Holiday Celebrations & Events in Charleston, S.C.‏

December 17, 2014 on 2:56 pm | In The South, Webbandstand | Comments Off

Goddess Swimwear from Today Show· The Charleston Museum presents Holiday Decorations at the Joseph Manigault House, December 6 – 31, 2014: The Garden Club of Charleston has partnered with the Joseph Manigault House to present “Charleston’s Antebellum Charms,” a themed floral display. The Joseph Manigault House is an exquisite antebellum structure that reflects the lifestyle of wealthy urban rice planters in the early part of the 19th century. The Garden Club highlights the magnificent beauty of the Joseph Manigault House with creative holiday arrangements, using only live plant materials that would have been available in the Lowcountry during the first quarter of the 19th century. For more information, visit or call (843)722-2996

· The Historic Charleston Foundation presents Yuletide in the Lowcountry Holiday Exhibitions, end of November 2014 – early January 2015Visitors are invited to experience the feasts, decorations and local traditions of Historic Charleston Foundation’s two museum houses, the Nathaniel Russell House, constructed in 1808 and the circa 1820 Aiken-Rhett House. Guests will experience Christmases past and learn the evolution of holiday traditions in Charleston through the display Yuletide in the Lowcountry. Beginning at the Nathaniel Russell House Museum, guests will learn about elegant early 19th century family gatherings replete with holiday embellishments collected from local flora. Visitors will observe the time-honored Victorian trimmings of a Lowcountry Christmas dinner in 1860 at the Aiken-Rhett House Museum. House museums hours of operation are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon. through Sat.; 2 – 5 p.m., Sunday; last tour begins at 4:15 p.m. Closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Reservations are needed for groups of 12 or more. For more information, please visit or call (843) 724-8485.

· South Carolina Historical Society presents the 7th Annual Winter Lecture Series, January 20 – March 10, 2014The South Carolina Historical Society will host a series of lectures this winter highlighting “South Carolinians You Should Know.” A few highlights include Robert Mills, a Charlestonian who famously designed the Washington Monument, and Anne Pamela Cunningham, a South Carolinian who salvaged Mount Vernon through donations and the creation of “The Mount Vernon Ladies Association,” which continues to manage the property today. Lectures will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6 – 7 p.m. at the historic First Baptist Church in downtown Charleston. Please join the SCHS each Tuesday to learn more about South Carolina and its contributions to our national history. For more information, visit www.southcarolinahistoricalsociety or call (843)723-3225.

Book Your Beach Resort at a Discount

2015 Food & Wine Festivals Worth Traveling For‏

December 17, 2014 on 2:42 pm | In Dine Drink, East Coast, Festivals, New York City, Webbandstand | Comments Off

If beer is more of your scene then don’t miss The Big Apple’s Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival on January 24th for a great day of beer sippin’, bourbon tastin’, music listenin’, and barbeque eatin.’ Book a stay at the TRYP by Wyndham Times Square to stay in the heart of New York City’s best attractions. The Wyndham Garden Chinatown is another great option that not only offers modern amenities, but impressive views of midtown Manhattan too!

· South Beach, FL –South Beach Wine & Food Festival is the ultimate go-to for any Food Network fanatic. This star-studded event, February 19 – 22, showcases the talents of the world’s most renowned wine and spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities. The Shelborne Wyndham Grand South Beach is the perfect place to stay to experience a beautiful ocean view and direct beach access.

· Charleston, SC – If you’re looking to experience southern hospitality and the famous food culture of Charleston, don’t miss out on the Charleston Wine + Food festival, March 4-8. This festival infuses home-grown flavor with top chef, winemakers and more. Stay at the Wingate by Wyndham Charleston University Boulevard, conveniently located less than 30 minutes from downtown Charleston, this hotel provides first-class amenities designed to keep travel simple.

· Las Vegas, NV – Go big and go Vegas for the ultimate wine and food experience at Vegas Uncork’d. To mark its 9th year, an unparalleled collection of celebrity chefs, master sommeliers and cutting-edge mixologists will be taking over the strip April 23 – 26. Super 8 Las Vegas Strip Area at Ellis Island is located just one block from the famous Las Vegas Strip and offers guests the convenience, amenities, and services of an expensive Las Vegas hotel at a more affordable price.

