The Big Season Preview:
Arts for Our Sake
What’s hot on the local scene? Only more cabarets, circuses and Tony winners than David Amado can wave a baton at. That’s what. Here are the stars and shows you’ve got to see.
Research assistance by Jennifer Bray, Stephanie Ostroff and Jaclyn Smagala
Cultural destinations can make or break a city. In Wilmington, great contemporary art exhibits might be a great lure for visitors. At least that’s how Carina Evangelista sees it.
Evangelista is the new Gretchen Hupfel Curator at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts. Her mission: Create shows that draw crowds.
“There are many small cities that become destinations primarily because of a museum,” she says.
But contemporary art extends beyond the constructs of a museum. In July, for example, DCCA resident artist Richard Saxton collaborated with The Buccini/Pollin Group and a nonprofit vocational training program for at-risk youth, to create a bus shelter on Market Street.
“Art doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s not created out of spontaneous combustion,” Evangelista says. “Contemporary art is the visually compelling medium that reflects the tensions and harmonies of its environment. The DCCA is unique in its position as a site where one could view contemporary works from the region and beyond, given the relatively small size of Wilmington.”
Evangelista’s challenge is to chart new directions while honoring past successes. The DCCA presents more than 30 exhibitions a year. She’ll work to ratchet that success up a notch.
She’ll use experience she accumulated in her native Philippines as an Asian Cultural Council Fellow and curatorial creds from New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Her main role will be to organize exhibitions that tackle contemporary issues and thrill audiences. She’ll expand the scope of shows that feature regional artists by drawing parallels with the larger art world and by showing documentaries.
“I think the trick will be to organize well-researched, well-conceived exhibitions that are both sexy in appeal and substantive in content,” she says, “shows that stop you in your tracks at first sight but also linger long after you’ve left the galleries.”
“Philadelphia Collects: Works on Paper”
Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts Through September 22
Works from private collections are rarely seen in public. So when you consider that “Works on Paper” gathers works from Andy Warhol, Chuck Close, Jasper Johns, David Hockney, Robert Motherwell and Joan Baez from the homes of Philadelphia collectors, this is a no-brainer.
“Double Lives: American Painters as Illustrators, 1850-1950”
Brandywine River Museum September 7-November 23
Critics have quarreled for eons over the difference between easel painting and illustration. This exhibit, which represents the work of Winslow Homer, N.C. Wyeth, Frederick Remington, John Sloan, Grant Wood and Rockwell Kent, explains why.
The Delaware Museum of Natural History October 17
Sleepovers are not for Boy Scouts anymore. For one night only, anyone can roam the museum until the wee hours. Guides will direct sleepy heads through “The Night Sky” to explore comets and constellations, then they’ll encourage stargazing. “Eyes on Earth” will explain space technology used to predict storms and monitor forest fires. Bring a flashlight for the scavenger hunt. Wake to a nice breakfast.
“Feeding Desire: Design and the Tools of the Table, 1500–2005”
Winterthur Museum & Country Estate November 1-February 1
For anyone who eats, here’s the dish: Flatware is fun when you consider its evolution. “Feeding Desire” explores the transformation of the act of eating into the art of dining. The Tiffany Foundation is sponsoring the exhibit, and no name says refinement better than Tiffany.
“Forgotten Dreams: the Paintings of Edward Grant”
Biggs Museum of American Art November 5- February 21
Grant, who trained and worked locally, enjoyed a stellar career that spanned seven decades. His earliest works exhibit social realism of the late 1920s and 1930s, followed by influences of cubism and abstraction. Grant’s later works became some of the most distinctive interpretations of life on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
“Paintings from the Reign of Victoria: The Royal Holloway Collection, London”
Delaware Art Museum January 31-April 12
When it comes to Victorian art, few exhibits can match the depth of this collection, which includes 60 of the era’s most important paintings. The collection is also a time capsule of British visual culture of the 19th century, academic to avant garde, including the work of Royal Academy presidents like Frederic, Lord Leighton and several Pre-Raphaelite artists.
