Feb 232017

It was a dreary rainy day when I was invited to see for myself the current state of nightclubs inside the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood complex before being completely pulverized to the ground as if they had never existed.  The weather was a perfect backdrop to the many emotions which went through my mind as I thought of all the good times which were had in these clubs by so many which included Pangea, Gryphon, Opium, the Paradise Theater and the Improv Comedy Club as they were being scavenged for anything of value that could be saved from the complete decimation which was only a few days away from reality.  I snapped a few pictures to save the memories and to share them with others who never were given a chance to say goodbye as these clubs were given short notice before being told to shut down and vacate.  And this was just “phase 1” with the next phase to include the venerable Murphy’s Law, Gloria Estefan’s Bongo’s Cafe and Martorano’s, whose fresh Garlic was permeating the pouring rain as I waited to enter the deserted clubs across the way for one last time.

If this comes as a surprise to those of you reading about this for the first time, you might want to catch up on the news as reported by the Miami Herald and other South Florida publications which explained how this property will be completely overhauled with a new 800-room, 36-floor guitar shaped hotel with a promise to “create 19,452 jobs, including 4,867 full-time positions and 14,585 construction jobs, said Seminole Gaming CEO James Allen.” (February 1, 2016) Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/tourism-cruises/article57757183.html

Construction and venue updates with a preview of what’s to come can be found at:www.seminolehardrockhollywood.com/new-construction.htm

Thank you to Anthony Erale Vice President of Allied Bean Demolition for giving me the inside-view on all the hard work that goes into what they do best.


memorabiliaHard Rock Demolition

 February 23, 2017  Posted by  Weekend Blog No Responses »
Feb 152017
PGA Commons Entertainment

What better way to heat up your winter paradise than with great food and live music on the patio at PGA Commons? Treat yourself to a wide variety of local entertainment while enjoying happy hour cocktails or a memorable meal at these celebrated, culinary hot spots: Spoto’s Oyster Bar, Vic & Angelo’s, and The Cooper.

If music be the food of love, play on! William Shakespeare

Renowned seafood utopia Spoto’s Oyster Bar will feature acoustic guitarist Sam Meador on Wednesdays, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; and Steve Mathison & Friends on Fridays, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mathison will play with an eclectic mix of guest musicians, and include a toe-tapping lineup of modern rock genres. For more information, please visit spotos.com or call 561.776.9448.

Farm-to-table charmer The Cooper will feature acoustic rock and roll performer Joe Birch on Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; mixed genre musician Andy Taylor on Fridays from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; blues and classic rock guitarist George Manosis on Friday, March 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; and blues generalist Mark Telesca will perform on Saturday, March 18 and Saturday, April 1 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. For more information, please visit thecooperrestaurant.com or call 561.622.0032.

Italian gem Vic & Angelo’s will feature a “Live Music Under the Stars” series with world music crooner Giovanni Fazio on Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., and local singing sensation Dawn Marie will appear on Thursdays, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, please visit vicandangelos.com or call 561.630.9899.

About PGA Commons

PGA Commons features an exciting collection of upscale boutiques, fine art galleries, top-tier restaurants, and a wide variety of specialty stores and services. For more information about PGA Commons, call 561.630.8630 or visit pgacommons.com.

Photo credit: Mikel Samel (Mark Telesca); all other photos are courtesy of PGA Commons

 February 15, 2017  Posted by  Weekend Blog No Responses »
Feb 102017

From goblets to swords, the Florida Renaissance Festival embraces the spirit of its “silver” anniversary with an impressive display of radiance and brilliance!  The landmark 25th season of the Florida Renaissance Festival will take place from February 11 to March 26, 2017 at Deerfield Beach’s Quiet Waters Park (401 S Powerline Rd, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442) and, for the second year in a row, will offer an extraordinary SEVEN theme-filled weekends, as well as a variety of fan favorite acts and performances. From jesters, jugglers and jousting knights to music, magic, mayhem and more, the 2017 Florida Renaissance Festival perfectly recreates a story-book Renaissance village.


The idea for the Festival originated in 1990 when Festival founder, Bobby Rodriguez, proposed a medieval fair as a substitute for a black-tie ball for the then upcoming Broward Center for the Performing Arts. While that event never manifested, Rodriguez decided to produce the fair himself and in 1992, the first medieval festival in Florida took place. The one-weekend show generated approximately 3,000 attendees. 