New York City - Most $25 Gift Certificates for $10

LV Philharmonic Youth Concert Series Jan 12 – 16‏

December 17, 2014 on 2:28 pm | In Las Vegas, Webbandstand | Comments Off

Youth Concert Series performances conducted by Francesco Lecce-Chong

Winners of the Young Artists’ Concerto Competition to perform on stage with the Las Vegas Philharmonic

(Las Vegas, NV) The Las Vegas Philharmonic will perform 10 free concerts to schoolchildren in its annual Youth Concert Series. From Monday, January 12 through Friday, January 16, the orchestra will perform two 45-minute concerts each morning in Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, reaching 15,000 fourth and fifth grade students from 132 schools throughout the Las Vegas Valley. These concerts are not open to the general public.

The Youth Concert Series will be conducted by Francesco Lecce-Chong, Associate Conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony and Grand Teton Music Festival. Lecce-Chong has also served as conductor for the Brooklyn Repertory Opera and Santa Fe Opera. As an advocate for arts education, Lecce-Chong provides artistic leadership for the Milwaukee Symphony’s Arts in Community Education program.

The Youth Concert Series will include the following music selections: Key’s Star-Spangled Banner, Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag, Yuan’s Dance of the Yao People, Marquez’s Danzon No. 2, and Orffenbach’s Cancan. Clark County School District, in partnership with the Philharmonic’s education committee, developed the music curriculum for this year’s Youth Concert Series. Children attending the program will learn about the composers and their music during the course of the school year, participating in expository writing assignments and dance/movement activities performed in tandem with the music. These lesson plans prepare the children for the Las Vegas Philharmonic concert by providing insight into the history, meaning and melody of each piece in the performance.

Young Artists’ Concerto Competition

Every November, the Philharmonic presents a Young Artists’ Concerto Competition for young Nevada musicians through senior year in high school. Winners of the competition perform as soloists at the Youth Concerts, providing many with their first opportunity to play with a professional symphony orchestra. By presenting young musicians on stage in close age to the children in the audience, the organization hopes to inspire young students to learn to play an instrument. In January, the soloists will be: Erika Dalton, 14, violin, from the Las Vegas Academy; and Joshua Riel, 15, double bass, from the Las Vegas Academy; and second-time winner Devon Zubka, 17, cello, from Green Valley High School.

Funding & Support

The Youth Concert Series is presented by the Philharmonic and funded through donations and sponsorships. Free concerts for children have been a key component of the orchestra’s education and community outreach work since 1999, reaching 165,000 schoolchildren. Sustaining and expanding funding for the Youth Concert Series remains a priority for the Philharmonic and will be a major focus at its Diamonds Are Forever Gala being held on February 6th at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

Support for the 2015 Youth Concert Series comes from: Cox Communications, First Foundation, Green Valley Grocery, IGT, Kinder Morgan, L.L. Bradford & Company, MGM Resorts International, Marsh & McLennan Companies, Michael Gaughan’s South Point, National Endowment for the Arts, Nevada Arts Council, NV Energy, Target, The Harris Foundation, and Wells Fargo. The Philharmonic also acknowledges the many individual donations received for this series. The Youth Concert Series is presented with the cooperation of the Clark County School District Partnership Office.

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The New Israeli Opera Celebrates its 30th Anniversary‏

December 17, 2014 on 9:10 am | In Israel, Webbandstand | Comments Off

The New Israeli Opera is celebrating its 30th anniversary this season, along with 20 years of performing in the Opera House of the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center. Tel Aviv’s original opera house was built in the 1930′s on the Mediterranean shore, and it was there, from 1962 to 1964, that an unknown Mexican tenor named Placido Domingo was a leading performer.

The 30th anniversary 2014-2015 season will feature 11 operas at the Opera House, including the first-ever Israeli Opera production of La Rondine and new Israeli Opera productions of Nabucco, The Barber of Seville, The Tsar’s Bride, The Bayadere and The Marriage of Figaro, as well as a revival of L’Elisir d’Amore. One of the season’s highlights is a double bill of two newly commissioned operas by Israeli composers – The Lady and the Peddler by Haim Permont and Shitz by Yoni Rechter.

The hugely successful Israeli Opera Festival at Masada will continue for the fifth year this season, and will for the first time feature two fully staged opera productions (Tosca and Carmina Burana) from June 4-13, 2015. The Opera will also feature outdoor summer productions in Jerusalem and Acre.

In addition, the Israeli Opera’s 30th anniversary season will include numerous non-operatic activities, events and series, including the annual International Dance Series, Classical Music Series, jazz and world music concerts and the weekly Children’s Opera Hour.

For more information on the Israeli Opera, click here.

