Archives for September 2012

Theater review: ‘Smokey Joe’s Cafe’ Another Hit for Studio Tenn

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – Studio Tenn Theatre Company’s smooth and sultry take on Smokey Joe’s Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller is simply sublime. And like the two legends celebrated through that music revue, this young troupe keeps churning out the onstage hits. The consummately professional ensemble offers an invigorating cocktail comprised of more than 30 […]

Nashville Jazz Workshop showcases the stylish vocals of Dara Tucker

Less than 5 minutes into Dara Tucker’s double-set at the Nashville Jazz Workshop on Friday night, it was apparent that despite her young face she’s just as charming and elegant as the great female jazz vocalists of years gone by. Her performance was part of a concert series dubbed “Snap on 2&4,” which showcases Nashville’s […]

Duo gets back to the basics with Beethoven, Schubert and Ravel

Franz Schubert’s fantastic Fantasy in C major is played so infrequently it may as well be an endangered species. “I’ve heard that the Fantasy was performed here in Nashville, but that was before my time,” says pianist Mark Wait, who’s been at the Blair School of Music for nearly 20 years. “But I for one […]

Artober Nashville 2012 Celebrates Diverse Citywide Arts and Culture

The Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission (Metro Arts) has launched the second annual Artober Nashville celebration of arts and culture. New signature events and hundreds of performances and shows set throughout the month of October are in the spotlight. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean participated in a launch event at the studios of the Nashville Ballet on […]

Dance review: Ballet in the Park launches with cool weather, steamy dancing

Was all that thunder rolling through the Nashville area on Friday afternoon a foreshadowing of the tragedy that would later befall the Gypsy girl Carmen? Nah, it was probably just God trying to make Dance Theatre of Tennessee artistic director Christopher Mohnani feel as nervous as possible before the opening of his first annual Ballet […]

Back Pages: Travel author dishes up clichés about the South

Travel writer Chuck Thompson has done articles, reporting, essays and commentaries from more than 50 nations. But it is doubtful he’s ever generated anything like the controversy that has ensued online and in the arts/critical world over his new book Better Off Without ‘Em : A Northern Manifesto for  Southern Independence (Simon & Schuster). Thompson […]

Tennessee Rep Has a New Twist on Classic ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ Tale

Sex, drugs, violence: Elements of a psychological thriller that help make a familiar horror story scary once again. Tennessee Repertory Theatre will present Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from the classic novella by Robert Louis Stevenson Oct. 13 – Nov. 3 at Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Johnson Theater (with preview […]

Video Files: New Peter Gunn set celebrates ’50s private eye

Along with westerns, another dominant genre on late ’50s and early ’60s network television was the private eye (detectives). These were guys (with the exception of ABC’s Honey West starring Anne Francis) with style and flair who took cases regular cops either ignored, were afraid to handle, or wouldn’t touch for various reasons. Some had […]

Jee Hyun Lim Leads ‘Madame Butterfly’ Cast for Opera Opener

Celebrated soprano Jee Hyun Lim leads the cast as Nashville Opera opens its 2012-13 season with Giacomo Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. Performances are set for Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. in Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Andrew Jackson Hall (505 Deaderick St.). John Hoomes, Nashville Opera’s General and Artistic […]

Music City Baroque opens its 2012-13 season with music from merry old England

Music City Baroque is presenting a program this weekend that would have been music to the ears of William Shakespeare. The program, titled “Fairest Isle,” features English chamber music and songs from the late Elizabethan era through the Restoration. This is the kind of music – often played on lute and viola da gamba – […]

Blair’s new choral director set to take the stage

Talk about a baptism by fire. Tucker Biddlecombe arrived for his first day on the job this summer at the Blair School of Music with a Herculean assignment. He had just weeks to prepare the Blair Children’s Chorus for a performance of Mahler’s mighty “Symphony of Thousand” with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. Needless to say, […]

Classical Style: Dance Theatre of Tennessee brings ballet to the people at Centennial Park

There’s something incongruous about the location of Dance Theatre of Tennessee’s headquarters. This uptown classical ballet company is situated in a decidedly downtown Donelson strip mall, nestled alongside a thrift store, a bowling alley and a bartending school. It seems like an odd place to find a high-arts organization. Yet it’s arguably the perfect spot […]

ALIAS’ ‘Boiling Point’: Finally, a tea party worth attending

For many composers, music serves as a kind of personal diary, a place where they record their innermost feelings. Kenji Bunch’s music seems more like an attic. It’s like a space filled with old kitchen appliances, curios, mementos and other knickknacks. Members of Nashville’s ALIAS Chamber Ensemble have spent the past year rummaging through Bunch’s […]

Dance review: Vanderbilt Great Performances opens its season with ‘The Realest MC’

Nashville’s arts community is spending time this weekend considering the lives of people who have traditionally been marginalized. On Friday morning, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts opened Carrie Mae Weems: Thirty Years of Photography and Video, a major new exhibit that pays special attention to the lives of African-American women. On Friday night […]

Classical Style: Much-anticipated Weems exhibit makes a timely debut at the Frist Center

Earlier this week, members of the media were taken on an advance tour of the new Carrie Mae Weems retrospective at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. Weems, one of America’s preeminent art photographers, accompanied the group along with her husband Jeffrey Hoone and exhibit curator Kathryn Delmez. Any lingering doubts that any of […]

Back Pages: Ron Wynn goes sleuthing for detective novels

Rizzoli & Isles: Last To Die, Tess Gerritsen (Ballantine) A couple of years ago mystery author Tess Gerritsen became the latest crime writer to inspire a television sensation. TNT debuted the show Rizzoli & Isles, which is loosely based on her series of novels about a Boston detective and her medical examiner pal. But, as is usually the case, […]

Classical review: NSO gives new meaning to the phrase ‘Ladies Night’

The Nashville Symphony Orchestra is calling its current program “A Woman’s Life,” a nod to the song cycle of the same name that’s anchoring this weekend’s concerts at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. I’d like to suggest a slightly different title: “Ladies Night.” That, at least, is my salute to the two female headliners, who both […]

Middle Tennessee Bow for ‘Parade’ Musical Next on BRT Slate

FRANKLIN, Tenn.– The Boiler Room Theatre (BRT) follows its Steel Magnolias revival with the Middle Tennessee premiere of Jason Robert Brown’s Tony Award-winning musical Parade, according to the professional troupe. The production will run October 5-20 at the theater’s namesake venue in the historic Factory at Franklin, 230 Franklin Rd., Bldg. Six. With book by […]

Actors Bridge has ‘Outside Paradise’ World Premiere in November

Actors Bridge Ensemble will present the world premiere of Outside Paradise by Founding Artistic Director Bill Feehely and the ABE supported by a Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission Creation Grant, according to a news release. The show runs Nov. 9-18 at Belmont’s Black Box Theater (1575 Compton Ave. just off Belmont Blvd.) as the company’s annual collaboration […]

Cantus brings its shimmering sound to Lipscomb

What do the 12th-century composer Perotin, Edvard Grieg, Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson all have in common? Why, their songs will all be performed at Cantus’ upcoming concert in Nashville, of course. One of America’s premier men’s choruses, Cantus will appear at Lipscomb University’s Collins Alumni Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18. Their concert […]