Comic Book Review: “Iron Maiden: Piece of Mind”

“Iron Maiden: Piece of Mind”

Various Authors
Z2 Comics
Hardcover: 141 pages

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

40 years have passed since the release of IRON MAIDEN’s groundbreaking fourth studio album, PIECE OF MIND. Released in 1983, “Piece Of Mind” was the band’s first album to enter the U.S. Billboard Top 20, peaking at #14, achieving RIAA platinum certification in the U.S. To celebrate this classic album Iron Maiden have partnered with award-winning publisher Z2, to bring the multi-platinum album Piece of Mind to book form. “IRON MAIDEN: PIECE OF MIND”, is a love letter to fans from one of the most celebrated metal bands in music history.

Just like the album itself “Iron Maiden: Piece of Mind” the graphic novel wastes no time transporting readers into the world of all things Eddie and Iron Maiden. Starting off with an introduction titled “Piece of Mind at 40” by long time manager Rod Smallwood, the commemorative book is packed with vibrant art, testimonials from acclaimed writers, artists, actors and musicians along with newly written interpretations of each of the albums 9 signature tracks.

No matter if you are new to Iron Maiden or a long time listener the latest offering from the British metallers and Z2 comics puts a whole new spin on one of the bands most legendary release. Though there is not one seamless story line tying the book together readers instead get 9 different stories all by different writers and based on their interpretation of one specific song. To go along with each story is a bevy of new artwork which only further adds to the books overall appeal. I really enjoyed the writing of Steven Grant “Where Eagles Dare”, Sacha Gervasi “Die With Your Boots On” and Brian Posehn “Quest for Fire” along with the artwork by artists Damien Worm “Revelations” and Staz Johnson “The Trooper” but what I think I enjoyed most about the book is that it provides a nice balance of text and pictorials. Across the heavy weight, glossy 141 pages there was never too much or too little of each as page after page provided was equally enjoyable. To top things off  Maiden’s very own frontman Bruce Dickenson pens the story for “Revelations” which is very cool addition in my opinion.

If you are looking for something a little different apart from the standard remaster of an album or a brief retrospective article then “Iron Maiden: Piece of Mind” is something you will definitely want to grab. The books unique written and visual presentation adds a whole new level to the “Piece of Mind” mythos in a way unlike no other making it a great companion to the audio release.

Kansas City Theater Review: “TINA: The Tina Turner Musical”

 

  • TINA: THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL
  • The Music Hall – Kansas City, Missouri
  • December 5, 2023

 

I first fell in love with Tina Turner as a 15 year old boy after seeing her in the film “Tommy.”  I didn’t know I was in love until she rocketed back to stardom in the early 80s.  Then I was hooked.  I went to her shows, bought her albums and tried to devise a way to ask her to marry me.  My crush on her was so powerful that when she sadly passed away earlier this year, friends who I hadn’t heard from in years sent me condolence messages.  Which brings me to this week at the Music Hall in Kansas City where I attended opening night of TINA: The Tina Turner Musical.”

 

Opening with a gospel themed rendition of “Nutbush City Limits,” “TINA” is a nearly three-hour journey into the often tragic life of one of the most powerful voices in rock and roll history.

 

For those unfamiliar with the story, Anna Mae Bullick left her Tennessee home to join her sister Alline in St. Louis.  There she met Ike Turner a musician with a bad temper.  As the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, they toured the country, appearing in concert and on television.  However, behind the scenes, it was a living hell.

Parris Lewis

A show is only as good as its cast, and the cast of “TINA” was amazing.  Every character has a chance to shine, from young Anna Mae to the hard dancing Ikettes.  I apologize her for not naming the young actress who played Anna Mae.  There are two young ladies playing the roll and there was nothing inserted into the “Playbill” to tell me which one it was.  Whoever you are, young lady, you were amazing.

 

It’s a testament to the talents of actor Wildlin Pierrevil that, when he took his curtanin call as Ike Tuner, some in the audience booed him.  Not the performance, mind you, but Ike Turner the man.

 

There are also two actresses playing Tina Turner, and this performance featured Parris Lewis, who seemed to have absorbed Tina Turner into her DNA as she gave one of the best performances I have seen on stage this year.  Brava!!

 

I will warn readers who may hope to influence the younger generation with Tina’s music by taking them to the show, it does get a little dark thematically at times.  It’s well documented that Ike Turner was an SOB, and there are scenes of domestic violence that had the audience cringing.  However, it’s those early scenes that make Tina’s triumphs even sweeter.  She really was, as she sang, Simply the Best!

 

On a scale of zero to five, I give “TINA: The Tina Turner Musical” ★★★★★

 

“TINA: The Tina Turner Musical” runs in Kansas City through December 9th.  For tickets to these or future shows, please click HERE.

 

To check out my interview with actresses Parris Lewis and Ari Groover, please clickHERE.

 

 

Actresses Ari Groover and Parris Lewis Talk About Playing Tina Turner

 

 

How do you go about playing one of the most popular and successful women in rock and roll history night after night?  If you’re portraying the title character in “TINA: The Tina Turner Musical,” you share the spotlight. 

 

Due to the enormous amount of energy, both physically and vocally, expended over the course of nearly three hours and twenty-two songs, two very talented actresses share the role.  While taking a break during their recent stop in St. Louis, both Ari Groover and Parris Lewis took a few minutes out of their busy schedule to speak with Media Mikes.

 

MIKE SMITH:  Can you both tell us how you got the role of Tina Turner?

 

ARI GROOVER:  I was actually fortunate enough to have been in the Broadway company (Ms. Groover played the role of Alline, Tina’s sister and also served as the Understudy for Tina).  Because we were still dealing with the experiences of the Pandemic, I went on quite a bit.  That allowed me to get in a lot of practice playing Tina Turner.  I’m happy to be with the tour doing Tina full time and sharing the journey with Parris, who has a very similar story.

