Saturday, November 29, 2008

"Grab Your Coat and Get your Hat..."

The Holiday season is upon us and the ups-and-downs of the economy has many people on edge. This is a good time to ignore the seasonal craziness and check out some of the arts events for this coming week (and it's a busy one.)

December begins with the glorious sounds of The Ebony Singers, Wesleyan's gospel group, in concert at 8 p.m. in Crowell Concert Hall on Monday the 1st. Led by Pastor Marichal Monts (a Wesleyan graduate), the ensemble's annual concert is one of the hottest on campus. The concert hall will shake with the spirit and, trust me, you don't have to believe to be moved by this music. Call the Box Office at 860-685-3355 to find out if there are any tickets available

The following night at Crowell, Peter Hadley leads the Wesleyan Wind Ensemble, better known as WesWinds, in its annual Fall semester concert. Expect an eclectic program that runs the gamut from traditional to the unexpected. This event is free and open to the public.

Also on Tuesday evening, Trevor Davis continues the increasingly popular "Jazz at the Public" from 5- 9 p.m. in Public, 337 Main Street. He brings in the best musicians from around the area and the results are quite enjoyable.

Wednesday, Professor Anthony Braxton leads his Large Ensemble (comprised of Wesleyan students and invited guests) through the creative maze of his original music. It's been quite a year for Braxton with Stamford's Mosaic Records reissuing his 1970s music for Arista to great acclaim. The music you'll hear in this concert will display the composer's impressive blend of musical influences. The concert takes place at 8 p.m. in Crowell Concert Hall and it's also free and open to the public.

The first of 2 local productions of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's "The Threepenny Opera" opens on Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Memorial Chapel and the Patricelli '92 Theater at Wesleyan. Considered by many as one of the great musicals of the 20th Century, the show has great music and biting social commentary and never seems dated. Performances are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Wednesday is the "preview" so ticket prices are lower - call the University Box Office at the number above for more information.

The following night (Thursday, which deserves and will get a post to itself), the Teen Repertory Company of Oddfellows Playhouse begins its 3-weekend run of "Threepenny..." at 7 p.m. on the OP Mainstage at 128 Washington Street. The "pay-what-you-can-preview" not only offers audiences the opportunity to see a great show but also the ability to help area families in need by bringing a non-perishable food item to be donated to the Amazing Grace Food Pantry. Subsequent performances (12/5, 6, 12, 13, 19 and 20) begin at 7:30 p.m. For ticket information, call 860-347-6143.

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