Tag Archives: Entertainment

Recap – West Virginia Squares (full show)

By Dawn Nolan
Photography by Shawna Hatten
The original Hollywood Squares might have gone off the air in 1981, but fans of the game show were delighted when a twist of the entertaining hour was held during two evenings of this year’s FestivALL. Presented by the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame, “West Virginia Squares” was held on June 23 and 24 at The Clay Center. Huntington native Peter Marshall reprised his role as host. He began each evening with clips from the television classic, which was followed by musical performances from America’s Got Talent winner Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.; Hee Haw Music Director Charlie McCoy, Donnie Davisson of the Davisson Brothers Band, Mountain Stage host Larry Groce and pianist Bob Thompson.
Monday’s cast was comprised of Charlie McCoy, Three’s Company’s (and original Hollywood Squares member) Joyce DeWitt, songwriter Billy Ed Wheeler, Tony Award winner Michael Cerveris, Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr., Larry Groce, Donnie Davisson, Chasing Nashville’s Autumn Blair and Bil Lepp, storyteller and five-time winner of the West Virginia State Liars’ Contest. Charleston Mayor Danny Jones, Miss West Virginia, Charisse Haislop, and radio host Steve Bishop joined the history-centered show on Tuesday. Broadcasting Hall of Famer, Bob Brunner served as the shows’ announcer.

Each evening’s questions centered on WV music and state history, and the contestants were students and 2014 Golden Horseshoe Award winners from Raleigh, Calhoun, Lincoln and Boone County. Winners received prizes from local businesses and tourist attractions. West Virginia Public Broadcasting filmed the episodes and is planning on distributing

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Recap – Taste-of-All Charleston 2014

By Dawn Nolan
Photography by Shawna Hatten
One of the first things you noticed when walking into the Charleston Civic Center on June 22 was the plethora of delicious smells wafting through the building. Over 20 vendors had gathered inside the Grand Hall to hand out scrumptious samples to hungry attendees in exchange for tickets at the annual Taste-of-All Charleston event. Sponsored by Mardi Gras Casino & Resort, the culinary tour of the Capital City featured dishes from new (Black Sheep Burritos and Brews, Grano, Mi Cocina de Amor) and well-known eateries (Ridge View BBQ, Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream, Quarrier Diner). The majority of the food items cost between $2 and $4. Leftover tickets were donated to the Charleston Ronald McDonald House.

In addition to the savory and sweet food selections, the event included performances by Bare Bones, a local capella group, West Virginia Mountain Valley Cloggers and musician Ryan Kennedy.
An afternoon “Chef Off” pitted Chef Philip Bricker of the Charleston Marriott, Jeni Burns of Ms Groovy’s Gourmet Catering and Chef Andrew Quisenberry of Quarry Manor against each other in a timed competition with pre-selected, secret ingredients. In the end, Quisenberry’s bacon-wrapped pork roulade with spiced puffed potatoes, mushroom herb sauce and crispy kale salad won the judges’ (Bridget Lancaster, America’s Test Kitchen; Scott Maroney, Executive Chef, Mardi Gras Casino & Resort; Chef Paul Smith, Buzz Food Service; Don Wilson, Generation Charleston) approval.
The Amateur Cake Contest, judged by Sarah Plumley of Sarah’s Bakery; Lisa Dravenstott, executive pastry chef at The Civic

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Event Preview: Bollywood Night 2014

Written by Dawn Nolan
Bollywood Night 2014 is a “celebration of Indian food, movies, dance music and fashion”. This year’s fundraiser will be held at the Charleston Civic Center on Saturday, May 17. This year’s theme is “Bellies, Bodies and Brains”. Proceeds will be divided between three non-profit organizations – Manna Meal, WV Health Right and the Kanawha Pastoral Counseling Center.
“From Those to Whom Much Has Been Given, Much is Expected” – Nilima Bhirud, Chairwoman
The festivities begin with a social hour at 6:00 p.m. A buffet dinner of “delicious, multi-cultural cuisine” will follow at 7 p.m. Bollywood style performances by 100 dancers, including the Charleston Ballet, January’s Dance Studio, Lisa Hughes’ students, Zumba instructor Amy Burdette and partner, Beth Fellure and friends, Victoria Russo’s Latino dance group and the Charleston Filipino community, will take place from 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. A fashion show, choreographed by Meenu Choudhary, and silent auction are also scheduled.
Tickets for Bollywood Night 2014 are $100 and tax-deductable. They can be purchased online at www.bollywoodwv.org.
(Video from bollywoodwv.org)
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oy_GVP3XuLY&w=640&h=360]