 

PARRIS LEWIS:  My story is very similar to Ari’s.  I didn’t start on Broadway but when the show closed and the tour started, I played Alline Bullock and covered Tina.  I did that eight times a week and covered Tina whenever one of the “Tinas” were out.  So with a whirlwind of a year playing both roles, like Ari I had a lot of experience.  Although we had two “Tinas,” being on tour is hard.    So whenever the young ladies were out, I was on, which was quite often.  It afforded me the opportunity to improve so when the tour opened up for year two I was able to, kind of graciously, walk into it. 

Ari Groover

MS:  I saw Tina Turner many times in concert.  Her last tour started here in Kansas City.  She always put on such an amazing show.  It must be exhausting to play her.  Not only the musical numbers but, I’m sure the show also delves into the issues in her personal life.  Emotionally, it must be a work out every night.

 

PL:  Oh, yeah.

 

AG:  It surely is.

 

MS:  Is that why there are two of you?

 

PL:  Not necessarily physical exhaustion.  More for vocal health.  It’s a beast of a show.  We sing twenty-two, twenty-three songs in the span of three hours.  It takes a toll, the wear and tear, on any artist.  I think they decided that it would be best for the role to be shared.  These were things that were learned before we got the tour.  Touring is harder than sitting still somewhere.  You’re constantly moving and lugging yourself.  It gives the “Tinas” time to recoup, be it energy, physically or vocally.  You get that chance to catch your breath.

 

MS:  Ari, since you did do the show on Broadway, did you ever have the opportunity to meet Tina Turner?

 

AG:  No, I didn’t get a chance to meet her because I joined the show a little bit later.  Tina came to the show on opening night in October 2019 and I didn’t join the show until the first of the year in 2020.  But she did keep in contact with most of her “Tinas” around the globe.  Anybody that played her…she would send beautiful notes and messages.  Though I have not met her, I have MET her.

 

MS:  What led you both to pursue acting?

 

AG:  Great question.

 

PL:  Yeah, great question.

 

PL:  For me it started through music.  I was studying music as a young person, studying voice, whether it was chorale or classical, that was really where my journey began.  Even as a young dancer, taking dance classes, you learn that you have to emote.  It isn’t just a physical thing.  And vocally, you have to be able to tell a story while singing.  Through my transition from high school to college I really began to fall in love with seeking more outside of singing.  I learned that acting really allowed a person to tell a story and show up.  Also, being a young writer, I would write stories and poems and plays of my own. 

Parris Lewis

AG:  I’m very happy that my mom was able to surround me with the arts.  She didn’t shy away from anything so I was exposed to different mediums as a kid.  I’ve always had the “bug.”  The funny thing is I really didn’t see myself performing in musical theater.  Even when I got to college, I didn’t see myself doing musical theater.  I actually went to school for visual arts and illustration because I wanted to do graphic novels or storyboards for animation.  That’s where I thought I was going to go.  Or I thought I’d be a backup dancer because that was one of the big things in Atlanta….music videos.  That’s what I had in mind.  I didn’t really put together that I was good at doing all three things.  Though I had done plays and done musicals, I just really didn’t see myself on the great white way! 

 

MS:  Is there a dream role you’d like to play?  Something you’d drop everything for if they called and said, “would you come play this”

 

PL:  Would I drop everything? (laughs).  I don’t know.  It depends.  It’s not just the role.  There are so many things that come into play.  In theater there are two roles that I’d love to play.  One is an older role and the other is more current.  One is Persephone in “Hadestown.” 

 

AG:  Oh my God, you’d be great in that!

 

PL:  I love that show.  It’s just so beautiful.  I really would love to play Persephone.  I would also drop things to play Aida in “Aida.” 

 

AG:  I get asked this question a lot, but I never know the answer.  Sometimes I don’t know if it’s something that hasn’t been created yet, or if it’s something that I have to create.  I don’t know what is the perfect dream role for me.  I do think it’s something that hasn’t been created yet.  Maybe it’s something that has to come from my mind. 

Z2 and Iron Maiden Present “Piece of Mind” Graphic Novel

IRON MAIDEN: PIECE OF MIND

A stunning love letter to fans from one of the most celebrated metal bands in music history!

Z2 Comics release, Iron Maiden: Piece of Mind features original stories for each of the nine album tracks including Where Eagles Dare – written by Steven Grant (The Punisher) illustrated by Carson Thorn (Batman the Barbarian), Revelations – fittingly crafted by Bruce Dickinson with Tony Lee (Doctor Who) and illustrated by Damien Worm (The October Faction); (“Revelations” being the first track in Maiden history to be solely-credited to Dickinson), Flight of Icarus by Eisner nominee Ivan Brandon (24Seven, Viking) illustrated by Francesco Dossena (Dylan Dog), Die With Your Boots On by Emmy-winning director and screenwriter Sacha Gervasi with art by Christian Rosado, The Trooper by Antony Johnston (Atomic Blonde) illustrated by Staz Johnson (Rogue Trooper), Still Life by Leah Moore & John Reppion (Conspiracy of Ravens) painted by John Pearson (Mindset), Quest for Fire from metal authority Brian Posehn (writer, comedian, actor) with art by Michael Avon Oeming (Powers), Sun and Steel by multiple World Fantasy Award-nominee Chris Roberson (iZombie) with art by Danijel Žeželj (Luna Park), and To Tame a Land, written and illustrated by Alison Sampson (Hit-Girl). In addition, between each story, the book is packed with original pieces of art by acclaimed illustrators, including Montos, Ghoulish Gary, Steve Chanks, Jan Meininghaus, Kyle Hotz, Jay Geldhof, Darin Hazmat, Travis Knight, Akirant, and Nat Jones.

