Latest Area News

Pirates exhibit at Temple Mound Museum

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Thu, 07/09/2015 - 12:58pm

FORT WALTON BEACH — This summer the Indian Temple Mound Museum presents the exhibit Pirates: Last Scourge of the Gulf.

The exhibit tells the story of the last golden age of piracy in the Gulf of Mexico in the early 1800s when political upheaval in the Old and New World led to an opportunity for law-lessness in the Gulf.

The exhibit features artifacts from the time period, a pirate ship to play on, knot-tying station, pirate dress-up for the younger buccaneers, and much more.

Visitors will learn all about the famous pirates who plied the Gulf in the Caribbean, from Edward Teach to Jack Rackham.

Visitors will learn about life aboard a pirate ship and chart the rise of fall of the pirates as part of this region’s history.

Regular admission to the Indian Temple Mound Museum also covers the exhibit, which is on display in the Lazarus Education Room until Labor Day.

Heritage Park & Cul-tural Center is at 139 Miracle Strip Parkway S.E. The Indian Temple Mound Museum hours are 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Call the museum at 833-9595.
 

A prequel for the pipsqueaks called ‘Minions’

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Thu, 07/09/2015 - 12:53pm

Sidekicks rarely shine when thrust into the spotlight, but what about a few hundred of them?

The Minions, having been the best part of the two previous “Despicable Me” movies, have swarmed the screen in “Minions.” As candidates for center stage, they are seemingly ill-suited. Slavishly — if rarely competently — devoted lackeys, they’re underlings by both definition and verticality.

They don’t speak intelligibly, which, to be fair, isn’t a bar all of Hollywood’s leading men reach. Instead, they talk in a bright babble that belies their fondness for colorful phonetics. “Banana” and “piñata” are their kind of words.

Their unsuitability for the lead role, or just about anything else, is much of the fun of “Minions,” a happy henchmen overload that largely succeeds in its simple mission: More Minions!

Directed by Pierre Coffin (who co-directed “Despicable Me” one and two and voices the Minions) and Kyle Balda, “Minions” begins in fine form. The little yellow ones are already humming the Universal theme as the film begins.

With Geoffrey Rush narrating, we get the history of the Minions, which stretches back across eons and begins with them — a curios early mammal — literally walking out of the sea.

But the evolution stops there. For thousands of years, we see, they’ve been letting down their evil masters, from a Tyrannosaurus Rex accidentally tipped into a volcano, to Dracula, whom they excitedly wake with a birthday cake and wide-open blinds.

The Minions have their own Ice Age, however, ending up leaderless in Antarctica. After a few hundred years, the joy of snow ball fights beginning to dim, three of them — Kevin, Bob and Stuart — set out on a quest to find a new supervillain to idolize.

Soon, they’re on their way to Villain-Con, a riff on Comic-Con only a convention celebrating the likes of Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), an evil world-conqueror in a beehive. The trio inadvertently wins a job in Overkill’s entourage, and they’re soon enmeshed in her plan to take the British throne, along with Overkill’s inventor, Herb (Jon Hamm).

There are, it should be noted, more ambitious seats of power to set one’s diabolical sights on. But this is 1960s Swinging London, a colorful if over-familiar backdrop, and the goggle-wearing Minions could just as well be chipper Mods.

The irreverent slapstick unfortunately gives way to the kind of action set pieces that have now even corrupted children’s movies. The bombast, though never serious, is still loud enough to, for too long, drown out the best thing the movie has going for it: The chuckles and squeaks of the Minions.

It also makes it harder to hear the other key sound accompanying the Minions: the laughter of children. What are the Minions but stand-ins for kids? Mumbling half-understood words by the mouthful, they plunge headlong into any task, usually wielding a dangerous object they shouldn’t. Nothing makes them double over like a good pratfall, and they will insist on a goodnight kiss or bedtime story. Teaming and relent-less, they will melt the heart of any guardian, even a supervillain.

Coming on the heels of Pixar’s “Inside Out,” an emotional wallop that most knocks out misty-eyed adults, “Minions” is a different beast. This one’s for the kids.

“Minions,” a Universal Pictures release, is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for “action and rude humor.” Running time: 91 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four.
 

Friends of the Museums to celebrate 20 years

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Thu, 07/09/2015 - 12:38pm

FORT WALTON BEACH — In the spring of 1995, a small group of local history and archaeology enthusi-asts who were involved with the Indian Temple Mound Museum decided to unite and form Friends of the Museums.

They set up the non-profit corporation, Friends of the Museums Inc., to help the museums thrive and grow in Fort Walton Beach.

During the past two decades the Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum and the Garnier Post Office Museum were moved onto the Fort Walton Temple Mound property across the Mound from the Indian Temple Mound Museum.

The Civil War exhibit was constructed, and it, together with the three museums and the mound, were renamed the City of Fort Walton Beach Heritage Park and Cultural Center.

Throughout all this, Friends of the Museums devoted thousands of hours to helping Heritage Park blossom. To cele-brate this 20th birthday milestone, Friends of the Museums is hosting an ice cream social on Saturday at the Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum.

Ice cream will be served, and local dulcimer and string group the Peli-can Pickers will perform noon-2 p.m. at the school-house.

The museums of Heri-tage Park will be open and admission will be free. Everyone is welcome!

The Indian Temple Mound Museum is open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum, Garnier Post Office Museum, and Civil War Exhibit Building will be open noon-4 p.m.

Heritage Park & Cul-tural Center is at 139 Mira-cle Strip Parkway S.E.
 

Headliner: Stokeswood

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Thu, 07/09/2015 - 12:29pm

What do you think your favorite local band or musician does before a performance? 

Listens to on his or her MP3 player? Believes are influences on their own music?

In its regular feature “Headliner,” the Daily News asks local or visiting bands and musicians those questions and more.

This week, let’s get to know Stokeswood.

They’ll be performing at the Funky Blues Shack in Sandestin 10 p.m. July 11 and 12.

The Opening Act

Name: Stokeswood

Members: Adam Patterson (Vox, acoustic guitar, keyboards), Michael Roman (keyboards), Justin Mullinix (bass, production), Jon Joiner (drums) and Mark Godwin (electric guitar) are all 212 years old.

Homebase: Atlanta

Genre: alternative/pop

Website: www.stokeswoodmusic.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/stokeswood

Twitter: @stokeswood

The Performance

How did you come up with your band name?
There’s a street in Atlanta that Adam and I used to live on named Stokeswood. In a moment of need — before the band was named — it popped into Adam's head. He blurted it out on a Jumbotron and the rest is, well, you know ...

How did you get started?
The story goes like this: Five members of Stokeswood woke up one day in a black van with a trailer full of equipment and not one of them knew how they got there.

