her sweet voice forward along the vocal melody lines with a charming charisma, making you like her with a pleasant something in her singing style, her natural colors and tones fitting in so well with the poignant drama in these songs.

Pancoast showed a sweeping range of colors and tones in her presentation of “We’ve Only Just Begun.” She sustained notes while infusing them with the proper emotion. Piano player and the show’s music director, Michael Pierce, gave each note the right touch. Much of the Carpenters gentle music was channeled with respectful tinkling by Pierce. It was also the space he opened up for the vocal that made him an important part of this tribute concert. Max Arbuckle played bass. Chris Johnson played drums. Max Huxel played saxophone, and Ben Ennis played guitar. Each player kept the Carpenters’ music right in that zone of comforting, precise and sprightly.

“I Won’t Last A Day Without You” benefited greatly from Pancoast’s sweet ranginess. Her voice rode along with that exquisite pop piano sensibility.

Pancoast captured the essence of Carpenter’s romantic side when she sang “Touch Me When We’re Dancing.” She introduced this song by saying it was from the final album that Karen And Richard Carpenter would make as a duo. “Rainy Days And Monday’s” showcased the musicians that Pancoast had brought along to help her channel this music. Harmonica player Scott Kepnes shined on “Rainy Days.”

“A Kind Of Hush” got a breath of fresh air from Pancoast’s lush vocal timbre. She finessed the song technically while putting heart and soul into the chorus, making you feel emotionally what the song is about. She can hold a note while also infusing it with warmth and tenderness with only piano for accompaniment, launching a note like nobody’s business.

Pancoast introduced many of these song with stories about where she was when she first heard them. She made mention of endearing moments as a charter member of The Carpenters fan club. But, most endearing was when she told of how show met her idols backstage.

A screen behind Pancoast and the musicians displayed Carpenters album covers, depending on which song was being performed. The best picture, though, was of a 14 year old Pancoast meeting her idols. That days of youthful innocence picture, a young girl standing between her two favorite idols, summed up the feeling of the whole concert. It was a tribute by one artist to two others she has followed most of her life and the whole event had the feel of youthful admiration.

I Am Bruce Lee Premiere Screening Event Feb 9th and 15th at the Regent Theatre

Feb 06, 2012

I Am Bruce Lee Premiere Screening Event for Documentary Film Feb 9th and 15th in 150 Theaters in 60+ Cities Nationwide Including Arlington’s Regent Theatre

Bruce Lee returns to the big screen in the Year of the Dragon!

On Thursday, February 9th and Wednesday, February 15th the new feature length documentary film, I Am Bruce Lee, will be released exclusively in 150 theaters in 60+ cities across the U.S. including the historic Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Bruce Lee was born in the Year of the Dragon, his stage name was “Little Dragon”, and his most famous film was “Enter the Dragon”, so it’s only appropriate that his return to the big screen debuts as Chinese New Year begins - 2012 is The Year of the Dragon.

I Am Bruce Lee tells the amazing story of one of the most iconic human beings ever to enter the public consciousness. Voted as one of the most important people of the 20th century in Time Magazine’s Time 100, as well as one of the Greatest Pop Culture Icons by People Magazine, Bruce Lee continues to be honored and remembered for his enduring legacy.

The documentary is produced by award-winning studio Network Entertainment, the producers of 2010’s Academy Award shortlisted documentary Facing Ali, and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Pete McCormack.

I Am Bruce Lee is the first documentary to truly tell Bruce Lee’s story in his own words and actions, as well as through the eyes of a diverse cast of international stars from the worlds of film, television, music and sports.

The film’s original interviews feature a broad spectrum of worldwide stars, including UFC President Dana White who calls Lee the “Father of Mixed Martial Arts,” NBA
superstar Kobe Bryant, boxing champions Manny Pacquiao and Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, UFC stars Jon Jones, Cung Le, Stephan Bonnar and Gina Carano, actor and star of the hit show ‘Modern Family’ Ed O’Neill, Academy Award Nominated actor Mickey Rourke, the Black Eye Peas’ Taboo, Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon Lee and his wife Linda Lee Cadwell, among many others.

I Am Bruce Lee presents a rich cinematic view of the life of Bruce Lee, and features the best of Bruce Lee’s groundbreaking martial arts action films, punctuated with
an evocative score and rarely seen archival footage. Working with Bruce’s daughter Shannon Lee, the film features previously unseen home movies and interviews,classic photos and dynamic visuals and graphics. “My family and I are so proud of this film, which truly portrays the legacy of my father and his incredible story,” says executive producer Shannon Lee.

“Our goal was to bring Bruce Lee and his dynamic personality to life in a way never experienced before, and we were able to achieve this with amazing content and our
dynamic cast. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will walk out of the theater inspired by the spirit of the remarkable Bruce Lee,” commented producer Derik Murray.

Evan Saxon, partner at D&E stated, “We’re honored to be selected and entrusted by Network to bring this documentary on Bruce Lee to fans and our exhibitor partners
worldwide. Doug Kluthe, co-partner at D&E continues, “We are proud to be distributing this unique documentary which offers Bruce Lee fans some rarely before seen footage on Bruce and his life.”

To support the screening events, there will be a robust on-line campaign with multiple opportunities to connect via Facebook, Twitter, and other online platforms.

The documentary film is being distributed by D&E Entertainment.

About Network Entertainment
Network Entertainment Inc., founded in 1999 and headquartered in Vancouver, BC, is an established television and film production company with an award-winning international reputation. The company was recently shortlisted in 2010 for an Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary for Facing Ali, a theatrical documentary, television special and collector’s DVD with Lionsgate Entertainment as theatrical distributor and Spike TV premiering the worldwide broadcast. Network’s programming has been showcased at marquee film festivals and by broadcasters throughout North America including ABC, ESPN, ESPN Classic, CBC, CTV, Global Television, Headline Sports, The Biography Channel, The History Channel, OLN, Spike, TSN and Versus.

About Pete McCormack
Pete McCormack is an award-winning filmmaker, novelist, screenwriter, musician and producer. McCormack’s most recent directing project is Facing Ali. The film tells the story of the inimitable Muhammad Ali and the story of ten legendary champions who fought him—in their own words. Other film projects include: Uganda Rising, about the plight of the Acholi people in Northern Uganda which is narrated by Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey, the 25 minute short film Hope In The Time of AIDS (2007), about the devastation of HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, and the independent feature film See Grace Fly in 2003, about a woman’s battle with schizophrenia. McCormack’s two novels, Shelby (1995) and Understanding Ken (1998), both received critical acclaim, in particular Understanding Ken, which was short-listed for the Stephen Leacock Award.

About Bruce Lee Enterprises
Bruce Lee Enterprises (“BLE”), operated and owned by Bruce Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, is the exclusive owner of all commercial merchandising and allied rights relating to the use of Bruce Lee’s name, image, likeness, persona, signature, voice, attributes, marks, logos, symbols, works, photographs and writings, and holds copyrights and trademark rights in and to the name and image of Bruce Lee throughout the world. The mission of BLE is to participate in opportunities that are in alignment with the legacy of the icon, Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee’s legacy of action, power, speed, dynamism, philosophy, self-discovery, and mastery provide the guide post for BLE’s achievements and success. BLE and LeeWay Media Group, Shannon Lee’s production arm, believe the legacy of Bruce Lee has found a great partner in Network Entertainment and is excited and proud to be part of I Am Bruce Lee! For more information about Bruce Lee, go to and

About D&E Entertainment
Based in Hollywood, D&E Entertainment digitally distributes independent films, documentaries and alternative content such as filmed music events to movie theaters
across the globe. Formed in 2005 by entertainment executives and digital cinema pioneers Doug Kluthe and Evan Saxon, D&E offers innovative theatrical programming via a worldwide marketing and distribution network.

Network Entertainment Presents I Am Bruce Lee. Produced by Derik Murray, Executive Produced by Paul Gertz and Shannon Lee, Directed by Pete McCormack. Run Time: 94 minutes, Genre: Documentary, Rating: This film is not rated.

“I Am Bruce Lee” will be premiered at the Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street in Arlington, Massachusetts on Thursday, February 9 and Wednesday, February 15, 2012
at 8:00pm. General Admission tickets are $8/Advance, $10/Day of Show ($7 for Regent Members). The Regent Theatre is MBTA and handicap accessible with free parking in the municipal lot across the street. For tickets and info call 781-646-4849 or visit

Cities and Ticket info:

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Penny Guyon / Firefly Media 323-874-0776
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Feb 06, 2012


Many of us performed in it at school, hoards of us clambered for tickets to see the stage show and now many of us will get the chance to Sing-a-long to the filmed version with Donny Osmond at SING-A-LONG-A JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT making its Boston début at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts February 17 through 19, 2012.

This is the new show from the producers of SING-A-LONG SOUND OF MUSIC, which began as a cult spectacular in 1999 and has now grown into an international phenomena.

The first ever TIM RICE and ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER musical was launched as SING-A-LONG-A JOSEPH by DONNY OSMOND in London in February 2002 and now it’s coming to Boston for the first time

SING-A-LONG-A JOSEPH has all the elements of a sing-a-long-a spectacular, including the fancy dress parade (the audience always dress to thrill), and free Magic Moment goody bags for all, with additional props to wear, wave and use to reflect the lyrics of the songs.

Produced by REALLY USEFUL FILMS, Joseph features superb British actors including the fabulous MARIA FRIEDMAN (as Narrator), an irrepressibly naughty JOAN COLLINS (Mrs Potiphar), RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH (Jacob), IAN McNEICE (Potiphar) and ALEX JENNINGS and CHRISTOPHER BIGGINS as Pharoah’s Butler and Baker respectively.

