Friday, January 25, 2008

Weekend Ahead and Ken Glickman

Weekend Events

The winter break is definitely past and the arts are in full swing again around town. Not that it is ever completely quiet, but early January is typically a tad slower than other times of the year.

Side Man opened last night at Riverwalk and continues through this weekend and next. I'm planning to catch the Sunday matinée.

Boeing-Boeing continues for another weekend at Lansing Civic Players. Tom Helma reviewed it for the Pulse.

S'Moves dance concert is being performed tomorrow and Sunday. That's a trio of performers that are dancing to raise money for LCC scholarships. In fact, I can give you what I wrote for my column that had to be cut for space purposes (and because Mike Hughes had already written a fabulous article on them):

Act II: Get into S’moves with Dancing Trio

Roberta Otten-Mason has a story to tell. Several of them, in fact, as do her two co-dancers Rosemary Edgar and John MacDonald.

They’ll be telling the stories this Saturday and Sunday in a modern dance concert that focuses on storytelling and improvisational dancing. It’s the fifth annual S’moves concert in Lansing Community College’s Dart Auditorium and it raises money for dance and theater scholarships.

The hour and 15 minute concert will feature several numbers both choreographed and improvised. In one of the numbers, cards will be passed out the audience. They’ll pick a topic and then Edgar will tell a story while Otten-Mason dances to it.

“What we’re doing on stage, people can identify with on some level in their own life,” Otten-Mason said. “The stories that we tell, people relate to.”

Pianist Barbara Freeman accompanies Some of Edgar’s singing while providing interludes while the three dancers change costumes and catch their breaths. Other numbers include a spoof on Dancing with the Stars and a serious modern dance piece about how people feel trapped and are trying to find the light. MacDonald will dance the latter number while blindfolded.

“John is always an inspiration to men,” Otten-Mason said, “because he is 50 years old, a physician by profession, and he is up there dancing full out. He’s only been studying dance for six or seven years. Men respond very positively to his courage to be out there.”

This year’s concert is dedicated to the fathers of the two female dancers, both of whom passed away last year.

Otten-Mason also offered a teaser about one of the dance numbers. They’re calling it a DT3. “D as in Dance, T as in Talk, and I won’t say what the three is. Come and find out.”

  • Dart Auditorium, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at 2 p.m. Free, but donations for scholarships are encouraged.
I'm heading out to see that one on Saturday while tonight I'm going to go to a rehearsal to interview a cast and director for an upcoming column.

Earlier this week, Richard had auditions for the play that he's directing at Waverly High School--Midsummer Night's Dream. He's pretty pleased with the cast he's put together and is excited about the show itself. I love the play and can't wait to see what they do with it.

Ken Glickman is Blogging Again

About a year ago, Ken Glickman, one of my fellow reviewers at the LSJ, started a blog called "GlickArts: Comments on the arts scene in and around Lansing, Michigan and beyond." It was a wonderful blog to read. Ken's writing on instrumental music is simply fabulous. He's so perceptive and writes in a way that really makes the concert come alive. When I read what he writes about a concert, I feel as though I'm sitting at the feet of a master, hoping that a few drops of his talent might land on me.

He'd taken a very lengthy hiatus, but has recently begun making entries again. Go read his commentary on the recent concerts he's been to. It is a wonderful illustration on why you need more than 300 words to review some performances and why reviews can be so critical to publish--even when a concert is a one-time event.

It remains my hope that someday Gannett will realize that arts patrons are readers and that newspapers are bought by people who are readers. The current trend to make everything shorter and in ever-smaller bites is a trend geared toward capturing people who aren't readers--and it is one that turns off and away those people who are readers. It's a trend that trains people not to read you.

Ken Glickman is a local treasure as there are few people who can write about instrumental music with the skill and flair that he does. I wish that we could see more of his reviews in print, but in the mean time, I'll savor reading them online.

Still to come next week:
  • How the Bee kept me from applying to Harvard
  • Upcoming change in my column and features that you can read throughout the year, starting Jan. 31
The latter one I'll talk more extensively about before next Thursday when those changes take effect. I'll also try to chat about Side Man and S'Moves.

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