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    King Shazaam to love mom tender this Mother's Day

    Need a unique way to show mom how much you love her this Mother's Day? Don't settle for flowers or spring for another silly card she won't remember. Instead, why not give Elvis a call...

    Local tribute artist Jeff Collins (aka King Shazaam) is once again playing up his services to folks around the Grand Strand with a special holiday offer.

    Collins, who has performed around town for a number of years in the King Shazaam Tribute Show, will offer a Elvis Tribute Singing Telegram for your Mom this Mother’s Day.

    Local fans can choose Mom’s favorite Elvis songs to be delivered by Collins — in character, of course — to her home, retirement center, restaurant or business on Sunday, May 12.

    The appearances, regularly $75 will start at $50 each for the holiday and include King Shazaam showing up in jumpsuit costuming with his own portable sound equipment and performing a trio of "authentic sounding" Elvis songs with scarves and photos available as well.

    "It's always fun," writes Collins. "The family can get together on this and watch Mom's face as we build a new happy memory." 

    Collins and his wife, Anne, also run the Myrtle Beach chapter of the Elvis fan club which hosts month gatherings of tribute artists around the area. The couple have offered a similar "Elvis gram" deal in the past for Valentine's Day (read full story here).

    For more information or to schedule an "Elvis gram" visit or The King Shazaam Show on Facebook.


    Bridge to Recovery arts event aids in Windsor Green fire recovery effort


    Everything from the sweet tea to the printing costs is being donated for what organizers hope will be the first annual Evening with the Arts.

    A Bridge to Recovery is being held Saturday at the Waterbridge Amenity Center off of Carolina Forest Boulevard in Carolina Forest from 5-10 p.m. to benefit the victims of the March 16 Windsor Green fire.

    While this year’s event is dedicated to help those who lost their homes in the devastating fire, future such evenings will benefit the Carolina Forest area in whatever ways are needed.

    Walkers Woods resident Thomas Perez, who is one of the organizers, said, “We’re going to plan to do something like this every year.

    “If Carolina Forest doesn’t have a particular need, we’ll do it for the homeless in Myrtle Beach, raising money for them and the shelters.”

    A Bridge to Recovery will include a chicken bog dinner, provided by The Beaver Bar in Murrells Inlet — the sweet tea is courtesy of Waterway Café in Socastee — two raffles, two silent auctions, a live auction, art exhibit and sale, and live entertainment.

    A $7 entry fee includes the dinner and a suggested donation of $4.

    There will be musical performances by Stage Left, Jentry Rose Childress, Casey Nicholas Berry, Jesse Berry and others.

    “The majority of our performers are either graduates of Carolina Forest High School, or they’re still attending there or another area school,” Perez said.

    He said the evening will “put the spotlight on the visual and performing arts because there are so many talented people coming from our high schools and middle schools.”

    Art affiliations include Studio B and The Roundtable Art Group.

    Co-organizer and artist Natalie Sexton said some of the artwork will be up for auction and some for outright sale.  

    Sexton, who lives in Socastee, said she’s involved with A Bridge to Recovery because, “When something like this happens, it affects everybody in the community.”

    She said Alvin Blassingame, Gaston Locklear, Jenn Burns and Ernesto Hernandez, whose custom-painted Adirondack chair will be auctioned off, are some of the artists whose work will be at the benefit.
    Prices for artwork will range from $15-$500.

    She said the event isn’t an adults-only evening.

    File photo The aftermath of the Windsor Green fire in Carolina Forest destroyed 26 condo buildings and left nearly 200 people homeless. (file photo)“Lots of times when people hear ‘art,’ they don’t bring the kids, but this will be a family event,” she said.
    “We’re helping families and we want families to come and participate.”

    Ha Ha the Clown will be there to entertain the children, and there will be face painting and balloons.
    Printing expenses for the event have been donated by The Salvation Army, who will also distribute the proceeds to the families.

    “Every bit of it is going to the families,” Perez said.

    Brian Cotner, broker-in-charge at Waterbridge, said, “It took two seconds” to agree to donate the amenity center for the evening.

    “Waterbridge is just one part of a much greater community, we feel that every day,” he said. “So when the tragedy happened, you immediately look for ways you can help.

    “We have a spectacular facility, and they have a need,” Cotner said.

    “The amenity center is beautiful, it’s big enough for us and traffic is better at Waterbridge [than other places in Carolina Forest],” Perez said.

    Cotner said, “I’m a big fan of the arts, and when they told us what they needed, we said, ‘bring it on.’ ’’

    For more information call Perez at 864-344-5210 or Sexton at 333-7293 or see details here.



    Atlantic Stage sets off spring with play reading festival and fundraiser

    By Ettie Newlands & Chris Mowder •

    In the midst of another year of bringing stories to life on stage, Myrtle Beach’s only non-profit professional theatre troupe will kick its season into high gear with a pair of unique events in the coming weeks. 

    The first is the group’s second annual play reading event, a weekend full of performances featuring new works from up-and-coming playwrights from around the area and across the country.

    New Voices Playfest will take place Thursday through Sunday. Performances begin at 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, at noon Saturday and at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

    The event will showcase 15 plays over its four-day run, with works ranging from short 10-minute plays to one-act affairs and full-length plays.

    Kicking off the event on Thursday, the featured plays include the short “A Man of No Importance” by L.A.-based writer Julius Galacki and  “Folie A Deux/Pas” a regional Kennedy Center Award Winner written by Kevin D. Ferguson.

    Ferguson, a Florence-based playwright, will also have two of his other works presented with current National Kennedy Center semi-finalist “Losing Sight” read at 9 p.m. on Friday and full-length pay “A Thing With Feathers” presented at 4 p.m. Saturday.

    His play “Child’s Play” was the winner of the inaugural New Voices Playfest in 2012 and will make its debut as a full production at the 79th Avenue Theatre later this month, opening on April 25.

