Were you art-full this past weekend?

Did the long weekend provide you with extra chances to immerse yourself in Broome County’s lively arts scene? Then please tell us what you did.

‘Rock of Ages’ delivers nostalgia with a capital N

Reviewed by Nancy McKenzie Oliveri

What was a girl to wear to a Broadway-caliber show, on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) no less, that promised to rock her and the rest of the audience right back to the wonderfully raunchy, tasteless decade of the ’80s?

For this girl, in her mid 50s, it meant faking it in black leggings, knee boots, a stretchy, black, not-too-mini skirt, red jacket with too many snaps, and an animal print scarf. Fetching, right?

But this review isn’t about me, although the highest praise I can give the touring company production of Rock of Ages is that it sure made me feel that the show was somehow about me, and everyone else in the house, and that I was right at home in that getup. Read the rest of this entry »

Ti-Ahwaga finds right balance in challenging play

Reviewed by George Basler

One thing can be said about the Ti-Ahwaga Community Players: They don’t shy away from taking risks.

Having turned in a very solid effort last fall in staging Arthur Miller’s classic Death of a Salesman, the company is now tackling Edward Albee’s challenging A Delicate Balance, play that is not for actors who are faint of heart. Read the rest of this entry »

‘Circle Mirror Transformation’ reflects fine stagecraft

Reviewed by Lee Shepherd

What a perfectly crafted and finely acted play!
I’m talking about the Know Theatre’s production of Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker, directed by Tim Gleason and featuring Jason Hill, Ilana Lieberman, Jessica Nogaret, Susan Stevens and Jason Walsh. Read the rest of this entry »

‘Trovatore’ returns triumphantly to TCO repertoire

Reviewed by Lee Shepherd

You can see why there’s been so much fun made of Il Trovatore – even the Marx Brothers took a crack at it. Its crazy plot, set in the mountains of Spain, includes a gypsy’s curse, a child tossed into a fire, switched identities, several vows of vengeance, duels, madness, mayhem, poisonings, burnings at the stake, brothers who hate each other (who don’t know they’re brothers —  and that’s just on the personal level. On the larger scale, you’ve got battles and armies and bravado and nationalism and lots of bloodshed.
But if you succeed at suspending your disbelief, and discount the ridiculous plot twists, the  1853 Giuseppe Verdi opera affords you the most memorable few hours you’ll ever spend in a theater (in my case, The Forum in downtown Binghamton). Read the rest of this entry »

New Orford scores big on Super Bowl Sunday

Reviewed by Lee Shepherd

For most of the country, Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 3) was all about competition. For the select crowd at Binghamton University’s Anderson Center Chamber Hall for the “pregame show” on Sunday afternoon, it was all about collaboration.
And what a fine demonstration of perfect coordination it was, as the New Orford String Quartet played Mozart’s Quartet in C Major (the “Dissonant”), Brahms’ Quartet in A minor, Op. 51, No. 2 and Quebecois composer Jacques Hétu’s Quartet No. 2, Op. 50. Read the rest of this entry »

Musicals showcase student talent

By Barb Van Atta

I said it last year; I’ll say it again: From February to May, there are no better places to get the most out of your entertainment buck than the auditoriums of local high schools. Despite budget cutbacks, talented students, dedicated teachers and hard-working volunteers in every district continue to put their hearts into presenting musicals every spring. The 2013 season begins this weekend with Fame at Owego-Apalachin, and continues into spring with offerings both classic (South Pacific) and contemporary (The Wedding Singer).

In 2012, I called around to schools to compile a list of performances. A big shout-out and thank you to Rich Ives of Oweo who did all the legwork this year, put it into this nifty graphic and made it available to BAMirror.

HS Musicals 2013

The pipes, the pipes were calling at BU

Reviewed by Nancy McKenzie Oliveri

Last Thursday (Jan. 31), nearly 1,200 people came to Binghamton University to see the Pipes, Drums and Highland Dancers of the Black Watch 3rd Battalion, and the Band of the Scots Guards.  Throughout the night, the crowd was brought to its feet, and to tears. Repeatedly. Read the rest of this entry »

Did the arts warm up your week?

My son and I attended the final SRO Productions III performance of Godspell, a fabulous production that truly was SRO (“curtain” was delayed while more chairs were brought in). How did the arts add some warmth to your week ?

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Cider Mill cast makes the most of humor in ‘Leading Ladies’

Reviewed by George Basler

Even in an age of political correctness, a time-honored way to get laughs is to put a couple of guys in dresses and let the fun begin.
The technique has been used, with varying degrees of success, in comedies from Some Like It Hot to Tootsie to Bosom Buddies. It’s on display again in Leading Ladies, a 2004 comedy which opened Thursday (Jan. 24) at the Cider Mill Playhouse in Endicott.
The bad news is that Leading Ladies, which opened this weekend, doesn’t reach the heights of Some Like It Hot or Tootsie, which are classics of the genre. The good news is that, taken on its own terms, Leading Ladies is a lot of fun, and the Cider Mill production supplies its share of laughs to ease the mid-winter blahs. Read the rest of this entry »

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Clarinet soloist teams with BPO for concert filled with serenity and joy

Reviewed by Lee Shepherd

A funny thing happened at the Binghamton Philharmonic concert yesterday afternoon (Jan. 20). The clarinet soloist, Pascual Martinez Forteza, came out from behind the curtain at Binghamton University and almost turned left toward the woodwind section. He quickly turned right and took his rightful place in front of the orchestra, where he proved that the rarely-featured clarinet is indeed a very fine solo instrument. Read the rest of this entry »

SRO’s ‘Godspell’ mixes showmanship and faith

Reviewed by George Basler

In staging Godspell, co-director Ann Szymaniak wanted to put forth a message of love, acceptance and hope that “our fast-paced cynical society needs to hear.”
On a less spiritual level, the musical, which has been around for 42 years now, is an opportune chance for younger performers to try out their singing and acting skills in a zestful show that requires youthful exuberance to make it work.
Both spirituality and this exuberance are on display in the SRO Productions III’s presentation of the show that runs this weekend and next weekend in the ballroom of the Roberson Museum and Science Center in Binghamton.
While Godspell’s mixture of solemnity and hippy-dippy cuteness might not be to everyone’s taste, the SRO production is first-rate with an energetic and talented cast, ranging in age from 25 to 15, showing off the fact that there are a lot of talented young people in Broome County. Read the rest of this entry »

Did the Golden Globes shine?

Hey, movie buffs! Were you watching last night? What did you think of the Golden Globes — the ceremony, the hosts, the recipients, the speeches, … the gowns? Does the big thumbs-up for Ben Affleck compensate for the Oscar nose-thumbing?

Weather-delayed BTOS benefit set for Sunday

The BInghamton Theatre Organ Society’s benefit, postponed from last Saturday (Dec. 29), will be this Sunday (Jan. 6) at The Forum in downtown Binghamton. For details about the performance, see George Basler’s article below.

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Let’s resolve to talk more about the arts

Happy 2013! A new year, a new opportunity to join in the conversation at Broome Arts Mirror. Don’t know how to get started? How about sharing your thoughts about the arts in the year just past? What were your favorite events in 2012?

Too hard to think all they way back through 12 months of activities? Why not just comment about the artistic moments that enhanced your holidays? My son and I participated in the Downtown Singers’ Messiah; what did you do?

— Barb Van Atta

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