Who are your influences?
Between the five of us, I think it’s safe to say we are influenced by a vast array of musical styles, but the one band we all seem to agree on the most is the Talking Heads.

Do you have any pre-performance rituals?
We all have our own thing. I like to pace back and forth until someone makes me stop, then I start up again 12 seconds later.

What do you hope your listeners think or feel after hearing your music?
Everything.

What are some top songs you listen to on your "playlist?"
That’s a tough one as I’ve never been a playlist kind of person. I enjoy full albums more. Currently, I’m still listening to Alt-J's “An Awesome Wave.”

What song (or songs) are you embarrassed to admit you listen to?
Our own.

Do you have anything you’d like to share (upcoming shows, new music, etc)?
Our new EP, “2075,” just came out on June 16. It’s available through iTunes, Amazon, and our website stokeswoodmusic.com.

The After Party
Want to participate? Readers can nominate a local or visiting band, or bands can participate by contacting Features Reporter Lauren Delgado at 850-315-4406 or LDelgado@nwfdailynews.com.
 

Buzzworthy events for July 10-16

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Thu, 07/09/2015 - 11:57am

Want a few suggestions for what to do, where to go and who to see? You’ll find them here each week. Look for details and more ideas throughout Showcase.

Friday

‘Wee Works’: Opening reception for the Arts and Design Society’s “Wee Works” show is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. July 10. The exhibition features works that do not exceed 10”x10. Admission to the reception and the gallery is free and open to the public. The Art Center Gallery is at 17 First St. S.E., Fort Walton Beach.

Saturday

Blue Angels Pensacola Beach Air Show: Red, White & Blues week includes a practice flight demonstration at 2 p.m. July 9, a dress rehearsal with civilian acts and the Blue Angels starting at noon July 10 with the Blues flying at 2 p.m. and then the air show July 11 beginning at noon with the Blue Angels flying at 2 p.m. Watch the skies over Pensacola Beach.

20th Birthday Party: The City of Fort Walton Beach Heritage Park and Cultural Center’s support organization, Friends of the Museums, is hosting an ice cream social on Saturday at the Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum. Local dulcimer and string group the Pelican Pickers will perform noon-2 p.m. The museums of Heritage Park will be open and admission will be free. Heritage Park & Cultural Center is at 139 Miracle Strip Parkway S.E., Fort Walton Beach.

Monday

Pirates exhibit: This summer the Indian Temple Mound Museum presents the exhibit Pirates: Last Scourge of the Gulf. The exhibit tells the story of the last golden age of piracy in the Gulf of Mexico in the early 1800s. Heritage Park & Cultural Center is at 139 Miracle Strip Parkway S.E., Fort Walton Beach. Indian Temple Mound Museum hours are 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Tuesday

Bands on the Beach: Lounge on Pensacola Beach this summer and listen to a variety of performers on Tuesday nights. Concerts start at 7 p.m. at the Gulfside Pavilion, near 50 Fort Pickens Road. The series continues until the last Tuesday in October. Visit visitpensacolabeach.com for the schedule.

Wednesday

Seaside concerts: Music will sound in the Seaside Amphitheater on 30A in South Walton all summer long. The concert series will take place Wednes-days at 7 p.m. through Aug. 26.

Thursday

‘Jaws’ presentation: The Valparaiso Community Library will celebrate the 40th Anniversary release of the motion picture “Jaws” at 3 p.m. July 16. This classic will be shown on the 12-foot screen with surround sound for adult patrons and their guests over age 13. Refreshments will be served.
 

5 questions with ‘Oklahoma!’ characters

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Thu, 07/09/2015 - 11:01am

“Oklahoma!” is set in the 1900s in the Oklahoma Territory. 

In the musical, high fashion at that time meant long, prairie-style dresses, neckerchiefs, and aprons. Box socials were the 20th-century equivalent of going to the club, and a surrey with fringe on top was a convertible.

We got curious about how the “Oklahoma!” characters would fit into our modern age of media and mega celebrities. We asked the leads to answer a few questions for us as their characters.

Curly
Performed by Tristan Allen

What is Curly's Twitter or Instagram handle?
@curlz4lyfe

What is Curly's signature drink?
Jack and Coke

What is Curly's favorite song?
“Happy,” by Pharrell Williams.

What is Curly's favorite TV show to binge watch?
“Adventure Time.”

Beyonce or Taylor Swift?
Beyoncé. Always.

Laurey
Performed by Katie Pickler.

What is Laurey's Twitter or Instagram handle?
@hardtogethoneylamb

What is Laurey's signature drink?
Green appletini.

What is Laurey's favorite song?
“Respect,” by Aretha Franklin.

What is Laurey's favorite TV show to binge watch?
“New Girl.”

Beyoncé or Taylor swift?
Beyoncé.

Aunt Eller
Performed by Gretchen Erickson

What is Aunt Eller's Twitter or Instagram handle?
Can’t say as I know what you mean by Twitter or Instagram handle, but I been called plenty a things a’fore by my kinfolk. I’m partial to Auction Auntie.

What is Aunt Eller's signature drink?
At the Box Social jist last yer, I made Sand Plum Wine, and, yeow, it was mighty fine.

What is Aunt Eller's favorite song?
I shore feel fine list’n to the cowboys croon the tune “Green Grow the Lilacs.”

What is Aunt Eller's favorite TV show to binge watch?
I never owned a TV m’self but I shore do like to look at ’em. Love me some “Little House on the Prairie.”

Beyonce or Taylor Swift?
Taylor Swift ’cause I had a cousin named Swifty.

Will Parker
Performed by Sean Royal

What is Will's Twitter or Instagram handle?
His Instagram name would be WillParkerIsTheBest

What is Will's signature drink?
His favorite drink is a root beer float.

What is Will's favorite song?
“Save A Horse (Ride a Cowboy),” by Big & Rich.

What is Will's favorite TV show to binge watch?
“Walker Texas Ranger.”

Beyonce or Taylor Swift?
Taylor Swift solely because she used to sing country music.

Jud Fry
Performed by Daniel Thornton

What is Jud's Twitter or Instagram handle?
Twitter is something I like a lot. It makes every letter count. Follow me @sensitiveintrovert_85

What is Jud's signature drink?
I like a good strong mudslide after a long day’s work.

What is Jud's favorite song?
“Brain Stew” by Green Day. It’s my calm song.

What is Jud's favorite TV show to binge watch?
Recently I’ve been obsessed with “Orange is the New Black,” but I can just sit and watch “Stargate SG-1.”

Beyonce or Taylor Swift?
Beyoncé 100 percent.
 

‘Oklahoma!’ sweeping into Arts Center for 4 nights (PHOTOS)

NICEVILLE — When it comes to presenting one of the most popular musicals in Broadway history, there are definitely some big boots to fill in staging “Oklahoma!”

