Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Charlotte Observer will smash the competition

You read it here first: The Charlotte Observer’s Eye team -- which is paired with Carolina Nightlife -- will win the Carolina Blonde Beer Brewing Contest.

The contest will kick off the Brews, Blues & BBQ festival the weekend of Sept. 14. I’m on a team with Crystal Dempsey, editor of the Observer’s Eye, a new publication "for people who live, work and play in central Charlotte," and Charles Wilson of Carolina Nightlife.

We’re going against WBT, led by Jeff Katz and paired with the Rhino Times (aren’t they’re too conservative to drink beer?); along with The Link, led by Matt Harris (is he dressing himself yet?) and paired with Uptown Magazine; and Creative Loafing (our stiffest competition), which is paired with Charlotte Viewpoint's Mark Perez.

We brewed our batch this week. Cheers!

Loving "The Lion King"

“In the jungle, the mighty jungle, my misconceptions sleep tonight. AweemawayAweemaway...”
Please indulge my tribute to “The Lion King.” I’m still reliving the memories of seeing the musical play, which ended its run at Belk Theater last week.

When the production first went to Broadway, I gagged. I couldn’t believe the big-time playwriters didn't have a more original idea than turning a Disney movie into a Broadway production. I had no interest in seeing it.

But last year, promoter Mike Kitchen and I bumped into one of Blumenthal’s public relations people at a party, and she raved about the play. She encouraged me to see it -- and to arrive on-time (a rarity for me).

I ordered tickets early, and went with my girl, her little ones, and Kitch. I’m not sure what was better, the play or watching the kids’ mouths drop during the early scenes.

My favorite parts were the opening scene, the one after intermission, and when Simba talks to Mufasa’s image in the lake. Amazing.