The PopCulteer
February 11, 2011

Dave’s Not Here

Charleston’s creative community lost one of its most positive forces this week. Dave Russell, a local filmmaker and supporter of the music, art and theater scenes in town, passed away little more than a week after suddenly falling ill.

Dave was a great guy in every sense of the word. He was always warm, smiling and receptive. He knew his way around a camera and proved it with his work at Razor Sharp Productions. I had the pleasure of working alongside Dave on a documentary shoot, and it was a load of fun.

It’s sad to see such a wonderful guy leave us at such a young age. Dave turned 40 last week in the hospital. He leaves behind two teen-aged daughters and scores of very saddened friends.

When someone is taken at this young an age, the natural response is anger. I’m mad that I won’t get the chance to work with Dave again or to pick his brain about new ways of working in film with no budget. I’m mad that he won’t get to see his daughters grow up. I’m mad that he won’t get to create his masterpiece. It’s also devastating that I won’t run into him at his old stomping ground, The Empty Glass again.

I know I’m not the only person who’s angry about this right now. Dave’s sudden passing is going to leave a huge void in the local arts scene. You will be greatly missed, buddy. PopCult sends our condolences to his family and loved ones, and his extended families at Razor Sharp Studios, The Empty Glass and WVSU.

In addition to his father and stepmother, he is survived by his children, Lauren Groseclose of Huntington and Amber Russell of Charleston; the love of his life, Cayde Cappellari and her children, Torrence and Darius, of Charleston; his sister, Aimee (Anita) Russell of Marietta, Ohio; three brothers, Chris (Jaimie) Russell of Morgantown and Ron (Lisa) Sams and Sam (Kristi) Sams, both of Mineral Wells; one niece and five nephews.

Funeral services will be conducted at 3 p.m. Sunday, February 13, at Lambert-Tatman Funeral Home, 2333 Pike St., Parkersburg, with the Rev. Rick Brown officiating.

The family will receive friends from noon until 8 p.m. Saturday and one hour prior to services on Sunday at the funeral home.

A guestbook is available for sharing online condolences at

In lieu of flowers, the David Russell Memorial Fund has been set up for contributions at Peoples Bank, 2107 Pike St., Parkersburg. The above photos is courtesy of Trina Drake.

Weekend Events

Another Norman Rockwell Masterpiece

Fans of original musical theater have the opportunity to see some of the best this weekend. Dan Kehde and Mark Scarpelli’s latest, “Norman Rockwell’s An American Love Story” can be seen Friday and Saturday at 8 PM, with a 2 PM matinee on Sunday. Tickets are ten dollars (six for students). The play is presented by CYAC at The WVSU Capital Center Theater, 123 Quarrier St.

I attended opening night last night, and this is yet another amazing work. Unlike Kehde and Scarpelli’s previous Norman Rockwell-based musical, “An American Love Story” carries a narrative throughout as it follows a young couple from childhood to young adulthood. You can see one song from the show in Radio Free Charleston this week (reposted below for your convenience) and in next week’s RFC you will get to see the full cast. This show is not to be missed.

RFC 118 "Not Kool Shirt" from Rudy Panucci on Vimeo.

Getting Nasty Without Pants

The No Pants Players kick off the new year with a filthy, nasty adults-only show at The Alban Theater in St. Albans Saturday night. Ten bucks gets you in the door, and the show starts at 9 PM, but this show not for the kids. You must be 18 or older to get in.

The NPP is West Virginia’s premiere improv group. Usually they do family-friendly shows, but once in a while they let their hair down and do things for which they should all feel deeply ashamed. Come on out and share the shame this weekend!


We have an embarrassment of riches once again in the capital city as Radio Free Charleston favorites are popping up all over town.

There will be a Charleston United Jam Session at The Blue Parrot tonight beginning at 8 PM. Musicians from all genre will come together to raise funds and awareness for one of the most exciting musical projects to come along in ages. Five dollars gets you in to witness the magic.

HarraH, Dead Face Down and The Scrap Iron Pickers will tear up the stage at The Sound Factory starting at 9 PM. Five bucks gets you in the door.

At 10 PM The Diablo Blues Band brings the blues to The Boulevard Tavern. A five-dollar cover charge will buy your passage into a performance by one of Charleston’s best bands.

Andy Park will be at Taylor Books Friday night at 7:30. There is no cover charge. Fans of Andy’s classy and distinctive songwriting will be in for a real treat.

Highway Jones will be rocking Sam’s Uptown Cafe at 10 PM with a four-dollar cover.

Stone Soup kicks out the jams at The Empty Glass at 10 PM. Six dollars gets you in to see this cool band from the inner reaches of WV.

Saturday night sees Steve Himes at The Boulevard Tavern at 10 PM with a four-dollar cover, while Voices of Anatole, Linework, Elysium and Torment Garden bring the metal to The Blue Parrot for a mere five bucks, also at 10 PM.

Sunday from 5 PM to 7 PM, Eduardo Canelon (an RFC favorite since episode three) will be bringing the Latin flavor to Tricky Fish,with no cover.

That’s it for this week’s PopCulteer. All of our regular features will be back next week in Charleston’s favorite source of offbeat pop culture information. At some point Saturday we’ll post the missing edition of Cool Comics, too.