Ideas, idle gossip and occasionally important odds ‘n’ ends
THE 34th Cape May Jazz Festival will be held next week, from Friday, November 12 through Sunday. The headline act is The Yellowjackets, whose 20th album, Lifecycle, was nominated for a Grammy last year. Let’s hope the festival is another first-class celebration of great music, because the jazz festival has had a tough time of it recently – like many arts organizations, it has lost precious grant funding as a result of the recession, and a few months ago its founders, Carol Stone and Woody Woodland, quit the board after what they called “a nasty, well-planned conspiracy by a few members of the executive board and staff.” Then last week, California-based jazz musician, Winston Byrd, who has performed at many previous festivals, wrote a damning letter to a local paper that hung Carol and Woody out to dry. Notwithstanding the fact that it was the most interesting item to appear in this particular paper for a few years, it seemed a little harsh. Or, at least, it made you wonder why Mr Byrd never addressed his concerns to Carol and Woody in person. In any event, look for more details on the festival in next week’s paper.
SPEAKING of the aforementioned cash crisis for arts groups, local mall businesses are doing their bit to give back to the community. For the fourth year in a row, Whale’s Tale is donating a portion of proceeds from sales on each Friday in November to non-profit groups in Cape May. This year, eight additional businesses will be joining them for what is being called Fabulous Friday on the mall, although we should say that one of those stores is not actually on the mall. That would be the Exit Zero Store and Gallery – we will be pitching in 10% of our proceeds from sales on Fridays in November.
“We celebrate November as a month of thanksgiving, but it also marks the 37th anniversary of Whale’s Tale on the mall, and we wanted to do something special,” said Hilary Pritchard, who with her husband, Chuck, owns Whale’s Tale. “Cape May is lucky to have exceptional non-profits that benefit the quality of life here for both local residents and visitors to our town. Times are especially tough for them, so we’d like to help, even if it is in a small way,” said Hilary.
Joining Whale’s Tale and its sister store, Splash, this year are: Across the Way, Good Scents, Love the Cook, Madame’s Port, The Mad Batter, Winterwood… and us! Cindy Huf, owner of Good Scents, says, “It’s an added reason to shop locally and know that proceeds benefit those serving our community in so many cultural, environmental and humanitarian ways.” Last year, non-profits that received funds included Animal Outreach, Center for Community Arts, Nature Center of Cape May, Cape May Film Festival, Cape May Stage, Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts, Cape May Stage, East Lynne Theater Company, and the Food Closet of Cape May. Any other businesses interested in participating in Fabulous Fridays should contact Hilary Pritchard at 884-4778.
THERE was disappointment and bitterness lingering in the nooks and crannies of Exit Zero’s Global HQ on Monday following a quite outrageous decision by the judges at Congress Hall’s Phantom Ball on Friday night… the award for Best Couple did NOT go to our own Dan Mathers and his wife Tanya, even though their superbly executed Mad Hatter and Alice in Wonderland getup won lavish praise from ball-goers and some of the judges, too.
It seems, however, that one of the judges, who was dressed up (unconvincingly) as the editor of a local newspaper, argued that Dan and Tanya should not get the prize because part of Tanya’s costume had been purchased at a store. Instead, the award for Best Couple went to – as it is labeled on Halloween Adventure’s website – “Bollywood Beauty Deluxe Adult Costume Standard One-Size.”
Not that Dan was surprised. At the dessert buffet earlier that evening, his offer to help the aforementioned editor as he struggled with a cupcake and a paper cup was met with a cold silence. “I don’t know what he has against me, but I could see then that we wouldn’t be getting HIS vote,” said Dan, who actually entered two contests over the weekend, in Cape May and in West Chester, PA, and came up empty on each occasion. “I lost to a brilliant, four-piece KISS ensemble up in West Chester,” said Dan. “THAT one I can at least understand.”
There’s no word of how our other Phantom Ball contestant, Bi-Curious George, went down with party-goers and judges.