    Other featured plays include “The Place Between” by California-based writer Wendy-Marie Foerster on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday’s showcase work at 7:30 p.m. “Sirius Rising” written by Myrtle Beach’s own Gwendolyn Schwinke.

    Schwinke, who grew up on a farm in Missouri, now teaches theater at Coastal Carolina University.

    “Sirius Rising” is about the practical magic of long-term relationships, a story about a flood of epic proportions descending upon a rural farm community and four women who discover that human connection is their only shelter against the storm.

    “I wanted to bring to the stage the farm women that I know: smart, strong, full-blooded and funny,” said Schwinke. “Although the characters are dealing with more extreme situations than most of us face, they remind us that we can live through tragedy with courage, humor and love.”

    The play has also been included in festivals with the Seattle Repertory Theatre, Judith Shakespeare Company in New York City, The Jungle Theatre and The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis.

    Tickets to the play reading festival are $10 each day or $30 for a four-day pass.


    Sandy Shackelford gathers up items for the Atlantic Stage Treasure Festival which will take place Saturday, April 20 at the 79th Avenue Theatre in Myrtle Beach. (Courtesy photo)Also just around the corner is a first-of-its-kind fundraiser for the group, the Atlantic Stage Treasure Festival.

    If you’re looking for a stuffed platypus, this is the place to go. If you’re looking for a two-speed blender, it’s not.

    The upscale yard sale will feature two huge rooms and — weather permitting — a parking lot, filled with high-end goodies for sale.

    There’ll be a silent auction, live musical entertainment, food, and even Madame Jennifer, a local tarot card reader.

    There will be, organizer Sandi Shackelford said, more of a carnival atmosphere than that of a yard sale. 

    The event will take place April 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the 79th Avenue Theatre.

    Donations, which have been coming in for the last year, are still being accepted and can be brought to the New Voices Playfest this weekend.

    Gently-used furniture, jewelry, appliances, and other merchandise appropriate for a high-end sale will be appreciated.

    The theatre group considered having a gala as a fundraiser, but decided on the yard sale. 

    “Instead of paying $100 to put on a fancy dress and go dancing, people would rather go someplace in the daytime and come away with something … have something … buy something with their money,” Shackelford, one of the actors with the theatre group, said.

    Items in the silent auction will include resort weekends, golf packages, Make-A-Bracelet parties and more. 
    Every few hours, yard sale prices will be cut in 25 percent increments, so “buyers can take their chances on items they can’t live without,” Shackelford said.

    Money raised will go into Atlantic Stage’s general fund to pay for everything from costumes and props to advertising and salaries.

    “Just like with most businesses, most of our money goes to paying people, but it also pays royalties which can be thousands of dollars per show,” Shackelford said.

    According to its website the purpose of Atlantic Stage, which formed in 2008, is “to enhance the cultural landscape of the Myrtle Beach area by providing quality theatrical productions of classical, contemporary, and new works that are entertaining and enlightening.”

    The group’s upcoming sixth season will include “All in the Timing,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” and “The Nerd.”

    “All in the Timing” by David Ives is an anthology of comic sketches. Three of them are brainteasers that play with the idiosyncrasies of language, three deal with the imponderables of time and space.

    Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is adapted for the stage by the theatre group’s playwright-in-residence, Kevin Ferguson.

    Alfred Uhry’s “Driving Miss Daisy,” the winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for drama, explores the racial tensions of the South in the mid 20th Century, and the deep friendship between an elderly Jewish woman and her black driver.

    “The Nerd” by Larry Shue is a comedy about a young architect visited by a man he never met who saved his life in Vietnam. A hilarious dilemma ensues when the inept nerd outstays his welcome.   

    The group is cutting back to four plays per season instead of six, as in its previous seasons.

    “It’s less expensive to do four than six, and the people who work on every show are spread way too thin,” said Shackelford.

    Despite a devoted and talented core of players at Atlantic Stage, manpower remains an issue for the group, which is always looking for volunteers to join the group.

    “We don’t have enough volunteer labor to get sets built, to get press releases out, and to do everything that needs to be done," said Shackelford. "When it’s time to put sets together, we have three people working instead of 15.”

    Atlantic Stage is located inside the 79th Avenue Theatre, 900 79th Ave. N., Myrtle Beach. To volunteer, or for more information on any of the upcoming events visit the website at or call Shackelford at 438-8409.


    News & Notes: April 10, 2013

    News & Notes is a regular roundup of local music and entertainment news briefs and announcements from around the area. If you have news to submit, please contact us here or send releases to

    Rivertown Art & Music Festival announces lineup

    River WhylessThe 27th Annual Rivertown Music & Arts Festival will be held May 4 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and officials from Downtown Conway Alive recently announced the entertainment for this year’s event.

    From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. local youth bands, choirs and dance troupes will entertain festival-goers while local artists, crafters and merchants line the downtown streets offering an assortment of wares including pottery, wood, glass, photography, jewelry and paintings.  

    There will also be a Classic Car Show with more than 100 classic vehicles, plenty of food vendors and local cuisine will be available in the food court area.

    The day’s activities will be capped by an evening of music in the street with headliners Jenni Lyn Gardner and River Whyless.

    Gardner, a Conway native, is an established singer and mandolin player who performs as part of successful five-woman Bluegrass group Della Mae.

    River Whyless is a four-piece band from the Asheville, N.C., area. The music on the group’s 2012 debut album “A Stone, A Leaf, and Unfound Door” has been described as folk rock, nature pop and Baroque folk.

    Attendees are asked to bring chairs and no coolers will be allowed. For more info contact Conway Downtown Alive at 843-248-6260 or visit  

    Art museum to host golf exhibit

    Myrtle Beach has long been considered as one of the golf capitals of the world and now the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum is adding to the area’s golf hysteria with a new exhibit dedicated to the people, places and accoutrements of the sport of golf.   

    “Fore! Images of Golf in Art” will open Sunday, April 28 and run throughout the summer until Sept. 15.

