RIVER CITY RUMBLE: Winnipeg’s first-ever rockabilly music festival organizers, who include Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra conductor Alexander Mickelthwate and his clothing-designer wife, Abigail, just booked the smashing new Metropolitan Theatre for the fest. It’s called the River City Rumble and happens Aug. 3 to 4. Co-organizers include Cheryl Scott of the Rockabetty store, PR guru Cheryl Sharfe and board member Teresa Stolarskyj, plus musicians Mike Melnyk and Jeff Smook.
That’s just three months away and they need to raise money in a hurry to launch it, so they’re starting out Winnipeg-style — with a social. It’s Polynesian-themed, a Tiki party called Mai Tai One On, at the Sir John Franklin Community Club on Saturday, May 11. That gives participants two weeks to find a lei, plus a grass skirt and a coconut bra, a muumuu or a Hawaiian shirt, shorts and flip-flops.
Entertainment is three well-known Winnipeg bands in costume disguises, using aliases such as the Hula-gans, Surfboard Sam and the Hairy Coconuts, and solo act Papa Oo-luau.
Tickets are available at Luxalune, 734 Osborne St. South, and Rockabetty at 121 B Osborne St. (204-415-5511).
OVERHEARD: 92 CITI-FM’s rocker Howard Mandshein after a recent tour of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights: "It’ll shut the naysayers up when they see the completed project!
The tour people explained the architecture and the symbolism. We went to the very top and looked out at St.
Boniface and I felt that tingling when you hear a song and it kicks you where it matters. I thought I was listening to the greatest Beatles song you ever heard."
PRE-GAME SHOW: Meet us at the Free Press News Café, McDermot Avenue and Arthur Street in the Exchange, on Tuesday, April 30, at noon.
Our own Woman of Distinction, columnist Lindor Reynolds, a past winner, is interviewing three examples of the 78 highly accomplished Winnipeg women up for the 2013 YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Awards. The gala will be held the following night, Wednesday, May 1, at the Winnipeg Convention Centre. Reynolds will interview Lucille Bart, executive director of the Artbeat Studio, Sophie Gaulin, executive director and editor-in-chief of La Liberté, and Patrol Sgt. Edith Turner, a 19-year veteran of the Winnipeg Police Service. It will be live-streamed or people can come to the café and watch in person. A full list of the nominees can be found on the YMCA-YWCA website at www.ymcaywca.mb.ca/wod.html.
WILD NHUSSI BACKGROUNDS ON TV? Winnipeg musician Casimiro Nhussi, who just released a new CD, Gwecka, and his local producer, Rod Hussey, are negotiating for a networklicensing deal against competing L.A. types who recognize Nhussi and his African-music band are a hot commodity. That means Nhussi’s popular blend of traditional and modern African music could soon be heard behind different TV shows. Tim Seehan of Park Drive Productions in Los Angeles is particularly keen and has the biggest connection. He masters all Hussey’s records in Los Angeles, plus he has licensed music to programs such as Desperate Housewives, Brothers and Sisters, My Name is Earl, Ugly Betty, The Good Wife and Boston Legal.
And it doesn’t hurt that Seehan has Canadian cred, coming from Edmonton many years ago. Says Hussey: "He used to sing the anthem at Hockey Night in Canada in Edmonton. Tim worked with super-producer David Foster and won a Juno award in 1987 as Most Promising Male Vocalist for
Where’s the Fire?, the theme song for Charlie Sheen’s movie The Wraith.
VARIETY GALA GAB: The Variety Club Gold Heart dinner saw Winnipeg’s who’s-who happily putting out $200 a ticket to support the children’s charity at the Fort Garry Hotel last Saturday night. Bob Hall, founding member of Variety Manitoba and younger brother of Monty Hall, flew in from Toronto for the bash at the Fort Garry and addressed the crowd.
Executive director Wayne Rogers hugged and kissed his way around the room. When the Danny Kramer Dance Band got underway, he asked Variety board president Lou Caci to lift his eight-year-old son, Marco, onstage and the entire room could sang Happy Birthday. Actor/broadcaster Brett Buckingham of CJNU’s nostalgia station air-bussed like a pro while Wow Hospitality restaurant guru Doug Stephen and his sweetheart, MLA Kerri Irvin-Ross, with her wild red hair and glam outfit, lit up happy hour.
Free Press columnist Gord Sinclair made the scene, while MC Jim Ingebrigtsen kibbitzed with pal Al Simmons, who did his La Vie En Rose skit onstage with wine that that erupted from the bottom of glasses and a paper accordion that rolled out of a long loaf of French bread. "Oooo-ahhhh!" gasped the crowd... Bottom line: a cool $141,000 raised for Variety children’s programs, says event co-ordinator Nancy Militano, and every cent goes to the kids.
BEST FILM BET TONIGHT: Silver City movie theatre No. 10 was packed with actors, families, friends and curiosity-seekers for the Friday showing of sex comedy My Awkward Sexual Adventure, which stacks up against any Hollywood full-length movie and was filmed 99 per cent in Winnipeg.
The film’s star, Jonas Chernick, spent 12 years writing the film. The movie pretends to be set in Toronto, so the Winnipeg audience found it surreal seeing a Winnipeg strip club used as a Toronto club and different downtown scenes that looked like Portage and Main buildings. Then there was the dirty, sinking, trash-heaped back alley, the MUST have been in Toronto.
Got tips, events, sightings, unusual things going on? Call Maureen’s tip line at 204-474-1116, email Maureen.Scurfield@ Winnipegfreepress.com, or send letters to Maureen Scurfield c/o The Insider, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6.