Second Wednesday Open Mic returns Wed., Jan. 10, at 7 PM, with host Karen Ponzio—music, comedy, poetry & more

Musicians! Comedians! Poets! Magicians! Spoken word artists! The Second Wednesday Open Mic takes place Wednesday, Dec. 13, starting at 7 PM. Admission is a Suggested Donation of $3-5 to support BVFCC.

Poet Karen Ponzio — who writes for the New Haven Independent (read her article on our first open mic here) and has a show on Cygnus RADIO — is the host for this show!

We put out a sign-up sheet for designated slots at 6:30 PM and performers can choose their slot on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each slot is 10 minutes or two songs (whichever is shorter) with a 5-minute break between each performer. We have a total of 10 slots from 7-9:30 PM if people use their maximum time.

We will play it by ear after that with any “extra” performers getting time as available in order of signing the sheet. While 9:30 PM is the official cut-off time, we may at our discretion continue with performers up to 10 PM.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Wednesday, Jan. 3. ROCK: THE WYRD BROTHERS; SINGER-SONGWRITER: ROB NELSON

• Friday, Jan. 5. AFRO-FUNK/ELECTRONICS: ENERGY

• Wednesday, Jan. 10, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Jan. 11. ROCK: TINY OCEAN

• Friday, Jan. 12, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: BEPPE GAMBETTA (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Wednesday, Jan. 17. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: ALEXANDER; AVANT-GARDE: DONKEY NO NO, ZACH ROWDEN & WENDY EISENBERG

• Thursday, Jan. 18. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: BIG FAT COMBO

• Friday, Jan. 19. BLUES ROCK: VANGE DURST

• Thursday, Jan. 25, 6:30 PM. INDIE ROCK: BONZO, BILGE RAT, PINFINGER, SHORT MONTH

• Friday, Jan. 26. BLUES ROCK: JOE MILLER & THE HIPSHAKERS

• Saturday, Jan. 27. AVANT-GARDE/PSYCH: RIVENER

• Tuesday, Jan. 30, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Thursday, Feb. 1. BLUES/FOLK: MATTHEW BENNETT

• Friday, Feb. 2. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Tuesday, Feb. 6, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING & DISCUSSION: “LIFE ON PAROLE”

• Thursday, Feb. 8. BLUEGRASS: JOE K. WALSH & CELIA WOODSMITH, feat. BOBBY BRITT & ZOE GUIGUENO

• Wednesday, Feb. 14, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Friday, Feb. 16. SINGER-SONGWRITER/FUTURE SOUL: PAUL BRYANT HUDSON

• Friday, Mar. 16. BLUEGRASS: ZOE & CLOYD (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

Music/Spoken Word: Singer-songwriter Shula Weinstein with Ben Ross shares bill with monologuist Steve Bellwood Wed., Mar. 15

Cellist and singer-songwriter Shula Ruth Weinstein, accompanied by Ben Ross, shares a Wednesday, Mar. 15, bill with monologuist Steve Bellwood. The show starts at 8 PM and there is a $5 cover.

A musician for over twenty years, Shula Ruth Weinstein has been a guitarist ,cellist and singer-songwriter. She draws upon many genres of music from Klezmer and other folk traditions to  Avant-garde and roots music.

Shula Ruth Weinstein

Currently she performs with Flint Ladder—a string band comprised of Frank Panzarella on guitar, Jim Baldoni on Bass, Karen Hogg on Mandolin and guitar and Anne Cherry on fiddle. Shula has also enjoyed playing  improvisationally  and  has often  collaborated with  Steve Bellwood- a wordsmith and playwright, and her life partner Eben Ross, among many  others​ ​in the New haven community. Shula released her debut album in 2015 entitled “Small and Taller Tales”.

“Small and Taller Tales” is a collection of songs that are comprised of personal narratives often calling upon surreal and earth-based imagery. Melodic cello lines combine with open-tuned guitar voicing to become an integrated medium in the expression of these songs.