DONNY OSMOND was personally chosen for the film by Andrew Lloyd Webber. While Jason Donovan and Philip Schofield were donning their coloured coats in the West End, Donny was playing Joseph in theatres across North America for a phenomenal five years.  What appealed to him was ‘the challenge of playing Joseph from a naïve young 18 year old to a 40 year old man in charge of Egypt…after many performances I knew it would still mean something to me because it’s so real.”

JOSEPH & THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT was written by TIM RICE and ANDREW LLOYD-WEBBER in 1968 – a mere four years after The Sound of Music - as a 20 minute entertainment for an end-of-term concert at Colet Court School in London. The film version opens as an old-fashioned school play in which the main parts are played by the teachers (ATTENBOROUGH is the Headmaster, COLLINS the music mistress, FRIEDMAN the drama teacher).

The action then moves seamlessly into an inspirational world of magical colour as the story of JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT unfolds.  It charts Joseph’s journey from when he is left for dead by his jealous brothers to arriving in ancient Egypt at Potiphar’s Court and meeting Potiphar’s temptress wife - played with wonderful wit and style by the irrepressible JOAN COLLINS. This is a roller coaster of fun filled music, laughter and emotion set to a backdrop of spectacular visuals and breathtaking sets.

DAVID MALLETT and STEPHEN PIMLOTT directed this superb cast, blending film and theatre techniques to produce a vibrant, entertaining show that’s perfect to sing along to.

SINGALONGA PRODUCTIONS producer BEN FREEDMAN, attributes the success of the singalonga experience to the strength of the shows themselves and to the general public’s desire to be part of them. “It can also be a very intense experience: the power of an entire theatre audience joining in on The Hills Are Alive is quite spine tingling. And JOSEPH has exactly the same appeal. Everybody loves the songs….”

Sing-A-Long Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will have its Boston première at the Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street in Arlington, Massachusetts Friday, February 17—Sunday, February 19. General Admission tickets are $15 adults, $12 kids/seniors, and $10 for groups and Regent Card Members.  The Regent Theatre is MBTA and handicap accessible with free parking in the municipal lot across the street. For tickets and info call 781-646-4849 or visit

Full Schedule:
Friday Feb. 17 - 7:00pm
Saturday Feb. 18 - 10:30am, 2:00pm, and 7:00pm
Sunday Feb. 19 - 12:00pm and 3:00pm


Let It Snow! Magical Saxophone Sounds with the ChagallPAC Saxophone Quartet

Feb 05, 2012

Let It Snow! Magical Saxophone Sounds with the ChagallPAC Saxophone Quartet

ChagallPAC Saxophone Quartet presents a variety of classical and jazz favorites, including Let it Snow, Sleigh Ride, In the Mood—we’ll bring the snowy-feel to February at this Regent Family event—wonderful for all ages! Plus… Discover the saxophone family in all its sizes, from soprano to baritone! Ever wondered why a saxophone sounds the way it does?  How does it make a sound? Find out all the secrets and more at this interactive show—Great for youngsters! Saxophone petting zoo and meet-the-artists after the show.

ChagallPAC Saxophone Quartet
Dennis Shafer, soprano saxophone
Jennifer Bill, alto saxophone
Rebecca Wellons, tenor saxophone
Jon Amon, baritone saxophone

Regent Theatre
7 Medford Street, Arlington, MA

Why Bruce Lee Has More Kick Now Than Ever (Wall St. Journal review)

Jan 31, 2012

Why Bruce Lee Has More Kick Now Than Ever

-Jeff Yang, Wall Street Journal

“From my point of view, the 20th century gave us just two icons who rose above time, space and race: There was Muhammad Ali, and there was Bruce Lee,” says documentary filmmaker Pete McCormack, explaining the rationale behind his two most recent projects, the feature documentary “Facing Ali,” shortlisted for the Academy Award in 2010, and its new followup “I Am Bruce Lee,” which hits 160 theaters across the country for special screenings on February 9 and 11.

It’s an assertion that instantly prompts thoughts of obvious alternatives (was that a muffled cough from Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.?) — but the truth is, it can’t be dismissed as hyperbole either.

Ali and Lee were rare and similar figures: Exceptionally charismatic individuals who thrived in the spotlight, and who earned their permanent place in history by both embodying and overcoming the contradictions of their era. They were unifiers and provocateurs, paramount warriors who preached peace, racial role models whose impact reached far beyond their own communities.

Both were named to Time magazine’s 1999 list of the 100 most important individuals of the past hundred years. And yet, when the list was unveiled, there were those who groused about Lee’s inclusion. A martial arts movie star? Alongside the likes of Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, and, uh, Gandhi and King?

Well…yes. “I Am Bruce Lee” is essentially a 94-minute-long argument that Lee was more than worthy of recognition among the century’s greats, and frankly, it’s a convincing one. The documentary is a cascading chain of reminiscences from friends and family (including wife Linda Lee Cadwell and daughter Shannon, inner-circle member Dan Inosanto and goddaughter Diana Lee Inosanto), tributes from students and fellow fighters of many styles and generations, and vivid celebrations of his legacy from an eclectic mix of celebrities who claim him as a personal inspiration: NBA superstar Kobe Bryant; filmmaker and former BET chief Reginald Hudlin; actors Ed O’Neill (“Modern Family”) and Mickey Rourke (“Iron Man 2″); skateboarder Paul Rodriguez, B-boy Jose Ruiz, and Black Eyed Peas member Taboo.

Interspersed with the talking heads and moving bodies — the interviewees prove that it’s impossible to expound on Bruce Lee while standing still — are samples of his life and work, including personal clips and images that have never before been seen on screen.

Together, all of it makes the case that the biggest source of Lee’s impact wasn’t his onscreen performances, but the unique philosophy he formulated and preached, and that has made converts of individuals from an amazing range of backgrounds — what you might call a way of thinking that leads to a way of moving that leads to a way of life.

The belief system behind Lee’s art, Jeet Kune Do, was rooted in resourcefulness: “Use what works, and take it from any place you can find it”; in flexibility: “Don’t get set into one form, adapt, be like water”; in simplicity: “Express the utmost with the minimum”; in action: “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”

But most of all, it’s one that was steeped in a defiant antiestablishmentarianism, a rebellion against the status quo that walks in startling lockstep with the sensibilities of today’s cultural and political moment.

Some of what he said sounds like it might appeal to the Tea Party right: “Not a daily increase, but a daily decrease: Hack away at the inessentials”; “To hell with circumstances — I create opportunities”; “A big organization is not necessary….all members will be conditioned according to the prescribed system; many will end up as a prisoner of a systematized drill.”

But though Lee was a firm believer in the power of the individual, he was if anything the inverse of the Ayn Randian self-interested superman, contemptuous of the lesser beings around him. He told his disciples that “the successful warrior is just an average man with laser-like focus”; he stressed to them that he wasn’t their master, but a “student-master,” still constantly learning from them and from the world — “you can consider someone a master when you’re closing their casket”; he reminded them that “real living is living for others.”

Lee abhorred the elitism of the martial arts world, refusing to issue belts or to imbue his lessons with quasi-mystical ritual. He was relentlessly egalitarian, teaching anyone and everyone who wanted to learn and was willing to work, regardless of size, shape, background — or race: Early in his career in the U.S., he came into violent conflict with the incensed heads of other Chinese martial arts schools, who demanded he stop initiating non-Asians into their secrets. Lee thrashed the representative they sent to challenge him, and continued instructing whomever he wanted.

To Lee, boundaries and divisions, whether between styles or between peoples, were nothing more than a tool of oppression — and as Lee’s wife Linda says, “Bruce hated the oppression of the little people, which he saw everywhere: The Japanese occupation, the Boxer Rebellion, the foreign powers going into China. He just thought all of that was wrong.”

In the film, an animated Reggie Hudlin adds that Lee emerged at a time when the angry underclass was seeking out leaders and symbols, “counterculture figures to fight the establishment” — figures like Malcolm X, the Black Panthers, Muhammad Ali — and Bruce Lee: “When he fought Chuck Norris [in “Way of the Dragon”], Bruce Lee represented the entire Third World, all people of color, fighting the Western oppressor.”

In short, it’s fair to say that Lee was a badass of the 99 Percent.

Today, Norris has become a kind of conservative kingmaker, anointing right wing candidates he decides are worthy of his badge of toughness (he’s the one who famously called Arizona Governor Jan Brewer a woman who eats “scorpions for breakfast,” which she promptly used as the title of her now-famous memoir). If Lee had lived to today, might he be replaying their famous battle at the Coliseum in the political arena — giving progressive politicians the benefit of his personal magic to counter Norris’s fists of approval? Or would he, as Kobe Bryant jokes in the doc, be competing on “Dancing With the Stars” — and winning?

Maybe both.

“My dad didn’t see limitations, in himself or in other people,” says Shannon Lee, who served as the film’s executive producer. “He did what he did his way, and left behind an extremely unique footprint.”

Unique enough to last 40 years without fading, as trainer and expert Jeet Kune Do practitioner Teri Tom says in the film: “You’d think people would have forgotten him by now, but no — I think a lot of cultures have actually picked him up as their hero.”

In 2005, a grassroots youth organization in Mostar in Bosnia spearheaded a successful drive to commission and erect a statue of Lee in one of the city’s main squares, calling him a symbol of “the fight against divisions, and the struggle to bridge cultures — one thing we all have in common is Bruce Lee.” (There’s also a street named after Lee in the city of Drvengrad in Bosnia’s bitter rival Serbia, suggesting a broad-based Balkan fascination with Lee.) That same year, Lee fans raised over $100,000 to get Hong Kong, the city of Lee’s childhood, to erect a statue of him in a choice location by the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront on the Hong Kong Walk of Stars. A thriving theme park dedicated to Lee, “Bruce Lee Paradise,” opened in his ancestral town of Shunde on the China mainland in 2006.

