Friday, February 23, 2018
My blog inspiration book, “Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book” reminds us to “Take in some culture once in awhile”. There is nothing more cultural than the ballet Swan Lake. In fact, this love story is the pinnacle of classical ballet with the demanding technique of the dance for the principle dancer who takes on the roles of both Odette (White Swan) and Odile (Black Swan). With the additional pairing of Tchaikovsky’s score which was performed live by the PBT Orchestra, this was a masterful performance!
Monday, February 19, 2018
|Dave Bennett, Multi-talented repertoire|
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra collaborated with Dave Bennett to bring the legendary swing sound of Benny Goodman and the rock n’ roll sounds of Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, and Johnny Cash to Heinz Hall in the show “From Swing to Rock”this weekend. Dave Bennett, a self-taught jazz clarinet player, also played the electric guitar, piano, drums and sang, taking everyone on a musical journey with the Grammy winning Pittsburgh Symphony conducted by Sarah Hicks.
Dave Bennett with his multi-talented repertoire had the audience on a musical ride from the 1930's big band swing era to the 1950's rock n' roll beginnings. Opening with "In the Mood", he played the clarinet in the famous Benny Goodman style. He then slid into a "Swing Medley" adding five more big band favorites with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. “Serenade in Blue” with the full sounding orchestra was “dreamy” but during most of this set, I wanted to jump up and do a jitterbug. I joined many in the audience who were tapping their feet and bobbing to this music.
Then Dave Bennett transitioned into piano playing Jerry Lee Lewis with a medley of six songs which ended with “Whole Lot of Shakin Going On”. He injected energetic key pounding adding his foot to the keys, which is characteristic of “wild man” Lewis!
It was a fun ride. Bennett even produced that smooth low tone “Elvis voice” with his guitar riffs which made the Elvis Medley from “Heart Break Hotel” to “"Blue Suede Shoes" bounce. He then cruised into “Love Me Tender” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” which was impressive with the added symphonic sound.
In the second half, there was a Johnny Cash set and Bennett performed his original “Lonesome Highway” . The jazzy "Wichita Lineman" allowed his band to jam and then “Sing Sing Sing” gave us all a little more big band sound near the conclusion of the show both of which are on Bennett's new CD, Blood Moon.
Sarah Hicks was wonderful to watch as she conducted the PSO down this musical highway. Bennett and his jazz band with the Pittsburgh Symphony gave us a fantastic whimsical musical journey from swing to rock n’ roll!
I will definitely keep the Pittsburgh Symphony POPS 2017-2018 season in my survival tool box. I am looking forward to Midtown Men, with the four original Broadway singers from Jersey Boys, continuing the musical journey through the 60’s with this Grammy winning Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
And the priest said to them,"Go in peace. The journey on which you go is under the eye of the Lord" (Judges 18:6)
Wichita Lineman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIRudfrOPfo
Wichita Lineman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIRudfrOPfo
Lonesome Highway https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9IaYRa01JU
Blue Sued Shoes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qQ3ULjTbwM
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Movement performed to the sound of 64 miniature robotic devices that produce rhythms for the show Meetings is definitely thinking outside the box which is just what Austrian choreographer, Anthony Hamilton is known for, and is just what this blog is all about. I was excited to experience Hamiton's collaboration with dancer, composer and sound engineer, Alisdair Macindoe, which brought a unique performance duo for another Multiple Choice Event to the August Wilson Center. I was ready for Meetings, my first “experimental dance/sound instillation” experience!
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Since this blog is all about keeping a forward trajectory in midst of change and reaching your personal best, I wanted to preview some of my planned experiences in the hope that it will inspire some to join in. As Dale Carnegie once said, "Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy." Let's all get busy!
RENT-PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh-March 27-April 1, 2018- Heinz Hall
Rent is a 1996 rock musical about poverty struck artists living in a NYC Greenwich Village flat who are determined to follow their dreams but have problems paying the rent. Being of a practical mind, my first thought about this plot was, “get a job so you can pay the rent”. After experiencing the show several years ago, I was hooked by the fantastic music that emulates the power of love. Rent chronicles an unforgettable and inspiring year of these individuals in the shadow of HIV/AIDS .
Join me and experience the power of love in all forms in this rock musical at the Heinz Hall, Pittsburgh. For tickets go to TrustArts.org.
RUSH: The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is sponsoring $25.00 tickets on a first come in- person bases 2 hours before the show at the Heinz Hall box office. Tickets for the RUSH are for the first three rows of the orchestra section available for cash only and limited to two tickets per person.
Blog Post to Here
Pittsburgh Opera -Moby-Dick - March 17, 20 23, 25, 2018- Benedum Center
I have recently added the Pittsburgh Opera to my empty- nest repertoire but I have only experienced one American Opera (see Day 212 Summer King). Moby-Dick is an American opera with music by Jake Heggie and lyrics by Gene Scheer . It is based on the classic novel by Herman Melville. With the strong male cast and a story that chronicles Captain Ahab’s feverish pursuit of the great white whale that previously took his leg, this should be a powerful musical night!
Join me and experience this Pittsburgh premier of the American Opera Moby-Dick at the Benedum Center March 17,20,23,25, 2018. For tickets go www.pittsburghopera.org.
Blog Post to Follow
Blog Post to Follow
Pittsburgh Opera Fashion show-“ Songs of Thrones”- March 19, 2016-Opera Headquarters, Strip District
The Pittsburgh Opera Fashion Show, "Songs of Thrones" is going to feature some of their ornate costumes in conjunction with fashions by Diana Misetic of Shadyside fashion studio and boutique, Little Black Dress. How fun to mix the pageantry of operatic fashions with life fashions! I have never watched the epic series “Game of Thrones” but know that it has medieval plot. I can’t wait to see how they combine the past with the present in this night of song and fashion.
There will also be resident opera artist molding the costumes from the vault, hair and make up styling by Studio Booth, and jewelry designed pieces for the show and for purchase by artist Deborah Phillips and Murial Spitz.
Heisenberg, March 8 to April 8, 2018 Pittsburgh Public Theater
It’s always fun to laugh at romance and Heisenberg is a romantic comedy named after physicist, Werner Heisenberg that pioneered the “Uncertainty Principle”- that particles position and momentum can not be measured at the same time. The play applies this scientific unpredictability to a relationship between a spirited 40 something year old American women and a 75 year old Irishman. I can’t wait to see the stages of this seemly mismatched relationship as it is performed in the round with the audience on all sides.
Join me for a little Irish/American unpredictable romance in Heisenberg at the Pittsburgh Public Theater. For tickets go to https://ppt.org/production/51429/heisenberg.
Blog Post to here
Sunday, February 4, 2018
Even as an adult I loved the mysterious land of Oz in the movie The Wizard of Oz. The musical, Wicked, tells us more about this world. It’s the story about a woman born with green skin who is misunderstood and labeled because of her appearance. She becomes the Wicked Witch of the West but as a young girl she had a beautiful popular friend, Glinda, the Good Witch. Wicked is an adventure about political struggles, social injustice, but mostly, friendship and love in this mysterious world.