Scene Here: Springfield Symphony Hall
May06

Scene Here: Springfield Symphony Hall

It’s the final performance of the 2015 Springfield Symphony Orchestra season and the 71-year-old group has put together a timely show, The Rite of Spring with Spencer Myer on piano. Buses for retired living communities line the street outside. Inside Symphony Hall, the smell is all Jean Nate. The musicians are dressed in finery: the men in tuxes, the women in black dresses and slacks. The audience dressed for the orchestra, too....

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StageStruck: Homer’s Daughter
Apr15

StageStruck: Homer’s Daughter

Jeannine Haas confesses that she “got through 21 years of formal education without ever reading the Iliad,” and that when she was first preparing to perform the one-person play based on that epic, “I thought, ‘Oy, it is gonna be a pain to read.’ But honestly, it was a page-turner.” An Iliad is a loose, mercurial rendering of the Homeric tale of pride and power, conquest and compassion in the Trojan War. In it, an ageless Poet is...

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Madness, Mayhem, 24 Hours
Mar10

Madness, Mayhem, 24 Hours

“This is how I feel about the 24-Hour Theater Project: I think doing it is nuts.” That’s Elizabeth Foley, one of the organizers of Northampton’s annual festival of instant theater, which blooms and dies again this Saturday. The event, which she describes as “theatrical mayhem” and “controlled madness,” is a no-net high-wire act in which six plays are written, rehearsed and performed in one 24-hour period. Here’s how it works: On...

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The Arts: Saving their own lives
Feb25

The Arts: Saving their own lives

WEB TEXT FOR ARTS PAGE 1

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The Arts: Music, shadows and gongs
Feb04

The Arts: Music, shadows and gongs

WEB TEXT FOR ARTS PAGE 1

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Singapore, part 1: The Fringe

I was in Singapore last month when, by happy coincidence, the Singapore Fringe Festival, an annual showcase of alternative theater and visual arts, was underway. Over half of the festival’s 11 productions were homegrown, and I caught four of them. The performances (in English, the lingua franca in a country with four official languages) were fascinating, and attended by gratifyingly young audiences. They all showed imagination and...

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