Category Archives: Tampa Art Events

Magnum Opus 2009, A Square One event produced by Okesene Tilo

Here is a slideshow from our adventures in Ybor City at Magnum Opus, a tremendously successful art event presented by Square One and produced by Okesene Tilo.

The event was absolutely packed, and people were waiting in line around the block to make their way into the Ritz Theater, that many Tampa kids may recall used to be the old Masquerade.  Since Natalie is an artist that was exhibiting in the show, we were able to skip all the lines and go right in with our crew.  We even had someone tried to gank our in and claim she and her friends were with us.  Ah, love Ybor!

The large space inside was filled fashion divas, acres of canvas spread across the walls that made up what appeared to be a billions pieces of art.  The Ritz is an absolutely perfect space to host this kind of large event.  Looks like it can handle anything from concerts to art shows and everything in between.  Very cool space in which to party.  Bodies were packed tightly, but that was okay.  It was a party and everyone was having a good time.  Music was on stage, the energy was great.  It felt great to see this kind of event in Ybor.  More, please.  And more often.

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XZanthia’s Naked Foam Party [Part Deux]

A couple weeks ago, we went to go check out XZanthia’s Naked Foam Party at the Riverboat Resort.  It was my first time to check out a nudist resort, and I felt very comfortable.  The resort has a great energy to it, very warm and inviting.  We had such a great time that we decided to go check it out again this past Friday, June 12th, for the Naked Foam Party [Part Deux].  When we arrived, the festivities were in full swing with the Unit Shifters performing live on stage.  Known for being an extremely high-energy rock band, the Unit Shifters specialize in Psychedelic Grunge Rock.  Their style is similar to Beck and the White Stripes.

The entertainment at the resort wasn’t limited to just music that night.  Twisted Trystan also amazed us with his extreme sideshow performance art ranging from glass walking to fire breathing and even laying on a bed of nails!  Assisted by the lovely Kristen, Trystan started off his show by ripping a phone book with his bare hands.  Then he moved onto his glass walking routine, which did make me turn my head a couple times.  But even if I wasn’t watching, the mic was place in the glass so you could hear the shards of glass crunch and grind against his every move.  And if walking on the glass wasn’t feat enough, Trystan had his amazing assistant, Kristen, step directly upon his face as it laid in the glass.   Ouch!

This master of masochism didn’t limit his performance at just glass walking, he also laid upon a bed of nails and swallowed not one, but two swords!  Yes, this definitely wasn’t your average sideshow performance.   My favorite part of Trystan’s performance was the fire breathing.  It was simply beautiful to watch, and Brian was able to get quite a number of great shots as illustrated in the slideshow below.

Other festivities that night included the filming of a naked body painting music video.  It involved ten or so individuals completely naked under a black light with a bunch of body paint.  While it was quite an interesting performance, the owners of the resort requested no outside cameras so it was definitely an event that you had to be there to see it.

We also came across an artist that was painting bikinis directly on interested models.  One of the models even mentioned that she was able to carry on conversations with people at the party that didn’t realize that the bikini was painted on.

As the evening progressed, DJ Robert Vanwest got the groove going on with a mix of industrial, electro, and synthpop that was accompanied by the lovely go-go dancers, Zoe Vanwest and Caila.  Zoe even would occasionally take a break from dancing and put on her DJ hat to spice it up a bit.

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It's a Surreal World @ Progress Energy Art Gallery

It’s a Surreal World

Directions to Progress Energy Art Gallery

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Life, Love, and Chaos… Congrats, Bob!

congrats-bob1.jpgCongratulations to our friend, Robert. J. Ammidown. Bob is a local playwright and will be attending a staged reading of his play, “Life, Love, and Chaos,” at The Blank Theatre in Hollywood, California on September 10th, 2007.

I have known Bob for over a decade and he lives to write and it is very satisfying to see his work staged. On the surface, “Life, Love, and Chaos” is a loose, semi-autobiographical play about Bob’s struggle to find himself when the eleven year old protagonist Randy has his happy, upper-class childhood taken away overnight after the tragic loss of his mother and the subsequent arrest of his father for his conspiratorial role in her murder. We then follow Randy through the aftermath and devastation as he grows into a man and attempts to forge his own destiny.

I’ve read the script myself numerous times and I have had the fortune to act as a sounding board and second ear as Bob has spent the last ten years of his life working on this play. What you have is an existential exploration of a young man’s attempt to find sanity, love, and stability in a world that doesn’t understand him any better than he understands it. The play is highly accessible and yet is an unapologetic statement about the paradox of fate versus free will, and how the two concepts are entangled and reliant upon one another. It is incredibly powerful, moving, and has moments of black comedy interspersed with musings about quantum physics and spirituality.

I may be somewhat biased here, but since this is our blog, I have the right to say that I feel this is the next “Death of a Salesman.” And no, I am not getting paid to say that, although Bob should probably take me out to dinner. (Hint, hint.)

I am very pleased that he is having it read at The Blank Theater, a venue that has won every major theater award in Los Angeles at least once. It is a world-class theater that is currently producing the premier of the play “Heads,” which is running now until September, 23rd.

A staged reading is generally the final developmental step a play must go through before being officially produced by a theater company. It gives agents, buyers, producers, and directors a chance to see the potential of the play as an actual production. I am not able to say names at this point, but it appears as if there is quite a bit of buzz about the actors who will be performing the reading. So far, all I can say is that the people involved have a true love of the material and there seems to be a very good energy surrounding the whole project.

Good luck, Bob! Enjoy your trip! Bring me back a t-shirt!

  • The Blank Theatre Company
  • 6500, Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, Ca, 90038
  • If you are interested in attending the staged reading, please call the box office at 323-661-9827

Click here for Bob’s page and all of his contact information.


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