With Iron Maiden: Piece of Mind, collectors will have five variants available to purchase, including The Trooper cover by multiple Eisner-nominee J.G. Jones (Y: The Last Man), Asylum Edition with cover by multiple Society of Illustrators-winner Jason Edmiston, Die With Your Boots On cover by UK Iron Maiden illustrator Dan Mumford, and The Flight of the Icarus cover by Eisner-nominee Martin Simmonds (The Department of Truth) with an additional The Trooper Cutaway cover by famed poster artist Travis Knight.

Iron Maiden: Piece of Mind will be available in hardcover via Z2 distributed by Simon & Schuster for a list price of $40 (ISBN: 978-1-95492-826-8) at comic shops on November 22.

Theater Review: “To Kill a Mockingbird”

 

I must confess that as soon as I heard that the Broadway National Touring presentation of “To Kill a Mockingbird” was coming to Kansas City I knew I would be in attendance.

 

I first became aware of the story as a young man through the 1962 film version of Harper Lee’s novel, where I was moved by the Academy Award winning performance Gregory Peck, who plays attorney Atticus Finch.  I immediately went to the local library, read the novel, then read it again.  I’ve read it several times since. The Pulitzer Prize winner is my all-time favorite novel. The film is on my Top Ten Best Film List.  So, I was excited to see a live performance, with the role of Atticus Finch played by none other than Richard Thomas, forever remembered as John Boy Walton to my generation.

 

Even though I was anxious to see the show, I must admit that from the first moment Scout (played by Melanie Moore) took the stage, I suddenly felt uneasy.  Uneasy about how anything could top the film, or how could a new vision (by Aaron Sorkin) in any way convey the feelings generated by the novel.  I needn’t had worried. 

 

Richard Thomas was exceptional.   No one, for me, will ever be Atticus Finch more than Peck, and it’s obvious that Thomas understand that.  He brings his own experience to the stage, and it was spot on for this version.

 

 

Scout, Jem (Justin Mark) and Dill (Steven Lee Johnson) were very good as the three young children (and adults) who lead the audience on the show’s journey.  The entire ensemble cast played well, especially Ted Koch as Bob Ewell and Jacqueline Williams as Calpurnia.   The bonus highlight of the cast is that Mary Badham – who earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Scout in the film version – plays the role of Mrs. Henry Dubose.    

 

The presentation is set as a series of flashbacks, taking the audience inside the trial of a black man, Tom Robinson, accused of raping a young white girl, and the subsequent horrific end to his life at the hands of a racists mob.  The story flows in and around the courtroom scenes, the children, and their efforts to get a look of the reclusive neighbor Boo Radley and of course, the climactic ending with an attempted murder of the Finch children, the death of Bob Ewell, and the end of the summer that changed their lives forever. 

 

In the end, I greatly enjoyed  this telling of “To Kill A Mockingbird.”  I would encourage everyone to read the novel, watch the movie, and if given the chance…. see this play.

 

On a scale of zero to five, I give “To Kill a Mockingbird” 4.5 stars.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” runs in Kansas City through October 29th.  For tickets to these and future performances, please click HERE.  

 

IMAGE COMICS’ EXCITING NYCC 2023 PANEL LINEUP & MORE

Image Comics will be in full-force at New York Comic Con this year with an exciting lineup of can’t-miss panels. Each of these Image Comics panels will be bursting-at-the-seams with jaw-dropping announcements sure to cause a stir!

—FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13 PANELS—

Image Comics Presents: the new wave of comics storytelling, character, and talent
Friday October 13 @ 10:45 AM – 11:45 AM
Location: 406.3
Join Rodney Barnes (KILLADELPHIA), Ryan Parrott (TBA), Charles Soule (HELL TO PAY, EIGHT BILLION GENIES), Will Sliney (HELL TO PAY), Ethan Sacks (A HAUNTED GIRL), and Naomi Sacks (A HAUNTED GIRL) for some special announcements of upcoming projects, and a conversation about genre, storytelling, industry secrets, and tricks-of-the-trade.

Geoff Johns & Gary Frank’s Mad Ghost: Building the Future
Friday, October 13 @ 12:15 PM – 1:15 PM
Location: Room 406.1
With the recent news about Mad Ghost, you want to be here for the full story, direct from the source! The gears are in motion as you get in on the ground floor with Geoff Johns (GEIGER, JUNKYARD JOE, Justice Society), Gary Frank (GEIGER, JUNKYARD JOE, Doomsday Clock), plus other acclaimed guests, teasing what’s to come from your new, favorite imprint. Added bonus: Fans who join us for this memorable panel will get an exclusive MAD GHOST ashcan comic (while supplies last)!

Todd McFarlane Productions Spotlight Panel
Friday, October 13 @ 6 PM – 7 PM
Location: Room 408
Editor-in-Chief Thomas Healy discusses the current slate of SPAWN UNIVERSE projects, along with a few new announcements for the 2024 publishing schedule. Healy, along with SPAWN UNIVERSE artists Javi Fernandez, Carlo Barberi, Von Randal, and more surprise guests, will do a Q&A after the presentation with the SPAWN fans in attendance. It is sure to be one hell of a time!

—SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14 PANELS—

Image Comics’ Giant Generator imprint—Giant Generating Creator Owned Comics
Saturday, October 14 @ 12 PM – 1 PM
Location: 406.1
Rick Remender, curator of Image Comics imprint Giant Generator, discusses his 25 years of experience making creator owned comics with super star collaborators Jerome Opeña (SEVEN TO ETERNITY), Wes Craig (DEADLY CLASS), Matteo Scalera (BLACK SCIENCE), Max Fiumara (THE SACRIFICERS), Greg Tocchini (LOW) and the few other surprise guests. A round table discussion about the importance of creating creator owned comics with an eye on passion, commitment to quality, and forming a connection with the audience over merely generating pitches for other media.