For more information about travel to Israel, visit

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Skip NYE in the States for Junkanoo Celebration in The Bahamas‏

December 16, 2014 on 2:49 pm | In Bahamas, Beachbooker, Caribbean, Festivals, Webbandstand | Comments Off

Goddess Swimwear from Today Show

If you’re looking for a truly unique holiday experience, skip celebrating in the states and instead, head to Nassau Paradise Island, Bahamas for Junkanoo. Similar to Mardi Gras and Carnival, Junkanoo is a massive celebration that takes place in Nassau Paradise Island on Boxing Day, Dec. 26 and New Year’s Day, Jan.1. What once began as a temporary celebration of freedom for slaves who were given three days off for Christmas, soon blossomed into an exuberant, colorful parade. In downtown Nassau, revelers can enjoy cultural music and dancing by teams of locals dressed in elaborate, colorful costumes that often take the entire year to make. Excitement is stirred with the sounds of rhythmic goombay drums, copper bells and mouth whistles, which can be heard during performances parading through Bay Street. While in Nassau Paradise Island, you can also visit the Educulture Junkanoo Museum to discover, explore and celebrate the spirit of Junkanoo.

First Musically-Themed Hotel in Budapest

December 16, 2014 on 10:35 am | In Hungary, Webbandstand | Comments Off

– Library Hotel Collection founder Henry Kallan will open Aria Hotel Budapest in March 2015, bringing to the magical city of Budapest his signature ability to develop and operate beautiful, indie hotels that focus on service and guest satisfaction.

Like every Kallan-developed hotel, such as the Library Hotel and Casablanca Hotel in New York and the Aria Hotel Prague, the Aria Budapest will have a distinctive concept: in this case the universal love of music. The 1870s building, which has been beautifully reimagined by young Budapest interior designer Zoltán Varro, captures a breathtaking blend of classical and contemporary styles.

Each of the 49 guestrooms and four parlors will feature a jazz, contemporary, opera or classical music theme through décor and sound. Guests will access the music library via iPads and flat screen televisions elegantly presented within a marble fireplace-style mantelpiece. Options for one or two bedroom suites are available, but the favorite choice is the extraordinary studio suite dedicated to Hungarian composer and virtuoso Franz Liszt.

The seven-story Neoclassical facade has been painstakingly rebuilt in limestone to replicate the beauty of the 19th century architecture and designed to look exactly as the original architect intended under the direction of Aria’s chief architect Zsolt Szécsi.

“I wanted to design for Budapest a hotel that felt like a private home with a distinctive personality and cultural experience along with the personal care for which we’re known,” said Kallan, who is of Hungarian descent.

Located in the historic city center on the Pest side of the Danube River, Aria is situated beside famous St. Stephen’s Basilica. The hotel is steps from a charming pedestrian plaza featuring shops, restaurants, cafes and musical entertainment, and within a five minutes’ walk to the renowned Chain Bridge, the elegant tree-lined Andrássy Avenue and Budapest’s Opera House. The city’s fairytale-like Parliament and endless palaces surrounding Szabadság tér (or “Freedom Square”) are also a short walk from the hotel.

Aria Hotel Budapest will consist of four wings, each with its own elevator bank, which will allow for the ultimate in privacy with only two to four guestrooms per landing. Czech artist Joseph Blecha was commissioned to provide caricatures of music legends who will greet guests in and outside of the rooms. Many rooms will offer a private terrace with a view overlooking the streets leading to the pedestrian plaza. Most accommodations will offer an open-air balcony overlooking the stunning glass-enclosed Music Garden courtyard. Its seamless all glass enclosure is an architectural marvel and the only one in Europe without any steel support. This marvel in engineering will allow guests to enjoy natural lighting and a magnificent view of the Aria’s architectural beauty as well as the sky above. From the balconies, onlookers can also gaze onto the artistically designed Music Garden courtyard with its tiled piano path and social scene below.

The High Note Skybar – the only year-round rooftop garden terrace in Budapest – will offer unparalleled views of the city. The two love nests, which are upper level perches offering 360-degree views, are perfect for couples or small groups of up to 20 people. Other dining options for guests and locals will include the street-level Stradivari, a bistro style restaurant, and Satchmo’s Bar and Lounge.

Adjacent to the Music Garden Courtyard is Teatro Aria, a beautiful space featuring nightly entertainment curated by Aria’s Musical Director. Guests may enhance their stay by stimulating the senses with great video performances including ballets, concerts, operas and musicals. The space may also be transformed for intimate, memorable private events from private dining and screenings, to fashion shows and recitals.