The rollicking, romantic musical ran for an unprecedented 2,212 performances on Broadway in its original 1943 run, later enjoying award-winning revivals, an Academy Award-winning film, a special Pulitzer Prize, and countless performances worldwide ever since.

However, if past local productions of big-name hits such as “Les Miserables,” “Grease” and “Beauty and the Beast” are any indication, the Fine and Performing Arts Division at Northwest Florida State College is sure to pony-up another fantastic summer musical with “Oklahoma!”

“This show is the quintessential Broadway musical. “It’s truly a story for all ages,” said Clint Mahle, NWF State theater professor and director of “Oklahoma!”

See more photos of the cast. >>

The hit musical features a cast of 28 student and community actors, 38 backstage crew, a pit orchestra of 14, more than 150 custom-designed period costumes, and a massive 25-foot-tall set built by the local crew from the ground up to replicate a turn-of-the-century Midwestern town.

Set in the Oklahoma Territory in 1906, this delightful and energetic Rodger’s and Hammerstein musical spins a tale of the high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys.

It provides a colorful backdrop against which Curly, a handsome cowboy played by Tristan Allen of Fort Walton Beach, and Laurey, a winsome farm girl played by Katie Pickler of Niceville, play out their love story — despite attempts to keep them apart by the brooding and jealous farmhand Jud, played by Daniel Thornton of Baker.

For Katie, a scholarship vocalist at the college, her lead role in “Oklahoma!” is her chance to portray one of her girlhood idols.

“Most of my friends looked up to Disney princess characters like the Little Mermaid or Cinderella when they were younger, but Laurey was my ‘Disney’ princess. I’ve loved ‘Oklahoma!’ and the sweet but strong character of Laurey for years,” she said.

The role of Curley will be Tristan’s first as a lead performer in the Mattie Kelly Arts Center’s 1,650 seat Mainstage Theater although he is no stranger to the stage and was an active member of Fort Walton Beach High School’s renowned drama program.

In another key lead role in the musical, Gretchen Erickson of Niceville plays the tough but motherly character of Aunt Eller, whose plucky wisdom sees through the insistence of both Laurey and Curly that they don’t love each other.

Gretchen is a veteran of the college’s stage, performing since early 2000 in plays such as “Crazy for You” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

“I’ve sort of taken on the role of mother for the cast,” said Gretchen. “We really have become a family.”

Megan Garofalo of Santa Rosa Beach takes on the lead role of Laurey’s naïve but lovable best friend, Ado Annie Carnes, who finds herself accidentally caught in a hilarious love triangle.

Will Parker, played by Sean Royal, is the goofy cowboy after Ado Annie’s heart despite not being able to keep enough money in his pocket to pay the dowry her father demands.

Ado Annie is nearly swept away by the Persian peddler Ali Hakim, played by Jason Mueller of Fort Walton Beach, and the two men create a hilarious side plot as their characters battle for the affections of Annie.

Protecting Ado Annie from falling into a marriage with a man who can’t support her is her father Andrew Carnes, played by Megan’s brother Dylan Garofalo of Santa Rosa Beach. Dylan most recently appeared in the lead role of the college’s sold-out production of “Hamlet.”

Before you dust off your surrey with the fringe on top and mosey down to the Mattie Kelly Arts Center, you’ll need tickets to the show, as proceeds support the college’s theater program. As the college’s summer musicals are always a big hit and often sell out, advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended.

The college’s production of “Oklahoma!” is presented through special arrangement with R & H Theatricals: www.rnh.com. Music by Richard Rodgers, Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, based on the play “Green Grow the Lilacs” by Lynn Riggs, with original dances by Agnes de Mille.  

Want to go?
What: “Oklahoma!”

When: 7:30 p.m. July 15-18

Where: The Mattie Kelly Arts Center on the Niceville campus of Northwest Florida State College, 100 College Blvd. East

Tickets: Tickets are on sale from the box office for $25 adult and $20 for youths ages 18 and younger. Northwest Florida State College students may request 1 free ticket per ID in person from the box office, space permitting. Call 729-6000 or purchase online at www.MattieKellyArtsCenter.org. Phone and in-person hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and 6-7:30 each of the show’s four performance nights.

La Famiglia brings wonderful food to new site (PHOTOS)

La Famiglia moved this spring from its site on U.S. 98 in Destin to the former Hard Rock Cafe building in Destin Commons.

The food
Fortunately for us diners, La Famiglia brought all of their famously wonderful Italian dishes with them to the new location.

My guest and I enjoyed lunch there on a recent Sunday.

See more photos of the meal. >>

Although we didn’t have one, appetizers offered include brushchetta, caprese, calamari, cozze alla diavola (mussels), antipasto, tagliere di formaggi (selection of cheeses) and fritto misto (calamari, shrimp, tilapia).

We chose to make a house salad with house-made Italian dressing our appetizer.

The salad was made with cold, crisp iceberg lettuce accessorized with cucumber, carrot, tomato, red bell pepper and Italian olives.

Our server also brought warm bread and seasoned olive oil for dipping to our table.

Other salads available are the La Famiglia, which our server described as containing strawberries and mandarin oranges and many other delicious ingredients; a cesar salad, Greek salad, spinach salad and arugula salad.

Chicken or shrimp can be added to any salad for an upcharge.

Entree categories include carne (meat), seafood, pasta and pizza. There’s also a special lunch menu served 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and one designed to please children.

My guest chose the veal alla parmigiana and said it was quite good. Fresh veal is topped with mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese in a red tomato sauce. It was served with a side of pasta.

Four additional veal dishes are offered as well as three chicken dishes.

I chose the eggplant parmigiana for my entree and enjoyed every delicious bite. It was prepared differently than most other versions of the dish I’ve had.

Eggplant is layered with marinara sauce, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese and baked in the oven. It came in its own small casserole dish along with a side of pasta in a matching dish.

It was a lot of food! My guest ended up finishing my pasta.

There are 22 more pasta dishes on the menu — too many to list — and they all sound tempting. I noted that several of them include seafood.

Seafood dishes feature shrimp, salmon, lobster, mussels, clams, scallops, calamari and fish.

There are also about a dozen pizzas to choose from and even more top-pings.

We finished our meal with two sweet treats: strawberry tiramisu and something called the diplomatico, which was a light cake filled with cream and topped with more.

Both were delightful, but the strawberry tiramisu won the day. Again, it was so large, my guest finished it for me.

I wanted a cappuccino, too, but would have had to put it in my pocket.

Be sure to ask what desserts are available. Only two are listed on the menu, but our server gave us many more choices.

