Were the arts part of your week?

Did you check out a jazz club, see a new movie release, visit a gallery or, perhaps, like our reviewer, catch an opening-week performance at the Cider Mill Playhouse (see below)? Please join in the conversation, and tell us how the arts were part of your week.

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‘Unneccessary Farce’ is a necessary show to see

Reviewed by Nicholas Linnehan

The Cider Mill Playhouse’s production of “Unnecessary Farce” is anything but unnecessary. It’s a riot! Under Penny Powell’s capable direction, the cast shines. This play is classic farce, full of awkward situations, sexual innuendo and play on words. The ensemble members show their talent as they tackle all of these aspects with great ease. As an actor, I know that this is no easy feat and requires a lot of diligence and skill. Read the rest of this entry »

Were you art-full this past week?

Did you visit a gallery, catch a movie, attend the Philharmonic like BAMirror contributor Lee Shepherd (see review below)? Please join in the conversation, and tell us about the arts in YOUR week.

Philharmonic, soloist Ehnes serve up a musical feast

Reviewed by Lee Shepherd

Fantastic soloist, fantastic orchestra, fantastic music — in the words of Binghamton Philharmonic Maestro José-Luis Novo, “It doesn’t get any better than that.”
Actually, it did last Sunday (Jan. 23). Guest soloist James Ehnes played Mozart’s Violin Concerto No., 3, K. 216, in G Major on one of the best violins ever crafted – a Stradivarius. (Ehnes plays the “Marsick” Stradivarius of 1715, on loan from the Fulton Collection.) While a quiet instrument, the violin possesses a color palette that puts a rainbow to shame.
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Did you have an art-full week?

Did you hear some music, see an exhibit or even catch one of those hot 2010 movies that are finally drifting into Binghamton? My son and I thoroughly enjoyed our King Day matinee of “True Grit.”
How about you?  Please join in the conversation, and share your thoughts about the arts.

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Joint fundraiser to benefit TCO and The Forum

Barbara Fiala and Friends of the Forum

r-l Barbara Fiala, TCO Director Reed Smith, Forum Friends Ron Sall and Sue Kirkland, TCO Board Member Dr. Michael Bogdasarian

Tri-Cities Opera and the Friends of the Forum are teaming up Saturday, Feb. 5, for what is being billed as a “gala cocktail party fundraiser” to benefit the Friends’ efforts to finance improvements to the downtown Binghamton theater. Invitations already have been sent to TCO subscribers, but the event, built around an “operalogue” preview of TCO’s upcoming production of La Traviata, was announced to the general public today (Jan. 13) at a press conference on the Forum stage, hosted by Broome County Executive Barbara Fiala.

“I love this theater,” Fiala said of the onetime vaudeville house and movie theater now managed by the county as a performing arts center. “We want to preserve it and even make it better.”

The Friends of the Forum, comprised of government, business and cultural leaders, began in 2009. A previous fund-raising event, tied to the Broadway Theatre League’s presentation of Mamma Mia!, brought in $50,000, Fiala said. The opera collaboration is on a smaller scale; however, TCO General Director Reed Smith expressed hope that it would call attention to the “distinctive cultural experience” of attending a performance in The Forum. Read the rest of this entry »

McStine shines on CD of originals

Reviewed by Rebecca Sheriff

Before I saw him play last month at Barnaby’s Pub in Endwell, I knew very little about Randy McStine. (I have since been informed he was a guitar prodigy.) I enjoyed the gig with John Kanazawich, which included  a well-done sampling from Abbey Road, and the night closed with a variety of interesting covers that truly showcased the guitarist’s talent. Unfortunately, very few original songs were played. When McStine did play two cuts from his latest CD, “ Lo-Fi Resistance,” he jokingly asked the small crowd not to leave.

It was slightly difficult to hear McStine, and most of the lyrics could not be made out. However, the originals interested me enough to purchase the CD. Read the rest of this entry »

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When you miss the arts

Another day, another lingering cough from “the thing that’s going around,” another missed opportunity to enjoy the arts. Sniffles and snowfalls seem to be getting in my way when I want to embrace the arts in Binghamton. Soooo … who would like to join the BAMirror conversation and tell me what I missed last weekend at the first First Friday of 2011? 

And speaking of missing out on something: How many of you felt a little less complete on Dec. 31, 2010, when you didn’t have a First Night celebration to attend? How about sharing your First Night memories and what you missed most now that Binghamton’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration has been disbanded?

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