It's going to be an awesome night you don't want to miss! Get those tickets in advance by clicking on the photo below and don't wait till the last minute. This is a great night for a great purpose and the money raised goes directly to benefit one of our most incredible town treasures, the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex!
It was the premiere episode of Muskegon Tonight at Smash Wine Bar and Bistro. The "polar vortex" was on everyone's mind, but it sure didn't stop a great crowd from turning out to be a part of the launch!
The show, hosted by Andy O'Riley and Jeremy DeWitt welcomed Muskegon Mayor Steve Gawron to talk about all things Muskegon, Jim Rudicil of the Muskegon Luge and Winter Sports Complex and Comedian Ricarlo Williams-Winston entertained the crowd at the end of the night with a short set of his great material.
The atmosphere was warm, the food was delicious and as far as the launch of a new shw goes, it was pretty dog gone good! If you missed it live or would just like to see it again... here you are, it's the premiere if Muskegon Tonight on The Muskegon Channel.
Our thanks to everyone who braved the cold to come out and to out very gracoius hosts at Smash Wine Bar and Bistro for the awesome venue to hold the premiere show! If you're looking for a great place to have a night out in an intimate setting, may we invite you to check out Smash! in the lower level of the Frauenthal Theater in Downtown Muskegon. You can have a look at their menu by clicking on their photo below.
As the Muskegon Channel has grown, so has our approach to what we do. Believe it or not, where we are today is a long, long way from where we started in 2015. Back then, we had a free blog program and a GoPro Camera that Andy had to buy 6 months same as cash to get the entire thing rolling with the Positively Muskegon blog. Today, we've got HD cameras, live mobile rigs to stream just about anything live. We've added some staff that have no experience so they can learn the craft and we've had some experienced people come along as well who have seen what we're building and want to be a part of it. We have gone on to add Muskegon Channel Radio and most recently, we've acquired the management of Channel 96 in Muskegon on the Comcast system. It's the community access channel and as we begin to start to rebuild our local television offerings, what we have online will remain just as important.
That being said, we've had some pretty good success with streaming shows. We showed the Mona Shores Singing Christmas Tree live for the first time and had over 10,000 streams open up during the show. We have a couple more lined up soon, but beginning on January 31st we're going to launch our very own live talk show called "Muskegon Tonight". We're not out to re-invent anything. We're not going to innovate talk shows or go for the "viral hit". We simply just want a nice, fun and informative talk show, with a live audience that Muskegon can tune into for some interesting talk about news makers, events and interesting things about Muskegon. As we have said from the beginning, relying on out of town media to tell our story...we can do better, and "We have a New Story to Tell".
Andy O will be joined by newcomer to broadcast Jeremy DeWitt who you might be familiar with from his band Yard Sale Underwear or maybe his "Podcasters of the Universe" show that he hosts. The first show is January 31st at Smash! Wine Bar and Bistro in Downtown Muskegon and the guests include Muskegon Mayor Steve Gawron, Jim Rudicil from The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex and comedian Ricarlo Williams Winston from the Back Alley Comedy Club.
Lauren Stanton caught up with Andy and Jeremy to talk about the new show just outside Smash! in the lobby of the beautiful Frauenthal Theater. Take a listen.
As Mentioned, the seats are sold out for the first studio audience, but...you'll be able to watch on your connected device anywhere! Just come to MuskegonChannel.com and be ready to roll at 7:30 on January 31st for the launch of Muskegon Tonight... Live from Smash! Wine Bar and Bistro!
We're known for hockey in town. Like really well known. The storied history of the game here in town has been written about over and over and we continue to write the history, we also write the future. Youth hockey in Muskegon is a big deal. They start off as squirts and work their way up thru the ranks in to high school or travel teams and hopefully on to college, maybe the USHL and then on to the dream! It's happened, and it's going to continue to happen. We're "Hockeytown West" and that's the way it outta be!
