Rich Heldenfels

Martinez Retires. Public-TV executive and friend of this column Lisa Martinez retires effective today from Western Reserve Public Media, the organization overseeing WNEO/WEAO (Channels 45/49).

Currently vice president of marketing and development, Martinez spent her entire career with the station, starting as a public information assistant in 1986 after completing graduate school at Kent State.

“I’d be hard pressed to name another person who is funnier, more intelligent and more articulate — and who has a greater passion for PBS — than Lisa,” Western Reserve President Trina Cutter said in a statement. “In the past seven years alone, she has increased individual membership giving by 18 percent. This is no easy feat when your business model depends on donations.”

Martinez secured more than $500,000 in funding for local productions and kept corporate underwriting and foundation support steady during the recent recession, Cutter said.

Tarantino Time. The Akron Civic will host a festival of Quentin Tarantino films on Sept. 14.

It includes, in order, Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, both written and directed by Tarantino; then From Dusk Till Dawn, directed by Robert Rodriguez but co-starring Tarantino (as well as George Clooney) and with a Tarantino screenplay.

Doors open at 4 p.m. with food vendors including Mr. Zub’s Deli, Marco’s Pizza, House of Hunan and Retro Dog on site until 11 p.m. The first movie starts at 6 p.m. and there will be a 30-minute intermission between shows.

Tickets are $12 and available at the Civic box office, by calling 330-253-2488 or TicketMaster at 800-745-3000 or visiting Two dollars from each ticket will go to the Akron Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Donovan in Chat. No, not Jim Donovan. The musician Donovan: Catch the Wind, Sunshine Superman, Mellow Yellow, Wear Your Love Like Heaven, Atlantis. Rock and roll hall of famer. Clear?

Anyway, he will give a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Series interview at Cuyahoga Community College’s Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts in the Black Box Theater (adjacent to the rock hall’s library and archives) at 7 p.m. Sept. 10. Lauren Onkey, vice president of education and public programs at the hall, will conduct the interview. There will also be an audience Q&A session.

Now the bad news: This is a rock hall members-only event. But if you are a member, the event is free with a reservation at or in person at the rock hall box office. Tickets are available at 10 a.m. Wednesday. There is a two-reservation limit per person.

More Music. Jazz trio BWB (Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum and Rick Braun) will perform with singer/pianist Lalah Hathaway at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5 in the Akron Civic as a benefit for the Akron General Heart and Vascular Center.

While the individual members of BWB are all acclaimed, their group collaborations began with 2002’s Groovin’, interpretations of songs by Booker T & the MGs, D’Angelo, Cannonball Adderley, the Isley Brothers and Alicia Keys. Their latest album, Human Nature, reworks songs associated with Michael Jackson. Hathaway is part of music royalty as the daughter of the late Donny Hathaway. She has been recording for more than 25 years, with other performers and in her own albums.

Reserved seats are $45, $55 or $65 by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or the Akron Civic Theatre at 330-253-2488, or online at

Planning Ahead: Hot in Cleveland’s much discussed reunion of stars from The Mary Tyler Moore Show will air at 10 p.m. Wednesday on TV Land. Mary Tyler Moore, Valerie Harper, Cloris Leachman, Hot’s own Betty White and recurring Hot player Georgia Engel are all participating. They all play former teammates on GLOB, the Gorgeous Ladies of Bowling, who according to TV Land “had a falling out decades ago after their championship season went to their heads.”

And while Harper has been battling brain cancer, there’s talk that this may not be her last TV appearance. She’s on the rumored list for the next cast of Dancing With the Stars. That official announcement will be Wednesday morning on Good Morning America.

Also … Check out Sunday’s Beacon Journal for my look at Northeast Ohio’s own Arsenio Hall as he prepares his return to late-night talk on Sept. 9. And, on, there’s a new installment of Two Guys Talkin’ with Malcolm X Abram and me discussing the recent hoo-rah over Miley Cyrus.

Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal and, including in the HeldenFiles Online blog, You can contact him at 330-996-3582 or