Moody Gardens: A Fun-Filled Spring Break Destination

Spring break is almost here and Moody Gardens is offering new attractions and experiences to provide an enjoyable daytrip or extended vacation at one of the most popular tourist destinations in Texas. There is even a limited-time online discount on the One-Day Value Pass to provide spring breakers the best deal for admission to all of the Moody Gardens attractions.

New Action-Packed 4D Movies
Guests will find themselves in the middle of the action when Moody Gardens features Shark: A 4D Experience and San Andreas 4D Experience inside its 4D Special FX Theater.

Come face to face with some of the world’s most strange and mysterious shark species in Shark: A 4D Experience with breath-taking underwater visuals in this film that highlights 10 shark species and their unique behavior. Guests can also experience a heart-racing adventure that will keep them on the edge of their seats with San Andreas 4D Experience. When the infamous San Andreas Fault gives way, it triggers the largest California earthquake in history. Jump right into the action as a search and rescue helicopter pilot, played by Dwayne Johnson, and his estranged wife avoid the massive destruction of California to save their only daughter.

Dream Big in 3D this Spring Break
Giant screen movie-goers will soar above the world’s tallest bridge and travel at speeds approaching 700 miles per hour with MacGillivray Freeman’s Dream Big 3D: Engineering Our World, playing inside the MG 3D Theater.

From the Great Wall of China and the world’s tallest buildings to underwater robots, solar cars and smart, sustainable cities, Dream Big 3D showcases engineering marvels big and small. With its inspiring human stories – including a young woman engineer building bridges in underdeveloped countries and an underprivileged high school robotics team that succeeds against all odds – reveals the compassion and creativity that drive engineers to create a more sustainable future for us all.

America’s Musical Journey 3D

Embark on a cross-country journey through the musical heritage of America and the cultural cities where the country’s music was born when MacGillivary Freeman’s America’s Musical Journey 3D comes to the MG 3D Theater.
Feel the salsa beat in Miami and rock n’ roll all night in Memphis as each artist takes viewers on an adventure from the cradle of country in Nashville to the home of the blues in Chicago, jazz in New
Orleans and the empire of music, New York. Each piece of music explores the roots of music in America and culminates in a unique blend of sound, music and innovation unlike anywhere else in the world.

JAM with Moody Gardens
JAM: Journey Through Amazing Music is an experience that explores the connection between music, science and mathematics. This guest-favorite exhibit returns to the Discovery Museum Feb. 24 with new and improved displays. Each gallery features different components that highlight the key roles played by science and math in making sound. Communicate through whisper pipes, rock a tune on the Theremin or serenade the crowd on the karaoke stage. Whatever the activity, there is a formulated equation behind it.

Spring Break Deals: Online Always
Attractions Discount

The Moody Gardens One-Day Value Pass is even better as the Splashy Spring Break Special offers a limited-time online discount. Visit moodygardens.org and save $10 per person on this pass with admission to the Aquarium Pyramid, Rainforest Pyramid, SpongeBob SubPants Adventure, MG 3D Theater, 4D Special FX Theater, Colonel Paddlewheel Boat, Ropes Course and Zip Line. The discount is good on tickets purchased for visits on March 10-18 as the Moody Gardens website continues to provide the best discounts on attraction tickets.

Hotel Packages
Adjacent to the attractions sits the spectacular Moody Gardens Hotel. Room packages are available in addition to a listing of special Kid’s Crew activities taking place for spring break.

Golf Course Specials
With its beautiful palm trees and gorgeous Galveston Bay views, the Moody Gardens Golf Course has earned rave reviews from TripAdvisor, GolfNow and Golf Advisor, including being named to Golf Advisor’s Best of 2016 Top 50 U.S. It is ideal for those with a passion for this sport. Whether novice or experienced, visitors will enjoy the one-of-a-kind experience at one of the top ranked public golf courses in Texas.

