On the surface, two newly-released films are completely different, starting with the personalities and issues of their central characters. Beneath the surface, however, both films are linked in that they effectively deal with the theme of isolation in an impersonal world.
The Octavo Singers of Schenectady is a more than 80-year-old community chorus of about 100 singers. The group was founded by the Schenectady Recreation Department with WPA funds during The Great Depression.
They perform large sacred works and present their concerts in big urban churches and synagogues.
The Octavo Singers will perform Mozart’s 3 Regina Coeli & Karl Jenkins’ Stabat Mater at the First Reformed Church in Schenectady, NY on Saturday, May 3rd at 7:30pm.
This week the cultural highlights in the greater Berkshire region include two experimental dance performances; several classical music concerts emphasizing Eastern European sounds; jazz concerts incorporating Afro-Cuban and Armenian flavors; and a whole lot more.
This Sunday, April 27th at 4pm - jazz pianist Armen Donelian will perform works from his new CD: Sayat-Nova: Songs Of My Ancestors in a CD release gathering at Castle Street Cafe in Great Barrington, MA in association with Berkshires Jazz.
The legendary Hudson Valley pianist will perform in a trio with Dave Clark on bass and George Schuller on drums.
During the month of April, the Catskill Mountain Foundation is launching its 2014 Orpheum Dance Festival featuring ZviDance. This exciting dance company has offered several Master Classes, and a few open rehearsals at the Catskill Mountain Foundation’s Orpheum Film & Performing Arts Center in Tannersville, NY.
ZviDance is in residency at the Catskill Mountain Foundation and will present an in-progress new work, Surveillance, on Friday, April 25 at 4 pm. This new work, which began development in the fall of 2013, explores our lives in the new world of the surveillance camera.
On Saturday, April 26, 7:30 pm, ZviDance will present a performance of Dabke, a line dance based on a Middle Eastern folk dance often performed at weddings and other celebrations.
Upon hearing the initial accounts of the recent murder of three people at a Jewish community center and retirement home in a Kansas City suburb, I was shocked and saddened. But senselessly violent acts are such a constant part of our world these days, and so I really should not have been surprised.
Since last month, big-screen viewing has been a mix of awesome and disappointing. The two films I most was looking forward to were Wes Anderson’s THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL and Darren Aronofky’s NOAH. Both were outstanding visually but in need of script doctoring.
Kander and Ebb’s classic Tony Award winning musical drama, Cabaret, is currently in previews in New York City - directed by Sam Mendes and co-directed and choreographed by Rob Marshall, the production stars Alan Cumming as the Emcee of the Kit-Kat Klub. Those of you who are particularly Broadway savvy may think I’m introducing a segment from 1998 - when those three men worked together with Roundabout on the same show - which ran until 2004.
But no - we’ve not figured out how to go back in time to see the critically acclaimed and much lauded production again - Roundabout is re-mounting the show at Studio 54. The official opening date is April 24th … 2014.
In addition to Mr. Cumming donning his suspenders and blood-red lipstick again, this revival stars Michelle Williams as Sally Bowles, Bill Heck as Cliff, Linda Emond as Frau Schnieder, and Danny Burstein as Herr Shultz.