Category Archives: Reviews

wicked-playbill

Houston Adventures: A “Wicked” Time at the Theatre


Hello, Brouhaha fans! It has been a while since my last adventure, and my penchant for procrastinating never helps. It has been a busy year for me but there is always time for a little pleasure. After all, we have to remember that all work and no play make @Budom a dull girl.

Houston is a versatile and diverse city filled with many opportunities not just for work but for entertainment. Although it is a long drive from the lights of Broadway in New York, it doesn’t mean that Broadway can’t come to us. This year for my birthday a lovely friend treated me to a night at the theater. Along with my daughter and her friend, the four of us enjoyed a special night watching the play, Wicked. I was so excited and the bonus was that we were seated in balcony box seating!  The stage was so close I felt like I could reach out and touch Elphaba. wicked-playbill

The play was well written and followed pretty close to the books written by author Gregory Maguire.  While reading the books would give more insight to the characters we all know that it won’t happen in a play.

When I saw original Wizard of Oz on television as a youngster, I always wondered if there was some back story for the witches. I have always been fascinated by witches and their magical lives. So, when Maguire’s stories hit bookshelves I devoured them like manna from heaven. The perceptions that Maguire’s books gave me were not what I expected to see. Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West was the good guy (or girl) standing on her soapbox while nursing insecurities about herself, Glenda the so-called good witch, was actually an entitled self-absorbed brat, who later became more likable but not brave enough to follow her own path. In all reality, Dorothy was just an unexpected accident to the land of Oz. Dorothy was a literally a lost little girl who was used by the Wizard of Oz, as was everyone else in the story. The Wizard’s character was depicted most like L. Frank Baum’s version.  He is still the ever glorified con man he was in the real world. I never expected to like Elphaba and agree with her fight, and I didn’t expect to want to smack some sense into Glenda.

orchestra-playbill

The Hobby Center stage brought all the characters to life. The actors and actresses portrayed the characters to a tee. Elphaba’s sister Nessa Rose’s (aka the Wicked Witch of the East) character was well played balancing her sweetness and obsession to be normal as well as loved. While she is mentioned in the book I feel the play really told her story better. Her story gave fans a look at how still waters can run deep. Now I must also give credit to the orchestra. The music emanating from the pit wove an even more magical feel into the story. It was a lovely time and a wonderful theater experience. I will definitely do it again. Until then Brouhaha Fans “Defy Gravity”.

 

A Night Of Music With David Justin


David Justin performing in Houston at Stereo Live  Oct. 23, 2014
David Justin performing in Houston at Stereo Live Oct. 23, 2014

On October 23rd, 2014 Houston’s Stereo Live was pulsating with artists of all types from slam poets, visual artists, fashion designers, and musicians. That night I was there to see and interview singer/songwriter David Justin who just released his new single, “Supernova”. Since the single’s release earlier this year Supernova has been played on Pandora, Sirius, and BBC Radio and is steadily gaining popularity.

David is a Houston native, and upon meeting David I found him to be the down to earth guy he was described to be. His love of music grew after he was presented with his first violin lesson at the age of eight. David proceeded to teach himself the drums at age 12 and eventually picked up songwriting. He never intended to make music a career but after writing several songs while in college David decide it was time to make his mark in the world, and he did. In 2009 David was nominated as a finalist for “best original song” with the 6th annual International Acoustic Awards.

However, “Supernova” is not David’s first well received work. In 2012 David’s first album, “Speak to the World”, which included fan favorites such as “Maria”, “Covergirl”, and “Paper Heart”. David’s acoustic style music, voice, and lyrics invite the listener to relate with clearly sung lyrics. I especially like his song, “Unspoken”. His music is reminisce of singers Gavin Degraw, John Mayer, or Michael Bublé.

The night of his performance David sat down with me for a short interview before heading on stage.

© 2014 Budom@brouhaha-access.com
The interview with David Justin at Stereo Live

Budom: How are feeling tonight? Excited? Pumped?

David: Yeah, I’m excited. There is always excitement, that’s what makes playing live so much fun.

 Budom: So tonight you’re going to be playing acoustic?

David: Yeah, yeah that’s pretty much how it all started by playing acoustic and playing by myself. Of course when I am out in LA I play with a band. But then tonight I’ll be playing acoustic style, and I have a drummer who will be playing the Kahuna it’s like a beat box thing, and then my other friend will be playing the bass. It’s going to be a good change up because there is going to be another band playing a full set, and I think the people will enjoy that a lot more. The music will be a lot more raw.