Some might say he’s a dreamer, but Steve Bellwood believes he’s just keeping it real. For the monologist, playwright, actor and poet—a British ex-pat and an almost 30-year resident of the New Haven area—emotional authenticity is the artistic currency he values. Couple that with a deep-rooted disdain for the inequities of contemporary capitalist culture and what you DON’T have is a smooth theatrical career path. Which is okay with Bellwood. More or less.

Steve Bellwood

“I’ve always had this thing about making it without joining the corporation, without kowtowing,” Bellwood says in an English accent undiminished by two decades in the U.S. He prefers to work independently, rather than try and shop scripts or knock on the doors of the prestige local theater venues, Long Wharf and Yale Rep. “Part of me resists that and part gets pissed with myself. If you don’t invest something, if you don’t play the game, you’re not going to get the rewards of the game. But I hate playing the game.”The type of grassroots, intimate theater that Bellwood savors has frustrations. Unlike theater capitals like London and New York, there is a dearth of young talented actors willing to participate in fringe productions, leaving Bellwood unable to stage some of his ensemble works. There is no money to rent performance halls. He writes three to four hours a day but frets, “When I’m not getting paid, I think ‘what am I doing?'”

And the answer, if not fully satisfactory, is that artistic expression is its own reward. Bellwood recalls one of his favorite lines from a recent monologue: “To be able to entertain yourself that much is a gift in itself.”

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday, Mar. 10. JAZZ GUITAR: THE COPPOLA JAZZ GUITAR DUO

• Saturday, Mar. 11. JAZZ: THE FAKE MUSIC ENSEMBLE PLAYS “BLACK, BROWN AND BEIGE; YELLOW, TRANS AND QUEER: MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THIS (A PROTEST SUITE COMPOSED BY ALLEN LOWE)

• Monday, Mar. 13. FILM SERIES SCREENING: “MOONLIGHT”

• Wednesday,  Mar. 15. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SHULA WEINSTEIN & BEN ROSS

• Thursday, Mar. 16. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SETH ADAM, KATHY MUIR

• Friday, Mar. 17. INDIE ROCK: DISCO TEEN 66

• Saturday, Mar. 18. INDIE FOLK: JAMES AM DOWNES, BROOMS, GABE MORTALI

• Wednesday, Mar. 22. CLASSICAL: 4-3-2-1: A EUPHONIUM AND FRIENDS PRODUCTION

• Friday, Mar. 24. SOLO GUITAR: GLENN ROTH; SINGER-SONGWRITER: BELLE OF THE FALL

• Saturday, Mar. 25. JAZZ: : THE FAKE MUSIC ENSEMBLE PLAYS “BLACK, BROWN AND BEIGE; YELLOW, TRANS AND QUEER: MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THIS (A PROTEST SUITE COMPOSED BY ALLEN LOWE)

• Sunday, Mar. 26. GEN X FILM SERIES SCREENING: “REPO MAN”

• Wednesday, Mar. 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: LAMONT

• Thursday, Mar. 30. ALTERNATIVE/AMERICANA: THE WYRD BROTHERS; DANCY DREAM POP: FOVEA

• Saturday, Apr. 1. CULT FILM SCREENING: TBA

• Sunday, Apr. 2. GEN X FILM SERIES SCREENING: “WARGAMES”

• Thursday, Apr. 6. AVANT-GARDE: ELM FICTION

• Friday, Apr. 7. ROCK: GHOST RADIO, SONIA & SID

• Saturday, Apr. 8. CLASSICAL GUITAR: MAX LYMAN; AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: ALEXANDER

• Sunday, Apr. 9. REDSCROLL RECORDS SCREENING AND MUSIC

• Friday, Apr. 14. JAZZ: JOVAN ALEXANDRE

• Sunday, Apr. 16. GEN X FILM SERIES SCREENING: “BLUE VELVET”

• Sunday, Apr. 23. GEN X FILM SERIES SCREENING: “DO THE RIGHT THING”

• Friday, Apr. 28. BLUEGRASS: THE SLOCAN RAMBLERS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Sunday, Apr. 30. GEN X FILM SERIES SCREENING: “THELMA AND LOUISE”

• Sunday, May 7. GEN X FILM SERIES SCREENING: “MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDERETTE”

• Friday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SHAWN TAYLOR & WANDERING ROOTS (CD Release)