Hockey is a tough sport to get into though. It's a sport that required a lot of time, dedication and travel. You've seen the commercials of the "hockey mom" sitting at the rink at 6a watching her kind play. It's true. It's also a bit of an expensive endeavor. Sure, your schools basketball team can play with a ball some shorts and jerseys, but hockey take a lot of equipment that comes at the parents expense and let's not forget...they are kids...they are growing and the expense keeps on keeping on.
Well, sure we can't help ever individual youth hockey player, but, we can support the organization that helps them compete. The Junior Jacks are part of the Muskegon Lumberjacks and they support young hockey players all the way from "Learn to Skate" to the travel leagues. They provide an inclusive atmosphere for young players and instill the values of sportsmanship and fair play. They work to provide a sustainable business model to make sure that they are around a while to keep the pipeline of players moving and the parents and coaches involved are all dedicated to assuring that these kids have the best experience possible.
Fundraising is always a part of this or any youth program. But not everything is coupon books or candy bars when it comes to fundraising. The Jr. Jacks are proud to welcome former Detroit Red Wing Darren McCarty and some friends to The Back Alley Comedy Club for a night of fun and fundraising! The Darren McCarty Slapstick Comedy Tour makes a stop at the Back Alley on Friday January 18th. You'll get some great live comedy, some fun stories from McCarty about his life and life in the NHL and more. Tickets are still available and you're in for a great night if you get some!
Chad Addicott is with the Jr. Jacks and we met up to talk about the organization and mission as well as the fun event. Take a listen.
What an awesome night, and awesome cause! The Jr. Jacks do a lot of good for young people and if you have not noticed yet... The Back Alley Comedy Club is coming on strong as a great place in Muskegon not only for entertainment, but a spot that's doing what they can to do the right thing for organizations that matter here in town. Head out for a Friday night of laughs and purpose!
We've got a new partner in The Back Alley Comedy Club! We're pretty excited to bring you a weekly update on who's coming to the club, what kind of special events they have on tap and when the big names are coming... you'll hear about them here! We're also going to welcome some of their regional acts on to help give them a bigger chance to be seen and give you a chance to kind of get the idea as to what you're in for when you head to the club for a show. This week it's Open Mic Night on Thusday, Saturday there's a benefit for The Grand Rapids Sled Wings Adaptive Hockey Team and we also have the schedule for The Chamber Bar in Whitehall!!! Plus!! Jamie Kennedy is coming in April and tickets are on sale now!
Click on the image below for tickets and more info!! Get your laugh on at The Back Alley Comedy Club inside the Sherman Lanes Complex on West Sherman Ave in Muskegon!
It began with being a stand up as a teen, led to a career in public access TV which garnered enough attention to move up to MTV on to movies and more...so is the career of Comedian Tom Green. Tom is live in Muskegon at The Back Alley Comedy Club November 30th and December 1st and we caught up with the legandary comic for a few minutes to talk about his career in advance of the shows.
The guy has really done it all. From comedy to rapping, radio, television and movies...Tom Green has not taken a break since 1986, which, if my math is correct would have made him about 15 at the time. Even a bout with cancer didn't stop him. He turned the experience into a pretty touching and very personal story of living through the experience of the entire process, even the graphic parts...which drew some pretty good acclaim. To me, it was more proof that most comedians are much more in touch with themselves and those around them than what you see in the act.
He's back out touring now, and Muskegon is lucky to have him for Friday November 30th and Saturday December 1st for 2 shows each night. Shows both nights are at 6:30 and 9:30p and tickets are still available. You can find a link for them by clicking on the photo below.
I had a chance to catch up with Tom for a few minutes when he got to town this morning, take a listen.
To get tickets for the show, click on the image below to visit the Muskegon Civic Theatre's website. Don't miss your chance to support the arts in Muskegon and to be a part of the intimate experience in the Beardsley Theater inside the Frauentahal Center. There's a full season ahead so enjoy the shows!
