Lynx Look To Stay Perfect Tonight On ESPN2 Against New York Liberty

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The 2016 NBA Finals is all the talk right now around the sports world.  It isn’t the only basketball news to talk about today, though.  That is because the WNBA just recently tipped off its 2016 season.  And ESPN2 has one of the league’s big matchups tonight.

The Minnesota Lynx currently sit at 5 – 0 so far on the season.  Early in the season the team is in a very tight battle with the Los Angeles Sparks (also at 5 – 0 on the season) for the top spot not just in the West but in the league. Tonight, on ESPN2 the Lynx (3- 0 so far in the conference to L.A.’s 1 – 0 conference record) will look to keep that battle close as it faces off against the New York Liberty in New York.  Coverage of the game is currently scheduled to begin at 8pm ET on ESPN2.  Pam Ward will have the call for tonight’s game.  She will be joined by analyst Carolyn Peck for additional commentary.  Reporter LaChina Robinson will be courtside with additional news and interviews throughout the game.

Along with her duties tonight, Robinson will also host Around The Rim, ESPN Audio’s women’s basketball podcast throughout the season.  In the latest edition of Around The Rim, Robinson is joined by 2005 WNBA Champion Ticha Penicheiro and Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame coach Lin Dunn to discuss now former Indiana fever head coach Stephanie White. White left the team to take on a coaching position at Vanderbilt at the end of the 2015 – 2016 college basketball season.  They also discuss the troubles facing the Phoenix Mercury, the Sparks’ current win streak, and much more.  Audiences can hear it all online now at  More information on ESPN’s WNBA coverage is available online now at:








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NC University’s Theatre Event Returns For Sixth Year

Courtesy:  Fayetteville State University

Courtesy: Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville State University is bringing back its hugely popular “24 Hour Theatre” for the sixth straight year.  The annual event will run this year from Friday, September 13th to Saturday, September 14th.  The university welcomes participation from not just students at Fayetteville State University, but from university staff and faculty, high school students, and members of the community.  The yearly event allows participants to create plays, and then design and rehearse them before putting them on over the course of twenty-four hours.

This year’s event will kick off on Friday, September 13th at 7:30pm.  The opening events will be followed by an overnight playwriting session.  There will also be movies, theatre games, and training sessions for others.  The scripts crated during the overnight playwriting session will be collected the following mornings by directors, actors, designers, managers, and technicians.  They will then be rehearsed through the event’s second day before putting on the plays at 7:30pm Saturday, September 14th.  Those that attend the event will be able to take part in the plays both in front of and behind the curtain.  Participation in the plays is limited.  Participation in writing and producing roles is extremely limited.  Applications to participate can be downloaded and printed out online at  Applicants can choose on their application in which of the productions area they want to take part by way of ranking them according to preference.  Participation in the “24 Hour theatre” is not a twenty-four hour commitment.  Special circumstances can be considered.  However, all participants will be expected to take part in the event’s kickoff as production teams and casts will be signed during the event.

The ultimate goal of the annual “24 Hour Theatre” project is to teach those with an interest in theater arts the stresses and processes involved with the creation of plays.  Each play will last anywhere from five to fifteen minutes.  It also helps to build bonds between those that take part in the event.  And it is a boon for Fayetteville State University as it serves as an effective tool for the university’s theatre program.  Performances begin on Saturday, September 14th at 7:00pm at Fayetteville State University’s Butler Theater.  Audiences should note that new plays may not be suitable for all audiences.  Discretion should be exercised.  Admission to this year’s event is two dollars, or one dollar plus a canned good.  All canned goods collected at this year’s event will be donated to a local charity.

More information on the “24 Hour Theatre” is available on the Fayetteville State University website and Facebook page at,d.cWc and

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PBS’ Broadway History Documentary Hits All The Right Notes

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS has shown time and again that it is the last bastion of true kid friendly programming on television.  It has also shown just as many times why it is the last true bastion of worthwhile family friendly programming with series such as Nova, Great Performances, and Nature.  Now, the network has shown yet again why it is one of the best networks out there with its six-episode miniseries, Broadway:  The American Musical.

Broadway: The American Musical is just one more feather in the cap of what is not just a great television network, but a virtual American institution in itself.  This six part documentary series takes audiences on a journey through time.  It takes them from Broadway’s roots in the famed Ziegfeld Follies up to modern day Broadway.  Host Julie Andrews was an excellent choice to lead audiences on this musical journey through not just Broadway’s history, but also America’s history.  Being a seasoned veteran of both screen and stage, Andrews makes the entire presentation worth experiencing.  The inclusion of interviews with other professionals from around the entertainment world (E.g. Mel Brooks, Carol Channing, Tim Robbins, etc.) makes the story even more interesting.  There’s even discussion on some of the greatest names in Broadway’s history, including: the famed Gershwin brothers, George and Ira, Cole Porter, and of course Rogers and Hart just to name a few.  The stories shared around these figures illustrate not only their careers, but the influence of their works on America through each one’s career.  They also serve to illustrate just how important each one was and still is today to both the entertainment world and the world in general.

