Sunday, March 7, 2010

Two Worthwhile Programs

Monday March 8:
Janis Astor del Valle, formerly of the Green Street Arts Center and currently on the faculty of the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, is also a fine writer and performer. One may remember her previous one-person show, "Trans Plantations", in which she told her life story in a series of vignettes in which she played all the characters.  Her new production, "Becoming Joaquin", (production photo by Amy Joy Myers) premieres on this date at Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street, in Hartford.  The audience will see the story of a transgendered Latino through the eyes and words of the title character, his family (mother, father, and daughter) and his girlfriend.  I spoke with Janis last week and she has been working extremely hard on creating these characters and portraying them in an honest way.
The play, based on a true story and directed by Carolyn Kirsch, is sponsored by and benefits CLARO (Connecticut Latina/os Achieving Rights and Opportunities) - there is a pre-show reception at 6 p.m. and the performance begins at 7:30.  For more information, call 860-841-2345 or 860-761-9955.

Tuesday March 9:
Zachary Sayah is a 13-year old trumpet player, Eagle Scout (Troop 27) and social activist.  He has organized 2 concerts featuring the Classical Magnet Jazz Band (from Hartford) and the Spivak Brothers, the first of which (and the one open to the public) takes place at 6 p.m. at South Church, corner of Pleasant & Main Streets in Middletown. Admission to the concert is a non-perishable food item (or items) to be donated to the Amazing Grace food pantry.  Zachary, who plays in the jazz band and has been playing trumpet since the age of 8, organized the event and convinced the band director, David Epstein, to come to Middletown along with his special guests, the Spivak Brothers (sons of the famed trumpeter Charlie Spivak.)
For more information about the concert, call 860-558-3930.
FYI - The other concert Zachary has organized is a private performance for the residents of the Village at South Farms.  I understand it's an Eagle Scout project but, like Andrew Avalone's successful vision to build a gazebo on Middletown's South Green, his thoughtfulness and caring touches so many souls.

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