Out & About Today Nashville Channel 5
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For the past couple of years, Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper—two of the biggest LGBT names in media—have been traveling the country in a show called AC2, which bills itself as “An Intimate Evening with Anderson Cooper & Andy Cohen: Deep Talk and Shallow Tales.”
The basic premise is that these two stars, who have known each other for decades and have vacationed together, talked about their deepest secrets, and interviewed each other, take the stage and share their stories.
These two are close, so you know it’s going to get good. They initially met when they were set up on a blind date years ago, but, as Cooper pointed out when interviewed by Kelly Ripa, it never happened because during their phone conversation Cohen showed too much interest in the real housewives of Vanderbilt.
"Andy and I were first set up on a blind date, which never happened because we had a phone call and after two minutes I said, 'I’m not dating this guy,'" Cooper told Ripa. "He broke my cardinal rule … he mentioned my mom within the first four sentences of meeting me."
That was of course just Cohen being Cohen, and while they weren’t cut out romantically, the two became good friends. And the show rehashes that friendship, while each of them also goads the other into telling his own stories, infamous and embarrassing at times. Basically, it’s like your night out at the bar with Cooper and Cohen—so you know plenty is going to get spilled, and not just drinks.
On Friday, October 6 their show will hit Nashville, and in advance of their visit, I had the opportunity to speak with Cohen about the show and how it has developed.
How did you come up with the idea for this show?
Anderson was interviewing me about a book that I had coming out, and we just have great rapport and great chemistry. His agent represents Bill O'Reilly, who also has a tour that's kind of a conversation series that he does with Dennis Miller. He said, "Wow. You two should think about hitting the road and coming up with something, and it will kind of be like Bill O'Reilly and Dennis Miller." That's how it came about.
You guys have known each other for a long time, though?
Yeah. We've known each other. We were set up on a blind date over 20 years ago. But it never happened…
The show, I understand, is sort of like a conversation between you guys, and with the audience there to hear about some of the old stories. Is there a set dialog at this point, or is it still changing?
Andy: It's both. There are stories that we tell in every city, because they seem to go over really well. Then any new stuff that's happened, he and I just got back from Tahiti, so you never know where we will have just been, or who he's interviewed, or what I've gotten myself into. We definitely try to keep it timely, but also there is stuff that we kind of go back to.
When you were planning the show, how did you hit on the stories that you wanted to tell, or the events that you wanted to talk about? How was that planning process like?
Well, we had already done ... He's interviewed me before. We've been on TV before a lot, we've been with friends, we kind of know each other. We just sat down over a series of conversations and tried to hammer it out, based on what we thought people would want to hear about. We've been doing it for over two years, so now we've really honed the stories, and we got rid of stuff that was dead weight. The show feels a lot like going out to a bar drinking with us. We tell stories, and I think people will be surprised by how funny he is.
What were some of the stories that you guys thought might be a bigger hit, and then kind of flopped with the audience?
That's a good question. Oh, god… There was a story about me, this guy who lived above me who was dying, and me trying to get his apartment from him, which I think you might have to be a New Yorker to fully understand it. To everyone else I looked like a lunatic killer, basically, in this story.
We like to embarrass each other. As much as we can do that, we do.
What do you think most engages people about the show? What kind of things do you think get people's attention?
I think people want to hear us dish, and they want to laugh. That's exactly what this is. People want to laugh, and have fun, and be included in the conversation. We let people ask us questions for the last 20 minutes or so of the show.
My understanding, at least, is that he's quite a bit more introverted than you are. In the course of the development of the show, are there stories that you are surprised that he's opened up about with the audience?
Oh, my god, yeah. He's very open, and he's very loose, and he is really funny. He's really open ... excuse me ... about a lot of the tragedy that's happened in his life, that I don't think that he's talked about that much, that's very personal. He's very revealing, and then he'll answer anything people ask him, too, which is great.
I think he's been open about his love life. He's been really open about being gay. He's really open about the loss of his dad and his brother. People he's been attracted to while interviewing them. Nothing is off limits with both of us.
Wow. I think from your side, that totally doesn't surprise people quite as much.
Yeah, exactly. Right. People expect it of me, but of him, I think they're surprised.
Are there things that even you were kind of surprised that you ended up talking about on stage?
Yeah. There's this story, a near death experience that Anderson had that happened when he and I were on vacation that we kind of had vowed never to discuss, but we talk about it in the show. It's one of the more shocking moments of the night.
That is intriguing. Are there parts of your life that you're kind of private about?
Yeah. I don't talk that much about my dating life or my sex life. That, I kind of leave ...
To the imagination?
