BU students bring ‘Wonderland’ to life

Reviewed by Sarah Kuras

Throughout my years as a student, both undergraduate and graduate, I have seen many Binghamton University theater productions. Never have I seen such a creative, whimsical and hysterical show as the current  presentation of Alice in Wonderland. Read the rest of this entry »

SRO presents top-notch Kander & Ebb revue

Editor’s note: With this review, BAMirror welcomes a new writer, George Basler, recently retired from a long reporting career at the Press & Sun-Bulletin. (Due to technical difficulty, the review previously was posted under the editor’s blog sign-on.)

Reviewed by George Basler

To the casual theatergoer, the names Kander and Ebb might not be as familiar as Rodgers & Hammerstein, Lerner & Loewe or the Gershwins. But John Kander and Fred Ebb, who first teamed up in 1962, deserve a notch in Broadway history as the most long-running and successful duo of the last 50 years. Read the rest of this entry »

Strong principals help make TCO’s ‘Flute’ a winner

Reviewed by Tony Villecco

How can you lose with Mozart? You can’t. I attended the final dress rehearsal Wednesday evening for Tri-Cities Opera’s production of Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) and was not disappointed. All of the principals were strong with a few standouts. No surprise here that the orchestra also was excellent under the firm hand of Maestro John Mario Di Costanzo. The overture, a signature piece, was worth the price of admission. Read the rest of this entry »

Music lovers: Don’t miss out on BU spring concerts

By Lee Shepherd

It occurs to me that the community doesn’t take full advantage of the many free or very low-cost concerts offered by the Binghamton University Music Department. Take the weekly Mid-Day Thursday (1:20 p.m.) Concerts during the school year, all in Casadesus Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Building. They’re free and feature up-and-coming student musicians and/or faculty. A special treat will be the May 3 Jazz Mid-Day with guest artist Mark Buselli, who also will perform that evening with the Harpur Jazz Ensemble in the Osterhout Concert Theatre of the Anderson Center. Read the rest of this entry »

Simon’s ‘Red Hot’ laughs still ring true in Cider Mill production

Ava Crump and Buzz Roddy (photo by Stephen Appel)

Ava Crump and Buzz Roddy (photo by Stephen Appel)

The Neil Simon farce Last of the Red Hot Lovers opened this past week at the Cider Mill Playhouse in Endicott. The production, directed by Penny Powell, features Buzz Roddy, Dori May Ganisin, Marjorie Donovick and Ava Crump.

George Bernard Shaw is quoted as saying that the French do not really care what they do as long as they use the correct words. Roddy’s character, Barney Cashman, is no Frenchman – he is a mid-20th century American man — but he’s in crisis, and words are at the root of his perceived woes. At 43 he believes that his life has been incomplete, because he’s never had an affair. And words are his challenge. He strongly believes that romance must be a part of an affair; however, the women he pursues have other words in mind – and romance is not one of them.

Barney is always changing with each scene building upon the character’s development. Roddy rises to the needs of the role, keeping the audience very invested in Barney’s dilemmas. We suffer, share and enjoy all his anguishes.

Ganisin, a well-known actor in this area, always turns in a great performance. In this piece, she is remarkable.  Her quick mood changes are phenomenal. From sexual enticement to a coughing seizure to anger and attack —  all are accomplished with amazing speed and believability. Read the rest of this entry »

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EPAC’s ‘Joseph’ is truly amazing

"Joseph" cast at EPACReviewed by Ralph Hall

Over the past eight years I have seen several Endicott Performing Arts Center productions, and without hesitation Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is the very best. Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice’s musical is uniquely produced with a cast representing the wide diversity of all those associated with EPAC, including the children’s chorus.

Director Patrick Foti has given the play its Broadway interpretation with the special addition of what only a talented community theatre can do in these economic times – a large cast.  Add to this the talent of several of the company’s lead performers, and you have an outstanding production. Read the rest of this entry »

‘Classical Singer’ article features former TCO singer Clarey

By Tony Villecco

I am pleased to share with readers that my article on former Tri-Cities Opera singer Cynthia Clarey is out in the April issue of Classical Singer magazine. Cynthia, a former TCO favorite, went on to a major international career. The article takes a fascinating look at her experience in the now-famous Master Classes held by Maria Callas at Juilliard during Callas’ 1971-72 visit there.