The Harmony Spa will offer three treatment rooms, one specifically for couples, along with an indoor pool, private pool cabanas, an advanced fitness center, a Swedish sauna, a Turkish steam room, and a Jacuzzi. Signature treatments will be set to music playlists customized to each guest’s preferences.

Following the Library Hotel Collection’s philosophy, Aria offers its guests a wealth of complimentary amenities including high-speed WiFi, a breakfast buffet, tea and coffee service as well as afternoon wine and cheese receptions. Guestrooms start at €325, or approximately $410 USD. Reservations are currently being accepted for stays commencing March 15, 2015. For reservations and additional information, please visit

About Aria Hotel Budapest

Aria Hotel Budapest, part of the New York-based Library Hotel Collection, is the company’s sixth hotel and the first new build outside of the United States since 2003 when the award winning Aria Hotel Prague was launched. The luxury boutique hotel is an architectural masterpiece featuring four wings of musically-themed guestrooms and suites commemorating iconic artists and composers in the opera, classical, contemporary and jazz genres such as Maria Callas, Frank Sinatra, Mozart and Jimi Hendrix along with Hungarian artists Bela Bartok and Zoltán Kodály. Centrally located in Pest’s historic district near the Chain Bridge and beside St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Aria Hotel Budapest offers the Harmony Spa, various dining and entertainment options off the Music Garden Courtyard, a music library with a Musical Director, and Teatro Aria as well as the High Note Skybar, Budapest’s only year-around rooftop garden with unparalleled views of the city. Address: Hercegprímás utca 5, Budapest H-1051 Hungary

About Library Hotel Collection

Hotelier Henry Kallan’s Library Hotel Collection is composed of seven luxury hotels. Members of the collection include six small luxury hotels including the soon-to-open Aria Hotel Budapest and a 403-room urban resort, Hotel X Toronto set to open in spring 2016. Each of its small European-style boutique hotels in Manhattan and abroad has its own distinctive personality and charm. What they share is a commitment to providing timeless beauty, exceptional value and an outstanding travel experience. Kallan, one of New York’s leading “indie” boutique hoteliers, created the book lovers paradise, the Library Hotel, the country French style Hotel Elysée, home of the renowned Monkey Bar, the jewel-like Moroccan motif Casablanca Hotel, the chic retro glamorous Hotel Giraffe and the musically themed Aria Hotel Prague. The four New York City hotels have achieved the distinction of maintaining top 10 placements among over 450 hotels in New York City on TripAdvisor for more than eight years, at one time having all four New York hotels ranked in the number one to four spots for NYC. Condé Nast Traveler readers selected The Library Hotel as one of the Top 25 Best Hotels in New York City in the 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards. The Aria Hotel Prague was recognized in this year’s Travelers Choice Awards from TripAdvisor as the #1 hotel in the Czech Republic once again. Currently, the Casablanca Hotel, reigns as the #2 ranked hotel in New York and has won three Travelers Choice Awards including Best Service USA and twice for Top 25 Hotels in the USA.

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David Perrico – Pop Strings Orchestra brings symphonic pop hits to Red Rock Resort‏

December 15, 2014 on 3:19 pm | In Gaming Resorts, Las Vegas, Webbandstand | Comments Off

Award-winning composer and arranger merges club favorites with symphonic pops at Red Rock Resort

Every Saturday beginning Jan. 10, 2015 at 11 p.m.

LAS VEGAS – Award-winning composer and arranger David Perrico is bringing his newest musical creation, David Perrico – Pop Strings Orchestra, to Red Rock Resort. The 15-piece pop orchestra will feature energetic performances of club favorites with modern orchestrations by Perrico every Saturday, beginning Jan. 10, 2015.

A celebrated trumpeter, Perrico leads the impressive 15-piece ensemble of strings, horns and rhythm section, featuring Naomi Mauro and Eric Sean’s powerful vocals. Like Perrico’s other musical venture, Pop Evolution, the Pop Strings Orchestra is comprised of the leading musicians from the city’s major productions shows and bands, including Rod Stewart, Shania Twain, Donny & Marie and Terry Fator, among others. Performances will feature Perrico’s arrangements of songs by Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Maroon 5, Madonna, India.Arie and many more.

David Perrico – Pop Strings Orchestra will perform at Rocks Lounge inside Red Rock Resort every Saturday, beginning Jan. 10, 2015. Doors open at 10 p.m. There is no cover charge and guests must be 21 years or older. Entry is first-come, first-served and based upon venue capacity.

