Local organizations to compete in the Ultimate Lip Sync Showdown

09 lip syncDue to the spread of COVID-19, as a precaution, the Ultimate Lip Sync Showdown has been postponed. The new date is June 20. The location and time remain the same (Crown Ballroom, 6 p.m. Social Hour & 7 p.m. Show Time). For patrons who purchased tickets for the March 21 show, you may use the same tickets for the June 20 show. There is no need to exchange them for new tickets. For patrons who purchased tickets but are unable to use their tickets for the June 20 show and who wish to receive a refund, please follow these instructions:

  • If tickets were purchased online, you may call the Crown Center box office at 910438-4100 to be refunded electronically. Tickets will be refunded in the manner in which they were paid.
  • If tickets were purchased in person at the Crown Center box office, you must go to the box office for a refund and present a valid ID. Tickets will be refunded in the manner in which they were paid.
  • Requests for refunds must be made by May 1, 2020.

Sponsors who received tickets as part of their sponsor benefits will be contacted directly by the CAC.

It’s a safe to wager that most people have spent some time lip syncing to their favorite jams. Whether it’s when a catchy song plays on the radio or a tune worth foot-tapping for plays in a movie, some bops are hard not to mouth the words to. In Fayetteville’s Ultimate Lip Sync Showdown, which will take place March 21 at 6 p.m. in the Crown Ballroom,  local organizations and individuals take their best lip sync routines to the stage and go head-to-head for a great cause.

The event’s proceeds make up about 20% of the annual budget for the Child Advocacy Center, the nonprofit charitable organization that puts on the event. The CAC serves the community in a variety of ways, with outreach programs, child abuse awareness campaigns, teaching programs, and of sex-trafficking awareness initiatives, to name a few. In the fiscal year of 2019, the CAC served 730 children.

 Julia Adkins, who is the chair of Fayetteville’s Ultimate Lip Sync Showdown, projects that the upcoming event will, as it always is, be a huge success. “This is our 4th year,” Adkins said, “In the past 3 years, we’ve raised $30,000 each year. The Showdown is on track to be another sellout show, and we are excited — truly blessed.”

This year, there are 14 acts. The organizers of the event invited competitors from years past to compete again, but new contenders will be ready to face off as well. Among the competitors, law enforcement, schools, healthcare professionals and local businesses are represented.

Last year, the winning group performed a song from “The Greatest Showman.” This year, Adkins said a variety of popular hits include songs by Cher, Lizzo, Ike and Tina Turner and the Backstreet Boys.

While the primary purpose of participating in the Ultimate Lip Sync Showdown is supporting the CAC, contenders are also competing for the Top Fundraiser, People’s Choice Award, Best Choreography, Best Costume and the highest of the honors, Fayetteville’s Ultimate Lip Sync Stars. Trophies and plaques are awarded to the winners.
 The judges are Toni King, Tim Edwards, Victoria Hardin and Bill Bowman. The emcees are Michael Brash and Taylor Morgan.

“My favorite part is being able to watch the crowd’s reaction, who are giving up their time, coming together for such a great cause, and that’s for the children,” Adkins said.
Another feature of the event is the raffle. The prizes are a 55-inch TV, an iPad and a “weekend getaway in the ‘ville,” which covers a hotel stay and gift certificates to local businesses for a perfect “staycation.” Tickets are $5 or five for $20.

 Hors d’oeuvres, desserts and cocktails are provided by Blue Pineapple, Burney’s, Caruso Confections, Dairy Queen, Freddy’s and Rosalia’s. The green room is provided by Chick-fil-a.

Adkins admires the generosity of the competitors. “They give up their time and their money,” Adkins said. “They don’t care if they don’t win. They just want to support a great cause.”

The Ultimate Lip Sync Showdown is March 21 at 6 p.m. Tickets are still available at the  Cape Fear Tix website. While tickets will be sold at the door if they are available, they have been sold out in years past, and Adkins recommends that tickets are purchased in advance.

Casting Crowns coming to the Crown

12 concertIn a recent conversation with songwriter Mark Hall of Casting Crowns, we laughed over the irate response to their first single to Christian radio back in 2003. The song was, “If We Are The Body,” which asks us — the church — if we are collectively here as the hands, the feet, the heart of Jesus, why are we not reaching, touching and going to everyone, everywhere?

Within weeks of the time the song played in Fayetteville at WCLN, we received a call from a missionary home on sabbatical who asked, “Who is this band, and what gives them the right to level this sort of judgment?”

