Category: Blog

Chasing Coral: Beauty under threat

Chasing Coral: Beauty under threat

By Jim Morekis/ConnectSavannah

THIS weekend, Tybee Post Theater hosts a free screening of one of the most gorgeous films you’ll ever see — most of it filmed underwater.

The Netflix-distributed Chasing Coral documents in vivid fashion the extraordinarily fast-moving and destructive phenomenon of coral bleaching.

Due to the rising temperature of the oceans, water chemistry changes and the world’s coral reefs are literally bleached white — weakening them and dramatically affecting the entire ocean ecosystem.

Director Jeff Orlowsky’s previous film Chasing Ice (2012), also dealt with climate change – except in the much different shooting environment of the shrinking glacier fields in Greenland, Iceland, and Alaska.

Donations are accepted at this screening, to benefit the Grays Reef Marine Sanctuary Foundation.

We talked to Orlowsky about the new film, and about coral bleaching itself.

Chasing Coral is a natural sequel to Chasing Ice, as both deal with climate change. Was that part of the plan?

Orlowsky: The idea for Chasing Coral came after the first film was done. We were working with connected communities, and hearing stories about how these issues work together.

I was blown away to learn that a quarter of all marine species spend time on a coral reef at some point.

I knew nothing about that at the time. It’s fascinating. I saw it as a sign of yet another ecosystem changing rapidly. So we went about this film with a similar way of thinking. These reefs are going through massive changes.

There are lots of problems, but the coral bleaching is directly linked to temperature rise. That’s the scary part. But coral can recover, based on all factors being alleviated and working in its favor.

click to enlargeDirector Jeff Orlowski.

  • Director Jeff Orlowski.

Many directors of ocean documentaries already have extensive experience in underwater cinematography. But you and your crew really didn’t before this film.

I do now! (laughs) I had gotten a scuba license and was comfortable enough in the water that I saw that as a way to be able to get more into the idea of underwater filming. It was a very steep learning curve, because the team was not all experienced in this type of cinematography. But in retrospect we all ended up embracing it. I look back at some of the early footage and it looks pretty bad! (laughs)

Yet this is really a beautiful film. You let the visuals tell the story, instead of hitting the audience over the head with information.

We honestly wanted to literally give as little info as necessary, just enough for people to get a sense of the real impact. We go on adventures, and there is a natural storytelling instinct that kicks in. We wanted to make a film first, and first and foremost tell a human story. Then of course we wanted to really show the shock and awe of what’s happening to that ecosystem.

You show time-lapse images of how quickly the coral bleaches, sometimes over the course of mere days.

That was one of the biggest learning curves. We were all surprised at how quickly the reefs change. We were watching it happen literally every day.


Chasing Coral

Friday, July 6, 7 p.m., Tybee Post Theater

Admission is free, but donations gratefully accepted to benefit Tybee Post and Gray’s Reef Foundation

Reserve your seat at :

Read More.

Underhill Rose: moving musical mountains

Underhill Rose: moving musical mountains

North Carolina roots duo brings live album to Tybee Post Theater
By Anna Chandler/ConnectSavannah
Underhill Rose

Tybee Post Theater

Friday, June 29, 8 p.m.

$18 adults, $10 children via

FOR ALMOST ten years, the duo Underhill Rose has shaken up the Americana scene with melt-your-heart melodies, luminous arrangements, and unforgettable live performances. Featuring Molly Rose on guitar and Eleanor Underhill on banjo, the North Carolina band has gained international recognition since its formation.

In the last four years, Underhill Rose has independently released two albums in the top of the Americana Music Association Airplay Chart and Roots Music Report Chart; their second record, Something Real, peaked at number 18 on the AMA Charts, was named an AMA Top 100 Album of the Year, and even scored in the top 25 of the EuroAmericana Chart, Freeform Americana Radio, and The Alternate Root “Roots 66” Charts. Underhill Rose celebrated their third record going number one on The Roots Music Report’s Progressive Bluegrass Album Chart for over nine weeks in 2015.

