Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

‘Searching for Eden’ returns for an encore

CNY Arts Center announces the return of’ Searching for Eden: The Diaries of Adam and Eve’ for an encore weekend April 4, 5 and 6 at the Arts Center located at 357 State St. Methodist Church, (Park Street entrance) in Fulton.

The romantic comedy written by James Still and starring Peter and Kelly Mahan in the roles of Adam and Eve will be presented for three performances only, at 7:30 p.m. April 4 and 5 and at 3 p.m. April 6.

The performances will be presented as dessert theatre where desserts are included in the ticket price of $15.

“This production was well received by audiences who saw it in February as part of our Date Night Dinner Theatre on Valentine’s Day and we felt strongly we should bring it back for a limited run,” said Nancy Fox, director.

“We heard audience members tell us ‘Every couple should see this play’ and ‘More people need to see this play.’ It is very gratifying to get such vocal support from the audience and with the winter we’ve had and the distractions of the holiday weekend it first played, we felt it was a great kick-off to our spring season,” she said.

This is the first time Peter and Kelly Mahan have worked together as the only characters in a play and their personal relationship as husband and wife lends credibility to the play based on Mark Twain’s original Diaries of Adam and Eve.

By Act Two Adam and Eve are imagined in contemporary society caught up in all too familiar busy lives and annoying cell phones. Drawn to revisit Eden, now a resort called “E,” the couple struggles to rekindle the innocence of their beginnings in the garden when everything was an simple.

“The play is a wonderful portrayal of relationships, the sweet innocence of discovering the special person created just for you, “ Fox said.

“Peter and Kelly lead us through those moments of realizing you’re incomplete without the relationship you were created for which suddenly makes personality differences worth the confusion,” she said. “The play has rich moments of humor and tenderness. It’s a healthy look at what’s important in all relationships.”

Searching for Eden: The Diaries of Adam and Eve runs April 4-6 at CNY Arts Center, 357 State St. Methodist Church in Fulton. Tickets can be reserved and purchased online at www.CNYArtsCenter.com.

For reservations and more information, call 592-3373.

‘Run Boy Run’ to play April 5 at Oswego Music Hall

Run Boy Run, a young five-piece band from Arizona, is coming to town to play traditional and new traditional music in their fresh “string-heavy, old-timey, not-quite-bluegrassy way” at the Oswego’s Music Hall at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 5.

Run Boy Run is officially listed as one of Arizona’s hottest bands. On its current tour, the band is crossing the country to perform in cities the like Denver, St. Louis, Minneapolis, New York and Baltimore.

All in their 20s, the members of Run Boy Run still consider themselves a Tucson band, because they began playing together there in 2009, when the five were students at the University of Arizona.

They got their start, playing open-mics and wherever else they could get gigs. Mere weeks after forming, Run Boy Run won the band contest at Pickin’ in the Pines.

Soon they got a special appearance at the Tellerude Bluegrass Festival in 2012 and two appearances on National Public Radio‘s A Prairie Home Companion. Run Boy Run has been making friends and fans alike ever since with their open-ended musical approach and wonderful stage presence.

Their debut CD, So Sang the Whippoorwill, was released in March 2013 to regional and national critical acclaim.

Garrison Keillor, host of Prairie Home Companion was so impressed with Run Boy Run, that he penned the notes for their debut CD.

“When I hear Run Boy Run,” he wrote,  “it all comes back to me, why I started doing that [radio] show back then. I hope they go on forever.”

The band is brother and sister Matt Rolland (guitar and two-time Arizona state fiddle contest winner) and Grace Rolland (cello, vocals); sisters Bekah Sandoval Rolland (fiddle, vocals) and Jen Sandoval (mandolin, vocals); and bass player Jesse Allen.

Comfortable in the tension between tradition and the current musical frontier, Run Boy Run‘s all-acoustic format blends bluegrass, folk and the old timey American vernacular with touches of classical and jazz.

Their music is rooted in the traditional music of the Appalachian South, but is also definitively present in the 21st century. Run Boy Run plays a mix of original compositions, cover songs, and traditional tunes attributed to the public domain.

Learn more the band’s luminous harmonies at http://www.runboyrunband.com/, and then come and see for yourself how Run Boy Run warms up the stage at the Oswego Music Hall on April 5.

The venue is the McCrobie Civic Center, 41 Lake St., Oswego. Tickets can be purchased on-line at http://oswegomusichall.org/ or at the river’s end bookstore, 19 W. Bridge St., Oswego.

Holders of tickets purchased before 1 p.m. on the day of the concert will have preferred seating. After 1 p.m., seating will be general admission.  Ticket prices for this event are $14 if purchased in advance and $16 at the door. Children 12 and under are half-price; under 5 is free.