Budom: I read in your bio that you started at a very young age. Was your father your biggest influence as far as getting into music or were there other influences?

David:  I mean from a young age I was around music, and of course my dad was my biggest influence because he was the one around the house who played music. So without him I probably wouldn’t have chosen the path I did, and done things or learned the instruments that I learned without him. But yeah, I would definitely say that  he was the main person that I looked up to.

Then throughout my teenage years I got into songwriting. When I was about 17 or 18  I got really serious about it. I wrote about 10 or 12 songs that I felt really comfortable with and proud of and I didn’t know what to do with it. I never really thought about being a recording artist. I just loved music, I loved writing, and I would play for my all my friends  and family and they said, ‘you should really records these things’.

So, I started off with a little tape track like a cassette and started to record myself playing, and the more I would do that the hungrier I got to make something bigger. I ended up meeting a producer in Dallas who actually produced my first record and recorded my album.

Then about two and a half years ago I got hit up by my manager, Joe Fontaine out in Los Angeles. We started a dialogue and started talking, and his mentioned to me what he was doing and trying to accomplish. Joe said he actually knew some producers and songwriters in Los Angeles. So he asked me to fly out and I flew out. I did a session or two and things went really well. We recorded some songs and I ended up signing a deal with him.

I have been flying back and forth maybe every two to three months going out there just writing and recording. It’s really been a fun experience. I’ve really enjoyed it, and I’m starting to meet a lot of people in the industry. It’s good being out there and then being able  to come back home and play shows where I can play to almost two different audiences.

Budom: Yes, two different types of demographics and types of people? 

David: Yes, yes, it really is. Because different people respond to the songs differently, and that what’s really exciting, seeing how people respond and connect with the songs.

Budom: You were nominated as a finalist for “best original song” with the 6th annual International Acoustic Music Awards. How did that feel? Did you expect that or was it like “wow” after getting the nomination?

David: (laughs) No, I didn’t. I, uh..just finished recordings some songs from my first record and I was just really trying to get a break, and get my name out there. It was actually the first contest I had ever submitted to.  I was kind of leery about submitting to a song writing contest because they get thousands of entries, and you never know if they’re going to hear your song or what.

Yeah, I got a letter in the mail saying that I was a finalist and I think it was out of four or five thousand entries. It was really neat, it was kind of the first time I felt justified as a songwriter. I was up against pro songwriters and I really felt justified and excited. It really made me want to pursue more and do more.

Budom: So you mentioned that you want to build a bigger fan base in Houston. I have a teenage daughter, and I asked my youngest what type of questions she would ask if she had the chance. The first one question is: If there was someone you could collaborate with as a songwriter or singer who would you choose?

David: Hmm, that’s really tough because there’s so much talent out there. I mean it seems when I find a favorite artist then I find another favorite artist. I think that’s just the power of the Internet, and there’s so many tools to discover artist. I would definitely say I think it would be fun to collaborate with John Mayer. He’s a very versatile songwriter and musician.

Budom: Would you ever consider a collaboration out of your genre like Kesha and Pit Bull did as well as other artist? 

David: Uh…No, the way I write songs I don’t usually listen to other people and think. ‘I’m going to write a song like that’. It really comes from within me I’m pretty true to myself and I don’t try to be anybody that I’m not. I try to keep it pretty pure.

Budom: Okay, last question. If you had a fandom what would they be called? Here are some examples for you Justin Bieber’s fans are “Biebers”, Lady Gaga’s are “Little Monsters”, and Taylor Swift’s fans are known as the Swifties.

David: (laughs) You know this has been an on going conversation with my manger. We’re still trying to pin point that now. I thought maybe the “Little DJs” but that’s kind of corny, you know? Or maybe the “Little Supernovas”, I don’t know that something we’re still working on. I think it’s going to be like one of those things when somebody else says something and then that’s it.

Budom: (laughs) Well, we need to get that out there. We need to see what your fandom is going to be like. That’s what we need to get a rally started on getting an idea on what to call your fandom.

David: I think so, yeah. We need to work on that. That’s actually a good question because I always think about that.

Budom:  Well, David thanks so much for setting aside this time to sit here and chat with you. I look forward to seeing you on stage.

© 2014 budom@brouhaha-access.com
Houston performance.

I had a wonderful time corresponding with David through social media and at the interview. He’s a musician with heart and soul and  you can hear it in his music.

“It takes courage to chase your dreams and dreams to create courage, but either way I’m committed to both.”
– David Justin

David’s album “Speak to the World” and new single “Supernova” is available on iTunes. Look for the official “Supernova” video release coming soon, featuring Caitlin O’Connor (Sports Illustrated, The Gambler) and Christine Lakin (Step by Step, Melissa & Joey). Meanwhile, you can catch his “Supernova” lyric video on youtube.

