Lifestyles: Entertainment

Feb. 26, 2014 @ 03:43 PM

REVIEW: Brazilian dancers, Merzouki work wows

Eleven Brazilian dancers and work by French choreographer Mourad Merzouki wowed a packed Memorial Hall audience Tuesday in a program that showcased a passion for dancing and dance-making. Dancers display great heart, energy, strength and flexibility while Merzouki exhibits his limber imagination and creativity.
This choreographer’s early circus training continues to serve him well, especially in the sense of putting on a show that elicits joy and delight. His work is playful, comic, whimsical. He also creates some dance magic when he figures out how to turn ordinary, clear plastic cups into rain and make dancers appear to have two extra legs.

Feb. 20, 2014 @ 12:14 PM

PlayMakers to perform ‘Love Alone’

The set for PlayMakers Repertory Company’s production of Deborah Salem Smith’s play “Love Alone” contains what scenic designer Lee Savage calls “a wall of windows.” The set also has hanging squares that contain fluorescent lights, and three video screens. All of these design elements are intended to help draw the audience into two different worlds affected by a medical procedure gone wrong – the survivors grieving the loss of a loved one, and the doctors who are being sued for malpractice.
There are no “evil doctors’ in Salem Smith’s play, said director Vivienne Benesch. “What’s important about the play is that it’s not black and white,” she said. “Love Alone” follows the lives of the patients and doctors in a malpractice suit and becomes “a very beautiful, personal play about dealing with grief and forgiveness,” Benesch said.

Feb. 20, 2014 @ 10:16 AM

Opening the West to Japanese prints

In 1854 Commodore Matthew Perry of the United States Navy sailed into Edo Harbor and demanded that the Japanese open their gates to the West and they did. There are many explanations why the Shoguns opened up trade to this American when they had closed their country to foreign influence for more than 200 years. The history of Japan at this moment in time is beyond the scope of this column, but the results of this incident, especially those that affected Western art, reached halfway around the world and were a key influence in the development of modern art. 

Feb. 20, 2014 @ 09:36 AM

Entertainment briefs

  • Poets to present ‘The Originals’
  • Transactors to present ‘Spring is Sprouting’
  • Ian Anderson coming to DPAC
  • Art gallery to present ‘Mind and Spirit’
  • Northgate to celebrate Seuss
  • Art of Cool adds VIP ticket
  • ADF seeking ‘Screendance’ film submissions
  • DAC taking grant applications
  • New collages by slavick

Feb. 13, 2014 @ 11:24 PM

Valentine’s Day with VaudeVillains

Virginia Scare, the founder of The VaudeVillain Revue, describes tonight’s Crimson Ball Valentine’s Day event as intended for adults, but also for “the kid in you.” The Raleigh-based troupe will present an evening of burlesque, live music, singing, and circus acts (including an aerialist and a juggler) during its 2nd Annual Color Ball at Motorco.

Feb. 13, 2014 @ 01:50 PM

Sounds of battle: Duke ensemble to premiere ‘Song of the Morrigan’

Duke University composer Paul Leary’s composition “Song of the Morrigan” takes its inspiration from a character in Celtic mythology. Morrigan is a goddess associated with battle and fertility, and Leary said he wants the piece to convey that “martial quality,” to give listeners the impression of a battlefield.

“It’s loud -- tonally driven but dissonant,” Leary said in a phone interview. The piece has “a lot of percussion. It sounds like artillery at times. I’m interested in how to present that kind of imagery in a piece,” he said.

Feb. 13, 2014 @ 11:57 AM

REVIEW: A portrait of a local photographer

In filmmaker Rodrigo Dorfman’s documentary, “Monsieur Contraste,” Durham photographer Jean-Christian Rostagni discusses his work as an attempt to balance realism and expression. Rostagni also struggles to balance artistic integrity with the need to pay the bills, and the art world’s commercial demand for product.
In “Monsieur Contraste,” Dorfman, whose films include “Generation Exile” and “One Night in Kernersville,” portrays Rostagni as a gentle soul with a strong do-it-yourself streak of independence. Born in France, Rostagni has been a photographer for more than 40 years. He came to the South about 20 years ago and settled in Durham, where he operates his Church of Photography gallery and shop out of his home.

