Film Scene: Tybee Post leads a strong week of varied screenings

Film Scene: Tybee Post leads a strong week of varied screenings

By Jim Reed/DoSavannah

While there are plenty of options for alternative cinema events taking place over the next seven days at independent or non-traditional outlets in the greater Savannah area, it’s the restored, historic Tybee Post Theater that’s offering more different programming choices than any other venue.

Post with the most

First up, on Aug. 22, they’ll present “Poms,” the recently released female-led comedy aimed squarely at the AARP crowd. It’s about four retirement home residents who start their own cheerleading squad to stay spry. Showtime 7 p.m., admission price includes a beverage of your choice.

The next night, Aug. 23, kicks off a two-day engagement of the internationally acclaimed U.K. musical drama “Wild Rose,” which appears to be one of the sleeper indie hits of the year. You may recall that it was recently screened downtown at the city’s new Cultural Arts Center by the local film organization CinemaSavannah. In case you missed that area premiere, this is perhaps your last chance to see this picture on the big screen in our neck of the woods.

It was first shown late last year at the Toronto International Film Festival, and then released to European theaters in April of this year. It’s U.S. release just occurred in June. “Wild Rose” is the tale of a struggling Scottish single mother of two young children who’s just been released from prison and aspires to become a famous country singer. The story charts her efforts to overcome the adversity of her living situation and make it all the way to Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry in hopes of stardom. However, this is far from a stereotypical rags-to-riches story, and audiences and reviewers far and wide have been entranced with lead actress, and actual vocalist, Jessie Buckley’s unguarded and soul-baring performance as the troubled dreamer. Showtimes at 7 p.m. Aug. 23 and 24, with a 3 p.m. matinee Aug. 23.

A couple of days later, the Post wraps up its offerings for this next week with two screenings of the recently released surfing documentary “Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable,” which focuses on the tragedy which befell Hamilton in 2003 – when the then-13-year-old surfer was savagely attacked by a Tiger shark while at sea and lost her left arm – and the steely-eyed determination she brought to not only returning to the water but to competing in world championship surfing events.

Directed by respected surfing doc filmmaker Aaron Lieber, the film is said to be well-made and packed with captivating footage of Hamilton impressively navigating challenging waves. However, it’s also said to leave some viewers wanting more insight into exactly what sort of internal drive allows this athlete to triumph over what seemingly must be tremendous anxiety and post-traumatic stress to head back into the same environment where she was so unexpectedly mauled. Regardless, this picture is the latest in a small number of cinematic paeans to the wonder and joys of riding the waves. Showtimes at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Aug. 25.

Athens’ own Randall Bramblett Band play Tybee Post Theater

Athens’ own Randall Bramblett Band play Tybee Post Theater

By John Singer/DoSavannah

“Savannah’s a special place for me,” multi-instrumentalist Randall Bramblett said. “It’s always been a good gig for us, it’s always fun and the sound is great.”

For over four decades, Bramblett has toured the country sharing stages with the likes of Bonnie Rait and Steve Winwood, as well as the Blind Boys of Alabama, for whom he wrote the title track to their new Grammy Award-nominated album. Bramblett has also been featured on albums by highly recognized outfits like The Allman Brothers, Deep Purple, and Widespread Panic.

On Saturday, Aug. 3, Bramblett and his four-piece traveling band return to the Tybee Post Theater to share his sounds with Lowcountry locals once again. Read More …

Late Night Theatre to bring Designed Women! parody to the Post in January

Late Night Theatre to bring Designed Women! parody to the Post in January

Kansas City’s Late Night Theatre is coming back to Tybee Island! And they’re bringing their own hysterical version of another classic television sitcom, “Designing Women,” which is all about the misadventures of four women and their handyman running a design firm in Atlanta.

On the heels of the wildly successful drag parody, Golden Girls Gone Wild, we’re returning to the 1980’s-South, where you’ll find four more feisty Southern women with snappy retorts and classic rants. “Designing Women” follows Julia Sugarbaker, who runs the company out of her home with her ex-beauty queen sister Suzanne, divorced mom Mary and naive country girl Charlene, who discuss everything going on in their lives — from sex and love to politics and religion — all in the confines of their office. And, well, you all can imagine the hilariously wicked paths down which our guys from KC will venture.

Ron Megee and Chadwick Brooks return as the Sugarbaker sisters in this parody drawn from the seven successful seasons of “Designing Women.” It’ll be the talker of the winter! And you’ll be coming back again and again dragging, ha, all your friends until these crazy guys leave town!