But this year could see the way open for the biggest Bruce Lee memorial yet — a $50 million Bruce Lee Action Museum targeted for Seattle, Washington’s International District, which is currently under review by the city’s council. According to Shannon Lee, the museum would have a permanent exhibit of Lee’s life and memorabilia, galleries for visiting shows on themes related to his ideas, a store, theater, meditation space, outdoor training area, research library and café.

And what better year to announce the museum than this one? Lee’s family and fans await the council’s announcement with bated breath. In the meantime, there’s “I Am Bruce Lee,” which is as good a reason to Occupy movie theaters on February 9 and 11 as any. Happy Year of the Dragon.


The truly amazing thing about Bruce is how much he accomplished in such a short span of time. He died in 1973 at the age of 32, with just five feature films to his name — one of which, “Game of Death,” was assembled posthumously around 11 minutes of footage shot before his demise. Despite this fact, Lee may be the only Asian American with household name status nearly everywhere in the world — he’s certainly the only Asian American on the Time 100 list of the century’s most influential individuals.

It really does make you wonder what he’d have become if he hadn’t died. Given his amazing drive, ambition and intellect, it’s hard not to imagine that his career wouldn’t have continued on its upward trajectory, to paraphrase one of Lee’s most famous lines, like a finger pointing at the moon in all its heavenly glory.

Lee’s legacy is something that’s already tough to live up to: “I’ve studied martial arts, but of course I’m not anywhere near the level of my father,” laughs Shannon Lee. “Still, people assume I’m a lethal weapon anyway! Sometimes people come up to me and I have to correct the impression — look, I’m a mom and a businessperson, and no, I can’t kill you with two fingers and an evil look.”

I get that all the time myself, Shannon. Maybe it doesn’t help that I’ve written a book called “I Am Jackie Chan.”

GRAMMY Nominated Vocalist JUDY PANCOAST in CLOSER TO YOU: A Live Tribute to The Carpenters Feb 10/12

Jan 27, 2012


2011 GRAMMY Nominated Vocalist JUDY PANCOAST in CLOSER TO YOU: A Live Tribute to The Carpenters at the Historic Regent Theatre February 10 & 12

On Friday, February 10 at 8pm and Sunday, February 12 at 2pm, 2011 GRAMMY Nominated Vocalist JUDY
PANCOAST and Musical Director, Michael Pierce present CLOSER TO YOU: A Live Tribute to The Carpenters. The Historic Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts will provide the perfect setting for a Valentine’s weekend celebrating the timeless love songs of The Carpenters, including such classics as “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “Rainy Days and Mondays,” “I Won’t Last a Day Without You” and, of course, “Close to You.”

Pancoast was just eleven years old when her older sister told her about a song she’d heard on the radio, and said that the girl singing it sounded “just like you.”  That was the summer of 1970, and when Judy finally heard “(They Long to Be) Close to You” it was the beginning of a childhood adulation that would last well into her adult years.  She spent her adolescent and teen years listening nearly non-stop to the music of the brother and sister duo who called themselves “Carpenters,” and she became one of the charter members of their fan club at age 12.  

Judy’s natural rich alto voice blended well with Karen’s, and she spent countless hours in front of a mirror with a hair brush “microphone” mimicking her idol’s voice.  Later, while a music major at the University of Maine, she was advised to “stop trying to sound like Karen Carpenter,” but although she managed finally to all but erase the traces of Karen’s styling, the influence had already had its impact.  Randy Schmidt, author of “Little Girl Blue: the Life of Karen Carpenter” says this about Judy: “…her velvety voice, phrasing and conversational delivery of a song are all products of years spent listening to the timeless recordings of the Carpenters. Her passion and joy for the material make Judy the perfect vocalist to pay tribute.” 

2011 GRAMMY Nominated Vocalist JUDY PANCOAST Closer to You: A Live Tribute to The Carpenters

Friday, February 10 at 8pm & Sunday February 12 at 2pm
7 Medford Street (off Massachusetts Avenue)
MBTA & wheelchair accessible; free parking across the street
Reserved seats are $20 in advance, $25 day of show

A Valentine’s Day Tradition Continues WIth Boston’s First Lady of Jazz Rebecca Parris Feb. 11th!

Jan 27, 2012

A VALENTINE’S TRADITION CONTINUES Boston’s First Lady of Jazz Rebecca Parris Returns With ‘In Love with Parris” at the Historic Regent Theatre


On Saturday, February 11 at 8pm Boston’s First Lady of Jazz, Rebecca Parris will take to the stage at The Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts to present “In Love with Parris,” a 27-year tradition that brings couples from all over the Commonwealth to celebrate the most romantic night of the year. The evening will feature classic romantic songs from the Great American Songbook and beyond, as well as her long-time trio of Brad Hatfield on piano, Peter Kontrimas on bass, and Jim Lattini on drums.

Ms. Parris has performed all over the world with her own groups, as well as with some of jazz’s greatest legends, including Count Basie, Joe Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, Terry Gibbs, David “Fathead” Newman, Red Mitchell, Buster Cooper, Nat Pierce, and many others. Her friend and mentor, Shirley Horn once remarked, “Her voice sets her apart from any other vocalist on record today….in one moment she exudes warmth and is poignant, and in another is driving hard and swinging.”

The Regent Theatre in partnership with several area restaurants, Flora Restaurant, Gemma Ristorante, and Fusion Taste Restaurant are offering 3-course Dinner and Show packages available through the Regent box office.

“In Love with Parris,” featuring the Rebecca Parris Trio Saturday, February 11 at 8:00 pm
7 Medford Street (off Massachusetts Avenue)
MBTA & wheelchair accessible; free parking across the street
Reserved seats are $18, $23 and $28 (Tickets Available HERE)

See This Film: Ayn Rand & the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged (Boston Phoenix)

Jan 16, 2012

See this film: Ayn Rand & the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged @ the Regent Theatre

Peter Keough, Boston Phoenix

If there ever is a biopic of Ayn Rand, Nicolas Cage should play the lead; the resemblance is uncanny. In the meantime, you can watch Chris Mortensen’s documentary Ayn Rand & the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged (2011) which traces the lasting popularity and influence of the controversial writer and philosopher’s 1957 novel, a dystopian cautionary tale about a future USA brought to its knees by tax-and-spend liberals, big government, and all the “moochers” and “looters” who dare to show charity towards their fellow man. Sound familiar? As the film notes, Rand’s “Objectivist” philosophy inspires today’s libertarians and neoconservatives. It screens at the Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St, Arlington | Tuesday, January 17 @ 7:30 pm | $10 | 781.646.4849

Reeling in ‘The Story of Fishbone (Boston Globe review)

Jan 11, 2012

Reeling in ‘The Story of Fishbone’

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe

The best thing about “Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone’’ is that it really is the story of Fishbone. It’s a hearty, thoughtful, smartly assembled, vaguely complete documentary about a rock band that, even by the standards of out-there musical acts, seemed out there both in the mid-1980s and even now. Fishbone was a sextet shaped by both the isolation of Los Angeles’s predominately black South Central neighborhood and the white public schools its members were bused to. Angelo Moore, frontman and one of the original members of Fishbone. Erin Flynn/Pale Griot Films, Angelo Moore, frontman and one of the original members of Fishbone.

As more than one of the movie’s famous talking heads observes, the music the band made didn’t have a genre. It was its own thing - a catholic fusion of ska, punk, the untamable exuberance of bands like Parliament and Funkadelic and the out-of-body jazz of, say, Sun Ra and Pharoah Sanders. You can see and hear who influenced Fishbone and whom they influenced - No Doubt and Gogol Bordello, for starters. But true stardom never seemed to find Fishbone (its fish-skeleton logo might have been more famous than the band itself; Michele Bachmann’s visit last month to Jimmy Fallon’s late-night talk show put Fishbone back in the news after the show’s house band, the Roots, played an unprintable Fishbone song as Bachmann was introduced). By the early 1990s, real fame always seemed so close for the band. But the band fell apart before it had adequately finished rising. “Everyday Sunshine’’ makes a compelling, compassionate case for why.

Generically, the film’s grist is familiar. The band battled addiction, illness, and internal strife. But the directors Lev Anderson and Chris Metzler are there to watch the band’s founder, Norwood Fisher, and its lunatic frontman, Angelo Moore, keep the band alive. By 2008, when a lot the movie was shot, Fisher and Moore are the remaining original members.

What separates the film from a run-of-the-mill imperiled band story is both Fisher and Moore’s sense of perseverance and the filmmakers’ access to their glamourless lives. Moore, for instance, moves back into his parents’ home in a middle-class Los Angeles suburb. I didn’t want to watch him vacuum his mother’s living room - in his modified punk uniform- and find it sad. But it’s useful to remember that Fishbone and Red Hot Chili Peppers were peers, and the idea of Anthony Kiedis performing the same chores seemed surreal.

Anderson and Metzler capture Fisher and Moore’s bickering, then a rather amazing conversation they have on the subject of whose band Fishbone is. That’s precisely the sort of loaded but healthy dialogue that probably allows them to still have a band at all. But Moore’s outsized charisma (he makes a force-of-nature like Kiedis seem like a zombie) was a sticking point for the other members. So were his drinking and drama and dramatic persona, “Dr. Madd Vibe.’’ The band’s undoing appears to be its own - and, really, that’s far more interesting than a more speculative film would have been.