    The exhibition will feature more than 40 works of art celebrating the game of golf by nationally known artists such as Will Barnet, Ray Ellis and Leroy Neiman.

    Works in watercolor, oil and sculpture depict many of the all-time greats of the sport: Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, Tiger Woods, Bobby Jones and the legendary Babe Didrikson. Other images feature some of the most well known courses in the country, including Augusta, Ballybunion, Cypress Point, Merion, Royal St. George and Pebble Beach.

    Rounding out the exhibit are several pieces on loan from The Dunes Golf and Beach Club, the second-oldest course in the area, which opened in 1948.   

    “Fore!” was organized with the assistance of Harmon-Meek Gallery in Naples, Fla., the United States Golf Association, private collectors and regional museums.

    Gallery hours for the exhibit will be from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Admission to the Art Museum is always free, but donations are welcome. 

    For more details visit 

    The Market Common to host Seacoast Artists Guild

    The Market Common announced this week that it will open a brand-new art gallery, Seacoast Artists Gallery, to the shopping center later this month.

    The gallery, which will serve as the home to local arts nonprofit the Seacoast Artists Guild, will be located at 3032 Nevers Street and will display works from more than 60 artists.

    “Our search for an art gallery has been a long one and we are very excited that we have one that will display the work of all our wonderful local artists,” said Brooke Doswell, Vice President of BEI-Beach, LLC, which owns the shopping center.

    The gallery will also offer art classes to area residents and serve as a base of operations for the guild, which is dedicated to promoting and advancing excellence in the visual arts through teaching, exhibits, workshops and special events.

    It will open full time in May with a grand opening celebration scheduled for May 3, but art lovers anxious to check out the new space will get a chance to see it during the annual Seacoast Artists Guild Spring Show & Sale from April 17-27.

    The show’s awards reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on April 17 and public is invited to attend to meet & mingle with featured artists and view the collection.

    For more information on the gallery or the guild visit

    Singing in the Sun to celebrate 15 years

    The sounds of Southern Gospel music will ring loudly through the Myrtle Beach Convention Center this month as more than two dozen of Southern Gospel Music’s most popular recording artists come to town for the 15th Annual Singing In The Sun, April 16-20.

    The event, which took place Memorial Day weekend in 1998, has since become one of the largest Gospel music on the East Coast.

    This five-day festival features nightly concerts — beginning at 6:30 p.m. each day — with many Gospel music’s most popular names including The Hoppers, The Triumphant Quartet, Greater Vision, Gold City, The Primitive Quartet, Jeff & Sheri Easter, The Pfeifers, The Whisnants, Brian Free & Assurance, The Talley Trio, The Isaacs, The Booth Brothers, Ivan Parker, and Grammy Award-winning artist, Jason Crabb.

    In addition to the musical performances, numerous noted speakers and authors will be featured throughout the week, including John Hagee Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Dr. Larry Brown, Dr. Jeff Laborg, Herb Reavis.

    Dr. Charles Stanley, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta and founder of In Touch Ministries, will serve as the event’s keynote speaker with a talk on Tuesday, April 16.

    Tickets are on sale now for $20.50-$28.50 each and 3-day, 4-day and 5-day packages are available. Calling 1-888-238-6858 or visiting for more details and a complete schedule of events.

    ‘Color Purple’ coming to Theatre of the Republic

    After a special series of “March Madness” events last month, the Theatre of the Republic’s stage will comes alive in April with the joyous music and heartwrenching, yet uplifting story of “The Color Purple.”

    Adapted from author Alice Walker’s 1983 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed 1985 movie, the musical “The Color Purple” was created through the vision of producer Oprah Winfrey.

    This is an inspiring family saga that tells the unforgettable story of Celie, a black woman from Georgia who finds the strength to triumph over a lifetime of abuse she has suffered at the hands of her father, and later her sadistic husband, Mister.

    Through the love of troubled juke-joint singer, Shug Avery, the powerful strength of Sofia, and the memory of her long-absent sister, Nettie, Celie discovers her unique voice in the world. Set to a joyous score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel, and blues, “The Color Purple” is a story of hope, a testament to the healing power of love and a celebration of life.

    Nominated for the 2006 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score, singer/actress LaChanze won the Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical.

    “This is a powerfully beautiful musical,” says Tim McGhee, artistic director of Theatre of the Republic. “We are so excited to be presenting ‘The Color Purple’ as part of our season. It is a wonderful story that shows the transformative power of love, even in the worst of times in someone’s life.”

    The show’s run begins Friday, April 19 and will continue through May 5. Performances will take place Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. each night with 3 p.m. matinees on Sundays.

    Reserved seating tickets are $18, and can be purchased at or at the TOR box office, 335 Main St., Conway, from Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    House of Blues updates Gospel Brunch

    Grammy-Award winning Gospel music singer Kirk Franklin has joined forces with House of Blues to create a updated version of the chain’s popular Gospel Brunch, which will debut in Myrtle Beach on Mother’s Day.

    As part of its year-long 20th anniversary celebration the restaurant will unveil the its new Kirk Franklin’s Gospel Brunch from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, May 12 with live music from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

    The all-you-can-eat brunch is a non-denominational celebration of gospel music with a buffet menu featuring southern specialties and morning feast favorites such as cornbread muffins and maple butter, Creole chicken jambalaya, chicken and waffles, a made-to-order omelet station, carving stations, and a create-your-own Bloody Mary bar.

    “House of Blues’ Gospel Brunch is an American institution, so I am honored to be working hand-in-hand with them to revitalize the experience for music fans of all ages,” said Franklin.  “This has really been a labor of love for me and I’m excited for everyone to see what we’ve created when we kick things off on Mother’s Day.”

    The all-you-can-eat buffet and show price is $29 for adults with children aged 7-12 priced at $14.50. Children 6 years old and under are free.

    Reservations are available in advance through or by calling 843-913-3746 and walk-ins are also welcome.

    Farmers Market coming to CCU

    Coastal Carolina University will host its Spring Farmers Market on Wednesday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Prince Lawn. The public is invited to browse and purchase local produce and products.

