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As I approached the Belcourt Theater on Oscar night, I saw limousines dropping off people who looked like Hollywood royalty. I stopped dead in my tracks and watched in wonderment as these elegant men and women glided with grace down the red carpet and into the tent just outside the front doors.
As I entered the tent after my shuffle down the red carpet, I was deeply moved by the Oscar-themed artwork decorating the scene. I later found out that Melissa A. Taylor, the coordinator of the event, and her husband made all of the art themselves, including what appeared to be a six-foot-tall Oscar.
After a glass of champagne, I got a close look at all of the magnificent items up for grabs in the silent auction. Guitars signed by famous musicians and breathtaking original artwork are merely a couple of examples of the countless magnificent items auctioned off that evening.
"All proceeds from the event stay directly with the Belcourt for programming and operational needs," says Taylor. And "all of the tables sold out."
Then, I found my seat directly behind all of the circular tables set up where the first ten or so rows of audience seating in the theatre usually is. It looked exactly as I envision a Hollywood awards show. I could hardly contain myself.
When the show began everyone found their seats, sipped their cocktails, and enjoyed the show. There was a great deal of audience participation in the Belcourt, as folks cheered for their favorite celebrities, and roared when those celebrities won. It was truly exciting.
During the commercial breaks, I wandered around the lobby and the tent area, mingling with people who were dressed like movie stars. Perhaps it was the champagne talking, but I couldn’t help but compliment almost everyone I encountered on what they were wearing. I felt like I was at a party at Calvin Klein’s house.
Everyone seemed to feel the same way that evening; like it was their night to be a star. Everyone walked with shoulders raised, cocktails in hand, and mingled as the celebrities do. Taylor herself said, "I came last year. This year I’m running it, and I’m very happy." She was not alone in her sentiment. The entire crowd exuded a wonderful and charismatic vibe.
As if a classy party, open bar, marvelous hors’d’vours and desserts wasn’t enough, I also got to enjoy my own personal favorite event of the entire year...the Academy Awards.
We all go to the movies. We are all uplifted, terrified, saddened, and enlightened by these films. The night of the Oscars is the night we get to celebrate those people who have moved us, forcing us to see things differently. So, without further ado...
The Oscars Went To...
The Departed...for Best Picture
Little Miss Sunshine...for Best Original Screenplay
The Departed...for Best Adapted Screenplay
The Departed...for Best Director
Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland...for Best Lead Actor
Helen Mirren in The Queen...for Best Lead Actress
Alan Arkin in Little Miss Sunshine...for Best Supporting Actor
Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls...for Best Supporting Actress
Happy Feet...for Best Animated Feature
An Inconvenient Truth...for Best Documentary Feature
The Blood of Yingzhou District...for Best Documentary Short
The Departed...for Best Film Editing
Pan’s Labyrinth...for Art Direction
Pan’s Labyrinth...for Cinematography
Marie Antoinette...for Costume Design
The Lives of Others...for Best Foreign Language Film
Pan’s Labyrinth...for Makeup
Babel...for Best Original Score
"I Need to Wake Up" from An Inconvenient Truth...for Best Original Song
The Danish Poet...for Best Animated Short Film
West Bank Story...for Best Live Action Short Film
Letters From Iwo Jima...for Sound Editing
Dreamgirls...for Sound Mixing
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest...for Visual Effects
The Belcourt Theater is also home to a vast number of arts and entertainment events. They recently housed the first annual Fylmz Festival, which was an instant success, giving filmmakers from around the globe a chance to show their most personal and cherished film projects.
They are just wrapping up their "50 Years of Janus Films," where they screened a slew of old Hollywood films that many folks had never heard of before, but that helped to shape Hollywood into what it is today.
I suppose what I love most about the Belcourt is that they truly are an organization that exists for the sake of beautiful art as opposed to merely financial gain. They brighten our lives by bringing us film, theater, and so many other forms of art. If you’ve never been, or if it’s been a while...go! There are so many wonderful productions waiting for you.
The Belcourt is located at 2102 Belcourt Ave in Nashville. For more information about upcoming events or tickets for the Belcourt, visit www.belcourt.org or call 615-383-9140.
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.