The Arts Buzz: A blog about "All My Sons" at Delaware Theatre Company, concerts at The Grand Opera House, Remington Ryde and oompah at Smyrna Opera House, Serafin String Quartet, Melomanie, West African music and more
Fans of Arthur Miller, great American drama and explorations of the Great American Dream, this is for you. Delaware Theatre Company will present “All My Sons,” starting this week. The story goes like this: Joe Keller’s son wants to marry the girl next door. His wife wants their estranged eldest son to come home. But a secret from Joe’s past threatens to destroy the family. Set in the days after World War II, the play won Miller the Tony for Best Play in 1947. It remains fresh as ever. See it Oct. 19-23, Oct. 26-30 and Nov. 2-6. For tickets, call 594-1100, or visit delawaretheatre.org.
A Grand Week at The Grand
Whether you prefer your rock folky, bluesy or songwritery, you won’t be disappointed when legendary guitarist Richard Thompson visits The Grand Opera House Wed., Oct. 19. The body of work amassed over his long career has inspired artists and bands around the world. He’ll be preceded by songwriter Richard Julian, a Wilmington native who moved to the big apple a few years ago. The evening promises plenty of great stories and music. Call 652-5577, or visit thegrandwilmington.org. Check the clip of Thompson playing his classic “1952 Vincent.” Seventies California golden boy Jackson Browne drops by Oct. 20, comic Steven Wright on Oct. 21.
Serafin String Quartet will open Wilmington’s new community series, The Arts at Trinity, on Oct. 22 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Wilmington. The quartet—Kate Ransom and Timothy Schwarz on violin, Molly Carr on viola and Lawrence Stomberg on cello—will be joined by guest artists Charles Abramovic on piano, and Eric Stomberg on bassoon. The program includes Schumann Quintet in E flat for piano and strings; Beethoven String Quartet in D Major, Op. 18, No. 3; and Pulitzer and Grammy winner Jennifer Higdon’s Sky Quartet (Fury and Immense Sky) and Dark Wood for piano, violin, bassoon and cello. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. Meet the artists during a reception immediately after. And keep your eye out for Serafin’s second CD release next year. Both of Higdon’s works will be part of it. Other concerts in Serafin’s season include Other season highlights include Nov. 10 at University of Delaware, Feb. 4 for Market Street Music Series hosted by First and Central Presbyterian Church, March 20 at University of Delaware and April 21 for another The Arts at Trinity concert. For more, visit serafinquartet.org
Welcome to West Africa
A Grammy nominee at Arden Gild Hall? You bet’cha. Bassekou Kouyate and his band, Ngoni Ba, visit on Friday, Oct. 21, with an amazing set of African music and an explosive energy that is sure to make an impression. Ngoni Ba is a string band with four sizes of ngoni, a four-stringed African lute. Their recent album, “I Speak Fula,” was nominated for a Grammy. The bass and tenor-register ngonis in Ngoni Ba, invented by Kouyate, add new layers to the band’s sound. “Through technique, technology and open ears, Mr. Kouyate hurls the ngoni into the 21st century,” said The New York Times’ Jon Pareles. “The music remains unmistakably West African in its minor modes, its vocal lines, its rhythms (often three against two) and the breakneck lines and fluttering trills of traditional accompaniments. But instrumental showcases have taken over the songs, and Mr. Kouyate ignores stylistic boundaries.” See what he means at Gild Hall, 2126 The Highway, in Arden. Tickets are available at ardenclub.org, or at 475-3126.
Remington Ryde with Smyrna native Billy Lee Cox on banjo will play some old-time bluegrass favorites and some great original material when it visits Smyrna Opera House on Saturday, Oct. 22. James King notes that Remington Ryde is "one of the hottest upcoming bands in bluegrass today!” Oompah more your style? Check Happy Wanderers Oompah Band when it plays waltzes, polkas and old-time faves on Oct. 23. For tickets, call 653-4236, or visit smyrnaoperahouse.org.
Take our word for it: This will be one of the most interesting and enjoyable concerts you have ever seen. Mélomanie, known for “provocative pairings of early and contemporary works,” will begin its 2011-2012 season on Oct. 29 with special guest, composer Mark Rimple, at Grace Church, 900 Washington St. in Wilmington on Oct. 28. You’ll hear the world premiere of Rimple’s Sonata Circumdederunt Me, as well as fascinating work by contemporary composers Ingrid Arauco (Silver [Variation diabellique] for solo flute), Giuseppe Tartini, Georg Philipp Telemann and Christopher Caliendo. Mélomanie swings between Baroque-like music and whlly modern styles in a way unlike anything you’ve seen or heard before, and no place could be a better place to see them than the intimate confines of Grace. Find tickets at www.melomanie.org, call 764-6338, or pay at the door. CDs of Mélomanie's Florescence and Mark Hagerty's Soliloquy are also available online. Florescence will also be available at the concert
Dance fans, don’t miss First State Ballet Theatre’s “Don Quixote” staged by Kirov-trained artistic director Pasha Kambalov at The Grand Opera House in Wilmington this weekend. Based on Cervantes' epic story and played on Broadway as “The Man of La Mancha,” FSBT’s “Don Quixote” will delight with gorgeous costumes, beautiful music and, of course, vibrant dance. Shows are Saturday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 16 at 2 p.m. Cotact The Grand box office at 1-800-37-GRAND, or purchase at www.ticketsatthegrand.org.
Having joined with the New Wilmington Art Alliance, Winterthur has become part of the most exciting art movement in the state. See “NWAA + Winterthur: A Collaboration” at the Chris White Gallery of Shipley Lofts (701 Shipley St.,Wilmington), until Oct. 27, where new artists and old stuff come together in fresh ways. The artists are NWAA members Tiernan Alexander and Hunter Clarke. The old stuff is from Winterthur’s collection. Alexander and Clarke interpret it in unique ways in order to show the museum in a different light. Says associate curator Lisa Stoehr of Winterthur, “This is a previously unseen forum in which to share with our members a unique part of the Wilmington cultural landscape.” For more, visit winterthur.org.
We mentioned this last week, and though it may not be art, it happens at a museum, so here goes: On Thursdays this month, visit the labyrinth at Delaware Art Museum, which will be lit by hundreds of tea lights, starting at 6 p.m. End your work day with a relaxing walk and some quiet contemplation. Learn more at delart.org.
You Think You Know Poe? What better time of year to celebrate one of America’s greatest literary figures than the days before Halloween? On Thursdays through the end of the month, Kent County Library presents “Evenings with Edgar”—Allen Poe, that is—when Sarah Fergusen discusses the myths and realities of his life (Oct. 20) and his literary firsts, including the first detective novel (Oct. 27). The talks are free, but space is limited. Register by calling 698-6440. All start at 6:30 p.m.
We sadly say goodnight to the Phils, but all the same, what better during baseball season? The Tony-winning “Damn Yankees” plays at The New Candlelight Theatre until Oct. 30. You’ll hear favorite tunes like “You Gotta Have Heart” as you see how a floundering baseball team struggle toward a pennant. Contact the theater at 475-2313, or ncstage.org.
Season 39 of the Delaware Children’s Theatre is underway with “Narnia.” A musical version of the C.S. Lewis classic “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” the fantastical tale has delighted children for decades. When Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy discover a wardrobe leads to the magical land of Narnia, they become engaged in a battle of good and evil between the magical lion Aslan and the devious White Witch. See it Oct. 22-23 and Oct. 29-30 at the historic theater, 1014 Delaware Ave. in Wilmington. Tickets are $12. Call 655-1014. Or visit dechildrenstheatre.org.