Image Comics Presents: Bone Chilling new horror comics to read for Halloween
Saturday October 14 @ 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Location: 406.3
Join masters of horror W. Maxwell Prince (ICE CREAM MAN, SWAN SONGS), Dustin Nguyen (LITTLE MONSTERS), Ram V (TBA), Alex De Campi (PARASOCIAL), and Laurence Campbell (TBA) as they talk in depth about how to create jumpscares that jump-off-the page, characters you fear for, and what inspires them most when adding dark elements to their bestselling comics. There may also be a special announcement we let slip…

Pete Townshend’s Life House/Who’s Next Panel
Saturday, October 14 @ 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Room 406.3
Fifty years in the making, LIFE HOUSE, a new graphic novel based on Pete Townshend’s original screenplay and the genesis for The Who’s bestselling album, “Who’s Next.” Join the Life House team in a panel like no other! Pete Townshend will be on hand virtually from London, while live in the room at New York Comic Con will be LIFE HOUSE artist, Max Prentis, Editor Hannah Means-Shannon, and Rockbox CEO, Jeff Krelitz to discuss the development and creation of this holy grail of Rock N’ Roll finally available for fans to enjoy.

—BOOTH PROGRAMMING—
Rick Remender’s Giant Generator booth: Artist Alley HB907
Every Giant Generator deluxe HC from Remender’s personal stock (most 1st printings) will be available for sale as well as limited signed giclee prints by JG Jones, Bengal, and Andrew Robinson. The booth will also host signings with Max Fiumara, Jerome Opeña, Matteo Scalera, Wes Craig, Lee Loughridge, Dave McCaig, and more.

Kyle Higgins’ Massive-Verse/Black Market Narrative booth: #3810
Will be offering specials on Massive-Verse trade paperbacks, hosting creator signings and debuting some incredible new Massive-Verse pins from Kelly McMahon! Plus, 12×18” signed and numbered screen printed posters by Tom Whalen! Limited to 100 for RADIANT BLACK and 100 for ROGUE SUN. The booth will also host signings with Ryan Parrott (ROGUE SUN, SUPERMASSIVE), Melissa Flores (THE DEAD LUCKY, SUPERMASSIVE), Mat Groom (INFERNO GIRL RED, SUPERMASSIVE), Erica D’Urso (INFERNO GIRL RED), Valeria Favoccia (INFERNO GIRL RED), Brian Buccellato (NO/ONE), Geraldo Borges (NO/ONE), Rod Reis (C.O.W.L.), Francesco Manna (SUPERMASSIVE), Simone Ragazzoni (SUPERMASSIVE, ROGUE SUN), Michael Busuttil.

Geoff Johns & Gary Frank’s Mad Ghost booth: #3045
GEIGER and JUNKYARD JOE fans won’t want to miss swinging by—surprises and announcements abound.

Top Cow Productions’ Matt Hawkins Artist Alley booth: K-26
DESTINY GATE #1 – NYCC Exclusive Variant by Stjepan Sejic that will be available for only $20 each

Top Cow Productions’ Linda Sejic Artist Alley booth: K-27
DESTINY GATE #1 – NYCC Exclusive Variant by Stjepan Sejic that will be available for only $20 each

Top Cow Productions’ Stjepan Sejic Artist Alley booth: K-28
DESTINY GATE #1 – NYCC Exclusive Variant by Stjepan Sejic that will be available for only $20 each

Top Cow Productions’ Ryan Cady Artist Alley booth: F-04
DESTINY GATE #1 – NYCC Exclusive Variant by Stjepan Sejic that will be available for only $20 each

Z2 Comics Captures the Historical PMRC Hearings with Dee Snider: He’s Not Gonna Take It – November 21, 2023

Z2 Comics Captures the Historical PMRC Hearings with Dee Snider: He’s Not Gonna Take It

Rolling Stone full story

COURTESY OF Z2 COMICS

More than 35 years ago, Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider marched into the United States Senate’s Committee on Commerce in a jean jacket and tank top to confront a band of concerned Washington housewives hellbent on silencing the howl of metal and beyond. Co-founded by Tipper Gore, a committee of politicians’ spouses labeling themselves the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) had lobbied to plaster “Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics” labels on any music that conformed to their definition of sexual, violent, or drug-endorsing. Partnering with Z2 Comics, Snider’s war to preserve the First Amendment will be immortalized in He’s Not Gonna Take It, a graphic novel charting the rocker’s passionate battle against censorship alongside writer Frank Marraffino (Marvel Zombies) and artist Steve Kurth (Avengers, X-Force). Dee Snider: He’s Not Gonna Take It will be available at retailers everywhere on November 21, 2023.

This new graphic novel will follow the impact of Dee’s battle for freedom of expression in the arts throughout his life. From a childhood where he was frequently silenced, through the early efforts to stifle his band’s music, to the open warfare of the PMRC hearings in Washington DC, and his current efforts on social media. He’s Not Gonna Take It tells the story of why free speech is so important to this man who has fought for it…even when it endangered everything that was important to him.

Z2 Comics and Dee Snider present He’s Not Gonna Take It featuring cover art by Erik Rodriguez and Josh Bernstein. Deluxe editions include retro-comic art prints from Roy Burdine, Javier Aranda, and Carlos Olivares. DEE SNIDER: He’s Not Gonna Take It will be available as a Deluxe Edition for a list price of $99.99 (includes Deluxe Edition Graphic Novel Oversized HC with Slipcase, Signed by Dee Snider, Commemorative Coin, and three Retro Dee Snider Commemorative Art Prints), hardcover for a list price of $29.99, and paperback for a list price of $24.99 (ISBN: 979-8-88656-030-5) – available at retailers everywhere on November 21, 2023. Preorder link.