As much as Fishbone was unlike other bands, it was also susceptible to music-world cliches. But Anderson and Metzler don’t frame the travails as banalities. What’s estranged everyone feels more psychologically fraught than that. Fisher remains in Fishbone because the idea of Moore’s having it to himself is too much. But, then, who is Moore without the bad? The movie includes enough real insights from the band’s collaborators and its better-selling and better-off contemporaries - Flea, Perry Farrell, Ice-T - to understand how Fishbone represented a shift in music-business priorities: Their trouble and the trouble within other rock bands (Alice in Chains, Nirvana, to name two) made packaged acts like the Spice Girls and Britney Spears more appealing. You also wonder whether the stress of catching up with Living Colour, who took off in 1989, and the Chili Peppers, whose career changed two years later, began to get to them. (A video as innovative as the Chili Peppers’ “Give It Away’’ and a song as resonant as “Under the Bridge’’ might have helped.) But Fishbone was probably never meant to sell millions of records.

From a rock ’n’ roll standpoint, what you understand about Fishbone is that, in some ways, they were victims of their humanity. But in following the band to venues with audiences a fraction of the size they once were, the movie discovers a band that, after all these years, might finally be comfortable being itself.

‘Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone’ the beat of legendary band

Jan 09, 2012

‘Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone’ the beat of legendary band

Loren King, Boston Globe

Producer-director Chris Metzler brings his rock ’n’ roll documentary “Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone’’ to the Boston area for a number of screenings over the next two weeks. The film, helmed by Metzler and Lev Anderson and narrated by actor Laurence Fishburne, charts the 25-year career of the punk/funk band Fishbone, whose members hail from south central Los Angeles. Lead singer Angelo Moore and bassist Norwood Fisher defied categorization and stereotyping, making Fishbone one of the most original bands to come out of the 1980s. The film features interviews with Fishbone, Flea, Ice-T, Gwen Stefani, Perry Farrell, Bob Forrest, Branford Marsalis, and George Clinton. The area screenings, each followed by a question-and-answer session with Metzler, kick off Jan. 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Regent Theatre in Arlington. The film will also play Jan. 13-19 at Cinema Salem; Jan. 14 at 5 p.m. at Cape Anne Cinema in Gloucester; and Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Beverly Cinema. If you miss those theatrical screenings, watch for the documentary’s national broadcast premiere on Jan. 22 when it will launch PBS’s Afro-Pop documentary series (check local listings). The documentary will also be released on iTunes Feb. 1 to coincide with Black History Month, and a special DVD edition will be available Feb. 22 through the film’s website,

AUTUMN HOLLOW’S WINTER HARVEST: A benefit for Coalition for Courage Fri. Jan. 27th!

Jan 09, 2012


A benefit for Coalition for Courage

On Friday, January 27th at the historic Regent Theatre, in Arlington, MA Autumn Hollow will present their third annual Winter Harvest a benefit for Coalition for Courage. The event will feature a headlining set from recording artist Will Dailey and support acts, Autumn Hollow and The Rationales.

Event Info:

Rock show at the Regent
The Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA is built in 1916; the historic Regent Theatre remains true to its roots as a vibrant vaudeville house. The Regent is an intimate 500-seat performing arts center with superior acoustics and comfortable seating.

Covering a wide spectrum of genres, the following groups and solo artists have played the Regent during the past five years: Johnny Winter, Tower of Power, Taj Mahal, Asleep at the Wheel, Edgar Winter, Rory Block, John Mayall, Keith Emerson, Carl Palmer, Mike Smith of the Dave Clark Five, Dresden Dolls, NRBQ, Barry & The Remains, Honeyboy Edwards, John Hammond, and Odetta.

Coalition for Courage
Coalition for Courage (C4C) is a small nonprofit organization based in Jamaica Plain. The mission is to help needy children, especially those affected by HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, by providing health, education and welfare services.

In the past 10 years, C4C helped feed over 1,000 orphans in Zimbabwe and have provided educational support to between 30-100 children each year They sent 18 to university or technical skills programs, and of these 18, 15 are gainfully employed (this is a very big deal in a country where the unemployment rate is upwards of 80%). C4C also sponsors income-generating projects to help children find a legal and safe means of being independent. Wire crafts made by children will be for sale at the event. Because the co-founders volunteer all their time, there is very little overhead. Almost every dollar goes directly to children.


Will Dailey
His sound has been described as having a rich vintage vibe while having a firm appreciation of AM rock, pop and big hooks. He is notable as being the winner of the 2006 Boston Music Awards for Best Male Singer-Songwriter, an award he received again in 2009. Legendary Boston musician Will Dailey will headline the event. With uncontainable charisma and energy, he’s won over audiences supporting Neil Young, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Dave Matthews Band at their historic Farm Aid benefit concerts. In addition, Dailey will soon be heard collaborating with Stephen King and Mellencamp on a highly anticipated project produced by T BoneBurnett.


Autumn Hollow
Autumn Hollow is a Boston based roots rock four-piece formed in the fall of ’07. Autumn Hollow has played over one hundred shows in some of the best venues in New England including: The Paradise Rock Club and Higher Ground. In addition to the continued support of their fans Autumn Hollow Band continues to receive critical praise, musikkbloggen writes, “Like a little cross between Whiskey Town and Uncle Tupelo as these guys caught me right away from the opening track “Focus On Rent”.


The Rationales
A mix of power pop and alternative, dripping with hooks & harmonies and layers of sound. That’s the best way to sum up the music of the Rationales.


If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Brendan Murphy please call 413-695-7475 or email Brendan at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Jimmy Tingle Looks Back on 2011, Ahead to 2012

Dec 29, 2011

Jimmy Tingle looks back on 2011, ahead to 2012

Joseph P. Kahn, Boston Globe

WHO: Jimmy Tingle

WHAT: On Saturday, the Cambridge-based comedian-actor-filmmaker will ring in the New Year at Arlington’s Regent Theater, where he’ll screen the documentary ‘‘Jimmy Tingle’s American Dream,’’ followed by a Q&A session and live performance of ‘‘Jimmy Tingle for President: The Funniest Campaign in History.’’ For information call 781-646-4849 or visit or

Q. Time magazine named The Protester as its Person of the Year. Who’s yours?

A. Mine is Václav Havel, the Czech playwright turned president who passed away in December. He took on Eastern Europe’s communist governments in the 1970s and ’80s and did five years in prison. We have lots of politicians going to jail - Rod Blagojevich comes to mind - but not for writing plays.

Q. You’ve launched your own presidential campaign. How has Havel inspired you?

A. He gives me hope that my work may one day become mainstream enough that I influence, if not occupy, the White House itself.

Q. Another comedian running for president was the late Pat Paulsen, who even got his name on the New Hampshire primary ballot a few times. Are you in any way following the Paulsen precedent?

A. I don’t think I’m taking it as seriously as Paulsen did. For me, it’s basically a show. I got the idea just by watching the candidates debate and how they addressed the issues. I address the issues, too, but in a funny way. Plus, it’s fun to be up there taking questions. One guy asked me, “What are you going to do about the deficit?’’ He started yelling at me. Seriously. I said, “Sir, this is a show. I’m not really running for president.’’

Q. Your take on the current race for the GOP nomination?

A. There’s a huge anti-intellectual theme sweeping the country this political year, which leaves a huge opening for me.

Q. For instance?

A. After Herman Cain mocked the pronunciation of Uzbekistan - calling the former Soviet state “Ubeki-beki-beki-stan’’ - he actually gained momentum in the polls. That’s pretty scary. He chastised Obama for being educated, too. “We don’t need a reader in the White House; we need a leader,’’ Cain said. Right. Maybe he should have run with Sarah Palin. She could warn the British, “The pizza is coming, the pizza is coming.’’

Q. Unfortunately we don’t have Cain to kick around anymore.

A. Right, he dropped out of the race because of sexual harassment charges. I suggest he keep the Secret Service protection, in the event his wife tries to kill him.

Q. What about Mitt Romney?

A. Romney continues to flip-flop all over the place. He was solidly pro-choice but now claims he’s solidly pro-life. He apparently only supports a woman’s right to choose in very rare cases - cases of rape, incest, or to protect the life of the candidate.

Q. Newt Gingrich?

A. Newt is very smart, but he and I differ on the issues. I’m a big supporter of gay marriage. Newt feels that marriage should be between one man and up to three women.

Q. As you look back on 2011, what was this year’s hottest gadget or fad?

A. In the spirit of Steve Jobs, this year I upgraded to an iMac, iPhone4, and iPad2. I now have more passwords, PIN numbers, secret codes, aliases, and account numbers than I have contacts in my address book.

Q. Whitey Bulger’s capture and Massachusetts legalizing casino gambling were big news this year. Your reaction?

A. I was surprised they found Whitey in Santa Monica. I would have figured Falmouth. Casino gambling? The argument was that the people of Massachusetts are losing billions a year at Foxwoods, in Connecticut. We need them to lose that money here!

Q. Any New Year’s resolutions?

A. To continue riding a bike because it keeps you young - although I’ll try to follow the rules better. I have a helmet, lights, reflectors, and a bell on the handlebars, but I still make mistakes. Last month, a road block forced me to ride on the sidewalk. “No bikes on the sidewalk, you [expletive],’’ a woman yelled at me. I tried to apologize, but she yelled back, “Nice helmet, you moron!’’ Like I said, biking keeps you young. I haven’t been called a moron in years.


Dec 27, 2011


Unique Theatrical Event Will Feature Screening of Award-winning “Jimmy Tingle’s American Dream” with Q & A and Live Performance

Saturday December 31st at 7pm the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts will present a very special end of the year event: “Jimmy Tingle’s American Dream- Live on Stage and Screen”—a rare theatrical production, combining a screening of the acclaimed documentary “Jimmy Tingle’s American Dream,” followed by a short Q&A and a live performance of “Jimmy Tingle for President: The Funniest Campaign in History.”