No more an affront to Christians than saying “We need to clean up this city” to a town council, the song was as much a surprise to the band as a first radio single as anyone else. During our phone call, the man who penned the song commented that the record label made the decision, and that they realized the band would be coming out swinging.

Casting Crowns, after nearly 20 years of Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, Grammy nominations and No. 1 songs stacked as high as one could hope, are bringing their unique sound — now a staple of Christian radio and playlists far and wide — to the Crown Theatre on Saturday, March 14.
Lead man Mark Hall and his wife, Melanie, still serve as youth workers at their home church in south Atlanta, and they only do so many dates per year — always ending up back home for their weekly gatherings on Sunday.

Casting Crowns began as the student worship band that Hall formed while he was serving at First Baptist Daytona Beach in 1999. Since then, they have moved their home base to Georgia, amassed a string of chart-topping songs and albums and developed a musical following others merely dream of.

The “Only Jesus” Tour features another songwriter who also brings his share of radio hits and accolades to the table. Matthew West, who came on the scene about the same time as Casting Crowns has scored numerous top 10 singles and was the 2018 Gospel Music Association Songwriter of the Year.

The performance at the Crown is March 14 at 7 p.m. Visit www.crowncomplexnc.com/events/ to buy tickets.

Cape Fear Regional Theatre presents ‘Murder For Two’

09 Murder for two There is nothing I like better than a good mystery. A “whodunit” novel, a thrilling Lifetime TV movie, a Hallmark movie mystery, or an Angela Lansbury “Murder She Wrote” storyline will tantalize most anyone’s taste buds. And who doesn’t love to laugh and have fun along my life’s way? “Murder for Two,” an off-Broadway hit, has come to Cape Fear Regional Theatre, March 5-22. This play offers everything to everyone. Music, mystery, laughter and fun are just a few of the things awaiting audiences. There will also be a surprise or two, promising to enhance your theater experience. Previewed in New York in 2013 and later in Houston, Texas, this music and mystery collaboration was authored by Joe Kinosian who wrote the book and music and Kellen Blair who wrote the book and lyrics.

Usually, the characteristics of any good mystery include “who,” “what,” “when” and “where” to create the storyline. The New York and Houston productions are important to note because they brought together two incredible musicians and actors by the name of Trace Pool and Ben Miller — the who of our production. Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting these polished and experienced actors who are handsome, delightful, yet unassuming as they describe the challenging roles they will soon recreate onstage at CFRT. Pool and Miller take their roles seriously and see them as an empowering way to stretch their creativity.

However, Pool balances his role well when he describes it as “zany acting while playing other crazy antics at the same time.”

Miler balances his thoughts about his role in much the same way while looking at it as “an Agatha Christie meets the Marx Brothers spoof.”

One of these guys will play the investigator and one plays the other 13 roles. Both will play the piano while acting as well.

New Yorker Laura Josepher, the director, is the “what” of this rib-tickling musical mystery and has the experience, fun and flexible personality that will blend together the actors’ talents, the storyline, the music, the staging and the set costuming that it will take to orchestrate and present this new and innovative style of theater to Fayetteville.
This 90 minutes of fast-paced comedy is designed to put a smile on the face of all those who attend. The When of “Murder for Two” runs March 5-22, with special events March 5, Wine & Beer Tasting; March 6, Clue Night; March 7, Opening Night Reception; and March 12, Dueling Pianos, with all times from 6:45 – 7:15 p.m.
The “where” of this madcap adventure will be the Cape Fear Regional Theatre, 1209 Hay Street, Fayetteville. 

Put a spring in your step at “The Carolina Spring Show”

11 01 Organizers of shoppingDue to the spread of COVID-19, as a precaution, The Carolina Spring Show has been cancelled.


Spring arrives early in Fayetteville with the advent of The Carolina Spring Show and Miss Carolina Spring pageant March 14 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Crown Ballroom. The budding event brings shopping, entertainment, food, fun, prizes and pageantry to chase the doldrums of winter away.

Women’s View Magazine, The Fayetteville Observer and Dream Girl Events proudly present the inaugural expo created by event co-owners and Fayetteville businesswomen Marie Rudolph and Donna Meixsell. Friends for over 20 years, the pair founded Dream Girl Events LLC in August 2019 to express their shared vision for the celebration, empowerment, personal growth and development of and for women.