About Dee Snider
Dee Snider was ranked as one of the top 100 metal vocalists of all time by the magazine Hit Parader. His 1984 album with Twisted Sister, Stay Hungry, sold 3 million copies in the United States and around 8 million copies worldwide, with lead single “We’re Not Gonna Take It” eliciting ire from the PMRC. Snider would go on to co-found the ‘90s metal band Widowmaker before writing and starring in the cult horror film Strangeland in 1998. Snider has been the host of The House of Hair radio show since 1997, curating heavy metal, glam, and hard rock primarily rooted in the ‘80s and ‘90s and syndicated over 200 markets.

About Z2 Comics
Recently dubbed the “Hottest brand in music” by Forbes, Z2 Comics has quickly become the premier destination for authentic graphic novels and collectibles, created in partnership with top-tier artists, musicians, and pop-culture icons. Distributed globally via Simon & Schuster, multiple Eisner and Ringo-winning Z2 Comics has produced 50-plus unique graphic novel properties, collaborating with Gorillaz, Blondie, Elvis Presley, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Pantera, Tori Amos, Last Podcast On The Left, Emily Hampshire, Balmain Paris, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Jason Derulo, The Grateful Dead, Machine Gun Kelly, Sublime, Beethoven, RZA, Mötley Crüe, Vince Staples, Cheech & Chong, The Doors, Anthrax, Public Enemy, Ronnie James Dio, King Diamond, All Time Low, Ivan Moody, Yungblud, Cypress Hill, Babymetal, Major Lazer, RZA, Alter Bridge, Sturgill Simpson, Poppy, John Lee Hooker, and Charlie “Bird” Parker. For more information visit Z2comics.com, and follow us on Instagram (@z2comics) and Twitter/X (@z2comics).

“TerrorVision” – a new immersive horror experience in Times Square…opening 9/14

Don’t Blink.

TERROR presents TerrorVision – Live Screaming Your Nightmares, a new immersive in-your-face horror experience, told over three narrative attractions, flickers to life in Times Square. Located at the fictional ‘Horrorwood Studios’ (300 W. 43rd), Will Munro and Katie McGeoch serve as artistic directors, and the second season of screams begin September 13, with opening night set for Thursday, September 14.

This year’s event will push the boundaries of what audience members can expect in a live horror attraction. In these heart-pounding immersive experiences, guests step through a flickering television screen and into a first-person nightmare.

As audiences embark on a tour of the dilapidated Horrowood Studios, they’re invited to get a ‘behind the screams’ sneak peek of the filming of the upcoming TerrorVision Halloween episode. As things go terribly awry, the screen shatters and guests are suddenly cast as the unwitting new star, forced to face three tales of terror with each manifesting as an immersive walk through haunted house style experience, overflowing with gruesome creatures and movie magic special effects.

Guests are going to see snow, and wind inside of the rooms, giant creatures , and seemingly impossible effects constantly happening all around, quite literally swirling them into this nightmare world.

140 actors inhabit the world of TerrorVision, which includes over 20,000 square feet of rooms, passageways and fright-making it one of the largest theatrical experiences in New York City.

In 2022, TERROR premiered their first horror endeavor, NYC’s largest haunted house, ‘BEDLAM’, in the former Ripley’s Believe it or Not on West 42nd Street, selling more than 20,000 tickets and running for 19 days.

The team behind TerrorVision has designed for the some of the largest horror experiences in the industry, ranging from theme parks to Broadway productions, and have created large immersive events in NYC and in Europe. Co-artistic directors Will Munro and Katie McGeoch have spent more than two decades as the heads of Six Flags’ Fright Fest.

“TerrorVision is truly scary and not for the faint of heart,” said Munro and McGeoch. “When you step into TerrorVision, you’re entering a world set in 1980 – at the height of the slasher genre, when classic horror movies like The Exorcist, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and Poltergeist were dominating the box office. This year’s show is a complete homage to the 1980’s horror craze and we want our guests to feel like they are stepping into the screen and onto a movie set. Our audiences aren’t going to know what hit them.”

“We’ve created three stand-alone attractions, which would be great on their own, but together, tell a full narrative nightmare,” said Executive Producer Dalton M. Dale. “To pull off some of these amazing effects, we’ve hired Hollywood’s best makeup and special effects artists who will transform our cast into terrifying creatures nightly.”

Tickets, beginning at $39, are available at www.facetheterror.com, with early bird pricing available until September 19.

Guests can choose their own level of Terror:

· General Admission – This is the standard level of scary, heart pounding fun.
· “Chicken” ticket – This allows guests to wear a special amulet to become “invisible” to the monsters. This is perfect for those who do not want to be touched by the ghouls, though still get some residual scares.
· Ultimate Terror – Suited for the most brave guests only, this upgrade will ensure you’re targeted throughout the experience. Bring a change of underwear, you’re going to need it.

***All three levels can also add the RIP/VIP immediate entry upgrade, which skips the general admission line.There is an upcharge for the “Chicken” and Ultimate Terror ticket. Pricing varies nightly.

This experience may be too frightening for children under thirteen. No costumes or costume masks allowed.

The performers are trained in safety, and TerrorVision employs a security team to ensure actor and audience safety, and to enforce their policy of no drugs or alcohol.

For performance dates and schedule, please visit www.facetheterror.com

Theater Review: “Jagged LIttle Pill – the Musical”

 

  • JAGGED LITTLE PILL: the MUSICAL
  • Starlight Theater,  Kansas City, Missouri  
  • August 1, 2023

 

 

Reviewed by J. R. Deeter

 

 

It has been nearly 30 years since Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” album was released.  30 holds a strange mental impact on most people….you dread the fact when you turn 30…you’re now old.  The Mom & Dad kind of old, not elderly, but not a young person either.

