Friday, April 11, 2014

Win a Home Makeover--Be Amazed

Yes, that's a real pic of my real bedroom and those are my real slippers next to the bed.  We moved into our house two years ago and have done NOTHING with our bedroom.  It takes us forever to decide to buy something.  In fact, this furniture took us a year to find, agree on, and buy.  We aren't risk takers really.

But then I met Certa Pro painters, and they introduced me to Roger Hazard, formerly of Sell This House on A&E.  Roger is an interior designer who knows his stuff and he offered to come to Raleigh,  make our bedroom over, and film it for his new show, Roger That!

How could I say no?  I've spent a lifetime watching Trading Spaces and Sell this House and every other home transformation show there is.  Roger and Chris, his partner, are going to be at the Southern Ideal Home Show at the State Fairgrounds this weekend, so while they were in town, they came to do my bedroom.

This past Wednesday, a production truck showed up. There were like 5 people inside, including one guy named Dave who never seemingly got to leave the truck.

I would put these photos side by side but I am not that fancy.  Sorry.

My cat, Tim, who hates everyone for the most part, loved the crew and hung out all day both days. My other cat, Charlie, who loves everyone, HATED the crew and hid for two days.  I don't understand cats.

A blurry pic of the crew petting Tim, who lapped it up.

We were kicked out of the house a lot so that we didn't see some of the DIY projects that Roger and Chris were doing.  When I came home on Wednesday, Certa Pro was there, so I knew painting was afoot! While the painting went on upstairs, Chris chatted with me about my room before hand.  He asked why I chose what I did, why I kept the bedding I did, etc.  I was NOT allowed upstairs, and neither was my fiance, which worked out because he was away on business.

 Then, I made both Roger and Chris pose with me outside my house for posterity.  But that was the extent of my time inside my house on Wednesday.

We stayed in a hotel on Wednesday night, and were basically kicked out on Thursday, too, so everything could be finished.   We were finally allowed back in on Thurday night around 6pm.  For the first time in my life, I am SPEECHLESS at how awesome it looked.  

Amazing, right?!?!?!  See the full gallery of before and after pics here--I've included pictures of my living room and my fiance's office because they pulled our white chair from our living room and the Union Jack pillow is from my fiance's office, which is the green room in the before pictures.

The bed is from Roger and Chris's own furniture company, which, BTW--is made in the USA in North Carolina. The lamps were ours, but they put new shades on them and used fabric to make them custom.  They also brought in one of my favorite vintage radios I've had in the living room and a print my sister in law did.  (She's an artist, it's the one above the white chair.)  

This was an amazing experience.  I am so excited about it and I want you to have it, too.  Click THIS LINK and register to win your own home makeover from Roger and Chris--you have to enter by 8pm on Saturday 4/12, and you've gotta be within 15 miles of the Southern Ideal Home Show at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.  

Roger and Chris are at the Southern Ideal Home Show all weekend.  Go by and see one of their Q & As, or just say hello.  They're GREAT guys, and the production team will be there too.  I wonder if they'll let Dave out of the truck?  

I'll stop by there Sunday 11am-1pm if ya wanna come say hey.

Follow Roger on Twitter, like him on Facebook and follow on Pinterest.
Follow Chris on Twitter and on Facebook  
Visit Roger + Chris online  at 
And, do yourself a favor and watch this commercial Chris made for their furniture company when they lived in Austin, TX.  It's a few years old, but it's just freaking hysterical:

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Be Cool and Check Out the Full Frame Film Festival This Weekend in Durham

You know that the folks behind Durham's Full Frame Documentary Film Festival mean business when they open their annual event with The Kid Stays in the Picture. The 2002 film about legendary Hollywood producer Robert Evans may be the most entertaining documentary ever made.

Full Frame is underway now, but it isn't too late to get tickets and check out some of the classic documentaries and films making their world premier including Sex(Ed) the Movie. It explores how we (the TV generation) learned about the birds and the bees through pop culture. That may be the movie I'm most looking forward to seeing. It makes it's debut on Thursday afternoon at 4:00, but Full Frame dedicates its final day to awards and encores of the festival's most popular films.

