Downtown after Dark for April 3 on

Russ Tarby, Staff Writer 04/03/08More articles
Party in the Plaza prepares to rock

More than a dozen of Central New York’s rockingest bands have been hired to entertain at the Party in the Plaza this year. Staged for more than two decades at the Federal Building plaza downtown, the 5 to 8 p.m. parties are hosted by The Updowntowners.
Party in the Plaza 2008
Here’s the 2008 schedule:
May 28 Kat Tale
June 4 One Hard Krank
June 11 The Rhythm Method
June 18 12 A.M.
June 25 T.J. Sacco & The Electric Rodeo
July 2 3-Inch Fury
July 9 SuperGush
July 16 The Black-Lites
July 23 SimpleLife
July 30 Emerald City
Aug. 6 Custom Taylor Band
Aug. 13 Undesirables
Aug. 20 Under the Gun

Where’s Grupo Pagan?
From the Rhythm Method to SimpleLife, from One Hard Krank to SuperGush, from the Black-Lites to Emerald City, the musical styles represented at the Party in the Plaza 2008 aptly reflect the diversity of the Syracuse experience…although the lineup is sorely lacking a Latin act!
Anyhow, The Updowntowners will stage a baker’s dozen Parties in the Plaza from May 28 to Aug. 20, outside the Hanley Federal Building, at the corner of South Clinton and West Washington streets.

Double bills TBA
The Updowntowners hope to announce at least two double bills, possibly pairing Roosevelt Dean with Kat Tale on May 28, and Atlas with The Rhythm Method. So maybe it’s not too late for Grupo Pagan or another Hispanic combo to make the scene.
Contact the Updowntowners at 471-0363, or visit partyintheplaza.com.

‘Young Lady of Property’
My colleague, Nancy Keefe Rhodes, attended a play at Syracuse Stage’s Black Box Theater last week, and strongly urges you to catch it this coming weekend. Here’s her review:
This two-weekend student production is on such a shoestring that there’s no printed program. The director, Sonita Surratt – veteran of CNY stage, opera and radio drama, now an MFA candidate in stage direction – works the lighting herself during performances.
“A Young Lady of Property” also flew below the publicity radar when it opened last weekend. But this revival of a television play by Pulitzer Prize- and Oscar-winning dramatist Horton Foote is one of the best ways you could spend 75 minutes this weekend.
In this coming-of-age story set in small-town Texas, Surratt has coached detailed, vibrant, often moving and sometimes very funny performances from her eight-person cast. As 15-year-old Wilma and her best friend Arabella, Dani Abrams and Kirsten Kelly are especially fine. And since Foote’s play first aired on the Philco Television Playhouse on April 5, 1953, Saturday night’s closing performance is a 55th anniversary.
“A Young Lady of Property” runs at Syracuse Stage’s SU Drama Black Box Theater, 820 E. Genesee St. (Irving Avenue entrance), at 7 p.m. Friday April 4, and at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday April 5; 443-3275.

Yeti sighted
at Sound Garden
Gregg Yeti & The Best Lights have released a new disc of intelligent and entertaining indie-pop called “heart palpitations of the rich & famous.” Tracks include “My Narcoleptic Sara,” “Brighter than the Sky” and “Laughter Be Your Slave.”
Although the official release date is April 29, the disc is available for sale now at Sound Garden, on Walton Street in downtown’s Armory Square.
Past and Present Best Lights musicians John Cerrone, Bobby Budd, Christopher Ennis, Sean Trinkaus, Ryan McDaniels, Lincoln Tubbs, David Lester, Robert Kane, Andrea Lee Higgins and Yeti’s fiancé, Jessica Rudy.

--Word up is that Jazz in the Square will join forces with the annual Downtown Arts & Crafts Fest to make July 24-27 a multi-faceted “Arts Weekend.” The joint effort will encourage art lovers at Columbus Circle to mosey over to the music at Hanover and Clinton squares and vice versa. In previous years, the Arts & Crafts Fest took place on the same weekend as the NYS Blues Festival, but a concerted collaboration never materialized.
--Chef Thelma Garcia was working overtime Friday March 28 when Juanita’s Mexican Kitchen was swamped by an enchilada-starved crowd at the restaurant’s new location at Ponderosa Plaza, 207 Old Liverpool Road, in Liverpool. The plaza’s spacious parking lot was the main reason owners Sam and Paul LaRose moved to the ’burbs from their longtime Court Street corner, but it was so jammed Friday that regulars at the Fish Cove had a hard time landing a spot.

Local author picks UCLA
Oliver Jones, the Baldwinsville man who self-published a 2007 book named “Sport Gambling 101,” is picking UCLA to beat North Carolina in the final game of the NCAA’s Final Four on Monday April 7.
“I picked three out of the four final teams,” Jones said. “I had UCLA, Kansas and UNC plus I had Pitt in the other bracket, but, as I wrote in the book, these NCAA brackets are more of a fun thing. It’s usually small stakes and you have to predict the fate of 64 teams. You have to be really good and lucky to get even close when filling out your brackets.”
Jones’ book, illustrated by Syracuse graphics great Joe Orsak, is a no-nonsense primer for the sports-bettor, complete with analyses of odds, point spreads and exotics.
“I took a different approach than most books on the subject,” Jones said. “Most of them either demonize gambling or present it as a get-rich-quick scheme and it’s really neither.”
Sports gamblers need to have a sense of control, Jones writes, and “Sport Gambling 101” gives them everything they need to know to wager wisely.

Calling all artists
Wanna win a cool grand?
Then make like Monet and paint a poster for the 2008 JGB Syracuse Jazz Festival. And you better do it lickety-split because the deadline is Saturday.
The festival’s artistic director, the ever-irrepressible Frank Malfitano, has issued an open call for entries from local artists. A jury of festival staffers and art teachers from Onondaga Community College will decide whose design deserves the $1,000 prize.
All types of two-dimensional media are welcome, Malf said, including oils, acrylics, watercolors, illustrations or whatever you can think of. The June 27-29 festival needs artworks in a 24-by-36-inch format readily adaptable for poster design and reproduction. Deliver entries by 1 p.m. Saturday April 5, to Suite 246 in the Delavan Center, 509 W. Fayette St.
For info, visit syracusejazzfest.com, or call the OCC Visual Arts Department at 498-2401.

Havana horn
Cuban-born trumpeter Eudy Fernandez blew some beautiful bebop while sitting in with the John Rohde Trio March 5 at Pastabilities.
Back in December, I caught Fernandez jamming with the Carlos Colon Quintet at Al’s Wine & Whiskey Lounge along with trumpeter John Coggiola and saxman Joe Riposo.
Besides playing horn, Fernandez also composes and arranges music. If you speak Spanish, give him a jingle at 807-4958; Anglos should dial Eudy’s his manager, Brian Bromka, at 447-6287.

Big band to bebop
Trumpeter John Coggiola will swing over to the Northern Onondaga Public Library at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday April 9. The library is presenting a film, discussion and musical-performance series tracing the history of jazz.
The sessions are hosted by keyboardist Bill DiCosimo, who’s also the director of Syracuse University’s Music Industry Program. On April 9, he’ll accompany Coggiola in demonstrating the swing music of the big-band era. John Coggiola, who also teaches music at SU, will return to NOPL on April 23 for “Bebop and Beyond.”
Refreshments will be served. Admission is free; 458-6184.
The Northern Onondaga Public Library is in the middle of North Syracuse, at 100 Trolley Barn Lane, at the corner of South Bay Road and Centerville Place.

Contact Russ at Russtarby@netscape.net.

Rating: 2.9/5 (14 votes cast)

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