Monday, July 5, 2010

Not Quite Quiet Week

Tuesday July 6:
The EYE-ditor has already hipped you to the Cary Grant Film Series at Wesleyan's Center for Film Studies (see here) which open on this evening with "To Catch a Thief" (Alfred Hitchcock and Grace Kelly - need I say more.)

But, there's other stuff to be seen and heard.

Earlier in the day, you can venture out to the CFA Hall at 12:10 p.m. where Wesleyan Assistant Professor of Art Julia Randall will deliver a talk titled "Drawing Obsessions."  Best known for her drawings (that's her "Decoy # 5" on the left and you can check out a collection of her fascinating "Tongue Drawings" by clicking here), Ms. Randall's work has been displayed at the Jeff Bailey Gallery in New York City, in Sydney, Australia and at Skidmore College.  The event is free and open to the public.

The Summer Sounds Series on the South Green/Union Park, Main Street, continues at 7 p.m. with Five In Time.  The ensemble specializes in woodwind music.  The event is free and open to all.  Bring your beach chairs and legal libations.  In the case of rain, the show moves indoors to South Church. This concert series is sponsored by the Middletown Commission on the Arts.

The Connecticut Songwriters Association holds its monthly meeting at 7:15 p.m. in Room B2B3, South College on the Wesleyan campus. This month, the CSA welcomes Vicki Blankenship, the President of Indiegrrl, one of the largest support organizations for "Indie" artists. Though the organization is geared towards working with women, they welcome all interested parties.  For more information about this event and the CSA, go to

Wednesday July 7:
The Wadsworth Mansion at the Long Hill Estate begins its annual July Concert Series on this day with the sweet and soulful sounds of Souled Out.  The Hartford-area based band appeared several years ago and knocked out the crowd with its fine vocals and great musicianship.  The band specializes in the rhythm 'n' blues music of the 60s and 70s, songs that came from Detroit (Motown), Philadelphia  (the great music created by the team of Gamble & Huff), Memphis/Muscle Shoals (Atlantic Records plus others) and much more.  The grounds open at 5:30 p.m. and the concerts begin at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and you can find free parking at the Mansion, at the Wilbert Snow School, 299 Wadsworth Street, and at Mercy High School, 1740 Randolph Road. For more information, go to  Subsequent concerts include Ed Fast & Conga-Bop (July 14), the Michael Cleary Band (July 21) and the United States Coast Guard Band (July 28).

Thursday July 8:

To paraphrase Neil Diamond, "Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies/Everyone's going to "As You Like It."  The annual ARTFARM Shakespeare production in the Grove at Middlesex Community College, Training Hill Road, runs from July 8 - 18. "As You Like It" is a delightful "pastoral" comedy, another one of the Bard's comedy of errors and mistaken identities.  The plot summary, courtesy of, reads as such: "Rosalind, the daughter of a banished duke falls in love with Orlando the disinherited son of one of the duke's friends. When she is banished from the court by her usurping uncle, Duke Frederick, Rosalind takes on the appearance of a boy calling herself Ganymede. She travels with her cousin Celia and the jester Touchstone to the Forest of Arden, where her father and his friends live in exile. Themes about life and love, including aging, the natural world, and death are included in the play. New friends are made and families are reunited. By the end of the play Ganymede, once again Rosalind, marries Orlando. Orlando and Rosalind, Oliver and Celia, Silvius and Phebe, and Touchstone and Audrey all are married in the final scene. Oliver becomes a gentler, kinder young man so the Duke  changes his ways and turns to religion and so that the exiled Duke, father of Rosalind, can rule once again."  Got that - well, even if you don't, it's a fun play and, having performed with the troupe last year, I know how much hard work and sweat goes into the production of these shows.  
The play begins at 7 p.m. and each show is preceded at 6 p.m. by a musical act.  Opening night will feature singer/songwriter Nancy Tucker (pictured left) with songs for the entire family.  Other performers include Banning Eyre & Dirck Westervelt (Friday July 9), Noah Baerman & Friends (Saturday July 10),  Tom Callinan (Sunday July 11),  Sirius Coyote (Thursday July 15), Eric Kuhn (Friday July 16), Nzinga's Daughters (Saturday July 17) and Phil Rosenthal (Sunday July 18.)  In case of rain, the production moves indoors to the second floor of Chapman Hall. For more information, go to or call 860-346-4390.  

The Luis Lopez Herb Garden Series continues at  6:30 p.m. with Toussaint the Liberator and Buru Style.  The reggae/funk/soul-jazz band, featuring Middletown resident Bill Carbone on drums, is an exciting ensemble and have been playing shows throughout New England.  In case of rain, the show will take place on July 29.  

The Center for the Arts at Wesleyan presents the Joel Frahm Quartet in concert at 8 p.m. in the CFA Theater.  Frahm, who plays both tenor and soprano saxophones, spent his teenage years attending Hall High School in West Hartford (moving from Wisconsin when his Dad got a job at The Hartford Courant) where he played with the award-winning jazz band.  He's had a busy career since graduating from the Manhattan School of Music, working with vocalist Jane Monheit, pianist Brad Mehldau, drummer Matt Wilson's Quartet, bassist Ben Allison, vocalist/pianist Dena DeRose and a slew of others.  He's issued CDs as a leader on Palmetto Records and, more recently, the Anzic label. Frahm has also become a "first-call" session player, appearing on dozens of CDs. Just in the past few months, he's appeared on new releases by vocalists Dana Lauren, Linda Ciofalo and Beat Kaestli, the Ernesto Cervini Quartet, the Roland Vasquez Big Band, and percussionist Samuel Torres. 
For his Wesleyan gig, he's premiering a new group, this one featuring the fine pianist Orrin Evans, drummer Mark Ferber and bassist Johannes Weidenmuller (subbing for Omer Avital.) For ticket information, go to or call the Box Office at 860-685-3355. 

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