By Linda Sickler/SMN
David Olney has worked as a professional musician for more than four decades.
“Early on, I saw that I had a knack for it and that it kind of really grabbed my interest like nothing else did,” he says. “Even before I was playing gigs, I was thinking about music a lot.
“That was just playing. When I found I could write songs, it became the main part of my life, the thing I could do the best.”
An Evening with Americana Legend David Olney will be presented Aug. 18 at the Tybee Post Theater. Read more….
By Kim Wade/SMN
Locals know Tybee’s Beach Bum Parade is the way to celebrate the ‘last locals’ weekend’ before the tourists begin to flood the island. So, Tybee Post Theater Executive Director Melissa Turner decided they needed a bookend-type event to usher in the end of summer.
“I wanted to have bands come that remind us of summertime and the beach and make it this cool thing to do to herald in the end of summer for locals,” she says. “We still have visitors here, too, but it’s kind of a last beach bash for them, too.”
The Back-to-School Beach Party featuring The Hypnotics and Crazy Man Crazy will take place Aug. 11 at Tybee Post Theater.Read more ….
By Linda Sickler/SMN
It was Savannah radio stations that were the first to play Dan Cowan’s music.
On Aug. 5, the Savannah native will launch his first novel and its accompanying soundtrack at the Tybee Post Theater. Today, Cowan performs under the name Dan Random and has three Grammy Award nominations to his credit.
A graduate of Calvary Baptist High School, Cowan moved to Atlanta in 1989 to further his music career. He recorded his first singles in Savannah, and has set his book in Savannah, too.
“I grew up on Burnside Island,” Cowan says.
He is a long-time music fan.
“It’s been in my blood forever,” Cowan says. “I won a contest and released my first record in Savannah. That’s why I moved to Atlanta to boost my recording career.”
An author, musician, singer, composer and producer, Cowan has recorded nine studio albums. In the last 10 years, he has written and copyrighted close to 100 musical compositions, and written his debut science fiction novel, “Somewhere Called Now.”
The performance at the Tybee Post Theater will weave excerpts from Cowan’s science fiction novel with original music from the soundtrack performed by the Dan Random Band. READ MORE …
By Linda Sickler/SMN
A comic, a rabbi, a naturalist, a possum and an owl all walked into a theater…
No, this isn’t the opening of a really bad joke. It’s an event that’s actually going to happen.
The stage of the Tybee Post Theater is going to be a little crowded on July 29 when Collin’s Barefoot Comedy Club presents an unusual but family friendly show.
“We are back this month with a favorite of mine — Brent Terhune,” says Collin Moulton, founder of the club and host of the show. “I will also have Rabbi Robert Haas on the show.”
By Linda Sickler/SMN
Tybee Island native Tony Arata is one of Nashville’s most successful songwriters.
On July 21, Arata will appear in concert at the Tybee Post Theater, joined by fellow songwriters Leslie Satcher and Annie Mosher. The concert is sponsored by Lovett Bennett Jr. and Rob Sullivan, Statesboro attorneys who are music fans and friends with Arata.
“I was born in Savannah and then we moved away for a while,” Arata says. “When we came back, we moved to Tybee. That will always be home.
“It’s a great place to call home,” he says. “Some parts haven’t changed at all.”
Read More ….
By Anna Chandler/Connect Savannah
IF YOU missed Athens hero Randall Bramblett at the big Night Flight Café reunion back in May, don’t fear: he’s coming back! The treasured Southern songwriter brings his original sound and incredible band to the Tybee Post Theater stage this weekend.
For 40 years, Bramblett has worked as a sideman, collaborator, and solo act to be reckoned with. The prolific artist releases his eleventh album, Juke Joint at the Edge of the World, this month via New West Records and will celebrate with a CD release party on Tybee.
Bramblett gave fans a taste of the record’s sound with “Devil’s Haircut,” his unique, bluesy take on the signature Beck track. It’s the first time Bramblett’s released a cover song on a solo record, but the undercurrent of darkness and whimsical lyricism is a smart fit in his catalog. The multi-instrumentalist has said the new record is inspired by the soul and R&B music of his childhood.
friday, july 14, 8 p.m., $25-30 via tybeeposttheater.com, all-ages
By Anna Chandler/ConnectSavannah
AH, Tybee Island. Miley Cyrus shared a passionate kiss on your pier for The Last Song. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Zac Efron kicked up sand upon your shores as they rushed to the rescue in Baywatch.