Beverages include the usual soda, coffee and iced tea as well as San Pelle-grino water, raspberry iced tea, iced coffee and more coffees: cappuccino, espresso, macchiato, double espresso and latte.

The atmosphere
Except, perhaps, for the location of the bar, all traces of the former in-habitant of the space have been erased.

La Famiglia is warm and inviting with a rich wood interior and subtle lighting.

Seating is at booths and tables inside and at tables in an outdoor covered patio.

Table settings are lovely with real cloth napkins and heavyweight utensils. Glass goblets were filled with ice water upon our seating.

The one off note were the plastic Coke cups our iced tea was served in just because everything else was so nice.

Live music is offered Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, presumably from the small raised plat-form at one end of the res-taurant.

The service
Two sisters tag-teamed service, which was friendly and efficient.

Both were happy to describe dishes to us and answer questions.

A final taste
La Famiglia brings all the deliciousness of Italian cuisine to Destin Com-mons.

QuickBites

Location: 4260 Legendary Drive in Destin

Telephone: 424-5795

Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. every day
Lunch specials, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. every day
Live music, 6 p.m.-closing Thursday-Saturday

Reservations: Not necessary

Handicap accessibility: Good

Children’s menu: Yes

Price range

Appetizers: $13.95-$19.95

Salads: $5.99-$10.95

Meat and seafood entrees: $18.99-$26.95

Pasta entrees: $14.99-$28.99

Pizza: $12.99-$23.99.

Lunch specials: $6.95-$11.99

Payment: Credit cards accepted
 

Blue Angels, ‘Oklahoma!’ talk, JAZZ, Terminator and more

July Fourth launches more than fireworks in these parts.

It’s also the beginning of Red, White & Blues week featuring the Navy’s Blue Angels.

Red, White & Blues week includes a practice flight demonstration at 2 p.m. today, a dress rehearsal with civilian acts and the Blue Angels starting at noon Friday with the Blues flying at 2 p.m. and then the air show itself Saturday beginning at noon with the Blue Angels flying at 2 p.m.

Scheduled civilian acts include Redline, Gary Ward, Kevin Coleman and Skip Stewart.

The skies over Pensa-cola Beach is where all the fun will take place.

Find more details, in-cluding a schedule for the trolley service that will run that day, online at visit-pensacolabeach.com.

***

Today’s centerpiece cover feature about “Oklahoma!” includes a super-fun feature. Five of the lead actors answered some silly questions for us in character.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

And if you’d like to know more about the his-torical circumstances of the play, the college will offer a special treat on July 18, the final night of “Oklahoma!”

Dr. David Simmons, NWF State College humanities and film profes-sor, will present a free 25 minute talk about “Oklahoma!” starting at 6:30 p.m. in Tyler Recital Hall at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center.

According to a late-breaking press release, Simons will discuss cul-tural and moral issues raised by the story. He will also talk about how the college’s production not only stays true to the Rod-gers and Hammerstein original classic, but also presents some innovative modern adaptations to the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning tale.

Remember, this talk is free and on July 18 only.

***

Ed Smith, owner of JAZZ, is celebrating the store’s one-year anniver-sary in downtown Fort Walton Beach.

JAZZ specializes in vinyl, CDs and “other hip collectibles,” as Ed likes to say.

He called last Thursday excited about this mile-stone and eager to get the word out.

Ed is celebrating in a way that benefits custom-ers: Every CD in the store — even imports — is 50 percent off the entire month of July.

The store is at 222B Miracle Strip Parkway. Call 244-5299 with ques-tions.

***

He’s back, all right!

Arnold Schwarzenegger reprises his iconic role in “Terminator Genisys,” which I saw on July Fourth.

Even though it failed to win the day in terms of box office numbers, “Terminator Genisys” was interesting and enjoyable if somewhat confusing, as most time-travel stories tend to be.

The new movie is replete with references to the original, which makes sense because it’s kind of reboot but not exactly.

Emilia Clarke was solid as the “new” Sarah Connor, as was Jai Courtney in the shoes of Kyle Reese. The only other thing I knew him from was the last “Die Hard” movie.

The audience we saw it with laughed in all the right places and seemed to enjoy it, too.

***

“Falling Skies” — the alien-invasion apocalyptic show on TNT — is two episodes into its final season. As much as I like Noah Wyle, I will be glad when it’s over.

The season opener was a snoozer. Although last Sunday’s episode was bet-ter, it’s become repetitious.

How long has this Maggie-Hal-Ben triangle been going on now? Too long.
 

Movies back at the Landing

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 10:33am

The Movies at the Landing series makes its 2015 return to Fort Walton Beach with a lineup of eight free movie showings.

Every Friday evening at 8 p.m., bring a lawn chair or blanket to the Fort Walton Landing, catch a free movie, and start the weekend off right in Downtown Fort Walton Beach. This summer’s movie selections include:

7/10: Back to the Future

7/17: Ghostbusters

7/24: The Goonies

7/31: Hook

8/7: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

8/14: Jumanji

8/21: Superman

8/28: Mary Poppins

Movies at the Landing is sponsored by the City of Fort Walton Beach along with community partners Apex Broadcasting and the Downtown Fort Walton Beach Organization. For more information, visit http://www.downtownfwb.com/fridaymovies/
 

Lotsa grinding, little plot in ‘Magic Mike XXL’

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Thu, 07/02/2015 - 10:09am

There’s an early scene in “Magic Mike XXL” that hints at what this much ballyhooed sequel woulda, coulda, shoulda been.

Mike Lane, played by the well nigh irresistible Channing Tatum, is alone in his furniture workshop. As he saws, measures and sands, the beat of the music he’s listening to starts to transport him. He can’t stop himself: he begins to dance, all around the shop, over and under the tools, a guy who just can’t keep those limbs from moving.

Tatum’s a great dancer and a wonderfully physical actor. We’d watch him do this all night. But we don’t get to.

Instead, we get almost two hours of often rambling setup, finally leading to a long-awaited climax when Tatum, fellow chiseled stud Matt Bomer and their buff male stripper cohorts take the stage to bump, hump, grind and swivel tirelessly as gleeful women rain dollar bills onto their oiled skin. Yes, we admire this tireless-ness. But is it treasonous to suggest that eventually it becomes tireSOME, too?

Those who fondly remember the original “Magic Mike” will be sad to realize that Matthew “Alright Alright Alright” McConaughey is missing this time around. So is director Steven Soderbergh, though he’s back as cinematographer and editor; his associate Gregory Jacobs has taken the reins. What’s most obviously missing in this sequel, though, is a real plot. What there is can be summed up in five words: Road Trip to Stripper Convention. Or maybe six: LONG Road to Stripper Convention.

We begin three years after Mike traded the stripper life for his long-held dream of setting up his own custom furniture company. It’s not going as well as he’d planned.

