Archive | Music

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Review: ‘Rocktopia’ at The Broadway Theatre

A mash-up of classical music with classic rock, Rocktopia, co-created by vocalist Rob Evan (of New York stage and Trans-Siberian Orchestra fame) and Maestro Randall Craig Fleischer (a noted Conductor, Music Director, Composer, and Arranger), is yet another indication of the growing invasion of Broadway by rock musicals (among them, Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville and […]

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Robbie Schaefer. Photo by Christopher Mueller.

Review: ‘Light Years’ at Signature Theatre

How does someone pay honor to a deceased parent whom they loved dearly? How does a son give thanks to his father? And when does a son really come to learn what a father went through, in those many years way before the son was even born? In a gentle, sweet retelling of his relationship […]

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Review: ‘NSO Pops: West Side Story in Concert’ at The Kennedy Center

West Side Story remains glorious from its opening notes to its incredibly powerful final curtain. The National Symphony Orchestra’s (NSO) Pops concert version adds its own distinctive, intelligent luster and pizzazz to the decades-old theater staple that has had many a production in the DC area. With such a recognizable score (Leonard Bernstein), lyrics (Stephen […]

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Review: NSO Pops and Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds at the Kennedy Center

The NSO Pops presented its first-ever collaboration with superstar Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds on Friday night for a two-night run in the Concert Hall of the Kennedy Center. Under the musical direction of Tim Davies, eclectic orchestrator extraordinaire, the evening was “surreal” in Edmonds’s own words, in listening pleasure and feel-good enjoyment. Presenting a unique fusion […]

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Ben Folds. Photo courtesy of the Kennedy Center.

In the Moment: Report on ‘Declassified’ with Ben Folds and Sara Bareilles at The Kennedy Center

Under the masterful, musical code-switching curation of National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) Artistic Advisor Ben Folds, the future for new audiences finding their way to the usually buttoned-up, High Arts atmosphere of a classical music venue was very clear at the most recent NSO Declassified concert. The one performance-only Declassified on Friday evening, January 12th, was […]

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An Interview with ‘The Summer Club’ – Previewing ‘A Big Band Valentine’s Day’ at Philadelphia Theatre Company

Since its premiere in the Jersey-shore town of Cape May in July 2014, The Summer Club has been bringing the retro sound of the Big Bands, the sophisticated stylings of the Swing era, and the tight-knit camaraderie for which the Rat Pack was known to audiences throughout the greater Philadelphia area. On Wednesday, February 14, […]

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New Records: Listening to ‘Bandstand’ and the Music of Alan Menken

This report on New Records includes three Alan Menken shows that recently received fresh recordings, plus a Broadway show from this year that unfortunately closed after a modest run. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (Ghostlight Records) For years, I’ve wondered what the first Alan Menken-Howard Ashman show sounded like. In 1979, three years before their […]

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Jason Vieaux. Photo by GMD Three.

Review: LiveConnections Presents Fifth House Ensemble + Jason Vieaux at World Cafe Live

LiveConnections Presents kicked off its new season in rousing fashion with an evening of music from the Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble and classical guitarist Jason Vieaux – introduced, in keeping with the educational mission of LiveConnections Presents, by an ensemble of high school students from Play On, Philly! performing Steve Reich’s “Music for Pieces of […]

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Singer Sara Jones. Photo by Tim Coburn.

Interview: Jazz Singer Sara Jones

“I don’t perform ‘You Don’t Know What Love Is’ that often,” jazz singer Sara Jones admits. “I mean, the song’s a real downer. You have lyrics in that song like ‘lips that taste like tears’ or ‘lose their taste for kissing.’ Think about that for a moment, the idea that tears are running down someone’s […]

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Hilary Hahn. Photo by Michael Patrick O'Leary.

Review: Hilary Hahn Plays Bernstein with The Philadelphia Orchestra

The Leonard Bernstein Centenary continues with concerts by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Last weekend’s performances featured one of Bernstein’s most interesting (and relatively obscure) compositions — his Serenade (after Plato’s Symposium), for solo violin, strings, harp and percussion. That Plato Symposium, allow me to remind you, was a series of dissertations in ancient […]

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Review: ‘Duke Ellington’s Neighborhood’ from The In Series performing at Gala Hispanic Theatre

Engaging, sophisticated entertainment and education that didn’t talk down to the intended audience; children who may not have been familiar with the grand musical and cultural figure, DC’s very own Duke Ellington: that was my takeaway from the In Series very short run of Duke Ellington’s Neighborhood. Marketed as a production for the younger set (and […]

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Review: ‘Peekaboo! A Nativity Play’ at the Hub Theatre

Want to wish yourself a Merry Little Christmas and a Happy New Year in a new way? Then for those with a bent for the uncommon, consider taking in a contemporary retelling of the Biblical Nativity story that honors the traditional New Testament birth of Jesus story, delivers fresh insights that are well-tagged to our […]

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Colin Doyle. Photo by Don Valentino.

Review: ‘The Sea Cadet’ and ‘A Trip to Africa’ at Concert Operetta Theater

Concert Operetta Theater moved into new artistic territory with its November production of two unfamiliar operettas. Daniel Pantano’s Philadelphia company teamed up with a European organization led by Dario Salvi devoted to the preservation of neglected music. Their similar interests came together with a double bill of operettas not heard in America in a century. […]

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Violinist Tessa Lark. Photo by Kate L Photography.

Interview: Violinist Tessa Lark Discusses Her Career and Her Upcoming Performance at the Phillips Collection

Don’t just call Tessa Lark a crossover artist. The fast-rising classical violinist may also be known for playing at jazz clubs in New York and elsewhere, and for her country fiddling at bluegrass festivals. But Tessa’s Kentucky roots and her deep curiosity about world cultures feed right back into her “serious” repertoire in a way […]

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