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Photo by Sandlin Gaither
The band returns to Savannah with a new album in tow. Underhill Rose Live showcases the band’s strengths in a stripped-down environment where stories are told, instruments are played beautifully, and inimitable chemistry is witnessed by lucky audiences.

We caught up with Underhill and Rose to chat about their college jam sessions, their brave decision keep it indie, and the inspiration behind their songs. Read More

Savannah’s Stardust Pixxies expand dance troupe into circus act

Savannah’s Stardust Pixxies expand dance troupe into circus act

By Adriana Iris Boatwright/SMN
Savannah’s earliest experience with a live circus was in 1801.

Back then, the circus came to town via a riverboat. Tightrope walkers, fire breathers and clowns would bring the show to the “urban” area of Savannah. Since then the circus has gone through many changes. Long gone are the days of parading exotic animals through the streets for publicity — most of the larger circuses have eliminated animal acts altogether.

Cirque du Soleil has spearheaded the modern face of the circus. This new, physically demanding style inspired Savannah performing artist Jamie Lynn Failing to create her own local brand of circus entertainment. Her troupe’s “Stardusted Circus” will be on display June 22 at the Tybee Post Theater. READ MORE

Take a classic Savannah stroll with barbershop musical

Take a classic Savannah stroll with barbershop musical

By Joshua Peacock/SMN
A “barbershop musical” on June 16 at Tybee Post Theater, helmed by the 13th Colony Sound, is a transformative concert that will take patrons on a stroll through a quaint 1950s Savannah.

Formed in 1968, Savannah’s 13th Colony Sound has been on a brief hiatus. Their last full production, a number of years ago, celebrated Savannah. Richard Towns, one of only two remaining original members, went to a show at the newly restored Tybee Post Theater recently and thought the venue would be a great place to revive an abbreviated version of the barbershop choir’s last production.

“This is going to be all about Savannah,” Towns said. Read more ….

Abe Partridge joins The Train Wrecks for Americana showcase on Tybee

Abe Partridge joins The Train Wrecks for Americana showcase on Tybee

By Joshua Peacock/DoSavannah
After navigating his way through two existential crises, Alabama native Abe Partridge has finally found his voice and the happiness that two former careers could never deliver.

The singer/songwriter has emerged in the last two years as a tour-de-force of a live act, with the DNA of folk heroes named Townes, Bob and John, combined with his own unique perspective of rock ‘n’ roll and his Southern homeland.

No stranger to Savannah, Partridge last played The Jinx opening for Black Tusk in a thrilling, unorthodox bill that consisted of both country and metal acts — perfectly suited for his own aesthetic. He returns June 9 to play the Tybee Post Theater, where he’s played before and recorded a live album, with Savannah’s alt-country icons The Train Wrecks. Read more:

Tybee City Limits returns

Tybee City Limits returns

Abe Partridge and The Train Wrecks offer raw Americana/country at Post Theater
By Anna Chandler/Connect Savannah
It’s back! Tybee City Limits continues to showcase local and touring talent at the historic Tybee Post Theater. For June’s performance, Savannah’s own The Train Wrecks will join Alabama singer-songwriter Abe Partridge.

The Train Wrecks remain one of Savannah’s favorite groups—Connect Savannah readers just voted the band Best Local Americana/Folk/Roots Band in the 2018 Best of Savannah Awards.

Mobile, Alabama’s Abe Partridge comes to town with a highly-lauded new album, Cotton Fields and Blood for Days, released in January 2018.

Partridge grew up with a piano-playing mother, eventually finding solace in the raw rock of Nirvana. After graduating high school, he studied at Bible College, graduated, and became the understudy of an Appalachian preacher. He began finding the spiritual blues of players like Robert Johnson and Son House before rethinking life, joining the military, and working as an avionics tech on C-130s.