Staying In the Loop
Art on the Town,” otherwise known as “The Art Loop,” draws more than 2,000 people to Wilmington every first Friday of most months, connecting art lovers with emerging artists whose work only gets more expensive as their reputations blossom. (Read: Buy now.) Linking 30 venues, including the Delaware College of Art and Design, the Wilmington Public Library and several corporate locales, the loop explodes with exhibits—some pint-sized, some that flex major muscle. Most locales offer wine and cheese. Others feature live music. Two shuttles start at 5:45 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m., in time for after-parties. This year’s party locations include the LOMA district (200 block of North Market Street), Delaware Art Museum, the OperaDelaware studios and Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts. Brochures stamped at five venues earn a free after-party drink, a ticket to Theatre N or a family pass to the Delaware Art Museum. Be there. For more, call 576-2100.
Museums and History
Biggs Museum of American Art
406 Federal St., Dover, 674-2111. The Biggs houses a spectacular collection of American fine and decorative arts, as well as representational American paintings by the Peale family, Albert Bierstadt, Gilbert Stuart and Childe Hassam.
Thru Oct.26 “Award Winners VIII” is a dazzling display of painters, photographers, writers, musicians and craft artisans who have earned distinguished fellowship prizes from the Delaware Division of the Arts.
Brandywine River Museum
U.S. 1, Chadds Ford, Pa., (610) 388-2700. The museum is known for its collection of works by Wyeths, but its collection of American illustration, still life and landscape painting is impressive.
Nov. 21-Jan. 11 “A Brandywine Christmas” celebrates the season with dazzling holiday displays, an extensive O-gauge model railroad, a Victorian doll house and thousands of whimsical critter ornaments made of natural materials.
Thru Nov. 23 Tour the N.C. Wyeth house and studio and Kuerner Farm. If you like Andrew Wyeth’s work, you’ll be impressed by the landscape that inspired it.
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Pkwy., Wilmington, 571-9590. The Delaware Art Museum is known for its collection of American art and illustration from the 19th century, but its premier collection of British Pre-Raphaelite work put it on the map.
Thru Sept. 21 “Garry Knox Bennett: Call Me Chairmaker” shows the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright on Bennett through 52 unique sculptural chairs. Just don’t sit in them.
Oct. 11-Jan. 4 “Bare Witness: Photographs by Gordon Parks” displays the work of the first African-American staff photographer for Life magazine. He tackled the truth of urban and rural poor black life through photography.
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, 658-9111. It’s hard to say which is more interesting, the amazing dinosaurs or the giant shell collection.
Sept. 20 “Eyes on Earth” explores the space technology used to predict storms, monitor forest fires and study the ozone layer.
Nov. 1-Dec.21 “Wild Delaware: The Photography of Kevin Fleming” boasts images that showcase wildlife of the Delaware River Estuary.
Hagley Museum and Library
Del. 141, Wilmington, 658-2400. The museum is where E.I. du Pont started his gunpowder works in 1802. The original machinery and the du Pont ancestral home, Eleutherian Mills, are must sees. Kids love the interactive exhibits.
Thru Jan. 4 “Give It Your Best: Workplace Posters in the United States” shows that Uncle Sam and Rosie the Riveter had something real to say about patriotism and work.
U.S. 1, Kennett Square, Pa., (610) 388-1000. Longwood is the horticultural Mecca of the East Coast, but it’s also a glorious spot for folk, classical and jazz music acts, outdoor theater and children’s events. Very few holiday events can beat Longwood’s Christmas displays. Call for schedule.
Winterthur, an American Country Estate
Del. 52, Winterthur, 888-4600. Home to one of the finest collections of American decorative arts in the world, as well as 60 acres of gardens.
Oct. 4-Jan. 9 “Who’s Your Daddy? Families in Early American Needlework” shows how family ties were once strengthened through needlework. Yes, needlework.
Nov. 7-9 “The 45th Annual Delaware Antiques Show” gathers some of the most distinguished dealers in American antiques, furniture, paintings, rugs, porcelain, silver, jewelry and other decorative arts.
Center for the Creative Arts
410 Upper Snuff Mill Row and Del. 82, Yorklyn, 239-2434. Offers arts classes for all ages. Its Corridor 410 Gallery showcases artists monthly.
Oct. 3-31 Regional Fine Arts Exhibition is a juried show of work by artists in a variety of media.
200 S. Madison St., Wilmington, 656-6466. You can get lost in DCCA’s seven stunning galleries and artist studios. The DCCA is positioned for national recognition under the direction of new curator Carina Evangelista.
Sept. 4 -Oct. 31 Colleen Zufelt , a popular local pottery artist, will display and sell.
5714 Kennett Pike, Centreville, 655-5230. Hardcastle is home for artists influenced by Howard Pyle and other Brandywine School painters.
