OHTS presents The Phantom of the Opera

Still time to catch the Phantom of the Opera performed by the Opelika High Theatre Society. Here are days and showtimes:

April 24 at 7:00 p.m.
April 25 at 7:00 p.m.
April 26 at 3:00 p.m. and
May 1 at 7:00 p.m.
May 2 at 7:00 p.m.
May 3 at 3:00 p.m.

Performances are at the Opelika Center for the Performing Arts, 1700 LaFayette Parkway, Opelika.  Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students at the door. Tickets are available in advance M-F from 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. at Victory Designs, 1525 Second Avenue, Opelika or through Variations Dance Studio. For more information or group tickets email OHTS@OPELIKASCHOOLS.ORG 

Welcome to the Neighborhood - Music on North Railroad Avenue Saturday at 6PM 'til...

Come join us welcome John Emerald Distilling Company , Loyal Stricklin , and Red Clay Brewing Company to downtown Opelika.

Local music, local food, local craftsmen!

Performances byMegan Megan Jean and the Klay Family BandLady Legs , Captain Kudzu , Nate & Function, Lonely Wolves, and BB B.B. Palmer & Kudzu , Grace Albritton

Featuring: Richard Cecil Hagans Wake Up - Auburn , Inner Sunshine Yoga & Wellness , Mama Mocha's Coffee Emporium , MusicTown RecordsGreat Bear Wax Co.
and more to come.

Beverages(adult and otherwise) available at John Emerald Distilling Company and Red Clay Brewing Company.

$5 to give some walk around money to the bands for entertaining us. Photo Credit: yupiramos 


A couple of other music events this weekend. Larcus "Silky Tones" Fuller is at Jefferson's Friday at 7 PM, Frog Boy Willy at Eighth & Rail Friday at 8:30 PM, Naked Blue Friday Night at Sundilla and Jason Turner at Eighth & Rail Saturday at 9 PM 

A New "Relay for Life" this Friday in Opelika

This year, the Lee County Relay for Life will take a more Civil approach to raising money. I've been involved for several years when the event would carry on all night long. But this year it's a Noon 'till Midnight event. Makes more sense to me because in years past, lots of folks would slip off after Midnight. I suspect some downtown resturants will aslo gain from this as well. The following is from the OA News...  

Raising money for the fight against cancer and showing support to families affected by the disease are goals of the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. In Lee County, residents are working this week to put the finishing touches on this year's event, to be presented Friday at the Courthouse Square in Opelika.

In previous years the 12-hour event started at 6 p.m., but this year's Relay will begin at noon in hopes that more people will stay for the entire event, Relay co-chairman Brad Hooks said.Throughout the event, participants will walk laps around the area as attention is turned onto those who have survived cancer and those who have not. Read More from the Original Article from the OA News!

Looking Back at Another Las Vegas Adventure for Jerry Katz

I have pretty much figured out that when you tell someone that you are going to Las Vegas, even for work, they think it’s just Party, Party, and Party.  Maybe a younger version of Jerry Katz could do that, but when you divide you rest, work and play between those 24 hours, it’s not just all for fun.

Now, I did have a great dinner and drinks with friends from Australia one evening, joined our annual staff dinner out upon arrival in town, spend some pool time relaxing after the show on Thursday and discovered my new local bar and a bartender named Mo, so there are some good times.  By the way, if the name Mo brings to mind the bartender Moe in The Simpsons, this Mo is a lot better looking and a woman.  That bar, one of three owned by Sin City Brewing Company had some great local brew and a pretty hard to miss logo. I’ll go back.

The NAB 2015 was a good show for those of us at BroadView. Quality appointments and a busy booth most times before that “Dead Hall” on Thursday. It is always great to catch up with staff you don’t get to spend time with working remote as I do.  I had hoped to break away to catch a few of the sessions this year, but the scheduled didn’t allow for that.

I had also hoped to run over to the old Riviera Hotel that lives it final weeks before a wrecking ball takes down the 60 year old icon of Las Vegas.  The Las Vegas convention center will expand into that area over the next several years. Also missed, our annual dinner with some former co-workers at the Peppermill Grill.  Maybe the tradition will return next year. I hope so.  

My Delta flights to and from Las Vegas were uneventful, which is always a plus. I little bumpy going and coming, but fine. I feel asleep on takeoff from McCarran to wake just before landing at Hartsfield.  That’s my kind of flight! 

Aaron Breaks the Babe's Record

With the Atlanta Braves starting the season this year with two wins against Miami, how about a look back at Hammering Hank and his deed on this day in history, from the History Channel Website...

