Jake Shimabukuro


Jake Shimabukuro

Ferst Center

It’s an amazing world, . . Jake is a native of Hawaii. He’s a 38 year old musician and composer who’s been playing for only 34 years. But, his career took off like a rocket after more than 8 million fans watched his YouTube video some years ago.

As he says; who would ever have thought of a solo ukulele player going on tour? Well he certainly does that and plays all around. He is came here for a one-nighter and I can tell you that everyone in the audience felt as if they are at a great family evening. When you see a show like his, and the energy he uses up, you wonder how he could possibly do his next gig the following night in Austin, TX. But that’s exactly what he did.

His show runs about an hour and a half with non-stop energy. He attacks the uke like Arthur Rubinstein did the keyboard. Ukulele players are not using picks, so when you watch him with his incredible speed you begin to wonder how his fingers can withstand the pressures of work.

Forget about typical ukulele music from guys with leis around their neck and playing Don Ho or Tiny Tim numbers. This musician takes off like a jet plane, and delivers both percussion and melody from that small 4-string instrument, like you have never before heard. In this show on tour he is backed up a friend, Nolan Verner, on bass guitar; and they truly enjoy their work together.

You may want to check Jake out online, and on YouTube, and remind yourself that the next time he is coming to town, to get your tickets early. He played to more than 800 happy faces last night at the Ferst Center at Georgia Tech. Their next offering open to the public will be on December 12th when they present Dee Dee Bridgewater doing her jazzy jazz numbers. For more info and tickets visit their website at FerstCenter.org


Christmas Canteen

Christmas Canteen

Christmas Canteen

Aurora Theatre

through December 20, 2015

For the twentieth year the Aurora brings back to stage their Christmas Canteen, directed by Anthony P. Rodriguez with a cast of nine players with great talents.

Jen Macqueen, Lyndsay Ricketson and Diany Rodriguez are the female principal players alongside Travis Smith, Brandon O’Dell and Brian Walker. Each of the six sing, dance, and even play one or more instruments in some numbers. Not that there isn’t a 5-man live band onstage with Ann-Carol Pence directing and at the keyboard.

T’Arica Crawford, Benjamin Sims, and Laura Spears are apprentice company members who also work into some of the numbers, as the show moves along with 40 numbers being done. It isn’t like Scrooge & Marley or the Andrews Sisters. It is purely a cabaret sort of show, the type you might love to find on some cruise ship this time of year.

The show may be in it’s 20th production, but it is always changed a little bit, here and there. Their dance numbers, choreographed by Jen Macqueen are just superb, and the humor in some of the songs such as Hobo Christmas Train and GI Jive are fun.

Considering that we just celebrated Veterans Day, and so many of our men and women can’t be with their families on the holidays; it is so appropriate that they always do the Armed Forces Medley and salute those who have served and are in the audience.

Bottom line is that it is just a feel-good evening. A special treat is that there is a collection of beautifully decorated Christmas trees in the lobby and you are invited to bring food donations which may be left at any of them. After all, ‘tis the season to be jolly.

For times and tickets visit them at AuroraTheatre.com


ThanksKilling, the Musical


ThanksKilling, the Musical

Dad’s Garage

through November 28, 2015

Once an indie film then a play is being stage by Dad’s Garage at 7 Stages in Little 5 Points. And it is a hoot. You may want to gobble this one up. Dan Triandiflou has brought together a hard working cast of 7 players doing more than 15 roles.

Basically it is a weird story of some college kids who hit the road at Turkey Time, and run into an evil Turkey who has come back from the dead to seek revenge. And all hell breaks loose. Let me warn you that this is NOT for the youngsters nor Ms. Prim. There are plenty of expletives as well as sexual single entendres. The five who hit the road are the virgin Kristen (Alexandra Flicken), the slut Ali (Erin Burnett), the jock Johnny (Ben Davis), the hick good-ole-boy Billy (George Faughnan) and a nerd named Darren (René Dellefont).

Taylor Roy plays a whole gang of characters as well as acting as a game show host for the audience during the show. The killer turkey is Clint Sowell who really should get stuffed and baked, but he’s hard to finish off.

It’s a weird kind of production, but one that is filled with plenty of laughs. Let’s face it; there is just so much standard holiday cheer that we need. The audience is drawn into the game in this one, and you can tell that the performers are having as much fun as we are. You are at liberty to imbibe during the show, and actually encouraged to do so.

They play Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm. And the easiest place to order tickets is at DadsGarage.com. If you get there in time, there is usually some free parking right across the street where you’ll see their sign at the driveway. Keep in mind that if you are coming down from the burbs, that traffic these days is insane. So allow and extra half-hour and you’ll be happier and more at ease when you get there.


Soldier Songs


Soldier Songs

Atlanta Opera

through November 15, 2015

The Atlanta Opera Discoveries Series opened a production of David T. Little’s Soldier Songs at The Rialto theatre downtown. This tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces was premiered on Veterans’ Day and will close on Sunday matinee.

To get the situation straight, this is not your grandmother’s idea of opera. There is a score with no memorable melodies, one lead singer, a libretto which is quite strange; and certainly more stress than even in a Wagnerian opus.

Matthew Worth is a vet who doesn’t often speak of what he went through and witnessed in warfare and after. Yet, he does so for an hour, as we hear him repeat his feelings and memories in this bit of Sturm und Drang sung in English with supertitles. The orchestra in under the baton of Christopher Rountree.

The work is one which