Jimmy Tingle is a nationally known comedian, filmmaker, and commentator for 60 Minutes II. This New Year’s Eve event is the final show of the historic Regent Theatre’s 95th Anniversary Season.
About “Jimmy Tingle’s American Dream” 
This captivating, provocative film is a one-hour tour-de-force of comedy, commentary and conversation with some of America’s most iconic personalities and social critics, as well as family, friends and total strangers as they speak up and speak out on the American Dream. As Tingle weaves his stand-up comedy career into the fabric of the American Dream, you’ll meet Oscar winners and comedians, historians and the homeless as he aspires to make us laugh, to make us think, and encourages us to dream.
The film features interviews and opinions of Robert Altman, Bobcat Goldthwait, Howard Zinn, Mort Sahl, Janeane Garafalo, Sean Hannity, Lewis Black, Al
Franken, Robert Reich, Colin Quinn, Barry Crimmins, Jimmy’s mother, Frances, and more. The soundtrack includes music by Willie Nelson, The Mighty, Mighty Bosstones, The Neighborhoods, and Jimmy Tingle on harmonica.

“Jimmy Tingle for President: The Funniest Campaign in History”           
As the upcoming 2012 Presidential election season unfolds against the backdrop of the growing dissent of Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party movements, Jimmy Tingle has constructed another hilarious, thought provoking and politically charged one-man show based on his 2012 run for the presidency. As the founder of the “Humor for Humanity” party, Tingle is running on his comedic record.  The campaign underlines his passion and creative thinking on every issue the next president must grapple with from alternative energy to immigration to jobs and the national debt. Despite the seriousness of the issues confronting America and the world, Jimmy Tingle for President is The Funniest Campaign in History. 

“Jimmy Tingle’s American Dream- Live on Stage and Screen” will be presented on Saturday, December 31st at 7pm at the historic Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street (off Mass Ave) in Arlington Center. General admission seats are $25. “Arlington’s Show Place of Entertainment” since 1916, the Regent is MBTA and handicap accessible with free parking in the municipal lot across the street. For tickets and more info, call 781-646-4849 or visit or (Event running time is approximately 2 hours)

Interviews with Jimmy Tingle and Photos available upon request.

Regent Theatre Presents Sing-A-Long Sound of Music Christmas Week 2011

Dec 12, 2011

Regent Theatre Presents Sing-A-Long Sound of Music Christmas Week 2011: Monday December 26 - Friday, December 30


-ABC World News Tonight

Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts will present an exclusive return engagement of Sing-A-Long Sound of Music—eight screenings of the interactive version of the one of the most popular and successful film musicals in motion picture history—featuring on-screen lyrics, a master of ceremonies, a bag of play-a-long props, and an audience costume parade. The engagement will complete the Regent’s 95th anniversary season.

Having started in the UK back in 1999, the Sing-a-Long-a Sound of Music show has become a worldwide hit, playing to packed houses across the globe with over 12,000 performances in 10 different countries! It has even filled the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles – multiple times! In 2012, it will celebrate its 13th birthday.

Let’s start at the very beginning (a very good place to start)…

For those of you not yet converted, Sing-a-Long-a Sound of Music is a screening of the classic 1965 Julie Andrews film musical in glorious, full-screen Technicolor, complete with subtitled song lyrics so that the whole audience can join in! Sing along with Julie! Wave your Edelweiss! Dance in the gazebo
with Liesl! Bark at Rolf! Snuggle up with Gretl and join in earnest choruses of My Favourite Things!

The fun-filled show starts with a vocal warm-up led by the event’s host, who also takes the audience through their complimentary ‘magic moments pack’—which contains various props to be used at strategic points throughout the film, while also suggesting some appropriate heckles and accompanying actions (such as hissing the countess, barking at Rolf and, of course, cheering for Julie). The host will then lead costume–clad audience members up the theater aisles onto the stage—a wonderful photo / video opportunity. Costumes are not compulsory but they are highly recommended and you will be amazed at the inventiveness on display.

So get those vocal chords warmed up, cut up those chintz curtains and hurry down for another dose of the international smash-hit sensation! It’s the perfect night out for Christmas parties, birthday celebrations, office outings, family trips, or anyone who has ever shed a tear during ‘Edelweiss’!

Boston Premiere of Award-Winning ‘The Wrecking Crew’ @ Regent Theatre Thursday, December 15th

Dec 09, 2011

Boston Premiere of Award-Winning ‘The Wrecking Crew’ @ Regent Theatre Thursday, December 15th

Film with non-profit status about legendary group of West Coast Studio Musicians Q&A with Producer/Director Denny Tedesco, son of Wrecking Crew guitarist, Tommy Tedesco

“It’s a wonderful, touching and… hilarious film about the unsung stars of so many records that you carry in your heart.” Elvis Costello

Los Angeles CA, November 1 2011—They were the studio musicians behind some of the biggest hits in the 1960s and ‘70s. From “Be My Baby” to “California Girls;” “Strangers in the Night” to “Mrs. Robinson;” “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin’” to “Up, Up and Away;” and from “Viva Las Vegas” to “Mr. Tambourine Man,” the group dubbed The Wrecking Crew played on them all. Six years in a row in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Grammy for “Record of the Year” went to Wrecking Crew member recordings.

“The Wrecking Crew,” a documentary film produced and directed by Denny Tedesco, son of legendary late Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco, has played around the world in the festival circuit with over a dozen awards and rave reviews and other accolades. The film was released into the Festival Circuit in 2008 and garnished a dozen awards in over 50 festivals around the world but never found a distributor. The December 15 screening event at Arlington’s Regent Theatre will be its Boston Premiere with Denny Tedesco on hand to introduce his film and host a post-screening Q&A.

The film includes wonderful interviews with Brian Wilson, Cher, Nancy Sinatra, Herb Alpert, Glen Campbell, Gary Lewis, as well as Crew members themselves.

Why the film hasn’t reached a wider audience, even though it is championed by all who see it, is becoming a bit of lore itself. A labor of love by director Tedesco, the film is also ultimately a love letter to the legacy of his late father and musician friends in the Crew. Documenting the work of musicians on such iconic songs, however, can be cost—and distribution—prohibitive. According to the American Federation of Musicians, the film may one of the largest soundtracks of any film in history, with 131 music cues. With songs by Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, The Monkees, The Byrds, Mamas and Papas, Sonny and Cher, The Beach Boys and dozens of others, the cost of licensing the music for the film is estimated at more than $300,000.

3rd Annual “Magic Month at the Regent!”: Four Family-friendly Magic Shows Jan. 7th-28th

Dec 08, 2011

3rd Annual “Magic Month at the Regent!”: Four Family-friendly Magic Shows To Be Presented As Part of Regent Theatre’s Award-winning Family Fun Saturdays Series January 7-28, 2012

Magic Shows Back By Popular Demand After Past Two Years’ Successful Month of Magic

The Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street, in Arlington, Massachusetts kicks off the new year with four consecutive magic shows January 7, 14, 21, and 28 at 10:30am as part of its award-winning “Family Fun Saturdays” series. The third annual “Magic Month at the Regent!” will feature the return of acclaimed magicians Matt Roberts, David Garrity, Bonaparté, as well as the Regent debut of Bob The Magic Guy (Bob Filene) “Magic for Smart People” of Cambridge, Mass. General admission tickets for each show—$8 for kids & seniors and $10 for adults, $7 for Regent members—may be purchased online at, by phone at 781-646-4849, or in person at the Regent Theatre box office during regular box office hours and the morning of each event.

Performance Details for January, 2012 “Magic Month at the Regent” (All tickets: $10 Adults; $8 Kids & Seniors; $7 for Regent Theatre Members):

Saturday, January 7 at 10:30am
The Magic of Bonaparté—Boston’s Hottest Magician
Bonaparté‘s Award-Winning family magic presentations have established him as New England’s Premier Children’s Performer. He captivates the imagination of each child leading them on a fun-filled journey into his whimsical world of magic. Bonaparté astounds and amazes audiences of all ages with his unique blend of Magic, Comedy, Origami, Balloon Sculpture and much, much, more!

Saturday, January 14 at 10:30am

Bob The Magic Guy “Magic For Smart People” Magic For Smart People will make you believe in the impossible again while making you smile and laugh. Bob has bewitched audiences from New England to the Virgin Islands with his easy manner, clever dialogue, and a hat and handful of tricks, captivating youngsters and oldsters alike. Audiences are amazed, delighted and mystified by this magician who weaves stories and slapstick humor around clever magic tricks.

Saturday, January 21 at 10:30am

Matt Roberts presents ‘Now That’s What I Call MAGIC!’
Professional Magician, TV Personality and Entertainment Expert, Matt Roberts, brings his new show toThe Regent Theatre. The performance features clean comedy, astonishing magic, lots of audience participation and plenty of surprises. Best known for his regular appearances on PBS nationwide, Matt Roberts has also been seen on NBC’s Today Show and at hundreds of special events each year. He presents a morning of fun family entertainment for ages 5-95 that will have you laughing and gasping in amazement! Now that’s what we call magic! Get your tickets today before they all DISAPPEAR…

Saturday, January 28 at 10:30am
David Garrity Presents ‘Magic&Beyond’ One-Man Illusion Show

“Magic & Beyond” is a one-man illusion show that features unique, theatrical and visual magic, audience participation, comedy, and a custom-edited musical soundtrack. In this performance, you will see a table mysteriously float, objects that appear and disappear in the blink of an eye and witness the difficult and suspenseful “Straightjacket Challenge!”

For interview requests, photos and more information on “Magic Month at the Regent” contact Leland Stein: 617-694-6612, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Nov 28, 2011


Starring Acclaimed Mahoney Brothers of “Long Live The Beatles” & “Juke Box Heroes Live” Fame

On Saturday, December 3 at 8pm and Sunday, December 4 at 2pm, The Mahoney Brothers will return to the historic Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts to stage, for the first time in New England, their new show “Elvis & The Beatles: The Greatest Concert That Never Was” as part of the Regent’s popular “Legends” series, presented by Royal Talent and Starbeams Productions.