On this day in 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hits his 715th career home run, breaking Babe Ruth’s legendary record of 714 homers. A crowd of 53,775 people, the largest in the history of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, was with Aaron that night to cheer when he hit a 4th inning pitch off the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Al Downing. However, as Aaron was an African American who had received death threats and racist hate mail during his pursuit of one of baseball’s most distinguished records, the achievement was bittersweet.

Henry Louis Aaron Jr., born in Mobile, Alabama, on February 5, 1934, made his Major League debut in 1954 with the Milwaukee Braves, just eight years after Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier and became the first African American to play in the majors. Aaron, known as hard working and quiet, was the last Negro league player to also compete in the Major Leagues. In 1957, with characteristically little fanfare, Aaron, who primarily played right field, was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player as the Milwaukee Braves won the pennant. A few weeks later, his three home runs in the World Series helped his team triumph over the heavily favored New York Yankees. Although “Hammerin’ Hank” specialized in home runs, he was also an extremely dependable batter, and by the end of his career he held baseball’s career record for most runs batted in: 2,297.

Aaron’s playing career spanned three teams and 23 years. He was with the Milwaukee Braves from 1954 to 1965, the Atlanta Braves from 1966 to 1974 and the Milwaukee Brewers from 1975 to 1976. He hung up his cleats in 1976 with 755 career home runs and went on to become one of baseball’s first African-American executives, with the Atlanta Braves, and a leading spokesperson for minority hiring. Hank Aaron was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. Source: History.com

National Beer Day - What Are You Doing After Work?

National Beer Day falls on April 7 and commemorates the day that beer was once again allowed to be legally manufactured and sold following a long, dry Prohibition. On March 22, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Cullen–Harrison Act into law which moved the U.S. away from Prohibition by allowing the manufacture and sale of beer which was approximately 4% alcohol by volume (just a little less than the average today) and some wines. After he signed, Roosevelt reportedly remarked to his aide, Louis Howe, “I think this would be a good time for a beer.”

Prohibition would officially remain in place for a few more months but the ability to drink beer and wine was worth cheering. Here are a few more facts about beer – and its close relationship to tax – to help you celebrate: Read them in Forbes.   (Photo Credit: Hanna Slavinska)  (Source: Forbes)

Parkinson's Group Meeting on 12th

The Auburn/Opelika Parkinson’s Disease Support Group has an upcoming meeting scheduled for Sunday April 12th from 2 to 4 p.m.  The meeting will be held in the Eagle’s Nest Meeting Room in the back left side of Monarch Estates located at 1550 East University Drive in Auburn.  The speaker will be Scott Renner, MSW, ATP. The title of his presentation is “Assistive Technology that Improves Independence and Quality of Life.” Scott Renner earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business from Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe, Louisiana and a Master’s in Social Work from Grambling State University.  Mr. Renner will earn his doctoral in Rehabilitation Counseling from Auburn University in May 2015. Mr. Renner is an Assistant Research Professor at Auburn University Center for Disability Research and Service.  In this role, he is responsible for conducting research on assistive technology (AT) for individuals with the most significant disability. Mr. Renner’s research, writing and publications interests are related to AT.  He has presented at conferences nationally on his research and knowledge regarding AT.  In 1992, Mr. Renner acquired a C3- C4 spinal cord injury from a diving accident which resulted in quadriplegia.  He utilizes AT on a daily basis for employment, independence, and recreation/ leisure and knows the impact AT can have on  individuals with disabilities.  Those with Parkinson’s, their caregivers, family members and/or friends are invited and urged to attend.  For more information please contact Linda Drummond at 334.444.2836.

Easter Weekend Recap - Rabbit a Big Hit at the Lake & Great Music in Opelika

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Well, Easter Weekend has come and gone.  Downtown Opelika was rocking on Thursday, Friday and Saturday Nights. If you were searching for that perfect parking place, you know that already.  Tiffany, aka Wonder Woman, handled a larger than normal Thursday crowd for Larry Mitchell at Eighth and Rail. Without a doubt, that is the largest crowd to see him perform since I’ve been around here.  With that, I thought that the Saturday Night “Voice” contestant performance of Kensington Moore would not big a worthy room, but nope, it (Eighth & Rail) filled up nicely. I didn’t get to Overall Company on Saturday Night, but the parking lot seemed to indicate a good night for them as well. Of course, our buddy Larcus “Silky Tones” Fuller did a nice crowd at Jefferson’s on First Friday as well.  The Easter Buddy, spotted at the Elks Lodge, later appear at Niffer’s at the Lake. Kids were happy with that.  Although I didn’t get over to Red Clay this weekend, I understand they had a new beer on tap as well. The City Café was open this weekend for Breakfast, something new for downtown, and unfortunately, I didn’t make it by there as well, but heard lots of good things.  And for some reason, since April Fool’s Day, I had a lot of folks ask me, “Really” when I told them something. Could be the April 1st Prank I did, but you be the judge of that. You can read it here!  (Photo Credit: Niffer’s at the Lake & the Easter Bunny)