This may indeed be the nights the lights go out in Georgia!

Campy comedy drag show celebrating ‘The Golden Girls’ comes to Tybee

By Jim Reed/SMN

Anyone in the USA who spent anytime in front of a television set in the late 1980s and early 1990s will certainly have at least a casual understanding of the premise of “The Golden Girls,” the cheeky and popular female-led NBC TV sitcom which ran for seven primetime seasons starting in the fall of 1985.

It is full of fairly ridiculous adventures of a quartet of older, saucy and single white women — three of whom are widowed, plus one who’s divorced — who wind up sharing a house in Miami. Over the course of its immensely successful run, the show twice took home the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series and won three Golden Globes for Best Musical or Comedy Television Series. Each of the main actresses (Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, Betty White and Estelle Getty) received their own Emmys, as well, which stands as quite a rare accomplishment.

The show’s episode count hit 180 before its cancellation, ensuring that it would live on for decades in syndication. In fact, it has become something of a corny staple on cable and streaming platforms, and enjoys a fervent cult following that cuts across lines of age, gender and sexual orientation. Read More …

Golden Girls drag parody comes to Tybee Post Theater

Golden Girls drag parody comes to Tybee Post Theater

By Sean Kelly/Connect Savannah

Everyone loves The Golden Girls, right? The iconic 80s sitcom, starring the late Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty, and of course the immortal and mega-beloved Betty White, was a massive hit with an even more massive legacy.

It’s a show that has woven its stars into the fabric of American television history. The Golden Girls has a continued life in reruns that most shows will never experience.

Just when there seemingly wasn’t anything new left to add to the immeasurable Golden Girls legacy, along came the Kansas City Late Night Theatre to do just that.

The theater group has been staging Golden Girls Gone Wild, a live parody starring four men in drag as the show’s legendary characters, for several years throughout the country. Read More

Zimmer & Rudd: A duo detour City Hotel members come together for duo EP, Tybee Post Theater show

By Sean Kelly/Connect Savannah

Collectively, Aaron Paul Zimmer and Jay Rudd are already a known entity as part of City Hotel. Last year, Zimmer released his excellent solo album, Saints & Heretics, and now he’s joining forces with Rudd for a new project.

Zimmer & Rudd, Volume 1 is a five-song EP of original material written and performed by the duo that fall under the umbrella of roots music and follow in the tradition of bluegrass guitar and mandolin duos. They’ll be celebrating the project with a show at Tybee Post Theater on Sat., July 13, alongside special guests Russel Cook and the Sweet Teeth.

We chatted with Zimmer ahead of the show. Read More


Brothers Duet: Aaron Paul Zimmer and Jay Rudd release new album with Tybee Post Theater show

Brothers Duet: Aaron Paul Zimmer and Jay Rudd release new album with Tybee Post Theater show

By Christopher Berinato/Do Savannah

Aaron Paul Zimmer and Jay Rudd having been playing together in local bluegrass band City Hotel since 2011.

The band has released two albums in that time and last year, Zimmer released his first solo album, “Saints and Heretics.”

When not playing solo or in City Hotel, Zimmer (guitar/vocals) and Rudd (mandolin) occasionally perform as a duo.

“Some time last year we did a duo show at Tybee Post opening up for Lynn Avenue… and that was our first public performance as a duo,” said Rudd. “That went over really well. We got a great crowd reaction so we thought we should probably do this again.”

A few months ago, Zimmer booked this upcoming date at Tybee Post Theater and asked Rudd if he would like to try the duo again. Rudd suggested recording a new EP to promote the show, which is a reversal of the usual stages of booking a gig.

“It all happened really quick,” explained Rudd. “We went into the studio with Jason Bible (The Train Wrecks) and got it done in maybe four or six hours in the studio. And that was it.”

The five track EP, “Vol. 1,” features four original songs, two written by Rudd and two by Zimmer, plus one cover.

“One of them is actually a cover by Aaron’s father-in-law, Ernie Palmer,” said Rudd. “It’s a song that we actually have on one of the City Hotel albums, called ‘Gainesville Mill.’ We decided to re-record that for this project.”

Zimmer and Rudd each draw upon their own strengths as songwriters for this EP. “Aaron is very much in the singer-songwriter vein,” said Rudd. “I started writing music when I was in high school. I was in a garage rock band. We literally played in a garage. I would write rock songs.”