Suddenly, Mike gets a call. It’s a ruse, but it brings him back to his old buddies from the Kings of Tampa, planning one last big stab at glory before retiring their act at the convention in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

One last show: Hardly an original premise. Still, there are moments of fun. One of these comes at a gas station convenience store manned by a young woman with an apparent inability to smile. Mike, seeking to convince Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello) that he has the creativity to move out of his stock fireman character, challenges him to find a way to make the young lady grin. He does, and gets his mojo back.

But too often, the gang’s stops on the way to the contest — sort of a male stripper-themed “Little Miss Sunshine,” when you think about it — start well and then just go on forever. This is true of a visit to a private Savannah strip club, whose owner, Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith) has an unresolved past with Mike.

Rome and Mike? The idea is intriguing. But we never learn much about what happened. Things get sewn up quickly, and we move on. The same happens with the oddly unsat-isfying (for us) relationship Mike strikes up with a pretty photographer (Amber Heard) he meets one night. We’d like to know more; she’s still there at the end of the movie, and we don’t really know why.

But maybe all that’s beside the point. The only thing that really matters is the giant show at the end, where each man gets his moment to shine, though frankly we’d have been happy just to fast forward to Tatum. But even when the star takes the stage, some of us might wish he’d do a little less, uh, simulat-ing, and a little more actual dancing.

By the end, we’re somewhat exhausted. Surely “XXL” in the title wasn’t meant to indicate the length of the movie, but it rather feels like it. Sometimes a medium is a better fit.

“Magic Mike XXL,” a Warner Bros. release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America “for strong sexual content, pervasive language, some nudity and drug use.” Running time: 115 minutes. Two stars out of four.
 

Mewhirter chalks up win with first published novel

You know Travis Mewhirter as part of the awesome Daily News Sports Department.

Now, get to know him as a published novelist.

Travis’ first novel, “The Last 18,” was released in June by Saguaro Books, LLC, of Arizona, which specializes in publishing first-time authors.

Travis, 24, took time to answer some questions about this milestone accomplishment.

When did you first realize you wanted to write?

Fifth grade. My English teacher asked us to write about something we did over the weekend. I happened to hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer of our championship basketball game to send it into overtime (we eventually lost). I absolutely LOVED writing about it. I knew ever since then I wanted to write.

You write all the time for your “day job.” How was writing your book different?

You get to write about whatever you want, whenever you want, under no stress.

What made you want to accomplish this so early in your career?

I’ve wanted to write a book for as long as I can remember, and I’m talking as early as middle school. Besides, writing is probably my second favorite thing in the world, after playing beach volleyball.

I get random urges to write, particularly after I read anything — a book, a magazine, an especially compelling story. I figured I might as well concentrate those writing cravings on a goal.

How long did it take, start to finish — from the idea to publication?

Oh boy ... I began it when I was 19, scrapped it, reworked it, and it was published at 24, so about five years total.

What inspired the idea for the story?

I saw an ESPN feature on this girl who was an excellent golfer. She was 13 or 14 or so, and the one thing her mom loved most in the world was to watch her play golf.

The mom had breast cancer, but it was diagnosed super late, and she had only a few months to live. A professional tournament got wind of this, and her daughter was included in the field, so the mom could see her play professional golf.

I loved the story, and I could relate so much of it to my own life that it was easy to spin it into my own story.

How much of it is autobiographical?

Every character is based on someone I know — even many of the names are juxtapositions of my best friends and family. It’s strictly fiction, so none of it is actually real.

What kind of feedback have you received?

My family absolutely loved it (I think they are a tad biased) and I’ve been sort of shocked to see how many of my friends — none of whom are readers — are actually READING the book. I get texts and messages every day.

Who do you read?

For books, I devour all things Mitch Albom and John Grisham, and I’m a huge Harry Potter nerd (I’ve read the series at least eight times). For everyday reading, it has to be Wright Thompson (ESPN The Magazine). Best sports writer in the world. Him and Chris Ballard (Sports Illustrated).

What are your plans for future books?

I’m actually almost through with the rough draft of a second book. This one is based on a story I wrote back in Maryland.

What else would you like readers to know about this experience?

It was honestly the most trying thing I’ve ever done. I’ve led a pretty blessed life — I wasn’t used to failure.

When you write a book, 99 percent of the feedback you get is negative. You fail your way to success.

Dozens of editors rejected it until one accepted and sent it back with enough red ink you’d think he dipped it in ketchup.

After that, I sent the polished manuscript to agents. Probably close to 100 rejections later, one signed. He sent it out to publishing houses. I can’t even tell you the number of rejection letters clogging my inbox.

Then one day, Saguaro Books emailed and said they’d love to publish it. Best email I’ve ever received.

 Want to get a copy? “The Last 18” is available on Saguaro Books and Amazon websites. It retails for $11.95.

Gulfarium plans Salute to Shark Week

FORT WALTON BEACH — You’ve seen them on TV, now see sharks at the Gulfarium on Okaloosa Island.

Gulfarium’s Salute to Shark Week will be held July 6-12 to celebrate one of the ocean’s most fasci-nating creatures. General admission guests can enjoy shark-themed activities, specials and discounts throughout the park all week long.

During the week, kids can dive into the custom aquarium bounce house and enjoy other activities such as shark feeding demonstrations, kids crafts, and a park-wide scavenger hunt.

Enjoy discounts on shark-themed merchandise and a special $5 off deal on a shark and stingray snorkel encounter. Call 243-9046, ext. 2, to book or visit www.gulfarium.com/ and use the online code SHARKWEEK for the discount. Restrictions apply.
 

Masters: Modern to Contemporary exhibition in South Walton

ROSEMARY BEACH — Tommy Crow Studios, in conjunction with New River Fine Art, will host Masters: Modern to Contemporary July 2-12. 

This special exhibition features original works of art by renowned 20th Century, Post War and Contemporary Masters including Picasso, Miro, Dali, Chagall, Warhol, Frank Stella and more.

An opening reception with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be held Friday 5-8 p.m.

Tommy Crow Studios teamed with New River Fine Art in October 2014 to bring Dali: Sublime to Surreal to Rosemary Beach.

“That event was so well received, people are still talking about it” said Tommy Crow. “Visitors and residents were thrilled to see and acquire museum quality art right here in Rosemary Beach. I’ve had a lot of requests for more exhibitions of this caliber.”

Masters: Modern to Contemporary features about 50 original works of art, sculptures, ceramics and graphics spanning 20th Century, Post War and Contemporary Art.

“Our first exhibition in Rosemary Beach concentrated on a single artist. This exhibition features the most influential artists of the 20th Century and explores the relationships between the creative genius, past and present, that radically transformed how art is defined” said Lisa Burgess, president of New River Fine Art.

