The Royal Treatment
“We Will Rock You,” a touring show that finds the music of legendary rockers Queen powering the battle against a dystopian future, arrives in Columbus this month.
January 2014 Issue
January 2014 Digest
The music of Queen hits Columbus, former NFL player Al "Bubba" Baker talks "Shark Tank" and more.
Before lifelong Queen fan Brian Justin Crum landed the role of Galileo in the touring production of “We Will Rock You,” he had one daunting task: audition for the part in front of the legendary British rock band’s virtuoso guitarist, Brian May.
“I had to wipe a silly grin off my face,” recalls Crum. “I sang ‘We Are the Champions,’ and by the end of the song Brian had tears in his eyes and raised his fist.”
A popular fixture in London’s West End for the last 12 years, “We Will Rock You” debuted in the United States last October in Baltimore, with May making a guest appearance on stage. The show comes to the Palace Theatre in Columbus Jan. 7–12.
Created by British comedian and writer Ben Elton and backed by actor Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Theatrical Productions, the show isn’t a biography of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury or the group, nor is it a traditional musical. Its often-satirical message is one of the perils of globalization and the suppression of individual expression.
The lavish futuristic production is set on iPlanet, where a corporation controls daily life. Everyone watches the same movies, wears the same clothes and thinks the same thoughts. All music is computer generated and musical instruments have been banned. But an alliance of rebel Bohemians awaits a hero who can restore the power of rock ’n’ roll to the people — powered by the music of Queen, naturally.
Crum says audiences for the show so far have been an eclectic mix of theater subscribers, diehard Queen fans and a new, younger generation of followers.
“We have a great band with us that kills it every night,” says Crum, who appeared on Broadway in shows such as “Next to Normal” and “Wicked.” “And I’ve never heard an audience laugh as hard as they do for this show. Ben’s script is more relevant today than it ever was.” — Barry Goodrich
For more information about “We Will Rock You” in Columbus, visit capa.com. To learn more about the touring show’s other dates, visit wewillrockyou.com
3 Questions: A Pig Deal
Former Cleveland Browns defensive lineman and restaurant owner Al “Bubba” Baker talks “Shark Tank,” business versus football and building a better rib.
Facing down a fierce opponent from across the line of scrimmage was child’s play compared to what Al “Bubba” Baker went through during his appearance on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” The 1978 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and owner of Bubba’s Q World Famous Bar-B-Q & Catering in Avon, had to survive the show’s cut from 35,000 applicants to 22 finalists and then come up with a 2-minute, 7-second pitch to win financial backing for his patented, de-boned baby back rib steaks. “I broke out in a sweat like I was running a marathon,” says Baker, who landed $300,000 from FUBU clothing line founder Daymond John in exchange for a 30 percent stake in his food company. “It was the most intense thing I’ve ever done in my life.” — BG
1. How has your life changed since your “Shark Tank” episode aired in December?
A: By the end of the night, my Twitter followers had gone from just under 500 to over 2,700, and these are people from all over the world. That night we had a new website up, and two days later we headed to Missouri to work with a major meat processor. I’m in the best company I could be with my wife and daughter. We know we wouldn’t be in this position without God’s blessing.
2. What inspired you to create boneless baby back ribs?
A: My wife, Sabrina, does not like eating messy foods. There are three things about barbecued ribs: they are messy, it’s a process to cook them and when you buy them you get charged for the bones. For over 20 years, I took thousands of notes on [cooking] times, temperatures and perfecting a brine. I knew going in how hard it was going to be. If I had a nickel for every person who said I couldn’t do this, I wouldn’t have needed to go on the show.
