During the summer and into the fall, many arts activities move outdoors for concerts under the stars. The pace is slower and the music is lighter. But don't relax too much, for the new fall season is right around the corner.
Here's a few events I'm looking forward to.
"Trouble in Tahiti." July 14, Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts.
TodiMusicFest offers up another of its small-sized operas this summer with Leonard Bernstein's look at a troubled American couple. Bernstein based the two-character work on his own family squabbles and incorporated Broadway and jazz styles into this first effort. The story is set in 1950s suburbia.
"Doubt," Sept. 18-Oct. 7, Wells Theatre.
Virginia Stage Company juggled its season when it got the rights to this gripping tale by John Patrick Shanley. Set in a Catholic church school in the 1960s, the play pits a popular priest against a rigid nun/principal around charges of child molestation. The play deftly explores the many shades of this explosive issue.
Sara Tavares, Sept. 28, The American Theatre.
Hampton Arts continues its outstanding practice of introducing world music artists to the community with a concert by this young singer. Tavares was born in Portugal but her parents come from Cape Verde, a group of volcanic islands off the West coast of Africa. She incorporates Portuguese, French, English and Cape Verdean crioulo into her singing. This is her first North American tour.
Taylor 2, July 28, Hampton University.
Contemporary choreographer Paul Taylor created his Taylor 2 company in the early 1990s as a more flexible way of bringing his work to communities that couldn't afford a large dance company. The energetic troupe of six dancers performs many of his classic dances that have been reworked for a smaller ensemble. Master classes often take place during the company's visit, which is being sponsored by TodiMusicFest.
"What the Butler Saw," July 27-Aug. 12, Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall.
The Virginia Shakespeare Festival closes its season later this month with an unusual but welcome choice. Joe Orton's "What the Butler Saw" scandalized audiences when it first opened in 1969 but it's considered a modern classic today. The author pokes fun at British sexual mores and its national health care system through a tale of a psychiatrist attempting to seduce a woman applying for a secretary's job. David Nicholson can be reached at 247-4794 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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