Monday, September 26, 2011

Lights…Batons…Curtain Up!

By Misty L. Harris

Fall is my favorite season for many reasons. Leaves turning, a slight chill in the air (I love comfy sweaters), back to school supplies (I like looking at them in the stores, reminds me of my youth) and the beginning of the Performing Arts Season in Buffalo! The summer break leaves the city barren of theatre and music buffs who tend to stay within the confines of the suburbs when seeking entertainment after the 9-5 grind. But now the city is awake with fervor and those who left are back again with tickets in hand!

This evening at 7 p.m. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra opens its doors to the public for a “Season Sampler” and if it’s anything like last year's Curtin_Upsampler, it will be a real treat! The best part about it is that it’s totally free! This “Season Sampler” is like the first day of school or a blind date, when you’re not quite sure or hesitant to find out what’s behind those doors. But then you are pleasantly surprised and you actually want to go back for more and with great reason! The season, beginning on Saturday, Sept. 17, is packed with diverse performances that appeal to a wide range of age groups and music genres.

Theatre performances have slowly but surely been creeping their way back onto the performing arts scene. While not open to the public, the press is also given the opportunity to receive a sneak preview of the upcoming season later in the summer, in the form of a mixer that has been likened to "speed dating." Local theatre companies talk with members of the press about the season, again enticing us to come back for more! But don’t count the public out, several theatre companies hold “pay what you can” performances that all lead up to the big event when the lights come on and the curtains go up. Friday, Sept. 16 is the night when downtown Buffalo comes alive, filled with glitz and glamour both on stage and off!

I recently spoke with JoAnn Falletta and Lisa Ludwig, two women who are integral parts of the music and theatre community and asked them the same questions regarding their 2011-2012 season. Their answers left me even more excited about fall as I happily waive goodbye to summer.

MH: Can you tell me about this season’s featured musicians?Idina_Menzel
JAF: “We have a tremendous roster of fantastic guests- from Idina Menzel to Joshua Bell from Fabio Bidini to Pink Floyd, of our course our own beloved Michael Ludwig, Amy Glidden, Roman Mekinulov as soloists-we have a galaxy of stars who will dazzle our audience!”

MH: Why are you excited about the new season?
JAF: “I am excited about the diversity of our concerts. We have a great mix of new discoveries and old favorites.”

MH: Which performance(s) are you looking forward to the most?
JAF: “I am most looking forward to our Mahler Third Symphony - a work of staggering beauty!”

MH: What, if any, surprises do we have to look forward to?
JAF: “The big surprise is going to be hearing the BPO transform itself into an astonishing BIG BAND in our Ellington Festival! This is music that is going to reveal a new side to our musicians...including a number of surprise soloists right from our BPO.”

MH: In one word describe the BPO 2011-2012 season.

MH: Why are you excited about the new season?
LL: “The theatre scene for “Curtain Up” is a very eclectic one. From old time toe tapping musicals to re-invented classics to beloved comedies to Buffalo premiers to never before seen productions. What more could you ask for? There is something for EVERYONE!”

MH: Which performance(s) are you looking forward to the most?
LL: “I am personally involved in the Paul Robeson production of COOL BLUES so I am looking forward to that opening on Curtain Up night---and I can't wait to see 42nd Street at the Kavinoky. Believe it or not, I have actually never seen a production of that old chestnut before----it should be fun!”

MH: What if any surprises do we have to look forward to?
LL: “The street party is always a ton of fun! It always ends up with a lot of fun surprises and should not be missed.”

MH: In One Word Describe the Curtain Up 2011-2012 Season.
LL: “Eclectic!"

Want to hear or see more? Listen to Classical 94.5 FM WNED or visit our website for more information regarding Fine Arts performances around Western New York. Our Fine Arts Report has all the details!

No comments:

Post a Comment