Grammy and Juno award winning jazz star Diana Krall performed at the DPAC last night during her North American Tour. Jazz lovers around the world have been enthralled with her unique delivery of jazz standards and original songs since the late 90’s.
Due to COVID, this is her first tour in almost 3 years. She performed to an almost sold out crowd as a quartet. Many singers these days need all sorts of bells and whistles so her stripped down set reinforced the fact that she is a jazz singer of the highest caliber. Her catalog of songs is so deep there was no way she could sing all of her hits. What she chose was more than satisfying. See Setlist here Diana Krall Average Setlists of year: 2022 | setlist.fm
She mentioned more than once how ecstatic she was to be back on stage and able to perform in front of audiences again. Every band member got a chance to highlight their instrument command to roaring audience approval!
Diana Krall is more than a smoky voice and accomplished pianist. She is a force, a vibe and a mood. Below are the next couple of tour dates before she picks it up again on a European leg next spring.
As always, the DPAC is one of the best venues ever for seating and acoustics. It was a true pleasure to see a world class artist at a world class venue. To see who is coming to the DPAC next, check out their website at http://www.DPACNC.com
Last night, I had a chance to witness the magic of Broadway at DPAC in Durham, NC. AIN’T TOO PROUD – THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS tells the unforgettable story of the legendary quintet that Billboard Magazine named the greatest R&B group of all time. The audience got to discover what it took for them to get to theat number one spot. It took talent, sacrifice, perseverance, love, some funk and a whole lot of soul!
From the music to the choreography, which won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Choreography, this musical depicts The Temptations’ extraordinary journey. Their brotherhood set the foundation for every musical group that has come after them. The original members may be gone but the music lasts forever. Ain’t Too Proud is a must see production that tells history like you’ve never seen before to an amazing musical score!
I was in awe of the actors as they sang, danced (I lost count of how many splits David Ruffin did) and relived some of the many highlights of The Temptations life and treasured hits, including “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “Get Ready,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and so many more.
Every member of the original group played a role in their success. However, I left with a new found respect for Otis Williams, his ambition and his tenacity to keep the group stronger together. Like Aristotle said “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts“.
The show is here until Dec 12th, so get your tickets now at dpacnc.com
Opening Night Review | SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical | Broadway’s Ultimate Disco Dance Party opens at DPAC on February 25th and runs through March 1st | SobeSavvy.com
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A must-see ELECTRIFYING TRIBUTE to a music diva who defined an era, broke barriers and inspired a generation! Leslie H., @SobeSavvy| SobeSavvy.com
The 1970’s gave the world a new music genre called Disco. This music gets a bad rap due to more than a few awful bands and singers. A few stand out. One singer came along in the late 70’s and instantly became ‘The Queen Of Disco”. Her name was LaDonna Adrian Gaines, better known as Donna Summer.
Production Photos courtesy of DPAC
See her story come to life in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, which opens at DPAC on February 25th through March 1, 2020. This production began a Broadway run in 2018. It received critical audience acclaim and the demand for Broadway’s Ultimate Disco Dance Party allowed for a North American Tour to begin on September 20, 2019.
The musical tells the story of the young girl from Boston with gospel roots who broke through all sorts of barriers to become the ultimate icon of disco and beyond! The score features over 20 of her classic hits to sing along to including “Hot Stuff”, “MacArthur Park” and “Bad Girls” to name a few. Her voice of a generation ended up being a voice for the ages and this musical does a great job in telling the story with 3 different Donna’s representing the stages in her life and musical career. Here’s a fun fact: Alex Hairston, an NC native plays Disco Donna! Each actress did a fantastic job in singing, dancing and portraying Donna in their own unique way!
Disco Donna (Alex Hairston), Diva Donna (Dan’yelle Williamson), Duckling Donna (Elease Hardy) | Production Photos courtesy of DPAC
Go and experience a disco party and musical tribute like no other in SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical. I made it a working date night and had so much fun!
Last year, I had the opportunity to cover the 6th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience>>read recap here<< and can assure you it’s a great time for foodies and beer lovers alike!
The event features restaurants paired with breweries spread throughout all three DPAC floors featuring unlimited samplings and the Stella Artois Onstage Experience showcasing live music & local food trucks.
Admission into the Bull City Food & Beer Experience includes:
Food Sampling from 30 of Durham’s finest restaurants in addition to local food trucks and food vendors
Beer Sampling from local and national breweries
A limited number of VIP Experience Ticket Holderswill enjoy all elements of regular admissionPLUS30-minute early event access, a private entrance and restrooms, specialty food tastings, exclusive T-shirt, private access to VIP tasting lounge with specialty spirit, rare beer and wine tasting only available to VIP experience ticket holders.