Love what you do and you'll never work a day in your life, right? Well what if that love extends a little past the average work day and kind of permeates your every day existence? What if it's something that moves your soul and has been a part of your life since you were a kid? Such is the case with Steve Salter of Whitehall. He got the itch for music as a kid listening to WTRU and as he grew along came the era of the "British Invasion"....except he did something most people didn't even think to do as a music fan.....he asked "Who's this?"
"Who's this?" was the question posed when Steve saw the names next to the songs on the records. The writers, the artists who inspired and influenced The Beatles, The Stones, Herman's Hermits, The Small Faces and more. After all, those bands spent a LOT of time listening to music over across the Atlantic and were all heavily influenced by the American blues while here in the states, we were being serenaded by The Beach Boys, The Four Seasons, The Dixie Cups and more. "Jolly Old England" came calling with a much grittier and raw sound all based on the American blues and changed the face of music forever...and those who wrote that blues sound got their first exposure to a fairly unknown audience.
Today, the blues has a much bigger following and even a borderline "subculture" of fans who are loyal to their kind of music. But much like entertainers of stage and screen way back when, those founding fathers of the blues often worked for next to nothing, had little or no way of doing anything more than assuring they had enough to make it to the next town for the next gig. Retirement? Forget that. It was a hardscrabble life for entertainers who would have long been forgotten had their work not been recorded. The sad part is, some of these artists went on to have so little, there wasn't even money to provide a proper burial. Even Motzart was buried in a paupers grave.
As Steve followed his blues dreams, along the way, he plotted some side trips to visit the grave sites of some of his favorite artists. He was just shocked to find that some of these legendary artists who's music will be heard for eternity had no remembrance of them where they were laid to rest. A very hurtful end to a tough life spent in spreading joy to others. So, he took matters into his own hands. In 2009 the 501c3 was formed to help this project and to date, 100 graves that were unmarked have been given a headstone to commemorate these legends and not let them fade in memory any further. Pictured to the right, are all of the artists who's graves have received a headstone from The Killer Blues Headstone Project.
It's been a giveback for Steve and I sat down with him to talk a little more about it. Take a listen.
Is it preservation of history? Is it thanks for a liftime of music? Is it a chance to assure that those who gave so much to so many won't be forgotten? It's kind of all of the above. Add in a sincere dose of passion, and fair enough.... a reason to take a road trip once in a while and you've got the Killer Blues Headstone Project. It was a great treat to talk to Steve today to learn more about what he's doing and why. If you'd like to know more, or maybe help out a little, click on the link below to visit his website.
A while ago, we introduced you to local artist and gamer Jerry Maxwell. Jerry is a photographer, and he also loves to work in miniature and design some pretty remarkable things in his humble home in Muskegon Heights. Jerry "went rogue" for a little while and we kind of lost touch. Actually, Jerry had some life events pop up like we all do and just needed to take care of things at home....so he did.
Well, in his "down time", he decided to go a little bigger on what he's up to. He's worked to make more than just a corner of his house a studio. When we first met Jerry, he had an ideal little spot but he wanted to grow...so...he went big!
Jerry will continue to be Jerry. We'll continue to pick up his adventures and share them with you. There is a level of joy found in Jerry for the things he does that we can all learn from. He's detailed in his art. He's unassuming in his approach and he's one of the kind of guys Muskekegon should be famous for. Here's a tour of Jerry's new studio on Adventures With Jerry on The Muskegon Channel.
Through out the summer, The Frauenthal Center held several history tour inside the theater. It's a tour where people can get on the stage, backstage to the "green room" and up close and personal with the mighty Barton Organ. Did you know that Frauenthal Center, originally Michigan Theater, was built in 1930s with the idea of a Spanish castle in mind? And that it was designed by architect C. Howard Crane, the same architect that is responsible for the Fox Theater and the Detroit Olympia? Obviously, it would be the best to be there physically and see it for yourself. But if you haven't been able to make it to any of the tours, don't worry, we got you covered right here on Muskegonchannel.com
Video - Frauenthal Center History and Tour
2018 Derek Wong / The Muskegon Channel
Yes, there is still snow on the ground, but there is no proof that it's some kind of James Bond super villain that's in charge of controlling the weather, so lets go with the assumption that it's going to warm up and we're going to be enjoying everything fun about the movies in West Michigan that we know and love...including being one of the last bastions of hope when it comes to the timeless classic of having a drive in! More on the drive in in a moment, but let's talk about some cult classics first.
