Archives for November 2012

Classical review: Tovey leads NSO in all that classical jazz

Anyone doubting the Nashville Symphony Orchestra’s commitment to the music of living composers should pay close attention to the podium this weekend. There will be a composer standing on it. Bramwell Tovey, a right proper English maestro, is in town this weekend to conduct the NSO’s classical series concert at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. For […]

Film review: Beautiful Visuals Dominate Latest ‘Anna Karenina’

There have been several films that have worked to present the story of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina over the years, including perhaps the most-lauded adaptation in 1935 with Greta Garbo and Fredric March directed by University of Tennessee alum Clarence Brown. Each time moviemakers have tried to present the sweep of 19th Century Imperial Russia […]

Video Files: MIB III proves entertaining sequel

Expectations weren’t high for Men in Black 3 when it was released in May. First, the film had suffered multiple delays due to script concerns expressed by Will Smith. It required several rewrites before everyone was satisfied. Second, it was leaked that the film would be operating in the dicey time travel arena, with Smith’s character […]

Back Pages: Boston Globe critic examines the rise of celebrity culture

The American public’s obsession with famous people isn’t something new. But in the 21st century it’s become enormous. This desire to know all the exploits of performers fuels a 24/7 industry driven by media productions and magazines such as Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, People and Us. Even such ostensibly hard news programs as 60 Minutes […]

Classical Style: Vandy pianists promise to dazzle with Danielpour’s pianistic fireworks

The composer Richard Danielpour is like the Richard Strauss of 21st-century America. He’s a virtuoso of the pen, an artist whose music is known for its high gloss and fine craftsmanship. Virtuosity has been on Danielpour’s mind of late. He recently completed a set of 12 virtuosic piano etudes, which will be premiered next Tuesday […]

CD review: Mumford and Sons’ ‘Babel’ is a worthy second effort

Confusion. Grace. Hope. They’re all implied in the title of Mumford and Sons’ sophomore album. Babel was much anticipated. Topping the United States billboard charts, the album was especially popular among college students.  The band has led a blended folk-rock style of music into the mainstream, and comparisons to their first album are inevitable.  Overall, […]

Theater review: BRT’s ‘Frog and Toad’ Lets Sweetness Shine

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – Adults often require reminders about the importance of friendship in such gentle, child-geared stories as A Year With Frog and Toad more than youngsters need the lessons. And if it’s entertaining like Boiler Room Theatre’s current production all ages go home happy as well. Arnold Lobel’s beloved characters get their thoughtful and humorous […]

Magic abounds in Dance Theatre of Tennessee’s ‘Nutcracker’

Black Friday may be a national day of shopping for most people, but in Middle Tennessee it’s also a time to celebrate ballet. That’s because Dance Theatre of Tennessee hits the road after Thanksgiving, taking its annual production of The Nutcracker on a regional tour. The group’s staging at Nashville’s Ensworth High School on Friday […]

‘The Bop She Bops’ Adds to Chaffin’s Barn Happy Holidays Slate

Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre adds to its holiday offerings today as it opens The Bop She Bops Merry Christmas, Baby! by Lydia C. Bushfield in its Backstage at the Barn space. It’s Christmas 1972 and three months since the singing group The Bop She Bops triumphed at their ten-year high school reunion. Now they’re preparing […]

‘Alfred Hitchcock: Master of Suspense’ Screens at Belcourt Theatre

The Belcourt Theatre will present “Alfred Hitchcock: Master of Suspense” from Dec. 26 through Jan. 17. The 24-film series opens with Vertigo and continues with Rear Window, Strangers on a Train, To Catch a Thief, North by Northwest, The Birds, Psycho and other classics. And just in time for holiday shopping discounted ticket packages will […]

Dickens in Clarksville: A Roxy Regional Theatre Musical ‘Carol’

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Beginning this Friday Roxy Regional Theatre will kickoff the yuletide season with a rollicking musical version of A Christmas Carol designed to put theatergoers in the holiday spirit. Artistic Director John McDonald will once again play Ebenezer Scrooge. Dickens’ classic tale as adapted for the stage by McDonald meets such holiday standards as “A-Caroling We […]

Film review: High-strung string players resonate in ‘A Late Quartet’

You knew something was amiss in Yaron Zilberman’s terrific new film the moment his fictional Fugue Quartet appeared onstage. Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman bowed politely and then sat promptly in the second violinist’s chair. But wait, Philip Seymour Hoffman plays second fiddle to no man. The rivalry between the first and second violinists is just […]

Studio Tenn Puts Fresh Spin on Their Acclaimed ‘Christmas Carol’

FRANKLIN, Tenn –  Studio Tenn’s annual live production of A Christmas Carol is quickly becoming a holiday tradition in Middle Tennessee but the theater company isn’t content with simply re-staging its smash hit. Charles Dickens’ timeless holiday classic – which sold out all twelve performances in 2011 – will return to the historic Franklin Theatre […]

‘Frog and Toad’, ‘Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s’ Headline BRT Holiday Fare

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The Boiler Room Theatre (BRT) will celebrate this holiday season with two productions – the beloved children’s classic A Year With Frog and Toad and Christopher Durang’s loopy comedy Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge. The productions will both be performed through the holiday season, running from Nov. 24 through Dec. 22. […]

Classical review: Nashville Symphony sparkles in Ravel, Saint-Saëns and Schumann

Hans Graf, a distinguished Austrian-born maestro, is on tap this weekend to conduct the Nashville Symphony Orchestra’s classical program.  Graf is apparently a connoisseur of fine wine. Appropriately enough, his interpretations on Thursday night of Ravel, Saint-Saëns and Schumann came across as aromatic, effervescent and robust. Ravel’s Ma Mère l’Oye (Mother Goose), which opened the […]

Film review: ‘Lincoln’ As Noble Man More Powerful Than Myth

When we mythologize real-life figures it becomes easy to admire them while keeping them at a distance; how can we possibly live up to their extraordinary words and deeds? But when we remember they are just as human as ourselves, that they have triumphed over their imperfections when it mattered most, we can embrace and […]

Theater review: Street Theatre Company Brings ‘Saigon’ To Life

Street Theatre Company opened its run of Miss Saigon Wednesday to a packed house. The show is presented in a minimal concert-style; there are no sets, minimal costumes, and the chorus sits on stage behind the lead actors. With such sparse staging, the production relies entirely on the strength of the actors and their voices. […]

Film review: ‘Smashed’ Shares Alcohol Addiction’s Fallout

There have been many memorable movies involving alcohol addiction; some have had great dramatic impact – from Lost Weekend to Days of Wine and Roses and in more recent decades Barfly and Leaving Las Vegas – while others struggled to reach the level of a bad TV movie-of-the-week. Smashed belongs on a list with those […]

Theater review: Actors and Songs Make ‘White Christmas’ Pleasant

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas has plenty of the master songwriter’s tunes and a fine cast. If that’s what you need to kick off your holiday season, then you’ll enjoy this show. The musical homage to the 1954 film of the same name has a book by David Ives and Paul Blake that presumably isn’t concerned […]

Jazz Plus: World Music Edition

DeLeon, Tremor Fantasma (Deleon) Sephardic rockers DeLeon’s third release smartly combines vintage European folk sounds with contemporary production and influences. Multi-instrumentalist and conceptualist Daniel Saks is the driving force in this ambitious set cut in Mexico City. An intriguing secondary story is that the band squeezed recordings around a series of earthquakes and a volcano […]