 

I remember thinking when I first heard Morissette’s Grammy award winning songs that they were the stories of someone who had been hurt, deeply, and I couldn’t quite understand how someone so young could relate to the things I was hearing.   The musical “Jagged Little Pill” has put it all into a perspective that I never thought of.   The experience can relate to anyone, of any age.

 

I liked the fact that the show’s book, connecting Morisette’s songs, was written by Diablo Cody (2020 Tony award winner) and overall, it did flow easily.  What I didn’t care for was the cliché of the family members – mom is a drug addict, dad is a workaholic, the son is a pressured overachiever and the daughter is confused sexually.  That is not to lessen the impact of the subject matter and issues address by the story, they are legit and continue to be but it just seemed too forced on the viewer.

 

Another “get off my lawn” moment for me was the choreography of the supporting cast.  Why does everyone have to always be all herky-jerky in their movements ?  The one bright, shining moment was the number “Smiling” as mother Mary Jane, (Heidi Blickenstaff) suffers through searching for her drug fix, then progressing through her day, when suddenly everything flows intricately slowly in reverse, back to the house where it started.   That segment is the highlight of the show.

 

The remaining family cast members performed admirably, but the show stealer was Jade McLeod in the roll of Jo.

 

“Jagged Little Pill: the Musical” receives a total of three out of five stars. 

 

“Jagged Little Pill” plays at Starlight through Sunday.  For tickets to see this or future shows, please click HERE

BrokeHorrorFan.com’s Alex DiVincenzo & Witter Entertainment’s James Cilano talk about keeping VHS alive!

BrokeHorrorFan.com‘s Alex DiVincenzo & James Cilano are the guys behind the company Witter Entertainment, who has been putting out recent and upcoming movies on VHS format for us hardcore collector’s. Some of their titles are TERRIFIER 1 & 2, MANDY, PSYCHO GOREMAN and many more. The company just celebrated its 5th anniversary and has many big things planned for the rest of 2023!!! Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Alex and James to discuss their role in keeping VHS alive!

Theater/Concert Review: “RAIN – a Tribute to the Beatles

 

  • RAIN – A MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES
  • STARLIGHT THEATER – KANSAS CITH, MISSOURI
  • JULY 21, 2023

 

I was 9 years old when the Beatles broke up, almost four years after the band stopped touring so I never had the opportunity to see them perform live.  As a child of the 1960s, I was swept up in Beatlemania.  The very first record I ever bought with my own money was the “Hello Goodbye” 45 single.  I have a couple of older friends that did see the band live, one of which grew up in Liverpool and had the band play his school dance, back when the lineup included Pete Best and Stu Sutcliffe.  I’ve seen Paul McCartney live many times, and it’s always great to hear him do a Beatles song, but I always thought that was the closest I’d ever come to seeing the band on stage.  I was wrong!

 

A musical/multimedia celebration, RAIN is a two hour journey through the adventures of the Fab Four, from their appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show’ to their final roof top concert.  Each song is performed flawlessly, both musically and vocally.  The show consists of four featured mjsicians – Steve Landes on vocals/rhythm guitar, Paul Curatolo (vocals/bas), Aaron Chazza (drums) and Alastar Mcneil (vocals/lead guitar).  Landes and Curatolo also handle piano duties.  They are joined by a very talented Mark Beyer, who handles the background instruments, including piano, strings and horns.    I look at him like Billy Preston.

 

If you are wondering why I don’t list Mr. Landes as John, Mr. Curatolo as Paul, etc it’s because that is not how they are identified in the program.  I know from doing research on a Beatles themed book that the lads are very protective of everything of theirs, including their names.  Over newsreel footage from the past, familiar quotes by the lads are heard, but they are recreated comments.  The boys are even protective of their voices.

 

Each member is outstanding on their instruments, with Mr. Chazza providing a perfect backbeat.  Mr. McNeil had the licks down perfectly, but was indeed playing the “quiet” Beatle as none of Harrison’s songs were performed.  I do see that a couple of Harrison’s songs are noted In the program, so maybe the set lists change nightly.  One thing that did catch my attention was that, even though “Paul” was playing bass left handed, when he brought out the acoustic guitar to solo on “Yesterday,” he was playing right handed.  Which to me, someone who plays guitar, is an amazing feat!  I’ve never heard of an ambidextrous musician before, but Mr. Curatolo excelled on both instruments.

 

RAIN runs through July 23rd at Starlight Theater.  For tickets to these or future shows, please click HERE.

 

RAIN receives five out of a total of five stars!   

Kansas City Theater Review: “Legally Blonde: the Musical”

Finding a silver lining can sometimes be as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack. In the case of touring Broadway musical “Legally Blonde,” currently playing at Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, the vein of silver comes in the form of actress Carrie St. Louis who plays the lead, Elle Woods. A tremendous onstage talent with a powerful vocal range, St. Louis was joy to watch on opening night (July 7th). However, everything else about the production was plagued by flubs with dialogue, occasionally disjointed choreography, and an overall storyline that frequently broke away from its original core anthem of female empowerment.

 

Loosely based upon the 2001 novel of the same name by American author Amanda Brown, “Legally Blonde” was adapted for the silver screen that same year starring Reese Witherspoon, who reprised the role in 2003’s “Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde.” It was later adapted again in 2007 as a Broadway musical and received seven Tony nominations, although it did not win any.

 

Elle Woods (St. Louis) is a 4.0 GPA student at UCLA and a member of the Delta Nu sorority. She is giddy at the prospect of being proposed to by her longtime boyfriend, Warner Huntington III (Luke Hamilton). To her great disappointment, Warner dumps her and announces he is heading to Harvard Law School. Determined in an obsessed, borderline restraining order type of way, Elle follows Warner by managing to get into Harvard Law as well. From there, Elle must traverse the challenges of being a fish-out-of-water and overcoming the stigma of being a stereotypical California blonde.

