Five Dances – a film in development

Five Dances - a film in development
Small town boy comes to big city.  Discovers his talents, discovers himself.  Has difficult phone calls back home.  It’s a familiar but sturdy set-up for a film. Yet rather than being a boxer, the young man is a dancer. The film is “Five Dances” by Alan Brown, whose previous efforts include “Private Romeo,” a gay retelling of “Romeo & Juliet.”  The star is Ryan Steele and...
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“The Man on the Fifth Floor,” a film in development about Gerald Busby

"The Man on the Fifth Floor," a film in development about Gerald Busby
Director Jessica Robinson is working a new film, “The Man on the Fifth Floor,” about the life and work of Gerald Busby, a 76-year old composer and one of the few remaining tenants of the famed Chelsea Hotel. (He’s on the fifth floor.)  Playwright Craig Lucas and choreographer/dancer Richard Daniels are executive producers. The project needs backing and is raising funds through Kickstarter. Previously on...
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Reports from Tanglewood: modern, contemporary, timeless

Reports from Tanglewood: modern, contemporary, timeless
Reviews of some mid-century modernism, the finale of the Festival of Contemporary Music, and John Williams 80th birthday celebration. Monday, July 30, 2012 Ozawa Hall, Tanglewood  There was a crisp bite and rhythmic charge to everything on Monday’s program at Ozawa Hall.  Though listed as a performance of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, there was never a true orchestra onstage.  The first half consisted of pieces...
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Rediscovering lyricist Howard Ashman

Rediscovering lyricist Howard Ashman
Ashman wrote the book and lyrics for the musical “Little Shop of Horrors,” and the lyrics to songs in the Disney films “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Little Mermaid,” all featuring music by Alan Menken. He died of AIDS in 1991 at age 40. Last summer his sister Sarah Ashman Gillespie launched a beautiful tribute site, Howard Ashman: Part of His World. It’s a...
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Celebrating Lou Harrison in D.C., festival review by Scott Pender

Celebrating Lou Harrison in D.C., festival review by Scott Pender
Over the past week, the Washington DC-based Post-Classical Ensemble, in conjunction with The George Washington University, the National Gallery of Art, and the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, presented an ambitious series of three programs looking at the life and work of Lou Harrison. A true American original, Harrison was a composer of great lyric gifts and a maverick who espoused “world music” before we called...
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Reading the career of young Nico Muhly

Reading the career of young Nico Muhly
Check the credits in fine print on recent projects by Bjork, Antony and the Johnsons, Rufus Wainwright and Philip Glass, among others, and you’ll find the name Nico Muhly.  Over the last couple of seasons he’s become the It Boy of contemporary music. But on his most recent project, Muhly’s distinctive name certainly isn’t buried among arrangers, conductors and musical assistants. He wrote and conducted the score...
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