For more information, please visit

David Perrico – Pop Strings Orchestra personnel:

David Perrico – trumpet/flugelhorn/conductor

Naomi Mauro – vocals

Eric Sean – vocals

Otto Ehling – piano

Andrew Friedlander – woodwinds

Steven Lee – guitars

Michael J. Moreno – drums

Eric Runquist – bass


Monique Olivas

Adrianna Thurber

Sammi Ciarlo


Crystal Yuan

Hanna Suk


Lindsey Springer

Elizabeth Marshall

About David Perrico

David Perrico is one of Las Vegas’ most in-demand musicians, with the Las Vegas Review-Journal recently naming Dave Perrico – Pop Evolution a “Best of Las Vegas” award winner. In addition to leading Pop Evolution, Perrico serves as music director for David Perrico – Pop Strings Orchestra and BBR Las Vegas’ ALICE. He has also served as music director/trumpet for Stratosphere’s PIN UP, starring Claire Sinclair. Perrico spent nearly a decade performing internationally with the legendary Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and has been featured in headliner shows including Donny & Marie, Natalie Cole, Toni Braxton, Cirque du Soleil, Gladys Knight, and Zowie Bowie. As a composer, Perrico has received national awards for original jazz and symphony orchestra compositions and was recently featured on the Vegas PBS series “artScene.”

Perrico is a native of Youngstown, Ohio and has earned a M.M. degree in composition/jazz/filmscore from UNLV and a B.M. classical/jazz performance from Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music. Perrico has serves as an adjunct faculty member for UNLV’s jazz studies program. He has 11 CDs and four DVD recordings to his credit, including The Family Guy Live DVD and the Grammy award-winning album One Voice by Gladys Knight. To hear Perrico’s work, please visit . Stay up to date with Perrico on Facebook, on Twitter at @PopEvolution3, and on Instagram at @dperrico3.

About Red Rock Resort

Named by Condé Nast magazine as one of the world’s best new hotels in their 2007 Hot List issue, Red Rock Resort is one of Las Vegas’ premier off strip luxury resorts located 10 miles west of the Strip. The resort features more than 800 guest rooms and suites, a 25,000 square foot spa, a variety of restaurants, a spectacular pool area, movie theatres, bowling at Red Rock Lanes and a full array of gaming. To learn more about Red Rock Resort, please call (702) 797-7777 or visit

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What’s New in London — Christmas 2014‏

December 15, 2014 on 10:38 am | In Adventure Travel, London, United Kingdom, Webbandstand | Comments Off

The holidays are almost upon us and London is having a festive makeover! Visitors can enjoy beautiful Christmas lights, festive holiday markets, outdoor ice skating, and more. For more on what’s new in London, to go

For high-resolution images, please visit:

You can also follow the London & Partners Media & PR team on Twitter for more London news at @London_PR


Natural History Museum Ice Rink
30 Oct 2014 – 4 Jan 2015

Experience a magical winter haven in the heart of the city. Now in its 10th year, the spectacular rink is nestled in front of the iconic South Kensington Museum, beneath 80,000 twinkling fairy lights and around a 40-foot-high tree. Visit the interactive Christmas chalet, with chocolatey treats, prize giveaways and activities. Contact

Ice Rink Canary Wharf
1 Nov 2014 – 28 Feb 2015
Unlike other venues, this ice rink has an adjoining skating path that winds its way under trees lit with fairy lights. A bar is available for skaters and non-skaters who can watch all the action from the viewing terrace. Contact

Skate at Somerset House Ice Rink
11 Nov 2014 – 11 Jan 2015
In partnership with Fortnum & Mason, this icy experience is open all day and well into the evening, when the rink comes alive with special club nights featuring top DJs. Enhance your experience with ‘Skate Extras’ like champagne and truffles and cream tea in Fortnum’s Lodge. Cocktails and fondue can also be savoured. On Tuesdays, enjoy late-night browsing in the pop-up Fortnum & Mason store, live entertainment and festive treats. Contact

Eyeskate at the London Eye
15 Nov 2014 – 4 Jan 2015
This spectacular ice rink on the South Bank returns for the fifth year with plenty of festive fun and wintry activities. As well as enjoying a 45-minute ice skating session in the shadow of the London Eye you can book a flight on the London Eye with a Winter Cocktail Experience or go on a Frosty Guided Experience. Contact

Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink
21 Nov 2014 – 4 Jan 2015
The Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink returns this festive period for another skating season. The outdoor ice rink at Hampton Court offers spectacular views of the magnificent palace once home to Henry VIII. Book an evening session to see the palace lit up after dark while skating under the evening stars. The Ice Bar & Café serves a selection of winter drinks and festive snacks. Contact


Christmas Past
Geffrye Museum, 25 Nov 2014 – 4 Jan 2015
Each year, the Geffrye Museum’s 11 period living rooms are transformed with authentic festive decorations, lighting, music and greenery to give visitors a magical glimpse into how Christmas has been celebrated in English homes over the past 400 years. Step back through the centuries to discover the origins and meanings of rich and vibrant traditions, from feasting, dancing and kissing under the mistletoe to playing parlour games, hanging up stockings, sending cards, decorating the tree and throwing cocktail parties. Festive food is served in the café and visitors can browse for unusual gifts, cards and Christmas decorations in the shop. Contact

The First World War in the Air

Royal Air Force Museum, to open in December 2014

A brand new permanent exhibition opens in December 2014 in the museum’s historic Grahame-White Factory: This Grade II listed building was an active aircraft factory during World War I. The Museum site in North London has a rich history and played an important role in early British aviation (English aviation pioneer Claude Grahame-White described the area as ‘the birthplace of aerial power’). The exhibition explores the earliest days of military aviation through the story of Britain’s air services, the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service. The two organisations merged on 1 April 1918 to become the Royal Air Force, the world’s first independent air force. Contact

Small Stories: At Home in a Dolls’ House
V&A Museum of Childhood, 13 Dec 2014 – 6 Sept 2015
This exhibition reveals the fascinating stories behind some of the UK’s best-loved dolls’ houses, taking you on a journey through the history of the home, everyday lives and changing family relationships. The small stories of 12 dolls’ houses from the past 300 years are brought to life by the characters that live or work there. The exhibition encompasses country mansions, the Georgian town house, suburban villas, newly-built council estates and high-rise apartments. Contact


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Edward Scissorhands
Sadler’s Wells, 2 Dec 2014 – 11 Jan 2015

Devised, directed and choreographed by Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Matthew Bourne this delightful dance adaptation of the classic Tim Burton motion picture returns for a six- week season this Christmas. The iconic title role is played by popular Dominic North (Sleeping Beauty) and Liam Mower (Billy Elliot). Featuring the beautiful and unmistakable music of Danny Elfman and Terry Davies, this touching love story tells the bittersweet modern fairy-tale of a boy created with only scissors for hands, left alone to fend for himself in a strange new suburban world. Contact

The Wind in the Willows
Vaudeville Theatre, 2 Dec 2014 – 17 Jan 2015

This joyful production brings to life Kenneth Grahame’s classic tale of four unlikely anthropomorphic friends – a mole, a rat, a badger, and of course, a toad – who join up to save the latter’s ancestral home from being overrun. A parable that stresses the importance of friendships, despite differences, this will be a fantastic treat for theatre fans, young or old. Contact

Treasure Island
National Theatre, 3 Dec 2014 – 19 Feb 2015

It’s a dark, stormy night. The stars are out. Jim, the inn-keeper’s granddaughter, opens the door to a terrifying stranger. At the old sailor’s feet sits a huge sea-chest, full of secrets. Jim invites him in – and her dangerous voyage begins. This winter, Robert Louis Stevenson’s story of murder, money and mutiny is brought to life on the Olivier stage in a thrilling new adaptation by Bryony Lavery. Contact

The Merchant of Venice
Almeida Theatre, 5 Dec 2014 – 14 Feb 2015

In a collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Rupert Goold’s production of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice relocates one of Shakespeare’s most controversial plays to the bright lights of Las Vegas in a whirlwind of glitter, gambling and greenbacks. Former Almeida Artistic Director Ian McDiarmid plays Shylock alongside a cast that includes Jamie Beamish, Rebecca Brewer, Susannah Fielding, Scott Handy, Caroline Martin and Emily Plumtree. The production was originally presented by the RSC in 2011, and features designs by Tom Scutt, lighting by Rick Fisher, music by Adam Cork, sound by Gregory Clarke, choreography by Scott Ambler and orchestrations by Alex Baranowski. Contact

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Royal Opera House, 6 Dec 2014 – 16 Jan 2015
Joby Talbot’s score combines contemporary soundworlds with sweeping melodies that gesture to ballet scores of the 19th century. Bob Crowley’s wildly imaginative sets and costumes draw on puppetry, projections and masks. Alice encounters a cast of extraordinary characters, from the highly-strung Queen of Hearts, who performs a hilarious send-up of The Sleeping Beauty’s famous Rose Adage, to dancing playing cards, a sinuous caterpillar and a tap-dancing Mad Hatter. Contact