The real highlight this year is a panel celebrating the 20th anniversary of Hoop Dreams. Director Steve James (who is the subject of this year's Full Frame Tribute) will be on hand along with the movie's subjects Shelia Agee and Arthur Agee Jr. to discuss the movie's lasting impact.

You can find out more and get tickets to any movie screening at the festival by clicking here.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Behind the Scenes with DPAC on Broadway

Earlier this year, I went on a super-secret trip with the folks from DPAC to New York.  They were getting their 2014-2015 SunTrust Broadway Series ready.  But before it was going to be announced, ABC 11 was doing a special on all the upcoming shows, and I got to come along for the ride along with my colleague Brian Freeman from News Radio 680 WPTF.  We were going to interview all kinds of people who have North Carolina ties, but are a BIG deal on Broadway.  People like Terrence Mann, and Charlotte D'Amboise, who are basically Broadway legends.  People who have multiple Tony Awards for their work, like costume designer and Raleigh native William Ivey Long.  People like Martin Charnin, a guy who is one "O" away from his EGOT.  (That's abbreviation for Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards.) The most powerful female producer on Broadway, Daryl Roth.  I have interviewed scores of celebrities in my lifetime, but suddenly, with all of these powerful, successful people around me...

...I was scared.

I went into overdrive, prepping to talk to these people, all of whom now have shows that will be hitting the road and coming to DPAC in their 2014-2015 season.  I watched Angela Hampton from ABC 11 interview William Ivey Long backstage at Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella:

The guy is fascinating.  He spent the first three years of his life LIVING in the stage-right dressing room at the Raleigh Little Theatre.  He does the Lost Colony on the Outer Banks every year, and gets super famous Broadway folks to do it with him.  He designed ALL of the sumptuous costumes you see in that pic.  He is also, by the way, hysterical, sweet, and incredibly interesting.  Cinderella is part of DPAC's shows next year, and it's truly magical.  Here's a shot of Jennie Lanning from DPAC, me, Angela Hampton from ABC 11, and Brian Freeman from News Radio 680 WPTF seeing the show that night:

The stage at Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella before the show at the Broadway Theatre.

Here's where Brian and I set up shop to interview these people.  It was at the theater in Times Square where the Lion King is:

If you watch Good Morning America, look at the bottom of the window.  There's ABC News and their ticker.

Here's a better view.  It was Super Bowl weekend--yes, that's the Lombardi Trophy over there.

While I waited for the people I was interviewing to arrive, Rachel from DPAC snuck me into the theater.  I got to make my Broadway debut!

Well, okay, no one was interested.  Like, at all.  But still!  A Broadway stage!

Now, I've always sort of been a Broadway nerd.  My parents took me to see the touring production of Annie in like 1980.  Click the link and hear me talk to Martin Charnin, the guy who licensed the Annie comic from the newspaper in the 70s and turned it into a smash.  He tries to goad me into singing "It's a Hard Knock Life."  How can I sing that for him?!? I'm no Andrea McArdle (come on, Broadway nerds, I know you get that joke!) Plus, the guy has a Grammy, a Tony, two Emmys, a freakin' Peabody, and two Drama Desk awards.    Annie is at DPAC December 9-14th.  Not gonna lie, Miss Hannigan.  I can't wait.  

Motown is coming, it's all about Berry Gordy and his rise to fame.  But did you know that the guy who put it on stage went to Duke, was pre-med, was sitting on the steps on East Campus one day and was like, "uh, I want to be on Broadway?"  So he quit the pre-med program at  Duke, and graduated with honors.  He went to Alvin Ailey (school of dance that African-Americans are known for) and trained with the Royal Shakespeare Company in London.  He was so happy to see us that he told Brian and me he wants to come visit us on opening night.  Motown: The Musical is known as a jukebox musical in that it uses the whole Motown catalog.  It's at DPAC February 17-22 of next year.  

We spoke with Eleanor Bergstein, the woman who wrote the movie Dirty Dancing and turned it into a West End smash in London.  That's coming to DPAC with more 60s music than was even in the movie.  It'll be in town September 16-21.