    In cooperation with the Waccamaw Market Cooperative, the Farmers Market will include a variety of local, seasonal items available for purchase and there will be activities including free eco-friendly giveaways and there will be reps on site to provide sustainability info, recipe ideas and more.

    Payments in debit/credit, cash and check are accepted. Anyone who brings a canned food item to donate to the CCU Food Bank will get a free prize.

    Prince Lawn is located in the middle of campus in front of the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts and the Eldred Prince building.

    For more information call 843-349-5041 or email


    Myrtle Beach Zombie Walk entertainment lineup set

    The zombie apocalypse is coming to Myrtle Beach for a sixth consecutive year this April and organizers recently announced the full lineup of undead musical acts set to hit the Grand Strand.

    This year’s Myrtle Beach Zombie Walk/Carolina Zombie Walk has moved to Barefoot Landing and will take place Sunday, April 28 at 6 p.m. surrounded by a day full of music with more than 40 acts spread across four stages at House of Blues and Dick’s Last Resort.

    Taking over the House Of Blues courtyard will be Brian Roessler's acoustic stage featuring a variety of the area's best singer-songwriters from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Artists performing will include Quinn Cicala, Mark Bennett, Bill Wright, King's Highway, Candice Marotta, Jamie Lindblade, Jessie Uzzel, Hound Dog Hanson, Fair and Roessler himself.

    Out back in The Deck area of House of Blues music will run from 11:30 a.m. to midnight with a selection of mostly rock and metal groups — and a little Hip-Hop thrown in for good measure.

    The lineup will feature 11 groups in all including Falkreath (Rock), Lost In The Middle (Alernative Rock), They Sold The Sun (Rock/Metal), Thirst For Clarity (Metal), Death Of Paris (Alt. Rock), South Chillz (Hip Hop), PaperWork (Alt Rock), The Body Bags (Horror/Punk), Conception Of Being (Power Metal), Rabble N Rebellion (Metal) and headliners Darling Waste (Alternative).

    At nearby Dick's Last Resort there will be a pair of stages set up for the event, with the inside stage hosting music from noon to 10:30 p.m. and the outdoor stage's entertainment running from 11:45 a.m. to 11 p.m.

    Performances wil include sets from Casual Friday, The Pen Is Envy, Blu Avenue, Marytre, Only On Weekends, Josh Haskins, Stay Tuned, Chasing Charleston, The Dissents, The Insides Out, We The Broken, Predice Hendricks, Alias For Now, Old News, What Lies Within, Foes Of The Fallen, Soupervillain, Bamboo Forest and Treephort.

    In an effort to keep the tunes moving throughout the day sets will be roughly 30 mins. each with an additional half an hour between bands for set up and breakdown. Set times are staggered so that attendees should be able to hear live music somewhere around Barefoot at all times during the day.

    See the full gallery of photos from last year's Zombie Walk.

    In addition to the music, Sunday’s event will also feature kids activities, vendors, costume contests, magicians, actors' appearances and a video game truck provided by Game Truck Myrtle Beach from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    There is a $5 donation to participate in the walk which includes professional zombie makeup done by the Zombie Walk Response Team and all proceeds benefit Project Lighthouse and the Wounded Warrior Project.

    Thanks to the popularity of the walk over the past few years, the event has now become a weekend-long celebration of everything undead with a pair of pre-party events set to be hosted April 26-27.

    The fun will kick off with the MBZW Pre-Party on Friday featuring a screening of the classic film "Night of the Living Dead" at 6:45 p.m. and performances by Casual Friday (Alt.), The Kregs (Punk), Harrastronauts (Acid House), The Ghost Of You, Lions For Lambs (Metal), The Death In Me (Metal) to follow.

    On Saturday, the horror/circus-themed party known as Carnival Of The Dead II will take place with music beginning at 3:30 p.m. and running until 1 a.m. across two stages. 

    The inside stage will feature the likes of Jamie Lindblade (Acoustic), Chasing Charleston (Alt. Rock), Casual Friday (Alt Rock), Some Machine (Rock), False Flag (Punk/Hard Rock), Send The Signal (Hard Rock), The Graveyard Blvd (Horror/Punk), Rictus Grim (Spookcore/ Horror rock), Darling Waste (Alternative), Ten Ft. Grave (Metal) and Peredy (industrial Metal).

    The outside stage will be an all-Metal affair with hosted by Splatter Magazine and Mofo Metal Booking and music beginning at 5 p.m. The lineup includes Falkreath, Severed Faith, NothingAD, As Oceans, Coffin Syrup, Tripping The Mechanism and Killing The Catalyst.

    Both parties will take place at The Sound Hole, 1004 Chester St., which served as the headquarters of last year's zombie walk and has become the site of many of the walk's lead-up events throughout the year.

    For more information on the entire weekend full of zombie fun visit or check out Myrtle Beach Zombie Walk on Facebook.


    8th Annual Myrtle Beach International Film Festival set for April 24-27


    With its own walk of fame, Celebrity Square and a nearby Planet Hollywood, it’s clear that Broadway at the Beach has always strived to bring a bit of Hollywood home to the Redneck Riviera. 

    But for one weekend a year the area’s biggest entertainment complex goes into a full-on film frenzy as it hosts the 8th Annual Myrtle Beach International Film Festival.

    Local film buffs in search of something to do between the Oscars and the start of summer blockbuster season can find satisfaction in this four-day event set to take place this year from April 24-27 at Broadway’s Carmike Cinemas 16.

    The festival, which expanded from five days to nine days last year, will go back a shorter four-day format for 2013.

    “We had two really great weekends last year, but it was a little slow during the week, so we decided to bring it back a little to focus on those days and then expand it out again in the future,” said Jerry Dalton, founder of the event. 

    Dalton says the abbreviated schedule has made for some tough decisions for organizers, who’ve had to whittle down the schedule from 90-120 films to around 50 that will be shown at this year’s event. 

