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in the Mix

12/19/2012, 7:42 a.m.
Felicia Boswell (Felicia) and Bryan Fenkart (Huey) tear up the stage during a...

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Felicia Boswell (Felicia) and Bryan Fenkart (Huey) tear up the stage during a performance of “Memphis.”

A bit of Southern Soul…

It was a night of music and love at the press night for the musical “Memphis.” If you’re not familiar with “Memphis,” it’s inspired by the life of real-life Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips, who is thought by many musical historians to be the person most responsible for integrating American radio from 1948-1958.

The musical takes place in the smoky halls and underground clubs of the segregated 1950s, where a young white DJ named Huey Calhoun falls in love with rock and roll and an electrifying black singer. The music was “stomp your feet” good, and the dancing was sassy and fun. All I have to say is, if you’re looking for a fun night go see “Memphis” while you can! “Memphis” runs through this Sunday, Dec. 23 at the Citi Emerson Colonial Theatre.  

The ‘80s Revisited….

The Institute of Contemporary Art is now showcasing an exhibit called “This Will Have Been: Art, Love and Politics in the 1980s.” As someone who grew up in the ‘80s, I was looking forward to remembering those experiences.  However, the exhibit didn’t really move me. The only connection I felt was brief, and it was through the faint sounds of what I thought was Run DMC, but was actually music from “Wild Style,” the first hip hop movie for all those in the know.

Various rooms displayed impactful moments in time, from a huge painting of former President Ronald Reagan to images highlighting the AIDS epidemic and the beginning of corporatization in America to the issue of gender. The exhibit seemed cold and clinical. It felt disjointed to me and there was no warmth to it. Or at least, it didn’t warm me.  Maybe that was the point.

What did catch my eye was this massive and colorful image of an African American woman with blond hair and colorful clothes. The piece of art is called “I’ll Still Be True” and it’s by Mickalene Thomas, a New York-based artist. She creates these dazzling pieces of art featuring African American women that are bold, colorful and striking. This exhibit is worth visiting and it’s on display at the ICA until March 3, 2013.

A Taste of Venezuela…

I finally made my way over to Orinoco restaurant in Brookline Village for my long overdue indulgence of Venezuelan food. The restaurant is really warm and inviting and draws you in with glass-blown ceiling lamps that cast a warm glow. My evening began with an Arepa, which is a traditional Venezuelan grilled corn pocket sandwich. It’s approximately the size of an English muffin and it can be filled with beef, chicken, cheese or pork.

Of course, I opted for the pork version that included slices of tomato and cheese coupled with the restaurant’s highly addictive mojo sauce. Next up was the entrée of Pabellón Criollo, which is a dish of shredded beef, white rice, black beans and plantains — such a simple and hearty meal. And of course, I couldn’t resist the side dish of crispy Yuca stick with another side portion of the most amazing mojo sauce, ever!! Dinner wouldn’t be complete without dessert of their yummy flan topped in caramel.  It was absolutely divine and the meal wouldn’t be complete without a shot of Venezuelan espresso.