• Friday, May 5. SINGER-SONGWRITERS IN  THE ROUND: JENNIFER DAUPHINAIS, CHRISTOPHER BOUSQUET, FRANK CRITELLI

• Saturday, May 6. CULT FILM SCREENING: TBA

• Friday, June 2. JAZZ VOCAL: LINDA SATIN & JOE CARTER DUO

• Friday, June 16. BLUEGRASS: MILE TWELVE (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Friday, June 23. CHAMBER ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Friday, Aug. 4. BLUEGRASS: HONEY DEWDROPS (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Friday, Sept. 15. BLUEGRASS: ROB ICKES & TREY HENSLEY (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Thursday, Nov. 16. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN

Music: Franz Douskey & Rich Moran present Part 2 of their Tribute to Frank Sinatra Thurs., July 30, at 8 PM

Rich Moran, left, and Franz Douskey, right

Rich Moran, left, and Franz Douskey, right

The life and times of Frank Sinatra come alive on an evening of stories and songs presented by Franz Douskey, author of Sinatra and Me: The Very Good Years,  and vocalist Rich Moran at Best Video on Thursday, Oct 23, at 8 PM. The cover is $5.

Sinatra and Me: The Very Good Years features the recollections of New Haven native and Sally’s Pizza co-founder, Tony Consiglio, who met fellow teenager, Frank Sinatra, while visiting family and spending time on the streets of Hoboken, New Jersey in the early 1930’s. They formed a fast and true friendship that lasted until Sinatra’s death in 1998. Consiglio was not only Sinatra’s friend, he served as his confident, valet, and true “right hand man” for many years. From the early days when Sinatra was trying to establish himself as a singer to the mid 1960’s, Tony worked with Sinatra and was there to share the highs and lows of his career.

After rebuffing many requests for interviews about his relationship with Sinatra through the years, Tony was introduced by a family member to local author, Franz Douskey when he was in his 80’s. Tony hit it off with Franz and eventually began sharing the fond remembrances of his life with Sinatra. Franz compiled the tales he heard into the book, “Sinatra and Me…The Very Good Years”, an “as told to” memoir published in 2012.

At this event, Franz will share Tony’s stories from the book as well as his own insights on the life and career of Francis Albert Sinatra. In between anecdotes, vocalist Rich Moran will perform a number of classic Sinatra tunes back by pianist Judy Webber, saxophonist Jeff Webber, and drummer Noah Golden.

Franz is a Pulitzer Prize author who has been published in over 200 hundred publications including The New Yorker and Rolling Stone. He also co-produced and co—hosted, Once Upon a Bandstand on WQUN featuring the music of Frank Sinatra and many others of his era.

Rich has performed at Best Video on several occasions, each time bringing his neo-traditional interpretation to a different part of the Standards repertoire. Together with the Webbers, he has played venues throughout southern Connecticut. Their most recent concert set titled, “Here’s To the Ladies Who Rhyme” was performed at the Guilford Concert Under the Stars series and Best Video this summer.

The pairing of Franz and Rich for this event came at the suggestion of Hank Paper. Since meeting, Franz and Rich have enjoyed sharing their mutual appreciation for the Great American Songbook and the singers who have put their stamp on the genre including Frank Sinatra. They look forward to presenting what they hope will be an informative and entertaining evening for all who attend.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Tuesday, July 21. ECLECTIC ACOUSTIC MUSIC: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS with SPECIAL GUESTS

• Wednesday, July 22. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE BIRDMEN (Former members of JAMES VELVET’S groups THE LONESOME SPARROWS & THE IVORY BILLS)

• Thursday, July 23. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: SHAUN BOWEN, KEVIN MF KING

• Friday, July 24. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: ANNE MARIE MENTA, SHELLYE VALAUSKAS

• Wednesday, July 29. CARIBBEAN/FOLK: THE LUKE RODNEY BAND Postponed

• Thursday, July 30. CABARET/CROONING/SPOKEN WORD: RICH MORAN & FRANZ DOUSKEY

• Friday, July 31. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SAMUEL BASS, BELLA

• Thursday, Aug. 6. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT, BILL ARNOLD

