Michael Cavacini

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Completely Damaged Radio: February 24, 2020

Today, I took part in another episode of Completely Damaged Radio at Montgomery County Community College. I had such a wonderful time on the show back in December that I jumped at the chance to do it again.

This time around we talked about pro wrestling, Barry Manilow, James Patterson, Bruce Springsteen, and all things DDP Yoga, including the upcoming DDP Yoga Retreat. Check out the show (above), and enjoy!

Hello, Dolly! Shines In Philly

7_Carolee-Carmello-in-Hello-Dolly-National-Tour-Photograph-by-Julieta-Cervantes-2019The first musical I attended was Hello, Dolly! starring Carol Channing, and it took place during the show’s 1995 revival when it came to the Merriam Theater in Philadelphia between February 25 and March 5 of that year. In 2017, I saw Hello, Dolly! when it was revived again—this time on Broadway with the incredible Bette Midler. It is the greatest musical I have ever seen. Not only was Bette fantastic in this role which seemed tailor made for her, but the crowd that night was electric. It felt as if I was at Woodstock, Live Aid, or some other seminal moment in music history. The magic was palpable, and I’m thrilled that I had the chance to see Bette in her role of a lifetime, for which she deservedly received a Tony Award. Bette’s Hello, Dolly! broke the Broadway record for best first-day ticket sales, the box office record at the Shubert Theatre 12 times, and it shattered The Shubert Organization’s all-time record 10 times! Running from March 15, 2017 through August 25, 2018, this triumphant revival is now showing at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.

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Review: Night Songs II by Barry Manilow

On Valentine’s Day Barry Manilow released one of the most romantic albums you’ll ever hear: Night Songs II. It’s the cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day that we all needed. Back in 2014 Barry Manilow released one of his greatest albums: Night Songs. Met with universal praise, Night Songs was nominated for a Grammy award and fans wanted more. Fast forward six years, and Barry Manilow is back with Night Songs II. This time around you can expect 13 songs, one of which is a bonus track that’s exclusive to the CD-version of the album, all lovingly arranged and masterfully sung by the incomparable Barry Manilow. I love that Barry is comfortable enough in his own skin that he continues to record, produce, and release whatever makes him happy. Most artists aren’t that brave. They simply keep repeating the same old music over and over again, or they merely try to imitate their past. Not Barry. He continues to evolve, explore, and create some of the most compelling music of his substantial and diverse career. Having so much music to enjoy makes being a fan of his immensely satisfying. There’s always something new to anticipate and experience. Speaking of which, let’s take a look at each of the tracks on Night Songs II.

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Book Review: The Art Of Splatoon 2

Splatoon 2 is one of the most wildly popular games for Nintendo Switch. And at Nintendo Philly Meetup, a group I founded and run, we play Splatoon 2 all the time at our monthly meetups at TAP Esports in Philadelphia’s Chinatown. Why? Because the multiplayer modes in Splatoon 2 are highly addictive. There’s something about the crazy art style, whacky music, and frenetic action of this game that keeps us, and millions of Nintendo fans worldwide, coming back for more. With this in mind, Dark Horse published a book, The Art of Splatoon 2, that is dedicated to providing fans with a deep dive into the art and design of this instant classic.

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Allentown’s Farewell KISS

On February 4 I attended my fourth KISS concert during the band’s End of the Road tour. It was the second date of this leg of the tour, and one of only two times that KISS is coming anywhere near Philadelphia this year. I already got a ticket for the other show, which takes place in Atlantic City in August. While seeing them in Philadelphia last March was spectacular, this concert may have surpassed it. The band was on fire in Allentown, and David Lee Roth’s killer opening set made the night even more fun.

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Nintendo Switch Review: 198X

198X is a new arcade epic for Nintendo Switch. It’s a coming-of-age story told through multiple games and genres. It provides players with the opportunity to experience the thrill of shooting, driving, jumping, fighting, and role-playing in five full-blown arcade stages, combined with cinematic pixel-art storytelling. For $9.99, you get access to the first installment of this game on Nintendo Switch. This consists of 90+ minutes of intense gameplay and pixel-art storytelling. Speaking of which, it took nine expert pixel artists to deliver the larger-than-life old-school sprites present in this game. 198X also features 20+ music tracks from the likes of Yuzo Koshiro and Swedish hit-duo Sinephony. The second and final installment for 198X is coming, but the release date is TBD.

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Book Review: The Art of Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey is my favorite game on Nintendo Switch. Why? It’s quite simple. I was born in 1985, which is the same year the Nintendo Entertainment System was released in the U.S., and I have fond memories of playing every entry in the Super Mario Bros. series. Some of my favorites include the original Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, and, my all-time favorite, Super Mario World. Super Mario Odyssey continues the innovative evolution of Nintendo’s signature character, while simultaneously paying tribute to the entries that preceded it. It’s a fantastical journey that can be enjoyed by those young and old, and The Art of Super Mario Odyssey by Dark Horse takes a deep dive into how this masterpiece was made.

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Movie Review: Scream Queen! My Nightmare On Elm Street

Scream Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street is the best documentary I’ve seen this year and in a very long time. This film sets the record straight about the controversial sequel to A Nightmare on Elm Street, which both launched and ended Mark Patton’s acting career. This film is about him attempting to make peace with his past and embrace his legacy as cinema’s first male scream queen. Scream Queen! also finds Mark confronting the Freddy’s Revenge cast and crew for the first time, including co-stars Robert Rusler, Kim Myers and Clu Gulager, as well as Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund.

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10th Annual DDP Yoga Retreat

Hosted by TravelSmiths, this July is the 10th annual DDP Yoga Retreat. Picture it: six nights in Mexico at an amazing resort with clean, healthy food, group activities, excursions, pool parties, and morning DDP Yoga workouts led by the man himself, Diamond Dallas Page, on a pier overlooking the water or on the beach. I don’t know about you, but that sounds amazing to me! Read more…

Movie Review: The Fanatic

I just watched a movie that I feel compelled to review: The Fanatic starring John Travolta. Released on August 30, 2019, The Fanatic didn’t have much of a fighting chance. It had a limited theatrical run, followed by a release on digital platforms. Here’s the film’s description: “On the grimy streets of Hollywood, a celebrity-obsessed man feels slighted by his favorite movie star and embarks on an unhinged quest to get a response – leading to a home invasion and a very long night that changes both men irreparably.” This premise fascinated me, primarily because I’m a passionate fan of all forms of entertainment. Not only have I had the pleasure of attending countless concerts, movies, and star-studded events, I’ve interviewed almost all of my celebrity heroes and befriended a few of them along the way. So, a film starring John Travolta as a fan that takes things too far was something I couldn’t pass up. I’m glad I finally watched it because it’s the best film I’ve seen this year and, in my opinion, John Travolta’s greatest dramatic performance to date.

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