Right. Now, as far as the show goes, what would you want an audience in Nashville to know about it?
I’d just want to let them know it's a great time. It's like going out for drinks with two old friends, and cocktails are served. It's a great date night, it's a great girls' night out, it's a great night to be with a lot of friends. It's a party.
How long do you anticipate this tour continuing?
I don't know. We want to keep going ... We're actually going back to some cities that sold out really quickly. As long as we can go to cities that we haven't been to, we'll keep doing it. We can't wait to come to Nashville.
For more information, or to get tickets to the show at the Ryman Auditorium, visit ac2live.com. Photo at top: Glenn Kulbako
For those with a thirst to celebrate, Red Bull Unlocked is the key. In city after city, the most exciting bars, clubs, mixologists, performing artists, and more take over a local landmark building to showcase their signature ambiance while also collaborating for a must-see mashup. And now it's Music City’s turn to seize the spotlight, as the event brings 10 bars together in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood.
Fueled by the best of Nashville’s thriving music scene, Red Bull Unlocked has curated an eclectic night of show-stopping entertainment performances including a pop-up Whiskey Jam show, DJ sets, musicians, and more. The full lineup is here:
- Whiskey Jam (feat. Dozzi, Willie Shaw, and Johnny Hayes)
- A.B. Eastwood
- Daisha / Rap Girl
- Boom Bap (DJ Collective feat. DJ-Rate, Case Bloom)
- Whiskey Disco (DJ Collective feat. Coach, Jim O'Shea)
- Old Crow Medicine Show’s Jerry Pentercost (DJ Set)
- DJ Stretch
- DJ Griffin Green
- The Play Mates (Drag Show feat. Sasha, Vanity, Deception, Aura Mayari, Corlis Todd, and Carmin Triple C)
Counting down to the epic celebration, Daisha shares, “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform in so many of Nashville’s top spots all in the same night. Fans can expect a lot of bops and high energy. I want people to dance and have a good time.”
Ward Guenther, Whiskey Jam Founder, adds, “Red Bull has been enjoyed at Whiskey Jam since the very first night, so it's only fitting Whiskey Jam is enjoyed at Nashville's first Red Bull Unlocked. Looking forward to this!”
Red Bull Unlocked Istanbul
Photo courtesy of Red Bull
Local favorites including Pearl Diver, Tin Roof, Lipstick Lounge, White Limozeen, and more will join forces for one epic night. Full list of bars and partners below:
- The Dive Motel
- Lipstick Lounge
- Pearl Diver
- Play Dance Bar
- Rosemary & Beauty Queen
- The Stage
- Tin Roof
- Whiskey Jam
- White Limozeen
- Woolworth Theatre – Opening Fall 2022!
- Eleven Eleven - Opening 2023!
Date: August 21, 2022
Time: 6 PM – 11PM CT
Location: 1102 Forrest Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
Entrance: Ticked event
Rumble Boxing, the boxing-inspired group fitness studio, opened its doors for the first time in Nashville on June 20 at 609 Overton St, Nashville, TN. The hottest workout on the block is hosting its official grand opening from August 4th-7th with daily classes, membership specials, and prizes from local vendors. The new Rumble Boxing studio is currently offering a buy one class, get one free promotion for the Nashville community.
Rumble Boxing delivers 45-minute, 10-round, strength and conditioning group workouts, crafted around teardrop-style aqua boxing bags and high-intensity strength training circuits. This brings all fitness levels together to experience what Rumble is known for: combining the sweet science of boxing with high energy and positive vibes.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
This boutique fitness brand offers serious benefits like increased stamina and strength, with cardio that’s actually fun. The seasoned trainers at the new studio are thrilled to serve their local community while offering this fun, new modern approach to boxing and welcome members of all fitness levels to the Rumble family.
The new Rumble Boxing studio is owned and operated by Blake Baskin and Antonio Compton. With their background in the fitness industry, this dynamic duo is excited to bring their passion for boxing and group fitness to Nashville. As business and life partners, Blake and Antonio aim to create a strong community within their new Rumble Boxing studio and share their message of non-apologetic inclusivity.
Black and Gay-Owned Business
Rumble Boxing Store with Dolly Parton Mural
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“We own who we are, and this brand aligns with that perfectly,” said Antonio. “This is what we want to create and bring to this community: a fitness class that is designed for anyone and a place for people to be who they are. As a Black and gay-owned business, we want to help lower the division we see in the world right now. Our goal is to bring people together through Rumble, set everything aside, and have fun.”