A while back, we introduced you to The Denton County Play House, they "shadowbox" The Rocky Horror Picture show and their cast travels the state. Well, in Muskegon, they have a new home and it's the Plaza 1&2 on Henry Street! If you've been part of the phenom of the Rocky Horror Picture Show since "back in the day" you know you're in for a raunchy good time, and if it's your first time giving it a try...well, find a sitter and join the fun Saturday at 10:30!
Now, on the the Getty Drive In! It's opening weekend!! Double features at all showings! The nostalgia of the drive in, the fun of packing the family in the car and bundling up, maybe even getting to go to the movies in your jammies if you're a kid....doesn't get much better. This year, you'll find some new amenities at the Getty 4. The theater is now on with the rest of the Celebration Cinema family as far as rewards and online tickets. They are also launching a new express entrance for those who do purchase their tickets in advance, but that might take a week or two to perfect, so please, be patient if you head to opening weekend with tickets in hand.
Then there are the movies! It's going to be a great season with a little something for everyone. Comedy, action, super hero's, suspense and even Han Solo gets his turn in the spotlight!
Tom Bitson is the manager of The Plaza 1&2 and he's also "The Guy" when it comes to movies in Muskegon. We sat down to talk all things coming up in the near future of fun, take a listen!
It's going to be a busy summer! So much to do and see and as far as the movies go and as we've talked in the past, Celebration Cinema puts so much into the experience. The seating, the sound, the 3-D, the D-BOX, the concessions....the immersion into another world for a short while and a chance to escape it all at the movies! For tickets, shows and show times to all the Celebration Cinema theaters, click on the logo below!
Louie Anderson. A name long familiar with stand up comedy, movies, television and books is bringing his show for one night only to the Frauenthal Center in Muskegon on March 9th!
For 40 years now, beginning with an early discovery with Henny Youngman which led to an invitation from Johnny Carson and then on to the national platform with HBO Specials, Comedy Central, appearances in movies like "Coming to America" "Ferris Beuller's Day Off" Louie Anderson has found ways to continue his remarkable career not only as a stand up comic, but to extend that audience into all different age groups. His animated series "Life With Louie" based on his own childhood is a multi award winning show, his books are best sellers including "Dear Dad - Letters From an Adult Child" and "Goodbye Jumbo - Hello Cruel World" and he's still making television shows..touring and keeping things to his Midwestern roots.
Always with a note of innocence and warmth in his act, Louie has remained fresh and relevant over a long time by sticking to being himself..never forced into something he wasn't. His reflections on being part of a large family, being a little imperfect in the day to day of life, and working toward making himself better while sharing the thoughts and struggles with others through laughter have been one of Louie's strong suits. He's done everything from voice acting to game show hosting and at the end of the day, touring is still his favorite part of the gig.
Andy O'Riley had a chance to sit down and talk with Louie today. You can take a listen to some of Louie's thoughts on his career and why he thinks the longevity is there. What he's going coming around the corner, some of the things he didn't do along the way....including one HUGE movie that didn't work out due to scheduling...(huge moment...and you'll say you'll agree...Louie would have been perfect) and what we can expect in Muskegon March 9th. Also...does Louie drop a hint about a MAJOR sequel or reboot? Take a listen.
How's that for cool! Don't miss the show! We get one night with legendary comedian Louie Anderson at the Frauenthal Center. Friday March 9th. There are still great seats available and you can get yours by clicking on the photo below or, stop in to the Frauenthal Center Box Office and grab some! We'll plan on seeing you March 9th for Louie Anderson in Muskegon at the Frauenthal Center.
