Next to my No. 1 favorite, "Naruto," another animation in recent years that caught my attention was the very similar in nature "Avatar: The Last Airbender."
After I finished the incredibly well-done series, I wondered how long it would take before a sequel or spinoff emerged. However, nothing surfaced for quite some time, until M. Night Shyamalan's live action "The Last Airbender" hit theaters that is. Fortunately, his interpretation was mildly entertaining, yet still received major criticism - I highly doubt there'll be another one of these.
After that I thought I'd never see something from the universe again, but in 2012 Nickelodeon took it upon themselves to bring the universe back to a now more mature audience by telling the story of a new Avatar, Korra. Thus, "The Legend of Korra" began to unfold, and I was once again hooked.
The series follows Korra, a teenage female Avatar, one who is quite different than the original series' Aang. The first book of the series focuses on Korra becoming the Avatar, as well as setting the pace and creating a new universe that is reminiscent of the former.
My favorite aspect of the series thus far is that with maturity, the bending effects and creative ways in which battles are fought have greatly improved. Gone is the majority of the playfulness of the original, and in comes in darkness of Korra's struggle.
The second season of the series began this month, and two episodes have been released thus far. The episodes debut each Friday at 7 p.m. on Nickelodeon, then shortly after they become available for free streaming on its official website at www.nick.com/shows/legend-of-korra. Unfortunately, if you missed the first season, there are only three episodes available on www.nick.com, so you'll have to find another way to view it.
As per usual, here are the highlights and happenings going on in the area.
JRC Expands Alley Artwork Project Into Winter Garden Plaza Today: The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation will host a small gathering at Winter Garden Plaza, 313 N. Main St. in Jamestown, to celebrate the expansion of its Potters gALLErY project.
The project is a public art collaboration with Jamestown High School, and seven new pieces by students have been installed at the plaza.
A gathering at 4 p.m. will include JHS arts faculty and student artists. It will be followed at 6 p.m. by the September installment of Third Thursday, which is a concert series at Winter Garden Plaza that is organized by the Active Artists Alliance and is sponsored by the JRC. The entertainment will be provided by The Bogarts and Thee Audience.
For more information, call 664-2477, ext. 233.
Comedy at JSBA Continues Friday Night: The Jamestown Savings Bank Arena is set to host another evening of the Wits n' Giggles: Friday Night Comedy Series. This week's edition of Wits n' Giggles will feature Chance Langton and Greg Boggis.
Langton, a nationally known comedian, musician, actor and writer, has toured the country, appeared on national television numerous times and has appeared in concert with various well-known acts.
The show will take place in the upstairs Arena Club from 8-10 p.m. Tickets are $10 presale and $12 the day of the show. They are available at the JSBA Box Office, 319 W. Third St. in Jamestown, by phone at 484-2624 or at jamestownarena.com.
For more information search for "Jamestown Savings Bank Arena" on Facebook or follow on Twitter.
Folk-In-Fredonia Music Series To Begin Sunday: The Folk-in-Fredonia music series at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House will kick off the season with the annual Free-For-All on Sunday at 3 p.m.
The event will feature Cheryl Ritch and Jim Cunningham, guitar, fiddle vocals; Sue Tillotson, Scottish fiddler; Dr. Rich Milazzo and Joanne Harper, singer songwriters; Elmer Cotten, humorist; Joe Dan Harper, tenor; Shinobu Takagi, pianist; Doug Manly, Irish storyteller; Kathy Petersen, fiddler and vocals; Tim Cudney, bassist; Elliott Hall, guitar and vocals; Bill Moran, guitar; Todd Crowley, multi-instrumentalist; Judy Outlaw, singer songwriter; and others.
Admission is free, but tickets are required. For more information, call 679-1891 or visit www.fredopera.org.
Junior Guilders And Children Sing Of Lucille Ball Little Theatre To Host Auditions: Children ages 5 to 17 are welcome to audition for openings in the 8-17 ages Junior Guilders or the Children Sing program.
Auditions will be held on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at the Lucille Ball Little Theatre. Those auditioning are to be prepared to sing a song of their choice, as well as take direction for basic dance steps.
Junior Guilders, which is in its 32nd season, is a show choir focused on teaching performance in live theater. Children sing teaches basics of vocal music, rhythm and stage presence.
For more information, call 485-3710 or visit www.juniorguilders.weebly.com.
Reg Lenna Center For The Arts To Host Workshops And Lessons: A two-hour stage combat workshop will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. on the Reg Lenna stage.
Cosponsored by Willow Bay Theater, this workshop will introduce participants to the fundamental concepts and theories of stage combat. Included will be slaps, throws, falls, chokes, hair-pulls and above all, safe partnering. This is an unarmed workshop. Wear loose clothing and be prepared to move.