One of the most interesting of the stories in the special comes in its third episode.  The song, ‘Buddy Can You Spare a dime’ is discussed early on in this segment.  It’s noted that the song was a response to what was going on in the Great Depression.  And if it hadn’t been included in a Broadway play, the powers that be might have kept this extremely important song from every having become known to anyone.  It shows the power of the unseen men in suits even back then.  And that it resonated so much with American audiences today shows its continued musical and cultural importance, especially in this nation’s current economic and political state.  From this point, the program expands on this topic, explaining how musical theater increasingly became the voice of Americans as they weren’t able to voice their own opinions openly.  In simple terms, it shows how musical theater really became the voice of the voiceless, so to speak.

The story behind ‘Buddy Can You Spare a Dime’ is just one of so many at which audiences will amaze.  Equally interesting are the stories of how Disney helped to bring Broadway into a new age and of a working class man’s rise to fame with his original play, “Rent”, his untimely death, and the reaction to his play and passing.  That moment alone will leave any viewer feeling at least somewhat emotional.  It makes for one of the documentary’s more memorable moments.  Just as memorable as that moment are the extra performances included in the triple-disc set as bonus features.  Each disc includes bonus performances of acts from each highlighted era.  They are more than just bonus footage.  They serve to help illustrate the type of performances being held during each era.  And the very fact that the oldest of footage has stood the test of time so well is just as impressive as the stories included throughout the program’s length.

The stories and the footage together make for quite the viewing experience for any Broadway lover.  There is at least one more factor that makes this set the complete item for fans of the theater.  That factor is the set’s packaging.  PBS has hit the mark on the head with the set’s packaging.  All three discs included in the set are placed on their own spot inside the set’s box.  The first two discs are placed back to back on opposite sides of an insert, while the third disc is placed on the backside of the box.  Placing the discs in this fashion protects all three and thus increases their longevity.  Looking at the set from this vantage point to that of the presentation itself, PBS has assembled a documentary that is fitting both for students of the theater arts and of any lover of the theater.  It’s available now.  It can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store, at

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‘Much Ado About Nothing’ opens annual Carolina Shakespeare Festival

NEW BERN. N.C.–The Carolina Shakespeare Festival opens its fourteenth season August 2nd.  And to officially open the season, Shakespeare’s classic rom/com ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ will be presented at Tryon Palace’s Cullman Performance Hall.  The play centers on lovers Beatrice and Benedick who try not to admit their feelings for one another, going tit for tat along the way, until, of course, it all reaches a happy ending.  It truly is one of Shakespeare’s finest–if not his finest–romantic comedy.  Countless movies and plays since can count this work as their influence.

The Carolina Shakespeare Festival will begin performances of the play with a very special preview performance on Thursday, August 2nd at 7pm.  Official opening night is Friday, August 3rd.  It all ends August 19th.  Tickets for the preview show for the special preview show can be purchased at a discount price of $12 for all seats.  General admission tickets for adults are $28, $22 for senior citizens, and $20 for Tryon Palace Council of Friends Members.  Students and active duty military personnel can purchase tickets for $14.  Tickets can be purchased by phone at 252-639-3524 and 1-800-767-1560.  They can also be purchased in person at the North Carolina History Center Ticket Desk at Tryon Palace. 

Along with the presentations of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, the Carolina Shakepseare Festival will offer two free concert readings of ‘Henry IV Part 2’ on August 8th and 11th.  The reading on August 8th will be presented at the Old Theatre in Oriental at 7pm that evening.  The second of the two readings will be offered August 11th at 2pm at Tryon Palace.

For more information on the Carolina Shakespeare Festival and Tryon Palace, go online to and

East Carolina University announces Summer Theatre Schedule

NEW BERN, N.C.–East Carolina University’s School of Theatre and Dance has announced the schedule for the 2012 ECU/Loessen Summer Theatre.  The annual Summer Theatre program kicks off tomorrow, July 3rd with performances of “Our Town”, “”Seven in One Blow”, and “Collision Course–A 60’s Retro.”  The performances will be held from Tuesday, July 3rd – Sunday, July 7th.  They will be held at Tryon Palace’s Cullman Performance Hall.