The Music Hall’s next concert, April 19th, will feature “Percussion Wizard” Jeff Haynes & Co., including NYC guitarist Sean Harkness.

The Music Hall has been run entirely by volunteers from its inception more than  36 years ago. Volunteers can earn admission to shows through different tasks.

Music Hall concerts are made possible in part with funding by the state Council on the Arts.

For more information call 342-1733 or access the Music Hall website: http://oswegomusichall.org/

Phoenix Community Band performs spring concert

A portion of the Phoenix Community Band is pictured above with Director David Frateschi. The group is in its 11th year in the Phoenix community and performed an array of music at the March 17 concert.
A portion of the Phoenix Community Band is pictured above with Director David Frateschi.
The group is in its 11th year in the Phoenix community and performed an array of music at the March 17 concert.

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Spring hasn’t sprung, but music was certainly in full bloom on the evening of March 17 at John C. Birdlebough High School.

The school welcomed the Phoenix Community Band for its much anticipated spring concert performance.

Under the direction of Director David Frateschi, a talented blend of nearly 70 musicians performed nine songs and featured several guest conductors including Colleen Dailey, Robert Taylor and John Hylkema.

In recognition of the Irish holiday, the band also performed a special “Riverdance” piece with Neal Saarie serving as the captain.

The Phoenix Community Band is in its 11th year in the Phoenix community and performs several concerts at the high school throughout the year.

For more information about the band, visit the Phoenix Central School District  website at PhoenixCSD.org.

The band’s practice schedule can be found on the district’s calendar or more information can be found under the ‘Community’ link at the top of the page.

These (Hannibal) kids got talent

Foreign exchange student Keti Chapiashvili shared her country’s music and culture when she sang a medley of Georgian folk songs during the Junior/Senior Talent Show at Hannibal High School on March 6.
Foreign exchange student Keti Chapiashvili shared her country’s music and culture when she sang a medley of Georgian folk songs during the Junior/Senior Talent Show at Hannibal High School on March 6.

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

The Annual Junior/Senior Talent Show at Hannibal High School showed why the event has continued for many years when more than two dozen acts took the stage before a packed audience at the school on March 6.

Emcee and host for the evening was Victor Licatese and guest judges included teachers Nicole Erkan, Patrick Earley, Brooke Fingland, and John Manion, who scored each act on a scale of one to five.

Setting the tone for the night’s fun and frivolity, the first act by “More Than Cookies,” featured Girl Scout camp songs that had the audience laughing non-stop. The songs contained lyrics that involved electrocuted squirrels, dead reindeer, weenies, shaking tails and finished with God Bless My Underwear, to which judge Erkan exclaimed, “I was a Girl Scout and we didn’t sing those songs!”

Other acts included: Alexis Hartle singing Try Hard; Cati Emmons’ and Gabby Griffin’s dance entitled Double D; Dominique Santore, Amanda Miano and Aryel Griffis with If You Say So; and Chumani Ketcham and Amanda Kimball with an original clarinet composition entitled Mystic Tears.

Also there was a strobe light dance number entitled Reptile by a group called Pattosaurus Rex that spoofed a certain judge on the panel; Billy Skipper surprised and delighted with his rendition of Your Man in a deep baritone voice; and rounding out Act One a Happy dance by The Foreigners, aka the foreign exchange students at the school.

Judge Fingland said to the students following their performance, “I think I speak for everyone here and in the Hannibal community when I say, you make us happy.”

Following a short intermission, act two continued to please those in attendance beginning with a medley of Georgian folk music by foreign exchange student Keti Chapiashvili; followed by a dance number titled Courage Is by Aryel Griffis;  and an a capella duet by Rayshelle Smith and Chumani Ketcham called Let It Go.

Also there was a large group of “front row girls” who performed a singing spoof on the Backstreet Boys’ hit I Want It That Way that altered the lyrics to say “I want to graduate.”

There also was Lindsey Wheeler, who performed a beautiful, lyrical dance routine to the song Skinny Love; Brett Dumas sang a solo performance of Just the Way You Are; and the band Chicken and Crackers sang a number of “school appropriate tunes” that got the whole crowd up and dancing before the senior class joined the band onstage for the grand finale song Don’t Stop Believing.

Hannibal High School’s Annual Junior/Senior Talent Show was a huge success, packing the auditorium and delighting the audience with a wide variety of talent showcased at the school.

Army Jazz Ambassadors coming to Oswego

Jazz and patriotism -- The Jazz Ambassadors, an acclaimed ensemble of the U.S. Army Field Band, will play the work of jazz legends as well as patriotic music in a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3, in Hewitt Union ballroom at SUNY Oswego. The free general-admission tickets are available at all SUNY Oswego box offices, online at tickets.oswego.edu or by calling 312-2141.
Jazz and patriotism — The Jazz Ambassadors, an acclaimed ensemble of the U.S. Army Field Band, will play the work of jazz legends as well as patriotic music in a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3, in Hewitt Union ballroom at SUNY Oswego. The free general-admission tickets are available at all SUNY Oswego box offices, online at tickets.oswego.edu or by calling 312-2141.