    “It’s been hard because there’s some great work I wish we could play and didn’t have the screen time to do it, but the upside of that is that what’s being show really is the cream of the crop,” he said. 

    The event includes a wide spectrum of genres, including animation, science fiction, comedy, drama, documentary and even commercials and music videos.

    “We try and cover all aspects of film. There’s great features, documentaries and shorts and every film in these genres is so well executed that it’s really nice to see what people have put together. It’s really top notch,” said Dalton.

    Things that stand out to Dalton amongst this year’s lineup of films are a very strong slate of shorts including “Tinker” and “Paper” as well as documentaries such as “Death By China 2.0” about the way in which the U.S. and Chinese economies are at odds. 

    In addition to the films, Dalton is hoping to add to the festival vibe of the event with a number of accents including art, music and food.

    “We’re trying to develop it into more of an all-encompassing event,” he said. 

    This push toward doing more was partly influenced by Dalton’s first trip to Sundance where he got a chance to meet fellow film buffs and even had a chance to sit down with film festival founder Robert Redford for 5 minutes.

    “It was a great experience. Not saying we’d ever get to that level, but it was amazing to see what he’d done and try and mimic that a little,” said Dalton. “ [Redford] said that he had heard of our festival and he was excited that we’re a truly independent festival, because that’s how he started.”

    This year’s Myrtle Beach film festival will kick off with three viewing sessions Wednesday and Thursday with films running between 3-10 p.m. each night.

    Films shown during the first two nights include “Go With Le Flo,” a foreign romantic comedy, “Little Monsters,” a drama about a pair of 10-year-old killers who are released back into society as adults and “Shell Shocked,” 
    a documentary about growing up in the murder capital of the world.

    On Friday, the event will run from noon to 10 p.m. with four sessions of films. That day’s offerings includes comedies such as “Route 30 Too,” “Fat Bottomed Girls” and others.

    A beer tasting with drinks from New South Brewery and food provided by Little Pigs Bar-B-Que will run from 7 to 8 p.m. 

    There will also be a wine tasting from 7 to 8 p.m. Saturday featuring Le Belle Amie Vineyards wines, sushi from Jimmyz Japanese Hibachi and music by local Jazz group The Denny Hess Trio. 

    The addition of these sessions is a new aspect to the event, which Dalton says is always evolving. 

    “We always like to continue to tweak and expand what we’re doing,” he said. “This makes it much more of an entertainment type atmosphere.”

    Rounding out the night will be “Silent But Deadly,” a film about a murderer running wild in a retirement home which features an ensemble cast of iconic TV stars like Dawn Wells and Rip Torn.

    On Saturday, the event will conclude with four sessions of films  from noon to 10 p.m.

    Selections on this day will include films such as “Jihad in America: The Grand Deception,” a documentary exploring the myths behind The Muslim Brotherhood, an animated short called “Butcher’d Meats” and “Paper,” a modern day immigrant story which follows the journey of Mashka, a young Russian woman trying to make it in the U.S.

    Wrapping up the festival will be an awards ceremony at 9:30 p.m. and an after party at Sun City Cafe in downtown Myrtle Beach.

    “The experience is great. For $50, which is really unheard of in the film festival world, you get to come and enjoy all the events and have some beer and barbecue and some wine and sushi,” said Dalton.

    “In addition to seeing all these great films, you also get a chance to meet the people who made the film. So if you’re a film enthusiast, it’s really great to be able to do all that and watch it with them on the big screen.”

    Tickets to each individual session can be purchased at the theater and all access passes for every film and both tasting events are available for $50 at

    Behind the scenes

    Check out this look at last year's event from our sister site



    Boathouse ramps up Summer Concert Series for 2013

    Elise Testone performs at The Boathouse on April 7. (Photos by Victor Beloded, One Life Photography) *Click to see full gallery of photos from the show*

    Though we're just a few weeks into spring, one of the area's largest venues is already getting a jump start on summer. 

    The Boathouse Waterway Bar & Grill kicked off its Backyard Summer Concert Series over the weekend, hosting the first “Sunday Funday” show of the year with a performance by Elise Testone. 

    But the hundreds of fans which packed "the best backyard in town" to see the former "American Idol" perform are just the begginning of what the venue has planned for the upcoming season.

    The waterfront venue/bar recently unveiled the full slate of entertainment planned for its annual series, with artists set to perform every Sunday from now through Labor Day weekend.  

    With 20 dates in all, the series will include acts in a variety of genres including Country, Reggae, Rock and Hip-Hop.

    Highlights of this year’s lineup include a number of nationally-known acts such as Rehab, Ying Yang Twins, Saliva, Shooter Jennings, Bubba Sparxxx, Ballyhoo!, Tribal Seeds and The Movement.

    The series will also feature a heavy dose of up-and-coming talent including country singers Thomas Rhett , Dustin Lynch, Greg Bates and Matt Stillwell and regional favorites such as Sunny Ledfurd, Parmalee and Weaving The Fate.

    In August, the series will ramp up the musical nostalgia with a trio of shows including the annual Jerryfest — a day-long event paying tribute to the late great Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia — as well as Skid Row of 80s hair rock fame and 90s rap sensation Coolio.

    In addition to the Sunday series, the Boathouse will also continue its Friday Night Lights series hosted by local radio station Gator 107.9 throughout the spring and summer. These shows, which include a variety of up-and-coming local, regional and touring Country artists, are free to attend and take place each Friday beginning at 9 p.m. (See schedule here.)

    The bar also hosts periodic Wednesday night "college night" shows, with upcoming dates including acoustic Reggae/Indie pop duo Aer on Wednesday, April 10, and The Movement with Sun-Dried Vibes and Horizon on Thursday, April 18.

