In the depths of the Durham Arts Council building last week, the Durham Symphony Orchestra gathered to rehearse its upcoming “A Musical Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.”
It was a weeknight, and the musicians who came were volunteers and paid professionals, some in jeans and T-shirts, others in the business casual they wore all day at an office.
You don’t have to know the work of Russian playwright Anton Chekhov to enjoy PlayMakers Repertory Company’s main stage opening play, but you might laugh more if you do, according to the creative team.
When singer Ricardo Diquez talks about the salsa style of music, he speaks about a fusion of different rhythms that makes listeners want to move and dance. There also is another element – the communication among the musicians.
On their ReverbNation page, The Chit Nasty Band says of its sound, “Plain and simple, this band makes people happy.”
The national tour of “Dirty Dancing – the Classic Story on Stage” not only takes audiences back to the 1963 story setting, but the 1987 film. It is on stage at the Durham Performing Arts Center through Sunday.
The movie’s soundtrack of classic and new songs was a theatrical musical waiting to happen. Well, it has happened, and while “Dirty Dancing” hasn’t made it to Broadway yet, it did gather many fans in London’s West End. There were a few technical glitches at opening night Tuesday – microphones briefly going silent and music volume being adjusted. But those are the kinds of things that happen opening night in a show that’s on tour in a new space. The audience may have cringed at the occasional mic static in the final scenes, but still rose to their feet to reward the cast with a standing ovation. And they deserved it.
Stephen Murray has to lean his phone on a corner of his porch and put it on speaker to have a conversation with good reception. The singer and guitarist of Holy Ghost Tent Revival recently moved to the North Carolina mountains, trading Greensboro for Asheville. Four out of the six members of the horn-driven rock band are in Asheville now.
“Dirty Dancing” is a summer movie that has lived way beyond its 1987 release, becoming entrenched in pop culture for its love story, songs, dancing and setting. It was filmed at Lake Lure, North Carolina, and at Mountain Lake in Giles County, Virginia – both mountain settings filling in for the fictitious Kellerman’s resort in upstate New York. It’s the story of Baby, the teenage girl played in the film by Jennifer Grey, who falls in love with the dance instructor Johnny, played by Patrick Swayze in the film. It’s set in 1963 with music from that era along with new songs, making for a memorable soundtrack of “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” “Hey Baby,” “Hungry Eyes” and “Do You Love Me,” which are all in the new musical.
There is some fascinating art at the Nasher Museum of Art, and the conversations between the works span decades and cross continents. The core of the show is 34 works of art by Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) on loan from the Rauschenberg Foundation. Those images have been juxtaposed with Russian art created during the 1980s and 1990s, which are part of the Nasher permanent collection. Added to this mix are 24 works from the newly acquired gift of more than 50 objects by San Franciscan Bruce Conner (1933-2008), photographer, videographer, collage artist and longtime friend of Rauschenberg.
American Tobacco Campus’ 10th anniversary celebration culminates Sunday afternoon with a street party featuring music, performances and food trucks from 1 to 5 p.m. downtown.
Starting off the musical performances Sunday will be the Heart of Carolina Chorus, a 25-member male barbershop chorus established 10 years ago, too, in Durham.
The Ori Naftaly Band, who will perform on Saturday’s bill at the 27th Bull Durham Blues Festival, is another of countless examples of how musical influences migrate.
Guitarist Naftaly and vocalist (and instrumentalist) Eleanor Tsaig both grew up together in Israel, where they heard American blues, soul, funk and related styles.
Phillip and Chuck Campbell, two members of the sacred steel band The Campbell Brothers, say audiences should come to their concert Friday at Hayti Heritage Center prepared to get involved with the music.
At the Thursday performance of “where did I think I was going? [moving into signal],” performed and created by Thomas F. DeFrantz and Kenneth David Stewart, the audience could ask the same thing. “Where did we, the audience, think we were going in this theater with a dancer and musician and a network of cables, cameras and laptop computers?”