In 1993, Rodriguez changed the event’s name to the Florida Renaissance Festival which took place in Snyder Park in Ft. Lauderdale. The Festival remained in that location for the next four years and grew to a three-weekend event.  In 1997, the growing Festival moved to T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park in Hollywood, Florida where it remained for another four years until moving to the location it has called home for the last 18 years, Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach. 


mud pit“I am extremely proud of how far we’ve come in the last 25 years,” said Bobby Rodriguez, Founder and Producer of the Florida Renaissance Festival. “In the beginning we used to look to other Ren Fairs for ideas and now many of them look to see what we come up with each year.  We are proud to have the support of the county, the city and our community, and to be able to provide this entertaining, educational and cultural enriching festival for people of all ages.” 


Throughout the years, Rodriguez has continuously raised the bar when it comes to incorporating new experiences into the Festival. He was the first to bring Cast In Bronze to the Renaissance Fair stage – a beautifully eerie performance conducted on a traveling Carillon, a musical instrument made up of more than a ton of bronze church bells. Rodriguez’s ability to think “beyond Renaissance” has also resulted in the booking of a variety of acts from Oriental and Scottish themes to ancient African dancers and percussionists. 


Now, in its milestone 25th year, the Festival has grown into one of the nation’s most beloved events dedicated to recreating the historical era of the Renaissance times, each year adding more entertainment and themed weekends while welcoming a crowd that has swelled over the years to nearly 100,000 attendees.


The Florida Renaissance Festival 2017 themed weekends include

 Pirates’ Weekend – February 11 and 12

Debark at your own risk and be weary of land sickness during our opening weekend where the village is overrun with mateys and scallywags.  Anyone not prepared for a “salty” good time will be sent to walk the plank. 

 Time Travelers’ Weekend – February 18 – 20

You won’t need a passport to travel through time during Time Travelers’ Weekend. This weekend is dedicated to adventurers across the centuries and embodies the spirit of recreating the past, symbolic of the entire festival. Open on President’s Day, Monday February 20th

 Masquerade – February 25 and 26

Everywhere you turn, peering eyes from behind a mask let you know that it’s Masquerade Weekend.Unleash your inhibitions behind the anonymity of delicately detailed masks, historic costumes and intriguing disguises!The Masquerade will keep your secrets, until you divulge your identity!

 Wenches – March 4 and 5

Behind every good man is a wench in the trench. Wenches Weekend celebrates the women of the Renaissance with hourglass curves and firey attitudes who can go toe-to-toe with their male counterparts. 

 Taste of FLARF (Florida Renaissance Festival) – March 11 and 12

Eat and drink your way through the Renaissance during Taste of FLARF Weekend. It’s a feast fit for a King as you indulge in foods reminiscent of the era such as hearty turkey legs, Scotch eggs, Sheppard’s Pie and an assortment of delectable desserts. Wash it all down with traditional mead and aromatic wines that you can freshly stomp yourself from the finest grapes!

 Celtic – March 18 and 19

celtic mayhemSing and dance along to Irish, Scottish and English tunes throughout the Shire during Celtic Weekend. Don your finest kilt while bagpipes blare. This weekend is a must for anyone who wants to embrace and celebrate their Celtic heritage!

 Vikings and Barbarians – March 25 and 26

Viking and Barbarians weekend is when you and your Norwegian brothers and sisters can wave your battleaxes while covered in leather and fur, yelling with the fury of Odin. Only the strongest and most courageous warriors will make it through our final weekend!  

The 2017 season also includes a variety of fan favorite acts and performances with an invigorating entertainment lineup that includes something for everyone. 

The Florida Renaissance Festival 2017 Acts & Performances include: 


The Florida Renaissance Festival is produced by the nationally acclaimed Bobby Rodriguez Productions and strives to create an entertaining and cultural experience for adults and children alike. The sponsors of the 2017 Florida Renaissance Festival include Comcast, Warsteiner, Guinness, Pepsi-Cola and Walgreens. 


The Florida Renaissance Festival at Deerfield Beach’s Quiet Waters Park will be open weekends beginning February 11th from 10 a.m. to sunset through March 26th.  Also open on President’s Day, February 20th.