    Here's a look at the full lineup for this year's summer concert series:

    April 14: Thomas Rhett

    April 21: Rehab w/ The Mobros, Treehouse! & Finnegan Bell (Earth Day Music Fest) 

    April 28: Ying Yang Twins w/ Almost Kings

    May 5: Cinco De Mayo bash with LoCash Cowboys

    May 12: Sunny Ledfurd

    May 19: Dustin Lynch

    May 26: Parmalee

    June 2: Greg Bates

    June 9: Saliva w/ The IZM

    June 16: The Lacs

    June 23: Shooter Jennings

    June 30: Bubba Sparxxx

    July 7: Ballyhoo!

    July 14: Crowded Streets - Dave Matthews Tribute Band

    July 21: Matt Stillwell

    July 28: Weaving The Fate

    Aug. 4: Tribal Seeds

    Aug. 11: 9th Annual Jerryfest w/ The Mullets & Many More!

    Aug. 18: Skid Row

    Aug. 25: Coolio

    Sept. 2: The Movement

    All shows are free to attend and begin at 4 p.m. with most including a local or regional opening act. For an updated schedule of shows or more details call 903-2628 or visit


    Myrtle Beach Pelicans plan schedule full of fun for 15th anniversary season

    Season full of promotions begins on Thursday


    When the Myrtle Beach Pelicans open its 15th anniversary season Thursday, fans will have an opportunity to enjoy America’s favorite pastime and some of baseball’s best minor league promotions.

    The Pelicans are a Class A Advanced team in the Carolina League’s Southern Division, and currently serve as a farm team of the Texas Rangers. The Pelicans play their home games at Field at Pelicans Ballpark, which opened in 1999 and seats up to 6,600 fans.

    In January, “Stadium Journey” ranked Field as the 19th best stadium experience in the country, ahead of Notre Dame Stadium, 19th; Busch Stadium, 21st; and Wrigley Field, 23rd.

    The team recently announced its opening day roster, a group that features four first-round draft picks along with nine players that donned a Pelicans uniform in 2012.

    Relations Manager Travis Lucian said attending a Myrtle Beach game is an opportunity to “watch tomorrow’s stars today.”

    “Several of today’s Major League Baseball stars have come through Myrtle Beach at some point,” Lucian said. “Rafael Furcal was on our inaugural team back in 1999. More recent success stories include Elvis Andrus, Jason Heyward and Brian McCann. Future Hall of Famer Tom Glavine made a rehab appearance here in 2008.”

    Lucian said the Rangers have one of the deepest farm systems in the Majors and Myrtle Beach gets several of their top prospects every year.

    Among those on this year's team are Outfielder Jake Skole, catcher Kellin Deglan and right-hander Luke Jackson, who were all selected in the opening round of the 2010 draft, and outfielder Zach Cone, taken in the first round of the 2011 first-year player draft. 

    The roster also features six players listed in Baseball America’s list of Top 30 Rangers prospects including position players Rougned Odor (No. 11), Drew Robinson (No. 21), Luis Sardinas (No. 7) and Cone (No. 24), as well as pitching prospects Jackson (No. 6) and Nick Martinez (No. 27).

    In addition to on-field action, says Pelicans director of promotions and marketing Jen Borowski, fans will also be treated to an exciting promotional schedule in 2013.

    “It’s definitely going to be a fun-filled season,” Borowski said. “We have a little bit of something for everyone.”

    The promotional schedule will be headlined by 18 fireworks shows, special giveaways and appearances and the return of several popular daily specials. 

    See the full gallery from last year's Thirsty Thursday.

    “We want to make our 15th season extra special on the Grand Strand,” General Manager Andy Milovich said. “We are also placing a strong emphasis on giving back with several community-based promotions this season. There will be no shortage of fun and exciting things to do at the ballpark this season.”

    Highlighting the schedule in the opening month will be Military Appreciation Night on Sunday, April 7, where the Pelicans will don military-themed uniforms with a patriotic color scheme.

    During the game the Pelicans will be raising money for the “Wounded Warriors Project” and will be honoring the Air Force Base Reunion group. The uniforms will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to the Wounded Warriors Project.

    Later in the month the Pelicans will hold Special Olympics Night on April 27 at TicketReturn.Com Field where the organization will honor Horry County Special Olympics athletes.

    The Pelicans will be sporting Olympic-themed jerseys during the game; all proceeds from the auctioned jerseys will go to the Special Olympics of South Carolina. 

    New in 2013 will be “Make a Splash Monday” where the Pelicans will encourage fans to make a difference in the Myrtle Beach community.

    Every Monday, the Pelicans will team with a local charity to make an impact. Additionally, fans will have an opportunity to bring non-perishables which will be donated to Backpack Buddies.

    Other familiar weekly theme nights include Team Tuesday, featuring a poster giveaway, Weiner Wednesday with all-you-can-eat $1 hot dogs and the ever-popular Thirsty Thursday, where fans can enjoy $1 domestic drafts from 6-8 p.m.

    Giveaway nights include “Beach Mat Giveaway” presented by Hampton Inn Broadway at the Beach, “Umbrella Giveaway” presented by Fairfield Inn, “ipad Cover Giveaway” presented by Sheriar Press and “Duffle Bag Giveaway” presented by Angelo’s Steak and Pasta.

    New and unique theme nights include: Jurassic Park Night, Great Gatsby Night, Singles Night, Zombie Night, Salute to Boy Bands Night, Smurfs Night, Red Neck Night and Princess Night.

    Jurassic Park night will feature an appearance by a famous purple Dinosaur while Princess Night will include appearances by some of the most famous movie princesses of all time (Cinderella, Jasmine, etc.). Also included is “Hangover” night, as tribute to the popular movie comedy series which will debut its third installment this summer.

    Splash the Pelican will hold a birthday celebration on Saturday, April 6 by hosting other local and regional mascots and giving away bikes to several lucky kids in attendance that night.

    Thursday's opening day game will start at 7:05 p.m. with a visit from the Wilmington (Del.) Blue Rocks.