Oct. 3-Nov 1 Painter J. Wayne Bystrom turns ordinarily subdued subjects such as ponds and farms into radiant bursts of color.
Mispillion Art League of Greater Milford
127 N.W. Front Street, Milford 430 7646. In the Governor Tharp building, continuous exhibits of members’ work change quarterly.
Oct. 24 “Autumn Art and Attire” is an exhibit of members’ work—plus a fashion show.
Newark Arts Alliance
276 E. Main St., Suite 102, Newark, 266-7266
The alliance provides Newark residents the opportunity to display their work. And these folks host rockin’ receptions.
Sept. 5-Oct. 1 “Ego” is a national, juried exhibit of works that relate to artists’ egos.
Nov. 28-Dec. 31 Holiday Art Market
Rehoboth Art League
12 Dodds Lane, Rehoboth Beach, 227-8408. The league’s mission is to promote local artists, education and collaboration among arts organizations.
Sept. 12-Oct. 26 “Together and Apart: Art Quilts by New Image Art Quilt Group” will grace the Corkran and Tubbs Galleries.
Somerville Manning Gallery
101 Stone Block Row, Greenville, 652-0271. The gallery presents the best of the Brandywine Valley and mounts exhibitions that typically showcase 20th-century paintings.
Sept. 12-Oct. 4 View the work of American luminist Timothy Barr, who is known for glazing techniques that produce radiant, natural-looking yet abstract landscapes.
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 654-8638. Owners Nancy Bercaw and Alice Crayton present fine exhibits.
Oct. 3-31 See landscape paintings by W. Gary Smith, architect of Winterthur’s Enchanted Woods.
Chapel Street Players
27 N. Chapel St., Newark, 368-2248. A fine community theater known for producing theater that transports. This is a great group of actors. They just don’t get paid.
Sept. 19-Oct. 4 “Ah, Wilderness!” is Eugene O’Neill’s comedy about a teenage boy’s poetry and first love.
Nov. 7-27 “Talk Radio” is Eric Bogosian’s Pultizer-winning play about a shock jock on the verge of national syndication.
The Children’s Theatre of Dover and Kent County
120 N. State St., Dover, 678-3227. Children’s Theatre is a volunteer organization of young actors who performs for children ages 8 to 18. Call for locations.
Oct. 18-19 “Alice in Wonderland”
Dec.12-13,20 “Treasure Island”
Feb. 21-22, 28 “Charlotte’s Web”
April 18-19, 25 “Cinderella”
City Theater Company
OperaDelaware Studios, 4 S. Poplar St., Wilmington, 658-7897. This is City Theater’s 15th year of bringing bold and enlightening theater to Wilmington. Shows include “Cabaret” and “The Beard of Avon,” a spoof on Shakespeare. Call for dates.
Clear Space Productions
Rehoboth Beach, 644-3810. Executive director Ken Skrzesz and artistic director Doug Yetter are Broadway vets who train local artists, then provide performance opportunities.
Oct. 2-5 “The Crucible,” is Arthur Miller’s classic about the Salem witch trials.
Delaware Children’s Theatre
1014 Delaware Ave., Wilmington, 655-1014. This institution has given many a star their first shot. Dates for the 35th season have not been announced, but shows include “Aladdin,” “Babes in Toyland,” “Pinocchio,” “Oliver” and “Fable Factory.”
Delaware Comedy Theatre
Rehoboth Beach, 258-5443. Nutty L.A. transplants David Warick and Amy DeBartolomeis, with an ensemble of other whacky characters, perform improvisational comedies. Call for locations.
Dec. 6 “A Chili Sumo Christmas IV” is an uproarious sendup of the holidays.
Feb. 13 “Cupid Shoots Self In Foot IV” presents games that look at the absurdity of falling in and out of love.
May 22-23 Delaware Improv Mini Fest
July 3 Fourth Anniversary Show at Milton Theatre
Delaware Shakespeare Festival
www.delshakes.org. Artistic director Molly Cahill offers interesting interpretations of Shakespeare works. Outdoor shows are presented under the stars in July and August. Season TBA
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water St., Wilmington, 594-1100. Delaware’s only professional resident theater company has presented new and classic works for 30 years.
Oct. 15-Nov.2 “Master Harold…and the Boys” is an exploration of race and class based on a boyhood incident that haunted writer Athol Fugard throughout his life.