Curators will be on hand throughout the selling exhibition to answer questions and share stories about the artists and their work.

“The exhibition includes work in a variety of mediums and price points from Picasso, Miro, Dali, Chagall, Warhol, Frank Stella and many others” said Wissam Elghoul, New River Fine Art Gallery director. “Sharing the stories behind the artists and their work help collectors understand that great art was meant to be lived with, not just viewed on museum walls.”

For more information, call Burgess at 954-524 - 2100 or Crow at 231-1300.
 

Arnold (but little else) is back in ‘Terminator’

Thirty-one years and counting, and the Terminators keep rolling off the assembly line like new iPhones, upgraded with shape-shifting abilities, rebooted Sarah Conner assassination levels and, one presumes, better selfie cameras.

“Terminator Genisys,” directed by Alan Taylor (“Thor: The Dark World”), is the fifth entry in the se-ries begun by James Cameron and a naked money grab aimed at rejuvenating a flagging franchise. The three-plus decades of “Terminator” have spread across the relentless march of technology and the Internet, but the movies are curiously stuck between their pre-digital 1980s origins and a dystopian vision of machines’ rule over the planet.

However many Termi-nators are unveiled, the mechanical heart and soul of the series will always be Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800. He’s the android version of earlier, cast-aside operating systems: a Game Boy with a gun. “I’m old, not obsolete,” he says in “Genisys.”

And that, surprisingly, is the case. Schwarzeneg-ger’s return to his most iconic role (he was absent in the forgettable 2009 en-try “Terminator Salvation” while governor) provides much of the appeal of this otherwise purposeless redo.

Not only does his leather jacket-clad hulk continually best newer, better Terminators, in “Genisys” the 67-year-old successfully wrestles a synthetic version of his younger, body-building self. Aging is a hard fact of life, even for the machines sent from the future to kill us.

Five films in, “Genisys” works very hard to explain its existence. Screenwriters Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier begin in 2029, long after Skynet robots destroyed most of humanity in Judgment Day. John Conner (Jason Clarke) is leading a promising if grim revolution when the fight begins hopping through time.

To rescue John’s mother, Sarah Conner, John sends his loyal soldier Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) to 1984. But the machines are aware of the plot, and after Reese lands with a thud in a Los Angeles back alley, the familiar T-1000 of “Terminator 2” (he of liquid metal, played here by Byung-hun Lee) is just around the corner.

Sarah (Emilia Clarke) is more the one doing the rescuing, though. With Schwarzenegger’s Terminator in tow (“Pops” she calls her longtime cyborg protector), she informs Reese of a very different mission than the one he was expecting.

An alternate timeline, caused by the crisscrossing time travel, is offered up for why many of the events of previous “Terminator” films — often in the same locations, with the same catch phrases — are repeated. It makes for a cautionary tale: Hand reboot-crazy Hollywood a plot device like a time machine and the most advis-able course of action is to run for cover.

The movies may be acquiring another potentially dangerous tool: the means to clone. “Terminator Genisys” may well be most remembered for the digital cameo of a young Schwar-zenegger. Granted, mono-syllabic blocks of wood are likely easier to photocopy than other actors. But the digital rendering is never-theless impressive.

Sarah, Reese and the T-800 travel ahead to 2017 to prevent Judgment Day, postponed (through a great deal of illogical, belabored description) from its original 1997 date. The film tries to claw its way into the present, and, hopefully, into a future trilogy.

Linda Hamilton devotees will likely never accept another in the role. But Clarke, the ascendant dragon mother of “Game of Thrones,” gives the film enough grit and a touch of depth.

But as Taylor leads the movie from set piece to set piece, the time-traveling thread of “Terminator” begins to unravel and its welcome playful tone (“Genisys” is often enjoya-bly ludicrous) bleeds into ill-advised self-parody.

The “Terminator” films are about a ceaseless, impossible quest to close the Pandora’s box of technology before it ruins us. But “Genisys” is too busy remixing franchise favorites and setting up further sequels to devote much attention to the sci-fi anxie-ties that spurred it in the first place. As Alex Gar-land’s recent “Ex Machina” showed, those are questions worth rebooting.

“Terminator Genisys,” a Paramount Pictures release, is rated PG-13 by the Mo-tion Picture Association of America for “intense sequences of sci-fi violence and gunplay throughout, partial nudity and brief strong language.” Running time: 125 minutes. Two stars out of four.

Buzzworthy events for July 3-9

Want a few suggestions for what to do, where to go and who to see? You’ll find them here each week. Look for details and more ideas throughout Showcase.

Friday
Masters art exhibit: Tommy Crow Studios, in conjunction with New River Fine Art, will host Masters: Modern to Contemporary comes to Rosemary Beach July 2 – 12 featuring original works of art by renowned 20th Century, Post War and Contemporary Masters including Picasso, Miro, Dali, Chagall, Warhol, Frank Stella and more. An opening reception will be 5-8 p.m. July 3.

Saturday

Check out this article for details about celebrations planned today, Friday and Saturday for July Fourth. 

Sunday
Ott Jazz Trio: The David Ott Jazz Trio will perform uplifting jazz and patriotic music July 5 at 2 p.m. at Point Washington United Methodist Church. Free and open to the public. Call the church, 1290 N County Highway 395, at 231-4828

Monday
Window gallery: To showcase the work of local artists, the Arts and Design Society presents month-long exhibits in their studio windows, facing First Street. In July, the works on display are those of Hanna Joensuu, who will present her newest collection, “Modern Batiks.” The Art Center Gallery is at 17 First St. S.E.

Tuesday
Square, line dance: The Sand Spurs, member of the Northwest Florida Square and Round Dance Association, will be at the Crestview Public Library at 10:30 a.m. on July 7 . Children age 6 through adult are invited to watch or participate in learning basic square and line dancing steps. The library is at 1445 Commerce Drive behind the post office . Call 682-4432.

Wednesday
Science Center: The Emerald Coast Science Center, 31 S.W. Memorial Parkway, Fort Walton Beach, is offering summer camp for children ages 3 years to 6th grade Tuesday-Thursday with morning and afternoon sessions. Themes are: July 7-9, July 14-16 and July 21-23. Call 664-1261.

Thursday
“Seventh Son’ showing: “Seventh Son” will be the Matinee Movie at the Valparaiso Community Library on July 9 at 3 p.m. This movie is for adult patrons and their guest over the age of 13. For more details, call the library at 729-5406 or visit on Facebook. Refreshments will be served.
 

Easy on 30A concert to benefit charities

SANTA ROSA BEACH — The 4th Annual Easy on 30A Benefit Concert will take place July 3 from 5:45 to 10 p.m. at Water Color’s Marina Park, just off Scenic Highway 30A.