    Single game tickets are currently on sale for the 2013 season at TicketReturn.Com Field. Individual seats begin as low as $6. Seats are still available in the Field Box, Reserved Box and Grand Strand Reserved Box sections. Tickets, flex books and mini-plans are currently on sale at the TicketReturn.Com Field offices, at or by calling (843) 918-6000. 



    Alabama at 40: Group returns to its roots with Back to the Bowery Tour


    From left, Jeff Cook, Teddy Gentry and Randy Owen of Alabama (courtesy photo)It’s been 40 years since country super group Alabama took up residence on the stage at The Bowery in Myrtle Beach.

    The first shows of the tour will be held Friday and Saturday at the Alabama Theatre in North Myrtle Beach. These shows sold out almost as soon as they were announced.

    But as a tribute to their musical roots and to the fans who have followed and loved their music for four decades, Alabama will also perform a concert at The Bowery, 110 9th Ave. N., on April 4.

    The event had originally been planned as a free fan appreciation show until interest grew well beyond the capacity of the small honky-tonk club. Instead the “invite only” event will be held with the Bowery’s windows and doors open so that fans can still enjoy the band’s hits from the nearby boardwalk and the adjoining lot which formerly housed the Myrtle Beach Pavilion.

    Alabama started at The Bowery in 1973 as “Wildcountry.”  The original band consists of cousins Jeff Cook, Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry.  They have used a couple of different drummers hired as employees over the years.

    During their stint in Myrtle Beach, the band changed its name to “Alabama” and honed its music and sound each night to a different crowd.  But playing for tips in a country, rocking bar, the band knew they had to come up with everything from Merle Haggard to ZZ Top if they wanted to make enough money to survive.

    Lead guitarist and fiddle player Jeff Cook said starting the anniversary tour in Myrtle Beach was the natural choice.

    “It’s where we started,” Cook said.  “We have a lot of memories of playing in Myrtle Beach … too many for one interview.”

    A classic photo of Alabama/Wildcountry from the wall of The Bowery. (courtesy photo)Cook said it was hard to come up with just one story of playing at The Bowery but one of his favorites involved a woman who wanted to hear the song “Room Full of Roses.”

    He said he knew part of the song and the rest of the band didn’t and he really didn’t want to play it without practicing first.

    “But then she reached into the front of her blouse and pulled out a $100 bill,” Cook laughed.  “I turned around and said ‘Okay boys, give me an F’ and we played that song. One hundred dollars went a long way when you were playing for tips.”

    As to the special Bowery show, Cook says he knows fans will want to hear Alabama songs but he hopes it will turn out to be like a Bowery show from their early days.

    “I hear Alabama songs all the time,” Cook said.  “I hope it turns out to be that we play other songs that the audience yells out, just like old times.”

    Owen and a drummer friend migrated to Myrtle Beach in the early 70s and got the Bowery gig and convinced Cook and Gentry to join them.

    From 1973 to July of 1980, Alabama was the house band at the Bowery, making thousands of new fans each season.

    In 1980, the group hit it big, signing a contract with RCA records.  In May of that year, Alabama charted its first number one hit with “Tennessee River.”

    A couple of months later, the country music world beckoned and the group left the Bowery for its first national tour.  And the rest, so they say, is history.

    Alabama went on to garner more than 40 number one hits and sell more than 70 million records.

    They are among the top 10 biggest selling bands of all time, surpassing Led Zeppelin, the Doors and the Who.

    Cook said he and his band mates are excited to be able to celebrate 40 years together during the upcoming tour.

    “And we really can’t wait to see a bunch of our old friends in Myrtle Beach,” he said.  “This is going to be a lot of fun.”

    For more details on the band's upcoming dates visit or for details on Thursday's show call The Bowery at (843) 626-3445 or visit



    A conversation with Dan Lotti of Dangermuffin

    Editor's Note: "A Conversation With..." is a series of Q&As which periodically profile people and groups who are making efforts to keep the area's entertainment scene interesting. If you know someone who deserves recognition for their work in local music, art, nightlife or restaurants, drop us a line here to nominate them.

    By Chris Mowder •

    Dangermuffin has seen a lot over the past year.

    After the release of their album “Olly Oxen Free” last spring, the Folly Beach-based trio of Dan Lotti, Mike Sivilli and Steven Sandifer spent the remainder of 2012 racking up miles in a van while touring extensively across the U.S. and back.

    Though things haven’t slowed down much for this laid-back group of guys in 2013, they’ll find themselves back in their home state Friday bringing their “Sand-blasted Roots Rock” to the Grand Strand.

    The performance — their second local stop this year, following a great show in February — will take place at Pirate’s Cove Lounge in North Myrtle Beach beginning at 9 p.m., with Wilmington’s Dubtown Cosmonauts opening. Cover is $5 at the door.

    ListenUp spoke with Lotti, the group’s singer/guitarist, recently about Dangermuffin’s growing success, grueling tour schedule and love for music.

    Here’s what he had to say:

    You guys are one a string of successful acts to pop up from Charleston in recent years. What’s it been like to be part of that and to help carry the flag for your city?

    Lately, especially the Charleston music scene has just been budding with talent. Shovels and Rope and Carrie Ann Hearst, she’s always been a local darling here and they’re just killing it now. Last I heard they’re selling out London now. They’re doing amazing.

    This local scene down here has really just blown up and we’re really happy to be part of that. We recently did a residency on Monday nights here in town and we thought it’d be a great chance to bring local musicians together and we had folks like Whitt [Algar] from Crowfield playing with us and plenty of others and it was great.

     I think that if you can do things like that, then you’re a significant player in the music scene and I think we’d embrace any sort of title that comes with that because it’s really important to us to be a conduit of the musical community and represent our area the best we can.

    I think that’s really what it’s about. Yeah, we have been able to keep the band together and keep going and that becomes a big part, because after awhile you just kind of become that last band standing in certain situations and we’re happy to just be doing it.

    I interviewed your bandmate Mike Sivilli back in 2010 (Interview here). What would you say has been the biggest change for Dangermuffin since that time?

