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  • Ridge Brass to Offer Free Patriotic Memorial Day Concert At Lake Wales Arts Center

    Special to the News|Updated May 22, 2024

    A free patriotic concert on Memorial Day weekend will be offered to the public to mark the Memorial Day weekend. The Ridge Brass will offer "many familiar standbys of American music that will stir hearts to renewed love of our great country," said Arts Council spokesperson Carrie Ingley. The Ridge Brass was formerly known as the Lake Wales Brass Ensemble, and is familiar to many music-lovers in the area, having accompanied the Lake Wales Chorale at many past performances. Spon...

  • Lake Wales Arts Council Offers "Summer Studio Pass" to Unleash Your Creativity

    Special to the News|Updated May 22, 2024

    Area residents with a desire to unleash their creative side are invited to participate in a summer program at the Lake Wales Arts Center. Whether you're an experienced artist or just starting your creative journey, the Summer Studio Pass offers "a supportive environment where you can explore different art media, collaborate with fellow makers, and grow as an artist," according to Arts Council Executive Director Tommy Frank. You are invited to immerse yourself in the world of...

  • MOVIE REVIEW: A Brutal Look at a Divided Future: Alex Garland's Civil War

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated May 15, 2024

    A frightening imagining of a Civil War among the states that could happen in the very near future, this movie stars Kirsten Dunst and is written and directed by Alex Garland. Garland cleverly sidesteps real-world political labels, focusing instead on the human cost of ideological division. The film paints a chilling picture of a future where regional alliances shift and violence becomes commonplace. Dunst is joined by a stellar cast, including Wagner Moura and Stephen...

  • Classern Quartet Performs Two Shows Saturday at Lake Wales Arts Center

    Special to the News|Updated May 9, 2024

    Music lovers of all ages are invited to enjoy not one, but two concerts this Saturday, May 11 at the Lake Wales Arts Center as Classern Quartet, a distinguished ensemble from Orlando, presents two completely different musical programs at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Arts Council staff invites you to "indulge in an afternoon of refined elegance and musical brilliance for a captivating concert that celebrates the timeless allure of classical strings." The first event will feature the harmo...

  • Movie Review: "One Love" Shares New Story of Rise of Reggae Legend Bob Marley

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated May 1, 2024

    "One Love" chronicles the rise of reggae legend Bob Marley (Kingsley Ben-Adir). Even with limited prior knowledge of Marley, this biographical drama offers a captivating glimpse into his journey to superstardom, his family life, and of course, the irresistible music. The film, directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, serves as a delightful entry point for casual fans like myself. I was surprised how many reggae classics I recognized, from "Three Little Birds" to hidden gems I...

  • "Every Little Crook and Nanny" Offers a Fun Entertainment

    News Theatre Critic|Updated Apr 12, 2024

    An afternoon or evening of entertainment with a couple of surprise twists is in store for theatre fans in "Every Little Crook and Nanny," opening today, April 12, at Lake Wales Little Theatre. A talented cast and the directorial expertise of Larry Helms combine to create a fun performance of a comedy that manages to wrap itself around a bit of a "who-done-it" mystery. The ensemble cast features its own array of surprises, with strong performances all around, showcasing the...

  • MOVIE REVIEW: "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" a Fun, Familiar Ride

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Apr 12, 2024

    While not breaking new ground, "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" delivers a fun and engaging experience for fans of the franchise. Set in New York City, the film seamlessly blends the "next generation" team with the original Ghostbusters, giving the returning cast something to do. A highlight is Annie Potts finally suiting up as a Ghostbuster! The movie is packed with Easter eggs and throwbacks to the original films and the beloved cartoon series. Bill Murray gets some funny...

  • Movie Review: Maestro" A Look at Leonard Bernstein's Life and Legacy

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Apr 6, 2024

    "Maestro," Bradley Cooper's sophomore directorial effort available on Netflix, dives into the life of Leonard Bernstein, the iconic American composer and conductor. The film serves as a good introduction to Bernstein for newcomers like me, as, I didn't know anything about Leonard Bernstein. However the movie doesn't delve as deeply as it could have. Cooper both directs and plays the title role in the film. His performance is undeniably strong, capturing Bernstein's flamboyant...