• Friday, Aug. 7. INDIE ROCK: MERCY CHOIR

• Wednesday, Aug. 12. ELECTRONIC IMPROVISATION: DAVID ELKIN-GINNETTI & DEREK PIOTR

• Thursday, Aug. 13. INDIE FOLK: KINDRED QUEER

• Friday, Aug. 14. ROCK: THE FURORS, TOM HEARN

• Wednesday, Aug. 19. FOLK: WALKINGWOOD MANDOLIN QUARTET

• Thursday, Aug. 20. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Friday, Aug. 21. BLUEGRASS: FIDDLE FOREVER

• Tuesday, Aug. 25. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Friday, Aug. 28. FILM SCREENING: “HEAD” (CT-PRODUCED LIVE PUPPET HORROR FEATURE)

• Friday, Sept. 4. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Wednesday, Sept. 9. COMEDY OPEN MIC WITH JAKE NIETOPSKI

• Tuesday, Sept. 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: HANNAH FAIR

• Wednesday, Sept. 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANGELA EASTERLING

• Thursday, Oct. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

• Friday, Oct. 23. ALT-COUNTRY: TANNERSVILLE

 

Music: Shadow performs Wed., Mar. 18, at 8 PM

image2_WebShadow performs at Best Video on Wednesday, Mar. 18. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Modern Rock/Spoken Word Songstress, Shadow carries 6 strings, 76 keys and a couple of sequencers to present poignant poetry, riveting rhythms, uncluttered yet vibrant choruses and melodies dancing up and down a 3-octave range to spew spoken word and song, with a ferocious flair to fan the flames that feed the fire, as a one woman, rock and roll medicine show spreading love from place to place.

Shadow shines in unconventional venues such as festivals, bookstores, coffeehouses, libraries, subways, parks, house concerts and art exhibits. Shadow’s videos and music can be seen and heard on www.divashadow.youtube.com

In 2013 Shadow was invited to become a member of The Singer/Songwriter Sessions at The Bitter End in New York City. Shadow completed her latest documentary “Behind The Pastie” A Peep Inside The World of Burlesque, showcasing the world famous Le Scandal Cabaret and Burlesque Theatre Company of NYC. Shadow is currently completing her BA in Music at Southern Connecticut State University, where she is president and founder of the SCSU Music Club.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday, Mar. 13. BLUEGRASS: THE WOOL HATS STRING BAND

• Monday, Mar. 16. FILM SCREENING: “NOW, VOYAGER”

• Wednesday, Mar. 18. MODERN ROCK SPOKEN WORD SONGSTRESS/INDIE FOLK ROCK: SHADOW & COMPANY

• Thursday, Mar. 19. RAGTIME/BLUES: THE RED HOTS

• Friday, Mar. 20. ALT-COUNTRY: THE HELLWIGS

• Monday, Mar. 23. FILM SCREENING: “UP IN THE AIR”

• Thursday, Mar. 26. ROCK: LA TUNDA

• Friday, Mar. 27. INDIE ROCK: PROCEDURE CLUB

• Monday. Mar. 30. FILM SCREENING: “A LATE QUARTET”

• Thursday, April 2. ROCK/POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Thursday, Apr. 9. 150th ANNIVERSARY OF APPOMATTOX/FOLK MUSIC: SHELDON CAMPBELL

• Friday, Apr. 10. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Thursday, Apr. 23. ECLECTIC ACOUSTIC MUSIC: PRESTER JOHN featuring SHAWN PERSINGER & DAVID MILLER

• Friday, Apr. 24. BLUEGRASS: THE KOREY BRODSKY BAND

• Friday, May 1. FILM FEST: “A DARK ROOM”

• Wednesday, Aug. 26. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

Music, Image & Spoken Word: Mark Saba and Alphonse Izzo Sun., May 19, at 3 PM

MarkSaba_72dpiBest Video Performance Space will host a multimedia event by poet Mark Saba and composer Alphonse Izzo on Sunday, May 19, at 3 PM. Admission is $5.Mark will read poems from his recently-published collection, “Painting a Disappearing Canvas” (Grayson Books) against an original score composed by Alphonse as well as images produced by Mark in iMovie. Images will also accompany Alphonse’s composition, “Special Green Interlude,” before Mark concludes the evening with one of his short stories.