We spoke with everyone who was anyone.  It was truly a whirlwind day.  In addition to the folks above, we chatted with: 

  •  Daryl Roth and her producing partner.  A woman who has SEVEN Pulitzer-Prize winning plays under her belt.  She produced Kinky Boots, and Cyndi Lauper wrote all the music.  It's a pretty awesome musical based on the British movie about a guy who wants to save his family shoe factory and turns it into a place that makes boots for drag queens.  Check out Kinky Boots at DPAC March 10-15.
  • Laurence Connnor, the Englishman who has helped re-stage Phantom of the Opera.  I got him to do a John Lennon-like accent.  My fiance Neil is from the same area as he has worked, so we chatted about that.  See Phantom at DPAC October 8-19.
Adam Kaplan, the 21 year old who just got his big break and is appearing in Newsies.  You know Newsies.  If you don't, just Google Christian Bale and Newsies.  You'll be reminded of the singing newspaper boys right away.  It's now a smash musical, and will be at DPAC June 2-7 2015.

Lastly, we spoke with Charlotte D'Amboise and Terrence Mann.  I guess we saved the best for last, for real. These guys are basically Broadway royalty.  Terrence created the role of Rum Tum Tugger in Cats years ago, he made Javert in Les Mis.  He WAS Beast in Beauty and the Beast.  And now, he stars in Pippin.  But!  Did you also know he's a professor of musical theater at Western Carolina University?  That he and Charlotte, who has been Roxie Hart in Chicago, has starred in Sweet Charity, and who met her husband while they both were in Cats, have started a camp for kids in  North Carolina who want to get on stage?  It's called Triple Arts.  They teach you to be a triple threat:  acting, dancing, and singing.  They came to Raleigh in February and had tryouts for locals.  They have strong North Carolina ties, and click the link to hear Terrence talk about how North Carolina saved his life.  

They both star in Pippin, which will be at DPAC May 12-17 2015. See what their camp for kids is all about by visiting

DPAC has so many shows coming, it's an amazing season.  And, that's why they're calling it their "I Love New York" season.  Shows that have been tried and true over time will visit us in the Triangle next year, and ones that are new and fresh will be here, too.  As a Broadway nerd at heart, I can't wait.  

Get season tickets now for DPAC's 2014-2015 SunTrust Broadway series at


Here are some more pics from the trip:

shhh!  Quiet!

It was cool to see this cape on stage later.  I made sure to be on the lookout for it.

William Ivey Long takes Angela into the "closet" where all the costumes are stored

The horses for Cinderella's carriage.  They are stored above the stage until show time.

They sent a limo for us at the airport.  Good idea in theory...bad idea if you're me, a person who gets car sick super easy.  Blurgh.

It was fancy, though.  And pretty ballin'.

Monday, March 3, 2014

A St. Baldrick's Day Thank You

People of the Triangle, thank you.  Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

Because of your generosity this past Saturday on Glenwood South, there's now more than $280 thousand dollars in St. Baldrick's coffers.  That's $280 thousand dollars to try to end childhood cancers.  You gave of your hearts, of your hair, and selflessly.  We've heard your stories, we've seen some of your tears.  For the last 9 years, Foster and I have been proud to be a part of the day, emceeing, talking to people, hearing stories and being truly amazed by how much money has been raised by so many people.  We're often blown away by small children raising tens of thousands of dollars all on their own, simply because they want to help other children who aren't as fortunate as they are.  When we meet those kids, we're often reminded that as adults, many of us are not that selfless.  And it's partly why we love being a part of the Glenwood South event every year.

Two hundred and eighty THOUSAND DOLLARS.  In one day.  We look forward to beating that number next year.  In the meantime, check out some pictures from Saturday here.  We can't wait to help the Triangle go bald again!


