Mar 24, 2011 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
One of CNY’s most versatile musicians, Shirley Woodcock-Kolb is swingin’ at Shifty’s! The dark-haired dynamo hosts the Wednesday night open mikes through March 30 at the tuneful tavern at 1401 Burnet Ave.
Shirley plays six-string acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo and National steel guitar. She also sings like an archangel.
Last Wednesday Shirley kicked off the open mike backed by guitarist Mark Gibson, bassist Mike Ranger and harmonica master Skip Murphy. She strummed her Martin guit-box and crooned a cool country version of Guy Mitchell’s 1956 chart-topper “Singing the Blues.” Then she switched to the resonating National for a gutsy rendition of Wilton Crawley’s 1930 hit, “Big Time Woman.” You know, the one with the sparkly dress, the one Leon Redbone made famous in 1975, the one from way out West!
Then she put down the National and picked up her Gibson mandolin to back Mark Gibson singing “Route 66.”
Not only is Shirley a wonderful musician, she’s also an award-winning jeweler. Her trophies have included first place in metals in the Downtown Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival and first place at the State Fair in fused glass.
Coming up at Shifty’s
The Chris Terra Band plays the bejesus out of the blues on Friday, March 25;, Dark Hollow pays tribute to the Grateful Dead Saturday, March 26; songster Jerry Cali entertains from 7 to 10 p.m. Sunday, March 27; and songwriter Jamie Notarthomas sings next Thursday, March 31.
Be sure to say Hi to doorman Bill Scheutzow, the man with the most impressive tonsorial in Syracuse.
‘Pope Joan’ second screening
Named Best Feature Film at Ojai and Moondance Film Festivals, “Pope Joan” will make its Syracuse debut on April 2, at the Palace Theater. Response has been so great for the Saturday eveing red carpet affair, that a second screening has been added at 3 p.m., Sunday, April 3.
Admission costs $25, $15 for seniors, and $10 for students; 637-9511.
The film, which features John Goodman, is based upon the best-selling historical novel by Onondaga Hill author Donna Woolfolk Cross; popejoan.com.
Corned beef chef
Veteran Syracuse restaurateur Otto Weber was in Liverpool last week cooking up delectable corned beef and cabbage dinners for customers at The Retreat. Weber, an old buddy of Retreat owner John Gormel, fills in as a guest chef here every St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
‘Urinetown’ a splashy spectacle
Baldwinsville Theatre Guild’s new musical “Urinetown” answers nature’s call with splashy spectacle, porcelain-punishing performances and twinkling musicianship. But seriously, folks, this satirical social soiree soars on every level.
Co-directed by Deb Taylor and Heather Jensen, “Urinetown” lampoons capitalism and corporate incompetence in the name of the universal human need to void bladders. Its story is simple: a two-decade-long drought has led the powers-that-be to regulate water consumption by outlawing the use of private toilets. The result is nothing short of revolution.
BTG’s talented cast of 24 is led by local acting whiz Josh Taylor as Bobby Strong who leads the uprise after his desperate dad, portrayed by Jon Barden, is arrested and punished for draining his dragon in public. Strong’s nemesis is Caldwell B. Cladwell, the evil CEO of the Urine Good Co., ably played by Daddy Warbucks lookalike Jon Wright. Complications ensue when Cladwell’s zaftig daughter, Hope, played by Jennifer Pearson, wins Strong’s affections with the song “Follow Your Heart.”
While the leads keep things flowing smoothly, the entire cast creates the biggest splashes with invigorating dance routines choreographed by Stephfond Brunson. A pithy pit band led by pianist Dan Williams assiduously accompany the singers.
Taylor and Pearson both boast expressive singing voices as they ably blend hearty humor with pissy pathos, but the supporting cast also deserves number-one consideration. Bill Ali as Officer Lockstock serves as a one-man Greek chorus commenting on the play’s action. Not only does he ably set the scenes, he also sings like a man possessed on the opening number, “Urinetown” and “Cop Song.” Similarly, Jodie Baum as UGC functionary Penelope Pennywise belts out “It’s a Privilege to Pee.”
Act 1 climaxes with the entire company vocalizing different lyrics simultaneously, and “Urinetown” authors Greg Kotis and Mark Hollman wisely reprise that device late in Act 2 when Baum, Ali and Gregg Bilyeau skillfully overlap their voices with Taylor and Pearson on “Why Did I Listen to that Man?”
Those numbers ring out impressively, but the musical’s showstopper is the gospel-flavored “Run, Freedom, Run” featuring Taylor and the rebellious ensemble.
The Tony Award-winning musical continues at the First Presbyterian Education Center, 64 Oswego St., in B’ville at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday March 25 and 26. Tickets cost $20, $17 for students; 877-4183; baldwinsvilletheatreguild.org.