 

The whole purpose of “Legally Blonde” was to promote a sense of empowerment. To show that women can do anything they set their mind too and shatter any glass ceilings in their way. The musical, though, often diverges from this inspirational legacy crafted by Brown. One such example, punctuated by a song called “Snap and Bend” does the opposite by presenting women as sexual objects who should use their sexuality to get what they want rather than their brains. Overall, the theme of female empowerment, which is so powerful in the film version, is derailed in the musical production by so many distractions that it becomes lost in the forest.

 

“Legally Blonde” will run through July 13 at Starlight Theatre in Kansas City.  For ticket information, click HERE

Kansas City Theater Review: “Jesus Christ Superstar” – 50th Anniversary Tour

 

 

  • JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR – 50th Anniversary Tour
  • Starlight Theatre – Kansas City, MO  
  • June 20th, 2023

 

Review by J.R. Deeter

 

 

What’s the Buzz?   A Superstar for the 21st Century

 

2023 marks the 50th Anniversary of touring productions of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and the current version presented at Starlight Theatre is a worthy take on the story of the Passion of Jesus Christ and his final week on earth as a man.

 

The talented cast, including Jack Hopewell as Jesus and Faith Jones as Mary, were very good, but in my opinion the two best performances were delivered by Elvie Ellis in the role of Judas, who gives an animated and passionate portrayal of the quintessential betrayer, and Grant Hodges booming voice as Caiaphas, the Jewish High Priest.

 

Musically, the well-known Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice score and songs flow, featuring a heavy emphasis on electric guitar over the lyrics which sometimes  made it difficult to hear the words at times, the exception being during Jones’ acceptable performance of “I Don’t Know How to Love Him.”  Unfortunately, Jones’ version pales in comparison with Yvonne Elliman’s emotion-packed rendition on the original soundtrack album, though to be fair,  no one ever will.

 

With a run time of just over 90 minutes, the pace is very quick as the story moves from one scene into another.  The choreography is excellent, with the ensemble cast moving fluidly about the stage with moves that gave the audience an exhaustive workout just watching.

 

On a scale of zero to five, “Jesus Christ Superstar” receives four stars. 

 

 

Inaugural National Tour of Spider-Man™: Into the Spider-Verse Live in Concert to Launch August 27

More Than 60 Cities Will Have the Chance to See the Academy Award®-Winning Film Featuring The Broadway Sinfonietta – an All-Women Live Orchestra

Groundbreaking Soundtrack’s Incredible Fusion of Orchestra, Turntables, Scratch DJ and Electronics Performed Live

LOS ANGELES – JUNE 13, 2023 – An all-new national tour launching August 27 in Jacksonville, Florida will bring fans in more than 60 cities a whole new way to experience their favorite box office hit Spider-Man: Into the Spider-VerseThe Academy Award-winning film from Sony Pictures Animation will be accompanied by a live orchestra, band and turntables with a scratch DJ playing music from the score and soundtrack. Joining the tour is The Broadway Sinfonietta, an all-women and majority women-of-color orchestra. Emily Marshall will serve as the tour’s conductor. Today’s tour announcement comes on the heels of the show’s sold-out world premiere at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn this past March. Now, the concert tour will spin and weave its way through the U.S. Preview the event here.

The film’s music score was composed by Academy Award® nominee, multiple Golden Globe®-nominee and Emmy-winning composer Daniel Pemberton, known for his work on movies such as The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Oceans 8, Enola Holmes, The Bad Guys and Steve Jobs.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is one of my favorite scores I’ve ever written,” said Pemberton. “Utilizing a full orchestra, crazy electronics and unbelievable turntable scratching techniques amongst a million other things is so technically complex, I never thought we’d ever be able to actually reproduce it in a live setting; but somehow, we have. I am ridiculously excited for fans around the country to see their very first Spider-Verse concert later this year.”

The hip-hop infused film score contains original music showcasing elements of heroism, resilience and is complemented by song contributions from industry greats Post Malone, Lil Wayne, Jaden Smith and Nicki Minaj.

Set in New York City, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verseintroduces Brooklyn teen, Miles Morales, who after being bitten by a radioactive spider gains Spider-Man like powers. The film was directed by Bob PersichettiPeter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman, screenplay by Phil Lord and Rothman with a story by Lord based on the Marvel Comics,and produced by Avi AradAmy PascalLordChristopher Miller, and Christina Steinberg.It features an accomplished and diverse cast including Shameik Moore (Miles Morales), Hailee Steinfeld (Gwen Stacy / Spider-Gwen), Jake Johnson (Peter B. Parker), Chris Pine (Peter Parker)and Mahershala Ali (Aaron Davis / Prowler). The film received widespread praise from critics for its groundbreaking visual style, characters, story, voice acting, and soundtrack. The highly anticipated sequel, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse made its worldwide theatrical debut on May 30 – June 2 in the US – and became a box office sensation, opening to #1 around the globe. Currently playing in theaters, the film has grossed over $390 million at the global box office.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse Live in Concert is produced by London-based promoter and production company, Senbla.   For tickets and more information about Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Live in Concert please visit www.spiderverseinconcert.com. Follow on social at Facebook: @SpiderVerseMovie, Twitter: @SpiderVerse,  Instagram: @SpiderVerseMovie, TikTok: @SpiderVerseMovie

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse tour dates (subject to change):