The third in a series of events from the company this year, The Carolina Spring Show and Miss Carolina Spring pageant, is their hallmark happening and promises, according to Meixsell, “good, clean family fun and an event to make Fayetteville proud.”

Meixsell shared her goals for what she and Rudolph hope will become an annual occurrence.

“We’re inviting the best of Fayetteville and bringing the best to Fayetteville, all in one convenient location for a fabulous day of shopping with a variety of vendors for both men and women. The pageant will be going on throughout the day with onstage entertainment in between competitions for everyone’s viewing enjoyment. We encourage all to come out to support the community, local businesses and our young pageant contestants in what is shaping up as a phenomenal spring experience.”

11 02 spring show shoppersThe Carolina Spring Show has a great line-up of retail vendors, with the list growing daily.

Attendees can visit booths for wine tasting, clothing, jewelry, makeup, skincare, home decor, custom gifts, photography, designer jewelry, crafts and more.

Pageant purveyors will be on-site, featuring dresses, shoes and custom pageant apparel as well as bridal and formal attire. To bring on the bling, visit the custom costume jewelry booth of MHR Designs of Fayetteville, owned by Rudolph for the last 28 years. Uniquely hand designed with crystals from Swarovski® Crystal America, MHR pieces have been worn by TV personalities, local, state and national pageant contestants, as well as lovers of exquisite jewelry from all over.

Food choices include selections from Village Coffee House, Firehouse Subs, Rock of Ages Winery and food trucks. A man cave area will give male attendees a hangout space if they shop ‘til they drop. No fair, say you, females? No worries, anyone can crash in the cave.

The Carolina Spring Pageant takes center stage in the Crown Ballroom from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Categories include seven age groups: Baby Miss, birth-23 months; Wee Miss, 2-3 years; Tiny Miss, 4-6 years; Little Miss, 7-9 years; Young Miss, 10-12 years; Teen Miss, 13-15 years; and Miss, 16-19 years. Their age determines a contestant’s age group on the day of the pageant.

Picture 1: Donna Meixsell (left) and Marie Rudolph (right) founded Dream Girl Events, LLC in Aug. 2019 to express their shared vision for the celebration, empowerment, personal growth and development of and for women.

Contestants will be judged in a party or pageant dress of choice, in the categories of physical appearance, poise, stage presence and behavior. One winner from each age category will be crowned at the event, receiving a title, crown, trophy and swag bag of goodies.

Rudolph — MHR owner, designer and sponsor for the Miss North Carolina and Miss America Outstanding Teen pageants, and business partner Meixsell — a former Miss Fayetteville Dogwood, previous pageant system owner and teacher turned present-day senior sales director with MaryKay Cosmetics — are no strangers to the stage. Rather than buy a franchise, the pair decided to combine their talents and create a new pageant brand.

“Some people have the wrong perception of pageants due to TV and reality shows like “Toddlers and Tiaras,” explained Rudolph. “Such shows are not realistic and to the extreme. Meanwhile, other real pageants have had controversies. We want to show the positive side of the pageant world. We desire to help our contestants feel good about themselves and learn to compete in a good, healthy way, and having had a good experience and fun.”

“Pageants can be a great way to pay for college,” Meixsell continued. “The titles I earned helped me to pay my college costs, and I was not a girl who grew up doing pageants. It is important to us to help young women and girls become the best version of themselves possible.”

Between pageants, the fun continues with door prizes and local musicians and dance troupes providing onstage entertainment. Another highlight is the 50/50 raffle opportunity benefiting the nonprofit Fisher House Foundation, with tickets available for purchase at the event door.

Building homes where military and veterans families can stay free of charge while a loved one is in the hospital, FHF provides a hotel alternative and place of respite very close to the hospital or treatment facility. Located at military and Veterans Affairs medical centers around the world, the program saves military and veterans’ families time, money and stress during what is often the most stressful of situations: a health crisis. The Fisher House Foundation has saved military families an estimated $451 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation to date.

“We are both military wives with husbands retired from service,” said Rudolph. “We feel a strong commitment to the military community and are happy to have this opportunity to support The Fisher House Foundation at Ft. Bragg.”

Previous projects for Dream Girl Events in the past year were the Friday Night Live Fantasy Fashion Show event and Shop ‘til You Drop Christmas Expo. The successful events return this year on Sept. 18 and Nov. 21, respectively.