For more information call 800-582-4673 or visit www.moodygardens.org.

Oprah Winfrey Headed to Plano to Deliver Keynote Speech for Gala

Minnies Food Pantry logo
Minnie’s Food Pantry, a national non-profit organization with a mission of feeding the hungry, is excited to announce Oprah Winfrey as the keynote speaker for its 10th Anniversary “Feed Just One” Gala. This star-studded, black-tie event will be held on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 in Collin County, Texas. The red-carpet will start at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner and program will start at 7 p.m.  Emmy® nominated actress, author and President of LightWorkers Media, Roma Downey and award-winning television and film producer Mark Burnett, President of MGM Television Group and Digital will be honored with the Minnie Ewing Legacy Award presented by Toyota. The legacy award identifies, supports and celebrates individuals who have demonstrated “the heart of a giver” in the same way that Minnie Ewing lived her life.  It acknowledges individuals who have exhibited outstanding leadership and contributed at least 300,000 meals to Minnie’s Food Pantry.
 
Other celebrities set to attend this year’s gala include Hollywood actress, Brely Evans, who will serve as the red-carpet host; literary agents, Jan Miller and Jeff Rich; former major league baseball player, Torii Hunter and his wife, Katrina; New York Giants linebacker, Keenan Robinson and his wife, Lauren; GRAMMY® award winning gospel recording artist and pastor, Donnie McClurkin; and Kevin Frazier, host of Entertainment Tonight. The evening will include dinner, a live auction, remarks from Oprah Winfrey and other surprises to be announced.
 
Founded by Dr. Cheryl “Action” Jackson, Minnie’s Food Pantry has literally been rolling out the red carpet for more than 10 years as they provide food for families living in low income, food insecure households. An award winning non-profit organization and largest food pantry in Collin County, Texas, Minnie’s Food Pantry has provided more than 7 million meals and brought the issue of food insecurity to the forefront on both a local and national level through features on national television shows including, Good Morning America, ELLEN, Steve Harvey TV and The Food Network. Through supplemental food assistance, educational resources and support from the community, Minnie’s Food Pantry has changed the stigma associated with hunger and are further reducing hunger by expanding into schools across the country. Over the years, many corporate sponsors and celebrities have joined Minnie’s Food Pantry in the fight to reduce hunger including former MLB pitcher Latroy and Anita Hawkins, NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt and Pat Smith, Dallas Mavericks owner and business mogul Mark Cuban, Hollywood actresses Meagan Good and Regina King, movie producers DeVon Franklin and Will Packer, pop superstar Rihanna, recording artists Kenny Lattimore and BeBe Winans and now global media leader Oprah Winfrey.
 
“I have been a ‘student’ of Oprah’s for more than 30 years,” said Cheryl Jackson, founder of Minnie’s Food Pantry.  “I’ve watched, listened and learned a lot of what has helped me to make Minnie’s Food Pantry a national charity.  It’s an esteemed honor to have the voice of one of the most powerful women in the world, Oprah Winfrey, resonate at our ten-year celebration.  It reminds our staff, board of directors, sponsors and the thousands of volunteers, that our work is not in vain. We are grateful.”
Minnie’s Food Pantry’s “Feed Just One” Gala is always a highlight and sells out each year. To purchase sponsorships, tables or tickets, please email Zoya@MinniesFoodPantry.org or call (214) 709-4449.

Nickelodeon Announces 2018-2019 Writing Program

Aspiring television writer?

Good news! The Nickelodeon Writing Program, considered as one of the best in the business, is accepting submission for its 2018-2019 program.  This amazing opportunity will allow YOU, the aspiring writer, to hone in on your skills while writing for live action and animated shows.

If selected for the program,  you will get to meet Nickelodeon’s series creators, story editors while working in writers’ rooms, and even attend show tapings.  This is an amazing hands on experience while getting paid!

Who knows, you might even end up creating your own Nickelodeon show!