Mark Saba has been writing fiction, poetry, and nonfiction for over thirty years. In addition to his poetry collection, he has had two short novels published, as well as many stories, essays, and poems in literary magazines and anthologies around the U.S. and abroad. Several of the poems in “Painting a Disappearing Canvas” reflect his Pittsburgh roots.

Tony Norman reviewed “Painting a Disappearing Canvas” for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, writing:

There are poets who exercise admirable restraint, yet somehow manage to squeeze in a lot of images between the lines. Former Pittsburgher Mark Saba falls into this category. His language is rich and imagistic, but nuanced; tender, yet suspicious of false sentiment. A few poems touch on Pittsburgh in this collection, but most are about other states of mind and being. “Painting a Disappearing Canvas” is sublimity guaranteed to linger.

Mark is a graduate of Wesleyan University (BA) and Hollins College (MA), where he won an Academy of American Poets Award as well as the Andrew James Purdy fiction award. He is also a painter. See some of his work at his Web site.

Alphonse_IzzoAlphonse Izzo, a graduate of the Hartt School, is a composer and performer based in New Haven, CT. His music has been performed throughout the USA, most recently at Carnegie Hall, in Canada, Europe and Argentina.

He has composed music for fixed media, film, dance, chamber ensembles and rock bands. Alphonse Izzo’s music is represented by Honey Rock Publishing and Canondale Publishing. His music appears on CD via Trace Label and Vox Novus. See his Web site for more information.

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Wednesday, May 15. JAZZ: THE NICK Di MARIA QUARTET

• Thursday, May 16. ROCK—ROPE

• Sunday, May 19. MUSIC, IMAGE & SPOKEN WORD: MARK SABA & TOM IZZO

• Thursday, May 23. HOCKEY ROCK: THE ZAMBONIS

•Thursday, May 30. ACOUSTIC FOLK: ROBERT MESSORE

• Wednesday, June 5. PUNK/BLUES: SPACE ORPHANS

• Thursday, June 6. INDIE ROCK: ELISON JACKSON

• Wednesday, June 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANNA AYRES-BROWN

• Thursday, June 13. INDIE ROCK: THE MOUNTAIN MOVERS

• Wednesday, June 19. CABARET: RICH MORAN

• Thursday, June 20. INDIE POP: THE FURORS, AL HOWARD

• Wednesday, June 26. INDIE ROCK: THE JELLYSHIRTS

• Thursday, June 27. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: FRANK CRITELLI, MARK MIRANDO

• Wednesday, July 10. ACOUSTIC FOLK: SHELDON CAMPBELL

• Thursday, July 11. ACOUSTIC ROCK: JAMES VELVET & THE LONESOME SPARROWS

Ann Prum “Wildlife Stories” event cancelled

Unfortunately, the Ann Prum “Wildlife Stories” event slated for this Wednesday, Nov. 7, has been cancelled. Hopefully we will be able to have Ms. Prum tell her stories in the Performance Space sometime in the new year.

Alice Mattison & Sandi Kahn Shelton to read Wed., Oct. 17

Alice Mattison and Sandi Kahn Shelton (aka Maddie Dawson) will read from their fiction on Wednesday, October 17, at 7:30 PM.

Alice Mattison will read from her new novel, When We Argued All Night, about which The New York Times Book Review wrote, “Mattison always operates in both close-up and wide angle, and here the effect is often dazzling.”  See her website, AliceMattison.com.

Sandi Kahn Shelton will read from her work-in-progress, a novel called The Opposite of Maybe, which will come out next year from Crown Publishers. Sandi’s earlier books include the novel Kissing Games of the World and The Stuff That Never Happened (written as Maddie Dawson and published in 2010).  She writes feature stories for the New Haven Register. Her website is SandiShelton.com.

The Best Video Coffee & Wine Bar will be open with a fine selection of delicious snacks and refreshments, including Willoughby’s coffee. Best Video is also licensed to sell wine and beer.