Take a look at the 2019 List of Restaurant/Breweries:
Here are some of my Favorite Pairings and Highlights:
Harvest 18 – Tröegs Independent Brewing
Alley Twenty Six – Golden Road Brewing
The Pit – Bold Rock Hard Cider
Bleu Olive – Compass Rose Brewery
Qspresso – Stem Ciders
Stella Artois Onstage Experience featuring Live Music
Check out more of my favorite bites from the night:
This event was simply wonderful. The variety of food vendors on 3 floors allowed for our tastebuds to never get bored. Most dishes were presented in the perfect bite size so my beer samples never spilled! Some chefs chose to incorporate their beer pairing as an ingredient in whatever dish they created. I also loved how most beer vendors took the time to educate guests on various beer backstories and fermentation methods. It was simply the perfect way to spend a beautiful early spring afternoon!
For more information about participating Restaurants & Breweries, how to donate to Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association or if you want to sign up for details of their next event in 2020, please visit – BULLCITYEXPERIENCE.COM
On Sunday December 16, SobeSavvy.com celebrated the 18th annual performance of Carolina Ballet’s The Nutcracker presented by PNC with magic sponsored by WRAL-TV. This family friendly show, performed at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium has become a Mommy & Me tradition for us. We both love performing arts and enjoyed seeing magic combined with ballet in this wonderful show featuring Tchaikovsky’s incredible music. Choreographed by Robert Weiss, Carolina Ballet presents The Nutcracker is not only “Magical.Magnificent.Mysterious”, but Unique because it features grand illusions by world renowned magician Rick Thomas as well as a live music by the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle!
My daughter, fondly referred to as #outandaboutAva, first saw this perfomance in 2016 when she was 5 years old. Now that she is 7 and has read The Nutcracker story, seen the Disney movie: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, and learned the music in school, she was so excited to see this holiday classic! Carolina Ballet does an outstanding job working with the children from ballet schools across the Triangle as well as their own, The School of Carolina Ballet to perform this magical tale of holiday adventure based on a novel by E.T.A. Hoffman. The Nutcracker is one of the most recognizable scores in the ballet repertoire and definitely a performance the whole family should see because it appeals to the child in everyone!
What is The Nutcracker about?
This enchanting tale, in which toys come to life and treats dance with delight, follows young Clara and her prince as they journey to the Land Of Sweets. It begins when young Clara receives a nutcracker from her godfather, a wizardly toymaker named Drosselmeyer. Sneaking downstairs to see the toy after everyone else has gone to bed, she suddenly finds herself caught in the middle of a pitched battle between the toys and an army of mice. After saving the nutcracker with a well-thrown shoe to the Mouse King’s head, Clara and her now-living prince venture into the Land of Snow and the Land of Sweets to celebrate. Throughout their adventures, Tchaikovsky’s dazzling inventiveness propels the dances of nimble flowers and regal fairy queens. The “Waltz of the Snowflakes” floats weightlessly whereas the “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy” tiptoes to the haunting, music-box chimes of a celesta. A medley of exotic national dances—including a Spanish bolero and Russian Trepak—add to the phantasmagoric celebration before the whole dream ends, as all dreams must.
When and Where is it playing?
Dates: December 14, 2018 – December 23, 2018 at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Raleigh at 3401 Atlantic Ave., Raleigh, NC 27604
Dates: December 29, 2018 – December 30, 2018 at DPAC- Durham Performing Arts Center in Downtown Durham at 123 Vivian St., Durhan, NC 27701
SobeSavvy Tip: Before/After the show or during intermission, you can get some holiday shopping done at The Nutcracker Boutique. You’ll find a variety of things like ornaments, socks or even a nutcracker of your very home to take home to be apart of your family traditions for years to come!
Enter to WIN 2 Tickets !!
Carolina Ballet presents The Nutcracker and SobeSavvy.com have teamed up to share a #SobeSavvygiveaway with you and give one winner a holiday memory that you will never forget!
Enter for a chance to be awed by the magic and choreography of Carolina Ballet and win (2) tickets to Carolina Ballet: The Nutcracker at DPAC on Sat 12/29 at 7pm.
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On Sunday, October 14, 2018, SobeSavvy.com joined wine and food lovers for an experience known as Sip + Savor, which was held at DPAC in Durham, NC. Good Food, Good Wines, and Good Times is how I would summarize this event! It was quite the experience for foodies, wine lovers and anyone who enjoys learning and discovering more about culinary scene in the Triangle.
Last year I attended their inaugural event and was pleased to see this event return and sell out! This year in addition to food sampling from 30 of the area’s finest restaurants, paired with wine from around the world, guests could also attend a wine seminars.
Each year, Sip+Savor helps to raise funds and awareness for a local non-profit. The 2018 festival helped to raise funds for the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and Band Together partnership. Band Together is a Raleigh-based nonprofit that uses live music to raise $1 Million dollars for a different nonprofit each year. Their 2019 fundraising partner is Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. The Food Shuttle’s mission is to “pioneer innovative, transformative solutions designed to end hunger in our community”.