Dec. 3-21 “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” by Steve Martin tells about a meeting between Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso in Paris.
Feb. 18-March 8 “Copenhagen” is a play centered upon a 1941 meeting between physicists Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg. It was a major Broadway success.
Hotel du Pont, 1007 N. Market St., Wilmington, 656-4401. The DuPont is home to Broadway’s best. Honest to goodness stars walk these boards then walk the lobby to sign autographs.
Sept. 30-Oct.5 “The Pajama Game” is the contemporary version of the riotous Broadway smash about lovelorn factory workers.
Nov. 21-23 “Rain: The Beatles Experience” is a tribute that covers the Fab Four’s music, from beginning through the psychedelic era.
Dec. 9-14 “Frost/Nixon” is a drama capturing interviews of the namesakes who divulge Watergate’s dirty secrets.
March 10-15 “An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin”
March 24-29 “Monty Python’s Spamalot” is the comedy that rocked Broadway for months.
The New Candlelight Dinner Theatre
2208 Millers Road, Ardentown, 475-2313. The Candlelight is Delaware’s only professional dinner theater.
Thru Oct. 5 “Phantom,” a musical based on Gaston Leroux’s “The Phantom of the Opera,” shows that love really does conquer all.
Possum Point Players
Old Laurel Highway, Georgetown, 856-3460. This popular community theater group celebrates diversity with a fine group of actors.
Oct. 3- 5, 10-12 “On Golden Pond”
Dec. 5-7, 12-14 “A Christmas Carol”
Schwartz Center for the Arts
North and State streets, Dover, 678-5152. The Schwartz is home to several organizations and presents performances of every kind.
Oct. 24 The internationally acclaimed Harlem Gospel Choir will offer a foot-stomping, awe-inspiring evening.
Nov. 21-22 First State Children’s Theater presents “Peter and The Wolf.”
Nov. 29 Christmas with The Celtic Tenors
Feb. 7 CJ Harding presents “Sweet Dreams” a Patsy Cline tribute.
UD Professional Theater Training Program
Center for the Arts and Hartshorn Theater, 413 Academy St., Newark, 831-2201. Gifted students from around the globe perform the classics. But the big news is UD’s new repertory theater, the Resident Ensemble Players.
Nov. 20-Dec. 6 “As You Like It” by William Shakespeare tells the tale of Rosalind and Orlando via lust, intrigue and a few cross-dressers.
Feb. 4-Feb. 21“The Long Christmas Dinner,” by Thornton Wilder is a short one-act play that covers changes in the Bayard family over 90 years of celebration.
Oct.22-Nov. 8 “The Hostage” by Brendan Behan depicts the events surrounding the execution of an IRA member in a Belfast jail.
Feb. 27-March 15 “Of Mice and Men” is based on John Steinbeck’s masterpiece about migrant workers in Depression-era California.
Wilmington Drama League
10 W. Lea Blvd., Wilmington, 764-1172
It all started in 1933 when a group of neighborhood pals decided to put on a show.
Sept. 5-20 “Assassins” is a Stephen Sondheim musical about crazy people who try to kill presidents. It won five Tonys.
Oct. 24-Nov. 8 “Proof” is about Catherine, the daughter of a deceased mathematical genius who struggles with her own mathematical genius and mental illness.
Dec. 12-29 “The Sound of Music” is the classic holiday take of the von Trapp family.
Jan. 23-Feb. 7 “Big River”
March 13-28 “Blithe Spirit”
June 19-28 “Seussical the Musical”
Arden Club Theatre
Arden Gild Hall, 2126 The Highway, Arden, 475-3126. The Arden provides education in the performing arts and shows to boot.
Sept.12-20 “Kiss Me Kate” is the Cole Porter comedic musical that spoofs Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” and Broadway.
Dec. 12-13 “Sounds of the Holiday Music Festival”
June 4-6 ”Prelude to a Kiss” tells how the soul of an old man comes to inhabit the body of a young woman.
Christ Church, Buck Road, Greenville; St. Peter’s Church, Second Street, Lewes, 594-1100. The sound comes from a harpsichord, flute, cello, two violins and two voices. Season TBA.
Bethel United Methodist Church, 129 W. Fourth St., Lewes, 645-1539. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Coastal Concerts.
Sept. 27 Richard Dowling, solo concert pianist
Oct. 25 The Vienna Piano Trio
Jan. 31 The Cypress String Quartet
Feb. 28 Spanish Brass
March 28 The Aviv String Quartet
Cooldog Concert Series
cooldogconcerts.com. These house concerts in northern Kent County support original music by local and up coming national musicians.
