Archives for October 2013

Notes on Nash-Up

Here it is Halloween night, but  the wind and rain might be putting an end to the spooky celebrating before it even gets started – sorry, kids! The end of this month also marks the culmination of another Artober celebration for Nashville’s arts community and its audience. Just like last year, Artober 2013 ended with […]

Jazz Plus: Ron Wynn is back in action with his latest reviews

Jamie Baum Septet: “In This Life” (Sunnyside) The rhythms – and to some extent sensibility – of Asian music underline the compositions on New York-based bandleader and flutist Jamie Baum’s latest release. Her septet includes enough distinctive players and instruments (for instance a trumpet/French horn/sax frontline) to ensure that the East/West blend never loses immediacy or intensity. Baum’s a strong […]

Music Review: At Blair Composers’ Concert, it’s ‘goodnight noises everywhere’

I slipped in just in time to catch the first down beat on Monday night at the Blair School of Music Composers Concert.  Vanderbilt University has a number of things going for its composition program.  I love how they consistently bring in guest artists, since it helps expose students to a lot of important contemporary […]

Win Tickets to DALLAS BUYERS CLUB Nashville Advance Screening!

Focus Features and ArtsNash Want to Invite You to an Advance Screening of DALLAS BUYERS CLUB! Focus Features‘ new film DALLAS BUYERS CLUB with Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto has gotten some terrific reviews and early Oscar buzz in the run-up to its release. ArtsNash wants you to see it before it opens in […]

Music Review: Vanderbilt choirs mark Britten’s 100th birthday with glorious sounds

Who would have guessed that the hottest concert this season would be a community choral celebration of Benjamin Britten? On Tuesday night, West End United Methodist Church was filled to standing room only as the members of four Vanderbilt University choirs gathered to mark the 100th anniversary of Britain’s greatest 20th-century composer. Surely, the capacity […]

Music Review: Gateway Chamber Orchestra shows off its strings in Nashville

Gateway Chamber Orchestra has had considerable success with Gustav Mahler, having played the composer’s music at its Nashville debut last spring. On Monday night, the Clarksville-based orchestra returned to Music City to perform some of Mahler’s most heavenly music. The group’s concert at Downtown Presbyterian Church was called “Romantic Strings” and was intended to show […]

Music Review: Nashville Composer Collective makes auspicious debut

Sunday afternoon was the inaugural concert of the “Nashville Composer Collective,” and since I am a composer and a newly minted ArtsNash critic I swung by.  The event was held in the “Family Room” of the The Village Chapel, a non-denominational church that makes its home in the old St. Bernard Convent in Hillsboro Village. […]

Music Review: Big changes ahead for the Blair String Quartet

In last year’s terrific film A Late Quartet, a fictional ensemble struggles with anxiety after a long-time member of the group decides to retire. I was thinking about that movie on Saturday night, when the Blair String Quartet presented a program of Haydn, Prokofiev and Mendelssohn at Ingram Hall. Christian Teal, the Blair Quartet’s veteran […]

Theater Review: A Brilliant NCT Encore for ‘Schoolhouse Rock Live!’

Nashville Children’s Theatre has brought Schoolhouse Rock Live! back for an encore with new staging and cast that will light your fire. Nashville’s premier professional troupe presented the stage adaptation of songs from the groundbreaking ABC-TV animated educational shorts series in 2006. That Julee Baber Brooks-directed show was inventively staged (Scott Leathers‘ chessboard-floor apartment set […]

Music Review: The chorus is the star of the NSO’s concert this weekend

The glorious sounds of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and Chorus are filling the Schermerhorn Symphony Center this weekend. On Friday night, the NSO Chorus under the direction of Giancarlo Guerrero presented two seldom-heard (and thematically related) works – Beethoven’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage and Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 1 “A Sea Symphony.”  Poulenc’s Concerto […]

‘A Raisin In The Sun Revisited’ Behind-the-Scenes Doc Airs on NPT

PBS’ new performance documentary A RAISIN IN THE SUN REVISITED: THE RAISIN CYCLE AT CENTER STAGE explores the history and legacy of Lorraine Hansberry’s groundbreaking 1959 play through the lens of a culturally significant milestone:  the staging of two contemporary, issues-oriented plays that Raisin inspired: Bruce Norris’s Tony Award-winning Clybourne Park (which Tennessee Rep successfully produced […]

Engaging and Evocative: Abstractometry at the Frist

The Frist is in the process of turning-over its galleries to a new program of challenging contemporary art as well as an exhibition of paintings by Norman Rockwell. The highlight of the contemporary displays is 30 Americans — an exhibition of works by African American artists that spans three decades. I’ll be covering all of […]

Music Review: Alias performs the music of America’s top women composers

It must have been ladies night at the Alias Chamber Ensemble. Nashville’s premier chamber group was at Turner Recital Hall on Tuesday evening, presenting an adventurous program that included the music of three contemporary American women composers. Kenji Bunch’s dauntingly difficult Suite for Viola and Piano was also on the bill, along with a pair […]

Sideshow and Cumberland Gallery Team Up for ‘Surreal Estate’

Sideshow @ Actors Bridge – fresh from producing the highly acclaimed third annual Sideshow Fringe Festival – is back this Thursday with an exciting new collaboration with Cumberland Gallery that is certain to spark Halloween spirit! Surreal Estate is a special Artober celebration that pairs original, site-specific, live performance by Sideshow members with the stunning […]

Theater Review: Boiler Room Knows How to Flaunt ‘The Producers’

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – In its current revival of The Producers Boiler Room Theatre follows a two-part plan for success that’s yielded good results before: Step 1, pick a perfectly-pitched musical comedy; Step 2, hire very talented folks to stage and perform it. I’m happy – though certainly not surprised – to report that plan still works well. Of […]

Theater Review: Studio Tenn Takes a Lovely Trip ‘Into the Woods’

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – How do you go Into the Woods – and just as importantly, how do you get out? Studio Tenn has a pretty good idea: It’s built a production expressly for the intimate confines of Franklin Theatre that entertains and intrigues in equal measure. Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s tale-of-two-halves is a musical […]

Dance Review: Nashville Ballet soars in ‘Peter Pan’

The world’s best-known symbol of perpetual youth is taking flight in Nashville. This weekend, Nashville Ballet is presenting the world premiere of artistic director Paul Vasterling’s Peter Pan, and those of us who were lucky enough to see Thursday night’s final dress rehearsal at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center can attest that it is a […]

Film Review: Acting Provides Most of ‘The Fifth Estate’ Thrills

There’s been so much spin around The Fifth Estate that it’s easy to lose the movie in all the back and forth between filmmakers and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. WikiLeaks even posted what it called a “mature” version of the script and a rebuttal that among other things takes the film to task for suggesting […]

Music Review: Music City Baroque, playing French and Italian music the old-fashioned way

Even if one generally prefers “modern” interpretations of 17th- and 18th-century music over historically informed performances, there’s no reason why one should criticize an early music ensemble if it has the necessary musicianship to back up its choices of instrumentation and style. Such is my attitude in evaluating Music City Baroque’s first concert of the […]

Interrobang?! – Theatre Lane: No Outlet?

For 15 years I’ve been driving to campus and turning into the parking lot behind my building, but it was only a few days ago when I noticed the street sign that stands on the corner of the entrance: Theatre Ln – No Outlet. I must admit, upon seeing it, my first inclination was to […]