The Gulf Coast Ethnic and Heritage Jazz Festival is seeking a poster design for its 18th annual event in midsummer 2016. The celebration includes a week-long jazz camp, a spoken word and poetry event on Aug. 4 and a concert on Aug. 6.  

The poster contest is open to all artists, with each limited to one entry. Entries must be an original, unpublished two-dimensional work by the submitting artist depicting a jazz theme in any medium and needs to include the words “Gulf Coast Ethnic & Heritage Jazz Festival,” “Mobile, Alabama” and “2016.”

The entry should be 24 inches high by 18 inches wide and mounted on white foam core. The winning entry will receives a $200 cash prize.
Entries should be received at GCEHJF headquarters at 56 St. Joseph St., Suite 1311, Mobile, 36602. Deadline is May 1. Required forms that must accompany each entry can be found at gcehjazzfest.com.
For further information email [email protected].

Local author nominated for national award
Mobile author Angela Quarles has made quite an impression with her novels blending romance with science fiction elements such as steampunk and time travel. The Romance Writers of America announced her recent work “Must Love Chainmail” has been named as a finalist in the Paranormal category of the 2016 RITA awards, an honor considered to be of the highest distinction in her genre.

“Must Love Chainmail” follows an American expatriate in England who accidentally wishes herself to medieval Wales and is caught in Madog’s Rebellion of 1294. There she meets a knight with conflicting loyalties who aids her through adventures as they fall in love.

Up to 2,000 novels and novellas from 12 categories were judged for this year’s RITA competition. Following an initial round of judging by fellow writers, those placing in the top 4 percent of each category proceed to the final round. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony July 16 at the 2016 RWA Annual Conference in San Diego, California.

The latest in a Mobile literary lineage, Quarles has a B.A. in anthropology and international studies with a minor in German from Atlanta’s Emory University. She earned a master’s degree in heritage preservation from Georgia State University. She now works in downtown Mobile’s most legendary locally owned bookstore and resides in a historic manor in Midtown.

UofM breaks opera’s “final frontier”
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” was one of the last works of the master composer so it has seen many incarnations in the last 225 years. The story was originally set in ancient Egypt but likely has never seen the form it will take this weekend. That’s when the University of Mobile Opera Theater will set the famous opera in a world inspired by Gene Roddenberry’s “Star Trek” universe.

The story of good versus evil will aim for the “final frontier” in a pair of performances at the Saraland Performing Arts Center (1115 Industrial Parkway) at Saraland High School. Performances are April 16 at 7 p.m. and April 17 at 2 p.m.

The new storyline follows a Captain Tamino as he answers a distress call from an unexplored alien world. Upon arrival, Tamino is embroiled in intrigue and conflict.

The university’s opera ensemble will perform the show in English under the direction of Dr. Patrick Jacobs, professor of music and director of opera studies. Mobile Opera General Director Scott Wright will conduct the University of Mobile Orchestra.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for students and are available in advance at itickets.com or at the door. For group rates, call 251-442-2383.

Neil Simon classic at Theatre Guild
It’s been over 50 years since Neil Simon’s “Barefoot in the Park” premiered on Broadway and its themes on marital life still sound familiar. The adjustment of joined life for a free-spirited bride and her more conservative husband starting wedded bliss in a Greenwich Village apartment became Simon’s longest-running hit.

Robert Redford rose to acclaim on the Broadway stage in the role of young lawyer Paul Bratter. Elizabeth Ashley portrayed his wife, Corie, a flighty precursor to the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. When Hollywood got its hooks into the tale, Redford reprised his role but Tinseltown legacy Jane Fonda was tapped to play his wife.

Mobile Theatre Guild (14 N. Lafayette St.) will stage “Barefoot” April 15 through May 1. Friday and Saturday curtain is at 8 p.m. Sunday matinee is at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $20, $15 for seniors, military and students. Advance sales are available at mobiletheatreguild.org.
For more information call 251-433-7513.