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Now, Partridge is one of his home state’s most in-demand songwriters, fusing the spirit of punk and the deep narrative quality of Southern musical tradition. With ragged vocals landing somewhere between Lucero’s Ben Nichols and Drive-By Truckers’ Patterson Hood, Partridge is a captivating writer and performer. Though Cotton Fields and Blood for Days is a mere eight songs, each punches listeners in the heart and leaves a mark.

For his return to Tybee Post Theater, Partridge will be accompanied by cellist Courtney Blackwell.

We talked with the singer-songwriter about his new album, his early performance days, and establishing a connection with his listeners.

Coming off of the release of your first record, what was it like writing for Cotton Fields & Blood For Days?

The second record kind of came about, honestly, as an accident. I’m a songwriter—I don’t really specifically write for records. I was just hanging out in Nashville with a producer friend of mine…we were going to record a 7″ with the song “Colors” and “Alabama Blues.” It just kind of progressed from there, and the next thing you know, I had a full record’s worth of material.

What was the process like in choosing what material to use?

I play a whole lot of shows, and in my shows I kind of feel out what the audience likes. The songs that get the best response when I’m playing live are usually the ones that end up on the record.

You’ve been playing out since 2015—you had quite the very first show.

Yeah! So I played a songwriter contest in Gulf Shores, Alabama in October 2015, and that was the first time I had the gall to really play anything I had written in front of anybody. I ended up winning that night and meeting this other guy who was a contestant and we’ve become best friends. He’s produced both of my records—it’s kind of magic.

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The Train Wrecks’ Jason Bible
The Train Wrecks’ Jason Bible
How has performing changed for you since then?

I’ve just gotten better. I played The Listening Room here in Mobile, my hometown, play it once a month and I’m learning how to interact with audiences. I’m making sure the stories and lyrics are getting heard. I’m trying to communitate, trying to take music to the level, take my songs to a place where they are communicative more than trying to communicate a message. They tell a story…mainly, what I’ve grown in is trying to do that.

How do you try to connect with people in lyric and tone?

I never took a class on songwriting and I’m probably doing it all wrong. But I was a preacher for a long time, and that’s kind of I guess where I’m coming from when I write songs. I don’t have the same message I always had, but every song contains some type of truth, some type of emotion. I just try to put in a lyric that is easily grasped.

You had some great guests on this record. What was it like to take those solo songs and make full-bodied, recorded tracks?

Primarily, I play solo…Courtney Blackwell plays cello with me, we’ve hit the road a lot. But hearing your songs surrounded by a band of confident players really takes them all to a different level. It’s almost a spiritual experience when you’re able to hear these songs and find them toned up.

You’re doing this while still being in the military?

Yep, I’ve got my military boots on right now! I’m an Air Force reservist. I work for the Air Force during the week, I’m not an active member but I work at a job as an Air Reserve Technician.

How’s it been working with Skate Mountain Records? You were one of their early artists.

Yeah, it’s run by Scott and Kate Lumpkin, they’re longtime filmmakers and movie producers and they started a record label a couple years back. I was their fourth or fifth addition, and they’ve been wonderful. I’ve gotten my music to a much broader audience and it helped me get into that next-next echelon of touring. I’m still trying to progress to the point I can be full-time, but I’m definitely a lot further down the road to that goal than I was before Skate Mountain.

What are you working on, do you have a lot coming up this summer?

Oh boy do I ever! I am working on something all the time. I’m painting a whole lot—I create visual art that has really taken off, I’ve sold 22 paintings. That’s been good. I’m putting my punk rock band back together, we’re doing some punk shows, I don’t know if it’s going to be anything to tour with in the future. I’m just kind of branching out and experimenting with digital loops and stuff. I always got my hands on something! I’ll probably be recording another electric album in the line of Cotton Fields and Blood For Days. Hopefully I’ll have another record out through Skate Mountain.

