Ugly Monkey and Oxford Opening Tonight

The Ugly Monkey (Harrington and Morgan) and The Oxford (former Yancy’s on Fayetteville St.) will open their doors tonight.


Stallions Returning to RBC Center

stallion The World Famous Lipizzaner Stallions will be returning to the RBC Center on Friday, December 5.


Ryan Adams on Letterman

ryanadams Last night Ryan Adams was on The Late Show with David Letterman. A second performance, “Cobwebs”, was filmed and is only available on the web. Go to Dave’s site, then select clip #1 in the DaveTV section to view the performance.


Planning Commissions Advises More Spaces for Broughton

The Planning Commission today approved a plan for 100 additional parking spaces on the front lawn of Broughton High School. The school had eariler requested 126 spaces in their original plan.

They also recommended returning “The Strip” (Cameron Street section across from the baseball field) to the Wake County Public School System. Such control would afford the school to return The Strip to 90-degree parking, adding back 30 previously deleted spaces.


Nixon Heading to Russia

julianixon David Menconi has a great little story about Raleigh R&B singer Julia Nixon and her upcoming tour in Russia. Nixon, a former star in Dreamgirls on Broadway, has a couple of CDs that can be heard on Rhapsody.


Manhattan Cafe Now Open

manhattencafe The Manhattan Cafe is now open on Wilmington Street, in the Hudson. The space was formerly occupied by Gandolfo’s deli.

map it


TWC Offers NBA League Pass Free Preview

NBApass Time Warner Cable customers will get a free preview of the NBA League Pass beginning today thru November 4. Check out every single NBA game on channels 711-719. For those who enjoy the preview and want the full season pass, it is $169 (before Nov 4).


Ryan Adams CD Released Today

ryanadams Former Raleigh resident Ryan Adams released his 11th full CD today, Cardinology. It’s available in all the usual places including Rhapsody.


YoHo Asian Bistro Now Open in North Hills

20080808-135 The quickly growing local YoHo Asian Bistro chain is now open in North Hills in the former Mama Fu’s location.


TWC Rolling Out More HD

Earlier this week I passed along the info that Time-Warner Cable is adding four HD channels (coming Wednesday). However it appears that in the next few months, there will be actually 20 new HD channels and a couple of SD channels. They are:

  • Speed HD*
  • BIO HD*
  • Discovery Channel HD*
  • Planet Green HD
  • CNN HD
  • Disney Channel HD
  • History HD
  • Animal Planet HD
  • ABC Family HD
  • Lifetime HD
  • ESPNews HD
  • Learning Channel HD
  • Cinemax E HD
  • Cinemax W HD
  • Starz! HD
  • TMC HD
  • PPV HD
  • Weather Channel HD
  • FX HD
  • Hallmark HD
  • Sprout SD
  • MLB SD

* coming Wednesday


Annuals on Conan Tonight

annuals_suchfun Just a reminder: Raleigh’s own Annuals will appear on tonight’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien. They’ll probably be doing “Talking” (because it appears on WBER’s First Impressions list), though I’d rather hear “Hot Night Hounds”.

You can also catch them at the Lincoln Theatre Wednesday night opening for Minus The Bear.


Great Restaurant Deal

For a limited time, restaurant.com is offering an 80% discount on their already reduced restaurant gift certificates. I just bought a $25 gift certificate to a popular restaurant we frequent for $2! Simply enter the code TREATS at checkout.



Walking With Dinosaurs Teaches Evolutionary Lessons

IMG_0207The national touring production of Walking With Dinosaurs is currently playing at the RBC Center (thru Sunday), and doesn’t disappoint. The $20M spectacle, based on the BBC TV series, is an educational and entertaining walk through the three major periods when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Running at 1:38 (with a 20-minute intermission), the show dazzles children and adults alike.

My chief concern entering the event was how my 6-year-old daughter would handle it. Only this past May she had a miserable experience in Epcot’s Universe of Energy with its frightening robotic dinosaurs. Not so with the Walking…, however. The distance between the crowd and the animatronic dinosaurs is ample to  separate any feelings of danger. Perhaps her association with previous good experiences in that building helped, too. While the sound of roaring dinosaurs and crashing comets is startling at time, I saw no children around me aborting the night’s mission.

The show consists of three acts, each featuring a presentation of some of the dinosaurs that thrived in  major periods; Cretaceous, Jurassic, and Triassic. Narrated by a strolling actor who is probably the next big thing in commercial voice-overs, the story gives a heaping load of facts while immersing the audience in a thrilling visual experience

IMG_0198 More impressive than the content is the production itself. Just under one-half of the RBC Center is curtained off to create a theater setting. Above the floor surface is an enormous flying rig that is full of a few hundred concert lighting units and a booming sound system that carries impressive low end sound without and shrill tones whatsoever. The floor is lined with theatrical rocks that play a big part in set design during a few periods presented.

The real stars, though, are the dinosaurs. These mostly animatronic beasts are impressive. Standing as tall as 60 feet or so, the movements of these creatures such as the Ankylosaurus, the Torosaurus, and of course, the T-Rex, are so realistic, it is easy to forget the incredible wizardry that must be behind the dozens of mechanical articulations. Details down to running noses and blinking eyes weren’t overlooked. The skins, too, are extremely impressive. About the only thing omitted, thankfully, was the smells these beasts probably produced.

Today marks the 26th birthday of Disney’s EPCOT Center. While the star of its opening was Spaceship Earth, the buzz for years after concerned the impressive dinosaurs in the Universe of Energy. Hovering over the mobile theater cars, guests were amazed at the lifelike movements of these robots. Today we have the Walking With Dinosaurs tour, and it proves that evolution doesn’t just exist with progressive life forms, it also exists in the theater.

top -->