Young Vic, 9 Dec 2014 – 21 Jan 2015
The danger lies not in machine becoming more like man but in man becoming more like machine. Following the smash hit The Animals and Children took to the Streets, this UK premiere from 1927 is one of the most anticipated new shows of 2014. Blending stunningly original animation with entrancing music and live performance, Golem explores one of the great questions of the modern world – what happens when mankind and machines become inextricably intertwined? Contact

The Nutcracker
London Coliseum, 11 Dec 2014 – 04 Jan 2015
Journey back in time with English National Ballet to a frost-covered, gas-lit London and join Clara, her Nutcracker doll and the magician Drosselmeyer in this traditional, festive tale for all the family. In a world of Edwardian elegance, Nutcracker brings to life the eternally popular Tchaikovsky score featuring the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Waltz of the Flowers. This classical production is a magical, memorable and unmissable Christmas treat. Contact

The Little Match Girl
Sadler’s Wells, 13 Dec 2014 – 4 Jan 2015
Celebrated choreographer Arthur Pita brings his magical dance theatre show The Little Match Girl to the Lilian Baylis Studio this Christmas. Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic story, this touching tale of a young street girl’s hopes and dreams is beautifully told through dance, song and original live music. A snowy stage sets the scene for an icy cold Christmas Eve, where the little match girl paces the emptying streets, trying to sell her matches. Cold, hungry and with just one final match flame to keep her warm, she sees a vision of her beloved grandmother. Leaving her troubled life behind, she is guided up into the night sky by her grandmother. Contact

Continue reading What’s New in London — Christmas 2014‏… Steps Up to Map the DNA of Rock Music – Song by Song

December 12, 2014 on 1:40 pm | In Webbandstand | Comments Off

Is rock really dead, as many music critics continue to claim? The founders of the new rock-and-roll website,, say those are “blowhard claims” that hold about as much water as a two-gallon bucket with a three-gallon hole.

“To claim rock is dead is ludicrous,” says SongMango’s Editor-in-Chief and Co-founder Peter Wendel. “There are still plenty of great rock songs out there, but a crowded field has made the best artists and tracks hard to find amid the mountain of clutter. We weed through it all so our audience doesn’t have to.”

SongMango’s creators take an entirely positive, celebratory look at rock music’s storied 60-year body of work – its impacts and its influences. The site’s “top shelf” approach distinguishes it from traditional online music-review outlets. There’s no negativity or pretentious critic’s eye. If it isn’t high-quality output, this site doesn’t cover it.

SongMango’s mission is “to celebrate, instigate and propagate” rock music. The site’s founders aim to cement the genre’s standing as “the height of musical creation,” and to debunk the pervading myth that rock is dead.

No doubt, there is talk that rock has lost its mojo – the once-legendary swagger degenerating into a tired amble toward the old-age home. Some say the talent pool and the audience are thinning, and that the once-steady stream of rock’s smash hits has slowed to a trickle. Some have even suggested that rock music is becoming irrelevant.

“We’re here to call bullshit,” says Creative Director and Co-founder Bob DiLallo. “If you care at all about the facts – like rock’s dominance in record sales and its majority share of the Billboard charts – the claims that rock and roll is dead are absolutely absurd, not to mention infuriating.”

In making their case for rock’s virility, DiLallo and Wendel have assembled and profiled an elite group of DNA Source Songs, nearly 200 of the best rock songs of all time – the most meaningful, most essential tracks.

A glance at the list of SongMango’s DNA songs provides an embarrassment of rock’s riches, including (in no particular order): Bob Dylan’s “Ballad of a Thin Man,” “A Day in the Life” by the Beatles, “Clampdown” by the Clash, Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl,” “Salt of the Earth,” by the Rolling Stones, “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” by Hendrix, Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks” and “The Rising” by Springsteen.

Although is steeped in the classics, it does shine a light on some newer gems, like the New Radicals’ “You Get What You Give,” “Walking In The Streets” by Mad Staring Eyes, “Frankie’s Gun” by the Felice Brothers, Fall Out Boy’s “Sugar, We’re Going Down” and “Paris (Ooh La La)” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

The new site offers extensive content beyond the flagship DNA Source Songs, including:

News Muse: What’s new in the world of rock music, from album releases to artist birthdays to concert updates. Recent articles include a tribute to the late Bobby Keys, the talented Rolling Stones’ saxophonist and an update on the possible reunion of the Grateful Dead (minus Jerry Garcia).