‘Fury’ -“The Best Job I Ever Had”


“The best job I ever had.”– Sgt. Don ‘Wardaddy’ Colier from the movie Fury directed by David Ayer

 

 

 

 

I just returned from the theatre from watching ‘Fury’, which premiered Friday October 17th, and according to Variety is suspected to pull in 25 million dollars by the finish of this weekend. Some may think that ‘Fury’ is just another war movie, and maybe it is. But to the men who has served those tanks in a war this movie tells their story.

Fury, a WWII movie focuses on the decisive act of tankers who in 1945 war torn Germany decide to dig in, and hold an important position that would help defeat the German army and possibly end the war.

The war hounded and angst ridden team is led by Academy Award winning actor, Brad Pitt (12 Years A Slave, Inglorious Bastards) . Pitt, plays a man hardened by war and scarred by the missions he has led, but continues to promise his men he’ll get them home alive. Not too much later the tankers find themselves in the battle for their lives.

Shia Lebouf (Transformer, Nymphomaniac) as Boyd ‘Bible’ Swan (when focused on acting instead of antics) delivers a memorable performance as a soldier whose faith keeps him and his fellow tankers going even as they protest and tease him on his preachy ways. Michael Pena ( Battle Los Angeles, Gracepoint) and John Bernthal (The Walking Dead, The Wolf of Wall Street) hold their own switching from hard to compassionate when the moments called for it.

The most surprising performance was from Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, The Three Musketeers), who played newly assigned tank driver and desk jockey Norman Ellison. Norman is a young private who claims his specialty is not shooting bullets but typing 60 words per minute. Pitt’s character Sgt. Don ‘Wardaddy’ Colier takes Norman under his wing for many reason but the main reason is to keep him alive. As a form of solidarity the men tell themselves in what seems a sarcastic yet truthful salute, “this is the best job I ever had”.

The film is intense and the acting is right on. I cried, but then I always cry at every war movie I go to. I have my personal reasons. However, it’s hard not to cry when the scenes are so intense and the people are so real. The actors are heaving with such emotional turmoil your own insides ache for them. The  tanker’s  brotherhood resonates as I am reminded of all the people I have met who have been affected by war today.

“Ideals are peaceful. History is violent.”- Sgt. Don ‘Wardaddy’ Colier from Fury

Director David Ayers (Training Day, Fast & The Furious) did well in showing how war can cause conflicts within soldier’s about their moral values and faith as they fight to make it home from war. While at times Pitt’s character seems harsh he shows that he is harsh for good reasons in his lessons to young Norman.

The film is worth watching, and although the story is an old one, the stories told are relatable  to some viewers out there.

RELATED STORIES:

Box Office: Brad Pitt’s ‘Fury’ shells $8.8M Friday

Brad Pitt should be court-martialed for ‘war-porn’ fury

Naked and Afraid-Who me?


Lately, I have been drawn into watching Discovery Channel’s show Naked and Afraid. Of course, it’s easy for me to critique the people who actually have the kahunas to actually be Naked and Afraid. I suppose I enjoy watching the show because it’s not just about survival but  human nature getting real. Two strangers have to get naked trek to survive in some part of the world with only a burlap shoulder bag. In the bag is the one item the survivor feels will hold the most importance in helping in their survival experience for 21 days. Naked an Afraid feel that this show brings “survival of the fittest” to a whole new level. Each person is test for a PSR, which Discovery Channel calls Primitive Survival Rating. The ratings are from zero to 10 on the amount of skill they could bring to a survival situation (except their naked).

 

On this weeks show the two strangers, Tom and Carrie, find themselves dropped off in the Cambodia wilderness. Tom chose while Carrie, maybe it’s her inner Marine, chose a machete to tackle the bamboo covered wilderness. This show was intense as it the first time the two people actually didn’t get along. I agree with the new PRS assessments description are an excellent rating for these two. I know I wouldn’t want to be in a survival situation with either of these two. Don’t get me wrong there are some great teams out there. I mean like they made being naked and surviving look badass. However, I do not think that I will be applying to get on that show soon. I’ll stick to living vicariously through other braves souls. If any of you decide to apply, let me know how it goes. I look forward to watching you @NakedAndAfraid.

