Where the Wild Things Are Print E-mail

WFIT (NPR Radio, Melbourne, Fla)

October 2, 2017

In 1956 when Maurice Sendak published his first book, Kenny's Window, the world of children's books was a very safe place. Stories were light and happy, set in a world without disorder.Sendak 01

Seven years later Sendak turned the children's book world upside down with his masterpiece Where the Wild Things Are, gaining international acclaim for his illustrating and writing. The book captured the public's imagination with a tale of a boy's journey into a strange land inhabited by grotesque yet appealing monsters. The main character Max-- like many of his protagonists-- acted like a real child, not some idealized version of youth.

All his life Sendak challenged the idea of childhood innocence.

"In plain terms, a child is a complicated creature who can drive you crazy," Sendak once said in an interview. "There's a cruelty to childhood, there's an anger. And I did not want to reduce Max to the trite image of the good little boy that you find in too many books."

Sulfur Springs Print E-mail

 WFIT (NPR Radio, Melbourne, Fla)

September 21, 2017

Bad news usually starts with a phone call. However, the call that came to the home of retired Tamarack County (Minn.) Sheriff Cork O’Connor was different. The look on Cork’s new wife Rainy’s face was chilling. She had received a message from her son, Peter, and though it was garbled it seemed to indicate that he has killed someone named Rodriguez.Krueger Jacket

It's the opening to William Kent Krueger's fifteenth novel Sulfur Springs in his Cork O’Connor series. If you’re a fan of C.J. Box’s Joe Pickett series or Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire books, then the St. Paul, Minn. author could be right up your alley. Krueger is appearing at the Vero Beach Book Center on Thursday, September 28 at 4 p.m. when he takes the stage for a free live Q&A session followed by a book signing.

Raised in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, Krueger briefly attended Stanford University—before being kicked out for radical activities. After that, he logged timber, worked construction, tried his hand at freelance journalism, and eventually ended up researching child development at the University of Minnesota before becoming a celebrated mystery writer. Literary wonders, his last five books were New York Times bestsellers.

The Cuban Affair Print E-mail

WFIT (NPR Radio, Melbourne, Fla)

September 21, 2017

This time around it's a tropical caper for Nelson DeMille. The legendary New York Times bestselling author sets his just released suspense novel-- The Cuban Affair-- on the exotic but troubled island 90 miles from Key West's shores.DeMille 01

DeMille introduces readers to Daniel Graham "Mac" MacCormick, a provocative new character. At age 35, Mac seems to have a pretty good life. He is living in Key West, captain of a 42-foot deep-sea charter fishing boat, The Maine. Mac served five years in the Army as an infantry officer with two tours in Afghanistan. He returned with the Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, scars that don’t tan, and a $250,000 bank loan on his boat.

One of today’s most iconic thriller writers, DeMille brings his 20th book (his first with new publisher Simon & Schuster) to the Vero Beach Book Center on Wednesday, September 27 at 7 p.m. when he takes the stage for a free live Q&A session followed by a book signing.

"Growing up I was influenced by some of the greatest British mystery writers such as Agatha Christie, Dennis Wheatley and Dorothy Sayers as well as iconic characters like Nero Wolfe and Sherlock Holmes," DeMille remembers. "Their stories were deceptively simple. I learned the structure of murder mysteries. Plus I knew everyone loves a good who-dunnit."

The Merry Widow Print E-mail


WFIT (NPR Radio, Melbourne, Fla)
August 20, 2017

In the 19th century the operetta relied on catchy tunes and popular dances of the day. One of the most famous is Franz Lehar's The Merry Widow.Merry Widow_cast_photo_courtesy_Orlando_Light_Opera

Set in 1905 in a glamorous Parisian setting, the title character Hanna has come into a substantial inheritance — and in this operetta, it seems to be a truth universally acknowledged that a widow in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a husband. When prospective bridegrooms set their sights on Hanna, rivalries swirl and romance crackles.

Farce, romance and jealousy abound when the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra and Orlando Light Opera collaborate in an updated production of Lehar's famed operetta. The Merry Widow will be performed Saturday August 19 at 7 p. m at The Scott Center for Performing Arts in Melbourne and Sunday, August 20 at 3 p.m. at the Vero Beach High School Performing Arts Center.

Directed by Eric Pinder and conducted by Aaron T. Collins, Lehar's music sparkles in this English language production, staged and reimagined for the new millennium. Lehár's score is a succession of hit tunes — the famous "Merry Widow" waltz, the "Vilja Song," and numbers based on dance rhythms like the polka, the galop, the march, and even the newest import from America, the cakewalk. It was a huge international success, and helped to give operetta a new lease on life that continued for decades.

Lady Day Ensemble Print E-mail


WFIT (NPR Radio, Melbourne, Fla)

August 19, 2017

Get ready to raise the roof. The bright, brash, and sassy sounds of the Jarred Armstrong Quartet and the remarkable vocalist Kristen Warren are headed to the Henegar Center performing as the Lady Day Ensemble on Saturday, August 19. The jazz quartet is led by Jarred Armstrong on piano with Ethan Bailey-Gould on bass and Ashton Bailey-Gould on drums.Armstrong Warren

The concert in some ways is a reprise of Melbourne director Pam Harbaugh's production Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill at the Henegar last February. The show experienced a sold-out run with an additional show selling out immediately. Rather than a musical, it is a one-woman play with music. Written by Lanie Robertson, the play is set in the historic Emerson’s Tavern in Philadelphia where legendary jazz singer Billie “Lady Day” Holiday (Warren) performed shortly before her death at age 44. In the play, Billie sings and tells stories of her life, which was rife with challenges born out of racism.

"It was a very successful production, catching the hearts and minds of the region's jazz lovers," Harbaugh related. "We created the atmosphere of a legendary jazz club and told the story of the amazing challenges in Billie Holliday's life and how she rose about them and society at that time. People were blown away by it. Couldn't get enough of it. If we would revive the show, it would sell out in a day."


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