Arts and culture

Jan Coles had a front-row couch at the last concert she saw -- and no, that's not a typographical error. Coles and her husband, Raymond, a township committeeman, were the proud hosts last week of Patrick Fitzsimmons, a singer/songwriter born in Red Bank and raised in Warren County. The seat was a couch in her Ventura Drive living room.

Johnny Duke & the Aces is a young band. Two of the members of the electric blues trio are 17 and the other is 16. The vocals of lead singer and guitarist Johnny Duke Lippincott can veer sometimes into an uneasy warble.

And bassist Ian Walsh says, "I didn't know that!" when Lippincott mentions that his mentor David Bromberg played with Bob Dylan back in the day.

But you shouldn't mistake their youth for inexperience.

Philadelphia singer-songwriter Nora Whittaker will unveil songs from her new CD when she plays a semi-acoustic show at the Stoney Lonen restaurant in downtown Rehoboth Beach on July 27. The eatery is showcasing live music each Wednesday this summer. Whittaker's second CD, "Imaginary Friends," is scheduled to be released Friday. While the recording features a backing band, she often plays solo at smaller venues.

Sponsored by the Hippodrome Foundation, Camp Lion King was designed as a public education program for roughly 140 children, ages 12 to 17, from local theater camps. Besides the 41 students from McDonogh, the camp drew children from Arena Players, Baltimore Children's Theatre, Creative Arts Center and Children's Playhouse of Maryland.

(Originally published July 20, 2005)