  • Sci-Fi Shenanigans and Stone's Spark: A Review of Poor Things

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Apr 6, 2024

    A darkly comedic gem, "Poor Things" shines with audacious storytelling and a captivating performance by Emma Stone. Fueled by an Oscar win for Stone, this film by acclaimed director Yorgos Lanthimos ("The Lobster," "The Favourite") is a genre-bending blend of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and dark comedy. This is right up my alley! Reminiscent of Frankenstein, it tells the bizarre tale of Bella (Stone), a woman brought back to life with the brain of a baby. Raised by her e...

  • Movie Review: A Delightfully Subversive Romp in "Wicked Little Letters"

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Apr 1, 2024

    This movie, Wicked Little Letters, starring Olivia Coleman and Jesse Buckley, is absolutely hilarious. The film is a 2023 British black comedy/mystery, directed by Thea Sharrock and written by Jonny Sweet, set in 1920s small town England. When a conservative spinster named Edith, played by Olivia Coleman, starts getting these really offensive letters, her brash, vulgar next door neighbor from Ireland, Rose played by Jessie Buckley, is accused. All of the performances are...

  • A Deep Dive into Dune: Part 2 A Thought-Provoking Epic

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Mar 25, 2024

    I was glad to finally see Dune part 2 after it was delayed several months due to the writers and actors strikes. Denis Villeneuve's triumphant return to Arrakis in Dune: Part Two is a feast for the senses. The visuals are phenomenal. Stunning cinematography, dazzling special effects, and Hans Zimmer's ever-present, pulse-pounding score coalesce to create a truly immersive experience. We are transported back to the harsh beauty of the desert planet Arrakus, feeling the heat of...

  • Olmsted Day Festival Offers Fun For the Family in Lake Wailes Park March 23

    News Staff Reports|Updated Mar 18, 2024

    A day of free fun for the entire family is offered in Lake Wailes Park on Saturday, March 23 as the annual Olmsted Day event takes place. The event is the Lake Wales observance of Arbor Day and takes place in the shade of the historic Olmsted Oaks in the park. Entertainment, exhibits, games, musical performances, and food trucks form part of the attraction, along with vendors offering live plants and trees and a wide range of other products. Special exhibits will be offered...

  • "Lake Wales Live" Continues to Draw Crowds to Downtown Music Series

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Mar 16, 2024

    Downtown Lake Wales was a "happening scene" Friday as the sounds of the south Florida-based "The JamBand" filled the air as they performed from a special stage in Linear Park. The event drew a large crowd on a beautiful spring evening who danced, clapped along, and sometimes sang with the band. Numerous vendors and a food truck catered to the crowd. The free performance was another installation of "Lake Wales Live," a six-performance series intended to help bring more...

  • Despite Talented Cast, Argylle is a Disappointing Film

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Mar 4, 2024

    "Argylle" is a spy thriller that boasts a star-studded cast, including Henry Cavill, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Rockwell, and Dua Lipa. Despite its impressive cast, the film falls short in various aspects. This movie, directed by Matthew Vaughn, is based on a book series by author Elly Conway. However, the film is actually an adaptation of the fourth book in the series, which is not yet published. The first book in the series was published before the movie was released. This is...

  • "American Fiction" a Satire That Hits All the Right Notes

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Feb 28, 2024

    "American Fiction" offers us some great satire performed by a stellar cast. Directed and written by the talented Cord Jefferson and starring Jeffrey Wright, this film is a masterpiece in both storytelling and social commentary. This movie is about an African American writer whose books are not accepted by publishers because they don't fit certain specific expected African American themes. This is based on a book written 20 years ago but the issues are still true today. As an...

  • "Edwards Twins" Musical Impersonators to Perform at Ramon Theatre

    News Staff Reports|Updated Feb 27, 2024

    A truly unique performance is coming to Frostproof's historic Ramon Theatre in March as the famed musical impersonators Anthony and Eddie Edwards perform their live musical repertoire. Described as "Las Vegas' number one impersonators of all time," the show will be reminiscent of the Variety shows from the 70's & 80's, featuring a rapid-fire series of performances. The Edwards Twins have been recognized by NBC Today, The Boston Globe and USA Today, among others, for their...

  • Lake Wales Arts Festival Happens February 24 and 25

    Diego De Jesus, News Staff Writer|Updated Feb 22, 2024

    An annual event that draws thousands of art lovers from Lake Wales and around the state, the 53rd Annual Lake Wales Arts Festival ill be happening Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 24 and 25 at Lake Wailes Park, preceded by a special event for artists and patrons on Friday evening. Hosted by the Lake Wales Arts Council, this year's festival will be enhanced as 70 artists have been accepted into the juried show to display their creative works. The show attracts submissions from...