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Africanaise at BU blends musical worlds

Reviewed by Sarah Kuras

An incredible collaboration between Binghamton University’s Nukporfe African Dance-Drumming Ensemble and the BU Music Department’s string faculty lit the Anderson Center Chamber Hall stage this past Sunday (April 15). In a mix of worlds, culture and music, Professors James Burns, Stephen Stalker and Janey Choi created a new musical world for the audience. Blending classical and traditional African music, the collaborators created an entirely new delight. Read the rest of this entry »

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Actors excel in Know Theatre’s ‘Lonesome West’

Reviewed by Ralph Hall

How would a person born with no soul behave? Would no fear-of-God affect his behavior? Would he be pure evil? Are these the questions Martin McDonough poses in his third play of his Connemara trilogy, The Lonesome West? Read the rest of this entry »

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Keep celebrating poetry’s big month

There’s still a couple of weeks left in National Poetry Month — still plenty of time to submit your best poetic effort and/or a copy of your favorite poem. If you are submitting your own work, include a brief explanation of your inspiration. If you are submitting someone else’s poem, include a few lines about why and how this poem became one of your faves. Please DO NOT submit poems as separate postings to BAMirror; attach them to this posting through the “Leave a Comment” function. Already posted: Two poems by BAMirror reviewer Tony Villecco.

BPO brings home the gold

Reviewed by Lee Shepherd

In the spirit of the upcoming London Olympics, the Binghamton Philharmonic flexed its muscles this season and, on Saturday night, it brought home the gold. Everyone in the Southern Tier’s music-going public is richer for the talent of the orchestra members and the outstanding soloists they’ve brought to the area. Read the rest of this entry »

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EPAC keeps growing to bring arts to community

By Ralph Hall

EPAC as a work in progress

EPAC as a work in progress

Throughout the Americas and Europe, there are hundreds of community theaters, but there is only one Endicott Performing Arts Center (EPAC)! EPAC is a unique, comprehensive and community-committed not-for-profit organization serving the Broome County area and making a difference in economics, the arts and education. The activities of this company are so very diverse in serving many age groups, varied arts pursuits (i.e. acting, dance, backstage, etc.) in a setting that positively affects the economics of Washington Avenue, Endicott and Broome County.

The venue, formerly known as the Lyric Theater, was built 1916-1917 as a vaudeville theater, and a few years later was transformed to a motion picture theater. In 1993 the owners closed the theater, and it began to deteriorate. Fortunately for the community, Lou Ligouri (Executive Director) and Pat Foti (Artistic Director) met in 1991 and within a few years created a vision that was to become EPAC. The first performance in 1999 was Visions of Vaudeville, produced and performed with the St. Anthony Players. In 2010, the name of the theater was changed to “Robert Eckert Theatre” to honor Robert Eckert, an Endicott native who has been active in professional and community theater for many years. Read the rest of this entry »

Busy Gleason making up for late start in the theater

By Ralph Hall
The biographical sketches that appear in theater programs often describe a long personal history of each individual beginning with early life experiences in artistic work. For KNOW Theatre’s founder and artistic director, this is not the way it happened. In fact, Tim Gleason was an adult pursuing a career in electrical design when he saw his first theatrical production, which was the catalyst that changed his entire life – forever! Read the rest of this entry »
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Artist Elizabeth Catlett dies at 96

Sculptor and printmaker Elizabeth Catlett, who spent most of her career in Mexico, was one of the most renowned African American aritsts of the 20th century.  Read more.

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Why not di-verse-ify with poetry this month?

There are a myriad of things to celebrate and support during the month of April. One of those things is poetry. To quote W.S. Gilbert’s Pirate King and his crew (soon to be seen in the UCF-supported Summer Savoyards’ 2012 production, The Pirates of Penzance):

KING: “Although we live by strife,
We’re always sorry to begin it,
For what, we ask, is life
Without a touch of Poetry in it?”

ALL: “Hail, Poetry, thou heav’n-born maid!
Thou gildest e’en the pirate’s trade.
Hail, flowing fount of sentiment!
All hail, all hail, divine emollient!”

You can help BAMirror celebrate National Poetry Month by posting either an original poem or a poem that is one of your favorites. If you send your own work, please include what inspired your writing. (Shameless plugs of published volumes or upcoming public readings are encouraged.) If you choose to send in someone else’s poetry, please include why that particular poem speaks to you.