And in 1982, a woman was gored with a pitchfork in one of your historic beach houses.
Horror fans have spent decades waiting for a DVD release of The Slayer, a cult classic filmed on Tybee in the heyday of slasher flicks.
For years, bootlegs circled and fans downloaded The Slayer via YouTube. Now, Arrow Video is setting the film out into the wild on Blu-Ray in August, and Slayer’s filmmakers are heading back to Tybee for a live Q&A and screening.
J.S. Cardone is a familiar name in the world of mystery thrillers and horror—he wrote and produced Prom Night, The Covenant, The Stepfather, and more—but The Slayer was his very first cinematic endeavor.
“To be perfectly honest, I hadn’t looked at the film in over 30 years,” the filmmaker shares.
“Just recently I watched it to be able to talk about it in interviews. It’s very simple in its execution, and today, I’d probably do things a million different ways. But the suspense elements that I set out to accomplish are still there and still deliver.”
The Slayer follows Kay, a surrealist artist, her boyfriend David, brother Eric, and Eric’s gal Brooke as they holiday on a remote island.
The restful vacation they had in mind is rudely interrupted by a wicked storm.
As the rains pummel their beach house, Kay begins having nightmares of a vicious killer, sensing an evil in the couples’ midst.
It all seems like a dream, until David is found dead.
“Obviously the time was ripe for horror films after the success of Halloween,” Cardone says.
“I had been interested in doing something along the lines of the great Val Lewton films from the ‘40s like Cat People, Body Snatcher, and I Walked with a Zombie. They were very atmospheric and relied on slow-burning suspense rather than just shock.”
Indeed, The Slayer is a gore fest (though quite tame by today’s standards), but Kay’s dreams add a surrealist quality that allowed Cardone and his team to get experimental and innovative.
“Film technology had advanced lightyears since 1980, so there are obviously limits in the execution of effects and filming techniques,” he says.
“It was a low-budget film with all the constraints that come with lack of money. But, having said that, those restrictions can cause filmmakers to get a little more creative. I look at some of the things I did later in films like The Foresaken and Prom Night that money allowed but may not be as inventive as what we were forced to create in Slayer.”
Slayer superfans have theorized that the film, which preceded A Nightmare on Elm Street by two years, inspired Wes Craven with its dream sequences. Cardone finds the suggestion “a bit laughable.”
“All storytellers are influenced by a myriad of past themes,” he explains. “H.P. Lovecraft and Poe, among many others have all touched on the ‘dream’ factor.
“The difficulty in fashioning the narrative for Slayer was in how creative we could be with the back story colliding with the present and future, and maintaining the level of suspense while keeping the audience on the outer edge of Kay’s nightmare world.”
Savannahians will spot many familiar locales in the film, but one venue in particular is the true star of the show.
The Tybee Post Theater itself, in its worst state of ruin pre-restoration, provided a terrifically terrifying backdrop.
“The script called for a very remote location to make the suspense aspect of the narrative work,” says Cardone.
“The first moment I saw Tybee, I knew it was perfect for what I had in mind. At the time it wasn’t as developed as I imagine it is today, and during the fall of the year, the island was pretty much deserted. I think what really sealed the deal was the old ruins of the theater. It looked exactly like the one I had written in the script.”
As to the enduring appeal—well, there’s nothing as appealing as the forbidden. When the film was banned in the U.K. due to its violence, demand increased.
For horror fans like Ryan Graveface of Graveface Records and Terror Vision, which releases horror movie soundtracks, Slayer is canon. Graveface will co-host the screening this weekend.
“Slayer is a flick that I recall first seeing on a local late night TV program in Toledo when I was a kid,” he recalls.
“It oddly stuck with me almost entirely due to its locations. Had no clue years later that I would live near it and also co-host screenings out of it. Life is strange and wonderful.”
Cardone believes the unique storytelling made Slayer a long-lasting favorite for genre buffs.
“The combination of the ‘dream world’ mixed with the horror was something new for its time when all other approaches to horror relied on urban slasher stories,” he says.
“The netherworld always seems to stoke imagination and fear. That’s what I liked so much about those ‘40s films by Lewton and others like him. Stories of everyday people steeped in atmosphere and fantasy.”
The Slayer: A Tybee Horror Story (Rated R, Q&A with filmmakers to follow screening)
Tybee Post Theater
Friday, June 30, 8 p.m.