One night in 1965, The Beatles met privately with Elvis Presley, one of their musical heroes, and since then music and pop culture fans have speculated on what it might have been like had the two biggest acts in the history of entertainment appeared together on the same stage.

“As huge fans of both of these legends, we wanted to give audiences a glimpse of what that might have been like,” says Tim Mahoney. “Elvis was the most exciting single performer in entertainment history and the Beatles are more popular today than when they dominated the record charts in the 1960s. We have performed tributes to over a dozen different legendary musical acts over the years, but Elvis and The Beatles never fail to steal the show. The reaction to the show has been nothing less than spectacular, and we are excited to be bringing it to the Regent which can accommodate a full production show while maintaining a very intimate feel to it.”

Says Mike Mahoney, “I have always thought Elvis had the best voice in rock and roll, and, as a live act, was second to none. I try to be respectful of his memory while doing my best to capture his sound and performing style. Although ‘Juke Box Heroes’ has given me a chance to give audiences a quick taste of Elvis in concert, this new show lets me stretch out and fully convey his on stage repertoire and persona.”

The Mahoney Brothers—the family of a thousand voices—are veterans of Broadway’s Beatlemania; stars of Dick Clark’s Golden Age of Television; and the original cast of Legends in Concert. They are multitalented entertainers who combine great musical ability and showmanship while exciting and enthralling audiences of all ages with their electrifying LIVE concert performances. A unique combination of musical versatility, intricate vocal harmonies, and precise staging has made The Mahoney Brothers one of today’s most highly respected and sought after acts in the entertainment business.

“Elvis & The Beatles: The Greatest Concert That Never Was “will be presented on Saturday, December 3 at 8pm and Sunday, December 4 at 2pm at the historic Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street (off Mass Ave) in Arlington Center. Reserved seats are $22.50 to $29.50. Currently celebrating 95 years as “Arlington’s Show Place of Entertainment,” the Regent is MBTA and handicap accessible with free parking in the municipal lot across the street. For tickets and more info, call 781-646-4849 or visit .

Holiday Tradition Returns to the Regent w/exclusive engagement of Sing-A-Long Mary Poppins

Nov 15, 2011


Encore Event Features Restored Disney Classic with Audience Participation/Interaction

From Friday, November 25 through Sunday November 27, 2011, the historic Regent Theatre in Arlington will present a return engagement of Sing-A-Long Mary Poppins—six screenings of the interactive version of the popular Disney film musical featuring on-screen lyrics, a master of ceremonies, a bag of play-a-long props, and an audience costume parade at the start of the event.

Sing-A-Long Mary Poppins allows audiences to celebrate the golden age of movies by enjoying

this Oscar®-winning film in the fashion in which it was meant to be seen—a fully restored print in a grand theatrical setting with a state of the art sound system. In addition, audiences are encouraged to come in costume and to sing along with some of the best-known and most beloved songs in
motion picture history (“Spoonful of Sugar,” “Let’s Go Fly A Kite,” “Chim-Chim-Cher-ee,” and, of course, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,”—to name just a few.) For this special engagement, a restored 35mm print of the classic 1964 film has been customized with on-screen lyrics, while a movie
host will introduce the film and lead the crowd through audience participation activities and demonstrate the use of a complimentary bag of interactive props.  To complete the Sing-A-Long Mary Poppins experience, audience members are invited to dress as their favorite Mary Poppins character (or in a
costume inspired by the movie) and the movie host will invite everyone in costume to march in a parade down the aisles onto the stage—a great photo or video opportunity.

“This is our fifth annual presentation of Sing-A-Long Mary Poppins which has become a highlight of our season and a Thanksgiving tradition for many of our patrons,” says the Regent Theatre’s Leland Stein. “It’s always a pleasure to see the joy this event brings to families—kids, parents, and grandparents
alike—and the amazing costumes that some of them create for the occasion.”

Adapted from PL Travers’ 1934 novel, Mary Poppins, starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, premiered in August of 1964. “Practically perfect in every way,” it became Disney’s biggest box office success to date and earned 13 Academy Award nominations. In this, her film debut, Andrews won
the Oscar for Best Actress beating out Audrey Hepburn. After nearly 50 years, Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins continues to pull lasting magic from its cinematic carpetbag of tricks—the extraordinary animation, dazzling special effects, and award-winning music.

Sing-A-Long Mary Poppins plays The Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington, Massachusetts, on

Friday, November 25 at 10:30am, 2:00pm, and 7:00pm; Saturday, November 26 at 10:30am and 2:00pm; and Sunday, November 27 at 2:00pm. General Admission tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and children, and $10 for Regent card members and groups of 10 or more. The Regent Theatre, “Arlington’s Show Place of Entertainment” since 1916, is MBTA and wheelchair accessible with free parking across the street at night, after 3pm Saturdays, and all day Sundays. For tickets, directions, and more information call 781-646-4849 or visit



Nov 15, 2011


Unique Theatrical Event Will Feature Screening of Award-winning “Jimmy Tingle’s American Dream” with Q & A and Live Performance

On Saturday, November 26 at 8pm the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts will present a special event: “Jimmy Tingle’s American Dream-
Live on Stage and Screen”—a rare theatrical production, combining a screening of the acclaimed documentary “Jimmy Tingle’s American Dream,” followed by a Q&A with Tingle and director Vincent Straggass, and a live performance of “Jimmy Tingle for President: The Funniest Campaign in History.”

Jimmy Tingle is a nationally known comedian, filmmaker, and commentator for 60 Minutes II. This “one show only” event is part of the historic Regent Theatre’s 95th Anniversary Season.

About “Jimmy Tingle’s American Dream” 
This captivating, provocative film is a one-hour tour-de-force of comedy, commentary and conversation with some of America’s most iconic personalities
and social critics, as well as family, friends and total strangers as they speak up and speak out on the American Dream. As Tingle weaves his stand-up comedy career into the fabric of the American Dream, you’ll meet Oscar winners and comedians, historians and the homeless as he aspires to make us laugh, to make us think, and encourages us to dream.

The film features interviews and opinions of Robert Altman, Bobcat Goldthwait, Howard Zinn, Mort Sahl, Janeane Garafalo, Sean Hannity, Lewis Black, Al

Franken, Robert Reich, Colin Quinn, Barry Crimmins, Jimmy’s mother, Frances, and more. The soundtrack includes music by Willie Nelson, The Mighty, Mighty Bosstones, The Neighborhoods, and Jimmy Tingle on harmonica.

About “Jimmy Tingle for President: The Funniest Campaign in History”
With the backdrop of the upcoming 2012 Presidential election, and amid the growing dissent of Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party movements, Jimmy Tingle has constructed another hilarious, thought provoking and politically charged one man show based on his 2012 run for the presidency. As the founder of the “Humor for Humanity” party, Jimmy Tingle is running on his comedic record.  The campaign underlines his passion and creative thinking on every issue the next president must grapple with from alternative energy to immigration to jobs and the national debt. Despite the seriousness of the issues confronting America and the world, Jimmy Tingle for President is The Funniest Campaign in History. 

“Jimmy Tingle’s American Dream- Live on Stage and Screen” will be presented on Saturday, November 26 at 8pm at the historic Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street (off Mass Ave) in Arlington Center. Reserved seats are $25. “Arlington’s Show Place of Entertainment” since 1916, the Regent is MBTA and handicap accessible with free parking in the municipal lot across the street. For tickets and more info, call 781-646-4849 or visit or (Event running time is approximately 2 hours)



Nov 15, 2011



On Thursday, November 17 at 7pm, the debut “Regent Roots ‘n’ Blues Revue” will be presented by the Powerhouse Breakout Artist Series and the historic Regent Theatre—“Arlington’s Show Place of Entertainment”—currently celebrating its 95th anniversary. The evening will kick-off with Ten Foot Polecats. Then, after a set by Peter Parcek 3, Nashville, Tennessee’s Scissormen will close-out the bill at this exclusive concert event. Expect and all-star jam finale and other extras!

This internationally touring duo of former Bostonians Ted Drozdowski (guitar) and Matt Snow (drums) brings the sounds of the Mississippi Delta and hill country’s juke joints to modern life. With four albums and a concert resume that includes Bonnaroo, Memphis in May, and France’s
Cognac Blues Passions, they are gaining a worldwide reputation for high-wire shows. The band also stars in award-winning roots filmmaker Robert Mugge’s latest feature-length documentary BIG SHOES: Walking and Talking the Blues.

World-class singer-instrumentalist Peter Parcek calls his approach “soul guitar,” an appellation that alludes to his playing’s depth of feeling and character, as well as its deepest roots in classic American music. But Peter’s sensibilities are equally attuned to the future, as his latest album The Mathematics of Love, which garnered a Best Debut Album nomination in the 2011 Blues Music Awards, attests. No less an authority than blues legend Buddy Guy has proclaimed Peter “as bad as Eric Clapton.”

This trio from the Boston/Worcester area is rapidly ascending to the top of the dirty roots music scene currently rising out of the American underground. The latest album I Get Blamed For Everything I Do showcases a sound plucked from the juke joints of the Mississippi hills that transcends genre with its energy, imagination and peerless hot-rod execution. The sheer muscle, blood and heart of their live performances are captivating audiences from coast-to-coast.

Local musicians cater to all ages with ‘kindie’ rock

Nov 10, 2011

Local musicians cater to all ages with ‘kindie’ rock

-Jed Gottlieb, Boston Herald

Singer Alastair Moock’s live show is half Appalachian hootenanny, half honky-tonk jam session. It’s also totally kid-friendly.