Sept. 21 Cara, Celtic sound from Germany
Oct. 26 Garnet Rogers, Canadian songwriter
Delaware Friends of Folk
Wesley Chapel, Division and Bradford streets, Dover, (877) 335-3655. This dedicated crew organizes non-alcoholic “coffeehouses” with performers of all kinds.
Sept. 15 Delmarva Folk Hero Contest
Oct. 18 John Flynn
Jan. 17 Karen Savoca
Feb. 21 Tannahill Weavers
April 18 Rory Block
Delaware Symphony Orchestra
The Grand Opera House, 818 N. Market St.,
Wilmington, 652-5577. Under the direction of conductor David Amado, DSO’s season will journey from Beethoven to Led Zeppelin, making interesting pit stops along the way. Season highlights include the following:
Sept.19, 29 Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 and Beethoven Symphony No. 6
Oct.1-2 “Musical Superman: A Tribute to John Williams”
Nov. 14-15 Double bill: “Treeline” and “Sheherezade”
Feb. 28, March 1-2 “Bugs Bunny Broadway”
April 8-9 “The Music of Led Zeppelin”
Delaware Valley Chorale
Greenville, 234-4866. The Delaware Valley Chorale performs works of choral literature in a four-concert season.
Nov. 16 “Luke’s Aeterna” by Morton Lauridsen and Chichester songs by Leonard Bernstein
March 1 Mozart Grand Mass in C and “Serenade to Music” by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Dover Downs Hotel & Casino
Rollins Center, U.S. 13, Dover, (800) 711-5882. Big-time stars always make their way to the Dover Downs stage. Season TBA
Oct. 10-11 Dionne Warwick & Friends
Oct. 31 Glenn Miller Orchestra
Dover Symphony Orchestra
Dover, 678-5152. Under the direction of Donald C. Buxton, DSO performs four concerts a year.
Oct. 12 “The Russians are Coming!” includes selections by Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Borodin.
Nov. 23 “Young People’s Concert: Play Ball”
The Grand Opera House
818 N. Market St., Wilmington 652-5577. Executive director Stephen Bailey keeps booking big acts and pleasing all generations.
Sept. 7 Los Lonely Boys
Sept.21 “A Signature Event” is a “not so silent” auction featuring Club Phred with special guests Tom Malone and the Late Night-Horns from the Late Show with David Letterman in the Baby Grand.
Oct. 4 David Crosby and Graham Nash
Oct. 21 Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt
Nov. 9 George Winston, solo piano
Nov. 11 Duncan Sheik, featuring original cast members of “Spring Awakening”
Jan. 31 The Pink Floyd Experience
March 13 Richard Nader’s Stars of Doo Wop
764-6338 or www.melomanie.org. This ensemble of flutes, violins and harpsichords performs works of the 20th and 21st centuries at Grace United Methodist Church in Wilmington.
Nov. 1 “Harpsichords and Friends: Music for Two Harpsichords”
Jan. 31 Rainer Beckmann, recorder
March 28 Linda Kistler, violin
May 2 Eve Friedman, flute, and Robert Pace, composer
New Ark Chorale
Newark United Methodist Church, 69 E. Main St., Newark, 368-4946. This versatile chorale led by Dr. Michael Larkin performs Bach as expertly as it performs the Beach Boys.
Dec. 20 “Home for the Holidays”
March 28 Spring concert
Newark Symphony Orchestra
319 E. Main St., Newark, 369-3466. The symphony series and chamber series offer large-scale and small works. Call for locations.
Oct. 26 , Dec. 14, March 15, May 17 Symphonic
Sept. 27, Nov. 15, Feb.14, April 4 Chamber
The Grand Opera House, 818 N. Market St., Wilmington, 652-5577, (800) 37-GRAND. The costumes may be extravagant, but the magic of OperaDelaware starts behind the scenes. Artistic director Leland Kimball is an architect, which explains the complex blocking and intriguing sets.
Nov. 2, 7-8 Puccini’s classic “La Bohème” stars acclaimed soprano Youna Jang.
Feb. 6-8 “Die Fledermaus” is a comic operetta by Johann Strauss II.
May 3, 8-9 “The Marriage of Figaro” relates how a bored count, snubbed by a mistress, must beg his wife’s forgiveness.