Watching of Naked and Afraid led me to tweeting about it on Twitter and @DailyReHash not only “favorited” my tweet, but they used it in their Web show. It was a strange experience hearing someone else use my Brouhaha Access moniker @Budom. Play the video and see me have my minute of fame. Want to keep up with what others think about Naked and Afraid? Then follow me @ Budom and @DailyRehash for more about Naked and Afraid on Discovery Channel on Sunday nights.

Iphone diaries: Morocco


I love this. In an era where technology is a constancy this blogger found a way to still keep a diary…of course through the eyes of an iPhone. Take a peek you might like what you see.

slur.tv

Slur has spent quite a while in Morocco, these are just a few of the iphone images which for us, sum up the feeling of different areas of the country.
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Call Me King Trailer- What Do You Want To Know?


Hi Brouhahas…I need your help. Check out this trailer and let me know if you recognize any of the actors here. Now, if you had a chance to ask the director some questions about the movie, what would they be?
Hints: There are some pretty well known actors here, one actor appeared in GI Joe: Retaliation along with The Rock aka Dwayne Johnson and Channing Tatum. He played part of the Cobra Secret Service and is also a producer for this film Call Me King.

A lead character in this film is also known for his portrayal in the popular series Friday Night Lights as ” Coach Bill McGregor”. Do you know who this is?

This Chinese actress wows us with her unique and independent style on the red carpet, as well as making appearances on Entourage and Lost? Who is she?
Website http://www.IMDb.com has the answers. Remember to respond with your questions; then I can put them to director R.L Scott in a one on one interview coming soon to http://www.brouhaha-access.com

Coiled-Through The Eyes Of Director Tim French


Richard Hoyt as Cobb Mills in Coiled. The film “Coiled” are the property of Tim French/Moot point pictures.
Richard Hoyt as Cobb Mills in Coiled.
The film “Coiled” are the property of Tim French/Moot point pictures.

The Shakespearean definition of “coiled” is described as the troubles and activities of the world. Coiled, a new drama directed by screenplay writer and director Tim French, can be described in this way. Coiled is the story of a man named, Cobb Mills (Hoyt Richards) who carries the weight of guilt in the death of his daughter Tess, seven years before. On the anniversary of Tess’s death Cobb returns to the small sleepy town to leave flowers at her grave stone then heads for home. However, this year will be different as Cobb finds that he won’t be heading straight home as planned. Cobb’s car breaks down during his annual visit, and he finds that repairs will take several days. Cobb has no choice but to stay in the town and wait. While he waits, Cobb becomes involved in a series of events that may lead him down the road to either condemnation or redemption.

During his stay Cobb meets and falls romantically for a much younger woman, Nash Fuller (Anabella Casanova) who has her own dark secrets. Cobb falls under her spell feeling that his love for her can break his bonds of guilt and remorse. That is until Nash runs off with $100,000 of his money. Soon, the police is hounding him to turn against Nash, and help them put her away for a long time. Cobb must make a decision he doesn’t want to make because even after Nash’s betrayal he still loves her. Nash’s betrayal hits him hard, and he goes on a self-destructive streak that will eventually lead him to answers he has been seeking all along. Cobb is definitely coiled in the troubles of his world. The question is, will he ever become uncoiled?

David Kagen as Lt. Jackson. The film “Coiled” is  the property of Tim French/Moot point pictures.  Or a
David Kagen as Lt. Jackson.
The film “Coiled” is the property of Tim French/Moot point pictures.

Director Tim French speaks on the making of Coiled and how the storyline came about. Tim French’s Q&A gives us a look at his enthusiasm for filmmaking and writing a screenplay.

Q: Hi Tim. “Coiled” sounds like a drama that many can relate to.  A life ruled by regret of a long ago action can definitely impact a life. I read, on the Coiled Facebook page, that you and Michael French wrote the screenplay. What is your relation?

Michael is my padre and a novelist by trade. He currently has a new book he is promoting called “The Reconstruction of Wilson Ryder”, which is available at amazon.com.

Q: What inspired this story line?

The story line was loosely inspired by the loss of someone very close to Michael and I. Both grieving, we decided that writing about someone who experienced a loss of their own, would be good therapy for us. Next thing you know we wrote the first draft of “Coiled” and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Q: Do you and Michael write a lot of your screenplays together?

Yes, we have written three screenplays together and hopefully we will collaborate on more in the future.

Q: What was the your favorite scene in the film to direct?

Jeez, that’s a tough one. I don’t know. I loved working with all the actors involved so… I guess one of them would be the scene when Detective Jackson (David Kagen) and Sergeant Flanders (Chris Cleveland) question Cobb at the police station. There was just something about the chemistry between the three actors that put a big smile on my face.