For more information on The Carolina Spring Show and the Miss Carolina Spring Pageant, visit  https://www.dreamgirlevents.com/. Tickets are $6, available on the website or at the Crown box office. Event admission is free for patrons with military identification.

So, put the cold, wet winter days behind you and a spring in your step this March 14. Grab some friends and head to The Carolina Spring Show for a fun Saturday of shopping and supporting youth, local businesses and a great cause.

Community Concerts hosts The Temptations and The Four Tops

13 commuinty concertsGreat entertainment. It’s what Community Concerts is known for. This all-volunteer organization has been bringing first-rate productions to Fayetteville since 1935. And well into its 84th season, the streak continues with two of Motown’s biggest groups — The Temptations and The Four Tops. The concert is set for Friday, March 6, at the Crown at 7:30 p.m.

Independently, the groups boast genre-defining hits and fan bases that span generations. Together, they bring an authentic musical experience that has audiences coming back again and again to hear favorites like  “It’s the Same Old Song,” “Something About You,” “Shake Me, Wake Me (When It’s Over),” “Loving You is Sweeter Than Ever” and “I Can’t Help Myself” from the Four Tops and  “My Girl,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” “I Wish It Would Rain” and “Treat Her Like a Lady” from The Temptations.

While the groups found success independently in the Motown era, they came together in 1983 for a television special called “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever.” Part of the show featured a battle of the bands between The Four Tops and The Temptations. There was such a great dynamic between the bands that they decided to take their performance on the road, touring off and on together ever since.

Founding member of The Temptations, Otis Williams, noted that even after 60 years, the band still delivers first-rate performances for its fans “For those that have seen us, we will be true to what they know and what we are known for is the high stepping, the sharp clothes and moving in synchronicity. We only know one way to be, and that is the Temptations.”

With six decades of music history behind the band and a bevy of honors to their name, The Temptations are as busy as ever. Williams’ story is the source for the smash-hit Broadway musical, “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations,” which opened on the Great White Way March 21, 2019, and received 12 Tony nominations and won the “Tony Award for Best Choreography” at the 73rd Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City  on June 10, 2019. On March 24, the audio edition of Williams’ critically acclaimed autobiography, Temptations, written by Williams with The New York Times best-selling writer Patricia Romanowski is set for release as an audiobook. The book was the source for the Emmy-Award Winning television miniseries, “Temptations,” and the current smash hit Broadway musical, “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations,” with the Tony-winning choreography. “Our journey as told through the lens of my life transcends generations and cultures,” said Williams. “There are so many wonderful things happening. The audiobook, the Broadway play, and we are getting ready to go into the studio and do our anniversary album. We have a lot of irons in the fire.”

Also founded in the 1960s, The Four Tops have influenced a variety of genres, including soul music, rhythm and blues, disco, adult contemporary, doo-wop, jazz and show tunes. Like The Temptations, The Four Tops have earned numerous awards including The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Vocal Group Hall of Fame and Grammy Hall Of Fame. Their music is timeless.

The last concert of the Community Concerts season is The Oakridge Boys. It is set for Thursday, May 21.

Community Concerts is definitely about concerts; it’s part of the group’s mission to bring “the finest in top-notch entertainment to Fayetteville, N.C. and the Fort Bragg/Cumberland County Community.” The organization is just as much about community, though, offering opportunities and programs that benefit many.

The organization founded the Fayetteville Music Hall of Fame in 2008 to honor people who bring musical distinction to the community. From performers to teachers to producers and more, Fayetteville’s music community’s story is celebrated and preserved here.

In 2004, Community Concerts started offering college scholarships to local high school students. Since its inception, the program has awarded 32 scholarships.

Local musicians of all ages benefit from the local artist showcase program, which showcases these performers with selected Community Concerts performances. Recently, Voices of the Heart appeared as an opener for Gladys Knight while children from the Linda Kinlaw School of Dance performed with Martina McBride. Local, emerging country music star Trae Edwards also performed at the Ricky Skaggs show.

Making great music available to as many people as possible embodies the spirit of the Community Concerts’ mission. So it makes sense that the organization would offer free concert opportunities to different groups with benefactors ranging from young children to senior citizens.  In recent seasons, recipients have included the Vision Resource Center, Urban Ministry, The Sunshine Center, members of local fire and police departments, high school theater art classes, members of our military, and many more.

For tickets and information about Community Concerts, visit http://www.community-concerts.com/ or search the event on Capefeartix.com.

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