Thursday, February 16, 2012

European horse show coming to Charlotte

Just got this press release. Looks interesting -- more than a bit reminiscent of "Cavalia," which had a run of shows here in spring 2010...

APASSIONATA, Europe’s most successful live entertainment show, featuring more than 40 horses, is coming to Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte for four performances Friday, May 4 through Sunday, May 6. Tickets go on sale Friday, Feb. 24, at the Bojangles Coliseum box office, at all Ticketmaster locations or call 704.335.3100 for more details.

Now in its ninth year in Europe, APASSIONATA has played to an audience of more than five million people in over 15 countries and now comes to North America with a new show, titled “The Beginning.” This theatrical sensation, with original music scored specifically to work with the horses, enchants families and horse lovers alike with the finest equestrianship, including magnificent dressage and exhilarating stunt riding. The natural elegance, nobility, speed and agility of these animals is captivating. Different breeds – from Bretons to Friesians – have been brought together from Europe and North America to create this evocative yet thrilling event.

Starting in 2003, APASSIONATA became an immediate sensation. In 2010, it won the prestigious PRG Live Entertainment’s “Best Show” award, among the highest honors in live entertainment on the European continent. The show’s success in Europe has been so remarkable and consistent that its producer-creator Peter Massine and his American producing partner Tanya Grubich, were motivated to bring the experience and excitement ofAPASSIONATA “The Beginning” to North America, which boasts the largest equine interest in the world.

Massine said “As APASSIONATA has grown to performing for over 545,000 people during its annual 30-city tours of the capitals of Europe, we were eager to introduce the show to the United States and Canada. Our main aim is to provide entertainment for the whole family. Whether you are young or old, everyone enjoys the two hours they spend with our horses.”

Massine and Grubich brought together an award winning, critically acclaimed, Broadway creative team led by director Scott Faris to bring all the elements together for the North American production. Faris has staged a dozen productions of the Broadway musical “Chicago,” “Bette Midler – The Showgirl Must Go On” at Caesar’s Palace and “Walking With Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular” which played a record-breaking forty month North American arena tour. He was a veteran of the “Siegfried and Roy” team at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas.

When Massine originally created APASSIONATA, he sought out legendary horsemen and women of Europe, many of whom had spent their lives working with these animals or have continued the lineage of families that have worked with horses for generations, crossing many breeds of horses, and the wide range of how horse and man interact with each other. The emotional partnership displayed on stage between these horses and their equipes is a large part of the success of APASSIONATA.

Internationally acclaimed teams of equestrians joining APASSIONATA “The Beginning” include Sylvie Willms of the renowned Willms Family, who has devoted itself to the training and art of riding of thoroughbred horses for more than 300 years in both Belgium and France. Sylvie has been with APASSIONATA since 2003 and wows audiences with her superb freestyle Liberty Dressage and Friesian Quadrille.

Also coming to North America is team Valença, trained by Luis Valença. The reputation of this legendary grand master of the Portuguese School of the Art of Riding precedes him worldwide. Valença and his daughters have devoted their lives entirely to the training of Lusitanos and their horses have mastered to perfection various riding styles including Iberian Quadrille and Garrocha, which will be reflected in their riders’ brilliant skills.

One of France’s most talented equestrians, Laurent Jahan, will bring both his impressive exhibition of donkey comedy and his Pony Fantastique with the massive Breton, a stunning breed of draft horse. Jahan patiently spent more than three years training his donkeys, who have become fan favorites in APASSIONATA.

After five million tickets, fifteen countries and nearly a decade of anticipation, North American audiences will finally get to see the breathtaking display of the beauty and the bond between horse and rider that can only be found in APASSIONATA.

Please visit for the video and full tour schedule

Friday, February 10, 2012

Lady Antebellum bringing Own the Night 2012 World Tour to Charlotte

Multi-Platinum group Lady Antebellum announced today that their OWN THE NIGHT 2012 WORLD TOUR will roll into Charlotte at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre on Saturday, June 9.