Moock’s trio blazed through guitar solos, banjo breakdowns and songs about the ABCs at a Saturday morning show at the Regent Theatre in Arlington. But unlike such insipid mainstream mainstays as Barney and the Wiggles, Moock’s music has an indie sensibility hip parents dig.

Call it kindie rock.

“You get so sick of this xylophone-y, twinkle-twinkle crap,” said Jeremy Breslau, a father of two, at Moock’s show. “When real musicians make kids’ music, it shows through to the parents. We can hear it.”

Moock is just one of several local musicians moonlighting as a kids’ performer. He came up playing local coffee houses and rock clubs. Listen to his “Death Don’t Have No Mercy,” with its squalling electric guitars and ragged vocals, and it’s hard to imagine he wrote a song called “Ladybugs’ Picnic.”

“I meet parents all the time who say the No. 1 band they play for their kids is the Beatles,” said Moock, who began writing kids songs when his daughters were born five years ago. “They are on the lookout for music like that, which doesn’t distinguish between kids and adults.”

Other local artists also are delivering. Pete Montgomery’s the Bugs follows the template of his power pop band the Irresponsibles. Singer-songwriter Joe Pleiman of Summer Villains brings a Weezer-meets-the-Kinks vibe to his songs for PBS’ “Fizzy’s Lunch Lab.” Folk pop musician Michael J. Epstein’s Space Balloons is for parents more into alternative rock heroes Neutral Milk Hotel than the Jonas Brothers.

“I’ve tested a few of our songs at 21-plus venues, and they’ve worked,” Epstein said. “I figure if a song can capture the imagination of hipster rock people in Boston, it can capture kids’ imaginations.”

Kindie rock godfather Dan Zanes, formerly of ’80s Boston indie rock band the Del Fuegos, said his family music — he won’t call it kids’ music — has the same depth and complexity as his old stuff.

“Songs about old girlfriends and getting hammered don’t fly, but neither do songs about learning how to tie your shoes,” Zanes said. “I try and find the middle ground between the two, like friendship.”

He also said his audiences have never been more receptive — both Zanes and Moock have found their second careers more successful.

“You don’t have to light your hair on fire to entertain kids,” he said. “My shows are like little Grateful Dead shows. People never sit still.”


Oct 27, 2011


Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 at The Regent Theatre, Arlington, MA! New CD available on October 14, 2011!

October 05, 2011 (Boston, MA) Chris Trapper set to perform for a hometown crowd on Thursday, November 03, 2011
at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA. The show is scheduled to begin at 8PM with Nashville-based piano-pop artist
Shelly Fraley providing an opening set. Chris will take the stage at 9PM. All seats reserved, tickets on sale now
through the theatre box office.

The Regent Theatre show is the official CD release event. ʻThe Few & The Far Betweenʼ will be on sale on October
14, 2011. Promo copies for the press begin shipping Oct-12, 2011.

The Regent Theatre: 7 Medford, St., Arlington, MA 02474 Phone: 781-646-4849

The forthcoming CD, The Few & The Far Between, is a collection of 14 new songs written and performed by Chris
Trapper. Produced, Recorded and Mixed by Dan McLoughlin (The Push Stars, Mike Peters, Juliana Hatfield) at the
Vault Recording Studio, Hoboken, NJ.

Focus tracks include the CD opening song Here All Along with featured guest vocals by Rob Thomas of Matchbox
Twenty, The More I Think featuring vocals and slide guitar by Colin Hay of Men at Work and Ghost In Your Arms
featuring backing vocals from Bostonʼs own Kristen Cifelli. Matt Beck, also of Matchbox Twenty, contributes guitar and
lap steel throughout. Ryan MacMillan (The Push Stars) plays drums, percussion.

Chris Trapper On Tour Now

About Chris Trapper
CHRIS TRAPPER began his career as the front man for late-90ʼs alternative rock band The Push Stars (Capitol
Records). As a modern day singer /songwriter, Chris is most known for his song This Time, the #1 selling song on the Grammy nominated soundtrack for AUGUST RUSH (Robin Williams, Jonathan Rhys Meyers /Warner Bros Pictures).Chris Trapperʼs music can best be described as lyrically driven roots–pop with a knack for telling everyday stories filled with extra–ordinary characters.

The New York Times calls his work “classic pop perfection.”

About Shelly Fraley
SHELLY FRALEY, born and raised in rural Kansas, penned her first songs—piano ballads—on a slightly out of tune
church piano after long days spent listening to Top 40 radio. Currently based in Nashville, TN, Ms. Fraleyʼs debut
release Into the Sun comes on the heels of a string of major network television show song placements during the
2010/2011 viewing Season including Pretty Little Liars, Private Practice, One Tree Hill and Army Wives.

Contact: Desiree at Habit Artist Services | 518.597.9600 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Music, Photos and Interviews Available Upon Request

Classic Brit rock alive and well with URO

Oct 24, 2011

Classic Brit rock alive and well with URO

-Tim Miller, Cape Cod Times

ARLINGTON — When I saw the Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra perform with Siobhan Magnus at Cape Cod Melody Tent in June, the show blew me away.

In my review I wrote: “I’ve never seen URO, but I hope this won’t be the last time, because I want to gather anyone I know who really loves rock and track the band down and see it again and again.” I finally got the chance last Saturday night. That’s when URO opened the six-week Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus at the intimate Regent Theatre, located around the corner from Mass Ave in Arlington. I was unabashedly excited as I brought three rock-music aficionados (son, daughter, daughter’s boyfriend), all in their 20s, along to expose them to the URO experience.

Definitely worth the trip. URO is, essentially, a cover band of classic British rock (the Who, Led Zep, Bowie, Queen, etc.), but its 13 members — five women and eight men, 10 of whom provide vocals — perform with such explosive energy and fire and musical talent that every tune, no matter how many times you’ve heard it before, sounds fresh and alive.

I love these guys.

They deliver a theatrical performance, and watching them is as much fun as hearing them. Dressed in eclectic glam/punk/futuristic attire of black, white and red (the lone exception: drummer Chunky A, wearing a blue, red and white Union Jack pullover), the band is in constant motion, whether exchanging places to accommodate those who are singing leads (they pretty much trade off from song to song; I can’t imagine how they keep track of it all) or dancing and writhing along to the music.

And they’re all so cool, whether it’s Chunky (real name: Alan Ware, uncle of Magnus), a big smile of sheer rock ‘n’ roll joy on his face, raising his drumsticks high before pounding them on the skins; Bela Stalker (Emily Belastock), aloof and sexy in her Pat Benatar-at-her-edgiest way as she belts out a song in the lead or fills in the gaps as a backup; or Dr. Defiance (Sal Clemente), our fearless leader for this evening, his head shaven and wearing a white military jacket that looks like it came off the “Sgt. Pepper’s” album cover, strumming his acoustic guitar, taking his turn on vocals or imploring his band and the audience to rock, rock, rock till we drop.

But this band would be great even if audience members were blindfolded. URO changes things around for each show, and this time it opened with a Beatles set that included “I Am the Walrus,” “Dear Prudence” (best Beatles song ever?), a sublime rendition of “She’s Leaving Home” and “A Day in the Life.”

One of the things I love about this band is that it doesn’t always play the obvious, or easy, covers. It’s as if the members get together and try to pick out the most difficult, challenging or least known. They performed George Harrison’s Eastern-flavored “Within You Without You” from “Pepper’s,” for instance. Who would take that on ... besides, oh, Ravi Shankar? But they not only did, they nailed it.

They finished the set with the entire second side of “Abbey Road,” and they nailed that, too. For a Beatles fan, it was hard not to get choked up.

After a funny stage re-creation of a ‘40s-style radio mystery performance — the Regent is really going all out with these shows — URO cut loose in a second set of tunes from Bowie, Queen, ELO and others. There were great performances of the Who’s “Pinball Wizard” and Led Zeppelin’s “Misty Mountain Hop,” but to designate any “highlight” somehow seems wrong. Seriously, every song was a winner.

As Dr. D. pointed out at one point during the show, the audience members ranged in age from early teens to well into their 60s (and, I suspect, beyond). This, he noted, says a lot about the appeal of rock. He’s right, of course. But it also says a lot about URO.

Make the trip to Arlington. Trust me on this. Make the trip.


Oct 20, 2011


“The current Time Machine jaunt is nothing less than a must-see.”Hollywood Reporter

“Rush has not slowed. Rush has not mellowed with age. If anything, Rush is rocking harder than ever.” Boston Globe

Burlington, MA – Anthem Entertainment and Zoë Vision are pleased to announce the BluRay/DVD release of RUSH TIME MACHINE 2011: Live In Cleveland.  The DVD is an evening with Rush performing their classic hits and features the legendary Moving Pictures album live in its entirety. Released in 1981, Moving Pictures was their most successful album to date, certified 4x Platinum and features some of Rush’s most well known songs and perennial radio favorites, including “Tom Sawyer,” “Limelight” and the Grammy®-nominated instrumental “YYZ.”  The film will have its Boston Theatrical Premiere at the Regent Theatre in Arlington as part of a national event on Wednesday, October 26 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 day of show.
Captured in April at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans arena during the renowned trio’s extensive Time Machine world tour, TIME MACHINE 2011: Live In Cleveland marks the band’s first live concert filmed in the United States. The choice to record in Cleveland was a deliberate nod of gratitude to the first city to support Rush on its airwaves, as former WMMS DJ Donna Halper is widely credited for helping break the band in 1974 by spinning “Working Man.” The reinterpreted live version of “Working Man” was the encore closer on the Time Machine tour and is included on this DVD.

