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Archive for August, 2009|Monthly archive page

The Creation @ Avery Fisher Hall

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2009 at 1:45 pm

I don’t think that I ever heard The Creation by Joseph Haydn and can’t imagine why after the performance at Avery Fisher Hall. Last minute Goldstar tickets found me dead center in the hall to hear The Festival Orchestra and Chorus give a delightful rendition of Haydn’s Creation. There was a superstructure over the stage that seemed to make the much knocked sound way better. The story, you can guess the ending, is told by a soprano, Carolyn Sampson, a bass, Peter Rose, and a tenor, Mathew Polenzani, and the Concert Chorale of NY all led by Louis Langree. The music is ethereal as you would expect from Haydn and the singing was terrific, with a particularly strong contribution by Rose. There was a architectural contraption over the players that made the sound jump into the theater, good job, hope they keep it for the “real”season. Each day of Genisis unfolds with care and grace and not much pain, no snakes in the garden for instance; and ends with a flourish that brought the audience to it’s feet and Louis had to finally tell us it was time to go with a wave of the Hayn score that was the star of the show.

Taka Kigawa @ Le Poisson Rouge

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2009 at 1:40 pm

It’s sort of fun to hear ‘classical” music in a rock concert format. I can’t say that standing for a hour and a half is the best but, it was worth it to hear Taka Kigawa play some Boulez, a little early composition and a very late series and Murail, who I don’t know, with some Bach thrown in, he’s modern according to Taka, and ending with Legiti. This was a daunting program for a very talented, and unknown to me, pianist. He played with great style and drama, making the difficult music accessible and fun to hear. It’s important to hear this music and Taka made it easy in this rock concert format. That’ why there is only standing room for these events. People want to enjoy the music and Le Poisson Rouge is the place to do it. A $15 cover and great beers on tap and a nice menu and good service make this the best deal in town. Let’s hear more of our new pal Taka Kigawa

The Bacchae@ Central Park

In Uncategorized on August 21, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Holy makeral; I got 2 tickets to the Delecorte on the virtual line; Yea! The Bacchae is a Euripides tragedy directed by Joanne Akalaits and music by Phillip Glass, free in Shakespeare in the Park.
Dionysus wanting to establish himself as a god to reckon with ensnares Pentheus, who will not worship him, to search for the Bacchae; who have taken the women of Thebes and driven them wild; leaving their homes and children and living in ecstasy. Cadmus, Pentheus’ grandfather, and Teiresias, a blind prophet,are leaving to dance for the god when thy encounter Pentheus. Pentheus is enraged and arrests Dionysus , but can’t keep him in chains. Pentheus is moved by Dionysus to look for his cities’ women;in drag so he won’t be recognized, and is killed by his mother and his aunts, real disfunction. His mother thinks he is a lion or a bear that she has killed with her bare hands; that is until she meets her father , Cadmus, and he reveals the truth to her and they realize the family is doomed and banished from the city All this action is narated by the chrous(the Bacchae) in fine voices to Glass’s marvelous score. As Phillip Glass writes for voices his style moves and flowers into a new Phillip Glass sound. The singing and chanting and scolding that The Bacchae do is the back bone of the story; they are wonderful!! Jonathan Groff as Dionysus is thrilling and scarey and Anthony Mackie as Pentheus brings real tragedy in his downfall and death. Cadmus, George Barteneiff and Agave, Joan Macintosh, bring the tale to it’s horrific end and we know the peril of trying to deal with the gods, after all they are gods, duh!

Frieda Payne @ Iridium

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Disco Queen meets Ella at Iridium sounds a little forced and it was. Freida can sing and did a creditable job on lots of Ella tunes along with biographical anecdotes; who wrote the song, who was in the band who Ella was with and like that. You have to love any one that sings “Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most” and includes the verse! Freida was happy with how she looked and shared how hard it was to to squeeze into her dress; I thought she looked good, but that was too much info, need to know line was crossed. Her trio was wonderful with the right style for each of the composers or band leaders; The Count,The Duke, Jelly Roll etc. She put together a stylish and entertaining show that the crowd loved. I could have done without the “Band Of Gold” encore, but the boomers loved it, so be it.

Departure Lounge @ The Public Theater

In Uncategorized on August 3, 2009 at 1:16 pm

The last of the SPF shows for me was the musical Departure Lounge by Doug Irvine. Four guys at the airport after a week in Costa Del Sol waiting for the plane and finding out all the hard parts of their relationships in song and dance. it was great. One guy is the leader, one wants to be, one thinks he’s gay and the orphan who actually gets the girl; WHEW! The story gets told in real time and flashbacks, the two story theme of the rest of the shows that I saw. Two guitars provide the music. The dancing and singing and moving the stage around is really entertaining. Very talented people in a good show makes for a wonderful Broadway experience. I feel that these four shows are what is coming in the theater. There are posters of Hair all around the public to remind you that good things happen @ The Public.