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Event Preview: Chris Collins and Boulder Canyon at the Metropolitan Theatre

“Country roads, take me home 
To the place I belong
West Virginia, Mountain Mama
Take me home, country roads”
West Virginia’s new state song is just one of the many John Denver classics that audiences can expect when Chris Collins and Boulder Canyon return to Morgantown in April. “The last time we performed it [Country Roads] here the entire audience got on their feet and sang along,” recalls Collins. “It was pretty amazing, but then again, it is a pretty special song.”
Collins, been a fan of Denver’s since childhood. “His songs were some of the first songs that I learned to play on the guitar,” he says. And, after a long hiatus from the music scene, Denver’s lyrics are what brought him back. “My wife and I were in Alberta… She mentioned that the view reminded her of John Denver music,” Collins remembers. “We went and bought a guitar, and I wrote 10 songs.” As they say, the rest is history. “I entered some contests and did a John Denver Tribute show at a bar. 300 people showed up, including someone from Aspen.”
Since then, Collins and his band have toured the country, celebrating Denver’s life and work, and although he admits that he bears a strong resemblance to the late singer, Collins maintains that he isn’t an impersonator. “We are not an imitation act,” he explains. “I sing in my own voice, and we present the music as our band. We try to produce a show that is authentic, and I think that’s why

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Event Preview: The West Virginia Fashion Show

Dozens of the state’s most fashionable men, women and youth have been selected to walk the runway at this year’s West Virginia Fashion Show. The fundraiser, which is scheduled for May 1, will take place at the Kyle Furniture Warehouse on Charleston’s East End. “We always try to raise the bar and make it a better event that it was the year before,” says Ann Urling, event co-chair. “This year, we have a new venue, which gives us more space. We have several creative people on board that are working together.”
This year’s theme is “Applause”. “We wanted it to be a positive one,” explains Urling. “It’s the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s 75th year, and last year when we did ‘Girl on Fire’ we selected individuals that were doing good in the community, and we looked at these things and wanted to ‘applaud’ them.”

While plans are still being finalized, Urling says that there are a few things that attendees should expect. Typically, we’ll have a champagne and hors d’oeuvre reception before a New York style fashion show which lasts about 45 minutes to an hour,” she describes. Then, after the show, there will be coffee and dessert as well as popup shops where the featured retailers will sell their merchandise.” Approximately 20 vendors from around the state will have samples available for purchase.
A silent auction is also in the works. “We can them ‘big girl goody bags’,” says Urling. “They are purses filled with gift certificates. Bidders don’t know what’s

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WVSO Dancing with the Stars

Politicians, business owners, media personalities, and other industry professionals will take to the stage during Dancing with the Stars 2014, a benefit for the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, hosted by the West Virginia Symphony League. “The League is the main fundraising arm for the Symphony,” explains Marisa Pedro, Dancing with the Stars co-chair and League Board member. The annual event will be held on Sunday, April 6 at the West Virginia Culture Center. “This is our sixth year, and there will be eight couples competing.” A reception will take place at 5:00 p.m. prior to the competition’s 6:30 p.m. start. An after party will follow at Bar101 and Ichiban.
Pairs include:

Andy Richardson, Charleston City Council and senior vice president at HealthSmart Casualty Claims Solutions, with Debbie Sizemore
Dr. Chaflik Assal, WVU Physicians of Charleston, with Angel Lewis
Ryan Broyles, Broyles Jewelry, with Alicia Elam
Courtney Persinger, Charleston City Council and project manager at Jarrett Construction and, with Margaret Wuletich
Nikki Orcutt, marketing director for the West Virginia Lottery, with Cameron Martin
Morgan Robinson, talk show host at Electric 102.7 and Charming Charleston, with Matthew Osborne
Maryclaire Akers, assistant state attorney general, consumer protection; partner Aaron Smith
Alisa Bailey, director of the Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau, with Tyler Hannigan