Tickets & Admission

Prices range from 21.00 for adults and $9 for children ages 6 to 11 years of age. Discount tickets also available at Walgreens for $17 for adults (save $4) and $8 for children (save $1).  Children 5 and younger are free.  Special seasonal passes are available for $75 and group ticket rates are also offered.  


While costumes are not necessary for admittance, thousands of people each year enhance their experience by donning garb from the Renaissance era, or participate in one of the festival’s special themed weekends. 


For tickets and more information visit: www.ren-fest.com; Find us on Facebook: Florida Renaissance Festival; Follow us on Twitter: FlaRenFest and Instagram/flarenfest. If you prefer the historical method, call 954-776-1642.

 February 10, 2017  Posted by  Local Events, Weekend Blog No Responses »
Feb 032017

Grab your main squeeze and enjoy a sultry night of red-hot blues, “good for the soul”-inspired cuisine, and straight-up, flirty cocktails during Blue Tuesdays at the oceanfront hot spot Boston’s on the Beach.  Hosted by “Famous” Frank Ward, Blue Tuesdays’ performances take place every Tuesday evening on the Boston’s on the Beach stage from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. with no cover charge!

Blue Tuesdays’ performances February 2017:

Matthew Curry

Matthew Curry

Steve Laudicina

Steve Laudicina

February 7: Steve Laudicina Trio is in the house! Steve Laudicina, a young, up-and-coming guitarist based in South Florida, has made a career for himself as a guitar player for hire, touring nationally and internationally. For the last three years, Steve has played with blues band JP Soars and The Red Hots. He now fronts his own instrumental band, offering a fresh spin on rock and roll, surf, and rhythm and blues genres, with influences by artists like B.B. King, Albert Collins, The Sonics, Link Wray, James Brown & The Famous Flames, and Booker T. & the M.G.’s.

February 14: Matthew Curry. Curry’s roots certainly run Muddy Waters deep. It’s a musical trait that’s not been lost on the guitar legends he’s had the honor of sharing the stage with over the past few years, including Peter Frampton, the Doobie Brothers, and Steve Miller. “A wonderful guitar player [and] great songwriter,” remarked Miller, “in the Stevie Ray Vaughan area of virtuosity and originality.”

Rockin' Jake

Rockin’ Jake

February 21: Rockin’ Jake’s Blues Devils. Rockin’ Jake has been hailed as one of the premier harmonica players in the country. His original sound is a hybrid of second line, swamp funk, blues, and zydeco, with influences from Paul Butterfield, Big Walter Horton, James Cotton, The Meters, WAR, J. Geils Band, Clifton Chenier, and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Rockin’ Jake’s Blues Devils also feature Steve Laudicina on guitar, Charles Gasper on bass, and Chris Peet on drums.

Bonefish Johnny

Bonefish Johnny

February 28: Piano Bob’s 88s with Bonefish Johnny. Fans of boogie-woogie, New Orleans, and jump swing blues are in for a musical awakening when local blues royalty, Piano Bob Wilder, sits down to play! He’s joined onstage by Bonefish Johnny, whose songs are a driftwood pile of rhythm and style. Crossing over between the indie, blues, and jam band scenes for years with funk rock act Groove Thangs, eclectic bar band Shack Daddys, and his live Funky Roots Revue, Bonefish Johnny makes music to move to and be moved by.
Boston’s on the Beach is located at 40 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach, Florida 33483.

For more information, visit bostonsonthebeach.com/bluetuesdays or call 561.278.3364.

 February 3, 2017  Posted by  Weekend Blog No Responses »
Feb 022017
The Weight Band

Performing songs of The Band, THE WEIGHT BAND is keeping the spirit and the music alive that helped define an era.  Members of THE WEIGHT were either actual members in The Band, or are directly and deeply connected to their legacy.  The group features Jim Weider from The Band, Brian Mitchell of the Levon Helm Band, Marty Grebb, who wrote for The Band and worked with Rick Danko and Richard Manuel, Albert Rogers from the Jim Weider Band and frequent performer at The Barn’s Midnight Rambles.  Michael Bram, the newest member of THE WEIGHT, played with Jason Mraz.