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

The Jazz Ambassadors, an ensemble of the U.S. Army Field Band, will appear at SUNY Oswego in a free, ticketed concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3, in the Hewitt Union ballroom.

The band will deliver its message of patriotism and goodwill through jazz and other swing-related music.

The 19-member ensemble performs in a wide range of musical genres in addition to jazz. These include big band swing, bebop, Latin contemporary jazz, standard, popular tunes, Dixieland and patriotic.

Members of the ensemble compose or adapt much of the group’s music. The repertoire at SUNY Oswego will include selections from a wide variety of jazz greats, plus patriotic favorites and a salute to veterans.

At the Hewitt Union concert, three students will perform one selection with the Jazz Ambassadors, said Trevor Jorgensen of Oswego’s music department faculty.

The ensemble’s members will provide master classes for students from both the college and local high school jazz ensembles.

The Jazz Ambassadors’ current concert tour began March 11 and ends April 16 — with only five days of rest — taking them to SUNY schools, high schools and theaters. The ensemble’s reputation and demanding tour schedule have earned it the nickname “America’s Big Band.”

The group has played in well-known venues such as the Toronto and Newport jazz festivals, and often has performed joint concerts with regional orchestras that include the Columbus (Ohio) Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic and the former Syracuse Symphony.

Army Field Commander Maj. Hal Gibson created the ensemble in 1969 as the Studio Band. Its name changed a decade later to the Jazz Ambassadors, and members have lived up to the title by performing over the years in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Japan, India and throughout Europe.

Candidates for the group come from leading conservatories, universities and the professional ranks, and undergo a highly competitive audition process. Many of the current members have extensive experience in civilian performance.

Tickets — all general admission — are available at SUNY Oswego box offices, online at tickets.oswego.edu or by calling 312-2141.

There is a $3 processing fee for online orders for the otherwise free tickets.

Parking for those attending this concert is available in the lot in front of Culkin Hall, the rear half of the lot behind Hart and Funnelle residence halls and in the adjacent commuter lot. Doors to the ballroom will open at 7 p.m.

For more information about the Jazz Ambassadors, visit the U.S. Army Field Band’s site at www.armyfieldband.com. Information about SUNY Oswego arts events is available at www.oswego.edu/arts.

Birdlebough student competes in Shakespeare competition

Abigail Venskus, a sophomore at John C. Birdlebough High School in Phoenix, recently competed in the 26th annual Shakespeare Competition held at Archbold Theatre at Syracuse Stage.

The public-speaking contest, which is conducted by the Syracuse branch of the English-Speaking Union of the United States, commemorated William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday.

Venskus, a winner of her local school competition, attended a workshop for Syracuse’s competitors on Feb. 25 at Syracuse University’s Storch Theatre. There she was critiqued on her chosen monologue and sonnet.

At the regional competition, Venskus was asked to recite her monologue and sonnet in front of a panel of judges. She competed against 19 other contestants, other high school students from around Central New York.

The purpose of the competition is to develop student’s understanding of Shakespeare and his universality.

Although Venskus did not place in the regional competition, she is thankful for the opportunity.

Venskus’ journey with Shakespeare does not end there. She participates in the Syracuse Shakespeare Festival theater camp every summer at Thornden Park.

Children learn old English dances, join in acting games, paint sets and are given parts in two-scene plays. Past productions include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in which shee played the character Bottom.

Venskus is also a member of the Birdlebough Drama Club and marching band.

Poetry Corner

March Madness, by Jim Farfaglia

 

Somebody above missed the message

that winter’s officially done;

the white stuff keeps fallin’,

the big trucks keep plowin’

and nobody’s having much fun.

 

We’ve had enough of skiing,

of sledding and cute snowmen;

still the temperature ain’t risin’,

and golfers are agonizin’

over when they’ll see green grass again.

 

I’d be happy to deliver the word

if I could just find Mr. Sun.

It sure would be pleasin’,

if we had a new season;

here’s hoping he sends the right one!

Willy Wonka Jr. on stage again this week

 

More performances of ‘Willy Wonka Jr.’ are being presented this week.

The play is being staged at 7:30 p.m. March 21 and 3 p.m. March 22 and 23. CNY Arts Center presents the children’s musical as part of its Kids Onstage program at 357 State St. Methodist Church, in Fulton (use the Park Street entrance).

For tickets and reservations visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com or call 592-3373.