Of course, Rudd has been writing bluegrass songs ever since with City Hotel. “I think that our styles are very different because Aaron’s stuff is more lyrical and he’s an amazing storyteller when he writes songs,” said Rudd. “I’ve always written more on the instrumental side of things.”

Although the pair enjoy performing as a full band with City Hotel, they also like the opportunities to explore their instruments as a duo. “It feels really different when you just have a guitar and a mandolin because it just changes the groove a lot,” Rudd explained. “In a bluegrass band, it’s the bass and the mandolin and guitar together that create the overall groove. Without having a bass it changes the way Aaron has to play the guitar. Also, it’s just a lot more stripped down. There is a way I wouldn’t play mandolin in a full bluegrass group… It’s a more intimate sound and it really lends itself to showing more of the dynamic beauty of those instruments you don’t get in a full band. We can really showcase the more airy side of the instruments. There is a depth to the instruments that you don’t hear when you have five instruments going at once.”

There is a long tradition of guitar and mandolin duos in bluegrass music. The format actually began in the 1930s and ’40s, prior to bluegrass. “There were tons of these, what were called, Brother Duets,” said Rudd. “Bill Monroe and his brother, Charlie, had the Monroe Brothers and that was before he started the whole Bluegrass music.”

Rudd also cites Ricky Skaggs and Tony Rice’s duo as an influence. Rudd still brings his other influences outside of bluegrass into his songwriting. “I didn’t get into Bluegrass until I was in my 20s,” said Rudd. “Before that I was into My Morning Jacket, Modest Mouse, those kind of rock bands, so I get a lot of influence from that sort of stuff. The kind of music I gravitated towards before bluegrass is still a huge part of how I hear music.”

Zimmer and Rudd will play a varied 90-minute set and have CD copies of “Vol.1” for sale at the show. Special guests Russell Cook and the Sweet Teeth are opening up. Cook recorded with his wife as Little Country Giants, but now is exploring a two guitar and drums juke-joint trio with the Sweet Teeth along with guitarist Scotty Knight and drummer Jeremy Clark.


GPB climate change episode previews on Tybee

GPB climate change episode previews on Tybee

By Mary Lander/SMN

The Georgia Public Broadcasting Program “Georgia Outdoors” is exploring climate change with a special episode, “The Rising Sea,” which will be previewed at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Tybee Post Theater.

“Tybee to me is one of the most vulnerable islands we have simply because it’s so populated,” said executive producer and host Sharon Collins.

Collins interviewed Tybee resident Cathy Sakas, a marine biologist who has headed the Tybee Beach Task Force, and learned, as many locals already know, that U.S. 80 flooding is worse than an occasional nuisance.

“She remarked to me that the causeway or route 80, she never knows whether it’s going to be flooded or not if it’s high tide,” Collins said in a phone interview. “I thought that was once or twice a year, and we’re finding out it’s a lot more than that.” Read more:

Cats Under The Stars salutes Jerry Garcia

Cats Under The Stars salutes Jerry Garcia

Members of Charlie Fog Band pay tribute to Garcia’s other band

By Sean Kelly/ConnectSavannah

Dan Berman is an encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to music in general, but even more so with the music of the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia. He’s become known for playing with the Charlie Fog Band, an impassioned tribute to the legendary group. Now, he’s taking that a step further with Cats Under the Stars—a tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band.

Known for their reimagining of soul and R&B songs, as well as originals that were outside of the realm of the Dead, the Jerry Garcia Band was a passion project for the iconic guitarist and songwriter up until his passing.

Cats Under the Stars is set to stage a JGB tribute at the Tybee Post Theater on June 22, and we spoke to Berman ahead of the show. Read More…

SCAD film students showcase ultra-indie shorts and acclaimed feature at Tybee Post Theater

By Jim Reed/DoSavannah

Although the title certainly sounds like it could be the name of an extremely cornball off-off-off-Broadway musical revue, “Off Tha’ Block” it is in fact a locally produced showcase of ultra-indie filmmaking. Specifically, films created and produced by either current or former film and television majors at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

Organized as something of a personal challenge by SCAD Junior Liz Kraushaar, this under-the-radar presentation occurs only once, on May 24.

It is divided into two distinct parts: The first, which runs from 2 p.m. till 5 p.m., is a compilation of various short films. The second, which runs from 7:30 p.m. till 9:30 p.m., consists of the second-ever public screening of a just-completed feature film entitled “Nesting Dolls.” Read More