In addition to the 26-song concert set, Rush’s notorious concept tour videos will be included: The first short film, entitled “The ‘Real’ History of Rush Episode No. 2 ‘Don’t Be Rash,’” and the opening the second set video, The ‘Real’ History of Rush Episode No. 17 ‘...and Rock and Roll is My Name.’” The bonus material features outtakes from the short films, an alternate film version video for “Tom Sawyer”, and two rare pieces of Rush live footage from the vault: “Need Some Love” from Laura Second Secondary School with original drummer John Rutsey, and “Anthem” from Passaic New Jersey.

Anthem, Rush and Rounder Records have again selected D&E Entertainment (, who theatrically distributed the documentary Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage, to bring Time Machine to the big screen and movie theaters across the US starting October 26.  D&E will be working with Eagle Vision to bring Time Machine to theaters across the UK and other territories as well.  Info on all screenings will be available at  The big screen HD digital cinema presentation will give fans the best seat in the house and transport them from the theater to the front row of the concert.

In related news, Anthem/Roadrunner will simultaneously release a 2 CD live album entitled Time Machine 2011: Live In Cleveland as well as Moving Pictures: Live 2011 on vinyl and digital formats on November 8th.
Rush has sold more than 40 million records worldwide and garnered untold legions of devoted and admiring fans. According to the RIAA, Rush’s sales statistics place them third after The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for the most consecutive Gold or Platinum studio albums by a rock band.

This will be Anthem Entertainment and Zoë Vision’s sixth Rush DVD release.  The others are: Rush in Rio, R30, Snakes & Arrows Live, Working Men and the latest, award winning documentary – Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage.
For more information on the band check out or

Track list:
Set One
The ‘Real’ History of Rush Episode No. 2 “Don’t Be Rash”
The Spirit of Radio
Time Stand Still
Stick It Out
Workin’ Them Angels
Leave That Thing Alone
Free Will

Set Two
The ‘Real’ History of Rush Episode No. 17 “...and Rock and Roll is My Name”
Tom Sawyer
Red Barchetta
The Camera Eye
Witch Hunt
Vital Signs
Moto Perpetuo (featuring Love For Sale)
O’Malley’s Break
Closer To The Heart
2112 Overture/The Temples of Syrinx
Far Cry

La Villa Strangiato
Working Man

Bonus Material
Outtakes from “History of Rush, Episode 2 & 17”
“Tom Sawyer” featuring the cast of “History of Rush, Episode 17”
“Need Some Love” Live from Laura Secord Secondary School
“Anthem” Live from Passaic New Jersey

# # #
For more information contact:
Sarah Leach at 617-218-4480, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Get Funky at the Regent Theatre!

Oct 18, 2011

Get Funky

Lainey boogies at the Regent
-Ryan P. Standley, Arlington Patch.Com Columnist

My daughter Lainey is five years old and I love her. Recently we visited the local stage for a children’s concert.

The Regent Theatre in Arlington presents Family Fun Series every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. till spring, and its kick off last weekend featured SteveSongs. The auditorium was packed, including devoted fans that sang every word and brought cardboard signs posting requests.

If you watch PBS Kids, you may recognize SteveSongs as the slicked hair, red polo shirt, acoustic guitar player that sings interludes between cartoons. Suffice to say, Lainey was star struck.

“That’s on PBS!” she exclaimed.

SteveSongs (no space) even shot a video that day for Recess Rocks, named for an anti-obesity program. The call-and-response hip-hop groove was beat-boxed by a band member. Choreography involved spinning, touching the ground, jumping and pointing to the sky. Imagine Village People’s YMCA times fifty.

“Watch this!” Lainey demonstrated during the song.

Kid limbs flailed everywhere and afterward Steve himself was winded.

“Okay,” he panted, half-joking. “That was practice. Now let’s do the real one.”

Again, a cameraman wondered the stage and filmed the aerobic number. The pandemonium continued—next, with a song about bubbles.

Lainey awed as back-up singers waved bubble wands.  She rushed down the aisle into what appeared to be a munchkin mosh pit, with kids jumping and stabbing fingers at bubbles. Two bubble machines spewed from the balcony, which caught Lainey’s eye, and she sprinted back up the aisle toward them.

Steve then invited “a few” kids onstage for a song. He hadn’t noticed an easily accessible staircase, an artery that flowed, until 30-plus kids stood onstage. Meanwhile Lainey patiently raised her hand, waiting to be summoned onstage, which never happened. But she didn’t seem to mind.

“Fun, huh?” I asked as we walked home.

“Watch this!” Lainey said and did a spin, touch the ground, jump and point move, which nearly knocked over a pedestrian on the sidewalk behind us.

And the songs have been stuck in her head ever since.

Lainey sings this SteveSongs tune every morning:

  Wake up in the morning and I brush, brush, brush.

  Comb my hair and eat my mush.

  Blow a kiss [smooch!]

  And I’m on my way.

  I get to go to school today!

Six-Week “Regent Rock ‘n Roll Circus” Celebrates the Regent’s 95th Anniversary!

Oct 13, 2011

Six-Week “Regent Rock ‘n Roll Circus” Coming Oct 14-Nov 20 Celebrating Historic Boston Area Venue’s 95th Anniversary

Exclusive, Unique Collaborative Performances from the Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra,  Post-Meridian Radio Players, Deborah Henson-Conant, Gary Cherone’s Slip Kid, Others to Transform and Electrify Regent Theatre Stage this Fall Season

Metro-Boston’s historic, intimate Regent Theatre “Arlington’s Show Place of Entertainment” since 1916, will celebrate its 95th anniversary this fall with a spectacular six weeks of live stage performances harkening back to its origins as an E.M. Loews vaudeville house—while showcasing a contemporary, if not futuristic, 21st century entertainment experience.  A GRAMMY-nominated musician (the “Jimi Hendrix of the electric harp”) sits in with a “take no prisoners” rock orchestra, which, in turn, accompanies a dynamic troupe recreating a Boston radio show from the mid-20th century. A juggling duo wows passersby on Mass. Ave. and lures them into the Regent to see what wild performance awaits them within. One of Boston’s premiere rock stars of the past 20 years takes the Regent stage by storm with a rarely performed, sensational tribute to one of the most esteemed British bands of our time. In the open space beneath the Regent, a rock ‘n’ roll flea market beckons merchants and collectors alike… This is just a taste of what audiences will witness at the “Regent Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus” this October and November…

The Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra features 14 singers and instrumentalists bringing the often heard but rarely performed crown jewels of classic rock to vivid life – the revered music of Queen, David Bowie, The Beatles and The Who, and Led Zeppelin. The URO performs an audacious, fist in the air salute to the glorious heyday of epic rock these iconic rock bands and their signature epic anthems. Video and more can be found at

POST-MERIDIAN RADIO PLAYERS (General Admission: $20)
The Post-Meridian Radio Players bring to the Regent stage the ‘Big Broadcast of 1954,” a live radio drama featuring The Frank Cyrano Byfar Hour and an original adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  This year’s Big Broadcast is the premiere of the national Sleepy Hollow: Ride Across America project, presenting versions of the legendary Washington Irving tale in four different cities Halloween weekend.  See and for more information.

DEBORAH HENSON-CONANT (General Admission: $22 advance ($25 day of show); $15 Students/Seniors; $50 VIP)
The world’s foremost electric harpist, Deborah Henson-Conant is a Grammy-Nominated performer, composer and songwriter. She’s known for her renegade image, evocative singing voice, and shows that fuse music, stories and humor.  She’s revolutionized the elite concert harp into a 32-string strap-on ‘street-harp.’ Her music swings from Blues to Flamenco, in songs that range from full-out bluesy to heart-wrenching ballad.  She culminates a month long national tour with her appearances in the Circus.

GARY CHERONE’S SLIP KID (Reserved Seats: $35/Preferred / 1st 10 Rows; $25 Rest of Orchestra & Balcony)
SLIP KID is not just another WHO tribute/cover band, nor does it try to impersonate the venerable British band—it’s a truly inspired celebration of the music and live performance of THE WHO, capturing its power and raw emotional energy. Slip Kid is the brainchild of brothers Markus Cherone on guitar and Gary Cherone (of the multi-platinum band EXTREME and one-time Van Halen vocalist) on lead vocals, along with other veterans of the Boston music scene singer-songwriter Paul Mangone on bass, Dana Spellman on drums, and Jeff Calder on keyboards and programming.

The “Regent Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus” will be held October 14 through November 20, 2011 at the historic Regent Theatre, “Arlington’s Show Place of Entertainment.” Located at 7 Medford St. in Arlington Center (off of Mass Ave)—minutes from Cambridge and Boston—the Regent is MBTA and handicap accessible with free parking across the street. For tickets and info call 781-646-4849 or visit

Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra/URO Schedule (all shows at 8pm):
Friday October 14th – Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus Media Preview Night
Saturday October 15th – Opening Night—All Beatles set w/Abbey Road!
Saturday October 22nd - Bowie/Queen/Zeppelin Extravaganza!
Saturday October 29th - URO unplugged + post-acoustic rock!

Saturday November 5th - All Beatles Encore!
Friday November 11th - Deborah Henson-Conant’s 11/11/11 Show!
Saturday November 12th - Bowie/Queen/Zeppelin Extravaganza!
Friday November 18th - The Penultimate Circus Performance!
Saturday November 19th - with Gary Cherone’s Slip Kid!
Sunday November 20th - Circus Grand Finale! 4pm Matinee with Surprise Guests!

Post-Meridian Radio Players: “The Big Broadcast of 1954”
Wednesday - Oct. 19th - 8:00pm
Thursday - Oct. 20th - 8:00pm
Friday - Oct. 21st - 8:00pm
Thursday - Oct. 27th - 8:00pm
Friday - Oct. 28th - 8:00pm
Sunday - Oct. 30th - 8:00pm