“Our Town” follows the Gibbs family and Webb family throughout their lives.  It all begins in Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire in 1901.  The play will be performed July 3rd and July 5th at 7:30pm.  It will also be performed Friday and Saturday, July 6th and 7th at 2pm.

“Seven in One Blow” is based on the production developed by Randy Sharp and the Axis Theatre Company of New York.  It’s based on the classic Grimm Brothers story of a boy who swatted seven flies in one blow, and led everyone to believe he was a great giant killer.  Of course, there are some new additions to the tale that kids and parents alike will enjoy.  The play will be held July 3rd and 5th at 2pm and July 7th at 11am.

“Collision Course–A 60’s Retro” is the third of this year’s performances held by the ECU/Loessen Summer Theatre.”  It is comprised of a series of short plays written by some of the biggest playwrights of the 1960’s.  Each play runs anywhere from ten minutes to fifteen minutes in length.  Fans of the classic 1960’s sound will love the soundtrack to these plays, too.  “Collision Course–A 60’s Retro” does contain some adult themes.  Parental guidance is suggested for this performance.  “Collision Course–A 60’s Retro” will be performed July 6th and 7th at 8pm.

Tickets for this year’s peformances are on sale now.  They can be purchased online now at or by phone toll free at 1-800-328-2787 and 252-328-6829.  The performances are part of the Tryon Palace Performing Arts Series.  Public Radio East and the Sun Journal serve as media sponsors for the performances.

More information on Tryon Palace is available online at and by phone toll free at 1-800-767-1500 and 252-639-3500.  

Carolinian Shakespeare Festival presents Much Ado About Nothing

NEW BERN, N.C.–The Carolinian Shakespeare Festival is happy to announce the festival’s main presentation this year.  The festival will present Shakespeare’s timeles romantic comedy, “Much Ado About Nothing.”  The play will be presented August 2nd – 9th in the Cullman Performance Hall at Tryon Palace’s North Carolina History Center.  The North Carolina History Center is located at 529 South Front Street in New Bern, N.C.

The Carolinian Shakepseare Festival’s Producing Artistic Director, Mary Mcginley shared her thoughts on returning to perform again this year.  She said, “This is everyone’s favorite play. ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ is high comedy and its word-play and banter are things of beauty. We’re so happy we’ve been invited back to perform this delightful comedy at Tryon Palace’s Cullman Hall. It’s going to be a great festival!”

Regarding the cast for this year’s production, McGinley noted, “We’ve worked hard to put together the perfect cast for this comedy about two reluctant lovers who always try to get the last word. We’ve auditioned more than two hundred actors in New Bern and New York City. I think we’ve come up with a terrific combination and I can’t wait to work with all of them.”

This year’s production features a highly trained group of thespians.  Beatrice will be played by Anna Phyllis Smith.  Smith has a BFA from Adelphi University and has also studied at the London Dramatic Academy.  She has worked with the New York Shakespeare Fest, Manhattan Shakespeare Project and Olympic Shakespeare Productions.

Beatrice’s love interest, Benedick, will be portrayed by Scott Renzoni.  Renzoni boasts his own list of accomplishments.  He is a former “Jeopardy!” champion.  He earned a degree in theater from St. Michael’s College, and now works for Shakespeare & Co.  in Lenox, MA.  To get a full cast listing and bio on each cast member, go online to

Tickets for the play can be purchased by phone at 252-639-3524 or toll free at 800-767-1560 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  They can also be purchased in person at the North Carolina History Center Ticket Desk at Tryon Palace during regular hours.  More information on the Carolinian Shakespeare Festival is available online at the festivals’ new website, and at

Craven Co. groups present “Little Women” update

NEW BERN, N.C.–The New Bern Civic Theatre’s Saax Bradbury Players and the Roaty Club of New Bern are pleased to announce the upcoming performance of “Little Women.”  The performance will be held July 13th, 14th, 20th and 21st.  Each performance will begin at 8pm.  There will also be a special afternoon performance on July 15th at 2pm.

The upcoming performance is a modern take on the classic novel by author Louisa May Alcott.  It follows the March sisters as they face the rough waters of adolesence while their father is serving in the Iraq/Afghanistan war.  The play was adapted by Marisha Chamberlain, Directed by Jordan Daughtey, and produced by Jacob Fisher.  Krissy Boccia served as teen mentor for the production. 

Guests can purchases tickets to the play online at and by phone at 252-633-0567.  Tickets are $14 in advance, $16 at the door, and $10 for students and active military personnel with ID. 

Audiences and fans can follow all the latest from the New Bern Civic Theatre online at, on Facebook at, and by phone at 252-634-9057.