Feb. 13, 2014 @ 11:05 AM

The energy of Celtic Woman’s Mairead Nesbitt

For 10 years, Celtic Woman has pleased audiences with a wide range of traditional Irish, popular and original music sung by women and accompanied by energetic fiddler Mairead Nesbitt. While other Celtic women have come and gone over the years, Nesbitt remains the only founding member. She is joined now by Lisa Lambe, Susan McFadden and Mairead Carlin. Lambe joined Celtic Woman in 2011, followed by McFadden in 2012 and then Carlin, who replaced Chloe Agnew this past fall.

Feb. 13, 2014 @ 11:00 AM

Entertainment briefs

  • Music The Bard inspired
  • Last Fridays series kicks off
  • O’Brien and Moore to perform music from new album
  • Salon to focus on ‘venue matching’
  • Festifall seeking artists’ applications
  • Orange County awards arts grants
  • Ledisi tour coming to DPAC
  • Murphey School to present 7th show

Feb. 12, 2014 @ 08:48 AM

NCCU to present exhibit from printmaker Holder

The North Carolina Central University Art Museum will present an exhibit by printmaker Robin Holder titled “Robin Holder: A Layered Perspective,” opening Sunday at 2 p.m. with a public reception, and continuing through April 18.
Holder, born in 1952, is a nationally known artist who works out of her studio in West Milford, N.J. After graduating from New York’s High School of Music and Art, she received a scholarship to the Art Students League of New York, where she developed and refined her skill as a printmaker. She left America to study in Mexico City and later studied black and white lithography at Werkgroep Uit Het Amsterdam Grafisch Atelier in Amsterdam.

Feb. 08, 2014 @ 04:10 PM

A REVIEW: Urban Bush Women

Urban Bush Women offered a cure for those winter blues in their program Friday night at Reynolds Industries Theater. They shimmied, shimmered, sparkled, strutted and stamped as though trying to put out a fire. Only, they ignited one.  It felt like warming up in front of a roaring fire and leaving the cold, cold world behind.

Feb. 06, 2014 @ 12:30 PM

Finding your story

Durham Family Theatre’s new production has an original script, original music, green leprechaun hats, wooden swords, walking sticks, animal masks and other props that evoke ancient Ireland. But this production is primarily about stories and their importance in our world.

Feb. 06, 2014 @ 10:15 AM

Entertainment briefs

  • Art of Cool adds to lineup
  • ‘Hey, hey, hey!’: Cosby returning to DPAC
  • Kidznotes choir to perform at Duke Chapel
  • Bull City Craft to showcase Palmer art 
  • Jaheim coming to DPAC
  • Stagville resumes slave narrative series
  • OCP to perform ‘Steel Magnolias’
  • Filmmaker to begin Stone Center residency
  • Takeover group to celebrate anniversary
  • Gearing up for Paw-Di Gras
  • Spectre to present ‘Mardis Gras Primer’

Feb. 06, 2014 @ 10:14 AM

Finding your story: DFT to present new musical

Durham Family Theatre’s new production has an original script, original music, green leprechaun hats, wooden swords, walking sticks, animal masks and other props that evoke ancient Ireland. But this production is primarily about stories and their importance in our world.
“Storytelling is how we create our world,” said Jenny Justice, co-founder and director of Durham Family Theatre and author of “Brigid Without a Story.” The play is based on an old Irish folk tale, which Justice has adapted. 

Feb. 06, 2014 @ 10:24 AM

Pushing boundaries in ‘The Book of Mormon’ musical

Mark Evans plays the lead role of Elder Price in the national tour of the musical “The Book of Mormon” opposite Christopher John O’Neill as Elder Cunningham. O’Neill’s background is sketch comedy. Evans’ theatrical rise is more traditional – “Ghost the Musical,” “Wicked” and “Spamalot” in London’s West End.
“It’s great – this show is a story about two Mormon missionaries thrown together. For me as a Brit coming over and being thrown together with an American, it’s real life,” said Evans, who is from Wales. He keeps O’Neill in line and O’Neill chills Evans out, he said.