August 26   Columbus, GA *  RiverCenter for the Performing Arts

August 27   Jacksonville, FL  Jacksonville Center for the Performing Arts

August 29   Clearwater, FL   Ruth Eckerd Hall

August 30   Orlando, FL   Walt Disney Theater at Dr. Phillips Center

August 31   Atlanta, GA   Atlanta Symphony Hall

September 1   Charlotte, NC   Belk Theater

September 2   Nashville, TN   Tennessee Performing Arts Center

September 5   Colorado Springs, CO  Pikes Peak Center

September 10   Austin, TX   The Long Center

September 12   San Antonio, TX  Majestic Theatre

September 13   Dallas, TX   Majestic Theatre

September 15   Sugar Land, TX   Smart Financial Centre

September 16   New Orleans, LA  Mahalia Jackson Theater

September 21   Oklahoma City, OK  Civic Center Music Hall

September 22   Overland Park, KS  Yardley Hall at the Midwest Trust Center

September 23   Chicago, IL   Cadillac Palace Theatre

September 24   Detroit, MI   Fisher Theatre

September 26   Richmond, VA   Altria Theater

September 27   North Charleston, SC  North Charleston Performing Arts Center

September 28   Greensboro, NC  Tanger Center

September 29   Norfolk, VA   Chrysler Hall

September 30   Washington, DC  The National Theatre

October 1   Wallingford, CT  Toyota Oakdale Theatre

October 3   Indianapolis, IN  Clowes Memorial Hall

October 4   Madison, WI   Overture Center for the Arts

October 6   Newark, NJ   New Jersey Performing Arts Center

October 7   Boston, MA   Emerson Colonial Theatre

October 8   Hershey, PA   Hershey Theatre

October 10   Champaign, IL   State Farm Center

October 12   Rochester, NY   Auditorium Theatre

October 13   New Brunswick, NJ  State Theatre New Jersey

October 14   Providence, RI   Providence Performing Arts Center

October 20   Louisville, KY   Brown Theatre

October 21   Cleveland, OH   KeyBank State Theatre

October 22   West Lafayette, IN  Elliott Hall of Music

October 24   Philadelphia, PA  Kimmel Cultural Campus

October 29   Lincoln, NE   Lied Center for Performing Arts

November 1   Phoenix, AZ   Orpheum Theatre

November 2   San Diego, CA   San Diego Civic Theatre

November 3 & 4  Los Angeles, CA  The Hollywood Pantages Theatre

November 5   Tucson, AZ   Fox Tucson Theatre

November 7   Denver, CO   Paramount Theatre

November 10   San Francisco, CA  Golden Gate Theatre

November 11   Eugene, OR   Hult Center for the Performing Arts

November 13   San Jose, CA   San Jose Center for the Performing Arts

November 16   Boise, ID   Velma V. Morrison Center

November 17   Seattle, WA   Paramount Theatre

November 18   Bellingham, WA  Mount Baker Theatre

*Preview 

###  

About Senbla

Founded by Ollie Rosenblatt in 2011, Senbla is a London-based concert promoter and production company that operates both nationally and internationally. With an acute focus on delivering a bespoke, tailor-made approach to all our shows and artists we work with, Senbla has become known for its creative input and output. Senbla works across multiple forms of live entertainment from artist touring, one off specially produced shows, performing arts, outdoor concerts, family entertainment, sports, theatre and experiential. In July 2019, Sony Music Entertainment acquired a majority stake in Senbla.

Kansas City Theater Review: “Tootise – the Musical”

 

  • TOOTSIE – the Musical
  • Starlight Theater
  • Kansas City, Missouri

 

While men often played female characters in the time of Shakespeare, it didn’thappen a lot in the late 20th Century.  Then came the 1982 film “Tootsie” which is often regarded as one of the funniest films ever.   The story:  Michael Dorsey is an actor who overthinks everything, from the smallest stage direction to the back story he has created for a character.  His reputation is such that he can’t find a job.  Until one day he puts on a dress and some makeup and is hired as an actress.   The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

 

Michael Dorsey (an excellent Drew Becker) is celebrating his 40th birthday with his two closest friends, former girlfriend Sandy (Payton Reilly) and his roommate Jeff (Jared David Michael Grant).  He is also celebrating his being fired from another show.  As he works with Sandy for an upcoming audition she has, he bemoans the fact that people don’t understand his talents.  When his agent tells him that no one will hire “him” he auditions for the role Sandy was up for and gets the job.  And the fireworks begin.

 

It’s had to believe that four decades after it premiered the ordeals of women working in male dominated roles continue.  As newly cast Dorothy Michaels, Michael has to deal with the sexism that exists in pretty much every aspect of his chosen profession.  However, that doesn’t stop “Dorothy” from interjecting her ideas into the new show – a musical based on the story of Romeo and Juliet, with Juliet survivng and falling for Romeo’s brother, Craig – from updating the time period to changing the costumes.  However, where Michael’s input would be seen as meddling, “Dorothy” has the support of the show’s femiale producer and soon the show is built around her.

 

“Tootsie – the Musical” won the Tony Award for its book, and deservedly so.  The story is altered enough from the film that it seems fresh, combining the best jokes from the film with some hilarious new bits.  The songs are well constructed and move the story along.

 

The show is well cast, with Mr. Becker pulling double duty as Michael/Dorothy.  Not only does he have to speak as both characters, but he has to sing also.  He is able to make both characters come to life as if you are watching two different performers.  Comedically the standouts were Mr. Grant as Jeff and Adam Du Plessis as Ron, the show director.

“Tootise – the Musical” continues in Kansas City through Sunday, May 21.  For tickets to these performances, or future shows on the tour, please click HERE.

Copyright: MediaMikes.com © 2023 · Powered by: nGeneYes, Inc. · Login

All logos and images used on this website are registered trademarks of their respective companies. All Rights Reserved. Some of the content presented on our sites has been provided by contributors, other unofficial websites or online news sources, and is the sole responsibility of the source from which it was obtained. MediaMikes.com is not liable for inaccuracies, errors, or omissions found herein. For removal of copyrighted images, trademarks, or other issues, Contact Us.