Like Alli Morgan on Facebook or follow her on Twitter

Monday, February 24, 2014

RIP Kelly Holland

In the spring of 1993, I was a junior at Syracuse University and my friend and I had part-time gigs at local radio stations.  One day, I was visiting Scooter in his studio at Syracuse rock station 95x when he waved a CD single in the air.  "Dude", he said excitedly.  "You've got to hear this.  It's gonna be the song of the summer."  The song was "Peace Pipe" by a band called Cry of Love.

Fast forward 10 years later, and I'm a newbie at 96rock when a guy by the name of Warren Hall sets up a meeting with me.  Warren had just started a burgeoning website called, and he brought along a guy who played in a local cover band called Crush to discuss an event we were promoting together.  He introduced himself as Kelly Holland, and I couldn't quite figure out where I knew that name from.  "Kelly used to play in a band called Cry of Love", Warren mentioned.  My mouth literally dropped.

Kelly Holland had one of the great voices in rock, and Cry of Love was a band loaded with talent - other members moved on to Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Black Crowes - but Kelly was only with the band for one album.  It was, by far, the band's biggest album, and by measure of Billboard charting ("Peace Pipe" was a #1 Billboard mainstream rock hit), Cry of Love was one of the most successful bands to come out of Raleigh.

Over the years, he played in various local bands including drums & vocals for Crush, the most well-known Triangle cover band.  Those that got a chance to see him were treated to one of Raleigh's best.

Kelly Holland died of a severe abdominal infection early this morning at the age of 52.

Here is the obituary from the News & Observer's David Menconi:

Rest in Peace.

P.R.O. (Petty RadioHead Officer)

Monday, February 17, 2014

NC Auto Expo Fun!

The NC International Auto Expo was held at the State Fairgrounds over the weekend, and undoubtedly got off to a rough start on opening day Thursday thanks to a little winter storm that made its way through our area.

Fortunately by the time the weekend rolled around, folks were sick of cabin fever and ready to get out of the house to see some cars!

It's one of the best family events around, as kids love to get in the cars and take pictures while the grown ups ooh and aah over some of the finest luxury cars seen anywhere like Ferraris and a $315,000 Aston Martin - shaken, not stirred.

The NC International Auto Expo is also a huge automobile showroom, with 2014 and brand new 2015 cars and trucks available to see and test drive.

Radio 96.1 and DJ Collin Y hosted car-themed Jeopardy on Saturday morning - overall, an awesome event!

Radio 96.1

Monday, February 10, 2014

Billy Joel Concert Review

I'll admit - I'm a big, big Billy Joel fan.

There are some artists of which you know the hits, and some you know most of the catalog - and I'm pretty intimate with most Billy Joel albums.  Having seen him in concert numerous times over the years, I know the general drill - you'll usually get a high energy greatest hits set, with a spot or two for a rare nugget for the hardcore fans.

Now that Billy has been at it for 40 years, he's made it clear he doesn't just want to play the hits anymore - and that was made evident from the get go at PNC Arena last night with the opener "Miami 2017".  The first 45 minutes of the show was filled with great moments of joy for huge fans (otherwise known as bathroom breaks for casual fans).  This included songs like "Summer, Highland Falls" (my favorite Billy Joel song), "Zanzibar", and "Sometimes A Fantasy".

As I predicted on Twitter, Billy (who has claimed the Beatles appearance on Ed Sullivan inspired him to pursue a career in music) played a Beatles cover last night, on the 50th anniversary of that show - in fact he played three Beatles songs.  "Can't Buy Me Love", "The Night Before", and "She Loves You" all sounded fantastic.

As usual, the audience was bombarded with hits in the last hour.  I don't think you'll ever see a Billy Joel show lacking "Movin' Out", "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant", "Piano Man", "You May Be Right", "It's Still Rock n Roll To Me", or "Only The Good Die Young" (though he oddly swapped out "Big Shot" for "We Didn't Start the Fire").

Billy's voice was in better form than it's been in many years.  While in the recent past he's used background singers for the high notes, this time he was nailing even the most challenging of them.  Radio 96.1 and DJ Collin Y hosted Billy Joel karaoke before the show, making it a memorable evening from start to finish.

P.R.O. (Petty RadioHead Officer)
Radio 96.1