Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on February 11, 2001 · Page 31
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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page 31

Rochester, New York
Issue Date:
Sunday, February 11, 2001
Page 31
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Aivrs DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2001 3C mporary takes Conte QUlck J on the local arts scene Armenta Hummings Hammings 'first album Armenta Hummings, the crusading Rochester music teacher, has just released her first album of solo piano music. The compact disc contains Bach's fiercely demanding Goldberg Variations, Mozart's Theme and Twelve Variations on 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star' and two arrangements of Bach chorales. Hummings, who is deeply religious, says she selected "music that is spiritual and nurturing as opposed to proving one's prowess." As associate professor of performance and community education at the Eastman School of Music, she has taught disadvantaged pupils at local community centers and churches. She also organized the national Gateways Music Festival for African-American classical musicians. Starting Tuesday, she'll begin a new venture: teaching music to senior citizens. "Often parents are too busy for their children, who end up with their grandparents," says Hummings, 64. "This is another way of putting music in the home." Her new CD, Music That Feeds the Soul, is available for $5 in the Eastman School of Music Bookstore, 25 Gibbs St. Call 274-1399- Art Senior artists honored Two residents of the Jewish Home of Rochester, 2021 S. Win-ton Road, Brighton, have won a national art competition designed to recognize the creativity of senior citizens. Flavia Busacco, 84, and Dr. Bernard Yablin, 81, submitted acrylic paintings to a contest sponsored by the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. Their entries will be permanently displayed in the association's new headquarters in Washington, D.C. Theater Famed actor dies Al Waxman, a prolific actor and director who performed regularly at the Stratford Festival, died last month. He had been slated to return to Stratford, Ontario, to play Shylock in this year's Merchant of Venice. Waxman was a veteran of more than 1,000 movie, radio and stage productions and starred in the popular Canadian TV show King of Kensington. His film credits include playing opposite Denzel Washington as the jailer in The Hurricane. His death Jan. 17 followed heart surgery in Toronto, where he was also born. He was 65. Compiled from staff reports. Critic's choice Swingin' with Doc marks the return of Doc Severinsen to the Eastman Theatre, 60 Gibbs St. The much-recorded conductor and trumpeter performs big-band and swing music with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and vocalist Lynn Roberts at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Buy tickets at $12 to $44 by calling 454-2100. New and notable A Presidents Day Concert features the Penfield Symphony Orchestra and pianist Di Zhu, the winner of the orchestra's recent Jo Amish Young Artist Competition, at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow. Zhu, a junior at Greece Arcadia High School, will play the first movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20. Also on the program is Copland's Lincoln Portrait, Barber's ssay No. 1 and Mozart's Symphony No. 35. Tickets for the concert at Browncroft Community Church, 2530 Browncroft Blvd., Penfield; cost $8, $6 for seniors and students, $2 for children. Call 872-0774. Dancin' & Romancin' is a Val- BY STAFF WRITER DAVID LEE Queen Elizabeth, as played by Judi Dench, didn't expect much out of a young Shakespeare. According to 1998's Shakespeare in Love, at least, she just wanted romance, and a bit with a dog. Despite her majesty's (albeit fictional) preferences, the bard only let the dog out once in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, a dark comedy that most scholars believe is Shakespeare's first play. It opens at Geva Theatre this week under the direction of TimOcel. The tale involves two buddies whose friendship is tested when women and career moves throw curveballs at their bond. Ocel sets the play in a contemporary environment of roadside billboards, mobile phones and bike messengers. It also boasts Shakespeare's only canine character, Crab. Though his doltish owner, Launce, bemoans his pooch being "the sourest-natured dog that lives," the two stand by each other as faithful companions. At a banquet, when Crab is a bit too free-spirited with his bladder, his master even takes the blame for the boo-boo and the ensuing punishment. They seem like blundering fools, but their constancy is a neat contrast to the rockier relationship between the two title characters, Valentine and Proteus. "They mirror and they parallel and they sort of spoof the scene around them," says Mike Ryan, who plays Proteus. "They're the Saturday Night Live sketch of the reality that comes before." The reference to the television show is not out of place, since the play sports some surprisingly funny scenes and can have a modern feel. Thanks to their timeless themes" and bare-bones stage directions, Shakespeare's plays often thrive outside their original settings, in terms of time and geography. In this case, the bard put the action in the land of spaghetti but it might as well be in the land of SpaghettiOs. "Depending on any individual audience's point of view, they could either see Italy or America," Ocel says. "We tried to ride a line." If Shakespeare hadn't gone on to write more refined works than The Two Gentlemen of Verona, we'd be more apt to see movies about Christopher Marlowe in love. On top of some minor plot inconsistencies, the play contains a troublesome ending