Top ROCK 20: Picks for the best new rock songs – and they’re all rock and roll. There’s no pop, hip-hop or rap on this list. Artists in the current Top 20 include: Trigger Hippy, Parquet Courts, Jeff Tweedy, Cage the Elephant and Lucinda Williams.

On the Bus (blog): Covers mainly the Grateful Dead but billed as “the ultimate jam band experience.” Great blog for Jerry Garcia fans.

’64 and Before (blog): The rock-and-roll landscape before the Beatles. And yes, there was rock music before the arrival of the Fab Four.

Up the Country (blog): Call it “The Moonshine Effect” – along with the blues, country has had a profound impact on rock music.

From the Floor (blog): Eyewitness reports from concerts across the country with a focus on the best rock songs of the night. Posts cover recent performances of Phish, Robert Plant and Paul McCartney.

LyricsBase: The correct words to 144,000 of the best rock songs.

Tour Primer: The dope on current A-list rock tours – like the Who and the Eagles – prepares fans for upcoming shows with setlists, must-hear songs, pics, videos, concert T-shirts, and plenty of informative commentary.

Merchandise: A one-stop shop for rock merch, such as albums, MP3s, DVDs, books, posters, T-shirts and even concert tickets.

Webbandstand for Concerts and Performing Arts

National Blues Museum Completes Funding

December 12, 2014 on 1:39 pm | In Museums, Webbandstand | Comments Off

The National Blues Museum in St. Louis announced that it has completed financing and that construction on the state-of-the-art museum and educational facility will begin within two weeks. The Museum’s supporters include Blues icons and GRAMMY Award winners Buddy Guy, Jack White, Robert Cray and Derek Trucks.

“Finally the blues, its rich, storied history, its unique cast of characters and its mojo has a home we can all be very proud of. This genre of music which has influenced so many artists throughout the last century is so very deserving of this museum,” said Devon Allman. Allman, a member of the National Blues Museum board, is an international touring and recording artist, a guitarist and singer with the Royal Southern Brotherhood, and son of Gregg Allman of the legendary musical Allman family. Allman’s enthusiasm for the project has been echoed by many others, including leading female artists, Shemekia Copeland and Denise LaSalle, film and television star, John Goodman, and Academy Award Winner, Morgan Freeman. Freeman recently provided the Museum’s most recent video endorsement.

Opening in late 2015 in downtown St. Louis, the 23,000-square-foot National Blues Museum will include more than 16,000 square feet of highly interactive technology and artifact-driven exhibits, a theatre, special event space and classrooms. The Museum will explore and preserve the historic significance of the Blues as the foundation of American music and celebrate the musicians who both created and advance the art form.

The National Blues Museum will explore the various Blues styles and trace its history and American roots music from the Mississippi Delta through St. Louis to Chicago, its expansion across the U.S. and internationally. From the experience, Museum visitors will understand how the Blues deeply influenced Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famers including the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin and more.

Beyond the galleries and exhibits, the National Blues Museum will host public programs and activities, already underway. Educational programming, a major component of the Museum’s mission, will focus on providing on-site curriculum-based music education as well as virtual educational opportunities accessible to all.

While additional funding is needed to enhance technology, expand exhibits, deepen the impact of community and educational programs, and create accompanying curriculum, initial exhibits will include:

Blues History: tracing the Blues from its late 19th Century origins in the Delta to cities. Experience highlights will articulate differences between major Blues cities of the 1930s, ‘40s, and ‘50s and document the arrival of Blues rock in the 1960s, its arrival in Europe, and the expansion of Blues rock in America. Connections to other historical trends will be interwoven.
The Creation of Blues Lyrics and Chord Structures: demonstrates and teaches the intricacies of the Blues, enabling visitors to create their own songs. Whether an experienced musician or exploring the basics, visitors can create a recording, preserving and carrying forward the legacy of the Blues.
Blues Legends: those who significantly contributed to Blues history and its sounds will have their stories told through sophisticated multimedia.

An additional performance area will serve multiple purposes, providing classroom and private event space, and evening programs (screenings, readings, and intimate music performances). A temporary exhibit gallery will respond to visitors’ curiosity on many levels, showcasing exhibits from collections of other institutions.

For more information about the National Blues Museum, visit  or email

Webbandstand for Concerts and Performing Arts

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