New England Hit List :: November 27, 2008
With Thanksgiving here and soon gone, the Holiday seasons begin in earnest with plenty to do starting this weekend. Here are our choices!
Ralph Rosario has been spinning dance music for a quarter century. Over that time he has spun at every major club in the US and at circuit parties throughout the Americas and Europe. More recently he launched his He just launched his digital music label, Rosario Digimusic, through Beatport and iTunes. And over the years he’s worked on remixes for such artists as Janet Jackson ("Feedback"), Stevie Nicks ("Stand Back"), Donna Summer "I Will Go With You"), Cher ("Different Kind of Love Song"), Everything but the Girl (Tempermental"), The Pet Shop Boys ("Break for love"), Amber ("Love One Another") and Jennifer Holiday ("And I Am Telling, I’m Not Going"), as well as Pussycat Dolls, Kelly Clarkson and Nelly Furtado. Come this Saturday Rosario returns to Epic at the Roxy for another night of high-powered dance mixes. The fun starts at 10 at the Roxy, 279 Tremont Street, Boston, Mass. For more information visit the Chris Harris Presents website.
While it may not be the high-profile news story it once was, AIDS remains an international scourge. Now nearly 30 years since the epidemic began, more than 30-million individuals are infected worldwide. As part of World AIDS Day, Medicine Wheel returns to the Cyclorama for its 18th year to culminate a week-long series of events with a 24-hour igil of dance, song, ritual, art, and prayer. Central to the event is the Paper Project, a single sheet of hand made paper 600 feet long and 12 feet high created by thousands of people over the course of ten months at Medicine Wheel Studio in South Boston using entirely recycled materials. Developed by artist, activist, and educator Michael Dowling, Medicine Wheel consists of 36 shrines with small installations balanced on them. Over the course of the exhibit, people are invited to leave offerings at the base of each shrine that Dowling believes "engage them emotionally and makes them feel part of something larger." The final installation opens on midnight on December 1 and runs 24 hours. (Doors open 11pm, November 30th). At the Cyclorama, 539 Tremont Street, Boston, Mass. Free admission. For more information visit the Medicine Wheel website.
Tis the Season (for the Multiplex)
The holiday movie season is upon us this weekend with three high-profile films in theaters. The one of greatest interest to the LGBT community is Milk, Gus Van Sant’s biopic on the life of slain San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk. The movie has received nothing but praise since opening this past weekend - the New York Times even called it "the best live-action mainstream American movie" of the year. Our reviewer wrote: "The success of Van Sant’s ’Milk’ is more in the capturing the social sense of those dark and daring times." There is much Oscar buzz about Sean Penn’s richly textured performance as Milk. Also looking for Oscar consideration - and a huge audience to defray its considerable expense - is Australia, Baz Luhrmann’s epic that feels like a dozen movies in one. What might be its pull is the casting of Nicole Kidman and Hugh "sexiest man alive" Jackman. Filling out the titles of new releases is Four Christmases, the sentimental Hollywood holiday comedy with Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn that has gotten surprisingly good reviews.
Head South this Sunday!
Dj Mike Giller wants to invite you & your friends to check out the South Shore’s all new LGBT Night this Sunday at My House Bar and Lounge in Quincy. The event will feature hot mixes by Giller as well as appearances by some of Boston’s fiercest drag queens and the South Shore’s hunkiest men. To find the club, look for the rainbow flag on a white building (that looks like a house) near a Pizza Hut. Or simply Google 609 Washington Street (It’s Route 3A), Quincy, Mass. It’s just minutes from Boston and there’s free parking. From 6pm on. For more information visit the My House Quincy website.
Dykes with Balls (Bowling Balls, That Is)
Every fourth Friday on the month the Milky Way in Jamaica Plain hosts Dyke Night. This Friday you can work off those extra-Thanksgiving Day calories with dancing to the high-energy mixes of DJ Kris Kono, or play a game of pool. You can also reserve a lane and bowl some (lanes advanced reservations required and additional fee applies). If you’re visiting from out-of-town, it might be a great escape from the family or in-laws! This week the Milky Way also hosts a CD release party for from Grammy Award? winning artist Tracey Chapman’s newest CD "Our Bright Future." From 9pm at the Milky Way Lounge and Lanes, 403-405 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, Mass. For more information visit the Dyke Night website.
Catch the Grinch!
The mean one (Mr. Grinch, that is) found his way to the musical stage a decade ago when esteemed, multi-Tony Award winning director Jack O’Brian (of "Hairspray" fame) took Dr. Seuss’ famous holiday story to the stage of the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego under the title of Dr, Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas, the Musical. It’s been a holiday tradition at that theater ever since. It also expanded with more songs and a glitzier production for its Broadway version two years ago. It returned last year, despite the stagehand strike that crippled Broadway last season. Now it has taken to the road, first in Baltimore and now Boston where Stef?n Karl, who’s best known for playing Robbie Rotten on Nickelodeon’s LazyTown, dons a green face as the most infamous holiday grouch since Scrooge. The road version has director Matt August recreating O’Brien’s original staging. "The show is nicely pitched to its target audience," wrote the New York Times last year, "and at 1 hour 25 minutes nicely timed too, ending just when fidgeting would normally break out. It’s also an eyeful, with the grand sets and clever stagecraft that even children deserve for a Broadway ticket price; at a preview performance, a flying sleigh effect drew a burst of applause." the Wang Theatre, Citi Performing Arts Center, 270 Tremont St, Boston, Mass. Through December 28. For more information, visit the Citi Performing Arts Center website. And to read our interview with Stef?n Karl. click here.