Wilmington, (888) 512-5093. About 60 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered men and women perform excellent choral concerts in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach.
Dec. 7 Holiday concert
Dec. 31 New Year’s Eve Concert with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra
May 30 Spring concert
UD Department of Music
Amy E. du Pont Music Building, Amstel Avenue and Orchard Road, Newark, 831-1527; Roselle Center for the Arts, Orchard Road, Newark, 831-3589. UD offers a host of concerts in several genres. Season TBA
The Wilmington Children’s Chorus
2606 N. Van Buren St., Wilmington, 438-8152.
A choir offering opportunities to kids in the region. The diverse membership performs a varied repertoire that reflects several cultures. Call for locations.
Dec. 20-21 Candlelight Concerts
Jan. 19 Martin Luther King Concert
April 4-5 Guest appearance by Simon Shaheen at the Baby Grand
May 17 Formal Spring Concert
The Wilmington Music School/Delaware Music School
410 Washington St., Wilmington, 762-1132; 10 S. Walnut St., Milford, 422-2043. Students from Delaware’s only statewide music school perform regularly around the state. Call for venues.
Oct. 1 Brandywine Harp Orchestra
Oct. 5 Latin American Heritage Concert
Nov. 2 Wilmington Community Orchestra
Dec. 17 Chesapeake Brass Band
Jan. 16 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute
Jan. 20, 26 Delaware Youth Orchestra Concert
Feb. 15 Mardi Gras celebration
March 11 Brandywine Harp Orchestra
March 22 Music of Eastern Europe
April 1 Music Masters Faculty Concert
April 22 Select Choral Ensemble, Delaware Women’s Chorus and Delaware Men’s Chorus
April 29 Wilmington Youth Chorale and Delaware Children’s Chorus
May 3 Violin Master Class: Connie Heard
May 11 Spring Orchestral Concert
Academy of the Dance
1301 Carruthers Lane, Wilmington, 351-3173. Delaware’s first school of Russian classical ballet training. Each December students perform “The Nutcracker” at the DuPont Theatre with full orchestra and international guest artists.
First State Ballet Theatre
818 N. Market St., Wilmington, 658-7897. Presents major ballets choreographed by internationally recognized talents. Locations vary.
Oct. 11, 18 “Don Quixote”
Dec. 13, 19, 20 “The Nutcracker”
March 7-8 “Sleeping Beauty”
108A E. Main St., Newark, 266-6362. The ballet presents three productions a season.
Oct. 10-11 “Giselle”
The Ballet Theatre of Dover
522 Otis Drive, Tutor Industrial Park, Dover, 734-9717. Yearly performances include classical ballet and contemporary productions, scenes from works in progress, premieres and an annual production of “The Nutcracker.” Season TBA
177 Old Camden Road, Camden, 678-9090. Delaware Ballet focuses on classical ballet, with dancers from across the state and guest artists from the NYC Ballet. It stages annual performances of “The Nutcracker.” Season TBA
Delaware Dance Company
168 Elkton Road, Newark, 738-2023; 16A Trolley Square, Wilmington, 622-9312. The company focuses on Royal Academy of Dancing and the Russian technique developed by Nicolas Lega. Call for show locations.
Dec.13-14 “The Nutcracker”
Diamond Dance Company
107 S. Maple Ave., Milford, 422-2633. The company is composed of ballet students from Kent and Sussex counties. The company presents “The Nutcracker” each year. Season TBA.
Rock of Ages
Exodus doesn’t refer only to the Hebrew flight from Egypt. It also describes the declining attendance in churches of all denominations. Once-faithful flocks have left, ironically, to find some soul.
But music is bringing them back.
“People have to go out of their way to visit our downtown church,” says Jenny Warren, a pastor at First & Central Presbyterian Church in Wilmington. “Very often they come for the music.”
Warren attributes the phenomenon to music minister David Schelat, who orchestrates noontime concerts that are open to anyone who wants to chill during lunch. It doesn’t hurt when folks pick up a few church bulletins.
Scott J. Ward, minister of music at First Unitarian Church in Wilmington, directs Special Music Sundays, which incorporate readings and poetry. “Because of our belief in honoring many cultures, I’m able to bring a variety of music to the church,” Ward says. That includes Mozart, African-American spirituals and Broadway tunes. Music, however, is more than entertainment. “People comment that we can spread messages about love, peace and anti-racism with music,” he says.
