Friday, December 28, 2007

Much Ado About Montgomery

Want to paint the town red but you've run out of fun things to do? Montgomery can be a bit boring if you don't know where to look for the magic. We're here to help you find the top ten "artsy" things to do in Montgomery.

10) See a local band! You can find anything from rockin' party bands, smoky jazz and blues, to country twang at many of the local bars and pubs in the area. Here are some bands worthy of mention:

The Spicolis: They put their own twist on eighties and nineties hits as well as today's chart toppers. Look for them at Gators in Montgomery.

The Zigtones, Roosevelt Franklyn
, and the Stuart McNair Band: Look for them all at 1048 Jazz and Blues. You will be delighted by songs from the Allman brothers as well as great originals. So go in, schmooze, and chillax at this delightfully eclectic bar.

playing at Sous La Terre: A late night at this smoky piano bar is the classic, yet surprisingly mellow way to top off your night.

9. Eat at a Celebrated Local Restaurant! Okay, so this isn't that artsy, but it's definitely worth the rave:

Cheap and Dirty:
Go get that delicious hot dog at Chris' on Dexter's Avenue! Take a bite out of nostalgia, knowing that if your parents grew up in Montgomery, chances are they ate here.
Don't forget the Hamburger King. While I shamefully admit that I have never had the elusive Hamburger King Burger, I look forward to the day when I might taste such perfection and so should you!
Mid-range and Comfy:
Ladies, take your friends out to lunch for delightfully light southern fair at the Sliver Spoon Cafe. The tea room is charmingly bedecked with cherubs at Leslie Bailey's original venue.

East Side Grill – Everyone who’s anyone knows that East Side Grill is the place to be for dinner on a Friday or Saturday night. One of my absolute all-time favorites is to sit on the patio on a balmy summer evening and sip my drink with good friends, and sample their all-American fair while a local band entertains.

Upscale and chic Bonefish. Foggedabout it being a chain and know that our local Bonefish management goes the extra mile to make every meal one to remember. Great fresh seafood, enticing appetizers, decadent desserts, and GREAT bartenders!

La Jolla – Chef Todd Batey always offers a creative menu well-suited to the upscale Montgomery diner. His dishes are never predictable and always perfectly prepared. Get the shrimp and grits appetizer and have a steak! Remember, they have some of the best martinis in town.

8) See a movie at the Capri

Montgomery’s ONLY art film house! The Capri theatre is a piece of Montgomery History and while the ancient seats may be less than ideal, there’s no denying the character of this old place. This is the only theatre in Montgomery where you will find foreign language films, anime, a summer cartoon series for kids and independent films. Seriously, there are some great films that you are missing out on if you are not visiting the Capri at least once a month.

7) Attend a performance of the Montgomery Ballet and Alabama Dance Theatre.

Montgomery has an impressive flare for dance! We have two *wonderful* companies (ranging from young student dancers to professionals) that often perform free to the public. If you are not an avid fan yet, let one of the free performances be what sells you. Chances are you'll want to be a season subscriber after you see what these dancers can do! Come see Corsaire and Lost on Feb 8-9 and Sleeping

Feb 10, March 2 – Sleeping Beauty

Alabama Dance Theatre

Feb 29; March 1– 2. Spring Performance featuring classical and contemporary works.

6) See the permanent collection at MMFA.

The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts has an out-of-this-world permanent collection! From the American Collection to Old Masters, to distinctly southern artists, the MMFA contains works by artists such as Edward Hopper, John Singer Seargent and Frank Fleming. Plus with fantastic exhibitions and an interactive children’s area this is not to be miss and must be enjoyed over and over again.

5) Attend a performance of the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra.

Maestro Thomas Hinds diligently works each season to bring Montgomery the finest in live orchestral performance. Spend an evening in the gorgeous Davis Theatre soaking in a live Symphony performance. The next performance, by Beethoven's Pastorale Symphony, is scheduled for February 18th and will include an arrangement of Handel's famed Water Music.

4) Visit Old Alabama Town. Want to see the real roots of Alabama? Spend a morning or afternoon touring the collection of authentically restored 19th and 20th century structures. A magnificent setting, it stretches along six blocks in the heart of historic downtown Montgomery, Alabama. Self-Guided Walking tours of Old Alabama Town are available: Monday-Saturday, 9am-3pm. Adults are $8, students ages 6-18 are $4.00, and children five and under are free.

3) Visit the Montgomery Zoo! Montgomery has one of the best zoos in the southeast – no question about it. Its clear that the caretakers are top-notch and the animals are housed in generous and appropriate environments. The layout of the zoo allows visitors to truly experience a world tour of wildlife while also providing train rides, concessions and a great gift shop. Children 2 and under are free, children ages 3-12 are $5.00, senior citizens are $5.00, and adults are $8.00.

2) Take a child to any of the above. Whether it's a brother, child, sister, or long lost third cousin twice removed, it is important that children get to experience and be inspired by the arts.

1) Become a subscriber at ASF! Wow. I have seen Crowns and Peter Pan twice. I balled my eyes out during Crowns along with Afton-- both times. My best friend recognized the song sung in Yoruba because she sang it in church while growing up in Nigeria, and was very impressed with the authenticity of the production. During Peter Pan, my Civil engineer roomie was so impressed that she exclaimed during one of the few moments of silence, "Wow, it's Peter Pan! Peter Pan is flying!" The second time I took my mom and two little sisters, and they sat on the edge of their seat during the performance and pranced down the aisles picking up mylar during intermission. They were so enamored with the production and wanted me to prove to them that Peter Pan was indeed a girl.

You've missed out on Peter Pan and Crowns, but don't worry: this season boasts of numerous spectacular productions! Here's the schedule:

Jan 12- Feb 24 Winnie the Pooh. Performances are only on Saturday and Sunday.

Mar 7- Apr 6 Over the Tavern.

Apr 11- Jun 28 Romeo and Juliet.

Apr 18-May 18 Rocket City.

Apr 25- Jun 28 Cymbeline.

May 2- Jun 29 Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo

July 11-19 The Beaux' Stratagem

Jul 18- Aug 24 West Side Story


Thursday, December 27, 2007

First Post

So this is my first post as we start the new "Shake It Up Times" newsletter. Still wondering if that's the best name for a e-pub that's meant to attract the "YP" (young professional) crowd.

Anyway, occasionally I'll be posting about events, etc for ASF.

That's all for now!