Performers will include Forrest Williams Band, The Rips and Geoff McBride. Raffle and silent auction items donated by local businesses will bene-fit Alaqua Animal Refuge, the Lighthouse Family Retreat, and the Muscogee Nation of Florida.

Admission is one can of non-perishable food to be dropped off at the donation box set up at the event entrance.

This is an outdoor event, so bring a blanket or chairs for seating. Cool-ers and picnics are wel-comed. Food and bever-ages will also be available for purchase.

Donations will be gladly accepted at the event and in advance to benefit all of the charities. Easy on 30A invites everyone to attend, enjoy the music and support these local charities.

“What started out as a small event for friends and family has turned into an amazing community affair with over 1,000 attendees and thousands of dollars raised for our charities,” said founder Beth and Randy Carroll in a press release. “We are not at all surprised that 30A has once again rallied together to support their very own, and we are humbled and grateful to all of you mak-ing this happening this year with us.”

Easy on 30A is present by the WaterColor Homeowners Association, which allows the use of Marina Park in WaterColor to bring this free concert to WaterColor owners, area residents and visitors to the 30A community.

For more information about Easy on 30A, go to https://wasyon30a.wordpress.com.
 

Headliner: Flow Tribe

What do you think your favorite local band or musician does before a performance? 

Listens to on his or her MP3 player? Believes are influences on their own music?

In its semi-regular feature “Headliner,” the Daily News asks local or visiting bands and musicians those questions and more.

This week, let’s get to know Flow Tribe. They’ll be performing at the Funky Blues Shack in Destin July 3-5 at 10:30 p.m.

The Opening Act

Name: Flow Tribe

Members: K.C. O’Rorke, Russell Olschner, Chad Penot, Bryan Santos, Mario Palmisano, John-Michael Early, and Anthony Bovenzi (tour manager/sound engineer).

Homebase: New Orleans

Website: www.flowtribe.com

Facebook: facebook.com/flowtribe

Twitter: @flowtribe

The Performance

How did you come up with your band name?
During our first rehearsals, the guys would play a beat, and KC would just freestyle over it. When we per-formed a new song live, he would sing different lyrics every night until he found the ones that he liked. We still use this process for most of our songs today. An added benefit is that this leaves the door open for any member of the band to contribute a meaningful lyric or verse. In our rehearsals, once you bring an idea to the table, it is fair game for all to modify.

Indians and tribes and neighborhood pride is so interwoven into New Orleans folklore and culture that the second half seemed fitting. Coincidentally, we’ve also learned to handle our business like a tribe, splitting every-thing we do and all ownership equally, which I think has been one of our biggest strengths that has allowed us to stay together, especially through the awkward early years.

So, initially, Flow Tribe was a spawn of a freestyle delivery, and in more recent years we’ve somewhat grown into the name, so to speak.

How did you get started?
The first informal jams were on Chad’s back porch in Lakeview in 2004, which was the end of senior year at Brother Martin for all of the rest of the fellas. They played a couple gigs at the high school, but with graduation, everyone dispersed. Some to college, Russell to Baghdad, Chad to the fire academy. Russell returned from Iraq in September 2005, just a couple of weeks after Katrina passed through. Needless to say, we were all preoccupied handling our families’ business. It wasn’t until the summer after Katrina, June 2006, that we were all back in town and able to link up again. They got a Sunday night gig at Friar Tucks. I was there because a buddy of mine was bartending, but I knew KC because we were both student body presidents of our respective Student Councils (Jesuit and Brother Martin). They played “Last Dance with Mary Jane.” I knew how to play it on harmonica, so I sat in for the remaining Sunday residencies that summer. We kept rehearsing, and that pretty much brings us up to speed.

Who are your influences?
We’re all over the place, and it obviously comes out in our live set and recordings. James Brown, Allen Tous-saint, Dr. John, RHCP, Rage, Ozzy, Los Amigos Invisible, Compay Segundo, Elvis, Stones, Sonny Terry, Muddy Waters, Beau Jocque, Chuck Brown, Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima, Tim Maia, Jorge Ben, People Under the Stairs, Erykah Badu, etc.

Do you have any pre-performance rituals?
Personally, I like to get a good stretch in. I really like to loosen up the hip flexors and such. That’s basically my only requirement. Nothing official as a group though.

What do you hope your listeners think or feel after hearing your music?
Happy, sweaty, smiling, and a bit confused.

What are some top songs you listen to on your “playlist” (i.e. iTunes playlist)?
The past couple of weeks it’s been Frank Ocean “Sweet Life,” Forrest Gump and that whole channel “Orange” album, , D’Angelo “Voodoo” and the new Spotify Sessions, Erykah Badu “Bag Lady” (album version) and “Next Lifetime,” Harry Belafonte “Jamaican Farewell,” Funkadelic “Can You Get To That,” Sturgill Simpson “You Can Have the Crown,” Disclosure and Sam Smith “Latch,” Marcia Griffiths “Don’t Let Me Down,” William Onyeabor “Fantastic Man” and “Atomic Bomb,” and especially Antonio Carlos “Jobim – Brazil” (aka “Aquarela do Brasil”) from the “Bossa Nova” compilation album.

If you follow the Flow Tribe profile on Spotify, we have a playlist of what is trending in the van these days called Flow Tribe Greatest Hits ’15.

What song (or songs) are you embarrassed to admit you listen to?
I used to get down to some contemporary country, but the past few years’ stars and releases just haven’t been doing it for me. The guys don’t like it too much when I’m driving and play my 1999-2012 country playlist. It nor-mally gets vetoed during the third or fourth song. But sometimes the pastoral scenery from the cockpit gets me jonesin’ for that old time feeling, you know.

Do you have anything you’d like to share (upcoming shows, new music, etc)?
Yes, we just released a new single called “Walk Like an Animal.” It’s available for download on iTunes, but also on Spotify and SoundCloud. The song features Big Sam Williams on trombone, Drew Baham on trumpet, and Amanda Ducorbier on backing vocals. Additionally, we are building a studio in New Orleans East that will be called Downman Sounds and serve as FTHQ.

The After Party

Want to participate? Readers can nominate a local or visiting band, or bands can participate by contacting Features Re-porter Lauren Delgado at 850-315-4406 or LDelgado@nwfdailynews.com.
 

Freshness key ingredient at wonderful DIG

DIG, which stands for Dig in the Gulf, is in the Market Shops at Sandestin in Miramar Beach.

The food
DIG opens at 7 a.m. for breakfast. They offer a nice selection of items from pastries and granola to full breakfasts with eggs grits, sausage and biscuits.