New this year was the Lexus Lounge, which included plush seating, cigar rolling station and a Mixology Bar with Sean Umstead. I tried the ‘Bee Amazing’ made with Durham Beeswax, honey roasted NC Squash, Svedka and local ginger soda! Very refreshing!
This event was well organized and gave guests the option of taking wine notes and placing an order from the Wine Feed to pick up and pay for it later. How convenient!
Many of the Chefs used locally sourced ingredients to create some delicious dishes to pair with some amazing wines. The following Restaurant and winery pairings were found on the Second /Third Floors:
18 Seaboard + Bear Flag/Sonoma
Acme Food & Beverage Co. + Orin Swift Cellars/Napa and Sonoma
La Residence + Louis Martini/Sonoma
City Kitchen + Votto Vines/Mediterranean
Clouds Restaurant + Napa Cellars/Napa Valley
COPA + Viña Pomal/Rioja
Counting House + Kim Crawford Wines/Marlborough
Crossroads Chapel Hill + Saint Clair Family Estate/Marlborough
Cuban Revolution Restaurant & Bar + Le Morette/Italy
Elements + Domaine Saint Landor/Loire Valley
The Fearrington House Restaurant + Jermann/Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Glasshalfull + J Vineyards/Russian River Valley
Gocciolina + LaMarca/Prosecco DOCG, Italy
Guglhupf + DAOU Vineyards/Paso Robles
It’s A Southern Thing + Chalk Hill/Sonoma
Pickle Jar Cafe + Freemark Abbey/Sonoma
Kipos Greek Taverna + Pascual Toso / Argentina
Local 22 + Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard/Santa Barbara
Locals Seafood + The Hess Collection/Napa Valley
Lula & Sadie’s + Robert Hall Winery/Paso Robles
Mandolin + The Prisoner Wine Company/California
Mateo Bar de Tapas + Browne Family/Columbia Valley
Nanasteak + Banfi/Italy
Old North Meats & Provisions + Hope Family Wines/Paso Robles
Parizade + Elouan/Oregon
Pittsboro Roadhouse + B.R. Cohn Winery/Sonoma Valley
Saint James Seafood + Gérard Bertrand/Languedoc-Roussillon
Yesterday, SobeSavvy.com joined a few thousand others at DPAC for the 6th Annual Bull City Food & Beer Experience! The word, “experience” accurately depicts this now iconic annual event that I had the pleasure of attending last year and sharing with you again. Enjoying 30 restaurants paired with 30 beers sounds like a great way to spend a ‘Sunday Funday’ especially while raising money and awareness for the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association.
Pale Ale, Stout, IPA, and various ciders were all properly represented here. Small local breweries served their craft beer and stood side by side with international powerhouse breweries. They all coexisted perfectly. A few liquor brands, such as Social House Vodka, also served up some samples of their spirits. Durham has such an incredible food and beer culture and this event does an amazing job showcasing it! Check out my facebook photo album highlighting more from this event, here.
Taking up space on all 3 levels of the beautiful DPAC lobbies, this event is always a crowd pleaser and this year was no different. Inside the actual theatre, they had the Stella Artois Onstage Experience featuring County Fare. This year the food in this area was served by various food trucks based in the Triangle. These meals on wheels have now become a staple in the food scene not just here but nationwide. Guests mingled on stage and enjoyed some awesome live music by Big Fat Gap and beer garden games like bean toss. One of my favorites were the dumplings by the food truck Chirba Chirba. One dumpling was pork, the other offering were their veggie dumplings. Simply delicious.
Guess what else coexisted perfectly with all that beer? FOOD OF COURSE ! Over 30 restaurants of every imaginable genre/cuisine was there. From Italian to sushi and EVERYTHING in between. The restaurants participating gave unlimited samples of the dish they were serving. What also makes this event unique is that most tables paired a specific brew for the specific restaurant dish. Some foods pair better with a stout or pale ale and vice versa. Attendees didn’t have to wander far to find the perfect beer for their dish, it was right there alongside it! My favorite part was the opportunity to meet and talk with the Chefs from some of my favorite local restaurants.
If I had to use one word to describe this event, I would say ‘Incredible’! Where else can you experience local food, beer, beverage,craft artisians, all in one place?! The foodie in me appreciates organized events like this that I can partner with and celebrate what is offered here. Watch this video for recap of all the food + beer + fun!
Thanks for reading and hope to see you next year! Cheers 🍻
Do you have a favorite food and beer pairing? Let me know in the comments below!
