United Cultural Fund grants total $228,000 for 2013

By Barb Van Atta

Broome County Arts Council Board Chairman Fred Xlander and Executive Director Sharon Ball today (March 13) announced the awarding of more than $228,000 in United Cultural Fund (UCF) grants for 2013. Seven arts and cultural organizations will share in $210,428 in UCF general operating support grants. Project grants totaling another $18,298 will be shared by 14 organizations and individual artists. Read the rest of this entry »

Comedy and commentary ring true in ‘Dead Man’s Cell Phone’

Reviewed by Lory Martinez

Elizabeth Mozer’s Binghamton University directorial debut, Dead Man’s Cell Phone by Sarah Ruhl, follows a woman named Jean (Christina Catechis), who finds — what else? — the phone belonging to Gordon, a dead man, and begins to answer it. She meets his mistress (Jacobella Luongo); his mother, Mrs. Gottlieb (Sarah Lees); his brother, Dwight (Rob Tendy); his wife, Hermia (Arshia Panicker) and his organ-trafficking business associate, “the stranger” (also played by Luongo). On the surface, this is a situational comedy about a woman who keeps this man’s memory alive by keeping in contact with the people in his life, but ultimately it is a play about communication. Read the rest of this entry »

They Might Be Giants … of improv

Reviewed by Nancy Oliveri

OK, here’s the situation: Ten acting students, graduates of an eight-week improv class, gather to show the world what they’ve learned. On the barest of stages, and with only their wits, they need to think fast and act faster.

Last Saturday (March 9), Tim Mollen was about to put his improv students’ newly-acquired skills to the test at the JCC in Vestal, performing ad-libbed skits under his direction to a room full of people. Expectations were high. Read the rest of this entry »

Celtic Woman concert makes a mockery of Irish music

Reviewed by Lee Shepherd

Never underestimate the gullibility of the American concert-going public.
A sell-out crowd attended the travesty of Irish music by Celtic Woman Tuesday night (March 5). at The Forum in Binghamton.
The promoters should have billed the fare as Irish rock, as the show was far more about stage effects than music from the Emerald Isle. Read the rest of this entry »

Sexual violence play at Know Theatre benefits crime victims

By George Basler

The issue of violence against women has been much in the news. Congress recently re-authorized the Violence Against Women Act. U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is holding hearings on sexual abuse in the military. A rape and killing in India has prompted protest and self-examination in that country.
So a production taking place this coming weekend (March 8 and 9) in Binghamton is both timely and provocative. Read the rest of this entry »

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What did you do in the arts this weekend?

Did you participate in the monthly art walk (as either a walker or an artist)? Were you in the audience for a high school musical? Did you, like me, try to catch up on Oscar winners that you hadn’t seen yet? (First thought after finally seeing Argo: Christoph Waltz must have been absolutely amazing in Django to have been deemed more worthy of the Best Supporting Actor award than the hilarious Alan Arkin.) Please join our conversation.

One night + three BU shows = Lots of feelings

Reviewed by Lory Martinez

The graduate students of Binghamton University’s theater department presented their versions of Elizabeth Wray’s futurist parable, Forecast; Thornton Wilder’s 1930s comedy, The Happy Journey from Trenton to Camden, and Edward Allan Baker’s  family drama, Up Down Strange Charmed Beauty and Truth yesterday (Feb. 28) in Studios A and B in the Fine Arts Building. Read the rest of this entry »