To echo their message of acceptance and inclusion, Blake and Antonio commissioned a local Nashville artist to paint an 11 X 6-ft. mural of Nashville icon and philanthropist, Dolly Parton. The massive portrait features the country star in Rumble Boxing gear in the lobby of the studio.
The excitement and buzz around Rumble allowed Blake and Antonio to recruit top-tier trainers to head up the new studio, including Head Trainer Oronde Jones, a well-known celebrity trainer in the Nashville market.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“Compared to other fitness classes, Rumble is a class you can truly get lost in for 45 minutes. With the dark room, you don’t have to worry if anyone is paying attention to you. The music is awesome and inspiring, and the beat drops right when you need it the most. Also, with boxing being a sport you can never truly master, you’re always improving and crafting your skill. On the floor, you’re consistently doing something new, which prevents you from ever hitting a plateau.” Said Oronde Jones about his favorite part of Rumble.
Rumble has massive brand loyalty and widespread appeal, partly thanks to attracting top names like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Jason Derulo, David Beckham, and Kevin Hart to its studios.
About Rumble Boxing
Founded in New York City in 2017, Rumble is a group fitness concept delivering a mix (or combination) of boxing-inspired circuits and the transformative power of resistance training. Pro and amateur fighters glove up together, no matter their fitness level or skill, to reveal their inner fighter. The experience is a 45-minute, 10-round, full-body cardio and strength workout crafted around specially designed water-filled, teardrop-style boxing bags. Rumble was founded by Noah Neiman (former Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer, and cast member of Bravo’s Work Out New York), Eugene Remm (Co-Founder of Catch Hospitality Group (Catch Restaurants, CATCH STEAK, Lexington Brass), Andy Stenzler (Co-Founder Cosí, Kidville), and Anthony DiMarco (13-time IRONMAN, former Managing Director, Google).
Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?
For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:
A Gay Cruise
One of the best options to have in mind when all of this passes is a good, nice and long (pun intended) gay cruise. Or cruise in general, for that matter. Bear in mind, social distancing will still be a thing in the post-COVID world. But COVID-19 likely doesn’t mean that cruises will cease to exist. On the contrary, though cruise ships will probably keep the number of passengers smaller than before, it is believed that they will become an even bigger hit in the following period, especially because they are all going to go a lot more environmentally-friendly. On the bright side, is there any better way of celebrating the end of the pandemic than by cruising around some magnificent seas, stopping by at great cities and having romantic dinner nights at nice restaurants?
A getaway in nature
On the other hand, there is always the option of stepping away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, and spending some time in a place that’s not only healthy, but also beautiful. Some of the destinations that plenty of people will look for are the ones that can cater for both peace of mind and amazing things to see or do. One such destination is New Zealand, one of the greenest countries on Earth right now. Not only will you be visiting the magnificent country that gave us the beautiful Shire from Lord of the Rings; this is also a destination that’s excellent for everyone who prefers relaxing to partying. If you’re up for some partying, you will be able to hit Auckland, while if you’re for something calmer, there’s plenty of amazing places that you can see and visit.
Dancing Around at Pride
Pride parades are also events that you want to have in mind for the post-COVID world. Such events have always been quite important, but it seems that they are now more important than ever. The virus has canceled more than 75 Pride parades all around the world, which is one of the reasons why we must support the ones that will see the light of day once the pandemic stops. Truth be told, the upcoming Prides will perhaps be the best Prides ever organized. Give the gays a couple of weeks of quarantine, then let them outside and see what kind of party they are able to throw!
A road trip
If you’re, as well, waiting for the day to wake up and say “long gone are the days when we were not allowed to go wherever we wanted?”, and if staying at one place gave you a lot to think about, then your first post-COVID travel experience should definitely be a nice road trip. You can practically choose which country you want to tour, and you can either take your own car (you have probably missed it so much), or rent one at your destination. Australia is an amazing country for this, though, as it offers the possibility of seeing the Great Ocean Road, which is an amazing thing to see and experience. On the other hand, if you do not want or cannot leave your country, you can also choose to go on a domestic road trip – there are amazing things to see in your vicinity as well.
Holiday for a single guy
If you’re single, or you’re traveling someplace with another single friend, then you should definitely organize a nice vacation for yourself or for you and your single friend, and hit one of the best European cities. Europe has been greatly affected by the virus, which means that now it’s time to pay it back and get it back on its feet by traveling there and seeing all the amazing things it offers. Any city you choose in Europe – you will not make a mistake. Apart from being able to see great landmarks, you will also have the chance to have a drink at great gay clubs and pubs, and join unforgettable gay parties. And if the gay scenery is not your forte, worry not, as Europe indeed has to offer so many different and magnificent things.