    Well, since 2010 we’ve been touring nationally and we’ve established what I’d say is a national niche presence which is just amazing for us.

    We started in Charleston as just a bar band playing 5-6 nights a week here in town and it supported us so that we could start writing our own music.

    In 2010, we were a somewhat regional band but mostly a local band. After the summer of that year we took that step toward having a national presence, which has been great ... we’ve seen a lot of growth.

    As the band’s fanbase continues to grow and you reach new levels of success in your career do you feel yourself thinking differently about the business of music? Or is it still just about going out and playing and having fun?

    I think what we’ve always kept as our goal is just to be able to continue to do what we’re doing. That’s always been our goal: existence.

    We want to keep playing music and keep everything balanced and try not to go into too much debt and keep writing and creating new music. And that’s really it, since the beginning.

    We try to stay humble and stay close to that purpose and it seems to be steering us in the right direction.

    You’ve toured quite a bit over the past few years. What’s life on the road like for Dangermuffin?

    It’s been awesome. We’ve found great people and everywhere we’ve gone there’s been these great communities.

    It’s been an adventure to just get out and meet everybody have all these experiences with a lot of these festivals and meeting a whole lot of different bands.

    It’s been a great couple years and a one-of-a-kind adventure for us.

    You guys have played a lot of great festivals over the past few years. What kind of plans do you have for this summer festival season?

    Most of what we’re doing this summer is Coastal. There’s a West Virginia festival called Camp Barefoot that we’re excited about ... a lot of stuff in that area, West Virginia and Virginia.

    This year we’re doing some smaller festivals where we can have a little more prominent billing. We love doing all these events, but sometimes with the larger festivals where you’re a mid-level band, your time slots are really early like, say noon on Friday.

    It’s nice with the smaller events to have more prominent billing, and we find that with those events there are really great communities surrounding them and we’re really looking forward to doing some great stuff this summer.

    You’re coming up on a year since “Olly Oxen Free” was released, looking back are you happy with how that whole album came together and the response to it thus far?

    Yeah, we really are pleased. We’re tight with the Homegrown Music Network which is like a grassroots organization of jamband radio stations and media outlets, and “Olly Oxen Free” was No. 1 on their radio charts, which are national radio charts.

    We were on there for like 14 weeks straight at No. 1, so just to have that alone happen and have that much radio play and have all these different stations embracing the music has definitely exceeded our expectations.

    We’re totally happy and we’re proud to have such a great local music scene — we recorded the album here locally — and it’s just great to be coming from South Carolina and the Charleston coast.

    What are you working on right now? Are you already deep into making the next set of tunes or still just focusing on touring?

    We’re in the writing phase of the next album. It’s one of those things where we don’t ever want to feel rushed with what we’re doing.

    Our pace is very patient and it’s not something where we feel like we need a new album every year or anything like that. We released “Moonscapes” in 2010, “Olly Oxen Free” in 2012 and as the writing comes together for the new record it will probably be early next year before we get around to recording and releasing something new.

    And that’s totally fine with us. We still feel like “Olly Oxen Free” has some life and some legs to it and we’re happy to just take it all as it comes.

    I heard there may be an “all-acoustic” album in the works, is that true?

    We kinda been playing around Charleston as Acousticmuffin, where Stephen plays the upright bass and we both play acoustic guitars, me and Mike. And that’s always fun.

    But, you know, I’ve always felt like the acoustic element has been there with all of our Dangermuffin records in the past and we said “Hey, maybe we can do an all acoustic record...” but we have so many ideas for the band that we feel like we still want to do another Dangermuffin record.

    We’d been considering doing just an acoustic album, but we don’t like to limit ourselves so our next record will probably have that acoustic element and all types of other songs as well.

    When I listen to your music it always seems like you just kinda got up there and started playing and it all came together. How much work does it take to make songs that sound so effortless?

    It’s definitely a very natural process.

    We try not to make it with any pretension at all, very laid-back, very chill and just very non-demanding of people. You can either take it or leave it and it’s really up to them.

    That’s kinda the vibe we’re going for.

    What have been your impressions of playing in Myrtle Beach?

    Obviously it’s very close to Charleston and we love the Folly Beach to Myrtle Beach connection. It’s the same vibe, same thing, same energies from the same ocean that you guys have up there and that’s kind of what we base a lot of our vibes on and I think that resonates with people from Myrtle.

    We’re always looking for great communities of people and we definitely get that when when come to Myrtle Beach.

    Some of our other drives are like 20+ hours, so it’s really nice when we can keep it within two and still get back home.

    How about Pirate’s Cove, how was your experience with that venue?

    Oh yeah. It’s a great room. We always like to work with good people. You can play any number of venues, but if you can meet the people who are running the venue that really means something.

    Usually the best vibe and best communities are involved with those sort of environments. Pirate’s Cove is exceptional in that way in that the owner is there and takes very good care of us and that’s why we’ve really made it our home in Myrtle Beach.

    We’ve played there maybe 3-4 times now and each time we play we’ve kind of built the audience up a little bit and it’s been a lot of fun to take up almost like a residency there.

    What’s a Dangermuffin live show like? What can fans expect to see or how do you explain it for folks who haven’t seen you all before?

    We’re going to play a lot of our original music. We put a lot of credence into our original songs and we’ll give folks a heavy dose of that. It’s a very laid-back vibe and at the same time it’s very joyful.

    The instrumentation of the band is unique in that there’s no bass player — it’s just acoustic guitar, drums and electric guitar — so it’s a very musical approach that we try to take.

    It can be almost Jazz-like at times with restraint and musical tonality. Some improvisational jamming will take place.

    And it’s also a beachy, sort of party-like vibe. That’s kind of what we’re all about.

    Dangermuffin will perform Friday at Pirate’s Cove Lounge, 205 Main St., North Myrtle Beach. The show will begin at 9 p.m. with opening act Dubtown Cosmonauts (Wilmington, N.C.) and cover is $5 at the door. Visit, call 249-8942 or click here for more details.