Tags: Music Features, Tybee City Limits, Abe Partridge, Train Wrecks, Tybee Post Theater

Tybee City Limits

Tybee Post Theater

Saturday, June 9, 8 p.m.

$15 for adults, $5 for children via

Great American Trailer Park Musical brings belly laughs to Tybee

Great American Trailer Park Musical brings belly laughs to Tybee

By Jim Morekis/ConnectSavannah

THIS weekend, Tybee Post Theater transforms into a familiar Southern scene with the rowdy and hilarious Great American Trailer Park Musical.

Several trailers stay on stage the whole time, part of “Armadillo Acres,” with quirky characters going back and forth between them in the old theatrical style of the “door-slammer” comedy.

“It’s like an English farce in a trailer park,” laughs director Tom Coleman, who helms this production by Savannah Community Theatre. Read more ….

Fulfill all your fantasies through the big screen

Fulfill all your fantasies through the big screen

By Jim Reed/Do Savannah

Back in 1973, when “The Rocky Horror Show” made its stage debut, it was in a 63-seat “studio theater” in London’s West End. By the fall of 1975, after a successful, nine-month American stage run at Los Angeles’ fabled 500-seat Roxy Theatre nightclub, the play had made its inevitable transition to film.

“The Rocky Horror Show” was struggling British actor-cum-playwright Richard O’Brien’s raunchy, sex-drenched musical homage to the hokey 1950s and 1960s sci-fi and horror flicks he adored as a young man.

The film version, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” was a flop upon initial theatrical release, but slowly, over time, the unabashedly progressive and unapologetically ribald motion picture developed into a cult phenomenon quite unlike anything before or since. It made underground stars of its terrific cast of minor stage and screen actors (including Tim Curry, Barry Bostwick and future Oscar winner Susan Sarandon), and remains as the single longest-running movie in ongoing theatrical release.

Decades later, audiences around the world still line up for weekly screenings, often dressing in costumes inspired by the film’s characters, and at times either interacting rudely with the film’s recorded dialogue or merely repeating it verbatim from their seats. Some diehard fans take things a step further, dressing up in full costume and mimicking their chosen characters’ onscreen actions in front of the projected film. Seeing “Rocky” in a theater has become something of a rite of passage for sexually conflicted and/or curious teens and a comforting slice of non-conformist nostalgia for those of us old enough to remember the birth of the phenomenon.

Just how well all of this debauchery and flamboyant behavior will mesh with the relatively sedate environs of the historic Tybee Post Theater remains to be seen. However, on April 13, this 200-capacity venue will likely get as freaky-deaky as it has since re-opening in 2015 after decades of disuse. Who knows — perhaps this will become an annual event at the Post? Showtime is 8 p.m. Admission info for this and all of our featured Film Scene events can be found in the accompanying sidebar listings.

And do call her Shirley

And do call her Shirley

Savannah Community Theatre performs Shirley Valentine

By Jim Morekis/ConnectSavannah

THE PLAY Shirley Valentine has entered the realm of the classics with its funny, poignant portrayal of an unhappy housewife’s journey of self-discovery.

Written by Willy Russell, it is also arguably one of the great one-person shows of all time.

Malinda Davis Smith and the Savannah Community Theatre bring Shirley to life onstage at the Tybee Post Theater, in a show opening this weekend and directed by the renowned J. Tom Coleman III. Read More …


A St. Patrick’s Day celebration with Chloë Agnew

A St. Patrick’s Day celebration with Chloë Agnew

By Anna Chandler/Connect Savannah

WHEN she was just 14 years old, Chloë Agnew joined one of the most successful musical groups in history.

Since its creation in 2004, the Irish musical ensemble Celtic Woman has been named Billboard World Album Artist of the Year six times and has sold over nine million records worldwide. Agnew bloomed professionally in the group, touring the world and sharing her Irish heritage and tradition with countless fans. Read more …