Prepare for an unforgettable performance and enjoy timeless hits like “The Weight”, “Up On Cripple Creek”, “Ophelia”, “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”, “Rag Mama Rag” and so many others.  Hear the most authentic presentation of The Band’s music performed on stage, and see why the Chicago Sun Times proclaimed “THE WEIGHT carries on where THE BAND left off.”  Come and take a load off.

Upcoming concert dates:

02/09 Bull Run, Shirley MA

02/10 The Warehouse at Fairfield Theatre Company, Fairfield CT

02/11 Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn NY

03/01 Crest Theater, Delray Beach FL

03/02 Emerson Center, Vero Beach FL

03/03 Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, Ponte Vedra Beach FL

03/04 Amaturo Theatre, Fort Lauderdale FL

03/24 The Flying Monkey, Plymouth NH

03/25 Cabot Theatre, Beverly MA

04/13 Sellersville Theater, Sellersville PA

04/14 The Hamilton Live, Washington DC

04/15 Avalon Theatre, Easton MD

05/12 Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown NY

05/13 South Orange Performing Arts Center, South Orange NJ

06/30 NYCB Theatre at Westbury (w. Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes), Westbury NY

08/05 Mt Baker Rhythm & Blues Fest, Bellingham WA

08/21 – 25  Camp Cripple Creek, Full Moon Resort, Indian River NY

For more information, visit the band’s website:   www.theweightband.com

 February 2, 2017  Posted by  Weekend Blog No Responses »
Feb 012017
don henley hard rock live

Legendary drummer and co-founder of the classic rock band “The Eagles” Mr. Don Henley made a very intimate tour stop in my hometown of Hollywood, Florida, this past Wednesday, January 25, 2017.   Starting off the evening was The Americana/Roots Rock band from New York, “JD and The Straight Shot“.  They set the tone for an evening that would prove to be very un-forgettable in my opinion.

Stage setupThe atmosphere inside Hard Rock Live was decorated by an array of vintage radios of all shapes and sizes providing the illusion of random thoughts “floating” above the stage.  Just prior to Henley and the band taking to the microphones, each radio was spotlighted.  As the spot lights bounced around showcasing each individual radio, so did the music, playing hits chosen from every decade of rock and roll! While the audience quickly began making their way to their seats, they sang along to some classic favorites by Frank Sinatra, James Brown, The Beatles, Aretha Franklin and the Bee Gee’s just to name a few.

After the first two songs, Henley greeted and thanked the crowd but he also quickly laid some ground rules. He pointed to both his eyes and his head and said: “These (his eyes) are still the best camera and this (his brain) is still the best memory bank — most days”. He finished that statement off by asking the audience to please put away all cellular devices and cameras. In exchange, he made a deal stating that when we arrived at the time of the evening when he played the “Hotel Song” we would then be permitted to “Whip them out” and record an incredible memory.

Boasting a 5 piece horn section and 3 back up singers, Henley showcases a total of 16 beyond talented musicians leaving anyone who loves music craving just one more song. Promising over two hours of music that would span over 40 years, he did not disappoint. With a 19 song set list and a double encore, he’s definitely a man of his word.

Here is what the audience experienced:

  •  7 Bridges Road
  •  Dirty Laundry
  •  That Old Flame
  •  Sunset Grill
  •  Witchy Woman
  •  When I Stop Dreaming (Louvin Brohers Cover)
  •  One of These Nights
  •  New York Minute
  •  Shangri-La
  • It Don’t Matter to the Sun (Garth Brooks a.k.a Chris Gaines album cover)
  • The End of the Innocence
  • The Last Resort
  • The Heart of the Matter
  • Everybody Wants to Rule The World  (Tears for Fears cover)
  • The Boys of Summer


Encore 1:

  • Life in the Fast Lane
  • Hotel California


Encore 2:

  • Wasted Time
  • Desperado


don henley concertWhile Mr. Don Henley and his entourage of musicians take a break in February, they will resume their tour dates in early March across Australia and New Zealand. With only 7 US tour dates listed/completed thus far, the eight time Grammy award winning artist made a memorable experience come to life for all in attendance at The Hard Rock Live, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. I would highly recommend watching his website for additional US tour dates in hopes of some late additions. This was a show you do not want to miss!

Review submitted by special contributor: Penny Fiorentino

 February 1, 2017  Posted by  Weekend Blog No Responses »