Easter Fun for Kids Saturday Morning in Opelika

This morning, it's Easter Fun for the Kids in Downtown Opelika. Beginning at 10:00 AM there is a variety of activities for kids in the 2nd grade and younger, followed at 10:45 AM by a parade around the square. Then at 11:00 AM, the Super Spectacular Egg Hunt, which is a mad dash for thousands of eggs scattered across the square!   

Waverly Boogie Set for April 18th

What's the Boogie you ask? Really, you must be new to town, so here's an overview from the Standard Deluxe Website. There's a link to the official event page at the end of this post! 

The Luckenbach vibe comes full circle every fall and spring when the Standard Deluxe grounds become the site of a semiannual happening called the Waverly Boogie, which Peek and some town folks threw for the first time back in 2001 to celebrate the State of Alabama’s decision to reroute an expanded U.S. Highway 280 south of the town — instead of right through it. The original plan assumed that Waverly was just so damned small they might as well tear it down and run the highway through. The 2001 decision saved Waverly.

The Boogies assemble great Southern musical acts and put them on a stage that Peek built under a shed out in the yard. When you’re in Waverly and someone tells you it’s time to “go out in the yard and boogie,” they mean it. The Boogies have brought great Southern musicians like soul singer Charles Bradley, the tremendous Alabama Shakes, New Orleans string band Hurray for the Riff Raff, Texas guitar slinger Junior Brown and up-and-coming songwriter Lydia Loveless to the same kind of oddball audience of country folks, rednecks and hippies that you would see at the Luckenbach Dancehall. But unlike Luckenbach, the musical vibe isn’t singularly countrified — or anything-fied, for that matter. It just accurately reflects the musical diversity of the modern South.

Folks bring their kids, listen to music, eat barbecue and pickles from the local pickle maker, Wickles Pickles, and shop for T-shirts and posters. They hang out and just generally have a high old time. Read More on the Event Website!

BBC Concert Orchestra with Keith Lockhart - April 8th

In Opelika the BBC Concert Orchestra with Keith Lockhart, Principal Conductor and Charlie Albright, Piano...

April 8, 2015The British are coming! …but this time led by the charismatic and ever-popular American conductor Keith Lockhart, Director of the Boston Pops and Brevard Music Center. As the Principal Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra since 2010, Lockhart has led annual appearances at The Proms, conducted a performance at Queen Elizabeth II’s gala Diamond Jubilee Concert broadcast around the world, and is bringing the orchestra back across the pond for its third tour of concert halls throughout the United States. Expect a dazzling English musical showcase guided by the Brits’ unerring sense of occasion, and featuring pianist Charlie Albright in a performance of Ravel’s glittering, jazz-inflected Piano Concerto in G.

The success of the evening owed much to the American conductor Keith Lockhart, whose friendly, informative and enthusiastic style encouraged the BBC Concert Orchestra to give one of their best performances. Chichester Observer

The BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Keith Lockhart, played amazing pieces of classical music. The works of composers Benjamin Britten, Edward Elgar and George Butterworth were featured as the orchestra played to a packed house… The sounds of the orchestra were dramatic and perfectly executed. Daily Sundial (California)

Found this really great James Bond series from them a few years ago. Heck, I'm, a Bond Fan. Enjoy!

Keith Lockhart conducts BBC Concert Orchestra performing music from various James Bond films - composed & arranged by (the late) John Barry and David Arnold - inside the Royal Albert Hall during Film Music Prom 2011

About Opelika’s “The Walking Dead” Connection

To say there was some excitement and talk about yesterday's announced Opelika part in Season 6 filming of The Walking Dead would be an understatement.  Many noticed that it was in fact April 1st, when the Blog typically pranks the readers. However, many others didn’t and I hope you aren’t too disappointed that filming won’t take place in the Old Mill. Well, if it does, understand that I would probably be the last person on earth to know that.  Well, especially now. My thanks to Steven Yuen, Gale Anne Hurd and Robert Kirkman for giving us all a show that we in “Fan Land” simply go crazy over. Facebook certainly proved that on Wednesday! I used your names because on my love for the show. And Chris Hardwick, you’ll never know the sadness in Jody Fuller’s heart when he discovered the truth.  There were lots of comments via Facebook and the Blog that will have my bar buddies and me all chuckling for many months to come.  I hope you enjoyed that this was to bring a smile to you on All Fools Day. If you found it disruptive, I’m sorry.  After all, this blog is my (and maybe yours) escape from reality.  (Photo Credit: AMC)

If you didn't catch the original post click this link!