that seems painfully misogynistic, even for Shakespeare's time. It's so awkward that some "scholars wonder whether Shakespeare even wrote the last few lines. But these tarnished elements speckle a work that still offers the silvery radiance of England's most revered dramatist. It contains the cross-dressing high jinks of his comedies, the magical forest worlds of his romances and the fickle and thwarted passions that snowball to great effect . in his tragedies. It is, says Ocel, both novel and familiar. "It's got elements of King Lear and Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night," he says. "But nobody's got a preconceived notion of it." For more on Geva Theatre, visit: For a summary of the play by Charles and Mary Lamb, click on "Tales From Shakespeare" and "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" at: Shakespeare w.ipti i'jiiuw mmvrmm. mi t.mmi mmmMmmjmWgWIW n n m mi MnnwniPiMyn ij If ujf- If I v r , 'it' ;';? ,:' ' i I - - ' 4 r '.'-' 1 f y AQ" U. , , i ' -A Gt-va TliLMtre Above, Hans Altwies (left) as Valentine and Mike Ryan as Proteus. Left, Gregg Coffin (left) as Launce and Colman Domingo as Speed. The Two Gentlemen of Verona What: Shakespeare's early play about two buddies. When: Opens 8 p.m Saturday, with previews beginning Tuesday; through March 18. Where: Geva Theatre, 75 Woodbury Blvd. Tickets: $10 to $43. Call: 232-4382. entine's Day program with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and special guest Doc Severinsen at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center, 123 E. Main St. The event begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday with a champagne reception and live jazz. At 7 p.m., dinner and auctions will be held in the Lilac Ballroom. At 8:30, the dance floor will open while the RPO, Severinsen and conductor Jeff Tyzik entertain. Tickets range from $50 to $500 and ' benefit the RPO's education concerts. Call 454-7311, ext. 243. Live From Hochstein, the free concert series, continues at 12:10 p.m. Wednesday with a "Valentines in Song" program by mezzo-soprano Allyn VanDusen, baritone Ken Harrington and pianist Alisa Curlee. It's in the Hochstein Performance Hall, 50 N. Plymouth Ave. Call 454-4596. A benefit for Gallery r, Rochester Institute of Technology's student showcase for contemporary art, will start at 6 p.m. Friday in the gallery, 775 Park Ave. RIT graduate students and faculty members have created art that "represents" local celebrities such as Rochester Mayor William A. Johnson and chore- THIS WEEK IN THE ARTS ographer Garth Fagan. Guests may choose a work of art to take home. Live jazz and refreshments will be offered. To buy a ticket at $101 per couple, call 475-4977- Matthew Ardizzone, a classical guitarist who teaches at Nazareth College, performs pieces from his compact disc Mazurka! at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The free recital will be held in the college's Wilmot Hall of Music, 4245 East Ave., Pittsford. Call 389-2700. The Passionate Italians is a concert in honor of Valentine's Day, featuring concertos by Vivaldi and another composers influenced by the virtuosic Italian style. The Publick Musick, a Rochester period-instrument band, performs at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Ave. Tickets cost $18, $7 for students; call 671-6612. Needing No Introductions is an exhibit by 10 artists who joined the Oxford Gallery in recent years. They hail from across North America and work in paint, prints and stone. Stop by the gallery, at 267 Oxford St., from Saturday through March 24. Call 271-5885. The Eastman Chamber Music Society will perform works by Beethoven, Prokofiev and Schumann at 2 p.m. next Sunday in the Jewish Community Center's Hart Theatre, 1200 Edgewood Ave., Brighton. Tickets cost $7, $3 for children ages 6 to 12. A second JCC concert by the same group is planned for March 25; a $10 ticket covers both events. Call 461-2000, ext. 235. Gods and Monsters, a concert by the local Baroque ensemble Air de Cour, presents music by Bach, Biber, Marais and For-queray at 3 pm. next Sunday. The performers include harpsichordist Bonnie Choi, violinist Perrin Yang and cellist Ingrid Bock. Tickets for this event in Wadsworth Auditorium at State University College at Geneseo cost $8, $5 for students and seniors. Call 243-3163. Luvon Sheppard, a Rochester artist who teaches at State Uni versity College at Geneseo, displays his paintings in the college's Lederer Gallery at Brodie Hall. The exhibit runs through Feb. 28. Call 245-5816. Fame, the musical version of the 1980 film, will be performed by the Rochester Association of Performing Arts Teen Players. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, with additional performances through March 10, at 727 E. Main St. Tickets are $9. Call 325-3366. family 44 RAl'A Fame cast (clockwise from top left): Kathie Martin, Tim Pratt, Devin Cannon, Alan C. Edwards, Brad Javne. Take the Child's Play, a Chicago-based touring company that stages children's writings, performs a program called Do the Write Thing It's Up to You. The show, recommended for kids age 4 and older, features songs and plays that come from literature by children. It's at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Nazareth College Arts Center, 4245 East Ave., Pittsford. Tickets are $9. Call 389-2170. A Valentine's Day Party brings hearts-and-crafts activities to the Strong Museum, 1 Manhattan Square. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, visitors can create a Valentine's Day crown, make a kissing swan cardor an "I Love You" fan. Admission is $6, $5 for seniors and students, $4 for children ages 3 to 17. Call 263-2700. For more on art oiwuings, conceits and plays, see Weekend magazine on Thursday.

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