And Irma Vep!
Long before there was the Gold Dust Orphans, there was Charles Ludlam and his Ridiculous Theatrical Company. From the late 1960s to Ludlam’s death in the mid-1980s, kept New Yorkers laughing from their Greenwich Village digs - a small theater in Sheridan Square. While he wrote and published a considerable number of plays (see his published anthology for proof), his best-known is The Mystery of Irma Vep, his take-off of a Victorian melodrama that features two actors playing a myriad of roles. Camp was Ludlam’s forte and he delivers it big time in this hilarious tour-de-force for two actors. For the Lyric Stage Company of Boston production those actors are two of Boston’s best-known: John Kuntz and Neil Casey. Both are no strangers to solo work - Kuntz for his acclaimed monologues and Casey for his solo riff on "It’s A Wonderful Life." This Christmas they are doing something completely different for the holidays. Through December 21, at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, 140 Clarendon Street, Boston, Mass. For further information, visit the Lyric Stage Company’s website.
Callling All Fashionistas
Exhibitions of Herb Ritts photography have graced major museums throughout the world, from Tokyo to our own Museum of Fine Arts. Now an exhibition of this California-based photographer, who black-and-white work celebrates classical styles, currently occupies the Newbury Street Robert Klein Gallery. His work shares the gallery space with that of fabled fashion photographer Horst B. Horst (known simply as Horst) whose fashion photography was a staple in Vogue from the 1930s through the 1960s. Through December 19 at the Robert Klein Gallery, 38 Newbury Street, Boston, Mass. For more information visit the Robert Klein gallery website.
What’s Christmas these days without a production of The SantaLand Diaries?, David Sedaris’ hilarious memoir of a holiday season at Macy’s where he was one of Santa’s helpers is one of the best-loved, contemporary holiday stories; and its stage version, adapted by director Joe Mantello, has been a staple on theater stages for more than a decade now. Sedaris’ SantaLand alter-ego Crumpet comes to life this year at Provincetown’s Art House Theatre in the guise of actor Scott Hayes. The production is directed and designed by Anthony Jackman, and runs for 9 performances only - November 28-December 14. At the Art House Theatre, 214 Commercial Street, Provincetown, Mass. For more information, visit the Art House Theatre website.
American Idol meets "Grease"
Grease is still the word. The record-breaking musical returned to Broadway this past year for another successful incarnation, this time boosted from a popular reality show in which the leads - Danny and Sandy - were picked. Now it is back on the road arriving at Providence’s Performing Arts Center for a 6-day run. This touring production also has a television connection in the person of Taylor Hicks, the winner of the sixth season of American Idol, who appears as the Teen Angel. The production is directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall and features a hugely successful score that features such hits as "Summer Nights," "You’re The One That I Want," and the title tune. "...you can’t do much better than Kathleen Marshall, the choreographer and director who has proved to be without peer in taking faded old musicals ("Wonderful Town," "Pajama Game") and giving them a fresh modern shine," wrote Time Magazine shortly after its Broadway opening. "Here she keeps everything sprightly and speedy without overwhelming her young stars. The dance numbers go for group precision over virtuoso acrobatics. Derek McLane’s sets are bright and witty, from the stacks of school lockers or cars at a drive-in movie, to the neon ice cream cone that opens to reveal the hunky Teen Angel in the terrific "Beauty School Dropout" number." This is also the closest the show comes to Boston (at this date) on its National tour. The retro at Rydell High begins on Tuesday, December 2 and runs through Sunday, December 8 at the Providence Performing Arts Center, 220 Weybosset Street, Providence, Rhode Island. For more information visit the PPAC website.
You’ve likely never heard of Fishbone, but they have built a considerable cult over the past 20 years. Gwen Stefani calls the LA-based band’s leader singer Angelo Moore as her idol. Moore formed the band in the late 1970s and developed the group’s fusion of ska, punk rock, reggae, funk and heavy metal over the years. From their press release: "Their sound has often been imitated, but never duplicated. Angelo Moore’s ability to combine thought-provoking, humorous, social commentary with Fishbone brethren’s frenzied, up-tempo music and a frantic, euphorically entertaining stage show has cultivated their undisputed reputation as one of the best live acts in music history." Their CDs get great reviews, but poor sales. No matter. For a taste of Fishbone, this Friday (November 28) go to Harper’s Ferry, 158 Brighton Avenue, Allston where the band performs. Doors open at 8. $15.00. For more information visit the Harper’s Ferry website.
Lewis Carroll’s stories about Alice have inspired a large number of works over the years. A decade ago Underground Railway Theatre did their own adaptation, which they titled Alice’s Adventures Underground, to much acclaim. Now it is back in a new version, written by Underground Railway Theater Artistic Director Debra Wise in collaboration with the company, and directed by Dev Luthra, with music by Roger Miller and Evan Harlan. the play brings audiences on an adventure with Alice as she seeks the key to the garden in all the wrong places. This production lights up parallels between adult idiosyncrasies and Carroll’s characters: Alice can’t control her growing and shrinking, her aging, or her temper. Featuring outrageous puppets and a set of hand-painted silk, Alice won a 1998 IRNE award when created to honor Carroll on his 100th anniversary. At the Central Square Theatre, 450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Mass. Through December 17. For more information, visit the Central Square Theatre website.