Archives for March 2014

Theater Review: A Pointed and Poignant ‘Mad King Lear’

In the attic of a West End Avenue church the scope of human tragedy plays out. Nashville Stagecraft, a budding company led by young theater artists, has renovated Shakespeare’s tragic King Lear, sprucing the old play up a bit with crisp structure that includes a concise storyline with clearer dialogue and a shorter character list […]

Music Review: Pianist Zubin Kanga plays the music of Michael Alec Rose and George Crumb

Composers have spent much of history writing piano music for just one-half of the instrument. Zubin Kanga, a gifted London-based pianist, specializes in music that takes advantage of the whole piano. On Saturday afternoon, Kanga was at the Blair School of Music’s Choral Rehearsal Hall, performing a concert that explored the piano from the inside […]

Theater Review: From the Flies to the Pit ‘Wicked’ Tour Gives Its All

Wicked is one of the most popular (sing it) musicals of all time. Running since 2003, and previously here on tour in 2009 and 2011, the show’s also won three Tonys and six Drama Desk Awards. With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin) and a book by Winnie Holzman (My So-Called Life), this […]

Music Review: Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony score with the music of Sibelius and Elgar

The Nashville Symphony Orchestra is widely admired for its interpretations of contemporary American music. Yet the orchestra is arguably at its level best when playing late-Romantic music from the turn of the 20th century. Two such works were on the NSO’s program on Thursday night at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Music director Giancarlo Guerrero led […]

Theater Preview: Nashville Stagecraft Renovates Bard’s ‘Lear’

“If wolves outside your gate had howled for entry against that tempest you would have said, ‘Good Doorman, let them in.’” – Gloucester from William Shakespeare’s King Lear On a sunny spring morning the energetic and erudite members of Nashville Stagecraft’s production of The Mad King Lear that opens today (March 27) sit with ArtsNash […]

C.S. Lewis ‘Great Divorce’ From Page to TPAC Stage This Weekend

How do you turn a philosophically complex 118-page theological fantasy into a 90-minute stage play that entertains while provoking thought and discussion? That was the task for Fellowship for the Performing Arts Founder and Artistic Director Max McLean and his collaborators as they fashioned theater from the 1945 C.S. Lewis book “The Great Divorce”. McLean […]

Grand Day 2014 and ‘Lyle’ Free Day Among April Events at NCT

Nashville Children’s Theatre 15th Annual Grand Day celebration in conjunction with a performance of Lyle the Crocodile is slated for Sunday, April 13, in honor of Nashville’s grandparents, parents, and children who have made significant contributions to the performing arts in Middle Tennessee. NCT also recently announced that through the generosity of Regions Bank it will offer […]

Arts Exec Pamela Johnson Now OZ Development and Marketing SVP

Nashville’s new contemporary arts center OZ announced Tuesday that Pamela Johnson has joined the nonprofit as Senior Vice President, Development and Marketing. Over the course of more than 40 years, Ms. Johnson has played transformative roles at a range of cultural institutions, most recently as Vice President of Development for the Country Music Hall of […]

Pictorial: The Magic of ‘Wicked’ Returns to the Music City

Wicked is back in Nashville at Tennessee Performing Arts Center today (March 26) through April 20 after breaking box office records here in 2009 and 2011. ArtsNash was there Tuesday as the production company did its “load in” at Andrew Jackson Hall. With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Pippin, Godspell, Academy Award®-winner for Pocahontas […]

Festival Preview: Steve Reich, Jonny Greenwood and Dawn of Midi will headline Knoxville’s Big Ears Festival

Big Ears Festival returns to Knoxville this weekend with some of the most important composers and music creators in the country. Ashley Capps’ brainchild has been on hiatus the last few years, but it’s now coming back in a big way. Steve Reich, the minimalist composer who invented acoustic phase-looping music (the technique behind the […]

Theater Review: Thoughts Shared, Souls Bared in Rep’s ‘Company’