The Concord Concert Series, under the direction of Matthew Pressley, is packing pews at Concord Presbyterian Church with a mix of opera, gospel, pop and musical theater. “This program is designed to represent what we consider our signature: creatively and energetically dynamic professional programs, but with no limits on style or genre,” says Pressley, who has earned a host of awards from the National Opera Association.
At Epworth United Methodist Church in Rehoboth Beach, concerts feature the works of Mozart, Handel, Vivaldi, Faure, Schubert and Strauss. Donations are helping to defray construction costs for Epworth’s new Mary Lee Music Wing.
Dover’s Crossroad Christian Church is reaching new members by incorporating contemporary music into services. “We have a lot of Top 40 listeners in our church,” says Pastor Anthony Wallace, “so we use more Top 40-style music to reach them. It’s working.”
Shows You Can’t Miss
“The Night of All Nights: The Cirque is Coming to Town”
The Delaware Symphony Orchestra September 13
DSO’s glam gala joins with Cirque Productions at The Grand Opera House. Add superb music, acrobats, contortionists and circus-themed parties before and after the show, and you’re talking major splash.
David Crosby and Graham Nash
The Grand Opera House October 4
Crosby and Nash are huge, but folks will be just as juiced about country icon Lyle Lovett (Oct. 21), Broadway’s Duncan Sheik and original cast members of “Spring Awakening” (Nov. 11), gospel greats the Dixie Hummingbirds (March 6) and Grammy-winning trumpeter Chris Botti (May 13).
First State Theatre Ballet October 11
This production will remain faithful to the vision of Marius Petipa, principal creator of modern classical ballet. Company director Pasha Kambalov will see to it that all the precision and grace that Petipa built his career on will be evident.
City Theater Company December, Date TBA
Director Michael Gray, famous for curling the edges of the already edgy, will make “Cabaret” even darker and sexier. Watching this tuner in OperaDelaware’s intimate black box space, audiences will likely feel like flies on the wall witnessing some pretty licentious encounters.
“No Child” a play by Nilaja Sun
The Delaware Theatre Company January 14-February 1
“No Child” will stimulate a dialogue about America’s public school system by examining how we educate teens. The DTC’s season centerpiece, the drama will be directed by Anne Marie Cammarato, who draws deep and honest performances from the actors.
“An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin”
DuPont Theatre March 10-15
Both won Tonys for “Evita.” But LuPone recently earned another for her portrayal of Rose in the revival of “Gypsy.” Trust us. The earth will move.
Stars You’ve Got to See
Richard Dowling and Roo Brown at Bethel United Methodist Church Hall
Pianist Dowling, lauded by the New York Times, will open Coastal Concert’s 10th season at Bethel United Methodist Church in Lewes September 27. His first concert will be a solo performance of works by Mozart, Ravel, Chopin and others. The second will be a family concert, “Babar the Elephant,” narrated by Brown, a professional actress from Lewes.
Katie Branca in “Gizelle”
Branca, of Ursuline Academy, is an extraordinary dancer who will play Myrta, Queen of the Wilis, in Mid-Atlantic Ballet’s “Giselle” October 10-11. Another: Cassidy Bonilla of Cab Calloway School of the Arts. She stole the show in All-State Theatre’s production of “Les Miserables School Edition” in June. Mature vocals and acting make her one to track.
Steve Tague and friends in “The Hostage”
Tague won raves for playing the title role in UD Professional Theatre Training Program’s “Cyrano de Bergerac.” This year he’ll play with the Resident Ensemble Players, a new professional company of respected regional actors and PTTP grads. REP’s season will start October 22 with “The Hostage,” a play by Brendan Behan about an IRA hostage scheduled for execution.
Jeffrey Chapman and Youna Jang in “La Boheme”
Chapman, a Delaware native, will sing the role of the painter Marcello in OperaDelaware’s “La Boheme” November 2, 7-8. Fans will remember Temple University alumna Youna Jang, who collected many a bouquet last year for her performance in “Madama Butterfly.” Jang will sing the role of Mimi.
David Warick and Amy DeBartolomeis in “Cupid Shoots Self In Foot IV”
Warick and DeBartolomeis are the founders of the Delaware Comedy Theatre, an improv troupe in Rehoboth Beach. See them and a cast of similarly nutty folk in “Cupid Shoots Self In Foot IV” at Baywood Greens in Millsboro on February 13.