Charles Busch at Club Helsinki in Hudson

Charles Busch at Club Helsinki in Hudson
Cabaret sometimes includes more than just theater songs, but it seems to always mean nostalgia. References to the past — movies, musicals, celebrity biographies — were laid on thick by Charles Busch during his new solo show Sunday night (11/11/12) at Club Helsinki. It was part of the venue’s successful new Broadway series. Appearing in drag, Busch offered a mostly scripted but still free flowing mixture of monologues...
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Ades’ “The Tempest” storms theaters worldwide

Ades’ “The Tempest” storms theaters worldwide
Saturday afternoon the Met’s Live in HD broadcasts features Thomas Ades’ “The Tempest.”  The composer conducts.  Here’s a sampling of reviews of the production starring Simon Keenlyside and directed by Robert Lepage, who seems to have redeemed himself among critics who scorned his staging of The Ring.  Also, some video excerpts and a discussion with Lepage. The work got the royal treatment...
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Tennessee Williams & Music

Tennessee Williams & Music
Music is the theme for the seventh annual Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival.  Running at multiple venues September 20-24, the line-up of events includes “The Glass Menagerie” and four other Williams plays, plus new works in theater, music and film.   “The Tennessee Williams Songbook” will feature Broadway star Alison Fraser in a production compiled and directed by David Kaplan,...
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Glimmerglass 2012 season wrap up

Glimmerglass 2012 season wrap up
General director Francesca Zambello brought together the strongest season at Glimmerglass in my 11 years of covering the company.  Let’s hope her three-year tenure, which began last summer, gets renewed.  Who knows, maybe she’s still just getting started! Here’s a collection of my reviews. Verdi:  Aida Glimmerglass Festival, July 7, 2012 Probably never in its 25-year history has the Alice Busch Opera...
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Share the “Positions 1956″ with Conrad Cummings and Michael Korie

Share the “Positions 1956″ with Conrad Cummings and Michael Korie
“Positions 1956″ is called a “self help” opera.  How helpful!  How polite! It was written in 1988 and first heard in concert by the Cummings Ensemble at the Knitting Factory and PS 122 in New York.  The world premiere staged version takes place this month in the Washington DC area thanks to Urban Arias, a two-year old company that’s also commissioned the piece.  Six performances run April...
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Rarities of Strauss and Coward at Bard College

Rarities of Strauss and Coward at Bard College
It’s amazing how Leon Botstein and Bard College’s SummerScape series keep coming up with “overlooked masterpieces” from the operatic repertoire.  At least that’s what the scholarly support materials tell us they are. The reality of what’s heard and seen on stage is often another matter. This year’s entry is “Die Liebe der Danae.” Richard Strauss’ second to last opera, it was completed in 1940 but only...
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DeMare Launches his “Liaisons” with Sondheim, Concert review by Scott Pender

DeMare Launches his “Liaisons” with Sondheim, Concert review by Scott Pender
LIAISONS: Off to a Good Start Saturday April 2 University of Maryland Anthony de Mare kicked off his American tour of LIAISONS: Re-imagining Sondheim from the Piano at the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center with fine performances of 14 new works. LIAISONS will eventually include short piano pieces written by 36 stylistically diverse contemporary composers, each work based on a Steven Sondheim...
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Queeries for composer Clint Borzoni

Queeries for composer Clint Borzoni
Clint Borzoni began studying music at age seven and wrote his first composition at age eleven. Now 29 years old, he’s composed more than 40 pieces, including a piano concerto, percussion quartet, a couple of sting quartets and chamber orchestra works and loads of songs. A New York City resident, he received his bachelors and masters degrees at CUNY.  His musical theater work “My Life as a Bald Soprano”...
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Strings of texts, DNA in Sean Griffin’s “Cold Spring” (preview and review)

Strings of texts, DNA in Sean Griffin’s “Cold Spring” (preview and review)
Eugenics — the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase desirable characteristics — is a central theme in “Cold Spring,” which plays Friday and Saturday nights (12/3-4/10) in the EMPAC theater in Troy. Creator Sean Griffin chose the title as a reference to the studies in human potential conducted in Cold Spring Harbor, Suffolk County, during the early part of the...
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Lunch with ‘Cesca

Lunch with ‘Cesca
As one of the world’s leading opera directors Francesca Zambello’s career has taken her around the globe, jetting to such illustrious houses as La Scala, Covenant Garden and the Metropolitan Opera.  But as the new artistic director of Glimmerglass Opera, she’s been spending much of the fall driving herself around the Northeast, talking up the company with potential patrons and friends, from the Finger Lakes in New York...
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