The Arts Buzz: A blog about Jamie Wyeth at Brandywine River Museum, "A Cappella Humana" at Delaware Theatre Company, Kennett Symphony's holiday concert, art exhibitions at H.L. Chalfant and The Mezzanine Gallery




Jamie Wyeth, as You’ve Never Seen Him Before

Fans of Jamie Wyeth and of children’s literature will be pleased to see the next big exhibit at the Brandywine River Museum: 20 original Wyeth illustrations created for the new book “Sammy in the Sky.” “Sammy” was written by Pulitzer-winning journalist Barbara Walsh to explain the death of their dog to her pre-school daughters. A fellow resident of Maine, she sent the book to Wyeth, asking if he’d illustrate. Moved by the story, he agreed. See the mixed-media illustrations—on display for the first time anywhere—Dec. 6-Jan. 15. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out A Brandywine Christmas. You’ll find a dollhouse once owned by Ann Wyeth McCoy, and, as ever, you can watch the cars of an O-gauge model railroad running on more than 2,000 feet of track and peep at the thousands of “critter” ornaments made from natural materials by volunteers of the Brandywine Conservancy. The holiday classic is on display till Jan. 8. (610) 388-2700, brandywinemuseum.org

A Different Christmas Story

This week, Delaware Theatre Company premieres a new work by Kevin Ramsey, “A Cappella Humana.” You may know Ramsey as the creator and director of “Chasin' Dem Blues” and “Fire on the Bayou,” which have played at DTC in recent years. “A Cappella Humana” is a different kind of Ramsey work, telling the nativity story in part through powerful renditions of “Go Tell It On the Mountain” and “Mary Did You Know,” as well as original compositions. In Ramsey’s words, “The creative process was designed to be exciting, fun and extremely thought provoking for everyone involved, because human beings are funny. In fact, we are the most entertaining species in the universe and far too often we take ourselves, beliefs, political and religious views and perspectives about the world, much too seriously. We are all doing our best to make sense of this journey with the tools that we've been given. So we celebrate all who dare to live. At the most you will leave having experienced a dynamic and soul stirring show; at the least you will have enjoyed the music."  What better way to celebrate the season? “A Cappella Human” runs Nov. 30-Dec. 18. 594-1100, 200 Water St., Wilmington, delawaretheatre.org

The Cavalcade of “Christmas Carols” Continues

The New Candlelight Theatre presents a modern retelling of “A Christmas Carol” through Dec. 23. It goes like this: Unhappy stage director Devlin Powers is on the verge of closing his theater days before his Christmas show opens, when he's visited by a parade of Broadway characters past, present and future, who help Powers regain his joy for the season. You’ll hear tunes such as “It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year,” “Baby It's Cold Outside” and “We Need A Little Christmas.” 475-2313, nctstage.org

Delaware Children’s Theatre presents “Scrooge: The Musical” at its historic playhouse through Dec. 18. It’s the same story as the classic Charles Dickens tale, but with music. Don’t miss it. 655-1014, dechildrenstheatre.org

In another twist, “Humbug” is the story of Eleanor Scrooge, a ruthless Wall Street exec who, locked in her office on a snowy Christmas Eve while finishing a corporate-takeover proposal, is visited by three "advisors.” See it by Milford’s Second Street Players Nov. 25-27 and Dec. 2-4. 422-0220

Let’s not leave out Clear Space, which will present, “Scrooge,” its own musical version of the holiday, starring Doug Yetter in his third turn in the title role. It runs nov. 25-Dec. 1 at the theater in Rehoboth Beach. 227-7303

A Chester County Classic

You won’t want to miss Kennett Symphony’s annual family holiday concert, Sounds of the Season, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m  at Kennett High School. Concerts and Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. at Lincoln University’s International Cultural Center. Maestra Mary Woodmansee Green will conduct a program that includes “O Holy Night,” “On Christmas Night,” "Vivaldi’s Winter" from “The Four Seasons” and more classics. This year’s outstanding Voice Competition winner, Daryl Freedman, and this year’s Instrumental Competition winner, Alyssa Blackstone, and the gifted Kennett Symphony Children’s Chorus join the orchestra. If you haven’t caught on to this holiday tradition, it’s never too late to start. (610) 444-6363, kennettsymphony.org

As Long as You’re in Chester County…

The Brandywine Valley tradition of art is rich, indeed. Among the most loved artists are Richard Chalfant, John Suplee and Michael Traines. See their work in “Dually Noted: 3 Chester County Artists Present Their Paintings & Share The Stories Behind Them” at H.L. Chalfant: American Fine Art & Antiques in West Chester. The month-long exhibition begins Dec. 3 with a reception where you can meet the artists at 5 p.m. See more than 50 new works from the three artists, who will provide written stories about each painting. “We all know how even a few words can enhance our response to a painting,” says Suplee. “For example, think how personal back-stories enrich our appreciation of some of the more significant art from our own Brandywine region. It’s very stimulating to take part in a show where such written sidebars aren’t just an option, but actually part of the concept.” hlchalfant.com, (610) 696-1862

Too Much Stuff?

What happens when we accumulate more than we need? What happens when those things become obsolete? Artist A.D. Loveday examines the question in “Deluge,” on display in the Delaware Division of the Arts Mezzanine Gallery Dec. 2-23. In works from pen and ink to those with video and vinyl, Loveday’s work depicts discarded bikes, tires and cars to show their effect on the landscape and on we viewers. An Individual Artist Fellow in Work on Paper, A.D. Loveday is based in Wilmington. She holds a master’s degree in fine arts from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and has exhibited her work throughout the country and abroad. See a video of the artist at work on youtube.com, then drop into the gallery at the Carvel State Office Building in Wilmington. Meet the artist Dec. 2 5 p.m. till 8 p.m. artsdel.org

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