The instructor, Steve Vaughan, has been teaching stage combat for over 35 years. He is certified by the Society Of American Fight Directors, and currently teaches at SUNY Fredonia and Buffalo State College.
The workshop is $35, and is open to participants aged 14 through adulthood.
Group Guitar Lessons with Spencer Drake will begin on Tuesday, and will continue weekly through Oct. 22. The lessons will run at the Reg Studio Theater from 7-8 p.m.
The class is intended for adults with no previous guitar experience and a desire to learn the instrument. The classes will cover guitar and guitar history, tuning, proper left and right hand technique, guitar warm ups, open and closed chords, how to read guitar music, basic chord progressions, and beginning scales for guitar. The final class will culminate in the students learning to play a song on the guitar.
Students will need an acoustic or electric guitar. No amplifiers are allowed. Handouts will be provided for the course material. Students are encouraged to take notes.
Drake has been a private guitar instructor at Chautauqua Music and Germaine and Pappalardo Music since 2003. He completed a summer music program at Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2004. He currently plays lead guitar, bass and sings in Flashback and Kokomo Time, as well as plays bass and guitar for local school musicals and concerts. The five week course is $75 per participant.
Pre-register by calling 664-2465, ext. 227, or by emailing email@example.com.
The Reg Studio Theater is located at 108 E. Third St. in Jamestown. For more information visit reglenna.com.
Guest Poet To Speak At SUNY Fredonia: Matthew Olzmann, author of the poetry collection, "Mezzanines," will present his work on Thursday, Sept. 26, from 4-7 p.m. in 202 McEwen Hall. There will be an open discussion at 4 p.m. followed by a reading and book signing of his collection at 7 p.m.
Poems by Olzmann have appeared in the "Kenyon Review," "New England Review," "Inch," "Gulf Coast" and "Rattle." He has received fellowships from Kundiman, which is an organization dedicated to Asian American poetry, and the Kresge Arts Foundation in Detroit, and was a writer for the "InsideOut Literacy Arts" project. Olzmann teaches at Warren Wilson College, located in Swannanoa, N.C., and is the poetry editor of "The Collagist," an online literature publication.
In 2011, he was the poet-in-residence for the Lloyd Hall Scholars Program at the University of Michigan, where he earned his bachelor's degree. Olzmann also holds a Master of Fine Arts in writing from Warren Wilson College.
This free event, open to all campus and community members, is presented by the Department of English and the Mary Louise White Visiting Writers' series, a collection of nationally acclaimed visiting writers. Students gain insight into the writing process by working alongside poets brought to campus by the series.
Smokey Joe's Cafe Set As First Event Of The Newly Merged Reg Lenna Center For The Arts: Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, are a songwriting team known for transporting their audience to the 1950s and early 1960s, and their work is coming to Jamestown.
Smokey Joe's Cafe, a compelling rock 'n' roll musical that encompasses the timeless songs of the inventors of this music genre, Leiber and Stoller, features nearly 40 songs. The show will include: "On Broadway," "Hound Dog," "Jailhouse Rock," "Stand By Me," "Spanish Harlem," "Love Potion No. 9," "Young Blood," "Yakety Yak" and "I'm A Woman."
Tickets to the Saturday, Sept. 28, 8 p.m. show start at $20 and can be purchased at the Reg Lenna Box Office. The Reg Lenna Civic Center is located at 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown. For more information call 484-7070 or visit reglenna.com.
To include an upcoming show or event in this column, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 487-1111, ext. 253 by Monday.
Mark Mincarelli: 6-9 p.m., Southern Tier Brewing Company, 2072 Stoneman Circle in Lakewood.
Blue Grass Jam: 7-10 p.m., Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Celoron.
Cindy Love: 6-9 p.m., Wine Cellar, 309 N. Main St. in Jamestown.
The Short Bus: 8 p.m. to midnight, Bellini Lounge, Chautauqua Suites, 215 W. Lake Road (Route 394) in Mayville.
Doc And Bill: 6 p.m., The Corner Coffeehouse, 54 W. Main St. in Frewsburg.
Babes Of Wrath Roller Derby Final Home Bout: 6:30 p.m., Allen Park Ice Rink, 200 Elizabeth Ave. in Jamestown.
Sammy Slicker Band: 8-11 p.m., Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Celoron.
Ion Sky: 8 p.m. to midnight, Am Vets Club in Sugar Grove, Pa.
Grand Larseny: 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Peek 'n Peak, 1405 Olde Road in Findley Lake.
Doc And Bill: 3 p.m., Folk in Fredonia Series, Fredonia Opera House, 9 Church St. in Fredonia.