3. Is there a similarity between pro football and the business world?
A: Resistance. You would not believe how many people told me I couldn’t play football. Nobody thought I could get a patent on a food process. In sports you have a conditioning coach who applies resistance until you can’t handle it. In business there are days you can’t pick up everything by yourself. [Heinen’s Fine Foods’] Tom Heinen grabbed the bar when I was in trouble. He was the first businessperson to believe in the vision. That resistance is there to make you stronger. On the other side of all the heartbreak and discouragement is joy.
| Fascinating objects from our past
Early 20th Century McSavaney Sign Co. Sign
In the earliest days of Ohio, as store-owners, craftsmen and innkeepers opened for business, a well-carved, carefully painted sign was a terrific investment. Occasionally, even after businesses closed, owners couldn’t bear to part with their sign and tucked it away for safekeeping. Today, a lifestyle focus on repurposing and industrial-chic design trends has elevated trade signs to newfound glory. In recent years, some examples have sold for tens of thousands of dollars at auction. Of particular interest are signs from the 19th century, three-dimensional signs and examples with particularly witty or ironic slogans. The McSavaney Sign Co. made this double-sided tin sign for the Imperial Restaurant in Springfield in the early 20th century. Some of our favorite trade signs have been simple, hand-painted versions for small businesses across Ohio, including great names like “Buckeye Beer.” But beyond a name, it’s hard to resist terrific dimensional examples like the carved signs made for optometrists, cobblers and barbers. Even more recent examples from the 1960s and ’70s make a great conversation-starter when hung on a wall. — Amelia Jeffers
Amelia Jeffers is co-owner of Garth’s Auctioneers & Appraisers in Delaware.
It’s winter, so embrace the fluffy stuff. No matter where you live in the state, there’s a place to hit the slopes within a two-hour drive . Here’s a guide to three skiing and tubing spots. — Lauren Cohen
Mad River Mountain
1000 Snow Valley Rd., Zanesfield 43360, 937/599-1015, skimadriver.com
As Ohio’s largest ski resort, Mad River Mountain is also home to the state’s largest snow-making system. “We cater to everyone,” says general manager Greg Fisher. “There are designated areas based on experience, so that you can feel comfortable riding and skiing with people at the same level.” First-time skiers can take advantage of the Never-ever Package, which includes a lift ticket, ski rental and one-hour group lesson for $80. Number of Trails:
24 Vertical Drop:
300 feet Snow Tubing:
The Avalanche Tubing Park (above) offers 10 lanes stretching 1,000 feet. Where to Stay: Comfort Inn and Briarwood Sporting Club, five miles away in nearby Bellefontaine, offer discounted overnight rates for skiers and riders visiting Mad River Mountain.
Brandywine & Polar Blast: 1146 W. Highland Rd., Sagamore Hills 44067
Boston Mills: 7100 Riverview Rd., Peninsula 44264, 330/657-2334, bmbw.com
The two Cuyahoga Valley National Park locations, just five minutes apart by car, offer skiing and snowboarding as well as private, semi-private and group ski lessons for those who’ve never hit the slopes. The Pick-A-Day Pass ($299–$429, purchase deadline Jan. 17) offers guests the opportunity to ski or snowboard at either location one day each week. Number of Trails:
18 Vertical Drop:
240 feet Snow Tubing:
Take a plunge down one of Brandywine’s 20 tubing lanes. “Everyone is taking advantage of it,” says resort product manager Steve Mackle, “especially with the conveyor belt that takes you up.” Where to Stay:
Accommodations are available at the Baymont Inn & Suites in nearby Boston Heights.
341 Resort Dr., Butler 44822, 419/883-2000, clearforkski.com
After sitting dormant for nearly six years, the Clear Fork ski resort is reinventing itself, with a new vision for its 192 acres. The resort is ideal for families looking for less-crowded slopes and individual attention from instructors. As the leader of the resort’s updating process, general manager Kelly Donaldson has high hopes for making Clear Fork a destination resort. “My vision is to bring on-site lodging by next year, along with more refined fine dining for our guests.” Number of Trails:
10 Vertical Drop:
300 feet Snow Tubing:
The Northern Lights Tubing Park features 10 lanes, including two kid-friendly lanes. Where to Stay:
The Comfort Inn & Splash Harbor Water Park or Quality Inn & Suites, both in Bellville.