Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Movie Review: Love, Simon

Tonight I attended the first local screening of a movie coming out March 16: Love, Simon. This wonderful film is based on the novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. Love, Simon far exceeded my expectations, as well as my wife’s. We both laughed, cried and left the movie immensely satisfied. The characters are well-developed, the acting is superb, and the smartly-written script kept us engaged and emotionally invested the whole way through. You might’ve noticed that the image above is for the soundtrack of the film. That was done on purpose, because the music in this movie is a character all its own. It’s so good that I rushed home to write this review and I’m playing a Spotify playlist of the music in the background because the official soundtrack isn’t available until March 16, which is when you should make it a point to see this amazing movie.

A Conversation With Kevin Casey

In December 2016, I met Kevin Casey at Little Pete’s diner in Philadelphia, PA, just a few hours prior to seeing a farewell tour performance of the musical Mamma Mia! at the Academy of Music with my parents. He was wearing a Mamma Mia! hoodie, so I approached him and I said, “I’m going to see Mamma Mia! with my family later today. Are you a part of the production?” Kevin told me, “I’m the conductor,” which blew me away. I didn’t expect to meet the man behind the music at the counter at Little Pete’s. I made it a point to say “Hi!” to Kevin at the show and we stayed in touch ever since. He was kind enough to let me interview him and we discussed his musical upbringing, what he studied in school and what led to him working on Mamma Mia! and, now, Kinky Boots.

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Emotional Homecoming For Zelda Symphony Producer

Last week’s performance of The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses in Philadelphia was an emotional one for the show’s producer Jason Michael Paul. It was the first time he’s been back at the venue where he started his career since December 2001, when he was working with Luciano Pavarotti on a performance celebrating the opening of this now iconic arts and culture center. Sixteen years later Jason returned to produce The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses, a show that celebrates more than 30 years of timeless music from one of the most enduring video game franchises of all time: The Legend of Zelda.

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Kindle Oasis For Sale

Now that I have the new Kindle Oasis, I’m selling my old one on eBay. In addition to the Kindle itself, the lucky winning bidder will get three official leather charging covers and one third-party case, as well as a micro-USB charging cable. But this listing will only last for five days, so get your bid in now.

Review: Waterproof Amazon Kindle Oasis

Amazon recently released the all-new Kindle Oasis, which is the first-ever waterproof Kindle. Is it worth buying? Watch my video review below to find out.

Married In Philly, Honeymoon In Hawaii

2017 has been a full year for me. From five cover stories in The Aquarian Weekly, to finally interviewing Barry Manilow after three years of trying to do so, to me co-founding a group that meets up on a monthly basis to play Nintendo consoles and games. Between all of these things and my full-time job, it’s been a year filled with great accomplishments and experiences. But the one that tops them all took place on September 9, 2017. That’s the day I got married.

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One More Dungeon for Nintendo Switch

Being a nameless adventure seeker, your job is to reach the final level deep within the dungeon and destroy the obelisks that are used by forces of evil to invade the world. That’s the premise of One More Dungeon for Nintendo Switch, which currently retails on the eShop for $7.99.

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Catching Up With Melissa Manchester

I recently had the wonderful pleasure of interviewing Melissa Manchester in-person and in her hotel room. While I’ve interviewed countless people over the past few years, this was a first for me and a surreal experience. Melissa was as lovely and charming as could be, and our conversation exceeded my expectations, covering a wide swath of her impressive career. In my interviews with artists, I try to connect with them in some meaningful way because it establishes an excellent rapport and lets them know that I understand them. Well, Melissa and I connected right from the get-go, and, as a result, my appreciation for her artistry and love for her music has increased ten-fold. If you haven’t bought her new album, The Fellas, you should. And make it a point to see this lovely lady live, as she puts on a show like no other.

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A Very Barry Christmas

Photo by Dana Holland.

For the first time ever, Barry Manilow took his Christmas show on the road. This special concert typically only takes place in Palm Springs, where Manilow resides. But this year he decided to bring it to a handful of locations, including New York. I made it a point to attend Manilow’s New York performance, and it exceeded my expectations.

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John Oates Announces New Album: Arkansas

John Oates, whom I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing and meeting multiple times, announced that he’s releasing a new solo album on February 2: Arkansas. I’ve already listened to it, and I can confirm that the album features the soulful voice and masterful musicianship that have been hallmarks of this legendary artist’s career. Below are all of the details regarding Arkansas.

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