So what are you waiting for?  Here are the details on getting started:  https://www.nickanimation.com/writing-program.

Good luck!

(logo:  Nickelodeon.com)

The MFAH Presents: The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta

On Sunday, October 8, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, opens The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta, an exhibition celebrating the illustrious life and career of the renowned fashion designer. Ensembles presented across four thematic sections highlight the most significant influences— including Spain, Russia, China, Japan, and the garden—on his designs and are displayed alongside paintings and decorative arts from the MFAH collections. The creations offer a window into de la Renta’s world through a range of looks, from elegant daywear to resplendent gowns, including pieces worn by Penelope Cruz, Karlie Kloss, Kirsten Dunst, and Amal Clooney, whose custom bridal gown of beaded-tulle, silk, and embroidered lace will be on view.

Admission is $25 for adults (19+); $20 for senior adults (65+ with ID), military (with ID), college students (with ID) and youth (13–18); and free for children (12 and younger) and MFAH Members. Additional information can be found  at www.mfah.org/oscardelarenta.

SEAN “DIDDY” COMBS’ REVOLT MUSIC CONFERENCE RETURNS TO MIAMI OCTOBER 12-15, 2017

REVOLT, the #1 name in music, announced today that the fourth annual REVOLT Music Conference (RMC) on October 12-15, 2017 will honor legendary rapper, actor, singer, and producer Queen Latifah with the prestigious REVOLT Icon Award. RMC will also feature heavy-hitting performances by special guest Ms. Lauryn Hill, 2 Chainz, French Montana, Daniel Caesar, King Combs, and Top Dawg Entertainment recording artist SZA during the four-day action-packed experience at the Eden Roc Miami Beach Resort.

Queen Latifah will be presented with this year’s REVOLT Icon Award, which is presented to industry leaders who have had a lasting impact and unique influence on music, at the annual Gala Dinner.  Previous award recipients include Nas, Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Jimmy Iovine.

“Queen Latifah is a rare talent and one of the most successful artists of all time, flourishing as a rap artist, movie star, talk show host and more,” said Andre Harrell, REVOLT Vice Chairman and Chair of the REVOLT Music Conference. “After watching her, for over two decades, transform into one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, we are proud to present Queen Latifah with the REVOLT Icon Award!”

 “I am so honored to receive the REVOLT Icon Award,” Latifah said. “I am gearing up for a great time in Miami!”.

 The Gala, on Saturday, October 14th, will feature a special performance by Ms. Lauryn Hill with additional performances by SZA and Daniel Caesar. On Friday, October 13th2 Chainz will headline the exclusive Yacht Party aboard the 220 ft. SeaFair Miami with special guests. French Montana and King Combs will officially kick off this year’s RMC in style on Thursday, October 12th. Additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks.

“RMC is known for uniting successful, innovative, and thought-provoking speakers and industry executives from across the music and entertainment industry – all in one place,” added Harrell.  “We are taking it to the next level and our 4th year is going to be the biggest RMC yet.”

Established as the must-attend event of the year, RMC provides attendees with an innovative, industry-wide networking experience for all who thrive in the music and media content space. Influencers, music executives, songwriters, producers, bloggers and music artists will collide to create a collaborative space through interactive panels, performances, networking events, pitch sessions, poolside parties, music showcases, and more. Industry power players who will take the stage as speakers will be announced soon.

Registration packages for the 2017 REVOLT Music Conference are now on sale at REVOLTMusicConference.com. Join the #RMC2017 conversation on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @REVOLTtv.

OWN Announces New Drama Series From Academy Award-Winning ‘MOONLIGHT’ Writer Tarell Alvin McCraney

Oprah Winfrey Network announced today a new one-hour drama series from Tarell Alvin McCraney, co-writer and executive producer of the Academy Award-winning Best Picture “Moonlight.”