The tour, sponsored by GAC, will feature Darius Rucker and special guest Thompson Square.

Fans can purchase tickets at, the Hardee’s Thickburger Box Offices at each venue, Ticketmaster or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000 beginning Friday, February 17 at 10 am.

"We can't wait for our first big headlining tour in arenas," said Hillary Scott. "We hope to create a once-in-a-lifetime concert experience and make some really special memories with our fans."

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Madonna sets date with Charlotte

On the heels of her buzzed-about halftime performance at Sunday's Super Bowl, Madonna has announced a 2012 world tour that begins May 29 in Israel, lands in the U.S. on Aug. 28 (in Philadelphia), and -- wait for it -- comes to Charlotte's Time Warner Cable Arena on Nov. 15.

Tickets for the Charlotte concert go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, March 5, at, the arena box office, Ticketmaster, or by phone at 800-745-3000.

In addition to her halftime concert, last week also saw the release of Madonna’s new single, "Give Me All Your Luvin," from her new album "MDNA," which is scheduled to be released on March 26.
U.S. residents ordering tickets online to a U.S. performance will receive their choice of a digital or physical copy of "MDNA" with every ticket purchased.

For complete tour and ticket information, visit: or

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Will winter keep biting? Ask Queen

Will she or won't she?

Or, to be more specific: Will the Charlotte Nature Museum's resident groundhog, Queen Charlotte, see her shadow this afternoon, or won't she? According to folklore, if she does, it means we're in for six more weeks of winter; if she doesn't, winter will end soon. (Although, quite frankly, has it really started yet??)

"Charlotte's only live groundhog shadow check" is set for 3 to 5 p.m. today at the museum, 1658 Sterling Road (adjacent to Freedom Park in the Myers Park/Dilworth area).

Queen Charlotte will be on hand to meet and greet visitors before checking for her shadow at precisely 4:30 p.m. She will be attended by her “court” – other animals that share traits or shelter with the groundhog – including the striped skunk [Mephitis mephitis], opossum [Didelphis virginiana] and Southern flying squirrel [Glaucomys volans]

Admission: $6 for ages 2 and older (kids younger than 2 and members are free).

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

NASCAR Hall of Fame offering 'local rate'

The NASCAR Hall of Fame is introducing a special Local Rate throughout the months of February and March.

Guests with a valid N.C. or S.C. photo ID can receive the special price -- $15.95 for adults, $14.95 for seniors and $9.95 for children -- when purchasing at the NASCAR Hall of Fame box office during regular operating hours.

“We are offering this limited-time promotion to allow Carolinians an opportunity to get to know us better and experience all we have to offer,” said Winston Kelley, executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, in a statement.

The Local Rate admission is offered from Feb. 1-March 31 and provides full access to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Tickets to the NASCAR Hall of Fame can be purchased by calling 877-231-2010 or at The venue is open daily 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Animal walk delayed; train stuck, circus says

UPDATE: The Ringling Bros. animal walk will occur this morning at 7 a.m.

The Grand Animal Walk of The Greatest Show On Earth is scheduled for 7 a.m. today. This event heralds the arrival of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's new "Fully Charged" show, offering nine performances at Time Warner Cable Arena between Wednesday and Sunday.

The show comes to town in a 53-car-long steel coach and the animals will be unloaded from the train at 7 a.m. at West Third and Graham streets and make their way onto West Third Street. They will take a left onto South Poplar Street and right onto Trade Street. They will continue on Trade Street straight past Time Warner Cable Arena, and then left onto North Caldwell Street. They will make a final left into the back loading dock of the arena. (All times and travel routes are subject to change.)

Tickets for the circus are on sale now through,, the box office at Time Warner Cable Arena, all Ticketmaster outlets, including select Wal-Mart stores, or via charge by phone at 800-745-3000.

For more information on The Greatest Show on Earth visit

Performance schedule:
Wednesday: 7 p.m.
Thursday: 7 p.m.
Friday: 10:30 a.m., 7 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m., 3 p.m.