Lunch/dinner service begins at 11 a.m. and continues until they close at 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Make sure you check out the chalk board on your left as you enter for the fish and specials of the day.

On Sunday, which is the day we visited, DIG offers brunch until they close at 3 p.m. The menu varies slightly from their daily menu.

The owners of DIG, are Brian and Monique Murray. Brian is also the chef. Both are proud of the fact that they use only the freshest food at their restaurant. They support local suppliers of seafood, vegetables and protein.

For example, the fish used in their fish sandwich may change daily depending on what is available at Destin Ice where they get their seafood.

Speaking of the fish sandwich, my guest chose it as his entrée.

Grilled mahi mahi was served on a potato bun with avocado, roasted red pepper, spicy aioli and lettuce and tomato.

My guest pronounced it as delicious and allowed me a bite. I whole heartedly agreed. It was delicious. The fish was wonderfully fresh and flavorful.

My choice was the salad that is served during brunch on Sunday. It was the heirloom tomato salad with baby lettuce, cucumber, feta cheese and red wine vinaigrette to which I chose to add a grilled chicken breast.

DIG offers grilled chicken breast or Gulf fish and boiled Gulf shrimp as their protein.

The salad was wonderfully fresh. The various tomatoes were extremely flavorful and the chicken was perfectly cooked.

DIG offers four salads on their daily menu to which you may add a protein. The salads include beet and goat cheese salad with a balsamic-grain mustard vinaigrette; a baby lettuce salad with seasonal vegetables with a red wine-herb vinaigrette; Caesar salad with romaine, parmesan cheese, croutons and a lemon-anchovy dressing and a spicy Gulf shrimp ceviche with lettuce, black beans, tomato and a chile-lime dressing.

In addition to the fish sandwich, DIG offers a grilled White Oak Pastures beef burger; tarragon chicken salad; a turkey, ham and bacon sandwich and a falafel wrap with chick pea fritters, hummus, lettuce and tomato.

Sides include a tomato, cucumber and feta cheese salad; roasted cauliflower and olives with a basil-orange vinaigrette; cilantro potato salad and French fries with rosemary salt.
Sides are offered separately from the meal.

DIG also offers a daily grain bowl, steamed, with your choice of protein and wilted greens, fresh vegetables, ponzu, EVO and spicy aioli.

They also offer seafood gumbo.

All kids meals are served with a take-home DIG beach bucket. The meals include grilled cheese with or without grilled ham, pasta; sunflower butter and strawberry preserves on bread and yogurt with choice of topping which includes local honey, granola, seasonal fruit, pretzels or dark chocolate chips).

Dessert at DIG includes daily fresh baked cookies, house made double chocolate brownies, rice pudding made with Louisiana sugarcane syrup and Key lime pie.

My guest and I can highly recommend the double chocolate brownie. You can’t beat a rich, dark chocolate brownie to end a good meal.

DIG offers prepared meals to take home that vary depending on what’s fresh.

We opted to take home a container of tarragon chicken salad with golden raisins, pecans and honey. It, too, was delicious.

The atmosphere
DIG is a family-friendly, café style eatery.

You get a clean, fresh beachy vibe as soon as you open the door.

The front of the kitchen is open to the restaurant, but enclosed by a counter.

You pick up a menu at the counter and place your order and get your drinks.

There are seats at the counter or you may choose to sit inside or outside at a table.

After placing your order, the food is brought to your table.

The service
Monique and Brian are personable and glad you have chosen their restaurant. Their pride in the restaurant and the food they serve definitely shines through.

A final taste
Looking for a casual restaurant with wonderful food? Look no further than DIG.


Quick Bites

Location: 9375 Emerald Coast Parkway in Miramar Beach

Telephone: 850-650-2344

Hours: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday - Saturday; 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sunday

Reservations: Not necessary

Handicap accessibility: Good

Children's menu: Yes

Price range
Breakfast, $3 - $11
Gumbo, $8
Salads, $8 - $13; protein, $7 - $8 additional
Sandwiches, $10 - $15
Sides, $3
Dessert, $2 - $3
Kids meals, $4 - $7

Payment: Credit cards accepted
 

Youth theater students present ‘Legally Blonde Jr.’

NICEVILLE — The Summer Musical Theatre Workshop at Northwest Florida State College presents a production of the comedy Legally Blonde Jr. July 2 for two free performances at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the Sprint Theater at the Mattie Kelly Fine & Performing Arts Center at the college’s Niceville campus, 100 College Blvd.

The summer Musical Theatre Workshop program annually produces a mini summer musical as the culmination of an intensive workshop for students in 8th grade through college age. This summer, 36 students participated in the popular workshop, receiving training by college faculty in acting, voice, makeup, dance and staging. Now in its 18th year, the program allows youth the opportunity to train and perform at the state-of-the-art facilities of the college’s fine & performing arts complex.

The two performances are open to the public and free of charge. Open seating is on a first-come basis.

The actors and crew for “Legally Blonde Jr.” by town are:

Sophia Metcalfe of Destin in the lead role of Elle Woods;

Crestview: Wesley Bowers; Zachary Sticha; Frankie Ashworth; Ariel Schesniak; Sydney Murchison; Deven Welborn;

DeFuniak Springs: Monica Morgan;

Freeport: Taylor Pratt;

Mossy Head: McKenzie Nall;

Destin: Sophia Metcalfe; Josh Birdsong; Jack Henson; Jake Hardy; Shania Weatherford;

Fort Walton Beach: Dakota Welborn; Sydney Whittaker; Aavery Floyd; Emma Fitzhugh; Laura Giffin; Wisdom Harris; Sydney Johnson; Simrun Sharma;

Mary Esther: Maddie Robichaux;

Shalimar: Riley Beaulieu; Kelly Dunn; Lexi Larkin; Claire Roberts;

Navarre: Abigail Morgan;

Niceville: Abby Bonilla; Jordan Van Dyke; Abbey Ammons; Honeychild Heath; Hannah Sjostrom; Mary Kate Cary; Katrin Woods; and Katelin Koenigkramer;

The Tech Crew is LaNell Gray of Fort Walton Beach; Taylor Petty of Mary Esther; Stephen Zaucha of Fort Walton Beach; Sarah Brock and Maranda Straub.

And role of Rufus the dog is played by Lincoln Rahm a Jack Russel terrier mixed breed.

The Summer Musical Theatre Workshop is taught by Allison Everitt, NWFSC voice professor; Uli Dunbar, NWFSC dance professor, as well as Christa Whittaker, drama instructor at Fort Walton Beach High School and adjunct NWFSC professor. Stephany Heath-Tucker of the University of West Florida served as assistant vocal coach and Laura Giffin of NWFSC as assistant choreographer.

Call the NWFSC Fine & Performing Arts Division at 729-5382.

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