Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Review”

Review: ThrillerFest XIII

ThrillerFest is the premier conference for thriller writers and readers. ThrillerFext XIII marks my fourth time at this event and it fittingly kicked off on Friday the 13th. Over two days, numerous panels took place on a wide range of topics – everything from how to best execute a fictional character to how to handle sex scenes in thrillers. These panels were comprised of new, best-selling, and seasoned authors, all offering a unique perspective on myriad issues and trends.

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Tommy Shaw’s Sing For The Day!

Tommy Shaw, best known as the lead vocalist and guitarist in STYX, is releasing his solo 2016 concert performance with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra on Blu-ray, CD, and Digital Audio/Video on June 29 via Eagle Rock Entertainment.

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Review: Aladdin The Musical

Disney’s Aladdin, the musical, is currently at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. Performances run until July 1, and I highly recommend that you go. I went to a performance last night and the nearly sold-out crowd ate it up from beginning to end. Having watched a clip of this show from the Tony Awards a few years back, I knew that the Genie was going to be the star of the show and he was. Michael James Scott, who plays the role of the Genie and was the understudy for the Genie during the original Broadway run, is fantastic. Just watch him sing and dance to “Friend Like Me” and you’ll be blown away by his stamina and unending charisma. He’s the heart and soul of the show and made it a blast to watch.

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Book Review: Creating The Filmation Generation

Creating The Filmation Generation is a fascinating autobiography by Lou Scheimer, one of the original founders of Filmation, an animation studio that produced He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Fat Albert, Star Trek, Mighty Mouse, Tom and Jerry, Batman, and much more. TwoMorrows Publishing is behind this book and it’s a quality read through and through. It takes the reader from 1928 up until 2010, just three years prior to Scheimer’s death. In addition to the insightful text, this book features great photos, posters, and imagery befitting an animation icon.

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Book Review: The President Is Missing

As you probably gathered from my previous post, I was excited about reading The President Is Missing. Unfortunately, after reading 10 chapters, I lost interest in the book. It failed to capture my attention because nothing compelling occurred in the first 10 chapters. Something shocking has to happen in the first chapter of a thriller so that it makes me want to keep turning the pages to see how it all comes together. Unfortunately, it seems that Bill Clinton’s influence on this book was to the story’s detriment as it moves at a snail’s pace and is bogged down by political jargon and details that get in the way of the James Patterson’s normally fast-paced writing style. I made a decision a few years ago to stop reading books that aren’t good. I realized that there is no need to waste hours of my time on a book that isn’t enjoyable. To my disappointment, The President Is Missing is one of those books.

Review: Johnny Mathis’ The Voice of Romance Box Set

To celebrate more than 60 years of Mathis magic, Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings released The Voice of Romance: The Columbia Original Album Collection, a 68-CD box set containing all of Johnny Mathis’ Columbia albums and much more.

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Dark Horse: He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe

With rumors rumbling about a new Masters of the Universe movie finally seeing the light of day, now is a great time to reconnect with the original pop culture phenomenon known as He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. The best way to do so – aside from watching the 1980s TV series – is by picking up the five fabulous books published by Dark Horse. From the TV shows (including She-Ra) to the minicomics and everything in between, these books cover anything and everything He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. As with all of Dark Horse’s books, these publications are filled with insightful information, compelling visuals, and behind-the-scenes information you won’t find anywhere else – and it’s all lovingly compiled in these beautiful tomes that no Masters of the Universe fan should be without. Below is a rundown of all of the books and their official synopses so you know what to expect from each one.

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Meeting Daryl Hall

Last Saturday, after HoagieNation, my wife and I had the opportunity to meet the legendary Daryl Hall. We were the only people that met him after the show, aside from his family, so I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity, and he was a pleasure to speak with. I shook Daryl’s hand, introduced him to Stephanie, reminded him of the cover story on Hall & Oates by me that was just published the other week in The Aquarian Weekly, and asked him to autograph it for me. Daryl said, “That was a really good piece you wrote” and gladly signed the cover for me.

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Book Review: Don’t Stop Believin’ by Jonathan Cain

Don’t Stop Believin’: The Man, the Band, and the Song that Inspired Generations, the long-awaited autobiography by Journey’s piano man, Jonathan Cain, is tied with Paul Stanley’s Face The Music: A Life Exposed as my favorite music autobiography. And if you have to choose one way to read this book, listen to the audiobook because it’s narrated by the man himself, making for a more intimate reading experience. Jon’s narration of his autobiography is so raw and authentic that at some points he becomes overcome with emotion, which only makes the stories he tells that much more impactful. And the generous amount of beautiful music weaved throughout the audiobook makes for an engaging and enjoyable audiobook that I’d gladly listen to again. It’s also worth noting that the audiobook features bonus chapters not found in the print version of the book.

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Paul Anka Does It His Way

My wife and I had the honor and pleasure of seeing Paul Anka perform last night at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City and meeting him after the show. It was our first time seeing Paul Anka, who I recently interviewed, and his concert exceeded our expectations.  Read more…

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