Marking his first television series, McCraney will create, write and executive produce the new coming-of-age drama, from Warner Horizon Scripted Television, with Mike Kelley and Melissa Loy (“Revenge”/”Swingtown”) serving as executive producers under their Page Fright production banner alongside Michael B. Jordan (“Creed”) who is also joining as executive producer via his Outlier Productions.

Haunted by the death of his closest friend, and relied on by his hardworking mother to find a way out of poverty, a 14-year-old prodigy from the projects must choose between the streets that raised him or the higher education that may offer him a way out. Set in South Florida at the end of the Obama legacy, the lyrical drama inspired by events in McCraney’s own life, explores the precarious balance needed for the making of a man.

“When Tarell shared his powerful story with us there wasn’t a dry eye in the room,” said Oprah Winfrey. “I knew this was something special that our viewers will without a doubt connect to and feel compelled to explore with us. I am honored to be working with Tarell and the rest of the producers on this project.”

“I wanted to explore the pivotal steps towards adulthood and identity, the ones we take when we think or feel we have no other choice,” said Tarell Alvin McCraney.

“From the moment Tarell began discussing his profoundly moving story with us, we knew we needed to find a courageous home to nurture his extraordinary vision. No one is better equipped to do that than Oprah Winfrey and her talented team,” said Mike Kelley and Melissa Loy.

“Being young, gifted and black in America today and anywhere for that matter makes it extremely hard and challenging to follow your dreams and achieve success,” said Michael B. Jordan. “Tarell’s adaptation of this reality was so honest and true and it’s the exact message our youth needs today.”

Playwright, actor and producer Tarell Alvin McCraney received an Academy Award, with director Barry Jenkins, for Best Adapted Screenplay for co-writing the 2016 film “Moonlight,” which also won for Best Picture. The movie was based on McCraney’s semi-autobiographical script In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. McCraney currently serves as the chair of playwriting at the Yale School of Drama. This will be his first foray into creating a scripted drama series for television. Michael B. Jordan’s acting career spans both film and television. He has had prominent roles in critically acclaimed films including “Fruitvale Station” and “Creed” and on popular television series including “Friday Night Lights” and “The Wire.” Last year he launched his own production company, Outlier Productions. Page Fright producing partners Mike Kelley and Melissa Loy have worked on several notable scripted series, including “Revenge,” where they served as executive producer/showrunner, and executive producer, respectively.

McCraney’s series will join OWN’s expanded lineup of premium scripted programming. The network most recently announced the new dramedy “Love Is  __” from Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil adding to its roster of current top-rated dramas “Queen Sugar” and “Greenleaf” (both just picked up for third seasons), and Tyler Perry’s popular dramas “The Haves and the Have Nots” and “If Loving You is Wrong,” which year-to-date comprise four of the top six original scripted series on ad-supported cable for women 25-54.

The series, which is yet to be titled, will be produced for OWN by Page Fright and Outlier Productions in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television.

Houston Symphony to Celebrate Jazz Legend Ella Fitzgerald With Tribute Concert

The Houston Symphony will kick off the 2017-18 BBVA Compass POPS Series with Ella at 100, a celebration of jazz icon Ella Fitzgerald during her 100th birthday year. Led by Principal POPS Conductor Steven Reineke in the first concert of his inaugural season, the program will feature Fitzgerald favorites including “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” and “Summertime.”

Powerhouse vocalists Montego Glover, Capathia Jenkins, and N’Kenge will join Reineke and the orchestra for all three performances. A 2010 Tony nominee for her starring role as Felicia Farrell in Memphis, Glover and has collaborated with several orchestras including the New York Pops, Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She will be joined by Jenkins, an American singer/actress best known for her work as a Broadway performer and who was recently seen on The Wiz Live!, a new adaptation of the 1975 Broadway musical that aired on NBC. N’Kenge appeared with the Houston Symphony in February 2017 for R&B Mixtape and originated the role of Mary Wells in Broadway’s smash hit Motown: The Musical.