Q: Is drama your usual genre or have you also directed other genre?

This was actually my first time directing a drama. Before this I had directed a dark comedy called “Setback”.

Q: When is the release date for Coiled?

As of right now the rough release date is sometime in November. However, I am hoping to have it out before then. You can always check out the status of the release date at

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2828310/combined 

For more on Coiled hit up their Facebook page.

The Rest is Illusion- A Story of Finding Oneself & Making Peace


The-Rest-Is-Illusion-9781601450562The Rest Is Illusion is a gripping tale of discovering oneself while accepting the things in life you can and can’t control. Dashel “Dash” Yarnsbrook is a college student gripped in a painful illness. As the story unfolds the reader is drawn not only into the life of Dash, but his friends Ahsley and Sara. Then there is the villain of the story, Wilder Rawls, who makes life hell for just about everyone he meets.

Dash, Sarah, and Ashley like many students in college must face issues that many students come up against. There are issues relating to trusting their own decisions and discovering that not everyone in the world is full of good intentions.

Readers can find a little of themselves in each of the characters. We’ve all been in a place where we are not sure of how we feel about each other, the opposite sex, or even how we would react when faced with death. The Rest Is Illusion touches on these subjects as well as giving readers a look on how far a little faith can change a life.

As I read this story I was touched by the realistic approach to the feelings of the characters. I contacted author Eric Arvin requesting an interview and he was kind enough to answer some of my questions. I invite you to meet Eric Arvin. He answers the questions with warmth and an openness that makes you feel like a life long friend.

The character’s perspective of their lives we interesting. As a writer did you plan these perspectives or did they just fall into place?

Eric Arvin: “They very much evolved over time. The tale was originally a short story wherein Dashel was a supporting character and Wilder was the lead, and he was a decent guy, too. But things happened in my life and the personalities of the characters shifted. There’s a psychological aspect to these changes, but that would take way too long to get into.”

 You had mentioned this was your first novel. Was this the first novel you ever wrote?

Eric Arvin: ” The first book I ever wrote – if you don’t count the two I did for the Young Authors program when I was a wee thing – was a book about a boy born with wings called The Demon of Jericho. I’ve just recently shortened and tinkered with that book for publication in the anthology Crack the Darkest Sky Wide Open, due out in May from The Barn Cats. Meow.”

Is there a bit of you in these characters?

Eric Arvin: ” There is a bit of me in every character I write, from the most hateful devil to the most beautiful…devil.”

Wilder is the epitome of the villain you love to hate. Have you ever met anyone like Wilder Rawls?

Eric Arvin: ” Not exactly like him. But there were a couple guys in college that came terribly close. Fellas with political aspirations who had no issue with using others to achieve their goals. AND NOW, I SHALL EXPOSE THEM!!! …Not really.”

I love the menagerie of characters such as Ashley being an Albino. Was he intentionally made to be an Albino or did he just evolve?

Eric Arvin: ” Again, that was total evolution. His character wasn’t even in the first version of the story, nor the second. But by the time I began to write the third I realized I needed someone to balance out Wilder Rawls’ character. Ashley is the closest thing to an angel in the book. I reference that in a few scenes, including one at the falls.”

Are there any new novels or writings in the works?

Eric Arvin: ” Aside from the anthology mentioned above, I have written a novella with Tj Klune, Ghouls Gym, for Empire Press’s Zombie Boyz anthology. Also from Empire I have The Mingled Destinies of Crocodiles & Men and its prequel Azrael & The Light Bringer set for release this year, both of these set in the same valley as The Rest Is Illusion. The audio book of Woke Up in a Strange Place, as read by Charlie David (Bump, Dante’s Cove), should be out soon.  I’ve just finished writing a spec fic epic called Terms We Have For Dreaming, but that won’t be seen by a publisher for a while.”

Are any of your novels being consider for a film?

Eric Arvin: “The Rest Is Illusion is making the rounds, as is a telescript for Subsurdity.”

 

Author Eric Arvin
Author Eric Arvin

 

 

 

 

Travel Channel’s Anthony Bourdain No Reservations bids farewell with final season | Dialect Magazine


Travel Channel’s Anthony Bourdain No Reservations bids farewell with final season | Dialect Magazine.

 

 

This is a must read! I wrote this article for Dialect Magazine. Even funnier I wrote before I even knew I would live so close to Austin. I guess it was just fate. Dialect Magazine also has other great articles about global culture. I hope you enjoy the article. Let me know if you do…good readings to ya! 🙂

 

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Travel Channel logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)