This month’s Kalamazoo Philharmonia and the Bach Festival Chorus performance is personal for Andrew Koehler.
In Western music canon, Ludwig van Beethoven was one of the first freelance composers. Unlike his predecessors — Bach, Mozart and Haydn — he had no royal patron to please. Beethoven wrote music for himself, and for greater humanity. “What I have in my heart must come out; that is the reason why I compose,” he said. Knowing this makes the impassioned plea for universal fellowship and peace in his “Symphony No. 9” all the more powerful.
If there is something inherently funny about women’s breasts and the seemingly endless quest for the sexual capital that comes from an augmented female form, then “Gay Deceivers” capitalizes on it — with a pseudo-feminist twist. The humor in this almost-farce also relies on the audience’s delight in seeing ostensibly straight men dressed (badly) as women.
It was a truly unique night at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts last night with the first ever Off the Wall fundraising event. As I was leaving the event, feeling inspired and blessed to have seen so much talent in just three hours, I hoped that the UICA makes this an annual event, and I can safely assume the happy audience around me felt the same.
If there’s one thing the New Vic Theatre in Kalamazoo does exceptionally well, it’s down-home folksy storytelling with music. And that’s exactly what they have with “Radio Gals,” by Mike Carver and Mark Hardwick, which takes us into a delightfully kooky sort of Americana by way of retired music teacher Hazel Hunt’s front parlor where the Hazelnuts, a motley crew of local Arkansans, put on a radio variety show for the fun of it with a Western Electric 100-watt radio transmitter on their very own WGAL.
Perhaps what’s most striking about Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play “Angels In America” is how quickly it has become an American classic.
In Oscar Wilde’s triumphant Victorian novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray," the character Basil Hallward offers the critique that “(w)e live in an age when men treat art as if it were meant to be a form of autobiography.” It was, no doubt, a jab at his critics, who couldn’t help but see his own story emerging in many of his literary works. Wilde also offered that “(t)he true artist is known by the use he makes of what he annexes, and he annexes everything.”
After finally seeing Into the Woods — it’s been on my bucket list for a while now — it both met and exceeded my expectations. The play honors the classic fairy tale stories like Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood, but also gives each character a more modern take on their traditional outfit, speech and general personality.
For one night only, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts is taking art “off the wall and into the space.”
Director Todd Avery particularly enjoys the “dark side” of Into the Woods, the hugely successful musical penned by James Lapine and composed by the iconic Stephen Sondheim.
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