Arts

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival put on another successful performance in their adaption of Shakespeare’s comedy, Love’s Labour’s Lost to the cozy Boscobel auditorium.

The Gilded Moon Gallery in Millerton displays the work of Robert Patrick Coombs in their Millerton gallery in a former banking hall. I first encountered Coombs at the Gilded Moon in a group show that included Ken Musselman and Tony Hennenberg.  Coombs’ style is recognizable and charming. His ability as an artist deserves attention.

This weekend will present the final performances of TriArts’s rendition of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Based on Larry L. King’s 1974 Playboy magazine article about the closing of the Lone Star State’s Chicken Ranch, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is a gritty satire about media muckracking and political hypocrisy.

The night belongs to Miss Mona (Adinah Alexander), Jewel (Meggan Utech), and the girls (Katt Weston, Rose Bisogno, Gena Loe, Samantha Weinstein, Livie Casto, Amber Cameron, Becky Sawicki, and Sarah Pearl Loman). Every one of the residents of Miss Mona’s Chicken Ranch brothel plays her part with gusto and heart.

 

The gaiety of the joyous lines of a Bach Cantata was the musical setting for the first event of the Bard Summerscape, the Baroque dance company from Paris, the Compagnie Fetes galantes.  The ten dancers entered the empty stage one by one in silence, and then the joyous strains of  “Let my joy remain” Cantata BWV 78 flooded the Sosnoff Theater.  The dancers responded and we were off to a visual and musical treat.

 

What makes Baroque music work for dance is the rhythm and the counterpoint.  The metric and the workings out of the melodic lines gives the dancers ample material to work against or with; the formalism of the Baroque dances can be adopted, transformed and re-invented.  Director Béatrice Massin finds the mathematical complexity of Bach’s music a fertile ground for dance.

The Re Institute on the Boston Corners Road, Millerton shows three mostly local and mostly photographic artists that are roughly joined by a title “photos of things next to me”.  The space is grand, white and spacious, perhaps one of the best venues for showing and seeing art in the region.

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival opened their beautiful portrayal of Romeo & Juliet Sunday July 1. The over two-hour performance was fresh and deeply emotional.

For those of you hesitant to see yet another rendition of Romeo & Juliet – an often overused classic, the HVSF brings it to new life in a stirring way.

The River Valley Rep (RVR) Theater opened this weekend with their hilarious rendition of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). Christopher Michael Brophy, Jeff Horst and Eric Rolland, under the artistic direction of Matt Andrews left no choice for the audience but to laugh through the entire performance that combined 16 comedies, seven histories and 11 tragedies into a two-hour show.

We visited the Wassaic Project on Sunday afternoon.  There were new names and names from previous shows. We recognized a number of influences such as a pile of dominoes on the floor near the entrance that reminded us of Carl Andre who placed bricks, tiles and blocks of wood on the floor. We saw shaped canvasses like Frank Stella did back in the middle of the prior century.  We saw repetitive grid-like art that reminded us of Agnes Martin.  DeKoning, Jasper Johns and Louise Bourgeois are names that haunted these precincts. The references were there but the execution was seldom up to the level of their inspirations.   

The lottery tickets on the first floor could be a landmark in collage.  They are not winners, but there is charm and warmth and a sense of hopelessness in their patterns. The message is keep betting, to keep the supply of tickets for art.  But don’t expect to win. 

Large bronze cast sculptures by Peter Woytuk ranging from kiwis and elephants to apples and ravens have been placed in the green spaces on Broadway as part of the Broadway Mall Association’s program in cooperation with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, to bring art into public spaces. Covering five miles on the Upper West Side from Columbus Circle to 168th Street, Woytuk’s show of approximately twenty-two pieces is the largest outdoor display ever for BMA. 192

Due its popularity, the show that began last October has been extended to July 28. William Morrison, the eponymous owner of The Morrison Gallery in Kent, CT, who represents Woytuk, said he is “like brothers with Peter” and was enthusiastic about new interest in his work which has been well known in Litchfield County for years. 

 

Music Mountain has been offering the music of string quartets for 83 years to an audience of regular supporters.  On Sunday afternoon they heard the Arianna Quartet playing late music of Mendelssohn, Tchaikowski’s third string quartet and Franck’s piano quintet.  The program was well within the academic nineteenth century idiom that defines what Music Mountain’s chamber music series is all about. 

The Tchaikowski quartet had a long, conversational first movement, a slow section, a delorosso section and a finale. One heard folk dances, variations, some simple themes worked over, some good interchanges between instruments, played by a polished quartet whose members have worked together for almost 20 years. They are all on the faculty at St Louis so they are colleagues in more than one sense.

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