Spotlight on the Arts

Spotlight on the Arts
9:11 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Curtain Call for Japanalia Eiko and Dan Blow

Dan Blow
Credit Mike Dunphy

When jazz vocalist Dianne Mower makes her way through a jam-packed house onto the tiny Japanalia stage on Saturday night in Hartford’s West End, odds are it will be an emotional and unifying moment for everyone within earshot.

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Spotlight on the Arts
4:20 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

One Marriage, Two Journeys, In Long Wharf's "The Last Five Years"

Adam Halpin as Jamie and Katie Rose Clarke as Cathy in The Last Five Years at Long Wharf Theatre.
T. Charles Erickson

There’s both irony and brilliance behind the story-telling style of "The Last Five Years," Jason Robert Brown’s two-character musical currently running at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven.

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Spotlight on the Arts
4:18 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Goodspeed's Fan Friendly "Damn Yankees"

Lora Lee Gayer and cast perform "Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, MO" from "Damn Yankees."
Diane Sobolewski

You could make the case that America’s obsession with sports really took hold thanks to baseball in the 1950s. When Broadway producer/director/writer George Abbott turned to "Damn Yankees" as his next musical in 1955, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

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Spotlight on the Arts
2:35 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Celebrating the New, the Foreign, and the Experimental at Wesleyan

The Assembly: "HOME/SICK."
Sandy Aldieri Perceptions Photography

Looking back isn’t something Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts is much interested in doing. 

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Spotlight on the Arts
2:23 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Poems Celebrate Hartford's Collective Identity

Poet John Stanizzi, at center, with Hartford Loves Poetry participants at Hartford Public Library Albany Branch.
Ed Wierzbicki CPBN

It was evident from Saturday’s grand finale of "Hartford Loves Poetry: A Community Celebration" that the city loves the sound and soul of its many voices. It was also proof that people are thirsty for authentic human stories told aloud by their neighbors that creatively reflect ancestry and history.

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Spotlight on the Arts
4:21 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Cheers to Picasso and Other Art World Legends

Studio at the rue des Grands-Augustins, 1990-96 by Red Grooms

Red Grooms dreams big, and draws large. Using paint, colored pencils, charcoal, and crayon, his super-sized canvases about life within the art world won’t just warm your heart; they will enlarge it three-fold.

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Spotlight on the Arts
1:04 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Unexpected Musical Delights On Display in Ridgefield

Fans of Merle Haggard, photographed by James Mollison at the Von Braun Center Concert Hall in Huntsville, Alabama.
Credit James Mollison / The Aldrich

Music can involve us beyond the act of mere listening. At the current exhibition at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, you will need all five senses. Be prepared to get physical. With an eye and ear toward expanding our understanding of music and art, The Aldrich has brought together the work of five gifted contemporary artists in a series called Music, through March 9.

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Spotlight on the Arts
11:35 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Imaginative Worlds by Ming Cho Lee

A scale model for Boris Godunov (Coronation) 1974 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
Credit Yale University School of Architecture

Resembling a village of delicate toy theaters, "Stage Designs by Ming Cho Lee" fills the large ground floor gallery at the Yale School of Architecture in New Haven. 

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Spotlight on the Arts
6:49 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Perils of the Sea: Giant Pastels Capture the Adventure of Moby Dick

"Queequeg's Long Last Dive," a pastel drawing by Mark Milloff.
Credit Mark Milloff

When he’s not playing professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, artist Mark Milloff sculpts, paints, and envisions gigantic pastel drawings. He also moonlights as a musician. But all things being equal, he’d rather be fishing.

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Spotlight on the Arts
5:37 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Sara Mearns Dances "The Nutcracker"

Sara Mearns in George Balanchine's "Cortege Hongrois."
Credit Paul Kolnik

Like so many holiday traditions, "The Nutcracker" is upon us once again. With numerous Connecticut productions of the classic fairy tale ballet, the 12th annual production by the Eastern Connecticut Ballet is a stand-out for a number of worthy reasons.

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Spotlight on the Arts
3:58 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

A Collage Style Performance on the Meaning of Love

Larry Hunt.
Credit Ann Lee

When Charlie Chaplin and other silent film stars faced the challenge of carrying over their talents into "talkies," these proved to be much-anticipated events. On Friday in Bethlehem, international mask artist Larry Hunt, a local, will actually let his voice do the real talking on stage. Hunt has built a career on non-verbal storytelling, and has performed at venues around the world for over 25 years.

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Spotlight on the Arts
10:58 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Meet the Juice Vocal Ensemble

Juice Vocal Ensemble.
Credit Dannie Price

Each of the three singers has a solo career, but when they come together, the women of the Juice Vocal Ensemble perform a wide range of music. Alto Kerrie Andrew spoke with CPTV. "We can sing very difficult virtuosic new music," she said, "or we can sing folky stuff, or have a go at a bit of beat boxing, or be told what to in an opera or improvise, or work with electronics. So we like to think that’s fairly individual for our group, that we’re pretty diverse."

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Spotlight on the Arts
11:27 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Direct From London: Mesmerizing A Cappella

Juice Vocal Ensemble: Kerrie Andrew, Anna Snow, Sarah Dacey
Credit Dannie Price

There’s a hypnotic vocal harmony that is both soothing and mysterious in "Didn’t Leave Nobody But the Baby," sung a cappella by the Juice Vocal Ensemble on their album Songspin. It’s as if I’m standing over a child’s crib and hear warm breathing and shushing and sighing. It’s sense-o-round that wraps around me. Then, suddenly, I wonder: who are these voices? Where’s the baby? Everything, okay?! The music has moved me. And Juice has done its job.

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Spotlight on the Arts
8:25 am
Sat November 2, 2013

Javier Colon, a Voice with Soul and Humility

Javier Colon performs at Achieve Hartford!
Credit Andy Hart

Winner of NBC’s "The Voice," Javier Colon, is a rare combination of talent, star-power, and humility. His extraordinary tenor voice and “acoustic soul” style bring spiritual integrity and musical sophistication to his pop song chart. 

The growing collection of original work Colon has developed over the last several years often showcases personal stories about relationships and his family life. 

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Spotlight on the Arts
10:28 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Underneath It All With "The Underpants"

Didi Conn and Jenny Leona in The Underpants
T. Charles Erickson

We’ve become full-time fame seekers. Admit it: no matter what age, walk of life, or social standing, just being friended or liked by no one in particular makes our day. We create online personas, instantly publish, and look to find inspiration from the reality television that surrounds us. There, we can root for real cops, middle-class castaways, and cut-throat cooks. 

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Theater
2:25 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

A New Take on an Ancient Greek Play

Actors in "Big Love" (clockwise from top), Olivia Saccomanno, Briana Maia, and Marisa Desa.
Credit Gerry Goodstein

In performance now through October 13 at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre at the University of Connecticut is "Big Love," a play by Charles Mee. "Big Love" is an adaptation of an ancient Greek play. Joining WNPR News to talk about the production is reporter Ed Wierzbicki, who reviewed the show here and also talked about playwright Mee, the challenge of this production, and the outline of the story. 

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Spotlight on the Arts
2:23 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

"Big Love" Takes Big Leaps With Bold Choices

A scene from "Big Love" at Connecticut Repertory Theatre.
Gerry Goodstein

The past and present intersect in the plays of Charles Mee. Known for taking those hefty Greek tragedies and re-imagining them for today’s audiences, his works like "Big Love" ask us—no, challenge us--to give some serious personal thought to our social responsibility as citizens.

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