Dancers will vie for Judges and People’s Choice awards by performing a two and a half minute routine. “Songs and costumes are chosen by the couples,” adds Pedro. A Congeniality Award will also be given. Last year’s winners include Woody Woods and Angel George (Judges’ High Score), Lindsay Gardner and

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WV’s AMT Opens Eighth Season on April 4th

One of West Virginia’s top attractions, the American Mountain Theater in Elkins, W. Va., will be premiering the eighth season of their award-winning, music & comedy variety show on April 4, 2014 at 7:30 PM.
The American Mountain Theater’s eighth season promises to bring an uplifting feeling to people who visit the theater by delivering the absolute best in entertainment, with amazing music and great comedy routines, like you might find in Branson, MO, Pigeon Forge, TN, or Myrtle Beach, SC.
In the past seven years, AMT’s exceptionally talented cast has brought home a total of four awards from the West Virginia Division of Tourism, and in 2013 AMT was awarded the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for having a 5-star average rating on their site, making AMT one of the top-performing 10% of businesses worldwide on Trip Advisor.

An entirely new Premier 2-Hour Show production will greet new and repeat customers alike when the cast begins on April 4th, and the performances will run through the end of October.  Producer and co-owner, Beverly Sexton said, “Putting a new show together is more challenging and more exciting every year as we all grow and stretch our abilities, but we want to go beyond just entertaining people to fully entertaining them.”
AMT features live music & comedy variety shows that are “guaranteed to entertain guests of all ages while remaining entirely family-friendly.”    “Many people think that we are a country music show,” said Meggan Sexton, Vice President of Operations, “and that couldn’t be further from the truth.  We do some

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Toaster Strudel Morning Movers: The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus

“What would get your morning moving?” For South Charleston resident, Jaime Moore the answer was simple. “Without any doubt or hesitation, what would not only get my morning moving but change my life forever would be to meet Norman Reedus from The Walking Dead,” she responded. Moore, a die-hard Daryl Dixon fan, entered Toaster Strudel’s Morning Movers contest on a whim earlier this year, and to her complete surprise was chosen as one of the winners. “I was in shock,” she recalls. “I’d never won anything like that,” she says.
Moore received the exciting announcement on the evening of January 24, and less than a week later; she and her two children were staying at the Trump SoHo New York hotel and preparing to meet her idol. The day before meeting Reedus, though, the family of three enjoyed dinner at David Burke Kitchen (compliments of the Visa gift card Moore received as part of her package) and stash of Toaster Strudel products.

The next morning, while Moore took part in some interviews, her children got into the Walking Dead spirit. “They had a professional makeup artist come in to make the kids into zombies,” she describes. Finally, it was the moment for which she had been waiting. Moore was able to spend a full hour with Reedus. “He was really only supposed to stay for a half an hour, but he stayed for an hour because he’s wonderful like that,” she says. “He [Reedus] is a sweet, kindhearted, down to Earth

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‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’ is now a WV state song

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Singer John Denver never called West Virginia home, but his 1970s hit “Take Me Home, Country Roads” is one of the state’s official songs.
Forty-three years after it first hit the airwaves with the words “Almost Heaven, West Virginia,” the Legislature approved a resolution Friday designating it as one of four state songs.
The song has resonated with residents for decades. It’s played after every West Virginia University basketball and football game. Denver sang it in person at the dedication of Mountaineer Field in Morgantown in 1980.
The state song effort was started two years ago by the widow of “Gilligan’s Island” actor Bob Denver, who is no relation. Dreama Denver is a Bluefield native. She says she got the idea after playing the song on her morning radio show in Princeton.

Related Articles:
“Country Roads now official state song”
“VIDEO: Country Roads, heard around the world”
“Take Me Home Country Roads, new WV state song”

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New “Aerial America” featuring West Virginia

“West Virginia. It’s where the Appalachian, Blue Ridge, and Allegheny Mountains converge, and where a fiercely independent spirit, forged during the Civil War, still lives today. Take off on a sky-high journey above the Mountain State.”

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