Fitzgerald rose to fame as the lead singer for bandleader and jazz drummer Chick Webb in the 1930s. She earned the nicknames “First Lady of Song” and “Queen of Jazz” as audiences fell in love with her unique voice and improvisational abilities. She ended her 59-year performing career with her last public performance in 1993 and passed away in 1996.

The concert will take place at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana Street, in Houston’s Theater District. For tickets and information, please call (713) 224-7575 or visit www.houstonsymphony.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the Houston Symphony Patron Services Center in Jones Hall (Monday–Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). All programs and artists are subject to change.

“Go Astros” Shuttle Improves Game Day Thursday Commute

It’s been an exciting season for the Houston Astros. But all the activity at Minute Maid Park can mean increased traffic downtown during the afternoon rush hour, causing big delays for commuters.

To improve service for our customers, METRO will adjust several bus routes and offer “Go Astros” shuttles from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. The shuttles will run along Congress between La Branch and Main and offer passengers direct service from their regular bus stops to select local bus and Park & Ride routes.

The shuttles will serve customers using the following routes and connect them to their regular buses at Main and Congress:

  • 151 Westpark Express
  • 236 Maxey Road / Baytown
  • 244 Monroe
  • 246 Bay Area
  • 247 Fuqua
  • 249 Gulf Corridor
  • 261 West Loop
  • 262 Westwood
  • 265 West Bellfort
  • 269 Southwest Corridor

Go Astros” shuttle service will travel along Congress, connecting riders to local and Park & Ride routes at Congress and Main.

In order to ensure timely shuttle service, METRO will temporarily close a bus stop at Congress and Crawford. Additionally, a stop at the northeast corner of Congress and La Branch will be relocated across the street to the northwest corner of the intersection.

Signs at closed and relocated stops will guide riders to “Go Astros” shuttle stops. METRO staff will also be on hand to assist riders. Please allow for extra time to complete trips.

Breaking: Senator John McCain Diagnosed With Brain Cancer

Sen. John McCain has a brain tumor, the Mayo Clinic and the Arizona Republican’s office announced Wednesday night.

“On Friday, July 14, Sen. John McCain underwent a procedure to remove a blood clot from above his left eye at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix,” reads a statement from the Mayo Clinic, released at the request of McCain. “Subsequent tissue pathology revealed that a primary brain tumor known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot. Scanning done since the procedure (a minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision) shows that the tissue of concern was completely resected by imaging criteria.”

The statement continues, “The Senator and his family are reviewing further treatment options with his Mayo Clinic care team. Treatment options may include a combination of chemotherapy and radiation.

More at ABC News

[photo:  RON RAKUN/PACIFIC PRESS/SIPA/AP]

Event Alert: Galveston Cajun Crawfish Festival

CAJUN FESTIVAL SET FOR FATHER’S DAY WEEKEND, JUNE 16-18, ON GALVESTON ISLAND

 

crawfish

The entertainment lineup for the second annual Galveston Cajun Festival, which is set for Father’s Day weekend, June 16-18, will feature some of the best musical entertainment that the Houston-Galveston area has to offer. Along with the musical entertainment, the festival will have succulent crawfish, all sorts of festival foods from a variety of vendors, a crawfish eating contest and more.

Set to kick things off from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, June 16, will be The Pee Wee Bowen Band.

On Saturday, June 17, Big E & The Lowdown and King Baby will perform; and on Sunday, June 18, Madalyn Hernandez, Grupo Fuerte and Monico Cortez, will all be performing as a part of the Grey Goose Lounge, one of the sponsors of this year’s event (check website for exact times).

Admission this year is free and open to the public, so bring the entire family out for all things Cajun — Father’s Day weekend on Galveston Island!

No coolers, outside foods, drinks, alcoholic beverages, radio’s, bicycles, pets and/or weapons will be allowed inside the venue.

For information, visit galvestoncajunfestival.com or call 409-359-3045.