Were you art-full this past weekend?

Did you visit a gallery, attend a performance or catch a movie or bar band? Maybe you performed yourself. Please share how the arts filled your week and weekend.

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EPAC’s ‘Sweet Charity’ has something for everyone

EDITOR’S NOTE: A regular attendee of Endicott Performing Arts Center shows shared with BAMirror the comments he posted on EPAC’s Facebook site following last week’s opening weekend of Sweet Charity. Performances conclude tomorrow (Sunday, March 24).

Reviewed by Ed Arnold

Another fine evening’s entertainment was provided by the cast and tech crew of EPAC for the musical Sweet Charity. When I go out for an evening, I want to be entertained with comedy, dancing, live music, and this show had it all. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Last Five Years’ puts pair in a pop opera time warp

Reviewed by Nancy Oliveri

Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years opened last night (March 22) in Binghamton, a production of Half Light Theatre, one of the more recent entries into the theater community here. The show is not exactly a musical and is not exactly a play, but is more like an opera. I would call it a Pop Opera, but without any instantly sing-able melodies. I didn’t leave with any one song buffering in my head, just a sense of the work as a whole.

That’s OK, though, because it was good and, first and foremost, a love story — a story about the first and, no surprise here, what turn out to be the last five years of a couple’s angst-ridden, sometimes hopeful, but never really tender relationship. Performed in the intimate setting of the Roberson  Museum and Science Center’s third-floor ballroom, the show was accompanied only by Vicky Gordon, a fine pianist. Read the rest of this entry »

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New Binghamton Philharmonic director charts ambitious course

EDITOR’s NOTE: Last fall, BAMirror began an occasional series of chats with recently appointed leaders of local arts organizations. Today we talk with the new executive director of the Binghamton Philharmonic.

By George Basler

Heidi Kelley knows this is a tough time to be the executive director of a symphony orchestra. She worked for a symphony orchestra in southwest Florida that ran into financial difficulties. She’s read about other orchestras, such as Honolulu and Syracuse, that have gone belly up because of money.  “In this industry, finances are a constant concern,” said Kelley, who became the Binghamton Philharmonic’s new executive director March 1 after working as executive director of the Abilene (Texas) Philharmonic. She succeeds Stephen Wilson, who is now executive director of the Fresno (California) Philharmonic. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mobility documentary is as endearing as it is informative

Reviewed by Lory Martinez

Monteith McCollum’s visually affecting 2010 documentary, A Different Path, is a stunning combination of animated work and cinematography. The film, screened this past weekend at Binghamton University as a part of  the Harpur Cinema series “Forces of Nature,” takes its audiences into the lives of several ordinary people who have come up with some fairly creative ways to communicate their transportation troubles.

As someone who isn’t a fan of the documentary genre, I expected to be bored by preachy commentary on people who are against cars as a primary mode of transportation, but McCollum does a brilliant job of making his point indirectly. Read the rest of this entry »

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What did you do in the arts this weekend?

I attended all three performances of Union-Endicott High School’s amazing production of Godspell. How were the arts a part of your week and weekend?

Cider Mill’s ‘Trying’ is a triumph

Reviewed by George Basler

At first glance the plot of Trying seems to be the worst kind of theatrical cliché. One character in the two-character play is a cantankerous, demanding old man. The other is a bright, efficient young woman who goes to work for him. Of course, they’re going to start the play clashing with each other. Of course, there going to end up feeling mutual respect and affection.
But don’t let the plot summary discourage you. Trying, now playing at the Cider Mill Playhouse in Endicott, is a funny, warm and poignant play that skillfully explores both the issues of aging and the stresses of young dreams yet to be realized. Canadian playwright Joanna McClelland Glass skillfully intermixes humorous and emotional moments without ever descending into false sentimentality. Like a skillful jazz musician finding new riffs on an old tune, Glass finds new insights in the off-repeated odd couple genre.
And the Cider Mill production is first-rate, with Paul Falzone and Marjorie Donovick giving outstanding performances. Read the rest of this entry »