  • "Good Grief," is a Heartfelt Exploration of Friendship and Discovery

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Feb 15, 2024

    I recently had the opportunity to watch Dan Levy's directorial debut, Good Grief, on Netflix. Dan Levy is best known for his comedy Schitt's Creek. I love that show, it's hilarious. When he entered into a deal to create content with Netflix I was and still am looking forward to anything he does. "Good Grief," is a heartfelt exploration of grief, friendship, and self-discovery. While it may not land every comedic or dramatic beat perfectly, it offers a tender, character-driven...

  • Downtown to Resound With Free Lake Wales Live Concert Series

    Special to the News|Updated Feb 5, 2024

    Music and entertainment fans will welcome the news of a sensational series of free Friday night concerts that promise to infuse the community with camaraderie, live music, and entertainment. The series is planned for Orange Avenue in the heart of Downtown Lake Wales. The new Friday Night Live series is a collaboration of the Lake Wales Arts Council with the City of Lake Wales and Lake Wales Main Street. The Arts Council "is delighted to unveil the much-anticipated Lake Wales...

  • "May December" a Dark Comedy on Netflix

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Feb 5, 2024

    This is a dark comedy starring Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore and Charles Melton in a story loosely based on Mary Kay Letourneau and her affair with one of her young students. It is directed by Todd Haynes. In this film, Natalie Portman plays Elizabeth, an actress who is going to play a part in a movie based on the relationship between Gracie and Joe, played respectfully by Julianne Moore and Charles Melton. The movie takes place in Savannah Georgia, a beautiful historic...

  • The Color Purple: A Triumphant Return

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Jan 29, 2024

    The beloved story of Celie Johnson is returned to the big screen, and this time, it's singing its heart out. "The Color Purple" (2023) is a triumphant musical adaptation of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, and it's a testament to the enduring power of this timeless tale. The film is actually based upon the Broadway musical more than the book, even though it's basically the same story. I had seen the original movie and I did read the book once upon a time. I had...

  • Aquaman 2 and the Lost Kingdom: A Surprisingly Enjoyable Dip in Troubled Waters

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Jan 20, 2024

    I was a bit delayed watching Aquaman 2 as I was gone over the holidays. I finally got to see it recently. I went into Aquaman 2 expecting a shipwreck, weighed down by the negativity swirling around it. But surprisingly, I found myself bobbing to the surface, entertained and enjoying it. Don't get me wrong, it's not a cinematic masterpiece, but it delivered a fun, albeit uneven, underwater adventure. So this is the last Snyder verse movie. Everybody knew going into this movie...

  • "Bed, Breakfast and Broadway" Offers Entertaining Romp, Surprises

    News Theatre Critic|Updated Jan 20, 2024

    The guiding axiom of theatre is "the show must go on," and that's exactly the spirit exhibited by the resilient troupe of actors at Lake Wales Little Theatre as they present "Bed, Breakfast, and Broadway" at their intimate playhouse at 411 North Third Street. Described as a show within a show within a show, the play starts out as a situation comedy, and evolves into a farcical romp as mistaken identities and creative twists are tossed into the mix. Director Nicholas Bique, a...

  • Movie Review of "Wonka" : A Sweet Surprise (with a Few Wonky Bits)

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Jan 9, 2024

    I'll admit, I walked into the new Wonka movie bracing myself for disappointment. The shadow of Gene Wilder's iconic performance loomed large, and the more recent Johnny Depp version didn't exactly instill confidence. But, much like discovering a golden ticket tucked beneath a wrapper, I found myself pleasantly surprised by this chocolatey adventure. This movie was directed by Paul King who is known for his recent Paddington Bear movies. The cast did a good job. Timothée...

  • "Rebel Moon" a Great Popcorn Flick

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Dec 30, 2023

    I watched Zack Snyder's Rebel Moon movie, recently released on Netflix. While Snyder doesn't always get it right, I like looking at whatever he does. He is known for the Man of Steel and other DC superhero movies. Rebel Moon part 1 delivers a visually stunning sci-fi spectacle with great characters and wonderful special effects. Sofia Boutella shines as Kora, a warrior haunted by her past who seeks to become the unlikely savior of a peaceful moon farming colony. Ed Skrein is e...

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