It was a one time occurrence. It was an almost unheard of happening to get so many giants of their industry into one room and it's only happened a handful of times since, and it could be argued that it was never "topped" because of the people that came together one time at a studio in Memphis in 1956. The People? Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley. The studio? Sun Records. The instigator? Sam Phillips. If you know anything about rock history....you are intrigued now.
Well, that one session was not supposed to be recorded. Even back then there were things like record contracts and lawyers, but.. Sam Phillips did manage to hit record and the one time all four power house players were in the studio together, was captured in time. Even I have "Down By The Riverside" on my Ipod because it was such a monumental coming together. How do you NOT have that around?
Today, the memory lives on in a rock musical coming to the Frauenthal Center March 3rd. It's appropriately called "The Million Dollar Quartet". The performers actually play their real instruments....they are actually the singers....they are in character and as the show builds to it's electrifying ending...the lives of Johnny, Carl, Elvis and Jerry are shared leading right up to the moment they all started jamming out that December night in Memphis!
I had a chance to site down and talk with "Elvis" himself... Daniel Durston plays Elvis in the show. Daniel is a pretty well established touring musician with some time in musical theater, some singing and song writing credits of his own...which by the way....are really good... check out Daniel Durstononline. We talked a little about his background, what got him into musical theater and what to expect from this awesome night coming up at the Frauenthal. Take a listen to our chat below!
It's a great show for the entire family and to think we get one night with it in Muskegon....it's a can't miss! If you were a fan from way back or, you'd like to take the kids out to show them how it's really done without the "autotune" and all of today's modern techno mumbo jumbo they listen to....don't miss the show! Our many thanks to the Frauenthal for the the hand setting up the interview and their great sponsorship of our work, as well as Daniel Dunston for taking a few minutes out of his day to talk about the show and his career! Click on the link below and get your tickets while you can!
The dog days of summer are nearly over and as back to school looms for many. You might be sitting there wondering what can be done on a budget, close enough to home that would be fun for the whole family, or maybe a group of friends. Well, a short drive to Saugatuck is all it will take and when you get there, you'll be able to step back in time and enjoy a really great cruise on a vintage fiberglass boat for an hour and a half from Retro Boat Rentals!
The idea came to life as Lauren Stanton and her boyfriend John were hammering out what to do with their "spare time". Lauren is of course the morning news anchor at WZZM and John works for Airgas, so as you can imagine, there's plenty of "spare time". But like most..when there's a dream involved, the time is found and the passion can come to life. As they kept eyeing an old building in Saugatuck which was primarily used to gut fish, the idea come to be that it might be cool to find some vintage boats and rent them out! Thus...the birth of Retro Boat Rentals and The Old Boat House which you'll find right on the first turn as you head down Water Street in Saugatuck.
The boats are remarkably charming. They are clean, restored and best of all, what looks like a classic engine.. it's actually a shell encasing a silent, eco friendly electric motor that will provide you a very relaxing site seeing cruise on the Kalamazoo River and out to Lake Michigan. The boats too, are all named. You'll find "Stella" and "Jane" along with "Dottie" and "Ruby" and a host of other boats currently under restoration in The Old Boat House awaiting their grand debut.
I hopped in the car and headed south to see Lauren and turn the tables on her some. In my career, I have found no one more willing to help me on things, no bigger advocate for Muskegon and in all honesty there are not many with a kinder heart than Lauren....so without further adieu....
I have to admit, it's been YEARS since I have been to Saugatuck. The last time I was there, all I really remember about it was getting stung in the eyelid by a bee that wanted the cotton candy I had. Your first thought might be "that was probably last week" but I think I was more along the lines of 7 or 8. It's remarkably charming, it's a beautiful setting and I wish I had more time to have seen more, but fear not.... Mrs. O got one look at this and is not planning a trip so we'll be back soon.
It's my sincere wish to Lauren and John that their business is a hit for years to come and that the people that take them up on the chance for a spin in a Retro Boat enjoy the scenic beauty as well as the relaxing atmosphere provided. What a fun day to be had and what a great way to wrap up the summer! For more, click on the image below to visit the Retro Boat Rentals website and reserve your ride!