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It practically gallops!

Racy Macie

April Macie stopped by WNOX for an interview last week prior to her appearance at Side Splitters Comedy Club. One of her stories is about an ex-boyfriend who rented out their home for use as a film location. He didn’t tell her that the films were of the adult variety. She discovered it when she came home early and saw what was happening.

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The Morah and the Maestro

The organizers of “Some Enchanted Evening” asked me to take on a few additional duties. I had previously agreed to be on the honorary committee for the March 23rd event, which was a benefit for the Knoxville Jewish Day School. They needed an emcee who was willing to facilitate the silent auction and do the live auction of a few featured items. They also needed someone who could handle the “fund the drive” portion of the evening.

The gala evening honored Maestro Lucas Richman and his wife Debbie. I could probably reverse the order of their names. Morah Debbie teaches music at the school and is beloved by all. I learned that “morah” means female teacher.

The silent auction items had a musical theme. I described them as “visual art representations of the performing arts.” One silent auction item actually was for a performance. A very interesting man named Richard Fabozzi donated a performance of his one-man tribute to the Rat Pack.

Lev Gross-Comstock Photography gave me permission to share a sampling of the hundreds of pictures they took that night.

  

  

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Andy’s Back

Attending the viewing party for Tennessee Life at Downtown Grill & Brewery today gave me a chance to catch up with “Marshal” Andy Smalls. He has been slowed, but not stopped, by surgeries to remove tumors on his spine. Marshal Andy and I used to chat regularly before he recorded his weekly radio show. He has since moved the show to another station.

East Tennessee PBS president Vickie Lawson is the host of Tennessee Life. She interviewed Marshal Andy for the premiere episode. Correspondent and producer Stephanie Aldrich interviewed artist Richard Jolley. The next episode airs May 11.

  

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Rocky Topera

Knoxville Opera’s 13th annual Rossini Festival was great hit. The perfect weather guaranteed a huge attendance during the ten-hour street fair. Classic Hits 93.1 WNOX was the radio sponsor for the event.

The festival featured five stages with entertainment. There was a choral stage, an opera stage, an instrumental stage, a roots music stage and a dance stage. I introduced a few of the bands on the instrumental stage as well as GO! Contemporary Dance Works on the dance stage.

The stars of Norma sang the amazing trio piece that ends Act II. During their performance, Mayor Madeline Rogero took photos and video from her perspective on the stage. She is obviously a fan of the arts.

  

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Norma Conquest

The stars of Norma promised me that the show-stopping song at the end of Act II was amazing and they were right. That’s when the characters of Norma and Adalgisa discover they both love the same man, Pollione.

I had the privilege of interviewing Rochelle Bard and Ta’u Pupu’a about Knoxville Opera’s production. The first performance was Friday night and the final performance will be Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in the Tennessee Theatre.

This was my first time actually seeing an opera. My parents would go to the opera in New York and my father would listen to records of his favorite operas at home. I also remember him listening to opera broadcasts on Saturday afternoons while we were in the car.

I spotted Mayor Madeline Rogero in the audience near me. There was enough time during one of the intermissions for her to respond to my tweet about seeing her.

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Ballet Royal

Photographer Yvonne Dalschen of the Camera Club of Oak Ridge graciously shared some photos she took during the Oak Ridge Civic Ballet Association’s production of Sleeping Beauty on Saturday. This was my sixth time appearing on stage with ORCBA and they’ve already asked me back for The Nutcracker in November.

I played Aurora’s father, King Florestan. Cyndy Wills played the queen. Jenny Collins played Aurora during the matinee. Sarah Jett played Aurora in the evening show. In these photos, Sarah is playing Aurora.

Oak Ridge Civic Ballet Association - photo by Yvonne Dalschen Oak Ridge Civic Ballet Association - photo by Yvonne Dalschen Oak Ridge Civic Ballet Association - photo by Yvonne Dalschen Oak Ridge Civic Ballet Association - photo by Yvonne Dalschen

Before the show, I read a brief synopsis of the story. Glenn Arnold printed the text on paper that resembled a scroll. Since I was in costume, I read the story in character. In the photos, you can also see the jester, played by Brach Burdick on stilts, and the evil witch, played by Madeline Gavin.

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Norma Invasion

Before recording our thirty-minute radio interview last week, Rochelle Bard and Ta’u Pupu’a joined me on the Classic Hits 93.1 Celebrity Couch for an eight-and-a-half-minute video interview. Rochelle and Ta’u star in Knoxville Opera’s production of Norma on April 11 and 13 at the Tennessee Theatre.

During the conversation I jokingly accused Rochelle of updating the Wikipedia entry for Norma. Later in the interview, we mentioned the cell phone salesman who sang “Nessun Dorma” on Britain’s Got Talent. I recalled seeing a trailer for a movie about him. I said that I would look it up after the interview. I did. The film is called One Chance.

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