On October 15, 2017, SobeSavvy.com was invited to join other foodies and oeneophiles at DPAC for the inaugural Sip +Savor -A Wine & Food Experience. This new food and wine event brought together North Carolina’s restaurants & culinary talents and paired them with fine wines from around the world! This was also a fundraising event to benefit Keep Durham Beautiful , a nonprofit, volunteer organization working in partnership with Durham to conserve and enhance the appearance and environment of the city/county.
Admission to this event included:
Live Music on Stage
Food Sampling from North Carolina Restaurants and notable Chefs like Scott Howell of Nana’s, Michael Lee of M Sushi, Bill smith of Crooks Corner, Eric Montagne of Standard Fords, Charlie Deal of JuJube, Brandon Sharp of Carolina Crossroads at the Carolina Inn, Aaron Benjamin of Gocciolona, Jim Wald of Glasshalfull, Tim Lyons of Blue Seafood and Kevin Callaghan of Acme …just to name a few!
A limited number of VIP Ticket holders enjoyed all elements of regular admission plus a private entrance/restrooms, exclusive VIP lounge where speciality spirits, rare beer and wine tastings were available to Imperial ticket holders only.
With sample areas on all three levels guests never had to walk more than a few steps for their next delightful bite or sip of wine. Every varietal imagined was represented here by a winery. Most tables paired their food with the wine right next to it, which allowed for guests to engage with restaurants and wineries at the same time. We also had the opportunity to attend wine seminars and learn more about the wines being shared from the wine producers and Sommeliers. I really enjoyed how intimate and informative this event was!
Not only was the event informative but I had so much fun meeting other food & wine lovers from the community who all enjoyed sharing stories about what was the favorite bite at this event and how wonderful our local culinary scene is here in the Triangle. We are so fortunate to live in North Carolina with its amazing Agriculture as well its own Wine Industry.
Smiling Faces at ‘Sip + Savor’ – A Wine & Food Experience
On-Stage at Sip + Savor – A Wine & Food Experience
Before leaving, we checked out the on-stage experience inside the actual venue which is where I ran into some friends as well as dessert samples. That was the perfect sweet ending to this fantastic foodie event! It was such a great way to spend a beautiful Sunday Afternoon in the Bull City.
Enjoy my photo recap of this event >>here as well as my video of Sip +Savor >>here.
Unlimited Craft beer samples, unlimited gourmet food in a luxurious setting ? Where can this be found you say ? It was at the 5th annual Bull City Food & Beer Experience http://www.bullcityexperience.com/ Held at the fabulous DPAC in Durham. This one of a kind event took place in the lobbies of all 3 floors of the venue. Every imaginable beer was represented here from 35 breweries and a plethora of gourmet bites from 35 restaurants in and around Durham were sampled alongside the suds. FOOD
Guests had 3.5 hours to stroll, eat , drink and repeat . It was a festive atmosphere and people came to have fun and talk beer. Some were beer novices and some were experts. The breweries pouring were very informative and educational. Who knew so much goes into a can or a bottle ? Grapefruit beer, apple cider and tangerine beer were just a few of the interesting types on tap
Everyone in attendance got to keep their tasting glass as a reminder of this wonderful event. Be sure to get your tickets early when they go on sale for next year. They sell out fast. Cheers !
The legacy of the beloved “Mister Rogers” lives on with the hit television series, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, from The Fred Rogers Company and airing daily on PBS KIDS.
Now, Daniel and all of
his friends are hopping aboard Trolley to delight live audiences with Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live!Families and friends filled up DPAC in Durham on Saturday, January 21, 2017 for two (2pm & 5:30pm) exciting shows! Our little one packed up Daniel Tiger and Friends and was ready to see all of her favorites come to life on the big stage!
Donning his iconic red sweater, Daniel invites the audience on a musical adventure as he and his friends explore the vibrant world of their Neighborhood of Make-Believe, where sharing stories of friendship, helping others and celebrating new experiences is their preferred way of making the most of a beautiful day!
This interactive, live theatrical production filled with singing, dancing, laughter and “grr-ific” surprises will warm the hearts of multiple generations. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood tells its engaging stories about the life of a preschooler using musical strategies grounded in Fred Rogers’ landmark social-emotional curriculum. Through imagination, creativity and music, Daniel and his friends learn the key social skills necessary for school and for life.
In February 2015, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood was the #2 program across all TV networks for Kids 2-5 and with moms of young children. In addition, it continues to be one of the highest-streamed shows, averaging over 40 million streams per month. One million Daniel Tiger books have been published to date, and downloads of the apps, music and episodes continue to rank high on iTunes.
The animated TV series has garnered a host of prestigious awards, and most recently was nominated for a 2015 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Preschool Animated Program. This recognition follows a string of additional honors, including a 2015 Parents’ Choice Gold Award and 2014 Prix Jeunesse International Selection as well as the 2013 Kidscreen Award for Best Animated Series in the Preschool Category, and 2013
Cynopsis: Kids! Imagination Award for Preschool Series.