The year in local entertainment


Peter Rowan, right, and his Bluegrass Band performed in front of an enthralled audience at the Thomas Center on Nov. 12.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer
Published: Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 11:58 a.m.

The end of the year means it's time for a look back at the year in entertainment and pop culture, both locally and beyond Gainesville including movies, music, theater and more. So sit back, relax and revisit the year that was 2013.

— Bill Dean Entertainment editor

BILL DEAN'S WELCOME DEVELOPMENTS IN ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

Some of the city's best-known and more-established cultural entities weren't content to sit on their laurels in 2013.

Here's a look at how just a few evolved and continued to grow for appreciative patrons and audiences in 2013 (in no particular order).

THOMAS CENTER: Along with art exhibitions and all sorts of other happenings, this Gainesville treasure of culture also saw an increase in the number of scintillating musical performances in 2013, including Willie Green and the R. Mutt Blues band in May; the beguiling British singer, pianist and ukulele player Katy Carr in March; and an appearance by singer/guitarist Peter Rowan and his Bluegrass Band that enthralled a packed audience in November.

LESSER-KNOWN BUT DESERVING PERFORMERS FROM UF PERFORMING ARTS: Big-name stars and Broadway hits have long graced the stages of the Phillips Center, University Auditorium and the Squitieri Studio Theatre. But give thanks also that those venues continue to welcome some lesser-known but equally astounding performers, which in 2013, included: the British (and gravity-defying) dance company Motionhouse in January; the Indian Ink Theatre Company's compelling production of "Guru of Chai" in February; the out-of-this-world approach of a cappella group Voca People in April; and the sizzling Latin jazz of Ninety Miles, also in April, to name just a few.

STROLLING FOR ART: The venerable Artwalk of Gainesville continued to evolve in downtown with a growing variety of art exhibitions, live music and other performances on the last Friday of each month, as have the Uptown Art Hop in Thornebrook and the Melrose ArtWalk on earlier Fridays of each month.

The GAINESVILLE ORCHESTRA: What had been the Gainesville Chamber Orchestra performed its 30th-anniversary concert and rechristened itself on March 30 at the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall with an eye (and ear) toward the future. And with the theme "Natural Wonders," the ensemble's current season is combining notable works of music with exhibitions of complementing works by area artists.

SCOTT KAUFFMANN'S TOP 5 VENUES IN GAINESVILLE

Happy Boxing Day! Let's take a look at some of Gainesville's best venues/bars in town, and what continues to make them that way.

1. Loosey's: This is one of those special places that every self-respecting town must have; a place to wet your whistle, eat some fantastic "bar" food and listen to some of the best bands from in and out of town through one of the best sound systems the city has to offer.

2. The Atlantic: Always a personal favorite, this bar has the attitude and hip atmosphere that anyone with taste is sure to love. With good prices and a friendly bar staff, this place is great for a first date, a last date or a solo night out.

3. High Dive: The heavy hitter of the bunch, with a 500-person capacity, two fully stocked bars, a stage that would make any musician feel at home and drink specials that won't break the bank.

4. Mars Pub: This punk-rock dive bar is chock full of arcade games, good beer and a questionably of-age patronage. Mars is a great place to get rowdy and have some suds with your buds.

5. 1982 Bar: Another great dive bar, complete with Nintendos as far as the eye can see and a friendly, all-ages atmosphere. A great place to play a first, second or last show.

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