The Walking Dead Plans Opelika Shoot in Spring

AMC Televisions “The Walking Dead” plans Alabama Film locations. Reportedly, Steven Yuen who plays the character Glenn Rhee in the show was spotted in Tiger Town last weekend, on his way from the Florida panhandle to the shows Georgia film studio in Senoia. Apparently, several walkers (aka Zombies) cast for the show have been from this side of the Chattahoochee River and the Opelika area which has captured the attention of Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd and Creator Robert Kirkman.  Work will stop of the demolition of the Old Mill on 1st Avenue as scouts have determined its empty open areas, not used for Hollywood since Norma Rae will work well for one of the early spring shootings.  Production of the new season is to begin within weeks. Talking Dead host and Stand Up comedian Chris Hardwick will do several cast interviews during the Opelika Filming.  AMC’s Walking Dead ended season five on Sunday with its highest-rated finale in history, with 15.8 million viewers and 10.4 million among A18-49, ending its season with all 16 episodes ranking among the top 20 telecasts in the demo this season. After-show Talking Dead had its highest-rated episode ever, with 7.5 million viewers and 4.9 million in the demo.  More details as they become available!

Larry Mitchell at Eighth & Rail Friday Night (April 3rd)

Grammy winning producer/musician Larry Mitchell is back at Eighth & Rail with his band of Austin Solomon and Russ Garner playing some of his great original songs. We'll also have Carlos Gonzalez opening up the night with some of his original songs as well as covers everyone knows. If you are new to Larry, here's some information from his website.

Larry Mitchell is a Grammy award-winning producer, engineer and performer who has toured the world playing guitar with well-known artists including Tracy Chapman, Billy Squier, Ric Ocasek and Miguel Bosé. In his original compositions, Larry skillfully weaves guitar textures that showcase his virtuosity as a solo artist and ensemble player.  As an artist, he has released 6 solo records and won a San Diego Music Award for best pop jazz artist.  As a producer-engineer, Larry has won 26 New Mexico Music Awards in various categories from pop, adult contemporary, rap, rock, country and Native American. He won a Grammy Award for producing, engineering and performing on "Totemic Flute Chants" by artist Johnny Whitehorse, who is better known as Robert Mirabal of Taos Pueblo.

Larry is currently touring with his own trio as well as with Native artists Shelley Morningsong, Dawn Avery, Joy Harjo and Robert Mirabal.

He has many long-standing endorsements and relationships with companies such as Ibanez Guitars, D'Adarrio Strings, D'Marzio Pickups and Fractal Audio.


Crave More - It's All About The Drones

This year, more than ever a lot of the Buzz at the National Association of Broadcast Show (NAB Show) in Las Vegas will be the Buzz of those tiny helicopter like devices buzzing around the show.  In fact, this year the place to be will be the Aerial Robotics and Drone Pavilon will be the place for the latest. From the NAB website: When it comes to creating killer content, the sky is the limit — literally! One of the hottest topics from the 2014 Show is here, live. The new Aerial Robotics and Drone Pavilion includes a fully enclosed “flying cage” that gives you an up-close and personal look at this technology in action. This is no mere fly by. A panel of industry experts — inclusive of broadcasters and Exhibitors — will take you through all aspects of employing aerial technology. Now, I only hope I can find some sneak away time from our company booth to take a look! (Photo Credit: NAB)  Read more about Drones at NAB 2015 here!

On The Tracks Almost Here

From the On The Tracks website, some history of the event...

On The Tracks draws hundreds to Historic Downtown Opelika to enjoy a fun night on the town enjoying all that Opelika has to offer. Food vendors line the streets as live music is performed from a stage in the middle of Railroad Avenue. There are also musicians on 8th and 9th streets, playing for all to enjoy.

A tasting trail takes participants through quaint shops and galleries throughout the square. There are also private group tables which allow friends and co-workers to mingle together for an unforgettable night. Prices for entering along with food and beverages vary depending on each vendor. Trail tickets are available through this website or on the night of the event.

On the Tracks was created by Pam Powers-Smith and Richard Patton as a way to get attendees exposed to all of the stores in downtown Opelika - even the shops attendees are less frequently exposed to. The event hasn't changed much over the years - mostly because people enjoy it the way it is! Each year, the same great atmosphere and social fun emerges in the spring and fall! (Photo Credit: On The Tracks Website) More information here!