Tennessee Repertory Theatre on Saturday celebrated Stephen Sondheim’s 84th birthday by opening a Company production that is definitely about being alive. Producing Artistic Director René D. Copeland and her colleagues – including cast members whose career contributions span the troupe’s nearly 30-year history – provide ample energy and talent to their take on the musical that was a breath of […]

Music Review: Blair String Quartet brings the Christian Teal era to a close with a breathtaking ‘Grosse Fuga’

There are many things you probably don’t know about violinist Christian Teal. For instance, “he’s worked [at the Blair School of Music] for more than 40 years,” said Blair String Quartet violist John Kochanowski on Saturday night at Ingram Hall. As soon as Kochanowski finished his thought, Teal dropped his score on the stage floor, […]

In Comes ‘Company’ as Tennessee Rep Closes 29th Season

Tennessee Repertory Theatre closes its 29th season of professional theater with Stephen Sondheim’s multiple Tony Award-winning musical Company. The revival of the landmark 1970 work runs Saturday (March 22) through April 12 at Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Johnson Theater (after the second of two preview performances today). The clashing sounds and pulsing rhythms of New York […]

Actors Bridge Ensemble Opens Nashville ‘Next Fall’ Run on Friday

Geoffrey Nauffts’ Next Fall, hailed by critics and others as one of the smartest, wittiest dramas in recent history, makes its Nashville premiere Friday (March 20) through April  6. It is part of Actors Bridge Ensemble’s inaugural season in its intimate new studio space on Charlotte Avenue. The play is one of the presentations in […]

TV Legend Dick Cavett Recreates History Off-Broadway

Dick who? All right, you self-infatuated millennials and blissfully myopic under-40-ers who registered a blinkered “Who?” at our over-the-top headline. First we’ll introduce you to the American genius of Dick Cavett. And then you — like the rest of us fogies, geezers and weezers — will understand the excitement as the 77-year-old TV legend stars in Brian […]

Record Breaking: Kevin Cooley and Phillip Andrew Lewis at Zeitgeist

In the latest exhibition at Zeitgeist, LA-based artist Kevin Cooley and Chattanooga’s Phillip Andrew Lewis teamed up with United Record Pressing for a site and community specific collaborative exhibition. The two artists used United’s record vinyl, in all its various forms, as both medium and subject matter. The show includes vinyl sculpture, light installation, digital […]

Letting Things Evolve: A New Chapter for Bill Feehely

Actors Bridge Ensemble co-founder Bill Feehely will leave his position as Assistant Professor of Acting and Directing at Belmont University when the spring semester ends a little more than a month from now. He won’t be cutting all ties to the school he loves, though, and he certainly won’t be severing his association with the […]

Mike Eldred and Chuck Wagner Headline Studio Tenn ‘Les Mis’

It was announced today that renowned tenor, recording artist and longtime Nashville favorite Mike Eldred will play Jean Valjean, a role he has played on Broadway and elsewhere, while Chuck Wagner (who recently played Valjean at Lipscomb) will play Javert, a role among his Broadway credits when Studio Tenn Theatre Company presents the beloved musical Les Misérables at Schermerhorn Symphony Center […]

Music Review: Itzhak Perlman plays Beethoven with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra

There are many great things about being Itzhak Perlman. Certainly, the renowned violinist has little trouble filling a concert hall, and indeed, on Tuesday evening, he played to a capacity crowd at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Of course, there are also problems with being Itzhak Perlman, not the least of which is that it’s very  […]

Music Review: Music City Baroque plays Telemann’s music Telemann’s way

Music City Baroque drew a healthy crowd on a rainy Sunday afternoon for their concert of Telemann chamber music at Woodmont Christian Church. Telemann was considered Germany’s greatest composer during the first half of the 18th century. (I wonder if the Music City Post Modern Ensemble will be playing Nico Muhly and Johnny Greenwood in […]