By Jim Reed/SMN
Tired of the same-old, same-old that tends to clogs up our corporate multiplexes? Well, while the temperatures and humidity levels continue to soar, the next seven days provide plenty of alternative cinema-related events in the greater Savannah area — all of which are perfect excuses for getting inside and out of the heat.
Variety on the island
This week’s look at notable big-screen programming options begins with the historic Tybee Post Theater, which will offer three very different features this week — starting with the recent, live-action-meets-CGI remake of Walt Disney’s 1967 animated feature “The Jungle Book.” Based on Rudyard Kipling’s classic children’s tome and directed by “swinger” Jon Favreau, this 2016 box-office hit is narrated by Sir Ben Kingsley and stars the voice talents of Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Christopher Walken, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson and Gus Fring himself, Giancarlo Esposito. It’s the story of a young, orphaned boy named Mowgli who sets out on an ambitious and treacherous journey, aided by a host of helpful animals. But you knew that already, right? “The Jungle Book” shows twice, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. June 29, with admission ranging from $5-$7.
Then, the very next night (June 30), the Post shifts gears tremendously for a special, one-show-only screening of the ultra-obscure, low-budget 1982 horror flick “The Slayer.” Now, if you’re thinking to yourself, “That doesn’t sound like something the Tybee Post Theater would show,” you’d be correct.
However, there are two good reasons why this creepy tale of a young girl’s terrifying nightmares come to life is being presented at this restored, 200-seat venue: 1. The entire film was shot on Tybee Island (including inside the decrepit, unrestored theater), and 2. The filmmakers are currently back in this area to shoot new footage for supplemental features on a forthcoming home video reissue of the film (which was also released under the alternate title “Nightmare Island” in some parts of the world).
Odds are that some of the locals in attendance at this screening will have helped (in some capacity) with the production of this film 35 years ago. That, and the fact that the filmmakers will be on hand to discuss the picture with the audience after the show make this a can’t-miss event for horror movie fanatics as well as aficionados of Tybee Island history. Be advised, this is a gory motion picture that many feel made a significant, unacknowledged impression on esteemed writer-director Wes Craven and his later “A Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise. Which is to say, it’s rated R, and only suitable for mature viewers. 8 p.m. showtime, with $10 admission.
And finally, July 2, the Post once again offers up a perennially popular thriller: Steven Spielberg’s 1975 blockbuster “Jaws,” starring Roy Scheider (“Blue Thunder”), Richard Dreyfuss (“The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz”) and Robert Shaw (“Figures in a Landscape”) as three dedicated shark hunters in search of a vicious, man-eating great white that’s really making things difficult for a tourist-dependent beachside community. Odds are you’ve seen “Jaws” at some point in your life, but if you have never experienced it uncut and on the big screen as its creators intended, then you haven’t really seen it, have you? Two shows only, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., with $7 admission ($5 for kids 12 and younger).
By Linda Sickler/SMN
On July 4, “Equinox Orchestra: Tybee Island Swings!” will feature the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra in concert at the Tybee Post Theater. After the concert, the orchestra will lead the audience in a New Orleans-style march to the beach for fireworks.
“It’s going to be a fantastic salute to our veterans and ex-military,” says vocalist Clay Johnson. “We’ll have the 11-piece band in the Tybee Post Theater and do a huge show with the greatest hits of our catalogue and the catalogue of America.
“We’ll close it out with a big New Orleans-style second-line parade down to the beach,” he says. “There will be fireworks on the Fourth.”
By Jim Reed/SMN
If you live in the greater Savannah area and have not yet availed yourself of a trip out to Tybee Island’s beautifully restored single-screen movie house, there’s no time like the present.
Over the next few weeks, the intimate, 200-seat Tybee Post Theater offers a number of family-friendly motion pictures geared toward school-age children in search of some air-conditioned fun during their summer vacations. Need specifics? Well, on June 22 at both 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., the Post screens “Lion,” the award-winning 2016 live-action feature about a 5-year-old Indian boy who finds himself lost thousands of miles away from his home and family, and winds up being adopted by an Australian couple. A quarter-century later, he sets out to rediscover his lost relatives. “Lion” stars Dev Patel (HBO’s “The Newsroom”), Nicole Kidman (“Dead Calm”) and Rooney Mara (“Carol”), and was beloved by both critics and audiences alike…..